23rd International Coastal Clean-Up

The town of Garcia Hernandez celebrated last Saturday the 23rd International Coastal Clean-Up with activities at coastal and some upland barangays highlighted by a clean-up.

About 100 countries participated the celebration. It is a global initiative started in 1986 by The Ocean Conservancy (TOC) and is celebrated by virtue of Presidential Proclamation No. 244 series of 2003 in the Philippines.

Bohol supports this activity through an Executive Order No. 14 series of 2004 - mandating the Bohol's participation in the yearly ICC.

Also participating was the Multi Sectoral Environmental Monitoring Body (MSEMB), a group organized by the Bohol Integrated Development Foundation, Inc. (BIDEF) through their project Partnership in Advocacy for Sustainable Environment Objectives (PASEO) now People's Response Advancing Initiatives for Sustainable Environment (PRAISE) in Garcia-Hernandez.

It was the group's fourth consecutive year in the activity since they were first organized. The group is composed of members and leaders of different sectors in the community such as the fisher folk's organization, farmers organization, the youth sector, women's sector, church, business industry, and the LGU.

A total 380 bags of trash were collected. And from some data cards gathered from the municipality of Jagna, it showed that they collected 47 bags of trash. 

Bohol Tourists Police Undergo World-class Training in Lost Horizon Resort

Selected policemen will undergo a highly intensive and sophisticated training, specializing on the needs of tourists, both local and foreign. They are now undergoing a one-week, stay-in training at Lost Horizon Resort in Panglao under Filipino, German, Korean and Japanese experts.

This after the National Police Commnission (Napolcom) En Banc approved the creation of the Bohol Tourist Police Unit.

After the high caliber training, they will be distributed among Panglao, Carmen, Loboc, Sagbayan and Corella. The mayors of the five municipalities are working with Napolcom Region 7, PNP Provincial Director Edgardo C. Ingking and Consultant Holger Horn.

Ces Drilon in her ABS-CBN program in 2001 said that the first Tourist Police is that of Panglao, Bohol and that other provinces intend to follow suit. That is why Napolcom Region 7 chose Panglao as the site for the first ever comprehensive tourist police training in the Philippines. Lately, Thailand has the best tourist police program in the world. However, an observer from Thailand said that the current Bohol Tourist Police Training methods would put Bohol ahead of Thailand.

Other provinces have shown interest in the project. There may be subsequent trainings at the Bohol Tourist Police Centre in Panglao to accommodate trainees from other provinces.

Napolcom Regional Director Bernardo Calibo Jr. said, the reason why Napolcom Region 7 is focusing on tourism is because tourists are becoming the main source of government revenue. There is now more income from tourism than in traditional industries. In Israel, 60% of its income comes from tourism. Spain earns more from tourism than Saudi Arabia earns from oil.

It is clear therefore why the socioeconomic development of Bohol depends to a large extent on tourism. Tourism, in turn, depends on a peace and order acceptable to tourists. Peace and order, in turn, depends on the quality of the Tourist Police. It follows therefore, that the socioeconomic development of Bohol, to a large extent, rests on the shoulders of the Tourist Police.

A former JICA head in the Philippines said that the Philippines could become No. 1 in tourism in Asia. The Philippines has an edge over the other countries because "it is only in the Philippines that we Japanese experience genuine hospitality." Apparently, this sentiment is experienced by other foreigners. The only missing element for Philippines to be No. 1 in tourism is peace and order, according to the JICA head.

In the case of Region 7, the missing element of peace and order is now in place.

Region 7 won the "Best Regional Peace and Order Council Award" recently. Region 7 does not have to wait for the rest of the Philippines. Region 7 can now proceed to be No. 1 in Asia, based on the estimate of the former JICA head. Today, the Philippines. Tomorrow, Asia.

It starts with the Bohol Tourist Police. Better than Thailand. World-class. - Bohol Chronicle

Balilihan Town Celebrates 180th Birthday

By Nimia M. Lungay

The 180th Foundation Day anniversary, SUMAD 2008 of the municipality of Balilihan will be tomorrow, which falls on the last day of the Environment Week celebration.

