Tuesday, June 28, 2005

 

NORSU LEADS ENVIRON IMPACT STUDY

NORSU LEADS ENVIRON IMPACT STUDY
Metro Post
June 26-July 02, 2005
Issues & Updates
Page 02

A regional research on the Environmental Impact of Urban & Rural Households: Pollution & Abatement Cost in Cenral Visayas Projection to 2020 will start on July 09 in two towns in the 1st district of Negros Oriental.

The research is this year’s major project of the Central Visayas Consortium for Integrated Regional Research & Development (CV-CIRRD) composed of 18 member agencies in Region 7 representing government agencies, private universities, as well as state colleges & universities.

Research surveys will follow until September this year in other selected towns and cities in Cebu, Bohol, and Siquijor.

Negros Oriental State Univesity here in Dumaguete is CV-CIRRD’s base agency. The Consortium is coordinated by Dr. Peter T. Dayot, NORSU vice president for planning, research, & extension.

Dayot took over from Dr. Nicostrasto D. Perez who is currently in Malaysia.

The Commission on Higher Education had allotted P736,440 for the research on the environmental impact of households.

Aside from NORSU, the academic institutions that would conduct the research are Holy Name University in Bohol, the Central Visayas State College of Agriculture, Forestry, & Technology; Cebu Normal University, Cebu State College of Science & Technology, the University of San Carlos in Cebu City, Silliman University, and Siquijor state College. (Joy Perez, NORSU)
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11% HIKE IN TOURIST INFLUX RECORDED

11% HIKE IN TOURIST INFLUX RECORDED
Metro Post
June 26-July 02, 2005
Issues & Updates
Page 03

Tourists from USA and other countries continue to be drawn to Dumaguete city as the City Tourism Office reported an increase of 11 percent in tourist influx last year compared to 2003 statistics.

A total of 140,038 tourist arrivals were recorded last year.

The bulk of tourist arrivals in Dumaguete are domestic tourists numbering 124,273 in 2004, followed by foreign tourists with 15,765.

According to Annie Jalandoni, City Tourism operations officer, Americans topped the list of foreign tourist arrivals last year numbering 3,819, followed by Japanese tourists with 3,173 and Koreans with 1,824.

Jalandoni said German tourists used to be the third biggest number of foreign tourists in the city, but have been outranked by the Koreans whose arrivals have increased recently.

The Department of Tourism reported that American tourists and other foreigners continues to visit the Philippines amid the spate of adverse travel advisories warning them against visiting the country on security concerns.

DOT has also recently begun issuing 14-day visas-upon-arrival to Chinese tourists afer the government made China one of its priority tourism markets.

However, Jalandoni noted a slight decrease in tourist influx for the first four months this year compared to the same period last year.

From January to April this year, local tourists only totaled to 39,554 and foreign tourists, 6,031.

The tourism officer said the small drop in tourist influx might be due to economic downturn. “A couple of hotels and lodging houses have closed recently while others are not doing very well,” says Jalandoni.

She is however hopeful that tourist arrivals will pick up in the coming months. (PIA)

 

CONDOTELS FOR BUSINESS, VACTION OPEN IN GREENBELT

CONDOTELS FOR BUSINESS, VACTION OPEN IN GREENBELT
Metro Post
Issues & Updates
June 26-July 02, 2005

Cebu City – ASB Condotels, one of the country’s leading condominium hotel managers, offers three choices for business or pleasure in the heart of bustling metropolis of Makati City.

The condotels are Prince Plaza II and Asian Mansion II along Dela Rosa St., and BSA Mansion along Benavidez St., all in Legaspi Village, Makati.

ASB Condotels , fully furnished residential units with friendly staff, provides their clients a closer view of the Greenbelt Malls, the classy Ayala Museums, and the picturesque Greenbelt Park.

With the aim of mixing business with pleasure, ASB Condotels, in partnership with Communique Telemarketing, is bringing back its Condotel Exclusive membership cards for the second year.

With more participating establishments eager to give bigger discounts, the Condotel Exclusive card is providing members with more value for money.

Aong with four complimentary accommodation vouchers for a superior room from each of the ASB Condotels collections in Makati, and the Garden Heights in Quezon City, members automatically get as much as 15 percent discount.

Members are entitled to a 25 percent room discount off regular published rates at the condotel of their choice after they have used up their complimentary vouchers.

The Condotel Exclusive card is an all-occasion gift and is valid for one year from date of purchase. ASB Condotels is a member of the Star Hotels Network.

For rates inquiries and reservations. Please contact Star Hotels at the Trinity Plaza Tower along Escario St. in Cebu, tel. (032) 231-7673 or email: starhtel@mozcom.com

 

SU DEBATERS BACK FROM SINGAPORE

SU DEBATERS BACK FROM SINGAPORE
Metro Post
Issues & Updates
June 26- July 02, 2005
Page 02

Nine Silliman debaters and two adjudicators are back from Singapore after participating in the Asian Universities Debate Championships held for a week end of May at Nanyang Technological University.

The debating teams were composed of Juliana Alano, Robert Je Malayang, and Justine Yu under Silliman A; Jian Wasawas, Leon Medado, and Ray Donn Lim for Silliman B; Bryce Tenorio, Erika Rae Rosario, and Stacy Danika Alcantara for Silliman C.

Adjudicating for Silliman were Jose Mari Jonathan Antonio, head of the Student Organizations & Activities Division, and Mark Raygan Garcia, coach of the Silliman University Debate Society.

The AUDC, considered as the largest debate tournament in Asia, gathered over 250 debaters and adjudicators from Singapore, Japan, Malaysia, South Korea, Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand.

Both debaters and adjudicators went through seven elimination rounds for two days before the finals.

Out of 60 competing teams, Silliman A Ranked 39, Silliman C, 41, and Silliman B, 54. Both Silliman A and Silliman C scored three points, while Silliman B scored two points.

Any team needed four points with high speaker points.

In the adjudicator category, Garcia qualified to adjudicate for the octofinals. Only the Top 25 adjudicators out of 87 candidates from across Asia are qualified for the final series.

The debate was patterned after the Asian parliamentary format where motions are released only 30 minutes prior to the debate.

Among the motions debated on were: the regulation of the conglomeration of media giants, banning of outsourcing or armed personnel services to private contractors in war zones, denying of organ transplants to substance abusers, blocking of imports for companies with environmentally unfriendly practices, prosecution of Internet music sharing as tantamount topholding unfair monopolies, consumers in the developed world subsidizing alternate energy research for the developing world, stem cell research, right to legally determine gender, censorship of local media outlets in Iraq, and allowing indigenous communities to hunt endangered species. (SU OIP)

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

 

EXTRA CHALLENGE AT CASARORO

EXTRA CHALLENGE AT CASARORO
Metro Post
June 19-25, 2005
Econ 101 by: Atty. Whelma S. Yap
Page 04


When Negros Oriental was featured in the Travel Asia Channel on cable TV last week, one of the sites prominently featured was Casaroro Falls of Valencia.

Nature lovers will surely fall in lovers with the lush green aggrupation of trees, ferns and other vegetation that frame the approach to the Falls. If you wanted relazation and revitalization, the flapping sound of the river, and the cool air at Casaroro would beat any man-made spa.

As a local tourist, I went to Casaroro Falls for the first time. Yes, for the first time. I have recommended the trek to many guests before, but it was only last week I was actually able to gho with my in laws Bindoy Vice Mayor Rosa Yap Paras, and Aurora Yap Lindio (SUHS’56) of Houston, Texas.

On the way there, we were engrossed in identifying the many fruit trees like lanzones and rambutan which line the highway. It seems that Valencia is blessed with many blooming colorful flowers which gives contrast to the lush green back ground.

When planning to go to Casaroro Falls, be prepared to go mountain climbing, albeit there are stairs. I could not have survived the trek without it. The steps are so steep, going down is no problem; climbing back up would be an extra challenge. There are landing s provided at several stages to allow the nature lover to rest and enjoy the view.

When resting in the landing, I felt a sense of communion with Nature, and once again affirmed my faith in God. There is no way that man can duplicate such an array of greenery arranged in an organized display.

