Bohol News September 2011

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Bohol Province

Wars of ancient history were about possessions, territory, power, control, family, betrayal, lover's quarrel, politics and sometimes religion.

But we are in the Modern era and supposedly more educated and enlightened .

Think about this. Don't just brush off these questions.

  • Why is RELIGION still involved in WARS? Isn't religion supposed to be about PEACE?
  • Ask yourself; What religion always campaign to have its religious laws be accepted as government laws, always involved in wars and consistently causing WARS, yet insists that it's a religion of peace?


There are only two kinds of people who teach tolerance:
  1. The Bullies. They want you to tolerate them so they can continue to maliciously deprive you. Do not believe these bullies teaching tolerance, saying that it’s the path to prevent hatred and prejudice.
  2. The victims who are waiting for the right moment to retaliate. They can’t win yet, so they tolerate.
Bohol chocolate hills.jpg
Chocolate hills of Batuan, Carmen, and Sagbayan Bohol. When there isn't enough rain, the grass on these limestone hills turn brown. Hence, the name Chocolate hills. These hills range from 40 to 120 meters high.

Dietary supplement is a product that contains vitamins, minerals, herbs or other botanicals, amino acids, enzymes, and/or other ingredients intended to supplement the diet. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has special labeling requirements for dietary supplements and treats them as foods, not drugs.

Manufacturers and distributors of dietary supplements and dietary ingredients are prohibited from marketing products that are adulterated or misbranded. That means that these firms are responsible for evaluating the safety and labeling of their products before marketing to ensure that they meet all the requirements of DSHEA and FDA regulations.

UP students reach out to Boholanos

Second year Mass Communication students of the University of the Philippines-Cebu (UPC) went to Jagna town in Bohol province to conduct an outreach activity with, a non-government organization devoted to the preservation of marine life.

More than 150 students of Faraon National High school listened in a talk last Sept. 9 and 10 at the Faraon Elementary school’s gymnasium.

The talk also included games and other activities.

Two groups of students who conducted the activity.

The first group facilitated the first session on Sept. 9 at 1:30 p.m., focusing on biodiversity and its significance to marine life.

The second group tackled the life of marine creatures, its destruction and ways to conserve them on the second day at 7:30 a.m.

The activity culminated with a coastal cleanup between the first group and the high school students.

Elaine Llarena, UP Development Communication adviser, said the two-day activity was a good on how to effectively disseminate information.

“Aside from the fun, the high school students also learned important points discussed by the groups,” said member Christine Emata.

They could also relate to the topics discussed as they live near the sea.

“As a student, we should be aware of the problems we face today, for us to provide solutions to these,” said Zu-Ann Bayron, 15, one of the participants. The UP students said the activity was enjoyable and fulfilling to their part.

“It’s an achievement to share about the problem and let the students think of solutions to the problem,” student Ma. Charissa Antig said.

The outreach activity was the final examination for the course Development Communication 102.

Disclosure policy

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol (PIA) — Local government units that have hidden their financial statements from the public may soon run out of other sources of priority development funds. The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has made the full disclosure policy a pre-requisite for loans, government financial assistance and grants from government financial institutions and international donors.

At the recent Kapihan sa PIA, DILG Provincial Director Louella Lucino bared this as the DILG earlier issued statements that towns or cities without the Seal of Good Housekeeping are barred from getting loans from government financial institutions.

PNP, PDEA officials to face legal battle

PHILIPPINE Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and PNP officials may soon face each other in a court battle after the anti-drug agent the police arrested in Bohol last Aug. 5 said he will file counter-charges against his arresting officers.

The case against the PDEA agent was brought up during the Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC) meeting yesterday, where the PNP Regional Office (PRO) 7 reported a decrease in crime volume from January to August this year, compared to the same period last year.

PRO 7 Deputy Director for Administration Louie Oppus said that from 23,405 crimes committed in the first eight months last year, only 17,581 were committed this year, or 24.88 percent lesser.

He said six of the seven police offices in the region also showed a decrease in crime volume this year compared to same period last year. Only the Lapu-Lapu City Police Office (LLCPO) reported an increase in its crime volume by 13.8 percent.

Except for homicide, which increased by 1.8 percent, all index crimes decreased.

These crimes that decreased were theft, robbery, physical injury, murder carnapping, rape and cattle rustling.

