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Bohol Tourism: Coop Tourism Concept

Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri of Bukidnon province and tourism regional director Dawnie Roa have favorably endorsed the proposed Bohol Cooperative Tourism Enterprise, the brainchild of provincial board member Josephine Socorro C. Jumamoy.

Both Zubiri and Roa issued the statement separately in an ambush and exclusive interview after the closing program of the Cooperative Month 2008 celebration held at the Bohol Cultural Center on October 29, 2008 in this city wherein Senator Miguel Zubiri was the keynote speaker before the jam-packed crowd of cooperative organizations province-wide. Jumamoy chairs the Provincial Cooperative Development Council (PCDC).

Cooperativism and tourism do mix together in the pursuit development and welfare of the people, said Jumamoy, who chairs the cooperative committee of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Bohol.

The month of October, Jumamoy said, is declared as cooperative month by virtue of Presidential Proclamation No. 493, series of 2003 by which all local government units are encouraged to initiate activities that redound to the benefit of the cooperatives.

Jumamoy said that PCDC has introduced the “Bohol Cooperative Tourism Enterprise” through strengthening and consolidating cooperatives in the province.

She said that Bohol cooperatives should seize the opportunity because the province of Bohol is now considered as the premier tourist destination in the country that continues to attract more and more tourists and visitors from around the globe.

Just recently, delegates and dignitaries attending the United Nations-World Tourism Organization summit in Cebu City breezed into the province to sight-see the natural wonders and heritage here.

Both (Zubiri and Roa) solidly threw support the idea of “Bohol Cooperative Tourism Enterprise,” (BCTE) saying that stakeholders, like tour guides and handicraft enterprises, may form a cooperative with the assistance of the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) to protect their interests and benefit from tourism industry.

Roa described BCTE as grass-root tourism approach by which rural folks will benefit from this if organized into cooperatives especially so that tourist arrivals are increasing in Central Visayas even on lean season. The BCTE could be a tool in creating more space to stay for visitors in rural areas since Bohol still insufficient of accommodating tourists, she added.

The senator appeared impressed by the “power of example and not the example of power” shown by the Boholanos in tourism industry to push for BCTE.

Among the speakers during the gathering include Mayor Dan Neri Lim, congressmen Edgar M. Chatto, Roberto C. Cajes and Adam Relson Jala and representatives of Gov. Erico Aumentado and Vice-Gov. Julius Caesar Herrera and other officials from CDA and agencies. (RVO) – Bohol Chronicle

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>Philippine Election in Bohol Island Province


ALL systems go, says Bohol Provincial poll supervisor Atty. Eliseo RZB Labaria, meaning the conduct of the country’s historic automated elections.
Exuding with full confidence that the polls on Monday pushes through, Bohol poll authority urged individuals spinning speculations fanned by partisan camps to refrain from talking about failure of elections.
“There are a lot of factors about failure of elections and if it happens, it may be in some very isolated areas and not in general, Labaria told members of the local media gathered at the Camp Dagohoy Conference Hall Friday morning.
Observers who believed that the government has not satisfactorilly convinced the country that it has fully prepared for the historic elections also fanned the speculations.
The electric situation was even made more tense by government critics casting doubts about the supposed infallibility of the computer machines.
In Luzon early last week, a glitch in the computer program was found which showed faulty readings during mock tests.
TIM, Smartmatic, contractors of the billion peso automation however recommeded reprogramming, one they can immediately effect but would generally delay the machine testing and sealing.
In Bohol, Atty Labaria said they had discontinued delivering the PCOS after Monday due to the defective flash cards.
He however advised that just as the presscon was done, the compact data cards needed to run the poll program came.
He also added that as per their new timetable, the Comelec proceeds with the testing and sealing of the PCOS, Friday and Saturday. 
“We will continue with the delivery and then test and seal the machines, in time for Monday,” Labaria assured.
Of Bohol’s 1109 barangays, there are at present some 1326 prescints including 56 polling centers in siland barangays.
Keeping the peace and orderly conduct of the elections in Bohol are about 922 regular members of the Philippine National police and a complement of the 2nd Special Forces Batallion scattered in strategic locations all over the island, reports 802nd brigade commander Brig Gen. Aland Luga duirng the same press conference.
Another quick reaction team is on standby and on call status to respond to whatever need arises, Gen. Luga disclosed. (PIA-Bohol) 

