Cebu Firm Gets Water from Corella Town?

A Cebu-based consortium will extract in 25 years great volume of water in Corella, which local government unit (LGU) has an existing contract with the Bohol Water Utilities , Inc. (BWUI).

The ARN Builders and AsiaMizu, Inc. and the LGU on Monday signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) that will allow the consortium to draw as much as 500,000 cubic meters (CM) of water every month, according to Mayor Vito Rapal.

The mayor sealed the contract for the municipal government while Engr. Arnold Espinoza represented the consortium as its president.?
Like BWUI, the Cebu group is interested to supply bulk water to the island town of Panglao in anticipation of the concrete start of Panglao Bohol International Airport Project probably early next year.

Gov. Erico Aumentado and Rep. Edgar Chatto are set to meet with the warring Panglao leaders on the urgent solution to water crisis in the prime tourism island on Friday.

The BWUI has long eyed to also solve Panglao island's water problem.
The biggest and most reliable water provider hereabout today, the BWUI and the municipal government have agreed to upgrade the water supply/distribution system and expand the service area in Dauis using the P6 million aid from Chatto.

Based on the MOA, the ARN Builders-AsiaMizu will initially extract from Corella's underground source10,000 cm of water daily.
In return, the LGU will earn P1 in royalty fee for each cubic meter of water drawn by the consortium.

Rapal said the consortium pledged to release P500,000 "environment fund" to the LGU six months since the sealing of the contract.
In addition, the commercial water extractor will grant an annual P400,000 "social fund."

But unlike the BWUI, the ARN Builder-AsiaMizu cannot give free water to Corella, the very source of the essential commodity.
The municipality has been consuming water more than the volume granted free to the town per BWUI-LGU agreement.
Thus, the excess would be charged against the royalty fee that the LGU would supposedly get from BWUI.
The LGU would still earn, though, because the town's water consumption would already include the free water from BWUI that the municipal waterworks system has in turn sold to resident-consumers. 

The BWUI has a pending proposal to add wells, and Rapal said the LGU can act on it notwithstanding the entry of the consortium.
It can depend on the action of the Sangguniang Bayan, to which the BWUI plan has been referred, the mayor hinted.
Rapal said the 30-kilometer radius Corella aquifer can definitely sustain additional water extractions for human use as long as the negotiation pursues a "win-win" scheme.

Tagbilaran A Sin City?

Insurance incentives for barangay tanods? Why not?

Seeing the logic behind the move to motivate more police force-multipliers to actively keep crimes at bay in their districts, City Mayor Dan Neri Lim has directed Police Chief Julius Cesar Gornez to study the prospect of giving insurance incentives to barangay tanods hurt in the performance of their duty.

With the order given during the recent City Peace and Order Council Meeting (CPOC) at the Sangguniang Panlungsod Session Hall, the city mayor said he wants the city police to submit the study to his office within five days.

The provincial Government puts up death insurance to barangay peace officers but this does not cover for the government agent's hospitalization and other medical benefits in case of job-related accidents, Gornez told the council.

This as the city police chief assessed that criminality in Tagbilaran is still manageable, especially wit the 86.98% crime solution efficiency as reported.

Despite the relatively high crime solution efficiency, Gornez said he'd bat for improved crime solution efficiency and a faster police response time under his leadership.

Over the insinuation that Tagbilaran has become a Sin City, Mayor Lim reasons out that most crimes reported are amicably settled or does not necessarily involve residents.

"Seven in every ten cases reported by the media gets amicably settled, so there is apparently no need to read all reports over the radio and put up a negative public perception", the mayor pointed out.

Over all these problems, Gornez still cast his hopes that the community continues its key role in crime prevention.

Bohol Island State University

By Ven Arigo

Many poor sons and daughters who have the talent and potential to be useful Bohol citizens now cling to study grants as their best hope in this time of crisis that has pushed quality education seemingly beyond reach.

Their diligence and talents luckily cannot go to waste because there are educational programs that prepare them for a well-deserved future, according to Rep. Edgar Chatto.

A youth and education champion, the lawmaker secured in Congress allocations for various approaches like full scholarship, study grants and educational assistance.

Grateful parents have hailed Chatto's effort, feeling in no other hard time the value of aided education.

They have themselves known of fellow parents who have started to bite their lips despite their having the purse.

