Monday, April 30, 2007

ELECTION WATCH
Aklan mayor’s wife faces disqualification case

BY BOY RYAN B. ZABAL
Aloysius Perlas shows a copy of his petition for disqualification case against the Delfina Ramos, wife of incumbent Batan town mayor (ACMagno)

BATAN, Aklan – A former supporter of three-termer mayor Herodutos Ramos filed a disqualification case against the opponent of incumbent Vice Mayor Dante Reyes before the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
Aloysius Perlas filed the disqualification complaint Thursday last week against the 60-year-old wife of the incumbent mayor, Delfina Ramos (Kampi). He said Mrs. Ramos failed to establish a one-year residency in Brgy. Palay, Batan.
Perlas said under Section 39 of Republic Act No. 7160 or the Local Government Code of 1991, an elective local official should be a registered voter and resident of the barangay for at least one year immediately preceding the day of the election.
In a three-page petition, Perlas stressed that Delfina Ramos was not a registered voter of Brgy. Palay in the May 14, 2001 national and local elections and May 10, 2004 elections. He submitted to the Comelec a certification by Election Officer II Carlito Dionela.
“She made false representations in her Certificate of Candidacy that she was a registered voter of Precinct No. 63-B, of Brgy. Palay,” Perlas claimed.
Over RMN DyKR Kalibo, Mayor Ramos accused the camps of Reyes, who is running under the United Opposition, behind the disqualification case filed by Perlas against her wife.
Ramos, a native of Consolacion, Cebu City, filed her certificate of candidacy on March 27 before the local Comelec.
In a related development, the Comelec is hoping to resolve all disqualification cases before the May 14 polls and if there is no final ruling before election day, the candidate in question can participate in the election.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

ELECTION WATCH
No ‘bad blood’ for warring Lezo rivals
BY BOY RYAN B. ZABAL

WE LOVE PEACE. Lezo mayoralty candidate Victor Fernandez (Kampi) assures his townmates of a peaceful and orderly elections (BRZabal)

LEZO, Aklan – There is no “bad blood” when two warring political candidates met at St. Isidore church here for the covenant signing Sunday morning.
Victor Fernandez (Kampi), a three-termer mayor from 1995 to 2001, is challenging barangay captain Alejandro Arcenio Sr (Liberal Party), the elder brother of Mayor Fred Arcenio.
In 2004 elections, Fred Arsenio and vice mayor Fernandez were Tibyog Akean party mates, but they parted ways due to political differences and old rivalries.
In the peace covenant signing officiated by Rev. Fr. Carlos Retorico, 17 Sangguniang Bayan candidates were present. Vice mayoral bets Philip John Buenaflor (Liberal) and Llane Denosta (Kampi) also joined the covenant signing.
“Despite the intense political rivalries, our Tibyog Akean team in Lezo respects the peace agreement,” Fernandez said.
The event was witnessed by members of Aklan Police and Defense Press Corps, the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster sa Pilipinas (KBP) and the Aklan United Media Association.
Senior Supt. Benigno Durana Jr, acting Aklan police director, also welcomed the peace covenant signing of local candidates to prevent election-related violence.
The town of Lezo is among the areas of concern aside from the towns of Buruanga, Libacao, Madalag, Ibajay and New Washington closely monitored by the Philippine National Police (PNP).
KBP Aklan chapter chairman and DyRG station manager Augusto Tolentino said the peace pact is crucial to avert violence among sympathizers and candidates that tend to disrupt the holding of peaceful, honest, orderly and free elections.
“The signing of covenant is sacred, a pledge of non-violence and mutual respect for the outcome of May 14 elections before God and the folks of Lezo,” he added.
Last week, local candidates of the town of Buruanga also joined the peace covenant signing following the indiscriminate firing incidents in Brgy. El Progreso.
A peace covenant signing will also be held on April 30 in the town of Ibajay between reelectionist mayor Roberto Garcia Jr and businesswoman Lourdes Martin-Miraflores, wife of incumbent Aklan Rep. Florencio Miraflores.

NESTEA BEACH 2007: Hotter and tougher
BY MITCH M. ARCEO

YOU will never know what the word “fun” means if you haven’t been to Boracay. Because of its crystalline waters and white sand, Bora not only attracts tourists but is a favorite venue for events.
Last April 18, celebrities, media and sports enthusiasts flew in to Boracay for the Nestea Beach 2007.
"We want to try other beaches but we haven’t found a beach area which can house all the people who are attending our event," said Tina Samaco, consumer marketing manager of Nestea.
Now on its 11th year, Nestea once again set up fun activities like beach volley competitions featuring some of the country’s top teams.
"We’ve noticed that the players are getting tougher, year after year. It only shows that these players are taking Nestea Beach Volley seriously. After all, it is an effective training ground for those who want to join the national team," enthused Tina.
27 teams from 17 schools nationwide survived the rigorous eliminations held in La Salle Greenhills.
Luzon was represented by Far Eastern University, Philippine Christian University and St. Francis of Assisi College in the men’s division, and Far Eastern University, Lyceum University and Adamson University in the women’s division.
Qualifiers from Visayas came from University of San Carlos, University of Southern Philippines Foundation and Foundation University in the men’s division, and University of San Jose–Recoletos, University of the Visayas, and Southwestern University in the women’s division.
Male beach volley players from Mindanao were from the Mindanao State University Tawi–Tawi, Capitol University, Tawi–Tawi Regional Agricultural College, while the lady spikers were from the University of Mindanao–Tagum, Holy Cross of Davao and University of Mindanao–Davao.
All teams were focused on one thing — to become the Nestea Beach 2007 champs.
After three days of playing in scorching heat, the men’s teams from Mindanao State University (MSU) and Far Eastern University (FEU), and women’s teams from University of the Visayas and Southwestern University carried on to play for the finals.
It was a close fight between MSU’s Gabshar Tahiluddin and Yusop Abdulkarim and FEU’s Joshua Alcarde and Jeremy Floyd Pedregosa.
The players from FEU played well but in the end, MSU’s young tossers reigned supreme.
The lady spikers shouldn’t be underestimated. Femininity and softness have no place in beach volley.
University of the Visayas’ formidable team, composed of Janez Igot and Jusabelle Brillo, wowed the crowd with their strong hits and fast moves.
Janez admits that they were not that confident when they played against the team from Far Eastern University during the semi–finals.
"We were told that the female players from FEU were good, so we had to exert more effort during the game. Jusabelle and I were both exhausted and happy when we won over FEU. After that game, we were motivated to do better in the finals. Fortunately, we were able to beat the players from Southwestern University," expressed Janez.
But of course, it wouldn’t be complete without the celebrities showing off their beach volley prowess.
The celebrity teams consisted of — (Team 1) Geoff Rodriguez, Tisha Silang, Andrew Neri and Mondo Armedilla; (Team 2) Brad Turvey, Nancy Castiglione, Karel Marquez and Bubbles Paraiso; (Team 3) Sam Oh, Jr Isaac, Philip Cu–Unjieng and Iya Villania; (Team 4) Robby Mananquil, Valerie de los Santos, Amiel Cabanlig and Reema Chanco.
The celebrity games were very entertaining due to the funny cracks from actor Luis and bubbly host Sam.
But their jokes were not enough to distract their opponents. Team 4 proved that nothing can prevent them from winning.
A victory party followed at Crystal Sand, where trophies and cash prizes were given to the beach volley champs.
The champion teams received R150,000 while the second placers were given R75,000. The third placers received R40,000.
This year, even the coaches of the champion teams were awarded R50,000.
After the awarding ceremony, everyone switched to party mode when bands like Parokya ni Edgar, Playground, and Wake Up Your Seatmate — the band who sang this year’s Nestea summer theme "Get In It" — rocked the crowd with their music.
Nestea Beach 2007 also featured PJ Arañador’s summer collection in a fashion show held in Boracay Madarin Island Hotel.
The theme as expected was swimwear for different summer destinations such as Bali, Thailand, Greece, etc.
Still, Nestea Beach 2007 was not just about fun, fashion and games.
Aside from the usual clean–up program that Nestea has been doing for the past 10 years, the company has decided to give donations to the Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP).
"Supporting the beaches in our country is one of the projects of PBSP. A lot of money is needed in cleaning up the oceans. So we thought of selling Nestea tumblers in malls and in Boracay. For every purchase, R5 goes to PBSP. We were able to sell almost 20,000 tumblers in Boracay, Robinsons Ermita, Festival Mall and Robinsons Iloilo," Tina.disclosed.
Volunteer divers, including celebrities Brad Turvey and Nancy Castiglione, joined in the clean–up activity.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Life’s a Beach!
BY AMIEL MARTIN CABANLIG

