Makati Finds Sister in Bohol

For three long days, Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay discovered for himself that  his city, dubbed as the country's financial capital, has three "poor" siblings in Bohol.

 With Binay reunited with his city's sisters in Bohol, the Makati mayor lost no time in legitimizing their relations.

 Sisterhood pacts were immediately signed  between Makati and the towns of Loay, Getafe and Danao.

 But there's more than meets the eye in the sisterhood agreements, according to political watchers trailing Binay's Bohol sorties.

 It was widely believed that the sister was Binay's way of touching base with Bohol leaders who are perceived to be proven vote getters.

 And he was no less correct in choosing his first set of towns having sisterhood connection.

 A perusal of who are at the helm of Makati's sisters in Bohol would indicate they are no pushover.

 All administration stalwarts, all three mayors whom Binay agreed to legitimize their sister relations are considered political kingpins in their own turf.

 Even Binay's hosts in Bohol are also powerful politicians with big constituencies.

 It was public knowledge that Binay's Bohol visit was coordinated by City Mayor Dan Neri Lim and Senior Board Member Yul Lopez.

 While in Bohol, Binay also met with Baclayon Mayor Alvin Uy when the Makati mayor  guested during the monthly meeting of the Association of Barangay Captains of the municipality.

 Sitting on a P12 billion yearly budget, Binay is the envy of local executives for being the chieftain of the country's corporate center.

 He was mayor of Makati for 20 years starting as OIC in 1986 when Cory took over the reigns from Marcos.

 He went on to be elected mayor in l988 completing his three terms in 1997.

 Binay took a rest for three years after he was barred by law to run again. The hiatus paved the way for his wife Dr. Elenita Binay to take his place. In 2001, he sought a new mandate and went on to serve his third and final term ending in 2010.

The Essence of the Beijing Olympic Games

Tagbilaran Mayor Dan Lim yesterday issued a challenge for people to adopt the "Olympic" spirit.

 Lim issued the challenge a day after the opening ceremonies for the Beijing Olympics.

 The mayor noted that while host and traditional powerhouse China fielded 639 athletes to compete in all 28 sports, the Philippines can only send 15 athletes and 10 officials to Beijing .

 Although most people would readily point to the fact that economics largely determine sports development, Lim said it is also worth considering that many nations smaller, younger and poorer than the Philippines have performed better in the past.

 To this day, the Philippines still continues to aim for the elusive gold medal unlike some less developed nations.

  "One of the reasons for this is that as a people we are happy-go-lucky and are not known for our work ethics," the mayor said.

 Lim said that while other people particularly those in poorer nations work very hard at the sport which they consider as their way out of poverty, Filipinos have a tendency to relax and unwind every now and then.

  "We need to have the focus, the determination and the resolve to make sacrifices if we want to improve in life," he added.

 The mayor said that one of the reasons why many Filipinos remain poor is because they get contented easily and no longer aspire for a better life.

  "We see wage-earners spending their hard-earned pay on alcohol and tobacco even before they can arrive home after receiving their salaries," he noted.

 Although he admitted that people have the right to unwind and relax, Lim said Filipinos do it far more frequently.

  "This is the reason why many of us do not make good. We are easily contended with what we do and no longer aim for excellence," he urged.

 While the present crisis is not of their own making, he said this should not be a reason for people to give up their hope for a better life.

  "We need to have an Olympic spirit, to go for the best in what we do," the mayor added.

 Lim acknowledged that while only a few people ever make it to the Olympics, all people face the game of life everyday.

  "Let us give the same commitment and resolve that we would give if we were training for the Olympics," he added.

Mayor Backs Out From Loan Plan

Before his enemies of the Sangguniang Panglungsud drew first blood on his P 1 billion loan application, City Mayor Dan Neri Lim Friday  immediately withdrew his request for SP authority.

 It was expected that the minority block of the city law-making would make mincemeat out of the loan proposal but the city mayor jumped the gun on his critics.

 The sudden turnabout has something to do with what the city mayor called as political grandstanding.

 Even before the loan application saw the light of day in the halls of the SP, the mayor was not hiding his displeasure  about the reaction of his critics prompting him to accuse them of grandstanding.

 Earlier, Mayor Lim sought the SP's authority that he would be allowed to negotiate a loan facility with the Development Bank of the Phils. for use in the city's  infrastructure projects including the purchase of land for the Centralized Waste water Treatment Facility and Solid waste Management Project all located in barangay Taloto.

 According to Mayor Lim, the intention of his request was to ask for an authority to proceed and negotiate with the DBP on the terms and condition of the loan.

 The city mayor recalled that the last Sangguniang Panglungsud thru then vice mayor Nuevas Tirol-Montes has granted him an authority for a loan of P630,000.00 and that the latest  request was merely for a confirmation of that previous authority out of respect of the august body.

 Citing that his latest request was used to undermine his intention, Mayor Lim withdrew his loan application for P 1 billion adding that it should not be used for political ends thus prejudicing the city's development. - Sunday Post

Rice Traders in Bohol Island

Rice traders in Bohol can now heave a collective sigh of relief.

  This after Gov. Erico Aumentado amended the executive order limiting the shipment by large-scale rice traders and millers of palay and milled rice from Bohol to only 500 sacks at 50 kilos net per shipment a week – and even lesser for medium and small traders and millers.

  Aumentado issued the amendment upon the recommendation of the Task Force Rice Accelerated Enhancement Response (Racer) that includes, among others, Provincial Agriculturist Liza Quirog and Dr. Jose Quitazol, the governor's consultant on agriculture.

