Tuesday, April 29, 2014

95,000 Boholano voters
face de-listing for 2016
Rey Anthony Chiu

TAGBILARAN CITY, April 25, 2014 (PIA) –Almost a hundred thousand Boholano voters could be denied the exercise their civil rights for failure to revalidate their registration by giving in to a biometrics profiling. 

Bohol election officer and lawyer Eliso Labaria issued this alarm as the Commission on Elections (Comelec) is set to re-open its continuing registration for new voters and revalidation or reactivation of old voters starting May 6, 2014 to October 31, 2015. 

He then urged Boholanos to take the chance to check on their voters status and update when needed, fearing that the usual last minute crowd could result in disappointments. 

In previous registrations, huge crowds surfacing on the last day churned out ugly criticisms to the Comelec, when the opening days of registration saw very sparse crowds. 

A biometrics machine can only take as much as 150 voters per day, he said. 

The registration is set slowly fix the Comelec list of the country’s voters who will take the voting queue in 2016, Comelec said.

At the Kapihan sa PIA held to drumbeat the continuing registration which opens on a slightly different weekly schedule, Bohol election supervisor shared that as per their records, also needing to troop to their local Comelec town offices are not just new registrants but 95,811 of Bohol’s 799,089 registered voters. 

Comelec, through Atty. Labaria said the May 6 registration onwards happens only from Sunday to Thursday, 8:00-5:00 PM.

The 95,811 voters, or some 12 % of the voters are those who may have been allowed to vote in the recent elections, could be denied in 2016, for having no biometric profiles at the local Comelec. 

The biometric profiles comprise of a computerized facial data capture, electronic thumb-mark and electronic signature which are taken at the local Comelec biometric data capture station. 

These then would be sent to the national Comelec databank, which uses an Automated Fingerprint Identification System which matches one’s biometrics data with millions of other people if only to make sure you were not registered as another voter. 

By elections in 2016, the Comelec would be using the biometrics extensively, in line with the goal towards paper-less elections, Labaria shared. 

Here, a person’s identity is established through a computer which matches its stored biometrics, that failure to submit to a biometric profiling can simply be a reason for disenfranchisement. 

Comelec also said voters who need correction of entries, or those who have failed to vote successively in the last two polls can join the fray and fill up corresponding forms to be updated.

Two tsps fuel under-delivery
already an offense, says DOE
Rey Anthony Chiu

TAGBILARAN CITY, April 25, 2014 (PIA) – In this time of incessant and expensive fuel hikes, a drop of gas wasted is a precious loss and the Department of Energy (DOE) said pump stations delivering roughly two teaspoons of fuel less, can be legally culpable. 

In fact, two teaspoons of fuel lost in every 10 liters is such that a station could be closed on its third offense, declared DOE Oil Industry Management Bureau (OIMB) chief Director Zenaida Monsada.

At the recent multi-Sectoral Advocacy Campaign on the Downstream Oil Industry held at the Bohol Tropics April 22, and attended by local government information officers and downstream industry stakeholders, Dir. Monsada shared that the DOE implements monitoring activities to penalize refilling stations that do not comply with the government step to enforce consumer protection. 

Arturo Valerio, of CSO Global Services Corporation shared Monsada’s statements.

Valerio, who spoke on the basic principles of mechanical pump calibration and sealing led LGU representatives and stakeholders to a gasoline pump inspection if only to demonstrate how recalibration and sealing is done.

At the Amare Shell Station along CPG Avenue corner Calceta Street, Valerio showed officials a standardized 10 liter calibration bucket, which features a sealed calibration guide for easy reference. 

“Ten liters is ten liters, 50 milliliters over or under (which is roughly two teaspoons) mean a recalibration of the pumps, he said. 

It is a responsibility of the station to call in franchise contractors as well as local government representatives to monitor and observe the recalibration procedures, Valerio said.

Local governments must be there as they issued the business permits and are there to make sure no consumer gets shortchanged.

Imagine if a 10-liter bucket loses two teaspoons, how much short-changed does an unsuspecting motorist get from an illegally set-up bottled refilling station?, asked Dir Monsada. 

Even if these bottle stations use a liter bottle, just where does a liter measure? she asks. 

Aside from you do not see any clear line that says a full liter in the bottle, even sodas in the same bottles do not measure exactly the same, Monsada pointed out. 

Monsada’s view then reiterates the government’s stance on illegal refilling stations that are not just prone to under deliveries, but also dangerous and are not helping local economies as they put up unhealthy competition with legitimate stations and they could be sourcing out their duel from illegal sources. 

While pump stations calibrated pumps are sealed, mandatory recalibrations are done only once a month, he said. 

But with the DOE so thinly spread, there are stations that get only an annual recalibration, Monsada admits. 

13 CV students screen
As TOSP national bets
Rey Anthony Chiu

TAGBILARAN CITY, April 25, 2014 (PIA) –Thirteen young students and young professionals who have proven their academic excellence, social responsibility and innovative leadership get to the final list in this year’s regional search for the country’s Ten Outstanding Students of the Philippines (TOSP). 

Of the 13, some of them could compete in the national search for the country’s top ten students who are actively engaged in the challenging job of nation building.

TOSP is an awards mechanism set to motivate young students and professionals who are currently engaged in various leadership capacities in nation building. 

The regional finals, which often has some 20 finalists screened to pick out the best among the rest in two days, determines the regional candidates for national awards recognition in innovative leadership screening system which packs over half a century of track record, said Jasper Eric Catan, event organizer during the media and community interaction with TOSP finalists April 24. 

