Saturday, January 26, 2013

Bohol crimes continue 
to dip, says PD Barot 
Rey Anthony Chiu 

CLARIN, Bohol, January 21, 2012, (PIA)—Crime volume in Bohol in the last two years dropped by 12%, as police crime statistics record a maintained dipping trend in crimes in the last three years. 

Total crime volume in Bohol in 2011 totaled 2762, which further went down to 2429 in 2012, according to Bohol Police Director Constantino Barot. 

Reporting at the Provincial Peace and Order Council convened at the Bohol Island State University Conference Room in time for the Bohol HEAT Caravan January 21, PSSupt Barot also pointed out that crimes recorded in 2010 reached 4037. 

Camp Dagohoy statisticians also note that there is a 40% decrease in crimes from 2012 when compared to the 2010 records, a fact that superintendent Barot credits to 90% help from the public and only 10% police aggressive crime fighting. 

In 90% of the cases that are reported, you do not have a police officer seeing the crime as it happened, and yet we score high in crime solution efficiency, the tall and fit police officer pointed out. 

Bohol police also registered an 86% crime clearance efficiency (CCE) in December of 2012, after a 54% CCE in November of the same year. 

CCE happens when a suspect has been identified relative to a crime, but by a sort of a forged amicable settlement, the victim has shown disinterest in pursuing the case, Barot explained to council members. 

However, Barot hinted tough times for Bohol police especially with the 2013 midterm elections rushing. 

Now divided between crime fighting in maintaining peace and order in Bohol, as well as keeping orderly and peaceful conduct of election related activities, Bohol police chief hinted that amidst all the challenges, “sustaining the Police Integrated Patrol System poses an even greater challenge.” 

Already basking in successes in crime fighting which he ascribes to active help of the civil society, Barot added that encouragement of public vigilance will be of great help in preempting and preventing crimes. 

Hence, there is a need to constantly educate and solicit the support of the different stakeholders in the community, he stressed even as he believes that Bohol PPO will continue to accept the challenges and will continue to strive to sustain remarkable performance in policing thereby continually making Bohol a safe place to live, work, and do business. (30/ sjp)

PPOC mulls on local 
Balik-baril program 
Rey Anthony H. Chiu 

DUMAGUETE CITY, January 23, 2013 (PIA) – Bohol Peace Council resolves to explore ways to implement a localized system of accounting for loose guns, in a bid to curb criminality and keep Boholanos safer. 

In an out of town meeting in Clarin town, January 21, the Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC) approved en masse a resolution tasking a special committee to study ways of implementing a localized “Balik Baril” program. 

The motion came just as the PPOC agree that a localized program for fire-arms not covered by the National Integration Program, could motivate people to finally turn-over loose fire-arms, many of which are ending up in the streets and in the hands of criminals. 

The issue surfaced as council members sought ways to account for these fire-arms now in the hands of people who would want to surrender them to the government. 

Police authorities shared that guns in these people, could be incriminating evidence and could be used in illegal possession charges against the person. 

Owing to the danger of keeping these firearms, PPOC members sought ways to make surrendering these fire-arms more enticing. 

2nd Special Forces Battalion Commander Colonel Julius Tomines explained that the National Amnesty Program incorporates motivational packages including hefty cash rewards for livelihood assistance and community integration programs, but these involve only for those firearms brought by surrenderees. 

A national budget allocation has been set aside to support the program, Col. Tomines said. 

He added that loose firearms surrendered by rebel returnees availing of the amnesty program are also credited based on the active list of the military order of battle where the weapon bearer is listed. 

It means that ordinary loose firearms could not be surrendered for one who is not in the list of the military order of battle, to avail of the national amnesty program. 

To further motivate people to surrender loose firearms and for the government to account these, council members believe that a study on such could lead the Sangguniang Panlalawigan to legislate for allocations in the return of such fire-arms. 

Members of the PPOC said in the absence of a national allocation set for local surrender of fire-arms, perhaps the provincial government could put up a local allocation to support the cash rewards. 

But this has to be studied in relation to the national government’s firearms amnesty program, members said. (30/sjp)

Cops eye competitors 
Behind SSB “threats” 
Rey Anthony H. Chiu 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, January 22, 2013 (PIA) –“The fragmentation grenade that was found under a parked bus in Clarin town last week was nothing that we should be wary about”. 

Police investigators assured this as their pursuit of the case led them towards business-competition-gone-ugly, which came as a “welcome treat” to a new bus company servicing Bohol. 

