BAGUIO CITY -- Landslides, closure of roads and suspension of classes were reported in Cordillera due to continuous rains since last week, although no casualty was reported.
On Monday night, a landslide almost buried two houses in Guisad Surong barangay here and injured two of its tenants.
Five families near the landslide were evacuated here Monday around 7:30 p.m. at the height of heavy rains due to landslide.
Station 2 cops led by Insp. Andres Alcantara responded at Purok 3 Guisad Surong, where the residence of Vicente Labrador Baroma, 69, made of galvanized sheets was damaged due to mudslide coming from the house of his brother Emanuel Baroma.
Punong barangay Orlando Soriano reported no casualty. The families near the affected area were evacuated to the residence of Kagawad Mario Benalio while the others went to their immediate families in the same barangay. The five evacuated families were those of Vicente CaluzaBaroma, Emanuel Tomas Baroma, Ramona Baroma Golidan, Marypaz Baroma Asumio and RegieTandas.
Kennon Road was closed to traffic Tuesday morning after the monsoon rains loosened soil on the slopes along the road and sent rocks rolling down.
Other major arterial roads in the provinces were closed to traffic like the Abra-Kalinga road, particularly the section in Baay-Licuan town; the Mt. Province-Ilocos Sur via Tue, Tadian road particularly at the Aluling section; the Kiangan-Tinoc-Buguias road at the Tinoc section; the Benguet-Nueva Vizcaya road particularly in Ambuklao in Bokod; the Gurel-BOkod-Kabayan-Buguias road at the Toking, Buguias, Gusaran, Kabayan and Amlimay, Buguias sections; the Acop-Kapanga-Kibungan road particularly at the sablang-Ipit and Ipit-Tigil sections; the Sinipsip-Ampusongan road; the Kalinga-Abra road particularly at the Pantikian section in Balbalan; and the Sagada-Besao provincial road in Mt. Province.
Classes in the whole province of Abra and in Tublay, Benguet were suspended on all levels for the second day while pre-school to high school classes were suspended in La Trindad, Mankayan, Kapangan, Kibungan, Bokod, Sablan, Itogon, Buguias, Bakun, Tuba; all in Benguet and in Tadian town in Mt. Province.
Pre-school to elementary levels were declared suspended in Baguio causing an uproar on social media sites among parents of high-school and college students taunting Mayor Mauricio Domogan.
Classes from pre-school to elementary levels were also suspended in the capital towns of Bontoc in Mt. Province, Lagawe in Ifugao and Lamut also in Ifugao.
Kalinga officials only suspended classes in the pre-school level.
The Mines and Geosciences Bureau in the Cordillera also issued an advisory for small-scale mining operations in Benguet to suspend work amid the rains to avoid disasters inside mine tunnels.
All local tourism offices in the different towns in the region were alerted to control tourist influx into caves and mountain ranges to avoid accidents.
SUGPON, Ilocos Sur – Authorities burned almost P7 million worth of marijuana they uprooted here last week.
Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency and Philippine National Police operatives discovered three cultivation sites, with an estimated land area of 1,800 square meters and torched it.
The haul, perhaps yet the biggest in the Ilocos region this year, totaled to 28,800 fully-grown marijuana plants and 73.6575 grams of marijuana seeds with a sum of P6,801,850 pegged by the Dangerous Drugs Board.
Authorities failed to catch any cultivator.
Bauang residents raise howl
BAUANG, La Union — Land grabbing of prime beachfront properties of this town, once the “beach capital of the country,” has gone rampant due to the connivance of officials of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) regional office and an influential group of real estate developers believed well connected with high government authorities, including the Office of the Solicitor General, the judiciary and the military.
If remained unchecked, the land grabbing operations may lead to a bloody conflict between the landowners and the real estate group.
This developed as one of the affected lot owners, Ann Paredes, filed a case for violation of the anti-graft and corrupt practices act against three officials of the DENR before the Office of the Ombudsman (OMB).
Named respondents in the case were Graciano Boquiren, special investigator assigned at the DENR’s office in
Pangasinan; and Santiago S. Santiago, Jr. and Arnel Manalac, both geodetic engineers of the agency’s regional office in San Fernando, La Union.
The complainant claimed that Boquiren, Santiago and Manalac conspired in faking a survey that declared Paredes’ 761 square meter property as “underwater and salvage zone” thus prompting the agency to issue a reversion/cancellation order turning the lot as “part of the public domain.”
With the reversion/cancellation order, the DENR then awarded the property to a certain Alberto Hidalgo who had applied for foreshore leasehold on the property.
Paredes protested the action taken by the agency in a complaint-letter to then DENR Secretary Ramon Paje.
But while her protest was being investigated, DENR regional executive director Samuel Penafiel approved Hidalgo’s application for a foreshore lease agreement (FLA).
Armed with the FLA, Hidalgo, according to the complaint of Paredes, developed the otherwise “underwater” property” into a “high-end” beach housing estate, using goons led by a certain Ricardo Aromin.
Hidalgo’s group first put up huts and semi-permanent structures to assert its position on the government-leased lot owned by Paredes.
Having positioned in the area, the influential Hidalgo group also managed to sell two-parcel lots, just alongside Paredes’ property, to a Norwegian national married to a Filipina and to a Swiss national, also married to a Filipina, who constructed a P20-million mansion and a P30-million house, respectively.
“How can they build big houses if the lands were underwater as declared by the DENR,” Paredes contended in her complaint.
