Monday, January 11, 2016

Cocobot among tops picks 
at fablab ideas inventions

TAGBILARAN CITY, January 9, (PIA)—Techie judges including an entrepreneur, an information communication technocrat, a software developer and a science and technology officer picks a coco-bot and two more potential inventions as top products in the recently capped Bohol Ideas to Innovations (I2I) held at the Belian Hotel, January 8. 

Other than the coconut shell robot designed as an electronic tourist souvenir, judges including Bohol Information Communication Technology Council Chair Delilah Biliran, entrepreneur Roy Bayonas, Bohol DOST head Engr. Marcial and Tanggaan and software developer Thomas Ridenour also picked Arduino equipped contraptions to drive away mayas from palay fields and a coral growth enhancer in the recently capped Final products pitching. 

At the Final Pitching and Presentation of the Bohol Ideas to Innovation, from over 200 initial teamed participants crafting technology-based solutions to local problems, the seven trimmed inventions and their inventors each had 10 minutes of glory presenting their products for judging. 

An initial boot camp at the local fablab allowed these inventors craft technology and digital fabricated solutions to local problems like enhancing local tourism novelty souvenirs, ridding farms of pesky mayas and enhancing the growth of corals which, on their natural environment takes hundreds of years to grow. 

After the opening of the Bohol i2i in July, succeeding bootcamps, prototyping, co-creation and the eventual exhibition leading to the final products pitching happened, sources at the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) revealed. 

The first of its kind in Bohol, Bohol i2i is a program that promotes innovation and start-ups through digital fabrication in support of developing technology-based solutions to local problems, explained event master of ceremonies and Department of Trade and Industry’s Blair Panong. 

All trained at the only one fablab in the country today, the innovators attempted to approach development of ideas into viable products using the hatchery of innovation laboratory here. 

Since July, from over 200 boot camp participants who underwent the competitions stages, seven teams made it to the final products pitching. 

Shortlisted among the seven finalists are top winners Bantay Palay, an arduino-powered motion sensor that produces shrieking sounds to drive away the pesky mayas from ricefields; a coconut shell toy robot designed as tourism novelty product souvenir, and ACCRE coral growth booster which uses electricity to hasten coral growth in damaged reef areas.

Also making it to the finals are ePlete; GPS based automatic fares collection system for buses and tricycles, i5 eGo, an a tag-along solar power bank, eGen Light; an automatic sensor regulating light by adjusting brightness according to its need and Heat Laptop Charger; a system that attempts to use the laptop’s heat into energy to repower the laptop and other electronic gadgets. 

All finalists had 2D and 3D printing as well as Basic Arduino workshops at the fablab, DTI said. (rac/PIA-7/Bohol)

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City eyes P40M disaster
Evacuation center, MPB

TAGBILARAN CITY, January 8 (PIA)—Although visibly protected from potential deadly waves from tsunamis owing to its sheltered cove nature, Tagbilaran City is readying for a different kind of disaster and putting up evacuation centers is a priority this year. 

City Mayor John Geesnel Yap, speaking at the Kapihan sa PIA Thursday revealed that in the pipeline is are evacuation centers in time of calamities.

On of such, the mayor in his Prospects for 2016 for Tagbilaran added, is the P60 million evacuation center that would double up as multi-purpose area and events center, which would soon rise near the City Hall. 

The City government has yet to put up its official events center, considering that the atrium of the city hall has proven to be an insufficient area to hold such. Moreover, the City Hall atrium is not an appropriate evacuation center in times of calamities. 

Elsewhere, the mayor, who came to the aired radio program with his executive assistant Matt Nemenzo and Laila Busano, also shared that the city has programmed three more similar infrastructure development in at least three more districts. 

In 2016, the city government has pipelined the construction of multi-purpose covered courts in Dampas, Taloto and Ubujan, the youthful city chief executive bared. 

Other than the obvious sports hubs which can be set up with these covered court projects, the infrastructure can easily be transformed to multiple use, depending in the need of the district, city hall project development sources also revealed. 

As this developed, Yap, who is running for his second term this year also added that the city government has allocated P44 million for city school infrastructure. 

These, he explained, includes the construction of more covered courts, gymnasiums and classrooms.

These too can be converted easily into safety hubs in times of disasters. 

The programmed infrastructure spending, according to the city mayor, can only be possible with the city topping the region in efficient revenue collection of business and real property taxes, which he said, is assured that it goes to the city coffers and not into somewhere else. 

In 2015, the city government attained P785 million in tax collections, reaping for the chartered city a first place for the region in tax collection efficiency, he said. 

