Monday, January 12, 2015

Restore culvert in Loreto
Residents ask the DPWH

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, January 11, (PIA) –Residents of Purok 6 in Loreto Cortes now plead for the public works office to look into their plight, as a possible lapse in engineering design has put them at on a sorry state in these season of rains. 

While Tropical Storm Seniang poured a month-long of rains in 24-hours in large areas of Bohol swelling rivers and wiping off most of the houses in this village, those houses that survived the raging waters have to survive still being soaked in ponds that refused to drain. 

“It is never like this then,” a muddied resident who pleaded not to be named shared. 

“We never had anything like this before the highway was paved with concrete,” he said. 

“See that hill at the back of the houses?” he pointed, “water from the hill washes this way here,” sweeping his hands on the sunken potion of land on the other side of the elevated highway. 

“But we never had any flooding on this part because there used to be a culvert that facilitates the draining of the water collected here, down to the river a few meters below the highway,” he revealed. 

The culvert however has to be taken when the contractors strengthened the highway foundations. We thought they would replace it with a bigger and sturdier culvert, but it never happened, another resident whose new core shelter was among the houses dipped in mud and water. 

“Or maybe, they scrapped the putting up of a culvert to save on contract costs?” another one hinted.

About ten houses, all build on the sunken portion on the left side of the highway to Tagbilaran had to remain in the water for several more days even after the flood has subsided, as the water simply has no egress. 

It was good that we had not seen any rain bigger that Seniang, or wed have complained about this already, a mother clutching a toddler confirmed. 

Several people however refused to believe that the lapse was simply omission. 

Show us the design, were sure there must be a culvert incorporated in the construction as there was a culvert then, a visibly irate resident whose house was among those which were totally submerged as the floods came on the early morning of December 30. 

On this, they said the Department of Public Works and Highways must fix this, for in their delayed action again, the water collected here could soften the highway foundation and erode it, complainants agreed. (RAC/PIABohol)

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Worked for a month? Well, you 
deserve 13th month pay - DOLE 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, January 10, (PIA) –Workers and employees who have rendered at least a month of service last year, are deemed qualified for the mandatory labor benefit called 13th month pay. 

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Bohol office in charge Gerry Guidaben bared this during the latest Kapihan sa PIA in reference to the recent labor rules on the demandability of the mandatory workers benefit. 

As to Presidential Decree No. 851 and its rules and regulations, employers in the private sector are required to pay their rank-and-file employees a 13th Month Pay on or before December 24 of every year. 

Guidaben illustrated on the aired radio forum that 13th Month Pay is equivalent to one twelfth (1/12) of an employee’s basic salary within a calendar year. 

In case when the worker worked for the minimum requirement of one month and received 12,000, his 13th month pay would have been 12,000/ 12 which is P1,000. For those who worked the whole year, another P12,000 is demandable if this was not given in full by December 24. 

While it is given totally not later than December 24 of every year, some employers choose to pay one-half of the 13th Month before the opening of a regular school year, which is June and then pay the remaining half before the end of the year or December. 

The labor executive also clarified that basic salary as inclusive of all earnings paid to an employee for services rendered but could exclude allowances and other monetary benefits that an employee receives like unused vacation and sick leave credits, overtime, premium, night differential, or holiday pay. 

Maternity leave benefits are also not included in the computation of 13th Month pay, according to PD 851. 

All rank-and-file employees in the private sector are entitled to receive 13th Month pay regardless of their position and employment status as long as they have worked for at least one month in a calendar year, Guidaben added quickly. 

All establishments regardless of the number of employees are mandated by the government to pay their rank-and-file employees, he continued. 

But the law also lists some exemptions: employers who are already paying their employees 13th month pay or its equivalent, persons in personal service, or employers that are being paid on commission, boundary, or project basis. 

The law also provides that failure to pay this benefit before December 24 makes the benefit demandable by law and employers could face stiff sanctions. 

For employees and workers who have been denied of this benefit, seek help from the DOLE, at the 2nd floor of the Maluenda Building, CPG North Avenue, adjacent to Coca-Cola. (RAC/PIABohol)

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RTWPB sets Bohol 
daily wage at P310

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, January 10, (PIA) –Minimum daily wage rate in Bohol is now pegged at P310.00, incorporating P13.00 cost of living allowance in the worker’s basic pay. 

This is according to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) through a wage order it issued towards the end of 2014. 

The rate came up, after the DOLE and the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board conducted a region-wide consultative hearings all over the region. 

