Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Bohol gives PNoy +65 
net satisfaction rating 
Rey Anthony Chiu 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, April 28, 2012, (PIA) –President Benigno Simeon Aquino III garnered +65% net satisfaction rating for his performance as president in the latest round of survey conducted by Holy Name University Research Center. 

At the same survey which was conducted last March 31 to April 19, Boholanos also showed high awareness of him, being president. 

The survey, which is officially known as the Bohol Poll used 400 respondents, picked scientifically from each of the province’s political district on 100 voters each while Tagbilaran City had another 100 respondents. 

At the same survey, 71% of the respondents were satisfied of Pnoy’s performance, only 12% of the Boholanos said they were dissatisfied by Aquino’s performance, giving the president the net satisfaction rating. 

Across districts, Aquino garnered the least satisfaction rating in Bohol’s District 1 comprising the towns close to Tagbilaran. 

The respondents, who could be from the towns of Alburquerque, Antequera, Baclayon, Balilihan, Calape, Catigbian, Corella, Cortes, Dauis, Loon, Maribojoc, Panglao, Sikatuna, Tubigon and Tagbilaran City gave Aquiino a +46% satisfaction rating. 

This however is lower compared to +72 for the voters who could come from towns of Clarin, Inabanga, Buenavista, Getafe, Talibon, Trinidad, San Miguel, Dagohoy, Danao, Sagbayan, Bien Unido, President Garcia and Ubay. 

Highest presidential net satisfaction rating comes from respondents of Bohol’s Third District: Loay, Loboc, Bilar, Batuan, Carmen, Sierra Bullones, Pilar, Alicia, Mabini, Candijay, Guindulman, Anda, Duero, Jagna, Garcia Hernandez, Valencia, Lila and Sevilla. 

On the other hand, Vice President Jejomar Binay pegged an 80% performance satisfaction rating, an overwhelming 96% of the respondents aware that he is the country’s Vice President. 

Only 10% of the respondents representative of Bohol’s 1.2 million people said they were dissatisfied with Binay, which results to a +71% net satisfaction rating. (30)

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PPOC shelves PTCFOR suspension 
proposal, wants study of measure 
Rey Anthony Chiu 

LILA, Bohol, April 24, 2012 (PIA) – The Provincial Peace and Order Council shelved a proposed measure to suspend legitimate permit to carry fire-arms passes this May even as police note a recurring spike in crimes during the fiesta month. 

During an out-of-town meeting in Lila, in time for the 10th Health, Education, Agriculture, Tourism services Caravan, April 24, Camp Dagohoy authorities led by Police Senior Superintendent Constantino Barot asked the council to pass a resolution seeking to suspend the Permit to Carry Fire-arms Outside Residence (PTCFOR) in Bohol issued by the Philippine National Police for the month of May. 

Other than those civilians who have clear and verified threats against themselves and businessmen who carries with them large amounts of money, the chief PNP also grants some civilians PTCFOR in deputation and enforcement tasks, according to Camp Dagohoy sources. 

Aside from the fact that May marks a noted spike in crimes as observed annually, the police provincial director said Camp Dogohoy’s request is also based on the fact that Tigum Bol-anon sa Tibuok Kalibutan (TBTK) convenes in Tagbilaran in mid-May. 

Lila Peace and Order Council Chair, Atty. Jed Piollo, on the other hand the measure puts in unnecessary risk civilians who have been granted PTCFOR as the chief of the Philippine National Police deems as important. 

Speaking before a jam-packed St. Dominic Hall at the Lila convent, Atty. Piollo asked police if there is enough data to support the conclusion that crimes perpetrated using fire-arms are indeed high, and that those were committed by persons with legitimately issued permits to carry fire-arms. 

But while Councilor Piollo believe the intention of the proposed measure in honorable, he fears that passing such would put in unnecessary risk the lives of people who sought the permit to significantly protect themselves. 

He also stressed that civilians with PTCFOR are law abiding citizens and have strategically evened the situation of crimes in favor of the police who are clearly out-numbered and out-smarted by wily criminals. 

The glib-talking town legislator pointed out that persons with permits to carry fire-arms outside residence have helped deter criminalities. 

Meanwhile, Land Transportation Office assistant registrar Aloy Balazuela aired concern over the measure in as much as the LTO, who are always on the road expose themselves to danger everyday. 

The only way we can neutralize transportation law offenders and protect our-selves from the real threat of being made targets by drivers and operators with ill motives is the permit to carry fire-arms. 

On the other hand, Board Member Godofreda Tirol aired concerns about the effectivity of a resolution against an expressed permit issued by the Chief PNP. 

