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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Aklan’s firetrucks to sound sirens for Earth Hour 2010

    Kalibo, Aklan - For 30 seconds on March 27, 2010 at 8:30 p.m., firetrucks of various fire stations in Aklan will be sounding their sirens to mark the start of the Earth Hour observation this year.

    The Earth Hour is an initiative driven by the collective effort of the Department of Energy and partners from the various sectors of the country.

    The observation will last up to one hour, which will have households in towns and cities worldwide switching off their lights from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. as a call to action for pressing concerns such as global warming which affects the overall health of the planet.

    In Kalibo, Aklan's capital town, Municipal Fire Marshall Insp. Patricio Collado said their station will be sounding the sirens of their two firetrucks at 8:30 p.m.

    Insp. Collado said they received this directive from their regional office, and all other fire stations in the towns of Numancia, Balete, Altavas, Ibajay, Boracay Island (Malay) and New Washington will be doing the same for 30 seconds at the start of Earth Hour observation.

    "We will be informing the media that we will be sounding the sirens for Earth Hour, to keep residents from panicking," Collado said.

    Shipping companies, as instructed by the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA), will also be sounding their sirens during the appointed hour.

    During the observation, the Philippine National Police units will be on heightened alert for any untoward incident.

    Last year, the Philippines ranked number 1 worldwide on its Earth Hour observation in terms of the scale of public participation, according to Civil Service Commission Chairperson Francisco Duque III.

    Duque also enjoined heads of CSC Central, Regional and Field offices to ensure the keeping of the position, and that people in government must lead the people in participating in Earth Hour events.

    Some of the activities Duque suggested to CSC officials and employees to undertake include switching off of signages and majority of the lights in offices and facilities within the commission's control during Earth Hour, and mobilizing employees, networks, and communities to participate in the Earth Hour 2010 countdown at the SM Mall of Asia or to participate by switching off their lights in their respective areas.

    Duque also emphasized that joining the global community in launching Earth Hour 2010 will be an exercise of solidarity in the fight against climate change. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Aklan information officers set “date” with COMELEC’s PCOS machine

    Kalibo, Aklan - Aklan's information officers from its 17 municipalities, together with those from national government agencies here will have a close encounter with the much-talked about Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machine on March 27, 2010 at the Sangguniang Panlalawigan Session Hall in the conduct of a Briefing/Orientation on the Automated Elections and PCOS Machine Demonstration.

    The briefing will be spearheaded by COMELEC-Kalibo's Election Officer, Lorena Tumbagahan, in coordination with the Philippine Information Agency and the Office of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan headed by Vice Governor Gabrielle V. Calizo-Quimpo.

    The PCOS machine will be used in the country's conduct of its first-ever automated elections.

    Members of the local media, as well as Sangguniang Bayan secretaries, are also expected to attend the briefing.

    Government Information Officers groups in other provinces of Western Visayas had already their Briefing/PCOS machine demonstration in their respective areas.

    The activity aims to equip information officers and the media with enough information and the right ideas about the automated elections as well as to let them see for themselves how the PCOS machine works.

    In turn, it is hoped that they will relay to their families, relatives, friends the information they have obtained from the activity, to give the latter enough knowledge and confidence in participating in the country's historic political exercise.

    For its part, COMELEC-Aklan has already winded-up its PCOS Machine Roadshow Demonstration in Aklan's 17 municipalities, as well as its trainings for its Board of Election Inspectors (BEIs) in Aklan. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Seventy-five Filipinos die of TB each day – PHO

    Kalibo, Aklan -- As the province of Aklan and the rest of the country join the international community in commemorating World Tuberculosis (TB) Day on March 24, 75 Filipinos die daily of this disease, according to the Provincial Health Office (PHO) here.

    The PHO also said that TB is the 6th leading cause of sickness and death in the Philippines. Worldwide, nearly two million people die from TB each year.

    Across the world, one out of three people who become sick with TB fail to access timely, accurate diagnosis and effective treatment, the PHO further said.

    To evade this scenario, PHO-Aklan is encouraging every Aklanon suffering from coughs of more than two weeks to go to their nearest health facility or TB DOTS Center for proper diagnosis and treatment. TB is primarily transmitted through the air when coughing.

    "This year's international theme for World TB Day is "Innovate to Accelerate Action Against TB", while the local theme is "Isulong ang Laban sa TB sa Makabagong Paraan," said Nuella Zaldivar, Provincial Health Education and Promotion Officer II of PHO-Aklan.

    Zaldivar also said that the provincial government is fully supporting this year's campaign messages of reaching more people with tuberculosis care, forming stronger partnerships to reach targets of the Global Plan to Stop TB, and to find innovative ways to fund the fight against TB.

