Monday, April 28, 2008

Palarong Pambansa in Palawan. Was it Successful?

Philippine News Agency

Palawan Mayor Edward Hagedorn credited the success of the Palaro to President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and different sectors who extended financial support and did respective responsibilities in the duration of the week-long Palaro.

Hagedorn said the city has spent more than P100 million, wherein P50 million was chipped in by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo's augmentation fund while the remaining P25 million came from Philippine Amusements and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) and Department of Education (DepEd).

He said he received several messages from sports officials from country's 17 delegations expressing their gratitude to him.

He also thanked to the police and military personnel who provided maximum security to the 18,000 Palaro delegates in their billeting and playing venues.

During Monday's flag-raising at the City Hall, he likewise aired his gratitude to the Vice Mayor Lucilo Bayron, city council members and city department heads and employees for their full cooperation during the Palaro.

"Thank you, Puerto Princesa", Secretary Jesli Lapus said, as he commended the "invaluable support of the city government, especially the personal attention of Hagedorn" in the staging of the Palaro.

Vietnam Will Supply Rice to the Philippines

The Philippine government announced Vietnam won the bid of being its primary rice provider. Vietnam will ship 102,000 tons at 1,200 per ton, the highest rate ever in the country's export history.

The shipment will be sent by June this year, according to the Viet Nam Food Association, saying the country will only export 3.5 million tons, a year-on-year decrease of one million tons, following Government instructions to ensure food security domestically.

The current volume of rice exports contracted by the Philippines has reached 2.4 million tons. So far, 1,380,000 tons have been delivered bringing in US$ 566 million. - Philippine News Agency

English Movie Titles Translated Into Bisaya-Cebuano

From my email inbox today. I don't know who started this translation. Enjoy reading!

1. Black Hawk Down - Naay Kabog sa Silong
2. Dead Man's Chest - Atngal sa Laki nga Namatay
3. Million Dollar Baby - Anak ni Lee Majors
4. Mary Poppins - Nibuto si Maria
5. Snakes on a Plane - Nag-eroplano ang Akong Traydor nga Higala
6. The Postman Always Rings Twice - Tao Sa Poste Nabagtingan ug
7. Sum of All Fears - Pundok sa Kahadlok
8. Swordfish - Suwangon nga Isda
9. Pretty Woman - Akong Asawa
10. Robin Hood, Men in Tights - Robin Hood ug ang mga Kuyog, Bugdo
ug Gisul-ob
11. Four Weddings and a Funeral - Kaupat Nagpakasal sa Patay
12. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly - Ako, Ikaw,
Kamong Tanan
13. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone - Adik si
Harry ug shabu
14. Click - Gipislit
15. Brokeback Mountain - Buktot sa Bukid
16. The Day of the Dead - Kalag-kalag
17. Waterworld - Tubig-tubig
18. There's Something About Mary - Naay kuan si Maria sa iyang kuan
19. Employee of the Month - Ang Sipsip
20. Resident Evil - Akong Ugangan Niipon Namo
21. Kill Bill - Patya ang Bayad
22. Nightmare Before Christmas - Giorum sa wa pay Pasko
23. Never Been Kissed - Batig Nawong
24. Gone in 60 Seconds - Daling nagawsan, nidagan
25. The Fast and the Furious - Nabitin, nasuko
26. Too Fast, Too Furious - Nabitin na sad, Nisamot Kasuko
27. Beauty and the Beast - Ang akong Asawa ug kong Ugangan
28. Die Hard - Gahi Mamatay
29. Die Hard, With A Vengeance - Wa mamatay, Nanimaos
30. Lost In Space - Wa Katugpa
31. Paycheck - Sweldo
32. What Lies Beneath - Namakak sa Silong
33. Superman, The Return - Si Superman Nibalik,
nahabilin ang dyaki
34. Cinderella Man - Bayot si Cinderella
35. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Charlie ug ang iyang
Pabrika sa Lapuk
36. Blade Runner - isnatsir ug labaha
37. Schindler's List - Listahan sa utang ni Schindler
38. Men In Black - Mga Laki nga Itom ug Bugan
39. X-Men, The Last Stand - Mga Laki Nabayot Kay di na Utgan
40. Wedding Crashers - Bag-ong naminyo, nadisgrasya
41. The Day After Tomorrow - Balik lang Sunod Ugma
42. Catch Me If You Can - Gukod!
43. A Bug's Life - Ang Kinabuhi sa Kuting
44. Die Another Day - Basin Ugma pa Siya Mamatay
45. The Rock - Ang Shabu
46. Jaws - Panga
47. Back to the Future - Tuas likod ang Kaugmaon
48. In the Line of Fire - Nilatay sa Alambri nga Nagkayo
49. Saturday Night Fever - Sabado sa Gabii, Gihilantan
50. Stepmom - Tumbi si Mama
51. Police Academy - Iskwelahan sa mga Buaya
52. The English Patient - Ang Pasyenteng nga Di Kahibao Magbinisaya
53. Man on Fire - Laki nga ni Tongtong sa Kayo
54. The Horse Whisperer - Dunay Gihunghung sa Kabayo
55. Dante's Peak - Ang Alimpo ni Dante
56. Legends of the Fall - Ang Istorya sa mga Nalamba
57. The Forgotten - Nakalimtan nga utang

