Friday, August 3, 2012

TIEZA Office Boracay to Open by August End

Like promised, the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) is soon to open an office in Boracay. Its formal opening will be by the end of August.

This was learned from Boracay Island Water Company (BIWC) Customer Service Officer Acs Aldaba.

Nevertheless, there is no assurance yet according to Aldaba whether the office would accept complaints regarding the problems being experienced in the Drainage System in Boracay. Despite this, Aldaba expressed optimism that the office would accept concerns regarding the matter.

This is despite BIWC’s knowledge that TIEZA will establish an office in Boracay to monitor and assist BIWC in its operation and to ensure that the regulation implemented by TIEZA is followed.

In the past, BIWC took criticisms and complaints from the public on the drainage problem in Boracay. But limited information could be given by BIWC since TIEZA, formerly the Philippine Tourism Authority (PTA), is the maker of the drainages in Boracay and therefore was the one who had the capacity to answer about the issue.

TIEZA’s formal opening in Boracay is awaited by many specially island stakeholders, and the Local Government of Malay, who together, with BIWC previously became the center of talks due to the faulty drainage in the island.

At the moment, TIEZA’s office is being constructed at the village of Balabag near the office of BIWC in preparation for its formal opening by August end. 

RORO Docking at Caticlan Jetty Port, Difficult, But Trips Are Still On-going

The Philippine Coast Guard Caticlan Station acknowledges the fact that until now they are having difficulties with Roll on-roll off or RORO vessels’ docking at the Caticlan Jetty Port due to immense and rough waves.

According to PCG Caticlan Acting Station Commander Chief PT Officer Ronnie Hiponia there has been a slight setback on getting passengers from Roxas Oriental Mindoro off and on board at the jetty port.

This is because the Ship Captains need to wait for the sea to be calmer before docking at the port.

Hiponia however said that the said difficulty happens in Caticlan alone as the waters in Roxas Oriental Mindoro aren’t that rough.

Aside from this the official said, almost 45 minutes has been added to the RORO trip at this route as they need to pass via Caluya, Antique area to Caticlan and vice versa in order to avoid strong waves and to ensure the safety of the passengers.

Nonetheless despite the mentioned hindrances RORO trips are still on-going as of now.

Also as ROROs are being loaded with tons of cargoes along with trucks and vans, he explained that prior to its departure these cargoes are weighed at Caticlan Jetty Port to maintain balance and safe sailing.

He added that the regulation of the port is also being sternly adhered upon that cargoes must be limited to 35 tons only and the excess must be cut down.

Meanwhile as we are still experiencing rough seas, Hiponia warns the fishermen especially those with smaller vessels to restrain from going off shore at this weather.

Similarly Hiponia strictly cautions about the temporary prohibition of swimming in the front beach of Boracay in order to avoid subsequent incidents of drowning.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

MV Shuttle Roro 1 Ran Aground and Got Burned in Romblon -- 1 Dead

It was reported by the Philippine Coastguard that MV Shuttle Roro 1 ran aground and got burned at Romblon on Monday.

Based on the report on its website, the ship was forced to take refuge at Looc Bay, Romblon since it faced bad weather due to typhoon “Gener.”

During the attempt, the ship accidentally ran aground; caught fire, and water entered it.
Captain Felix Solidio ordered abandon ship when the ship started to take in water and directed all passengers to transfer to the life raft.

The Coast guard of Romblon immediately responded by sending a rescue team which held a Search and Rescue Operation. Upon arrival, the ship was at seventy (70) percent on fire.

All the fifty seven (57) passengers and forty eight (48) crew members were accounted for, including the lone casualty, passenger Ernesto C. Flores.

The ill fated MV Shuttle Roro 1 was en route to Batangas from Dumaguit.

Litter Lined the Beachfront of Boracay Island

Lumber, plastic, flip flops and Styrofoam, brought by strong waves to shore, lined the beachfront in the past few days.

According to Boracay Island Administrator Glenn Sacapano, when it is high tide, it is dangerous to clean up the litter. Low tide is waited upon before clean up would immediately take place.

Sacapano added that he believed the garbage that lined Boracay during typhoon “Gener” was not from Boracay.

Meanwhile, windbreakers and barriers are put up by establishments for protection from the huge and strong waves brought by “Habagat,” while vendors are a bit disappointed since their goods could not be displayed.

Drowning incidents in Boracay, explained by Lifeguard

There’s already a megaphone, whistle, and a telescope plus the 8 to 5 monitoring by trained lifeguards in 5 towers in the beach front of Boracay.

However the lifeguard admits that there are still some drowning incidents in the island despite of their strict monitoring and patrolling.

According to lifeguard commander Mike Labatiao aside from those who wants to go swimming that are actually taking their reminders for granted, he said that during the habagat season and the weather isn’t good the sea beds are not level and is deeper as it goes further .

This presents greater chances for swimmers to panic and eventually drown.

He also pointed out the difference of sand conditions in the shores of Angol Sation 3 to station 2, and from station 1.

In station 1 he said, there are natural break waters and so the waves dissipates as it reaches the shore.
Labatiao added that they have observed that there are more cases of drowning in the first two mentioned areas compared to station 1.

