Monday, October 13, 2014

Some town police chiefs 
not qualified -Napolcom

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, October 10, (PIA) –The agency tasked to have supervisory control over the Philippine National Police (PNP) reveals, “some town police chiefs in Bohol are not qualified.” 

The National Police Commission (NAPOLCOM), in a recent meeting at the Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC) told members that in their province-wide inspection, they noted some chiefs of police designations are against a standing policy.

Those leading town police stations should have the ranks of Police Senior Inspector, Police Chief Inspector or Police Superintendent, NAPOLCOM stressed. 

Atty. Olive Grace Hebron, NAPOLCOM Bohol chief added that some stations are currently led by lower-ranked Senior Police Officers.

“No PCO shall be designated to a certain position unless he or she meets the minimum qualification standards for the rank required for the position,” she cited Sec. 6c, NAPOLCOM M.C. No. 2008-004.

But, probably to protect the concerned police officers from embarrassment, she had the tact not to pick on these “unfit” station commanders. 

“One can become a chief of police after getting past a series of trainings on crime fighting, and without that, how can you expect the COPs to know,” her questing apparently stirred several council members. 

The situation seemingly worsened with the current police to civilian ratio. 

In Bohol, one police officer would have to watch over 800 civilians scattered in 3000 square meters, based on NAPOLCOM report. 

By that, preventing a crime from happening would be next to impossible. But, with crimes held at bay here, either the police are really good, or they are smartly using force-multipliers, NAPOLCOM also observed. 

In her PPOC report, Atty. Hebron said their latest annual inspection and audit of project plans per town police stations show that police law enforcers are grossly outnumbered by the civilian population it is supposed to serve and protect. 

“There are only 1,517 police officers and men all over Bohol, which has about 1,109 barangays,” she reported. 

In the ame report, Atty. Hebron showed Bohol’s current population at 1,345,521, and with a land area of 4, 117.3 square miles, it also means, when spread out, a police officer would have to stand and watch over 887 civilians so spaced out that it would be impossible for the police to see from end to end. 

And as if it were all that is wrong, the lady lawyer NAPOLCOM head adds, their inspection also revealed there is low compliance of Napolcom MC 2008-004. 

MC 2008-004 states the maximum tour of duty of chiefs of police in a municipal station shall be for a maximum of three years.

In several areas, some designation of officers in charge exceeds the period allowed and in several instances, they do not even have confirmation by the NAPOLCOM Regional Director for sitting in their positions. (PIABohol/RAC)

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Elderly still deprived of
20% “senior privileges”

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, October 10, (PIA) –Four years after the senior citizens are supposed to be getting discounts over medicine purchases, doctor’s professional services, laboratory fees and hospitalization, Boholanos into their twilight years still need to see if it is just like any other law from the legislative paper mill. 

At least that is what Melchor Daniel, president of the strong 110,000 member Bohol Chapter of the Federation of Senior Citizens Association (FSCA) said over at Kapihan sa PIA, Thursday, in commemoration of the Elderly Week in the first week of October. 

The outspoken Daniel, a retired government employee, and yet still able to handle the rigorous demands of serving the 47 town chapters here, cited the expanded Senior Citizens Act, which got enacted in 2010. 

According to Republic Act 9994, or Expanded Senior Citizens Act, the government shall make it a family, community, and government concern to give full support to the improvement of the elderly total well-being and assure their full participation in society, to motivate and encourage them to contribute to nation building. 

On this, the law provides privileges for the Senior Citizens, which include 20% discount and exemption from the value –added tax (VAT) on applicable payments (VAT) for goods and services from all establishments, for the exclusive use and enjoyment of the senior citizen. 

This provides a 20% discount on medicines, among others, in accordance with the Department of Health rules. 

But, for Daniel, it’s frustrating why the elderly would have to be put in an embarrassing situation if only to assert this provision. 

In Bohol, he said only a handful of drugstores and pharmacies honor the law, and among the few, there are still some who make it appear hard for the elderly to claim the privilege. 

