>> Saturday, January 28, 2017

Missing man found dead in Vintar well
VINTAR, Ilocos Sur --  A 60-year-old man was found dead in a well two days after he was reported missing in Vintar, Ilocos Norte on June 14.
Tommy Agpalza was last seen on Thursday night, when he asked permission from his wife Gemmalyn, 58, to go out to relieve himself.
Gemmalyn said her husband failed to return home in Barangay 15, prompting her to report the matter to the police, according to Chief Insp. Dexter Corpuz, spokesman for the provincial police.
The couple’s neighbor, Joesen Domingo, told investigators he was about to fetch water when he saw a body floating in the well that Saturday morning.
Investigators believe the man slipped and fell into the well.
Municipal health officer Heidi Albano said Agpalza drowned. – Raymund Catindig      

Baguio temperature dips further
BAGUIO CITY -- The temperature here dropped to 11.2 degrees Celsius Tuesday, the lowest since October.
Rene Paciente, senior weather forecaster of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration, said the temperature was recorded at around 5 a.m.
Paciente said the country would continue to experience chilly weather in the coming days due to the northeast monsoon or amihan.
He said the northeast monsoon is expected to reach its peak in the last week of the month or until the first week of February.
Last year, the coldest temperature in Baguio City was recorded at 10.8 degrees Celsius.
The lowest temperature in the city was recorded on Jan. 18, 1961 at 6.3 degrees Celsius.

2 minors rescued from Ilocos bar
BACARRA, Ilocos Norte – Two girls from Cagayan province were rescued by authorities from an entertainment bar here on Jan. 13.
The girls, aged 15 and 16, were recruited from Ballesteros town by a certain Melojhane Maloloy-on, according to Senior Insp. Gilbert Danga of the municipal police.
The girls’ parents sought the help of the police after they discovered that their children were forced to work as guest relation officers at a videoke bar in Barangay Bani.
The bar owner, whose name was not immediately available, was placed under investigation.

Tabuk City farmer wins national award
TABUK CITY, Kalinga – A rice farmer here won   in the 2016 National Search for The Outstanding Farmer of the Philippines Awards (TOFARM) jointly given by Universal Harvester Inc. and Junior Chamber International-Philippines.                Michael Lumas-e, and wife Mary Angeline, bagged Silver Award in  Outstanding Farmer Family Category. The Lumas-e family was adjudged second place for uplifting their living under the acquired farming technology.
Through improved farming technique which they learned mostly from technicians of the Dept. of Agriculture and private trainors, Michael and Mary Angeline, who used to be farm tenants were able to buy their own 3.6 hectares farmland.
With his story in the feat of farming, Michael is now an inspiration not only to other farmers but to people of this city.
Lumas-e also won  the DA’s Gawad Saka search for National Outstanding Farmer- Hybrid Rice Category in 2010.
In a related development, the province’s school-based BIBAK Multi-purpose Cooperative organized by employees of the BIBAK National High School is among the finalists in the same search under the Agri-Coop Category.    
The cooperative was cited for its Loan and Credit Program to members to finance their agri-livelihood projects on farming, poultry and piggery. -- JDP  

18 homes burned in Cordillera; BFP urges fire safety measures
BAGUIO CITY – Eighteen homes were burned in the  Cordillera last year. With this, the  Bureau of Fire Protection urged the  public to observe fire safety  especially in households.  
BFP Cordillera operations  chief  Senior Insp. Francisco Copes said  Benguet registered the highest number of structural fire incidents with  nine  including the incident in Mankayan that  gutted 12 structures. Kalinga and Mountain Province registered three fire incidents each, while Abra and Ifugao reported two  each.  Eeight persons were  injured in said incidents.
Copes   disclosed that most  fire incidents were due to recklessness. “The public should also be midful of forest or  grassroots fires that could easily spread to wider areas,” he said. --  Carlito C. Dar

