Tuesday, January 27, 2015

COMELEC suspends registration
in Feb for SK polls preparations 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, January 25, (PIA) –The Commission on Elections (Comelec) would suspend its ongoing voter's registration and validation for the May 2016 national and local elections From February 1-28, to give way to the preparations for the Sangguniang Kabataan Elections set February 21. 

Through Comelec Resolution No. 9905, issued October 21, the poll body has set the following activities in line with the upcoming youth polls:

Election period started last January 22 and would continue until March 2, 2015, it being 30 days before and 15 days after election day. 

Filing of certificates of candidacy for SK Officials would be from February 7, 9, and 10, 2015. February 8 is a Sunday, so the next official working day would be the last day of filing of candidacy certificates, according to Atty Eliseo Labaria, at the recent Kapihan sa PIA.

Comelec Resolution No. 9905 also listed down prohibited acts during the election and campaign periods, on election eve, and on election day.

From then, election campaign period starts on the 11th and continues until the midnight of the 19th, 2015, when the campaign ban starts until election day. 

By February 21, 2015, registered SK members would be trooping to the polling precincts which would be officially opened by 7 am to 3 pm.

Canvassing of votes immediately follow the elections, where the Board of Election Tellers would be school teachers on poll duty. 

From February 22 to March 23, 2015, the Comelec has set these dates for filing of statements of contributions and expenses (SOCE). 

Bohol Comelec supervisor Labaria reminds candidates: winning or losing, not to forget to file the SOCE, as failure would stop one winning candidate from taking his official oath of office. 

For losing candidates, failure to file the SOCE would be a ground for permanent disqualification from running in any elective position, not withstanding, a fine which the COMELEC may determine. 

The poll body scheduled other SK election-related activities as well, like the period to constitute the members of the Board of Election Tellers (BET), and the periods for the filing of petitions for inclusion and exclusion of voters.

It may be recalled that there have been moves to reset the February 2015 SK polls, which was originally slated for October 28, 2013. 

The move is sad to allow Congress to legislate reforms in the youth representation system. Not much has been heard about the postponement anymore. (RAC/PIABohol)

==============
JICA finalizes eco-tour packages 
In support to “Visit Bohol 2015” 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, January 24, (PIA) –Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is now finalizing the details on three major eco-tourism circuits it supported through its Sustainable Environment Protection Project (SEPP).

And if you think it is, like always, about the iconic Chocolate Hills, think again. 

Calling it EcoTourism Bohol Program in support of the United States Agency for International Development’s Visit Bohol 2015, JICA SEPP not just promises site visits but also a website and page support to allow tourists relevant site information at the snap of a QR Card Scanning cellphone. 

It also puts up distinct guideplates and banners to provide instant capsulized information about the sites and its relevance to the environment. 

Tour packages in the pipelines are Bohol east-coast Eco-tour, a ten-hour day trip package, Bohol Culture and Nature Tour, an 6-hour day trip package and Bohol West Coast eco-tour 8 hour tour package. 

Bohol East Coast Eco Tour includes Lamanoc Mystic Island Trekking, Anda Beaches and Lunch, Bohol Cocojam Processing (Calamay (Jagna) and Clarin Ancestral House in Loay.

For Bohol Culture and Nature Tour, included in the package are Alburquerque Calamay, Loay Ironsmith Experience, Organic Rice and Agruciltural learning technologies at Balay sa Humay in Batuan, Tree Planting Experience at the Bohol Biodiversity Conservation Foundation and Clarin Ancestral House in Loay. 

Bohol West Coast Tour in the other hand has Pinayagan Loomweaving Experience in Tubigon, Coral Stair and Heritage Walk at Inang-angan in Loon Town Complex, 2013 Earthquake Experience Tour at Punta Cruz Watchtower, Organic Farm and Lunch experience in Maribojoc and SAVIMA Mangrove Adventure tour in Maribojoc. 

The tour packages are part of the Sustainable Environment Protection Project for Panglao, explains Go Kimura, during a chance meeting. 

The general idea is to help 150 eco-tour destinations in Bohol, he shared. 

These would be on the one town, more than one eco-tour, he added. 

For starters, JICA is putting up the 15 eco-tour sites in Bohol 

Other than the digital information support, JICA is also improving roadsigns, improving restroom facilities, kitchen facilities, site signages, access road improvements, tourist collaterals like straw hats and rubber boots, provision of souvenir tents, benches, drybags, canopy walks improvement, tree name plates and other information related collaterals. (RAC/PIABohol)
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Pag-IBIG Fund opens Loan 
window to Seniang victims

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, January 24, (PIA) – From now until March, Pag-ibig Fund in Tagbilaran is accepting and Processing for calamity loan applications of its members affected by typhoon Seniang. 

