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Friday, May 25, 2007

OTOP fair in Boracay will make island’s potentials shine brighter – Remonde

Boracay Island, Malay, Aklan – “Through the One Town, One Product (OTOP) Philippine Trade Fair, Boracay Island’s potentials for growth will shine even more brightly and nearby provinces’ treasures will all be discovered.”

Secretary Cerge Remonde, Chief of the Presidential Management Staff (PMS) has this to say as keynote speaker in the 2nd Visayas OTOP Fair, on-going since May 23 up to May 27 hosted by the province of Aklan with venue at the La Carmela Resort in Boracay Island, Malay, Aklan.

The OTOP fair focuses on selling the products produced by participating regions.

Remonde, who is also the Oversight Official for the Development of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) also said he sees too the potentials for MSMEs development, and although some have already established their place in the island, there is still room for micro enterprises to prosper.

A total of 107 micro and small and medium enterprises in the Visayas are participating in the 5-day OTOP Trade Fair.

OTOP is one of the priority programs of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo that promotes entrepreneurship and creates jobs in the countryside. It encourages MSMEs to produce and market distinct products or services using indigenous raw materials and manpower of every municipality or city.

According to DTI Aklan officials, participating regions in the 2nd Visayas OTOP Fair are Region 6 with 40 SMEs; Region 7, 36; and Region 8, 25 SMEs.

Nine (9) Aklan SMEs are participating in the OTOP Fair, mostly from the Piña loom-weaving sector.

In his keynote speech, Remonde also revealed that as of February this year, government agencies involved in MSME development have already released P159.8 billion in loans to more than 2.6 million active micro finance clients and SAME accounts, generating more than 1.5 million jobs.

“And I am also telling you here and now that with the President’s full support, we will move heaven and earth and climb the highest mountain to generate more jobs, create more entrepreneurs and ultimately bring to fruition our common dream of a progressive and prosperous Philippines for the generations to come, Remonde stressed.

Job creation, the immediate benefit of the MSME program, is a priority under the social payback program of PGMA, according to Remonde.

Here in Aklan, SMEs are noted to have realized sales income of P172.9 million in 2006.

SMEs also continuously provide jobs to thousands of Aklanons engaged in the loom-weaving, food processing, furniture and gifts and house wares sectors.

Last year’s 1st Visayan OTOP Fair was held in Cebu City. That time, Aklan was the 2nd top seller in the fair held at SM-Cebu Trade Hall. (PIA)

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Aklan barangay soon to have potable water supply

Kalibo, Aklan -- Residents of an islet barangay separated from the mainland of New Washington, Aklan and surrounded by brackishwater will soon have a potable water supply from the Metro Kalibo Water District (MKWD).

This development came after the Board of Directors of the MKWD passed Board Resolution No. 033, s. 2007 approving the supplemental budget allocation of P3.6 million for for the installation of water supply distribution lines going to Brgy. Pinamuk-an, New Washington, Aklan.

The move has long been hoped by Pinamuk-an residents who manifested their need of potable water supply through Sangguniang Barangay Resolution No. 13, s. 2006, requesting the MKWD for the installation.

Brgy. Pinamuk-an has a total population of 1,816 with 440 households. This area is part of MKWD service coverage.

Presently, most Pinamuk-an residents rely only on dug wells for water except for a few who could afford to buy potable water from the mainland transported by motorized boats.

Through a technical feasibility study and actual survey of the island conducted by the MKWD, more or less 315 households were found to be potential concessionaires.

MKWD officials, led by General Manager Renato Albar, said the project will be started as soon as the materials are procured and delivered.

Presently, the MKWD is embarking on a project to develop and improve Aklan’s watershed area located in the municipality of Madalag, Aklan, to avert water shortage during the summer season as well as to have a sustainable and ample source of water for the province’ growing population and in reaching out to far-flung barangays in need of clean water supply. (PIA/VGVillanueva)

Aklan schools brace for school opening, conduct “Brigada Eskwela”

Kalibo, Aklan -- Public schools all over Aklan are now preparing for this school year’s opening on June 4.

