Comelec grants petition of Independent Benguet Party

>> Sunday, October 24, 2021

By March L. Fianza

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet -- The Commission on Elections last week finally granted the petition for registration of the Independent Benguet Party (IBP) as a local political party in the province of Benguet.
    Socorro B. Inting, the presiding commissioner of the Comelec Second Division and Antonio T. Kho Jr. a member of the same division signed the resolution under SPP 21-211 on Oct.19, 2021; one day after its promulgation by members of the Commission.
    The resolution was received by Itogon Mayor Atty. Victorio T. Palangdan, the president of IBP and the lead petitioner for registration of the organization as a local political party, on the same date of issuance by the Comelec Second Division.
    Mayor Palangdan who filed the petition for registration on April 16, 2021 averred that the organization was created purposely to “raise and develop homegrown leaders duly supported by the local electorate of the province by means of electing them into office.”
    The IBP was organized on March 15, 2021 in Adaoay, Kabayan, Benguet by several personalities from the private and government sector who, on the same date elected their officers.
    As of this writing, the new political party claims to have at least 30,000 members who are willing to support the goals and intentions of the organization.
    Palangdan who is on his last term as local chief executive of Itogon filed his certificate of candidacy for congressman of Benguet.
    Former Benguet Gov. Crecensio Pacalso also filed for the same position along with lawyers Thorrsson Keith and Samson Paran, and Benguet district caretaker Rep. Eric Yap of Davao.  

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Ex-Cordi cop head, 4, eyed next PNP chief

With less than a month before Philippine National Police chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar retires, at least five senior police officials have cropped up as his possible successor and one of them is a former police director of Cordillera who hails from Abra -- deputy chief for operations Lt. Gen. Israel Ephraim Dickson.
    Eleazar, President Duterte’s sixth PNP chief, will end his tour of duty when he retires on Nov. 13.
    Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said he would submit to Duterte a short list of recommended successors to the PNP’s top post by the last week of October.
    Año told reporters seniority, merit and service reputation are the qualifications for inclusion in the list.
    If the rule of succession is followed, two of the possible contenders are Eleazar’s classmates in the Philippine Military     Academy (PMA)’s Class of 1987: PNP deputy chief for administration Lt. Gen. Joselito Vera Cruz and Dickson.
    Another contender is Lt. Gen. Dionardo Carlos, a member of PMA Class 1988.    
    He is the current No. 4 official in the PNP as the chief of the directorial staff.
    The two other possible contenders are Maj. Gen. Vicente Danao Jr., the director of the National Capital Region Police Office and Central Luzon police director Brig. Gen. Valeriano de Leon.
    Vera Cruz and Dickson have been helping Eleazar manage the affairs of the PNP in the past five months. The two are set to retire on March 8 and March 27, 2022, respectively.
    Vera Cruz is also the commander of the PNP’s Administrative Support for Covid-19 Task Force, which deals with administrative matters for police frontliners.
    Dickson heads the PNP’s Joint Task Force Covid Shield, the enforcement arm of the national government in the implementation of quarantine rules and health protocols.
    Carlos previously headed the PNP Directorate for Integrated Police Operations – Visayas. He also used to head the Directorate for Police Community Relations and Highway Patrol Group and once served the PNP as its spokesman. He will retire on May 8, 2022.
    Danao, a member of PMA Class 1991, is known to be among Duterte’s trusted police officers, having served as police chief of the President’s hometown of Davao City. He will retire on Aug. 10, 2023.
    Danao, who previously headed the Calabarzon police and the Manila Police District, is known for being strict when it comes to imposing discipline on erring police personnel.
    De Leon, had stints as Central Visayas police chief and director of the Firearms and Explosives Office. A member of PMA Class 1989, he will retire on May 7, 2023.
    He also served as officer-in-charge of the Davao City police. He is known as a friend of Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio. 

