Monday, February 29, 2016

Brod motorists witness
Peace covenant signing

CLARIN, Bohol, February 28, (PIA)—About 500 motorcycle rider members of the newly organized Brothers on the Road (BROD) Riders witness local government candidates sign a peace agreement in Clarin, Bohol as the first Unity Ride for Safe and Fair Elections took to the streets February 28. 

The Peace Covenant for Safe and Fair Elections 2016, is an initiative of the Bohol Provincial Police Office, the Commission on Elections (COMELEC), Department of Interior and Local Government, Local Government Units and the different motorcycle riding clubs under BROD Bohol. 

In signing the peace pact, local candidates in Clarin town pledge to do their part in continuing to move toward upholding the integrity of the election process by refusing to be parties to vote-buying, election violence or any form of corruption.

It may be recalled that Clarin town has been among the designated Election Watch Areas in Bohol, based on the history of political violence in the past. 

Mayoralty candidate Engr Eugene Ibarra, in his speech reminded those who attended the gathering of the shooting of a former barangay chairman and the ambush of vice mayoralty candidate, as among the forms of violence that prompted the authorities to put the town under EWA. 

A joint election task force names towns in the EWAs according to the presence of politically motivated incidents and election related incidents, the presence of armed groups and with a history of heated partisan politics. 

With the signed Peace Covenant, I feel safer now, Ibarra shared even as he cited the authorities for keeping candidates and electors in the right direction. 

On the other hand, incumbent Clarin mayor said intrigues have muddled the issue in the town. He however assured authorities that his team Padayon Clarin would be operating on the far of God and would always be aiming for a true and honest elections. 

Election officer Engr Ian de Castro in his message reminded every candidate of the laws which must be followed so as to effect peaceful, safe and honest elections. He also called everyone to make peace a solemn obligation and responsibility.

Meanwhile, Bohol Governor Edgar Chatto, who came in as the riders were settled at the Clarin Cultural Center, commended the police and the authorities as well as the volunteer riders for making the dream now a reality. 

Chatto called the motorists as police peacekeeping multipliers and he cited Camp Dagohoy of using traditional and non-conventional methods to get to the problems. 

Earlier, just as everyone was settling at the Cultural center, police officers took turn in singing and entertaining the riders who had to take over 60 kilometers to get to the venue from Tagbilaran. Both singers sang original compositions on the police war against drugs, election offenses and its key officers. (rac/PIA-7/Bohol) 

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With P20 billion investments, Gov Chatto’s says… 
Inclusive growth most visible in 
Business, tourism, investments 

TAGBILARAN CITY, February 26 (PIA)—Governor Edgar Chatto picks livelihood, entrepreneurship, business and investments and tourism as areas where inclusive growth in Bohol are most visible. 

At his recent State of the Province Address (SOPA), his last in his second term before being on deck for the next bat, Chatto beamed on the nearly P20 billion capital in Bohol stirring up and perking up economies enough to fuel Bohol’s rise monumental after a series of calamities since 2013. 

In his report to the Boholanos, Chatto relayed the news: Bohol had recently about P6 billion in tourism related investments, P8 billion in agri-business, P2 billion more from micro, small and medium enterprises as well as over P2.54 billion cooperative assets to circulate to trigger economic rising. 

“Our most visible indicators of inclusive growth come from livelihood and entrepreneurship, business and investments, tourism, and food security,” he said. 

He defined inclusive growth as inclusive business development, which is now facilitated by the Negosyo Center under the Bohol Investment Promotion Center, as well as under the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). 

After its launch in July for DTI Bohol and September for BIPC, 2015, Bohol has effectively manifested the strong commitment of the government to the growth of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), as well as balanced with large investments. 

Declaring that Bohol is fast recovering from the twin disasters, Chatto said Bohol’s over 10,000 new business names have been registered, and more than 24,000 jobs have been generated in its over P2 Billion new investments. 

In big business over the last 3-year period, investments have totaled over P6 billion for tourism-related investments and P8 Billion for agri-business investments, he said. 

On the philosophy of inclusive growth, beyond employment, the governor picked at community entrepreneurship through cooperatives as another indicator of success. 

