Gov. Chatto to Organize Bohol Competitiveness Technical Working Group

During the recently held Cities and Municipalities Competitiveness Research – Survey Forum conducted by the Department of Trade and Industry in partnership with the Bohol Investment Promotion Center- Office of the Governor, it was recognized that Bohol ranked 54th in the National Competitiveness Index among all other provinces in the country. Gov. Edgar M. Chatto expressed his desire for Bohol Province to greatly improve its national ranking and be recognized as one of the more competitive provinces in the country.

He enjoined all the municipalities to cooperate in the survey and data collection, at the same time, consider those areas of governance where they are weak at in their next planning and prioritization of budget allocation for consequent implementation.

He further stressed that increase in competitiveness translates to more investments, job availability, wealth creation, and consequently poverty reduction.

The rankings are based on competitiveness scores determined by the values of the actual data, as well as completeness of the submitted data. It can’t be discounted that there is still a big room of opportunity when it comes to the completeness of data submitted by the respective municipalities in the province.

This gave rise to the plan supported by Gov. Edgar M. Chatto to create and convene a warm body to be called, Bohol Competitiveness Technical Working Group, to ensure coordination among the various municipalities and with a commitment to clarify issues, formulate strategies and develop action plans towards greater competitiveness of our municipalities and Tagbilaran City in the next Cities and Municipalities Competitiveness Index.

An initial meeting was held on April 06, 2016 to brainstorm on the identification of members and formulation of related policy and action plans. Among the attendees were: Ms. Madeleine Mary B. Sinon of USAID/SURGE Project, Ms. Marietta Gasatan of the Bohol Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI), Mr. Jude Guieb with Mr. Blair Panong of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), and Ms. Maria Fe Dominise of the Bohol Investment Promotion Center (BIPC), who was tasked by Gov. Chatto to initiate the discussion process.

Gov. Chatto has high hopes that with the establishment of the Bohol Competitiveness TWG and with regular monitoring and handholding of the municipalities, LGU compliance and improvement in data gathering and submission will be apparent and more responsive programs and projects will be implemented, that will catapult Bohol to a spot if not in the top 40, at least 12 notches higher from the current rank in the next year or so. (Stephanie Salaysay)

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Bohol Cooperatives to sign contract with competitive power supplier

Bohol’s Governor, Edgar Chatto witnessed a very important event in the power sector in Bohol as electric cooperatives BOHECO I and BOHECO II enter into power supply agreements last Wednesday with ULGEI for short term and GN Power for medium term power supply.

It was initiated by the governor and the establishment of the Bohol Energy Development Advisory Group (BEDAG).
Gov. Chatto welcomed the power sector stakeholders during the contract signing, congratulated electric cooperatives and stated Bohol continues to push for interconnection with Cebu through NGCP and dreams of land-based power in favor of renewable energy source.

Also, he cited importance of sufficient, reliable and affordable power as Bohol investments continue to grow. Electric cooperatives entered into agreements with winning power suppliers at much lower base price.

For the short term power supply (2016-2018), the base rate is down from P5.34/kwh to P4.87/kwh under ULGEI and for the medium term power supply (2019-2023), the base rate is reduced from P5.50/kWh to P4.50/kWh under GN Power.

With the assistance of United States of Agency for International Development (USAID), Bohol is moving forward in addressing power supply situation through the power supply agreement.

USAID representative, John Avila also congratulated Bohol for another successful with.

They provided assistance to power sector stakeholders in going through the process of consolidating data of power demand and supply and arriving at the aggregated baseload power supply. (Stephanie Salaysay)

Relampagos Expect Tourist Expansion

Bohol 1st District Representative, Rene Relampagos expressed optimism that the tourist growth in his home province of Bohol will continue to soar given the overall tourism boom of the country and the ongoing reforms to improve infrastructure, among others.

The Department of Tourism (DOT) issued a statement that tourist arrival for this year is seen exceeding the government’s target of 6 million, especially after more than 500,000 foreign tourists arrived in the country for the month of January alone.

As of now, the country’s tourism sector is contributing an annual average growth of 8 percent to Philippine economy and has been the third largest dollar earning industry in the country for the last few years, next to Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) sector and semiconductor.