14 arrested in Cagayan for drugs
TUGUEGARAO CITY, Cagayan – Fourteen suspected drug personalities were arrested in this province last week. The simultaneous anti-drugs operations also resulted in confiscation of 60 plastic sachets of  “shabu,” four packets of dried marijuana leaves, and drugs paraphernalia.
“I want to serve notice to all those involved in the illegal drugs trade in Cagayan province that our war against you will continue and will be unrelenting,” said Senior Supt. Amorsolo S. dela Cruz, provincial director.
Dela Cruz said 12 search warrants issued by the courts were served by police units, backed up by operatives of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in Aparri that resulted in arrest of 14 targets. -- Liezle Basa Iñigo
 Civilians surrender five firearms to Army troopers
ALFONSO LISTA, Ifugao -- Five unlicensed firearms were surrendered to government forces  here by residents of Bantay, Paracelis, Mountain Province recently.
 The handover of five  Caliber .30 Garand rifles with defaced serial numbers but in good condition was held at Pinto Patrol Base, Brgy Pinto, Alfonso Lista facilitated  by 1LT Junrey O. De Ocampo, Commanding Officer of Alfa Company, 77th Infantry Battalion under the operational control of the 54th Infantry Battalion, Philippine Army.
De Ocampo said that the civilians decided to surrender the firearms of their forefathers tfor proper disposition after a successful negotiation.
 This is not the first time that civilians turned over firearms here.  De Ocampo also facilitated last year the turn over of  two caliber 7.62 M14 rifles, four  caliber .30 Garand rifles, one carbine rifle and a 9mm pistol.   
 Lieutenant Colonel Nicolas Quemado, Jr., 54IB commanding Officer,  commended  De Ocampo and his men for their accomplishments. -- Marcelo B. Lihgawon

Cordillera firecracker injuries drop by 65 %
 BAGUIO CITY  – The Cordillera office of the Department of Health reported sixty five percent drop in number of firecracker-related injuries from Dec. 21, 2016, to January 5, 2017, with only twenty-two cases compared to the sixty-three cases recorded regionwide during same period last year.
Dr. Lakshmi Legaspi, DOH-CAR regional director, said Apayao recorded the highest decrease in number of firecracker-related injuries from 14 injuries during the previous reckoning period to only two injuries during the current reckoning period while Abra registered an 84 percent drop in similar cases with only 6 this year compared to 25 the previous year.
For Baguio City, Dr. Rowena Galpo, city health services officer, said there was a 54.5 percent decline in firecracker-related injuries this year with only 5 cases during the current reckoning period compared to the 11 cases recorded last year.
Galpo noted the five firecracker-related injuries were a 5-year old boy from Bakakeng New site, a 9-year old boy from Lower QM, a 20-year old male from Upper QM, a 32-year old male from Camp 7 and a 49-year old female from Phil-Am barangay.
Of the 22 reported firecracker-related injuries regionwide, health authorities revealed 17 males and 1 female were described to be active users while 2 females and 1 male were said to be passive users. -- Dexter A. See

Lawyers’ group to study Pampanga jail decongestion
City of San Fernando, Pampanga — The provincial government is expected to call on the Lawyers’ Group of Pampanga to make an assessment on the cases of inmates especially the senior inmates or those with weak cases to address some major concerns inside the Pampanga Provincial Jail, which is overcrowding.
Provincial Administrator Andres Pangilinan Jr. said Governor Lilia G. Pineda gave the instruction to review the pending cases of more than 1, 900 inmates in the provincial jail to minimize overcrowding, which could endanger the lives of the inmates.
“We must maximize all available resources in order to give them a much decent and humane treatment,” said Pangilinan after his visit at the jail facility last week.
He added that a review of the inmates’ cases may also result in the release of some of them including those who already have over served their sentences.
He said inmates at the provincial jail are being “treated humanely,” adding he has yet to receive a complaint of any inmate being treated unjustly by any jail personnel or even by the jail warden. -- Franco G. Regala

TESDA offers learning programs
BAGUIO CITY – Traditional and contemporary programs could be availed of through the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA)’s on-going program, Barangay Kasanayan para sa Kabuhayan at Kapayapaan.
This was known from Roger Dancel of the TESDA office during the forum between service providers, government agencies, prospective employers and the City Poverty Reduction Action Team at city hall last week.
The comprehensive program, Dancel said, includes community profiling for the scholars, including environmental, market, political, community needs and economic opportunities analysis. Training design and delivery, curricula, selection of participants, trainings, skills and entrepreneurial alllication, assessment and certification; and post-training assessment are included in the program.
The participants’ choice of being employed or of self-employment is boosted by distribution of start-up tool kits, and access to credit and cooperative groups through the local government units (LGU), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Cooperatives Development Authority (CDA), it was known.
Target beneficiaries include marginalized groups; persons with disabilities, surrenderors, indigenous persons, out-of-school-youth, senior citizens, rebels, urban poor, the unemployed, farmers and fisherfolk, women, solo parents and those from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine National Police (PNP), be they wounded-in-action (WIA).
The trainings target rapid and sustained economic growth in priority industries in agri-fisheries, agri-business, general infrastructure and new and emerging sectors.
Registration could be done in three ways: through the barangay office, online, and at the TESDA offices.
Applicants should be at least high school graduates, and 18 years old at the time of completion of training. Availment could be done several times, but no simultaneous.
The program is a “two-pronged strategy in poverty reduction for sustainable inclusive growth” and to ensure a decent employment for participants. The offered courses include, animation, automotive, Barista, bartending, beauty care, book keeping, pastry and baking, caregiving, carpentry, English proficiency, masonry, security, metal arc welding, slaughtering, tailoring, lathe machine, milling, computer, construction painting, customer service, cookery, dressmaking, food and beverage service, electronics, events management, health care, massage, medical transcription, drafting, tile setting, visual graffix and web design and development. – Julie G. Fianza

