Friday, June 29, 2012


Filipinos Are 9th World’s Top Smokers 

Despite the existence of laws that limit smoking, male Filipino smokers are among the top smokers in the world occupying the ninth spot following India and China among others, data from the American Cancer Society and World Lung Foundation revealed on Tuesday this week.

The 2008 data was revealed by the Department of Health (DoH) as it sought to emphasize the urgency of the passage of the sin tax bill.

Other top male smokers in the world tobacco atlas ahead of the Philippines are Indonesia, the Russian Federation, USA, Japan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan.

Male Chinese smokers took the top spot with 311,203,202, followed by India with 229,392,725; Indonesia, 53,392,709; the Russian Federation, 32,827,525; USA, 32,474,518; Bangladesh, 21,453,3412; Pakistan; 17,723,216; and the Philippines on ninth spot with 17,634,512.

Meanwhile, female Filipino smokers are also a worsening lot as they climbed from the 26th spot in 2006 to 16th place in 2008.

Topping the list are American female smokers at 23,671,860; China, 13,532,810;  India, 11,908,517; the Russian Federation, 10,189,820 and the Philippines, 3,848,908.

The Philippines’ global adult tobacco survey in 2009 revealed that adult current smokers 15 years old and above reached 17.3 million with 14.6 million males and 2.8 million females.

Meanwhile, one in five youth aged 13 to 15 years old currently smoke cigarettes.

The DOH said 23.9 million Filipinos are exposed to tobacco smoke daily with 66.7 percent of workers exposed to second hand smoke in worksites and 75.7 percent of workers are exposed to second hand smoke where there is no anti-smoking policy.

Moreover, almost 28 million Filipinos who used public transportation during the past 30 days were also exposed to tobacco smoke.

But what is more alarming is that 10 Filipinos die daily because of tobacco-related diseases.

In last week’s forum, Luz B. Tagunicar, Supervising Health Program Officer of the National Center for Health Promotion cited the World Health Organization (WHO) that said non-communicable diseases or lifestyle diseases are the leading causes of deaths worldwide.

These illnesses include cardiovascular diseases, cancers, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes.

“Although govern-ment revenue from tobacco taxes is about P23 billion annually, economic losses due to productivity and heath care costs of the top four tobacco related diseases: Cancer, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, and stroke are conservatively estimated at P149 billion annually,” the 2008 Tobacco and Poverty study of the WHO said.

The study further said that one-third (1/3) of the Philippine population is at risk of dying from debilitating diseases and tobacco use.

“The average Filipino household earning about P5,100 monthly spends approximately 2.6 percent of the household income on tobacco, which is more than the amount they spend on education which is 1.6 percent and on health which is 1.3 percent”, the study added.

The WHO recommends that tobacco excise tax must be at least 70 percent of the tobacco retail prices.

Non-government organizations, Health and Justice departments recommend the removal of price classification freeze and a unitary system of taxation applied across all tobacco products. They also recommend a high tax rate of at least P30 per box and a taxation rate that is pegged to inflation. /MP

Entrepreneurial Farmer

Robrido Fires PNP Provincial Director

Ambrosio R. Villorente

In Camarines Norte, the provincial police director and another two ranking police chiefs were ordered remove from their posts. This happened following their alleged involvement in illegal mining activities.

DILG Sec. Jesse Robrido identified the relieved officers as Sr. Supt. Joselito Esquivel, Jr. PNP provincial director of Camarines Norte;  Supt. Lito Andaya, provincial intelligence section chief; and Supt. Godofredo Tul-o, deputy provincial director.

1st School In Kalayaan

Kalayaan, Palawan established its first elementary school on the disputed Spratly islands. This is a highly welcomed development especially that the Chinese are claiming the islands belong to them. The establishment of the school not only will improve the social status of the people in Kalayaan, it will also strengthen the ownership of the Spratly Islands group of the Philippines. 

Market Stall At Veterans Avenue

The Sangguninang Bayan of Kalibo has approved an ordinance that will grant permission to the establishment of market stalls along one side of Veterans Avenue, Poblacion, Kalibo. The said ordinance is submitted to the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Aklan for review. It is now pending Aklan SP concurrence.

However, even if the SP Aklan has not yet stamped its go ahead signal, stalls construction in hollow blocks has started. Meanwhile, the said ordinance has elicited several questions which deserve appropriate responses and justification for the stalls construction from both the executive and legislative branches of LGU Kalibo.

Some questions asked to the EF are as follows: 1. Is the Veterans Avenue within the “commerce of man?”; 2. Is the Veterans Avenue area a commercial zone?; 3. Is there consultation held among the residents of the area along Veterans Avenue and the DRSTMH officials on the matter of market stalls construction? 4. Will the market stalls impede traffic and pedestrian circulation, adversely affect sanitation in the area? and 5. Will the construction of stalls along Veterans Avenue yield more benefits than difficulties?

These are some of the questions asked to guarantee the maintenance of healthful and peaceful living in the area. 

More Roads

But why can LGU Kalibo add more roads in the outskirts of Poblacion, Kalibo? When this expansion is done, it will improve Kalibo’s environment. Traffic congestion will be minimized. The people will have more alternative roads to pass by.

LGU Kalibo may expand public markets to the barangays such as in Tinigao and in Pook areas. Vendors will have markets to display their products for sale. People living in those areas can save time, money, and effort if their needs are satisfied by the markets in their places.

