Personnel Revamp in Bohol Capitol

By JUNE S. BLANCO 

JUST a matter of a green light from the Bohol Provincial Board (PB) – and the reengineering of the personnel structure of the provincial government will blast off.

  The re-engineering already has Gov. Erico Aumentado's approval, but it still needs an enabling ordinance, hence the lawmakers' go-ahead signal.

  Human Resource Management and Development Officer Romeo Teruel gave this status report during Friday's The Governor Reports aired live and simulcast over Tagbilaran City's two radio stations.

  He said from Day One of the preparatory process, the governor had always assured the Capitol workers that they will not be displaced.

  "The re-engineering is not getting people out of jobs but making the organization more effective and more efficient by putting them in the right places," he said.

  It calls for looking into how the organization is fulfilling its mandate and making the structure fit its development agenda, he explained.

  In preparing for the re-engineering implementation, Teruel said his office' guiding principle has always been the "rule" that Aumentado had set – no employee shall be removed.

  As most other offices submitted their proposed structures, the PB suddenly balked – apprehensive that the move might entail a total overhaul of their entire staffing pattern, or require more stringent qualifications for confidential positions, among others

  A series of meetings with the governor, Teruel, the re-engineering consultants and facility director Millalin Javellana of the Philippines-Australia Human Resource Development Facility (PAHRDF) however made the PB see the light of the concept – and the legislative department is back on stream.

  Teruel said the complete structure is scheduled to be presented to the Local Finance Committee (LFC) on September 7, and five days after, to the steering committee chaired by the governor and comprised of two members of the PB and a representative each from the first and second levels of the employees for final deliberation and approval.

  From there, the package goes to the PB for the ordinance, which may be out by the end of September or first week of October. This means, he said, barring hitches, the re-engineering can be implemented already by October or November.

  The re-engineering also comes with an early retirement incentive. Provincial Administrator Tomas Abapo Jr. said on top of what they can get from the Government Service Insurance System and monetization of their leave credits, qualified employees can also receive the equivalent of one month's salary for every year of service they completed. Abapo chairs the LFC.

Bohol Media Man Dies in Road Accident in Panglao Island

By Sunday Post

The fractious Bohol media community, for once, was united in mourning the death of a colleague who was killed in a motorcycle accident in barangay Tinago, Dauis town, Thursday evening.

 Part-time reporter of Station DyRD  as Filoteo Layao also known by his radio name as PJ Walker was killed when the motorcycle he was driving collided with a passenger mini-bus Thursday evening in Barangay Tinago, Dauis town.

 He was 49.

 Layao was a part-time reporter of the station's "DyRD Balita" aired 5 to 6 am.

 He was employed as communication equipment officer II of the provincial government. 

 SPO1 Noel Agurang of the Dauis PNP said the station received a report about 8:20 pm Thursday regarding a road mishap in Purok 1, Barangay Tinago, about 6 kms from Poblacion, Dauis.

 PO3 Marlito Ingking, who was with the responding team, said Layao was pinned by his motorcycle when they arrived at the scene of the mishap.

  "We immediately brought him to the (Gov. Celestino Gallares Regional Hospital in Tagbilaran City ) but he was pronounced dead on arrival," Ingking said.

 He said Layao's forehead was severely injured in the accident.

 Ingking said that Layao's motorcycle collided with a passenger bus servicing the Tagbilaran-Dauis-Panglao route. Layao was headed for Tagbilaran while the bus was going the opposite direction.

 The driver of the bus with plate no. FVS 225 identified as one Alvin Malmis, 31, married and a resident of Tinago, Dauis surrendered to the police immediately after the incident.

 Ingking said the Dauis PNP is still completing the investigation.

 The victim was reportedly on his way home after the revelry of the vesper day of the Panglao feast.

 He was with broadcaster Ven Arigo who fortunately declined to ride back to Tagbilaran with him.

 Layao's wife Viviana also works for the provincial government. They have three children.  

