>> Monday, March 7, 2016

March 2 a holiday in La Union
SAN FERNANDO CITY, La Union – It’s a special non-working holiday in La Union on March 2.
Malacañang declared the holiday to give residents the opportunity to celebrate the province’s 166th founding anniversary. 
Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa, on behalf of President Aquino, signed Proclamation 1222 on Feb. 16 to give residents the opportunity to celebrate the anniversary.
Adamor Dagang, provincial information officer, said the activities, including an agri-trade fair, started on Feb. 18. 
This year’s celebration has the theme “Savoring the Fruits of Good Governance, Love, Unity, Peace and Order Through Prayers.” – Jun Elias   

Baguio moves up rank among cities
BAGUIO CITY — Tourism, education and sports, peace and order, health and social services, environment are among the accomplishments last year, Mayor Mauricio Domogan said. The mayor recalled that in 2014, Baguio was ranked 15th among the country’s 142 cities. Now, he takes pride that the city has gone up two notches to No. 13 based on national comparative ratings. He said concerted efforts must be taken to update and implement income-generating endeavors to improve the city’s ranking.

4 Nego-trailers for Pampanga
CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga – The provincial government, in partnership with the Department of Labor and Employment Tuesday distributed four nego-trailers in the municipalities of Guagua, Mexico, Arayat and Lubao to further boost livelihood projects. The first nego-trailer was given to Santa Ursula Negosyu King Panyulung Program Association in Betis Guagua. The nego-trailer worth P216,480 is a rolling kitchen complete with equipment and utensils such as small kitchen sink, two-door refrigerator, two burner gas stove, a set of kitchen utensils, fryer, toaster and microwave oven.  The other nego-trailer which worth P245,870 will give benefits to 58 beneficiaries-members of Bayung Arayat Pamilyang OFW Association in Arayat, Pampanga. -- PNA

DOST promotes technologies for health and social concerns
BAGUIO CITY -- The Department of Science and Technology  promotes  High Impact Technology Solution(HITS) projects which use science, technology and innovations to address some of the country’s  health and  social concerns.
DOST Cordillera regional director Victor Mariano, in a media forum last week, presented the HITS projects that are on-going or being established in the region.
He said the Nationwide Dengue Vector Surveillance Project in which  through the OL (Ovicidal – Larvicidal) Trap developed by DOST - Industrial Technology Development Institute, the presence of Aedes Aegypti, the dengue virus carrying mosquitoes,  can now be detected in  elementary and public high schools.
For better nutrition, DOST in partnership with Apayao State College and the municipal LGU of Luna is establishing a complementary food project inside the campus, for the production of three DOST – Food and Nutrition Research Institute – developed complementary food technologies.
To ensure access to potable water, DOST in partnership with the local government unit of Bauko, Mountain Province, established the Ceramic Water Filter Production facility project. 
With the vast resources of clay in the municipality and through the technology developed by DOST – ITDI,  the project is  for the production of efficient, stable, low cost and easy to use water purifiers.
For the mining industry, DOST initiated the field testing of the Integrated Gold – Copper Mineral Processing Pilot Plant in Itogon, Benguet.  With a technology developed by University of the Philippines, small scale miners will soon have a more environment - friendly and more high yielding processing of gold ore.
For the environment  particularly  on air pollution, the  DOST with its Metals Industry Research and Development Center and in partnership with the city Government of Baguio and the municipality of La Trinidad Benguet conducted a feasibility study for an Automated Guideway Transit System.
The result was presented to the Cordillera Regional Development Council and if realized, will give this mountain resort and the capital town of Benguet cleaner air with mass transport system.
Two more DOST projects in the region were deployment of early warning systems (DEWS) for disaster management and  establishment of Food Innovation Center.
DOST assistant  regional Director Nancy Bantog  shared that through HITS projects aside from bringing in science and technology as a driver of development to every Juan and Maria, Secretary Montejo also wants to bring   out the talents of Filipino scientists, inventors and innovators in coming  up with research, inventions and innovations that will address the pressing problems in the country.  Shaura Cuyan