This year, the mayor openly hoped they can surpass the efficiency, as this should assure the people of Tagbilaran the funds needed to make the city as competitive in its business environment as its neighbors. 

Key to that is basic infrastructure provision, business like operation of the city processes, low tax rates, the mayor summed. (rac/PIA-7/Bohol)

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BUB proves budgeting not
Just for technical experts

TAGBILARAN CITY, January 8, (PIA) –Bottom Up Budgeting (BUB) is the government’s efforts of removing the impression that budgeting can only be done by the experts, disclosed Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Secretary Butch Abad. 

This is despite a widely embraced perception that budgeting concept is technical and thus requires specialized skills. 

“How would the BUB come up to its purpose if we are not assured of the competencies and capabilities of the local government units?” a member of the local media asked secretary Abad during a press conference January 7. 

“It is not as complex as some people perceive,” Abad assured the media during the BUB press con with Department of Social Welfare and Development Secretary Corazon Soliman, Governor Edgar Chatto and Association of Barangay Councils Romulo Cepedoza. 

This too as the government is poised to release P1 million subsidy to each of the 12,000 barangays to be used for the implementation of their identified projects, a press material from the DBM stated. 

This however is dependent on the policy direction which the incoming administration is taking, forewarns DSWD secretary Corazon Soliman. 

She said so much of Bohol barangays have been into BUB especially in the implementation of the Kapit Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan (KALAHI) which are basically community driven projects identified and implemented by the barangays. 

The funds however are downloaded from the national government, through a policy move that could be lost according to the priorities of those who are in power. 

BUB is a government reform program that institutionalized the people’s participation in the budget process, announced the DBM. 

And, along this line, BDM through secretary Abad said all barangays in the country will be beneficiaries, however the implementation would come in batches.

To this too, the DBM has started national consultations with barangay leaders to engage them in health discussion of the processes of the barangay BUB. 

Earlier, local government units across the country sought for the institutionalization of the BUB at the barangay levels. 

This year, the government also earmarks P6.5 billion to test the capability of local governments to implement roads rehabilitation, Abad said. (rac/PIA-7/Bohol)

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IOM to continue Bohol 
quake core shelters aid

TAGBILARAN CITY, January 7 (PIA)--For apparently biting more than they can chew, Habitat for Humanity Foundation, (HHF) the organization tasked to build core shelters for earthquake and Yolanda victims but has miserably failed to deliver, is getting the boot. 

The October 15 earthquake destroyed 8,083 houses and damaged 34,527 others, forced some 64 evacuation centers and tents from different agencies and NGOs served as temporary shelters for more than 40,000 displaced families.

To temporarily settle the earthquake victims and their families, President Benigno Aquino himself promised immediate relief to include food, medicines and core shelters, when he flew over to Bohol immediately a day after the earthquake. 

The Philippine Government commissioned Habitat for Humanity Foundation Incorporated to build 8,083 core shelters: at a combined cost of P70,000 from the government and P18,000 from Habitat for each house.

The core shelters were so designed to afford the displaced families temporary shelters for them to gather up and secure their things while rehabilitation works is ongoing, sources at the Department of Social Welfare and Development explained. 

Two years after the earthquake, Capitol shelter cluster head Liza Quirog reported that The HHF had finished 1,074 of the 8,083. 

She also reported that the government has trimmed down the number to 5,609, for reasons she did not expound. Even then, two years later showed HHF not even coming up with half of the target for core shelters. 

On this, no less than DSWD Secretary Corazon Soliman shared the information to the media during a press conference at the Jjs Seafoods Village Thursday, January 7, that the government is scrapping HHF for another homebuilding organization. 

Coming in place to continue the task of building core shelters which may come really belated, is International Organization for Migration (IOM). 

IOM has been among the international response organizations who accomplished beyond the usual expectations, completing some 13,000 core shelters in its assessed 79,219 houses damaged by the earthquake. 

IOM uses a different damage assessment criteria and is reportedly less stringent than the ones which the government is implementing. 

Speaking with Budget Secretary Butch Abad at the Bottom-Up Budgeting local consultations here, Soliman's statement echoed the government's apparent frustration over the excruciatingly slow-paced core shelter provision.

“They are not delivering,” Soliman said, during the press conference attended by Department of Budget and Management secretary Butch Abad, Bohol Governor Edgar Chatto, and Association of Barangay Councils Provincial Chair Romulo Cepedoza. 

Earlier. HHF blamed the lack of construction materials as the culprit in the negative accomplishments. (rac/PIA-7/Bohol)

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