He however praised Mercury Drug, for fully-implementing the privilege, and even adding the 12% EVAT as purchases by the elderly are technically EVAT-exempt.

He said Alturas and Bohol Quality pharmacies do grant these promised privileges but, only in their selected stores. 

Alturas does not honor the law-provided privileges for the elderly, when the purchase is within the mall, and not on their pharmacy in front of Gallares Hospital. 

Bohol Quality, he said also credits the promised discounts on its another outlet and not at the main pharmacy near the Gallares Street entrance. 

He was also quick to add however that, these two are better, because there is this semblance of compliance, unlike other pharmacies. 

With over a hundred thousand senior citizens in Bohol, getting their maintenance medicines from only a handful or pharmacies could be inconvenient, especially when the law does not even exempt small drug-stores. (RAC/PIABohol)

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“Inspiration” brings Abot Alam 
DepED, NYC, SMART to Bohol 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, October 10, (PIA) –It’s all about the inspiration. 

Bohol’s rising up and rebuilding right from the earthquake ruins excites the country’s leaders on the promise of hope for the hopeless, according to the Department of Education (DepED). 

On the other hand, the story of a school-drop-out turned composer rapper and his decision to go back to school paid off, allows him to meet up with Boholanos. 

Robin Padilla’s idle moments in jail became a perfect chance for him to continue high school and proceed to college, albeit informally, and craft an instructional video which allows Bohol and the country’s Out-of School Youth (OSY) to hitch into the country’s inclusive growth campaign. 

And in a day, those three converged in one location: Bohol Cultural Center for the nationwide launching of a program that seeks to reach out to the country’s estimated 4 million out-of-school youth to help them hitch ride into the economic bandwagon. 

DepED 

No less than Department of Education Secretary Bro. Armin Luistro and key officials from the National Youth Commission admitted before a jampacked venue that chose to formally inaugurate Abot Alam in Bohol September 30, because of the inspiring way with which the people rebuilt their lives after last year’s earthquake. 

Abot Alam, a nationwide campaign of the Department of Education (DepEd) and the National Youth Commission (NYC), supported by Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) through its value brand, Talk ‘N Text (TNT), attempts to seek out the country’s estimated 4 million OSYs, to get them back to school or if it is not possible, train them for work and allow them to be entrepreneurs so as to be included in the country’s growth. 

“Every time the President meets up with DepEd, he constantly pushes for Abot Alam and its Zero OSY Philippines campaign by 2016, Sec. Luistro told people at the launching, where the entire Abot Alam consortium, including representatives from Smart, vouched to see the goal of Zero OSYs through 2015. 

Luistro also explained how flexible Abot Alam is as far as targeting OSYs. 

“These are those who can’t take formal schooling, those who have married so they can’t take the five days a week 7:30 to 3 in the afternoon because they need to work to feed their families. Others may have to take weekends. So Abot Alam’s formula is what is most applicable, Secretary Luistro explained. 

We will bring the program to the barangays, puroks, and OSY’s do not need to go mainstream.” he said. 

With the fully-functional and highly personalized program offering alternative learning systems, OSYs have no more excuse to not go back to school, he bared. 

For this, Bohol Governor Edgar Chatto is grateful. “We have always been excited over Abot Alam because we’ve seen many youth outside and are accounted for. 

So when Secretary Luistro brought up the idea in Bohol, we immediately involved everybody.” 

QUEST 

On the other hand, the launching also featured a Smart Talk ‘N Text produced a call-to-action music video, featuring Abot Alam’s official song, “Walang Iwanan.” 

Composed and performed by rapper, Quest, it embodies what the entire project is for—attaining the goal of Zero OSY by 2016. 

Quest, who feels honored to perform the song added, “I believe in this cause because this is something close to my heart.” 

In the past, Quest also had to stop school in order to help his family. 

“You can never go wrong with a project that’s about education and helping the youth become more than they already are. This is why I am very grateful to Smart and Talk ‘N Text for tasking me to write this song and help our less fortunate ka-tropas in my own way,” Quest said. 

