Thursday, March 24, 2011


Boosting Tourism and Investment

President Benigno Aquino III has issued two executive orders re-organizing the Philippine air panels and allowing them to pursue the administration’s international civil aviation liberalization policy, Executive Secretary Paquito N. Ochoa Jr. announced.

"These executive orders reaffirm the President’s commitment to pursue policies that will promote tourism and spur investment in the country," Ochoa added.

"Our goal is also to provide a competitive environment for the airline industry by allowing foreign airlines to come in. More airlines mean more choices for flyers, and, consequently, lower fares and better services to entice the flying public," Ochoa pointed out.

Executive Order No. 28 creates the Philippine Air Negotiating Panel (PANP) and the Philippine Air Consultation Panel (PACP); and Executive Order No. 29 authorizes the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) and the two panels to explore discussions on the matter with foreign carriers.

According to Ochoa, that granting third, fourth and fifth freedom rights as well as unrestricted capacities and frequencies to foreign air carriers, among others, through the liberalization policy in international aviation, will enhance the competitiveness of Philippine domestic carriers considering that the Philippines is under Category 2 of the US Federal Aviation Administration and the European Union.   
A Category 2 status means that the Philippines is not allowed by the United States and the European Union to increase its flight frequencies to these countries.
EO 29, on the other hand, provides guidelines to the two Philippine air panels in the negotiation of Air Services Agreements (ASAs).
It said the PACP and the PANP, to be collectively known as the Philippine Air Panels, should put forward the following in the negotiations:
The need to promote domestic tourism by providing travelers more and varied choices of access to the Philippines through improved and increased aviation services;
The need to promote investment, trade and employment generation in the Philippines through aviation;
The need to spur competition in the Philippines aviation industry by enticing the entry of more players therein for the greater benefit of travelers; and
The need to enhance competitiveness of Philippine domestic carriers.
EO 29 allows the PANP to offer and promote third, fourth, and fifth freedom rights to the country’s airports other than the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) without restriction as to frequency, capacity and type of aircraft, and other arrangements that will serve the national interest as may be determined by the CAB.
Under EO 29, the CAB may grant foreign air carriers increases in flight frequencies and/or capacities in the country’s airports other than NAIA, subject to conditions required by existing laws, rules and regulations, and approval of the President, notwithstanding the provisions of the relevant ASAs.
However, EO 29 prohibits CAB from granting any foreign air carriers Cabotage traffic rights of any kind such as the right to transport passengers and goods between two or more points within the Philippines.
"By empowering the CAB to allow foreign airlines to fly directly to airports other than the NAIA, the government hopes to encourage these airlines to fly to other destinations in the country and make it easier for foreign guests to visit the archipelago’s top tourist attractions," Ochoa said.
The granting of more freedom rights to foreign airlines must be studied carefully. It must be mutually advantageous between the Philippines and other countres. /MP

Entrepreneurial Farmer

Ambrosio R. Villorente
River Illegal Structures
Out On April 1
Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog has strongly appealed to all owners of illegal structures around the Iloilo river to remove their structures before the March 31 deadline set by the multi agencies task force and the Iloilo River Development Council. If not, they will face forcible removal.

The structures DENR has identified to be demolished soon are: 1. Barbecue Park owned by City Councilor Edward Yee, 2. Ryan’s Seafood and Grill owned by Rogelio Fanuñal, 3. The Yacht Docking Site owned by contractor FF Cruz, and 4. Old Barangay Hall of Taal, Molo District.

Mabilog is also set to demolish the river fishpens and fish traps of the 75 river fish pen operators and provide financial livelihood assistance to them.

All those with illegal structures were properly served notices of removal including the 79 houses in south San Jose, Molo to "remove their riverbank dwellings".

Mayor Mabilog is amply supported by the Iloilo Sangguniang Panglunsod in his exercise of executive powers in implementing relevant laws in the preservation and conservation of Iloilo rivers. There is now a resolution supporting Mayor Mabilog in the demolition of illegal structures Councilor David Jamora sponsored and a letter from DENR supporting Mayor Mabilog to demolish the illegal structures.

CR On Sidewalk

Can Aklanons demolish illegal structures constructed in the rivers of Aklan as they do it in Iloilo City?

In Aklan rivers unscientific methods are used in fishing. Some fishermen construct fish traps that impede the flow of water. In Tambak, New Washington, the DPWH constructed a bridge that totally blocks the entrance and exit of water resulting to water pollution.

In Veterans Avenue, Poblacion, Kalibo, a comfort room is constructed blocking the pedestrian way, enhancing ugliness and will adversely affect occupants of a building that may be constructed on the lot behind the toilet.

In Aklan, some creeks are filled up, over which houses are constructed. This may promote more floods and extend the time for water to stagnate.

Viewing positively, the Aklanons had more freedom, anything seems possible. However, unlimited freedom and no restrain deprive others who are more obedient to laws, rules and orders from enjoying their freedom. Hence, there is injustice, inequity and deprivation to others.

Impeaching MercEditas Gutierrez

Monday evening, March 21, the House of Representatives discussed the Articles of Impeach-ment that will impeach Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez.

After an animated discussion in a plenary session that lasted after 12 midnight, the congressmen approved the Articles of Impeachment via a viva voce votes, which resulted to 212 yes votes, 46 no, and 4 abstention.

Congressman Teddy Casiño voted yes to the impeachment. Cong. Joeben T. Miraflores and Party List Rep. Teodorico T. Haresco are said to have voted yes too.
The Articles of Impeachment was jointly sponsored by Rep. Niel Tupas, Jr. of Iloilo, and Rep. Rudolfo Farinas of Ilocos Norte, chairman and vice chairman respectively of the Justice Committee.

Congressmen Magsaysay, Edcel Lagman, Marcoleta and Carlos Padilla strongly debated with the sponsors of the resolution but their efforts were in vain. Cong. Augusto Syjuco of Iloilo whose interpellation to Cong. Tupas was too personal was not able to continue his debate with Tupas. Cong. Neptali Gonzales, Jr. Asst. Majority floor leader referred Syjuco’s case to the Ethics Committee.

The Articles of Impeachment will be forwarded to the Senate of the Philippines, the members of which will serve as judges. The investigation will be presided by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. The investigation will center on the NBN ZTE broadband deal, P728 million fertilizer scam, Mega Pacific, Pestaño Case, very low conviction of cases, and delayed action on cases in the Ombudsman. /MP

Aklan Remembers The Heroism of the XIX Martyrs

Upper photo shows Gov. Carlito S. Marquez extolling the heroic deeds of the XIX Martyrs of Aklan during the 114th death anniversary. Others in the picture (l to r) are Kalibo Mayor William S. Lachica, Mr. Jose Ciceron Lorenzo Haresco, Vice Mayor Madeline A. Regalado, and Hon. Nilda B. Tambong. Lower photo shows the LGU Kalibo Municipal Employees Chorale singing the Philippine National Anthem and Aklan Hymn.

The LGU Kalibo and the Provincial government of Aklan jointly comme-morated the heroism of the 19 Aklanon Martyrs who died to recover freedom from the hands of the Spanish colonialists. It was the 114th death anniversary.

The month of March of every year is declared month of noble heroes. The celebration started with the flying of the Philippine flag in every home and office in Kalibo with the commemorative program held on March 23.

This year, however, a program was held in Brgy. Nalook on March 22 in honor of the four Martyrs from Nalook, Kalibo. There was also a commemorative program in Mabilo, Kalibo on Wednesday afternoon, March 23. In the morning, there was tolling of church bells in Aklan. A civic military parade around Poblacion, Kalibo, floral offerings to the heroes, and commemorative program in the Akln Freedom Shrine were held.

Kalibo Mayor William Lachica welcomed the thousands who participated in the parade and program. Vice Mayor Madeline A. Regalado gave the acknowledgement and thanks to those who helped made the program successful.

In his message, Aklan, Gov. Carlito S. Marquez extolled the heroism of the 19 Martyrs for us to remember and emulate. In fluent Pilipino, he pointed to the ills today, among which is poverty. Marquez invited all the leaders to sincerely cooperate with him in his poverty alleviation program designed to conquer poverty. Marquez cited the Aklan LGU programs in agriculture and tourism.

Cong. Joeben T. Miraflores was represented by his son, Hon. Jo’en Miraflores and Cong. Teodorico T. Haresco by his son, Mr. Jose Ciceron Lorenzo Haresco.

To recall what happened in Aklan in 1897, the Martyrdom of Gen. Francisco del Castillo and the 19 Martyrs of Aklan, El Levantamiento de los otsenta y dos de Lilo-an was re-enacted. /MP

Contingency Plans For Companies and Workers Affected By Japan Crisis

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), and Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) must come up with a joint contingency plan to help companies and employees that would be affected by the slowdown in Japan trade and investments for the coming months, Senator Manny Villar suggested.

