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 AvanceƱa - 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.