Sunday, January 25, 2015

24 Philippine Passports Missing

24 Philippine Passports Missing

Some 24 Philippine Passports are missing in Kalibo, Aklan.

This is how the passports were lost. According to Mr. Dionel Leyson y Iradiel, on Wednesday morning, December 24, 2014, LBC Iloilo sent one duffle bag containing assorted documents and cargos thru the Ceres Bus with Bus No. 6282 from Tagbak, Iloilo to Kalibo, Aklan.

However, upon pick-up at Ceres Bus Terminal, Barangay Estancia, Osmena Avenue, Kalibo, Aklan on the same day by LBC staff members of LBC Kalibo, the said duffle bag was nowhere to be found.

Mr. Dionel Leyson, LBC Team leader asked Mr. June Dela Pedra, the conductor of the said Ceres Bus who received the duffle bag in Tagbak, Iloilo manifested that upon arrival in Kalibo, Aklan, Pedra entrusted the said duffle bag of LBC to a certain porter. Moreover, Mr. Richard Mallaris, the dispatcher of that day could not find the said duffle bag.

According to Mr. Leyson, in addition to the 24 Philippine Passports, the duffle bag contained some clothes, Christmas gifts, and gadgets like cellphones.

The missing Philippine passports inside the duffle bag are of the following persons: 1. Jezel Zabala with Passport No. EC2832232; 2. Dalida Gabaldon III – Passport No. EC2829016; 3. Repedro Raquel – Passport No. EC2832073; 4. Garcia Tipenie Jan Riyahd – Passport No. EC2831805; 5. Indedano John Daryl – Passport No. EC28831810; 6. Morias Vizma Lou – Passport No. EC2831973; 7. Patino Maida – Passport No. 2828828; 8. Taluyo Abner – Passport No. EC2828821; 9. Isturis Francis Paul – Passport No. EC2831933; 10. Jun Rico Rowan – Passport No. EC2832348; 11. Mapile Andrew Josea – Passport No. EC2789917; 12. Socias Joaz Ace – Passport No. EC2775727; 13. Erick Emmanuelle Elias – Passport No. EC2825320; 14. Darwin Setubal – Passport No. EC2865266; 15. Ruiz Roselyn – Passport No. EC2865259; 16. Silverio Mark Alvin – Passport No. EC2832367; 17. Tabuena, Rolly – Passport No. EC2873526; 18. Sicias, Aiza – Passport No. EC2789903; 19. Revicente, Toti – Passport No. EC2832350; 20. Tordicillas, Nenita – Passport No. EC2831832; 21. Socias, Princess – Passport No. EC2775801; 22. Tejada, Roderick – Passport No. EC2829885; 23. Renetio, Lorence – Passport No. EC2865134; and 24. Tropa, Christian – Passport No. EC2865135.

The LBC Kalibo Management requests any person who might have mistakenly picked up the said duffle bag to return it to LBC office, Kalibo or Iloilo or to the Kalibo Police Station. Reward will be given to a person who can return the said duffle bag according to Mr. Dionel Leyson. /MP 

GMA’S Let’s Fiesta Wins Anak TV Seal Awards

GMA’S Let’s Fiesta Wins 
Anak TV Seal Awards
GMA Regional TV’s locally produced travel and culture program Let’s Fiesta was awarded the Anak TV Seal in a ceremony held just recently at the Soka Gakkai International (SGI) Building in Quezon City. 

Hosted by comedian John Feir, the weekly program proved itself worthy of the jury’s nod with its child-friendly narrative that takes its viewers around the country with pit stops in several historical places, most scenic spots, and exciting destinations.

Various Kapuso stars shared the adventure with Feir in the Sunday travelogue that also features the country’s colorful festivals, introduces its delicious native delicacies as well as the preserved practices unique to each region. 

Reaching audience nationwide, Let’s Fiesta airs over nine GMA regional stations in Ilocos, Bicol, Dagupan, Cebu, Iloilo, Bacolod, Davao, GenSan, and Cagayan de Oro.  

Let’s Fiesta completes this year’s roster of winners from the Network including Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho, Wish Ko Lang, AHA!, I Bilib, Kap’s Amazing Stories, Kusina Master, Pinoy MD, Tropang Potchi, Pepito Manaloto, Picture! Picture!, Sarap Diva, and Del Monte Kitchenomics. GMA News TV’s Ang Pinaka, Born to be Wild, Good News, I Juander, Idol sa Kusina, and Taste Buddies were also recognized as Anak TV Seal recipients.

Kapuso personalities Dingdong Dantes, Marian Rivera, and Eat Bulaga host Vic Sotto, in turn, were listed in the Anak TV Roster of Makabata Stars. 

Undergoing levels of rigorous screening process, the Anak TV Seal is a national award bestowed by stakeholders representing multiple sectors on Philippine TV programs deemed to be child-sensitive. /MP

Aklan’s Consumer 2014 Price Index Increases 5.5 percent

Aklan’s Consumer 2014 Price 
Index Increases 5.5 percent

The average Consumer Price Index (CPI) in Aklan for 2014 registered at 142.4 index point or higher by 5.5 percent compared to the 2013 figure of 136.9 index, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority-Aklan 
The month of July registered the highest index of 144.6, while the month of March has the lowest with 140.8 index points. In last year’s CPI, December has the highest index of 141.6, while the month of May has the lowest index at 135.1

On the other hand, the average inflation rate in Aklan decreased by 0.6 percent from the 2013 figure of 4.6 to 4.0 percent in 2014. The highest inflation rate was recorded in the month of July with 5.7 percent, followed by June with 5.3 and January with 5.2 percent mark. The lowest inflation rate was apparent in December with -0.1 percent mark.

Among the commodity groups, food and non-alcoholic beverages had the highest inflation rate in 2014 posted at 6.5 percent. This is followed by alcoholic beverages and tobacco with 5.2, health with 2.3, HWEG and other fuels with 2.2, furnishings, household equipment and routine maintenance of the house with 1.9, and restaurants and miscellaneous goods and gervices with 1.2 percent. 

CPI is an indicator of the change in the average retail prices of fixed basket of goods and services purchased by the households relative to a base year.

It shows how much on the average, prices of goods have increased or decreased from a particular reference period. /MP

‘We Feel Sorry, We Cry, Angry, We Strike, Afraid, Tremble’

‘We Feel Sorry, We Cry, 
Angry,  We Strike, Afraid, Tremble’
by Alex P. Vidal

William James was one of the two famous American pragmatists along with C.S. Peirce, who promoted pragmatism that says, “knowledge is a guide for action, not a search for abstract truth.”

James’ philosophy is simple: to fully understand something we must understand all its consequences; true beliefs will lead to positive consequences.

But it is not about James’ philosophy and pragmatism per se why his name is mentioned here today. It’s about his comments on emotion published in An Insight Book by Van Nostrand in 1962 that I would like to share. 

Although James wrote with clarity and depth on a large number of topics of psychological interest, his comments on emotion resulted in a theory of emotion which bears his name.

The following selection idea is taken from James’ chapter on emotion in Principles of Psychology (Vol. II, New York: Holt and Company, 1890). The selection is taken from the middle of the chapter. Prior to the place where this selection begins, James has discussed the work of the Danish psychologist, Carl Lange.

Although there are differences between James’ theory and that of Lange, the general theory that emotion is the product of physiological changes, rather than the reverse, is commonly called the James-Lange theory, according to the Van Nostrand Insight Book edited by Douglas K. Candland.

“Our natural way of thinking about these coarser emotions is that the mental perception of some fact excites the mental affection called the emotion and that this latter state of mind gives rise to the bodily expression,” James clarified his viewpoint in a paper which appeared in Psychol. Rev., 1894,1, 516-529.

“My theory, on the contrary, is that the bodily changes follow directly the perception of the exciting fact, and that our feeling of the same changes as they occur is the emotion. Common sense says, we lose our fortune, are sorry and weep; we meet a bear, are frightened and run; we are insulted by a rival, are angry and strike.

“The hypothesis here to be defended says that this order of sequence is incorrect, that the one mental state is not immediately induced by the other, that the bodily manifestations must first be interposed between, and that the more rational statement is that we feel sorry because we cry, angry because we strike, afraid because we tremble, and not that we cry, strike, or tremble, because we are sorry, angry, or fearful, as the case may be.”

James added: “Without the bodily states following on the perception, the latter would be purely cognitive in form, pale, colorless, destitute of emotional warmth. We might then see the bear, and judge it best to run, receive the insult and deem it right to strike, but we should not actually feel afraid or angry.”

The James–Lange theory refers to a hypothesis on the origin and nature of emotions and is one of the earliest theories of emotion within modern psychology. The basic premise of the theory is that physiological arousal instigates the experience of a specific emotion.

