MOUNTAIN PROVINCE - Vice Mayor Harry Baliaga of Besao has this to say about the
proposed windfarm atop the Langsayan- Pilaw ridge between Besao and Sagada
towns. The people should know disadvantages because what proponent
Philcarbon is saying is all about the good wind mills supposedly bring, he
said. He added that most people in his hometown share the same
top question that people from Besao and Sagada ask and want to know the
answer they shall be fully satisfied of, is the effect of windmills on springs
and the watershed. And for a wind farm which has not yet been erected
on any watershed in the country apart from windmills getting
protested in other countries proposed for construction on a watershed, this
exploratory Sagada-Besao windfarm project continues to receive questions
day one when Philcarbon went about proposing a wind farm to the people of
Sagada during the consultation May last year in Bangaan barangay, effect
on springs where sources domestic water and irrigation
for ricefields and gardens is their major concern. The
question remains unanswered and people are still asking, with some already set
in saying No to a project saying they don’t want the watershed disturbed.
Patay resident Henry Yamashita who owns a lot where finds a spring
sourced by a number of households in Dagdag
and Patay for their domestic and irrigation water says
he does not like the watershed disturbed as he does not like the springs
disturbed. The spring where water gushes from a rock supplies a number of
residents of barangays Patay and nearby Dagdag.
that is so, community leader and former high school teacher Soledad
Belingon emphasized in a recent consultation that the
public should know the advantages and the disadvantages of
the proposed windfarm to aid them in decision making
whether to give their consent or not to the building of the windfarm.
Philcarbon plans to build a 15 megawatt farm atop the Pilaw-Langsayan ridge.
Ten wind turbine posts are projected to be installed along this ridge covering
a 648 hectare windfarm project approved by the Department of Energy. The
ridge locates a critical watershed where finds springs that supply hundreds of
residents of northern and central Sagada and adjacent barangays of northern and
central Besao of precious water for domestic, commercial and agricultural use.
May consultation last year was emphatic about the need for a study on the
environmental effects of the wind farm. The public awaits presentation of a
study still not made public by Philcarbon.
second general assembly is yet to be scheduled by the communities affected
following the first general assembly conducted February this year with the
validation of results of an earlier field-based investigation. The presentation
asked more questions- effects of vibrations of windmills on water systems and
effect of noise the turbine propellers generate.
plans to build the wind farm by 2014.
during the May consultation, Provincial Environment and Natural Resources
Officer Manuel Pogeyed with masteral thesis on the customary batangan
system of forest protection is emphatic about Philcarbon taking note of local
particularities in their proposed project.
is a basically an agricultural town visited by some 30,000 to some 50,000
tourists a year to include domestic visitors who conduct their seminars and
conferences here. Visitors make use of some waters sourced from springs cradled
by the Pilaw-Langsayan watershed with at least five major inns and
restaurants in Poblacion and Dagdag accessing their water here.
here while they engage in the tourism business also tend to their rice
fields and gardens along with the doing of cultural practices revolving
around continuity of water, abundant growth of riceplants, and good
hundred and more households from Dagdag and Patay barangays make use of
water sourced from the Pilaw-Langsayan serving as the mother watershed
cradling water springs located in different nearby areas.
water from the Pilaw-Langsayan watershed and its adjacent areas forms part of
the Chico River fed by tributaries Balas-iyan and Amlusong rivers.the Chico
river in turn irrigates ricefields located along the course of the
river to name Sabangan, Bontoc, Sadanga, Tinglayan and Tabuk of Kalinga
all the way to the rice producing provinces of Isabela and Cagayan.
households source their water from nearby springs coming from adjacent Datakan,
Ampakaw, and watersheds cradling the Boasaw waters where now is a source of an
unrealized P36 million government project bidded out December 2011 not
having reached households of the water- needy Poblacion yet. Time check,
it’s now April of 2013.
fate of these rivers and waters for domestic, commercial and agricultural use
hangs unanswered whether the installation of wind turbines shall affect water systems.
the 80 meter tall turbines with a five meter depth underground on a
20 x 20 meter footing concreted area disturb water systems of the
Pogeyed says aquifers are located in different underground areas of the
watershed. He said there is a need for hydrology tests to determine critical
and non-critical areas of water points.
in an earlier interview said Philcarbon shall make sure wind farm structures
shall not hit water systems.
watershed being critical is by principle not supposed to be disturbed much as
it is critical. This is an elementary tenet of watershed protection.
Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA) recognizes this and specially provide in
its guidelines on free prior and informed consent (FPIC) activities do not
include protected and critical areas such as watersheds.
peoples have their distinct cultural practices revolving on their
ways of life specially agricultural in nature, one important resource
of which is the watershed where sources water for their
irrigation and domestic use while believing that spirits of nature
and Kabunian keep water and forest life sustained for
a critical watershed is what a windfarm does in order to operate successfully.
Aside from tons of cement and other materials poured in a 400 square meter
foundation per turbine, cutting of trees is logically necessary to freely
accommodate whirring rotor blades 80 meters in diameter, and
building of an access road including downgrading some slopes to accommodate
hydraulic fluids necessary for turbine operations pose pollutant-threats to
existing water sources. Is this clean energy?
the fate of a critical watershed and limited water sources for energy is a
dangerous and risky gamble forwarded by Poblacion residents here who does not
like the construction of the windfarm.
megawatts of energy is all that Mountain Province need. The newly approved
Napua-Sabangan mini hydro dam is designed to produce 15 megawatts of
electricity three times the current peak demand of Mountain Province. Why the
need for a Sagada-Besao windfarm, ask signatories in a petition signed by
townspeople of Dagdag and Poblacion Sagada.
guide Ben Calpi says Sagada is already accessing electricity from MOPRECO. What
is the extra energy for?
chairman Engr Rufino Bumasang said energy generated from the windfarm is
designed to be sold and fed to the national electrical grid. And do
household consumers expect lessened electrical costs? As mentioned
by Philcarbon president Ruth Owen during the May consultation,
electricity rates shall not decrease. Generation costs definitely shall
increase energy costs.
Mountain Province electric cooperative (MOPRECO) general manager Jude Domoguen
said feeding directly to MOPRECO lines can make electricity costs for consumers
cheaper. The community may negotiate with Philcarbon to effect this, he
said. And will the community negotiate for cheaper costs? And would Philcarbon
accede to lessened electric costs apart from negotiated share of
the community from carbon credits if ever, which in the first
place is a major reason why energy companies get into this
renewable energy business.
energy in the name of clean energy is the name of the energy business today.
Thanks to environmentalists and the Kyoto protocol! With carbon credits
bought at some yearly carbon revenue of 15,000 to 20,000 European euro
per megawatt of installed wind energy, renewable energy is a real
energy is not any different from business as usual.
–emitting companies and nations shall continue to emit their carbon pollutants
and buy offsetting carbon credits mostly from developing countries
with vast untapped natural resources potential to be industrially transformed
to ‘clean energy’ .
and wind farm equipment shall be purchased from Europe particularly Germany and
Denmark, shipping business shall contract transport wind mill equipment to the
Third world. Financing banks shall continue to reap in interest rates along
with other conditionalities.
another business for transporting vehicles to carry this heavy material all the
way from foreign lands to Philippine shores to the mountain or beach sites of
where the wind farm shall find reality, and it’s another contract for turbine
installation in the wind farm site itself. It’s another business if a company
shall broker the FPIC it has gained from a community to another financially
capable energy company. Or it may continue on financing and managing its energy
to make renewable energy business sleek and smooth in the Philippines,
the Renewable Energy Act of 2008 provides for feed- in tariff with
standard rates shall be shouldered by the consumer public to ensure income for
the investing company, income tax holidays, duty free holidays, and
tax-free carbon credits plus income from power generation charges shall be
assured of renewable energy companies investing with the Philippine
government. It’s a holiday!
what else does national law provide? A mere 1% royalty for host barangays of
Sagada and Besao who shall share 40% share of Local government units from
the 1% royalty and the national government getting 60%.
meantime, what does the host community get in return if the windfarm finds
reality? Apart from a measly 1% royalty fee, and increased electricity rates,
the community shall finds trees wiped off from its watershed, its water systems
disturbed and springs threatened of whether or not water shall still gush
some may still be thinking of negotiating for build-operate–transfer schemes.
