Sunday, April 17, 2011


Palace Forms High-Level Crisis Team

To Assist Filipinos Abroad

Malacañang has created a high-level team to strengthen the government’s response mechanism for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) needing help in times of political conflict and natural disasters in their host countries.

According to Executive Secretary Paquito N. Ochoa Jr., President Benigno Aquino III signed last week, April 6 Executive Order No. 34 to help government agencies address in a timely manner the plight of OFWs caught in crises abroad.

"Natural disasters, civil unrest, armed conflicts and similar crises in foreign countries expose overseas Filipinos to immediate hazards and risks," Ochoa explained.

"So, it is only imperative that we establish a measure and a system that would ensure the safety and welfare of our kababayans abroad."

EO 34 establishes the Overseas Preparedness and Response Team (OPRT) under the Office of the President and replaces the Presidential Middle East Preparedness Committee (PMEPC), which was created under Executive Order No. 159 in 2002 to deal with the evacuation of thousands of Filipino workers in the Middle East at the height of the Iraq crisis.

The recent natural disasters that struck Japan and New Zealand and the political unrest in the Middle East and North Africa underscored the need to expand the scope of the PMEPC and integrate agency policy plans for swift government response.

Under the EO, the OPRT is composed of the Executive Secretary as chairperson and the presidential adviser on Overseas Filipino Workers’ Concerns and secretaries of the Departments of Foreign Affairs, Labor and Employment, National Defense, Justice, the Interior and Local Government, and Budget and Management as members.

The high-level crisis team is tasked to draw up strategies and programs and formulate policies to appropriately respond to crisis situations affecting Filipinos abroad. It shall develop and adopt interactive operating arrangements among agencies to effect maximum coordination.

It may call upon any department or agency of the government or private sector and coordinate or seek bilateral and multilateral partners for assistance in the formulation and implementation of plans, programs and policies.

"There is a necessity for various government agencies that take the lead in addressing the concerns of overseas Filipinos to focus on their real and actual capabilities in the efficient and effective delivery of services and resources to the overseas Filipino workers, thereby insuring their safety and security especially in times of crisis," the EO provides.

The OPRT will also establish a pool of crisis management, technical experts and trained personnel from the OPRT member-agencies to form rapid reaction teams, which shall then be deployed to crisis-hit areas where there are significant concentration of Filipinos, upon the authorization of the panel.

The panel will also conduct periodic review and assessment to update individual contingency plans submitted by the Philippine embassies and consulates general for proper policy and operational guidance, as well as undertake threat and environmental scanning, to ensure the safety and protection of Filipinos abroad.

The OPRT is further tasked to formulate and review contingency plans for the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Australia, the Pacific, the Americas, and Europe every six months.

Additional personnel to reinforce Philippine foreign missions may be dispatched upon the permission of the OPRT for the duration of at least three months to ensure systematic repatriation and relocation activities, among others, the EO stated.

Aside from putting in place a monitoring mechanism to regularly gather and update information on the identities and locations of Filipinos in crisis-prone regions, the OPRT will also prepare a comprehensive communication plan to inform the public of the actions taken by the government.

The EO was reviewed and endorsed by the Office of the Presidential Adviser on OFW Concerns and the DFA, DOLE, DILG and DBM.

"We have likewise reviewed the relationship of the OPRT with other agencies which may be performing similar functions such as the DFA, DOLE and the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration. We have determined that the OPRT will not duplicate or overlap with the functions of said agencies. On the contrary, the creation of the OPRT is supposed to coordinate and streamline the efforts and actions of Philippine personnel abroad," Ochoa pointed out.

"It is in the national interest that the safety and welfare of Filipinos overseas be accorded primordial importance," he added. /MP

Entrepreneurial Farmer

Ambrosio R. Villorente

Drug Courier Briefing

Niño Miko L. Delfin reported that the Philippine Information Agency, Kalibo, Aklan with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency held a "Briefing on Drug Couriers" on Friday, April 15, 2011 at Infant Jesus Academy Function Hall. The briefing was geared to diminish if not stop Filipinos, from becoming drug couriers and prevent their executions abroad due to illegal drugs.

Atty. Ma. Janet C. Mesa, Regional Director, PIA 6 gave the rationale of the briefing who said "this briefing aims to educate our people on how risky to be a drug courier. The hardest thing on this is that, we are going to be penalized by the law of the other countries. We still have Filipinos abroad who are endanger for execution."

After her, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency presented the modus and ways of drug trafficking. They also presented the statistical records of the victims and the reasons why they prefer Filipinos to do it. Then Mr. Odon Bandiola Sanguniang Panlalawigan Secretary gave a message in behalf of Hon. Gabrielle V. Calizo-Quimpo, Vice Governor.

Before the briefing ended, the participants asked clarificatory questions to the speakers. The briefing was attended by different sectors namely, the PNP, different offices of government, LGU’s, members of the media and other concerned citizens.

The Prize of Illegal Drug Couriers

In 1993, there were only 2 drug courier cases recorded. These increased to 689 in January 2011. Of these 689 cases, 431 or 63 percent are females, while 258 or 37 percent are males.

There are 78 drug couriers who are currently facing death penalty in China, six (6) of whom are facing death penalty with no reprieve and 78 with two year reprieve each.

These 689 drug courier cases are distributed as follows: 326 are in Asia and the Pacific, 86 in the Middle East and Africa, 152 in the Americas and 15 in Europe.

Their method of drug concealment varies from hidden in luggage/suit cases – 31 percent, by ingestion/swallowing – 19 percent, placed in books/bottles/pockets – 7 percent and other ways like placing in shoe boxes – 43 percent.

Among the types of drug seized are heroin – 64 percent, shabu, cocaine, marijuana, 1 percent each and unspecified types – 27 percent.

There are seven countries identified as the point of origin of the illegal drugs.

They are Malaysia – 24 percent, Macau – 8 percent, Thailand – 7 percent, Nepal and the Philippines 6 percent each, Vietnam – 5 percent and 44 percent from other countries. The principal destinations of these illegal drugs are 90 percent – China, 9 percent – Hong Kong, and one percent for Taiwan.

About two thirds (431) of these drug couriers are women while one third (258) are men. They are either displaced OFWs or still searching for a job abroad.

Some are well educated but their greed for easy money makes them victims. Those poorly educated are easily lured to carry the illegal drugs.

To cajole those probable drug couriers, they are offered plane tickets and US$2,000. They are met via the internet, on casual acquaintance. Some potential recruits are befriended and sometimes offered marriage.

Only last month, 3 Filipinos were executed in China for being illegal drug couriers. They are Sally Villanueva, Ramon Credo, and Batain. /MP

Aklan To “Showcase More...Experience and Enjoy”

The 55th year of the Aklan Day Celebrations will be highlighted by the six - day Aklan Piña and Fiber Festival on April 25-30, 2011 at the Trade Hall, Capitol Ground, Kalibo, Aklan.

This festival which is now on its 12th year has mainly featured Aklan’s best products made of piña, abaca, and raffia loomwoven fabrics, fashion accessories and souvenir items. It also includes the best tasting processed meat, bakery, confectionary and pasalubong products and plants and garden products.

Other exhibits will include: 1. A showcase of engineered bamboo products in Aklan, in line with one of DTI’s flagship program to promote and develop a local resource-based industry; 2. Contemporary Lifestyle Setting of Living Spaces by International Lifestyle designer PJ Arañador; and 3. Agro-Industrial exhibit of the 17 municipalities of Aklan featuring their One-Town-One Product (OTOP).

Alongside the FIber Festival will be a nightly dinner event with native, splendid and gastronomic cuisine of the Tsibugan sa Kapitolyo. Guests and visitors will enjoy the jovial mood with live band music and entertainment.

The Fiber Fest is also a showcase of Public and Private Partnership (PPP) led by the Provincial Government of Aklan, with the Congressional District Office, the Department of Trade and Industry, the Fiber Industry Development Authority, the Aklan Piña and Indigenous Fibers Manufacturers and Traders Association, Inc., the Hugod Aklanon Producers Association, Inc., and the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. Aklan Chapter. /MP

Architecture Board Topnotcher Wins Bb. Pilipinas Universe Title

General Santos City-born Shamcey Supsup, the 2010 architecture board topnotcher, was named the 2011 Binibining Pilipinas Universe during the pageant coronation night on Sunday, April 10 at the Araneta Coliseum.

A surprised yet ecstatic Shamcey, who also graduated magna cum laude from the University of the Philippines, Diliman, will represent the country in the Miss Universe Pageant in Sao Paolo, Brazil.

"I still can’t believe it. Parang panaginip. Kanina nung nag announce na sabi ko it’s God’s will. If it’s for you, it’s for you. You just have to believe it," Shamcey said in an interview after the pageant. "Whatever happens, it happens for a reason and God has a plan for every one of us. Ang dami talagang magaganda. Ang dami talagang magagaling. Feeling ko the judges had a hard time choosing the winner for the year." Asked if she’s now feeling the pressure of accomplishing the feat of Venus Raj, who won fourth runner up in the Miss Universe pageant in Las Vegas last year, Shamcey said:

"I’m not pressured at all kasi, I believe I was here for a reason and whatever my destiny is, I’ll do my best. I’m just gonna give it my all and I hope that whatever I’m gonna do there [Brazil] yun ang hinahanap nila at kung para talaga sa ‘yo para talaga sa ‘yo," Shamcey said.

Shamcey bested 39 other candidates in the pageant. Aside from winning the major title, she also won three special awards: Miss Cream Silk, Ambassador of Philippine Airlines, and Miss Talent.