Southern Star Bus (SSB), a sister Company of Ceres bus line and operated by Vallacar Transit heaped threats and complaints in their entry to Bohol, the latest of which was a fragmentation grenade found under a parked bus in Clarin town, in the early morning of January 17. 

The same bus company has had cases of units torched in Negros island, owing to the company’s hard stance against revolutionary taxes. 

In Bohol, where insurgents have been driven off to insignificance, the statement by Bohol Police Provincial director Constantino Barot at the Provincial peace and Order Council Meeting about the incident immediately doused insinuations that the threats were communist rebels-related. 

Barot said police investigators have initially included all angles in pursuing leads in the case [including rebels] but the trend points to the bus’ business competitors. 

“It’s not something to be worried about,” Barot assured members of the PPOC in Bohol, which gathered to appraise local peace situation at the Bohol Island State University Conference Hall January 21. 

It may be recalled that SSB partnered with Saint Jude Transportation in Bohol to take on some of the latter’s franchise routes. 

Fielding out the trademark yellow and white Mazda buses, Southern Star started plying traditional St. Jude routes, but not to the delight of St. Jude competitors who tend to lose their golden days. 

Barot shared that investigators have pointed out that SSB has amassed threats as separate police stations blotters along their service routes reveal. 

The top cop in Bohol cited instances when SSB road crew get threats from competitors with franchised routes in Anda towns and Carmen town. 

While he did not name the Anda competitor, Barot mentioned Clynn Bus Lines as having problems with SSB road crew, where at times, the threats escalated to physical confrontations and some have been reportedly hurt. 

On the police report, Chatto revealed to the council that Capitol has mediated for the eventual resolution of the issues, but threats continue among ranks while top company officials appear to come to common terms. 

On this, Chatto hinted that Capitol hopes they can immediately umpire the problem so that both transport companies under Bohol Operators of Land Transportation Association and SSB could serve the Boholano riding public well. (30/ed) 

Growing “molave” from 
Seedlings, huge success 
Rey Anthony Chiu 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, January 23, 2013 (PIA) –Molave, (vitex parviflora) that sturdy and tough hardwood which have been thought to be just natural growths, can now be planted from seedlings with high survival rating. 

Bohol has been successful in growing molave, locally known as tugas, from seedlings, according to Leonilo Lafuente, chief of the Bohol Environment Management Office, which is the administrative caretaker of the Bohol Biodiversity Complex. 

Bohol Biodiversity Complex, is a local government-run facility that maintains a nursery of Bohol’s endemic species of monocarps and especially 16 of the 42 species of diphterocarps, hardwood species in the country. 

The idea was to come up with a sustainable tree planting material support to the country’s greening program and present to Boholanos the ideal endemic reforestation species that has proven itself to be true to the soil composition of Bohol, explains Lafuente over at Kapihan sa PIA, Thursday. 

The BEMO Chief, who admitted he had a stint monitoring the foreign funded national greening programs which introduced foreign species before, said the endemic nursery has achieved some 98% survival rating for the molave. 

Moreover, the good news it brings is that with the ability to plant molave now, it may not be long before cutting molave as lumber may not anymore be illegal, he said excitedly. 

So we ask people to plant molave, register them and then enjoy the benefits of harvesting it later for whatever purposes, Lafuente urged. 

Long believed to be just natural growths, molaves grow abundantly and was extensively harvested in Bohol, until many people fear that the centuries-old growths can be cut to critical extinction. 

For this, government imposed a cutting ban on molave, a measure implemented with the belief that these sturdy lumber species were never planted at all. 

As an alternative to molave for lumber, re-greening authorities promoted mahogany and gmelina, truly fast growing tree species, so people could quickly use them, Restituto Piolio Jr., Bohol Biodiversity Complex caretaker said. 

We found later that these species are invasive and water intensive, draining our aquifers so we have to go back to the endemic species, Lafuente also pointed out. 

Now, the nursery also pots other endemic species including bayok-bayokan, langin, palosapis, tagibok-bok, bitaug, bayokbok, kamagong, hambabawod, dita, bajong and still several other inferior lumber species but have proven to be flowering or fruit bearing, hastening propagation in Bohol. (30/cc)

Alopecia areata: what is it? 
Rey Anthony H. Chiu 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, January 25, 2013 (PIA) – There is a hair-fall condition that leaves one with small round bald patches in the scalp or with a total hair loss, but this condition is not as medically disabling as the trauma one gets for having alopecia areata, says a respected tableya entrepreneur who has proven her condition is a really a barrier to success. 