The presence of vendors selling food stuff by the roadsides indicate the need to put up public market outside of the Poblacion. To transfer a portion of trading from Poblacion to the barangays will help distribute the people’s presence and reduce overcrowding in the Poblacion.

Turbulent Session

The Aklan Sangguniang Panlalawigan session held on Wednesday, June 27 was cut short because of the proposed Memorandum of Agreement between Philippine Veterans Bank and the Province of Aklan. /MP  

NVC Inaugurates New Building

Picture shows the Hotel Carmen and HRM new building located in Pastrana St., Poblacion, Kalibo, Aklan. (Megs Lunn photos)

 Picture shows (l to r) Kalibo Mayor William Lachica Atty. Allen S. Quimpo holding the arms of Gov. Carlito S. Marquez and Cong. Florencio Miraflores.

The Northwestern Visayan Colleges inaugurated the Hotel Carmen  named after the late Carmen Salas Quimpo and the new NVC HRM building. The blessing and open house were held on Friday afternoon, June 22, 2012. The NVC new building is located in G. Pastrana St., Poblacion, Kalibo, Aklan.

Guests are Aklan Congressman. Florencio T. Miraflores, Gov. Carlito S. Marquez, Mayor William Lachica among others.

The inauguration of NVC new building is one of the NVCs thrusts and programs to provide Aklanon students good and quality education. /MP

WBO: Pacquiao Wins Over Bradley

Pacquiao landing a left cross to the left ear of Bradley during their June 9 boxing match in MGM Grand, Las Vegas.

The World Boxing Organization (WBO) ruled Wednesday last week that Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao should have won his controversial bout against American fighter Timothy Bradley. It recommended a rematch.

To recall, Bradley won a split decision at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on June 9 that prompted disbelief from the sporting world and had many calling the outcome corrupt.

The WBO met with five international judges to evaluate the video of the match. They unanimously scored the fight in favor of Pacquiao, though they do not have the power to overturn the initial ruling and the result stands.

Pacquiao has indicated that he would prefer a rematch to Bradley forfeiting the belt, according to Bob Arum, the promoter for both fighters.

Pacquiao said he will not accept the WBO welterweight crown from Bradley if the American gives it back to him after the five WBO judges who re-scored the controversial fight had the Filipino winning by a mile.

“If they give it back I won’t accept it. People might think I’m grabbing it,” the Filipino ring icon said in a radio interview last week.

Bradley, the underdog, took the title away from Pacquiao via a controversial split decision after two of the three judges had him winning, 115-113. The third judge had Pacquiao winning by a similar score.

The results of the WBO re-scoring cannot reverse the decision.
The names of the five WBO judges, who did an individual re-scoring of the fight a few days ago, were withheld. But they all scored the bout for Pacquiao, 117-111, 117-111, 118-110, 116-112, and 115-113, contrary to what the two judges saw at the MGM.

It’s just impossible for these five WBO judges to get it wrong all at the same time.

“It doesn’t surprise me because most people scored it for Pacquiao. One thing is sure, though. Unless they find any criminal wrongdoing, they are not going to change the verdict,” said Arum over the phone.

There was an outrage right after the decision was announced from the thousands who watched the fight live at the MGM Grand to the millions from around the world. Even those who used to criticize Pacquiao felt he deserved the win.

Floyd Mayweather Sr., who can say all the bad things about Pacquiao, and Mexican boxer Juan Manuel Marquez, as well as boxing’s golden boy, Oscar de la Hoya, said the 33-year-old congressman from Sarangani won the fight.

Pacquiao said instead of Bradley giving the belt back to him, the WBO could declare the title vacant, and order a rematch to be held on Nov. 10. Pacquiao said that’s the way he prefers to take the title back.

“If Bradley will give it up, just declare it vacant, with no champion, since it would seem like I grab it,” said Pacquiao, who was in Vigan yesterday, visiting his friend, Ilocos Sur Gov. Luis “Chavit” Singson.

Two days after the fight, Pacquiao said that if a rematch is held, “There will be no need for judges.”

Francisco “Paco” Valcarcel, the president of WBO, stressed even before the judges did the re-scoring, it was not meant to reverse the decision or to ask Bradley to surrender the belt.

The farthest the WBO can do is to call for an immediate rematch.

While his promoter, team members, family, friends and supporters raised a howl over the verdict, Pacquiao said after the fight that he respects the decision. He asked everyone to move on, and just look forward to the possible rematch.

Pacquiao also welcomed calls for an investigation of the circumstances surrounding the judging of the fight. He said an investigation should help boxing save its image and regain the trust of its fans following the unpopular decision.

Pacquiao said he was not surprised that the five WBO judges scored the fight in his favor.

“I was not surprised because we all know in our hearts who won the fight,” Pacquiao told radio station dzBB just as news about the results of the WBO re-scoring broke out.

“Let’s all be thankful of this decision. Our pride is important. The truth is out. Don’t worry, we will get it back,” Pacquiao also said.

During the post-fight interview at the MGM Grand, Bradley came in and left on a wheelchair, saying he sprained his left ankle and hurt his right foot. He said he thought the judges were fair, and that he deserved the victory.