As the Bohol Sangguniang Panlalawigan approved Resolution No. 2014-662 declaring a state of calamity in the entire province, due to typhoon Seniang, this also automatically opens a financial assistance loan window for members, according to Leonardo Cirujales, information officer. 

PAG-IBIG Fund has allocated some 90 days of loan availment from December 30, 2014.

Cirujales cited, Circular 322 or the Amended Guidelines Implementing the Pag-IBIG Calamity Loan Program which provides financial assistance to Pag-IBIG member-victims in calamity-stricken areas, as declared by the Office of the President or the local Sanggunian. 

The program, he explained, is open to a Pag-IBIG member who satisfies the following requirements: (1) has made at least twenty-four (24) monthly contributions.

He also must have five (5) monthly savings for the last six (6) months as of month prior to date of loan application and if member has existing Pag-IBIG Housing Loan, the account must not be in default as of date of loan application. 

Moreover, he said if the account has an existing Multi-Purpose or Calamity Loan, the account must not be in default as of date of loan application. 

Finally, applicant member must be a resident of the area which is declared calamity-stricken which in this case the entire province of Bohol was declared.

A qualified Pag-IBIG member shall be allowed to borrow an amount based on the lowest of the following: desired loan amount, loan entitlement and capacity-to-pay. 

An eligible member shall be entitled to a loan amount which is equivalent to 80% of his Total Accumulated Value (TAV); limited to an amount for which statutory deductions and other obligations will not render the borrower's net take home pay to fall below the minimum requirement of P3,000.00 as prescribed by the General Appropriations Act (GAA) for government employees or private companies policy, whichever is applicable. 

However, if the borrower has an existing MPL, the loanable amount shall be the difference between 80% of the borrower's TAV and the outstanding balance of his MPL. 

Thus, a member may have two deductions to settle the two outstanding short term loan accounts with Pag-IBIG Fund, Mr. Cirujales added.

The calamity loan shall be charged with interest rate of 5.95% per annum which is lower than the interest rate charge to regular Multi-purpose Loan (MPL) at 10.5% per annum to be amortized over a period of twenty four (24) months with a grace period of three (3) months. 

To avail, the member-victim has to submit completely filled-out calamity loan application form, declaration form of being affected by calamity, latest one-month payslip and photocopy of 2 valid ID’s. 

It is also important to indicate the Registration Tracking Number (RTN) or Membership Identification (MID) Number on the application form and all photocopied attachments must be authenticated by authorized signatory. The proceeds shall be credited to their Landbank ATM/Cash Card or Citibank Cash Card account to be provided, PAG-IBIG Fund said. (PR/RAC/PIABOhol)

=================
Expect extreme weather as 
Northeast monsoon blows

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, January 24, (PIA) The rains we are experiencing lately, and the bad weather continues as the northeast monsoon continues to blow from Siberia, sums up a state weather forecaster.

Speaking at the Kapihan sa PIA last Thursday, Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAG-ASA) chief at the Dauis station explained that the northeast monsoon carries with it cold Siberian winds that attempt to fill-in to the vacuum caused by the massive evaporations at the sun-beaten waters of the Pacific Ocean. 

The constant push of the Northeast monsoon into the vacuums abandoned by the evaporation of the warmed pacific air, plus the Coriolis effect creates low pressure areas (LPA) that could dissipate or progress into an active LPA, Cantor said over at Kapihan sa PIA. 

The Northeast monsoon comes after the Siberian ice melts and this happens towards the last quarter to the first quarter of the year, he pointed out. 

As such, these times of year are the most critical, because the push of the cold air also moved the war, air towards the equator, allowing the LPA to lower latitudes that mostly hit the Philippines.

Cantor added, LPAs forming below 5 degrees latitude, when they move following the north northwest direction most usually hit the country from Hinatuan in Surigao to Aparri in the north. 

And at a time when these weather disturbances stir the Philippines, PAG-ASA Administrator Vicente Malano, who also happens to be a Boholano, has vowed for the government to put up a more accurate weather watch instrument in Bohol.

I heard from Administrator Malano that he is personally working to put up a Doppler radar in Bohol, Cantor said at the weekly radio program aired over DyTR. 

A Doppler radar is a specialized radar that makes use of the Doppler effect to produce velocity data about objects at a distance, according to the Wikepedia. 

