Friday, November 19, 2010

DTI “cautions” against scams

THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) cautions everyone against scams in this season of bonuses and cash windfalls.

“Giving bank account numbers, even without personal identification number (PIN) taught countless scam victims a hard lesson”, DTI said.

“The modus operandi is a text message, which claims that the promotion has a DTI permit,” shares Information Officer Lucille Autentico.

Under the law, sales promotion campaign should first secure permits from DTI to ensure that the public is protected against deceptive or irresponsible sales promo scheme, she revealed.

DTI through Autentico cited the case of a 23-year old young professional and office girl in Makati.
The victim just received her 13th month pay when she received a text message from an unknown cell phone number,” Autentico said.

The text message said: “Congratulations! Your cellphone number has won P680,000 at the Philippine Charity Foundation's third anniversary raffle draw last November 5. For more info, send your name and address. Call Sec. John Fuentes. Per DTI Permit No. 000812. Thanks.”

Thinking that was a scam but also trying her luck, she accordingly replied with a fake name and address.

The texter, who introduced himself as a Manila-based lawyer then asked for her bank account number where he can deposit the cash prize.

Thinking that her account is safe if she does not give her signature or Automated Teller Machine’s PIN number, she gave him her bank account number, DTI added.

It was after two weeks later, when she got back after the vacation breaks, did she realized she was victimized, Autentico relayed.

When the victim withdrew from her savings account, which she knew had a balance of about P10,000, she was shocked.

She was surprised when she learned from the ATM that she only had P.080 and her account was closed”, she told PIA.

Checking with the bank to trace her bank activities, the victim learned about a one time withdrawal on a holiday.

On this, the DTI warns everyone engaging in negotiations with strange persons or numbers through text.

“Be advised that when you are asked to provide your bank account number and the sender offers to deposit money into it, it surely is a scam”, DTI said.

Even if the text message appears to be credible because it comes from a trusted government institution or well known government official, never give your personal data and account numbers, warns Autentico.

Further, for prizes exceeding P500, the law requires that the winner be notified through registered mail, and not through text messages alone, she sums. (racPIABohol)


PDEA appeals for help
to build drug info base

ADMITTING a debacle where they only have few agents whose identity they have to protect, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) has appealed to the public for help.

Now faced with the singular task of curbing an alarming increase of drug concerns popping up in Bohol and likely trend of drug related crimes, the local PDEA is forced to make their best efforts, and appreciates the public’s help in building up the information linking known drug personalities to set up an information database.

Any information that can help us build a stronger case against these personalities would be a great help, said a PDEA agent at the Kapihan sa PIA last week.

If any among you notices within your neighborhood an endless stream of activities especially when these involve strangers coming in and out of the neighborhood, that’s a big chance that a drug deal within a community is happening, said the agent who asked not to be named.

He said that along with the police authorities, the PDEA keeps a hotline number open for any information leading to the capture or conviction of the persons involved in the illegal and harmful trade.

Any information can be coursed through 501 8730, he said as he assured calls and information received would be treated with utmost confidentiality. 

Meanwhile, Bohol Police at Camp Dagohoy are also putting up a Provincial Tactical Operations Center (PTOC) hotline manned by a desk staff 24 hours a day, said PSSUpt. Constantino Barot.

Police hotlines are 0917-305-1833 and 0912-808-9279, he added.

The drug agent also called on parents, guardians and landlords to keep a tight watch with their wards in as much as shabu, the most common abused substance in Bohol can now be sold at P500 packs.

This is well within the affordability of students who may decide to pool their money for a drug session, according to him.

Parents who start to suspect drug use may find their wards finding difficulty sleeping, reduced or loss of appetite and may manifest involuntary twitching of facial muscles.

He said, “indications of pot session is the presence of tin or aluminum foils, disposable lighters, tissue papers, improvised burners and denatured alcohol.”  

Finding any of these implements, parents can call the hotlines, PDEA said. (PIABohol)

Swiss suggests rabies
Data mgt for Bohol

A strong database on rabies in Bohol would be a huge help putting up the template for mapping out the country’s responses against the canine-borne disease.

Dr. Jacob Zinnstag of the Swiss Tropical Institute and a key personality in the Rabies Technical Advisory Group of the Alliance for Rabies Control (ARC) pointed this out noting that there have been cursory efforts of town anti-rabies advocates to initiate a database on rabies concerns.

