>> Tuesday, January 3, 2017

 Another death due to dengue vaccine reported
Another death involving a student inoculated with the newly developed dengue vaccine has been reported to the House of Representatives.
Bataan Rep. Jose Enrique lll told the committee on health that 10-year-old Christine Mae de Guzman, a resident of Barangay Breakwater Sisiman in Mariveles town, died in October. The girl received the first dose of Dengvaxia on April 6.
Enrique presented to the committee the medical report of the Bataan Provincial Hospital where De Guzman died four days after she was confined due to high fever and difficulty of breathing.
The committee on health chaired by Quezon Rep. Angelina Tan conducted an inquiry into the procurement and efficacy of the vaccine, which is worth more than P3 billion.
Tan, a doctor, said the deaths highlight the need to subject the vaccine to additional and extensive testing and evaluation.
Two students from Bataan and Bulacan also died after receiving their first dose of the vaccine.
The Department of Health had targeted Central Luzon as the pilot area for the first wave of inoculations.
Sanofi Pasteur, which supplied the vaccine, has repeatedly asserted that its product is safe and efficacious.
Health Secretary Paulyn Jean Ubial reported what she called “red flags” in the procurement of Dengvaxia and the launching of the school-based vaccination program.
Ubial said the procurement process and program implementation were rushed.
Officials from the Food and Drug Administration told the committee that Sanofi continues to air advertisements on the vaccine despite their appeal to postpone the promotional campaign.
The House panel said it also heard conflicting findings and interpretations from medical experts and scientists.

5 ‘Manarang Drug Group’ men busted
CAMP OLIVAS, Pampanga — A notorious drug trafficking group operating in Central Luzon was busted by San Fernando City police operatives in this province with the arrest of five of its alleged key members in a sting operation Monday.
Chief Supt. Aaron N. Aquino, regional director of Police Regional Office 3, identified those arrested as Manuel Manarang, 47; Frank Manarang, 45, carpenter; Consorcia Manarang, 42; and Gerson Nugoy, 20, all of the City of San Fernando; and Mark Alegre, 31, of San Felipe, Zambales.
The busted leaders and members of the so-called “Manarang Drug Group” yielded 14  heat-sealed plastic sachets containing suspected “shabu,” a bank passbook, four cellular phones used in their operations, and the marked money used in the buy-bust at 8 a.m . -- Mar T. Supnad and Franco G. Regala

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, aerlier 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

Construction of Candon sports complex, road to Pinsal Falls on
CANDON CITY, Ilocos Sur- The construction of huge city sports complex here is now in full blast with the initial amount of P100 million fund.
Public Highways District Engineer Jose "Bong" Ginete, Jr. of the DPWH 2nd engineering district based here said the amount was  secured by Rep. Eric D Singson. 
"The said P100 million available fund for the Candon sports complex is just an initial  amount released by the national government and this was initiated by our congressman Eric Singson," Ginete said.
Aside from this major infrastructure project of Singson, Ginete said conccreting of access road going to Pinsal falls in Sta Maria town is now full blast. 
"Once the concreting of access road going to the foot of Pinsal falls is completed we expect a lot of tourists to go there and this will further enrich the tourism industry of the province," added Ginete.- Myds Supnad

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

TCA now state university
CAMILING, Tarlac — Dr. Max P. Guillermo recently assumed as the first University President of the Tarlac Agricultural University (TAU), the first ever appointed president of this state university here.
In his inaugural speech, Guillermo expressed his deepest gratitude to Sen. Bam Aquino who is the principal author of Republic Act 10800, which converted the Tarlac College of Agriculture (TCA) into a state university.
As per Section 9 of Republic Act 10800, “the incumbent President of TCA shall serve as the first President of the University.”
Guillermo, likewise, thanked his family, friends and most especially his mentors [parents] for their pieces of advice, wisdom, and support.
“Finally, we are reaping the fruits of our labor. We hope that we will become a catalyst of true change in transforming our students as future entrepreneurs and leaders,” he said. -- Mar T. Supnad

