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Friday, October 24, 2008

OPVET aiming for bigger cattle, carabao population in Aklan thru artificial insemination

Kalibo, Aklan -- Aklan is aiming to increase the population of cows and carabaos in the province through artificial insemination.

Provincial Veterinarian Dr. Gervase Radislao said the goal is even intensified with the loss of hundreds of cows and carabaos in the deep flood that ravaged low-lying municipalities in Aklan brought by Typhoon Frank last June 21.

Besides increasing the population of Aklan's large ruminants, Dr. Radislao said the program also aims to improve the genetics and race of the animals, with the end-result of alleviating or eliminating poverty of farmer-owners.

Presently, 9 municipalities in Aklan have benefited from the artificial insemination program. OPVET aims to reach the rest of the municipalities.

Radislao stressed that the success of the program depends on the cooperation, interest and support of everybody especially the animal owners.

"The program is favorable to the farmer-owners – they have nothing to lose, and everything to gain. Every artificial insemination done on their animals costs the government P2,000.00. As counterpart, they only have to take good care of their animals. Their cooperation will be for their own advantage – they will improve the genetics of their animals which would be fast-growing and would fetch a better price in the market, which will help improve their economic situation" Dr. Radislao said.

Since the program's implementation in the province which started in 2005, Dr. Radislao said some 1,500 calf had already been produced.

One remarkable thing about the program, revealed Dr. Radislao, is that it has produced two sets of calf twins, which is a first for Aklan.

Dr. Radislao said twin births could only happen in every 4,000 births, but in Aklan, 2 sets of twin births occurred, which he said is very favorable for the farmers.

The occurrence is also seen to encourage further the animal owners to join the artificial insemination program of the province.

Besides this program, OPVET is also intensifying its campaign on rabies eradication in Aklan. Aklan is envisioned to be rabies-free by 2010. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Aklan vice guv stresses importance of statistics at forum

Kalibo, Aklan -- In doing business and other ventures, one must not rely on gut feel only. Everything must be supported by statistics in order to succeed, according to Aklan Vice Governor Gabrielle Calizo.

This was the gist of the message she delivered at the Statistical Forum held recently at the Aklan Sangguniang Panlalawigan here to mark the 19th celebration of Statistics Month this year.

This year's theme is "Demand Driven Statistics: Key to Micro,, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) Development".

Calizo said statistics is very important in practically everything – from doing feasibility studies, opening a business, budget deliberation, etc.

She cited the recent observation in the drop of the number of Korean visitors in Boracay Island as an example where statistics could be applied to know the reasons why the number of Koreans visiting Boracay dwindled.

As for entrepreneurs, Calizo reminded that if they want to compete globally, they should equip themselves with the right figures.

"Lessen the risk, make an in-depth study of the market situation," she reminded members of Aklan's MSME community, who were also invited to attend the forum.

She also acknowledged the help of MSMEs in Aklan in generating business and employment for Aklanons.

"With the MSMEs, this province cannot go wrong," Calizo said. "Let us know your needs, we have to work together, be partners in order to succeed," she added.

At the Statistical Forum attended by provincial officials, government department heads, representatives and employees, speakers coming from the Development Bank of the Philippines, Land Bank of the Philippines and the Department of Agriculture gave details and information on the various lending programs and assistance they are offering to MSMEs.

Former Congressman Allen S. Quimpo, currently heading the Bangon Aklan Task Force Rehab Program also delivered a message in behalf of Governor Carlito S. Marquez.

Before the forum, a ribbon cutting ceremony was conducted at the lobby of the Provincial Capitol to formally open the Statistical Exhibit, participated in by government offices. The exhibit, formally opened October 21, will run for a week. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Fund for shelter of "Frank" victims safe, DSWD assures querying groups

Kalibo, Aklan -- The fund for Emergency Shelter Assistance (ESA) program and shelter assistance for Kalibonhons and Numanciahanons who lost their homes when Typhoon Frank struck Aklan June 21 is safe and in good hands.