Pacquiao looked calm and collected after the loss, giving Bradley the credit and hardly criticizing the judges who scored it for Bradley.

But Pacquiao has said more than a couple of times he wants a rematch, and it’s up to his promoter.

The last couple of days, however, it appeared that Bradley is no longer his priority, and that Pacquiao is leaning more towards a fourth match with Marquez.

He said he could fight his Mexican nemesis in Mexico City. How the latest developments will change his stance remains to be seen.

The Associated Press quoted Pacquiao as saying, “My supporters shouldn’t worry. We’re going to get that title.”

Arum has written the Attorney General’s Office in Nevada calling for an investigation on the scoring.

Filipino election lawyer Romulo Macalintal has also filed a letter of complaint before the Attorney General in Nevada.

“In the complaint, I have summarized the various scorings made by world renowned sports-writers, columnists and sports agencies showing how Pacquiao won convincingly over Bradley. Wikipedia has recorded 51 such writers and agencies for Pacquiao with only three for Bradley,” said Macalintal.

“We wait for the results of the Attorney General’s investigation. Then we’ll see,” said Arum.

No Grudges Against Judges

Pacquiao said he harbors no grudge against the two judges – CJ Ross and Duane Ford – who favored Bradley.

He said he is leaving the matter to the Nevada State Athletic Commission.

He said he was ready for a rematch “so that the people could see that I really won.”

The matter, however, was up to his promoter.

Pacquiao’s close friends in the House of Representatives welcomed the WBO decision and challenged Bradley “to surrender the belt which belongs to him.”

“The decision of the World Boxing Organization is a vindication of Manny’s performance where the whole world believed that he won over Bradley. It should put to an end to the debate on who really won the fight,” Eastern Samar Rep. Ben Evardone said.

“The WBO decision should prompt the Nevada Boxing Commission to ban the judge who voted against Pacquiao. Bradley should be man enough to surrender the belt which does not belong to him,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Army leadership said the ruling of the WBO declaring reserved Lt. Col. Pacquiao as the real winner in his bout with Bradley only reinforces the Filipino and the worldwide belief that Pacman’won the fight.

“Army chief Gen. Emmanuel Bautista has extended his congra-tulations to Pacman for being declared the real winner in the said tiff by the WBO,” said Army spokesman Maj. Harold Cabunoc. (by Abac Cordero) /MP

Aklan PNP Cops Weight Loss Program Starts

Aklan PNP Cops doing calisthenics to achieve normal weight.

Aklan Police Provincial Office will have its kick-off on PNP Weight Loss Program as part of the PNP’s Health Awareness Campaign and Pulis Pangkalusugan Program on Thursday afternoon, June 21 at Camp Pastor Martelino, New Buswang, Kalibo, Aklan.

Aklan PPO police director PSSUPT Cornelio Defensor said, the weight loss challenge aims to help reduce the weight of overweight PNP members considered hindrance in the quality and fast delivery of public service especially in conducting hot pursuit operations.

It also intends to make all PNP personnel have a balance weight, a healthy public servant. It aims to prevent illness resulting to high cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart attack, diabetes and later turns out to obesity or stroke, Defensor added.

The said program will be conducted every Tuesday and Thursday dubbed as “Hataw”. 

A monthly accounting and weight monitoring among PNP personnel will be done to ensure the effectiveness of the program.

Today, all PNP personnel undergoes weight assessment and evaluation to check if they are qualified to participate in the program. Personnel found overweight will be prioritized to undergo the Loss weight program while PNP personnel with normal weight are encouraged to join the activity.

The Kick-off was participated by PNP personnel from different police stations recommended by their respective chiefs of police and personnel from the provincial headquarters headed by the provincial director.  /MP


The Start of Father’s Day Celebration


Last Sunday, June 17, 2012 the Philippines celebrated Father’s Day. In the US, this was initiated by a 16-year old daughter from Spokane, Washington, named Sonora Louise Smart Dodd. The idea  of celebrating Father’s Day came to her when she attended a Mother’s Day  Sermon in 1909. She told the pastor that if there is a day to honor mothers, then there should also be a corresponding day to honor fathers. She suggested that Father’s Day be held on June 5, her father’s birthday. But because there was not enough time for the pastor to prepare sermons, the celebration was deferred to the third Sunday of June. 

In 1913 a bill was introduced to make the holiday official. This was supported by U.S. President Calvin Coolidge and in 1966 U. S. President Lyndon Johnson legitimized the holiday by issuing first presidential proclamation honoring fathers by designating the third Sunday of June as Father’s Day. 

In 1972, U.S. President Richard Nixon signed into law making Father’s Day a permanent national holiday.

Here in the Philippines, particularly in the municipality of Batan, Aklan Father’s Day has been celebrated  since 1930 up to  the present. It was only interrupted for three years during the Japanese occupation of the country.  Father’s Day in Batan is celebrated with  pompous and gaiety every 31st day of December.

The Father’s Day celebration in Batan is attributed to Roman Patricio, Rufino Sucgang and Pedro Cortes. These three gentlemen met one afternoon in the store of Miss Ursula Rubiado in Sugod St. Batan. In the course of their conversation, Patricio brought the idea of why Father’s Day should not be celebrated in Batan in as much as there is a Mother’s Day celebration. “Certainly, mothers could not exist without fathers.” Patricio reasoned out. “Why not?” echoed the other two men.  They began selling the idea to other fathers.   It was readily taken up by Francisco del Rosario, Ciriaco Gonzales and Judge Juan Maravilla, especially when these men saw some mothers coming from a Mother’s Day celebration. And right at another street corner the group saw another father, Roman Patricio, whom they chose as the “Father” of that year.