To substantiate her complaint, Paredes presented to the Ombudsman a copy of the transfer certificate of title (TCT) issued by the Register of Deeds of La Union.
Two other beachfront properties with an aggregate area of 1,925 sq. m. owned by Immaculada Corazon Lim and Cherry Lyn Dy Castillo were similarly issued reversion/cancellation of title orders by the DENR.
Like in Paredes’ case, Lim’s and Castillo’s properties were awarded to Hidalgo under a foreshore lease agreement granted to him by the DENR.
City council backs resolution
BAGUIO CITY– Small scale miners and mining operators were issued orders to stop operations to avert environmental disaster in this summer capital, also known as the city of pines.
The City Council approved a resolution strongly supporting resolution of City Mining Regulatory Board for full implementation of stoppage orders issued to all small-scale mining and mineral processing plant owners operating within the Uabac area, Camp 7, Kennon road, including other small-scale mining groups operating within the area.
The resolution authored by Councilor Michael Lawana stated that it is the policy of the city through its recently approved environmental code which declares that the city shall maintain the its unique ecological, and socio-cultural character and committees to steadfastly implement all existing laws, rules and regulations to protect its environment.
The CMRB issued Stoppage Order No. 2K-15-01 dated July 3, 2015 to Ronald Gamboc, Renato Bagsang, Aladin Roy Wagas, Benny Gamboc, Geoffrey Malicdan, Michael Ngeteg, Ben Pangang-at, Abreol Tabayag, Punong Barangay Alfredo L. Cong-o and all small-scale miners and processing plant owners within Uabac area, Camp 7, Kennon road, Baguio city to stop their alleged illegal small-scale mining operations.
Under the CMRB resolution, mining operations in the area causes environmental degradation such as the pollution of the Bued river, and undermines the stability of Kennon road, buildings and other constructed structures proximate to the small-scale mining operations.
The CMRB, with the other concerned government agencies, local government units and stakeholders during a joint meeting last July 21, 2016, agreed to jointly enforce the full implementation of the stoppage order covering all the small-scale mining activities in the area.
The Council said the full implementation of the stoppage order is not limited to seizures or confiscations of illegally sourced minerals or mineral products, including the tools and units of equipment and conveyance used in the operation, but also dismantling of facilities and filing of complaints against the alleged illegal small-scale mining operators.
Full implementation of the stop order shall be undertaken anytime jointly by all concerned government agencies, local government units and stakeholders after complying with the other identified requirements that include among others, project deputation of the Philippine National Police (PNP), securing of demolition orders from the City Mayor’s Office, issuance of another stoppage order to the small-scale mining groups reiterating the earlier issued stoppage order, and issuance of a notice of implementation directing them to voluntary demolish or dismantle their adits or structures and vacate the area within one month upon receipt of the new stoppage order.
Concerned government agencies, local government units and other stakeholders were furnished the DMRB resolution to seek their full support for the implementation of the stoppage order.
The CMRB is chaired by the regional director of the Cordillera Mines and Geosciences Bureau and the city mayor as vice xhair, with members from the city council, large and small-scale mining representatives and a representative from a non-government organization advocating for environmental preservation and protection.
One freed by Baguio court
BAGUIO CITY – The Duterte government was urged by a militant group to release seven political prisoners in the Cordillera even they welcomed the release of one earlier detained at a court in this summer capital.
The Cordillera Peoples Alliance said it welcomed the temporary freedom and dismissal of one case of Kennedy Bangibang, National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) consultant on Cordillera affairs on August 15 by Judge Rasing of the Regional Trial Court 3 of Baguio City
The CPA said it hoped the release of Bangibang would allow him to join the peace talks (between the government and NDFP) and highlight substantive socio economic and cultural aspirations of the indigenous peoples in the Cordillera.
“We believe that his (Bangibang) solid grounding on the historical and current plights and issues of the indigenous peoples in the region will put more concrete recommendations for the proposed Comprehensive Agreement on Socio Economic Reforms (CASER).
Abigail Anongos, CPA secretary general said Bangibang was arrested on February 13, 2013 in Buguias, Benguet and was charged with multiple “trumped up” charges in Kalinga.
Before his temporary release, Bangibang was one of nine political prisoners in the region.
The CPA said all of them were charged with “multiple fabricated cases” in Ifugao, Mt. Province; Abra and Kalinga.
Among them was Esteban Eduardo, an elderly suffering from hypertension who is now currently detained in Bontoc, Mt. Province after his cases were dismissed in Bangued, Abra.
“Aside from Bangibang, we reiterate our call for the immediate release of the 8 political prisoners in the region and end their suffering from crimes they did not commit. Their families and communities are waiting for them,” the CPA said.
Lastly, we also urge President Rodrigo Duterte and the NDFP to resume the peace talks and address the roots of the armed conflict.
By Zorayda S. Tecson
CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga — Three local government units in Pampanga on Wednesday were placed under the state of calamity following the adverse effect of the continuous moderate to heavy rains brought about by southwest monsoon that battered the province the past days.
The Sangguniang Panglungsod of San Fernando passed a resolution placing the city under a state of calamity due to the onslaught of flood caused by prevailing monsoon rains.
Data from the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC) showed that 14 villages in the City of San Fernando are still submerged under floodwaters.
Some roads in the city proper and other parts were likewise flooded, rendering them impassable to light vehicles.
The municipality of Sto. Tomas and Macabebe were also placed under the state of calamity.
Sto. Tomas Mayor John Sambo said the municipal council has passed a resolution placing the town in a state of calamity so that they can use the calamity funds to help their constituents who have been affected by floodings.