Meanwhile, Iriga native Dianne Necio bagged the Binibining Pilipinas International title and Pasig City resident Isabella Manjon was crowned Binibining Pilipinas Tourism.

For Dianne, it is a dream come true after winning the first runner up plum last year.

"Last year, I joined and I ended up as first runner up and it was talagang pinagdasal ko. Kanina I’m not expecting anything. Sabi ko lang, ‘Lord ibigay mo kung ano yung gusto mo ibigay.’ So I’m just thankful na I will have the chance to compete in an international title... Talagang pag di mo tinigilan yung dream mo, maaabot mo siya and keep on praying," Dianne said in an interview.

Isabella, on the other hand, could not contain her joy in winning the Tourism crown. "I’m so overwhelmed right now. Sobrang I feel blank. I’m so happy," she said.

Other winners are First Runner Up Janine Tugonon and Second Runner Up Mary Jean Lastimosa.

This year’s special award winners are: People’s Choice: The Face of Bb. Pilipinas: Angelia Ong.

Best in swimsuit: Queenirich Rehman; Best in long gown: Luzelle Felipe; Ms. Friendship: Samantha Purvor; and Manila Bulletin Reader’s Choice: Luzelle Felipe /MP

Long Term Need For Environment Mitigating Measures for Boracay


Prominent Aklanon personalities attended the weekly Kapihan on April 10, 2011 at Smokehauz Resto & Bar. Guests are Dr. Danilo E. Abayon, Pres. ASU, Atty. Allen S. Quimpo, Exec. Director, Aklan Rivers Dev. Council; Engr. Victory Fernandez, PEO Aklan; and Hon. Rodson Mayor, SP member. Timely topic on key Administration projects like Caticlan Jetty Port Reclamation and Dredging of Aklan river were discussed by Provincial Management Team. On the other hand, Dr. Abayon expounded ASU vision and mission for the next four years.

Atty. Ronquillo C. Tolentino claimed that Aklan is the first province in the country to legislate policy direction of its vital source of life and often destruction and death like river ecosystem. Big ones like Aklan and Ibajay rivers are tapped for irrigation and in this rising power crisis may be harnessed to provide cheap and renewable energy to jumpstart industrialization. Aggressive and focused determination on hydro-power can provide the key to our economic stability and prosperity. Relevance and merit are shown as other LGU’s like Iloilo and Bohol have adopted the same concept and design but with greater zeal, said former vice gov. Tolentino.

Power point presentation of Atty. Quimpo revealed the on-going 2.6 hectare Jetty Port Reclamation project in Caticlan cost P160 million. It is addressed to the burgeoning influx of one million tourists to Boracay next year. Marine facility, Phase I can accommodate 15 passenger boats at a time thus insuring safe and speedy passage to and from the world famous tourist destination.

Environmental Clearance Certificate (ECC) was issued by DENR and authority to commence by Philippine Reclamation Authority (PRA). "Actually, we are just restoring what the sea waves eroded from our coastal area in Caticlan estimated at 80 meters for the past 120 years. We only envision a perpendicular expansion of 60 meters from the existing coastline to avert any significant collateral damage to the environment", argued Atty. Quimpo.

Engr. Fernandez expects the construction of the reclamation project will be completed in October 2011. Meanwhile, Aklan river dredging contract funded at a total cost of P105 million by the government is completed as of December 2010.

State of our river systems in Aklan is deteriorating badly as in the case of Lagatik river in New Washington. This is pointed out by Dr. Ambrosio R. Villorente citing water pollution leading to intensive fish kills. He said the core issue is faulty engineering cons-truction of Tambak bridge preventing entrance and exit of sea water that sustain brackish aquaculture and inland fisheries.

Dr. Abayon envisions a sustained development through greater leverage of the University’s pillars of excellence for progressive leadership towards the Centennial year. Flagship program includes: a) Fisheries and Marine Science – New Washington, b) Agriculture and Forestry – Banga, c) Hotel and Restaurant Management – Ibajay, d) Industrial Technology – Kalibo, and d) Teacher Education – Makato. He expressed optimism on problems and challenges facing current education thrust that could be overcome by strategic complementation of resources, rationalized curriculum and backed by compacted instructors. As a result of our academic thrust, there is increased enrolment in fisheries and agricultural courses, Abayon stated.

It is with subdued reaction that dredging near the mouth of Aklan river under the supervision of DPWH is finished. Excavation and transport of river bottom of sand and gravel are considered the most effective way to mitigate recurrent flooding of Kalibo and Numancia riverine communities. For all the time, effort and exorbitant expense it appear that nothing has changed the equation and the problem of river overflow next rainy season still exist. Virtually, this is a threat to human life and property, a black eye on the part of implementing agencies.

Consultant to this multimillion river dredging project is Dr. Vicente Javelosa and also the same person who undertook study and recommendation of the Jetty Port reclamation. How come Provincial officials unduly rely on findings of this technocrat from DENR despite dubious record on his integrity and performance?

If the amount to be expended for flood control is not adequate since P1 billion is needed, why was P105 million spent for an inutile undertaking? It could have been wisely spent on heavy equipments like bulldozer, road grader, pay loader, backhoe, and dump trucks, all desperately needed by DPWH and PEO. It is hard to rationalize for lack of transparency and accountability of most government agencies.

Buoyed by international media, sport and fashion shows and satisfied customers Boracay will soon hit 1 million tourists. This is bound to boost present earnings of P14 billion per year to unprecedented height. However, it is very obvious that the Department of Tourism (DOT) does not have figures to show the maximum or minimum tourism load capacity of Boracay. The 10.1 square kilometre of rugged prime turf, home to powdery white sand, exotic marine fauna, swaying palms and stunning beaches is fragile. It could easily suffer from environmental degradation resulting to loss or irreparable damage.

Long term environment mitigation measures could enhance and protect coral reefs and seagrass, planting of endemic species of mangrove and zero infra development on areas with more than 18 percent slope.

Oceanic studies on coastal subsidence or rise of sea water due to melting polar ice caps and coastal erosion could be invaluable and critical for the next 40 years. By 2050, the United States Geological Service estimates sea water will rise one half meter around the globe, thus inundating a significant portion of our coastal flatlands. Furthermore, coastal erosion annually removes three feet of valuable coastline prompting many beach resort owners to institute emergency measures as stockpiling bags of sand or construct concrete embankments. Diniwid beach at Punta Bunga, Boracay is classical nightmare.

For tourism development program, DOT must come up with a minimum or maximum target of tourists visiting the island at any one time. It appears that over development in terms of growth of buildings are beginning to ruin the natural beauty and attraction. We need more investments, tourists and employment opportunities but must prevent terrible economic consequence.

Aklan must strengthen its agricultural programs and develop other tourist attractions like piña weaving, Ati-Atihan festival, mangrove reforestation, and others.

Boracay tourism has enjoyed a viable record of tourist arrivals for the past 40 years. Hopefully, this allure will stand the test of time. /MP

I Aim To Shock The World, Beat Pacquiao, Vows Mosley

by ALEX P. Vidal

Sugar Shane Mosley (46-5-1, 39 KO’s) was underdog when he pulverized Antonio Margarito in the 9th round for the WBA super-welterweight crown at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California on January 24, 2009.

Asked recently by’s Anson Wainwright if he sees his May 7 fight against Manny Pacquiao as similar to the Margarito rumble where "you were also the underdog and have something to prove", Mosley shot back: "Yeah, I aim to do it again. I aim to shock the world and beat Pacquiao. Once again I will prove the critics wrong."

Mosley was held to a 12-round split draw by Sergio Mora in his last fight on September 18, 2010 in Los Angeles. He lost to Floyd Mayweather on points prior to his fight against Mora on May 1, 2010. What will be his chances against the Filipino best boxer in the world pound-for-pound?  

"I believe I will do a lot better than I did in those two fights. My mentality right now is I’m ready to go and fight and give my 100 all," he promised. Despite his age, Mosley said, "I’m very motivated and happy to be able to box at this age. I’ve been boxing for about 31 years and I’ve fought at this level a lot. I’m willing to go in there and prove that I’m still one of the best fighters and fighting Pacquiao will prove that and be a great accomplishment for me."


On the second round of his fight against Mayweather where he nearly scored an upset stoppage win: "A lot of times I don’t look back on them or think about them (The fights). But it was a pretty good punch, I just couldn’t at that point do what I needed to do to win the fight to KO him but I’ve been working very hard to make sure I close the deal next time I get a person hurt," Mosley explained.

He considered his two fights to Winky Wright as his most difficult. "Styles make fights but the most difficult I’d say Winky (Wright) earlier in my career but later on Floyd (Mayweather) was a pretty good defensive fighter as well," he said. Mosley said his proudest moment was "winning my first world title at lightweight against Philip Holiday."

Mosley grabbed the IBF lightweight title by whipping Holiday on a unanimous decision on August 2, 1997 in Connecticut, USA.

The 39-year-old Mosley considers the welterweight division as "good and exciting" saying "there’s a lot of great talent out there."

Wainwright: "You’re known as one of boxing good guys but we don’t know too much about you away from boxing. Can you tell us about other activities you are involved with? Also what are your hobbies and interests?"

Mosley answered, "Well I mean, I’m a family man, I have four kids. I like to play basketball, snowboard, bowl. I’m a very active person, I’m an outdoors person. I like to get out and do things. Boxing’s in my heart so I don’t stray too far from that. I’m involved in a boxing program and sponsor the kids in the community."

