Wednesday, January 20, 2016

P56.5-M Ubay Airport Phase 1 construction to start this year

Ubay Airport
By June S. Blanco

CONSTRUCTION of the P56.5-million Ubay Airport Phase 1 in Barangay Camambugan will start this year.

Rep. Erico Aristotle Aumentado (Bohol, 2nd District) said Engr. Raul Glorioso, department manager of the Aerodrome Development and Management Service of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), broke the news to him during the latter’s visit last week.

Glorioso said the project that Aumentado had been doggedly following up – is the same requested by his namesake father and immediate congressional predecessor Erico Boyles Aumentado from CAAP Director General William Hotchkiss III five years ago. His efforts were rewarded when Hotchkiss last year showed him CAAP’s finalized 2016 budget submitted to Congress.

Its near-realization was bolstered when Deputy Director General Rodante Joya, last year showed him a copy of CAAP’s 2016 Annual Procurement Plan (APP) that allocated such amount for the improvement of the runway, construction of a terminal building and of a water reservoir.

Up for construction next year would be the apron, water system, fire department building and improvements to the runway.

Aumentado is gunning for a three-km runway. His team is even readying 3.6-kms of which 1.2 kms by three meters wide are already concreted.

Glorioso brought with him a technical team that, together with Aumentado and his consultants – Romeo Teruel for airports, Antonieto Pernia for livelihood and Norris Oculam for business, and Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer Nestor Canda conducted an initial consultation with the land claimants.

At the consultation, Canda and Teruel clarified that once the proposed runway, terminal building and apron are delineated, all the proposed airport needs is a presidential proclamation to effect the land use conversion.

The solon sees this as virtually done considering that the lands in Camambugan are mostly cultivated or agricultural with no high rise buildings are nearby.

The improvement of the Ubay airport will be in preparation for the feeder of the Panglao Airport and the Mactan International Airport, flying school hub in the Central Visayas in the near future, and even commercial flights.

For his part, Pernia said Panglao is becoming a mature product. It is high time that Bohol develops another area of interest for tourists to keep the influx flowing. Ubay is ideal – this being closer to the white beaches of Anda which is but only a 30-45 minute trip on well paved roads compared to TAgbilaran that would be some two hours away. Ubay is also near the adventure invites of Danao and the Chocolate Hills of Carmen.

Since Ubay already has two seaports, one of which is all-weather, add the airport and the vast still relatively undeveloped lands, Bohol’s northeastern corridor would be ideal for an economic zone.

Oculam confirmed this, saying his businessman-friend who owns a small airline company, has expressed feelers that he would like to fly the Davao-Ubay route. The planes would still be jets, not the propeller type.

The airport and the seaports, he added, would definitely be come-ons for businesses to set up shops or relocate to Bohol.

The solon had waxed sentimental when he said the project would be another dream-come-true for his father. ~ END

ALL SYSTEMS GO. Engr. Raul Glorioso (2nd from left), department manager of the Aerodrome Development and Management Service of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) tells Rep. Erico Aristotle Aumentado (to his left) that the Ubay Airport “you and your father’s project” will be implemented this year. Glorioso’s technical men and Aumentado’s consultants Thursday assessed the issues and concerns of Camambugan land owners and strategized next steps for the airport’s early implementation. (Photo Contributed)

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Aris gets P560M for classrooms in 2016

By June S. Blanco

RISING from the rubble of the Great Bohol Earthquake and typhoon Yolanda may not be as swift as when done by a genie, but the effort of Rep. Erico Aristotle Aumentado (Bohol, 2nd District) is paying off.

This after Aumentado said he has secured P560 million from the Department of Education (DepEd) for the construction of 560 classrooms at P1 million each – half of them in the first semester and the other half during the second semester.

Aumentado said the school buildings prior to the storm were not enough for the pupils. Some make do with dilapidated classrooms; others utilize the school stage, if any, or the oft-repeated “under the mango tree”.

The situation, the solon said, was aggravated after the 7.2 magnitude earthquake that damaged school buildings, roads and bridges, churches and other structures. While Bohol was not a direct hit of typhoon Yolanda, the howler still managed to blow away some roofs.