In fact, the view made me attempt to recite the poem Trees by Joyce Kilmer. When I started to recite the poem and faltered, Aurora assisted me with every word.

Yes, it takes years and years to allow a tree grow, and now, I am more convinced that conservation is the way to go. The lust vegetation around the area gives it a unique ambience. This is a legacy that should be left behind for generations to come.

Casaroro Falls is enchanting, and worth that extra-challenge. No wonder, Valencia Mayor Rodolfo Gonzalez Jr. was toying with the idea of building cable cares connecting the mountains.

The steep keyhole like formation around the Falls is ideal for serious cliff climbing enthusiasts, and free falling bunjie jumping.

There is enough room to develop the area as a haven for nature lovers, without any damage to the vegetation. But if we think in dollars from tourists, we should be willing to upgrade the area into a 5 star location.

We met some tourists while we were there and discussed some of the possibilities.

It would be instructive to look at the possible areas of improvement. The damage that flooding caused to some portions of the stairs and the pathways is obvious and treacherous.

We must think Safety First if we intend to market Casaroro worldwide.

It takes only one freak accident – especially when published on the Internet – to cause damage to the reputation of any tourist destination.

In addition, a premium has to be placed on basic amenities such as clean and reliable restrooms. Calling the attention of the tourism officer of Valencia. Please make sure the restrooms repaired and are well maintained. Even the approach to the area only needs minimum maintenance.

Which brings to mind the question: Is the area a government-declared protected forest area? Or is it one of those areas that are privately owned?

Be that as it may, we have a collective responsibility to preserve what Nature had so lovingly endowed us.

Go! Experience Casaroro Falls!

Monday, June 20, 2005

 

STANDING DEFIANT

STANDING DEFIANT
Metro Post
June 19-25,2005
Page 04

The Philippine Olympic Committee executive board recommends the blacklisting of the Basketbal Association of the philippines for holding the 4th Asian University basketball Championships in Dumaguete City.

With the BAP-formed RP Team playing exhibition matches at the 4th AUBC, POC chair Robert Aventajado said he believes that the BAP is running against the grain of repentance. The POC had imposed an indefinite suspension on BAP starting on May 25.

AT the same time,; POC is calling BAP "arrogant" for exercising its rights as the duly FIBA-accredited organization tasked to form the RP Team bound for the Southeast Asian Games in Singapore in August.

All right, the BAP is cheeky. BAP is arrogant. Loud and clear, BAP executive secretary Graham Russell is bullheaded for pushing through with the 4th AUBC in Dumaguete despite the boycott due to POC pressure.

Whatever and however, Dumagueteneos are definitely excited and thrilled by the first international basketball event in the City. Gov. george Arnaiz is grateful for the 4th AUBC. It places Oriental Negros as ond of the sports and tour destination in Asia.

If mockery of the POC directive is all it needs to bring an international basketball event in Dumaguete, then let it be. Let us all enjoy the towering plays of the Chinese and South Korean fast breaks.

If arrognce is all it takes to give inernational exposure to the sports and tourism programs of Oriental Negros, then let's rub it in. If bullheaded ness is what will suffice to give local referees exposure to international events like this, then let's ram it on.

In this confusion, there are important things to be known. The BAP, in forming the RP Quintet, is forced to conduct the Try-outs ng Bayan because of the usual exodus of good playeers to the professional ranks. In fact, three of its key players have since joined the PBA.

It is still the better approach to stuffing the RP Team with PBA superstars. Borne by experience, superstars do not play their guts out when they represent the country. They fear breaking a leg, and lose the big bucks in the PBA. It is also happening in Amercia where NBA superstars manage to lose crucial matches in the World Baskletball Olympics.

Besides, if we in the Visayas were to choose an RP Ream coached by David "Boysie" Zamar or Choot Reyes, hands doown, we go all oout for Boysie.

It is high time, we tell the POC like it is. From the countryside point of view, just bring the basketball big events and develoment to us.

Just bring it on!

 

CESO EXPERT TEACHES ENTREPRENEURSHIP

CESO EXPERT TEACHES ENTREPRENEURSHIP
Metro Post
June 12-18, 2005
Page 05


An adviser in financial planning, production scheduling, inventory management, marketing and human relations from the Canadian Executive Service Organization (CESO) is at Foundation University providing knowledge and expertise in skills training to Entrepreneurship students of the College of Business, Economics & Accountancy.

According to CBEA dean Dr. Eva Melon, the CESO volunteer EA Douglas Johnson will assist the students prepare a business plan for the Sustainable Partnership for Energizing Entrepreneurship Development –Business Assistance Center (SPEED-bAC). He will also conduct a month-long training at FU to assess and make recommendations for the members of the Society of Manufacturers & Entrepreneurs of Negros Oriental (Someone), install financial management systems, and conduct a two day lecture-training for the group.

Johnson, a CESO volunteer for the last 10 years, has an MBA from the University of Western Ontario in Canada. He has been assigned in Romania, Slovakia, Bulgaria, before coming to Dumaguete.

The transfer of skills and technology at FU through CESO is a project in collaboration with the group Someone, and the Department of Trade & Industry.

This is the second time that CESO has sent to Dumaguete foreign volunteers to assist Foundation University in developing its programs. The first was in November last year when two expert advisers from Canada provided trainings in the fields of tourism, and hotel & restaurant management.

 

89% ACCOMPLISHMENT ON CARP LAND IN

89% ACCOMPLISHMENT ON CARP LAND IN
OVERAGE IN ORIENTAL NEGROS
Metro Post
June 12-18, 2005
Page 05

Land coverage under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program in Negros Oriental has already reached an accomplishment of 89 percent, according to a top agrarian reform officer here.

As of May this year, the Department of Land Reform here reported a total of 78, 753 hectares of land distribution under CARP, covering 47,049 farmer beneficiaries.

Provincial Agrarian Reform Officer Stephen Leonidas reported in a recent Kapihan forum that their accomplishment is based on CARP’s target working scope of 88,964 hectares.

The Kapihan forum held by the Philippine Information Agency is in celebration of CARP’s 17th year of implementation in the country.

In Negros Oriental, there are currently 26 agrarian reform communities in 12 municipalities covering 121 barangays.

Of thee, there are 154 agrarian reform beneficiaries organizations with 15,824 farmer beneficiary members.

The said organizations have a total capital buildup of P18.2 million, money coming from beneficiaries who contributed to their cooperatives as part of the requirements for a coop to be legalized or registered and for funding agencies as well.

DLR recently firmed up its support services projects for agrarian reform communities nationwide with the infusion of some P3 billion financial aid from the Official Development Assistance Fund.

Leonidas explained that the ARC is a cluster of four to eight barangays where the land tenure and program beneficiaries development programs are being implemented and where the beneficiaries have not yet received support services.

When Leonidas first stepped in as PARO of Negros Oriental in 2002, and total of 16,000 hectares of land were identified as “problematic lands” due to resistance from land owners and ownership issues.

But in two years time, the total problematic areas were reduced to 10,742 hectares. “So there is a possibility that this (the total number of problematic lands), by the end of CARP in 2008, mahurot ug cover,” says Leonidas.

Right now DLR is looking for ways and means to resolve problematic lands, in cooperation with DENR, LBP, PNOC and other agencies involved in CARP implementation.

Negros Oriental has total land area of 540,230 hectares. Of these, almost one half is agricultural area with 209,712 hectares.

Main crops planted are coconut, sugar, corn, palay. (PIA)

 

BAYAWAN CITY SOARS

BAYAWAN CITY SOARS
Metro Post
June 12-18, 2005
Page 05

Like an eagle, Bayawan is soaring. Beneath its wings are the winds engineered by City Mayor German P. Sarana. At this point in time, Bayawan, among the five cities of Oriental Negros, ahs the biggest Internal Revenue Allocation (IRA) of P320 million. Provincewide, the city has also the longest and widest network of concrete roads interconnecting the 28 barangays to the city center.

Mayor Sarana has built this city with his heart and soul.