Now presenting herself with a mission to put up a support group for persons with similar conditions of having this auto-immune disease whom others think of as very sick, top tableya entrepreneur Dalareich Polot said it is high time that people understand the condition to make it easier for people who have the disease to cope. 

Polot, who had the disease since she was young confessed it was hell seeing her classmates look at her bald patch, now seeing why most of us who have this wear wigs, bandanas or any head cover. 

Alopecia Areata is a condition when body hair falls out, as a result of an autoimmune skin disease which leads to a gradual hair loss on scalp and elsewhere on the body: one or more small, round, smooth patches on the scalp, and in some conditions progress to total scalp hair loss (alopecia totalis) or complete body hair loss (alopecia universalis). 

She said the condition affects approximately 2% of the population, occurs both in males and females of all ages, but its onset most often occurs in childhood. 

According to her, this skin disease is highly unpredictable and cyclical, hair can grow back in or fall out again at any time, and the disease course is different for each person. 

In alopecia, the affected hair follicles become very small and prevent growth of hair in the scalp, which is the most commonly affected area. Here, its one’s own body sending chemicals to the hair follicles to suppress hair growth, she explains. 

Current research said something triggers the immune system to suppress the hair follicle, but studies have not pinpointed exactly what triggers it. 

Recent research indicates that some persons have genetic markers that make them more susceptible to alopecia areata. 

While heredity plays a significant role in alopecia, researchers and scientists have yet to find cure for the condition, although in some cases, hair may also return by itself. . 

Moreover, there have been claims of treatment, but these still need Food and Drugs Authority approval. 

Treating alopecia can depend on the magnitude of hair loss and age, she said, and it is most effective in milder cases. 

Injecting cortisone, putting up topical applications of minoxidil, anthralin cream or ointment directed to stimulate follicles to produce hair again, can be done but this is expensive, she said. 

In most cases, people would just cover their head with wigs, hats or bandanas, which are less expensive, she admits. 

On this, she shares, Alopecia areata is not medically disabling; persons with alopecia areata are usually in excellent health, but, emotionally, she admits the disease can be challenging, especially for those with extensive hair loss. 

Everything boils down to how one effectively copes with the disease, she pointed out, adding that thousands of patients have been successful, well-adjusted and contented even with this condition, she quips.. 

She cited Kayla Martell, an American who had alopecia and still became a beauty queen winner of the Miss Delaware 2010 pageant, which she got without even wearing a wig. 

Getting used to the condition she admits, “Yeah, the emotional pain of alopecia areata can be overcome with one’s own inner resources, sound medical facts, and the support of others. 

Sometimes professional counseling from a psychiatrist, psychologists or social workers is needed to develop one’s self confidence and positive self-image,” she also asserts. 

Alopecia areata can be hard for those who have the disease and for their families especially those kids with alopecia areata. Although every experience is unique, there are some feelings commonly shared among those affected. 

She cites, “you might be thinking that no one knows or understand what you are going through. Many people with alopecia areata think this, and then feel relieved when they finally meet someone else with alopecia areata or learn from a support group in his/her place.” 

Every child and every parent copes differently with alopecia areata. There are no rules, and every day brings new challenges. Children/teens who have just discovered their first bald spot will react differently than children their same age who have had alopecia areata all their lives. 

The sudden onset of this condition can be very frightening for all concerned. All living for any period of time whether brief or long – with unpredictable hair loss presents many challenges. 

If you meet people with this condition, what do you do? 

First, learn all you can about alopecia areata. 

Second, answer your child’s questions directly and honestly. 

Third, always hug your child and look them in the eye and tell them that they are beautiful, don’t forget about your family rules; don’t let alopecia areata define your child-or determine the type of parent you are. 

Polot, who had the same condition, is the first support group leader for Alopecia Areata in the Philippines. 

She said her mission is to reach out those individuals and families with alopecia areata and help them live full, productive lives. 

The foundation provides brochures, magazines, newsletters and media files to educate people about the condition, she notes, 

If you know a person who have this condition and wants to seek advice or support, just email or call numbers: 639399023462/ (038) 411-0584 or email

She also shares her story in her blog:

I’ll be happy to talk to people and give them brochures from NAAF if they want. I’m doing this for public awareness especially here in the Phil, she beamed. (30/hd). 