“We are proud to share that cooperatives in Bohol now stand at 299, operating with a total of P2.54 billion in assets,” he said amid applause from the attendees in the jampacked Bohol Cultural Center. 

In tourism, he cited what he called as an exciting uptrend in Bohol’s eco-tourism industry. 

“We saw a 92% increase in tourist arrivals during the 1st quarter of 2015 as against the 1st quarter of 2014, and a 24% increase in total tourist arrivals from 2013-2015,” he said. 

Beaming with pride at the eco-tourism industry’s direction towards full recovery, he shared how the national carrier is looking at direct PAL flights to Korea: Bohol’s kick-off to international flights. 

“PAL is now officially in discussions with the PGBh, the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines, and the Bureaus of Customs, Immigration and Quarantine, to make these flights a reality as soon as possible, even before the completion of the New Bohol Airport!” the governor said amidst the legislative on session. (rac/PIA-7/Bohol)

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Bohol Arts talks series open 
Need for biking trails, lanes 

TAGBILARAN CITY, February 27, (PIA)—So how do bike enthusiasts all over Bohol contribute to a more authentic idea of an eco-cultural tourism? 

This question cropped up at the Arts Month Talk series where movie line producer and production manager Lexter Tarrela and movie producer and director Ellen Ongkeko Marfil talked about their Experiences and Insights on the Making of Philippine Indie Films at the Holy Name University Skills Laboratory, February 26. 

Tarrela, who helped in the line production of the much acclaimed Filipino movie Heneral Luna has achieved acclaim for his authentic locations, while Marfil, in the movie Lakbay to Love, used the exhilarating experience of cycling as well as the lure of nature as key elements in her story. 

Both films showed brilliant use of scenic and lush rural locations, haunting culture, heritage and the natural environment in as much as inspires that pride of place which Filipinos are notably famous of, commented student participants of the talks series which were part of the collaboration activities of the 2016 Arts Month celebration in Bohol. 

Heneral Luna, according to Tarreta has to use up 4 months of location scouting, just to be able to lend credence to the historic biopic of the country’s history as retold in classrooms. 

Dr. Nestor Pestelos, Bohol Local Development Foundation executive Director and himself a bike enthusiast as well as Boholano cultural icon Lutgardo Labad saw the movie as a neat jump-off point to start a critical mass of a truly environment movement in Bohol. 

On the other hand, the movie Lakbay to Love starring Dennis Trillo, is said to be beyond a love story. 

It is an eye-opener about the degradation of nature due to climate change and the seeming indifference of people toward the preservation of the environment, sources said. 

The movie Lakbay to Love is about a girl who has found biking as a way to cope up with her being broken; from a past, a lost love and finding a new one in biking. 

Taking in environment and healthy lifestyle activities, both cultural workers think Bohol as an eco-friendly tourism destination can help in the global attempt to assert the space for the bikers in this global campaign for cleaner energy and lifestyle. 

While local aspiring movie makers and student video enthusiasts trump on the idea of local production in Bohol, several participants agreed that a pro-environment material would suit Bohol. 

Here, steps are in to meet local bike groups to discuss next steps, even as the movie Lakbay in Manila was able to gather bikers now asserting equal rights on the road, the establishment of bike lanes and the ambitious plan to make a huge government school complex into an area exclusively for bikes. 

The idea of eco-bike lanes, trails and tours as well as solidarity campaigns for “share the road” are initial targets, organizers leaked. 

An initial meeting with Bohol bikers has been called on Tuesday evening at the Baluarte, after a night ride from Plaza Rizal. (rac/PIA-7/Bohol)

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PAL inaugurates long haul 
Mactan-LAX thrice weekly

TAGBILARAN CITY, February 26, (PIA)—Boholanos abroad, especially in the United States can now be closer to home when a historic long haul flight finally opens for that long haul from Mactan Cebu to Los Angeles (LA) International Airport (LAX) and back three times a week, according to a key Philippine Airlines (PAL) official. 

As your local government officers continue to beckon tourists, your national carrier is relentlessly pushing for tourism and its access to people, PAL Senior Assistant Vice President for Passenger Sales Harry Inoferio noted. 

During the PAL Visayas Roadshow held at the Metrocenter Hotel, February 26, Inoferio said PAL has finally acceded to the popular demand for the service, which they also see as very crucial to the continuing Bohol tourism campaign. 

