Sunday, June 26, 2011

EDITORIAL


The Filipino Spirit To Improve His Way of Life


Pres. Benigno S. Aquino’s Pantawid Pamilya Pilipino Program (4P’s) is gaining significance on its info drive to explain to detractors and skeptics about justification of combating poverty and hunger in the country. His cabinet Secretaries led by DSWD Sec. Corazon J. Soliman, DOH Sec. Enrique T. Ona and DepEd Usec. Rizalino O. Rivera discussed the human and social amelioration program in a press conference held on June 16 at Casa Pilar, Boracay, Malay.


Sec. Soliman informed that priority target is one million families identified as poorest of the poor by NSO – NCSB for immediate rehabilitation. However, the total data is a phenomenal 5.2 million beset by poverty, disease, illiteracy and hopelessness. This social intervention program is designed to break the shackles of inter-generational poverty cycle through dynamic human resource development.


Aklan carries a dubious record of 30.2 percent poverty incidence in 2003, 32.6 percent in 2006 and 38.1 percent in 2009. DSWD’s updated data reveal that 5,526 families received P34.0 million in 2009 and 6,639 families with P47.00 million in 2010. However, in the first quarter of 2011, the number of beneficiaries increased to 17,712 families with P37.1 million. Altogether, the number of beneficiaries reached 29,877 over a 2.5 year period with P118.3 million covering all municipalities. Fortunately 14 out of 17 municipalities of Aklan (except Lezo, Kalibo, and Numancia) are covered by 4P’s or Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) program.


Specifically, CCT provides cash grants of P500 per month, per family for health and nutrition expenses and P300 per month per child for 10 months schooling each year. A maximum of three children per family is allowed, the total to reach P1,250 per month. Cash withdrawal is done through the facilities of accredited banks (LBP) and or personnel of DSWD every two month period. Those beneficiaries found violating the memo of agreement is automatically deleted from the list. "So far, we witnessed many dedicated families eager to improve their way of life," said Soliman.


Sec. Ona said that "the DOH ensures that the most vulnerable sector of society like women and children must be given access to primary health care". This includes maternal (pre and post natal), reproductive and family planning services, vaccination and deworming program done every six months. As a policy, childbirth must occur in a nearest health facility administered by trained health personnel to prevent birth complications and death. Aklan has 51 annual maternal deaths per thousand populations which is very preventable, emphasized Dr. Ona.


The last strategy is an all out support to education involving pre-schoolers (3-5 years old) and youngsters (6-14 years). It is very clear in the program that illiteracy must be wiped out and that families be provided with basic education and skills to develop themselves. At least the child beneficiary must attend school 85 percent of the time in order to qualify for continued privileges, Usec Rivera explained.


A total budget of P22 billion was approved for the five year program the DSWD will implement in coordination with Advisory Committee members: DOH, DILG and DepEd. Cogent reason is the UN Millennium Development Goals to reduce poverty, maternal deaths, and illiteracy by half of its present data in year 2015.


The Philippines poverty alleviate program appears more daunting and dicey each day as impact of local and international social, political and economic factors directly affect the bottom 30 percent of the Philippines population. This is exacerbated by limited budget and resources creating inefficiency and ineffectivity. Indeed a long term solution in these hard and trying times is job creation, innovation, and entrepreneurship.


Whatever the outcome, DSWD as well as its partners are very optimistic that planned goals will be realized despite difficulties encountered. Notable case stories emerging from families helped through CCT reverberates with pride, dignity, and triumph. Yes, the Filipino spirit lives on! /MP

Entrepreneurial Farmer


Ambrosio R. Villorente


Disaster Risk Reduction



May I share with you my message to the participants read during the closing program of the Community Based Disaster Management Training held in Sampaguita Garden, New Washington, Aklan on June 20 – 25, 2011.


Good morning!


Please accept my sincere congratulations for having been selected participants to this five-day Community-Based Disaster Management Exercise. I believed you are now well prepared for any disaster that might befall your barangays.


Indeed, you are very lucky to have been selected to participate in this exercise in order to: 1. well adapt yourselves to any climate change, 2. to provide first aid to victims of disaster, and 3. to conduct a vulnerability and capacity assessment.


Let us extend thank you and salute the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) Aklan Chapter for holding this training in order to reduce risk in any disaster.


Let us also give thanks to the Finnish Red Cross for its generosity to fund this training we are about to close. But, this will not be the last, for the Philippine Red Cross (PRC), Aklan Chapter will have several activities more to follow designed to reduce the risks of disaster.


There are more activities to follow like blood collection and distribution.


The three (3) barangays of Bakhaw Sur, Bakhaw Norte, and Mobo in Kalibo, and two barangays of Aliputos and Bulwang in Numancia are very lucky to have been selected the project sites of this bilateral project called "Community Based Disaster Risk Reduction" of the PRC and the FRC.


This is a two year project geared to improve the capacity of targeted communities and institutions to better prepare for and reduce disaster risks.


To realize its obligations, the FRC will provide fund for the project of Euros 90,000 or (about P5.85 million at 1x65). It will also support in the planning, implementation and monitoring of the project through short term visits. The PRC is responsible for the cost effective project implementation.


My dear participants, everybody is expecting you all to be disaster expert managers. With you, your communities, and your people will become more aware of risks, hazards and vulnerabilities, and are enabled to identify the best measures to mitigate these risks. You are expected to increase the security of your people and to minimize risk anytime disaster occurs.


My dear graduates of this security exercise to mitigate risk, are we assured that at the end of the day, can we close our eyes, sleep soundly, and wake up safe and sound the next day? My answer is Yes. How about yours? Yes, or this training will be in vain.


Congratulations! I extend you all happy days ahead!


Reckless Driver


On Friday, at about 9:00 o’clock in the morning, June 17, a van with plate number FWN-129 was running so fast towards Kalibo.


It traveled about 65 kilometers per hour along the road in Poblacion, Numancia but it almost collided head on with other vehicles heading for Makato. But disaster was prevented as drivers heading to the western part of Aklan just slowed down and stopped by the roadside to give way to the speedy and reckless driver.


This behavior will justify approval of Aklan SP Resolution No. 2011-144 asking LTO, the police, and DPWH to strictly enforce the law on speed limits of motor vehicles on the road. The resolution is sponsored by Hon. Victor Manuel M. Garcia aim to avoid vehicular accidents. /MP

Cook Clean and Green




Ms. Perla Manapol (center) receiving the Certificate of Appreciation from Ms. Lillian Quimpo-Tirol, Treasurer, and Ms. Erlinda F. Quimpo-Wilson, Executive Dean both of NVC.


The Northwestern Visayan Colleges (NVC), Kalibo, Aklan held its Orientation Program for the school year 2011 – 2012 on Friday, June 17 in the NVC CSQ Gymnasium.


Atty. Plaridel M. Morania, former Aklan SP member and member, NVC Board of Directors welcomed the students, faculty, and staff especially the freshmen students and new faculty members.


As the program denotes, it aimed to orient the new students of NVC of the following: 1. vision, mission, and goals; 2 course offerings; 3. school administration and department heads; 4. school fees, 5. school uniforms; 6. school facilities; and 7. student organizations among others. These were discussed by the college treasurer, Ms. Lilian Quimpo–Tirol.


In his message, Atty. Allen S. Quimpo, NVC president, welcomed both the students, faculty and administrative staff members. Quimpo eloquently explained NVC’s "continuing commitment to the culture of excellence". He urged the students to work and study hard in order to realize the mission and vision of "NVCians on the lead" in all aspects of living, to attain and maintain the culture of excellence.


"In NVC, the youth have the access to quality education where 70 percent of the students population enjoy scholarships. Scholarships from various donors are available at NVC", Quimpo stressed.


Mayon Standard Stove


In another development, NVC faculty members attended a convocation on Thursday morning, June 23 at RSQ Bldg. The convocation discussed the clean and green way of cooking with the use of farm waste like rice hull as fuel.


The topic was presented by Ms. Perla Manapol, a native of Oriental Negros but is a long resident of Colorado, USA. Ms. Manapol described the stove which is highly recommended for use in the barangay. To use the stove, it will reduce the cost of fuel, help mitigate climate change, make the surroundings clean and green and improve the food quality.


To manufacture the stove, one will only spend P800. The stove can be used for about three and one half years. /MP

Palace Orders Cabrera To Explain Alleged Extortion


Executive Secretary Paquito N. Ochoa Jr. on Wednesday, June 15 said that top officials of the Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) have been ordered to explain why they should not face administrative disciplinary proceedings following allegations of extortion.


Ochoa said a show-cause order had been issued on Monday, June 13 against LLDA General Manager Rodrigo Cabrera, Engineering Division Chief Donato Rivera, Jr. and Lake Management Division Head Jacqueline Dabu based on the accusation of fish pen owner, Dr. Charlie Tan that "the three tried to extort money from him".


Tan alleged that Cabrera and two other LLDA officials demanded "P300,000.00 in exchange for the approval of his request to transfer the locations of his fish pens" – a violation of the Anti-Graft and Corruption Practices Act (RA 3019) and the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees (RA 6713).


The three were given five days from receipt of the show cause order to submit their comment to the Office of the Executive Secretary.


The Office of the President exercises jurisdiction over Cabrera, who is a presidential appointee. Rivera and Dabu, while not presidential appointees, are covered by the order "for having allegedly acted in conspiracy" with Cabrera.