Instead of feeling an emotion and subsequent physiological (bodily) response, the theory proposes that the physiological change is primary, and emotion is then experienced when the brain reacts to the information received via the body’s nervous system.

The theory has been criticized and modified over the course of time, as one of several competing theories. In 2002 a research paper on the autonomous nervous system stated that the theory has been “hard to disprove.”

The theory states that all emotion is derived from the presence of a stimulus, which evokes a physiological response, such as muscular tension, a rise in heart rate, perspiration, and dryness of mouth. This physical arousal makes a person feel a specific emotion. 

Emotion is a secondary feeling, indirectly caused by the primary feeling, which is the physiological response caused by the presence of a stimulus, according to the theory. The specific pathway involved in the experience of emotion was also described by James. He stated that an object has an effect on a sense organ, which relays the information it is receiving to the cortex. The brain then sends this information to the muscles and viscera, which causes them to respond. Finally, impulses from the muscles and viscera are sent back to the cortex, transforming the object from an “object-simply apprehended” to an “object-emotionally felt.”

James explained that his theory went against common sense. For example, while most would think the order of emotional experience would be that a person sees a bear, becomes afraid, and runs away. James thought that first the person has a physiological response to the bear, such as trembling, and then becomes afraid and runs. James said, the physiological response comes first, and it is followed by an emotion and a reaction. James believed that these responses were “reflex type” reactions which are built in: “Instinctive reactions and emotional expressions shade imperceptibly into each other. Every object that excites an instinct excites an emotion as well.” /MP

Sugilanon Ni Tita Linda

Kondesa Lacrima
by Tita Linda Belayro

Ro anang dati nga pangaean hay si Donya Teresa. Ogaling bo-ot nana nga indi imaw malipatan kong tanan. Naka asawa imaw it isaeang ka Konde nga magueang nga baeo ag owa it unga. Pagkamatay it Konde, imaw rong nagpanag-iya it kutob inaywan nga manggad it Konde.

Bo-ot imaw nga magbaeos sa tanan nga nagtuya-tuya kana. Handum nana nga mageuhod man sanda sa anang atubang ag magpangayo it patawad. Naga kalipay imaw kon naga kasubo ag naga kasakit ro anang mga kontra. Kon gabi-e, parabil imaw matueog, guinahuyap nana ro mga tawo nga nagpangayo it patawad ag nageuhod kana. Busa nga guin islan nanda ro anang pangaean ag guin tawag imaw nga Kondesa Lacrima, bangod abo nga eoha it iba ro anang guin patoeo.

Kada agahon, kon mag-agi rong anang karwahe, guina toeok imaw it mataeom ko mga tawo nga may kaakig kana. Ro iba hay nahikaw kana bangud sa anang maeahaeon nga beste ag alahas. Abo nga mga kababayen-an ro naga handum nga mangin kapares nana.

Isaeang adlaw, may natabo nga nagpabag-o kong tanan. Isaeang ka nanay rong nagsu-od kana agod mangayo it bulig para sa anang unga nga naga masakit it cancer. Guintabig ro babaye sa anang aeagyan. Natumba ro babaye ag rong guina koe-koe nga unga. Nagbalik sa anang isipan kat imaw hay maisot pa. 

Guin daea imaw sa ospital. Owa imaw it pangbayad sa pagpabueong ngani owa sanda paginatuha. May naeu-oy nga babaye ag sanda hay guinbuligan. Rondayang babaye hay prinsesa sa rondayon nga kaharian nga ma ila-on mag-bisita sa mga ospital ag baeay ampunan. Pagguwa nanda sa ospital ag pagkasayod nga prinsesa ro nagbulig kana, guin handum nana nga makita ag magpasaeamat.

Tungod naaksidente rong guinasakyan it prinsesa ag imaw hay namatay, owa imaw nakapasaeamat sa prinsesa. Kon owa imaw pagbuligi, hay owa imaw sa anang guina tungtungan makaron. 

Guin eagas nana rong nanay ag guindaea sa ospital rong unga. Imaw ro naggasto kong tanan, bueong, bayad sa doctor ag ospital. 

Nageapta rong balita sa guin obra it kondesa. Abo pa ro nabuligan it Kondesa. Nagpatindog imaw it isaeang ka “foundation” nga nagabulig sa mga masakiton. Nangin bukang bibig rong Lacrima Foundation. Maskin patay eon rong Kondesa, padayon guihapon rong pagbulig it Foundation, bangod tanan ro anang manggad hay guin butang nana sa Lacrima foundation. /MP


Flood Reduction, Not
Mitigation For Aklan River
by Ernesto T. Solidum

A public hearing on the proposed Flood Mitigation and Disaster Risk Reduction Project in Aklan river by STL Panay Resources Co, Ltd. was held recently at 3rd floor, Municipal Building, Kalibo. Some 100 members of NGO’s, government officials, businessmen, professionals and members of media attended the meeting.

Atty. Allen S. Quimpo, Exec. Director, Aklan Rivers Development Council gave brief background on the events that led to the passing of SP Resolution No. 2012-390 and approval of MOA between LGU Aklan and STL Panay Resources on January 1, 2013.

Undoubtedly, the biggest threat to human lives and properties is the recurring flooding especially during typhoons. Super typhoon Frank on June 21, 2008 dumped 354 mm of precipitation in just 24 hours that resulted to massive flooding of 7 adjoining towns in Aklan. This was followed by typhoon Quinta on December 27, 2012. Fortunately, super typhoon Yolanda that hit the province on November 8, 2013 did not create significant flood damage.

It was on December 27, 2012 that STL came up with a proposal to help Aklan mitigate recurring floods through dredging of accumulated silt, sand and gravel. Prior to this, we have had some experience on dredging the Aklan river in 2010. In 2012 there was full scale dredging at 350 meters wide and 1.5 meters deep involving 3 kms. upstream from its cellar at Bakhao Norte. About 140,000 cubic meters were extracted but its accumulated sand and gravel were not relocated but dumped on the riverbank. The result is that the P100 million was spent but flooding was never solved.

This time around we welcome the expertise of STL to prepare the environmental and engineering design. About 15 million cubic meters will be extracted and transported at no cost to the government concluded Atty. Quimpo.

Project Engineer Roger Vergara of STL in a power point presentation said that their specific task is dredging of Aklan river, 3.5 meters depth box design, width of 200 meters and 8 kms. long. From its mouth (North) going South. The Project spans 3 years and cost P4.5 billion. Modern state of the art dredging equipment shall be used in order not to disturb existing soil structure of riverbanks that can cause erosion or cave in.

Mr. Patrick Lim, STL Executive Director said that their company is 60 percent Filipino-owned and have previous dredging experiences in Cambodia, Vietnam and China. We have fully complied with the necessary documents such as ECC from DENR (approved July 25, 2014), dredging permit from DPWH, and export permit (BOC). Unforseen events like accidents and distruction of properties are taken cared of by a trust fund of P2 million and replenished from time to time. STL shall pay the province of Aklan at P5 per cubic meters or the amount of P75 million for 15 million cubic meters dredged..

The leading project proponents are the Provincial government of Aklan and STL. Its objectives are: disaster risk reduction, minimize flooding, minimize loss of lives and properties and improve economy.

At this point, approval of a resolution endorsed by six Barangay Captains of Kalibo as to its social acceptability are needed. Their barangays lie on the path of floodwaters that swallow whole sitios, houses and farm animals in its wake.

A formidable problem is raised by New Washington Mayor Edgar Peralta where Metro Kalibo Waterworks Project has two pumping stations located in Brgy. Tinigao. Dredging Aklan river will eventually jeopardize the potable water delivery capacity since salt water may intrude into its system.

The P5.00 per cubic meter to be paid by STL is very minimal compared to local gravel and sand contractors who pay the government P24.00. When this mineral is transported to Singapore the shipping cost is 12 Singaporean dollars per cubic meter. However, the selling price is 15 Singaporean dollars or P450.00. Based on this info, reasonable and just acquisition cost must be raised to P50.00 instead of P5.00 per cubic meters.

Flood mitigation by STL involves alleviated of pain as in health disorders. For instance breast cancer can be alleviated by mastectomy but the cancer cells remain active in the patient. Later on, cancer cells metastasize and result in death. This is the same case of flood mitigation. There is no assurance or guarantee that rampaging floodwaters will not occur three years after completion of the project. This is crucial, since by that time, siltation and erosion shall have regained a foothold on excavated or dredged areas.

Analysis of swath of destruction by typhoon Frank in 2008 shows that width of floodwaters was 800 meters in Daguitan, Banga. However, water flow was drastically constricted as it approached Poblacion, Banga. In Kalibo, this was cut into half precisely at Kalibo bridge causing floodwaters to spill in every direction causing severe damage.