  Executive Order (EO) No. 6 that he signed last April 8 had provided that the regulation "shall continue to remain in force until the supply of palay for the province shall have been stabilized or normalized as certified by the Department of Agriculture (DA)."

  Amendatory EO No. 6-A prescribed bigger allowable volumes for shipping out of the province after the buying price of palay in the province dropped to only P12 per kilo in some towns.

  The various agencies working collectively on the implementation of RACER and the Ginintuang Masaganang Ani (GMA)-Rice programs such as PAO, DA's Bohol Agricultural Promotion Center (B-APC), National Food Authority (NFA) Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (BAS) and the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) noted that the drastic cut in the buying price "is believed to be the result of the huge volume of rice that the NFA infused into the province and the expected increased volume of production this year as a result of the Racer and GMA-Rice programs as well as abundant water supply."

  The task force added that the very low buying price, if not immediately addressed, would result to losses on the part of the farmers and threatens the sustainability of the rice industry in Bohol.

  As such, the governor now allows licensed wholesale large traders and millers accredited by the NFA to ship out rice and palay from the province a maximum of 2,000 sacks at 50 kilos net weight per week.

  Medium traders and millers can now also ship out 1,000 instead of only 300 sacks while small-scale traders and millers can now ship out up to 500 sacks instead of only 100.

  The new EO also allows a maximum of 3,000 bags for shipment per week to other provinces by large wholesale rice traders and millers in case such provinces are affected by calamities, disasters or are in a state of emergency and there is a request for relief from the officials of the local government units (LGUs) in the provinces concerned.

  As in the previous EO, all shippers need to secure first a shipping clearance from the NFA before loading. But no clearance shall be issued to traders and millers who have no previous record of shipping or transporting palay or milled rice from December 2007 through January and February 2008.

  Agencies tasked to enforce the EO are the NFA for the issuance of shipping clearance and weekly volume monitoring; the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) to ensure that no palay or milled rice shall be loaded on any sea vessel without such clearance; the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) to assist the PPA in ensuring and verifying the allowable volume of such palay or milled rice authorized for shipment and not to clear any vessel for departure without such shipping clearance;

  The LGU concerned and the police station to monitor and ensure no loading and shipment of palay or milled rice are done without such shipping clearance; the Coastal Law Enforcement Councils (Clecs) and municipal bantay dagat teams to assist in the overall enforcement of the EO by including in their patrol sorties the surveillance of any suspicious activities on the transport of palay or milled rice along Bohol's coasts and municipal waters.

  Aumentado also called on the city and municipal mayors, the police, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), DA and the association of rice traders and rice millers to assist in the enforcement of the EO.

  Tasked to regularly monitor rice and palay prices are the DTI, DA and LGUs.

  The EO requires the named agencies to submit weekly reports to the Office of the Governor, copy furnished the Committee on Agriculture of the Provincial Board and all other concerned government offices and agencies for them to evaluate rice trading trends.

Muslims in Bohol Philippines

The Muslim communities scattered all over Bohol stood us one Friday to make an unfavorable position of the hasty agreement defining the so-called ancestral domain of the Bangsamoro people.

 The ethnic leaders assembled Friday at Camp Dagohoy to witness the blessing and inauguration of the  new police center catering to Muslim issues and concerns. It is called Sala'am Center.

 It was an opportune time for the Post to get the reaction of the Muslim leaders given the combustible issue of a peace agreement between the government and the Moro Islam Liberation Front (MILF) now catching fire from all segments of Philippine society.

 The government and the MILF on Tuesday were set to sign a memorandum of agreement on ancestral domain following 10 years of off-and-on negotiations. But the Supreme Court stopped the ceremony after local Mindanao officials protested the inclusion of their areas in an expanded Moro homeland without consultations.

 Critics said the broad economic and political powers accorded a proposed Bangsamoro Juridical Entity with its own security force spearheaded by 12,000 MILF fighters amounted to the creation of a separate state.

 The MILF-government deal has become a hot political issue all over the country after Malacanang critics labeled it as a sellout of Philippine sovereignty.

 In Bohol, just as many residents are expecting the local Muslim population to support the negotiation for an expanded homeland when the opposite actually happened.

 In separate interviews in the sidelines of the Camp Dagohoy affair, Abdol Samad Pangomping of the Ulama League for Guidance Propagation,  Dimakura Alanyadi, president of the Islamic Center and Datu Manong Ambor, president of Muslim Urban Organization batted for the need to consult the people first especially those manning local government units where communities under their jurisdiction are affected by the new juridical entity.

 For his part, Pangomping said that the MOA as defined by the two contracting parties (MILF-government) was not a product of a thorough consultation among Muslim leaders in Mindanao.

 Even the local Muslim population who have no intention of going back to their original homeland in Mindanao do not agree with the terms and conditions of the peace process.

 If the MOA is allowed to be in force, the expanded homeland billed as Bangsamoro Juridical Entity would have its own armed forces, banking and financial system, health care services, education system, etc.

 The Muslim leaders admitted that they still have their relatives in Muslim Mindanao but they lost interest in going back home because they have found Bohol as their second home. - Sunday Post

What Is Makati City Mayor Jojo Binay Doing in Bohol?

By Ciriaco Guingguing
Bohol Sunday Post
Why do you think Makati City Mayor Jojo Binay is making a big fuss in making sisterhood pacts with three Bohol municipalities?

 First off. As an opposition stalwart Binay is surely a presidential timber. Minus Erap, that's what he said. If Erap is not barred from running for president, then he can be the actor's running mate. Nice team up.