How fair is fair? The question of pitting nature vs business cum development
gets tricky. The question of keeping traditional and sustained ways of
life get threatened over dazzling promises of money and infrastructure. How
much of money and infrastructure does the community need. Are you ready for the
change and the backlash of nature and disintegrated cultural and once
harmonious systems. Nature has a trade off and it’s a choice communities come
to intelligently decide.
keep the watershed is blowing in the wind.
On the upside, I have built many
database and communications systems for several government agencies. On the
downside however, most of these systems are gone by now, after becoming victims
to the change of administrations, and the unavailability of budget supports.
This seems to be the problem when it comes to personal computers that are
purchased by government agencies. Without provisions for maintenance and
repair, many of these computers just end up being useless, in effect thrown to
a category referred to in government jargon as “unserviceable”.
It would actually be inaccurate
to say that there is no budget, because all government agencies have a
provision for “maintenance and other operating expenses” (MOOE). The problem
is, this budget is seldom used for what it is intended to be. It could
therefore be said that what is lacking is not the money, but a culture of
maintenance that is not there, even if it is supposed to be there. To some
extent however, it could be said that the main cause of the problem is the lack
of trained and capable personnel who could do the professional maintenance work
from within these agencies.
Generally speaking, hardware and
software assets are easier to acquire because anyone could just buy these. What
are more difficult to acquire are the people, the manpower base that is needed
to keep the systems running in good order and condition. This is easier said
than done, because the more skilful these people are, the more expensive they
are, and are harder to get. The irony here is that the better they are, the
more attractive they become to the private sector. To some extent, it could
even be said that if they are really that good, they would already be pirated
by the private companies and they would no longer be in the government
agencies. Of course, the circumstances would vary from one agency to another.
Very good or not so good however,
most maintenance people in the government agencies are good enough to train,
and they become better if they are trained very well. While this appears to be
a chicken and the egg situation, there is actually a way out, and the way out
is good training. Why am I talking about computers when in fact I am talking
about the work of the government agencies? My answer goes back to my opening
statement that I have built many database and communications systems for
government agencies in the past, but few have survived the test of time, hence
there is no permanence. Why are database and communications systems so
important, that’s because most of what the government agencies do today are
backed up by these two assets.
There is a big difference between
systems based computing and web based computing. The good news is, web based
computing is less expensive, and is easier to maintain and sustain. To add to
the good news, many companies all over the world have invested (or may have
over invested) in cloud based infrastructure; the backend that supports web
based computing. Even if you are not yet familiar with cloud computing, you
might as well know that you are already using it (or you are already being
served by it), as you connect to the internet, and as you use your mobile
To some extent, it could be said
that technology has actually turned full circle, as it moved from the old
client-server architecture that used dumb terminals connected to mainframes to
the present cloud based architecture that uses remote servers and browser-based
devices. This might be too technical for most people to understand, but what is
important is for everyone to know that government agencies could now maintain
and sustain their database and communications systems without buying their own
servers and without hiring too many technical people for maintenance tasks.
There is an old saying in the
digital work that in the end, content is going to be king. That is actually a
comparative statement, because it refers to the relative importance of content,
compared to both the hardware and the software. While I do not argue against
this old saying, I want to add that manpower is important too, because in
effect it is the kingmaker. Even if database and communications functions are
now easier because of cloud computing, our government agencies would still need
well trained manpower to administer the content.
Almost everyone is now on
Facebook, and it is the king of the moment. While it is good for government
agencies to have their own group pages in the popular social networking sites,
nothing beats the advantage of having their own social networking site that is
linked to their own agency website. The challenge nowadays is to maintain a
website that is good not only for posting information, but also for offering
online transactions. In other words, government agencies should now level up
towards having dynamic sites that are transactional, not just static sites that
BAGUIO CITY – The issuance of
land titles by different government agencies has led to conflict among lot
claimants like in the case of watersheds in this summer capital which are now
being openly sold.
Sen, Chiz Escudero bared this
saying vital government properties titled by the National Commission on
Indigenous Peoples particularly those within watersheds in the city for example
have added to the conflict.