The week-long celebration opened last Tuesday, with the raising of the national, provincial, municipal flags. The 31 barangay flags were raised for the first time simultaneously with the municipal flag. The presentation of the eight candidates for Miss Balilihan SUMAD 2008 followed after which the Tree Planting in the Municipal Tree Park adjacent to CVSCAFT - Balilihan campus was done by the LGU Officials and employees and the CVSCAFT students. 

The Coastal Clean-up along the Abatan River Balilihan portion was done by the Special Forces of the 4th SF 2nd BN, SOCOM PA based in Baucan. The whole day of September 24 was the Sports Fest participated in by teams of the LGU, ABC, Dep-Ed and National agencies based in Balilihan. The Municipal CIVAC in Haguilanan Grande and the neighboring barangays is set on September 25, 2008. Aside from the medical and dental services with free medicines from the PCSO supplementary feeding, deworming of ruminants, haircut and massage are among the services offered. 

The whole day of September 26 will be the gathering of agricultural and cottage industries products from the 31 barangays and the putting up of exhibits in the booths situated beside the Municipal Hall premises. In the evening the Talent's Night for the Miss Balilihan Sumad 2008 will be held at Assemblyman Eladio I. Chatto Sports and Cultural Center/municipal gym.

The opening of the Agri Fair will be at 2:00 P.M. on September 27, 2008. To lead the guests in the ribbon cutting rites are Congressman Edgar M. Chatto, Vice Governor Julius Caesar Herrera with the three Sangguniang Panlalawigan Board Members, Hon. Cesar Tomas M. Lopez, Hon. Alfonso R. Damalerio II and Hon. Jose E. Veloso. The Regional Executive Director of Region 7, Ricardo Oblena will lead the agricultural officers with PATCO Bohol APC Project Manager Engr. Eugene Cahiles, Provincial Agriculturist Liza M. Quirog and Provincial Veterinarian Stella Lapiz. Other heads of the agencies, DTI Provincial Director Nanette Arbon, DOLE Provincial Director Wilson Cenas and Provincial Tourism Officer Josephine R. Cabarrus and the Municipal Officials led by Mayor Victoria M. Chatto and Vice Mayor Dominisio L. Chatto will assist in the opening rites. To bless the 37 booths is Rev. Fr. Reuben Neron L. Angcla of Mt. Carmel Parish.

After a short program inside the Agri Fair area with Congressman Edgar M. Chatto and Vice Gov. Julius Caesar Herrera as the speakers, the Launching of the LGU Bagsakan Center will cap the activity in Poblacion.

The Ground Breaking of the TESDA Training Center in Cabad will immediately follow. To lead the capsule laying are Congressman Edgar M. Chatto and TESDA Regional Director Rossana Urdaneta and Provl. Director Francisca Opog. The Provincial Vice Governor and the three Provincial Board Members and the rest of the invited guests who assisted in the opening of the Agri Fair will join the ground breaking.

In the morning of September 28, 2008, DAR Secretary Nasser C. Pangandaman will lead the guests in the site visit to the ARCDP Farm to Market Road Project in Boyog Sur to San Roque. Visits to vegetable gardens and farms starting in the LGU Demo Farm and Green House will be done with Regional Executive Director Ricardo Oblena of the Department of Agriculture leading the guests.

Towards noon the Ribbon Cutting of the Congressional Library led by National Library Director Prudenciana Cruz and of the Two-Storey CVSCAFT building in Magsija, Balilihan led by SUC President Elpidio Magante will be done.

Hon. Congressman Edgar M. Chatto and Gov. Erico B. Aumentado will lead the ceremony together with the Municipal Mayors and Vice Mayors of District I.

Lunch will be served at the Municipal Presidencia. Starting at 2:00 p.m. three major activities will happen; the Launching of Programs, the Turn - over of Projects and the Street Dancing competition.

DAR Secretary Nasser C. Pangandaman will lead the guests from the national, regional, provincial and municipal offices in the Launching of the Agrarian Reform Infrastructure Program (ARISP III) of the DAR with Gov. Erico B. Aumentado and the three Congressman of Bohol; Hon. Edgar M. Chatto, Hon. Roberto Cajes and Hon. Adam Relson Jala together with the Mayors and the four LGU beneficiaries of ARISP III, Mayor Victoria M. Chatto of Balilihan, Mayor Bert Salinas of Catigbian, Mayor Pedro Miasco of Alicia and Mayor Louis Thomas Gonzaga of Danao will be on hand to join the launching ceremony.