Last Friday, June 10, Cabrera took a 60-day leave from office in order to give the Office of the President "a free hand in the conduct of a fair and unprejudiced investigation."


Palace Suspends Wendell Barreras Sulit


Malacañang has formally charged and placed under a 90-day preventive suspension Special Prosecutor Wendell Barreras Sulit for graft and betrayal of public trust in connection with the questionable plea bargain deal she had entered into with retired Maj. Gen. Carlos F. Garcia.


In a two-page formal charge signed by Executive Secretary Paquito N. Ochoa Jr. and issued on Tuesday, Sulit was suspended for three months to ensure that there will be no tampering with evidence and interference in her investigation.


"Pending investigation of said charges, respondent (Sulit) is hereby placed under preventive suspension for a period of 90 days, effective upon receipt of the order considering the seriousness of the charges, the existence of prima facie case against respondent that she is probably guilty as charged which warrants her removal from the service. Respondent’s continuance in the office may pose threat to the safety and integrity of the record and other evidence," the Palace stated in the order.


According to Malacañang, Sulit violated existing rules and jurisprudence when she "knowingly and willfully" entered into a plea bargain deal with Garcia in the latter’s P303-million plunder case pending before the Sandiganbayan.


The Palace alleged that Sulit, together with her deputies, "impaired deliberately the case for the prosecution by ignoring and abandoning evidence favorable to the interest of the government and presenting evidence adverse to its cause."


It also alleged that Sulit failed to discharge her mandated duty of prosecuting erring public officials with utmost responsibility, integrity and professional competence.


Sulit was also accused of causing undue injury to the government and gave unwarranted benefits to Garcia through "manifest partiality, evident bad faith and gross inexcusable negligence."


Malacañang gave Sulit a period of 10 days within which to submit her answer to the formal charge before the Office of the Deputy Executive Secretary for Legal Affairs.


The administrative case against Sulit was an offshoot of an investigation conducted by the House Committee on Justice into the plea bargain agreement between the Office of the Ombuds-man and Garcia.


The House panel


recommended that Sulit be dismissed from the service for culpable violation of the Constitution and betrayal of public trust. /MP

Maintaining Poise and Dignity In the Midst of Poverty and Hunger


The guests at the weekly Kapihan on June 18, 2011 at Smokehauz Resto & Bar discussed the burning issue, "TEPO On Caticlan Reclamation Project." Present are Atty. Ronquillo C. Tolentino, former Vice Governor, Atty. Allen S. Quimpo, former Congressman, Engr. Roger M. Esto, PPDO, and Engr. Victory Fernandez, PEO.


According to Atty. Tolentino, Boracay Foundation Inc. (BFI) petitioned the reclamation project before the Supreme Court which subsequently issued Temporary Environmental Protection Order (TEPO) on June 7, 2011 allegedly based on pure distortion of facts. The provincial government’s area to be developed is only 2.6 hectares and not 40 as alleged by petitioners.


The proposed tourism infra is fully supported by documents like Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) dated June 2, 2011 and Philippine Reclamation Authority on October 10, 2010. Atty. Tolentino is confident that respondent Aklan Provincial Governor will file a motion to lift the TEPO. Under the Rules of Procedure for Environmental Cases, motion to dismiss on TEPO is not allowed.


Atty. Quimpo pointed out that environmental laws governing marine conservation on the reclamation project are fully complied with. He cited the finding of UP Marine Institute that there is no environmental impact with reclamation projects less than 10 hectares. Since the project of 2.6 hectares is relatively small, there is no basis for doubt that the P260 million investments will push through completion. As to TEPO, the province has 10 days to respond to the Supreme Court’s decision.


According to Engr. Fernandez, the project accomplishment as of May 31, 2011 is 65 percent completed with Marina Bay area rising 1.0 meter above sea level. Concrete embankment of 2.3 meters is underway for anchoring of small watercrafts.


Considering the volume of construction materials on the job site for installation, the project may be technically 70 – 75 percent finished. As to the status of fund releases, building contractor was paid 45 percent of the total construction cost in April and 20 percent in the May making a total of 65 percent.


In view of unforeseen circumstances, stoppage on the project during these critical monsoon season and frequent storms, the integrity of the foundation and support structures maybe jeopardized. "We just hope and pray nothing catastrophic would happen" said Engr. Fernandez.


Engr. Esto clarified that in as far as he is concerned, "all legal papers and technical reports were fully complied with by the Aklan Provincial government. What appears to be plausible reason for BFI to file a continuing writ of mandamus and petition to the Supreme Court to issue a TEPO is that the government is seen as taking an active role in business and directly competing with them (BFI). This is patently absurd since under RA 7160 or Local Government Code, this is encouraged."


The Jetty Port project is issued ECC by DENR in 1997 and another one in April 27, 2010 for Jetty Port expansion involving 2.6 hectares. The rationale of development effort is to anticipate the influx of tourists to Aklan rising from 0.8 million to one million by 2012. Tourism receipts in 2010 show that Boracay got P14.3 billion boosting national economy.


The side of the Aklan Provincial government was well presented in the Kapehan since speakers are allied with the present Administration. The anti reclamation was absent to present its side. Unfortunately, BFI under the presidency of Ms. Loubelle Cann cannot address present issues and concern. (BFI is lukewarm connecting with Aklan press in Kalibo. – Ed)


However, Boracay Sun, a monthly tabloid dated June 2011 published Sophia Deduce’s article entitled, "SC Asked to Stop P1 billion Boracay Reclamation Project". There are three issues that formed the basis for issuance of TEPO by Supreme Court: First, the Provincial government failed to secure necessary Comprehensive Environmental Impact Assessment, Programmatice Environmental Project Statement (PEPS) and Programmatic Environment Report and Management Plan (PERMP) before it was issued ECC by DENR;


Second, respondent failed to conduct public consultation with stake-holders, local government units and NGO’s on proposed project; and


Third, Boracay has been declared environmentally critical area by DENR since 1981.
Engr. Esto argued that securing Comprehensive Environmental Impact Assessment (which took a minimum of three years to undertake) prior to issuance of ECC is no longer necessary according to DENR since the project is less than 10 hectares. Likewise, the need to secure LGU Malay’s endorsement is no longer needed based on revised guideline issued by DILG since it is a public works project.


It is untrue that public consultations were not held. We conducted consultative talks in Boracay and Caticlan involving stakeholders and public officials. As to the third issues, the on-going project is in Caticlan, not Boracay as alleged in the 35 page BFI petition.


Undoubtedly, Aklanons are waiting for the decision of the High Tribunal on this controversy. Meanwhile, let us hope for the best, maintain poise, dignity and sobriety in the face of even much bitter trials like raging poverty and hunger. Actually, TEPO is mild and passing phenomenon. /MP

DAR Distributed CLOA To 468 Aklan Farmers


The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Aklan marked its 23nd year CARP anniversary and the 3nd year of CARPER (Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program Extension with Reforms) with the theme, "Agraryo, Agrikultura at Kalikasan, Convergence Towards Sustainable Rural Development".


The highlight of activities started on June 13 with streamer hanging among CARP implementing agencies, Harvest Festival of High Value vegetables under the ARISP II project in Buruanga; June 21, participation to the launching of the National Greening program in tandem with DENR, local governments and other stakeholders; June 23-27 – participation to the Agraryo Trade Fair at SM Megamall.


In Madalag, Aklan in coordination with the LGU-Madalag CLOA will be distributed to 163 farmers covering 206 hectares of land on June 29. On July 1, mid year assessment at DAR Regional Office will be held; and CLOA distribution at the Governor Cabagnot Training Center Kalibo on July 5. On July 9, DAR Aklan joins Kapihan sa Kalibo through Aklan Press Club, Inc. and Aklan Media Forum.


A total of 468 agrarian reform beneficiaries will receive their Certificate of Land Ownership Award (CLOA) on July 5 from Governor Carlito S. Marquez, and the Mayors from the towns of Libacao, Madalag, Ibajay, Malinao and Balete as follows: 33 farmers from Libacao covering 47 hectares; 138 farmers from Ibajay covering 69 hectares; and 80 farmers from Malinao for the 207 hectares.


The CLOA distribution will include orientation on the salient features of RA 6657 as Amended by RA 9700 to be handled by DAR Aklan PAROII Eberardo Erispe and the duties and responsibilities’ of the Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries will be discussed by PAROI Ronilo Ropa. Discussions on real property taxation and the issuance of Tax Declaration will be handled by Municipal Assessor Ramil Martinez for Madalag on June 27 and Provincial Assessor Kokoy Soguilon on July 5 respectively. /MP

Reason & Concern


by Ronquillo C. Tolentino


SC Issues Tepo On Boracay Reclamation


By the time this week is over, respondents, in the Caticlan reclamation issue may have had made their comments to the Supreme Court temporary environment protection order (Tepo) issued on June 7, 2011.


Respondents Aklan Provincial Government, the Philippine Reclamation Authority and the Department of Environ-ment and Natural Resources Environment Management Bureau, would verily comment that the Boracay Foundation, Inc. (BFI) petition on the Caticlan reclamation had been taken out of context as the reclamation project is only for 2.6 hectares of Caticlan. No more, no less.