The city government sought to
stop the sale of lands within watersheds to no avail as claimants said they
were the real owners of these properties since they have NCIP titles.
Escudero said this could not have
happened if there was only one government land titling office. “As of this time
we have different government offices which are issuing land titles: the NCIP,
courts, the Department of Agrarian Reform among others.”
He added if reelected, he would
work to make government come up with only one office which would issue land
The issue cropped up during a
forum with local media at El Cieleto Hotel Thursday where he showed up with
senatorial candidate Grace Poe.
His girlfriend Heart Evangelista
was nowhere in sight.
Baguio officials earlier said “unscrupulous
individuals” are now selling watersheds to buyers and have entered and
introduced improvements on them to the detriment of the city.
Vice mayor Daniel Farinas said
this was alarming and the city government had to do something legally during an
executive-legislative meeting recently at city hall.
Earlier, the Court of Appeals in
a decision denied the petition of the Office of the Solicitor General for the
nullification of Original Certificates of ancestral Land titles (CALT’s) issued
by the NCIP over prime lots within Forbes Park and Wright Park.
Mayor Mauricio Domogan said the
cases were not yet over and motions for reconsideration on the CA’s decision
have been filed.
The city government has brought
to the attention of the Task Force for Baguio and Boracay composed of top
officials, concerns regarding issuances of Certificates of Ancestral Land
Titles (CALT’s) over parks and watersheds of the city.
The move was for the task force
to understand the alarming environmental impact it poses to Baguio if forest
reserves within the city continue to be titled to private individuals.
Officials said these recent
developments will cause problems for the city and will have great impact on
remaining forest and watershed cover.
Mayor Domogan said sale of lands
within Forbes Park reservation and Wright Park remain invalid and illegal even
as the CA dismissed the petition for nullification of titles over the said
public properties filed by the Office of the Solicitor-general.
The local chief executive said
the CA decision did not attain finality because the Solicitor-General already
filed a motion for reconsideration questioning dismissal of the petition on
“The public must be warned not to
be enticed to buy lands within the Forbes Park reservation and the Wright Park
area since the sale of the lands remain illegal considering that the areas are
the city’s only remaining forested areas that must be preserved and protected,”
He cited the decision of the NCIP
favoring the ancestral claim of the heirs of Lauro Carantes over a 23-hectare
portion of Forbes Park and the claim of Josephin Abanag over Wright Park that
includes the site of the Philippine Information Agency in the Cordillera and
some golf holes of the Baguio Country Club are highly irregular.
According to him, the city
government has still a chance to question the merit of the case before the
Supreme Court if the CA decides to uphold its earlier decision dismissing the
petition to nullify the aforesaid ancestral titles considering that there are
numerous SC rulings that cited that merits of cases must not be compromised by
it is true that Republic Act 8371 or the Indigenous Peoples rights Act
recognizes the charter of the city, Domogan said IPRA also recognizes ancestral
land claims that were previously recognized by administrative bodies and the
courts pursuant to Section 78 of the said law which took effect in November of
Domogan raised the question whether or not the ancestral claims of the heirs of
Carantes over a portion of Forbes Park and the ancestral claims of Abanag over
Wright Park were previously recognized by the courts or administrative bodies
prior to effectivity of IPRA.
also questioned the procedure adopted by the NCIP in granting the ancestral
claims of the heirs of Luaro Carantes over a portion of Forbes Park and Abanag
over Wright Park considering that the recognition of the ancestral land claims
grossly violated the outlined procedures, particularly the delisting of the
parks and reservations. – Alfred Dizon
LAOAG CITY, Ilocos Norte –
Motorcycle-riding men shot dead a pastor of the Church of Christ and
coordinator of the Kabagis party-list group in front of his wife and a fellow
pastor here Thursday morning.
Police said the bullet hit the
jaw of Pastor Macario Campañano, 40, and exited through his head.
Campañano’s wife Mina said she
had no idea of who could have plotted her husband’s killing, although she added
he had campaigned hard for certain politicians.
CAMP FLORENDO, La Union –
Joint operatives found high-powered guns and ammunitions from two mayoralty
candidates in Marcos, Ilocos Norte in separate implementation of search
warrants on Tuesday.
