>> Thursday, September 22, 2016

37 health stations to be set up in Mt. Province
BONTOC, Mountain Province --Three  government agencies have forged a partnership to establish 37  public school-based barangay health stations (BHS)  in the province to make quality health care more accessible to the poor and vulnerable population.
Known as Philhealth TSeKaP (Tamang Serbisyo para sa Kalusugan ng Pamilya) accredited Barangay Health Stations, this is a  partnership  among  the Department of Education (DepEd),  Dept. of Health (DOH) and the Dept. of Interior and Local Government.
This will be established within public elementary schools in barangays without an existing BHS to ensure that affordable health services are within the reach of every Filipino especially those poor and vulnerable sectors. This may also serve as a school clinic.
Under this partnership, the DepEd provides a lot or portion of the property not being actively utilized in public elementary schools in barangays without an existing BHS and other government health service units.
Primo Aligo of the DepEd-Mountain Province Division Office bared that the DOH has allotted 37 school BHS in the province. Eleven of these are allotted for the municipality of Bauko, 9 in Paracelis, five in Tadian, two each in Bontoc, Barlig and Sagada, and one each in Natonin and Sabangan.
Aligo said the BHS is a pre-fabricated structure worth P1.3 million each. -- Juliet B. Saley

IFAD conducts  mission for CHARMP2 in Ifugao
BANAUE, Ifugao -- The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) conducted its 7th regular supervision and implementation support (SIS) mission in the province last July 6-8 for  the Second Cordillera Highland Agricultural Resource Management Project (CHARMP2).
The mission recently assessed progress of project implementation and  preparatory activities for additional funding and resolve constraints.
The IFAD Team was led by Tawfig El-Zabri with Ed Questalin, an environmentalist and consultant, and Greg Aris from the NEDA.
They had a meeting with the Ifugao Project Management Group and other project provincial stakeholders.
Together with local counterparts, they visited the project beneficiary towns of Asipulo and Hingyon and inspected projects like farm-to-market road and reforestation and agro projects in the areas, had dialogue with the various people’s organizations and held meetings with the municipal officials and other project stakeholders.
Since 2010, the IFAD conducted six missions for the CHARMP2 projects.  One of the recommendations of last year’s mission was for the CHARMP2 to be extended for one year without additional cost to scale up target outcomes.
This was approved and so the Project completion was extended to December 31, 2016 and closure by June 30, 2017.
Implemented by the Department of Agriculture, CHARMP 2 aims to reduce poverty and improve quality of life of indigenous people in upland communities in the Cordillera. -- Daniel B. Codamon

DA, NFA train 40 Cordi rice processors
TABUK CITY, Kalinga -- About 40 officers and staff of rice processing centers from the Cordillera Region   underwent training given by the Regional Agricultural Engineering Division   of the Department of Agriculture and National Food Authority last week here to enhance their capability.
Joe Casibang, Kalinga rice program coordinator, said the training dwelled on improved techniques on rice milling, drying, packaging, quality control, facility maintenance including the entrepreneurial skills.
Participants came from established people’s organizations that are engaged in the rice processing industry and assisted by DA.
Under the government’s Food Security Program, DA provides equipment and funding grant to these rice processors.
The amount of aid for equipments under the grant per beneficiary ranges from P3-5 million while the fund for operation assistance is from P500, 000 – P1 million, Casibang disclosed.
In the province, there are three beneficiaries of the program namely Federation of Irrigators Association, Kalinga Terraces Farmers Cooperative and Episcopal Diocese of North Luzon.
With the training, Casibang is confident that the rice industry in the region will boom and deliver a significant contribution to the rice requirement of the country. -- Larry T. Lopez
Kalinga gov urges massive clean up drive vs dengue
TABUK CITY, Kalinga --With increasing number of dengue cases.Gov. Jocel Baac issued an executive order mandating every sector of the community to conduct search and destroy activities to eradicate dengue- carrying mosquitoes.
Ordered to lead in anti-dengue campaign are municipal mayors, punong barangays, heads of public and private schools, heads of offices of the provincial government and national line agencies, and other sectors.
Government offices are also ordered to conduct clean up drive in their respective premises and surroundings at least every 4 p.m. Fridays. These activities must be done first before misting of insecticides, the order requires.
Provincial Health Officer Romulo Gaerlan reported that from January to August 20, 2016, some 408 cases were recorded with three deaths.
Meanwhile, the DOH also urged communities for full cooperation in campaign against dengue and their officials to strengthen ABKD or the Action Barangay Kontra Dengue.
Remegio Basilan of the provincial office of the Department of Health said the most effective weapon against dengue is massive cleaning of surroundings carried out through the 4:00 habit aimed to destroy breeding places of mosquitoes.
He said a school-based immunization for all Grades 1 and 7 is on-going carried out by municipal health offices and school nurses.
Basilan said Grades 1 are vaccinated with Meningococcal vaccine 1 and 2 while Grades 7 on Measles Rubella and Diphteria. -- Peter A. Balocnit

