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Friday, February 26, 2010

Mga bayan sa Aklan na nanganganib sa El Niño, tinukoy

    Kalibo, Aklan -- Tinukoy ng Office of the Provincial Agriculturist dito ang mga bayan sa Aklan na nanganganib sa El Niño.

    Ayun sa OPA, may anim na bayan ditto na nagtatanim ng dilaw at puti na mais na nanganganib sa El Niño. Ito ay ang mga bayan ng Altavas, Ibajay, Kalibo, Madalag, Malinao, at Numancia. May pangkalahatang 132 ektarya ng maisan ang apektado sa mga bayang ito – 107 ektarya para sa dilaw na mais at 25 ektarya para sa putting mais.

    Sa anim na bayan, ang Malinao ang may pinakamalaking numero ng apektadong ektarya na 47 na tinamnan ng dilaw na mais. Sinusundan ito ng Kalibo na may 26 ektarya at Altavas na may 15 ektarya. Dalawang bayan lamang ang may tanim na putting mais – Kalibo, na may 20 ektaryang apektado, at Altavas, na may 5 ektarya.

    Samantala, 16 sa 17 na bayan ng Aklan na nagtatanim ng palay ang nailistang delikado sa El Niño, na may kabuuan na 2,675 ektarya.

    Ang tinatawag na rainfed areas ang pinaka apektado, na may 2,434 ektarya, samantalang 241 ektarya naman ang nasa irrigated area na apektado.

    Ilan sa mga hakbang na iminumungkahi ng Department of Agriculture, OPA at LGU para matulungan ang mga nanganganib na tanimang ito ay ang pagpadaloy ng tubig sa pamamagitan ng Small Water Impounding Project , pagkaloob ng mga binhi, pestisidyo, financing component, animal health services at wastong kaalaman tungkol sa El Niño. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)

Aklan, may 316,886 na botante para sa Mayo 2010 na eleksyon

    Kalibo, Aklan -- Umabot na sa 316,886 ang mga rehistrado na botante sa Aklan para sa Mayo 10, 2010 na eleksyon.

    Ito ay ayon sa nakuhang listahan na ipinalabas ng Commission on Elections sa Aklan na pinamumunuan ni Atty. Ian Lee Ananoria, Provincial Election Supervisor.

    Nangunguna sa listahan ang bayan ng Kalibo, kabisera ng Aklan, bilang may pinakamalaking numero ng botante, na umabot sa 46,530. Sinundan ito ng bayan ng Ibajay, na may 25,530 na mga botante, at New Washington, na may 23,858.

    Ang bayan ng Banga ay may 23,063 na botante, samantalang ang Malay, kung saan naroroon ang isla ng Boracay ay may 22,833.

    Ang iba pang mga bayan at ang kanilang mga bilang ng botante ay ang Numancia, na may 18,678; Batan, 18,874; Balete, 17,085; Nabas, 16,300; Libacao, 15,722; Altavas, 14,854; Malinao, 14,442; Tangalan, 11,868; Madalag, 11,615; Buruanga, 11,147 at lezo, 8,389.

    Ang lalawigan ng Aklan ay may 2,115 na established precincts at may 492 na clustered precincts sa 327 na mga barangay. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Aklan has 5 IWAG awardees for 2010

Kalibo, Aklan -- Five graduating student writers from Aklan are included in this year's roster of IWAG Awardees in Western Visayas.

    The IWAG Award is an incentive scheme conceptualized by the Philippine Information Agency in Region 6 to give due recognition to campus paper writers who excelled in the field of development communication.

    This year's IWAG Awardees in Aklan include 3 high school and 2 college graduating students.

The high school IWAG Awardees all came from government schools, while the 2 college awardees came from private schools.

    The high school awardees are Mary Love S. Juanico of the Viewfinder school paper of Linabuan Norte National High School, Therese Angela D. Sulangi, Scholar's Gazette, Regional Science High School; and Jessa Marie N. Remetio, Pahayagang Iskolar of the Regional Science High School.

    Awardees from college include Meraflor I. Trance of the Garcian, Garcia College of Technology and Darren N. Naelgas, Aklan Collegian, Aklan Catholic College.

    As awardees, these graduating students will receive a gold medal and a citation each, to be awarded to them on their graduation or recognition day.

    There are 51 IWAG awardees for this year – 5 from Aklan, 3 from Antique, 9 from Capiz, 20 from Iloilo and 14 from Negros Occidental. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)

BAS to validate reported El Niño-affected farms in Aklan

    Kalibo, Aklan –The Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (BAS) here has been tasked by the Department of Agriculture (DA) 6 to validate reports on El Niño-affected farms in Aklan.

    Manuelito Delegencia, Provincial Agricultural Statistics Officer in Aklan said they could finish validating next week and submit the result to the regional office.

    Delegencia said their office is set to validate some 1,300 hectares of ricelands located in various towns in Aklan which were reported to be affected by the El Niño.

    The DA, according to Delegencia, is earmarking some P192,000,000.00 budget in Region 6 for its mitigation programs for El Niño-vulnerable areas. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)

Aklan has 316,886 registered voters for May 2010 elections

    Kalibo, Aklan -- Aklan now has a total of 316,886 registered voters for the May 10, 2010 first-ever automated elections in the country.

    The figure, based on the Consolidated Quarterly Progress Report, was released by COMELEC-Aklan through Atty. Ian Lee M. Ananoria, Provincial Election Supevisor. It is based on the result of the January 9, 2010 ERB Hearing.

    Kalibo, Aklan's capital town, has the biggest number of voters with 46,530. It is followed by Ibajay, a town in the western side of the province, with 25,530 and New Washington in the eastern side with 23,858.

    Close in the heels of New Washington is the town of Banga with 23,063, followed by the town of Malay where Boracay Island is, with 22,833.

    Other towns and their respective number of registered voters are Numancia, with 18,678; Batan, 18,874; Balete, 17,085; Nabas, 16,300; Makato, 16,150; Libacao, 15,722; Altavas, 14,854; Malinao, 14,442; Tangalan, 11,868; Madalag, 11,615; Buruanga, 11,147; and Lezo, 8,389.

    Aklan has a total of 2,115 total number of established precincts with 492 clustered in the province' 327 barangays. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Aklan towns to get mango flower inducer for El Niño

    Kalibo, Aklan -- Eight Aklan mango-producing towns will soon be provided with bags of flower inducers as part of the government's El Niño mitigating measures through the Department of Agriculture-Office of the Provincial Agriculturist and Local Government Units (DARFU-VI OPA-LGU.

    Mango trees are said to be more fruitful during the hot weather, thus the flower inducer.

    These towns, according to OPA-Aklan, are Buruanga, to be provided with 3 bags, Malay, 2; Nabas, 2, Ibajay, 3; Tangalan, 3; Makato, 3; Numancia, 3 and Kalibo, 2, for a total of 20 bags.

    OPA will also provide vegetable seeds to Aklan's 17 municipalities.

    For fisheries, a total of 125,000 milkfish (bangus) fingerlings will be provided by the Bureau of Aquatic and Fisheries Resources (BFAR) to 25 beneficiaries. BFAR has identified a total of 25 hectares of fishponds threatened by the El Niño.

    BFAR and the OPA will also be giving support to oyster and mussels (tahong) raisers.

    The province has identified 1.25 hectares of oyster farms and 1.25 tahong farms in Aklan threatened by El Niño. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)

Aklan identifies rice and corn areas vulnerable to El Niño

    Kalibo, Aklan -- The Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPA) here has identified rice and corn areas in the province which are vulnerable to the El Niño Phenomenon.

    According to OPA-Aklan, 6 municipalities in the province which produce yellow and white corn are vulnerable to El Nino. These are Altavas, Ibajay, Kalibo, Madalag, Malinao and Numancia. A total of 132 hectares from these towns planted to yellow and white corn – 107 hectares for yellow corn and 25 hectares for white corn were found vulnerable.

    Of the 6 municipalities, Malinao town has the biggest threatened area with 47 hectares planted to yellow corn, followed by Kalibo with 26 hectares amd Altavas with 15 hectares. Only two towns – Kalibo and Altavas, plant white corn with 5 hectares and 20 hectares respectively.

    Meanwhile, 16 municipalities in the province were identified by OPA as vulnerable rice areas to El Niño. These are the towns of Altavas, Balete, Batan, Malinao, Ibajay, Libacao, Madalag, Malay, Buruanga, Numancia, Banga, Tangalan, Makato, Lezo, Kalibo and New Washington, with a total of 2,675 hectares.

    These vulnerable rice farms are either irrigated or rainfed, with the rainfed having the biggest area with 2,434 hectares. Affected irrigated areas reached 241 hectares located in the towns of Numancia, Tangalan, Makato, Lezo, Kalibo, and New Washington.

    For these identified El Niño-vulnerable areas, the Department of Agriculture (RFU VI)OPA-LGU has proposed some mitigating measures which includes irrigation and water availability through fuel subsidy, construction of Small water Impounding Project (SWIP) and SWIP rehabilitation; production support through buffer seeds, pesticides, vegetable seeds/rootcrops/livestocks and animal health services; financing component, information, education and communication and program management through monitoring and feedbacking.