On the other hand, flood reduction is actually the removal of risks as disastrous floods. This can be achieved by building high concrete revetment walls on both sides of the Aklan River spanning eight kms. from the delta, increasing effective water flow to 500 meters width and 3.5 meters deep. This strategy was implemented in Surabaya, Indonesia where flood control program is very successful. Which Cebu City’s Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council plans to duplicate the same fete.

It appears that the Province of Aklan and its stakeholders are on the wrong side of the bargaining table. STL is putting up a project that mitigates or alleviates the problem of recurrent floods. But the benefit is temporary. It does not attempt to solve it permanently. Worse, for our patrimony of black gold reportedly the best quality sand and gravel in the country is sold to foreigners at a very nominal cost.

Meanwhile, P8.6 billion has been released by the Office of Presidential Assistant on Relief and Recovery (OPARR) for Yolanda victims in Aklan. It takes simple observation that floodwaters have devastated farms, homes and public properties. Perhaps, one-half of the fund done through resolution and concreted mass action could be channeled to construct parallel concrete dikes and dredging operation of the Aklan river. These are practical steps for our government bureaucrats to consider. However, will they heed the public’s call or their vested interests? So much is at stake. /MP

Drilon Seeks Presence Of ConCom Members To BBL Hearing

Drilon Seeks Presence Of ConCom 
Members To BBL Hearing

Senate President Franklin M. Drilon this week urged the Senate panel hearing the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) to invite the members of the 1986 Constitutional Commission (ConCom) to weigh in on the constitutionality of the draft law – a piece of legislation so important to government’s goal of providing lasting and genuine peace and inclusive and social development in Mindanao.

“It is our belief that the framers of the 1987 Constitution are in the best position to determine the constitutionality of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law and assess its conformity to the vision, spirit and core principles of the Constitution they had penned nearly three decades ago,” he said of the ConCom members, who include legal luminaries and respected public figures such as former Chief Justice Hilario Davide, former Justice Adolfo Azcuna, former Commission on Elections Chairman Christian Monsod, Fr. Joaquin Bernas, former Comelec Commissioner Rene Sarmiento.

Drilon said that it is of utmost importance that their opinion and insights are seriously considered in the crafting of the BBL, in order to ensure that no provision in the Constitution will be violated and that the law will be able to fulfill the vision and spirit of the Constitution’s provision on autonomous regions.

“We want to hear their views and direct us to the weak points of the draft law, and tell us how we can rectify them. They can guide us on what needs to be done to strengthen the law against abuses,” stressed Drilon.
“Their insights and guidance are something we, legislators, need the most in order to perform our duties, most especially when it is about lasting and genuine peace, social and economic development for our brothers and sisters in Mindanao,” he emphasized.

The Senate leader said the 1986 ConCom members have already expressed their interest in taking part in the crafting of the BBL, making it easier for the Senate to invite them to the hearing.

In a January 9 statement, 14 of the members of the ConCom said that “a new organic law is necessary to fulfill the vision and spirit that constitutional provisions on autonomous regions since RA 6734 and RA 9054 have clearly not gone far enough to give life to the concept of autonomy for Muslim Mindanao as envisioned by the Constitution.”

They added: “The core principle of the 1987 Constitution mandating a special status for the autonomous region is the human development of the people of Muslim Mindanao and the Cordilleras. Hence, the public conversation should not be about semantics but about people – their needs, their aspirations, their choices – and about empowering them with the environment and institutional framework for social justice.”

Drilon agrees with the ConCom members’ views that the ultimate welfare and development of the people of Mindanao should be given more focus, saying further that this can be the guiding principle in the crafting of the law.

“The establishment of the Bangsamoro government will be a significant milestone in our nation’s history as it will be formed to serve and uphold the interests of the Bangsamoro people, culture, and history,” said Drilon.
He said the Senate is working towards the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law by March 2015: “We have committed to the passage of the BBL within the prescribed timeline, to ensure the creation of the Bangsamoro government by the time President Aquino steps down from office.”

“We are aware of the monumental weight of this responsibility, with time bearing upon us, on top of the need to ensure the constitutionality of the law’s final form. But rest assured that the legislature is committed to bringing the success of the Bangsamoro political entity to light,” Drilon assured.

He also acknowledged a strong, bipartisan support from both houses of Congress, which speaks of the high level of commitment in the diligent and urgent passage of the BBL.

“The pursuit of this rests on our shoulders right now, and I assure that we in Congress will do everything to make sure that this opportunity to create and embed peace in Mindanao will not go to waste,” concluded Drilon. /MP

Mayor Lachica Bares 2015 Priority Projects

Mayor Lachica Bares 
2015 Priority Projects
by Ernesto T. Solidum

Kalibo, the Provincial capital is set to implement relevant and people-oriented projects designed to spur business, investments, stabilize growth and reduce poverty.

This is the main thrust of Mayor William S. Lachica, his goal for calendar year 2015. An aggregate sum of P64.2 million will be expended as capital improvement projects (CIP) for infra, health and education, capability building program and agriculture development.

Although the majority of funds will come from local taxation and Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA), 38 percent come from Kapitbisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive/Integrated Deliver of Social Servicers (Kapitbisig-CIDSS), an NGO working to empower rural folks and to build progressive communities.

Big ticket projects are the construction of health facilities with provision of equipments costing P2.5 million; core local road construction/maintenance/rehabilitation – P2.0 million; installation/construction of drainage canals – P3.5 million; construction/rehabilitation of government facilities/multi-purpose hall – P6.1 million; and loan repayment/purchase of heavy equipment – P2.8 million.

Kalahi-CIDSS has 11 priority projects costing a total of P24.63 million. It complements critical financial assistance such as repair of health center in Brgy. Estancia, concreting of Brgy. Road in Linabuan Norte, drainage canals in Old Buswang, Bakhao Sur and Brgy. Poblacion and construction/improvement of covered court/evacuation center in New Buswang.

Mr. Marlo B. Villanueva, MPDC said that there is on-going assessment of unfinished projects. The evaluation report will be available early in February this year. /MP

Aklan’s Peso Value Is P0.70 In 2014

Aklan’s Peso Value Is P0.70 In 2014

The average Purchasing Power of Peso (PPP) in Aklan in 2014 was pegged at P0.70 or a dropped by three centavos compared to 2013 with P0.73, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority-Aklan. 

This means that one peso in 2006 is worth seventy (P0.70) centavos only in 2014. Interpreted in another way, this means that the same basket of goods and services worth P70.00 in 2006 was purchased at P100.00 in 2014.

The highest PPP for the year was noted in March to May with P0.71 but dropped to P0.70 in June and became erratic until September. It started to picked up in October with 0.70 and lodged at 0.71 on the last two months of the reference year. 

The rise in prices of goods and services, especially Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages as well as costs of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco depreciated the peso’s real value.

The purchasing power of peso shows how much the peso in the base period is worth in another period. It gives an indication of the real value of the peso in a given period relative to the peso value in the base period.
Base period or base year, on the other hand, is the period at which the index number is set to 100. It is the reference point of the index number series. /MP



Is the opposite happening? Upper picture shows the construction of Marianos Bridge, Numancia, Aklan. The billboard states the name of the company constructing the bridge, being implemented by DPWH, Region VI, Iloilo City at a contract cost of Php 13.4 million. The project duration is 100 calendar days which was started on June 23, 2014.

However, after almost seven months or 210 days today the construction is estimated 20 percent completed. The Todo Asenso maybe reversed as the construction is very very slow. 

The lower picture shows Kalibo-Numancia Bridge Construction, another symbol of Todo Asenso but the construction is going slow. /MP

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

P40.705 Billion, Not P27.066 Billion As DOT Region 6 Adjust The 2014 Figures

P40.705 Billion, Not P27.066 
Billion As DOT Region 6 Adjust The 2014 Figures
by Odon Bandiola

The Department of Tourism Regional Office corrected the figures on total tourism receipts in Aklan in 2014 as erroneously reported by the Provincial Tourism Office of Aklan which saw print in several regional newspapers last week.

DOT Region VI accurately clarified that the 2014 total tourism receipts in the province of Aklan hit the P40.705 billion mark out of the total tourist arrivals which reached 1.472 million.

The Provincial Tourism Office earlier reported that out of the total 1.47 million arrivals, total tourism receipts was only P27.066 billion. The tourism office in Aklan erred in computing the total tourism receipts. It did not follow the formula prescribed by the DOT.

