Assured of win, Aris still “friends” with opponent

By JUNE S. BLANCO

WHEN the Bohol Poll prediction of a landslide his win in the congressional race in the 2nd District comes true, Rep. Erico Aristotle Aumentado said he will still remain friends with sitting Board Member Agapito Avenido.

“I will offer my hand of friendship, a hand of reconciliation, to Aga,” Aumentado said, calling the latter “his worthy opponent”.

This after the solon got 83% while Avenido managed only 16% in the penultimate election round of the Bohol Polls conducted April 20 to May 7, 2019 by the Holy Name University’s (HNU) Center for Research and Publications (CRP).

Director Ma. Paz Espiritu of the CRP ensured that her team inserted questions on the voters’ preference for congressman of the 2nd District and vice governor in this round before tomorrow’s elections after they somehow “inadvertently” left these out in an earlier round conducted in February to March, the results of which were presented last March 15.

As the CRP boasts of a “scientific method” that the Social Weather Station (SWS) had trained them to do, Aumentado thanked the people of the 2nd District who participated in the polls for their trust and confidence in him, in what he has done for them, and will still do in his coming third term.

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 as follows: Cebu at 11.12MW, Negros at 5.40MW, Panay at 7.81MW and Samar Leyte at 12.97MW.

Bohol, where there are several self-proclaimed environmentalists who have been so vocal against coal as energy source turned out to have a load reduction of only 0.16MW.

In his post, Engr. Maleza added a note that said “the figure does not include commercial and industrial establishments not directly connected to the power grid.”

He also stated that the “figure refers only to the time indicated and may not represent the actual voluntary switch off.”

Finally he said, “the publication of this figure is unofficial, and not officially sanctioned by NGCP.”

This too as Earth Hour 2019 Bohol Bike Ride participants hardly noticed houses along the 24 kilometer road traversed, which turned off or kept their lights to a dim.

When major cities and country’s iconic monuments turned off or dimmed their lights for the Earth Hour, Bohol Earth Hour Riders noted at least four major events in the 24 kilometer circuit that featured blazing lights and power zapping sound systems.

There was even a fireworks display in one, that environmentalists have openly been very vocal about.

Fireworks cause extensive air pollution in a short amount of time, leaving metal particles, dangerous toxins, harmful chemicals and smoke in the air for hours and days. Some of the toxins never fully decompose or disintegrate, but rather hang around in the environment, poisoning all they come into contact with, according to terrapass.com.

Along the bike route was a political proclamation rally at the City Square, another political proclamation rally in Dauis, a pre-fiesta event in Bool and a roadside concert along JA Clarin, all within the 8:30-9:30 Earth Hour observance.

There is however some breath of fresh air with the 2019 Earth Hour Bike Ride, organizer Jude Ybas noted.

On its 7th year, the bikers have increased, and that is why the route was stretched a bit longer this year, from the usual

From the usual 16-18 kilometers, this year, Earth Hour Ride 2019 organizers opted for the 24 kilometers which pedaled off from the Tagbilaran City Hall open park at about 6:30 and returned to completed the loop at about 10:30 PM.

In the previous Earth Hours load reductions, the DOE engineer said in 2018, the load reduction was 49.38 MW, in 2017, 44 MW and in 2016, 29.8 MW, across the Visayas.

For Bohol, in 2018, its reduction was 1.47MW; in 2017, 2MW and in 2016, 0.3MW.

2019 and 2016 are election seasons. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)

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 Francis Shangri-la Place, the world’s first building to adopt a damped-outrigger system – Arup’s patented viscous damping system.

Aumentado said the BLLB is planned to accommodate power cables as enticement to Bohol locators for the power generation industry.

Bohol should think of the next 10 to 25 years. The current “imported” power from Leyte will not be enough by then, hence two-way cables must be in place to bring power in and also out because Bohol may not use up all the additional generation right away. This way, the generation industry players here have the option to sell their “overproduction” to the national grid.

A stable power supply in place will also be attractive to Bohol locators who are in businesses other that power generation, Aumentado concluded.

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 rushed because another big group is coming.
Considering the following and the technical know-how needed for the local government units so they can impose carrying capacity limitations in areas considered eco-cultural tourism, and the resources needed to generate these studies, Chatto shared an idea during the forum.
When carrying capacity studies entail huge resources which local governments may not necessarily have, the governor suggested that the DOT, Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the Department of Interior and Local Government to pilot select provinces and destinations and identify tourism areas needing the studies, so that the national government can fund the studies and hopefully present to local stakeholders the figures to maintain a sustainable destination.
Also among the gaps which the stakeholders discussed for potential solutions are the transport accreditation problems, hotel and restaurant accreditations, and tourism workers and stakeholder accreditation in line with the Tourism Code.
Also discussed during the forum was DENR programs on ecotourism and Protected Areas as well as Cave management, Transport Franchising programs, Environmental Laws and the compliance of tourism establishments and updates on maritime safety and Security Programs for Sustainable Tourism.

Universal Health Care Law” reorients health care system

What could be the most salient point of the newly passed Universal Health Care Law (UHCL) which President Rodrigo Duterte signed not too long ago?
Asked this question, Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) Visayas Vice President Lourdes Diocsonhinted the reorientation of the old health care system.
From the generally post confinement assistance, much of the new health care law steps towards a proactive primary health care system marks the biggest paradigm shifts in the Philippine public health system.
Speaking at the weekly Kapihansa PIA which is aired live over DyTR and on a delayed podcast from PIA Bohol twitter and facebook pages, Diocsonsummed the UHCL as a law that will now provide every Filipino the highest possible quality of health care that is accessible, efficient, equitably distributed, adequately funded, fairly financed, and appropriately used by an informed and empowered public.
This is based on the government mandate to ensure that every Filipino gets affordable and quality health benefits by providing adequate resources: health human resources, health facilities, and health financing, she explained.
As the UHCL expands the right to have access to a health care system that does not just work when one is confined at a health facility, it works not just in financing one’s health risks (which the PhilHealth provides) but also includes providing human health resources in the Department of Health’s (DOH) network of medical practitioners, pharmacies and medical professionals’ organizations to be contracted by the government as well as the string of health facilities and medical specialty institutions where consultations and laboratory tests may be free.
Here, as the new law automatically enrolls everyone eligible for the quality health care via the National Health Insurance Program (NHIP), access to quality hospitals and services is also assured, it also makes sure one is assigned to a primary health care provider.
This way, preventing from getting confined or getting sick is now given focus, unlike then when people only think of health care as a patient of on his way to a hospital or to discharge from confinement.
And as this entails financial risk protection, the government infuses funds to the NHIP via appropriation, revenues and shares from games and amusements and the sweepstakes, PhilHealth puts in two kinds of members: direct contributory members and those indirect contributory members, or those who do not have the capacity to pay but are subsidized by the government.
When you talk of health care before, the first thing that comes to your mind is, PhilHealth, now Philhealth shares the responsibility with the DOH, the Department of Education in educating members, the Department of Social Welfare and Development in determining the non contributory members, and the Department of Interior and Local Government, in the facilitation of the attainment of the country’s goals towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, summed up Dina Cinchez, PhilHealth 7 Press Relations Officer at the Kapihan. (PIA-7/Bohol)

The Universal Health Care Law intends to shift the paradigms of health care in the country and focus on the proactive side of health than on the curative side, which may become too costly for the patient and his family, explains PhilHealthVisayas Vice President Lourdes Diocson at the Kapihansa PIA last week. With her is Philhealth 7 PRO Dina Cinchez. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)