Reports reaching this Camp showed
that the police found at least nine assorted firearms such as shotguns, long
rifles and a .45 caliber pistol from the home of re-electionist Mayor Salvado
Pillos of the Lakas-NUCD.
“Except for two firearms which
bore minor discrepancies, all guns were licensed. Mayor Pillos has agreed to
deposit those not covered by proper licenses to the Marcos police station,”
said Senior Supt. Gerardo Ratuita, Ilocos Norte police director.
Ilocos Norte policemen and
elements of the Regional Intelligence Division here also found a licensed 9mm
pistol and two magazines for a .45 caliber pistol from the house of mayoralty
candidate Arsenio Agustin who is running under the Nationalista Party ticket of
Gov. Imee Marcos.
Ratuita said police took
Agustin’s gun for further verification because its license is under the name of
his nephew Rodolfo Lobo Agustin.
He said no charges will be filed
against the candidates.
The police had placed Marcos an
area of concern for the May elections following the murder of mayoralty
candidate Alfred Arce and the failed assassination attempt on Pillos. Both
incidents took place separately in February.
TABUK CITY, Kalinga -- The
provincial government has formed a committee to deal on road right-of-way
(RROW) problems now causing delay on road improvement projects.
Gov. Jocel Baac, told a media
forum an executive order will be issued to form the committee composed of the
Department of Public Works and Highways, Provincial Engineering Office,
National Irrigation Administration, Provincial Legal office, Department of
Environment and Natural Resources, Department of Interior and Local Government,
Integrated Bar of the Philippines, Land Transportation Office, Armed Forces of
the Philippines, Philippine National Police, Provincial Assessor’s Office,
Tabuk city local government unit, and the National Commission on Indigenous
Natividad Sugguiyao, provincial
NCIP officer, was named chairman of the committee tasked to act with dispatch
on RROW problems so that development could be smoothly carried including routes
of drainage canals in Bulanao area and Avocado creek in Dagupan, both of this
He urged committee members to
dialogue with RROW encroachers and to recommend solutions.
The creation of the RROW
committee was prompted by the delayed construction of a six-lane road in
Bulanao when RROW encroachers secured a temporary restraining order from the
court allegedly on the environment effects of the project. – PIA, Kalinga
BAGUIO CITY – Illegal mining
activities in four sites at the Banaue Rice Terraces were discovered by the
Mines and Geosciences Bureau despite denials by Ifugao officials.
Engineer George Baywong,
MGB-Cordillera supervising science research specialist has found that
Poblacion, Nompolia, Baang and Wangwang sites at the more than 2,000-year-old
heritage sites in Banaue are being mined by locals illegally.
Earlier, Ifugao officials denied
reports of mining activities along the World Heritage Site in Ifugao.
Earlier, mining permits were
denied by the MGB on at least two firms- Shipside Inc. and the Horizon
Resources Corp.– because their applications were lacking in consent from local
However, the same firms asked
government to think twice about their applications at the midst of mining
operations in the area.
MGB accounts for 106 small scale
mining groups in the highland Cordillera.
Most are not covered by mining
He said Abra has 14 groups while
Apayao has 10, Kalinga with eight, Mt. Province with four, Ifugao with three
and Benguet with 67 groups.
Most of the groups in Benguet
province are operating illegally in Itogon.
The MGB said the town, a site of
an ongoing gold rush, is most problematic in terms of small scale mining
MGB claims miners insist on their
illegal activities despite orders from government to halt these.
Such a gold rush now, Baywong
explains, is being driven by the present high command of gold in the market
reaching P2,000 plus per gram.
Gold was earlier pegged only at
P300 per gram.
The poverty situation, Baywong
admits, forces miners to persist on their activities even without permits and
the government’s current ban in zones identified as perilous and tourist areas.
SAN FERNANDO CITY, Pampanga -- A father
sacrificed his own life to shield his son from his predator.
Last March 1, the blissful
relationship of the Sarzuela family was shattered when a lone gunman ended the
life of its patriarch at around 11:30 in the evening in front of the victim’s
home at Phase 3, St. Jude Village, Barangay San Agustin this city.
