>> Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Power plants can resume maintenance shutdowns
POWER PLANTS have been cleared to conduct maintenance shutdowns.
“If you recall, we asked power plants not to conduct repairs or maintenance schedules during election day plus, minus one week. Those who have not yet implemented maintenance outage, they can start this week,” Energy Secretary Zenaida Monsada told a press briefing last week
Monsada said these maintenance shutdowns would not be held simultaneously to ensure sufficient power supply in the grid.
She said one of the plants that would undergo maintenance shutdown is the 382-megawatt (MW) Pagbilao Unit 1. The plant will be offline for 73 days starting today.
While power plants can resume maintenance shutdowns, Monsada allayed fears of inadequate power supply, saying demand is seen to decline as the rainy season approaches.
She said peak demand could go down to pre-El Niño levels of 8,800-MW compared to the 9,726-MW peak demand on May 3.
There are enough power reserves in case of forced outages, she added.

DOH health partners in Cordillera awarded
BAGUIO CITY -- The Department of Health recently feted more than 180 health partners in Cordillera  in  a Gawad Kalusugan Harmonized Regional Awarding here at Crown Legacy Hotel here.
DOH officials headed by Undersecretary Nemesio Gako, Cordillera Regional Director Lakshmi Legaspi and Assistant Regional Director Amelita Pangilinan conferred plaque of recognition, tokens and other prizes to awardees from government and private sectors.
Given recognition were 22 government hospitals; eight private hospitals; 4 provincial LGUs; 51 municipal local government units; 19 barangays; five rural health units; one barangay health station; eight inter –local health zones (ILHZ) and four Department of Education offices, in recognition of their valuable assistance and appreciation of their various achievements in delivering health programs and services.
DOH also gave special recognition to regional line agencies:  NEDA, DBM, DILG, DSWD and PIA; the emergency response teams of Emergency Medical Service of BuguiasInc (Benguet), Rescue 26 of Mt. Province, Mankayan (Benguet) Emergency Response Team, Bontoc Emergency Response Team (Mt. Province), 911 On-call and Baguio City Emergency medical Services; NGOs - JICA SSC, Zuellig Family Foundation, Luzon health and Diteng, Inc.; and media outfits Mountain Province Broadcasting Company, BomboRadyo, DZEQ Radio ng Bayan, Sky Cable – Baguio and ABS – CBN Baguio.
Plaquea of appreciation were given to them, in recognition for their notable and steadfast support to the vision and mission of the health department under the spirit of volunteerism, sharing of resources, expertise and time towards KalusugangPangkalahatan in Cordillera.
USEC Gako, in his keynote address, extended Health Secretary Janette Garin’s warm greetings and congratulations to all their health partners in the region, whom through their support and worthy undertaking, assured the delivery of DOH priority health programs and services to their respective target group of beneficiaries in Cordillera.
Among these programs and services include the High Impact 5 (HI -5) program, strengthened Health Facility Enhancement Program, investment on human resource to augment the health manpower where it is needed, Buntis Congress and extensive campaign on HIV screening and treatment.
“Reaching the target clients (of the DOH health programs) would not be possible without your active participation and support. Seeing you all today and hearing all the accolades given to you makes the DOH truly happy as we know that in CAR, we have multitudes of allies who are and who will always be there with us working for the health of all Filipinos,” Gako said.

Dalton Pass now A national shrine
STA. FE, Nueva Vizcaya -- President Aquino has signed into law a bill declaring the Balete Pass, also known as Dalton Pass in this town a national shrine to boost tourism in the province.
Nueva Vizcaya, Under the law signed last week, the Balete Pass National Shrine will be administered and maintained by the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office.
The Balete Pass in Sta. Fe town was the site of encounters between Allied forces and Japanese troops during World War II.
The site was named after Gen. James Leo Dalton II of the US Army’s 25th Division, who was killed in a sniper attack on May 16, 1945. Close to 10,000 Japanese, American, Chinese and Filipino troops died in the area.  

