Monday, February 2, 2015

Bohol assembles its 
2nd fablab 3D printer

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, January 31, (PIA) –Through the wonders of tele-conferencing, Bohol fabrication laboratory (fab-lab) successfully assembled its second three-dimensional (3D) printer, which will add more capacity for local fabricators aiming to mass produce their developed products 

Bohol fablab technicians have only to be mentored by sister fablab technicians in Japan, and using the wonders of tele-conferencing and the Bohol fablab real time communication facility, local assembly team would only need to follow realtime instructions from Japan, according to Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Bohol sources. 

Both 3D printer and the tele-conferencing equipment are among the many state of the art equipment made available to Bohol fab-lab, the first and the only one as yet in the country.

An idea hatched at the science and technology research hub- Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the fablabs began as an outreach program for MIT’s Center for Bits and Atoms (CBA), according to Japan International Cooperation Agency, among the Bohol fablab initiators. 

CBA accordingly assembled millions of dollars in machines for research in digital fabrication, ultimately aiming at developing programmable molecular assemblers that will be able to make “almost anything”. 

Bohol fablab is a collaboration project of the JICA, The Philippine Government through the Department of Science and Technology, DTI and Bohol Island State University, where it is now housed.

Activities in fab labs range from technological empowerment to peer-to-peer project-based technical training to local problem-solving to small-scale high-tech business incubation to grass-roots research. 

Projects being developed and produced in fab labs include solar and wind-powered turbines, thin-client computers and wireless data networks, analytical instrumentation for agriculture and healthcare, custom housing, and rapid-prototyping of rapid-prototyping machines.

Fab labs share core capabilities, so that people and projects can be shared across them. This currently includes: A computer-controlled laser cutter, for press-fit assembly of 3D structures from 2D parts, a larger (4'x8') numerically-controlled milling machine, for making furniture- (and house-) sized parts, signcutter, to produce printing masks, flexible circuits, and antennas, a precision (micron resolution) milling machine to make three-dimensional molds and surface-mount circuit boards, programming tools for low-cost high-speed embedded processors, 

Aside from the 3D printer, Bohol fablab has the following specific equipment and tools: laser cutters, big and small milling machines, test equipment, print and cut machine, scroll saw, embroidery machines, and LED TV for video conferencing, among others.

These equipment works with components and materials optimized for use in the field, are controlled with custom software for integrated design, manufacturing, and project management. 

This inventory is accordingly continuously evolving, towards the goal of a fab lab being able to make another fab lab, MIT said. (RAC/PIABohol)

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Honda recalls Civic ‘03
For “defective airbags”

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, January 31, (PIA) –If you’re driving a Honda Civic 2003-2004 model, then you must drive to the nearest Honda Car Philippines incorporated (HCPI) dealers for them to make the necessary retrofit to make your car safer than it is. 

This as HCPI also implements a product recall for the specific car model, upon noting un-usual and irregular deployment of the front passenger airbags or the supplemental restraint systems.

The irregular deployment could be dangerous when the car is cruising at high speeds, and the deployment could cause distraction leading to possible accidents. 

For this, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is also informing Honda Civic owners in the Philippines who have purchased Honda Civic Cars models year 2003 and 2004 of a voluntary recall. 

DTI also advises them to visit the nearest Honda Car Philippines, Inc. (HCPI) dealers as soon as possible to discuss the recall process. 

The recall, explains HCPI, would necessitate the replacement of the inflator of Passenger Front airbags of said Honda Civic vehicles. 

The SRS Airbag inflator replacement is free, and takes about one (1) hour in any of the 33 authorized Honda dealers and 3 authorized service outlets nationwide.

For any further inquiries, owners of affected vehicles may inquire with any of the authorized Honda dealerships or with HCPI thru (02) 857-7240, according to DTI Bohol. (RAC/PIABohol)

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Caberte is 2015 
“Huwarang DTI” 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, January 31, (PIA) –Boholana and Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Regional Director Asteria Caberte won as the country’s Best DTI Executive, over 9 other finalists, recent reports revealed. 

In its recent System on Performance, Rewards and Incentives (SPRInts) Awards, Caberte, and another regional staff were shortlisted to the finalists of the SPRIntsHuwarang DTI 2015, and the regional director bagged the coveted award this year. 

Caberte, formerly DTI Bohol Provincial Director, assumed the Regional Officer after a well- deserved promotion years back. Like her notably well-performing stint in Bohol, her regional coverage allowed her a much greater responsibility, which she adeptly fitted herself in. 

Caberte was cited for her excellent response to typhoon Yolanda by bringing Diskwento Caravan to disaster-hit areas in Bohol and in Leyte, during the earthquake and typhoon Yolanda.

Herself, a calamity victim, Caberte readily organized a DTI team to assess damage to the business environment in Bohol and in Leyte and, setting aside her damaged home, she led a discounts caravan to even up the playing field and monitor compliance of the consumer laws, to make basic commodities accessible to all. 

“Her vigor and commitment in doing her job, belie the hardships she had gone through a few weeks after the storm,” and the earthquake which damaged her home, her nomination paper to the Huwarang DTI 2015 stated. 

Already getting the trends in the annual products showcase with Bohol’s Sandugo, notably among if not the country’s longest running trade fair, the tradition spread with the Regional Products Showcase adopting the One-Town-one Product strategy, as a launching pad for the promotion of green economies. 

