Solon slams Ched of bias in CAR director’s appointment

>> Thursday, December 8, 2016

By Erlindo Agwilang Jr.

MOUNTAIN PROVINCE Rep. Maximo B. Dalog slammed the Commission on Higher Education for not appointing a full-time regional director for its regional office in the Cordillera Administrative Region saying a Cordilleran should head it.
During the congressional hearing of the committee on higher and technical education at the House of Representatives Monday, the congressman aired concern after learning that the Ched detailed Dr. Romulo H. Malvar as current officer-in-charge of Ched-CAR when he does not obtain regular salary of a director but receives it from Marinduque State College as employee of said institution.
In the same hearing Dalog inquired whether or not the salaries of regional directors were incorporated in CHED’s proposed budget under personnel services.
Commissioner Ruperto S. Sangalang affirmed this but said in the case of the salary of the current director for region CAR, he is indeed receiving his income from the office where he comes from which is the MSC.
Dalog asked why Ched cannot assign a regular director when there are a lot of Cordillerans qualified enough to manage the affairs of the Ched regional office.
“I think this is yet another form of historical bias against us Cordillerans. Why can’t you assign a full-time regional director? Don’t we deserve it?,” he added.
He also cited Administrative Order 36 issued by the late President Corazon C. Aquino giving preference to qualified natives of the Cordillera in appointment of regional directors.
Section 2 states, “In keeping with the spirit and intent of Executive Order 220, preference shall be given to qualified natives of the Cordillera in the appointment of the regional directors and their staff.”
He then asked the committee and Ched that CAR should already be assigned a full-fledged director by taking into consideration AO 36.
In an interview, the veteran lawmaker said Ched and the national government “should look more kindly upon us, Cordillerans as we feel that in this particular case, we are being treated like second class citizens of this country.”
In related developments, the house committee also tackled several measures seeking to extend the period of compliance of Ched’s requirements for state colleges applying for university status.
This includes the Mountain Province State Polytechnic College in the capital town of Bontoc ,whose submission and compliance had lapsed last January.
Committee members unanimously agreed that a “uniform” date to comply with the requirements for all applicant-state colleges will be in effect by year 2021.


City council signifies support to Baguio IPMR

By March L. Fianza

BAGUIO CITY – City councilors of this summer capital indicated last week their support to the position of the Indigenous Peoples Mandatory Representative (IPMR) in the legislative body and in barangay councils by clarifying issues relative to a proposed ordinance allocating the budget for the office that will be occupied soon.  
           Cordillera tribal members who are leaders and elders in their associations, along with officials of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples clarified questions fielded by the councilors as they reiterated their full support to the IPMR who was chosen in a selection process last November 4, 2016.
Former school teacher and Pinsao barangay chairman Roger D. SinotSr, the great grandson of Piraso (one name), one of the original Ibaloy settlers of the Kafagway area (Baguio) was selected from among five nominees by an IP assembly consisting of Ibaloy, Kankanaey and Kalanguya tribal members residing in the city of Baguio.  
             Former NCIP commission chair Pawid who introduced herself as “ZenaidaCarinoMacli-ing Hamada Pawid”, a descendant of the early Kafagway chieftain Mateo Cariño, urged the council to assert their “power of the purse” function, as it has been a long wait for the IPs in Baguio to have a representative in the legislative body.
Incidentally in a meeting outside the city council, councilor Peter C. Fianza, also a descendant of Mateo Carino, said there is no problem with the council in appropriating the budget of the IPMR as to his salary, office supplies and staff as this is mandated by law.
On the contrary, there were some allegations that the budget department under the mayor’s office had stated that the money available was only for the honorarium of the IPMR and none for his office and staff, which is contrary to the “power of the purse” function of the City Council.
Councilor Art Alladiw, the proponent of the ordinance said, failing to make available the necessary budget as provided in an ordinance is against the law and runs contrary to the provisions of the local government code and the implementing rules of the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act.  
             In the council, there were questions as to how the selection of the IPMR was conducted even while councilor Fianza believed that this does not need to be discussed in the legislative body as this concerns the NCIP.
Councilors Leandro Yangot, Edgar Avila, Joel Alangsab, Michael Lawana and Benny Bomogao fielded their questions as Vice Mayor Edison Bilog listened attentively.
Councilor Faustino Olowan, chair of the Committee on Laws observed that there was opposition to the selection process even while the chosen IPMR has yet to occupy his seat in the council.
But Atty. Harriet Nazarro-Abyadang of the NCIP Baguio Office explained that the process followed the local and national guidelines that were ratified and signed by the plenary and assembly of Baguio Ibaloys, Kankanaeys and Kalanguya. No exclusion of groups was done as there were rules to follow.
A couple of self-styled oppositors said they were stating a “little complaint” because the term-sharing scheme in serving as IPMR is not clear in the guidelines that was ratified by the assembly.
But this statement was frowned upon by those who were invited to the council as this was a shift to a position that was entirely different from what they stated in the letter-petition that they submitted to the offices of the mayor, vice mayor, DILG and NCIP.
Among those invited to the council were Cordillera People’s Alliance vice chair  JillCarino and Kathleen Okubo, great granddaughters of Kafagway Chieftain Mateo Carino, and Evelyn Afidchao Miranda of Mountain Province.
The group reiterated in the City Council their appreciation to the IP migrants in Baguio City for issuing a resolution that pushed and expressed support for the Ibaloys to sit as IPMR in the council, in recognition of the original inhabitants of Baguio.
Former Punong Barangay and Happy Hallow elders Joseph Sacley and Soriano Palonan also supported the selection process and wished the city council passed the proposed ordinance.
The Baguio IP migrants’ resolution was signed during the Cordillera Elders Assembly held last August 29-30, 2016 at the Benguet State University by around 160 participants from the different provinces.
Participants included the Cordillera Tribal Elders and Leaders represented by Ms. Miranda, consisting of personalities from Benguet, Mountain Province and Kalinga.
The workshop was held in collaboration with the CPA, National Economic and Development Authority - CAR, University of the Philippines Baguio and the Cordillera Administrative Region Association of State Universities and Colleges (CARASUC).
The resolution called on the NCIP to support the selection of the IPMR for Baguio City through a process determined by the Ibaloy and to certify that the tribal member is the duly selected IPMR for Baguio City.
             It also called on the City Council to pass a resolution supporting the selection process as determined by the Ibaloys and to pass a city ordinance appropriating the necessary funds for the IPMR to sit in the City Council.
             Mateo Cariño was the Ibaloy chieftain who sued the American government in the early 1900s for occupying his land illegally and deceptively.
He won his case in court that led to the recognition of the “native title”. The court ruling is popularly known as the Cariño doctrine.
The landmark ruling by American Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes acknowledged the Native Title which ruled that “lands that were originally occupied in private capacity since time immemorial never became public lands.”
The Baguio area has never been “public” as there were Ibaloy occupants even prior to the arrival of the Spaniards, later the Americans.

