>> Saturday, December 24, 2016

Couple dies in Isabela road mishap
CORDON, Isabela -- A couple died when their motorcycle crashed into a road repair project along the national highway here in Barangay Caguilingan Tuesday night. Chief Insp. Ronnie Naira, Cordon police chief, identified the fatalities as Ephraim Caagusan, 44, and his wife Jane, 43. Police said the area is accident-prone due to the failure of the Department of Public Works and Highways to put up warning signs.  -- Raymund Catindig

Animal facilities need mandatory registration
BAGUIO CITY -- All interested partners, firm, corporation, association, or any government agency who desires to engage in the establishment, operation and maintenance of animal facilities are required to secure a certificate of registration at the Department of Agriculture-Cordillera Administrative Region through its Livestock Program and the DA-Bureau of Animal Industry  prior to local government unit’s issuance of business permit.
This action is pursuant to Republic Act No. 8485 known as Animal Welfare Act (AWA). This act provides guidelines in the registration of animal control facility, aviary, cattery, cattle farm, circus or carnival show, corral, crocodile farm, goat farm, corral, grooming facility, hog farm, kennel, laboratory animal facility, monkey farm, ostrich farm, pet shop, poultry farm, racetrack and equestrian establishment, slaughterhouse, stock farm, stockyard, stud farm, veterinary clinic, veterinary hospital, wildlife rescue center and zoo and other animal facilities.
Further, the AWA protects and promotes the welfare of animals, including birds by supervising and regulating the establishment and operation of all facilities utilized for breeding, maintaining, keeping, treating or training of all animals either as objects of trade or as household pets.
For more information, contact DA-Livestock Sector, BPI Compound, Guisad, Baguio City at (074) 444-9872/ Smart (0998-3767-419); Globe (0915-2209-987). -- JFPotectan

Ilocos Norte sets Christmas activities
LAOAG CITY – The provincial government officially opened its annual Christmas celebration, "Paskua Mi Ditoy," with a light-up at the provincial capitol here Nov. 14.
        "Paskua Mi Ditoy" is an Ilocano phrase which means "Pasko namin dito."
        A Solid North Tupig Cook-Off was also held Dec. 16 in the town of Dingras.
Conceptualized in 2010, start of Gov. Imee R. Marcos' administration, it became highlight in Ilocos Norte's Christmas celebration.
         The cook-off  encouraged innovation of traditional cuisine, with contingents deviating from the usual lineup of tupig ingredients and using roasted peanuts, cheese, langka (jackfruit), and even gamet (Ilocos black seaweed) in their creations.—Mizpah Grace G. Castro

Discrimination of HIV-infected workers prohibited
BAGUIO CITY – The City Council approved on first reading a proposed ordinance prohibiting all forms of discrimination perceived or suspected or even found to be positively infected with Human Immune Deficiency virus (HIV) in workplaces within the jurisdiction of the city.
The ordinance authored by Councilor Leandro B. Yangot, Jr. stated employers cannot simply equate HIV to disability, thus, it is unlawful to discriminate against any employee or applicant because one or she is perceived, suspected or confirmed to be infected with HIV in regard to hiring, termination, promotion, compensation, job training or any other term, condition or privilege of employment.
Yangot claimed it will be unlawful for employers to require compulsory HIV testing to applicants seeking employment with them or to its current employees who are suspected of having been infected with the dreaded illness.
He added all local government and private employers, must have an official protocol in handling suspected or positive HIV cases in their respective workplaces and that they can get the assistance of the Department of labor and Employment (DOLE) on how to formulate and adopt the required protocol.
              Under the provisions of the ordinance, licenses or permits issued by the local government to employers or business entities found guilty of committing discriminatory acts or policies shall be revoked. -- Dexter A. See

Mark Fernandez pleads not guilty to drug raps
ANGELES CITY – Movie actor Mark Anthony Fernandez pleaded not guilty to charges of possession of illegal drugs during his arraignment here Tuesday.
              The Hall of Justice was declared off-limits to media as security personnel guarded the main entry.
A bus of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology that brought Fernandez here dropped him off at the back door.
The arraignment  of Fernandez was twice postponed after government prosecutors filed a motion seeking to include a “grinder” for marijuana on the list of items recovered from the actor. He was arrested on Oct. 3 after over 500 grams of dried marijuana were found in his car.
Fernandez has yet to be arraigned for resistance and disobedience to authorities after he allegedly tried to flee after police found the illegal drugs.
He is being held at the provincial jail in San Fernando.  – Ding Cervantes 