This was the assurance given by Janet T. Calizo, Project Development Officer II of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and Lolly Espino, Municipal Social Welfare and Development Officer (MSWDO) of the municipality of Kalibo to the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN) and Kalipunang Damayan ng Mga Mahihirap (KADAMAY) leaders and followers when they massed recently in front of the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO) inquiring about the status of the government's program for Aklanons whose houses were totally destroyed by the typhoon, the manner of distribution of the assistance and the amount and the specific beneficiaries of the assistance.

Calizo and Espino assured George Calaor of BAYAN and Nenita Tugna of KADAMAY that the fund for emergency shelter is in good hands and forwarded only to intended beneficiaries whose qualification and eligibility for assistance had been scrutinized well by DSWD 6 before processing.

"The spelling of the names of beneficiaries is scrutinized well. The middle name must be correct, and when the checks are distributed, the signature of the beneficiary that appeared during processing must be the same when the check is received. In return, the beneficiaries must also show proof that they used the money for the purpose – to buy materials for their houses, so they are required to show receipts, even 'factoras'", Calizo explained to Calaor and Tugna during the impromptu dialogue at the PSWDO, which was resorted to and requested by the PSWDO staff so the group would not create much disturbance at the vicinity hosting many national and provincial offices.

The move was welcomed by Calaor, who said he would be echoing to his group clarifications and explanations on the issues raised and discussed in the dialogue.

Espino explained that in Kalibo, calamity victims from 12 barangays under Category A have already received their checks of P10,000.00 each which will be used to purchase housing materials. Typhoon victims classified under Category A are those whose houses were totally damaged and washed out.

"The economic status of the beneficiary is also considered. If he has no source of income and have many children, he will be recommended for assistance," Espino said.

Presently, a total of 442 checks of P10,000 each had been released for Kalibo equivalent to P4,420,000.00. However, Espino said four barangays have yet to receive their share of shelter assistance. She also clarified that beneficiaries under Category B, who will receive P7,500.00 each; and Category C, P5,000.00 each, have yet to receive their share.

At present, only Kalibo and Numancia towns have received shelter assistance for their residents. Barangay Bulwang in Numancia received P1,910,000 shelter assistance for its 191 residents at P10,000.00 each.

"Actually, Kalibo and Numancia are the first two towns which received an aid such as this from the government," Calizo told Calaor and Tugna. "Calamity victims from other towns in Aklan are also waiting for their assistance. And in Western Visayas, let us remember that Aklan was not the only province hit by Typhoon Frank. Capiz, Antique, and Iloilo were also badly hit, and residents from these provinces also need assistance," Calizo added.

Calizo advised beneficiaries who are waiting for releases of their assistance to wait a little longer.

"The shelter assistance has a purpose – to have these people back in their homes. Even President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is awaiting the status report of the government's assistance to the people. The papers are being processed in the regional office of DWSD, only, we cannot tell you of the specific date of the releases. The staff in the region is working non-stop to process the papers," Calizo said.

Roslyn Salazar of PSWDO-Aklan served as the moderator of the dialogue. The dialogue was also witnessed by the local media.

Based on records from the DSWD here, a total of P9,480,450.00 million had been released by the DSWD for assistance to typhoon victims in Kalibo and Numancia. Kalibo received P4,420,000.00 for ESA, P2,150,000.00 at P50,000 each for shelter assistance for 43 beneficiaries and P645,150.00 for cash for work program with 345 beneficiaries for a total of P7,215,150 while Numancia received P1,910,000 for ESA and P355,300 for Cash for Work with 190 beneficiaries for a total of P2,265,300. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)

Monday, October 20, 2008

Aklan to launch l9th Stat Month celebration, to hold exhibit, forum

Kalibo, Aklan -- The provincial government of Aklan will launch the 19th National Statistics Month celebration on October 21 with a data exhibit and a statistical forum at the Sangguniang Bayan Session Hall in the afternoon.