BORACAY - For many, the summertime is seen as a time to rest, relax and recharge. Island paradises become lugu­briously lazy locales for those who’d rather shy away from more radical sabbaticals. While this serene disposition might suit the less adventurous vaca­tioner, this prowler views the beach in a whole different kind of light! Action, adventure and fun in the sun are what the sandy beaches like Boracay are made for!
Celebrated for its extraordinary summer events, the beautiful island of Boracay still maintains its crowning laurels as the Philippines’ official “summer gimmick capital,” particularly since it once again played host to what is undoubtedly summer’s biggest star-studded event—NESTEA Beach 2007.
The four-day event marks the 11th year of NESTEA Beach, which gets hotter and tougher with each staging. The event was graced by the country’s finest beach volley athletes, the most beautiful faces and bodies and top honchos from the corporate world.
One of the many highlights of NESTEA Beach 2007 was the celebrity matches, which were played over the course of two scorching yet utterly exciting days. It featured stirring action from the country’s hottest personalities who played their hearts out under Boracay’s sweltering yet splendid sunshine.
The Celebrity Challenge
Exhibiting superior beach volley skills were TV personalities Geoff Rodriguez and Tisha Silang, Nestlé’s Andrew Neri and Publicis Manila’s Mondo Armedilla as they outplayed TV personalities Sam Oh and Iya Villania, JR Isaac, Philip Cu-Unjieng to clinch the NESTEA Beach 2007 Celebrity Match Championship.
Other celebrities who took part in the beach volley celebrity matches were TV personalities Brad Turvey, Nancy Castig­lione, Karel Marquez, Luis Manzano and Reema Chanco as well as the team of models Bubbles Paraiso, Robby Mananquil, Valerie de los Santos and your very own controversial media-man Amiel Martin Cabanlig.
To welcome everyone to the summer hotspot were Nestlé executives led by Nestlé SVP and business executive manager Eugene David, Nestlé AVP and NESTEA consumer marketing manager Tina Samaco, Nestlé AVP and head of group brand activation Raymond Villaflor, NESTEA assistant brand activation manager Gabby Posadas, NESTEA brand activation specialist Ronald Chuacokiong and NESTEA ca­tegory manager Pyrus de la Cruz.
Also on hand were Philippine Volleyball Federation secretary general and beach volley commission chairman Otie Cama­ngian, Villa de Oro Boracay Beach Resort Hotel VP for administration Pablo Siwa-Belar­do, Boracay Mandarin Island Hotel general manager Rick Lopez, Publicis Manila business unit director Charmaine Cam­paner and executive vice president Ronald Barreiro.
The Boracay event attracted droves of holidaymakers and beach volley fans alike. From 48 teams from 34 colleges and universities nationwide that competed in the eliminations at La Salle Green Hills, 27 teams from 17 schools made it to the semis and final rounds in sunny Boracay.
Nestea Party Rules
The final party was held at Crystal Sand, where the Nestea’s victory party pounded its way through the shores of Boracay until the wee hours of the morning. Hosted by TV personalities Brad Turvey, Nancy Castiglione and Karel Marquez, the event was deluged by throngs of people who arrived earlier than scheduled, all of them eager to enjoy another lively and wacky performance from Parokya ni Edgar. And yes, Edgar’s music rocks!
Even though the Nestea Party went head on alongside dozens of different revelries that eve­ning (even flanking the high-brow bash of Makati’s fabulous free-loaders, as one columnist would put it), the events rocking performance ruled over the shores of Bora! And of course the merriment became even more delightful with the fabulous intoxicating nectars served every night by the Sun Village Hotel courtesy of our generous host, Edd Fuentes.
Clean-up drive in Bora
NESTEA also knows that parties are more fun if it is done responsibly, which is why it also embarked on a beach clean-up campaign in Boracay’s stations 1 and 2. Celebrities like Brad Turvey, Nancy Castiglione and Sam Oh were generous with their time as they joined in the clean-up efforts that was also participated in by divers, island residents, resort owners and tourists, who enthusiastically picked up pieces of trash that, if left uncollected, could ruin Boracay’s pristine coastline.
Without doubt, NESTEA again proved that it knows how to throw a party that’s fun, exciting and memorable as NESTEA consistently sets the benchmark for all summer parties. Looking ahead, one can’t help but be excited at what the official drink of summer has in store for everyone. Whatever it is, it’s surely going to be one heady summer mix of excitement, entertainment and fulfill­ment!
The Bodacious and Beautiful in Boracay today

BORACAY - Sun worshippers are sure to troop once more to breathtaking Boracay as Century Tuna treats them with a summer like no other via Century Tuna Superbods 2007 Beachfest Grand Finals tonight at Pier One in Boracay.
The country’s leading canned tuna brand is all set to hold the most anticipated image model search this year in one exciting event featuring hot parties, top celebrities, beautiful bodies plus great prizes to be given away to Bora’s beach bums!
The event kicked off with the Century Tuna Lite Moonlight Party last night, where guests, flown in from Manila courtesy of SEAIR, the official airline of Century Tuna Superbods 2007, were treated to a night of chillout music, booze that overflowed to the sea, and sumptuous treats made from Century Tuna Lite.
Today, it will be fun, fun, fun under the sun at the Century Tuna Superbods Beachfest, where beach activities and raffle prizes are in store for Bora habitués. The event will begin with the Century Tuna Superbods walk-in go-see, where six contestants—three males and three females—will be chosen as wild card contestants for the finals. The go-see will happen at the Pier One beachfront from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Beach bums will also get a visual feast of stars, where celebrity guests and finalists will participate at the Century Tuna Celebrity Beach Games. See the participants warm up for some kayak relay, beach batons battle, beach tug-o-war, and obstacle course, among others.
Visitors who register at the Century Tuna booth will get free massages, henna tattoos, and hair braiding, plus a chance to win amazing prizes during the raffle where up for grabs are Sony PSP, Apple iPod Video, Canon Digital IXUS 850 IS, and Nokia N70 mobile phones, in exchange for labels of any variants of Century Tuna. What’s more, exciting prizes will be given away when they join the mini-games.
Then in the evening, Century Tuna will set the stage for Century Tuna Superbods 2007 Grand Finals Night, which will be hosted by VJ and TV host Iya Villania and actor-model Derek Ramsay. Thirty male and female aspiring models will vie for a chance to become Century Tuna’s male and female image models who not only have the X factor and passion for healthy lifestyle, but also a positive outlook in life, confidence and drive to succeed in whatever endeavor he or she pursues in life.
Winners of the image model search get to take home half a million pesos worth of one-year exclusive modeling contract with Century Tuna. One male and female finalist also get a chance to be chosen as this year’s People’s Choice Superbods, who will bag P50,000 in cash each.
On this spread are the 12 hot babes and sizzling hunks beach bums who will chance upon today from sunrise till the wee hours. Have fun, guys, girls
and... gays!

Friday, April 27, 2007

LGU Malay is complying environmental laws – PENRO Aklan
BY BOY RYAN B. ZABAL

BORACAY - Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) Aklan officer Baltazar Gerardo said the local government of Malay is complying with the environmental laws in the transport of residual wastes in mainland Panay.
Gerardo made the assurance following the periodic monitoring of the National Solid Waste Management Commission (NSWMC) led by Undersecretary Zoilo Andin Jr of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).
“The local government is complying the requirements for the efficient transport of residual wastes of Brgy. Yapak and Manoc-Manoc,” he stressed.
Gerardo said Engr. Arnold Solano of the Municipal Solid Waste Management Board reassured him that the truckloads of residual wastes in three barangays, the bulk of which at Brgy. Balabag, would be transported within the month across Boracay Island to a dumpsite in Brgy. Kabulihan in mainland Malay.
He added the administration of Mayor Ceciron Cawaling is serious in implementing the law on the Ecological Solid Waste Management.
“We are appealing to local and foreign tourists visiting the island to segregate their garbage to minimize the waste problem,” Gerardo pointed out.
Some 7 to 10 tons of garbage a day are collected by garbage trucks from establishments and residential houses in the island.
Residual wastes are segregated in Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) and transported by motorized pump boats before they are transferred to dump trucks in Brgy. Caticlan, he said.
Gerardo also lauded the efforts of Forester Delilah Maugeri based in Boracay Island and Task Force Bantay Boracay led by Senior Supt. Benigno Durana Jr for their massive information dissemination in the implementation of waste segregation and compliance of environmental laws by hotel owners
Labor situation in Aklan peaceful
BY VENUS G. VILLANUEVA

KALIBO, Aklan - Aklan has a peaceful labor situation, according to Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Provincial Head Joselito de La Banda.
De la Banda said DOLE-Aklan regularly conducts inspections of establishments in mainland Aklan and in Boracay Island on proper labor standards and wages and most often, employers voluntarily comply with labor laws and regulations.
“Our thrust now is more on the strengthening of relationships between employers and employees, that’s why the DOLE is scheduling 2 batches of seminars in May and June for Boracay and Kalibo employers,” said De la Banda.
De la Banda said that Boracay employers, mostly composed of hotel and restaurant owners, business shops and other service-oriented establishments, will have their seminar on May 23-24 of this year which will focus on technical assistance, employers’ obligations to their employees including wage benefits, labor relations, human relations and productivity of enterprises in Aklan.
Kalibo employers, composed mostly of Small and Medium Entrepreneurs, will have their seminar schedule in June.
According to De La Banda, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are the biggest job providers in the province.
Meanwhile, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo will be announcing some good news in terms of non-wage benefits on Labor Day. The benefits will be in the area of basic commodities, on food, housing and health. A special announcement will also be made for government employees.
Salary increases for the private sector will be taken care of by the regional wage boards. The wage boards will review minimum wage levels in June when the one year prescription period between adjustments end.
Pay hikes are opposed by employers, especially among small and medium enterprises, citing that any increase is unaffordable at this time and it may force them to lay off workers. The wage boards will strive to balance the interest of both workers and employers to ensure the financial viability of business establishments.
The President had approved an across-the-board ten percent increase in the basic salary of civil servants effective July, this year and this will cost the government an additional P13 billion in payroll expenses.
Media stage nationwide protests calling for end to attacks
BY MARLON RAMOS
Southern Luzon Bureau

