Tuesday, February 23, 2016


           Who owns this 10-wheeler truck? This is parked by the roadside along Kalibo-Numancia highway, Laguinbanua East portion of the highway. This truck is parked almost every night in this portion of the road. It destroys the road side and affect adversely traffic circulation. While the truck operator earns in this trucking business, he does not provide his own parking lot./MP


        The above picture shows a misplaced electric post which has been preventing the use of the newly widened Bulwang bridge. The widening of one side of the bridge is completed but this post prevents its used by motorist. It is used, however, as parking space./MP


        Agricultural workers from different plantations and haciendas all over the country converged in Malaybalay City, Bukidnon for Third National Congress of the Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura (UMA). More than 200 delegates from 9 member-unions, associations and federations and more than 20 organizations attended the activity at the Kaamulan Auditorium, near Bukidnon’s Provincial Capitol Grounds.
    UMA, which was founded by farmworkers immediately after the Hacienda Luisita massacre has been in the forefront of the struggle of farmworkers in Luisita and other sugarcane haciendas in Batangas, Negros, and Bukidnon. The current UMA Congress vowed to boldly expand its membership to confront pressing issues affecting agricultural workers especially in vast plantations of export crops such as Cavendish bananas, pineapple, oil palm, rubber and other giant agribusinesses mostly owned and controlled by foreign and multinational corporations. These plantations are largely based in Mindanao.
   The UMA assembly ended with a solidarity night. Guests from prominent leaders of militant organizations include Ka Elmer “Bong” Labog, national chairperson of Kilusang Mayo Uno, and Antonio “Ka Tonying”Flores, secretary general of the Kilusang Magbubukid of the Philippines (KMP).
    Danilo “Ka Daning” Ramos, UMA secretary general, described the theme of the Congress and exhorted the delegates and guests of UMA to continue with their struggle against neoliberal attacks against the workers, peasants, and the Filipino people.
    The incumbent and “future” representatives of progressive partylist, Anakpawis, 1st nominee Ariel “Ayik” Casilao, and Representative Fernando “Ka Pando”Hicap, were also present to challenge the agricultural workers to forward the agenda of the toiling masses this year’s presidential elections. Ayik of Anakpawis meanwhile emphasized that he will continue the brand of the Anakpawis as a party list of the toiling masses to uphold their rights inside and outside of the halls of Congress, or in the “parliament of the streets.” 
    Makabayan senatorial candidate Neri Colmenares sent a video message to the agriworkers, and mentioned that the struggle for the P2,000 pension increase is not yet over. Colmenares emphasized that the country needs genuine land reform and national industrialization for genuine development.
    Ramos said that “It would be an illusion for the common people including for agricultural workers to pin their hopes on any of the traditional politicians. Colmenares is the only senatoriable that will truly fight for agricultural workers’ rights.” Delegates from the Negros Federation of Sugar Workers (NFSW) said that Colmenares spent significant time as an activist and organizer working among sugar workers in his native Negros Occidental.     
    The UMA Congress passed a resolution endorsing Anakpawis Partylist for Congress, and Neri Colmenares of Makabayan for Senator.
 From its original member organizations in sugar plantations, UMA has now expanded to include agricultural workers’ associations in oil palm, banana, bioethanol plantations in Cagayan Valley, Misamis Oriental in Northern Mindanao, Compostela Valley and Davao City in the Northern Mindanao Region.  “UMA is now in a better position to advance agricultural workers rights for genuine land reform, wages, benefits, and job security. UMA is steeled from its experience in Hacienda Luisita and is fighting no less than the cacique holding the highest office in the land, BS Aquino,” said Ramos.
    UMA is poised to launch more mass campaigns for the interests of farmworkers who are among the poorest of the rural poor, enduring slave-like wages in harsh and hazardous labor conditions. The Congress will end with a solidarity night with the lumad of Bukidnon, who have evacuated due to continuing militarization, and are currently holding a camp-out at the Provincial Grounds. /MP 


        AKLAN—Vice-presidential candidate Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero has called on the public to use the power of social media to help the country become a top tourist destination.      
    Escudero made the appeal during a campaign sortie to Kalibo, Aklan, as he shared his observation on the Filipinos’ lack of “storytelling” skill that made the Philippines lag behind its Asian neighbors in terms of tourist arrivals.
    “Our own Boracay beach and other lesser known beaches in the country are far more beautiful compared to Bali Island in Indonesia. But, it seems that we lack stories that say so,” he said.
    Even though the number of tourists visiting Boracay Island has been steadily increasing in recent years, it still pales in comparison with Indonesia’s top tourist draw Bali Island, which is visited by over 3 million tourists yearly.
    Boracay drew 1,560,106 visitors last year, 769,560 of which were foreign nationals.
  Thus, Escudero urged the public to help the government make the Philippines more appealing in the eyes of foreign tourists by being “good storytellers” of the country’s colorful history and awe-inspiring tourist destinations like Boracay Island on social media.           
    “The white and powdery sand beaches of Boracay Island may be far more beautiful, but it is the stories and anecdotes that tell how breathtaking Bali’s beaches are, which drive people to visit the place,” he stressed.
      According to the Department of Tourism, the Philippines had 4.27 million visitors in 2012 and 4.68 million in 2013. Visitor arrivals increased to 4.83 million in 2014, with the biggest number—461,383 and 487,654—arriving in January and December, respectively.
     Last year, 5.36 million international tourists visited the Philippines but the figure was still just over half of the DOT’s five-year target for 2016 of 10 million arrivals.
 The veteran lawmaker encouraged the public to post more pictures and share stories about the Philippines’ colorful heritage, rich cuisines, awesome sceneries and adventure on social media.
     “We could help generate interest to our country just by sharing stories, legends and traditions of our own localities. The T’nalak weaving in Koronadal, South Cotabato, for example, has a very interesting story to tell—that only those who have a pure heart and conscience are granted the dreams that help T’boli women craft unique designs,” Escudero pointed out.
 “These are the stories that we should take pride in and share to the world through the use of new media and the Internet,” he added, in reference to the hand-woven traditional cloth made from abaca and pineapple fibers which feature intricate designs.
       In ILOILO, Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero said accelerating the expansion of the booming business process outsourcing (BPO) industry in Iloilo could drive it to become the “next wave city” because of its ability to create more jobs and generate revenues for the local government.
    Escudero, who was in Iloilo with his presidential running mate Sen. Grace Poe and senatorial candidates under Partido Galing at Puso for their second visit to the Visayas since the official campaign began last week, said that hosting more BPOs will boost real estate, housing and private consumption.
    The country’s BPO indutry targets a revenue goal of $25 billion for this year and is expected to create 1.3 million jobs all over the Philippines.
“We should capitalize on these opportunities provided by the booming BPO industry to create new urban centers in the country. Doing so will not only help redistribute business investments, but also decongest our main urban center that is Metro Manila,” Escudero said.
    Escudero lauded Iloilo for posting a notch higher in the 2016 Tholons Top 100 Outsourcing destinations around the world, from 91st place in 2015 to 90th this year.
     Manila ranked 2nd in the list while Cebu came in 7th place. Others were ranked as follows: Davao, 66th; Metro Laguna, 81st; Bacolod, 85th; Dumaguete, 93rd; Baguio, 94th; and Metro Clark, 97th.
    At the same time, Escudero called on the local government to step up its game in assisting the BPO industry in Iloilo to ensure that it remains a key economic growth driver in the city and the entire province.
    The veteran lawmaker emphasized the need to disperse the city center away from Manila, citing the list of the “next wave cities” identified by the Department of Science and Technology-Information and Communications Technology Office (DOST-ICTO) together with the IT-Business Process Association of the Philippines (iBPAP) in 2012.
     The list identified the potential sites of ICT hubs outside Metro Manila based on “worker supply, telecom infrastructure and other factors necessary to sustain a local BPO industry.”
    Aside from Iloilo City, also identified as the “next wave cities” are Baguio City, Davao City, Dumaguete City, Lipa City, Metro Bulacan (Baliuag, Calumpit, Malolos City, Marilao and Meycauayan City), Metro Cavite (Bacoor City, Dasmariñas City and Imus City), Metro Laguna (Calamba City, Los Baños and Sta. Rosa City), Metro Naga (Naga City and Pili) and Metro Rizal (Antipolo City, Cainta and Taytay).
    “The government can use the list as a guide to create new city centers all over the country. The idea is that Metro Manila would be like an old town surrounded by suburban centers all over the country,” Escudero said.
      To realize this, he said, the government must put in place the necessary infrastructure that would translate to more opportunities outside the nation’s capital region.
     “We should start putting together the blueprint for this. Our people outside mega cities deserve to experience genuine inclusive growth. They should not be left behind,” he said./MP


        Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos, Jr. this week said the next administration must adopt policies like easing constitutional provisions on foreign ownership to drive down electricity cost in the country.
    Marcos aired this statement in the wake of the announcement of Manila Electric Company of a 42-centavo per kilowatt-hour hike in their charge this month. Meralco also warned of higher electricity rates in the coming summer months.
   “We have among the highest power rates in Asia and our current generation capability can hardly keep up with the demand that some areas continue to experience rotating brownouts. If we can drive power costs down mothers can put more food in the table for their families,” said Marcos.
    One good way to drive down power cost, according to Marcos is to encourage foreign investors to come in by easing the constitutional restrictions limiting foreign ownership to 40 percent. In particular, Marcos wants the cap removed for renewable energy companies.
    “We have a lot of areas with the potential for development of renewable energy sources but these require considerable investment. Many foreign firms are interested but not too keen on coming in unless we ease the 60-40 rule,” said Marcos.
    Marcos said the country’s current energy policy is in disarray, citing the complaint of British Ambassador Asif Ahmad who bewailed that while there is a cap on foreign investments in reliable energy full foreign ownership of traditional power generation is allowed.
    “It is imperative for the new administration to put up a clear cut and fair policy on energy, particularly with respect to renewable energy development. If we can do that we would not only have reliable and cheaper electricity but we would be protecting our environment as well,” he added.
   It was under Marcos’ term as governor of Ilocos Norte when the pioneering wind farm project for commercial power generation, located in Bangui town, was established. It now serves not only the energy needs of the province but of nearby areas as well./MP


       Si Bitoy hay isaeang ka ungang ilo sa ina. Pagkamatay ko anang ina, gin bo-oe imaw ko andang kahilapit nga baeay agod mag bantay sa andang mga anwang. Si Bitoy ro naga daea it pagka-on sa eanas kon may pa-ubra si Mang Santos sa anang eanas nga gina umahan.
    Ko isaeang agahon ngaron, gin sugo si Bitoy nga magbakae it suea para sa mga tawohon ni Mang Santos. Pag agi nana sa eskwelahan, nagpundo anay imaw it madali. Nabatian nana rong pagkanta ag pagbasa ko mga unga.
    “Kunta kapares man ako kanda. Anteguhan magsueat, maghuyap ag magbasa. Ano abi ay namatay si Nanay ngani owa ako nakapadayon it pagtuon sa eskwelahan. Hasta eamang ako it Grade One”. Masubo nga hambae ni Bitoy. 
    Sa anang pagbalikid, hakita nana si Amboy nga Dyanitor it eskwelahan nga ginasug-an nana ro mga eaging libro. Dali-dali imaw nga umadto kay Amboy ag gin pangayo nana ro ibang libro nga owa pa masunog. Pagka-uli ni Bitoy sa andang baeay, gin ta-o nana ro mga gin pamakae. Samtang gina eaha pa it kusinera ro pagkaon, sumakay imaw sa anang paboritong anwang.Samtang naga pahangeab si Bitoy ko anang anwang, sige ro anang pagbinasa ko mga libro. Imaw nga imaw ro anang gina obra kon idto imaw sa eanas.
    Umagi ro isaeang ka saeakyan. Sakay it mga turista nga naga pamasyar maeapit sa andang eanas. Pagkakita  nanda kay Bitoy nga naga hapa sa likod it anwang samtang nagabasa, naila gid sanda mag tan-aw. Gin Boe-an nanda it retrato ag gin padaea sa andang mga amigo idto sa iba’t ibang Nasyon. 
    Makataliwan ro sang buean, may mga reporter ag retratista nga umabot. Gin interview si Bitoy. Nag eapta ro balita hanungod kay Bitoy nga nagabasa samtang naga bakiro it anwang. Naging sikat si Bitoy. Tungod kara, gin buligan pa imaw agod makapadayon it pagtuon. 
    Naging cover it mga magazine si Bitoy nga may nakasueat “The Pinoy And His Carabao”. Gin padaea imaw sa Amerika agod idto patun-on. Nalipay man du anang ama bangod sa nag abot nga swerte ko anang unga.
    Pagkataliwan it ap-at nga dag-on, nagbalik si Bitoy iya sa Pilipinas. Isaea eon imaw nga nagtapos sa bantog nga kolehiyo sa Amerika. Abo ro nag kangay kana nga magturo sa bantog man nga kolehiyo sa Pilipinas. Nangin propesor si Bitoy. Gin kilaea imaw nga sangka mangin aeamon sa andang lugar. 
    Gin pamatud-an ni Bitoy nga abo nga paagi rong tawo kon bo-ot nanda nga mag-aeam. Maskin owa imaw sa eskwelahan, may sarang imaw nga mahimo. Ro Diyos hay naga tan-aw sa tawong nagatenguha. Obrahon mo anay ro masaranagn ag ro Diyos rong maga dugang ko tanan./MP


       The next administration should speed up the implementation of the Philippines’ renewable energy program that will ease the problematic power situation while ensuring the protection of environment.
   This call was made by vice presidential candidate Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos Jr., who said that renewable energy offers the best solution to avert an impending power crisis and address an ever-increasing energy demand.
    Marcos, a staunch advocate of renewable energy, said the next administration must vigorously increase the country’s RE capacity targets to make it at least 50 percent by 2030.
    “We need to boost our renewable energy (RE) program and this should be prioritized to ensure economic development while protecting our environment,” he said.
    At present, some 70 percent of the nation’s electricity is generated from fossil-fuels, 90 percent of which are imported. Experts have predicted that if the country remains to be coal and oil-dependent, Filipinos should expect higher power costs because of the steady increase in the prices of these fossil fuels in the world market.
          The only solution, according to Marcos, is for the country to increase its renewable energy portfolio.
“The next administration should be aggressive in increasing our renewable energy programs by encouraging companies to build more solar, wind and hydrogen power plants,” he said. This can be done, he said by giving them additional perks on their investments and cutting bureaucratic red tape.
     Currently, the Board of Investments (BOI) gives incentives to RE companies which include income tax holiday for seven years, duty-free importation of renewable energy machinery, among others. However, Marcos said, more have to be given in order to encourage RE companies in doing their business here.
  “Our government needs to give support for research and investigation of possible sites for RE endeavors and pilot locations as well as give them more tax exemptions in the production aspect,” he stressed.
    Marcos also noted the complaints of RE companies on the slow processing of their applications before regulatory bodies. “Many of them are complaining about the slow processing of their applications for land conversion and other environmental clearance from the national level to the local level. This should be shortened or simplified,” he said.
    Marcos added, “(t)he said the government should ease the process of doing business in the country in general so that companies like those engage in RE will be encouraged to invest here.”
   Marcos had been instrumental in building the first wind farms in Southeast Asia while he was governor of Ilocos Norte in 2003. The wind farms in Ilocos Norte have become the country’s flagship projects for renewable energy.
    During his stint in the Senate, Marcos authored Senate Bill No. 2953 or the Act creating a Hydrogen Research and Development Center to support and encourage the use and development of hydrogen as an alternative source of energy./MP


    On the Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire movie by J.K Rowling, “We are only strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided.”
          LOVE MONTH
    It’s Happy Valentine’s Day for everyone. I say, it’s Happy Independence Day for me. Though I can’t argue with one of the judges who is a friend. He said, “there’s transcendental independence and more meaningful liberty in commitment and valentines, not only in doubles, but singles as well.”
    I wish that you all experience the unconditional love of God. This coming Valentine’s Day, whether it is so meaningful to you to celebrate or not. Love should always prevail in our minds, for only in love where we have unity. It’s only in loving that makes us holistic human being.
    Our life is based on what is reasonable and common sense, so to speak. No matter how scary and complicated life could be, life is still good. Love will always be the center of our being. No matter what you do now, where you are and you will become, love will always make us the best that we can be in life. So love everyone as God is loving us.      
    Love life as God has given us wonderful world to live in and most of all, to care and love. Those who care and act kindly to this world will have kindness and love back.
    Happy Valentine’s Day to all our readers./MP


