Monday, July 11, 2011

Binay to use PAG-IBIG funds
for localized housing projects

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, July 9, 2011 (PIA) –-THERE is money that can be used to fill in the country’s need for decent homes to its people, but it has not been used.

This has been revealed by Erwin Maceda, Vice President Jejomar Binay’s political officer who, in a chance interview said the money however is sleeping on the bank.

With the Vice President is now heading the country’s Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC), we now have PAG-IBIG as our lead agency, who has around P50 billion, sleeping in the bank.

Binay, who has shown what taking intelligent risks would bring while heading Makati City, accordingly planned to use the P50 billion annually to build houses as projects of local government units.

“There is money and it is not being used properly,” added Maceda, who flew in to Bohol as advance party for the vice president Binay, who has been invited to grace important affairs in at least two towns and Tagbilaran City here.

We would push PAG-IBIG to spend the P50 billion this year on housing and another P50 billion the following year on the principle that we have money that is lying idle and a worsening housing backlog that is not yet effectively addressed.

That is also a principle that the vice president has tested when he was still the city mayor of Makati, said Henry Caunan, another VP Binay political officer.

When he assumed Makati, the city had P300 million assets and P340 million in liabilities. After his three terms, Makati’s wealth surged to P11 billion, accumulating more than enough funds to finance its socialized charities, education and medical programs.

Makati reportedly has P11 billion, without need of paving more roads, putting up hospitals and other major infrastructure and have supported schools.

According to sources, Makati has a one student to a computer ratio, offers free school uniforms and potable purified water to students. 

We would not have earned that much had we not used the money that was there, but was not properly used, Maceda said.

“Here is a man who is not afraid to think outside the box,” Danao Bohol Mayor Thomas Louis Gonzaga pointed out, meaning the Makati executive who has risen to the country’s second top post as vice president.

And he has no qualms about being with the ordinary people, Caunan added, pointing that the vice president travels by economy class.

To illustrate his point, Caunan said Binay visited public markets in Cogon, Dao, met with mayors and friends and brushed elbows with Danao and Bien Unido local officials in his two day stint in Bohol.  

And he just came from 29 individual wake visits to flood victims in Davao, a feat that is unheard of knowing the serious logistics, mobility and security issues inherent to a moving “spare tire” but on mag wheels, jokes Erwin Maceda, the veeps political analyst and advance party. (Rey Anthony Chiu)


Danao, B-Unido mayors
Say Binay inspires them

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, July 9, 2011 (PIA) –DANAO and Bien Unido mayors admit that Vice President Jejomar Binay has been an inspiration to young Boholano mayors which accounts to the reason where is a gravitation of young town leaders to the man they perceived as a consummate governance expert model.

In Bohol, about seven towns, most of them with young mayors have earlier forged sisterhood agreement with the City of Makati, them a turf of Binay.

Towns of Danao, Bien Unido, Getafe, Baclayon, Loay, Tagbilaran City and San Miguel have forged sisterhood agreements and are benefiting greatly from the exchange, says Danao mayor Thomas Louis Gonzaga, during a chance interview at the MetroCenter Hotel July 8.

Then Makati City Mayor and now Vice President of the Republic, Jejomar Binay has been invited to a marathon of events in at least two towns and Tagbilaran City here.

VP Binay, who was escorted by Mayor Dan Neri Lim visited Cogon and Dao Central Public Market, attended an anticipated mass at the St. Joseph Cathedral yesterday afternoon and had a dinner interaction with local chief executives at the Peacock Garden.

The man, who is referred to as the country’s spare tires, has been in fact a true blue-blooded man from the ranks who has shown the immense power of local government units daring to think differently, said Gonzaga, who was there to meet the veep’s advance party in Tagbilaran.

We did the sisterhood agreement in 2008, firmly believing that we have a lot to learn from the management system [of Makati] as an inspiration to bring in a similar economic emancipation template in our 5th class towns, Mayors Gonzaga and Boniel admitted.

Makati had been so blessed and its excess wealth, it shared among its sister towns, Veep Binay’s political officer Erwin Maceda said.

“The sisterhood agreement,” added the Danao mayor who ventured into an untested extreme eco-adventure for his town, “has exposed our local government officials by allowing us to study the system implemented by the country’s richest city”.

He has proven to be a consummate local government chief operating officer, one tough job we, young town executives would wish to imbibe from the man, the 42 year old bachelor executive prided.

