Monday, October 1, 2012

Election heats up… 
Filing of candidacies 
Open only for week 
Rey Anthony H. Chiu 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol October 01, 2012 (PIA)—Filing of Certificates of Candidacies (COC) for the 497 elective posts for the 2013 elections here start today as the local Commission on Election (Comelec) offices accept candidate’s intentions to run from 8:00 to 5:00 PM until October 5. 

According to the local Comelec, this information should act as a warning for the main bulk of candidates who have, by history been deadliners. 

Considering at least two contenders for every position opened for grabs, that means, more than a thousand candidates would troop to the Comelec offices in daily batches of 200, estimates tell. 

That, in fact is a very conservative. 
A list issued by Bohol Comelec through chief Atty. Eliseo Labaria bared that opened local positions for the midterm elections are 3 congressmen, 1 governor, 1 vice governor, 3 first district Board members, 3 second district Board members and 4 third District Board members. 

Boholanos must also vote for 48 mayors, 48 vice mayors, 10 city council members and some 376 councilors, on the very least from perhaps, thousands of candidates. 

With this in mind, a daily procession of more than 200 candidates trooping to local Comelec offices in towns, city and the provincial office would be a conservative number, sources at the poll agency said. 

Even with this, the poll body, in press materials said they would only allow late candidates as soon as they have been documented to be taking the queue towards the Comelec counters at 4:45 on Friday, October 5. 

According to Comelec chairman Sixto Brilliantes Jr, in reports, there will definitely be no more extensions unlike then when filing of CoCs went as long as the dead of night for up to about two weeks. 

In the 2010 barangay elections, filing [oof Cocs} went from October 1-13, but Comelec Chairman Brilliantes Jr. has been quoted saying an extension this time is unlikely. 

This even as election lawyer Romulo Macalintal has filed a petition for postponement. 

Brilliantes Jr. accordingly said the election calendar has long been set and a reset would lose for the poll body some precious time it would need to put up the necessary paperwork for the 18,022 national positions up for grabs while it would disrupt the preparations for configuring the ballots and the Precinct Count Optical Scanner (PCOS) machines it would be using on poll day. 

This upcoming midterm elections too, Comelec said candidates need to show in person while accomplishing and filing their CoCs, although representations can be allowed after the candidate has authorized in writing a representative, who shall have it sworn and affixed to the Coc. 

On the other hand, Bohol Comelec information Officer Juvenal Beniga said those submitting their accomplished Coc would need to affix their Certificates of Nomination and Acceptance (CONA), or they would be treated as independent candidates. 

At the Association of United Development Information Officer’s meeting last week, Beniga also urged candidates to take the opportunity of early filing of COCs or run the risk of losing the singular chance to be voted upon. (30/gg)

Pnoy bares 3 major infra 
Projs boosting tourism 
Rey Anthony H. Chiu 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol October 01, 2012 (PIA)—President Benigno Simeon Aquino revealed three major infrastructure projects that he said would increase Bohol’s global competitiveness as one of the world’s top tourism destinations. 

In his latest visit to Bohol, the President, this time promised the operation of the new Panglao Bohol Airport four years after today, this after the National Economic Development Authority Board approved the P7.4 billion air facility a good minute away from the famed beaches of the prime tourist island. 

He said the construction of the air facility starts in November of 2013 and would be completed as he steps out of office by 2016. 

“Alam nating turismo ang isa sa mga pangunahin ninyong industriya. Sino ba naman ang hindi makakakilala sa Chocolate Hills at tarsiers ng Bohol? Kaya dagdagan pa natin ang magandang balita: inaprubahan na noong ika-4 ng Setyembre ng NEDA Board ang New Bohol Airport na itatayo sa Panglao,” according to the President. 

“We have apportioned P7.4 billion for this project. We anticipate the initial construction in November next year. And before my term ends in 2016, you will have a new and modern airport, the president spoke in Filipino, before a gathering of barangay officials for the First Barangay Day in Bohol held at the Bohol Wisdom School Gymnasium September 26. 

Several Boholanos however take the revelation with a shrug. 

Former President Arroyo uttered similar statements when her administration approved the bidding price of P6.2 billion for the airport with international standards. The amount was reviewed for alleged overpricing. 

“We would believe until we can see the project,” a clearly ambivalent Panglao town Mayor Benedicto Alcala said. 

Meanwhile, the President also bared the construction of the P138 million Sagbayan-Danao National Road, which leads to Bohol’s premier extreme adventure experience as a national priority. 