    The Senate before it adjourned its session this month approve on final reading a bill which seeks to mandate the installation of a speed limiter in all public utility buses (PUBs). Sen. JV Ejercito, chair of the Senate Committee on Public Service sponsored the Senate Bill No. 2999. According to him, the installation of speed limiters will reduce road mishaps.
    According to the PNP report, a total of 12, 875 accidents happened in 2013. This increased to 15,572 in 2014. For the six months period, January to June 2015, the PNP records show 13, 366 accidents already happened.
    The UP National Center For Transport Studies (UP-NCTS) on the speed control of public utility buses in 2014 show that bus riders are the most exposed to risks. A bus is six (6) times more at risk than a car, and five (5) times more than a jeepney.
    Hence, the installation of a speed limiter will regulate speed and curb the fatalities on the road. Speed limiter will minimize motor vehicle accidents.
    If approved into law, PUBs shall neither be registered by the LTO, nor granted franchise by the LTFRB unless a standard speed limiter is installed. A P100,000 penalty and suspension of franchise will be imposed on any person or entity who will violate any  provision of the speed law on speed limiter.
    A driver who operates a PUB or the operator who violates the proposed law if approved  will be fined P50,000 and the driver’s license will be suspended. Any individual who is found guilty of tampering speed limiters will be fined P30,000 and six (6) months to three (3) years imprisonment.
    Speaking of vehicle accidents, my friend, after the tricycle they were riding went off its light and rolled over to the canal suffered fractured leg. The driver was not hurt. Another passenger was slightly hurt which did not need any hospitalization.
    The accident happened on a Saturday evening. In view of his wound, he was brought to DRSTMH for treatment. He was admitted to that hospital that Saturday evening. The following day, Sunday, no physician attended to his wound. However, he was informed surgery will be performed after three (3) days. His wife decided to transfer him to a private hospital in Kalibo as his wound swelled and started to smell bad.
    In another hospital, a private one, he was immediately attended by a surgeon. His wound was treated with medicine and operated. In three (3) days, my friend was discharged from the hospital after paying his hospital bills. He went home happy, assured that his wound is cured.
    On their way home, my friend told me, he sang the song “Mona Lisa”. He was glad he survived the accident and on his way to recovery.
   Voters Power Movement (VPM) will be launch on March 4, 2016 in Kalibo, Aklan. This is a movement which vision is “An enlightened electorate, choosing wisely their public officials who can effect progress, development, and prosperity in Aklan.” It’s mission is “To empower the voters in Aklan in the proper excercise of suffrage affecting their rights, responsibilities and benefits.” 
    The VPM is conceptualized by two (2) retired RTC judges who are Atty. Niovady M. Marin and Atty. Virgilio Paman and Dr. Ambrosio R. Villorente.
    VPM has established its office at Sampaton Bldg., Roxas Ave. Corner A. Mabini St., Poblacion, Kalibo, Aklan
    In order to fulfill its objectives, the VPM will hold public fora in various places in Aklan. The fora will discuss program of government of the candidates their capabilities, their style of leadership and their morality. It will discuss the candidates’ virtues like honesty and diligence among others.
    Moreover, it will review the proven track records of performance and credibility in the previous positions held of the candidates for the May 9, 2016 local and national elections. It will also discuss the style of leadership and approaches in governance./MP 


by: Ernesto T. Solidum

    Agriculture has been tasked to address government’s goal of generating quality jobs and ensuring an exclusive economic growth. Ironically, while 42 percent of our population is dependent on farming, only 15-16 percent is contributed by the sector to Gross Domestic Product(GDP). Based on 2012 PSA data, there were 12.09 million people employed in agriculture or 32 percent of a total workforce of 37.61 million. Yet farmers’ income averages only P170.00 per day. According to FAO, the Philippines has the fifth highest food inadequacy at 54 percent behind Cambodia – 27.1 percent, Myanmar – 29.6 percent, Laos – 38.3 percent and Timor Leste – 46.1 percent.
    The above scenario could be alleviated if farmers join stable and progressive cooperatives. Such is the outstanding  Soro-soro Ibaba Development Cooperative (SIDC) located in Batangas City. The name soro-soro is taken from cactus, a plant that thrives under the sterling leadership of Mr. Victoriano E. Barte along with 58 incorporators chipping in P200.00 each. After 47 years, the former Samahang Nayon has P1.85 billion worth of assets and supported by 22,000 active members.
    Among its awards are: Outstanding Old Farmers’ Organization (1969), Kooperatibang May Pinakamalaking Kita (August 10, 1995), Two (2) times Hall of Fame Awardee (April 6,2000, and November 28, 2002), Most Outstanding Cooperative 2000 (October 20, 2000), Platinum Award (August 2013), Internationally Accredited Animal Feed Manufacturer (June 3, 2015).
    Through its expanded cooperative network, its products and services include: animal feeds (hog, chicken, duck, cattle and quail), organic fertilizer, SIDC Aqua care, savings and loans, resort and adventure park, contract animal farming (broiler and swine), consumer store and gas station. Its huge feedmill complex has the capacity to produce 9,000 bags per day.
    While SIDC consumer stores are fully established in Central and Southern Luzon, the cooperative has started to gain a foothold in Three (3) locations in Aklan namely: Ibajay, Caticlan and Makato. The eventual target is to expand commercial operations particularly sale and distribution of quality products to famer clienteles at the lowest cost.
    The mechanics of the contract growing scheme is that SIDC provides the weanlings (in case of swine) or day old chicks for broilers and animal feeds good for 4 months and 45 days respectively. The farmer cooperators’ equity or counterpart of the animals are labor and space. The total initial cost is deducted from the gross sales.
    The net income of the farmer cooperator largely depends on the prevailing price in the province. SIDC guarantees that its animal feeds cost much less at P1,100/bag compared to P1,300/bag of other commercial feeds. At best, it is essential to raise minimum number of hogs ideally 10 and broilers to 1000 heads for economies of scale.
    In addition, a team of livestock technologists headed by veterinarian ensures that farm animals get the best health care with desired liveweight at maturity. They also provide artificial insemination (AI) services on demand. To ensure clean environment, animal wastes are fed into a biogas digester to provide home electricity or cooking gas.
    Bonafide members of SIDC are provided patronage refund, SIDC care and medical benefits, scholarship grants, seminars, and trainings, mortuary aid, yearly incentive, technical and marketing services, job opportunities and free medical check-up. Membership in cooperatives are voluntary and democratic principles are observed.
    The duties of members are to attend regular, special and annual meetings, pay membership fee (P3,000 regular member, P100 associate member), pre-membership education seminar (PMES), submit any valid ID, marriage contract, barangay clearance, TIN number and 2 ID pictures.
    SIDC Aklan headed by Harold C. Sustre has conducted a one day orientation seminar about SIDC program and objectives on February 10, 2016 at Kusina sa Kalibo. PMES lecture was ably handled by Ms. Ritchel P. Refendor, while Mr. Kevin Caontay tackled Swine Management System. A total of 30 participants, mostly backyard swine raisers from Ibajay, Makato, Numancia, Kalibo and Banga became the first batch of participants.
    Aklan, despite its ideal soil and climate is a food deficit province importing 120 heads of hogs daily from Iloilo and Mindoro aside from dressed chicken, eggs, rice, fruits, vegetables and seafood. A sizeable portion of the commodities is unloaded in upscale market of Boracay to appease the gastronomic appetite of 1.5 million tourists each year./MP


                                                                 Shimontte P. Francisco

       For Mayor: Romeo M. Dalisay - UNA and James V. Solanoy - LP.
      For Vice-Mayor: Wilfredo S. Cezar - LP and Ricardito G. De Asis - NPC.
     For SB Members: Winston M. Bandiola - LP, Zenaida T. Bangcaya - LP, Crispulo T. Bender, Jr. - UNA, Stephen Z. Bolivar - LP, Emelina M. Calixtro - IND, Cipriano G. Casidsid - NPC, Zenaida S. Cezar - LP, Joselito S. Coching - LP, Ma. Imelda Remedios B. Cruz - UNA, Joh Paul S. De Pedro - UNA, Leovilyn S. Dela Torre - LP, Maria Fe T. Lasaleta - UNA, Ferdinand S. Napat - LP, Hilbert S. Napat - IND, Carmen T. Palanog - LP, Cognito D. Palomata, Sr. - NPC, Joselito E. Santiago - NPC and Rhuna F. Tipgos - NPC.
    For Mayor: Shimontte P. Francisco – LP and Marc Anthony M. Peralta – UNA.      
    For   Vice-Mayor: Jesus B. Quimpo – LP, Junie S. Repiano – UNA and Estrella E. Velarde - IND.
   For SB members: Gerry C. Andrade – UNA, Jazel P. Bautista – UNA, Ruben D. Bauya– IND, Janeth V. Dela Cruz– LP, Martelino G. Dela Cruz– IND, Junrel O. Dolormente - IND, Roly O. Equiña, Jr. – LP, Sonie C. Gacay – UNA, Belle A. Kalaw – UNA, Monito P. Lachica – IND, Felizardo S. Legaspi – IND, Forbesto V. Magalit, Jr. – IND, Margarita R. Manalo – LP, Ethel M. Manikan – IND, Teody M. Masangya, Sr. – UNA, Normilita M. Oliveros - IND, Flordeliza R. Pelayo - IND, Apollo B. Peralta- IND, Rodolfo D. Perucho - UNA, Emelyn A. Popes - UNA, Edgardo R. Quijano - IND, Joel R. Repayo - LP, Edna E. Retamar - UNA, Cyril C. Romano - IND  and Edwin M. Rome – LP
   For Mayor: Pepito M. Iligan – UNA and Jeserel T. Templonuevo - LP.
     For Vice-Mayor: Bayani M. Cordova – NPC, and Romeo N. Ricafuente – LP. 
    For SB members: Genaro S. Abello – IND, Arnalda I. Ballenas, Joel H. Carillo – UNA, Mariel Cielo M. Coching – NPC, Geraldo M. Cordova – IND, Rogelio M. Enero II – IND, Vincent R. Enero – UNA, Florentino C. Fernandez – LP, Domingo R. Ibabao, Jr. – LP, Adolfo M. Iligan  
  – UNA, Lilyn V. Jauod – LP, Romeo V. Lachica, Jr. – LP, Michael John C. Macavinta – NPC, John V. Maribojo – UNA, Rose F. Nepomuceno – NPC, Razan P. Perlas – LP, Adelma T. Regalado – LP, Pepito M. Ruiz – NPC, Jerome T. Vega – LP, and Josie I. Villanueva - LP
    For Mayor: Gary T. Fuentes – LP, Jed A. Tirol - IND and Norberto F. Yap, Jr. – UNA. 
   For Vice-Mayor: Gene T. Fuentes – LP, and Alan. M. Loyola – UNA.    
     For SB members: Elizer A. Aguirre – LP, Peter A. Ascaño – LP, Arjay D. Fernandez – LP, Edina T. Gelito – LP, James B. Goboy. – UNA, Randy T. Goboy – IND, Blas D. Maayon– IND, Guillermo T. Manares, Jr. – UNA, Wilson C. Mendoza – IND, Lucas Philamer R. Molo – UNA, Nicolas A. Panagsagan – IND, Julio S. Rabe – IND, Audie T. Señeris – LP, Alexander N. Tefora – LP, Magdalena R. Tibulan – IND, Glenn F. Tigson – LP, Jose Roxie Z. Tirol - IND, Nolina T. Toriaga - LP, Regalado T. Toriaga - UNA, Richard A. Traje - UNA and Ricky F. Yap – UNA./MP