Assistant Schools Division Superintendent Nellie H. Valerio, in a telephone interview, said since Monday this week, teachers, parents and school children started to prepare the school rooms by cleaning, painting and repairing so everything will be in order in time for the school opening.

The activity, according to ASDS Valerio, is called “Brigada Eskwela” conducted nationwide and observed yearly to prepare the schools.

This year’s “Brigada Eskwela” is being observed from May 21 up to May 26, Saturday, according to Valerio.

Brigada Eskwela is a campaign that invites stakeholders to help out in preparing schools to be pleasant for the children in the coming school opening.

ASDS Valerio said that this year, “Brigada Eskwela” is being conducted later than last year’s schedule due to the recently-conducted national and local elections on May 14. She revealed that despite the recent political exercise which made used of public school classrooms as polling centers, no damages on school rooms were reported to DepEd-Aklan.

Valerio acknowledged that in Aklan, provincial officials assist the DepEd in the repair and rehabilitation of classrooms, and also help in augmenting the number of teachers through the municipal and provincial school boards.

With the cited support from parents, teachers and Aklan officials, Valerio assured that “Aklan is very much prepared for the school opening.”

For this year’s school opening, the Department of Education launched Oplan Balik Eskwela (OBE), an interagency effort to prepare for the smooth opening of classes on June 4. The project seeks to streamline efforts of different government agencies to address common problems usually associated with the opening of classes. The different government agencies will ensure that students are enrolled properly, school facilities are prepared, school supplies are kept stable and student transport fares are fair.

Brigada Eskwela is part of the Oplan Balik Eskwela.

The government has prioritized solutions to perennial problems specifically those related to classroom, textbook and teacher shortages. The classroom shortage is now zero based on classroom-student ration of 1:50 with double shift for elementary except for isolated cases where local conditions prevent double shifts. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Aklan to host 2nd Visayas OTOP fair

Kalibo, Aklan – The province of Aklan will play host to the 2nd Visayas One Town, One Product (OTOP) with Boracay Island as the venue.

Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) – Aklan Provincial Director Ermelinda Pollentes said the Visayas OTOP Fair will be participated in by Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) from Regions 6, 7 and 8 and will be held for five days from May 23-27.

Pollentes said that of Region 6’ 39 SMEs joining the fair, four will come from Aklan – from the towns of Malinao (abaca slippers), Lezo (potteries), Ibajay (virgin coconut oil) and Kalibo, loomwoven products specifically the Piña cloth.

More than a hundred SMEs will be joining the OTOP Fair in Boracay.

Pollentes said Boracay Island was chosen as this year’s venue because this is the peak of the summer season with tourists, businessmen and visitors as target buyers.

For his part, DTI Regional Director Dominic Abad disclosed that Boracay was chosen because most souvenir shops are there.

“It is where the domestic and foreign tourists abound and it has great market and tourism potential”, said Abad.

Abad said invited to come are buyers from Manila and from the three regions, governors and mayors and other government officials from national government agencies.

He stressed that the 2nd OTOP Fair will focus on the selling of products produced by the SMEs of three regions under the DTI OTOP Philippines program to promote entrepreneurship and create jobs in the countryside. It encourages the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to produce and market distinct products or services using the indigenous raw materials and manpower through the LGUs which take the lead in identifying, developing and promoting a specific product or service which has a competitive agvantage.

PD Pollentes said Presidential Management Staff (PMS) chief and SME Czar Cerge Remonde will be the keynote speaker in the opening program to be held at 5:00 p.m. May 23 at the La Carmela Resort.

Some features of the OTOP Fair, according to Pollentes, will include the night market in the beach from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. nightly, regular selling at the second Floor of La Carmela Resort, and a daily mannequin show from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. featuring the different products of Regions 6, 7 and 8.

A rolling band will also be commissioned to raom from Stations 1, 2 and 3 in addition to a sailboat bearing the OTOP logo that will sail around the island.