 But of course. With President GMA's approval rating at its record lows, any presidentiable getting her blessing will have to kiss his or her chances goodbye. Remember the debacle of Team Unity?

 Billed as the most hated President after Ferdinand Marcos, GMA's unpopularity cut across geographical boundaries and economic classes. This means that her disapproval ratings were already felt all over the country. She is also unpopular in practically all economic segments. Where before she was the darling of the eyes of the Visayan and Mindanao people, not anymore, this time.

 The reality of GMA losing popular support and therefore cutting a wide swath of destruction in voters' appeal, don't you think any presidential aspirant worth his marbles would not be tempted of trying his luck?

 Count Binay in the short list of presidential pretenders.

 If the Makati mayor is not salivating to be the next president, then what the hell that drives him to cut sisterhood ties with three Bohol towns?

 And Binay is it when Erap's case of seeking reelection is decided with finality by the courts.

 Back to Binay's Bohol sorties. If we have to analyze his Bohol foray, only fools would not understand that it was not tainted with political color. Giving propaganda materials left and right wherever he went is an indication that he is up for something political.

 If that is not so, then has Binay suddenly became nostalgic and sentimental that he went out of his way to look for his long lost sisters. And why Bohol of all places?

 Elementary, Mr. Watson, elementary.

 Yes, Mr.Binay is in a barnstorming tour for his political plans and this so-called sister act is nothing but a clever ploy to penetrate an administration stronghold.

 For all intents and purposes, there's  nothing wrong with that.

 In fact, everywhere he went — from Loay to Getafe to Danao, he was greeted with messianic fervor. All in the guise of sisterhood agreements. And who are the mayors of these towns but all administration frontrunners.

 Of course,  Makati's Bohol siblings are poor by any gauge if ranged against the country's financial capital. But poor they may be, the men and women at the helm are proven vote--getters.

 It must be the reason why Binay chose them in his first order of business.  

 Therefore, Binay is off to a good start, if he will invoke the sister relations once he runs for national office.

 Who will argue with this Bglante that Mayors May Lim-Imboy of Loay, Theresa Camacho of Getafe and Thomas Louis Gonzaga of Danao are not equal to the task of being kingpins in their own right.

 Not only that. Binay's trip was also reported to be coordinated by two powerful politicians in City Mayor Dan Neri Lim and Loon Board Member Yul Lopez.

 The combined votes of Tagbilaran and Loon are not to be sneezed at and Binay enjoyed the good graces of the two political giants? That's simple arithmetic for Binay's grand plan.

 Now, what made you think that Binay is not running for president or vice president, as the case may be. 

MILF Has No Right To Claim Mindanao

By Joe Espiritu, Bohol Sunday Post

Our Boholano expats in southwestern Mindanao may be in for trouble. The Moro Islamic Liberation Front is on the warpath. The claim on their so-called ancestral domain was rejected by the residents of the area and they are moving to enforce it. Somehow, they do not have any right to claim what is not theirs but they intend to legitimize their claim by force.

What started it all was when Muslims of the southernmost part of the Philippines calling themselves Moro National Liberation Front wanted to break away from the Republic. At least that was their original aim. They must have seen how Pakistan broke away from India. Indian Muslims wanted a separate state from a predominantly Hindu India. Under Mohammad Ali Jinna, they claimed a western portion of the Indian subcontinent to be a Muslim Republic. A mass migration took place and Pakistan, the Land of the Pure was established.

 However, the Philippine Republic is not to be dismembered. The MNLF numbers are too few and their resources too small to become an independent nation. They were offered autonomy within the Republic thus the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao was created. But the majority of ARMM officials were made up Tausogs, who do not always see eye to eye with the Magindanaos and their kindred Maranaos. The latter two formed the Muslim Islamic Liberation Front or MILF. They wanted to set up a wider ARMM and call it a Bangsa Moro region.

 The MILF established fonts and strong points and extracted tribute from people within their reach. The Joseph Estrada administration could not allow a hostile force within the Republic so their forts, and strong points notably the Fort Abubakar were dismantled and chased the MILF to the hills. The Arroyo administration tried to bring the MILF to the negotiating table and was able to succeed.

 On the negotiating table the MILF presented impossible demands one of them is their so called ancestral domain. They claimed the Cotabato provinces, Maguindanao, Sultan Kudarat, and some barangays of Christian dominated southern provinces. Naturally those who are residing in the area objected.

 In the Philippine history books, there are only two sultanates, that of Sulu for the Tausogs and Samals and Lanao and for the Maranaos. There was no mention of a sultanate for the Maguindanaos of Cotabato. They were virtually independent kingdoms before and during the Spanish times. The Spaniards hardly conquered Sulu. They were able to Christianize a sultan named Alimudin but he was overthrown by his brother Bantilan.

 It took American forces to pacify the Muslims and integrate their sultanates to the Philippine Commonwealth, which later became the Philippine Republic. Hereditary sultans of Sulu and Lanao still exist but are ceremonial in nature. From the early days of the Commonwealth and Philippine Republic, Filipinos from all parts of the Philippines came to settle and develop the fertile fields of Mindanao. They established homesteads, or bought lands from the natives.

 Slowly and painfully, the forests and grasslands of Mindanao were cleared and converted to productive farms. Many died from malaria and other tropical diseases. Now Mindanao has the potential of becoming second to Luzon in agricultural and industrial production. This potential had not escaped the eyes of the MILF. They presented a show of force to wring out the best terms they can get in the negotiating table. But those affected will not take things sitting down.