Certainly it took heart to conceptualize a fifth class town to become the first class component city of Oriental Negros. Sarana was a virtual workhorse in elevating Bayawan to a component city. In pursuing an elusive dream, he researched and drafted the original city charter instrumental in the piece of legislation sponsored and nurtured by 3rd Dist. Rep. Herminio G. Teves through the Halls of Congress.

The dream comes alive.

That particular dream is now history. In its place is the reality that Bayawan is now the richest city in the province. This paves the way for a massive infrastructure build up started by Mayor Sarana as he assumed office in 2001. To date, according to Bayawan City Administrator Pancho Billasis, 70 percent of the concrete road networks for the 28 barangays are already finished.

The dreamer lives on.

Setting eyes on the coastal area, the Sarana Administration is undertaking the construction of the boulevard. Villasis said about a kilometer of the wide coastal boulevard road is already built. Stretching from Banga to Maninihon, when completed it will serve as a diversion road to decongest the city center of heavy traffic. More important, Villasis added, it is envisioned to be the site of the entertainment and recreation plaza and park of the city people.

In line with easing up the growing congestion of the city center, the mayor is all set to transfer the seat of government would be built on a 50 hectare lot overlooking the city. Mayor Sarana wants it to be a parting legacy before he retires and go back to tree planting.

I have never met German personally after he became Bayawan’s councilor, vice-Mayor and Mayor. But I seem to remember him as a classmate in a few engineering subjects at Silliman University back in mid 1960’s. He was mild-mannered, sometime with a silly grin, but always a hardworking student ever ready with any class assignment.

German Pinili Sarana was born in Valencia, Oriental Negros on October 4, 1946. As a farmer’s son, he knew the value of hard work and persistence early in trying to realize a dream. In his high school years, he had to walk about 4 kms. from Aganan to the NOHS in Dumaguete City. After graduating in EVSAT, he worked as a mechanic at the Cocacola Bottling Co. in Zamboanga. Pursuing his higer studies, he graduated as a Mechanical Engineer from Silliman University in 1968. He rose through the ranks as Transportation Superintendent at the Tolong Sugar Milling Co. after working for 25 years. He was appointed as a councilor of Bayawan town in the after math of the 1986 People Power Revolution. Served as three-term vice-mayor before being elected mayor in 2001.

It is nice to know when the dream and the dreamer fuse into one.

With his boyhood dream behind him, Mayor Sarana is now in the midst of taking on a bigger challenge. More than the infrastructures he built, he is intent more in building the character of his constituents especially the public servants. Most of the time he is on the field to lead them in the performance of a consistent and sincere public service—to dream and fulfill the upliftment of the lot of the city residents.

Mayor Sarana has built this city with his heart and roads. (Roemo G. Capilitan)

 

SILLIMAN, AMERICAN SCIENTISTS ASSESS

SILLIMAN, AMERICAN SCIENTISTS ASSESS
DUGONG POPULATION, HABITAT
Metro Post
June 12-18, 2005
Page 03

Silliman Univesity Marine Laboratory Director Dr. Hilconida Calumpong, and Assistant Director D. Janet S. Estacion collaborated with US scientists, Dr. William Perrin and Dr. Ma. Louella Dolar, in a research study to assess the dugong population, and their habitat in central Philippines, with a view of protecting these endangered marine mammals.

The study was started April in the waters off Sagay in Negros Occidental, and in the northern waters of the Tanon Strait, whre recent strandings of dugongs were reported. The study was supported by a grant from the Ocean Park Conservation Foundation in Hong Kong.

It is reported that dugongs, the only herbivorous mammal that are strictly marine, were historically distributed throughout the Philippine archipelago and were fairly common until the 1970s when populations started to decline rapidly.

Current distribution of dugongs is reported in Palawan, the southern Mindanao coast, the Sule archipelago, the Quezon-Isabela-Aurora area, Lubang Island, Guimaras, Tanon Strait, Panay Gulf, northeastern Mindanao, eastern Bicol coast, Roblon, and Masbate.

The dugong has been listed in the 2000 IUCN, the World Conservation Union Red List of Threatened Animals, as being vulnerable to extinction at global scale.

According to Dr. Calumpong, the study aimed specifically to: 1)survey the waters contiguous to the coastal waters of Sagya including the northern third of Tanon Strait, and the Visaya Sea for the preened of dugong; 2) obtain a measure of relative abundance and patterns of distrivution in relation to water depth, seagrass cover and species, salinity, temperature, and turbidity; 3) survey the distribution and composition of seagrass beds in the area as well as their productivity; 4) determine anthropogenic threats (fishing activities including by-catch), siltation, boat traffic, etc.) to the dugong population; 5) whenever possible, obtain DNA samples from animals that have been stranded or tangled in fish nets; 6) record presence of other marine mammals (of importance is the potential presence of the now very rare Balaenoptera edini, stranded in the area in 2000); and *) increase awareness of the local population to the conservation of marine mammals in cooperation with the local offices of the Department of Environment & Natural Resources, and the local government units.

The research is significant, according to Dr. Calumpong, because the status of dugongs in the Philippines is poorly documented, and their habitats have not been studied.

She said, however, that because dugongs depend on seagrass habitats that are often coastal, they are highly vulnerable to the effects of human activities such as coastal development, habitat loss, and boat traffic.

Dr. Calumpong added that the protection of the surviving fragmented populations of dugongs is paramount to the overall protection of the species in Philippine waters.

The islands surrounding Tanon Strait and the Visayan Sea (Negros, Panay, Cebu, Masbate, and Leyte) are all densely populated, posing numerous threats to this fragmented population.

 

NEGOR TARGETS 600 HECTARES HUBRID RICE

NEGOR TARGETS 600 HECTARES HUBRID RICE
Metro Post
June 12-18, 2005
Page 02

Negros Oriental has target 600 hectares to be planted with hybrid rice this year, while the regional office of the Department of Agriculture is aiming for 6,000 hectares.

According to Alvin Blaza, crops division chief of the Provincial Agriculturists Office (PAO), some 150 bags of hybrid seeds from Mindanao worth 360,000 have arrived in the Province.

“These will be good for 150 hectares only since we are still waiting for the orders from PhilRice and Mindanao to arrive,” says Blaza.

The PAO official urged small farmers to use hybrid rice since these produce around eight to tem metric tons of harvest compared to the four metric tons from inbrid.

Of the 12,000 hectares of rice area (rain-fed and irrigated) in the Province, only ten percent are to be planted by hybrid rice since the Department of Agriculture will subsidize the rest of the procurement.

Blaza explains that one sack of hybrid rice is worth P2,400, of which P1,300 will be subsidized by the government and the rest by the farmer.

 

ST. PAUL UNIVERSITY TO PUT UP H.E. BUILDING

ST. PAUL UNIVERSITY TO PUT UP H.E. BUILDING
Metro Post
June 12-18, 2005
Page 02

ST. Paul University of Dumaguete, the mother institution of Paulinian establishments of the Sisters of ST. Paul of Chartes, will soon start the renovation of its historic Chaplain’s House, and transform it into a Homeroom Economics building.

Designed by a Cebu-based architectural firm Carlos & Antiques Architects, the H.E. building will simulate a two-storey residence designed with attention to openness and light.

The H.E. building will have breathing spaces such as two hotel room-like bedrooms on the second level, and complete living, dining, and service areas on the ground floor necessary for a learning practical experience for any student.

There will also be sewing room, linen rooms, a movable island counter amidst a spacious kitchen, and a laudromat. (PR)

 

UN LAUDS SU FOR GENDER SENSITIVITY COURSE

UN LAUDS SU FOR GENDER SENSITIVITY COURSE
Metro Post
June 12-18, 2005
Page 02

The chairperson of the United Nations Committee for the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (UNCEDAW) lauded Silliman University for integrating issues involving domestic/family violence into the Nursing curriculum.

Ambassador Rosario Manalo, first Filipino to head UN CEDAW, reportedly told Dr. Teresit Sinda, dean of she was pleased that the Institution took a “bold step” in educating both students and teachers on domestic violence and gender sensitivity..