It does this by beaming a microwave signal towards a desired target and listening for its reflection, then analyzing how the frequency of the returned signal has been altered by the object's motion. 

The change in the returned signal analysis gives direct and highly accurate measurements of the radial component of a target's velocity, for example, a low pressure area, relative to the radar. 

A Doppler, according to the weatherman, keeps an eye of a low pressure area and tracks its movements rather accurately, considering that it can pinpoint its location and its development well within 500 kilometers.

The country has put up Doppler radars in strategic locations in the eastern sea board, and one of these radars is in Mactan. 

PAG-ASA said it was Mactan radar station that accurately tracked Seniang, its landfall in Anda, to central Bohol and off to Tubigon, just as international weather observers said the storm is not making a landfall in Bohol. 

With a Doppler radar in Bohol, Cantor assured that we would be able to track storms entering the region and get the communities ample head time to prepare. (RAC/PIABohol)

==============
Buangan is theater of the future
For Andres Bonifacio biography 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, January 24, (PIA) –Bohol’s rising heritage and contemporary architect, known for his cutting-edge and creatively re-used architecture in Bohol, has designed the interior stage in the Baclayon cockpit (buangan) in time for the first-ever drama presentation in a cockpit. 

The stage will be patterned after the Elizabethan theater-in-the-round which fits so handsomely with the interior structure of the Baclayon cockpit, according to Lutgardo Labad, Boholano multi-awarded director and the creative director of an acclaimed play in the life of Katipunero Andress Bonifacio. 

The general form of the cockpit as a theater venue, enriches contact with the audience and poses creative challenges to the production in terms of direction, acting, movement and design, Labad said.

Guidaben, also designed the Abatan River Theater Space, the Alicia residence of movie director Maryo J de lose Reyes, and restored the Sarmiento ancestral house in Tagbilaran. 

Guidaben’s cockpit-turned theater design will be used for the staging of the first play of the first annual season of the new Kasing Sining Theater Ensemble: Teatro Porvenir.

Teatro Porvenir is a theatrical fusion of two award winning plays on the life of Andres Boniacio as a theater artist, written by Palanca winners Edward Perez and Tim Dacanay. 

Direction is by multi-awarded Gardy Labad of Baclayon, music by Odoni Pestelos, costume design by Rudy Aviles, choroegraphy by Rama Marcaida, stage management and acting mentorship by Amihan Ruiz.

Teatro Porvenir is a project of KASING SINING in partnership with the National Commission for Culture and the Arts aimed at reinforcing the dramatic talents of Boholano performers and celebrating pride of place in time for this year’s February National Arts Month celebration. 

It boasts of about 50 actors from different schools and communities led by Jun Camacho, Jerrey Aguilar, Keats Ronquillo, Paul Vistal, Jay Banquil, Toto Cuhit, Naneth Sevilla, Isabel Jamora, Vera Villocido, Guy Custodio, and more. 

It also is a collaborative project with the Dr. Cecilio Putong National High School Special Program for the Arts which has provided rehearsal venues for the show.

An invitational premier is scheduled on January 31. 

Regular shows with tickets priced at P130.00 are on February 8, 12, and 13, with curtain time at 7:00 pm. For reservations, please call or text 09298131552 Evelyn Silva, production manager. (PR/RACPiabohol)

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TF Bantay asin-7 spreads 
Use of quality iodized salt

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, January 22, (PIA) –A Food and Nutrition Survey in 2011 revealed that despite iodized salt infusion in markets, only ¼ of the supply of salt were adequately iodized.

This suggests that there is a problem on the availability of adequately iodized salt, according to the 2011 Updating Survey of the Food and Nutrition Research Institute.

And as the survey later revealed, authorities have noticed incidences of mild Iodine Deficiency Disorder (IDD) affecting the entire community region-wide, as a result of lessening iodization in available food. 

This IDD is particularly for pregnant and lactating women, and nutrition experts fear undesirable effects in the future generations. 

Iodine is an essential mineral in the body, and plays a vital role in health especially for a much healthier thyroid gland, metabolism, and brain. For those lactating and pregnant, IDD can bear its worst effects on the child.

To bolster the fight against Iodine Deficiency Disorder, the Regional Bantay Asin Task Force of Region VII (RBATF 7) pushes for the manufacture, distribution and consumption of quality iodized salt region-wide. 

The survey indicated high iodized salt utilization coverage among households in the region with 49.5%.

Also, an average of 94.6% of the household salt tested positive to potassium iodate higher than the national percentage of 80.1% using the salt testing solution. This, according to research may or may not have some harmful effects as tested, potassium iodate being inorganic. 

