‘EU group’ experiences Bohol, people, on bikes

A lean delegation of dignitaries from the European Union led by European Ambassador to the Philippines Franz Jessen, joins local bikers for three days of environment rides in Bohol, while promoting friendships, international relations and culture.
A mangrove planting, to be led by the ambassador, along with Asian Development Bank official, Marc Rooijackers and the officer of the Foreign Affairs of France Jerome Riviere, accompanied by elite and amateur bikers from Bohol caps the three-day meet, greet and experience visit in the island, to happen on Sunday, in an unspecified location in Panglao island.
Avid bikers as characteristic of Europeans who love the outdoors, the delegation has been going around Bohol, in routes closer to Tagbilaran and Panglao, to assess the people and the communities.
Also providing assistance to the delegation’s bike tours is David Aliño of Paseo De Loon and Boholano bikers who hosted the team in their two-wheeled bike trips.
Already hooked to Bohol after he proposed to his wife in the beaches of Anda, Rooijackers said he had planned to bike and enjoy the great roads, sceneries and the warm people of the island that has the perfect chance to become a wholesome tourism destination.
Rooijackers came here years back with his fiancé, rented a motor bike and without any more pageantry, drove through the coastal roads of Bohol until they got to Anda.
Since then, he has promised himself to come back to Bohol.
In an informal meet and greet with Bohol media at the LiteportBuzzz Café July 26, Rivierre, who is into education and culture for better international relations, said he might be leaving the Philippines for good after several years of tour of duty, but he is coming back with his family and friends anytime soon.
The EU delegation also visited schools and universities on symposia that would allow students to better understand the European Union, its culture and its foreign relations.
At the informal gathering with media, members of the delegation also exchanged information, ideas and opinions about the country’s current events, as perceived by the members of the fourth estate.
According to Rooijackers, while the ADB is keen on helping put up packets of funding for development initiatives in poor communities, he hinted that the arrangement would have to be through governments.
He said the ADB has funding portfolio for medium scale community development projects, but that has to be accessed on the level of the heads of states. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)

PWDs plead for dormitory facilities near SPED schools

When learning facilities of the differently abled are scarce, persons with disabilities (PWDs) whose rights, advocates are pushing, are pleading the government to put up a dormitory for them to stay while studying in city schools that cater to their learning needs.
Leading the pleading and giving voice to the deaf-mute and the mobility challenged PWDs were Bohol Deaf Academy (BDA) principal RizalinaPeligro.
Waving the placard to catch attention to this call for action, Peligro, along with BDA Senior High School principal Julius Canda, who administers one of the very few, if not the only school in Bohol that offers senior a high school for the hearing and speech impaired, said that they have students from all over the island who are forced to rent in the city so they can attend their classes.
Peligro said, for the needed special attention and care for these physically challenged students, a common facility that would allow the deaf mute to interact with persons with the same predicament like theirs, would already mean so much, in a society that commits to expand PWDs rights.
Whilesome of their students are not necessarily financially capable, PDWs rights advocates support the move, considering that allowing these students to live out of the school compound to their towns every single class day is too much hassle. And it may be risky.
As if the inconvenience of communicating to the transport sector workers through sign language is not enough, the same learners have to haggle for the mandatory 20% discount, which the society has not been as keenly giving in.
For lack of such facility, out of pity, Peligro said faculty members at the BDA are forced to adopt their students in their homes, if only to assure them that they are covered and to stop them from dropping out.
And while providing a government operated facility as possible boarding houses for PWDs needing special care, is possibly a novel project for the government, many believe that providing such a facility would attract more and more PWDs to come out and get properly educated for a better chance at being productive in life.
According to Bohol Provincial Disability Affairs Office Administrative Officer Jowel Robin, about 14,000 PWDs are already on their database, and many of these are not as keen in learning because of the discomfort of traveling.
Special Education (SPED) schools, while there are established facilities in some towns, also echo the same concern for the discomfort of travel of PWDs.
After they graduate in the basic elementary, many would just opt to stop, for with only few secondary schools offering SPED classes, distance is always a consideration.
Complaints emanating from PWDs as regards the mandated discount in public transport still ring high and, at an already disadvantaged position, a PWD almost always, would just skip the trouble of pressing for their rights, accessibility monitoring team members remarked.
Of the disadvantages that PWDs are forced to accept, and with slow progress in getting them their rights and privileges as the law provides, setting up the facility would be a great move to allow PWDs a better chance to get into the mainstreams. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)

GIVING VOICE TO THE DEAF MUTE. Bohol Deaf Academy high school principal RizalinaPeligro pleaded for government to help build a dormitory facility near SPED schools to lessen the discomfort of PWD students who are forced to brave it out daily to get them to schools and home every day. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)

PDAO Administrative Officer Jowell Robin bared that there are already 14,000 PWDs in their database for Bohol, but only very few of them go to schools due to the discomfort and their handicaps. With Robin is Mateo Quilas, a sight impaired an a staunch PWD rights advocate. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)

PWD dragon boat team Bags two race trophies

A team composed of persons with disabilities (PWD) proves they too can be competitive in a sport that banks on strength, endurance and timing to bring out a winning teamwork on a small boat by netting two championship awards in the recently concluded Sandugo 2019 Dragon Boat Festival held at the Miramar Promenade here.