Caberte’s leadership has pushed trade and industry in the Visayas as among the country’s most vibrant, according to DTI undersecretary Zenaida Maglaya.

Maglaya, who sits as undersecretary for regional operations, in her recent visits to Bohol, heaped praises for Caberte, who she said is leading the region’s DTI into new frontiers in stirring up local economies through support to small and medium enterprises development. 

Moreover, her leadership has made DTI-Central Visayas as the country’s best performing regions, based on the over-all agency performance in the country, DTI sources also revealed. 

Caberte’s stint is rare in as much as the DTI, an agency comprised of over 2,000 employees, has shortlisted some 56 employees and executives with the best performance and behavioral ratings by an internal evaluation team. 

The selection was based on the 9 core values of the trade industry agency, according to the same DTI sources.

A third party team composed of the Civil Service Commission, ISA, Career Service Executive Board, Commission on Audit and MetroBank Foundation evaluated the finalists, DTI said. (RAC/PIABohol)

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ILO bows out of Catigbian, 
Hands farm tools to CAMIA

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, January 24, (PIA) –International Labor Organization (ILO) bows out of Bohol a year and four months after the earthquake, but it didn’t just go without a stir. 

Being the United Nations specialized agency whose main aim is to promote rights at work, encourage decent employment opportunities, enhance social protection and strengthen dialogue on work-related issues, the ILO came to Bohol immediately after the earthquake to dish our humanitarian relief assistance.

Generally into cash-for-work to provide temporary source of food and sustenance to earthquake victims, the ILO also prioritized relief to those heavily affected by the calamity. 

In Catigbian, where farmer members of the Cambuslot Irrigators Association (CAMIA) were severely affected by the quake, ILO lined these people for cash for work and other forms of help.

CamIA members suffered heavily when the vast rice fields they were tilling, ass dried up as the Catigbian mini dam lost its water. 

Too bad we were apparently late in submitting the project proposal for CAMIA, them being severely affected, admitted Ardissa Estavilla, SB Secretary. 

Had the proposal been accepted, it would have helped these families as they would have ready vegetables for food and for marketing, Estavilla added. 

As the ILO was on the end parts of their stint, LGU Catigbian earlier pushed for an Organic Vegetable production project for ILO consideration, but it was too late. 

Not really wanting to fail the Catigbianons, ILO instead turned-over farm tools to the members of Cambuslot Irrigator's Association (CamIA) of Barangay Poblacion Catigbian. 

52 CAMIA members received work boots, bolos, garden hoe and mattocks, shovels, and long sleeves working shirt as well as working masks, in fitting ceremonies at the Poblacion Barangay Hall 

The activity coincided with a Community based Monitoring system workshop held simultaneous at the town hall, most local officials could not make it to the ILO event, according to sources. 

But Mayor Virgilio Lurot was all too excited with the ILO legacy to the farmers that he wanted to make a quick visit to the event. But with the lack of material time, he sent Estavilla then. (RAC/PIABohol)

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DENR opening search for 
most eco-friendly schools 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, January 24, (PIA) – The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is now accepting nominations for the most environment-friendly and sustainable schools in the country.

Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) Director Atty. Jonas Leones announced on Friday the “2015 National Search for Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Schools” is open to all public and private elementary and high schools, colleges and universities.

Three major winners ate in for each level – elementary, high school and college. 

Each first place winner gets P50,000 and a plaque of recognition. 

The second and third place winners each gets P40,000 and P30,000, respectively, and plaques. 

Regional winners will each get P15,000.

“The competition seeks to encourage schools to become more actively involved in environmental issues at the local level. It recognizes academic institutions with best eco-friendly programs and activities,” Leones said.

The deadline for submission of nominations is April 10, 2015 and the winners will be announced in November.

“This is to give schools more time to prepare and enhance their existing eco-friendly programs,” Leones explained. “We are hoping to encourage more schools to participate and take part in heightening environmental awareness among our youth.”

The national search is organized by DENR-EMB, in cooperation with the Department of Education (DepEd), Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and private sector partners.

Smart Communications Inc. joins the activity as part of its corporate social responsibility and community service program Kabalikat. Other program partners from the private sector are Nestle Philippines Inc. and One Meralco Foundation Inc.

Participating schools must register on-line at www.sustainableschools.ph and submit their entry in three hard copies to their respective DepEd Division Offices for public elementary and high school categories, and to EMB Regional Offices for private elementary and high school entries, including higher education/college category. The minimum requirement for judging will be the hard copies.

Entries should reflect the theme "Sustainable and Eco-friendly Initiatives.” Participating schools should include a brief description of their entry.

Nominees will be judged according to the following criteria: Sustainability Aspects of the School’s Policy (10 points); Environment-friendly School Operations and Presence of Environmental Programs (25 pts.); Environment-related Features of the School Curriculum (25 pts.); Presence of Vibrant Eco Organizations in Campus (10 pts.); Presence of Partners and Linkages in Environment Programs/Projects (10 pts.); Socio-Cultural Sustainability (10 pts.) and Economic Sustainability (10 pts.). Only one entry per school will be accepted.

For further details, please contact the National Program Secretariat at the Environmental Education and Information Division of the Environmental Management Bureau-DENR. Telefax Nos.: (02) 9284674 and (02) 3765610; E-mail: ecofriendlyschools@gmail.com. Websites: http://www.emb.gov.ph and http://www.sustainableschools.ph# (RAC/PIABohol)

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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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