Police investigation disclosed
that the 54 year old Sarzuela had tried to rescue his 27-year old son, Hener,
from his assailant who reportedly poked a gun at his son’s head while arguing
outside their home.
The attacker was identified as
Emilio Avenido, 52, from Brgy Magliman, was allegedly armed with a .22 cal
revolver when he went to the victim’s place and confronted Hener.
Mindful of the situation, the
older Sarzuela who was then inside the house reportedly armed himself with a
bolo and confronted the suspect telling him to lower his gun.
The attacker, however, fired
shots at Nerio “several times.’’
Police said that Hener’s father
had fought back and even hacked the suspect that eventually forced the latter
to drop his gun on the ground.
Nerio was brought to San Fernando
hospital for treatment but was pronounced dead by Dr. Genesis Ipac at about
1:30 am on April 1.
Initial investigation showed that
suspect Avenido had fled the scene while Nerio was being rushed to the
But a follow-up operation
conducted by operatives from City of San Fernando Police Station resulted in
the arrest of Avenido who was seeking prophylaxis for his wounds at Jose B.
Lingad hospital in San Fernando, Pampanga.
Police authorities said it
already filed appropriate charges against the suspect. The recovered firearm
will also be brought to PNP RCLO-3 in Camp Olivas, Pampanga for further
BAYOMBONG, Nueva Vizcaya –
The congressional race here is heating up and Cagayan Valley’s most closely
watched fight as the main protagonist aims for an unprecedented 29th year in
Congress while his rival seeks to become the first congresswoman of the
Rep. Carlos Padilla and
three-term Gov. Luisa Cuaresma used to be political allies for more than two
decades but have turned bitter rivals in the race for the province’s lone
Both have yet to be defeated in
the local political arena.
Cuaresma, who bids to extend her
winning streak in elections since she joined politics in 1988, is out to end
Padilla’s nearly three-decade of congressional dominance here.
57, rose to political stardom following the kidnap-slay of her husband, then
Bambang town mayor Benjamin Cuaresma Jr., in 1987.
killing of Cuaresma’s husband generated a public outcry, catapulting her to
Bambang’s mayorship and allowing her to serve for three successive terms before
being elected vice governor for two terms.
She was first
elected governor in 2004, making her the second elected woman governor of the
province after the late Natalia
her gubernatorial bet, three-term Vice Gov. Jose Gambito, recently joined the
United Nationalist Alliance, formalizing their separation from the Padillas,
their allies since the 1980s.
Padilla, 68, held the
congressional post here for over two decades now.
He served as mayor of the then
still undivided Dupax town before winning a seat in the interim Batasang
Pambansa in 1978, courtesy of the then ruling Kilusang Bagong Lipunan of then
From thereon, Padilla, provincial
chairman of the Nacionalista Party, was elected congressman from 1987 to 1992,
1995 to 2004, and 2007 to the present. He lost in his senatorial bids in 1992
BONTOC, Mountain Province --
About 710 students and out- of -school youth in the province will be employed
this summer under the Special Program for the Employment of Students (SPES) of
the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).
DOLE provincial head Samuel
Lasdacan said Public Employment Service officers in municipalities are now
screening student applicants based on pre-employment documents for their
employment this April.
Lasdacan said their office is now
strictly requiring student-applicants to submit complete pre-employment
documents not only to determine if they are qualified to the program but also
to hasten the release of their wages later on.
The SPES, a yearly job generation
program of the government, is intended to help poor but deserving students to
pursue their studies by providing them employment during vacation to augment
their tuition fees for the coming school year.
Qualified in the program are high
school, college and vocational students and out of school youth ages 15-25 who
intend to enroll in the following school year.
Based on the approved SPES
allocation for the province, DOLE has allotted P1,143,446.08 as its 40 percent
counterpart for the salaries of the students while the different local
government units and some private establishment employers have a total pledge
of commitment of P1,715,169.00 which represents their 60 percent counterpart.
This year, the eastern
municipality of Natonin will employ the most number of 192 students followed by
the office of the provincial governor with 150 students. The office of the vice
governor will also hire 50 students.