Tourism Management in Bohol Province, Philippines

By Romy Teruel, Sunday Post

The management of the Provincial Tourism Council changed hands last Thursday with the election and oath taking of the new set of officers during its full council meeting at the Bohol Tropics. Mr. Peter Dejaresco turned over his post as chairman of the Council to Atty Lucas 'Doy' Nunag who was elected without an opposition.  Dejaresco served the council as chairman since 2004. 

 Under the rules of the Bohol Tourism Council, the chairman shall be elected from the private sector while the co-chairman is the Chairman of the Committee on Tourism of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan who now happens to be Kag. Ester Corazon  Galbreath of the third District.  The new officers took their oath immediately before Gov. Erico B. Aumentado. 

 In his report to the Council that also served as his valedictory, Dejaresco pointed out the challenges that face the new set of officers and the industry players in Bohol after gaining foothold on the ground as a prime tourism destination in then country and earning its niche in the tourism map of the world. 

 Dejaresco said it's no longer increased tourism arrival that concerns the Council but how to now start the conservation and preservation of the tourism assets of the province to which Doy Nunag agreed. 

 Actually Doy Nunag is the best replacement to chair the Bohol Tourism Council.  While relatively new in the industry, Doy is an advocate not only of environmental preservation and conservation but also of Boholano culture and arts. 

 Doy's Amarela in Libaong, Panglao is the best example of this.  Even before the Panglao Island Tourism Development guidelines came up with the integration of the Boholano culture in the buildings of tourism-related establishment, Amarela has already been sporting it. 

 Doy was quick to organize divers for marine life conservation and protection.  He is one among those who implemented an environmentally friendly waste management system.  The good things he learned from his international travels find replication at Amarela. I happen to join him in one of those benchmarking travels to Phuket, Thailand to observe quality service standards for tourism. 

 Tourism is a private sector-led industry.  And so it is just proper that the challenges that the industry is facing must be addressed jointly by the private sector.  Government has already put in place the guidelines and standards, the infrastructure and climate for investment. 

 It is time that the private sector in the industry takes the lead in observing these policies and guidelines.  Government can hardly be blamed now.  The players in the industry – those raking in profits must now see to it that their profits are sustained by adhering to and observing the guidelines, rules and laws on the preservation and conservation of the environment.  The law on salvage zone has been there repeatedly told to the resort and restaurant owners from the time they applied for environmental clearance certificate (ECC) until the issuance of occupancy permit.  But all we see are honours in the breach than observance.  

 Panglao is becoming the example of violation. Even public officials who have the duty to be the first to observe the law are the first to forget them when constructing the buildings for their business.  

 The private sector has more to benefit from the observance of these environmental rules and regulations.  After all they are the ones raking in profits.  To observe the law is to protect and conserve the environment.  A protected and conserved environment will sustain business in the long term. A long term business means more profits. 

 I can't understand why businessmen would want to shorten the period of their profits knowing this will be the consequence when they violate environmental laws. 

 The challenges are not limited to environmental protection and conservation. Ugly practices that are beginning to reappear are not limited to dirty streets, dirty pier, and disorderly situation at arrival areas of the airport and the piers. Bohol's pride that is the Boholano culture is beginning to get lost in areas frequented by foreign tourists.  The Boholano culture is one of Bohol's attractions.  It should never be lost. 

Birth and Death Registration in the Philippines

View From the Top
By Joe Espiritu

A seminar was called by the officials of the Office of the Local Civil Registrar. Those who were called were the Punong Barangays of Jagna and their secretaries. The purpose was to orient the secretaries on how to register the birth and deaths of their constituents. This means additional work to the secretaries. It does not matter whether the Punong Barangays understood the mechanic of registering the event; it is the secretaries that do it.

       Well, there are some of them secretaries who practically run the barangay themselves. One can just imagine; a group of persons from all walks of life are elected to make the barangay as the lowest Local Government Unit of the land. Most of these groups have no experience in governance. This is not taught in college, even if those guys ever went to college.