Ifugao gov reorganizes newsletter editorial board 
LAGAWE, Ifugao – Gov. Pedro Maya-o recently issued   an executive order reorganizing the provincial newsletter’s editorial board.
The new editorial board of the Happitan (meaning conversation in the local dialect) is   composed of the chief administrative officer as editor-in-chief, and Administrative Officer IV of the Provincial Administrator’s Office (PAO) as the associate editor.
Staff writers are information officer-designates of national and provincial office .Circulation managers are the liaison officers from the PAO.  Editorial consultant is the provincial administrator.
Published  by the  provincial government, the paper comes out monthly.
The publication of the “Happitan” is provided under a provincial ordinance approved in 2007 to ensure that information on government thrusts, plans, programs and activities shall be widely and properly disseminated, in line with the government’s policy of transparency and truthfulness.
It  also aims  to establish an information feedback system to encourage active participation of all sectors and provide a medium for the documentation of the Ifugao rich cultural heritage of all sub-ethno-linguistic groups in the province. -- Marcelo B. Lihgawon

Paracelis LGU to provide free services to its PWDs
PARACELIS, Mountain Province– Here’ good news for persons with disability (PWDs) in this town.
The Sangguniang Panlalawigan recently approved Municipal Ordinance No. 2015 – 011 granting free services to PWDs in line with Republic Act 7277 or the “Magna Carta for Disabled Persons.”
It is provided in the ordinance that free services to be given free to PWDs include medical diagnostic examination with government institutions in the municipality, issuance of medical certificate, secretary’s fees for birth certificate and tax declaration issuances.
Qualified to avail of the free services are persons with disability who are permanent residents of the municipality of Paracelis. -- Juliet B. Saley

Abra PNC bolsters  nutrition caravan to address malnutrition  
BANGUED, Abra- - The Provincial Nutrition Committee (PNC) recently launched nutrition caravan in   ten municipalities with the most number of malnourished children.
With PNC as the lead, the nutrition caravan is jointly sponsored by the Abra Medical Society, the Rotary Club of Bangued and the Philippine Red Cross.
Dr. Joel B. Beleno, president of the Abra Medical Society, said the nutrition caravan   has various components that include pediatric consultations, mothers’ class, oral hygiene and the usual supplemental feeding and deworming of children. It was earlier launched in the municipality of Tineg.  
The top 10 nutritionally depressed municipalities are Lagayan, Villaviciosa, Langiden, San Isidro, Pidigan, Lacub, Tayum, La Paz,   Bucay and Tineg.
Based on the latest Operation Timbang, Abra  registered the  most number of mal-nourished children age 0 to 50 months old (0 to 5 years old children) among the six provinces in the Cordillera.
The Department of Health determines the nutrition status of children based on the result of the Operation Timbang administered to children aged 0 to 50 months old or 5 years and below which cover children in the daycare centers.
"It is embarrassing to learn that Abra is again ranked No. 1 in malnutrition in the region. We need to graduate now,” Gov. Ma. Jocelyn V. Bernos told PNC members.
Aside from the nutrition caravan, the Department of Education is also reminded of the administrative order to prohibit sale of junk foods in the school canteens.
The Philippine Information Agency, for its part, has intensified its information, education and advocacy campaign to primarily educate the parents on the proper nutrition of their families most especially their children. Breastfeeding is likewise being advocated to promote the health and nutrition of both the mother and the child. -- Maria Teresa B. Benas

