Friday, May 20, 2011

PPOC, Gov commend PNP
Military for lowered crimes

GOVERNOR Edgar Chatto and the Peace and Order Council (PPOC) commend anti-crime and security officers here as the council note reports of significant decrease in crime volume here in the past months.

At the regular PPOC meeting at the People’s Mansion Tuesday, the governor who also heads the Peace Council hailed the efforts of the law enforcers and internal security operators for significantly bringing down crime volume in Bohol. 

Both the police and the internal security forces in Bohol established a Joint Peace and Security Coordinating Center and agreed to complement each other in crime fighting and deterrence. 

PSSupt. Constantino Barot reported that Camp Dagohoy, which collates province-wide criminal records, noted 6 percent crime volume decrease this month, a figure taken from averaging all crimes recorded in police blotters.

The six percent decrease in comparative crime volume was for the period of April compared to the previous month of March this year.

Crimes in Bohol decreased from 193 in March to 181 in April, as compared to a seven percent increase in the March from 180 crimes in February of the same year.

The crime statistics is gathered for the periods between March 11 to April 11.

“All the figures in the first quarter of 2011 are significantly lower as compared to the crimes committed the previous year,” comments the police provincial director who also showed a line graph showing total crimes reported as 236, 302, 366 and 320 from January to April in 2010.

Of all crimes for the month, theft still tops at 225 followed by robbery at 177, his presentation showed.

Carnapping, a relatively newer offense alarmed PPOC members as it pegs itself, third at 145 cases.

Meanwhile, provincial director Barot ascribes the successful curbing of crimes in Bohol to the implementation of the Police Integrated Patrol System (PIPS).

To prove his point, Barot presented a graph with PIPS focused areas detailing almost similar crime trends gravitating at zero to three crimes per week since the program ran. 

PIPS focused areas include street crimes, crimes using fire-arms and crimes perpetuated by motorcycle riding criminal elements.

Only crimes committed with the use of fire-arms registered a seven between April 28-May 4, an aberration in the graph that showed an average of three crimes per week all over Bohol since late January. (Rey Anthony Chiu)

LPF widens rights monitoring
To include summary killings

Tagbilaran City, Bohol, May 19, (PIA)--- Bohol Local Peace Forum (LPF), along with Ateneo Law School-Human Rights Center (ALS-HRC) and Asia Foundation launched this morning a quick reaction team that would expand the capabilities of the human rights monitoring group here.

ALS-HRC Executive Director Ray Paolo Santiago hailed Bohol, the sixth province that they are assisting for the establishment of the Multi-Sectoral Quick Reaction Team on Extra Judicial killings and Enforced Disappearances (MSQRT on EJK and ED) despite the fact that Bohol has long been a declared peaceful province.

Santiago, during the ceremony held at Elijah Spirituality Center at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary May 19, also pointed out the presence of sectors in the launching, stressing that even in peace building, pubic and private partnership is critical.

The Ateneo lawyer added, the move to put up the MSQRT on EJK and ED came after the visit of United Nations's special rapporteur on human rights Phillip Alston.

Alston reports Bohol as one of the provinces where cases of EJK and ED rates high.

Over this, Bohol came to be one of the provinces considered for the project with ALS HRC, says Santiago, who is also a lawyer.

Boholanos however refute Alston claim saying that the reports were based on allegations by Karapatan and other HR watchdogs.

Most of the reports in Bohol were found to be falsely claimed, the LPF in later fact finding missions gather.

Before the MSQRT, Bohol has already institutionalized a LPF’s Quick Reaction Team with fact finding functions to investigate and verify reports of human rights violations.

The QRT was even more useful after the Alston Reports got published while a need to get into the case details surfaced.

LPF chairman and Bohol Bishop Leonardo Medroso welcomed the move to enhance the function of local human rights monitoring arm here while hailing the move to “put up of structures and organizations to protect our peace.” 