He said they will use part of the calamity fund to provide relief assistance to some 1,000 residents who are still staying in the evacuation centers.
At present, almost 100 percent of Sto. Tomas is still under floodwater.
Local officials as well as residents conducted sandbagging operations to avert breach on the 10- kilometer Sto. Tomas portion of the tail dike.
Aside from sandbagging operation, he said they are likewise pumping out water from the tail dike to avoid possible rapture of the segment of the tail dike which might cause massive flooding.
“We are closely monitoring and inspecting the situation of the dike. We are exerting ways to ensure that the tail dike will not be broken and checkgates be secured so that floodwaters will not pass by the town,” he said.
The Sangguning Bayan of Macabebe has also passed a resolution declaring the town under the state of calamity due to massive flooding.
The Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) said that at least 12 barangays in Macabebe remain flooded up to four feet deep. -- Philippine News Agency
BAGUIO CITY — A bounty of P100,000 will be given to tipsters who can provide information on location of suspects who robbed and killed a money changer operator here two months ago.
The city government of Baguio and the anti-crime group Grace-Guardian Inc. raised the bounty to help in resolving the grisly robbery and killing.
Larry Oliva Haya Sr., 65, who operates a foreign exchange store at the city public market just alighted from a passenger jeepney heading home at Purok 5, Bakakeng Norte, here when two armed suspects pointed guns at him at around 5:40 p.m. on June 15.
Sensing the commotion, his brother, Randolph, 67, came out of their house but was fired upon by the suspects.
The duo fled on foot with a bag full of foreign and Philippine currency worth at least P3 million.
Haya Sr. died in the hospital while his brother was saved.
Right after the incident, policemen were able to find the brown leather sling bag on a grassy area near the creek used by the suspects in their escape.
A tracker team of the Baguio police were able to access a copy of the CCTV footage along the escape route of the two suspects, who according to Supt. Gerry Fernandez, Baguio City police chief for investigation, have not yet been fully identified.
“We are asking the public to help in identifying and nailing down the suspects,” Fernandez said.
DA Sec to corrupt officials: Mend ways
LA TRINIDAD, Benguet -- Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñolurged unity among the officials during recent forum with Cordillera governors, congressmen and mayors here at Benguet State University.
“Since election is all over, we have to work together as one,” said Piñol.
“We, at the Agriculture Department, will be working will all the leaders, regardless of political parties. The important thing is that the officials that were elected by the people represent the people and we,” he added.
Piñol said this is the appeal of President Rodrigo Duterte to have unity among local leaders, regardless of political affiliations for development of communities.
He called on government officials and employees to change their ways and be a partner for change.
He urged corrupt government officials and employees to stop their corrupt actions and instead work for the people.
“ Noon pwede nyong gawin ang gusto nyo pero iba ang panahon ngayon sa administrasyon ni Pangulong Duterte,” he said.
During his visit at the BSU, Pinol together with the Cordillera leaders opened the “Brown for Good Challenge Riceponsible” showcasing the different heirloom rice from the Cordillera provinces. – Redjie Melvic Cawis
Ifugaogov creates anti-drug abuse group
LAGAWE, Ifugao – Gov. Pedro Mayam-o issued and executive order creating the Provincial Anti-Drug Abuse Council (PADAC) Technical Working Group for effective implementation of drug abuse prevention plan.
The PADAC-TWG is chaired by the provincial social welfare with representatives from the Department of Interior and Local Government, Provincial General Service Office, Provincial Health Office, Dept. of Education, Ifugao Provincial Public Safety Company, Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office and Police Provincial Anti-Illegal Drugs as members. The secretariat will be headed by the PWDO.
It will recommend technical matters to the PADAC that would enhance its capacity to respond to developments in the anti-illegal drugs campaign including, but not limited to proposed legislation and appropriations, procurement of suitable drug-testing, equipment and others. – Marcelo B. Lihgawon
Mt Province NGOs, CSO urged: Apply for accreditation
BONTOC, Mountain Province -- Recognizing the role of civil society organizations as partners in development, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan here is inviting all people’s organizations, non-government organizations, cooperatives, and business or professional aggrupation in the province to file their application for accreditation or renewal of accreditation.
This is pursuant to the Implementing Rules and Regulations of Local Government Code of 1991 and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Memorandum Circular No. 2013 – 70.
The Local Government Code mandates every local government unit to promote the establishment and operation of people's and non-governmental organizations to become active partners in the pursuit of local autonomy. It also mandates the local sanggunian concerned to accredit NGOs and Pos subject to such criteria as may be provided by law. -- Juliet B. Saley
Dengue cases in Tabuk drop by 39%
TABUK CITY, Kalinga – Dengue cases in this city dropped by 39 percent from January- June this year compared to same period last year due to anti-dengue efforts,
The City Dengue Monitoring Center reported 159 cases for the period this year compared to 263 in 2015 or a decrease of 104 cases.
Tabuk used to be the most dengue endemic area in the province but during the period, eight of the city’s 42 barangays had zero case namely Balawag, Balong, Cabaritan, Calanan, Malalao, Masablang, Naneng and Suyang.
Cutipye Wing-nga of the CDMC said the remarkable drop in dengue cases in the city is a result of the concerted action by all stakeholders.
Led by the local government unit, government agencies, organizations and residents launched an intensified fight against aedis mosquitoes through massive clearing of surroundings, water ways and canals eradicating the breeding sites. – Larry Lopez
5 access roads in Kalinga completed
RIZAL, Kalinga, -- The concreting of five access road projects in this town were recently completed.