The CNAHS produced modules and teachers’ guide for the teaching about domestic violence.

The Ambassador said Silliman is the only school she knows to have successfully integrated such modules into its Nursing curriculum.

Dr. Sinda told Ambassador Manalo that the University has also tied up with other universities, and has given seminars and workshops on gender sensitivity to schools outside Dumaguete.

She added that the modules at CNAHS have reached other nursing schools in the country.

Ambassador Manalo vowed to share the modules with the CEDAW when it convenes for its next meeting in New York.

The Ambassador was at Silliman end of May for the Seminar-workshop on the Convention for the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women), and Rights-Based Approach to Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment sponsored by the SU-World Bank Knowledge for Development Center, and the United Nations Development Fund. (OIP)

 

DOLPHIN, WHALE-WATCHERS TOLD TO OBSERVE SILENCE

DOLPHIN, WHALE-WATCHERS TOLD TO OBSERVE SILENCE
Metro Post
June 12-18, 2005
Page 01

Bais City --- Instead of clapping their hands, and whistling, and shouting with approval at the sight of marine mammals, tourists who go dolphin and whale-watching in the Tanon Strait have been advised to remain absolutely quiet. The reason? Sex..

“Summer is the breeding season for most animals so the dolphins and whales have to have privacy,” said Dr. Lemnuel Aragones, a Filipino marine professor at the University of Miami in Florida, U.S.A. and at the University of the Philippines at Los Banos.

Aragones and Dr. Edward Keith of the Nova Southeastern University in Florida were resource persons in a two-day seminar workshop on the whale and dolphin watching and conservation of cetaceans in the southern Tanon Strait sponsored by the city of Bais, the province of Oriental Negros, and the Sea World Busch Gardens Conservation Fund, a US-Based non-profit foundation dedicated to wildlife conservation, research, education, and animal rescue.

“Dolphin watching used to be very simple because there were a few boats involved in its operation. But there has been an increase in the number of boats in the last four years. Most of the boats do not know how to maneuver around these dolphins and whales, “ Aragones explained.

The workshop last Wednesday and Thursday was attended by operators of dolphin and whale watching tours, as well as legislators from Bais City, Tanjay City, and Manjuyod town in Negros Oriental, as well as from the towns of Ginatilan, Samboan, Malabuyoc, and Alegria in Cebu.

The main objective of the seminar was to set up some guidelines and protocols to make sure that the dolphins are not disturbed and there would be long term benefits by making dolphin and whale watching activities sustainable.

“For a long time now, we always clapped our hands and shouted at the sight of these dolphins and whales. We never knew that these creatures would be intimidated by the sound,” said Bais City Mayor Hector “Tata” Villanueva.

“This protocol would really change the dolphin and whale watching tours as we know it,” said Bais City Councilor Angelo Teves, chair of the City Environment Committee.

Dolphin and whale watching tours are a major revenue earner for Bais City. From an annual income of P400,000 five years ago, it now grosses P1.6 million per year, said Jun Serrano, Bais City’s Tourism Officer.

Aragones and Keith also revealed findings of their current study which showed a decline in the number of species sighted in the area in the last five years. Dolphins and whales have also been noted to show evasive behavior. “This could have resulted from disturbance by boats or entanglement with fishing gears,” Aragones said.

Aragones also debunked the widespread belief among fishermen that dolphin have caused the decline in their fish catch. “The overwhelming reason for the decline of fish catch is overfishing or illegal fishing. Dolphins are not responsible for overeatingteh resources,” he said.

He said this topic has been discussed all throughout the world and the question that needs to be answered is, “what is the impact of overfishing to the cetaceans?”

Tanon strait was declared as a protected seascape by Presidential Proclamation 1234 by then President Fidel Ramos because it is a habitat of 11 of the 24 species of marine mammals found in the Philippines. This was to be managed by a Tanon Strait Commission. But this Commission had yet to take off when it was dissolved in 2001.

 

SUN CELLULAR TEAMS UP WITH TOP TELECOM VENDORS FOR AGGRESSIVE NETWORK EXPANSION

SUN CELLULAR TEAMS UP WITH TOP TELECOM VENDORS FOR AGGRESSIVE NETWORK EXPANSION
Metro Post
June 19-25, 2005
Page 02

Sun Cellular, the country’s fastest growing cellular phone network, teams up with three of the world’s biggest telecommunications companies—Hua Wei Technologies Inc., Ericsson and Alcatel—for a major network expansion program aimed at strengthening its capacity to accommodate as much as three million subscribers by midyear, and 6 million by year-end. To date, Sun Cellular has 1,300 operational cell sites serving 1.7 million subscribers as of end February this year.

Sun Cellular’s subscriber base has been increasing dramatically since the network launched its pioneering 24/7 Call and Text Unlimited (CTU) in October last year. This groundbreaking, regular service allows postpaid and prepaid subscribers to make local Sun-to-Sun calls and text messages at a low, fixed rate. The unmatched value and convenience of this real unlimited deal was a major attraction that prompted throngs of subscribers to switch to Sun.

In it effort to fast-track network development projects originally set for next year. These programs are expected to efficiently and effectively increase capacity to accommodate the rapid growth of subscribers, to handle the up trend in usage and network utilization. The large surge in the number of Sun Cellular users I attributed to the public’s overwhelming reception to the brand and its permanent 24/7 services.

World-renowned telecom firm Hua Wei Technologies of China will provide major network improvement by upgrading the existing GSM network in the National Capital Region (NCR) to cope with the demands of the 24/7 CTU programs. Hua Wei’s commitment involves upgrading of, and adding to existing Main Switching Centers.

MSCs, adding stand alone Switching Transfer Points (STPs) and transfer switches. A new Core and additional Bay Station Subsystem (BSS) will also be integrated into the network elements, while upgrading 90% of the existing base stations and adding 350 new dell sites and 13 new Base Station Controllers (BSCs).

For the Visayas-Mindanao area, Swedens Ericsson will provide the network equipment, including the installation of a base station subsystem (Switches and Base Stations), specifically to boost the network capacity in Metro Davao, Metro Cebu, Bacolod, Iloilo and Cagayan de Oro.

French vendor partner, telecom giant Alcatel, on the other hand, will supply the network equipment for the entire Luzon area (particularly Baguio, Pampanga, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, Batangas) and all over the National Capital Region. The equipment to be supplied includes Intelligent Network (IN), MSCs and Home Location Register (HLR).

Sun Cellular, which was launched by Digitel Mobile Philippines, Inc. on March 28, 2003, has indeed shown significant growth in its operation and subscriber base, with “value-for-money” and “affordable choices” at the core of its strategy. The ongoing development program that aims to achieve the 6 million subscriber capacity may be considered the fastest expansion project undertaken by a local mobile network after only two years of operation.

The network beef-up, in preparation for the anticipated volume of text messages, will make it SMS center more robust in terms of switching capacity and reliability. The improvements shall also enable Sun Cellular to be ready to offer new and innovative Value Added Service (VS) and other usage related services.

In keeping with Sun’s concentration on providing telecom services with unbeatable value, these network expansions are more than just necessary business undertakings. With the expansion roll out, Sun subscribers can look forward to enjoying better, more affordable and more relevant services. Poised for growth, and together with its technology providers and carrier partners, Sun Cellular will continue to enhance the delivery of trailblazing products and services to give Filipinos the ultimate convenience in mobile telecommunications.

For more information on Sun Cellular, visit its website at www.suncellular.com.ph or call its 24-hour hotline number at 395-8000. (PR-Selrahco)

 

SAVANTS HAIL BAIS DOLPHIN WATCHING TOURS AS

SAVANTS HAIL BAIS DOLPHIN WATCHING TOURS AS
COMPARABLE TO WORLD’S BEST
Metro Post
June 19-25, 2005
Page 02

Two Marine biologists who empower the people to preserve the cetaceans in Tanon Strait compare the whale & Dolphin show in Bais City to the world’s best.

“When you’re out in the boat and the dolphins and whales come out of the water, it’s the same view you get anywhere else in the world,” Dr. Ed Keith, a professor from the Nova Southeastern University in Florida.

