Bohol’s Open Governance model took center stage in this year’s ASIA PACIFIC LEADERS FORUM ON OPEN GOVERNMENT in Jakarta, Indonesia last December 14.
The host country thru Indonesia’s Ministry of Planning invited Bohol Governor Edgar M. Chatto to speak on Sub National Open Governance and its impact to development taking the experience of Bohol province.
Gov. Chatto’s name was among the list of nominated speakers evaluated by the organizing committee in Jakarta.
His innovations in Open Government  both in executive and legislative branches and the strong indorsement of the Philippine Government earned for him the slot to speak in the Forum attended by over 500 delegates from Asia Pacific countries.
Also invited to speak in the Forum were DBM Secretary Ben Diokno, who spoke on Participatory Budgeting and COA Chairman Michael Aguinaldo who shared the Philippine experience in Transparency policies.
The Philippine delegation was received warmly in Indonesia by Philippine Ambassador Maria Lumen B. Isleta and top officials of Liwayway Group of Companies owned by Amb. Carlos Chan, Richard Yu and Kyle Sy.
The one day trip of Gov. Chatto to Indonesia was his shortest foreign travel so far fully sponsored by the Indonesian government at no expense to the province of Bohol including that of his wife Balilihan Mayor Pureza Veloso Chatto who accompanied him.

Gov Edgar Chatto – one of the Resource Speakers at the Asia Pacific Leaders Forum on Open Government at Hotel Borobudur, Jakarta, Indonesia

Bohol Islands get 24/7 power

Two of Bohol’s tourism gems, Balicasag and Pamilacan Islands, now have power 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Gov. Edgar Chatto and Panglao Mayor Nila Montero led switch on ceremony for 24/7 power in Balicasag Island on Monday.

They were joined by NAPOCOR Department Manager Engr. Pete Llorente, BOHECO 1 General Manager Engr. Dino Roxas, Cong. Rene Relampagos represented here by Archie Lungay, 302nd IB Commander General Arnulfo Matanguihan, and Philippine Navy Col. Jorge Ibarra.

On Tuesday, Chatto and Pamilacan Brgy. Capt. Crispo Valeroso led switch-on ceremony for 24/7 power operations in Pamilacan Island.

They were joined by Baclayon Kagawad. Derwin Cuajao who represented Mayor Benny Uy, NAPOCOR department manager Engr. Pete Llorente, BOHECO 1 Engr. Mejorada Glenn Mejorada, Archie Lungay representing Cong. Rene Relampagos, and barangay officials of Pamilacan.

This kicks off 24/7 energization of Bohol Islands under the Small Power Utilities Group (SPUG) of NAPOCOR, a commitment of the Department of Energy under Sec. Al Cusi and NAPOCOR president Pio Benavidez.

Chatto lobbied for the round the clock power supply for the islands during the 34-country Asian Cooperation Dialogue on sustainable and reliable power in Bohol in August, where Cusi himself visited both islands. After which, Benavidez directed Llorente to implement 24-hour electrical service to the two islands.

When he was congressman of the first district, Chatto placed Cuaming and Hambongan in Inabanga; Mantata-o in Calape; Cabilao in Loon; Balicasag, Panglao; Pamilacan, Baclayon; and Bag-ong Banwa, Batasan, Bilanglangan, Mocaboc, Pangapasan, and Ubay in Tubigon under NAPOCOR-SPUG, the switch on for which was during his birthday, February 21, 2008 in Cabilao.

The incorporation of the twelve islands in the missionary electrification program of NPC-SPUG, entitled electricity consumers in the islands to financial support from the Universal Charge for Missionary Electrification (UC-ME) pursuant to R.A. 9136 or the Electric Power Industry Reform Act, commonly called the EPIRA Law, where the assistance to consumers shall come via NPC-SPUG’s sale of electricity at a subsidized rate.

This significantly brought electricity cost way below P25/kWh rate.

For residents of Balicasag and Pamilacan Islands, round the clock power is a fulfillment of a long-time dream, expressing their gratitude to Chatto and NAPOCOR team.

Chatto and NAPOCOR-SPUG officials are mapping out what islands to be fully energized next.

