Monday, November 3, 2014

Total crime volume down- 
Camp Dagohoy points out

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, October 31 (PIA) –Total crime volume in September this year decrease, as police chief Colonel Dennis Agustin and his men aggressively sought ways to make Bohol a peaceful place to live and do business with. 

The decrease, which crime statisticians at Camp Dagohoy posted at 59 cases, elate members of the Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC) who gathered October 31, in the afternoon, despite a declared half day holiday for government workers for the All saints and All Souls Day traditions. 

Police Senior Superintendent Agustin said crimes volume reported in August 2014 totaled 712 cases, but by September, crimes dropped to 653.

The downtrend, Col. Agustin points out, was also consistent with the downtrends statisticians noted for index and non-index crimes type in the last two months. 

In his power point presentation, Camp Francisco Dagohoy chief noted that index and non index crimes in September reached up to 412 and 241 which was still considerably low compared to August of this same year. 

Index and non-index crimes in August, according to the provincial police director showed 417 and 295, where a noted 5 cases down for index and as much as 54 cases less for non index crimes in September. 

For the crime types, only physical injuries found an increase while all other indexed crimes experienced stability or down trends. 

Theft, physical injury and robbery still remain top crimes in Bohol, according to the soft-spoken Col Agustin, who used to be an anti-organized crime task force chief in his past assignment. 

Theft comprises 38% of the crime pie, Physical injury, 38% and robbery at 18%, Camp Dagohoy reports. 

Theft decreased by 8 from 163 in August, physical injuries increased by 18 cases over August’s 129 and robberies decreased by two from 76 last month, Col. Agustin pointed out. 

The biggest and most notable change however that the top cop pointed out is the drastic decrease of carnapping in Bohol, which has been successfully trimmed down to single digits from double digits in the beginning months of the year. 

In fact, Col. Agustin hailed Tagbilaran City Chief, Major George Vale for significantly lowering carnapping cases from 67 in the beginning five months to 22, averaging 4 per month compared to 13.4 in the beginning five months. (RAC/PIABohol)

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PPOC asks DDB to accredit
Drug treatment physicians

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol October 31, (PIA) –The Provincial Peace and Order Council resolves to ask appropriate authorities to accredit physicians who would be tasked to help Boholanos needing rehabilitation from dangerous drugs. 

In its most recent meeting October 31 at the People’s mansion, the PPOC, led by Governor Edgar Chatto, adeptly steered the council to adopt a motion by an allied council asking for the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) to accredit local physicians who would be into rehabilitation of drug dependents so they could return to their normal lives. 

The DDB is the policy making and strategy-formulating body in the planning and formulation of policies and programs on drug prevention and control, who is also mandated to develop and adopt a comprehensive, integrated, unified and balanced national drug abuse prevention and control strategy in an over-aching goal to make the country, dangerous-drugs-free. 

It is under the DDB power to accredit physicians and even drug treatment and rehabilitation centers as well as to greenlight for one dependent’s application for treatment and rehabilitation. 

With this, the Bohol PPOC resolution, also asks the DDB to help Bohol process the training of local physicians in another effort to localize the treatment and rehabilitation of drug dependents, especially those who are hooked to the prohibited substances and voluntarily submit or forced by law to undergo compulsory confinement. 

The motion was in support of the newly reorganized Provincial Anti-Drug Abuse Council (PADAC), who has previously identified the need for properly trained professionals to handle rehabilitation of drug offenders. 

This too comes as Bohol officials draw the blue prints for a local drug treatment and rehabilitation program. 

Drug problem recently posed as a serious threat to Bohol that Governor Chatto and Central Visayas Police Director Prudencio Bañas, personally challenged Bohol police chief Dennis Agustin to make Bohol the first province in the country to be declared drug-free. 

Himself soft-spoken an unassuming, Col. Agustin, who is much more acknowledged as an action man, has astonished local officials with his relentless drive against drugs, netting over a P10 million worth of dangerous drugs in a year’s time. (RAC/PIABohol)

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Bohol strengthens CLEC, 
involves village officials

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, October 31, (PIA) –Bohol strengthens its multi-agency coastal law enforcement councils (CLEC), in a bid to engage more community stakeholders in the management and protection of its coastal and marine resources. 

Already an award winning innovation in coastal law enforcement, CLEC Bohol received a Galing Pook award for multi-stakeholder initiative in marine resource protection for its district wide implementation of a unified Coastal Resource Management Program especially on enforcement of the Philippine Fisheries Code of Republic Act 8550, using a multi-agency and inter-LGU composite team.