The video was first launched in June, during the Tondo Leg of Talk ‘N Text’s Panalo Ka, Pilipinas! campaign and was heavily promoted by Talk ‘N Text endorser, Robin Padilla. 

ROBIN PADILLA 

In a similar way “Walang Iwanan” is hooking up young Filipinos into its catchy callout, TNT endorser Robin Padilla played a key role in the instructional video that was produced to inform OSYs on how they can join Abot Alam. 

“Noong nakulong ako, sinigurado kong tinapos ko pa rin ang high school. At nang makalaya ako, college agad ang inatupag ko. Tinapos ko rin ito paglabas ko,” Robin said while filming the tutorial video. 

Kahit kailanman hindi dapat maging hadlang ang mga pagsubok sa buhay para makatapos. Maraming mga paraan para umunlad sa buhay at tutulungan ng Abot-Alam ang mga kabataang Pinoy para makamit nila ito,” added the actor, who has waived endorsement fee for this entire campaign. Robin is making sure he is reaching out to all young Filipinos to take the first step in making their lives better. 

Robin stressed, “Alam naman natin na marami tayong mga ka-tropa na gustong magkaroon ng pangalawang pagkakataon pagdating sa edukasyon, kaya bilib din talaga ako sa Talk ‘N Text na hindi nila pinapalampas ang mga ganitong opportunity para sumuporta sa mga ganitong proyekto. Kaya naman sinisigurado ko rin na kasangga ako ng TNT sa campaign na ito.” 

For details about Abot-Alam, visit the DepEd Facebook account or go to the nearest DepEd office. 

Upon registration, those who have decided to give school another chance will be redirected to different learning institutions supporting the campaign such as the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and other partner learning portals and government-owned institutions. 

Another registration option is through text message, powered by Smart, Talk ‘N text and Sun Cellular. (PIABohol/PR)

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6Th DyPJ anniversary 
retools broadcasters 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, October 10, (PIA)—Bohol’s first and only community radio station celebrates its 6th anniversary with a retooling seminar for its volunteer broadcasters, October 4-5.

DyPJ, formerly DyJP, a community radio affiliate of the Philippine Broadcasting Service (PBS) and operated by Jagna town, put up broadcasting climate change as its theme for the Community Radio for Climate Change Broadcasting Seminar.

DyPJ and Mayor Fortunato Abrenilla, including the Jagna Radio Council requested the Philippine Information Agency in Bohol to handle the two day retooling workshop for junior broadcasters who use the local station to broadcast developmental and environment friendly initiatives for communities to adopt. 

“Somehow, we needed to instill the critical role of our community radio in disaster communications, Catalino Berro Jr.,” DyPJ station manager said, emphasizing the need for more responsible broadcasters aware of the implications of the job. 

“The task becomes even more daunting for broadcasters, who are in a town that has seen tragic landslides in Mayana and Lonoy, storm surges in Pagina and Alejawan as well as water spouts in Bunga Mar, Cantagay and and Tubod Monte,” he illustrated. 

With the government now into more of building disaster resilient communities and insulating them from the effects of climate change, DyPJ can help communicate the messages and keep people from getting hurt, the former seminarian added. 

“About 85% of our people are already aware for what to do in a specific disaster,” reports Adonis Cagas, Municipals Disaster and Risk Reduction Management Action Officer, during a press conference which was part of a newswriting for broadcast segment of the two day training workshop.

“Our goal is to use all available means to reach out to the remaining 15%, in the most effective and cost efficient way, he stressed, during the broadcasters meet the newsmakers segment. 

Part of the PIA workshop was “Newswriting for Broadcast,” the Ethics of Broadcast Journalism, Basic Broadcasting with focus on the Radio and TV Code of the Philippines and a Mock News and Public Affairs Program Production and Broadcast.

About 30 volunteer broadcasters from DyPJ participated in the activities. (PIABohol/RAC)

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