176 Ifugao scouters join regional encampment
LAGAWE, Ifugao -- More than 100 female scouters from the province attended the regional encampment held in Cabugao, Ilocos Sur recently.
Fely Gumangan, head of the Girl Scouts of the Philippines Ifugao Council said that a total of 176 GSP represented the province in the simultaneous 43rd Junior and 55th Senior Regional Encampments  for  Northern Luzon.
“Northern Luzon was represented by 16 cities and provinces including Ifugao. More than 3,000 campers attended the three-day activity with the theme “Connect, protect, change” featuring team building, creative hand and art crafts, water fun, eco-historical tour and other related activities,” Gumangan added.
Aside of the said major events, the campers also rendered community service at the campsite as part of the GSP’s share for the environment including giving of impressions wherein selected campers expressed their gratitude to activity. -- Marcelo B. Lihgawon

OPVet calls on dogs owners to vaccinate pets against rabies
BONTOC, Mountain Province --  The Office of the Provincial Veterinarian (OPVet) urged all dog owners to have their pets vaccinated against rabies to totally eradicate the dreaded disease in the province.
Dr.Doris Cobaldez of the OPVet said their office is again encouraging all pet owners to bring their dogs to their respective Municipal Agricultural Offices (MAO) or to the OPVet for free anti-rabies vaccination.
To mark the observance of the Rabies Awareness Month in March, Cobaldez said they are also scheduling anti-rabi
The anti-rabies immunization drive, now an annual activity of the Veterinary and MAO offices, has contributed to the decreasing number of rabies cases in the province.
Last year, the OPVet recorded only one rabies case in the municipality of Bauko.
In 2010, the capital-town of Bontoc recorded 7 rabies cases and two human deaths due to bites from a rabid dog.
Meanwhile, veterinarians advised individuals who are bitten or scratched by dogs or cats to immediately wash the wounds with soap and clean running water to reduce the risk of rabies infection and then seek medical treatment from the nearest hospital or clinic.
Rabies is said to kill about 55,000 people every year worldwide. -- Andrew Doga-ong

Baguio to host Cordi Month celebration
BAGUIO CITY - -  This year’s Cordillera Month celebration in July  will be hosted by the local government unit of Baguio with the Regional Social Development Committee (RSDC) of the Regional Development Council as the coordinating body.
During the 1st Quarter meeting of the RSDC held recently. Emelie Daquipil of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) informed that the City of Baguio will be the host for this year’s celebration of Cordillera Month.
Tentative theme of Cordillera Month this year’s is “CAR @29: Moving Together for an Autonomous and Empowered Cordillera”, to focus on the region’s journey towards autonomy and the progress in as reducing poverty is concerned.
Daquipil also presented the  major activities being the lined up- the Gong Relay will start in Baguio on July 11 and will be passed on to all the Cordillera provinces, then back to Baguio  for  the culmination program on July 15. A tree planting will be conducted in region’s provinces and cities as part of the gong turn-over program.
There will be a Multi-Stakeholders Conference which will be held in each of the region’s six provinces and two cities; A Cordillera Got Talent will also be conducted to be coordinated by the Subcommittee on Education, Manpower and Development headed by the Commission on Higher Education and a Cordillera Youth Song-Writing Contest to encourage the involvement of the youth in the celebration.   
To drumbeat the activities, a kapihan will be held on June 29 at the Philippine Information Agency grounds and also to launch the monograph stories of the Cordillera struggles for Autonomy.  -- Maria Aprila Cruz