    TAGUM CITY – Being the country’s food basket, Mindanao is being eyed as the new home of the agriculture department’s central office.
      Addressing a huge cheering crowd estimated to be more or less 15,000 during a campaign rally here, PDP-Laban vice presidential bet and Senator Alan Peter Cayetano said it is a bold move that Davao City Mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte will do if elected president.
     Mindanao, Cayetano said, has been neglected over the years and it’s about time to give the island its due through Duterte’s plan to decentralize government operations throughout the country.
     “This is in recognition of the island’s singular role as the nation’s food basket, and the decade’s worth of official neglect despite this undisputed distinction,” Cayetano added.
      Aside from relocating the Department of Agriculture national office from Quezon City to Mindanao, the Duterte-Cayetano tandem is also considering the transfer of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and Department of Energy (DoE) to Mindanao.
     Government figures show that Mindanao accounts for at least 34 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product, and 44 percent of the national food trade.
     Its coconut industry alone accounts for 64 percent of the country’s total production.
   Based on government reports as of May 2013, Mindanao is also a key driver of the minerals industry, with 20 of the 38 operating metallic mines of the country representing 53 percent of the number of mineral projects nationwide.
     The island also accounts for 80 percent of the national total deposits of copper, nickel, and gold.
    Fermin Adriano, a Mindanao policy adviser of former President Fidel V. Ramos, said the move to transfer the DA central office to Mindanao will be a welcome development.
   “The relocation of the DA is fine because Mindanao agriculture represents 38 percent of the Philippine agricultural output,” Adriano said.
     He said it may be more prudent to “appoint a Secretary or an undersecretary from Mindanao for the energy and environment portfolios.”
   The matter about relocating the energy portfolio was also echoed by Marriz Agbon, founding chair of the influential Mindanao Business Council.
     Agbon expressed reservation about this, because he said that “the reality is 70 percent of the Philippine power market is in Luzon.”
    “We’re talking here of industries and other large power-consuming businesses,” said Agbon, who is a former national focal person of the DA-DAR-DENR-DILG National Convergence Initiative for Sustainable Rural Development and a former member of the National Renewable Energy Board.
    At the national level, Agbon believes that eliminating the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) will have tremendous impact on the Philippine power industry.
    The creation of WESM is part of a reform package under the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001.
     He added that “in the case of Mindanao, it will do well for government to pursue a distributed energy policy environment wherein distribution utilities are encouraged to develop/solicit power projects in accordance with their respective projections of local economic development.”
     Makes sense 
   Agbon, however, agreed  to bringing the other key departments to the South.
     “Relocating the central offices of the DA and DENR to Mindanao makes sense because it focuses government’s priorities on the production base for both agriculture and agroforestry. Market linkage infrastructure is a concrete need in bringing the volumes of Mindanao produce cost-effectively and quality-wise to the Visayas, Metro Manila and China markets,” he added.
      Another government executive, who requested anonymity, said, “with Mindanao regarded as the country’s food basket by contributing 30 percent of national food trade and producing eight (8) out of top 10 agri export commodities, relocating the DA office to Mindanao makes a lot of sense.”/MP

    Scrutinize bets during Comelec 2016 debates

    Senate President Franklin M. Drilon this week urges the public to closely watch the upcoming presidential and vice presidential debates sponsored by the Commission on Elections (Comelec), so that they will be better informed about who has the best plans and platforms of the next leaders of the country.
    Drilon, said that the public must take a good look and size up the contenders participating in the presidential and vice-presidential debates. The first debate has been slated for February 21 in Cagayan De Oro.
        “I hope that the public will not miss this chance to tune in and listen to the answers that will be given by those who want to lead this country for the next six years. Can they really continue the progresses which have already been made in the past six years?” Drilon asked.       
     “These debates will give the voters throughout the country an important mechanism to know where the candidates stand on critical issues, such as on the fight against corruption, poverty alleviation, ending political dynasties, job generation, and tax reform,” he added.
     “I am sure the public wants to know how these candidates will answer these questions, and that these answers will help determine the outcome of the election,” Drilon said.
      For his part, the four-time Senate President said that he will actively join any debate if the Comelec will choose to host such events for the senatorial candidates in the election: “I will welcome any such opportunity to present my platforms and my suggestions, as a veteran lawmaker, on what political, social and economic reforms we need to undertake to ensure our nation’s continued progress.”
     According to the Comelec, all five presidential candidates – including the Liberal Party’s standard- bearer Manuel Roxas III, will attend the Feb 21 debate, which will be hosted by television network GMA 7 and the newspaper Philippine Daily Inquirer that will, revolve around four topics: development, peace and order, track record, Constitution and Mindanao issue./MP

October 11-17, 2015

Jesus Miracle Crusade Prays for Marcos
                             Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos campaigning before a huge crowd.

     FRESH from the blessings he received from Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines President Archbishop Socrates Villegas of the Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan last Saturday, vice presidential candidate Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos Jr. was prayed over by pastors of the Jesus Miracle Crusade (JMC) charismatic movement last Sunday.
   The pastors, led by JMC Beloved Minister PojAlmeda, son of the group’s founder and leader, Beloved Pastor Wilde Almeda, performed the laying on of hands to Marcos during the 41st Church anniversary celebration of JMC held at the KB Amoranto Sport Complex in Quezon City.
    In his speech before some 40,000 members who attended the celebration, Marcos said the long years of existence of the JMC whose members have stayed together as brethren is a sign of miracle.
   He also cited the outreach programs of the group to help others here and abroad as symbols of strong faith.
     He reiterated the need for all the Filipinos to unite and help one another to bring progress to the country.
     He said, solutions to the lingering problems of the Filipinos are available and need only to be implemented by a united Philippines in order to succeed.
    Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos, Jr. today expressed disappointment over the technical glitches in the mock polls conducted by the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
    Marcos said the poll body should vigorously move to correct all technical glitches in the automated elections system and make sure they are solved at least a month before the May 9 elections.
    The Comelec’s mock polls, conducted last Saturday to test the automated election system, revealed various flaws including technical glitches that delayed voting in some precincts, some ballots rejected as well as transmission problems.
    “We are quite disappointed that the Comelec has not been able to streamline their operation and every step of the way, mukhang nagkakaproblema,” said Marcos.
      He added, “I hope that the Comelec, Chairman (Andres) Bautista especially, would be able to do something to correct these issues way before the elections. Hindi pwedeng one or two days, it has to be at least a month before,” said Marcos.
       He also rejected an earlier announcement from the Comelec of possible postponement of elections in some areas of the country. “Delikado yan. Remember that you cannot delay the elections. It is a constitutional mandate; it must be held on the second Monday of May,” he added.
       Marcos earlier said the glitches in the automated election system is causing a lot of concern for all the candidates.
     “We are all very concerned pagkahindi gumagana yung sistema ng Comelec. Actually everybody is very worried,” he said.
    Likewise, Marcos noted reports that there were problems in the printing of ballots.
    “If there is any way we can assist them we would be happy to do it. But they have to fix it,” he said./MP

Tuesday, February 09, 2016


         The Senate this week approved on third and final reading the proposed Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA) which aims to simplify, modernize and align the Philippine’s customs procedures with global best practices by amending the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines (TCCP).
        “We want to overhaul and modernize the bureau which has long been perceived as one of the most corrupt and underperforming government agencies in the country. Approximately $277 billion in revenues was lost by the government for the period 1960 to 2011 due to technical smuggling according to a 2014 study of Global Financial Integrity,” Senator Juan Edgardo ‘Sonny’ Angara said.
      Angara, chairman of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means and sponsor of Senate Bill No. 2968 or the proposed Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA), said the measure aims to amend the TCCP in compliance with the Revised Kyoto Convention (RKC) which is a blueprint for “modern and efficient customs procedures” of the World Customs Organization.
Senate President Franklin Drilon said that upgrading the current Bureau of Customs (BOC) systems to electronic processing, would make the BOC’s importation and exportation procedures faster, more effective and more convenient, especially for the public. 
     ‘The modernization under the CTMA will benefit millions of ordinary Filipinos who suffer from the inefficiencies in the handling of incoming and outgoing goods, especially during holiday seasons when Filipinos endure the cumbersome process of trying to claim gifts or packages which are stuck at the ports,” he stressed. 
      The bill proposes for the use of information and communications technology and other appropriate applications to reinforce the BOC’s functions towards simplified, secured and harmonized trade facilitation.
      Angara said the passage of the bill into law would increase transparency and simplify procedures in the BOC, increase the de minimis value, raise the tax exemption ceiling for packages sent by “balikbayans” and returning residents, and provide harsher penalties for smuggling. De minimis are small items that are usually minor or lacking importance.
        The bill proposes an increase in the tax-exempt value of balikbayan boxes from P10,000 to P150,000 and the de minimis value from P10 to P10,000. Tax-exempt and de minimis values may also change every three years. Donation and relief goods will also be duty and tax-free during times of calamity.
     Angara said the bill aims to ingrain transparency and accountability into the BOC, as apart from drastically reducing human intervention due to the electronification of customs procedures, higher penalties and punishments will be prescribed as a further deterrent to smuggling. 
      “Our measure clearly defines the exercise of customs police authority, customs jurisdiction and customs control,” Angara said.
     BOC officials said they anticipate a 10 percent increase in revenue collection once the bill is enacted into law. The BOC pegged revenue collection at P369 billion in 2014./MP