DSWD giving emergency shelter cash aid in Kalinga      
CITY OF TABUK, Kalinga - - The Department of Social Welfare and Development is now distributing emergency shelter cash aid to families  whose houses were damaged by super typhoon ‘Lawin’  last October.
City Social Welfare and Development Officer Susana Daluping reported there are 6,744 families affected, 454 with totally damaged houses and 6290 partially damaged houses.
Under the program, each family is given P5, 000 cash aid for construction materials. The list of beneficiaries was  prepared based on the reports and authentication submitted by barangay officials, Daluping noted. For easier release, recipients were advised to submit pictures of their damaged houses.
A team from DSWD, CSWDO and LGU will monitor to check whether beneficiaries properly used the cash aid given to them.
In the aftermath of ‘Lawin’, DSWD Sec. Judy Taguiwalo, who led in distribution of relief goods in the province and initial emergency shelter cash aid to 10 families, here, vowed to extend additional cash assistance to more families affected. -- Larry T. Lopez

OWWA processing cash applications of typhoon- affected OFWs in Abra
BANGUED, Abra -- The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration through the Overseas Filipino Workers Center here headed by Fredelyn Beato is now processing applications under its Cash Relief (CARE) Program.
The CARE program is a relief program of the OWWA extended to OWWA members and their families who were victims of Typhoon Lawin. It gives P3, 000 to active members and P1, 500 to inactive OWWA members. 
Abra badly hit by the typhoon where tropical cyclone signal No. 5 was raised. Abra had a total estimated cost of damages to life and properties of over P3.3 billion with almost 20,000 houses damaged; one death and 73 persons injured; crops damaged reached almost P300 M; tree plantation - P8 M; fishery - P8.7 M; livestock - P58.4 M; agri-land - P87.5 M; and government infrastructures - P2.7 Billion. The province was declared under state of calamity -- Maria Teresa B. Beñas

WWII memorial to rise in Ilocos Sur
SAN ESTEBAN, Ilocos Sur – Local officials led by Mayor Ray Elaydo in this coastal town are now readying the construction of a historical landing site and national marker in Barangay Apatot, site of the landing of the USS GAR submarine at the height of World War II where then young armed forces soldier Ferdinand Marcos and US and Filipino commandos reportedly unloaded tons of war equipment and supplies on November 23, 1944.
Mayor Elaydo said that the putting up of the historic landing site is one of the tourism attractions being developed by his administration in this coastal town, which once served as the message center of the 121st Infantry, USAFIP-NL, the provisional seat of the provincial government during the liberation campaign and the seat of the base hospital of the US Army.
“Based on the history and revelations of the old folk here, Marcos and Lazaro Guzman led and guided other commandos aboard from the USS GAR submarine in successfully unloading big guns and other war materials during the World War II in barangay Apatot.  This is why our town was in world map due to its role during the war,”  Elaydo said. -- Mar T. Supnad

Kalinga joins push to end violence against women, kids
CITY OF TABUK, Kalinga - - The provincial government, agencies and the public participate in annual observance of the 18-day campaign to end Violence Against Women (VAW).
Gov. Jocel Baac earlier directed concerned local offices to organize and conduct activities promoting gender equality and empowering women to get involved in community development. He also asked everyone to wear orange or hang orange cloths or ribbons as icon for the defense of women’s rights.
The 18-Day campaign to end VAW is observed annually from Nov. 25 to Dec. 12 to raise awareness among all stakeholders that VAW is a public issue of national concern. It supports the Philippine government’s goal to protect the human rights of women and their children and its commitment to address all forms of VAW.
                With the theme,  “VAW-free Community Starts with Me”, shifts the campaign to positive advocacy messaging  by giving emphasis on everyone’s commitment and contributions in ending VAW, and  collaborative pursuit of our common vision of a VAW-free community.
                Dr. Bernadette Andaya, head of the provincial office of the Department of Health here, earlier said they planned to gather at least women during the culmination day on Dec. 12 for an advocacy lecture aimed to sustain in the communities the advocacy to keep stakeholders vigilant against gender abuses.-- Peter A. Balocnit