Meyer Adong, Dept. of Interior and Local Government provincial director, said the projects with total allocation of P10 million from the Local Government Support Fund (LGSF) were 100 percent completed.
The completed access road projects are in Barangay Babalag East: Acacia, P1.2M; Revocal, P1.5M; Zamora, P1.3M; Market, P1M and P5M in Liwan West.
Meanwhile, Adong reported that the construction of the P5M Bottom Up Budgeting or the BuBLiwan West evacuation center is ongoing targeted to be done within three months.
Also ongoing is the P67.7M upgrading and improvement of the Bulanao-Laya-Balong provincial road in Tabuk city funded under KALSADA program of DILG.
Recently awarded were improvement of Cogawe-Allubaggan-Darulog access road in Dupligan costing P13M and the P2M Lay-asan River control, both LGSF projects in Tanudan. -- Peter A. Balocnit
Tourists told: Transact only with accredited tour guides
TABUK CITY, Kalinga -- The Provincial Tourism Office here called on tourists to transact only with trained and accredited tour guides when going to the province’s tourism destinations.
Provincial Tourism Officer Lorraine Ngao-I made this warning to prevent tourists from becoming victims of unscrupulous tour guides charging exorbitant fees.
She said there are 128 trained tour guides who were issued the proper IDs mostly in Tinglayan, home of world renowned living tattoo artist Whang-od, last living ‘mambabatok’.
Authorized tour guides are paid P1, 000 a day for up to five persons to guide and P300 per person per night for home stay, Ngao-i said.
To avoid scandal and keep the culture unexploited, host communities ask tourists to come in decent attire or refrain from using revealing clothes.
In another development, the Provincial Tourism Office linked with the National Commission on Culture and the Arts and the Department of Tourism for joint endeavour to promote culture and tourism industries in the province.
Ngao-i disclosed that DOT-CAR and the city LGU will jointly sponsor the conduct of a 2-day catering training here from August 24-25 for accredited hotels and restaurants in the province. -- Peter A. Balocnit
BFP cites Cordillera
partners in fire protection
BAGUIO CITY -- The Bureau of Fire Protection Cordillera Regional Office under Director Senior Supt. Maria Sofia B. Mendoza cited their partners during their 5th year anniversary celebration on August 8 here.
These included Infinite Extreme Distribution of Smart, Tiongsan Department Store, Eurotel Baguio. Sunshine Supermart and their fire volunteers,University of Baguio, Saint Louis University, Abanao Square, Baguio Center Mall, Baguio Water District, City Government of Baguio, EMS Tuba Benguet, La Trinidad, Benguet Water District, the local government units of La Trinidad, Tuba and Sablan in Benguet as well as the water deliveries - Water Gold, Shangda and Balongdong.
BFP Cordillera also expressed their gratitude to Department of Health Regional Health Director Lakshmi Legaspi and local officials and Apayao towns Luna and Flora; towns of Banaue, Kiangan and Lagawe in Ifugao, Ifugao; La Paz, Abra; Pasil, Kalinga, and Bauko, Paracelis, Sabangan and Sagada of Mountain Province. -- John Adi
Tadian sets 3rd Friday of June as Arbor Day
TADIAN, Mountain Province– The third Friday of June has been declared as Arbor Day or synchronized tree planting day in this municipality.
As provided under Municipal Ordinance No. 01, S. 2016, the Arbor Day designated is declared as a public working holiday to ensure the full support of the different sectors of society.
To implement this ordinance, a committee was created with the municipal mayor as the chairman.
Members the chairman of the Committee on Environment in the Local Sanggunian, Environment Specialist, Department of Education – Tadian I & II representatives, Municipal Local Government Operations Officer Mountain Province State Polytechnic College representative, Municipal Agriculturist, Municipal Police representative, RPSB representative, Ligangmga Barangay president, Sangguniang Kabataan, non-government organizations/civic organizations, and media association. -- Juliet B. Saley
Nutri caravan held in depressed Abra town
TINEG, Abra -- The Provincial Nutrition Council in coordination with Abra Medical Society launched Nutrition Caravan in this town last July 30 in line with the celebration of Nutrition Month.
The caravan included nutrition education, micro-nutrient supplementation, nourishment program of Department of Health and feeding program.
Provincial Nutrition program coordinator MaryjuneAdriatico-Algarne said they targeted Tineg since it is the most nutritionally depressed municipality in the province based on Nutritional Status 2015-2016 of the children aging four and below.
Other towns included in the top 10 list of nutritionally depressed are Lagayan, Villaviciosa, Langiden, San Isidro, Pidigan, Lacub, Tayum, La Paz and Bucay.
“These municipalities are listed red mark which means they are above the regional prevalence of 4.48% and provincial prevalence of 8.64%”, said Algarne.
The towns of San Quintin, San Isidro, Sallapadan, Pilar, Malibcong, Luba, Licuan-Baay, Lagangilang, Danglas, Daguioman, Bucloc and Bangued are listed under yellow mark which means not so healthy or above the regional prevalence but below 10%.
Considered as healthy towns (Green mark) are Boliney, Dolores, Manabo, Peñarrubia, San Juan and Tubo. This means that they are below the regional prevalence.
