News Briefs

>> Thursday, March 16, 2017

Ilocos Norte women given livelihood opportunities
LAOAG CITY -- Ilocano women entrepreneurs showcased their products at the Provincial Capitol parking lot here March 6 to 10 while vying for the best booth award.
This is an offshoot of the provincial government’s “Lacasa” (wooden Iluko chest) loan program which provides additional capital to women entrepreneurs.
The program helped over 600 Ilocano women in 2016 alone in strengthening their small businesses.
Nelinda Erice, head of GAD said more Ilocano women have joined the workforce.  
"These show that women are not being left in the home nowadays. We are going out because the province has recognized our important role as partners in any developmental aspect of society,” she added.
Marcos said that the livelihood and employment programs for women are not merely additional income. 
"More frequently they are the main and single source for family income," Marcos said.
In addition to the Lacasa loan, the GAD office regularly conducts parent education programs in barangay communities; school symposia on teen pregnancy, rape and sexual harassment; and seminars on fertility awareness.
Other Women's Month activities in Ilocos Norte this year include National Buntis Day Celebration and Kinni-Kinni ("kembot" or "swaying hips") Parade on March 10 and women's fora from March 14 to 22.

Paracelis folks construct school pavement ‘bayanihan’ style 
PARACELIS, Mountain Province – Parents of Anonat National Agricultural and Vocational High School here and community folks showed the “bayanihan” spirit  when they recently constructed a ground pavement in the school worth P100,000.
The project was due to school head, Dr. Ma. Marissa A. Balao-as who earlier
passed a resolution to provincial board member Florence N. Taguiba requesting her office for a help in sourcing funds to construct the pavement during the administration of then Gov. Leonard G. Mayaen who passed away early last year.
The school was notified early this year that the project will be implemented Feb. 9. This made the school head decide to seek help from concerned stakeholders to provide needed materials for construction. On Feb. 8, parents extended manual service and finished the work that day.
The community people of Anonat represented by the barangay captain, Bonifacio I. Ramos and Balao-as expressed gratefulness to Gov. Bonifacio C. Lacwasan Jr. who gave immediate action and made the implementation of the project a reality. -- Funny B. Fiadcong

Arnis back in 30th season of BBEAL
BAGUIO CITY --- Arnis had its comeback game for the 30th season of BBEAL March 4 here at Philippine Military Academy.
In 2014, the Baguio-Benguet Educational Athletic League (BBEAL) committee removed arnis as part of the annual competition because the event lacked the number of participating schools.
After three years, Arnis is back on BBEAL. Participating schools are Benguet State University, Philippine Military Academy, Saint Louis University, University of Baguio, and University of the Cordilleras.
Though Arnis was off in BBEAL for three consecutive years, this season is as intense as before. It thrilled the audience inside the “Jurado Hall” of Philippine Military Academy, this year’s venue for Arnis.
After hours of fierce competition between the participating schools, the University of Baguio conquered and was awarded as the over-all champion for both men and women.
The UB men garnered 7 gold medals while women triumphed with 5 gold medals. A total of 12 gold medals brought the University of Baguio Arnis team to the top. Meanwhile, SLU was awarded as the over-all 1st runner up, PMA as 2nd runner up, and UC and BSU tied as the 3rd runners up.
The committee is expecting for more schools to take part in Arnis BBEAL for the next season. -- LJ Reyes

Congress probes GATT-WTO effects in La Trinidad hearing
LA TRINIDAD, Benguet -- –  The Lower House’s special committee special committee on globalization and World Trade Organization conducted an inquiry here March 3 in aid of legislation, on effects of local vegetable industry of Benguet and nationwide of implementation of general agreement on tariffs and World Trade Organization’s (GATT-WTO) policies and programs in the country.
              The first Congress committee hearing was held to discuss effects on the local industry of the implementation of the Resolution 797.
In the hearing, discussed were effects of imported vegetables on local products of the farmers of Benguet, agricultural situation of Cordillera, promotion of organic vegetables, trade remedies and other things concerning the farmers and vegetables.
According to Rep. Ariel B. Casilao, the public hearing was held to know and show what is happening to farmers and response on demands of farmers.
In attendance were Reps. Ariel B. Casilao, Carlos Isagani T. Zarate, Emmi A. De Jesus, Antonio L. Tinio, Arlene D. Brosas, France L. Castro, Sarah Jane I. Elago, and Ronald Cosalan.
Also in attendance were representatives of Departments of Agriculture, Trade and Industry, National Economic Development Authority, Bureau of Customs, local government units of Benguet, and organizations of farmers in the province. -- Fely Guanzo