    The bacillus that causes tuberculosis was discovered on March 24, 1882 by Dr. Robert Koch of Germany.

    The World TB Day was launched in 1982 to mark the 100th anniversary of Koch's discovery. (PHO/PIA)

Friday, March 19, 2010

2010 WVRAA meet closes; Negros rules

    Calangcang, Makato, Aklan – The province of Negros Occidental showed its full force in the 2010 Western Visayas Regional Athletic Association (WVRAA) Meet when it bagged the overall championship in the recently-concluded biggest regional sports event held from March 14-19, 2010 hosted by the province of Aklan.

    As the champion, Negros got a total of 791.70 general championship points. Of this, its elementary division contributed 365 points while its secondary division gave 426.70 points.

    Its tightest and perennial contender, Iloilo, garnered 699.60 general championship points, with the Elementary team contributing 310 points.

    Host province Aklan placed third, garnering 344 points – 172.60 of this from the Elementary team while 171.4 came from the Secondary team.

    Capiz province placed 4th, garnering a total of 255.17 points followed by Antique, 5th, with 224.67 total points. The province of Guimaras placed 6th.

    The winners were officially announced at the Awarding and Closing ceremonies held March 18 at the Aklan Sports Complex here, a multi-million sports facility built in time by the province of Aklan for the holding of this sports event, hosted by Aklan for the first time in fifiteen years.

    The province last hosted this event in 1995.

    DepEd Region 6 Regional Director Mildred L. Garay, who officially closed the regional meet, said the sports event is a venue where athletes learn a lot – discipline, sportsmanship, diligence, and cheerfulness in defeat.

    The event is also a means to scout for the best athletes in the region to be brought to compete in the Pambansang Palaro in Tarlac on April 11-19 of this year.

    Even as the regional meet was a closely-fought match between the provinces of Negros and Iloilo, other provinces had also their shining moments – as when Aklan's Elementary volleyball boys' team grabbed the championship trophy and Antique, the championship trophy for Taekwondo. Capiz and Guimaras had their shining moments too, getting gold medals for events their players excel at.

    Antique's Jeremi Jorge M. Laureta also won as MR. WVRAA Palaro while Pureta Leoncelle Duldoco, also of Antique was 1st runner-up. Both are students of St. Anthony's High School.

    On the other hand, Negros' bet, Jessa O. Costelo, a student of Bata National High School, was MISS WVRAA PALARO. Other winners include Joseph Stephen Janeo of Iloilo, 1st runner-up, MR. WVRAA PALARO, and Jeremiah B. Estrada, of Aklan, 2nd runner-up;

    Zen Delos Reyes of Iloilo was 2nd runner-up in the MS. WVRAA PALARO. The search was held at the ABL Sports Complex.

    Meanwhile, DepEd Aklan officials said that with the good performance of Aklan athletes, more or less 50 of them who were champions in their respective events are seen to join the region's team for the Pambansang Palaro in Tarlac. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Iloilo dominates WVRAA 2010 cultural contests in Aklan

    Kalibo, Aklan -- The province of Iloilo dominated this year's Western Visayas Regional Athletic Association (WVRAA) Meet cultural contests in the elementary and secondary levels.

    The cultural contests were held simultaneously March 16 at the ABL Sports Complex in Kalibo, Aklan.

    In the overall result of the contests, Iloilo ruled as the champion, followed by Negros, 1st runner up and Antique, 2nd runner-up.

    In the Elementary level, Iloilo won first place in English declamation, Vocal Solo Classical, Vocal solo Popular and Folk Dance. It played second place only in Filipino Declamation when Aklan won first place.

    Antique won two second places in Vocal solo classical and folk dance, while Negros got 2 second places for English declamation and Vocal Solo Popular and 2 third places for Vocal Solo Popular and Filipino Declamation.

    Capiz placed 3rd for English declamation and Guimaras, third for Folk Dance.

    In the secondary level, Iloilo won first places in Vocal Solo Classical, Vocal Solo Popular and Folk Dance, while the province of Negros won first places in English Declamation and Impromptu Speech. Antique, on the other hand, won first place in Filipino Declamation,two 2nd places for English Declamation and Folk Dance; and third place in Vocal Solo Popular.

    Capiz won 2nd place in Impromptu speech and 3rd place in English Declamation and Vocal Solo Classical.

    Guimaras got the third place in Folk Dance.

    The 2010 WVRAA, hosted by the province of Aklan, started March 14 and will be up to March 19. Major sports activities are played at the Aklan Sports Complex in Calangcang, Makato, Aklan while other events were spread in other venues like the Aklan State University-CIT campus, the ABL Sports complex, Numancia Covered Gym, Bulwang, Numancia Covered Gym, Magsaysay Park, Kalibo Pilot Elementary School and in the municipality of Lezo.