With a minimal contribution of 50 centavos from the fathers in the Poblacion, Batan, the First Father’s Day celebration was held at the Batan Academy Building, Poblacion, Batan. Francisco del Rosario  contributed all the tuba gathered from his luxuriant coconut plantation in Dumaquit, New Washington.
The celebration started at 7:30 p.m. and ended at 12 midnight with torch parade around the town. Before the torch parade, there was an election for the Father who will manage the next year’s celebration. The elected Father was then presented with the head of the roast pig (lechon) decorated with flowers. This practice is copied from the Teutonic people who presented their chiefs with a boar’s head after a successful hunt.

The highlight of the affair, however, was the Rigodon de Honor participated in by prominient couples of the Poblacion to open the social dance. Many just come to see the dance, their heritage from Spain. It was a treat to see this number, what with the mothers in their “sayang de cola with nagwas de chites” and tapis in various colors. 

The fathers were equally impeccable in their ‘barong’ or Americana serada cone-shaped hats made of manila paper and trimmed with bright colored crepe papers. Years later, the hats of the venerable Fathers bore the year when they were selected ‘Fathers’. In 1951, in addition to the head of the lechon adorned with flowers, which was presented to the elected Father, a mahogany cane was also given.

Whatever the style of the celebration, the success of the affair up to the present seemed to have been measured by the number of dancers participated in by the old parents, the amount of food  and drinks consumed, and fun radiated. Let it be mentioned, however, that no bad incidents have yet happened during these celebration and every celebration develops in the celebrants a renewed hope and prayers that they be granted long life to witness many more  FATHER’S DAY  celebrations. /MP

Complete Private Land Distribution In 2014


To complete land distribution under the Agrarian reform program in 2014 is herculean job. Can it be done? Let us see.

A round table discussion among members of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) officials of Aklan and Aklan Press Club, Inc. (APCI) was held on June 23, 2012 at Smokehauz Resto & Bar. Mr. Eberardo N. Erispe, PARO explained DAR is confident that Notices of Coverage will be issued for all lands under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program Extension with Reforms (CARPER) or RA 9700 before the law expires in 2014.

He reported, DAR Secretary Virgilio de los Reyes in a bid to expedite Land Acquisition and Distribution (LAD) process has allotted specific time frame and resources to mass process claim folders in all provinces especially those where 60 percent of LAD balance is located. This move will determine which landholdings are not yet issued Notices of Coverage (NOC), land issued with defective NOC, issued with NOC’s but may not had been properly received.

The 2011 data show, DAR has completed the acquisition of 18,414 landholdings with a total area of 120,286 hectares or an accomplishment rate of 60 percent. Of this area 8,397 hectares are exclusion from the same landholdings and retention areas of land owners. The actual land distribution of 111,889 hectares was released to 63,755 agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARB’s).

The Secretary mentioned that LAD balance of 961,974 hectares nationwide will be covered by the guidelines set by CARPER, around 93.58 percent of this is private agricultural land. Almost 85 percent is LBP compensable, the government will pay the landowners just compensations, and about 62 percent will be covered through compulsory acquisition (CA). 

The government owned lands are easy to distribute. Voluntary modes of acquisition and distribution are easier because the landowner offers his land for distribution. There are two modes: Voluntary land transfer (VLT) and voluntary offer to sell (VOS). In the case of VLT, the government does not pay for the land because this is a direct payment scheme where the ARB pays amortization directly to the landowners. In the case of VOS, government pays for the land, distributes it to beneficiaries and the beneficiaries pay amortization to the government via the Land Bank of the Philippines.

In contrast, coverage through compulsory acquisition is loaded with legal and technical problems like missing titles, landowner is able to sell or transfer its landholding without DAR clearance, and landowner protests against coverage or petition for exemption. 

In the province of Aklan, Mr. Erispe said that DAR accomplishment as of June 2012 is 91 percent. The actual remaining balance of land acquisition and distribution covers 1,000 hectares. This is mostly located in Batan, Altavas, Balete, Makato, and Kalibo. 

The almost 1.0 million hectares landholding yet to be distributed to agrarian reform beneficiaries could be completed before 2014 if not from budgetary shortfall. The annual budget based on CARPER law is supposed to be P30 billion yet Congress has approved only P16 billion for 2011 and P18 billion for 2012. Nevertheless, DAR will vigorously pursue its mandate to emancipate tillers of the soil from bondage of poverty and want.

Mr. Erispe confirmed that problems exist with low amortization payments of ARB’s with Land Bank of the Philippines. Despite generous grant of 30 years instead of 15 years repayment scheme, farmers default more often. Moreover, technical support services of DAR is inadequate.

Econimic size farms of 3.0 hectares irrigated or 5.0 hectares rainfed are main features of agrarian reform in the early 1970’s. This means a farm family of six members is able to adequately meet basic necessities of life and render amortization payment to the financing institution. Today, land acquisition and distribution is less than one hectare. With the high cost of production inputs like seeds, fertilizers, pesticides, among others coupled with depressed palay prices during harvest time, net income is barely enough for survival.