LUCENA CITY - Braving the pain caused by a bullet slug still lodged in his back, Delfin Mallari Jr., correspondent of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, led more than 80 journalists in an indignation rally here on Wednesday calling for an end to attacks on members of the media.
Still recuperating from two bullet wounds from a botched attempt on his life, Mallari had to sit on a wheelchair as the protesters marched around the town.
The Lucena rally was part of a nationwide day of indignation organized by the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP).
Aside from the rally in Quezon, NUJP provincial chapters in Baguio, Iloilo, Sorsogon, Bacolod, Davao, Olongapo, Kidapawan City, Cagayan de Oro City, Pampanga and Nueva Ecija also held their own activities to challenge the national government and Philippine National Police (PNP) to end assaults on journalists.
The nationwide protest was held a day after Carmelo "Mark" Palacios, Nueva Ecija reporter of government-run Radyo ng Bayan, was buried. Palacios was found dead on April 18, apparently tortured to death, according to authorities.
He was the 51st journalist murdered under the Arroyo administration and the 88th since the democratic restoration of 1986. The attempt on Mallari's life took place the day after.
"Both my son and my wife had strongly objected to my decision to go out and participate in this gathering. But I have to face the public and tell the people that I will not be cowed," Mallari, a founding member of the NUJP chapter in Quezon, said.
"I will never let my fear conquer me because that would only paralyze me," he added.Mallari's wife Percy, a cousin and his close-in police bodyguard took turns maneuvering the wheelchair of the Inquirer correspondent.
Senior Superintendent Hernando Zafra, Quezon police director, deployed at least 10 policemen along the route of the march which kicked off from the St. Ferdinand Cathedral around 10 a.m. and went around the major streets of the city, because of security threats.
During a one-hour program held at a busy intersection right after the march, Mallari calmly appealed to the local police to immediately resolve the failed murder try on him and colleague Johnny Glorioso, a correspondent of dzMM radio station.
Reading from a four-page speech that he prepared, he urged his fellow journalists to respect the investigation being undertaken by the "Task Force Mallari.
"He likewise said he had already forgiven those who wanted him dead. "Kung sino man po ang mga kriminal na nagtangkang kitilin agad ang aking buhay maging ang buhay ng aking kumpareng si Johnny, buong katapatan ko pong ipinapahayag sa araw na ito na pinatatawad ko na kayo [Whoever are the criminals who tried to kill me and my friend Johnny, I can honestly say this day that I have forgiven you]," he said in his 12-minute speech.
"But in the coming days, they will have to bear whatever punishment that the state would hand on them if ever they get arrested," he added.In an interview, Mallari admitted he feared a whitewash on his case.
He earlier identified incumbent Quezon Representative Rafael Nantes, who is running for governor under the Liberal Party, as the "most possible mastermind" of the attack."There really is a possibility of a whitewash as the person I accused as being behind the ambush is very influential. The police was quick to clear him of any complicity even without the benefit of a fair investigation," he lamented.
Nantes vehemently denied Mallari's claims. Mallari said the creation of an independent investigation team seemed to be a better option than waiting for the slow progress of the PNP inquiry."The vigilance of the media is my only home right now. This is not a simple politically motivated slay try," he said.
In his speech, Mallari said he realized that the attack could have been triggered by his exposes on the operations of illegal drug syndicates in Quezon.Just a few weeks before the shooting incident, Mallari wrote an article about the supposed shipment of 50 kilos of shabu (methamphetamine hydrochloride) from Polilio island.
The contraband came from the same area where 500 kilos of shabu worth almost P1 billion were confiscated from Panukulan, Quezon Mayor Ronnie Mitra in 2002.Mallari reported that the shipment of the illegal drugs was a "fund-raising project" for a well-known politician in the province."
I believe that we have successfully unmasked the personalities behind the drug syndicate in Quezon through our stories in the newspaper, radio and television. These people are now trying to protect their illegal activities by joining the election process," he said. "If we remain insensitive to these issues…we might suddenly wake up one morning and find that Quezon is the new shabu capital of the country."
Nantes has been linked to the illicit drugs trade in Quezon in the past, an allegation that he has repeatedly denied. A week after surviving the foiled slay try, Mallari remained unfazed.He said he had no plans of leaving his profession or backing down from making critical commentaries."If the criminals who wanted me dead think that I will be frightened and silenced, I only got one message for you -- you're wrong!" he said.
"After what you did to me and my partner, Johnny, we don't have to write or broadcast our stories because the public now knows who is behind this crime." Mallari said he was overwhelmed by the support given to him by his fellow journalists.
A contingent of Batangas journalists led by members of the Batangas Newswriters' Association and NUJP-Batangas were among those who joined the Lucena protest. Residents and employees of business establishments also lined up along the streets to show their sympathy.
As the protesters passed through an intersection, an elderly man stopped his motorbike and approached Mallari. "We're behind you. What you did was right. Don't be afraid," the man told Mallari."Thank you very much," Mallari replied.
In Iloilo, journalists wore black shirts in their coverage to show solidarity with their colleagues in condemning the recent attacks against the media.
"This is my way of telling them that no one can silence us journalists in telling the truth," said Rexcel John Sorza, head for news gathering of GMA TV in Iloilo City.
In Bacolod City, the NUJP Negros and the Negros Media Council for Press Freedom will spearhead the wearing of black armbands on Friday to protest the attacks, said Edgar Cadagat, who belongs to both groups.
NUJP secretary general Weng Paraan, who joined the Lucena protest, said Metro Manila-based journalists showed their sympathy by wearing black T-shirts or black ribbons.Journalists and supporters in Bicol also wore black T-shirts in sympathy. In her message in Lucena, Paraan challenged the PNP and members of the "Task Force Usig," the special police unit tasked to solve the killings of activists and media practitioners, to put the mastermind of the attacks behind bars.
Paraan said authorities have only four convictions to show for the 88 cases of media killings since 1986.And she lamented that, in those four convictions, only the gunmen have been punished.
"The PNP should explain why, despite their various claims that they were doing everything to solve these killings, they have failed to jail the masterminds of these killings," she said.
Paraan said the NUJP would initiate a dialogue with the PNP and key Malacañang officials to discuss concrete measures on how to stop the violence against members of the media.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Comelec Kalibo to use new ballot boxes
BY VENUS G. VILLANUEVA

KALIBO, Aklan - New ballot boxes will be used for the May 2007 elections in Kalibo.
Francisco Palomar, newly-assigned Election Officer of Aklan's capital town said at least 175 new ballot boxes will soon be received by the municipality from COMELEC-Manila. He said this is to augment the number of the current ballot boxes because some cannot be used as they contain materials/old ballots which are subjects of election dispute.
Palomar gave the assurance that Kalibo is already prepared for the coming elections and foresees a peaceful and orderly one in this town and in the whole province, with the recent signing of the peace covenant of Aklan candidates which accomplished a 100% attendance.
To ensure that campaign posters are also properly displayed, COMELEC-Kalibo and the Philippine National Police headed by Kalibo PNP Chief Arnold Ardiente went around the town to scrape off or detach illegally - placed posters, Palomar revealed.
Poblacion Kalibo's common poster areas are located at the Kalibo Plaza in front of the Cathedral and at Roxas Avenue, while barangays have each one common poster areas.
According to Palomar, all Kalibo barangays observed the posting of campaign materials in common poster areas except Mobo, a barangay across the Aklan River.
Meanwhile, Kalibo's former Election Officer Lorena Tumbagahan is back in Aklan to do the duties of an Acting Provincial Election Supervisor (PES) of COMELEC-Aklan.
Tumbagahan was initially tranfered to Dumarao, Capiz as part of COMELEC's regulation that an election officer could not stay more than four (4) years in a certain municipality.
Tumbagahan served as Kalibo's Election Officer for four years and concurrently as OIC-PES of COMELEC-Aklan before her transfer to Dumarao.
Before her COMELEC-Aklan comeback, Tumbagahan found it hard to commute to Dumarao to render her duties as Election Officer and also to report to the provincial office in Aklan to function as OIC-PES.
Tumbagahan also emphasized the preparedness of Aklan for the forthcoming elections. She reminded all registered voters to look for their names in the lists now being posted in bulletin boards in their respective munipalities so they will know their specific precincts.
Tumbagahan revealed that some 50 print and broadcast personalities had been accredited by COMELEC-Aklan for coverage of the May 2007 elections in the province.
Aklan fiber gaining ground in int'l textile industry
BY RONILO PAMONAG

Aklan Gov. Carlito Marquez (in dark glasses) looks on as models wearing clothes made of plant fibers, walk past him during Monday's opening of the 8th Aklan Piña and Fiber Festival. Fashion designers used fabrics made of fibers from plants grown in Aklan (RPamonag)

