Friday, September 4, 2015

Redtide-caused shellfish 
eating ban in Bohol stays

TAGBILARAN CITY, Sept 3 (PIA)--The shellfish gathering and eating ban implemented at the Tagbilaran City bay stays until authorities can three negative laboratory tests from shellfish meat samples collected within the affected areas. 

This as the shellfish ban, caused by discovery of paralytic shellfish poison stretches two months and is feared to extend much longer with El Nino predicted in October. 

Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) Bohol Fishery Officer Leo Bongalos relayed this at Kapihan sa PIA as he showed BFAR Shellfish Bulletin No, 20 issued August 7 which tackled the laboratory results of shellfish collected in the coastal waters of Dauis, Bohol and in three other areas in the country. 

The tests showed that the shellfish collected in Balite Bay in Mati, Davao Oriental, Dauis coastal waters, Irong-irong Bay and Cambatutay Bay in Western Samar as well as from the coastal waters of Milagros in Masbate are still positive and showed beyond regulatory limit of shellfish poison.

The local BFAR has identified Bohol redtide-tagged areas as Booy (Cainget) Sungculan and Riverside in Dauis and Poblacion II in Tagbilaran City.

He also said the lagoon area between Dauis Bridge in Junction Dauis and Causeway, as well as the lagoon in Sitio Napo have been identified as risk areas. 

In the said areas, all types of shellfish and alamang are not safe for human consumption, said Atty. Asis G. Perez, BFAR National Director. 

Fish, squids, shrimps and crabs are safe for human consumption provided they are fresh and washed thoroughly, and internal organs such as gills and intestines are removed, before cooking, Perez added. 

A result about the harmful algal blooms update dated July 27-28 red-tide bloom toxin analysis showed brown mussels collected in three locations at K of C Tagbilaran showed 770, 794 and 813 micrograms per 100 grams of shellfish meat.

Meanwhile, in three locations at Cainget Beach in Booy, collected samples showed 35.976, 41,972 and 38,262 micrograms of toxins in 100 grams of kuja (oysters) meat. 

Shellfish toxin values of more than 10 times the toxin regulatory limit of 60 micrograms per 100 grams of meat is considered fatal.

In Bohol, local authorities admit that there is not an advanced tracking of shellfish products that fears of importing them from red-tide tagged areas could happen. 

With this, local authorities implement a province-wide no-harvest, no-selling, no-buying and no-eating policy. 

This is despite the fact that several areas in Bohol have not been tagged and health authorities even green-lighted their sales to Cebu markets. (rac/PIA-7/Bohol)

DILG turns over 19/28
completed BEA projects 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Sept 2 (PIA)--Mayor Judith Cajes and Vice Mayor Frank Gonzales lead local leaders under Governor Edgar Chatto and Interior and Local Government Provincial Director as well as contractors hand over 19 completed projects which the national government funded under the Bohol Earthquake Assistance Funds, September 1. 

In a ceremony a few minutes after Mayor Cajes delivered her first State of the Town Address timed for the town's 68th Founding Anniversary, the turn over ceremonies highlight the government's P21,450,000.00 assistance intended to rehabilitate public infrastructure damaged by the 7.2 magnitude earthquake which stirred Bohol October 15, 2013.

Trinidad, along with 29 other local government units in Bohol received BEA funds from the national government through the Department of Budget and Management and implemented through the Department of Interior and Local Government. 

Earlier, the town identified 28 sub projects for its 20 component barangays. 

After the release of funds, the town has implemented and completed 19 of the 28 sub-projects, data from the local MLGOO Ruel Tumarao bared. 

Except for barangays san Vicente and San Isidro, implemented projects include rapairs and rehabilitation of Trinidad Cultural Center, Old Municipal Hall Building, Kauswagan Barangay Hall (BH), Kinan-oan BH, Santo Tomas BH, Mabuhay-Cabiguhan BH.

Manuel Roxas BH, La Union BH, Mahagbu BH, Soom BH, Banlasan BH, Bongbong BH, Catooogan BH, Guinobatan BH, Hinlayagan Ilaya BH, Hinlayagan Ilaud BH, La Victoria BH, Poblacion BH, Tagum Norte Day Care Center and Tagum Sur BH. 

