Lower House Oks space agency bill


THE Philippines has taken another giant step towards the realization of creating its own space agency.

This after the Lower House this week passed on third and final reading House Bill No. 8541 – the Philippine Space Development Act.

Science and Technology Committee Chair and main author Rep. Erico Aristotle Aumentado (Bohol 2nd District) and co-authors led by Rep. Seth Frederick Jalosjos (Zamboanga del Norte, 1st District) had pushed for the creation of the Philippine Space Agency (Philsa) – to be under the Department of Science and Technology (DoST).

Aumentado said it is high time that the Philippines upgrades its technology, to better communicate information to the people, and to better predict the weather, among others.

The solon said the agency would be under the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).

He said on top of information gathering, satellites can also be a peace and order tool. He said they can best be maximized in surveillance activities as they can easily track the movements of people with suspicious moves.

Satellites can locate suspects with surgical accuracy, he said.

Applying the satellite to the Marawi City scenario, the solon said it can trace “with pinpoint accuracy” the location of the Maute terrorists agitating a rising rebellion in Muslim Mindanao.

The 297-strong Lower House had voted unanimously in favor of the bill. When created, Philsa will have its offices in the Clark Special Economic Zone, in Pampanga and Tarlac – tasked primarily with safeguarding the country/s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

It will also conduct space research and development, space industry and capacity building, space education and awareness, and international cooperation.

The Senate counterpart is authored by Senator Paolo Benigno Aquino IV, and still has to go through third and final reading, consolidation by a bicameral committee composed of members of both Houses, for approval by the President.


Last 20 November, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in partnership with the Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship – Go Negosyo gathered the mentee graduates, certified mentors and enablers in the 2018 Kapatid Mentor ME Summit held at the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel.

KMME Summit was launched with the aim to delve into the inspiring entrepreneurial journey of top business experts, build network and strengthen the relationship amongst the mentees, mentors, and enablers, provide a B2B avenue to the participants through showcasing the products of mentee-graduates and to continue capacitate development opportunities for both the mentors and mentees.

Usec. Zenaida C. Maglaya was present during the summit and shared the KMME accomplishments from the past two years and how it greatly helped the mentee-graduates.

KMME Summit provided two sessions focusing gender sensitivity and building MSME resilience to disasters which were facilitated by Carmen Lopez, Supervising Project Officer of Great Women Project 2 and Rene S. Meily, President of Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation (PDRF).

One of the highlights of the summit was the Pitch to Reach: The KMME Challenge, an activity that was crafted to be a platform for KMME mentee-graduates to learn and understand how to pitch and see this as a practice session. Eight mentees presented their respective business plans to a panel for pitching.

Accordingly, the top eight finalists were lucky to be coached by Carlo Calimon, the Director of StartUp Village. On the list of the panelists for the Pitching Activity were Steve Benitez of Bo’s Coffee, Dr. Cecilio Pedro of Lamoiyan Corporation, Josephine Romero of Magpie, Prof. Willy Arcilla of Arcilla Marketing and Leadership Consultancy and Clarke Nebrao of Terravida Natural Ventures.

Highlighting the importance of integrity on being a successful entrepreneur, forum one entitled Business Leaders: The Untold Stories of Success was presented during the summit. The panelists were Justin Uy, Profood International Corporation; Dr. Cecilio Pedro, Lamoiyan Corporation; Jay Aldeguer, The Island Group; Steve Benitez, Bo’s Coffee and Bunny Pages, Pages Holding Inc. The forum was moderated by Virgilio “Nonoy” Espeleta, PCE Visayas Coordinator.

Additionally, the last forum entitled Tales of the Field: Inspiring Stories of KMME Mentors and Mentees featured both mentors and mentees as panelists namely Clarke S. Nebrao, Terravida Natural Ventures; Rey Calooy, RNC Marketing; Victor Madlangbayan, Hill Stop Hack; Brienda Gup-ad, Shaquil Food Products (CAR Mentee) and Marvin Viagedor, Silly Boy Hot Sauce (Region 7 mentee). The forum tackled business ideas and setting the right entrepreneurial mindset. The forum was moderated by DTI KMIS Dir. Patricia May M. Abejo