Gov. Ma. Jocelyn V. Bernos has instructed PNC to join forces with other national and local government agencies to place more serious efforts and implement sustainable programs that will lower malnutrition in Abra. -- GinalynBrioso
Sheep propagation set for Mt Prov farmers
BONTOC, Mountain Province -- The Department of Agriculture in coordination with the Office of the Provincial Veterinary is now pushing use of grass-eating animals like sheep as alternative source of livelihood of farmers in the province.
Rodel Bagawi, chief of the Office of the Provincial Veterinary said 11 sheep of Dorper breed were recently distributed to selected farmer –beneficiaries.
The sheep which consist of one ram (male) and 10 ewes (female) were provided by the DA – Cordillera regional office under its livestock dispersal program.
Bagawi said there will be another sheep dispersal as more local farmers expressed interest in breeding sheep in their farms as additional source of livelihood. Breeding sheep in the province he said is very viable since it has plenty of grass and sheep are adaptable to the climate and conditions of the province.
Veterinarians said breeding of sheep is a good business as each mother sheep can give birth every six months or three times within two years. Normally, the mother sheep can give birth to two offsprings for every delivery or six offsprings for every two years.
They said with proper care and feeding management, sheep especially the purebred Dorper ram can reach a live weight of 90-120 kilograms and ewes 50-80 kgs. in five months.
Bagawi said raising sheep is advantageous to farmers as sheep also helps in weeding their plantations and at the same time produce fertilizers through their feces.
The DA in partnership with the local Veterinary Offices had been dispersing livestocks including grass-eating animals like goat, carabao and cow and now sheep to qualified farmers for their additional source of livelihood.
Bagawi advised those who are breeding grass-eating animals to plant grass in their farms or in idle lots to ensure the availability of food for their animals. -- Andrew Doga-ong
Successful Abrenians bring water to remote Abra village
VILLAVICIOSA ,Abra-- People in remote barangays here have now potable water system, courtesy of successful Abrenians who utilized their resources and networks for development of their hometown.
Three years ago, Frank B. Asia, former staff of the Philippine Information Agency - AbraInfocen and now an accomplished businessman, then the president of Rotary Club International – Bangued Chapter proposed to RC International – Ampang Chapter of Malaysia for the funding of a water system project in Barangay Tuquib, this town. RC Ampang was chaired at that time by Violeta Paned-Dorall, also a native of Villaviciosa.
The matching process for fund sourcing was done by Asia’s wife Criselda, also from this municipality.
The project was planned with the community people. It had two phases of implementation. The first phase was the construction of a spring box and an impounding dam in Sitio Wait, Tuquib which was completed in October 2015.
The second phase was bringing the water to the community. Additional funds in the amount of P1.6 million was released by RC-Ampang, however it was not enough.
The residents who have organized themselves into the Rotary Community Corps (RCC) to oversee project implementation and ensure sustainability of the water system, sought the help of then Governor Eustaquio P. Bersamin who responded positively.
A memorandum of agreement was effected and the provincial government province provided materials for the distribution lines.
Hence, water reached not only the community but the households.
The community people provided free labor as their counterpart in the implementation of this project which was formally turned over to the RCC last month in a simple ceremony.
The RCC now takes care of the operation and management of the water system. -- Maria Teresa B. Beñas
SLT Learning Center in Benguet underway
KAPANGAN, Benguet -- The establishment of a School of Living Tradition Learning Center in the municipality of Kapangan is underway.
Provincial Tourism Operations Office Chief Clarita Prudencio said the center will be established in Datakan in a private property owned by Doris Fabian.
The center site was selected based on provincial recommendations as validated by National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA).
The simple structure designed out of traditional or indigenous materials will be used for SLT activities.
It will be a venue to push on with the general concept of the SLT to maximize and teach a wide array of lessons and available art forms in the community. It may also be used for social gatherings to deepen cultural awareness.
Heather Janet Gate, who now takes charge of provincial cultural concerns, bared that Non-Timber Forest Product-Enterprise Program Philippines, a non-government organization funding non-timber and non-concrete structures, together with National Commission for Culture and the Arts-funded the construction of the center amounting to P150,000.00.
A partial amount of P92, 000 as first tranche was released for ground preparations and procurement of indigenous materials found in the area, she said.
The center will be managed by the SLT on Patda Embroidery Group in Datakan.
Gate shared that also being crafted is a masterplan for the center which will serve as blueprint in sustaining teaching of skills and techniques of traditional art or craft passed on to generations.
Meanwhile, Brian Camhit, former NCCA for Northern Cultural Communities representing the Ibaloy/Kankanaey tribe, said they were able to bargain with the NCCA for the various SLTs across the province to hold trainings in their respective areas. He added that there is no new funded SLT project in the province to date but the existing ones were renewed for funding by NCCA. -- Susan C. Aro
Baguio b’gays required to maintain PWD desk
BAGUIO CITY – The City Council approved on first reading a proposed ordinance authored by Councilor Arthur Alad-iw mandating all barangays in the city to a Persons With Disabilities (PWD) desk or committee in their respective barangay to uphold the rights of differently-abled persons in the different parts of the city.
The ordinance stated the PWD desk or committee in the barangays will be under the supervision and control of the Punong Barangay who shall designate the Barangay Kagawad who will chair the committee relative to PWDs or any other official who shall likewise be named as the PWD desk officer. – Dexter A. See
Cordi PNP chief to Mt Prov bocaps:Join fight vs drugs
BONTOC, Mountain Province, -- A ranking police officer rallied the members of the various Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Councils (BADAC) in the province to join the fight against illegal drugs.
