Sunday, September 23, 2012

NFA assures enough rice 
despite importation cuts 
Rey Anthony Chiu 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, September 20, 2012 (PIA)—There’s is more than enough supply of rice stored at National Food Authority (NFA) bodegas even if the national government decided to cut heavily on import volume, assures Bohol NFA manager Maria Fe Evasco. 

At the recent Kapihans a PIA, Evasco recalled that the government imported a total of 2.2 million metric tons of rice from the staple producing countries in 2010, one that was drastically cut to 800,000 metric tons by the following year. 

This year, the government decided to import only about 500,000 metric tons by securing the 120,000 metric tons from Thailand and Vietnam while allowing private sector participation in the importation pegging a quota of 380,000 metric tons, to supply the country’s need for the staple crop, she said. 

But, while non industry people have started airing concerns of possible shortfall in the supply of rice, Evasco assured that none of such will happen here. 

She shared that Bohol has a share of the national government procured rice and the supply comes in according to a pre-programmed marketing plan, plus a local procurement program that assures us our bodegas are filled all the time. 

“Fortunately, we have a big volume, hold-over inventory plus harvests from palay producing provinces,” that should keep us supplied for a time until the next delivery from out bodegas in Cebu arrive, she added. 

Evasco came with NFA Bohol Operations manager Ramon Banluta and acting information officer Jhoel Lim to the Kapihan sa PIA to announce the National Grains Industry Week as well as the NFA’s Anniversary celebrating its 40th year of assuring food security. 

To galvanize on the assurance, Banluta used the stir to catapult a plea for Boholano farmers to se their harvests to NFA, which buys their palay at P17.00 or at P17.70 per kilo with premiums for delivered, dried and cooperative member farmer sellers. 

The palays also end up milled and stocked at NFA store houses to form part of the local inventory. The same could be mixed with iron fortificants as the government has been into iron supplementation relative to existing laws, according to Jhoel Lim. 

These become part of the NFA rice fortification program where the mineral requirement of Filipinos is responded by the I-Rice (Iron fortified), he explained. 

The iron fortified rice displays some yellow rice streaks in the pack, please do not sort the yellowish grains out, these are the iron fortified rice that enhances the mineral in your cooked rice, Lim suggests. 

Some people might think these are dirty, these yellow colored grains are the ones that are strewn in a bag to increase its iron content, according to Evasco. (30/hd)

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Visayas kick-off for national 
CFL distribution in Dampas 
Rey Anthony Chiu 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, September 21, 2012 (PIA)—Expect a down curve in the power demand from Bohol’s power distributors as hundreds of households make the switch to compact fluorescent lamps (CFL) from the energy sapping incandescent bulbs since yesterday, September 22. 

This as the Department of Energy (DOE) brings to Bohol the second tranche of the National Residential Lighting Program under the Philippine Energy Efficient Project (PPP), which gives out energy efficient CFLS for the energy zapping and inefficient incandescent lamps in households, according to a communications signed by Director Antonio Labios. 

According to the DOE, the program also aims to reduce household energy expenditures, which can in turn be used to spend for other priorities. 

At the Dampas Barangay Hall Complex here in Tagbilaran City, representatives from Bohol’s congressional districts as well as household recipients attending the program kick-off in the Visayas went home with CFLS after the late afternoon activity attended by Dampas barangay officials led by Chairman Fredison Ingles and DOE Central Visayas. 

Also simultaneous on the same day are similar events held at the National Capital region, Camarines Sur, Baguio and Cagayan de Oro in Mindanao. 

Funded in part by the Asian development Bank, the activity ultimately seeks to motivate every household in the country to root for the CFLs, which may be a bit costly but usually outlives an ordinary incandescent lamp by almost ten times. 

According to Mother Nature Network (MNN), if a 13 watt compact fluorescent lamp and its equivalent- 60 watt incandescent bulb – are lit for 8,000 hours, CFL consumes only about a quarter of the energy used to light the 60 watt incandescent. 