Early on June 2, 2011, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources issued a press release stressing that the reclamation project covered in an Environ-mental Compliance Certificate (ECC) issued included only 2.6 hectares on the Caticlan side, but not the bigger portion of the project of 37 hectares, which includes the Boracay side. This press release came immediately after BFI filed a continuing writ of mandamus and petitioned the high court to issue a Tepo against the reclamation project. The Philippine Reclamation Authority (PRA) approved the reclamation project in April 2010. The PRA and the provincial government of Aklan entered into a memorandum of agreement in May 2010 and subsequently a notice to proceed was issued in October 2010. 


Probably, respondents shall file a motion to lift Tepo. A motion to dismiss is not allowed under the Rules of Procedure for Environmental Cases.


With the high court Tepo on the reclamation issue, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) findings on Boracay erosions had been the talk of some environmentalists and Boracay observers lately albeit the findings are of 2009 vintage.
 

I remember the March 19, 2009 Kristine Servando’s Newsbreak/abs-cbn NEWS.com commentary headline Boracay threatened by erosions. Servando quoted Dr. Miguel Fortes, head of the UNESCO’s National Committee on Marine Science (NCMS) who said : "The island is dying a slow death at the moment. That is erosion. It is like the sea is eating up the beach. If it continues unabated, maybe the island will be submerged, or the white sand is gone or reduced… the signs are there. Even for now, even if it’s isolated but obvious, give it time where nothing substantial will be done, they will lose their sand."


Fortes, according to Servando’s commentary, explained that erosion is occurring too rapidly, not because of over-crowding, but mainly because resorts and locals have built "environmentally unfriendly" structures like sea walls, which have blocked the natural flow of the current that naturally replenishes the beach. Fortes stressed that sand should only move in and out of the shore, in and out, and it does not move to other islands. They have modified (natural processes) by constructing something, water and air are hindered, changing move pattern, on the coast so that erosion becomes more dominant, Fortes said.


Fortes noted the erosion happening at Diniwid, described in the Servando’s commentary as a 280-meter long stretch of beach in the southern part of Boracay island, known for its powdery white sand.


Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) - Boracay Vice President Peter Brugger who had sought the intervention of the Department of Tourism and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources made an account as quoted in the Servando commentary "that many establishments in the northern part of Diniwid beach violated building laws and ordinances inclusive of no building or business permits, building permanent structures on main reserves or no build zones and the set back from the tide mark."


Servando’s lead sentence in her commentary is also an appropriate concluding sentence, thus: "Imagining Boracay Island in Aklan without its pristine white sands is like imagining an oasis without water." /MP

Sugilanon Ni Tita Linda


Ni Tita Linda Belayro


Prinsesa Zoraya


May isaeang ka datu nga may tatlo ka unga nga pulos eaeaki. Sa kada unga, guin patugma nana sa Babaylan ro suwerte nanda. Suno sa tugma, puro abusador ro mga unga ag puro sakit it ueo ro dueot sa datu.


Ko olihi, naka unga imaw it babaye. Sa kinaandan, guin tugma ko babaylan nga imaw ro maga pamuno sa andang kaharian. Natawo imaw nga may haboe agod matago sa tanan ro prinsesa. Guin daea imaw sa isaeang ka isla agod idto imaw maga bahoe ag malikaw sa anang mga magueang nga pulos eaeaki nga maeain it pamatasan. Tongod sa kahidlaw sa anang onga, nagmasakit ro reyna hasta namatay.


Nag asawa it uman ro datu sa isaeang ka mapintas ag maluho nga babaye. Nag unga sanda it eaeaki ag buot nana nga imaw ro maga hari sa kaharian. Tongod kara, owa nana guina pa iba ro anang onga sa ibang onga it datu.


Sige ro pag ilinaway ko mga datu ag napierde si Datu Tarik. Guin buslan imaw it bag-o nga datu. Guin preso imaw sa idaeum ko anang palasyo. Nangin olipon ro anang asawa ag mga onga. May handum guihapon ro reyna, busa, naki alyansa imaw sa bag-ong datu. Nag panaw imaw sakay sa isaeang ka Vinta.


Idto imaw napad-pad sa isla ni Prinsesa Zoraya. Kilaea imaw ko prinsesa ogaling owa nana hakilaea ro Prinsesa. Nagpa olipon kana ro prinsesa agod makatipon it balita hanungod sa anang ama. Pagkasayod ko prinsesa nga guin preso ro anang ama, nagpanaw imaw eagi-eagi ko gabii ngaron sakay sa anang Vinta.


Pag abot nana sa palasyo, owa imaw makilaea tongod guin putoe nana ro anang buhok nga matsa eaeaking hangaway. Bato-bato nana nga naeopig ro mga guwardiya. Anad nga anad imaw sa pagbuyot it iba-ibang armas nga guin turo kana ko anang amigong magueang sa isla.


Nagsueod imaw sa presuhan ko anang ama. Nalipay ro anang ama sa pagkita nanda. Kat matawhay eon ro tanan, guin balik nana ro anang ama sa trono. Pagkasayod ko pangaywang asawa it datu, nag uli imaw ag nangayo it patawad sa prinsesa. Nag kasugot ro tanan nga magueang nga kon mamatay ro datu, si Prinsesa Zoraya ro maboeos sa trono. Nangin malinong ro pagdumaea it datu ag nag umwad ro andang lugar. Sa pagtaliwan it datu, nangin maeomo ro pagsalin sa korona kay Prinsesa Zoraya. Natuman eon man ro tugma (panghimaead) it Babaylan.


Paagi sa bato, may gahum si Pedrito kontra sa mga maeain nga espiritu. Abo ro anang habuligan eabi guid ro mga guina pigos. Nagtuon imaw it pagka maestro ag anang guin tun-an ro mga ulihing tubo it mga mayad nga pamatasan, paghanas ko andang mga abilidad ag kon ano ro pagserbisyo sa banwa. Nangin ma umwad ro lugar nanday Pedrito.


Isaeang ka huwaran nga komyunidad ag malinong nga naga kabuhi ro tanan. Hasta hapan-uhan ko mga punuan it siyudad, guina pangayaw ro andang lugar. Guin kaayad nanda ro eungib nga nangin daeayunan it mga turista tongod isaeang ka makasaysayan nga lugar.


Natuman ro tugma ko Babaylan. Si Pedrito ro reinkarnasyon ni Salim. Imaw ro naga hupot ko bato nga may gahum sa pagpabaylo ko pagdumaeahan ni Datu Doeogdog. /MP

Camarines Sur Mediaman Shoot To Death


Romeo Olea, 49, a commentator of DWEB-FM a local radio station in Nabua, Camarines Sur was shot twice in the back by two gunmen on a motorcycle while on his way to the station last June 13.


Following the killing, Senator Francis ‘Chiz’ Escudero was prompted to condemn the death of another mediaman in Camarines Sur. He enjoined the local police to get the suspects of this recent crime against journalists.


Escudero said the government should exhaust all means to put a stop to this crime against journalists who have been reporting public anomalies to the people. Undeniably, journalists help the Aquino government’s fight against corruption.


"Journalists, like Romeo, help in our fight against corruption not only in government as well as in our community. The government should exhaust all means to find the perpetrators and have them prosecuted," he added.
 

Escudero also asked the local police to investigate every possible motive in the killing of Olea and not just stop on recent reports that members of the New People’s Army were the ones behind the murder.


The latest crime against a journalist, likewise, Escudero said doesn’t help the image of the country as one of the world’s most dangerous place for mediamen.


"This latest killing goes to show that even under the current administration the country remains to be a dangerous place for journalists to live and work. Now that we have a new government with new people at the helm, I urge our concerned authorities to maximize the use of our existing institutions to work against these crimes.’
 

As of March 2011, 98 journalists had been killed in the Philippines since 2000 because of their work including at least 33 in the Ampatuan massacre of November 2009, according to the International Press Institute. /MP

NACPHIL Promotes Good Governance


The National Auxiliary Chaplaincy Philippines (NACPHIL) R/6, Inc., an NGO promoting Good Governance with LGU, PNP and other parties concerned with its Vision; "A Godly Filipino Society with Good Governance," NACPHIL’s Mission is "To promote nation-building with good governance, produce righteous leadership through the deployment of chaplains among LGUs that will unite all the proponents of the mandate on Values Formation and Moral Recovery under the spirit of cooperation and working together.


NACPHIL partnership with LGU (R.A. 7160)-supports all the good programs of Mayor Quezon F. Labindao like the ongoing weekly feeding program for malnourished children (6 months-12 years old) one barangay at a time (support from SB Members & VM Allan Dagohoy & PNP Buruanga), voluntary cleaning of Barangay Alegria front beach with PB Janelyn Gatunggay & Council, attending municipal employees Monday flag ceremony, conducting once a week VALUES HOUR to PNP Personnel with PINSP Alfonso N. Manoba, Jr., posting of chaplains to their assigned barangay to conduct Moral Recovery & Values Formation Session to barangay officials, monthly updating the Liga ng mga Barangay and Office of the Sangguniang Bayan, weekly holding our Meeting, Upgrading & Training and Basic Chaplaincy Course every Saturday in Tindan’s residence in Poblacion, Buruanga.