But with an inter-LGU, multi-agency composite members going out to vast seas and patrol numerous islets in Bohol, they simply could not be as effective, environment advocates and observers criticized. 

Clearly outnumbered over illegal fishers and poachers, as well as with missions of covering large expanses of marine areas to secure and patrol, deputatized marine law enforcers down eye engaging barangays to empower and co-share the task, shared Bohol Environment Management Office Coastal Resource Management Coordinator Adelfa Salutan.

“We will be utilizing tanods and other barangay officials actively into part of the team, and here officials believe identifying and going after violators of fishery and conservation laws can be just as easy” Salutan said. 

“This could also empower local government front liners into being a part of the resource management, thus enhancing their sense of duty and responsibility,” she added, during a recent radio forum on the air. 

Most people in the barangays know each other and so identifying illegal fishers or helping manage the resources can be easier, supports Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic authorities in separate interviews. 

“It is a new development,” points out Cresencio Pahamutang, Bohol Fishery Officer and BFAR chief. 

Initially, Bohol put up and deputized fish wardens to enforce fishery laws as mandated by law, but that opened opportunities for abuse, especially when politics present themselves as a sore issue to deal with. 

“We can apprehend a violator, but when he comes to call on the mayor to intervene, then our troubles start,” a composite team member shared. 

“It is hindering our role in its proper implementation,” he added. 

When implemented by towns, enforcers find themselves at a compromising end of the pole when the violators also happen to be supporters of elected officials, shared members of the Bohol Coastal Resource Management Task Force, the group overseeing the operation of the soon to be formed CLEC. 

And in cases when there were multi-agency team composed of Maritime Police, PNP, Philippine Coast Guard, Bantay Dagats of a town operate, jurisdictional issues crop up as illegal fishers cross municipal boundaries during chases. 

In response to this, authorities and communities in consultation, establish and institutionalize the CLEC as a composite team of national and local government agencies as a patrol team, smartly solving most issues of politics and jurisdiction. 

“A violator can be a voter of a town, but with a district-wide composite team of enforcers, politicians dipping their hands to rescue a violator can be exposed,” according to BCRMTF. 

This becomes even much better with barangays now helping us, the more we are, the better it is for our coastal law enforcement, declared BCRMTF members. (RAC/PIABohol)

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“Declaring Danajon among
‘protected areas’ may fail”

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, October 31, 2014 (PIA) –A leading and respected fisheries biologist and professor hints that putting Bohol’s rare double barrier reef under the National Integrated Protected Areas (NIPAS) may not work well. 

The push to get the Danajon Double Barrier Reef (DDBR) however lost its steam after its major proponent, former Bohol Governor and Congressman Erico Aumentado died and experts advised against it.

Collaborative management of the expansive Danajon can work, but only for small areas of collaboration, and in that case, in some small clusters because there would be fewer politicians to deal with, Dr. Nigel Armada bared. 

Dr. Armanda, a marine biologist with over 30 years of experience in fisheries resources assessment and management in the Philippines and Asian Region believes the DDBR is just too wide for the few government agencies to protect and conserve.

Citing the successes of the marine protection and conservation of the communities in the rare DDBR, Dr. Armada, deputy chief of party of the United States Agency for International Development funded Ecosystems Improved for Sustainable Fisheries (ECOFISH) project points out that Danajon has been running well because of its multi-stakeholder type of management and its communities now feeling what it means as stakeholders. 

DDBR, a rare marine geological formation of two reef barriers flanking northeastern to northwestern mainland Bohol is a 90-mile stretch of reef system composed of two sets of large coral reefs, the Philippines’ only double barrier reef and one of only six documented double barrier reefs in the world.

A British ecologist, Dr. Nick Hill of the London Zoological Society calls (Bohol's) Danajon Bank the cradle of biodiversity for the Pacific Ocean... Many species may first have evolved here and many, many people depend on it for their survival. 

Shared by 16 municipalities and a city, of four provinces, and two regions, Danajon has become a common food source for the region’s densely populated islands and islets saddled with poverty. 

The fishing and marine resource extraction here has been a threat, that Dr. Hill said it is not an exaggeration to say that Danajon is one of the most threatened coral reefs in the world."

Considered by scientists as the “center of the center” of marine biodiversity, Danajon is considered one of the most important marine ecosystems in the entire Pacific Ocean.

Because of its fragile ecosystem, former Bohol governor and Congressman Erico Aumentado has pushed for the declaration of the rare marine geological site under the NIPAS, and push the government to aggressively manage its protection and conservation. 

But before that could happen, regional officials have started collaborative efforts to conserve and protect Danajon.

