Monday, June 3, 2013

Bohol hosts Kidney Month activities 
through fora, outreach, free consult
Rey Anthony Chiu

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol. June 03, 2013 (PIA) – Bohol hosts this year’s four major activities for the National Kidney Month celebration in June, all to the benefit of Boholanos who rank high among the country’s most susceptible to renal diseases. 

This June, the traveling awareness and information caravan spreading tips and guides on the prevention and control of renal and other related diseases caravan comes to Region 7, specifically in Tagbilaran City. 

Coming to Bohol bringing the national theme “Malusog na Bato, Yan ang Gusto Ko,” the team from the country’s Renal Disease Control Program (REDCOP) also packs the country’s top experts in renal disease with them. 

The activities here include a consultative forum on kidney diseases with lay persons and medical experts from the Department of Health (DOH), National Kidney Transplant Institute (NKTI) Medical Outreach Program, Fasting Blood Sugar (FBS) tests, and free Urinalysis pre-screening and medical consultations for those with positive urinalysis and FBS results, according to the country’s authorities at the Renal Disease Control Program (REDCOP).

Started as Preventive Nephrology Project, the REDCOP of the DOH then came via a memorandum order issued in 2000.

The same order put the NKTI as REDCOP’s main implementing agency in activities relative to kidney disease prevention and control as well as promotion of end-stage renal disease patients’ health including organ transplantation and organ donation. 

Kidneys perform the important function of removing waste products from the blood and regulating the water fluid levels, explained Dr. Rene Sales during one Kapihan sa PIA. 

They are so important in removing waste products from the body, keeping toxins from building up in the bloodstream, producing hormones that control other body functions, such as regulating blood pressure and producing red blood cells as well as regulating the levels of minerals or electrolytes (e.g., sodium, calcium, and potassium) and fluid in the body, he shared.

Renal disease or more commonly called kidney disease happens when a person with diabetes or hypertension disregards proper treatment. 

Also, nephritis or the inflammation of the kidneys possibly due to an auto-immune system failure can cause the kidneys to fail, according to medical experts. 

In several instances also, kidney failure can be caused by certain medications that can be dangerous to the kidney tissue 

In Bohol, to spread the information about kidney disease prevention, REDCOP meets Boholanos via a lay forum set in the afternoon of June 20. 

About 300 participants from different sectors in Bohol are set to be invited for the activity. Also simultaneous with the forum is a medical outreach free medical check-up at the Gov. Celestino Gallares Memorial Hospital, Bohol event sponsor. 

Just as kidney disease cases increase in the country, a disheartening picture is seen in Bohol where a radio social service program is clogged daily with kidney patients asking for financial assistance for dialysis and medications. 

This too as more and more Filipinos with diabetes and hypertension still go about their lives, disregard treatment and healthy lifestyle options, thus potentially adding up to renal disease problems. 

Diabetes and hypertension still ranks among the factors that lead to kidney diseases, according to medical experts. 

Complicating the problem is the fact that only a very small number of patients with failing kidney consider hemo-dialysis due to its prohibitive cost, admits Dr. Mayida Ybanez, nephrologist in Bohol. 

Hemo dialysis is a method used to cleanse the blood, using a machine which acts as a temporary kidney cleaning up body waste products like creatinine and urea. 

Owing to the sensitivity of the kidneys and the alarming kidney disease cases here, REDCOP with the DOH, Bohol Provincial Government and the Philippine Information Agency also brings the medical team to talk to media to engage them in helping spread the information. 

280K pupils, students troop
To 1091 public schools here
Rey Anthony Chiu

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol. June 03, 2013 (PIA) – About 210,475 “pre-schoolers” and pupils are set to troop to Bohol’s 930 public kindergarten and elementary schools today, June 3 during the official opening of classes for school year 2013-2014. 

Also, another 72,186 students head towards the province’s 161 public secondary schools following a 3.92% increase in enrolment as projected by the Department of Education (DepED). 

Last year, DepEd noted 69,461 students enrolled and finishing their year levels. 

In 2012 too, Bohol DepEd registered some 182,444 pupils and 24,382 kindergarten kids all over Bohol, a figure estimated to increase by 2% this year, according to Amy Cortidor of the local DepEd Planning office.

Now on its second year of implementation of the Kindergarten to 12 Basic Educational System, the DepEd also announces the coming of more than the 24,382 “pre-school” tots enrolled last year. 

Coming in following a successful conduct of Brigada Eskwela, this year’s pupils and students immediately come to formal classes unlike the past when the opening week is often used to ready the school for the classes which “officially opens” the week after, says Desiderio Deligero, resource generation and mobilization unit head at the local division office. 

“There might be some small fixes needed, but most classrooms have been readied,” he reported at Kapihan sa PIA last week. 

When the pupils come to the classroom, DepEd expects at most, 35 of them sharing a single room. 

The scenario is even more intense in the secondary schools where a classroom has to accommodate 44 students, following a 1:44 classroom to student ratio. 

According to the DepEd here, current teacher to student ratio is at 1:35 in the high schools and 1:33 in the elementary. 