    The Taekwondo competition finals in the Elementary and Secondary levels were also held at the ABL Sports Complex.

    This is the first hosting of Aklan of WVRAA after 15 years. After this regional meet in Aklan, the declared champions in all levels will be off to Tarlac in Aptil for the Pala (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)

Monday, March 15, 2010

Aklan job fair offers local, overseas jobs

    Kalibo, Aklan -- A job fair through the Public Employment Service Office (PESO) here will be held March 17 as one of Aklan's activities in celebration of Women's Month.

    According to Vivian R. Solano, PESO-Aklan Manager, the job fair will be held at the Daeangpan It Mga Kababayen-an Sa Aklan in Kalibo.

    Solano said 10 local and overseas companies and agencies will be arriving to receive applicants for various positions.

    Vacant positions are for call center agents, content writers, web and graphic designers/web developer for Callbox Sales & Marketing Solutions, Encoder, Sales Representatives and accounting, commerce, computer science and management graduates for Boracay Consolidated Business Partners, Inc.; hotel staff for Boracay Regency Lagoon, Discovery Shores and Shangrila Boracay Resort and Spa.

    There are opportunities too for overseas jobs like medical technologists, nurses, pharmacists, physical therapists, teachers and lawyers with visa screening for U.S.A, nurses for London with IELTS score of 7.0 in all subjects with minimum hospital experience of 1 year; waitresses for Qatar, household workers for HongKong, skilled workers for Saudi Arabia and many others through Anifel Management & General Services Corp., Greenfields, International, Hongkong Fil International Company, Inter-Globe Manpower Consultancy Services, Inc. and OLM International Job Placement Corporation.

    PESO advises those who are interested to apply to proceed to its office so they will be guided accordingly. Applicants must bring an application letter, resume with picture transcript of records, new community tax certificate, 2x2 ID pictures, barangay, police and NBI clearance, and birth certificate from NSO.

    "Those who have complete papers will be prioritized for interviews", Solano said. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)

Aklan Sports Complex blessing. Fr. Isauro David (center), officiates the blessing of the brand-new Aklan Sports Complex March 13. The Aklan Sports Complex is located at Calangcang, Makato, Aklan - a multi-million sports facility built in time for the 2010 Western Visayas Regional Athletic Association (WVRAA) Meet that Aklan is hosting for the first ime in 15 years. Also in the picture are from left to right - Ibajay Mayor and Congressional Spouse Ma. Lourdes Miraflores, Rep. Florencio T. Miraflores, Prof. Ersyl Biray of Aklan State University, Aklan Gov. Carlito Marquez and Makato Mayor Jun Legaspi. (PIA/vgv)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Aklan holds blessing of multi-million sports complex

    Calangcang, Makato, Aklan -- The Aklan Sports Complex here, constructed in time for Aklan's first hosting of the Western Visayas Regional Athletic Association (WVRAA) Meet in fifteen years, had a simple and short blessing ceremony March 13.

    The blessing, officiated by Makato Parish Priest Rev. Fr. Isauro David, was graced by Aklan Congressman Florencio T. Miraflores, Governor Carlito Marquez, Vice Governor Gabrielle C. Calizo-Quimpo, Sangguniang Panlalawigan members, Provincial Capitol department heads, Makato LGU led by Mayor Jun Legaspi and representatives of other government agencies.

    The sports complex sits atop a 6.5 hectare lot in Calangcang, Makato. It has an Olympic-size swimming pool, two basketball courts, two volleyball courts, a rubberized track oval, football and soccer field, two tennis courts and an archery area.

The sports complex has a main grandstand with bleachers.

The Provincial Engineer's Office (PEO) also constructed temporary bleachers made of bamboo for use of spectators.

Provincial Engineer Victory Fernandez said the province has already sank more than P90 million for the construction of the sports complex, and to be able to make it a one-stop sports facility in the future, its total construction expense could reach P200 million.

The construction of the sports complex was made possible through a Memorandum of Agreement between the Aklan State University through President Benny Palma, owner of the lot, and the Provincial Government of Aklan for the construction, development, management, operation and control of the sports facility at Calangcang, Makato. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)


Aklan leaders reiterate commitment for women’s welfare

    Kalibo, Aklan -- Aklan's provincial leaders once more reiterated their commitment to uphold the welfare and well-being of Aklanon women as the province launched March 12 the month-long observation of Women's Month.

