Monday, January 13, 2014

DSWD needs help in seeking
Relocating 4Ps beneficiaries
Rey Anthony H. Chiu

TAGBILARAN CITY, January 11, 2014 (PIA) –The government is now seeking help in finding beneficiaries of the country’s flagship conditional cash transfer (CCT) program who may have relocated to unaffected areas in the country. 

This as authorities fear that these beneficiary families stop getting their cash assistance, when nobody could get their whereabouts. 

According to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), after super typhoon Yolanda affected thousands of families in the Visayas, including the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), the DSWD though its regional offices is now locating all affected beneficiaries of the 4Ps.

Reports have said that families, who have been beneficiaries of educational and nutrition cash assistance but were rendered homeless by the two calamities that hit Bohol, have relocated to relatives who are living in non-calamity affected areas. 

Right now, the DSWD is currently updating its database to find these families and reconnect the lines for the continued receipt of the cash grants. 

“This effort aims to expedite the updating of the beneficiaires’ data and information needed to ensure that they will continue to receive their grants due them,” according to Aileen Lariba, information officer of the 4Ps.

Many of these affected beneficiaries were displaced and most of their belongings were washed-out including their Pantawid IDs, LBP Cash Cards and other documents.

Over this, beneficiaries who have transferred to other areas are advised to contact the DSWD municipal officers in their new areas, or when in 4Ps covered areas, call on the municipal links or city links. 

“Massive public announcements are conducted to notify beneficiaries from Yolanda affected areas that they should see the city or municipal links in the city/municipality they are currently residing,” she said.

Making sure of the continuity of beneficiaries’ grants also ensures continuity of their children’s education and access to health services.

Even after the huge devastation of their lives and the destruction of their properties due to Yolanda, these beneficiaries do not deserve to be left behind, DSWD though Lariba said.

DTI reminds repair shops to
renew their accreditations 
Rey Anthony H. Chiu

TAGBILARAN CITY, January 11, 2014 (PIA) –Repair shops which the Department of Trade and industry (DTI) accredited are advised to process their expired accreditation until January 31.

Jose Hibaya, DTI Bohol relayed the information during the weekly Kapihan sa PIA Thursday, amidst the fast approaching deadline and the flurry of renewing business permits. 

Hibaya said repair shops that offer refrigeration and air-conditioning, automotive repair, motorcycle and small engines, electronics and electrical devise repair are accredited at the DTI so consumers are assured that the services they get from these shops conform to national standards.

Every year, the DTI gives accreditation to these shops, accreditation that last until December 31, or when these shop owners need to renew their accreditations. 

The accreditation is a form of government assurance to consumers that they can get standard services and competent repair service men attested by the government’s Technical Education and Skills Training Authority (TESDA) when getting a service from the shop. 

For those who have new shops and would want to get the same DTI accreditation, he advised the owners to initially seek business permits and clearances from their localities before going to the DTI for accreditation as the trade department need the business name and clearances prior to accreditation.

Calling on all accredited shops to renew, Hibaya also added a warning to those shops which operate without accreditation.

DTI could close the shops and file appropriate charges to those fly-by-night shop owners who operate without accreditation, he said. 

Apart from that, there are stiff penalties for shops which operate on expired accreditation and stiffer on those who do not own one. 

For those renewing their accreditation, DTI would also need beside the business name registration and clearances the following: receipts of insurance payments, warrantees, list of tools, list of employees, second level of TESDA accreditation for competency of workers among others.

Bohol proves tourism alive, 
Hosts cruise ship tourists 
Rey Anthony Chiu 

TAGBILARAN CITY, January 11, 2014 (PIA) –Bohol earns a rare chance to prove that its tourism is back, after a devastating earthquake that ruined majority of its tourism infrastructure. 

Tagbilaran City, Bohol Capital hosts an international cruise ship MV Europa 2, a new 42,830 gross ton liner with 282 foreign and Filipino tourists, and over a hundred crew under Captain Wolter Ulf Adolf Paul, on their 14 day Asian cruise. 

United States Embassy media spokesperson Andrea Echavez, at the city tourism port cruise arrival area told media that the visit is part of the promises that US gave to Bohol as its big brother. 

