Saturday, February 28, 2009

Video Australia in Bohol Philippines


  This sums up the impression of the directors and television crew of Video Australia who came in to shoot footages of Bohol and the Philippines for a travel segment to be shown in the continent down under.  

  The team composed of Rusty Cage Productions managed by Estee Wallace was sent by the Department of Tourism to help promote the country, including Bohol to Australians and Micronesians reached by the Australian broadcast. 

  Segment director Alexander Begetis and cameraman Andrew Grant had the time of their lives composing spectacular shots of Bohol as TV segment presentor and Hollywood star Morgan Burrett couldn't stop commenting his amazement of the quaint province with astounding destinations.      

  The television team and crew came to film Bohol and the Philippines for a month-long series on Philippine and Bohol scenic spots and wonders, explained Estee Wallace as the crew arrived at the city airport Saturday last week. 

  The film output would be a month-long presentation in a series the wonders of the Philippines and would be coming out in October this year over Australian Channel 10, adds Begetis, in a casual talk with the media. 

  In Bohol, the team however missed the dolphin and whale watching trip as the crew refused to risk the equipment on the scheduled date because of a squall brought about by low hanging clouds around Pamilacan. 

  The group went to shoot segments of the show at the Chocolate Hills, in the ricefields of Batuan, the man-made forest of Loboc and Bilar, the church in Loboc and Tagbilaran, the floating restaurants, the rustic roads in Cambanac and the tarsiers in Corella. 

  Moreover, Bohol has been hosting promotional film and television crews in government cooperative efforts to make the island a top eco-cultural tourism destination in the country.  

  Many people here believe that eco-cultural tourism is viable as it has moved the province out of poverty in past decade.  

  Hosting the crew for Bohol were the provincial government, Angels' Wings Tour and Travel, Amarela Resort, J4 Tours and Transport and Bohol tour-guides Chito VaƱo with another KABO guide. - Rey Anthony Chiu, PIA

Philippine Agriculture Jobs

An adopted Boholano has recently committed to start agriculture related jobs in Bohol as part of the one-eighth share in the national commitment to generate one million jobs to insulate the poor against a zapping global economic meltdown. 

  Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap, a Boholano by affinity pledged this in his capacity Cabinet as steward in charge of livelihood and emergency employment projects. 

  He said "these jobs not only benefit the rural workers but also recoup the country's agriculture through increased food production, cut production loses and honed small farmers' and fishers' competitiveness, over a press material from his agency.  

  In Bohol, local sources here speculate that the agriculture department would immediately fund the rehabilitation of irrigation facilities and the farm to market roads development. 

  The speculation came after Governor Erico Aumentado has formally asked Bohol mayors to help facilitate the acquisition of road right of ways for the upgrading of Malinao Dam in Pilar. 

  The governor told the mayors during the recent meeting in Batuan about the proposal to extend 5 meters to the dam in preparation to Bohol Irrigation Projects III (BHIP 3) to be funded by Korean Government.  

   Earleir, Sec. Yap, who coordinates for President Arroyo's Comprehensive Livelihood and Emergency Employment Program (CLEEP) in Northern Luzon and Bohol has initially said that more than half of the total length of the country's farm to market roads would be built in Central Philippines and the Mindanao Super Region, where major food production sites are located. 

  On this, 567.60 kilometers of FMRs in Central Philippines are expected to benefit 56,760 farmers and create 14,190 new jobs.

  These developments however have raised blips among political observers' radars while not ignoring Yap's visible presence and multi-million projects in fish ports, organic fertilizers and farm sector development researches in Bohol. 

  The report has also floated talks that Yap's frontloading of the agency's programmed spending could hand easily hand him the silver platter of a congressional seat.

  When asked for commitments at jobs summit in Malacanang, Sec. Yap, who was named special steward in Bohol and Cagayan Valley has pledged immediate accomplishment of 80,000 jobs for DA. 

