Sunday, September 9, 2012

Experts cite role of policy 
research in development 
Rey Anthony H. Chiu 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, September 7, 2012, (PIA) –With theft and robbery topping the list in the spate of recent crimes in Bohol, a research advocate would want to know if this is indicative of bottom-scraping poverty pushing helpless people to crimes or just the whim of no-sweat for money criminals. 

At the recent Kapihan sa PIA commemorating Development Policy Research Month in September, Bohol Center for Development Studies (BCDS) chief Romeo Teruel ably elucidated the role of development policy research amidst a lingering belief that development policy research is nothing but waste of local government time and resources. 

BCDS is the research arm of the Provincial Government of Bohol and has been largely played key role in backing with scientific date Bohol’s development plans in the past years. 

A development policy research on the profile of criminals facing suits against these crimes would be telling, Teruel said. 

If indeed it is extreme poverty that pushed these criminals here to commit atrocities, then we can recommend to the government the proper interventions, Teruel added. 

Holy Name University Center for Local Governance’s (HNU-CLG) Josefina Tortor-Cimene has earlier congratulated Bohol for initiating the move to establish the BCDS and leading by manifesting the necessity of [policy] research. 

Cimene also pointed out the recent springing up of consciousness on the need of worthy data gathering, participative processes and consultative activities, as methods of getting information, thus researching. 

HNU Research Center’s Maria Paz Espiritu, on the other hand rebutted common myths that research makes things costly. 

She explained that by research, instead of readily venturing out to start projects that end up not viable, a well founded research can save local governments the troubles. 

I personally admire [these] people who go to research before venturing out into projects, which is indeed costly but in the end, saves them time and resources, Espiritu quipped. 

On the other hand, Bohol island State University’s Dr. Anacleta Perez pointed out the local culture of superstition has made research somewhat unpopular among Boholanos. 

“We are behind beause of a cuture that we follow, which can be contrary to research,” Dr. Perez said. 

She however shared her elation at the recent development, that is, schools leading the way for research to be mainstreamed. (30/gg)

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Career service eligibility for 
single term brgy dads ok’d 
Rey Anthony Chiu 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, Sept 7, 2012 (PIA) – Elected and appointed barangay officials who can complete even a single term can now get civil service eligibility, courtesy of a new Civil Service Commission (CSC) resolution which resets the three term requirement for eligibility then. 

Bohol CSC Director Elizabeth Mateo shared this last week at the Philippine Information Agency (PIA)-handled forum on the air in time for the CSC Month celebration in September. 

The recent CSC resolution 1200865, has mandated that the Barangay Officials Eligibility (BOE) can now be grated effective August 1, 2012 to elected or appointed officials who have completed even a single term by August 1, 2012. 

Earlier, barangay officials can only be granted BOE after successfully completing a three-term service as barangay officials, according to Director Mateo. 

By barangay officials, the law means those who are elected at the barangays and includes barangay Chairman, councilors and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) chairmen. 

On the other hand, included in the BOE are officials appointed by the barangay chairmen, who must have also satisfactorily served a full term under the same appointing officer who completed a term, including perhaps those previously served satisfactorily. 

This does not come automatically however, CSC Mateo clarified. 

There is a requirement for application before this can be granted. 

The general documentary requirement before the BOE can be granted include properly accomplished CSC form, correct photos, valid identification cards, original and photocopy of the applicant’s Birth certificate as authenticated by the National Statistics Office (NSO), Marriage certificates for married women applicants, and certification of no pending administrative cases. 

The CSC also seeks specific documentary requirements for the application, one which can be seen at its website www.csc.gov.ph

On the other hand, Honor Graduate Eligibility (HE) is also granted for individuals, but only for those who apply for it and his application approved. 

These eligibilities however are only good for first level positions in the career service including those in the Fire and Jail Bureaus, except positions covered by board laws and / or those that require other special eligibilities as determined by the Commission, or those that require licenses such as those positions listed under Category IV of CSC MC No. 11, s. 1996, as amended, according to the CSC website. (30/HD)

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ICT roadshow, jobs fair 
set here Sept 13-14 
Rey Anthony Chiu 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, Sept. 7, 2012, (PIA) –Bohol again becomes the hub of activity for those in the information technology as it hosts two major events at the Cultural center this September 13-14, 2012. 

The activities include the Information Communication Technology (ICT) Roadshow on the 13th and an ICT-Business Process Outsourcing Jobs Fair on the 14th, said Bohol ICT Council (BICT) chairman Leah Tirol-Magno. 

BICT bring the activities this year together with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Information and Communications Technology Office, she said. 

The roadshow provides the proper venue for the government, industry players and stakeholders to present and discuss prospects of the IT BPO industry in providing job opportunities in the next wave cities. 

The roadshow adopts theme: Harnessing ICT for Smarter Country sides. 