Some 100 new teacher items are also slated here, disclosed Deligero last week. 

Following the incremental increase in enrolment, Bohol still carries on its shoulders a classroom backlog of 660 which represents the classrooms direly needed in the kindergarten and elementary. 

Over this, DepEd has programmed for 311 more classrooms spread the more than a thousand public schools all over Bohol this year, in the hope of cutting the backlog to half. 

Bohol is lucky however, because apart from the DepEd, a local program on making local education better is also engaging private companies and the government in building classrooms and schools using a separate fund source from the DepED.

Dolphin conservation effort 
Focused to children, youth 
Rey Anthony Chiu 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol. June 03, 2013 (PIA) –Marine Mammal protection and conservation advocates here scour the oceans of creativity to net more and more Boholanos into the rhythm of protecting whales and dolphins from harm. 

From physically bringing children to the dolphin and whale watching areas, to opening up dolphin themed interactive games to arts installations murals and film showing activities, the dolphin awareness and education campaign new gets on paper and pencil with a dolphin quiz bowl for the 3rd Bohol Dolphin Festival set this June 28. 

During the first Dolphin Festival, organizers set the gathering at Baluarte in Poblacion Baclayon, this effectively puts the students closest to the areas where the dolphins and the whales are usually spotted. 

At the second Dolphin Festival, students has a field day at the CPG Sports Complex, engaging others in group games, information dissemination activities, film showing and mural painting to impress on the youth dolphin conservation consciousness. 

This year, the highlight is an Bohol wide inter-school dolphins and Bohol marine environment themed quiz bowl which promises handsome prizes for winners. 

We are getting children into the campaign, realizing that this sector can grow into the consciousness of environment awareness and they can better influence parents, asserts Adelfa Salutan, coastal resource management specialist here. 

The efforts came as an annual challenge, because sometime in the past, Bohol fishermen hunted whales and dolphins as exotic food, admits a member of Bohol’s Rescue Unit for Marine Mammals and Wildlife (BRUMW). 

The global ban on whale and dolphin hunting coupled with the health risks of eating the top predator meat has pushed Bohol advocates to spread the word and conceptualize alternative livelihood options for whale hunters. 

Now, dolphins have become among Bohol’s top tourism jewels, racking in an undetermined income for communities who are into dolphin and whale watching as their community based eco-tourism ventures, says. 

“Of the 28 species of dolphins and whales seen in Philippine waters, scientists have seen 18 of these species in Bohol waters, asserts Salutan who works at the local Bohol Environment Management Office. 

Bohol seas offer more diverse whales and dolphins compared to Bais City, according to Siliman University marine biologists. 

There is a real need for people to understand dolphin protection and conservation issues, so we need to widen the information and education of people especially those in the coastal areas of Bohol, said Kristina Pahang, communications specialist working for one dolphin protection organization based in Jagna town. 

On the 3rd Dolphin festival spearheaded by BRUMW and the multi-agency Bohol Coastal Resource Management Task Force, members admit that possibilities are endless when coming up with creative ways to widen the awareness is concerned. 

LGSP-LED, Bohol assigns trng 
Of tourism workers to BAHRR 
Rey Anthony H. Chiu 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol. June 03, 2013 (PIA) –The Canadian Government and Bohol, in a partnership that may go down in history as an innovation, taps a private sector consortium to train workers here who shall be in tourism front-lines. 

The agreement, sealed after signing a memorandum May 27 at the Villa Alzhun Tourist Inn here in Tagbilaran now formally allows the Bohol Association of Hotels, Resorts and Restaurants, Inc. (BAHRR), to strengthen tourism industry players and governments and facilitate the dream of the province’s tourism globally competitive. 

Trell Moya signed the MOA for Local Government Support Program for Local Economic Development (LGSP-LED). While Pamela Gallardo BAHRR President signed for BAHRR. Witnesses during the simple ceremony were DTI Maria Elena Arbon, Jeffrey Bernasor for DILG Louella Lucino, and Panglao, Dauis Baclayon Bohol Marine Triangle Council Inc. (PaDaYon BMTCI) OIC executive Director Alita Lugo. 

The Canadian Government, which helps the Philippines improve its people’s economic stature and elevate governance to a higher plane through funds from Canadian International Development Agency now implements LGSP-LED in Bohol, especially in technically assisting the alliances of governments in Panglao, Dauis Baclayon Bohol Marine Triangle Council Inc. (PaDaYon BMTCI). 

In its most recent workshop, PaDaYon identifies a workforce development program for tourism industry sector to improve local human resources knowledge, skills and awareness for job placement and self-employment, and possibly match these skills to requirements by establishments in the area and perhaps, nearby, explains Alita Lugo, OIC of PaDaYon BMTI. 

The workshop also pointed to a need for a training component which will equip potential sector workers in the three towns the skills to work in the tourism front-line service. 

With BARHRR having all the technical requirements and the infrastructure to handle the training component, LGSP LED, which is implemented through the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) commits to partner with the association in supporting the implementation of the PaDaYon’s workforce development’s training component. 

