Rep. Aris: DPWH allocates P5M for feasibility study of Talibon-BU bridge

By JUNE S. BLANCO

THREE years after Rep. Erico Aristotle Aumentado (Bohol, 2nd District) first filed the bill proposing the construction of a bridge to link Bien Unido and Talibon towns in northern Bohol, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has allocated P5 million for its full-blown feasibility study.

During the pre-feasibility study, the team that conducted an ocular inspection of the possible anchor sites for the proposed bridge to link the two towns had identified Barangays San Isidro in Talibon and Nueva Esperanza in Bien Unido. Seawaters surrounding both barangays are observed to be shallow.

Aumentado said while Bien Unido is adjacent to Talibon, one has to travel some 20 kilometers if he has some business or has something to buy in the latter which is the bigger town.

Bien Unido and Talibon are both on the mainland, but they are points on promontories separated by a bay. With the bridge only five kilometers long, travel time will be drastically cut short. As a result, more business, like the transport of goods from one town to the other, can be done in a day.

The solon expressed hope that the feasibility study will turn out good. Once completed, he said this means the cost of goods will go down hence, prices of commodities will reduce. The market linkage will also spur economic development for the two towns.

Then DPWH Sec. Rogelio Singson had sent the composite team of engineers and technical personnel from the national and regional offices. But current Sec. Mark Villar had effected the allocation of P5 million for the feasibility study.

A 2015 DPWH estimate had pegged the cost of the bridge at P285 million.

Meanwhile, Aumentado early this week briefed a team from DPWH Bohol and DPWH Leyte on the possible anchors in both provinces for the proposed Leyte-Bohol Bridge. The team conducted an ocular inspection of Ubay and Lapinig Island on the Bohol side and Maasin in Leyte.

Aris assures no service vacuum for B’vista folk

By JUNE S. BLANCO

REP. Erico Aristotle Aumentado (Bohol, 2nd District) assures the Buenavistanhons that there will be no “service vacuum” in the town in the wake of the killing last Sunday of Buenavista Mayor Ronald Lowell “Sample” Tirol.

Aumentado immediately met now Mayor Dave Duallo and the Sangguniang Bayan after the incident, for a closer look into the plans and direction the local officials, led by the late Tirol, had prepared and took.

It is now, more than ever, that the people of Buenavista need to feel that they have the support they need – even with the murder of their former mayor, the solon said.

He observed that some residents had admitted fearing for their lives when a gunman shot Tirol at close range while the latter was at the town cockpit past 3 pm last Sunday.

But while Aumentado grieves over the death of a “close and intimate friend”, he said no leader is indispensable. Change is inevitable he philosophized, because of term limits and risks like death.

But services will not be disrupted. After all, his is a people-based leadership, not leader-based. The interest of the people is paramount – not that of the leader, he said.

He says he has confidence in Duallo, another “close and intimate friend” who is now picking up the pieces where Tirol had left off. Duallo has the determination to continue his dreams and those of his father and immediate congressional predecessor, former governor and congressman Erico Boyles Aumentado, for the development of Buenavista and the 2nd District in general, he added.

On learning of Tirol’s murder, Aumentado said, “Violence has no place in modern society, especially amidst our campaign for peace in the province.”

Even during the time of my father, unity always took precedence as a manifestation of our efforts to contain unreasonable fighting. The death of mayor sample tells us of our need for more vigilance,” he emphasized.

I hold my mayors close to my heart, especially Mayor Sample. I will miss Sample not just as a mayor, but as a good and intimate friend,” he added.

Shipyard to rise in B’vista, but with conditions — Aris

 By JUNE S. BLANCO

RESIDENTS of Buenavista and nearby towns better start to learn welding now.

This after Rep. Erico Aristotle Aumentado (Bohol, 2nd District) met with the top henchman of a company that plans to establish a shipyard in Buenavista town.

The company executive, Aumentado and Buenvavista Mayor Ronald Lowell “Sample” Tirol earlier on discussed possibilities and scouted around the district for the ideal location until the former settled for Buenavista.

Aumentado took the former’s decision as a good omen where employment opportunities for his constituents are concerned.

The solon, however, wants to balance development on one hand, and Bohol’s environment on the other.

After all, he said, the province’s ecological-cultural tourism and agriculture are its two main economic drivers.

As such, as the company started clearing some mangrove patches as part of earthworks in building the shipyard, Aumentado wrote Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer Laurentino Bautista to inquire if the former already has complete papers including the Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) for the expected big project.

The ECC itself limits a proponent to what he can – and must not – do to the environment as he develops his project site.

Aumentado clarified that he welcomes development, but he is against everything that destroys the environment.

An ECC also states what mitigating actions a proponent can do – like, among others, planting more mangrove propagules than what were sacrificed in the name of development – a shipyard in this case.

