Monday, December 17, 2012

Cops note 77 less crimes 
This year over last year 
Rey Anthony Chiu 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, December 15, 2012 (PIA) – November 2012 finds 77 less crimes in Bohol compared top the same period last year, a record that reflects the continuing downslide of crimes this year. 

At the recent Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC) meeting at the Mansion December 13, Bohol Police chief Senior Superintendent Constantino Barot showed that crimes in last three months before December of 2011 were 231 (September), 244 (October) and 222. 

The figures drastically slid to lower levels when police noted that in 2012, Bohol enjoyed a continuing downtrend with 178 (September), 172 (October) and 145 in November, Barot’s presentation to council members showed. 

Reported at a time when Boholanos did not take lightly the notorious crimes including a grenade lobbing and a broad daylight slay of a city barangay chair, all in the last three months in Bohol, Barot took on the defensive and said significant crimes are reported but if we see the real big picture, we can see how really peaceful we are. 

Of the crimes reported in November, theft still comprised the highest index crime committed at 37.39% of the crime pie all over Bohol. 

Following theft is robbery, which owned another 26.27% of the crime pie for the month. Physical injuries ranked third among the top crimes in Bohol occupying 16.17% of the pie in November 2012, police records showed. 

Over all of Bohol, the police provincial director said the total crime clearance efficiency (CCE), a new system used by the police in determining crime case disposition, is pegged at 54%, a fact which Barot said is already low. 

This, according to Camp Dagohoy chief is 10% lower than the CCE of the previous month. He however immediately doused the police accomplishment down-dragger by saying that the 54% CCE this month is still high, when compared to the 39% efficiency rating in 2011. 

He also explained that CCE is pegged as a crime considered cleared as soon as a crime suspect has been identified, nabbed and appropriate case is filed, but the victim and suspect arrived at a settlement. 

This is different from the formerly used Crime Solution Efficiency when police get the credit after a suspect is identified, apprehended and corresponding cases have been filed in court. (30/sjp)

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Opt for ICC bearing lights, 
Always read labels – DTI 
Rey Anthony Chiu 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, December 15, 2012 (PIA)—Christmas lights embellish many household lawns to spread the Christmas cheer, but how safe are these? 

According to the Department of Trade and Industry, as long as these are products that pass through the country’s standards bureau and are used properly, there is less chance of getting accidents. 

Still hounded by past news about fires caused by substandard Christmas series lights and improper installation, the government stresses consumer protection against products flooding the market which apparently skirt around government standards tests. 

At the Kapihan sa PIA Thursday, DTI’s Jose Hibaya reminds: always read the labels when buying electrical products. 

And seek out the proper marks that tell that the products pass through products’ standards, he advised. 

Hibaya explained that for electrical products should bear the Product Standards (PS) marks of the DTI Bureau of Product Standards (BPS) or the Import Commodity Clearance (ICC) for imported steady or blinking electrical products like Christmas lights. 

He also revealed there has not been any local manufacturer of Christmas lights which the DTI-BPS has given the PS mark. 

He could not also say if there were pending applications for such or there were simply none. What he is certain is that consumers should look for the ICC marks on the imported Christmas lights products sold here. 

The ICC marks, he hinted, should assure the consumer that the products are safe, as they pass through the safety standards set by the country’s premier standards testing bureau. 

He also said standard Christmas lights have bulbs that do not easily break, the lines used do not break easily and the plug prongs are sturdy. 

Beyond that, checking the ICC marks should be an assurance. 

The ICC marks are those silver logos placed in the product’s packaging. 

Along with the ICC marks, he also pointed out that products are labeled in compliance with the law. 

Some Christmas lights are set for indoor use, others can be used outdoors, he said. 

Christmas lights specified for indoors should not be installed outside, where they are exposed to sun and rain, which could make the product deteriorate rapidly, he warns.

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PPOC establishes regular 
cops-media story huddle 
Rey Anthony Chiu 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, December 12, 2012 (PIA) –If there’s a will, there’s definitely a way. 

Afraid over improper reporting of crimes which has the potential to a perception of a disturbed Bohol, the Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC) plows a way for the media and the local police to level-off on crime information. 

