Saturday, March 19, 2011

Local education reforms
Start summer, says Guv

TAGBILARAN CITY, March 18, 2011 (PIA)--- WITH education on top of its priorities for social investments agenda, Bohol sets into motion a comprehensive program for daycare and preschool, elementary, high school and collegiate levels to effect the needed transformation to churn out better trained and well equipped globally competitive graduates.

Governor Edgar Chatto said that starting this summer, secondary school teachers would be on to a training on the dynamics of a new teaching style that allows more student learnings than the orthodox spoon-feeding models adopted in the past.

At the weekly Kita ug ang Gobernador beamed live over Bohol Friday March 18, 2011, the governor bared the localization of the Dynamic Learning Program (DLP) trainings for its adoption as school opens.

Critics called the DLP a cost-effective method of teaching science and non science lessons through interactive student-based activities and projects.

The innovation catapulted Boholano educators Dr. Christopher and Ma. Victoria Carpio-Bernido to the Ramon Magsaysay Awards: Asia’s version of the Nobel Prize, for innovations in teaching.

In the elementary levels, public schools in Bohol would start incorporating basic sanitation and basic values hygiene in school curriculum to get kids doing the right thing from the start, Chatto once said.

A training for teachers would assure that the foundation of a healthy citizenry and well grounded values of our children, Chatto said.

By this, the veteran legislator and now executive believes Bohol could start a heath and hygiene conscious generation that would work for a much better and healthier Bohol.

The governor also added that skills like basic handwashing, daily baths has not been as instilled in the minds of the kids as it would be started this opening of classes in June.

A district in Bohol is still struggling to make the toilets a regular fixture in all its homes, and by the program, local leaders believe it can make a big dent.

And in government mandated daycare centers, the governor bares about a feeding program in partnership with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) that would start as soon as classes open.

This is also part of the national goal to stave off malnutrition across the country and to safeguard the kids from the adverse effects of malnutrition in their future, sources from the provincial health office explained. 

Also included in the talks with the DSWD would be the implementation of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino (4PS) to reach out even to those kids who are before school years. (rac)

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NFA rises to the occasion,
Floods market with i-rice

Tagbilaran City, March 18, 2011 (PIA) --- WITH iron usually insufficient in Filipino diets, the National Food Authority (NFA) rises to the occasion by introducing micro-nutrients in offering iron-fortified rice (i-rice).

In a simultaneous launching all over the country, NFA Bohol also introduced its new product at the Tagbilaran City Central Market, which was attended by a crowd of eager shoppers Tuesday March 14.

According to NFA Bohol Manager Ma Fe Evasco, the move is in line with the government’s food fortification program in response to the growing malnutrition in the country.

The National Nutrition Council has noted a growing micronutrient malnutrition which has been prevalent in the Philippines for the past several years.
For the Department of Health, food fortification is the addition of Sangkap Pinoy or micronutrients such as Vitamin A, Iron and / or Iodine to food to prevent or correct a deficiency with one or more nutrients in the population or specific population groups.
Micronutrients are vitamins and minerals required by the body in very small quantities and help in maintaining a strong, healthy and active body; sharp mind; and for women to bear healthy children.
I-rice, which can be bought at P27 per kilo, Evasco announced fights anemia, infections, sharpens the mind and strengthens body resistance to disease and infections.
“It’s still the same rice we get from the stores, white pearly rice that does not even smell bad,” a buyer said when asked how the i-rice looked.
Past studies have shown that worldwide, the problem of malnutrition has been the cause of death of 60% of children less than 5 years old.
Over this, Evasco revealed that i-rice is intended to get to a specific target group: Pregnant and lactating mothers and children.

Health authorities have said that iron deficiency in the body affects women and children more.

“A growing child is increasing the red blood cell mass, and needs additional iron. Women of reproductive age who are menstruating require double the amount of iron that men do,” a doctor also added.

Also, a developing fetus draws iron from the mother, totaling 200 to 300 mg at term, so extra iron is needed in pregnancy.

An infant requires between 4 - 12 mg/L of iron and the iron in breast milk is more readily absorbed.

In fact in the country, iron deficiency anemia has been noted among women and children, sources also said. (rac)
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Guv stresses preparedness
As towns register damages

TAGBILARAN CITY March 18, 2011 (PIA) ---GOVERNOR Edgar Chatto reiterated calls for disaster preparedness as rains soaked the soil and triggered landslides, bringing in flashfloods and claimed at least three lives in Bohol.