Project Hope offers rehab for druggies
BAGUIO CITY-- Individuals from the religious sector have bonded to support rehabilitation of drug dependents. 
Dubbed Project Hope,  they  aim to provide immediate rehabilitation and wellness program for drug dependents belonging to marginalized groups who cannot afford costly center-based treatments or do not have access to government health care facilities.
Said project even coined a more positive term for these drug dependents- brethren in distress.
Fred Puntawe, a former media practitioner and now president of the Council of Laity-Diocese of Baguio, said the project is designed to address immediate medical needs of these “brethren in distress,” in solidarity with the government’s call to abate the drug menace that affects thousands of families, “which is the basic foundation of the Holy Church.”
Project Hope is divided into three parts, starting from detoxification, psychosocial counseling and spiritual formation.  It believes that the most important component of a holistic rehabilitation program sits on the detoxification aspect, without the use of pharmaceutical products, thus the use of ear acupuncture, which involves the placement of five small, sterilized and disposable needles into five meridian (gateways/pathways) points on each ear.
The project will initially run for three months at the Our Lady of Lourdes Parish Church along Kisad Road, from 9 a.m to 3 p.m. Monday to Friday.
The project is implemented in coordination with City DILG Field Office, City Camp District Health Center, Association of Barangay Councils-Baguio City, PNP Sub-station 5, and Office of City Social Welfare and Development and with support from the Saint Louis University, Council of Laity-Diocese of Baguio, and NADA-Philippines Baguio-Benguet Chapter with the support of the Department of Health- CAR, Baguio General Hospital, and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency –CAR.
The  proposed organizational structure has  Bishop Carlito J. Cenzon as honorary chairman, with Rev. Fr. Camilo Ongsit (St. Paul Parish), Rev. Fr. Mario Tambic (Our Lady of Lourdes Parish), and Rev. Fr. Rosito Pedro, Jr. (Vicar, Council of Laity) as project directors and Dr. Vicky Ducat (St. Paul Alternative Health Care Clinic) as program manager. -- Joseph B. Zambrano

Philex Mines plants 5,000 trees on  60th year
ITOGON, Benguet -- More than 5,000 trees were planted by a mining firm last week to kick of its 60th year of operations in the province.
Philex Mining Corp. president and CEO, engineer Eulalio Austin, Jr.,  with environment officials and local government executives led planting of the tree species at the Philex Padcal Tailings storage facility No. 1 (TSF1) in Sitio Sal-angan, Barangay Ampucao this town.
About 300 participants including representatives from the office of the Benguet provincial governor represented by Adam Ventura, Tuba Mayor Ignacio Rivera, Itogon Mayor Victorio Palangdan, Camp 3 Punong Barangay Benedicto Baliton, and representatives from DENR-CAR joined the activity.
 Austin called for unity among company officials, employees and partners in community development and economic progress for responsible mining.
“Mining may be an ‘unwanted’ industry, as some people see it, but it is essential to community development and nation-building, and, therefore, to life,” he said.
Philex Padcal mines environment quality monitoring and enhancement department manager Julius Bayugan said the 5,000 seedlings that include caliandra, ipil-ipil, gmelina, narra, and Benguet pine were from an in-house nursery.
Padcal mine’s nursery produces 250,000 seedlings every year while its annual average of reforested area is 100 hectares, whose maintenance and protection run up to three years.
Bayugan said the 26-hectare TSF1, which is now fully revegetated and rehabilitated, is also used as a bamboo plantation and experimental plots for high-value ornamental plants. The TSF1 was constructed in 1967 and decommissioned in 1981.
The reforestation at Padcal mines also includes the denuded area exploited by a logging company before Philex Mining came in.
Meanwhile, Padcal Resident Manager Manuel Agcoili, who is also SVP at Philex Mining, said the gold-and-copper mines has lined up a number of social projects and cultural events in the run-up to its grand celebration on November 19. -- Redjie Melvic Cawis

