Tuesday, October 7, 2014

AusAID grants P10.8 million 
disaster-proofed classrooms

SAN MIGUEL, Bohol, October 1, (PIA) – Australia further cements its relations with Bohol with its most recent grant of P10.8 million worth of nine disaster resilient classrooms in three separate buildings, all of them to be erected in San Miguel town. 

No less than Australian Ambassador to the Philippines, Bill Tweddell, together with counsellor Geoff King and embassy officials joined Governor Edgar Chatto and San Miguel Mayor Claudio Bonior in simple groundbreaking ceremonies for the first of the three buildings Australia is funding, for the town. 

During the groundbreaking at the San Miguel Central Elementary School grounds, Ambassador Tweddell said Australia funds the project under its Basic Education Sector Transformation (BEST) program, one of Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) assistance facilities to the country. 

Australia has been a very strong Philippine partner in education, noting that everyone must be involved in the task of educating children, Ambassador Tweddell pointed out. 

Annually, AusAID allocates some 25 M Australian dollars for the BEST, while it also apportions between $15-18 million Australian dollars for its Provincial Road Management Facility (PRMF) programs, which the country has generously poured for Bohol. 

The Department of Education (DEPED) has its list of priority programmed school building projects, and school building project partner, the Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP) works with DepED identified beneficiaries to lay the ground-works for capacitating communities in taking care and sustaining the project, explains PBSP Visayas Jose Antonio Aboitiz. 

The concrete building grants have fully reinforced cement structures with concrete roof deck to act as an additional sturdy and secure evacuation area for pupils and communities, reinforced structures to withstand lateral movement in cases of earthquakes and sports separate and thus, gender sensitive rest rooms, according to Aboitiz. 

Of the three structures, which would be constructed in San Miguel town, each would have three classrooms so designed for ease of access, stability and aesthetics, the PBSP representative told media at a press conference in the sidelines of the San Miguel event. 

For this, instead of the standard P800 thousand budget for a Philippine classroom under the public works specifications, the new buildings would be costing the Australian Government some P1.2 million each or some P3.6 million for its three classroom building. 

In his message, Governor Chatto called the building designs extraordinary and was visibly elated when he cited that the project coincides with his harped “build back Bohol better” call.

In accepting the project, San Miguel Central School pupil Fritz Nino Garcia promised to safeguard the building to the best of his ability, to the delighted applause of the parents, teachers and guests gathered for the symbolic activity at the school grounds. (RAC/PIABohol)

Australia, Asia Foundation 
hands 40K books to Bohol 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, October 3, (PIA) – Australian Ambassador Bill Tweddell and Counselor Geof King hands to Governor Edgar Chatto a bundle of books from Books for Asia Foundation, in conscious efforts that education improved can usher in the needed people-initiated reform that promotes inclusive economic growth and development. 

In a partnership with Asia Foundation, the Australian government, with the bundle of books it handed to Chatto allowed more Boholano access to quality books that could change lives and shape the way nations think. 

The bundle of books also represent the 40,000 brand new books which Asia Foundation puts in the hands of pupils, students, teachers and community leaders to be imparted with information that makes them come up with intelligent decisions. 

According to Asia Foundation, the books should prop-up the reading resources of 250 public libraries in Bohol’s 47 towns. 

After the symbolic turn-over of the books to Bohol officials, another ceremonial turnover was for towns. 

No less than Asia Foundation Country Representative, Dr. Steven Rood and Books for Asia Program Coordinator Reynald Ocampo, along with DepEd’s National Program Manager for Abot-Alam Gina Estipona, and Bohol Education Development Center Head Dr. Cerina Bolos handed over the books to the different municipal mayors and public school district supervisors. 

The handing over of the books also came in time for the national launch of the Department of Education’s Abot Alam project. 

Abot-Alam boasts of being a convergence initiative by the DepEd, along with the National Youth Commission (NYC), other national government agencies, civil society organizations, and local government units, in a bid to seek out the country’s estimated 2 million outs of school youth otherwise not being able to pursue careers for lack of education, training and entrepreneurships skills. 

The program intends to map all out-of-school youth (OSY) in the country and integrate them in available program interventions in education, employment, and entrepreneurship. 

The program, while being implemented in the country and launched in Bohol seeks out 15-30 years old OSYs to be given the opportunity to improve their livelihood to getting back to the mainstream schools, or to train them with livelihood skills they can use and to teach them with the skills to start their own businesses, explains Bohol Schools Division Superintendent Dr. Wilfreda Bongalos in a press conference. 

AGAK guides poor students, 
to solve drop-out problems 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, October 2, (PIA) – Unknown to many, a total of 8,854 teachers and well-meaning school benefactors help shape the character and pay for the school obligations of some 9,742 indigent pupils and students here, if only to let them cruise through basic education.