The health care benefits we give our people is just one of our programs lifted from the Makati templates of experience, he said.  

While Makati City offers 90% free health care services to its residents when they get to Ospital ng Makati, the city also gives full PhilHealth coverage to all its residents, beamed Henry Caunan, one of VP Binay’s political officers.

That’s practically free hospitalization and other bills, he added.

Maceda, who is the son of senator Ernesto Maceda added when Binay assumed the top post in Makati, the city was in some P40 million economic deficit. Three terms later, Makati’s wealth bloated from P300 million to P11 billion. 

Now seated at the country’s second top seat, and with an office budget of several millions lower than a senator’s Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), the office still could respond to rescue and relief operations using its meager funds, Maceda said.

If there is a man who has ably shown the real power of government in the country, even with the a very modest budget, it is Binay, Gonzaga said. (Rey Anthony Chiu)


Classic finish for Boholanos at
Danao Masters 40K MTB XC

DANAO ADVENTURE PARK, Magtangtang Danao, Bohol, July 9, (PIA) --THREE Boholano cyclists ruled out the enemy competition as they pedaled to a classic 1-2-3 finish at the recently contested cross country bike race early Saturday morning here.

Two team members of the yellow and dark blue jersey worn by Bohol’s Team Paseo de Loon: Antonio Beronio and Pablo Ancog came in followed by Mario Lacang of Association of Tagbilaran Amateur Cyclists (ATAC) to completely dominate the top three slots in the Masters Category.

The three however each cruised to the finish line, after a showoff of classic team defense formation that had other professional cyclists straying off and away from the lead pack.

The masters is just one of the four opened categories for the 40 kilometer Columbia (MTBXC) Mountain Bike Cross Country Race that had bikers negotiating paved roads, single lane dirt tracks that winded cart trails, rain eroded roads from the starting toot until the finish line at the park.

Mountain bikers from the Cebu based Team Niña Egg Farm also showed their unusual pouncing pedal power when they made it even with three top contenders rushing to the finish in a classic sweep.

Bikers Rolly Cabaluna, Ramonito Espinosa and Adonis Bohol staked their claims to the race’s top three slots in their 30-39 years old category. 

Victory for them would be so sweet, said a local biker who added that the team members arrived early and slept with cardboard on the floor of the park Visitor’s Center.

In the juniors category, Cebu Nina Egg Farm gained the 1-2 slot through Jude Mar Villarosa and Marjun Villarosa.

Coming in third for the 21-30 age bracket was Aljorad Candawan of Bohol’s Sagbayan recycled Bikes Team.

For the youth category, Boholano Joseph Rabida of Team Paseo de Loon shared the top three spot with Roy Carbonera of Cebu’s Nina Egg Farm and Jiven Pojas of Boho’s Sagbayan Recycled Bikes.

Boholano bikers said it was as always a fair race where nobody was allowed to survey the trail course ahead of the competition.

The competition was just one of the Adventure and Music Festival Activities centered at the Extreme Adventure Tourism Park in Magtangtang, in celebration of the town’s golden foundation days anniversary June 8-10, said Mayor Thomas Louis Gonzaga after the race. (Rey Anthony Chiu)

Joey Ayala-Carbon front loads 
Danao environment campaign
DANAO ADVENTURE PARK, DANAO, Bohol, July 9, 2011 (PIA) – LEAD environment advocates Joey Ayala and Lolita Carbon front acts Danao town’s environment campaign in an event that organizers hope to bring to the residents’ consciousness the zeal to preserve the majesty of their environment.

At the press conference during the First Misty Mountaintop Adventure and Music Festival timed for the 50th founding anniversary of this poor town with a rich heart, both alternative roots artists claim the grandeur of the park is its best come-on.

The park boasts of extreme adventure activities within a forest nature park that also anchors its historic roots to Francisco Dagohoy, who holds his last stand against the Spaniards in the mountain fastness here. 

According to Jerome Labra, Danao municipal tourism officer, the park, which is divided by an 800 meter wide and about three hundred meter deep gorge has also been the home of at least four species of civet cats.

The fabled cliffs where the legendary Boholano hero forded easily, now anchors an 800 meter zipline notably called the suislide, a cable car known as the Sky Ride, a canyon swing facility billed as The Plunge and a 60 meter cliff rappelling as a modern approximation of the heroic leaps the local leader was said to make to evade the pursuing Spaniards.  