 It is too outlandish to think that the sons of the hardy settlers will just had over the lands that they have developed to the MILF without a struggle. Nor would the relatives of the settlers in the rest of the Philippines look on when their homes of their kin are violated, if the army will not protect them. The MILF know that but they will try to get what they can get on the bargaining table what they may not get in the filed. They know the gaming theory.

Bien Unido Bohol Moving Onward

By Loy Palapos, Sunday Post

Being a new municipality, which used to be a part of Talibon, Bien Unido is a rib of an infant cradled by the birthplace of Carlos P. Garcia, the town of Governor Erico B. Aumentado, and the home of Congressman Roberto C. Cajes. Talibon and Ubay are obviously the frontliners in economic progress (one of them possibly to become a city in the near future) and Trinidad is in the throes of big positive changes. The tipmost fishing village and its surrounding islands comprise a sleepy town of more than 24, 000 inhabitants. The burden of placing Bien Unido in the map is the main obsession of a young and handsome Chief Executive (who could have outshone in comparison not a few actors of the small and big screen), whose sturdy shoulders (Thanks, God!) holds a brilliant head.

 He is not a total neophyte to the political scene, for his father was the mayor of Bien Unido for several years, after the fall of the Marcos conjugal dictatorship. His upbringing emanated from disciplined parents, and a formal education of the oldest college, and one of the most prestigious universities in the world, the University of San Carlos, where he studied from Kindergarten, to high school, and college… finishing Bachelor of Arts in Political Science before taking up Law. His immersion in the business world became a staple staff in management, which he now practices in a domain he finds challenging.

 Mayor Rey Niño Fineza Boniel (RFB) surprised me last Tuesday. A few minutes after 1:00 PM, I arrived in his office in Bien Unido Municipal Building, sans any previous appointment, not expecting him to be around, considering that it was siesta-time. He was already there, and the entire Municipal staff were in their respective jobs. Easily discernible was the face-lifting and reconstruction of the offices aside from his own. Like most progressive-minded Municipal Mayors, he made his office very accessible to all, a kind of transparency seldom resorted to by several traditional politicians in the past.

 Over a cup of hot coffee, our repartee was warm and devoid of fabricated sophistication. I found in the likeable businessman a Mayor who knows his job.

 LMP: How are things after the first year of governance?

       RFB: Mura'g wala ra'y usa ka tuig; dali ra kaayo ang panahon. Politics is not new to me anymore kay Mayor man sad akong father before. When I was seated as the Mayor, naa man ta'y mga ten-point agenda.

 LMP: What are your ten-point agenda?

 RFB: Sa number ten gyod ko nag focus ug maayo, ang people-empowerment.

       LMP: When you say people-empowerment, does that mean nga when you started your term, walay paki ang mga tawo?

       RFB: Dili pa kaayo sila participative sa government. Very lukewarm pa ang ilang approach kay wala pa man kaayo'y activities. Gi-divide nato ang atong termino into three. Sa first year, I was into promotion.

       LMP: You have finished the first year of governance. Have you succeeded along that line?

       RFB: I could say that I am successful. Based sa acceptance sa mga tawo. Pag first year nako, miapil mi sa Sinulog. In fact, one million kapin ang nagasto but wala'y bisan usa ka dako ang gikan sa lungsod. That was people empowerment, because people and the youth were involved. The parents were very supportive. Nasud pa gyod sa first year nga promotion ang Sandugo. Then naka-create na ta ug kaugalingon gyod nga website sa Bien Unido. Ang website sa uban nga mga  lungsod, centralized sa Province. Sa among lungsod, kami gyod ang naghawid. Napili pod ko as Chairman sa Coastal Law Enforcement Council II sa 2nd District. Na-promote nako sa ubang lungsod sa 2nd district ang mga produkto sa Bien Unido, sama sa "guso."

       LMP: Karon nga puntoha, nakita na ba nimo nga mo-kooperar na ang mga tawo kompara sa miaging tuig?

       RFB: Ang mga tawo karon aktibo na kaayo. Bisan ang mga taga-Bien Unido nga naa na sa gawas sa nasod. I went to Australia one time kay nahimo ko nga guest speaker sa Rotary Club of Sydney. Naay taga-Bien Unido nga naminyo ug Australian citizen, naghimo gyod sila ug Computer Learning Center. I made sure that I can personally thank them. Kadto pong miadto ko sa Guam, na-promote pod nako ang mga produkto dinhi. I could say nga during my first year, maayo gyod ang akong promotion.

       LMP: Nakabantay ko sa Sinulog, sa kadaghan sa contingent, ikaw ra ang gi-interview, how did you do it?

       RFB: If you notice, naay electronic billboard sa Fuente Osmeña, ato nang negosyo nga gamay. Usa pa, naa pod ta'y conncection sa ABS-CBN ug sa GMA. Naghimo ko ug exchange deal sa ABS-CBN nga i-cover ta nila and in return, ipagawas nato sila sa atong e-billboard. Mao ng grabe ta ug coverage nila. I did not only focus on Bien Unido but the whole Bohol as well.

 LMP: How about in your second year?

       RFB: Sa second year, nagsugod na ko sa infrastructure. If you remember before, abog pa kaayo ang kalsada from Trinidad to Bien Unido. Karon, naghinay-hinay na siya ug katarong. Mahuman ning atong kalsada by November, before sa fiesta dinhi. Gasugod na pod ko ug tukod ug mga buildings sa merkado. Akong gi-offer sa mga gustong mo-abang ang Build Operate Transfer (BOT).

 LMP: Asa man ka mangita ug private enterprises for BOT?

