DENR to assign deputies for Environmental enforcement

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources in Region 7 shares the ultimate plan to deputize people in the communities to help enforce environmental laws especially on the Clean Water and the Ecological Solid Waste Management along the premise of better water quality and sustainable rivers in Bohol.

In the ongoing struggle to effect the necessary upgrade in the water quality of the Abatan River as the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office entry into the Rivers for Life 2019 award, DENR Regional Executive Director Gilbert Gonzales leaked the plan that would advance community and stakeholder empowerment in the environment advocacy.

Rivers for Life or Recognizing Individuals and Institutions towards Vibrant and Enhanced Rivers (RIVERS) for Life (RFL) Awards, is a regional and national competition among ten rivers in Central Visayas which the regional committee has picked owing to their being under the same category.

Ten Central Visayas rivers: Batuanon River in Mandaue, Bulacao River in Bulacao and Luyang River in Luyang Carmen, in Cebu, Abatan River in Cortes, Wahig River in Inabanga and Manaba River in Garcia Hernandez in Bohol, Banica River in Valencia, Panam-angan River in Bais and Sicopong River in Santa Catalina in Negros Oriental as well as Señora River in Siqiijor have shown their waters contain coliform contamination but these are below 100 most probable number.

The goal is for the stakeholders in the region to help work to upgrade the water quality of these rivers in six months to make them safe for swimming, explains Bohol PENRO Charlie Fabre.

And as Bohol prepares for the second round of river clean ups this Friday, March 22, 2019, over 600 volunteers then collected some 2.5 tons of garbage from the stretch of the Abatan River to its estuaries in Cortes.

About 10 private organizations have also signed a memorandum of agreement with the DENR formalizing the adoption of several portions of the river where the collected garbage could have come from.

But for the volunteers to come and clean up the river in regular intervals is not sustainable, so that the DENR sees deputizing communities to enforce environmental laws as a better alternative.

Out to realize what DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu committed during the River Summit that the country would clean up all its rivers, the DENR uses the water quality as a parameter in testing the environment.

“All barangays along these rivers will be trained and deputized to enforce all environmental laws, or those which are applicable to the river,” DENR -7 RED Gonzales told the media in a press conference at the MetroCenter Hotel.

The move, according to Gonzales is because sustaining the clean-up can be a lot easier if communities help in managing solid waste, regulate the control of effluent discharge, put up the necessary and appropriate treatment of household sewage and the preferential option for fertilers that are less destructive.

All of these however entail communities joining in the work as since the solid waste management has been devolved to local governments, several LGUs have failed to set up their own facilities that could contain all the garbage.

Here, LGUs may put up anti-single use plastic ordinances, but the communities, when deputized can be a very effective factor in the ban on indiscriminate throwing of solid wastes that would woon get to the rivers and then to the seas. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)

INVOLVING STAKEHOLDERS. DENR led the unveiling of the Adopt a River Program for Abatan where Cortes Mayor Ivenn Lynn Lim, RED Gonzales, Catigbian Mayor Virgilio Lurot, San Isidro mayor Jacnto Naraga, Calape mayor Nelso Yu and river community residents including private organizations adopting the river concretize the plan through an agreement. These people could soon be deputized to help enforce environmental laws. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)

CDRRMO explains CLEAR disaster-warning capacity

In these times where information plays a critical role in disaster resilience, Tagbilaran City innovates with its unique integrated disaster and anti-crime reporting and monitoring system: enter the Communications Line for Emergency Alarms and Response System (CLEAR).

An information hub that banners a highly visible light emitting diode (LED) board that has the capacity to broadcast announcements and disaster mitigation tips, the CLEAR announcement board which is remotely controlled from the Tagbilaran City Disaster and Risk Reduction Management Office Command Center, can even remotely broadcast localized specific information, like localized disaster mitigation drills, explains City DRRMO chief Gerard Lavadia.

For high priority information, like possibly some evacuation or those needing community mobilization, the CLEAR board installation comes with a siren which can also broadcast loud audio warnings via a public address system and a highly visible flasher for maximum reach.

Things like barangay meetings, events, fire drills, earthquake drills and mass casualty incident simulations to better acquaint the communities of the simulations, these can be pre announced to douse out the panic that could result.

And each CLEAR hub also packs a host of high definition tilt-able closed circuit television cameras than remotely transmits real-time images to the command center.

The cameras can be zoomed and panned to follow through an action, a person in a crime situation and when it is stored in a huge databank or live feeds from nearly a hundred more remote cameras, there is a playback capacity for a better reckoning and crime reenactment to help police investigators determine culpability, Lavadia hinted during this month’s Association of United Development Information Officers (AUDIO) in Bohol on their famed Bisita Opisina into the city Hall’s CDRRMO.

And for emergency situations and where there is a need to call for police, firemen or emergency medical services, in the CLEAR information hub is a yellow phone that directly connects the caller to the emergency hotline inside the CLEAR Command nerve center.