The LGU Green House and Demo Farm will be launched next. To do the honors are Regional Director Ricardo Oblena, Gov. Erico B. Aumentado, APC Project Manager Eugene Cahiles, Provl. Agriculturist Liza M. Quirog and the Municipal Officials led by the Mayor Victoria M. Chatto.

Finally, the launching of Congressman Edgar M. Chatto's program "A Tree For Life" will be launched with the first district Congressman and Gov. Erico B. Aumentado leading the rites. All District 1 Mayors & Vice Mayors and the Balilihan LGU officials who are the implementers of the Program will assist in the launching.

The Turn-over of the Congressional Library and the Two - Storey CVSCAFT Building - Balilihan Extension Classes will follow. National Library Director Prudenciana Cruz and SUC President Elpidio Magante of CVSCAFT system will receive the projects together with Cong. Edgar M. Chatto, Gov. Erico B. Aumentado and the 1st District Mayors and Vice Mayors and the LGU officials.

The Street Dancing competition which follows the Costume Parade will cap the afternoon's activities.

In the evening at 7:00 o'clock, the Search and Coronation of Miss Balilihan Sumad 2008 will be held at the municipal gym. The eight contenders for the title are the following candidates: District I - Mary Mae Horohoro; District 2 - Marifel Ongayo; District 3 - Mary Glenn Limocon; District 4 - Maria Edcel Sebandal; District 5 - Fiona Mara Geangan; District 6 - Maria Tifanny Tabigue; District 7 - Jo Ann Regudo; District 8 - Melody Joy Conol.

September 29, 2008, the Foundation Day of the municipality will open with the Misa Pasalamat at the municipal gym. Concelebrants of the mass will be Rev. Fr. Reuben Neron L. Angcla; Rev. Fr. Alex Nalitan and Rev. Fr. Crisolito R. Geangan. The Program and Awarding Ceremonies will follow the mass. Awards for the Best Puroks, the Best Booths, Pinaka Products, Winners of the Street Dancing and Filipiniana Costume will be awarded by Cong. Edgar M. Chatto and the Municipal Officials.

To cap the day's activities will be the PISTA SA SUMAD at the gym. The 31 barangays and 5 schools in the municipality will celebrate their fiesta in their respective tables with their invited guests. This day is a dual celebration of SUMAD, the 180th birthday of the municipality and the 7th death anniversary of the town's longest serving Mayor, Hon. Eladio Ibarra Chatto. 

Join Annual Provincial Tourism Quiz

By Fiel Adulf Mitra

In celebration of the National Tourism Week, the much-awaited Annual Provincial Tourism Quiz this year was finally witnessed by tourism stakeholders and enthusiasts at the Island City Mall Entertainment Center last Friday, September 19, 2008. The annual tourism competition is initiated by the Bohol Island Tour Guides Association of the Philippines , Inc. (BITGAP).

It has been sustained as the only annual tourism activity for the past eight years held every tourism month of September. The annual feat has become institutionalized and anticipated every year by schools, tourism and cultural workers and Boholanos who want to know more about what the beautiful province of Bohol can offer in terms of tourism sites, standards, services, cultural assets and projects as well as Bohol arts and environmental conservation.

BITGAP initiated the activity in 1999 with the objective of promoting and creating tourism and cultural awareness among Boholanos most especially among students who can contribute greatly to the development and protection of existing as well as emerging eco-cultural destinations and services in the province.

Jisa Logaos and Ronna Mary Legaspo of San Agustin National High School (Sagbayan) emerged as the grand champion after competing with eight other District school-finalists. Tito Niones was their coach. They received the first-of-its kind Annual Tourism Quiz Trophy which will be displayed at their Sagbayan campus, Pamilacan Dolphin and Whale Watching tour certificate and get to stay overnight at Panglao Island Nature Resort.

The second placer came from the third district, Rachel Panuncialman and Helbert Policios of Policronio S. Dano, Sr. High School of Carmen. Benneth A. Cesar was their coach. Tambongan High School's Jovit R. Aleria and Ma. Princess Sofea P. Portillano of Candijay grabbed the third prize with their coach Flora T. Virtudazo.

