NEWS BRIEFS

>> Thursday, December 8, 2016


Lawin victims get P135.2-M shelter aid
The Department of Social Welfare and Development has provided P135.2 million in assistance to over 27,000 families whose homes were destroyed by Typhoon Lawin.
Under the DSWD’s emergency shelter cash assistance project, victims get an initial P5,000 in aid.
The DSWD said it is targeting 271,164  families whose homes were either destroyed or damaged by the typhoon.
Secretary Judy Taguiwalo said the DSWD would release P730,522,090 to 146,104 households in the next few weeks.
“The affected families can immediately repair their houses and facilitate their recovery from the damage caused by Typhoon Lawin,” Taguiwalo said.   

Landslide forces road closure in Santa Praxedes
STA. PRAXEDES, Cagayan – A landslide rendered both lanes of the national road in Barangay San Juan, Santa Praxedes town in Cagayan province impassable Monday morning, the Department of Public Works and Highways Region 2 office, here, reported.
Closed to traffic was the Manila North Road at Kilometer (Km) 591+400 in Barangay San Juan, Sta. Praxedes, said DPWH RO2 Public Information Officer Wilson Valdez.
Valdez said heavy equipment and personnel have already been deployed for clearing operations.
Meanwhile, Valdez also warned motorists against flooded road sections at Km 604+900-Km 605+200 in Barangay Kilkiling, Claveria, Cagayan. – Liezle BasaIƱigo

Baguio posts 82% passing rate in 2016 A&E exam
BAGUIO CITY- - The Department of Education – Alternative Learning System(ALS) Baguio Division again registered the highest passing rate in the April 17 Accreditation and Equivalency examination in the region  with an average of 82.78 percent for the elementary and secondary levels.
ALS Baguio Education program supervisor Arthur Tiongan said 42 out of their 45 (93.33%) examinees for the   elementary level while 410 out of the 501 takers in the secondary level passed the exam.
Passers include eight of nine examinees from the Baguio City Jail.
 Ifugao was second with a passing rate of 62.44% with 11 out of the 24 examinees in elementary and 732 out of the 1166 in high school passing the exam.
Mountain Province followed at third with 58.92% passing mark with 13 out 39 in the elem.  level and 357 out of 589 in the high school level making it.
Abra and Benguet followed closely with 57.58 and 57.16%, respectively, then Apayao at 43.05%, and Kalinga at 27.25%.  The Schools Division of Tabuk City registered 36.49% passing rate.
Overall, there are 130 elementary passers and 5,906 high school level passers in the region.
Tiongan explained these A & E passers will get their DepEd elementary and high school diplomas equivalent to those who finished basic education and can enroll in higher level.
ALS A&E test is a paper and pencil examination designed to measure the competencies of those who have neither attended nor finished elementary or secondary education in the formal school system. Passers are given a DepEd certificate/diploma certifying their competencies as comparable graduates of the formal school system
“Those who passed the elementary level can now go to high school, while those who passed the secondary can either take technical – vocation education or college courses”, he  said.  -- Carlito Dar

1 dead, 24 hurt in Mangaldan mishap
MANGALDAN, Pangasinan — A vehicular crash resulted in violent death of a female passenger of a jeepney that rammed into a concrete fence here on Nov. 27.
Supt. Jeff   Fanged, acting police chief of Mangaldan, said one Mylene de Vera was killed when the passenger jeepney she was in rammed into a concrete fence at the end of a zigzag road in Barangay Amansabina around 4:30 p.m.
Twenty-four other occupants of the jeepney, including the driver Sandrom Correa, were injured in the accident that happened after they all came from a family outing at San Fabian Beach in San Fabian town, Pangasinan. -- Liezle BasaIƱigo