It should be noted that farmers no longer have production incentive to quality seeds and fertilizers. The absence of liberal credit forced them to seek assistance from non-formal sources thus onerous term and conditions to pay for land preparation, pulling and transplanting of seedlings, weeding and fertilizer.

Under good weather condition, the average yield per hectare for irrigate areas is 3.9 metric tons. But when natural calamities occur like flood, typhoon, pest and diseases, damage to crops is not mitigated. It appears that Philippine Crop Insurance Coverage or RA 8175 is not implemented especially for self-financed farmers. This is quite frustrating since climate change makes everybody vulnerable to economic losses.

A remarkable one to consider to improve amortization payments is crop rotation. Planting vegetables like water-melon, squash, mongo, eggplant, and tomatoes after rice increase productivity, income, and nutrition. DAR and DA must actively collaborate on putting up demo farms in each municipality. Local funding may be provided by LGU because DA functions are devolved to LGU’s.

The target of 1,000 hectares to be given to agrarian reform beneficiaries in the province of Aklan for the remaining two years of CARPER could be the crowning achievement of DAR. As pointed out, it could be the hardest to hurdle but with patience and resoluteness, goal is achievable as Walt Disney said: “All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them”. /MP 

COA Reports ‘Red Tape’ Hampers Iloilo Hospitals Operations

by Florence F. Hibionada

A disturbing pattern of delay was established by the Commission On Audit (COA) on the procurement of medicines for Iloilo hospitals.

Delays that range from 171 days as in the case of five (5) procurements of Dumangas District Hospital to the longest of 374 days as in the case of one procurement in Januiay’s Federico Roman Tirador Sr. Memorial District Hospital.

With government provisions on mandated “period of action on procurements,” the attention and action of the Iloilo Provincial Government (IPG) has been called.

Subject of the COA findings were data gathered from various district hospitals under the IPG as culled from Purchase Requests (PRs) obtained by State Auditors.

The Commission, as per analysis, made on the sample PRs gathered got to confirm the pattern of delay translated into nearly P9 million worth of medicine procurement.  In fact, of the 93 PRs scrutinized, only 21 or 23 percent met the “28 calendar period of action” while 72 PRs or 77 percent way exceeded the 124-maximum calendar-day period of action on procurement.

“It was observed that from the time the hospitals submitted their purchase requests to the Hospital Operations Management Service (HOMS), an office under the (Iloilo) Provincial Health Office to which the hospitals directly submit their procurement requests, it also took several days. Based on herein data, the longest is 33 days for the said office to transmit the PRs to the Bids and Awards Committee (BAC),” the COA reported. 

The said delay in transmission caused the domino-effect of more delays that the COA said “resulted to the absence or insufficiency of medicines and medical supplies in different hospitals in the province of Iloilo.”

The problem was extensive that even commonly-used and essential medicines are depleted in hospital pharmacies.

“In fact, in order to provide the urgent need for these medicines and medical supplies, almost all hospitals are constrained to utilize a large portion of their petty cash fund although the use of such fund should have been limited only to petty expenses,” COA lamented. It added that doing so, “the hospitals are also circumventing the rules on the proper use thereof.”

Philippine News Service (PNS) learned that in order to resolve the lack of medicines, common practice in Iloilo hospitals is to split the purchases into small amounts.  This is done in order for the petty cash fund to accommodate the need.

Other instance common to all hospitals was to buy medicines from outside private pharmacies.

“If this scenario will continue unaddressed, the provincial government would be losing more income considering that this type of service is also one of those which are included in the return-incentives granted by PhilHealth, which ultimately redound to the benefit of both hospital personnel and the provincial government,” COA pointed out.  ”The income lost by the provincial government brought about by the dwindling or shortage of these medicines could have been used to improve the delivery of hospital’s basic services.”

As such, COA called on the Capitol to “exert extra effort to speed up the procurement process for medicines and medical supplies as these are considered very vital and life-saving necessities in hospitals.”

Further still is COA’s call to have a separate BAC to attend to the hospitals’ needs pursuant to procurement law.  While at it, revisit and evaluate existing procurement process, COA added, then make proper changes to attain efficiency.

“Red tape is seen as one reason for the delay. Hence, it also recommended that the provincial government simplify things on this respect,” COA said.

Other notable delayed procurements of medicine were two purchases for Don Valerio Palmares Sr. Memorial District Hospital, Passi City similarly delayed for 158 days.  Guimbal’s Rep. Pedro Trono Memorial District Hospital had nine (9) delayed major procurements ranging from 168 days to 238 days.

Lambunao’s Dr. Ricardo Ladrido Memorial Hospital had 14 procurement delays with the worst at 354 days.

Even medicines for the Iloilo Provincial Hospital faced considerable delays in eight (8) procurements with the longest delay of 197 days. /MP

Reason and Concern

Ronquillo C. Tolentino

Notes On Political Dynasty

No legislation or enabling act against political dynasties had been passed by Congress of the Philippines notwithstanding the 1987 Philippine Constitution provision against political dynasties.

Sec. 26, Article II (State Policies) of the 1987 Philippine Constitution provides, thus :  ”The State shall guarantee equal access to opportunities for public service, and prohibit political dynasties as may be defined by law”.