Kalibo’s OTOP, the loom-woven piña, is also WV’s regional OTOP.

Currently, Aklan is aiming to be the loom-weaving capital and loom-woven products destination of the country. (PIA/DTI)

Monday, May 21, 2007

DPWH-Aklan completes P20 million infra projects

Kalibo, Aklan – Four major infrastructure projects worth P20 million had been completed in Aklan by the DPWH-Aklan Engineering District here as part of its commitment and contribution for better infrastructure towards a progressive Panay Island.

District Engineer Delano Pelayo and his OIC, Asst. District Engr. Ludovico Amboboyog said these four major projects include the Asphalt Overlay on Existing Concrete Pavement along Junction Nabas-Kalibo road section started on January 18, 2006 and completed March 8, 2007; construction of the P5 million Calimbajan Access Raod at Makato and Tangalan which was started on June 15, 2006 and completed March 8, 2007; construction of the P5 million Calimbajan Access Road at Makato and Tangalan which was started on June 15, 2006 and completed February 10, 2007; construction of Agbalili River Control/Revetment Wall (gabion type) worth P5 million located at Sitio Agbalili, Altavas started July 21, 2006 and completed November 26, 2006 and construction/improvement of the multi-purpose pavement (Phase 2) around Pastrana Park, one of the thriving business areas in the poblacion, started November 17, 2006 and completed March 16, 2007.

The asphalt overlay at Junction Nabas-Kalibo is seen to make travel of tourists arriving through the Kalibo Airport comfortable and smooth when going to Boracay Island as they traverse this road project. With the recent inauguration too of direct flights from Incheon, South Korea to Kalibo Airport, more tourists are expected to pass this route.

The route is a major component of the Strong Republic Nautical Highway (SNRH) of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo connecting the provinces of Iloilo and Capiz to the Jetty Port of Caticlan, Malay. The Caticlan Jetty Port serves the Roll On, Roll Off (RORO) vessels from Manila through Batangas and Mindoro.

The construction of the P5 million Calimbajan Access Road at Makato and Tangalan is part of the continuous implementation and rehabilitation of farm-to-market roads to improve arterial roads linking the different rural areas in the province in support of the economic development activities of Aklan farmers, while mitigating the adverse effect of annual flooding that causes the destruction of prime agricultural lands and residential areas in Sitio Agbalili, Altavas, is the main purpose in constructing the Agbalili River Control/Revetment Wall.

In Kalibo, DPWH-Aklan’s most visible project is the contruction/improvement of the multi-purpose pavement (Phase 2) around Pastrana Park. The place is one of the thriving business areas in Poblacion Kalibo. Pastrana Park, fronting the Kalibo Cathedral is the congregating point for participants and guests attending the annual celebration of the world-renowned Kalibo Sto. Nino Ati-Atihan festival, processions during the Holy Week and other religious activities, graduations, programs, amateur contests as well as political rallies and other gatherings hosted by Aklan’s capital town.

For 2007, DPWH -Aklan is targeting the the implementation of some more major high-impact projects like the concreting of Boracay Road worth P15,000,000.00; construction of Diversion By-pass Road along Kalibo-Iloilo Highway, Banga Section – P15,000,000.00; concreting of Altavas Diversion Road – P17,200, 000.00; and rehabilitation of Kalibo Bridge – P47,200,000.00.

The more or less kilometer-long Kalibo Bridge links the provinces of Iloilo, Capiz and Aklan to Antique and the western towns of Aklan. Malay, where Boracay Island is located, is one of Aklan’s western towns. (PIA/DPWH-Aklan)

Aklan winds up provincial canvass, local winners proclaimed

Kalibo, Aklan -- Aklan has winded up its provincial canvass of election results from various municipalities today with winners proclaimed by the Provincial Board of Canvassers, chaired by Atty. Renault Macarambong of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC).

