Tuesday, September 20, 2005



Editorial - Metro Post
September 18-24, 2005 - Page 04

Would you ask a doctor to kill his own patient? Or would you ask a policeman not to arrest a criminal?

In these two instances, one would be asking both the doctor and the policeman not to do the jobs that hey were supposed to do. A doctor's job is to treat patients and policeman cannot just let a criminal go scot-free.

In the same manner, asking a local government unit not to approve the business permit of a competitor may be like luring our city officials into a trap which could land them jail terms and fines. The LGU does not have the power to grant a business exclusivity just because the business gives jobs to people. They can ask for tax incentives, better infrastructure and other benefits, but they can never put Dumaguete in their pocket. Providing jobs is an inherent responsibility of the business -- no ifs. Providing a level playing field for business, and creating a competitive atmosphere where only the best would thrive is the responsibility of the LGU.

Lest we forget, Vice Mayor William Ablong and City Legal Officer Neil Ray Lagahit were fined P30,000 each for confiscating a lotto machine which they believed was operating illegally. What then would be the penalty for people who did something they knew was patently illegal to begin with?

The request of a multinational call center for the City to bend the law in its favor by giving them a three-year exclusive contract, renewable at the call center's option, does not augur well for a healthy business climate. Doing so would be closing the door for bigger and better call centers who may want to invest in Dumaguete City.

We may be pushing this argument too far, but if granting exclusively to first-movers to this University Town was thought to be advantageous to one's business, we wouldn't have had St. Paul University, or Foundation University, or NORSU, or COSCA which all followed Silliman?

Thursday, September 15, 2005



Editorial - Page 04
Metro Post
August 28-September 03, 2005

We extend a warm welcome to thousands of alumni of Silliman University who have come home to talk part in the annual tradition that is the SU Founder's Day.

There is something magical about homecomings and Founders' Day celebrations. They all make us look back to the time we were students, and wish that we could relive those days. Happy days of school and college, gliding swiftly like a dream. And the things of life and beauty are more nearly what they seem.

For many younger alumni who have returned to celebrate this happy occasion, it is not whether you have made your first, second, or third million. It isn't going to be whether you have been moved up to the top of your company of office. Rather, it will be how you look or behave now in relation to how your classmates remember you that would matter.

That will be the case for the first few reunions until they get tired of doing the same thing year in and year out that they start looking for more noble projects.

"Whenever I attend a graduation at Silliman, I know it would not be the last time I would hear of that batch. I know that someday, they will be back to help their alma mater." Dumaguete Vice Mayor William Ablong said that during the SUHS '51 awarding ceremonies of Sillimanian and Negrense Generals last Thursday.

"Tonight," he continued, "I am again proven right."

The awarding ceremony was how HS Batch '51 demonstrated their appreciation to the deeds of their classmates, fellow Sillimanians, and Negrenses who've helped shape what Dumaguete and Oriental Negros are today.

Such a simple idea had caught on like wildfire, and the response to their appreciation to the deeds of their classmates, fellow Sillimanians, and Negrenses who've helped shape what Dumaguete and Oriental Negros are today.

Such a simple idea had caught on like wildfire, and the response to their call for support has been tremendous -- the trophies even outnumbering the awardees.

And that laudable project had brought smiles to the hundreds of awardees, and their families. Everybody went home happy.

which isn't such a bad idea for other alumni classes to emulate. In this world where we are constantly greeted with bad news, let's make it a point to make other people happy.

And we do that by sharing our blessings with our fellowmen, and working together as a cohesive group to transform our dreams to reality.

Hopefully, this is not the last time that alumni do something good for their alma mater, for Dumaguete, and for Oriental Negros.

Happy 104th founders Day to Silliman University!



Metro Post - Page 02
Issues & Updates
September 11-17, 2005

The Foundation University football varsity teams bagged the championship in the recently-concluded Negros Athletic Association (NAA) Football Tournament.

The games, which run for four weekends, were held at the FU North Campus football field.

The Women's Varsity Team A, and the Men's Varsity Team B of Foundation dominated over their contenders in both divisions. FU vice president for student life & external affairs and Sports director, said the NAA aims to provide continuous trainings to prepare local athletes for upcoming national or international competitions. The games also include volleyball and basketball.

The NAA was conceived three years ago by FU BOT Chair Victor Vicente G. Sinco, himself a multi-awarded football athlete in the US.