BCDA aims for
Clark Green City
CLARK, Pampanga — Dubbed “the most ambitious project yet,” Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) is bent to construct the Clark Green City in the province.
BCDA is a government-owned corporation that is behind master-planned global cities and self-sustaining communities that boost national economic growth.
            According to BCDA President and Chief Executive Vivencio Dizon, the 9,450-hectare state of the art metropolis is located within the Clark Special Economic Zone (CSEZ) and will be the very first true green and gifted city promoting inclusive growth that will boost Philippines’ global competitiveness.
             Dizon emphasized that the Clark Green City has the potential to become the premier city of the Philippines.
Dizon also said that the Clark Green City is designed to cater to government agencies, businesses, educational organizations, research institutions, agro-industries and tourism. -- Franco G. Regala

Baguio Pony Boys Day 
BAGUIO CITY – “Cowboys” of Wright Park here held their annual Pony Boys Day on March 4. This year, they launched their first sports fest. The event not only consisted of horseback riding (gymkhana) but included basketball and other sports.
As part of the Panagbenga festival, the pony boy’s day is always held every first Saturday of the month of March. The highlight of the event is to give importance to the pony boys of all the organizations of the city of Baguio for their effort in promoting tourism according to councilor Mike Lawana.
Lawana said the event was sponsored by the city government with private sponsors such as Globe and United Guardians Brotherhood Bayang Pino-Pilipinas Incorporated or UGBPPI, said kagawad Julius Ampal, vice president of Wright Park Pony Boys and program host.
The event started with a prayer led by father Mario Tambic, parish priest of Our Lady of Lourdes, followed by national anthem led by punong barangay of Lualhati PB Norma D. Bustarde.
                Lawana, who is ABC president and city councilor, mAyor Mauricio Domogan and Wright Park Pony Boys
President Billy Fontanilla delivered their messages.
                The sports fest also featured billiards and darts.

Baguio, Korean, local rotary clubs hold medical mission
BAGUIO CITY -- The city government here partnered with Rotary Club of Baguio, Korea and other agencies and conducted medical mission at city hall.
Services were free eye checkup, medical consultation, dental services, OB gyne, minor surgery, acupuncture, free medicine and free clothes from Korea.
Domogan said "We will continue by all means to promote this kind of partnership where in those from sister cities in South Korea including the sister clubs of our existing rotary, the lions also in the city of Baguio will continue and conduct medical missions that can help others who are in need of help.”

Ilocos Norte women taught self-defense
LAOAG CITY -- – The provincial government is teaching its women self-defense, while giving them livelihood opportunities, as it celebrates Women’s Month.
Under the Provincial Gender and Development Office, Ilocos Norte's 2017 celebration of National Women's Month kicked off with a women's trade fair and self-defense training for female students.
Students in Grades 10 and 11 from the first district towns of Bacarra, Piddig and Vintar joined self-defense trainings at the Vintar Auditorium since two weeks ago, said Ilocos Norte provincial information officer Jun Godoy.
Female students were also trained at second district towns of Currimao, Pinili and Badoc at the Badoc Auditorium.
Training female students were 20 policewomen from the Ilocos Norte police.
Gov. Imee Marcos urged victims to report domestic violence and sexual harassment to increase awareness of women's rights.
             "We still need to move forward into the millennium so that these practices, customs, and wrongfully-accepted behaviors are finally put to an end," said Marcos.