DOLE strengthens CL industrial councils
CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga — The Department of Labor and Employment is now strengthening industrial tripartite councils (ITCs) in Central Luzon in a bid to keep industrial peace.
“With the many reforms that we have introduced to boost industrial relations as well as soliciting support and cooperation to the new Labor Laws Compliance System (LLCS) from different industries, I directed our provincial offices to strengthen ITCs we have established,” DOLE regional director Ana Dione said in a report on DOLE’s thrusts in 2015.
In Bataan, the Field Office on different occasions convened meetings with its ITCs on Education; Hospital, Dental, and Therapeutic Clinics; Construction; and Hotel, Restaurant, and Tourism.
“Around 100 officers and members of these ITCs actively participated during the consultation and updating of their respective Voluntary Code of Good Practices (VCGPs),” Dione shared.
In Bulacan, the Field Office conducted the first ITC provincial congress that was participated by 57 officers and members of the Bulacan Provincial Tripartite Industrial Peace Council (B-PTIPC). “The Congress, served as a venue to discuss relevant and pertinent issues and policies on labor and employment,” Dione said.
In Nueva Ecija, the Field Office partnered with the National Wages and Productivity Commission in the conduct of Central Luzon’s first Green Productivity Seminar to about 50 officers and members of the Rice Millers Club of Nueva Ecija.
DOLE Nueva Ecija organized seminars on Basic Occupational Safety and Health (OSH).
In Pampanga, meetings were held with of ITCs on construction, education, business processing and 0utsourcing– information communication technology and aviation.
Some 61 officers and members of these ITCs drafted action plans on training and education, salaries and benefits, and occupational safety and health.
In Tarlac, an ITC Congress was attended by 45 officers and members of Hospital, Hotel and Restaurant, Education, and Construction ITCs. – Mar T. Supnad

French Baker opens Nueva Ecija branch
CABANATUAN CITY, Nueva Ecija -- French Baker opened its new branch here at SM Cabanatuan recently. Located on the ground floor of the mall, French Baker, which is the country’s pioneer in the French bakery concept, formally opened its new branch with a ribbon-cutting ceremony led by French Baker founder and chief executive officer Johnlu Koa.
It will be a different dining experience for SM Cabanatuan shoppers as The French Baker store offers new products, such as Sizzling Chicken Galantina (P265), a chicken roulade stuffed with chorizo and pork and served on a sizzling plate with rice and buttered vegetable siding; and the Family Platter (P875), a sumptuous platter made up of 7 pieces of Herbes de Provence Fried Chicken in a basket, Spaghetti Bolognaise with garlic bread slices, annatto rice platter, corn, and potato salad, cake slices and Citrus Brewed Iced Tea in a carafe, for a satisfying meal that’s good for 3 to 4 persons.
Present during the opening and ribbon-cutting rites were (from left): Euromode’s managing director Marilou Koa, The French Baker founder and CEO Johnlu Koa, their daughter Julia May Koa, Jonard Koa, Mrs. Cristina Koa, The French Baker’s board of directors Johnyan Koa, SM Cabanatuan assistant mall manager Carolyn Del Rosario, Christopher Cua, Liza Koa, Michael Koa, and The French Baker’s board director Johnip Cua. -- Ed Ciby

Villar promotes small farms’ dev’t to achieve food sufficiency
LAOAG CITY, Ilocos Norte — Sen. Cynthia Villar urged Ilocanos to maintain and develop their small farms to ensure food production sufficiency for the growing population of the country.
Villar, who chairs of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food, visited the provinces of Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur Feb. 5 to grace events highlighting the recent 198th foundation anniversary of the two provinces by virtue of Royal Decree approved on Feb. 2, 1818.
Villar awarded winners of trade fair competition of the 2016 Kannawidan Ylocos Festival in Ilocos Sur and initiated livelihood programs for residents in Ilocos Norte.
“Our food security in the future will depend on the small farms that we have because if we did not maintain these farms; we might be having insufficient foods by year 2050 based on the study released by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations (UN),” Villar said.
“I encourage all Ilocano farmers and fishermen to stay and develop your family farms while the national government is looking several initiatives to raise your income in farming,” she added.
Citing recent studies, Villar mentioned that a Filipino farmer is presently earning only R4,000 per month, which is very low to sustain the needs of a family of six members; while a Gawad Saka farmer is earning R50,000 per month.
She also cited that Filipino farmers and fishermen are lacking in financial literacy on how to operate a small farm as a business, based on the recent result of UN-FAO research.
Villar disclosed that farmers should learn first the proper environment-friendly farming technologies and proper financial management of farming in order to achieve the goal of producing efficiently and earning sufficiently. – Freddie G. Lazaro