CCTV cameras  installed in Kalinga’s main road 
TABUK CITY, Kalinga -- The city-government had installed closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras along the provincial road leading to the city proper in a bid to strengthen its anti-criminality and traffic management efforts.
City Public Order and Safety Officer (POSO) DionisioFalgui III informed there are 15 CCTV units installed at strategic points of the 7-kilometer road to help in the solution of cases, mostly traffic-related, that usually occur in the area. 
The CCTVs are operational under two centralized monitoring stations at the police provincial command and city POSO.
Falgui disclosed that the city government has approved an additional fund for the extension of the project to cover the entire stretch of the road up to the farthest barangay in Balong.
He also revealed the plan to install CCTV cameras near schools.
Police intelligence reports indicated that drug pushers are targeting schools in their illegal trade.
Other sites in the city earlier installed with CCTVs include public markets, landmarks, PNP compact posts, city hall compound and other crowded areas. 
In a related report, the provincial government recently held the blessing of the four-lane improvement project of the provincial road.  
Funds used for the project constructed in phases came from the province’s cash incentives on the Seal of Good Local Governance Award from the Department of Interior and Local Government for three years. --      Larry T. Lopez

La Union power rates going down
SAN FERNANDO CITY, La Union  – Electricity rates in La Union have gone down by P1.50 per kilowatt-hour (kwh) and are expected to decrease by another 20 centavos.
Bernardo Valero, La Union Electric Co. (Lueco). general manager, said rates dropped to P4.38 per kwh since August.
“Generation cost is now at P4.38. By next month, we expect that it will go down to P4.20,” Valero said.
He said the decrease is due to the adequate supply of electricity.
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“There are a lot of electric companies… There is an ample supply to serve as back up in cases of emergency,” he said.
Valero said Lueco is getting its supply from the Sual power plant, which generates up to 12 million kwh per month. – Jun Elias 

Ifugaos sustain traditional forest management system
LAGAWE, Ifugao – This age when technology has invaded all aspects of life, Ifugaos are proud of still practicing the muyong, the traditional way of preserving the forest.
The “muyong” system   revolves around the concept of protecting the forest as watershed and preserving its flora and fauna, its wildlife and keeping the ecological balance. 
It is a private or clan-owned woodlot, which serves as a “forest zone where people can gather firewood and lumber for their house-building needs through selective harvesting.
The ‘muyong’ is one of Ifugao’s living tradition that is passed from generation to generation,” he said.
The vital water systems that irrigate the province’s famed rice terraces come from watersheds and headwaters, which traditionally have been maintained through the muyong approach.
Local officials said the muyong system should be replicated in other parts of the country as a solution to water shortage, floods, landslides that kill thousands of people every year. -- JDP/JBZ

Pangasinan’s Casa Real restoration on as museum
LINGAYEN, Pangasinan -- The restoration of the province’s  260-year-old Casa Real here into a museum is nearing the final stage of completion, the Department of Public Works and Highways said.
The DPWH said the first and second phases were already implemented together with the Department of Tourism to the tune of P35 million.
DPWH region 1 director DaniloDequito said phase 2 of the rehabilitation covers concrete beam and slab, masonry walls, roofing system and ceiling works, electrical works including installation generator set and power house, and office furniture.
The building is also retrofitted with high-definition screen and audio system, security cameras and plumbing works including cistern tank and fire sprinkler system.
An additional P50 million will be spent for the third and final phase which will take place soon, DPWH said.
“What was long been abandoned will soon be home of artifacts with significance to Pangasinan’s rich history and cultural heritage,” said Dequito.
Casa Real is one of Lingayen’s oldest public buildings that once served as Pangasinan’s seat of government during the Spanish occupation.
It was devastated during World War II.
In 2008, typhoon Cosme ripped off the building’s roof, and it has since been abandoned until restoration plans were successfully proposed. -- Argyll Cyrus Geducos

