Training Center in Bohol

This Center provides the training venue of most of the SWCF projects in the province.  It is also open to other groups who wish to take advantage of the facility.  The Center offers board and lodging, audio visual equipment, trainors, speakers and biodiversity guides on subjects ranging from natural resource management, community development, agroforestry, livestock management and environmental education program for the youth.  

INFORMATION SHED AND BOARDS - These are boards displaying   information on biodiversity especially that of the province of Bohol.

Bohol Environmental Learning Center

BEMO-SWCF   ENVIRONMENTAL LEARNING CENTER (ELC) - is one of the components of the BBC that houses all educational and research materials from the collection of SWCF and BEMO.  It includes data on the Complex' flora and fauna inventories and research, forestry materials and its related subjects especially on terrestrial sciences.  Students, researchers and teachers are welcome to use and   research in this center.

Bohol Livestock Center

OPV LIVESTOCK FIELD CENTER in Bohol - This center implements the provincial  government livestock dispersal program and research which include production for dispersal stocks,  training and research  in livestock management for its farmer beneficiaries. Livestock found in the Center are carabaos, goats, chicken, ducks and cows. The Center contains a collection of forage species for livestock feeds.

Bohol Karst Trail and Composting Center

SWCF-BEMO KARST TRAIL - This 0.25 km. trail goes through the dipterocarp arboretum area in karst soil. It features some of the typical soil formations and vegetation of a karst area. It is also developed as a future seed source for dipterocarps in the province.  

BEMO VERMI-COMPOSTING CENTER – This component demonstrates the production of vermi-castings for fertilizer. It supports the provincial government advocacy for organic production.  This component demonstrates a symbiotic relationship with neighboring farmers and the OPV Livestock Center. The OPV Livestock center and the Complex' nurseries make use of the vermicast as fertilizers and at the same time contribute its farm residues and manure as substrates for the vermi-cast production. The center also offers lectures and trainings to any group interested in vermi-cast production.  It also conducts researches related to vermi-cast production 

Tree Propagation in Bohol Philippines

SWCF-BEMO-CVSCAFT DIPTEROCARP TREE PROPAGATION AND DOMESTICATION FACILITY This area produces dipterocarps seedlings through sexual and asexual method. The main objective of this facility is to inventory, conserve and propagate dipterocarps species found in the province and to establish a dipterocarp species collection from other part of the country.  Another activity is also the inventory and mapping of all the dipterocarps species locations in the province for conservation and propagation purposes.
The area has a mini-lab that can accommodate student researchers interested in vegetative propagation and related subjects.           

Bohol Rainforestation Site

CVSCAFT RAINFORESTATION SITE was established in 1998. This 1.2 hectare tree farm contains 1,200 individual trees.  The area boasts of a total of 108 indigenous species, 82 of which are planted and 26 species are from natural regeneration. Eight of the species are dipterocarps. This area is the CVSCAFT's demonstration of forest restoration as well as a learning/laboratory site for students, researchers and other interested groups. 

Bohol Environment Code: First in the Philippines

Bohol Environment Code of 1998 – mandated the Provincial Government to adopt all measures to actively share the responsibility of the National Government particularly DENR in securing the perpetual existence of all endemic plants in the province.

Memorandum of Agreement –Sept. 16, 2002 – This MOA participated by the Provincial Government, the Department of Environmental and Natural Resources  (DENR), the Central Visayas State College of Agriculture, Forestry and Technology  (CVSCAFT) and the Soil and Water Conservation Foundation, Inc.  (SWCF), served as the basis for the establishment of an endemic forest nursery located in the heartland of Bohol to support the provincial programs aimed at enhancing the biodiversity of the province and particularly restoring its diminishing dipterocarps forest and preventing its extinction.

Endemic Nursery in Bohol Island

The Provincial government designated the Bohol Environmental Management Office (BEMO) as the lead agency in the establishment of an endemic nursery designed to support the forest restoration program of the province. CVSCAFT commitment was the allocation of space in its Bilar campus for the needed buildings and infrastructures and the participation of the forestry teachers and students in the nursery activities as part of their learning process.  Expectations from DENR were identification of the sources of the endemic species in the province and  provision of a regular representative to give technical support to the project.  SWCF's role was to provide financial and logistic support for the project,  develop IEC materials, initiate research and other studies and provide training on biodiversity management and conservation.  

Bohol Activities During Sandugo Festival

With a star-studded visitors led by Binay, Bohol will flare up to the beat of sights and sounds as the Sandugo highlight is staged at the CPG Sports Complex as all systems go for the street dancing and parade under the auspices of the Bohol Sandugo Foundation Inc., chaired by Mayor Lim.  

Dancing and gyrating to the beat of Sandugo drums, at least eight contingents will display their wares during the parade starting at the city tourist port. 

Only four entries will slug it out in the competition of the festival where the first placer is expected to be awarded P200,000. The rest of the participants will present their respective numbers to the expected delight of thousands of spectators.

To ensure and orderly presentation, Provincial Director PSSupt Rodolfo A. Llorca assured that security and traffic concerns are being ironed out. The parade which will start at 12;30 PM will traverse thru Gallares St. from the city port then to J. S. Torralba street, Pres. Carlos Garcia Avenue and winding up to the CPG Sports Complex.

Following the parade, the opening program will commence with Mayor Lim and Gov. Chatto to deliver their respective welcome messages to thousands of visitor-spectators, including foreigners. Then a re-enactment of the Sandugo to be performed by Diwanag Dance Troupe of the Holy Name University will follow to give more meaning to the Sandugo affair.  

Sandugo was commemorated to recall the historic event sometime in the 16th century when native chieftain Datu Sikatuna and Spanish general Miguel Lopez de Legaspi consummated the first ever treaty of friendship known then as blood compact.

CONTIGENTS

The contingents that will fight it out in the street dance competition include the towns of Catigbian, Dauis and Maribojoc, Dr. Cecilio Putong National High, Tagbilaran City Science High, Immaculata High of Baclayon, Manga High of this city, and Holy Name Unviersity.

Awarding of cash prizes and best awards to the winners and plaques to the board of judges will follow with Mayor Lim, Gov. Chatto, Sandugo Foundation acting chair and Deputy Mayor Mariano Uy, foundation treasurer Argeo Melisimo and Miss Bohol Sandugo Amir P. Sol.

The Sandugo street dance festival will be emceed by Bohol's first lady of emceeing Ardy Batoy and Gloria Leodivica Araneta. The event is jointly sponsored by the Bohol Sandugo Foundation, Globe, Coca-Cola, San Miguel Corp, GMA Kapuso, First Consolidated Bank of Bohol and Miravilla Restaurant. (With reports from Sen Guingguing & RVO)

Bohol Center for Development Studies

"The Office of the Governor and the Capitol will be helping the PCL all the way." This was the assurance that Gov. Edgar M. Chatto gave to the 482 members of the Philippine Councilors League (PCL) during a special meeting held at JJ's Seafoods Village Wednesday.  

The governor challenged the PCL that as legislators and policy-makers, they must make sure that come August, implementation of laws must already begin to assure the strengthening of every league of the province for management and provincial growth.

The PCL is the foundation and core of the province for the crafting of laws beneficial to the people basically falls upon its shoulders. The governor further assures that the former's work would be made easier for the Provincial Government has created the Bohol Center for Development Studies (BCDS), the research arm of the province, headed by Romy Teruel, to help both the PCL and the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) to look into old laws and in drafting new ones to help the capitol achieve its goals.

Gov. Chatto also mentioned his 10-minute dialogue with President Benigno Simeon Aquino III the previous night during his Manila visit in which P-Noy declared his support for Bohol wherein the governor also re-affirmed the province's respect, coordination and passion for the President's advocacies like the ones it gave to past administrations.

Moreover, Gov. Chatto urged old members of the PCL to share their experiences and insights on governance with the newly-elected ones "to encourage and ensure proper coordination for the achievement of our common goals." (jlv/EDCom)

Bohol Picture Contest

Shots from high-tech digital cameras, or the inevitable cell phone cameras to the ever present film based instamatics can be accepted entries for the July 25 Sandugo street-dancing competition.  

According to contest organizers, a camera is only second to the user's idea of a good composition to be able to make up for a winning shot that allows him a night stay in Bohol's leading city resort

According to photo-contest organizers though veteran photojournalist Nilo Sapong, the Pitik: Tipik sa Dugong Bol-anon Photo Competition uses the kilometric span of street dancing parade route along the city's main thoroughfare as the venue for testing the budding artist's capability to see beyond what the usual parade watcher can.

The streetdancing dance parade is a venue to test the amateur artist's skill and pit it against the more familiar mainstream photographers to prove his composition he even can be better, he said.

The contest, which is open for professionals and amateurs only need participants some P100 registration including an access card that allows him into the cordoned areas during the contest.

Official entry forms need to be fill up though, he said as he added that the contest entry forms are available at the BQ mall's Foto Center.

Come early, get a familiar look at the route, consider the lighting during specific times in the afternoon and you'll definitely be better prepared as a streetdancing does not actually present a perfect time for the unprepared, he shared a tip from his pack of experience.

There is a usual tendency to freeze the action, its good but it may not work our perfectly all the time, he added. Blurred shots that highlight motion sometimes does the trick and a little knowledge of the shutter speeds packed in your standard single lens reflex (SLR) camera can be worth the handsome prizes, he added.

When blurring also works, keeping a simple focus can also land you a major prize, the veteran photographer said.

One problem photographers face when shooting street dancing is the chaos. He does not have the luxury of arranging the participants or posing the best performers, getting the best light at the right angles.

