Wednesday, July 27, 2005



Metro Post
July 24-30, 2005
Page 03

The Science Education Institute of the Department of Science & Technology will implement the e-Training for Science and Mathematics teachers for 10 moths from October this year until July 2006.

The on-line training aims at upgrading the competencies of teachers in the elementary and secondary levels who may be actually teaching science or math in private or public schools, but who are non majors in the subject.

Qualified participants to the training will be provided with free training fee, internet allowance of P500 per month for 10 months, a 50 percent discount of the acquisition cost of the People’s PC (if the participant decides to buy the computer from the Procurement Service of the Department of Budget Management), and round trip transportation allowance for the orientation in the nearest e-training network institution (that is, the University of San Carlos in Cebu City for this region).

While application forms are available at the DOST office near the Daro public market in Dumaguete City, DOST’s SEI prefers on-line applications.

Interested persons may download the application form from

Accomplished forms must be emailed to SEI through

Application forms must be received by SEI by Aug. 6, 2005. (DOST)



Metro Post
July 24-30, 2005
Page 03

Dumaguete City’s Environment and Natural Resources Office has started the gradual conversion of the open dumpsite in barangay Candau-ay a so-called “controlled” dumpsite.

ENRO head Rogelio Clamonte said this move is in preparation for the establishment of the Metro Dumaguete sanitary landfill in the town of Dauin.

He said residents in the area where the sanitary land fill will be situated have already agreed to the terms and arrangements made by Dauin mayor Rodrigo Alanano.

The Dumaguete dumpsite also serves as the Ecological Park named after the late former Dumaguete City Vice Mayor Gene Duran, who first conceptualized the project.

The ENRO officer pointed out that as part of the conversion, they are starting to cover some portions of the lots which have more than three meters of piled garbage. (ES)



Metro Post
July 24-30, 2005
Page 02

The chair of the Biology department of the College of Arts & Sciences of the Negros Oriental State University will conduct a one-month research at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. starting in October this year.

Dr. Esther E. Carumbana was awarded a short-term visiting researcher grant by the Office of the Scholarships & Grants of the Smithsonian Institution. She will do a taxonomic identification of the fishes collected from Siquijor Island and from the Siaton River in Negros Oriental.

She will be working closely with Dr. Lynne Parenti on the findings of the research on “The Limnology & Fishery Resources of the Siaton River”

Earlier this month, Carumbana was one of the presenters during the NORSU Agency In-House Review of 17 research studies on agriculture, forestry, environment, and the natural resources.

In 1997, Carumbana was also at the Smithsonian doing research in relation to her study on the “Taxonomy, Abundance & Distribution of Fishes in the Agos River, Central Sierra Madre.” At that time, she was teaching biology at the University of the Philippines in Diliman. The findings of that study were published in the 2002 edition of Asia Life Sciences.



Metro Post
July 24-30, 2005
Page 02

A mass communications graduate of Silliman University is among the Philippine delegates to the 32nd Ship for Southeast Asian Program (SSEAYP).

Joberth Ocao will represent the Philippines in the month-long cultural and intellectual exchange program organized by the Japanese government, together with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

Delegates from all over Southeast Asia will board the Nippon Maru luxury cruise ship in October to promote tourism, trade, and goodwill to other youths in Asia. They will call on the ports of Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Brunei, Vietnam, and Japan.

Ocao is a news reporter for the Freeman, a regional paper based in Cebu. (Mark Raygan Garcia/OIP)



Metro Post
July 24-30, 2005
Page 04

It is rather ironic for a child-friendly city like Dumaguete to be littered with so many street children. You only need to go around a busy corner and surely, you will find them – hungry, unbathed, unschooled, unloved. If that is not child abuse, what is?

Unfortunately, the family that is supposedly the primary source of the children’s sense of trust and security is itself beleaguered. Their families, who are mostly in the far towns of Negros Oriental, can no longer adequately provide even their children’s most basic needs. Their capacity to protect the children and enhance their development and participation rights is likewise affected.

