Saturday, March 22, 2014

Chinese tourists, tops foreign arrivals in Boracay, says Jetty Port Administration

Posted March 21, 2014 as of 6:00pm
Written by Jay-ar Arante

For two months in 2014, Chinese nationals are on the top of foreign tourist arrivals in the island of Boracay.

This is after the Chinese won over South Koreans as foreign tourists who came to Boracay in big numbers and in consecutive months.

According to the Jetty Port Administration, the Chinese tourist arrivals reached up to 52,740 followed by South Koreans at 40,511 while the Taiwanese came in third with 6,387 arrivals.

The data reflects that most of the Chinese tourists arrived in Boracay during the Chinese New Year, and they have dubbed the resort island as one of the famous New Year destinations.

The numbers shoot up on the arrival of the cruise ship MS Costa Atlantica last March 11 carrying with it over 2000 tourists mostly Mandarin Chinese.

Meanwhile, on the past days Hapah-lloyd’s MS Europa 2 has visited Boracay for the 3rd time where many tourists from China were also aboard.

The Chinese are said to have considered Boracay as their 16th favorite tourism destinations in the world.

Translated by Shelah Casiano

Electricity supply during summer, not a problem in Boracay

Posted March 21, 2014 as of 6:00pm
Written by Bert dalida

The island of Boracay will not be having any problems with electricity supply this summer season.

This is what Boracay Island Chief Operations (BICO) Officer Glenn Sacapaño has said in line with the possible power shortage and or fluctuations that may be experienced on the island.

According to Sacapaño, the stakeholders are already prepared for this, such as by having their own generators.

However, although Sacapaño believes that power shortages won’t be a problem for business establishments, he admits that the residents will surely be affected.

It was learned that Vice Governor Gabrielle Quimpo worries about the status of electricity in Boracay this peak seasons following a problem met by AKELCO and the NGCP while repairing their 138 kv transmission lines.

Translated by Shelah Casiano

Friday, March 21, 2014

Presence of green algae, slowly seen at the shoreline of Boracay

Posted March 21, 2014 as of 12nn
Written by Jay-ar M. Arante

“Summer month is “lumot” (algae) month.”

This is how some tourists going to Boracay Island see things after seeing the presence of green algae at the shore of the island.

In the statement of Malay Agriculture’s Office Marine Biologist Jhon Felix Balquin, he said the stillness of the sea is one of the reasons why algae come out and go to the shoreline of the island.

However, on the belief that the presence of algae is a sign that it is already summer, Balquin clarified that this is not the true basis of the start of summer.

He added that there is no truth that the algae help in making the sand of Boracay white.

Meanwhile, it was earlier said by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) that the public should not be alarmed by the presence of the green algae on the shore.

Based on the study of the water of Boracay by the environmental Management Bureau (EMB) of the DENR Regional Office, the water at the beach of Boracay was classified Class B which means it is safe for swimmers.

On the other hand, the emergence of algae has not been a hindrance for tourists who continue to visit Boracay for their summer vacation.

Meanwhile, according to experts the algae will disappear together with the end of summer season in the country.

Translated/Edited by Rodel J. Abalus

34 High school graduating students in Aklan, qualified for DOST-SEI Scholarship

Posted March 20, 2014 as of 6:00 in the afternoon
Written by Gloria Villas

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Aklan gladly announced that the province has 34 high school graduating students that are qualified for DOST-SEI Scholarship.

According to DOST Aklan Science Research Specialist II, Aster Oliva, the SEI offers 2 types of scholarships.

The first one is the Program A or the RA 7687 Scholarship Program which is for students whose family belonged to a low socioeconomic status and Program B or the Merit Scholarship Program which is for students whose family belonged to those with high socioeconomic status.

The privileges that DOST-SEI Scholars will receive includes free tuition fee, textbooks and school supplies allowance, physical education uniform allowance, monthly living allowance, group health and accident insurance and post-graduation clothing allowance.

The 34 new scholars can take the program’s priority courses such as bachelor’s degree in Science, Math, Biology and Engineering.

Translated by Shelah Casiano

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Online Application for NBI Clearance-big help to Aklanons

Posted March 20, 2014 as of 12 noon
Written by Jay-ar M. Arante

The online application launched by the Public Employment Service Office (PESO) Aklan is allegedly a big help to Aklanon applicants.

This is the belief of the PESO after it released the application process in applying for a National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) clearance.