During the meeting, a member asked RPOC Chair Gov. Edgardo Chatto for an update about PDEA agent Steven Valles, a Bohol Institute of Technology law student whom police arrested reportedly for drug pushing last Aug. 5.

The police allegedly took from 34-year-old Valles three and a half packs of shabu or methamphetamine hydrochloride, with a street value of P100,000 and the marked money.


PDEA 7 Director Adrian Alvariño told the chair that PDEA central office sent their four lawyers to investigate, and they recommended to PDEA Director General Jose Gutierrez to file criminal complaint against the arresting officers.

Gutierrez approved the recommendation.

“If you have a case against our officers for misconduct, let the court decide,” said PRO 7 Director Ager Ontog, the RPOC vice chair.

Alvariño revealed during the RPOC meeting that they have witnesses to prove the alleged PNP misconduct during the arrest.

They, too, have witnesses and some are media members who followed the operatives as they pursued the suspect, said Bohol Provincial Police Director Constantino Barrot Jr.

“We are a democratic country, and we are on the side of the truth,” said Barrot, who led Valles’s arrest. He told Sun.Star Cebu that the complaint against PNP officers has not been filed yet.

He recalled that the drug transaction was done a few meters from the PDEA office. When the money was passed, the suspect sensed that there were authorities around, so he ran toward the PDEA office where a scuffle ensued until his arrest. Detained

Valles is now detained at the Tagbilaran City Jail since drug pushing is non-bailable.

Still, the peace and order situation in the whole region is bright, according to Oppus’s report.

The decrease in crime incidents, he said, is due to proactive police operations and anti-criminality task groups, supported by local government units.

“These are the implementation of a police integrated patrol system (PIPS), which includes Task Force Motorsiklo and intensified mobile and foot patrols,” Oppus stated.

In closing, the PRO 7 report stated, “Central Visayas will always be one of the most desirable places to live, work, invest and do business in.”

Cebu, Bohol remain peaceful zones

The island provinces of Cebu and Bohol remain insurgency-free, even as the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP)’s Central Command (CentCom) continues to monitor activities of alleged rebel leaders here, a military official revealed Tuesday.

Col. John Bonafos of the Philippine Army (PA)’s 82nd Brigade covering Bohol, Cebu, Biliran, and Southern Leyte, revealed in a Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC) Meeting at the Social Hall of the Cebu Provincial Capitol that Cebu and Bohol - two provinces that used to infested by rebels in past years – now are virtually rid of insurgency.

Bonafos made his pronouncement as rebels raided a police station in Hinabangan town in Samar province which is not under the 82nd Brigade’s jurisdiction, early Monday. The rebels managed to outnumber six policemen on duty and carted away firearms and other police equipment.

In his presentation Tuesday, Bonafos said 2,386 combat operations were conducted by the 82nd Brigade in its areas of jurisdictions to prevent the reentry of insurgents. Cebu and Bohol have been declared insurgency-free but nearby provinces Biliran and Southern Leyte are not.

It was during Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia’s earlier term in office that an all-out-war had been waged against Cebu insurgents. The anti-insurgency campaign was fought in both the battlefront as well as in the civilian front, with the Cebu provincial government’s provision of financial and livelihood assistance to rebel surrenderees.

The provincial government’s livelihood assistance in exchange for guns has been proven effective in Cebu with several rebels re-joining mainstream society. Bohol followed suit and authorities are now concentrating on Negros Island where rebel activities are still rampant.

Meanwhile, RPOC 7 Chair and Bohol Governor Edgar Chatto stressed that the onset of technology has created a new wave of crimes committed through the internet.

“We need more advocacy as new crimes are coming up due to the popularity of technology,” said Chatto, who was particularly referring to cyber sex and other cyber crimes.

He said at the moment, the Bohol provincial government is without a monitoring team dedicated against the cybersex trend in the province but he gave his assurance that coordination on the matter with other local governments is now being done.

It can be recalled that several female minors from Getafe, Bohol were rescued last May by police authorities. Some of the girls during a court hearing later told a prosecutor that their new jobs would involve the “Internet” and that they only had to “face the computer” and follow instructions given by a foreigner.

The girls are currently housed in a Department of Social Welfare and Development dormitory.

