Sunday, August 26, 2018

Mayor Che thanks sec, rep for 2019 polls nod

Scene:  Educator Adelfa Monton-Ocio celebrated her birthday, August 19. She hosted a dinner for family and close friends at her residence in Tagbilaran City. As a collective “Happy birthday!” reverberated around her home, the Birthday Girl flashed a sweet smile.  All in all, it was a little night of music, easy camaraderie, full of fun and laughter and, yes, full of love. At her age, Maam LacLac has retained the youthful look. “For the gift of life and the promises you have for me in your word, Lord, I have come to say thank you for another year in your loving-kindness,” she said.

Some members of the Bohol media
receive the results of the drug test
from Chief Insp. David Patriana.
Photo:  Bohol Crime Lab
SceneNine members of the Bohol media covering the police beat who underwent a drug test were found negative of illegal drugs. The action of the members of the Bohol Provincial Police Office Press Corps (BPPOPC) was lauded by Senior Supt. Angeles Geñorga, Jr., director of the Bohol Provincial Police Office, who was present during the drug testing of journalists.  Chief Insp. David Patriana, chief of the Bohol Police Office Crime Laboratory, said that the members of the BPPO Press Corps showed no traces of methamphetamine or shabu and tetrahydrocannabinol, the main active ingredient in cannabis.  After the successful conduct of the drug test which was released on Friday, Dave Charles Responte, president of BPPOPC, challenged other journalists to also undergo the same examination to prove that members of the media were not into illegal drugs.


Former Carmen Mayor Conchita “Che” Toribio-Delos Reyes expressed her gratitude to  Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) acting secretary Virginia Orogo, Senior Citizen Partylist Rep. Francisco Datol and Quirino Lone District Rep. Dakila Carlo Cua  for endorsing her in the race for Bohol’s 3rd congressional district in the 2019 elections.

"I am very happy to hear that, to witness their support and endorsement,” she said.

Cua said Mayor Che has the potential to bring change and progress.

“Sa tingin ko ang kanyang puso  naman ay para sa tao,” said Cua, a former governor of Quirino province.

Cua said he is considering a Senate run in the elections next year. He told reporters in Bohol that the PDP-Laban party was considering him to be included in the shortlist.

Mayor Che was present during the giving of certificate of the land ownership award (Cloa) from the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) last Thursday, August 23, in Carmen town.

DAR distributed 419 certificates of landownership awards (Cloas) to 419 farmers from 23 towns in the province of Bohol, which 112 beneficiaries came from Carmen town.

"Dakong grasya sa Diyos (This is a blessing from God.)"

This was how 80-year-old farmer Anecita Sanchez reacted after receiving her certificate of land ownership award (Cloa) from DAR.

Sanchez, a resident of Nueva Vida Este in Carmen, was awarded with 1,400 sq meters agricultural land.

Another beneficiary, Anastacio Almedilla, 88, a resident of Barangay Garcia in San Miguel town, was overjoyed that he received his land.

"Naa nakoy kapuy-an nga akoa na kay naghawid nako sa titulo," said Almedilla, who has been farming all his life.

The Cloas were personally awarded by Agrarian Sec. John Castriciones.

Also present during the event were, Bohol Gov. Edgar Chatto, Vice Gov. Dionisio Balite, 1st district Rep. Rene Relampagos, Carmen Mayor Ricardo Toribio, DAR Undersecretary Emily Padilla and mayors Natividad Gonzaga (Danao), Danny Guivencan (Dimiao), Jacinto Naraga (San Isidro), Eugene Datahan II (Pilar) and former Mabini Mayor Esther Tabigue.
Adelfa Ocio (center, in red) with her friends
during her birthday.  

The beneficiaries wore t-shirts with a name of  SAP Bong Go.

 The 419 Cloas cover a total area of 475 hectares of farmlands.

Grace Fua, Bohol provincial agrarian reform program officer II, explained to the farmers their responsibilities as recipients of the land transfer program. The farmers are not allowed to sell or mortgage the awarded lands under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) as stated in the CLOA.