Organizers aim to bring into the roadshow a venue for sharing of experiences among industry key influential factors like parents, mentors, student leaders, advisers and local government officials to work on these to bring the local industry forward, on to newer heights and attain renewed vigor. 

Since some of our fellow Boholanos are still not so aware of what ICT BPO industry is all about, this roadshow also gears to build positive image and perception on the IT-BPO industry and convey clearly the key messages, according to Tirol-Magno in a prepared press material. 

BICT and the DOST ICTO are positive that the IT-BPO is among the best choices for entrepreneurship, career development and workforce skills upgrading. 

The gathering also presents itself as a unique venue for skills matching and partnership forging between and among private and public sectors to provide job opportunities and trainings for students and ICT skilled graduates, the Department of Trade and Industry in Bohol added. 

This is through the ICT-BPO Jobs Fair set September 14 beginning 9:00 AM at the Bohol Cultural Center. 

As a BICT activity, the council then invites graduates and ICT skilled job-seekers to meet up with Cebu and Manila ICT-BPO representatives during the fair. 

According to the BICT, interested individuals joining the fair need to pre-registered at the Bohol Employment and Placement Office or city and municipal employment centers. 

In Bohol, Governor Edgar Chatto has identified the ICT-BPO as one of the biggest potential economic drivers. 

This is also based on the $11 billon revenues the country gathers in 2011, an astounding second biggest contributor to the national economy, next to overseas workers’ remittances. (30/ed)

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Globetrotting journalist says 
niche tourism ideal for Bohol 
Rey Anthony Chiu 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, September 6, 2012 (PIA) –For Bohol tourism to be truly sustainable, the government has to make a choice: dive into mass tourism and put everything at stake or go the path less traveled and niche tourism destination and bank on sure-fire lessened human impact to the environment. 

This statement comes from a world renowned author, travel journalist and mining expert, globetrotter and professor of the Istanbul Technical University, Dr. Orhan Kural, upon seeing Bohol’s immense potential as a choice destination. 

By niche tourism, he means Bohol caters only to few but more environment and culture conscious learning tourists than plain sightseeing ones. 

The professor, in a meeting with Governor Edgar Chatto at the Mansion, shared this and laid down his suggestions on how to make Bohol an environmentally sustainable tourism destination. 

Keep Bohol as it is, go slow on development that impact on the environment and maintain the rustic feel that Bohol offers. 

The roads, they are adorable but please niche tourists are not much interested in the roads that push cars to speeds and make tourists miss the sights they really want to see, he said. 

Tourists come to sight-see, have them that, Dr. Kural, who is also a respected author for mining books, urged. 

Kural told Chatto about the plan to bring Turkish Airlines in Manila, and if that happens, it could be the first international flight back after international flag carriers left the Philippines. 

When it happens, Bohol would certainly be an excellent option for the moneyed people of the country, especially when most people in the Philippines speak good English, according to the professor. 

Himself one of the world’s most traveled writer with more than 400 travel articles printed in world’s newspapers, Dr. Kural is, by no means stranger to world tourism trends. 

Seeing the way tourists have known and flocked to Bohol, Dr. Kural and his 16 other Turkish companions agree that with so much to offer in Bohol, these too may not last long. 

He based his arguments on the fact that the more people come, the more they impact on the environment, which is ironically why tourists would want to come. 

Dr. Kural said Turkey learned this when their southern beaches facing the Mediterranean became the playground for Europeans. 

Likening it to Bohol he said, the tourist areas are cheap so that many tourists come. When they leave, everything is dirty and garbage is everywhere, Dr. Kural shared. 

Appointed as Turkish ambassador to Benin and a self-confessed admirer of the vast African continent, Dr. Kural said some African nations now know they can go niche tourism and earn the same. 

The Istanbul-based professor and chairman for the Turkish Travel Club said it would also be good for Bohol, to rid of plastics and cellophanes, which tourists could bring in to protected areas. 

Plastics and cellophanes take decades to decompose, leaving litter literally everywhere while marine animals mistake them for food and choke in the process. (30/cc)

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Elite among the elites… 
Trinidad opens internet 
Flood gates with PLDT 
Rey Anthony Chiu 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, September 6, 2012 (PIA) -- Trinidad Bohol recently breached into the elite among the elites in information technology here when it opened the floodgates of global internet connectivity to its people last Saturday, September 1, 2012. 

This as local government leaders led by Mayor Roberto Cajes swings open a new information gate (I-Gate) a service it tapped from the PLDT SMART and Sun Cellular partnership as internet service providers. 

And that affords them more than enough bandwidth to send and receive data and skip from bandwidth bottlenecks which lesser ISPs provide. 

The switch from a slower 128 kilobytes per second (kbps) encrypted data transfer to a much faster committed line also gives Trinidad town hall, Trinidad Municipal College (TMC), possibly a public access point and a promising plan for business process outsourcing center in town, much wider bandwidth than the one it had when the town tapped into the vast information superhighway years back. 