Potassium iodide, potassium iodate, and calcium iodate are three of the many iodine-containing substances used in food processing or consumption. 

Research on the three said “available biological information shows that ingested potassium iodide and other iodides are readily absorbed and utilized to the extent required for nutritional needs, the excess being excreted primarily in the urine.

Iodine is available from seafood and iodized salt, and its utilization is considered the cheapest and best intervention for the prevention and control of IDD as it is mostly used in cooking, and other food processing

As such, RBATF-7 continues to monitor the implementation of the Republic Act 8172 or the ASIN Law which requires all salt for human and animal consumption to be adequately iodized.

They also encourage both manufacturers to ensure the availability of adequately iodized salt to be distributed in the region along with the constant conduct of monitoring and promotion of good nutrition through the use of iodized salt and implementation of Asin Law.

Furthermore, RBATF7 encourages the public to use iodized salt with the approved seal to ensure that the manufacturers complied with all the necessary requirements established by the government in the production of the quality iodized salt. (PR/racpiabohol)

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“SK” election period
runs Jan 22-March 2

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, January 21, (PIA) –Through its latest resolution, the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) has nailed a no postponement scenario on the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) polls, which was initially proposed to be moved to a later date. 

Through COMELEC Resolution 9926, it has clarified that the SK election period would be effective on January 22 to March 2, and that is 30 days before and 9 days after the polls. 

The Resolution then clarified Comelec Resolution 9905, issued October 21, 2014, which initially set the election period as 30 days before and 15 days after February 21, election day.

In relation to this, prohibited acts that go with the election period also take effect, according to Bohol Provincial COMELEC Supervisor Atty. Eliseo Labaria, during the recent Kapiahan sa PIA. 

Through COMELEC Resolution 9735, as amended by Resolution 9789, pursuant to the implementation on the ban on bearing, carrying, transporting firearms or other deadly weapons, or otherwise the popular gun ban also takes effect on January 22.

Anent to this, those people who were earlier issued certificates of exemption to the ban, may now renew these permits, and attach any necessary updates on the provisions of the licenses and permits, advises the local election officer. 

Moreover, those intending to apply for new certificate of authority and are not listed in the previous roster will have to apply for a permit, at the COMELEC. 

More so, those security details of public officials from the President down to the governor may keep their security details but other officials, all the authority is automatically revoked and the detailed personnel recalled. 

But in consideration of other special cases, the COMELEC says, when circumstances warrant, including but not limited to threats to life and security, a candidate or his immediate family to the second degree of consanguinity or affinity, may upon application, be assigned a security detail of a maximum of two security personnel from a private security or protective agencies. (RAC/PIABohol)

================
Legal dads may get paternity
benefits: 7 days of paid leave

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, January 21, (PIA) –You may have heard of maternity leave benefits for birthing mothers. 

And there is also a similar benefit given to their legitimate spouses, as long as both are cohabiting shares German Guidaben of the local Bohol Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE). 

By Republic Act 8187, Guidaben said, legitimate spouses cohabiting with their birthing mates in the private or public sector can also be granted seven days of full pay. This is at least, for the first four deliveries. 

Through the same law, otherwise called the paternity Act of 1996, every married male employee in the private or public sector are entitled to a paternity leave of 7 days with full pay for the first four deliveries of the legitimate spouse of whom he is cohabiting, Section 2 of the law states. 

And as the law said, the benefit can also be claimed for both childbirth or miscarriage, he reiterates. 

By paternity leave, this refers to the benefits granted to a married male employee allowing him not to report for work for seven (7) days but continues to earn the compensation therefor, on the condition that his spouse has delivered a child or suffered a miscarriage for purposes of enabling him to effectively lend support to his wife in her period of recovery and/or in the nursing of the newly-born child. 

The employee however, while applying for paternity leave shall notify his employer of the pregnancy of his legitimate

spouse and the expected date of such delivery. 

For violation of this law, any person, corporation, trust, firm, partnership, association or entity found not observing the rules and regulations promulgated thereunder shall be punished by a fine not exceeding Twenty-five thousand pesos (P25,000) or imprisonment of not less than thirty (30)days nor more than six (6) months.

In fact, for corporation, trust or firm, partnership, association or any other entity, the penalty of imprisonment shall be imposed on the entity's responsible officers, including, but not limited to, the president, vice-president, chief executive officer, general manager, managing director or partner directly responsible, states RA 8187. (RAC/PIABohol)

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