Inoferio said the new route which would take its inaugural flight March 15, would mean more tourists access to the Visayas region, opens up an unprecedented tourist access to Bohol from Cebu as well as, industry-wise, the opening would trickle the benefits of access to Bohol. 

As this brings more flight to the US, Inoferio added that the flight that departs Cebu every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday leaves at 6:25 PM and arrives in LA at 5:55 PM.

For the LA, that same route puts up an LA to Cebu on the same days at 8:40 PM and arrives in Cebu at 4:40 AM +2, where the passenger gets here, escapes the traffic and feels totally refreshed following a long rest. 

The flight, which would be inaugurated on March 15, incidentally also marks and milestone for PAL who would be celebrating its Diamond (75 years) jubilee, Inoferio points out. 

PAL boasts as the oldest commercial airline in Asia, but currently maintains the newest fleet as their aircraft services are between 1 to 3.5 years old, Inoferio said. 

The flight, for Mactan Airport, becomes the 34th international flight from the Cebu Island airport. The Vice President for Sales said. 

Currently, PAL has 11 flights non-stop from Manila to LA, 11 flights nonstop from Manila to San Francisco and 4 flights from Manila to New York, via Vancouver in Canada, he shared. 

With the development, PAL now has currently 42 international destinations as they continue to expand their domestic destinations, volunteered Christopher Libumfacil, PAL Area Head of the Visayas. 

For the flights, PAL is deploying its new Boeing 777 300 ER, Airbus 340, Airbus 321, Airbus 323 and Airbus 330, Libumfacil said. 

Governor Edgar Chatto called the opening of the route, a milestone in Bohol as it assures connectivity, which he incidentally lobbied for in his State of the Province he delivered that same day. 

In fact, at the SOPA, Chatto bared the onging negotiations between Bohol, Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines, Bureau of Customs, Bureau of Immigration and Korean government, for the proposed charter flights which would bring in more tourists directly to Bohol from Korea. (rac/PIA-7/Bohol)


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Calape bikers host 
5th Bohol Unity ride 

CORTES, Bohol, February 25 (PIA)—Bikers from all over Bohol are invited to join the 5th Bohol Unity Ride, with a shorter and less muscle straining route picked from Calape and back this summer.

Organized by the Calape Bikers Club under Dr. Manuel Relampagos III, this year’s biggest annual fun bike event is dubbed “Less laspag ride, get-together and party pa more,” according to Calape Bikers Club president Dr. Relampagos.

Set in contrast with the previous three year’s unity rides which took bikers to do the 250 kilometer Bohol Circumferential Road, this year’s fun ride gets amateur and professional hardcore bikers into three options: a long road ride of over 60 kilometers, a fun flat roads ride to the island of Panggangan and a crazed downhill ride from Sampoangon for extreme bikers.

Set for April 23-24 from the New Calape Gym, the riders can either bike from their towns or carpool to Calape where arrival is set between 10-12 noon. Lunch would be served for the registered participants.

In the afternoon, riders can choose from the ride options.

Route 1 takes Calape to Panggangan island and back. This, organizers said, is a smooth scenic chill ride ideal for BMX, folding bikes and small bikes for beginners.

Route 2 gets to Calape mountain barangays back to Calape proper which would be taking riders to the scenic heights of the town and features the exhilarating downhills. The ride is ideal thrill seeking adventurous full suspension or extreme-challenge mountain bikers.

Route 3 would take riders from Calape proper to Panggangan, back to the highway before taking Tubigon to Inabanga which has been defined as scenic long ride ideal for aerodynamic tri-bike, roads and endurance mountain bikers.

All groups taking the three routes simultaneously depart Calape proper on Saturday at 1:00 and are expected to be back at 5:00 where a solidarity dinner, get together party and live band awaits. The program also boasts of raffle draws and prizes.

The 5th Unity Ride registration is pegged at P650 and is inclusive of a unity ride jersey, lunch, dinner, live band entertainment and culminating breakfast plus basic sleeping accommodation at the Calape Central School.

Deadline for the registration is March 31, and organizers inform every interested bike that the registration offers no more extensions. (rac/PIA-7/Bohol)

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