Llorente bared NAPOCOR-SPUG is eyeing the same for islands of Bilang-Bilangan Dako, Bilang-Bilangan Diot, Hingutanan East and Hingutanan West, Malingin, Maomawan, and Sagasa in Bien Unido as well as Cataban in Talibon for 2018.

The 24-hour power program in Bohol islands will be thru generators or solar power, or a mix of these technologies, seen to enhance economic productivity and growth and to improve living condition. (Leah/EDCOM)

First Bohol Coastal-wide Dive Forum


The Province of Bohol through the Bohol Tourism Office conducted of Bohol’s first ever “Coastal-wide Dive Forum” on August 11, 2017 at Bohol Plaza Resort, Dayo Hill, Dauis, Bohol.

The forum was in partnership with the Bohol Provincial Tourism Council (PTC), Inc. and the Panglao Association of Dive Operators (PADO) has taken new steps in its efforts for sustainable tourism development.

LGU environment and tourism officers, representatives of Municipal and Provincial Tourism Councils, headed by Atty. Lucas M. Nunag, scientists, national agency representatives from the Department of Tourism, Department of  Environment and Natural Resources, Philippine Coast Guard, PNP Tourist Police and employees of the provincial government attended the forum.

Also present and facilitated the workshop, were private sector stakeholders many of whom are dive operators all over the province, hotel and resort owners, business groups and individuals advocates for Bohol’s sustainable environment and inclusivity of business practices.

Jo Cabarrus, Head of the Bohol Tourism Office welcomed the participants and gave the forum’s statement of purpose. Atty. Mitchell John Boiser, Acting Provincial Administrator and the Provincial Legal Officer in behalf of the Governor speaks of the forum as timely, considering that the diving industry in our province is flourishing with the influx of tourists who come to Bohol to experience one of the best dive sites in the country. Aside from Balicasag being famous as a world-class dive spot, there are other sites like Cabilao, Anda, Jagna and many more that offer the same exhilarating experience.  He emphasized that the diving industry and the community need to be conscientious in creating balance between tourism development and ecological preservation and that government needs to lay down the rules and implement them and for stakeholders and implementers to follow such enactments.

The forum aimed to instill the importance of marine resource conservation for environmental sustainability and formulate appropriate legislations thereto; raised issues and concerns besieging the diving industry. In the workshop conducted, strategies were generated for the development of a uniform marine life protection policies and standards by all MLGUs and ensure that players in the industry comply with such diving industry operations.

“Protecting the resources in the coastal vicinity of Bohol is a shared responsibility between and among LGUs, local communities, NGOs and private sector. If the marine resources are properly managed, sustainable economies will last not only in this generation but also unto the future.”, according to Neil Antoque, a Marine Biologist and Coastal Extension Officer of DENR Bohol, who gave an input on the Science of Coral Reef Ecosystem, its Relationship to the Diving Industry and The Relevant Enabling Policies, Rules and Regulations in Marine Conservation for Livelihood Development.

As best practice model in diving operation, Mr. Holger Horn, President of PADO, shared the Status/Profile of the Diving Industry in Panglao and their Efforts to Save Panglao Dive Sites for Sustainability.  On the part of government, Panglao, Coastal Resource Management Officer (CRMO), Darwin Menorias, presented the CRM Initiatives in Marine Conservation vis-à-vis Diving Industry Operations.

The following next steps were noted down:  (1) Creation of a Technical Working Group (TWG) for a future Bohol Dive Expo; (2) a unified ordinance/legislation (relative to marine conservation, diving regulations and incorporation of diving policies in the Bohol Tourism Code), (3) a Position Paper to DOT so strengthen PCSSD/to establish Regional Offices to facilitate accreditation applications and (4) the establishment of a community-based monitoring task force.

Ms. Liza Quirog, Chief of Staff of the Office of the Governor and Head of the SEEM Cluster, a dive enthusiast and a conservationist at heart, in her closing statements, remarked, that “in order to make our aspirations happen, we can only depend and raise our expectations on the things that we can control. Let us not expect or put to task people who or agencies which are not under our control. For we can only make sure that things are done because WE CAN DO it ourselves or that the agencies or personalities that are mandated to do them are under our systems; either of the Philippine government or under our community’s influence”.