       RFB: Dinhi ra sa mga locals nato. Ako silang gihatagan ug scheme nga after 25 years, i-turn-over na sa lungsod and then kamo ang hatagan ug priority sa abang. Ang ako lang gyod ang economic activity sa Bien Unido mo-bloom. In fact kining TSKI, usa ka lending institution, wa gyod ko mo-issue ug permit nila. Not unless magtukod sila ug opisina. Adto sila mang-release sa Talibon, unya inig release, adto pod ipangumpra sa Talibon. Another thing, makita ninyo ang lambayan dinhi, naa na'y kompanya gikan sa Cebu. Gamay pa man pod, kwarenta pa ka tawo. Pero ug moabot na gyod na ug daghan kaayo, ani na dinhi ang canning.

 LMP: Is this a community project?

 RFB: Private but they are paid. Pero ang sourcing, dinhi ra.

 LMP: Is Bien unido still a fishing village?

       RFB: Na-discourage na ang mga tawo sa system sa pangisda karon tungod sa bag-ong balaod; kining Republic Act 8580.

 LMP: But you're with CLEC, how did you reconcile the extremes?

       RFB: Ang approach nako karon is very different kompara sa Mayor before. Pagkadawat sa Mayor before sa balaod, dayon niya ug implementar, wala niya gipasabot sa mga tawo. Way back 1996, mao man ang gi-offer. Gi- undang na siya pagpasar sa balaod in 1998. Pag 2000, gisugdan napod nila ug enforce; pag-2002, miabot ang livelihood program. Kadtong previous nga Mayor, ang iyang gibuhat gipamalit ra niya ug pukot kadtong mga tawo, bisan mga maestra tagaan.

 LMP: How about dynamite fishing?

       RFB: Wala na gyod nang dynamite fishing. Tungod kay naikog na sila sa atong gipakita. Nadungog man gud nga ang Bien Unido ang kusog kaayo sa illegal fishing.

 LMP: How about your project in health?

       RFB: Karon, naghimo ko ug inspection office sa Hingutanan Island; 1 hour by pumpboat. Naa ta'y casual nga garbage collector. Para sa mga basura, naghimo ta ug labayanan, mura na ug reclamation area.

 LMP: Is this the first time nga naa mo'y extension sa mga isla?

 RFB: Yes. Ang Department of Health, mag-duty once a week.

       LMP: Kanang "guso" nga project is that a private enterprise or community based?

 RFB: Community based.

 LMP: How about ang health diri sa mainland, is it the same thing?

       RFB: Naa mi BHWD. Karon, gipadak-an pa gyod nako ang honorarium sa mga BHW from the local funds aron mo-improve ang health.

 LMP: Pila ka barangay ang Bien Unido?

       RFB: 15 kabuok. 8 island barangays and 7 inland barangays. Naa'y gihatag si Sen. Miggs Zubiri nga P500,000. Among gipalit ug multicabs kay wala mi ambulansya, for the meantime. Nangayo na ko, but ang tubag ra is wala pa'y available.

 LMP: How is the peace and order situation of Bien Unido pagka-karon?

       RFB: Bag-o among Hepe, among gikuha from San Miguel. Lumad man gud siya nga taga-Bien Unido mao ng kampante ko nga ma-maintain gyod niya ang peace and order kay naka-sinati man gyod siya sa lungsod. Kami pod sa Municipal Hall, sige pod mi ug meeting, so maayo ang dagan.

 LMP: What are your future projects for the next year?

 RFB: Sa akong third year, mag-focus ko sa livelihood.

       LMP: What particular livelihood nga not existing are you planning for Bien Unido?

       RFB: Maghimo ko'g One Town, One Product kon OTOP. Daghan man gud mi ug produkto gikan sa guso, like capsule sa tambal, tsinelas, ug uban pa.

 LMP: Imo ba ning orihinal nga proyekto?

       RFB: Kanang programa sa OTOP, diha na siya sa una pa nga administrasyon mao nang akong gi-apply karon. Ang program man gud, sige ug dagan. Karon, ang among mga produkto gikan sa guso himoon namo ug rubber or jelly spread, mao pod ni among gi-promote. Unique kay lahi nga produkto sa ubang lungsod. At the same time, gikan gyod ang mga raw materials dinhi.

 LMP: Unsa pa ang uban nga mga plano nimo?

       RFB: Ang infrastructure pod apil na. Pag-panindot sa lungsod ug ang water system. Naa na ta'y existing nga water system, ato na lang ng ipa-extend. Out of 15 barangays, pito ang na-cover sa water system. Way labot ang mga isla.

 LMP: Karon, kumusta na man ka? Wala pa ba ka motagam?

       RFB: Morag gi-reminisce ra man nako ang past ba kadtong Mayor pa akong amahan. Dili bug-at ang responsibility kay nag-enjoy man ko sa akong gihimo. I'm a Political Science graduate pod, unya active pod ko sa politics sa among eskuwelahan. Morag mao ni akong practicum. Mao ni akong linya. I'm at home with what I'm doing.     

 There is no question that Mayor Rey Niño Fineza Boniel is a highly qualified Chief Executive Officer, whether it be in private business or in public governance. His one year as a Mayor is a fool-proof assertion of his capabilities.

 Yet, one big question lingers in the hearts and minds of his constituents, and even those who are not inhabitants of Bien Unido: When is he going to marry?