Fua told farmers to make the land productive.

Castriciones said DAR will provide necessary support services and farm equipment to ARBs in Bohol province to improve their farm production to boost farm production.

It will eventually increase the income of the farmers who are the real heroes, Castriciones added.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), in coordination with Land Bank of the Philippines, also released cash grants to the beneficiaries under the national government’s Unconditional Cash Transfer (UCT) program provided for by the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law.

DSWD regional information officer Leah Quintana said they released P2,400 per beneficiary.  The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) also gave scholarships to the children of the farmers.

Bohol town hit by rare hailstone

Residents of Pilar town were surprised at a hailstorm on Friday afternoon, August 24.

The hailstorm started at past noon in Barangay Poblacion, according to Raymund Anania, the town’s disaster risk reduction and management officer.

Witnesses said it lasted for only about five minutes.

Hailstone in Pilar, Bohol
The residents were surprised of the hail, the size of a corn kernel.

“We were jolted by the clattering on the roof of our house,” said resident Lemuel Buslon.

Aniana said it was the first time that a hailstorm had occurred in the town.

The hailstorm happened only in Barangay Poblacion. Other parts of Pilar experienced only heavy rains and gusty winds.

There was no report of injury or damage to property caused by the ice crystals that people seemed to welcome as a rare experience, Aniana said.

A hailstorm is nothing to fear since it is simply a natural phenomenon, according to Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa).

It occurs when high temperatures hit land, causing precipitation to fall to earth as rain but freeze on the way to the ground.

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Sunday, August 19, 2018

DA literally flooded Bohol with fish

Scene: A chorus of tribute has echoed around the world to remember the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin who died last Thursday, Aug. 16. She was 76.

Scene:  Tributes to former Sevilla Mayor Ceferino Digal began pouring in within minutes following the news of his death last Aug. 9.   The necrological service is today, August 19, 11 a.m. at the Sevilla Municipal Building Lobby.  His youngest daughter Marie Karen Joy Digal said that it was such a healing gift to be surrounded by  people who love and respect his father.  “Daddy, you were always there when I needed you, and I know you are still with us now. Remember that I will always be ‘Daddy's Little Girl’,” she said.

 Fuertes and Montero in war of words.

: Panglao Mayor Pedro Fuertes has been locked in a war of words with former Mayor Leonila Paredes-Montero last week. It started when Montero surprisingly visited Fuertes in his office, while her supporters were outside the mayor’s office. Montero who addressed Fuertes as “Vice Mayor” told him that she will back soonest.

Scene:  Police Senior Superintendent Angeles Geñorga, Jr., director of the Bohol Provincial Police Office (BPPO), said the synchronized operations last Thursday in 47 towns and 1 city targeted shabu dealers and illegal firearms owners across the province. At least 39 were arrested and two were killed in police operations. Geñorga also said that the drug supply in the province has significantly dropped.

Divina Sarabia, a resident of Barangay Cogon, woke-up early last Thursday to visit the Agricultural Promotions Center (APC) in Barangay Dao. However, she had to endure the long line since the venue was extremely crowded before sunrise.

Sarabia and other consumers bought fish and vegetables at low price after the Department of Agriculture launched the Bohol Fish Market and Tienda to address the price manipulation in the market which resulted in very high cost of fish, vegetables and fruits in the province.

Broadcaster Felix Cempron said that he was satisfied because he was able to buy a swordfish forP100 per kilo instead of the normal price at P220 per kilo in the market.

The Department of Agriculture launched the Bohol Fish Market and Tienda
to address the exorbitant price of fish, vegetables and fruits in the province.
Photos by Leo Udtohan
“Mas barato ang mga isda diri, dako kaayog deperensa. Hinaut nga mosustiner gyud ni bah. Mga negosyante  nga murag ilang gipalabian pagmahal ilang tindag isda para ila pud i-us-us. Kay ang mga tawo diri sa Bohol porbida perting lisura tungod niining pagmahal sa  presyo sa isda ug ubang panaliton,” said Cempron.