Depositario said they plan to invite athletic clubs from outside the Province to compete with local athletes to give them exposure. (Kristine Joy Feril).



Metro Post - Page 08
September 04-09, 2005

Siaton, Negros Oriental - The town of Siaton could be submerged by waters from the Siaton and Canauay rivers-the two big rivers that encircle the poblacion - unless dikes are built to create a strong wall against future water overflows.

Mayor Vicente Arbolado said the town is threatened by floods, especially during monsoon months. He made the comment after the Pag-asa raised the possibility of more rains between now and February, which are considered the "wet season" in the Philippines.

Last year, heavy rainfall caused the Canauay river to overflow, closing traffic along the national highway.

Arbolado said the rechanneling of Siaton river was not necessary because the threat is seasonal and the solution involved only the construction of boulder dikes. Some residents, however, are opposed to rechanneling the river as they are not convinced that the project would help secure poblacion from flooding.

The mayor, however, said that the threat was real and that unless something is done to address this, he could not assure protection for people who will be affected by future floodings. (Edmund Sestoso)



Metro Post - Page 08
September 04-09, 2005

The Rotary District 3860 has chosen Dumaguete Diocesan priest Enrique "Eking" Balongag as one of the four-member Group Study Exchange (GSE) team to New Orleans in Louisiana.

Father Eking, a columnist of the Metro Post and vice president for Academic Affairs of Colegio de Sta. Catalina de Alejandria, will be with three other professionals, chosen from 54 aspirants from Rotary Clubs in the Rotary district covering Central and Eastern Visayas, northeastern and southern Mindanao.

Gerry Baroy, president of the Rotary Club of Dumaguete and secretary of the Council of Presidents of the Rotary clubs of Negros Oriental & Siquijor, said the other members of the GSE team are Jason C. Magnaye and Roberto Alabado of Davao City, and Lanitesa Gascon of Cebu City.

As a GSE team member, Father Eking is an Ambassador of Goodwill of Rotary District 3860, particularly his nominating club, the Rotary Club of Dumaguete Central headed by Richmond Galon.

The GSE program of the Rotary Foundation is a unique cultural and vocational exchange opportunity for young business and professional men and women between the ages of 25 and 40, and who are in the early years of their professional lives.

For four weeks, the four team members and their leader will experience Louisiana's institutions and ways of life, observe their own vocations as practiced abroad, develop personal and professional relationships, and exchange ideas with their counterparts there.

Father Eking holds a doctoral degree in Human Resource Management from the University of Sto. Tomas. He is chairperson of the Commission on Catholic education of the diocese of Dumaguete, superintendent of the Diocesan Catholic Schools in the diocese of Dumaguete, and HR consultant of the 1st Multi Industrial Development Corp. e-Scribe Global Data.

Former GSE team members from Oriental Negros include Raymundo Dto Jr. (Kansas), Metro Post publisher Alex Pal (Washington and Vancouver, Canada), and Councilor Myrish Cadapan-Antonio (Australia). (Edmund Sestoso)

Wednesday, September 14, 2005



Metro Post - Page 05
September 03-09, 2005

As 5pm draws near everyday, I hurry to leave the office to go home to Sam who'll be waiting by the gate for his afternoon walk. but it's getting harder to decide in which direction to walk at that hour in Valencia.

When Sam and I went out to the street yesterday, there was a huge cloud of smoke coming from the south of our street, and a low-lying thick haze coming from the church compound if we headed north. Not much choice, so I held a handkerchief to my nose and walked on.

Virtually every house in Valencia sweeps their yard, sidewalk, and canal, and then strikes a match to the pile of leaves, fresh cut grass, and bits of plastic and paper trash.

Between 4 and 6 pm, hundreds, if not thousands of Valencianons, very many children among them, cannot avoid breathing in the smoke that is the by product of this daily clean-up ritual.

If it is a wind-free day, the smoke continues to hover for a long time. Last night, I sat on my porch at 7pm, and still had to contend with the strong smell of smoke.

Theoretically, burning shouldn't be necessary if people would compost garden refuse, but apparently, no one wants to bother. Sadly, some nice young Manila friends who had settled in Jawa have just decided to pack up and leave again, out of concern for their two year-old's health.

In fact, the burning happens everywhere. Smoke haze hovered over parts of Batinguel, Junob, and Talay several times last week as I drove home.

Maybe it's the fear of dengue that has everybody burning, even though the Department of Health advisories clearly say that smoke does not kill mosquitoes, but merely drives them away for a while.