In such a situation, focus on one or two subjects and keep the other performers as subordinates, or keep you camera in the immediate area where the light is best and shoot from there, another photo-contest organizer shares.

Just go out there and shoot, after all, pixels are free, and it may get you that digital cable connection, he urged. (rachiu/PIA)

Tourism Travel Tour in Bohol Philippines

To appraise tourists about the kind of service he would get in an establishment in Bohol, a tourism classification board would possibly help.

Governor Edgar Chatto, who took the lead in crafting the country's tourism code shared this during the recent Provincial Tourism Council (PTC) meeting held at Panda Tea Garden in Dao a few weeks ago.

Chatto clarified that the Board's task would be to put up a unified classification of accredited tourism service providers and establishment using the star rating system, so tourists would know what to expect when they are there.

Building on Bohol tourism's successes, several local government units and private entrepreneurs have funded for establishments and service and splurge on promotional activities without being fully familiar with the industry, PTC members said.

Not a few tourists have already shared their dismay about getting into an establishment selling itself through the internet, only to find that its accommodations are minimal. 

That can happen because there is no way tourists know ahead about the kind of facilities and services the establishments offer.

As everyone wants to hitch in the tourism bandwagon, it is expected that things like this happen, agree council members.

Governor Chatto said the Tourism Code of 2009 provides for a classification board that issues a uniform standard to grade tourism products and service facilities.

Putting up the classification board should breathe life into the Code in as much as to be rated are not just the infrastructure and the accessibility and the preparedness of the facility to accept guests, Chatto added.

That way, even if establishments sell services on their own, a rating system puts them in a certain rank that tourists can easily refer, said PTC Chairman Atty Lucas Nunag. (rac/PIABohol) 

Balicasag Island in Panglao Island Bohol

At the crossroads of a booming tourism industry and the challenge of preserving our world-class dive sites from continued degradation, concerns have been expressed for the well-being of coral reefs that abound in Balicasag Island and other dive locations in the province.

With the steadily growing popularity of Bohol's dive destinations among scuba diving enthusiasts from around the world, our coral reefs are taking so much stress from divers that even dive shop operators fear permanent reef degradation that would eventually destroy everything within our coral reef system in a span of 5 to 10 years.

"Here is a clear and present danger that our very own government authorities, tourism industry stakeholders - including dive operators and resort owners - are very much aware of; yet, nothing has been done about it," a local businessman pointed out during an interview.

CARELESS TOURISM

The urgency of recognizing the fact that coral reefs around Balicasag Island are suffering from great damage mainly due to mass tourism, loose management of coastal development and overfishing have been underscored by no less than the resident manager of the Philippine Tourism Authority (PTA) Maria Elena Go, herself based on the island.

In an interview, Go said careless tourism has taken its heavy toll on the island of Balicasag, its reef structures and marine life that used to be in abundance.

All sorts of litter brought by tourists, poor diver etiquette and inexperience of divers and dive guides are seen as the main cause of damage to coral reefs and the biodiversity of the area.

Hundreds of divers come to Balicasag every day. In spite of this, the local government and dive operators are not showing genuine concern to make marine protection and the tourism industry compatible. - Rey Anthony Chiu

Abatan River Tourism in Maribojoc Bohol

Politics barely affect the community life tours, says Abatan River Development and Management Council (ARDMC).

New leaderships or any wayward development plans along the Abatan river is decided by not just one but a council, and that consultative forum does not threaten the operation of the tours, agree both erstwhile and present council chairs and former Maribojoc Mayor Gavino Redulla and current re-elected Catigbian Mayor Roberto Salinas.

Mayor Salinas said even with new leaders elected for Antequera and Balilihan, the new-comers are not new to the program as they have been a part of the widespread participatory planning process, which laid the ground-works for the new eco-tourism product.

Former Mayor Gavino Redulla, who used to head the council also said that they were careful that the product development, that is, that the community life tours undergo participatory planning sessions from communities in five towns to make sure everybody knows what they are into.

Speaking at the recent Kapihan sa PIA which tackled the newly launched community life tours of Abatan River towns as ecotourism development strategy to sustainably manage the river resource, both council leaders believe newly leaders are generally familiar with the activities and the Abatan River development master plan.

Balilihan's new mayor, Dominisio Chatto was then vice mayor, while Antequera's Mario Pahang also sat as the town vice mayor during the product development stage.

Cortes Mayor Apolinaria Balistoy, Maribojoc Mayor Leoncio Evasco Jr and Catigbian's Mayor Salinas have retained their seats and would continue so in the next three years, at least.

Often regarded by many as a competition for the already famous Loboc River Cruises, the Abatan Community Life Tours is an entirely different experience, stresses Governor-elect Edgar Chatto, whose congressional funds then helped finance the endeavor.

The community life tour as managed by the beneficiary towns showcases aside from the often misunderstood mangrove ecosystems, the communities living about in their usual daily rituals, Redulla said.

Starting from the main community village center in Cortes, the tour takes one to some five major stops, all in riverside communities of Abatan-Lincod, Santo Rosario, Kawasan Falls and Catigbian's Dagook Falls.

The tour also includes artistic and cultural presentations showcasing rituals of Wadji, nipa mangrove livelihood activities, basket-weaving and home industries, rural community immersions in Balilihan and Catigbian as well as a package of innovations in governance.

Bohol is Rabbies-Free in 2010

Freedom from the threat of rabies is the shout resounded by Anti-Rabies council members, a thing Bohol may be able to achieve this year if the right conditions are met.

One more year, says Provincial veterinarian Dr. Stella Marie Lapiz, and if Bohol is pegs a high dog vaccination rate, it is most likely that we can be declared free from the threat of rabies this year and beyond.

Achieving the citation however does not come easy, Dr. Lapiz who heads the Bohol Rabies Prevention and Eradication Council (BRPEC) said.

Much of the success would come mostly from the Bantay Rabies sa Barangay (BRB) who are overseeing the registration and vaccination of dogs in their areas. And the continued active involvement of the local leaders would play major roles, Dr, Lapiz said.

BRB are community-based volunteers composed mostly of barangay officials whose main responsibility is to translate and execute the rabies program at the frontlines according to established implementing guidelines and the provisions of the existing national and provincial laws.

Rabies causes a serious brain infection, a virus that can be transmitted to man from canines mostly by animal bites, the virus travels to the central nervous system and when it gets there, this condition becomes fatal and is seldom treatable, medical practitioners admit.

Bohol, an emerging tourist destination and an island dreaming to be a haven for tourists is simply irreconcilable with rabies, Dr. Lapiz said adding that rabies and tourists are a dangerous combination.

Operating from a concept of sustainable program that is community-driven, the council members rolled their sleeves and organized municipal and barangay councils upon whose hands shall lie the fate of the rabies eradication program.

Using dog population control and vaccination coupled with neuterization programs as dog population management, the campaign to account dogs in Bohol soon started to roll.

"We have gone from a slow start and we have achieved quite a lot from the fact that Bohol once topped Central Visayas in the number of rabies cases," she said.

With the PVET at the forefront, BRPEC has already shown an excellent track record posting high dog registration and vaccination rates in the last two years. 

Bohol Gov Flies to South Korea

Governor Erico Aumentado will leave for South Korea Tuesday to attend groundbreaking ceremonies for the pilot algae bio-ethanol processing plant in Goheung County , and to meet with senior economic ministers in Seoul to discuss the mega projects for Bohol proposed for Official Development Assistance (ODA) funding.

From Goheung, the Aumentado team will proceed to Seoul to meet with Man-Soo Kang, senior economic adviser to President Lee Myung Bak and chair of the Presidential Council on National Competitiveness as well as former Ambassador to the Philippines and adopted son of Bohol Minister Choi Joong-Kyung, now presidential senior secretary on economic affairs.

Top in the agenda for the meeting arranged by Man Hwan Park, Philippine country representative of the Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF) Korea Export-Import Bank (Eximbank) are the Bohol Circumferential Road Improvement Project Phase 3 (BCRIP 3), implementation of the multi-industry cluster (MIC) projects, the US$3-million grant for the feasibility study on the Bohol-Cebu Multi Access Friendship Bridge (Super Bridge) and the proposed US$3 million ODA concessional compact loan for the development of the 1.8-kilometer runway of the Ubay domestic airport.

The MIC projects include the establishment of a US$2.9-million algae bio-ethanol research center and P7.5-billion algae bio-ethanol extraction facility both at the proposed Talibon Industrial Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in barangays Tanghaligue, Bagacay and Burgos - with expansion areas in barangays Tulang and San Jose in the adjacent town of Getafe, the upgrading of the Malinao Dam, the rice processing complex in Pilar town, dairy industry development and the Ubay seaport.

Aumentado said one requisite for the release of ODA for BCRIP 3 is the conversion of the Anda Peninsula Highway from a provincial to national road. He and Congressman-elect Arthur Yap of the 3rd District will co-author the conversion bill - and file it within the first session week of the House. Aware that the Korean ODA funds could be reverted unless used within this fiscal year, he vowed to fast track the bill's approval to meet his self-imposed timetable. - Bohol Chronicle

Bohol Towns Under Comelec Control

Two places here have been placed under tight Comission on Elections watch following intense political rivalry claims and peace and order assessment by authorities.
 
Tagbilaran City and Trinidad town has been placed under Comelec Category A area; or that which has intense political rivalry and recorded election related violence in the past two elections.
 
Bohol's main city, according to newspaper reports showed an intense political rivalry between reelectionist Mayor Dan Lim and Vice-Mayor Jose Antonio Veloso. An ambush attempt for Governor Erico Aumentado was also recorder in 2004 has been reportedly the primary reasons of its being under the watchlist. 
 
Reports also alleged that the incumbent's organized city monitoring task force as being used to harrass and threaten voters.
 
