Aris: DPWH soon to build Talibon-Bien Unido bridge

By JUNE S. BLANCO

REP. Erico Aristotle Aumentado expresses hope that construction of the bridge that will link Talibon and Bien Unido towns in northern Bohol will start within the year.

Aumentado will meet Engr. Vicente Valle Jr. of the Bohol 2nd District Engineering Office and his staff next week at the latter’s office in Ubay town for a briefing on the timelines of the bridge construction.

Talibon and Bien Unido towns are located on separate promontories jutting out toward Cebu, separated by a bay, with Trinidad town in the river delta.

The road trip from Talibon to Bien Unido spans 20 kilometers, but with the bridge, the distance will just be seven kilometers.

Aumentado said this will be “definitely a big and welcome development” for his constituents in both towns – and the rest of the district, and ultimately the province – as this will cut travel time and the attendant expenses.

This will also reduce the price of goods as transport from the mother town of Talibon will be shorter, easier, more convenient and comfortable.

The solon said the shorter distance will give his constituents more time for other equally, or even more important tasks.

During the meeting, Aumentado expressed hope that Valle will declare the detailed engineering design and bid documents ready so that bidding can already be scheduled, and the physical works to start within the year.

Meanwhile, the solon recently filed House Bill 2109 that proposes to construct the Bohol-Leyte Link Bridge.

On a bigger scale now, this link will provide passengers and their freight the option to travel by land through this bridge, rather than risk their lives and cargo if they sail during inclement weather, especially when the sea is rough.

As proposed, the bridge will anchor in Ubay to President Carlos P. Garcia town, and on to Maasin, Southern Leyte.

NEW LINK. Rep, Erico Aristotle Aumentado has filed House Bill 2109 that seeks to construct the proposed Bohol-Leyte Link Bridge (left) with anchors in Ubay, Bohol and Maasin City, Southern Leyte. At right is the bridge’s perspective view. Photos: Facebook Account of Aris Aumentado

Aris’ previous statement on power ‘not misleading’

By: JUNE S. BLANCO

REP. Erico Aristotle Aumentado of Bohol’s 2nd District stands by his previous statement that “the Cantakoy hydroelectric project found no support from the next administration.

This solon emphasized that “this was not a misleading statement”, but a statement of facts.

Aumentado said partners Ayala Group and Sta. Clara Power Corp. were well on their way in establishing the Cantakoy project – taking extra diligent care in providing mitigating measures for what experts had described “critical” and “dangerous” – during the incumbency of his namesake father and immediate congressional predecessor, former governor Erico Boyles Aumentado.

Sta. Clara Power Corporation is an independent power producing company in the Philippines. It focuses on hydro power development. The company was founded in 2003 and is based in Mandaluyong, the Philippines. Sta. Clara Power Corporation operates as a subsidiary of Sta. Clara International Corporation

But for reasons of their own, the next administration did not pursue Cantakoy – despite the impending and expected stark increase in power consumption due to the operationalization of the Panglao Bohol International Airport.

Airports are stand-alone natural investment come-ons, but since Bohol has been vigorously inviting investors, the province should have taken more aggressive steps in meeting the increasing power demand. After all, he said, only in the power industry is redundancy welcome.

The recent price hike scare prompted Aumentado to walk what has so far been merely talk. The resumption of the Cantakoy project would be his “little contribution” to ease the current power crisis in Bohol.

He said Cantakoy can augment the power “imported” from the Tongonan Geothermal Plant in Leyte by from eight to 10 megawatts.

With no source other than Leyte tapped, the Boholanos are now experiencing a shortage in the supposed to be redundant power supply for which the elder Aumentado had taken steps to avert as early as 2008-2009.

The younger Aumentado says he is now taking the cudgels for the Boholanos to rekindle negotiations – and also push for the laying out of another submarine cable from Cebu.

After all, the Bohol Energy Development Advisory Group (BEDAG) has yet to announce a project geared towards alleviating the fear of the Boholanos of a power shortage leading to rotational blackouts – an additional burden to businessmen and even government offices who have to spend for generators and fuel.

He added that had the Cantakoy hydro project been not aborted, this would have been operational by now.

DTI Sandugo ‘national’ Trade Fair: attracts 190 exhibitors, 11 regions

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in Central Visayas opened its regional products showcase in Bohol, July 24-28 at the Island City Mall, with a bigger, wider participation of government assisted and developed products.

This year’s products’ showcase feature 190 exhibitors bringing in gifts and novelty items, home decors, wear-ables and fashion accessories, home style and quality furniture and furnishings, and processed food from the country’s micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) of the 11 regions joining this year’s trade fair, according to DTI Regional Director Asteria Caberte.