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>Dao Commercial and Inter-purok Basketball League


With less than three weeks before the fast-approaching May 10 elections. The Dao Commercial and Inter-purok Basketball League ended with a big success at the Dao Multi-purpose hardcourt, this city.
Powered by the league's Most Valuable Player Anthony Mapait, Pure N' Rite captured the commercial division crown and the top cash prize of P24,000. Coach Eti Suarez guided his team to a 2-0 sweep over Cherry Automobile. The Automobile Dealers settled for the P14,000 1st Runner-up money. Nisa Traveller's Inn and Classique Herbs likewise brought home the 2nd and 3rd runner-up cash prizes.
Dubbed as the Atty. Edgar M. Chatto Cup, the top three finishers in the inter-purok brackets including the league's MVP awardee Anthony Mapait of the Pure N' Rite Team likewise received their cash prizes.
Purok 3 topped Purok 2 and Purok 4 in the senior level while Purok 2 ruled the junior division followed by Purok 1 and 5. Purok 3 won the title in the midget bracket, followed by Purok 2 and 1.
The first district congressman's wife Pureza Veloso Chatto graced the awards rite and was assisted by Dao barangay chairman Atoy Cosap.

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>Lakas Rivalry in Bohol Island


Editorial of the Bohol Sunday Post
The rift between rival factions within the Lakas – Bohol has exploded in the open leaving no doubt that the once dominant political party in the province is but a shell of its old murderous self.
      Lakas had run roughshod over its opponents in the past several elections, making it the party that its drumbeaters had projected it to be. In its heyday, the opposition can only manage a few surprises, but Lakas clearly ruled Bohol.
      Not anymore.
      Last Sunday, 11 prominent party members came out with a position paper that assailed both the new provincial and national leadership of the party. Among many things, the message was loud and clear: Lakas-Bohol is in trouble.
      Both parties in the conflict will naturally try to sway people to their side. It is no child’s play. It is a war that has signaled the end of a once proud and mighty political machinery.
      The charges and counter-charges show that underneath the calm exterior was a bomb waiting to explode. Now that it has been brought to the open, there is no turning back like the genie out of the bottle.
      It is interesting to see how life reinvents itself over and over again.
      Like the experience of politicians in different times and places, it has come full circle once again. Once inseparable friends have now turned into bitter enemies. The unthinkable is happening as sworn enemies are putting aside their differences to fight a common enemy.
      Make no mistake about it: this is a full-blown war. When the firing starts, the bullets won’t be choosing their targets. Some innocents will be dragged into the fray while some guilty parties get away.
      If you think life is unfair, wait till you get caught in the crossfire. When you do, you will wish you had been wiser to enlist on one side. At least you will know the bullets will be coming only from one side, not both as fence-sitters belatedly realize.
      The war of attrition is on. In the end, one can only shudder at the thought of the collateral damage that this war will entail. The United Nations may harp about a protocol in place but innocents do get hit in the real world.
      We wish that wars would end, or if not, at least fought few and far between. Unfortunately for us, conflict is as old as man himself. It will be here to stay.
      In the next nine weeks, the shooting will escalate. We can only wish that it would be a just war. Something tells that it won’t be over until it’s over.
      There is no such thing as a half-war. 

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>Bohol Farmers Claim Crop Insurance