Villar, chair of the Senate trade committee, noted that Japanese firms top the list of investors at the Clark Field, Pampanga. Based on the January 2008 report of the Clark Development Corporation, of the foreign investors doing business at the Clark Freeport, 35 companies or 26.75 percent are run by Japanese nationals.

He also pointed out that last year’s data from the Philippine Economic Zone Authority, reveal at least 580 firms with Japanese equity availing of incentives in various economic zones across the country. "While we continue to hope for the best, we must also be realistic about the consequences attached to the sad and tragic turn of events in Japan," Villar suggested.
"Last January, labor statistics showed unemployment rose to 7.4 percent with an estimated 2.9 million Filipinos without work compared to 2.8 million the previous year. This number excludes workers affected by the effects of multiple crisis situations abroad on our own economy," he added.
The OFW advocate stressed that the Middle East has always been the traditional source of overseas employment for jobless Filipinos. "Today, we are witnessing the signs of reverse migration from different points in the Middle East and Asia due to external factors and not because of a fast growing national economy. We need a concrete plan to boost domestic investments and create alternative jobs for displaced and repatriated workers," Villar pointed out.
Villar noted that the 2011 budget was approved at a time when most of these exigencies did not exist. "Right now, the government is able to undertake rescue and repatriation missions using OWWA funds. However, these funds rightfully belong to the OFWs and must be reimbursed at the appropriate time," he said.
The senator said that agriculture and trade departments could work together on a joint program to push agri-business as alternative to scarce employment opportunities.
"With proper training and incentives, our returning OFWs and thousands of jobless Filipinos can grow backyard or homegrown micro enterprises with the DTI and DA pitching in to provide access to markets and well-known supply chains," Villar said.
Without a clear emergency employment plan backed up by inter-agency support and proper guidelines, the number of Filipinos desperate for work will continue to rise, the senator predicted. /MP

SKBK Thrives On Initiative And Perseverance

The weekly Kapehan Forum is besieged by women activists. This is no cause for alarm since the whole month of March is especially dedicated to their cause, their voices though conflicting at times must be heard at all cost.

Samahan ng Kababaihan sa Barangay ng Kalibo (SKBK) was guest on March 19, 2011. Present are Hon. Nilda Buyoc Tambong, Committee Chairperson on Women & Children, Ms. Chita C. Heap, Adviser and Ms. Editha S. Rubio, founding pres., and officials/representatives of 16 SKBK Brgy Chapters.

Atty. Ronquillo C. Tolentino pointed to several laws on elevating the status of women in the country passed by Congress since the time of Pres. Manuel L. Quezon up to the present. The latest is RA 9264 or Magna Carta for Women approved in 2009.
Dr. Ambrosio R. Villorente quoted a German philosopher, Immanuel Kant, "the greatest good for everything in this world is happiness". Indeed, without women, even in paradise life could be empty and meaningless.

"Promoting women and children’s welfare have been high on my political agenda because of my calling. However they gave me the Environment portfolio much to my dismay. Presently I happened to be the only female SB member. Hence, there is no more impediment. This time around, with the strong commitment of our women leaders, there is no reason to fail in our gender advocacy program" said Dr. Nilda Buyoc Tambong.

Ms. Rubio said that SKBK originally started in New Buswang with more than a dozen members in 2008. Organization’s vision is women of strong values responsible to their cause, productive and victorious members of the community. It aims to lead the kababaihan to perform and support each other to become productive and responsible. The Federation is registered with SEC on August 6, 2008.

Notable accomplish-ments are medical and dental mission, legal consultation, libreng gupit, financial assistance to 26 families, christmas decoration at multi-purpose pavement and facilitated NGO funding for road improvement. Continuing program common to all SKBK chapters is community service all members provided every Saturday.

Important dates are last canvassing of Ginang SKBK on March 30, 2011 at Magsaysay Park, and Mass Induction and Coronation Night on April 30, 2011 at ABL Gymnasium. Gov. Carlito S. Marquez and Ms. Virginia Clavel, GAD Coordinator of the Bureau of Local Development, DILG are honoured guests.

It is gratifying to note that women initiative, perseverance and fortitude are manifested by women organizations. Their selfless dedication is worth emulating. Their services are invaluable as wife, mother, homemaker, and manager. As society expands and Christian life belief and tradition claiming superiority of men and women are obviously on the decline as women become educated and assertive of their rights.

Many of the goals of SKBK may not be realized if the government absconds from its commitment to develop full potential of women under Gender Advocacy for Development – Commission (GAD-C). Empowerment demands physical, intellectual and financial capabilities. Physical includes good health and well being. Intellectual is soundness of mind and decision making. Financial capability is success in entrepreneurial work and creating capital build up.

Several government agencies are included in GAD-C, yet only very few manages to assist fledgling NGO’s like SKBK. Majority of these agencies have their support organizations and preferential policy are focused on their own. For instance, DA-ATI has Rural Improvement Club, Farmers Association and Anak Bukid (4-H Club) while DAR-Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Assn. (ARBA) and DENR – Aklan River Watershed Forest Resource Assn. It is true that each Agency has a focal person or GAD Coordinator., but it is easily overwhelmed by the immensity and complexity of the problems not-withstanding his Office task and responsibility.

Cottage industries like piña weaving, bagoong making, vegetable production and embellishing women sandals are currently engaged in by enterprising members. The biggest challenge to its viability and expansion is operating capital. Ironically, no financial assistance is received so far. Are women not bankable? Where is the micro lending scheme of Small and Medium Industries and Self Employment Assistance of DSWD?

An ingenious project of women in business could perhaps be found in Liliw, Laguna, which utilizes stalks of water hyacinth to make novelty sandals and bags. Products are of quality standard and eagerly sought by customers both here and abroad. They may adopt the same strategy of making full use of our leading Aklan products. Potential is on food processing like pickles from ubod or pit of coconut (usually by-product of coco lumber industry), vinegar from coco water and tuba, bottled fresh coco drink, "bukayo", buko pie, nata de coco jam, candies, and banana chips/flour from sabah bananas and fermented fish (herring and shrimps).

SKBK women are challenged to be productive and responsible members of society. Poverty and unemployment in the country are getting worst as our OFWs’ from the Middle East and Japan are repatriated in mass because of man made and natural calamities. Lingering global recession of developed economies dampen consumer demands of our leading exports such as bananas, coconut oil, electronic chips, and textiles thus contributing to unfavourable balance of trade.

Viable alternative is for LGU’s to look at potentials of women organizations to address problem at its roots. Virtually cottage industries provide the answer to widespread poverty and unemployment. This is in the face of volatile, unrealiable and unpredictable foreign labor markets. Must we sacrifice our future with these uncertainties? Let us give women a fair chance to prove themselves. /MP

NVC FEATI Partnership *

* Message on the occasion of the 63rd Foundation Day of Northwestern Visayan Colleges on February 26 by Dr.-Ing. Adolfo Jesus R. Gopez, President, FEATI University.
I am deeply honoured and at the same time humbled to be invited to address all of you on such an important occasion for your venerable institution. I greet and congratulate the administration, staff, faculty members, students and stakeholders of Northwestern Visayan Colleges which has ably served the community of Kalibo, the Province of Aklan and the surrounding region for the last 63 years. Today, your institution continues to be one of the pillars of development and progress in the region. And FEATI University is delighted to be a part of all of these now.

On this happy occasion, even as FEATI University conveys it’s thanks to NVC for its continuing partnership in offering a joint program in Aircraft Maintenance Technology (AMT), we would call your attention to the indications that we are with you in the medium to long term. NVC was the first of our partners in what was then an experimental endeavor meant to offer our courses in the regions without diminishing from the FEATI experience. With our experience with you, we have, in fact, been able to replicate this partnership in Clark Polytechnic in Region 3 and in Palawan, in the far-flung area of Region 4A.

Today with our newly acquired aircraft grade equipment, tools and instruments, with our able faculty and very soon with our flying assets, our intentions to make our partnership grow should now be very evident. It is our desire to not only continue to offer the joint AMT program with you, we envision it to be a benchmark program that will produce highly qualified and employable graduates, a program that will be held up as an example of service to the students and to their parents. At the end of their studies, we would like our graduates, as well as their parents to say that the time and resources they devoted to finishing from our program were more than worth it. That is why our Board of Trustees, and in particular, our Vice Chairman of the Board and CEO, Mr. Francisco A. Segovia has spared no expense or effort in upgrading our capabilities in our joint AMT program.

We would not have been able to do all this without the vital contribution that you, and NVC, have already made and continue to make. By welcoming us in your inner sanctum, by agreeing to work with us, and by providing a vital part of the service to the students: the General Education, you have not only enabled our partnership but you have created a friendship that will, undoubtedly outlast anything that we could all propose or create in this endeavour. We therefore, thank you sincerely for welcoming a stranger, FEATI University in your midst and transforming this stranger into a partner and most importantly, into a friend.

