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Tuesday, 3rd March 2015
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EMB-6: It’s safe to swim in Boracay

By: Louine Hope Conserva

THE Department of Environment and Natural Resources - Environmental Management Bureau (DENR-EMB) assured tourists that the waters of Boracay Island are still safe for swimming.

EMB-6 Regional Director Jonathan Bulos made the assurance following reports of high coliform bacteria levels in the island resort.

Bulos said the report referred to the mouth of the drainage system located in the back portion of the island known as Bulabog Beach.

The coliform bacteria level recorded at the back beach area is 47,460 most probable number (mpn) per 100 millimeter (ml), which is way higher than the safe standard level of 1,000 mpn/ml.

“Tourists do not swim in that area as it is for non-contact sports like jet skiing and wind surfing,” Bulos said.

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Ombudsman orders Bautista to reply to vendors’ group

By: Wencslao E. Mateo Jr.

THE Ombudsman Visayas has ordered Iloilo City administrator Norlito Bautista to reply to the request of the Iloilo Central Market vendors for the financial statements of public markets.

“Kindly direct your reply to Mr. Donasco within five (5) days from receipt of this letter, copy furnished this Office,” wrote Deputy Ombudsman Visayas Paul Elmer M. Clemente.

The Ombudsman’s letter to Bautista was dated Feb. 17, 2015.

Rex Donasco, president of the Association of Stall Owners and Transient Vendors (ASTRAVEN) of the Iloilo Central Market, said he received his copy of the letter on, Friday, Feb. 26.

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Vendors doubt new LEEO head’s capability

By: Wenceslao E. Mateo Jr.

KEY leaders of market vendors’ groups doubt the skills and capability of the next head of the Local Economic Enterprise Office (LEEO).

Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog earlier announced that he will appoint his executive assistant for political affairs, Ariel Castañeda to head the LEEO.

Castañeda said he has yet to receive his appointment papers.

Dante Mangalisan, president of the Millenium Supermarket Vendors Association (MILSUMVA), said Castañeda lacks the experience to manage the seven public markets in the city.

“He will not make a good LEEO head mainly because of this lack of experience,” Mangalisan said.

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It can be traced back to the juicy position of the Secretary of Labor during the time of former Pres. Corazon Aquino. It could have been for King Arthur but then Executive Secretary Drilon gave it to Ruben Torres. Now you know what that means!

But in politics there are no permanent friends or enemies only permanent interest. Thus, I predict the eventual reconciliation of the two Ilonggos before the upcoming 2013 election. This is not good, however, for Niel Tupas Sr. who had long planned his return to the Kingdom by the River as governor.

The entry of Defensor with the Liberal Party could be good for Sen. Drilon. This may also be an assurance of his solid political leadership among kingpins and warlords of the province. What about its consequences? I just hope this beautiful dream is not a nightmare for others.

Once Gov. Defensor decides to join the Liberal Party, for sure, as a precondition, he is entitled to seek reelection. Because of the equity of the incumbent, this would surely deprive the elder Tupas his dream of a comeback and rule once again the Kingdom by the River in 2013.

This is a dream comes true for King Oca of the First District if the Defensor-Garin tandem remains unbroken until 2013. King Oca knew that he lagged behind King Niel in the competition for expansion of political empires in the province.

The Tupas family has control of the Fifth District and their patriarch has gained a foothold in the Fourth. This was proven in the last election when Niel Sr. ran for congressman against Cong. Ferj Biron. But the parameter of King Oca’s turf is only confined in the First District of Iloilo.

Without Tupas’s interference, the unbroken Defensor-Garin tandem in 2013 elections would ensure the warlord from the First District that in the event King Arthur resigns in 2016, a member of the Garin family could eventually become ruler of the Kingdom by the River.

This is not good for King Niel Sr. But peace must stay that Sen. Drilon must offer an appointive but enticing position the King will accept. If not, another option is to run for Congress in the Fourth District against Mayor Hernan Biron Sr. or son Biron Jr..