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10 Mt Prov barangays: Stop armed hostilities

BONTOC, Mountain Province—Ten barangays in the province   recently held rallies in their barangays calling for stop to clashes between government and rebel groups. 
    This, following gunfights between government troops and New People’s Army guerillas here in Barangay Mainit Sept. 28.
According to authorities, local folks urged the Communist Party of the Philippines- NPA– National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) to leave their barangays
    Barangays included Dalican, Guinaang, and Mainit of Bontoc; Balintaugan of Bauko; Ankileng and Aguid, Bangaan, Fidelisan, Pide, and Madongo of Sagada.
    Local folks reportedly called for a stop to recruitment of minors and indigenous people in their communities to the CPP-NPA.
    These barangays were previously influenced by the CPP-NPA and   recently declared cleared of communist groups by government’s Task Force ELCAC.
    Government authorities said they would run after CPP-NPA elements in the Cordillera like Mountain Province but rebel groups said they will fight it out as injustices are being committed against the people under the present administration.

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Vaxxed tourists may soon enter summer capital

By Liza Agoot  

BAGUIO CITY – The city government is set to open its borders to tourists and non-essential travelers as Covid-19 cases here continue to drop.
    Mayor Benjamin Magalong, said Tuesday there will be an easing of restrictions. "Hopefully, baka next week pwede na natin payagan (probably next week we might start to allow) non-essential travels but only for the fully-vaccinated,” he said.
    He said they first need to assure that the decrease in cases will continue before they finally decide to allow fully vaccinated tourists to visit the city again and enjoy its natural attractions.
    “Kailangan muna na siguraduhin na (we need to ensure that) cases will continue to go down. Ayaw natin makita na magkakaroon na naman ng (we do not want to see that there is a) sudden increase, we might open up too early and it will create a saddle, ayaw natin mangyari yan (we do not want that to happen)” he said.
    He said they also need to maintain the decline to give some respite to the health workers.
    “We want to give them slack and be able to rest. The hospital situation is also improving,” the mayor said.
    Based on the Dept. of Health’s hospital care utilization rate data on Oct. 18, the city recorded an 82.34 percent bed utilization rate, and 73.21 percent mechanical ventilator utilization rate.
    The DOH also recorded 98 new cases and 310 recoveries in the city on Monday that further brought the active cases to 1,559.
    On Oct. 3, the city had 4,778 cases with hundreds of new cases being recorded daily since September.
    “If you remember last week I projected that this week, we will see a decrease, and it will continue to go down,” he said.
    The mayor added that the city-managed Temporary Treatment Facilities (TTMF) have also been recording below 50 percent occupancy rate.
    Baguio’s several TTMF has about a thousand beds catering to asymptomatic patients.
    The mayor attributed the decrease in Covid-19 cases to the community’s cooperation and compliance to health and safety protocols, the cooperation of local governments that compose the LISTT (La Trinidad, Itogon, Sablan, Tuba, and Tublay) to control mobility, and the introduction of additional measures under the heightened general community quarantine classification which included the prohibition of minors and elderly above 65 years old to go out for non-essential reasons, and the restriction on the entry of non-essential travelers to the city.
    The mayor said that in case the city opts to open its borders to fully vaccinated tourists, documentation will continue to be required. 
    The DOH said hospital care utilization rate in the city went down to 82.34 percent while mechanical ventilator utilization rate was at 73.2 percent as of Monday.
    Magalong said temporary treatment facilities recorded an occupancy rate of below 50 percent.
    The DOH logged 98 new cases on the same day, bringing the active infections to 1,559.
Magalong said active cases rose to nearly 5,000 on Oct. 3.
    Magalong attributed the decrease in Covid-19 cases to compliance with health and safety protocols, cooperation of local government units in La Trinidad, Itogon, Sablan, Tuba, and Tublay towns to limit mobility aside from stricter quarantine measures.

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Abra mayor’s victory in 2019 polls upheld

LAGANGILANG, Abra -- The Supreme Court has upheld  the victory in the 2019 elections of the municipal mayor here whose certificate of candidacy (COC) was canceled by the Commission on Elections.
    The high tribunal said the Comelec committed grave abuse of discretion when it canceled the COC of Mayor Rovelyn Villamor based on her citizenship.
    It said Villamor was able to reacquire her Filipino citizenship, which made her eligible to run for mayor.
In a two-page statement released recently, the SC said it dismissed the electoral protest filed by Villamor’s political opponent, Antonio Viernes, and annulled a Comelec resolution favoring the petitioner.
    Viernes earlier asked the Comelec to cancel Villamor’s COC, citing her being an American citizen.
    In her reply, Villamor said that before she filed her COC, she had complied with the requirement for the reacquisition of her Filipino citizenship as provided under Republic Act 9225 or the Citizenship Retention and Reacquisition Act of 2003.
    The high court said Villamor showed sufficient proof to support her claims.

