Monday, December 27, 2010

Bohol Indigenous Plant Nursery

BEMO INDIGENOUS PLANT NURSERY- This is BEMO's endemic tree seedling production center that supplies the seedlings to interested local government units and other sectors  interested in restoring  the rainforest in their localities. Its activities include endemic tree mapping, phenological survey and the promotion of rainforestation sites within the local government units as well as with  the private/corporate sectors.  It also serves as a training venue on nurserying and propagation.

AusAid Work Employment Opportunity

The Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) is responsible for the delivery of Australia's Development Cooperation Program to the Philippines, one of the largest aid programs in the Philippines.  The Governments of the Philippines and Australia will be implementing a three-year natural hazard and risk assessment project in Greater Metro Manila Area. AusAID and the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC)-Office of Civil Defense (OCD) are seeking a highly motivated, results-oriented and suitably experienced person to fill the Project Coordinator position.
The Project Coordinator will be responsible in managing the implementation of the project by working closely with the Philippine and Australian technical counterparts to support the development of natural hazard risk analysis.   The successful candidate must have good track record on financial and procurement management, project implementation and coordination, with well developed oral and written communication and stakeholder liaison skills.  Experience working on relevant sectors namely natural hazard risk assessment, environmental impact assessment, disaster risk management, land use and physical planning, is preferable.
Applications are invited from suitably qualified candidates currently residing in the Philippines. Please note that these are not Australian Public Service positions.  Further details on Terms of Reference and Selection Criteria for the position can be accessed under job vacancies at the website:

Conditions of Contract

The Position will be a full-time position for an initial one-year contract with an annual extension of up to two years subject to performance.  The successful candidate will be based in the Office of the Civil Defense and is expected to commence as soon as possible.  Remuneration is negotiable depending on qualifications and experience.

Expressions of Interest

Interested applicants must address the selection criteria (maximum of 2 pages), and detail suitability to perform the duties of the position including personal qualities, experience, skills and knowledge.  All applications should be forwarded to: The PCCO, 9th Floor, Salcedo Towers, 169 H.V. dela Costa Street, Salcedo Village, Makati City 1227 or on or before Monday, 17 January 2011.  Please include in your application a curriculum vitae of no more than 3 pages.  Written referee reports are not required to be submitted at the time of application, although applicants should ensure that the names and contact details of two (2) work-related referees are supplied. Do not send copies of academic transcripts, awards, degrees, or published papers.  Late or incomplete applications will not be considered.

Envelopes should be clearly marked "PROJECT COORDINATOR/RISK ANALYSIS PROJECT".  Due to volume of applications, only shortlisted applicants for interview will have their applications acknowledged.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Research on Bio Defense Vaccines

The U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) on Thursday announced three new contracts to fund research on vaccines to protect against emerging infectious diseases and biological threats that could be used in a terror attack.

Each project focuses on simple and efficient vaccine delivery approaches that could be deployed quickly. The total funding for the three contracts could reach 68 million dollars, depending on the successful completion of defined project milestones.

"These new contracts build on NIAID's commitment to support the advanced development of products that are important to the public health but often unattractive to investors in private industry, by bridging the funding gap with contracts intended to address specific health needs," says NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci.

The three studies will focus on a dengue vaccine delivered by a needle-free device, an anthrax vaccine delivered orally and an anthrax vaccine delivered in conjunction with an adjuvant -- a compound that stimulates the immune system.

"Our goal is to improve vaccine delivery and the resulting immune response in a way that could be used to protect large numbers of patients," says Michael G. Kurilla, director of the Office of Bio-defense Research Affairs in NIAID's Division of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases.

Health Research Investment by America

The U.S. invested 139 billion dollars last year in health research from all public and private sources, according to a report released Thursday by nonprofit organization Research!America.

That amount represents only 5.6 percent of the 2.47 trillion dollars overall U.S. health spending in 2009 -- or 5.6 cents of every health dollar -- which varies no more than 0.2 percent from 2005 levels.

According to the report, the 2009 investment grew by only 0.1 percent over 2008. This small increase can be attributed largely to the federal stimulus funding for research provided through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Federal research investment was nearly 46.8 billion dollars in 2009, up from 38.6 billion dollars in 2008.

The effects of the economic recession can be seen throughout the other sectors that fund health research and development -- industry, universities, state and local governments, philanthropic foundations, voluntary health associations, and independent research institutes -- where such investment remained essentially flat or declined in 2009. Industry was the largest source of health research funding in 2009 at 74.3 billion dollars, down slightly from the prior year's 74.8 billion dollars. All other sources combined invested 17.8 billion dollars, compared with 17.1 billion dollars in 2008.

Miracle Rice

Environmental changes are to blame for a 15 percent drop in the yield of "miracle rice" – also known as rice variety IR8 – since the 1960s when it was first released and lauded for its superior yields that helped avert famine across Asia at the time.

IR8 used to produce 9.5 to 10.5 tons per hectare, significantly more than other varieties in the 1960s when average global rice yields were around only 2 tons per hectare. But, when grown today, IR8 can yield only around 7 tons per hectare.

"IR8 still performs very well considering global average rice yields still hover around 4 tons per hectare, but a 15 percent yield drop is significant and we needed to find out what was happening," said Dr. Shaobing Peng, a crop physiologist from the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and coauthor of a study published in Field Crops Research about the declining yields of IR8.

Dr. Peng and his team grew rice from original IR8 seeds preserved in the International Rice Genebank and compared it to rice grown from IR8 seeds continuously grown and harvested over the last few decades. He wanted to see if the genetics of IR8 had changed over time and if that was responsible for the yield drop – or if something about the environment was the cause.

Motorcycle Helmet Law

With or without the Implementing Rules and Regulations, the Land Transportation Office (LTO) has declared a "ceasefire" in the enforcement of the national helmet law in Dumaguete and in Negros Oriental, because of the Buglasan Festival this month.

This was announced by LTO-Dumaguete chief Roland Ramos during a public hearing Friday on the pros and cons of the helmet law implementation.

Ramos said they have an agreement with the Buglasan Committee not to implement the controversial law while the province is celebrating the festival this October.

He said if the IRR arrives anytime this week, it will still go through a series of information dissemination and will not be implemented yet.

Meanwhile, a representative from the Department of Trade and Industry also said during the public hearing that standard helmets are already available in different motorcycle shops in Dumaguete.

At least three brands of helmets with ICC marks are available after passing through DTI regulations and standards set by law. These helmet brands include Index, Posh, and Soul, among others. (PNA)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Philippines Number Game Jueteng

The Senate has spread its net wider on its planned inquiry into the juentengate scandal facing the Aquino administration indicating that it will summon newly-appointed Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Raul Bacalzo, who is barely a week in his post, among those to be subjected to an investigation.

Blue ribbon committee chairman Sen. Teofisto Guingona III yesterday said Bacalzo is fourth in the list of those topping the guest list of the public hearing his panel will call Tuesday next week.

"He is no. 4 in our list of guests for the hearing and he should show up. He has to answer. He has to answer the allegations against him and he could tell us what he knows about the issue. I hope (former whistleblower) will

appear before us. But what we are trying to do first is to invite people rather than to subpoena them. (Retired) Archbishop (Oscar) Cruz is No. 1 in our guest list," the senator said, appearing in the weekly Kapihan sa Senado news forum.

There had been reports the past few days where Senate jueteng witness Sandra Cam alleged to have implicated Bacalzo as supposedly among those known to be coddling jueteng operators in the country.

She was quoted several times on radio interviews questioning Bacalzo's appointment to the post vacated by retired police Gen. Jesus Verzosa.

"There's no party affiliation issue here. There's no political color here. Elections had long been over. There will be no sacred cows here. What the law says, we have to enforce," he said.

Besides Bacalzo and the former prelate, the blue ribbon chair also invited to appear before them Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Sec. Jesse Robredo and Undersecretary for peace and order Rico Puno.

As of press time yesterday, Guingona said the former prelate is yet to confirm to their invitation, the rest of those called that included Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) manager for special project development Romualdo Quiñones and five police regional directors have confirmed attendance.

"Puno confirmed attendance. Robredo, I can presuppose safely that he will come. Cam's name surfaced only last night because of reports on her new revelations that Bacalzo is supposedly involved. We will invite her nevertheless," he said.

"We should give him (Puno) the chance to answer that question when he comes to the hearing. Let's not preempt him. I think in the spirit of revealing everything, the good secretary will voluntarily reveal the names," he said.

Guingona, however, appeared indecisive on the matter of whistleblowers possibly implicating certain politicians, as to whether the Senate will observe parliamentary courtesy if and when some members of the lower house will be dragged in the course of their investigation.

Experience in the past showed some congressmen testifying in the Senate jueteng scandal inquiry.

"I will leave it to the lower house. The Speaker of the House has already pronounced that they will also conduct their own investigation. We have confidence in the capability of lower house to conduct their own investigation. I think they can do their job. But there's nothing stopping them from voluntarily appearing," he said.

Malacañang is bent on protecting Bacalzo, however, saying that it is challenging junior police officers who wrote Aquino questioning Bacalzo's credentials and Cam to come up with solid evidence to back their allegations against the newly-minted PNP chief, who was also implicated to illegal drugs in the letter.

Bacalzo clearly has the support of Malacañang with no less than President Aquino himself describing the accusations of the junior officers as "manufactured".

Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda insisted that, insofar as they in the administration are concerned, Bacalzo has a clean track record in his career at the PNP and they know nothing about the issues hurled against him until Cam publicly floated his alleged involvement in jueteng.

Prior to Cam's allegations that Bacalzon was receiving jueteng payoffs the other day, junior officers of the PNP appealed to Aquino through a letter to look into the controversies leveled against Bacalzo, from jueteng, illegal drugs, and his zero achievements when he led the PNP Task Force Usig. Lacierda only dismissed the allegations calling these "speculative".

"We have no way of knowing if this is a good faith accusation or a means to besmirch the reputation of General Bacalzo. We don't know that's why we need for those who allege to prove it, at least, tell us," Lacierda told reporters yesterday at a news conference.

Lacierda said Bacalzo, after all, claimed that he is willing to submit himself under investigation to satisfy all the doubting Thomases who keep on questioning his integrity and capacity as the new PNP chief.

But, in the same breath, Lacierda conveyed that this investigation process might not suffice because the whistleblower, Wilfredo "Boy" Mayor, who once tagged Bacalzo in the illegal numbers game during a Senate hearing in 2005 is already dead.

"For purposes of transparency, we'd like to see also those statements made by Mr. Boy Mayor. But remember, again let me emphasize, that Boy Mayor is already deceased. There's going to be difficulty in… If an investigation is found, can we rely on those statements? Because, again, we have to ask our legal advisers as to the effect of the statement so many years back on the relevance of it today," Lacierda argued.

Mayor was reportedly murdered by still unknown assailants last February 28 while he was on his way home after playing at a casino in Pasay City in an alleged effort to restrain him as he was about to reveal the names of eight to nine lawmakers who were involved in a public works anomaly.

The Palace spokesman insisted that Aquino's decision to appoint Bacalzo as successor to retired PNP Chief Dir. Gen. Jesus Verzosa was done based purely on merits and he would not in any way give him the position if he is of "dubious character".

Lacierda also explained that just because they haven't been made aware of the Senate's records on Bacalzo doesn't necessarily mean that Aquino did not put him under rigorous scrutiny before appointing him as the next PNP Chief.

"The Senate did not do anything; the Senate did not recommend prosecution charges against General Bacalzo at that point. So there will be no, really, no way for us to verify that. We would hope that if there was a probable cause that they would submit the names of these people in that jueteng hearing to the Ombudsman for investigation. None was done. We would normally go to the Sandiganbayan to check the records—there were no records adverse to Gen. Bacalzo. So there would be no basis for us to say that it escaped us. If a record was found then we would have done something about it," he argued.

Lacierda also conveyed that it was quite impossible for Bacalzo to become a recipient of jueteng payolas, as alleged by his critics, because he had been inside Camp Crame during the last nine years serving as one of the administrators of the PNP headquarters.

Bacalzo, meanwhile, declared an "all-out" war against jueteng during his first command conference at Camp Crame ordering the police to totally eradicate jueteng operations in the country.

Bacalzo ordered all regional directors, district directors and other concerned police units to intensify its campaign against the jueteng operations nationwide as he asked his men to have comprehensive plan in order to stop the illegal numbers game.

Admitting that eradicating jueteng would be very difficult, he expressed optimism that with the cooperation of all the police units concerned, it would be possible.

Bacalzo belied reports that he was receiving pay offs from jueteng lords saying that he has been detailed inside the PNP national headquarters since 2002.

It can be recalled that jueteng whistleblower Sandra Cam dragged Bacalzo into the jueteng controversy.

Bacalzo then denied that he personally knows Cam and he is willing to face investigation to prove his innocence at the proper forum and investigation.

Meanwhile, the Senate blue ribbon committee disclosed that Bacalzo will be invited for questioning to clear out his name into the jueteng controversy.

"He is No. 4 in our list of guests for the hearing and he should show up since he has to answer the allegations against him and he could tell us what he knows about the issue", Senate Blue ribbon committee chairman Sen. Teofisto Guingona said.

Aquino also defended Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Undersecretary Rico Puno who Cruz also alleged to be one of two officials close to Aquino who are on the take from jueteng lords.

Aquino conveyed his confidence with Puno still has not wavered notwithstanding all the issues that have been hounding him lately—from the mishandling of the police forces during the recent hostage crisis to the latest development on jueteng.

"At this time, I still have confidence in him [Puno]. But I will talk to him as soon as I get back to Manila and I'll ask him of these allegations [on jueteng] and what his responses are," Aquino told reporters in a chance interview after leading the inauguration of Sibulan hydropower plant in Davao City, Thursday.

Aquino issued the statement after getting informed by newsmen on reports that Puno and former Philippine National Police chief Jesus Verzosa were purportedly receiving P5-million worth of jueteng payola every month.

But Aquino merely echoed the same doubtful reaction he conveyed when first confronted of the allegation made by Archbishop Emeritus Oscar Cruz that two of his trusted presidential aides have been receiving P2-million each per month from jueteng lords.

"Let me just go back, the figure is at P9-billion a year supposed to be profits from jueteng. Now they [Puno and Verzosa] are [said to be] getting, let's say two of them at P5-million, that's P20-million, P120-million a year, that's quite a huge money. But if they really are the protectors of this [jueteng], I think it's too small compared to that P9-billion," Aquino was quoted saying.

"And what's baffling is that, it started with two security aides [allegedly receiving] P2-million, days later it becomes P5-million. Maybe net week it would climb to P10 or P20-million [but] do they have reports that they carry with them or is it just a developing story?" the bullheaded Chief Executive added.

Aquino earlier deduced that this sudden cropping up of the jueteng issue early on in his administration was just a work of his detractors and his officials whom they were trying to incriminate were just victims of name-dropping.

He, nonetheless, claimed that he will check on these reports if these would ever get substantiated at all but he insisted that his officials who were being tagged on this issue should be presumed innocent until proven guilty.

"Let me reiterate that in times like these when unauthorized messages like in the text [messaging] or in the internet [are easy to circulate] accusations because [the accuser] won't be held accountable even if the accusation was not true. It's difficult because some reputations are being destroyed with very insufficient basis. Here we should fin out if [the accusations against my officials] really have a basis," Aquino explained.

Aquino relayed that he has already ordered someone to look into the entire issue on jueteng and he is just waiting their output.

The Chief Executive also previously mentioned about a so-called "comprehensive plan" that he asked DILG Acting Secretary Jesse Robredo, without imposing a specific deadline, to accomplish.

Manila Police District officer-in-charge, Chief Supt Roberto Rongavilla also vowed an intensified campaign against all forms of illegal gambling in the city, including the popular illegal numbers game.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Sensational Journalism

By Jose Carillo
Apart from being grammatically correct, news stories in any language need to be factually and logically told at all times. We thus expect reporters and their editors to avoid irrelevant imagery and rhetorical flourishes that could distort the facts and give the wrong impression to readers. But this caveat was obviously violated in the case of this lead sentence of a recent news story about a small-plane crash: "Amid the exodus of Philippine Airlines pilots, a student pilot and his instructor were injured yesterday morning when a two-seater Cessna 152 trainer airplane crashed while landing at the Loakan Airport here." Is there really a logical or circumstantial correlation, no matter how thin and specious, between the crash of that trainer airplane and the "exodus" of the airline pilots? Or was the newspaper just engaging in sensational journalism? My critique of this particularly instructive case of language misuse leads off My Media English Watch in Jose Carillo's English Forum this week, and I invite you to compare your reactions with mine to this shoddy type of English exposition.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Noynoy Aquino's SONA Speech Copy

Since President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III prefers to deliver his major policy speeches in Filipino (the Tagalog-based national language), it goes without saying that those speeches should be nothing less than grammar-perfect in Filipino. Their content, syntax, and structure should be crafted to perfection with the same fastidiousness lavished on presidential speeches in English. Unfortunately, this didn't happen in the case of the President's recent State of the Nation Address (SONA). As shown by my critique in this week's edition of Jose Carillo's English Forum, its Filipino may have been admirably simple, forthright, and brutally efficient, but it was flawed grammatically, syntactically, and structurally in some of its most telling points.

Go to My Media English Watch now for the details of my language critique of the President's SONA, then enjoy the many other instructive features that the Forum has lined up for you this week:

Filipino Politics

By Sunday Post
Tagbilaran Mayor Dan Lim yesterday said it is the people themselves who will eventually make a choice whether to perpetuate the present or commit to change.  

"They will decide for themselves what they want with their lives and with the country," the mayor added.

Lim issued the statement as he gave his reactions to recent news reports indicating the Aquino government's desire to investigate the alleged over-importation of rice.

The news reports quoted Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima as saying that the investigation will include Rep. Arthur Yap of Bohol 's third district who served as agriculture secretary and National Food Authority administrator.

Lim said the investigation is a good opportunity for Yap to clear his name, noting that the third district solon sounded confident about his position.

"Boholanos should monitor the development of this issue because we cannot deny that whenever Cong. Yap's name is being mentioned, the family name would now be Bohol ," he added.

The mayor said he is also "excited" to see how Yap's political allies in Bohol , particularly Rep. Rene Relampagos and Gov. Edgar Chatto would conduct themselves.

Lim particularly pointed to Relampagos' "no-win" situation considering the latter's recent somersault into the Liberal Party (LP).

"Considering that (Relampagos) obviously switched to the LP out of convenience, he will now have to toe the party line," he added.

The mayor noted that since it was Pres. Benigno Aquino III himself who denounced the alleged irregularities in the rice importation, the LP would be expected to go all-out to support his position.