Mosley told his fans: "This is going to be the fight you don’t want to miss. I’m definitely giving everything I’ve got. You wont be disappointed so come and check it out or watch it on PPV Showtime. It’s definitely going to be a knock out. Also follow me on Sugar Shane on Twitter." /MP

Sugilanon Ni Tita Linda

Ni Tita Linda Belayro

Ro Nunok Sa Banwa It Balete

Sa may tindahan sa banwa it Balete, hay may mabahoe nga puno it nunok o balete. Suno sa mga katigueangan, owa pa it puno ngara kato ag kon sin-o man ro nag tanum, owa gid it naka sayod. Pag bahoe ko rondaya nga punongkahoy, may nababatian ro mga tawong naga estar sa maeapit sa nunok ngara nga musika kon gabii. May mga kalansing man it mga kubyertos nga matsa may okasyon, eabi guid kon mahayag ro buean.

Guin paban-aw nanda ro lugar sa mga medikong herbularyo. Sa pag ban’aw, hakita nanda sa planggana nga may sueod nga tubi nga isaea gali ka kaharian rondoyong lugar. Ro puno it balete imaw ro poetahan kon magsueod sanda sa andang kaharian ag ro suba sa kilid it tindahan hay imaw ro andang banyo o paealigsan.

Abo nga nag samit nga pukanon rondayang puno. Ogaling ro tawong naga pukan hay naga masakit umpisa paeang. Ro iba hay guina tubuan it mga bokoe sa andang eawas. Guin sug-an man nanda ag guin tambakan it basura agod maghalin ro mga naga estar. Ogaling ra baylo hay abo nga mga hayop ro nagkaeaduea. Kon makit-an man rondayang mga manok, baboy, o baka hay owa eon it dugo ag mga kasudlan.

Owa gid it naka pukan it nunok. Padayon ro pagbahoe ko nasambit nga puno. Umabot sa oras nga kinahangean eon nga magpatindog it tindahan ro banwa it Balete. Nag usoy sanda it mataas it tu-ob nga mediko agod makipag negosasyon sa mga tumawo nga naga estar sa puno.

Sa pagbilog it buean, daea ro mga dueot, nag adto ro mediko sa puno it kahoy. Nag himo it mga seremonyas. Naka hugom ro mga tawo it tumaeagsahon nga kahumot, tanda eamang nga naki-atubang eon ro andang pinaka puno. Nag pungko ro medico sa puno, nagtigis it sabaw it niyog, ag naki tagay sa mga tamawo. Guin plastar ko mediko ro anang tuyo para sa mga kamaeayran it mga tawo. Gin pangayo nana nga maghalin sanda sa ibang lugar tongod paga patindugan it tindahan ro nasambit nga lugar.

Owa magbuhay ag nag kaeasugot sanda nga iga-tao ro andang pangayo sa kondisyon nga indi pagpukanon ro puno tongod mahayga kanda rondayang puno. Tumaliwan ro pilang adlaw. Owa eon it habatian nga kasadyahan ag haeakhak ro mga tawo sa rondayang lugar. Samtang ro mga tawo nga naga estar maeapit sa bukid it Agtawagon hay may hakikita nga kahayag kon gabi-i nga sobra pa sa kahayag it buean ag abo nga mga tawong naka puti ro naga inadto idto sa nasambit nga lugar nga matsa may bayle.

Halin kato, ro bukid it Agtawagon ro padayon nga kaharian ko mga engkanto. Owa guid it nagmeter nga sakaon ro bukid agod tub-eagon ro mga tumawo nga may kaugalingon mat-a nga kalibutan. /MP


Composed by Ms. Hildegarda "Ging-ging" Ruiz Tongcua Banga Elementary School District of Banga, Division of Aklan

Manami gid pamati-an Ro ngaean nga AKEAN Probinsiya eang nga maistan Pero bantog sa kalibutan

AKEAN, AKEAN mayad-ayad nga lugar Sarang naton ikapabugae

AKEAN, AKEAN probinsyang bueawan Malinong ag matawhay, manami estaran.

Una sa tanan, ro BORACAY Sa maswerteng banwa it MALAY Baybay nga maeamig ag limpyo Mga sigay ag baeas nga mapino.

Ayaw man pagkalipati

Sa TANGALAN ro pitong busay sa Jawili Ro Hurom-hurom ag Basang sa Nabas Nga makapapresko gid it eawas.

May Sampaguita Gardens sa NEW WASHINGTON Mangrove Eco Park sa IBAJAY ag BAKHAWAN May stations of the Cross sa Banga Kon magpamaeandong ka kon Semana Santa

May "Wild River" sa banwa’t LIBACAO Taga ibang lugar, naila magtan-aw Kon gusto mo mageurop-eorop sa tubi Sa BURUANGA ro Batason Point, pamasyari.

Kon ro hambaean hay kagwapahan Indi maulihi ro kadaeagahan Birang sa BALETE ag eambong nga pinya Makita ro tunay Akeanong gwapa.

Kon magpamayhunan manami tan-awon

Kon suksok ro tsinelas it MALINAO-non

Sa IBAJAY ag LEZO man abu nga kueon Isda hay manamit kon saingon.

Ay! Abaw sa Lezo maagto gid ro ampaw Ro naduyog siguradong hibugtaw Matam-is nga lanzones ag rambutan Sa BANGA ag MADALAG eang masamitan

Limbok, paeay, mais, kamote Mani, balinghoy ag gabi Sari-saring prutas ag tinoea Pagkaon sa ALTAVAS nga bugana

Longganisa, embutido ag tocino Iya eang masamitan sa KALIBO Kasarangan sa aeat ro baeoe ag ibis Sa kanamit, kan-on mo gid…pati himbis.

Ed’s Note: This composition is sung with St. Joseph Parish Choir of Banga, Aklan as accompanists. A CD is available upon request.

Rotary Club of Kalibo Harvests

Picture above shows the Certificates won in Zamboanga City being shown by RC Kalibo members. They are (l to r) Rtn. Arnold Jayme, Rtn. Frank Kennedy, Rtn. Tessie Kennedy, Pres. Pete Ruiz, Rtn. Efren Abayon, and PP Raphy Tayco.

The Rotary Club of Kalibo garnered several awards for the club year 2010 - 2011. The awards were distributed during the District Convention held in Zamboanga City on April 1 - 3, 2011. The Rotary Club of Kalibo was represented by PP Raphy M. Tayco, Rtn. Efren Galvan, and and Baby Rotarian Wel Mangubat to that convention.

The awards they brought home are as follows:  Most Outstanding Club Secretary Award – PP Morris Morier, Outstanding Club in Club Administration, Best in Health and Hunger Program, Best in Literacy Program, and Best in Attendance  Congratulations RC Kalibo! /MP

Aklan PNP Holy Week and Summer Security Plan

The Aklan Police Provincial Office (APPO) is ready to secure the province of Aklan specifically the island of Boracay in anticipation of the influx of tourists for the Holy Week celebration and summer vacation.

Aklan police acting provincial director Senior Supt. Cornelio T Defensor, said Aklan PNP will deploy more policemen to guarantee the safety of thousands of tourists for the traditional Lenten break and summer vacation in all tourist destinations in Aklan.

The maximum deployment of PNP personnel will be implemented to ensure the public safety and security especially in the tourists destination of Boracay Island resort to secure the travelers, devotees and visitors.

To beef up the security, the APPO will deploy additional PNP personnel coming from the Aklan Public Safety Company. This will augment the existing security forces of the Boracay Special Tourist Police Office (BSTPO) and also the expected additional augmentation from the Police Regional Office 6 (PRO6).

"So far, on Monday we already augmented six (6) PNP personnel from the Aklan Public Safety Company in the island. If the need arises, augmentation from different municipal police stations and the Aklan Police Provincial Office (APPO) will be deployed in the island," Defensor stressed.

Every municipal police station will be putting up police assistance centers in strategic areas for Semana Santa since tourists are expected to spend their holiday vacation in every town, he added.

The PNP will be in full alert for the security of motorists, tourists and devotees during the Holy Week and summer vacation in the provinces and tourist destinations.

White Sand Quarry

On the other hand, Malay Mayor John Yap has reiterated his call to tourists not to extract white sand in this resort island even if it is only a handful.

This, after experts called for the preservation of the white sand which brought Boracay into the tourism world map.

Elena Brugger, Yap’s environment coordinator reported that aside from the prohibition of quarrying, the chief executive also disallows the white sand castle making which was once considered an attraction for tourists.

"According to experts from the University of the Philippines-Marine Sciences, the coral reefs of this resort island is only about 10-15 percent so we are alarmed over the continuous environmental degradation. Already, some of the beaches area in Boracay are suffering from the beach erosion because of climate change," said Brugger.

According to the experts, human activities in the white sand such as sand castle-making and quarrying destroy the contour of the white beach.

To further protect the white sand and the coral reefs from being destroyed, Mayor Yap is studying the possibility of regulating water sport activities in Boracay.

"The local government wanted to preserve the natural and environmental beauty of Boracay. We hope every tourist will cooperate so that the younger generation will still appreciate this resort island," Brugger said. (PNA) /MP

Akelco Holds Commencement Exercises

Some 28 Aklan Electric Cooperative (AKELCO) BLTC graduates received their certificate of completion in a graduation rites held on Saturday afternoon, April 16, 2011 at Akelco Training Camp, Akelco, Lezo, Aklan.

They belong to Batch IV called, "The Warriors". Their graduation was confirmed by Mr. Wayne T. Malilay, President, Akelco Board of Directors. Medals and Certificates were awarded to graduates who have shown Exemplary Leadership and Out-standing Performance by parents/guardians of the graduates. Their certificate of completion was distributed by Mr. Wayne T. Malilay and Mr. Chito R. Peralta, Akelco General Manager, assisted by Engr. Ricardo I. Ileto – AGM for Engineering and over-all training coordinator of the BLTC training team.