Fresh from their international dragon boat feats, Philippine Accessible Disability Services (PADS) Adaptive Dragon Boat Racing Team of Cebu City marked history again in Bohol for perfect paddling to steer into winning the Sandugo 2019 women’s category and sopen masters category.

This year, 11 teams competed in the race.

Composed of amputees, deaf and blind, PADS team has always worked on the motto that says “Our combined disabilities are our greatest strengths,” has shown again that disability is no barrier to being winners.

PADS Adaptive Dragon Boat Racing Team beat Bohol favorites: Dumaluan Beach Resort Pirates and Dauis Wild Dragons in the 300 meter race, the locals have to content themselves by settling as first runner up and second runner up in the day long race at the Tagbilaran City-Dauis Strait July 20.

The race, sponsored by Bohol Paddlers, the Department of Tourism, Provincial Government of Bohol, City of Tagbilaran and Municipality of Dauis, opened to the following categories: Small boat Women, small boat open, Small Boat mixed, small boat open Masters, and small boat mixed masters plus standard boat mixed category attracted teams like Aboitiz Dragon Boat (Cebu), Bagsik Dragon Boat Racing Team (Tacloban) , Cebu Fireblade (Cebu), Dauis Wild Dragons A (Bohol), Dauis Dragon Warriors A (Bohol), Dumaluan Beach Resort Pirates A (Bohol), Lions, Motley Crew, Nagabugsay (Cebu), Pundok Amila (Bohol), Sugbo Mighty Dragons (Cebu) and Bohol Paddlers.

In the small boat Open Category, claiming the Championship was Dumaluan Beach Resort Pirates A, followed by Cebuano Sugbu Mighty Dragons for first Runner Up and Pundok Amila (Bohol) as second runner up.

For the small boat Mixed category, champion was Dumaluan Beach Resort Pirates A, followed by NAGAbugsay Dragonboat Racing Team (Cebu) and Dauis Wild Dragon A
as second runner up.

In the small boat Open Masters category, PADS again emerged as champions, while the first runner up went to Bohol Paddlers Association Inc, and the next winner was Aboitiz Dragonboat Team

In the small boat, Mixed Master category, Sugbu Mighty Dragons snatched the championship while 1st RU was PADS Adaptive Dragonboat Racing Team.

For mixed standard boat Category, Dauis Wild Dragons A picked the prize as champion while Dumaluan Beach Resort Pirates A won as first runner up and PADS Adaptive Dragonboat Racing Team won second.

PADS trophies this might might just be a bonus, winning the recognition and admiration from the clearly unimpaired on the Natioanl Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation Week is a reaounding shoutout to those PWDs who refuse to come out.

Not only is there life after sulking, there is even a victory for the determined. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)

FRENZIED PADDLING. Strength, endurance, stamina, cadence make up a winning teamwork as dragonboat paddlers compete for the fastest time in 300 meters race, during the Sandugo Dragon Boat Festival July 20 at the Tagbilaran City Strait. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)

Local paddlers win 3 championships In 6, at Sandugo Dragon Boat Fest

Hospitable as they are, Boholanos defended their turf and gave only three of the six championship slots to visiting paddlers in the recently concluded Sandugo Dragon Boat Festival held at the seas, between Dauis and Tagbilaran City Strait, July 20.

Local paddlers showed true grit, strength, endurance and teamwork to leave visiting dragon boat teams, some of them fresh from international competitions, in their wakes after 300 meters of synchronized frenzied paddling.

Amid resounding beats provided by a drum corps stationed at the Miramar Promenade where teams put up their team tents for paddlers to recover, Bohol paddlers of Dumalu-an Beach Resort Pirates A, Dauis Wild Dragons, Bohol Paddlers Association and Pundok Amila built a solid defense but yet allowed visitors to come home claiming also three championship trophies.

In the end, Dumalu-an Beach Resort Pirates A paddled in furious cadence to nail the championship slot for the Small Boat Open Category Small Boat, and another championship trophy for Small Boat Mixed category.

