Monday, February 14, 2011

Bohol Gov injects measures
against drugs in schools

THE social menace called drugs has breached campus gates, reveals alarmed drug agent Jeanette Reyes of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).

And it may not just addiction but retail trade that allows drugs to proliferate in the schools, the officer in charge of the local anti-drug agency said at the weekly Kapihan sa PIA Thursday.

Most drugs in the schools are shabu and these come in small packets handed to students who in turn sell these to friends, she said, detailing a distribution system participated in even by non-users.

The pay-off is rewarding and the lure is just as tempting, the soft-spoken agent shared.

In a separate interview, another PDEA agent said they have discovered that students sometimes cost-share and pitch in P100 to buy a small packet for a common pot session. 

Over these, Governor Edgar Chatto unveiled in his weekly radio media forum Friday a multi-sectoral, multi level undertaking in an anti drug campaign where cooperation is the by-word.

“If people do not get involved, they might wake up to the ugly reality that the children are already addicted, and they might already be helpless”, Chatto intoned before media and local government guests from South Cotabato.

Chatto bared the reorganization of the Provincial Anti Drug Abuse Council which he then sponsored as a legislator in 1997.

In fact, the governor gladly told everyone that the landmark local legislation came ahead of the Department of Interior and Local Government memorandum for organization of similar councils.

In his new Executive order issued to schools, he called for schools to put up drug abuse programs and get involved in setting up dialogs and symposia to assured parents that the that their kids in schools are in the safe zones for addiction.

According to the PDEA, drugs distributed in Bohol come from Cebu or northern Mindanao and seep through Bohol via many entries including backdoor passages as islets off northern Bohol where regular small boat traffic operates with seemingly cursory anti-drug frisks.

Admitting they are incapacitated to plug these entries, PDEA added that they are coordinating with the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) to help them put up measures to deter entry of these prohibited substances into the tourism island.

She also said there are drug sniffing canines but sady, there is only one deployed to the region and it is at the PDEA regional office in Cebu.

PDEA also believed a drug sniffing dogs put up at the piers in Bohol can positively dent on the campaign to reduce the supply coming in to discourage users.

Putting up an impressive score of apprehensions and anti-drug operations within the first few weeks of the year, the PDEA could not but help acknowledge the cooperation of various law enforcement agencies and local governments including Bohol Capitol.

The idea is to make the most out of these positive developments we are getting, Reyes said.

Sharing they are in need of mobility assets to advance their mission, PDEA noted that the coordination and efforts by the police along with the provincial government support has produced impressive results in record drug apprehensions. (racPIABohol)

Bohol internal audit earns
praises among auditors

SEEING transparency in governance at the end of its sights, Bohol may be cited with the citation as the province in the country to institutionalize an internal audit office.

Auditors all over the country have felt that the initiative up institutionalizing an internal audit unit for local governments is the next best thing to do and they made sure leaders would know about their initiated innovations.

At the weekly Kita ug ang Gobernador at the People’s Mansion, Bohol Governor Edgar Chatto said that state auditors have heaped praises for the internal audit office of the Capitol, a rare entity among local government units.

“This is our strongest sign of commitment to transparency”, Chatto beamed before Bohol media Friday.

The governor, who regularly holds a weekly engagement with Bohol media in his radio program revealed that in the past week, he was speaker during a national auditors gathering where he learned that Bohol has led again in innovation in governance.

He also told the media that it was during the same gathering that he learned not a lot of agencies in government have them [internal audit unit].

Unlike the Commission ion Audit which main task is to summarize and see through the possible irregularities in government financial transactions, the governor explained that Internal Audit at the Capitol also looks into the operation, organizational structures, employee positions in the flow of processes and management policies to assure efficient and waste-less operations.

The institutionalization of the Bohol Internal Audit office has assured the efficiency of the operations of each office at the level of its functions, the governor said.

At the speaking engagement, he also said it was that time when he learned that very few government agencies have them.

Over this development which the state auditors have seen, Chatto revealed that the local efforts have created a stir in the corporate world of the country and they have aired willingness to lobby for an amendment of the local government code and make the position of internal auditor mandatory for every local government units.