Engr. Ricardo I. Ileto awarded the Certificate of Recognition and Special Citation to Trainors and Resource Speakers.

Engr. Jeffrey Y. Inson, Platoon leader, BLTC-Warriors delivered his graduation speech while Arman I. Inamac, the first honors delivered his valedictory address.

Engr. Ricardo I. Ileto gave the closing statement. Mr. John Pascual R. Ibabao & Ms. Lovell Gepte-Juliano were the master of ceremonies. /MP

Thursday, April 07, 2011


Morong 43 Files Lawsuit Vs. Arroyo

Manila, (Philippine Daily Inquirer/ANN) - It was a birthday "present" like no other for former Philippine president Gloria Arroyo. She lost her immunity from suit when she stepped down from office on June 30, 2010.

Six members of the ‘Morong 43’ Monday (April 4) lodged a 15-million-peso (US$345,542) civil suit against Arroyo, now a Pampanga representative, and 10 others for illegal arrest and torture.

Morong 43 is the collective name of a group of 43 health workers arrested and detained by Philippine military during Arroyo’s administration on suspicion that they were supporters of the New Peoples Army rebels.

The case was filed by Dr. Merry Mia Clamor, Dr. A

lexis Montes, nurses Gary Liberal, Ma. Teresa Quinawayan, Reynaldo Macabenta and Mercy Castro. They were among the group of health workers detained last year in Morong, Rizal on suspicion of being communist rebels.

"We want GMA to know that she can’t get away with what she did," said Edre Olalia of the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL), who accompanied the plaintiffs in filing the suit in the Quezon City Regional Trial Court, Quezon City.

Olalia said he had no idea that April 5 was the birthday of Arroyo. "This is totally unconnected," he said at the Quezon City Hall of Justice.

Arroyo declined to comment on the suit. Her spokesperson, Elena Bautista-Horn said, Arroyo’s lawyers had advised the former President against giving any comment until they had secured a copy of the formal complaint.

The suit seeks the award of moral and exemplary damages and payment of the cost of litigation.

The health workers were suspected to be rebels and arrested in February 2010. They were charged with various crimes, including illegal possession of firearms and explosives in the Morong Regional Trial Court, Morong, Rizal.

The military claimed that the group was conducting training on explosives at a resort when they were arrested. The workers said they were holding a health seminar.

Nearly a year in jail

The health workers spent nearly a year in detention at Camp Capinpin, Tanay, Rizal, where they alleged the torture took place.

Shortly before Christmas last year, they were freed based on President Benigno Aquino III’s order withdrawing the criminal information against them.

Arroyo et al.

The case filed against Arroyo et al. was based on four causes of action, which included physical, verbal and psychological abuses; illegal arrest, detention and other violations of their constitutional rights; and divesting of the plaintiffs’ personal belongings.

Also named defendants are former National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales, former Armed Forces Chief of Staff Gen. Victor Ibrado, former Army chief Maj. Gen. Delfin Bangit and former 2nd Infantry Division chief Maj. Gen. Jorge Segovia.

The other defendants are Lt. Col. Cristobal Zaragosa, Maj. Manuel Tabion, Col. Aurelio Baladlad, Lt. Col. Jaime Abawag and Supt. Marion Balolong and Supt. Allan Nubleza - all based in Camp Capinpin.

Arroyo and Gonzales, according to the suit, were then in a position to stop the alleged violations of the Morong 43’s rights as the former President was aware of the plight of the health workers because of several pleas sent to her office.

"However, defendant Arroyo did not lift a finger to alleviate the conditions of the plaintiffs," the suit alleged.

Neglect of duty

Arroyo’s alleged neglect of her duty to stop the Morong 43’s suffering at the hands of her subordinates also caused losses and injuries to the plaintiffs.

The plaintiffs claimed they lost personal belongings such as cell phones, laptops and other possessions.

"As a result, all the individual defendants are jointly and severally liable for all the damages and injuries sustained by the plaintiffs during their detention at Camp Capinpin," the complaint said.

The military has denied the allegations. The Armed Forces of the Philippines said it would give its all-out support to the officers named in the civil case.

The five military officers on active service included in the suit can expect "the best legal assistance" from the AFP, a military spokesperson said.

The military has anticipated the suit since most of the Morong 43 were released last December to pave the way for the resumption of peace talks between the government and communist rebels, Brig. Gen. Jose Mabanta Jr. said.

"This is what we may call hazards of the trade. These are some of the things we have to face as we move on and ensure that rules of engagements are (followed)," he said. Mabanta said he welcomed the suit as it would be an opportunity for the military to set the record straight that it did not torture the Morong 43.

"We hope authorities will come up with decisions based on the truth in order for the accused to clear their names," he said.

He called on the accused officers to stay strong and keep up what they were doing. The civil case is the first that the NUPL and the Morong 43 have filed against Arroyo, but Olalia said other cases would follow.

"This sends a clear signal that the buck stops with Arroyo," Olalia said.

Thirty-eight members of the Morong 43 have expressed interest in filing a complaint, but "we are still building the case because we want it to be airtight," he said.

Olalia told reporters that should the other health workers choose to file a damage suit, they would just amend Monday’s civil case to include the other litigants.

"There are other cases to follow. It may be civil or criminal. If it’s a criminal case, we will have the preliminary investigation done at the department of justice," he said. (COPYRIGHT: ANN/MP

Entrepreneurial Farmer

Ambrosio R. Villorente

Uncompleted Longest Bridge

Florence F. Hibionada of the Philippines News Service reported Iloilo province may have the "longest hanging footbridge. The project is estimated to cost P3.03 million when completed.

But the report says about P2.9 million have already been spent and "still up to now we had to endure the difficulty and inconvenience of crossing the Sibalom river on foot". The footbridge is situated in Tigbawan, Iloilo.

In a petition sent to Mayor Excelsior Torres and members of the Tigbauan Town Sang-gunian, the footbridge was destroyed during typhoon Frank. But since then and up to now, the bridge is not repaired. It is not only too long to build, but also very expensive.

Of the three million pesos allocated to the bridge construction, 2.9 million pesos was already paid to the contractor, but the construction is past the time limit, Hibionada e-mailed the MP. The people affected who have suffered the absence of a bridge is now demanding to penalize the contractor for failure to finish the construction as stipulated in the contract.

Iloilo does not only have the longest foot-bridge, too expensive and too long to construct, it also have constructed a multi billion pesos worth of international airport which is not used by any plane destined abroad.

DA 6 Vaccinates 200 Dogs

The Department of Agriculture 6 (DA6) reported it has vaccinated 200 dogs last month. The DA6 did it in celebration of the month of March as rabies awareness month. The vaccinations were done in Jordan, Guimaras.

Well and Good! The vaccination activity will help prevent the occurrence of diseases associated with rabies.

But what does the DA do with the dogs going around the community? It is only in the Philippines where dogs are free to roam around town. Dogs do not only bite and spread rabies, dogs also are road hazards. How many lives have been lost due to vehicular accidents cause by dogs?

DOLE Targets 7,682 Students In WV

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Iloilo City has allotted P13.077 million for its Special Program for Employment of Students (SPES), which targets 7,682 recipients from Western Visayas.

DOLE information officer Amy Judicpa, however, projects of a chance that they would overshoot the target.

She added that some local government units (LGUs) decided to adopt the program, opted to provide the 100 percent share for the salary or they lessen the number of days to accommodate more student-jobseekers.

Based on the SPES concept, the DOLE will shoulder 40 percent of the salary and the employer/LGU will pay the remaining 60 percent.

Of the projected number, 760 are allotted for Aklan; 751 for Antique; 771, Capiz; 250, Guimaras; 1,650, Iloilo and 3,500, Negros Occidental.

Judicpa, urged employers, especially LGUs to follow the criteria set by the program to be able to assist the target sector.

Those who are eligible for the program, she said, are poor but deserving students with ages not less than 15 but not more than 25 years old; they must have a passing grade during the last term attended and the annual family income must not exceed the annual regional poverty threshold level for a family of six which is P16,036 in the case of Western Visayas.

The DOLE is now in the process of accepting pledges from interested employers.

The summer program will be from April to June for a maximum of 20-22 days. Students may apply at the DOLE office or at the PESO of participating LGUs. /MP

Graduation At DIBI/ANHSAT/RSHS for R6

The Dela Cruz Institute of Business and Industry (DIBI), Regional Science High School for Region 6 (RSHS R6), and Aklan National High School for Arts and Trades (ANHSAT) graduated a total of 550 from the High School this week.

DIBI graduated - 47 on April 2. The graduation program was held at DIBI campus, Kalibo. RSHS R6 graduated. - 142 on Tuesday, April 5 held in ABL Sports Complex, Estancia, Kalibo with Hon. Phoebe Clarice L. Cabagnot, guest speaker. ANHSAT held its graduation ceremony at ACC gym, Kalibo on Wednesday, April 6 with Mr. Samuel J. Malayo, Regional Education Program Specialist II, guest speaker.

The ASU-CIT Kalibo Campus held its graduation program at ABL Sports Complex, Kalibo on Thursday afternoon, April 7 with Aurora Cong. Juan Edgardo M. Angara as commencement speaker./MP

Isla Kapispisan Reforestation Ecotourism Project Bags Outstanding HEI Extension Program Award

The Aklan State University’s (ASU) "People-led and Multi-Sector Supported Isla Kapispisan Mangrove Reforestation, Aquasilviculture and Ecotourism Project" won 1st place in the regional category (Region VI) and 4th place in the recently concluded National Search for 2010 Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Outstanding Higher Education Institutions (HEI) Extension Program. As regional winner, the project received a trophy and P300,000 cash.