On the other hand, Philippine Accessible Disability Services (PADS) Adaptive Dragon Boat Racing Team of Cebu City, a team which recently bagged an international championship in Hongkong claimed the championship trophy for the Small Boat Women’s Category, and Small Boat Open Masters Category.
Winning for the locals however, was not an easy feat, as it would mean beating an internationally competing team of persons with disability who just wowed the entire dragon boating world with their Hongkong victory.

But, knowing the currents and the waters of Tagbilaran Strait neing their playground, Dauis Wild Dragons breathed fire in their after-burners to grab the Standard longboat Mixed Category, keeping the veterans of the PADS Adaptive Dragon Boat Racing Team, nearly half a boat length in the finish line buoys.

Meanwhile, Sugbo Mighty Dragons carried home the Small Boat Mixed Masters Category in the sunny generally high tide race.

Over-all, for Small boat Womens’ category, a women team of the PADS Adaptive Dragonboat Racing Team showed that even with disabilities, as they have blind, hearing impaired paddlers, they can still put up to speed against Dumaluan Beach Resort Pirates A which settled for the First Runner Up and Dauis Wild Dragon A who settled for the Second Runner Up.

In the Small Boat Open Category, with Dumaluan Beach Resort Pirates A as champions, Sugbu Mighty Dragons contended themselves with the First Runner Up (RU) while Tubigon’s Pundok Amila grabbed second RU.

In the Small Boat Mixed Category, Dumaluan Beach Resort Pirates A claimed the championship, while Cebu’s NAGAbugsay Dragonboat Racing Team of Naga City nailed the first RU and Dauis Wild Dragon A took second RU.

For the Small Boat Open Masters Category, PADS Adaptive Dragonboat Racing Team took the top post, while 1st RU was Bohol Paddlers Association Inc., and 2nd RU was Aboitiz Dragonboat Team.

In the Small Boat Mixed Master Category, Sugbu Mighty Dragons grabbed the championship trophy and PADS Adaptive Dragonboat Racing Team claimed the next spot.

For the Standard Boat (Long Boat) Mixed Category, Dauis Wild Dragon A packed the coveted championship trophy while Dumaluan Beach Resort Pirates A came up First RU and PADS Adaptive Dragonboat Racing Team has to pick second RU.

Dragon boating in Bohol has been identified as a come on for sports enthusiasts and tourists who enjoy water sports, even as Bohol pegs a stake as the eco-tourism capital in the Central Visayas. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)

Diputado asks for ordinance on pre-grad school garden

Department of Agriculture (DA) Regional Director for Central Visayas, Atty Salvador Diputado called for Boholano legislators’ help in rallying Boholanos to rescue the dire need for food security amidst dreams of becoming a major tourism destination in the country.

Speaking during the opening of the Sandugo Agri-Fair 2019 now occupying the Bohol Agricultural Promotions Center (BAPC) and the City Hall grounds, Diputado began his appeal for legislators to do something about the present predicament, with a brief comparison with Korea.

The aggie official who is a lawyer by profession but has a background in agriculture, his family being engaged in rice and cacao farming in Carmen, said in Korea, where there is a surplus of rice, the people keeps even the last bit useful.

He narrated that when he was there, the burnt rice on the bottom of the pot becomes the roast coffee that goes with the breakfast.

In the Visayas however, where there is rice shortage, there is so much wastage, he remarked.

While Bohol is the only province in Central Visayas that can almost sufficiently feed itself, much of Bohol’s surplus is wasted, as an estimated three spoons-ful of rice for every Boholano is wasted every day.

At the Sandugo Agri-Fair opening, agriculture authorities who united to campaign for curbing rice wastage put in Panatang Makapalay, a pledge for citizens to conserve rice.

And to press on the matter even further, the DA regional Director shared the complicated truth: the average age of farmers in Bohol is now at 59, and fewer and fewer young people are going to farming.

“There is actually a move to save the farming industry,” Diputado told representatives of the towns bringing their local produce to the Agri-Fair.

All elementary and high school graduating students must engage in school gardening and entrepreneurial skills, he said, and this can only be through an ordinance.

Diputado wants something like an elementary pupil and a high school student to graduate only if he has planted a garden and earned from it.

The lawyer turned agri-chief in Central Visayas also bared that he is with Governor Arthur Yap, who advocates for food consumption quantification program.

Governor Yap, who used to sit as Agriculture secretary and a hard core economist, meant that by food consumption quantification program, it is scientific and evidence based information on the average daily consumption as the sum of the food requirement of everyone in Bohol. This would become the basis for the production targets in the island.

Once we meet our food requirements, then we can meet our food security, Diputado said.

Moreover, the regional director said something must be done about the fast conversion and reclassification of agricultural lands into residential areas.

