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For some people, traveling would mean visiting different places and having a taste of other people's culture.

But for this group of friends from Manila, it is more than that. They seek and yearn for a more profound purpose of travelling which means giving back to the community and devoting time to help and promote humanity in the destinations they have chosen.

TAO Po which stands for Travelling hearts Advocacy Outdoor Po is a group of backpackers, nature lovers and spiritual seekers who love outdoor adventures, at the same time share the same credo of sharing their blessings.

This group is one among those who advocate voluntourism which is becoming the new trend in the Philippines, but these are not widely publicized and are unheard of.

Basically, voluntourism was coined from a combination of two words- volunteerism and tourism. The scenario is like this - local travelers organize an outreach program in a selected barangay in a province where they chose to visit. For the remaining days of the trip, they explore and visit tourist attractions.

These events are normally Kanya-Kanyang Bayad (KKB); thus, volunteers who would like to join are expected to shoulder their accommodation, food and transportation.

Sharing your blessings
Prior to the TAO Po’s visit, Vevey coordinated with the Bontoc municipal government through Elizabeth S. Farnican from the Municipal Tourism Office to look for a barangay where the group can visit and share gifts before they will proceed to their travel itineraries on June 2, 2018. The latter with the nod of Bontoc Mayor Franklin C. Odsey has identified Barangay Caneo as the recipient-community.

From the money they solicited from their colleagues and friends in Manila, and the collection shelled out from their pockets; Vevey together with her friends were able to buy bags, notebooks, pad papers, pencils, ball pens, sharpeners, erasers, boxes of crayon, coloring books, oral hygiene kits, tape measures and scissors.

54 pupils from Can-eo Elementary School and 34 from Chapyosen Elementary School were given five pieces of notebooks, two pieces of pad papers, five pieces of pencils, two pieces of ball pens, one sharpener, one eraser, one box of crayon, two coloring books, one toothbrush and two sachets of tooth paste.

The tape measures were distributed to the weavers in the barangay while the scissors were given to the teachers.

A mother whom the writer has the chance to share pleasantries expressed her profound gratitude and happiness saying that the visit of the group was timely. With the items donated by the visitors, she was saved from buying school materials for her children whose first day of class starts in June 4.

It may be little, but for the grateful receivers, it is more than enough.

Sharing the fun in games
In a small community where people are busy tending their rice fields, male working on odd jobs (pordiya, pakyaw or kontrata) and women spending the whole day weaving and doing household chores; spending quality time with their children during weekends is not a common practice.

For one day, this routine was changed when the TAO Po visited Caneo. Mothers and fathers rest from the back-aching labor in their rice field, male laid down their working tools and women momentarily stopped weaving.

The group introduced parlor games to include the “Longest Line” and “Trip to Jerusalem”. It was not the first time that the pupils have heard and played these games, but these are not played every day. Thus, everyone was eager to join and even think of tactics on how to win.

The “Trip to Jerusalem” became more interesting and overwhelming when mothers were included in the game.

The laughter of children and their shouts of excitement as they played the “Longest Line” and “Trip to Jerusalem” were music in the ears of the parents, visitors and teachers.

As voiced out by one of the mothers, not to work for a day to play with her child, see him laugh and shout in excitement is not a waste of time and money for the day. To this mother, it was priceless. A cherished experience of her child that money cannot buy.

A continuing journey
Caneo is one of the different places in the country that the group has reached out. To them, it is innate in human’s nature to be compassionate to those who need it.

From the blessings that they have and enjoy, and from the money they spend in travelling to visit different beautiful places; they know that there are others who have been denied of this opportunities.