4Ps register positive results in Bohol

Like in Cebu, results of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) have reportedly been positive in the neighboring island of Bohol during the program’s first year of implementation, the Department of Social Welfare and Development said.

DSWD said that in the Municipality of Pilar, the Estaca Elementary School ranked first in the National Achievement Test (NAT) in the district following the implementation of 4Ps. The school used to occupy just the eighth place. The school also ranked third in the Brigada Eskwela program of the Department of Education (DepEd), a huge boost compared to its previous ranking of third to the last place.

The school’s principal Cedica Bernante said children are now allowed to attend Saturday review classes instead of working in the rice fields. Most of the students have been inspired to go to school when they saw their parents prioritizing their education.

Meanwhile, in the town of Inabanga, enrollment for SY 2010-2011 reported an increase of 37 percent. Schools also registered an increase of 90 percent in their participation in the Brigada Eskwela program, a huge increase compared to last year’s 35 percent turn-out.

In Cebu City, the first year of implementation of 4Ps brought about an increase in enrollment of about 101 percent from SY 2008-2009 to 2009-2010. Day care centers that used to cater to 10-15 children are now holding classes twice a day for 20-30 students per class.

DSWD said these trends in education have been consistent in all areas of implementation, which reportedly means there will be “more literate citizens in the very near future giving the next generations a competitive edge in the global market of employment, freeing the poor from the bondage of intergenerational cycle of poverty, illiteracy and miseducation.”

“Without education and liberty, which are the soil and the sun of man, no reform is possible, no measure can give the result desired,” DepEd quotes national hero Dr. Jose Rizal.

The 4Ps, being implemented by DSWD, gives priority to educating the children by requiring them to enroll and attend classes 85 percent of the time. The parents themselves are given the chance to relive education through Family Development Sessions (FDS). The program is designed to give conditional cash grants to poor household amounting to P500/month for health and P300/child per month but for a maximum of three children per household.

Feature: P-Noy, up close and personal with Pantawid beneficiaries in Bohol

The image of over a thousand hands trying to shake the hand of President Benigno S. Aquino III in Trinidad town in Bohol during his August 7 visit there, was the most up close and personal scene you can get from a country’s president and the ‘ordinary poor’ people.

Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries in Trinidad, Bohol tried to shake the hand of President Aquino, to personally express their thanks for the cash grants, said Aileen Lariba, DSWD-7 Pantawid Pamilya regional coordinator.

Lariba said, the beneficiaries could not contain their gladnness when the President said “may pondo na inala-an ang gobyerno na P21B. Dahil nakatipid tayo sa interes ng mga utang may savings ang gobyerno na P2B na siyang sumagot sa kulang na P2B, sa madaling salita,sigurado na ang budget sa Pantawid Pamilyang mga benepisyaryo na P23B.”

The very presence of P-Noy on a simple occassion such as the inauguration of the Trinidad hall meant so much to the townfolks of Trinidad who gave the President a thunderous applause when he said, “Kayo ang Boss Ko.”

“Dahil kayo ang BOSS ko, magsilbi tayo ng tapat at mabuti sa taong bayan at ang munisipyo ng Trinidad ay isang ehemplo na bunga ng masusing ugnayan ng lokal at pambansa na pamahalaan,” P-Noy said.

According to a town official, even before PNoy was elected to the Presidency, he was already a key player in the continuing renovation of the newly inaugurated Municipal Hall of Trinidad which was finished three months ahead of schedule.

The Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries of Trinidad likened the completion of the municipal hall as a symbol of the President’s call for “Tuwid na daan para sa Pilipinas.”

According to the town officials, to support such a call, Trinidad is the very first town in Bohol to implement a full disclosure policy where its financial statements are displayed at bulletin boards for the public to read and scrutinize.

On helping the poorest households in Bohol, DSWD-7 reported that to date more than 28,000 households are beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilya program and that is 26 percent of the total poor in Bohol living below poverty threshold.

All these do not only give social assistance to the poor, it ensures that they definitely have a future to look forward to.

“And that the beneficiaries are not only verbally assured of a better way of life, Pnoy is up close and personal with them as they actually cross over to a better future one step at a time.

Bohol top in governance

Bohol emerged as the country’s best governed province while Valenzuela and Ligao came out as the best governed among highly urbanized cities and component cities, respectively, according to the latest performance report released by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).

