PROV’L GOV’T supports ‘Bold’ Women Power for Change

IT WAS IN the late 19th century when the International Council of Women (ICW), the first international women’s rights organization, was formed.

Now, more than a century later, women’s rights organizations are still going strong; and women all over the world have chosen the Month of March as International Women’s Month and March 8 as International Women’s Day (IWD).

In the Philippines, the designated month and day are the same as that of the IWD’s, given credence through Presidential Proclamation No. 227 series of 1998 and Republic Act 6949 series of 1990, respectively.

As per Joint Memorandum No. 2017 by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), the Provincial Government of Bohol (PGBh), the Philippine National Police (PNP), and the Department of Education (DepEd), this is to give recognition to the important role and contribution of women to Philippine society.

This year’s theme is “Be Bold for Change.”

To ensure a more meaningful and uniform observance of the 2017 Women’s Month here in Bohol, and in consonance with the Philippine Commission of Women and Women’s Month Celebration, Liza M. Quirog, Gender and Development (GAD) Focal Person and SEEM Cluster Head of the PGBh, informed all concerned that the PGBh, through Gov. Edgar M. Chatto, is strongly supporting the advocacy with the theme, “We Make Change Work for Women.”

The same memo enjoins all local chief executives to conduct simultaneous and synchronized activities mentioned therein.

These are the conduct of a Female-led Fun Run (Run for a Cause) last March 8 at 5:00 in the morning; immediately followed by a Zumbabae for All (Zumba).

A three-day rummage sale also began last March 8, coinciding with a Poster/Slogan Contest on the same day.

Come Wednesday, March 15, a City/Municipality Advocacy Campaign for Anti-Violence Against Women and Children (VAWC) will be staged simultaneously in all local government units (LGUs) in Bohol.

Precisely a week later, that is, on March 22, all LGUs will again simultaneously conduct a Barangay Anti-Illegal Drug Campaign, together with the DepEd, PNP, and the Liga ng mga Barangay.

Both Gov. Chatto and Ms. Quirog are urging every woman to actively join in the activities to ensure and celebrate the independence and power of the female specie. (JLV/PGBh/EDCom)

Rep. Aris: Plant more guso, produce guso-based foods

By JUNE S. BLANCO

GUSO crackers, anyone? How about some guso noodles?
Rep. Erico Aristotle Aumentado’s (Bohol, 2nd District) said many products from guso or the edible carrageenan-rich seaweeds abundant in the shallow waters of northern Bohol towns are waiting to be developed.
On top of supporting the planting itself as his constituents’ livelihood, the solon said he will also support those who will venture into processing the seaweeds harvest into crackers and noodles.
Aumentado vowed to bring the technology to his district.
He said the idea was well-received by his constituents when he first broached it to them.
On the “how” part, the solon said he will bring in the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) for more training on planting and securing the planting materials.
He will bring in the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) to cover questions on the processing part, the actual cooking and packaging, and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) for the marketing side.
He wants the new products to be marketed not only in Bohol but to other provinces and even outside of the country in light of the ASEAN economic integration.
The novel and exotic products, he said, will bolster Bohol’s position in the tourism map. He expressed confidence that soon, buyers from all over the world will be looking for the items on the shelves.
In effect, he explained, the convergence of BFAR, DOST and DTI in his first attempt at branding Bohol will up the province’s eco-tourism attractions.
When the project goes full blast, Aumentado said Bohol’s eco-tourism will sell not only for the tarsier, the Chocolate Hills and white sand beaches but because of the guso crackers and noodles as well.

ARTS MONTH culminates on a magical Abatan backdrop

FEBRUARY IS NOT only the Love Month but it also is the time of year when Filipinos can have their fill of our rich culture and feast their eyes on colorful events and activities.

This is because the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) has chosen February as the country’s National Arts Month (NAM).

NCCA is the country’s prime agency for arts and culture and is leading the whole nation in celebrating artistry, creativity and a whole lot of imagination, led by National Artist Virgilio Almario as Chair, and OIC-Executive Director Marichu G. Tellano.

The NAM had its opening salvo last February 5 at the Rizal Park, followed by a month-long celebration with an impressive line-up of activities and events all over the country.