Presently, there are 17 active Auxiliary Chaplains plus 3 Junior Chaplains who help for a Better Buruanga in voluntary basis, headed by their Municipal Chairman who is also the General Secretary for NACPHIL Visayas Chaplain Jee Ann B. Bolina-Resource Speaker of DSWD Gender & Development (GAD) to 4Ps recipients in 15 barangays, a Capiceña by blood but Buruanganon by heart. /MP

Friday, June 17, 2011

EDITORIAL


US To Help If Spratly Row Worsens


Sen. Chiz Escudero cautioned Malacanang against invoking the US-Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT) in the territorial dispute with the Beijing government without carefully studying its provisions in the light of a statement by a Palace aide who said last week that Washington will help the country should the row over the Spratly Islands worsens.


The Philippines has been engaged in a word-war with Chinese officials for the past months over several confrontations with Filipinos in the potentially oil-rich group of islands, which is also being claimed in part by Brunei, Malaysia, Vietnam and Taiwan.
"I urge Palace officials to carefully review the MDT and read through its fine prints and get confirmations from the US government through its ambassador if indeed this situation is covered or what the limitations there may be to the application of the MDT from the point of view of the US government," Escudero suggested.


He bats for pursuing and exhausting all diplomatic remedies in the contested islands, also urged Malacanang to assign the Department of Foreign Affairs as the lead agency in discussing this in public "instead of the Palace through its spokesperson in order to avoid any faux pas on our part."


"Any issue or conflict must be resolved through peaceful and diplomatic avenues as stipulated in the ASEAN Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Seas," the senator pointed out.


According to Armed Forces Chief of Staff Gen. Eduardo Oban Jr., the military is careful not to provoke open hostilities in the Spratlys but is keeping an "active defense posture." Oban admitted though in another statement that the country can do little if China resorted to force to lay its claim on the territory and remained "hopeful that the Americans will not stand aside should the conflict erupts and that they can invoke the MDT with the US." US Ambassador Harry Thomas, while calling for the full implementation of the 2002 Declaration of Conduct between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, however, appealed in Iloilo City for calm and said that Washington takes no side on this issue as stated by US President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.


Escudero said that while the country is very well within its rights to protect and defend its territories when bullied, the government should exercise caution in resorting to other measures other than diplomacy.


The Philippine navy reported it had removed foreign markers installed on three reefs and banks in disputed areas of the West Philippine Sea. The wooden posts were removed in May just before the Philippines protested alleged incursions of the Chinese navy in Philippines territorial waters. Lt. Col. Omar Tonsoy reported.


Even Manila has accused Beijing of putting posts and a buoy in Philippines claimed waters, the Philippine Navy has not determine who placed the wooden posts. The markers were all posted on Iroquois Bank, Recto Bank and Boxall Reef, all on the West Philippine Sea.


The Philippines also accused China of undermining peace and stability in Asia by sending naval vessels near the Recto Bank to allegedly intimidate rival claimants, install posts and buoy. The Chinese Navy also allegedly open fired on Filipino Fishermen and intimidated a Philippine oil exploration ship.


But the Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hong Lei announced, Beijing does not intend to employ force in the Spratly controversy.


Palace spokesperson Edwin Lacierda emphasized both on the part of China and the Philippines the need for diplomacy and a peaceful solution to the Spratly dispute.
China today will use diplomacy but in the future may change her policy from diplomacy to the use of force. The Philippines must arm herself /MP

Entrepreneurial Farmer


Ambrosio R. Villorente


Yap, A Mayor With Guts


Mayor John Yap of Malay, Aklan deserves long and loud applause for his action to close the West Cove resort in Boracay, Malay, Aklan. Mayor Yap issued his "Closure Order" on the basis of several violations West Cove has not complied with since building construction started a few years ago until completion and had been opened to guests.


According to Mayor Yap, West Cove is operating without business permit, no building permit and other requirements necessary to do business in his municipality like hotel and restaurant operation.


The closure order of Mayor Yap directed the owners of West Cove to immediately stop its business operations, close the establishment, and comply with the laws, ordinance, rules and regulations before re-opening West Cove. If not, demolish the structure.


But the man standing as owner of West Cove, Crisostomo Aquino alias Cris is strongly defying the Malay Mayor’s closure order. Until today, business is as usual in West Cove.


Is this man Cris a stone wall, so strong to defy a legal order? If he cannot obey a legal order from a duly elected official, then he is disobeying all the people of Malay who elected John Yap, Mayor.


"It is enough for good people to do nothing, for evil people to succeed", said Jose Rizal. Let the people of Malay support Mayor Yap on his crusade to do justice to every man. Let all Aklanons support Mayor Yap implement the laws, ordinances, rules, and regulations without fear and favor. He has started at West Cove, let us accompany him until all illegal businesses in Malay are wiped out.


Mayor Yap has the guts, all the balls, and strong political will. Congratulations Mayor Yap. Please continue your walk on the "Daang Matuwid".


Numancia Re-enacts Its 2010 Budget


In view of its inability to approve its Municipal Budget for 2011, the Numancia LGU is operating on its 2010 budget. This means stand still. Numancia cannot move on but operates as if it is still 2010. This is one year set back. For the personnel, there will be no promotion, no additional compensation.


Numancia cannot even start working on any development project this 2011. The officers and personnel can only perform the routine jobs like tax collection and issuance of permits.


What is happening in Numancia is a great challenge to the leadership, a strong challenge to Mayor Adolfo Iligan’s leadership.


But he cannot get the cooperation of his SB to approve the budget. In management, the budget is an instrument of "Control". Do the Numancia SB members control the
executive officials?


In a communication received via the "grape-vine", Mayor Iligan is a weak Mayor, to the point that some of his functions are exercised by "little Mayors".


Certainly, Mayor Iligan does not agree on this imputation. But if Atty. Iligan is the Mayor of Numancia who leads, why can he not get the compliance of at least the majority of the SB members to approve the budget?


Is there a "cog on the wheel" that hinders smooth travel?


One cog mentioned is the Budget Officer’s designation as Acting Municipal Social Welfare Officer which is said to have a "conflict of interest". Is there no conflict of interest if a personnel does the budgeting and himself disburse the fund for his social welfare project?


If yes, by all means allow him to continue holding dual positions. If no, by all means assign the function to another personnel.


But why give more work to a person when there are other personnel who can equally do the job or even do better?


This column wishes, as Plato said, "through obedience, learn to command". It is my wish to both the executive and the legislative officials to learn to obey and to command.


I wish Mayor Adolfo Iligan exercises his leadership, knows his way, shows the way, and goes the way: "daang matuwid". /MP

Kalibo Food Festival A Gastronomic Experience

by ERNESTO T. SOLIDUM



Guest resource persons shown (l to r) are Ramon Quimpo, Jr., Gerwin L. Garcia, Teodorico T. Salas, and Edwin Ramos - moderator.


Kalibo’s celebration of its patronal Saint John the Baptist is fixed every June 24th. This year, the Kalibo Ati-Atihan Tourism Council (KATC), holding to tradition for the past 16 years, will sponsor a 6-day food festival. At the weekly Kapihan on June 11 held at Smokehauz Resto & Bar, Teodorico T. Salas, Chairman, KATC, Gerwin L. Garcia, Auditor, and Ramon Quimpo, Jr. – PRO discussed the advantages of the Food Festival.



Atty. Ronquillo C. Tolentino said that religious significance is very evident in the way the celebration is held such as thanksgiving mass, prayer and merrymaking splash or plunge into the river. St. John, the son of Zacharias and Elizabeth was the forerunner of Jesus Christ and baptized people in the river Jordan.


Quimpo disclosed the theme of celebration which is, "Kalibo Food Festival Goes Green", an advocacy targeting environmental awareness and protection. Food festival runs from June 18-23 at Magsaysay Park offering delectable native and foreign cuisine for various customers. Night life will be perked up with non stop live band concert notably Brownman Revival, a talented group of performers from Manila. Local bands from Iloilo, Capiz, and Boracay will complement and cater to young audience. Show starts at 5:00 pm until 1:00 am. Kalibo PNP will provide full security detail and assistance.


Salas said that on opening day June 18, mass will be offered at Kalibo Cathedral followed by a motorcade in the afternoon. An evening opening program and concert will feature the Brownman Revival band. A modest entrance fee of P100 per customer is charged to cover the cost of contracting the entertainers. Experience from past events tell half of the patrons came from nearby provinces and tourists from Boracay.


The food festival is geared to promote and develop the tourism industry not only of Kalibo but also Aklan says Garcia. For the same event in the past, KATC was adjudged the best performing Tourism Council for several years by Department of Tourism (DOT), Region 6. He mentioned that farm and garden planting materials can be procured from displays of ornamental plants and fruit trees seedlings.


KATC, an NGO registered with SEC and accredited by DOT is performing excellently in promoting tourism in coordination with other NGOs and GOs. However, KATC is required to pay taxes in the amount of P3,745. Special tax on income receipts of hotels and lodging houses for the duration of the event removes any incentive because hoteliers pay business taxes on yearly basis.


This is frivolous and non-sensical. Since its members are businessmen and hoteliers will the LGU levy taxes? KATC is composed of businessmen who are partners in development and to engage in this challenging and strenuous activity may not be commensurate with cherished goals. Is our action only driven by love of money? There is a need for the Committee on Tourism headed by Hon. Mark Sy to look into the facts and make restitution.