It could also be that after periods of rain, grass and plants are overgrown, so people cut, trim and burn.

The information does not seem to be disseminated by health authorities that breathing in smoke, suspended particulates, and the carcinogenic chemicals released by burning plastics and rubber causes serious harm to health. children are at most at risk. It's getting so bad, we'll have to put up signs that say "Warning: Breathing is dangerous to your health!"


The Paradox

The Paradox
Metro Post - Page 04
September 04-09. 2005

The Sibulan Water District is neck-deep in hot water over reports that the water from their main source has a very small amount of arsenic, a chemical which, when taken repeatedly over a long period of time, could cause cancer of the lungs, skin, or liver.

The problem of the Siwad started in February after residents of barangay Agan-an in Sibulan opposed the replacement of their water pipes from the Dumaguete City Water District for the Siwad. Why? Because of a study by the University of the Philippines which found that the arsenic content in the water from Siwad's Magatas pumping station was .022 mcg/liter -- higher than the World Health Organization's standard of .01 mcg/liter.

Now, tests conducted by three other laboratories accredited by the Department of Environment & Natural Resources have revealed that the arsenic levels have decreased to a level that is considered safe.

The Siwad now wants the trust of the Sibulan water consumers so they would patronize their services and, most important, pay their water bills.

But how do you earn trust? The officers of Siwad themselves can convince to the public how safe their water truly is by conducting regular water-drinking sessions directly from Siwad faucets in Sibulan's various barangays.

This suggestion, though, seems to have fallen on deaf ears.

As it turns out, many Siwad officers themselves do not seem convinced about the status of their water. They actually drink only mineral water.

This is the paradox the Siwad officials face: If they themselves are not convinced by their own product, how could they convince anyone else?


Lisa Macuja, Ballet Manila to perform at the Luce

Lisa Macuja, Ballet Manila to perform at the Luce
Metro Post - Page 03
September 03-09, 2005
Issues & Updates

International ballerina Lisa Macuja Elizalde, together with Ballet Manila, will performer Carmen and other ballets on sept.. 16 and 17 at 8:00 pm at the Luce Auditorium.

Organized by the Silliman university Cultural Affairs Committee, Macuja-Elizalde will perform with her Ballet Manila which has done more than 2,000 shows in over 100 cities from Abra to Zamboanga, and 52 full length classical ballet and contemporary numbers in Russia, the US, and Scotland.

ballet Manila, touted not only as one of the world's best professional performing companies but as a formidable training ground for young dancers as well, was founded in 1995, with Macuja Elizalde as artistic director and principal ballerina.

Macuja remains the only Filipino ballerina to have brought home a laureate prize, a silver medal, from the Asia-Pacific Ballet Competition in Tokyo. She also competed and won 5th place into he senior division of the International Ballet Competition in 1990 in Mississippi' and at the International Diaghilev Ballet Competition in Moscow in 1992.

Macuja was a scholar of the USSR Ministry of Culture where she studied at the Vaganova Choreographic Institute (now the Academy of Russian Ballet) in St. Petersburg. Graduating at the top of her class in 1984, she became the first foreigner to be invited to join the Kirov Ballet, a 260-year old institution in dance.

It was at the historical Maryinsky Theatre where Macuja first premiered as principal ballerina in The Nutcraker, Don Quixote, and Giselle. She returned to the Philippines in 1986, and became the artist-in-residence of the Cultural Center of the Philippines.

She has since then remained Philippine-based, performing as principal ballerina in major local productions and as international guest artist in Lithuania, Latvia, Ukraine, Georgia, Armenia, Cuba, Mexico, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, and New Zealand. She has received numerous international and national citations for her world-class achievements and contribution to Philippine culture and the arts.

For their performance in Dumaguete, tickets for Sept. 16 are at P250, P500, P750 and P1,000. For the Sept. 17 performance, ticket prices are at P300, P500, P600, P800, and P1,000.

For ticket reservations, please contact the CAC headed by Prof. Joseph Basa, dean of the College of Performing Arts; the Friends of the CAC led by Arlene Delloso Rams Uypitching; or the CAC Marketing Committee composed of Uypitching, Jose Mari Jonathan Antonio of the Student Organizations & activities Division, Moses Joshua Atega of the Alumni Office, and Mark Raygan Garcia of the Office of information & Publications.