On the other hand, Lim said this puts Relampagos in a bind since Yap actively supported him in the last election.

The mayor said Yap supposedly promised to give funding out of public funds to Relampagos' political allies in the first district even though Relampagos was not yet a government official at the time.

In addition to this, Lim said it was Yap who was largely responsible for the choice of Relampagos as Lakas first district official candidate over Catigbian Mayor Roberto Salinas.

This caused a rift in Lakas since the entry of Relampagos, considered an "enemy" by many party leaders, was at the expense of a loyal party member in Salinas .

"If (Relampagos) actively supports the investigation, it would mean turning against Cong. Yap who was a big factor in his victory," Lim added.

The mayor took the occasion to point out that there is nothing new in the party switching and opportunism, adding that the people cannot expect anything new unless they make a move.

"They will be the ones who will decide that they want change that is more than cosmetic," he added.

Lim said this is the reason why there are on-going round table discussions on this concern.

"Criticism without offering alternatives is counter-productive," the mayor added.

Lim hinted that the alternative would be the organization of a new group that will consider the aspirations of the Boholanos and their desires for a better life.

"This time our agenda will no longer be left out in the equation whic most national parties tend to do," the mayor added.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Jejomar Binay in Bohol Island Philippines

By Sunday Post
V-President Jejomar Binay led a star-studded cast of personalities in attendance to Bohol's famous Sandugo festival the climax of which hits feverish pitch today. 

As guest of honor, the newly-minted vice president will grace at the street dancing competition and presentation this afternoon.

With Binay filling in the cast of political heavy hitters, celebrities of the country's movie and TV medium are also on hand to grace the occasion.

Upon the invitation of City Mayor Dan Neri Lim and Deputy Mayor Mariano Uy, movie & TV actors and actresses like Dennis Trillo, Nadine Samonte, Geoff Taylor, Frencheska Farr, Angelica de la Cruz, and Maureen Larrazabal arrived here yesterday to attend Bohol's big event.

A show called Kapuso Night featuring these stars was held last night at the City Tourism Port hosted by Boholano beauty titlist Anna Maris Igpit and Yuri.

Teenage love team Joshua Dionisio and Barbie Forteza, will ride in a float as part of the parade featuring the entries of the Sandugo presentation and competition. They will ride in the Kapuso float.

Mayor Lim will lead Bohol mayors in rolling out the red carpet to the new vice president. The city mayor will be assisted by Loay Mayor Rosemarie Lim-Imboy who will lead a delegation of Bohol mayors in the welcome reception in her capacity as president of the League of Municipalities, Bohol chapter.

While in Bohol, Binay will pay a courtesy call on Gov. Edgar Chatto and Mayor Lim.

The vice president will also take time out to thank his avid supporters in Bohol notably Mayors Alvin Uy of Baclayon, Jimmy Jiminez of Dauis, Cary"Boy" Camacho of Getafe and Thomas Louis Gonzaga of Danao.

The Bohol visit is the first of the vice president since pulling off a come-from-behind upset behind close rival Mar Roxas.

NPA Rebels Communists in the Philippines

Stamp insurgents and get Negros Oriental declared insurgency free in three years.

This was the tall order issued by the Regional Peace and Order Council in Central Visayas (RPOC-7) through its chairman, Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia to the army commander assigned for internal security operation in eastern Negros.

At the RPOC7 full council meeting held at the Bohol Tropics Resort in the tourism city of Tagbilaran, July 27, the tall order coming from the petite and yet fearless Cebu governor resounded as a crisp challenge for the army units assigned in Negros Oriental.

Negros Oriental, one of the provinces that hosted the fleeing insurgents from Bohol and Cebu has battled with the uncomfortable tag of being the remaining province in the region that is saddled with the peace and order problem.

And taking tall order is 302nd Brigade's Colonel Manuel Garchitorena, commanding officer of the military units now tasked to reduce insurgency in the province to insignificance.

At his disposal for the tough mission are his battalion based in barangay McKinley, Guihulngan Neg. Oriental and the 79th Infantry Battalion based in Siaton.

Dipped into the highly impenetrable terrains of Negros Oriental and the easy and porous boundary to Negros Occidental, the army's operations have been fairly successful since rebels who cross the border to Negros Occidental can hardly be pursued.

Compounded by the problem of porous boundaries in the regions, PCSupt Lane O Nerez added that the insurgency problem in Negros island can not be seen as a problem of Oriental but of the Occidental side of the island as well. 

Officially getting the mandate to end insurgency there since July 1, 2010, Col Garchitorena revealed that his unit has been realigned from a bigger area of responsibility to focus his efforts in eastern Negros.

However, with the success stories from Bohol and Cebu as templates and with the guidance of the 802nd Brigade under Col. Aland Luga, seemingly, Col. Garchitorena's 3 year deadline to put an end to insurgency is not that impossible after all. (rac/PIABohol)

Lose Firearms Guns in the Philippines

Illegal fire-arms which find its way to the hands of criminal elements in the region alarms authorities at the Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC-7).

The alarm springs from the regional police assessment that loose firearms in the region factor to the prevalence of violent crimes, especially when Cebu registers 2090 theft and 668 rob cases within the last two quarters alone.

During the recent meeting held at the Bohol Tropics Resort in Tagbilaran City, Regional Police Intelligence Chief Melvin Ramon Buenafe, in a briefing to the council cited that although there were no high profile rob, kidnapping, terror attacks of media and VIP threats, the Cebu City cases involve loose firearms.

This is despite that fact that police has just capped its Operation Kontra Boga and Bilang Boga in the implementation of the national fire-arms control policy, added Buenafe.

In his quarterly data presented, Pssupt. Buenafe pointed to the erratic trends in illegal firearms in the region starting with the last two quarters in 2010.

Regional police records also show that only 11 thousand of the 49 thousand firearms were accounted during the Oplan Bilang and Oplan Kontra Boga in the police's pre-election crime suppression operations.

While the last three quarters showed a slight reduction in loose fire-arms, regional cops also noted a a rise in confiscated firearms in the second quarter of this year.

Records said that in the 3rd and last quarter of 2009, police succeeded in recovering 495 and 424 fire arms respectively.

The same down-trending was noted in the 1st quarter of 2010 with 390 weapons accounted.

The 2nd quarter however (April-June) proved to be an anomaly with 473 fire-arms recovered by authorities, showing an up-trend.

Concerned about how to curb the proliferation of fire-arms sourced out by criminal elements from backyard gun manufacturers in the region, PCSupt. Lani O Nerez proposed more checkpoints, monitor and stop the operation of backyard manufacturers and conduct another inventory of firearms.

The tourist region still languishing in a relatively peaceful situation with a 18.17% decline in crimes during the period, the concern from regional peace authorities is surely no false alarm. (rac/PIABohol)

Disaster Management in the Philippines

Disaster and risk reduction managers here call for rationalized calamity fund spending amidst an expose by President Benigno Simeon Aquino on the depletion of the country's disaster funds.

Local risk managers want to assure that local governments are better equipped against natural and human disasters, they said.

Disaster council vice chairman, PSSupt Rodolfo A. Llorca seeks asks the provincial board to put a legislative stop on the using the un-used calamity funds as a bonus pot for local government workers.

Speaking at the weekly Kapihan sa PIA Thursday to commemorate the Disaster Consciousness Month, disaster managers PSSupt Llorca and Bureau of Fire Supt Pepe Rebusa hinted that several local government units (LGU) have fair knowledge about how to use the mandated 5% calamity fund placed at their disposal.

The local government code mandates that LGUs shall annually appropriate 5% of its development funds for disaster management.

This shall be used for aid, relief and rehabilitation services to communities and areas affected by man-made and natural calamities, repair and reconstruction of permanent structures, including other capital expenditures for disaster operation, and rehabilitation activities.

But as to the guidelines on how to use them, the law is mum, opening up a gray area, said a barangay official in an interview.

Llorca said that disaster mitigation and risk management spending can be planned in as much as LGUs can look up to three major phases of disaster response.

He said the initial phase is prevention, which can be responded by putting up disaster emergency and rescue equipment, disaster response where relief operations are done and post disaster response where funds could be allocated for evacuations.

However, with hazy guidelines, local government units conveniently realign the calamity funds by the end of the calendar year so the funds can be declared savings and so are available for personnel incentives.

That could be okay of the LGU has already prepared sufficient equipment and resources on disaster response, but most LGUs are not equipped against disaster, Llorca said.

The weekly forum at Kapihan sa PIA also discussed the theme: Pag-alerto: Malayo sa Peligro. (rac/PIABohol)  

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Bohol Vacation in the Philippines

Bohol culture has captured the heart of the 9-country Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

On the 156th Bohol Day on July 22, the province was formally declared as the ASEAN Culture Capital for the month of July, the fifth in the series, with Pampanga as the first. Before Bohol was Batangas.

However, Gov. Edgar M. Chatto also marked the proud day as Bohol's "Day of Friendship" and "Day of Hope" because the province is definitely "ready to embrace the Philippines and the rest of the world" for it is a "major contributor to the tourism sector of which we are leading."

The governor accepted the ASEAN flag from Dr. Hubert Gijzen, regional director for Asia and the Pacific of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), UNESCO Commssioner for Culture Ma. Guidote-Alvares and Dr. Vilma Labrador, undersecretary of the Department of Education (DepEd) and chairperson of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA).