CHARMP gives P250K 4 Atok groups’ projs
ATOK, Benguet -- Four livelihood interest groups (LIGs) were given P250,000 livelihood assistance fund (LAF) from the Second Cordillera Highland Agricultural Resource Management (CHARM2) here May 12.
LIG beneficiaries included Lower Abiang Peoples Organization (P50,000), Lower Abiang Farmers Association (P 50,000), Chicken Raisers Association of Timbac (P 50,000), and  Bonglo Rural Improvement Club (P 100,000).
These LIGs are engaged with business on relending of agri-products, retailing of commercial rice and vegetable packing materials, relending for free range chicken raising, and enhanced processing of veggie noodles, chips, pastries and candies cum agricultural relending, respectively.
The four LIGs passed the LAF assessment to determine the groups’ performance in managing their LAF, loaned for one year, in accordance to their business plans. They were the first batch from Atok to receive their LAF as grants and another 15 LIGs will soon be receiving theirs within this semester.
Moreover, groups who passed the LAF assessment will be receiving their LAF not as loan again but as a grant to pursue their proposed and approved business plans for the next cycle. It will no longer be coursed through a Community Financing Institution (CFI) but given directly to them.
However, the beneficiaries were required to submit their quarterly accomplishment reports to the Project and the LGU through the Office of the Municipal Agriculturist.
This process was meant to ensure that livelihood groups are well capacitated before the LAF will totally be granted to them.
Project manager Cameron P. Odsey said they should now be earning after a year of learning since the LIGs were provided with package of interventions such as the LAF as their capital, learning visits, techno-demo, farmers business school, book keeping and other related trainings.
The Atok Municipal Employees Multi-Purpose Cooperative who served as their CFI also provided them with coaching on bookkeeping during the one year LAF rotation.
“We’ve learned a lot about managing a business especially in properly keeping a book as taught by the CHARMP2 to us. It has challenged us but we enjoyed what we are doing,” said LeonyRagus of Bonglo RIC.
Dr. Leonora Verzola, component head of the Agrculture, Agribusiness and Income Generating Activities (AAIGA) component of the project, advised the LIGs to apply for accreditation to the Department of Agriculture through the Municipal Agriculture and Fishery Council (MAFC) so they can always avail services and assistance from the agency and other agencies.
The provincial and municipal local government units also committed to continue to provide technical assistance to the groups and at the same time conduct monitoring to ensure that the groups are still actively pursuing their business ventures. -- Crislyn Fianza Balangen

MGB: Alfonso Lista not prone to landslide
ALFONSO LISTA, Ifugao – This town is not extremely prone to landslide.
Geologist Kevin Carlo S. Gaerlan of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources bared this afer geological survey done by the DENR in the area.
Situated 156 meters above mean sea level, the municipality is gently sloping in terrain, mixed with some flat topography and scattered narrow valleys occurring between hills.
 “In terms of flood susceptibility, the municipality is generally situated on high ground thus flooding is not a problem. Minor flooding will only likely to occur along the river/floodplains which are presently not utilized for residential purposes,” Gaerlan said. – Marcelo Lihgahwon with report from Lorena Dulnuan 

P70 evacuation center to be built in Baguio
BAGUIO CITY  – The city government will construct a multi-storey city disaster risk reduction and management building as the city’s main evacuation center during calamities for victims.
City Administrator Carlos M. Canilao said bidding process for the project was completed and construction of the structure at the compound of the city engineer’s office will be on June 30.
Funds for the project were included in the P1.622 billion annual budget of the city government declared operative by the regional office of the Department of Budget and Management after appropriation ordinance was found to have complied with budgeting rules and regulations.
“The multi-storey disaster risk reduction center will host disaster operation center, multi-purpose training facility for disaster preparedness, evacuation center complete with amenities and a motor pool for the city’s disaster risk reduction and management equipment among others,” Canilao said.
The city administrator said once completed, public schools will no longer be used as evacuation centers during natural calamities because the classrooms were not designed for evacuation purposes, thus, the need for the immediate completion of the disaster risk reduction and management structure.--  Dexter A. See