Is Bohol, Philippine Rice Sufficient?

By Rey Anthony Chiu
Philippine Information Agency - Bohol

Contrary to the belief that Bohol is rice sufficient, the province still needs P13.786M to attain full rice sufficiency in two years, a technical working group (TWG) tasked to make develop Bohol agriculture said. 

  For this, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan led by Vice Governor Julius Caesar Herrera Tuesday passed the appropriations to satisfy a request from Governor Erico Aumentado for Bohol to put up key mobilization fund for Bohol's Rice Accelerated Enhancement Response (RacER).

  RacER is recommended by the TWG. 

  The TWG, composed of former Department of Agriculture regional technical director Dr. Jose Quitazol, Provincial Agriculturist Liza Quirog, Agricultural Promotions Center Manager Eugene Cahiles, National Food Authority's Nestor Rey Alcoseba, Bohol Poverty Reduction and Management Officer Antonieto Pernia, Provincial Environment Officer Eduardo Inting, Irrigation Officer Modesto Membreve and still some unnamed technical men recommended the amount to be taken from the Provincial Government cash boxes to improve agriculture here.

  Of the amount however, only the P1400 revolving fund subsidy for each bag of hybrid of rice seeds that go to irrigators associations and technical trainings, seminars would go directly to the farmers. The rest covers incentives to technologists, rice technicians, municipal agriculture officers and coordinators. 

  Many critics and farmers openly said "this is disheartening."

  "While the technicians get salaries from the government, it is us who are asked to produce so the best farmers should be the one's getting the incentives, not them," a farmer who asked not to be named, complained. 

  The complaint also goes in line with Hongkong Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) stand on subsidies which it said is perhaps politically opportune, [are] but hardly the answer to the current rice woes. 

  On subsidies, HSBA said "it would have perverse impacts, by prolonging the adjustment process that is required." The bank recommended instead, for farmers to be given more incentives for improved production.
About Racer

  RAcER, as adopted by Bohol, sets to motion multi-component approaches to food sufficiency, reports said.

  Racer attempts to address the remaining 17% gap in the province's rice sufficiency, which now only amounts to a little over 82%, data from form the Office of the Provincial Agriculture stated.

Bohol's Chocolate Hills Sabotaged in New 7 Wonders?

Written by Rey Anthony Chiu of the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) - Bohol

Why Bohol's Chocolate Hills was deleted off the list of nominees in the current search for new seven wonders of the world, local officials and tourism stakeholders here want to know.

  To compound the problem, not only is the Chocolate Hills off the list of nominees, it also could not be re-nominated either. 

  Several Boholanos presumed that it could be a nasty job of a computer hacker. 

  A hacker intentionally gains access to a secure internet website, navigates and controls any information therein as he taps into the system website. 

  But Boholanos, again united in campaigning for votes to finally put the wondrous hills into the top seat were all speculations about the de-listing, as of Tuesday.