    The celebration took off through a Thanksgiving Mass at the St. John the Baptist Cathedral, followed by a motorcade and a program at the Daeangpan it mga Kababayen-an Sa Aklan.

    Vice Governor Gabrielle V. Calizo Quimpo, in her inspirational message, told the audience, composed of Aklan Gender and Development Commission (AGADC) committee members represented by different national and provincial offices, the PNP, LGUs, and civic groups about the different laws that were passed for the benefit of women as well as the important role the women play in the community.

    "We must maximize the benefit of the Magna Carta for Women. We must engage in activities to push the rights and benefits of women," Calizo-Quimpo said.

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

    Calizo also called on concerned sectors to look after the welfare of women with disabilities.

    For her part, Hon. Daisy S. Briones, guest speaker and a Sangguniang Panlalawigan member, cited the various proclamations issued by then President Corazon Aquino for the welfare and advancement of women's rights like Presidential Proclamation 224 and Proclamation 227.

    SP Briones also related that as part of the Provincial Government's concern for women, 20 of them from various municipalities here received P5,000 each to start small business ventures.

    Some of these women were present during the program, who displayed their products mostly food-based for sale to the public which were a hit.

    SP Briones is the principal author of the newly enacted Children's Code of Aklan as well as an advocate of sustained Gender and Development programs of the province.

    Governor Carlito Marquez, who was also to deliver an inspirational message, was represented by Provincial Administrator Diego M. Luces.

    A turn-over of financial assistance for Income Generating Project for VAWC victims, totaling P105,000.00, was also held during the program.

    The Philippine National Red Cross and the Provincial Health Office also held a medical check-up and Blood Typing the as part of the launching program.

    Blood letting, skills training, diabetic screening, job fair, radio guestings/candidates forum are some of the activities set to be held for the montlong-long observance of Women's Month in Aklan. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Aklan Sports complex blessing slated March 13

    Kalibo, Aklan - The Aklan Sports Complex, a multi-million modern project at Calangcang, Makato, Aklan constructed non-stop in time for the March 14-19, 2010 hosting by the province of Aklan of the Western Visayas Regional Athletic Association (WVRAA) Meet will have its blessing March 13.

    Aklan Governor Carlito S. Marquez said this sports complex is a long-time dream now realized with the support of various sectors in the province.

    The sports complex sits on a 6.5 hectare lot owned by the Aklan State University, made possible through a Memorandum of Agreement between Governor Marquez and ASU President Benny Palma for the construction, development, management, operation, maintenance and control of the sports facility at Calangcang, Makato, Aklan.

    Now ready to receive top-caliber athletes from all over Western Visayas for the regional competition, the sports complex has an Olympic-size swimming pool, a rubberize track oval, a football and soccer field, two basketball courts, two volleyball courts, two tennis courts and an area for the archery competition.

    According to Assistant Provincial Engineer Edelson Magalit, the main grandstand is already in place and already usable. Bleachers made of bamboo had been built around the grandstand for the audience to use.

    Engr. Magalit also assured the availability of water, both for the swimming pool and for the comfort rooms constructed in the area, despite the El Niño Phenomenon or dry spell which might affect water supply in the site.

    "We have a deep well where we source our water and we also have an elevated water tank in the sports complex site", Magalit said.

    A press room/media center, complete with telephone and internet connections, is already in place in the area too.

    According to the Department of Education (DepEd), some 4,000 participants from all over Western Visayas composed of delegation officials, sports officials, coaches and athletes are coming for the region's biggest athletic event. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)

Take seriously what you have signed, COMELEC tells Aklan candidates

    Kalibo, Aklan -- Saying that the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) can only do so much, Regional Election Director Atty. Dennis Ausan appealed to Kalibo and provincial candidates here for their full cooperation to ensure that Aklan will have an honest, orderly and peaceful elections.

    Ausan aired this appeal during the Peace Covenant signing at the St. John the Baptist Cathedral here held recently, participated by sixty-four candidates – 38 from Kalibo and 26 for provincial positions.

    "We have just signed the covenant for a peaceful election. We are hopeful that we are serious with what we have signed. If we are serious, we at the COMELEC will no longer have an 'Operation Kakas' because there will be nothing to get from the posts, the walls and the trees", said Ausan, apparently referring to campaign posters of local candidates placed anywhere.

    Ausan also assured the people of the role of the COMELEC in the coming elections.

    "We in the COMELEC swear that we will abide with the principle that sovereignty resides in the people. We need your full cooperation so that in May 10, the real voice of God will be heard," Ausan stressed.