   Francis “Chiz” Escudero urged the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) to start the implementation of the long-standing proposal to link the Mindanao power grid with the rest of the Philippines to avert a potential power shortage in Luzon that is being projected by the Energy Development Corp. (EDC) by 2018.
    According to Escudero, the EDC expects the demand for power to go up due to the country’s growing economy, which may impact on the energy supply to Luzon.
    With the projected over supply of electricity in Mindanao starting next year because of the completion of new power plants, Escudero said the Mindanao-Visayas power interconnection would make it possible to share the surplus power to Luzon. 
    Power supply in Mindanao is projected to hit 13,300 megawatts (MW) by 2016 compared to a projected demand of 12,000 MW, according to the Department of Energy (DOE).
    Escudero said lawmakers have long been pushing for the link-up since discussion on Republic Act No. 9136 or the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) started in Congress 15 years ago.
    “We have been pushing for that since the EPIRA was being discussed in Congress in 2000. We’ve been proposing that already –the inter-connectivity and a truly national grid connecting to the entire country’s power lines,” Escudero said.
    Escudero however, admitted that the government’s hands are tied on the issue since NGCP is a private enity.
    “NGCP cannot be forced to hasten the implementation of the plan since it has already been privatized but the government can exert pressure, and that pressure would come from the fact that no new power could be brought from areas where there is a surplus of supply to places where there is a supply shortfall,” he added.
    The same solution could be applied before to address the Mindanao power crisis because Luzon had only enough power supply for its consumers, according to Escudero.
    Recent reports said the NGCP is still completing the feasibility study on the Mindanao-Visayas power line interconnection but it has vowed to complete the project by 2018.
    NGCP said it has been studying two proposals that would make Dipolog City as the  connection point either Cebu or Negros Islands.
    The NGCP, which is responsible for bringing the electricity produced by power plants to distribution utilities , has thumbed down the original plan of having a Surigao-Leyte route because it’s situated near active fault lines. The said route, which would have spanned 455 kilometers of overhead lines and 23 kilometer submarine cables, is estimated to cost P 24 billion./MP



        The Department of Health should tap and mobilize barangay officials in the effort to ward of the threat of Zika virus, which the World Health Organization declared last week a global public health emergency, Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos, Jr. said this week.
         Medical evidence ties Zika virus to the cause of a birth defect called microcephaly, in which babies are born with undersized heads and brains, as well as to Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS), a neurologic condition marked by rapid muscle weakness.
       “As doctors and scientists rush research to understand the virus better, the prudent thing to do is to step up preventive measures against the spread of the virus in our country,” said Marcos.
     “Our barangay officials constitute our best line of defense against this threat. If we can secure their cooperation and commitment for preventive actions can be implemented properly down to the grassroots level,” he added.
        Marcos, chairman of the Senate Committee on Local Government, noted that barangay officials are the ones who know best the situation in their area and directly in touch with the people who need to be informed of the seriousness of the Zika virus threat.
      Currently, there is no vaccine or cure for Zika virus infection. The only way to avoid catching it is to avoid getting bitten by the Aedesaegypti mosquitoes that transmit the infection—the same type of mosquitoes that transmit dengue.
      “While we still don’t know much about Zika, the fact that it is known to be carried by the same mosquito that transmits dengue means we can prevent it by the same methods we use for dengue prevention. We just have to redouble our efforts at it,” Marcos said.
      The senator said barangay officials would be specially effective in leading residents on “search and destroy” efforts to rid their surroundings of pockets of stagnant, clear waters, which are known breeding place of dengue-carrying mosquitoes. Likewise, they can help identify sites for selective fogging and assist in the information campaign to encourage self-protection and seek early consultation upon suspicion of possible infection.
     “We must act together in warding off this serious health threat. With the cooperation of our barangay officials I am confident that we can not only safeguard the well-being of our people and look forward to a brighter, more progressive future for everyone,” said Marcos.
     Marcos has been vocal in recognizing the crucial role barangay officials play in the delivery of basic government services to the people and spearheaded the passage of a bill to provide them with retirement benefits./MP


    The Senate has adopted a resolution urging political leaders to heed the call of the Pope to live simply and in “outstanding honesty, integrity and commitment to the common good.”
    Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, who introduced Resolution 1110, said the Pope’s call for all to live simply is relevant since the Philippines faces the challenges of achieving inclusive growth, which despite the sincere efforts of the government today, still eludes a significant percentage of our population who continue to live in poverty and want.
    Senate President Franklin Drilon also said that the Filipinos need and deserve leaders who will make true of the Pope’s assertion that public governance is one of the highest forms of charity: “Public service is not about power or control, it is about uplifting our people from poverty and hopelessness.”
    Pimentel cited a 2014 report from the Philippine Statistics Authority which showed poverty incidence at 25 percent since 2003.
    In a population of 100 million people, that would translate into some 25 million poor Filipinos who are marginalized, robbed of their dignity and stripped of their basic human rights, according to Pimentel.
    He said, Pope Francis also challenged everyone, at all levels of society, “to reject every form of corruption which diverts resources from the poor.”
    “The year 2015 has been declared by the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) as the Year of the Poor, to respond positively to the papal challenge for us to live simply, it behoves our political leaders to show the way by their living with honesty, integrity and commitment to the common good so that our nation’s resources are channeled properly to benefit  the people, especially the poor, in a culture where the human rights and dignity of everyone are cherished and respected, and justice is done to them whatever their situation in life may be,” Pimentel said.
    Meanwhile, the Senate also adopted Resolution 1044, expressing its full support to the review of peacekeeping operations and special political missions conducted by the United Nations in the light of changes in the geopolitical landscape and risks faced by UN international missions.
    Sen. Loren Legarda, who introduced the resolution, said that UN Secretary General Ban-Ki-Moon had announced last year the creation of a high Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations which will review issues such as the changing nature of conflict, evolving mandates, peace building  challenges, managerial and administrative arrangements, planning, partnerships, human rights and protection of civilians, uniformed capabilities for peacekeeping operations, among others.
    Senate President Drilon said that the upper chamber will support any initiative by the UN to reassess its protocols on its peace-keeping operations given that the Philippines has long been consistently involved in the international organization’s human development and peacekeeping programs.
    “This comprehensive assessment is both relevant and timely given the challenges experienced by Philippine peacekeepers during the conduct of its missions at Golan Heights in Syria in August 2014 when they were forced to defend themselves against Syrian rebels and reposition to avoid further harm,” Legarda said, adding:
    “Being a founding member state of the UN and in keeping with its obligations to the international community, the Philippines has at various times deployed peacekeepers to war-torn areas like Korea, Congo, Afghanistan, Burundi, Cambodia, Iraq, Nepal and Sudan. We therefore express our support to the UN’s review of peacekeeping operations and special political missions.”/MP