Justice Holmes’ recognition of the Native Title based on the situation of ancestral lands in Baguio eventually led to the crafting of the IPRA in 1997. – March Fianza


Man shot dead in Tabuk; slays up

TABUK CITY, Kalinga – Shootings have alarmingly risen in this city latest of whom was a man who was shot Nov. 30 around 10 p.m. here at Dagupan West.
Police identified the victim as Roberto Quejada Occidental, 49, resident of said place who was shot by unidentified suspect wearing black jacket and brown bonet.
Investigation disclosed that according to a neighbor of the victim, Occidental was their house answering a phone call when the suspect approached him and shot him twice but the victim managed to go inside the house.
The gunman followed and shot him several times. Victim was brought to St. Jude Clinic but was transferred to Kalinga Provincial Hospital by Disaster personnel where he was pronounced dead on arrival by the attending physician.
Cops found seven empty shells and one slug for Cal .45 in crime site.


Batac City takes tourism dip after Marcos burial

By Jennifer T. Pambid

BATAC CITY, Ilocos Norte -- New tourism developments are being planned by the provincial and city governments to make Batac a ‘city of parks’ in Ilocos Norte.
This, after this city took a dip in tourist arrivals following the burial of former President Marcos.
The mausoleum where the body of the former President lain in state was visited daily by tourists before his burial.  
Following this, Gov. Imee Marcos, the late strongman’s daughter said conceptual plans said Batac would be transformed into a park city promoting environmental sustainability.
 “Ang siyudad ng Batac City, may planong maging ‘park city’ at ipagkakabit-kabit ang pitong parke mulas a (Mariano Marcos State University) lagoon, Aglipay Park, Marcos Park hanggang plaza sasentro, tuhog sa Ricarte Park, papuntang Billoca lake at abot pa sa San Pedro eco-park,” she announced.
 Ilocos Norte Tourism officer Aianree Raquel said “Batac is envisioned to be a city with most number of parks and the widest public spaces.”
 The Ferdinand E. Marcos Presidential Center in Batac remains top destination in the province for local and foreign tourists.
As the transfer of the remains of the former president at Libingan ng mga Bayani is being planned, the redevelopment and expansion of Batac City center will provide new attractions and further boost tourism in Ilocos Norte, Raquel said.
 “We’re very confident that tourist influx in Batac City will continue with these new development efforts.”
 The overall theme of the plan is “heroic Ilocanos,” a celebration of the heroic tradition of Ilocanos featuring famous and outstanding Bataqueños.
 Regarded as the ‘Home of great leaders,’ Batac City is the hometown of significant heroic figures including former President Marcos; Gregorio Aglipay, the founder of the Philippine Independent Church; and Gen. ArtemioRicarte, the Father of the Philippine Army.
 The initiative is part of Gov. Marcos’ call to make Ilocos Norte “livable, sustainable and resilient” by creating more public spaces where Ilocanos can exercise their creativity while upholding their own culture.
 Marcos said public domain such as town plazas, beach and lake fronts, terminals, bars and restaurants are places where “we congregate and form social capital, volunteer associations, and bind friendships.”