Keith and Dr. Lemnuel Aragones of the University of Miami in Florida and UP Los Banos, came out with the evaluation after organizing last week the first-ever tour operators association in Tanon Strait. They also set in motion the drafting of an ordinance in Bais City to be adapted by the coastal municipalities and cities off the southern Tanon Strait.

The watch in Bais, they believe, is even made more varied and exciting by a greater number of species of the playful cetaceans.

But what is lacking here, they said, are the tourism amenities and protocol for easy access, comfy stay, and safe watching of the guests and visitors.

Nevertheless they are confident this can be corrected soon with the organization of tour operators for cetacean watching and the drafting of the protocol by the concerned local government units.

Both have expressed confidence in the leadership capabilities of the newly organized tour operators and the local officials on the coastal towns of southern Tanon Strait.

Today they are focusing on a smaller group dealing with minor problems in protecting the dolphin and whale sanctuary. Later on the empowerment will involve a bigger area of Tanon Strait which will be strong enough to deal with bigger problems, such as possible sound and water pollution coming from a projected oil exploration in the northern portion of Tanon Strait.

Keith and Aragones cited specifically the contribution of both Bais City Mayor Hector Tata Villanueva and opposition councilor Angelo Teves in drafting the protocol on dolphin & whale watching. (Romeo Capilitan)

 

MAX’S EYES DUMAGUETE EXPANSION

MAX’S EYES DUMAGUETE EXPANSION
Metro Post
June 19-25, 2005
Page 08

If it’s doing good in Bacolod, it should do well in Dumaguete.

Inspired by the success of their Bacolod franchisee, Max’s Fried Chicken is now setting its eyes in Dumaguete City as the site of their next restaurant.

Two franchise officers of Max’s were in town last week to look for interested franchisees.

“We had reservations in coming over to Dumaguete because this is a chicken country’ said Ronnie Linao, franchise development officer.

Dumaguete is home to Jo’s Chicken Inato, a native restaurant which has branched out to Metro Manila and in key cities in the country. Other established grilled chicken restaurants are the City Burger along Real St. and the Atong Kamalig along Katada St. and Dumaguete Fried Chicken in Laguna. There are also several “lechon manok” native restaurants and stalls that can be found throughout the City, such as Golden roy’’s, Negros Lechon Manok and Ogis, to name a few.

This situation is even more pronounced in Bacolod City. But the Bacolod restaurant, established just last January, has been doing very well, Linao said.

In Dumaguete, Linao aid they have checked out the performance of Jollibee, Chow King, Mamia’s restaurant and other food outlets “and they’re doing very well.”

He said they were told by a Dumagueteno doctor that people in this city may not be fond of dressing up but they go for good food, spending up to 60 percent of their income.

The Max’s representatives also met with Negros Oriental Chamber of Commerce and Indutry (NOCCI) President Ernesto Quiamco, who arranged meetings with prospective franchisees.

“We’re looking for franchisees who are hands-on managers and who operate a family-run business,” Linao said.

Franchisees can expect to shell out between P10 to P20 million, which they may recover in three to four years. The franchise is good for five years and is renewable for an additional three terms, or a total of 20 years.

Quiamco, said Max’s only wants their Dumaguete franchisees to build the restaurant along the Rizal boulevard or Perdices St., two of Dumaguete’s main thoroughfares, He said the entry of Max’s would be a boost to Dumaguete’s economy, which will also provide employment opportunities for at least 43 people.

 

DUMAGUETE SCHOOLS CITED AS NATIONAL MODELS

DUMAGUETE SCHOOLS CITED AS NATIONAL MODELS
Metro Post
June 19-25, 2005
Page 01

Two Dumaguete City schools have been chosen as winners in the knowledge Channel Foundation, Incorporated National Search for Outstanding Model Schools for school year 2004-2005.

The two schools cited are North City Elementary School and Calindagan Elementary School.

The two schools was awarded plaques of recognition, colored television sets and additional cable outlets during the awarding ceremonies held last July 11, 2005 at the Meralco Lighthouse in Pasig City.

Attending the ceremonies and receiving the awards were City Schools Division Supt. Dr. Carmelita Dulangon and Dr. Chruchita Villarin, principal of North City Elementary School and Dr. Abrahalina Gajunera, principal of Calindagan Elementary School.

The group was joined by Rosalie Lariosa, coordinator of the school’s ETV and DepEd Regional Director Dr. Carolino Mordeno.

The two Dumguete schools shared the honors nationwide along with the Acasia Elementary School of Malabon City, Mandaluyong Elementary School of Mandaluyong City, Pardo Elementary School of Cebu City and Vilo Elementary School of Cotabato City.

On the other hand, the Division of City Schools in Dumaguete City was also awarded as the knowledge Channel Model Division with 100 percent utilization of the schools sponsored by the foundation.

Receiving also the same awards were the school divisions of Cebu and Davao as well as the DepEd Cebu regional office.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

 

IMAGING

IMAGING
Metro Post
June 05-11, 2005
Page 06

It is still in the imaging dimension. But it is the first step to be taken in making a dream, no matter how ambitious, a reality.

Six governors from Region 6 and two from Region 7 are making that first step trying to hold a three-dimensional image of two bridges spanning across the seas while connecting the island-provinces of Panay, Negros and Cebu.

The next step is to get that image out of the heal while the dreamer takes action on real ground. Governeors Gwendolyn Garcia, George Arnaiz, Joseph Maranon, Florencio Miraflores, Salvacion Perez, Vicente Bermejo, Neil Tupas, and Rahman Nava have also taken that decisive step. The have enlisted the help of the national government to co finance the ambitious projects. They have also explored in making a loan with the KRW Bank of Germany payable in 40 years with a grace period of 10 years.

At this point in time, the governors have the enthusiasm to push through with the proposed projects.

We hope they have the patience and persistence to hold to the image vividly and stubbornly until it has a reality and life of its own.

What is more exciting in the idea is the paradigm shift the governors have taken in dreaming to build bridges interconnecting the three island province. As President Gloria M. Arroyo has noted this is the first bold initiative from any local government ever.

As everyone knows, local governments are hopelessly dependent to national government funding for their local infrastructure projects. As a consequence they are helplessly mired to maintenance and repair works of their roads and public buildings, year-in and year-out.

With this ambitious dream, there is a good sign that our local officials, like these 8 governors, can still soar high with little help from the national government.

According to the mind experts, imaging does affect future events, but the decision to image is completely yours. In this particular dream, it is on the minds of the 8 governors and the people of the three island provinces of Cebu, Negros and Panay.

 

BARANGAY BRIGADES PROTECT POWER LINES

BARANGAY BRIGADES PROTECT POWER LINES
Metro Post
June 05 – 11, 2005
Page 01

Barangay Liga Brigades have been organized to protect the power lines from the Geothermal Plant in Palinpinon, Valencia, Negros Oriental to different towns and cities in the two island provinces of Negros.

National Transmission Corporation District 4 Manager Engr. Zosimo Briones disclosed this during the National Internal Security Briefing Plan held in Dumaguete City last Friday. Briones said so far 12 brigades have been organized in the cities of Tanjay and Bais and another will be created in Mabinay soon.

He added the brigades are not only trained to watch out for terrorists but also to monitor acts of pilferage, which is considered as a form of sabotage. The TRANSCO security brigades are being augmented by the deployment of military or PNP forces in critical substations province wide.

PIA Provincial Manger Jennifer C. Tilos said the orientation briefing attended by information officers and representatives from the LGU was in line with the directive from the President to institutionalize the internal security plan at the national and local levels.

In a related development, Provincial Board Member Umbac disclosed Friday that the Region 7 Peace and order Council passed a resolution supporting GMA while condemning the destabilization forces against her.

Atty. Umbac who represented Gov. George Arnaiz during the Region 7 Peace and Order Council Meeting in Tagbilaran City last week said 4 sectors of destabilizing forces were identified during the discussion. One destabilizing force is identified with Gen. Fortunato Abat.