The awarding ceremony was attended by ASU President Dr. Danilo E. Abayon, Dr. Benny A. Palma, Dr. Anna Mae C. Relingo, Dr. Elenita B. Andrade, Prof. Elaine P. Dela Cruz, and Prof. Rinse Remetio held on March 30, 2011 at CHED Auditorium, Diliman, Quezon City.

The award is offered to mobilize knowledge and technology, to enhance productivity, generate employment, and reduce poverty. Higher education institutions are actively conducting research and extension programs/projects, particularly transfer and/or application of technology/knowledge that contributes to the attainment of the country’s development goals. Recognizing the role that extension contributes to the fulfillment of these goals, the CHED launched the Outstanding HEI Extension Program Award which aims to recognize and reward both the implementor(s) and the higher education institutions for their outstanding Extension programs; encourage Extension work relevant and responsive to the needs of the community and society; and promote appreciation of the importance of the Extension function of HEIs.

The Isla Kapispisan project is initiated by the ASU-College of Fisheries and Marine Sciences (ASU-CFMS) in partnership with the Local Government Unit of New Washington, Aklan and other cooperating agencies in 1997. The experiences gained in the project provided valuable lessons on excellence in governance of extension services delivery of ASU.

The project converted an abandoned 32-hectare fishpond into a people-led and multi-sector-supported mangrove reforestation, aquasilviculture and ecotourism site. It serves as a convergence demo-learning area for the fishery sectors to recreate a wholesome coastal resource environment. The development of Isla Kapispisan uses various approaches and strategies including—crafting a shared vision, charting the intervention, mobilizing people and enhancing participation, partnership and collaboration, massive mangrove planting, organizing fisherfolks, training for responsible fishing, out-sourcing, research and technology information diffusion and modeling, environment education and advocacy through eco-tourism and pro-ductivity enhancement.

In 2009, the project won for ASU First Place in the Best Public Sector Projects Award for State Universities & Colleges Category in the Regional Development Council VI and National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) VI.

On November 23, 2010, the Sangguniang Bayan of New Washington, Aklan passed Municipal Ordinance No. 2010-09 known as Isla Kapispisan Mangrove Park and Fishery Sanctuary Development Code. This ensures the sustainable and equitable development of Isla Kapispisan in conformity with existing national environmental laws.

The ordinance calls for promotion of Isla Kapispisan Mangrove Park and Fishery Sanctuary and the Lagatik river (New Washington) as eco-tourism area. /MP

OP Dismisses Deputy Ombudsman Over Hostage Taking Incident

The Office of the President (OP) dismisses Deputy Ombudsman Emilio Gonzalez III for gross neglect of duty and gross misconduct in handling the dismissal complaint against hostage-taker former P/Sr. Insp. Rolando Mendoza on recommendation of Palace lawyers who reviewed the findings of the Incident Investigation and Review Committee (IIRC).

This is the first time that the Aquino Administration has taken a direct action against an official in connection with the August 23 hostage-taking following the review of the IIRC report by the Palace legal team headed by Executive Secretary Paquito N. Ochoa Jr. The decision was issued on March 31, 2011. "This decision reflects this Administration’s commitment to hold those responsible for the hostage-taking incident accountable," Ochoa said. "Those of us who serve government must be cognizant of the fact that people are affected by our failure to fulfill our responsibilities. In this case, lives were not only affected, they were lost," Ochoa added in the 15-page decision.

The OP found an inordinate and unjustified delay in the resolution of the motion for reconsideration timely filed by Mendoza on his dismissal from police service – a clear neglect of performance of official duty. It said that the delay in the resolution of Mendoza’s appeal that spanned nine months constituted "a flagrant disregard" of the Office of the Ombudsman’s Rules and Procedure, which provide that a motion for recon-sideration must be acted upon within five days from the submission of the documents. 

The OP also said that there was substantial evidence to prove that Gonzalez committed gross misconduct for showing undue interest in taking over the administrative case filed against Mendoza, which was then pending investigation with the Philippine National Police-Internal Affairs Service. It further noted that the delay in the resolution of Mendoza’s appeal was "all the more unjustified" since no opposition was ever filed against the former Manila police officer’s motion for reconsideration. 

"The circumstances surrounding the charges of gross neglect of duty and gross misconduct lent credence to Mendoza’s accusation during the hostage-taking incident that Gonzalez was extorting P150,000 from him in exchange for a favorable decision," Ochoa said. Gonzalez had challenged the authority of the OP to charge him administratively, asserting that it had no judicial or quasi-judicial jurisdiction over him. The Executive Secretary, however, explained that both transgressions – gross neglect of duty and gross misconduct – amounted to arbitrary and tyrannical exercise of authority and betrayal of public trust, which are grounds for the dismissal of Gonzalez from the service by the President. 

In accordance with the Constitution and Republic Act No. 6670, or the Ombudsman Act of 1989, Ochoa said, the President has the power to discipline Gonzalez "even to the extent of meting out the supreme administrative penalty of dismissal." /MP

Reason & Concern

by Ronquillo C. Tolentino

Opposition Mounts Vs Boracay Casino Proposal

Amidst stiff opposition by Boracay residents and the Diocese of Kalibo, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) twice put aside the plan to establish a casino in Boracay notwithstanding the same position now aired by Pagcor, nay, Sangguniang Bayan of Malay, that earnings could help in the easy financing of development projects on the island tourist destination.

It was on August 31, 2003 when PAGCOR set aside the plan when the former president categorically declared that she was against it.

As a matter of recollection, then Kalibo Bishop Gabriel V. Reyes in his December 10, 2002 letter to President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo with attached letters from parish priests and member of the pastoral councils in the Diocese of Kalibo sought the president to stop the plan to put up a casino citing the harmful effects of the proposed casino. Reyes stressed in his October 22, 2002 pastoral letter that casinos are the cause of the impoverishment and breaking up of families. 

"Casino promotes enslavement or addiction to the passion of gambling. They weaken the moral strength of people", Reyes emphasized. Reyes added that Boracay is God’s gift to Aklan and the whole world. "Until now it is a family resort frequented and enjoyed by all. It is still wholesome. Let us help at that way".  Reyes concluded. When the plans to put up casino in Boracay again surfaced in 2008, Kalibo Bishop Jose Romeo Lazo rejected the plan again.

Lazo stressed that Boracay is a natural treasure of the Aklanons and the Filipino people. "We are for a family-oriented and wholesome island resort and we therefore want a drug-free and gambling-free Boracay", Lazo added.

The 2008 plan of Pagcor again failed. This time, plan is being resuscitated with the help of Malay’s Sangguniang Bayan.

Business organizations in Boracay, specifically the Boracay Foundation, Inc. (BFI) had declared that it is opposed to the putting up of a casino in Boracay.

An email sent me by a friend from New Jersey, USA had stated that the casino proposal is being opposed in the USA. While he did not specify whether the opposition came from Aklanons in the Unites States, he requested me to see and read certain opposition statements of the Community Organization based at Boston Massachusetts on the facebook account One Million Filipinos Against Casino in Boracay.

I am only quoting three of the many opposition statements, thus: "For the last 2 decades, we have seen the pristine island of Boracay degrade. To make things worse, there are plans to set up 3 or more casinos in Boracay. We already know the social implications of having a Casino within residential areas. Though this effort is about uniting a million voices to stop this travesty, it is also a trumpet call to warn the politicians and businessmen that the people are watching and listening. We will not let our beautiful land be raped for some short terms financial gain. It stops now. Let our voices be heard!"

"To unite one million voices shouting : No Casinos in Boracay. "Casino would be sealing Boracay’s fate to complete degradation. There is still a chance to rehabilitate the situation in Boracay. Time to act now. Please invite your friends to this page.  We have a long way to go but with God’s help we will be a voice to be heard."

"There are millions of Filipinos against the opening of casinos in Boracay. Please help us stop the abuse of both the people and the island. If we can’t take care of this small 7km island, how can we take care of the rest of 7,000 islands? For whatever is given to us, we will be held accountable by God." /MP

Sugilanon Ni Tita Linda

Ni Tita Linda Belayro

Isla Malalison

Sa punta it Aparri, Cagayan hay may isaeang ka isla nga nagtubo. Isla Malalison kon hingadlan. Suno sa mga katigueangan, owa pa rondayang isla kato. Golpe eamang nga nag soe-pot. Hayra rong estorya kara.

May isaeang ka daeaga nga naga hingaean kay Tarcila. Imaw ra hay maila-on mag pinamasyar. Sa anang pagpanaw, idto pirmi nahaagi sa baeay ko anang mga amiga. Mailaon man imaw mag adto sa baylehan, busa perming owa sa andang baeay. Kon una man sa baeay, indi man masugo tongod perming naga kinatoeog. Haeos abi kada gabii hay naga pueaw si Tarcila.

Isaeang adlaw, nag trato si Tarcila ag anang mga amiga nga mag pamasyar sa pihak nga isla. Hanabuan man ko mga oras ngaron hay masakit man ro anang ina. Nagutom ro anang ina, busa nag paeogaw kana. Bisan masakit ro anang ina, nagpanaw pa guihapon si Tarcila. Owa it mahimo ro anang ina, ngani imaw eon lang ro nag obra ko tanang kinahangean sa baeay. Samtang ro mga mag kabarkada hay naga sakay sa baroto, ro ina ni Tarcila hay golpe eamang natumba ag nag-eoya.

Sa kasakit ag kaakig sa anang onga, golpe nanang nasambit ro, "kabay pa nga may matabo kimo sa mga oras ngara agod madumduman mo ro imong ina". Pagkatapos ko anang pagsambit, nagdueom ag nag daeog-dog. Bumuhos ro mabaskog nga oean ag naghumbak it maeagko sa eawod.