      Ro nasyon nga Inglatera hay kilaea sa anang mga eaging kastilyo nga gina estahan it mga may dugong hari-anon. Sa tanan nga gina pangayaw it mga turista hay ro isaeang ka kastilyo nga ginakahadlukan nga sudlon eabi gid ko mga unga. Rondayang kastilyo hay may ap-at ka kwadro sa kada-binit nga nakapinta sa sari-saring porma it uyahon. Ro unang kwadro hay malipayon ro anang uyahon. Ro pangaywa hay masubo.        Ro pangatlo hay nagalisik ro anang mga mata sa subrang kaakig. Ro katapusan hay ginatabunan ro anang uyahon ko anang mga tudlo ag sa ubos hay may nakapinta nga yabe.
     Abo nga nagsamit nga tukibon rong kahueogan ko mga kwadro apang owa sanda nangin madinaeag-on. Isaea si Valdemor, isaea ka negosyante it mga antigong bagay. Nag-adto imaw sa isaeang ka librariya ag gin usisa paagi sa librong anang gin basa.
    Suno sa libro, rong pintor nga nagpinta hay amigo it konde nga naga panag-iya kong kastilyo. Sayod rong pintor kon ano rong pagpanga buhi sa sueod it kastilyo. Ro unang kwadro hay sadya-an nga paghibayag it Konde bangod sa naka-asawa imaw it gwapahon nga babaye. Ro  uyahon hay masubo bangod namatay rong mga ginikanan. Busa naha-aywan imaw. Gin aywan kana rong tanan nga manggad.
     Ro pangatlo nga  kwadro hay naga lisik rong mata sa sobrang kaakig. Suno sa libro, natukiban kong Konde nga gin traidor imaw ko anang asawa ay nag-munot imaw sa isaeang ka eaeaki.
     Owa magbuhay, namatay rong Konde sa masakit nga Hemopelya, masakit it mga may dugong hari-anon. Gin himos rong mga kagamitan ko pintor ag gin aywan eamang ro mga kwadro. Halin kato, abre sa tanan nga turista ro kastilyo nga ginatatap kong pamunuan it syudad.
    Pagkatapos it basa   ni Valdemor, nag bisita imaw sa kastilyo.Gin himutaran nana it mayad rong                 uyahon it Konde sa idaeum ko anang mga tudlo. May nakapinta nga yabe sa kwadro. Idto sa sueod nakatago ogaling indi magkasungka rong yabe. 
    Gin libot nana rong kastilyo. May hakita imaw nga mabahoe nga kandado nga tuktukon eon sa kabuhayon. Gin su-ob nana rong yabe. Nagbukas rong kwadro. Sa sueod nakatago rong maisot nga kahon. Sa anang pagbukas naka pilo rong isaeang ka papel nga naga sa-ad nga kon sin-o ro naga buyot kong papel ngara hay imaw rong mangin tag-iya ko bilog nga kastilyo.
   Gin pakita ni Valdemor rong papel sa pamunoan it syodad. Napamatud-an nga bukon it peke rong papel. Nangin tag-iya it kastilyo si Valdemor./MP

Monday, February 08, 2016


by Ernesto T. Solidum

    Seemingly endless experience of colorfully and clad dancers and merrymakers   snaked their way through the streets of Kalibo in the biggest “Sinaot sa Kalye” and Higante contest. Nimble and agile participants dressed in varied costumes design swayed, pranced, chanted and skipped to blasting musical scores reminiscent of mardi gras parade in Rio de Janeiro. Panoramic view is really a sight to behold.
     All DepEd Districts of Aklan have their own choreography, costume design, and props making it hotly contested. Costumes ranged from native materials of woven coconut leaves and baskets to flamboyant blouses and scarves. Smile etched on the faces of dancers conveyed warmth, vibrancy and passion to the Sto. Niño.
    Intricate ornaments of fancy silver and gold flashed under the early morning sun as performers gyrated and twisted in perfect rhythm while giant figures of legend watched in tacit approval. Not only dancing and merry making occured in the streets. It was also happening in the gaily decorated floats.
    A notable observation though is too few people and cheerers. Plausible reasons: January 14 is eve of Sto. Niño fiesta in neighboring Makato where similar fun and excitement are taking place. Other places celebrating ati-atihan are Boracay, Malay; Naile, Ibajay, Malinao, Batan, Altavas and Ibajay.
    Furthermore, relocating transport terminal from Oyo Torong to Bulwang, Numancia makes going to Kalibo expensive and inconvenient since commuters are forced to board tricyles in order to reach Poblacion,  Kalibo. The authorities appear to be helpless in solving the traffic gridlock. Despite completion of the expanded 4-lane Kalibo-Numancia bridge three months ago, the bridge is not yet operational.
    The winners in the Sinaot event are classified into two. Magueang nga Ati: Orig nga Ati Category, the winners are: Champion – Banga, 1st runner up – Malinao, 2nd runner up – Numancia, 3rd runner up – Buruanga, 4th runner up – Ibajay West. The Best in Mass Presentation Category: 1st place – Numancia, 2nd place Banga, 3rd place – Ibajay East; The Best in Street Choreography 1st place – Buruanga, 2nd place – Banga, 3rd place – Malinao. The Loudest Group 1st place – Batan, 2nd place – Buruanga, 3rd place – Lezo; The Most Jolly Group 1st place – Buruanga, 2nd place – Banga, 3rd place – Malinao; The Best in Costumes and Props: 1st place – Batan, 2nd place – Numancia, 3rd place – Malinao.
     Results of Magueang nga Ati: Best Performing Group Champion – Nabas, 1st runner up – Malay, 2nd runner up – Balete, 3rd runner up – Kalibo 11, 4th runner up – Makato, 5th runner up –Kalibo 1. Best in Mass Presentation  1st place – Balete, 2nd place – Nabas, 3rd place – Madalag. The Loudest Group 1st place – Nabas, 2nd place – Kalibo 1, 3rd place – Tangalan. Best in Higante 1st place – Buruanga, 2nd place – Malay. Most Jolly Group 1st place – Balete, 2nd place – Madalag, 3rd – Nabas. Best in Costumes and Props 1st place – Balete, 2nd place – Malay, 3rd place – Nabas.
    This year’s presentation by the DepEd is a quantum leap from previous performances. A total of 1,800 public school teachers exhibited their skills and talents to new heights. We commend Dr. Jesse M. Gomez, Aklan Division Superintendent of Schools for a job well done./MP



          Mayor: Renato A. Bautista – IND, Rodell R. Ramos – LP, and Benito C. Cortes – NPC
     Vice-Mayor: Cezar C. Cortes – NPC and Jayner L. Demeterio – NP.
          For SB members: William R. Bautista, Jr. – LP, Jessie T. Ciriaco – IND, Myrlin S. Cortes – LP, Enrique B. Custudio – NPC, Eric A. Del Rosario – LP. Eugenio JB S. Fulgencio, Jr. – LP, Catalina T. Jacinto – NPC, Evelyn T. Jarantilla – NPC, Julio S. Leonor, Jr. – NPC, Adam C. Mamay – LP, Anna Lisa B. Panado – LP, Joena B. Parco – NPC, Dennis A. Perlas – NPC, Medardo S. Placer – LP, Jairus C. Salazar – LP, Rina V. Sarceno – NPC, Rolly B. Sucgang – NPC and Rodel S. Victoriano – IND
         For Mayor: Concepcion D. Labindao – LP, Rolando D. Rojo – UNA and Giselle A. Sumabong – IND. 
       For Vice-Mayor: Daniel J. Cajilig – UNA and Allan P. Dagohoy – LP. 
    For SB members: Jesus Bomer A. Alvarez – IND, Ferolina D. Beliran – UNA, Manuel S. Coching – IND, Joseph C. Dela Peña – LP, Femy C. Dumaguin – LP, Carlos D. Dumalaog – LP, Nicolas A. Iguiron – LP, Adonis P. Labindao – LP, Wevena Q. Malayas – UNA, 
  Dextero S. Obrique – UNA, Rommel M. Obrique – UNA, Sammy C. Oquendo – LP, Macario O. Panganiban – LP, Lilian A. Perez – UNA, Rommel R. Rojo – UNA, Arlin Y. Sualog – IND, Benito P. Sualog, Jr. – UNA, Rigor S. Sualog – IND, Marlon C. Sulat – NPC, Gorgonio F. Tandog – IND and Winnie U. Yap – LP.

          For Mayor: Victor Manuel M. Garcia – UNA and Jose Enrique M. Miraflores – LP. 
   For Vice-Mayor: Alejandro S. Diaz – UNA, Jose S. Palacio – IND and Plaridel M. Solidum – LP.    
          For SB members: Diva S. Agustin – LP, Cyril M. Alag – LP, Ervin V. Alonsagay – UNA, Mabini M. Ascaño – UNA, Jurry M. Cabangil – UNA, Elmer F. Colangoy – LP, Julio M. Estolloso – LP, Lowell S. Fernandez – LP, Rano B. Hontiveros – LP, Emilio S. Ilinon – UNA, Remedios G. Lumio – IND, Edgar S. Magbiray – LP, Paul S. Magharing – UNA, Joeplen T. Oczon – UNA, Vonn A. Salido – UNA, Juluis Peter A. Sitjar – UNA and Delano T. Tefora – UNA.
          For Mayor: William S. Lachica – NPC and Raymar A. Rebaldo – LP. 
    For Vice-Mayor: Madeline A. Regalado – NPC and Rey V. Tolentino – LP.
          For SB members: Mark Ace L. Bautista – LP, Pablo D. Beltran, Jr. - IND, Daisy S. Briones – NPC, Cynthia C. Dela Cruz – IND, Ariel O. Fernandez – NPC, Buen Joy V. French – LP, Conrado S. Indelible – IND, Phillip Y. Kimpo, Jr. – LP, Gregorio R. Malapad, Jr. - LP,  Ethel P. Marte – LP, 
    Alexander C. Nabor – IND, Rodillo L. Policarpio – NPC, George L. Quimpo –NPC, Mark V. Quimpo – LP, Delfin M. Quintana – LP, Odonnell R. Radislao – IND, Juris B. Sucro – NPC, Arnaldo M. Tejada – NPC, Augusto C. Tolentino – IND and Melanie V. Tolentino – LP./MP


           Mr. Norlito Ibañez PSO-VISAYAS I-REAP Component Head explaining to the participants the importance of  simplified financial management and appropriate record keeping which are vital in the implementation of small livelihood projects under the Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP) in Western Visayas.( JEEOgatis photo)
       Mr. Cirilo Navarro, Financial Analyst of PSO-Visayas coaching the participants on the proper entry of cash receipts and cash disbursement, general ledger and generation of financial statement. (JEEOgatis photo).

