Sunday, May 6, 2012

Bohol launches “TF Dolphin,” 
CRAB at Ocean Month opener 
Rey Anthony Chiu 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, May 5, 2012 (PIA) – Governor Edgar Chatto led the launching of two major programs that relate to the protection and conservation of Bohol’s premier marine resources, during the opening activity of the Month of the Ocean in Bohol, May 2. 

At the same time, the governor called for more participation and solidarity from Boholanos in the daunting task for protecting, developing and giving focus on Bohol’s marine environment during the opening rites held at the Tagbilaran City Tourism Port. 

The governor, who cited the month’s them “BuhayDagat, Buhay Natin said the launching of two major projects focused on sustaining Bohol treasures in its dolphins and the premier dive-sites in Balicasag Island assures communities better seas and thus, better lives. 

Already reaping huge premiums from its eco-tourism activity in the Pamilacan and Balicasag islands dolphin watching tours, Bohol also treasures its other source of important revenues in Balicasag island dives. 

Both however are at the risk of being lost due to unsustainable practices as well as highly commercialized operations that threaten to kill them. 

Putting up the necessary steps to assure sustainability of these areas and marine treasures are just part of our responsibility, says Liza Quirog, Capitol’s Socio-Economic and Environment Management cluster. 

During the launch, the governor mentioned the participation of agencies and sectors from the Provincial Government, national government, armed forces, navy, the DA, BFAR, and non government organizations including the municipalities represented by the Coastal Law Enforcement Councils (CLECs) as already a good sign. 

“If all of us, with our sheer numbers, could passionately really advocate to support more programs in bringing more life in the preservation and production levels enhanced, it means there will be no way for failure to get in. 

Over all these, Chatto reminded the people attending the launch that Bohol development should always be anchored on sound environment policies that would redound to the benefit of communities and sustainability of the resources at the same time. 

But, he also admitted, “We are just so few compared to the breadth of the responsibility we have on our shoulders.” 

For Balicasag, the governor earlier issued Executive Order No. 4-A, creating a coordination council for the CRAB and appropriating funds thereof. 

Gov. Chatto also issued a similar order for the creation of Task Force Dolphin which established an inter-agency multi-sectoral team who will be responsible for the development of programs and sustainable practices in the conduct of dolphin watching activities as well as propose dolphin conservation programs in Bohol. 

All of these, because we make sure that Bohol development is anchored on sound environmental policies, Chatto capped. (30)

Bikers cover 60 kms coasts 
To brumbeat Ocean Month 
Rey Anthony Chiu 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, May 2, 2012, (PIA) – More that 200 bikers composed of cops, civilians and organized bike racing groups covered more than 60 kilometers of coastal highways in towns near Tagbilaran City, to drum up community awareness on marine conservation issues during the opening launch of the Month of the Ocean in May Tuesday, May 2. 

Mobile public address systems that loop-broadcasted awareness messages also complemented the massive show of pedal power during the day which featured simultaneous opening programs and send off activities for three bike groups converging at the city port for the information education communication (IEC) program set for the day. 

Coming from three jump off points, the bikers simultaneously took off at around 3:00 PM from Loon, Lila and Panglao town halls after a brief program and send-off activities, Bohol Coastal Resource Management Task Force (BCRMTF) sources said. 

Organized to advance the advocacy for properly managing Bohol’s coastal and marine resources especially with Bohol largely profiting from its marine eco-tourism activities, the activity was billed Pulis, Katawhan, Sikad alang sa Kadagatan, said PO3 Ronnie Conarco of the Police Community Relations branch in camp Dagohoy. 

The PNP enforces the law, prevents and controls crimes, maintains peace and order and ensure public safety and internal security with the active support of the community, states a police officer standing in for Provincial director Constantino Barot during a presentation on police roles in coastal and marine resource protection. 

In the police’s shoulders lie the implementation of coastal resources laws, said Conarco, who added that most of the violators they apprehend do not know they have been using destructive fishing gears, methods of are already encroaching municipal waters or protected areas, he said. 

These people should be informed that while the sea sustains them, abusing the resource means killing the very source of food they have, adds Provincial Environment and natural resources officer Nestor Canda in his waste management information pitch at the pier. 

The bike for the Ocean activity also started with mayors and coastal law enforcement experts dialoguing with police officers to thresh out issues in implementing the law. 

The BCRMTF also said the bike for the Ocean activity is just one of the many scheduled for the month of May. 

Other than the opening launch, the month also brings province-wide Coastal Clean ups, mangrove planting, marine protected areas congress, Coastal law Enforcement Council meetings, MOA signing for cooperation among local governments, bike for the ocean, as well a dolphin festival slated as a celebration cap this May 31. (30) 

Climate-proof communities, 
DENR urges local officials 
Rey Anthony Chiu 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, May 5, 2012 (PIA) – Climate-roof communities, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) urged, amidst the rising threat of global warming. 

At the opening activities for the Month of the Ocean here in Tagbilaran City, Bohol, a key DENR regional official said climate proofed communities stand a better chance of scientists have noted a global average air temperature increase of 0.74 degrees celsius from 1906 to 2005. In fact, this situation has been exacerbated in 1975 when a strong temperature increase was noted. 

DENR’s Reynaldo Lanuza, science research specialist cited the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change which sated that all these can be attributed, directly or indirectly by human activities and combined with natural climate variability. 

The human related activities which contribute to the rise in the emission of green-house gases include burning fossil fuels and deforestation, agricultural activities and poor land use and management including the use of refrigerants. 

These have critically affected the Philippines, he said, noting that the local weather bureau has observed trends of increasing number of hot days and warm nights while colder days and nights are decreasing. 

He also cited the more frequent and more violent storms hitting the country as the effects of climate change. 