But we have no intentions of resting on our collective laurels. At this very moment, our efforts in FEATI University are focused and directed at Accreditation. In May 2010, we passed our consultancy visit and we are now in the thick of our preparations for the accreditation visit in the third quarter of 2011. We intend to move on the appropriate level of Accreditation that will enable our partnership to offer BS programs needed by your community and region. We are also following the developments in the efforts for our country to join the Washington Accord. The accrediting body we have selected is actively working with the Philippine Technological Council, the umbrella organization of licensed engineers in the country which will be the Philippine signatory to the Washington Accord. This proximity to the accrediting body working with PTC should enable FEATI University to qualify for the Washington Accord, making our graduates acceptable to the member countries of the Accord. This would also have a positive effect on graduates of our joint programs.

We are also aware of your local efforts aimed at preserving and restoring the environment while allowing development. Our institution, is located beside a suffering river and it is no coincidence that we have been able to obtain DOST funding for focused studies on the water and sediment of Pasig River, as well as initial efforts at bioremediation. Knowing that NVC and its officials have their own noteworthy experiences in similar efforts on the restoration of the environment, this is an area for the possible growth of our partnership. We could start by exchanging and sharing information in the technical and sociological aspects of "saving" rivers and in working with the communities affected or served by these rivers. There is much to be learned in this area, such as in people’s attitudes, beliefs and values as related to the environment, in general, and to rivers and their immediate environs, in particular.

There are other opportunities for expanding our partnership that I believe will soon be explored, such as your Hotel and Restaurant Management and our Tourism Management programs. While I recall mentions of these programs in the past we have not yet initiated anything in this area. So let us continue to discuss and explore.
It appears therefore, that while our relationship has deepened, in our joint activities and programs, we have actually, barely scratched the surface.

In closing, I again thank NVC for its valuable partnership for welcoming us to work with them. We will continue to work to be deserving of this partnership and warm friendship. /MP

Sugilanon Ni Tita Linda

Ni Tita Linda Belayro
May Bueawan Sa Eogta Ag Basura
May daywang ka magmanghod, si Berto ag si Ambet. Parabil namatay ro andang ama hay may guinbilin imaw nga daywang ka bagay. Una, may bueawan imaw nga guin tago sa eogta ag bueawan man sa basurahan. Ro pamisaea ko andang ama hay guin huptan gid it mayad ni Ambet.

Pagkaeobong sa andang ama, nag umpisa eon it pagkutkot ro daywang ka mag manghod. Nag ukay man sanda it basura. Owa nakatakod sa kaga-oy si Berto busa, nagpanaw imaw sa ibang lugar agod magpasimpaead. Owa man abi imaw makakita it bueawan sa eogta, ni sa basura. Haaywan si Ambet.

Ro mga guin tumpok nanda nga eapok hay guin tamnan ni Ambet it kapaya, saging ag mga tinuean-on. Ana mang guin hawanan ro andang likod it baeay. Idto man nana guin tipon ro mga basura suno sa klase. Iba ro naga kaeonot, iba man ro uwa naga kaeonot.

Isaeang agahon, may nagpundo nga saeakyan sa andang atubang it baeay. Naga usoy gali it mga eaging igdaeapat, mga bote ag lata. Guin guwa ni Ambet ro anang tinipon ag guin baligya nana sa ratong tawo ro anang nga basura.

Ko gabii ngaron, nagdamgo si Ambet. Sa anang damgo, nagpakita ro anang ama nga naga hibayag ag malipayon. Naghambae kana ro anang ama. "May bueawan sa mga basura Ambet". Habugtaw si Ambet nga natuon ro anang mata sa kwarta nga kabak-eanan it mga basura.

Rondaya gali ro kwarta nga guina hambae ko anang ama. Tumaliwan ro sang dag-on. Hakita nana nga naga bunga eon ro anang mga kapaya, ag saging. Maeambo man ro anang mga tanum nga tinoean-on. Guin ani ag guin baligya nana sa tindahan ro mga prutas. Ro anang kabakeanan gali ro guina singhan nga bueawan nga guin bilin ko anang ama sa eogta ag sa basura.

Nag manggaranon si Ambet tongod sa anang kahugod sa paglimpyo it mga basura, pagtanum, pag ani it tinoean-on, ag prutas nga anang guina baligya adlaw-adlaw sa anang mga suki sa tindahan. /MP

Health Tips

Let Kids Play Outdoors To Fight Obesity
Health Experts Advice Parents
Parents are advised to allow their children plenty of time to play and participate in active outdoor games to prevent and fight obesity.

Sanirose Orbeta of the Philippine Association for the Study of Overweight and Obesity and a health expert, is encouraging parents to let their children sweat it out in the playground.

Orbeta said, one reason why kids in grade school and secondary levels are obese is that they lack physical activities that force them to flex their muscles regularly.

She laments that most kids now live in sedentary lifestyles especially at home and even at schools, that some kids rely on their "yaya" to do even the most simple of works.

"They have become indolent," she stressed.

Orbeta suggested that schools to encourage more physical education programs to battle overweight problems among the students. They should emphasize it in their curriculum, she stressed.

Orbeta also said that even people living in the poverty level are obese. They have spent most of their time watching television and sitting around doing nothing. They must be encouraged to eat healthy yet affordable vegetables, she recommended.

Our country is slowly becoming obese in terms of weight and population, she pointed out.

Meantime, Dr. Celeste Tanchoco of the Department of Science and Technology-Food and Nutrition Research Institute (DOST-FNRI) said that parents who are overweight are most likely to have overweight kids, that kids and children are apt to adapt the eating habits of their parents and that if the kids are overweight or obese, it is the parents who are to be blamed. They should be good and healthy examples for their children, said Dr. Tanchoco.

Both Orbeta and Tanchoco were in Iloilo City recently for the DOST-FNRI’s hydration symposium.

The event "Symposium on Hydration" encourages health professionals, barangay health workers, members of the academe and media to encourage healthy living in the community. (PNA) /MP

Guimaras Is W. Visayas Highest Philhealth Enrollees

The province of Guimaras has the highest number enrollees with Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) in terms of percentage among local government units in Western Visayas as of August 2010.

Data from the Philhealth Field Operation Division (FOD) showed that the province has enrolled 45,722 covering a population of 231,244. The enrollment was pegged at 132.75 percent when compared with the province’s projected population of 174, 201.

The province has registered 28,069 for the sponsored program; 2,914 for individually paying members; 3,079 from the government sector; 7,991 for the private sector; 26, households; 570 lifetime members; 2902 for overseas Filipino workers and 171 under the Kalusugang Sigurado at Abot-Kaya sa Philhealth Insurance (Kasapi).

Following closely in terms of percentage is Capiz with 115.16 percent of its target population already covered by the national health insurance program; Aklan, 113.65 percent; Iloilo, 105.86 percent; Negros Occidental, 96.24 percent and Antique with 91.10 percent.

Based on the August data, Region VI is universally covered by the Philhealth with 102. 92 percent of its population already covered which is equivalent to 7,870,4375 against the 2010 projected population of 7,646,954. (PNA) /MP

Thursday, March 17, 2011


Women Entrepreneurs
Shape Business and Industry
March is International Women’s Month. Thus, another organization called WomEn–Aklan is guest of the weekly Kapihan on March 12, 2011. Lady entrepreneurs were Ms. Rose F. Nepomuceno, Pres. WomEn–Aklan, owner of Lucky Photo Digital Center & Silver Handicrafts; Dr. Marinelia A. Torrea – owner/consultant – Skill Share Plus Consultancy; Ms. Arbel P Roto – owner/manager, Aero Products and Aeros Motorparts; Ms. Lilian A. Cariscal – owner/manager of Center Parkway Pension House; Ms. Rose A. Sauza – owner Rosa Food Products; Ms. Mel Sayon – Career Agent, Sunlife of Canada; and Dr. Evelyn P. Ninonuevo–Cat’s Eye Computers. Coordinators are Ms. Vivian R. Solano – PESO, and Ms. Marites Apolonio – office of Vice Gov. Gabrielle V. Calizo-Quimpo.

Ms. Nepomuceno said that WomEn-Aklan is affiliate of Gender Advocacy for Development Com-mission (GADC). It had a vision of empowering women in business and uplifting economic well being in society. The mission is to pursue advocacies on: a) entrepreneurship, b) health, wellness and family, d) good governance, e) women empowerment, attitudes and skills development, and e) environment.

"WomEn–Aklan is the result of my participation in an International Visitation program sponsored by the US Embassy in Manila two years ago. We were five women in the cultural tour of six cities showcasing successful women in the top echelon of private enterprises. I was impressed of the impact of women on industry, excellent, inter-personal relationship and amazing array of quality products and services. It dawned on me the idea to organize a small group of committed business women could be a good start", confided the founding President.

Dr. Ambrosio R. Villorente noted the rapid advancement of women in all walks of life whether social, political, economics, and educational fields of endeavour. Equal treatment of women in society is all – important and consuming passion. RA 9262 or Magna Carta for Woman prohibits inflicting physical and emotional violence against women. VAW desks will soon be permanent fixture in all PNP stations.