190 Central Luzon firemen needed
CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga — The Bureau of Fire Protection is  hiring 190 Fire Officers I for Central Luzon to expand its team and increase capacity to deliver vital services.
BFP regional director Chief Supt. Aloveel Ferrer said the number of slots per region is determined by the BFP Central Office as part of its program of activities for the simultaneous conduct of regular hiring and selection of fire officers nationwide.
“It is open to all Filipino citizens who are not less than 21 years old but not more than 30 years old, bachelor’s degree holder, board passer or holder of 2nd level eligibility, and has a height of at least 1.57 meters for females and 1.62 meters for males,’’ said Ferrer.
The requirements include a handwritten Personal Data Sheet (Civil Service Commission Form 212); two pieces passport size colored picture with name tag; photocopy of unexpired Professional Regulation Commission License ID or authenticated Civil Service Commission Certificate of Eligibility; transcript of records duly authenticated by the school registrar; original Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) copy of birth certificate and clearances (barangay, mayor, MTC, RTC, police and NBI).
An original PSA copy of marriage certificate is also required for submission for those married female  applicants.
In addition, applicants are also required to submit their driver’s license/NC III TESDA Certificate for driving and a certificate of waiver from the BFP chief, if any.
Ferrer said that all documents must be submitted in a folder to the Administrative Division of the BFP Regional Headquarters III in Del Pilar, this city on or before March 31. -- Franco G. Regala

Baguio market summit approved
BAGUIO CITY – The city council passed a resolution calling for the conduct of a market, trade and commerce summit here to improve and further develop the present market, trade and commerce situation in the city.
      It also envisions to make the Baguio City Public Market as the Summer Capital’s main tourist attraction that is safe, drug and crime-free, clean and orderly that may be achieved through an inter-agency and concerned stakeholders effort being established and interventions to be set up to deal with the “myriad of problems that have long been weighing down the area”.
       Councilor Leandro Yangot, Jr., the measure’s author, revealed that as the chair of the august body’s committee on market, trade and commerce, he has held a dialogue with market stakeholders as an initial move for the conduct of a summit to gather and thresh out all the concerns to make business relations in the market thriving yet organized.
       The resolution points out that the Baguio City Public Market, being the “face of the city”, is supposed to showcase best practices in market, trade and commerce to tourists and the community it serves and confident that workable plans could be achieved.
       “There is a need to synergize all efforts in achieving this goal,” the approved measure stressed.
       It stated that the summit’s aim is to make the city market a world-class market.  “If not, at least make it presentable to Baguiotes including domestic and foreign tourists,” the measure added.
       “The conduct of a market, trade and commerce summit will allow various stakeholders to take active part in injecting their inputs relative to the multifarious issues and concerns surrounding the city’s market, trade and commerce industry, evaluate these concerns and come up with short-term, medium-term and long-term plans and solutions,” it stated.-Gaby Keith and Cassey Francis

Air monitoring machines to be put up in Baguio
BAGUIO CITY – The Cordillera office of the Environmental Management Bureau said the government plans to install ambient air monitoring machines in all urban centers in the country to closely monitor the air quality in the said areas.
Reynaldo S. Digamo, EMB-CAR regional director, said the installation of ambient air monitoring machines in urban centers is part of the medium-term development plan of the agency for the years 2017-2022 to help in the implementation of updated programs and interventions key to having clean air.
The EMB-CAR official said it is unfortunate that the earlier P300 million allocated by the agency for the purchase of air monitoring machines to be installed nationwide has reverted to the general fund as part of the capital outlay of their central office after the lapse of two years, thus, the need for them to re-strategize how to acquire the needed machines for the urban centers.
He claimed the EMB-CAR is eyeing the purchase of state-of-the-art ambient air monitoring machines to be installed in urban areas in the country instead of the traditional mobile monitoring stations to be able to continuously get the actual data on the prevailing air quality in the said areas. -- Dexter A. See