Based on the municipal tallies of Aklan’s 17 towns displayed outside the SP Session Hall here, incumbent Rep. of the Lone District of Aklan, Florencio T. Miraflores obtained a fresh mandate from Aklanons to serve in the same position for three years, winning over his opponent, Anthony Acevedo. Miraflores garnered a total of 130,051 votes while Acevedo got 43,687.

Incumbent Governor Carlito Marquez also won in the gubernatorial race, getting 90,623 votes while his opponents – Kareen Galvan of PMP got 1,333; Maria Bettina Garcia of PDP-Laban got 34,947 and Victoria Ramos of UNO got 72,339 votes.

Rep. Miraflores ran under the KAMPI party while Marquez ran under LAKAS.

Proclaimed winner in the vice gubernatorial race was Gabrielle Calizo of UNO. Calizo was a former Aklan representative.

Of Aklan’s 17 municipalities, election results revealed that 12 of the winning mayors ran under the KAMPI party; 2 ran under LAKAS CMD and 3 ran under the Nacionalista party. Of the winning vice mayors, 9 ran under LAKAS, 5 under KAMPI and 5 under NP.

In the Sangguniang Panlalawigan race, 3 of the winning candidates came from UNO while 2 came from LAKAS and KAMPI for the eastern district, while in the western district, 2 won under KAMPI, 2 under LAKAS and one from LP.

Local candidates who ran under KAMPI and LAKAS are all under the local umbrella group here, Tibyog it Aklan.

For the senatorial race, top 15 candidates with their corresponding votes include: Legarda, Loren, with 123,252 votes; Escudero, Francis Joseph, 115,636; Villar, Manuel, 109,107; Pangilinan, Francis, 99,085; Lacson, Panfilo, 93,626; Aquino, Benigno Simeon, 89,635; Angara, Edgardo, 80,252; Pichay, Prospero, 78,241; Cayetano, Alan, 72,737; Honasan, Gregorio, 68,011; Trillanes, Antonio, 65,503; Pimentel, Aquilino, 63,320; Zubiri, Juan Miguel, 62,815; Recto, Ralph, 61,595 and Arroyo, Joker, 61,178.

Atty. Macarambong, who was assigned here by the Commission on Elections at the height of the election period, said the just concluded political exercise in Aklan was generally peaceful and orderly. (PIA/Venus g. Villanueva)

Thursday, May 17, 2007

KAMPI, LAKAS bets dominate Aklan’s mayoralty race

Kalibo, Aklan –Majority of elected mayors and vice mayors in the May 14 national and local polls here are from KAMPI and LAKAS parties.

Tabulated results at the Sangguniang Panlalawigan office here displayed by the Provincial Board of Canvassers show that as of 3:00 P.M. of May 17, 10 of the winning mayors in Aklan’s 17 towns are candidates from KAMPI while two are from LAKAS-CMD.

Four other mayors won under the Nacionalista Party.

All these mayors have been proclaimed already, minus one from Ibajay, Aklan, under KAMPI, who is also said to be leading the mayoralty race there.

Majority of proclaimed vice mayors came from the LAKAS Party with 10; KAMPI, 4; and NP, 3.

Aklan’s KAMPI candidate for the Lone District of Aklan, incumbent Rep. Florencio T. Miraflores also won with a very big margin over his opponent, Anthony Acevedo of PMP-PDP Laban Party while incumbent governor Carlito s. Marquez of LAKAS-CMD is leading the gubernatorial race. For vice governor, leading the race is Gabrielle Calizo of the Nacionalista Party, a former congresswoman.

Miraflores, Marquez and Calizo have not been proclaimed by the Provincial Board of Canvassers due to the delayed municipal canvass in Ibajay.