Be Honest, Gov't. Workers Told

Be Hones, Gov't. Workers Told
Metro Post - Page 02
September 04-09, 2005

To Love and to Serve. These are what matters most in life.
Civil Service Commissioner Cesar Buenaflor Wednesday reminded government workers that nobody gets rich working for government and that life is not about getting rich.

"What would it matter if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul?" Buenaflor paraphrased a Bible passage as he admonished the government personnel to remain honest.

Before his stint as Commissioner of the CSC, Buenaflor headed the Presidential Anti Graft Task Force, whose main duty was to run after erring government personnel.

"We have removed many persons from the service who were living beyond their means," he admonished.

The Kapihan forum was held to highlight the 105th Civil Service Month, which is held in September.

Among the programs of the CSC is the implementation of the government rationalization plan, as outlined in Executive Order 366.

The plan calls for the elimination of duplication of government functions and excess people in the government and could mean the merging or collapsing of unnecessary or excess units and having fewer workers in government.

Buenaflor said it was necessary to trim down the bureaucracy. "The government is still the biggest employment agency in the country and almost 80% of its budget goes to personnel services, leaving only a small amount for development projects," Buenaflor bared.

There are about 1.4 million government workers in the country today.

He said that the savings generated from the rationalization plan could justify a salary increase for government workers. Attractive retirement or separation packages are also being eyed for affected government personnel.

"They could be getting more money by retiring now instead of waiting for the mandatory retirement age," he said.

Buenaflor revealed that a total of P30 billion has been allocated for the cash incentives offered by the government for affected employees. Half of the total amount is from the World Bank and the other half is the government's counterpart.

Employees who have been in government service for at least 31 years are entitled to an incentive bonus equivalent to 100% of their basic salary, while those between 20 to 30 years of service will receive 75%. Employees with below 20 years but over 3 years service will be entitled to 50% under the rationalization plan.

Employees who avail of the EO 366 cannot return to government service for a period of five years, except those in the medical and educational services. (with reports from PIA)

Monday, September 12, 2005


Our Congressman Speak on the Impeachment Complaint Against PGMA

Our Congressman Speak on the Impeachment Complaint Against PGMA
Metro Post - Page 05
September 11-17, 2005

Negros Oriental Representatives were divided once again over the Congress Justice Committee decision to junk the impeachment complaints filed against President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo at the House of Representatives. Except for Cong. Emilio C. Macias II who was absent, here's what They said:

Cong. Jacinto "Jing" Paras: Aol of us stood our ground to defend a cause. All of us persevered to secure the future of our children. I am a father of three young children, ages 15, 12 and 8. Just like any children of this age, they are aware of the burning issues we are discussing extensively today. They all know about Garci. In fact, they have enjoyed the Garci ring tone, and they certainly believe that the woman who spoke to Garci is none other than the President of this Republic.

I am voting no because I don't want my children to ask me, "Papa, did you sell out?" [Because if they were to ask me that,] my answer would be, "No, no my children. Your Papa is not for sale."

Cong. Herminio "Meniong" Teves: We are in conflict crisis, economically and politically. For the past three months... our society, the media, the religious sector has kept track of the jueteng payola, the alleged electoral faud incited by the "Hello, Garci" tapes, and then the impeachment case against her excellency Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, and ultimately, the "Hyatt 10" incident.

We cannot deny that the president may have hurt many, and those who were hurt by the president want to avenge their pain by getting even, under the guise of calling for justice as their only bitter revenge.

If the impeachment complaint is elevated to the Senate, the next three to six months will again be centered on the political crisis, and would further aggravate our already-frail economy. I vote yes for the approval of the Justice Committee report, and at the same time, court my honorable colleagues that after this day's voting on the Committee Report, we concentrate on our ultimate goal of improving this country's economy, and solving the current economic crisis.


The Butterfly Effect

The Butterfly Effect
Metro Post - Page 06
September 11-17, 2005

Sydney, Australia -- It has been said that something as small as a flutter of a butterfly's wing can ultimately cause a typhoon halfway around the world. Wittingly, we may be talking here fo Chaos Theory which is the main theme of a supernatural movie title Butterfly Effect.

But unwittingly, we may be tacking here of super typhoons like Katrina that swirled and devastated across New Orleans, China, Japan, and Spain.

Or more to the point, we may be talking here about the unfolding morality and political play in the Philippines.

Or more to the point, we may be talking here about the unfolding morality and political play in the Philippines.

