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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Appeal for registration of Aklanons with no birth certificates aired

    Kalibo, Aklan -- The Department of Education (DepEd) here and other concerned agencies recently aired their appeal to local government units to help in the registration of their constituents so these people will be issued birth certificates.

    Amelia Lim, Alternative Learning System (ALS) Coordinator in Aklan revealed during a recent meeting here that there are still many Aklanons who have no birth certificates.

    Some of these people, according to her, are already old, others are just babies and children and the rest belong to indigenous groups.

    Lim said people who avail of tests given by the ALS to assess their learning level need birth certificates badly.

    For his part, Blas Solidum, Provincial Statistics Officer of NSO- Aklan said he will try to find means to have these Aklanons registered by their respective Municipal Civil Registrar offices.

    According to him, municipalities with many unregistered Aklanons include Libacao, Madalag and Malay.

    Libacao and Madalag are highland and interior municipalities in Aklan while Malay, where Boracay Island belongs, has Aeta communities.

    "Birth certificates are very important. Presently, Grade I pupils are required already to submit authenticated copies of their birth certificates upon enrollment. Parents should exert efforts to have their children registered. Municipal Civil Registrars should also bring their services to the people", Solidum said.

    He added availing late registrations is also expensive. He reminded parents too, and other informants to ensure that the entries in the birth registration forms are correct to avoid going to court if there are corrections needed.

    The issue on birth registration came up in the meeting held recently to plan out activities for this year's celebration of National Statistics Month in October where it was suggested that one of the activities is to conduct registration of those who have never registered before regardless of age.

    It was also suggested if penalty fees could be waived for registering late. However, the privilege would only for those who cannot afford to pay the penalties, the NSO and the DepEd emphasized.

    Aklan's celebration of Statistics Month will be launched on October 19 through the opening of the Statistical Exhibit. This year, the DPWH and the National Statistics Association spearhead the event. The theme of the celebration, now on its 21st year, is "Towards a Philippine Statistical System Responsive to Emerging National and Global Challenges." (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)

Monday, September 27, 2010

Aklan slates activities for Statistics Month

    Kalibo, Aklan -- A meeting for this year's National Statistics Month celebration was recently held at the Conference Room of the GRQC Building here to plan out activities for the month-long observance.

    The meeting, presided by Engr. Roger M. Esto of the the Provincial Planning and Development Office here, was attended by heads and representatives of national and provincial government offices.

    This is the 21st year of celebrating National Statistics Month, pursuant to Presidential Proclamation No. 647 signed by the late President Corazon C. Aquino on September 20, 1990.

    Theme of this year's celebration is "Towards a Philippine Statistical System Responsive to Emerging National and Global Challenges."

    As with the previous celebrations, the province will undertake this yeat a statistical exhibit of programs, projects and services of government offices at the Provincial Trade Hall, Capitol Grounds.

    Other activities to be undertaken to generate awareness and make the celebration more significant include hanging of streamers, kapihan/radio program guestings, Statistical Quiz and an opportunity for Aklanons who were never registered in their Municipal Local Registrar's Offices to avail of late registration privilege, which will be arranged by the National Statistics Office here.

    The Department of Public Works and Highways and the National Statistics Association will be leading this year's celebration. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Media indispensable for successful tax collection – BIR


    Kalibo, Aklan - Media is indispensable in the campaign of the Bureau of Internal Revenue's successful tax collection, according to OIC Revenue District Officer Ricardo J. Osorio of BIR-Aklan.


    Osorio issued this statement before the Aklan media here at a press conference with the BIR held September 23 at the Sangguniang Panlalawigan Session Hall.


    Osorio said the media helps the BIR a lot in monitoring compliance of business establishments and government units and other sectors in its tax collection activities.


    "We appeal to the media in Aklan to help us reach out to taxpayers so they will pay their taxes because when they pay their taxes, they help support the expenses of the government," Osorio said.


    At the press conference, Osorio shared with the media BIR-aAklan's tax collection accomplishment, specifically in the month of August 2010, which he said exceeded the target for the month.


    BIR-Aklan was able to collect P55,983,627.28 August of this year, while in the same month last year, the agency collected P40,769,424.81, which registered an increase of P15,214,201.47 or 37.32%.


    As to its actual collection from January to August this year, the bureau was able to collect P467,382,115.50. Last year during the same period, the BIR collected P364,69,151.08, which registered an increase of P102,690,964.42, or 28.16%.


    In their actual collection vs. goal, the collection as of August which is P467,382,115.50 if brought side by side with their cumulative goal showed an increase pf P52,231,115.50 or 12.58%.


    Some of the questions that arised during the press conference which were ably answered by BIR-Aklan focused on the campaign against tax evaders, tax collection implementation in boracay Island, taxing professionals, Oplan Kandado, Premyo Sa Resibo, issuance of receipts, Expanded Senior Citizens law and BIR's role, dummies in businesses, IRA from taxes given to local government units and problems on fixers.


    Prompted by the big attendance of the local media in the press conference, Osorio said he would be glad to sit down again with the media in a regular basis once every two months or quarterly.


    The press conference, facilitated by the Philippine Information Agency was conducted with the aim of assisting the BIR in providing them maximum communication support in their year-round Public Assistance Awareness Campaign (PAAC) so people will be encouraged to pay their taxes promptly and correctly. (PIA/Villanueva)


Monday, September 20, 2010

DOLE releasing checks for Aklan’s SPES beneficiaries

    Kalibo, Aklan -- The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) here has started releasing checks to beneficiaries of Special Program for Employment of Students Program (SPES) in the province who rendered services in their respective municipalities and in school during summer.

    Joselito de la Banda, DOLE-Aklan Provincial Director said a total of 760 students benefited from the program who will get 40% of their pay from DOLE. The other 60% comes from the the local government units where they rendered their services.

    Nine local government units directly employed for 22 days students residing in their respective municipalities while the Provincial Government covered the hiring of students from 8 municipalities. Six public and private colleges in Aklan also joined the program.

    These students, according to DOLE-Aklan, were tasked to update their respective municipalities' skills registry, so that when job opportunities arise, it will be easier to know how many are available for employment in their localities and the kind of skills residents possess. Students hired by schools rendered duties in the educational establishments.

    De la Banda said total amount given by the DOLE representing 40% of the pay for students under the program reached P1,255,880.00.

    Meanwhile, DOLE-Aklan has extended more than P3,000,000.00 as livelihood fund to various municipalities in the province since 2009.

    These municipalities, according to De la Banda, include the municipalities of Banga which received P500,000.00 for 110 beneficiaries; Tangalan, P500,000.00, 100 beneficiaries; Ibajay, P500,000.00, with 213 beneficiaries; Makato, P500,000.00 with 50 beneficiaries and Kalibo, P533,819.20 with 124 beneficiaries.

    The municipality of Batan, on the other hand, received P400,000.00 on April 15, 2010 for 129 beneficiaries while the municipality of Malay received tools starter kits for 9 beneficiaries amounting to P95,753.00.

    DOLE-Aklan said before the releases, the local government units first submitted project proposals. The implementation of the various livelihood projects are also monitored by DOLE. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)

Friday, September 17, 2010

Aklan has peaceful employment climate, says DOLE


    Kalibo, Aklan -- The province of Aklan has a peaceful employment climate, according to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) here.


    Joselito dela Banda, DOLE-Aklan Provincial Director, said that the office has not received any notice of lay-offs in Boracay, one of the outcomes anticipated in the island as an aftermath of the bloody hostage-taking in Quirino Grandstand that killed 8 Hongkong tourists.


    "The incident happened in time with the off-season in Boracay Island, when workers rest or take their vacation. This is a normal set-up in the island, because during busy months, these workers are also unable to go home or take their vacation with the big number of tourists arriving in Boracay," De la Banda said.


    Aklan, according to De la Banda, is currently enjoying a normal labor situation.


    Meanwhile, DOLE-Aklan announced that there is already a new wage order to be observed in Western Visayas.


    According to De la Banda, the wage board released for publication the implementing rules and regulations of the wage order on September 15. However, the order was released August 12, so it will take effect retroactively.


    Under the new wage order, workers in non-agricultural establishments with more than 10 employees will receive P265 daily wage while those with 10 or less workers will receive P223 daily.


