Monday, January 30, 2017

Sarok fest to spotlight Ati-Atihan short films

The Ati-Atihan fever is not over yet. The emerging film makers will showcase this February their works for the 1st Ati-Atihan Sarok Short Film Festival, the first of its kind in the province of Aklan.

Locally-produced films captured the captivating moments of the 2017 Kalibo Sto. Nino Ati-Atihan Festival from January 9 to 15, according to Sarok film festival director Romart Martesano.

This year’s much-awaited festival entries are “Parlorista” by Manny Garcia; “May Duty Ako” by DJ Rex Winston Rey; “Antos Anak” by Kim Janus Justo and “Sa Ati-Atihan” by Antonio Alis, Jr.

The short film creations aspire to provide an alternate perspective on local culture, stories, youthful documentaries of Ati-Atihan festival by the expressive camerawork and creative prowess of film makers. 

The up-and-coming short film makers underwent filmmaking workshop with independent film maker and festival director of Cine Kasimanwa Elvert Banares known for Gaid:Chain (2015) and Impas (2015) and film maker Marcelo Tolentino IV in Kalibo, Aklan last year.

Winners of top prizes will be awarded on February 14 during the Gintong Sarok Awards Night. Free and open to the public, the cinema lovers will have the opportunity to watch also the 15-minute films in “Sine sa Plaza” on February 15.

The inspiring short film festival is supported by Kalibo Sto. Nino Ati-Atihan Foundation, Inc. (Kasafi), Kalibo mayor William Lachica, Aklan Governor Florencio Miraflores, Kalibo Sangguniang Bayan members Mark Quimpo, Cynthia Dela Cruz, Buen Joy French and Philip Kimpo.

The media production partners are Manna Machine Studio, Paranymph Media, Tuesdaywhat Filmworks, Trikee Corporation and Datu Bangkaya Productions.


BFP 6 needs more firemen

The Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) in Region 6 will start its recruitment process for new fire officers next month, according to regional director Senior Superintendent Lindy Lauzon.

Starting February 1, 2017, the agency is accepting applicants for the new Fire Officer 1. Interested applicants must be a Filipino citizen, graduate of four years bachelor’s degree, Board/RA1080/PD907 or Civil Service Professional Exam passed, aged 21 to 30 years of age.

BFP said female applicants should be at least 5’2" (1.57m) tall while male applicants should be at least 5’4" (1.62m) in height.

Applicants are also encouraged to submit their requirements or application folder to BFP municipal or city stations in Region 6.

Qualified applicants must submit personally the application folder to BFP 6 office in Iloilo City with an endorsement from Provincial Fire Marshall, application letter addressed to BFP 6 regional director, personal data sheet, eligibilities/report of rating, transcript of records and diploma, birth certificate, marriage contract (if married), medical certificate issued by government hospital or health unit and barangay, police, prosecutor, Municipal Trial Court, Regional Trial Court and National Bureau of Investigation clearances.

BFP also prefers applicants with Professional Driver’s license with restrictions 2 and 3 and with a National Certificate (NC) III in driving issued by Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).

The regular hiring aims to address the lacking number of fire fighters in the region. 


DENR issues show-cause, cease and desist orders to STL's Aklan river dredging

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) issued a show cause order to Santarli (STL) Panay Resources Company Limited requiring it to give details why it started the Aklan river dredging operation without the necessary permits.  

STL has 72 hours or three days upon receiving the order to explain also why no legal action will be imposed against the company. 

Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer (PENRO) Ivene Reyes also issued a cease and desist order on January 26 to STL managing director Patrick Lim for its alleged Aklan River dredging violations. 

The agency noted “the company’s vessel named MV Zhong Hai 18 used for dredging operations docked near the mouth of Aklan River was found that out of six compartments, two (compartments no. 3 and 4) were filled with estimated volume of 1,200 cubic meters of sand sediments.”

Reyes said PENRO-Aklan has not permitted STL to start dredging operations in the Aklan River dredging project.

“You (STL) are directed to stop any dredging operations in the area pending compliance of all government requirements,” he added in a separate cease and desist order.

The two orders were based on the joint multi-sectoral monitoring and validation on January 23, 2017 by DENR and PENRO-Aklan to verify if STL started the dredging operation and if soil erosion was caused by the dredging.  

Last Thursday, some 100 residents of the island barangay of Bakhaw Norte in Kalibo marched to the streets and rally outside the offices of DENR, Department of Public Works and Highways and the provincial governor to intervene on STL’s violations on Aklan River dredging operations.

Maribeth Cual, village chief of Bakhaw Norte, alleged that STL is not only dredging but also involved in ‘mining operation’ in Aklan River. 