It was also noted during their visit that every year, specifically on March 21-27, is observed the UNESCO - International Theatre institute (ITI) World Theater Week in the Philippines pursuant to Presidential Proclamation (PD) No. 1262.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Foreign Aid to the Philippines

The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) on Tuesday said the bulk of the foreign aids to the Philippines went to the infrastructure sector over the past 10 years. 

In a statement, NEDA said the infrastructure sector received the largest share of the total loans accounting for 60 percent, or US$ 5.74 billion last year and an average of 63 percent in the past 10 years.

The agriculture, agrarian reform and natural resources sector had the second largest share of 17 percent, or $ 1.61 billion.

Both the shares of the social reform and development sector and the governance and institutions development sector were nine percent at US$ 904 million and US$ 909 million in 2009, respectively.

As of last year, the total official development assistance (ODA) loan commitment amounted to US$ 9.64 billion.

The government of Japan, on the other hand, was still the biggest source of ODA loans last year and in the last 10 years.

ODA assistance from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) amounted to US$ 3.47 billion last year, lower than the average US$ 5.72 billion in the last 10 years.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB)'s ODA to the Philippines amounted to US$ 2.35 billion last year, while the World Bank's assistance reached US$ 1.57 billion.

The other sources account, comprising ODA from China, Germany, Belgium, South Korea, Austria, United Kingdom, The Netherlands and Kuwait, amounted to US$ 1.8 billion in 2009.

The Philippines' ODA loans portfolio last year amounted to US$ 10.137 billion, covering 107 loans composed of 95 project loans, or US$ 7.71 billion, and 12 program loans amounting to $ 2.43 billion.

Economic Forecast for the Philippines

By Joanne Villanueva

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has raised its growth forecast for the Philippines to 4.5 percent by next year.

This was announced Tuesday after the week-long IMF Staff Visit to Manila since last week.

In the IMF World Economic Outlook (WEO) released earlier this month, the lender projected a six percent growth, as measured by gross domestic product (GPD), for the country this year and four percent for next year.

Vivek Arora, head of the Staff Visit team, said the improvement in their forecast was made on account of recent developments showing the continued resiliency of the domestic economy to the recent crisis as well as ongoing debt crisis in the Euro area.

In a statement, the IMF team said the country "emerged relatively well from the global financial crisis."

"The monetary and fiscal policy stimulus in response to the global crisis in 2008-2009, as well as resilient remittances, helped to cushion the downturn and is now supporting the strong recovery," it said.

Amid the increase in the lender's 2011 growth forecast for the country, the figure is lower than the government's seven to eight percent target.

IMF's 2010 forecast for the Philippines is at the higher end of the government's five to six percent target.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Davao City Council Chairmanship Committee


Councilor Melchor V. Quitain - Speaker Pro Tempore
Councilor Emmanuel Galicia - Majority Floor Leader
Councilor Wendel Avisado - Assistant Majority Floor Leader.

The various chairpersons on different committees are as follows:

Committee on Agriculture and Food — Councilor Conrado Baluran.

Committee on Appointments and Government reorganizations – Councilor Conrado Baluran.

Committee on Barangay Affairs – Councilor Paolo Z. Duterte.

Committee on Civil, Political and Human Rights – Councilor Karlo Bello.

Committee on Cooperative Development and People's participation – Councilor April Marie Dayap.

Committee on Cultural communities and Muslim affairs —Councilor Arnolfo Ricardo Cabling.

Committee on Education, Science and Technology, Art and Culture — Councilor Rachel Zozobrado.

Committee on Energy, Transportation and Communication— Councilor Pilar Braga.

Committee on Environment and Natural resources – Councilor Marissa Salvador-Abella.

Committee on Ethics and Good government – Councilor Melchor Quitain.

Committee on Finance, Ways, Means and Appropriations— Councilor Myrna Dalodo-Ortiz.

Committee on Franchise and Public utilities – Councilor Victorio Advincula Jr.

Committee on Games and Amusements – Councilor Dante Apostol.

Committee on Health – Councilor Bernard Al-ag

Committee on Government enterprise and privatization — Councilor Louie John Villafuerte.

Committee on Housing, Rural and Urban development – Councilor Arnolfo Cabling.

Sub-committee on Housing and Subdivision on high end projects – Councilor Rachel Zozobrado.

Sub-committee on Medium end projects – Councilor Karlo Bello.

Committee on International relations — Councilor Jimmy Dureza.

Committee on Labor and Employment opportunities – Councilor Edgar Ibuyan.

Committee on Peace and Public safety – Councilor Paolo Duterte.

Committee on Public Works and Highways – Councilor Louie John Bonguyan.

Committee on Social services — Councilor Tomas Monteverde IV.

Committee on Tourism and Beautification – Councilor Al Ryan Alejandre.

Committee on Trade, Commerce and Industry – Councilor Nilo Abellera Jr.

Committee on Youth and Sports development – Councilor Halilah Sudagar.

Committee on Information and Technology – Councilor Jo Anne Bonguyan.

Committee on Government-owned real properties – Councilor Jimmy Dureza.

Committee on Women and children, and family relations – Councilor Leah Librado.

Committee on Publications – Councilor Rene Elias Lopez.


Department Heads

Atty. Zuleika Lopez - City Administrator

Jason Magnaye - Assistant City Administrator for Operations; heading the Investment and Promotion Center (IPC) under the City Administrator's Office.

Roberto Alabado - Department Head of the City Planning and Development Office

Leonardo Avila III - Officer-in-Charge (OIC) of the City Agriculturist's Office.

Erwin Alparaque - Assistant City Administrator for Administration

Francisco Valez - OIC of the Economic Enterprise Office under the City Administrator's Office

Rizalina Justol - City Accountant

Atty. Cesar Dataya - City Assessor

Yolanda Tablizo - OIC of the City Budget Office

Atty. Leo Anthony Braceros - City Civil Registrar

Engineer Jaime Adalin - OIC, City Cooperative & Development Office

Engineer Jocelyn Espina - OIC, City Environment and Natural Resources

Lawyer Jessie Melodias - OIC of the City General Services Office

Dr. Josephine Villafuerte - City Health Officer

Laperacion Daplin - City Government Head II of the Human Resource and Management Office

Atty. Osmunso Villanueva - OIC of the City Legal Office

Margarito dela Cruz - Secretary to City Council

Malou Bermudo - Head of Operations of the City Social Services and Development Office

Rodrigo Riola - City Treasurer

Dr. Armando Barbadillo - City Veterinarian.

Division Offices

Giovanni Bong Aportadera - Information Officer of the Public Information and Production Division. (The City Tourism Office (CTO), which Aportadera heads will be merged with the IPC, but this is yet to be formalized. Aportadera for the meantime will also be the OIC of the CTO).

Lorna Mandin - OIC of the Integrated Gender and Development Office

Atty. Jhopee Agustin - OIC of the Business Bureau

Roy Rigor - OIC of the Barangay Cultural Community and Affairs.

Aida Bontia - OIC of Correspondence and Records

Norma Alajar - City Librarian

Christian Avanceña - OIC of the Communication Division

Engr. Ricarte Franco - OIC of the City Information Technology Center

Christopher Lawrence Go - OIC of the City Sports and Development Division.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Philippine Media People

Jose Carillo:
Why is it that many Philippine media people don't see anything wrong with using the adjective "presidential" to describe everything that pertains to the Philippine president? They are having a field day designating as "presidential" anybody or anything that relates to the President by blood, affinity, proximity, or fleeting special circumstance. We thus read about "the presidential mother," "the presidential sisters," "a presidential reporter," "the presidential squeeze," and even "the presidential stylist." Unless they have the potential of becoming the president herself or himself, though, they certainly are not "presidential" and shouldn't be described as such. 

In My Media English Watch for this week, I therefore enjoin reporters and editors in the Philippine media to cease and desist from misusing "presidential" and its kindred semantic spoiler "presidentiable" to set a good example for good English usage. Then, elsewhere in Jose Carillo's English Forum, I take up some strategies for avoiding semantic trouble when using the word "only" and offer advice to two students facing a tough situation in school—the first a badly written English-usage book coauthored by his professor, and the other a compulsory speak-English-only rule in the classroom.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Tagbilaran City Bohol Philippines

Putting a premium on people rather than on projects still highlights city Mayor Dan Lim's plan for the city in his last three years. 
Lim, who spoke before a huge crowd during his inauguration said "obviously, we will have more of the cornerstone programs that form the nucleus of our development thrust. More than ever, we put premium on people over projects.

He stressed that people should be the beneficiaries of all efforts, not mere collatilla to any grandstand project.
Considering however the difficult times engulfing the country, he argued that putting up health and education subsidies would be the city's provision when people are forced to prioritize food clothing and shelter.

Pioneering multiple intelligence for pre-school children and now hoping to adopt it in elementary education, Lim said Tagbilaran would continue implementing the novel teaching approach which redefines the way people understand intelligence.
Since school year 2005-2006, we have reached 3,540 children, he said, hinting that the program would still mold city preschool mindsets in the next three more years at least.

Convinced that the program works even if "its too early to see the results", he presented Philippine Jaycees awardee in 2009 for implementing the novel approach to stress his point.

He also said the city follows on its schoolchildren assistance program for elementary school pupils, one it has done in its seventh year.

The City school children assistance program gives free uniforms and school supplies to elementary kids in an effort to help parents send their kids to schools.