According to Diputado, agricultural lands are shrinking, people are shunning away from farming, the people are wasting rice and farmers are not even using the right technologies to maximize harvest.

Over this, Atty Diputado wants legislators to put up ordinances that would strictly implement the ban on reclassification and conversion, especially of agricultural lots that can still be very productive.

That day, the government through the DA, also distributed farm equipment and machineries in efforts to motivate farmer organizations to boost production.

Handed to peoples’ organizations and farmers associations were floating tillers, hand tractor with accessories, drum seeder, rice combine harvester, rice transplanter-Walk Behind and 4 wheel-drive tractors.

With these, Diputado exhorted the farmer beneficiaries to use the government help to alleviate and lessen poverty incidence in the region.

We will show our love for agriculture, as farming has always been a noble profession, he stressed. (rahc/PIA_7/Bohol)

“Build, Build, Build” puts in P2.2 B ports infra development fund-PPA

For the Philippine Ports Authority’s (PPA) programmed ports development alone, the government puts in over P2.2 billion to complete an inter-modal transport system under its Build, Build program.

This is according to PPA Bohol Ports Manager Engr. James Gantalao, during a Department of Transportation (dotr) hosted Media familiarization Tour to the Port of Tubigon, a newly completed port that the PPA callef as , its major port in Bohol’s northwestern quadrant.

The low-key and yet consummate performer port manager who has roots in Maribojoc, explained that the PPA was looking at dividing Bohol into four, so as to rationalize its development to benefit the entire island.

While the PPA has major ports in Tagbilaran, Jagna, Ubay, Talibon, Getafe and Tubigon, the government has also looked at focusing on the four ports of Tagbilaran, Jagna, Ubay with Tapal, Getafe, which is closer to Cordova in Cebu and Tubigon.

The idea is to make all these ports pick the same standard for international tourists that the tourism port of Tagbilaran has since adopted, according to Engr. Gantalao.

Getting the lion share in the Build, Build, Build funds through the PPA is Tubigon Port, which has a proposed P 500 million fund for the 23,385 square meters of additional space the government is reclaiming.

The port of Tubigon had DOTr Secretary Art Tugade officiating its project turn over early this year.

But even with some parts of the port showing the devastation caused by the 2013 earthquake, the PPA has managed to complete the port management’s administration building with one-stop service station, and the 200 seats passenger terminal building as previously planned.

With the port getting more port calls, a passenger volume of about 6,000 now, and Bohol’s identified rolling cargo port, expanding the port’s spaces come as a necessity.

On this, the PPA, through the Build, Build, Build is again putting up half a billion fund.

This would expand the port into a convenient and spacious gateway to Bohol, Engr Gantalao shared.

Then, Ubay port, has a total of P200 million allocation, Gantalao updated the media.

With about 5 hectares of planned reclamation, when completed, Ubay port would soon be Bohol’s biggest port which would serve the Leyte-Bohol Roll-On, Roll-Off link.

Moreover, its municipal ports of Tapal and Aguining are also allocated development funds.

For the port of Tagbilaran, while Gantalao said they have good raves from international guests, it is the locals who find the facility always wanting in service.

Already among the countrys best managed ports, Tagbilaran still has to step up especially when a huge bulk of Bohols trade and.industry uses this port.

And with limited parking space, and a small passenger terminal building, the need for another passenger terminal hub in the port complex is imperative.

For the port of Tagbilaran, which now has 22 Oceanjet trips alone, the government is putting up another P150 M, for an expansion and a new and bigger Passenger Terminal Building, and more parking spaces.

Tagbilaran is the strategic port that connects aa western Mindanao, Negros and Cebu.

According to the PPA, the port of Getafe, the one closest to Cordova in Cebu, with a travel time of 45 minutes, takes the government’s attention.

For the port that is getting busier now, the government has allotted P150 million for its improvement.

Development planners at the PPA believe that the strategic port of Getafe can boost economic and tourism activities in northern Bohol.

On the southeast side is Bohol’s gateway to Mindanao.

Jagna Port, owing to its being a strong link to Mindanao gets P97 million this time from the Build Build Build.

Other than Jagna, the Port of Maribojoc, which has the potential to be a cargo port is now eyed for a P450 million port development in this year’s infrastructure projects.

Other ports which the government splurging on infrastructure that ferries development are the ports of Aguining, Popoo, Tapal, and Albur, PPA said. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)

MANAGING THE PORTS BUILD. PPA Manager Engr James Gantalao briefs media on the improvement plans for the Tubigon port, the biggest rolling cargo port aoutside Tagbilaran. PPA gets P2.2 B in ports development from the government’s Build Build Build. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)