On the other hand, Trinidad town on the northern part of Bohol has become an election area of concern with tight election rivalry between Governor and congressional candidate Erico Aumentado running against the Judith Cajes, wife of Rep. Roberto Cajes.
 
The two parties have been trading barbed accusations over Bohol radio airlanes, setting the stage for suits traded between both camps.
 
After a joint security coordination conference in Cebu, the Comelec placed the two areas under its watch prompting the regional police office to put up an additional aumentation.
 
The fresh police peace and security keepers came after three platoons of the Regional Public Safety Mobile Force was sent on the eve of the local election campaigns to secure Ubay, Getafe and Trinidad towns.
 
According to Bohol police commander PSSUpt Rodofo Llorca, with 819 personnel deployable for polling duty, the augmentation force allows the ideal ration of at least one police officer securing every PCOS machine.
 
Other than that, the army unit in Bohol has assured a full batallion of special forces spread in tactical ares in Bohol to pre-empt any attempt to terrorize voters. (PIA-Bohol) 

Bohol Army During the Philippine Election

Rising to the occasion to help the Commission on Elections conduct peaceful, honest, credible and free elections, 802nd Brigade Commanding General Alan Luga promised full military support.
 
With Bohol, Cebu, Samar and Leyte under his command, the Camp Rajah Sikatuna based BGen. Luga said the 2nd Special Forces Batallion of about 400 officers and men are now scattered all over Bohol to make sure that people can go out and vote without fear and intimidation from any party or individual.
 
"Your army forces will ensure that all voters are not terrorized by anybody," BGen. Luga said.
 
For every area, there is a Special Forces team, he assured while stressing that any act of voter intimidation would be responded immediately by his men. 
 
The army Special Forces are experts in the military's civil operations althoough these are also trained combatants when the occasion calls for.
 
Pinpointed as one of the major factors for Bohol successes in insurgency operations, the SF are the ones organizing communities and should not be feeling aliens to the task at hand, army sources reveal.
 
Even then, Bgen Luga requested "to immediately report or forward any information of intimidation to the police or military" so they could respond and do something. 

"We need this information from voters so we could help the authorities conduct a successful May 10 elections," he urged.
 
Now stripped of their usual anti-insurgency role after Bohol has been declared insurgency free since February, the Bohol army chief said they would even be complementing a larger and augmented  police force.
 
Asked about the two reported cases of PTCs, Luga downplayed the attempts calling them false alarms.
 
Also relieved of the task of responding to election related insurgency activities like exaction of permit to campaign, Gen. Luga said the absence of a rebel armed force makes them unable to forcefully collect. (PIA-Bohol) 

Bohol Election: Comelec Reshuffle

A reshuffling of elections officers all over Bohol came in effect last April 19 has assured the people that no election officer may show bias to his local chief executive.
 
New Tagbilaran City Election Officer Atty. Ricardo Villares bared this as he stressed that the rigodon should put election officers away from the allegations that they are conniving with the mayors and other local officials to assure their victories.
 
Villares, who came from vote-rich Loon also said the Commission on Elections has almost finished its preparations  for the elections.
 
Other than testing and sealing the Prescint Count Optical Scanners (PCOS) the Comelec would also have to attempt to transmit the results of a test run within the next few days.
 
Bohol election officer Eliseo Labaria Jr also said he hopes polls in Bohol would go smooth and peaceful, urging losing candidates to candidly accept defeat and stop being sore losers by spinning tales of being cheated. - PIA

Government Corruption in Bohol Island Philippines

By Bohol Chronicle

For alleged "rigged" bidding and overpriced purchase of heavy equipments, Gov. Erico Aumentado and members of the Provincial Bid and Awards Committee are now facing charges at the Ombudsman Visayas. 

Of all people, the complainant in these cases is Aumentado's erstwhile political protégée, second district congressman Roberto Cajes. 

The solon is now on his third and last term and is running for mayor of Trinidad town, while his wife, the outgoing town mayor, is Aumentado's opponent, contesting his return bid to the congressional district which he represented for three terms; 1995, 1998 till 2001. 

Charged together with Aumentado are Atty. Handel Lagunay, PBAC Chairman; Engr. Edwin Vallejos, Vice Chairman; Laura Boloyos of the Budget Office and Felix Mejorada of the Office of the Governor, in their capacities as PBAC members. 

P9.6M BACKHOE 

First cited in the Cajes complaint was the purchase in 2006 of one (1) unit hydraulic excavator (backhoe) which include an optional attachment of a breaker that allegedly cost only P6,580,000.00 but was paid to a lone bidder the amount of P9,649,500.00.  

Only one supplier, Civic Merchandising, Inc. - Cebu participated in the entire bidding process and was awarded the contract. 

"The P3,069,500 difference is a clear overprice, the extra money definitely not given to charity," Cajes said in his complaint. 

A salesman of the same supplier company, Civic Merchandising, Inc. –Manila allegedly told Cajes that a VOLVO EC2BLC backhoe of the same specifications as that of the one subject of the bid is only worth P6,200,000.00 plus 10% rebate if paid in cash or a net cash price of P5,580,000.00. 

On the other hand, the cost of a breaker, an attachment to a backhoe, is about P850,000.00 to P1.M. In sum, the net cash price of the complete backhoe unit would only be P6,580,000.00 only, Cajes pointed out. 

BAC members and other concerned provincial officials under the leadership of Gov. Aumentado allegedly did not take action, to conduct even a cursory canvass of prices of backhoes of the same class or category in order to determine the prevailing market price, at the very least, the solon added. 

Cajes also noted that a Letter of Credit (LC) opened in PNB Cebu Branch, debited from the current account of the Bohol Provincial Government was denominated in US dollar when the quoted price of the Volvo backhoe was in peso. Moreover, the beneficiary of the LC is Sydex Limited of Kowloon, Hongkong when the supplier was supposed to be Civic Merchandising-Cebu.  

"What Sydex Limited has to do with the purchase transaction?" Cajes asked.  

Two letters were sent to Ombudsman-Manila questioning the same purchase; the other one by Atty. Victor Dela Serna, former OIC governor of Bohol. 

Gov. Aumentado also promised to return the overprice amount and subsequently, Civic Merchandising, Inc. "voluntarily" donated P750,000.00 worth of goodies, like canned goods, etc to the province. Aside from the donated goods, Civic also returned to the province the amount of P238,940.00, allegedly due to "miscomputation."  

Was there really a miscomputation or was it just a scheme adopted in order to cover-up the highly anomalous transaction?, Cajes asked. 

HEAVY EQUIPMENT 

Another bidding of heavy equipment was conducted by the provincial government on Feb. 9, 2009. This time, the equipment to be purchased included two (2) units track excavator with breaker; two (2) units of bulldozer; two (2) units of payloader; ten (10) units of six wheeler dump trucks; four (4) units of grader; and four (4) units vibratory compactor. 

RDAK, Civic Merchandising-Cebu, JVF and Camec JCB Corp (CJC) participated in the bidding. 

Under the New Government Procurement Reformed Act (R.A. 9184), it is provided that in all cases, the contract shall be awarded only to the bidder with the Lowest Calculated Responsive Bid or Highest Rated Responsive Bid. 

Instead of disbursing an amount equivalent to the lowest bid, the Approved Budget for the Contract (ABC) for the equipment were very much higher. 

Aside from the highly anomalous biddings conducted by the provincial government, Gov. Aumentado also failed to act on the delay of RDAK Transport Equipment, Inc. to deliver two (2) units of brand new payloaders specified under P.O. No. 221 dated April 8, 2009 signed by the governor himself. Until now, the company RDAK has not yet delivered the payloaders. 

Under such purchase order, RDAK ought to deliver the payloaders within ninety (90) days upon receipt of the P.O.; otherwise it could be held liable to pay a penalty of one –tenth (1/10) of one (1) percent for everyday of delay. 

The inaction of Gov. Aumentado gives clear advantage to RDAK but to the detriment and due damage/injury to the provincial government, Cajes said. 

The second district solon charged all respondent for violation of the Anti-Graft and Corruption Practices (R.A. 3019); Fraud against Public Treasury, Art. 213 (1) of the Revised Penal Code; and violation of the Gov't Procurement Reformed Act (R.A. 9184). 

Cajes also asked the Ombudsman to mete a preventive suspension immediately on all respondents, subject to pertinent Election laws, to prevent them from devising ways of suppressing the records on matters raised in the complaint.

Efforts to contact Gov. Aumentado for his comment failed until press time.

Protecting Bohol Heritage

THE country can now start its formal reference to a law, which guides cultural protection and preservation.

And for the rejoicing Boholanos, the enactment of the National Cultural Heritage Act of 2009 adds more power to the earlier Bohol Arts and Cultural Heritage Code.

Leading the country's efforts on formal heritage protection and conservation, Boholanos had been guided by BACH Code as the bible for local cultural workers.

And the local law fits snugly into the new law, says cultural lobbyist and enthusiast Lutgardo Labad.

President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has finally inked into law an act which provides a backbone for efforts in aggressive advocacy for better cultural heritage protection and conservation of the country's priceless heritage.

For Bohol, the development also puts into formal gear the efforts of communities and cultural workers to protect, preserve and conserve built heritage best exemplified in centuries-old churches, watch and bell towers, public buildings, arch bridges and turn of the century structures which graphically present the country's history.

The President signed Republic Act No. 10066 which provides for the protection and conservation of national cultural heritage.

At the same time, the act also strengthens the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and its Affiliated Cultural Agencies which are tasked to oversee the careful implementation of such efforts, says Boholano cultural worker Lutgardo Labad.