The RTWPB, composed of Chairman Exequiel Sarcauga, Vice chairs Asteria Caberte and Efren Carreon, Jose Tomongha ang Atty Ernesto Carreon, Labor representatives and employer representatives Atty Hidelito Pascual and Hidelito Tan, is mandated to conduct wage hearings to maximize productivity. 

The RTWPB conducted in October 13-14 in Tagbilaran Bohol and Cebu City, and in Dumaguete City on November 28 and in Bogo City, November 4. 

It may be recalled that the RTWPB also issued wage Order RB 7-18 last February 14, 2014 and got effective March 21, which increased the daily minimum wage for workers and employees in the region, incorporating P13.00 cost of living allowance (COLA), but excluded implementation in Bohol Province, citing two major calamities that hit the areas. 

The exclusion in rate implementation was deemed as a protection for industries and business establishments that need to recoup their losses due to the devastation, according to DOLE sources.

The same wage order posted a provision for review after 6 months of its implementation. 

During succeeding consultations after the lapse of six months, the RTWPB run another consultation to ask the pulse of workers on the integration of the P13.00 COLA which was denied of them. Immediately after the hearings, the wages board resolved to grant the COLA in the basic wage and thus make areas exempted by Wage Order RB-7-18 now recipients of the wage increase. 

Any establishment in Bohol then, is then obliged to implement the same, which became effective since December 14, according to Gerry Guidaben, DOLE Bohol Office in Charge, during the weekly Kapihan sa PIA Thursday. 

In a supplemental Wage Order RB VII 19-A, RTWPB said all minimum wage earners where no wage adjustments were given under the previous wage order, shall now receive the additional daily wage increase incorporating the P13.00 COLA. 

Over this, cities and municipalities of Bohol and Negros Oriental, under Class C, gets P310.00 new basic wage for non-agricultural workers, P290 for non-sugar and sugar workers while those working in sugar mills get P310.00 (RAC/PIABohol)

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ABENA re-organizes to unify 
All development efforts here 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, January 10, (PIA) –After a lull since 2005, local executives of national agencies in Bohol finally met and re-organized at a meeting coordinated by Governor Edgar Chatto. 

Initially called to coordinate and integrate all relief and rescue efforts as well as streamline rehabilitation and conservation efforts following three destructive typhoons and one huge earthquake, the meeting then unfolded the perfect chance for national agency heads in Bohol to re-organize. 

The group, adopting Association of Bohol Executives of National Agencies (ABENA) was once a very active organization, but seemingly retreated to inactivity owing to possible other concerns, said Department of Labor and Employment Bohol Officer-In-Charge Gerry Guidaben, during the meeting. 

In the providential meeting, elected as officers for this year are the following: President: Department of Interior and Local Government Provincial Director Maria Louisella Lucino; Vice President: Department of Health and Gov. Celestino Gallares Memorial Hospital Chief of Hospital Dr. Teofilo Arcay. 

Elected Secretary is Department of Education Bohol Division superintendent Dr. Wilfreda Bongalos, while Bureau of Treasury Chief Mylene Bulasa sits as ABENA treasurer. 

Technical Education and Skills Training Authority director Dr. Francisca Opog is Auditor while the Philippine Information Agency Bohol Center Manager Rey Anthony Chiu is elected group Press relations officer. 

Also elected as members of the Board of Director are Department of Environment and Natural Resources Provincial Officer Nestor Canda, National Food Authority Manager Ma. Fe Evasco and Commission on Elections Supervisor Atty. Eliseo Labaria. 

Earlier, Governor Edgar Chatto said that even with the Provincial Disaster and Risk Reduction Management council trying to be on top of the situation during calamities, it was simply impossible for Bohol to get to all the simultaneous requests for rescue and assistance with only a few active emergency responder group. 

PDRRMC has put up the Telephone and Radio Systems Integrated Emergency Response 117 (TaRSIER 117) with a combined staff of emergency medical service personnel, trained disaster rescue and emergency responders, high altitude rescue and water rescue groups. 

Aside from the Tarsier 117, Bohol has its offices deployed for disaster recovery and response operations. 

The Bureau of Fire Protection, the Philippine Coast Guard and the Armed Forces of the Philippines Special Forces, Army Ready Reserve Battalion along with the Philippine National Police have also their own specialized responders to disaster situations. 

Towns have also organized and equipped emergency response teams: JEMRU (Jagna), DERT (Duero), CERT (Cortes), TREAT (Trinidad) Maribojoc, Danao, Catigbian, San Isidro, San Miguel and still other LGUS who have yet to link with the PRRRMC Operations Center. 