According to the PESO Office, an applicant only needs to go to their office to be able to apply for an NBI Clearance.

PESO added that after applying online, an applicant could be given an endorsement letter which could then be presented at the NBI Iloilo Office including the number that was given to the applicant.

Nevertheless, the online application is not free of charge. Applicants are charged P100, this is based on the released ordinance.

Meanwhile, it was learned that the research by the provincial government for the technology to be used at the soon to be built NBI Office Aklan, is on-going.

Furthermore, PESO –Aklan and the provincial government are in coordination with the NBI for faster clearance application until the NBI satellite office in the province is back.

Translated/Edited by Rodel J. Abalus

DENR Aklan, encourages public to join Earth Hour 2014

Posted March 19, 2014
Written by Gloria Villas

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) encourages the public to take part in the Earth Hour celebration this year.

According to DENR Aklan Administrative Officer IV Merlita Ninang, the Earth Hour aims to instill awareness about the serious problem on climate change and the continuous drive to protect the environment.

The Earth Hour will also be celebrated in different countries around the globe on March 29, a Saturday.

The initiative is to turn the lights off for an hour from 8:30 pm to 9:30pm in Philippine time.

The celebration is not only about turning off the lights, bust as well as the gadgets like cell phones and other household utilities that require electrical energy.

Translated by Shelah Casiano

Public Hearing on Base Market Values, rescheduled on April 4

Posted March 19, 2014
Written by Gloria Villas

The Public Hearing for Base Market Values will be on April 4.

The schedule has been confirmed by SP Secretary Odon Bandiola in line with Malay and Boracay stakeholders’ request to re-schedule the said hearing.

The stakeholders have earlier appealed that the venue and date be changed so that many will be informed.

The hearing is regarding the Aklan Provincial Government’s formulation of 2015 General Revision of Real Property Assessment.

As stated on Section 219 of the Local Government Code and based on Republic Act No. 7160, the local government should have a general tax revision of real properties every three years.

It added that the taxes from real properties, as stated on the new base market values, will go to the Special Education Fund (SEF), construction and repair of public buildings and many others.

Translated by Shelah Casiano

Damages caused by Wednesday fire at Poblacion, Malay, reached P250k

Posted March 19, 2014
Written by Bert Dalida

A fire incident at Poblacion, Malay on Wednesday morning has caused almost Php 250 thousand in damages.

According to FO1 John Henry Ildesa of the Bureau of Fire Protection Unit (BFPU) Boracay, two households in the area, mostly made of mixed materials, had gone ablaze, to which firemen of Trans-Air in Caticlan Airport had immediately responded.

The home of Richard Oczon was totally damaged while Ezequel Panagsagan Gumboc’s house was partially damaged.

Based on BFPU’s investigation, Barangay Captain Ric Calvario observed that Richrd Oczon was burning trash outside his home, the Brgy. Captain then advised him not to do it because of the hot weather.

Afterwards, the residents were alarmed as they found Oczon’s home in flames. Oczon has said to have continued the burning inside the house.

The incident was followed with the fire reaching Ezequel Panagsagan Gumboc’s household.
The Malay PNP, temporarily, has in their custody Richard Oczon, who is said to be suffering from mental illness.

He was alone at the house during that time, while his older brother was out driving tricycle.

Translated by Shelah Casiano

MS Europa 2, revisited Boracay Island

Posted March 19, 2014
Written by Jay-ar M. Arante

Ms Europa 2 visited Boracay Island for the 3rd time at 10:30 in the morning, Wednesday, March 19.

The cruise ship is carrying 516 passengers from different countries including 370 crew members.

Europa 2 was scheduled t arrive on March 20 but due to changes in schedule, the ship visited Boracay earlier.

Although the ship carried few passengers, there were no changes in the preparations of the provincial government and the Department of Tourism.

MS Europa 2 first visited the island in the previews year, and in the month of January of this year carrying Italian Nationals and other foreign tourists.

For its 3rd visit, the tourist passengers are slated to visit souvenir shops, the long beach area, the Boracay Ati Village, and to go island hopping.

Meanwhile, MS Europa 2 will depart at 7 in the evening of the same day and go to its next destination.

Translated/Edited by Rodel J. Abalus

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Malay PNP, admits shortages of personnel

Posted March 18, 2014
Written by Jay-ar Arante

The Malay PNP has admitted that they don’t have enough police personnel more so that there will be an influx of tourist in Boracay this summer season.