"A total of 57,012 pupils have availed of our freebies. Hopefully, from here on, the succeeding administrations will see to it that every public elementary school pupil in the city will be a beneficiary of this program," the mayor who will have used up his full term said.
Admitting the city's limited resources, he promised to continue giving tuition fee subsidy of P5,000.00 per semester to college scholars.

This subsidy program is available for students whose gross family income is not more than P120,000.00 annually.

Ubay Bohol Sea Port

Forty-eight hours away from walking out of the palace, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo still had her hands full.

In a brief visit to Bohol after leap-frogging from Manila to Ilo-ilo and then to Ubay, Bohol, the working president still needs to let people know that the government is not just coasting to a stop until the next administration picks up the speed. 

With time running short and still instilling the government's dream for Bohol, PGMA used two persons' help.

Instead of speaking the benefits of the rehabilitated Ubay Roll-On Roll Off (RORO) Port in Bohol's northeastern side, a construction worker and a businessman did it for her.

William Tadle, a heavy equipment operator of the construction company rehabilitating the P364M port said he had fed his family and found the work he needed to get through life decently.

Ubay port construction phase 1 was done when the country suffered from fiscal scrimp brought about by collapsing world economies in early 2009. 

The project, contributed immensely to the government's comprehensive livelihood and emergency employment program by allowing local employment, said Ubay town information Officer Virginia Dupa. 

Tadle and many other workers constructed the port back up area, reinforced concrete pier, roll on roll off ramp, dredging and disposal, port mooring and fendering systems installation and port lighting facilities installation.

In fact, even after phase I, Tadle was still hired to lend heavy equipment support for the construction of additional back up area and thus make a 1.7 hectares more of port working area, according to Marra Builders, the winning bidder for the mega infrastructure project.

On the other hand, Ruben Hamili, a Cebu based agri food supplier said the port helped in getting their hog-lines and poultry feeds supply in time to their outlets in Bohol.

Then, the shipment of stocks from Cebu to their outlets in Bohol takes about four to five days, now its two days or even overnight, assuring their customers of the freshest products, he said in Cebuano in front of the President and some crowd of 3,000.

With the construction of a wider back-up cargo storage areas, businessmen like Ruben Hamili now have the option to transport goods right at their customers doorsteps or have them stocked at the port storage areas to cut on transport costs, says a project media briefer. 

The Philippine Ports Authority funds Ubay Port, a component of the country's Strong Republic Nautical Highways and makes travel by goods and people across the islands fast and affordable while allowing the growth of local tourism.

Ubay Port serves RoRo vessels plying the Ubay-Hilongos, Ubay-Maasin and Ubay-Bato routes, while it opens the possibility of Ubay-Dinagat, Ubay-Nasipit and Ubay-Baybay.

The President, who was not expected to speak in Ubay engagement, gamely took the microphone and asked the two guys to tell the people their stories. 

Going out of the palace on Wednesday bearing a stain of criticism for corruption, records would show that the Arroyo Administration has built more that two pervious administrations combined, states Ganito Tayo Noon material printed in major national dailies late last year. 

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Gloria Arroyo: Good or Bad?

As a gesture of gratitude and appreciation to outgoing President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Northern Luzon leaders on Monday gathered in full force to witness the inauguration of the reconstructed Bued Bridge in Sison, Pangasinan. 

President Arroyo gave priority to the repair of the Bued Bridge since it is vital in the transport of goods and passenger to and from provinces in Northern Luzon. 

Led by Rep. Cojuangco of the province's 5th district, the leaders expressed their gratitude to President Arroyo as she reopened the bridge to traffic. 

Manifesting his utmost gratitude to President Arroyo for projects in Pangsinan, Cojuangco described her "a very good President." 

"We owe the President a lot," Cojuangco told many constitutentswho trooped to bid farewell to outgoing President Arroyo. 

Cojuangco, a member of the Nationalist People's Coalition (NPC) said although he and Pres. Arroyo were not political allies, she continued to help his district. 

Rebuilt at a cost of P120-million under the President's Bridge Program, repair of Bued Bridge began in January 4 and completed on June 13.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Cebu Pacific Air Fare Promo 2010

Cebu Pacific Air Promo 2010 We are further strengthening our Cebu and Davao hubs by adding more frequencies and encouraging every Juan to travel with our P699 'Go Lite' seat sale starting now until June 18, 2010, for travel this July 1 to August 31, 2010.

Direct flights from Cebu to 18 domestic destinations are selling for as low as the 'Go Lite' seat sale fare of P699. These destinations are Bacolod, Boracay, Butuan, Cagayan de Oro, Clark, Davao, Dipolog, Dumaguete, General Santos, Iloilo, Legazpi, Ozamiz, Pagadian, Puerto Princesa, Siargao, Surigao, Tacloban and Zamboanga.

Travel from Davao to Cebu, Iloilo, Zamboanga and Cagayan de Oro for the same P699 'Go Lite' fare!

Flights from Manila to Pagadian, Surigao and Ozamiz are selling for only P999 'Go Lite', while our Manila to Macau and Clark to Macau flights are also up for grabs for P1,499 and P999, respectively.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Philippine Politics Still Belongs to Lakas Party?

Despite its election setbacks, the ruling Lakas-Kampi-CMD remains the dominant party in Philippine politics and President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who recently re-assumed party leadership, hopes to further improve the party's position in the future. 

In a news conference in Malacañang, Presidential Spokesman Ricardo Saludo said while few deserted the party during the campaign period, Lakas-Kampi-CMD still has the most number of members in the House of Representatives which, he said, gives the party the status of being a major force in legislation.

"It (Lakas) continues to be dominant. It is the largest party in the Lower House. We still have governors and mayors all over the country," Saludo said, counting about 109 Lakas members who won seats in the House of Representatives during the May 10 polls.

He said that as party head, President Arroyo wants to see the party maintain its political dominance and has vowed to focus on rebuilding the party.

Filipino Economy to Grow

The Goldman Sachs sees remittance and IT service exports to continue powering the Philippine economy this year. 

In a report, dated May 27, 2010, the investment banking and securities firm said the recovery of the domestic economy "is firmly underway" as shown by the higher-than- expected gross domestic product (GDP) growth at 7.3 percent in the first quarter of this year, as reported by the National Statistical and Coordination Board (NSCB) Thursday.

The domestic economy grew by 0.5 percent in January to March of last year.

The government's 2010 first quarter growth target is between a range of 2.9-3.9 percent while the market expects it to grow by 4.4 percent.

Domestic demand jumped 10 percent year-on-year compared to the 5.9 percent in the last quarter of 2009, due to the increases both in the private and government consumption.

"Robust overseas remittances are likely to result in further upticks in private consumption over the next few quarters," Goldman Sachs said.

Remittances grew seven percent year-on-year in the first three months this year as demand for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) continue to be high along with the global economic recovery.

Relatively, government consumption was strong due to relief and rehabilitation disbursements as a result of the typhoons that ravaged most of the Luzon area in the second half of last year.

"The 2010 first quarter GDP print confirms the recovery process is firmly underway, and we expect it to continue to get support from the two engines of flows – stable remittances and growing IT service exports," it said.

The investment firm projects a 4.2 percent growth for the Philippines this year, higher than the 1.1 percent last year, the consensus forecast of 3.9 percent, and the 2.6-3.6 percent target of the government.

Battle of Political Parties in House of Speaker Election

It's a battle between President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, who won as representative of Pampanga under the Lakas-Kampi-CMD party and Liberal Party (LP) Quezon City Mayor Feliciano "Sonny" Belmonte, who won as representative of Quezon City, for the Speakership in the House of Representative for the 15th Congress. 

Lakas-Kampi-CMD political adviser Prospero "Butch" Pichay, in a radio interview, said that majority of members want President Arroyo to run as House Speaker.

"We have also the process to field only one candidate for the Speakership. As of now, we still have the number to win the Speaker. Everybody is clamoring that President Arroyo should run as Speaker of the House," he said.

Camarines Sur Rep. Luis Villafuerte earlier said that in the fight for Speakership, a candidate should get at least 170 votes to have stability on the leadership of the House of Representatives.

"Dalawa ang lumalabas na pangalan -- si Sonny Belmonte at Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, and I think they are beginning to gather potential supporters," he said.

Quezon Rep. Erin Tanada said the LP has only Sonny Belmonte to run for Speakership of the Lower House.

"Rep. Belmonte has the advantage for having been a former Speaker of the House," he said.

As of now, Tanada said the LP has 40-50 congressmen. "We have to have alliance with other parties to win the Speakership."

For his part, Mandaluyong Rep. Neptali Gonzales Jr. said that a Speaker always has the blessing of the President-elect.

"Si Sonny Belmonte ang napipintong makakatuwang ni Noynoy (who is leading in this year's presidential race) to take care of the legislative agenda of this incoming President so I'm pretty sure na eventually Belmonte will be the next Speaker," he said.

Political Parties Don't Complaing of Cheating

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) here has not received even a single complaint of poll cheating during the conduct of the May 10 polls. 

However, the Comelec is investigating the use of transparencies even if they have yet to receive a formal complaint.

The massive use of transparencies was observed to be massive in Makato town.

The transparencies, which are of the same size as ballots, reportedly were used by voters as guides despite impressions that they were used as a form of vote buying.

The voter could just attach the transparencies to the ballot and manually shade the oval nearer the name of the candidate that they have voted for. The shaded portion will also be reflected in the transparencies.