    Aklan, according to PAGASA, will be moderately affected by El Niño. El Niño is expected to be over by July of this year yet. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

DOH warns against “dry spell” diseases

    Kalibo, Aklan -- The Department of Health (DOH) here is warning Aklanons against outbreak of diseases during this dry spell or El Niño now being felt in the province.

    According to Dr. Myrtle Pelayo, DOH Provincial Health Team leader, some of the diseases that arise during the hot weather includes heatstrokes, diarrhea, dehydration, measles, and many others.

    Dr. Pelayo said people can avoid these diseases by taking plenty of liquids and staying in cooler places as much as possible.

    "Under normal conditions, a person should drink at least 6 to 8 glasses of water everyday. With El Niño now manifesting in Aklan, one must drink from 10 to 12 glasses daily. People should also wear lighter or thinner clothes. People should take baths daily too, to feel refreshed and cool", Dr. Pelayo said.

    Pelayo also advised that with the trend now of saving water due to shortage, people must not forget to cover their water containers, as the water might be used as breeding places of mosquitoes.

    "We might face another health problem like dengue if this happens," she said.

    Mosquitoes, she said, continue to breed during the hot weather.

    She also called on the people living in barangays who still get their water supply from open wells to boil the water first before consuming. "Due to the low water level in wells, bacteria could thrive, which when consumed could cause diseases," Pelayo stressed.

    She also advised people who store rain water to boil it first before drinking.

    "It is alright to use rain water for bathing or washing clothes, but for drinking, it should be boiled first.

    According to PAGASA, Aklan will be moderately affected by El Niño, which is predicted to last until July of this year. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)

Monday, February 22, 2010

Aklan farmers’ groups, other grains industry councils brace for El Niño too

    Kalibo, Aklan -- Farmers' groups in Aklan as well as other grains business councils are also aware of the danger posed by El Niño on their sector and have started including the topic in their meeting's agenda, according to the National Food Authority (NFA) here.

    According to Judith Tindog, Sr. Grains Operations Officer of NFA-Aklan, one item in the agenda of the meeting of the Philippine Grains Industry Council (PGIC) here this week programmed for discussion is the El Niño Phenomenon and mitigating measures to counter or temper its effect on grains retailers, wholesalers, farmers, millers, and other related industries.

    The PGIC is one organization formed under the advisory of NFA. It is now headed by its president, Retired Gen. Frederick Romero.

    Romero, according to the NFA, is a certified seeds grower and a grains businessman in Aklan.

    PGIC serves as umbrella organizations of grains retainers, grains confederation, farmers, millers, and grains wholesalers and retailers.

    Meanwhile, NFA-Aklan is on its sustained palay procurement in the different rice-producing areas in the province.

    Tindog said the NFA procurement team will be buying palay in Liloan, Malinao this week. NFA buys palay at P17.40 per kilo when delivered at the grains center and P17.20 per kilo in the field.

    The NFA here is also preparing for local milling. It is also preparing its warehouse for farmers who would be selling their produce to the food agency, as well as its forthcoming share of imported rice in preparation for El Niño.

    Despite the El Niño threat, Tindog revealed there are still farmers who are buying certified seeds from them for planting this cropping season.

    Tindog attributed this to some areas in the province which continues to have enough supply of water for their ricefields despite the dry spell now felt in some areas of the province.

    Aklan, according to PAGASA, will be moderately affected by the El Niño. El Niño is predicted to last until July of this year. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)

Friday, February 19, 2010

BFAR, may action plan laban sa El Niño

    Gagawa ng hakbang ang Bureau of Aquatic and Fisheries Resources (BFAR) dito sa lalawigan ng Aklan para matulungan ang mga mangingisda at mga may ari ng palaisdaan na hindi gaanong malugi sa panahon ng El Niño.

    Ang plano ng BFAR ay sumasaklaw din sa mga may-ari ng talaba at tahong farms na bibigyan din ng tulong.

    Ayon kay Alice Robelo ng BFAR-Aklan, may 25 hektarya ng palaisdaan sa Aklan na nanganganib na maapektuhan ng El Niño, at dahil ditto, 25 na nagnamay-ari ng palaisdaan ang bibigyan nga 125,000 na milkfish (bangus) fingerlings. Bibigyan din ang ibang apektado sa mga lalawigan ng Capiz at Iloilo.

    Ayon sa PAGASA, ang Aklan ay "moderately" affected ng El Niño samantalang ang mga lalawigan ng Capiz, Iloilo at Negros Occidental sa Western Visayas ay "highly vulnerable areas". (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)

Turn-over ng communal irrigation system sa Ibajay, Aklan, gaganapin

    Kalibo, Aklan -- Isang community irrigation system na papakinabangan ng 285 na mga magsasaka sa 220 hektaryang taniman ang itu-turn-over ng National Irrigation Administration sa lokal na gobyerno ng Ibajay.

    Ayon kay Engr. Rizalo Concepcion, NIA-Aklan Division Manager, ang turn-over ceremony ng San Jose Irrigation System sa Ibajay, Aklan, ay gaganapin sa Pebrero 22 ng taong kasalukuyan sa pamamagitan ng isang ribbon-cutting at blessing, na susundan ng isang maiksing programa sa Sitio Mangga, Naile, ibajay, Aklan.

    Ayon sa NIA, ang proyekto ay nagkakahalaga ng P11 milyon, na nanggaling sa P6 bilyon na alokasyon para sa pagkumpuni at pag rehabilitate ng mga communal irrigation system sa Luzon Urban Beltway at Central Philippines sa pamamagitan ni Aklan Representative Florencio T. Miraflores.

    Matutulungan ng irrigation system ang mga magsasaka ng Naile, San Jose, Naligusan at Rizal, lahat mga barangay ng Ibajay.

    Inaasahan din na ang pag turn-over ng irrigation system ang makakatulong ng malaki sa mga magsasaka na hindi masyadong maapektuhan ang kanilang mga palayan. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Search on for 10 Outstanding Aklanons of 2010

    Kalibo, Aklan -- The search is on for Aklan's Outstanding Aklanons of 2010, as this "golden" province celebrates its 54th founding anniversary.

    The awarding of Outstanding Aklanons is one of the permanent highlights of Aklan's celebration of its provincehood, to give recognition and honor to Aklan's sons and daughters who had done the Aklanons proud; who have served well, benefiting a great number of people through the years.

    According to Dr. Reinalda Magdaluyo, Chairperson of the Committee on Outstanding Aklanons, anybody can nominate for Outstanding Aklanons.

    To qualify, nominees must have been born with either Aklanon parents or have lived and served Aklan for not less than 25 years, and the impact of his or her achievements must have benefited a great number of people for a long period of time.

    The nominee must also have a consistent demonstration of exemplary conduct, morality and ethical behavior, and must recognize and acknowledge himself or herself as an Aklanon.

    The nominee must submit his/her biodata, picture and other supporting documents. The deadline for submission of nomination forms is on or before March 15, 2010.

    Once selected, the awardee must continuously uphold the criteria for consistent demonstration of exemplary conduct, to avoid recall of the award.

    The province of Aklan became a separate province from Capiz on April 25, 1956, when then President Ramon Magsaysay signed RA1414. The separation from Capiz of Aklan as a province was realized through a bill filed by then Congressman Godofredo P. Ramos, which earned for him the title "Father of Aklan."

    When the province turned 50 in 2006, President Arroyo, who was the guest speaker in the commemorative program, called Aklan "the golden province" for helping propel the country's economic growth through its thriving tourism industry brought by the world-famous Boracay Island as well as by other attractions and local industries. (PIA/

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

NIA conducts river channeling to irrigate Aklan’s El Niño-vulnerable farms

Kalibo, Aklan -- The National Irrigation Administration (NIA) is conducting river channeling to enable irrigation water to reach ricefields especially those at tail-end portions badly needing water.

According to NIA-Aklan, riceplants are now at its most sensitive and important stage – flowering.

John B. Reynado, Sr. Water Resources Facilities Technician of NIA-Aklan said river channeling is now conducted in 2 areas of Aklan River to enable irrigation water to flow to farms in Barangay Sigcay in Banga and in Malinao.

The NIA has deployed standby equipment in the areas – a bulldozer and a backhoe – to be used in channeling the river water to irrigation canals.

Channeling is essential as the water level in the riverbed has gone very low, unable to reach the intake portions of irrigation systems.

Reynado said NIA Aklan is implementing the rotation method of water distribution to farms, and appealed for the help and cooperation of irrigators associations in the eastern and western part of Aklan for the orderly distribution of irrigation water.

"I also appeal to farmer-beneficiaries not to fight over water distribution. If there are problems, contact our NIA field personnel," Reynado said.

Reynado also called on farmers not to throw garbage in irrigation canals to enable water to reach the farms smoothly and to prevent water wastage. Too, he reminded duck-raisers not to interfere with water distribution, diverting water to their ponds/farms for their ducks, because at this point, flowering riceplants need it the most.