BFAR puts 100,000 fish fingerlings in Kalinga   
TABUK CITY, Kalinga -- The Bureau of Fishery and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) provincial office had dispersed about 100,000 fingerlings of tilapia and carp to communal water bodies and rivers from January-April this year.  
Aside from tilapia and carp, the office also planted 10,000 eel-ver at creeks and inland waters in the upper municipalities of the province.
Joyce Ducyugen of BFAR-Kalinga reported the move is in anticipation of the adverse effects of the long dry spell brought by the “El Nino” to the fish industry of the province.
 Because of the drop in fish supply caused by receding water level at private fish ponds here, BFAR-Kalinga had resorted to other local alternative source of fish by feeding communal water bodies.
According to Ducyugen, fish production in the province is greatly affected because of low water supply of fish ponds during the summer season.
The province has a fish production area of 31 hectares with an average fish production of 206,913 kilos but due to the effects of the long dry spell, production loss is estimated at 41,382 kilos or 20%. 
Ducyugen said to prevent heavy losses, they told fish farmers to make earlier harvest even if their produce has not yet reached the desired marketable size.They explain to fish farmers to better harvest under-size fish rather than risk higher losses from longer period of operation, she said.
As part of their fish production program, BFAR-Kalinga is up with the barangay-based information and education drive on improved fish technology and urged barangay officials to strengthen implementation of ordinances against illegal system of fishing. -- Larry T. Lopez

Conner recipient of 6 DILG water systems
CONNER, Apayao -- About 5,000 residents of this town were recipients of six completed Level II water systems funded through the Dept. of Interior and Local Government’s  Bottom-up Budgeting program.
The water system projects located in Talifugo, Paddaoan, Manag, Ripang, Ili, and Malama were recently inspected by members of the DILG regional project monitoring team Johnny Mauting, JereilleGayaso and Mark Anthony Ticbaen, Cecille Eugenio, and engineers Michelle Bumatay and Estella Camma.
Project funds amounting to P3 million were directly downloaded by DILG-CAR to the Municipal Government of Conner who also disbursed its counterpart for the said water systems. 
According to Eugenio, it was the first time for the community to enjoy Level II water systems.  Level II water system means piped water from a communal water point such as spring system, with communal faucet system. 
DILG Engr. Ariel Moyaen said these Level II water systems are designed and prepared for upgrading to Level III water system having extensive distribution network of piped water connecting individual households.  To do this and to sustain the project, the rural water supply association should be operational and capable to manage the water system.
Other on-going projects in Conner are the flood control worth P 500,000.00 and the construction of drainage canal lining in Guinaang, Conner worth P 1M, funded under the BuB-Local Government Support Fund and DILG-BuB, respectively. Another is the P 12 M water system project under the DILG SALINTUBIG program covering various barangays of Conner. -- Carol GuidangenGano

MP b’gay execs’ kin claim death benefits
BONTOC, Mountain Province -- A total of P262,000 was released by the Department of the Interior and Local Government Central Office through DILG Mountain Province to pay for death benefits of 18 barangay kagawads, one punong barangay and two barangay secretaries in Mountain Province from 2013 to the present.
In accordance with Section 393 (b) (2) of the Local Government Code and Executive Order No. 115 entitled “Authorizing payment of death benefits to barangay officials who die during their term of office”, among others, officials of the barangay, specifically the punong barangay; the seven members of the sangguniang barangay, the SangguniangKabataan chairman as ex-officio member of the Sanggunian, barangay secretary, and barangay treasurer who die during their term of office shall be covered by death benefits.
Over the years, death benefit claims of beneficiaries of barangay officials who died during their term have been released. The beneficiaries of punong barangays who died while in office will receive P20,000.00, while beneficiaries of barangay kagawads, barangay secretaries and barangay treasurers shall receive P 10,000.00, with an additional P2,000.00 burial assistance to all claimants.
In 2013, a total of P36,000.00 death benefit claims were released to beneficiaries. Another P106,000.00 has been claimed in 2014, and  P96,000.00 in 2015.
As of press time, P24,000.00 total amount has been given out to beneficiaries of two barangay kagawads while waiting for the release of three benefit claims of three punong barangays in the total amount of P66,000.00.
All benefit claims shall be processed and released only when all required documents have been submitted to the Municipal Local Government Operations Officer who endorses the benefit claims to the DILG Provincial Office. – Alpine L. Killa