"As to its legality I have to ask the opinion of the regional attorney.

"It might still be considered a case to case basis where the used of transparencies if used by an illiterate possibly legal as an aid," Comelec provincial supervisor, Atty. Ian Lee Ananoria Ananoria said.

Transparencies were allegedly distributed by a local political party here to their supporters.

Congressman Manny Pacquiao

World boxing champion Manny Pacquiao officially won the "biggest fight of his life" Thursday night, adding an eighth title that won't be at stake until the next mandatory fight after three years. 

Sarangani's Provincial Board of Canvassers (BOC) formally accorded Pacquiao the title congressman-elect at past 11:40 p.m. here Thursday after scoring a "landslide" win last May 10 in the highly-anticipated fight for the province's lone congressional seat.

Based on the final and official tally released by the BOC, the boxing champion garnered a record 120,052 votes to finish off the congressional hopes of his lone rival, businessman Roy Chiongbian, who only mustered 60,899 votes.

Pacquiao ran under his own political party People's Champ Movement (PCM) and losing presidential bet Manny Villar's Nacionalista Party (NP) while Chiongbian bannered administration coalition Sarangani Reconciliation and Reformation Organization-Lakas-Kampi-CMD (Sarro-Lakas).

"I'm very happy with this win because it's from one of the biggest fights of my life. I thank God and all the people of Sarangani for supporting me all the way," he told reporters following his proclamation at the provincial capitol's Sangguniang Panlalawigan session hall.

The BOC, which was presided by Commission on Elections (Comelec) Region 12 Director Michael Abas, proceeded with the proclamation of the winning provincial candidates after completing the provincial canvassing at around 10 p.m. Thursday.

Abas said the delay was caused by the faulty configuration of the accompanying compact flash (CF) or memory cards of several precinct count optical scan of PCOS machines that were deployed in the vote-rich municipalities of Glan, Kiamba and Malungon.

He said election automation firm Smartmatic-TIM's main office in Manila was only able to deliver the CF card replacements Thursday morning.

Manny Pacquiao Has a Basketball Team

At least nine teams will vie for supremacy in the first ever joint venture of the Philippine Basketball League (PBL) and Liga Pilipinas dubbed as Tournament of the Philippines which fires off on June 2 in Manila. 

Five teams from Liga and four from the PBL will make up the initial foray although officials of both leagues are still awaiting the confirmation of two other Liga teams in Taguig and Pampanga.

Meantime, Fil-American Clifford Hodge was selected as the top overall pick of the Pacman GenSan Warriors during the recent draft at the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) office in Pasig City.

Hodge is listed as a 22-year old, 6-foot-5 cager from Hawaii who is born to an American father and a Filipina mother who hails from Sulu.

League officials described Hodge as a versatile and athletic player who can shoot from the outside.

Aside from the Warriors of congressman-elect Manny Pacquiao, other teams joining are Cebu, Misamis Oriental, Laguna and Mandaue from Liga, Magnolia, Pharex, Cobra and Agrinurture, Inc. from PBL.

Excelroof, winner of the PBL tournament last March, begged off from competing this time since most of its marquee players will be playing in the coming NCAA season starting next month.

Two other PBL teams -–Toyota Otis and Hapee Toothpaste– also won't see action but are likely to compete in the next conference probably in October.

Manny Pacquiao at Philippine Independence Day

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo will lead the 112th anniversary celebration of Philippine Independence Day on June 12 at Rizal Park. 

National Historical Institute executive director Ludovico Badoy said in a media briefing in Malacanang on Wednesday, President Arroyo will lead the flag raising ceremony in Rizal Park in the morning of June 12.

According to Director Badoy, there will be a simultaneous flag raising all over the country in the morning of June 12.

Badoy added, after the flag raising ceremony, Mrs. Arroyo will also lead the wreath laying to the monument of national hero Dr. Jose Rizal.

"Of course President Arroyo will also have her Vin d' Honneur in Malacanang at 12 noon on June 12 wherein the members of the diplomatic community, together with the government officials and legislators will attend," the NHI director also told Malacanang reporters.

He added, in the afternoon (4 p.m.) of June 12, Mrs. Arroyo will also watch the civic military parade and the float parade at the Quirino grandstand.

Badoy also stressed that the President will have her speech in the afternoon at the Quirino grandstand right after the civic-military and float parade.

The NHI executive director said, the President is expected to deliver her last report to the nation particularly the achievement of her administration for the past 9 years in office.

"To me, it is extra special because she will be rendering her last report to the nation. I feel the President will have to take advantage of the Independence Day celebration to deliver her speech like a State of the Nation Address (SONA)," Badoy claimed.

He also pointed out that the theme of the 112th Independence Day celebration this year is "Kalayaan, Tagumpay ng Bayan".

Badoy also added that the float parade in this year's celebration will feature the modern day Filipino heroes like Efren Penaflorida who was named CNN Hero of the Year and pound for pound boxing icon Manny Pacquiao who is now a congressman-elect of Saranggani province and other modern day Filipino heroes.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Brigada Eskwela in the Philippines

CONSCIOUS of the perennial problems hounding the country's educational system, authorities now look on a different angle and urges benevolent citizens to be part of the solution.
With apparent government backlog in providing education facilities, Department of Education (DepEd) taps concerned companies, organizations and citizens to pitch in and join Brigada Eskwela Plus.
According to the DepEd, there is a need for 39 new 2 classroom school buildings for the secondary and 62 2-classroom buildings for the elementary this year as enrollment increase is estimated at 5%.
The situation is also being complicated by the fact that the government's education for all campaign is set to seek all school-age kids and pull them back to schools. 
Over the pressing need for action, the call was echoed during the weekly Kapihan sa PIA as City schools division office through Dr. Erlinda Mahinay as the topic on Brigada Eskwela was raised.
Brigada Eskwela is a nationwide voluntary activity implemented by the DepEd and its external education stakeholders to prepare the schools for the opening of classes.
And just as old schools need to be refitted to make them lend a conducive environment to learning, clean ups, repairs, maintenance and other rehabilitation activities are needed.
And just as the government is hard up on funds, the authorities have said they could use a little help.
"We urge our communities to come out and help in any way they can, be it though free labor or materials needed for the repairs and rehabilitation or repainting jobs," Dr. Mahinay resounded.
Or to those who have better economic conditions, we are now urging companies and groups for the "adopt a school" program of the Oplan Balik Eskwela, she said.   
By adopting a school, organizations and companies can earn tax credits and at the same time help upgrade schools, she claimed. 
The Brigada Eskwela of Oplan Balik Eskwela has been implemented to stop the old practice of students and pupils using the beginning days of the school year to clean up the school premises, Dr. Mahinay explained. 

Philippine Schools Prepare for Opening of Classes

Calls for participation in preparing the public schools for the opening of classes resound here as the Brigada Eskwela starts May 24, 2010.
Schools Division Superintendent Norma Varquez says through the Brigada, the Department of Education (DepEd) engages the support of the parents and communities to make the schools ready for the opening of classes.

It would also stress that education is not just a responsibility of the teachers but also of the multi-stakeholders in the community as well, she pointed out during a radio interview.
The activity widely understood as a voluntary clean-up and maintenance of public schools to get the entire school ready for classes.
This time, communities and education stakeholders can show in a week-long activity its voluntary support to show its concern of education.
In a Dep-ed memorandum, Brigada Eskwela is "a week-long school maintenance activities participated by parents, communities and education stakeholders every month of May.
The activity also involves giving free labor and materials for the upkeep and maintenance of schools, which has been generally the main hub of voters during the recent elections.
The past political exercise did not spare the schools from garbage and posters despite relentless appeals from the Dep-ed to spare the schools from politics.
Superintendent Varquez however added that while free labor and donations in kind as materials fro repair are appreciated, the Brigada discourages cash donations. 

Cebu Pacific Flight to Japan and Korea

CEB, the only low-cost carrier to fly to the major North Asian countries offers seat sale fare for as low as P1,999 from now until May 23, 2010 for travel August 1 to October 30, 2010.

P1,999 'Go Lite' seats are up for grabs for flights from Manila to Incheon, Cebu to Incheon and Pusan. Those going from Manila to Osaka can avail of P2,999 seats.  These fares are 50% less than the lowest possible year-round fares for Japan and Korea.

For those traveling out of Clark, P1,499 'Go Lite' seats are also offered on flights going to Bangkok, Macau, Hong Kong and Singapore. Clark-Cebu flights are also on sale with a 'Go Lite' seat sale of P499. Travel period is from July 1 to September 30, 2010.

Take this opportunity to explore our neighboring countries especially since there are a lot of activities in store for the budget traveler during the summer and fall seasons in Japan and Korea.

CEB now accepts web bookings up to four (4) hours before your scheduled time of departure. Hurry, grab your seats

Saturday, May 15, 2010

National Elections in the Philippines

Despite their bruising news coverage of the recently concluded national elections in the Philippines, the four major Metro Manila broadsheets had admirably kept themselves as vigilant with their English as with the evolving numbers of the election results. Their problems with English grammar and usage were thus few and far between; in fact, I found only four grammatical and semantic fumbles serious and instructive enough to be critiqued in My Media English Watch—mixed up tenses, faulty sentence construction, verb phrase misuse, and highly convoluted, almost unfathomable feature writing.  