“I am happy that the country’s tourism sector is doing great! I am sure Bohol’s tourist arrivals will continue to increase once construction of the new P7.14-billion Bohol airport on Panglao Island is completed as it is expected to draw in millions of tourists,” Relampagos, chair of the House Committee on Tourism, said.

President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino went to Bohol last month to lead in the time capsule-laying ceremony for the new Bohol airport project which is expected to start operations by December, 2017. The President, a bachelor, even joked he might yet marry and spend his honeymoon in Bohol.

Relampagos said the construction and improvement of airports and seaports and rehabilitation of railway systems are very much vital in attracting tourists, both foreign and local.

Moreover, he added, the budget allocation for additional infrastructure such as bridges and roads repair and rehabilitation aimed at making tourist destinations more accessible will further expand the tourism industry.This is the first time in the history of Philippine tourism that the 500,000 mark has been breached in the first month of the year, according to DOT. (Stephanie Salaysay)

CPG scholars get recognition

Current and new beneficiaries of the Carlos P. Garcia (CPG) Scholars were given recognition for their scholastic achievements during  a gathering at the Bohol Cultural Center last April, 09, 2016.

Educational Development Center head, Dr. Cerina C. Bolos had earlier called on the beneficiaries to the event.

Gatherings like these since its inception in 1996 happen every two or three years to update the beneficiaries on the program and give due recognition to the scholars for their scholastic performances and achievements.

In an executive order, the late Gov. Erico Aumentado once underscored that valedictorians and salutatorians of every graduating class of public high schools in the province will outright qualify for scholarship under the program.

To date Gov. Edgar Chatto carries on the program providing financial assistance to poor, deserving students in their pursuit of college education.

In a statement, Dr. Bolos said, “no governor would want to stop this program”.

Qualified beneficiaries have to submit a duly accomplished application form to the office of the governor, a certification from the high school principal that he/she graduated as class valedictorian or salutatorian or in some cases, attested by schools division superintendent of the Department of Education. Scholars together with parents or guardian will sign a scholarship contract with the office of the governor.

Scholars have to carry full semester load as prescribed in the course curriculum and complete the same within the prescribed duration of the course.

CPG scholars in academic schools will receive an assistance of P5,000 per semester for the tuition fee. Those in the academic schools will receive P400 each for monthly allowance. (Stephanie Salaysay)

Dimiao launches “April Falls Day”

With the sudden boom of tourist attractions in the province, Dimiao launches “April Falls Day” with the help of Parish Youth Ministry (PYM- Dimiao) and San Nicholas de Tolentino. April Falls Day will be this coming 30th of April at Barangay Guingoyuran, Dimiao.

Themed with “Rediscover Nature’s Beauty at Twin Falls”, it is also their way in promoting the tourism industry of Dimiao and also their way of helping the community.

Proceeds will be given to the less fortunate kids for school materials this coming school year and also half of it will be used for trash cans and other cleaning materials where the falls’ located.

Dimiao Parish Priest, Fr. Joemari Polo already had successful activities like Operation Clean-up and Fun Run that surely helped the community to grow and also to become aware of our environment.

Ticket prices are Ᵽ150.00 inclusive of free ride from the town proper going to the falls and also they can enjoy listening to the music of Tagbilaran’s Tribal Band and Ᵽ 350.00 inclusive of free lunch and free ride. Departure time will be 9 a.m; return time will be 3 p.m, program will start at 10 a.m.

Travel time is 1 hour and 30 mins. Equivalent to 45 kms. from the capital city of the province and 9 kms. from  Poblacion, Dimiao.

The waterfalls is surrounded with big trees and lush vegetation giving the picturesque mountain scenery a cool and invigorating atmosphere.

Over 30 meter high, one can readily take a quenching bath in its crystal clear water without fear of being carried away from the current.

One of them has a pool that catches fresh cool water gushing on its sides. The largest cascade is 50 ft. high wide more or less.

Indeed, Dimiao is the town where music, beauty and glee is. (Stephanie Salaysay)