In computing the total tourism receipts for foreign and overseas Filipino tourists, the DOT uses the formula: average length of stay (days) in the island of Boracay) times average expenditure per tourist per day times the total number of foreign and overseas Filipino visitors equals the total tourism receipts. For foreign and overseas tourists, the average number of days expected to stay in Boracay is 9.6 days with an average daily expenditure of P3,926. Local tourists are expected to stay an average of 6.3 days in the island times an average daily expenditure of P2,833 times total number of domestic tourist equals tourism receipts.

In this case, as computed by the DOT, the total 2014 tourism receipts from foreign and overseas Filipino tourists was P27.403 billion and the tourism receipts for domestic visitor was P13.301 billion, or a total of P40.705 billion tourism receipts in 2014.

A total 2014 tourist arrivals increased by 8 percent from the 2013 figure of 1,363,601 swelling to 1,472,352 persons.

Foreign tourists in 2014 numbered 682,832, domestic visitors totaled 745,266 while overseas Filipinos numbered 44,254.

The Korean nationals outnumbered all other nationalities visiting Boracay Island with 263,377 arrivals in 2014.

Despite the travel ban by their government, Chinese nationals ranked as the next highest foreign visitors in Boracay with 165,243 arrivals in 2014.

The great bulk of arrivals in Boracay, aside from the Koreans and the Chinese, came from Taiwan-48,354, USA-22,203, Malaysia-19,542, Singapore-18, 175, Russia-17, 945, Australia-17,649, Saudi Arabia-11,136 and United Kingdom-10,549.  /MP

P2.7M For Livelihood Projects In Buenavista, Guimaras

P2.7M For Livelihood Projects
In Buenavista, Guimaras
by James Earl E. Ogatis

Iloilo City – To encourage marginalized farmers to uplift their economic status, enhance their capabilities in food production and be a contributor to the countryside development, the Department of Agriculture - Bottom Up Budgeting (DA-BUB) allotted a total of Php 2.7M to be used for various livelihood projects in Buenavista, Guimaras.

According to Dr. Joyce S. Wendam, DA-Regional Technical Director and BUB focal person, the project emanates from the farmers’ association through a project proposal assisted by the municipal agriculture office. 

She said that all 36 barangays of the municipality of Buenavista will receive livelihood projects like cattle raising, swine raising, native chicken production, duck raising and goat raising for livestock and poultry. While for high value crops, provision of PAKBET vegetable seeds, Calamansi seedlings, Cashew seedlings and banana suckers will be given.

Dr. Wendam stressed that the DA-organic agriculture program in coordination with the local government unit will conduct production training on livestock, poultry, and vegetable production among the identified beneficiaries. 

“This is to ensure the beneficiaries are equipped with necessary technology and basic information on these interventions.” Dr. Wendam added.

Meanwhile, Mayor Eugenio G. Reyes of Buenavista, Guimaras believes the project is a big opportunity for the farmers to develop many idle lands in their respective barangays. “The municipality has also allotted a total of Php.486, 000.00 as counterpart fund for the project. We have been aggressive in prioritizing agricultural programs in our municipality for we knew of its potential and sustainability.” Mayor Reyes added.

The funds will be used to buy ready-to-breed 14 heads of cattle and 77 heads of swine; 420 hens, 84 roster for native chicken production; 120 hens and 24 roster for duck raising; 15 rams and 140 bucks for goat raising; six kilograms each for ampalaya and squash seeds, 12 kgs. of pole sitao, four kilograms each for okra and pechay and one kilogram of eggplant; 60 bags of organic fertilizer, 45 trowels, 45 spade, 45 tubs and nine containers of molasses. A total of 12,200 seedlings of calamansi, 10,500 seedlings of cashew and10,500 suckers of banana will be given to the identified first batch of beneficiaries in the 36 barangays.

To ensure sustainability of the project, first batch of beneficiaries shall pay in kind the stocks/inputs received from their respective farmer’s association on a scheme of one is to one to the next in-line beneficiaries, Mayor Reyes explained.

Reyes believes the projects will contribute to increase production of organic grown products that will compliment in the growing agri-tourism initiatives of the Buenavista, Guimaras. /MP

IFAD Grants P84M for Yolanda Rehabilitation Program in WV

IFAD Grants P84M for 
Yolanda Rehabilitation Program in WV
by James Earl E. Ogatis

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) granted a total of P84m intended for the rehabilitation of the agriculture sector affected by typhoon Yolanda in Western Visayas through the Department of Agriculture 6. The typhoon devastated agricultural crops and livestock on November 8, 2013. 

Rene B. Famoso, regional rice program action officer said that a total of P44,858,240.00 were used to purchase 32,984 bags of certified seeds which were distributed to the affected farmers in 2014. 

Famoso stressed that the province of Iloilo received a total 14,768 bags of rice certified seeds, Capiz – 13,033 bags, Negros Occidental – 2,900 bags, Antique – 1,616 bags, Aklan – 549 bags and Guimaras – 135 bags.

He said that the certified seeds were released to the provinces of Aklan, Guimaras and Negros Occidental last May and June in time for the first cropping season. The provinces of Antique, Capiz and Iloilo were given last October and December. DA region 6 believes it greatly helped in sustaining rice sufficiency in the region.

Famoso also said that the remaining P39,141,760.00 is intended to buy 32,984 bags of urea fertilizer for delivery this January and February 2015. Due to several delays in the bidding process, distribution is likewise delayed.

“We will follow the same scheme of one bag of fertilizer per hectare which will be given to the affected farmers base also on the allocation per province.” Famoso said.

The P84M IFAD funds augmented the DA reconstruction and recovery initiatives which include cash for work program, fuel subsidy, provision of PAKBET vegetable seeds, white corn seeds, steel layer cages and provision of vitamins, antibiotics and dewormer for poultry and livestock

“We have our masterlists of all affected farmers by municipality and we are doing our best to deliver all these interventions to them,” said Famoso. /MP



Since the assumption of Vice President Jejomar C. Binay as chairman of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC), the housing sector has injected some P200 million into the economy and generated more than 3.5 million jobs.

In its 2014 Mid-Year Report, the Office of the Vice President said the consolidated housing production of the key shelter agencies under HUDCC from July 2010 to June 2014, totaling 581,959 housing units, has generated 3,534,281 jobs.

The figure is computed based on the assumption that a complete house construction will require 8.3 persons working for three weeks, while the development of sites for resettlement or improvement of sites will require five persons working per lot.

With Binay as the chairman of the Home Development Mutual Fund (Pag-IBIG Fund) Board of Trustees, the agency earned P50.75 billion from 2010 to 2013, surpassing the P50.3 billion earned over five years in 2004-2009.

Despite retaining the minimum contribution, Pag-IBIG Fund also posted a record net income of P14.44 billion in 2013.

Staying true to the promise of increasing membership, Pag-IBIG, under Binay’s leadership, increased its membership to 14 million in May 2014 from 8.19 million in 2010, or a 5.82 million increase.

The housing sector under Binay’s helm also scored a major victory when Globe Asiatique owner Delfin Lee was finally apprehended by Task Force Tugis in March 2014.

The President earlier placed a P2-million bounty on Lee’s head.

Lee is currently detained at the Pampanga provincial jail on charges of syndicated estafa, with the Department of Justice also conducting preliminary investigations on two more batches of similar complaints against the developer.

“Members of Pag-IBIG, especially those defrauded in the Globe Asiatique scam, can rest assured that we will fight any and all efforts to release Lee. We will make sure that Lee and his cohorts will be punished for their crime, and the victims will be given the justice they deserve,” Binay said following Lee’s arrest.

The Vice President had previously ordered the filing of syndicated estafa charges against Lee and several others after an investigation, which Binay ordered, revealed that Lee had used fake documents and ghost borrowers to secure some P7 billion in loans from Pag-IBIG.

Pag-IBIG cancelled its contract with the Globe Asiatique following the housing agency’s discovery of the alleged ghost buyers. /MP


by Alex P. Vidal
“At twenty a man is a peacock, at thirty a lion, at forty a camel, at fifty a serpent, at sixty a dog, at seventy an ape, at eighty a nothing at all.” BALTASAR GRACIAN

The book that makes some of us feel embarrassed about our animal selves rolled off the press in the year when Bolivian guerrilla leader Che Guevara was captured; and when The Beatles released the album “Sergeant Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band.” The year when one of the Iloilo Mountain Tiger’s longest-serving members known in Iloilo today as “Mr. Bean” was born.

I’m referring to Desmond Morris’ sensational worldwide bestseller, The Naked Ape, described by Saturday Review as “a startlingly novel idea, brilliantly executed.” No less than Morris himself, the author, who was a former Curator of mammals at London Zoo, admitted that in dealing with the fundamental problems of the naked ape, he realized that he ran the risk of offending a number of people. “There are some who will prefer not to contemplate their animal selves. They may consider that I have degraded our species by discussing it in crude animal terms,” wrote Morris.