Naeonod ro barotong guina sakyan nanday Tarcila. Pagka-aga, malinong eon ro dagat. Hakibot ro bilog nga baryo ka’t makita nanda ro pagtunga it isla. Suno sa mga tawo, royon ro mga onga nga malalison sa andang guinikanan. Halin kato, guin hingaeanan ro isla nga Isla Malalison. Sa paglipas it paniyempo, nangin santuaryo it kapispisan ag mga kabueakan rondayang isla. Puno man it mga prutas ag puno it kahoy nga naka ta-o it pangabuhian sa mga tawo.

Para ma protektahan ro isla, guina bawaean ro pagpotoe it kahoy ag pagsuga sa isla agod mangin pang engganyo sa mga turista. /MP

45 Psychological Traps In ‘The Ethical Executive’

by ALEX P. Vidal

LAGUNA BEACH, California –In an exclusive interview with Dr. Robert Hoyk, a Psychologist and author of a book that looks at the root causes of unethical behavior and describes psychological traps that the unwitting executive can fall prey to, is launched before recession walloped the western world, particularly the United States of America.

It is where the most gigantic financial catastrophe in recent memory romped off that led to the fall in disgrace of some of the biggest names in the US corporate world.

Dr. Robert Hoyk, is a clinical psychologist and primary author of "The Ethical Executive: Becoming Aware of the Root Causes of Unethical Behavior: 45 Psychological Traps that Every One of Us Falls Prey To" (Stanford University Press; ISBN: 978-0804759656, hardcover). Hoyk analyzes treacherous situations from Enron to Jonestown and personal scenarios throughout "The Ethical Executive." He is a remarkable source to help others understand the "Why" of these dilemmas and any new ones that are likely to present themselves.

The "Ethical Executive" will help us become aware of these traps - so we can be more cautious, vigilant and then hopefully avoid them. Here’s our exclusive interview with the great author:

Alex P. Vidal (APV): The Ethical Executive rolled off the press in 2008, a year before Bernard Madoff’s Wall Street caper was uncovered in what could be the most horrific financial rip off of epic proportion in American history. While you and Dr. Hersey were collaborating to come up with this book, Madoff was already wrecking havoc on the financial institution. Was the conceptualization of The Ethical Executive a mere coincidence or a case of serendipity?

DR. HOYK: A coincidence on the surface, though it was no coincidence that many of the factors we examined happened to Madoff.  In that sense, Madoff is one example of exactly what our book predicts.

Madoff provided investment services for individuals and institutions. In December of 2008, the Securities and Exchange Commission (USA) indicted Madoff with securities fraud. It was alleged that he was using an immense Ponzi scheme. He had paid out "returns" from money sent to him by new investors for years. 

APV: Which of the 45 Psychological Traps you warned readers not to fall prey to Bernard Madoff and his cohorts?

DR. HOYK: Madoff became ensnared in two traps.

Obligation Trap. Throughout history, moral justification has been used to sanction acts of evil. Torture and murder have been committed for the sake of protecting one’s family or honor, purifying the race, safeguarding a way of life, serving God, and many more. For example, in Rwanda in 1994, under the justification of "Hutu Power," approximately seventy thousand Tutsis were brutally killed.

Obligation is a particular type of justification. The dictionary defines "obligation" as fulfilling a promise or commitment. Unethical behavior is readily given a moral connotation with the use of obligation: "I needed to keep my commitment, to do what I promised. My word is who I am."

When Madoff pleaded guilty in court, he delivered a short account of his motivation for breaking the law. The fraud began during a recession when institutions were becoming new clients. Madoff felt obligated to take on these institutions. The Ponzi scheme started because of a need to fulfill a commitment. Madoff stated, "I felt compelled to satisfy my clients’ expectations, at any cost."

Addiction Trap. Regarding his Ponzi scheme, Madoff stated in court that "once he started, he could not stop." Like a heroin addict he kept coming back for more.

Why do people become addicted? Early in my career, I was employed in an outpatient clinic for drug addiction. One client in my weekly group, Jim, would rarely say anything. One evening he came up to me when everyone had left and said, "I get very anxious speaking in front of others—I’m really shy. But you know, when I shoot up, I love myself. I’m so confident. When I’m high, I can sit down on a public bench and lead a conversation with a total stranger for an hour—I love who I am." Jim’s problem of chronic shyness disappeared when he used drugs. The dramatic, short-term benefits kept him coming back for more.

The benefits that Madoff received—status, security, a large salary, a profitable company—also kept him addicted to the Ponzi scheme.  

APV: Could the Madoff catastrophe have been avoided or prevented?

DR. HOYK: If our book had come out earlier and Madoff had used it to establish an ethical culture in his business, the Ponzi scheme might have been prevented. Our book would have to be backed by concrete policy and ideally one of the Ethics Officers would be a psychologist who would help Madoff work through his cravings and need for justification.

APV: As precautionary measure, is there a need to make Personal Assessment Inventory mandatory for every executive in the corporate world before they are entrusted of gargantuan responsibilities such as managing financial affairs?

DR. HOYK: In our book we describe three types of Traps: Primary, Defensive and Personality. Personality Traps are various traits that can make us more vulnerable to wrongdoing. It is important that executives get assessed to be aware of any traits they might have that could make them particularly vulnerable.

APV: Which factor do you attribute the United States’ present economic disarray? Is it possible that some of the country’s economic managers may have been bedeviled by psychological traps?

DR. HOYK: Our present economic crisis is mostly caused by economic factors.  Many of the Traps we describe in our book made the crisis more severe, for example Trap 4, Faceless Victims; Trap 12, Conformity; Trap 7, Tyranny of Goals; and Trap 8, Money.

APV: How did you arrive at 45 as the number of psycho-logical traps that every one of us falls prey to?

DR. HOYK: I kept researching, thinking and writing until the book was finished. When I added up the number of Traps, they totaled 45. We believe there are more Traps to discover.

APV: Could you tell us more about the HealthSpan International Foundation, which is the beneficiary of fifteen percent of the proceeds from the sales of your book? DR. HOYK: HealthSpan was founded by a friend of mine, Jim Katzenstein. Its mission is to improve healthcare in developing countries.

APV: What is an ethical executive?

DR. HOYK: An ethical executive is an executive who is knowledgeable about the 45 Traps described in our book. They use their knowledge to create policy within their organization to establish an ethical culture.

Hungry’ Pacquiao

Only a knockout victory against Sugar Shane Mosley can satisfy die hard Manny Pacquiao fans. The Filipino welterweight champion admitted after flying back to the United States April 3. He revealed he is still "hungry" despite clinching world titles in eight divisions.

Despite a six-year winning streak, the 32-year-old congressman cum fighter from Mindanao said he still hankers for more world titles and victories in mega fights.

He and his coaching staff spent three weeks in his Baguio City training camp. Pacquiao will wrap up his training at the Wild Card gym in Hollywood, California before motoring to Las Vegas to face 39-year-old Mosley for WBO welterweight tiara at the MGM Grand. /MP


U.S. H-1B Cap Season Opens

To Hire Foreign Workers

by ALEX P. Vidal

US-based companies may resume hiring foreign workers in specialty occupations as the United States Citizenship Immigration Services (USCIS) announced the opening of H-1B fiscal year 2010 cap season.

Foreign workers that require theoretical or technical expertise in specialized fields such as scientists, engineers, or computer programmers can avail of the H-1B program to be used by American employers, announced the USCIS.

The USCIS uses the information provided in Part C of the H-1B Data Collection and Filing Fee Exemption Supplement to determine whether a petition is subject to the 65,000 H-1B numerical limitation (the "cap"). 

Some petitions are exempt from the cap under the advanced degree exemption provided to the first 20,000 petitions filed for a beneficiary who has obtained a U.S. master’s degree or higher, USCIS explained.

The current annual cap on the H-1B category is 65,000.

USCIS said not all H-1B non-immigrants are subject to this annual cap. Up to 6,800 visas are set aside from the cap of 65,000 during each fiscal year for the H-1B1 program under the terms of the legislation implementing the U.S.-Chile and U.S.-Singapore Free Trade Agreements.

Unused numbers in this pool are made available for H-1B use for the next fiscal year. "We will begin accepting H-1B petitions that are subject to the FY 2012 cap on April 1, 2011. You may file an H-1B petition no more than 6-months in advance of the requested start date," USCIS announced.

Petitions seeking an FY 2012 H-1B cap number with an Oct. 1, 2011 start date can be filed no sooner than April 1, 2011, it added. 

The following must be complied to ensure that a petition is properly filed:

-Complete all sections of the Form I-129 petition, including the H Classification Supplement to Form I-129 and the H-1B Data Collection and Filing Fee Exemption Supplement. Form I-129 with a revision date of November 23, 2010, or later will be accepted. 

-Original signatures, preferably in blue ink, are required on each form.  -Include a signed check or money order with the correct fee amount. -Ensure that all required documentation and evidence is submitted with the petition at the time of filing to ensure timely processing. 

Petitioners must submit a certified Department of Labor (DOL) LCA (Form ETA 9035) at the time of filing your petition. A copy of the LCA is acceptable. 

USCIS said it encourages petitioners to keep DOL LCA processing times in mind when preparing the H-1B petition and plan accordingly. If the LCA certified by DOL is for multiple positions, petitioners must provide the name and USCIS case receipt number of any alien who has previously utilized the LCA. 

Petitioners should ensure that they have signed the LCA prior to the LCA being submitted with the petition to USCIS.