Institutionalized after its founder, Jose Concepcion started the awards 53 years ago, TOSP’s operates on the Jose Rizal quote, “The youth: hope of the fatherland,” event organizers during a media and community presentation at the second floor of Galeria Luisa, explained. 

At the Bayanikwentuhan, a search for the 2014 TOSP while engaging media and the community, the 13 finalists met media and community as candidates elaborated on their youth development advocacies. 

This year’s finalists, which would be presented anew as regional winners after a camp here, are: Mark Anthony Abellana (USJR-Cebu AB Communications and Marketing), Paul Emerson Montero Salinas (UB-Bohol BSED), Areshdel Artes (USJR-Cebu BSED Sped), Gwendolyn Ayuban (UB-Bohol BS Accountancy), Dardamie Caminos (SPU-Dumaguete BSED) Marmie Daniega (USJR-Cebu BSED) Jun Mar Denila (UP-Cebu AB-PolSci).

Beatrice Evardone (UP-Cebu MassCom), Warren Flores (CIT-Cebu-Mining Engineering), Ray Anne Labra (CNU-Cebu BSN), Rona Marie Namocatcat (SU-Dumaguete BSMedtech), Jenny Sumagaysay (FdnU-Dumaguete BSEd and Mishka Watin (UP-Cebu BsPsych). 

Boholano Paul Salinas said his advocacy is for the empowerment of Overseas Contract Workers (OFWs) children, a sector of the youth which has been most often left out to fend form themselves psychologically and emotionally. 

Another Boholana, Gwendolyn Ayuban roots for children and youth empowerment through resilience, one that set her into the mode after calamities hit the Visayas. 

Boholana in Dumaguete, Lorna Namocatcat also advocates for students rights and welfare for youth development.

Army’s SF: “Armed” to 
pound peace in Bohol 
Rey Anthony Chiu 

CARMEN, Bohol, April 24, 2014 (PIA) –They lay down their arms and bring up another as fearsome army special forces here pound and hammer for peace all over Bohol. 

They’re known as the sabertooth, from the already extinct ferocious tigers that used to roam and reign the old world. But now, their being fierce warriors can only be meaning a zeal for building the peace, quite literally. 

The soldiers of the 2nd Special Forces (SF) Battalion still use the name sabertooth as their collective identity, but in the face of a defeated enemy, their ferocity as warriors has been channeled shifted towards active commitment to peace building. 

Instead of wielding deadly weapons and engaging enemies, soldiers here instead build schools, fix roads, play with children and spread the peace using the army’s gentle hands, reports Captain Jiro Poblacion, Civil Military Operations Officer of the SF. 

This came as continued efforts among various sectors in support of the military drives has driven off the armed rebels in Bohol, and are now seeking other areas to rebuild their broken selves and regroup, licking their wounds, summed members of the Bohol Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC) who have actively rolled their sleeves to mold peace. 

At the recent Association of United Development information Officers (AUDIO) Bisita Opisina at Camp Rajah Sikatuna, 2nd SF Bn Commanding Officer Colonel Julius Tomines however quickly added, the threat of the enemy coming back is still real, so you still have the army in Bohol. 

While the AUDIO visit at the camp had members witnessing an SF Patrol demonstrate its capability through a 12 man squad, Col Tomines hinted that the fight now is using the other arm. 

In his powerpoint presentation before the PPOC, Col Tomines highlighted the army’s most visible spearheading in support of local development initiatives through a long term partnership with Bohol’s education program through the Provincial Government and the Department of Education. 

In the last month alone, the partnership completed a two classroom building in Haguilanan Grande, Balilihan which the local officials received during a turn-over ceremony April 14. 

The army also reported ongoing classroom constructions in San Roque Balilihan, Patrocinio Cortes, near completion of school buildings in Gaus Islands, Basiao and Bonbonon of Carlos P. Garcia town, Cuaming Island Inabanga and Nocnocan Island Talibon. 

The army, through its engineers completed the school building in Mantacida Catigbian, as well as the Navy’s two-classroom building in Alegria Loay. 

Other than this, Capt Poblacion, the unit’s information officer told the visitors from local government units and government agencies that the army is also active in community relations activities spreading information and goodwill. 

This unit builds awareness to stakeholders with timely and relevant information on the organization’s peace advocacy in support to the AFP’s Internal Peace and Security Plan (IPSP) “Bayanihan” and peace and development agenda of Cebu and Bohol, he said. 

Consistent with the Whole of Nation approach with an emphasis on the “shared concept and understanding of security” in the pursuit for internal peace and security, the army spokesperson said AUDIO-Bohol can contribute to the continuing improvement in peace and security of Bohol and Cebu. 

You can do this by helping to disseminate and publish the information of peace and development efforts of the AFP to the community in the area, convey AFP messages, slogans and themes of peace and development and by supporting and actively participating in AFP’s peace and development initiatives, Capt Poblacion said. 

He stated that AUDIO can also commit to implement programs and projects that is deemed important and necessary to resolve issues as well as bring in socio-economic development opportunities in the area while sustaining to insulate the local populace or the vulnerable groups from the agitation efforts of the threat groups. 

Earlier, army intelligence groups said there is an active enemy campaign of continuing their recovery efforts by exploiting sensitive social issues and revisiting former members. 

Here, AUDIO can be a very potent group in information dissemination where peace and security operations are concerned, the army said.

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