Congressional records reveal that the recent bill against political dynasties titled “An Act to Prohibit the Establishment of Political Dynasties” was introduced and authored by Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiagao as Senate Bill 2049 in January 2011.  There were previous bills on anti-political dynasties. House Bill 3413 was filed in the House of Representative by Rep. Teodoro  Casiño. Similar  bills were filed during the 13th and 14th Congresses.  These are of former senator and Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim’s Senate Bill 1317.  Senator Miriam Santiago’s Senate Bill 1964 (2005) and Senator Panfilo Lacson’s Senate Bill 1460.

Jose N. Nolledo in his 1987 first edition book  ”The Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines Explained”, made this commentary, thus : “While in Section 26, it is stated that there must be equal access to  opportunities for  public service,  in an election,  we do not only guarantee such equal opportunity to enter the political race but there must be more or less equal conditions under which candidates run for public office and thus, the State shall also prohibit political dynasties as may be defined by law.  

As explained in the plenary session of the 1986 Constitutional Commission by Jose N. Nolledo, political dynasties in the Philippines constituted social maladies that have limited if not obstructed the opportunities of young, talented but poor candidates to climb the  political ladder. Political dynasties, he said, have made political positions the object of family, inheritance (an aristocracy), have spawned graft and corruption as well as formation of private armies, and have resulted in the proliferation of little monarchies in various parts of our country.  Be it noted that the rule of equal opportunities for public service can well cover appointments to public offices.  In such a case, such appointments should be based on merits rather than on pure patronage or nepotism”. /MP

Sugilanon Ni Tita Linda

Ni Tita Linda Belayro

Guinhalinan It Mga Amazona

Sa kagueangan it Amazon, may mga tribu nga guina patay o guina tapok eang ro mga bag-ong tawo nga eapsag kon masakiton ag babaye. Ro guina pili nanda hay mga eaeaki nga guina himo nga hangaway ko tribu ni Haring Tiglor.

Ka’t nagadaea (nabdos) paeang si Alana, nagpanaw sanda ko anang asawa sa kagueangan agod idto mag unga. Owa it nakasayod nga nag unga it babaye si Alana. Tongod sa kagu-eangan sanda nagtiner. Idto nagbahoe si Salina sa kagueangan. Guin tun-an imaw ko anang ama it mga naga kaeain-eain nga sahi it pakig-away. Guin tun-an imaw it pag usar it eain-eain man nga sahi it mga hinangiban.

Owa magbuhay, nag balik sanda sa kaharian it Tiglor. Nagbahoe si Salina nga maisog. Tongod may itsura o gwapa, abo kana nga naga dayaw. Dugang pa, owa sa anang bu-ot ro pag asawa. Nangin idolo it mga kababayen-an ag mga nanay si Salina. Bu-ot nanda nga mangin kapareho ni Salina ro andang mga unga nga babaye.

Nag abot ro tiyempo nga may taga ibang tribu nga bu-ot eopigon ag sakupon ro tribu ni Haring Tiglor. Sumukoe ro mga soldado, ogaling abong nag kaeamatay busa napirde sanda. Abo nga nailo sa ama nga mga pamilya. Pagkasayod ko ibang tribu nga napirde ro tribu ni Haring Tiglor, nagpaninguha man ro iba nga eopigon man ro tribung nagdaog kay Haring Tiglor.

Sa hamtong nga edad nga dese-otsong dag-on, indi magsugot si Salina nga magdugang ro mga nailo sa ama. Nag adto imaw kay Haring Tiglor agod sanda nga mga babaye ro mag atubang. Guin hibaygan sanda it Hari, ogaling guin tuman ni Salina ro anang bu-ot. Guin tipon nana ro anang mga hangaway nga kababayen-an.

Andang guin sukob ro kontra. Haeopig nanda ro mga kontra ag abo sandang hatipon nga mga armas sa inaway. Halin kato, guin kilaea ro kaisog ni Salina. Owa eon it nag paninguha nga sakupon ro kaharian ni Haring Tiglor. Sa tunga it kagueangan, guintukod ni Salina ro anang kaugalingon nga tribu ag guin tawag sanda nga mga Amazona. /MP


The “Institute Capiz” In 1907 And Its Founder


There used to be a school in the early history of Capiz town (now Roxas City) which was founded by Telesforo Sucgang in 1907 which existed until 1911. The location of this school in Roxas City could not be determined because this short-lived educational institution left no record of achievements except the interesting and brilliant anal of its founder, Telesforo Sucgang.

Who is Telesforo Sucgang? Sources from the National Historical Commission (1973) states that he is a native of Banga, Capiz (now Aklan). He could also trace his roots to Sapian, Capiz where his mother, Matea Alayon, hailed.

His artistic talents led him to the Academia de Dibujo y Pintura where he met Jose Rizal, and became his classmate in the sculpture class.

In the 1879 Liceo Artistico-Literario contests, Sucgang bested Rizal in the field of sculpture. His bust of Cardinal Cismeros earned award over Rizal’s bust of Cervantes. Rizal’s poem “A la Juvintud Filipina” won first prize , however,  in the literary category.

Sucgang was a painter, a propagandist, a composer, and a revolutionary.

It was in the early 1900’s when his prolific mind thought of bringing education to his province. He formed Institution Aklan in 1905 and then established one in Capiz in 1907. Short lived, but the institution was one of the great legacies of Sucgang to the Capiceno people and the entire nation.

