Saturday, September 24, 2011

Minimum wage now
P275 all over Bohol
by: Rey Anthony Chiu

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol Sept 24 (PIA) – Minimum daily wage in Bohol is now pegged at P275.00 following the recent round of additional P20.00 wage increase less than a year after the last increase was ordered.

Department of Labor and Employment Bohol information Officer German Guidaben said the increase took effect September 22 and would still be valid despite the absence of a corresponding implementing rules and regulation for the increase.

The minimum wage law would always be retroactive, so that those who would not immediately implement the raise would still be bound for the retroactive pay, he explained at the recent Kapihan sa PIA Thursday.

Labor unions in the Visayas have asked for an even bigger increase citing the recent surging prices of fuel and basic commodities, which has also greatly affected daily wage earners and their families. 

The Regional Tripartite Wage and Productivity Board however, in consultations and countless meetings with business leaders and representatives was finally convinced that a new increase was due even if it comes less than a year since the last increase.

Increases were supposedly not to happen twice in a year’s time, unless a supervening condition exists, according to the law.

Guidaben also revealed that formula to help determine the increases for workers who have already attained the minimum is available at the local DOLE Office.

Dole also stressed that since the minimum wage determination is as good as a law, any worker who feels he is not given his rightful pay by his employers can seek DOLE assistance for possible mediation.

Over this, the DOLE spokesperson said he hopes the business sector would also be keen enough to see that they would have to adjust wages or face sanctions.

After all, the P20.00 increase as determined by the RTWPB is a win-win solution from the iniial P125.00 increase demanded by unions. (30)

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Catigbian gets P10M
Waterworks project

CATIGBIAN, Bohol Sept 25 (PIA) – Efforts at bringing in potable water to its vast majority of constituents proved a success in Catigbian as the town gets a green light to implement a P10 million water project.

Recipient of the Sagana at Ligtas na Tubig Para sa Lahat, Catigbian was recently identified priority area of the joint undertaking of the Department of Health (DOH), National Anti Poverty Commission (NAPC) and Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).

The project would be benefitting Catigbian’s seven far flung and waterless barangays: Mahayag Norte, Mahayag Sur, Hagbuaya, Bagtic, Liboron, Cambailan and Triple Union.

According to town information officer Maria Nila Tapales, the project manifests the government’s social contract to recognize the advancement and protection of public health as a key measure of good governance.

It has considered anti-poverty programs that build capacity and create opportunity among the poor and marginalized in the country, she added.

Catigbian Mayor Roberto L. Salinas signed the memorandum of agreement for Catigbian last September 21 in fitting rites at he DOH regional Office  formalizing the town’s newest access to poverty alleviation through improved health.

Also signing the MOA was Director Susanna Madarietta for the DOH.

Engr. Rusell F. Lungay, Municipal Engineer and Tifilito C. Rulida, MPDC of Catigbian, Bohol witnessed the MOA signing.

The project would entail the establishment of Level II waterworks system that would provide access of potable water to an estimated 841 household.

This should largely improve our kid’s study time, cited a soon to be beneficiary of the project as she explained that much of their kid’s study period is lost o fetching water in shallow wells.

The time saved can be utilized in other productive activities that would increase household income thereby alleviating the standard living condition of the populace, she adds.

With the development, Catigbianons particularly the constituents of the seven waterless barangays were vocally thankful of the project. (MPIO/RaCPIABohol)

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Clarin: Changing landscape
ushers economic activities 
By: Rey Anthony Chiu

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol Sept 25 (PIA) – Clarin funds the changes in the town’s physical landscape believing that the change ushers in more economic activity.

Asserting they can do far greater things while leaders of lesser timber would not dare attempt, Mayor Allen Ray Z. Piezas and his tandem, Vice Mayor Hermogenes Diezon shows homecoming locals that their town deserves its needed changes to remain competitive.

Bannering these most recent and most visible facelifting activities is the newly opened Clarin Cultural Center Enterprise Stalls, one that generates revenues for the town and opens the ideal venue for entrepreneurial skills development among its residents.

No less than Bohol First Lady Pureza V. Chatto cut the ribbons in the stall’s recent opening, sources said. 