Here in Bohol to evaluate the local Rabies Prevention and Elimination Program for funding organization ARC, Dr. Zinnstag said he couldn’t help but be amazed at the length of advancement Bohol has achieved in its anti-rabies program.

He also hailed Bohol for an innovation in he extra-ordinary social mobilization as he saw sectors uniting together especially in achieving a 70% registration and vaccination program.

He also commended Bohol for coming up with an excellent a dog population control in neutering and spaying which went as high as 35.55%.

The program, according to data managed by the office of Dr. Stella Marie Lapiz revealed that about 73.37% of households in Bohol has kept their pets on leashes or are keeping the dogs within their premises.

Even then, Dr. Zinnstag however noted that there are yet data, which may not be the showing the actual picture as the Office of the Provincial Veterinarian has not mainstreamed the data gathering and management on rabies.

“You should have a distinct database to come up with a statistical data management capacity,” Dr. Zinnstag said during a meeting Tuesday at the Bohol Tropics Resort. 

The Swiss doctor explained that a statistical database from these could help Bohol in coming up with cost effective programs in the future and possibly create a template, which other provinces can follow.

While fully believing that a database can allow Bohol more accurate statistical projections, Dr. Lapiz also reasoned out that the intention on coming up with a scientific study on rabies was just one of the activities by the local government to come up with measurable quantifiers on its success ratings.

Dr. Zinnstag also wished for Bohol’s success as it enters a new phase in its rabies program. (racPIABOhol)

Bohol buildings needs
PWD access facilities

IT is still long way to go for tourist destination Bohol in terms of its buildings and tourism facilities.

Still lagging behind in vertical infrastructure especially for tourism services, the dream for Bohol to become a wholesome tourism destination practically finds wanting if services and standards to this end is concerned.

With the few establishments set up, as far as compliance to accessibility laws, several of them are not compliant yet, says a person with disability mobility advocate said.

Here, of the few public buildings and tourism establishments that are compliant, they also have access facilities that are sub-standard.

This surfaced Thursday at the Kapihan sa PIA when the forum resource persons took to the question: what happens when a tourist who visits Bohol is a person with disability (PWD)?

Here, the leader of a strong Bohol Federation of Disabled Persons (BFDP) said the decade long advocacy to bring awareness to get the law implemented and allow access to PWDs has not been that much, especially in Bohol.

Mateo Quilas, a blind man however said he is happy that some establishments here have shown best efforts in compliance.

The Kapihan segment, which was aired live over DyTR tackled the law enhancing the mobility of disabled persons by requiring certain buildings, institutions, establishments and public utilities to install facilities and other devices to ensure access of PWDs.

Some best efforts however prove to be only for compliance.

There are buildings and establishments with the access ramps but these are so steep that a PWD on a wheel-chair can not negotiate it by himself, elaborates Haidee Cubarol, a physical therapist and Bohol Stimulation and Therapeutic and Activity Center chief.

Cubarol, whose group has been giving therapies to indigent children with disabilities hinted that the law is specific on enhancing the mobility of PWDs by putting up standard ramps with the right slopes, sidewalks with railings and grab bars as well as custom amenities at specialized rest rooms for PWDS.

Even alleyways, doors and facility design should be considerate of the PWD where the floor areas should allow enough space wheel-chair to maneuver, the lavatories installed with lever type faucets and grab bars running along the edges of the rest rooms, she cited the law.

Now with the biggest investments still in tourism, both forum resource persons hope that the town planning and development officers as well as engineers are keener in getting true to the intent of the law and make thus Bohol a better place for tourists, be he able or with disability. (racPIABohol)

Chatto urges bgy govts
To be IRA independent

CAPITOL is coordinating with the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) in designing capacity building trainings for barangay officials.

Governor Edgar Chatto revealed during his weekly radio program that along the resource generation policy of the provincial government, he would urge newly elected barangay officials to seek out other resources and find other income sources rather than rely on the Internal Revenue Allotment.

While saying that the interior and local governments have their capacity training modules to capacitate local officials, towns and provinces, Chatto hinted that Capitol can come in and enrich the modules to empower local governments in their revenue generation tasks.

The local dependence on the IRA has been a noted situation in almost all local governments, he told media during his weekly forum carried live over local radio stations.

“We can meet so we can come up with measures on how to come up with a wider capacity for resource generation,” Chatto said.

Chatto also stressed that along with the trainings, the new officials must understand that beyond seeking more tax legislation measures, there is such a thing as efficient tax collection that can prop up the fiscal capacity of the barangays.