Agriculture Sec. Manny Piñol said that 7.2 metric tons (7,200 kilos) of assorted fish from Mindanao seas was loaded in Bohol for a cheaper price, which literally flooded the province.

“Natingala ko nga nalibutan mo og dagat pero perting mahal sa isda.  Mao nga mingon ko mubalik ko, bahaon nako og isda sa Bohol.  Pero nabali noon ako’y gibaha og tawo karung adlawa. Nahurot na among isda,” he said.

Not only fish was sold but also some vegetables.  Potatoes were sold at P60 per kilo, carrots at P60 per kilo, lettuce at P80 per kilo, cauliflower at P110 per kilo and broccoli at P110 per kilo

Before Thursday noon, almost all the fish and veggies were sold out.

Piñol said another 20 metric tons of assorted fish will arrive this week.

He said the fish trading in Bohol is controlled by a few big business groups in a validation conducted by his office.

Bohol remains an expensive destination for local and foreign tourists. In Panglao Island where it calls with its stunning aqua-blue waters and white-sand beaches, the place is pricey.

In 2017, the provincial lawmakers initiated an investigation on the factors in the high prices of fish in Bohol which remains unresolved for over a decade.

It was Benjie Oliva, the Boholano administrator of Cooperative Development Authority, who revealed that a fish cartel exists, which has been dictating prices of goods in the province based on a study of the Department of Agriculture.

“I believed of a monopoly dominated by few players in the province,” said Oliva. “Government should address business monopoly in Bohol by providing an enabling policy environment for opening competition from other business players in the country to bring down the cost of products and services,” he added.

Piñol said he wanted Bohol as a fish farm tourism destination. 

Drug-free award is not forever-DDB chief

The chairman of the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) Catalino Cuy reminded awardees that the drug-free award for barangays is not forever as it can be revoked anytime.

“Hindi iyan forever,” said Cuy who was the guest of honor during the declaration and awarding ceremony of the 321 drug-cleared barangays in Bohol province last Monday afternoon attended by village chiefs, town mayors, police officers, and other local officials.

A barangay is declared drug affected if there is a presence of either drug users, drug pushers, drug dens  and shabu laboratories.

Cuy said that there should be continuous vigilance of the village chiefs and law enforcement agencies.

“It’s a whole nation approach. Hindi lang si gobyierno ang may responsibility, responsibility ng lahat lalong-lalo na nakatira dun yung community mismo. It is their responsibility to make their barangay drug free,” he said.

The village chiefs received their certificates of declaration from Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), the implementing agency of DDB.

Cuy said there was a thorough and careful validation of the oversight committee and satisfying  all the parameters set by the DDB that the  321 barangays out 1,109 villages in Bohol province were declared drug-cleared.

Last month, Bohol has been ranked fifth in the Philippines and first in Central Visayas in terms of barangay drug affectation percentage, according to PDEA provincial office.

But the ranking, according to PDEA agent Nicolas Gomez was based on affected barangay even if there was only one user.  These users surrendered to the authorities even if they used illegal drugs once to clear their names.

“Boholanos are honest and they are volunteering information,” he said during the provincial peace and order council meeting. 

He said the ranking doesn’t mean Bohol has many drugs and pushers compared to other places.

The 321 drug-cleared villages in the province came from 23 towns and one city.

The towns which  almost hit 100 percent drug-free were  Jagna (32 out of 33 barangays), Lila (17 out of 18 barangays), Maribojoc (20 out of 22 barangays, Pilar (20 out of 22 barangays), San Isidro (11 out 12 barangays and Trinidad (19 out of 20 barangays).

Tagbilaran City had only 1 out of 15 barangays declared drug-cleared. Sikatuna town had 1 cleared barangay out of 10 barangays, and Tubigon had 1 barangay cleared out of 34 barangays.

