Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Enhance Coastal Resource Management Program (CRMP) in Bohol

IN a bid to complement the so-called coastal tourism industry in Bohol, Bohol Vice-Gov. Julius Caesar Herrera vowed to fully throw support in enhancing the Coastal Resource Management Program (CRMP) in the municipalities.

Herrera served as municipal mayor of Calape 1995-1998 and 1998-2001 during which Calape town was catapulted to one of the successful CRMP's implementation.

The vice-governor spoke as guest together with Cong. Edgar M. Chatto during the culmination of the Month of the Ocean held at Plaza Rizal last Friday with the theme: "Promoting Sustainable Coastal Tourism as One Strategy to Conserve Coastal Environment."

The vice-governor said that he and his colleagues in the Sangguniang Panlalawigan will give their full cooperation and support for CRMP activities not only for coastal tourism but most importantly for livelihood.

At the same time he challenged everyone to do their share so that others and next generation may live, adding that people are very dependent on the coastal and marine ecosystems for food security.

He said that Bohol is among the few provinces actively celebrating Month of the Ocean that practically started during President Joseph Estrada's reign.

It was in 2000 during Erap's regime with the endorsement of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP) and United States Agency for International Development (USAID) that Month of the Ocean was born. Since then, Bohol never miss to celebrate the importance of the ocean and seas in the livelihood of the people, Herrera, who then national LMP officer. - The Bohol Standard

Balicasag Island in Panglao Facing Ruin?

Officials and stakeholders launched a bold step towards salvaging Balicasag Island from further destruction.

The island is known for its rich marine biodiversity and beautiful dive sites.

In an interview yesterday, environment committee chair Alfonso Damalerio II of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan said that Panglao town officials are strengthening measures, such as an Ordinance imposing user's fee, apparently to give teeth to the enforcement of environmental measures for the island.

The move came in the wake of destruction by users and tourists. These damages caused by night fishing using fine mesh nets, undisciplined divers taking coral species and the absence of buoys in strategic areas may have put the island on the verge of extinction.

During the committee meeting yesterday, stakeholders, including the Bohol Marine Triangle (BMT) and a group of resort owners identified and tried to seize some opportunities to protect and conserve what is left of the island. These include the already established BMT in law enforcement and dive shops and resorts abound wanted to cooperate.

The stakeholders strongly suggested to the provincial government to initiate a convergence for the authorities of the Philippine Tourism Authority (PTA) and Philippine Navy (PN) and stakeholders concerned to thresh out serious matters affecting the island. - The Bohol Chronicle

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Abu Sayyaf Hitman Captured in Basilan Island

Philippine News Agency - A ranking leader of the Abu Sayyaf group with half-a-million price on his head for being involved in last year's beheading of marine troops was arrested by combined police and military forces in the nearby island province of Basilan, a police official disclosed Monday.

Basilan police director Sr. Supt. Salik Macapantar said the suspect identified as Sali Tungkal Alih alias Salim was arrested around 7:30 p.m. Friday in Quezon Boulevard, Barangay Matatag, Lamitan City.

Macapantar said Salim was arrested on the strength of warrants of arrest by the combined police and military operatives who chanced upon him in the area.

He said that Salim has nine warrants for murder and a P500,000 bounty was offered for his arrest.

"He (Salim) was found out to be one of the 130 suspects involved in the beheading of marine troops last year," Macapantar said.

Ten of the 14 marine troops who were killed in a clash in Barangay Guinanta in the town of Al-barka, Basilan, on July 10, 2007 were beheaded by the Abu Sayyaf.

The government has filed a criminal case against the bandits and 130 people were identified as respondents of the case.

Macapantar said Salim is one of the mid-level leaders of the Basilan-based, al-Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf bandits under Commander Puruji Indama.

Republic Service Activities Launched on Independence Day

In celebration of the 110th Anniversary of Philippines Independence Day on June 12, the Department of Education, through the Schools Division Superintendents nationwide has launched various "Republic-Service Activities." These activities are all designed to provide maximum access to basic education.

Norma S. Varquez, the Officer-In-Charge of Tagbilaran City Schools Division underscored the implementation of these activities in an Executive Conference specially held for this purpose last May 27, at the Division Conference Hall.

One major service activity is the conduct of a special examination for walk-in examinees who are over-aged in their present educational level, the out of-school youths, and those who have attended non-graded school programs, distance education, and home-study programs.

These examinations are set on June 12, 2008 at the different Regional Testing Centers throughout the country. These three examinations, the Philippine Educational Placement Test (PEPT), the Philippine Validating Test (PVT), and the Acceleration and Equivalency Test (A & E) are all in pursuance to DepEd Memorandum No. 249, s. 2008.

Registration is free for the examination on June 12, 2008.

For Region VII, the venue of said examinations is Zapatera Elem. School in Cebu City.

Applicants are required to bring with them their birth certificates, transcript of records for grade/year level passed, and two pieces 1 x 1 ID pictures.

'Sentro K3: Kaisahan, Kalayaan, at Kagalingan' is this year's central theme of DepEd in giving significance to the Independence Day celebrations.

The republic-service activity is intended to extend immediate information and technical assistance to the public with regards to any DepEd programs, and activities.