Ms. Sayon cited gains of the organization among which are: medical missions in Albasan, Numancia and Madalag. Samut-saring program in New Washington and Bulabog, Malay. Trainer’s training for strategic planning. Whistleblower support to Jun Lozada (Good Gover-nance) and Total womanhood training. Accounting seminar for non-accountants on March 29, 2011 at Daeangpan it mga Kababaen-an will however require P500 registration fee for each participant.

The World Health Organization defines health as a state of complete physical, mental, and social well being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. Wellness is overall balance of physical, social, spiritual, emotional, intellectual, environmental, and occupational well being. In other words, health is a goal to achieve while wellness is a multi-dimensional lifestyle to maintain.

The Reproductive Health Bill (RH) contains 10 components designed to insure women’s health, wellness and survival. DOH data show that all maternal deaths occur daily throughout the country while poverty and malnutrition take a heavy toll on children, pregnant and lactating mothers.

According to Popcom Executive Director Tomas Osias, current population growth is 2.04 percent, the population of 94 million in 2010 will rise to 97 million in 2011. There will be 184 million Pinoys in 2040. This will qualify the Philippines to hold the title of 10th most populous nation in the world. The big drawback however is that our current Goss Domestic Product average of 4.4 percent could sustain only a growth rate of 1.04 percent.

Based on Competitiveness Human Security and Environmental Sustainability of the UN, the Philippines’ Human Development Index position is at No. 105 out of 185 nations. In 1997 the Philippines was ranked No. 77 out of 146 countries.

Due to the above considerations, should the women organization make a bold stand on RH bill now pending in the House of Representatives? It appears women in general do not know the rationale and salient features of this vital legislation authored by Congressman Edcel C. Lagman of Albay.

In the US, 80 percent of the economy is dominated by small business. However, majority is held by men mostly engaged in manufacturing. Production output is technology driven, market oriented, quality controlled and motivated manpower.

It would be pertinent to ask whether our local women entrepreneurs observe fair labor practices such as giving minimum wage (P250 per day), no hiring of minors, job contractualization and registering their employees with Philhealth? Do they issue official receipts to customers and employees with Philhealth? Do they issue official receipts to customers and file proper income tax returns and licenses? If they do, they could be role models in this highly competitive business world.

The supremacy of female over males in Aklan is based on NSO 2010 population data. Functional literacy of male is 79.81 percent while female is 86.59 percent. The average life expectancy of male is 68 years. Nevertheless, the Filipino family is patriarchal despite his obvious inferiority in education and relative shortness of life.

Women empowerment through the pursuit of good business ethics can pave the way to success and personal fulfilment. In our modern society, they are pioneers who are shaping society and destiny. We sincerely wish them success in their cherished vision and mission. /MP

Entrepreneurial Farmer

Ambrosio R. Villorente
Cabagnot Shows The Way
The youthful Hon. Phoebe Clarice L. Cabagnot, a neophyte member of the Aklan Sangguniang Panlalawigan is showing the way to her colleagues the formulation of relevant, progressive, and quality legislations.

Among her proposals is a "Resolution Directing the Committee on Human Resources and Committee on Appropriations, Budget and Finance To Conduct An Investigation, In Aid of Legislation, The Non-Remittances of At Least 1,700,000.00 pesos In Contributions of Provincial Capitol Employees to the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) As Supported By Republic Act No. 8291 (GSIS Act of 1997)".

This Cabagnot Resolution was referred to the Committee on Laws, Committee on Appropriations, and Committee on Oversight. These committees interacted with Ms. Ma. Victoria A. Salido, Provincial Accountant on March 8. On March 14, an investigation was held with the presence of the Aklan Provincial Accountant and Provincial Treasurer, the GSIS Regional Manager. Manager of GSIS Roxas City, Capiz, and Manager of GSIS Satellite office in Kalibo, Aklan.

The interaction with the SP members, the provincial accountant and provincial treasurer with the regional officials of the GSIS resulted to the agreement that all parties "are set to reconcile data as it was not necessarily non-remittance but foul-outs in recording.

During the 9th Regular Session of the Aklan SP on Wednesday, March 16, a Resolution was approved requesting Gov. Carlito S. Marquez to direct all the provincial department heads to allow their respective Authorized Agent Officers (AAOs) to gather data for reconciliation of remittances.

The Cabagnot resolution appears simple but highly useful in the promotion of employees’ morale and to enhance quality and quantity of services. Insurance is one of the security needs of employees, without it services will be adversely affected.

The presiding officer, Vice Governor Gabrielle V. Calizo-Quimpo officially expressed her appreciation to Cabagnot.

Cabagnot, when she opens her mouth, her words are substantive and sharp. For example, during the deliberation of a resolution on the request to Gov. Marquez to direct all department heads to allow their respective AAOs to constitute a committee, she asked: "Is it enough that my resolution just be noted even if there was an investigation made and it resulted to another resolution? Indeed, her resolution aided legislation.

The elders in the Aklan SP can’t help but changed from "noted" to "approved" the Cabagnot resolution.


Tilo Korb submitted a report on the "Survey of the Channel Between Caticlan/Boracay" to Vice Gov. Gabrielle V. Calizo-Quimpo. Korb signed the transmittal letter as vice president – internal affairs, PCCI–Boracay.

The report is submitted by Dr. Cesar Villanoy and Dr. Fernando Siringan, Olivia Cabrera and Riovie Ramos. They are from the Marine Environmental Resources Foundation, Inc., Marine Science Institute, UP Diliman, Quezon City. The survey as stated in the cover is funded by the Department of Tourism, office of the Secretary.

Going over the report and examining it, Dr. Cesar Villanoy et al did not sign it. Examining the report, I asked myself a few questions: why did the authors of the survey did not sign the report? Is it authentic? Did the Department of Tourism really fund the study? What is the official relation of the Marine Environmental Resources Foundation, Inc. with UP Diliman, Q.C.?

The report was in the agenda of the 9th Regular Session, March 16 of the Aklan SP. However, discussion was deferred. The SP members agreed to invite Mr. Tilo Korb and the alleged authors of the study for interaction. /MP

Kalibo Walks Green & Clean

Picture above shows Aklan Vice Gov. Gabrielle V. Calizo-Quimpo (extreme left) delivering her message to the participants in the launching of the implementation of the Ecological Solid Waste Management Code of Kalibo. The Walk Green & Clean participants consists of students and pupils of all private and public schools in the town of Kalibo, delegations from barangays headed by their respective barangay chairmen, sangguniang bayan members, LGU Kalibo personel, and members of the Philippine National Police, headed by PC Insp. Aden T. Lagradante.

LGU Kalibo headed by Vice Mayor A Madeline Regalado launched Municipal Ordinance No. 2009 - 004 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Code of Kalibo. The launching was held on Thursday morning, March 17. It started with the Walk for the Greener & Cleaner Kalibo early in the morning which started from Kalibo Magsaysay Park to Arch. G. Reyes St., which turned right to A. Mabini St., then went right to XIX Martyrs St., turned right to C. Laserna St., then went right to Arch. G. Reyes St., until Magsaysay Park.

In Magsaysay Park, a short program was held. In behalf of Kalibo Mayor William S. Lachica, Vice Mayor Madeline A. Regalado welcomed the participants in the launching program.

In behalf of their respective organizations, Mr. Baltazar Gerardo, Aden T. Lagradante, Chita C. Heap, Dr. Victorina Laroza, and Ambrosio R. Villorente gave their messages of support. Hon. Mark Sy thanked all the participants. /MP

NFA Re-Launches Iron Fortified Rice

The above picture shows (l to r) Engr. Marianito B. Bejemino-NFA Aklan, Provincial Manager, Banga Vice Mayor Joseph Pierre R. Teodosio, and Hon. Jean O. Rodriguez - SP member, and chair, Committee on Health Sector.

Banga Vice Mayor Joseph Pierre R. Teodosio is shown receiving Plaque of Appreciation from NFA Manager Marianito Bejemino with Ms. Judith Tindog.

National Food Authority (NFA) re-launched the I-Rice or iron fortified rice to dramatize to the people the importance of eating balanced diet and the problem of micronutrient deficiency.

The affair was held on Tuesday morning at Aguinaldo T. Repiedad, Sr. Integrated School, Linabuan Sur, Banga. It was attended by rice producers and traders, and local officials.

Banga Vice Mayor Joseph Pierre R. Teodosio spoke on the importance of eating a well balance meal. In her message, Hon. Jean O. Rodriguez, Health Sector Committee chair of Aklan Sangguniang Panlalawigan discussed major provincial legislations in nutrition the SP has approved and now being implemented.