KALIBO, Aklan - Textile made of plant fiber grown and produced in Aklan is gaining ground in foreign markets as dealers and importers are interested in buying these products.
Several textile importers are in town for the 8th Aklan Piña and Fiber Festival and for a plant tour of the various loom weavers in the province. The five-day festival, which is held at the Capitol grounds, opened Monday afternoon.
At the same time, Gov. Carlito Marquez also said that they would like to introduce their products to the Chinese market, where, he says, there is a huge demand.
Singapore-based Catherine Deane of Fair Trade Interiors expressed interest in the products on display, particularly on women's accessories made pf piña, abaca and raffia fibers.
Deane, who supplies materials to textile firms in other countries, said that products made of plant fibers from Aklan could sell in the United Kingdom.
"They've a huge potential in the UK," she said Monday, after going around the booths.
Michael Hailey of Amba Nature said that a British firm, Ethical Weddings, has already started to showcase scarves and shawls made of Aklan plant fiber as among its wedding-related merchandise. He has also imported a volume of bags made of Aklan plant fibers.
Hailey suggests though that the loom weavers should improve on the dyeing of the colors and the design of the products.
To note, international brand, Calvin Klein has placed orders for cushions produced by Heritage Arts and Crafts, a loomweaver based here. Calvin Klein saw their products on the internet.
That means that the quality of our products is comparable with the others internationally, Marquez pointed out.
Advocate of Philippine Free Trade Inc. executive director, Rommel Agustin said that there is a huge demand in the international market for Philippine products made of plant fiber.
"This is something unique to us. It is only the Philippines that produces these," he said.
Marquez and Agustin, however, both expressed concern over the limited production capacity.
"The only thing is that the production capacity is not enough to supply the demand. Several orders were canceled because these could not be met," he said.
The governor said the Capitol would meet with loom weavers to devise ways to increase their output.
There's a gap between the demand and the supply, he said.
Marquez explained that the products are made manually, without the use of machines.
These are done manually because no machine has yet been invented that would turn leaves into fibers, he said.
The Capitol has already increased its financial assistance to loom weavers to enable them to acquire more looming machines.
Marquez has also called on for more capitalists into the loom weaving industry.
Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) provincial director, Ermelinda Pollentes said that they are coordinating with the Fiber Industry Development Authority (FIDA) and doing a ‘backward linkage,' a strategy they devised to increase production.
She said that the FIDA may have the technology regarding plant fibers. She said that production slows down in the knotting stage.
Pollentes explained that after the plant leaves are stripped, the fibers are then knotted into twines, which are, in turn, used to make fabrics.
The DTI has also set in place a procedure for ensuring quality of the products.
We have an Aklan Quality Seal that ensures the excellence of products made of abaca silk and raffia.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

FITTING TRIBUTE TO CARDINAL SIN
Monument unveils on his hometown

BY BOY RYAN B. ZABAL

TRIBUTE TO CARDINAL SIN. Cardinal Gaudencio Rosales, Archbishop of Manila (right) displays the artist's perspective of the Cardinal Jaime Sin Monument Project. With him is Ambassador Antonio Cabangon Chua, chairman of the project.

KALIBO, Aklan – Publishers Association of the Philippines Inc (PAPI) president Juan P. Dayang said a monument in memory of the late Cardinal Jaime Sin will be erected in his hometown in New Washington, Aklan.
Dayang stressed the unveiling and blessing of the monument will be held at New Washington public plaza named after the illustrious Archbishop of Manila on August 31, which also marks the birthday of Cardinal Sin.
"Sin leaves a legacy of freedom and justice, forged in deep personal courage. He was a guiding light that illuminated the Filipino spirit. His advice and wisdom was well sought by the nation’s leaders,” Dayang said.
Dayang added "the monument is a fitting tribute to the man whose martyrdom was instrumental in the first People Power in 1986."
He said Cardinal Gaudencio Rosales, Archbishop of Manila, and Ambassador Antonio L. Cabangon Chua were named honorary chairman and chairman respectively, of the Cardinal Jaime Sin Monument Project.
National Artist Eduardo Castrillo, one of the country’s most renowned and dominant sculptors of national monuments and who sculpted the brass “Pieta” of Loyola Memorial Park and the People Power Monument, will designed the Cardinal Sin statue.
Jaime Lachica Sin died last June 21, 2005 of lingering illness. He was born on August 31, 1928 in New Washington, Aklan.
Known as “Amie” in his younger days, Sin was the 14th of the 16 children of Juan Sin and Maxima Lachica. Sin’s father was a Chinese merchant from Amoy .
Sin is survived by four siblings: Ramon, a former dean of University of Sto . Tomas School of Medicine; sisters Mary and Ceferina and Manuel, a former math teacher at Far Eastern University.
Sin’s father, whose Chinese name was Puatco, left Amoy and settled for some time in Manila , before moving to Aklan where he met Maxima, a Spanish mestiza. He converted to Catholicism and was christened Juan.
Ordained on April 3, 1954, he began his ministry as a missionary in the Archdiocese of Capiz; in 1957, he became the first rector of St. Pius X Seminary in Roxas City. He was appointed auxiliary bishop of Jaro, Iloilo on Feb. 10, 1967, becoming a bishop in the same year.
Sin was 45 years old when he was appointed Archbishop of Manila on Jan. 21, 1974 and installed two months later.
Elevated to Cardinal on May 24, 1976, he retired on Sept. 15, 2003 at age 75. At the influential Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines , he served as vice president in 1974, president in 1977 and again in 1979.
Sin never obtained a master’s degree but was appointed bishop and elected cardinal due to his holiness. He has 29 honorary degrees from different universities all over the world.
During the Martial Law years, Sin often found himself at odds with the Palace, but then President Ferdinand Marcos never threatened him nor retaliated for his scathing criticism.
He was later instrumental in driving Marcos from office in 1986 during the first People Power revolt. In 2001, he called on then President Joseph Estrada to resign amid a scandal over illegal gambling payoffs, and supported his replacement by then Vice President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
KBP urges peace covenants in poll ‘areas of concern’
BY BOY RYAN B. ZABAL

KALIBO, Aklan – Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster sa Pilipinas (KBP) Aklan chairman Augusto Tolentino wants five other election “areas of concern” to initiate peace covenant signing to prevent election-related incidents.
Tolentino said the towns of Lezo, Libacao, Ibajay, New Washington and Madalag have been cited as “areas of concern” by the Philippine National Police (PNP).
Last Sunday, the PNP, Commission on Elections (Comelec), the KBP, the Aklan Police and Defense Press Corps and the Aklan United Media Association sponsored the covenant signing between Buruanga mayoral bets to avert possible election violence after the indiscriminate firing incidents last week.
“With the growing intensity of campaign and political developments in these towns, we are persuading to kick off the peace pact between warring political candidates,” Tolentino said.
Tolentino also assured the candidates that the local media and the PNP led by Senior Supt. Benigno Durana Jr. are closely watching the situation on those towns named as “areas of concern”.
He cited the town of Lezo where incumbent Vice Mayor Victor Fernandez is facing Alejandro Arsenio, brother of mayor Fred Arsenio.
Reelectionist Roberto Garcia Jr. is also challenging Lourdes Martin-Miraflores, wife of incumbent Aklan Cong. Florencio Miraflores, for Ibajay town mayoral seat.
In the town of New Washington, fiscal Edgar Peralta, brother of three-termer mayor Edmund Peralta, is pitted against former mayor and incumbent Sangguniang Panlalawigan member Eriberto Venus.
“The political activities of sympathizers and candidates of these towns are mostly likely to heat up before the May 14 elections. That is why, we would want to start the covenant signing to dissuade those individuals to create unusual scenarios in the barangays,” Tolentino claimed
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Monday, April 23, 2007

Buruanga political rivals sign peace covenant
BY BOY RYAN B. ZABAL

WE WANT PEACE. Three-termer mayor Concepcion Labindao calls for an end in all election-related violence in her town of Buruanga, Aklan after the peace covenant signing Sunday (BRZabal)

BURUANGA, Aklan – Following the indiscriminate firing incident here late last week, two warring political camps signed a peace covenant yesterday morning to prevent bloodshed during the May 14 polls.
The peace covenant signing -- between Engr. Quezon Labindao (Kampi), husband of three-termer mayor Concepcion Labindao, and mayoral candidate Engr. Rolando Rojo (Uno-PDP Laban) -- was conducted in the presence of Acting Aklan Police Director Senior Supt. Benigno Durana Jr.
It was held following a mass officiated by Fr. Anthony Jizmundo, parish priest of Buruanga.
Durana took this measure with the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to prevent election-related violence here.
He admitted that the indiscriminate firing incidents last week prompted the Aklan Provincial Police Office (APPO) to initiate the signing of the peace covenant.
The signing was also witnessed by members of the Aklan Police and Defense Press Corps (APDPC), the Aklan United Media Association and the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster sa Pilipinas (KBP).
Durana said they are closely watching the activities of local candidates in the barangays of Buruanga to ensure the conduct of peaceful synchronized local and national elections. He also warned those individuals carrying weapons and giving protection to political candidates during election that he would implement the Comelec gun ban without exemption.
“We are hopeful that the political exercise in Buruanga will be conducted in a civil and peaceful manner,” Durana told reporters.
Incumbent mayor Labindao was also around to witness the signing of the peace covenant by 24 out of 26 local candidates for Sangguniang Bayan of Buruanga.
She said the peace covenant ensures the peaceful conduct of May 14 elections. She said she was pleased by the peace covenant signing between Rojo and his husband.
“The candidates should not employ violence and harassments in the barangays. We believed the sanctity of the ballots,” she said.
During the signing, KBP was represented by Aklan Chapter chairman and DyRG Station Manager Augusto Tolentino. Buruanga Comelec officer Jessie Mangilaya also served as one of the witnesses.
Mangilaya told Panay News that the Comelec would not grant the petition to declare the town of Buruanga as possible “election hotspot.”
He said Buruanga should be affected by serious armed threats from paramilitary units or private groups before the Comelec lists the town as election hotspot.
“Buruanga is not a traditional election hotspot. We urge the politicians and sympathizers to observe the gun ban to prevent election-related violence,” he added.
The Comelec has already issued guidelines in determining a "hotspot" which the provincial Comelec office believed is not applicable to the areas cited.
Among the factors cited by the Comelec for an area to be cited as a hotspot are the presence of armed groups, intense political rivalry, and history of election violence.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

