Sunday, October 23, 2011

Safer Bohol workplaces
Soon w/ OSH trngs set
Rey Anthony H. Chiu

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, Oct 21, (PIA) – Full, decent and productive employment of Boholano workers gain a foothold as authorities sign a pact that would bring occupational safety and health to workplaces here.

In fact, Governor Edgar Chatto thinks Bohol could fare much better with OSH made a way of life and a major component of industries as he stressed strengthening OSH goals in improving business.

Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Bohol chief Wilson Cenas cited the development a step in the right direction, adding that it is part of DOLE’s flagship called Zero Accidents Program (ZAP).
 
At the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement between newly organized Bohol Occupational Safety and Health Network (Bohol OSH Net) and DOLE Regional Office 7 along with the agency’s OSH Center, DOLE representatives said they saw the beginnings of a safer workplace and its consequent productivity in Bohol work areas.
 
Productivity, one of the key goals in work areas is almost always hampered by occupational accidents which could have been prevented in the first place, had there been an awareness regarding work safety, explains Cenas during a press conference immediately after the MOA signing. 
 
When accidents happen, workers stop activity, seeks management help in managing the treatment and hospital bills and this results sometimes in big company losses, cites Bohol DOLE chief. 
 
The ultimate goal then is to arrive at a zero accidents, he adds.
 
But that does not come served on a silver platter.
 
Bohol has to rouse up interest from sectors involved about the issues and concerns involving OSH, and that is where DOLE and its OSH Center along with a Bohol OSH Net could help. 
 
DOLE OSH Center, the focal agency on OSH is mandated to provide services in research, training, information dissemination and technical services to enterprises and workers and as such, the center conducts training courses to increase consciousness and build capacities of OSH training professionals, states the MOA. 
 
The OSH center has OSH Network partners in its delivery of OSH trainings nationwide, and with DOLE’s Regional Offices, sets up these networks to plan for the conduct of specific trainings. 
 
Meanwhile, these local safety networks partner with DOLE OSH center and its regional offices to assist in OSH training deliveries to generate awareness and interest.   
 
Upon generating the interest of all sectors involved, the knowledge and awareness gained are translated into concrete action through voluntary compliance with OSH through such cooperative approaches as strengthening Safety and Health Committees and creation of Safety Patrols, according to DOLE.


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Bohol opens “Adopt a Road”
For local PPP engagements 
Rey Anthony Chiu

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, Oct 22, (PIA) – Confronted with a daunting task of maintaining local roads more times as long as the national roads in Bohol, Capitol officials present an undertaking to promote public involvement in the management of provincial roads.

Last week, Capitol launched “Adopt a Road Program as a highlight of the Second Provincial Road Summit last Tuesday, October 18.

The Adopt a Road Program is the latest innovation in convergence and participatory governance while advancing convergence in resources; one of Bohol’s newest key areas now eyed for replication nationwide.

With no luxury of funds enough to finance its provincial roads which are mostly arterial access leading to alternate tourist circuits and destinations, Capitol also is cognizant how these roads links these areas to the flow of economic activity tourism and overall development pond brings about here.

With the problem, the Provincial Government led by Gov. Edgar Chatto, taking lessons from Provincial Roads Management Facility (PRMF) and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) believes promoting public involvement and care of local roads through Adopt a Road could be the solution.

PRMF is a five year (2009-2014) institutional reforms and governance program using the road sector as an entry point and is funded by the Australian Aid Program, PPDO said.

PRMF’s primary focus is on institutional reform, governance and capacity development to encourage local economic development and improve access to social services, markets and employment. It specifically targets Provincial Government reforms using gravel road rehabilitation and maintenance as the catalyst for systemic improvement in government services, according to prmf.gov.ph.

The program provides an opportunity for the public and private sectors to play part in realizing the provincial road network vision, explains Atty John Vistal, Bohol Planning and Development Officer.

Also sitting as chairman of the Road Sector Committee, Atty. Vistal bared that the vision is to create sustainable and safe roads managed by capable bureaucracy and empowered citizenry for increased economic and social benefits to Boholanos. 

The program engages and promotes similar engagements of the business and service sectors, civil society groups, local government units, communities and the academe to be part of the road maintenance in varied degrees of involvement, he said.

Here, organizations and groups are encouraged to put in their resources, which may not necessarily be huge funds needed for road repairs buy anything that advances the aim of maintaining 833.77 kilometers of provincial roads.

As to Atty. Vistal, partnership engagements include maintenance and safety work which could be adopted by local communities. The work scopes include manual road maintenance in the form of vegetation control, road cean-up and re-gravelling as well as the easy enforcement of road safety rules and regulations.

Other areas of engagements include information and education where raising public awareness is the primary goal. Ideal engagements are academes which could educate people on road maintenance, road safety and road integrity agenda, he added

Meanwhile, other area of engagement includes monitoring work which is basically into establishing a baseline data, tracking actual road works implementation, progress, factors and conditions affecting road projects and other safety standards, he said.

Key to the project is presenting some 164 road sections of provincial roads which partners can choose from. These road segments and especially those under the PRMF road rehabilitation and maintenance projects are up for adoption, PPDO said. (30)

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Solar lights: PATH’s
way of aiding Ubay  

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, Oct 22, (PIA) –A non Government Organizations into alleviating poverty, improving health and promoting environmentally sustainable development is now into presenting a low cost solar lights to about a hundred households in 6 pilot barangays of Ubay town.