On this, Lanuza said putting up the right response to the situation is crucial. 

Adaptation and mitigation, these are the things a community can do to insulate themselves from the adverse effects of climate change. 

By adaptation, he said these are practical steps that protect communities from disruptions and damage resultant of climate changes and by mitigation, he meant interventions that reduce these effects by proper management protocols. 

In agriculture for example, adjusting planting days, crops management, land management and soil erosion protection can be adopted while water storage management and conservation can help communities gain efficient productivity despite the threats. 

Moreover, he said establishment of emergency medical services, improved climate sensitivity surveillance including improved sanitation can be helpful to human health during these times. 

Communities must also plan their infrastructure development so that sea walls, storm barriers and insulating communities through wetlands reforestation can be done, while communities can contemplate on relocation if indeed these steps can not sustainably protect them. 

Mitigation in the energy supply, transport and home comfort technologies can also extend the world’s chances of being rapidly hit by climate change effects. 

He cited efficient energy distribution, cleaner fuel and green energy use, more efficient vehicles, non-motorized transport use and carpooling can do a lot to put a brake on these effects. 

He also said efficient lighting, improved air-conditioning and heating systems and use of organic architecture to minimize energy still gives the home a better chance of lessening the impacts. 

Climate proofing, he explained includes systematic analysis of climate risks, identification and prioritization of adaptation measures and integration of these results into the community plans. (30)

Two sea turtle strandings 
announce Ocean Month 
Rey Anthony Chiu 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, May 4, 2012 (PIA) – 

Two beached sea turtles in Bohol highlight issues just as the Month of the Ocean (MOO) surge in May and press for its rapid resolution before it may be too late. 

One female hawksbill sea turtle struggling in the mud in Barangay Alejawan, Jagna town, caught a fisherman’s attention, who reported the incident to local officials, said Dominique Clarke, a research assistant working for a non-government organization Physalus. 

A hawksbill is a sea turtle distinctly named for its beaked head, much like that of a hawk, and are the most common sea turtles found in the southern coasts of Bohol, Physalus said. 

Physalus, a non-government organization here and has been working with communities for better understanding of the marine and coastal environments in attempts to engage them in helping conserve and protect these resources. 

Clarke’s reports did not name the fisherman but adds, the local officials subsequently brought it to Jagna town hall. 

From there, the local officials called Physalus whose technical men assessed the animal’s condition and tended to it by wrapping it with wet blankets to make it comfortable. 

Assessing that the hawksbill was healthy and active, the rescue group Physalus then quickly returned the hawksbill to the place where it was found and freed it. 

“The speed with which she then swam away from the immediate area was very encouraging and Physalus is hopeful that she we will make a full recovery from her ordeal,” said Clark in his report. 

The group also said it is possible that the turtle was attempting to lay her eggs when she was found, as hawksbill females often travel surprisingly far up the beach to dig their nests. 

The freeing of the hawksbill came a few months after Physalus also freed another hawksbill they named JT. 

JT was rescued after fishermen found him sick. 

Physalus executive director Dr. Alessandro Ponzo said they released JT after a few days of flushing the poison out of its system. JT, he said has ingested plastic cellophanes, probably mistaking them for jellyfish. 

JT and the female hawksbill were lucky, unlike the rarer leatherback turtle which was found dead in Duero, within 48 hours after the hawksbill release. 

Physalus is now in custody of the dead leatherback turtle, pending a necropsy to dig into the cause of the death of the turtle. 

A leatherback sea turtle does not have the usual bony shell unlike the other common sea turtles.

Bohol: Heart of the islands 
Jingle making contest on 
Rey Anthony Chiu 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, May 5, 2012 (PIA) – Now, here’s a cool way to pocket P50 mil, gift dcertificates and freebies, and still be among Bohol’s respected musicians or composers. 

Just as Bohol repackages its eco-tourism with a new marketing campaign logo and slogan, this should also be packed with the jingle that captures Bohol as the Heart of the Islands, Truly Philippines. 

With this, Bohol Tourism Office and its local tourism stakeholders dangle a hard to refuse Bohol Jingle Making Contest, open to all aspiring musicians and enthusiasts within or outside Bohol. 

Contest organizers: Bohol Tourism Office through its head, Josephine Cabarrus spelled out the contest mechanics in its facebook page recently. 

She also said the contest is open to all aspiring musicians and music enthusiast from and outside the province, however, contestants below 18 years of age must submit a parental contest allowing them to join the contest. 

The theme for the contestants to develop is “Bohol: Heart of the Islands, truly Philippines,” and entrants must compose a jingle, put in the music and highlight the theme, according to her. 

The [jingle] lyrics must describe the beauty and wealth, tourism resources of Bohol that qualifies for it to be tagged “Heart of the Islands, truly Philippines,” Cabarrus, who has served at least three Capitol governors as tourism officer said. 

The jingle must be an original composition in English or a combination of English and Filipino, she reiterates, adding that composers, at his discretion, can use any musical instrument as accompaniment. 

In consideration of ease of judging, entries should be recorded when submitted in an MP3 format and must be burned on Compact Disk. 

The recording jingle composition must be a maximum of two minutes, minimum of a minute and this must be performed live by a group or individual, during judging. 

Contest organizers however said each group or individual is allowed to submit only one entry. 

Entries for submission must be placed inside a brown envelope with name of the composer at the back. 

The envelop must also include the following information: properly labeled CD with the track title, composer/ performer’s name and contact information, the jingle lyrics type written or printed legibly in an A4-sized bond paper. 

Missing lyrics sheet can be caused for rejection of entry, contest organizers caution. 

The submitted envelop must also include a duly accomplished application form, which can be available at the Bohol Tourism Office, Tagbilaran City. 

Deadline for submission of entries is on or before July 1, 2012. (30)

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