Activities this December

The first regular session this December was attended by our City Administrator Leonides “Edi” Borja. His presence shed light on the questions of the many regarding the upcoming activities this December, mainly the rehabilitation of the City Hall Building, the working space of the Sangguniang Panlungsod members, the Christmas Bonus and the Christmas Party.

Hon. Edi Borja first enlightened the whole Sanggunian with the status of our City Hall. Clean up have been started last November and hopefully by this December or early January, some offices will be reinstated in the ground floor of the said building. The Committee assigned for the rehabilitation of the City Hall did not go with the planned demolition and the building of a new City hall instead because the columns of the old building are still intact. The Committee will work on replacing the cracked walls and retrofit the columns. They are optimistic that by January, the ground floor will already be occupied by some offices that are being cramped in the Agricultural Promotion Center. In line with this, Hon. Edi Borja also insinuated that with the transferring of some offices back to the City Hall, there will be more room for the whole Sangguniang Panglungsod including the Sanggunian        Administrative Office and the Vice-mayor Office. However, there is a new and spacious building near the Medical Mission Group Cooperative Hospital or simply Coop Hospital in Dampas District owned by former City Councilor George Lao who offered his building for rent to the Tagbilaran City Government at a very affordable price as a way of extending help to City Government. The body agreed that said building will be more conducive for work albeit its distance and have encouraged Hon. Borja to proceed with the negotiations so that the Sanggunian can already transfer to the said building as soon as possible. Hon. Borja agreed and informed the body that he will just inform Vice Mayor Toto Veloso on the outcome of their negotiation.

With Christmas just lingering in the corner, the body also sought confirmation regarding the Christmas Bonus. Hon. Borja brought good news to everyone and had confirmed that there will be an additional Christmas bonus that will be enjoyed by the City Hall employees this Christmas season. The bonus will hopefully be received by the employees before the third week of December.

Next topic that Hon. Borja tackled is the Christmas party for the City Hall Employees. As agreed, there will be no Christmas party but rather a gathering of the employees to offer thanksgiving for the blessings and graces received. The said gathering will also be a form of a psychological test debriefing for all employees who have undoubtedly experienced stress during and after the two calamities that have hit the province. The gathering will be held on December 20, 2013 at 4:00 in the afternoon at the Agricultural Promotion Center (APC) Grounds. The psychological test debriefing will be followed by a short program and every department will have their own presentation.  Fellowship will then follow. Food shall be prepared by each department instead of having the committee assigned to lead said gathering prepare the food for employees.

For full info of the December 6, 2013 regular session click the audio recordings: http://sp.tagbilaran.gov.ph/sessions-audio-recordings/

A Farewell to Kag. Cabalit and Kag. Karaan

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The last regular session for the month of November was held last Friday 29th of November. The session was held at JJ’s Seafoods at the K of C Drive due to lack of office space at the Agriculture Promotion Center (APC). The said session was the last session to be attended by ex-officio members of the 12th Sangguniang Panlungsod namely Hon. Faro M. Cabalit, Liga ng Barangay ABC President and Hon. Mary Liene Shaene P. Karaan, Tagbilaran SK Federated Chairman. The two distinguished councilors gave their farewell speeches and personally thanked everyone for the support and the camaraderie in the pursuit of providing ordinances and resolutions that would benefit the majority.
Hon. Cabalit’s speech bespoke of his gratitude for the trust and confidence bestowed upon him by the people and fellow legislators. He also expressed his optimism that with the new administration under the leadership of Mayor Baba Yap and V-Mayor Toto Veloso, the city will be in better hands.
An excerpt from Hon. Cabalit’s speech:
“… Even as I leave this august body, I am well aware that our incumbent City Mayo rJohn Geesnell Yap, needs the support of this Sanggunian to meet the aspirations of his administration towards the development of our city in the fields of education, healthcare and social welfare, economy and better livelihood for our city residents, and good governance.
We all know that this new administration will have to restore the people’s trust and confidence on their City officials, after years of being under the divisive leadership of a mayor who is perceived by many as ineffective and even corrupt.
My challenge to my dear distinguished colleagues ,and likewise to our Chief Executive, is to do the right thing; set aside disputes and work together on the attainment of our Executive Legislative Agenda. Kita sayod nga kini mao ang labing epekitbo nga mekanismo aron mapatuman ang kooperasyon sa duha ka sanga sa atong kagamhanan dinhi sa syudad, pinaagi sa pagsubay sa giksabutang tumong alang sa paglambo…”
Hon. Karaan’s speech also spoke of her thanks for the experience she gained as part of legislative body.
An excerpt of Hon. Karaan’s speech:
“…She will never forget her experience inside the walls of this assembly because it has enriched her forever not only in terms of the credentials she has acquired as a result of it but more so of the lessons she has learned both officially and otherwise.
It is true that there were times when unity and even harmony were difficult to achieve, but over and above it there was the common desire to serve the respective and constituencies to the best of everyone’s ability.”
The Twelfth Sanggunian honored both ex-officio members and will pass a resolution expressing their gratitude for the invaluable support and contributions of Kag. Cabalit and Kag. Karaan to have a better City for its residents.