The forest park also offers adventure treks, spelunking activities, root climbing challenges, a wall climbing facility, historical walks, camping activities, off road all terrain buggy rides, rubber tubing and river kayaking.

The town, which operates the Extreme Adventure Tour (EAT) Park is now opening a 1.5 kilometer zipline called X-Sanity and Air Danao Paragliding and Ultralight Flight School, which wants to hit the vast and untapped expatriate market. 

You do not need to add more because everything is here for your people to savor, Ayala said, saying that places where there is very small trace of people can engulf one’s consciousness because a lot of energy comes from the natural environment.

Just take care of Danao, it is already beautiful, Lolita Carbon joined Ayala in.

For their part of the environment advocacy, Ayala and Carbon’s pro-environmental lyrics and music, both admit have been mellowed by long lessons of nature experience like being able to play with fireflies instead of PSPs, hangout under guava trees instead of in arcades.

These songs have been siring movements, Carbon cited the Danao Adventure Music Festival which has engendered people to a deeper understanding of nature as an example.
This as the country continues to experience strange weather patterns attributed to global warming, which also puts the government in a determined mood to implement a campaign mitigating and adapting initiatives to deter climate change effects.

What the national government is into is a massive information drive, DENR Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) – Climate Change Office (CCO) Head Albert Magalang was quoted.

“We are aiming on a massive information dissemination campaign to promote mitigation and fix adaptation measures so we could cope with the effects of climate change,” Magalang said in reports.

The dissemination drive will be focused on educating the people on proper waste management, establishing pollution control projects, and involving the private sector in climate change projects implementation.  (Rey Anthony Chiu)


Seven sectoral reps to share
Anti-rab success to experts

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, July 9, 2011 (PIA) – SEVEN Boholanos representing sectors would sit with Bohol Rabies Prevention and Elimination Council members to clarify points about the program that has gained international recognition as a success story in the global fight against rabies.

Among the seven is a lawyer legislator, radio anchor and media icon, a teacher and public school superintendent, a human health doctor, a doctor board member, a youthful local chief executive and a former village chair faces international rabies experts scrutinize the local program to uncover lessons hat might help them replicate the local program in other areas of the world threatened by rabies.

Sangguniang Panlalawigan Agriculture Chair and lawyer Abeleon Damalerio would discuss the details of the local paralegal system supporting the enforcement of the Republic Act 9482.

On the information education communication component of the program, local media icon, radio anchor and DyTR Station manager Carlito Responte speaker on community-based media partnership in support of the program.

To ascertain an anti-rabies awareness and consciousness, Dr. Lorna Rances discusses the local initiative of an integration of the program to the curriculum. Dr Rances is a division superintendent of the Department of Education.

As to the clinical side of the disease elimination in Bohol, Provincial Health Officer and Dr. Reymoses Cabagnot would elaborate on the animal bite management.

On the issue as to the program integration among people in the towns, the Municipal Rabies Prevention and Eradication Council is Board Member and doctor Lloyd Peter M. Lopez, who used to be mayor of Loon, Bohol would explain.

Another local initiative among mayors is an sharing of the practices in Inabanga town with Mayor Jose Jono C. Jumamoy.

For the grassroots and a proof that the program is workable in the barangays and smeller units called puroks, former Haguilanan Catigbian Barangay Captain Cristobal O. Rasonabe shares his experiences and insights on the program.

After these sharing activities, an open forum and interaction with the Bohol Rabies Prevention and Elimination Council (BRPEC) ensues.

The audience with the world’s top rabies experts is just one of the activities as Bohol hosts the International Rabies Meeting at the Bohol Beach Club from July 12-14

To complete the entire information sharing, international rabies experts and meeting guests would field inspect Municipal Rabies Prevention and Elimination Councils and the Barangay Livestock Aides (BALA) of Baclayon

They would also witness a classroom demonstration on the curriculum integration at the Loboc Elementary School, visit an Animal Bite Treatment Center in Carmen and interact with Bantay Rabies sa Barangay in Catigbian.

Provincial veterinarian and rabies program executive officer Dr. Ma. Stella Lapiz DVM hopes the Bohol experience, which posts a successful zero-rabies case in the past three years, could be sustained in as much as the dream to become a tourist destination can be jeopardized with the threat. (Rey Anthony Chiu) 

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