“Already considered a leader by braving the way into the vast webs of the information superhighway, Trinidad again breaks new highway with the PLDT I-gate,” said Nilo Bantilan, PLDT Vis-Min SME Business Head. 

“The I-Gate is a special private leased line offered by PLDT and allows Trinidad town a managed connectivity to the world-wide web and connects with local internet service providers like SMART and Sun Cellular, making internet usage in the town go leaps and bounds,” he explains. 

That also means in areas where there are practically cellular phone signals, I-gate can manage data sending and receiving, as long as there is wireless fidelity connection, also adds Marlon Macua, Trinidad Information technology chief. 

The government, in its urgent call for transparency has urged local government to bare its dealings and accountabilities to the public, via a memorandum cascaded by the interior and local government department. 

For Trinidad, opening up internet connectivity solves most of the need on spending big on publishing its processes in response to transparency, Mayor Cajes said. The rest is history. 

Awarded outstanding website in 2004 by the Cebu Chamber of Commerce for e-governance category, Trinidad elevated its status among the country’s elites when it grabbed the Best Municipal Website in the Philippine by the National Computer Center and the Asian Institute of Journalism and Communication, shared Jojeline Buendia, information officer. 

This also pushed the LGU to vigorously pursue computerization programs for its operations, capping with another feather in its cap as LGU with most updated reports handed by the Commission on Audit in 2007. 

This too elevated Trinidad’s chances of snagging the Seal of Good Housekeeping in 2012, a huge portion of it coming form its computerization program that is essentially Geographic information system-based, said Judith Cajes, Municipal Administrator. 

The Geographic Information System in town allows it to integrate hardware, software, and data for capturing, managing, analyzing and displaying all forms of geographically referenced information, explains Macua, information technology in-charge. 

Already ahead in information technology, Trinidad, according to Mayor Cajes has to facilitate a faster electronic accessibility, one that its continuously building up its data transfer rate could hardly be accommodated by a 128 kilobytes per second line shared by other subscribers. 

Cajes, who admitted he’s not into the nitty gritty of the electronic technology behind computers, said all he needs to see is Trinidadnon’s communicating with their loved ones working abroad or elsewhere by video-conference. 

The recent data and video transfer rate goes at a committed information rate of a staggering 2 megabytes per second pace with the leased line now upgraded with i-gate, Macua explains in an email. 

Now, skyping has just become a luxury in this town, almost a hundred kilometers from Tagbilaran City, Buendia said. (30/ed)

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Catigbian breaks ground 
For 2 irrigation projects 
Rey Anthony Chiu 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, Sept. 7, 2012 (PIA) –Catigbian recently breaks ground for the town’s biggest infrastructure spending this year: government financed P10 million worth of irrigation projects. 

Mayor Roberto Salinas said he is elated about the development as his administration has been without relent in vigorously engaging its people to toe the vision for a green haven for peace and development. 

Itself carving a niche as an economy to watch in Bohol, Catigbian has also boldly ventured into innovations in governance, making it a hug blip in the infrastructure radar in the past decade. 

The town’s envisioned role as a leader in agriculture however remains a key investment priority, Vice Mayor Rey Lacea revealed, even as the town has slowly carved a name in family adventure tourism with their Dagook Adventure Tour Experience (DATE). 

At the project launching and capsule laying activity August 30, Salinas said the fund allows the town farmers who largely depend on planting when rains irrigate their paddies, to produce some more with more programmed planting. 

He said when the project is completed, 75 hectares of ricelands would be Catigbi-an’s ace in the sleeves in upping its rice productivity even as they await for the fulfillment of the legislated orchard-tree planting project set up for pupils and students in town. 

The projects, set to be implemented in barangay Ambuan and Poblacion costs P10,430,040 from the Agrarian Reform infrastructure Support Project III and is in convergence with the National Irrigation Administration, Department of Agrarian Reform and the municipality of Catigbian. 

Municipal Agrarian reform Officer Edgar Armachuelo said the project serves some 30 hectartes of ricelands in Ambuan and some 45 hectares in Poblacion. 

Fund breakdown, records from the MARO revealed that Poblacion project gets P5, 617, 680 while Ambuan also has P4, 812, 360. 

Now really taking a second hard look at its rice production potential, local leaders have pushed for new technologies and farm inputs to make a statement. The irrigation project however is their biggest dream in bringing in their targeted production, admits Maria Nila Tapales, town information officer. 

At the groundbreaking, engineers from the Rural Infrastructure Support Project management office came led by Eng Victor Rolando Zaplala, Ma. Cristina Dagdag and Alex Guan Hing. 

For NIA, present during the launching event were engineers Delsy Revillame, Diosdado Rosales and Vilma Uayan while Isabelito Tongco, Capitol political officer came for Gov. Edgar Chatto during the event. (30/ED)

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