During its last two meetings, the PPOC tackled the delicate issue of information handling by the media. 

Members of the council believe that there are more good than bad news here, but most of the stories reported are the bad news, apparently painting an entirely different picture of Bohol. 

While a council member explained that media men assigned in hospital beats are expected to report incidents from their beats, he added that despite a good number of good news happening in Bohol, very few people are reporting these good news. 

The PPOC members also noted that some media men report news from police blotter entries without even exerting any effort to treat the incomplete information. 

The best way, according to PPOC media representative Carlito Responte, is to hold a regular informal huddle between police and media so both could work out a way to deliver the good news and accurately report the negative ones. 

In Bohol, where tourism has become one of the major economic engines, a world perception of disturbed peace could be the virus that drives tourists away. 

Council members also believe that improper information handling by the media could spring from gaps between the media and the police desk officers. 

To heal the gap, the PPOC has proposed a regular monthly informal gathering of the media, police, army and interested PPOC members so each could thresh out issues. 

Bohol Police Provincial Director Constantino Barot hailed the move and asked his men to establish rapport with the media so as to facilitate more effective and efficient information sharing. 

At the first police-media forum held at the Camp Dagohoy weeks back, media workers and radio anchors took turns in milking out police protocols and operational procedures to sort out critical information from those which are for public consumption. 

The next media-police informal gathering is set sometime next week. (30/sjp)

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DTI fears a surge of helmet 
Validation as deadline nears 
Rey Anthony Chiu 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, December 15, 2012 (PIA)—Do not wait for the deadline. 

Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) authorities who noticed a rising trend in motorcyclists seeking standard helmet validation in the past weeks fear a sudden surge of sticker seeking motorcyclists lining up at the local office may be a huge inconvenience. 

This too as the days for helmet validation are slowly ticking off and only very few motorists have successfully acquired standard helmet validation through stickers even as January 2013 nears, according to DTI consumer division chief Jose Hibaya. 

DTI, the agency tasked by the law to validate standard helmets acquired prior to the effectivity of the law, has validated only a little more than 5,000 crash helmets, Hibaya bared at Kapihan sa PIA Thursday. 

In Bohol, observers estimate that the main bulk of motorcycle helmet owners would converge at the same time at the DTI for validation on the last remaining days before the deadline, December 31. 

According to Republic Act 10054, all motorcycle riders, including drivers and back riders, are required to wear standard protective motorcycle helmets at all times while driving, whether long or short drives, in any type of road and highway. 

Standard protective motorcycle helmets are appropriate types of helmets for motorcycle riders that comply with the specifications issued by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). 

At this, motorists who obtained their crash helmets prior to the effectivity of the law are given time to have their helmets validated by the DTI, to see if these crash helmets comply with the standards of product safety. 

But after a suspension of the implementation of the law, which should have been applicable since August 1, the DTI has issued very few stickers compared to a huge number of registered motorcycles in Bohol. 

Now, those who wish to beat the deadline and have helmet validation only have 8 more days before they would have to risk wearing substandard helmets and get flagged down on roadside inspections. 

December 24, 25 and 31 have been declared holidays in the country. 

The Land Transportation Office, the agency tasked to implement the road safety measure would be starting to randomly flag down of motorcyclists not wearing standard helmets beginning January 1. 

Any person caught not wearing the standard protective motorcycle helmet will be punished with a fine of P1,500.00 for the first offense, P3,000.00 for the second offense, P5,000.00 for the third offense, and P10,000.00 plus confiscation of the driver’s license for the fourth and succeeding offenses, according to the helmet law. 

After a suspension in the implementation of Republic Act 10054 in August, DTI believes the law would finally be implemented January 1, 2013. 

Hibaya said the DTI has been called for an inter-agency task group meeting on the last week of December, to discuss and coordinate the measures relative to the strict implementation of the motorcycle helmet law by January 1. (30/sjp)

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Boholano Rice soon 
available in markets 
Rey Anthony Chiu 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, December 15, 2012 (PIA)—A new brand bearing the Boholano Rice would soon be available in the markets, this as a multi-million farmers’ post production facility starts its commercial operation serving local rice farmers December 10. 