We can be dependent on the IRA from the start but we shall struggle to stand and attain independence in the end, he urges local elected leaders.

Meanwhile, in efforts to initially give clues to barangay officials who will start their official amdnates on December 1, a radio program called “Pamuhis” has been airing at DyTR every Saturday from 4:00 to 4:30.

Anchored by the Philippine Information Agency, the program attempts to educate local government officials especially barangay dads on the revenue sources for barangays and their possible areas for widening its tax base.

The program, funded by the national government hopes to engage local governments to generate income from their own sources and hopefully prop up the government’s fiscal capacity to implement priority programs and projects. (PIABohol) 


Home-grown talents, 
brains harvest gold 

Tubigon- Noted for its impressive pool of talented and academically gifted students from its top schools, Tubigon joints local school administrators in celebrating pay off. 

Principals from Holy Cross Academy, Salus Institute of Technology, Holy Family of Nazareth, Gods’s Little Flock Learning Center and Mater Dei College, all in this town are in jubilation for harvesting the much coveted awards and recognition from the Bohol Association of Catholic Schools (BACS) Meet. 

The athletic, literary and musical meet is for high school levels and the Bohol Association of Private School Elementary Administrators (BAPSEA). 

Fresh from the competitions, the students from both elementary and high school here are still feeling the hype and euphoria. 

Holy Cross Academy ranked over-all Champion and romped with the Miss BACS Athletics 2010 award for Alyssa Quinones. 

Salus Institute of Technology took the 2nd Place Over-all and reaped the Miss BACS Academics 2010 through Judiel Israel. 

On the other hand, Holy Family of Nazareth School took the 7th Place Over-all and bagged the Miss BACS Personality 2010 through Dianne Mascarinas. 

On the elementary and pre-elementary pupils, Tubigon could not be outdone at the Bohol Association of Private Schools’ Elementary Administrators Meet. 

Now on its second year, the meet showcases the talents and abilities of elementary pupils in the field of academics, literary and musical. 

This year’s winners are Mater Dei College for general information through Viah Mula, Vocal Duet Elem. Division 1st Place (Sophia Mae Zoilo and Liahona Lorzano), Modern Dance Pre-Elem. 1st Place & Dance Sports Elem. 1st Place (Crisha Valer & Christian Enoc). 

On the other hand, God’s Little Flock Learning Center took the first place in the Pre Elementary general information with John Alpfe Cubillo as well as the Oration’s 1st Place through Joshua Gerigdig. 

Holy Family of Nazareth School took the vocal Solo’s 1st Place with Noreen Faith Cruz, Declamation 1st Place with Rhea Marie Cabilla and Balak 1st Place with Kate Charlyn Lanoy. (rbd/MPIO) 

Jao hands in DSWD SEA-K cash grants

Tubigon, Bohol (19 November) -- Spurring the economy of the countrysides take a new form: cash grants to budding entrepreneurs for them to work their way out of the mires.
In Tubigon town, Mayor Willam R. Jao would be an early Santa for town women's organizations, which were beneficiaries of the national government's cash grants in aid of their livelihood projects this November 24 when he hands in an early Christmas stimulus fund to women in the town.
Believing that empowering women for productivity can be one great economic force, Mayor Jao would personally distribute for the Department of Social Welfare and Development P5K per beneficiary to representatives of women's organization in this town, said Raymund Delgado, town information officer.
The fund, from the government's Self-Employment Assistance Kaunlaran (SEAK) cash grants was pushed by the Municipal Social Welfare and Development to keep the livelihood projects of their people brisk, Delgado explained.
Mayor Jao earlier said the grant can also be used by constituent organizations willing to put up small business ventures.
Funds received by them would be used as an initial capital on any entrepreneurial undertaking for those starting and reinforcement funds for those with existing businesses, Delgado said.
In tubogon however, the MSWD prefers the grant for grant existing businesses more than newcomers, but they too are welcome.
The national government through the DSWD has been giving grants since 1970 in the aim of helping citizens become self-sufficient and combat poverty though livelihood and small scale businesses.
In Tubigon, the MSWD is in Level 1 Implementation of the project for this year, sources said.
Actually, more assistance are coming up before this year ends in the project's Level 2 implementation, where over 1.4M worth of cash grant would be made available to another batch of beneficiaries, information from Tubigon bared. (RBD/mpio)

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