We keep telling ourselves that our children are our most precious national asset; and their numbers are growing.

Of the 36.3 million Filipinos who are 19 years old and below, more than one and a half million are estimated to live on the streets, begging for food, and often engaging in some criminal activity.

Data from the Department of Social Welfare & Development on children throughout the country reveal an equally disturbing scenario:

• Infant mortality rate is pegged at 42.73 per 1,000 live births (DOH, September 1999)
• 8% of children under age 5 are severely and moderately underweight based on international standards (World Summit Goals for Children, 1998)
• 9% of the total population of infants, and 26% of the total population of children with ages ranging from 1 to 6 years suffer from iron-deficiency anemia
• There is one hospital for every 113,040 people
• There is one doctor for every 24,417 people; one nurse for every 22,309; one dentist for every 578,124; and one midwife for every 722,654 people (Philippine Yearbook of Statistics)
• More that half of the over 42,000 barangays in the country do not have provisions for a pre-schools
• 19% of children aged 4 to 6 years are able to go to public and private pre-schools
• More than 1/3 of the more than 42,000 barangays in the country could not offer the required six years of elementary education
• 60% of the children drop out of school when they reach the second grad (PDI, 18 May 1997)
• 61 towns in the country do not have a high school
• There are about 6 million child laborers in the country (UNICEF 1995)
• Two-thirds of the child laborers are found in the rural areas.
• There are 1.5 million street children. The number increases annually by 6,365.
• 60,000 of the street children are prostituted (ECPAT 1996). The annual average increase of prostituted children is 3,266.
• The Philippines is the fourth country with the most number of prostituted children (Intersect, December 1995).
• For every three Filipino children, one child experiences abuse (Manila Bulletin, 11 February 1996)
• In the first semester of 1999 alone, 2,393 children fell prey to rape, attempted rape, incest, acts of lasciviousness, and prostitution.

If our country is to rise above its present hardships in the next few years, something has to be done to improve the lives of millions of suffering children today.

This is a challenge not just to local government units who must provide jobs and ensure productivity of every family by providing the right infrastructure.

This is a challenge for all of us.

Giving alms may feed them today. But we need to do something more to get them and their families to stand on their own two feet.



Metro Post
July 24-30, 2005
Page 09

The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has recently released the salary of the 50 residents in Apo Island, Negros Oriental who were hired to protect and manage the tiny island’s rich marine reserve.

This was disclosed by Chamberlain Babiera of the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) who said that around P1 million was released for the workers’ contractual pay for the first half of this year.

Babiera said that he expects the said workers to receive their salaries before the end of this month.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) hired local people in Apo Island to strictly enforce fishery laws and patrol the coastal area to preserve the tiny island’s pristine reefs, which have been declared a marine and fish sanctuary.

In 1996, through Proclamation No. 438, the excellent island was declared a “protected landscape and seascape” and placed under the National Integrated Protected Areas System (NIPAS).

The diverse and impressive coral reefs surrounding the golf course-sized island off the coast of Dauin town has been drawing local and international tourists, earning Apo Island the world wide recognition of being an excellent location for scuba diving.

Babiera explained that the Apo Island community has a 75% share from the various fees collected from the various fees collected from the island’s local and foreign visitors to manage the island.

The environment official said the delay in the release of the workers’ pay has been due to the extensive and time consuming processing of the paperwork involved. (PIA)



Metro Post
July 24-30, 2005
Page 02

Negros Oriental Governor George Arnaiz has lauded the efforts of a non government organization on its mission in uplifting the conditions of the child domestic workers in the province.

The governor, who was the keynote speaker of the two day Seminar on Legislative Advocacy Domestic Work last Thursday, emphasized that the advocacy campaign is a significant development in the light of the current efforts to promote 24 Child Goals.

The 24 Child Goals is a joint undertaking of the United Nations Children’s Fund and the provincial government through its Child Friendly Movement.

“By child friendly, we mean instituting measures and providing a facilitative environment for promoting children’s rights. This is a job that requires the support and participation of everyone-from the family to the community and to the society at large,” the governor stressed.