  The Chocolate Hills was just recently nominated and saw a dramatic climb from nowhere to number 6th last week. 

  But just how fast it rose, was how it got off the list Monday, when online voters and noted the sudden disappearance of the hills from the list.

  "The thing is, we could probably understand if the nominee loses its place in the top seven in a day, but to be totally out of the list is unthinkable," claimed an web-surfer who was about to cast his vote.

  He also confirmed that, attempts to re-nominate the Chocolate Hills also prove to be another problem as online nominations seemingly get bounced out.

  Wanting answers, Bohol Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) Tourism Committee Chair and Board Member Ester Corazon Galbreath prodded the provincial lawmakers to launch an appeal to the search organizers. She said the organizers should explain how Bohol's marvelous Chocolate Hills and Mayon Volcano were deleted from the list. 

The New Brand of Bohol Tourism

Reported by Rey Anthony Chiu of the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) - Bohol

Stamping Bohol identity and character into its built heritage and infrastructure puts up an added value to Bohol tourism, hints heritage icon and architect Augusto Villalon, during the recent conference at the Metro Center Hotel.

  The conference, which gathered Bohol's leading architects, engineers, builders, contractors and artists is billed "Architecture of Place, Putting Bohol in its Tourism Infrastructure and Facilities."

  As such, "it tends to lend to the Bohol tour a new vigor as Bohol now could be seen at a new facet: in the light of how local history and milieu contributes to the robust and complex system which the people showcase in their built heritage," adds Arch. Rosario Encarnacion-Tan during a presentation. 

  "Beset with the recent sprouting of Swiss chalets, Spanish villas, American homes, Boholano vernacular architecture seem to cower in humble submission that a tourist or visitors fail to fully discern the local spirit," conference organizers said. 

  Now, acting promptly on the observation that the present Bohol architecture is hardly reflective of its culture, the conference moved Ayala Foundation, Filipinas Heritage Library, Bohol provincial government and Holy Name University to expose participants to the traditional and the vernacular architecture as a common fiber to which new designs can develop.

  Encarnacion, along with Villalon took turns at the conference in detailing the need to instill the gist of Philippine if not Boholano Architecture in the built structures to showcase the Boholono soul.

  According to Encarnacion, the Philippine concept of space surrounding a space is an interesting theme prevalent in almost all old heritage structures. 

  Encarnacion, who has had a long list of veritable Filipino architecture designs fitted into modern structures now off her drawing boards said "spacing means putting up balconies that gaze out to gardens, emphasizing visual layers and sectional walls that open to create more spaces."

  Moreover, its is always a Boholano penchant to build their houses on stilts, one that allows more space and adds value to a unique ventilation, she said.

May Labor Day Issue in the Philippines

Regional Wage Boards (RWB) who are yet to go through deliberations for the new wage levels in their respective regions before May 1, Labor Day, may have to go overtime, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has instructed recently. 

  This as the rest of the country's labor force takes a breather Thursday, one of the country's few unmoved holidays.

  While some of the country's holidays have been moved for reasons of "holiday economics," Proclamation 1463 has earlier noted that "May 1 has been a long and cherished tradition of workers.

  It added that the "holiday has trade unions [fighting] very hard to institutionalize in the country and in international events, [so] that the workers want to celebrate on its exact date,"  

  Moreover, in the stalemate, the President has also enjoined private firms to extend to their employees non-wage benefits.

  She pointed out that the non-wage benefits that include rice, canned goods and shuttle services would go a long way to augment workers' take-home pay in the face of rising prices of basic commodities. 

  Stressing the urgency of the situation for the RWBs to present new wage scales, the President personally instructed them to work overtime to reach a decision on the new wage levels in their respective regions, said Presidential Spokesperson Ignacio Bunye.  

  Bunye, who also sits as concurrent Press Secretary said the President issued her directive to Labor Secretary Marianito Roque, in efforts to ensure that the RWBs get cracking on the wage issue "even if it means they have to work on May 1, a non-working day for the rest of the country."

  Earlier, Roque said that officials of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) will meet on Friday "to discuss the means on how we can fast-track the wage discussions and deliberations."