According to sources, as well as data from the municipal engineering office, the enterprise stalls are booths for interested public stall bidders willing to open up businesses in the town.

Located at the north side of the Clarin Cultural center, the LGU funded the construction of about seven stalls.

Also, its daring move to host the Second District Congressional Meet has pushed the town to an option of accessible funds it brilliantly used in developing its sports grounds. Clarin has enlarged its sports grounds which has been a huge factor in its highly successful hosting of the district-wide athletic competition.

Funds, according to sources came from Bohol’s Special Education and Congressional assistance from Congressman Erico Aumentado.

This is the realization of our mission to provide quality services to our people in a responsible and clientele friendly manner as propelled by a responsive government, says Mayor Piezas.

Still bothered by its getting caught in environmental concerns owing to its solid waste problems, the town has recently opened hope for a more sensible waste disposal scheme that is anchored in waste reduction at source even as it opens a controlled garbage facility and access routes including a drainage system in Buangan.

For its market infrastructure development, the town development funds funded the construction and renovation of its fish section, resulting in ease of access and  better traffic flow.

The town has also revamped the electrical systems I the town children’s playground making the place safer, better lit and child-friendlier.

And just as economic face-lifting may not be easily visible, apotential source of freedom from poverty for its people comes via a Department of Agriculture and local counterpart funding for the purchase of a four wheel drive 90 horsepower tractor.

DA recently turned over some P1.2 M funds as national government counterpart for the purchase of the farm mechanization tool.

The financial assistance was provided for the establishment of Tractor Pools in corn cluster areas under a counterpart-funding arrangement with LGUs and farmers’ associations, the DA said.

The objective is to attain optimal yield in corn through the use of improved farm equipment in land preparation.

The program subsidizes 50 % of the cost of procuring a brand-new, 4WD 90-Hp tractor and its accessories (disc plow and trailing harrow), DA, in a press statement said.

DA-7 Regional Executive Director Leo P. Cañeda was quoted as saying “land preparation will now be faster at a lower cost, thereby boosting the cropping intensity.”

 He further expected that the farmer-beneficiaries will “expand their farm area, leading to increased corn production in the province”.

Still in the construction phase is the Rural Health Unit that would soon house the hub of the town’s health and medical care services, municipal engineer Erlinda Dungog shared.

The single storey structure’s first tranche of funds have been implemented and work would soon continue for its eventual completion, she added.

In the drawing boards, the mayor also revealed is an ultimate service the town can give to its people.

The mayor leaked to the Post the town plan to put up a modern public market from a loan it would be putting up soon.

This wont be a problem, said sources from the municipal budget office.

A current DILG memorandum has hinted that towns which have earned the Seal of Good Housekeeping would have easy access to government loans and grants, them having shown convincing proof of public disclosure.

Over this, Mayor Allen Ray Z. Piezas expressed hopes that the supports they have put up translates into better opportunities for its people by helping them achieve food sufficiency and economic growth in the immediate future. (30)

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Clarin nails the country’s seal
Of transparent governance
By: Rey Anthony H. Chiu

CLARIN, Bohol, September 26 (PIA) -- Clarin stakes its claim of prominence in transparent governance among Bohol’s 47 towns and a city by earning the prestigious Seal of Good House Keeping.

The award, only conferred to Local Government Units (LGU) which have satisfactorily disclosed its fiscal management and operations publicly while following all the requirements of the country’s audit procedures.

The award, granted by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) also enlists the town into the hall of prestige occupied now by LGUs that can claim as among the country’s best governed.

Considered now as a champion in financial accountability and transparency, Clarin has passed with high marks, a stringent test in accountable governance as conducted by the DILG.

Clarin shares the limelight with seven other towns here which received the same award of prestige in rites this week.

Mayor Allen Ray Z. Piezas said the award is a manifestation that Clarin, a relatively young town, can still show that it can lead the way for older towns to follow.

This is an honor for all the people of Clarin because getting the award is just incidental to the quality of service the people deserve from its leaders, Mayor Piezas stressed.

Winning with Clarin for the seal are Panglao, Dauis, Loboc, San Miguel, Carlos P. Garcia, Jagna and Ubay.