The workshop closed with the signing of the Commitment- ‘to act collectively to conserve and sustainably use our seas, coasts and marine resources for sustainable development’, by all the participants.

AirJuan braces to serve Bohol ‘in flight’ and ‘in fright’

BOHOLANOS CAN NOW count on having seaplanes readily available in Bohol, whether it be for commercial flights to take them to business or pleasure destinations; or for emergencies or assistance in times of distress.


Early this week, Gov. Edgar M. Chatto met with Peter Dejaresco of Bohol Chronicle/DYRD, Sarah Dejaresco of Angel’s Wings Tours and Travel, AirJuan Director of Operations Christian von Strombeck and AirJuan Legal Counsel Atty. Christer James Ray A. Gaudiano.


The talk was about possible but imminent ties with Bohol not only for commercial flights but also, for possible assistance to our very own TaRSIER 117 for it to have available aircraft for its operations, especially in times of calamities or emergencies.


Aside from this, Gov. Chatto and AirJuan executives are also mulling over the possibility of having airlifts for dam operations, especially during dry spells.


The latter, of course, would still need the nod of the National Irrigation Administration (NIA).


If plans push through, a MOA Signing could possibly take place this month, in time for the Korea-Tagbilaran direct maiden flight on June 22.


AirJuan is a charter airline that began in 2012 with a commitment to Philippine progress by making business and leisure destinations easily accessible by air.


With a fresh and vibrant approach to business, its focus is on delivering best-in-class service by providing a pleasant and refreshing travel experience.


In 2014, AirJuan began their scheduled charter flights in Palawan, flying from Puerto Princesa to the quaint island of Cuyo and the paradise island of Coron on their nine-seater Cessna Grand Caravan landplane.


The routes made great strides in re-connecting families, thereby stimulating trade in small towns and providing access to the country’s little known gems of destinations.


That success inspired them to start a Coron to Caticlan route in 2015, thus linking two of the world’s best destinations, Palawan and Boracay.


And you bet, the rest is history.


Aside from being excited due to limitless possibilities, Gov. Chatto is also greatly impressed by AirJuan’s seaplanes which provide fast and efficient hassle-free air service to less-chartered destinations.


In fact, Bohol’s tourism people are now so eager to start AirJuan’s commercial flights after its so-called inaugural flight with Bohol tourism stakeholders on board the Cessna which flew for a scenic Panglao tour last week at an altitude of less than 2,000 feet and skimmed Alona beach.


“Of course, we are already excited just thinking about our tourists being brought directly to our beaches; for I could swear this early, this brave move could greatly improve and expand Bohol’s tourism business,” the governor, co-author of the Tourism Act of 2009, enthused.


On a more serious note, Gov. Chatto said he is most eager for the tie-up for this could mean that “Boholanos have better chances of survival during emergencies for let’s admit it, being on board a plane en route to medical facilities is much, much better and faster than traveling by land.”


With this recent development on air travel and emergency response, Gov. Chatto assures “seamless air travel for Boholanos, whether be it for business or pleasure; and quicker response and faster and more efficient medical care when it comes to disasters and emergencies.” (JANETV/PGBh/EDCom)