The same study used by MNN also shows that it would only need some 104 kilowatts to light the CFL for 8,000 hours while the incandescent lamp would have used 480 kilowatts. 

That is also not considering that an incandescent lamp may not last that long, pointing to a fact that CFLs outlast them by about ten times. 

The same comparative study by MNN showed that even if every US home replaces one bulb to CFL, the energy savings would be enough to light more than three million homes. 

On the other hand, one incandescent bulb in every US home produce enough greenhouse gasses equivaent to 800,000 cars. 

Incandescent bulbs’ downside generally is its using only 10% of the energy for lighting while wasting the rest of the 90% in heat which they use to burn atoms and photons, research showed. 

This then means that when paying for your bills, a huge part of it is paying for the heat which your appliances emit to operate, one than can be eliminated with the right technology, DOE sources said. 

With households and industries continuing to zap power from overly burdened power grids especially by simply picking the incandescent bulbs, the government is now motivating people to simply make the switch and adopt more energy efficient technologies, like the CFL, to save energy enough to stretch the available supply until more power sources are put up. (30/CC)

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Bohol PPOC seeks 
Barot extension 
Rey Anthony Chiu 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, September 21, 2012 (PIA) –The Provincial Peace and Order Council resolves to urge the Philippine National Police to reconsider the imminent transfer of Bohol police chief after a relatively successful two year tour of duty here. 

At its meeting September 18 held at the Crab House, Local Monitoring Board coordinator Romeo Teruel brought up the string of successes the police in Bohol attained under the leadership of Negros Oriental son and Bohol Police Senior Superintendent Constantino Barot. 

Teruel cited that continued decrease in crimes in Bohol under Barot watch, which peaked when Philippine National Police Chief Nicanor Bartolome pinned on Barot’s breast the Medalya ng Kagalingan for police officers. 

According to the PNP website, the Medalya ng Kagalingan (Merit medal) is often awarded to PNP members who attained heroic achievements for single act of heroism in a duty responsibility. 

It may be recalled that under Barot’s watch, Bohol was declared insurgency free, and his top achievements include the neutralization of criminal elements, accounting of wanted persons and the recovery of fire-arms and huge volumes of dangerous drugs. 

Medalya ng Kagitingan is one of the eight Administrative citations that the PNP issues to its officers which includes medal of valor, distinguished conduct, bravery, heroism, outstanding conduct, commendation and wounded personnel medals. 

As most of the awards indicate a succeeding promotion, Teruel said he could sense that an imminent transfer for Barot was in the offing. 

Moreover, Barot, who said begging for assignment retention is not encouraged in the police, added that he has prepared for the eventual transfer after successfully completing two years of tour of duty in Bohol. 

On this, Governor Edgar Chatto, PPOC Chairman also explained that while it may sound unethical for police officers to seek retention of assignments, it may also be proper for the council to deliberately inform the chief PNP of the desire to keep Barot here. 

Acting on this, Teruel moved for the resolution which was also seconded en masse, the content of which was to request the CPNP Bartolome to reconsider and have Barot retained here as chief. (30/hd)

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Soldiers yield guns 
For pens in Bohol 
Rey Anthony Chiu 

BILAR, Bohol, September 20, 2012 (PIA) – Believing that a pen is mightier than the sword, or the gun, army special forces here picked their writing skills to train for their new tasks: as information advocates to the villages. 

Assigned in a place where restored peace made combat tactics inconsequential, soldier members of the army’s elite Special Forces battalion here draw the battle plans in winning another ground in the fight: the determining factor of winning the community’s hearts through information dissemination. 

For this, they train in news writing and photo-journalism in a bid to equip them with the bring out the good news happening in communities to the mainstream, said Tiara Lourdes Torero Bulilan of Capitol’s socio economic and environment management (SEEM) cluster. 