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Baguio cemeteries closed for ‘Undas’

By Liza Agoot  

BAGUIO CITY – The city government has ordered closure of cemeteries here from Oct. 30 to Nov. 3 and gave schedules when residents can visit their departed family members as a measure to prevent crowding in observance of All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day.
    Executive order 124, signed by Mayor Benjamin Magalong, said, "schedule of visits by immediate family members to their dearly departed shall be by district."
    The order also set the dates when residents may be allowed to visit the cemetery by dividing the 20 districts composed of 128 barangays into different days, with two or three districts allowed each day starting Oct. 4 to Nov. 30 except on the days that were declared closed by the city government.
    "We are trying to avoid people from crowding at the cemeteries that is why we have set schedules so that they will not come at the same time," Magalong said in a media interview on Friday.
    Aside from the public cemetery along Naguilian Road, there are several other private cemeteries and memorial parks that cater not only to city residents but also those from the towns of La Trinidad, Itogon, Sablan, Tuba, and Tublay (LISTT).
    The order also allotted six days schedule for LISTT residents that will allow them entry into the cemetery during the two-month duration.
    Magalong also reminded cemetery goers of the strict observance of the minimum public health and safety protocols while inside the cemetery.
    In entering the cemetery, individuals are required to accomplish the health declaration forms and have their temperature checked.
    The order also prohibits individuals who manifest flu-like symptoms from going to the cemetery.
    The age restrictions prescribed by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) will also be applied where children and senior citizens over 65 years old are not allowed.
    The usual prohibitions like bringing in intoxicating drinks, gambling, and playing loud music are in effect. -- PNA  

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DOH: 414,875 folks fully vaccinated in Cordillera

BAGUIO CITY-- A total of 869,998 Covid – 19 vaccine doses has been administered in the Cordillera region with 414,875 eligible population already fully vaccinated while 455,123 received their first dose.
    Dept. of Health Center for Health and Development – Cordillera Assistant Regional Director Dr. Amelita Pangilinan reported this during media forum here last week.
    Pangilinan said under the National Vaccination Operations Center’s directive, the target is to fully vaccinate 70 percent of the eligible population in the country until the end of the year.
    For Cordillera, the target is 1,110,844 adult population, and so far, the region has already reached 38.51% for first dose - vaccinated individuals and 35.11% for fully vaccinated population.
    In terms of fully vaccinated individuals per geographical area, Baguio City has the most number with 162,384, followed by Benguet with 71,817, Kalinga with 49,919, Abra with 46,040, Apayao with 31,325, Ifugao with 28,713 and Mountain Province with 24,677.
    To reach the target population, Pangilinan said NVOC advised the rollout of vaccination of the Rest of the Adult Population (ROAP) or those 18 years old individuals that are formerly bracketed in the group B and C.
    Pangilinan reminded the prioritization of A1 to A5 group especially the frontline health workers, the senior citizens and adults with co-morbidities, as well as the inclusion of teachers and non – teaching personnel in all educational institutions, both public and private, to the priority A4 or essential workers.
    Pangilinan urged the public   not be complacent with the relatively lower national daily cases reported, instead continue protecting themselves and their families by following the minimum public health standards and get vaccinated for free when they are eligible.
    “Vaccinated or not, let us not forget to properly wear our face mask, including our face shield in 3Cs, also known as the closed, crowded, close-contact settings. Let us continue to observe physical distancing and proper handwashing to curb the transmission of Covid-19,” she said. -- JDP/CCD-PIA CAR

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La Trinidad mayor: Enough funds for Covid-19 program