Also in this week's edition of Jose Carillo's English Forum, I'm sharing a pet theory of mine on why many nonnative English speakers can't speak or write the language well enough even if they become quite good at constructing grammar-perfect single sentences. This, to my mind, is due to their very limited repertoire of the connectives—the coordinating conjunctions, the conjunctive adverbs, the subordinating conjunctions, and, of course, the prepositions, which many people find such pesky and elusive things to learn. Some of us may not be even aware of it, but these connectives are absolute musts for flagging the contours and detours of our thoughts each time we write or talk. - Jose Carillo 

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Cheap Plane Ticket of Cebu Pacific Air

P499 seats to select domestic and international destinations

We flew 906,118 passengers for the month of April 2010 alone! This achievement breaks the airline's own record of its best performing month, previously last March 2010 with 857,041 passengers.

CEB is happy to announce a seat sale to select domestic and all international destinations starting now until May 11, 2010.

For travel this July 1 to September 30, 2010, you can avail of the 'Go Lite' seat sale fare of P999 from Manila to Taipei or Kota Kinabalu.

P1,499 seats are up for grabs for Clark flights to Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore or Bangkok, as well as Cebu to Hong Kong and vice versa. Manila flights to Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Macau and Bangkok are also available for the 'Go Lite' seat sale fare of P1,499.

For the 'Go Lite' seat sale fare of P2,499, get to travel from Manila to Kuala Lumpur or Ho Chi Minh, and from Manila or Cebu to Singapore. Available also are 'Go Lite' P2,999 seats from Manila or Cebu to Incheon, Cebu to Pusan, and Manila to Jakarta or Shanghai.

Those off to Osaka, Japan can avail of the 'Go Fare' of P2,999.

Domestic flights are also on sale, for travel  from June 1 to July 31, 2010. Specifically, these are P499 'Go Lite' fares to and from CEB's Cebu hub, and to and from Davao and Cagayan de Oro. P699 'Go Lite' fares are also available from Manila to Bacolod, Calbayog, Catarman, Coron (Busuanga), Iloilo, Naga, Puerto Princesa, San Jose and Tuguegarao and vice versa.

We thank every Juan for their continued support, making Cebu Pacific number one and hope that  you can take advantage of our trademark low fares for your more frequent domestic and international travel!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Noynoy Aquino Mapipulates Philippine Election Survey?

As some sectors of the Philippine mass media become more and more preoccupied with making the news instead of just reporting it, some mind-bending semantic and journalistic disasters are bound to happen. This is what Jose Carillo's English Forum found out during the second week of its media coverage watch of the national election campaign. Imagine a business paper coming up with a headline that Nonoy Aquino "padded his poll lead" in the final Social Weather Stations pre-election survey that the paper itself had commissioned, and a leading Metro Manila broadsheet coming up with a headline that creates the distinct imagery of vice-presidential bet Jojo Binay hog-tying his opponent Mar Roxas while Noynoy Aquino scampers away from the scene of the crime. Ridiculous? Yes, but true! Read all about these language gaffes and more in my special media coverage watch.

To cap its campaign to help the electorate sort out truth and falsehood from the torrent of propaganda engulfing the national election campaign, the Forum is once again running "A primer on political propaganda," a cautionary essay I wrote during the run-up to the 2004 national elections. Along with my three-part series on the logical and verbal fallacies that the Forum posted earlier this year, I think this essay is as timely and as relevant as ever today. Please take time to read it before voting on May 10. 

Friday, May 7, 2010

Philippine Election: Comelec to Assist Illiterate Voters

BOARD of Elections Inspectors (BEI) can be asked to assist voters who are illiterate, says Atty Rodolfo Villares recentty.
During the daily program Mga Gutlo sa Kaalam uban sa Commission on Elections, new city election officers cited provisions of the Omnibus Election code which allows the BEI to assist illiterate or handicapped voters.
He also said the law allows two more persons to assist the voter; a relative within the fourth civil degree of affinity or consanguinity and a housemate who has the full trust and confidence of the voter.
Of course, the assistors are bound by law not to divulge in any manner anything the voter wants him to reflect in the official ballots.

The point popped upon the question whether party watchers would be allowed to assist voters.

No, they are not, Villares reiterated, as he hints that such a move can be illegal if pressed. - PIA

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Kelly Clarkson Concert in Manila Philippines

Bulletin Entertainment thinks your life should not suck by missing this opportunity to see "American Idol" Kelly Clarkson in person.

Fire off an email to us at: and tell us why we should take you and your friend to the concert. Include your full name, age, address and mobile phone number on the body of your email. We will pick five best answers and notify the winners via email and SMS message with details of how to get your pair of free tickets!

Winners must be able to present a valid ID and must be able to pick up the tickets at the Manila Bulletin office in Intramuros on May 1, Saturday from 1 to 3 p.m.

Kelly's "All I Ever Wanted Tour" in Manila is presented by Jag, PLDT Watch Pad, and ABS-CBN. It is also brought to you by Midas Productions, Pulp Live Productions,, in cooperation with the Manila Bulletin, Araneta Coliseum, Nissan, the official residence Discovery Suites, and other media partners.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Free of English grammar and usage errors

In keeping with the spirit of the New Year, I thought we should be more forgiving of the overly exuberant figurative language of the print and broadcast media these past several days. But I think levity in journalistic language shouldn't be pursued to the point of insensitivity and callousness, like what was done by a major Metro Manila broadsheet last January 31when it reported that owing to the full moon, Mayon Volcano might extend the "courtesy" of "natural loud bangs and fireworks display" to the Albayanons as they welcomed the New Year. This personification of Mayon as if it were just another devil-may-care New Year's Day reveler is wayward, dangerous language—one that trivializes the need for great caution at this time when Mayon is still perilously restive. Except for this kind of loose journalistic language, though, I'm glad to note that the major reportage of the Metro Manila broadsheets for that same day—the last day of 2009—was admirably free of English grammar and usage errors

To start off the New Year, I posted in Jose Carillo's English Forum two previously published essays of mine: the first on the need to widen our repertoire of English idioms to become truly fluent in the language, and the second a personal assessment in a little over 800 words of the world as it is today. The Forum then rounds off its first-week edition for 2010 with links to two thought-provoking retrospective articles on the human condition—one on the Peter Principle, a theory on managerial incompetence that raised eyebrows 40 years ago, and the other on mankind's abiding belief in end-of-the-world prophecies despite consistent outcomes to the contrary.

Cebu Pacific Scandal

Ivy Rozina Vega Mondonedo-Castro 17 January at 17:27

I am Elma Revillame. I had a confirmed flight with Cebu Pacific, flight 5J476, Bacolod-Manila, Sunday, Jan 17, 2010, departing time 1045H. My friend drove me down the airport and actually saw airport clock at 945AM. We were both confident to be on time. (By practice, you have to be in the airport an hour before the flight, right?)

As I was falling in line at the check-in counter (there were at least five people ahead of me), the counter suddenly closed. A security guard then approached all of us in line, got our tickets and wrote the time. Mine was indicated 1005AM. I didn't contest because, unaware of their intent, I also noticed at THAT time, it was already 1005 AM. I later realized they were going to use indicated time as "TIME OF ARRIVAL AT THE AIRPORT", and NOT as time they closed the counter. THE FLIGHT WAS FULL.

All of us in line waiting were then escorted to the station manager of Cebu Pacific, Bacolod-Silay Airport, MS MENBAH MALTE. She then announced all our "confirmed seats" were forfeited for being late, NO REFUND, NO REBOOKING. She said this to 15 people who 'weren't late' but unfortunately, were excess to the full capacity of the plane. I managed to get some names of the passengers who fall victim of this flight: <Names, Time written by the guard>
1. Conrado M. Duran Jr. , 1003AM
2. Rolando P. Duray, 1004 AM
3. Elma Revillame, 1005 AM
4. Mario Constantino Jr, 1005AM
5. Welyan Quia-ong, 1009AM

Naturally, we all argued. All of us were totally surprised of the announcement, especially there is NO REFUND AND NO REBOOKING. To note, most of the passengers I was with then were newly-graduated students who were on their way to Manila to take the board exam on Monday, January 18, 2010. Surely, money is an issue for them, and no outright cash to purchase another ticket. (If I haven't withdrawn some money earlier, I wouldn't have cash to buy another ticket with Zest Aire!)

To add insult to injury, the flight was DELAYED TO 12NN, 1 hour and 15mins DELAY!!! We continued arguing because obviously they had ample time to accommodate us for the delayed flight, if the issue is indeed the fact that we were late. But noooohhh, the issue here is THE FLIGHT WAS OVERBOOKED!!!

We argued and reasoned to the station manager for over an hour (to note the plane hasn't departed at that time yet) regarding the overbooking, but what MS MENBAH MALTE could only say is that the Aviation Board allows them to overbook by 10% of the plane's capacity. The big confusion is, should the 110% arrives on time (like what happened to 15 of us), what are they going to do? Ms Malte simply said, we're going to rebook the rest of the passengers to the next flight! And so, why weren't we accommodated then??? Because the guard wrote 3-9mins late in our tickets MISCHIEVOUSLY!!! (they emphasized counter closes 45mins before flight) BUT THE FLIGHT WAS DELAYED TO 12NN!!!!!

The truest issue here is THE FLIGHT WAS OVERBOOKED, and sadly we were last in line. It should be okay if we get a refund, or get rebooked to the next flight SINCE WE PAID FOR IT!!!! But alas! No! Cebu Pacific is going to get all our money, without giving us the service that we seek.