NCCA’s Sub-Commission on the Arts (SCA) led by Teddy Co has come up with this year’s theme as “Malikhain. Mapagbago. Filipino.”

The SCA comprises the national committees on architecture, cinema, dance, literature, music, theater and the visual arts.

Here in Bohol, the Provincial Government led by Gov. Edgar M. Chatto celebrated the NAM with a string of activities like an exhibit on industrial design and visual arts, a theater festival, drama workshops, an art fair, printmaking workshop, a film screening and forum, and a musical tertulla.

The opening celebration at the Bohol Cultural Center last February 7 was followed by a “Drama Explosion of Creative Transformative Filipinos,” “Visual Arts and Literary Explosion of Creative Transformative Art Works,” “Cinema Explosion of Creative Transformative Filipino Films,” and eventually, the culmination and closing program, an expo/explosion of Boholano creativity, innovation and transformation.

The closing program consequently also became the blessing and re-launching of the enhanced Abatan River Amphitheater Space at the Abatan River Main Village Center in Cortes.

Gov. Chatto graced the occasion with his lady, Balilihan Mayor and Abatan River Development Management Council (ARDMC) Chair Pureza Veloso-Chatto; together with other local chief executives of the Abatan River Life Tour municipalities of Maribojoc, Antequera, Catigbian and the host-town of Cortes led by Mayor Lynn Iven Lim.

The musical and culture-rich evening began with an afternoon of sights, sounds and magic right after the blessing of the Abatan River Theater Space, which incidentally became a live backdrop of green mangroves and a rainbow of colors too beautiful to behold.

As always, the world-famous Loboc Children’s Choir and the HNU Chorale wowed the crowd with their usual world-class singing prowess.

Romulo Tagaan of the Center for Culture and the Arts (CCAD) of the Provincial Government gave the event’s statement of purpose, followed immediately by PROCESS Bohol Executive Director Emmie Roslinda.

Other true-blooded Boholano talents worthy of praise and applause who shared their God-given talents with the audience were the Lingcud Maribojoc Cultural Collectives, the WinArts Dance Company, HNU Diwanag Dance Theater, Rodolfo Mercado, Noel Tuazon, Paul Joseph Vistal, Kasing Sining Blue Way Dance Ensemble, Tagbilaran City Balitaw Champions, Kasing Sining Teatro Bol-anon Ensemble, and the Bohol Singing Champions, who have given additional laurels to Bohol by having won in different singing competitions.

Bernan Joseph Cruz of the NCCA Plan/Policy Formulation and Programming Division could not contain his excitement due to all the excellent and explosive performances he has witnessed and admitted that “as of this moment, I am already thinking of a thousand ways of how to make use of all these Boholano talents and promote Bohol, not only in the local, but also in the global market as well.”

Given the theatrical ambience, organizers deemed it apt to have the oath taking of the officers of the Bohol Film Commission at the culmination program with Gov. Chatto swearing them all in to subsequently officially assume their posts.

An excerpt of the musical drama “Dagon sa Hoyohoy” got an explosive encore from the audience, especially when its Masters of Ceremonies Lutgardo L. Labad and Marianito Luspo mentioned that First Lady Pureza Chatto was part of the original cast as Dagohoy’s wife.

For that wonderful evening of lights, sounds, dances, songs and world-class talents, Gov. Chatto had this to say: “Let’s keep the tradition of excellence going. We won’t settle for anything less. Behold the beautiful music! BEHOLD BOHOL!”

And this is more than the Muses could hope for. (JLV/PGBh/EDCom)