To them, the sense of fulfillment in all their travels is imperfect, without giving and sharing their blessings to the less-fortunate. It was the joy on the faces of the villagers and their simple words of “Thank You” that made their travel in Mountain Province a perfect get-away from the hustle and bustle of the city where they came from. //Alpine L. Killa, Bontoc – LGU


Sangguniang Bayan Ordinances

2014 Ordinances

No. 249. An ordinance creating the business permit and Licensing Section under the office of the Municipal Mayor and transferring the existing position of Licensing Officer I, from the office of the Municipal treasurer to man the new section upon creation.pdf

No. 248. An ordinance abolishing the existing vacant plantilla position, Revenue Collection Officer I, SG-11 and the creation of two (2) Local Revenue Collection Clerk I, SG-5.pdf

No. 247. An ordinance realigning the five thousand pesos (P 5,000.00) from communication expense fund of two (2) Personnel of the Engineering Office (Resolution No. 623, s. 2014) - to payment of lot rental of the Bontoc waterworks reservoir at Balabag, Talubin.pdf

No. 245. An ordinance creating the persons with disabilities affairs office of the Municipal Local Government unit of Bontoc, Mountain Province.pdf

No. 244. An Ordinance realigning the ten thousand pesos (Php. 10,000.00) from repair of office equipment (Account code 821) of the Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office of CY 2014 Municipal Annual budget - to purchase of one (1) set printer with continous ink flow of the same office..pdf

No. 243. An ordinance repealing Ordinance No. 238 s. 2014 dated July 14, 2014 of the Sangguniang Bayan of this municipality.pdf

No. 242. An ordinance creating various positions in the Municipal plantilla of this Municipality and providing the corresponding salary grade thereof.pdf

No. 240. An ordinance to transfer the position of Administrative Aide III (Driver I) from the office of the vice mayor to the office of the municipal mayor, and the position of administrative aide I (Utility worker I) from the accounting office to the office of the Municipal planning and development office (MPDO).pdf

No. 239. An ordinance realigning various office appropriations in the 2014 Bontoc Municipal annual budget.pdf

No. 238. An ordinance realigning appropriations / funds in the non-office portion of the 2014 Municipal Annual budget - to capital outlay requirement, specified herein below.pdf

No. 237. An ordinance amending Section III (1) on Senior Citizens Special day and Section V (b) - funding of Ordinance No. 144-A, s. 2009 otherwise known as "An ordinance declaring every 1st Monday of October of each as a Senior  Citizens day and act as Senior  Citizens officer for a day (SCOFAD) for the Elective positions in the Municipality of Bontoc and providing incentive thereof.".pdf

No. 236. An ordinance establishing the Bontoc Business Task Force, its composition and defining its powers, functions and procedures.pdf

No. 235. An ordinance realigning MOOE funds to capital outlay, of the Sangguniang Bayan Office.pdf

No. 234. n ordinance realigning /reappropriating funds in the amount of P 127,250.08 from the balance of item No. 9000-10-1 counterpart for INREMP / PRDP of the cy 2014 Municipal AIP for various programs of this municipality.pdf

No. 233. An ordinance authorizing the proposed borrowing of the Municipality of Bontoc, in the amount of eighty million pesos (P 80,000,000.00) to fund the construction of the municipal multi-purpose building (P75,000,000.00) and to fund the rehabilitation of the Bontoc waterworks system (P 5,000,000.00).pdf

No. 232. An ordinance converting the Clerk III, SG-6 position in the office of the Sangguniang Bayan, to Local legislative Staff Assistant I, SG-6, same office.pdf

No. 231. An ordinance abolishing the existing vacant plantilla position Agricultural Technologist, SG-10 and creating the positions of farm foreman, SG-6 and farm worker, SG-4 of the Municipal Agricultural Office.pdf

No. 229. An ordinance realigning P 255,000.00 from the P 1,500,000.00 reallocation / reorganization fund under the Non-Office appropriations in the 2014 Municipal Annual Budget - representation and transportation allowance of the ABC President and IP Representative in the Sangguniang Bayan.pdf

2013 Ordinances

No. 225. Authorizing the reappropriation of fifty thousand pesos (P 50,000.00) from veteran's aid allocation (Code 3000.1.2) of cy 2013 Municipal AIP to improvement of veterans park located beside the justice hall, Poblacion, Bontoc.pdf

No. 224. Authorizing the appropriation of two hundred sixty two thousand pesos (P 262,000.00 from the Engineering surcharges from various implemented programs/projects of this municipality.pdf