The second and third prize winners received a trophy, certificates of achievement and a certificate for an overnight stay at Alona Kew and Tierra Azul beach resorts, respectively.

The District Level winners were treated to a luncheon at Bakstiq restaurant right after the competition.

It may be recalled that BITGAP conducted elimination rounds in Bohol's three congressional districts. A total of 55 schools all over the province (excluding the City schools) joined the District elimination round.

The eliminations were held at the New Calape Cultural Center and Sports Complex (1st District) last June 27, 2008; President Magsaysay Center in Ubay (2nd District) on July 25, 2008 and just recently at the Carmen Cultural Center (3rd District) last August 29, 2008. BITGAP is grateful to the various town mayors who expressed so much interest in providing support to the activity, which is the first-of-a-kind in the Province of Bohol. The previous years' tourism quiz competitions were only held in the City of Tagbilaran.

Mayors Sulpicio Yu, Jr. of Calape, Eutiquio M. Bernales of Ubay and Manuel R. Molina of Carmen threw their all out support to BITGAP and made the event successful. The local executives provided technical and logistical support and made sure that the local schools, government workers and out-of-school youth witnessed the said affair.

The other finalists from the three Congressional districts in the Province of Bohol who vied for the grand prize were Analyn Gallibot and Haneszel Mae Flores of Pagnitoan High School (Maribojoc); Andresa Taganas and Mary Grace Gujilde of Pangangan High School (Calape); Rosa Epifania Lara and Christie Amor Estrada of Sandingan High School (Loon) for the first District. The Second District were represented by Rogina Rosagaran and Jefferson Suello of Campao Oriental High School (Getafe); Julius Fornolles and Belinda Piloton of San Isidro High School (San Isidro). Aside from Tambongan and Policronio S. Dano Sr. high schools, the Third District was represented by Dallivel Agravante and Realyn Ganzon of Sierra-Bullones National High School (Sierra-Bullones).They were assisted by their coaches and advisers.

City Level competition

Thirteen City Schools participated in the City level contest. They included Dr. Cecilio Putong National High School, Cogon Night High School, Tagbilaran City Science High School, Grace Christian School, Bohol Wisdom School, Holy Name University, Central Visayas State College of Agriculture, Forestry and Technology (CVSCAFT) - Tagbilaran City Campus, Manga National High School, San Isidro High School, Mansasa High School, Holy Spirit School and Bohol Institute of Technology's Day and Night departments.

The City level competition did not end without a fight. Bohol Wisdom School contested the answer to the question on the exact date when the Bohol Hymn was first sung publicly by a female choir of the College of the Holy Spirit of Tagbilaran. According to their reference, it was on March 2, 1970. The quizmaster acknowledged the answer March 1, 1970 of Holy Name University, Dr. Cecilio Putong National High School and Holy Spirit School as the correct answer. The judges decided to nullify the question and replaced it with another after conflicting sources surfaced. After the replacement question was asked, three schools tied in the third place.

In a verification made by BITGAP, it was later found out that the correct date is March 1, 1970 based on the copy of the Bohol Provincial Hymn Official Publication.

"Said to be the worst debacle of the Boholanos in the fight against the Americans was on a hill in Jagna when a local fighter treacherously led the Americans to massacre the Boholano fighters resting in foxholes for a Holy Week retreat. Specifically, where did this event happen?" This was the last question which confronted Holy Spirit School (HSS), Dr. Cecilio Putong National High School (DCPNHS) and Bohol Wisdom School in a breath-halting tie breaker play-off for 3rd place. DCPNHS seniors Maribeth Cemine and Ronard Paña eked out the victory and were declared winners by the quizmaster and Bohol Island Tour Guides Association of the Philippines, Inc. (BITGAP) President Danny C. Nazareno after the said school gave the correct answer Lonoy, Jagna. The students were under the tutelage of Ms. Raflyn Salutan.

Holy Name University grabbed the grand prize. Nikki Charmaine Reambonanza and Jehra Marie Tan together with their coach Asuncion Pabalan will experience a Pamilacan Island Dolphin and Whale Watching Tour and get to stay overnight at the Bohol Beach Club as part of their grand prize. HNU also received the first-of-its kind Annual Tourism Quiz Trophy which will also be displayed at the HNU Dampas campus.