P1.3 B aid for Lando victims in Baguio
BAGUIO CITY – Some two hundred forty seven local residents whose houses were totally or partially damaged during the onslaught of Typhoon Lando September last year will be receiving their respective cash assistance from the city government anytime a few days from now.
Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan signed the disbursement voucher containing the total cash assistance from the city’s calamity funds which will be individually released to the qualified calamity victims once the check for the purpose shall have been signed.
September last year, Typhoon Lando struck the city and Northern and Central Luzon that inflicted damages to hundreds of houses in the different barangays of the city.
Of the 247 residents whose houses were partially or totally damaged during the onslaught of Typhoon Lando, 238 individuals were assessed and validated to have partially damaged houses while 9 residents were validated to have totally damaged houses.
Under existing rules and regulations, individuals whose houses are totally damaged during the onslaught of calamities will be receiving a cash assistance amounting to P20,000 from the city government while those whose structures were partially damaged will be receiving a cash assistance of a maximum of P10,000 depending on the extent of damage inflicted to the structures.
Liza Bulayungan, a social welfare officer of the city government, said the damages inflicted by Typhoon Lando to the houses of local residents were validated.

MP parolees render community service
BONTOC, Mountain Province –Some 14 parolees and 33 probationers in the province under the supervision of the Parole and Probation Administration- Mountain Province Parole and Probation Office recently rendered community service in this capital town.
According to Mountain Province Parole and Probation Officer Cosme D. Ibis Jr., among the Rehabilitation and Reformation Program of the PPA is community service. The parolees and probationers render service for the benefit of the community. It includes tree planting, beautification drives, cleaning and greening of surroundings, maintenance of public parks and places, garbage collection, blood donation and similar socio-civic activities.
In Mountain Province, Cosme cited that the parolees and probationers continuously help in cleaning the park at the provincial plaza, cleaning the roads and actively participating in community clean-up drives. 
He added that the parolees and probationers conducted clean-up drive at the polling centers of the Bontoc Central School after the conduct of the local and national elections last May 9.
Also, tree planting activities in Barangay Maligcong,Bontoc and Nabua,Bauko were also conducted in support to the greening program of the national government to counter the effect of climate change.  Cosme shared that parolees and probationers planted tree seedlings and fruit-bearing seedlings in Nabua,Bauko upon the request of a private land owner in 2010. He added that most of the seedlings that were planted have grown as they conduct after care activities such as weeding and fencing.  The seedlings planted were provided to the parolees and probationers by the Department of Agriculture and Department of Environment and Natural Resources. --  Alpine L. Killa