Ms. May Jean D. Arcenio presented to the guests and visitors the nutrition program of the DepEd designed to enhance the teaching – learning process. In a combination of three languages, Akeanon, English and Pilipino, Ms. Crescini S. Roxas – nutritionist/dietician of the Provincial Health Office also presented the best practices they follow to improve the health of the people through proper nutrition.
Engr. Marianito B. Bejemino – NFA Aklan Provincial Manager acknowledged and thanked those present and who helped in the success of the re-launching program.

Iron Fortified Rice program to improve the people’s health via eating proper diet was started several years ago. However, its brilliance easily faded away. The NFA, being the prime mover of the grains industry re-launched it.

A large part of the population today suffers from hidden hunger or micronutrient deficiency, a leading nutritional disorder in the world.

Micronutrient deficiency refers to the lack of essential vitamins and trace minerals such as Vitamin A, Iron, Iodine, Zinc, and others. Inadequate intake of these micronutrients had been found to be major contributory factor for various health problems. This also resulted to increased rates of illness and deaths from infectious diseases and disability such as mental impairment.

Iron is one of the most important trace elements essential for many proteins and enzymes that keep the body in good shape. It is involved in many metabolic reactions and regulations of cell growth and differentiation. It is also involved in proper functioning of liver and helps in improving immune activity by protecting the body against harmful actions of free radicals.

Iron is part of hemoglobin that carries oxygen from lungs to the tissues, and carbon dioxide from tissue to the lungs. Hemoglobin gives the red color of the blood. It transports oxygen to different parts of the body, and is needed in the production of energy needed to do work.

Iron deficiency can lead to anemia when iron stored in the body gets depleted and hemoglobin synthesis is inhibited. It usually begins with negative iron balance when dietary iron intake does not meet the daily need for iron and develops gradually.

Studies show that iron deficiency anemia is responsible for 20 percent of early neonatal mortality and 10 percent of maternal mortality. It also reduces cognitive development and work performance.
Recognizing these threats and the increasing mortality rate brought about by micronutrient deficiency in the country, a law was passed by the legislative body in 2000 to address the alarming nutritional disorder.

Republic Act 8976 provides a great opportunity to recognize the role of fortification in laying the foundation of a healthy citizenry and ensuring economic growth. Food fortification is recognized as an effective and sustainable means to fight and eliminate micronutrient deficiency in the country because of its social acceptability and independence from consumers behavior and food habits. /MP

President Aquino Climbs Stairs Up 20 Flights

Philippine President Benigno Aquino III had to take 20 flights of stairs up a water treatment plant in the first day of his state visit to Singapore after the building’s only lift broke down.

Executives of Singapore’s national water agency PUB were touring the 51-year-old head of state and his delegation around the Changi Water Reclamation Plant, Wednesday, March 9.

As the group prepared to head back up after looking at some used water pumps 60 metres underground, the only lift broke down — the first time since the plant opened more than two years ago.

The group waited for technicians to get the lift working again, but after 20 minutes, Mr Aquino removed his jacket, loosened his tie and started climbing the stairs, The Straits Times reported.

Accompanied by Singapore Minister Lim Swee Say of the Prime Minister’s Office, Aquino remained in good spirits, taking short breaks along the way.

Members of the delegation kept the mood buoyant. One Philippine Cabinet secretary quipped: "We’re okay, Mr President, we’ll follow you anywhere you go."

Upon reaching the top after a 10-minute climb, Pres. Aquino received a towel, some water and apologies from Mr Lim and PUB executives.

"No problem at all," the Filipino President replied.

Mr Aquino ate lunch with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong March 10 and attended a state dinner hosted by President S R Nathan.

The visiting leader got an orchid named after him. He spoke at an event organized by the Singapore Business Federation and the Singapore Management University. /MP

Women Play Big Role In Climate Change

Sen. Loren Legarda urged Filipino women to play a stronger role in lowering the risks from climate change, such as the huge casualties and property damage caused by several typhoons.

"Women are powerful agents of change in the overall climate change adaptation and mitigation efforts," Loren said in a speech at the National Women’s Summit in Miriam College, Manila.

"Many current policies have not recognized the gender-specific effects of climate change. This is a crucial issue to address, for it is women that bear the load of climate change’s savagery," she pointed out.

Loren deplored that while women play a positive role in Philippine society, they are the most vulnerable, with women accounting for the largest number of poor persons, around 12.8 million in 2006. She also said that women receive less medical attention than men.

"Poverty takes the hardest toll on women in the family. They are the mothers who manage the household finances in their families. A starving mother carrying her ailing child is often the public face of famines and food shortages," she said. But they play vital roles against climate change.

"Women can spearhead the re-education of families. Women can alter how they manage the family households. They could promote zero-waste in our backyard and in our communities.
Mothers can teach children to be environment friendly and promote recycling in our communities. 

Mothers can promote the use of renewable forms of household energy such as biomass, encourage behavioural changes in children’s attitude towards economic development, one that is respectful of the environment. Therefore, efforts to combat climate change and mitigate the risks and challenges it poses to communities should be gender sensitive and gender responsive. It is time to redress the subordinate position of women in all spheres of their lives," she declared.

According to her, women need solid ground on issues such as climate change politics, climate protection and preparedness through disaster risk reduction. Education and information are vital part of the effort to make women truly active in mitigation.

"Programs should explore how they might contribute to enable women and men’s autonomous adaptation efforts, since we recognize that people adapt to climate change on their own. We should then lift the social, cultural and institutional barriers that constrain women from effectively adapting to climate change effects in order to seek welfare and well-being for themselves and their families.

"Gender concerns and perspectives must also be integrated into policies and programs for sustainable development. Assessments on women’s susceptibility or exposure to the degradation of the environment and hazards must also be conducted.
"To assess the impacts of development and environmental policies on women, mechanisms at all levels must be strengthened. Technical assistance to women in agriculture, fisheries, small enterprises, and trade must also be provided," Loren stressed. /MP

Sugilanon Ni Tita Linda

Ni Tita Linda Belayro
Magic Koeon
Ro banwa it Lezo ag Ibajay hay daywang ka banwa iya sa probinsiya it Akean nga kilaea sa andang produktong koeon. Maeahaeon ro koeon sa mga sinaunang tawo tongod rondaya ro guina sudlan it pang-haead sa mga anitos. Rikara man guina sueod ro dugo agod ihaead kaibahan ko mga vino o sagrado nga tubi para sa andang diyos-diyos.

Sa isaea ka bukid sakop it Colong Colong, Ibajay, may naga estar nga ermitanyo. Bihira imaw nanda makita rondayang magueang. Naga pana-og ra imaw sa datag kon adlaw it tiyenda sa Poblacion. Mabuot rondayang ermitanyo ag guina abi-abi imaw ko mga tawo kon mag-abot. Bilang kabaeaslan, guina taw-an nana ro mga tawo it mga bueong nga maka mayad it masakit o kon indi hay guina bueong nana ro mga onga nga masakiton.

Isaeang adlaw, may isaeang ka bakero nga naga pahang-eab ko anang anwang maeapit sa baeay it ermitanyo. Nangin ugali ko rondayang binatilyo nga mag panguma sa datag agod magpamu-po it mga prutas.

Isaeang hapon, hakita nana ro ermitanyo nga naga tiphag it eapok ag guin hurma nga koeon. Pagkatapos anang guin dap-ongan it tinumpok nga li-ay ag dayami. Pagtaliwan it pilang oras, naeaha eon ro koeon ag dayon guin pasilakan, guin buead. Guin tandaan ko binatilyo ro anang hakita. Anang guin tun-an ro anang mga igmanghod hasta nakahimo man sanda it iba ibang korte it koeon. Abo nga naila ko andang obra. Pagbisita ko anang igkampod nga taga Lezo, naghambae imaw nga may una man sanda nga imaw nga klase nga eapok nga guina tawag nga buga o daga.

Nag obra man sanda idto sa Lezo ag abo man ro nag antigo.

Makaron, bukon eamang it koeon ro guina obra it mga taga Lezo ag Ibajay, kundi sari-saring sueodlan nga guina gamit sa atong pamaeay. /MP

Administrative Proceedings Vs Ombudsman’s Special Prosecutors: Ochoa Moves

Executive Secretary Paquito N. Ochoa Jr. said Friday last week that Malacañang had initiated administrative proceedings against Special Prosecutor Wendell Sulit of the Office of the Ombudsman. It has asked her to explain why she should not be sanctioned for entering into a questionable plea bargain deal with retired Maj. Gen. Carlos Garcia.

Ochoa issued the showcause order directing Sulit to submit to the Office of the Executive Secretary an explanation, within five days from the time she received the order, why no administrative disciplinary proceedings may be commenced against her.

The Executive Secretary said the initiation of administrative pro-ceedings was based on the recommendations of the Justice Committee of the House of Rep-resentatives which looked into plea bargain agreement with the former military comptroller.

Ochoa likewise said that the Office of the President had referred to the Civil Service Commission (CSC) the House Committee on Justice Resolution No. 3, which also recommended the filing of appropriate charges against Deputy Special Prosecutors Roberto Kallos and Jesus Micael; and Assistant Special Prosecutors Jose Balmeo Jr. and Joseph Capistrano.