At least some 22 farmers from Catigbian Bohol and another from Sierra Bullones has claimed for crop insurance, an indication that Bohol may not be spared from the long drought.
According to Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC) Crop Insurance Director for the Visayas Dominico Digamon, the concerned farmers have started processing their claims as of last month.
He explained that the PCIC runs a slogan that says crop insurance as an aid toward fighting poverty and by the mandate, they are prepared to aid farmers recover their lost investments in crops and farm inputs once these farms are insured at a very minimal amount. 
Digamon, who hails from Batuan revealed that the recent trends is putting up the crop insurance to lay down surety for crops from natural calamities.
Crop insurance gives the farmers some peace of mind especially when the threat of natural calamities becomes real. The insurance protects one’s investments and efforts when cropping failure occurs, he said.
Moreover, insuring crops allows farmers to be more open to technologies.
PCIC insures up to P52,000 for a hectare of hybrid seed production, P42,000 for commercial production of hybrids and P39,000 for rice commercial production.
For corn, PCIC puts up at most P40,000 for hybrid corn and some P28,000 per hectare for OPV corn.
Aside from the crop insurance, when one gets to insure his crops, farmers also get automatic death benefits of up P10,000 for beneficiaries if by any chance the farmer dies while his crops are insured in its cropping term.
PCIC, Digamon adds, also insures agricultural assets insurance for tractors, barns and buildings used for agriculture products storage or mills, livestock mortality insurance for swine, cattle, goat and poultry, high value commercial crops like sugarcane, banana, cassava, commercial trees and vegetables and accepts term insurance power packages.
Farmers interested in insuring their rice or corn can seek help from the municipal agricultural officers who are authorized to cover for such inquiries, Digamon said. (PIA)

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>Bohol Classrooms Inaugurated


Guv inaugurates 9 classrooms  
BOHOL Gov. Erico Aumentado Friday led inaugural rites and turn-over of nine classrooms for three high schools in Inabanga town
  Inabanga High School (IHS) in Barangay Nabuad and Cuaming High School in the island barangay of Cuaming got a two-classroom school building each while the Southern Inabanga High School in Barangay Dagohoy got five classrooms.
  The Philippine Army’s Engineer Support Battalion under the 53rd Engineer Brigade constructed the building in Cuaming costing P780,000 only, supervised by the Provincial Engineer’s Office under Engr. Edwin Vallejos. 
  Aumentado asked the beneficiaries to take care of the buildings so that these may last for the use even of the next generation. 
  In Cuaming, the construction of school building received counterpart from the municipal local government unit, the barangay officials and the Parents-Teachers Association.
  The governor impressed upon the students the importance of studying. 
  ”Education is the key to a brighter future and a treasure that cannot be stolen,” he said.
  At the SIHS, the teachers and students expressed elation when Mayor Jono Jumamoy also turned over to them one unit of air conditioner for their computer room. 
  The latest addition to the SIHS is a joint project of the provincial government and the Department of Education under Secretary Jesli Lapus costing P780,000 only.
  The school buildings were fully painted inside and out Each classroom, standard in area at 56 square meters, already has a toilet, plumbing and electrical wiring as well as blackboards, 
  The schools district supervisors, barangay officials, parents, teachers and students witnessed the rites. blessing, inauguration and turn-over in three high schools was attended by, 
  Philippine Army officials led by Col. Alan Luga of the 802nd Infantry Brigade also attended the Cuaming turnover.  

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>OFWs occupy soft spot in Bohol Congressman Chatto’s heart