Food festivals include binakol, inubaran, papait, and kaldereta are favorites of food gourmets. Preparation by booth owners are meant to tickle the palate and pocket of connoisseurs. It comes with a price though since convivial atmosphere at the park is perked up by music, hip hop dancing, drinks, color and camaraderie. Dining out for the whole family is encouraged in clean, entertaining, and healthy ambiance. Minors must not be served alcoholic beverages, smoking ban and anti-littering strictly enforced. Take home counters in line with the theme will make use of biodegradable materials.


Tourism is a big dollar earner drawing domestic and foreign visitors to our shores. Holding food festivals is one effective tool to develop our cultural identity as a people hence the need for total cooperation and commitment. KATC is paving the way since it is viable, non partisan, non-sectarian, and service-oriented. To its officers and members, we wish you more power and success. /MP

Aklan SP Conducts Hearing On Women and Child Abuses


A proposed provincial ordinance, Hon. Phoebe Clarice L. Cabagnot filed with the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Aklan requires all private and public schools in the province of Aklan to include in their Social Studies, Civic and Culture classes in elementary and secondary levels as provided for in R. A. 7610 and 9262 to ensure children’s and women’s awareness of their basic rights.


A public hearing on the proposed provincial ordinance was held on June 7. The public hearing was a lively interaction among the SP members on one hand and the participating stakeholders such as public and private school heads, PTA officers, government agencies representatives and NGO’s on the other.


R.A. 7610 provides strong deterrence and special protection against child abuse, exploitation and discrimination, providing penalties for its violation, and for other purposes.


Republic Act No. 9262 of 2004 or the Anti-Violence Against Women and their Children provides protection for abused women and their children against their partners or former male partners or those with whom they had or are having a dating relationship.


"Child abuse has reached primetime television shows with the recent case of child abuse allegedly committed on the Willing Willie show prompting the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board to suspend the airing of the show", Cabagnot pointed out.


Integrating these subjects in the basic school curriculum will increase awareness of children and women of their basic rights, decrease and eventually eliminate the incidence of child abuse and violence against women cases in the province," Cabagnot stressed.


"Educators play a very significant role and this will further enhance their roles in preventing and mitigating child abuses and violence against women cases aside from enforcing Section 4 of the Implementing Rules and regulations of the Anti-Child Abuse Law (RA7610) that states "school personnel (including teachers, school nurses, counsellors, adminis-trators and child care personnel) are required to report suspected incident of abuse," Cabagnot added.


Stakeholders present recommended during the public hearing that the proposed ordinance: must prescribe the inclusion in the teaching modules not only relevant information provided for in RA 7610 and RA 9262 but other national laws and local ordinances (Children’s Code and GAD Code) designed for the protection of and advocacies on women’s and children’s right; a budget must be incorporated in the ordinance chargeable against Provincial fund such as the 5 percent GAD Fund or the Provincial School Board Fund; implementation strategy must also be integrated as an inter-agency scheme among DepEd, PSWD, and GAD Council.


SP members who led the public hearing are: Hon. Rodson F. Mayor, Hon. Victor Manuel M. Garcia, Hon. Phoebe Clarice L. Cabagnot, Hon. Daisy S. Briones, Hon. Jean O. Rodriguez, and Hon. Raymar A. Rebaldo. /MP

Laua-an Progressive Muscovado Sugar Industry


by James Earl E. Ogatis


Traditional practices in sugarcane farming brought a competitive advantage in favor of the Laua-an sugarcane farmers to produce a much demanded muscovado sugar in the market.


Muscovado sugar as a one-town-one-product (OTOP) of the municipality of Laua-an, Antique is usually produced without much farm inputs.


According to Mr. Alfonsito Sorilla, Laua-an municipal agricultural officer, sugarcane farmers follow conventional farming technologies and not the new production technologies because of limited capitalization, small land holdings and the absence of irrigation system.


"We have 413 sugarcane farmers tilling around 400 hectares sugarcane farms, and the average landholding is 7,500 square meters per farmer. Most of these farmers rely on muscovado mill owners for financing of their farms," said Mr. Sorilla.


It is notable also that Laua-an sugarcane farmers use one variety, the Alunan or La Carlota variety. This variety is proven to be well adopted in the municipality. It is drought resistant, has good regeneration and produces more suckers.

Edgar Noble, one of the pioneers of the Antique Muscovado Industry Council (AMIC) said that he is ratooning his three hectare sugarcane farm for almost ten years now.
"Ratooning is one practice the sugarcane farmers employ to reduce farm inputs on the succeeding years thereby producing the same or higher production." Noble related.


He stressed that following proper fertilization schedule, applying lime, elimination of vines or aeration, and allowing farm waste to decompose increase his produce from 40 pikos to 60 pikos per hectare. But this production is much lower than the national average of 80 pikos per hectare.


Laua-an has 107 muscovado sugarcane mills but only 98 are operational. The seven mills are upgraded, complied with the hazap practices and accredited by AMIC. These mills are enclosed with a fence and use stainless utensils.


Some sugarcane mills affect quality and quantity of muscovado production of Laua-an. The conventional crushing method of some mills is poor and individual outputs are different in quality, color and texture.

Despite of these constraints, the municipality of Laua-an produces quality muscovado sugar for the entire province of Antique. Sugar produced even penetrates the markets of Iloilo, Capiz, and Aklan specifically the Boracay hotels and restaurants.
Pahinis Festival
 

Their effort to sustain and improve the muscovado sugar pro-duction is stipulated in their annual celebration of Pahinis Festival. Pahinis is a Kinaray-a word which indicates the onset of the milling season. It is the general cleaning of all sugar mills from the surroundings, utensils, machines and carts.
 

This festival also showcases muscovado products such as kakanin, medicine and other confectioneries. Promotion of muscovado as health food, processed naturally, and free from chemicals.
 

The inclusion of Laua-an as one of the five central towns identified for the Antique convergence area of the DA, DAR and DENR signals better future for the muscovado farmers. Problems on production technology, irrigation, postharvest, packaging and marketing will be addressed soonest, the farmers wish. /MP

Ban Burning of Agricultural Wastes


The Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) is strongly urging local government units (LGUs) to craft and implement ordinance that prohibits the burning of agricultural wastes.


Immaculate Juntarciego, chief of the Solid Waste Management Section of the EMB, said that the burning of agricultural wastes does not only emit carbon dioxide which is hazardous to health but may also contain residue of pesticides and herbicides.


Currently, she mentioned that there are only a limited number of LGUs that have responded to the call which is understandable because the proposal is just new.


The province of Negros Occcidental nonetheless, she said, is way ahead because former Gov. Joseph Marañon already banned the conduct of such activity.


Instead of burning agricultural wastes, Hontarciego said farmers may set up a composting area to allow the wastes to decompose and later be used as organic fertilizer.


In the province of Aklan, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan has already approved a Provincial Ordinance prohibiting the burning of rice straw and other agricultural wastes. However, this ordinance is neither implemented nor followed by the farmer. According to studies conducted by the Bureau of Soils and Water Management, rice straw decompost is equivalent to two bags commercial fertilizer. /MP

Shouting, Slapping Incident Turns Into Grisly Murder


by ALEX P. Vidal


Were soldiers drunk when they butchered Gen. Luna?


LAKE FOREST, California — If this crime happened recently, today’s more liberated and technologically literate Filipinos would have raged and wept endlessly by its sheer brutality; Youtube and Facebook would have recorded the ugly episode for all the universe to see — and denounce.


He was ganged up and butchered like a pig. Shot repeatedly by a group of rank-and-file Filipino soliders and hacked with a bolo until his intestines came out in front of horrified civilians in a public plaza in the Philippines.


This was how historians narrated the terrible execution of General Antonio Luna by soldiers equivalent today to the Presidential Security Group (PSG) on June 5, 1899, a week before the June 12 first anniversary of the Declaration of Independence.


Perhaps the greatest general and one of the most brilliant patriots to ever serve the Philippine revolution, Luna’s horrible murder from die hards of President Emilio Aguinaldo, became a blot in Philippine history as it gave credence to the French Revolution’s famous dictum that "Revolution devours its own children."

 
TELEGRAM

At 32, Luna, an Ilocano, was five years older than 28-year-old President Aguinaldo, of Kawit, Cavite, when the president’s men known as "Kawit soldiers", extirpated him.


Luna, director of war and overall Central Luzon commander, was supposed to meet President Aguinaldo who established his headquarters in Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija, after receiving a telegram, purportedly signed by President Aguinaldo, ordering him to proceed to Cabanatuan from Bayambang, Pangasinan.


Until today, nobody has confirmed that the telegram was about a "Cabinet revamp" and President Aguinaldo supposedly was to appoint Luna premier or chief of the Cabinet. Was it a trap?


It was widely known then that Luna and Foreign Affairs Secretary Felipe Buencamino were at loggerheads after Luna arrested and jailed Buencamino and incum-bent Premier Pedro Paterno for negotiating with the Americans for peace and autonomy calling them traitors and cowards.


President Aguinaldo, however, sided with the two high-ranking Cabinet officials and released them.


RECORDS
 

Many historians have diligently ferreted out conflicting and different records and accounts from various sources in the Philippines and abroad, but Manuel Martinez, a 1971 Constitutional Convention delegate, pointed to the University of the Philippines Dean Vivencio Jose as having presented "the most finished and the most careful account, which appears to be fair at all" in Jose’s book, "The Rise and Fall of Antonio Luna."


