Thursday, May 29, 2008

A Trade Fair to Remember

An Agro-industrial trade fair and cultural exhibits were held on May 13-15 in front of the Municipal Hall of Tubigon, Bohol.

The eight clusters that participated in the activity represented four barangays from this town.

In line with this, a simple program was made by the local government unit on May 13.          

Provincial Administrator Tomas Abapo Jr. represented Bohol Gov. Erico Aumentado, while Provincial Board Member Caezar Yul Lopez of the first district represented Vice-Governor Julius Caesar Herrera and Billy Tongco, chief of staff of First District Rep. Edgar Chatto represented the congressman during the occasion where they delivered inspirational messages.

Highlighting the program was the turn-over of the assistance of P20,000 check for the street dancing, P18,000 check for the agro-industrial fair and P15,000 for social services.

In behalf of the provincial government, Abapo handed the checks to the local officials of Tubigon.

Tongco, in behalf of Chatto, for his part, turned over P30-million check for the construction of the Ubujan bridge in Tubigon and P4-million check for the improvement of Tubigon water works system.

Mayor Luna Piezas, in his welcome address, emphasized particularly the promotion of tourism in Tubigon which he said is a promising endeavor. - Bohol Sunday Post Newspaper

Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) Activity Keeping Youth Away from Drugs

Tubigon Bohol | Bohol Sunday Post: The Pambayang Pederasyon ng Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) filled up this summer with activities that keep the youths out of drugs and vices.

SK Federation president Erica Javate led the various activities in line to keep the youth busy in May, which were part of the highlights of the town's fiesta celebration in honor of their patron saint, St. Isidore Labrador on May 14-15.

On May 2, they conducted a tree-planting activity at the town's mini-forest in barangay Ilijan Sur, in coordination with MLGOO Ma. Sharon Marimon and MAO Yolanda Labella.

It was part of the SK's Green Brigade Program implementation.

SK chairpersons here, headed by Javate, together with Marimon, planted 80 trees in the mountainous part of this town.

PPSK also initiated the ongoing SK summer league which started on April 21 which is now on the championship level at the Tubigon Cultural Center.

The activity was aimed primarily at promoting camaraderie and developing the skills and potentials of the youth.

The search for Anyag sa Tubigon '2008 where Clarice Elaine Radoc of barangay Centro got the crown, was also conducted under the chairmanship of Dennis Walton Balbero, the designated tourism, culture and arts officer of the Local Government Unit (LGU).

Nationwide Public Hearing on Philippine Agriculture and Fisheries Law

Published by the Bohol Sunday Post Newspaper: Filipino Congressmen from all over the country came Friday to hold the Bohol round of the ongoing nationwide public hearing on House Resolution 170, calling for the review of the Agriculture and Fisheries Modernization Act (AFMA), the most-participated, so far.

In an interaction, Boholanos had a chance to raise their concerns as to attaining food sufficiency amidst the perceived crisis during Friday's well-attended joint House committee consultative conference at the Grand Ballroom of the Bohol Tropics.

Rep. Abraham Kahlil Mitra, chairman of the House Committee on Agriculture and Food, led the conference together with Rep. Alfredo Marañon, chairman of the Committee on Aquaculture and Fisheries Resources, Rep. Edgar Chatto, senior vice chairman of the Agriculture Committee, and Rep. Nicanor Briones, vice chairman of the Special Committee on Food Security.

The committee members were Representatives Rodolfo Antonino, Lorenzo Tañada III, Andres Salvacion, Roberto Raymund Estrella of ABONO Party-List who authored the AFMA review resolution, and Bohol's Representatives Roberto Cajes and Adam Relson Jala.

Boholanos weighed down on the need for the appropriate use of the billions fund for AFMA, access to credit or financing with low interest rates, and recognizing the plight of the municipal agricultural workers who are devolved without fund support.

Among the concerns was to allocate 30 percent of AFMA's starting annual budget of P18 billion should go to irrigation, but sustaining the communal irrigation system (CIS) facilities.

The Hot Debate Over the Controversial Panglao Bohol Airport Project

This article first came in the Bohol Sunday Post, a weekly newspaper in Bohol, Philippines.

The Great Panglao Airport Debate

In so many scathing words, a retired manpower provider took the cudgels for embattled Panglao Bohol International Airport proponents who were pilloried by so-called concerned Boholanos for advocating the construction of the ambitious project.

Frony Fortich who during his heydays was riding high on the popularity of his Atlantic Gulf and Manpower Services zeroed in on the adverse position of two vocal critics of the project-Dr. Ernesto Pernia, an economist teaching at the UP-Diliman and a certain Ago Cloribel, who claims to be an NGO stalwart.

In a three-page advertisement, Fortich minced no words in castigating the two, the most biting of which was the one that described them as "prophets of doom".