Torero, along with mediaman Ric Obedencio and the Philippine Information Agency in Bohol handled the newswriting and basic photojournalism courses for the SF at their camp at Riverside in Bilar August 22 and September 20. 

The trained SF members team up with police officers and Bohol community organizers as part of the Prosperity Teams organizing the Countryside Development Program (CDP) Purok Power Movement (PPM) in Bohol’s villages, said SF Civil Military Operations officer Captain Jason Que. 

When assigned to organize communities and galvanize them against possible incursions by radical elements exploiting social issues to instigate people to turn against the government, the PRO team members morph into developmental communicators from their usual warrior image, Liza Quirog, Capitol Seem Cluster and PRO Teams coordinator explains. 

The shift in the operational mission of the army in Bohol is brought about by the declaration of Bohol as insurgency-free, after winning the peace through poverty alleviation initiatives and proactive means to bring government and leaving the same to the people. 

Here, fighting a war against local insurgents suddenly became trivial as warfare is now on delivering services and getting the people participating in governance, thus a change in tactics, Col Bonafos 802nd Brigade Commander, once said. 

Bohol is an entirely different case, he added when the concern shifted from clearly defending the place from armed enemies, into sustaining the gains of peace with the soldiers actively engaged in community development. 

The paradigm shift also pushed soldiers to be equipped with new skills, one that makes them competent in telling about the developments to the mainstream and using technology of the camera to achieve such, Capt. Que shared. (30/ejp)

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Bohol to host RADIO 7 
convention next month 
Rey Anthony Chiu 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, September 22, 2012 (PIA)—Bohol information officers from local and national government agencies are in the heat of preparations for the upcoming Regional Association of Development Information Officers (RADIO) Convention to be hosted here October 24-26, 2012. 

In fact, September 19 was like no ordinary meeting of the Association of United Development Information Officers (AUDIO) of Bohol, hosts of the conference. 

The gathering aspires to bring to Bohol Central Visayas-wide network of information officers from local governments and national government agencies of Cebu, Bohol, Negros Oriental and Siquijor at the Bohol Tropics to discuss on the use of the new media in the gargantuan challenge of development information dissemination. 

Also slated to attend the conference as speaker is Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) chief Sonny Coloma, whose office will handle a raging topic on the Trends in the New Media. 

“Other interesting topics for the gab include Internet broadcasting, video streaming and the social media, including its effective use and the popularity of information boards as strategic launch pads for disaster and developmental communications,” said Elvira Bongosia, of the Philippine Information Agency and convention secretariat. 

The conference, which adopts “Information Officers and the New Media,” is a perfect opportunity to engage information officers to a network of information disseminators which take on the technology, not as a threat but an opportunity to advance government information agenda, according to Capitol’s Augustus Escobia. 

Escobia sits as AUDIO head and presides over a network of information officers from 47 towns and city as well as national government agencies with their offices in Bohol. 

With AUDIO in next month’s convention is Association of Negros Oriental Public Information Officers (ANOPIO), Siquijor Association of Information Disseminators (SAID), Association of Government Information Officers (AGIO) and Cebu Association of City and Municipal Public Information Officers (CAOCAMPIO). 

Last year, the RADIO convention was held in Dumaguete City and took on Energy Conservation issues and with the Department of Energy speakers engaging Visayas information officers in the national campaign for energy conservation and cleaner and greener energy sources. (30/gg)

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August crimes up 
Cops say at PPOC 
Rey Anthony Chiu 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, September 21, 2012 (PIA)—Crimes in Bohol increased by 17 more from July 12 to August 12, according to police reports at the recent Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC) meeting held at the Crabhouse, September 18. 

Bohol police chief Senior Superintendent Constantino Barot however added that total crime volume this year is still lower by 31.7% compared to last year when total crimes here in the island province registered a high 274 over this year’s 187. 

At 187 crimes recorded until August 12 from July 12, the record breaks the trending decrease in crimes here recorded since the continued downslide sustained its momentum from March 12, 2012 until last month. 