The province, under Governor Marquez, deemed it appropriate to hold a statistical forum in keeping with this year’s theme “Demand-Driven Statistics: Key to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) Development).

In a recent meeting to prepare for the observance, Engr. Roger M. Esto, Provincial Planning and Development Coordinator who presided over the meeting, emphasized that the holding of a statistical forum focused on MSMEs is timely at this point because there is a need to know how Aklan’s MSMEs are faring and what the government is doing to help these MSMEs succeed or to survive.

“After Typhoon Frank, it is time for us to rise above the ruins, especially the MSMEs. Let us invite the Land Bank and other government financial institutions to know how much loan assistance they have provided to our MSMEs here, and how much they could afford to lend,” Engr. Esto said.

At the forum, some successful MSMEs will also be asked to tell their stories, to inspire others to engage in entrepreneurship.

Government agencies will be displaying their statistical data at the exhibit which will be held for a week at the lobby of the Provincial Capitol Building here.

Meanwhile, the provincial government and the National Statistics Office will jointly sponsor the Philippine Statistics Quiz.

Blas Solidum, Provincial Statistics Officer, said the Provincial Championship of the Philippine Statistics Quiz will be held at the STI College, Kalibo, Aklan. The contest is between first year college students in Aklan. Emerging champion will then compete in the regional, or national championship, according to Solidum. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)

Sell your palay to NFA and get fertilizer incentive, new PM tells Aklanons

Banga, Aklan -- The National Food Authority is aggressively buying clean and dry palay in Aklan at P17.00 per kilogram. In addition, the farmer-seller gets fertilizer incentive of P1,800.00 for every fifty (50) kilogram or 2,500 equivalent net weight, according to the food agency's new Provincial Manager, Engr. Marianito B. Bejemino.
According to PM Bejemino, farmers with revalidated Farmer's Passbook only can avail of the fertilizer incentive. On the other hand, FOs/Coops with revalidated Master Passbook can avail of same incentive. Farmers can apply for a passbook at the NFA local office in LInabuan Sur, Banga, Aklan. The application form can be secured for free at NFA Aklan office. Authorized signatories in the application form are the Barangay Captain, Brgy. Agrarian Reform Council Chairman, and Agricultural Production Technician.
Farmers who are classified as walk-in such as farm workers and thresher operators can sell palay to the NFA provided they present a certification endorsed by any of the following: NIA, DAR, DA, Brgy. Captain, Municipal Agriculturist Office and local chief executives.
NFA Mobile Procurement Teams are available to serve in-field transaction in palay production areas which are far from the NFA Grains Center Warehouse at Linabuan Sur, Banga, Aklan. The same price of P17.00/kg and P1,800.00 additional cash incentive for every 2,500 equivalent net weight palay produce delivery applies both to individual farmers and FOs/Coops sold eighter in NFA warehouse or through in-field.
NFA-Aklan also offers drying services to farmers at a minimal fee of P12.00 per 50 kg. input for those who would sell the same to the NFA. Payment in kind by those being served by NFA using the facilities will also be accepted.
The program Farmer's Option to Buy-Back (FOBB) which offers various benefits to farmer organizations and farmers cooperatives is also open for qualified FOs/Coops for their participation.
Meanwhile, the local office welcomes participators to NFA Palay Marketing Assistance Programs for Legislators and LGUs (PALLGU) to enable palay farmers to maximize their income and at the same time assist the LGUs and the legislators in sourcing their rice requirements intended for their constituents.
PM Bejemino also assured Aklanons that NFA-Aklan is open to entertain queries as well as about other related programs and operational concerns through visits at their office in Banga or by telephone. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Aklan PNP to tap barangays to help maintain peace and order

Kalibo, Aklan -- The Aklan Police Provincial Office (APPO) here is planning to tap the assistance and cooperation of barangay leaders and residents to help maintain the province' peaceful condition.