Chatto has linked with right agencies like the Commission on Education (CHED), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and Department of Science and Technology (DOST).

Two more scholarship grants were lately offered to college students in the newest tie-up of the solon and DOST.

Securing funds for the Special Study Grant Program for Congressional District (SSGPCD) thru CHED is included in his priority.

Many diligent and talented young Boholanos have accessed to higher educational institutions (HEIs) and state universities and colleges (SUCs), pursuing four-year courses which their parents could not have afforded.

The Central Visayas State College of Agriculture, Forestry and Technology is an institutional witness to the convenience of its enrollees who enjoy the privilege thru Chatto, confided CVSCAFT Scholarship Coordinator Luzviminda Ganas.

Another Chatto initiative, the Congressional Barangay Scholarship Program (CBSP), serves the children of barrio officials.

This is an alternative to the barangay scholarship otherwise mandated by the Local Government Code but which is currently undergoing mechanics refinement for smoother and effective implementation.

Ganas said a new crop of deserving students will soon benefit from another program called the Student Assistance for Education (SAFE).

Its execution scheme is awaiting final CHED approval en route to the study aid's implementation hopefully starting next school year.

SAFE prioritizes fresh enrollees of courses in agriculture, forestry, agro-business, environment, teacher's education and engineering at CVSCAFT, envisioned to become the Bohol Island State University which is the first and only of its kind in the province.

The state school's scholarship coordinator heralded SAFE to cause the revival of interest in courses that directly or indirectly relate to food production.

Ganas wearily observed the evaporating motivation to study farm science, which is otherwise more relevant today.

Bohol Investment Board (BIB)

The Bohol Investment Board (BIB) chaired by Gov. Erico Aumentado recently endorsed two proposed economic zones to the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (Peza).

These are the Frankho Saltern Corp. Properties and the Gershon Pharmaceutical Laboratories, Inc.

Frankho has a 120-hectare area in Barangay Achila in Ubay town. It intends to go into lime processing as well as establish a Jatropha processing plant.

On the other hand, Gershon has 50 hectares, 30 of which are contiguous, in Barangay Tanghaligue in Talibon town. It intends to expand its pharmaceutical laboratories, preferably with a foreign partner, and set up a carrageenan processing facility.

It also intends to go into agricultural research and development, particularly on carrageenan and DHA, an additive for milk, as well as lactose byproducts.

The site is adjacent to Barangay Bagacay, which already has a municipal port – making it doubly ready for when it decides to export its products.

Maria Fe Dominise, head of the Bohol Investment Promotion Center (BIPC) that is the secretariat of the BIB, says economic zones provide physical and non-physical incentives to developers. They enjoy attractive incentives from PEZA and the Board of Investments like waived gross taxes and duty-free imports of equipment.

Local governments also provide incentives. In the case of Bohol, she said on top of realty tax holidays, among others, it also offers assistance in complying with documents and their processing in order to attract investors.

A plus factor in setting up economic zones, she added, is that Peza and the Bureau of Customs (BOC) also locate in the area, making subsequent document processing even easier. - June S. Blanco

Spanish Governance Style in Ancient Past

By Jes Tirol


In the year 1885 there was a government circular requiring the local government to submit the list of local officials involved in law enforcement that was supported by public funds.

The politico-military governor of Bohol during that time was Don Augusto Linares y Pombo. He submitted his report on October 2, 1885.
The report listed all the names of the officials of the 40 towns of the main island of Bohol and the 5 towns of the island of Siquijor. During that time the island of Siquijor was still part of the Province of Bohol. It got separated when Negros Oriental became a separate province in 1892 and Siquijor was attached to Negros Oriental because it was nearer to Dumaguete, which became the capital town of Negros Oriental.

The Officials

The officials listed were, a) Gobernadorcillo (Mayor), b.) Juez de Ganados (Judge for Cattles), c.) Juez de Sementeras (Judge for Farms), d.) Juez de Policia (Judge for Police), e.) Tenientes (Lieutenants), f.) Alguaciles (Constables).

The report also indicated the place of assignments of the officials. The Tenientes and the Alguaciles were what was known as Cuadrilleros or armed law enforcement members, which were similar to our present day policemen.

From the report we can discern that there were already barrios. However, we must bear in mind that those barrios did not have a definite boundary. The names were only given to a rough location of the place. The main subdivision of the town during that time was still the barangay. The barangay was a family grouping of between 40 to 100 families and headed by the Cabeza de Barangay (Family Grouping Head). The members could live anywhere in town but they were under a particular Cabeza de Barangay.