This made the solon double his efforts to narrow the gap in the classroom needs in his district. He said only when the environment is conducive to study can parents and teachers expect students to absorb what are taught.

Otherwise, he said, the students are vulnerable to dropping out if school only makes them uncomfortable. ~ END

Sunday, December 13, 2015

House OKs SS bill

By June S. Blanco

THE Lower House Wednesday approved on third and final reading the proposed Salary Standardization Law (SSL) of 2015.

Rep. Erico Aristotle Aumentado (Bohol, 2nd District) who co-authored the bill said government workers now need to only wait for the Senate version of the same – now at the committee level.

Once approved by the president, the SSL will standardize the salary increases of government workers in four tranches from 2016 to 2019.

Aumentado said this is his small contribution lift the plight – his “little Chirstmas gift” – for government workers so that they can cope with the price movement of commodities.

Meanwhile, also last Wednesday, at the Carabao Festival in Brgy. Lomangog, Ubay town, the solon broached the idea of tourism stakeholders, particularly the resort and hotel owners, to offer carabao’s milk as welcome drink for their guests.

This would be the healthier and more nutritious alternative to liquor-laced drinks. This would also provide a guaranteed market for the carabao’s milk that local farmers get from their work animals.

Pausing from his message to get Gov. Edgar Chatto’s reaction, the chief executive vowed to issue a circular to tourism stakeholders adopting his proposal – a move that earned the audience’s approval by way of applause. ~~~ END


Aris: CFO to inspect areas, dams for corporate farming


By June S. Blanco

REP. Erico Aristotle Aumentado’s (Bohol, 2nd District) exploration for still another livelihood scheme for farmers is nearing realization.

This after the chief financial officer (CFO) of a multi-billion peso company said he will visit Bohol before the year ends for a look-see of rice lands and other areas as well as dams preparatory to the implementation of corporate farming. The dams are a plus factor for the rice farmers as these provide irrigation during dry spells. Irrigated rice lands stand a better chance than rain-fed fields when the El NiƱo phenomenon or extended dry spell strikes.

The solon said the CFO will conduct a financial feasibility study in order to draw the best scheme to implement the program. The study will also map the criteria to determine qualified farmer-participants.

He said he is stepping up on best farming schemes to boost productivity so that Bohol will be competitive when the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) integration is implemented in 2017.

Under the scheme, the company will spend for everything needed to plant palay – the farmers do not spend anything at all.

On top of that, Aumentado said the investor will pay at least the minimum wage to the farmers for the land preparation and rice planting, weeding and fertilization as well as pay rent for the use of their lands.

He added that the investors will assume the risks brought on by typhoons, drought, pest infestations and the like.

On top of that, participating farmers will also be enrolled with the Social Security System (SSS) so that after years of work while in their prime, they can have support to tide them over during their sunset years.

The investor admitted that they chose to partner with the solon for this venture after knowing fully the brand of leadership the Aumentados have. ~~~ END


Monday, November 23, 2015

Tapal Wharf expansion starts

Tapal Wharf, Tapal, Ubay, Bohol
By June S. Blanco

EXPANSION of the Tapal Wharf in Ubay has started.

Rep. Erico Aristotle Aumentado (Bohol, 2nd District) said the expansion is funded with P60 million inserted into the Department of Transportation and Communications (DoTC) 2015 budget and implemented by the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) – its attached agency that focuses on the financing, management and operations of ports throughout the archipelago.

Aumentado said the expansion is expected to allow cargo boats, even ships, to make their deliveries on time instead of staying at anchorage and waiting for their turns to dock and unload.

To note, each day of the cargoes’ stay on board spells a corresponding day of fees for the boat by the suppliers. The solon said the suppliers however just pass on to the consumers this added cost so that the prices of goods skyrocket.

The wharf expansion, he said, will provide Bohol with a bigger gateway of commerce. The approach to Tapal, he explained, is deeper so that it has the potential for development into one even bigger than the Ubay port.