For the senatorial race, a mix of GO and Team Unity candidates pack the first 15 slots here, in the following order with their corresponding votes: Legarda, Loren, 112,666; Escudero, Francis Joseph, 106,072; Villar, Manuel, Jr. 102,017; Pangilinan, Francis, 91,497; Lacson, Panfilo, 85,497; Aquino, Benigno Simeon III, 83,080; Pichay, Prospero, 73,452; Angara, Edgardo, 73,394; Cayetano, Alan Peter, 66,763; Honasan, Gregorio, 62,903; Trillanes, Antonio, 59,824; Pimentel, Aquilino, 58,327; Zubiri, Juan Miguel, 57,484; Arroyo, Joker, 56,274; and Recto, Ralph, 56,265.

According to Lorena Tumbagahan, Acting Provincial Election Supevisor (PES) here, the recent national and local elections held here in Aklan was generally peaceful and orderly. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)

Friday, May 11, 2007

WV’s 1st internation flight lands in Kalibo

Kalibo, Aklan – A historic day and a dream come true in the province of Aklan and the municipality of Kalibo.

This was how Aklan Rep. Florencio T. Miraflores described the landing today at the Kalibo Airport of Aklan’s first international flight.

The landing of the Asian Spirit plane here from Incheon, South Korea to Kalibo was also Western Visayas’ first international flight.

The McDonnel Douglas MD82 plane touched down the Kalibo Airport at 11:50 a.m. today, loaded with passengers from South Korea, who were welcomed at the airport reception area by Aklan’s officials led by Rep. Miraflores, Gov. Carlito Marquez, Vice Gov. Ronquillo Tolentino, Kalibo Mayor Raymar Rebaldo, DOT Regional Director Edwin Trompeta, officials of Air Transportation and immigration offices and heads and representatives of the province’ government and non-government sectors.

Rep. Miraflores said that with the landing of the first international flight in Aklan, it is foreseen that the Kalibo Airport will be further developed into its true international status. He recalled that when he was the governor of the province and the chairperson of the Regional Development Council, he fought for the conversion of the Kalibo Airport to an international one, but then Iloilo was selected to be the site. This did not deter him and the other Aklan leaders to pursue the dream, “ and finally, today, this is the realization of that dream,” he said.

Miraflores also acknowledged the administration of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo for providing the budget for the Instrumental Landing System and the Navigation Aid, which enabled the Kalibo Airport to be ready for international flights.

“This first international flight is just the start of better things to come to Aklan. If Kalibo will be developed into its true international status, Gov. Marquez and I could go to Malacanang and say “Madame President, here is the proof that the best destination is Kalibo and not Iloilo. Then if we are given more funds, we can extend the terminal, although a budget of P50 million has been included already for the extension of the departure and arrival area for international flights. We still think this is not enough, as we should prepare for the influx of more tourists. We expect Asiana, Korean Airlines and PAL to come in because we have proven today that Kalibo is ready for business in the international market,” Miraflores said.

Miraflores also said that his and Governor Marquez’ next step is to request the Air Transportation Office to grant the Kalibo Airport an international gateway status so anytime, day and night, the airport could be used.

For his part, Aklan Governor Carlito Marquez said the province’ opening to international flights will immensely boost Aklan’s status as a world tourist destination. He also said that a booming tourism industry will help alleviate poverty, which is a must in Aklan.

On the other hand, Alan Java, Area Manager, Area Centerpoint of ATO in Iloilo City said he could not help but agree that the unity of Aklan leaders beat all the odds, “because today is a milestone in history of aviation industry in Region 6, that despite the allocation of P6 billion for Iloilo International Airport, Kalibo was the first to receive an international flight.”

Java also conveyed the congratulatory greetings and assurance of ATO Asst. Sec. Nilo Jalico to continue “this endeavor started until this airport really becomes the gateway of the entire Panay Island and Western Visayas to the international community as far as international flights is concerned. While Iloilo is still planning big flights, you have done it.”

DOT 6 Regional Director, who also gave a message in the short program after the arrival of the inaugural flight, emphasized the importance of doing things together as shown by Aklan’s leadership. He said the flight was a historic event in the sense that not only was this the first international flight from a regional destination but this also Aklan’s contribution to the development of the tourism industry in Western Visayas.