    For agricultural workers in plantations, each will receive P233 daily wage while those in non-plantation will receive P223 daily.


    DOLE however said there are also instances when establishments are exempted to implement the order, such as when an establishment is distressed, or just newly-put up.


    These establishments could be given a one-year reprieve, provided they file their request for exemption within 75 days after the release of the wage order.


    Some establishments in Aklan, according to DOLE, have applied for this reprieve. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

BIR-Aklan exceeds August target

    Kalibo, Aklan -- The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) here exceeded its tax collection target for August 2010.

    According to BIR-Aklan OIC Revenue District Officer Ricardo J. Osorio, a total of P55,983,627.28 was collected for August 2010.

    Compared with the same month last year which had P40,769,424.81 collections, an increase of P15,214,202.47 was realized by BIR-Aklanthis year, or 37.32%.

    Osorio said that from January to August of this year, BIR-Aklan was able to collect a total of P467,382,115.50. Last year, the province was able to collect during the same period a total of P364,691,151.08. The current period's collection posted an increase of P102,690,964.42.

    This year, BIR-Aklan is targeting to collect P641,000,000.00.

    "With P467,382,115.50 already collected, we need to look for P173,651,884.50 to achieve our 2010 collection target," RDO Osorio said.

    Osorio said Boracay Island contributed much to the increase in tax collection of BIR-Aklan.

    "Thirty percent of BIR's collections come from Boracay Island. The increase in tourist arrivals, new businesses put up in Boracay Island, and the awareness of Aklanon taxpayers in performing their patriotic duties by paying the right taxes helped much in the BIR's tax collections this period", Osorio said.

    Meanwhile, a total of 5 establishments had been closed by BIR-Aklan under its "Oplan-Kandado" program this year. However, these establishments were also allowed to open after paying their tax obligations, according to BIR-Aklan. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Aklan governor optimistic on tourism industry recovery


    Kalibo, Aklan -- By showing the tourists who flock to Boracay Island that they are safe and secure while in the province, Aklan governor Carlito S. Marquez said he believes the tourism industry in Aklan and in the country in general will regain its strength and liveliness.


    Governor Marquez relayed this optimism recently over his regular report over a radio station here in sharing his views regarding the botched hostage-taking in Quirino Grandstand recently that took the life of 8 tourists from Hongkong.


    Marquez said he was saddened with the hostage-taking incident in Manila and was alarmed with its grave effect on the economy.


    "We in Aklan are one of the most affected, particularly our tourism industry. So we called an emergency meeting recently with our PNP, Coast Guard, Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines and other security-related agencies to strengthen our Technical Working Group through the creation of a Crisis Management Team. And this is in order to show our constituents and tourists our preparedness in times of this kind of emergency," Marquez told radio listeners.


    The governor also assured Aklanons that he and other provincial officials are committed to secure everything, particularly the airports, tourist buses, and highway.


    He also vowed to strengthen police visibility.


    Meanwhile, Governor Marquez revealed that from August 1-24, a total of 46,917 tourists visited Boracay. More than 22,000 of these, according to him, are foreigners.


    From January to August, the island was visited by 550,120 tourists – 181,000 of these foreigners; 349,000 domestic and 20,000 overseas Filipinos.


    These visitors enabled the province to realize P10,113,076,008.00 total tourism receipts. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Aklan households’ rice stocks up to September – BAS

    Kalibo, Aklan -- Rice stocks of Aklanon households are up to September 2010 only, but according to the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (BAS) here, farmers will also start harvesting rice in September, peaking in October.

    BAS-Aklan Provincial Officer Manuelito Deligencia said rice planting in Aklan was delayed due to the El Niño Phenomenon that struck Aklan last year until the early part of 2010.

    "Farmers in rainfed areas were not able to plant rice in June due to insufficient water, while planting in irrigated fields was also delayed because irrigation canals had no water yet in the early part of planting season, being dependent only on the availability of water from the Aklan River," Delegencia said.

    Delegencia said farmers from Balete and Libacao were also able to harvest upland rice last July but this was only for their own consumption.

    Just recently, the National Food Authority (NFA) here through Provincial Manager Marianito Bejemino assured the public of enough rice up to the harvest period in October.

    The NFA also revealed that monthly, some 20,000 bags of rice each month is sent to Aklan from NFA-Iloilo to augment the supply of rice in the province.

    Commercial rice also enters Aklan daily from Mindoro and other provinces through the RORO, and from Antique, Capiz and Iloilo to add to the supply of the private traders in the province.

    Meanwhile, BAS revealed that Aklan enjoyed a good harvest of vegetables and fruits from the months of April to June.

    "Our bananas have recovered from Typhoon Frank already," Delegencia said.

    Marine, aquaculture and commercial fishery products also increased during the same period, however, harvests in rootcrops like camote, cassava and gabi decreased due to the El Niño.

    Ginger crops also suffered, according to BAS, because of the heavy rains these recent months. Ginger, Delegencia said, takes a year to be harvested.

     BAS-Aklan is currently updating data of farmers in the province and performing their other routinary activities. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Blood coordinating council passes 4 resolutions to gain support

    Kalibo, Aklan -- The Aklan Blood Coordinating Council (ABCC), which was re-organized recently in response to the call for a stable source of blood and blood products due to the rising dengue cases in the province has formulated four resolutions to strengthen the council and gain support from Aklan officials, legislators and other stakeholders.

    The ABCC is headed by Dr. Cynthia dela Cruz who was elected President in the organizational meeting held recently at the Provincial Guest House.

    The first two resolutions were formulated during the organizational meeting and the other two, during the Special Executive Board Meeting at the Dr. Rafael S. Tumbokon Memorial Hospital (DRSTMH) Function Hall.

    The first resolution – Res. 2010-001 requests financial assistance for the ABCC from the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, the Provincial Health Board, all LGUs in the province, and other agencies concerned, while the second one requests Aklan Governor Carlito S. Marquez to provide a Secretariat Office with a Secretary to serve as custodian of files and to run errands for the ABCC and other needs of the council.

    The third resolution, on the other hand, is requesting all the 17 municipalities of Aklan to support the National Voluntary Blood Program through the Sangguniang Bayan Committee on Health; and the fourth is a resolution requesting Governor Carlito Marquez to immediately provide the following equipments: 1 refrigerated centrifuge, 1 plasma freezer, 1 platelet agitator and 1 plasma separator needed by the Philippine National Red Cross Aklan Chapter.

    The equipments are badly needed to immediately answer the needs of dengue and other sick Aklanons needing blood transfusion.

    Currently, blood samples are being sent to PNRC-Capiz for testing before being transfused to patients here, which is a risky practice as too much time is wasted, endangering the life of patients.

    Earlier during a press conference called by Governor Marquez, he told the Aklan media and health officials present that purchase of the needed equipments will be included in the provincial budget the province is preparing for 2011. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)

Aklanons get P3.1 M 4Ps cash grants, other assistance

    Kalibo, Aklan -- Beneficiaries of 4Ps in the municipalities of Buruanga and Balete recently received a total of P3.1 million cash grants under the Pantawid Pampamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) through the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO) here .

    Beneficiaries from these towns numbered 1,364, according to Aklan Governor Carlito S. Marquez in his monthly report aired over DYRU-Kalibo.

    The 4Ps is a poverty reduction strategy that provides grants ro extremely poor households to improve their health, nutrition and education particularly children aged 0-14.

    Aside from the cash grant, 4,187 sacks of rice were also distributed to residents of Balete, Buruanga, Madalag and Libacao. As its counterpart, the province also distributed 413 sacks of rice there.

    The Provincial Government also extended a capital assistance of P75,321 to 16 Out Of School Youths of Tibiao, Altavas who are members of Timgas Ka PYAP Association or Pag-asa Youth Association of the Philippines, Inc.

    The province is also planning to establish social welfare desks at the Caticlan Jetty Port to protect the people especially the women and children. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)

Monday, August 23, 2010

Aklan coconuts less affected by El Niño

    Kalibo, Aklan -- Aklan's coconut cover was not affected too much by the El Niño Phenomenon which mildly strucked Aklan last year up to the early part of this year.