Kiangan LGU  strengthens  moral recovery  program
KIANGAN, Ifugao- - The municipal government here is strengthening   its moral recovery crogram (MRP) initially with orientation and planning workshop among barangay chaplains and service providers.
The government has embarked on the MRP to “recover the moral deterioration and redirect the people towards righteous governance and good citizenry adopting the core values of Makatao, Makabansa, Maka Dios and Makakalikasan.”
Facilitated by the Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office (MSWDO) and the Municipal Human Resource Office, the workshop was venue for participants to know more about MRP and to prepare their action plan.
MSWDO head Mario Indopia told participants the MRP has a two-pronged focus which are the clients in the barangay local government units (BLGUs) and other institutions and the service provider groups or the Municipal Chaplaincy.
Chaplain, as explained by lawyer Leticia Morales, is a person of any status designated by the government, the governor or the mayor to preach or bring the good news or moral recovery in designated areas.  Chaplaincy on the other hand is the extended ministry outside the four corners of a church and its focus is moral or deals with the words of God and not of church doctrines.
Chaplain Albert Ngitit presented the code of ethics which is purely biblical and culturally accepted ethics in which moral attitude and values should be incorporated in biblical teachings but not church doctrines.
Chaplain Roland Dimog expounded on the principles of counseling saying counselors should never dictate on what people should do but to come up with the best decision for themselves by bringing out the good in every individual. They should never let the counselee feel threatened and guilty but act as the model of the love and grace of Jesus Christ exemplified on earth and taught in the Bible.
The group made their action plan that includes regular conduct of Bible exhortation in the Sangguniang Bayan, BLGUs, police, general assemblies and other occasions such as the Nutrition Day, Family Day and others.
They will also conduct training for barangay councils and employees, orientation of ministers and workers on chaplaincy, officially include Bible exhortation during the Family Development Sessions of the 4Ps, Interfaith Prayer Gathering, quarterly get together or fellowship and continuous monthly chaplaincy meetings and education. -- Daniel B. Codamon

Bangued mayor urges public: Help solve garbage problem
BANGUED, Abra -- Mayor Dominic B. Valera urged cooperation and patience of residents in this capital town to help in solving garbage problem.
Valera said the local government closed the dumping site along Abra River bank in Barangay Calaba following complaints from local officials of Ilocos Sur of garbage being washed out downstream when the Abra River swells.
The mayor said the LGU is trying to work out for the establishment of a municipal dumpsite that would meet the standards of the DENR to prevent further hazards to the environment.
In the meantime, the LGU put a halt on garbage collection and asked the households and establishments to segregate their wastes and put up their own compost pits in their backyards and not to dump their garbage in the rivers and creeks. -- Maria Teresa B. Benas

Sibud-Sibud Cave in Abra now under DENR program
TINEG, Abra -- The Sibud-Sibud Cave  in this upland town is one of the 39 caves in the Philippines placed under protection and management of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources recently.
Saturnina Miguel of the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office said an area receives protection from DENR for its recognizable beauty and natural and cultural reserves.  This is  necessary to preserve the caves so the public could enjoy them.
Sibud-Sibud Cave is found along the road of Tineng.  An ideal place for nature lovers, it can be reached after travelling a distance of around 33 kms.  
It is categorized as Class III since it is less explored and visited.  Accordingly, Class III caves may also be utilized for economic activities like extraction or collection of guano or bird’s nest.
The local government units and residents are looking forward to developing the premises of the  Sibud-Sibud Cave  and establishing physical amenities and public utilities for the comfort of tourists and spelunkers.
Economic activities are expected to grow like tour guiding and collection of bird’s nest which is sold to foreigners as souvenir. Guano or bird’s nest is also made as soup and home remedy for certain illness.
Sibud-Sibud Cave is a threshold to all other potential natural and wildlife sanctuaries in Abra deserving protection, stressed Miguel.  -- Ginalyn B. Brioso 