To note, the solon even filed a bill banning the establishment of coal-fired power plants in the province and especially the 2nd District.

In case the company has yet to complete its documentary requirements, he expressed willingness to assist them in producing these just so the project will be ECC compliant and therefore, environment friendly.

Unlike the coal plant that continually depletes coal resources and spews pollutants into the air when operational, the bulk of work in a shipyard is the welding together of mostly steel parts to form the ship. Discharges to the air would therefore be lesser, he pointed out.

The ECC likewise sets strict regulations on effluents – the liquid waste – that the company might discharge into the sea.

The shipyard, he said, is expected to attract other investors to the town.

This means job opportunities that will bring in money to increase the buying power or consumer spending of residents and visitors alike.

On top of skilled welders, the shipyard will also need workers for parallel industries and businesses like food preparation for the workers.

Thus, he said, money circulation in the town, the district and the province will expectedly increase.

He vowed to continue looking for similar opportunities for his constituents so that their respective breadwinners need not go to bigger cities or even abroad for the proverbial greener pastures.

It is best, he observed, that families stay together.

NPC picks bets for 2019 polls in Japan meeting

By JUNE S. BLANCO

THE Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) is now drafting the names of its candidates to carry the party colors during the 2019 polls.

Fresh from his study tour to Israel, Rep. Erico Aristotle “Aris” Aumentado of Bohol’s 2nd district flew Thursday to Japan for the national NPC meeting called by their president, Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco.

Aumentado said they will pick the NPC senatoriables and name their bets even in the local level.

The solon is now NPC’s provincial head following the oath-taking of former head Rep. Arthur Yap of the Bohol’s 3rdDistrict as new member of the PDP-Laban, with House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, and former President, now Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

The meeting is expected to hatch party plans as to who how they will support the provincial level candidates. Among others, it was learned, the support may come in the form of alliances.

With Yap’s affiliation with the PDP-Laban, he is expected to run under that party’s local aggrupation.

Rep. Aris says visit to Israel “informative”

 

By JUNE S. BLANCO

REP. Erico Aristotle Aumentado (Bohol, 2nd District) says his study visit to Israel to familiarize himself with drip and other alternative and modern forms of irrigation was “informative”.

The solon is expected to be home tomorrow – in time to vote during the barangay elections.

He says he will meet agriculture and irrigation officials shortly to relay the lessons he learned from his visit, and to brainstorm on how to replicate the Israeli technology for the use of farmers especially those in his district.

Aumentado said he was most impressed with his visit to the Volcani Center in the Israeli capital Tel Aviv where he and fellow Philippine delegates met with Associate Director for International Relations Dr. Shamuel Assouline, Ph.D.

He said they discussed the plan of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) to send scholars for Masters in Science (MS) and Doctor in Philosophy (Ph.D.) programs to do their theses and dissertation writings in The Volcani Center. The Center is the Agricultural Research Organization under the Ministry of Agriculture of Israel.

Meanwhile, Aumentado said, after 18 years, he again met his friend and schoolmate in the University of San Carlos (USC) – Randy Arquiza – who is now the First Secretary and Consul General of Israel at the welcome dinner tendered for the Agritech 2018 participants hosted by Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel of Israel.

The solon considers this as another channel for technology transfer – on top of incoming Israeli Ambassador to the Philippines Rafael Harpaz who earlier invited him and his fellow delegates to a lunch meeting at the latter’s official residence in Manila.

The solon said the ambassador had asked how his can country be help the Filipino farmers. He said the ambassador expressed interest in visiting Bohol and see what assistance in terms of agricultural technology inputs they can give to the farmers.

Aris to visit Israel to study drip irrigation

 

By JUNE S. BLANCO

REP. Erico Aristotle Aumentado (Bohol, 2nd District) will fly to Israel later today for a study tour to familiarize himself with drip and other alternative and modern forms of irrigation.

Prior to his departure, however, he met with top honchos of the Department of Agriculture (DA) for a briefing on current practices and places he should visit.

He also negotiated for more funds to buy modern farm equipment for the use of farmers especially those in his district.

He observed that the farmers have remained poor through these years. The only way to save them, he said, is through modernization. The funds he requested will be for a couple of tractors, solar and mechanical driers, harvesters, transplanters and the like.

These equipment, he said, will reduce wastage of the palay harvest by 25%, thereby increasing the income of the farmers.

Aumentado equates the absence of development to the farmers’ remaining poor. After all, he said, the farmers comprise 30% of the labor force in the province.

He sees hope in improving the lot of farmers through modernization – including the application of alternative irrigation methods.

The solon admits that he has often wondered how the Israelis have converted their deserts into productive agricultural areas.

This visit, he said, will finally give him the opportunity to facilitate the transfer of this Islaeli technology to the Boholano farmers.