The local government unit of
Bauko will employ 96 students, Sabangan – 40; Bontoc – 26; Tadian – 25; Sagada
– 25; Besao – 25; Sadanga – 24, and Barlig – 20.
Four private participating
employers namely the Xijen College of Mt. Province, Episcopal Diocese of
Northern Philippines, Samoki Valley Inn and Restaurant and CYD Enterprise will
employ a total of 33 students.
Lasdacan explained that the SPES
students after getting the 60 percent of their salaries from their employers,
have to get payrolls as basis for the preparation of the remaining 40 percent
wage from DOLE which will be given in the form of checks when they present or
show proof of enrollment for the school year.
Vice President Jejomar C.
Binay Wednesday awarded 172 local government units in Northern Luzon for
completing the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB) training on
formulation and updating of their respective Comprehensive Land Use Plans
Ten LGUs received gold award
for having CLUPs and Zoning Ordinances approved by the Sangguniang
Ten and 47 got silver and bronze,
respectively, for drafting their CLUPs and Zoning Ordinances, and processing
them for approval.
Some 105 LGUs, on the other hand,
obtained Certificates of Completion for finishing the four planning modules on
drafting CLUPs and zoning ordinances.
“Nais naming bigyan ng parangal
ang 172 lokal na pamahalaan dito sa Region 1, Region 2 at Cordillera
Administrative Region na nagsikap at nagpakahirap makatapos sa training na
isinagawa ng HLURB sa CLUP formulation o updating,” Binay said.
“Special mention ang ating
sampung gold awardees. Ibig sabihin ng gold, hindi lang nila nagawa ang
CLUP, naipasa na rin ito ng kanilang mga Sangguniang Panlalawigan,” he added.
Those who received gold award
included La Paz and Arrubia in Abra; Sta. Cruz, Sugpon, and Vigan City in
Ilocos Sur; Binalonan and Dasol in Pangasinan; and Angadanan, San Manuel and
San Mateo in Isabela.
HLURB, per Binay’s instruction,
launched a CLUP Zero Backlog Project in 2012 which aimed to provide
technical assistance to LGUs in CLUP formulation and updating.
President stressed the need for LGUs to have their CLUPs, calling it the
“beginning of your road map towards growth and development.”
“Isang paalala ang CLUP na ang
lupa ay isang mahalagang resource dahil ito ay limitado. Kailangang pag-isipang
mabuti kung paano ninyo ito gagamitin kasabay ng pangangalaga ninyo dito,”
However, he noted that LGUs
should reinforce their CLUPs with Zoning Ordinances that will ensure the
implementation of the land use plans.
“Kahit na may CLUP kayo, kung
hindi naman ninyo ito susundin sa implementasyon ng inyong mga programa, at
papayagan ninyong magtayo ng kung anu-anong proyekto kahit saan ang iba’t ibang
sektor at kumpanya, balewala rin po ito. You will defeat your very own purpose,”
“Katulad po ng ating mga
graduates, kung hindi naman po nila gagamitin ang kanilang mga pinag-aralan,
wala rin po silang mararating. Ito ang hamon sa atin sa
araw na ito: ang maayos at matagumpay na pagpapatupad ng inyong CLUP at Zoning Ordinances
tungo sa kaunlaran ng inyong bayan,” he added.
As of writing, 680 out of 1,132 LGUs, which had no CLUP or
had outdated land use plans, have completed the different training modules of
HLURB, and 551 of have already formulated their CLUPs.
ITOGON, Benguet -- Peter Pablito,
an operator of a small-scale mining tunnel in Barangay Ucab here has doubled
his family’s income after venturing into mushroom production introduced by the
management of Benguet Corp., the country’s oldest mining company.
In an interview, Pablito bared
that the income he is generating from what he first thought to be just a
“sideline” is about equal now with what he is deriving from his main livelihood
small-scale mining, considering how thriving the industry of mining is at
Pablito related that after
finishing their training sometime July last year, he applied what he learned,
starting with 800 fruiting bags that he prepared in an enclosed structure
beside his house. Two months after, he started selling his produce.
Though what he is harvesting is
still modest in volume, he was able to network with his trainer, who is
supplying him with additional mushroom starters, which made him sell an average
of 400 kilos a month.