The act, which was signed on March 26, 2010 was lobbied by NCCA through Presidential Adviser on Culture Cecile Guidote-Alvarez.

"The nation is now assured of a continued commitment for the protection and conservation of our national cultural heritage," Labad said.

Also called the "National Cultural Heritage Act of 2009," the law aims to streamline protection, preservation and promotion of the nation's cultural heritage, its property and histories, and the ethnicity of local communities, the multi-awarded cultural aficionado stressed.

It also seeks to establish and strengthen cultural institutions and protect cultural workers and ensure their professional development and well-being.

This act would now allow developers and art workers to approach conservation in an integrated and holistic manner where the state has asserted efforts to create a balanced atmosphere where the historic past co-exists in harmony with modern society.

This opens up wellsprings of relevant disciplines and technologies to be used in conservation and restoration efforts while administering the heritage resources in a spirit of stewardship for the inspiration and benefit of the present and future generations, Labad explained. (PIA-Bohol) 

Election in Bohol Philippines

Bohol Chronicle: The Church is calling Boholano electorates not to waste their votes in the coming election which is barely 24 days away.

The call was echoed by Bishop Leonardo Medroso even as he asked the faithful for fervent prayers for a clean and orderly election especially that this will be the first time that counting is done by automation.
  
The church leader said voters should pause and make choices on whom to elect as their next leaders to govern the nation and the local communities.

To give the electorates a better perspective and evaluation of the candidates for major local posts, the forum dubbed as "Sayri Ang Bol-anon" is scheduled to commence next week to be aired live over BCCTV and dyRD-AM, the sponsoring media partners.

This is in coordination with the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) and the Commission on Election.

Gubernatorial bets, Edgar Chatto, Julius Herrera and Cesar Montano are scheduled on April 26 while the one-on-one city mayoralty bets, Dan Lim and Jose Antonio Veloso will be on April 28. The congressional bets for the first district, Oscar Glovasa, Edgar Kapirig and Rene Relampagos will be on May 3 and second district congressional bets, Erico Aumentado and Judith Cajes will be on May 5.

You Have To Stop Me, says Tagbilaran Mayor

Sunday Post: You have to stop me, Lim tells his critics  

You have to stop me from doing what is best for Tagbilaran.            

This was the message issued by Mayor Dan Lim to his critics who have resorted to a signature campaign in a bid to stop the P50-million earmarked for the rehabilitation of city roads.            

 "If you think I will give in to orchestrated pressure, think again," Lim said in a message address to his critics.            

The mayor has maintained that the opposition to the loan is orchestrated by his political rivals in a bid to score a psychological victory if the project will not push through.            

 "I do what I believe is right – even if it is unpopular and even if it costs me my reelection," the outspoken mayor declared.            

He recalled that some of the major programs of his administration encountered rough sailing from his critics.            

 "My critics wanted to stop our support for education first by saying not all received the freebies and then by saying they did not fit right, but that didn't stop me from pursuing this project," he added.            

The mayor also recalled that his opponents tried to undermine the Blue Card project by refusing to distribute the cards in the barangays where the barangay captains were identified with the opposition and then claiming that there was favoritism.            

 "They told the people that we chose the beneficiaries when the real story was that they did not distribute the cards and used the issue of favoritism in the 2007 elections," he added.            

Lim also recalled that the minority bloc tried to discredit the Libreng Tambal sa Katawhan project by asking government agencies to close it and writing to sponsors to stop sending donations.            

Again, the mayor said he refused to buckle under pressure.            

 "The garbage disposal scheme, the two-stroke ban and the Senior Citizens benefits all came under fire from the biased media but I held my ground," he added.            

Lim said the issue boils down to whether the people want the dilapidated city roads to be rehabilitated or not.            

 "Let us make that an election issue. If they think it is wrong to repair the roads, then let them vote for Team Vaniderm. But if they want the roads to be fixed as early as possible, then rally behind me," he added.            

The mayor said he is in a damn-if-you-do, damn-if-you-don't situation.            
 "If the roads are fixed, they say I made money, if they remain in bad state, they say I am useless," he added.            

The mayor said he would rather fix the road and leave his critics to their own conclusions than be hostage to public opinion.            

 "You cannot please everybody. I would rather please those who want progress than those who want to see me lose the election," he added.            

Lim said he would rather be unpopular and be proven right later on than give in to popular opinion and regret it later.            

 "Let history judge my actions," he concluded.

Vice-Gov. Julius Caesar Herrera has a birthday message to Rep. Edgar Chatto

Sunday Post: Vice-Gov. Julius Caesar Herrera has a birthday message to Rep. Edgar Chatto: expect a friendly competition in the gubernatorial race.

      Herrera gave the message when asked to comment on Chatto's birthday celebration which falls on Sunday, Feb. 21.

      The vice-governor and the first district solon were long-time political allies but turned bitter rivals when they both set their sights on the governorship which will be vacated by Gov. Erico Aumentado.

      "The election is only up to May 10 but life goes on," the vice-governor explained his message.

      Herrera said he would like the friendship between them to remain even though the rivalry has intensified as the election nears.

      He added that the issues against each other cannot be prevented for obvious reasons.

      "He sees things differently and he has a different style so the differences cannot be prevented," the vice-governor added.

      Herrera, however, stressed that friendship has to give way to a higher calling and that is public service.

      The vice-governor said that as early as his second term, he had decided to run for governor and made it clear to his erstwhile Lakas party mates including Aumentado and Chatto.

      Herrera admitted talks that there were efforts to convince him to run for congressman instead to avert the head-on collision.

      The vice-governor in turn suggested that Chatto field his wife to replace him but the latter also did not budge.

      "It came to a point of two determined public servants eyeing the same responsibility," he said in describing the situation.

      Herrera said that he had bound himself to the commitment to make the rivalry "a friendly one".

      He, however, admitted, that it is difficult to arrive at a common definition on what is friendly and what is not.

      "There are times when I feel that his camp is no longer playing it fair and I won't be surprised if there are times he feels the same way," the vice-governor added.

      Herrera stressed that his commitment will remain although he agreed that friendship will have to be a two-way process.

      He said it will be up to both of them to determine if they will want the friendship to remain after May 10.

      "I cannot decide for him in the same manner that he cannot decide for me," the vice-governor added.

      Herrera said he considers public service a higher calling.

      "Friendship should take a back seat to public service," he added.

      The vice-governor did not say it, but no matter how the election results will end up, his friendship with the first district solon will no longer be the same. 

Marriage in Inabanga Bohol

44 Cuaming couples wed 

FORTY-FOUR couples in Cuaming Island Friday exchanged marriage vows in a mass wedding that Inabanga Mayor Jose Jono Jumamoy presided.

  Aside from their respective families, students teachers, the community in general and guests led by Gov. Erico Aumentado witnessed the civil rites legally binding the couples "for better or for worse,"

  Jumamoy urged the newly-weds to practice responsible parenthood and actively participate in his other advocacy – poverty reduction.  

OFWs aknowledge Bohol Representative Chatto’s deep concern

OFWs aknowledge Chatto's deep concern 

Rep. Edgar Chatto's concern for the overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) is widely recognized and appreciated by the sector whose remittances help keep the economy afloat. 

Sources in the local business community even remarked it does not exaggerate to say that this is in itself Chatto's one way of contributing to the economy. 

But the Bohol congressman's indelible imprint on the lives of the migrant workers is his rescue of the OFWs in critical condition, even from imminent death. 

He had caused the release from foreign jails of OFWs who were falsely charged, oftentimes by their cruel masters and employers, with crimes and offenses they had not committed. 

Chatto facilitated the repatriation of many OFWs who had long been hiding or safekept after running away from their tyrant employers. 

Boholana maids who were abused in all forms, including rape and torture, in certain Middle East domains found Chatto their liberator from suffering. 

In some cases, dead OFWs remained frozen in their alien job sites for several months for foreign authorities' refusal to repatriate the lifeless workers while investigations were going on. 

The mere thought of having dead loved ones in foreign lands waiting to be claimed and transported back home for final rest and eternal peace was simply agonizing to their families.   

Chatto had them finally flown---cold and boxed, or, sometimes, in ashes following cremation---to Bohol without their families spending a cent. 

There lives were not wasted because of their distant employment's impacts on the both the lives of their dependents and the economy. 

The sprouting of banks and express money channels and the flourishing currency exchange business in Bohol could suggest the flowing remittances from Boholano workers abroad. 

The OFWs substantially sustain their families and support the education of their children or brothers and sisters, even relatives. 

Many of them have invested their earnings in the local business, thereby helping generate jobs for their fellow Boholanos. 

In partnership with concerned agencies like the Department of Labor and Employment, Philippine Overseas Employment Administration and Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, Chatto initiated a livelihood development program for the OFWs and their families or dependents. 

Chatto has established the weekly radio program segment OFW Action Line to bridge the OFWs and their loved ones back home. 

Aired on DYRD and DYTR and heard worldwide via Internet every Saturday, the radio program at the same time educates the potential OFWs. 

In Congress, Chatto vehemently lobbied for the Magna Carta for the OFWs.  He pushed for the law improving the standards of protection and assistance for migrant workers. 

He amended Republic Act 8042, the Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995, to mandate for free compulsory insurance for the OFWs so that they could get monetary claims or claims for damages resulting from court decisions or case settlements. 

There are volumes of concerns presently handled by Chatto's office, which has a special desk for OFWs. 

They include requests for assistance for repatriation because of ailments and maltreatment, return of dead bodies, dependents' claims for insurance and benefits from OWWA and SSS for dead OFWs, location of "missing" OFWs, recovery from her agency of the documents of a nurse who failed to work abroad, and a family's claim for monthly allotment not remitted by the agency, which also failed to remit the Philhealth contribution of the OFW. 