  But the President, apparently worried that the RWBs won't be able to come up with agreements by Labor Day, said they must continue working on proposed new wage levels through May 1. 
  "The President reminded the Regional Wage Boards of the urgency of setting new wage levels, taking into account the rising cost of commodity prices," Bunye said.

Philippine Troops Fighting Communist Rebels

Government forces backed by attack helicopters and armored vehicles pressed their offensive against a big group of communist rebels who fled to the forested area of Compostela Valley and Agusan del Sur as fighting entered its third day Sunday, a military report said.

A report from the AFP Eastern Mindanao Command (EastMincom) said four soldiers were killed and three others wounded. Their names were withheld pending the notification of the next of kin.

But the military said New People's Army (NPA) suffered heavy casualties during the air strikes by MG-500 helicopter gun ships of the Philippine Air Force (PAF).

The choppers unleashed air-to-ground rockets and .50 caliber machine gun fire at the fleeing rebels in Palina area, Barangay San Isidro Monkayo, Compostela Valley on Saturday.

Ground forces supported by armored vehicles also clashed with the fleeing rebels, killing or wounding several of the insurgents.

The rebels from the Guerilla Front Committee 3 who split into two fled to Mapason area, Barangay San Roue, New Bataan, but they were intercepted by elements of the 25th and the 28th Infantry Battalions of the Philippine Army.

Maj. Gen. Leo Joggy Fojas, commanding general of the Army's Southern Mindanao 10th Infantry Division odered Col. Florante Martinez, commanding officer of the Army's 1003rd Infantry Brigade, to press the offensive.

An additional unit, the 72nd Infantry Battalion was also dispatched to reinforce pursuing government forces against the big band of NPA rebels under Commander Jinggoy of the Southern Mindanao Regional Committee.

Strong Republic Nautical Highway

Malacanang on Sunday said the mini-Cabinet/National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) meeting to be held on Tuesday on-board the roll-on roll-off (ro-ro) in Mambajao, Camiguin is expected to discuss the impact of the Strong Republic Nautical Highway (SRNH) project, the proposed one-stop shop for housing development, and assessment of "food-poor" areas in the country.

In his weekly View from the Palace, Press Secretary and Presidential Spokesman Ignacio Bunye said President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo will be launching on Monday the Central Nautical Highway through a ro-ro caravan, that signifies the completion of the SRNH.

The project, which is part of her eight-point development agenda, was being implemented by the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC), together with the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) and the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA).

As a start of the caravan, Bunye said the President will light the route map of the Central Nautical Highway in Bulan, Sorsogon, which includes ports in Bulan, Sorsogon; Masbate City; Cauayan, Masbate; Bogo, Cebu; Tubigon, Bohol; Jagna, Bohol; Mambajao, Camiguin; Benomi, Camiguin; and Balingoan, Misamis Oriental.

"Most of the members of the Cabinet will join the Jagna-Mambajao leg of the ro-ro on Tuesday," he said.

While on board, Bunye said the President will conduct a mini-Cabinet/National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) meeting "where important stakeholders will help conduct an impact assessment on the Nautical Highway project."

Combat Rice Shortage, Go for High-yielding Rice Variety

Written by Rey Anthony Chiu of the Philippine Information Agency (PIA)

Shifting to high yielding varieties of rice from the traditional varieties can spell so much difference for farm yield, assures a top agricultural technology promotion officer in Bohol.

  "Once a farmer uses the high yielding varieties in his seeds, there would be an incremental increase in his production per unit area" Engr. Eugene Cahiles, of the the Bohol Agricultural Promotion Center bared at the weekly Kapihan sa PIA Thursday. 

  This as he underscored that the seed shift alone raises rice production dramatically so Bohol could quickly respond to the goal of rice sufficiency.

  "Even without altering production factor other than a shift to either high yielding hybrid or at least certified rice seeds, a farmer can get more than half his usual yield, he claimed. 

  The difference, Bohol Provincial Agriculturist Liza Quirog pointed out is a matter of 72 bags of rice per hectare compared to his usual 48 bags yield per hectare for hybrid rice.