In 2013, Trinidad also received from the DILG the performance Challenge Fund as an incentive for the town's good financial management. 

The amount of P1,000,000.00 was used to construct a classroom building and Copmfort rooms at the town's Municipal College. 

This same project is set for turn over with the BEA funded projects, along with the repair and rehabilitation of the new municipal hall building as well as the old municipal building, which would soon house the national government offices in town.

The second floor of the roofed back entry of the new municipal hall is now converted into a Situation Room and Conference Hall. (rac/PIA-7/Bohol) 

Trinidad bares more funds 
complement tanods 'pay' 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Sept 2 (PIA)--Visibly elated by the upped performance which the town's barangay tanods showed during the annual Tanod Drill and Arnis Exhibition during Trinidad's 68th Founding Anniversary, Mayor Cajes announced the release of municipal funds to supplement the barangay honoraria for the town's police-force multipliers. 

To the local official's gesture, tanods rendered their stiffest salutes which also earned for Barangay Kauswagan Barangay Peace and Security Officers (BSPO) the title as the best and romped home with the championship trophy during competitions held at the Corazon Aquino People's Park at Guinobatan, Trinidad, August 31. 

The year is also marked with the Tanod Drill accentuated by a self defense exhibition using an old Filipino styled stick fighting called arnis. 

Trinidad Municipal College Criminology dean Steve Bulilan pushed for the mainstreaming of arnis fighting to even the chances of tanods facing armed and dangerous criminals. 

Kauswagan BPSO showed above average proficiency skills of the basic drill facings and marching skills, indications of a better coordinated team performance in executing operations. 

Kauswagan also drew the loudest applause and cheers from the hundreds of well wishers who braved the early afternoon sun, just to watch the events. 

The tanod drill, a regular feature of the town's anniversary activities, has been practiced to keep the town tanods at the peak of their capabilities at all times, according to MLGOO Jose Ruel Tumarao. 

The 20 tanod teams also compete complete with their duty uniforms and attempt to outbeat each other executing commands of their chief tanods, in crisp precision. 

Mayor Judith Cajes said the annual tanod drill is a way to enhance the skills of BPSO as force multipliers or teh critically undermanned police officers compared to population ratio. 

As local officials saw the way the tanods have cooked a better performance, the lady mayor announced the honoraria supplement through the town coffers. 

Whatever the barangay gives as tanod honorarium, we double it by releasing the same amount, the mayor said amidst claps from tanods and supporters. 

The mayor also asked the SB under Vice Mayor Frank Gonzales to institutionalize the Arnis even as she highlighted the need for peace officers to accost criminals under the doctrine of citizen's arrest. 

Also winning among the 20 barangays tanod teams are Santo Tomas (1st Runner Up), Manuel Roxas (2nd Runner Up), Poblacion (3rd Runner Up) and Hinlayagan Ilaya (4th Runner Up), according to Police Inspector Edwin Sanchez, Chairman of the judges. (rac/PIA-7/Bohol)

“Caromatas” take to streets 
as Trinidad celebrates 68th 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, August 31, (PIA)–Carabaos gently swaying their way drawing caromatas laden with the best agricultural produce and decorated with the colors of the ripe bounty of the land take the streets today as people move to the sidelines for the 8th Caromata Festival during the town’s 68th Founding Anniversary. 

This is the Caromata (carabao-drawn wheeled carts) Festival, an annual showcase of the best decorated and heavily hyped barter pack on two-wheels and four sturdy legs. 

An annual festival adopted in Trinidad since 2007, the Caromata Festival is conceptualized from a very old tradition which all Trinidadnons share: barter trade along the Ipil River. 

And for the first time after the Caromata Festival's seven years, the carabao-entry cart of barangay Manuel Roxas earned the judge's nod, and in turn, unseated defending champions San Vicente, announced caromata judges chairman Nelson Relayosa. 

Manuel Roxas' caromata feature a haystack loaded with the barangay's best agricultural produce including a mechanical gourd puppet on top of the stack, in a string beans skirt and holding a drumstick pounding on a squash. As the cart moves, the gourd mechanism spins while pounding on the squash. 

Meanwhile, San Vicente's caromata attempted to portray an environmental statement on the recent shooting of Pamana, the captured and freed Philippine Eagle. The caromata has an eagle spread wide and perching on a basket fill with the barangay's agri-produce. San Vicente earned second palce. 