“Despite the waiting in the wings of international airports in Iloilo and Bacolod, I guess they have to learn something from what you have done here,” Trompeta said.

The Asian Spirit flights, according to an airline official, will land in Aklan twice a week – every Friday and Monday. The plane is a 165 seater. Travel time from South Korea to Kalibo is four hours. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Can’t find your name in voters’ list? Text the COMELEC

Kalibo, Aklan –Eager voters for the May 14, 2007 elections need not panic or get angry if they fail to find their names in the list of voters posted at polling precincts.

They need not even go the the provincial or municipal office of the COMELEC to complain that their names are missing or they do not know where to look for their precincts - all they have to do is text the COMELEC.

At a press conference called by the Provincial COMELEC Office here, Acting Provincial Election Supervisor Lorena Tumbagahan sought the help of the local media to help disseminate this latest information from the COMELEC.

According to Tumbagahan, if a person wants to know his precinct number, all he has to do is to text COMELECTXT (space) PRECINCT (space) first name/middle name/ last name/bday-mmddyy and the COMELEC will respond with the voter’s precinct number.

Tumbagahan also said that if a vigilant voter has something to report, he can also text the COMELEC using the same process but instead of PRECINCT, he will text REPORT and then his message.

A person can also access addiditional services about “comELECTxt” by texting COMELECTXT (space) HELP. All the text messages should be sent to 2898 for Globe, Smart and Sun Cellular Subscribers.

Tumbagahan was joined in the press conference by Atty. Renault Macarambon who was recently assigned to COMELEC-Aklan.

According to Atty. Macarambon, he will be serving as the Chairman of the Provincial Board of Canvassers with Atty. Montalid Patnubay, Jr., 1st Asst. Provincial Prosecutor as Vice Chairman and Dr. Victorina Laroza, Schools Division Superintendent as member.

For this May 2007 elections, some 3,990 teachers and government employees, composing the Board of Election Inspectors (BEIs) will serve in 1,330 grouped and clustered precincts throughout the province.

Tumbagahan said these teachers and employees, who would get a maximum of P3,000.00 per diem for rendering election duties, can avail a half of this amount once they get the election paraphernalia from their respective municipal treasurers’ office. They will also get P300.00 transportation expenses, according to Tumbagahan.

For its part, the Department of Education has announced the readiness of the public school teachers in rendering their poll duties.

According to DepEd Undersectary Francis Sunga said the DepEd and the COMELEC had conducted trainings for some 464,000 public school teachers, principals, supervisors and DepEd lawyers and administrative officers in connection with their role in the conduct of the polls next week.

Besides the P3,000.00 per diem and P300.00 transportation allowance, Sunga said a P5-milllion fund to cover medical expenses or death claims in the amount of P200,000.00 has been set up for BEIs who will serve in the elections. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)

Friday, May 4, 2007

Trust the COMELEC, Kalibo election officer appeals

Kalibo, Aklan –“I hope this time the people will trust the COMELEC.”

This appeal and message came from Kalibo’s new election officer, Francisco Palomar for Kalibonhons and Aklanons in general in anticipation of the May 14, 2007 synchronized national and local elections.

Palomar conceded that previous events had badly affected the COMELEC and deteriorated its integrity but he hopes this wouldn’t happen again and vowed he would try his best as he can as steward of COMELEC-Kalibo.

Palomar also said that to attain this, all election laws should be implemented in Kalibo in coordination with the Philippine National Police of this capital town of Aklan.

“We have a superb working relationship with the local PNP here,” Palomar said.

He has nothing but praises for Kalibo PNP Chief Arnold Ardiente and his men, who, according to him, daily goes around the town to check on illegally-posted campaign materials and scraping or detaching those which are not posted in common poster areas.

Palomar however admitted that the COMELEC and the PNP have no control over those which are displayed in residential houses even if these did not adhere to the regulated sizes of posters.

“Some residences display streamers which are supposed to be displayed only during rallies,” Palomar revealed.