This too as he bared about eight towns which register damages during the week highlighted by the deaths of three people.

Chatto also highlighted that in the advent of calamities, a reporting system inset at the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council Update has shown its capabilities.

A response team in Bohol has made tie ups with local teams to get to the incident soonest.

Even with this, the governor also stressed the need for upgrading reporting system, equipments and trainings for the team, one that a recent strategic workshop of the council showed.

Activate, equip through trainings and equip these teams with the right tools Chatto said. 

In Sierra Bullones town, where a forced evacuation looms due to unstable land as evidenced by massive cracks in barangays Magsaysay, Dusita, Danicop and Abachanan, an 11-year old boy identified as Rizaldy Argao was later fished out dead after he drowned in a swelled creek while he was on his way home in Barangay Nan-od.

In nearby barangay Danicop, volunteers also recovered the dead body of 60 year old Armando Boticario who also drowned.

In Candijay, the dead body of 37 years old Herminia Curit was recovered by divers of the army special forces at a lake in barangay Canawa around 5:30 PM. She drowned around 9:30 AM.

In barangay Loreto, Cortes town, coconut trees toppled after a landslide occurred. The incident happened a week after another landslide blocked a national highway in Sitio Lilo-an, barangay Poblacion, which also momentarily rerouted traffic.

In Garcia Hernandez, town officials declared P6M damages brought about by flashfloods that washed out ready to harvest rice in 12 barangays as the Manaba river overflowed from its banks.

Disaster authorities recorded 2.8 meters of overflow from the normal waterlines.

In Jagna town, rains caused mudslides which blocked the national highway along barangay Mayana to Sierra Bullones barangays Dusita and Magsaysay have to be cleared by the Department of Public Works and Highways District III.

Bilar also reported a blocked barangay road caused by minor landslides, where Capitol has to send in equipments.

A flash flood also occurred in Duero and Dimiao, the governor, during his weekly radio program said. (rac)
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Trees in burdened cliff
remains un-trimmed

A week after a tree-laden cliff in Cortes town gave in to a landslide temporarily blocking the national highway, nearby residents have been asking, where’s the promised clearing operation?

Authorities from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, heavy trees with dense foliage forced the face of the cliff to give in bringing down a torrent of limestone which blocked the national highway along Sitio Lilo-an, barangay Poblacion  Cortes Tuesday, March 8.

Believing in the theory, residents have agreed with the DENR that cutting the huge trees and trimming the bushes on the cliff side can reduce the tension and hold the steep precipice from falling into the road and possibly hitting commuters.

The Maghinays, who along with his children’s houses rest across the highway that separates them from danger said they have been used to the threat and they do not think that the cliff topples off in a landslide if the authorities realize their promise.

Bohol Cortes Mayor Apolinaria Balistoy and provincial Administrator Alfonso Damalerio had accordingly promised them that a team would trim the trees to unburden the cliff side.

Atop the steep cliff not 200 meters from where the landslide happened is a house about 15 meters away from the precipice.

But house owner Aqulino Dagamac Jr. said between their house and the cliff are cracks which would seem to indicate that a huge part of their property would topple down to the highway around 50 meters below.

“Had it not for these that we planted along the edge, this could fall,” his wife Nilda pointed indicating golden duranta hedges they accordingly planted.

Looking down below the hedges is a hollow side of cliff only supported by a huge boulder where a handful of balite grows.

“Should this boulder fall off, it could flatten a car,” Aqulino Jr said, emphasizing that the rock holding the ledge is as big as a multicab.

The Dagamacs, along with the Maghinay family who lives may be dependent upon the burden the rain would continue to infuse into the dangerous, rain-soaked, tree burdened precipice believed trimming the trees can be a palliative step in keeping the stability of the cliff while restorative efforts could not be done.

“Asked if authorities had warned them about relocating to a safer ground, the Dagamacs said a team composed of personnel from the municipal hall inspected their lot, but nothing happened,” according to Nilda. 

“Besides, we do not have the resources to start off anew,” Dagamac stated.

On the other hand, the Maghinays echoed the same thing.

Once, we were helped us transfer, but it is here where we live, Procesa Maghinay said.