8 non-voting gov’t agencies included in Cordillera RDC

By Dexter A. See

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – The Cordillera Regional Development Council approved a resolution confirming eight special non-voting members in the region’s policy-making body for 2016-2019 during its fourth quarter meeting held in the conference room of the Benguet AgriPinoy Traappoding Center here recently.
The resolution stated the RDC-CAR recognizes the critical roles that the confirmed non-voting special members play in the region’s policy-making body, thus, the need for their participation in the succeeding meetings of the body.
Earlier, the RDC-CAR executive committee reviewed and endorsed list of government organizations which passed the assessment.
The eight government agencies that were confirmed as special non-voting members of the RDC-CAR were the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), Environmental Management Bureau (EMB), National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), National Irrigation Administration (NIA), Philippine National Police (PNP), Office of Civil Defense (OCD), Commission on Human Rights (CHR) and the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA).
Pursuant to provisions of Executive Order (EO) No. 325, the RDC-CAR may designate special nonvoting members in the council subject to the concurrence of the majority of its regular members.
Under the resolution, it is the State’s policy to have extensive and active public participation and support of government and the private sector at all levels and to operationalize this, the RDC-CAR deems it necessary to have special non-voting members in the region’s policymaking body from among government agencies and private sector organizations whose mandated roles are very critical, but are not yet being served by existing RDC members.
Section 2 of Executive Order No. 30 which created the RDC-Cordillera Administrative Region states the council shall be composed of regular and special members with the designation of special non-voting members subject to  concurrence of majority of all its members.
Milagros Rimando, regional director of the National Economic Development Authority in the Cordillera and RDC-CAR vice chairperson, said the nominees of the different sectors were subjected to assessment using an assessment tool patterned after the requirements pursuant to RDC-CAR Resolution No. 37, series of 2013.
On the other hand, Rimando said the RDC-CAR is considering nomination of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry–Cordillera as a special non-voting member representing the private sector because the chamber of commerce has a wide array of network related to the region’s economy vis-à-vis the national scene and even the international economic indicators.

The confirmed special non-voting members are expected to attend meetings of the RDC-CAR to help in analyzing and assessing programs of  government being implemented in the different parts of the region the coming years.


X’mas bazaar for Miss Universe visit approved

By Dexter A. See 

BAGUIO CITY – The city council approved the request of the Hotel and Restaurant Association of Baguio (HRAB) for a month-long Christmas bazaar from Dec. 1 to Jan.1 to generate funds for expenses to be incurred during the visit of some 24 beauty contestants of the Miss Universe beauty pageant to our city on January 18, 2016.
The grant of the request of the HRAB to hold the Christmas fair at the Melvin Jones grandstand was anchored on the fact that the city government is one of co-sponsors of the 24-hour visit of the Miss Universe contestants to the city, a once-in-a-lifetime event and that the funds generated bazaar will be used for the said visit as the local government will no longer shell out funds for the hosting of the beauty contestants.
However, HRAB will still be required to submit a detailed project proposal to the local government for this bazaar, guarantee the cleanliness and orderliness within the football grounds during the duration of the event, the theme of the bazaar should be Christmas in time for the celebration of the Yuletide season, restore the damaged portions of the football grounds after the bazaar, submit a financial report after the event and guarantee that the funds to be generated will be used for the hosting of the Miss Universe contestants to the city.
Andrew Pinero, HRAB media officer, reported organizers will be submitting to the local government the design of the stalls, program of activities, layout of stalls, among others, for review of local officials.
Last week, Anthony de Leon, HRAB president, and Ramon Cabrera, HRAB treasurer, were in Manila to sign the contract for the planned visit coupled with the initial payment of P7 million as down payment for required fees to Miss Universe organizers.
Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan endorsed the request of HRAB to the local legislative body for approval considering urgency of the matter as time is too close and for the local government to have a stake in the visit of the Miss Universe contestants to the city.
The council unanimously voted in favor of the request of the Mayor allowing the HRAB to conduct the Christmas bazaar.

The council expressed confidence that the locals will understand that the council approved this HRAB Christmas bazaar as the city’s contribution to the visit of the Miss Universe contestants without spending public funds.