Just days ago, a pregnant domestic helper cried while she personally thanked Chatto for facilitating her safe repatriation from Singapore.  She feared of miscarriage because of abdominal pains caused by overwork there.  The father of the child she conceives is her husband. 

Last year, Chatto rescued three Filipina migrant workers, all not Boholanas, who were forced to drugs and prostitution in Malaysia. 

Probably one of Chatto's most dramatic acts of saving OFWs involves a domestic helper in Jordan who almost died of cardiac arrest while in stopover at an airport in Bangkok, Thailand two years ago.   

The female OFW, who hails from Dimiao, was on her way back home for Christmas but the near-fatal heart attack at the foreign airport had rendered her comatose.  The surgeons would not operate her unless someone could guarantee payment of some P1.3 million. 

The Philippine ambassador to Thailand managed to recall having met a "congressman from Bohol" in an international tourism event there years back.  He quickly contacted Chatto for assistance. 

Chatto moved fast to the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office in Manila to grant him the amount so that the Boholana might live.   

The PCSO people were hesitant because the amount was too huge, causing Chatto to threaten to personally go to the president.  The PCSO board thus quickly convened and yielded to Chatto's pleading.   

It was reportedly unprecedented since no such financial aid had ever been granted to a critical OFW before. 

Her skull was opened in the crucial surgery.  She was saved from death.  A part of her scalp has been implanted on the side of her abdomen to keep it "alive" until it is returned to its original place in another operation. 

Just late last year, Chatto visited a barangay in Dimiao when a woman in her 20s approached and embraced him like a child who finally found her long lost father.  She was that OFW. (Ven rebo Arigo) 

Edgar Chatto's Birthday in Balilihan, Bohol Philippines

The colorful political career of first district Cong. Edgar Chatto will be capped with his 50th birthday being celebrated today with the long and winding road ahead  leading to his biggest political battle looming large in the horizon.

Marking the golden event is a big blow out party in his hometown Balilihan starting this morning. 

A product of political unification of elections past, the coming political exercise is a formidable one as he is pitted against an equally strong opponent in V-Gov. Julius Ceasar Herrera.

Confident of his achievements that dated back to his days as Kabataang Barangay (KB) federation chair, the gentleman from Balilihan is staking his refutation as an unbeaten politician in all his political fights when he is ranged against the Calape heavyweight.

He has been a Balilihan mayor, vice governor and three- term congressman with the coveted plum of being Bohol governor next in line of his continuing quest to stay on top of his chosen career. 

As Chatto faces another challenge of his political endeavor, he is in the threshold of whether he still enjoys the expectation of Boholanos who will weigh down his performance to culminate his ambition in provincial politics. 

With all of nine years being devoted in the crafting of laws and policies, the first district solon secured funds and all other supports to development projects and service programs affecting varied sectors and constituencies.

The upgrading of education, tourism and agriculture has been among his top priorities contributing to the fulfillment of the Bohol vision as a prime eco-cultural tourism destination and a balanced-agro industrial province.

Just last Thursday, Chatto led the formal launching of the Bohol Island State University – Clarin Campus as an effect of his law, Republic Act 9722, converting the then Central Visayas State College of Agriculture, Forestry and Technology into the BISU.

The Clarin school was the first CVSCAFT branch to be be formally launched into a BISU campus.  The BISI has five other campuses, including the main in Tagbilaran City.

Mayor Hermogenes Dizon, himself a teacher, said never did it come to their minds that one day, and in his term at that, that a university would be established in a lowly fifth-class municipality like theirs.

Principally authored by Chatto, the BISU law established the first and only state university in this province of the country, making quality university education accessible by the poor in distance and cost.

The Tourism Act of 2009, a milestone legislation of both national and local importance, is another cause for the Boholanos' pride in Chatto, who is the principal author of the law and chairman of the tourism committee of the House of Representatives.

The law declares tourism as an engine of national economic recovery and growth while industry key players and stakeholders hailed it as the Philippine bible of tourism.

Chatto brought honors to the country when he presided over one of the four major plenary sessions during the 6th International Tourism Forum for Parliamentarians and Local Authorities initiated by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).

In Congress, Chatto secured funds for the agriculture sector whom he represents as senior vice chairman of the committee on agriculture.  He supported policies modernizing the agriculture and fishery on a laudable intent of capacitating even the most lowly farmhands.

The unwanted bureaucratic fats poison transparency, a wanting value in the government of men, and kill people's trust in public servants.  

Chatto thus crafted, as one of its principal authors in the House, the Anti-Red Tape Act.  The law mandates for a Citizen's Charter in each local government unit and every frontline agency, among others.

One more Chatto legislative legacies is the law expanding the Special Program for the Employment of Students.  The law grants the poor students more opportunities to earn from vacation works that at the same time serve as their hands-on course training and earn for them academic credits.  Their wages will be used for their next schooling.

Chatto's legislative efforts have addressed infrastructure concerns, too, like his laws nationalizing major and vital provincial roads.  

Nationalized roads have regular national funds for annual maintenance and, ultimately, enduring improvement like concreting.  

Chatto has, therefore, caused the provincial government to save millions in road funds and instead spend them for other essential projects or basic services like health care.

The congressman is a staunch advocate of a consultative and participatory government so that he would always confer with the local leaders on their priorities for support and assistance from concerned national agencies.

One of his current major projects is the concrete conversion of the sleepy Catagbacan port in Loon into an international cruise ship port.

He is a visible figure in Congress at sessions for which he has consistently been cited among the few solons with perfect attendance. He could always report to his constituents the doings in Congress.

One more landmark law, a socially sensitive legislation, of which he is one of the main fathers in Congress is the Cheaper Medicines Act.

Chatto's other standout works as their author or co-author are the laws on rent control, the strengthening of the University of the Philippines Charter, amendments to the Cooperative Code of the Philippines, establishment of the National Book Development  Trust Fund, strengthening of the regulatory capacity of the Bureau of Food and Drugs, and strengthening of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program.

He has a special law declaring every July 27 as a special national working holiday in recognition of the founding of the Iglesia Ni Cristo in the Philippines.

The Roman Catholic Church and Human Life International awarded him as a pro-God, pro-family and pro-life legislator.  His Eminence Ricardo Cardinal Vidal conferred him the honor.

His previous legislative contributions are now parts of the Anti-Money Laundering Act, amendments to the 1972 Dangerous Drugs Act, amendments to the Balikbayan Program, the granting of 10-year period for filing free patent applications, Magna Carta for Micro Enterprises, Government Procurement Act, Absentee Voting Act, Geodetic Engineering Act, declaration of every December 4-10 as National Human Rights Week, Anti-Trafficking of Persons Act, and the declaration of August 21 every year as Ninoy Aquino Day.

Chatto is one of the Ten Outstanding Boholanos Around the World (TOBAW) awardees given during the Tigum Bol-anon sa Tibuok Kalibutan (TBTK), the grandest provincial reunion of Boholanos held in every two years. The TBTK is unprecedented in the country. (Ven rebo Arigo) 

Tax Campaign in Bohol Philippines

BIR Commissioner Joel L. Tan-Torres' Tax Campaign theme and slogan for 2010 "Making the Public Know" (RMO No, 3-2010) will be launched for this revenue district on Wednesday, February 17 at the Island City, Dao, Tagbilaran City. The activity will start at 8:30 a.m. with a motorcade from the BIR office at M. Torralba St. (back of Gov. Celestino Gallares Memorial Hospital) moving through the main city streets. The aim is to awaken our tax conscious Boholanos that the advent of the Income Tax filing season is here which deadline is on April 15. A short program will follow at the Island City Mall hopefully to end once again with penned pledges of support by taxpayers towards the achievement of collection goals. CY 2009 collection of BIR-Bohol registered a .03% overshot of the 2009 given goal while January 2010 collection summed a 1.8% increase over last year's collection even with a February 1 registration deadline. 

This launching activity is set to kick off the start of CY 2010 tax filing as well as set off a new tandem of tax collection efforts by newly installed Revenue District Officer for BIR, Bohol RDO Romeo E. Naranjo and Assistant Revenue District Officer Tohammie L. Yahya. The two revenuers strongly invite all taxpayers particularly VAT taxpayers, accounting practitioners as well as profession practitioners to join in the said launching. A series of Tax Seminar on BIR updates will follow thereafter. RR 13, Cebu had its launching last February 5 with the four (4) districts under it excluding Bohol.

It is hoped that the Boholano taxpaying public will again give 100% priority concern to this activity as BIR's partners in its mission of tax collection. A well educated taxpayer is a compliant taxpayer - is the vision of the revenuers. For inquiries please dial Globelines 501-8488 or PLDT 411-2012. (ERLomantas, BIR) 

Antonio Ong Guat, the founder of Bohol Quality Store


From Sunday Post
 
I pay my sincerest condolences to Antonio Ong Guat, the founder of Bohol Quality Store. My family especially my late Mom owed a lot of gratitude to him. Little is known of the fact that my Mom as a school teacher, was making school teaching charts with her crude rubber printing set. I used to accompany her to Tagbilaran to buy her supplies at Bohol Quality Store, and bought her supplies direct from Ong Guat. Suki niya si Ong Guat to the point that he would attend to her when she goes to the store. In fact, nagpapautang pa siya ni Mom, which she paid when she sold her teaching materials to the new teachers.

I suggest that the provincial and city governments should honor Ong Guat with a posthumous award in recognition of his efforts to be the founder of a business empire in Bohol, which has presently employed thousands of Boholanos presently. I think everybody agrees that his store sparked business to its fullest heights today.