As early as the early 2000, regional collaborative activities among Cebu, Leyte, Bohol and Southern Leyte officials united in doing something for the protection of Danajon has been initiated and firmed. 

The initiatives take their cue from a successful collaborative template which Bohol has implemented in its district-wide interagency multi-sectoral Coastal Law Enforcement Councils. 

Dr. Armada, who sits as faculty member of the College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences of the University of the Philippines in the Visayas, pointed out that the successful initiatives worked because of the active participation and owning of the stakeholders and communities co-managing and sharing the resource.

The management of the resource props up local government units revenues so well that some towns have enhanced their resource management systems from the proceeds of their revenues from the Danajon, he explained. 

Should this be turned over for the national government protection, Dr. Armanda fears LGUs might be discouraged and the protection and conservation of the resource would revert to total abandon. (RAC/PIABohol)

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Guso farming: viable option for 
Communities CC adaptation

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, October 31 (PIA) –In efforts to help communities adapt to changes in climate and and global warming, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) put their hopes on the viability of seaweed farming for Bohol coastal areas and islets. 

Suitable for Bohol waters and favorable currents, seaweeds of the euchauma cottonii variety, when farmed, can be a very good source for alternative income source earning for a farm 1/8 of a hectare an ascertained income of at least P14,000 per month, Aurelin Eugenio Mayor, BFAR Aquaculturist shared. 

And not only that, Mayol, who also put up a small seaweed farm in Mabini town attests that the strung seaweeds attract fish and bottom dwellers that catching them becomes easier as the fish stay and linger in the farms over going to nearby areas which are overly fished. 

The seaweed farms also act a small marine protected areas, she added, while giving a good sanctuary with its shade and food for fish. 

Speaking at the Kapihan sa PIA, she said fishers have complained about depleting and scarce fish stocks that they would have to paddle long hours to get to the depths to fish.

They would have to paddle long to catch more and earn more, but, we have opened an option, go seaweed farming instead, the aqua-culturist who makes rounds convincing people of backyard fisheries blurted out. 

With seaweed farming, especially with the euchauma cottonii (guso) variety, they are assured of income while tending to their farms, and occasionally fish using lines in nearby areas, Mayol said. 

Most of Bohol seawaters are suitable for guso, which not only supplies food for the table, its high value when dried can be the answer to low income fishers. 

Framed in lined strings and strung together in uniform distances, guso is the raw material for carrageenan, a seaweed extract is extensively used in the food industry due to its gelling, stabilizing and thickening properties. 

Six or seven kilos of guso when dried can weigh a kilo and is sold between P60-70 in dry weight, Mayol said who added that seaweed farms are even frequented by traders who may but even the raw and undried guso, so farmers really do not need to put up solar driers. 

We need to present alternatives to communities now feeling the effect of climate change, and the option which guso offers opens a new window for families to unite and work closer to home. (RAC/PIABohol)

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PCG begins formal tradition 
in new Panglao CGSs chief 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol October 31, (PIA) – For the first time in local history at the Tagbilaran Station, Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) officers and men witness the solemn ceremonial turn-over of command for the new substation commander for Panglao Substation (CGSs) in rites held at the LMP Building grounds October 31. 

This as Chief Petty Officer Cerino Sambas turns over command to Petty Officer 2 Lito Pascua, who shall replace him as chief of Bohol’s notably busiest coast guard postings; tourist island Panglao substation. 

Out-going officer Sambas received his posting assignment from former Tagbilaran Station Commander Anileto Gabisan, as he was designated as OIC to full pledged head status for Panglao substation since November 4, 2011. 

Meanwhile, incoming Panglao Substation chief and PO2 Pascua came from a coast guard assignment in Talibon substation 

“I was surprised because it is my first time to attend a formal turn over, in the past we only have signing of assumption papers and it is done without any frills and flourish at all,” shared Sambas, who said he would finally retire from government work following an unblemished record. 

I hope we can make this a tradition in the Tagbilaran Coast Guard Station, Sambas, who was also awarded a Coast Guard Medal of Merit and Ribbon for his dedicated service. 

No less than incumbent Tagbilaran City Coast Guard Station Commander, Lieutenant Jg Robinson Madriaga who presided over the CG Station Panglao turn-over of command. 

In his message to the incoming chief, Lt. Madriaga talked about being empowering leader, leadership by example, and responsibilities that accompany the rank, in utter humility and good example. 

“We decided to give this honor to the out-going officer, who has been showing dedication and commitment to his job. This is our gift to him and we do hope to make this a tradition for the station,” Commander Madriaga told his men during the midmorning ceremony. (RAC/PIABohol)

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