May declared Farmers Month in Baguio
BAGUIO CITY – The City Council approved a resolution declaring the month of May as Farmers Month in the city in recognition of the role of farmers in the overall development of the city for over a century now.
The resolution authored by Councilor Leandro B. Yangot, Jr. stated with the technological advancement and agricultural modernization, the farmers and agricultural practitioners in the city can actively take part in the celebration so they could also benefit from the programs, projects, and activities of the government.
In the city, Yangot disclosed there remain many areas utilized for agricultural purposes that serve as the
major source of livelihood particularly for the residents of outlying barangays like Sto. Tomas School Area, Sto. Tomas Proper, Bakakeng Central, Bakakeng Norte/Sur, Camp 7, Loakan Proper, Loakan Liwanag, Happy Hallow, Baguio Country Club, Gibraltar, Pinsao Proper, Pinsao Pilot Project, Ambiong, and other areas.
Under the newly approved city land use plan, several areas in the city had been identified as agricultural zones due to the presence of agricultural lands being tilled by farmers for domestic and commercial requirements.
 For several years now, Yangot said Baguio has not celebrated Farmers Month because the city was presumed to have no agricultural lands and farming is not being reportedly practiced. – Dexter A. See

Abra opens 100th anniversary rites with Centennial Bazaar
BANGUED, Abra -- The Abra Centennial celebration officially kicked off  March 1 with the hoisting of municipal banners by all local chief executives and launching of Centennial  Bazaar at the Abra Sports Complex.
A time to promote the bamboo industry, exhibited were designed bamboo products time like frog-like hamper, Centennial cup and trophies, bamboo electric fan, bamboo kiosk for couples, recycle bins, vases and picture frames, tall bamboo lampshades, double-decked rocking chair with food tray and many more,  are exhibited for the first  earning the  admiration of  the public.
Gov. Maria Jocelyn V. Bernos in her welcome remarks cited exhibitors and bamboo advocates who made the Centennial Bazaar possible. She also asked the Department of Trade and Industry who partnered with them in this event to continually support all other government programs and projects to hoist up economic development of the Abrenios.
Special guest DTI regional director Myrna Pablo congratulated Abra for its 100 years and for the one- of- a- kind bamboo display she saw like the bamboo electric fan made in Tubo.
“Ang galing naman. It’s my first time to see something like this,” she commended as she switched it on.
As one of the top bamboo producing provinces in the country that  produce one of the best varieties of bamboos and quality bamboo products, Pablo urged the provincial government to invite experts from Manila to enhance their bamboo products so they can become world class and compete in the global market especially in ASEAN. -- Ginalyn B. Brioso

Fun run set March 12 to help kidney patient
BAGUIO CITY -- Maintain a healthy lifestyle and at the same time help save a life.  This is the advocacy of the Cordillera Youth Leaders (YCL) as they urged the public to participate in the “Run for a cause” set here Summer Capital today (March 12.)
With the slogan, “Run for the fun, donate for the cause,” the CYL, aims to increase awareness on the importance of having a healthy lifestyle and at the same time, to bring more people into one single community that extends a hand to those who really need it.
Beneficiary for the fun run is Daniel Falag-ey, a 25 - year old Developmental Communication graduate of Benguet State University who traces his roots in Sagada and Sadanga, Mountain Province. 
He was diagnosed in March last year with chronic kidney disease Stage-V secondary to Chronic Glomerolu Nephritis; hypertension and anemia.
Due to his severe condition, Falag -ey needs an organ transplant. At the same time he also needs help for laboratory fees as his family is hard up in coping with his medical expenses.
His mother will be the donor for the kidney transplantation once the family raises enough money for the procedure.
The March 12 fun run will start 4 a.m. and finish at the Baguio Athletic Bowl. 
There will be   four categories - 3 kilometer, 5K, 10K and 21K- with registration fees of P350, P500, P600 and P750, respectively.
The registration fee includes a race shirt and bib, certificate, snacks and goody bag.  The top three finishers in the 5k, 10k and 21k will get cash prizes.
Free flowing coffee will be available for all runners.
Interested or kind - hearted individuals who want to help can contact CYL President Kenneth Dave Ambatcan at 0906 362 3006 or the beneficiary himself, Daniel Falag - ey at 0910 647 5711. – Wesley Hortizuela