For the sake of posterity I will list the names of the town, its officials, and their assignments. For the whole province of Bohol there were 45 Gobernadorcillos, 120 Juezes, 134 Tenientes, and 432 Alguaciles (Constables).
Tagbilaran, Bohol

A.) For the whole town
1. Don Leoncio Torralba – Gobernadorcillo (Mayor)
2. Don Tomas Jalap – Teniente No. 1 (1st Lieutenant)
3. Don Claudio Gallares – Juez de Ganados (Judge for Cattles)
4. Don Narciso Bustamante – Juez de Sementeras (Judge for Farms)
5. Don Galo Lumutjang – Juez de Policia (Judge for Police)
6. Don Hilarion Remolador – Teniente No. 2 (2nd Lieutenant)
7. Don Apolinario Butalid – Alguacil No. 1 (Constable #1)
8. Don Pio Tiroy – Alguacil No. 2 (Constable #2)
9. Don Doroteo Castro – Alguacil No. 3 (Constable # 4)
10. Don Simeon Dacaldacal – Alguacil No. 4 (Constable #4)
11. Don Mariano Tiroy – Alguacil No. 5 (Constable #5)
12. Don Julian Maslog – Alguacil No. 6 (Constable #6)
B.) For Public Works (Note: They supervised the compulsory "polo.")
1. Don Francisco Orimaco – Alguacil No. 1
2. Don Ano Enero - Alguacil No.  2
3. Don Silvestre Tabinao – Alguacil No. 3
4. Don Miguel Mingoc – Alguacil No. 4
5. Don Pedro Bueno – Alguacil No. 5
6. Don Mariano Bugas – Alguacil No. 6
C.) Assigned in the Barrio of Taloto. (Note: This was a kind of police outpost)
1. Don Martin Posta – Teniente
2. Don Bernardo Celada – Alguacil No. 1
3. Don Maximo Delusa – Alguacil No. 2
4. Don Hilarion Torillo – Alguacil No. 3
D.) Assigned at the outpost at Barrio Mansasa
1. Don Juan Pilayre – Teniente
2. Don Pedro Piñones – Alguacil No. 1
3. Don Victorio Diayon – Alguacil No. 2
4. Don Juan Putong – Alguacil No. 3

The Gobernadorcillo (Mayor) was the overall head of the civil aspect of the town. The Parish Priest was in-charge of the religious aspect of the town and he was higher in rank than the gobernadorcillo.

The Juez de Ganados was in-charge of deciding cases that involves animals. The Juez de Sementeras was in-charge of cases involving farms and land disputes. The Juez de Policia was in-charge of cases that involves criminalities. Some years later these three judges was replaced by a single judge called Juez de Paz or Justice of the Peace. These judges were not necessarily lawyers. Lawyers were still very rare during that time.

In fact my research could only identify three (3) private practicing lawyers in Bohol during that time. They were don Gabriel Oppus of Baclayon, Don Bernabe Reyes of Dauis, and Don Manuel Miñoza of Tagbilaran. (Note: Manuel Miñoza was from Argao, Cebu and got married in Calape, Bohol and practiced law in Tagbilaran). Don Bernabe Reyes went to Cebu and became an Alcalde de Ayuntamento or Board Member of the province of Cebu. Don Gabriel Oppus got married in Maasin, Leyte and resided there.

The Tenientes and the Alguaciles, aside from police work, functioned also like the modern day "Lupon ng Tagapayapa" of our Barangay Law system.

About Fr. Josemaria Salutan Luengo

By Atoy Cosap

Relatives and friends of the late Rev. Fr. Josemaria Salutan Luengo can bid their last farewell on Tuesday before he will be laid to rest at the Tubigon Catholic Cemetery after a requiem mass at 9 a.m. at the St. Isidore Parich Church in Tubigon, Bohol .

Fr. Luengo, who had been an inspiration to many, passed away last August 29, due to complications following a stroke in 2004.  It maybe recalled that sometime in 2000, Fr. Luengo undergone a heart by-pass operation in the United States.

Some of his greatest legacies of being a priest, educator, and philanthropist were the establishments of Mater Dei College and Salus Institute of Technology in Cabulijan, Tubigon, Bohol.  He also supported the studies of some deserving youth who later became priests, CPAs, mentors, engineers and other professionals.