Lila Mayor Regina Cahiles-Salazar said that barangay officials engaged in antidrug activities and actively involving the youth to help maintain the drug-liberated status.

“We persistently motivate these barangays to continuously conduct anti drug abuse initiatives to make our town safe and progressive,” said Salazar.

She said the communities have existing drug awareness, preventive  education and information and other programs. Livelihood programs were given to surrenderees to sustain their families.

Chatto said that the provincial is serious in cleaning the province and many volunteered to surrender ecause they understood the programs of the provincial government.

“This is just the beginning of our victory. We will not stop here,” he said.

 “I hope more batches will come until 1,109 barangays will be cleared and make Bohol a truly drug-free province,” he added.

Cure for drug problems remains elusive

The victory in the war on drugs of President Rodrigo Duterte remains elusive, according Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano of Magdalo  who was in Bohol last Saturday, Aug. 18.

Alejao said the war on drugs was likened a superficial band-aids meant only to stop the latest bleeding and haven't proved a cure.

“Dapat i –accept na nating lahat, you can’t totally eliminate illegal drugs in the country. You cannot. Other countries have tried but they failed to address the illegal drugs,” he told Bohol reporters.

Alejano cited some studies that other countries such as the United States of America has grappled meaningfully with the menace.

He said Philippines should learned lessons from USA, Colombia and Thailand who found out that the biggest contributing factors of the illegal drugs were economy and poverty. 

Alejano, who was jailed for seven years because of the munity in 2003, said that Duterte wanted a shortcut that killed even those who were innocent. 

 “The approach of the President is shortcut. So, kapag sinabing shortcut the president doesn’t believe in the justice system, abogado man siya, he doesn’t believe in the justice system. Walang maliwanag  na policy,” he said.

He said additional districts in Bohol would help in lobbying more programs and development to the province.

He said federalism would destroy the country.

“I know what it takes to defend the country especially now that we’re bullied by China,” said Alejano who accepted the nomination of the Magdalo party for him to run for senator for the May 2019 midterm elections.

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Sunday, August 12, 2018

Pinoy Aquaman shares diet, fitness secret

Scene:  The Panglao’s “trio singing contest” is on August 18 at the Panglao town plaza. According to Dr. Dolereich Dumaluan, the event sponsor, he is looking for the next “The Lettermen.”  The grand  The “trio singing contest” is one of the highlights of Panglao’s fiesta.
The village of Bingag was declared champion
 during the 2nd Panagat Festival. Photo by Leo Udtohan
champion will receive P25,000, while runners-up will receive P15,000 and P10,000.

Scene:  The 2nd Panagat Festival highlights the colorful tradition and culture of Dauis town.   11 contingents joined this year’s street-dancing contest which was won by Barangay Bingag. According to Dauis Mayor Marietta Tocmo-Sumaylo, Panagat (fishing) is basically, like any other religion-based festival, is always an attribution and expression of gratitude to the patron saint, Our Lady of the Assumption, for blessings received and at the same time, shows fishing as the major means  of livelihood of the Dauisanons.

Internationally acclaimed open-water swimmer Ingemar Macarine is “silent” as he is not engaged in any open-water swim this year.

 Environmental lawyer and triathlete Ingemar Macarine:
 ‘Happiness is sleeping soundly for eight full hours, uninterrupted,
and waking up to spending my day productive.’
Photo by Leo Udtohan
Popularly known as “The Pinoy Aquaman, ” who made headlines last year as the first Filipino who attempted to swim the treacherous English Channel, he says it doesn’t mean he is over with his passion for open-water swimming.

He is just taking a break, and trying to shed off some weight, in preparation for another attempt to cross the English Channel, considered the Mount Everest for open swimming, next year.

He still is keeping himself fit by practicing intermittent fasting and being on a Mediterranean diet.

“I lost 14 kilos (30 pounds),” he told VRS on Saturday while drinking his favorite “sikwate” (a native hot chocolate) at Dalareich Chocolate House in Barangay Booy in Tagbilaran City.  From 93 kilos (200 pounds) from last year’s swim in London, he is now 79 kilos (175 pounds), fit and sexier. 