By Liza Agoot  

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – Mayor Romeo Salda said the local government here can still manage finances required in managing the Covid-19 pandemic until the end of the year.
    Salda, in an interview Thursday, said the Office of Civil Defense Cordillera transmitted P1 million that will cover four months rental of the Concordia College on Longlong Road, which was converted as a temporary treatment and monitoring facility (TTMF) for mild and asymptomatic Covid-19 positive patients.
    Salda said all savings for 2021 worth some P70 million, as well as the Disaster Risk Reduction Management (DRRM) fund, have been allocated for Covid-19 response.
    Among the major expenditures of the local government unit for Covid response include food for those at the TTMF, salaries for the job order employees like nurses, doctors, medical personnel, and contact tracers aside from security guards assigned at the facilities.
    Salda said they just hired 20 nurses, two doctors, and security guards for the municipality-owned Strawberry Hotel and the Senior Citizens Center which have both been converted as TTMF for mild and asymptomatic Covid-19 positive patients.
    He said they are just completing the beddings of the new facility at Longlong gymnasium that can accommodate 45 patients.
    “We still have a lot of positive patients and we are catering to the mild and asymptomatic so that we can help decongest the hospital and prioritize their effort to manage the severe and critical cases,” he said.
    He said the purchase of vitamins for the frontline workers is also being managed.
    The mayor said the municipality had earlier allocated PHP10 million for the purchase of vaccines but found out that municipalities are not among the entities allowed to enter into a tripartite agreement with the national government and a private supplier.
    “We have asked the provincial government to help us by collating other municipalities who have allocated funds for vaccine purchase but in case we will not be able to use it because there are now several supplies coming in from the national government, we can reallocate it next year or realign for other purposes about Covid-19 response,” Salda said.
    At present, he said around 31 percent of the target eligible residents have been fully vaccinated. -- PNA 

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Comelec: Many unopposed 2022 election bets in Apayao

LUNA, Apayao -- Many candidates for the May 2022 polls are running unopposed in Apayao,
    The Commission on Elections Cordillera regional office in Baguio released list of around 180 persons who filed their certificates of candidacies for political positions in Apayao. 
    Based on the list, it will be a walk in the park for many aspiring candidates. Incumbent Rep. Elias Bulut Jr. and Gov. Eleanor Bulut-Begtang will be swapping positions after spending one term in their respective offices in past three years.
    Elias filed his COC  for governor under the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) while Eleanor who is under the ruling party Partido Demokratiko Pilipino – Lakas ng Bayan or PDP-Laban  filed  for the position of  Representative  for Apayao.
    For the vice gubernatorial race, incumbent Vice Gov. Remy Albano  is  seeking reelection  for  his third term in office under the Kilusang Bagong Lipunan while  Senior Board Member Myla Ballesteros will run as an independent candidate.
    For Sangguniang Panlalawigan  for  first district, candidates are  re-electionists Alison Betat, Iying Real and Philippine Councilors League President Kyle Bulut, and  new comer Vincent Talatag,  former Provincial Administrator, who will run under NPC.
    Independent candidates who also filed their COCs are Sebastian Himma and Rosario Labueng Jr.
    For the SP second district, candidates are re-electionists Emiliano Galleon, Mcleen Julian, and Elmer Molina of the PDP     Laban, Nenita Aguilar (NPC) and Elmer Canonizado, an independent candidate.    
      In municipalities, three incumbent mayors and one vice mayor are running unopposed in their bid for reelection - Pudtol Mayor Hector Reuel Pascua (PDP Laban) and Sta. Marcela Mayor Evelyn Martinez (PDP Laban), Luna Mayor Josephine Bangsil (NPC), and incumbent Calanasan Vice Mayor Shamir Bulut (Nacionalista Party).
    In the municipality of Conner, mayoralty candidates are former Mayor Leonardo Dangoy (PDP Laban) and   Jorico Bayaua (Peoples Reform Party). 
    For vice mayor, it’s a race between Aleaxander Aswigue (PRP) and Rito Soriano (PDP Laban).
    In Flora, filing their COC for mayor  are Incumbent Mayor Rodolfo Juan (PDP Laban) and incumbent Vice Mayor Jessica De San Jose (Aksyon Demokratiko).   
    Aspiring candidates for the vice mayoralty seat are Jeofrey Blas (PDP Laban), Edison Collado (Aksyon Demokratiko) and Clapton de San Jose (Liberal Party).
    In Kabugao, incumbent Mayor Bensmar Ligwang (PRP) will face former Mayor Joseph Amid (NPC)   for the mayoralty seat. The  vice mayoralty seat  will be a four –cornered fight   among Mac Paul Talimbatog(PRP), Fabulous Tucjang(NPC) and Max Basang and Angel Umingli who are independent candidates.
    For the vice mayoralty seat in Pudtol, incumbent Vice Mayor Randy Laoat (PDP Laban) will face Cleofil Collado (PRP).
Seeking reelection are Luna Vice Mayor Manolito Bullaoit and Sta Marcela  VM  Mayor Rolly Guiang(PDP Laban). Calanasan incumbent Mayor Martin Lawat (NPC) filed for vice mayor in their place.  --JDP/RMC- PIA CAR