Police noted Bohol crimes peaking at the period of February 12 to March 12 when 288 crimes got into police blotters. 

The monthly tally of crimes then dropped from 288 to 209 (April), 209 (May), 193 (June) and 170 (July) before picking up again at 187 this month. 

This month’s 187 crimes comprise of 75 non-index and 122 index crimes, according to PSSupt Barot in his PPOC report. 

Earlier, Camp Dagohoy authorities explained that a high crime volume can also be telling of how the local police are getting pro-active against criminality. 

Central Visayas Police Assistant Regional Director for Operations Louie Oppus explained that even with a high crime volume recorded in a locality, if the high volume is brought about by a high non-index crimes, it means that the police are getting more proactive by initiating operations on their own, against crimes punishable by special laws. 

In Bohol, outgoing police director Barot credits the effective implementation of the Police Integrated Patrol System (PIPS), which helped a grossly undermanned and ill-equipped police force getting over crimes and making criminals thinking twice before committing their malignant plans. 

The victory however is not sweeping as Camp Dagohoy reports theft and robbery still soars high over police concerns. 

Barot said theft owns 36% of the crime pie while robbery still claimed a good 27%, well over half the types of offenses the police are concerned. 

On this, Barot agreed that there is a need to intensify and improve intelligence monitoring at the station level with concentration on motorcycle riding criminals and robbery groups, to dent on the crimes. 

He also stressed for 

community vigilance, which plays a vital role in the overall crime prevention of the entire province. (30/ejp) 

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DOT to settle port 
complaints at gab 
Rey Anthony Chiu 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol September 19, 2012 (PIA)—Tourism Secretary Ramon R. Jimenez Jr., vows to step into the tense situation, which the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) and the sea commuters and tourists coming to Tagbilaran are in for a seemingly inextricable tangle. 

Secretary Jimenez however stressed that the primary concern in resolving the issue is passenger and tourist welfare. 

“Tourist and passenger safety, that is how we approach it, he said during a press conference organized at the sidelines of the Visayas Business Conference where Jimenez was guest speaker. 

On this, he said he would take everything into consideration when he calls a Department of Tourism Convergence conference to iron out the kinks which have been the meat of the complaints of homing Boholanos and arriving tourists at the city tourist port. 

Media representatives brought the issue of passenger complaining about the PPA policy of getting the passengers to walk towards the tricycle stand in a bid to put in order and ban tricycle hawking in the area near the tourism arrival center. 

PPA manager Emmanuel Boholano however, in radio interviews said the policy is in response to the messy situation when tricycle and van drivers compete against each other hawking passengers to the detriment of tourists getting a good impression when coming in. 

For that, tricycles, except when dropping fares to the pier are banned from going into the area to hawk, but only as the PPA calls those lined at the tricycle stand for their turn to pick up passengers. 

Boholano shared that those taking up the line at the tricycle stand are only those who are members of the tricycle drivers accredited at the pier. 

The PPA policy then puts passengers without pre-contracted rides lugging on their luggage to the tricycle stand about a few hundred meters from the tourist arrival area. 

This then ignited nasty comments from aging passengers who then could pick up tricycles a few steps away from the arrivals area. 

Complainants sought media intervention in pressuring the policy makers at the PPA to restore the access of tricycles near the terminal gates. 

But for Jimenez, who was named as tourism secretary largely for his being a promotions expert said he also understands that need to organize the area, especially near the tourism center. 

Meanwhile, DOT regional Director Rowena Montecillo aired how happy she was when she saw what was happening upon arriving from Cebu. 

There were no more canvassers near the tourist center, she said. 

Montecillo also added that even tour guides have complained to her about the problem of hawking at the arrival area. 

On this, the outspoken DOT bigwig said he would see [during the meeting] if the problem is just a manifestation of an adjustment that may not be needed. 

The secretary did not tell also when the DOT convergence is to happen. (30/gg)

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