Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Local candidates have 
43 days to campaign 
Rey Anthony H. Chiu 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, March 06, 2013 (PIA) –Local candidates will have lesser than 45 days period to do the campaign works. 

Bohol Commission on Elections (Comelec) Officer in Charge Atty. Leonil Marco Castillano admitted this at the Kapihan sa PIA, which tackled the election calendar and the possible campaign violations that may be reported to the poll body’s complaint portal. 

As per COMELEC resolution 9385, March 29 marks the beginning of the campaign for local candidates just as the national elective positions from senate to congressional seats have reached halfway of the 90 days allocated for their campaign. 

Local candidates are allocated 45 days of campaigning, Comelec said, but with elections set May 13, 2013, there might not be 45 days of campaign left. 

If you count 45 days from May 13, Atty. Eliseo Labaria said you will get to March 29. 

But March 29, which is supposed to be the start of the campaign period for local candidates, is Good Friday and the Comelec has prohibited campaigns for that day. 

Section 5 of Republic Act 7166 provides that, in the preparation of the election calendar, the Commission may exclude the day before the day of the election itself, Maundy Thursday and Good Friday. 

Incidentally, March 29 is a Good Friday and the day before elections is already a day excluded in the campaign period. 

This then makes only 2 days in March, 30 in April and 11 days in May available for candidates for Members of the House of Representatives, elective provincial, city and municipal officials some 43 days to try to engage the voters to root for them. 

In fact, the Comelec, which has found a new social media portal in #SumbongKo has encouraged netizens to report violations on the campaign rules. 

Netizens who may have found violations can document them by pictures and upload them in twitter using the hast tag #sumbongKo. 

Any election campaign or partisan political activity for or against any candidate outside of the campaign period herein provided is prohibited and shall be considered as an election offense punishable under Section 263 and 264 of the Omnibus Election Code. (30/gg)

GIZ/DTI ProGED proj 
Piloted in Bohol, Cebu 
Rey Anthony Chiu 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, March 06, 2013 (PIA) –Bohol and Cebu gets to be piloted again for phase 2 of a German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ) project in green tourism. 

Already pre-identified as a tourism region in the country, Cebu and Bohol’s successful implementation of the Promotion for Green Economic Development (ProGED) strategies could soon be scaled up to other regions and even national offices, Department of Trade and Industry Regional Director Asteria Caberte explained during the start-up event held at the Mansion February 25. 

The gathering also invited Bohol’s champions of green economic development, tourism sector industry leaders 

ProGED aims to build on the gains and experiences of the earlier government and private sector engagements in Small Medium Enterprise Development for Sustainable Employment Program (SMEDSEP), according to Volker Steigerwald, ProGED project manager. 

The project then, improved the environment for government and private sector engagements especially to micro, small and medium enterprises hoping to strike a balance on their business impacts to people, planet and profit, also adds Ma. Elena Arbon, whose agency is also into the joint undertaking. 

Arbon, who is provincial director of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in Bohol showed the effects of climate change in businesses and also shared the concept of green economy which was the identified win-win solution to the question of business sustainability. 

The next challenge is for these MSMEs, government institutions and other interested sectors to increasingly implement environment friendly, climate smart and inclusive strategies and measures in mitigation, adaptation, competitiveness, green jobs provision and even preserving or improving nature’s capital. 

With the concept already tackled and multi-sectoral engagements laying out plans during the first project, the next follow on activity is to go big on Green Economic Development, using the same tools like Green Value Chain Promotion, Green Local and Regional Economic Development Approach and Green Market System Development, explains Steigerwald during the Start-Up event held in Bohol February 25. 

With ProGED piloted in Bohol and Cebu, the initial focus would be on the tourism sector with its high potential for investment, employment and poverty reduction due to its linkages with the upstream and downstream industries in other economic sectors, GIZ officials also stress. 