    The Peace Covenant signing was sponsored by the COMELEC, the Diocese of Kalibo, KBP Aklan Chapter, the PNP, AFP, local media organizations and various radio and cable television stations in Aklan. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)

COMELEC RED says voters’ fears had been erased

    Kalibo, Aklan -- The voters' fears had been erased as they start showing enthusiasm for the country's first-ever automated elections, according to Atty. Dennis Ausan, Regional Election Director (RED) when he spoke before provincial and municipal candidates of Kalibo at the Peace Covenant signing held at the St. John the Baptist Cathedral here recently.

    Ausan said that COMELEC-Aklan has started going around various towns for the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machine roadshow presentation, and this allowed the voters in the different towns of Aklan to see for themselves the machine which will be used in the conduct of the automated elections.

    "We are all first-time voters in the automated elections", Ausan told the people inside the church, composed of candidates and their families, friends and supporters, and the local media.

    Ausan said the May 10, 2010 elections is a very historic and important one and the COMELEC is doing its best to prepare for this political exercise.

    On March 15, Ausan said the COMELEC will start training the Aklan Board of Election Inspectors (BEIs).

    Ausan also said that the COMELEC is trying very hard to reach out to voters as much as possible. Voting correctly, according to him, is just a matter of following instructions on how to fill up the ballots and casting it.

    Sixty-four candidates participated in the covenant signing – 38 from Kalibo LGU and 26 running for various positions in the province. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Aklan candidates sign, peace covenant

    Kalibo, Aklan -- Sixty-four (64) candidates – 38 from the municipality of Kalibo and 26 running for provincial positions signed today the peace covenant for an honest, orderly and peaceful elections at the St. John the Baptist Cathedral in Kalibo.

    The covenant-signing was sponsored by the COMELEC, Diocese of Kalibo, KBP-Aklan Chapter, PPCRV, PNP, AFP, Aklan Press Club, other media organizations and outlets.

    The covenant signing was held after a Holy Mass.

    Kalibo has 4 mayoralty candidates, 4 vice mayoralty, and 30 for Sangguniang Bayan. For the provincial positions – the Western side of Aklan has 10 candidates for Sangguniang Panlalawigan, and Eastern, 10. Three are vying for the gubernatorial post; two for vice gubernatorial, while the incumbent representative for the lone district of Aklan – Congressman Florencio T. Miraflores, is uncontested.

    In their messages, the candidates were one in saying that the peace covenant should be fully adhered to.

    "We are here because we believe in God. Let us maintain a friendly rivalry, and let's be friends after elections", said Mark Quimpo, a mayoralty candidate of Kalibo.

    For his part, Rep. Florencio T. Miraflores said he is humbled by the trust given to him by Aklanons, and said he would double his efforts to bring progress and service to Aklan.

    "Let us abide by the peace covenanct for the most peaceful and grandest elections in the province", Miraflores said.

    Governor Marquez and Vice Governor Gabrielle Calizo-Quimpo, along with their fellow candidates for the gubernatorial and vice gubernatorial positions, also delivered messages.

    Other municipalities in Aklan, in coordination with the COMELEC and other civic and religious organizations have their respective covenant-signing schedules. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)

Aklan town is RP’s best LGU OTOP implementer

    Kalibo, Aklan -- The town of Numancia in the province of Aklan has been adjudged as the country's Best LGU One Town, One Product (OTOP) implementer, and as such, will be receiving the award on March 12, 2010 during the National OTOP Congress at the Philippine Trade Training Center in Pasay City, Manila.

    Before bagging the prestigious national award, Numancia bested other provincial entries in Region 6, emerging the regional winner. The three Visayan regions- Central, Eastern and Western were then clustered, after which Numancia also emerged as the Island Winner in the Visayas.

    Numancia Mayor Elverita Templonuevo, elated but emotional during a radio interview over RMN-DYKR radio station here while sharing the news, said she will be going to Manila to receive the award, together with her husband, former Mayor Ernesto I. Templonuevo who initiated the OTOP project (Vermicast Organic Fertilizer), Razel Gomez, the cooperative president, Brenda Marte, Municipal Agriculturist and Philomena Valencia of DTI-Aklan.

    Mayor Templonuevo said President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo will personally hand them the award.

    OTOP is a program of President Arroyo which is patterned from the One Village, One Product (OVOP) of Japan.

    Under this program, towns will identify a product which they could develop as their common product or enterprise. In Aklan, all towns have their identified OTOPs. Kalibo has the loom-woven Piña cloth, Banga has its fruits, Nabas, bariw products, Lezo its potteries, etc.

    Mayor Templonuevo said the town's OTOP, Vermicast Organic Fertilizer, is a project that has a great impact on poverty alleviation, the people's livelihood and the env ironment.