Here’s Jose’s account, according to Martinez in his book, "Assassinations and Conspiracies":


Luna entered the convent door (leaving his two companions outside). The guard, upon seeing him, got so unnerved that he did not know what to do. Luna, apparently peeved, turned to him and asked whether he knew what he was doing. The soldier got more bewildered and was unable to answer. Luna, vexed at this unexpected reaction from a soldier, slapped him on the face.


Not far off, Luna saw another soldier, an officer, whom he remembered was disarmed at Kalumpit. "Don’t you remember that I disarmed you because of your cowardice?"


The officer, Captain Pedro Janolino, could not answer. He stood there, stiffly, before Luna who was now beside himself with anger. "And you still have the courage to face me?" Luna asked, adding, "Who reinstated you?"


"The officers up there were the ones, sir, who did."


"Well," Luna said, "I will settle you all presently."


Then he hurriedly proceeded upstairs. Up there in the convent, whom should he see but the autonomist whom he hated very much, Felipe Buencamino, now obviously free. To add more to his consternation, Luna learned further that President Aguinaldo had earlier left and was on the way to Tarlac, apparently not complying with the appointment.


"Why didn’t they tell me that they were going away?" Luna said, further angered...In a moment at all, hot words were exchanged between him and Buencamino. And soon they were quarreling while below the presidential guards kept coming and going, whispering tensely among themselves.


RIFLE SHOT
 

Then, as if in preconcerted signal, a rifle shot tore through the blazing afternoon. Hearing the gun report, Luna disengaged from his verbal duel with Buencamino. He went hurriedly rushing down the stairs, where he met Janolino and some soldiers.


Luna shouted, "Who among you fired? Now I am more convinced than ever that you don’t know how to handle a gun." Luna was indeed seething with uncontrollable rage. Janolino, thinking that Luna would attack him, whipped out his bolo and hacked the general, hitting him on the temple above the ear.


The Kawit soldiers then joined the fray, firing and stabbing at the hapless general. In spite of his wounds, the surprised Luna managed to pull out his revolver and, withdrawing to the streets, tried to press the trigger. Pain and loss of blood were slowly blurring his vision and he missed when he fired.


Luna’s two staff officers, who waited outside, Col. Francisco Roman and Captain Eduardo Rusca, ran to help their boss, whom they saw "staggering towards them, chased and attacked by the Kawit soldiers."


"The presidential guards fired repeatedly also at Roman who was hit, fatally. Rusca sustained a wound on the leg and fell on his knees, and while crawling got hit again and fell unconscious, and survived to tell his story," narrated Martinez.


"While Janolino and his companions were butchering Luna with a mixed brew of bullets and blades, many other soldiers were ready behind concrete walls. Luna now reached the plaza, his fist clenched, trying to return the fire of his assassins as copious blood gushed out from his many wounds. 

INTESTINES

"A bit later it was seen that his intestines were already out. He suffered at least 40 wounds. Each of some 30 of the wounds was said to be fatal. The horror of it all. Never in the course of human assassination was so much wrought by so many on one fellow."


Luna, in one last great effort, showed the will to fight...to the bitter end, as he muttered audibly, bravely, "Co...wards! Assa...ssins!" Then, strength leaving his body and will weakened to its last gasp of life, Luna slumped to the ground, face upward, his fist still clinched, as if challenging his murderers, his teeth gritting in rage.


Before expiring, he instinctively turned on his right side. So great must have been the soldiers’ fear of Luna that, when they thought that he would stand up in the last grasp of his breath, those in the front line hastily stepped backward pushing those behind them who fell down!


For one hour, Luna’s badly mangled body laid unattended at the center of the plaza.
For no apparent reason, the soldiers reportedly returned and started hacking Luna’s body again "in sadistic glee."


"Some took off the uniform and among themselves divided the loot of money and jewels. After this dastardly act, they wrapped the body in an old and tattered mat and brought it to the ruined church...There, when darkness crept and settled down the earth, only the bats and other night birds remained the (two) dead men’s sole companions," Jose added.


"Luna and Roman were buried the next morning with honors, with brass band and funeral march, attended by Gregorio Aglipay, and officials of the government led by Luna’s foe, Buencamino.


The soldiers who had committed the deed were presumably there. Even if they were identified, they were not accosted or arrested or investigated. The place may have been occupied almost wholly by anti-Luna partisans."
 

BRILLIANT
 

The demise of Luna, the most brilliant and capable of the Filipino generals, was a decisive factor in the fight against the American forces. Even the Americans developed an astonished admiration for him. One of them, General Hughes, said of his death, probably relishing the irony, "The Filipinos had only one general, and they have killed him."


Subsequently, President Aguinaldo suffered successive, disastrous losses in the field, retreating towards northern Luzon. In less than two years, he was captured in Palanan, Isabela by American forces, led by General Frederick Funston and their Kapampangan allies, the Macabebe mercenaries. President Aguinaldo was later brought to Manila, and made to pledge allegiance to the United States.


They may have destroyed Luna, a first-rate polemicist and publisher of La Independencia, but they did not defeat him as history became kind to him. /MP

Sugilanon Ni Tita Linda


Ni Tita Linda Belayro


Baganihan Sa Akong Kabuhi


Kada isaea katon hay may guina idolo. Sanda ro makabig naton nga baganihan sa atong kabuhi. Mahimo nga isaeang ka manugturo, amigo, artista o kon sin-o man nga makahimo it tumaeagsahon ag indi malipatan nga binohatan katon agud mag madinaeag-on sa pag pangabuhi.


Si Lina hay naga kabuhi kaibahan ko anang tatay. Umpisa nga guin aywan sanda ko anang ina nga nagmunot sa ibang eaeaki, si Tony ro nangin tatay ag nanay ni Lina. Kada abot ni Tony sa andang baeay halin sa pagpasada it tricycle, may guina uli imaw nga siopao o pansit o ano mang makuyam-kuyam kay Lina. Maskin naga tu-on si Lina, imaw ro naga digamo sa andang pamaeay. Kada pag abot ko anang ama hay haum eon ro tubi nga mainit, tsinelas, tuwalya ag anang ilislan. Abo ro naga sunlog kay Tony nga mag asawa it uman ogaling owa guid sa anang buot ro bagay ngaron.

Pagka tapos ni Lina sa pag eskwela sa high school bu-ot nana nga magpundo agod mag bulig sa anang ama. Ogaling owa mag sugot si Tony. Anang guin dugangan ro obra agod madugangan man do kita. Pagkatapos it pamasada, naga sueod pa si Tony sa beerhouse agod mag waiter. Guina tipon nana ro anang tip sa pag serbi para sa pagtu-on ni Lina.


Ko gabi-e ngaron, may nag rumble una sa bar. Indi guid abi malikawan ro away. May isaeang ka hilong ro nag ma-oy ag hakursunadahan nana ro Hapon nga naga inom man nga naga isaeanhon sa ibang lamesa. Husto guid nga naga paadto si Tony nga may daea nga tray ag hakita nana nga nag gabot it kurta ro hilong agod bun-on ro Hapon. Golpe nga hinaboy ni Tony ro tray sa hilong busa nabuhi-an ko hilong ro kurta.


Dali-dali man nga pinoeot ni Tony ro kurta agod usahon nga ebidensiya kontra sa hilong. Duro guid ro pasaeamat ko Hapon kay Tony. Guin dayaw si Tony sa radio, television ag sa mga baeasahon tongod sa mayad nga binuhatan. Pagkasayod ni Lina sa natabo, nalipay guid imaw ag bugaeon. Owa it eabot nga si Tony hay baganihan kay Lina, nangin baganihan pa imaw sa mata it ibang tawo. /MP

Aklan SP Accredits Badminton Club


The Aklan Sang-guniang Panlalawigan has approved the accreditation of another non-government organization during its 18th regular session on June 8, 2011.


Granted provincewide accreditation is the Ati-atihan Badminton Club while the application for accreditation of Kalibo International Airport Transport Association (KIATA), Inc. was referred back to the Committee on Non-Government Organization and Peoples Organization chaired by Hon. Jonna I. Torres-Morales with members Hon. Raymar A. Rebaldo and Hon. Jean O. Rodriquez to further evaluate the documentary requirements submitted.(Aklan SP finally approved KIATA accreditation on June 15.)


Ati-atihan Badminton Club aims to promote and develop Badminton in different municipalities in the province of Aklan and encourage Aklanons to play the sports. The organization also aims to: 1. be able to produce future badminton players to compete in the regional, national and international levels, 2. inculcate the spirit of sportsmanship among the youth, and 3. to establish a drug free community, camaraderie among members, gain more friends and promote a healthy lifestyle through badminton in the province of Aklan. (by Richie D. Oloroso) /MP

Presidential Appointive Positions 93% Filled Up


Some 93 percent of the close to 10,000 positions that require presidential appointments are filled and nominees for the remaining vacancies are now being vetted by the Palace search committee, Executive Secretary Paquito N. Ochoa Jr. said on Friday, June 10.


"There are few vacancies left and there are already nominees for these positions. We are just in the process of screening these indi-viduals," Ochoa said.


Close to 10,000 positions in various line agencies, government-owned and - controlled corporations, government financial institutions, and constitutional commissions must be appointed by the President.