Oyong as he fondly called by his relatives and friends, Fr. Luengo founded Mater Dei College in 1983 and Salus institute of Technology in 1998.  Now, the schools have expanded as the enrollment keeps on increasing every semester or school year.

Fr. Luengo was a historian.  He authored several books urging the Boholanos to preserve cultural heritage.  In fact, he wrote book claiming that the first treaty of friendship between Datu Sikatuna and Miguel Lopez de Legaspi was done in Loay, Bohol and not at Bool District, Tagbilaran City .

He was a linguist, can speak and write in Visayan, Tagalog, English, French, Latin, Greek, and Italian; and has comprehension in German, Portuguese, Niponggo, Chinese and Arabic.

Fr. Luengo was ordained priest at the age of 26 by Francis Cardinal Speliman of New York during the National Eucharistic Congress in Manila on November 30, 1956.  His first assignment was at the Diocese of Tagbilaran.

Luengo finished his masteral and doctoral degrees in the famous universities in America and Europe.
Fr. Luengo's deeds serve as an inspirations to the poor who hunger for knowledge in this commercialized system of education.

Pinoy Lawyers: Mandatory Continuing legal Education

Some 120 Boholano lawyers and few others from nearby provinces are expected to attend the 36-unit Mandatory Continuing legal Education (MCLE) seminar at the Bohol Tropics Resort Hotel, this city starting tomorrow.

 The seminar, which will culminate on Thursday, is sponsored by the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP), Bohol chapter with the University of the Philippines, Institute on Judicial Administration (UP-IJA) as service provider.

According to lawyer Isabelo Sales Jr., IBP president, the 4-days seminar would enable participants to complete the mandatory requirement for the compliance period 2007 to 2009 as directed by the Supreme Court.

Sales said that the high court has recently ruled that lawyers who are unable to comply with the MCLE requirement would be prohibited from the practice of law even if they are lawyers.

Among the subject courses in the seminar are substantive and procedural law, the writ of Amparo and Habeas Data, Environmental laws, properly registration law and international law, among others.

Sales urged all Boholano lawyers to attend the seminar not only because of the minimal cost, but the fact it is held here and that it is also a complete 36-units MCLE course. (

Discount Sale at Island City Mall (ICM)

By Ariel Fullido
Press Release

The big sale is back!
It's a great shopping adventure with savings galore as Island City Mall will hold a 3-Day Sale on September 19, 20, and 21, where up to 50% discount will be given away on great selections at the Home & Fashion Department and tenant shops.

During the sale, the mall is open until 12 midnight on September 20, Saturday, featuring Viva Hotbabe and one of the country's hottest sexy stars, Katya Santos, at the Activity Center at 8 PM. The event is presented by Viva Video, in cooperation with Bohol Tropics, Grand Luis Lodge in Mariveles, Dauis, and Rai-Rai Ken.

Other events during the 3-Day Sale include: September 19 (Friday) – 9th Provincial Tourism Quiz at the Activity Center and Sunnex Cooking Demo with Celebrity Chef Tristan Encarnacion of GMA-7's "Unang Hirit" at the Foodwalk, from 1 PM to 5 PM; September 20 (Saturday) – Denim Fashion Show at 3 PM and Kids Quest Grand Finals at 5 PM, both at the Activity Center; and September 21 (Sunday) – "Cheers & Moves: Level Up" Cheerdance Competition Grand Showdown at 2 PM and Mossimo Fashion Show with Brownbuds at 4 PM, both at the Activity Center.  
 A certified sex symbol, Katya Santos is one of the original elite sexy members of the Viva Hot Babes. She started her career on the Philippine television series "Ang TV" and "Oki Doki Doc" at the age of 13, and went on to star in a number of sizzling movies such as "Radyo," "Sexdrive," "Keka," and many more. 

Katya also releases a number of sizzling videoke CDs and DVDs through her "Wet, Wild, and Kinky" album, and promotes other singles such as "Basketbol" and "Bulaklak." Her voluptuous bodies also graced numerous men's magazines, including FHM and Hot Stuff. She was Tanduay's official calendar girl in 2004. Katya also starred in the boob tube playing the role of Morita Ponce in the TV adaptation of "Hiram na Mukha." 