  The two top agriculture officials in Bohol appeared at the weekly forum aired live over DYTR to elucidate on the government initiatives in responding to the rice shortage, which the country feels at present. 

  Both also agree that the problem is not that alarming in Bohol, which is able to produce almost 80 thousand metric tons and continuing to reap some 99 thousand metric tons by June of next year. 

  Data from the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics bared that Bohol's rice sufficiency is still about 83%, meaning the province's farmers have been able to produce about 83% of its total rice consumption.

  The data also pushed Governor Erico Aumentado to issue a rice shipment regulation so as not to deplete local rice stocks and therefore allow the province to keep a buffer for local consumption. 

  The regulation, Quirog explained is based on the data from the previous bulk of the province's regular trading, not more than that. 

  To quickly recoup the production setback, Cahiles added that "by expanding the production area using certified seeds and hybrid seeds, Bohol could be more rice sufficient.

  From 1900 bags of hybrid rice planted by farmer adoptors last year, Cahiles said the APC is on to a 5,000 bags distribution target for irrigated as well as rain-fed lands this year.

  Bohol has about 47, 376 hectares of ricelands, only about 21,000 hectares are irrigated while most at 26,000 are rainfed. Now we are also focusing on how to make rainfed areas productive as well, he said. 

  Quirog quickly followed on as she pointed that land development in areas covered by Bayongan Dam is ongoing. 

  She reported that 2,000 hectares would be operational this year, while the rest [of the areas would be operational] in the near future.

  This as the national and the provincial government has poured in roughly P37M and P13.786M to sustain the goal of making Bohol 100% rice sufficient by 2010, Engr Cahiles added.

Peace Offering for Philippine Rebels

By Rey Anthony Chiu
Philippine Information Agency - Bohol

Just as President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo pressed anew Congress to affirm the government's amnesty proclamation, communist rebel returnees in Bohol also urge the government to continue localized peace talks.

With Congressional concurrence, communist rebels who are still hopelessly clinging to their lost cause can rejoin mainstream society and live in peace soonest.

On the other hand, with localized peace talks, the government can isolate top communist leaders to reconsider the government peace offer.

Former Bohol red fighter Bernard Banal has formally asked Presidential Assistant Felix Guanzon to keep the government's offer for peace talks open to the rebels who are still fighting a lonely war.

Banal, now a government partner in reform is echoing the sentiments of his former comrades who have finally decided to walk the way of peace.  

The Banal formula defies the Communist Party of the Philippines New People's Army National Democratic Front (CPP/NPA/NDF) official stand of rejecting localized peace talks while only the top communist leaders are to negotiate with the government of the Republic of the Philippines on matters of peace agreements. 

Guanzon, the President's assistant for the Visayas accompanied the Royal Norwegian Government Facilitation Team in a visit to Bohol recently to visit rebel returnees and assess the localized government's initiatives of peace for the communist rebels. 

Banal, who has touted as key movement propagandist and indoctrinator said top communist leadership could be left without influence if disgruntled fighters leave them and start talking peace in their levels. 

Isolating the top leaders would render them powerless and without the support of the local movement anymore, they would be forced to accept the government's terms, he explained to Guanzon in Cebuano. 

This as the President continued to press for the Congressional nod to the government amnesty proclamation while visiting Negros recently.

"(Kaya) nanawagan tayo sa Kongreso na sana i-confirm na nila itong ating amnesty proclamation na magkakaroon ng pagkakataon na makabalik muli sa lipunan itong ating mga kapatid na galing sa loob ng kilusan," the President said in her brief message.

Congressional confirmation of her amnesty proclamation would enable the communist rebels to rejoin society and live with their loved ones again, the President said.

She pointed out that aside from the rebel returnees she has met, many more rebels in Negros Oriental and other parts of the country have expressed their willingness to surrender their arms and end their rebellion but are waiting for Congress to affirm the amnesty proclamation.

In Bohol alone, some 185 rebel returnees have risked getting hailed in court for acts committed while in the movement. The decision to peaceably settle for good and avail of the informal offer for peace at the local levels ahs finally allowed them to rejoin society.