    According to Plevy Raco, Provincial Coconut Development Manager of the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) here, the salt fertilizer which the office distributed to coconut farmers helped a lot in minimizing the effect of El Niño to the coconuts.

    Raco said all municipalities in Aklan had access to the salt fertilizer from the PCA. The salt fertilizer causes retention of water in the bases of coconut trunks, minimizing the effect of the dry spell on the coconuts.

    Presently, Raco said coconut farmers are enjoying good prices for their copra.

    "The copra price is dictated by the world market, and currently, there is a big demand for coconut oil", Raco said.

    Raco also revealed that the Participatory Coconut Project introduced by the PCA to encourage farmers to plant coconuts had been successful.

    Many farmers in Aklan participated in the program, according to Raco. Under the program, farmers who successfully grew seednuts which were planted on their own farms were paid in phases. They will also be the ones who would benefit when the coconuts start bearing fruits.

    Meanwhile, the province of Aklan will be hosting this week the 14th Regional Coconut Celebration particularly on August 25-27. Aklan was chosen as the venue, according to the PCA, for having the biggest coconut cover in Western Visayas.

    The month of August had been declared by the late President Corazon Aquino as Coconut Celebration Month.

    Raco said this is the first time for a province to host the celebration as all previous celebrations were held in the regional office.

    A motorcade, diorama presentation, coconut quiz bee, clinic and sports competition among PCA provincial provinces will highlight the celebration here.

    PCA Administrator Oscar Garin, DA RED Larry Nacionales of RFU 6, PCA Regional Manager Jose Cruz, Aklan Congressman Miraflores. Governor Carlito Marquez and other officials are expected to attend the celebration on August 26 at the Provincial Trade Hall.

    "Niyog, Yaman Ng Pinoy" is the theme of this year's celebration. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

DTI sponsors “Bayong” enhancement for Aklan MSMEs

    Kalibo, Aklan -- The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI    ) here recently sponsored an activity to enhance the Aklan "bayong" through a Product Development and Consultation for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).

    The activity, conducted by Ms. Imelda Datul of Kosmos International at the DTI-Aklan Office for 9 bayong producers in Aklan, aimed to give them new directions in design and function for the production of shopping and fashion bayongs as well as to develop products for new markets.

    In Aklan, the "bayong" is commonly called as "tampipi" made of buri used before to hold items when one is buying provisions in the market. Nowadays, the "bayong" is still around, but has evolved for certain purposes, like being used by vendors when selling crabs, food delicacies and other native and novel items.

    According to the DTI, the second phase of the activity will be held on August 30-31 at the DTI Office to monitor the execution of ninety-nine (99) new product designs.

    As a result of the 1st phase product development and consultation, the designer identified La Herminia Piña Weaving Industry, HAMPCO and USWAG Development Foundation to present the prototypes for abaca and bariw fashion bayong bags and packaging materials to the merchandisers of Kosmos International for product screening and selection in Manila middle of August.

    Datul said Aklan MSMEs should prepare for the product presentation because this is going to be their "chance of a lifetime" for Philippine Exporters, specifically for the group to do business with Kosmos International.

    The Product Development and Consultaiton on Bayong was one of the activities awaited by Aklan MSMEs involved in bag and bayong-making in order to make their products more competitive, attractive and of superior quality. (DTI/PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)

Aklan organizes blood council

    Kalibo, Aklan -- To address the pressing need for blood and blood products in Aklan brought by the rising cases of dengue, the Provincial Government, the Aklan Medical Society, the Provincial Health Office and the Dr. Rafael S. Tumbokon Memorial Hospital (DRSTMH) recently came together in a meeting and organized the Aklan Blood Coordinating Council (ABCC).

    The meeting was an offshoot of Aklan Governor Carlito S. Marquez' request to the Aklan Medical Society, headed by Dr. Cynthia dela Cruz to spearhead the organization of the ABCC through Administrative Order No. 2010-0002 stating policies and guidelines for the establishment and operation of local blood councils to support the implementation of the National Voluntary Blood Services Program for Blood Safety and Adequacy, Quality Care and Patient Safety.

    Before election of officers, Dr. dela Cruz suggested that the body should form a TRIAD-like leaders for the ABCC such as the DOH-PHO, Philippine National Red Cross and the Aklan Medical Society to serve and spearhead the council. She also suggested the drafting of a Memorandum of Agreement for all the members who attended to commit to help each other in the formulation and implementation of the ABCC.

    Before election of ABCC officers, the group nominated 11 members to the Executive Board. From among the 11 board members, elected officers were Dr. Cynthia C. dela Cruz of AMS, President; Dr. Emma Cortes, PHO, Vice President; Megs Lunn, Toastmasters International, Secretary;Boy Ryan Zabal, Aklan Press Club President, Treasurer; Dr. Beatriz Diel, AMS, Assistant Secretary Treasurer; Chita Heap, Kool Earth, Press Relations Officer; and Dr. Albert Marin, DRSTMH Lab, Auditor.

    The Board of Directors included Aklan Police Provincial Office Provincial Director Epifanio Bragais, Jr.; PA 601st CDC LTC Edgar I. Yerro; Dr. Oscar Hilario of AMS; Pete Ruiz of SEALS Rescue Aklan; and Mrs. Arcely Pelayo, PNRC-Aklan Administrator.

    Committees were also identified such as the Executive Committee headed by the President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer and Assistant Secretary Treasurer, Public Education Committee, headed by Dr. Felma dela Cruz; Donor Recruitment Committee, headed by Pete Ruiz; Mobile Blood Donation Committee, Arcely Pelayo; Ways and Means Committee, Boy ryan Zabal and Local Blood donation Program Coordinator, Roger Debuque.

    The Secretariat will be appointed by Governor Marquez or the PHO.

    It was agreed that the elected officers will only have one year office term to give others a chance to lead the organization. It was also agreed that meetings will be held every 3rd Friday of the month at the DRSTMH Conference Room.

    In the meeting, 2 resolutions were presented and approved – the first was a resolution requesting financial assistance for the ABCC from the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, the Provincial Health Board, all LGUs in the province and all agencies concerned; while the other one was a resolution requesting Governor Marquez to provide aSecretariat Office with a secretary to serve as custodian of files and to run errands for the ABCC and a cabinet for filing at the DRSTMH. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Aklan radio stations to conduct blood-letting activities

    Kalibo, Aklan -- Two radio stations in Aklan are set to hold bloodletting activities here to help augment the supply of blood at the Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC).

    The need to have ample blood supply in Aklan is currently being emphasized with the rising cases of dengue in the province affecting Aklanons of all ages, with some of them needing blood transfusions.

    These two radio stations are RMN-DYKR and DYIN Bombo Radyo, which have started calling on their listeners to donate blood to be able to save the life of needy Aklanons.

    According to RMN-DYKR management, its blood-letting activity will be held August 28 at the Kalibo Pastrana Park, along with a Dental Mission.

    The Blood-letting and Dental Mission of RMN-DYKR is its counterpart to the nationwide launching of 1st RMN Medical Mission Nationwide in celebration of the network's 58th founding anniversary and as a tribute to Don Henry Canoy, Father of Public Service in the Broadcast Industry.

    Blood donors, according to RMN-DYKR Station Manager Jerome Vega, will be given T-shirts and snacks.

    "Those who wish to donate their blood can go straight to the Pastrana Park. For those wishing to avail free dental services, they will have to register at the station first," Vega said.

    DYIN-Bombo Radyo, on the other hand, slates its blood-letting activity in November, dubbed as "Dugong Bombo". The Bombo Radyo conducts this activity yearly.

    Many other organizations have signified their plans to conduct bloodletting activities. According to Arcely Pelayo, PNRC-Aklan Administrator, some of these include EMCOR-Kalibo, the municipality of Ibajay and Boracay Shangrila.

    PNRC-Aklan is presently a blood collecting center only, and samples of blood have to be sent first to Roxas City for screening before transfusion to see if the samples are not infected with deadly diseases.

    Taking a step further to aid patients who badly need blood transfusion, Pelayo said they have blood supplies at the PNRC which are screened already. She called on the people who avail of blood supply from the PNRC however, to provide replacement, so the chain of saving people will continue. (PIA/venus G. Villanueva)

DTI, Aklan furniture industries hold product design activity on bamboocraft

    Kalibo, Aklan -- The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) here in partnership with the Aklan Chamber of Furniture Industries, Inc. (ACFI) and the Product Development and Design Center of the Philippines (PDDCP) recently held a Product Design and consultancy cum Market Trends on Bamboocraft focused on engineered bamboo.