According to Police Supt. Larry L. Decena, Aklan is generally a peaceful province and the Aklanons are peace-loving, but there is a need to sustain this status, and this could be done with the help of barangay officials and residents.

"Presently, we are still coordinating with provincial and municipal officials in our aim to sustain the province' peaceful situation, and as we go along, we plan to go down to barangays to tap their help too," said Police Supt. Decena.

The need for Aklanons' assistance in the maintenance of peace and order especially in the barangays is more pronounced with the shortage of police force in Aklan.

Decena said the standard ratio of the police by population is 1 policeman per 1,000, but in the case of Kalibo, the actual ratio is 1:1,400. In other police stations, Decena said the ratio is even 1:1,800.

Decena recently took over as OIC of Aklan PPO after the stint of Provincial Director Benigno D. Durana.

Even as Decena said the province is peaceful, the PNP is presently up on its toes solving cases of robberies which turned rampant in the towns of Altavas, Balete, Banga, New Washington and Kalibo.

Some suspects, according to him, were already apprehended in connection with the robberies and cases against these suspects were already filed by the PNP.

To discourage robberies, Decena said the Aklan PPO is making moves to have more police visibility at night.

"We will see to it that our police forces will serve the people well, follow the PNP mandate, and render the kind of assistance to Aklanons that is acceptable in the maintenance of peace and order," said Decena. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

RDC trains, organizes speakers' bureau on food, energy security

Iloilo City - A capability-building training of Speakers' Bureau on Food and Energy Security was held recently at the Renewal House in Lapaz, Iloilo City by the Regional Development Council (RDC) and the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA).

According to Hon. Salvacion Z. Perez, Governor of the Province of Antique and Chairperson of RDC 6, the training is necessary to equip the members of the speakers' bureau with an in-depth knowledge on the content of the information that will be disseminated.

The training is one of the specific tasks of the Sub-Committee on Information and Advocacy of RDC 6 Development Administration Committee in undertaking communication activities on food and security, among others.

Participants came from the provinces of Western Visayas – Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Iloilo, Negros Occidental and Guimaras coming from the offices of the Provincial Planning and Development Office (PPDO); Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPA); Department of Trade and Industry (DTI); National Food Authority (NFA); Philippine Information Agency (PIA) and Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR).

"Times are bad and things are expected to be harder with the coming of the American Financial crisis that could affect the Philippines. There are hosts of other problems – high food prices, the changing prices of oil and oil products. There is a need to inform the people why these are happening and to tell them what the government is doing to surpass the crisis," said Atty. Ma. Janet C. Mesa, PIA 6 Regional Director who welcomed the participants and gave the lecturette on Communication Advocacy Plan. Director Mesa also spearheaded the workshop on local communication advocacy plan.

The activity, according to Director Mesa, is expected to have a cascading effect to the provinces, municipalities and barangays upon the participants' return to their respective provinces.

Topics discussed at the training included Current Issues on Food and Energy Security by NEDA VI Regional Director Ro-Ann A. Bacal; Basic Economic Theories and Concepts by Atty. Raul S. Anlocotan, NEDA VI; Food Situation, by Regional Technical Director Remelyn H. Recoter of Department of Agriculture (DA) VI, Robert G. Espinosa of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) 6 and Assistant Regional Manager Vilma H. Zarraga of National Food Authority (NFA) VI.

Engr. Generoso P. Jardeleza of NPC 6 also spoke on Energy Situation while Ms. Nona Grace D. Bermejo of DTI VI spoke on Price Act.

According to NEDA 6, workshop outputs from the provinces will serve as the basis of the participants' activities upon their return to their respective areas. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)

Monday, October 13, 2008

DPWH, CAAP PGMA infra projects in Aklan reach P221,375 M

Kalibo, Aklan -- The combined PGMA infrastructure projects of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) in Aklan, ongoing and completed for 2007-2008 has reached a total of P221,375,000.00.