A one-stop shop for this purpose will be established at the City Schools Division Office on June 2-12, 2008.- The Bohol Chronicle

NFA Bohol Has A New Leader

Manager Clyde Samonte Omictin took over the realm of NFA Bohol's management vice manager Nestor Rey Alcoseba during simple turnover rites held recently at the local NFA office.

Omictin's assumption as new provincial manager of NFA Bohol was by virtue of Special Order No. AO2K805003 dated May 8, 2008 which ordered the reassignment of some provincial managers to their new places of assignment.

Alcoseba now holds post as provincial manager of NFA Cebu.

Omictin upon his assumption here assured to continue the programs currently undertaken by the Agency in line with its avowed mission to ensure food security.

Prior to his assignment here, Omictin held previous assignments as provincial manager at NFA Cebu and NFA Siquijor.

Omictin who was born on October 22, 1944 hails from Larena, Siquijor. He graduated at Southwestern University with the degree of Bachelor of Science in Education major in Mathematics. He took law studies at Foundation University and completed his master's degree in public administration at BIT Siquijor.

Omictin is married to Carmencita Lomongo, a division supervisor at DepEd Larena, Siquijor. - The Bohol Chronicle

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Monday Is A Holiday Again

PIA - Monday is non-working day, and that's holiday economics working again. 

By virtue of Proclamation 9492, workers get a breather from their endeavors as the law provides that holidays, except those religious in nature are moved to the nearest Monday.

Although the Proclamation was amended, it was still adopted by RA 1463, which declared certain days as regular or special holiday for 2008.

The day-off is one taken in lieu of June 12, the country's 110th independence day celebration, which falls on a Thursday.

In the past years, holidays were lumped with the week-ends to allow people longer rests when people can also profitably use the holidays to visit places in the country. 

The move was proposed by tourism authorities to boost local travel

While the country rests on Monday, independence day rites are not moved and are still slated Thursday, when regular socio-civic activities are set. - Rey Chiu

This June No Need To Wear School Uniform

Philippine Information Agency - Dispensing with the school uniform is optional and not mandatory.

  Department of Education Secretary Jesli Lapus clarified this over the speculation that the new DepEd's directive on uniforms for public elementary and high schools is in fact adding more burden to parent's expense for education.

  President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has directed DepEd through Lapus to make a directive to forego the uniforms to spare the parents of additional load of buying a new set of uniforms especially for those stepping into the first level of formal school and those enrolling into a new school.

  Lapus however stressed that the overall goal of the directive, is to offer public school students an opportunity to avail themselves of a truly free education as envisioned by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

  On this, he added students who already have school uniforms are free to wear them, but those who cannot afford uniforms are not compelled to buy them.

  According to DepEd's office in charge of the assistant Bohol superintendent, Maria Linda Namocatcat, the Divison has yet to get a copy of the directive. Nevertheless, she said if they implement, it has to be for new pupils and students.

  Old students may still wear their uniforms, she said.

  Some parents, upon learning of the new directive however said that the move may even be more expensive for them.

Planned Forensic Center For Human Rights Investigation

Rey Anthony Chiu | PIA - Commission on Human Rights (CHR) Chair Leila de Lima recently said she will put up an independent Forensic Center for the commission to improve its investigative expertise. 

  De Lima -- who took her oath of office as CHR chair before President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo said the CHR is presently "very dependent" on the Philippine National Police (PNP), the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and private experts for the CHR's forensic needs. 

  At the same time, De Lima said she will set up a program to improve the forensic technical skills of CHR personnel. This, she explained, will help remedy the "lack of witnesses which is always the problem in human rights cases." 

  President Arroyo had been calling on concerned government agencies to hasten the investigation and resolution of human rights cases. 

  She added that the CHR will also focus in monitoring the government's compliance with its obligations in "at least eight core" international human rights treaties. 

  The CHR will also "revitalize" the Barangay Human Rights Action Centers to promote human rights awareness in the grassroots level, especially about the human-rights provisions of various laws. 

  President Arroyo administered De Lima's oath at Malacanang's Reception Hall where the latter's circle of family and friends -- led by her father, former Commission on Election (COMELEC) executive director Vicente de Lima -- converged to witness the event. 

One Billion Pesos Scholarship Funding For Filipino Students

Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo launched recently a P1 billion loan-based assistance program for deserving third and fourth year college students to enable them to finish their schooling.

Dubbed as the Student's Assistance Fund for Education for a Strong Republic (SAFE 4 SR), the program provides interest-free loans, which the students can use to cover expenses for their tuition fees, books, course projects, thesis papers, board and lodging bills, graduation fees and other educational expenses.

The President led guests in the launch of the funding program held at the school gym of the Eulogio "Amang" Rodriguez Institute of Science and Technology (EARIST) in Manila.

Under the program, the President, through the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), will provide 44 pre-qualified institutions composed of 21 State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) and 23 higher education institutions (HEIs) with P300,000 each for the program.

The 44 institutions will determine who among their students shall receive P8,000 each per semester representing the maximum loanable amount from the program.

Upon graduation, the student will have 10 years to pay the total amount to the school where he or she graduated from.

The President also distributed 15 out of the 44 checks earmarked for the educational institutions. 

In her speech keynoting the launch of the student loan program, the President said the SAFE 4 SR represents "the second of the major components of the fruits to be made available this year by our lower-than-program budget deficit which can be attributed to VAT (Value Added Tax) reforms."