Besides river-channeling, NIA is also planning to install shallow tube wells at tail-ends of irrigations systems to help mitigate the effect of El Niño in ricefarms.

NIA-Aklan is now conducting round-the –clock monitoring of the irrigation water situation in Aklan, led by its Division Manager Rizalo Concepcion.

Aklan, along with neighboring province Antique, was assessed by PAGASA to be moderately affected by El Niño, while Capiz, Iloilo and Negros Occidental are considered as "highly-vulnerable areas". (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)

Aklan to mark Women’s Month March 10

    Kalibo, Aklan -- The province of Aklan will be marking this year's celebration of Women's Month on March 10 with various activities with emphasis on Aklanon women's welfare and empowerment.

    The observation is pursuant to Presidential Proclamation No. 224 and 227 and Republic Act No. 6949 which provide for the yerly observance of March as National Women's Month.

    This year's theme, according to the Civil Service Commission (CSC) in its Memorandum Circular No. 1 sent to all heads of constitutional bodies, departments, bureaus and agencies of the national government, LGUs, GOCCs with original charters and State Universities and Colleges (SUCs), this year's theme of the celebration is "Babae, tagumpay ka ng Bayan!"

    This is to highlight women's achievement in paving the way for women's advancement and empowerment amidst major challenges. It also celebrates the success of women's commitment to pursue equality which resulted in the enactment of the Magna Carta of Women.

    The Magna Carta of Women is a comprehensive women's human rights law signed by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo on august 14, 2009.

    The theme also celebrates the achievements in the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action (BPFA) including those related to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

    This year's celebration, according to the memorandum circular, aims to inspire and increase understanding of microentrepreneurs, partners from government agencies, non-government organizations, , academe and the private sector on microenterprise development, government programs and services that responds to the issues and concerns of the Filipino women, including but not limited to women's rights, environment, family and work life balance as well as to inculcate knowledge among partner-government agencies and the private sector on the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Magna Carta of Women.

    The celebration also aims to increase awareness of the general public on the platforms of the presidentiables and other elective officials to advance the status of women.

    In response to this, the Aklan Gender Commission (AGADC), chaired by Aklan Governor Carlito s. Marquez, will be setting a Candidates' Forum in Aklan to serve as a venue for provincial and municipal candidates in the province to present their platforms of government for the welfare, benefit and advancement of Aklanon women.

    Other activities to be held by the province led by the AGADC include aThanksgiving Mass on March 10, 2010 at the Kalibo Cathedral, motorcade around Kalibo and then a program at the Aklan Comprehensive Center for Women; while livelihood trainings, jobs fair for call center agents through PESO and DOLE, Training on VAWC Laws by MOVE/AGADC; Pap Smear, Blood typing, FBS and BP check-up by the PNRC and the DOH; Medical Mission by OWWA, PESO and Globe; Vegetable Seeds Distribution, Orientation on Magna Carta for Women and DAR Ladies' Association Forum for DAR-Aklan Employees will be conducted as determined by sponsoring agencies and AGADC committees.

    This year's activities for Women's Month celebration in Aklan were discussed and determined during AGADC's first regular meeting held February 16 at the Aklan Comprehensive Center for Women. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)

Aklan women get empowered through entrepreneurship

    Kalibo, Aklan -- The province of Aklan through the Aklan Gender and Development Commission (AGADC) chaired by Governor Carlito S. Marquez has started the ball rolling in empowering some skilled but determined Aklanon women bent to overcome the "binding ropes" of poverty by providing them seed capital for their various entrepreneurial ventures.

    The seed capital, amounting to P100,000.00, came as an offshoot last year when the province celebrated Women's Month with the theme centered on "Go Negosyo".

    "Go Negosyo" is one of the programs of the national government to encourage Filipinos, especially women, to venture into the world of business to improve not only their quality of life but those of their children's.

    One of Aklan's activities last year included a skills training on food processing initiated by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authroity (TESDA) attended by women from various towns here.

To support the women after their skills training, the AGADC provided the group with P100,000.00 seed capital, which was divided among twenty association members, providing each with P5,000.00.

In providing them the fund to start their respective businesses, Governor Marquez assured them that the fund will be interest-free. However, they will pay back through a roll-over scheme, so others will also benefit from the program. They were also assured that once they have paid in full, they could again borrow, but the amount will be higher, thus increasing their capital for their business.

Calling themselves "Empowered Women of Aklan" or     EWA, the group is also assisted by the Department of Trade and Industry, the TESDA and other related agencies in their business as to packaging, preservation and other important business details.

Bernadette Honiggman, one of the group members, said each of them has her own business venture according to her skills. The women are engaged in food processing like tocino-making, longganiza and many others.

Honiggman, for her part, said she engages in baking cakes, cookies, carrot muffins, strawberry muffins and oatmeal muffins. She sells her products at the Provincial Capitol canteen and other outlets.

"My products are always a sell-out and I'm lucky because I also get inputs from the Provincial Cooperative Office (PCO) on how to manage my business. We are really grateful to the Provincial Government for giving us this opportunity to empower us women and improve our quality of life", Honiggman told AGADC members.

The EWA has its own set of officers and the group meets regularly for updates on their individual ventures.

The AGADC is hopeful that members of EWA will grow, so that more Aklanon women will be empowered, thus being true to this year's Women's Month celebration, "Babae, tagumpay ka ng Bayan". (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)

NIA conducts rotational water distribution to Aklan’s El Niño vulnerable ricelands

    Kalibo, Aklan -- The National Irrigation Administration (NIA) here is currently conducting the rotational method of water distribution to Aklan's 750 hectares of rice farms found vulnerable to El Niño.

    Rice plants on these farms, according to NIA, are on their reproductive growth stage and the farmers are now worried their farms will be greatly affected by the dry spell.

    Of the 750 hectares of ricefarms vulnerable to El Niño, 400 hectares are under the National Irrigation System (NIS) while 350 hectares are under Communal Irrigation System (CIS).

    As measures to save these farmlands, the NIA has deployed standby equipment (bulldozer and backhoe) for river channeling, on top of the conduct of rotational method of water distribution.

    NIA also projects to install shallow tube wells at the tail-end portions of irrigation canals for farms under the NIS.

    For farms under the CIS, NIA will also be installing shallow tube wells at the tail-end portions of canals while sustaining its rotational method of water distribution in the farms.

    There are two river irrigation systems under the NIS namely Aklan RIS in the east and west side, and the Panakuyan River System, while the CIS has 32 irrigation systems located in most towns of the province.

    Presently, a total of 3,804 hectares of ricefarms under NIS on reproductive growth and 1,794 hectares under CIS are closely monitored by the NIA.

Aklan has been assessed by the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) as one of the 24 provinces in the country which is "moderately vulnerable" to El Niño. Another Panay province included in this classification is Antique, while the provinces of Iloilo, Capiz and Negros Occidental had been identified as "highly vulnerable areas. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)

Aklan to award re-greening, beautification contest winners

    Kalibo, Aklan –The province of Aklan is set to award its second batch of winners of the Re-greening and Beautification Contest from the eastern and western part of the province on February 16 at the ABL Sports Complex.

    Supervising Tourism Operations Officer of Aklan Roselle Q. Ruiz said the awarding will be held to coincide with the first anniversary of "Concert at the Park", launched last year on Valentine's Day.

    The re-greening and beautification contest was launched in November 2008 as part of Aklan's rehabilitation project to beautify Aklan's roadsides after the province was struck by Typhoon Frank, destroying roadside trees and ornamental plants along the roadsides.

    It was also launched to serve as attraction for tourists passing along the Strong Republic Nautical Highway (SRNH) from Caticlan, Malay to Cabangila, Altavas, the provincial boundary.

    Aklan Governor Carlito Marquez, main proponent of the project, will lead in the awarding ceremonies.

    As in the first contest, there are two sets of winners – 1 for the eastern town of the province and another for the western part municipalities.

    For the eastern part, 1st prize winner is Barangay Calizo in Balete; 2nd prize, Barangay Feliciano, Balete; and 3rd prize, Barangay Camanci of Batan. These barangays will receive P50,000, P35,000 and P20,000 respectively.

    For the western side, first prize is Barangay Tagas of Tangalan while Sta. Cruz Bigaa in Lezo placed second and 3rd prize, Poblacion Malinao.

    For the residential category, winners include Mary Claire de la Cruz of Libas, Banga; second, Luzviminda Estimada of Jumarap, Banga, and 3rd, Mateo Soncuya of Libas, Banga. For the western side, respective winners are Ernesto B. Salondico of Barangay Nagustan, Nabas, 1st prize; Ramonito S. Rebustes, 2nd; and Rally F. Saba of Brgy. Gibon, 3rd. These winners will receive a plaque of recognition and cash prizes of P15,000, P10,000 and P5,000 respectively.

    Consolation prize winners for barangay category and residential category will also be awarded.