Pupils and students enrolled at the Department of Education (DepED) Bohol Division’s innovative Amoma, Giya, Alayon sa Kalampusan (AGAK), are in for a child-nurture program that envisions to attain full completion of basic education, especially among students at the risk of dropping out. 

“Here at AGAK, indigent students who are at the risk of falling out from school gets a teacher or benefactor adopter who will nurture, guide and help students complete basic education and solve the problem of drop-outs,” explains school governance and operations division chief Desiderio Deligero.

“AGAK aims to provide sponsorships to indigent pupils and students and are at the risk of dropping out. This means that teachers and benefactors will help the student in his or her attendance and tracks progress, as well as help in resolving student difficulties along the way,” states a Bohol Division Memorandum dated June 5, 2014, issued by Dr. Wilfreda Bongalos, schools division superintendent. 

Under the program, the adopter, which are either DepED Bohol school teachers or heads, provide academic as well as financial support including monitoring of attendance and progress in school, the local memorandum adds. 

Of the 9742 beneficiaries, 7,085 are elementary pupils while some 2,657 are secondary students, Deligero reports.

This also entails 6,625 teachers and 2,229 high school faculty members for a massive total of 8,854 DepED teachers and school heads, including some benefactors to the project. 

Of Bohol elementary schools, Ubay and its three districts top with 447 AGAK pupil beneficiaries, followed by Carmen with 302; Trinidad, with 241; Loon and its 2 districts with 240; Talibon with another 2 districts at 235 and Tubigon’s 2 districts with 232. 

For secondary schools, Cawayanan National High School (NHS) of Tubigon tops with a singular 75 AGAK recipients. 

Guinacot NHS of Guindulman trails with 70; San Jose NHS of Talibon follows with 68; San Roque NHS of Mabini with 60, Cangawa NHS of Buenavista with 58 and Nabuad Inabanga NHS with 56 students under the nurture program, DepED Bohol reports show. 

Still striving to attain education for all, Bohol EdpED also scores a big booster in its Alternative Learning Systems with the introduction of Abot-Alam, which aims to map out the province’s estimated 25,000 out of school youth (OSY) to urge them back to the mainstream schools, train them for employment and make them entrepreneurs by a system of inter-government agency and private sector convergence initiatives to cater to their needs. 

Bohol hosted the national launching of Abot-Alam September 30, 2014, with no less than DepED Secretary Bro Armin Luistro and Usec Mario Deriquito, Australian Ambassador Bill Tweddell and National Youth Commissioner at large, Jose Sixto Dantes as guests. (RAC/PIABohol)

PIA brings Climate Change
Write-shops to Tagum Sur

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, October 2, (PIA) – In its effort to stir the critical mass to snowball people into insulating their communities from the effects of climate change, a government information agency engages school writers in Tagum Sur, Trinidad town, September 24-25, to write for the environment. 

By request of the school principal and administrators, the Philippine Information Agency in Bohol brings its most requested Campus Writers Workshop for the Environment: a two day comprehensive school paper operation and management skills retooling, at the school computer laboratory. 

Tagum Sur High School Principal Zenaida Miano said they need more of the formal training from people who are immersed in the trade, considering that the school would also be sending its team for the upcoming Division Press Conference in mid-October. 

Picking the environment and climate change as the theme for the writeshops, the PIA hit two birds: advance consciousness and information on climate change adaptation and mitigation, as well as guide students into more effective writing and reporting for school organs and their immediate communities. 

School paper adviser Mrs Zenaida Turan said they did not let the opportunity pass, realizing that what they have been looking for: the training for campus journalists, is just right there at their request. 

Turan, along with school campus writers joined the Campus Writers for Climate Change Congress in Ubay, month ago and immediately filed the request training request. 

PIA on the other hand said they have been dishing out trainings for campus writers, but these have to be scheduled ahead to fit into the office pre-planned activities for mobilization and travel documentary requirements. 

Topics in the write-shop for Climate Change as included in the PIA Climate Change Conferences include news writing, feature writing, photo journalism, copy reading and headline writing, editorial writing, editorial cartooning and basic lay-out. 

All of these have writing workshops, which uses care for the environment and climate change as thematic composition contents.

Over 70 student writers from the school participated in the training workshops. 

No less than Trinidad mayor Judith Cajes came to welcome the participants, even as she urged for the young writers to be wary about being led into biased and partial journalism, for the sake of political considerations.

Bohol races to nail sports 
tourism destination title 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, October 3, (PIA) –Running consistent with its old tourism slogan: It’s all in Bohol, local authorities here look at the viability of also pinning the province in the global sports tourism map, with the recent successful hosting of the SafeGuard 5150 Triathlon, September 28, at the Bellevue in Panglao. 