“For the initiative, corporate entities,” Chatto said, “have aired their willingness to send in teams to train Bohol Capitol unit and local government units through seminars”. (racPIABohol) 

Tourism Summit eyed to
Inventory new products

“BOHOL must not stop tourism product development,” underscores Governor Edgar Chatto as he shares the vision to visiting local government guests from South Cotabato Friday February 11.

Underscoring the need to sustain the eco-cultural tourism vision he helped craft in 1997, Chatto made a new pitch: master-planning Bohol’s tourism development for industry sustainability through another multi-layered discussion in a Tourism Summit.

The summit would gather all tourism workers and stakeholders from the towns, to tourist service providers at destinations, tour agencies, service providers and municipal tourism authorities to brainstorm on issues that would further strengthen Bohol’s brisk miracle industry.

Widely believed as the reason behind the economic boost in Bohol, tourism, Chatto explained has many backward and forward linkages that spur economic activities.

He cited the generation component of the industry.

Blessed with a colorful culture and history, friendly people, age-old built heritage, natural beauty, pristine environment and amazing wildlife, Bohol has pushed to the limits in its promotions as a new tourism destination.

From a measly 60,000 tourist arrivals spending less than a thousand per head in 1996, Bohol has hosted a staggering 600,000 tourists each one of them spending more than a thousand on a countryside tour, dats from the local tourism office showed.

But now pushing the standard countryside tour to the hilt, Chatto briefly pointed to the risk of tourists getting back and finding only the same circuit to exploit.

Using a fiesta fare as an analogy, Chatto said we do not offer all our best food at the same time.

Sounding an urgent call for towns to start off developing new tourism products, the out-spoken governor revealed the plan to call for a province-wide tourism summit.

The tourism summit also hopes to start an inventory of tourist attractions for priority development, he shared.

The Summit of all tourism stakeholders would start the massive discussions on new tourism policies and strategies to be set to integrate and masterplan the development, he said. (racPIABohol)

“Participation” to cap
legacy of dev’t in city

WITH barely 872 days left to leave a legacy of comprehensive development programs, City mayor Dan Lim urges the widest participation and commitment from both co-government workers and the grassroots.
Reiterating the calls from local leaders for widespread community participation especially in crime fighting, the mayor who is in his political homestretch as city mayor assured, “your government will help you address your basic needs and even provide opportunities for progress and development.”
At his recent state of the city address, mayor Lim however pressed: “But people also have to do their share from their end.”
Still standing tough despite harsh criticisms from his political opponents especially in the field of peace and order, the “never-say die” mayor who has consistently failed in his mayoralty bid until two terms ago, remains mum about his plans on how to pull criminalities down.
His silence however betrays a plan the mayor may have in his sleeve. 
“If health workers respond to the first sign of illness, there would be no epidemics,” he said, and continued with “If barangay tanods respond to the first sign of crime, there would be no haven for snatchers and thieves.”
To accomplish this, we need the commitment not only from the various government offices but also the grassroots workers. A comprehensive development program such as this requires the widest participation possible from as many as possible, he stressed before a crowd of supporters and city officials.
Perhaps heralding the dawn of a crime-less city, the mayor revealed, “We are also on track to undertake the widest street-lighting project in the history of the city.”
A city mayor supporter, who asked not to be named said “the city was right on track in lighting din city streets as she said criminals often lurk in the dark”.
What you see in Bool today is the model for the rest of the city, the mayor said during his address.
Modern lighting facilities greet Boholanos traveling at night from eastern Bohol as they enter the city from Baclayon.
Highlighting the critical role of information in society, the mayor vowed to continue the Purok patrol as a venue for information dissemination, the Purok assembly and a radio program called “Sa Motuo Lang”.
Apparently admitting some shortcomings on unsolved problems in the past, Lim was also optimistic ang engaging when he said “the tragedy is when we refuse to solve the problems that we are capable of solving by ourselves.” (racPIABohol)   

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