Asking why these people were scared of progress, Fortich said were these objections well grounded and not based on unfounded assumptions calculated to scare the Boholanos?

Giving premium to Pernia's thesis that the country has too many airports already, Fortich countered "what is wrong with adding another international airport for the sake of progress?

Fortich volunteered the information that the airport project will not take away funds for anti-poverty efforts. He said "what we are using are the unpaid rentals of Mr. Lucio Tan in using the centennial airport in Manila for his PAL planes representing landing fees."

Provincial officials were not spared by Fortich's barbs. He said if they(provincial officials) do nothing to promote the airport and merely bask in the glory of the new airport then they are do nothing officials.

He added that if the airport is finished, the provincial officials must implement a herculean job of promoting the airport to all parts of the world and this is not impossible with the wonder of the internet and close communication with tourism players throughout the world

At the same time, the former manpower executive lamented the critics' negativism about the project. Saying that they would rather focus on positive actions, Fortich stressed, that the airport is a pro poor project and therefore it promises to generate vistas of opportunities to Boholanos and yield much needed jobs. He added that it would open more jobs to Boholanos who are working in this particular sector of the industry to manpower jobs in Canada, United States, Singapore and even Australia.

While Fortich admitted that there were so-called economic indicators floated around by perennial objectors, yet it was widely known fact that these are used as convenient tools by economists to project what they want for certain projects in most cases. He added that they are used to scare people or scare away investors.

Summing up, he said that in the end thousands of these so-called economic indicators have been proven to be damned wrong.

Fortich disagreed with the theory that because "we are poor we might as well spend the resources of government into helping the poor. Contending that this argument is fallacious, he said there are proven ways for the national government to spend money for infrastructures which will ultimately help the poor.

On the belief that some airports are underutilized, Fortich has a ready answer for this. Saying that it was only a claim, Fortich said he has yet to be provided with statistics that this is true. Citing an example, if the Mactan International Airport is underutilized, then why it is still operating.

Fortich also took to task the proposal of the two prominent objectors why not improve ship transport facilities instead of building an airport. Without batting an eyelash, Fortich said he wondered if the two objectors are Cebuanos instead of being dyed-in-the wool Boholanos.


Fortich also discussed at length the implications to ecology once the airport is constructed.

He said the contention that the ecology in Panglao would suffer with the presence of the airport is erratic and a downright lie.

According to the manpower bigwig, there is no respected study yet made by an independent body that the ecologies of places where there are airports have suffered tremendously to a certain point that it is irrepairable.

He countered that if "we follow this premise, then let us go back to the old age when no planes landed in our shores so our environment will be saved."


In the same vein, Fortich belied the canard that this is all about politics.

He said the claim that politics is all behind this is simply not true. Paying glowing tribute to Gov. Erico Aumentado for advocating the project, he said the only thing beneficial for the governor is that this would be a legacy for him and many others who made this project a reality.


As Fortich remained steadfast in his airport position, he called on the oppositors to stop this nonsense and proceed with the airport construction.

He said the issue has been on the table for the past 29 years and now that the project is about to be started, these oppositors want to delay and discuss more why? Saying that these people are foisting unfounded fears on the populace like a sword of Damocles for whatever reasons, it's about time that they should stop this insane and stupid act and "let's stop it for heaven's sake".

Fortich also blasted Cloribel's thesis.

He said Cloribel's long talk was a long monotone, nay, boring. He said except for Cloribel's utter display of one-sidedness against the project, listening to him would give the impression that there is no tomorrow in Bohol-everything is bad and this is totally absurd.

Philippine Senator, 3 Cabinet Executives Swing to Bohol Philippines

Published by the Bohol Sunday Post, a weekly paper in Bohol, Philippines: Philippine Senator Manuel Villar and three Cabinet members are here today for the three-day Visayas Island Cluster Conference of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP) that kicks off today at Bohol Tropics Resort, Tagbilaran City.

This was according to the LMP-Bohol chapter president, Jagna Mayor Exuperio Lloren, who will lead Bohol Mayors in the event.

Villar will have a dialogue on high-level policy with LGUs Leagues and Legislators, in the second part of Today's session.

The senator will also attend another event on tomorrow which is the BCI Golden anniversary celebration where he will give an inspiration message.

Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Assistant Secretary Gerardo Calderon, mayor of Angono, Rizal from 1998 to 2007, will also present LMP Advocacy Programs with emphasis on Population Management, Socially Responsible Mining Development, Solid Waste Management, Sustainable Upland Development, and Coastal Resource Management.          