    The activity was held at DTI-Aklan Provincial Office.

    According to DTI-Aklan Provincial Director Diosdado P. Cadena, Jr., fifteen participants attended the Market Trends Seminar which included forecasts on product trends, consumer preferences, and worldwide tendencies to help Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) create and sell products that respond to shifting consumer lifestyles and market requirements.

    Eleven MSMEs availed of the one-on-one consultation conducted by Ms. Rowe Requejo of PDDCP.

    Sixty new designs were introduced during the activity.

    Main objectives of the activity, according to DTI-Aklan, are to introduce and develop new product designs on bamboo gifts, housewares, furniture, and furnishings focused on engineered bamboo slats; update participants on the latest market trends on bamboo and other crafts; and help strengthen the bamboo industry in Aklan by producing better quality products and advancing the creativity of bamboo manufacturers.

    Presently, Aklan's MSMEs are in the process of developing the prototypes utilizing engineered bamboo slats and traditional bamboo poles. The slats and poles will be combined with other materials like nito, wood, and metal for gifts, housewares and furniture and furnishings.

    The prototypes will be featured during the Aklan Product showcase at SM City-Iloilo on November 15-21 and in other marketing events organized or assisted by DTI-Aklan.

    This early, the Dela Cruz House of Piña, manufacturer of nitocraft, made initial arrangements with C&A Alternative Designs, one of the nodes /processors of engineered bamboo slats in Kalibo on the possibility of combining e-bamboo slats with nito for its existing market in Manila and possible market in the U.S.

    Engineered bamboo has caught the attention of Aklanons recently when the DTI introduced this through an Advocacy Program brought to Aklan municipalities as part of the MSME Week celebration.

    Almost all municipalities in Aklan produce bamboos. (DTI/PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

We don’t lack blood, says PNRC-Aklan

    Kalibo, Aklan -- The province of Aklan has sufficient blood supply, according to the Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC) here, at a press conference held at the Provincial Guest House called for by Governor Marquez to address the rise of dengue cases in the province.

    "Presently, we have 57 screened units and 13 unscreened units of blood at the PNRC. We also have scheduled blood-letting activities. Emcor-Kalibo will have its bloodletting activity on August 20, RMN-DYKR will conduct it on August 28 while the municipality of Ibajay has scheduled it on September 3. Boracay Shangrila will also hold one on September 17," Arcely Pelayo, PNRC-Aklan Administrator told the Aklan media at the press conference.

    The province of Aklan, however, screens blood samples in Roxas City, because it has no equipment for screening, being only a blood-collecting center.

    The province has storage facilities to store at least 300 units of blood located at the PNRC and the Dr. Rafael S. Tumbokon Memorial Hospital.

    At the press conference, Pelayo appealed to Aklanons who availed of blood to be transfused to their relaltives suffering from dengue to replace the blood they borrowed from the PNRC so others could also avail when need arises.

    According to Dr. Emma T. Cortes, Provincial Health Officer II of the Provincial Health Office here, a total of 292 dengue patients have been admitted to hospitals in Aklan. This does not include 8 others who came from other provinces like Antique, 4; Iloilo, 2 and Capiz, 2.

    "Kalibo has still the highest number of patients with 93 from January up to the 2nd week of August; followed by Numancia with 48; New Washington, 31; Banga, 21 and Batan, 20," said Dr. Cortes.

    Numerous patients suspected infected with dengue continue to be admitted in public and private hospitals here, while others were brought to Capiz and Iloilo City.

    At the DRSTMH, even the conference hall was utilized for dengue patients.

    For efficient and factual reporting purposes, Dr. Cortes said all hospitals in Aklan are now submitting reports on dengue cases at the PHO.

    The PHO maintained that only one death from dengue is recorded in the province, as 2 Aklanon deaths alleged to be caused by dengue transpired in Iloilo hospitals.

    To prevent dengue cases from escalating, the PHO advised Aklanons to practice the 4S – Search and Destroy Breeding Places of Mosquitoes, Self-Protection, Seek Early Consultation and Say No to Fogging.

    According to the PHO, fogging is very expensive and does not totally eliminate mosquitoes. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Aklan to concentrate on good production programs

    Kalibo, Aklan -- After El Niño's onslaught, the province of Aklan is zeroing in on agriculture to ensure food security for Aklanons.

    One of these is the Rice Hybridization Program which, according to Aklan Governor Carlito S. Marquez, is targeted for expansion.

    "From 1,000 hectares, this will become 1,500 next year, 2,000 hectares in 2012 and 2,500 in 2013," said Governor Marquez in his monthly report aired over GMA-DYRU.

    Marquez said Aklanons should know that through hybrid rice, farmers will earn more than double; and production will also be more than double compared with inbred rice.

    Planting hybrid rice, according to him, should not be a source of worry for farmers.

    "The province is willing to lend P10,000.00 for every hectare to farmers," Governor Marquez said.

    He is also pushing for the expansion of programs on high-value crops, abaca, corn, and mango, aside from the sustained implementation of Integrated Pest Management, Modified Rapid Composting, Palayaman/Kabuhayan, and other agricultural programs.

    The province is also maintaining a vegetable farm project at a barangay in Kalibo. On the other hand, its Lambaklad Project in Baybay, Makato, Aklan realized a net income of P358,986.88 with the Provincial Government getting a share of P161,544.10; 19 fishermen got P143,594.75; and Makato Fisherfolks MPC, P17,949.34. Meanwhile, P35,898.68 was spent for the repair and maintenance of Lambaklad.

    The province also deployed 9 units of fish enhancing device in Ibajay; and 3 units in Unidos, Nabas.

    The province has also an oyster culture project in Cabugao, Altavas; tilapia fry project in Janlud, Libacao; and is initiating 85 artificial reef units in Poblacion, Nabas.

    The province has also harvested from its seaweed production project in Union, Nabas, and is preparing for transplants.

    Governor Marquez said the positive development in food production in Aklan is very inspiring. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)

Monday, August 9, 2010

Aklan mothers urged to practice exclusive breastfeeding

    Kalibo, Aklan – The Provincial Health Office (PHO) appealed to Aklanon mothers to exclusively breastfeed their babies for 6 months.

    By exclusive breastfeeding, Cecile De Lemos, PHO Supervising Midwife and Provincial Breastfeeding Coordinator, said mothers should feed their babies with breastmilk alone for the first six months.

    "The baby should only consume breastmilk, no water and other supplementary foods," De Lemos said over PIA-Aklan's radio program aired by RMN-DYKR.

    De Lemos stressed that all mothers have the ability to breastfeed, and to produce milk. Patience, the right position as well as correct nipple attachment contribute to satisfying feeding time between the mother and the baby.

    Mothers should also eat nutritious foods to generate breastmilk.

    "In these hard times, mothers should practice breastfeeding. Breastmilk is very accessible, free and nutritious. I can't understand why there are still low income families who opt to bottlefeed their babies inspite of the fact that infant formulas are very expensive. Money saved from buying infant formulas could be used for other things," De Lemos revealed.

    De Lemos' radio guesting was part of the PHO's activities in celebration of World Breastfeeding Week from August 1-7, and National Breastfeeding Month this August.

    Based on PHO-Aklan's records in 2009, 60.24% of mothers initiated post-partum breastfeeding, while 86.70 practiced exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months.

    "We are aiming to attain a higher percentage of breastfed babies in Aklan this year and the following years, but it would be much better if we attain a 100% accomplishment of our target," De Lemos said.

    Presently, the Breastfeeding Advocacy in the province is fully supported by the PHO, Aklan Medical Society, Barangay Health Workers Federation, Botika ng Barangay Operators, Breastfeeding Task Force, and the Gerry Roxas Foundation. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)

Friday, August 6, 2010

PESO-Aklan needs job applicants

    Kalibo, Aklan -- The Provincial Employment and Service Office (PESO) here needs job applicants for many positions opened by private companies that coordinated with this office.