       So what the higher Local Government Unit, through the Municipal arm of the Department of Interior and Local Government, which is the Municipal Local Government Operations Officer tries to teach these elected worthies to run an LGU. Some barangay constituents care enough to choose passable officials; others choose those coming from, big families or those who have more money. Then as Shakespeare had said, one cannot make a silken purse out of a sow's ear. If a competent guy gets elected with the posturing idiots, he gets pulled down by sheer weight of numbers.

       To remedy the situation, the barangay council appoints a secretary to record the affairs and a treasurer top keep track of their finances. They say that even if the secretary only knows which end of the ball pen to write and the treasurer can do arithmetic without taking off her shoes as long as they can be bent or made to compromise that is qualification enough. However, those are in the past.

       Today, the secretaries have to report to the MLGOO and the MCTC Clerk of Court what the barangay honorable officials had done, either through minutes of sessions or accomplishment reports, monthly, quarterly and annual reports. If nothing has been done, since most officials just sit there and look wise, the poor slob has to write fiction. Furthermore, he has to work as an executive secretary, legislative secretary, clerk of court and this time barangay local civil registrar. Not only that, since he is the one who knows how to do things, he has to be clerk to most of the functionaries.

       The sad part is that their income is inversely proportional to their duties. All the higher ups say that it is a distinct honor to be relatively powerful even if only in the barangay level. If so, who don't we feel powerful? Then why though those people stick? Probably the most logical answer is they are aiming for a seat in the barangay council. Some made it though a few did not. The latter had not the brains enough to create goodwill with his constituents while in office.

       Perhaps the best position in the barangay is the treasurer. Imagine, the New Government Accounting System had been in force for years, they still adhere to the old ways. Besides, they have few seminars and if they have it is held in posh resorts or high class establishments. Besides also they embark on more Lakbay Laag – er- Aral than any barangay official.

       So Sprite, would you like to be a barangay treasurer? Hah, if that happens, the shortest distance to a beer house is a straight line. Money burns a hole in our pocket, so the song goes. There may be plenty who will bail us out but we have to listen to a Greek chorus at full volume during the process. Better stay a secretary and gripe. It does not cost anything. 

Political Development in Bohol and Philippine Islands

By Sunday Post

Bohol Vice Gov. Julius Caesar Herrera believes that a new political configuration is taking shape not only in Bohol but starting in the national level.           

The vice-governor did not directly say what he was referring to exactly but noted that the events in the next few weeks bear watching.           

 "National politics will largely determine what will happen in the local level,"  he noted.           

Herrera believes that the political realignments at the top will make a significant impact on the local level.           

 "Many politicians in the local level are closely watching the developments in the national level because their decisions depend on these developments,"  the vice governor pointed out.           

He admitted that until this time, there are still a lot of factors that remain unresolved including the standard bearer of the administration party and the implications of the Lakas-Kampi merger in the local levels.           

The vice-governor said the waiting game is going to end soon but declined to say how this will come about.           

Herrera also remained elusive on how many mayors have already committed to his gubernatorial plans although he appeared to be comfortable with the number of commitments made to him.           

 "It would be self-serving for me to give exact figures so I leave it to the officials concerned to make the announcements in the proper time,"  he added.           

At this point, Herrera said only one thing is certain: he is running for governor in next year's polls.           

 "I don't why certain people insist to peddle lie that I am open to another position. I have always been categorical about running for governor,"  he added.           

The vice-governor believes that he has enough experience to aim for the highest position in the province.           

Herrera served as mayor of Calape town for two terms before moving up to vice-governor where he is serving the last of his three terms.           

 "My performance as a town executive speaks for itself," he added.            

Herrera said that while he is not the only one who has served as mayor, he believes he has enough accomplishments to show during his two terms.           

 "We are talking here of solid achievements that remain visible and felt until this time," he added.           

The vice-governor said the executive record is significant because it gives an idea of what to expect from the candidate if he becomes the provincial executive.            

 "If there is nothing to show at the lower level, how can we expect something in the higher level?" he asked.           

Herrera said his platform is open to public scrutiny.           

 "The people can easily see if my advocacies benefit them directly or not,"  he added. 

Tagbilaran Mayor Draws Battle Line

By Sunday Post

Less than nine months into the May 2010 elections, the lines have been drawn.           