    The re-greening and beautification project is also seen as beneficial to the environment. According to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources here, trees and ornamental plants held absorb carbon dioxide and other pollutants. In time for dry spells and El Niño, the roots of the trees, ornamental plants and flowering shrubs help hold water and moisture in the soil. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)


    Ginbutang bilang bag-o nga sekretaryo sang Department of Environment and Natural Resources sini lang ni Pangulong Gloria Macapagal Arroyo si Director Horacio Ramos sang Mines and Geosciences Bureau.

    Ginpahibalo ini nga top-level personnel movement sa isa ka media briefing ni Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita sa Malolos, Bulacan.

    Ang ginbuslan nga Sekretaryo, si Eleazar Quinto, ang gin appoint nga director-general sang Presidential Coalition Affairs Office. Ginbuslan niya si Maricor Imperial, nga gin appoint nga Cabinet Secretary sa pagbulos kay Silvestre Bello. III.

    Nag resign si Bello sa iya posisyon agud magdalagan nga senador sa idalum sang partido Lakas Kampi-CMD sand administrasyon. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)


    Padayon nga magatinguha si Presidente Gloria Macapagal Arroyo nga mahatagan sang maayo nga kabuhi ang mga lamharon nga henerasyon bisan nakapaog na siya sa pagka pangulo sa Hunyo.

    Ginhimo sang Pangulo ang pagpasalig sa inagurasyon sang Bulacan Polytechnic University sa Brgy. Graceville sa San Jose del Monte City. Ginsugid niya sa mga estudyante, ginikanan kag mga manunudlo nga nagatrabaho siya sang maayo agud ma improbar ang sistema sa edukasyon para sa magasunod nga henerasyon sang mga Pilipino.

    Ginsugid ni PGMA nga gusto sang gobyerno nga mangin masanag ang paalabuton sang mga mapisan nga mga kalalakihan kag kababayihan sa pungsod, ilabi na gid ang mga manunudlo nga nagahurma sang mga estudyante.

    Suno sa iya, gusto niya makita nga ang progreso nga natigayon sa iya administrasyon pagapadayunon sang madason nga liderato. Ginsiling niya sa mga manunudlo kag ginikanan nga suportahan ang madason nga administrasyon sa pagtinguha sini nga maghatag sang maayo nga palaabuton sa ila mga kabataan. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)

Two Aklan towns to get new patrol cars

    Kalibo, Aklan -- Aklan's two municipalities, Batan and Madalag, will be have new patrol cars from the Philippine National Police (PNP).

    The announcement was made by Aklan Police Provincial Office (APPO) Provincial Director Epifanio A. Bragais Jr. during the Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC) meeting held recently at the GCLC Tourism and Training Center in Old Buswang, Kalibo.

    Other municipalities which have no patrol cars were assured to have theirs this year by PSSupt. Bragais.

    The PPOC meeting was the first held for the year by the province, which was reorganized February 8 of this year by Governor Carlito S. Marquez through Executive Order No. 005.

    APPO reported on Aklan's Peace and Order Situation while the Philippine Army reported on Internal Security Operation (ISO).

    According to the APPO, Aklan's total crime volume for 2009 was 2,301; 1,093 of which are index crimes and 1,208 non index. Most prevalent are physical injuries and theft committed mostly in Kalibo, Aklan's capital town, and in Boracay Island.

    A briefing on Child and Women Situation in Aklan and the newly approved "Aklan Children's Code" was also given by the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO). (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)

Peace and orders brings economic progress, says Aklan governor

    Kalibo, Aklan - The economic progress of an area depends on its peace and order, according to Aklan governor Carlito S. Marquez.

    Marquez issued this statement at the opening of the first Provincial Peace and Order (PPOC) meeting of Aklan for the year, held a day after the release February 8 of Executive Order 005 reorganizing the PPOC.

    "Peace and order and public safety is everybody's concern, and the economic recovery of a province is dependent on its peaceful situation", he told members of the council, who flocked to the meeting held at the GCLC Tourism and Training Center in Old Buswang, Kalibo.

    Governor Marquez told council members that Aklan is one of the most peaceful provinces in the country.

    Due to its peaceful situation, Governor Marquez said there is a noted big growth of the tourism industry here, complemented by its twin thrust, agriculture.

    The provincial government looks up to agriculture, with 50-60 of the population depending on it, to help alleviate poverty in Aklan.

    Under Executive Order 005, the newly reorganized council is chaired by Governor Marquez with Vice Governor Gabriell V. Calizo-Quimpo as Vice Chairman with PSSupt. Epifanio A. Bragais, Jr., Provincial Director, Aklan Police Provincial Office; Hon. Maria Maya Bien M. Tolentino, Provincial Prosecutor; Hon. Marieta J. Homena-Valencia, Executive Judge, RTC-Kalibo and LTC Henry G. Dar, 12th Infantry Battalion, 31D, PA, AFP as members.

    LTC. Dar was represented by Maj. Maximo Andrade, CO of 12th IB, Camp Jizmundo, Libas, Banga, Aklan who reported on Internal Security Operation (ISO). Evengelina Gallega of the Provincial social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO), on the other hand, briefed the members on Child & Women Situation in Aklan and the newly approved "Aklan Chilldren's Code while PSSupt. Epifanio Bragais Jr., Provincial Director, Aklan PPO reported on Aklan's Peace and Order Situatio.

    An open forum followed after the reports. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)

BSWM leads cloudseeding

    Kalibo, Aklan --The Bureau of Soils and Water Management (BSWM), through 1 PAF Cessna 210 plane, has completed 10 cloudseeding sorties in Cagayan Valley as of February 3, 2010.

    Around 230,560 hectares of rice and 202,471 hectares of corn were already affected in the region, according to a report of DFA RFU II.

    BSWM is preparing for the deployment of a bigger plane that could dispense 500 kilos of salt per sortie.

    In Negros Occidental, cloudseeding operations started on February 1 and 9 sorties have already been completed. The provincial government through Governor Zayco initially funded the hiring of one Cessna for cloud seeding.

    7,000 hectares of rice and 343 hectares of corn in the province were already affected based on the assessment conducted by the Provincial Agricultural Office together with the BSWM. In addition, around 28,000 hectares of newly planted and ratooned sugarcane in the municipalities of Magallon and Himamaylan, Hinigaran and La Castellana were threatened.

    Cloud seeding in the province will continue in the next few months as the El Niño worsens. Relative to this, the BSWM is facilitating the deployment of aircraft to conduct cloud seeding operations over Region 4 and 11.

    The areas affected are Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon in Region 4, and Davao del Sur and Davao del Norte in Mindanao.

    In Aklan, the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) reported that their respective counterparts have already contacted them about mitigating measures they have prepared for El Niño.

    According to William Castillo, Officer – in- Charge of the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPA) here, the DA has inquired about Aklan's El Niño vulnerable areas, so that the department can introduce or implement agricultural technologies that are adaptable to the hot weather.

    OPA is also advising farmers to plant vegetables and other food crops that do not need much water.

    Presently, OPA is also implementing programs to culture and raise freshwater prawns, catfish and tilapia in interior and hinterland municipalities of Aklan so that the people will have other fish sources when El Niño sets in, making it difficult for fishermen to fish in the seas.

    For its part, DENR-Aklan was contacted by its regional office as to the status of the province's water sources for domestic and agricultural consumption in anticipation of El Niño.

    Although Aklan is said to be moderately affected of the phenomenon, DENR has called on Aklanons to conserve and to recycle water, and plant species that need little water. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)

PSHS’ Scholars search nets 10 passers in Aklan

    Kalibo, Aklan – The Philippine Science High School (PSHS) of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) found a total of 10 successful examinees from Aklan for its 2010-2011 Search for Scholars.

    The ten successful examinees, who are graduating elementary school pupils, came from public and private elementary schools in Aklan.

    As PSHS scholars, the lucky examinees will enjoy a free secondary education from the school as mandated by RA 3661, with emphasis on subjects pertaining to science when the end view of preparing its students for careers in Science and Technology.

    The province' successful examinees include Peter S. Anabo and Regina Marie P. Roselo from the Kalibo Pilot Elementary School (KPES); Nicolas Evan G. Fuentes, Patrick Xavier V. Eleserio and Jan Philip S. Wong of the Aklan Learning Center; Irene Isadora Joy C. Dela Cruz and Michael Andrew P. Ureta of Wadeford School; John Rich N. Barrientos and Lyka Rica S. Salazar of Conperey Learning Center and Mark Lucas I. Ilin of Starglow Center for Academic Excellence.

    In Western Visayas, the nearest PSHS campus is in Iloilo City.

    The PSHS conducts a Search for Scholars annually. For this batch, the examination was held November 7, 2009 at the Northwestern Visayan Colleges, Kalibo, Aklan. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)

Aklan one of the most peaceful province in the country, says Aklan governor

    Kalibo, Aklan -- One of the things that Aklan is proud of is its peace and order situation, Aklan Governor Carlito Marquez revealed in his recent State of the Province Address (SOPA).

    The peaceful situation was helped by the Philippine National Poice with its implementation oof Integrated Patrol System composed of the fixed, mobile and auxiliary components. To further enhance police visibility, barangay peacekeeping action teams have been maintained province-wide.