“I can only assure them that this is not my intention. There are others who will resent any zoological invasion of their specialist arena. But I believe that this approach can be of great value and that, whatever its shortcomings, it will throw now (and in some ways unexpected) light on the complex nature of our extraordinary species.”

Morris explained that his book was intended to popularize and demystify science.

“There are one hundred and ninety-three living species of monkeys and apes,” Morris alleged. “One hundred and ninety-two of them are covered with hair. The exception is a naked ape self-named Homo sapiens. The unusual and highly successful species spend a great deal of time examining his higher motives and an equal amount of time studiously ignoring his fundamental ones. He is proud that he has the biggest brain of all the primates, but attempts to conceal the fact that he also has the biggest penis, preferring to accord this honor falsely to the mighty gorilla. He is an intensely vocal, acutely exploratory, over-crowded ape, and it is high time we examined his basic behavior.” 

“To read Desmond Morris on the sex habits of the naked ape is disconcerting, to say the least” observed the Saturday Review. “Here the detail is specific and clinical...and the naked ape comes out of it looking very animal read on with the mixture of discovery and enlightening, entertaining, disturbing, discomforting, ego-shrinking experience.” 

The book tells about man as “a creature who can write immortal poetry, raise giant cities, aim for the stars, build an atomic bomb--but he is also an animal, a relative of the apes--a naked ape, in fact.”

The Naked Ape, serialized in the Daily Mirror newspaper and has been translated into 23 languages, depicts human behavior as largely evolved to meet the challenges of prehistoric life as a hunter-gatherer (see nature versus nurture). The book was so named because out of 193 species of monkeys and apes, only man is not covered in hair. 

Morris made a number of claims in the book naming man as “the sexiest primate alive”. He further claimed that our fleshy ear-lobes, which are unique to humans, are erogenous zones, the stimulation of which can cause orgasm in both males and females. Morris further stated that the more rounded shape of human female breasts means they are mainly a sexual signalling device rather than simply for providing milk for infants.

He also attempted to frame human behavior in the context of evolution, but his explanations failed to convince academics because they were based on a teleological (goal-oriented) understanding of evolution. For example, Morris wrote that the intense human pair bond evolved so that men who were out hunting could trust that their mates back home were not having sex with other men, and that sparse body hair evolved because the “nakedness” helped intensify pair bonding by increasing tactile pleasure.

Morris criticized some psychiatrists and psycho-analysts that “have stayed nearer home and have concentrated on clinical studies of mainstream specimens. Much of their earlier material, although not suffering from the weakness of the anthropological information, also has an unfortunate bias.” 

Sexually the naked ape finds himself today in a somewhat confusing situation, Morris explained. “As a primate he is pulled one way, as a carnivore by adoption he is pulled another, and as a member of an elaborate civilized community he is pulled yet another.” /MP


by Megs S. Lunn

“God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13.

Where do you get your strength when you are tempted? What is your outlook when you see temptations? 
The church says, temptation is not a sin. It becomes a sin only when you give in to the temptation. To surpass temptation is an opportunity for you to grow in character and conviction. Then you will continue to see the good things around. 

Matthew 26:31 says, “The spirit is willing but the body is weak. So watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.”

This is so true. During the election fever, temptations were left and right. Opportunities for money, fame and connections are overflowing. It is so fortunate that I have the presence of mind to utter a word for Him first, then to examine my conscience, then my spiritual advisers, then my mentor and back to my conscience again, in order to decide for the better. 

It may not be the best decision for my professional career, but it was the best ever decision to have peace within, and a simpler and peaceful life. What did Bishop Cor Talaoc has to say during PANINDUGAN 2013, that according to the bible, “What if the man gain the whole world, but he loses his soul?”

We can’t keep away from temptation, but we have the power to resist it. And it is liberating once you conquer your fear to resist it. It is overwhelming when you can learn that you can actually get away with it. The art of life as the saying goes is when you are well tempted and have resisted it. The opportunity to be good is actually when you had the opportunity to be bad. This is where the test of character is stronger. 

On the other hand, we need to welcome temptation for us to grow. Just be cautious and guard your heart, mind and soul. Self-control and self-discipline is the key to resisting temptation. 

“It is a man’s own mind, not his enemy or foe that lures him to evil ways.”  ~Buddha /MP


Sakripisyo It Isaeang Ka Ama
ni Tita Linda Belayro

Guinapatihan nga ro mga nanay rong kilaea sa pagsakripisyo. Sa sueod it siyam nga buean, samtang guinadaea daea rong unga sa tiyan, una rong pagtiis, pagpasakit hasta nga matawo ro anang unga. Imaw rong rason kon ham-an nga mas maeapit rong baeatyagon it unga sa anang ina.

Sa bibliya, sa dumaan nga tipan, may isaeang pagsakripisyo kita nga mabasa ha-nungod sa pagsakripisyo ni Abraham sa anang unga nga si Isaac, bangod sa anang hugot nga pagtuo sa Diyos.

Mabuhay nga naka unga rong mag-asawang Abraham ag Sarah. Haeos ona sa kagueangan eon ag nag-abot rong mabuhay eon nanda nga handum. Mas malipayon si Sarah bangod nabawi nana rong pagkutya nga imaw hay baog ag isaeang ka mabahoe nga kakueangan sa mga kababayen-an idto sa lugar nanday Sarah ro pagiging baog. Nagbahoe si Isaac nga puno it pagpalangga ko anang ina ag ama. Nangin matutom imaw sa pagbulig sa anang ama ag masinueundon sa anang guinikanan.

Isaeang adlaw, guintawag imaw ko anang ama. Maadto sanda sa bukid it Moriah agod maghaead it sakripisyo. Nag-usoy imaw it mga kahoy ag nagpahikas eon sanda paadto sa guintaea-na nga pagasakripisyuhan. Guin kamada ni Isaac rong kahoy o gatong sa ibabaw it altar. Owa guid imaw magpangutana sa anang ama kon siin rong hayop nga igadu-eot bilang sakripisyo. Guingapos ro alima ni Isaac ag guinpaeobog imaw sa guinkamada nga gatong. 

Kat guina hana nga ibuno ni Abraham rong kutsilyo sa anang unga, gulping may anghel nga nagpakita. Anang guinpapundo ro pagbuno ni Abraham. Natungkad kong Diyos rong hantup nga pagtuo nga haum nana nga isakripisyo ro anang bugtong nga unga, mapakita eamang ro anang pagsunod sa Diyos. 

Guin hubad ni Abraham rong gapos ni Isaac. Paglingot nana sa tuo it altar, may nakita imaw nga tiyo it karnero nga nakapu-eopot sa mga baeagon. Guin bo-oe nana rong karnero ag imaw rong guin himo nga sakripisyo. Nag-uli ro mag-ama ag padayon si Isaac sa pagbulig sa anang guinikanan hasta imaw nga nagbahoe. /MP

Entrepreneurial Farmer

DA Buys Tractors At P2.5 Million A Unit
by Ambrosio R. Villorente

Ms. Carmelita C. Fantilanan, Field Operations Division Chief, Department of Agriculture (DA), Region 6 reported that the DA Region 6 has provided P256,309,851.00 worth of agricultural support to 94,882 farmers. These farmers were badly affected by super typhoon Yolanda on November 8, 2013.

According to Fantilanan, the sum of P102.34 million was disbursed for the procurement and distribution of certified palay seeds, corn seeds, urea fertilizers, farm tools and tractors. Of the 37,496 bags of certified palay seeds, 50 percent were distributed. 

Where did the DA distribute those palay seeds in Aklan? An Aklanon farmer is yet to inform me he received certified palay seeds from the DA. The report further stated, 50 percent of the palay certified seeds will be distributed to farmers for the 2015 wet season planting.

In the corn program, some 2,244 bags of corn seeds worth of P7,040,800 were delivered to corn farmers of Aklan, Capiz, Iloilo and Negros Occidental. In computing the cost of corn seeds, per bag cost P3,137.50. Is this cost reasonable? How many hectares have been planted out of this 2,244 bags of corn seeds? How many bags of corn seeds are distributed to Aklan? And where did the Aklanon farmers planted the corn seeds? 

Analyzing further, the sum of P2,303,616.00 was spent to pay for the 5,376 sets of farm tools that cost P429 per set. What are the tools that composed the set?

And worse for the amount of P55 million was disbursed to pay for 25 units of farm tractors. This P2,500,000 per unit cost of farm tractor is too excessive, very expensive. Are these tractors bullet proof? I hope I can see the three (3) units delivered to the farmers association in Aklan.

If I’m wrong, I hope Executive Director Larry Nacionales – DA 6 Executive Director can tell me the correct figures.

