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Showing posts with the label Boholanalysing Local Government

(De)constructing Development: Political Spaces and Geographical Boundaries in Tourism Planning

 Undated aerial photo of Alona Beach, from . I was reminded of tourism planning, as an aspect of the climate change debate, when I attended a conference on Climate Change and Development Policy in Helsinki last 28-29 September 2012 at the invitation of the United Nations University World Institute for Development Economics Research.   One of the sessions highlighted the need to decongest spaces and make towns and cities compact for purposes of energy efficiency, carbon footprint reduction, and climate change mitigation, recognizing that cities than the rural places, are the largest emitters of carbon dioxide.   While the argument was done in the context of cities, I believe it is also applicable to the pseudo-cities, or those I call spaces where the characteristic of cities (population density and intense requirements of sanitation, utilities, housing, and transportation) are prevalent and where there is a need to ensure that proper planning and development

Local Governments and Climate Change: Where is Bohol Going?

(Many thanks Liza of for the picture) Recent debates on climate change has started to refocus measures from global and national playing fields to local spheres, with the belief that “the “local” is also an important site in governing global environmental problems” (Betsill and Burkeley 2006). The Stern Report in 2007 has clearly indicated that communities need to be empowered so that they can actively contribute in vulnerability assessment and implementation of adaptation. Further, it argues that climate change needs to be incorporated into development planning at all scales, levels, and sectors (Stern 2007). The recent experience of Jagna, Bohol, where a tornado destroyed the homes of more than a hundred families takes to the fore the issue of how prepared are we as a province, and the Philippines, as an archipelagic country, in meeting the challenges of a changing climate and the threat of natural disasters.  While Jagna has its own Disaster Risk Reductio

Who wins in Panglao's Tourism Business?

Very recently, business tax collection system in the municipality of Panglao has drastically changed that resort owners, maybe accustomed to a subjective tax assessment processes, reacted strongly.   The basis of the reaction is simple – tax assessments have significantly increased the amount of tax that they will have to pay, when compared to previous years - and like every taxpayer who is assessed a higher amount of tax, businessmen complained, alleging that the tax base is highly irregular and the system anomalous. The municipal government of Panglao implemented this year the Enhanced Tax Revenue Assessment and Collection System (E-TRACS), a system that automates the assessment and collection of taxes and puts subjective assessments aside and makes tax payment negotiations a thing of the past.   A primary highlight of the system is the elimination of subjective tax assessments because certain parameters are used, and in this case, the most objectionable to businessmen, the u

Invisible Guards

Sunday morning at the Tagbilaran airport, and flight was delayed.   I had the chance to talk to a student of mine who works in the airport for years now.   He brought my attention to this counter near the exit door of the check-in area   that has a wide sign bannering RA 8550 and a collection of pictures of seashells. RA 8550 is no stranger to me. My sister who is a marine biologist and foreshore management specialist is one of its staunchest advocates that even my mother would take extra care in buying fish as these may still be too young to be caught or are spawning or are taken from the sea by fishermen using fine mesh nets. The law provides, among other things, the reconstitution of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, the specification of allowable fishing in municipal waters, the power of the state to prescribe non-fishing seasons, and the participation of communities in monitoring of fishery laws. What the wide banner and the counter represents, is the effort o

When Good Service Turns Sour

  My mother is a fan of Lite Shipping. Travelling between Plaridel and Tagbilaran City when two vessels were still plying the route, she always prefers Lite Shipping over Palacio Shipping lines. Reasons? Many. Lite shipping is much cleaner. It is a newer sea craft than Palacio’s. Its crew are much more efficient. It always arrives earlier than the other boat, departing on time, and arriving much earlier. As she goes to Bohol to visit his favourite son every month (as there is no other), I always hear her good comments.   The fact that Lite Shipping’s vessel arrives at 10 in the evening in Tagbilaran from Plaridel after a short stop at Larena makes picking her up much bearable, as compared to Palacio’s that arrives at around 1 to 2 dawn.   This makes me love Lite Shipping too. My family (wife and two kids plus a nanny) went home to Calamba, Misamis Occidental, my hometown, to spend Christmas after almost two years of not being able to visit the place.   The last time we

Crime In (and outside) the News: Who holds the responsibility to protect?

I arrived in Tagbilaran after three weeks of academic theorizing on development and inequality at Brown University.  Several news, unpleasant ones, greeted me, over a breakfast of corned beef and rice.  There was new case of burglary with arson at Paz Pharmacy, located along Gallares Streets. The Bohol Chronicle reported, on its Wednesday edition (June 22), that the pattern was similar to what happened to B and J Computer in May this year. As I am writing this, I am facilitating a workshop in Naic, Cavite.  My wife called me, a few minutes ago that two of our neighbours experienced attempted cases of burglary, resulting to a loss of P1,000 to one of them. I shudder at the thought that Tagbilaran is no longer safe, as I still want to cling to the memory of a not so distant past when roaming the streets was not a problem at all, and robbery and burglary of this scale were never heard of. In 2011 alone, several alarming cases happened. In January, the church of Loboc was burglarized we

Bohol is still poor: is it good news or bad?

For the last three to five years we were made to believe that Bohol indeed leaped out of the poorest provinces. But a new presentation of NSCB , posted in their website in Feb 2011, showed that Bohol, along with Maguindanao, Masbate, Agusan del Sur, Zambo del Norte, Surigao del Norte, is consistently included in the bottom cluster of provinces in 2003, 2006, and 2009. How come this does not make it to the headlines? When I posted the above opening statement in Facebook and when I brought it up with my friends, I got different reactions, from the lyrical to the absurd.  Atty. John Titus Vistal of the Provincial Planning and Development Office called me up to say that this was a result of methods revision on the part of NSCB. PRMF Provincial Director Rosalinda Paredes emailed me and other interested parties regarding the need to bring the discussion up to the table again. One friend however, told me that this is good for Bohol as this becomes a justification for project proposals on an