"Under the Uniform Rules on Administrative Cases in the Civil Service, a complaint against a civil service official may be initiated by the disciplining authority," Ochoa said.
Under Section 8 of Republic Act 6770 or the Ombudsman Act of 1989, "a Deputy or the Special Prosecutor may be removed from office by the President for any of the grounds provided for the removal of the Ombudsman, and after due process."

The special prosecutor, just like the Ombudsman, can be removed from office on grounds of culpable violation of the Constitution, treason, bribery, graft and corruption, other high crimes, or betrayal of public trust.

In this case, the congressional reports are treated as complaints and the bases of the initiation of administrative proceedings against Sulit, Ochoa explained.

Meanwhile, Ochoa wrote CSC Chairman Francisco T. Duque III to ask what are the Commission initiated administrative proceedings against Kallos, Micael, Balmeo, and Capistrano in accordance with the provisions of Executive Order 292 or the Administrative Code.

The Office of the Ombudsman and CSC exercise concurrent jurisdiction insofar as administrative cases against Sulit’s deputies and assistants are concerned, as they are not presidential appointees.
The Administrative Code states that the Civil Service "embraces all branches, subdivisions, instrumentalities, and agencies of the Government, including government-owned or controlled corporations with original charters" and that the CSC can "hear and decide administrative cases instituted by or brought before it directly or on appeal."
After conducting an inquiry into the plea bargain deal, the House Committee on Justice forwarded last February Committee Resolution No. 3 to the Palace, requesting the President to take action on the panel’s recommendation to dismiss Sulit and file appropriate charges against Kallos, Micael, Balmeo, and Capistrano. /MP

DTI Publishes Best Practices

The Local Government of Kalibo "Best Practices is included in the two soft-bound books published by the Department of Trade and Industry namely, "Streamlining Business Registration in LGUs" published in 2006 and "Simplifying Business Permit and Licensing Process of Local Governments" published in 2008.

Both books present the best practices of gover-nance in local government units specifically in the eradication of red tape and the provision of efficient service to its constituency.

Only three LGUs from all over the Philippines are included among the 16 local government units best practices are "Streamlining Business Registration in LGUs".

In that new book, Kalibo’s Service Guide Handbook is featured on page 44. LGU Kalibo’s own Community Broadcast Information System DYYM Ka-Tribu Radyo is mentioned as one of the primary tools of information dissemination and the Rights and Responsibilities of Valued Client.

Kalibo’s Service Guide Handbook along with Marikina City’s Fact Book is mentioned in the 2008 published book, "Simplifying Business Permit and Licensing Process of Local Governments" found on page 81 Box 13 while LGU Kalibo’s good relationship with National Govern-ment Agencies on Business Permit and Licensing process and its coordination with the Civil Service Commission for skills improvement of its staff is noted in page 87 Box 13.

The improvement and efficiency in the business permit and licensing processes is one of former Kalibo Mayor Raymar Rebaldo’s achievements in his three terms in office as chief executive of Kalibo, Aklan. /MP

Capiz Archbishop Celebrates Golden Sacerdotal Jubilee

by Bienvenido P. Cortes

Roxas City – The Most Rev. Onesimo C. Gordoncillo, D.D., archbishop of Capiz,  is celebrating his 50th sacerdotal anniversary as a priest on March 17-18 in this city. He is 76 years old. He has been assigned in the Archdiocese of Capiz  for 25 years  having been installed as such on August 27, 1986.

Gordoncillo was born in Jimalalud, Negros Oriental on February 16, 1935 of parents Calixto Gordoncillo and Ceferina Cadiz, both deceased. He attended Jimalalud Elem. School in 1943-49; Sacred Heart Seminary in Bacolod City in 1949-54; and Central Seminary, UST, Manila in 1954-61. He was ordained to the priesthood in Dumaguete Cathedral on March 18, 1961. After graduation, Gordoncillo taught at St. Joseph Seminary, Dumaguete City in 1961-64 and Assistant at the Dumaguete Cathedral Parish in the same year.

In 1964-65, studied Master of Arts in Guidance and Counselling at the Mankato State University, Minnesota, USA .He returned to St. Joseph Seminary, Dumaguete City as Rector in 1966-1970. He served as parish priest at Dauin, Negros Oriental in 1969-1970; appointed Papal Chamberlain on July 26, 1971; Chancellor of Dumaguete Diocese in1971; parish priest of Dumaguete Parish Cathedral in 1972; and appointed Titular Bishop of Ginugo and Auxiliary Bishop of Dumaguete on March 14, 1974.

On July l0, 1976, Msgr. Gordoncillo was appointed Bishop of Tagbilaran, Bohol. He was installed as the 3rd Bishop of Tagbilaran on October 11, 1976.

On June 18, 1986 he was appointed Archbishop of Capiz, and installed as the 2nd Archbishop of Capiz on August 27, 1986.

While in Bohol, he co-founded the Bohol Diocesan Multi-Purpose Cooperative. On Sept. 28, 2008 he was invited by Rev. Fr. Erno B. Diaz, who hails from Maayon, Capiz, as principal celebrant of the solemn feast day mass of San Lorenzo Ruiz at the St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City. Diaz is the director of the Chapel of San Lorenzo Ruiz in New York City and coordinator of the Archdiocese of New York.

In his sacerdotal jubilee, several guests are expected to attend. Among whom are Ricardo Cardinal Vidal, D.D., Archbishop-Emeritus of Cebu; Most Rev. Romulo dela Cruz, D.D., Bishop of Kidapawan; and Most Rev. Juan de Dios Pueblos,D.D., Bishop of Butuan. Most Rev. Edward Joseph Adams, D.D., Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines; Most Rev. Ernesto Salgado, D.D., Archbishop of Nueva Segovia; Most Rev. Angel Lagdameo, D.D., Aarchbishop of Jaro; Most Rev. Socrates Villegas, D.D., Archbishop of Lingayen-Dagupan.

Among the bishops who will attend are Most Rev. Jose Advincula, D.D., Bishop of San Carlos; Most Rev. Gerardo Alminaza, D.D., Auxiliary Bishop of Jaro; Most Rev. Patricio Buzon, D.D., Bishop of Kaabankaklan; Most Rev. Antonieto Cabajog, D.D., bishop of Surigao; Most Rev. Jolito Cortes, D.D., Auxiliary Bishop of Cebu; Most Rev. Camilo Gregorio, D.D., Bishop Prelate of Batanes; Most Rev. John Du, D.D., Bishop of Dumaguete; Most Rev. Romeo Lazo, D.D., Bishop of San Jose de Antique; Most Rev. Renato Mayugba, D.D., Auxiliary Bishop of Lingayen-Dagupan; Most Rev. Leonardo Medroso, D.D., Bishop of Tagbilaran; Most Rev. Vicente Navarra, D.D., Bishop of Bacolod; Most Rev. Gabriel Reyes, D.D., Bishop of Antipolo; and Most Rev. Jose Corazon Tala-oc, D.D., Bishop of Romblon.

MONSISGNORI/Administrators: Msgr. Giorgio Chezza (with Papal Nuncio’s party); Msgr. Cesar Caluya (Masbate) and Fr. Ulysses Dalida (Kalibo) /MP

Guimaras History Books Release In 2012

The province of Guimaras is preparing to release in 2012 a book showing its history.
The province has tapped the expertise of Dulce Festin, a History graduate at the University of the Philippines, to write the book in partnership with the U.P. Department of History and U.P.-Visayas Center for West Visayas Studies.

Guimaras Governor Felipe Hilan Nava stressed that the coming up of the history book project is aimed to "boost the tourism image" of the province, citing the additional information it could give especially on situations during the Spanish, Spanish-American and Japanese occupations.

Nava said that the books will be given to various schools to be included in their curriculum.

The project started with a historical research in 2006 covering the province’s 96 barangays. It covered private and public institutions, libraries, universities in Iloilo, as well as the national archive and available data from the Franciscan and Ortigas archives. (PNA) /MP

RC Kalibo Discusses K+12

Mr. Michael Rapiz, DepEd Supervisor, left is discussing the K+12 Basic Education Reform Program of DepEd with the officers and members of the Rotary Club of Kalibo during their 22nd regular weekly meeting held on Tuesday, March 15.

BSTPO Arrests Shooting Suspect Of A Foreign National In Boracay

The Boracay Special Tourist Police Office (BSTPO) arrested a shooting suspect incident involving foreign national which transpired in front of Club Manila East Boracay, Brgy Balabag, Boracay Island, Malay, Aklan last week.

The victim was identified as Ryenchinsureh Suhuvaatar, 28, single, a Mongolian National and resident of Golpitalnry Val 55-79 Russia. He is temporarily residing at Room 6, Frendz Resort, located at Brgy. Balabag, Boracay Island, Malay, Aklan.