The roll on-roll off ramp at Tapal will also be expanded and extended to accommodate bigger boats instead of only the pump boats and smaller barges that ply the Tapal-Popoo, Tapal-Leyte and Tapal-Mindanao routes. Popoo is in the island town of President Carlos P. Garcia.

The expanded wharf that is able to accommodate bigger boats opens the possibility of a direct Ubay to Manila route for passengers and cargoes, Aumentado said. 

The solon said this will complement the expected landing at the Ubay airport of commercial flights as DoTC through the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) is developing the same with a P56 million allocation from its 2016 budget.

The infrastructure revs Ubay to be an alternate route for quicker travel to the tourist attractions on the northeastern side of Bohol and make it an alternate port for commercial vessels, he added. ~~~ END

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Rep. Aris pushes for salary standard’n law

By June S. Blanco

WHEN major issues are up for deliberation in the House of Representatives, the Speaker usually calls allies for support.

Rep. Erico Aristotle “Aris” Aumentado (Bohol, 2nd District) was among those who Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. called to support the new salary standardization bill that seeks to rationalize the salary increase of government workers over the next four years.

Aumentado said it is high time that the salary of government workers is increased for them to cope with the rising cost of living.

Given the price movement of products through these years, the solon observed that the salary of ordinary government workers is no longer enough to support a family of four.

The bill also has a provision for a 14th month pay for these workers to have fallback funds to use during the school opening in May on top of the yuletide season bonus.

Aumentado vowed that he will fully support this bill when presented at the plenary for deliberation. ~~~ END

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Monday, October 26, 2015

Aris: Power for far-flung, smaller islands assured

By June S. Blanco

FAR-FLUNG islands and islets in Bohol’s 2nd District will soon get 24/7 electricity – and with it, development and progress – through the National Power Corporation’s (NPC) Small Power Utilities Group (SPUG).

Rep. Erico Aristotle Aumentado said this is on top of the assurance of National Electrification Administrator Edita Bueno of funding for submarine cables for the energization of the bigger and nearer islands in Getafe, Talibon, Bien Unido and Ubay towns.

The solon quoted Bueno as saying that site inspections have been conducted and studies are now being transferred on paper to support the release of funds for more islands after Mahanay of Getafe and Talibon towns.

With the bigger islands prepped for energization, Aumentado trained his sights on the smaller islands farther from the mainland.

These being too costly for energization via submarine cables, the solon met up with Vice President Edmundo Veloso Jr. and Engr. Rene B. Barruella, Project Management Division Manager, both of NPC’s Small Power Utility Group (SPUG).

To fast track implementation, the solon told the SPUG officers that NEA has allocated funds to procure distribution lines as its counterpart in order to deliver electricity from generator sets to be installed in the islands or islets for distribution to the households and consumers.

Aumentado said according to Veloso, NPC-SPUG has already allocated funds in the 2015 General Appropriations Act (GAA) for the generators. They have conducted the study, paperwork and site inspection for plant location. 

For the “blessings,” the solon expressed gratitude to NPC President Maria Gladys Cruz-Sta. Rita, Veloso and Barruela, as well as Bueno and her staff. 

Aumentado said the technology is like the Leyte-Bohol Interconnection Project (LBIP) Stages 1 and 2 that brought power from the Tongonan Geothermal Power Plant in Leyte that his namesake father and immediate congressional predecessor Erico Boyles Aumentado had shepherded from conception and gestation up until realization.

Once the generators are in place, and upon notification by NEA, the Bohol II Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Boheco II), will install the lines from the generator sets and distribute power to the consumers.

The project forms part of Aumentado’s total electrification project for the 2nd district’s 35 islands. The solon said he has been addressing the lack of electricity even before it surfaced as one of the problems identified by the 100-strong population of the district among the 400 respondents of the Bohol Poll 2015 ran March 26 to April 17 by the Holy Name University Center for Research and Publications.

The solon said development can set in only when power is available. Power enables fishermen to keep part of their catch to sell during full moons when fish is scarce and the demand is strong, or during stormy weather.

Without power, fishermen are constrained to sell their catch cheap, especially if abundant, rather than risk spoilage. ~ END