A City Left to Rot

Travelling within Tagbilaran City is such a trouble and a great discomfort that I would rather stay at home than go somewhere else.  If I have a choice, I wouldn’t go to the city centre where the banks are located or report to my office at Step Up Consulting Services.  It would seem that as I drive, I can hear the shriek and the cry of the poor car coupled sometimes with my son’s loud “ouch” when I hit a pothole large enough to have his head banged against the windows.

Every person who lives in Tagbilaran City will understand when I say that Tagbilaran nowadays seems like a city left to rot.  I highlight three reasons below why I say so.

bad roadsPOINT 1Tagbilaran roads are outrageously bad, the streets within the city center are dirty caused by mud on rainy days or by dust when the sun is out.  If you live somewhere in Janssen Heights and would like to go to the St. Joseph Cathedral, you can never have a smooth ride except when you travel through the Dampas-Mansasa Road down to VP Inting St. and back to CPG East Avenue’s occasional potholes.

In the city government website in February 2010, an article appeared that was entitled “Mission Accomplished” . I quote the news item below:

“When Mayor Dan Neri Lim assumed office last 2004, only 15% of the roads in Tagbilaran City were in good working condition. Majority of the city roads were rocky and dilapidated.
According to City Engineer Pianicita Castolo, the city roads have been untouched for almost thirty years.
Thus the improvement and rehabilitation of these city roads started as soon as Mayor Dan Lim took office. Almost 68 million pesos were spent for the improvement, rehabilitation and maintenance of these city roads which started last 2004.”
Reading this article from history sounds like a joke, especially when you read it alongside a Bohol Chronicle article in April 2012 calling for the implementation of road projects.  According to the article, the city government appropriated Php282 million for road projects in the 2012 budget.  But you get to wonder where this money is spent. The only improvement I can see in the last week is the filling-up of potholes along B. Inting and G. Visarra Street with low-grade anapog that will get the streets muddy during heavy rains.
POINT 2Water is still a big problem. At our place in Dampas, water pressure is low at different parts of the day and there is intermittent service interruption. In other parts of the city, water service is not available as both Bohol Water Utilities Inc. and the City Rural Waterworks System are unable to increase service coverage.
In December 2011, Bohol Chronicle reports that:
“The Tagbilaran City Waterworks System is faced with limitations causing the deteriorating water service to its water subscribers in the city
Newly installed waterworks chief Engr. Servando Acedo admitted the increasing complaints on the water service is due to the limited pumping units amid financial constraints in putting up new water sources.
Acedo, who previously was assigned at the City Engineering’s Office, now heads the waterworks vice Engr. Wellington Pilongo who is reportedly on a “forced leave.”
Acedo said that as of now, the city waterworks has 19 pumping units with two out of service. However, he said that even if the 19 units will function, it is still no enough to satisfy the water consumers in the city.”
The 2010-2013 Executive Legislative Agenda admits this growing problem in the city and targets a 24/7 adequate supply of potable water in city households.  Its almost the end of term of our city government leaders and this target seems to be nothing but a wild dream.
dumpsitePoint 3.  Tagbilaran’s solid waste are still thrown in Dampas’ open dumpsite. Everytime the garbage truck passes through our house for the regular waste collection, I become intensely worried, as I know where the waste will go.  Back in 2008, UN Habitat reports that “The city generates about 92.6 tons (92,668 kgs.) of solid waste daily. Households are the biggest waste generators with 38.5 tons (41.46% of the total volume of waste). They are followed by general merchandise stores with 15.5 tons and the public markets with 14.6 tons per day.”  The figures are probably double now, as the projection for population is over 3% every year from 2008, besides the fact that tourism figures and business establishments have increased significantly since the 2008 study.
Back in October 2011, Bohol Chronicle reports that “The 2.6 has. garbage facility has been recommended closed due to large areas of exposed waste that could leak leachate into ground water and drainage systems aggravating the present health situation of surrounding communities.” This, amidst complaints from nearby towns like that of Barangay La Libertad, Baclayon whose residents complained after the nearest accessible road leading to the city was blocked by mountains of garbage reportedly strewn across the roads.”
What then is the future of Tagbilaran City?

It is alarming that these three problems, bad roads, water supply, and solid waste can very well kill the economic advantage that Tagbilaran holds as an entry point to Bohol’s tourism destinations.  But then, no one seems to be hearing. Despite how much has been written in Bohol newspapers, how loud the discussion gets in the radio, not one among our leaders has taken action.

This post is written by Michael P. Cañares.  This is also available at http://www.boholanalysis.com.

(photos taken from http://i.ytimg.com/vi/e_M_QEPkdrM/0.jpg and http://sin.stb.s-msn.com/i/26/68887DF64629626E59864479208.jpg)

CHR: “rights cases” halved in a decade

THE Commission on Human Rights in Bohol now records a significant decrease in human rights cases
compared to about a decade ago.

In fact, had not the commission expanded its services to include a legal advice and inter-agency referral
system that was not institutionalized in its past functions, the cases this year may have been much lower,
admits Bohol CHR Rito Montes.

Montes showed statistics as he bared these developments during the recent Kapihan sa PIA aired live over

Set up to commemorate the national Human Rights Week Celebration and adopting the theme Karapatang
Pantao: Kilalanin, Tuparin at Pagyamanin, the forum on air with the CHR was aimed to update Boholanos of
the human rights situation in Bohol.