This was the observation given by Tagbilaran Mayor Dan Lim regarding next year's polls.           

 "With very few exceptions, most voters in Tagbilaran have already made up their minds on whom to vote," the mayor said.           

Lim noted that the people already know whether they are supporting or rejecting his bid for a third term.           

The mayor pointed out that wherever he goes as part of his daily visit to the puroks in the different barangays, he can tell that people have already made a decision.           

 "It is doubtful if there is still any development that can make them change their minds," he added.           

Lim said that unlike in previous years, the early decision made by prospective voters is the demarcation line between those who appreciate his programs and projects and those who don't.           

 "Those who approve of my platforms tell me they want me to continue,"  the mayor revealed.           

On the other hand, he said that there is nothing he can do to convince those who don't want him back.           

 "No matter what I do, they will not be impressed because they prefer to believe my critics," he added.           

Lim said this has made the preparations for next year's elections easier than his last reelection.           

He admitted that while he had been bothered by the relentless attack waged against him in the media, it turned out to be a blessing in disguise.           

The mayor said that the people are already suffering from "attack fatigue"  so they are no longer affected by the negative publicity.           

 "They threw everything at me including the sink, but it backfired,"  he added.           

Lim said there is nothing like genuine public service.           

 "Our people know the real score because we go directly to them," he pointed out.           

Lim said his pro-people programs genuinely benefit the people so they themselves know that contrary to the allegations of his critics, the programs have trickled down to the lowest level.           

The mayor declared that he will no longer be responding to the issues raised by his critics because they do are not really after public service and good governance.           

 "Anyway, they can always go to the courts as they are doing if they feel there is anything irregular," he added.           

Lim said he leaves it entirely to the people to decide whether they will allow negative publicity, resources and other factors to influence them.           

 "We deserve the government that we elect into office," he added.           

Regardless of what people say, the mayor said they alone are accountable for the choices they write on their ballots.           

 "They will be the ones answerable to future generations and to God,"  he added. 

Talibon Bohol Cooperative Seminar

MCDC-Talibon conducts seminar for coop chairs 
By ELLA G. PAÑARES 

      The Municipal Cooperative Development Council recently conducted a seminar for its members in response to the 37 cooperative chairpersons.

      Sangguniang Bayan Member Virginia Item, chair of the SB Committee on Cooperatives, coordinated with the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) training team and the Cooperative Development Authority in designing the orientation seminar.

      The coop chairs raised the need to have a member's education seminar during the regular monthly meeting of the MCDC.

      Most of them said that coop members have been delinquent in paying their loan amortizations, blaming the NGOs that are into lending business operating in the municipality.

      Eleuteria Pañares, president of Bagacay Women Credit Cooperative, led the opening prayer, followed by the singing of national and Bohol hymns led by Rosario Tolentino- -president of Balintawak Women Credit Cooperative.

      The first topic in the seminar was on values formation discussed by SB Member Item.

      She said cooperative will progress if the members have the commitment, involvement and sincerity in serving the cooperative.

      Cooperative Development Analyst Nisa Cagulada discussed Republic Act 9520 or the Cooperative Code of 2008.

      According to Cagulada, before the recommended Republic Act 6938, there were only six types of cooperatives, but now it grown to 21 types of cooperatives.

      She also said that all elected officials cannot hold any position in the cooperative. He/She can be a member but not as an officer.

      Talibon Municipal Agrarian Reform Officer (MARO) Omar Suarez introduced the next speakers- - Municipal Agrarian Reform officer of Danao, Pet Pangandoyon of Talibon- -who discussed the cooperative organizational structure, functions of board of directors and the different committees, computation of the dividend and patronage refund and credit management and delinquency control.

      During the open forum, Pangandoyon answered the queries raised by the cooperators.

      In answer to the question on how to compel bad borrowers to settle their delinquency, he said there is no bad borrower but bad loan.

      Pangandoyon, in return, challenged the participants to follow the steps in processing loan applications and identify the 5 Es of credit.

      He advised the coop members to stretch their patience and stay cheerful when dealing with clients.