Ifugao government accepting new scholars
LAGAWE, Ifugao – The provincial local government  has provided scholarship grants  to about 748 students.
The  new beneficiaries are  enrolled at Ifugao State University (IFSU). They are   granted educational assistance through the Tertiary Education Student Aid Program (TESAP) and Tertiary Education Assistance Program (TEAP). Of the 748 new scholars,  466  are  under the TEAP and 282 for TESAP.
These two educational programs cater to poor but deserving students who wish to have a college degree or to finish any vocational/technical course.
A TEAP grantee gets P5,000 per semester  for  tuition fee and other miscellaneous fees and P1,500 additional assistance to pay summer class if required.
The TESAP is a supplemental tertiary educational assistance extending financial assistance of not less than P3,500 but not to exceed that  of the TEAP. -- Marcelo B. Lihgawon

DENR pushes bamboo production in Kalinga
TABUK CITY, Kalinga -- The Department of Environment and Natural Resources urged Kalinga folks to  venture into bamboo production.
Community Environment and Natural Resources Officer (CENRO) Severino Dalutag informed their office is now accepting application from people’s organizations as partners under the department’s National Greening Program for the project.
There is an increasing demand now for bamboo as materials in bamboo furniture, which is a high substitute for wood furniture due to the regulated supply of lumber materials. Moreover, bamboo is proven effective in the prevention of soil erosion, Dalutag explained.
For the project, 1,123 hectares are the target bamboo plantation area in NGP areas in the province.
Under the greening program, qualified POs are provided funding assistance for the production of seedlings and are given priority in the use of same resources when ready to harvest, Dalutag informed. -- Larry T. Lopez

Human milk bank in Baguio  proposed
BAGUIO CITY  – The city council approved on first reading a proposed ordinance establishing a human milk bank in the city to support children in need of breast milk.
The ordinance authored by Councilor Leandro B. Yangot, Jr. stated that it shall be the policy of the local government to promote and advance the health of women, as well as their children, by providing for their basic needs, and breastfeeding is the natural way of providing infants with the nutrients for healthy growth and development.
It added a human milk bank section under the City Health Services Office Pediatric will be established and shall collect, screen, process, store and distribute donated human milk; implement guidelines issued by the hospital officials together with the City Health Services Officer with respect to the donation, collection, screening, processing, storing and distribution of donated breast milk and coordinate with breastfeeding support groups and barangay health workers within the city to spread awareness and in encouraging mothers to donate breast milk.-- Dexter A. See

Bible Week activities set
BAGUIO CITY – The city will  join the entire country in commemorating “National Bible Week 2017” slated Jan. 23 to 29 with the theme, “The Bible:  Hope for the Community’s Progress”. Week-long activities include  a bible quiz on January 25  at the city hall multi-purpose hall; a parade on January 27 from top Session Road to Malcolm Square followed by a bible reading activity at the same venue.
Bibles will also be distributed to the public on January 23 and 27 at city hall and Malcolm Square, respectively.
Prayers for Christian unity will be conducted at the Baguio First United Methodist Church on January 23; Philippine Military Academy Evangelical Church, January 24; St. Stephen Lutheran Church, January 25; Cathedral of the Resurrection, January 26; and at the Baguio Cathedral on January 27.
The event’s culminating activity will be held at Malcolm Square.
Presidential proclamation numbers 44 series of 1986 and 1067 series of 1997, declares every last week of January of every year as National Bible Week in the country.- Gaby Keith 

Cutflower vendors get city gov’t livelihood funds
BAGUIO CITY  -   Eleven cut flower vendors along Harrison Road were given financial assistance from the city government here through the City Social Welfare and Development Office headed by Betty Fangasan.
Secretary to the mayor Rafael Tallocoy and Fangasan handed P5,000  check each to the eleven flower vendors Jan. 10.
The city’s Self Employment Assistance (SEA) Livelihood loans provide financial assistance for livelihood projects to help alleviate the living condition of the beneficiaries and making them become self-sufficient.
SEA livelihood loan program is part of the city’s program for poverty reduction which provides entrepreneurial capacity building for all Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4P) beneficiaries.
It is a community-based credit assistance program targeting low income communities in order to establish, sustain and manage their own business with no collateral and interest-free loan as capital. – Jho Arranz