OFWs occupy soft spot in Chatto’s heart 
Rep. Edgar Chatto’s concern for the overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) was widely recognized and appreciated by the sector whose remittances help keep the economy afloat.
Making no bones of his bias to OFWs because they occupied a soft spot in his heart, sources in the local business community even remarked it was no exaggeration that this  in itself was Chatto’s  way of contributing to the economy.
But the Bohol congressman’s indelible imprint on the lives of the migrant workers was his rescue of the OFWs in critical condition, even the dangers of imminent death.
He had caused the release from foreign jails of OFWs who were falsely charged, oftentimes by their cruel masters and employers, with crimes and offenses they had not committed.
Chatto facilitated the repatriation of many OFWs who had long been hiding or safekept after running away from their tyrant employers.
Boholana maids who were abused in all forms, including rape and torture, in certain Middle East domains found Chatto their liberator from suffering.
In some cases, dead OFWs remained frozen in their alien job sites for several months for foreign authorities’ refusal to repatriate the lifeless workers while investigations were going on.
The mere thought of having dead loved ones in foreign lands waiting to be claimed and transported back home for final rest and eternal peace was simply agonizing to their families.  
Chatto had them finally flown—cold and boxed, or, sometimes, in ashes following cremation—to Bohol without their families spending a cent.
There lives were not wasted because of their distant employment’s impacts on the both the lives of their dependents and the economy.
The sprouting of banks and express money channels and the flourishing currency exchange business in Bohol could suggest the flowing remittances from Boholano workers abroad.
The OFWs substantially sustain their families and support the education of their children or brothers and sisters, even relatives.
Many of them have invested their earnings in the local business, thereby helping generate jobs for their fellow Boholanos.
In partnership with concerned agencies like the Department of Labor and Employment, Philippine Overseas Employment Administration and Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, Chatto initiated a livelihood development program for the OFWs and their families or dependents.
Chatto has established the weekly radio program segment OFW Action Line to bridge the OFWs and their loved ones back home.
Aired on DYRD and DYTR and heard worldwide via Internet every Saturday, the radio program at the same time educates the potential OFWs.
In Congress, Chatto vehemently lobbied for the Magna Carta for the OFWs.  He pushed for the law improving the standards of protection and assistance for migrant workers.
He amended Republic Act 8042, the Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995, to mandate for free compulsory insurance for the OFWs so that they could get monetary claims or claims for damages resulting from court decisions or case settlements.
There are volumes of concerns presently handled by Chatto’s office, which has a special desk for OFWs.
They include requests for assistance for repatriation because of ailments and maltreatment, return of dead bodies, dependents’ claims for insurance and benefits from OWWA and SSS for dead OFWs, location of “missing” OFWs, recovery from her agency of the documents of a nurse who failed to work abroad, and a family’s claim for monthly allotment not remitted by the agency, which also failed to remit the Philhealth contribution of the OFW.
Just days ago, a pregnant domestic helper cried while she personally thanked Chatto for facilitating her safe repatriation from Singapore.  She feared of miscarriage because of abdominal pains caused by overwork there.  The father of the child she conceives is her husband.
Last year, Chatto rescued three Filipina migrant workers, all not Boholanas, who were forced to drugs and prostitution in Malaysia.
Probably one of Chatto’s most dramatic acts of saving OFWs involves a domestic helper in Jordan who almost died of cardiac arrest while in stopover at an airport in Bangkok, Thailand two years ago.  
The female OFW, who hails from Dimiao, was on her way back home for Christmas but the near-fatal heart attack at the foreign airport had rendered her comatose.  The surgeons would not operate her unless someone could guarantee payment of some P1.3 million.
The Philippine ambassador to Thailand managed to recall having met a “congressman from Bohol” in an international tourism event there years back.  He quickly contacted Chatto for assistance.
Chatto moved fast to the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office in Manila to grant him the amount so that the Boholana might live.  
The PCSO people were hesitant because the amount was too huge, causing Chatto to threaten to personally go to the president.  The PCSO board thus quickly convened and yielded to Chatto’s pleading.   
It was reportedly unprecedented since no such financial aid had ever been granted to a critical OFW before.
Her skull was opened in the crucial surgery.  She was saved from death.  A part of her scalp has been implanted on the side of her abdomen to keep it “alive” until it is returned to its original place in another operation.
Just late last year, Chatto visited a barangay in Dimiao when a woman in her 20s approached and embraced him like a child who finally found her long lost father.  She was that OFW. (Ven rebo Arigo) 

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>Tagbilaran City Political Update


Tagbilaran Mayor Dan Lim yesterday said his team is more preoccupied with the work cut out for them in the next three years than the campaign.            

 ”We want to hit the ground running so we are preparing for the urgent tasks ahead,” he added.            

The mayor is “very optimistic” about the chances of his team in the May 10, 2010 elections.            

Lim is bringing back ex-Vice Mayor Nuevas Tirol -Montes as his running mate.            

Also on board are reelectionists Edgar Bompat, Leonides Borja, Lucio Balbin and Nerio Zamora II, returning Councilor George Olario and newcomers Dr. Benjamin Galia, lawyer Doni Piquero, Lucille Lagunay, Engr. Vicente Loquellano and John Geesnell Yap II.            

 ”We like the response we are getting from our constituents so we are now going to work,” the mayor added.            

Lim said his performance in his last two terms have been positively received by most residents in the city.            