DTI approves P8.5-M shared service facilities in Mt. Province
BONTOC, Mountain Province -- The Department of Trade and Industry approved in 2015 the total amount of P8, 523,105.00 for 12 Shared Service Facilities (SSF) projects in the province.
DTI’s SSF program aims to improve the competitiveness of micro, small and medium entrepreneurs (MSMEs) by providing them with machinery, equipment, tools, systems, skills and knowledge under a shared system. The program is implemented with project partners termed as cooperators.
Mabel Banggawan of the DTI Provincial Office here said the SSF on loom weaving was launched on January 10, 2015 with the Caneo Women’s Organization in barangay Caneo, Bontoc as the cooperator; SSF on muscovado processing upgrading   launched on November 19, 2015 with the Masla People’s Organization in Masla, Tadian as cooperator, and SSF on arabica coffee which was launched last December 16 with Madchikom Coffee Producer Cooperative as cooperator.
This January, the DTI launched two SSF on loom weaving with the Guinzadan Weavers Organization in Guinzadan Sur, Bauko and the Maggon Rural Improvement Club in Supang, Sabangan as cooperators.
Launching of the SSF on Arabica coffee with the Mountain Province Association of Coffee Growers as cooperator is also scheduled later this month.
The DTI provincial office has also scheduled on February 2016  the launching of the SSF on sweet potato processing for the Ubaya Food Processors Association, SSF on food processing for the Bauko Overseas Workers and Returnees Association, SSF on coffee processing for the Anabel-Sadanga Multi-purpose Cooperative, SSF on coffee processing for the Sagada Arabica Coffee Growers and Processors Organization, and the SSF on muscovado sugar processing for the Bagnen-Balintaugan Timpuyog Credit Cooperative
Launching of SSF on organic fertilizer production for Seven Daffodil Organization of Organic Farming will be in March.
Under the SSF Project, DTI awards equipment aid to recipient cooperator under a six-year conditional grant. If recipient cooperator stops its business operation or if equipment is not being used for the purpose, DTI can recall the equipment and awards the same to another cooperator.
If the business opened by cooperator- beneficiary grows and surpasses the six-year conditional period, DTI turns over to the cooperator full ownership of the equipment. -- Juliet B. Saley

Coalition pushes community involvement  for Balili River
BAGUIO CITY- - The Balili River System Revitalization Coalition (BRSRC) will go beyond cleaning up activities and will push for community involvement in the protection of the Balili River.
This was agreed upon during the recent BRSRC Action Planning Workshop held at the University of the Philippines- Baguio.
Dean Aurea Sandoval of Benguet State University pointed out that the clean-up activities they have spearheaded in the past have not much of an impact in the revitalization of the Balili River.
University of the Cordilleras Director for Research and Development Center, Engr. Nathaniel Lubrica  seconded that fully revitalizing Balili River will not be successful with just clean-up drive; it  needs community involvement .
Proposed activities to encourage community involvement include “Adopt a Community” project wherein different institutions will adopt barangays within the stretch of the river and educate the residents about protecting this important river system.
Aside from pushing for behavioral change, the education campaign will also give focus on the improvement of the governance of barangay officials with regards to the environment.
The BRSRC formed in 2011 includes the Environmental Management Board - Department of Environment and Natural Resources, the academe and local government units of Baguio City and La Trinidad, government offices, private/industry partners and civil society group. -- Via Perez

BWD assures enough water supply in Baguio
BAGUIO CITY-- The Baguio Water District said the city has enough enough water supply  even with  with the  expected influx of visitors  due to  various upcoming events and the effects of El Niño.
BWD general manager Salvador Royeca said his office has been preparing for the El Niño phenomenon with the adaptation measures to reduce its impact.
“The Baguio Water District constructed a lot of canals or ditches for our watersheds to capture the run of water especially with the less rainfall being experience here in the Cordillera and with the announcement that we are going to have an El Nino,” Royeca said during the Kapihan sa Baguio forum  on Thursday.
He also bared that they have preserved the water collected at the Mount Santo Tomas catch basin which will be utilized until the Panagbenga and even up to March.
Royeca said the city has varying water demands especially with the expected thousands of tourists during the Panagbenga festivities, the Philippine Military Academy Foundation Day and Graduation Rites and the observance of Holy Week. The average demand is around 50,000 to 55, 000 cubic meters per day but it may increase to 100,000 cubic meters per day depending on number of people in the city.
The BWD at present has 65 pumping stations, 57 deep wells and five spring sources where it gets the supply of water rationed to residential homes, business establishments and government facilities.
Even with the assurance of enough water supplies in the city, Royeca encouraged the public to practice water conservation. He also called on the public to help in the preservation of the watersheds and other water sources which are slowly diminishing. -- Lalaine Galagala- 