Dalog wants ‘Igorots are not Filipinos’ tag in Romulo book checked

By Wabilyn Lomong-oy and Roger Sacyaten

BONTOC, Mountain Province – Igorots are not Filipinos!
That was the ascription of a once venerable Filipino for the tribal people of the Cordillera in a book that up to now remains not corrected.
In an attempt to rectify the statement of the late Minister Carlos P. Romulo against the Igorot people, Rep. Maximo  Dalog wrote a letter to the National Historical Commission of the Philippines requesting correction of the erroneous historical account stating that Igorots are not Filipinos.
Dalog, in his letter dated Nov. 21 told the NHCP in 1945, the late Minister wrote a copyrighted book entitled “Mother America, a Living Story of Democracy” where he stated that Igorots are not Filipinos and referred to accordingly “as one recurrent source of annoyance.”
The reviled statement is contained in page 59 of the book. Specifically, it states, “The fact remains that the Igorot is not Filipino and we are not related. "
The said writing prompted the late lawyer Alfredo Lam-en, who was then the Congressman of the 1st District of the Old Mountain Province to deliver a privilege speech at the House of Representatives garbed in indigenous Igorot G-String.
He denounced Romulo for the inaccurate and false account in Philippine History.
Igorot people and students from the Cordillera protested and led burning of said books of the late Minister.
Ever since, nothing was done to rectify the erroneous account. Not even the protests of the Igorot people led to the correction of the misnomer.
But this time, Republic Act No. 10086 provided this mechanism to determine and correct the factual matters relating to Philippine history and stated specifically under Sec. 5 (e) “to actively engage in the settlement or resolution of controversies or issues relative to historical personages, places, dates and events” and to (p) conduct public hearings and ocular inspections or initiate factual investigations with respect to  disputed historical issues for the purpose of declaring official historical dates, places, personages, and events”, thus the request for correction by Rep. Dalog was made.
The same Act mandates the NHCP as the primary government agency responsible for history and has the authority to determine all factual matters relating to official Philippine history.
Dalog said the late Minister was a distinguished and well-respected soldier, statesman, diplomat, journalist and author.
He added, Romulo has secured a well-deserved exalted place in the pantheon of Philippine statesmen, but his views on the Igorots earlier cited were misleading.
The congressman said Igorots should be given merit and distinction for it was through their efforts and resisting the colonization of Spain that made them preserve their original culture and tradition. This original culture and tradition could have been the culture and tradition of the entire Filipino nation had it not been disrupted by the colonizing Spaniards.
 “Instead of treating the Igorots in a different and annoying way, they should be thanked and merited upon for preserving the original culture and tradition of the Filipino people for the culture and tradition which the Filipino people now know are the cultures and traditions left by Spain,” the letter said.
Dalog urged the NHCP to make the necessary rectification in the historical accounts of the late Minister Romulo by making an official declaration that Igorots are Filipinos for they have descended from the same race from which the entire Filipino people descended from.
He requested that the erroneous statements in the book must be ordered deleted and/or that necessary measures to reflect the correction of the erroneous accounts be put in place.
People of Mountain Province and parts of northern Benguet call themselves Igorots.
It was learned that the NHCP will act on the matter during the monthly meeting scheduled this month in the presence of the commissioners and in an en banc session.
However, it was not known whether the recent resignation of the chairperson of the NHCP and another Commissioner will affect the resolution of the matter.

NHCP Chairperson Maria Serena Diokno and the Commissioner resigned their posts as protest over recent controversial burial of Former President Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.



Lawin victims get P135.2-M shelter aid
The Department of Social Welfare and Development has provided P135.2 million in assistance to over 27,000 families whose homes were destroyed by Typhoon Lawin.
Under the DSWD’s emergency shelter cash assistance project, victims get an initial P5,000 in aid.
The DSWD said it is targeting 271,164  families whose homes were either destroyed or damaged by the typhoon.
Secretary Judy Taguiwalo said the DSWD would release P730,522,090 to 146,104 households in the next few weeks.
“The affected families can immediately repair their houses and facilitate their recovery from the damage caused by Typhoon Lawin,” Taguiwalo said.   