Fred Ong and his wife Babs Gonzaga were good friends of my younger brother Casty.

The growth of Bohol Quality Store to what it is today, is a tribute to the pioneering efforts and sacrifices of their father and of course, which was expanded by Fred Ong and family.

Their success is a trailblazer and an eyeopener to Boholanos with humble beginnings.

Schools in Loboc Bohol

Gov. Erico B. Aumentado recently inaugurated two school buildings of the Loboc School of Music in Loboc, Bohol.

The first building, consisting of two classrooms, was donated by the Bohol Provincial Government through the effort of Governor Aumentado with the support of the Local Government of Loboc.

The second building with four classrooms was donated by the First Consolidated Bank, Cong. Adam Relson Jala, and Undersecretary of Transportation Eladio Jala.

These buildings are located in the Loboc School of Music campus on top of the hill in Jimili-an, Loboc, Bohol.

The inauguration of the school buildings was attended by Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap, officials of the Loboc Local Government, officers of the Philippines-Australia Community Assistance Program (PACAP), officers of the Loboc Youth Education Association (LYEA), and more than 400 students and their parents.

The Loboc School of Music is a project of the LYEA.

During the inauguration, Governor Aumentado committed additional fundings for the sound proofing of the school's recording studio, and Secretary Yap committed air-conditioning of the studio and additional musical instruments. Secretary Yap has earlier donated various musical instruments and was responsible for the P1M donation of President Arroyo for the Project

At present, the Loboc School of Music is offering classes in note reading and musical instrumentation.

Since the implementation of its Loboc Music Project, the Loboc Youth Education Association has already organized the Loboc Youth Ambassadors Band, the Loboc Ambassadors Rondalla, Oy National High School Band in Barangay Oy, Camayaan National High School Band, Loboc National High School Band, and PMI Loboc Academy High School Band.

The Loboc Youth Ambassadors Band is performing on Friday and Saturday nights at the Loboc Childrens' Theater and on invitations. The Loboc Ambassadors Rondalla is also performing daily at the docking port and on invitation.

The Loboc Music Project of LYEA is supported by the Philippines-Australia Community Program (PACAP), the Bohol Provincial Government, LGU Loboc, the First Consolidated Bank, the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCAA) and Ambassador Carlos Chan and family. Presently, it has 98 college scholars due to the support of Bohol Island State University (BISU), BITG-International College, Holy Name University and the University of Bohol.

LYEA aims to promote, develop and train the youth the art of music and the use of musical instruments, pursue an integrated scholarship program for the youth with music and use of musical instrument, and establish, maintain and operate a school of music in Loboc. 

War brewing between the fishermen of Jagna and Garcia Hernandez

By Joe Espiritu

There could be war brewing between the fishermen of Jagna and Garcia Hernandez. If this is not stopped in time it might flare up into an open conflict. Strict implementation of a law or ordinance is good but since nothing is perfect, there must be allowances. Since there was none those who had been penalized would be looking for instances so they could retaliate. Some residents of Garcia established fish sanctuaries. They placed buoys around certain areas so fishermen would observe rules pertaining sanctuaries. A no disturbance rule inside the defined area is strictly imposed. Stiff penalties are imposed for violations. There are complaints for over enforcement of the rule. There is no room for consideration, violators claim. There was a fisherman from Jagna, out of ignorance or defiance, cast his long line locally called paranghe or palangre inside the sanctuary. He was apprehended and fined. Although the chap paid through his nose, he could do nothing since he was a violator. Then there was one who claimed, he set his lines outside the no fishing zone, he was also charged with the no disturbance violation and fined. There were fishermen cruising inside the zone and they were chased off. 

Penalties could be imposed on the first and last incidents, but the second one is clearly not a violation since the operation was already outside the zone. Then there was one who merely landed because he had drifted inside the area due to some boat trouble. He too was penalized. Then there was on whose engine had conked out outside the sanctuary. He was towed inside the zone and was penalized. If those stories were true, sanctuary wardens could be charged with piracy or kidnapping and illegal detention. However, those wrongly accused cannot afford to take their cases to court. Every day away from fishing would mean less food for their families. They would be looking for time and place to retaliate in one way or another. The sad part is that they take it out on the wrong persons. 

Jagna has her share of sanctuaries. Their wardens are also strict in enforcing the rules. There had been arguments but since the rules had been enforced within acceptable limits argument would not degenerate into violence. This means violators are aware of their transgressions. Perhaps it is just pride or plain stubbornness, which makes them argue back but it is only as far as that. There had been stories of Jagna fishermen shooing away Garcia boats away from Jagna waters. Those men were not the ones who had allegedly done them wrong but since they were not able to fight back, they take it out on the wrong fellow. Sadly, the sanctuary wardens do no go out to sea. When the winds will shift to southwest, Garcia fishermen will be blown towards Jagna. Hopefully the Jagna fishermen will learn to distinguish people. 

In other places, when boats are stranded because of engine trouble or boat malfunction, the sailor or fisherman is aided. Jagna fishermen say that if it happens in the sanctuary area, they are fined. No considerations given. If disturbing the waters of the sanctuary is strictly forbidden, warning signs must be placed all over the area. It is not fair to use the sanctuary as a trap for the unwary. The stories might not be true. Fishermen are used to aiding one another during trouble no matter where one comes from. They have a set of unwritten rules to follow. When something starts brewing, it must be settled at once otherwise it become more serious before we know it.

Lady Board Member in Bohol Philippines

By Manuel Ferdinand Ramirez de Erio

According to fitness expert Chad Tackett, "If you have a willingness to work through the initial emotional discomfort as you move step-by-step into (this) new lifestyle, you'll find the confidence, commitment, determination, and belief in your own self-worth that will ease the way." True enough for Maria Fe "Mafe" Camacho-Lejos, the lady whom once upon a time enjoyed her life in privacy within the walls of love of her family and the shelter of her earned comfort in life. 

Few people know and even remember, that this tall and graceful lady Board Member of the third district of this province, at age of 10 years was already in grade six. And, was even the first to be crowned as Bohol Girl Scout Dream Girl in 1967. Mafe finished pre-med in Velez College , Cebu City . She then enrolled in the University of Bohol , Tagbilaran City where she became the class president and graduated with Bachelor Science in Nursing. She tied knots with Christopher Lejos and was blessed with two sons Kevin and Kerson. 

After she worked in then Quezon Institute (now TB Pavilion) for four years were she was also elected and served as president of the Quezon Institute Nurses Association during the last three years and also elected as the National Secretary General of the Alliance of Health Workers for two years (1984-1986), Mafe decided to work abroad as nurse in a hospital in saudi Arabia. For sixteen years of work, she learned to be patient in dealing with people from different walks of life. Although she was working abroad during the childhood years of her two sons, Mafe maintained her intimacy with her family, especially Kevin and Kerson. "Mama is like a barkada to us," Kerson quipped. "No son could ask for a better mom," added the eldest of the two, Kevin. 

The threshold to change 

When Dr. Estanislao Camacho withdrew his candidacy due to his terminal ailment, the family decided for Mafe to take Dr. Camacho's slot in the political party. "Politics is not my cup of tea. It couldn't say no to the offer, it's not easy to yes either," Mafe stressed. "I love my private life. I do whatever I wish to do without having to think of other people," she added. Since Mafe spent most of her years in Manila and abroad, most of the people only knew her by name. It was a real culture shock when she had fully realized what she was into. "It's an ultimately new thing for me. I used to be always behind the scene," Mafe recalled. For Mafe's eldest son, Kevin who grew in Manila where he never heard of a Board Member, the position did not really concern him. It was the possible consequences that disturbed Kevin, "We were just like any other families. I didn't want the thought that anybody could just simple evade our private life." 

Public service, here she comes! 

When Mafe filed her candidacy she felt right there and then that the position was God-given. "I felt and somehow believe that the position is really for me…that the time has come," she recalled. Mafe was offered to run for mayor of Getafe a couple of times in the past with the pledges of her family for the moral and logistic support, but not even once she considered the offer. 

When she took her oath and begun her pubic service, she experienced realities that are hard to accept. "There are people in politics who are not actually public servants. I then realized that one can be a politician but not necessarily a public servant," she quipped. Probably the most wonderful insight that Mafe gained is to see and understand the plight of those who are least fortunate in life and being able to do something for them. "It's really gratifying to help people who are really in dire need for help. This is the most compensating part in public service." She emphasized. As for Kevin who run and won Governor of the College of Liberal Arts in UB after the year his mother won and as a board member, "We were happy before and we're still happy now." Kevin said, referring to their family life. 

When ask if Kevin's interest in youth and student service and leadership should lead him to follow his mother's footsteps, and even continue the political legacy of the Camacho clan, "I can never tell, the chances are really unpredictable. As of the moment I am not sure how long my passion for service will last." Kevin bared. "From the very beginning of my mama's term, I expected humps along the road. Now, I see my mom encounter humps. It's either fear it or learn from it." Kevin added. Just like his mother, Kevin's leadership style is inspired by the real intention for service, something that he and his mama shared, "We tend to serve more than the services that we offer." After the first term, what's next?

Mafe has long accepted the reality that nothing is perfect. However, she wishes for a more mature electing population. "I have learned to love public service. I'd like to be remembered by my initiative for sustainable livelihood and concern for public health especially for the children. I also understand that I can still be of public service even after my term as board member," Mafe shared. Knowing that politics is a milestone of the Camacho clan, people are wondering if she'll take another round in politics after her first term. Mafe has only this to share, "I'll cross the bridge when I get there!" For Kevin, "Whatever is her decision either to run for reelection, retire or find and settle for a new job, I just want to see her happy with us, her family." Though the course of Mafe's journey in public service is uncertain at present, one thing is for certain. Mafe has learned to love and has enjoyed her life in public service. Politics made her see a greater reality in the plight of the Filipino masses and public service definitely changed her heart.