So how does he stay in shape?

Macarine revealed that he still is keeping himself fit by practicing intermittent fasting and being on a Mediterranean diet. He seldom eats meat, turning to vegetables and fruits instead.

He explained that intermittent fasting is not a diet, it's a pattern of eating.

“It's a way of scheduling your meals so that you get the most out of them. Intermittent fasting doesn’t change what you eat, it changes when you eat,” he said.

The Mediterranean Diet, perhaps the world's healthiest diet, is abundant in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and olive oil. It features fish and poultry—lean sources of protein—over red meat. Red wine is consumed regularly but in moderate amounts.

 Pinoy Aquaman Ingemar Macarine meets
Bohol’s chocolate/tableya Princess Dalareich Polot.
Photo by Leo Udtohan
“It can carry huge benefits if it is done right: weight loss, increased energy, and many other things,” he said.

His usual brunch is oatmeal.

For dinner, Macarine said he likes having “chopseuy.”

The idea, Macarine said, is to have lots of protein and vegetables, and little or no carbohydrates such as rice. He also swears by camomile and green teas and water for their health benefits.

During coffee breaks, he drinks “sikwate” (hot native chocolate) and black coffee with honey.

Instead of turning to procedures, you know to go under the knife to look good, Macarine said he regularly does brisk walking everyday and swimming thrice a week.

Aside from diet and workouts, Macarine also stressed the importance of getting enough sleep, taking vitamins and having fun with friends as ways to maintain a healthy body.

“I sleep eight hours,” he said. “Happiness is sleeping soundly for eight full hours, uninterrupted, and waking up to spending my day productive.”

 What kind of diet do you have?

“I skip breakfast each day and eat two meals. The Mediterranean diet  is eating primarily plant-based foods, such as fruits and vegetables.  I use olive oil instead of butter.  Instead of salt, I am using  herbs and spices to flavor foods.  I eat red meat twice a week. ”

What’s usually for brunch and dinner?
“I like oatmeal, with three eggs, a buko juice and tea for brunch. For dinner, I like vegetables and fruits. ”
What food do you always crave for, what food do you avoid?

“I always crave for fish and vegetables. I like chopseuy and sari-sari. I only eat meat twice a week but only a small portion of it.  There are many recipes for fish and veggies.”

Any snacks between meals?
“No snacks!” 

How much water do you take per day (soda, coffee, tea or energy drinks)?
“A lot of water. ”

What vitamins do you take?
“Usually multi-vitamins. But mostly Vitamin C and fish oil.

What workout do you do?
“I do brisk walking and swimming.”

What part of your body needs improvement?
“I think my tummy.  Belly fat is harder to lose than fat in other areas of your body. It’s difficult to achieve.”

What part of your body is most vulnerable?
“My left shoulder. Due to volume of trainings, I had an injured  shoulder last year since endurance swimming has repetitive motions.”

Art exhibit in Bohol brings appreciation for diversity

With art ranging from paintings, sculptural works, performance arts and installations, the Philippine Visual Arts Festival (PVAF) in Bohol 2018 was one of the most intriguing events hosted in this city during last month’s Sandugo Festival.

With an abundance of amazing art, perhaps the best part of the art exhibit was that artists came together to celebrate and be inspired.

The PVAF was held on July 23-27 was presented by National Commission for Culture and the Arts  (NCCA), Bol-anon United Sectors Working for the Advancement of Community Concerns (BUSWACC) and provincial government of Bohol.

According to Liza Macalandag, project coordinator, PVAF Bohol 2018 gathered 83 visual artists from all over the country to celebrate, reflect and refract on our heritage and the visual arts.

Kalamadera by Renzo Anora
Bohol’s  culture czar  and musical scorer Gardy Labad was the event consultant who said that  artists can draw from or reflect on the various facets of our heritage- cultural, natural, tangible and intangible- which are(bahandi)  treasures.

