Saturday, March 16, 2013

Feb ‘12 crimes drop 
Compared to 2011 
Rey Anthony H. Chiu 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, March 15, 2013, (PIA) –Compared to February of 2012, crimes in Bohol dropped to about a hundred, as police efforts to keep the peace in Bohol continue without relent. 

From 272 crimes reported in February of last year, police reported only 177 index and non-index crimes for the same period this year, according to Police Chief Inspector George Caña at the recent Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC) Meeting held March 13, in Trinidad, Bohol. 

Inspector Caña, Camp Dagohoy Operations Chief delivered the monthly peace and order situation in Bohol in lieu of PSSupt Constantino Barot, who could not make it to the meeting. 

The drop in figures amount to 35% crime reduction rate which police ascribe to the establishment of election control chokepoints and checkpoints, increased police visibility as midterm elections in 2013 pushed law enforcement offices and poll officials into overdrive in the election season. 

The drop is also 1 case higher compared to January this year which recorded 176 index and non index crimes reported in police blotters. 

Police records also show that in the past three months, police have established a consistently rising cases of non-index crimes; as 29, 34 and 50 in December 2012, January and February in 2013. 

Last month, during another PPOC held at the Mansion, provincial director Constantino Barot explained that in a case where there is a climb in non-index crimes, it shows that police have gone their way from their usual attitude of waiting for crimes to happen, to getting out of their desks to pursue criminals and prevent crime commission. 

Also noticeable in the Caña presentation is the rise in theft and robbery in Bohol, a condition observers always ascribe to trending crimes in a pre-election season. 

Topping this month’s crimes is theft, which accounts to some 51.40% followed by robbery which 36.28% of the months case files. 

“We have noticed the trend and would like to ask our people to help us curb this crime by immediately reporting any case, or reporting the presence of suspicious looking persons who may be about to commit crimes,” Barot once said. 

To this, police authorities have said that theft cases can only subsist if people would present the opportunity for the crime to prosper. 

“Always negate the opportunity for crimes to happen,” urged Colonel Barot, who also added that “majority of rob cases involve cellphone carrying people who temptingly used their mobiles on isolated road stretches where it would be easy for motorcycle-riding criminals to swoop on and pick on them.” (30/sjp) 

Firefighters ‘highlight’ 
Need for fire hydrants 
Rey Anthony H. Chiu 

MCIAA, Pasay, March 13, 2013, 2013 (PIA) –Local legislators may just have to see the necessity of putting up measures to complement their fire trucks with fire hydrants. 

Bohol Fire Marshall Esmael Codilla hints this during the recent Kapihan sa PIA which tackled on the issue of fire preparedness in commemoration of March as Fire Prevention Month. 

The Bureau of Fire Protection has fairly succeeded in convincing local government units to put up their necessary fire-fighting equipment from their own resources, but putting up fire hydrants is a local government step. 

In fact, when waiting for national allocation on firetrucks are exceedingly vague sources of equipment, so that BFP hinted other modes of procurement to get fire suppressing equipment. 

Using the provisions of the National Disaster and Risk Reduction Law, local governments are now empowered to use their un-used disaster funds to procure disaster rescue equipment, including fire trucks, revealed Fire Inspector Raul Bustalinio. 

Within the next few months, there could be more to the 23 town fire stations established Codilla, also said. 

But these fire stations however would need reliable water sources to fill their fire trucks quick. 

As fire operatives admit they have pre-identified water sources in strategic areas in the province from where fire-trucks can draw water, few towns have legislated fire hydrants in their commercial or residential districts. 

In fact, citing the fire-fighting capacity of locally acquired firetrucks, observers have openly doubted if this equipment can endure sustained fire-fighting operations. 

Most of the fire trucks procured by local government units are small 1500 gallons liters and the water could be expended in about 10 minutes of sustained firefighting, said a fire volunteer in an interview. 

BFP authorities also shared that the first five-ten minutes of fire suppression after a break-out is the most crucial. 

But without the fire hydrants that culd help sustain the water supply nearby, firetrucks would need to replenish from the BFP identified sources. 

The minutes these equipment leave the fire scene, could be the difference between saving properties or losing the fight, BFP authorities agree. 

Here, towns and local government units can legislate to make firefighting efficient. 

Fires have been identified as a huge setback in sustainable growth, which also stunts or draws back progress. (30/sjp)

PDEA shifts gear in 
“drug-abuse drives” 
Rey Anthony H. Chiu 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, March 15, 2013 (PIA) –The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in Bohol is covering all bases as the fight against drugs and its proliferation goes active and proactive here. 

Then believed to be covering more of the supply reduction, considering its serious lack of manpower, logistics and mobility, PDEA here has apparently shifted to a two pronged approach where the proactive information dissemination on the effects of drug use shares program focus, data from the recent Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC) Meeting showed. 

Mandated by law to be the main arm in executing measures against the proliferation of dangerous drugs, the PDEA has admitted its being too thinly spread out that it has to ask support from other law enforcement agencies, explains Bohol police provincial director Constantino Barot. 

Set up to protect citizens welfare and stir a broad-based growth, the government’s anti drug abuse campaign suffers inefficiency, partly due to unfocused policies, program observers have criticized. 