Mirriam Bacalso, ProGED regional Coordinator also shared the project’s intervention in its initial phase include information and awareness building of GED, Green service facilitation and match making, as well as working for green framework conditions. (30)

Countries “copy” Bohol 
rabies control program 
Rey Anthony H. Chiu 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol March 06, 2013 (PIA) –Thanks to the templates presented by the Bohol Rabies Prevention and Eradication Program (BRPEP), some countries have plucked parts or used our model in providing solutions to their problems in rabies. 

According to Bohol Veterinarian Dr. Stella Marie Lapiz, an international non-stock non profit organization called Global Alliance for Rabies Control (GARC) is now currently generating more funds as it is helping implement the Bohol anti-rabies program in Morogoro, Tanzania; Chad, South Africa; and Nias, Indonesia. 

In the Philippines too, provinces and towns harassed by the problem is into implementing the Bohol rabies template like Ilocos Norte, Sorsogon and El Nido in Palawan. 

Apart from them, the BRPEP is also presenting its programs to LGUS keen on starting their localized implementation of the national law on rabies. 

Bohol rabies program and its details have been presented to San Pedro, Laguna; Cavite Province; Ilocos Norte; Caraga Region; Liga ng mga Barangay-Manila; Liga ng mga Barangay-Iloilo City and the DILG evaluation for Pamana ng Lahi, Dr. Lapiz said. 

GARC, which is partly helping Bohol fund its rabies control and elimination program and at the same time helping other countries provide sustainable solution to the public health issue which rabies brings. 

The provincial veterinary office is currently spearheading the province-wide campaign which has now banked on the help provided by the barangay rabies watch teams to initiate activities that tend to respond to the spread of the animal borne virus. 

Bohol Health Officer Dr. Reymoses Cabagnot recalled that in 2006, Bohol ranked first in the region in rabies cases and pushed the region to third in the country’s human rabies cases. 

Threatened by the disease which has been eradicated in several countries, Bohol local leaders then unleashed a program which was designed to slowly arrest the problem by massive dog vaccination and community mobilization. 

Then, organizing the municipal and barangay based anti-rabies teams flowed out naturally as people realized community involvement is the best way to monitor and put up surveillance systems against the potential spread of the disease. 

A subsequent communication management was also spread through advocacy campaigns, inserting anti-rabies lessons in school modules was the next big thing, recalls Dr. Lapiz whose office also ventured into tapping rabies scouters in the schools. 

With massive vaccinations done consistently in successive years, the massive costs also pushed authorities to put up corresponding dog population control and management program coupled with aggressive responsible pet ownership advocacy. 

The program resulted positively when Bohol slowly instituted the necessary measures and registered consecutive zero-rabies cases. 

The success catapulted the BRPEP into the country’s best innovations with the Gawad Galing Pook awarded in 2012, Dr. Lapiz told rabies program stakeholders in a recent gathering at the Bohol Tropics. (30/gg)

G-Hernandez out-ranks 
17 Bohol rabies councils 
Rey Anthony H. Chiu 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol March 06, 2013 (PIA) –Garcia-Hernandez tops this year’s Best Performing Municipal Rabies Prevention and Elimination Councils as nominated among 17 other nominees. 

Mayor Miguelito Galendez, in his Experiential Sharing admits that he did not expect his town to win considering that they did not even qualify as finalist in last year’s search. 

During the 3rd Governor’s Award for best performing LGU councils in the implementation of the Bohol Rabies Prevention and Eradication Program, held February 25 at the Sandugo Ballroom of Bohol Tropics, Galendez said they envisioned a rabies-free town and aims to register all dogs so there would be no stray dogs wandering in the town’s public areas. 

To help attain their goal, the town puts in a legislated awards system for residents who report the presence of stray dogs, unregistered animals and even contemplates on giving rewards to police officers who help in dog population control, according to a presentation which Mayor Galendez showed at the Tropics. 

Annually too, the town gives P1,000 to barangays each to five barangays which have proven to perform in their annual search for best Bantay Rabies sa Barangay program. 

Garcia Gernandez received P10,000 for the prize and Governor Edgar Chatto also promised the town an additional P100 k projects for winning the award. 

