Sunday, January 8, 2012

36 towns now earn DILG
Housekeeping seal stamp
Rey Anthony Chiu

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, Jan 6 (PIA) – If the recent local government performance results were any indicator, then governance in Bohol must be excellently run with 27 new towns now showing off their seals of good housekeeping (SGH).

By this, these new 27 towns qualify to get grants from the Millennium Challenge Fund for additional resource in their efforts to beat the United Nation’s established millennium development goals.

The overseer of all local government operations in the country; the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) awards the seal to local government units which have satisfactorily shown exemplary transparency and accountability, participation and performance innovation into institutionalized status for better service to their constituents and the country in general.

LGUs with exemplary performance in good governance and internal housekeeping which can be gleaned from good planning, sound fiscal management, values transparency and accountability and a good performance monitoring, are awarded the seal, says DILG Bohol SGH focal person Maria Reina Quilas.

All LGUS are subjected to the test of good housekeeping, DILG in its website said.

But for LGUS to earn the seal and qualify for the grant, they must comply with the SGH criteria in key governance performance areas in planning, budgeting, revenue and resource mobilization, fiscal management and budget execution and procurement.

Passing the threshold for these criteria in the third round of evaluations are Tagbilaran City, Alburquerque, Antequera, Baclayon, Bien Unido, Bilar, Buenavista, Calape, Catigbian.

Corella, Danao, Dimiao, Garcia-Hernandez, Getafe, Guindulman, Inabanga, Lila, Loon, Sagbayan, San Isidro, Sevilla, Sikatuna, Talibon, Trinidad, Tubigon and Valencia.  

Earlier, the towns of Maribojoc, Catigbian and Balilihan received the awards during the first round of evaluations.

Then, Loboc, Panglao, Dauis, Clarin, Pres. Carlos P. Garcia, San Miguel, Jagna and Ubay snagged the awards during the second round of local government performance management system assessments.

This ten makes 36 towns and city in Bohol with the seal, 11 more towns of Bohol’s 47 hoping to get the stamp as soon.

The third round of evaluations had also the DILG formally stamping to Bohol Province the Seal of Good Housekeeping, one of the very few provincial governments brandishing the citation, says Governor Edgar Chatto last week. (30)


Garbage not really a problem?
LGUS “not really serious”
With waste management
Rey Anthony Chiu

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol Jan 6, (PIA) – While many people consider garbage disposal a serious problem, several local government units seeming do not see it like they do.

Take this: no LGU in Bohol could sufficiently say they have complied with the provisions of the Ecological Solid Waste Management Law, admits Bohol Governor Edgar Chatto.

But, instead of sweeping the problem under the mat, Chatto urged LGUs to keep up in coming with creative solutions to the problem or Bohol governments may be sued administratively for failure to comply.

During the recent Ecological Solid Waste Management Technical Working Group meeting at the Crab House in Mansasa, members of the provincial monitoring and evaluation team packed shovelful of comments that detail the apparent lack of concern from some local government units on trash.

For starters, despite a law which has banned the operation of open garbage dumpsites for solid wastes with the option to switch to controlled dumps since 2004, not a sanitary landfill facility has been constructed here, reveal environment sources at the local Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). 

If according to Republic Act 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Program, even the controlled dumps, which have been allowed until 2006 or five years after the law took effect in 2001, should have been closed for sanitary landfills this time.

Cognizant of the limiting resources needed for the determination, construction and operation of the sanitary landfill facility, Bohol Governor Edgar Chatto said it is high time that local governments explore creative ways to finally bury the trash problem this year.

A study by the National Solid Waste Commission Secretariat estimated that each person produces an average per capita of .5 kilos of garbage every day.

With 1.2 million people here, that would mean Bohol produces a daily garbage average of 60 metric tons a day or 180 metric tons a month.

With no clear garbage disposal and treatment facility, it could be safe to assume that these trash will soon get into our river systems, clog our canals and cause irreparable damage to the tourism industry here, says a member of the Bohol Tourism Council who shared on the condition of anonymity.

While the cited law mandates the creation of ESWM Municipal Boards, Bohol Environment Management Office’s Maria Socorro Trinidad said they found out in their evaluation that most of these boards do not even meet or could not present minutes of their meetings. 

In her report to the council members, Trinidad said “only 15 LGUS have legitimized 10-year Integrated ESWM Plans which are adopted by Municipal Development Councils and Sangguniang Bayans”. 