445th Pampanga Day festivity kicks off
CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga -- The 445th Aldo ning Kapampangan (Pampanga Day) celebration kicked off here Monday with the theme “Masayang Pamilya king Maasensung Probinsya” at the provincial capitol grounds.
              The celebration started with a holy mass officiated by Archbishop Florentino Lavarias where Gov. Lilia Pineda was joined by provincial government officials, employees, municipal and city mayors and other local government officials.
After the mass, attendees gathered for the flag raising ceremonies.
Some 19 municipalities and cities participated in the street dancing competition where they presented their respective festival dances.
Floridablanca bested the other participants followed by Guagua, San Simon and City of San Fernando. Special citations were also given to San Simon and Guagua for their head dress and costumes, respectively.
Other activities in this year’s week-long celebration included river cruise, launching of Preventive Health Management System and medical mission, coronation of Mutya ning Kapampangan and most outstanding Kapampangan awards. -- PNA

Ifugao student dropouts spur teachers’ training
LAGAWE, Ifugao – The icreasing number of students dropping out from school in the province has spurred a training  attended  196 participants composed of teachers, student leaders and local school board members recently completed training on mechanisms and procedures in handling child abuse and bullying in cchools and on positive discipline and child protection policies against child abuse in schools.
The  activity  oriented  the participants on the Department of Education’s(DepEd) policies on child protection, anti-bullying and the legal bases of these such as the United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child, the provisions of the Philippine Constitution on the rights of children and assistance to them, the Family Code of the Philippines and the Code of Ethics for Teachers  to  help strengthen the formation of Child Protection Councils(CPCs)  in the schools, clarify the roles and functions of each stakeholders and to develop action plans for the CPCs.
The training which coincided with the celebration of November as Children’s Month, was made possible through the effort of the Cordillera Parents’ Federation, Inc. (CPFI) in collaboration with the DepEd Ifugao Schools Division. 
The DepEd adapted the child protection policy to provide special protection to children who are threatened or endangered by circumstances which affect their normal development. It includes all forms of abuses or mental violence, injury and abuse, neglect, maltreatment and exploitation and sexual abuse. 
It also establishes the right of the child to education.
The training was initiated by CPFI after learning dropouts were up in schools since not all teachers were trained the the policy.
Moreover, based on program quality review last year, it was noted that there is still an increasing number of children aged 6-14 years who are at risk of dropping out from schools which is one of the major challenges of the DepEd and other stakeholders. 
CPFI is enhancing its collaboration and partnership with different stakeholders like the Student Governing Councils, Local School Boards, CPC and the DepEd towards the prevention of drop outs.  -- Daniel B. Codamon

DOE urges prudent use of fuel and electricity
BAGUIO CITY -- The Department of Energy urged  prudent use of energy in government offices to reduce expenditures.
DOE officials stressed this during a seminar on Government Energy Management Program headed by the DOE in partnership with the Philippine Information Agency held recently at Hotel Supreme here.
DOE – Energy Unit Management Bureau Assistant Director Jesus Anunciacion said the GEMP was for energy efficiency and judicious use for fuel and electricity requiring them to reduce their consumption by 10 percent.
For the past 10 years from September 2005 to December 2015, the government saved P2.42 billion in electricity and P310 million in transport fuel, he said.
Senior Science Research Specialist Maximino G. Marquez, also of DOE, said the GEMP indicated  use of agency savings yearly since September 1, 2005 in kilowatt-hour for electricity and liters which is limited to 50 percent of accumulated savings for those who failed to attain the required minimum 10 percent savings and 100 percent of their accumulated savings for those who attained 10 percent savings or more.
Priorities in the use of savings were improvements in energy efficiency of government entity or facility, upgrade, lease, purchase of vehicles to be used by employees as shuttle service, purchase or lease of service vehicles to replace the old and inefficient units assigned to officials, citations or recognitions and grant of other benefits to employees consistent with the Collective Negotiation Agreement.
 The government has also conducted spot checks in 814 government agencies while certificates of energy/monetary savings have been issued to 252 government agencies with a total monetary savings of P489.7million, he added.
Anunciacion said brownouts will be experienced if electricity is wasted. -- Susan C. Aro

TESDA urges tec-voc institutions to  training and scholarship program
BAGUIO CITY -- The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority  in Cordilleraurged public and private technical vocational institutions (TVIs) to participate in its Training for Work and Scholarship Program (TWSP).
Daisy Jamorabon of TESDA-CAR said as the lead agency of the government in charge of the development and implementation of technical education and skills development in the country, TESDA has been providing various scholarship grants to the qualified beneficiaries under TWSP. 
For Cordillera, P27 million was set for training scholarship programs. It shall be utilized to support rapid, inclusive and sustained economic growth through training programs in priority industries and key employment generators such as agri-fishery/agri-business/agro-industrial, tourism, information technology-business process management (IT-BPM), semiconductor and electronics, automotive, other priority manufacturing industries, logistics, general infrastructure and new and emerging sector as identified and recommended by the regional offices or industry bodies.
Invitation to tender for scholarship programs containing the qualification titles/programs to be offered in the province/district is posted in the TESDA website and in significant conspicuous areas in the province/district for a period of seven calendar days.
Interested public and private TVIs should submit their tender to the TESDA Provincial/District Offices concerned. Tender documents shall be downloaded from
Individuals who want to avail of the said TWSP are advised to visit the nearest TESDA provincial/district offices in their areas. -- Maria Aprila Cruz