Japanese Suzu City officials visit Ifugao
BANAUE, Ifugao --  Five Japanese officials recently visited the province  to see for themselves  the landscapes and hear from the implementers and local stakeholders the best practices in facilitating sustainable development in the Globally Important Heritage Systems(GIAHS)  site of Ifugao .
Suzu City Mayor Masuhiro Izumiya accompanied by the City’s Planning and Financial Division Chief Naoyuki Kaneda, Masako Koinuma, the Director of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Ifugao Satoyama Meister Training Program (ISMTP) Project Leader Koji Nakamura and his associate Dr. Rizalina Edpalina, were welcomed at the Ifugao State University (IFSU) in Lamut with a program.
Mayor Izumiya said that although this was his first time to visit Ifugao, he heard great stories about the culture of the people and the scenic spots such as the Ifugao Rice Terraces.  
He commended the twinning project between the Ifugao and Japan GIAHS stakeholders and expects that the ISMTP would continue to foster stronger relationships between the province and Suzo City. He shared that his city, like Ifugao, is also faced with the challenge of a decreasing population due to outmigration of the younger generation in search of better future outside the place.
ISMTP is a joint undertaking of the IFSU under president Serafin Ngohayon, Kanazawa University of Japan, University of the Philippines-Open University, JICA and the Ifugao Provincial Government that envisions to help maintain the World Heritage Sites in the province by identifying endeavors that the people may embark and support scholars that will be trained to spearhead such endeavors.
The program that began in 2014 and will end this year. The scholars after their training here and in Japan will help empower the people in the heritage sites improve their quality of life by harmonizing heritage conservation, environmental preservation and economic activities.  
The group   visited Banaue as part of their two-day itinerary in the province.  In their tour of the town, Ifugao Governor Pedro Mayam-o related stories about the culture, agricultural practices of the Ifugaos while Mayor Jerry Dalipog admitted that the conservation of heritage sites to be successful really needs the common efforts of all stakeholders hence appreciated very much this joint endeavor with the ISMTP.
The Ifugao Rice Terraces is the only GIAHS site in the Philippines.  -- Daniel B. Codamon

Mayor allays fears on shift to solar vehicles
BAGUIO CITY -- The transport sector has nothing to be afraid about the proposed shift from gas or diesel-powered motor vehicles to solar powered  vehicles as alternative mode of transport, said Mayor Mauricio Domogan.
The mayor told a media forum the city government is still testing capability of said alternative mode of transport in the city.
If the pilot test will generate positive results, “then the next step will be to look into the actual cost of the vehicle to determine its affordability for the benefit of the members of the transport sector,” he explained.
The city government has approved the request of the Glad to be Green group led by businesswoman Gladys Vergara-de Vera to pilot test the use of the solar-powered bus in the city for two months. 
This tests   the vehicle’s ability to maneuver in the mountainous terrain which will determine its possible areas of operation as it might have limitations especially with the very steep roads around the city. Also included in the on-going pilot test is a study on the affordability of solar-powered vehicles which is a main consideration prior to its use by certain members of the transport sector.
Accordingly, solar-powered vehicles do not emit smoke which will result to cleaner air for the City, which will result to better health for the public that will in turn translate to lesser expense in terms of keeping themselves healthy thus improving productivity and quality of life.
Domogan said that the acquisition of franchise will only be applicable when the study on the use of the solar power vehicle will have been proven feasible and beneficial.

Benguet overshoots rabies vaccination target
LA TRINIDAD, Benguet -- The free massive anti-rabies vaccination campaign in the province was successfully conducted even overshooting its target.
Provincial Veterinarian Dr. Miriam Tiongan said they have exceeded the target of the dog population by 7.34 percent which is above the national target of 70% and the region’s target of 80%.
Of the total dog population of 35,069 in the 13 towns of the province, 30,628 dogs were vaccinated.
The capital town of La Trinidad had the highest number of dogs vaccinated with 6,479 out of the   7,652 dogs.
Other towns that had high rate of vaccination are   Bakun, Kapangan and Buguias.  
The campaign is aimed to eradicate rabies by 2020. Fortunately, no rabid dog case is recorded this year so far, Tiongan said.
The OPVet is still doing vaccination  but already with a minimal charge. The Office  is also continuously conducting information education and administering spay and neuter as a means of controlling dog population. -- Susan C. Aro


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