In 1999, CHR Bohol noted 57 cases of human rights violations.

This was even lower compared to 2002 when at the height of Bohol’s struggles facing insurgency and holding
it by the horns where some 88 cases were recorded.

In 2008 and 2009 however, the CHR said it noted only 24 cases on both years.

It added that their 30 cases form January to November of this year, may be understood because of the newly
opened legal assistance and inter-agency referral system that was recently institutionalized and incorporated in
the CHR mandate, Montes explained.

In its comparative data provided, CHR bared that that in 2010, while recorded cases of violations went to 30, 7
of these are actually legal advice and assistance cases, a new service by the CHR.

Bohol CHR officially submitted only 24 cases for docketing at the regional office this year, Montes bared.

Even then, CHR regional Director Atty. Alejandro Alonso admitted that there are still some areas where the
government has not fully addressed.

Alonso was quick to follow it up by citing the need to address the full implementation of the law against extra
legal killings and enforced disappearances, which have been reported until the present.

Moreover Atty. Alonzo said human rights education continues to be the agency’s top priority in its efforts to be
proactive in its human rights advocacy and violations monitoring mandates.

He also urged everybody’s help in helping to realize their agency mandate to actualize an empowered society.

“Solar power” sa Alumar Bisitahon sa media, JICA

UBAN sa mga tinugyanan sa Department of Energy, makig-sulti usab ang mga sakop sa prensa sa
Bohol sa mga benepisaryo sa Rural Electrification Project nga gipundohan sa Japan International
Cooperation Agency (JICA) sa isla nga barangay sa Alumar sa Getafe.

Lokal ug international nga sakop sa media ang ikauban usab sa mga tinugyanan sa JICA ug mga
langyawng magtutuon ang mogikan sa Tagbilaran paingon sa Getafe sa Miyerkoles sa buntag sayo
aron ikabagat ang mga tawong nakatagamtam sa kamaayo sa proyekto.

Ang proyekto sa DOE gipundohan usab sa JICA sanglit ang pagpakutay sa elektrisidad lisud nga
buhaton kon kini magagikan sa mainland.

Ang Rural electrification project sa Alumar nahimong possible pinaagi sa teknolohiyang gahum solar.

Samtang dako-dako na ang porsyento nga nakab-ot sa pagpakutay og koryente sa Bohol, may mga
layo nga isla pa dinhi nga padayon pang nangandoy nga mapakutayan sa serbisyo sa elektrisidad.

Press Tour sa JICA Mo-adto sa CPG

USA ka media tour ang himoon sa Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) aron pagpasuheto
sa mga sakop sa media sa mga proyekto sa Bohol nga gipundohan niini.

Ang JICA ahensyang tigpundo nga iya sa nasud nga Hapon ug kanunay nang nagtanyag sa hinabang
sa Bohol ilabi na sa mga programang agrikultura ug teknolohiya.

Sa media Tour, makig-uban ang taga JICA sa mga tinugyanan sa Bohol media didto sa isla nga
lungsod sa Carlos P. Garcia o Pitogo aron makig-sulti sa mga benepisaryo sa proyektong gipundohan
sa JICA didto.

Bisitahon sa bahan sa mga sakop sa prensa ang feeder port sa CPG ug makig-sulti ang mga sakop
sa media sa mga tawong nakabanepisyo sa imprastraktura nga gitukod pinaagi sa tabang sa Japan.

50 households get solar power in Alumar Getafe

THE government, through the Department of Energy (DOE) rehabilitated about 50 photovoltaic solar
panels from its other projects to light some 50 poor households in Alumar Island off Getafe town in a
cooperation project by two governments.

The national and local governments of the Philippines and the Japanese Government through the
Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) was able to pool some P500K to make the wishes of
the islanders come true.

The government of Japan through JICA put up some P275K while the local government of Bohol and
Getafe put in P150. Member households put up the remaining P75K to complete the costs needed to
install and operationalize the Solar Household Project here, explained DOE information Officer Lou
Artiaga to members of the media.

Beneficiaries in turn get a solar lighting package of 20 or 50 watts good enough for at least two 10
watts fluorescent lights, a 7-watt compact fluorescent light.

Homeowners can also separately plug in a radio cassette and an Liquid Crystal Display television set
for the 50 watt package, said Alan Abear, DOE Cebu senior research assistant.

We have projects like the solar drier that didn’t work well, so we pulled out the solar panels and
rehabilitated them for the Solar Home Projects, which has ignited world attention for its being a
leading eco-solution to the problem of power, Magdaleno Baclay Jr of DOE told the media.

We contributed P2,000 and committed to united and plan for the community’s development so we
can spread the light project to the whole 400 resident households of this island, shared Evangeline
Salabero, one of the 50 project beneficiaries.

We pay about P200 monthly and pool the amount so we can pay for the expansion of the project,
she added.

An island lying on the edges of the inner bank of the double barriered-Danahon Reef, the community
used to be dependent on fishing until the government presented other possible options to lessen the
dependence on fishing the common resource.

Now into seaweed farming, most people of Alumar earn an average of P3,000 a month from dried

Some families however complement their income by gleaning seashells, or catching crabs for market.