Tabuk City shifts to high-tech waste management system
TABUK CITY, Kalinga- - This city is now going high tech in its waste management system.
The local government unit   has shifted to Technology for Waste Diversion Facility and installed a granulator “Markell” machine for the processing of bio and non-bio waste materials at its Dilag open dump site in Sitio Bayabay this city.
SaludLammawin, City Environment and Natural Resources Officer, said the machine worth P6.5 million will reduce the garbage disposed at the site. She said the supplier has already conducted training on the operation of the diesel fuel-run waste processing equipment.
Other facilities currently being constructed in the area are a materials recovery facility (MRF) and a composting unit amounting to P1 million and P500, 000.00, funded respectively by the LGU.
The installation of these facilities is in compliance with the provisions of Republic Act 9003 known as the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000.
 Lammawin  also bared  rehabilitation of   dump site is underway with the  city government  providing P3 million funding for the first quarter this year particularly for  initial perimeter fencing, leachate pond, high density polyethylene (HDPE) liner, retaining wall,  guard house, gate, billboard, and  gas vent among others. -- Peter A. Balocnit

Fake cigarette factories found in Pangasinan, Pampanga
VILLASIS, Pangasinan – Two factories manufacturing fake cigarette brands were raided in Pangasinan and Pampanga recently.
Operatives of the Bureau of Customs, Philippine Army and the Philippine National Police swooped down on a clandestine factory in Barangay Unzad in this town Monday.
Antero Prado Jr., BOC technical assistant, said the raiding team seized a big volume of imported tobacco leaves, nine machines and other materials used to manufacture fake cigarettes as well as boxes of counterfeit products. 
Prado said the machines are capable of producing millions of pesos worth of cigarettes or about 500,000 packs a day. He said the fake cigarettes include Marlboro, Fortune, Jackpot, More, Mighty, Marvel and Winston. 
“The factory was located in an area far from the national road,” he said. “Villagers thought it was part of a farm.”
Prado said the factory has around a hundred local and foreign workers, mostly Chinese.
He said the Bureau of Immigration had been asked to check on the status of the foreigners.
The owner of the factory has yet to be identified. 
“They could not present any business permit. Even barangay officials are not aware of the existence of the factory,” Prado said.
He noted that fake cigarettes seized in raids on warehouses in Cagayan de Oro and Davao came from Luzon.
In Pampanga, a warehouse suspected of manufacturing fake cigarettes was found in Barangay San Isidro in Lubao.--  Eva Visperas, RicSapnu


Busol rain harvester OK’d; similar BCC facility pushed 
BAGUIO CITY  – Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan said he has already given the go-signal for the use of the new design of the proposed P139 million rain harvesting facility within the Baguio side of the 336-hectare Busol watershed to maximize the use of rainwater for various purposes during the dry months.
The local chief executive said the original design presented by the personnel of the Cordillera office of the Department of Public works and Highways (DPWH-CAR) will result in the cutting of many trees within the watershed thus defeating the purpose of preserving and protecting the trees within the forest reservation, thus, city officials requested the DPWH-CAR to re-design the rain harvesting facility to lessen the impact of the project to the trees within the vicinity of the project.
He said Baguio receives the highest volume of rain annually that is why concerned government agencies, the local government, and residents have to find ways of conserving rain water instead of it just letting flowing into the river systems and reuse this during the dry season.
 Aside from the Busol rain harvesting facility, Domogan is proposing the setting up of another similar facility within the parking area of the Baguio Convention Center for the center’s use during the summer months.
According to him, even owners of new commercial buildings will be required to have their own rain harvesting facilities within their structures to contribute to water conservation which will benefit their clients during periods of low supply of water which usually happens during peak tourism months and the summer.

DOLE allots P6 million for 16 Kalinga groups
TABUK CITY, Kalinga -- Sixteen associations are set  to  receive financial assistance for livelihood projects from the Department of Labor and Employment.
Dr. Alexander Gumabol, DOLE provincial office head here, said they are preparing the checks worth around P6 million for distribution to livelihood proponents, mostly farmer groups needing post-harvest facilities.
Organizations to be given post-harvest facilities are San Isidro Farmers Asso. of Magabbangon (P352,700.00); Lumawig Clan of Pinukpuk (P481,000); Talac Yellow Corn Upland Rice of Gogbgog(P350,000); MatagoanLapata of Tabuk(P350,000); Mengawisan Association of Masablang(P500,000); Bulitnao Tourism Manggayadan Farmers of Magnao(P353,000); Purok 3 Matayog Farmers(P200,000); Saltan Organic Farmers(P50,000); Amlao Farmers(P450,000); Guringad-Tope Clan(P350,000); Sumadel 1 Livelihood(P420,000), and PakawitPumiyaan(P350,000).
Others with different livelihood are Tuga National High School (P403, 050) for bakery and pastry making; Tabuk Ornamentals, Landscaping and Nursery Livelihood (P485, 000); Purok 3 Bulanao Indigent, Tourism, Handicraft Asso. (P383, 000), and Naneng Rural Improvement Club on red rice processing (P326, 000).
These projects  will have immediate impact on employment of members and additional income for their families, Gumabol said. -- Peter A. Balocnit