Also winning big were Loon, Mabini, Anda, Sikatuna, Duero, Jagna, Antequera, san Miguel, Baclayon and Inabanga, data from the Provincial Veterinarian revealed. 

In the search where all towns were considered candidates, an evaluation conducted by council members narrowed the list down to 18. 

Councils were assessed based on the efficiency of their operations, effectiveness in the delivery of program objectives and creativity and resourcefulness in designing program interventions. 

The criteria as to the achievement of 70% dog vaccination of its total dog population was one factor that barred other councils from getting nominated, admits a member of the evaluation team. 

This as Bohol also failed to reach the 70% dog vaccination target it set to achieve the goal of a rabies free Bohol in 2014, she said. 

Bohol only attained 68.18, where several towns failed to make it to the 70% vaccination as set by the international organizations also committed to make rabies a thing in the past. 

Despite all these, Bohol still managed to attain milestones within the year, the biggest of it all was the January handling of the Gawad Galing Pook award for its rabies program. (30?sjp)

Tune-up dragonboat races on, 
12-man teams oar Mar 22-23 
Rey Anthony Chiu 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol March 06, 2013 (PIA) –In less than a month, expect the throbbing of drums, not the rumble and roll, but a steady booming as tempo for the methodical and fluid movements of paddlers breaking water as they participate in the first tune-up races for the Bohol Philippine Dragon Boat Festival International Crew in April. 

The tune up races, set March 22-23 would gather the paddlers who have been into training with international paddler and dragonboat coach Annabell Tario, said Charlie Holganza, race executive director. 

All competitions would be held at Dauis Promenade, he said. 

Dubbed as the Inato – First Bohol Dragon Boat Club Crew Challenge, the races use 12 man-teams who shall attempt to beat each other’s teams in heats set to determine the fastest team time, he added. 

In fact, Holganza said people who think they can come up and stage a serious challenge with teams could join and possibly paddle their way to the international challenge set April 26-30. 

“All they need to do is come up with 12-man-team; composed of 10 paddlers, 1 steerer and 1 drummer. Two reserves is optional,” according to Holganza, a retired navy serviceman. 

Teams who had trainings paid P4,000 as registration fee, which includes training, boat rentals, according to Bohol Paddlers Association. 

Open for competitions are men’s, women’s and mixed men and women on a 60/40 male-female ratio, competing in 500 and 2,000 meters, Holganza said. 

Holganza, who was among those who think dargonboat racing should be adding to the lure of Bohol said locals can actually excel in the paddling contest, as proven by the Philippine Team which competed in the US international race. 

Dragonboating, a sport now slowly paddling its way to the Olympics was inspired by an ancient Chinese statesman and poet who was an adviser of the emperor, he shared. 

Because the poet wrote compositions that hurt the sensibilities of the emperor, he was exiled, where he continued writing his scathing commentaries against the way his nation was ruled. 

When Qu Yuan learned of an impending invasion by a neighboring rival state, he carried a huge stone and waded into the Miluo River where he committed ritual suicide as a protest. 

When the common folks learned about Qu’s suicide, they rushed out to the water in fishing boats and tried to desperately save the poet. In despair, they beat drums and splashed the water with their paddles in order to keep the fish and evil spirits from Qu’s body. They sprinkled rice dumplings in the river to feed the fish, to keep them from consuming the poet’s body. 

Year after year, generation after generation, in honor of Qu Yuan, the people in China hold boat races annually on the day of his death. 

The boats are traditionally very long and narrow, canoe-style vessels, adorned with carved ornamental heads and tails of dragons, which are believed to be the rulers of rivers and seas. 

Today, dragon boat racing is held globally. It is a water sport that is embraced by the modern world, Holganza said. 

With the Bohol dragonboat hosting, Holganza said it is something that a lot of Boholanos are looking forward to, as it impacts not only in the tourism industry, but also for youth and sports development. 

Its proximity to the fiesta season in Bohol also gives it added value as the fiesta crowd and the dragon boat festival crowd are likely to feed on each other's activities and offerings, he said. (30/hd) 

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