 Tradition, and perhaps necessity, requires that a Mayor should have his First Lady. At 30, Rey Niño is ripe for the picking, and that inevitable march on the matrimonial aisle. The problem is he has to be picky, now that he is a public figure. A chat with his Mom impressed upon me that whoever she is… the screening process would be avante-guard and the Lady should not just be any run-of-the-mill Aida, Lorna or Fe. She must know what she is into, aside from living with a dreamboat, for her husband will not totally be her own 24 hours a day.

 How about 2010? To this question, Mayor Boniel grinned through words unspoken: "As of now… my reality involves my vision and mission for my beloved Bien Unido."

Bohol PNP Camp Dagohoy Has Salaam Center

The Sala'am Center located in the premises of Camp Dagohoy was inaugurated during simple ceremonies Friday attended top leaders of the local Muslim community.

The construction of the center was part of the continuing quest for peace and development through the cooperation and support of  Muslim brothers and sisters. the blessing rites were jointly officiated by Imam Cosain Umpar (Islam priest) and Rev. Fr. James Darunday of the Virgin sa Barangay Parish.

Several Muslim communities from Tagbilaran, Jagna and Ubay led by Datu Manong Ambor, president of Muslim Urban Organization and Bohol Ulama League for Propagation and Guidance with Dimakota L. Alngadi, president of Bohol Islamic Center, Poblacion  III, Adbul Karim Sirad, president. of Darussalam Muslim United Brothers Inc,  Baguinda Cadar, Pres.of Islamic Brotherhood Organization, Tagb City ; Benjie Ali of Ubay and Medal B. Gasa of Jagna.

Bohol Chamber of Commerce and Industry; lawyer Risty N. Sibay, provincial chief of NAPOLCOM and PNP officers led by PSSUPT Edgardo C. Ingking, Provincial Director, PSUPT Ernesto F. Agas, the deputy provincial director for administration also attended the affair. Datu Manong Ambor,  Oculam and PSSupt Edgardo Ingking also delivered their messages.

      The establishment of the SALA'AM Police Center was realized after a series of dialogues between the police and the leaders of the Muslim communities in Bohol and the recent gathering of the local Muslim leaders last July 25, 2008 which was also attended by all the Police Community Relations Officers from the 47 municipal and one City Police Stations held at the Camp Dagohoy Conference Room.

Bohol Backbone Transmission Project (BBTP)

Bohol Governor Erico Aumentado and the Central Visayas Regional Development Council (RDC 7) have brought the proposed P1.6-billion Bohol Backbone Transmission Project (BBTP) one step closer to realization.

  This after they successfully endorsed the project to the National Economic and Development Authority's Investment Coordination Committee Technical Board (Neda-ICC-TB).during a recent meeting at Neda's Ortigas Center headquarters.

  Aumentado is bullish over TransCo's project as it will provide more efficient and more dependable power with trip-offs reduced to the barest minimum.

  He also said the project will be funded with TransCo internally generated income, hence, no need for Official Development Assistance (ODA) or outside loans.

  The project proposes to expand the existing Ubay sub-station and install high-tension steel towers like those stringing the cable from the island municipality of President Garcia to Ubay town.

  The new steel towers will string the "backbone" line from Ubay to Corella town.

  "With the backbone project, trip-offs and blackouts especially those caused by falling coconut palms or tree branches will be things of the past," Aumentado said.

  A more dependable and sufficient power is a must for Bohol's burgeoning tourism industry, he added. - June Blanco, Sunday Post

Peace Efforts in Mindanao Should Be Everyone's Concern

Bohol Vice Gov. Julius Caesar Herrera says the efforts to attain peace in Mindanao should involve all sectors.

            Herrera said the involvement of all affected sectors is crucial for the peace initiative to be successful.

            The vice-governor made the comment after local government officials in North Cotabato , Zamboanga and Iligan protested the signing of a memorandum of agreement (MOA) for the so-called Bangsamoro Juridical Entity (BJE).

            The MOA signing between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front was stalled after the Supreme Court issued a temporary restraining order on the petition filed by North Cotabato officials led by Vice Gov. Emmanuel Piñol.

            Herrera said the gripes of the local government officials including those in Muslim areas is the lack of transparency in the negotiations.

            "The people in the areas affected by the BJE have a right to know what is going on," the vice governor said.

            Herrera, who is also president of the League of Vice Governors of the Philippines , is familiar with the dynamics in the area. He once served as city administrator of Gen. Santos City.

            The vice-governor said he is following the developments in Mindanao closely not only because of his familiarity with the affected areas but also because of the big Boholano populations.

            "There are many Boholanos in the areas included in the BJE who will be affected by this development," he added.

            Herrera said many Boholanos who migrated to the South have become successful in their adopted lands due to hard work and persistence.

            Many of them fear that the BJE will adversely affect their lives and take away their hard-earned livelihood in the area.

            The vice-governor said those opposing the BJE are not exactly opposed to the peace initiatives.

            However, they want to know what is going to happen because they will be affected once the BJE becomes operational.

            "The bottom line is transparency," he added.

Tubigon Bohol Is Nutrition Awardee

Tubigon Bohol Mayor Luna Piezas added feather to his cap as first timer mayor when the municipality bagged the regional plan in nutrition program implementation.

Mayor Piezas personally received the award as the outstanding municipality in nutrition among the provinces and municipalities of Region VII.

One of the town's awardees was Diosdada Abarquez, barangay health worker of barangay Panadtaran, Tubigon. She was also chosen as the Outstanding Barangay Nutrition Scholar for the regional search for nutrition. With her was their barangay captain Alberto Hadlocon who assisted in receiving the plaque.