Ifugao farmers groups train on livestock raising
ASIPULO, Ifugao -- Members of two farmers organizations from this town and  Hingyon municipality underwent a training on poultry and swine production and hands-on preparation of fermented feeds  conducted by the Provincial Veterinary Officer (PVET).
The farmers were given lectures on the health and economic significance of utilizing home-made or processed fermented feeds for their poultry and livestock industry, good animal husbandry practices, animal health management and the various animal diseases such as the New Castle Disease of poultry and fowls.
There was also hands-on demonstration on how to process their own organic feeds using   raw and indigenous foodstuff that abound in the area.
The 22 members of the Haliap Farmers Organization of this municipality who attended the training received 13 piglets as their animal dispersal while the 23 members of the Bitu Resource Cooperative and Development Association, Inc. given 19 piglets.
PVET training coordinator Ferdinand Dunuan said that the project was funded by the Department of Agriculture which is mandated to exclusively promote organic agriculture in the country pursuant to Republic Act 10068. -- Daniel B. Codamon

Doctor pushes diabetes  prevention among children
BAGUIO CITY -- Diabetes is now a global concern and intensive education among young ones who are potential victims, is still best prevention,
Dr. Domingo Solimen of the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center (BGHMC)   said  during the Department of Health media forum last week.
The World Health Organization figuessaid  350 million people with diabetes around the globe, and disease is the direct cause of around 1.5 million deaths.
Solimen said diabetes, a non-communicable disease that is due to high blood sugar level, is the number one cause of kidney failure.  
At BGHMC, 60 percent of their dialysis patients are due to diabetic complications, he bared.
Diabetes is also considered risk factor to heart attack, blindness and traumatic amputation.
Diabetic complications can be fatal but the disease is also highly preventable and treatable especially if detected early on.
As a preventive measure, Solimen said their intensive information and education campaign is focused on orienting elementary pupils of healthy lifestyle given that obesity, a risk factor for diabetes, is now prevalent among children.
Obesity in the younger ages is related to the manifestation of diabetes in their adulthood, he said.
Solimen advised the general public to maintain a healthy lifestyle and have a balanced diet which includes avoiding salty foods, too much sweets and frozen foods, as well as smoking.
He also advised  diabetic family members and those feeling the symptoms (that include frequent urination, increased thirst and increased hunger) to have their blood sugar checked.
This year’s   World Health Day on April 7 focuses on diabetes with the theme, “Beat Diabetes” to scale up diabetes prevention, strengthen care and enhance surveillance. --  Leo  and G. Montecastro

Kalinga barangays, schools set sites for pre-fab health stations
TABUK CITY, Kalinga -- Recipient barangays and schools of pre-fabricated barangay health stations (BHS) in the province are now busy identifying and preparing the sites.
Dr. Bernadette Andaya of the Center for Health Development reported that    barangay Dangtalan in Pasil was the first to prepare and concrete the site.
Andayabared that the pre-fab BHS is 12x18 feet or 50sq.m. in dimension and   worth P240, 000.00. 
The pre-fab BHS project is funded under the Department of Health’s (DOH) TamangSerbisyosaKalusuganngPamilya or TSeKaP .
She said a joint memorandum of agreement was forged between DOH, the Department of Education and barangay local government units. 
The nationwide construction of said BHS projects is contracted by a single contractor. An engineer will be hired per province to supervise project implementation, she added.
TSeKaP  strengthens  health systems; increase the efficiency and effectiveness of delivery of basic health services and enable a more equitable distribution of national health programs through the government’s DaangMatuwid Program
In another development, Andaya announced that DOH Sec. Janette Garin will visit Kalinga in April to distribute medical equipment packages to rural health units, and barangay health stations. – Peter Balocnit