PIA-7 orients workers 
On excellence awards 
Rey Anthony Chiu 

DUMAGUETE CITY, January 24, 2013 (PIA) –Philippine Information Agency (PIA) Regional Director in Central Visayas reorients employees and staff of the government incentive program for well performing workers, during the Management and Staff Conference Work and Financial Plan workshop here at Plaza Maria Luisa, Dumaguete City. 

Minerva Newman, PIA Central Visayas Chief said she hopes the PIA in the region can submit and nominate exemplary performance among its information centers as a way of further showcasing best practices and innovations in governance as a team and as individuals. 

Presenting the Program on Awards and Incentives for Service Excellence (PRAISE) of the Civil Service Commission (CSC) as well as the PIA Incentive Programs to the PIA rank and file, Newman pointed out that numerous PIA programs in the region could be nominated owing to their program implementation innovations. 

The CSC PRAISE and Honor awards program, which includes award for outstanding work performance and award for exemplary conduct and ethical behavior is the premier government awards for excellent work and performance. 

Meanwhile, PIA has also its version of an in-agency award set up for the same purpose, Newman explained. 

She points out that PIA central Visayas’ provincial offices each have their possible programs up for nomination, even as she assured the regional office would immediately endorse such nominations if the provincial offices submit these for evaluation. 

Among the programs she points out are Bohol Information Center’s Cultural Empowerment through Community Theater Development and its Leadership Enhancement Training Seminar (LETS) Workshops, Negros Oriental’s Voter’s Education and Cebu Information Center’s I-Cebu electronic magazine. 

The CSC awards carry with it prestigious workers citations and cash award, and the PIA hands out similar packages to further motivate its employees to do government a better service. (30/gg) 

Catigbian gets new 
PCSO ambulance 

CORTES, Bohol, January 26, 2013 (PIA) – While several local government leaders into their last term of service would just slowly coast towards the finish line, this Bohol mayor would not rest until he has berthed his boat to progress. 

In possibly one of the last official functions before be graciously bows out of service having completed three consecutive terms, Catigbian town mayor Roberto Salinas showed he still has a good fight left. 

Himself aggressively laying out the green haven for peace and development carpet for the town, the dynamic town executive who used to steer ships in the navy, managed to eke out a unit of brand new Foton ambulance for the town. 

This is the government’s gift to Catibianons, he beamed during the turn over ceremonies of the new health mobility asset January 16. 

We have to be thanksful to His Excellency Benigno C. Aquino III who had the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) approve the request for the engine fully equipped ambulance, he told townspeople who gathered for the simple rites. 

He shared that he has been seeking government intervention to secure one more ambulance, a request they pushed since the administration of Ex- President Gloria M. Arroyo, when they realized that an ambulance is indeed needed to enhance health access and to strengthen the set up two-way referral system for the town’s heath service protocol. 

“We have a little over 11,300 hectares in town divided among 22 barangays. We need to have a more mobility assets to get to the people and one good enough to get the patients quickly to the town health facility of to the nearest hospital,” he pointed out. 

Catigbian currently maintains two ambulance units based at the Catigbian Municipal Health and Lying In Center, but with 22 barangays, the two are greatly incapacitated to serve the most effectively. 

With this new ambulance from the PCSO, this is the least we can do to provide timely and effective delivery of basic health services covering the whole town, he said. 

We have to acknowledge the efforts of the Municipal Health Office and the Sangguniang Bayan for facilitating your request for better service, he also said. 

Mayor Salinas, Dr. Eldrin M. Mascarinas and Camilo J. Maglajos, the ambulance driver accepted the ambulance in Manila last week. 

Town parish priest Fr. Danilo Maniwan, blessed the health mobility asset last Sunday, January 20, 2013, in time for the feast of Sr. Sto. Nino. 

For quick response, the local officials decided to deploy one town ambulance at Barangay Maitum so that in case of care services and emergency cases, adjacent barangays like Cang-iras, Triple Union, Liboran, Mantasida and Alegria can be immediately served. 

The local leaders also contemplate on assigning another unit at barangay Mahayag Norte which will cover adjacent and far flung barangays like Mahayag Sur, Hagbuaya, Cambailan, Bagtic and Baang. 

The brand new ambulance will be stationed at the Catigbian Health Center with Lying-In. (mcayme/RAC)

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