Monday, October 5, 2015

Jagna barangay road 
sinks over 3 meters

CANTUYOC, Jagna October 3 (PIA)--A barangay road descending to Canjulao from Barangay Cantuyoc in Jagna town disappears three meters below making the Cantuyoc-Canjulao access impassable to wheeled traffic.

Access is only through foot trail and that is hardly an easy one. 

The cut barangay road link, makes travel to Cantuyok circuitous as the only road link open is through Tubod Monte, then to Malbog before skirting again to Cantuyoc, explains Barangay Chairman Geronimo Daguplo. 

The new route is about twice longer than the usual over 3 kilometers using the broken barangay road to Canjulao and then to Pagina and Poblacion Jagna. 

Last week, Jagna Mayor Fortunato Abrenilla shared the report to local papers, when the landslide pushed down some 3 feet of the road. The consequent report had the mayor telling that the depression has sunk further down to 6 feet. 

Continuous rains which fell during the ending days of September has caused the already burdened portion of the barangay road which has a culvert draining into it.

Landslides however is nothing new in Jagna, which had towering cliffs and tall limestone mountains burdened by overgrown trees which also contributes to the strain the already saturated land is carrying. 

Years back, a major landslide in Barangay Mayana buried houses, dislocated a basketball court and chapel bringing them across a national road and moving ricefields meters away. 

In Sitio Taytay, Cantuyoc, the landslide appears to be a contiguous hectare of land chopped off the hills, but instead of toppling down, it moved sideways as the base gritted under the sheer weight of the chunk chipping off. 

The slid portion starts right from where a culvert crosses the road and dumps water from the canals in this rain soaked and soggy soil drenched by springs and forest run-off water. 

"We used to have another landslide near the area," barangay chairman Daguplo pointed out. It accordingly involved cemented roads which buckled when the soil sub base of the road gave in to the loosened dirt road.

Municipal authorities have already been informed about this, Daguplo also added. 

This was also confirmed by Municipal authorities who has the Barangay Disaster and Risk Reduction Management Council put up the necessary warning signs to keep people off the danger areas. 

The Office of the Civil Defense and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Mines and GeoScience Bureau have been notified so proper assessment could be given and community residents be appraised 

Residents who have been earlier advised to seek safer shelter at night go back to their homes hear the slide areas which have dislocated an electric post about 20 meters and had toppled hardwood and endemic trees which were aplenty in the area. 

The BDRRM is now securing the landslide area if only to keep people off while rains started to pour again Sunday. (rac/PIA-7/Bohol)

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Crippled PAL plane cancels 
Bohol flights, irks tourists

TAGBILARAN CITY, October 4 (PIA)--Already struggling with its lackluster performance in tourism arrivals since the government aviation authority put up one place on tarmac policy, Bohol faces yet another unfortunate incident, its second in less than a month. 

A crippled Philippine Airlines (PAL) plane is now momentarily parked at the Tagbilaran City airport since yesterday, effectively diverting flights and cancelling all flights to and from Bohol. 

Airport sources said the plane had a mechanical problem and is still getting fixed. 

It may be recalled that Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), an agency under the Department of Transportation and Communications, has enforced a strict one-plane on tarmac policy, at least in Tagbilaran, presumably for lack of ample space and for safety considerations. 

A policy implemented only in the recent year, the one place policy has been generally causing some rift between air passengers and plane companies who are affected when a problem with the planes occur. 

PAL PR 2777 developed a mechanical problem just as the plane touched down in Tagbilaran and had been in the state of repair until 5:00 PM October 4. 

The crippled plane has caused succeeding flights to Bohol diverted to Mactan Cebu, the nearest airport or just plain cancelled. 

Not two weeks ago, Air Asia also stalled at the tarmac, causing arriving plane flights to fly back to Manila or Cebu. 

A team of Cebu Pacific passengers, who was set to fly out October 4 arrived at the airport only to be allegedly told that the flight was cancelled due to the PAL incident and they have to be rerouted to Cebu where the next flight to accommodate them to Manila was at 12:35.

Cebu Pacific, allegedly reasoning out that it was not their fault, accordingly refused to pay for the inconvenienced passengers' ferry to Cebu fare. The same is true with Air Asia passengers. 

A lot of foreign tourists are upset, the airport management could not satisfactorily explain the procedures and people are getting rowdy, an airport terminal observer said. 

PAL earlier accepted ticket reimbursements, but Cebu Pacific and Air Asia again refused to pay for accommodations of stranded passengers. 

Another passenger, Boholana womens rights advocate Doris Obena, had to miss work because a rebooked ticket from Cebu would cost her P4,400 and the later flight with P5,000, which was too much for her. 

Since this is not AirAsia's fault, they just offered to rebook on the earliest flight, with a slice of banana cake and a bottle of water, she added.

Some passengers will just stay at the airport since they don't have money for hotel, while she said she is seeking a place to wait it out. 

Over this, Obena asserts that the emergency apron is really due, ...the situation will add burden to the already burdened travelling public, she added. 

It may be recalled that the provincial government has asked the DOTC to fund the apron and Governor Edgar Chatto said he wants the airport apron done by July in time for the global gathering of Boholanos. It has not been completed yet. 