The paving of the 20+-kilometer road stretch cuts travel time from Tagbilaran to Danao significantly, tourist drivers said. 

Now, with the road in the process of construction, Danao is still three hours away from the city, the travel time often discouraging day tourists from trying out the extreme experience that topbills the Plunge: a canyon swing experience that drops harnessed-tourists from a swinging platform to an abyss two hundred meters below. 

President Aquino also told Boholanos of the ongoing road network of Antequera-San Isidro to Libertad-Tubigon Road too ease travel of goods and services as well as ensure safety of people traveling these areas. 

The road network effectively connects landlocked town San Isidro to Antequera and Tubigon, its nearest port to Cebu. 

The president hopes that completing these projects not only boosts Bohol tourism potential but also spurs economic activities in the area. (30/ed)

Aquino hands “TOBOY” awards, 
Asserts crucial brgy dads tasks 
Rey Anthony H. Chiu 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol October 01, 2012 (PIA)—President Benigno Simeon Aquino impresses the critical roles of government frontrunners when he graced the awarding ceremonies of the Lupong Tagapamayapa and the Ten Outstanding Barangay Officials of the Year (TOBOY) in Bohol, September 26. 

In Bohol, the rare opportunity for the barangay officials to be the main purpose of the president’s visit may not happen again, pointed out a barangay kagawad who was nominated in the TOBOY but lost to another performing elected barangay official. 

The visit to Bohol was in time for the First Bohol Barangay Day, which aimed at honoring and recognizing the roles of the barangays in governance, according to Liga ng Mga Barangays provincial representative Board Member Crispina Vergara. 

The visit was the President’s second official sortie in Bohol after August 1, 2011 when he attended the Regional Peace and Order Council and inaugurated the modern municipal hall in Trinidad. 

First started in Bohol, the TOBOY as an innovation in governance caught Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) attention, at least in Region 7, enough to adopt it as a template for a search of the best public officials in the barangays who have shown exemplary performance in the discharge of their functions, according to Bohol DILG Director Louella Lucino. 

TOBOY categories include Outstanding Punong Barangays, Barangay Treasurer, Barangay Secretary, Barangay Kagawad and Sangguniang Kabataan. 

The search for the Outstanding Lupong Tagapamayapa was also added to giver recognition to barangay peace and arbitration council in an effort to decongest the often-clogged courts. 

The 2011 TOBOY winners include: Barangay Chairmen Amado Samijon of Bentig Calape, Bohol (1st to 3rd class towns) and Alan E. Mangmang of Songculan Dauis (4th to 6th class towns). 

For Barangay Kagawads, the winners are Leonor N. Samijon of Bentig, Calape and Nicolas G. Gamao of Boyog Proper, Balilihan. Winners for the Barangay Secretaries are Marie Xanthophyll L. Mirasol of Lajog Clarin and Ignacia O. Bacquial of Bentig, Calape. For Barangay Treasurers, the winners are Marithel B. Patac of Boctol Balilihan and Esmeralda L. Halawig of Bentig, Calape. 

For the Sangguniang Kabataan, the winners are Charlene D. Maliza of Zamora Bilar and Mark Jayson G. Rosales of bantig Calape, Bohol. 

For the Barangay Lupong Tagapamayapa, this year’s winners are Santo Nino, Talibon represented by Chairman Lazaro Artiaga and Sonculan Dauis represented by Chairman Alan Mangmang. 

In his speech, the president hailed the winning barangay officials calling them the best personification of what a pubic servant can be. 

“Today, on this Barangay Day, we recognize the loftiest example of Boholano contribution in lifting our country, for the serve with utmost industry and integrity for the benefit of their constituents,” the President, who came in with Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda, Senator TJ Guingona, Energy Secretary Jose Rene Almenras, and Trade Secretary Gregory Domingo said. 

“Sa araw-araw, kayo ang pangunahing tagapag-ingat nga tiwala nga ating mga mamamayan, kayo ang direaktang tumutugon sa kanilang hinanaing at pangangailangan,” he said in Filipino. 

For this, the President bared his heartfelt thanks and vowed his full support for the performance of their tasks to inspire everyone to do the same outstanding achievements they accomplished. (30/GG)

ICT industry workers fear 
“mother tongue” setback 
Rey Anthony Chiu 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol October 01, 2012 (PIA)—Information communication technology (ICT) workers fear possible ICT setbacks in the country’s taking the lead in the global ICT sector when it adopted the use of the mother tongue in education. 