DEMAND FOR WATER AND LIGHT IN THE CITY

City officials are in dire effort to meet the burgeoning demands for electricity and water in the City.  The super typhoon Yolanda had left in its wake massive destruction in several provinces especially in the Visayas region. This has left the entire province in the dark and in great need of electricity and water. With the entire province in need, the City officials are exerting extra effort  to ensure its residents could at least have a steady supply of water and have electricity on certain hours of the day

Free water supply is being offered in the City Hall grounds near the City Waterworks. Business establishments have also extended help by providing water to different barangays which could not be reached by the local water supplier.

Despite all this, demand for potable water is still high and the clamor for electricity is incessant. A recent post from Bohol Light Company Inc. has raised hopes of the many regarding the rationing of electric supply in the City. However, contrary to what has been posted, the rationing did not materialize. Spokesperson from BLCI had explained that said rationing will only be possible if the four generators are functioning. As of press time, only 1 generator set is currently working and generating a meager 2 megawatts power. This meager supply of electricity is being supplied to areas where the pumping stations are located.  There are fifteen pumping stations in Tagbilaran City alone and the lone generator set cannot supply power to all of these pumping stations at the same time for fear it might be overworked and lead to its collapse. BLCI contacted mechanic from their sister plant in Naga to help expedite the ongoing repairs of their three other generator sets so that sufficient electricity can be supplied to all pumping stations and at the same time the proposed rationing of electric supply can already materialize.

In response to the demand, 2 generator sets are expected to arrive this month and this will be utilized for the Corella pumping station. There are six more generator sets bought so that all pumping stations can be supplied with electricity.

The Provincial Government’s initial plan to buy a power barge in Iloilo was thwarted because experts say transporting a power barge from one island to another entails huge expenses. Expenses the province could ill-afford because its topmost priority is to help rehabilitate the towns hugely damaged by the quake.

Another alternative is for province to buy power from the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP). Power from NGCP is P12 per kilowatt hour while the power from Leyte is only P4 per kilowatt hour. Officials are suggesting that the National Government shoulder the P8 difference and charged to the calamity fund of the national budget. However, negotiations are still ongoing.

As of this time, everyone is encouraged to be more patient and not lose hope and trust that the city government is doing its best to meet their needs.