Schools told: Ban sale of junk food, softdrinks
BAGUIO CITY – Public schools heads here were urged to ban sale, distribution and bringing of junk food and carbonated drinks in their canteens for the prevention of kidney diseases among the youth.
The city council for its part should consider adopting a measure that would enforce the prohibition on the sale of salty food, fatty good and colored drinks not only within but also around the school premises.
These were the recommendations made by the city council research division under local legislative staff officer V Dan Ricky Ong in report submitted to Vice Mayor Edison Bilog Jan. 4.
The report was based on city council Resolution No. 56 series of 2013 which requested the Dept. of Health and the Health Services Office to come up with information dissemination campaign on cause and prevention of kidney diseases.
In the report, local legislative staff officer IV Eliza Orduna said schools should be reminded of the Department of Education memorandum 65 series of 2013 reiterating the prohibition on the sale, distribution and bringing of junk good and carbonated drinks in public elementary and secondary school canteens as well as the city council Resolution No. 262 series of 2007  to strictly enforce DepEd memoranda on the sale of junk food which contain formaldehyde in canteens in both private and public schools.
DepEd Department Order No. 8 series of 2007 prohibits the sale of carbonated drinks, sugar- based synthetic or artificially flavored juices, junk foods and any food product that may be detrimental to the child’s health and that do not bear the Sangkap Pinoy seal or did not pass Bureau of Food and Drugs approval. -- Aileen P. Refuerzo  

 Zonta run raises funds for  women anti-cancer tests
BAGUIO CITY -- The freezing temperature did not stop running enthusiasts to support the first advocacy fun run for the year for women’s cause.
Close to 500 runners from Baguio City and other nearby areas braved the 9.8 degrees Celsius temperature and joined the Zonta Pledge Run 2017 on Jan. 8 that started at the Baguio Athletic Bowl.
Zonta Club president Angie Dela Cruz said the event was an advocacy fun run to raise funds for massive free pap-smear cancer screening and  diagnostic procedure for women residents of Baguio. The campaign is supported by the Baguio City government.
She said they coordinated with the Baguio Health Department to identify what barangays would be given the free pap-smear cancer screening during the Women’s Month celebration in March.
Pap-smear is a screening procedure for cervical cancer. It tests for the presence of precancerous or cancerous cells on the cervix, the opening of the uterus.
Dela Cruz said that most women disregard this screening procedure but she encourages women to undergo wit this procedure regularly to detect cervical cancer at an earlier stage. “Women should not take this for granted and we would like to reiterate to promote that prevention is better than cure to prevent cancer,” Dela Cruz said.
Meanwhile, winners during the fun run were awarded with cash prizes, medals and trophies while finishers in the 18K and 10K were awarded with medals and certificates for all the runners.
Winners for the 3K special kiddie category were Jeriz Coralde (1st) and   Kraven Carbio (2nd) in the men category while Charlene Bayo wasa the champion for the ladies category.  She was followed by Lalaine Basilio in second place and Claire Domulog in third.
For the 5 K category, Reymark Quezada was the winner for the men, in second and third were Melvin Madongit, second; and   Clyde Carreon in third place.  For the distaff  side,  winners were  Sisa Mae Caronongan,  Jolina Jose and  April Joy Atas  for first, cond anf third positions, recpectively.
For the 10 K category men,  winners were Michael Tolac (1st) , Vinson Ramos(2nd) and  Mark Christian Garcia(3rd).   For the ladies,  it was dominated by Cristabel Martes,  Cherry Doronilla  and Maia Pucay  for 1-2-3 finish.
For the 18K category, first place was  Cesar Castaneto Jr.;  Erwin Generalao in second and Jayson Kevin Lipa in third, in for the meanwhile Wendy Salada in the third place, Sunshine Pong-et in second and Marychelle Morales in the first place for the ladies. -- PIA