With the signing of the MOA, both parties agreed to conduct and fund trainings on tourism and hospitality-related courses as well as hard trades for skills enhancement and employment in Bohol tourism establishments, particularly in the PaDaYon area between June 2013 to March 2014. 

In ten months, the program expects to enlist 300 new entrepreneurs, potential tourism workforce and enterprise workers trained in 12 training programs identified jointly by BAHRR and PaDaYon, the agreement states. 

Moreover, the program also attempts to link to another 100 unemployed graduates and endorse it to PaDaYon resorts and BAHRR member establishments for possible job placement. 

While BAHRR trains, LGSP-LED provides fund in training costs, in accordance with the activities and associated budget prepared. 

For this too, the DILG, through the Economic Transformation Team (ETT), assists in monitoring the activities, provides inputs in the Job Placement Monitoring Plan for BAHRR and other multi-sector representatives. 

The initiative also gains the support of the (DILG), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Tourism (DOT), and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and the Province of Bohol, through Gov. Edgar Chatto. 

Witnessing the MOA signing with BAHRR and LGSP Program Country Representative were DTI Maria Elena Arbon and DILG Jeffrey Bernasor, PaDayon’s ALita Lugo and Trell Moya of the LGSP-LED program.

MFPC gets legal orientation 
prior to crafting action plan 
Rey Anthony Chiu 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol. June 03, 2013 (PIA) – On an isolated stretch of highway in the interior of Bohol, barangay officials coordinating a road-side tree planting project years ago could only scratch their heads in frustration. 

The mahogany and g’melina trees which form part of a greening project in the barangay now in a useless pile, too small to be used for lumber and too insubstantial to hold a government’s road widening project. 

In another part, some private land owners who ventured into similar activities suddenly find their trees pruned or mercilessly cut as the growths threaten to reach powerlines. 

Complaints like these, which tend to pull back Bohol’s re-greening efforts, are common and even this late, sectors are swearing to do something about this. 

After years of uncoordinated roadside greening and beautification projects, sectors hope to finally see resolution to this problem. 

In an attempt to arrest the problem, the Multi-sectoral Forest Protection Committee (MFPC) sets to lay the plan for action for a rationalized beautification and re-greening of Bohol’s roadsides, in its meeting Monday, according to Emilia Roslinda, chairman. 

The MFPC oversees the protection and conservation of Bohol forests and its products and is tasked to come up with an integrated forest protection and conservation plan in the wider effort to reclaim portions of forests that have been lost to human activity in the past years. 

Despite its being a relatively green island when viewed from a distance, Bohol’s lush environment as a depleted picture of one that was taken decades ago, admits Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer Nestor Canda. 

Himself a forester, Canda shared during a radio forum that this office has been coordinating with groups into re-greening projects. 

However, not every tree-planting group coordinates with the DENR in their tree planting projects, he said. 

Much of the problem sprouts from the absence of a rationalized forest protection action plan, points out a Maribojoc barangay official who asked not to be named. 

In his barangay, a power utility is keen on trimming fire trees which the local government advocated for roadside beautification years back. 

Some of the fire trees have grown to provide a low canopy over the highway, while some trees also rise to threaten powerlines. 

Bohol Environment Management Officer Leonilo Lafuente also pointed out that environment and forestry laws are now as clearly understood. 

The MFPC puts in an orientation for related forestry and environmental laws so it could guide the committee into crafting the MFPC action plan, Roslinda stated. 

BAPC gets “social media network”
Trng w/shop for improved service 
Rey Anthony Chiu 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol. June 03, 2013 (PIA) – Attaining a possible first in the province’s history, Bohol Agricultural Promotion Center (BAPC) agri-technicians, office staff and key officers complete a day-long Basic Social Media Networking for Effective Government Service May 29, to improve the office service. 

Then a no-no for government employees, signing on to social media networks while on official time has now become a new window of opportunity for government to speed up its information sharing tasks, which government leaders believe would redound to a better decisions from informed citizens. 

The training, which Philippine Information Agency (PIA) in Bohol shares to government workers is in line with the government’s more serious look at the social media network as a potent feed-forward and feed-back mechanism to gather insights from the public, explains PIA Bohol. 

BAPC information officer and information technology chief Adoracion dela Cruz challenged workshop participants to grab the perfect opportunity for faster information dissemination and technology sharing using the web. 

In her training workshop rationale, dela Cruz cites statistics to prove that web-based message sharing can be very effective tool for BAPC in letting the world know of its services and how they can help people, in real times. 

The training workshop includes inputs and practical application of Basic Email, Basic Facebook, Basic Twitter, Basic Instagram and use of google maps, skype and viber teleconferencing to make government service more efficient. 

BAPC manager Engr. Eugene Cahiles, in his opening message highlighted the critical role which the internet could actually play in quick service delivery, adding that the social media has indubitably changed and influenced the lives of people now.

In fact, the training, which PIA-conducted, includes mobile phone synchronization of web applications so that access can be had, even if one is on field and away from a net-enabled desktop or laptop. 

Given to APC employees who are assigned in their various capacities in the field, the training also taught them basics of linking to other key government websites so that the relay of information gets faster, a workshop participant commented.

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