Landslide forces road closure in Santa Praxedes
STA. PRAXEDES, Cagayan – A landslide rendered both lanes of the national road in Barangay San Juan, Santa Praxedes town in Cagayan province impassable Monday morning, the Department of Public Works and Highways Region 2 office, here, reported.
Closed to traffic was the Manila North Road at Kilometer (Km) 591+400 in Barangay San Juan, Sta. Praxedes, said DPWH RO2 Public Information Officer Wilson Valdez.
Valdez said heavy equipment and personnel have already been deployed for clearing operations.
Meanwhile, Valdez also warned motorists against flooded road sections at Km 604+900-Km 605+200 in Barangay Kilkiling, Claveria, Cagayan. – Liezle BasaIñigo

Baguio posts 82% passing rate in 2016 A&E exam
BAGUIO CITY- - The Department of Education – Alternative Learning System(ALS) Baguio Division again registered the highest passing rate in the April 17 Accreditation and Equivalency examination in the region  with an average of 82.78 percent for the elementary and secondary levels.
ALS Baguio Education program supervisor Arthur Tiongan said 42 out of their 45 (93.33%) examinees for the   elementary level while 410 out of the 501 takers in the secondary level passed the exam.
Passers include eight of nine examinees from the Baguio City Jail.
 Ifugao was second with a passing rate of 62.44% with 11 out of the 24 examinees in elementary and 732 out of the 1166 in high school passing the exam.
Mountain Province followed at third with 58.92% passing mark with 13 out 39 in the elem.  level and 357 out of 589 in the high school level making it.
Abra and Benguet followed closely with 57.58 and 57.16%, respectively, then Apayao at 43.05%, and Kalinga at 27.25%.  The Schools Division of Tabuk City registered 36.49% passing rate.
Overall, there are 130 elementary passers and 5,906 high school level passers in the region.
Tiongan explained these A & E passers will get their DepEd elementary and high school diplomas equivalent to those who finished basic education and can enroll in higher level.
ALS A&E test is a paper and pencil examination designed to measure the competencies of those who have neither attended nor finished elementary or secondary education in the formal school system. Passers are given a DepEd certificate/diploma certifying their competencies as comparable graduates of the formal school system
“Those who passed the elementary level can now go to high school, while those who passed the secondary can either take technical – vocation education or college courses”, he  said.  -- Carlito Dar

1 dead, 24 hurt in Mangaldan mishap
MANGALDAN, Pangasinan — A vehicular crash resulted in violent death of a female passenger of a jeepney that rammed into a concrete fence here on Nov. 27.
Supt. Jeff   Fanged, acting police chief of Mangaldan, said one Mylene de Vera was killed when the passenger jeepney she was in rammed into a concrete fence at the end of a zigzag road in Barangay Amansabina around 4:30 p.m.
Twenty-four other occupants of the jeepney, including the driver Sandrom Correa, were injured in the accident that happened after they all came from a family outing at San Fabian Beach in San Fabian town, Pangasinan. -- Liezle BasaIñigo

CCTV cameras  installed in Kalinga’s main road 
TABUK CITY, Kalinga -- The city-government had installed closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras along the provincial road leading to the city proper in a bid to strengthen its anti-criminality and traffic management efforts.
City Public Order and Safety Officer (POSO) DionisioFalgui III informed there are 15 CCTV units installed at strategic points of the 7-kilometer road to help in the solution of cases, mostly traffic-related, that usually occur in the area. 
The CCTVs are operational under two centralized monitoring stations at the police provincial command and city POSO.
Falgui disclosed that the city government has approved an additional fund for the extension of the project to cover the entire stretch of the road up to the farthest barangay in Balong.
He also revealed the plan to install CCTV cameras near schools.
Police intelligence reports indicated that drug pushers are targeting schools in their illegal trade.
Other sites in the city earlier installed with CCTVs include public markets, landmarks, PNP compact posts, city hall compound and other crowded areas. 
In a related report, the provincial government recently held the blessing of the four-lane improvement project of the provincial road.  
Funds used for the project constructed in phases came from the province’s cash incentives on the Seal of Good Local Governance Award from the Department of Interior and Local Government for three years. --      Larry T. Lopez

La Union power rates going down
SAN FERNANDO CITY, La Union  – Electricity rates in La Union have gone down by P1.50 per kilowatt-hour (kwh) and are expected to decrease by another 20 centavos.
Bernardo Valero, La Union Electric Co. (Lueco). general manager, said rates dropped to P4.38 per kwh since August.
“Generation cost is now at P4.38. By next month, we expect that it will go down to P4.20,” Valero said.
He said the decrease is due to the adequate supply of electricity.
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“There are a lot of electric companies… There is an ample supply to serve as back up in cases of emergency,” he said.
Valero said Lueco is getting its supply from the Sual power plant, which generates up to 12 million kwh per month. – Jun Elias 