(1855 – 1916)

Telesforo Sucgang was a painter, sculptor, musical composer and educator. Born to  Eusebio Sucgang and Matta Alayon  on January 5, 1855, in Banga, Capiz (now Aklan). He attended the College of San Jose, took up music lessons and then transferred to Letran where he received his A.B. degree. Thereafter, he enrolled in the Academia de Dibujo y Pintura and studied painting under Lorenzo Rocha and Agustin Saez. He also studied sculpture. In 1879, in a contest sponsored by the Liceo Artistico-Literario, his entry, a bust of Cardinal Cisneros, won the prize in sculpture together with Glicerio Janson’s entry.

He went to Madrid in 1884 as a government pensionado for four years with Esteban Villanueva. In 1893, after nine years, he returned to Manila, accepted a royal appointment in the Esscuela de Artes y Oficios in Iloilo where he taught modeling and engraving.  During the second half of the revolution he joined the rebels.

At the establishment of the American sovereignty, Sucgang turned to education. He founded the Instituto de Visayas in Jaro, Iloilo in 1900, the Instituto Aklan in 1905, and another one in Capiz in 1907. Then he taught in the U.P. School of Fine Arts. Finally, he founded the Colegio de Minerva in Manila in 1912. He died on December 16, 1916. He had 12 children by his wife Manuella Mateo y Villanueva, a native of Madrid, Spain.

Sucgang’s painting consisted of historical canvasses: “El Desembarco de Magallanes,” and “La LLEGA DE Legaspi y Urdaneta”; marine paintings like “estamos Salvados” and “Steamship Buenaventura’; and portraits, notably that of  Jose Rizal’s, said to be one of his finest, having the closest resemblance to the patriot. His sculptures were religious in nature, like “La Purisima Conception” and “El Despojamiento de la Sagrada Tunica.” Two of his musical compositions, copies which are unavailable at present, were “La Bahia de Manila” and “La Rosa Temprana.”

(Sources:  Notable Personages of Aklan, Antique, Capiz and Iloilo, National Historical Commission, 1973.) /MP

Batan Police Nabs Illegal Gambling Suspects

Elements of Batan Police station nabbed two (2) illegal gambling collectors who were caught in the act of collecting bets in Batan Public Market, Poblacion, Batan, Aklan on Monday last week.

An entrapment operation spearheaded by deputy chief of police SP03 Junil F Bolivar with brgy chairman David Sucgang led to the arrest of suspects identified as Jennifer Ceriaco-Parohinog, 52, resident of Barangay Ambolong and Yolly Bautista-Amador, 42, married and a resident of Barangay Poblacion both of Batan, Aklan. 

Recovered from the suspects were lottery list tickets with winning number combinations, marked money, belt bag with color combination containing P8,162.50 in different denominations. 

Prior to the arrest of the suspects, surveillance was made after complaints were received by the police regarding illegal gambling operation in said barangay.

The suspects were brought to the Batan police station for investigation and filing of appropriate charges in court.

A case for Violation of Presidential Decree 1602 as amended by Republic Act 9287 was filed against the suspects.

On the other news, New Washington Police led by chief of police inspector Christian C Burgos arrested wanted person for violation of Republic Act 9262 or Violence against Women and their Children in Brgy Jalas, New Washington, Aklan.

Police said, the suspect was identified as Ronnie Recardo Y De Leon, 46, married and a resident of Brgy Jalas, New Washington, Aklan.

The arrest was made by virtue of warrant of arrest for violation of Republic Act 9262 or Violence against Women and their Children issued by Presiding Judge Ronaldo H Exmundo of Regional Trial Court 6, Kalibo, Aklan docketed under Criminal Case  No. 9808 dated May 17, 2011 with P6,000.00 bail bond for his temporary liberty. Arrested wanted person was brought at said station for documentation and turned-over to court concern. /MP

Camp Pastor Martelino

Martelino monument in front of PNP headquarters.

The Aklan Provincial Police office is named “Camp Pastor Martelino” after him and in his honor.

Col. Pastor C Martelino was born in Kalibo, Capiz (now Aklan) on August 8, 1896. After completing military course at  US Military Academy at West Point, United States, he joined the Philippine Scouts as 2nd Lt. in 1920. He was promoted to 1st Lt. in 1921.

He became captain in 1935 with the Armed Forces of the Philippines. In 1936, he was appointed as the Superintendent of the Philippine Military Academy, Baguio City. He has the distinction as the first Filipino Superintendent of the Philippine Military Academy.

He was assigned Chief of G-3 Division for Training and Special Action Force of the national headquarters of the Philippine Armed Forces in 1940.

He then became chief of the 31st Division, Philippine Army. He joined the Coast Artillery Corps in 1941. As member of the USAFFE, he fought in the defense of Bataan. He was included in the Death March where he escaped along the way. He joined the guerilla in Manila in 1942. He was captured by the Japanese Imperial Army and was tortured, imprisoned in Fort Santiago in 1944. He died when the Japanese Imperial Army hanged him on January 8, 1945. 

He was awarded the “Distinguished Conduct Star” (Posthumous). /MP   

PNP Day Care Center

The PNP Day Care Center constructed in 2 weeks.