When not busy, Katya keeps her hands full managing her pizza parlor business, along with her non-showbiz boyfriend. 

Philippine National Police (PNP) Summit

Bohol will be in the limelight anew with the holding of the Philippine National Police (PNP) Women Summit 2008 dubbed as 5th National Biennial Summit on Women in Policing, in coordination with Soroptimist International Philippines Region (SIPR) scheduled at the posh Bohol Plaza Resort and Restaurant, Dayo Hill, barangay Mayacabac, Dauis town.

The summit will kick off on Thursday and culminates on Saturday.

This development surfaced after Bohol PNP Provincial Director, PSSupt. Edgardo Casiguran Ingking disclosed to the media the holding of the summit. Most likely it would deal on the present issues and concerns involving female PNP members.

Expected to attend in the three-day summit are some 500 women PNP officers and PNCOs nationwide who are handling Women's and Children's Desk, Family Juvenile Gender Development, Police Community Relations and vital designations to tackle pressing issues and concerns relating to the police service. 

The Bohol PNP Boss in his capacity as host police province enjoins women PNP personnel in Bohol to attend the once in a lifetime activity as this will enhance their capabilities as women law enforcers and as part of development  in the gender awareness program of the PNP.

Expected to attend  as Guest during the opening rites of the Summit is the Governor of the province of Bohol and former President of the Governor's league of the Philippines, Hon. Erico Aumentado, who is requested by the organizers to deliver a welcome message to the participants. 

It can be remembered that the 2007 Women Summit was held in Davao City where Bohol PNP also sent Women PNP personnel's who attended the annual activity.

City Budget Planning Issue

Planning for the 2009 Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) budget will push through even as city executive officials will not participate in its deliberations.

City Vice Mayor Jose Antonio Veloso told the Chronicle that the 2009 SP budget programming and planning workshop will be rescheduled this week.

Earlier, City Mayor Dan Lim snubbed an invitation from the SP to attend the budget planning originally scheduled on Friday at the Bohol Beach Club .

Lim likewise informed SP secretary Mansueta Sale that city planning and development officer Eduardo Macalandag, city budget officer Rosemarie Palma and city local government operations officer Mardonio Roxas will not be attending the budget workshop.

According to Veloso, the members of the Sanggunian agreed to invite the mayor and the three city officials to be guided with the policy directions of the executive.

The vice mayor explained that it is not only the preparation of the budget that needs to be taken up but also formulating a legislative-executive agenda.

In his letter to the SP, Lim said he was "constrained not to honor the invitation in deference to the separation between the executive and legislative."

"The planning workshop is an internal matter that is best left for the (SP)," the mayor said. 
Lim added that his presence and officials of the executive department will "only disturb such deliberations." 

In the invitation, Sale requested the mayor to come during the opening program and deliver a short inspirational message. 

At the same time, Sale requested the presence of Macalandag, Palma and Roxas. 

Their presence was intended to "assist and guide [SP members] during the whole process." 
In his reply to the invitation, the mayor pointed out that some members of the SP "have repeatedly encroached into the performance of the functions and responsibilities of the executive department." 

"I will not allow any official or employee of the Executive Department to commit the same mistake," Lim stressed. 

Development Projects Fair: Showcase

Having been graduated in the past two poverty fairs, this time, the provincial government embarks on the next phase - now, it's development projects in the show at the Bohol Cultural Center in October.

It serves as the next phase after the two annual Bohol poverty fairs successfully facilitated linkages with funding agencies for the different poverty reduction projects of the participating municipalities and the capital city.

The annual tradition was launched in October 2006 as Poverty Fair: A Marketplace of Poverty Reduction Initiatives.
The second chapter was on October 16-17, last year. Then the tentative schedule this year is October 17, but with the new banner, Bohol Development Fair.    

In the event, the participating local government units (LGUs) put up booths at the cultural center where they can display the profiles of their development projects, then the potential funding institutions- -foreign and local- -will go around, assess them, and pick out which ones they would want to sponsor.

The Provincial Planning and Development Office (PPDO) under the leadership of lawyer, John Titus Vistal, has been continuously coordinating with all the Municipal Planning and Development Offices (MPDOs) in coming up with impressive presentations of the projects.

The PPDO assists the MPDOs in drafting proposals of development projects for implementation in their respective municipalities.
These development projects have been designed to uplift the standard of living of townsfolk and further improve the economic activity in the rural areas of Bohol .

