Monday, March 12, 2012

Physalus urges lawmakers to 
Craft marine interaction laws 
Rey Anthony H. Chiu 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, March 9, 2012 (PIA) – Marine conservationists engaged in the protection and conservation of Bohol’s marine mammals and other ocean dwellers call for the creation of a provincial ordinance governing the operation of tourism related marine activity here. 

At the recent Kapihan sa PIA, an Italian non government organization into the protection and Conservation of large marine vertebrates said that this ordinance would then be the over-all basis for municipal ordinances that will soon regulate the operation and conduct of dolphin, whaleshark, sea turtle, whales and recreational sports activities to assure minimum compliance. 

According to NGO Physalus through its president Dr. Alessandro Ponzo, Baclayon town may have a very good municipal ordinance governing the dolphin and whale watching tours, but it still has to incorporate whale shark interactions, which is probably the future direction for eco-tourism activities in the southern Bohol seas. 

Dr. Ponzo, a marine biologist stressed during the weekly forum aired over DyTR, that Bohol seas, a critical area which is the center of biodiversity for Asia should be a potential rich tourism resource. 

Dr. Ponzo’s group has been doing marine surveys all over Bohol seas to put up the databank which would be helpful in future policy directions for marine and coastal conservation especially in the rich marine seas of Bohol. 

Of the country’s 28 large marine species, 18 have been found in Bohol seas, Dr. Ponzo said highlighting a bio-diversity that may he hard to equal. 

Ponzo’s group confirmed earlier reports that migration paths for whale-sharks take them to the very deep trenches running very close to the shores of Bohol, a reason why dolphins and whales could easily be spotted even from the coastlines. 

While spinner and pan-tropical spotted and bottle-nosed dolphins are known to reign over these waters, the marine survey group which is joined by Silliman University also claim that pilot, melon headed and blue whales including the twice in a row spotted whale sharks have been frequenting these waters too. 

The provincial ordinance would not only set the template but also define the interaction method which Boholanos may see as appropriate, considering local environment code, Dr. Ponzo said. 

This also came following apprehensions that whale-shark interaction, which has earned criticisms from sustainable marine resources groups as in nearby Oslob in Cebu could also be copied here. 

While Physalus is helping Bohol by organizing scientific data for dolphins and whales, the collected information could well help shape public opinion and policies for a more sustainable tourism in Bohol seas. (30)

PPOC forms new TWG for 
CICL rehab facility project 
Rey Anthony H. Chiu 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, March 8, 2012, (PIA) – A noted increase in petty theft cases committed by minors in the last month put the Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC) into overdrive, churning out two pronged actions that would define Bohol’s stand on the juvenile justice law and put up intervention for children in conflict with the law (CICL). 

According to PSSupt. Constantino Barot, the local police criminal statistics show that theft increased from 246 in January to 272 in February. 

What alarmed council members was the 10.5% increase in crimes of petty thievery mostly involved minors, according to Barot. 

At the recent PPOC meeting held in time for the 10th HEAT Caravan in San Miguel town, the police provincial director then moved for the council to create a Technical Working Group (TWG) to study the feasibility of putting up a Provincial Crisis Center for CICL. 

Moreover, many in the council believe that the Juvenile Justice Act of 2006 suffers infirmities in the sense that the law was implemented despite the provision of key facilities that would guide the CICL back to the mainstreams. 

Board member Godofreda Tirol, in her support to the proposal informed the body that CICL in Bohol are put in Cabawan and are “placed behind bars.” 

She said, this defeats the purpose of the law which mandates the putting up of a rehabilitation center for youthful offenders. 

In fact, in several areas, CICL sometimes get to be detained in cells near hardened criminals, further exposing them to unhealthy behavior which may ultimately ruin their futures. 

The absence of a government facility that caters to the rehabilitation of youthful offenders, CICL are sent to an orphanages or detention centers in violation of the law. 

Seeing the propriety of the move, the council then agreed that the TWG be composed of the multi-agencies and sectors including the Department of Social Welfare and Development, the League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP) in Bohol, the Department of Justice, SP Committee on Women and Children, Philippine National Police and other concerned individuals. 

On the other hand, the council also tasks the TWG to look into the newly signed law and possibly weigh its merits against the background of the government’s inability to put up the necessary support facilities for the successful implementation of a youth offender rehabilitation program. 

The TWG then is also expected to report to the council its recommendations in the goal of coming up with a univocal statement for or against the juvenile justice act, a council member said. (30)

Four towns score aces, 
Registers zero crimes 
Rey Anthony H. Chiu 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, March 10, 2012, (PIA) –It could be pro-active community policing for four Bohol town police stations and its showcased tourist police detachments which registered zero crimes in the month of February. 