CAAP is formerly known as the Air Transportation Office (ATO). CAAP operates the Kalibo International Airport.

The report from the DPWH here revealed that presently, it has completed and on-going projects in Aklan with a total cost of P167,200,000.00. These projects include construction of seawall in Songcolan, Batan to protect the Songcolan Elementary School; construction of Altavas Diversion Road, construction of Diversion/Bypass road along Kalibo-Iloilo Highway, construction of Boracay Roads, repair/rehab/improvement of Caticlan Road Section, rehabilitation of Multi-Purpose Pavement in Pastrana Park, rehabilitation of Nabas Road- Caticlan Road Section, construction of Boracay Road (Lapus-Lapus-Fairways Section), Altavas East Road (intermittent sections/road reblocking), Altavas-Jamindan Road (intermittent sections) and Caticlan-Malay-Libertad Road (intermittent sections).

Infrastructure projects with big budgets which are ongoing are the construction of Boracay Road and Altavas-Jamindan Road, both costing P30,000,000.00 while the Altavas East Road and Caticlan-Malay-Libertad Road both cost P20,000,000.00. The construction of Altavas Diversion Road cost the government P17,200,000.00. The rest of the projects had a budget of P5,000,000.00 each.

The CAAP, on the other hand, had a total o P54,175,000.00 projects both ongoing and completed. In a report released by Kalibo International Airport Manager Percy Malonesio, 2 activities are ongoing while 3 construction activities are already completed.

Ongoing activities include site acquisition and site development for the installation of Instrument Landing System (ILS) costing P20,768,500.00 and P11,869,000.00 respectively while completed projects include the rehabilitation and installation of ILS equipment, construction of equipment shelter and installation of runway edge and taxiway edge lights.

Projects implemented and ongoing in the province by the DPWH and the CAAP were contained in President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s SONA promises. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

NSO-Aklan to resume CRS service soon

Kalibo, Aklan – The Civil Registration System (CRS) service extended by the National Statistics Office (NSO) here for several years already but was stopped when Typhoon Frank brought destruction to Aklan will resume before year-end.

This assurance was given by Provincial Statistics Officer Blas Solidum who said that the office has already sent the cost estimate of the contractor to the central office so equipments needed for the service could be provided soon.

"All our office equipments, documents including tables were destroyed by the floodwater which left knee-high mud inside our office when Typhoon Frank struck Aklan on June 21. Presently, we have resumed our usual services, conducting surveys and other functions except the CRS Serbilis service," Solidum said.

Solidum said that for the meantime, they advise people who go to their new office seeking copies of birth, death, marriage and other certificates to just avail of the door-to-door system of the CRS. To avail of this, Solidum said a person just need to call telephone no. 02-731111, follow instruction of the operator, and after three days, the needed document will be delivered at the doorstep of the client after paying a fee of P330 through Metrobank.

"Sometimes when we go to Iloilo for official business, we also bring the requests of some people who come to our office for processing of their request in Iloilo. But it is much better when we have our own Serbilis center here in Aklan, because people will only pay a minimal fee, and they can get their copy the same day. Also, residents from other provinces, like Capiz and Antique, can also avail of the service here, because Aklan is nearer to their provinces.

Solidum said that operation of the CRS service in vital parts of the country has enabled NSO to be placed among the 10 top earning government agencies of the country.

Presently, NSO-Aklan is focusing on activities in celebration of Statistics Month this October. One of their important activities is spearheading the Philippine Statistics Quiz, a contest among first year college students to test their knowledge in statistics. The office is also currently coordinating with various government agencies here on other meaningful activities for the celebration.