    "We can already see the effects of El Niño. Every Numanciahanon could benefit from this program, the town being an agricultural area. I challenge every Numanciahanon – we need this organic fertilizer to help Mother Earth, to improve our quality of life by eating organically-produced vegetables, fruits and rice", Mayor Templonuevo said.

    The vermicast method, which utilizes earthworms, also helps much in the municipality's waste management program. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Aklan to showcase top attractions at WVRAA meet

    Kalibo, Aklan -- The province of Aklan will be showcasing its top attractions during the opening day of the Western Visayas Regional Athletic Association (WVRAA) at the Provincial Sports Complex in Calangcang, Makato, Aklan on March 15.

    Provincial Tourism Operations Officer Roselle Q. Ruiz said the showcase will be presented through a production number featuring three major attractions of Aklan – the famed Boracay Island, through its many fun activities simulated by Boracaynons like the dragon boat-racing, snorkeling and other water activities; the Ati-atihan Festival, showing Ati-atihan groups from Kalibo and Makato in their colorful costumes dancing to drumbeats unique to Aklan, and the Piña Industry through a fashion show..

    "The towns of Tangalan, Malinao and Nabas will also be bringing their Higantes to lend more color to the opening ceremonies", Ruiz said.

    The province of Aklan will be hosting the WVRAA for the first time in 15 years. The last time Aklan hosted this event was in January 1995.

    Through radio plugs, Aklan governor Carlito Marquez has called on all Aklanons to solicit their help to make this big regional sports event successful.

    "Everybody should join and show our visitors the Aklanon courtesy and hospitality", Governor Marquez said.

    Marquez said the province has been working double-time to prepare the facilities for the biggest athletic event in the region.

    It will formally open on March 15 but there will already be sports competitions starting March 14.

    The 2010 WRAA meet will run from March 14-19.

    Advance parties from various provinces of Region 6 – Iloilo, Negros Occidental, Antique, Guimaras and Capiz have started arriving in Aklan March 9.

    They will be billeted in various public and private schools in Kalibo, Makato, Numancia and Lezo. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)

Monday, March 8, 2010

Women’s month celebration in Aklan studded with activities

    Kalibo, Aklan -- This year's celebration of Women's Month in the province is studded with activities to promote the welfare and empowerment of Aklanon women.

    According to Jesebel Vidal, Gender and Development (GAD)-Aklan Focal Point, the celebration of Women's Month of Aklan will kick-off March 12 through the Women's Day celebration at the Aklan Comprehensive Center for Women (ACCW) with a motorcade, thanksgiving mass, opening program and the release of financial assistance.

    The financial assistance, amounting to P105,000.00 to fund income generating projects (IGP), is for victims of Violence Against Women and Children (VAWC).

    The financial assistance will be turned over by Aklan Governor Carlito S. Marquez to Mrs. Elma M. Malbas, PSWD Officer and Center for Women Coordinator.

    Other slated activities for the Women's Month celebration include free diabetic screening on March 10 and March 16; Display of EWA products, free blood typing and Vegetable Seed Distribution on March 12; Job Fair for call center agents, nurses for London, and skilled workers for Saudi Arabia through the Provincial Employment Service Office (PESO) and the Aklan Gender and Development Commission (AGADC); Skills Training, Radio guestings, Candidates' Forum, DAR Ladies Association forum and Orientation of Magna Carta for Women/VAWC.

    EWA (Empowered Women of Aklan) products which will be displayed on March 12 are produced by 20 women who started small businesses after they were provided P5,000.00 each by the Provincial Government as seed capital.

    At the launching program on March 12 at the ACCW, inspirational messages will be given by Vice Governor Gabrielle V. Calizo-Quimpo and Governor Carlito S. Marquez. The guest speaker will be Hon. Daisy S. Briones, SP Chair-Committee on Children, Women and Family.

    A medical check-up and Blood Typing will also be conducted by the Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC) and the Provincial Health Office (PHO) on March 12 at the ACCW.

    "Babae! Tagumpay ka ng Bayan" is the theme of this year's Women's Month celebration. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Aklan governor reorganizes, expands membership of PPCC

    Kalibo, Aklan -- Aklan's Provincial Price Coordinating Council (PPCC) was reorganized recently by Governor Carlito S. Marquez through Executive Order 009.

    The executive order also expanded the membership of the PPCC.

    According to Governor Marquez, the expansion of the membership is necessary due to the current economic situation that has resulted in sudden increases of commodities.

    The Provincial Price Coordinating Council (PPCC) of Aklan was created pursuant to Republic Act 7581, also known as the Price Act, to provide protection to consumers by stabilizing the prices of basic and prime commodities and by prescribing measures against undue price increases during emergency situations and like situations.