The towns of Corella, Candijay, President Carlos P. Garcia and Sikatuna score perfect aces in crime volumes while the Tourist Police detachment in Panglao also fared similarly. 

Another fourteen towns in Bohol registered perfect slates in crime solution efficiency ratings, even as some towns police organizations remain saddled with theft and robbery, some of them involving minors. 

Scoring 100% in crime solution efficiency are Tubigon, Sevilla, Maribojoc, Lila, Bilar, (1 crime recorded and solved) San Isidro, Dimiao, Danao (2 crimes recorded and solved) Dauis, Antequera, Anda and Alburquerque (3 crimes recorded and solved), and Sagbayan and Guindulman (5 crimes recorded and solved). 

But even with the record, PSSupt Constantino Barot said continued police visibility and street patrols including checkpoints have to be sustained. 

Just last week, some 62 police officers completed a training on crime scene investigations in a bid to better equip crime fighters to pick out the identity of criminals using clime scene clues. 

Moreover, Barot, along with Governor Edgar Chatto for a continuing legal education for police officers so as to make them efficient in filing cases and getting criminals off the streets. 

Chatto, at his weekly Kita u gang Gobernador bared that the legal education in fact has prosecutors and fiscals as resource persons, a big step in getting into the mindset of the fiscal during criminal prosecution and score on points rather than be shot down on technicalities. 

Tagbilaran City topped the most number of crime cases with 243 cases and solving only 61 cases capping a 25% crime solution efficiency, a chart Barot presented to the Provincial Peace and Order Council Meeting Thursday 

Bohol Police Superintendent Constantino Barot said that in Bohol, theft cases rose a little over 10% compared to the previous month. 

January 2012 recorded 246 crimes as a sum of the consolidated reports from local police blotters compiled by Camp Dagohoy. 

In February, the number rose to 272, according to Barot, adding that the local police have been alarmed as most tyheft cases involve minors. 

Theft comprises 59% of all crime types in a crime distribution pie which Camp Dagohoy presented through Barot. 

After theft, cases of robbery with force upon things or persons tallied 49 cases which comprises 21% of the total crimes in Bohol committed during the month of February. (30)

Evicted, Frony finds new 
“cage” in Laya, Baclayon 
Rey Anthony Chiu 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, March 10, 2012, (PIA) – In case you may be wondering where Frony, the 165 kilo python has wandered, wonder no more. 

From its home in Upper Santa Filomena, Alburquerque Bohol, the lovable snake that has grown to an abnormally large size, has settled in a newer cage along the highway in Laya Baclayon. 

Forced out of Alburquerque due to an operational problem with business permits, Paradise Python, the commercial name for Frony now finds a new home in nearby Baclayon. 

Pythons like Frony belong to the constrictor family which are non-poisonous but deadly when threatened. 

By constrictor, this means that they will practically squeeze the life out of their prey as they tighten up their coil everytime their prey breathes. 

This also means that constrictors only stop constricting until every bone in its prey has been creaked or broken so it can be swallowed whole without sticking in the mouth. 

On the positive side of things, this puts the constricting snake temptingly close to the tourism circuits which pass on tour transport not a hundred meters from the highway. 

This development also augers well for Mayor Alvin Uy. 

In an interview last week, Mayor Uy clarified that they did not offer for the python’s new site. 

Other than Frony, which is the site’s main attraction, the new site in Laya also features Bohol’s endemic wild cats: The Malay civet cat, Philippine mongoose and a soon to be put up flying lemur. 

The site has also a cage for Brahminy Kite, Green Heron, hornbill, crakes and rails and a few orioles. 

Relocated since this week, the place has still to put up its wildlife permits from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. 

The lawyer mayor whose family owns a fleet of passenger buses, said that the python in his town can add up to the come-ons for his town, which has been pegged in the tourism map of Bohol for the centuries-old Baclayon Church and its antique laden museum, the eco-tourism dolphin watching in Pamilacan Island, the heritage homes at the Poblacion, the buggy rides and the unforgettable broas or lady fingers and Aproniana Gift shop which has in itself a tourist destination. 

He also admitted that it was the owner of the country’s largest and longest python in captivity who requested for a business permit after they have arranged for the lot owners of the new site beside Coco Palms Resort in Laya to be Frony’s new home. 

It may be recalled that Alburquerque town mayor Efren Tungol has aired his problem with the operation of the python facility in Upper Sta. Fe, Albur due to the failure of the owners to register its businesses that cater to tourists visiting the python facility. 

Frony owner Eugenio Salibay however accuses the town official of pressuring him to exact political vengeance. (30)

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