All nominees undergo a screening process and are required to submit documents to a search committee in Malacañang that vets these candidates, studies their credentials and assesses their qualifications for the positions they have been nominated to.


The latest major appointment President Aquino made is that of former Senator Mar Roxas as Secretary of the Department of Trans-portation and Com-munication. /MP

Thursday, June 09, 2011

EDITORIAL


Weaving Propels Economic Activity
BLWA Experience Tells


by James Earl E. Ogatis


Bagtason, Bugasong, Antique is known for its great hand woven textile for a time now. They developed a lot of high quality products from cotton and abaca as their raw materials in the late 1960’s. During the 1980’s, the production of hand woven textile using polyester as their raw material heightened and produced more quality designs and products.


Seeing the economic potential of the weaving activity, Bagtason weavers organized themselves as Bagtason Loom Weavers Association (BLWA). It was incorporated on July 4, 2008 after the organization was registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).


The association used Tiral in their weaving endeavor. Initially, they started with five units of Tiral. Due to the increase in the production and market demand, they purchased another five units.


Product Creation is not an easy work. It follows many steps and stages to develop it. The first stage is called the Pagsab-ong, wherein it determines the length and number of pieces desired to be produced based on the design. After this, the Paglikis stage follows. It is when the thread is arranged in the Moton, to be followed by Pagbinting.


The thread will be inserted in the "binting", part of the equipment used in this step, in an upward and downward movement. The next stage is the Pagsulod or the stage to insert the thread in the reed. Then, Pagtalingyas or the transfer of thread from the cone to talingyasan. And the last stage is the Pagpanara, it is when the weaving starts.


The Bagtason Loom Weavers Association, Inc. did not limit their production with cloths alone; they expanded their production through making of other products from hablon. Today, the BLWA is producing Patadyong/Pili Patadyong (Patadyong with design). It is a four meter hand woven cloth made from polyester or yarn. Its price also varies depending upon its design. The Patadyong with embroidery costs P1,600.00 while the plain Patadyong costs P650.00 a piece.


Another product manufactured by the Association is the hand woven cloth that is plain checkered. A cloth made from polyester costs P150.00 per meter. Due to the different innovations in lifestyle and fashion, the Association tried the production of Ladies Hat from hand woven cloth. The price also varies depending on the details in each hat. With a plain cloth hat, it is P250.00 and hats with Pili design costs P350.00
To cope with the different innovations in fashion and lifestyle, the Bagtason Loom Weavers Association, Inc. had produced Patadyong Handkerchief and scarf. It is a hand woven cloth made from polyester. Big Scarf with flower embroidery costs P150.00 while Big plain Scarf costs P120.00. For Small Hanky, the price is P60.00. They sell also a two-three meters hand woven cloth with or without embroidery. A soft Weaved Scarf costs P275.00 while a Double Thread Scarf costs P350.00, and for 3 meters Double Thread with Design Scarf costs P500.00


Occasionally, they also produce lei. It is made of yarn or polyester and its price varies depending upon its design. A plain lei costs P30.00 while lei with embroidery costs P50.00. The Association also produces Polo shirt and Long Sleeves made from polyester. A plain Polo costs P650.00/meter while Polo with embroidery costs P750.00. For plain Long Sleeves, it costs P750.00 and for Long Sleeves with embroidery costs P850.00.


Sun Visors are also produced by the BLWA. The Visor is made from polyester and costs P175.00. The very popular Hablon cloth is sold also in the Bagtason, it is a Hablon cloth with rayon threads. It is made from polyester, gold and silver threads. It costs P200.00/meter. For table decorations, the Association is also producing a two meters Table Runner. It is a Hand woven cloth made from polyester and costs P300.00.


All BLWA products contains the logo of the LGU-Bugasong being its OTOP, name of the product, description of the product, name of the association, location, and the price.


Aside from local distribution of hand-woven textiles, the BLWA introduced its products in the international market of Malaysia, Cambodia, and Thailand through the assistance of the Antique Development Foundation. It had served as pasalubongs for our balikabayans and at the same time a part of the different trade and fashion shows. They also joined national and local trade fairs in order to showcase their product. In securing more sales and distribution, they sell in retail, wholesale and consignment methods.


For the last 3 years, the income of the BLWA varies every year. In the year 2008, their income was P267, 000. In the next year, 2009, their income dropped to P56,000. However, as of September 2010, BLWA had already generated P499,350 as their income. The income of the association depends on the demand of Hablon in our market may it be local or international.


Among the product promotions participated by the BLWA are Pasundayag Exposition 2008; 2nd Kinaray-a Arts Festival, OTOP Visayas Island Fair, Balik Bugasong/Patadyong Night, and Visayas Trade Fair. The association is awarded as MSME Top Grosser having sales of P134,580.00, Provincial Champion on the Search for Best OTOP in 2009, best small and medium entrepreneur category in 2009; and Regional Finalist on best SMEs-OTOP. 


Weaving is very important not just in the economy of Antique but it also holds a dynamic culture not just of the Antiqueños but of the Filipinos in general. Let us support our own product, let us help our community and our country. Buy Filipino Products. /MP

Entrepreneurial Farmer


Ambrosio R. Villorente


TESDA Training Drivers


RHPG–6 Warns car buyers against hot cars being sold by criminal syndicates from Luzon. Regional Highway Patrol Group–6 (RHPG) Regional Director Cesar Jacob revealed the carjacking incidents are happening somewhere in Luzon and not in Region 6.


RHPG–6 based in Camp Martin Delgado, Iloilo City has recovered eight (8) carjacked vehicles since 2010. Of the vehicles, six (6) carjacked vehicles were recovered in Bacolod City that included one unit Toyota Innova, two units Mitsubishi Lancer, two (2) units Nissan Urvan, and one (1) unit Honda Civic. The other two (2) are Nissan Urvan recovered in Antique, and a Toyota Avanza recovered in Iloilo. According to Jacob, there is no carjacking syndicate directly operating in Iloilo. He however, advised the probable buyers of second hand vehicles to coordinate with his office to assure the vehicle for sale is not a carjacked vehicle.


Bus Drivers To Train


Ms. Lorena Yungue, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) provincial director of Iloilo announced the training for bus drivers.


Why? Does the Land Transportation Office (LTO) issue Driver’s License to applicants who do not know how to drive safely? LTO gives written test and actual driving to prove the driver applicants can drive safely.


A bus driver who possesses Professional Driver’s License should have been proven by bus operator and LTO to possess adequate skills, and positive attitude to operate a vehicle.


Any traffic violation and accident committed, the LTO office which issued the professional drivers license and the bus operator who authorized the driver to drive a vehicle are responsible for any road accident. But the driver is the real culprit, mainly responsible for the damages.


Living Poor In Rich Aklan


Aklan province is rich in natural resources. It has wide fertile land, magnificent mountain ranges, rivers, and seas. Aklan has more sauna and fauna.


But more of Aklanons chose to live in poverty. Statistics of the National Coordination Statistics Board (NCSB) show.


However, families of Aklanons who are industrious, healthy, honest, and frugal are able to save a part of their income and live a happy, and normal life.


Those who are idle, dishonest, sickly, and wasteful remain poor. They are happy to ask alms in time of needs like for hospitalization and food. They are happy to receive any assistance regardless of quantity and quality. They lost their dignity and self respect.


Taal Lake Fishkill


The fish kills in Taal lake valued at about P250 million taught the Filipinos valuable but expensive lessons.


First, the culture of milkfish and tilapia was left to the fish cage caretakers and operators some of whom are foreigners. Both the national and local governments didn’t bother to remind them of the proper way of producing fish.


Second, the venue of production is a lake which provides no entrance of clean water and exit of polluted water. The entrance of clean water is the rain. There is no way of draining polluted water. Third, there is no way to provide all the required care such as proper water salinity, turgidity, deepness, temperature, oxygen level, and others.

Fourth, since no government scientific assistance was given, proper fish production management was not made available. Govern-ment aqua culturists came only after fish kills took place to tell the people the probable causes, like over stocking, lack of oxygen, and water pollution.


The use of lakes in fish production must be reviewed to produce high quality fish at economic production cost. /MP

Garbage In Kalibo



A dog in the picture is feasting garbage by the gate of Magsaysay Park, Regalado St., Poblacion, Kalibo. The location is near the door of Technical Education and Skills Development Authority office. The picture is taken at 2:00 o’clock pm, Thursday, June 9.

Idleness, Extravagance, Diseases Means Poverty

by ERNESTO T. SOLIDUM




Engr. Roger M. Esto (extreme left) is shown discussing the Aklan Provincial Programs to free the poor from the bondage of poverty. Others in the picture are Mr. Odon S. Bandiola, Atty. Ronquillo C. Tolentino, Mr. Blas Solidum and Mr. Ely G. Arensol




An honest assessment and spirited discussion prevailed during the weekly Kapihan on June 4 at Smokehauz Resto & Bar. "Poverty Situation and Employment Generation" was the topic discussed by invited guests who are Engr. Roger M. Esto, Provincial Planning and Development Officer (PPDO), Mr. Ely G. Arensol, Sr. TESDA Specialist, and Mr. Blas Solidum, National Statistics Office provincial director, Aklan.
Atty. Ronquillo C. Tolentino advanced the reason that validity of findings of National Coordination and Statistical Board (NCSB) that Aklan ranks as poorest province in Region 6 is due to prevailing unfavorable climate. Tolentino cited the poor health and diseases, economic factors, globalization and financial meltdown, political corruption and weakened judicial system, over population, high birth rate and social civil unrest. Mitigating these factors could be positive reversal of the present woes, Tolentino pointed out.