Panglao Bohol Airport Corruption

By Sunday Post
The opening of bids for the construction of the Panglao Bohol International Airport Phase 1, Package 1 has been moved to February 5 instead of January 25.

  Bohol Gov. Erico Aumentado, go-getter for the P7.5-billion project of the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) said closure of the dropping of bids and subsequent opening was postponed by 11 days to accommodate more bidders who expressed intention of participating in the process.

  Contrary to the sender's letter that said dropping of bids will be on January 25 yet, 14 bidders have in fact dropped bids as of December 14.

  Aumentado who chairs the Panglao Island Tourism Development Inter-Agency Task Force (PITD IA-TF) that has at least five Cabinet members in it has repeatedly impressed upon the task force that the bidding must be open, competitive, transparent and with accountability.

  However, Bohol will have no hand in the bidding process as the MIAA, being the implementing agency, is handling it.

  Aumentado said the latest delay of a matter of a few days will not imperil the project. Instead, he expressed elation over the development when informed that the new participants are "heavyweights" in the airport construction industry.

  "But there is no favored bidder," the governor said in reaction to an email sent by Corruption Watch Philippines (CWP) with email address of Cwpafrica@yahoo.com.

  The email sender had challenged the provincial government of Bohol to disprove that the project will be awarded to C.M. Pancho Construction – allegedly still blacklisted by the World Bank – in consideration of P100 million reportedly arranged by NDG or Nards de Guzman, Aumentado's trusted man.

  De Guzman came with the representatives of the bidders who conducted on January 12 an ocular inspection of Brgy. Tawala in Panglao – site of the runway and terminal building for which President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo broke ground on May 20, 2008, it does not mean that he has arranged a shadowy deal, the governor emphasized.

  De Guzman helps him arrange meetings with Cabinet officials whenever he goes to Manila to follow up projects but not to negotiate with any contractor or contractors for cuts in rigged biddings.

  "I have always adhered to the principles of transparency and accountability. The bidding for the Panglao Airport, of which the province has no participation except to wait for MIAA's Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) to announce the winner is no exception," he stressed.

  Besides, he said, the sender apparently is not abreast with its facts considering that as early as January last year, the company had already caused the publication in a national broadsheet that the World Bank has already cleared it from bid-rigging and colluding with other firms and officials of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), and that it will never resort to bribery and corrupt practices to earn or win its contracts.

  "The charges against CM Pancho are all false and baseless. Contrary to the erroneous content of the news items, CM Pancho was in fact cleared by the World Bank in its aforesaid decision of any charges of alleged corrupt, unsound and fraudulent practices," it said.

  "CM Pancho has likewise not colluded with any 'cartel' of the participating firms or any DPWH [Department of Public Works and Highways] official in the bidding process of NRIMP1 as it submitted legitimate bids, which can be justified up to the last centavo," it added.

  Aumentado also said the sender apparently has not been to Bohol lately to to apprise  
his group of the situation at the check in, pre-departure and parking areas of the Tagbilaran Airport.

  Booking for flights except when done months ahead of departure, is already an ordeal, not to mention that tourist arrivals have been increasing due to aggressive campaigns for eco-cultural, heritage, adventure and even agricultural tourism.  

Holy Spirit School Crusaders Team A

Holy Spirit School Crusaders Team A has gained a finals berth by routing Tagbilaran City Science High School Virus, 71-73, in the penultimate round of the semi finals of the ongoing 15th Bohol Schools Amateur Athletic Association (BSAAA) 5th Graham C Lim Basketball Challenge Sunday at the HSS hard court.

The Crusaders Team A started strong in the game as the diminutive point guard Paul Visarra, tiny Ken Pinos, versatile Vincent Descallar, and the silent operator Cirilo Atabelo combined their firepower and effective strength in defense to make a 10-0 blast with a little over three minutes in the first canto.

But slot man Esmeraldo Tagaytay, the other half of the 1-2 punch of the Virus rose to the occasion when his presence was needed fought gallantly to pour in points for his team to be behind by 12 points, 6-18 at the end of the opening period.

But Visarra and Descallar continued to furiously play in the ensuing 2nd quarter to make a breakaway. The duo was joined by teammates Angelo Rocha, Eman Bruñidor, and Atabelo to erect an 18 point advantage, 34-16, at ceasefire.

But Tagaytay and Manuel Kibir ignited an upheaval as the game went into the 3rd period to closely inch in at 13 point deficit at 32-45.
  
But Visarra assuming the control of the fluidity of the offensive patterns of the Crusaders Team A, as their main director of plays Jannus Limbaga, was still struggling and could not get his game going, played the game of his life as he outmaneuvered all defensive personnel assigned to him with his three point bombs and razzle dazzle play.

A this juncture, Simon "Mr. Quality Minute Man" Cantoneros connived with Visarra, to successfully fill the void left by the struggling Limbaga, and later collaborated with Descallar and Rocha to finally avenge their opening day loss against the hard fighting Virus of coach Jannelou Israel.

The final score was 71-73.

In another game, Bohol Wisdom School Golden Dragons was declared in forfeiture of their game against BIT IC Jr. Cruisers. But later in the day the former filed their protest against the action of the BSAAA as the schedule given to them was that the game was supposed to be played in the evening. And likewise, they were having their periodical examinations on the time the game was scheduled.

Paul Calizar, BSAAA commissioner, said he will call up a meeting and discuss the merits of the issue.

The 15th BSAAA commissioner, said he will call up a meeting and discuss the merits of the issue.

The 15th BSAAA 5th Graham C Lim Basketball Challenge is ably supported by City Mayor Dan Neri Lim; Mr. and Mrs. Douglas Hontanosas; First Consolidated Bank; Atty. Gamaliel Bonje; Mr. and Mrs. Leo Bas Madanguit; Barangay Council of Booy; Dr. Estela Malanog; Engr. and Mrs. Nanding Singson; Bohol Chronicle; DYRD AM/FM; ex Gov. Rene Relampagos; Grandma's Purified Drinking Water; Dr. Aurora Bas Madanguit; Mr. and Mrs. Luis Castañares; Mr. and Mrs. Efren Jungao; Betsy Plazal Mr. and Mrs. Alexander Remolador; Mr. and Mrs. Gerardo Bas Madanguit; BM Asteria Apalisok Piollo; City Kagawad Beben Inting; Pilo Bumaat; Alturas Supermarket Corporation; and Congressman Edgar M. Chatto.

How they scored:

HSS A 71: Visarra 26, V. Descallar 19, Atabelo 6, Cantoneros 6, Pinos 6, Rocha 4, Bruñidor 2, Limbaga 2.

TCSHS 37: Tagaytay 13, Aranzado 10, Kibir 6, Ybañez 4, Bungabong 2, Sacdalan 2.
Referees: J. Aquino/G. Cabalit.

Ciso "Kid Terrible" Morales and "Marvellous" Marvin Sonsona

Renowned trainer Nonito Donaire, Sr. has started whipping Ciso "Kid Terrible" Morales and "Marvellous" Marvin Sonsona into championship caliber form in time for their crucial bouts next month.

They have opened training camp at the Kennel Gym in San Leandro, California and do their roadwork at Marina Park.

Morales, from Talibon, Bohol will challenge Mexico's Fernando Montiel for the WBO bantamweight crown on February 13 in Las Vegas.
 
CISO "Kid Terrible" Morales (left) and "Marvellous" Marvin Sonsona do a morning road run as part of their training for their upcoming world title fights.

This will be part of a huge fight card that will feature Gerry Penalosa vs Eric Morel in a WBO bantamweight eliminator and WBA interim world superflyweight titlist Nonito Donaire,Sr. vs Gerson Guerrero.
  
Morales (14-0, 8 Kos) held the WBO Oriental superbantamweight crown but will be moving down in weight for his title challenge. He fought overseas for the first time last November and won a majority eight round decision over Mexico's Miguel Gonzales in Canada. He will have to bridge a wide experience gap over the champion Montiel (39W-2L-2D, 29KOs) who is ranked number 20 among the best pound for pound fighters in the world by Ring magazine. Montiel narrowly escaped with his title from Z Gorres in 2007 in a fight held in Cebu City.

Last year Donaire,Sr. steered Sonsona, Anna Julaton and Johnriel Casimero to world titles. He will have to pull two rabbits out of his hat this time around.

Sonsona, the former WBO superflyweight champ from Gen. Santos City, will move up two divisions higher and face Wilfredo Vasquez,Jr. for the vacant WBO superbantamweight world title in Puerto Rico on February 27.

If Sonsona beats Vasquez, he will be the youngest Filipino in history to win two world titles at two different weight divisions at 19 years and seven months. The Puerto Rican Vasquez (17 W-0 L -1 D, 14 KO's) however, will be fighting on home soil.

This will not be a walk in the park for Sonsona. Vasquez obviously will try his best not to shame the family name in their own country. His father, Wilfredo,Sr. is a former three division world champ.

Sonsona won the WBO superflyweight title over Jose Lopez of Puerto Rico last September 2009 but lost his title after being 2.6 lbs overweight in his first defense against Alejandro Hernandez of Mexico in a fight that ended in a split draw.

K of C Table Tennis Tournament

The K of C Recreation Center will hold a 1-day table tennis tournament
for various age groups on January 30, 2010.

The tournament is open to all ski ll levels and a total of P2,000 in prizes will be given away to winners.

A newly organized table tennis club will facilitate the tournament.

Table tennis players around Bohol are invited to the tournament. For inquiries, please contact Theresa at 038-501-8459 or info@kofcrecreationcenter.com.