According to SPO1 Ben Estuya of the Malay PNP, it would be better if there will be a force augmentation.

There was however, a limitation from the Aklan Provincial Police Office (APPO) because of the same need of police officers in other towns in the province.

Nevertheless, Estuya said that they can still maximize their police visibility with the help of force multipliers which includes the Malay Auxiliary Police, Maritime Command, Philippine Coastguard and the Philippine Army which results to a better enforcement at the Caticlan Jetty Port.

On the other hand, if the police to population ratio of 1 is to 500 will be based upon, they will still be 5 to 6 personnel short.

The Malay PNP at the moment is waiting the APPO’s mandate, as well as that of the Regional Office as to when they will send additional police force in Malay.

Translated by Shelah Casiano

Rabies can be 100% prevented - OPVET

Posted March 18, 2014
Written by Gloria Villas

Rabies can be 100% prevented.

This is if pet owners are responsible enough in feeding, taking care, and having their pets vaccinated.

This is what Aklan Provincial Coordinator for Rabies Control Program Dr. Ronald Lorenzo has said in line with the celebration of “Rabies Awareness Month” this March.

Dr. Lorenzo also said that animal bites should not be taken for granted because their rabies may lead to death, and if bitten, a prompt medical attention is a must.

Meanwhile, part of the “Rabies Awareness Month” celebration, the Office of the Provincial Veterinarian (OPVET) will conduct a free mass vaccination and free animal consultation in the whole province.

OPVET again reminds pet owners to be responsible with their pets to ensure safety against the rabies virus.

Translated by Shelah Casiano

PHO Aklan, cautions about seasonal diseases this summer

Posted March 18, 2014
Written by Gloria Villas

Sore eyes, sun burn, cold and cough are only a few of the diseases that are rampant on summer seasons.

With this, the Aklan Provincial Health Office (PHO) reminds the public to make hand washing a habit to prevent the said diseases.

According to PHO Aklan Provincial Health Officer Dr. Cornelio Cuachon, when suffering from sore eyes, avoid rubbing it and instead of using a hanky, wipe it with a tissue and dispose it after use.

Dr. Cuachon meanwhile, cautions the public of a common belief and or practice that breast milk and urine can cure sore eyes, saying that washing the face and hands are rather effective than the mentioned practice.

Sore eyes are very common during the months of January to March on summer and August to September on rainy seasons.

Translated by Shelah Casiano

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

DOT officials confident that it will reach its target of 1.5 million tourist arrivals in Boracay in 2014

Posted March 18, 2014
Written by Jay-ar M. Arante    

Officials of the Department of Tourism (DOT) are confident that their target of 1.5 million tourist arrivals in Boracay will be reached.

The provincial government of Aklan and the DOT were able to record consecutive cruise ship arrivals in the island.

According to DOT Western Visayas Regional Director, Helen J. Catalbas, the ten (10) international cruise ships included in the count of arrivals and forthcoming arrivals in 2014, and 2016 is a big help for the DOT to reach its target.

The DOT had been promoting Boracay as a cruise ship destination in the past two (2) years which has had a positive result.

Meanwhile, the tourist arrivals in 2013 increased by thirteen percent (13percent) in the data of the Caticlan Jetty Port compared to the previews year. There were 1.368 Million tourist arrivals in 2013.

Meanwhile, the Jetty Port recorded more than 21, 888 tourist arrivals in Boracay from March 1 to March 6 in the current year.

Because of the significant current number of arrivals, the DOT is making preparations for the anticipated increase of tourist arrivals in Boracay during summer and in the Holy Week in the month of April.

Translated/Edited by Rodel Abalus

Diving-popular to Boracay tourists this summer

March 17, 2014
Written by Bert Dalida

Diving is popular on Boracay tourists this summer.

The appeal of diving to tourists is noticeable, and it was learned from a recent interview that Koreans take pleasure diving at popular dive sites in the island like Angol Point, Coral Garden, Diniwid, Balinghai, Punta Bunga and Yapak.

According to some dive shops in the island, diving is relaxing to the body.

In the previews year, the Department of Tourism (DOT) launched the Dive market Development Group in order to invite many divers to the country.

Meanwhile, aside from diving, parasailing, island hopping and other water and sea sports activities in the island are popular to tourists.

Translated/Edited by Rodel J. Abalus

Electricity charges this March, dropped

Posted March 17, 2014
Written by Bert Dalida

Be thrifty and responsible in using electricity.