Citing legal implications of a resolution attempting to contravene a permit issued by a national office, Tirol asked, what would happen if permittes do not heed the PPOC measure? 

Provincial Prosecutor Macario Delusa also shared BM Tirol’s opinion and proposed more studies on the matter. 

Amid the deadlock, the PPOC instead moved to refer the measure to the PPOC special committee for further studies and then share the finding to the PPOC for appropriate action. (30)

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DOH ok’s sanitation of 
Trinidad potable water 
Rey Anthony Chiu 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, April 24, 2012 (PIA) – Potable water gushed from the taps in three barangays here last April 11 as Trinidad town moves closer to attaining its goal of lessening the number of communities without access to potable water. 

The Department of Health (DOH) gave the pink slip for the cleanliness and sanitation of water in barangays Guinobatan, Bongbong and Hinlayagan Norte, where the government implemented the initial three water systems in Trinidad’s 16 waterless barangays. 

Trinidad mayor Roberto “Ondoy” Cajes facilitated the implementation of the President’s Priority Program on Water (P3W) for his town, knowing that access to potable water eliminates water-borne diseases, provides more productivity to families as well as increases the general health conditions of his populace. 

Implemented by the Department of Interior and Local Government, the P3W banners Sagana at Ligtas na Tubog Para sa Lahat as a presidential priority. 

Trinidad, a town almost a hundred kilometers from Bohol’s capital city has had problem of opening up people’s access to potable water. 

With the coming of the project, local officials led by Mayor Cajes, along with the DILG,, Department of Health (DOH), and the National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC), identified 16 barangays of the town to be the beneficiaries of the project. 

These barangays are Poblacion, San Vicente, Kinan-oan, Hinlayagan Ilaya, Sto. Tomas, Guinobatan, Tagum Norte, Tagum Sur, La Victoria, Catoogan, Soom, San Isidro, Banlasan, Bong-bong, Mabuhay Cabiguhan and barangay Kauswagan. 

DOH authorities tested the water which gushed from the taps in the three initial barangays and handed the people the go-signal to already gather their drinking water from the barangay tapstands. 

Still up for implementation in neighboring barangays, the P3W is expected to benefit residents of 134 more barangays of the town. 

For the inclusion into the Program, Mayor Cajes, who was aligned with the President’s Party during the past election said he is elated with the program and promised to find more ways to make Trinidad residents lives much better. (30)

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DENR puts up streets for adoption 
Rey Anthony Chiu 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, April 24, 2012 (PIA) – In the urgency of cleaning up the environment and lessen the impacts of climate change, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) lays a mechanism that hopes to get people engaged and ensure that garbage in the streets do not flow to the sea. 

By this, the environment agency, through Provincial Environment and Natural resources Officer (PENRO) Nestor Canda urges well-meaning Boholano groups to adopt streets and main thoroughfares as their owned responsibility. 

Garbage in the streets, when these are not properly disposed often get to sewers and could clog drainage system, or flow to the sea where it gets snags in sea grasses or coral reefs and kill them. Sometimes, large fish mistake plastics as jellyfish, when they eat them, they die, explains Canda during the recent Bohol Coastal resource Management Task Force (BCRMTF) meeting. 

Seemingly feeling the insignificance of its “high impact pro-environment programs” as against the fast destruction man deals on the earth, PENRO Nestor Canda revealed that the DENR is on a partnership mode with any group willing to do their share of making the earth safe to live. 

We are expanding our coverage, Canda announced. 

The DENR has also been engaging the participation of the private sector and socio-civic groups in its Adopt a mountain, Adopt a River, Adopt an Island, Adopt a Forest and similar activities that enjoin groups to take part in rehabilitating, preserving and conserving the environment. 

Recently, Canda revealed that the environment department pushee for the opening up of major thoroughfares for adoption. 

“We know that garbage on the street sooner or later gets to the sea. By adopting streets, well meaning citizens can help in regular clean up activities and plan out measures on how to keep the area clean, free from illegal activities and even help authorities enforce laws. 

By a memorandum of agreement signed between parties, a group that adopts the thoroughfare plans out regular activities like clean-ups, puts up proper receptacles, plants and beautifies areas or puts up signages that enhance the beauty of the place. 

More-over, Canda said adoptors can even put up closed-circuit televisions to help police authorities monitor traffic, gather data for analysis during traffic accidents, traffic violations and illegal activities happening in the adopted street. (30)

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Shark slaughter photo in 
Balicasag earns criticism 
Rey Anthony Chiu 

TAGBILARAN CITY, April 28, 2012 (PIA) –A stirring photograph of fishermen hauling off a thresher shark into a boat near Balicasag found its way to a social network and splattered enough criticisms for Bohol, a day before the province launches a new eco-tourism campaign slogan. 