COVENANT SIGNING FOR BURUANGA BETS?
"We are on top of the situation" - Aklan PNP

BY BOY RYAN B. ZABAL

UNDER CONTROL. PNP Senior Supt. Benigno Durana Jr assures the local police is on top of the situation, despite, the incidents of indiscriminate firing last week in the town of Buruanga (BRZabal)

KALIBO, Aklan – Acting Aklan police director Senior Supt Benigno Durana Jr said the Aklan Provincial Police Office (APPO) is on top of the situation to ensure the conduct of peaceful and credible elections, particularly in the town of Buruanga.
In fact, the APPO, the Aklan Police and Defense Press Corps, Aklan United Media Association and the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP) are initiating a peace covenant signing today, April 22, for the local candidates to commit themselves to a peaceful and honest election, Durana said.
There are six towns – New Washington, Lezo, Madalag, Libacao, Ibajay and Buruanga – considered as areas of concern, Durana added.
Expected to sign the peace agreement are mayoral bets Engr. Quezon Labindao (Kampi) and Engr. Rolando Rojo (Uno-PDP-Laban) and vice mayoral candidates incumbent Manuel Sualog and Dextero Obrique.
Durana pointed out the series of indiscriminate firing incidents in Brgys. El Progreso and Cabugan in the town of Buruanga should be stop.
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has yet to declare the town as ‘election hot spot’ despite the request of local candidates, but Durana said, the Comelec is far from declaring the town as ‘hot spot”.
He stressed the Aklanons, including the media, should take part in the peaceful and orderly elections.
“We should go out and condemn violence. APPO is committed, prepared and capable to preserve an honest and credible election through the help of government agencies and media,” he added.
Durana said there would be unscheduled check points in certain areas aside from the regular check points by the local police to thwart those individuals out to sow terror in the community.
Last Tuesday evening, a composite team from the Kalibo Philippine National Police (PNP) led by SPO3 Reynaldo Macahilig, PO3 Joseph Cavan and PO1 Ulysis Salazar arrested 40-year old Arnel Tabanera, of Brgy Tamalagon, Tangalan, Aklan for violation of PD 1866 in relation to Comelec Resolution 7764.
A homemade 30 caliber without serial number and four live ammunitions were seized from him while driving a Mitsubishi L300 van at the Kalibo-Numancia bridge checkpoint.
The Comelec gun ban exemption implemented on January 14 is an effective deterrent to election-related incidents in certain areas in Aklan, Durana added.
Durana said there would no exemptions among police and military men on APPO’s intensive campaign on election gun ban and political partisan, even RPA-ABB and New People’s Army.
“We cannot also discount the possibility of their presence during elections in Aklan. RPA-ABB should respect the peace agreement like they don’t have to be utilized by local politicians. The Comelec gun ban exemption is silent on the provision allowing them to carry firearms,” Durana said.
EDITORIAL - World Earth Day
The Philippine Star

NEARLY three decades after a special day was dedicated to the protection of the Earth, people are more than ever aware of the hazards faced by the planet. Horrific natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, massive flooding and mudslides have been blamed on factors with man-made causes such as global warming and indiscriminate logging.
Irresponsible mining operations have led to some of the worst environmental disasters. Coral reefs are disappearing, aggravating the depletion of the global fish catch because of overfishing and marine pollution.
In urban centers, air pollution has raised the cost of public health care. Natural habitats are disappearing, lengthening the list of endangered or extinct species. Food supplies are threatened as ecosystems are disrupted. Public awareness of environmental hazards has also raised awareness of what can be done to address the threats.
The world knows that it can’t go on with business as usual. Some of the biggest companies are leading the way, investing in environment-friendly technology and promoting the use of green fuel. Balancing corporate and social responsibility with development needs can be a delicate task. The world cannot stop consuming minerals and forest products and will remain dependent on fossil fuels for some time.
Developing countries such as China and India rely on cheap but dirty fuel such as coal to power their economic surge and ease poverty. Even affluent countries where public awareness of environmental hazards is highest are counting the costs and know that turning green is going to be a long, tortuous process.
Governments, private corporations and concerned groups are aiming for sustainable exploitation of natural resources. Nations are increasingly turning to alternative sources of fuel such as natural gas, geothermal, solar and wind power to cut their dependence on crude oil.
Progress has been made in protecting the environment in the past decades, but many threats remain and new hazards keep coming to light. On World Earth Day, the challenges of saving the planet are as daunting as ever.
RP environment in precarious state
BY KATHERINE ADRANEDA
Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Angelo Reyes raised the alarm over the "precarious state" of the country’s environment, and called for unity in preserving the ecosystem, which he said has been "lacking attention."
During the Earth Day celebration at the Quezon Memorial Circle in Quezon City, Reyes said the country’s air quality, especially in urban areas, "falls short of the appropriate standards for health" while water quality, at least in urban areas, is in "a terrible state."
The DENR chief also said that solid waste "remains a major contributor" to land, air and water pollution, and that extensive logging has resulted in the "tremendous depletion" of forests. He said the country remains among the world’s "biodiversity hotspots" due to habitat loss, over-utilization of resources and poaching.
"The country’s environment is already in a precarious state and still lacking attention," Reyes told reporters. "Let us, therefore, join hands to avert (disaster)." "What I would like to propose is for everyone to work with the government in solid partnership," he said.
"I am sure we all realize that we cannot permit wanton destruction of our irreplaceable environment to go on. This must stop, once and for all." Gawad Kalinga’s (GK) Antonio Meloto, who is regarded as Filipino of the Year, said that one way to get people involved in the task of protecting the environment is to make communities the stewards of the environment.
Meloto has been in partnership with the government in changing the lives of indigent families by providing them homes on land usually donated by the government. The beneficiaries "pay" through "sweat equity" by helping build their own houses.
Integrated into the GK program are land areas located in watershed, mangrove and forest areas. Meloto believes that a cycle exists where the preservation of the environment will help reduce the incidence of poverty in the country and that the reduction of poverty will result in the preservation of the environment.
"Right now the most vulnerable to calamities are the poor, they are the victims," Meloto said. "Also, they are the ones destroying the forest because they’re on a survival mode." "If the DENR would give, for example, 10,000 hectares of forest land and there are 100 squatter families, what we will do is provide five hectares of the land area (where) GK will build a community, but the land will not be given (to the beneficiaries)," he said.
"The community will become the stewards of the area; they will be the ones to protect the area, the environment, while we provide housing for them." "The beneficiaries could engage in organic farming or planting of trees in the area. We could, for example, let each family-beneficiary plant at least one tree," he added.
Similar to the DENR’s socialized integrated forest management agreement or Community-Based Forest Management Agreement (CBFMA), Meloto said watershed, mangrove and forest areas provided by the government for GK projects will be good for 25 years and renewable for another 25 years.
Meloto said the GK-DENR partnership begun during the tenure of former DENR secretary Elisea Gozun targets the creation of 30 communities nationwide. He said the GK-DENR partnership has already built a community in Sitio Ruby in Quezon City near the La Mesa Dam watershed and intends to build communities in watershed, forest, and mangrove areas in Bayawan, Negros Oriental; Pagatpatan, Butuan; Bamban, Tarlac; Towerville, Bulacan; San Jose, Batangas; 10 sites in Bicol; Marinduque; Camp Abu Bakr in Jolo; Hilongos, Leyte; and Silay, Negros Oriental.
"This is just a beginning of the journey. But our goal is to make the 7,000 communities by 2010," Meloto said. Meanwhile, Gozun, a recipient of this year’s United Nations Environment Program’s Champions of the Earth award, backed Meloto’s stance on the protection of the environment and reduction of poverty.
Speaking before participants of the Earth Day celebration at the QMC, Gozun said the prevailing state of the environment demands urgent, coordinated actions from individuals and that the country cannot have inaction as an option. Getting "different people with different perspectives to work together is really a challenge," she said.
"In a developing country like ours, it is more difficult because... we have to deal with environmental problems as well as poverty." United States Ambassador Kristie Kenney, who also attended the Earth Day celebration at the QMC, praised the country’s "spectacular natural resources," which cannot be found in other places on Earth.
However, she was quick to urge the public to practice the three "Rs" for environment conservation – reduce, recycle, rethink: "Reduce usage of water and energy. Reduce whatever you can. Recycle. Recycle whenever you can. Rethink how you live your life." The US government is among the largest foreign-grant donors for the environment in the Philippines.
It has provided nearly $10 million in grant-funding each year to support initiatives for environment protection in the country. Other personalities at the Earth Day celebration were Quezon City Mayor Feliciano Belmonte Jr., Mother Earth Philippines Foundation’s Odette Alcantara, environmental lawyer Antonio Oposa and retired justice Emilio Gancayco, of the Quezon City Development Foundation Inc. (QCDFI).
Besides the celebration at the QMC, an environmentally-themed Mass officiated by Manila Archbishop Cardinal Gaudencio Rosales was also held at the Manila Cathedral yesterday afternoon and a free showing of former US Vice President Al Gore’s climate change documentary "An Inconvenient Truth" took place in eight cinemas of the SM shopping malls in the metropolis. "The classical Greeks referred to (the Earth) as a mother, Gaia," Belmonte said. "Like a mother it saves us, but it has its limitation. We have to see to it that we don’t abuse it by overusing it."
"In Quezon City, and I don’t want to say that Quezon City is the ideal place, but we do try to use some common-sense way of reducing pollution, of helping the environment," Belmonte said. "We have a centralized air quality system. We simply try to implement to reduce, reuse and recycle in the treatment of our garbage."
"We are probably among the first local government units to sign a contract under the job protocol whereby methane and gases in Payatas will be harvested and be turned into electricity," he added.
Data from the DENR showed that key urban centers in the country, especially the cities of Pasay, Makati and Manila, fall short of the appropriate standards for health, while Meycauayan in Bulacan was regarded as the area where air pollution is highest, with a total suspended particulate level over 300 times the acceptable standard for air quality.
The DENR said that health cost due to poor air quality in just four major urban areas is estimated to be more than $400 million. "About 70 percent of this air pollution is caused by the emissions of about five million vehicles nationwide," Reyes said.
"The Philippines has the dubious distinction of having the second-most polluted air, in terms of suspended particulates, among eight ASEAN countries – better only than Indonesia," Reyes said. As for water quality, 16 of the country’s major rivers, five in Metro Manila, are "biologically dead" during the summer months due to pollution.
The DENR said that 48 percent of the country’s water pollution is caused by household waste, which is compounded by the lack of an adequate sewerage system. Now, only seven percent of the Metro Manila population is connected to a sewer system.
World Bank (WB) estimates showed that the Philippines’ economic losses due to water pollution are about $1.3 billion, or P62 billion, each year. The WB study recommended that the Philippines invest P25 billion annually, over 10 years, for sanitation and sewerage infrastructure. The DENR said solid waste remains a major contributor to the country’s land, air, and water pollution.
In Metro Manila alone, 6,169 tons of garbage are generated daily and this amount is expected to double by 2010. "Much of this tonnage would actually be eliminated if we all simply followed the guidelines of Republic Act 9003, or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000, which requires the proper segregation of garbage into degradables and recyclables, before it is disposed of by households," Reyes said.
"If all our households just practiced segregation, we would drastically reduce the amount of garbage generated. As it is now, 85 percent of the 6,169 tons of solid waste generated daily has to be collected and it is not at all certain whether this collected garbage is even disposed of properly."
The DENR also said the country’s forests have declined from about 19 million hectares to only 7.2 million hectares in 2004 and only six percent of the country’s original forests remain – less than a million hectares of old-growth trees. Although the Philippines managed to increase its forest cover by 700,000 hectares since 1998, the DENR said the country still has the second lowest forest cover in the ASEAN region.– with Gian Carlo Tauro
51st Aklan Day
Eight Outstanding Aklanons named
BY BOY RYAN B. ZABAL