117th Birth Anniversary of Bohol’s Most Illustrious Son

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Carlos Polestico-Garcia, a teacher, poet, orator, lawyer, public official, political economist, and guerilla leader, was born on November 4, 1896. He became the first Boholano who became President of the Philippines.
Garcia was born in Talibon, Bohol to Policronio Garcia and Ambrosio Polistico. Garcia has been drawn to politics ever since his father served as a municipal mayor for four terms. He attained his primary education in his native Talibon, then took his secondary education in Cebu Provincial High School. He initially pursued his college education at Silliman University in Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental, and later studied at the Philippine Law School (now Philippine College of Criminology) where he earned his law degree in 1923. He eventually took the bar and was among its top ten.
He married Leonila Dimataga in 1924 and they had a daughter namely Linda Garcia-Campos.
President García exercised the Filipino First Policy, for which he was known. This policy heavily favored Filipino businessmen over foreign investors. He was also responsible for changes in retail trade which greatly affected the Chinese businessmen in the country. President García initiated what has been called “The Austerity Program”. García’s administration was characterized by its austerity program and its insistence on a comprehensive nationalist policy.
In commemoration of President Carlos P. Garcia’s birthday, provincial officials led the ceremony held at the CPG Park Complex, Tagbilaran City last November 4, 2013.
The Program started with the Foyer Honors and a wreath-laying ceremony before the CPG monument at the Capitol Site. Welcoming messages were delivered by Tagbilaran City Mayor John Geesnell L. Yap and Provincial Vice-Governor Concepcion O. Lim, MD. Hon. Cesar Tomas M. Lopez, Chairman, SP Committee on Education recognized the President CPG Scholars.
During the ceremony, donors for the Bohol Relief Operations were also acknowledged. The Local Government of Pangasinan donated two million pesos despite being ravaged themselves by the recent typhoon Santi. The Mactan Airport Development Authority donated one million pesos. The Kaliwat Bol-anon sa Mindanao also made an additional donation for the Relief Operations.
The overwhelming support of the National Government and the outpouring generosity of the donors were greatly appreciated by Governor Edgardo M. Chatto who expressed his profound gratitude. Gov. Chatto also emphasized the Boholano spirit’s passion and optimism despite the tragedy that has befallen the province.
Truly, the commemoration of Bohol’s Illustrious Son is the most apt occasion to recognize the true Boholano spirit.

Tagbilaran City Relief Operations…Updates on the City Hall Complex

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Tagbilaran City Relief Operations

October 25, 2013, Friday – The 12th Sannguniang Panlungsod conducted its regular session in JJ’s Seafood and invited the heads of different departments. The SP presiding officer Vice-Mayor Jose Antonio “Toto” S. Veloso and the whole council took the opportunity to get updates regarding the City’s Relief Operations from City Administrator Leonides “Edi” Borja.
Despite having experienced the 7.2 magnitude earthquake last October 15, 2013, the City was able to sustain minor damages as compared to the neighboring towns of Antequera, Maribojoc, Loon, Sagbayan, Inabanga and Calape which were heavily damaged. Although the City Hall Complex was declared not fit for use, the City has managed to continue its operations albeit the lack of a more conducive working area. The City under the Yap-Veloso administration had taken foremost consideration to the needs of its people and immediately attended to those areas in Tagbilaran City which were greatly affected by the quake. Relief operations have started since October 15 and packs have been given mostly to the coastal areas of Manga and Taloto and the City has also set aside a portion of the relief packs to other municipalities To date, the City has given relief packs to Loon, Calape, Maribojoc , Sagbayan and Inabanga. An estimated 2,500 packs have already been given to Inabanga, Loon and Sagbayan last October 24,2013. Another 2,000 relief packs will be given to other barangays, and 1,160 packs will be given to Pangangan Island, Calape today.
True to the adage that, “It is better to give than to receive” the City Government has extended its helping hand to other municipalities even if the city itself has experienced damages of its own because of the quake. The City is also thankful that many generous and kind-hearted individuals and corporations have joined The City’s efforts in providing goods. Among the many donors and sponsors are Mister Donut, Alturas Group of Companies, Philippine Red Cross Bohol Chapter, CFI Cebu Cooperative, GMA 7, Globe Telecom, M Lhuillier, Bohol Light Corporation and Bohol Water Utilities Incorporated.

Updates on the City Hall Complex

During the Sangguniang Panlungsod session conducted yesterday October 25, 2013, one of the main concerns raised is the lack of the working area for the City Hall employees especially the Sangguniang Panlungsod personne. Currently, city hall employees are situated in the adjacent Bohol Agricultural Promotion Center or APC building. Different offices have been lodged in the said building leaving cramped office spaces which are not exactly ideal for working. Hence, the Sangguniang Panlungsod wanted to be informed what are the plans regarding the restoration of the City Hall Complex and the current plans with regards to the current situation of the employees.  The City Administrator Leonides “Edi” Borja and City Engineer Piancita Castolo have graced the said session and provided the needed information.