Cordillera police director Chief Supt. Elmo Francis Sarona urged barangay officials to support illegal drug drive so as to free their respective communities from the illegal drug menace.
Sarona recently visited the province to dialogue with the BADACs and local officials on campaign against illegal drugs.
Attended by more than 300 village and municipal officials that filled the Mt. Province Multi-Purpose Hall here, Sarona said their presence manifest their strong gesture to get rid of illegal drug problem which he said is very alarming.
Sarona called on officials to make it as a personal commitment to free their respective barangays from illegal drugs stressing that it a moral obligation of everybody to put a stop to the illegal drug trade which he said destroy and erode the moral fibers of some families.
He said barangay officials play crucial roles in the campaign against illegal drugs, they being at the grassroots and have direct contact with the people.
In the same dialogue, Police Supt. Brent Madjaco of the Regional Operations and Plans Division briefed the BADAC members on the PNP’s “OplanTokhang” and “Oplan Double Barrel”, the two main campaigns against illegal drugs is now intensively implemented nationwide.
Provincial police director Supt. Cornelio Comila said there are 276 drug personalities who already surrendered to the local police as a result of the implementation of the “Project Tokhang” or “Oplan Double Barrel” since July1. These came from the municipalities of Bauko, Bontoc, Paracelis, Sabangan, Sagada and Tadian.
President Rodrigo Duterte promised to rid the country of illegal drugs during the first six months of his term. -- Andrew Doga-ong
Ifugao health officials up campaign against dengue
LAGAWE, Ifugao-- The Provincial Health Office has intensified its campaign against dengue in the province.
In a radio interview, Dr. Priscilla Pagada of the PHO disclosed that their office in coordination with other local authorities and health care givers started some interventions to halt the increasing cases of dengue in the 11 municipalities of the province.
As of July 24, the PHO recorded a total of 328 dengue cases provincewide with the town Tinoc having the highest with 88 cases followed by Lagawe – 59; Banaue – 42; Kiangan – 30; Hingyon – 27; Aguinaldo – 23; Asipulo – 22; Lamut – 18; Hungduan – 16; and Alfonso Lista – 3. Only Mayoyao has no case.
Pagada said they have conducted fogging in Tinoc to eliminate mosquito breeding places.
She added they are constantly reminding the practice of search and destroy strategy through the “4’clock habit to eliminate breeding places of mosquitoes.
She said the best preventive measure is the destruction of the breeding places of mosquitoes carrying the dengue virus by having clean surroundings, covering water containers that might serve as the breeding places of the mosquitoes, observing a healthful lifestyle and eating the proper nutritious foods.
“We will continuously conduct surveillance of dengue suspect cases to determine if there’s an outbreak, she said.
Meanwhile, YvonIndunan also of PHO, advised the public to consult a doctor for early detection and management of the disease if ever they experience flu-like symptoms manifesting dengue such as severe headache, muscle and joint pains, extreme fatigue, red rashes and vomiting. -- Marcelo B. Lihgawon
PUJs ordered: Install additional step boards
BAGUIO CITY – The City Council approved on first reading a proposed ordinance requiring all public utility jeepney (PUJ) operators in the city to install an additional step board on their respective units to ease entry and ensure safety and convenience of passengers, especially for persons with disabilities (PWDs), pregnant women, senior citizens and children.
The ordinance authored by Councilor Lilia A. Fariñas stated jeepney operators and owners shall install and pay for the cost of the additional step board.
Since jeepneys differ in brand and model, the local legislative measure stated that a standard width of not less than one foot or as may be necessary, and a standard height of one foot more or less, or as may be necessary, measured from the ground up will determine the uniformity of installation for the additional step as prescribed. -- Dexter A. See
37 health stations to be set up in Mt. Province
BONTOC, Mountain Province --Three government agencies have forged a partnership to establish 37 public school-based barangay health stations (BHS) in the province to make quality health care more accessible to the poor and vulnerable population.
Known as Philhealth TSeKaP (TamangSerbisyo para sa Kalusugan ng Pamilya) accredited Barangay Health Stations, this is a partnership among the Department of Education (DepEd), Dept. of Health (DOH) and the Dept. of Interior and Local Government.
This will be established within public elementary schools in barangays without an existing BHS to ensure that affordable health services are within the reach of every Filipino especially those poor and vulnerable sectors. This may also serve as a school clinic.
Under this partnership, the DepEd provides a lot or portion of the property not being actively utilized in public elementary schools in barangays without an existing BHS and other government health service units.
Primo Aligo of the DepEd-Mountain Province Division Office bared that the DOH has allotted 37 school BHS in the province. Eleven of these are allotted for the municipality of Bauko, 9 in Paracelis, five in Tadian, two each in Bontoc, Barlig and Sagada, and one each in Natonin and Sabangan.
Aligo said the BHS is a pre-fabricated structure worth P1.3million each. -- Juliet B. Saley
Mayor rallies stakeholders for Cordillera autonomy
BAGUIO CITY -- Mayor Mauricio Domogan urged the public to help make the Cordillera autonomous saying awareness of Cordillerans on the matter was increasing but needed to be converted to favorable votes once Congress crafts an autonomy law acceptable to the people.
“The realization of autonomy in the Cordillera will not be for the present generation but for future generations. Effort must be done by the present generation so that our children and our children’s children will not blame us for failing to work for it and grab the opportunity granted to us by the Constitution,” he said.
During Cordillera Month celebration, he reiterated his commitment to remain a staunch advocate for autonomy saying it is the “ultimate solution to the current predicaments of various stakeholders on the snail-paced development, among others.”