    The crime volume of 2,508 incidents, according to the governor, is way lower than the national average. On illegal drugs, 20 positive operations were conducted in 2009 and 20 drug pushers/users were arrested.

    Illegal gambling is also constantly and effectively controlled, which is also one reason of the lower crime rate.

    Marquez thanked the Aklan Police Provincial Office, the 12th Infantry Battalion, 3rd Infantry Division of the Philippine Army for helping maintain Aklan's peace and order. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)

NIA project ensuring year-round water supply to start soon

    Kalibo, Aklan – A project of the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) here to ensure a year-round supply of irrigation water to Aklan's rice-producing towns will be started this year, funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

    According to William Castillo, OIC of the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPA), the project, with an initial funding of P500 million, involves rehabilitation of irrigation facilities to improve agricultural productivity in the barangays under the Irrigation System Operation Efficiency Improvement Project (ISOEIP) of NIA.

    ISOEIP is a government strategy stated in the Medium Term Development Plan 2004-2010 that aims to reduce rural poverty, increase agricultural productivity and enhance food security.

    This project had been endorsed by the Regional Development Council (RDC).

    Last year, the Aklan-Capiz irrigation management office of NIA spent a total of P31.4 million for various irrigation projects in the province including the Panakuyan San Jose Integrated Project in Ibajay, and the Aklan River Irrigation System that will serve farmers in the municipalities of Banga, Kalibo, New Washington, Lezo, Madalag, Malinao, Numancia and Makato.

    Communal irrigation systems and communal irrigation projects were also constructed to benefit farmers in Altavas, Tangalan, Buruanga, Libacao, Malay and Nabas.

    Nationwide, in anticipation of the El Niño, NIA is seen as one of the frontline government agencies to address the climatic problem, with the recent reactivation by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo of the El Niño Task Force.

    The Task Force was reactivated to coordinate the country's response to the unusually dry weather in the first half of the year.

    A P1.7 billion fund, drawn from various government agencies, will be used for cloud seeding, construction of shallow wells and distribution of organic fertilizers to rice, corn and value crops farmers. It will also fund the purchase and installation of fish cages for fishpond owners.

    NIA will be supporting the initiative by implementing water management measures. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)

Start conserving, recycling water to beat El Niño, says DENR

    Kalibo, Aklan -- Aklanons must start conserving and recycling water now before El Niño sets in the province.

    Although said to be moderately affected by the weather phenomenon unlike neighboring Capiz province and Negros Occidental, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) here, headed by PENRO Antonio Luis, bared efforts to save water should be practiced now by the Aklanons.

    "Water used to rinse clothes could still be used for washing vehicles, and for flushing the toilet", said Derlito Rico, DENR-Aklan's Chief of Forest Management Sector in a radio interview here.

    Rico said farmers should also select plant species that require little amount of water.

    Presently, DENR-Aklan is nurturing Aklan's watershed areas with the help of local government units and stakeholders to protect major river systems like the Aklan River, Timbaban, Dumalaylay, Nabaoy in Napaan, Malay which supplies water to Boracay Ssland, Tangalan River, Ibajay, Panakuyan and Makato River.

    To protect the river systems, Rico said watersheds must have reinforced vegetation and reforestation to sustain water.

    Watersheds and other forest areas here are also monitored by Bantay-Gubat personnel to prevent lumber poaching and indiscriminate felling of forest trees for charcoal.

    The use of charcoal for cooking is widely practiced here due to the high price of liquefied petroleum gas.

    This practice is being countered now by the DENR through massive information dissemination to prevent destruction of watershed areas that could further aggravate the effects of El Niño. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)

Aklan prepares for El Niño

    Kalibo, Aklan -- Despite the information that Aklan will only be moderately affected by El Niño, the province is preparing several measures to counter its effects on agricultural crops as well as on fishery products here.

    According to William Castillo, OIC of the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPA), the Department of Agriculture has contacted the province to inquire about El Niño vulnerable areas for possible implementation of technologies adaptable to the hot climate.

Castillo said measures also include selection of plant varieties not needing much water.

Castillo said while other provinces in Western Visayas already suffer from El Niño ill-effects, rains continue to occur in Aklan. He also said that the months of March and April, the perceived height of the phenomenon, is a fallow period for ricefields, so there won't be much farming activities here.

The El Niño occurrence, however, will have advantages on fruit trees like mangoes, said Castillo. Mangoes are known to bear more fruits during the dry season.

For fisheries, the provincial government, with the assistance of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) is focusing on the production of freshwater prawns.

Castillo said that from the P3.4 million provided by BFAR to Aklan for livelihood, P2.9 million was turned over to Malinao town for the project, which includes the putting up of a freshwater prawn hatchery.

The putting up of the hatchery is essential, said Castillo, as freshwater prawns or "ulang" fries are sourced yet from Nueva Ecija. Presently, Buruanga town in the western side of Aklan already produces "ulang".

The move to develop "ulang" farms in the upland areas of the province is one means to counter the effect of El Niño, by providing people with alternative source of fishery products when fishermen could no longer fish due to extreme high tides or strong "amihan" winds, according to Castillo.

The province is also strengthening its tilapia and catfish industry in the uplands for additional income of community folks.

"Libacao, which is aiming for a hydropower electric project, whill have a 10 hectare dam essential for the culture of tilapia and "hito" in fish cages," Castillo said. He also revealed that Barangay Aranas in Balete town already maintains a tilapia farm.

Just recently, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo reactivated the the el Niño Task Force to coordinate the country's response to the unusually dry weather in the first half of the year.

Formed in 2001, the task force will still be chaired by the DA.

DA USEC Bernie Fontanilla said agriculture and fisheries are expected to lose between P10 billion and P20 billion, depending on the severity of the dry spell. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)

Increase in int’l, reg’l flights in Aklan show uptrend in tourism

Kalibo, Aklan -- The uptrend in tourism in Aklan is indicated by its increase in international and regional flights in the province's two airports.

In his State of the Province Report (SOPA), Aklan governor Carlito S. Marquez said the Caticlan Airport in 2009 registered 17,988 flights and 550,084 passengers – 256,458 of which are incoming ones; 96,585 foreign; 145,505 domestic, and 14,388 OFW passengers.

On the other hand, Kalibo International Airport registered 5,203 domestic flights and 360 regional flights in 2009, compared with 2008 which had 2,171 and 132 respectively.

Marquez said that in 2009, inbound passengers for domestic flights numbered 360,265 while inbound passengers for regional flights reached 20,608 compared to 2008's 183,110 inbound domestic passengers and 12,411 inbound regional passengers.

"Outbound domestic passengers registered 377,177 and outbound regional passengers were 20,809 in 2009, a much higher number compared to only 191,685 outbound domestic passengers and 12,839 outbound regional passengers of 2008," Marquez reported.

Last January 15, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo was at the Caticlan Airport for the capsule-laying ceremonies of the P2.5 billion Caticlan Airport Development Project (CADP).

The 25-year Build-Operate-Transfer project involves the widening and extension of the Caticlan Airport Runway, construction of 9,200 square meters new two-storey passenger terminal building, and the installation of navigation and air traffic control facilities.

When completed after 7 years, tourism, business and livelihood activities will all the more increase in Boracay and the whole province of Aklan.

The further development of the two airports – bringing more tourists and revenues means more funds for poverty-alleviation projects, scholarships for the poor and more opportunities for indigents to break away from the cycle of poverty, the governor said.

At Kalibo International Airports flights accommodated are the once-a-week flight of Philippine Airlines and the twice a week flights of China Airlines to Taipei, Taiwan. Zestair has regular flights to Incheon, South Korea four times a week.

Some international airlines that previously landed at KIA were Korean Air, Pacific Pearl Airways, TransAsia Airways and Shanghai Airlines.

Presently, phase I of the International Passenger Terminal Building is 100% complete. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)

Aklan still a “rice-exporting” province, says governor

    Kalibo, Aklan -- Aklan is still a "rice-exporting" province, according to Governor Carlito Marquez in his recently-delivered State of the Province Address (SOPA) here.

    Governor Marquez said Aklan's rice sufficiency level now stands at 117.8%.

    "While consuming 63,313.61 metric tons of our total production of 95,841 metric tons for 2009, we remain a "rice-exporting" province, complementing the rice needs of our other provinces with our excess rice," Marquez told the crowd that jampacked the SP Session Hall here recently to listen to his SOPA.

    Marquez said agricultural modernization and increased production remain the major focus of his administration, with 54% of Aklan's total land area of 181,816 hectares devoted to agriculture.

    With the focus on agriculture, the province continues to implement national programs on rice, (hybrid, inbred, commercial), high-value commercial crops (corn, mango, other fruits and vegetab les), Integrated Pest Management or Kasalikasan, Palayamanan/Kabuhayan, natural farming system, abaca production, modified rapid composting and fisheries.

    "Our hearts and the hearts of our long-suffering farmers are filled with the hope that with the continued implementation of hybrid rice development and other rice programs, we will be able not only to survive pests and climate change but attain new heights in the production of the staple," Marquez said.