Buoyed by this development and
the potential for an even bigger profit, he is now targeting more areas in his
backyard from which to propagate mushrooms which he will sell to interested
buyers from other barangays of the mineral-rich town.
Pablito is just one among the
local residents who put into good use the mushroom growing livelihood training
that they received from Benguet Corporation which is inclined to provide
alternative sources of livelihood for villagers within its host and neighboring
“We are happy to have an added
source of income for my family aside from our being involved in small-scale
mining,” Pablito said.
He added he is earning
substantial income of around P40,000 from his earlier P20,000 monthly income
while working as a small scale mining alone.
A women’s group in Poblacion,
Itogon, which is part of the first batch who took advantage of the free
training, continue to sustain and expand their commercial production for almost
two years now and are now contributing to the stability of supply of mushroom
in the different parts of the province.
All of the program beneficiaries
underwent hands-on training at the mining company’s Mushroom House and an
educational tour/farm visit to the Central Luzon State University in Nueva
Ecija, which specializes on mushroom production.
Benguet Corp, through its social
development and management program, has made mushroom growing the main focus of
its livelihood initiative for its host and neighboring communities over the
past several years thereby helping sustain descent sources of livelihood for
LAOAG CITY – Raw oysters locally known as tirem downed a
family of three and their neighbor here in Barangay Caaoacan March 16.
Authorities said Carmelia
Paulino, 48, her daughter Cecil Macaganda and son-in-law Benjie Macaganda, and
neighbor Anabelle Ansagay suffered stomach pains, nausea and vomiting after
eating the oysters they had bought from a vendor in Ilocos Sur.
It is the third suspected food
poisoning case in Ilocos Norte since last month.
Last week, 60 Laguna barangay
officials on an educational tour were rushed to the hospital after taking
breakfast in a local hotel.
In San Nicolas town, 11 firemen
were downed after eating stale fish in their headquarters last Feb. 10.
Indigenous peoples' partylist Katribu assailed the lifting of the moratorium on
new mining applications, announced by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau last week.
According to Leo Jasareno, the
moratorium on new mining applications was lifted March 18.
The partylist group scoffed the
MGB moratorium, claiming that communities was “pretentious and a populist
“In one sense, this declaration of
a moratorium lifting is a waste of energy for the MGB,” Kakay Tolentino,
KATRIBU Partylist Secretary General claimed. “Yet this action remains deeply
"Indigenous peoples are
embattled by the incursion of mining corporations in their ancestral
territories as it is. The moratorium did not ease off the threat to dislocate
communities, nor did it stop the violations of our rights. But this lifting
will further embolden mining corporations to force their way in our
communities,” Kakay Tolentino, KATRIBU Partylist Secretary General said. “Amid
the killings and other atrocities committed against our people, this action of
the MGB is like a warrant that violations of our rights is endorsed by the
The MGB issued a ban on new
mining applications on January 2011, after the industry garnered flak from
environmental groups and human rights organizations.
“Mining corporation have been
reeling in the good favor of this administration. It has awarded SMI-Xstrata an
ECC, and allowed the reopening of Philex Mining Corporation. These corporations
are human rights abusers and environmental violators yet are favored by the
administration--Aquino has finally dropped the act. No more pretending that its
is protecting the environment, patrimony, and people,” declared Tolentino.
The partylist group formerly
condemned the the issuing of an Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) to
Xstrata earlier this year. The mining giant and military personnel at their
payroll is held responsible by human rights organizations for the massacre of
an indigenous Blaan family. Philex, on the other hand, was allowed to
temporarily operate after it spilled 20 million metric tons of mine waste to
tributaries in Benguet and Pangasinan.
The partylist group finds the
timing of these ‘favors’ to mining corporations as suspicious. “It’s no secret
that mining corporations are backdoor financiers of candidates. The Aquino
administration must be desperate to rake in cash with their recent dealings in
the mining sector. Of course, their candidates might be piling up cash to pay
up for those campaign TV ads,” Tolentino chided.
KATRIBU Partylist called for the
scrapping of the Mining Act of 1995, and the revocation of EO 79 enacted last