She identified these towns as Alburquerque, Baclayon, Balilihan, Corella, Cortes, Dauis, Loon, Maribojoc, Sikatuna, Tagbilaran City and Tubigon.

As to ordinances, she said “Very few ordinances are aligned with the 10-year Integrated ESWM plan of the LGU” and as monitoring and evaluation team member, she adds, “very few LGUs have deputized EWM enforcers”.

Thirteen first district towns, six second and eight their district towns have adopted their ordinances to the ESWM plan.

Only the towns of Corella, Cortes, loon, Maribojoc and Tubigon in District 1 and Duero, Jagna and Loboc in the third district have trained ESWM enforcers, most of them, not vene deputized by the towns, said BEMO’s reports. (30)

Thrashing OLIDI MOA slams 
door for Bohol opportunities 
By: Rey Anthony Chiu

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, Jan 6, (PIA) –Unluckily, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) recommendation for Bohol Governor Edgar Chatto to rescind the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for leisure island development offshore Panglao means suspending golden opportunities for the province.

Bohol businessman and one of Oasis Leisure Islands Development Inc. (OLIDI) proponents said this as he added the joint-venture MOA signed by then Governor Erico Aumentado and OLIDI is still in effect until the governor acts on the recommendation.

The MOA in question is that which allows Bohol and OLIDI to conduct scientific studies in relation to the proposed prime properties through offshore islands development over the otherwise less productive tide-flats of Doljo and Danao in Panglao, says Norris Oculam.

“We have brought our team of people to assess the area and came up with the proposal,” he said.

The proposal, “is to create extra prime real estate areas where huge local and international investors intending to build in Panglao can have them, and be spared from the hassles of consolidating declared small properties in mainland Panglao,” he explained.

Not a few prospective investors intending to put up properties in Pangalo have returned empty handed, Oculam, who was past president of the Bohol Chamber of Commerce and Industry shared.

“A huge investor in Panglao would need at least some 200 meters of beachfront and some five hectares of lots for their facilities, one which is nearly impossible to get now,” Oculam, who used to be former Governor Erico Aumentado’s economic consultant, said. 

“In the absence of such a consolidated piece of property, we looked at creating artificial offshore properties, one with the least impact to the environment,” he said.

He said OLIDI has initially sought the help of a team of technical people who surveyed possible areas and found the shallow tide-flats as potential for less impact to the otherwise productive and largely bio-diverse seas off Panglao.

“These tide-flats are so shallow water temperature is high, fish do not spawn here, he said.

According to him, their experts see occasional sea grasses, “which support marine life and so we skirt away from them, planning for a series of islets away from these areas, compared to putting up a contiguous property.”

It’s like starting the development right, and then imposing applicable laws to make sure environment is less impacted in line with Bohol keeping its International Standards on Environment Management by the ISO.

These islets would have better master plans anticipating solid and liquid waste management, power generation and water services utilities, sewers and road networks in its planned island theme parks, retirement homes and major high end strips, said Oculam.    

The plan has OLIDI getting into a series of barangay public hearings last year, and the results are more than we expected, he said.

People from Doljo and Danao have seen the potential for better life with the development plan, adding that even a hotcake baker is optimistic the coming of more hotel staff means more sales and better food for her family.

“I have six daughters, I do not expect them to go out and fish,” a fisherman from Doljo once said. “Getting them service jobs in those planned resorts by OLIDI would keep them near us when we grow old instead of going abroad,” 

“If [Governor Chatto] however cancels the MOA, these dreams would be nipped in the bud,” says Oculam, by added “we are not giving up easily for these small people.

“With the prospect, we have already talked with our lawyers for our next steps,” he assures those people who dreamed of good life.

Already unanimously approved by the past SP under then Vice Governor Julius Caesar Herrera, the joint-venture MOA was referred back for further studies to the Bohol legislative body, months after Gov. Edgar Chatto took the helms, Oculam said during the recent Kapihan sa PIA Thursday.

At the forum aired live over DyTR, Oculam feigned surprise how most senior members of the board who green-lighted the agreement they reviewed, suddenly reversed their stands.

The subject MOA, Oculam said contains the express permit for the parties to initiate scientific studies to finally take on the feasibility of the proposal to put up comprehensively planned artificial islets.

We want the scientific study to start, not because we want to be proven right, but because we will need the study to convince our investors that we are doing right, he said.

And like the MOA stipulation, if the study shows the resource use is not judicious, we would immediately withdraw the plan, Oculam pressed. (30)  

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