Posts Tagged ‘Negros Occidental


In Gratitude to: Mrs. Remedios P. Bantug

Mrs. Remedios P. Bantug

Idiong Bantug in the town of Victorias is a symbol of generosity and great love. A matriarch in the truest sense of the word. She is loved by all. Every head bows to her in respect. An image of great power yet  humble in heart. A mother to everyone. She had touched many lives with her caring compassion and sincere concern for the welfare of others. She spent her life doing every good to everyone. A model and an icon. Her genuine passion to help and care for her less fortunate brethren is always transformed into action not just words and expressions. She is known for her involvement in social and civic activities even at an advanced age. She did not recognize boundaries and limits to be able to help the needy. Her people loved her so dearly.

Born from an aristocratic root, her grandfather donated the land where the town of Victorias stands today, Mrs. Bantug lived a life dedicated to public service both in and out of politics. She was Mayor for 3 years when she was 82 years old – – a record holding achievement. Her name is associated with the many charitable projects she had initiated. A very unique and admirable persona. A dear one to many who knew her.

With grandson Cong. Albee Benitez, brother Mayor Severo Palanca and former Mayor Remedios Bantug

With a grateful heart: Thank you and farewell Mrs. Bantug


You were a wonderful woman, a blessing to all

symbol of generosity, kindness and inspiration.

You are loved by all, young and old, rich or poor

A dearly respected by one and all


Your smile was magic, your ears heard every cry

Your wisdom and wit touched our soul

Helping others was constant to you

Making people’s lives improved by you


You spent a lifetime of dedication and service

You offered yourself to family and neighbors

The love you have taught us is treasured forever

In our hearts you will live eternal


A religious woman, so caring and gentle

always there to extend a helping hand to others.

In thousands many other ways,

you have touched our lives so greatly


Now that you are gone, our hearts mourn so deeply

But never the less we are happy

For the woman we love is home finally

To be reunited with our Lord Almighty.


Many things have been said, good things about you

Allow me these simple words that come from my heart directly

For the things that you have done and words that you said

For touching our lives and the love you have shared


With grateful heart I say to you

You will never be forgotten,

your memories will live

For you have a special place in me


Thank you Lola Idiong, and Farewell. . . .


Albee’s Sugar Act Bill on the Rise

Cong. Albee Benitez


Finally, our country’s sugar producing provinces including our very own Negros Occidental is poised to enjoy the most awaited sugar act bill. The Bill will surely help improve the industry which is the Province’s main source of livelihood for the majority of its people.


I keep my fingers crossed, but I trust that Congressman Albee Benitez, in collaboration with the sugar industry stakeholders and the SRA, will pave the way to solve the problems of the sugar industry with the passing of the proposed Bill.

Ma. Regina Martin-Bautista, SRA Administrator


Concerns like the high price of the locally produced sugar, the high productivity costs, the foreseen drop of tariffs on imports by 5% in 2014 and smuggling, must be considered.


Also the Congressman’s recent visit to Thailand, with Sugar Regulatory Administrator Ma. Regina Martin-Bautista and other Congressmen and concerned parties helped conceptualized the idea of coming up with new policies, structural support and reforms that can be imposed in the Philippines to ensure the stability of the Sugar Industry and make it globally competitive.


There are also some important bills that need to be looked upon like the excise tax on imported sugar and bills that will assist bio energy.


Im glad to hear that talks and consultations are being conducted to make sure all productive inputs are being considered so as not to miss important concerns. I just hope that while these talks are being held, likewise they never miss to discuss the interest of the sugarcane farmers who work in the field and are often left behind when it comes to ensuring their benefits and wages.

Sugarcane workers in the field


Having come from the same town, Albee is known for his sincere service, dedication and righteousness, this bill will benefit not just the sugar producers themselves but likewise its workers.




The kind of trouble, Merly Fortu got herself into

Vice Governor Genaro Alvarez and Governor Alfredo Maranon, during their Inaugaration.

Facing two administrative cases, namely, grave misconduct and gross insubordination, Negros Occidental Provincial Accountant Merly Fortu, a 30 year public office veteran has indeed put herself in hot water. Placing a possibility of getting dismissed from service,  on the first day in office of the new set of Provincial Officials, Merly Fortu allegedly acted with arrogance and discourtesy to the listening Governor, V-Governor, Members of the Provincial Board, The Provincial Treasurer and the Adminstrator in a conference called to thresh out problems with accounting and other financial operations of the provincial government. She appointed herself, Spokesperson, and challenged everyone present, with a raised and agitated voice, to just resort to court action, if they have any questions with regard to the accounting  and auditing rules, implemented by her office.

If this is true, it is quite a discourtesy, not only to your Chief Executive, but as well as to your Policy Making Body. In that aspect, Vice Governor Genaro Alvarez, whose original purpose in that meeting, was to find out solutions to problems concerning them and their operation, just did the right thing when he filed formal complaints, to address this issue. And also, on the part of the Provincial Board, when BM Melvin Ibanez, filed a resolution which was unanimously approved, condemning Fortu in the strongest terms possible for her “gross discourtesy in the course of official duty, tantamount to conduct unbecoming of a government employee, and/or grave misconduct. This action of the Board, is quite strong and almost an “overkill”, but  no one, including me, can question the sentiments expressed by the Board in that resolution, but only the Board, itself, for as long as it is done in the process of the within prescribed functions of the legislature, it is moot and academic.

Further, the words of Board Members Nehemias dela Cruz (1st District) and Joben Alonso (4th District), who were present during the meeting, who told media, it was really Fortu who shouted at them and that they said, they were insulted with the conduct of the provincial accountant, with Board Member dela Cruz, further saying, “We were like elementary pupils being scolded by our teacher…and that, there was arrogance on her part”, undeniably gave weight and substance, to the merits of the case.

The 1931 Provincial Capitol Building.

I agree, that the government employees, more than any ordinary citizens, should give the duly elected higher ranking officials, the due respect, they so deserved. If you, as a civil servant, respect the people, whom you are bound to give service to, so much so, should you respect the officials, that these people have chosen, to deliver the services they need from their government, of course, for as long as it is within the bounds of the law.

On the other hand, having known Merly Fortu for quite some while, like what  Governor Maranon had said, I am also super shocked. I did not know her to be arrogant, but strict and extra careful with government funds. During my term as a Board Member, whenever I have problems with the province’s accounting procedures, I would go to her and discuss my concerns, and she would gladly help me, and if it requires time to resolve, she would assign me to the next in rank Atty. Cabalatungan. In most cases, before I stand in the podium, to deliver my privelege speech, to address that issue, it is already resolved peacefully.

Sculpture on the northern end of the Capitol Lagoon. It depicts a man alongside a water buffalo.

Meanwhile, Fortu, who is currently temporarily suspended for sixty days without the benefit of setting in footsteps to her office and its nearby surroundings, while the case is in progress, and whose next hearing is set next week, July 27 or 28, through a “motion to inhibit” filed, believes, that Governor Maranon should inhibit himself and that the case should be referred to the Civil Service Commission, for hearing and adjudication.

My standpoint

Mabuhay Pinoy

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