This year's theme of the celebration is "Demand-Driven Statistics: Key to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) Development. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)

Kalibo to organize, strengthen farming sector

Kalibo, Aklan -- Rice farmers in Kalibo are set to be organized here based on the programs of the Department of Agriculture.

This was revealed by Primo Ibesate, Officer-In-Charge of the Municipal Agricultural Services Division of Kalibo.

According to Ibesate, the organization or clustering of rice farmers is one way of bringing easily the benefits and services extended by the national government to the sector and at the same time to observe programs on agriculture to assess the capacity of the country in farming and storing rice for food security.

Ibesate stressed farmers will benefit much through this scheme because it would be easier to monitor the progress in knowledge and technology extended to farmers while agricultural technologists are continuously gathering data for faster program implementation. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Statistics Month observance seen to benefit Aklan’s MSMEs

Kalibo, Aklan -- This year’s celebration of National Statistics Month is seen to benefit Aklan’s Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).

Engr. Roger M. Esto, Provincial Planning and Development Coordinator here, in an initial meeting held to plan out activities together with other heads and representatives of national and provincial government offices for the celebration said that the theme inspires the province to hold a special activity for the benefit of Aklan’s MSMEs.

The 19th National Statistics Month Celebration, held every October, has for its overall theme “Demand-Driven Statistics: Key to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) Development.

Though simple, Engr. Esto said the Statistics Month celebration could have an impact if Aklan’s MSMEs will gather together, have somebody from their group tell of the achievements as well as success of his enterprise or business to inspire others or to venture into business, and at the same time listen to invited representatives from government financial institutions who could tell them how to avail of loans or financial assistance to help expand their business and develop more products.

“It is high time or Aklan to rise after the typhoon. MSMEs need to know how they could avail of financial assistance or loans from government financial institutions – how much they have lent already, and how much they could afford or extend to local businessmen and entrepreneurs,” Esto explained.

The province will also hold a Statistical Exhibit for one week at the Provincial Capitol lobby participated in by government agencies who will display or exhibit important data essential for planning of government programs. Initially, the Department of Trade and Industry, the Bureau o Agricultural Statistics, the National Statistics Office, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Department of Agrarian Reform,Technical Education and Skills Development Authority and the Department of Labor have committed to put their statistical data and other materials on display.

“The government has many laudable programs and projects for the people yet it is still castigated in all corners. With the different data to be shown, the people will know what the government, through various government agencies, is doing for them. It would be much better if we accompany the data with pictures,” Esto said.

The exhibit is proposed to be held on October 20-24 at the lobby of the Provincial Capitol Building here.

Besides the exhibit and the forum for MSMEs, another activitiy which will be held include the Philippine Statistics Quiz, which will be spearheaded by the NSO. It is a contest between first year college students dealing with statistics, and host school for this year, according to Blas Solidum, Provincial Statistics Officer of NSO-Aklan, is STI.

Solidum said that some winners of the Statistics Quiz in Aklan years before had even competed in the regional and national level alongside the best students from prestigious schools in the country. For this year, the NSO will hold the quiz on October 28 and is currently soliciting prizes for winners.

Engr. Esto assured Solidum that the provincial government will assist the NSO in the activity. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Kalibo to launch ecological solid waste management program

Kalibo, Aklan -- The municipality of Kalibo will launch its program on ecological solid waste management (RA 9003) in time with its 3rd foundation day anniversary on November 3.

The launching is in consonance with the local government code which stipulates the correct way of garbage segregation and disposal, according to the office of Kalibo Mayor Raymar Rebaldo.

The law has specific penalties for violators and aims to help solve the town's problem on garbage.

The municipality is conducting a sustained campaign to educate and discipline constituents on waste segregation including segregation depending on schedule of pick up by garbage trucks.

According to the Office of the Mayor, proper waste disposal will help prevent health problems caused by a dirty environment.

Proper segregation and disposal of garbage, according to Kalibo's municipal officials should start in the home, for the good of the next generation. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)