Lady legislator models Bohol HIV testing drive

If only to personally jumpstart the World AIDS Day and its succeeding activities, a nurse and sitting legislator in Bohol, volunteers to have a Human Immune deficiency Virus (HIV) testing December 1, at the Panda Tea Garden and Suites.
Waiving her right provided by the Philippine AIDS Control and Prevention Act, Third District Board Member Jade Acapulco Bautista, formerly US based nurse by and now a legislator at the Sangguniang Panlalawigan in Bohol subjected herself to an HIV testing and in fact, performed for herself the capillary pricking necessary to extract sufficient blood samples for the test to determine reactivity.
Intending to help but still constrained to a task she is demanded to do as a legislator, BM Bautista said she is still open to suggestions in legislating measures to reverse the spread of HIV, a deadly virus, especially in Bohol.
Herself the SP Committee chair on Health and Public Sanitation, BM Dano who sits as a model for HIV testing as a medical professional, allowed herself to the test, if only to show there is nothing to fear, in fact, get a reassurance that one can keep an HIV-free status from then on.
“It is more reassuring that one can get an additional sense of responsibility especially in advocating for more protection and in maintaining the already attained HIV status,” another Department of Health nurse Nickson Felix Epe said.
Dano, who said Bohol’s [anti-HIV] campaign is doing very well, also admitted further that sustainability of the campaign can only be attained with everybody’s cooperation.
“The Provincial Health Office is doing very well [as regards the campaign], but they can not do it without everybody’s cooperation,” she said.
Dano’s act is also in line with the local efforts to curb the HIV epidemic which has become “alarming.”
A United Nation’s study bared that the Philippines has the fastest growing HIV epidemic in Asia and the Pacific.
Data in the study showed that in 2010, there were an estimated 16,000 HIV cases in the Philippines. By 2017, the cases have been estimated threefold to 67,000 and by the same estimates, by 2022, authorities fear the cases can reach 142,000, “if we remain to have the same level of response,” nurse Epe stressed.
In the Philippines too, 94% of those who are newly diagnosed for HIV are male, and more than half of these males are aged between 25-34 while some 28% are of the 14-24 age bracket at the time of testing.
But this does not exclude females too. From January to September in 2018 alone, there were 467 newly diagnosed cases and of the country’s female cases reported in the 15-24 age group skyrockets from 13% in 199 to 29% in 2018.
Of these, sexual contact remains to be the predominant mode of transmission at 98%, DOH data shows.
While the National Capital Region still keeps the most number of newly diagnosed as to residents they shared during the testing, Region 7 or Central Visayas ranks fourth owning 10% of the newly diagnosed cases.
The problem with HIV is that the only cure is prevention, unlike other diseases where prevention is better than cure, stresses Epe.
Over the staggering data and disheartening exponential increase in affected cases, health authorities have called for HIV testing.
The more the virus has taken control of the body, the bigger is the chance that one can fall into the opportunistic infections that could hasten the development of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), explains Bohol HIV coordinator Mila Israel.
Over this, health authorities have batted on Information Education and Communication as something any anti HIV advocate can easily contribute.
This Monday, December 3, Bohol is holding an HIV and AIDS Summit at the Reynas The Haven and Gardens.
The summit aims to expound on HIV in the context of the Community, Health Care, the Government and the School.
After 8 parallel sessions, organizers would be engaging participants to join in the signature drive for HIV Awareness in the hope of establishing a new awareness and consciousness demand, and this finally, health authorities can inject the necessary information that can guide young teens to un-informed or ill-informed adults about the risks of HIV and to the community. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)

WAIVING HER RIGHTS. If only to assure people that there is nothing to fear about HIV testing, BM Jade Bautista presents herself as a model to jumpstart Bohol’s HIV testing drive even as health authorities said early detection can also mean early introduction of anti-retro-viral treatment to dampen the spread of the disease. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)

