Headlines

Bohol registers lowest load reduction for Earth Hour ‘19

Over a hundred bikers on blinkers took to the City and Dauis streets to campaign for the commemoration and advancement of the global Earth Hour event. But as organizers expected to see a load reduction for entire Bohol between 8:30 to way past 10:00 PM go down, with hundreds opting to turn off their appliances and gadgets for the three hour bike ride, the reduction noted in Bohol was too minimal compared to its island neighbors sharing the Visayas Grid. The data however is unofficial, in a sense that it did not come from the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) which monitors the grids for power consumption monitoring. But, Department of Energy’s Energy Industry Management Division chief Jorey Maleza, who has been tracking the raw data from the NGCP, in a phone conversation said that the load reduction in the Visayas, reached a sizable 31.43 megawatts (MW). This, he added, did not immediately register at 8:30, when Earth Hour organizers called for people to switch off their lights and appliances for an hour at least. The load reduction came in a few minutes later, a fact that he said could be the difference in time synchronization among consumers. In his monitoring, he said the load reduction all over Visayas was recorded at 8:35 and onwards, which he said could be because after switching off at 8:30, and on a weekend, most people possibly went on to sleep without waiting for the one hour to lapse. In his post in his social media account, Engr. Maleza said the total load reduction in the Visayas Grid is broken down... read more

Gov wants national government to fund carrying capacity studies

Governor Edgar Chatto brings the issue of a tourism area’s carrying capacity anew as Bohol tourism stakeholders gathered for the Forum on Sustainable Tourism: Bridging the gaps between standards, legislation and practices, March 28 at the Reynas Garden, Tagbilaran City. Carrying capacity, a critical consideration in sustainability, is the maximum number of individuals that can be accommodated in an area without significantly affecting the state of the environment, the level of the visitor’s satisfaction and the local culture. According to former research and project officer of the Department of Tourism and a professor of the University of the Philippines Institute of Tourism Carlos Libosada Jr., the issue on carrying capacity can even be categorized into environmental and social. Environmental carrying capacity takes into consideration the impacts tourism brings in an area and may include waste generation, food and water consumption as well as the physical effects of over presence of people in a hiking trail that could cause soil erosion. Ever since Bohol started to be a known tourism destination, local leaders have been pressing for the agriculture sector to fill in the food production gap considering that, at present, tourism arrivals in Bohol has almost equaled the local population, while the local food production has since been insufficient. Carrying capacity also considers the wildlife resources that may be affected by the huge groups coming in, like the tarsiers for example. Moreover, certain animals have adverse reactions to human presence, like in birdwatching sites. On the other hand, social carrying capacity is the actual number of people who can truly enjoy a destination or activity, without having to be... read more

Arup presents pre-FS on Bohol-Leyte Link Bridge

By JUNE S. BLANCO DESIGN giant Arup, with 34 offices worldwide including in Manila, presented April 2 to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Bohol 2nd District Engineering Office (DEO) in Ubay town its pre-feasibility study (FS) for the Bohol-Leyte Link Bridge (BLLB). Rep. Erico Aristotle Aumentado who attended the presentation said once constructed, the “ambitious” bridge from Ubay via President Carlos P. Garcia to Maasin City in Southern Leyte will connect Bohol to the rest of the country by land. Aumentado said the Asian Development Bank (ADB) funded the pre-FS, and a full-blown study will follow. “The bridge is part of the dream of my father, [former] Gov. Erico Boyles Aumentado, to put Bohol among the fast developing provinces in the country today”, the solon said. The father is his immediate predecessor in the House of Representatives. After the funding for pre-FS for the BLLB, Aumentado said up next will be the funding for the FS for Bohol-Cebu Friendship Bridge. He expressed gratitude to President Rodrigo Duterte for pushing these major projects for this province. The BLLB is part of the Infrastructure Preparation and Innovation Facility (IPIF) for roads and bridges of DPWH. On the other hand, Arup’s website states that the company has been working in the Philippines since 1986 – and established a permanent office in Manila in 1990. It provides total design services to meet the increasing demand for high quality, international standard projects for the country’s growing economy. Among the prominent buildings it has designed are the Grand Hyatt Metrocenter, the tallest and biggest mixed-use development in the Philippines, and the St...