Meanwhile aside from the natural causes on drowning incidents in the island they have discovered that almost 60% of drowning victims are under the influence of alcohol.

Nonetheless Labatiao stressed that they, at the Boracay Action Group, First Responder, Coastguard and PNP did not fall short of monitoring those who are swimming in the ‘2012 world’s best beach’ island.

Eight Promoted Boracay Policemen, Awarded Tuesday

Eight Boracay Police who have been promoted recently have been formally awarded on Tuesday.

The pinning of ranks was held last Tuesday at Camp Pastor Martelino in Kalibo, Aklan where the Aklan Police Provincial Office or APPO is also at.

The newly promoted Boracay Policemen were SPO2 Eduardo Francisco, PO3 Condrado Espino, PO3 Barry Legaspi, PO3 Eugene Magallanes, PO3 Cyrus Alph Parce, PO2 Zaldy Belen, PO2 Reynandthur Prado and PO2 Regino Refendor.

According to PSIns Al Loren Bigay, the said station also received an award as the 2nd runner up for being the Most Citizen Friendly Police Station in the whole province and is second in the performance evaluation rating for calendar 2011.

Aside from those who received an award yesterday, the Local Government of Malay and the Stakeholders in Boracay were also presented with a recognition or certificate of appreciation.

The said pinning of ranks was held following the Police-Community Relations Month of the Philippine National Police or 

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Tangalan Bridge Already Passable

The bridge at Tangalan, Aklan has been declared passable since yesterday around 6:30 in the evening.

This was after a big hole in the ground where the bridge was located was seen by residents and commuters yesterday morning. Reportedly the soil in the ground gave way due to heavy rains and flooding in the previous days brought about by typhoon Gener.

The hole rendered the bridge impassable for vehicles. The bridge connects Kalibo and Caticlan.

According to PO2 Mario Sestorias of Tangalan Philippine National Police, the combined force of the Department of Public Works and Highways, National Disaster Risk Management Team, Local Government Unit and Tangalan Police refilled and packed in the hole enabling vehicles and commuters to finally cross.

RORO trips canceled, over 200 passengers, stranded

Because of the destructive weather condition brought about by typhoon ‘Gener’, Jetty Port Administrator Nieven Maquirang has confirmed that RORO trips in Caticlan have been canceled today.

The waves at the pier of the Caticlan Port are still too rough, the reason that they did not allow the ships to dock here.

Aside from the 200 stranded passengers of 2GO from Batangas, buses like Dimple, Balisno, R.N., and Phil. Tanco are on standby at their own terminals.

In line with this Maquirang had advised the Phil. Coast Guard and the mentioned bus companies to cancel the trips and to wait until the weather goes back to normal.

Meanwhile the Jetty Port management is asking for the public’s consideration regarding the situation.

Monday, July 30, 2012

"Roots for Boracay" MOA Signed

The signing of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA), between the Local Government of Malay, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Boracay Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) and Tan Yankee Foundation-the financer of “Roots for Boracay Program,” was successful.

The messages from almost all sides connected to the project on Saturday afternoon was that the program is a serious step to take care of the environment, maintain the island and bring back the lost treasure of Boracay.

The project of Tan Yankee Foundation and Tanduay spearheaded by their Chairman Dr. Lucio Tan, is claimed to benefit the island of Boracay since one hectare of coastal area at Lugutan at Sitio Tulubhan, Manoc-Manoc will be planted with mangroves. This is said to be of great help on the problem of Sand Erosion experienced in the island, and on Climate Change.

Utmost gratitude was expressed by Mayor John Yap to the participants of the project. This is allegedly in view of the challenge to maintain the beauty of the island specially that the island was recently awarded the title “2012 Best Beach in the World”

 Despite the absence of DENR Secretary Ramon Paje at the event, Environmental Management Bureau (EMB-DENR) Director Miguel Cuna attended. The message given from DENR was that since Boracay is said to be overdeveloped, it is time to put things right on what is in the island and “Root For Boracay” is one good step.

Aside from the mentioned personalities, the signing of the MOA was also attended by DENR Region 6 Director Julian Amador, BCCI President Ariel Abram, Presidential Adviser for Climate Change Secretary Elisea Gozun, and Ms, Earth 2012 Ms. Stephany Stefanowitz. 

MAP and Police in Boracay can issue LTO TOP

It should not be surprising if a member of Malay Auxiliary Police or MAP and PNP in Boracay is issuing a Land Transportation Office or LTO Temporary Operator’s Permit (TOP) for traffic rules violation in the island.

This is because some of the members of MAP and Police are deputized and can, in anytime, implement the national law on traffic by arresting violators.

This has been confirmed by Island Administrator Glenn Sacapaño, that the MAP and Police can issue a violation ticket or LTO TOP any time, and can confiscate drivers’ license.

However Sacapaño clarified that the confiscated drivers’ license are being sent to Kalibo and any payment process for a violation should be made there as well as the release of the said license.

Now that the MAP and Police are deputized by the LTO, Sacapaño is asking that the public should understand the traffic rules and must adhere to it to avoid any arguments if apprehended.