During the recent ICT Roadshow in Bohol held last week, no less than an accomplished call center worker at Convergys and Philippine Call Center Institute (PCCI) trained speaker during the testimonials expressed her concerns on the program of the public schools at present which encourages the use of “mother tongue.” 

Jonalyn Batoy thinks adopting the mother tongue will diminish the English speaking ability and fluency of students. 

She instead, encouraged students to continue to learn and to read because being able to speak English is not enough [in the industry]. 

She said the risk is that the mother tongue has a tendency for word-for-word translation that renders the sentences awkward and bent. 

In fact, Genny I. Marcial, Executive Director for External Affairs, Business Processing Association of the Philippines admits that one of the most competitive edges the Philippines hlds over other countries is that it has its workers’ ability to speak English. 

“We have young English speaking talent, We have the highest literacy rate among the existing competitor countries as China and India,” Marcial said. 

Batoy said teaching kids while young forms the basic foundation of their future because that is when they easily learn. 

She said when you teach the mother tongue to kids at young age, this makes learning English later difficult and will degrade the English speaking and comprehension skills of the students. 

The ICT sector, according to Monchito Ibrahim, Deputy Executive Director of the Department of Science and Technology – Information, Communication Technology Office (DOST-ICTO) is the only sector where the Philippines has great opportunity to be number one. 

“ICT is the fastest growing industry in the country. In 2004, the Philippines only generated $1.3B for the sector, while in 2011, the revenue rose to more than 11B US dollars, he cited. 

In 2004, ICT had an active workforce of 100,000 full time workers and in 2011, it rose to 650,000 workers, DOST illustrated. 

Multinational companies are willing to pay 20% more to outsource their business in the Philippines. Even if we have higher cost – power, labor, etc., these global companies are very willing to pay extra because of our people. We have young English speaking talent. We have the highest literacy rate among the existing competitor countries as China and India. So we need to take on this opportunity, Ibrahim said. 

It may also be recalled that the Philippines has overtaken India in Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), one of the key niche markets in the ICT sectors which include animation, software development, call center in Knowledge Process Outsourcing (KPO), medical transcription and other inbound and outbound call services. 

According to ICTO, “it is not just communication skills that is the problem, [among students] but they also need to harness problem solving and analytical ability. The intent is to develop graduates who will have 21st century knowledge and skills because this is what is required by the IT-BPO industry today.” 

The government has inserted key competencies in call center training courses to make sure more and more of the country’s graduates are accepted and pass as call center workers. 

To date, only 10% of applicants get hired in the sector that requires a high English skills proficiency, sources at ICTO said. (30/ed)

Eating out at “Gerardas” 
Adds more fun in Bohol 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol September 28, 2012 (PIA)—A local independent food-review group has spooned Gerardas from among the more than 60 local restaurants to be served the prestigious Eating Out in Bohol Restaurant of the Year Award in 2012. 

Gerarda’s Restaurant is one of only three four star restaurants and faced stiff competition to be awarded the prize. 

The result was published in an independent review restaurant website after its members went incognito through every rated restaurant in Bohol, assessing every service and food while posting their raves at

The reviewers noted that Gerarda’s Restaurant had continually provided exceptional quality dining with professional front desk, house staff and creative chefs. The restaurant has also continued to improve since the restaurant was first reviewed in October 2011 and has become a favorite of many discerning Bohol diners. 

“We hope to see more and more starred restaurants in the next twelve months and Gerarda’s Restaurant goes to show that you don’t need to be in a 5 star resort to offer great food.” 

“We are incredibly pleased that we could award the first ever Eating Out In Bohol Restaurant of The Year Award to a Pinoy restaurant” said the head reviewer Fred Foodie. 

“The restaurant scene in Bohol continues to grow with a number of exciting new players added throughout 2012,” he added. 

The Eating Out In Bohol web site has been created to celebrate all things food and has been developed as a resource to showcase the incredible diversity of dining options in Bohol, website developers said. 

“By this, we also hope to encourage restaurateurs to continue to improve their quality of service and food preparation while promoting the use of locally grown and raised organic produce,” food reviewer Foodie said. 

Since its inception in May 2011 the reviewers have visited over 60 restaurants, 20 of which have made it onto the site, according to a press material sent by organizers. 

Since its becoming a major tourism destination, Bohol has also offered another potential tourism attraction in its food. 

Those wanting to know about the reviewed restaurants visit for the online reviews.

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