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SC: Bar exam test sites known on, before Oct 25

By Rey Panaligan

More than 11,000 examinees in the 2020-2021 online bar examinations will know their testing sites on or before Oct. 24, barring “technical issues” in the Supreme Court’s (SC) Bar Personal Login Unified System (BarPLUS).
    The SC, through the Office of the Bar Confidant (OBC), could have determined the examinees’ individual testing site last Oct. 20 but BarPLUS, an SC-developed online application system, encountered some technical issues.
    The online bar examinations will be conducted by the Supreme Court (SC) in 29 testing sites all over the country on Jan. 16, 23, and 30, and on Feb. 6, 2022.
    The examinations had been originally set for next month, November, but the SC had to reset the tests “after considering the Covid-19 situation nationally and in all the testing sites, as well as receiving advice from various experts….”
    The Bar Bulletin issued for the SC by Associate Justice Marvic M.V.F. Leonen, chairperson of the 2020-2021 bar examinations committee, also stated:
    “In view of some technical issues in the BarPLUS, the Venue Matching Module shall close on Oct. 24, 2021, Sunday, subject to further extension if the technical issues persist. This supersedes the original Oct. 20, 2021 deadline….
    “We reiterate that venue matching shall not be on a first-come, first-served basis. The system will process all choices simultaneously. Earlier submission of venue choices shall not gain priority over the available slots in the local testing centers. All bar candidates will be given the opportunity to choose their local testing centers within the appropriate period.
    “All queries regarding the selection of local testing centers should be directed to the Office of the Bar Confidant at obc.helpdesk.sc@judiciary.gov.ph.”
    The SC had decided to conduct the bar examinations in several testing sites all over the country to lessen the expenses incurred by examinees. Bar exams had been traditionally conducted only in Manila.
    The tremendous increase in the number of examinees was attributed to the postponement of the bar examinations in 2020 due to COVID-19 and the holding of the tests simultaneously with the 2021 examinations.
    In 2019, a total of 7,685 law graduates took the bar examinations; 8,158 in 2018; and 6,748 in 2017.
    For the 2020-2021 online bar examinations, there will be no announcement on 10 topnotchers but those who get a weighted average score of 85 per cent will be recognized for exemplary performance.
    The SC said that aside from recognizing exemplary performance of examinees, it will have a list of law schools ranked from the most to the least number of passers among first time examinees, and a separate list ranked from those with the most to the least number of examinees recognized for exemplary performance.
    The SC’s decision is a departure from the traditional policy that 10 topnotchers are announced simultaneously with the release of the results of the bar examinations.

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Vaxxed minors, adults allowed in Ilocos Norte

By Stewart C. Ocampo

LAOAG CITY -- Non-high-risk individuals below 18, fully-vaccinated individuals above 65 years old, and individuals with comorbidity, along with full vaccinated pregnant women, are now welcome to travel to Ilocos Norte.
    The Dept. of Tourism said these individuals are now allowed to travel in areas under general community quarantine (GCQ) and general modified  community quarantine (MGCQ), after the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging  Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) released new guidelines allowing interzonal travel for these individuals under alert level 4 areas.
    “Kids, seniors, and even pregnant women are already allowed to travel in Ilocos Norte. However, as of now, we’re still requiring tests. This is to ensure safety and protection not only of our tourists but to the entire community as well. Also, for the record, we haven’t had a single case of Covid-19 because of tourism so we would like to continue having a safe tourism,” Ruiz said. 
    INTO has recorded almost 353,000-day visitors and locals, almost 4,000 tourists have visited the province, and almost 121,000 APORs and staycation visitors have stayed in accommodation establishments throughout the province since October last year.
    Meanwhile, more than 86% of the total population of primary tourism workers have been inoculated with Covid-19 vaccine. 
 