Barangay la Victoria earned this year's third place. 

Meanwhile, minor awards went to Hinlayagan Ilaud for the earliest group to assemble, Hinlayagan Ilaya for the most number of produce on a cart and Manuel Roxas for the most colorful caromata. 


Situated in the boundaries of Ubay, Talibon and Bien Unido, Trinidad, whose former name was Cabizon served as the trading post for livestock from the ranches of Ubay, the smaller farms in the immediate vicinity in the olden times. 

With traders coming in from far islands to Trinidad, it also attracted other local traders, some of them from as far as Jagna town. 

These people load their goods on a caromata which they yoke into their carabaos for the long journey over the mountain trails to Cabizon. 

Owing to the distance and the slow travel, inland traders put roofing contraptions in their carts and carry with them food and sleeping provisions as well as food and agricultural products which the seaborne traders would need to resupply on their journeys back. 

Now a festival celebrating and commemorating Trinidad’s glorious past, the caromata which traces back its history to those glorious times, come back to life with communities embellishing their beast-drawn carts on a parade in the streets. 

When the Spaniards came and saw the community, the barter and the customs, they allegedly changed Cabizon into Ipil, in reference to the most prominent feature of the place: Ipil River. 

In the past, civilizations, from time immemorial, always tend to converge near river systems. 

Like in Trinidad where a river runs through it, the abundant source of fresh water, fish for their diet and the ease of transportation rank primarily among the main reasons why forefathers opted for these. 

The same is true to the people of Cabizon, who settled in the banks of Ipil River and whose lives were always determined by the lethargic flow of the river. 

Now picked as a possible source of new pride of place of the students at the town, the Caromata has never failed to take to the streets since 1997 when it was conceived. 

So today, as soon as you hear the drums roar, all you need to do is stay along the thoroughfares and relive the memories of the town. (rac/PIA-7/Bohol)

Trinidad’s Cajes bares 11.31% 
Annual revenue collection rise 

TRINIDAD, Bohol, September 1, (PIA)—Trinidad Mayor Judith Cajes makes a history today as she delivers her first State of the Town Address (SOTA) and bares her full accounting of what the present administration has done to define a new town from a laconic, weak and unassertive economy that the town was once associated with. 

The first time in the town’s history and first after the mayor second term having been elected in 2007, the SOTA is the mayor’s attempt to appraise her people of how Trinidad has fared in their unified vision of a progressive town in the northern part of the province. 

The SOTA is among the many highlights of the town’s 68th founding anniversary. 

“We feel this is important as we wish to give the people who trusted us to lead them, a good idea of where have their taxes gone and if these were spent right,” Mayor Cajes said in an interview. 

“For the past years, the town has invested so much but without the venue for spreading this information, seemingly, a lot of people think we have done little, they deserve to know” the lady mayor said. 

Cajes, whose first term was also credited to have successfully built one of the best if not the prettiest town hall in northern Bohol, also arranged so that the President Benigno Aquino has to come to inaugurate the modern building with full internet access, years back. 

Biggest of the mayor’s achievements is the consistent increase in revenue generation, a fact that the town has kept since she assumed in 2007. 

The town nailed an 11.31% annual average revenue collection increase since 2007 to the present, an increase that means millions of additional funds for priority development and local spending to alter the economic landscape of the ordinary Trinidadnon, the mayor pointed out. 

In 2007, the total income of the town was P 42,180,119.71. This increased to P51,489,886.27 by the following year. This logs in 18% increase, or over P9 million more funds for additional development priorities. 

By 2009, the town revenues even raised to P58,132,077.30, a collection increase of P6.642 million, marking double digit increase again with 11%. 

In 2010, Trinidad local revenues went up further with P65,045,458.08, P6.91 million past its previous year’s collection. This was 10.6%, another double digit accomplishment surplus. 

The same noted increased revenues appeared in 2011, as the town collection grossed P72,970,457.42, or P7.92 million past the previous collection. This logged 10.86% or.16% higher than 2010. 

In 2012, revenue collection further moved up with a gross P81,201,740.33, which is again P8.43 million past the previous year’s collection. This increase is pegged at 10.13%, a sustained annual double figure increase since assuming in 2007. 