    William Castillo, OIC of the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPA) here revealed that one Aklanon farmer had already experienced a palay yield of 180 cavans from a hectare of rice land planted to hybrid rice.

    Marquez also cited the help of the Department of Agriculture for providing Aklan farm inputs and equipment worth P29.7 million, and the P10 million grant for farm-to-market roads which was used for concreting instead of just gravelling which do not last.

    Both the DA and the National Agriculture and Fisheries Council extended to the farmers P503,000 as assistance for livelihood programs, according to the governor.

    The governor also reported that the trend in Aklan's rice production showed a 14.62% jump from 129,318 metric tons in 2008 when Typhoon Frank inundated the rice fields to 148,222 metric tons in 2009.

    In the national scenario, the government had a 3.63 metric tons 2009 forecast of palay yield per hectare compared with 3.07 metric tons in 2000.

    Rice farms have improved yields because of rural infrastructure, technology, and farm support which bring more income to farmers.

    The buying price of palay has increased too, from P8.50 per kilo in 2000 to P17.00 per kilo in 2009, which will also encourage farmers to be more productive. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)

Monday, February 15, 2010


    Magapadulong ang Philippine humanitarian team sa Haiti sa Enero 25 agud maghatag sang bulig medical sa Haiti nga gindalasa sang mabaskog nga linog, suno kay Health Secretary Esperanza I. Cabral.

    Ginsiling ni Cabral nga nalipay gid ang gobyerno nga madamo nga mga tawo ang nagabulig sa proyekto agud mabuligan ang nagakinahanglan sang bulig. Ginsambit ni Cabral ang bulig sang Philippine Airlines (PAL) kag ang Philippine Airlines Foundation (PALF), FedEx kag ang Department of National Defense (DND).

    Ginsugid sang hepe sang DOH nga ang PAL kag PALF ang naghatag sang libre nga ticket para sa bilog nga humanitarian team para sa Manila-San Francisco nga rota. Halin didto, ang grupo magasakay sa connecting flight pa Miami, dayon sa Sto. Domingo sa Dominican Republic. Ginsabat man sang PAL kag PALF ang ticket para sa pagpauli sang grupo halin sa San Francisco pakadto sa Pilipinas.

    Ang FedEx Group naman ang magadala sang karga kag medical supplies sang libre, samtang ang DND, sa pagpamuno ni Lt. Col. Lopez Dagoy ang magaatipan sang karga kon mag abot na ini sa Haiti.

    Gina komponehan ang Philippine Humanitarian team sang general kag orthopedic surgeons, internists, anesthesiologists, pediatricians, nurses, epidemiologists, psychiatrists kag sanitary engineers halin sa DOH nga mga hospital kag facilidad kag local government units. Ang team leader amo si Dr. Emmanuel Bueno, Chiief sang Emergency Department kag Health Emergency Management Service (HEMS) Coordinator sa East Avenue Medical Center. Suno kay HEMS Director Dr. Carmencita Banatin, magatinir ang grupo sa Haiti sang 18 ka adlaw. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)

Boracay arrivals in 2009: 649,559 foreign, domestic visitors

    Kalibo, Aklan -- Boracay's total number of visitor arrivals last year registered 649,559, based on data released by the Provincial Tourism Office here.

    The visitor arrivals – composed of 192,873 foreign tourists, 432,271 domestic and 24,415 Overseas Filipinos generated a total of P11,941,102,920.60 tourism receipts.

    Foreign visitors' arrival in the island was biggest in the month of January with 23,161. They also came in big numbers in August with 21,428 and in December last year with 18,987. They were smallest in number June of 2009 with 10,415.

    On the other hand, domestic tourists were biggest in number in April with 75,161; May with 68,837 and March, with 41,007. They were smallest in number in August with 22,445.

    January was the preferred month of Overseas Filipinos to go to the island, with 4,283 arrivals; February, 2,735 and March, 2,263. They were scarce however, in the month of September, with 579 only who visited the island.

    In 2008, visitor arrivals reached 634,263, which generated P11,659,910,434.20 in tourism receipts.

    The tourist arrivals in Boracay Island in 2009, which breached the half-million mark, contributed a big portion to the country's tourist arrivals.

    Based on records, tourist arrivals in the country from January to September last year is at 5.2 million. The same period in 2000 had 1.99 million tourist arrivals.

    The big number of tourist arrivals in 2009 made businesses thrive, created more jobs and livelihood opportunities for Filipinos, and generated more investments.

    Tourism investments also reached P555 billion from 2004-2009, which drove the growth of the country's tourism sector and created more jobs, enabling Filipinos to live better lives. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)


    Ginpapanumbalik ni Pangulong Gloria Macapagal Arroyo sang Enero 26 ang El Niño Task Force agud mag koordinar sa paghulag sang pungsod sa indi kinaangdan nga kainit sang tiyempo sa nahauna nga parte sang tuig.

    Ginpaguwa sang Pangulo ang mando sa ginhiwat nga National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) Cabinet Meeting sa Malacanang, suno kay Office of the Press Secretary Officer-in-Charge Secretary Conrado Limcaoco, Jr. sa isa ka press briefing.

    Pagapamunuan ang Task Force sang Department of Agriculture. Gintukod ang Task Force sang 2001.

    Ginsiling ni Limcaoco nga ang pundo nga P1.7 billion, nga halin sa mga nagkalain-lain nga ahensya sang gobyerno ang pagagamiton para sa cloud seeding, paghimo sang mga shallow wells kag pagpanagtag sang organic fertilizers sa mga mangunguma sang humay, mais kag value crops. Gamiton man ang pundo sa pagbakal kag pagbutang sang mga fish cages para sa mga tag-iya sang punong.

    Pagasuportahan ang inisyatibo sang National Irrigation Administration paagi sa pag implementar sang mga tikang sa pagmanehar sang tubig.

    Ginsugid ni DA Undersecretary Bernie Fontanilla nga ang agrikultura kag fisheries ang ginasaligan nga madulaan sang P10-bilyon – P20 bilyon, depende sa kagrabehon sang tig balagtik.

    Sa pihak sang pagprediktar sang kasarangan nga tigbalagtik sang Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services (PAGASA), ginsiling ni Fontanilla nga naga preparar ang departamento sang programa pangkabuhian para sa mga apektado nga mangunguma kag mangingisda.

    Samtang, magabenefisyo naman sa tag-ilinit ang may mga kamanggahan. Agud mangin maayo ang ila produkto, nag promisa ang DA nga hatagan ang mga manug mangga sang mango flower inducers. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)


    Nagpanawagan si Presidente Gloria Macapagal Arroyo sa mga estudyante nga tapuson nila ang ila kurso sa kolehiyo "bangud ang edukasyon amo ang ticket sa maayo nga kabuhi."

    Ginpaabot sang Pangulo ang panawagan sa mga estudyante sang Holy Spirit College of Manila sa Mendiola, ang ikaduha niya sa serye sang mga campus tours sa tuyo nga makapakig-upod sa mga batan-on.

Suno sa Presidente, ang gin-upod nga budget sang Department of Education kag Commission on Higher Education nagdoble sa iya termino, halin sa P90 billion pakadto sa P180 billion.

    Agud maimprobar pa gid ang kalidad sang edukasyon, mas madamo nga mga classrooms ang gintukod – 100,000, ilabi na gid sa mga malayo nga barangay, suno sa iya.

    Gindugang pa gid niya nga ginhanas sang maayo ang mga manunudlo ilabi na gid sa English, Mathematics kag Science agud mapreparar nila ang ila mga estudyante sa global competition. Para sa pinaka pigado, may mga cash allowance man nga ginahatag agud diretso ang ila pag-eskwela.

    Ginsiling sang Presidente nga nagtrabaho sang maayo ang iya administrasyon agud masiguro ang isa ka luwas kag matawhay nga nasyon paagi sa pagtapos sang pagpangkidnap, insurhensiya kag terorismo. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)

Aklan province may now be categorized first class, says Aklan governor

    Kalibo, Aklan –Aklan may now be categorized as a first class province, Governor Carlito Marquez said in his State of the Province Address (SOPA) which he delivered over a jampacked crowd at the Sangguniang Panlalawigan Session Hall here composed of provincial legislators, Aklan officials, heads and representatives of national and provincial agencies, Capitol employees and the local media.

    Governor Marquez said this is so because the province has attained and sustained an income of more than P350 million for the last four consecutive years.

    He added that according to the Department of Interior and Local Government, Aklan is excellent.

"In the 2009 annual evaluation of LGUs in Region 6 conduc ted by the said department called Excel or Excellence in local governance awards, Aklan was first runner-up in administrative governance second only to Iloilo, first runner-up in environmental management, second only to Negros Occidental and 2nd runner-up in best performing province.