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

Ilocos Norte to start athletic scholarship next school year
LAOAG CITY -- The provincial government will be offering ‘Sirib’ athletic scholarship starting school year 2017-2018 for Ilocano youth.
Provincial Ordinance No. 005-2016 sponsored by senior board Member Matthew Marcos Manotoc was approved with around 50 athletes will be added to scholarship beneficiaries.
Under the program, underprivileged yet deserving youth athletes will be able to continue their studies until college while enhancing their skills and talents in their respective fields.
Elementary and high school scholars will be given P6,000 per school year while college scholars will receive P31,300 for two semesters.
Beneficiaries will be chosen based on their athletic performances, need for financial assistance, and willingness to finish studies.
Manotoc added out-of-school youth are also encouraged to avail of the scholarship program.
Each beneficiary must maintain at least 80% average without failing grades. He or she must also render at least 30 hours of community service to the province.
Next year, the first province-wide summer youth sports program will be held in order to promote overall wellness, “encourage Ilocano youth to start playing sports and become active (as well as) discover potential athlete beneficiaries of the ‘Sirib’ athletic scholarship,” said Manotoc.
The provincial government also offers Sirib Academic Scholarship, Sirib Young Leaders Scholarship, and Sirib Community Leaders Scholarship through the Ilocos Norte Youth Office. -- Jennifer T. Pambid

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 managemen
(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

PAF leads Tarlac gift-giving activity
TARLAC, Tarlac -- Wearing Santa hats, soldiers from the Philippine Air Force (PAF) distributed gifts and grocery items to over a hundred abused children and young adults here last week.
Aside from goodies, members of the PAF tactical operations group 3 donated a nipa hut to the Accelerated Minors’ Opportunity for Recovery (AMOR) Village in Anao town.
The hut can be used for the village residents’ and officials’ reacreational activities.
AMOR Village is a 24-hour residential care, rehabilitation, recovery and development facility for 106 abused and abandoned children and young adults.
The gift-giving activity was conducted in partnership with private and non-government organizations.

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

DILG-CAR chief: Community support needed in gov’t projects
BANGUED, Abra -- Community support is important to speed up completion of projects in the local government units.
Department of Interior and Local Government Cordillera regional director Marlo Iringan bared this during a dialogue with local chief officials and   municipal engineers, municipal planning coordinators, municipal administrators and municipal local government operations officers.
Iringan initiated   said dialogue to discuss    issues, concerns and challenges in the implementation of Bottoms Up Budgeting projects, Salintubig Pamana Project and Kalsada Program funded by DILG from 2014 to 2016. He disclosed that  there are still uncompleted projects in some LGUs.
 The government needs the people’s support in order to fast-track these projects.  People should not stop showing interest and concern to projects implemented in their place and should work together with the government because these are for them, Iringan said. – Ginalyn Brioso

DA trains Ifugao folks on swine breeding
BANAUE, Ifugao -- Sixteen  beneficiaries of Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan(PAMANA)    livelihood project  under the   Office of the Presidential  Adviser for the Peace Process  participated in a  swine breeding management training conducted by  the Provincial Veterinary Office  here in partnership with the Department of Agriculture.
The training was  required to ensure  efficient management and success of the project  from purchase of good quality breeders, boars, feeds and feeding, disease control and good housing that will result to the high performance of breeders and boars hence an increase profit.
The project focused on swine breeding that involves the purchase of ready to breed sows with pedigree record of 12 gilts with already trained boars, construction of a hog breeding, farrowing nursery and boar pens, purchase of rotary feeders, feeding throw, weighing scales and other materials.
Dr. Roland Pila of the Provincial Veterinary Office lectured participants from HIBLA ng Pagkakaibigan People’s Organization, Banaue Subgroup on swine health management highlighting on the causes of infectious and non-infectious diseases and the preventive measures.
Ferdinand Dunuan also of the PVET, tackled swine production cycle with the management practices associated to it from conception to marketing. He also presented the good animal husbandry practices and the 5 guiding principles for farm workers and operators that involve general skills and responsibilities, farm location, animal housing and facilities, farm management and environmental management.
Municipal Agricultural Technologist Dr. Marivic Lingayo  discussed  pig nutrition and feeding stressing the nutritional requirements of swine and the feeding guide for gilt, boar, gestating gilts and sow, lactating gilts and sow creep feeding, weaner, grower and finisher.
The organization’s contact person, Chester Bahatan said they are strengthening livestock production industry   as the demand for pigs and other livestock remain high in the province. -- Daniel B. Codamon