The photo has been featured in a national television while it has had 39 shares and has generated 80 comments since it was posted last Wednesday. 

A female marine researcher from the Thresher Shark Research and Conservation Project (TSRCP), who has been tracking thresher sharks in the Visayan seas and Tonon strait took the stunning shot, but not after being scolded by the fishermen for her taking pictures. 

A kind of shark named for its easily recognized and exceptionally long, thresher-like caudal fins of tail, thresher sharks are active predators and its tail is actually used as a weapon to stun prey, according to marine biologist sources. 

Although the Philippines does not ban fishing most of the sharks, according to marine biologist Dr. Alessandro Ponzo, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) name the thresher sharks as vulnerable to extinction across the world’s tropical seas. 

Thresher sharks have been thought to be almost extinct in the Visayan seas and the Tanon Strait, Malapascua Island based TSRCP said. 

The sharks are prized for their high quality meat which is used fresh, frozen, smoked and dried-salted. 

The shark fins, which at times can be more than half its body length, are prized for shark-fin soup, the livers for vitamin extraction and their hides in the production of leather goods makes the animal one of the most over-fished sharks. 

According to TSRCP, a shark that fetches some 150 kg of meat also gives around 1000 kg dried fins, and citing another research, added that 80% of the shark populations have been lost to fishing pressure in the last decade and a half. 

TSRCP has also pushed for the protection of the species for ecological balance and tourism purposes in Malapascua following revenues raised at about 6,000,000 per annum for one daily observation of a live thresher shark by an average of 3 SCUBA divers visiting Malapascua Island. 

But, in her Bohol experience, TSRCP female researcher Aisah Velasco was all too saddened seeing the slaughter. 

In her blog, Velasco wrote: "I've been missing you so badly since the last day I left malapascua island. I never expected in my entire life to see you in balicasag island being killed by the fishermen. 

“Today is my saddest day in the ocean. I felt stabbed as you were stabbed to death with tears in my eyes falling. If only could tell them to stop and buy you so that they can set you free, I was just to late, I was trembling to see you up close wounded and struggling for your life. No words can ever describe[d] my frustrations,” she wrote. 

Rubbing salt to her pain, Velasco was shocked to hear from mooring fee collectors, who were supposed to be protectors of Balicasag Island ask for a share in the shark. 

Velasco said the incident happened just some few meters from Rico’s Wall Dive Point, located southwest of the island. 

Velasco’s facebook wall’s image generated enough stir that user Medel Silvosa added she thinks Balicasag is an established Marine Protected Area (MPA) 

World Wildlife Fund Chief Executive Officer and respected book author about the Philippine environment Ma. Lorenzo Tan, who commented on the Velasco post said “Bohol shoots itself in the foot” with what happened. 

He also said “some Boholanos continue to hunt and kill large marine animals. They wiped out manta birostris, then went after manta mobula. They wiped out most of the whale sharks after wiping most of the brydes whales.” 

“There used to be a phenomenal dive site just off Cabilao, featuring hundreds of hammerheads. That was wiped out too. And local leaders are not ready to stop it,” he added. 

Another social network user Edwin San Nicolas, seeing the picture suggested somebody in authority has to find him and his companions and be penalized. 

Kalle Epp also shared that a local fisherman in Moalboal speared a thresher and was arrested to spend some time in the town jail. 

After that, everybody got the message and the sharks were left alone, he claimed. 

Only drastic measures, combined with ducation can have an impact, everything else will be ignored, Epp said. 

Joining the discussion, Arvin Avergonzado claimed he has friends in Balicasag who are born poor and raised in the sea all their lives. He said fishing is their means of survival, and it provides food for their families. 

He urged everyone instead for everyone to help in raising awareness about the importance of sharks in the ecosystem and the tasks of local government units. 

“These people most probably do not know the harm that they’re doing,” Bloggie Robillo stated. 

“There should be more focus on educational campaigns aimed at local fishing communities. As much resources are being poured into thresher shark research, so there should be resources made available to marine environment awareness and educational campaigns,” Robillo suggested. (30)

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Ocean month opens with 
Sikad para sa Kadagatan 
Rey Anthony Chiu 

TAGBILARAN CITY, April 22, 2012 (PIA) –A show of bike force following three simultaneous dialogs between legal experts and police environment officers break off the opening of the Month of the Ocean here May 2. 

Bohol Coastal Resource Management Task Force (BCRMTF) leads the opening blast with Pulis, Katawhan, Sikad alang sa Kadagatan, a bike information caravan that starts off in three points: Panglao, Loon and Lila towns. 