    Marquez also cited the other firsts Aklan has attained : it is among the first provinces to sign a Memorandum of Understanding for Philhealth coverage becoming a pilot province; first province in the Philippines to successfully complete a project – the Caticlan Jetty Port PassengerTerminal through bond flotation, listed in a book on LGU Best Practices in fiscal administration; among the first provinces to establish a very successful economic enterprise development; the first province in Region 6 to have its Provincial Hospital computerized;

    First province in Region 6 to computerize its real property tax administration; the first to have been given the privilege of creating a PPA (Philippine Ports Authority) Port, the Caticlan Port; first province to engage in a joint venture with a university (ASU) for the establishment of a nursing college; first province to implement a universal program for Philhealth; and the first province to implement a Bridge Financing with Land Bank for its Hybrid Rice Production Program.

    For these achievements, Marquez said the Sangguniang Panlalawigan should be thanked, for providing the legislative underpinnings that allowed the province to initiate, implement, and complete the programs of development.

    According to Marquez, the Aklan SP made 348 resolutions, 56 appropriation ordinances, 7 general ordinances, and 10 special ordinances. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)

Despite global crisis, tourism is alive in Aklan

    Kalibo, Aklan -- Despite the global financial crisis and despite tTphoon Frank that devastated Aklan the most among provinces in the region in 2008 – the province has risen, and tourism is alive, Governor Carlito Marquez reported in his State of the Province Address (SOPA) here January 28.

    "Aklan has risen, and this is most obvious in the income collected by our Cagban and Caticlan Jetty Ports. We had expected tourism to suffer the most from the worldwide economic downturn, but thanks be to God, with the skin of our teeth, we were able to post a 7% or a P5.5 million increase in port income, from P77 million in 2008 to P83 million in 2009. This includes terminal, polling cargo, rental berthing and docking, wharfage, anchorage and and other fees," Marquez said.

    Marquez said Aklan's tourism industry is still alive, tourist arrivals in Boracay Island increased by 2% from 634,263 visitors in 2008 to 649,559 in 2009.

    These arrivals brought in P11.9 billion in tourist revenues. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)

NFA assures enough rice supply for Aklan for 5 months

Kalibo, Aklan -- Aklan has enough rice supply to last for more than five months, according to the National Food Authority (NFA) here.

Based on records of the food agency, their warehouse in Banga, Aklan, as of January 26, has 67,730 bags of palay, 4,113 bags of local rice and 6,276 bags of imported Vietnam rice.

If the palay stocks get milled and converted into rice, the food agency will have a total of 50,301 in its inventory.

Sr. Grains Operations Officer Judith Tindog said the NFA has an average daily sales of 300 bags. Based on these average daily sales, Aklan has enough NFA rice supply for five months and 18 days.

Tindog clarified that this data only involves the stocks of the government only. Commercial rice supply found in households, traders and millers, on the other hand, is monitored by the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (BAS).

Presently, NFA is on palay procurement activities in various parts in the province, buying palay for as high as P17.70 per kilogram, depending on the seller's status, if he is a farmer's passbook holder, or a member of a farmer's cooperative.

NFA-Aklan has drying facilities too, which is favorable to Aklan farmers who cannot dry their produce because of frequent rains. For every bag of palay, a farmer only pays P12 pesos. The food agency, however, prioritizes those who intend to sell their produce to them.

Tindahan Natins in Aklan, numbering 52, Institutionalized Bigasan Sa Palengke and Bigasan Sa Barangay constitute NFA-Aklan's regular government rice outlets.

Tindog said NFA rice, sold at P18.25 in Tindahan Natins and P25 in IBSPs is affordable and of good quality.

"Its edge over commercial rice, besides its low price, is that it is iron-fortified", Tindog said.

Certified rice seeds are also available now in NFA-Aklan. Presently, 2,678 bags are available for Aklan farmers. Under the scheme, farmers only pay half of the price of the rice seeds, while the other half is subsidized by the Department of Agriculture. (PIA/Venus g. Villanueva)

P2.5-B dibidendo sang DBP para sa 2009, ginbaton ni PGMA

Ginbaton ni Pangulong Gloria Macapagal Arroyo ang tseke nga P2.5-bilyon nga dibidendo nga kontribusyon sang Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) sa gobyerno nasyonal para sa 2009.

Ginpresentar ang tseke ni Patricia Sto. Tomas kag Reynaldo David, chairperson kag presidente sang bangko sa Pangulo kag kay Finance Secretary Margarito Teves sa ika 63 nga anibersaryo sini sa DBP Head Office sa Makati.

Ginsiling ni David nga naglab-ot na sa P11.4 billion ang kabilugan nga dibidendo nga nabaton sang gobyerno nasyonal sumugod 2001 tubtub 2009.

Suno kay David, pinakadako ang net income sang DBP sang tuig 2009 nga P6.09 billion, nga nagtaas halin sa P3.6 billion sang nagligad nga tuig. Suno sa iya, bangud ini sa suporta sang Presidente.

Ginhatagan ang Pangulo sang kopya sang Memorandum of Understanding sa tunga sang DBP kag Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), nga magatukod sang isa ka programa sa pagbulig sa mga OFWs.

Mga mini gas station dealerships kag iban pa gid nga proyekto pangkabuhian ang ginapreparar sa idalum sang programa nga ini para sa mga OFWs kag ila mga pamilya.

Sa ginhiwat nga selebrasyon, ginbuksan sang Pangulo ang scale model sang bag-o nga DBP Green Building nga igapatindog sa Fort Bonifacio Global City sa Taguig.

Pagagamitan ini sang eco-friendly architectural design. Magagamit man ini sang solar power.

Ginpakita man sa Pangulo ang gold trowel nga gingamit man sang iya amay, ang nagtaliwan nga Presidente Diosdado Macapagal sa pagbutang sang cornerstone sa subong nga DBP Building 46 tuig na ang nakaligad. Pagagamiton man ni PGMA ang gold trowel kon maglunsar na sang igapatindog nga DBP building.

Ginpakita sa nasambit nga selebrasyon ang kontribusyon sang bangko sa Ten Point Agenda sang Arroyo administration, particular sa apat nga major areas – infrastructure kag logistics, mga eskwelahan kag ospital, micro, small and medium entrepreneurship, kag sa palibot.

Gin establisar ang bangko sang 1947 bilang Rehabilitation Finance Corporation nga magapautang para sa pagpaumwad sang agrikultura, komersyo kag industriya kag sa pagpatindog liwat sang mga propyedad nga nahalitan sa giyera.

Sang 1958, gin –islan ang ngalan sang RFC sang DBP. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)

Aklan has 316,886 registered voters

Kalibo, Aklan – Aklan's registered voters who would be participating in the country's first-ever automated elections have reached 316,886, based on the Consolidated Quarterly Progress Report of the Office of the Provincial Election Supervisor here.

The figure, released by COMELEC-Aklan through Provincial Election Supervisor Atty. Ian Lee Ananoria, is based on the January 9, 2010 ERB Hearing.

Last November 10, 2009, Aklan's registered voters numbered 284,349, as based on the result of the October 19, 2009 ERB Hearing.

The current report shows that Kalibo maintained its stature as the vote-richest municipality in Aklan with 46,530, followed by Ibajay in the western side of Aklan with 25,481 and New Washington, with 23,858.

Closely trailing New Washington is the municipality of Banga with 23,063 registered voters.

Other municipalities and their respective number of registered voters are Malay, with 22,883 voters; Batan, 18,874; Numancia, 18,678; Balete, 17,085; Nabas, 16,300; Makato, 16,150; Libacao, 15,722; Altavas, 14,851; Malinao, 14,442; Tangalan, 11,868; Madalag, 11,615; Buruanga, 11,147 and Lezo, 8,389.

This latest progress report from the COMELEC shows that there are 2,115 established precincts and 492 clustered precincts in the province's 327 barangays. This period, 861 new applicants were approved by the ERB.

Presently, COMELEC-Aklan is embarking on voters' education campaign among various sectors here, to create more awareness about the first automated elections in the country.

Just recently, Malacañang urged the electorate to vote wisely in the coming elections, saying the fate of future generations rests on the decision that will be made by Filipinos in May.

Presidential Deputy Spokesperson Gary Olivar said the people "should never yield their rights and responsibilities as independent thinking voters to anything else whether it's the power of surveys or the blandishment of candidates. "

Olivar was reacting to pronouncements made made by the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), in a pastoral letter on Sunday, calling for more vigilance and involvement by Filipinos in the electoral process.

Olivar said the Filipinos owe it to themselves to support the election process through COMELEC. "We must set aside second guessings and intrigues and focus instead on helping in he conduct of a successful elections," he said. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)

Kalibo has a new fire truck

    Kalibo, Aklan -- The municipality of Kalibo has a new addition to its fleet of firetrucks which was warmly welcomed by this Ati-atihan town led by Mayor Raymar A. Rebaldo.

    The new fire truck, according to Kalibo Information Officer Terence Toriano, is an Isuzu with a 1,000 gallon capability designed to respond efficiently to emergencies and fire alarms.

    The availability of the new fire truck was relayed by Fire Senior Supt. Mario Timonera, Chief of Comptroller of the Bureau of Fire Protection. In turn, Mayor Rebaldo requested personnel from the Kalibo Fire Station to go to the Fire Truck Warehouse in Caloocan to take charge of the paperwork and bring the fire truck to Kalibo.