NFA-Kalinga urges bigasan outlets to renew permits
TABUK CITY, Kalinga – The National Food Authority (NFA) provincial operation center here  urged bigasan operators to renew their permits in order to continuously to provide accessible and cheap rice.
Assistant  Provincial Manager RicBaliang informed their office is open to renewal of 2016 permits to NFA-bigasan retail outlets and licenses for grains traders. 
NFA   is also accepting  new applications for its rice retail service especially in remote areas of the province where there is problem on accessibility.
There are at least 80 bigasan retailers stationed in various sites in the province selling NFA cheap quality rice at P27-32/kg, Baliang disclosed.
Baliang cleared there is no price adjustment in government rice but NFA allows minimal add-on cost to defray transportation expenses by retailers from far-flung barangays.
Meanwhile, the provincial NFA warehouse has a current inventory of 23,000 bags of rice, which according to Baliang is sufficient until the next quarter.
In the last cropping, NFA procured only 2,000 bags of palay due to the province’s low palay production arising from the irrigation crisis. 
Balianghopes  their procurement operation would be back to normal with the resumption of regular operation of the National Irrigation Administration’s service in the province this cropping. -- Larry T. Lopez

DOST   provides baking
tools to women’s group
PINUKPUK, Kalinga -- The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) provincial office here recently  provided  bakery equipment to Barangay DugpaKalipi (KalipunanngLipingPilipina) Organization this town for  its bakery project.
The Kalinga Science and Technology Center said their office provided P149, 000.00 for the purchase of one set oven, one set dough roller, one set dough kneader, and a blender while the proponent shared P140, 000.00 counterpart.
The group aims to produce baked products enriched with vegetables.
Raw material for the manufacture of baked products is not a problem since local raw products like malunggay and root crops are found in abundance in the place. Members of the organization will undergo training on good manufacturing practices from January 27-28.
 Meanwhile, Alfonso Berto, provincial DOST officer,  said they are processing approval of other proposals under the community-based program on Science and Technology Enhancement for the Advancement of Municipalities or STEAM. -- Peter A. Balocnit

Baguio sets regulations on use of ambulance
 BAGUIO CITY – The city government set regulations on the use of the three government-operated ambulance units serving the city’s constituents.
 In Administrative Order No. 112, Mayor Mauricio Domogan authorized the city treasurer’s office to collect fees from patients using city-owned ambulances for transport within and outside the city.
The fees will be minimal or “socialized” and will go to the maintenance of the vehicles, gasoline, meals for volunteers and toll fees.
The three ambulances are assigned in three separate offices – the health services office, the Bureau of Fire Protection and the City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Committee (CDRRMC) under the city administrator’s office.
The HSO maintains the Baguio City Emergency Medical Services (BCEMS) as the pre-hospital emergency management arm of the CDRRMC which includes ambulance services under the Health Emergency Management System.
The mayor said while the BCEMS uses the HSO ambulance to transport patients for medical treatment at hospital facilities or referral for higher management within and outside the city, the transport of patients is not the priority function of BCEMS.
“As the pre-hospital emergency arm of CDRRMC, its main function is primarily emergency medical responders,” he said.
On payment of the regulatory fees, the process: applicants secure payment slips from the office where ambulance is assigned indicating the amount to be paid at the city treasury office. 
The offices will record all official receipts before transporting the patient and will prepare necessary official travel order for the personnel in the ambulance team to be signed by the department or assistant department head and approved by the city mayor.   
The city treasury office will collect the amount based on the payment slip issued by the concerned offices based on the following charges: For every trip within Baguio City, the client will pay P500 one way and for trips outside the city, the client will pay P75 per kilometer. – Aileen P. Refuerzo




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