According to Virginia Dupa, Ubay information Officer, some 100 household leader residents of Poblacion, Tapon, Fatima, Union, Sinandigan and Tintinan each received Light Emitting Diode (LED) portable solar lights from Path Foundation.

Path Foundation Philippines envisions to improve health and sustainable development in their identified assisted areas in the region.

According to their website, PATH aims to improve and contribute to environmentally sustainable development, particularly in underserved areas of the country.

This, they do by designing and implementing demonstration and research projects and cross-disciplinary initiatives in population, health and natural resource management in collaboration with local government and private sector partners. 

At the turn-over ceremony held at Ramon Magsaysay Gymnasium, October 19, 2011, Mayor Eutiquio M. Bernales heaped praises for PATH especially with the presence of Dr. Joan Castro, PATH Fdn’s Executive Vice President. 

“As you go home with the your new solar lights, think of the little savings you get from buying kerosene for your gas lamps, think how your children can study and do their home safely , not anymore fearing of accidental fires while elders can pursue their unfinished works during the day like weaving mats. This is extremely a great amount of blessing you receive today,” Mayor Bernales was quoted.

Bohol Governor Edgar Chatto, who was represented in the ceremony by Isabelito Tongco bared that Ubay is one of the five towns in the province who were beneficiaries of the new lighting technology.

According to Dr. Castro, correctly using the solar lights would mean its longer life span.

After a night’s use, hang light outside the window to allow it to recharge and get energy source from the Sun for about 8 hours. This should be enough for another night’s consumption, she said.  

Taking good care of this light will make it last up to 2 to 3 years, she stressed. (reychiu with MPIO)

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Plans mainstreaming Bohol
Creative industry pushed
By: Rey Anthony Chiu 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, Oct 21, (PIA) – Initiatives to advance and mainstream the creative industry agenda take shape as sector representatives gather Friday at the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Conference Hall.  

Leading artists, industry managers and sector “gate keepers” huddled at the DTI with key authorities and its partner School of Design and Arts of the De La Salle – College of Saint Benilde to tackle and discuss the plan of pushing forth the ambitious mainstreaming of creative industries and carving sustainability steps, said DTI’s Ma. Elena Arbon.

At the Focus-Group Discussion, DTI shares the plan to get the creative industry a pace with Bohol’s progressive leaps and bounds in a vision of mainstreamed industry that has since been rarely presented amidst Bohol’s tourism successes.

While doing this, DTI has joined hands with De la Salle – College of Saint Benilde which also came to Bohol with a track record of initiating creative industries in Cebu.

La Salle School of Design and Arts did a project on research mapping of Cebu’s creative industries and worked to set up a council for creative industries while along the way, sought for sector champions and picked them up in an organization that would generally ensure sustainability, Arbon said.

According to sources from College of Saint Benilde, part of the challenges is planning for the development and laying out a defined program that enhances craftsmanship and artistry.

The novel move also came as Bohol has started innovating on its craft designs brought about by the introduction of mixed media in its crafts, introducing new designs and getting expert opinions from industry design trendsetters. (30)

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DATE at half the price
For students, seniors
By: Rey Anthony Chiu

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, Oct 19 (PIA) – For the belief that Bohol should first be enjoyed by Boholanos, Catigbi-an leaders pack a tempting offer to indulge the less initiated into the whole family outdoor adventure package at its new tourism park.

Now dangling half-the-price for students and senior citizens up to prove they have the meat to take on the challenge, Catigbi-an’s Dagook Adventure Tourism Experience (DATE) Park is up for grabs, literally.

From the usual P700 per head on its package of a four in one activity at the park, students and aging citizens only pay P350, reveals Mayor Roberto Salinas during the recent tourism Kapihan sa PIA.

DATE has also been tested wholesome to kids, Mayor Salinas stressed.

Our record youngest kid extreme adventurer is 3 years old, the oldest is 89, he disclosed.
 
As long as one s not on a wheel chair, crossing the bridge would not be a problem, the mayor who is a retired navy captain assured.

Set in a 22 hectare town owned forest park a kilometer away from the highway, DATE features the Dagook Falls, the roaring waters forming the most ambient sound that go with the thrilling memories one retains after surviving the four in one packaged activity.   

After hearing the sound, one must be primed enough for the activity, which includes a Canopy walk, Monkey Bridge, Mountain Slide and river treks.

The Monkey Bridge, the most thrilling offer in the four activities, says town tourism officer Ardissa Estavilla, is a 45 meters cable span that would simply be traversed by the tourist.

The word simply loses its meaning when one attempts to traverse the bridge, however.

Of course, there will be safety harness, it’s a French branded equipment that every tourist is geared, she immediately adds, not really downplaying the 90-120 feet drop if one mistakenly slips from the bridge.

At the forum aired over DyTR, Estavilla explains that the monkeys (Philippine Macaques) that abound in the area inspired the bridge, which is the access to the mountain slide, a baby zipline 200 meters long.

We have joined Bohol in setting up the tourism consciousness thatour younger generations should have to make the industry sustainable for Bohol, Salinas emphasized, when asked why the promo.

According to him, the returns have been fantastic.

He reported that the DATE park has already grossed more than P800 thousand in its four months of operations.

Income from the tourism activity would largely finance the town’s social, medical and sports services, premier priorities Performance Team of the town has identified. (30)

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