While the PDEA continued its surveillance, casing and test buy operations against identified or reported drug personalities, appeared to stand before courts and the prosecutors’ office for the disposition of cases this month, the office also aggressively pursued pro-active measures especially in education. 

Instead of reporting mainly on the dangerous drugs supply reduction efforts, the new PDEA leadership has pushed for the pro-active education component to get those curious teen agers off the drugs lure. 

Since last month, PDEA completed six Dangerous Drugs Awareness lectures and Information Drives on the Salient points of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002. 

And to hit their target sectors, the Bohol team went to local high schools here, said PDEA’s Ma. Chona O. Egam, during the latest PPOC Meeting held in Trinidad, Bohol March 13. 

Aside from that, PDEA also brought the agency’s Anti-Drugs Awareness Symposia to at least two bodies: a high school and another, to local government officials of Trinidad town, Egam reports. 

In her report, Egam said they conducted Dangerous Drugs Awareness Seminar and Information Dissemination of the salient points of the Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 to 270 students of Tabalong High School on February 6, to 168 students of Infant King Academy in Cortes last February 11. 

On February 12, PDEA tackled similar seminar to 43 students of Bohol International Learning Center in Cortes and moved to Fatima High School of the same town for the 153 students attending the seminar. 

By February 20, PDEA again scored accomplishments by giving the same lecture to 37 grade 7 students of Lourdes High School in Cortes. 

Two days later, PDEA was again in Kinan-oan High School to serve the information needs of 113 junior and senior students, Egam said. 

Last February 14 also, PDEA was in Trinidad attending its town Peace and Order Council Meeting and giving out its Dangerous Drugs Symposium to 37 council members. 

The end of the month had the government agency holding its Drugs Symposium to Cabilao National High School, where 196 students participated in the activity. (30/SJP) 

Challenge to build homes 
in Bohol villages continue 
Rey Anthony H. Chiu 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, March 15, 2013 (PIA) – The challenge: to build a community of twenty duplex houses for homeless Boholanos in Antequera and Talibon, Bohol within five days. 

Can it be done? 

It would depend on the Boholanos’ openness to make change happen and allow room for the conviction of realizing a better Philippines come true, organizers of the 8th Bayani Challenge dared. 

Set March 23-27, the 8th Bayani Challenge attempts to rouse 100,000 volunteers to personally join hands in building houses, schools, community centers, farms and other livelihood support for 37 new housing sites in 33 provinces all over the country. 

Two of those community development sites are in Bohol: Bantolinao Antequera and Magsaysay, Talibon. 

Banking on the Filipino volunteerism which runs through its genes, the activity also hopes to feed on the Filipino craving to make change happen, said a press material from a movement called Pilipinas Natin. 

Started in 2006, Bayani Challenge is touted to be the biggest volunteer movement in the country after successfully mobilizing 10,400 volunteers last year in the spirit of the quintessential Filipino trait of bayanihan. 

On these days, a new kind of People Power will be shown in 37 sites of 33 different provinces, as volunteers from across the nation work together to ensure that no Filipino will be left behind in the national pursuit for progress and sustainable development, it said. 

Driven by this year’s theme of Isang Bayan, Isang Bayanihan, volunteers sign-up in teams of fifteen (15) for a 5-day test of courage, endurance and love for country as they engage in varied nation-building activities that include the construction and refurbishment of homes and schools, education sessions for children, tree-planting, clean-up drives, and health missions. 

In Bohol, interested volunteers can sign-up individually or in groups of 15 by visiting the official Facebook page of Bayani Challenge:

Most of the Bayani Challenge Volunteers are youths who seek to counter the apathy and materialism prevalent in our society by instilling lasting hope and concretizing compassion into sustainable, positive action. 

Past volunteers have attested that through this experience, they carried with them insights about how today is the best time to be a Filipino as their generation seeks to prove to the nation that volunteerism is the key to the permanent dismantling of the unjust structures that perpetuate poverty and injustice in the Philippines. 

Serving the Nation will prove to be more fun in the Philippines as well with the inclusion of marathons, a Master Kusinero cooking competition, sports competitions and Laro ng Lahi games. 

These activities aim to foster nurturing relationships between volunteers and the members of the empowered communities. 

Bayani Challenge is a multi-sectoral partnership spearheaded by Pilipinas Natin (the flagship volunteer program of the Presidential Communications Operations Office). 

The vast network of private companies, organizations and other government agencies includes Gawad Kalinga, Philippine Information Agency, Department of Education, National Youth Commission, Commission on Higher Education, Department of Health, TESDA, PAGCOR, Armed Forces of the Philippines, National Telecommunications Commission, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, League of Provinces, EDSA People Power Commission, Housing and Urban Development Council, Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines, Radyo ng Bayan, LBC Foundation, BERJAYA Corporation Berhad, Globe Telecom, People’s Television and many others. 

Just as millions of people gathered at EDSA to achieve social change, Bayani Challenge will be a revolution against poverty by building healthy, humane and nurturing communities. 

The event is a challenge to every Filipino to put a halt to bickering and complaining and grab the opportunity to be part of the solution and become a modern day hero. (30.hd)

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