Tabuk City’s real property tax collection up
TABUK CITY, Kalinga -- The city’s real property tax collection performance in 2015 increased by 13percent  compared  to the previous year.
Olivia Mendoza of the City Treasurer’s Office reported total collection of P6, 000,756 for the period over the P5, 268,956 in 2014.
Real property taxes of the city come from four major sources that include taxes on agricultural property posting the top with P2,669,109, residential – P1,848,977, commercial - P1,473,649 and industrial with P9,019.
According to Mendoza, the city has sustained annual growth in real property tax collection because of improved efforts on massive tax mapping, intensified tax campaign at the barangay level and massive information-education drive.
She admitted though there is still high need to educate people on taxation which  is considered as government’s life blood. Real property taxes accrue to the government’s general fund while the other half goes to Special Education Fund.
Mendoza urged real property tax payers to avail of the 20% discount for advance payments made every December of the preceding year and the 10% discount for payments made in the first quarter of the year. Late payments are charged additional 2% monthly penalty fee.  -- Larry T. Lopez     

BFAR releases 300,000 tilapia fingerlings for Abra fisherfolk
BANGUED, Abra - - The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources regional office  released this month a total of 300,000 tilapia fingerlings  to  the province.
According to Provincial Fishery Officer Mr. Jesus Astrero, these fingerlings are distributed to fish folks and fish pond owners in the municipalities of Lagangilang, Sallapadan, Peñarrubia, Lagayan, Bucay, Pilar, Bangued, Dolores, San Juan, Tubo and Tayum.
 “Other tilapia fingerlings will be placed in communal body of water or rivers while fingerlings left in the office will be dispersed in Calaba River,” he said.
These fingerlings are expected to grow in number to help the community have additional source of living.
The first stock of fingerlings from BFAR was requested by Governor Eustaquio P. Bersamin to augment the loss resulting from strong typhoons that struck the province last year.  -- Ginalyn B. Brioso

PSA Baguio Serbilis outlet serves 1,410 clients daily
BAGUIO CITY - -  The Philippine Statistics Authority’s Baguio Serbilis Center  is already experiencing influx of clients getting civil registration documents especially birth certificates.
PSA data shows that from January 4 to 13, the center was averaging 1,410 clients a day and going as high as 1,608 clients in January 11h compared to the 914 daily average clients for the year 2015.
Center Manager Gerard Tolito, in interview, explained that   the shift in school calendar is the first reason in the rise in the number of daily clients. Second semester starts this January many parents and students are getting birth certificates for enrolment purposes.
 Another reason is for local employment especially in the application for Philippine National Police recruits. Applicants are getting seven authenticated copies of their birth certificate, he added.
Tolito assured that PSA Baguio Serbilis outlet is always ready to respond to the challenge with the hiring of eight new staff to augment the personnel manning the six client/public assistance computers.
He also informed that PSA has six collection officers with two assigned to the priority lane to assist senior citizens, person with disabilities and pregnant/nursing mothers.
Tolito advises the public to plan ahead and come on lean days or months as birth certificate has no expiration if it will be used for enrolment purposes. He also appeals to those getting their civil registration documents not to bring companions especially children so that they will not add-up to the crowd inside the center.
Tolito also calls on the public to utilize the PSA’s BREQS (Batch Request Entry System) partner wherein for a little added amount, they can save travel time or avoid the long line at the Baguio Serbilis outlet.
PSA-CAR’s BREQS partners   provincial offices in Abra and Ifugao, and the  local government units of Paracelis, Bontoc, Tadian, Bauko and Barlig in Mountain Province; Balbalan and Tinglayan in Kalinga; Dolores Abra; Pudtol and Kabugao in Apayao,  and Kabayan, Buguias, Bakun and Tublay in Benguet. 
The public can also get their civil registration documents in SM City Baguio, he added. -- Carlito Dar

