Training for jobs still Tops Chatto priority

JOBS and work-trainings for youths remain one of the top priorities for the Chatto Administration.

At the recent Kita ug ang Gobernador weekly radio program aired over Bohol AM stations form the People’s Mansion, Governor Edgar Chatto bared a hurting statistic, only 40% of secondary students in Bohol can proceed to college.

As Chatto read the statistics, he also remarked on the dire necessity to look into the matter of basic work training to high school students.

Who takes care of the remaining 60% graduates who could not go to college and are not trained for jobs? Chatto asked.

Over this, to arrest the need to get the 60% secondary school graduates get jobs, both Chatto and Bohol Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) through Dr. Francisca Opog bared their continued implementation of the programs that assure work for Boholano youth.

Dr. Opog said they are opening up P1M school for work training programs scholarship to employable youth aged 18 years old and older.

On the other hand, Chatto revealed that Capitol intends to continue with the Skills Training Advocating Reliance and Self employment (STARS) a program co funded by the Capitol.

The program identifies at least two skills training beneficiaries from every barangay in Bohol for 12 different skills from every barangay.

The project, as conceptualized by the Bohol Chamber of Commerce and Industry aims to generate as much as 26,616 jobs in its first two years of inception also would hopefully start some P204M income opportunities for Bohol, then explained past president Norris Joseph Oculam.

Then funded by the President’s Social Fund, Capitol put in P6.5M and the three Bohol representatives polled a similar amount to get the local job generation program going.

According to Chatto, the country’s educational modules have not as much included work skills training for high school and it compounds to the problem.

Over this, he instructed his Administrator Alfonso Damalerio III and education consultant Cerina Bolos to work out with Bohol Island State University an agreement to make the school a center for excellence in education so they can expand their extension and education services to the farms where they are most needed. (rac/PIABohol)

Scholarship funds for brgy dads’ sibs still uncertain

IS THERE any hope left for the scholar siblings of barangay officials?

The question seemingly hounds most of the sons and daughters of barangay officials who, according to law qualifies for scholarship grants that lets them through college paying only miscellaneous fees.

While there is a provision of law that mandates that, the glitch however is that the law is silent as to where the funds to pay for the grants could be taken.

That means, there is a law but there is no specific funding provision incorporated in the law that would allow the annual appropriation for such to be downloaded to the state universities and colleges upon where the scholars enroll.

Needless to say, students who believe they are qualified scholars are frustrated to know that there is no such budget for them.

Every semester, hundreds upon hundreds of government officials send kids as scholars to colleges and universities making some schools finally reveal the situation or decide to reject granting the scholarships for the above reason.

“We can not use the funds downloaded for operation and maintenance to pay for the scholars because it would affect our operational efficiency,” Dr. Elpidio Magante of Bohol Island State University (BISU) allegedly told the media.

At the Kita ug and Gobernador Friday, media representatives also asked Governor Edgar Chatto what he can do to remedy the situation.

Admitting he was certain the law puts no funding support to the scholarships, he said he has talked to the Commission on Higher Education and the state colleges and universities on the matter.

The last time that I know, CHED has promised to fix the matter, said Chatto.

During his weekly engagement at the Mansion with the media, the governor said he knew it was a problem.

He also revealed that he used to contribute in the pool for funds to pay for the government scholars during his term as congressman, just to make sure that Bohol scholars are funded.

In the past years, Bohol representatives pool support funds to pay for the scholars, but the schools may have to re-establish the linkage again to keep the funds coming, said observers who heard the governors statements. (racPIABohol)

BOHOL: July ASEAN Cultural capital

The magically lit Abatan river and the equally spectacular performance by the Teatro Abatan conspired to assert Bohol’s hold as Asia’s Cultural Capital in July.

At a place where time flows with the ebb of tides, Abatan was all the while, different last July 22.

There, time paused from its flow and momentarily sat along the banks of the river; a spectator of the rare meeting of the classical East and the ethnic and indigenous Bohol cultures which later exploded in a myriad of colors in the light of the celebration.

July 22 this is year is 156th Bohol Day, an event marked by the official declaration of the island province as independent from Cebu.

That day also brings the Asian spotlight to the province as Asia’s Cultural Capital for the month.

Brandishing nothing but a track record as one of the country’s most successful engagements of culture as tool for community mobilization against poverty, Bohol’s cultural renaissance program has earned international admiration.

No less than NCCA Executive Director Cecille Guidote-Alvarez who used to described culture as “an engine for economic growth, a building block of social creation, an asset of national pride and a force for education and social transformation, as well as an effective tool for cultural diplomacy” heaped praises for Bohol that day.

The declaration of Asian Cultural Capital in July for Bohol allows the people to build audiences and unleash the creative power of people by art and persuasion and not by force.

The over-all goal is to be one with the Asean region in overcoming the war against poverty and environmental degradation to assure the survival and dignified life on earth of our children and coming generations,” Alvarez was quoted.

In the light of helping attain the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) to eradicate poverty by 2015, Bohol, along with its partnerships with NCCA and UNESCO, would make art and culture performances affordable and accessible by all, explains Gardy Labad, Bohol based artistic consultant to the newly organized Teatro Abatan.