As to the preparedness of COMELEC-Kalibo for the May 14 elections, Palomar said the municipal election office is very much ready.

“Our teachers comprising the Board of Election Inspectors (BEIs) are already prepared and we will further brief them on May 10. The teachers who will serve in the elections will be receiving P3,000.00 each, and they can get half of this amount before the elections from their respective municipal treasurers. Our election paraphernalia are ready, and we expect a very peaceful and orderly election here,” Palomar stressed.

Palomar also reminded everyone to observe the banned activities during the election period, like the gun ban, liquor ban, dances and cockfights.

The town of Kalibo has the highest number of registered voters in Aklan, with 36,162. It has 245 precincts with 16 barangays including Poblacion, Kalibo.

Of the 10 top voting centers in Aklan, 5 polling centers are in Kalibo. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Aklan’s paradise island is vote-rich, too

Kalibo, Aklan – Boracay Island is not only Aklan’s and the country’s top tourists drawer. It is now vote-rich too.

Records obtained from the Provincial COMELEC office here revealed that of the 10 top voting centers (polling areas with the highest number of voters) in Aklan generally located in public elementary schools here, two are in Boracay Island – Barangays Manoc-Manoc and Balabag, Boracay Island, Malay, Aklan while another barangay of the same municipality, Caticlan, the jump-off point to the island, also entered the “magic 10 circle”.

The 10 top voting centers in Aklan with their corresponding number of voters and precincts are the following: Kalibo Elementary School located in Pob. Kalibo, Aklan - 4,309 voters with 20 precincts; Manoc-Manoc Elementary School in Manoc-manoc, Boracay Island, Malay – 4,116 voters, 20 precincts; Kalibo Pilot Elementary School, Poblacion Kalibo – 4,113 voters with 19 precincts; Estancia Elementary School, Kalibo - 3,767 voters with 18 precincts; Buswang New Elementary School, Kalibo - 3,694 voters, 19 precincts; New Washington Elementary School, New Washington, Aklan - 3,491 voters, 16 precincts; Andagaw Elementary School, Kalibo - 3,472 voters, 17 precincts; Balabag Elementary School, Boracay Island, Malay, Aklan - 3,392 voters, 16 precincts; Batan Elementary School, Batan, Aklan – 2,530 voters with 12 precincts and Caticlan Elementary School in Malay, Aklan - 2,344 with 11 precincts.

Five of the top 10 voting centers are in Kalibo, the capital town. Kalibo has the highest number of registered voters with 36, 162. Two municipalities, New Washington and Batan also entered the top ten.

New Washington is the third municipality with the highest number of registered voters having 21,891 while Batan is fifth, with 17,649 voters.

Ibajay, located in the western part of the province has the second highest number voters with 22,116 voters.

Other vote-rich municipalities of Aklan include Banga with 20,174; Numancia, 16,655; Balete, 14,973; Makato, 14,783 and Nabas, 14,504. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)

Aklan has new Provincial COMELEC head

Kalibo, Aklan -- Aklan has a new Provincial Election Supervisor in the person of Atty. Renault Macarambon.

Atty. Macarambon assumed his new position yesterday, May 2, according to COMELEC-Kalibo Election Officer Francisco G. Palomar.

Palomar himself just assumed his post as Kalibo’s Election Officer last month, replacing Lorena Tumbagahan, who was initially assigned in Dumarao, Capiz as Election Officer, but was later recalled to Aklan to serve as Acting Provincial Election Supervisor for more or less two weeks prior to being replaced by Atty. Macarambon.

At least 13 of Aklan’s Election Officers were assigned to neighboring Western Visayas provinces this election period as part of COMELEC’s regulations. According to the COMELEC, an election officer should not stay more than four years in a certain municipality.

Before his assignment to Aklan, Atty. Macarambon was assigned at COMELEC-Manila.

The province of Aklan has currently 273,677 registered voters expected to troop to 339 polling places for the May 14 Senatorial and Local elections located in the province’ 327 barangays. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)