Monday, April 15, 2013

Voters’ education goes 
“on air” at DyRD, DyTR 
Rey Anthony Chiu 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, April 15, 2013 (PIA) –Voters and people who wish to be enlightened about the recent developments relative to the upcoming midterm elections can now listen and interact with anchors as government brings back and election education campaign on the air. 

Dubbed then as Comelec Hour, the pre election government run voter’s education campaign is now back on air with three anchors willing to process everybody’s questions and clarify murky issues. 

Anchored by City Commission on Elections (COMELEC) Registrar Atty. Jonas Biliran, Provincial Comelec information officer Juvenal Beniga and Philippine Information Agency in Bohol head Rey Anthony Chiu, this year’s voters’ education segment has just turned interactive. 

The new interactive program, “Mga gutlo sa Kaalam Uban sa Comelec” can be heard over DyRD AM from 9:30 to 10:00 AM Monday to Thursday and at 11:00 to 11:30 every Fridays. 

The same program and radio anchors shift to DyTR in the afternoon; at 2:00 – 2:30 every Monday through Friday. 

During its inaugural airing, Mga Gutlo sa Kaalam, a thirty minute segment aired live over the said radio stations in the amplitude modulation band tackled the rationale behind the program and took up the sensitive issue on automated elections. 

A mandatory activity set by the national poll body to advance the information advocacy especially on getting the right and informed decisions, the radio programs add up to the COMELEC’s pre-polls tasks. 

In the light of the automation and the Precinct Count Optical Scanners (PCOS) which have been pushed into controversy, the radio program can be a source of information and clarification as to why people have aired apprehensions over the new technology, said Atty Biliran during one of the segments last week. 

Other possible controversial issues which the program could tackle would be the Fair Elections Act and the prohibitions which the law provides so that candidates can not unduly sway voters by a sly use of faulty campaign strategy. 

People and voters can interact with anchors of Mga Gutlo sa Kaalam through the usual landlines at DyRD and DyTR. 

The PIA also opens its usual textline for interactors who may not have an access to the landlines, said PIA head Rey Anthony Chiu. 

The Mga Gutlo sa kaalam text line hotline is 0920-954-5482. 

Offering of the program is the government’s move towards transparency in service as well as providing people access to empowering information for them to be able to intelligently choose from among thousands of candidates running for May 13. (30/gg)

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Tourism leaders sound call ending 
Commercial sexual abuse in kids 
Rey Anthony Chiu 

PANGLAO, Bohol, April 15, 2013 (PIA) –National, regional and local tourism authorities as well as stakeholders unite in urging communities to actively participate in the fight against commercial sexual exploitation of children especially in Bohol. 

The move to insulate Bohol against these illegal activities came amidst reports gathered from other major tourist destinations that tourism was being used a convenient disguise for sexual perverts to perpetuate sexual abuse to children, pornography and prostitution as they come into the country. 

Over this, and taking the initiative to accept that most cases of child sexual exploitation happen within areas frequented by tourists, the Department of Tourism launched in Bohol its Child-Wise Tourism at the Alona Kew Beach Resort, April 12, 2013. 

Cited by the United Nation’s World Tourism Organization best practice, Child Wise Tourism is 2001 started awareness and advocacy campaign to stop Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC) especially in tourism industry. 

Part of the activity involves trainings and workshops for tourism stakeholders with the goal of engaging stakeholders who are in the forefronts to equip them with the skills to discern and confront possible violators, said tourism director for office standards and regulations Maria Rica C. Bueno. 

In Bohol, several reports about the presence of old men accompanied by seemingly under-aged women surface but most Boholanos turn a blind eye to the situation, a tradition they adhere to if the persons involved are not their acquaintances of blood relations. 

A separate workshop was held a day earlier where training participants explored possibilities to be able to creatively confront and separate the kid from the tourist. 

Bueno was with Tourism Regional Director Rowena Montecillo who also said that child protection is not just government but also everyone’s responsibility. 

Department of Social Welfare and Development Protective Services Bureau chief Atty Dulfie Shalim also called on barangays and municipal children’s councils to find concrete activities to further promote children’s rights even as she said the agency has programs that help parents become responsible. 

She said that there have been cases when parents themselves push their children to go with rich tourists and even locals so that they too could benefit from whatever the child gets. 

PCInspector Fidel Tutor, Camp Dagohoy’s legal officer insists that by applicable laws, even if the child consents to have sex with an adult, the law provides that a statutory rape is chargeable against the adult. 

When people are not aware, we must be able to get to them the information, Bueno urged media during an after-event press conference. 

Starting the day’s launching activity were fun runs and bike runs as individuals and sports enthusiasts including tour guides, operators, travel agencies concerned of the children’s plight took to the streets in solidarity and advocacy campaign to generate awareness for the project. 

Hundreds of folding and mountain bikers as well as professional runners pedaled and pumped their feet along Panglao’s main thoroughfares to generate the consciousness needed. 

Also in the runs and fun activities before the launch were representatives of resorts and establishments, police officers, non government organizations, government partner agencies, children, and children’s right advocates. (30/hd)

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Bohol plants Peace 
Pole at CPG Park 
Rey Anthony Chiu 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, April 15, 2013, (PIA) –“May Peace Prevail On Earth” on four different languages rise from the Carlos P. Garcia Park as the global prayer for peace echo in Bohol with its second peace pole erected on April 11, 2013. 

It may be recalled that the Millennium Vigil and Watch in 2000 capped in an early morning ritual of peace pole planting, the first of these poles reaching Boholano soil. 

Bohol planted its first peace pole at the peak of a Chocolate Hill in Carmen town, as an interfaith ecumenical prayer and worship linked Boholanos for peace in solidarity with the whole world. 

A Peace Pole is a hand-crafted monument that displays the message and prayer “May Peace Prevail on Earth” on each of its four, usually in different languages. 

According to the Peace Pole Project website, there are tens of thousands of Peace Poles in 180 countries all over the world. 

These monuments are dedicated to peace and serve as constant reminders for people to visualize and pray for world peace. 

People who plant peace poles unite with people who call for and are working for peace all over the globe, Japanese peace missionary Sunichi Okada said. 

In Bohol, the first peace pole had the trademark “May Peace Prevail on Earth” in Korean, Japanese, Cebuano and English, while the new peace pole had English, Filipino, Cebuano and Japanese inscriptions. 

Leaning on a crutch while speaking before a small group of peace advocates gathered at the park located across Bohol Wisdom School, Okada, who has been into the mission to spread peace and erect peace monuments accordingly donate the second pole for Bohol. 

At the CPG Park, Bohol Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) Secretary Bonifacio Quirog said the second pole gets to stand at the park, to commemorate and honor the former Boholano president’s preferential option for peace. 

The former Filipino president earned the respect and admiration of US President Dwight Eisenhower when he politely declined the US plan to bring to the US bases in the Philippines nuclear weapons, Quirog said. 

A solemn event attended by a handful of peace advocates and youth leaders including young children, the peace pole erection was accompanied by prayers by the Japanese peace missionary. 

At the early morning rite, Quirog, citing Mahatma Gandhi, stressed that if 5% of the population works for peace, peace can happen. 

Gandhi, who has been a staunch peace advocate himself said, “There is no way to peace, Peace is the only way.” (30/sjp)

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