  Aside from the awards and plaque received, Tubigon was also the awardee of 2007 Regional Search for Nutrition. Mayor Piezas expressed elation for the nutrition feat. Adfter receiving the award, the Tubigon executive was made to render  an inspirational message during the awarding ceremony. The affair was held  last Aug. 4 at the Cebu International Convention Center in Cebu City.

  The plaque, certificates, and green banner were personally given by Director Susana Madarietta, chairman of the Regional Nutrition Commission. She was the former regional director of Region 7-DOH. The  guest speaker during the awarding ceremony was Mariette Remonde, representative of Secretary Cerge Remonde of the Presidential Management Head. Ghaya Castillo-MPIO-Designate - Sunday Post

Vaccines for the Philippines Offers Free Medical Mission

Catigbian, Bohol - Vaccines for the Philippines, a foundation based in Utah conducted a medical mission that offered free medical, dental, Operation Tuli with free medicines and haircut services to the residents of barangays Maitum, Liboron and Cang-iras. The activity  was supported and coordinated by LGU-Catigbian, 802nd Infantry Battalion based in Katipunan, Carmen and 2nd Special Forces based in Riverside, Bilar. It was part of the projects and programs of the this year's foundation event..

Peter Thomas Reichman, president and founder of the medical mission explained that the foundation started by giving simple sanitation kit and used clothing to identified beneficiaries but now it already extended medical missions, built restrooms, improved identified provincial government-owned hospitals including Catigbian District Hospital. This year it pioneered the construction of a descent home for the less fortunate brothers and tree planting in selected areas in the province.

"We have chosen Catigbian particularly Maitum through the help of the Provincial Government, whom we are closely working with since the first year of the foundation's charitable work in Bohol way back 2005", Reichman said.

Barangay Captain Jun Tupas of Maitum was very grateful to the foundation and to the government military men of the assistance that created comfort and convenience to his barangay folks and lessen the economic burden nowadays as experienced by majority of his people.

Vice-Mayor Necie Digaum, the acting mayor said, "Catigbian is so lucky to have this foundation and government troops. The local government under the leadership of Mayor BertSal supports this kind of initiative that looks into the welfare of our people, the same vision and goal the local leaders have in hand".

According to Reichman, "this year there are 30 volunteer workers mostly students who will stay until August 11, 2008. Next year, more volunteers are coming to help in the construction of descent homes for 10-20 less fortunate brothers in the province. We constructed 5 houses this year which were distributed in Barangay San Jose, Batuan, sitio Cansinge and sitio Cambanoy in Maitum".

Lt. Col. Dionesio Miguel, executive officer of the 802nd Infantry Brigade in Carmen and Lt. Col. Alfredo Sanchez, battalion commander of the 2nd Special Forces in Bilar echoed their support to the project during a short program that closed the activity. Two military detachments- Mahayag Norte and Mantacida are stationed in this town with the primary purpose of supporting the government's effort in maintaining peace and order in the developing town of Catigbian.(ARE) - Sunday Post

Inabanga Bohol Hands Out Food Stuff

The cycle was completed last week with the distribution of foodstuffs at the Dagohoy Park through barangay captains and elementary schoolteachers.

  Mayor Jose Jono Jumamoy said the money to buy the commodities came from the P250,000 that came with the plaque that President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo awarded the town in November last year in Manila for bagging the National Nutrition Award as well as the counterpart that the local government unit (LGU) put up.

  Municipal Health Officer Mae Lilibeth Melicor, all Sangguniang Bayan (SB) members and the LGU staff were on hand to assist in the distribution of rice, sugar, milk, cacao-chocolate as well as vitamins and seeds especially to malnourished children in primary schools.

  Jumamoy said it was his pride that through the collective efforts of all Inabangnons, "we have gone this far."

  "We have now shared the fruits of our efforts especially with our undernourished children. These may just be 'small things' but these are of great help to them," he said. - Sunday Post

Japanese Student from Waseda University Lives With Boholano People

Inabanga Bohol played host recently to Japanese intern volunteer students who came all the way from Waseda University to Barangay Tungod for their community immersion.

  Isao Murase, Shunsuke Komatsu, Mariko Nakatsura, Mariko Ishimoto and Kei Nakayama, with Field Development Officer Salome Llorente of Feed the Children, Inc. as guide, observed and helped in the feeding, monthly weighing of children, and other activities in Tungod.

  They also visited other project sites.

  The immersion provided the visiting students on their first time to the Philippines with glimpses and insights into the Boholanos' ordinary lives.

  They expressed gratitude to Mayor Jose Jono Jumamoy for hosting them. At the same time, Jumamoy thanked the students for choosing his town for their immersion. - Sunday Post

Governor's Office Asked To Stop Issuing Mining Special Permits

      The regional office of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) had asked the Governor's Office to stop issuing special permits to mining-related activities, pending compliance of the standard procedures by the permit holders.

      This was after MGB-7 found some undesirable quarry and mining activities in sites of permit holders.

      Provincial Administrator Tomas Abapo Jr. forwarded the MGB-7 report to Bohol Environmental Management Office (BEMO) Head Rene Villaber.

      A team from MGB-7 inspected at least six sites of mining, quarrying and mineral processing operations in the towns of Loon, Talibon, Alicia, and Candijay on July 3, a day before the scheduled regular meeting of the Bohol Provincial Mining Regulatory Board (PMRB-Bohol).

      The team was composed of by MGB Senior Environmental Management Specialist Ramcie Brillante, Lawyer Gerardo Mahusay, and OIC-Mining Operations Officer Raul Laput, together with MGB-7 OIC-Regional Director Roger De Dios, who is also the chairman of PMRB-Bohol.