    “Appropriate and proper recording of daily transactions in implementing the enterprise using different book of accounts will surely ensure success of our proposed cattle fattening project, an approved small livelihood project (SLP) under the Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP).” quipped Mr. Rey Ferrer, president of Central Panay Green Revolution Association based at the municipality of Dueñas, Iloilo.
     Ferrer, a participant of the four-day Regional Project Coordinating Office (RPCO)-6 simplified financial management training workshop added that proper recording system will ensure accountability, responsibility and transparency of funds released by the PRDP.
    Mr. Andrew Tiples, Secretary General of Central Panay Green Revolution Association, said that the training workshop enabled him to discover more about PRDP and equipped them of financial management system.
    “You cannot show and prove transparency to your members without showing them proper records of income and expenses reflected on the books of accounts”, explained Mr. Tiples.
     The participants coming from the different proponent groups were able to identify the difference between a journal and ledger as explained by Mr. Cirilo Navarro, Financial Analyst of PSO-Visayas.
     Navarro said that a special journal consist of three books namely; cash receipt journal book, cash disbursement journal book, and journal book for non-cash transaction while a ledger is a summary of monthly total transactions of the three journal books.
     Mr. Norlito Ibañez PSO I-REAP Component Head said that understanding the relevance of books of accounts will lead to easier generation of Financial Statement which consist of trial balance, balance sheet, income statement, bank reconciliation, statement of receipt and expenditure (SRE) and cashflow statement.
      Ibañez stressed that appropriate record keeping is necessary to all PRDP SLP projects in order to liquidate the first tranche of fund releases to PLGUs and a requirement to avail of the second and final fund release.
     The training workshop is part of the capability building interventions to Proponent Groups which have proposed SLPs under the RPCO-6 to enhance their capabilities in enterprise implementation.
    The PRDP is a six-year project of the Department of Agriculture that envisions to increase farm and fishery productivity and income of households in the target areas in 16 regions in the country. (JEEOgatis/InfoACE-RPCO-6) /MP

Wednesday, February 03, 2016


      Pasig Rep. Roman Romulo this week lamented deficiencies in the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) which denied or delayed financial assistance to thousands of students last
     He cited the observations contained in the 2014 audit report of the Commission on Audit which said that there were “deficiencies in the implementation of the CHED of the Student Financial Assistance Programs.”
     The COA report said this resulted  to“unutilized allotments/funds of P1.23 billion, which delayed the availment by the students of the benefits in the CHEDROs.”
     The audit commission also noted that “the total slots allocation of 319,817 students, with a total budget of P5.23 billion including continuing appropriations downloaded to CHEDROs, were beyond their absorptive capacity, resulting to operational defficiences, thus, adversely affecting the implementation of the program...”
    Romulo, who authored several laws providing financial assistance to students, said these deficiencies were “at the very least unacceptable because these funds have been put in place to ensure that qualified students are given financial assistance when they need them most.”
    “I ask the CHED to immediately address these deficiences so no qualified students, especially the financially handicapped, will be turned away or denied what is due them as mandated by law,” he said.
      Romulo, who is running for a Senate seat in the May polls, authored the Iskolar ng Bayan and UNIFAST laws, which provide scholarship grants to top graduates of public high schools and financial support to poor but deserving college students.
    On the other hand, Rep. Roman Romulo said the new administration should heed the warning of a foreign executive that Metro Manila could become “uninhabitable” if no urgent action is taken to build an adequate and seamless infrastructure network in the capital.
    “While there are infra projects underway and will be completed post-2016, it is clear that these are very inadequate. The public is at a loss as to what government is doing to address their concerns,” he said.
     “But we all know it is too late in the day for this administration to do anything meaningful in the next six months. All it can do is ease the pain of daily commuters,” Romulo said.
   The gridlock alarm was raised by John Forbes, senior advisor of the American Chamber of Commerce, who said that Metro Manila would become uninhabitable within four years if no new limited access roads, skyways and rail lines are built.
        Forbes pointed to the projected increase in vehicles of up to 500,000 by 2020, many of them in Metro Manila.
  The new administration should take meaningful action from Day One if we are to sustain and further advance economically and ensure that the commuter can avail of quick and comfortable rides on their way to work and school,” Romulo said.
       “In fact, the infra network should link Metro Manila with Central Luzon and the Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon) region,” he pointed out.
  Pasig Rep. Roman Romulo this week asked how government will spend the P19.2 billion budget approved last month by President Aquino to mitigate the negative impact of El Niño on farmers and consumers.
    “What’s the plan? Where will the money be spent?,” he asked. “All we know from reports quoting NEDA chief Arsenio Balisacan is that there is a budget and that government is preparing for a worst-case scenario that may arise from this Godzilla El Niño threat.”
   Romulo pointed out that PAGASA has warned that as much as 85 percent of the country, comprising of 68 provinces, will suffer by April, a “meteorological drought” caused by El Niño. Twelve other provinces in Luzon and Mindanao will experience a dry spell. 
        It is expected to peak between March and May this year, the state weather agency said. El Niño is a weather phenomenon that develops in the Pacific Ocean that is a result of the warming of sea temperatures.
     “A consensus of climate models shows that it will likely strengthen further...and may last until the first half of 2016. This 2015-2016 El Niño event will potentially be four strongest events since 1950 (1972-1973, 1982-1983, 1997-1998),” PAGASA said.
     Already, Zamboanga City has began water rationing because its rivers and main reservoir are drying up.
    In a report in October, the HSBC Global Research warned that a prolonged dry spell might also lead to higher inflation and force the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas to “hike rates sooner than expected.”
   “The least the government should do is inform the people in areas already affected by El Niño about the interventions being done to help them so they can avail of these assistance,” Romulo said./MP

Tuesday, February 02, 2016


By: Megs Lunn

     “Life is not a path of coincidence, happenstance, and luck. It is rather an unexplainable meticulously chartered course for one to touch the lives of others and make a difference in the world.”
    People would sometimes wonder why we do this and that, why we do things so differently, and while others just watch and figure out how they can destroy that person. Even if you asked those people who do good things, they would simply say, “for we wanted to make them happy and by making them happy, they make me happy too.” Wow!       What a wonderful world it could be if all people you see and meet around would say the same thing. However, though we were created equal in the eyes of God, we were not brought in this world with similar attitude about life. We never know what lies ahead in each one of us. Therefore, we are most of the time influenced by our family values, our peers. The way we look at life doesn’t all comes from our genes. It is influenced by our day to day encounter of life, good or bad.
      One of my good friends approached me with a worried face. She asked me why she doesn’t seem affected by what people say. I also wonder why. Seldom would it happen that I will be affected though, instead most of the time, it makes me stronger even. Kudos to my good education and good influence. I was once taught that we have to respect the opinion of others. If they say something bad about me, that is their problem  and not mine. The reaction of a receiver of criticism will depend on the credibility and the integrity of that person who gives the criticism. On the other hand, one does not need to defend him to people as nobody knows who he really is except himself. One knows by heart he has one something not good to that person or to others. A person’s greatest enemy here is his conscience. Besides, he is in a position to pointing his fingers at anybody else.
    In the teachings of our church, we need to do our best to be holy. Everybody really wants to be. However, with peer pressures, environmental, community, and media influence around, we can only try but not totally be that “holy”. But, here is a good thing in the bible that teaches us if we do things according to HIS WILL, then what you are doing is right.
    What is good to you may not be good to that person. Each one of us has his own standard of what is ‘good or right’. At the end of the day, nobody is perfect. After all, what is important is 
not what is the best, but it’s about doing our best.
    I still believe that there is in each of us so much goodness that if we see it flow, it would light the world. And if what you have in mind, heart and mouth are negative, it would definitely create darkness in others, and in your life, too. Remember, if someone listens, or stretches out a hand or whisper a kind word of encouragement, or attempts to understand that person, extraordinary things begin to happen.
    Life is short and we don’t want to make it shorter to stress our self with so much negativity in life. For life is good and it’s getting better each day! If you wish to make it even better, think each day of something that will make a difference in the life of others, by doing a random act of kindness each day. Surely, God will bless you more. And mark my word, it would give you a peaceful and sweet dream at night. Good luck!/MP