The new rice brand finally breaking into the commercial market circuits which can truly be called the Boholano Rice, comes out from a state of the art milling facility in a one-hectare rice processing complex in Pilar Bohol. 

Coming out in transparent cellophane packs and plastic sacks, the new rice brand can be pearly white of the standard red rice popular among Boholanos. 

By this too, former agriculture secretary and now Bohol second district congressman Arthur C. Yap meant that Bohol farmers would now be saving huge post harvest loses attendant to poor post harvest facilities and technologies then. 

Agriculture officials unite in saying that about 15% of the country’s total rice production is lost due to poor post harvest facilities. 

“We insisted in pushing for the rice processing facility in Bohol, finding it feasible,” he shared. 

He also highlighted that “65% of the region’s total production (Central Visayas) comes from Bohol. 

The congressman, who, in his stint as agriculture secretary, has aggressively pushed for the country to bank on the 60th diplomatic anniversary for the two country’s bilateral alliance to ask South Korea to bring in to the country its rice processing program. 

“South Korea has had a fantastic agri-processing program,” now Congressman Yap told the thick audience attending the inauguration of the P206 million state-of-the-art Philippines-South Korea Rice Processing Complex in Pilar, Bohol. 

The Pilar RPC forms part of the Department of Agriculture advocacy of putting up modern RPCs in strategic locations across the country’s top rice producing provinces. 

Agriculture officials also said that the Pilar RPC followed the modern rice processing facilities in Baler, Aurora; Pototan Ilo-ilo and Santa Barbara in Pangasinan. 

Another state of the art rice processing facility rises in Davao del Sur early next year, agriculture officials said. 

With a milling capacity of three tons per hour, the facility would be a huge help in perking up production, the solon pointed out. 

“Now, farmers can sell their rice as rice, not as palay,” he said. (30/ed)

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Boholana chanter at NTF ‘12 
Among theater inspirations 
Rey Anthony Chiu 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, December 15, 2012, (PIA) – A young teacher cast of Bohol’s official entry to the 4th National Theater Festival (NTF) at the Cultural Center of the Philippines brings glory to Bohol theater networks when she was hailed among the best featured musical actress and stars in the theater circuit in 2012. 

At the Philippine Daily Inquirer’s Bravo, Best of the Theater 2012 Awards, singer chanter Geraldine Pancho, who is now teaching in Legazpi City was cited among the honorable mentions for Honorable Mentions Best Featured Actress in Musicals, 2012. 

The young Boholana from Maribojoc performed chilling chants for Bohol 1700: Duha ka Alimpo sa Habagat, the province’s official entry to the 2012 NTF. 

For her feat she now sits with Cherie Gil (“Nine”); Cris Villonco (“Jekyll and Hyde”); Aiza Seguerra (“Rock of Ages”); Angelina Kanapi and Mae Paner (“Stageshow”); Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo and Carla Guevara-Laforteza (“Nine”); Apple Chiu (“The King and I”) and Sheila Francisco (“Rivalry: Ateneo-La Salle, The Musical”) 

Pancho, who also does the chilling historical narratives through chanting in the play Tawag sa Bantayan, has been cited as among the more brilliant hopes for the theater scene in the country that has slowly been unceremoniously sidled out of the way for the silver screen. 

This year’s NTF tackled issues on the evident dwindling of stage play patrons. 

Reasons quoted were the often that students, who may have been forced to patronize plays as supplementary learning, were out on vacations at the time of the staging, the perceived in-suitability of the material to audiences which results in the narrowing of the possible breadth of creative interpretations by play creative teams and still several inane reasons, bared Rody Vera of the Inquirer. 

But despite the beak scenario and the raging issues in the theater circuits which the NTF attempted to take, the new works which came from regional theater companies during the festival were glints of hope. 

Vera called these new exciting works ones which should ignite inspiring energy among theater workers as he has been inspired by the new works. 

“Ironically, it is in this bleak perspective that I gather the inspiring energy to do more for the theater I so love. We are compelled to take the optimistic, some say quixotic, stance, for not to do so would be to cease creating, he wrote. 

For Pancho’s feat too, Lutgardo Labad, Bohol theater networks artistic director said [Pancho] and other theater awardees make theater networks proud. (30/hd)

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