Senior students Ronn Patrick L. Guingguing and Mark John A. Aparre of Tagbilaran City Science High School bagged this year's second place. Their adviser was Ms. Angelita Macarayan.

All the winners at the City level received a trophy, certificates of achievement, gift packs from Department of Tourism, Assumpta Pilgrim Center and Island Tours. In addition, the second and third prize winners will get to stay overnight at Amarela beach resort and Balicasag Island Dive Resort, respectively.

All participating senior high school students received certificates of participation from BITGAP.

Other tourism stakeholders who threw support to this year's competition included Bea Zobel de Ayala, Jr. who provided the Annual Tourism Quiz "eternal" Trophy to the grand champions which will be handed over to next year's winning schools, Congressmen Edgar M. Chatto and Roberto Cajes , Vice-Governor Julius Ceasar Herrera, Island City Mall, Amarela Beach Resort, Panglao Island Nature resort and Spa, Vest Pension House, Bohol Beach Club, Alona Kew White Beach Resort, Balicasag Island Dive Resort, Tierra Azul- Alina Beach House, Aproniana Souvenir Shop, Dunkin Donuts, Bohol Bee Farm, Assumpta Pilgrim Center, JJ's Seafood Village, Bakstiq, Julie's Bakeshop, Weesam Express, Long River Floating Restaurant, Supercarp,50 Karat Jewelry Pawnshop, Bohol Federation of Travel and Tour Operators and Byahi Na!! Car-Van Rental and Tour Services.

This year's Tourism Quiz is also with support from the Department of Tourism - Region 7, Provincial Government of Bohol through the Bohol Tourism Office , Department of Education, City Schools Division and the Bohol Association of Catholic Schools.

This year's 9th Annual Provincial Tourism Quiz committee was headed by Mr. Marc Brian Mascarinas. The program was hosted by Eric Cruz. The members of the panel judges were Ms. Josephine R. Cabarrus from the Bohol Tourism Office as the Chairperson, Ms. Lourdes T. Sultan of Travel Village and Tours and Ms. Grace M. Tachado, Vice-President of Bohol Island Tour Guides Association of the Philippines, Inc. as members. Other quiz officials included Mr. Ronald Pantanosas, timer and bellringer, Ms. Caridad Galia and Mr. Racel Loquellano as scorers. The quiz was ably assisted by BITGAP members Alicia Dango, Marlyn Estillore, Sarah Malayo, Aimee Alegarbes, Socorro Marie de la Serna, Agnes Ytac, Gerry Cuadrasal, Joseph Ruel Familar, Ma. Elba Labad, Fritzie Mae Zamora , Jessica Ugboc and Vicky Visarra who served as proctors.

Documentation was made possible by John Dominic Migriño and Duplex Mitra. - The Bohol Chronicle

Kids Holiday in October as Children's Month

By Ariel Fullido

Kids are in for another wonderful treat this Children's Month of October in the Kids Holiday at the Island City Mall, from October 1 to 31, highlighted by a month-long kiddie sale, a magical show, model search for kids, and giveaway treats.

At the Home & Fashion Department, up to 10% off are given away on selected children's wear and footwear for the whole month of October in the Weekend Sale.

Kids can also get free ice cream, cotton candy and snack cup for every minimum purchase of P500 at any participating Children's Sections at the Home & Fashion Department. Just present the receipt at the Home & Fashion Customer Service Counter. For a minimum purchase of P500 also at the Home & Fashion Department, kids can get cartoon characters and super heroes pillows at P95 each only.

This coming Saturday, October 4, kids can join the Magical Kiddie Show at 2 PM, at the Promotional Area 1 at the Home & Fashion Department. For smart, cute and talented little girls, aged 7 to 10 years, they can join the Search for "Little Fashionista" 2008 conducted every Saturday, 3 PM, at the Promotional Area 1 at the Home & Fashion Department. The grand finals is scheduled on October 25.

To join, just present a receipt with a minimum of P500 purchase at any participating Children's Sections at the Home & Fashion Department. Fill-up an entry form and submit a photocopy of birth certificate at the Home & Fashion Customer Service Counter.

The month of October has been declared as National Children's Month as part of the worldwide celebration of Universal Children's Day that was formally established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1954. 

National Senior Citizens Week

The National Senior Citizens Week will kick off on Wednesday with a recollection at the St. Joseph Cathedral.