Meanwhile, Governor Edgar Chatto, who pointed out reports of significant drop in criminality here said he is happy that Bohol decided to adopt the MSQRT.

The MSQRT would be an added function of the QRT but would be fully manned by multi-sectoral representatives who would be trained on EJK and ED investigations, ALS-HRC representatives said.

On this, Gov. Chatto said the willingness to venture into new things can provide better ways of peace for Bohol.  (Rey Anthony Chiu)

Workers: enforce P255
minimum pay instead

Tagbilaran City, Bohol May 20 (PIA)---IN the current economic scrimp that affects both labor and management, there are workers who would settle for the P255 minimum wage as long as it is strictly enforced.

Department of Trade and Industry Regional Director Asteria Caberte shared this amidst ripened talks that workers are now goading the Regional Tripartite Wage and Productivity Board (RTWPB) for another series of wage increase, less than a year after the board set the new increase.

Caberte, who is the RTWPB vice chair added that the board noted a common feeling across the regions that a new series of wage increase may be irrelevant if the P255 minimum wage could not be properly enforced.  

It is a common belief that there the enforcement still needs improvement, Caberte said in a radio interview this week.

It is the RTWPB who sets the minimum wage but as to the implementation of and enforcement of the minimum wage set by the board, its is lodged with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

The DOLE therefore is directed to direct compliance, she continued.

It is a common observation and it is not just in Bohol, she stressed.

Caberte said their consultations also show that the implementation could be weak in a sense that there are already complaints of non-compliance surfacing.

The RTWPB has been moving across the regions gathering inputs as to the laborer’s demands especially in the fluctuating prices, but hinted that there could be problems of increasing since its has been less than a year since the board recommended the last increase.

On the other hand, DTI, which has been monitoring basic commodity prices every week, said they have noticed a spike in the prices after three months.

These spike may be one of the supervening condition wherein an additional wage increase could be considered even if it would be within a year after the last board recommended pay raise was implemented, she clarified.

Meanwhile, Bohol DOLE Chief, during the recent peace and order council meeting revealed that the RTWPB may still have to fill in a vacancy in one of the sectoral representatives.

The members of the RTWPB are presidential appointees headed by the Regional director of DOLE and with the regional directors of DTI, NEDA and two representatives of the management and another two representative of the labor sector. (Rey Anthony Chiu)

DOLE inspection
team in Bohol

Tagbilaran City, Bohol, May 20, (PIA) ----BOHOL wage earners who filed underpay complaints will have their days, after the regional inspection team finds truth behind their allegations.

Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Bohol Chief Wilson Cenas said a regional inspection team is now in Bohol inspecting establishments for compliance to the P255.00 mandatory minimum daily wage, as recommended by the Regional Tripartite Wage and Productivity Board (RTWPB).

And as the inspection reports which would contain the recommendations, come, he said they would arrange meetings and conferences between the management and labor on the dispute go settle for an amicable settlement and strike a happy balance.

We can get the management agree to fill in the under-pay on a specific date, he said as an example of a mediation solution.

As demands of wage increase ripen with the escalating cost of basic commodities brought by the rising fuel price, Cenas said he believes the DOLE inspecting team is right in looking into the allegations to help the labor sector which is so much affected by the economic scrimp.

By the end of the month, the DOLE Bohol office would be provided with the findings, and formal mediation would start.

Speaking at the weekly Kapihan sa PIA aired over DyTR, Cenas admitted that many businesses perceive the DOLE as the enemy.

He also hinted that those in the workers sector also think that the government labor agency is protecting the management of several establishments.

On this, the labor chief here said they are now strengthening their labor dispute mediation as a proactive approach to resolution where a win-win solution can be had.

“We know legal labor disputes costs a lot of money and wastes a lot of time, and once the dispute reaches the courts, it would be hard to resolve from our level, he added.

In most times, management can afford to pay the litigation fees while the laborers end up on the disadvantaged side with the odds heaping against them, the labor chief here explained.

