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)