Petitioners must submit evidence of the beneficiary’s educational degree at the time of filing. If all of the requirements for the degree have been met, but the degree has not yet been awarded, the following alternate evidence may be submitted: A copy of the beneficiary’s final transcript; or a letter from the Registrar confirming that all of the degree requirements have been met (if the educational institution does not have a Registrar, such letter must be signed by the person in charge of the educational records where the degree will be awarded).

If a petitioner is indicating that the beneficiary is qualified based on a combination of education and experience, he must provide substantiating evidence at time of filing. /MP

Discovering Fake Money Bills

Money specialist Mr. Manansala of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas is shown above explaining how to differentiate genuine Philippine peso bills from fake.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) held a briefing on "The New Generation Philippine Banknotes" to acquaint the participants of the special features of the new Philippine peso bills of various denominations like the P20.00, P50.00, P100.00, P200.00, P500.00, and P1,000.00. The briefing was held on Thursday, April 7 at Mix ‘n Match Restaurant, Kalibo. It was attended by government and private sector representatives including the media.

In a combination of powerpoint presentation and lecture demonstration, the resource persons explained to the participants how to differentiate a genuine Philippine peso bills from that fake.

According to Mrs. Leonora S. Templonuevo, Deputy Director, BSP Kalibo the briefing is aimed to protect the integrity of the Philippine peso bills and to prevent cheating with the use of fake money bills.

The resource persons discussed and demonstrated how to identify a true Philippine Banknotes using seven ways. These are 1. Embossed Prints that feel rough to touch, 2. Serial Number composed of 1 or 2 prefix letters and 6 or 7 asymetric digits at the lower left, 3. Security Fibers - embedded on the paper at random, 4. Watermark shadow image of the portrait and the numeral seen at the blank space when viewed against the light, 5. See-through Mark seen in complete form when the note is viewed against the light, 6. Concealed Value super imposed on the smaller version portrait, and 7. Security Thread running verticlly accross the note. /MP

Sunday, April 03, 2011


Deaths In China

Obviously, she did know that March 30, 2011 was her last day upon this earth now being attacked by climate change. On that Wednesday, March 30, Sally Villanueva asked her sister, Mylene Ordinario. "Am I going to die today?"

"What are you doing here, why are you all crying?" Sally further asked.

But Sally was quick to console her sister. "It’s okay, I have accepted my fate. I will be your angel and watch over you", Sally assured her sister Mylene who came to Xiamen, China to see her alive for the last time.

The People’s Republic of China normally does not announce the execution of persons guilty of crimes. According to Amnesty International, China is the world’s biggest executioners as she executes thousands of convicts annually.

However, Elizabeth Batain, Sally Villanueva, and Ramon Credo were allowed to meet with their respective families hours before their execution by lethal injection.

Sally Villanueva requested her family to take care of her two children and "make sure they finish their studies". Sally was blessed by a priest with whom she asked forgiveness for all her sins, even she maintained she was a victim and not a culprit.

Sally Villanueva, 33 and Ramon Credo, 42 arrived at Xiamen No. 1 Detention House at 7:30 a.m. March 30. They met with their respective families at 8-9:00 a.m. Between 9:40 – 10:40 a.m., their final sentences were promulgated at the 2nd Criminal Tribunal of the Intermediate People’s Court. At 1:40 a.m. Credo and Villanueva were taken to an undisclosed location for execution. At exactly 12 noon, Vllanueva’s family with DFA officials proceeded to the Xiamen Funeral Parlor for the formal presentation and viewing of her remains. At 1:50 p.m. of the same day, the Intermediate People’s Court turned over the death certificate, passports, and other personal effects of Villanueva and Credo to Philippine Consulate officials in Xiamen. Credo’s family then claimed his ashes from the Xiamen Crematorium.

Elizabeth Batain’s relatives went to Shenzhen No. 3 Detention House at 9 a.m. Her final sentence was promulgated at 9:30 in the morning after which she met her family at 10:40 a.m. for the last time. At 11:18 a.m., Batain was taken to an undisclosed venue for execution.

By 12:30 p.m., the Philippine Consulate officials were informed she was executed. Arrangement of Batain’s remains is being made for shipment to the Philippines.

These three separate convictions of three Philippine nationals are vivid lessons for Pilipino travellers especially in the People’s Republic of China to be careful, observe all laws, rules, and regulations. This is a black eye, not only to Credo, Batain and Villanueva families, but to all the Pilipino nationals. It is highly hard, shameful to be labelled this reputation: "Drug couriers". Despite repeated pleas of the Philippine government to commute the penalty, the Chinese officials went ahead of the executions.

The three convicts, Credo, Batain, and Villanueva were separately arrested in 2008 for each carrying several kilograms of heroin to China. After due investigation, cases of violating Chinese laws on illegal drugs were filed against each one of them.

There were court hearings, they were allowed lawyers, and court interpreters to avoid language problems. The outcome of the court hearings were convictions as accused and meted death penalty each.

The government did all to prevent death by lethal injection, but the requests were denied. The best it got was a one month delay of the execution of sentence.

"Life time penalty is a longest sentence". Our government requested it but the Chinese proceeded with the short sentence "death" for Villanueva, Credo, and Batain.

Pilipino travellers, OFW’s be careful. We must be wary of the people with whom we transact business. Villanueva, Credo, and Batain all claimed the luggage they carried where illegal drugs were found by the Chinese authorities were not theirs but of the people who requested them to carry. /MP

Entrepreneurial Farmer

Ambrosio R. Villorente

Philhealth Targets 345,000 Indigent Families

in W. Visayas

Some 345,000 indigent families in Western Visayas are expected to enroll under the sponsored program of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) this year.

The projection covering the year 2011 is based on the result of the National Household Targeting System (NHTS) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), according to Department of Health-Center for Health Development 6 (DOH-CHD6) director, Dr. Ariel Valencia.

"That’s another set for this year based on the projection of the poor," he said adding that the figure will still have to undergo validation by the Philhealth.

Meanwhile, Valencia noted that last year’s target of 71,000 families was achieved following its launching through the PhilHealth Sabado program in October, 2010.

Almost all of the target families were actually enrolled by local government units (LGUs) and what was done was almost like a follow up, Valencia said.

Valencia added they looked forward for LGUs to assist in the enrollment of informal sectors and other segment of the society that are not included in the NHTS.

The Health Agenda of President Benigno Aquino III addresses three major thrusts where the Philhealth Universal Coverage is included.

The two others are the improvement of health facility and the attainment of Millennium Development Goals specifically to decrease maternal and infant mortality rate and increase cure rate for tuberculosis as the PNA reported.

Complaints vs Coal Plant

Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog has instructed city environment and natural resources officer Noel Hechanova to convene the multi-monitoring team (MMT) composed of different government agencies and non-government organizations to look into the complaints of residents in Barangay Ingore, La Paz regarding the noise and air pollution allegedly coming from the coal fired power plant there.

Mabilog said that he had received complaints on black particles emitted by the coal plant that may have caused diseases among nearby residents. The MMT will have to convene as soon as possible, Mabilog said.

The complaints need to be verified and evaluated and MMT members have the necessary tools and equipment for this kind of work, he added.

  Negros Occidental Tops Regional Sports

Defending champion Negros Occidental stamped its class in both the elementary and secondary levels in different events of the annual Western Visayas Regional Athletic Association (WVRAA) held in Iloilo City recently.

Negros Occidental is still number one followed by Iloilo, number 2. Aklan is far third, then Antique, Capiz and Guimaras in that order. The final tally of the games revealed.


Senator Francis "Chiz" Escudero cautioned the government against pursuing proposals to revive the mothballed Bataan nuclear power plant. It should first focus on exploring other sources of energy that are safe and cheap," said Escudero.  

According to Escudero, government officials must seriously consider tapping natural sources of energy such as geothermal, solar and wind, which are readily available in the country.  

The senator made the statement in the wake of the nuclear crisis in Japan brought about by a 9.0-maginitude earthquake and tsunami that completely paralyzed the nuclear power plant in Fukushima on March 11. /MP

Aklan Hosts Regional Assembly of Physicians


PMA Pres – Dr. Oscar D. Tinio and PMA Sec. General – Dr. Irineo Bernardo, III during the Kapihan sa Aklan, Mar 26, 2011, left photo.

United Laboratories, Inc. (UNILAB), a pharmaceutical company that values trust, health and wellness has just successfully sponsored the recent PMA-UNILAB Continuing Medical Education/Regional Assembly for Western Visayas Region. It was held on March 27, 2011 at the Aklan State University Review Center, Banga Campus, Banga, Aklan.

Philippine Medical Association, Inc. (PMA) and Unilab served as hosts to all physicians from Antique, Iloilo, Guimaras, Negros Occidental, and Aklan to the well facilitated assembly. It was headed by PMA president, Dr. Oscar J. Hilario and Western Visayas Governor, Dr. Cynthia C. Dela Cruz.

The Antique Medical Society delegation was headed by its president, Dr. Earl Autajay, Jr.; Capiz Medical Society by its President (OIC) Dr. Rommel Mosquite; Guimaras Medical Society by its president, Dr. Edgardo A. Jabasa; Iloilo Medical Society by its president, Dr. Doris A. Mendoza; Canlaon Medical Society by its president, Dr. Evelyn C. Yu; Negros Occidental Medical Society by its president, Dr. Sebastian Tabuga and Aklan Medical Society by its president, Dr. Oscar J. Hilario (Host Society).

The Regional Assembly was highly significant with the presence of PMA president, Dr. Oscar D. Tinio, Secretary General – Dr. Irineo C. Bernardo, III and PMA Commissioner – Dr. Rafael P. Bantayan and other members of the Board of Governors and Past PMA Governors. They came all the way from Manila to grace the event.