A massive 7.2 magnitude earthquake that hit October 15 rattled most of Boholanos, crumbled many of its public edifices and devastated most of its tourist destinations and infrastructure incl;uding its tourism pillar in its antique stone churches. 

Bohol earlier carved a niche in eco-cultural tourism as it packaged itself as a tourism paradise and banked on its warm people as come-ons for international and domestic tourists. 

But as the dust brought by the quake settled, much of Bohol’s dream of economic leap turned into a nightmare. 

After the quake, the US government, through the US agency for International Development (USAID) came to the rescue, especially in tourism rehabilitation. 

US ambassador to the Philippines Philip Goldberg, in his first visit to Bohol, a few weeks after being appointed, assured US people’s support to Bohol. 

With the Bohol Tourism Council, a strong private sector group, tourism authorities announced Bohol tourism back in major circuits, a few days after the calamity. 

“We are back”, excitedly declared Bohol Tourism Officer Josephine Cabarrus, at the cruise arrival tent pitched at the port of Tagbilaran, during a rainy day with the cruiser’s tender boats ferrying tourists and crew inshore. 

Looking at the potential boost of the local economy with the cruise arrival, excursion officer Martina Graf revealed that each of the tourists on board pays about 600 euros per day for the 14 day cruise. 

A brand new cruiser from Happag Lloyd, MV Europa 2 is a 5 star luxury ship brought in tourists on shore excursions to Bohol’s famous tourism sites including the Chocolate Hills, tarsier, Bee Farm in Panglao, beaches, and Loboc River lunch. 

Along the way, tourists are expected to grab souvenirs, said Raul Asutria, Sharp Travel president, and organizer of the Bohol tour. 

He also vowed the same cruise to be back in March for another excursion, after the shipping company included Bohol in its 2014 cruises.

NY-based theater director 
Meets Abatan arts groups 
Rey Anthony H. Chiu 

CORTES, Bohol, January 11, 2014 (PIA) –Abatan ecological theater groups here air excitement for the homing of one outstanding Boholano American theater director who could put in the necessary boost in the artistic training of local artists. 

The son of a former mayor and his American Peace Corps volunteer wife, Orlando Pabotoy has been cited as an outstanding theater director, actor, choreographer and is currently working and teaching in New York’s top arts school, the Julliard. 

After 30 year following their family’s migration to the States, Pabotoy is visiting his home and be with his roots, while meeting with local theater workers for future technical help, shared Lutgardo Labad, Bohol cultural icon and multi-awarded director, actor and composer. 

In for a short visit to Bohol and the Philippines, Pabotoy met Abatan ecological theater groups at the Abatan Main Village Center in Salvador Cortes, Friday evening for an interactive workshop. 

Abatan Ecological Theater has been mulled to be an outdoor theater which will be the common performance center of at least six theater and cultural collectives groups. 

Abatan, after Abatan River, is a common resource of the people of Cortes, Maribojoc, Antequera, Balilihan and Catigbian. Rich as it is, communities living here are still struggling out of poverty. 

With Bohol into tourism, Abatan has been chosen as an alternate destination to the Chocolate Hills, one that offers community life tours, as a poverty alleviation intervention. 

The idea of using theater for cultural performances in Abatan came in naturally, said Emilia Roslinda, noting that the area is also abloom with local talents which could enhance the community life experience of tourists. 

Roslinda, executive director of the non government organization helping communities in the tourism development plan, has also helped develop the Abatan theater as conceptualized outdoor theater. 

The Abatan development program also includes the organization of theater groups, now with Cortes, Lincod, Punta Cruz Maribojoc, Antequera, Balilihan, Catigbian Cultural Collectives and Baryo performing group. 

These groups have different theater specializations: Cortes is into dance drama, Lincod into skits and drama, Puntacruz into pangalay and monologues, Antequera into musicals, Balilihan and Catigbian into folk theater, Labad said. 

He shared however that despite the local talents, there is a need for professional technical help to enhance local skills, and Pabotoy is in the perfect position to help complement local artists. 

Pabotoy, also shared that his coming to Bohol is also to find ways to help in re-building houses which the earthquake toppled. 

This, Labad said is Pabotoy’s gesture of helping earthquake victims in Bohol.

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