Police investigators disclosed that the victim was shot by the suspect, a certain Alex Dechimo y Zamora, 29 yrs old, single, manager of Live City and native of Block 2 lot 12 Home Site Subdivision, Bacolod, City. He is presently residing at Sitio Bolabog, Brgy Balabag, Boracay Island, Malay, Aklan.

The victim sustained a gunshot wounds on his abdomen and right forearm, both with exit wound. He was rushed to the DRSTM hospital for medical treatment.

Recovered from the possession and control of the suspect are: one (1) .357 cal magnum pistol with three (3) live ammos and two (2) spent shell on its cylinder, one (1) black sling/shoulder nylon polyester bag containing LTO professional driver’s license and four (4) cal.38 special live ammos.

The motive of the shooting is yet to be determined. The suspect is under the custody of BSTPO for further investigation and proper filing of appropriate charges.

An estimated P2 million more or less damage is incurred by Microtel Resort at Sitio Diniwid, Brgy. Balabag, Boracay Island Malay, Aklan after a fire transpired on Wednesday afternoon, March 9.

Police said, the power house generator of the said resort was burned due to overloading of power supply. The fire was declared controlled after 30 minutes by responding Bureau of Fire and Protection fire fighters. There is no reported casualty. /MP

Winds Will Blow Possible Japan Radiation To Pacific

PARIS—Favorable winds will likely blow possible radioactive pollution from a blast at a Japanese nuclear power plant out over the Pacific Ocean, the French Nuclear Safety Authority said Saturday, March 12.

"The wind direction for the time being seems to point the (nuclear) pollution towards the Pacific," Andre-Claude Lacoste told journalists after the blast at the Fukushima No. 1 plant in the north of the country.

The explosion at the ageing plant raised fears of a possible meltdown a day after the facility’s cooling system was damaged in Japan’s massive earthquake on Friday.

"Apparently the situation is serious," Lacoste said, adding that his team was receiving incomplete information from Japan because of the number of people tied up with managing the crisis.

The Japanese government has declared an atomic emergency and said tens of thousands of people living within 20 kilometres (12 miles) of the plant should leave.

But the operator Tokyo Electric Power said the structure encasing the reactor had collapsed during an aftershock but the steel reactor inside it was not ruptured.
Major Earthquake

Major earthquake to hit Metro Manila within a year, Christian Group Leader predicts.
Christian group leader Grace Gupana has claimed that a major earthquake will hit Metro Manila sometime between March 16, 2011 and March 16, 2012. In an ABS-CBN News report posted on March 13, she said "God sent her a message about the earthquake that will supposedly destroy the metro".

"Mabubura ang Metro Manila dahil ang mga tao natin sobra na, hindi na tumatawag sa Diyos (Metro Manila will be obliterated because our people do not call on God)," said the founder of the Hallelujah Kingdom of Jerusalem Global Foundation.

Gupana also told ABS-CBN News that the recent earthquakes in Japan and New Zealand, and the uprisings in other countries are written in the Old Testament and Book of Revelations.

However, Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales said there is nothing to fear even though some current crises might seem to correspond with biblical writings. He said, only God knows when the world will end. "Magdasal tayo; mag-tulungan tayo (Let us pray and help each other)." /MP

Sunday, March 13, 2011


Honesty For Everybody
Honesty means thoughts, words and actions with no contradictions or discrepancies. It is never to misuse anything which is given in trust. Honesty to one’s own self and to the purpose of a task, earns trust, and inspires faith in others.

Honesty is a clear conscience before one’s self and before other man or woman. Honesty is the knowledge of what is right and appropriate to one’s role, behaviour and relationship.

It is clear conscience before one’s self and his fellow human beings. There is no hypocrisy or artificiality which creates confusion and mistrust in the minds and lives of other people. It makes for a life of integrity since the inner and outer selves are mirror images.

Honesty acts as the stain remover. If internally there is attachment to a person, object or idea, that attachment poses an obstacle to reality and objectivity. Action cannot be taken in the interest of the whole. Negativity of one’s nature, feeling or personality traits should not influence one’s internal state. Selfish motives, hidden agenda and negative feelings and habits are stains on the mirror of life.

Honesty to one’s real self and true to the purpose of a task earns trust and inspires faith among others. It requires sustained purity of motive and consistency of effort to sustain programs.

An honest person is one who aspires to follow the highest codes of conduct, who is loyal to the benevolent and universal principles of life. His decisions are based clearly on what is right and wrong.

Simply stated, any person who passes the 4-way test of the Rotary Club is an HONEST person.


A local farmer once said, "Be careful with your foolishness because that foolishness will return to your own body".

Without his knowledge perhaps, he simply meant "karma". The term karma was too often used ten years ago to cajole a friend or a relative to avoid doing foolish things because of Karma.
The Law of Karma states: "For every action, there is an equal or opposite reaction". Stated in other words, what one sows, one reaps; what one gives out to other people and the world, one gets back in equal amount. If one gives happiness, one receives happiness in return. If one gives sorrow, one receives sorrow in return. A person can neither hide from nor escape the consequence of his actions.

The natural and physical laws governing earth expose secret acts, punish every crime, reward every virtue and good act, and redress every wrong incognito with absolute certainty and precision. In Rotary lingo, "He who serves best profits most".
Karma when understood can awaken people to the significance of ones thought, word or action. The law of karma dictates that what we are experiencing now is the result of our actions. For instance, after unabated tree cutting and quarrying of sand and gravel at the Aklan river, what are we experiencing now? Of course, rapid erosion, floods, and other destructions but the bad affects us across the board over the action of a few. This is brought about by the inaction of the many.

By clearly defining the principle of abuse and effect, positive future directions of our own choice and making can be predicted. Performing pure beneficial actions creates that future. They say periodic evaluation and changing for the better ensure classic models on life’s superhighway and ensures safe arrival at one’s destiny. /MP

Entrepreneurial Farmer

Ambrosio R. Villorente
Enabling the Disable

"The difficulties of life are to make us better not bitter". And the persons with disabilities are looking for ways and means to make life enjoyable, meaningful, and fulfilled.

The officers and members of the "Katipunan Ng May Kapansanan Sa Pilipinas, Inc." are in Faith Village, Boracay Island this week on a two-day conference on "Capability Building For Persons With Disabilities".

Among others, they will talk about: 1. facts about persons with disabilities, 2. status of office of person with disability affairs, 3. transparent and accountable public servants, 4. Republic Act 9442 and, 5. United Nations Conventions on Rights of Persons With Disability.

Hon. Leicel Mondejar Seilla of New Lucena, Iloilo will talk on the "Best Practices of New Lucena" their persons with disability follow.

Aklan Gov. Carlito S. Marquez and Ms. Elma S. Malbas, PSWD office will give their messages.

Investments For China’s Yulin City

Chinese officials from Yulin City in China will be familiarized with Iloilo City’s investment potentials. This is part of their preliminary activities before the signing of an agreement to finalize their twinning with Iloilo City.

The Chinese delegation, composed of Vice Mayor Jiang Gui Cheng of Yulin City, Director Huang Ge of Yulin Foreign Affairs Office and Director Chen Zhong Qiu of Yuzhou Local Tax Bureau, arrived in Iloilo City on Wednesday, March 9.

They will tour the city’s economic projects and possible sites to include the Wheat Factory in Lapuz District, Iloilo Commercial Port Complex, Megaworld, Smallville and the site of the new city hall.

Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog said the city government is looking forward to establish an export processing zone in front of the Iloilo Commercial Port Complex.

"There is no commitment but it’s more on the familiarization of Iloilo City and its potentials for possible investments," he said.

According to Mabilog, Yulin may offer possible economic activities and employment opportunities to this city while the latter has its English speaking skills and manpower to offer as a result of their sister city agreement.

The memorandum of agreement (MOA) is signed Thursday evening.

The inking of the accord was supposed to be held in Yulin City last year but the bad weather condition prevented the travel of Mabilog and Public Employment Service Office (PESO) head Allan Zaldivar to China.

This year, Yulin officials announced their intention to visit Iloilo to seal the agreement.
"We really see in them the sincerity and interest to have us for their sister city," Mabilog said.

Mabilog explained that one factor that could have boosted their interest is this city’s strong Chinese lineage. The Filipino-Chinese community associations here have been involved in the preparation process starting from the welcoming of the delegation.

Illegal Fishing

For giving protection to illegal fishing activities especially in the northern towns of Iloilo, including Carles and Estancia, three police officers are in "hot water".

Gov. Arthur Defensor Sr. has called the attention of Iloilo Provincial Police Office Director Gil Lebin to conduct investigation on the complaints against the police officers, Raul Banias–Iloilo Prov’l. Administrator reported.

Banias said, he could not yet divulge the identities of the police officers. They are still in the process of gathering more evidences and until such time that the investigation on them can be finished.
"These police officers belonging to different police stations are not actually assigned with the Bantay Dagat, but they receive protection money monthly ranging from P10,000 to as much as P50,000," Banias added.