They also intend to sustain the amount of economic stability achieved throughout the years, as a result of the implementation of several poverty reduction projects.

The PPDO has created a provincial technical team (PTT) organized from among its technical staff. 
"The PTT will be divided into sub-teams to assist and review project proposals generated by the LGUs under their respective assigned cluster of municipalities," according to PPDO.

In identifying committees, different steering and working committees were formed "to take charge of the necessary preparations under the responsibility of each concerned committee". 

In the project identification and development, "members of the Municipal Poverty Reduction Action Teams (MPRATs) identify and develop project proposals using the LPRAP data of the municipality".

Technical personnel of NGOs operating in the municipality or cluster of municipalities also assist the MPRATs in the preparation of projects, according to PPDO. - Angeline Valencia

Breaking News: Robbery Suspect Killed

An unidentified robbery suspect was gunned down during a shootout in a Caltex Gasoline station in Batuan town shortly after 4 p.m. yesterday.

The robbery suspect, about 30 years old, heavy built was shot while two other suspects fled on board a yellow Ramstar motorcycle.

Police said the owner of the gas station, Boyboy Tahale, shot one of the suspects after they carted away cash from the cashier near the gas pump.

Manhunt by the Batuan and Carmen PNP stations was launched immediately after the robbery incident yesterday afternoon.

Mayors Must Develop Tourism Attraction

Tourism Secretary Joseph Ace Durano called on town mayors in the province to develop viable tourist destinations in their respective municipalities.

Durano issued the appeal after he expressed elation on the enthusiasm of LGU Sikatuna in developing the eco-tourism destination, the Sikatuna Tree Park.

Sikatuna Vice Mayor Tranquilina Maniwang received the DOT secretary's commendation for actively developing a site which was conceived in response to a call for an environment-friendly destination.

Town mayors hold a great role in developing new destinations, he stressed while urging them to be receptive and dynamic once tourism stakeholders will provide them with ideas on what are saleable to the visiting tourists.

Durano led tourism attaches of the country during a tree planting activity last Friday. The visiting tourism officials noted the dynamic interaction with the local residents in the area while town and barangay leaders led by Mayor Ireneo Calimpusan were there to welcome the tourism officials.

Sec. Durano said he picked the right place for his tourism attaches to hold their annual planning workshop. He admitted that other areas as Batangas, Palawan were also considered but it was Bohol which was chosen because of what it can offer for a truly "countryside tour."

The group also visited the Tarsier natural habitat in Corella town where Mayor Vito Rapal was on hand for the welcome reception. A lunch at Rio Grande Floating Resto in Loay town and fireflies watching at night completed the tour which came after their two-day working sessions at the Panglao Island Nature Resort. Loay Mayor May Imboy was also on hand to welcome the visiting tourism attaches.

They conducted resort inspection at new properties like Amarela, Amorita, Alona Palm, Eskaya and Peacock Garden where they had their lunch last Wednesday. - Bohol Chronicle

Basketball For A Cause

The DYRD-All Stars basketball team continues to raise funds for the less fortunate residents of the province who seek financial assistance to help defray their medical needs through the DYRD Inyong Alagad Foundation.

The team gets invited by various LGUs for exhibition basketball match in their respective municipalities. 
The latest to invite the radiomen was Corella LGU under Mayor Vito Rapal whose team of local officials and department heads staged an exhibition match last Thursday at the covered court of Corella. The event was part of the town's Foundation Day activities.

The DYRD All Stars led by playing coach Kag. Dandan Bantugan won 110-100 against the host team.

Corella Mayor Rapal and Vice Mayor Epifanio Bolando turned over the P5,000 donation for the Inyong Alagad Foundation.

Julius Herrera for Governor

Nobody is claiming responsibility just as yet about talks circulating around that a so-called Gang of 4 is ganging up the bid of V-Gov. Julius Caesar Herrera for Bohol governor.

 It may be because the source of the story came from opposition channels and therefore "polluted".

 A source who was described as "unimpeachable" leaked to the Post this latest political development saying that Herrera was given the option of running for first district congressman instead of pursuing his gubernatorial dream.

  "Why should I be given this option", Herrera barked when asked over the radio of  the supposed game plan of his administration cohorts.

 He said if given his way, Herrera said he will be the one to give the option to anybody aspiring for governor, not the other way around.