Under the program, communities are given free training in the visual arts, dance, drama, poetry, comics, media arts to discover their abilities, Labad said.

And like big events in Bohol, tradition dictates that milestone go with a hearty banquet of religious, political, artistic and cultural servings for everyone to feast on.

The day started with a celebration of a holy mass at the historic St. Joseph Cathedral. A wreath laying ceremony at Carlos P. Garcia Monument followed at Plaza Rizal.

Then the attention shuffled off to the nearby Escuela de Ninas, now the National Museum Bohol branch for the opening of exhibits.

Moments later, at the beat of the drums, higantes (giants) led by effigies of Boholano heroes Sikatuna, Tamblot, Dagohoy, Capt. Francisco Salazar and Carlos P. Garcia (giants) walked 15-feet high to banner Bohol’s claim to cultural greatness on their way to the Cultural Center.

Following the local higantes were giant puppets representing the Asean member nations and their representatives on a flag parade. Even with the loose traffic on a holiday, the larger than life higantes in their national costumes share the streets with bright tricycles in asserting its claim on local traditions.

The parade sauntered off to the refurbished Bohol Cultural Center where the biggest event in the morning unfolded.

UNESCO ASEAN Head Dr. Hubert Guizen together with NCCA Chairperson Vilma Labrador and UNESCO Commissioner Cecile Guidote Alvarez declared Bohol as the July site of the PHILIPPINES AS ASEAN CULTURAL CAPITAL.

The Provincial Government of Bohol led by Governor Edgar Chatto accepted the honor and welcomed the UNESCO guests by presenting to them the symbolic key to the province. DOT Secretary Lim praised Bohol’s emergence as a major ecological and cultural destination of the nation.

Later that night, Bohol’s claim to be the month’s Asian Cultural Capital was pushed to the limits. (racPIA-Bohol)

PTC classification board Provided in Tourism Act

TO appraise tourists about the kind of service he would get in an establishment in Bohol, a tourism classification board would possibly help.

Governor Edgar Chatto, who took the lead in crafting the country’s tourism code shared this during the recent Provincial Tourism Council (PTC) meeting held at Panda Tea Garden in Dao a few weeks ago.

Chatto clarified that the Board’s task would be to put up a unified classification of accredited tourism service providers and establishment using the star rating system, so tourists would know what to expect when they are there.

Building on Bohol tourism’s successes, several local government units and private entrepreneurs have funded for establishments and service and splurge on promotional activities without being fully familiar with the industry, PTC members said.

Not a few tourists have already shared their dismay about getting into an establishment selling itself through the internet, only to find that its accommodations are minimal.

That can happen because there is no way tourists know ahead about the kind of facilities and services the establishments offer.

As everyone wants to hitch in the tourism bandwagon, it is expected that things like this happen, agree council members.

Governor Chatto said the Tourism Code of 2009 provides for a classification board that issues a uniform standard to grade tourism products and service facilities.

Putting up the classification board should breathe life into the Code in as much as to be rated are not just the infrastructure and the accessibility and the preparedness of the facility to accept guests, Chatto added.

That way, even if establishments sell services on their own, a rating system puts them in a certain rank that tourists can easily refer, said PTC Chairman Atty Lucas Nunag. (rac/PIABohol)

Capitol to establish Policy study group

A research unit that would be based at the Capitol’s executive branch would be another pro-active innovation in governance, beams Governor Edgar Chatto during a recent meeting with national government executives.

Chatto, who institutionalized research as an aid in governance also institutionalized the Special Projects Unit (SPU) at the Sangguniang Panlalawigan when he was still the province’s top legislative officer.

“We are institutionalizing a Capitol Research Group, which is a policy study body that will be working as a factual and research based unit to advance support to your offices,” Chatto told government executives in Bohol.

As a legislator, having been a board member, vice governor and congressman, Chatto has seen the need to put up a support group to allow the formalizing of legislative or technical support.

Many groups talk to the government officials about their needs and some of them do not have the capacity to draft resolutions, submit official proposals and put in proper data to support their intentions, and here enters the task of the research group, he explained.

He cited that in his experience, government agencies and offices sometimes propose amendments or repeal of certain laws and the usual process is for them to write to their representatives.

That does not always work well as the legislators need a comprehensive study group that would put up the substance of the desired legislative action, and a Capitol research body would do that for them, he elucidated some more.

“You, as field workers in the field know which needs to be corrected and your inputs to the research groups would be a big help,” he said.

“We are gathering the right people who have the training and the competence to do that and we are tapping the best minds who can do research,” said the governor.

As an initial step, Gov. Chatto has requested the SP for the transfer of at least five trusted legislative researchers to the Office of the governor, a capitol document showed.

While many see that transfer as a political action against some researchers who were allied with then Vice Governor Julius Caesar Herrera, a Capitol insider assured it is far from what is feared.

“There is a 95% over 5% chance that the move would be a political persecution,” Dioville Mar, one of the SP researchers who was asked transferred, said.

“We have known the governor and his desire to make government more effective,” he added (rac/PIA-Bohol)