The DILG on Sunday disclosed the 10 provinces and 20 cities that scored high in the Local Governance Performance Management System (LGPMS) report for 2010.

Managed by the DILG, the LGPMS is a web-based, self-assessment tool that measures the performance of local government units (LGUs) in key governance areas.

It assesses the performance of cities and provinces in administrative, social, economic and environmental governance.

It also assesses local government units in terms of transparency, participation and financial accountability, the guideposts for good governance.

The LGUs are scored accordingly, with 1 as the lowest and 5 as the highest.

Among the provinces, Bohol scored 4.9370 followed closely by La Union with 4.9115.

The rest of the 10 top-performing provinces are Bulacan with 4.8628; Negros Oriental, 4.8331; Pangasinan, 4.8185; Ilocos Norte, 4.8185; Albay, 4.8064; Cavite,4.8031; Compostela Valley, 4.7812; and Tarlac, 4.7773.

Valenzuela, meanwhile, scored 4.9150 to lead the top performing highly urbanized and independent component cities.

San Juan followed with 4.8875; Puerto Princesa, 4.8640; Angeles, 4.7410; Davao, 4.7380; Naga, 4.6940; Zamboanga, 4.6865; Iligan, 4.6710; Cebu, 4.6633; and Taguig, 4.6415.

Among component cities, Ligao was the top performer with a score of 4.9240; followed by Laoag, 4.9193; San Fernando, 4.9177; Vigan, 4.8617; Gingoog, 4.8568; Cabanatuan, 4.8363; Dipolog, 4.8113; La Carlota, 4.7553; Iriga, 4.7522; and Batac, 4.7430.

Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo said a team composed of representatives from the national and local governments conducted the assessment while civil society organizations validated the results to ensure impartiality.

“I laud these local governments for their commitment in elevating and maintaining the highest standards of public service delivery in their respective localities. I hope that their shining examples will inspire others to strive hard in the performance of their duties,” Robredo said.

In Pampanga, three cities and 16 towns in Central Luzon received the Seal of Good Housekeeping from the DILG, enabling them to get P3 million (for cities) and P1 million (for towns), for local projects.

Investments in Bohol hit P500M

A total of P500 million in investments, most of which were tourism-related, has entered Bohol during the first half of this year.

This was the report of the provincial government's Bohol Investment Promotion Center (BIPC), during the recent cluster monthly meeting of the social, economic and environment management presided by cluster head Liza Quirog.

Emerson Pinos of BIPC said that it is now expected Bohol could hit the P1 billion mark in excess of the P900 million target by the end of the year.

Pinos said BIPC registered a total of 3,152 businesses, surpassing the 2,500 target for the 6-month period. This also generated close to 5,000 employment opportunities, he said.

BIPC through its Bohol Business One-Stop Shop (BOSS) serving clients on a 24/7 basis, is assisted by the Department of Trade and Industry, Pag-Ibig, Philippine Health Insurance Corp and Social Security System.

Limestone landslide kills 2 in Bohol

ANDA, BOHOL, Philippines – Two truck helpers died over the weekend when part of an old limestone quarry caved in and fell on them while they were working at the site in Barangay Candabong of this town, a hundred kilometers from Tagbilaran City.

The Freeman got a confirmation of the report only recently from couple Alfredo and Tessie Olaer, the grandparents of one of the victims.

The victims, identified as Eric Bernil, 21, and Romeo Galos, 14, were buried alive by a huge portion of limestone, about 60 to 80 feet above them.

The Olaers told The Freeman, in an exclusive interview, that the two were extracting limestone from the abandoned quarry site along with another truck helper who however survived after being treated at the hospital.

The town police said that the truck owner, identified as James Estapia, of Candijay town, already took care of the expenses for the funeral and burial of the victims two days ago.

Estapia’s cargo truck, with license plate number GRV 941, was also impounded by the police at the municipal hall. The police blotter however did not indicate if Estapia was a holder of a quarrying permit or the owner of the old quarry site.

A similar tragedy occurred weeks ago in Maribojoc town where another limestone quarry disintegrated and buried an old bunker house below, killing two sleeping children inside.

Their parents however survived. The father worked as hollow block-maker within the quarry area, and the children were taken by the mother there to visit him that day.