There is a growing public belief that the planned transfer of Gov. Defensor to the Liberal Party is the handiwork of King Oca. He is probably alarmed by the expanding empire of King Niel in the province and fears its affect on his foothold in the nearby municipalities of his turf. In fact, Lex Tupas, the youngest Tupas son, has already invaded the city as member of the city council.

No wonder if all the Garins will join the fray in 2013 to stay in tune for 2016. King Oca may field his wife or daughter-in-law for vice governor and/or board member vice versa. His vice governor son Richard may settle for mayor of Guimbal and his daughter Sharon, mayor of the town will run for Congress.

If the transfer of Defensor to the Liberal Party pushes through, King Niel has no choice but to abide with the ruling on “equity of the incumbent.” The Tupases are now “in sequenter” - not in the proper order of succession. King Niel may run for Congress in the Fourth District, but is the prize at stake in that war more worthy than the Capitol battles he has been fighting?

Here’s something for coffee habituates. A neophyte politician wants to challenge Cong. “Boboy” Syjuco but failed to get the nod of Sen. Drilon who prefers Mayor Kadz of Pavia, Iloilo. So he went straight to the temple of gods at the northern part of the island for blessing. A bright boy indeed, good luck Jojo!

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Defensor: Lucero is an honest man, some of his men aren’t

March 03,2015 01:04 AM

By: Alex P. Vidal

“Let us raise a standard to which the wise and honest can repair; the rest is in the hands of God.” – George Washington

ILOILO Governor Arthur “Art” Defensor Sr. described Engr. Gracianito Lucero, chief of the Provincial Engineer’s Office (PEO) as “an honest man.”

“Honest ini sia nga tawo. Dugay ko na ini sia kilala. I trust this man, but not some of his men. Damu gid man dira kawatan kag gina pa imbistigar naton ina (He is an honest man. Read more...

Sugar men vs. BIR - 2

March 03,2015 01:02 AM

By: Modesto P. Sao-noy

THERE is irony in the recent controversial withholding tax that the BIR demands under the Rules and Regulations (11) it promulgated last year. For the first time ordinary farmers are confronted with the intricacies of paying their taxes, a chore that was routine to the sugarcane planters of the past but for today’s agrarian reform beneficiaries it is confounding, daunting and formidable.  Read more...

2015 commencement exercises advisory

March 03,2015 12:58 AM

By: Dr. Rex Casiple

THIS year’s graduation rites in the elementary and secondary levels are scheduled either on the 26th or the 27th day of March 2015.

The theme for this year’s graduation is “Saktong Buhay: Sa De-kalidad na Edukasyon Pinanday” which highlights the importance of quality education in forging a decent future for the Filipino youth.  Read more...

Be both orthodox and compassionate

March 03,2015 12:56 AM

By: Fr. Roy Cimagala

THESE two are often seen to be incompatible with each other or that, at least, they don’t get along well. That’s the challenge, since they are supposed to be together. One of them cannot be without the other.

To be orthodox is usually seen as being strict, old-fashioned and traditional, narrow-minded and intolerant, quite attached or even fixated with doctrinal correctness, while to be compassionate is held as being open-minded, tolerant, adaptive, innovative and sensitive to pastoral realities, sometimes carried to the extreme. Read more...

About giving

March 03,2015 12:54 AM

By: Lucell Larawan

I HAVE pondered about the prevailing spirit of stinginess among people nowadays. When many of them give, they do it on the premise of quid pro quo.

The expectation for due remuneration makes giving look like handing a bank check for a gracious smile from the recipient: obviously, the smile for them should translate into dollars as much as possible or they would not give. Read more...

Enlightened

March 03,2015 12:52 AM

IT has been three weeks since Mayor Rolando Distura of Dumangas, Iloilo dared to approve the development plans of the seven contractors who will undertake the NHA-funded housing projects in their town if the Sangguniang Bayan does not take action on the matter. Read more...

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