New building marks start of new Cortes says Mayor Iven

CORTES, Bohol, March 7 (PIA)—With resolve, Cortes Mayor Lynn Iven Lim declared the new Cortes Police Station as the beginning of a new Cortes.
Lim, who assumed his first term on office as Cortes top executive inherited a town that has hardly changed its economic landscape.
In fact, if only to show how bad it is, wild vines are slowly retaking the abandoned town hall and ugly piles of rubbles from its crumbling centuries-old stone church are still evident in the town plaza.
The past earthquake in 2013 has pulled back all the town efforts and set its economic plans decades back.
Faced with the daunting task of rebuilding and restoring its earthquake damaged infrastructure, Cortes was lucky to have gotten funds from Bohol Earthquake Assistance funds.
BEA is a national government stimulus funds to help local governments jumpstart its rehabilitation programs.
For Cortes, a history of bad fiscal management has hampered the release of the funds, sources said.
This also incapacitated the newly elected local officials from implementing their rehabilitation funds.
Until a lot donation in 1989 has allowed the town to see the Philippine National Police erect its P4.87 million three-storey police station, which Police Regional Director PCSupt Noli Taliño turned over last week.
“This is the first public building built after the earthquake. This new building, let this be the new beginning, the start of the new Cortes,” Lim who has to do a crash course as chief executive said.
Barely eight months in his post as mayor, Lim has had a long stint as councilor and vice mayor.
This time, making sure that BEA which the town receives is freed so that it can be implemented, is the priority of the local leadership, a trusted aide of the mayor said.
At the turn-over ceremonies, Lim also informed everyone present that after a long wait, the P65million Cortes Waterworks Rehabilitation is set to be implemented within the week.
“The contract has been awarded and the contractor has visited the office to inform us that they would start mobilization next week,” Lim narrated.
The earthquake has damaged much of the Cortes Waterworks pipelines, including major reservoirs and has buried a major submersible pump to decommissioning.
The mayor believes that a restored municipal waterworks, coupled with a stable peace and order would jumpstart the economic progress of the town.
Moreover, the mayor, who is now forced to occupy a makeshift office with the municipal hall declared as unfit for occupation, announced the ongoing construction of the new town hall.
We have the town hall relocated to Malayo Norte, where the new regional hospital is to rise, the provincial government has 24 hectares of lot there and 12 hectares has been apportioned to the hospital.
We also got 6,000 square meters for the municipal hall where we got P31 million BEA funds, he shared.
“The construction in now ongoing, at about 40%, and we talked to the contractors who promised to finish it by the middle of 2017. We however believe it would be completed by the last quarter,” the mayor said.
With this, the Lim administration should have at least three major accomplishments to boost the town’s dream of getting ready for the impending crawl of the metropolis that would quickly engulf Cortes should the hospital start its operations. (rac/PIA-7/Bohol)

Cortes Mayor Lynn Iven Lim receives the key symbolizing the official turnover of the responsibilities in the upkeep of the P4.87 million police station in the town. Cortes LGU reportedly would furnish the new police station, according to Cortes OIC chief SPO4 Josue Lungog . (rac/PIA-7/Bohol)

PCSupt Taliño turns over P4.87 M Cortes station

CORTES, Bohol March 8 (PIA)–Central Visayas regional Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief General Noli Taliño led police and local government officials in the inauguration and turn-over of the P4.87 million three-storey Cortes Police Station, March 8.

Accompanied by Regional Deputy Director for Logistics PSupt. Pedrillo Villlamor Jr, Bohol Police Chief PSSupt Felipe Natividad, Police Regional Chief for engineering PSinspector Jason Gutierrez, regional and provincial office staff, PCSupt. Taliño openly beamed his appreciation for the Cortes local officials led by Mayor Lynn Ivenn Lim for the support.

“With the lot donation, the only PNP requirement for the setting up of the fund for the building, we have this to show,” the regional chief said, referring to the iconic blue and white police station building.

“This is part of the police transformation program which CPNP General Conrado Lomibao initiated and put in the funds so the PNP can have separate police stations,” Taliño explained.

He said the PNP minimum lot donation is 400 square meters, and the donation would not go to the PNP, it still belongs to the town.

“We just make sure that it is the PNP which uses the building,” he added.

Cortes Parish Priest Roderick Pizarras officiated the blessing which was also attended by local advisory council members and town constituents.

Although seemingly getting to be credited by the accomplishment, Cortes mayor Lim also insisted that the success also goes to the past leaders and the Sangguniang Bayan members led by Vice Mayor Leo Pabotoy.

He told the crowd that it was during the incumbency of then Mayor Leo Pabotoy when the lot donation happened in 1989.

Lim said he was still a councilor then.