City Administrator Edi Borja is working on the resolution passed during the previous session requesting the APC management to vacate the building so that City Hall employees can have ample working space. Borja also informed the body that he and his team are negotiating with the APC management to have the L-shaped side of the said building where the canteen is located so that other City Hall Offices can transfer and set up properly. They are also looking into the possibility of salvaging other materials in the City Hall Complex which can be utilized in creating make shift offices in the APC bulding.

Engr. Castolo on the other hand provided information on the status of the City Hall Complex. She and a couple of structural engineers from Manila have conducted an in depth inspection of various buildings in the city including the City Hall Complex. Although they have declared the City Hall Complex not suitable for occupancy as of the moment, they have however stated that the columns supporting the City hall are in no danger of collapsing. Hence, there is a possibility that the city can still repair and utilize the building. Engr. Castolo said that major repairs are needed on the third floor of the building, its ceilings, walls and the elevator. Additional beams are also needed to ensure stability of the building’s structures. An estimated amount of P60M will be needed for the repairs of the said building. The plan for the repairs is already in process and it is hoped that after a month of the quake, clean-up can already be started so that the actual repairs can commence. Engr. Castolo also informed the body that having a newly constructed building would be much easier as compared to doing the repairs. The council therefore requested Engr. Castolo to prepare a study and analysis on what is the best alternative whether to repair or build a new building. Engr. Castolo will present the results of her study after 45 days so that the body can decide whether to proceed with the repairs or have a new building instead.

The Yap-Veloso administration is now faced with the daunting task to rebuild its City Hall complex and to rebuild the City.  But it is in these times of great adversities that true leaders emerge. Even when the City Hall Complex has fallen, the service to the Tagbilaranons will never stop.

Special Emergency Leave to Government Employees Affected by Natural Calamities/ Disasters

In line with the recent calamity suffered by Boholanos, the City of Tagbilaran government has circulated to its employees last Thursday October 24, 2013 the resolution issued by the Civil Service Commission granting a five-day special emergency leave for government employees directly affected by natural calamities or disasters.

The CSC Resolution No. 1200289 issued on February 8, state workers in officially-declared calamity areas may avail of the special emergency leave for five straight working days or on staggered basis. Said special leave is separate and will not be deducted from the employee’s leave credits, and may be availed of within 30 days from the first day of calamity declaration by proper government authorities. The purpose of the leave may be any of the following: for urgent repair and clean-up of damaged house, being stranded in affected areas, disease/illness of employees brought by natural calamity/disaster, caring of immediate family member affected by natural calamity/disaster.

A natural calamity or disaster may include “earthquakes, flooding, volcanic eruption and landslide that have profound environmental effect and/or human loss and frequently cause financial loss”.

The CSC policy orders heads of offices to take full responsibility in granting special emergency leave and in verifying the employee’s eligibility to avail of such.

CELEBRATING THE FIRST 100 DAYS OF THE YAP-VELOSO ADMINISTRATION

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Tagbilaran City Mayor John Geesnell “Baba” L. Yap II celebrated his first 100 days as the local chief executive of the City of Tagbilaran today, October 14, 2013 at the Tagbilaran City Hall Atrium.
Mayor Baba delivered his accomplishments for the development of the City and enumerated the following such as the New façade of the City Hall which Mayor Baba pointed as the show window of the City, the Improved Traffic Flow, the establishment of the City Tourism Council in the near future, Launching of the City of Tagbilaran’s Newsletter and the awarding of the Department heads in appreciation of their achievements for the first 100 days of the new administration.
Among those who graced the affair are Hon. Jose Antonio “Toto Veloso” who delivered the words of welcome, Mr. Archie Lungay, the Chief of Staff of Congressman Rene Lopez- Relampagos who attended in behalf of the congressman, Mr. Isabelito “Billy” Tongco, who attended in behalf of Governor Edgardo M. Chatto and the members of the Sangguniang Panlungsod, led by majority floor leader Hon. Adam Relson Jala who gave the closing remarks and appreciated all those who were present. The affair was hosted by the eloquent City Administrator Leonides “Edi” Borja.

