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)