Abra mayor orders rabid dogs killed
LAGAYAN, Abra – Mayor Jendricks S. Luna gave the permission to kill rabid dogs in the town to ensure the protection of the people from rabies,
The municipal government here has intensified is efforts against the spread of rabies with massive vaccination of dogs and cats and   information education campaign (IEC). 
The Office of the Municipal Agriculturist headed by Rowena Martinez conducted a massive vaccination to all the dogs and cats in barangays Poblacion, Pulot, Bai, Collago and Pang-ot.  It was complemented by the conduct of IEC at Pulot National High School in partnership with the Department of Education and the Office of the Provincial Veterinarian.
The IEC on anti-rabies in Lagayan was the first local government unit-initiative conducted in the province. It aimed to educate at the same time warn the general public of the dangers of rabies and how to prevent the infection and spread of such fatal disease. -- Maria Teresa B. BeƱas

BFP-Kalinga brings fire awareness drive to villages
CITY OF TABUK, Kalinga– The Bureau of Fire Protection provincial office is bringing its fire safety education drive to the barangay level.
This is to give more focus on  the Fire Prevention Month’s  theme, “Buhay at ari-arian ay pahalagahan, ingat sa sunog ay sa sariling bahay simulan.”
Fire Chief Insp. Ramil Borja, BFP-Kalinga chief said   their office kicked-off the provincewide information-education sortie at Barangay Lanna, here, where barangay officials and residents were lectured and trained on fire prevention and response. More barangays will follow.
The celebration of Fire Prevention Month in the province also includes revitalization of Barangay Fire Brigades as community-based response teams while BFP fire fighters are called to the area in case of a fire.
The BFP-Kalinga also included in its activities literary contests on fire safety and prevention in schools to raise awareness among the students.
Borja said the IEC campaign should target students who are effective multipliers of information, enabling them to reach out to more homes in the community. 
Students and teachers of St. Tonis College in this city were already given lectures of fire safety and prevention.
The BFP is also getting ready for the regional fire Olympics to be held in Abra. This annual event is part of the Fire Prevention Month celebration every March. -- Larry Lopez

 DOT, partners launch Project ‘Puraw’ village painting 
BAGUIO CITY -- The Department of Tourism  and its partners formally  launched project “Puraw” or the White Roofs Community Painting Project for Quirino Hill  here Feb. 25.
Spearheading the launching ceremony  and   memorandum of  agreement signing   were DOT officials headed by Undersecretary Alma Jimenez and  DOT Cordillera regional director Venus Tan,  Environment  and Natural Resources regional director Ralph Pablo, mayor Maurico Domogan, Rep. Mark Go and Boysen Philippines vice president for marketing Ruben Cueto.
Officials of the involved community barangays were  also  present.
Project “Puraw (an Ilocano term for white)” is part of DOT’s REV – BLOOM, an urban tourism redevelopment program and awareness campaign that aims to rev – up, revive, re – visit and revitalize potential destinations in Baguio and nearby Benguet towns.
Through Boysen paints, roofs of the houses in Quirino Hill numbering about 1,500 will be painted white to give the community a cool color.
A touch of green paint will also be used to give an artistic look to the community.
Tan said Project “Puraw” will not only make Quirino Hill a tourist attraction but it will be the first climate change – adaptive community in the country. 
The white paint she said, will help protect the eco –system in the area as it will also reduce the effect of heat brought by global warming
Cueto said the painting of the houses in Quirino Hill will start this month.
Project Puraw is the second community painting project of DOT under REV – BLOOM, an initiative of Tan. The first is the giant art mural for the community of STOBOSA in Km. 3 in nearby La Trinidad, Benguet. -- E. Sison