IFAD Grants P84 Million

In the article of Mr. James Carl E. Ogatis, the International Fund For Agriculture Development or IFAD granted P84 million for rehabilitation of the agriculture sector affected by typhoon Yolanda in Western Visayas.

Of this amount, P44,858,240 was used to purchase 32,984 bags of certified seeds. These seeds were already distributed to the farmers of Iloilo – 14,768 bags; Capiz – 13,033 bags; Negros Occidental – 2,900 bags; Antique – 1,616 bags; Aklan – 549 bags; and Guimaras – 135 bags. These certified palay seeds cost P1,360 per bag. This is much cheaper compared to the cost of corn seeds which cost P3,137.50 per bag. What is the weight per bag of palay seeds? Corn seeds? 

New Year’s Greetings
I wish to thank my friends who sent me their New Year’s greetings. They are:
“A kinder, wiser, healthier and more prosperous New Year to you.” Dick and Kate Gordon.

“Wishing you a Happy Loving and Prosperous New Year!” Atty. Allen S. Quimpo.

“Feliz Ano Nuevo! A prosperous, blessed, healthy beautiful and joyful year to you!” Kel Tolentino.

“Happy New Year! Hope you all enjoyed the celebrations last night. See you soon!” Carlo.

“Wishing you all the blessings from above as a journey another chapter of this present life. May you have peace and serenity, wealth, abundance and good health, love around and most of all spirited guidance. Cheers for the meaningful life. Happy New Year! God loves you” Josie Legaspi.

“Greeting you a happy and healthy New Year. God Bless” Leyte.

“As we end 2014 let us not forget to give thanks and remember all the people that played a big part in our lives. May we experience more blessings, love and good health in 2015. Happy New Year!” Melisa Canda.

 “May God always bless you and your family with all the love, good health, safety and happiness. Happy New Year” Venus Villanueva, PIA.

“I just want to greet you in advance a bountiful, meaningful and a blessed New Year to come ahead of you and your family. Keep safe and God Bless. Thank you for being a part of my 2014 and I’m looking forward that you’ll be with me in my 2015 journey. Happy New Year! God bless.” Remy Gonzales, Malinao.

“Dr. Happy New Year po!” Caty Reyes.

“Remembering you with gratitude and praying for you especially at Christmas. Praying that 2015 will be better for all of us, in all aspects. Cheers 2015!” Megs Lunn. /MP


Outstanding 2014 Agri Rice 
Achievers Of Region 6
by James Earl E. Ogatis

To give due credit to the front liners in Rice Self Sufficiency Program (RSSP) and to encourage the full participation of the local government units (LGUs), Agricultural Extension Workers (AEWs) and Local Farmer Technicians (LFTs) involved in rice production, Department of Agriculture (DA) 6 selected 58 outstanding AEWs, five LFTs and one LGU from among those who intended and submitted their documents. These awardees have contributed to the increase in rice yield. They contributed much in achieving rice self-sufficiency in Western Visayas for the year 2014.

According to Dir. Larry P. Nacionales, DA 6 Regional Executive Director, the Agri-Pinoy Rice Achievers Awards is one of the many interventions and incentives to AEWs, LFTs, and LGUs in order to encourage commitment and ensure excellent delivery of agricultural services, technology transfer and adoption to the rice farmers.

He said that the two major strategies in improving rice production, namely, increasing yield per unit area and expanding the areas under rice cultivation through the improvement or rehabilitation of existing systems and construction of new irrigation facilities paved the way in ensuring sufficient supply of rice in the region.

Of the AEW awardees, nine are from Passi City, Iloilo; five from Cabatuan and Dingle, Iloilo, four from Calinog and Tubungan, Iloilo, three from Badiangan, Bingawan, Pavia, Iloilo, and Banga, Aklan; two from Banate, Janiuay, Oton, Sta. Barbara, Tigbauan, Iloilo and Dumalag, Capiz; and one from Batad, Miag-ao, New Lucena, Pototan, San Enrique, San Rafael, Iloilo and Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental.

For the LFT awardees, two came from the municipality of Sta. Barbara and City of Passi, Iloilo and one from Pavia, Iloilo while the winner for the LGU category is the municipality of San Enrique, Iloilo. The municipalities of Dingle, Iloilo and Dumalag, Capiz will be given special citation award as outstanding municipalities.  
Each AEW and LFT will receive a cash award of Php20, 000.00 while the outstanding municipality will be given a Php1.0 million worth of project to further boost the rice industry in their locality.

Agri-Pinoy rice program action officer Rene B. Famoso said that the awardees were evaluated based on their production data 2013 versus 2014, yield increment and production, trainings conducted and attended, internal revenue allotment allotted to the agriculture program, allocation of personnel to the rice program, use of quality seeds, road map, number of farmers and clusters assisted and submission of reports.

Famoso stressed that the many AEWs and LFTs who vied for the awards this year indicates a clear manifestation that these frontline agricultural service providers were inspired and truly committed to deliver agri-technologies and interventions to the rice farmers.

“ We have to intensify our evaluation process and see to it that every page of the submitted documents are given proper points in order to determine the best among the best in the three categories”, added Famoso.

Region 6 ranks number three as the highest rice producing region in the country with a production of 2,065,166 metric tons and sustain an average yield of 3.46 metric tons per hectare in 2014.

The DA 6 will announce the date and venue of the awarding ceremonies of the winners this first quarter of 2015. /MP

P256M Agricultural Assistance For Yolanda WV Affected Farmers

P256M Agricultural Assistance For 
Yolanda WV Affected Farmers

The Reconstruction Assistance on Yolanda (RAY) program of the Department of Agriculture (DA) provided P256,309,851.00 worth of agricultural support to 94, 882 farmers in Region 6 who were affected by the super typhoon on November 8, 2013, reported Carmelita C. Fantilanan, Field Operations Division chief.

The said amount is part of the Department of Budget and Management Supplemental Budget released in March 2014.

As of December 17,2014, the sum of P102,338,717.00 was disbursed for the procurement and distribution of certified palay seeds, corn seeds, urea fertilizers, farm tools and tractors and for the implementation of the Cash for Work program led by DA and other line agencies.

The DA also distributed 50 percent of the 37,496 bags of certified palay seeds amounting to P25, 497, 280.00. The remaining 50 percent of the total allocation will be given to the farmers in 2015 for the wet season planting. Meanwhile, 53, 856 bags of urea fertilizer worth P45,993,024.00 were also provided.

The DA’s Corn Program has fully delivered 2,244 bags of corn seeds worth P7,040,800.00 to corn farmers of Aklan, Capiz, Iloilo and Negros Occidental.

The 5,376 sets of farm tools worth P2,303,616.00 were also delivered. However, the 25 units of farm tractors costing P55,000,000.00 are yet to be turned over to farmers associations of Aklan (3 units), Antique (3 units), Capiz (8 units), Iloilo (7 units) and Negros Occidental (4 units). DA Secretary Proceso J. Alcala will lead the turn-over of the said tractors on January 30, 2015 during the Regional Farmers’ Forum to be held at the Western Visayas Integrated Agricultural Research Center.

Part of the RAY is the Cash for Work program implemented by DA- High Value Crops Development Program for the clearing operations of vegetable areas, Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) for the banana intercropping, coconut replanting and fertilization, Philippine- Fiber Industry Development Authority for abaca replanting and the National Irrigation Administration for the desilting operations. The total released budget for the Cash for Work program is P52, 727, 058.00 which aims to help 14, 658 farmers. All the cash for work programs are already conducted except for the PCA’s coconut replanting which will undergo negotiated bidding in January 2015 and the coconut fertilization which is set to be implemented on the second quarter of 2015. /MP

Tax Ordinance No. 001, S. 2014 Is Null And Void

Tax Ordinance No. 001,
S. 2014 Is Null And Void

Tax Ordinance No. 001, S. 2014 Is Null And Void

“Wherefore, premises considered, the instant appeals are hereby granted. Tax Ordinance No. 001, S. 2014 is hereby declared Null and Void for being contrary to law, as it did not comply with the procedural requirements under the Local Government Code and its Implementing Rules and Regulations. So Ordered.”

The above quoted decision is signed by Hon. Leila M. De Lima, Secretary of the Department of Justice on two (2) Petitions - Appeal for the declaration of nullity or unconstitutionality of Tax Ordinance No. 001, S. 2014 promulgated by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of the Province of Aklan. “An Ordinance Fixing the Schedule of the New Base Values of Real Properties for the Seventeen (17) municipalities of Aklan for the 2015 General Revision Allowed In Law To Include Special Base Market Valuation In Boracay Island, and Caticlan Both In Malay, Aklan, Barangay Union in Nabas, Aklan and Metro Kalibo composed of barangay Poblacion, Estancia, Andagao and New Buswang.”