The mayor noted that the negative publicity he is getting has not affected the people’s support for a third term.            

 ”This is a good sign because normally a bad press spells doom for a candidate,” he added.            

The reassurance that he gets almost daily from the people is the reason for his optimism that his team will prevail in next year’s election.            

 He even acknowledged that he is again pursuing his desire to accomplish what he eluded him the last time.            

 ”We are definitely going for a sweep,” the mayor admitted.            

Lim said that certain factors made him realize the possibility of pulling the sweep this time.            

First, he pointed to the solid performance of his first two terms particularly the pro-people programs that benefited the people.            

Secondly, he is getting good reviews for the powerhouse team that he put together under the Nationalist People’s Coalition banner.            

Third, the mayor said is the poor quality of the opposition.            

 ”They have a hard time convincing the people that it has a fighting chance so the bandwagon effect is already here even before the campaign starts,” he noted.            

Lim said the high expectations have prompted him to start work early in preparing the new members of his team for the urgent responsibilities that lie ahead. 

Town gives P100k for island HS  

MUNICIPIO Inabanga recently gave P100,000 as contribution to the maintenance and other operating expenses for the Cuaming High School in its namesake island barangay 11 nautical miles from the mainland. The school is an annex of the Inabanga High School.

  Mayor Jose Jono Jumamoy handed over the check worth P100,000 to Barangay Captain Rogelio Angco, witnessed by the Sangguniang Bayan members, barangay officials, teachers and students in rites held at the barangay plaza.

  The amount is the town’s counterpart to the Parents Teachers Association (PTA) funds the members raised just to make the secondary school operational.

  While Cuaming is densely populated, it counts only a few students in high school until the figures changed with the opening of the current two-classroom school building.

  The parents, teachers and the town pooled resources to operationalize the school, recognizing that secondary education is a gateway to opportunities and benefits of economic and social development of the youth.

  The barangay officials tapped Cuaming Elementary School principal Bernard Bayot to help them. They also coordinated with Jumamoy and the Sangguniang Bayan until the school opened in June 2008.

  Now into its second year of operationalization, the school has two buildings with four classrooms and a total enrollment of 152 students. It has six volunteer teachers, with Andres Estillore as teacher in charge.

  Jumamoy vowed that the town will shoulder part of its maintenance and operation costs until it will be included in the national general appropriations act.

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>Philippine Weather Forecasting Tools


President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo revealed in Bohol the government plan to equip itself with weather forecasting assets, during her recent one-one one interview with a local media representative in Loboc.
This as she stresses that weather forecasting is one very important things, at a meeting with the press prior to a cabinet meeting on disaster preparedness set in Bohol two weeks ago.
"What is most important is that we have to be ready," the president told Bohol Chronicle chief Peter Dejaresco.
Dejaresco, the son of the paper's founder and the current chief executive officer of the Bohol Chronicle Radio Broadcasting Corporation asked the President, is the Philippines ready for disasters with all the preparations.
Over that, Mrs Arroyo cited America and her advanced technology, "and they were still proven to be not ready".
Mrs. Arroyo pointed out that weather forecasting is one important thing, and so we are improving our capabilities to track rainfall amount.
She was talking about a system of Doppler radars installed all over strategic locations in the country.
A doppler radar makes use of the doppler effect to produce data about objects at a distance, by beaming a microwave signal towards a desired target and listening for its reflection.
It also includes analyzing how the original signal has been altered by the object that reflected it. 

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>Barangay Health Workers


  Barangay health workers (BHWs) are now front liners of primary eye care.
  This after the Resources for the Blind, Inc, a non-profit Christian organization based in Cebu facilitated a primary eye care training.
  RBI Program Coordinator Emma Garcia and Mayren Marianito flew in for the purpose.
  In her welcome message, Dr. Mae Lilibeth Melicor, municpal health officer expressed hoped that the learnings from the training will be applied in their respective barangays.
  The one and a half day training focused on familiarization on the anatomy of the eye and its functions, diagnosis and treatment of common eye diseases, how to conduct mass eye screening, among others.
  Distribution of certificates capped the activity. 

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