BOHOL ALAY LAKAD 2013

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The City Tagbilaran Government officials led by Tagbilaran City Mayor John Geesnell “Baba” L. Yap and the Sangguniang Panlungsod headed by City Vice Mayor Jose Antonio “Toto” S. Veloso joined the rest of the government employees in the Alay Lakad 2013 on October 13,2013 Sunday at the Booy Elementary School going to CPG Sports Complex.
This year’s Alay Lakad is themed: “Pakighiusa, Pakiglambigit Alang sa Kaugmaon sa Kabata-onan.” Alay Lakad A national government project which is spearheaded by the Alay Lakad Foundation, Inc. in cooperation with the DSWD (Department of Social Welfare and Development) and other government agencies and other members of the Alay Lakad Foundation aims to spread awareness to the Boholonosn on the plight of out-of-school youth and at the same time help this disadvantaged sector of society obtain a better life. Everyone is encouraged to participate in this walk for a cause project and donate an amount of fifty pesos (P50.00) in order to raise the needed funds for their projects such as providing scholarship programs and skills training projects.

The Alay Lakad 2013 culminated at the CPG Sports Complex with a grand presentation and awarding of the Miss Teen Alay Lakad 2013 which will be done based on the highest amount raised from the first and last canvassing. The out of youth scholars who will benefit from the project were also presented during the ceremony. The culmination was graced by no less than our Bohol Provincial Governor Edgardo M. Chatto.

Alay Lakad’s accomplishments in the field of youth development are testament to what the public and private sectors can achieve when working together for a common good. It is through Alay Lakad that both government and non-government organization unite to generate sources to help the needy out-of school youth engage in livelihood and other development projects including educational assistance, providing the youth opportunities to become self-sufficient and responsible citizens.

HONORING THE ELDERY

Vice Mayor Jose Antonio “Toto” S. Veloso praised and lauded the senior citizens of Tagbilaran City who culminated their celebration of Filipino Elderly Week at the Cogon Gymnasium last October 12, 2013 Saturday. Vice Mayor Toto expressed his appreciation for the endeavors of the senior citizens in shaping Tagbilaran to what it is today and their continued advocacy to help build a better society. Vice-Mayor Toto further encouraged the senior citizens to let their voices be heard especially in issues affecting the elderly in cooperation with the local government.

THE FEDERATION of Senior Citizens Association of the Philippines (FSCAP) – Tagbilran chapter celebrated Filipino Elderly week last October 1-7, 2013 pursuant to Presidential Proclamation No. 470 mandating the annual celebration of Elderly Filipino Week or Linggo ng Nakatatandang Filipino every first week of October to emphasize the important role that older persons play in nation building, as well as raise and address issues concerning the older persons’ sector.

This year’s theme:  ”Nakatatanda: Pagtulungang Isulong Benepisyo’t Karapatan Tungo sa Maginhawa at Masayang Pamayanan reflects  the need to continuously advocate, promote, and protect the rights and welfare of older persons.

Among those who were invited in the said affair were the Governor of the Province of Bohol, Hon. Edgardo M. Chatto, First District Representative Rene Lopez-Relampagos and Tagbilaran City Mayor John Geesnell L. Yap II.

VM TOTO VELOSO EXTENDS FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE TO BRGY SAN ISIDRO

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Hon. Diosario M. Balani of Barangay San Isidro received the financial assistance from City Vice Mayor Toto Veloso today. The financial assistance worth twenty-two thousand pesos (P22,000.00) will be used by the Sangguniang Barangay of San Isidro to purchase public address system to be used by the Elementary School Parents-Teachers Association (PTA) of Barangay San Isidro, City of Tagbilaran.
The Elementary School of Barangay San Isidro had long endured the lack of an effective public address system especially during their regular meetings and other important school activities. The lack of said public address system minimizes the effectiveness of their meetings and the numerous school activities. The purchase of the public address system will greatly improve their meetings by allowing a person to address a large crowd without fear of not being heard because the amplifiers and speakers will distribute the sound throughout the venue.
Hon. Diosario M. Balani in behalf of the Barangay San Isidro, expressed his gratitude to Vice Mayor Toto Veloso for readily supporting their cause to purchase the public address system. Vice Mayor Toto Veloso on the other hand, expressed his continued support to help improve the welfare of Barangay San Isidro.