It is as easy as opening the yellow phone’s swing box and picking the phone up. This immediately rings the command center and the hotline phone operator can immediately talk to the caller, Lavadia, who keeps the nerve center with a wall filled with live camera feeds remotely transmitted from the CCTVs, informed the visiting information officers.

And for prank callers?

They won’t simply get away.

According to the CDRRMO, as soon as one picks up the yellow phone, the CCTV camera automatically zooms in on the caller so that the operator can have a direct view of the caller and would know if such were just prank call.

The live camera feeds from the 12 CLEAR disaster information hubs all help prop up the city’s anti-crime and disaster resilience capability, Lavadia said.

In fact, on lost items inadvertently left on tricycles, even if the commuters do not memorize the body numbers, by simply reporting it to the CDRRMO, the duty officers can pull out specific time-stamped video feeds for playback recording the time the tricycle passed a specific CCTV for facilitated tracking.

When a caller requests for any kind of assistance, the CDRRMC can send in law enforcers, vector in emergency responders, or simply direct the caller to the nearest source of help, if only to avail of the service.

Over this, the local PIA in Bohol said, “As local governments are fast putting up measures to make communities disaster resilient, we intend to make sure innovations like this that could be templates for replication of technologies are shared and known to the communities.” (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)

HELP FROM ABOVE. Traffic enforcers station themselves near the CLEAR information hub: a disaster warning system that broadcasts information, one equipped with a flasher, a siren and a public address system, CCTV cameras and a yellow phone that links the caller immediately to the command center in Tagbilaran City. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)

LTO patrols outreach services to CV towns

The Land Transportation Office in Region 7 gives a new meaning to the government drive to give inclusive services to its constituents in its e-patrols.

Facing the problem of clogged transactions due to limited district offices which are also cramped by backlogs, the LTO 7 puts up its own version of a mobile service through its outreach off-site service licensing and renewal operations in Bohol.

Launched in Panglao, February 18, the e-patrol is comprised of an air-conditioned bus loaded with a mini office complete with counters for documentary processes, plus a complimentary support of LTO staff handling out application forms, doctors to issue medical certificates, insurance providers, and a police clearance booth so those intending to have their LTO transactions can be served.

LTO 7 Regional Director Victor Caindec said they are putting up the e-patrol outreach in Region 7 to get to the most number of people who have been stumped at the sheer number of clients and the waiting time there at district officers.

Now slowly cutting their backlogs through the use of offsite printing offices to decongest the clients, five-year validity for licenses to cut on the number of renewals, but it still has other services including the decades old backlog in vehicle plates and other transactions.

We have to thank Mayor Nila Montero for inviting us to come, Caindec who led the regional team told the modest crowd of applicants gathered at the town gym.

Montero arranged for the team’s billeting and accommodations in the town, a huge cost that the LTO could not singlehandedly afford, the LTO 7 chief added.

Before the program, a simple ribbon cutting ensued and the transactions started, only to be momentarily cut to give in to the program.

This morning, all of you would be served. You just have to be patient, this won’t take long. Patience is a virtue drivers ought to have now-adays. Without practicing it, many people can get into sticky situations, and tempers can flare, Caindec said as he delivered a message during the opening program.

He said, after serving Panglao, the LTO e-patrol outreach program drives to Garcia Hernandez and then off to major Bohol town hubs.

Through Cabinet Secretary LeoncioEvasco and Special Assistant to the President Bong Go, we were able to acquire this retrofitted bus to drive our transactions closer to remote communities, Caindec said.

Services included in the e-patrol outreach were issuance of Student Permits for 17 years old and above, renewal of driver’s licenses, printing of driver’s license with a 5-year validity period for original Official Receipt issued by LTO-NCR offices and renewal of Registration of Motor Vehicles with Certificate of Emission Compliance.

Other services however have to be transacted at the regular LTO offices.

According to Panglao former councilor and executive assistant to the mayor, the fastest e-patrol licensing transaction took a little over two hours as 168 people were served by the outreach service on the e-patrol launching day. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)

THE LTO MOBILE OFFICE uses an air-conditioned minibus and retrofitted it to fit office booths, with computers that can be online to facilitate fast and efficient real time registration. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)

IPOPHL to hold intellectual property themed MCLE Program to Cebu on March 18-22

The Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) will be mounting the 2019 edition of the Mandatory Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) on March 18 to 22 at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Cebu City in order to reach out to IP practitioners in the Visayas.

“Scaling up our IP Education and Awareness drive is at the forefront of IPOPHL’s agenda. The MCLE Program’s first run outside of Luzon will be an essential learning opportunity for lawyers and non-lawyers alike. The curriculum for this lecture series is a diverse offering of updates on IP legislation, strategic innovation on IP core processes & appeals, commerce-related concepts of IP,” said Director General Josephine Santiago.

