Tuesday, September 29, 2015

New St Michael Parish Church
rises on P65M US bishops aid

CLARIN, Bohol, September 28, (PIA)—As devotees of Saint Michael Archangel would gather at the cramped and suffocating alternative church the town religious erected after the great earthquake in 2013 devastated its religious structure, they would be coming in to a better, more spacious and elegant P30 million church next year. 

“It is a huge blessing,” humbly confesses one of the senior parishioners of the town who is celebrating its second feastday under the temporary structure made from the rubbles of the church which crumbled when the great shake happened. 

“It was a great loss, I was shaken after escaping from inside the shaking house, stepped into the middle of the highway where it is safer, and saw the old church gone,” he recalled his experience that morning when he has to shout his instructions to his family to stay under the protection of the tables when the earthquake lasted.

His family: a septuagenarian wife, daughter and her family as well as a son were inside the house when the tremor occurred, escaped with barely some scratches; shaken.

We all looked in horror at the sight and it was just to painful to us we could not stop the tears, he shared.

The church, dedicated to Saint Michael the Archangel has its humble beginnings in the 1920s and completed well in the American period, lay flat, the newly refurbished facade the only significant reminder that a church used to stand where it was.

While many churches in Bohol suffered similar devastation, it was a hopeless case for Clarin, whose church was later built did not get any declaration as national cultural treasure, or important cultural treasure. 

Declarations like these could put the church repair, rebuilding or rehabilitation under government program. 

The later initiatives of the local church led by Rev Fr Johnson Inte and the parish pastoral council looked at the only immediate source they considered: Solicit and ask for pledges from the equally needing help. 

“In the critical moments of the devastating effect of the earthquake last October 15, 2013, Clarinians prove to be resilient to its natural shocks that caused the church and some houses to topple down and crush into pieces. Although the earth’s destructive forces have always been part of the human experience, it seems to be bigger job to rebuild a church that has existed for several decades nurturing the faith-filled lives of the parishioners,” a church set up donation site appealed.

Pitching on the desire of the parishioners to reestablish the beacon of faith, the Parish Finance Council (PFC) and Parish Pastoral Council (PPC), appealed for help by sharing some of their blessings. 

The appeal also surged to the office of the local Bishop who echoed the need to rebuild the church. 

And while the town and some benefactors raised about P6 million through that endeavor, the good news came: Catholic Bishops Conference of the US [CBCUSA] came to donate P65 million for the church, the parishioner excitedly shared. 

The church plan needs only P30 million and we were given P65 million, is it not great?, he asked still not believing their luck. 

We have built a center to allow all religious groups and organizations to hold office but the biggest news is that donation which we did not really expect, he stressed. 

Now in its feverish construction stage, contractors were still on with the building construction on the eve of the feastday, September 28. [rac/PIA-7/Bohol]

==============
Clarin implements P68 M
post-quake rehab projects 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, September 28, (PIA) –Adversely ravaged by the devastating earthquake that rattled Bohol to the bones October 15, 2013, weaker leaders would have buckled with the pressure of rebuilding; Mayor Allen Rey Piezas however could not just give up on his people.

With the local parish church literally flat on the ground, not only were the people’s faith in shambles about the avowed protection of Saint Michael, the Archangel, many did not imagine how the local leadership brushed the dust of trials and heaved the town to define a new economic landscape which emanates power and strength of character. 

Now, over two years after the test, local government leaders implemented and completed some P64,448,516.06 worth of projects that would allow a more Clarin to sustainably rise from the rubles and drastically redraw the town’s blueprints for development. 

Water is life

Foremost among the major priorities is the rehabilitation of the damaged water system, Mayor Piezas said during an interview. 

“Water is so vital to communities that without it, we would be encountering even more complicated health and sanitation problems which would practically be a burden in a bid to regain productivity of people and empowering them to move and rebuild,” the mayor, who had to rise from the ranks as a former councilor to the town’s prime seat. 

“We can’t afford to have people falling sick due to water-borne diseases which people can get form adulterated water sources, which might have been contaminated owing to the leakages the earthquake brought,” he disclosed. 

With the help of the national government and some local funds, including some pooled from well meaning sources, the town allocated some P24,450,000 to rehabilitate its potable water sources located a few kilometers away from the town center. 