The movie trailer gives a snapshot of Chaos Theory by Edward Lorenz. It portrays a young man struggling to get over disturbing memories from his childhood.

In his torment, he accidentally finds that he is able to travel back in time and alter events in his past. However, every change he makes transforms his life, and of those around him, often with unexpected and disastrous consequences.

It is like unravelling the cause and effect of every action by time travel that may offer some option to correct unwanted life choices in the past, and explore instead the road not taken.

Still, in every time line, no one can play God; which underscores the need for the right choices every moment in time.

That is where Katrina and other devastating weather disturbances like the tsunami in the Indian Ocean loom large as a clear and present danger to man's accumulated indiscretions with nature. As some perceptive minds have pointed out, Katrina's middle name spells Danger. It goes by the name of Global Warning.

As to the unfolding political drama in the Philippines, my heart sank as cruel fate played a trick on Oriental Negros' 2nd Dist. Rep. Emilio Macias II.

If he were not sick on Monday, as Mr. Clean in the Province's politics, I believe he would have made the Lower House's voting on the impeachment trial 157-52. Who knows, his vote as a small flutter of a butterfly wing might be the big difference in causing a snowball to send the impeachment trial to Senate.

As it stands now, the aborted impeachment trial leaves a bitter political after-taste. As the preferred administration political mantra, every Filipino should submit to the rule of law in seeking truth and justice.

But where is the just legal process in aborting the impeachment trial by mere technicality, by terminating it with the number's game that goes by its other offensive and much maligned name jueteng.

It would have been nice to know that Mr. Clean had made it publicly known that he did not succumb to the juicy pork barrel, nor give in to the more insidious political accommodation by voting yes, and affixing his honorable name to the pro-impeachment cause.

But fate had decreed it that Dodo get sick on Monday. You can't blame the man for a sin of omission -- something not of his own making.

There is no flutter of a butterfly's wing from Mr. Clean, at this point in time.

There is no moral outrage in the Parliament, I mean, in the lower House either.

Sunday, September 11, 2005


Mayor Gonzalez Pushes strict Implementation

With his town experiencing rapid economic and physical boom, Valencia Mayor Rodolfo Gonzalez Jr. now wants his barangay officials to be deuptized for strict implementation of the National building Code in his municipality.

Gonzalez has asked the Sangguniang Baya, through Vice Mayor Doro Olasiman, to pass a resolution that would require applicants for building, electrical, fencing delolition, and conversion, among others permits, to secure barangay clearance before their request for permit can be granted.

The mayor also wants the resolution to direct barangay captains to monitor and report illegal constrction within their respective area of jurisdiction to the Office of the Municipal Engineer.

"Our Municipal Engineering Office has manpower constraint to effectively respond to this trend, particularly the deparment's task to implement the National Building Code," admiteed myor Gonzalez, who also wants barangay captains to initiate steps in resolving road right of way problem.

Past experiences brought problems on road right of way in Valencia after several lot owners fenced their property without first securing permits and for failure to inform barangay officials on the development of their property.

Recently, Valencia approved its Zoning Ordinance that would regulate and direct the ongoing development activity of the town. The ordinance forms part of the Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP) now being cooked by LGU Valencia. Aside from CLUP, Valencia town has to design its Forest Land Use Plan to direct the development and utilization of its forestal areas located in 11 identified barangays.


One Negros

One Negros
Metro Post - Page 04
Septembwer 11-17, 2005

Negros an island divided for more than one hundred years, is again trying to unite as Govs. Joseph Maranon of Negros Occidental, and George Arnaiz of Oriental Negros, sealed the establishment of the Negros Island Sustainable Agriculture & Rural Development Foundation (SARD).

SARD envisions Negros to be the Organic Food Island in Asia, producing organic poultry, livestock, sugar, and fertilizer.

The Foundation is optimistic that it can generate 200,000 new jobs for Negrenses, and will make Negros join the market of organic food which earns $25 billion a year, and is rapidly growing by 25 percent annually.

One remarkable feature of the plan is its aim of developing our under-tapped rural areas. This will enable our folks in the rural areas to standardize their products under SARD, through the intorduction of the newest technology and farming techniques, allowing us to be globally competitive.

Laudable visions like SARD should not remain on paper. It would need the determination and political will of our leaders to see the plan through.

SARD should hopefully break down the political, language, and economic barriers between the two Negros provinces to a point that we could really see progress as its planners have envisioned.

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