Friday, June 8, 2012

Circumferential Road in Boracay - No ECC - No Definite Date on When to Resume Construction

The date for the continuation of the Circumferential Road in Boracay is unclear.

This is while there is no Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) from the Department of Environment and National Resources (DENR). This was according to the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) Officer of Aklan Ivene Reyes.

In an interview on Thursday, Reyes said that even before the implementation of the project, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) was advised to get an ECC.

However, according to Reyes what seemed to have transpired was that the processing of an ECC was passed to the contractor and it was neglected until a Demand Letter was given by the DENR to stop the construction of the Circumferential Road.

Reyes claimed that aside from having no ECC, the contractor is facing a case for the cutting of a certain area of a mountain for the placement of the contractor’s project and also for the cutting of trees.

But because the project has been stalled especially that the Circumferential Road project will include a part of a lake which is a declared wet land, the PENRO Officer said that it is already the Secretary of the DPWH and the Secretary of DENR who are discussing about the project.

Reyes added that for the meantime it could not be determined when an ECC can be given to the DPWH or contractor for the project to be continued.

No K9 for Tabon Port

The Caticlan Coast Guard is now considering placing a K9 at Tabon Port, after motorboat routes in Boracay has been changed due to the 'habagat' season or the southwest monsoon.

According to Chief PT Officer, Ronnie Hiponia of Caticlan Coastguard, they haven’t got a K9 on standby at the Tabon port as of now.

There are only two of the said k9's which are being used at the Caticlan Jetty Port, particularly at the RORO area.

However, Hiponia said that they also send these k9's at Tabon Port in order to assist in baggage checking, as well as in the Cargo port.

Nevertheless, for security reasons, they are still sending Coast Guard's Special Operation Group to watch over the port every day.

Unlike the Caticlan Jetty port, Tabon Port is being used only if the regular route of motorboats is altered due to undesirable weathers, the reason it has no x-ray machine and metal detector to inspect the luggage of tourists bound for Boracay.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Cancellation of Classes During a Storm or a Calamity Is Not Dependent on the Department of Education

There is no need to depend on the Department of Education (Dep.Ed) to make a decision when cancelling classes when a storm or calamity occurs in a certain locality.

According to Jessie Gomez, Division School Superintendent of Aklan, the local government which includes the officials of a municipality and province has the authority to declare when classes are to be cancelled.

Gomez clarified that the leadership on the Provincial and Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC &MDRRMC) has been passed to the Local Government Unit (LGU) while the Dep. Ed. is only a member of the PDRRMC and MDRRMC and the chairman of the respective councils are the Governor and the Mayor.

Therefore, when it is already dangerous for students whether there is a storm or not, the LGUs can declare the cancellation of classes, and also can answer the queries of parents whether classes are to be cancelled.

In addition, during unusual circumstances at school like when there is flooding, fire or any calamity, the Head Teacher can also declare the cancellation of classes.

Police for remote areas in Boracay, requested

Heinous crimes have often happened in remote areas in Boracay particularly in the backside of the island.

The reason Vice Mayor Ceceron Cawaling is now requesting P/Insp Al Loraine Bigay, the new chief of Boracay Tourist Assistance Center (BTAC), to give attention and to also assign police officers in crime prone zones and those which are away from the populace.

With the likes of Sitio Lapuz-lapuz, areas in Yapak, and some other places in the island in order to avoid the recurrence of killings or any other crimes that took place in these areas.

Cawaling explained, based on what he observed, the authorities are focusing more in the front side of the island, especially the front beach, market places, and the main road. The places however, wherein chances of transgressions are higher and where the presences of police are needed was left unattended.

The Vice Mayor also mentioned about the need for streetlights in these places.

These requests and concerns by Cawaling were voiced out during the formal introduction or courtesy call of P/Insp Bigay, the new chief of BTAC, in the council’s session last Tuesday

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Boracay Tourist Assistance Center Has Not Been Receiving Financial Assistance from the National Headquarters Since December 2011

It was confirmed by the Chief of the Boracay Tourist Assistance Center (BTAC), P/Insp. Al Loraine T. Bigay that BTAC was no longer receiving financial support from the national or higher headquarters since December of 2011.

According to Bigay, it is not known whether the monthly support will still be given. The monthly support is meant for the expenses of BTAC’s operation.

Bigay said that for now, they are using the Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses (MOOE) from the Regional Office and Local Government of Malay.

