Politics in Jagna Bohol

The next battleground of a battle royale among candidates to capture the mayoralty saddle is this coastal municipality of Jagna, Bohol.

This early among the early birds who are trumpeting their aspirations to become the next mayor of Jagna are prominent names like Fortunato 'Bicbic' Abrenilla, a top brass of the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) in the National Capital Region (NCR).

Then the name Joseph Rañola is making a lot of political noise these days especially after he launched last Saturday his JR or Jagna Renaissance program.

Assuming a double meaning for purposes of name recall, JR is either Joseph Rañola or Jagna Renaissance. This political gimmick took the municipality by storm last Saturday when the Jagna native assembled through well known personalities to grace the occasion who included Muntinglupa Rep. Raffy Biazon. 

For Abrenilla, he has not thought yet of how he will launch his candidacy with a bang but there is no mistaking that he is running for mayor. 

But the wild card in Jagna's battle royale is the crucial support of incumbent Mayor Exuperio Lloren. 

If Abrenilla is to be believed, his candidacy is fortified by the supposed support of Mayor Lloren.

If so, then Abrenilla enjoyed the upper hand among the mayoralty contenders considering that Lloren is a well-loved mayor of Jagna for three terms.

The Jagna mayoralty scramble attracted several big time wannabes after the post is vacated by Lloren who shall have completed his term tenure thus making the top municipal post a level playing contest. 

Two other financially loaded candidates are also joining the fray. Both identified with the lucrative seafaring business, Capt. Cipriano Madera and Paris Macarayan are also salivating for the Jagna mayoralty. The two mayoralty hopefuls are said to have built around their fame and fortune for helping a multitude of Jagna seafarers.

As for Abrenilla, it was not known who is his running mate is. But if he has his way, what he wanted is for his team mate to be selected in a convention. - Sunday Post

Training Entrepreneurs for Eco-Tourism Advancement and Coastal Habitat (TEACH) Protection Project

Contributed by Ramil S. Bulilan 

      In the last months, January–June, this year of the two-year Training Entrepreneurs for Eco-Tourism Advancement and Coastal Habitat (TEACH) Protection Project, its project director had designed more meaningful activities than ever before.

      It can be recalled that since its launching on July 2007 up to January this year, the project had undertaken and accomplished in many activities--the establishment of a 200-meter boardwalk, construction of a quay café and the bird-watching tower, the series of training workshops for the four POs as beneficiaries, and the constant coordination with their partner-LGU of Clarin and others.

      These POs include the Tangaran Fisher folks Multi-Purpose Cooperative (TAFIMULPUCO), the Tangaran Aquarium Fish Gathers Association (TAFGA), The Seaweeds Farmers (SeaFar) of Clarin and the Clarin Mangrove Planters Association (ClaMPA).

      Activities slated in the remaining months include the series of training workshops intended for the PO-beneficiaries.

      Last February 3 and 4, the participants had an orientation on the TEACH Project eco-tourism and mariculture enterprises cross visit at Buenavista and Talibon's eco-tourism sites.

      On February 10-11, the project conducted a training for key leaders on eco-tourism and mariculture enterprises which was participated in by 45 participants.

      Tubigon's Municipal Planning and Development Coordinator Noel Cano Mendana discussed the strategic planning and development of the eco-tourism enterprise.

      The dean of research and development, Dr. Nestor Balicoco also shared his ideas on the basic principles of eco-tourism enterprise.

      On February 16, TAFIMULFUCO and SeaFar signed a memorandum of agreement with the proponent agency- -the CVSCAFT-Clarin Campus- -represented by the CVSCAFT System SUC president II, Dr. Elpidio Magante.

      The MOA signing was done in the presence of the Clarin Mayor Hermogenes Diezon, and was witnessed by the college director of CVSCAFT-Clarin Campus and the TEACH Project director.

      The barangay captains of Poblacion Norte and Tangaran also witnessed the MOA signing for the release of P50,000 for each of the two POs, intended for the eco-tourism enterprise.

      Under the stint of its director, Dr. Disocoro Avergonzado, regular meetings were held with the four POs represented by their presidents and secretaries.

      Avergonzado also formed the key officials of the four POs into the TEACH Management Committee (TMC) that will tackle matters arising from the project implementation.

      On February 19-20, Teach Project conducted training workshops on product development, packaging, processing and marketing, and marketing strategy.

      Among those who graced the activities were Ana Belga of the regional office of the Bureau of Fish and Aquatic Resources (BFAR-7), Post Harvest and Evaluation Unit Chief Vilma Paller in Cebu City,

      About 40 fisherfolk participated in the workshop who did food processing of seaweeds and were able to produce goso jam, goso pickled seaweed, and goso cracker.

      Just recently, 2 training-workshops with invited participants from the LGU of Clarin (Hon. Andres S. Pelias, Jr. SB member and the Chairperson of the Committee on Tourism; Hon. Felimon C. Alison, SB member and chairperson on CRM and Environment Protection; and Mr. Climaco C. Ramos, Municipal Agriculture Office (MAO) Fishery Officer).were conducted last March 4-5, 2009

      CVSCAFT Clarin Campus, as the proponent agency, with the Magante's all-out support, expressed optimism on the success of the project, especially with the support from the four POs and the community.