Mr. Odon S. Bandiola, SP Secretary said that Aklan’s war on poverty is losing credibility based on NCSB raised data. It consistently climbed over the years: 30.2 percent in 2003, 32.6 percent in 2006 and 38.1 percent in 2009. Under the old method however poverty incidence is shockingly disturbing – 50.9 percent, an unpre-cedented record traced to inefficiency and of ineffectivity in governance said, Mr. Bandiola.


Engr. Esto clarified that the provincial government needs not be blamed alone for this debacle but also LGU’s at municipal level and national government line agencies. He emphasized that everybody must contribute to national aspiration for higher living standard. This includes prompt payment of taxes and cultivation of positive values. At any rate, 14 municipalities with the exception of Kalibo, Numacia, and Lezo are included under the Conditional Cash Transfer program or 4Ps administered by DSWD.


Mr. Blas Solidum appears to be reluctant of NCSB report of Aklan’s high poverty incidence since this is taken from Regional data. As a matter of fact, only 8 barangays were included in the survey out of 327 barangays of Aklan. There is a need to further validate these findings to include all barangays with corro-boration of NCSB and Provincial government of Aklan taking the lead. Nevertheless, program designed to alleviate poverty have been hampered by poor access to education, health, and liberal credit facilities.


Mr. Arensol said that TESDA has been providing skills training appropriate to the needs of domestic and international labor market. Long term courses as tourism, hotel and restaurant management is done in partnership with colleges and universities under CHED. Short term courses like welding, plumbing, carpentry, automotive mechanic and hairdressing are done at the TESDA Provincial Training Center, Laguinbanwa East, Numancia. Scholarship grants are available to poor but deserving students provided they qualify under the program. They must have minimum average rating of 80 percent, high school graduate, good health and good moral character.


Dr. Ambrosio R. Villorente bats for education of students for values formation. The basic idea of hard work, honesty, perseverance and thrift must be inculcated and impressed on the youth since these are the universal way of life. Taking a cue from his checkered life, Dr. Villorente admitted that he was once poor but he is able to untangle himself from extreme poverty by working honestly, diligently, and living frugally. Knowledge is power says an old adage.


In the 1960’s, and 80’s, Antique was a struggling province unable to catch up with her upbeat neighbors. The province was known as prime exporter of seasonal labor (sacada) to sugar haciendas in Negros and Capiz. On the other hand, Aklan had a relative moderate economy based on tourism and agriculture.


Now, Aklan is at the bottom rung of six provinces in Region 6 even surpassed by young province of Guimaras. What a disappointment! It is hard to believe how things turned upside down impacting the lives of half of the total Aklan population. "Saan ako nagkamali" is an old Filipino ballad that resonates with pain and remorse.


Highest Power Rate


Well, it couldn’t be denied that poverty and unemployment stand at 38 and 34 percent respectively, a result of economic, political and social malaise. However, the proper environment for success must be formulated and established. For instance, Aklan has the highest power rate in Region 6 at P11.1092/Kwh for residential, P9.6594 for commercial and P9.6493 for industrial. This is the main reason why potential investors shy away from investing in Aklan. Akelco’s services are described by its 100,000 member consumers as inadequate, unrealistic, and expensive. Anyway, the Philippines has the highest power rate in Asia surpassing Singapore and Japan.


Rapid industrialization in the US started with the establishment of hydropower tapping the mighty Niagra Falls in the 1880’s. It proved efficient in turning out iron ore into high grade steel for its basic industries, cars, appliances, transport, building construction, and others.


Fortunately, we have excellent natural resource like the two big rivers: the Aklan and Ibajay rivers that could generate 120 MW more than enough to supply the power needs of Panay Island. Yet, obviously there is no political will to exploit it despite positive feasibility studies.


Although wind farms, coal and biomass power plants could be developed, hydropower stands out because project can be integrated with other uses like irrigation, potable water, fish conservation, tourism and flood control. Obviously, the only hindrance to this proposed mega infrastructure is the cost. What if it cost billions of pesos when cheap and reliable power is distributed to the whole Panay Island grid? Potable water from Libacao could be transported by pipeline to Iloilo City and Roxas City. What if this is another tourism venture benefiting inland barangays of Libacao, Madalag, and Ibajay? Must we begrudge doubling present irrigated area of 6,712 hectares so Aklanon farmers could increase productivity and income? Moreover, floods and destruction could be a fading memory of the past.


The above are cogent and plausible reasons why the Aklan River Development Council headed by Atty. Allen S. Quimpo drafts a sensible proposal for consideration and funding by a probable funding agency. This is also in line with inter-provincial cooperation envisioned under RA 7160 or Local Government Code.


Mr. Odon S. Bandiola mentioned that P70 million annual budget for economic development of Aklan is consigned to payment of bank loans. The 20 percent economic development fund is for repair and or construction of farm to market roads, health center, and schools. Is the governor aware of the difficulty farmers in remote areas experience in bringing their products to the market? Poor handling and transport of farm products result in 15 percent losses and low prices. No wonder half of our farmers cultivating one hectare of rice land although irrigated is classified as marginal and at risk of malnutrition.


Gov. Carlito S. Marquez’ socio economic policy favoring massive infra development on tourism (P160 million for 2.4 hectares Jetty Port reclamation, Phase I), Nursing School Building (P39 million, provincial hospital Renovation (P128 million) all secured by financial loans require an in-depth review. Policy must be evaluated in the light of truth that previous assumptions are unrealistic and expensive. Instead of defined prosperity it brought Aklanons to the brink of financial disaster and shattered of election promises.


Poverty and unemployment are strange bedfellows each one thriving on complacency and neglect. Remember blame game is an escapist attitude and accomplishes nothing. /MP

Gov. Creates Anti-Illegal Recruitment/Human Trafficking Task Force


Due to the several cases reported of syndicated illegal recruitment and human trafficking that had been affecting some Aklanons, Aklan Gov. Carlito S. Marquez created the Anti-Illegal Recruitment and Human Trafficking Task Force. In an Executive Order No. 011, Series of 2011, Marquez spelled out the 14 functions of the Task Force.


They are to: 1. receive complaints on illegal recruitment and human trafficking; 2. provide legal assistance to victims of illegal recruitment and human trafficking as well as their families; 3. facilitate the investigation of reported cases of illegal recruitment and human trafficking; 4. conduct monitoring, surveillance, and enforcement of applicable laws on illegal recruitments and human trafficking; 5. coordinate with OWWA, POEA, and DFA on matters pertaining to search, rescue, repatriation, and other related tasks pertaining to victims of illegal recruitment and human trafficking; 6. provide medical assistance to victims of illegal recruitments and human trafficking;


7. provide economic and other material support to victims of illegal recruitment and human trafficking as well as their families; 8. provide logistical support to law enforcement agencies pursuant to anti-illegal recruitment and anti-human trafficking operations; 9. undertake a comprehensive media campaign to raise awareness level of Aklanons on issues of illegal recruitment and human trafficking; 10. undertake the involvement of local government units in a social awareness campaign on issue of illegal recruitment and human trafficking; 11. provide livelihood programs, counseling services and placement services to victims of illegal recruitment and human trafficking; 12. conduct seminars on schools on the issues of illegal recruitment and human trafficking; 13. prosecute violators of illegal recruitment and human trafficking; and 14. provide means for witness protection program.


The task force is lead by its chairman who is the provincial governor and his co-chairman, the provincial prosecutor of Aklan. The members are the PNP provincial director; regional directors of the OWWA, POEA & DFA, Provincial heads of DOLE, PIA, DILG, Provincial Social Welfare and Development Officer; District Public Attorney, and Provincial legal officer.


This task force creation is effective as of May 5, 2011.


Ms. Vivian Ruiz-Solano, Aklan Provincial Public Employment Service Office Manager released to the public 15 ways (don’ts) to follow to prevent illegal recruitment. These are: 1. do not apply at recruitment agencies not licensed by POEA; 2. do not deal with licensed agencies without job orders; 3. do not deal with any person who is not an authorized representative of a licensed agency; 4. do not transact business outside the registered address of the agency. If recruitment is conducted in the province, check if the agency has a provincial recruitment authority; 5. do not pay more than the allowed placement fee. It should be equivalent to one month salary, exclusive of documentations and processing costs;


6. do not pay any placement fee unless you have a valid employment contract and an official receipt; 7. do not be enticed by ads or brochures requiring you to reply to a post office (P.O.) box, and to enclose payment for processing of papers; 8. do not deal with training centers and travel agencies, which promise overseas employment; 9. do not accept a tourist VISA; 10. do not deal with fixers;


11. be very skeptical of overseas employment opportunities that sound "too good to be true"; 12. beware of an agency that is unwilling to give you a written contract; 13. do not hesitate to ask questions. You have a right to know what services to expect and the costs involved; 14. do not make a hasty decision. Instead, take time to weigh all the pros and cons of the situation. Be wary of demands that "you must act now"; and 15. keep a copy of all agreements you signed, as well as copies of documents you forwarded to the company. /MP