Meanwhile, local officials in Negros Oriental are expected to attend the 1st Local Government Summit on June 11-12 at the Manila Hotel. The Philippine Information Agency reported that local officials all over the country will meet in a rare solid display of unity against destabilization forces.

The event will be capped with the Independence Day celebration on June 12 in Luneta, Manila.

 

DepEd NEGOR INTENSIFIES SCHOOL-WIDE READING TIME PROJECT

DepEd NEGOR INTENSIFIES SCHOOL-WIDE READING TIME PROJECT
Metro Post
Issues & Updates
Page 05

Alarmed over the decline in English language competency, Cebu Rep. Eduardo Gullas has proposed a new legislation that seeks to revitalize the use of English in schools.

With this, the Department of Education Division of Negros Oriental has been intensifying its school wide reading time project in the wake of the reported decline in the English language competency among Filipino students.

According to Dr. Catalina Credo, English supervisor of the DepEd division office here, the said project is conducted everyday for at least 30 to 45 minutes other than the regular English subject.

Elementary students are grouped according to the reading level set by the Philippine Reading Inventory regardless of their grade level. “A Grade 1 student and a Grade 3 students may be grouped together because they belong to the same reading level, explains credo.

To augment the education system, DepEd has made sure that there will be enough textbooks with the release of P810 million for the textbook requirements of the 17 million students expected to return to school this year, said Camarines Sur Rep. Rolando Andaya.

The classes are conducted by teachers who do remedial work at a time convenient for the teacher and the students.

Credo said that at the end of the year, an assessment is made on the students who can be upgraded from frustration level to instructional level to instructional level or to independent level. (PIA)

Monday, June 06, 2005

 

LBP LENDS P335.6 M TO FARMERS, FISHER FOLKS

LBP LENDS P335.6 M TO FARMERS, FISHER FOLKS
Metro Post
Issues and Updates
June 05-11, 2005
Page 02


The Land Bank of the Philippines has released P335.688 million to small farmers and fisherfolks in Central Visayas from January to March this year.

The said amount is part of the P3.5 billion loan released to small farmers and fisherfolks. To recall, LBP was reported to have released the amount to the marginalized sectors of the country.

According to Romy Tagupa, LBP Branches Operations Technical Supervisor, those who benefited from the said amount were 10,585 farmers from Cebu (1372), Bohol (9087), and Negros Oriental (126).

Meanwhile, 297 fisherfolks in the region availed of the loan. Eight of the fisherfolks are from Cebu and 289 are from Bohol. No fisher folk from Siquijor and Negros Oriental availed of the loan facility.

The farmers total borrowings in LBP reached up to P319.2 million while the fisherfolks borrowings amounted to P15.8 million availed by 297 beneficiaries.

Tagupa also shared that for this year, LBP has P9 billion-loan portfolio for small farmers and fisherfolks. As regularly done, the amount will be coursed through a conduit like a cooperative, rural bank, o through Quedancor- a government financial institution.

In Central Visayas, LBP has 14 branches, 4 extension offices, and a lending center in Cebu, Bohol, and Negros Oriental.

To keep up with the pace of technology and trends in the banking industry, Tagupa said that LBP Pres. Margarito B. Teves is now bent on improving the bank’s Information Technology facilities and manpower.

 

GOVERNOR SENDS EX-US NAVY DIVER TO INSTPECT

GOVERNOR SENDS EX-US NAVY DIVER TO INSTPECT
RECOMPRESSION CHAMBER
Metro Post
June 05-11, 2005
Page 05

Oriental Gov. George Arnaiz is strongly considering buying a recompression chamber to boost the tourism industry of the province as well as provide medical care to its residents.

Arnaiz had earlier announced that some P1.8-million have been allocated for the purchase of a used but currently completely functional recompression chamber that is presently in storage at the Manila Yacht Club.

On Thursday, upon the request of the governor, Bruce Partlow, an American citizen who is now a permanent resident of Dumaguete City, flew to Manila to conduct a complete technical inspection of this chamber and has recommended its purchase to the governor.

Partlow said this is a steel, double lock Recompression Chamber that can treat up to four diving accident victims at one time. It can also double as a Hyperbaric Oxygen (HBO) therapy chamber for patients suffering from a variety of medical conditions such as diabetic ulcers and gangrene.

Mr. Partlow was once a Chief Deep Sea Diver and Supervisor of Diving and Salvage for the United States Navy. He also specialized in Hyperbaric Medicine at the Naval Medical Research Institute in Bethesda, Maryland, near Washington, D.C. in the US.

He has been donating his time and technical expertise to the province of Negros Oriental for this project.

According to Partlow, if this project materializes, he will endorse the recompression chamber to be included in the list of the UUUS Navy’s International Registry of Recompression Chambers, which will be a boon to the local tourism industry of Oriental Negros.

It will also provide a very unique medical service to the entire Negros Island and other areas as well. (JG)

 

FARMERS URGED TO SUPPORT GOVERNMENT REFO PROJECT

FARMERS URGED TO SUPPORT GOVERNMENT REFO PROJECT
Metro Post
Issues & Updates
June 05-11, 2005
Page 04

Valencia --- Officials of various government agencies in the province urged more than 1,000 farmers mostly rebel returnees, belonging to the Tamlang Valley Zone of Peace Multi-purpose Cooperative to support the government’s effort to reforest the mountains of Oriental Negros.

Trees are important to maintain a cool environment and ensure abundant water supply for our people, Greg Paltingca, provincial agriculture officer, told farmers during the inauguration of the Tamlang Valley Zone of Peace Central Nursery in Barangay Malabo, Valencia.

He said 60 percent of our environment should be planted with trees, but a present the area has not even reached to 3 percent.

Darylle Locsin of FIDA (Fiber Industry Development Authority) explained to farmers the importance of trees and how it will support the growth of abaca in the locality.

The Province is one of the major producers of abaca in the country with the town of Valencia having the best quality. Other producers are the towns of Sibulan and Guihulngan. About 10 hectares of farmlands in Valencia been planted with abaca.

Valencia OIC Mayor Diodoro Olasiman warned farmers that continued forest depletion would result to massive reduction of water supply. He said the LGU of Valencia will continue to support the cooperative so its reforestation project will bear results.

The central nursery is producing about 300,000 seedlings of mahogany, mangium, and eucalyptus, which is part of the Reforestation and Agro-forestry program of the Tamlang Valley Zone of Peace Multi-purpose Cooperative, said Rey Aguilar, officer in charge of the Provincial Cooperative Development Office, now handling the implementation of the various programs under the Tamlang Valley Zone of Peace.

Part of the program is the distribution of 16,000 fruit trees of lanzones, Marang, and Durian variety to farmer-members of the peace zone cooperative.

The Tamlang Valley Zone of Peace is a pet project of Gov. George Arnaiz. It was created in a hope to put a stop the armed conflict in the mountain areas of Negros. The peace zone covers the mountain barangays of Siaton, Sta. Catalina, Valencia, and Sibulan. (DES TILOS, JR.)

 

BAIS MAYOR VILLANUEVA ALARMED OVER OIL

BAIS MAYOR VILLANUEVA ALARMED OVER OIL
SEARCH ALONG TANON STRAIT
Metro Post
May 29, June 04, 2005

Bais City Mayor Hector Villanueva has urged fellow officials in the government, particularly Governor George Arnaiz and the offices of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources on the possible ill effects and pollution of the an ongoing oil exploration in the Tanon Strait.

Villanueva said that this oil exploration could also be disastrous to the seas and its existing underwater life and could hamper the ongoing tourism programs such as Bais City’s dolphin and whale watching activity.

Mayor Villanueva said he is concerned not only for Bais City but also for the entire province of Negros Oriental.

He said he has also learned that local government units in the province and the nearby coastal towns in the northern part of Cebu province were not consulted on this project.

He said that it was a standard operating procedure for companies engaged in exploration and mining to inform local officials about there activities.

The mayor is calling on Arnaiz to come up with a task force to determine whether the explorations have not greatly affected the sea waters near our province or the Tanon Strait as a whole.

The mayor said that based on the local government code, agencies should coordinate with them when projects such as these fall within their jurisdiction.