    According to Vivian R. Solano, Provincial PESO Manager, many companies from Cebu, Iloilo and Manila went to her office looking for applicants for various vacant positions.

    To accommodate the requests of these companies, PESO-Aklan is now accepting applicants for jobs here and abroad.

    For local employments, applicants are needed for branch officers, store supervisors, training assistants, marketing assistant, sales representatives, call center agents, program assistants, Jr. technicians, cashiers, service crews and utility/mechanic.

    For jobs abroad, these companies need a Cook for Australia, medical technologists, nurses, pharmacists, physical/occupational therapists, teachers and lawyers for America, nurses for London, and household workers for HongKong, Kuwait, Malaysia and Singapore.

    Solano said jobless should apply, because job generation for Aklan constituents is one of the programs of the Provincial Government under Governor Carltio Marquez.

    Interested applicants, according to Solano, could visit the PESO-Aklan in its new office located at the second floor of the new Provincial Capitol Annex building, bringing with them their application letters, resume', pictures, copies of their transcript of records and other credentials placed in a long folder.

    Throughout its years of existence, PESO-Aklan has been instrumental in providing jobs to thousands of Aklanons in the province, other parts of the country and abroad. (PESO/PIA-Venus G. Villanueva)

COMELEC starts voters’ registration for barangay, SK polls

    Kalibo, Aklan -- Municipal offices of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) in Aklan's 17 towns have started registering voters-applicants for this year's Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections.

    Lorena Tumbagahan, Election Officer of the municipality of Kalibo, said registration for barangay elections is ongoing which started on August 4 and will be up to Aug. 13. On the other hand, registration for SK started August 6 and will be held up to August. 15.

    Regular voters are registered through the biometrics method, unlike voters for SK who are not subjected to such method.

    Presently, the COMELEC is in the process of deleting names of voters who were twice registered. The COMELEC assured, however, that there is no danger of disenfranchising voters should they have identical names, because individual voters could be identified through their fingerprints.

    The COMELEC said there will be no extension of voters' registration. For this year, barangay and SK elections will be held October 25. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Parole and Probation Office needs volunteers

    Kalibo, Aklan -- The Aklan Parole and Probation Office (APPO) here badly needs volunteers to help them monitor clients especially in far municipalities.

    Emma Narciso, Parole and Probation Officer here, said the office has some 34 active volunteers, but more are needed because they have 225 clients now who need to be monitored regularly.

    Narciso said the PPO clients are made to report monthly to their office in Kalibo, but there are times when these clients have no fare money so volunteers in their areas could monitor them instead and submit progress reports after.

    "There are no special qualifications for PPO volunteers. What is important is they have available time to monitor our clients, and be able to submit reports to the office.

    Narciso said there are instances when clients cannot regularly report to the PPO because they are jobless and have no fare money to use, or sick at the moment. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)

Parole and Probation office helps government save millions

    Kalibo, Aklan -- Years of tending to clients by the Aklan Parole and Probation Office (APPO) here enabled the government through this agency to save millions of pesos.

    Presently, the APPO has a total of 225 clients, and according to Emma Narciso, Aklan Parole and Probation Officer here, had these persons been placed inside rehabilitation centers because of their committed offenses, the government will have to spend for their daily needs, especially meals.

    "If our clients each get P25 for their daily meals, the government would spend P5,625.00 for just a day for them. For 30 days, this would amount to P16,750.00 and for one year, the total amount spent will reach P2,053, 125.00", Narciso said.

    Probationers, according to Narciso, include persons whose sentences are 6 years and below and who never appealed their cases, while Parollees are those who has served the minimum years of their sentences.

    To properly monitor these persons, Narciso said they are made to report to the Aklan PPO monthly. To avoid crowding considering the small size of the office, reporting of clients are scheduled. For new clients, they are told to report every first Tuesday of the month; while others are told to report every first Friday. Those from farther towns of the province are instructed to report every second Tuesday and second Friday monthly.

    The Aklan PPO makes it always a point to endorse reformed clients to the community for reintegration, according to Narciso. They also make regular visits and advocacies to various towns of the province. The three personnel including Narciso, divide the visit schedules among themselves.

     Through the years, Narciso said the parole and probation program of the government had helped many Aklanons reform and become good citizens.

    "We have known of former clients who became gainfully employed in government and private offices and were able to send their children to school to become professionals," Narciso said.

    These people, according to her, come back to their office from time to time to thank them and express their gratitude, because "if not for the Aklan PPO, they would not be where they and their children now are".

    Because of this, Narciso appealed to communities in Aklan with offenders who wanted to start a new life, to give them a chance, accept them in the community and support them.

    "There are many cases wherein clients wish to reform but when they go back to their communities, they already have no family waiting for them, they are shunned and distrusted by the community, and rejected. They become misplaced, which might lead them to stray again," said Narciso.

    Just last month, the Parole and Probation Office celebrated its 34th year of existence, and the 17th Parole and Probation Week. In Aklan, the PPO and its clients observed these activities through a Thanksgiving Mass, information drives, bazaar and cleanliness drives.

    The bazaar highlighted the celebration which was an opportunity for clients to sell their products like fruits, vegetables, seafoods and delicacies at the Provincial Capitol Grounds, which were all sold out in due time, according to the PPO. (PIA/Venus g. Villanueva)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Philippine Science HS opening doors for free secondary education

    Kalibo, Aklan -- Elementary school pupils are once again given a chance of a lifetime to enjoy free secondary education at the Philippine Schience High School (PSHS). First step they have to hurdle to enjoy this privilege is by passing the National Competitive Examination (NCE).

    Should these pupils pass the NCE, they will enjoy free tuition fee, free loan of textbooks, monthly stipend, and unfiform, transportation and living allowances to those belonging to low income groups, according to Jairus Lachica, Provincial Science and Technology Officer of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) in Aklan.

    The PSHS, with campuses all over the country, was established through Republic Act 3661. It is mandated to offer on a free scholarship basis a secondary course with emphasis on subjects pertaining to science with the end in view of preparing students for careers in science and technology.

    To qualify for the NCE application, a Grade 6 or 7 elementary pupil from a duly recognized school by the DepEd should belong to the upper 10% of the current class and does not have a grade below 80 as certified by the School Principal; a Filipino citizen with no pending application as immigrant to any foreign country; born on or after June 1, 1996; in good health and fit to undergo a rigorous academic program; of good conduct and behavior; and had not taken the PSHS NCE previously.

    If the applicant does not belong to the upper 10% he/she should have special aptitude in science and math as supported by the report card, with at least a grade of 85 in Science and Math and 80 in all other subjects.

    In Aklan, application forms for NCE could be obtained at the DOST Office located at the Provincial Capitol Compound. Deadline of submission of applications is on August 27, 2010. Examination date is on November 6, 2010. Designated testing center in Aklan, according to the DOST, is the Northwestern Visayan Colleges (NVC).

    In Region 6, the nearest PSHS campus is in Jaro, Iloilo City.

    Last year's NCE yielded a total of 10 successful examinees from Aklan, coming from public and private schools in the province. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)

Friday, July 30, 2010

Kalibo reorganizes MDCC

    Kalibo, Aklan - The municipality of Kalibo, Aklan's capital town, has now a reorganized Municipal Disaster Coordinating Council (MDCC).

    The reorganization of the council was made possible through Executive Order No. 004 issued by Kalibo mayor William S. Lachica dated July 20, in time for the country's observation of Disaster Preparedness Month.

    The issuance of the executive order is pursuant to Section 4 & 5 of Ra 1190 otherwise known as Civil Defense Law, which mandates that the Municipal Mayor is the Civil Defense Director of the municipality and is responsible for the establishment, coordination, supervision and direction of the Civil Defense organization in the community during times of disasters, calamities and emergencies.

    Mayor Lachica said the reorganized MDCC will oversee the status of the municipal disaster risk reduction and preparedness programs, disaster response, relief operations and rehabilitation activities by the government and private sectors; evaluate information and advise the Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council on disaster situation and recommend appropriate measures; and perform other functions as may be required by the PDCC/RDCC and NDCC.

    The council, according to Mayor Lachica, will be composed of the Municipal Mayor as Chairperson, the Chief of Police of the PNP as Vice Chairperson and Action Officer and the Civil Defense Deputized Coordinator as the Head of the Secretariat.