If they can help us and give us an alternative livelihood, we will go, husband Nong Dodo Maghinay said.  

“Maayo pa gani walay balay kay sa walay pamugas,” he quipped.

As long as they can trim the trees, I know the cliff will hold. We should know we were here then that super typhoon stripped the roof from the church, her husband Nong Dodo added in Cebuano. (rac)

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City to fast track passing
Motorcab fare ordinance

TAGBILARAN CITY, March 17, 2011 (PIA) --THE city Sanggunian is set to fast-track its hearings on the request for increased motorcab fares here as some tricycle drivers have reportedly increased its fare tariffs absent the city council’s legislative nod.

City Councilor Edi Borja admitted over the radio that it may be high time to give in to the request for fare hikes, but added that the Committee on Public Utilities is still set to get through the mandatory committee hearings for the legislative amendment to be legal.

We have been discussing in the Committee the details and parameters of the public hearing and who would be invited to represent sectors, Borja said.

The three-term councilor added that they would allow every side to be heard so as to make a win-win solution to the nagging issue of the main public transportation here in the city.

Earlier, on the first week of March, an unnamed tricycle drivers’ organization has petitioned for the increase, Borja confirmed previous reports.  

Pressed between rising cost of fuel, motor-cab spare-parts and the urgency of alleviating their living conditions, tricycle drivers operating within Tagbilaran City have sought the intervention of the council to effect a P8.00 minimum fare and P1.00 for every succeeding kilometer and fraction of it.

This is despite that fact that several reports said they have already collected P8.00 even before the SP can formally get through the legislative action.

The fare hike holds on even as newly renewed tricycle franchise permits still post the effective P6.50 regular fare matrix on their cabs.

City Ordinance no. c-189 enacted since October 4, 2005 pegs the regular tricycle fares for a kilometer or less at P6.50 and .50 for every succeeding 50 meters.

The same ordinance rules out that flagging down tricycles for a fare to the pier or from it would be P8.00 from 4:00 to P10 PM. Flagdown rates change to and from the pier to P11.00 when you ride from 10:00 PM to 4:00 AM.

Since 2005 however, the city has also witnessed countless fuel price hikes that it has to give in to a P1.00 provisional increase some years back. The increase was set to be staved off as oil price stabilizes. It did not.

Since then, no legislation amending the fare rates have been issued

After the hearings, Borja said the SP would make sure they expedite the passing of the amendment stating the agreed amount for the hike before the trike drivers could legally collect the amount from passengers. (rac)
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Many new gov’t buildings rise
Sans enough fire proofing

(Tagbilaran City) March 17, 2011, (PIA) --- THERE are newly constructed government buildings that do not follow standard building codes, Bohol Fire Marshall Pepe Rebusa bemoaned at Kapihan sa PIA Thursday.

Apparently apprehensive that the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), which is mandated to implement fire standards, would be blamed if fire incidents break out in such building, the provincial fire superintendent said “it is sad to note that we, in the government are supposed to be enforcers.”

In fact, he admitted that some of these government buildings are constructed without getting building permits.

Building permits are pre-requisites for us at the BFP so we could issue fire safety clearances, according to the plans shared to us,” he said.

Absent the building permits, we can not issue the fire safety clearance and the subsequent occupancy clearances.

Before a building permit is issued, building officials share building plans with the BFP and we assess the design according to compliance of fire resistive requirements and standards of fire protection, Rebusa explained over phone patch.

The fire marshal was summoned to Cebu for an emergency meeting as the country commemorates the Fire Prevention Month in March.

According to the national building code “Any person, firm, or corporation, including any department, office, bureau, agency of instrumentality of the government intending to construct, alter, repair, move, convert or demolish any building or structure, or cause the same to be done, shall obtain a building permit from the Building Official for whichever of such work is proposed to be undertaken for the building or structure, before any such work is started.”

It has been noted that government building projects implemented by administration have cruised through the building permit requirement, which the local government would issue in the first place.

But Rebusa asked how they issue clearances which would make the building permit a prerequisite?

He said at the radio forum on air that several local government officials approach their office to get fire safety clearances, which can only be had when a building permit is obtained.

In fact, the Bohol fireman who used to city fire marshal added that a lot of old local town halls are fire hazards with outdated electrical wirings, which have been causing most fires lately. (rac) 

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