Ifugaos sustain traditional forest management system
LAGAWE, Ifugao – This age when technology has invaded all aspects of life, Ifugaos are proud of still practicing the muyong, the traditional way of preserving the forest.
The “muyong” system   revolves around the concept of protecting the forest as watershed and preserving its flora and fauna, its wildlife and keeping the ecological balance. 
It is a private or clan-owned woodlot, which serves as a “forest zone where people can gather firewood and lumber for their house-building needs through selective harvesting.
The ‘muyong’ is one of Ifugao’s living tradition that is passed from generation to generation,” he said.
The vital water systems that irrigate the province’s famed rice terraces come from watersheds and headwaters, which traditionally have been maintained through the muyong approach.
Local officials said the muyong system should be replicated in other parts of the country as a solution to water shortage, floods, landslides that kill thousands of people every year. -- JDP/JBZ

Pangasinan’s Casa Real restoration on as museum
LINGAYEN, Pangasinan -- The restoration of the province’s  260-year-old Casa Real here into a museum is nearing the final stage of completion, the Department of Public Works and Highways said.
The DPWH said the first and second phases were already implemented together with the Department of Tourism to the tune of P35 million.
DPWH region 1 director DaniloDequito said phase 2 of the rehabilitation covers concrete beam and slab, masonry walls, roofing system and ceiling works, electrical works including installation generator set and power house, and office furniture.
The building is also retrofitted with high-definition screen and audio system, security cameras and plumbing works including cistern tank and fire sprinkler system.
An additional P50 million will be spent for the third and final phase which will take place soon, DPWH said.
“What was long been abandoned will soon be home of artifacts with significance to Pangasinan’s rich history and cultural heritage,” said Dequito.
Casa Real is one of Lingayen’s oldest public buildings that once served as Pangasinan’s seat of government during the Spanish occupation.
It was devastated during World War II.
In 2008, typhoon Cosme ripped off the building’s roof, and it has since been abandoned until restoration plans were successfully proposed. -- Argyll Cyrus Geducos

Tabuk City shifts to high-tech waste management system
TABUK CITY, Kalinga- - This city is now going high tech in its waste management system.
The local government unit   has shifted to Technology for Waste Diversion Facility and installed a granulator “Markell” machine for the processing of bio and non-bio waste materials at its Dilag open dump site in Sitio Bayabay this city.
SaludLammawin, City Environment and Natural Resources Officer, said the machine worth P6.5 million will reduce the garbage disposed at the site. She said the supplier has already conducted training on the operation of the diesel fuel-run waste processing equipment.
Other facilities currently being constructed in the area are a materials recovery facility (MRF) and a composting unit amounting to P1 million and P500, 000.00, funded respectively by the LGU.
The installation of these facilities is in compliance with the provisions of Republic Act 9003 known as the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000.
 Lammawin  also bared  rehabilitation of   dump site is underway with the  city government  providing P3 million funding for the first quarter this year particularly for  initial perimeter fencing, leachate pond, high density polyethylene (HDPE) liner, retaining wall,  guard house, gate, billboard, and  gas vent among others. -- Peter A. Balocnit

Fake cigarette factories found in Pangasinan, Pampanga
VILLASIS, Pangasinan – Two factories manufacturing fake cigarette brands were raided in Pangasinan and Pampanga recently.
Operatives of the Bureau of Customs, Philippine Army and the Philippine National Police swooped down on a clandestine factory in Barangay Unzad in this town Monday.
Antero Prado Jr., BOC technical assistant, said the raiding team seized a big volume of imported tobacco leaves, nine machines and other materials used to manufacture fake cigarettes as well as boxes of counterfeit products. 
Prado said the machines are capable of producing millions of pesos worth of cigarettes or about 500,000 packs a day. He said the fake cigarettes include Marlboro, Fortune, Jackpot, More, Mighty, Marvel and Winston. 
“The factory was located in an area far from the national road,” he said. “Villagers thought it was part of a farm.”
Prado said the factory has around a hundred local and foreign workers, mostly Chinese.
He said the Bureau of Immigration had been asked to check on the status of the foreigners.
The owner of the factory has yet to be identified. 
“They could not present any business permit. Even barangay officials are not aware of the existence of the factory,” Prado said.
He noted that fake cigarettes seized in raids on warehouses in Cagayan de Oro and Davao came from Luzon.
In Pampanga, a warehouse suspected of manufacturing fake cigarettes was found in Barangay San Isidro in Lubao.--  Eva Visperas, RicSapnu

Busol rain harvester OK’d; similar BCC facility pushed 
BAGUIO CITY  – Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan said he has already given the go-signal for the use of the new design of the proposed P139 million rain harvesting facility within the Baguio side of the 336-hectare Busol watershed to maximize the use of rainwater for various purposes during the dry months.
The local chief executive said the original design presented by the personnel of the Cordillera office of the Department of Public works and Highways (DPWH-CAR) will result in the cutting of many trees within the watershed thus defeating the purpose of preserving and protecting the trees within the forest reservation, thus, city officials requested the DPWH-CAR to re-design the rain harvesting facility to lessen the impact of the project to the trees within the vicinity of the project.
He said Baguio receives the highest volume of rain annually that is why concerned government agencies, the local government, and residents have to find ways of conserving rain water instead of it just letting flowing into the river systems and reuse this during the dry season.
 Aside from the Busol rain harvesting facility, Domogan is proposing the setting up of another similar facility within the parking area of the Baguio Convention Center for the center’s use during the summer months.
According to him, even owners of new commercial buildings will be required to have their own rain harvesting facilities within their structures to contribute to water conservation which will benefit their clients during periods of low supply of water which usually happens during peak tourism months and the summer.