The Cebu provincial government is also investigating reports that the oil exploration proponents went ahead with the project without securing the necessary permits. (ES)

 

DENR WARNS RESIDENT FROM COLLECTING FEES

DENR WARNS RESIDENT FROM COLLECTING FEES
Metro Post
Issues & Updates
June 05-11, 2005
Page 05

Valencia – The Department of Environment Natural Resources has warned a resident of Valencia town from collecting fees to mountain climbers utilizing portion of a tourist site and that it may be forced to file appropriate charges against him if he continue to collect fees.

The area is a government property, it being part of a forestral project, said CENR Officer Charlie Fabre “Any activities or collections of fees for the use of the area without authority from DENR… is illegal and tantamount to usurpation of authority which is punishable under the Revised Penal Code of the Philippines,” Fabre said.

A certain Prudencio Verganio of Barnagay Liptong, Valencia is reportedly collecting P50 per tent from mountain climbers who utilize a portion of Nagabi. Near in this area is Kaipuhan, a tourist site in Valencia where a river of sulfur and dead trees can be found.Melicia Vergano, wife of Prudencio, denied the accusation. She said they are asking donations from mountain climbers who prefer to occupy the small rest houses they contructed in a 1 hectare lot they claimed they own.

Earlier, the local government of Valencia, through its Sangguniang Bayan, had advised Vergano to stop collecting fees as DENR has yet to release its opinion on the matter.

Valencia OIC mayor Doro Olasiman said the DENR is the sole office which has jurisdiction over the complaint. (DES TILOS, JR)

 

DUMAGUETE RETRAINS TRICYCLE DRIVERS

DUMAGUETE RETRAINS TRICYCLE DRIVERS
Metro Post
May 29-June 24, 2005
Page-01

How would you like a tricycle driver who not only delivers you to your destination but bring your bags all the way to your bedroom?

This is a kind of driver the Dumaguete City Tourism Council hopes to train in the next few months under the Tourist Certified Driver Institute program.

“But that concept will be introduced during the ‘masteral’ level, when all 3000 tricycle drivers in Dumaguete shall have undergone the first training,” said Paul Honculada, Dumaguete’s traffic manager.

A total of 60 tricycle drivers completed Saturday the eight-hour course, making them eligible to be classified as “Certified Tourist Drivers.”

As such, they will be required to wear blue collared T-shirts which will make them stand out from the other drivers in the City. Their tricycles will also be distinguishable by a sticker with a red star pasted on the front right portion of the tricycle, near the passenger entrance.

Honculada said the idea of coming up with the Tourist Driver Institute was conceived by Mayor Agustin Perdices and Negros Oriental Gov. George Arnaiz, amid the mounting complaints against unscrupulous tricycle drivers in the radio, TV and newspapers.

“The ultimate suggestion to weed out abusive tricycle drivers was even to stop tricycle drivers was even to stop tricycles from plying the city streets,” Honculada said.

The course, which costs the City P383.83 per participant, teaches drivers basic traffice rules, the business of transportation, moral values, courtesy and discipline, manners and good grooming, ethics, and other topics which deal with how they interact with passengers, especially tourists.

“We will enrich our curriculum as we go along, “Honculada said, as he expressed confidence that they will be able to train no less than 1000 drivers by the end of the year.

Tirso Tubat, 56, a tricycle driver for six years, said that his attitude has been changed by this course. “We now act differently.” He evaded the question as to what he used to do before he went through the course. But he assured that because of this training, they will no longer refuse any passenger and will only charge the prescribed rates.

Jun Saavedra, 50, a tricycle driver for 12 years now, said they have learned a lot in this course, such as how to properly deal with passengers. He said these same topics have also been taught to them whenever they renew their permits but his one was more intensive.

“When tourists come, we can assure them that they will not be overcharged and that they will meet courteous drivers,” Saavedra said.

Once the 3000 drivers shall have been trained, the City will start a ‘finishing school’ which will be a sixteen-hour course.

“Hopefully, the public will want to come back to Dumaguete after coming in contact with the drivers,” Honculada said.

 

HABAL HABAL’S LEGALITY IN A LIMBO

HABAL HABAL’S LEGALITY IN A LIMBO
Metro Post
May 29-June 04, 2005
Page 05

Even the Dumaguete City Council is now faced with the dilemma whether or not to regulate the operations of the habal habal which operates every night in the city.

This, afer Concilor Samuel Dice, the proponent to make habal habal operations legal, has surprisingly backtracked and forwarded his own proposal back to the City Legal Office for further study.

The councilor volunteered to explain to his colleagues that he got hold of a resolution from Kidapawan City in Cotabato urging members of the House of Representatives to amend an existing national law on land transportation and to recognize habal habal as a legal form of public utility vehicle.

Councilor Dicen said that in effect, the operation of habal habal is considered illegal and not recognized as one of the types of passenger vehicles.

The councilor however said that whether the law exists or not, the actual scenario is that habal habal has been operating in the city and in the province for several years now without the government regulating it nor exacting taxed from them.

Habal habal is a motorcycle licensed as a private vehicle but utilized as public utility and passenger vehicle.

During the hearing in the last regular session, tricycle drivers expressed willingness to tolerate the operation of this type of transportation but called on the city government to provide the same group with a terminal oaf their own so that they will not be roaming the streets alongside the tricycles.

The habal habal drivers, on the other hand, explained that they are not competing with the tricycle drivers no longer ply the streets.

Other concerns such as the insurance coverage of “habal-habal” units, wearing of helmets by drivers as well as the safeguards should be properly addressed, Land Transportation Office Chief Ely Cabanag suggested. (ES)

 

LGU TO BUILD BRIDGES LINKING CEBU-NEGROS-PANAY ISLANDS

LGU TO BUILD BRIDGES LINKING CEBU-NEGROS-PANAY ISLANDS
Metro Post
June 05-11, 2005
Page 01

Eight governors have agreed to co-finance with the national government in building bridges inter-connecting the island of Cebu, Negros and Panay Islands, according to Gov. George Arnaiz during a press conference at the Provincial Capitol last Friday.

He said the decision was reached during the meeting of League of governors in San Carlos last week while members were discussing transport infrastructures to facilitate trade and tourism developments among the island provinces of the country.

In realizing that the national government could not build it alone, the governors at the instance of Neg. Occ. Gov. Joseph Maranon enthusiastically agreed to co-finance it with the national government. As the LGU’s also need a national guarantee for thte loan they want in building the bridges, they requested Gov. Arnaiz to make the representation with Pres. Gloria M. Arroyo.

Gov. Arnaiz recalled the President remarked that this was the first time she ever heard of such a bold initiative from the LGU. Immediately the President ordered the DPWH to undertake a feasibility study on the proposed projects.

On their own the governors had already undertaken some options in acquiring the loans. Arnaiz said with the national government as guarantor, the KFW Bank of Germany is willing to extend the loan to be paid in 40 years with a 10-year grace period.

The governors are confident that with a 20 million-peso contribution per year from each province plus the projected toll fees, the LGU’s will be able to repay the loan.

Arnaiz confided to the local media, “it is a very ambitious dream, but attainable.” At the forefront in realizing that dream, aside from Gov. Arnaiz and Gov. Maranon are: Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia, Aklan Gov. Florencio Miraflores, Antique Gov. Salvacion Perez, Capiz Gov. Vicente Bermejo, Iloilo Gov. Neil Tupas, and Guimaras Gov. Rahman Nava.

 

NORSU TO PURSUE NURSING; DEFERS MEDICINE

NORSU TO PURSUE NURSING; DEFERS MEDICINE
Metro Post
Issues and Updates
May 29,-June 04, 2005
Page 05

The Negros Oriental State University (NORSU) is pushing through with its Nursing Course with 25 students, despite a declaration by the Commission on higher Education that it cannot open a Nursing course due to a moratorium on the opening of new nursing programs effective May 04, 2004.

NORSU President Dr. Henry Sojor the CHED action is only recommendatory to the NORSU Board of Regents. He said there was no need for the University to apply with the CHED because the Board of Regents had passed a resolution on February 9, 2005 approving the new course offerings.