    The council will also be composed of representatives from the private sector, organic municipal officials whose departments are tasked with specific emergency functions as well as national officials assigned in the municipality.

    The council will also establish an operating facility to be known as the Disaster Operations Center located at the municipal building and an alternate DOC located at the police station.complete with communication systemand rescue operations equipment where activities in the field will be monitored and controlled.

    With the organized council, Mayor Lachica said he has invited members from various organizations to be part of Kalibo's Team in order to solicit bright ideas to explore and integrate views of people from various walks of life and thus chart the progress, and safety of Kalibo in times of disasters, man-made or natural. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)

Aklan’s senior citizens welcome privileges of new law, member registrations up

    Kalibo, Aklan -- Aklan's senior citizens are starting to enjoy the benefits brought by Republic Act 9994 or the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010, an act granting additional benefits and privileges to senior citizens.

    The Act further amends RA No. 7432 of 1992 as amended by RA No. 9257 of 2003.

    Privileges for the senior citizens include OSCA-issued Senior Citizens' Identification Card and Twenty percent (20 %) discount and VAT exemption.

    The card is used for the availment of benefits and privileges which will be honored nationwide while with the 20% Discount and VAT Exemption, the senior citizens will be entitled to the grant of 20% discount and an exemption from the VAT, if applicable, on the sale of the goods and services covered by Section 1 to 6 of the article from all establishments for the exclusive use and enjoyment or availment of senior citizens.

    "Since July 16, Aklanon senior citizens started enjoying the benefits of this law, and in Kalibo, we have noted that many are lining up to register as members," said Atty. Arnaldo Tejada Sr., Provincial Federation President of Senior Citizens in the province.

    Tejada, who was also recently elected as Sangguniang Bayan member of Kalibo said he himself could attest to the benefits brought by the recently-signed law.

    "I save a lot when I buy my maintenance medicines. If I buy P1,000.00 worth of medicines, I only pay P800.00 because of the discount. I can then use the saved amount for other things," Tejada said.

    Besides the discount in medicines, Tejada also said senior citizens can also avail of discounts in plane and boat fares, hotels, restaurants and fast foods.

    Tejada said drugstores and fastfoods in Aklan are already granting these benefits to their sector.

    Tejada also lauded the help of congressmen representing the Senior Citizens Party list for inking the bill that made possible the passing of theExpanded Senior Citizens Act.

    In Aklan, there are three municipalities with buildings for Senior Citizens – Kalibo, Malay and New Washington. Kalibo's building is located at the Dr. Rafael s. Tumbokon Memorial Hospital compound, its lot donated by the Provincial Government of Aklan.

    Besides the benefits now enjoyed by senior citizens in the province due to RA 9994, the province is also currently extending hospital assistance to this sector by giving them a maximum of P1,000.00 assistance for medicines. This is an offshoot of a concept paper forwarded by the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO) here requesting for hospital assistance to the elderly members of the community.

    A survey is also on-going to determine the poorest of the poor among senior citizens nationwide, so they could each avail of P500.00 monthly social pension.

    This is one other benefit stipulated in RA 9994. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Aklanon inventors wanted

    Kalibo, Aklan -- There is a dearth in inventors in Aklan.

    DOST-Aklan Provincial Science and Technology Officer Jairus Lachica said that because of this, nobody from Aklan could represent the province,display his invention or join in the forthcoming Regional Cluster Invention Contest which will be held from August 12 to 15 this year at the Amigo Terrace Hotel in Iloilo City.

    Lachica said the contest in Iloilo city next month will be joined by the Visayas Cluster – Regions 6, 7 and 8.

    According to the DOST, the Regional Cluster Invention Contest serves as the elimination/qualifying round for the National Invention Contest pursuant to Section 4 of the Republic Act No. 7459 also known as the "Inventors and Invention Incentives Act of the Philippines".

    The contest is open for both the public and private sector inventors and researchers within the Cluster Region. Talented Filipinos can compete in the Invention Contest under 6 categories namely Invention Category (Tuklas Award); Utility Model Category; Industrial Design Category; Creative Research Category (Likha Award); Student Creative Research Category (Sibol Award) for High School and Studen Creative Research Category (Sibol Award) for College.

    The contest is open to all inventors, makers, designers, and creative researchers who are Filipino citizens residing in the Regional Cluster. They are eligible to join in any of the six contest categories of the invention contest and compete for awards. However, an invention, a utility model, an industrial design or a creative research may be entered in only one regional cluster invention contest during the year.

    Entries in the invention, utility model and industrial design categories must already have patent, utility model registration and industrial registration respectively, on or before the deadline for the submission of entries.

    There will be a maximum of three qualifiers selected for each regional cluster for each category. The qualifiers, subject to submission of additional documents, shall be the finalists for the National Invention Contest. Each regional qualifiers shall receive a cash incentives of P10,000, a certificate and a plaque to be awarded during the awarding/closing ceremonies of the regional invention contest, according to the DOST.

    In Aklan, Lachica invited interested and budding inventors in the province to go to Iloilo, witness the competition and view inventions of the Visayas Cluster.

    He also called on Aklanons who might have inventions of their own to visit the DOST Office here so they could be assisted in applying for patents or for other concerns.

    "Do not keep your inventions to yourselves. Show them and have you inventions patented, or else, others with the same invention will beat you to it," Lachica said. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Energy department conducting spots checks in Aklan

Kalibo, Aklan -- A team from the Department of energy (DOE) has started conducting spot checks in government offices and buildings in Aklan.

    The conduct of spots checks in government offices is one of the activities of the Government Energy Management Program (GEMP) of the the DOE.

    The GEMP is one of the programs of the government aimed to reduce the monthly consumption of electricity (kwh) and monthly petroleum products (liters) by at least 10% in all government entities.

    Roland Meneses, one of the team members from the DOE, said the government was able to save P1,009,379,074.00 from September 2005 to May 2008 under this program. This was based from the 120 government agencies in the National Capital Region and 200 agencies from different regions submitting monthly consumption report.

    The DOE has already conducted spot checks in the provinces of Capiz and Iloilo this year, and is continuously conducting the activity nationwide.

    According to the DOE, some of the measures implemented aided by spot checks that generated savings for the government include operating aircon for six hours only; setting of aircon to fan during lunch time; maintaining room temperature not lower than 25 degrees centigrade, replacing incandescent bulbs with CFL and 40W fluorescent lamps with 36W or 32W slim type fluorescent lamps; turning off of lights from 12:00 NN - !:00 PM and turning off of computers/office equipment /appliances when not in use.

    As for fuel conservation, owners should have regular maintenance of all vehicles; retire old and inefficient vehicles; trips scheduling and reduction of fuel allocation for each vehicle by 10%.

    In Aklan, Governor Carlito S. Marquez, as early as June 2008, released Memorandum No. 2008-108 appealing to all provincial department heads and all heads of national offices whose water and electric bills are paid for by the provincial government to economize in water and power consumption.

    "Turning off lights, water taps and appliances when not needeD should be made a matter of habit. Airconditioners should be turned off at least 2 hours before 12:00 noon and 5:00 p.m. as aircon offices retain their coolness for that long," Governor Marquez said then in the memorandum.

    Governor Marquez also said then that the money saved from the economic use of water and power is better spent for the hiring of urgently-needed provincial school board teachers, tuition fees of provincial government scholars, and similar such expenditures for basic services. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)

Monday, July 26, 2010

Top killer diseases in Aklan known

    Kalibo, Aklan -- In 2009, pneumonia was the number one cause of deaths of Aklanons in the province. It topped the list which includes 9 others.

    This is according to a report compiled by the Provincial Health Office (PHO). The PHO has also a compilation of infant mortality as well as morbidity leading causes among Aklanons.

    Pneumonia caused the deaths of some 607 Aklanons last year, while other causes of deaths include Cancer with 341 deahts; Cardiovascular Accidents, 341; Hypertension, 234; Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, 160; Myocardial Infarction, 148; Heart Failure, 142; Accidents, 103; Pulmonary Tuberculosis, 89 and Renal Failure, 87.