This is the Aklan Electric Cooperative (Akelco)’s usual reminder to the public even with decrease of electricity charges this March.

Akelco’s advisory reflects that there has been a decline in transmission charges this month, which results to an also decreased electricity rates.

In line with this, the rates for residential consumers went down from February’s Php10.8173 to Php10.8011 this month, while rates for commercial consumers drop from Php9.8983 to Php9.8838.

Akelco’s rates had also dropped in the previous month following a decrease in generation charge after the NGCP 69kv transmission lines, earlier damaged by super typhoon Yolanda, have been repaired.

Translated by Shelah Casiano

Some residential areas in Boracay, violates BRTF’s 30-meter easement

Posted March 17, 2014
Written by Jay-ar Arante

The Boracay Redevelopment Task Force (BRTF)’s attention isn’t only directed towards the business establishments in Boracay.

This is as the Task Force’s list showed residential areas also included in its 30-meter easement.

According to DOT Boracay OIC Tim Ticar, after the BRTF’s demolition of structures within the easement at the front beach, they will next proceed to the residential areas.

It was learned that most of the houses the task force will be looking at are those in Barangay Manoc-manoc.

Ticar said that the BRTF has a different concern with the residential compared to business establishments on Boracay’s front beach.

The task force, at the moment will be focusing on establishments that has violated the 30-meter easement, he added.

The DOT OIC also said that what the BRTF has done on Station 1 to Boracay Terraces will also be applied on Station 2 going to Angol area in Barangay Manoc-manoc.

Meanwhile, all infrastructures at the beach front that are within the 30-meter easement, except for government owned life guard station, medical station and tourist information center, will be removed.

Translated by Shelah Casiano

Monday, March 17, 2014

International Frisbee Competition in Boracay, kicked off

Written by Jay-ar Arante

One of island’s popular game and the most awaited 12th Boracay Open International Frisbee Competition has kicked off Friday.

Considered to be the biggest beach tournament in Asia, the competition opened at around 11am yesterday morning.

More than 400 participants from around the globe have flocked to take part in the said sport event.
Joining in is the Boracay Dragons which has become popular internationally for having won in different countries.

The Boracay Dragons is the second best beach ultimate team in the world after bagging the silver medal finish twice.

The first one was in 2007 in Maceio, Brazil where they have competed against Australia and another in Lignano Sabbiadoro, Italy in 2011 against the USA.

The team is also eyeing for the gold on next year’s World Beach Championship in Dubai.

Meanwhile, the tournament which is being held at Station 3 Boracay will conclude tomorrow, a Sunday.

Translated by Shelah Casiano

Coral REEFurbishment Project, alternative livelihood program for fisherfolks - Mayor John Yap

Written by Gloria Villas

The Coral REEFurbishment Project is beneficial not only to the tourism industry but also to the fisherfolks.

This is what Malay Mayor John Yap has stated during the said coral restoration program’s launching on Friday, a project that will further the protection drive for the corals in the island of Boracay.

According to Mayor Yap, this is also an alternative livelihood program for the fisherfolks as they will be assigned in taking care of and monitoring of the corals.

Yap added, there were also fishermen in the past that used prohibited processes in fishing that has resulted to coral destruction and disturbance of the fish’s natural habitat.

The Mayor also noted how the project can strengthen the tourism industry as this will become an attraction for under water activities.

The Coral REEFurbishment Project is part of the Coastal Resource Management Program and is under the Boracay Beach Management Program (BBMP).

Translated by Shelah Casiano

Appointment of new DSWD Aklan Head, confirmed in Sangguniang Panlalawigan

Written by Gloria Villas

The appointment of a new Department Head for the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (DSWD) has been confirmed in the Provincial Council or SP Aklan.

During the SP’ s 9th Regular Session on Wednesday, members of the council confirmed the letter of request by Governor Florencio Miraflores appointing Evangelina Gallega as the new Provincial Government Department Head of the agency.

Meanwhile, Gallega said that under her supervision, she aims to strengthen the agency’s programs and services, particularly Child Protection and Protection among Women in order to stress out their rights.

The New DSWD head also mentioned the continued programs on skills training and personality development.

In line with this, Gallega expressed gratitude for the trust given to her abilities by the Aklan Provincial Government to lead the DSWD.

Gallega took office on March 4, 2014 and her position was confirmed on March 12, 2014.

Translated by Shelah Casiano