The two day seminar was sponsored by the Visayan Forum Foundation, Incorporated.

Quoting a study commissioned by the International Labor Organization (ILO), the governor admitted that Negros Oriental is one of the top ten provinces which sends laborers to Metro Manila and other parts of the country.

Worse, the ILO study also bared that parents allow their children, aged between 5 to 17 years old, to work primarily to supplement their family income.

In the same ILO study, it was also found out that children generally work between 5 to 8 hours per day for up to 5 days a week.

Those employed as domestic helpers and those in the “paling fishing” even work nights.

The governor added that the sad part is that child laborers do not usually receive benefits aside from their basic pay which is usually much lower than the minimum base pay allowed by law.

The ILO report also bared that on the average, the weekly income of child workers is P216 or a monthly income of P709.

In reality, the child’s earnings is given to the family, in part or in whole and that no savings can be made out of their income.

“Moreover, starting to work at an early age being constantly exposed to hazardous situations has caused psycho-emotional trauma and physical damage to the child’s well being,” the governor lamented.

The governor also noted positive steps undertaken to alleviate their present conditions with the drafting of the Magna Carta for House Helpers otherwise known as Batas Kasambahay.

The governor said that the seminar is timely as the domestic helpers in the labor force have long been relegated to the sidelines of social and legal protection and have not been appropriately provided benefits and rights that ate accorded to other members of the society.

“There may be a million house helpers in the country today, most of whom are between 15-24 years old, but in spite of their massive number, they remain unrecognized and unprotected, vulnerable to abuse” the governor said. (Edmund Sestoso)

Monday, July 18, 2005



Metro Post
July 17-23, 2005
Page 04

The idea of forming a separate Visayas republics may simply be a wild idea or one that is born ahed of its time. But through this plan, the 16 governors of the Visayas are successfully sending the signal that the rest of the country is tired of being dictated by "Imperial" Manila.

While policy decisions understandably are made in Manila, being the country's seat of government, thee are other things that the people of the Visayas and Mindanao are not happy about.

There is a popular thinking among people living in Manila that Manila is the Philippines. That being the premise, they embark on unilateral initiatives that, while not exactly illegal, exclude the participation of the rest of the nation even if the action imposes direct consequences on the country as a whole.

Take the People Power, for instance. It proved that the president can be overthrown by a few thousnd people in Metro Manila and replaced with a new one who will then exercise authority over the whole country even if the tens of millions of other Filipinos had absolutely nothing to do with his ascension.

This ability and actual exercise by the few in Metro Manila to make "life-altering" decisions for the rest of the Filipinos living outside the capital is what makes the Visayans and Mindanaoans upset.

So can you blame the governors for just thinking out loud?

Monday, July 11, 2005



Metro Post
July 10-16, 2005
Page 01

FED up with always having to be dictated by “imperial Manila,” the governors of Western, Central and Eastern Visayas have started plans of forming a separate republic if President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is forcibly removed from office.

Oriental Negros Gov. George Arnaiz, who is also chair of the Central Visayas Regional Development Council, said the idea of coming out with a “frustration resolution” cam out spontaneously during a meeting of provincial governors in Manila last Wednesday at the Century Park Hotel.

Referring to the People Power uprisings of 1986 and 1991, Arnaiz said “we are always dictated upon by Manila, even if there are only a few rallyists.” The sentiment was also expressed by Arnaiz fellow governors, as rallies demanding the ouster of President Arroyo were again seen in Metro Manila.

“We have been removing presidents since the time of [Ferdinand] Marcos. If they themselves cannot respect the Constitution, how can we respect it?”

Arnaiz said that of the Visayas governors, only Northern Samar Governor RaulDaza did not sign the manifesto because the first portion was in support of President Arroyo but he favors the idea of having a Federal Republic.

“We have everything in the Visayas except the Armed forces, and a few airplanes. But we are not really preparing for external aggression. We only need to fight local criminality,” Arnaiz said.