 The latest configuration which reportedly has the blessing of Gov. Erico Aumentado has Cong. Edgar Chatto for governor and Cong. Roberto Cajes for vice governor.

 For Aumentado, it was a potent combination given the logistics of the two who were both graduating congressmen.

 The apparent quid pro quo is for Aumentado to be handed the silver platter of running in his old Congress post which is the second district now occupied by Cajes.

 It was reported that with Aumentado's comeback bid, the ambition of Trinidad Mayor Judith Cajes to succeed her husband will have to be relegated to the back burner.

 As for the third district, the position held  by Adam Relson Jala as congressman will be turned over to his father Eladio in a game that looks every inch like a musical chair--from son to father.

 It was speculated that with the combined firepower of  the Gang of 4 (Aumentado, Chatto, Cajes and Jala) it will be political suicide for Herrera to remain in contention as gubernatorial candidate.

 Some jaded political observers contended that if  Herrera remains unyielding to his ambition, he will have to reckon with at least four swords of Damocles dangling over his head.

 But Herrera appeared undaunted. In circulation since three years ago as the next Bohol governor, he was reported to be raring to go come what may. A Chatto-Herrera showdown is viewed as opposition an giveaway arguing that if this will happen, the two popular candidates will be cannibalizing each other and any opposition stalwart will have to laugh all the way to Capitol.

Bohol Opposition Leader

There's no mistaking that he is being looked up to as the father figure of the opposition. But after seeing it in a different light, he finally admitted that if the challenge is there, why not. The challenge of heading the opposition, that is.

 That's Chito Castillo's curt reply when asked  just what kind of politics he is espousing right now.

 The challenge of injecting new faces into Bohol's electoral system is what Castillo is dreaming of after the province was stampeded with patronage politics all these years.

 But much as he wanted to shy away from any tag given his role in the opposition, his loyalists just cannot help but christen him as their own godfather that will lead the group to its desired objective as the party of choice for the Boholanos.

 With political democracy as his battle cry, he is longing for the day that people will be given a real choice of their leaders.

 Sounding nostalgic, he recalled the days of his father when the two-party system was in vogue.

 A junior of the late congressman  Natalio Castillo,Sr., Chito was privy to the heydays of the Nacionalista and Liberal parties of old.

 Now, everything is being dictated by those in the corridors of power as to who will run the reigns of government, Castillo sighed.

 Is his visibility these days a good measure of things to come?

 Before he was misinterpreted, Castillo was quick to douse cold water to insinuations that he is running for public office.

 He said if he is visible these days, it is because he found the Bohol opposition worth saving as a potent political party.

 The potential of the opposition as a force to reckon with was shown yesterday when he hosted hundreds of leaders all over Bohol. Although there was a sprinkling of leaders from the second and third districts, it was in the first district were most of the leaders came from.

 Just to make sure that Bohol leaders were given the importance they deserve, Castillo invited his friend from way, way back, Sen.Jinggoy Estrada to be on hand to grace the gathering of political supporters. During the Panglao fiesta last week, Estrada was also its guest of honor.

Federal Government in the Philippines

Eye Opener Column
Bohol Sunday Post

In one of the issues of the Post ex Congressman Eladio Boy Jala was of the opinion that time is still early for a charter change. One of his reasons was the escalating Mindanao conflict. This is not reason enough. Charter change would be the answer and it must start now. However, before we start to prove our case, the Mindanao problem should be first analyzed. Then the merits of federalism discussed.

 First of all, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front or MILF is not really a coherent organization. A splinter group of the Moro National Liberation Front, the MILF is only a gathering of warlords, which want to have their cake and eat it too and a group of chosen spokesmen who have no authority over them. They have only a parody of a central government.

 While the latter negotiates with the Manila government for a piece of real estate to be their so-called homeland, the former commits acts of terrorism like banditry, mindless mass murder, extortion and arson. When the government requests the so called leaders to order the field commanders to cease and desist and to hand over the culprits, they can only mouth lame excuses because their designated leaders have no power over their armed contingents Functionally, it is like the case of the tail wagging the dog. It is no wonder why peace negotiations lasted for years.

 If the Philippines were to be federalized, it would follow a different process from the federalization of the United States of America or Switzerland, where non central governments of states or cantons formed a central government. It would be more like the Dominion of Canada whose central government was broken up into provinces with some powers retained by the central government and certain other powers devolved. The processes may vary but the result is the same.