The NORSU charter, Republic Act 9299, provides that the University should merely inform the CHED of their action to pursue the courses mandated by that law.

Sojor said the 25 Nursing students were among the more than 300 who took the qualifying examinations.

However, Sojor said that they will postpone the opening of a medical school this year because there were only five applicants. He said the NORSU will open this medical school next year.

 

NORWEGIAN SENDS DAUIN RESIDENTS TO COLLEGE

NORWEGIAN SENDS DAUIN RESIDENTS TO COLLEGE
Metro Post
May 29-June 04, 2005
Page 02

Dauin – Sixteen students are now recipients of the Mama Liza’s Scholarship Fund sponsored by Ingerliz Weston from Norway.

All 16 students have been enrolled in various schools in the Province. They are: Noel Bantoto, Annaliza Barnayha, Jennifer Bapa, Rosalie Calantaol, Jerey Nel Dagandong, Audrey Leunor Delmo, Crisanto Epa, Christie Mae Herrerro, Jerelone Himita, rommel Lagarde, Sheena Nuique, Emma Fe Palarpalar, Eljem Rosaot, Archie Torres, Brigette Triesta, and William Villanueva.

Weston was a foster daughter of Marianita Tubog here, and decided to reciprocate the generosity and hospitality given to her by starting the scholarship fund in 2003. (Loloy Elnasin)

 

PUBLIC SCHOOL TEACHERS COMPLETE COMPUTER TRAINING

PUBLIC SCHOOL TEACHERS COMPLETE COMPUTER TRAINING
Metro Post
May 29-June 04, 2005
Page 04

A total of 53 public secondary teachers from around Negros Oriental recently completed the short trainings in Microsoft Office and VB.Net programming at the Silliman Unversity Computer Center.

The training program is a partnership between Silliman and Microsoft Co. on its nationwide Information & Communication Technology project dubbed as “Partners in Learning; No Teachers Left Behind” through the Department of Education.

Under the agreement, Silliman trains at least 40 secondary public school teachers every year, and Microsoft grants the University membership in its IT Academy Program and its MS Developers Network Academic Alliance (MSDNAA) program. As member, Silliman enjoys free software from Microsoft for all of its instructional computers.

Engr. Alfredo Ang, dean of the SU College of Information & Computer Sciences, said the participants trained for eight hours a day, and were required to prepare a PowerPoint presentation on a topic assigned to them at the end of the sessions.

He explained the workshops enabled the teachers to have hands-on experience with the different Microsoft Office applications like Word and Excel.

He explained the workshops enabled the teachers to have hands-on experience with the different Microsoft Office applications like Word and Excel.

The various classroom activities aimed to upgrade the ICT literary skills of the teachers especially on Microsoft Office Suite; update them on the use of the technology in classroom management; and enhance the potentials of the teachers on the use of ICT in teaching and learning.

Silliman tied up with Microsoft after discussing about its advantages with colleagues at the Cebu Educational Foundation for Information Technology (CEDFIT) in November last year. (SU OIP)

 

SAGABARRIA PUSHES FOR ENACTMENT OF CITY’S INVESTMENT CODE

SAGABARRIA PUSHES FOR ENACTMENT OF CITY’S INVESTMENT CODE
Metro Post
May 29-June 04, 2005
Page 02

Dumaguete City Councilor Manuel “Chiquiting” Sagarbarria has pushed for the enactment of an investment code for Dumaguete City.

The businessman-councilor made known his position I a privilege speech during last week’s regular session of the City council.

Sagarrbarria explained that while it is true that there is an existing investment code in Neros Oriental, it is so general and devoid of any specifics.

The provincial investment code was authored by Board Member Mariant Excano Villegas.

The councilor said that due to the absence of such investment policies for the city, businessmen do not really know what benefits they could avail of the moment they decide to put money into the City’s economy.

He said that for the city to spur economic development, it would need an investment code as an important legislation that merits support from all concerned.

He said that putting the code in place, which will clearly define the benefits of the investors, wiol surely benefit the City because of the increase in its coffers.

Once the City is able to collect more taxes, there would be no problem where to get the funds for basic social services and infrastructure.

Councilor Franklin Esmena reminded his businessman colleague that drafting a city ordinance related to investment should not contravene what is existing and should not duplicate of what is already enacted.

Councilor Urbano Diga for his part said, that even if the investment code will be enacted, when problems like water supply and other basic infrastructure projects will not be properly addressed, investor s will still not come.

But the councilors committed to back Sagarbarria in the event that the proposed ordinance will be formally presented to them. (ES)

 

SILLIMAN DEBATERS COMPETING IN SINGAPORE

SILLIMAN DEBATERS COMPETING IN SINGAPORE
Metro Post
May 29-June 04, 2005
Page 02

Singapore – Close to 300 debaters and adjudicators from across Asia are gathered here at Nanyang Technological University for the finals of the Asian University Debate Championships (AUDeC) that started May 24.

The Visayas is represented by three teams of the Silliman University Debate Society: Juliana Alano, Robert Jed Malayang, Justine Megan Yu, Jian Wasawas, Ray Donn Lim, Leon Medado, Erika Rae Rosario, Bryce Tenorio, and Stacy Danika Alcantara. The nine Sillimanians competed in the seven-round eliminations which lasted for two days.

The Visayas delegation is headed by SU Debate Society coach Mark Raygan Garcia, and Student Organizations & Activities Division head Jose Mari Jonathan Antonio. Garcia and Antonio also served as adjudicators.

The AUDeC follows the Asian parliamentary format of debating with three debaters per side. Motions are released 25 minutes before debate starts, and each speaker is required to speak for seven minutes on the topic.

The AUDeC is held in preparation for the Australia-Asia Debate Championships, and the World Debate championships which will be hosted in 2006 by the University College Dublin in Ireland. (SU OIP)

 

SILLIMAN TRAINS COASTAL MANAGERS

SILLIMAN TRAINS COASTAL MANAGERS
Metro Post
May 29-June 04, 2005
Page 04

Noted marine biologist Dr. Angel C. Alcala challenged coastal managers in Visayas to strive harder to achieve sustainability in the management of their marine protected areas (MPAs).

Alcala, who is also Research director of Silliman University, called on the MPA managers to increase their areas, train their staff for monitoring work, network with other MPAs, work for the institutionalization of the MPA Budget & Development Plans, develop indicators for evaluation, and to participate in the Bohol Sea-wide study of the impact of MPAs on fishery.

The challenge was made during the Bohol Sea Workshop II conducted this month by Silliman University. It was a follow-up of a similar workshop held two years ago in Cagayan de Oro City.

The theme of this year’s workshop was Strengthening the MPAs in the Bohol (Mindanao) Sea towards Better Fishery.

Dauin Mayor Rodrigo A. Alanano was keynote speaker, and shared his town’s experiences in coastal resource management. Alanano said his town’s success in CRM was largely due to the leaders’ political will and commitment to conservation.

The participants also went on a field trip to Apo Island, off the coast of Dauin, to observe some of the best practices which hopefully can be replicated in their respective localities to further strengthen and develop their own MPAs.

Of the 37 registered participants, 30 were managers of MPAs along the Bohol Sea, representing the provinces of Leyte, Bohol, Negros Oriental, Siquijor, Camiguin, Surigao del Norte, Agusan del Norte, Misamis Oriental, Misamis Occidental, and Zamboanga del Norte.

Other participants and invited observers represented local government units, NGOs and the academe.

The workshop served as a venue for the MPA managers to share their accomplishments, lessons learned, experiences, and problems encountered since 2003.

They also discussed and identified the needs and concerns on the implementation of MPA-related programs and policies in their respective localities.

The workshop also served to strengthen the Hugpong Tagdumala sa Sangtuaryo sa Kadagatan sa Bohol that was formed two years ago.

The Bohol Sea Workshop II was organized by the SU Angelo king Center for Research & Environmental Management; the Ecosystem, Protected Areas & Peoples Project (EPP), and by the Pew Fellows Program in Marine Conservation. (Gianani Gloria, SUAKREM)

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