3 drug suspects arrested in Boracay

Three suspects were caught in Boracay Island on January 26 in a police drug buy-bust operation.

Police Officer  3 Eric Deocampo, case investigator, identified the suspects as 46-year old Melchor Saron from Tagbaya, Ibajay, Aklan; Jose Salvador Timoteo Cahilig, 33, from Poblacion, Ibajay, Aklan and their 42-year old female companion Jeneveve Canja from Diclum, Tobias Fornier, Antique.

Canja sold a sachet of suspected shabu in exchange for P1,000 marked money from a poseur buyer at around 9 p.m. in her boarding house in Sitio Bulabog Extension in Barangay Balabag.

During the buy-bust operation, police also seized four suspected sachets from Saron while Cahilig was arrested inside the room of the boarding house identified as a drug den. 

Also recovered were three pieces of rolled aluminum foil and disposable lighters inside the room.

Canja told the police that they got their drugs from a supplier in Sitio Hagdan in Barangay Yapak and their clients remitted payments from illegal drug trade through a remittance center. 

The suspects were brought to Kalibo, Aklan by operatives of  Aklan Provincial Anti-Illegal Drug Special Operation Task Group (PAIDSOTG) after the buy-bust operation. 

The suspects will be facing charges for violations of Sections 5 (selling of drugs), 6 (maintenance of a den) and 11 (illegal possession of drugs) of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002. 

The operation was conducted by PAIDSOTG, Boracay Tourist Assistance Center, Malay municipal police station, Aklan Provincial Public Safety Company, Maritime Police and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).


Thursday, January 26, 2017

“Protection first before Aklan River dredging” – Bakhaw Norte folks

Residents of Bakhaw Norte in Kalibo, literally, took to the streets their anger and frustration to express opposition of the impending dredging of Aklan River. 

Around 100 residents staged the protest march to Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) and to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH)-Aklan District Engineering Office on January 26.

They also proceeded to the Provincial Capitol Building  for a dialogue with Aklan Governor Florencio Miraflores to oppose the sand and gravel extraction of Santarli (STL) Panay Resources Company.

Protesters held placards and banners that read “Stop Dredging Operation, Save Bakhaw Norte Soil Erosion” and “STL Mining-Hindi Dredging”.  Another slogan on a tarpaulin read “Salot sa Taga Libuton (STL)” referring to the proponent of dredging operation.  

STL has commissioned MV Zhong Hai 18 of Globe Bulk Services Philippines Corporation to dredge the heavily-silted Aklan River. Last week, the dredger vessel allegedly start-up its dredge pumps and components without the necessary permits for dredging work.

Following the complaints of Bakhaw Norte residents, the multi-partite monitoring team conducted site inspection and discovered more than 1,200 cubic meters dredged material stored in two separate compartments on January 23. 

In response to Bakhaw Norte residents’ complaint, DENR Technical Services Division chief Merline Aborka told the protesters that DENR will issue a show cause order for STL to immediately stop the operations. 

The show cause order signed by PENRO-Aklan chief Ivene Reyes also directs the STL to submit justifications despite the agreement with multi-partite monitoring team why the company continued their dredging activities. 

‘Protection muna bago dredging’
Aklan congressman Carlito Marquez and Kalibo mayor William Lachica also held a dialogue with residents of Sitio Libuton and barangay officials of Bakhaw Norte on Thursday afternoon. 

A revetment wall in the riverbank amounting to P38-million is proposed during the dialogue to mitigate the possible impact of flooding in low-lying area.

Maribeth Cual, barangay captain of Bakhaw Norte, said the flood embankment will benefit households residing on or near the riverbank during continuous heavy downpours.

Bakhaw Norte with 2,336 residents (2015 census) is an island barangay in Kalibo. It has an area of 312.75 hectares bounded by Sibuyan Sea and Aklan River.

“Ga-opponer kami sa dredging dahil kami ro direkta nga apektado. Indi dapat padayunon ru dredging activities sa Aklan River, protection muna bago dredging,” she added. 

Engr. Roger Esto, spokesperson of multi-partite monitoring team, said STL officials assured the residents and the provincial government of Aklan to ‘pull-out’ the dredger vessel and to wait for ‘as-staked’ survey approval by DPWH national office before MV Zhong Hai 18 could start the dredging operations. 

Under the memorandum of agreement, STL will dredge 15 million cubic meters of sand for the next three years to help declog the Aklan River with silt and debris. It will also compensate the provincial government P5 cubic meter of dredged materials which will be used for flood mitigation and risk reduction projects.