A concerned citizen Adu Ybanez said he pitied those coming with budgeted money and time. 

[The] emergency apron is the answer to these problems, he asserted. 

But he bemoaned the slow progress of the airport apron which was designed to "hide" any crippled plane so that the runway could be used even with problems in other flights. 

The contractor needs to be pressured because the efforts of the tourism stakeholders in beckoning tourists would be useless if the airport is not good, Ybanez prompted. (rac/PIA-7/Bohol)

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‘ASEAN integration’ assures
consumers standard labels

TAGBILARAN CITY, October 2, (PIA)—In the onset of Asian products possibly flooding Philippine markets, the Department of Trade and Industry assured consumers that labeling rules are among those agreed to be followed by importers selling their products. 

The concept of Asian integration brought about by the free trade agreements which the Philippines and Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) would allow foreign products to enter the Philippine markets, with less stringent measures. 

With several Asian economies using distinct syllabary and writings in character form, products with labels as such upon entering the Philippine markets, must have labels translated in English or Filipino, according to Jose Hibaya, Consumer Services Division chief of the DTI. 

Speaking at the Kapihan sa PIA in commemoration of the Consumer Welfare Month in October, Hibaya said the monthly celebration picks up “Consumer Protection in the ASEAN Economic Community,” in a bid to prepare consumers from the eventuality of these products. 

The DTI, along with the National Consumers Affairs Council (NCAC) have set up monitoring systems to make sure that foreign products entering the Philippine markets has complied with the minimum labeling requirement. 

On this, importers and distributors would be forced to put up translations in their labels before their products can be allowed in the markets. 

By minimum labeling requirement, Hibaya said at least the ingredients and the nutritive value have to be translated, to help consumers come up with intelligent decisions in picking up products.

Products found to be non-compliant, would be shipped back to the country of origins, according to the DTI. 

With the advocacy starting, DTI urges consumers to inform them about any violation. This is so that the office can inform the distributors and importers so they could comply or promptly pull out the products from the market. 

Even then, DTI also said that while consumer complaints are launched to them, their role as secretariat to the consumer net pushes them to take note of the complaints and refer them to the concerned agencies which needs to cater to the complaint. (rac/PIA-7/Bohol)

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PPA inaugurates new tourist 
passenger sea-port terminal

TAGBILARAN CITY, October 2 (PIA)—The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) inaugurates the Tagbilaran City Tourist Port Terminal Building (PTB), the first in the three major vertical infrastructure that the government corporate entity erects at the sea gateway to the tourist island destination of Bohol. 

Port Manager Annie Lee Manese revealed that the new PTB which sits about 400 passengers would soon be complemented by a nearby PPA Administrative Building and an extension PTB which would be connected to the new building by a walkway, the second PTB designed to sit around 300 more passengers.

The new PTB which was inaugurated feature waiting lounges with stainless seats, separate rooms for arms and ballistics security inspection, breastfeeding and diaper changing rooms, separate rest rooms for male and female passengers, electrical control rooms, share a common central air-conditioning system, boat and shipping schedules, boarding status, and other comfort fixtures that allow passengers and tourists the needed comfort in a passenger terminal which alone is already a destination. 

The new terminal building is a replacement of the Welcome Center, which the earthquake of 2013 destroyed, Manase said.

Along the construction process, the PPA was forced to put up a temporary modular PTB, which it used until October 2, or a year and 11 months until the inauguration of the new building and its formal opening October 3. 

That same day, Bohol Governor Edgar Chatto, who attended the inauguration along with Congressman Rene Relampagos and representatives of Bohol two more congressional districts, called the day as big day for Bohol.

The governor, who admitted he was unsure of Bohol’s recovery after the earthquake, said the earthquake might have been God’s way of closing a door, but it still opened a lot of windows. 

Already elated about the PTB which was not five years older, the earthquake ruined it so that the PPA decided to totally destroy the still workable structure, if only to erect the new one. 

Chatto, who has lobbied for a tourism port terminal building that jibes with the new tourism port facility gateway, confessed they had to convince and justify the tourism PTB that complements Bohol.

The building of the tourism PTB would also mean additional PPA corporate funding compared to ordinary PTBs.

The governor however called the new PTB a much, much better than the welcome center which the PPC has to destroy to give way to the new structure. 

On this, Chatto, who is among Bohol’s staunchest tourism advocates commended the PTA for the impressive structure, which he hopes, becomes a home and not just a house for PPA. 

But, even as the PPA appears to be convinced of the necessity of the tourism themed structure, Chatto leaked the PPA’s plan to add up more passenger lounging space with a connecting new terminal building which would be a port showcase. 

The building we are opening today is not as elegant, we have to rush this because we need it operational the soonest, Archt. Epelito Arao-arao explained. 

The next building would be an even better tourist showcase with VIP lounges, souvenir shops, massage nooks, stores and pasalubong centers over the usual provisions of a tourism port, Arao-arao added. 

He also said that the second PTB would have access ramps for persons with disabilities, and a connecting walkway from the terminal building to the new one. 

Other than the upcoming PTB, PPA is also completing, through Dakay Construction, its new port administration building, one that replaces the earthquake damaged old structure, port manager Manase disclosed. (rac/PIA-7/Bohol)

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