400-year-old church bell to peal in La Union parish 
BAUANG, La Union – A 400-year old bell taken by American soldiers in 1901 from a Roman Catholic church here has been shipped back to the Philippines and arrived at Clark, Pampanga Tuesday night.
Reports from the office of Mayor Martin De Guzman disclosed that the bell was transported from the West Point Community in New York, USA on April 30 and will be fetched by government and church authorities at Clark for the ceremonial rites here on Monday, May 23.
Before the bell’s shipment, a ceremony and holy mass at West Point’s Most Holy Trinity Catholic Chapel were held, with Philippine consulate officials and representatives of the United States government in attendance.
Myrna Romero, Bauang information officer, said the San Pedro bell, also known as the “Barry bell,” and weighs around 400 kilos, is a long lost treasure of the Saints Peter and Paul Church of this town.
Romero said the return of the bell was facilitated by two US Navy veterans who are also working to return the Balangiga bells of Eastern Samar.
She said that Dennis Wright, one of the retired US Navy servicemen, discussed the details on the return of the bell with Mayor de Guzman and Fr. Ronald Raymund Chan when he visited Bauang last year.
It was learned that the bell was taken by American soldier Thomas Barry in 1901, during the Philippine-American war. He gave it to the US Military Academy at West Point, which hang it outside the academy’s chapel.
Historical records show that in 1883, Gobernadorcillo Mariano Balancio, who became a Mayor of Bauang and Lt. DD. HilarioCalica gave the bell to Father Mariano Garcia, who was then Parish Priest of San Pedro from November 1872 to July 25, 1876.
The bell was almost destroyed during the Philippine revolution but the advancement of American forces prevented it and other bells in the Philippines from being melted down and made into guns and other war ammunition.
The bell is made from alloy of gold, silver and copper.--  Erwin G. Beleo

233 hectares Kalinga NGP areas razed by grass fires
TABUK CITY, Kalinga -- At least 233 hectares of reforestation sites under the National Greening Program (NGP) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in the province were burned  in wild grassfires this summer.                                                                                                            
Based on report of Severino Dalutag, Tabuk City Community Environment and Natural Resources Officer, the sites were in towns of Rizal, Tinglayan and Tabuk City.
The CENRO said estimated cost of damage on the project reached P2, 677,780.
Cases of wild grass fires are common problem during summer here because of drying grasses due to the long dry spell.
After the assessment of damage, Dalutag said they had prepared a restoration plan for affected sites of the project.
The plan requires partner people’s organizations to rehabilitate such areas while DENR will provide assistance in terms of providing tree seedlings and re-planting. 
Under the NGP, reforestation projects are awarded to partner POs through work contract where planting, maintenance and protection of the project are part of the duties of partner POs, Dalutag said.
The CENRO urged community folks to participate in the protection of government reforestation projects revealing the cause of wild grass fires usually originate from indiscriminate acts. -- Larry T. Lopez    

English teacher wins regional Korean speech contest  
BAGUIO CITY – A Filipina English teacher in a Korean school  emerged winner in recent semi-final Korean speech contest held at Café Will.
Rachel Doculan of Dae Sung Academy of Baguio won first prize, followed by  MichaelDumarBulong (2nd)   and Sharmaine Valez (3rd), both of Baguio Christian Mission International College.
The winners received cash award of P10, 000, P5, 000 and   P3,000 respectively.
Doculan was set to compete in grand finals at Ateneo de Manila University.
Grand prize winner will receive a roundtrip ticket to Korea and Php30,000 cash courtesy of the Korean Tourism Organization.
The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority announced list of winners for the Daisy Jamorabon of Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).
Fifteen contestants submitted applications to the United Korean Community Association in North Luzon, organizing committee of the semi-final contest in the city.  
Aside from Doculan, Bulong and Valdez, the other semi finalists were Jelyn Mercado of Dream English Academy in La Trinidad, Benguet; Lord Dheio G. Mangaoang of Urdaneta, Pangasinan; and Elijah Ehhim Natividad of Tesla Philippines, Baguio.
A project of the Korean Cultural Center, TESDA and Ateneo de Manila, the contest aims to promote the Korean language to more Filipinos. It  is also intended to encourage the learners of Korean language to enhance their skills in speaking the language, Jamorabon said. -- Maria Aprila Cruz

NLEX to add booths at toll plaza
SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga – Eight booths will be added at the toll plaza of the North Luzon Expressway in Bocaue, Bulacan, the Manila North Tollways Corp. (MNTC) said Tuesday.
MNTC president Rodrigo Franco said the project, which includes the widening of roads near the toll plaza, would cost P206 million. 

The additional booths are expected to address the long lines at the toll plaza during weekends and holidays. – Ding Cervantes


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