KALIBO, Aklan – Eight outstanding Aklanons is this year’s awardees of the 51st founding anniversary of Aklan separation from the province of Capiz.
Philippine Army Staff Sergeant Blas Fernandez (Military) is the Community Affairs Non-Commissioned Officer of the 63rd Infantry, 8th Infantry Divison, Catubig, Northern Samar.
He was one of the Ten Outstanding Soldiers of the Philippines under the Enlisted Personnel Category -- a search sponsored by the Metrobank Foundation and the Rotary Club of Makati in recognition of and gratitude to the gallantry of select members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in preserving the country’s sovereignty.
He effectively implemented the Army Literacy Patrol System (ALPS) program of the AFP wherein the ALPS classes he handled had been a consistent winner in the Dep-Ed sponsored competition for the Outstanding Literacy program in the regional and national level.
Justice Arsenio Solidum (Judiciary) is the former Judge of the Court of First Instance of Manila and presently Justice of the Court of Appeals.
Anthony Mabasa (Business and Industry) is the Tollways Management Corporation president and CEO, operator of the 84-kilometer world-class North Luzon Expressway. After taking over TMC on February 2005, he partnered with Automobile Association Philippines (AAP), a non-profit organization with an advocacy in safety driving and proper care for vehicles.
Clarina Reloj-Dela Cruz (Technology Research) of the University of Houston captured first prize in the worldwide student competition of the 2006 50th Magnetism and Magnetic Materials Conference may one day provide faster, more efficient access to data, music and movies in such hand-held devices as MP3 players and cellular phones
Ambassador Teresita Vega-Berner (Foreign Service) is the former Philippine charge d’ Affaires to Italy and Director, Foreign Service Institute of the Department of Foreign Affairs. She is presently the chief of mission, class II, as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Republic of India, with concurrent jurisdiction over Nepal.
Multi-awarded high school teacher Josette Biyo (Science) was honored with a minor planet for winning the 2002 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Louisville, Kentucky.
Her asteroid, christened 13241 Biyo was discovered in 1998 by Linear, a robotic telescope in Socorro, New Mexico, operated by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Lincoln Laboratory.
Odon Bandiola (Community Journalism), a former correspondent of Philippine Daily Inquirer and Panay News and former president of Aklan Press Club, is presently the Secretary to the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Aklan.
Evelyn Meren-Kimpo (Education), first awardee from Banga Elementary School in Banga, Aklan where she teaches English to Grade 6 pupils and has been teaching for almost 38 years, is one of the 2006 outstanding teachers chosen by the Metrobank Foundation for serving as models of excellence in their profession.
UV, MSU rule Nestea Beach Volley tourney
BY JOEL ORELLANA

UNIVERSITY of Visayas’s Janez Igot and Jusabelle Brillo barely break out a sweat in taking down Southwestern U in the finals (Nonie Reyes)

BORACAY - There will be a long celebration when the beach volley tandem of Janez Armie Igot and Jusabelle Brillo goes back home after ruling the women’s Nestea Beach Volley 11 here Saturday.
For Mindanao State University Tawi-Tawi, the atmosphere could be fiesta like especially with the way the men’s duo of Gabshar Tahilludin and Yusop Abdul-karim pulled off the improbable win over Far Eastern University.
Igot and Brillo dispatched Marites Natad and Janelle Tabio of Southwestern Uiversity, 22-20, 21-15 while Tahilluddin and Abdulkarim came back from seven points down in the third set and posted an unbelievable 23-21, 15-21, 17-15 victory in a frenetic finish in front of a hostile but appreciative crowd that filled the sandcourt in front of Hey! Jude resort here.
UV and MSU brought home the P150,000 top prize each after ruling for the first time the annual summer spikefest sponsored by Speedo, Mikasa, Villa de Oro Boracay Beach Resort Hotel, Boracay Mandarin Island Hotel, Boracay Gold Crowne Club Microtel Inns and Suites Boracay, Hey! Jude @ D’ Mall, D’Mall D’Boracay, La Salle Green Hills, Schering Plough Coppertone, Crystal Sand and Nautilus by PJ Aranador.
“The president of UV just called me and he told me that there will be a big celebration when we get back home,” said UV head coach Raffy Briones who himself earned P50,000 for leading the duo to the crown.
“I’ve been coaching volleyball for 20 years and I considered this one as my biggest achievements in my career,” Briones added.
For the 22-year-old Brillo, who is majoring criminology, the amount that she will get will realize her dream of a new scooter. Igot has no plans yet but is mulling to invest her share in a business.
“Mas may experience yung kalaban namin kaya tingin ko teamwork ang nagdala sa amin,” said the 24-year-old Igot who was the other half of the UV tandem that finished second to SWU in 2004 finals.
SWU, which settled for P75,000, was actually in control of the opening set as Natad and Tabio, who defeated Adamson University in the semis, 21-18, 21-18, took a 15-12 lead before Igot and Brillo buckled down to work.
SWU’s offensive attacks failed to penetrate Igot’s tremendous defense on the net while Brillo’s left-handed killer spikers proved to be too hard to handle for Natad and Tabio.
Undeniably one of the most exciting finals matches in Nestea Beach Volley history, MSU’s conquest for the regions’ first title here was truly heart-pounding and a nerve-wrecking one.
As FEU’s Joshua Alcarde and Jeremy Floyd Pedregosa seemed to be celebrating too early after posting a 10-3 lead in the deciding set, Tahilluddin and Abdulkarim put their acts and minds together on time to carve out the thrilling come-from-behind victory.
“Para sa mga taga-Mindanao ang panalong ito. Sobrang saya namin dahil ngayon lang namin nakuha ito,” exclaimed Abdulkarim, who together with Tahilluddin got a victory ride from a Mindanao contingent that trooped the court once MSU scored the final point of the match.
FEU, which last won the crown here in 1998, settled for P75,000. Foundation University bagged the third place after beating University of Southern Philippines Foundation, 21-23, 21-15, 17-15 bagged the P40,000 price.
In the women’s division, Holy Cross of Davao College upset Adamson University, 21-13, 22-20 in the battle for third and earned P40,000.