It also prioritized the upgrading to level 3, its waterworks system after it was able to bring back to normal the damaged water system. The upgrading, according to Vice Mayor Velden Aparicio took them some P13,292,713.00.

Recently, in efforts to make water supply more reliable and efficient, local officials, using earthquake assistance funds and LGU pool funded the construction of water cistern in barangay Buangan and the town had P199,312.00 for that. 

A similar water project, now ongoing in Barangay Tubod is the construction of an overhead water tank which amounted to P184,946.75. 

In Barangay Buangan, a sanitary toilet has been put up with the P100,000 fund which the town sourced out. 

Economic enterprise showcase

And to make sure that people will have a place to bring whatever they have done in the two years after the calamity, Clarin local leaders also looked at the town’s economic enterprise.

We need to have the market restored to allow our people an assured access of food supply, a place to trade their goods as well as generate revenues which the town badly needs to sustain its development efforts and its programmed rehabilitation expenditures, Piezas added. 

Then old dilapidated and a humbling reminder of the town’s status as fifth class, the old public market, which the earthquake did not spare, had to be rehabilitated and repackaged as a fitting hub of commerce and trade of a town dreaming of mirroring the image of its namesake: the first Civil Governor of Bohol, Gov Aniceto Clarin. 

We want to shake off an image of the old backward and sleepy town which has ably depicted by the shambling market stalls, we want the people to see how we dream our town to be, especially with the promise of the future expansion of trade in this part of town, the hopeful mayor in his second term, bared. 

Located about 61 kilometers from Tagbilaran, and about 8 kilometers from nearby port town Tubigon, Clarin has a lot of reasons to get serious with its market enterprise that they allocated P11,050,000 for the market facelift and rehabilitation, data from the municipal planning office showed. 

The new structure also sports now pretty signages, directional signs and safety features which the town put up using similar funds, a P174,800.00

Services bolstered 

With a market earning a facelift, local officials also looked at their service capabilities and in the sector of health, the local officials also agreed that the health center which needs improvement can use a bit of help. The town then put up P200,000 for the project. 

It also put up supply and installation of signage at the Clarin Health and TB DOTS Center with P87,318.00.

With disaster preparedness a reality that the town has to instill among its people, Clarin invested to improve its fire station, which would further motivate the Bureau of Fire Protection to be on their toes during emergencies. 

We spent P150,000.00 to improve the local fire station, a priority which has also been reiterated by provincial disaster and risk reduction management council. 

The LGU also put up a local counterpart of P60,000.00 for Barangay Bonbon Clarin’s street-lighting project.

For the local office of the social services, Clarin put up P140,881 to improve it.

For the local post office, the town put up P11,053.35.

Other funded projects in 2015 include Improvement of the local tennis court [19,000.00], and the improvement of the basketball court [73,752.25] 

Governance

With the state of governance easily manifested in the way the town government center appears, Clarin makes sure that their municipal hall evokes that aura of dignity as it stands in the manicured plaza. 

Mayor Piezas revealed that the new look its town hall sports is after they implemented P2,210,000 repair, rehabilitation and facelift of the American period building which houses major local government offices. 

Clarin’s Multipurpose Center also got a bit of the rehabilitation pie when it received P1,300,000.00 for its works, local sources said.

Along these local government hall rehabilitation are similar works in the barangay halls of Danahaw [P300,000], Bonbon [712,015.88] and Buntod [500,000]

The earthquake rehabilitation funds were also used to rehabilitate Poblacion Sur Multi-purpose Barangay Hall [MPBH] [1,400,000], Buacao MPBH [2,539,328.00], Caluasan and Poblacion Centro MPBH which received [2,539,328] each, and Tontonan MPBH [3,200,000].

Access to the market

During the year, Clarin residents also prioritized and spent P686,780 for their crucial farm to market roads while they also spend for the renovation of Tontonan mini-Bridge with P76,500.00. 

A similar FMR in Danahao had a rehab fund amounting to P128,000.00.

Also implemented for its ecotourism potential as well as a potential source of sustainable fish supply is the installation of marine buoys and floaters around the marine protected area in Majigpit islet, the mayor said. [rac/PIA-/Bohol]

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