    As for infant mortality, sepsis was the number one killer of babies last year, with 21; Prematurity, 19; Pneumonia, 16; Heart Failure, 10; Cancer, 4; Cardiovascular accidents, 4; Asphyxia, 4; Respiratory Distress, 4; Renal Failure, 3 and CRA, 3.

    Presently, the Provincial Health Office is zeroing in on the prevention of dengue, which, according to Provincial Health Officer Dr. Victor Santamaria, is now a year-round disease.

    According to him, there were dengue cases monitored even during the summer months here despite the scarcity of water in some areas.

    Although there were no reported deaths in Aklan due to dengue compared with other provinces in Western Visayas, he appealed to all Aklanons to help prevent it by cleaning surroundings through the 4'oclock habit, screening doors and windows and using mosquito nets.

    He also called on the people to strengthen their immune systems by sleeping early, eating nutritious food and exercising. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)

Friday, July 16, 2010

Altavasnons eager to try ‘engineered’ bamboo

    Altavas, Aklan -- Altavasnons who attended the recent advocacy program conducted by the Provincial Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Development (PMSMED) Council in celebration of SMED Week in Altavas, Aklan expressed eagerness to take on the 'engineered bamboo' industry.

    Engineered bamboo is now a flagship project of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) which involves the processing of slats into pressed bamboo which could substitute for lumber.

    DTI Provincial Director Diosdado P. Cadena, Jr. said the industry can create employment and provide income for bamboo growers in Aklan.

    Based on a survey conducted in the area, Altavas has a total of 60 hectares planted to bamboo. Other municipalities too, have large areas planted to bamboo, but disposal or marketing is not maximized due to difficulty in bringing the bamboos from the uplands to the lowlands where it is in demand.

    Director Cadena said engineered bamboo has a ready market in the Department of Education (DepEd), which he said, has a Memorandum of Agreement with them to produce school desks and chairs made of engineered bamboo.

    He added there are already 2 companies in Kalibo to take on the job of processing the bamboo slats into bamboo lumber.

    Under the technology, slats of regulated thickness and sizes are pressed to form 2x2 lumber or 1x2 with a length of one meter.

    Information passed by DTI-Aklan revealed that bamboo is 27% harder than oak and 13% harder than maple.

    As a job generator, DTI info also revealed that a 50-hectare farm planted to bamboo will provide employment to a community's more or less 200 residents, composed of bamboo producers, harvesters/gatherers and haulers. As for Community-Based Enterprises or NODES, some 1,300 persons will be involved, composed of weavers, laborers, machine operators, sorters and haulers.

    Besides DepEd, other markets for engineered bamboo are the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and the National Housing Authority (NHA).

    Even with its newly-discovered use, the bamboo has been recognized too for its role against global warming. It has been given acknowledged and ranked by the Kyoto Protocol as one of the most suitable plants to earn carbon credits. Its capacity to sequester carbon dioxide is internationally recognized, and can store in excess of 40 tons CO2 per hectare.

    Unlike timber, it releases very little carbon into the atmosphere when harvested.

    At the advocacy program in Altavas, newly-elected Mayor Denny Refol thanked the PMSMED council for conducting the advocacy program in Altavas, which he said is one major way of eradicating poverty in his municipality.

    Refol said Altavas is aiming to be a major economic center with the opening of the Jamindan-Altavas Road and the Batan-Manila RORO route, and encouraged the participants to listen well and disseminate to others what they have learned.

    Refol said he sees Altavas' future as a center of trade – and a very busy municipality involved in business. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Price/supply of basic, prime commodities in Aklan sufficient

    Kalibo, Aklan -- Supply of basic and prime commodities for the first week of July in Aklan is sufficient, and prices are within the Suggested Retail Price (SRP), according to the monitoring report of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) here.

    The DTI report however, noted that compared with last month's prices, some items had significant changes in the monitored prevailing prices.

    The price of a kilogram of rock salt in the Kalibo Wet Market was found to have gone down by P2.00, from P12.00 a month ago to P10.00 first week of this month.

    Another item which decreased in price is Nescafe refill 25 grams, which a month ago, was sold for P17.75 in supermarkets, but now could be bought at P16.50 per pack.

    DTI-Aklan said the prevailing price of rock salt decreased significantly due to oversupply, while the 25-gm coffee pack decreased its prevailing price because its SRP also decreased.

    For construction materias – G.I. Sheet, steel bars of various sizes and brands also decreased in prices due to the decrease in the world market demand. An increase in the price of steel wire of P5.00 was noted by the DTI however.

    Two brands of tubular fluorescent lamp – 20 watts, GE and Omni increased by P4.00 and P5.00 respectively; while the price of Firefly 8 watts compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) went down by P7.00 from P90.00 sold at supermarkets last month to P83.00 first week of July. The same brand of CFL , 9 and 11 watts both decreased in prices by P7.00. Eagle Fuse, 15 amperes, also decreased its price by P2.00.

    The DTI report also revealed that various brands of hard flour decreased in prices – Montana, priced at P761.00 per 25 kilogram bag, could now be bought for P741.00 in supermarkets; Dakota, priced P755 last month is now at P735.00' and Washington, sold at P743.00 last month is now sold at P723.00. On the other hand, soft flour like Amigo brand was sold for P638.00 per bag a month ago but today, the same commodity could be bought for P623. Gold Key, another brand, priced P650.00 a month ago, is now sold for P635.00 per bag.

    For the monitoring period, four stores in the wet market, eight groceries/supermarkets and eight (8) hardware stores were monitored by the DTI.

    The current report on price/supply of basic and prime commodities in Aklan was shared by the DTI to Aklan Governor Carlito S. Marquez, chairman of Provincial Price Coordinating Council (PPCC) and members coming from various national government agencies during its latest meeting.

    Other members also shared reports on prices and supplies of goods, commodities and services they are tasked to monitor, like palay and rice supply, agricultural products, fish supply, transportation, peace and order, etc. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)

Friday, July 9, 2010

Malaynons reap gains from ARISE-CLEEP training

    Malay, Aklan -- More than 600 Malaynons are now reaping the gains they obtained from undergoing livelihood trainings from various national government agencies under the ARISE/CLEEP program that the government introduced in 2009.

    ARISE means " A Responsive and Innovative Strategy for Entrepreneurship, introduced by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in January 2009, which later became Comprehensive Livelihood and Emergency Employment Program (CLEEP).

    Under CLEEP, these 600 Malaynons coming from various associations formed by the municipality of Malay through its Municipal Social and Development Office (MSWDO) were trained on soap-making and "bariw" bag making with Boracay Island as the target market in October 2009.

    "Bariw" is a plant thriving in Malay and Nabas whose leaves are used to weave mats, bags, hats, etc.

    The trainors were provided by the DTI and the DOST. During their graduation, stakeholders from Boracay Island were invited to get their commitment and support for the livelihood project of the trainees.

    "One of those who gave her commitment to support us that time was the President of Boracay Foundation, Nenette A. Graf," said Antonia Sano, president of Malay Municipal Federation of SEA Kaunlaran.

    To start their livelihood venture, Sano and her group obtained a loan from the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) and started working.

    Just after several months of its existence, the group is now enjoying the attention given to its products by resorts in the island.

    "Fifty resorts from the island are now our clients, ordering soaps for use in their resorts, while our bags are also enjoying brisk orders," Sano said.

    Just this period, ONE MGM, a popular resort in the island, ordered 5,000 pieces of soap from the group, while the Boracay Beach Resort ordered 116 pieces of "bariw" bags, Sano told members of the Provincial Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Development (PMSMED) Council who came to Malay July 8 to conduct an advocacy program for entrepreneurs and would-be entrepreneurs in the area.

    Sano confided to the PMSMEDC members, however, that they still need additional trainings or new ideas to improve their products.

    "Some customers specify they want this style of bags, but we don't have enough knowledge to execute the designs, so we need your help," Sano told the group during the open forum.

    Sano also said they need advice to further enhance their soap products.

    To these concerns, the DTI and the DOST promised to further assist them, while the Land Bank of the Philippines, through Manager Niña Iturriaga and Account Management Specialist Bernard Moises praised the Malay group for having good payment records in the bank.

    Through all their efforts, Sano said the Boracay Foundation had been supportive, helping them market their products in the island.