DOLE allots P6 million for 16 Kalinga groups
TABUK CITY, Kalinga -- Sixteen associations are set  to  receive financial assistance for livelihood projects from the Department of Labor and Employment.
Dr. Alexander Gumabol, DOLE provincial office head here, said they are preparing the checks worth around P6 million for distribution to livelihood proponents, mostly farmer groups needing post-harvest facilities.
Organizations to be given post-harvest facilities are San Isidro Farmers Asso. of Magabbangon (P352,700.00); Lumawig Clan of Pinukpuk (P481,000); Talac Yellow Corn Upland Rice of Gogbgog(P350,000); MatagoanLapata of Tabuk(P350,000); Mengawisan Association of Masablang(P500,000); Bulitnao Tourism Manggayadan Farmers of Magnao(P353,000); Purok 3 Matayog Farmers(P200,000); Saltan Organic Farmers(P50,000); Amlao Farmers(P450,000); Guringad-Tope Clan(P350,000); Sumadel 1 Livelihood(P420,000), and PakawitPumiyaan(P350,000).
Others with different livelihood are Tuga National High School (P403, 050) for bakery and pastry making; Tabuk Ornamentals, Landscaping and Nursery Livelihood (P485, 000); Purok 3 Bulanao Indigent, Tourism, Handicraft Asso. (P383, 000), and Naneng Rural Improvement Club on red rice processing (P326, 000).
These projects  will have immediate impact on employment of members and additional income for their families, Gumabol said. -- Peter A. Balocnit

Ifugao farmers groups train on livestock raising
ASIPULO, Ifugao -- Members of two farmers organizations from this town and  Hingyon municipality underwent a training on poultry and swine production and hands-on preparation of fermented feeds  conducted by the Provincial Veterinary Officer (PVET).
The farmers were given lectures on the health and economic significance of utilizing home-made or processed fermented feeds for their poultry and livestock industry, good animal husbandry practices, animal health management and the various animal diseases such as the New Castle Disease of poultry and fowls.
There was also hands-on demonstration on how to process their own organic feeds using   raw and indigenous foodstuff that abound in the area.
The 22 members of the Haliap Farmers Organization of this municipality who attended the training received 13 piglets as their animal dispersal while the 23 members of the Bitu Resource Cooperative and Development Association, Inc. given 19 piglets.
PVET training coordinator Ferdinand Dunuan said that the project was funded by the Department of Agriculture which is mandated to exclusively promote organic agriculture in the country pursuant to Republic Act 10068. -- Daniel B. Codamon

Doctor pushes diabetes  prevention among children
BAGUIO CITY -- Diabetes is now a global concern and intensive education among young ones who are potential victims, is still best prevention,
Dr. Domingo Solimen of the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center (BGHMC)   said  during the Department of Health media forum last week.
The World Health Organization figuessaid  350 million people with diabetes around the globe, and disease is the direct cause of around 1.5 million deaths.
Solimen said diabetes, a non-communicable disease that is due to high blood sugar level, is the number one cause of kidney failure.  
At BGHMC, 60 percent of their dialysis patients are due to diabetic complications, he bared.
Diabetes is also considered risk factor to heart attack, blindness and traumatic amputation.
Diabetic complications can be fatal but the disease is also highly preventable and treatable especially if detected early on.
As a preventive measure, Solimen said their intensive information and education campaign is focused on orienting elementary pupils of healthy lifestyle given that obesity, a risk factor for diabetes, is now prevalent among children.
Obesity in the younger ages is related to the manifestation of diabetes in their adulthood, he said.
Solimen advised the general public to maintain a healthy lifestyle and have a balanced diet which includes avoiding salty foods, too much sweets and frozen foods, as well as smoking.
He also advised  diabetic family members and those feeling the symptoms (that include frequent urination, increased thirst and increased hunger) to have their blood sugar checked.
This year’s   World Health Day on April 7 focuses on diabetes with the theme, “Beat Diabetes” to scale up diabetes prevention, strengthen care and enhance surveillance. --  Leo  and G. Montecastro