For relief operations, government agencies in the past years have operated independently to deliver services, a step which sometimes end in duplication of services to the compromise of other relief beneficiaries. 

Now with ABENA, such activities could be harmonized and the reported made integral in the over-all reporting system to smartly use government and donor resources, hints the governor. (RAC/PIABohol)

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ANDAKIDZ village center 
Gets ‘Makakalikasan’ tag 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, January 9, 2015 (PIA) –A community center in largely swampy or if not grubby hills of Barangay Talisay in Anda earns a pro-environment and disaster resilient tag, for its unique construction and environment friendly technologies. 

Recently, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the Philippine Information Agency as well as concerned agencies both national and local in scope joined hands in determining appropriate innovations in environment and disaster resilience and giving them the “Makakalikasan” (earth-friendly) tag. 

The community center, a huge building is also designed as activity training center for the children of Talisay Anda, who may be deprived of community space to play owing to the nature of their village. 

The building, possibly a rarity at this time in Bohol for a non-tourist center, is built with walls of polyethelyene (PET) brick bottles for strength and durability. It also has glass liquor bottles to bring in the natural light, and cut sections of bamboos neatly piled in its walls for interior ventilation. 

Anda needs an indoor play and learning center that can be used by children of all ages when they are not in school (after school, weekends and holidays). [This will be a] place to make crafts, paint and draw, read books, play games, enjoy musical instruments, watch educational programs, practice singing and dancing, hold events and when the kids are not using it, adults can, for various community projects and meetings, according to its website www.andakidz.org

We used plastic bottles filled with sand as “bricks,” old tires for furniture, bottle caps for decoration and the windows, made from rum bottles of course!, shared British founder Robin Gurney, who has resided in Anda, to complete the help he and Estonian wife, along with international and local donors are helping fund and put up. 

Wherever possible, we reuse and recycle waste materials from the area, combine them with local resources such as nipa leaves, coconut wood and bamboo, for the entire community center, he said during a volunteer activity in part of the two-day blogging marathon Andale. 

The building was designed by Estonian architect volunteer, Hanna Läkk and initially funded by Henkel Baltics, especially Ele Kõlar, also engages services of volunteer tourists in Bohol’s pitch at interactive tourism especially for Anda Bohol. 

More-over, with no space to gather as the village grounds are basically mangroves and grubby hills, Gurney and Talisay Fishermen’s Association (TAFIAS) believe the eco-friendly community center partly fills the gap for play, learning and creative building skills. 

TAFIAS is ANDAKIDZ project partner in the grander plan of Talisay community development and empowerment, according to TAFIAS leaders. 

And with the village exposed to the raging storms brought by climate change, ANDAKIDZ founders and barangay officials also envisioned a relatively safe disaster resilient evacuation center, which the building design hopes to provide. 

Also with reinforced concrete posts, lumber and bamboo poles topped with nipa shingles using organic and sound architectural design, barangay leaders believe the structure complies with the requirement for disaster risk reduction and management. 

All those technologies contribute to ANDAKIDZ community center getting its eco-friendly tag. (RAC/PIABohol) 

TRULY ECO-FRIENDLY AND DISASTER RESILIENT. This building, made from plastic bottle bricks, clear alcohol bottles for windows and cut bamboo for ventilation uses organic architecture and sound building technologies to stand despite two huge storms Queenie and Senyang, now gets the Makakalikasan tag for its sound technologies. (RAC/PIABohol)

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Anda eco-tourism inputs up...
Multi-sector blogging group 
declare Andale Anda success 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, January 10, (PIA) –More private sector inputs are in for new Bohol tourism pin-up Anda as a collaboration of public and private sector organizers successfully organized Andale Anda. 

Andale Anda, is a two-day tourism and environment support activity held at Bohol’s newest summer beaching capital: Anda. 

In the events, Bohol and Cebu private sector representatives joined hands in an attempt to pin Anda in the national and international tourism map through a variety of activities threaded through a blogging marathon. 

The two day activity included a guided environment-themed tour Bohol for Cebu and Bohol Bloggers, a volunteer community center build activity at ANDAKIDZ in Barangay Talisay, Christmas gift-giving to Anda’s children, Soccer Clinic, Eco-Heritage Tourism tour in Anda, Resort visits and blogging activities threading through all events. 

Public sector initiators include the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Philippine Information Agency (PIA), Provincial Government of Bohol-Bohol Tourism Office, Provincial Tourism Council through Atty Lucas Nunag, Local Government of Anda through Mayor Metodio Amper and its Municipal Tourism Office and Barangay Talisay. 