      Based on the field monitoring, Brillante, Mahusay, and Laput submitted to De Dios, a report entitled "Field Monitoring of Certain Mining/Quarrying and Mineral Processing Operations in the Province of Bohol" dated July 9, 2008.

      Referring to the provincial government's continued issuance of special permits to mining-related activities, one of the concerns discussed during the July 4 meeting of the PMRB-Bohol, De Dios told Governor Erico Aumentado, in a letter dated July 23, 2008, that "it had somehow contributed to the difficulty in the management of the mining or quarry activities in the province".

      "With this observed predicament, it was unanimously resolved to respectfully request your good office to discontinue the issuance of special permits to mining-related activities, unless, standard procedures are followed and certain requirements are complied with- -that is Area Clearance from MGB-7 and Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) from the EMB-7 (Environmental Management Bureau in Region 7)," De Dios stated in his July 23 letter, to which the report was attached.

      As among the recommendations contained in the report, the MGB team advised the BEMO to make a follow-up field monitoring on the mining, quarrying, and mineral processing operations in the province.

      During the MGB team's field monitoring at a limestone quarrying site operated by Maximo Rulona in barangay Pondol, municipality of Loon, they noted indications of fresh mechanized limestone quarrying and stockpiling of manually crushed limestones that also showed an extraction done in a generally systematic way with established benches.

      But they failed to actually chance on an actual operation because work was temporarily stopped then because of the rain.

      The team learned that "operations in the area were jointly undertaken by Cesar Maluenda and Marcela Farms, Inc."

      On this, the team requires a written agreement between Rulona, the permit holder, and Cesar Maluenda, the operator. The document must be submitted and registered with the BEMO, and that MGB-7 be furnished a copy for information or reference.

      In barangay Catagbacan, also in Loon, the MGB-7 team found out that the permit for the site of Marcela Farms, Inc., had already expired and that quarrying activities had long been stopped.

      In fact, certain portions of the area were already covered by vegetation, grasses, and vines. Moreover, shrubs, bushes and thin branches of trees and plants had made the road leading to the quarry site less accessible.

      For this, the MGB team recommended that the abandoned small-scale permit area of Marcela Farms, Inc. should be rehabilitated immediately based on the submitted rehabilitation plan, subject to subsequent monitoring by MGB, the report stated.

      At the site of Balamban Concrete Aggregates and Construction Co., Inc., a permit and MPP holder, in barangay Tanghaligue, Talibon, the MGB team noted the ongoing silica extraction and hauling operations which were reportedly stopped for several days after some plant accessories broke down and were under repair then.

      MGB-7 learned that the processing plant was in normal operation since January this year until the recent field monitoring and "was only interrupted by minor breakdowns".

      Records also showed that Balamban Concrete Aggregates and Construction Co., Inc. continued to deliver silica materials, using delivery receipts issued by the Bohol Provincial Treasurer's Office.

      The team also found out that the company processed silica materials and delivered them to various end-users "without Ore Transport Permits (OTPs) issued by MGB".

      On this, the MGB-7 team recommended that Balamban Concrete Aggregates and Construction, Inc. be penalized for the deliveries of silica materials without securing OTPs from MGB and for misrepresentation made in the submitted monthly production reports.

      At the site of former Dauis Mayor Joel Bomediano, a special permit holder, in barangay Cabatang, municipality of Alicia, the team noted an ongoing selective and unsystematic mechanized operation using backhoe and that the personnel supervising the quarry area did not issue any delivery receipt to dump trucks hauling quarry materials from the site.

      On this, the MGB team recommended for the immediate review on Bomediano's special permit and check if it the project had complied with the basic requirements, including MGB-7 Area Clearance and ECC from EMB-7, "otherwise, it may be suspended or revoked".

      Also, Bomediano should be made to institute necessary corrective measures in the quarry area. Appropriate warning and/or sanction may also be imposed for non-issuance of delivery receipts, the MGB-7 team stressed.

      In Barangay Napo, Alicia, the MGB team observed that at a site operated by Rodrigo Labunog, a permit holder, the operations used two backhoes and extraction was unsystematic without defined benches.

      "Extracted materials at the other side of the hill ready for hauling was reportedly owned by Alturas," the MGB-7 team stated in the report.

      They also found out that duplicate copies of the delivery receipts issued contained no dates and the space for it were left blank.

      In the same site, another permit holder, Sergio Uy used a backhoe in extracting materials and its operation was observed to be selective with no defined benches, the MGB-7 noted.

      For Labanog and Uy, the MGB team advised them to institute corrective measures in their respective quarry areas by adopting appropriate benching patterns.

      MGB-7 also recommended that Labanog should explain and be sanctioned for "apparent recycling of delivery receipts".

      The MGB team also required Labanog and Alturas to submit a written agreement between them and be registered with BEMO, and furnish MGB a copy of the document for information or reference.

      In Candijay, wherein no permit holder was identified, an investigation was conducted after Councilor Jesse Sales passed a resolution strongly opposing the continuance of manganese mining in sitio Pangpang, in Barangay Panas, and in Barangay Can-olin, and the other barangays hosting illegal mining activities.

      The resolution recommended its immediate stoppage "due to the disastrous effects on the environment".

      Upon verification with the Sangguniang Bayan (SB) records, it was learned that said resolution was still on the second reading on May 5.

      Candijay Mayor Sergio Amora Jr. also told the team that Sales, was already replaced as chairman of the SB Committee on Environment on June 30, by Councilor Timoteo Pesaña, the vice-chairman. - Sunday Post