Kalinga barangays, schools set sites for pre-fab health stations
TABUK CITY, Kalinga -- Recipient barangays and schools of pre-fabricated barangay health stations (BHS) in the province are now busy identifying and preparing the sites.
Dr. Bernadette Andaya of the Center for Health Development reported that    barangay Dangtalan in Pasil was the first to prepare and concrete the site.
Andayabared that the pre-fab BHS is 12x18 feet or 50sq.m. in dimension and   worth P240, 000.00. 
The pre-fab BHS project is funded under the Department of Health’s (DOH) TamangSerbisyosaKalusuganngPamilya or TSeKaP .
She said a joint memorandum of agreement was forged between DOH, the Department of Education and barangay local government units. 
The nationwide construction of said BHS projects is contracted by a single contractor. An engineer will be hired per province to supervise project implementation, she added.
TSeKaP  strengthens  health systems; increase the efficiency and effectiveness of delivery of basic health services and enable a more equitable distribution of national health programs through the government’s DaangMatuwid Program
In another development, Andaya announced that DOH Sec. Janette Garin will visit Kalinga in April to distribute medical equipment packages to rural health units, and barangay health stations. – Peter Balocnit

NFA-Kalinga urges bigasan outlets to renew permits
TABUK CITY, Kalinga – The National Food Authority (NFA) provincial operation center here  urged bigasan operators to renew their permits in order to continuously to provide accessible and cheap rice.
Assistant  Provincial Manager RicBaliang informed their office is open to renewal of 2016 permits to NFA-bigasan retail outlets and licenses for grains traders. 
NFA   is also accepting  new applications for its rice retail service especially in remote areas of the province where there is problem on accessibility.
There are at least 80 bigasan retailers stationed in various sites in the province selling NFA cheap quality rice at P27-32/kg, Baliang disclosed.
Baliang cleared there is no price adjustment in government rice but NFA allows minimal add-on cost to defray transportation expenses by retailers from far-flung barangays.
Meanwhile, the provincial NFA warehouse has a current inventory of 23,000 bags of rice, which according to Baliang is sufficient until the next quarter.
In the last cropping, NFA procured only 2,000 bags of palay due to the province’s low palay production arising from the irrigation crisis. 
Balianghopes  their procurement operation would be back to normal with the resumption of regular operation of the National Irrigation Administration’s service in the province this cropping. -- Larry T. Lopez

DOST   provides baking
tools to women’s group
PINUKPUK, Kalinga -- The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) provincial office here recently  provided  bakery equipment to Barangay DugpaKalipi (KalipunanngLipingPilipina) Organization this town for  its bakery project.
The Kalinga Science and Technology Center said their office provided P149, 000.00 for the purchase of one set oven, one set dough roller, one set dough kneader, and a blender while the proponent shared P140, 000.00 counterpart.
The group aims to produce baked products enriched with vegetables.
Raw material for the manufacture of baked products is not a problem since local raw products like malunggay and root crops are found in abundance in the place. Members of the organization will undergo training on good manufacturing practices from January 27-28.
 Meanwhile, Alfonso Berto, provincial DOST officer,  said they are processing approval of other proposals under the community-based program on Science and Technology Enhancement for the Advancement of Municipalities or STEAM. -- Peter A. Balocnit

Baguio sets regulations on use of ambulance
 BAGUIO CITY – The city government set regulations on the use of the three government-operated ambulance units serving the city’s constituents.
 In Administrative Order No. 112, Mayor Mauricio Domogan authorized the city treasurer’s office to collect fees from patients using city-owned ambulances for transport within and outside the city.
The fees will be minimal or “socialized” and will go to the maintenance of the vehicles, gasoline, meals for volunteers and toll fees.
The three ambulances are assigned in three separate offices – the health services office, the Bureau of Fire Protection and the City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Committee (CDRRMC) under the city administrator’s office.
The HSO maintains the Baguio City Emergency Medical Services (BCEMS) as the pre-hospital emergency management arm of the CDRRMC which includes ambulance services under the Health Emergency Management System.
The mayor said while the BCEMS uses the HSO ambulance to transport patients for medical treatment at hospital facilities or referral for higher management within and outside the city, the transport of patients is not the priority function of BCEMS.
“As the pre-hospital emergency arm of CDRRMC, its main function is primarily emergency medical responders,” he said.
On payment of the regulatory fees, the process: applicants secure payment slips from the office where ambulance is assigned indicating the amount to be paid at the city treasury office. 
The offices will record all official receipts before transporting the patient and will prepare necessary official travel order for the personnel in the ambulance team to be signed by the department or assistant department head and approved by the city mayor.   
The city treasury office will collect the amount based on the payment slip issued by the concerned offices based on the following charges: For every trip within Baguio City, the client will pay P500 one way and for trips outside the city, the client will pay P75 per kilometer. – Aileen P. Refuerzo


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