Meanwhile private sector initiators include the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Project Compete, Ramyer Tours, Bohol Football Association, Cebu Bloggers, Bohol Bloggers, Chocoreich Café, MTU, Talisay Fishermen’s Association, Lamanoc Mystical Island Tours, Anda Seaside Pension House, J and R Resort and Residences, Flower Beach and Dive Resort, Gawad Kalinga, ABS CBN Sagip Kapamilya Foundation through the Seciety of ExCamillian Seminarians and other well-meaning Boholanos and Cebuanos. 

Famous Cebuano tour guide Ka Bino Guerero and social media blogger Ruben Licera Jr., initially hinted upcoming geo-tagging activities for Tagbilaran to Anda and make every resort, tourism support facility and disaster evacuation area tagged so international tourists and locals needing assistance can see them at google maps. 

Guerero, who underwent the Lamanoc Island Mystical Tours also vowed to help the LGU set up the local tourists spiels and storylines to make the island tour thematic and organized. 

BOHFA on the other hand said if the LGU could set up standard movable soccer goals, it may not be far when soccer tournaments would be held in the beaches. This should be a tourism support potential, BOHFA said. 

Anda tourism officer Jovie Mapesos also arranged for LGU Anda the resort visit where bloggers were made to sit and feel the resorts while winding up. Flower Beach Resort, Quinale Beach Bar and J and R were taken during the recent blogging activity. 

Around 40 Cebu and Bohol bloggers joined the activity, many of them first timers in Anda, according to Dalareich Polot, activity organizers. 

In the two- day event, there was a spike in #AndaBohol presence in the web, owing to the promotions. (RAC/PIABohol)

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PIA-BohFA to get barefoot
football to Anda beaches

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, January 10, (PIA) –Spreading voluntarism and evoking community confidence and pride, the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) in partnership with Bohol Football Association (BOHFA) brings to Anda Bohol its basic soccer clinics, to engage youth and children in productive sports activities. 

During a two-day organized activities set in Bohol’s newest beaching paradise, two Boholano coaches fresh from Asian Football Federations Coaching Training led four soccer player volunteers and the PIA in putting up basic soccer training services to over 70 kids from Anda, Bohol and its target Barangay Talisay. 

Children of Barangay Talisay may have been deprived of a playing field considering that the village has extensive mangrove and swampy seafronts and craggy grub-filled hills unsuitable for large group games. 

Besides, Talisay children, and most of Anda’s kids are not exposed to the wonderful game of soccer despite a huge ground near its famed beaches that can easily be converted into a soccer pitch. 

Organizing the event with LGU Anda under Mayor Metodio Amper and Tourism Officer Jovie Mapesos, the Anda Soccer Clinic was a half day event that included basic soccer skills clinic, game rules, games and team buildings skills, according to BOHFA President Edmar Thaddeus Simpao, who personally handled the training. 

Also with Simpao in the soccer coaching pool is DCPNHS Soccer team coach Louie Supremo, and Infant King Academy Ninos Soccer team alumni defenders Bo Johannsen Chiu, Cecil Josef Ligan, midfielder Aldrin Tatad and forward striker Jan Luis Lacsado. 

And unlike other soccer clinics, Anda went to innovate with barefoot soccer, so as not to discriminate other children who may be too impoverished to buy the standard game equipment. 

The future plan is to bring out to Anda, a larger horde of soccer aficionados, especially of the beach soccer kind, one that would possibly pin a tag on Anda as a potential beach soccer venue bringing in international and national players. That should be good for the local economy, hints tourism officer Mapesos. 

Local officials are in the heat of pushing for Anda as Bohol’s newest tourism jewel and along with it, a destination, according to Mayor Metodio Amper. 

The early clinic is really to make the soccer followership in Anda sustainable, says Briton Robin Gurney, who also played competitive soccer in England, and among the clinic organizers. 

With this, in partnership with Gawad Kalinga and Bohol PLGU to continue spreading bayanihan ang getting children their rights to play, PIA-BOHFA also handed in training soccer balls to Anda and to Talisay kids. 

Two soccer balls are now deposited at the Municipal Tourism Office beside the town-operated Quinale Beach Bar, these balls can be borrowed for anybody intending to play at the expansive fields of the town plaza or at the beach soccer pitch beside the MTO. 

After the clinics, Anda now needs a full 11-aside regulated soccer pitch to be able to finally get the attention of soccer players, according to BOHFA. (RAC/PIABohol) 

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