DA allots P630M for Kalinga
TABUK CITY, Kalinga -- Kalinga was allotted P630 million for various agricultural projects.
Director Lorenzo Caranguian of the Department of Agriculture Regional Field Unit, Cordillera Administrative Region (DARFU-CAR) announced this during Farmers’ Day and Cooperatives Day on Feb. 15 in celebration of the 21st founding anniversary of Kalinga and Ullalim festival, where he was the guest speaker.
Caranguian told the audience the province deserves the big support to boost its rice, corn, and coffee production industries.
He said bulk of the appropriations will go to the concreting of three farm-to-market roads (FMR) under the Philippine Rural Development Program in the amount of P501 million.
“P118M will go to the concreting of the Banneng-Gumbowoy FMR in Tanudan, P180M to the Bulanao-Amlao FMR, and P203M to Catabbogan-Wagod FMR in Pinukpuk,” Caranguian said.
The director also announced that P32M is appropriated for the Kalinga Integrated Coffee Processing Center, P8M total worth of livelihood projects to associations,  P35M to increase rice production, P20M for corn production, P12M for high value commercial crops, P3.5M for livestock, P9.2M for Pamana projects, P3.1M for bottom-up-budgeting, and other small projects.  -- Peter A. Balocnit

 2,317 Abra folks employed  under DOLE program
BANGUED, Abra -- The Emergency Employment Program (EEP) of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in Abra benefited a total of 2,317 displaced workers, underemployed and unemployed local folks in the municipalities of San Juan and Dolores  last month.
George G. Lubin, Jr., DTI provincial head, said the EEP projects in the municipalities of San Juan and Dolores were funded by Party Lists in the House of Representatives worth P22.3 million.
The EEP is a special employment generation program of the DOLE dubbed as the Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD).
Funds for the special employment program were given particularly as a support to the victims of Typhoon Ineng that hit the province last August 2015 especially the farmers whose crops were damaged during the typhoon. 
For the municipality of San Juan, Mayor Marco M. Bautista reported that the P20M EEP fund was given by the Coop Natco Party List for the rehabilitation, improvement and de-siltation of the communal irrigation canals and clearing of barangay roads.
On the other hand, P2.3M funds for the municipality of Dolores from the Buhay Party List was used for the rehabilitation of irrigation canals and barangay roads damaged by typhoon Ineng, Mayor Robert Victor G. Seares, Jr. reported.
Aside from typhoon-affected farmers, other beneficiaries include those that are willing to help in the needed work in the fields. -- Maria Teresa B. Benas
Mt. Province  LGUs, school to employ 1,015 studes this summer
BONTOC, Mountain Province -- About 1,015 students are expected to work this summer vacation under the Special Program for the Employment of Students (SPES) under the auspices of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).
The Provincial Governor’s Office, Office of the Vice Governor, nine local government units in the province and the Xijen College of Mountain Province pledged a total amount of P6, 352,390.00 for the employment of these students.
Based on the data provided by DOLE Provincial field Office Chief Samuel T. Lasdacan, Natonin LGU pledged the highest amount of P2, 493,750.00 for the employment of some 285 students for 25 days.
The Governor’s Office committed P1 million to hire 200 students for 20 days while the Xijen College pledged P600, 000.00 for the employment of 50 students for 40 days.
The Office of the Vice Governor committed P170, 200 for 37 students for 20 days.
The other LGUs  that will  participate in the SPES include  Barlig which pledged P420,000 for 70 students; Bauko – P414,400 for 112 students; Tadian – P400,000 for 80 students; Sabangan – PP248,400 for 54 students; Bontoc – P168,000 for 30 students; Besao – P80,640 for 24 students, Sagada – P32,000 for 8 students. These seven LGUs will employ the students for 20 days.
Paracelis LGU which pledged the amount of P325, 000 shall employ 65 students for 25 days.
Lasdacan said the daily wage of students who will be hired under the SPES varies depending on the daily wage provided by each LGU. Sixty percent (60%) of the students’ salary shall be paid by the employers in cash while the remaining 40% shall be paid by DOLE in the form of education voucher.
Interested students and out-of-school youth who intend to continue their studies are advised to start completing the required documents ready for submission during application period scheduled by the employers. They may visit the Public Employment Service Office (PESO) in the different municipalities in the province and the Provincial DOLE Office to get the required documents to be accomplished.
The SPES is a regular annual job creation program of the national government intended for the poor but deserving students to augment their school fees by providing them work during summer vacation. -- Juliet B. Saley