    The MMFSKA has a display area near the Caticlan Airport currently.

    Besides Malay, the PMSMEDC also went to Altavas, Aklan to conduct advocacy programs.

    The advocacy programs were conducted in celebration of the MSMED Week, with the theme "Negosyo…Tagumpay Mula Sa Kahirapan". (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

CSC to incoming elective, appointive officials: respect rights of career service employees

    Kalibo, aklan -- The Civil Service Commission (CSC) has advised all incoming elective and appointive officials to respect the constitutional right to security of tenure of career service officials and employees with valid appointments.

    This advisory is contained in Memorandum circular No. 11 series of 2010 issued by CSC Chairman Francisco T. Duque III which will serve as a guide to incoming officials as they assume their responsibilities in their respective areas.

    The MC reiterated that the 1987 constitution provides that "no officer or employee of the civil service shall be removed or suspended except for cause provided by law".

    The MC explained that under EO No. 292, it is a declalred policy of the State to "insure and promote the constitutional mandate that appointments in the Civil Service shall be made only according to merit and fitness, that the CSC, as the central personnel agency of the Government shall adopt measures to promote morale efficiency, integrity, responsiveness, and courtesy in the civil service and institutionalize a management climate conducive to public accountability."

    With the issuance of the MC, Chairman Duque called on incoming officials to observe the prevailing Civil Service laws, rules and regulations.

    "As the nation celebrates the triumph of democracy, the CSC exhorts all incoming elective and appointive officials and employees to put premium on public serve and collectively work for the general welfare of the citizenry" the Memorandum stressed.

    In Aklan, Evelyn Ejar, Director II of CSC Field Office here said that as of this time, her office has not received any formal complaint from government employees affected with the change in leadership in their municipalities.

    Ejar said the advisory is essential to incoming officials because this will guide or remind them to observe Civil Service Laws and Rules as government employees enjoy security of tenure.

    The MC is also seen to help alleviate the fears and apprehensions of government employees as they do their duties under new leaderships. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)


Friday, July 2, 2010

Advocacy to gain support for MSMEs slated for 2 Aklan towns

    Kalibo, Aklan -- The towns of Altavas in the eastern part of Aklan and Malay on the western part will be playing hosts to Aklan's Provincial Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Development (PMSMED) Council when the group goes to these towns to hold advocacy programs for the development of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in their respective areas.

    According to Engr. Diosdado P. Cadena, Jr., Department of Trade and Industry-Aklan Provincial Director, the advocacy program for Malay will be held on July 8 while that of Altavas will be on July 9.

    "This activity is part of our commitment to continuously promote, support, strengthen, and encourage the growth and development of MSMEs in Aklan," Engr. Cadena said.

    In the advocacy programs in Altavas and Malay, portfolio managers of PMSMED Council will present the programs and services related to Business and Investment Enabling Environment (BIEE), Access to Finance (A2F), Access to Market (A2M), and Productivity and Efficiency (P&E).

    Relevant issues and concerns of MSMEs are hoped to be addressed during the open forum, while a one-on-one consultation with the MSMEs concerning BIEE, A2F, A2M and P&E may also be scheduled to attend to the needs of MSMEs.

    The advocacy, according to DTI-Aklan, is seen to encourage the towns of Malay and Altavas to establish a Municipal MSMED Desks and for the respective mayors to designate coordinators to help address the needs of MSMEs in the areas.

    The Aklan PMSMED is an interagency body mandated under Republic Act 9501, known as the Magna Carta for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises. It is attached to the Department of Trade and Industry.

    The council is composed of both national government agencies and private sector groups and was organized in January 1996. It was the first PMSMED Council to be organized in Western Visayas through DTI-Aklan and the Provincial Government of Aklan.

    Jusr recently, the council was strengthened further through the creation of the PMSMED Council and its working committees through Executive Order No. 16 issued by Governor Carlito S. Marquez.

    In the strengthening of the council, Gov. Marquez said MSMEs have the potential for more employment generation and economic growth and can help provide a self-sufficient industrial foundation for the country in general and the province in particular.

    Gov. Marquez chairs the PMSMED Council while the DTI Provincial Director co-chairs it.

    Members of Aklan PSMED Council includes Aklan Piñamantra through India Legaspi; Aklan Food Processors Development Cooperative through Roselita C. Sauza; Aklan State University-BAC, Agricultural Training Institute, Department of Agrarian Reform, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Department of Interior and Local Government, Department of Science and Technology, Department of Labor and Employment, Fiber Industry Development Authority, Land Bank of the Philippines, Office of the Provincial Agriculturist, Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Philippine Information Agency, Provincial Planning and Development Office, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, Quedancor, and Uswag Development Foundation. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Aklan governor thanks SP for endorsing biomass plant project

    Kalibo, Aklan -- Governor Carlito Marquez thanked today members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Aklan for their recent endorsement of the Biomass Plant Project of Asea One Corporation.

    Marquez extended his thanks during the inaugural session of the SP here, where he presented his administration's programs and priority thrusts for the three years of his new term, and apprise the honorable body of the legislative support needed.

    The putting up of a biomass plant project is in line with Republic Act 9513, which is an act of promoting the development, utilization and commercialization of renewable energy resources.

    "Its declared policies are to accelerate the exploration and development of renewable energy resources such as biomass, solar, wind, hydro, geothermal and ocoean energy sources, including hybrids systems to achieve energy self-reliance, through the adaptation of sustainable energy development strategies to reduce the country's dependence on fossil fuels and thereby minimize the country's exposure to price fluctuations in the international market", Marquez said in his talk.

    The biomass power plant, the first of its kind in the country, is located in Venturanza, Banga, Aklan. For fuel, it will use agricultural wastes such as rice stalks, coconut husks, coconut fronds, shells and many others.

    For supplying agricultural waste products as fuel to the biomass plant, farmers are seen to have additional income. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Aklan has 6 first-termer mayors

    Kalibo, Aklan -- The province of Aklan has 6 first-termer mayors elected during the May 10, 2010 automated elections.

    Most of these incoming mayors have taken their oaths of office already while others are holding theirs today, like incoming Kalibo Mayor William Lachica and incoming Numancia Mayor Adolfo M. Iligan.

    Two of these six first-termer mayors are actually come-backing, like Mayor Denny D. Refol of Altavas, who, after earlier completing his three terms, rested and then ran for mayor again in the recent elections; and Balete Mayor Teodoro V.Calizo, who won for a fresh term after completing three terms. In between, his sister, Noeme C. Cordero ran, won and served as mayor of Balete.

    The other four – the real first termers even as they have served the public under other positions, are William Lachica of Kalibo, Adolfo Iligan of Numancia,Wilbert Ariel Igoy of Malinao and John Yap of Malay.

    Based on the profile compiled by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) regional office, Region 6 composed of the provinces of Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Iloilo, Guimaras and Negros Occidental has a total of 59 first termers – 3 for province, 1 for highly-urbanized city; 9 for component cities and 46 for municipalities.

    For second termers, the region has a total of 57 – 3 for province; 4 for component cities and 50 for municipalities. Third termers are 23 – 1 for highly-urbanized city; 1 for component city and 21 for municipalities.

    Per province, Aklan has 6 first termers; 7 second termers and 5 third termers. Capiz has 11 1st termers; 6 second termers and 2 third termers while Iloilo has 22 first termers, 15 second termers and 8 third termers.

    On the other hand, Antique has 11 first termers, 6 second termers and 2 third termers. Guimaras has 2 first termers, 3 second termers and 1 third termer; and Negros Occidental, 8 first termers, 15 second termers and 3 third termers.

    According to the DILG, there are 39 newly "minted" local officials in the region – 1 governor; 1 HUC Mayor, 6 for component city and 31 municipal mayors.

    Of the 1,456 elective officials in the region, 818 are newly elected and 638 are reelected. 13% of the elected officials are College level while 66% are College Graduates. 15% have Post Graduate Degrees; 3% are Vocational course graduates, 2 % are High School level and Elementary, 1%.

    Women elected to positions comprised only 20% of the total number of local officials – out of 1,456 officials, 292 are women and 1,185, men. The province of Iloilo had the highest number of women elected to office, with 102 positions occupied by women out of the total of 449 positions, according to DILG 6. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)