      As Dr. Magante signed the MOA, he expressed strong hopes for the project's great help in its extension program of uplifting the lives of the community folks.

      This time, it is believed that the PO's are ready to accept and own the project when turned over to them this June.

      On this the project proponents invite visitors to go for an eco-tour adventure at the Clarin Mangrove Boardwalk to enjoy nature and its bounty.

      The eco- tourism project enterprise will be entrusted to TAFIMULPUCO with full assistance from other PO's.

      Clarin Mangrove Boardwalk is located about 500 meters from the Poblacion area of Clarin, its right side fronting the port area.

      A 30-minute walk with nature, on the 200-meter boardwalk with century-old mangrove species, can wind up perfectly at the Quay Cafe that offers transient tourists drinks and refreshments.

      They also offer wood-crafted souvenir items, fishing escapade, boat-sailing and island-hopping.

      It is also spruced up with a bird-watching tower for those who love watching migratory birds using a binocular.

      For more information, interested individuals may contact Graciano Gillamac through telephone no. 509-9365 or cellphone no. 09283254807. 

Bohol Infra Projects

By Rey Anthony Chiu, PIA

Because development can't wait, the government is into P86M widening and bridges repair projects for the access roads leading to the tourist island and its airport. 

"The projects are set to approximate the timetable for the airport operationalization, pending the ironing of wrinkles in the right of way acquisition for the multi-billion air facility," explains Engr. Edgar Damalerio of Bohol's first engineering district.  

Speaking for District Engr. Celestino Adlaon, Damalerio said the widening project is supervised by the regional office of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH). 

"It would be a disaster is for tourists and locals wanting to catch a plane but couldn't squeeze through traffic due to narrow roads and so they miss the flight," points one construction worker who is now in the frenzy of the construction on sections from Jacinto Borja Bridge to Vano Bridge in Poblacion Dauis. 

"The land bridge that connects the island to mainland Bohol must be fortified, widened and paved right so it could carry the main bulk as traffic shifts to the proposed airport" added an engineer who supervises for the in the 900 meter road widening and bridges construction works. 

It may be recalled that President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has wanted Panglao Airport to rise well before her term ends in 2010. This she said during her State of the Nation Address when she bared her tourism super region plan for the Visayas.  

According to DPWH –7 Engr. Rene Ye, the government is putting up some P86M for the construction and repair of the two bridges as well as the widening of the causeway sections leading to Dauis. 

He also added that a parallel project is about to commence from Tagbilaran City's Sitio Ubos to Totolan Dauis. 

Both causeways have previously been identified as possible bottlenecks as soon as the Panglao Airport lifts off.  

At the narrow Vaño Bridge, Engr. Ye said the cost for the government is P4.337 to get the additional two lane extension and sidewalk done within 135 calendar days. 

The bridge repair adds 2.91 meters from the edged of the old slab bridge and should put in 9.38 meters from the center of roads, Engr. Ye claimed. 

In Bohol, people have started asking if the airport is definitely going to happen with the dying down of the news after President Arroyo launched the P4.7B project to be funded by the Department of Transportation and Communication last year. 

The on-going construction works however ignites a new hope that Bohol may indeed be poised to fly economically when the airport gets into the wind. 

Bohol Scholarship

Two big events add up to the revelry of Catigbian's 5th Katigbawan Festival in commemoration of the 60th founding Anniversary of the town on June 16-18, 2009. 

Both events are aimed to sustain one major program of the local unit-the Municipal Scholarship Program, says Mayor Roberto Salinas recently.
 
The big events: the Search for Diamond Jubilee King and Queen and "Tanda Kaliwat Catigbianon '09" are conceived to promote camaraderie among Catigbianons, to allow them to witness the magical progress of the town and to hopefully to contribute in pushing the town to greater heights, states secretary Ardissa Estavilla, in a separate interview. 

For its success, working committees are now aiming to stretch the limited time for the fundraiser, Catigbian sources said. 

Earlier, Mayor Salinas has urged Catigbianons here and abroad to join and support these activities for a common goal: to send more scholars to college.
 
It may also be recalled that the Catigbian Scholarship Program was legislated in 1999 but its implementation only happened in 2005. 

However, due to limited funds, only few qualified applicants availed of the program. 

To date, only 18 have availed of the "Iskolar ng Bayan" which carries a financial assistance of P10K semester for a baccalaureate degree and P5K semester for 2-year course taker, Estavilla said.
 
At a town where about 500 students graduate from secondary schools, some with the right mental capacity but come from low-income families, could not pursue college education. 

"While most of them would want to get into the program, only few could enjoy because we could only offer limited slots," Salinas, who has brought in innovations in this agriculturally engaged town said.
 
"It is in this emerging situation that the Local Government plans to increase the number of student beneficiaries by sourcing outside funds either from government or private entities," he added. 

"We are then encouraging generous and kind hearted Catigbianons who may have a little more in life to participate and support the activities set during the 5th Katigbawan Festival," the retired navyman urged. - Rey Chiu, PIA