Secretaries Gilberto Teodoro Jr. of the Department of National Defense (DND), Domingo Panganiban of the National Anti-Poverty Commission, and Angelo Reyes of the Department of Energy (DoE) and chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Climate Change will compose the panel of reactors. Undersecretaries Austere Panadero of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and David Lozada Jr. of the Department of Health (DOH), Department of Agriculture (DA) Assistant Secretary Dennis Araullo and Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Director Carmencita Delantar are also among the panel of reactors.

With High Oil Prices, the Poor Are the First to Suffer

Written by Romy Teruel of the Bohol Sunday Post Newspaper: The difference between economic growth and high prices is that with the latter, everybody, especially the poor, immediately feels it while with the former, the poor will feel it only, if they will at all, long after it is announced.

This is what is happening now. As soon as the price of oil breached $135 a barrel, pump prices immediately soared too. When it was announced that the country is affected by food crisis, the price of rice suddenly went up too. And people have to queue to buy cheaper rice sold by the National Food Authority. To this day rice has become an expensive commodity. But when Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Aroyo told the Filipinos that economic growth of 7.3% was attained last year, people asked when it would start to benefit them.

With high prices, the poor are the first to suffer while the rich won't feel it at all. With economic growth, the rich are the first to feel and benefit from it while the poor wonder whether they will ever feel it at all. The poor are always the last to feel good.

When fuel prices go up in the world market, the businessmen can immediately also increase their pump prices while the poor bus, taxi, jeep and tricycle operators have to seek government approval first, which takes a long time if they ever get it at all, before they can correspondingly increase transport fares.

Where is fairness and justice here?

The ordinary man will understand why pump prices must be increased because the price of fuel at the world market has increased. What they could not understand is why it will take so much difficulty to ask for raise in salary and wages for the worker. People have to eat. Children have to be sent to school. To deny workers a just wage is a violation of their human rights.

Perhaps the economists can tell the people the reasons for these in a layman's language - a language they can understand - because to the ordinary man these things don't make sense.

Why are businessmen allowed to pass on to their consumers the recovery of their systems loss, as in the case of Meralco for example? Why must the buyer assume payment of the EVAT for the commodity he buys? What is value added to a trip on the Ocean Jet, for example, when the passenger can't even see clearly the beautiful scenery outside?

In the light of these skyrocketing prices of practically everything, it is high time to revive the consumers watch. No one can protect the people from exploitation except the people themselves.

NOTES. For a while there the issue raised by some concerned latecomers on the Panglao Airport was drowned by the drainage controversy in Tagbilaran City.

Public officials should not be onion skinned on issues that have direct bearing on the everyday life of the citizens like the drainage in the city. The drainage problem was there for a long time. May be the city government is doing something about it but people failed to know what was being done. So when the rains came and the city experienced flooding, people are reminded of the problem.

Unlike the Panglao Airport that was there and studied for the last 20 years, the Tagbilaran City drainage project was there for completion for more than a year already. Its use therefore is long overdue.

Reflecting On A Family Reunion In A Tourism Favorite Island

This column was written by Mr. Boy Guingguing, publisher of Bohol Sunday Post

- - -
So sorry again for indulging in a self-serving story-the kind that smacks of "hometown decision".

It may not interest those who were not a participant of the going out party we had just concluded. But at any rate, those belonging to the Buhion Clan which had just ended its three-day of fun, food, music and camaraderie had all the reasons to celebrate if only for its pompous billing as the "grandmother of all grand reunions".

Yes Kith, it was one reunion that go down in the history of family get-togethers as the most memorable and exciting, not to mention as the most elaborate and extravagant.

But hey!, make no mistake about it. By extravagant we don't mean lavish because clan members are a bunch of show-offs. Far from it. It was just that so many benevolent sponsors came our way to rescue us from possible financial dehydration.

Truth is, it was a collective effort of clan members in cooperation with our friends in media that made the reunion a successful one. Mind you, if we were left to fend off with our own resources, we would have been thousands of pesos poorer.

All told, this piece comes as a glowing tribute to all sponsors who made our reunion successful and an affair to remember even by the coming generation of the Buhion clan.

We know that until now-- from Zamboanga Sibugay to General Santos City, two of the many places where members of the clan are happily settled, our recent reunion was still the talk of the town.

One place that reaped ohs and ahs by our relatives was the Bohol Beach Club.

Touring the premier resort according to one clan member was like being transported to another world. Well, if you are an "alien" to BBC, it is possible that as a first timer one would react that way. Our profound thanks to our coffee crony Anos Fonacier for the free entrance and merienda courtesy of his famous beach resort.

Our relatives were also mesmerized by the ambiance and scenery of the Bohol Tropics Resort and Club. There, the whole Buhion caboodle were treated to a hearty lunch. Just do not ask this BGlante who foot the bill. You'll be shocked to know that the lunch cost P13,000.