Often accused of bias, the labor chief clarified, “We are not protecting any one, we at the labor department here would rather mediate and find a way to strike a happy balance where the labor and management comes up with a win-win solution.”  

For wage earners who feel their take home pay is way below the minimum and who think they are on a losing end of the line, Cenas urged them to come to the ocal DOLE office at the 2nd floor of Cloribel Building, beside Capitol.

“Those who come are not treated like they filed a case, instead they are treated like they are requesting assistance, this way the management could be pulled for a mediation conference,” according to him.

“That is how we keep a stable environment in Bohol,” he adds during the forum segment which tackled “Keeping the Industrial Peace in Bohol.” (Rey Anthony Chiu)

G-Hernandez revives Sinugbuan
At 157th founding anniversary

Tagbilaran City, Bohol, May 20 (PIA)---REACHING in for their collective identity from their depths of their past, Garcia Hernandez local officials find a need to revive the Sinugbuan Festival and make it an annual affair to mark their forthcoming Foundation Days Celebration.

There is something that our younger generations should know, something they can own and be proud of; that would be Sinugbuan, shares Lindsey Marie Vismanos, the town information and tourism officer.

Sinugbuan, according to her is the old name of Lungsodaan, which hosted the first town center as soon as the Spanish Government finally acceded to the people’s request for independence for Jagna town.

Sinugbuan, according to her, comes from a local term for a place with many wallowing ponds, one that may still be very visible at several areas in Barangay Lungsodaan of the town.
And, as to their Administrative Code, the town of Garcia-Hernandez was founded on May 27, 1854 through the intercession and influence of two Spanish Priests sympathetic to the people’s cause.

Fr. Victor Garcia, then parish priest of old town Loay and Fr. Narciso Hernandez, then parish priest of nearby parish in Guindulman, gave importance to the incessant clamor of the people and prominent leaders to be independent from the town of Jagna.

The name Garcia-Hernandez was chosen as an open expression of thanks and gratitude to the two who were instrumental to the realization of the people’s dream.

The first seat of government was in Sinugbuan or Lungsodaan and was transferred later to East Poblacion, the town admin code said.

Now, Garcia Hernandez mayor Miguelito Galendez wants to revive the Sinugbuan Festival which came up in 2006 stopped there.

“We want to make this an annual festival that marks our 157th Foundation Days celebration on May 26-27,” the mayor who is also an engineer said.

It would be a fully loaded two-day celebration where our people would be feted to a showcase of local culture, tradition, sports and other activities aimed at achieving an integrated development for the town and people, he said.

The celebration starts off, like any town populated by conservative Catholics, with the Blessing, that of the towns buildings at 8:30 on May 26.

Nearby is the set up of the Agro-Industrial Fair which will be formally opened with the ribbon cutting ceremony at 9:00, a program provided to the media stated.

At the same time, an Inter barangay Volleyball Tournament starts at the West Poblacion Public market.

For successful residents, the Municipal Achievers’ Awards would be handed and to ebelish the night of pride, a Fold Dance Competition also unfolds at the Garcia-Hernandez Cultural Center, said Vismanos.

The following day would be another full day which starts off with a Commemorative Mass at the Sinugbuan site of the old town in West Lungsodaan.

A short motorcade from the venue of the mass to the Municipal Hall ensues at 9:30 which also would usher in the Open PARO Individual Tournament at the Basketball Court in front of Municipal Hall.

At 1:30 PM. A grand parade happens where people participating in the mass movement would be assembled at the G-Hernandez Farmers Training Center, which winds to the G-Hernandez Elementary School Grounds, venue of the 2011 Sinugbuan Festival.

There, the awarding of Agro-Industrial Fair Winners would be awarded by the town leaders.  

The celebration caps with the Sangguniang Kabataan sponsored Disco at the Farmers’ Training Center.(Rey Anthony Chiu)

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