Mindanao State, UV top beach volley tilt
BY JUNE NAVARRO

BORACAY - Four years of solid partnership finally paid off for Gabshar Tahilluddin and Yusop Abdulkarim.
The seasoned duo from Mindanao State University Tawi-Tawi flaunted flawless teamwork in the deciding set to turn back Far Eastern University, 23-21, 15-21, 17-15, and clinch the 2007 Nestea Beach Volley 11 men’s crown yesterday at the Hey! Jude resort here.
In the women’s division, University of the Visayas derailed Southwestern University’s bid for an unprecedented fourth title in the last five years via a two-set victory.
Janez Armie Igot and Jusabelle Brillo of UV only encountered stiff resistance from Southwestern’s Marites Natad and Janelle Tabio in the first set before posting a 22-20, 21-15 win to secure the women’s title.
Southwestern U was the perennial champion from 2003-2005 before it finished out of the top in this island paradise last year.
Given up for lost, Tahilluddin and Abdulkarim battled back from a huge deficit in the make-or-break frame and pummeled FEU’s Joshua Alcarde and Jeremy Pedregosa with powerful serves to capture the title that eluded them last year.
“This is our last year so it [was] now or never,” said the 26-year-old Tahilludin in Filipino after receiving the P150,000 champions’ purse with Abdulkarim. MSU coach Edward Lee fattened his bank account by P50,000.
With Abdulkarim as partner, they lost last year’s championships against Adamson University’s Mike Alinsunurin and Sherwin Meneses.
Another frustrating stint was in the offing for MSU when Alcarde and Pedregosa gamely unleashed several precise attacks that had Tahilluddin and Abdulkarim falling into a deep 2-10 hole in the third set.
But Tahilludin, on his fifth attempt in the national championships, refused to let this one slip away easily. The graduating BS Elementary Education student unleashed several forceful jump serves and goaded Abdulkarim to focus on the game at hand.
“It was simply the result of our partnership,” said Tahilludin, who had teamed up with Abdulkarim since 2004. “We’ve been through several pressure-packed games like this before and we don’t give up easily.”
Trailing, 13-12, Brillo and Igot relied on an assortment of placement shots and spikes to reassert their mastery over Natad and Tabio, whom they’ve beaten three times this year in various tournaments.
Just like MSU, UV swept its assignments in the elimination phase. Brillo and Igot booted out Adamson University’s Hannah Suarez and Rissa Jane Laguilles, 21-18, 21-12, before sealing the championship showdown with Tabio and Natad.
Speedo, Mikasa, Villa de Oro Boracay, Boracay Mandarin Island Hotel, Boracay Gold Crowne Club, Microtel Inns and Suites Boracay, Hey! Jude @ D’Mall, D’Mall D’Boracay, La Salle Greenhills, Schering Plough Coppertone and Crystal Sand are this year’s sponsors.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Don’t forget Aklan’s ‘freedom fighters’
BY BOY RYAN B. ZABAL

KALIBO, Aklan – Vice Gov. Ronquillo Tolentino said Aklanons should remember patriotic leaders who struggled and sacrificed for Aklan’s separation from Capiz as an independent province.
President Ramon Magsaysay signed Republic Act 1414 on April 25, 1956 authored by Cong. Godofredo P. Ramos, hailed as the “Father of Aklan”.
Ramos then represented the 3rd District of Capiz.
RA 1414 officially separated Aklan from the province of Capiz.
“Those who cannot remember their remote ancestors cannot be remembered by their remote descendants. It is their patriotic efforts that carved a distinct province of Aklan even before the enactment of Republic Act 1414, such as Don. Natalio B. Acevedo and Prof. Simeon Mobo Reyes who presented the first memorial separation of Aklan to Chairman William Taft of the 2nd Philippine Commission in April 14, 1901,” Tolentino said.
Reps. Jose Alba-Urquiola and Eufronio Alba of 2nd and 3rd Districts of Capiz were among the first Aklan leaders who presented a bill for the separation of Aklan. However, the politically influential Capiceños who were against the separation were in power in 1920.
It was later renamed as Urquiola-Pastrana bill when Alba lost on Pastrana’s protest against the election of Alba.
In 1925, Reps. Manuel Laserna and Teodulfo Suñer in 1930 tried to seek the separation of Aklan from Capiz but this also proved futile.
“While Aklanons always claim and insist on their distinct and unique identity and civilization as one of the original sakops of the Confederation of Madyaas during the 13th century, we cannot do away with the period in our rich history when we were once integrated in the province of Capiz,” the vice governor said.
In 1934, Rep. Dr. Rafael S. Tumbokon of the 3rd District also introduced the separation bill and successfully secured the approval of the Committee on Provincial and Municipal Governments after the due hearings. But he failed to push through in November of 1934 due to lack of time.
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Nestea beach volley finals today
BY KRISTEL SATUMBAGA

BEACH VOLLEY GOES ON. Sherilyn Carillo of Lyceum returns the ball as her teammate Kate Jarin dives during the Nestea Beach volleyball 2007 held in Boracay, Aklan.Their opponent Southwestern University won the Game (Nonie Reyes)

BORACAY — Three-time champion Southwestern University beat University of Mindanao-Tagum twice yesterday to barge into the women’s Final Four of the Nestea Beach Volleyball tournament.
Veterans Marites Natad and Janelle Tabio combined power and quickness to hack out a 22-20, 23-21 win over Liezl Manatad and Mylin Que in the morning match before eliminating the Mindanao leg champions, 21-14, 21-10, in the afternoon.
For Natad, 23, this will be her third semifinals appearance since helping her school win the 2005 title. She also made it to the finals last year in partnership with Florian Gutierez but they were denied of a fourth straight title.
"Gusto ko talagang manalo ulit ang school namin," said Natad. "Last year kasi na-out kaagad kami ng dati kong partner. Pero ngayon gusto kong makabawi."
Natad and her partner will face Hannah Suarez and Rissa Laguilles of Adamson with the winner advancing to the finals also scheduled today.
Suarez and Laguilles banked on a better quotient to advance the semis following a 17-21, 21-12, 16-14 win over University of San Jose Recoletos’ Julett Marikit and Genie Sabas.
Holy Cross of Davao College also had to beat University of Mindanao-Davao twice to remain in contention.
Carren Desierto and Dolly Penaflorida, who only trained for a month before plunging into action, ousted an ailing Janice Arnaiz and Maricel Cabus, 24-22, 22-20. Earlier, they downed the UM-Davao, 21-18, 21-19.
With their win, Desierto and Penaflorida set up a meeting with University of the Visayas’s Janez Igot and Jusabelle Brillo, who made it to the next phase following their 21-11, 21-23, 15-13 victory over Sherrilyn Carrillo and Jane Jarin of Far Eastern University.
In men’s play, Mindanao State University-Tawi-Tawi, FEU, University of Southern Philippines Foundation (USPF) and Foundation University also advanced to the next round by pulling off contrasting wins.
MSU-Tawi-Tawi’s Gabshar Tahilluddin and Yusop Abdulkarim easily disposed of Eric Genil and Alvin Medina of Philippine Christian University, 21-11, 21-13, while FEU’s Joshua Alcarde and Jeremy Pedregosa downed Capitol’s Orpheus Cubillas and Kiven Escobal, 21-14, 21-13.
James Rivera and Ronald Melencion of USPF, however, went through the wringer before eking out a 21-19, 19-21, 15-11 win over St. Francis of Assissi’s Michael Manuel and Harold Pavia to stay alive. They bowed to Roderick Arenasa and Edward Tecson of University of San Carlos, 22-20, 21-19, in the earlier match.
Likewise, Rolando Agus and Arnel Madeo of Foundation hammered out a 21-19, 21-17 triumph over USC in the other match up to stay in contention after absorbing a 20-22, 19-21 defeat to St. Francis.
The finals will also be held today with the champion in the men’s and women’s divisions getting R150,000 top purse.
The event is backed by Speedo, Mikasa, Villa de Oro Boracay Beach Resort Hotel, Boracay Mandarin Island Hotel, Boracay Gold Crowne Club, Microtel Inns and Suites, Hey! Jude, La Salle-Greenhills, Schering Plough Coppertone and Crystal Sand.