Visibly excited Governor Edgar Chatto, at the opening of the SafeGuard 5150 triathlon in Panglao September 30, said Bohol would never tire in making sales pitches to bring in tourists who spend here and spur local economy. 

Bohol’s eco-cultural tourism destination has miraculously revamped something somewhere in the local economy, that a perceptible increase in economic conditions rippled across the island province, observers said. 

The earthquake last year, snagged the momentum, and while destinations still need to rehabilitate, the search for alternatives opened up with Bohol as distance race venue. 

As early as 2008, KIA has brought to Bohol an endurance bike race consisting of 120 kilometers of a mix match of plain flat tracks over concrete highways, tar covered asphalt roads and potholed stretches of steep climbs, that promises to grate a bike’s gears to uselessness for the un-initiated. 

The course took one race biker from the plains of Panglao to the hills of Loboc and up the torturous winding Loboc Bilar Manmade Forest to the scenic mounds of the Chocolate Hills and zipping back. 

Already a regular host of the Enervon Active 226 Marathon presented by Timex since 2011, Bohol captivated international Olympic runners with its famed chocolate hills, centuries old churches and still a chest-full of secrets known only to locals. 

Since that time when distance runners took to task the 3.8 kilometers swim above the virgin coral gardens of Anda, 140 kilometer bike past scenic palettes of aquamarine to navy blue ocean views and 42 kilometer run through the canopies of centuries old trees and past verdant vegetation in Bohol’s agricultural towns, professional and elite runners have been blocking their December calendars for the torturous but refreshing Bohol swim-bike-run. 

From historic yet sleepy town of Anda, two years later, the Timex Marathon sprinted to Panglao and opened a new intriguing course for distance runners who have to race through the best-selling tourism circuits of Bohol, effectively stamping two promotions in a day’s race. 

And as if the Timex Marathon was not enough to sate milers, The Defy Marathon from the Bellevue attracted 300 international and elite locals, thousands were egging to join but the week-long registration limited the entries to only that. 

Defy featured 1 kilometer swim, 110 kilometer bike and 12 kilometer triathlon, which defied, like organizers envisioned, the rules of distance races. 

In July of 2013, Bohol again hosted its International Marathon from Panglao, which as expected, captivated races not only because of the race tracks but more of the sights one can also enjoy. 

That same year, Bohol opened its doors to another equally thrilling aquasports event: dragon-boating. 

Hosting an international dragonboat race in May of last year at the Tagbilaran City Strait, Bohol again carved a new niche in aqua activities with international and national paddlers hailing the calm and easily tame Dauis-Tagbilaran City strait. 

After the SafeGuard 5150 race last week, Bohol again braces for the Enervon Active triathlon in December, a fixture already pegged by international Olympic sprinters and distance runners. (RAC/PIABohol) 

BohFA offers free womens’ 
Football clinic this Oct 11 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, October 3, (PIA) –Who would know, the next striker for the Philippine national women’s soccer team could be a Boholana? 

A sport too alien for people in this island separated from the Visayan football-kicking populations, soccer, especially among women sounds on an off-tune beat to Filipinos. 

The recent exploits however of the RP Malditas, the national team in the Asian football circuits popped open the possibility and the love for women’s soccer 

On this, Bohol Football Association (BohFA) brings to Boholanas that possibility of striking the goal with a free Basic Soccer Training at the Carlos P. Garcia Soccer Field, October 11. 

BohFA President Edmar Thaddeus Simpao said up for the basic soccer skills training from 8 AM to 5 PM are girls 6 years old to women who are inclined for the sports. 

JFT Football Clinic handles the training component of the activity, which is sponsored in part by the Provincial Government of Bohol and the City Government of Tagbilaran, according to SImpao. 

While it is good if those intending to participate in the training comes with spiked soccer shoes and shin guards for protection, those who could not secure the necessary equipment are still game to join. 

Please to prepared a change of comfortable jerseys, he said as he added that soccer is so suited to be played with the player exerting so much effort, sweating is part of the training. 

Largely played in Negros island, soccer has also crept into the mentality of the Filipinos following the successful campaigns by the Philippine Azkals and the Malditas in their Asian sorties. 

A game that does not discriminate on the height which Filipinos are obviously lacking, soccer demands so much agility and endurance that when you have the skills, everything falls into place, the BOHFA official said. 

Filipinos are particularly suited for soccer in as much as records would show that even the best professional strikers in today’s big leagues still scramble to equal the feat of Filipino Paulino Alcantara. 

Alcantara holds the record as the first Asian to play for a European Club, palying in Barcelona at 15 and earned the title as the youngest to play and score for the club; the highest goal scorer netting 100 goals in 69 matches. (RAC/PIABohol)

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