According to Banias under Gov. Defensor, the provincial government is bent on launching a no-nonsense campaign against illegal fishing to drastically reduce illegal fishing activities within the end of 2011.

In morality, Police Regional Dir. Cipriano Querol, Jr. dismissed three policemen. They bared, took their own picture in Adam’s clothes uploading it in their own Facebook accounts. Are they excellent role models? /MP

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Is Banga Beautiful?

Picture above shows one of the uncollected garbage piles in "Banga The Beautiful". This is found in front of the public market. Photo taken on Sunday afternoon March 6.

A Lady Theft Robs Del Mabel Shop

The New Washington Police Station is now conducting manhunt operation against a 28 year-old lady robber in Del Mabel pawn shop located at New Washington, Aklan Wet Market branch on Monday morning last week.

"Immediately upon knowing the incident, we immediately dispatched team from the Aklan Police Provincial Office and Provincial Crime Laboratory to conduct profound investigation, PPO acting police director Cornelio T Defensor said.

Initial police reports showed that at 7:40 a.m., the branch manager Marites Esmael, 41 and Ma. Fe Dela Luna, 47, appraiser officer discovered that said pawnshop was robbed and their vault was opened by unidentified suspect. They later discovered inside the crime scene a letter of admission of the crime by an alleged robber named Jennie Andres-Capero, a native of Mindoro and former appraiser of said pawn shop.

The pawnshop owner confirmed the handwriting on the letter was allegedly owned by the suspect. The letter is now under the custody of the SOCO of the Aklan Provincial Crime Laboratory for Questioned Document examination.

As per inventory made by the pawn shop management, an estimated amount of P720,403.00 was stolen by the suspect.

Report also reveals that management also found out during their audit last February 28 until March 2 that the suspect had an incomplete records of all transaction receipts amounting to P 310,000.00 in the pawnshop ledger.

Meanwhile, Aklan PNP is asking for the community support to report to the nearest police station any information of the whereabouts and for the possible arrest of the suspect, Jennie Andres Capero. /MP

TESDA Must Train To Discipline Drivers

File photo, one of the worst vehicular accidents in Calimbajan-Tina portion of the national road, Makato, Aklan that happened last year. Will TESDA training prevent accident like this to happen?

The Land Transportation and Franchising Board (LTFRB) is fully supporting the implementation of the safety training and technical orientation for drivers by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).
In an interview, newly assumed LTFRB regional director Romulo Bernardes said training the drivers of public utility vehicles (PUV) could help eliminate accidents. He said TESDA-trained drivers would become more competent and skillful in conveying their passengers.

"I encourage the drivers to undertake the TESDA training," Bernardes said.

Earlier, TESDA Director General Joel Villanueva has made the commitment to have the training for drivers following the string of vehicular accidents especially during holidays like Christmas and Ati-Atihan season and in response to the request of the Department of Transportation and Communications (DoTC).

After their training, drivers would then be issued a TESDA certification to show their competency.

Bernardes said many vehicular accidents happen because of undisciplined drivers.
In Aklan, particularly in Kalibo, several vehicular accidents happen daily. /MP

Poor Implementation of Laws Besets Women Empowerment

The Weekly Kapihan on March 5 is presscon of women organizations advocating for full implementation of Gender Development Code of Aklan and other pertinent laws benefiting women in society. Guests at Smokehauz Resto & Bar are focal persons namely: Ms. Grace Quinon – DAR, Ms. Othelia B. Igcasenza – DENR, Ms. Vivian R. Solano – PESO, Ms. Manoleta Q. Acevedo – Soroptimist, Ms. Dianne Aquitanea – PNP, Ms. Leonisa L. Solidum – Empowered Women Assn. of Aklan, Engr. Roger Esto – PPDO, and Mr. Franklin Quimpo – Pres., MOVE Aklan.

Atty. Ronquillo C. Tolentino, former Chair of Women & Family Relations at SP said that Aklan has the first Gender and Development Code in the country, the statute approved in 2003. Its fundamental principle is based on recognition of the role of women in nation building and promotes equal status by elimination of all forms of discrimination and violence. Moreover, it regulates commercialization of women in skimpy outfits and imposes ban on indecent shows and radio – TV programs degrading women.

Complementary legislation uplifting women’s rights akin to granting Women’s Suffrage in 1921 are Solo Parenting Act, Maternity Leave (RA 693) and Magna Carta for Women (RA 9710), added the veteran journalist, Tolentino.

Ms. Quinon said that the theme of 2011 Women’s month is based on UN Millennium Development Goals titled: "Magna Carta of Women, the Philippine CEDAN". The celebration is covered by E.O No. 9710 of Gov. Carlito S. Marquez and implemented by Gender Advocacy for Development Commission (GADC).

The Convention for the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women targets 2015 as the year when 50 percent reduction of the following goals are achieved namely: a) eradicate extreme poverty and hunger, b) attain progressive education, c) promote equality and empower women, d) reduce child mortality, e) maintain healthy environment, and f) combat malarial diseases and other human ailments.

Ms. Igcasenza disclosed several activities lined up for the month long celebration such as launching of Violence Against Women (VAW) Desk at Malinao Municipal Hall, Basic GAD Training in Tagas and Poblacion, Tangalan, Responsible Parenting, Magna Carta for Women, Alternative Livelihood Training, and Tree Planting.

The Provincial Employment Service Office (PESO) headed by Ms. Vivian Ruiz Solano will hold a Job’s Fair on March 31, 2011 at the Provincial Capitol. Welcome news is that there is job opening for direct hiring of medical personnel for Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Nevertheless, there is present threat of escalating violence in other Arab states like Libya, Bahrain, Oman, Yemen, Jordan, Iran, and Lebanon which makes it highly improbable for placement of OFW’s.

Soroptimist Baby Acevedo noted the gains in women advocacy and solidarity of women organizations over the years. How powerful are women? She asked. Well, she pointed out to incontrovertible truth. Women can actually make or unmake a man. The hand that rocks the cradle rocks the world.

Ms. Solidum revealed that through GAD, their organization received financial aid from Gov. Carlito S. Marquez and technical assistance from TESDA. This enabled members to augment their family income and opened new business opportunities.

Engr. Esto announced that printed copies of GAD handbook is now available at PPDO. Significant development on elevating status of women are opening of PNP Women’s Desk in Caticlan in 2010 and establishment of "Daeangpan" it mga Kababayen-an sa Akean" in 2001.

According to PNSP Aquitanea, PNP collaborative effort is concentrated on crime prevention such as domestic violence against women and women/children trafficking. These include rape, wife battering, sexual molestation, and prostitution. So far, high cases occur in Boracay and Malay considering the high influx of tourists followed by Kalibo.

Men Oppose to Violence (against women and children) Everywhere is vital support organization of GAD. Mr. Quimpo, one time SP member is actively coordinating with Municipal Mayors for the institutionalization of VAW Desks in all 327 barangays of Aklan. Malinao is a pilot municipality with the cooperation of Mayor Ariel Igoy. It was launched on March 7.

"According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, women comprise only 13.5 percent of work force in architecture. Gender differences are greater in Math that depends most on spatial reasoning such as geometry measurement and calculus according to Ms. Ruth Corez, Professor of Applied Development and Educational Psychology at Boston College.

Many women do not reach their full potential in Math and that can hold them back in the job market said Ms. Allanah Thomas, Executive Officer of Helicon in New York. (Manila Bulletin, August 2, 2009)

Another excerpt of Time Magazine, February 14, 2011 reads: "Leading cause of death for girls 15-19 worldwide is not accident or violence or disease but complication from pregnancy. An extra year of primary school boosts girls’ annual wages by 10–20 percent. An extra year at secondary school adds 15–25 percent. Girls who stay in school for 7 or more years typically marry 4 years later and have two fewer children than girls who drop out. World Food Programme found that when girls and women earn income they reinvest 90 percent of it to their families (books, medicine, bedsheets). For men it is only 20–40 percent.

Investment in girls’ education may well be the highest return investment available in the developing world according to Larry Summer, Chief Eco-nomist at World Bank. Today less than 2 cents of every development dollar goes to girls’ education. This is a victory compared to what was just a half cent."

Women equality and empowerment has a long way to go in as far as data and info is concerned. In addition, generally women get an average of 75 percent income compared to their male counterpart although of the same education and experience in the job.

Developing countries like the Philippines constantly strive for reaching the goal but are weighed down by poor implementation of laws by responsible agencies.

Example is job contractual where workers are hired for short periods say 4-6 months while the employer fails to deliver full employment benefits. This is widespread in commercial business establishments and LGU’s on their environmental sanitation services. Majority of contractual are women who choose to remain silent than lose their jobs.

By all means, let there be laws that are implementable, let there be no law that is just stored in the dust. We have the best environmental, forestry, labor and women’s codes in Asia that remain only on paper.

Malaysia and Singapore have fewer laws, yet they belong to the upper bracket of most trusted and influential nations in this part of the world. /MP