Activities were ironed out during the Tagbilaran City Federated Senior Citizens Association (FSCA) meeting at the Senior Citizens Model Center, K of C Drive, this city and finalized in a special meeting at the City DSWD Office led by Frederick Go, Federated Presidents, Board of Directors and Federated Officers.

ACTIVITIES

Oct 1 (Wednesday) 8:30 a.m. - Recollection-St. Joseph Cathedral Speaker-Msgr. Margarito Gonzaga; 10:20-Holy Mass; 11:30-Home Sweet Home; Oct 2 (Thursday)-Visit to the Home for the Aged and Tree Planting and Beautification of their own places; Oct 3 (Friday)-Visit to Day Care Centers (Poblacion 2); Oct 4 (Saturday)-Chapter Activity (Party/ Picnic Tour) Dominguez Beach Resort; Oct 5 (Sunday)-Holy Mass and Movie with Family; Oct 6 (Monday)-Visit to Sick members; Oct 7 (Tuesday)-Culmination Program-Cogon Barangay Gym.

There will be a culmination program which includes welcome address of its president Frederick Go; literary musical presentation; parade of senior couples with their presidents, production number in old songs and dances, presentation of popular grandpas and grandmas, intermission numbers; honoring of popular grandfathers and grandmothers and many more.

The increase of chapter numbers, its development and success in all its activities and projects; quality of its meeting procedures; reports; active participation and closer camaraderie, unity, cooperation and immediate answer to every need of every member are indications of the success and development of every chapter and the federated association as a whole.

The group would like to thank its supporters especially to City Mayor Dan Neri Lim; Deputy Mayor Mario Uy; Botika sa katawhan, Dr. Teresita Villafuerte, City DSWD Officer; Mark Leo Monton, Chief GSO; Atty. Oscar Glovasa and Dr. Porticos.

Waste Water Treatment Facility for Tagbilaran

Tagbilaran City Mayor Dan N. Lim told the Chronicle that he had opted to do the "longer route" in seeking for funding of the Waste Water Treatment Facility in Taloto district.

This means that the Provincial Development Council will have to endorse it to the Regional Development Council on October 17 to be included in the current National Budget deliberations that is going on in Congress at full blast.

Much earlier, Governor Rico Aumentado had volunteered to sponsor the inclusion of the environmental facility in the National Budget together with Congressman Edgar Chatto of the First District. But the Mayor insisted then to do the bank funding route.

The mayor stressed his target date remains, however, at December 2008 to start the German-technology-based water treatment equipment erection for operation in 2009.

He said that the advanced high-technology allows the equipment to process waste and convert it into potable water.

Mayor Lim said his medium-term plan is to rechannel the gallons for converted potable water into a vast area (costing P 12-Million for the land) near the facility which will become a nature park. However,he disclosed City Hall does not yet have a perspective of the planned park.

Other municipalities wanting to utilise the water treatment facility for waste conversion will be welcomed for a fee, the city executive explained.

The other financial route would have been for the City to seek the approval of the Development Bank of the Philippines for a "jumbo credit line" in the vicinity of P 500-Million to cover the Water Treatment Facility, Waste Management Facility and the concreting of roads.

30 DAYS ULTIMATUM ON 38 VIOLATORS

The embattled City Chief Executive also said that City Hall will be in tandem with the DENR in implementing the "forced" disconnection of all illegally-tapped violators to the water drainage system near the CPG avenue after the 30-days "voluntary disconnection" leeway lapses.

The DENR chief Lito Atienza who was interviewed over "Inyong Alagad " program of the Chrocnile sister station DYRD clearly stated that the city has police powers to effect the disconnection that endangered the life and health of citizens through the flooding and the environmental danger poised against the Tagbilaran seawaters.

Mayor Lim had consistently said he cannot effect anything on the 38 illegal connections because the project was purportedly not yet turned over to the city. City Hall had always refused to acknowledge acceptance of the project unless the connections were dismantled.

Hanjin Industries of Korea, contractor of the Project, on the other hand, had refused to do the disconnection since it was not reportedly part of their scope of work.

The city mayor said that aside from the P50,000 penalty for the illegal connection, the violators will be charged the cost of the line disconnection. - The Bohol Chronicle