The information on this alleged Resolution is certified xerox copy which is signed by Joel A. Ocay, Chief, Records Management Section. It did not say what office. I hope an authentic copy of the Resolution from the Department of Justice duly signed by authorized personnel will be made available as soon as possible.
The first Petition, Case No. 08-2014, was filed with the Department of Justice on October 20, 2014 by New Washington Mayor Edgar R. Peralta for and in behalf of the people of Aklan.

The second Petition, Case No. 09-2014 was filed with the Department of Justice on October 20, 2014 by Hon. Rodson F. Mayor, member, Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Aklan.

According to the Resolution, the two cases No. 08-2014, and No. 09-2014 are of the same subject matter, hence the two were consolidated and ruled upon them jointly.

The Dept. of Justice on October 15, 2014, issued to the appellees a Notice of Appeal and an Order to comment on the Case No. 08-2014 within 10 days from receipt thereof. The appellees are Gov. Florencio T. Miraflores, Vice Gov. Gabrielle V. Calizo, SP members Hon. Jose Enrique M. Miraflores, Hon. Ramon S. Gelito, Hon. Roberto M. Garcia, Jr., Hon. Nelson D. Santamaria, Hon. Emmanuel Soviet Russia A. Dela Cruz, Hon. Lillian Q. Tirol, Hon. Plaridel M. Morania, and Hon. Apolinar C. Cleope. They received the notice and order on October 20, 2014.

On October 23, 2014, the Dept. of Justice issued again to the appellees another notice of appeal and an order to comment on Case No. 09-2014 which the appellees received on October 29, 2014.
In both cases, the Dept. of Justice received “no response in the form of comment or motion for extension of the period to file a comment - - - from the appellees within ten (10) days reglementary period. Hence, both petitions were deemed submitted for resolution.”

In Case No. 08-2014, the appellant Mayor Peralta claimed that the SP Aklan failed to comply with the requirements provided under the Local Government Code and its Implementing Rules and Regulations. According to Peralta, the ordinance violates the fundamental principle of uniformity in the imposition of a sound tax system, creates a new political unit by creating a political subdivision on a particular district, imposes double taxation, it contains insertions on material provisions made after preliminary deliberation, and it disregards constitutionality and statutorily mandated tax exemptions.

As to Case No. 09-2014, Hon. Mayor claims that “Tax Ordinance No. 001, S. 2014 did not comply with the procedural requirements of the various provisions of the Local Government Code and its Implementing Rules and Regulations; its enactment violates due process; and the appellees disregarded public clamor to reconsider and renew Tax Ordinance No. 001, S. 2014.”


The Dept. of Justice resolved the two cases in favor of the Appellants: Mayor Edgar R. Peralta and SP member Rodson F. Mayor. The Dept. of Justice “observed more procedural errors after passage of Tax Ordinance No. 001 as alleged in the petitions.” Hence, Tax Ordinance No. 001, S. 2014 is declared null and void by the Dept. of Justice. The Resolution was signed by Secretary Leila M. De Lima of the Dept. of Justice. /MP

GMA Network Bares Festive Events In Ati-Atihan 2015

GMA Network Bares Festive 
Events In Ati-Atihan 2015

Regine Velasquez-Alcasid
A star-studded celebration of Kalibo, Aklan’s biggest festival happens next week as GMA Network brings in some of the Kapuso prime stars to rev up the Ati-Atihan, which is also known as the “Mother of All Philippine Festivals.”

For the fifth consecutive year, GMA Network joins the Municipality of Kalibo and Kalibo’s Sto. NiƱo Ati-Atihan Foundation, Inc. in mounting an all-party and all-positive vibe gala for the enjoyment of the Aklanons and visitors.

The Kapuso festival celebration will officially begin on January 9 with the 2015 Mutya it Kalibo Ati-Atihan beauty pageant to be held at the ABL Auditorium. Present during the said contest will be Hiram na Alaala’s Kris Bernal who will serve as one of the judges, Second Chances’ Chynna Ortaleza who will act as event host, and actor Mike Tan, who, in turn will serenade the contestants.

Meanwhile, no less than Asia’s Songbird Regine Velasquez-Alcasid showcases her trademark vocals in a Kapuso Night to be held at the Kalibo Pastrana Park on January 13 at 7PM. Joining her in an unforgettable live performance are Miguel Tanfelix, Bianca Umali, and Betong Sumaya, stars of the Network’s newly launched primetime series Once Upon A Kiss.

On January 14, Aklanon fans of Kapuso heartthrobs Alden Richards, Steven Silva, and Rocco Nacino finally get a chance to meet their idols via the actors’ participation in the Ati-Atihan parade together with the Mutya it Kalibo winners beginning at 2 pm.

“GMA Network welcomes 2015 with spectacular shows at Kalibo’s Ati-Atihan Festival. This year, we are fulfilling a promise to all Aklanons as we bring closer to them our prime artists led by the Asia ‘s Songbird Regine Velasquez. We have prepared hard and long for this festival and we certainly plan on making the Kapuso events our regional viewers will never forget,” says Oliver Victor B. Amoroso, GMA Regional TV AVP & Head of Regional Strategy and Business Development Division. 

The highlights of the Network’s participation in the Ati-Atihan Festival will be seen in Let’s Fiesta TV Special, which airs on January 18 via the Network’s regional stations in Bicol, Cebu, Davao , Iloilo , Dagupan, Ilocos, GenSan, Bacolod , and CDO. /MP

Higante Contest And Aklan Festivals Are Top Attractions

Higante Contest And Aklan Festivals
Are Top Attractions
by Ernesto T. Solidum

One of the biggest attractions of the Kalibo Sto. Nino Ati-atihan festival is the “Higante” contest and Aklan Festivals parade. This are held on January 15, 2015 (Thursday) featuring giant figures of legend or folklore, spirited street dancing complete with colorful props, music and choreography.

Ms. Roselle Ruiz, Provincial Tourism Officer said that there are eight (8) official entries for higante contest namely: Balete – Manughaboe, Ibajay – Ati sa Katunggan, Kalibo, Madalag – Maniwangtiwang, Malinao – Mahugod nga Mangunguma, Nabas – Bariw Ati, Numancia – Ibo Mabias, and Tangalan – Ati it Tangalan. 

Judging will be based on Relevance – 30 percent, Creativity – 30 percent, Artistry – 30 percent, and Audience impact – 10 percent. Giant figures made of paper or plaster cast with moving hands, arms, and head shall have greater impact to the audience. Culture relevance is to conquer our goliaths of fear, poverty, ignorance and superstition.

Visitors and tourists can take a glimpse of Aklan festivals in their unique and contemporary rendition of paying homage to God for His rich blessings. Kalibo will showcase Sto. Nino Ati-atihan Festival, Balete – Enchanting Balete (Pangabuhi-an sa Among Banwa), Banga – Saguibin Festival, Ibajay – Ati-ati Festival (Ninos Inocentes), Lezo – Bayangan Festival (Banua Kaangan), Madalag – Tinuom ni Aewag, Nabas – Bariw Ati-ati Sadsad, Numancia – Lechon Festival ag mga Datagnong Ati, Tangalan – Bugna it Tangalan Festival and Malay – Fiesta de Obreros.

Stiff competition is expected on street dancing and group presentations where agility and stamina of performers are at stake. Parade will start at Corner D. Maagma St. and wind at Pastrana Park. Criteria are Choreography – 40 percent, Performance, Endurance, and Execution – 30 percent, Costume and Props – 10 percent, Musicality – 10 percent and Visual Impact – 10 percent.

“Ati in the Locality” is overall theme sponsored by the Provincial government of Aklan.

Aklan Artworks At Provincial Capitol
Some 45 original paintings and artworks are currently on display at the lobby of the Provincial Capitol Building. This is contributed by 10 visual artists known for their talents of working in various media as acrylic oil, water color, and wood sculpture.

Most of the artworks are done by Mrs. Erlinda Quimpo Wilson, Plein Air Impressionist. Her collection includes picturesque scenes in Boracay, Jawili and in the United States.

Aptly titled as “Pinta Grasya,” it is jointly sponsored by Rotary Club of Metro Kalibo, RC of Roxas City and RC of Forbes Park, Makati City to benefit disabled youth (deaf mute, harelip and amputees). Specific projects include “Operation Taghoy”, Mend a Child and Project Walk, the former under Uplift Internationale whose Executive Coordinator is Ms. Megs Lunn.

Managing the exhibit is Mr. Ricky T. Molo, Pres. Of RC Metro Kalibo. His personal works include oil paintings namely: Orchids, Birds of Paradise, Sailboat and Secret Garden. Other visual artists are Alfreed M. Zaspa with his abstract paintings, Anastacio Dalupang (Body paintings), Mario A. Perucho (Social Realistic Artist), Arch. Jose A. Dureza, Tee Jay I. Dadivas, Wilbert Custodio (Wooden sculpture and oil paintings). Lester John Lumio and Jeddy Rose Dalida are both deaf mute artists.