The financial assistance that BTAC is receiving from MOOE is being budgeted to make ends meet for BTAC’s daily expenses. He added that because of financial constraints, transportation budget is being affected when they bring a suspect to the prosecutor’s office to the town of Kalibo for formal filing of charges.

In such cases, the Chief said that their personal money is what BTAC uses for transportation expense to accomplish their duty.

School Uniforms, not compulsory; Collection from parents, prohibited

The Department of education or DepEd Aklan is grateful for receiving no complaints as the teachers conformed and followed the No Collection Policy or any other collections from the students and parents in the opening of classes even during the enrollment.

According to Division Superintendent of Dep.Ed Aklan, Dr.Jesse Gomez, the Department strictly prohibits collection of fees by teachers, from the school opening until the month of August.

Gomez also clarified that school uniforms for students in public schools are not compulsory.

Therefore parents should not be obliged to buy their children of the said uniforms, not unless they opt to do so.

Meanwhile, the Department of Education asks for the public's consideration for some inconveniences experienced during the opening as a result of the department's limited fund.

However, Gomez said that they are to take action to gradually give solution to the same problem in the schools in Boracay.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Philippine Provincial Board Members to Be in Boracay for a National Convention for Two Days This Year

Board Members of the Provinces of the Philippines will convene in Boracay from June 6 to June 7, 2012.

This is in connection to the 22nd Provincial Board Member National Convention organized by the Provincial Board Member League of the Philippines (PBMLP).

The arrival of some high ranking officials of the country from the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Agriculture, and the Commission on Elections to participate in the convention as guest speakers is also expected.

The theme of the National Convention is “Reinforcing Partnership Towards the Straight Path in Local Governance.”

Memorandum Order 2012-86, signed by DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo contains the topics and issues the local lawmakers will focus on. These include the modernization of agriculture, how to find solution to the problem of poverty, and the forthcoming election in 2013.

Hundreds of Provincial Board Members from the different provinces of the Philippines are expected to attend the convention to be held in a resort at station 2, in the resort Island of Boracay.

Classroom Shortage in Boraracay isn't surprising for SB Essel Flores

Council's Chairman of Committee on Education, SB Member Essel Flores admitted that Boracay really lacks classrooms, and this has been a problem ever since.

The reason that he wasn't at all surprised of the news about the shortages of classrooms in Balabag and Manoc-manoc Elementary schools during an interview yesterday morning.

According to him, it is now suppose to be under the National Government, as the Local Government of Malay had already done everything to provide for the educational sector in Malay and Boracay.

As a matter of fact some classrooms here are the result of the LGU's initiative.

However, because of the limited fund, it is just right, he said, that the Department of Education (DepEd) should answer to this, especially that these classrooms require million of pesos.

In spite of this, Flores cleared it out that they are not trying to avoid any obligations on this matter.

In fact, this coming School Board Meeting in Malay next week they are to lay this matter to 
discuss on the deficient classrooms in the entire town.

Monday, June 4, 2012

12 Peso Wage Hike for Boracay, Aklan, Region 6 Implemented by DOLE

A twelve peso (P12) wage hike for employees in the province of Aklan including the island of Boracay and the whole Region 6 has been implemented since Thursday.

This was confirmed by Vidiolo Salvacion, OIC Provincial Head of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Aklan during an interview on May 31st.

According to Salvacion, starting May 31st 2012, the minimum daily rate for an employee will be two hundred seventy seven pesos (P277) from the previous two hundred sixty five (P265) an increase of twelve pesos (P12).  The rate will be for an employee who is working in an establishment which has ten (10) or more employees.

Likewise, a twelve peso increase is also due for employees working for employers who have less than ten (10) employees. The new minimum rate of the mentioned employees will be two hundred thirty five (P235) from two hundred twenty three (P223).

It was learned from Salvacion that the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWP) approved the Wage Order No. 20 by the DOLE on May 16 of the current year but had to be published for fifteen days (15) before implementation.

Aklan's division into two provinces, opportunity for Aklanons

Aklan will gain a number of benefits if Aklan Representative Joeben Miraflores' proposed bill will be successfully passed into the senate.

And this is to divide the province into two districts; this is according to Atty. Allen Quimpo, former congressman and legal adviser of the Aklan Provincial Government.

He said if granted, the province will receive a double financial aid as each congress will have its own Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or also known as Pork Barrel, and other assistance from the national level.

Aside from this, he said, each congress can concentrate more on their designated districts as the 17 towns of Aklan will be subdivided.

Quimpo also believes that this could provide more employment and opportunities for Aklanons as each district will be expected to have new infrastructures.