Ifugao cited top town, aggie, fishery councils
LAGAWE, Ifugao --  Five towns of this province  were awarded as outstanding Municipal Agriculture and Fishery Councils (MAFCs) of the province covering the years 2014-2016.
First placer was MAFC Lagawe; MAFC Asipulo, 2nd; MAFC Hingyon, 3rd; MAFC Kiangan, 4th and MAFC Hungduan, 5th.
The Provincial Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resources Office which supervises the AFCs  said  the criteria for the awards  were: Complete documentation of their AFC profiles, minutes of meetings, quarterly accomplishment report, resolutions and issues and concerns;  Operation and Maintenance of their AFC  like organizational management, sectoral representation of private and government and conduct of AFC meetings and support of their local government units;  Attendance and participation to AFC meetings, and monitoring and involvement in Agri-Fishery activities; Scrap Book for 2016;  Livelihood Program AKBAY repayments and Roll-over Program Implementation,  and  Oral Interview-Roles and Functions of AFC.
MAFCs are composed of chairpersons,  presidents or representatives of municipal-wide agriculture and fisheries-related organizations, Barangay Agriculture and Fishery Council Chairperson, individuals and government sector representatives that serve as advisory bodies of the Department of Agriculture  and the local government units on agriculture and fishery concerns to transform them into a strong network as a visible, viable and vibrant partners that will ensure  sound agricultural policies and projects which are responsive and aligned to agricultural and fishery sector goals. -- Daniel B. Codamon

SCS homecoming
SAGADA, Mountain Province -- Alumni of Sagada Central School, now on its 71st year shall be gathering together on Dec. 26-27 at  the school grounds for their second grand  alumni homecoming.  
Registration of participants is scheduled morning of Dec. 26 followed by a memorial service for departed teachers and pupils. A registration fee of P500  per person covers a meal, bag, and T-shirt.
The rest of the money shall be used to finance construction of the school’s comfort rooms and retaining walls.  An ecumenical mass is set morning of Dec. 27  followed by  a parade.
Participants proceed to the school grounds for the singing of the  school hymn, telling the history of Sagada Central School, and a literary- musical contest. Business meeting follows in the afternoon along with the election of officers. A bonfire and benefit dance will be held night of Dec.  27. Come one Come all SCS alumni!/ Gina Dizon

Etag festival set February 2-5
The municipality of Sagada shall  conduct  its town fiesta dubbed Etag Festival on February 2-5, 2017 now on its 6th celebration. The event is done along with the feast of the purification of  the Virgin Mary and presentation of Jesus Christ in the temple by the Church of St Mary the Virgin every Feb. 2.
The yearly event which falls on the first week of February is the traditional Sagada Fiesta now called Etag Festival by virtue of a resolution passed  by the Sangguniang  Bayan in 2011.
Traditional events are the civic parade, cultural presentations, ground demonstrations, and ball games participated  by schools  and guests. Street dancing and cultural presentations shall be judged for awarding of prizes.
Major night activities for 2017’s  Etag Festival include coronation for Ms Sagada and other awardees. A concert for a cause by Shalom  Beharim composed of clergy from  the Episcopal Diocese of Northern Philippines (EDNP) shall be held  Feb.  2 6 p.m. at Church of St. Mary the Virgin.
Sagada Jam Night of  Sagada musicians  and  a musical contest on categories band, solo, duet/trio and instrumental follows  night of February 3 at the  Municipal Plaza at 7 pm.
A contest on poster making and video production on disaster preparedness shall be conducted./Gina Dizon 


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