UNILAB Director, Mr. Mario S. Gaerlan, delivered his cordial greetings during the assembly as the sponsor of the Regional Assembly. Professional and practicing physicians they may be, they are also required to educate themselves regularly with the latest data and continuing education for their profession.

The topics taken up during the whole event and the speakers are as follows: 1. Patients Safety and Drug Safety by Dr. Ma. Minerva P. Calimag, Chair, PMA Committee on Food and Drugs and president of Philippines Anesthesiology Association; 2. Update on BPH Treatment by Dr. Mike Leh; 3. Conquering Fever Phobia by Dr. Evelyn C. Yu, President, Canlaon Medical Society and 4. Taxation on Physicians by a representative from the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR – Aklan).

As the host medical society, Western Visayas Governor – Dr. Cynthia C. Dela Cruz welcomed the 200 delegates to the assembly; and as the host province, Aklan Gov. Carlito S. Marquez, delivered his message. PMA president, Dr. Oscar D. Tinio delivered also his message. Dr. Irineo C. Bernardo, PMA Secretary General was program host in the morning event, and Dr. Lynn D. Salido and Dr. Allyn P. Ricafuente hosted the afternoon event. /MP

Abayon Is ASU’s 3rd President


"I am very much overwhelmed by the faculty and staff who welcomed me. I was very elated and I cannot express my happiness seeing you with us this morning." Dr. Danilo E. Abayon said before the Aklan State University (ASU) Community during the welcome program held on March 16, 2011 at the ASU Amphitheater.

President Abayon took his oath of office on March 15, 2011 as the third ASU President before the members of ASU Board of Regents (BOR) led by Dr. Patricia B. Licuanan, Commission on Higher Education Chairperson and ASU Governing Board Chair.

The new President envisions a "Sustained development through greater leverage of the University’s pillars of excellence for progressive leadership towards the Centennial."

Likewise, he has the 10-point agenda dubbed as "GEAR HIGHER," which stands for governance architecture, excellent human capital, academic and entrepreneurial excellence of students, rationalized curriculum and instruction, healthy physical environment, Integrated laboratories, geared up research, hub library, extension launch pad for community development, and resource corporatization and generation of income. The agenda focus on the implementation of strategic actions that span until the University’s Centennial in 2018.

Before his appointment as president, Abayon was the Executive Director of ASU-College of Fisheries and Marine Sciences in New Washington, Aklan for the last three years. He also served as Dean, College of Agriculture, Forestry and Environmental Sciences for five years, and 17 years administrative work. He was Acting Supply Officer in 1985. Currently, his academic rank is Professor V. Dr. Abayon started as Secondary School Teacher in 1978.

A native of Balete, Aklan, he holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture major in Agricultural Education and Masters degree in Agricultural Education from Aklan Agricultural College (now ASU). Moreover, he completed his Masters degree in Agricultural Science major in Animal Science and Doctor of Philosophy in Agricultural Science major in Animal Science, cognate in Horticulture from Central Mindanao University. He finished a Diplomate in Tropical Animal Production from Van Hall Larenstein University for Professional Education in the Netherlands and completed academic requirements in Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Management from the University of San Agustin.

He trained on Filipinos for Leadership and Management Excellence (FLaME Elite) conducted by the Development Academy of the Philippines; Junior Executives’ Training conducted by the Philippine Association of State Universities and Colleges; and Value chain analysis and development conducted by Larenstein University for Professional Education and Shanghai Academy of Agricultural Sciences in Shanghai, China.

He participated in various educational travels in Japan, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, China, Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, England, France, Switzerland and Austria.

Abayon’s term as ASU president will end on March 15, 2015. /MP

“Safe Motherhood and “Buntis” Congress Hot Mama and Cool Papa”


The weekly Kapihan forum on March 26, 2011 featured two active health organizations: GO and NGO working in partnership. The guests from the Provincial Health Office (PHO) are Dr. Vic A. Santamaria, Chief – PHO; Ms. Nuella P. Zaldivar – Health Educ. Prom. Officer; Ms. Marissa M. Carillo – Coordinator, Maternal Child Health; Ms. Sonia M. David – Coord. Garantisadong Pambata (GP); Ms. Criscini S. Roxas – Coord. Nutrition; and Ms. Belia R. Villaruel – Coord., Expanded Prog. On Immunization.

Abante Aklan, Inc. (AAI), an affiliate of World Vision is represented by Dr. Cornelio Cuachon, Jr. chairman, Bd. Of Trustees, and Ms. Maryana Zamora, Comm. Specialist, Western Visayas.

Dr. Santamaria said that GP is an annual event sponsored by PHO to promote health advocacy programs. It targets mothers on maternal health and children against common but preventable diseases like measles, dipteria, polio, tetanus, Hepa B, TB, and pertusis. The GP is committed to implement the theme, "Iligtas sa Tigdas and Pinas" that targets children 9 months to below 8 years.

The renewed effort is to reduce the prevalence of measles cases in the country reaching 6,200 to zero in 2012. Viral diseases compounded by climate change are responsible for complication like bronchopneumonia, malnutrition, blindness, and others. This year, a door to door immunization campaign will be conducted by doctors, nurses, and midwives from April 4 to May 4, 2011 in all 327 barangays of Aklan.

Ms. Zaldivar discussed the maternal health program on promotion of Safe Motherhood and "Buntis" Congress – "Hot Mama and Cool Papa". It will feature 30 couples from 10 municipalities on March 30. Child Health launches the GP package on measles-rubella immunization in Altavas and Ibajay on April 4. The latter is crucial since fundings show that many missed children in previous immunization campaigns resulted to more deaths.

Dr. Cuachon averred that World Vision and AAI are operating in Aklan since 1999. More than 6000 children in the 64 barangays in six municipalities were benefited. They are in Tangalan, Nabas, Batan, Altavas, Madalag, and Malinao. The Canadian-based organization, a relief, development and advocacy group has five projects namely: a) Health Development breast-feeding, maternal health, nutrition and construction of sanitary privy, jetmatic pump, b) economic development, - backyard agriculture projects, micro financing and management, c) education – repair of physical facilities like tables and chairs, books d) sponsorship management – indigent children sent to schools, and e) leadership & governance. A total of one million pesos was released by the agency to target beneficiaries last year.

On April, 2 – 3 dubbed as "A Night of Hope and Lakbay Pag-asa" are forthcoming big events. The first is a dinner for cause where prospective donors are encouraged to support AAI programs, Lakbay Pag-asa is an emotion-filled event where sponsors and sponsored Aklanon child meet for the first time. Celebrity endorsers are Ms. Miriam Quiambao and Tippy dos Santos. Child sponsorship of a scholar entails a nominal P600 donation per month which is enough to bring hope and opportunity to someone in dire need.

However, the above activity done over a month period is a long and arduous process. One must consider road accessibility, terrain, weather conditions and availability of target children in the house for immunization shots. The most creative way is to invite Brgy. Captains to a conference in the Municipal Building to explain the rationale of the anti-measles campaign and schedule immunization by batches. Parents/guardians of target children must bring their wards to the nearest Barangay Health Center for periodic shots against the seven deadly diseases.

Operation Timbang, Pre-natal consultation and handing of tracts/leaflets about breastfeeding, family planning and film documentary showing on various health programs are additional features.

Malnutrition continues to plague depressed municipalities like Tangalan, Nabas, and Libacao. This is very appalling when rural communities are blessed with abundant space for growing fruits and vegetables, and the raising of poultry and livestock.

It is time for Filipinos to learn valuable lessons from the recent disaster of earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear fallout in Japan. Dr. Oscar Tinio, Pres. of Phil. Medical Association said that his counterpart colleague from Japan firmly refused their offer of medical aid. It is both amazing and incredible that culture of Japanese discipline and resiliency clearly shine through even in times of adversity.

Well, the Philippines has all the resources and the reasons in the world to work constructively in order to achieve self reliance and self sufficiency in food. There is no need for dole outs but to utilize our brain and brawn. Obviously, the roots of our poverty and unemployment are our negative appreciation of values. Pilipinos only work when they are paid like the colonial servants’ mentality. Pilipinos nurture the idea that money, happiness and hope are of being employed in the distant shores when they are found in the doorstep.

As per estimate, Japan needs $303 billion to rebuild her damaged cities, but Prime Minister Naoto Kan does not consider foreign aid except for humanitarian cases. Really, a developed nation behaves differently than a developing country like the Philippines. However, at issue is positive cultural values which we have enough but only pay lip service to it.

PHO is fortunate to have World Vision – Abante Aklan, Inc. as responsible partners for its primary health care advocacy. Core objectives are the UN Millennium Development goals to cut down maternal and neonatal deaths, and malnutrition by half of existing rate in year 2015. Some women groups like Gabriela, Civil Society, Non-Government Institutions, Medical Professional Assn. and Grassroots Women’s Organizations are supporting Reproductive Health (RH) bill No. 4244 in the 14th Congress. This is a welcome sign that RH is gaining momentum.

It is common biological knowledge that life begins only from the onset of fertilization and all forms of family planning techniques never violate procreation. The bill encourages sustainable and healthy human population based on responsible parenthood and desirable lifestyle. Where is freedom of choice when you are practically limited to natural family planning? In order to be fair, this must be comprehensive, both natural and artificial. This belief must be appreciated by the individual families for them to decide based on merits and efficacy of methods. Certainly, this issue must be decided jointly by the State and society including the policy as to the number of children to have per family. There is a need to have an open and unbiased discussion because it has profound effect on our present and future generation. /MP