Earlier round awardees include Catigban, Balilihan and Mariboojoc.

The “good housekeeping seal” is given to LGUs that have excelled in the areas of planning, budgeting, revenue mobilization, financial management and budget execution, procurement and resource mobilization, says DILG Bohol chief Louella Lucino last week.

Also, the award goes to towns which have had no adverse report for the country’s cash keepers: the Commission on Audit, meaning that the town complies with the requirements of a truly transparent operation especially on its fiscal management, adds Jeffrey Bernasor during a forum at the Philippine Information Agency.

The award also carries with it a cash incentive of P1M from the government’s Performance Challenge Fund.

The Congress has allotted some P500 million to form as the incentive cash stash to be granted to towns which have satisfactorily shown excellence in the delivery of public and social services to its constituents.

The incentive, on the other hand, would be released to selected local government units (LGU) as soon as the winning LGU could show that it has also allocated a similar amount of P1M for specific priorities that help achieve the Millennium Development Goals as drawn by the United Nations.

Winning LGUS in other words, should be able to pick out items in its annual investment plans that support national development priorities that help bring down poverty, spur economic development, and help conserve the environment through programs in ecological solid waste management or disaster risk reduction. (30) 

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Tourism development menu
In Clarin spread for PPP
By: Rey Anthony H. Chiu

CLARIN, Bohol, Sept 25 (PIA) -- With arms outstretched to receive the baton, Clarin comes abreast with fast-paced tourism development activities in Bohol, this time with arms full of potential sites the town is putting up for public and private partnerships.

The dropdown menu comes with banner raw attractions that range from upland natural beauty, lowland cultural and heritage activities, coastal environment immersions and unique underwater experiences that would definitely beckon the local as well as foreign tourist, boasts town planning officer Pedrito Tupas.

Located in the northwest of Bohol, Clarin is 61 kilometers from Tagbilaran City or an hour and 15 minutes away from the nearest airport in Bohol, 10 minutes away from the commercial port in Tubigon and less than an hour from Cebu tourist hub, by fastcraft.

According to the planning coordinator, Clarin has seven coastal and 17 upland and lowland barangays and is been blessed with a bounty of natural attractions ranging from soaring heights, pristine waterfalls, clear springs, unmolested caves open for controlled spelunking activities, three uninhabited islets perfect for theme parks and island resort development, fish holes attractive to scuba diving enthusiasts, a highly rated marine protected area listed in the global network of marine parks and a wide ground of aquarium fish industry.

Already identified potential sites fro tourism enterprise development are Clarin Heights, Binaliw Falls, Tangub Spring, Bogtongbod Cave, Majigpit islet and marine sanctuary, Mangrove Boardwalks, coastal community life tours and village immersions, island hopping and water sports activities.

CLARIN HEIGHTS and ALIMONO HEIGHTS

Ideal for sightseeing and sunset viewing, Clarin Heights rise at some 300 meters above the town lowlands and should provide the weary and the meditative tourist the perfect and breathtaking viewpoint to shift into the mood for slowing down and relaxing while nourishing himself with the splendid view of the vast lowlands specked with ricefields, the blue expanse of Bohol Strait and the distant Cebu.

Potential developments include a view-deck which also offers light to specialty Bohol themed food and sweets, souvenir shops, health and wellness centers including massage clinics, acoustic folk music sessions, theatrical performances, lodging accommodations and homestays.

BINALIW FALLS

Splurge into an entirely different environment that transports one from a briskly bustling city life to a cool and relaxing experience of thick, lush forests, gorgeous limestone gorges, interesting rock formations, age-old trees with hanging roots while one treks and gets into a stress melting walks to the walls while being serenaded by innocent and curious birds.

Binaliw falls is a cataract of 10 meters located in Barangay Cantoyoc.

Accessible by basic transportation after a brief trekking, the vicinity of the falls will definitely excite the adventure seeker, while experiencing the beauty of nature is a premium. 

The hypnotic roar for the falls is enough to lull one into a resting mode, one that would be enhanced with the entry of community based activities like the traditional hilot using herbal and folk medicines, dipping pools development, nature park conversion including offering group tours facilitated by community guides and souvenir shops specializing in fashion accessories and home accents.   