He said while it will initially be difficult to stand on our own, the bulk of the income for this Republic would be its collections from international ports like Cebu. “Soon, we will have an international port in Iloilo and Bacolod. We should also start paying the right taxes.”

The idea for a federal Visayas Republic has already gained the support of local executives down to the municipal level.

This movement will be similar but separate from the federal movement which is also being planned by Mindanao governors. Arnaiz

On Tuesday, the governors and some mayors of the Visayas will meet in Cebu to discuss the concept further. This meeting, to be hosted by Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia, will be held simultaneously with a similar meeting in Davao among Mindanao governors and mayors.

“We will meet in order to understand better what this movement is all about in case we don’t follow our constitution,” Arnaiz said.

Monday, July 04, 2005



Metro Post
July 03-09, 2005
Page 02

The President had just admitted committing a “lapse in judgment” the day earlier and once more, the country was under a cloud of political uncertainty. But the coconut growers in Valencia, Oriental Negros, couldn’t care less.

“Leave them in Manila to argue as to who they want to be President,” Mayor Rodolfo Gonzalez, Jr., told the members of the Liptong Small Coconut Farmers Association. “But we in Valencia will continue this wonderful project that we have started today.”

That project, which everyone was pinning their hopes on, was the Virgin Coconut Oil mini plant that they had just inaugurated in barangay Liptong.

With the recent discovery of scientists that Virgin Coconut Oil is far superior to any other oil and could prevent or even cure cancer, SARS, AIDS and other diseases, the country’s lagging coconut industry is poised for a rebound.

Former Philippine Health Secretary Conrado Dayrit and American naturopathic physician Bruce Fife concur the virgin coconut oil can effectively protect against heart and infectious diseases. Fife adds that he has also witnessed the virgin coconut oil remove precancerous skin lesions, speed recovery from flu, stop bladder infections, protect from ulcers, lung infections, herpes and other diseases. Moreover, Dayrit affirms that virgin coconut oil is better than antibiotics as the wonder oil works both against bacteria and viruses, including those associated with arteriosclerosis.

The high antimicrobial content of the oil, known as monolaurin is that same as that in human mother’s milk that protects infants from infectious illnesses.

Another finding on the benefits of virgin coconut oil is its low cholesterol content. In a recent symposium, Fife cited scientific data to debunk the saturated fat heart diseases link, saying that “natural coconut oil is heart-healthy.” As it is one of only two dietary oils (the other is omega-3 oil) that reduces blood stickiness that leads to heart diseases. His research reveals that plant-derived saturated coconut oil does not raise blood cholesterol but actually helps lower cholesterol level because of it ability to stimulate metabolism.

This oil which promises to be a panacea, has inspired the town of Valencia to make this as the town’s official product under the One Town One Product program of the government.

The VCO complex, under the supervision of the Liptong Small Farmers Cooperative, is capable of producing 40 liters of virgin coconut oil per day, said Liptong Barangay Captain Saturnino Santos.

This is the first in the province where such volume of coconut oil is produced, said Brendan Tansmonte, who manages the provincial Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) office here.

Valencia Mayor Rodolfo Gonzales, Jr. said his administration will strongly support the development and promotion of the product, which he believes, has a competitive advantage in the world market.

OTOP is a priority program of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to promote entrepreneurship and create jobs.

The Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) has been extending technical assistance to the 130 member cooperative in the production of virgin coconut oil, now considered by medical scientists as the most safest and healthiest oil in the world.

It is said to help prevent a wide variety of diseases including cancer, heart disease, and even prevent premature aging. (des tilos)



Metro Post
July 03-09, 2005
Page 01

If tourists who go on dolphin and whale watching tours in the tanon strait are advised not to clap their hands and whistle so as not to harm the sensitive hearing senses of dolphins, what damage would a seismic survey do?

This was the concern raised by Ari Bautista, a veterinarian who manages the Cetacean Research and Conservation Project of the World Wildlife Fund-Philippines based in Dumaguete, following a seismic survey undertaken by the Department of Energy and the Japan Petroleum Exploration Company last May.