 
 

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DepEd Cordillera pushes improved distance learning

BAGUIO CITY -- The Dept. of Education- Cordillera regional office reported smooth opening of School Year 2021 – 2022 saying new programs and projects are  being pushed for better delivery of distance learning  amid the continuing challenges of the Coronavirus disease pandemic.  
    DepEd regional director Estela Cariño, in media forum Wednesday, said 2020 was a challenging year for DepEd due to Covid-19 but with Education Sec. Leonor Briones and partnership among teachers, parents, learners and other stakeholders, they were able to surpass challenges and now looking forward for improved delivery of distance learning.
    For this academic year, there were a total of 498,382 enrollees all over the region which showed increase of 51,868 or 11.6 percent compared to the 446,514 learners during school year 2020 – 2021.
    In preparing for this school year, DepEd rolled out the “Regional Office On Wheels” where Cariño personally led the visitation of the different school divisions in the Cordillera provinces and cities   to look into their issues and concerns.
     For innovations, DepEd – CAR presented during the forum Project HyTEQ or the hybrid learning using technology with equity and quality which   aims to integrate more technologies in teaching and learning.
    Cariño said through Project HyTEQ which will use a combination of online and offline learning strategies, they hope to improve the delivery of distant learning and will ease the burden of teachers in printing modules, and which will help the environment with lesser use of papers.
    DepEd Cordillera invested P28 million to buy computer tablets for learners for distribution this month in 62 pilot schools in the region.
    For the assessment of the region’s learners, DepEd – CAR is also set to implement project SMART (standardized and meaningful assessment of resource-based teaching), a quarterly assessment that can be done online or by paper and pen.
     Cariño said the assessment, which will use standard questions on critical thinking aligned with the lessons given, aims to measure development of learners and give teachers a basis if the mode of learning is working or if they need to modify or innovate. -- JDP/CCD-PIA CAR
 

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SSS pension retirement, loan program added in ExpreSSS e-Learning Portal

The Social Security System (SSS) added the Pension Loan Program (PLP) and Retirement Benefit Modules in the ExpreSSS e-Learning (ExSSSel) Portal last June and September respectively, where 1.8 million retirement pensioners can access a more detailed information about the said programs.
    “We know the vulnerability of our pensioners to the COVID-19 virus. This is why the SSS gave them an opportunity to pursue an additional e-learning experience at the comfort of their homes, anytime and anywhere. With the flexible schedule, ExSSSel Portal will help our pensioners to gain more knowledge about SSS at their own pace and time. They can access it 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They can also take the exam to assess their understanding, which makes it a more enjoyable and rewarding activity,” SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Aurora C. Ignacio said.
    The ExpreSSS e-Learning (ExSSSel) Portal is an online computer-based training about various SSS programs which was initially launched last November 2020 that aims to educate members, employers and the general public through SSS module-based learnings. They can study these modules at their own convenience for free.
    ExSSSel Portal can be done by following these simple steps: (1) select a module, (2) register online, (3) study the module, (4) take the post examination, and lastly, (5) wait for their e-certificates.
    In selecting a module, members and interested individuals can choose from: Module 1 (Sickness), Module 2 (Maternity), Module 3 (Unemployment), Module 4 (Disability), Module 5 (Salary Loan), Module 6 (Pension Loan Program)and Module 7 (Retirement). Users canalso open multiple modules simultaneously.
    Members and other individuals can go to http://bit.ly/ExSSSeL_Portal to register. After selecting a module,they will receive an online registration form via Google Form for them to fill out.
    However, portal users must be reminded that they can only get only their e-certificate after obtaining a passing rate of at least 80% after the post-examination. The e-certificate will be sent to their registered e-mail address within seven working days from the time the participant took the post examination and submitted the evaluation form.
    As of August 31, SSS issued a total of 9,643 e-certificates to ExSSSeL users who have successfully completed at least one module available in the portal. Sickness Benefit is the most viewed Module with 15,413, followed by Maternity Benefit Module with 9,255 views.
    “For those who already accessed the ExSSSel Portal, we are grateful to your support to our online learning portal and rest assured that we’ll include another set of modules soon. We also encourage the rest of the learning enthusiasts, especially our members, pensioners, and employers, to explore the ExSSSel Portal to be fully knowledgeable on the SSS benefits and privileges,” Ignacio concluded.
    For more information, visit any of the following SSS social media accounts like the SSS official FB Page at “Philippine Social Security System – SSS”; SSS Viber Community at “MYSSSPH Updates”; Instagram at “mysssph”; twitter at “PHLSSS” and YouTube at “MySSSPhilippines.”
 