    The PPCC is chaired by Governor Marquez with DTI-Aklan Provincial Director Diosdado P. Cadena, Jr.

    Other members of the council are PSSupt. Epifanio A. Bragais, Jr., Aklan Police Provincial Office Provincial Director; Atty. Ma. Maya Bien M. Tolentino, Provincial Prosecutor; and heads/representatives of OPA, PHO, DENR, LTO, NFA, DOH, BFAR, BAS, PCA, PIA, Aklan Consumers Association; Hugod Aklanon Producers Association, PARCOM/Farmers' group, and Kalibo Vendors Group. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)

Kalibonhons try PCOS machine

    Kalibo, Aklan -- Kalibonhons had their first view of the Precinct Count Optical Scanner (PCOS), when the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) held its first roadshow demonstration here March 4 for Kalibo's municipal employees, barangay officials, residents and the local media.

    The PCOS is the machine which will be used when Filipinos cast their votes for the first time in the country's first-ever automated elections on May 10, 2010.

    COMELEC-Kalibo Election Officer Lorena Tumbagahan, who led the PCOS roadshow demonstration at the 3rd Floor of Kalibo Municipal Building, showed the participants the features of the machine and how it works.

    Tumbagahan allayed fears of the constituents who queried if brownouts, which might occur during elections, could affect the performance of the PCOS machines.

    "The machine has built-in batteries. Even in places with no electricity, the machines could still function within 12 to 16 hours," Tumbagahan told participants.

    Tumbagahan also briefed the participants on the proper filling up of the ballots. According to her, voters should be careful in shading ovals opposite names of candidates. When voters over vote or shade more than the numbers required for the position, the votes will not be counted.

    Tumbagahan said however, that votes could be counted in cases when voters undervote or shade lesser than the specific number required for the positions.

    "After shading the ballot, the voter will personally feed the ballot to the machine, which will be read by the machine back to back. If the ballot successfully passes through the machine, the note 'Congratulations, your vote has been registered' will appear on the screen", Tumbagahan said.

    To test this ability of the machine, Tumbagahan requested a participant to feed the demonstration ballot to the machine, which came out successfully along with the note that appeared on the screen. But when the same ballot was fed again to the machine, it did not completely came through, and the note that read "this ballot has been previously scanned" appeared on the screen.

    After the roadshow demonstration in Kalibo, the PCOS machine will be brought to the rest of the municipalities in Aklan by the COMELEC for the same activity.

    The COMELEC assured that all polling centers in Aklan will have PCOS machines. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)


Wednesday, March 3, 2010

High price of mongo noted in Aklan markets

    Kalibo, Aklan -- The Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPA) here has noted the very high price of mongo sold at Aklan public markets.

    Moises T. Inamac, Provincial Price Coordinator based at OPA-Aklan revealed that a ganta of mongo costs P200-210 as of January 2010 in public markets. Its price last month (December 2009), based on OPA's Price Monitoring Report, was P190.00 to 200.00 per ganta.

    Out of 19 market commodities listed under Cash Crops category of OPA in the report, mongo and sweet pepper commanded the highest price. Last December 2009, a kilo of sweet pepper was sold from P120.00-P220.00 per kilo. Its price, however, for the month of January, ranged from P160.00 to P250.00.

    Inamac shared the information during the latest Provincial Price Coordinating Council (PPCC) meeting called by Governor Carlito Marquez in the wake of the current economic and climatic condition that has resulted to increases in prices of prime commodities.

    To call the attention of concerned agencies like the Department of Agriculture (DA) on the preventive price of mongo, PPCC members suggested to OPA to send a copy of their monitoring report to the regional office.

    Some members suggested the intensified planting of mongo in Aklan ricefields now to increase the supply of mongo in the province.

    Rene Enriquez, farmer-member of the council and Provincial Agrarian Reform Committee (PARCOM) officer said, however, that farmers are discouraged to plant mongo in their fields.

    "When we plant mongo in our fields, there are many owners. Everybody in the community thinks he can just pick mongo pods when the crop is ready, not thinking of the farm owner who invested money to plant the crop," Enriquez said.

    The DTI, on the other hand, represented by Deana Ruiz, emphasized that the true worth of a commodity should be assessed, so the council or the concerned agency could determine if the price of the commodity is "grossly" in excess of its true worth.

    Other things taken up in the meeting were updates on the current prices of fish, rice, lumber, copra, and other basic commodities given by respective agencies in charge of monitoring prices and supplies.