Free anti-rabies vaccination available  in Benguet barangays
LA TRINIDAD, Benguet -- Pet owners may now bring their dogs and cats and avail of the free anti-rabies vaccinations in designated areas in respective barangays in benguet.
Dr. Miriam Tiongan, Provincial Veterinarian Office chief, this is in line   declaration of every March as Rabies Awareness Month towards the attainment of a rabies-free status.   With the continuing activities on rabies prevention and awareness, it is hoped that rabies-free status will be attained by 2020.  
Governor Crescencio Pacalso hopes the province will attain a rabies-free status sooner. “Rabies even if fatal is 100 percent preventable through massive vaccination. We will rekindle the program so that everybody will help promote,” he said.
For an area to be declared rabies-free, it has to satisfy requirements such as at least 80 percent vaccination of dog population, existence of ordinance in municipalities on rabies prevention, consistent zero record of rabid cases whether dogs or humans, Dr. Arlene Sagayo of the Department of Agriculture said.
Last year, the province reached 87 percent accomplishment of dogs vaccinated or equivalent to 30,698 with the Department of Health focusing on the preventive aspect and allotting funding for the purchase of animal vaccines.
Rabies Awareness Program with the theme, “Rabies Iwasan, Alaga’y Pabakunahan”, was launched in the province through a motorcade, lectures, vaccination and briefing of vaccinators.   
Pacalso enjoined pet owners to bring their pets in designated venues of the barangays.  He likewise sought the help of barangay officials to help in its dissemination. -- Susan C. Aro

Kalinga Treasures Trade Fair rakes in P6.6 million in sales
TABUK CITY, Kalinga -- Organizers of this year’s Kalinga Treasures Trade Fair recorded record-high sales of P6, 602,365.
Aurora Sanet of the Trade and Industry provincial office, lead organizer of the event, said they targeted P5 million in sales this year considering that   people of the province suffered massive losses from  super typhoon “Lawin”   October last year.
The comparative sales in the annual fair had remarkably risen from P4.8M in 2015 to P6.4M in 2016 and 6.6M, this year.
Sanet attributed the sales performance to the increasing innovative skills of producers with DTI’s continuing product development and marketing assistance.
This year, the top-selling sector was   furniture with  P2,305,605 followed by wearables-gifts-home-decors – P1,944,380; processed foods – P1,167,656; ornamentals – 738,414 and other sectors – P446,310.
Sanet reported that   19 of the 99 exhibitors came from the provinces of Ifugao, Nueva Vizcaya, Benguet and Baguio City.   
The fair was organized as part of the highlights of the annual celebration of the province’s founding anniversary.
Sanet lauded the Chamber of Kalinga Producers, Inc. (CKAPI) which is working for the development of micro-business in the province, for leading with DTI the organization and conduct of the annual trade fair. – Larry T. Lopez      

DOLE, PDEA join forces for drug-free workplaces
BAGUIO CITY – The Department of Labor and Employment - Regional Coordinating Council  and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency - Cordillera are joining  hands against illegal drugs in the Cordillera Administrative Region.
The RCC and PDEA-CAR will convene to finalize signing of the memorandum of agreement which is aimed at strengthening the fight against this social menace.
DOLE-CAR regional director Exequiel Ronie A. Guzman, chairman of the RCC and PDEA-CAR regional director Edgar Afalla agreed on provisions, roles and responsibilities of both agencies for programs and activities against drug abuse in the Cordillera especially in workplaces.
Guzman said under the MOA, the primary role of PDEA-CAR is to provide technical assistance to DOLE-CAR and the RCC such as resource speakers, information materials for information drives and activities and to assist on drug-related concerns.
DOLE Department Order No. 53, series of 2003 requires all establishments to adopt drug-free workplace policy and program to ensure a safe and healthy workforce. It is mandatory to all private establishments employing 10 or more workers to formulate and implement drug abuse prevention and control program in the workplace and also to adopt a policy against dangerous drug use and alcoholic abuse among its employees.
Workplace policies and programs on drug abuse prevention and control to be adopted by companies shall include, among others, advocacy, education, and training; drug testing program for officers and employees; treatment, rehabilitation, and referral; and monitoring and evaluation.  -- Patrick T.Rillorta

TESDA- Mt. Province gives free haircut to inmates  
BONTOC, Mountain Province– The Technical Education Skills and Development Authority (TESDA) provincial office conducted free haircut for inmates of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology  here.
Christine Oliquiano of TESDA here said the “Gupit para kay Kardo” project was in partnership with the Mystique Touch Salon and Spa, Kellers Salon, Cres Parlor and the Thween’s Parlor. Some 19 inmates of  53 inmates  were beneficiaries of the project. -- Juliet B. Saley