Bautista had expressed concern after sightings of dolphins were reported off the coast of Dumaguete City and the southern town of Bacong, which are outside of the Tanon strait, their natural habitat.

“Contrary to popular belief that dolphins and whales only about in the southern portion of the Tanon strait, our maps of cetacean distribution show that the dolphins occupy the entire strait,” she told the Metro Post.

The survey, which was conducted to determine whether oil could be drilled from the Tanon strait, involved the blasting of seismic pulses for a period of 15 days starting the second week of May.

Tanon strait, which is home to 11 of the 24 marine mammals found in the Philippines, has been declared a Protected Seascape through Presidential Proclamation 1234 issued by President Fidel V. Ramos.
The search was kept a secret until one week before it started, when the Japex issued an advisory to all boats in the area to stay five kilometers away from the RV Veritas Searcher, which was conducting the seismic survey.

The DoE has estimated that the Tanon strait could yield up to one billion barrels of oil. Before any drilling could be done, two more tests have to be done, which is getting more marine mammal scientists worried.

Oriental Negros Gov. George Arnaiz and Bais City Mayor Hector “Tata” Villanueva have scored the Department of Energy during Friday’s meeting of the Regional Development Council for failing to coordinate with local officials.

“I’ve received advice from cetologists telling me not to look for stranded animals as the impact of the sound underwater tends to burst air bladders (i.e. swim bladders for fish, lungs for marine mammals) and the animals affected may have well sunk to the ocean floor from ruptured lungs,” Bautista said.

Bautista, who went to the area being surveyed, said fishermen in Guilhulngan town had also complained that the vessels involved in the survey had cut their fish aggregating devices, locally called payao, and that there were no more fish to catch.

She said that as she was going to the area last may 20, the water was as flat as oil and there were no dolphins which appeared that day, when previous visits showed several sighting s of marine mammals.

Bautista emailed marine mammal experts throughout the world and they also shared some concern over the seismic tests.

John Y. Wang, a Taiwan-based cetologist, said that given the steep walls of the sides of the given the steep walls of the sides of the strait, the sound will be bouncing back and forth several time, like an echo chamber.

Wang said that because Tanon strait is basically shaped like a long tunnel, cetaceans in the strait are trapped and the only light at the end of this tunnel is a sound train barreling down on them at the speed of sound. “I think the structure of the strait is a very important part of why people should be concerned.”

Wang said that clearly, someone knows the importance of the Tanon Strait with respect to cetaceans and so they did not announce this activity until a week before it… and making sure people don’t have time to organize a protest before they can do this work.



Metro Post
July 03-09, 2005
Page 07

As early this week, Buglasan 2005 activities have been lined up, including the longest or largest motorcycle parade’ as an entrant for the Guiness World Record.

Negros Oriental has more than 29,000 motorcycles registered with the Land Transportation Office last year, of which the highest horde come from Dumaguete. These include big bikes, DTs and so called “Econopower” which is the most popular.

In preparation for the forthcoming Buglasan festivals this year, the organizers agreed to include the motorcycle parade not only to establish Dumaguete’s title as “Motocycle Capital of the Philippines” where motorcycles of all types and sizes about but also to put Dumaguete in the map and land a spot in the Guiness Book of World Records.

Owner – driven motorcycles in the province are encouraged to participate and register their motorcycles at the Provincial tourism Office.

The participant will be given a flaglet to be attached to the motorcycle, issued in sequence, which serves as the event’s official souvenir. The entry forms and numbers may be allocated by bulk to schools, offices, clubs or individuals among others.

Awards and special prizes await participants, drawn by raffle or as the oldest, youngest, heaviest driver, biggest and most colorful groups.

Of the 51 activities calendard for the week long Buglasan festival celebration on October 12 to 23, 2005, ten events are added for this year which include: motorcycle parade, inter-LGU cheer dance and band competition, kayaking, dance-sport, skim boarding, Tayada, skate boarding, high school basketball tournament, and the launching of the one-stop-shop center for the province. (PIA)

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