No. 223. Realigning 2013 Municipal fund allocation of the Bureau of Fire Protection, from training of fire brigade - P 30,000.00 (Account code 753) and repair and maintenance of the fire truck - P 25,180.00 (Account Code 841) for a total amount of P 55,180.00 - to renovation of comfort room and concreting of the partition of the fire truck garage and kitchen.pdf

No. 222. Amending certain provisions of Municipal tax ordinance no. 2012-176 otherwise known as the 2012 Revised Revenue code of Bontoc, Mountain Province.pdf

No. 220. Authorizing the realignment of fund allocations from prisoners mess - P 15,000.00 and training fund P 30,000.00 for a total of P 45,000.00 of calendar year 2013 budget of the Bontoc Municipal Police station and appropriating to purchase of office equipments of the same office.pdf

No. 219. An ordinance realigning the P 120,000.00 intended for repair / maintenance of office equipment / furniture /IT equipment under the 2013 annual budget and the unencumbered fund for 5% surcharge in the amount of P 65,000.00 to augment the amount of P 120,000.00 for a total amount of P 185,000.00 for the repair of the Engineering office (MEO).pdf

No. 217. Institutionalizing the student financial assistance program of Bontoc, Mountain Province.pdf

No. 213. Amending the tricycle fare amounts mandated under section 1(a) and Section 2 of Municipal Ordinance No. 128, s. 2008, and for other purposes.pdf

No. 212. Prohibiting the use of non biodegradable plastic bags on dry goods and wet goods and prohibiting the use of styro foam within the municipality of Bontoc.pdf

No. 211. Repealing Ordinance No. 120, s. 2008, and amending sections 3 and 4 of Ordinance No. 103, s. 2006.pdf

No. 210. Realigning the amount of three hundred thousand pesos (P 300,000.00) from Electricity Expense (Code 767) - P 245,000.00, League fund (Code 778) - P 5,000.00 and IEC Tax campaign (Code 969) - P 50,000.00 of CY 2013 Budget of the Municipal treasury office - to publication and printing of Municipal Tax Ordinance of Bontoc, Mountain Province.pdf

No. 208. Realigning funds from various projects/programs f the 20% Municipal Development fund, office supplies and maintenance of motor vehicle of fiscal year 2013 budget for various programs of this Municipality.pdf

No. 205. Realigning the amount of two hundred thousand pesos (P200,000.00) from Legislative research and other programs, vice mayor's office ( code 969, b Regular budget 2013) to 1) improvement of Ledlecha ato, Talubin (P150,000.00) and 2). Improvement of Gonogon Elementary School kitchen and public toilet (P 50,000.00).pdf

No. 204. Realigning the amount of fifty thousand pesos (P50,000.00) from training expenses, vice mayor's office (code # 753, regular budget 2013) to health programs of the same office.pdf

No. 203. Realigning the amount of two hundred thousand pesos (P 200,000.00) from improvement of Ledlecha ato / IP hall, Talubin (AIP code 90000.1.15 regular budget 2013) to environmental programs of the vice mayor's office.pdf

No. 202. Realigning the amount of P 100,000.00 from Pakil communal irrigation system, Talubin (AIP Code 90000.2.4, regular budget 2013) to improvement of Pakil pathway, Talubin.pdf

No. 201. Realigning the amount of P 100,000.00 from Arngo-ong waiting shed (AIP Code 90000.1.9, regular budget 2013) to construction of barangay Bontoc Ili Multi purpose hall water tank and septic tank.pdf

No. 199. Realigning appropriations in the Bontoc Municipal AIP, CY 2012 and CY - 2013.pdf

No. 198. Realigning the amount of P 75,000.00 from Legislative Research and other programs, regular budget 2013 to various programs / projects.pdf

No. 197. Realigning the amount of P 250,000.00 from regular budget 2013, code 9000.6.9 (Foy-o drainage pathway) to various projects.pdf

No. 195. An ordinance realigning the amount of P 8,000.00 from ordinance no. 185, s. 2012, section 2, letter c (mushroom production counterpart) to Lanao Day Care materials.pdf

No. 194. Amending section 1, item (b) of ordinance no. 188 s. 2012 of this LGU by replacing the words "Sarok waterworks" therein to " Maligcong waterworks.pdf

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