The 2017 Sandugo festival kicks off with the opening of the Sandugo Night Market and the Sandugo Food Festival tomorrow, June 19 at the CPG Sports Complex.
 A celebration of Bohol cultural identity and creativity, this year, the festival puts together a distinct roster of activities that highlight the history, tradition, hospitality, culture, and creativity of the Boholanos.
 Festivities offer various events rolled into a grand fete for a diverse audience of Bol-anons and visitors alike.
Night Market at CPG Complex
 The night market and food festival that runs until July 30 feature a food fair and trade fair, a carnival, cultural shows, and nightly entertainment that guarantee fun, flavor, and entertainment.
Among major happenings are the International Fusion Nights that will run from July 21-30 simultaneous with the night market and the DTI Product Showcase that will be held on July 19-23 at the Island City Mall.
 Sports enthusiasts can enjoy the Fun Run on July 2, a Boxing Competition on July 14, a Swimming Competition on July 15, and a Dragon Boat Competition on July 16.
Original Boholano Songs at its best
 The Sandugo Song Festival will display Boholano singing and songwriting talent on July 20 at the Bohol Cultural Center. 12 finalists have been named as follows: Pangandoy Mo Matuman by Analiza Orcullo of Loon, Bohol; Ampingan Ko by Alfie James Anana of Poblacion, Inabanga; Bulan by Sergie Peter Balaba of Malbog, Jagna; Tokhang by Humphrey Mark Nicasio of Cogon, Tagbilaran City; Awit sa Hangin by Joseph Gara of Mayacabac, Dauis; Ms. Maldita by Geed Manfred Suaybaguio of Riverside, Bilar; Ikaw Na Ba by Nandy Maniwan of Poblacion, Loay; Bisan Sa Makausang Higayon by Johnrey Fuertes of Alegria, Loboc; Damgo Ra by Hannah Alex Noel of Bingag, Dauis; Bisan Sakit by Clyde Ebojo of Mayacabac, Dauis; Payag by Fernando Enoc of Poblacion, Dauis; and Sa Una Ug Karon by Charlven Remolador of Mansasa, Tagbilaran City.
A songwriting workshop as well as an Open Mic and Songwriters’ Night will also take place on July 23 and 24 with celebrated Bol-anon songwriters Jimmy Borja and Arnold Zamora as facilitators.
Showcase of Arts and Boholano Culture
 The Sandugo Art Festival will run on July 17-30 with LALIK, photography competition and exhibits, literary, and painting exhibits.
 Renowned Boholano performing arts groups will also do nightly shows at the CPG Sports Complex with the Alicia Bamboo Ensemble on June 23, HNU Chorale and Diwanag Dance Company on June 30, the Loboc Youth Ambassador’s Band on July 7, LUPAE (Lungsuranon Performing Arts Ensemble) of Tubigon on July 21, and the Dimiao Children’s Rondalla on July 28.
Beautiful Boholana
 Meanwhile, twenty beautiful Boholanas are vying for the coveted Miss Bohol 2017 crown namely Maria Andrea Laniba of Jagna; Rizalee Rose Razo of Loay; Chelsea Lyndee Bernaldez of Guindulman; Gazini Christiana Jordi Ganados of Loon; Donna Lee Cabugsan of Bilar; Maria Patsy Mille Plazo of Batuan; Angelika Concha of Calape; Aileen Lancila of Baclayon; Kaorie Villa of Albur; Sheena Marie Francesca Licong of Anda; Clarisse Diangco of Pres. Carlos P. Garcia; Abegail Gamutin of Dimiao; Abegail Ampong of Talibon; Christine Joy Lao of Mabini; Kelley Maribel Manuta of Maribojoc; Airah Venci Tagoon of Sierra Bullones; Bianca Gaviola of Tagbilaran City; Rheya Mae Canda of Trinidad; Pauline Amnilinckx of Tubigon; and Mary Abegail Besas of Ubay.
 A highlight of the festivities, Miss Bohol 2017 will hold its talent night at the Bohol Cultural Center on July 8 and the pageant night on July 22 at the Bohol Wisdom School Gym.
Balik Bohol
 The Boholano homecoming “Balik sa Bohol” and the Sandugo street dancing competition “Bangga sa Kuradang ug Subli sa Sandugo” on July 29 will cap off the month and a half-long celebration.
 Sandugo is the annual celebration of the blood compact between Datu Sikatuna and the Spanish conquistador Miguel Lopez de Legaspi which took place in 1565 that is also recognized as the first international Treaty of Friendship. (Leah/Jasmine/ EDCOM)

KITA UG ANG GOBERNADOR – Gov. Edgar Chatto with (right to left) Isang Dugo Foundation Inc. Secretary Carmen Gatal, Acting Provincial Administrator Atty. John Mitchel Boiser, Isang Dugo Foundation Inc. VP and Executive Director Al Uy and EDCOM Head Augustus Escobia during the weekly radio program and interaction with Bohol media. Chatto officially launches the programs and events of this year’s Sandugo Festival to kick off with a Night Market on Monday, June 19 at the CPG Sports Complex. Spearheaded by the Isang Dugo Foundation Inc., Sandugo 2017 along with its major activities, promises to be more fun, more events, and showcases more Boholano culture and identity. Also in the picture are the candidates for Miss Bohol 2017. Pageant night is set on July 22 at the Bohol Wisdom Gym.