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POLICE ROUNDUP

Cops burn P900-K marijuana in Bakun, Kibungan plantations

KIBUNGAN, Benguet – Police discovered and destroyed 7,950 fully grown marijuana plants and seedlings worth P902,000 in eight mountainous plantation sites here and nearby Bakun town Oct. 13 to 17. Elements of Benguet 1st Provincial Mobile Force Company and Kibungan police station conducted the operations.
    In Badeo, Kibungan, barangay captain Guilbert Amango joined the marijuana eradication at Sitio Aat-tog and Sitio Tableo.
Authorities destroyed 2,530 pieces of marijuana worth of P106,000 in the area.
    Kibungan police, the plantation were discovered following monitoring and coordination with barangay officials.
    In Bakun, Benguet, authorities discovered four plantations at sitios Tammangan, Lubban and Sitio Legab in barangay Kayapa,
    Marijuana plants worth of P796,000 were burned at sites.

2 held in Abra checkpoint for illegal lumber

LICUAN-BAAY, Abra -- Two persons are now facing charges for violation of Presidential 705 or the Revised Forestry Code of the Philippines after being caught attempting to pass through a checkpoint with illegal lumber here at Barangay Nalbuan  Oct.  8.
    Suspects were identified as Jay-R Mangaliman Tarinay, 36 and Emmanuel Cris Danao Balani, 36, both residents here.
Police flagged down a Delica Mitsubishi vehicle and discovered illegally sawn lumber.
    The operation resulted in the arrest of the suspects after they failed to show documents for the lumber in compliance with the Forestry Code. Some 33 pieces of Pamalitiyen and 15 Nara sawn lumber worth P33, 345 were confiscated by the operatives. 
    The suspects were brought at Licuan-Baay where charges were filed against them.

6 nabbed in Baguio, Mankayan for drugs

CAMP DANGWA, La Trinidad, Benguet – Six persons were arrested here and in nearby Benguet last week in entrapment operations.
    Cordillera police director Brig. Gen. Ronald O. Lee bared this saying arrested Oct. 16 were Marlouie Almonte Llarena, 32; Jefferson Pinas Garcia aka Kosil, 26; Hubert Cudli Pussan, 34; Rodler Alapit Nicer, 19; and Lloyd B Ojano, 19.
    In Baguio City, nabbed at Barangay Ferdinand was Llarena after he sold to a cop around two grams of suspected shabu worth P13,600.
    Nicer and Ojano were arrested also in Baguio by cops after they sold to a policeman marijuana worth P11,400.
    Seized from Ojana were additional 13 grams of marijuana worth P1,560. In Mankayan, Benguet, Pussan and Garcia were arrested after they sold to a lawman suspected shabu weighing 0.18 grams worth P1,224.
    An additional 0.48 grams of shabu worth P3,264 were seized from them.
    Earlier on Oct. 15, a man under probation for drugs was rearrested
at Rizal Monument, Baguio City.
    The suspect was identified as Jason Vida Alejandro, 25 of Upper Rock Quarry, Baguio City.
    Alejandro was apprehended after he sold to a cop marijuana weighing  10 grams worth P2,000.
    Inventory of confiscated items from Alejandro was witnessed by prosecutor Sigrid K. Lakwasan – Canawil, kagawad Arnel     Miranda of Barangay Rizal and media representative Charles Nikko Limon.
 