    Chaired by Governor Carlito Marquez with DTI Provincial Director Diosdado Cadena Jr., as Vice Chairman, members are composed of representatives from the PNP, Provincial Prosecutor's Office, OPA, OPVET, PHO, DENR, LTO, NFA, DOH, BFAR, BAS, PCA, PIA, Aklan Consumers Association, Hugod Aklanon Producers Association, PARCOM and Kalibo Vendors Association. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

DA, LGU-agri offices propose measures for El Niño-threatened areas

    Kalibo, Aklan -- The Department of Agriculture Regional Field Unit 6 (DA-RFU), Provincial Agricultural offices and local government units in the region recently came out with proposed mitigating measures for identified El Niño-vulnerable areas.

    Based on the data provided by the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPA) here headed by its OIC, William Castillo, measures include irrigation and water availability, production support, financing component, information, education and communication and program management.

    Under irrigation and water availability measure, a fuel subsidy of P1,000.00 per hectare will be provided to farmers whose standing rice crop is at vegetative stage, while P500.00 per hectare will be given to farmers whose standing crop is at its reproductive stage.

    Small Water Impounding Projects (SWIP) and SWIP rehabilitation will also be implemented to make water available to the vulnerable rice farms.

    For production support, buffer seeds (10% of the Provincial Seed Requirement) of 1,700 bags certified seeds will be provided as well as pesticides (should there be reports on armyworms, rats and birds); and vegetable seeds/root crops/livestocks from the DA/OPA/LGU.

    Animal health services will also be provided.

    For financing component, insurance from January to March planting at P1,000.00 per hectare will be provided through P15,000.00 insurance coverage with a premium of P1,000.00 from DA-OPA.

    Information, education and communication, on the other hand, will be provided by DA-OPA-LGU consisting of information dissemination through advocacy campaign and IEC materials.

    Program management will be composed of monitoring and feed backing by the DA-OPA-LGU.

    In Aklan, 132 hectares planted to yellow and white corn and 2,675 hectares of irrigated and rainfed rice farms were identified as vulnerable to the El Niño phenomenon. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)


Aklanons urged to sell their palay to NFA

    Kalibo, Aklan -- The National Food Authority (NFA) here is urging Aklanons to sell their palay produce to the food agency, which is now actively going around Aklan for its palay procurement activities.

    According to Ramon Villariza of NFA-Aklan, NFA's current procurement result is way below target as they go around the province.

    "Right now, we can only procure at least 300 bags per day. Please tell your friends and relatives to sell their palay to us. We have sufficient procurement funds," Villariza said to fellow members of the Local Price Coordinating Council (LPCC) during its first quarterly meeting at the Conference Hall of the GRQG Memorial Building here.

    The NFA is now buying palay at P17.20 per kilo if procured in the field, and P17.40 if delivered in the grains center by the farmers themselves.

    If their palay stored in the warehouse gets milled and converted to rice, Villariza said there would be a total of 71,857 bags of rice at NFA-Aklan, which could last for 175 days. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)

COMELEC to hold PCOS roadshow demonstration in Kalibo

    Kalibo, Aklan - The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) will be holding a Precinct Count Optical Scanner (PCOS) machine roadshow demonstration in the municipality of Kalibo.

    Lorena Tumbagahan, COMELEC-Kalibo Municipal Election Officer said the activity, the first to be held in the province, will be spearheaded by the COMELEC in coordination with the local government unit of Kalibo headed by Mayor Raymar A. Rebaldo.

    The PCOS is the machine which will be used for voting on the May 10, 2010 national and local elections in the country's first-ever automated elections.

    The demonstration is slated on March 4, which is expected to be attended by various sectors in the community – government employees, residents, local officials and the media.

    "Everybody will be allowed to attend the demonstrations, so they could see for themselves how the machine works," Tumbagahan said.

    After the PCOS demonstration in Kalibo, the COMELEC will be going to other municipalities to conduct the same activity to the constituents.

    After the demos in the municipalities, Tumbagahan said the COMELEC will be holding trainings for the Board of Election Inspectors (BEIs).

    Meanwhile, COMELEC-Kalibo will be conducting "Operation Kakas" of election posters and other materials of candidates for national positions on March 5.

    The team, to be led by the COMELEC with the support of the Philippine National Police and assisted by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), will go around Kalibo to peel off campaign posters and other materials which were not placed at designated common poster areas.

    The DPWH, Tumbagahan said, is deputized to help the COMELEC in its "Operation Kakas" activities.

    In Kalibo, each barangay has one designated common poster area, while in Poblacion Kalibo, there are three common poster areas.

    Tumbagahan said said these are situated in front of the Kalibo Cathedral, the Dr. Rafael S. Tumbokon Memorial Hospital and at Roxas Avenue near the Kalibo Pilot Elementary School. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)