Dept. of the Interior and Local Government- Cordillera Director MarloIringan earlier said Cordillera will always be at the losing end of the bureaucracy when national standards are implemented to the fullest because of the region’s small population and land area, which are the basis for the allocation of the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA)from national government.
Iringan said achieving autonomy for the Cordillera is the only justifiable and legal means by which the region could demand from the national government allocation of more resources for development of the region considering that the Cordillera will be treated as a regular region in terms of the allocation of the government’s resources if it will remain as a special administrative region or opt to become a regular region.
He urged sectors to help perk up the region’s renewed quest for regional autonomy even with federalism being strongly advocated by the Duterte administration.
IFAD conducts mission for CHARMP2 in Ifugao
BANAUE, Ifugao -- The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) conducted its 7th regular supervision and implementation support (SIS) mission in the province last July 6-8 for the Second Cordillera Highland Agricultural Resource Management Project (CHARMP2).
The mission recently assessed progress of project implementation and preparatory activities for additional funding and resolve constraints.
The IFAD Team was led by Tawfig El-Zabri with Ed Questalin, an environmentalist and consultant, and Greg Aris from the NEDA.
They had a meeting with the Ifugao Project Management Group and other project provincial stakeholders.
Together with local counterparts, they visited the project beneficiary towns of Asipulo and Hingyon and inspected projects like farm-to-market road and reforestation and agro projects in the areas, had dialogue with the various people’s organizations and held meetings with the municipal officials and other project stakeholders.
Since 2010, the IFAD conducted six missions for the CHARMP2 projects. One of the recommendations of last year’s mission was for the CHARMP2 to be extended for one year without additional cost to scale up target outcomes.
This was approved and so the Project completion was extended to December 31, 2016 and closure by June 30, 2017.
Implemented by the Department of Agriculture, CHARMP 2 aims to reduce poverty and improve quality of life of indigenous people in upland communities in the Cordillera. -- Daniel B. Codamon
Sibud-Sibud Cave in Abra now under DENR program
TINEG, Abra -- The Sibud-SibudCave in this upland town is one of the 39 caves in the Philippines placed under protection and management of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources recently.
Saturnina Miguel of the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office said an area receives protection from DENR for its recognizable beauty and natural and cultural reserves. This is necessary to preserve the caves so the public could enjoy them.
Sibud-Sibud Cave is found along the road of Tineng. An ideal place for nature lovers, it can be reached after travelling a distance of around 33 kms.
It is categorized as Class III since it is less explored and visited. Accordingly, Class III caves may also be utilized for economic activities like extraction or collection of guano or bird’s nest.
The local government units and residents are looking forward to developing the premises of the Sibud-Sibud Cave and establishing physical amenities and public utilities for the comfort of tourists and spelunkers.
Economic activities are expected to grow like tour guiding and collection of bird’s nest which is sold to foreigners as souvenir. Guano or bird’s nest is also made as soup and home remedy for certain illness.
Sibud-Sibud Cave is a threshold to all other potential natural and wildlife sanctuaries in Abra deserving protection, stressed Miguel. -- Ginalyn B. Brioso
Japanese Suzu City officials visit Ifugao
BANAUE, Ifugao-- Five Japanese officials recently visited the province to see for themselves the landscapes and hear from the implementers and local stakeholders the best practices in facilitating sustainable development in the Globally Important Heritage Systems(GIAHS) site of Ifugao .
Suzu City Mayor Masuhiro Izumiya accompanied by the City’s Planning and Financial Division Chief Naoyuki Kaneda, Masako Koinuma, the Director of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Ifugao Satoyama Meister Training Program (ISMTP) Project Leader Koji Nakamura and his associate Dr. Rizalina Edpalina, were welcomed at the Ifugao State University (IFSU) in Lamut with a program.
Mayor Izumiya said that although this was his first time to visit Ifugao, he heard great stories about the culture of the people and the scenic spots such as the Ifugao Rice Terraces.
He commended the twinning project between the Ifugao and Japan GIAHS stakeholders and expects that the ISMTP would continue to foster stronger relationships between the province and Suzo City. He shared that his city, like Ifugao, is also faced with the challenge of a decreasing population due to outmigration of the younger generation in search of better future outside the place.
ISMTP is a joint undertaking of the IFSU under president Serafin Ngohayon, Kanazawa University of Japan, University of the Philippines-Open University, JICA and the Ifugao Provincial Government that envisions to help maintain the World Heritage Sites in the province by identifying endeavors that the people may embark and support scholars that will be trained to spearhead such endeavors.
The program that began in 2014 and will end this year. The scholars after their training here and in Japan will help empower the people in the heritage sites improve their quality of life by harmonizing heritage conservation, environmental preservation and economic activities.
The group visited Banaue as part of their two-day itinerary in the province. In their tour of the town, Ifugao Governor Pedro Mayam-o related stories about the culture, agricultural practices of the Ifugaos while Mayor Jerry Dalipog admitted that the conservation of heritage sites to be successful really needs the common efforts of all stakeholders hence appreciated very much this joint endeavor with the ISMTP.
The Ifugao Rice Terraces is the only GIAHS site in the Philippines. -- Daniel B. Codamon
Mayor allays fears on shift to solar vehicles
BAGUIO CITY -- The transport sector has nothing to be afraid about the proposed shift from gas or diesel-powered motor vehicles to solar powered vehicles as alternative mode of transport, said Mayor Mauricio Domogan.