The newly constructed PNP Day Care Center inside Camp Pastor Martelino in Aklan Police Provincial Office was blessed and inaugurated last Tuesday, June 26, 2012.

This project aims to help PNP personnel take care of their young children in their early development, to educate them including children around the Aklan Police Provincial Office.

A project of the Philippine National Police, the Day Care Center is constructed in just two (2) weeks.

PNP members  who completed a Bachelor’s degree in Education will handle classes in the Center. 

According to Aklan PPO provincial director Cornelio T. Defensor, “the project is the result of the effort of the Regional Director PCSUPT Cipriano E Querol, Jr of the Police Regional Office 6 to help young children of policemen in Aklan to have a better early education. /MP

Thursday, June 21, 2012


DPWH Must Follow International Quality Standard


The weekly Kapihan forum on June 16, 2012 discussed the topic: “Status Report of Infra Projects of DPWH”. The lone guest at Smokehauz Resto & Bar is Engr. Rory M. Laserna, OIC and Chief Maintenance Section.

Atty. Ronquillo C. Tolentino underscored the vital role of public infra projects in improving socio economic life of the people. Roads and bridges, school buildings, spring development, construction of ports and airports are but a few that need to be upgraded if we are to be globally competitive. In Aklan where tourism is emphasized, big influx of guests is exemplified by vibrant support marketing infra said the former Vice Governor.
Mr. Laserna informed that their agency is now headed by Engr. Abraham Villareal, vice Engr. Roberto Cabigas who retired recently. As of June 1, 2012 a total of P266.05 million worth of projects was completed or in halfway status to completion namely: a) Construction/rehabilitation of drainage system – P2.8 million, b) Repair/maintenance of AKlan West Road – P10.4 million, c) Construction of Pilot Trial – use of Eoasto plastic barchip synthetic fibers in PCCP – P5.8 million, d) Construction of public market – P2.0 million; 

e) Repair/rehabilitation of existing river control project – P39.0 million, f) Concreting of roads – P12.5 million, g) Construction of farm to market road – P29.6 million, h) Spring water development – P5 million, j) Construction of multi-purpose building and schoolhouse – P8.15 million, k) Rehabilitation of Tambak seawall – P57.0 million, l) Construction of hanging bridge – P.8 million, and m) Bridge construction (Tangalan) – P40.0 million. Aklan national highway stretches 160.75 kilometers. From Aklan – Capiz boundary in Altavas to Aklan – Antique boundary in Buruanga where 94.5 percent is fully paved with concrete and/or macadamized, reported the Maintenance Chief.

From the above appropriation, big time ticket projects go to rehabilitation of Tambak seawall (New Washington), Improvement/widening of Osmeña Avenue (Kalibo), Repair/rehabilitation of multi-purpose building and schoolhouse (3.0 percent) and construction of drainage system (1.0 percent).

The Tambak seawall stretching half a kilometer has been under rehabilitation and or construction for the last four decades. Yet, after massive spending of millions of pesos, nothing concrete came out. It thus serves as milking cow of some unscrupulous people.

The parallel diversion road construction started in the early 1990’s must be continued to offset disastrous coastal erosion. Tambak bridge must be widened and excavated to allow free flow of seawater to nourish and replenish polluted water in Lagatik river.

There is growing concern over the outdated and decrepit Aklan bridge spanning Kalibo and Numancia. Widening the bridge will entail multi-million pesos investment. Former Highway District Engineer Roberto Cabigas once announced a parallel bridge to connect Tigayon, Kalibo with Bagto, Lezo is proposed for funding to form part of the Republic Nautical Highway to Caticlan. However its fate is in limbo.

Aklan expends a lot of money on concrete river embankments or flood control projects. Our Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office always caution people not to build their houses in disaster – prone areas like rivers and steep hillsides. The existing provincial road from Banga to Libacao like Tambak road is eaten away by rampaging waters. It would be best if a more permanent solution be taken like diverting the road to safer ground.

Speaking of future development projects, road construction to connect Libacao, Aklan to Calinog, Iloilo is ideal project to develop our vast water resource for domestic use, irrigation, power, recreation and fish conservation. Urban squatters in Laserna St. Kalibo may be convinced to go back to their former places and stay for good because socio-economic condition is greatly improving. Based on the latest PNP report, Aklan has no more problem of insurgency.

One likes to travel over concrete or macadamized roads because travel is fast and comfortable. But observation shows, no sooner than two years after road is completed, there are signs of premature ageing like cracks, potholes, and buckling. Pretty soon it is overlaid or overhauled completely because of shoddy workmanship and shrieks of corruption or collusion between contractors and government officials. The Kalibo bridge was constructed before the Second World War yet it is still safe to pass on it until today. Ibajay bridge was condemned only two years ago. On the other hand, Tangalan bridge was completed in the early 1960’s yet it stands to be demolished and replaced.

Infra projects implemented by DPWH are indeed crucial to boost our economy and well being. Considering the big investment, there is urgency to be effective and efficient in implementing plans that would come up to international standard. Certainly, DPWH is not a repair and rehabilitation agency where its present jobs occupy most of their time but a real construction or building office. Riding public is fed up with ubiquitous road signs as “Sorry for the inconvenience”. LGU’s and NGO’s must be vigilant and adopt a monitoring and evaluation of projects done in their respective areas.  /MP