When then police inspector Lamberto Hibaya resurrected the plan to build a station, and asked for a donation, all he did was ask the secretary of the council to dig the records, the mayor narrated.

Cortes donated the lot of which the National Government through the Philippine National Police and its Regional Office implemented the P4.87 million structure.

The building incorporates detention cells for male and female inmates, offices for Women and Children, Admin and Operations, Chief of Station, officers quarters, radio room, and an open space for conferences at the third floor.

Built according to the standards followed by the PNP for their buildings, the new structure, according to Mayor Lim, is the first public building built in Cortes during his term.

PCSupt Taliño also thanked the Mayor over local reports that the Cortes leadership intends to purchase furniture and fixtures to the new building which the government fully funded.

Cortes Officer in Charge SPO4 Josue Lungog along with PCSupt Taliño signed the acceptance documents even as Mayor Lim received the symbolic key to the infrastructure.

Upon receiving the key, Mayor Lim stressed his gratefulness to the PNP stressing the key role of the police in maintaining peace and order and in effecting progress in the town.

Taliño urges the police and the town folks to take care of the building as it might be long after a new building for the police could be built.

And to his men, General Taliño commanded: We will repay the town with a good service. (rac/PIA-7/Bohol)

Cortes Mayor Lynn Ivenn Lim shows off the ribbon to the town folk after the ceremonial cutting signaling the turn-over of the P4.8 M facility for the local police, while PNP7 RD Noli Taliño (back towards cam) witnessed and graced the event. Also there was Fr Roderick Pizarras, PSupt Baja and regional and provincial office staff. (rac/PIA-7/Bohol)

Best Pinagsanib SWAT grads to lead AFP anti-drugs opns

TAGBILARAN CITY, February 28 (PIA)–The past month may have seen a lull in the local anti-drugs war, but now, expect some change.

If the suspension of police in anti-drug operations dealt a huge setback in the anti drug war, the undermanned Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) in the lead role, and the army being thrown into the task they were not trained for, arrests which then happened daily, ebbed.

Both the military and the PDEA are not equipped to wrestle the immensity of the beast that the drug problem has mutated, a Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC) member commented at the February 2016 drug war accomplishment.

Last Tuesday however, two teams of nine squads from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) completed the 77 days 496 hours of Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) along with 46 members of the Philippine National Police (PNP).

The full 72 hours training course equips the AFP with 18 men some serious capability to handle a variety of crisis situations in urban warfare, counter-terrorism, urban assault, hostage taking, close quarter combat and a menu of aggressive breaches of closed structures, said PNP Deputy regional Director for Administration PCSupt. Franklin Moises Mabanag.

Coming in as keynote speaker and guest in the possibly first in the country joint training for AFP and the PNP, General Mabanag hailed Bohol for the rare convergence of police and army and assured that the PNP still has some more skills for the trained group which has just been enthroned to the ranks of the police elites.

All belonging to Class 32-2016, Class Pinagsanib is actually a team of 63 men and a woman survivor of the converged PNP and AFP men and women from the initial 72 who showed at the start of the training in November of last year.

But when police SWAT have been feared for their strategic planning and offensives, this batch may have an ace in its sleeves.

Two of the top three performing graduates come from the AFP ranks.

Army 2Lts Giovanni Payumo and Michael Imperial took the top and the third spot among the 64 graduates who have successfully racked up points in theory, physical fitness and psychological strength tests to be rated the top among elites.

And another thing, from the ranks of the Army SWAT team is the batch’s fire-arms proficiency expert: Corporal Kurt Agapito, who received a Certificate of Proficiency.

The three from the 18 officers and men of the AFP would now be leading their teams in keeping up with the presidential mandate to lead anti-drug operations in Bohol.

47IB Commander Colonel Jose Dodgie Belloga, in fact reported at the PPOC that they would have to commit their two squads for the anti-drug operations.

“We are deploying 2 army squads graduating from the SWAT course to support the campaign against drugs,” Col Belloga said. (rac/PIA-7/Bohol)

Do not be deceived by the new SWAT members. They may be looking weak and fragile but behind that innocent smile is a core so tough you would rather not mess with them. 64 new SWAT members graduated to complement Bohol’s drug drive. (rac/PIA-7/Bohol)