The mayor told a media forum the city government is still testing capability of said alternative mode of transport in the city.
If the pilot test will generate positive results, “then the next step will be to look into the actual cost of the vehicle to determine its affordability for the benefit of the members of the transport sector,” he explained.
The city government has approved the request of the Glad to be Green group led by businesswoman Gladys Vergara-de Vera to pilot test the use of the solar-powered bus in the city for two months.
This tests the vehicle’s ability to maneuver in the mountainous terrain which will determine its possible areas of operation as it might have limitations especially with the very steep roads around the city. Also included in the on-going pilot test is a study on the affordability of solar-powered vehicles which is a main consideration prior to its use by certain members of the transport sector.
Accordingly, solar-powered vehicles do not emit smoke which will result to cleaner air for the City, which will result to better health for the public that will in turn translate to lesser expense in terms of keeping themselves healthy thus improving productivity and quality of life.
Domogan said that the acquisition of franchise will only be applicable when the study on the use of the solar power vehicle will have been proven feasible and beneficial.
Benguet overshoots rabies vaccination target
LA TRINIDAD, Benguet -- The free massive anti-rabies vaccination campaign in the province was successfully conducted even overshooting its target.
An interagency collaboration with the Department of Agriculture, Department of Health, Department of Education, Department of Interior and Local Government and municipal local governments, the anti-rabies campaign led by the Office of the Provincial Veterinarian, started in March as part of Anti-rabies Awareness Month observance and extended until June.
Provincial Veterinarian Dr. Miriam Tiongan said they have exceeded the target of the dog population by 7.34 percent which is above the national target of 70% and the region’s target of 80%.
Of the total dog population of 35,069 in the 13 towns of the province, 30,628 dogs were vaccinated.
The capital town of La Trinidad had the highest number of dogs vaccinated with 6,479 out of the 7,652 dogs.
Other towns that had high rate of vaccination are Bakun, Kapangan and Buguias.
The campaign is aimed to eradicate rabies by 2020. Fortunately, no rabid dog case is recorded this year so far, Tiongan said.
The OPVet is still doing vaccination but already with a minimal charge. The Office is also continuously conducting information education and administering spay and neuter as a means of controlling dog population. -- Susan C. Aro
Sablan PNP gives school supplies to pupils
SABLAN, Benguet--Four schools in far-flung barangays here benefited from a dart tournament of the Sablan Municipal Police Station.
Through the Adivay Shi Eskwedaan program of the Sablan MPS under Senior Inspector Azalea Rabena, the police officers personally gave school supplies such as notebooks, papers, rulers, pencils, bags and uniform to the 31 pupils of Taya Multi-Grade School in SitioTaya of Barangay Pappa.
They also turned over school supplies including two sets of uniform and backpack to 20 pupils of the Yabyabuan Multi Grade School and Sadu’l Multi Grade School in Barangay Bagong. They also conducted a feeding program in these schools.
Also beneficiaries of school supplies are the children of the Lower Tenekey Day Care Center in Barangay Kamog.
Rabena, who recently finished her tour of duty in Sablan, said that they conducted the second Darts for a Cause event last March to help the educational needs of some of the far-flung schools in the municipality.
“It is a demonstration that police officers are not merely concerned to peace and order matters but have the heart of considering the sound health of the community,” said Rabena.
“Helping others is not only good for them and good thing to do, it also makes us happier and healthier too. Giving also connects us to others, creating stronger communities and helping to build a happier society for everyone. Bridging the gap and extending our hands can create a better community,” she added.
Rabena extended gratitude to the individuals and groups who supported the dart for a cause tournament and their endeavor particularly the darters community in Baguio City and Benguet. -- RedjieMelvicCawis
BCC manager 112th NL squadron commander
BAGUIO CITY – For former television journalist Andrew Pinero, 48, his seven-day rigid but enjoyable Philippine Navy reservist training jumpstarts his preparation for the future.
“Especially with the situation in the West Philippine Sea,” he said.“When the time comes na kailanganin tayong bansa, handa ako.”
Twenty-five “brave and willing” men and women finished the first ever training course for Philippine Navy reservists held in northern Luzon held at the Philippine Military Academy complex here last week.
Eleven women, which is almost half or 48 percent of the batch, joined the 04-16 class “Bakunawa” (sea dragon).
Lt. Commander Anthony De Leon, commander of the 112th Squadron, Northern Luzon Naval Reserve Command said the training aims to develop a high sense of volunteerism among the pioneer men and women.
“We want to enhance and improve the image of the reservists,” De Leon said, citing the road rage incident which involved reservist VhonTanto.
Being a reservist enhances the sense of service to community and service to country, De Leon added.
Pinero, who eventually placed as topnotcher of the class, together with his 24 other classmates underwent a seven-day basic military course that included military and defense doctrines, map reading, firearms proficiency, field training exercises and other basic military skills.
The reserve naval officer said the training will also prepare the reservists when they are called into duty.
But during peace time, naval reservists could become responders during disasters or extend community services or conduct environmental protection efforts within the community.
There are 15,000 Navy reservists in the whole of northern Luzon.
De Leon said there will be a second batch of trainees in October to add up to the increasing number of interested would-be Naval reserve officers.
“There are doctors, other professionals intending to join us,” he said.
Reservists comprise 80 percent of the 120,000-strong Armed Forces of the Philippines. Only 20 percent are regular members.
According to De Leon, the campaign for Navy reservists is gaining up in the area as more Filipino patriots show fervor to serve and become ready when the time comes.