Fellow artist JumJum Ouano got to display his art.

“I love events like this where you get to bring your art and see everyone else’s art,” said Ouano. His work “Maglana Tag Potot? (Making Oil from Coconut Sprout?)” showed the appreciation of the coconut as a fruit that has many cultural attachment to Boholanos.  Potot (a coconut  sprout) served as food during hard times.

Manila-based multi-disciplinary artist Sam Penaso who used  his own body as the medium performed a mentally, creatively and physically challenging task on Alona Beach in Panglao town. His performance art was calling for clean seas.

While PVAF in Bohol 2018 was providing a great way for artists to showcase their talents, it also gave visitors the opportunity to explore the culture and talent of Boholano artists and other artists from the country.

“Expressive, lots of emotions are featured,” said Education student Jamielaine Butawan.

Butawan, 19, a resident of Cortes town, came to see the exhibit at the Island City Mall together with her friends Kathleen Jean Ayuban and Neil Amplayo.

“The art here said a lot about the artists from Bohol and other regions and how diverse everyone really is,” added Butawan.

Istallation arts were also displayed at the top of Chocolate Hills in Carmen town, Loboc River, Abatan River and Plaza Rizal in Tagbilaran City.

Installation art is a modern movement characterized by immersive, larger-than-life works of art. 
A giant whale-shaped blimp made of bamboo designed by contemporary artist-designer Leeroy New attracted visitors at the Chocolate Hills. It soared above the Chocolate Hills only until July 28.

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Sunday, August 5, 2018

300 Bohol moms celebrating August with simultaneous breastfeeding

Scene: Consumers in Tagbilaran lined up last Friday to buy cheap rice from National Food Authority (NFA) as sales and distribution resumed in the province.  According to NFA-Bohol manager Maria Fe Evasco, 40,000 sacks of rice arrived in Bohol last Tuesday from Cebu after four months of non-availability of NFA rice in the market.  The NFA rice is sold at P27 per kilo half a price of the commercial rice.  Evasco explained that they had to limit 5 kilos being sold to an
Ilocos Norte. Gov. Imee Marcos
individual a day so many consumers could avail of the cheaper rice.  “We have to limit it in the sense that we have plenty of consumers in the locality for them to avail/buy of the low price NFA rice, we have to institute the measure of limiting it to 5 kilos per customer per day,” she said. 

Scene:  Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos was in Bohol last week to attend the Acquaintance Party of the BIT-International College and meet the members of the Marcos Loyalists Movement.  She was met by Vice Governor Dionisio Balite, Agriculture Central Visayas director Salvador Diputado, Donald Sevilla of Alyansang Bol-anon para sa Kausaban (Abaka)  and Balilihan Vice Mayor Roy Adonis Olalo. Marcos also met Cabinet Secretary Leoncio Evasco, Jr at the event. Marcos said she was thankful to Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio for including her in the list of senatorial candidates that will be endorsed by regional political party Hugpong Ng Pagbabago (HNP) in the May 2019 elections. She said she was in Bicol when she heard the endorsement during the Bohol launching of Abaka which Duterte was the guest speaker. Marcos said she has yet to decide if she would run for senator in the 2019 midterm elections. “Napag-usapan sa pamilya na iba na tatakbo baka hindi na si BongBong because he doesn’t want to abandon the protest. (It was discussed in the family that another one should run, maybe not BongBong) Maybe, I will be the one to run,” she said.

Marking the start of the National Breastfeeding Month, more than 300 lactating mothers from Bohol province simultaneously breastfed their babies for one minute yesterday, August 4 at the Island City Mall.

More than 300 lactating mothers simultaneously breastfed their 

babies for one minute during Saturday’s “The Big Latch”
 to mark the celebration of the National Breastfeeding 
\Awareness Month. Photo by Leo Udtohan

The event dubbed “The Big Latch” was the first ever breastsfeeding advocacy in Bohol, according to
Dr. Suzette Quiwag-Redillas, chair of the breastfeeding committee at Gov. Celestino Gallares Memorial Hospital.