Ro Mangingisda Ag Ro Maisot Nga Isda

     Pila eon nga adlaw ro nagtaliwan nga owa it dakop ro mangingisda. Makaron hay ika ap-at eon nga adlaw. Agahon pa si Undoy nag halin sa anda ag sa bilog nga sang-adlaw owa gid it pahuway nga itsa ko anang lambat, ogaling owa gihapon imaw it hadakpang isda.
    “Siin baea tanan ro mga isda naga panago? Indi ako mag pati nga owa gid it maskin sambilog nga ibis nga habilin”. Hambae ko pobreng Undoy mangingisda. Nagdesider imaw nga mauli eon lang. Nag ta-o pa imaw it katapusan nga tsansa. Initsa nana ro anang lambat ag mag poepanihoe. Sa anang paghunos ko lambat, may hakita imaw nga maisot nga isda nga naga pisik-pisik. Nalipay imaw ko una. Ogaling pagkakita nana ko maisot nga ibis, tinukob  imaw it kaeo-oy.
    “Mahimo eon konta nga daehon ko sa baeay rondayang ibis, ogaling ano ro akong mabo-oe kara ay maniwang manlang ag maisot pa. Habatian nana nga nag hambae rong isda.
    “Ma-eo-oy ka, amo Undoy. Ibalik mo ako sa dagat. Basi kon gina-usoy eon ako makaron ko akong inang isda. Hueata eon lang nga ako magbahoe agod mapuslan mo ako”. Sa kakibot ni Undoy, initsa nana rong isda sa tubi. Dayon nanang umuli lang sa andang baeay.
    Nagtaliwan ro pilang adlaw. Halipatan eon nana ratong isda. Masakit ro anang unga ag owa sanda it pangbayad sa duktor. Hadumduman ni Undoy nga magpangisda. Sa una nana nga pag itsa pa-eang it lambat hay abo nga isda ro anang hadakpan. Sa mga isda ngaron hay may nag hambae kana.
    “Abo guid nga saeamat ay owa mo ako gin daea sa inyo. Pag-uli ko sa among pamilya, gin sugid ko kanda ro imong ka-eo-oy kakon, busa iya kami naga baeos kimo.” Hambae ko isda nga makaron hay nagbahoe eon.
    “Pasensyaha gid ninyo ako ay may masakit ro akong unga. Bo-ot namon nga daehon sa duktor ogaling owa kami it kwarta.” Sabat man ni Undoy mangingisda.
    Ma-angan-angan tumunga rong isdang mabahoe, ro tatay ko isda. May angkit imaw nga perlas sa anang bibig. Gin tao nana  kay Undoy. Nagpasaeamat ro mangingisda.
     Halin kato, owa eon si Undoy naga adto sa baybay. Ro kabakeanan ko perlas hay andang gin negosyo ag naka patindog pa sanda it bag-ong baeay./MP


     For the period January 1 to December 31, 2015, the Sangguniang Bayan (SB) of Kalibo held a total of 48 sessions, 44 of which were Regular and four (4) were Special Sessions.
    According to Ms. Diana T. Fegarido, Kalibo Sangguniang Bayan Secretary, SB Kalibo approved 10 municipal ordinances and 127 resolutions in the whole year 2015. Moreover, SB Kalibo endorse for approval to the Aklan Sangguniang Panlalawigan one (1) Sand and Gravel Quarry application. 
    The Kalibo SB also approved one (1) Land Subdivision Plan application, 331 units tricycle franchises and accredited one (1) non government organization.
   Vice Mayor Madeline A. Regalado presided the SB sessions being a Vice Mayor. She went on two (2) official travels, two (2) filial leaves and one (1) vacation leave.
    Among the SB members, Hon. Mark V. Quimpo sponsored six (6) resolutions and one (1) ordinance. He went on official travel twice and thrice filial leaves. 
    Hon. Daisy S. Briones sponsored 15 resolutions and three (3) ordinances. She has two (2) sick leaves and one (1) filial leave. 
    Hon. Augusto S. Tolentino has 24 resolutions and sponsored two (2) ordinances. He was on sick leave for seven (7) times, and one (1) Birthday leave. Tolentino acted as OIC-Mayor on April 16, 2015. 
    Hon. Ariel O. Fernandez has 24 resolutions and sponsored two (2) ordinances. He went on filial leave for three (3) times, sick leave once, and went on official travel once. 
    Hon. Rodillo L. Policarpio has filed 37 resolutions and sponsored four (4) ordinances. Policarpio went on official business on October 22, 2015. He went on sick leave once and filial leave thrice.
    Hon. Gregorio Malapad, Jr. has sponsored one (1) ordinance. He was on travel on March 5, 2015 and on filial leave on November 26, 2015. 
    Hon. Mark Ace C. Bautista neither filed any resolution nor sponsored any ordinance. He went on official travel three (3) times and filial leave two (2) times.
        Hon. Arnaldo M. Tejada filed 14 resolutions and sponsored 13 ordinances. He was on sick leave once and on filial leave twice. 
    Hon. Rey V. Tolentino filed one (1) resolution. He went on official travel  four (4) times, filial leave four (4) times and sick leave once. As to the committee hearings/meetings conducted or attended, Vice Mayor Regalado attended 11 meetings; Hon. Quimpo conducted four (4) and attended ten (10); Hon. Briones attended ten (10); Hon. Augusto Tolentino conducted five (5) and attended nine (9); Hon. Fernandez attended 22; Hon. Policarpio conducted 14 and attended twice; Hon. Malapad conducted once and attended 12; Hon. Bautista attended 10, while Hon. Tejada conducted seven (7) and attended 14; and Hon. Rey V. Tolentino attended five (5). Among the SB members, Hon. Policarpio filed the highest number of resolutions (37) followed by Hon. Augusto C. Tolentino and Hon. Fernandez with 24 each. Hon. Tejada filed 13 ordinances which is the highest number.
  The SB Kalibo accomplishment report neither say how many proposed ordinances filed are approved nor how many resolutions are approved too. The report did not also say what are the kinds of ordinances and how will it affect, if approved, the lives of the Kalibonhons. Are the quality of legislation of the highest standard and relevant to the socio-economic, arts and culture of the Aklanons./MP



By : Ernesto T. Solidum

     Recently, I watched with deep interest a Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) documentary on a successful dairy project done in collaboration with an LGU in one of the villages of Sulawesi in Central Indonesia. It was televised via the NHK TV program. That project was locally initiated to improve socio economic life of villagers who depend on farming. Poverty, unemployment and malnutrition especially among children were rated high. The village is seated 1,500 feet above sea level and so climate is cool where few heads of cattle are raised.
    JICA responded by sending a team of experts composed of one veterinarian, one animal nutritionist and one interpreter to the project site for evaluation and orientation. They found that cows raised by farmers were of native stock mainly raised for meat, sickly and malnourished. The animals were of mostly tethered on ordinary pasture of cogon, carabao grass and rice straw/corn stover which are not nutritious.
    The first step in solving the problem was to plant napier grass: two (2) hectares as the main food source. Cut and carry method of feeding is used for animals in closed confinement.
    Meanwhile, a semi permanent building enough to hold 25 heads Holstein dairy cows was constructed by LGU. Standard shed size is 1.5 x 4 meters for every cattle.
    Eight months after establishing improved pasture stock was delivered to project site. Farmers cut lush napier grass one foot above ground, bundled and chopped manually and placed in feeding troughs. The amount of daily forage consumption per animal is computed at 3.0 percent of total body weight (dry basis). This is using tape measurement on girth of animal.
    Detection of animals in heat is done by inserting hand inside the vulva and knowing status of the ovaries. This is aptly demonstrated by veterinarian before the farmer cooperators. Once confirmed that the cow is in heat, artificial insemination (AI) is done by injecting frozen bull semen to maintain or upgrade native stock as the case may be.
    Among the 25 farmer cooperators, Boso was the most outstanding in detecting animals in oestrus or in heat and administration of AI. His exceptional talent allowed him to provide extra servicing to his farmer neighbors’ cows for a fee. With extra income, he was able to send his two (2) children to college and build a decent house.
    After a few weeks, daily milk production reached 6-7 liters per milking cow. Collected milk was pasteurized and delivered in bulk to public elementary schools’ nutrition feeding program three (3) times a week. (Result: more children in attendance during milk feeding). Farmers have enough milk as food source for the family and also for sale.
    The use of agricultural wastes particularly rice straw augmented animal ration. This was collected and placed in plastic bags and drums where dissolved urea is poured on dry roughage. This is tightly sealed for two (2) months in storage. This method increases the protein content of rice straw which is only three (3) percent. Urea granules constitute one (1) percent of the total cattle feed ration.
    As more farmers found the pilot project profitable, an improved dairy industry was born. An increasing number of dairy cows were milked and the need to use a milking machine and delivery truck was essential. A modest milk processing factory turned out milk candy bars, milk chocolate nuggets, fresh milk in bottles, and others were available to the public. More laborers were hired in the processing plant.
    What do they do with animal wastes? Well, solid wastes are collected twice daily and stockpiled to be decomposed. After four (4) months, it becomes fertilizer and sold for additional income. They proved valuable to increase production of rice, corn and vegetables.
    A tearful recognition and farewell program was held by LGU officials to JICA personnel after successful implementation of the three (3) year project. Intensive training of local farmers have paid off. Plaques of appreciation were handed out. The most important part was the transfer of responsibility to local trained farmer leaders to continue the project.
    A similar dairy project could be duplicated in the Philippines if proper planning and implementation are established. Our farmers have the technological edge and resources but sadly, agriculture is neglected and least prioritized. Yes, we have the National Dairy Authority, yet its leaders are just sleeping on their jobs but busy collecting the people’s money./MP