Last straw is, I just learned that for a regular or promo ticket, you CANNOT REFUND OR REBOOK YOUR TICKET IF YOU DIDN'T CONFIRM FLIGHT TWO DAYS PRIOR… Ergo, If you're 1min late (from the 45min cutoff), say bye-bye to your money…. I run the figure in my head, CEBU PACIFIC HAS SWINDLED OVER P35,000 for that flight alone!!!!! No wonder they became number one!!! They swindle all unknowing passengers!!!!

My message (and well I speak for the many of us being swindled): Are we just going allow Cebu Pacific to continue reaping off money to unknowing victims, like us??? Should we really allow them to overbook 10% and just say to those last in line, "Sorry, you're forfeited, NO REFUND NO REBOOKING –Ergo, thank you, you have just been swindled". Would DTI or whoever allow this to continue, the abuse of so many victims?

I talked to some security and airport personnel, they reportedly said, "Ma'am madalas nangyayari yan dito, gina-into lang kamo sg Cebu Pacific" (That happens all the time, Cebu Pacific keeps deceiving their passengers). Whoah! That's truly alarming!

I sincerely hope this gets to you, your loved ones and your friends. I truly hope nobody gets fooled again by this company! This is really really really alarming! Over P40K A FLIGHT???? That's huge swindling!!!! And should we count all their flights nationwide, and well, globally, OMG!!! You do the math!!!! 

Monday, May 3, 2010

Philippine DSWD Cards

WHEN local politicians threaten to de-list you from the government's premier subsidy program for indigents, if only to wrest from you a pro-vote for him, he is bluffing.

In fact, if he has replaced some beneficiaries from the list to accommodate his supporters, he can be warned for usurping the authority of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD); the agency mandated to implement the Pantawid sa Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps).

An advisory shared by the DSWD hints that local governments could not do that as the project implementation cost of the program solely comes from the national government.

"No amount of money is given to the provincial and municipal levels for the implementation of the program," the advisory states.

But with the government socialized family subsidy as a rich source of support that can be translated to votes, chief executives wittingly use the program to gain the edge in campaigns.

The 4Ps is a National Government program implemented by the DSWD, the social agency asserts.

By such, it is solely the DSWD who is responsible in undertaking the program's major activities including selection and targeting of areas and the enumeration and identification of potential household beneficiaries through the Proxy-Means Test.

Proxy means test is a simple statistical test to measure the socio-economic condition of the household and the National Household Targetting System undertakes this, DSWD said.

The same agency is looking into the enrollment and monitoring of compliance of the program's conditionalities as well as preparing the payments and release of cash grants directly to the 4Ps beneficiaries in coordination with the Land Bank of the Philippines.

Over this, the DSWD averred that the Local Government Units (LGU's) are just partners in the program implementation and are specifically responsible in ensuring the constant availability of supply-side requirements on health and education.

The DSWD would also be ensuring the effective implementation of 4Ps in their respective localities using all the systems, procedures, and components of the program based on the 4Ps policies and guidelines set by the DSWD National Office.

With this, DSWD warned about de-listing, replacement, and addition of areas or beneficiaries as this is as a task solely for the DSWD National Office and are therefore not in the powers of the local governments.

For details, DSWD said one may call the Regional 4Ps Information Officer Aileen Lariba (0917-381-5555) at tel nos. 2329505 / 2329507 or Asela Bella Tse (0905-403-0386) for related inquiries. (PIA-Bohol) 

Bohol Election Update 2010

All roads will lead to the clustered precincts in the 1,109 barangays in 47 towns, where thousands of registered voters will troop to savor the first poll automation next Monday even as the Commission on Elections is now ready to conduct the synchronized elections.

Nobody knows yet how many of the total 732,696 registered voters in Bohol will cast their votes on Monday. But some sectors believe that it would be higher than the last elections.

The Comelec provincial office yesterday bared that the official ballots have already been completely delivered to the municipalities while the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines for every clustered precinct have yet to be sent to their destinations.  

Comelec information officer-designate Joven Beniga said that PCOS machines will be delivered sometime this week or as early as tomorrow after their testing.

These machines for the first time of election automation are being tested by the Smartmatic and the Department of Science and Technology last week.

Beniga said that the official ballots and the PCOS arrived here last Wednesday. The poll agency started the delivery the official ballots to their destinations for three days - Wednesday to Friday but the PCOS were not because of the mandatory testing. So far, there have been no hitches on the testing, he said.

In-charge of the official ballots delivery is the Air21 and Fedex while those of the PCOS the Argo forwarder, Beniga said.

He said that the delivery of the ballots was escorted and closely guarded by the deputized police officers and the Philippine military men. The same situation will take place on the delivery of the PCOS machines this week.

It will be recalled that Comelec Manila completed ahead of the schedule the printing of more 50 million official ballots needed for the entire registered electorate in the country.

Meanwhile, the campaign will end on May 8, 2010. in accordance with the Comelec ruling. (RVO)

Update Philippine Elections 2010

With barely nine days left before the historic May 10 polls, Bishop Leonardo Medroso rallied the 1.1 million Boholanos to bend their knees in prayers for enlightenment and guidance in selecting the candidates they will vote on Election Day.

Bishop Medroso echoed the call together with the clergy during a prayer procession and mass held at the Cogon Shrine last Wednesday.

The call came as a 9-day novena prayer to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Immaculate heart of Mary started yesterday and will wind up on May 9, eve of the election.

The church official said with the unabated corruption in governance, the electorates should carefully select their chosen candidates whom they think can make a difference in the call for clean governance.

"Each vote is sacred," he said as he reminded voters to check every candidate as to their integrity and capability to run the affairs of governance from the presidency down to the local officials.

"Everyday should be a day of prayer in the lips of every Boholano," the bishop appealed as this is the only way that the right leaders can be elected.
With the expected massive vote buying and intimidation in some areas, the more people should pray for the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit, the church official stressed.

"We should elect people who are not corrupt and those bets who advocate pro-life," he said.

Medroso led the concelebrated mass which capped the prayer-procession that gathered parishioners from four jump-off points, namely St. Joseph cathedral, Lourdes Parish Church, Tubod chapel and at the HNU-Dampas gate.

Prayers and hymns were recited from the studio of station dyRD, beamed through the city streets.

The prayer procession and mass bannered the theme "Inubanan sa Pag-Ampo, Botohi ang Kandidato nga Ligdong ug Dunay Kakayahan nga Pinili sa Imong Nalamdagan nga Konsensya" (With prayers, vote for the right candidates based on your enlightened conscience).

The gathering of the faithful participated by various church-mandated organizations was spearheaded by the Brotherhood of Christian Businessmen and Professionals (BCBP).

Philippine Election 2010 Issues

The electorate voiced out their sentiments regarding their most dreaded fears in next Monday's national and local elections.

Harassment or intimidation done by incumbent politicians and their men topped the "fear factor" of the electorate during a random survey conducted yesterday by the top-rated Radyo Merkado," over dyRD.

The independent weekly radio survey asked its listeners on the "things they fear would happen come Election Day?"

Some 34% of the respondents said harassment of voters would be the most dangerous thing expected to happen in the May 10 polls.

Majority of the respondents who noted harassment as their first fear, cited the dreaded City Task Force created by Mayor Dan Lim in the city which will be used as his private army and goons to demand votes from the electorate during the May 10 elections.

Twenty-two percent of those who fear "harassment on election day" as the primary concern cited the well entrenched members of the dreaded task force in the city who are already assigned in the city's 15 barangays. In fact, their mobility is already assured after Mayor Lim purchased "spider cabs for them" since he created the group which he called as the City Monitoring Team.

Even during the campaign trail, supporters of mayoralty bet Jose Antonio Veloso already reported of harassment made by the Task Force members to those who will attend his nightly caucus in the barangays.

Propaganda materials of congressional bet, former Gov. Rene Relampagos and mayoralty bet Veloso were ordered detached by task force members from tricycle units amid threat they will not be renewed of their city hall permits.

Veloso, during a radio interview, said the intimidation will even worsen on Election Day. He forecast that the task force members will be tapped by the mayor to block some of their supporters from going to the precincts which Lim did in the previous elections.

Some respondents, on the other hand, also expressed fear of the worsening intimidation in some towns in the second district in the congressional race contested by Gov. Erico Aumentado and Trinidad mayor Judith Cajes, wife of last-termer solon Roberto Cajes.

The survey showed that next to harassment, the electorate expects massive vote buying on Election Day. Some 29 percent of the respondents cited vote buying as a major election violation which is expected to be at its peak on the eve of and on the Election Day itself.

As of this time, the town of Loay was reported to have the most "expensive" vote buying which already started during the campaign trail. The mayoralty race is contested by re-electionist Mayor May Lim-Imboy and Willy Flores of Alona Kew Resort.

Some respondents revealed that special operations locally called as "pusil" will also be applied during Monday's election in the hotly contested mayoralty races in the city and towns.

"Pusil," according to the informant-respondent is done by tough guys supporting the mayoralty bet who will intimidate household members not to vote, and at the same time, will dole out few thousands of pesos in exchange for their compliance of their request for them not to go to their voting precinct.

Nine percent of the respondents in the radio survey expressed fear for computer malfunction and possible power interruption on Election Day up to the counting of votes.

Other concerns of respondents on election: insistence of some party leaders to expose the voters ballots through "internal agreement", lack of transportation in the hinterlands and a possible people power in the event the so-called "people's choice" might not win in the electoral counting.