Friday, April 20, 2007

INDISCRIMINATE FIRING
Mayor wants Buruanga declared a poll ‘hotspot’
BY BOY RYAN B. ZABAL

MOTORCYCLES recovered by the Buruanga PNP after the indiscriminate firing incident in Brgy. El Progreso, Buruanga, Aklan (ACMagno)

BURUANGA, Aklan – “Graduating” Mayor Concepcion “Inday” Labindao (Kampi) wants her town declared an election hot spot by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) following a series of gunshots Tuesday night.
Buruanga is about 80 kilometers north of the capital town of Kalibo.
The three-termer Labindao said she is also asking the Philippine National Police (PNP) and acting police director Senior Supt. Benigno Durana Jr. to closely monitor what she said were a series of indiscriminate firing involving armed groups.
Tuesday night around 9:15 p.m., a series of gunshots were heard near the makeshift headquarters of mayoral candidate Engr. Rolando Rojo (United Opposition-PDP Laban) at Brgy. El Progreso.
The incident was reported by El Progreso barangay captain Edison Prado to the local police. No one was injured, the police said.
Buruanga policemen recovered 15 empty shells of .9mm caliber pistol, a Nissan pick-up and five abandoned motorcycles without registration, PO3 Joselito Fernandez said.
The motorcycles were believed to belong to the supporters of the mayor’s husband, Engr. Quezon Labindao who is running for mayor.
On the other hand, the Nissan pick-up was traced to the camp of Rojo. The house of Vicente Prado near the United Opposition headquarters also bore three bullet holes.
Labindao denied their camp started the gun fires and accused Rojo’s camp instead.
“I pray that we could conduct the elections peacefully. We (should) respect the (outcome) of the May 14 elections,” Labindao added.
Reelectionist Vice Mayor Manuel Sualog also assured the public that “there would be no provocation on their part.”
Sunday evening, gunshots were also heard in Brgy. Cabugan. Gubernatorial candidate Vicky Ramos (Uno) said her barangay coordinator was wounded on the left palm. “This disheartening situation to our political leaders should be stop. We urge our supporters to stay calm and vigilant,” she stressed.
Opposition Sangguniang Panlalawigan candidate Rodson Mayor (Nacionalista) urged the public to be vigilant. “The indiscriminate firing is an election-related violent incident and the public should vigilantly campaign against loose firearms in Buruanga,” he added.
Mayor said there must be a thorough investigation on the incident. A Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team was sent by the Aklan Police Provincial Office (APPO) to augment the Buruanga PNP and secure the residents in this town.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

NESTEA BEACH VOLLEY
Foundation, St. Francis gain q’finals
BY JOEY VILLAR

Dolly Peñaflorida of Holy Cross Davao eludes Marites Natad of Southwestern University in a Nestea 2007 Beach Volley semifinal encounter in Boracay (Nonie Reyes)

BORACAY – Foundation U of Dumaguete and St. Francis of Assisi swept their two matches to barge into the quarterfinal round in the men’s division of the 2007 Nestea Beach Volleyball Championship on the white sands fronting Hey Jude in this scenic paradise island.
The tall, power-hitting duo of Rolando Agus and Arnel Madeo pulled off contrasting victories, hacking a 20-22, 21-11, 15-13 decision over Philippine Christian U’s Eric John Genil and Alvin Medina and coasting to a 21-17, 21-18 win over Capitol U’s Orpheus Cubillas and Kiven Escobal.
"They played really well but they need to play harder and better in the next round for us to make the semifinals," said Foundation U coach Dwight Esenio Sun, who has steered the school to eight straight Boracay appearances including a title win seven years back, in Filipino.
Michael Manuel and Harold Pavia of St. Francis walloped James Ryan Rivera and Ronald Melencion of University of Southern Philippines Foundation, 21-17, 21-16, before turning back Tawi-Tawi Regional Agricultural College, 21-11, 17-21, 15-12, to likewise remain unscathed.
The win not only sent Foundation U and St. Francis to the quarterfinals along with regional champs Far Eastern U of Luzon, University of San Carlos of Visayas and Mindanao State U-Tawi-Tawi, who were also seeded for topping the qualifiers, but also set them up against each other in an interesting duel in the Final 8.
"We’re happy to make the quarterfinals, we hope we’ll continue to play well," said the 22-year-old Pavia. USPF and Capitol also made it through today’s next phase with wins over TTRAC, 21-18, 21-15, and PCU, 21-19, 22-20, respectively.
The last and final slot in the quarters will go to either PCU or TTRAC depending on their quotient score in this three-day event using a full play double-round elimination format.
The event is backed by Speedo, Mikasa, Villa de Oro Boracay Beach Resort Hotel, Boracay Mandarin Island Hotel, Boracay Gold Crowne Club, Microtel Inns and Suites, Hey! Jude, La Salle-Greenhills, Schering Plough Coppertone and Crystal Sand. Carren Desierto and Dolly Penaflorida of Holy Cross of Davao and Maricel Cabus and Janice Arnaiz of University of Mindanao defeated their respective opponents to close in on berths in the next round in the women’s side.
Holy Cross whipped Marites Natad and Janelle Tabio of three-time champion Southwestern U, 21-15, 21-17, while UM walloped Janez Armie Igot and Jusabelle Brillo of University of Visayas, 21-13, 21-19, to boost their stocks.
SWU earlier slammed Sherrilyn Carillo and Jane Jarin of Lyceum, 21-12, 21-17, while UV prevailed over Hannah Suarez and Rissa Jane Laguilles of Adamson, 21-15, 21-19, to bolster their campaigns.

Tough this Foundation
ACTION IN 2007 NESTEA BEACH VOLLEYBALL HEATS UP IN BORACAY

BY DOMINIC MENOR
BORACAY - Foundation U quickly set itself apart from the rest, notching two victories in Day One of the Nestea Beach Volleyball national finals Thursday.
Saint Francis of Assisi was the other unbeaten men’s team and set up a marquee matchup with Foundation in the next round.
In the women’s division, Mindanao staked its title chances after sending two Davao schools—Holy Cross and University of Mindanao—into the crossover competition, also Friday.
Rolando Agus and Arnel Madeo endured a bumpy start before the Foundation duo beat Philippine Christian U (PCU), 20-22, 21-11, 15-13. Barely three hours later, Agus, 20, and Madeo, 18, went through the wringer in a 21-17, 21-18 victory against Capitol.
The Negros-based pair, both Commerce majors, were exhausted by the time they strung the hard-earned victories that Madeo experienced cramps afterward.
“Mahirap din dahil dalawang sunod halos [It’s hard to play two straight],” Agus said. “Sana makapagpahinga kami ng maayos dahil bukas sabak uli sa laban [I hope we can rest well because tomorrow we have to play again].”
Foundation U needs all the rest it can get if it hopes to beat Saint Francis of Assisi, one of the title contenders.
But, like Foundation, Saint Francis’s two-game sweep didn’t indicate how tough its opponents were in the tournament supported by Speedo, Mikasa, Villa de Oro Boracay Beach Resort Hotel, Boracay Mandarin Island Hotel, Boracay Gold Crowne Club, Microtel Inns and Suites Boracay, Hey Jude, La Salle-Greenhills, Schering Plough Coppertone and Crystal Sand.
Saint Francis beat Southern Philippines Foundation, 21-17, 21-16, then Tawi-Tawi Regional Agricultural College in an 11-21, 21-17, 17-15 nerve-wracker.
The top three seeds in each division were already determined prior to Thursday’s competitions. Mindanao State U (MSU) in Tawi-Tawi, Far Eastern U (FEU) and University of San Carlos are ranked first, second and third respectively in the men’s side, while San Jose-Recoletos, FEU and University of Visayas are the top three in that order in the women’s division.
At the end of the men’s matches Thursday, Saint Francis ended up taking the No. 4 seed, followed by Foundation (No. 5), Southern Philippines (No. 6), Capitol U (No. 7) and PCU (No. 8). Tawi-Tawi Agricultural, by virtue of a winless stint and an inferior quotient, was ousted.
In the ladies’ side, Holy Cross of Davao emerged No. 4 after beating Southwestern, 21-15, 21-17, and Lyceum, 22-20, 21-13. University of Mindanao in Davao (UMD), which was ranked No. 5, also swept its two-game sked, tacking a 21-13, 21-19 win over University of Visayas and a 21-16, 16-21, 22-20 decision over stubborn Adamson.
The matchup between Holy Cross and UMD banner the crossover round Friday. The other women’s showdowns are University of San Jose-Recoletos vs. Adamson, Far Eastern U (FEU) vs. University of Visayas and University of Mindanao in Tagum vs. Southwestern U. Lyceum was the lone ladies squad booted out.
In the men’s division, MSU-Tawi-Tawi faces PCU. The other men’s matchups are FEU vs. Capitol, San Carlos vs. Southern Philippines, and Saint Francis vs. Foundation.
Aklan’s poor students work this summer for school tuition
BY VENUS G. VILLANUEVA

KALIBO, Aklan - The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) here, in coordination with the provincial government, has once more opened an opportunity to poor students to work this summer so they will have money for enrolment this school year.
The scheme is called Special Proogram for the Employment of Students (SPES).
SPES, according to Vivian R. Solano, Provincial Employment Service Office (PESO) Manager here, is better known as Summer Job and was approved by the Senate on February 6, 1992 and now being implemented yearly.
Aklan Governor Carlito Marquez said the summer job is an opportunity for students to work in local government units and schools so they could earn money from the DOLE and the provincial government to help augment their financial needs come school opening.
At a meeting of SPES coordinators of the different towns, summer jobs were equally divided among the 17 towns and 2 schools within 30 working days which started Aprill 11 and would end May 25.
Marlyn Hernandez, DOLE Regional SPES Focal Person emphasized that students and SPES coordinators must complete registration requirements before submission to DOLE office in Iloilo City.
Solano revealed that some 4,790 Aklanon students had been helped and more are still being helped in their studies by this project through the DOLE, provincial government and PESO-Aklan.
It is seen that with this sustained program of the national and provincial government of helping poor but deserving students obtain college education, poverty in the countryside will be lessened and these young people will have better chances of finding employment.
In a recent statement of Cabinet Secretary Ricardo Saludo, he revealed that the incidence of poverty in the country has continuously been decreasing due to the bullish economy and the progress-oriented and pro-poor programs under the Arroyo administration.
Saludo said over three million Filipinos have so far risen from extreme poverty since 2000, citing a report by the World Bank, the world’s leading institution for development.
The WB estimates that by the end of this year, only some 8.4 percent of Filipinos would be living on a dollar a day – the standard by which the said institution measures poverty.