Dianne Pozon, 38, a resident of Tagbilaran City, brought her three month-old son Joseph Niño to the event.

“This is an event for all mothers and families,” said Pozon, a mother of five. 

Pozon believed that there are many benefits of breastfeeding for both infants and mothers.

“I believe it is still the best source of nutrition and growth of infants,” she said.  “Breastfeeding is still best for babies.”

After the simultaneous latch-on, lactation experts, peer counselors, and breastfeeding advocacy supporters shared the benefits and importance of breastfeeding to the mothers.

There were parlor games to enliven the event.


Sen. Bam Aquino validates sufferings of
ordinary Boholanos due to TRAIN Law

Senator Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV said he would be the voice of the ordinary citizens who were directly affected under the tax reform program.

The Senator made the remark last Thursday afternoon as he had a consultation meeting with market vendors, fishermen, and other members of the sectoral groups at the Dao Public Market in this city.

Sen. Bam Aquino
Aquino listened to the residents who shared their plight on the high prices of goods under the Tax Reform Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law.

“Magiging madali lang ito sa akin kasi kasama ko kayo. Naghahanap po ako ng tapang mula po sa inyo. Hindi ako mawawalan ng lakas ng loob na ipaglalaban ito kahit mag-isa lang ako.  Pero sa totoo lang po kahit mag-isa lang ako dun, hindi ako nag-iisa kasi kasama ko po kayo,” he told at least 60 attendees. 

Aquino said he has been pushing for the immediate suspension of the excise tax on petroleum products to lessen the burden on the public.

 And if Communications Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson would like to talk at the senate as invited by Senator Nancy Binay as one of the resource persons in the next hearings to amend the charter, Aquino said Uson is welcomed at the senate.

“Well, lagi tayo  nag-attend dun sa mga hearing sa federalismo at sa  pagpapalit ng constitution.  I think si Senator Binay ang nag-invite sa kanya.  Maganda nga pumunta siya para mapag-usapan dun,” said Aquino.

Tapping Uson in raising awareness about federalism, Aquino found it awkward since Uson was known for posting fake news in the social media.

“Pero ako, simple lang, yung Constitutional Commission na kunin ang isang tao na  madalas o  may track record ng  pagbabanggit ng fake news bilang spokesman nila parang hindi seryoso dun  sa gusto nilang marating sa pagtuturo ng constitution sa ating mga kababayan,” Aquino added.

He said a constitutional expert would help to raise awareness of the proposed shift to a federal government.

“Sana po ang kinuha nila talagang constitutional expert.  Marami sa kanila ganun yung pagkakilala.  Sana hindi po tayo kumuha ng isang Asec na alam natin na makontroberysa dahil sa paglalabas ng fake news in the past,” he said.

NFA-Bohol Manager Maria Fe Evasco and NFA Information
Officer Jhoel Lim inspected rice retail stores in Barangay Cogon
 in Tagbilaran City, Bohol, during the resumption of sales/
distribution of NFA rice. Photo by Leo Udtohan
Uson has been  criticized by netizens in the social media for posting misleading information and inaccurate photos.

Benjie Oliva, a former youth leader and administrator of the Cooperative Development Authority, said that Aquino’s visit was able to validate the sufferings of the ordinary Filipino. 

“Sen. Bam Aquino was able to validate the sufferings of ordinary Filipinos brought by the high inflation rate and the implementation of Train law particularly on the excise tax on fuel during the Konsultahang Bayan held at Dao Public Market,” said Oliva.

Oliva added that Aquino’s ‘Bawas Presyo Bill’ filed at the Senate is a measure that would suspend the implementation on the excise tax on fuel thereby lessening the burden of our poor Filipino people.

“Sen. Aquino’s consumer protection advocacy is a testament of his deep concern to the poor and vulnerable sectors of society,” he added.

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