 A non central government or federal unit, whether a province, state or region as proposed for the Philippines , would have powers of local character like taxation or a large part of it, public works, an education system, civil service and summary justice. The central government has powers that deal with finance, foreign or international affairs, peace and war, communications and administration of basic justice.

 A federal unit is a microcosm of the unitary government. It has its executive, legislative and judiciary bodies. The unit has its own constitution and a set of laws, which may be similar or different from other federal units. The regional governor, who is the chief executive, heads the executive body and if the regional constitution allows the local government units like the provinces, the mayors and barangays are retained. The legislative consist of a house of regional representatives, and a regional senate if the government form is bicameral. The region may elect several federal congressmen and senators to the central government.

 The judiciary has its regional Supreme Court, a Court of Appeals several regional trial courts and municipal circuit courts. These courts may impose maximum penalty, which if approved by the regional Supreme Court becomes final and executory unless commuted by the regional governor.

 In the case of the MILF, they will be integrated into the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao, a federal unit for the Muslims. There, they will have to interact with the more sophisticated MNLF and educated Christians. They will have their constitution and local laws based on Islamic tenets while respecting the rights of Christian constituents. Who will have the ruling power depends upon them Muslims, who will be the majority. Being a federal unit, the ARMM will have the same footing as the rest of the federal units of the Philippines .

 Since transition to the final form of federalism is a slow process, the good time to start is now, Mindanao trouble not withstanding. Snags are likely to be encountered and getting used to the federal system after centuries of unitary government would be tedious. Good governments are not attained overnight so the best time is to start now.

Balicasag Island Panglao

By Angeline Valencia

World's top dive site, Balicasag Island, finally caught an advancer of its formal identity with the municipal government of Panglao being in-charge.

 This was after Governor Erico Aumentado and First District Rep. Edgar Chatto asserted in last week's meeting in Manila with national officials, the municipal government's role in the development and protection of Balicasag Island, the top dive site in the province and among the best in the world.

 Aumentado and Chatto discussed the matter with Philippine Tourism Authority (PTA) General Manager Mark Lapid; the flag officer in command, Rear Admiral Ferdinand Golez who led ten delegates from the Philippine Navy; an assistant secretary of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) under the office of Vice-President Noli de Castro; the chief of the Environmental Management Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR-EMB), Julian Amador; some representatives of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR); representatives of the Philippine Coast Guard; and Lawyer Anos Fonacier, representing the Bohol Association of Hotel, Resorts and Restaurants (BAHRR), dive shops in Panglao.

 They agreed to review the old memorandum of agreement between the Philippine Navy and the PTA and draft a different one that will include the local government unit (LGU) of Panglao as one of the parties.

 The LGU's role in Balicasag had been sought amid issues on environment protection and overpopulation.

 The issues cropped up after local stakeholders raised concern on the environmental threats brought about by increasing rate of human activity in Balicasag and the nearby Pamilacan Island in Baclayon town, and encroachment of commercial fishers in the seawaters within the 15-kilometer radius from the terrestrial border of the islands.

 As the issue pointed to the missing intervention of the municipal government, Panglao Mayor Benedicto Alcala had to seek grounds to establish the LGU's jurisdiction on the island.

 On this, Aumentado and Chatto met with the concerned national officials last week in Manila to define the jurisdiction of Panglao municipal government, since earlier discussions and during the executive committee meeting of the Provincial Development Council (PDC) pointed to the authority of the Philippine Navy and PTA on the island.

 Alcala's hesitation to initiate any action on the issues and even in introducing development to the island was traced to an proclamation that subjected the island under the management and jurisdiction of the Philippine Navy and its old MOA with the PTA during the stint of Ramon Binamira Jr. as general manager of the PTA in the 1980s, which missed the LGU's part.

 It was also clarified based on the document that only 1.5 hectares of the 24-hectare area of the island is leased to PTA.

 This means the regulation of the remaining area of 22.5 hectares is under the Philippine Navy. There was no provision identifying the role of LGU-Panglao, Aumentado explained.

 It was the loophole that the governor saw in the situation, and is what Alcala said has been holding him back to initiate development in the island.

 Aumentado also pointed out that the jurisdiction of the municipal government of Panglao is significant, being the only entity that can draft ordinances and regulatory measures, especially on the seawaters surrounding the island.