    Several letters of request to BFP National Headquarters from Mayor Rebaldo, coupled with a resolution by Kalibo SB members were instrumental in the release of the firetruck.

    The new fire truck is painted red in accordance with the international color of distress and emergency and includes its own high velocity water pump and engine, collapsible ladder, fire hose, nozzle, fireman's axe and many others. The new fire truck is a welcome development in the municipality.

    Last October 2009, a major street in Kalibo, C. Laserna, which is along Kalibo River, was hit by a big fire, displacing hundreds of families and thousands of household members. (PIA/LGU-Kalibo)


    Nag-improbar ang pangabuhi sang mga Pilipino sa idalum sang 9 ka tuig nga administrasyon ni Pangulong Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

    Suno kay Pangulong Arroyo, nagatrabaho siya sang maid-id adlaw adlaw agud mapatin-ad ang pangabuhi sang mga pumuluyo. Ginpabutyag niya ini sa ginhiwat nga vin d'honneur para sa mga diplomatic corps nga ginhiwat sini lang sa Rizal Hall sa Malacanang.

    Suno pa gid sa iya, ang sentro sang iya pagpungko sang 2001 amo ang pag improbar sang ekonomiya, magtuga sang mga trabaho, kag mag-invest sa mga tawo kag pisikal nga imprastratura.

    Ang pagdaku sang ekonomiya, suno sa iya, sa pagsukat sang GDP ukon suma total sang tanan nga produkto kag serbisyo sa nasyon kag numero sang trabaho sa idalum sang iya pagpamuno, ang pinakamataas sa nagtaliwan nga 30 ka tuig.

    Paagi sa pagduso sang mga reporma sa ekonomiya sa mga nauna nga tuig sang iya administrasyon, ginbuligan sang Presidente ang pungsod nga pakigbatuan ang global financial crisis nga nagsugod sang Setyembre sang mas maayo sang sa iban nga mga pungsod.

    Isa ang Pilipinas sa pila lamang ka mga pungsod sa Asya, pati na ang China, nga nakaluwas sa recession. Nagrehistro ini sang 0.7% nga pagdaku sang ekonomiya sa nahauna nga tatlo ka quarters sang 2009.

    Sa iya man pagpamuno, naghimo siya sang mga mabudlay kag ginakontra nga mga desisyon. Gin implementar niya ang expanded value added tax law ukon EVAT, kag nagresulta ini sa P80 billion sa annual revenues para sa gobyerno. (PIA/vgv)

4Ps, other major government programs spell better, healthier lives for Aklanons

    Kalibo, Aklan – Aklan's poor families now have a chance to have better – and healthier lives because of 4Ps.

    4Ps means Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, a poverty reduction strategy that provides grants to extremely poor households to improve their health, nutrition and education particularly of children aged 0-14 years old.

This is a developmental program that invests in human capital. It enhances the role of parents and helps them accomplish their duties and responsibilities to their children,

In Aklan, residents of two far-flung, hinterland municipalities are currently benefiting from this program.

    These two municipalities are Libacao and Madalag.

    Libacao is a 4th class interior municipality located 29 kilometers southwest of the capital town of Kalibo with 24 barangays now accessible by transportation except for the remaining 2 which could only be reached by foot. Madalag is also a 4th class municipality, approximately 29 kilometers from Kalibo, with 25 barangays.

    As an identified 4Ps beneficiary, a household can receive as much as P1,400 for a maximum of three children that includes P500.00 per month for nutrition and health expenses and P300 per month per child with a maximum of three children per household for educational expenses.

    A total of 4,150 households in Aklan coming from the two municipalities are now benefiting from this program.

    Based on records provided by the Department of Socail Welfare and Development Field Office 6, a total of P13,375,200.00 had been released to beneficiaries as of November 2009.

    The cash grants are released to the beneficiaries in batches. The second batch release was even witnessed by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, who had her first-even Presidential Visit to Libacao for the event on August 7, 2009.

    Libacaonons and Madalagnons have five years to enjoy the program. Meanwhile, surveys for inclusion in the program are still being conducted by the government in other municipalities, so other poor and needy constituents in Aklan could also live better and healthier, especially the children.

    As one beneficiary - a mother, puts it during President Arroyo's visit to Libacao - "the 4Ps is a big help to my family. I have 5 children at 29 with the youngest just 3 – weeks old, and a husband with no permanent job."

    Juvy Agustin, the mother, has to make sure however that her school-age children regularly go to school, or the cash benefits for them will be stopped. If she gets pregnant, she must receive pre and post natal care and be attended during childbirth by a skilled professional, and must also attend responsible parenthood seminars and mother's classes.

    The 4Ps is just one of the programs of the government that has made the lives of Aklanons and the Filipinos in general better, this program being implemented in all parts of the country.

    Besides the 4Ps, the government has also provided Day Care and Grade 1 pupils a kilo of rice daily under the Food For School Program, with some 11.5 million beneficiaries from 2004 to 2009. The program serves as an incentive for children to stay in school.

    Meanwhile as of December 31, 2009, 99.39% of barangays nationwide had been electrified, resulting to better quality of life and progress.

    Waterless municipalities had been provided with water, covering some 319 municipalities. On the other hand, beneficiaries under the Kalahi-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services reached 5, 555 as of June 2009, benefiting 1.14 households. This program brought social development through community projects, empowering poor communities.

    In education, there is already a 1:1 ratio in textbooks for Elementary pupils for English and Sibika subjects while high school books like English, Math and Science have a ratio of 1:1. Teachers, on the other hand, now enjoy a monthly salary of P14,198.00 upon entering the service, compared with P9,939.00 monthly salary nine years ago.

    For school year 2008-2009, Educational Contract grantees numbered 508,808 while beneficiaries under GASTPE educational voucher system as of December 2009 reached 513,971, providing a better access to secondary education.

    Nationwide, there are 323,684 classrooms, with 100,000 new classrooms built under President Arroyo's term. Adequate classrooms provide a better learning environment.

    There are now a total of 81.64 million Philhealth members compared with 29.6 million in 2000, ensuring a bigger number of Filipinos to avail quality healthcare. To make affordable medicines accessible to Filipinos, there are now 15,000 outlets of Botika ng Barangay (BnB) scattered in all parts of the country.

    In Aklan, most barangays have BnBs. Too, most municipalities are recipients of the CIDSS program and the Food-For-School. Most Aklanons are Philhealth members and beneficiaries, with the provincial government under Governor Carlito Marquez aiming for universal coverage under the program. Private schools in Aklan are also offering Education Service Contracting for high school students; teachers are enjoying better salaries today. All these are seen as a means to ensure better quality of life for every Filipino and every Aklanon. (PIA/ Venus G. Villanueva)

Pagbangon sang electrononics firms, magapadamo sang trabaho

    Nagabangon na ang sektor sang electronics kag magakahulugan ini sang kadugangan nga trabaho.

    Sa iya mensahe sa Muntinlupa City Job Fair sang sini lang, ginsiling ni Pangulong Gloria Macapagal Arroyo nga ginpapagsik sang gobyerno ang sektor sang electronics kag ang bug-os nga manufacturing industry paagi sa pag adoptar sang nagakaangay nga 'economic kag financial' nga stratehiya.

    Nanotaran sang Pangulo nga ang job fair makatuga sang 1,500 nga trabaho sa electronics kag sa iban pa nga sektor.

    Suno kay Pangulong Arroyo, ang mga establismento nga nagahimo ukon naganegosyo sa electronics ang pinaka apektado sang global financial crisis. Ginpaathag niya nga bangud sa pagbuhin sang mga order sang United States kag iban pa nga mga inudustriyalisado nga mga nasyon sang mg parte nga ginagamit sa paghimo sang mga computer kag monitor, TV sets kag DVD players kag iban pa gid nga mga produkto, wala sang mahimo ang sektor sang electronics kundi magbuhin sang mga empleyado.

    Ginpabutyag man sang Pangulo nga ang pagkinahanglan sang mga electronic products nga una nga nanotaran sang Nobyembre sang nagligad nga tuig ang magapadayon sa pagbangon halin sa krisis sang kalibutan.

    Suno pa gid sa Pangulo, sa posisyon ang Pilipinas sa pakigsumpong sa krisis bangud sa mga palisiya nga ginhimo sang iya administrasyon kag gin-implementar nga nauna sang tinuig kag binulan.

    Ang palisiya, suno sa iya, ginkumpunihan sang pag adoptar sang Value Added Tax (E-VAT) law kag ang pagdugang sa pag gastos para sa infrastructure development.

    Paagi sa pag –implementar sang infrastructure projects, nakatuga ang gobyerno sang trabaho nga nagbulig sa mga nagapangalisod nga mga Pilipino kag iban pa nga mahuyang nga sektor batok sa grabe nga epekto sang global economic crisis.

    Gin updan ang Pangulo sa Job Fair nanday Labor Secretary Marianito Roque kag Muntinlupa City Mayor Alvin Dela Cruz. (PIA/VGV)