Bohol’s Sandugo Trade Expo 2019 is now a far upgrade from what used to be a provincial products’ fair held at the open grounds of Plaza Rizal, some 31 years ago.

DTI Assistant Secretary Blesila Lantayona, Asec. Demphna Du-Naga of the of the Regional Operations Group, Regional Director Asteria Caberte, Bohol Governor Arthur Yap, visiting DTI regional directors and Central Visayas Provincial directors Maria Soledad Balistoy (Bohol), Nimfa Virtucio (Negros Oriental) led the ceremonial opening of the fair which accordingly aims for an ambitious P40 million in sales.

Asec Lantayona, in her message however knows that the P40 million is easy to achieve citing that last year’s P25 million target was easily attained.

The Sandugo regional trade fair in 2018 even piled up an additional P7 million over the target, or a whooping P32 million in cash and booked sales.

Lantayona, who now likened the Sandugo Trade Expo this year to a national trade fair, pointed out that exhibitors all over the country are all looking forward to joining the Sandugo trade fair in Bohol because sales here is good.

Besides, she said the DTI’s Bureau of Domestic Promotions is helping out in inviting international buyers, while she believes going past the P40 million sales target is easy for silent workers behind the Bohol trade fair.

A concept of the DTI to provide a venue for home and cottage industry products from Bohol’s 47 towns and a city, the provincial fair then improved into a regional fair as the DTI used the products of the One Town One Product (OTOP) and the DTI assisted products developed by micro, small and medium enterprises.

Also among the exhibitors are producers who benefit from the DTI shared service facilities project and its Kapatid Mentor Micro entrepreneurs program.

Now considered among the oldest surviving products showcases, the Sandugo Trade Expo has consistently helped open up markets for local products and has been among the fairs which promise huge sales and international exposure.

This year, even without “The Block,” which has been the home of the Sandugo Trade Fair in the past years, some 32 new exhibitors have joined the regional hot sellers, as this year registers a total of 190 exhibitors, according to the DTI.

It is 20 exhibitors more than the 170 exhibitors who joined the trade fair last year, despite the usual problems of space limitations, DTI sources added.

And on its second year, Bohol’s cacao and chocolatiers, along with the Philippines Great Women Project put up the innovative “Tsokolaterya,” a chocolate snack nook which also aims to mainstream the cacao industry and further strengthen the dream to bring back and bank on the heirloom cacao.

The 151 booths of the Sandugo Trade Expo from Regions 3, Cordillera Administrative Region, Region 4A, Region 4B, National Capital Region, Region 6, Region 7, Region 8, Region 10, Region 11 and Region 13 can be found at the ICM Activity Center and ground floor, second floor, a nook at the third floor and at the west parking lot where furniture and home furnishings are found. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)

DTI TRADE EXPO 2019. With 190 exhibitors from 11 regions participating, the Bohol Sandugo Trade Expo has become a national trade fair, a legacy the DTI credits to the leadership of Boholana regional director Asteria Caberte. The expo opening at the ICM Activity Center July 24 had Caberte, DTO Asec Demphna Du-Naga, Governor Arthur Yap, Asec Blesila Lantayona and Bohol Provincial Director Maria Soledad Balistoy. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)

Rep. Aris, Gov. Art, team talk tourism for 2nd District

HNP SUPPORT

Rep. Aris, Gov. Art, team

talk tourism for 2nd District

By: JUNE S. BLANCO

DEVELOP more tourism destinations in the 2nd District to make a new loop that will expose the potentials of the other side of Bohol.

This was the consensus of Rep. Erico Aristotle Aumentado of Bohol’s 2nd District, newly minted Gov. Arthur Yap and the latter’s economic advisers in a meeting July 2 at the Shang Palace in Northtown, Taloto District, Tagbilaran City.

Aumentado said the work on the extension of the Ubay Aiport is ongoing such that it will soon become as long as the Tagbilaran Airport. When that happens, it can already accommodate planes like those that used to land at the Tagbilaran Airport.

With this infrastructure shaping up, next to the fine white sand beaches of Anda town that is a mere 45 minutes from the Ubay Airport, the solon, the governor and the economic advisers agreed that the tourism come-ons of a new loop, say of Ubay, Danao and Buenavista, must be developed in order to entice local and foreign tourists.

Danao already has its adventure park featuring the zip line, canyon jump, cliff rappelling and other activities for the not so faint-hearted. These may ned enhancement, even as Ubay has water sports in the dam reservoir to offer. Buenavista has its canoe paddling and oyster feast to boast off.