Free, fast wifi to open in BISU thru Google-Smart

Private sector partnership now joins in the government orchestrated move to provide the infrastructure for development in opening a fast and free wireless fidelity (wifi) connection at the government’s state college here. Thanks to Google’s Google Stations in partnership with Smart Communications, the ripples from the Presidential promise of making accessible free wifi hotspots anyone can connect to, gets to Bohol Island State University, this month, according to Smart. During the 2016’s State of the Nation Address, President Rodrigo Duterte has promised to put up free wifi hotspots in public areas in the country. Even as the government stirred itself to provide a strong broadband backbone from which this wifi can get through, a latest report from the World Bank on fast broadband speeds says, every 10-percent increase in broadband internet penetration, this translates to a 1.38-percent increase in a country’s gross domestic product growth. As shown that internet penetration is directly proportional to economic growth, the government through its Department of Information and Communication Technology (DICT) put up its Pipol Konek: Free Wi-Fi Internet Access in Public Places Project which aims to accelerate the Philippine government’s efforts in enhancing internet accessibility for Filipinos so that, in turn, economic, social, and educational opportunities will be bolstered, and the growing Digital Divide can be bridged. Pipol Konek have live spots in Alburquerque HS, gym, Anda, Baclayon HS, Calape RHC, Dagohoy, Danao, Dauis, Tagbilaran City, Garcia Hernandez, Guindulman, Getafe plaza, Maribojoc town Hall and RHU, Loon town hall and plaza, Baclayon in Montaña and Plaza, Loay, Lila, Mabini, Jagna, Guindulman plazas, Sagbayan, Pilar, CPG Pitogo, Pangalo, San Miguel, Sierra Bullones, Sikatuna,...

Local  News/ Bohol Balita

Arup presents pre-FS on Bohol-Leyte Link Bridge

By JUNE S. BLANCO DESIGN giant Arup, with 34 offices worldwide including in Manila, presented April 2 to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Bohol 2nd District Engineering Office (DEO) in Ubay town its pre-feasibility study (FS) for the Bohol-Leyte Link Bridge (BLLB). Rep. Erico Aristotle Aumentado who attended the presentation said once constructed, the “ambitious” bridge from Ubay via President Carlos P. Garcia to Maasin City in Southern Leyte will connect Bohol to the rest of the country by land. Aumentado said the Asian Development Bank (ADB) funded the pre-FS, and a full-blown study will follow. “The bridge is part of the dream of my father, [former] Gov. Erico Boyles Aumentado, to put Bohol among the fast developing provinces in the country today”, the solon said. The father is his immediate predecessor in the House of Representatives. After the funding for pre-FS for the BLLB, Aumentado said up next will be the funding for the FS for Bohol-Cebu Friendship Bridge. He expressed gratitude to President Rodrigo Duterte for pushing these major projects for this province. The BLLB is part of the Infrastructure Preparation and Innovation Facility (IPIF) for roads and bridges of DPWH. On the other hand, Arup’s website states that the company has been working in the Philippines since 1986 – and established a permanent office in Manila in 1990. It provides total design services to meet the increasing demand for high quality, international standard projects for the country’s growing economy. Among the prominent buildings it has designed are the Grand Hyatt Metrocenter, the tallest and biggest mixed-use development in the Philippines, and the St...

Aris alarmed over ‘unstable’ power

By JUNE S. BLANCO REP. Erico Aristotle Aumentado has expressed alarm over the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines’ (NGCP) pronouncement, through Cebu and Bohol Information Officer Betty Martinez, that Bohol’s power supply is now “critical”. Aumentdo said he is also saddened with the development, because as early as the last term as governor of his namesake father and immediate congressional predecessor Erico Boyles Aumentado, the lack of power to meet the province’s need with the looming implementation and completion of the Panglao Bohol International Airport was already recognized. The solon had expected that the Provincial Government would have already foreseen this considering that it had continuously invited investors to locate in Bohol. As the investors streamed in, he said, the need for additional power, and faster internet, should have been anticipated already so that these will not reach such critical point. Investors continue to stream in, but their respective operations might be hampered due to the lack of sustainable power, or the additional cost of maintaining power generators. “To think that the airport in Panglao is not yet operating its navigational equipment for nighttime operations, the critical power situation simply means that Bohol is not yet ready for the big time,” he said. Basic infrastructure like power and communications should be in place to make investors seriously consider locating in Bohol. The slow internet has made business process outsourcing (BPO) for call centers similarly slow. The BPOs could have been tapped for more employment. Additionally, he said, President Pinoy should have fast-tracked the matching of power production with the projection, especially with the implementation and impending operationalization of...