Intellectual property processes, particularly in application and appeals, as well as the special rules and procedures on IP cases will also be discussed.

Intellectual property is a game-changer of scientific innovation and creativity, and has been entrenched as a component of economic growth in the Philippine Development Plan particularly in chapters on advancing science, technology, and innovation & expanding economic opportunities for industry and services.

The area of intellectual property is a new and exciting field in legal practice that remains to be fully tapped by a new generation of lawyers. With every sector, from manufacturing to banking, now being infused with technology, expertise in the field of intellectual property will complement law firms’ existing competencies in high-demand practice areas such as information technology and cyber law .

Intellectual property has increasingly been a salient feature of modern free trade agreements, both bilateral and multilateral ones, putting it in a prime intersection with trade law.

The lecture series will tackle topics such as the impact of new legislation ( the Competition Law and the Data Privacy Act) on intellectual property, as well as enforcing one’s IP rights.

For business groups and commerce associations, capitalizing on companies’ intellectual
property assets by way of licensing and franchise will also be discussed.

Members of the academe and R&D institutions will benefit from learning about drafting
technology transfer agreements, in the case that their technology are being prepped for
commercialization.

The 5-day program presents a rare opportunity for these sectors to learn the centrality of IP in these different fields of knowledge.

The IPOPHL MCLE 2019 curriculum will be taught by a roster of seasoned and
internationally-recognized intellectual property lawyers and professors.

To recall, IPOPHL held the 2018 MCLE program in Bonifacio Global City. The 2018 MCLE Program drew in nearly a hundred participants from across government, academe, and the private sector.

For interested participants, you may inquire and call (02) 238-6300 local 1007 or 2201, or send an email to mcle@ipophil.gov.ph #

PSSuptGornez stresses shared responsibility in crime fighting

In his first PPOC appearance…
PSSuptGornez stresses shared
responsibility in crime fighting

Stressing that “working closely with stakeholders will be a key success factor in fighting crimes, PSSupt. Julius Cesar Gornez made his first official appearance and report to the Provincial Peace and Order Council last Thursday, February 28 with succinct words.
“The achievement of the utmost desire to have peace and order will always be a shared responsibility between the security forces of the Government and the civil society,” the new police provincial director who came back to Bohol amidst political intrigue, underlined the key to successful crime prevention.
Colonel Gornez, who had his decorated years as chief of the Tagbilaran City police years back, came to the call of duty following the shuffle which many public officials in Bohol alleged as a political manipulation.
When PSSuptGornez replaced PSSupt Angeles Geñorga, insinuations of political machinations surfaced, but outgoing police director explained that shuffles in the police organization are regular activities especially with elections looming in the horizon.
In his first appearance at the Bohol PPOC, Supt Gornez showed a very promising anti-crime operations with a visible downtrend in crime volume in the last three years.
Citing crime volumes all over the province in the first month of 2017, 2018 and 2019, the soft-spoken new top cop showed 36% crime volume reduction average for the three Januaries.
Records released by the Philippine National Police national database of Crime Information Reporting and Analysis System (CIRAS) which Camp Dagohoy, Bohol police headquarters cited, showed that in January of 2017, Bohol crime volume reached 567.
The month showed 195 index and 372 non index crimes.
By January of 2018, police tallied a 2.16% crime reduction rate when the 2018 opener showed only 555 crime cases.
The total crime volume is comprised of 171 and 384 index and non index crimes.
This year, crime volume recorded only showed 517 cases, or a further reduction of 6.85%, cited Gornez.
Last month’s data as shared by Bohol police Camp Francisco Dagohoy showed that index crimes reached 124 cases while non index crimes reached 393.
The rise in non index crime however is a good indication of a better police force who are getting pro-active against crimes especially against special laws and traffic related incidents.
As to the data showed, Bohol police is still fumbling against theft, physical injuries and robbery, which had 52,28 and 23 cases in January this year.
And as to non index crimes, Bohol police still struggles in bringing down traffic related incidents, which continue to haunt and mar local the crime statistics.
Last January, traffic related incidents reached 205.
While it is already a good 35 cases lower than in 2019, it is still 45 cases more than the successful 160 cases recorded in 2017, Camp Dagohoy statistical records show.
January 2019 also showed a huge spike in the crimes recorded due to the implementation of special laws: possibly anti-illegal drugs leading it.
Form 98 and 75 in 2017 and 2018, non-index crimes on special laws zoomed to 129 cases as police prepared for the May 2019elections.
With the over-all achievements in January, which is already very good considering the dipping trend in crimes, PSSuptGornez continues to stress on shared responsibility in keeping Bohol’s peace and order. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)

SHARED RESPONSIBILITY. Amidst reports that his assumption to office as the highest police official in the province came as a controversy over allegations of political machinations, PSSupt Julius Cesar Gornez stressed crime fighting as a shared responsibility. (photo by Dave Charles Responte)