Urban gardening in the city
BAGUIO CITY – Urban gardeners have up to April to prepare for a city-wide home garden/backyard competition and showcase; the rules crafted in a meeting at Councilor Leandro Yangot, Jr.’s office, late last year.
The inter-agency meeting for the 2017 best home garden contest was attended by Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Division chief Lino Cuhingan, Department of Agriculture-Regional Field Unit personnel and urban gardener Danilo Agliam and City Agriculturist Alberto Tomas.
The contest aims to encourage edible urban gardening, with residents showing off their gardens to registered members of the public for a day tour. Participating gardeners may choose to open their gardens all day or only for a certain time during the day for tours. Additional instructions may be given by during registration. 
Registration would be through an email to councilor Yangot ( or  providing the first and last name, home address, phone number and a 100-word description of the garden and four photos of the edible garden. The contest is open to all residents of Baguio.
Entry submission deadlines Feb. 25, showcase guest registration ends March 25, judging begins April 2 up to 24, and awarding is on urban garden showcase day; April 25.  - Julie G. Fianza

Baguio SPES registration opens Jan. 16
BAGUIIO CITY -- The registration for Special Program for the Employment of Students (SPES) opened Jan. 16 at Public Employment Service Office at city hall to qualified students .
Registrations start at 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. until Feb. 28.
Both high school and college qualified students must register personally at the PESO Mondays to Fridays.
Interested SPES applicants must bring their SPES identification cards and register personally at the PESO.
Interested students must be bona-fide Baguio residents, physically fit, 15-25 years old at the time of registration, currently enrolled or a student who has not been able to enroll for the past semester/academic year but is intending to enroll this coming semester/academic year, have garnered an average passing grade during the last school term attended, and must belong to families whose parents’ or guardians’ joint incomes, including his own, if any, do not exceed P116,898 per year after tax deductions.
Documents needed include original copy of birth certificate issued by the Philippine Statictics Authority (formerly NSO) or by the Local Civil Registrar if Baguio born; original copy of parents’ or guardians’ most recent Income Tax Return (ITR) duly filed with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) or Certificate of Tax Exemption issued by the BIR including sworn statement of affidavit if parents or guardians are exempt from paying taxes for the year 2016.
High school graduates must present last year’s grades for school year 2015-2016, while college and vocational students are requested to present their most recent grade/grades from the first semester of academic year 2017, ether original of certified true copy.
Said documents must be photocopied before submitting the same at the PESO.
This year’s program will be held in two tranches- high school students’ work period will begin in April to May, while the work period for tertiary level will begin in June, stressed PESO manager Jose Atanacio.
“New registered SPES applicants will undergo qualifying examination on March 5, 2017,  8 a.m. onwards at Doña Josefa Elementary School,” said Atanacio.
Some 350 qualified students will be given the chance to work and experience government and office works this year.
The SPES is based on Republic Act No. 7323 or an Act to Help Poor but Deserving Students Pursue their Education by Encouraging their Employment during Summer and/or Christmas Vacations, through Incentives Granted to Employers, Allowing them to Pay only Sixty per Centum of their Salaries or Wages and the Forty per Centum through Education Vouchers to be paid by the Government, Prohibiting and Penalizing the Filing of Fraudulent or Fictitious claims and for other purposes. -- Jho Arranz

Public urged to prepare for cold weather illnesses
BAGUIO CITY – Health authorities urged the public to prepare themselves for expected resurgence of cold weather illnesses.
Dr. Lakshmi Legaspi, regional director of the Cordillera office of the Department of Health said with drop in temperature in Baguio and Benguet since the start of the year, residents and visitors must make sure they protect themselves from respiratory illness, dengue, chikungunya, and zika, as well as food and water-borne illnesses by keeping themselves healthy through strengthening their immune system.
The lowest temperature recorded in the city for this year was at 13 degrees Celsius last Jan.  4, but weathermen predicted a continuous decline in the city’s temperature in the coming months with the enhanced northeast monsoon bringing the cold winter winds from mainland China to the Northern Luzon area.
Dr. Rowena Galpo, City Health Services Officer, reminded the local residents and visitors to keep themselves warm at all times by wearing thick clothes to combat the serious negative effects of the cold to their health, especially with the expected drop in the city’s temperature.
Galpo noted this time of the year, respiratory cases surge because residents and visitors easily contract the said illnesses because of the unpredictable weather condition.
Common respiratory illnesses that usually affect the public include cough and colds, pneumonia, bronchitis, asthma, among others. - Dexter A. See

City library mobile book program, ongoing
BAGUIO CITY – Around 800 students from four local public elementary schools and seven day care centers  have benefitted from the Baguio City Library Mobile Book Service Program since it was launched in February of last year.
Acting city librarian Fe Requilman said the project lends children’s books for up to three days to deserving public elementary schools and day care centers in the city including the showing of films that teaches good morals and values.
“The mobile book service aims to bring the city library closer to the public especially the children,” she said.
Requilman added they are targeting to serve at least 1000 or more students in the program this year in hopes of developing the public’s especially young people’s “love of reading for lifelong learning”.  - Gaby Keith


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