 Abra gov’t info officers inducted
BANGUED Abra --  The Abra Communicators Network, in partnership with the Philippine Information Agency in the province  held capacity-building meeting and induction of the ComNet’s new set of officers at the DTI Negosyo Center, here, last week with the theme, ‘Strengthening Network of Communicators for an empowered and informed public’.
The ComNet’s new set of officers is led by Forester Carlos Pariñas of Community Environment  and Natural Resources Office – Bangued with Nelly Bacarra of the National Food Authority as vice president; Novy Lou Baguionon of the Provincial Veterinary Office, Secretary; Alfreinel Partido of  Department of Interior and Local Government, Assistant  Secretary; Pacencia Bello of Dept.  of Public Works and Highways, Treasurer; Rex Hall of Dept. of Trade and Industry, Auditor; Rolando Biscarra of Villaviciosa local government unit, business manager, and Jan Nowel Peña of Dept. of Education, PRO.
PIA Cordillera Regional Director Helen Tibaldo administered the induction of the ComNet Abra officers.
In her keynote message, Tibaldo outlined that ‘as information officers, our mandate is to inform to inspire; inspire to involved; and involved to influence (people and the community) for the common good’. -- Carlito C. Dar

DOH expands mother, child health program 
BANGUED, Abra -- The Department of Health has  mapped out its expansion plan to sustain the Mother and Child Health Care Program in the Cordillera. The MnCHC program funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) will end on February 2017.
Fude Takayoshi, chief advisor of the MnCHC program reported positive results on their terminal evaluation on the project implementation.
Takayoshi said the project implementers, referring to the Inter-Local Health Zones (ILHZ), performed par excellence based on the five grid-parameter of evaluation. The 5 grid bases for evaluation are relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, impact and sustainability.
With the MnCHC program, the ILHZs have overshot all their targets especially in the overall attainment of the national government's objective of providing universal health care to the people.
Because of very satisfactory performance of the ILHZs covering six municipalities in Abra namely Dolores, Lagangilang, San Juan, Peñarrubia, Villaviciosa and Pilar, the DOH will expand the said project after JICA is out and replicate the project in other 21 municipalities of Abra.
On the part of the participating local government units, though they were a little short of the target budgetary counterpart allocation pegged by the Department of Interior and Local Government, they have become more responsive to the health needs of their people.
The LGUs came out with legislative support to the program by passing ordinances on zero home deliveries to promote health and prevent mortality of mother and child particularly during birth.  -- Maria Teresa B. Beñas

OWWA gives P1.6 million to ‘Lawin- affected OFWs
BAGUIO CITY – The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration provided assistance to Overseas Filipino Workers and their families victimized by Typhoon Lawin.
Under the Cash Relief Assistance (CARE) program, OWWA  provides cash assistance to affected OFWs or their immediate families at  P3,000 for active OWWA members and P1,500 for non – OWWA member OFWs.
To date, OWWA has already released a total of P1, 612,500.00 to 748 approved applicants. Processing of other applications is still on – going.
Applications will be accepted until Feb.  2, 2017.
OWWA Cordillera OIC Regional Director Evelyn Laranang  explained  that the CARE Program is in line with the government’s commitment to alleviate financial difficulties of OFW families particularly to OFWs whose livelihood were  affected or properties were damaged during the onslaught of super typhoon ‘Lawin’.
                Laranang appealed to those who have submitted their application and are yet to receive their financial assistance to bear with OWWA-CAR. Since the program was implemented, applications already reached 11,179 (as of December 1), and OWWA personnel are working overtime to expedite the processing and releasing of assistance to their clientele.

Super Typhoon Lawin, which strongest winds and heavy rains hit Cordillera last October 19 and 20,  affected  119,134 families or over half a million individuals  and  caused billion worth of damages to infrastructure and agriculture based on the Cordillera Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council report. --  Carlito C. Dar


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