In 2013, of that fateful earthquake year, Trinidad managed to collect P88,549,671.05, P7.347 million past the previous collection, which is still a high 7.34% increase.

Batongay Complex, Kawasan Falls 
Trinidad’s new tourism treasures 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, Sept 1, (PIA) –As several Bohol towns have started wallowing in the rippling benefits of tourism, Trinidad local officials are trailing their scopes on the ecotourism bandwagon and identified its twin hills and cave complex as well as pristine Kawasan Falls as the town’s gems that would be their pay-out. 

In Barangay Banlasan, is Batongay, a coined term for bato-sangay or twin rock hills that prominently rise in defiance to the otherwise flat uneventful landscape dominated by kilometer upon kilometers of rice fields and farms. 

The rocky karst limestone hills with tropical dense secondary forest cover, rise over 200 meters and provide a stunning vantage point for the adventurous who would venture past the challenging scramble and climb to the hill top. 

A hill gifted with a network of caves that has been traditionally visited by medicine men and quack doctors during the Holy Week, Batongay Cave has also been a challenge for spelunkers and the mountaineers seeking for the thrill of a lifetime. 

Batongay Cave has been technically mapped and guides can be had to anyone intending to do cave adventure, but we also would adhere to the cave’s carrying capacity, according to the mayor in her second term, interrupted by her husband’s 3 year term. 

With the bulk of people, both the religious and those pursuing the mystical, visiting the Batongay, we deemed it appropriate to help them in making the place more accessible for the devotees, Mayor Judith Cajes shared. 

Herself a staunch Marian devotee, the Batongay peak is now a venue for a Marian Shrine while the town constructed concrete steps and metal balusters to aid the devotees on their way up and down the shrine, the lady mayor said. 

Along the way, the town also put up the station of the cross, as a fitting motivation for more and more people to go up the peak and commune with nature and express their devotion to Mary. 

As the image of the virgin Mary stood to symbolically look out to the people of Trinidad, a local initiative to put up a donation box, now affords the town to pool in more resources to further develop the area. 

Recently, a Marian devotee, who happens to be a landscaper from nearby town Ubay dreamt of the vigin pleading him to improve the shrine. Firmly believing in the message of the dream, the landscaper who was convinced what he saw in his dream was the exact position of the virgin and the shrine vicinity, is now pursuing the landscaping, which continues. 

The next plan is to transfer the radio repeater tower which our local disaster team is using, to another location so it does not ruin the view of the virgin’s altar, Mayor Cajes said. The technicians are now looking for a new site and the transfer would be not any longer. 

At present, moves are in to complete a Gawad Kalinga model community of 30 households at a lot very close to Batongay, the mayor told. 

Mayor Cajes said they have just completed the negotiations with 4 beneficiaries and are still in the process of validating other beneficiaries to complete the new community. 

Gawad Kalinga, a movement that attempts to be positive even in this seemingly troubled times, gives houses to poor families and does not stop there. They also help the family beneficiaries in personality development, livelihood and in Christian life. 

Their architect has submitted the house plans and soon, building can start, the mayor added. 

With the GK community a close proximity to the ecotourism site in Batongay, plans are in to swing tourists to the community to do social tourism activities like volunteering or giving inspirational talks to community members, Trinidad officials also suggested. 

Meanwhile, in nearby Santo Tomas, the local government has put in additional features before fully opening Kawasan Falls to tourists. 

The falls, a drop of water about 20 meters high off the southern cliff amidst a thick forest, forms a new contrast to the otherwise green and gloomy shade forest. 

The water falls off into a small pool and makes its way to the creek accentuated by gigantic smooth boulders, like huge pebbles scattered to screen off the already clear inviting water. 

Shaded by a canopy of trees and the surrounding cliffs, Kawasan Falls is now the object of over P6,194,185.00 local funds from 2007 to 2015, data from the local development priority for tourism revealed. 

Concrete steps and access roads have been carved to make the Kawasan Falls a new hub for environment lovers and those simply looking for a place to relax from the hectic bustle of city living, local officials said. 

For all of these, we wish that when completed, these could further get us in a better position in tourism so that our people could start feeling the benefits of tourism as we attempt to hitch into the bandwagon, states Mayor Cajes. (rac/PIA-7/Bohol)

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