Located just a little more than a kilometer away from the barangay proper, 5 kms away from Clarin Wharf, and 14 kms from Tubigon Wharf, Binaliw Falls is the place to go for people who want a dash of adventure while experiencing the beauty of nature.

TANGUB SPRING
Tangub Spring is located at the foot of Clarin Heights. 

It has sustained the local agriculture industry since time immemorial as it waters wide areas of the surrounding ricefields.

There, one could marvel at the strong current of water at the spring’s source inside Tangub Cave.

It is also known to be home to a tribe of macaque monkeys.

Tangub Spring is the right place to relax and unwind while bathing in the cool, fresh waters of the natural pool near the Cave opening.

Tangub Spring is accessible to all means of land transportation, however, it would take a few meters stroll before reaching the spring proper.

Possible development would include picnic grounds development, pools and rest rooms, native themed hut developments for overnight or longer stays.

BOGTONGBOD CAVE

Peek into the twilight t pitch-black world of caves at a fairly moderate cave experience at the Bogtongbod Cave.

Pregnant with folk tales and lores of the mystical world of the other kind, the cave here is the perfect portals for folk and cultural interactions with the community leading storytelling sessions, poetry and artistic renditions of folk songs, verses, literary arts, folk medicine, folk rituals, and scientific educational tours guided by locals.

Bogtongbod still offers an array of marvelous beauty of the subterranean world with its  stalactites, stalagmites, columns, draperies, flowstones, candle formations, eerie and grotesque formations as well as the mystical 6 natural pools.

MAJIGPIT ISLET AND FISH SANCTUARY

Located within the outer ends of the Danajon Double Barrier Reef, Majigpit is better known as the “Islet of Gentle Touch,” for its abundance of sea urchins.

This uninhabited islet is one of the three isles drifting sand bars and shallow reefs as seen from the Clarin wharf.

The islet offers a wide variety of soft and hard corals, sea grasses, tide flats and a huge variety of tropical fish population.

Already listed in the international global network of marine protected areas, Majigpit Islet is accessible by boat, 10 minutes from the town wharf and is best visited in the early morning when schools of fish are just as visible from an above the surface observer.

The islet also has a wonder hole, a deep fish hole that is inhabited by a variety of tropical reef dwellers, fishes and other marine creatures that choose to stay in the hole which becomes a an aquamarine lake separated by the sea during low tides.

Tourism development potential includes anchor stations for island hopping, boat rentals fro group educational tours, snorkel, skin dive, scuba dives

CLARIN MANGROVE BOARDWALK

The Boardwalk is just a few meters from the Clarin Town Hall.

The boardwalk allows easy tourist access to the mangrove environment, of which the town has a considerable cover.

Said to be the biggest sea creature banks offering the perfect environment for spawning, juvenile fish sanctuary and the haven for the famed seashells, this mangrove environment still carries a wide variety of 26 species of true mangroves common in the island. Learning venue for marine environment students, the boardwalk allows one to get as close to bakauans, bantiguis, tangals, malatangals, pototans, culasis, piapi, api-api, pagatpat, tabigi and still an interesting three dimensional experience of walking amidst a chest of herbal solutions for body ailments from the mangroves.

The core of the forest where the boardwalk goes showcases century-old mangrove species in the inner portion of the mangrove forest.

Clarin Mangrove Boardwalk is managed by the Bohol Island State University, Clarin. 

Future development plans include a Recreational Fishing Area, Restaurant, Function Rooms, kayaking, snorkeling and diving tours to Majigpit Islet and Fish Sanctuary.

TANGARAN SHELL GARDEN

Following a shell seeding by a government agency assistance to the Tangaran community in the late 90’s, the shell garden is a good venue for snorkel, scuba and skin divers to get as close to a shell garden that nurtures a wide variety of local and endemic shell fish including bug-atan, wasawasay, punaw, litub, saang, bongkaliw, talipsay, punaw, tagnipis and still several home cooking soup favorites.

Tours from Tangaran landing using community guides, group and individual tours, home stays, overnight lodging accommodations, community immersions, sin, scuba, snorkel equipment rentals and cuisine immersions are probable ventures. (30) 

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