“BLOOD RULES” VICE-MAYORS’ LEAGUE REGIONAL ELECTION

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His “TITA” who is the vice mayor of Cebu’s shipbuilding town and Bohol’s very own Vice Mayor Jose Antonio “Toto” Veloso of Tagbilaran City are the new top two heads of the Vice Mayor’s League of the Philippines (VMLP) in Central Visayas.
Vice Mayor Rosario Binghay of Balamban, Cebu and Veloso were elected regional chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the influential league during its regional assembly at the Quest Hotel in Cebu City on September 30.
Binghay and Veloso differ in political affiliation since she belongs to an opposition party while he is in the ruling Liberal Party (LP).
The vice mayor of Bohol’s capital and only city would have sought the VMLP regional leadership had he not been “prevailed upon” by the Cebu lady vice mayor who “motherly” asked him “favor” to give way to his tita and be her vice chair instead, league sources from Cebu said.
Binghay’s mother happens to be a Veloso.
The “law of relativity” principally applied to Binghay’s favor, Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Regional Director Ananias Villacorta, who facilitated the election, was quoted as teasing the league.
A former mayor now succeeded by her child, Binghay is now the incumbent VMLP-Cebu president after she was earlier defeated in the provincial chapter election by Dumanjug Vice Mayor Efren Guntrano Gica.
Only about one-fifth of Cebu’s over 50 city and town vice mayors voted Binghay against Gica for the provincial chapter presidency, sources said.
This, sources said, could further explain why she had to convince Veloso to settle for regional vice chairman since there must be no other sure way to sway the Bohol votes — and the potential support for Veloso from Negros Oriental, Siquijor and Cebu vice mayors — into her chairmanship bid.
Cebu City Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella is a Boholano of Tubigon roots.
Binghay and Veloso were unopposed, however, in the election that gave three more Bohol vice mayors regional positions — Trinidad’s Francisco Gonzales as press relations officer, and Loon’s Elvi Peter Relampagos and Baclayon’s Jodel Theodore Cabahug as board directors.
Veloso is an elder brother of Gov. Edgar Chatto’s wife, Pureza Veloso-Chatto, who is the vice mayor of Balilihan and also had to join his brother in “granting” the wish of their tita.
Relampagos is an elder brother of First District Rep. Rene Relampagos.
The members of the league from Bohol, Cebu, Negros Oriental and Siquijor expressed their strong support for the new VMLP regional officialdom.
“Our positions are not merely symbolic of the organization in the organization. They are louder voices that ventilate, articulate and crystallize up to the national arena multi-faceted issues that affect the league’s city and municipal LGU members as well as concerns that affect local legislation,” Veloso said.
Unlike the separate leagues of the city mayors and the municipal mayors, the VMLP unifies all city and town vice mayors who are presiding officers of their respective sanggunians.
Veloso is a former president and incumbent adviser of the VMLP in Bohol which is headed by Batuan Vice Mayor Antonino Jumawid.
His Balilihan vice mayor sister is presently the secretary-general of the Bohol chapter of the league.
The rest of the new VMLP regional officers are Ronda, Cebu Vice Mayor Jonnah John Ungab, secretary-general; Lazi, Siquijor Vice Mayor James Monte, treasurer, Catmon, Cebu Vice Mayor Irish Gestopa, auditor, and Danao City, Cebu Vice Mayor Ramon Durano VI, San Juan, Siquijor Vice Mayor Lilian Sumalpong and Zam-boanguita, Negros Oriental Vice Mayor Glenson Alanano, board directors.
The election was assisted and witnessed by national VMLP representatives. (VenreboArigo)