No more flights from Tagb as BPIA opens

In case you get to the Tagbilaran City Airport to find the air facility closed, do not panic.
Instead, compose yourself, pick your trusted tricycle driver and ask the driver to get you to Dao Integrated Bus Terminal where the airport air-conditioned shuttle buses stop.
Or, you can just wait for the bus to get past the Port of Tagbilaran, the Plaza or Dauis Junction and catch a ride from there.
The Department of Transportation (DOTr) has provided these buses to facilitate the transfer of passengers from the airport to the city terminals and then to the port and back to Panglao airport, to Alona and them through the Panglao Circumferential Road on a looped service, for 40-50 pesos.
On the other hand, it would finally be different mornings from then on to residents near the Tagbilaran airport, the unusual calm which only happens during ill weather would now be permanent.
Gone, starting 6:00 PM November 27 would be the shrieking jet engines warming up, or the sonic booms that could usually bust lightbulbs in nearby houses as each departing plane wiggles its tail for their goodbyes.
Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) has issued the Notice to All Airmen (NOTAM) that the Tagbilaran City Airport has been closed for operation effective the last flight November 27, 2018, and the has been transferred to the new Bohol Panglao International Airport (BPIA) effective November 28, 2018.
And as the last plane, Philippine Airlines flight 2778 flew off Tagbilaran City’s runway C1/17-35 and disappeared over the tall Maribojoc mountains to Manila, the control tower lights dimmed and finally sent out the flight plan for Air Force 1 leading it to the controllers of the new PBIA.
Onboard AirForce 1 is President Rodrigo RoaDuterte, who would be leading the unveiling of the airport markers signaling the opening of the new facility that would be Bohol’s latest ace on the sleeve in tourism arrivals.
As Tagbilaran City’s runway C1/ 17-35 closed, the NOTAM consequently opened BPIA runway 03-21.
The opening of the BPIA now elates pilots.
Any delays in Tagbilaran City aiport’s last flight at 4:00 PM could spell a whole lot of problems.
Operating as a sunrise to sunset airport, any flight delay would detain the last flight, for safety purposes.
Not only does Tagbilaran City airport keep one of the shortest runways in the country at 1.8 kilometers, the absence of navigation guides makes keeping the plane grounded a prudent call for even the best pilots.
At the new BPIA, aside from a longer runway 03-21, the new P 8.9 billon features state of the art Instrument Landing System (ILS) that even pilots of lesser flight hours will find the runway throroughly sufficient, and without any obstruction unlike the tall buildings in Tagbilaran and the Dayo Hill or Maribojoc Mountains.
In Tagbilaran, a where a touchdown forces the aviators to immediately lower the flaps, pull the thrusts in reverse, or the plane stops on somebody’s yard of gets stopped by the perimeter fence, PBIA has properly marked lengthy blacktops.
Night landing or takeoff here won’t be a problem as the new facility even features glide slope guides, that a pilot can easily land a plane without even looking out the aircraft window.
As the last PAL flight from Tagbilaran soars into the dusk, the old city airport also bows out after serving decades as a provincial airport bringing in a huge chunk of Bohol’s development and progress.
An identified ace upon Bohol sleeves during the start of the provincial campaign as eco-cultural tourism destination, tourists taking the Tagbilaran Airport are those who do not necessarily go to Cebu, while most Cebu tourists make it a point to go to Bohol.
The following day, November 28, air controllers who have resettled in Panglao accepted to runway 03-21 Cebu Pacific flight 5J 619, the first commercial flight that landed in Panglao.
The day before, a special inaugural flight of Air Asia flight RPC 8950 flown by Boholano pilots and crew landed in Panglao, the first Airbus 320 which made a historic landing.
On command was Anda’s Captain Primo Dagondon along with First Officers JovannaJumamoy (Inabanga) and Kristine Boniel (Bien Unido) bringing in the plane in the morning before the official Presidential launching. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)

PANGLAO SHUTTLE BUSES. The Department of Transportation presented these brand new shuttle buses which will serve the transport of airport passengers and tourists in Panglao, over 10 of these air-conditioned buses serve on a looped route from Panglao to Tagbilaran daily, for the convenience of commuters. (PIABohol/DOTr)

P81 million worth of drugs In 27-month of operations

In about three years of anti-drugs operation in Bohol, authorities have taken off the streets over six kilos of addictive substances, with an estimated street value of over P81 million, which that could have eaten to the core of the Boholano Boholano society.
Bohol Police chief, PSSupt. Angeles Geñorga bared this during the recent joint meeting of the Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC) and Provincial Anti-Drug Abuse Council attended by no less than Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) Chairman, Secretary Catalino S. Cuy.
During the briefing which Coronel Geñorga gave to update council members on the current situation of the drug clearing operations across the province, he bared the anti-drug operations from July 2016 to October 2018.
During the 27 months of operations, local authorities have confiscated 6,418 grams of dangerous substance methamphetamine hydrochloride (meth) or otherwise called shabu with a DDB with a street value of P 81,154,394.65.
Along the process, excluding the operation plan ToktokHangyo (Tokhang), authorities have arrested 1,183 persons in 925 conducted operations, and have filed 1,843 cases in the proper courts, Geñorga said.
The biggest feat however is that, during that period, Bohol police anti-drug authorities were able to convince 39, 143 drug users to surrender so that appropriate measures for rehabilitation could be recommended and given them.
Moreover, the Camp Dagohoy Chief reported to Sec. Cuy and to the members of the joint meeting that in December of last year, Bohol started the Seal of Good Housekeeping Project (SGHP).
A component of the drug clearing operations, the SGHP includes putting up of drug free stickers in homes all over the province.
Started in December of 2017, the stickering program is a joint effort of the local puroks, barangay anti drug abuse teams and officials, municipal anti drug abuse council and the local police.
Houses with identified drug users are not given the drug free seal until the user gets through and completes the three or six months of rehabilitation.
According to Geñorga, of the 301,397 households all over Bohol, after 11 months, 236, 835 households have been given the drug free seal, the police accomplishing some 78.58%.
Of these, the towns of Loay and Talibon have been identified as accomplishment leaders with 96.70% of their households now sporting the drug-free stickers. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)

DRUG CLEARING CLEARED. Local authorities now struggle to keep its drug-cleared status after the regional team has validated and found that some households have indeed been cleared. The biggest question now however is, there are already cleared households with members nabbed in anti-drug operations. (Bohol PNP)