6 nabbed in Baguio, Mankayan for drugs

CAMP DANGWA, La Trinidad, Benguet – Six persons were arrested here and in nearby Benguet last week in entrapment operations.
    Cordillera police director Brig. Gen. Ronald O. Lee bared this saying arrested Oct. 16 were Marlouie Almonte Llarena, 32; Jefferson Pinas Garcia aka Kosil, 26; Hubert Cudli Pussan, 34; Rodler Alapit Nicer, 19; and Lloyd B Ojano, 19.
    In Baguio City, nabbed at Barangay Ferdinand was Llarena after he sold to a cop around two grams of suspected shabu worth P13,600.
    Nicer and Ojano were arrested also in Baguio by cops after they sold to a policeman marijuana worth P11,400.
    Seized from Ojana were additional 13 grams of marijuana worth P1,560. In Mankayan, Benguet, Pussan and Garcia were arrested after they sold to a lawman suspected shabu weighing 0.18 grams worth P1,224.
    An additional 0.48 grams of shabu worth P3,264 were seized from them.
    Earlier on Oct. 15, a man under probation for drugs was rearrested
at Rizal Monument, Baguio City.
    The suspect was identified as Jason Vida Alejandro, 25 of Upper Rock Quarry, Baguio City.
    Alejandro was apprehended after he sold to a cop marijuana weighing  10 grams worth P2,000.
    Inventory of confiscated items from Alejandro was witnessed by prosecutor Sigrid K. Lakwasan – Canawil, kagawad Arnel     Miranda of Barangay Rizal and media representative Charles Nikko Limon.
 

Guns, bullets seized from Abra councilor, relatives

PILAR, Abra -- Assorted firearms and bullets were reportedly seized by authorities during simultaneous raids on the property of a municipal councillor here and his relatives Monday morning.
    The ammunition and firearms, which included several rifles and handguns, were reportedly found by police serving search warrants here in the houses of Councillor George Sotelo, 43 and his cousins Ferdinand dela Rosa, 40 and Paterno Sotelo,63, in Barangay Narnara.
    The raid was based on a warrant issued by Baguio City Regional Trial Court Branch 5 Judge Maria Ligaya Itliong-Rivera.
    From George Sotelo’s residence, cops found a M1A1 Elisco baby armalite with seven magazines, 134 bullets and a Cal .45 M1911 A1 with three magazine and 20 bullets,  Cal .9mm LLAMA with magazine  and five bullets, four magazines for carbine and 13 bullets for same gun.
    From Ferdinand Dela Rosa’s residence: two Cal 5.56mm M16 rifle, many bullets while from Paterno Sotelo’s residence, one Cal. 45 Colt with magazine loaded with seven seven bullets.
    All confiscated items were inventoried witnessed by barangay chairman Donardo Beroña; Sangguniang Bayan member     Roldan Dumlao and barangay kagawads Renie Boy Sapi and Jose Sotelo.
    Arrested persons and confiscated items were brought to Abra provincial police office where charges for violation of Republic Act 10591 or the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Act of 2013 were prepared against suspects.

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Cordillera PNP exec now colonel

CAMP DANGWA, La Trinidad, Benguet – Col. Freddie Lazona, chief of the police regional logistics and research development division took his oath as full-pledged colonel here Oct. 18.
    Lt. Col. Francisco Bulwayan Jr., acting chief of regional personnel records and management division, read promotion order.
Cordillera police director Ronald O. Lee administered oath-taking.
    Lazona expressed gratitude to his family, command groups, and to those behind his promotion.


3 injured cops awarded with 
medals, money

BAUKO, Mountain province -- Cordillera police director Brig. Gen. Ronald O. Lee and provincial police director Col. Ruben Andiso awarded three police non-commissioned officers here Oct. 16 and handed financial assistance for being wounded while on official duty.
    PSMS William Maganon was awarded Medalya ng Sugatang Magiting at headquarters of 1st Mt. Province PMFC here in Barangay Otucan Norte.
    Also awarded was PSMS Ruben Aronchay, who was recuperating in Luis Hora Memorial Regional Hospital.
    Maganon and Aronchay were wounded when an improvised shotgun at a bobby trap exploded at Mt. Ungyod, Betwagan, Sadanga,
    The area has an unresolved boundary dispute between the tribe of Butbut, Tinglayan, Kalinga, and Betwagan, Sadanga, Mountain Province.
    Meanwhile, Medalya ng Kagalingan was awarded to PSMS Wilfred Manacnis, who is assigned at Mountain Province 1st Provincial Mobile Company (PMFC).
    PSMS Manacnis was injured while performing official duty during Typhoon Maring.
 


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