Who would imagine that clan members (about 80 all including children) were assembled in one boat cruise for a sumptuous lunch courtesy of power couple Walter and Lourdes Sultan of Travel Village Resto and Cruises. The couple also provided the air conditioned bus that brought clan members to all the tourists attractions in Bohol.

Our special thanks also went to Mayor Theresa PM Camacho who provided Getafe's favorite, king's crabs while Mayor Stephen Rances of Mabini gave us bunches of blue crabs. Another seafood provider was Alo Jardenil who gave us several kilos of shrimps.

Two friends in media, Board Member Ae Damalerio and Boy Pernia of the Capitol media affairs also gave their share of the gargantuan task of feeding our relatives.

They gave one roasted pig each. Our special thanks also went to Mavil Lechon Baka for the delicious roasted calf.

If our reunion attracted so much attention in Baclayon, it was because of the spectacular fireworks display. If we remember right, only fiestas and other important occasions are replete with the spectacle of a fireworks explosion, but in the case of the Buhion clan it was one experience they can't forget in their lifetime.

Anyway, the Bohol homecoming for the Buhions started well and ended well. It was indeed a long way since Silvestre Buhion, our great grandfather and in whose honor the reunion was dedicated, lorded it over as one of the illustrious sons of Montana, Baclayon. At least two generations of the Buhions have produced nurses (one of them is Jean Buhion Real now in the States), his brother Oscar, a popular dance instructor and professor of the Dr. Cecilio Putong Memorial High School, a journalist (that's me, Kith), a flight stewardees, teachers, doctors, engineers, lawyers and other money-making pursuits.

Jagna and Camiguin Linkage Increases Sales of Bohol's Calamay

Written by Joe Espiritu
Columnist of the Bohol Sunday Post

Don't look now but he Jagna Camiguin ferry has done wonders for Jagna. This is noticed by calamay makers and vendors. Sales of their product has doubled and tripled. Even if the holiday season is marred by early rains passenger traffic has not let up. Some make pilgrimages up the Ilihan Shrine. For a time, Jagna becomes a local tourism spot.

There had been stories that the Jagna Sierra Bullones road is starting to be improved. The road to Mayana, the northernmost barrio is cemented. The landslide portion is to be rehabilitated. The Jagna Sierra Bullones connection via Mayana has to be improved. Commuters are of the opinion that this is not an all weather road. The national government program will remedy this.

There is one thing that may render the Looc Mayana portion of the Jagna - Sierra Bullones road better. Highway authorities say that the required grade for a national highway is six percent (6%). That is; the rise is six meters every hundred meters. This is to limit the wear and tear of the engines of those plying that route. There are buses that navigate those places and the nearby barrios of Mayana. However they only run once or twice a day.

There would be entrepreneurs, who would want more frequent service. With transportation frequency, downtown living schoolteachers would not mind being assigned to the upper barrios where the busses will reach them. Upper barrio folks would not feel neglected by downtown municipal authorities. Some are more loyal to the centrals of the towns near them.

Commuters have to time their activities. They have to finish whatever their transactions are in time for the return trip. Otherwise they will be stranded downtown at night. There may be those who would mind being left downtown at night. That is if we have some nightlife to offer. However, after twelve midnights Jagna is dead. Commerce ceases, most activities stop. What will be up are drunks and rowdies.

Perhaps, some sociologists would be asked how to sustain the fiesta momentum after May. This could be possible. If Jagna is to offer nightlife, laws should be stringently enforced. More policemen or women should be hired. Amusements attract undesirable elements. Those who would like to find amusements would like to feel safe while they are at it.

Take this case in point. We have been hearing about Matapay. First we thought we heard Magtapay and that is in the Cantagay point. But it is somewhere else.

Such an odd name, perhaps derived from the Visayan word tapay or flat. Yet according to stories, there is nothing flat there except the pocket when going home. It is a seashore resort in Nausok where the girls there will help one go broke with pleasure if it suits one's taste.

There are those who enthused that girls there are beautiful. He must be drunk.

The beauty of Helen of Troy was judged on how many ships had been launched in the Greek crusade to recover her. So we will make a standard how many beers will one drink to make a Matapay girl beautiful. If she is pleasing to the eye without drinking a bottle, then she is beautiful. One to two beers mean she is pretty.

Three to five means she is allowable, six to twelve means doubtful. Over that, she is a horror, a candidate for horror movies.

Before we introduce nightlife to Jagna, it is best to consult municipal and religious authorities as well. A well-run establishment would be a tourist attraction; locals would patronize it as well. A badly run concern might arouse the ire of the Josephenians, CWL, JAMAVEA, JACAMAVEA and other women organizations looking for their errant husbands who went with the members of the JAMCODA, Habalhabal Inc and other motorcab drivers to those doubtful places.