  Such jobs include cultivation of organic fertilizer in Ilocos; construction of flatbed dryers, irrigation projects and agro-forestry projects in Cagayan Valley, organic fertilizers production and vegetable planting programs in the Cordillera Administrative Region, livestock production and irrigation construction in Central Luzon. 

  The Aggie department wants to create an initial 131,000 new jobs in the agriculture and fisheries sector this year under the Arroyo administration's emergency employment package. This forms part of the P330-billion economic stimulus program designed to insulate Filipinos from the adverse effects of the worsening global financial meltdown. 

  Of this, DA wants to generate 81,134 jobs in the repair and rehabilitation of irrigation facilities nationwide and another 10,400 under its organic fertilizer production program. - Rey Anthony Chiu

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Loon Anti-Rabies Campaign

By Rey Anthony Chiu

  Anti-rabies advocates in exchange for medical health insurance, you bet. 

  While spending a sizable budget for medical health care (Medicare) insurance assistance, Loon Mayor Lloyd Peter Lopez figured out he could also ask a payback from his constituents. 

  In a PowerPoint presentation to Asian group visiting Bohol to study the province-wide anti-rabies prevention and eradication program implementation, Mayor Lopez bared the plan to engage more of his people to respond to the threat. 

  Lopez, who is also a physician by profession said the town has practically been alarmed by the unusually high population of stray dogs in his town, some canines taking their posts at key municipal hall alleys.  

  Loon was once of the first few Bohol towns that wholeheartedly adopted the campaign ahead, the mayor cognizant that he ought to have a head start. 

  Loon has got the most number of barangays in Bohol at 67, and in an anti-rabies saturation drive, local officials would need all the time they can get.  

  From an initial budget of P10T, Loon upped the anti-rabies fund to P90T the following year, the mayor reported in an apparent move to show the conviction of local officials about the threat.  

  Despite starting ahead, while many Loon residents expect a down in reported bite cases, the town registered almost double bite cases last year. 

  To this, Dr. Lopez attributed to the awareness people now reporting dog bite cases to get the vaccination, rather than getting traditional remedies instead.  

  Putting up a gallant stand against the magnanimous challenge of getting Loon Rabies Free by 2010, and with the lack of manpower to campaign for responsible dog ownership, the town dad has proposed getting the help from indigent insurance beneficiaries.  

  The move also earned the nod of Asian study tour group members noting that creative ways of getting to the aim of ridding the risk of rabies should not be limited to fund scarcity. 

Increasing Food Supply in a Philippine Town

      Increasing local supply of food crops takes the top slot in this year's priority list of Talibon Mayor Juanario Item.

      For this purpose, a total of 75 barangay officials recently attended a one-day seminar-workshop on the production of Carbonized Rice Hull and Vermi-Composting held at the Farmers' Information & Technology Services (FITS) center in barangay San Roque.

      Among the participants were the 25 village heads, chairpersons of the barangay committees on agriculture and the barangay agricultural workers(BAW).

      In his message during the activity, Mayor Item said the activity helped make the participants and all land tillers appreciate the compost fertilizer more than inorganic ones.

      Item also pointed out that his administration's focus this year is on increasing the local supply of agricultural products like rice, banana, root crops and vegetables.

      Through the program, the municipal government aims to ensure the town's food security.

      "If all farmers will support his agenda to forget commercial fertilizers in favor of the organic ones, it will lessen the burden of crop production," according to the mayor.

      In fact, the mayor said he has already started applying compost fertilizers on his ricefields.

      Agricultural Technologist and FITS Manager Ponciana Cruda, for her part,  encouraged the farmers to try the CRH and vermin composting method of producing local fertilizers.

      Vermi-composting technician, Generoso Evardo, introduced the importance of vermi-culture and vermin composting.

      After the lecture, the participants had hands-on activities on the production of carbonized rice hull and preparation of a container for vermin-culture.

      Mayor Item personally distributed the certificates of attendance to the participants. (Onad Munalem)