Aris pushes energ’n of 2nd District islands

By JUNE S. BLANCO JANUARY 7, 2017 will forever be etched in the minds of the over 700 households in the three-barangay island of Mahanay off Getafe and Talibon towns. This was when Rep. Erico Aristotle Aumentado (Bohol, 2nd District) powered on the ceremonial switch for the P30-million energization project for the island. Engr. Eugene Tan, manager of the Bohol II Electric Cooperative Inc. (Boheco II) assisted him. Not resting on his laurels, Aumentado recently sought updates from former Camarines Sur congressman and now Energy Undersecretary for Power, Renewable Energy, and Media Affairs Felix William “Wimpy” Fuentebella. An island will remain under-developed without the necessary basic infrastructure support. To note, in his switch-on message, Aumentado waxed sentimental as he declared the fulfillment of the promise his namesake father and immediate congressional predecessor, former Gov. Erico Boyles Aumentado, had made to the islanders. Patterned after the Leyte-Bohol Interconnection project, Mahanay taps power from mainland Bohol through submarine cables. The National Electrification Administration (NEA) through then Administrator Edita Bueno downloaded the amount to Boheco II that undertook the bidding process for the cable and installed it, along with the electric poles, power main and lateral lines. Boheco II manages the power distribution to the households as well. The elder Aumentado had broached the energization plan for the 2nd District’s 35 islands and islets to Bueno. With the technology already available, it did not take him long to convince her. However, death overtook him on Christmas Day of 2012. Aumentado, the son, picked up the pieces where his father left off. In 2015, during his own first term as congressman, he brought...

DENR launches “RIVERS For Life awards”for ‘19

Consistent with the idea of shared ownership to make communities realize a better environment management and conservation, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) launches in Bohol its awards Recognizing Individuals and Institutions towards Vibrant and Enhanced Rivers (RIVERS). The awards, formally called Rivers for Life would be given out to the best rehabilitated and most improved water quality from the country’s class 3 rivers, this June 2019 in time for the DER’s 32nd anniversary, authorities from the government’s environment agency shared. The program is basically to raise awareness on the need to protect and conserve the country’s rivers as the lifeblood of the earth and human civilization, and taking the cue from Manila Bay clean-up, tap concerted action to protect the country’s rivers from degradation and pollution and assure their suitability, sustainability and further improvement, explains Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer (PENRO) Charlie Fabre at the Kapihansa PIA Thursday. Aware that the government could not lend a presence enough to cover the protection and management of the entire river systems in the country, this time it looks at communities and stakeholders to help them come up with appropriate mitigation measures and interventions to help address the continued worsening conditions of river systems nationwide, the DENR official said. Earlier, the DENR PENROs and Community ENROs submitted an inventory of all rivers in their respective areas of responsibility and from these, the DENR regional committee selected class C rivers for adoption. According to the DENR, Class C rivers are those which may not be safe for swimming owing to the presence less than 100 coliform presence in the...

Del Valle upgrade goes to bicam

By JUNE S. BLANCO ONE more step to go, and the Rep. Erico Aristotle Aumentado’s bill upgrading the bed capacity of the Don Emilio del Valle Memorial Hospital (DEDVMH) will be transmitted for approval by the President. The Senate has approved on third and final reading the counterpart bill sponsored by Senator Sherwin Gatchalian upping the hospital’s bed capacity from 50 to 300 – with the attendant improvement of its buildings, equipment, staff. Aumentado thanks Gatchalian and Committee on Health Chair JV Ejercito for the supporting his move at the Lower House. The bill is now en route to the bicameral conference committee for consolidation and polishing prior to transmittal to the Office of the President. Aumentado said slowly but surely, “We are getting there (upgrading)!” He said in its current state, the hospital is getting congested because patients coming not only from the 2nd District, but the 3rd District also, as well as from the island municipality of President Carlos P. Garcia and even Southern Leyte choose to be treated or confined there. Aumentado attributes this to the improved facilities and better services the hospital now offers on account of its ongoing modernization program. He said the Del Valle hospital has come a long way from its moniker “del valle-bad” (balibad is to decline) because its previously poor facilities cannot handle emergency needs like Caesarian sections or stab and gunshot wounds. Through the years, however, started by the solon’s namesake father and immediate congressional predecessor, former governor Erico Boyles Aumentado, the hospital has established dialysis units, expanded its obstetrics and gynecology department, improved its administration building and services,...

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