Public display runs from January 8 to 26, 2015. It opens daily during office hours. /MP

Monday, January 12, 2015


by: Megs S. Lunn

BFP Numancia INSP Joseph R Cadag led the launching of
the Gift Giving Program.
It is a blessed year-end 2014 for Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) - Numancia. The Numancia Fire Station headed by INSP Joseph R. Cadag, Municipal Fire Marshall launched and conducted for the first time a Gift-Giving Program to selected indigents family of Numancia, Makato, Malinao and Lezo last December  31, 2014. Most of the selected recipients are the poorest of the poor family and are victims of series of fire incidents for the year 2014. 

It is likewise a Happy New Year for the Municipality of Numancia for having back the Fire truck which was gone for repair for more than one year.  The effort to fast tract the repair and get it back home in time for Christmas and the New Year was through the leadership of the new Fire Marshall – INSP Joseph Cadag.  Reports said that at his own expense, he took time to visit Roxas City every weekend to follow up the repair. It was also through his effort that two personnel: FO3 Ureta and FO3 Flores from Ibajay Fire Station were transferred back to Numancia Fire Station.

The Numancia Fire Station serves the municipalities of Numancia, Malinao, Lezo and Makato. The BFP Numancia Fire Station is always ready to respond to other neighboring towns if needed.  

The newly repaired Fire Truck has 6000 liters of water capacity compared to other Fire Trucks in other towns. In fact, it was a disappointment for Numancia and other towns for not having it around for more than one year when it was out of service. Though with the four areas of responsibilities of the fire station, one old model fire truck is inadequate. However, now that it is back, the people feels safer. /MP 



Senator Teofisto “TG” Guingona III, Chair of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography, has filed Senate Bill No. 2473 that aims to regulate and modernize the practice of medical technology in the Philippines.

He said, “there is a need to update Republic Act 5527, otherwise known as the “Medical Technology Act of 1969, as rapid changes and development in health and information technology, complexities in Filipino lifestyle and population growth, and increasing global competition have transpired in the last four decades.”

“Majority of the sections of the law has become obsolete and no longer applies to present conditions as it was originally created. The scope of practice and the roles of medical technologists have extended to other areas beyond the realm of clinical laboratory setting. With this development, the law is in need of significant revisions in order to properly address the existing and evolving demands of the Medical Technology profession.” 

The proposed measure seeks the creation of a homogenous Professional Regulatory Board of Medical Technology that shall be composed of three medical technologists and chaired by a medical technologist.

SBN 2473 noted that being a regulatory body which ensures the regulation of the practice and monitoring of the conditions affecting the profession for the enhancement and maintenance of high professional, ethical and technical standards and the protection of interests of members of the profession, it is but reasonable that this be headed by one who comes from the same discipline. Other Professional Regulatory Boards are composed and chaired by members of their own professions. The medical technology profession deserves the same status and recognition accorded to other boards.

The proposed revision is the inclusion of molecular and cytogenetic technologies, drug testing, phlebotomy and teaching of professional courses in the scope of practice.

SBN 2473 also proposes for the creation of the Technical Commitee for Medical Technology Education under the Commission on Higher Education and the Continuing Professional Development Council for Medical Technology Education under the Professional Regulatory Commission. These will form as vital support mechanisms to further improve the practice and ensure global competitiveness of medical technologists.

The bill likewise proposes that the minimum base pay of a registered medical technologist should not be lower than an amount equivalent to Salary Grade 15 under the Republic Act 6758, Compensation and Position Classification Act of 1989, and the approved Joint Resolution No. 4 of Congress 2009. This is proposed to enhance the general welfare, commitment to service and professionalism of medical technologists. /MP


by Maria Carmela T. Torres

Travel the world this Sunday as multi-awarded news magazine program Kapuso Mo , Jessica Soho (KMJS) revisits its unforgettable out of the country trips in the past decade in the special episode Biyaheng KMJS10.

Relive the magical world of Harry Potter as KMJS tours the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Osaka , Japan . Viewers also get to enjoy an Asian food trip as KMJS explores Thailand, Singapore and Macau .

KMJS also takes viewers to Italy particularly in the picturesque places in Rome , Napoli and Florence . The special episode also features Russia’s Matryosha dolls and the famous Russian chocolates as well as the rich culture and history of Mexico .

Also, KMJS revisits host Jessica Soho’s emotional trip as she traces back her Chinese roots in a community in Guangzhou , China .

Catch all these in Biyaheng KMJS10, this Sunday, January 4, 7:45PM on GMA-7. /MP


by Alex P. Vidal
First, Sammy Wanjiru was charged with threatening to kill his wife and with illegal possession of an AK-47 assault rifle several months ago.

On May 15, 2012 the 28 year old Beijing Olympic marathon champion, was found dead in his home with internal injuries.

Probers in Nyathururu, Kenya where his body was discovered reported that Wanjiru died from a fall after jumping from a balcony in a possible suicide.

Nyahururu is a town in Ritt Valley, about 150 kilometers or 93 miles north-west of the capital Nairobi. Wanjiru appeared to have suffered internal injuries after the fall and was confirmed dead by doctors at a nearby hospital after attempts to revive him failed.

Police said Wanjiru’s wife, Iriza Njeri, had come home to find him in bed with another woman. She locked the couple in the bedroom and ran outside. Wanjiru then reportedly leapt from the balcony.

Police are unsure if Wanjiru actually intended suicide or jumped out of rage, and are investigating the set of circumstances involving Njeri and his female companion that led to his death.

But recent reports said investigators were still trying to determine why Wanjiru, had jumped as initially reported. They could not yet officially declare if his death was suicide or accidental. They are also eyeing a possible foul play after it was learned that he was scheduled to appear in court that month on the firearms charge.

Iriza Njeri had reportedly withdrawn the attempt-murder charge against her husband explaining they had reconciled.

No Kenyan had won the Olympic marathon until Wanjiru in Beijing in 2008, for all of Kenya’s dominance in long-distance running. Wanjiru’s shocking death was first reported by the International Association of Athletics Federations, track and field’s world governing body.

After conquering the Beijing Olympics at 23, Wanjiru became the youngest runner to win four major marathons all over the world – 2009 Chicago Marathon, 2009 and 2010 London Marathon.

He was named by the Association of International Marathon and Distance Races as the world “Athlete of the Year” before ruling the World Marathon Majors in 2008-2009 and 2009-2010, a competition based on combined performance in the world’s major marathon.

Wanjiru was called as one of Kenya’s “sure bets for gold” at the 2012 London Olympics by the country’s Prime Minister Raila Odinga who sobbed: “Wanjiru’s death is therefore a big blow to our dreams.”

Wanjiru began his running career at the age of 15. He went to Japan in 2002 and enrolled at Sendai Ikuei Gakuen High School in Sendai. He had success on the Japanese cross country circuit, where he won the Fukuoka International Cross Country at 16 years old in 2003.

Yukio Katsumata, Wanjiru’s guardian, described the talented Kenyan as “always alert and a little (bit) naughty.” 

Wanjiru added both the Fukuoka and at the Chiba International Cross Country to his collections of glories consecutively in 2004 and 2005. After graduating in 2005, he joined the Toyota Kyushu athletics team, coached by 1992 Olympic marathon silver medalist Koichi Morishita.


Wanjiru had a 5000 metres best of 13:12.40, run as a 17 year old in April 2004 in Hiroshima, Japan. At the age of only 18, Wanjiru broke the half marathon world record on September 11, 2005 in the Rotterdam Half Marathon with a time of 59:16 minutes, officially beating Paul Tergat’s half marathon record of 59:17 minutes. This was preceded two weeks earlier by a bettering of the 10,000 meter world junior record by a margin of almost 23 seconds in the IAAF Golden League Van Damme Memorial Race on August 26. His WJR time of 26:41.75 was good enough for third place in the race behind Kenenisa Bekele’s world record of 26:17.53 and Boniface Kiprop’s 26:39.77. It was Kiprop who held the previous world junior mark (27:04.00 minutes), set at the same meeting the previous year.

Wanjiru took back the half marathon world record, which haile Gebrselassie broke in early 2006, with 58:53 minutes on February 9, 2007 at the Ras AI Khaimah Half Marathon improved it to 58:33 on March 17, 2007 in the City-Pier-City Loop in the Hague, The Netherlands. While improving his own record, he recorded an unofficial time of 55:31 for 20 kilometers or 12 miles, which was faster than Haile Gebrselassie’s world record but was never ratified due to the timing methods in the race. /MP