These can be improved, connected and arranged for a day tour. But the tourists’ stay can be extended if these towns can provide areas, food, more activities and facilities for camping or, if they want, glamorous camping or “glamping”.

At the same time, Aumentado said, this will be a captured market for the farmers in these areas. The farmers can directly sell their produce to institutions catering to the needs of the tourists, thereby removing the average of two to three middlemen who mark up the prices even before these reach the market.

The farmers, he added, must also be trained to augment their rice with high value cash crops (HVCCs), planted “round robin” so that the they harvest every one or two months. After all, when rice farmers harvest, they will have nothing for the next three or so months until the next harvest.

Improving the local vegetable or other crop yield will definitely fill the gap now being supplied by “imports” from Mindanao and even southern Cebu, and improve the lot of the Boholano farmers, Aumentado concluded.

TALE OF TWO “A”s. Rep. Erico Aristotle Aumentado of Bohol’s 2nd District (left) gets to tour the Capitol, courtesy of newly minted Gov. Arthur Yap. Both pose in front of the imposing façade of the new building. Photo: Facebook Account of ArisAumentado

Aris to expand tourism prospects in 2nd District

By JUNE S. BLANCO

REP. Erico Aristotle Aumentado will meet with national tourism officials in Manila this week to map out plans, explore prospects, and develop new attractions for the 2nd district.

Aumentado says he wants synergetic tourism development so that each town can “sell” the destinations of the other towns – instead of competing with each other for tourists to visit their more or less the same, or similar – attractions.

He also said he will pitch sales for the development of a promontory in Cambugsay that is overlooking the dam, and the paddling on the river for talaba (oysters) downstream in Cambuhat, Buenavista.

He will also arrange with the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) for water-borne adventure tourism in the dam. Just like in Cambuhat, the food will be cooked and prepared by a people’s organization to augment their respective family incomes.

When realized, the people will then experience dragon boat rides, and feast on fresh, savory and organically grown vegetables and fish dishes harvested from farms.

The only “developed” tourism attraction in the district so far, he said, is the Danao Adventure Park and Playground. He lamented that nothing else of tourism value has been developed along the way as interesting stops.

He wants development to be spread wider, especially with the improvement of the Ubay Airport. To boot, Ubay is nearer to the fine white sand beaches in Anda and whatever it is that the towns along the way can develop.

Aris pushes bidding of gensets for D2 islets

By: JUNE S. BLANCO

NOW that the elections are over, Rep. Erico Aristotle Aumentado of Bohol’s 2nd District vows to roll up his sleeves and resume work interrupted by the election ban.

Aumentado said prior to the campaign period, the bid documents for generators for power plants in seven islets in his district were already out, but the bidding itself was overtaken by the ban.

The solon’s energization program will provide power even to the farthest islets, either by submarine cable as what he did in Mahanay Island, or overhead cables, or if too far from the mainland, by stand-alone generator sets.

To note, the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) had provided Aumentado with a copy of the documents that specified the number and capacities of the power generator sets, the islands or islets where these are to be installed, and the mode of transport of the same from Manila to the destinations.

He said his hands will be full these next few days in following up with NGCP to already push through with the bidding.

He emphasized that energization is the key to an island’s development. It will allow students to study at night, their fishermen parents to repair their nets and do other work at night, and run freezers and refrigerators to hold their surplus catch instead of having to sell them cheap.

Up for bidding is the supply, delivery, installation, test, and commissioning of various diesel gensets and associated electrical equipment and balance of plant for the electrification of seven new areas in Bohol under the off-grid electrification project.

The technical specifications include the provision of separate generator control and protection panel to be installed in the containerized pre-fabricated control house, for installation as indicated in attached drawings, and designed to operate in parallel with other generating set or sets in the future.

The gensets required are one 100 kilowatts (kW), two 75 kW, one 50kW, eight 30 kW and two 20 kW diesel engine generating sets and associated electrical equipment for installation in seven separate new plant sites, namely the diesel power plants (DPPs) of Hingutanan, Bilangbilangan II, Malingin, Sagasa, Cataban, Gaus and Maomawan islets.

The document also suggested modes of transportation from the port of Manila to the islets – some through Cebu, others through Tagbilaran, and others directly to the islet concerned, by special trip or dragging.

The project duration is for 300 calendar days effective from the receipt by the winning bidder of the Notice to Proceed (NTPs), and already includes 20 rainy or unworkable days, considered unfavorable for the execution of works at the project sites.