Medical mission serves Abrenios
BANGUED, Abra -- The provincial government in partnership with Far Eastern University Medical Alumni Association of Northern Illinois, USA carried out a three-day medical mission at the Abra Provincial Hospital  here recently.
Cataract, hernia, cholecystectomy, thyrodectomy, parotidectomy, and excision of mass were some of the different ailments and disorders treated.
They also gave free eyeglasses to senior citizens and others who were examined with visual impairment. Dental extraction and treatment served children and adults with tooth decays and enamel defects.
To accommodate and make sure that all patients were attended, Gov. Eustaquio P. Bersamin’s wife Ruby who planned and organized the medical mission, invited 23 specialists from different fields of medicine from the US to be part of the medical mission.
Bersamin said all patients who undertook major and minor operations were advised to visit the hospital for follow-up check-up. -- Ginalyn B. Brioso

Poverty alleviation programs highlight Apayao anniversary
LUNA, Apayao -- The province of Apayao refrained from traditional festivities in celebrating its founding anniversary this year  in  respect to the loss of the founder of the province.
Gov.  Elias Bulut Jr. said the celebration focused on programs on poverty alleviation instead of traditional festive mood since the province is still mourning  the death of Apayao patriarch, Calanasan Mayor Elias Bulut Sr. who passed away  Dec. 5 last year.
Bulut Sr. authored Republic Act 7878 which separated the province of Apayao from the old Kalinga-Apayao province in February  1995.
He was responsible in shaping the future of Apayao and into what is it today through his long years as the province’s kingpin.
“The celebration for this year’s founding anniversary will be different from the traditional one. Instead of simply celebrating, we will utilize the special programs of the Provincial Government to focus on the alleviation of poverty in the province”, Bulut said in an interview.
The seven municipalities celebrate separately the province’s 21st Founding Anniversary which started on Feb.  9 until the end of the month.
The governor said activities include the launching of the province-wide anti-drug campaign, livelihood projects and the “Pabahay” program.
The “Pabahay” program is the main focus of the province’s anti-poverty campaign, and the provincial government has identified the poorest barangays in each municipality as intended beneficiaries.
The provincial government allocated P8 million for the “pabahay” program with counterpart from each municipality.
The Governor explained that lack of shelter is number one in the poverty indicator of the province as of 2015, followed by income or livelihood then lack of sanitary toilets.
The number of houses to be built will depend on the community-based monitoring system of each barangay.
The goal for livelihood is to strengthen the coffee production in the municipalities of Kabugao, Calanasan and Conner. Other livelihood programs will be based on the design to be created by each municipality.
“These programs are to address the poorest of the poorest”, said the Governor. Apayao is the second poorest province in the Philippines in 2011, and the 4th on the list in 2015.
He informed that the seven municipalities will also have additional activities on their own such as gallery-viewing as a tribute to the Father of Apayao, inter-barangay sports tournaments, street dancing competitions and variety shows but toned down.
Bulut Sr. served as Representative of the old Kalinga-Apayao and then the first congressman of the province of Apayao. He served as provincial governor from 2001 until 2010, and mayor of Calanasan since 2010 until he succumbed to a lingering illness at the age of 76.

 His mission for Apayao was to widen the opportunities of Apayao citizens and indigenous cultural communities in the areas of technology acquisition, intensified agri-industrial production, grains pooling, livelihood creation, and infrastructure building. -- Jillie Ominga


  © Blogger templates Palm by 2008

Back to TOP  

Web Statistics