Boholano boxing sensation AJ "Bazooka" Banal

Boholano boxing sensation AJ "Bazooka" Banal drew the adulation of the crowd when he hammered the veteran Mexican Cecilio Santos into fourth round submission with ease in the well-attended Bakbakan sa Sinulog card last Thursday at the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino.

Banal, who rose to 21-1 now dotted with 17 KOs, threw up punishing combinations to flatten Santos for good with just 35 seconds left in round four.

Boholano boxing sensation AJ "Bazooka" Banal drew the adulation of the crowd when he hammered the veteran Mexican Cecilio Santos into fourth round submission with ease in the well-attended Bakbakan sa Sinulog card last Thursday at the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino.

Banal, who rose to 21-1 now dotted with 17 KOs, threw up punishing combinations to flatten Santos for good with just 35 seconds left in round four.

In another card, Milan "Melinyo" Melindo scored a smashing first round knockdown, but had to toil hard the rest of the 10-round battle before hacking out a unanimous decision victory to dethrone the gritty Anthony "Baby Assasin" Villareal of the United States and emerge as the new WBC Youth Intercontinental flyweight champion in the main event.
  
Melindo, who stretched his unbeaten mark to 20-0 spiked with 5KOs, claimed his third regional title in third weight division, but was less impressive in dealing with the very game American visitor.

Melindo electrified the large throng of spectators at the start when he planted a powerful right hook that sent Villareal down at the seat of his pants midway in the opening canto. But that was his brightest moment as Villareal quickly stood up to give the ALA stalwart one hell of a fight the rest of the way.

When the dust settled though, Melindo came out spraying the victory champagne as he got the nod of all the three judges. Interestingly, Teddy Alivio scored it 97-93, while Edward Ligas gave it 95-94 and Ben Necessario had it 96-93 all for the Cagayan de Oro City warrior.

In the main supporting bouts, James Bacon fired a cracking eight-punch combination to send Thai Thitichon Singwangcha into the dreamland at 55 seconds of round four, while certified power-hitter Larry Canillas stopped Petch Twits Gym in the second round to improve his record to 12-1 now garnished with 12KOs.

Before the main event, silence enveloped the grand ballroom of Waterfront as a brief video footage depicting the plight of stricken Cebuano fighter Z Gorres was shown into the crowd. Everybody then gave a hearty, warm round of applause upon learning of Gorres' miraculous recovery from a life-threatening injury.

Strong team of Bohol Chess Players

A strong team of Bohol Chess Players is set to join this year's Sinulog Chess Team Tournament slated to be held this month as part of the yearly Child Jesus celebration in the queen city of the south.
  
The team is compose of Bohol Chess Players Association (BCPA) members coming from different municipalities of Bohol joining together to form a formidable team trying to outwit and outclass different delegations from all over the country to win the coveted plum as the 2010 Sinulog Chess Team Champions.

National Master and former palarong pambansa champion Elmer Sumngat of Antequera, Bohol leads the team manning board 1 in this prestigious tournament, he will be supported by a cast of reliable and seasoned players with national campaigner and master rated Michael Teves of Calape, Bohol on board 2, board 3 will be manned by 2008 Cebu Blitz Glenn Pardillo of Tubigon town. Former NCAA/NCRAA top board Roel Gallego also of Calape town will share board 4 duties with a CEPCA player as directives of the tournament rules and set up.

The team is fully supported and backstopped by some local government officials and private individuals who believe in the strength and abilities of their fellow Boholano and give them chance to shine in all aspect of life and bring pride to Bohol, it is also supported by different business establishments such as the Tigers and Dragons Martial Arts Club located at Mcjac on January 23, 2010 a chess competition will be held in cooperation with the BCPA and the Tagbilaran City Chess Club.

"Two different sports working together for a greater success as both needs determination, strong boy and active and quick thinking to succeed."

Galan and Ballener outscored the tandem of Tanting Butalid-Glen Cabigas

Galan and Ballener outscored the tandem of Tanting Butalid-Glen Cabigas, 8-2 in the Class '2 championship.

The Class '1 title was captured by the Nito Bongalos-Lito Paredes by outplaying Boyet Buena-Boy Castro in the Class '1 title duel.

The awarding of trophies and cash followed. The club's president is Madame Elena Uy while its adviser is Atty. Tommy Abapo. (Mpb)

MUNICIPIO Inabanga conducted anew its annual refresher course

MUNICIPIO Inabanga conducted anew its annual refresher course to ensure that food handlers here have mastered the skills and knowledge in food safety and hygiene, proper nutrition, cleanliness and municipal ordinances.

  Dr. Madonna Andaya, municipal health officer, gave the training rationale to the food establishment operators and food handlers at the cultural center Friday

   "The training aims to identify and integrate different proper ways of 
community environmental sanitation, health, sanitation in food preparation and food business operations through the different topics in this food handlers seminar," she said.

  The refresher focused on preparing as well as serving food.

  Andaya, Provincial Sanitary Inspector Chona Mesias, public health nurses Rolinda Melecio and Judith Esto,  Municipal Councilor AlexLofranco, Rural Sanitary Inspector-designate Rex Gudelosao,  Nemesio Doblas and Jesus Logroño gave inputs to the  
training.

  Topics covered food and waterborne diseases, reducing the risk of food poisoning incidents, health and personal hygiene requirements, cleanliness, proper food preparation, basic hand washing, water sanitation, ASIN Law,  code of sanitation, implementing rules and business permits.

  Inabanga has over a thousand food establishment operators and food handlers 
expected to participate in the three batches of the refresher – a requisite in securing new or renewal of business permits.

  To give convenience to islanders, the third batch of refresher will be held in Barangay Cuaming. 

Bohol Philippines Infrastructure Projects

By JUNE S. BLANCO 
 
BOHOL Gov. Erico Aumentado continues to make life better for the islanders of President Carlos P. Garcia town by improving provincial roads and providing school buildings as well as post-harvest facilities.

  He led inaugural rites for the concreting of a 1.6-kilometer stretch of the Popoo-Tugas Road with a carriageway of six meters that is the standard for a provincial road costing only P6 million.

  The Provincial Engineer's Office (PEO) under Engr. Edwin Vallejos implemented the project, contracted by the Tagbilaran City-based S & CU Construction.

  Aumentado also inaugurated the newly re-graveled and soil stabilized 3-km. stretch of the Pitogo-Aguining Road, as well as a similar length of the Popoo-Tugas Road at only P3.08 million each, still implemented by the PEO and both contracted by Cebu 7H Technochem Industries, Inc.

  The improved stretches costing almost P13 million are part of the island's main road that traverses barangays Villa Milagrosa, San Vicente, Poblacion, Popoo and Tugas.

  On the other hand, two more road projects are ongoing.

  One is the concreting of a bypass farm-to-market road costing P10 million with funding using Aumentado's signature convergence strategy: P3 million from the provincial government with which he leveraged P3 million from Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap while the town and barangays contributed P4 million.

  The other is part of the P4 million re-graveling and soil stabilization of the Tugnao-Saguise-Lipata-Bonbonon provincial road.

  Orphaned by his father when he was still eight years old pushed Aumentado to join the crew of a "new look", a fishing method. His earnings helped his widowed mother in the upkeep of the house and send him and his siblings to school as well until he graduated from the elementary grades.

  Living a frugal life, he managed to save extra coins that amounted to P50 when he was about to enter high school. He used the money to start a business – buying empty bottles and broken aluminum ware, selling them to a scrap buyer. He used the proceeds to buy kettles, pans and kitchen ware from Cebu for his mother to sell during market days in his hometown of Ubay.

  The experiences gave him broad insights into the life of islanders so that his heart goes out to the President Garcia residents especially when Mayor Tesalonica Boyboy and her father before her brought to him resolutions seeking assistance especially for infrastructure projects.

  Such projects include a two-classroom school building for the Villa Milagrosa High School and a one classroom building each for the Villa Milagrosa Elementary School, Lipata Elementary School and the San Jose Primary School.

  Again using the convergence strategy, this time with the Philippine Army's Engineer Support Battalion (ESBn) under Lt. Col. Ramon Evan Ruiz, the provincial government can build a classroom at only P340,000 or P780,000 for a two-classroom unit.

  Each classroom is the standard 56 square meters in floor area, painted, with toilet, plumbing, water and electrical connections, as well as blackboards. Since the soldiers already receive pay as army personnel, Ruiz uses the allocation for labor to buy armchairs with so that buildings completed by the ESBn are immediately ready to occupy.

  Aumentado used to attend primary classes in rooms with woven coconut fronds only for walls.

  The existing buildings – one struck by lightning – are so dilapidated that they already pose danger to the children. The governor said he does not want them to attend classes in hazardous places or "under the mango tree", hence, the assistance.

  Since the island has very limited rice lands and only rain-fed at that, Aumentado supports its corn industry.

  He helped follow up with the Department of Agriculture the release of P500,000 worth of corn mill with all accessories – leveraged with the local government unit's P500,000 counterpart for the building, lot, operation and maintenance of the mill.

  The town has an estimated 2,850 corn farmers tilling around only 709 hectares of corn land in 18 main island barangays. At 5.3 tons per hectare, the annual production stands at 3.803 metric tons.

  Without the mill, the farmers and residents of the town's 23 barangays have to go to Alicia town in the Bohol mainland 40 kilometers away just to have their crop milled at P2.25 per kilo or P112.50 per cavan.

  Factoring in the transport and handling cost of P210 per cavan and the opportunity loss of two days just to bring the corn to the mainland and back, current corn milling cost for the islanders stand at P622.50 per cavan.