Event organizers said the bikers would be logging a minimum of 30 kilometers each pack which would bring the task Force’s information campaign caravan to almost a hundred kilometers of Bohol coastlines in a matter of two hours. 

BCRMTF admits a more aggressive information education caravan is direly needed to increase protection and conservation of the ocean. 

The kick off event could help increase awareness at least in coastal communities near Tagbilaran, where population and garbage impacts to the sea have been quite alarming, organizers said. 

Adela Salutan, Coastal resource management Coordinator for Capitol’s Bohol Environment Management Office (BEMO) said the activity should remind us that many of our people live with the seas, we ought to have more sustainable management activities in these areas. 

Speaking at the Kapihan Sa Pia Thursday, Salutan pointed out that May in Bohol means fiesta month, more people and more garbage. 

It is safe to assume that bisita equals basura, and keeping the garbage from our seas means seas more alive, she said. 

This year, the celebration adopts BuhayDagat, Buhay Natin (Living Seas, Our Life) tells us of the chain of effects caused by garbage in the sea, adds Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ Juliet Paler. 

An activity to be joined by an estimated 250 police bikers, BCRMTF also said they expect more to join as invitations were invitations sent for Bohol bike groups, the youth sector, barangay officials and well meaning citizens, Camp Dagohoy Bohol Police Community Relations (PCR) Ronnie Conarco and BCRMTF member said. 

Bike rides, mobile audio vans broadcasting messages, more multi-sectoral group gatherings for the coastal resource conservation and tarpaulins on Ocean month would be displayed all throughout the month, said Paler. 

Our police officers, being one of those directly involved in law enforcement on environment laws are just taking the lead as a gesture of support to the Ocean and in furtherance of the Pulis Makakalikasan program of Chief PNP General Nicanor Bartolome, Conarco added. 

Now a regular annual nationwide activity, Month of the Ocean was institutionalized by former President Joseph Estrada through a Presidential proclamation in 1999, according to Paler. 

Other than the bike activity, the kick off also features dialogs between police environment officers and environment legal experts who will attempt to discuss solutions too police enforcement problems regarding environment and coastal resources, Salutan said. 

In the month also are various activities including provincewide coastal clean ups, magrove planting, marine Protected Areas Convention (30), information caravans, bike activities and a Dolphin festival to cap the monthly celebration. (30)

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Crime volume up, but data 
Says cops more pro-active 
Rey Anthony Chiu 

TAGBILARAN CITY, April 27, 2012 (PIA) –Crime volume in Bohol continues to rise at 8.5% average in the last two months, but police authorities said there is little to be alarmed of. 

Camp Dagohoy, Bohol police headquarters noted 246 crimes in January, which rose by 11% in February when police statisticians noted 272 crimes. 

By March, police noted another 6% increase in crime volume, bringing up the total crimes as entered in local police blotters to 286. 

However, Police Provincial Director Constantino Barot downplays the increase, hinting “all is not what it seems”. 

During the recent Provincial Peace and Order Council Meeting, in time for the HEAT caravan in Lila, Bohol, Police Senior Superintendent Barot pointed out that the crime volume increase also tugged with it a corresponding boost in non-index crime tally. 

“We noted an increase in crime volume, but there is, along with it a rising trend in non index crimes, which shows that your police are not just sitting down amidst the rise in crimes, the police chief assured. 

On the other hand, a known economist and Capitol consultant from the University of the Philippines pointed out hat total crime volume may not be seen as the sum of index and non index crimes. 

Bohol Capitol consultant and UP economist professor Ernesto Pernia, picked out the possible data flaw which has been used in all police criminality presentations nationwide. 

“I think it is better not to combine the two,” Pernia said. 

“These two entries,” meaning the index and non index crimes, “are non additive, we have to separate them to have more informative data which is not misleading.” 

Speaking before the jam-packed St. Dominic Hall of the Lila Parish Center, Bohol police director Barot explains, “a score against non-index crimes mean these are police initiated campaigns against crimes, putting police elements aggressively fighting crimes.” 

This further means that while Bohol pegged a total crime volume of 286 in March, 83 of the cases were police initiated operations. 

Apparently concerned, PPOC Chairman and Bohol Governor Edgar Chatto, also told PPOC members, “increase in crime volume is always viewed negatively.” 

But, picking up Barot’s line, the governor said “while there has been noted increase in crime volume, there was actually a decrease in index and increase in the non-index crimes. 

“The increase in the non index is a positive indication meaning the police are working,” he said. 

“It would appear that although March has higher crime volume, it was the operations of the police that put up such increase,” according to Chatto. 

Sensing the logic behind the Pernia observation, Chatto, who also sits as Regional Peace and Order Council Central Visayas Chair vowed to introduce that modification to the regional peace council. (30)

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