Tabuk collects P13M from business permits, licenses
CITY OF TABUK, Kalinga, Feb. 28 (PIA) – The city’s intensified regulatory drive on business operation had yielded P13, 898,999 in fees from applications and renewals of business permits and licenses.
Olive Mendoza of the City Treasurer’s Office (CTO) reported business accounted P13, 287,524 while tricycle permits contributing P611, 475.
CTO records show there were 1,407 business owners and 1,665 tricycle operators that applied for permit and license renewals.
Because of the high number of transactions, the city government  extended until Jan. 31 the “no-penalty” application and renewal of business permits and licenses  from its Jan. 20 deadline.  
Ralph Matammu, head of the City Business Permit and Licensing Section, said after the extension in application, late applicants are charged extra fees as penalty.
Under the revenue campaign of the city-LGU, business establishments and tricycle operators with no proper permits are dealt with accordingly, Matammu said. -- Larry T. Lopez

 NNC to put up 10 Nutriskwela community radio stations
LAGAWE, Ifugao- - More Nutriskwela Community Radio (NCR) stations  will be put  up in the country this year to empower the community through  dissemination of correct, relevant and up-to-date nutrition and health information.
Jovita Raval of the National Nutrition Council said part of the council’s plan for 2017 is the putting up of 10 new stations under phase 5 of the Nutriskwela Community Radio Network Program (NCRNP).   Currently, there are 35 existing nutriskwela community radio stations nationwide.
Raval said the NNC will also support upgrading of 10 existing stations and conduct refresher training courses to selected stations. It will also conduct monitoring visits and other activities to help strengthen NCRs nationwide.
The NCRNP of the NNC was borne out of a need for a long-term and cost-efficient strategy to address the problem of hunger and malnutrition in the Philippines through the use of radio, the most available form of mass media.
The NRCNP involves the setting up of non-profit, non-partisan community radio stations and the training of broadcast personnel in areas of the country with high malnutrition prevalence and which do not have easy access to broadcast media.
Nutriskwela Community Radio aims to empower the community through the dissemination of correct, relevant and up-to-date nutrition and health information, as well as educational and developmental information from all relevant sectors of the community, government agencies, and non-government organizations.
The first phase of the project was implemented in 2008 with five community radio stations established.
In 2010, the second phase of the Nutriskwela Community Radio Network Program was implemented with the establishment of another 10 stations while in 2012, 10 stations were established under phase 3 and in 2015 another 10 stations were put-up under  phase 4.
In the Cordillera, NCR stations are Radyo Kiphodan, DZNC-FM 99.1 MHz in Lagawe, Ifugao;  Radyo Kabinnulig, DZNA-FM 99.7 MHz in Lagangilang , Abra,  and Radyo Kasaranay, DZNQ-FM 96.7 MHz, in Luna, Apayao . -- Marcelo B. Lihgawon

OPVet to dog owners: Inject pets against rabies
BONTOC, Mountain Province -- The Office of the Provincial Veterinary urged dog owners to have their pets vaccinated against rabies to eradicate the disease in the province.
Provincial Veterinarian Rodel Bagawi told government employees here the OPVet and the Municipal Agricultural Offices will conduct anti-rabies mass vaccination as one highlight of the observance of the National Rabies Awareness Month this March.
The yearly dog anti-rabies vaccination drive is in support to the national government’s campaign of rabies-free Philippines by 2020.
Bagawi said pet owners can bring their pets to their respective MAOs or to the OPVet for the free anti-rabies immunization. 
Barangays officials can also coordinate with their MAO for the scheduling of the anti-rabies vaccination in their barangays.
Veterinarians said mass vaccination of dogs is the most effective way of controlling and eradicating rabies, which is one cause of deaths among humans.They said rabies can be eradicated if all dog owners will have their pets three months old and above vaccinated. -- Andrew Doga-ong

Abra Pasalubong Center, Centennial Exhibit launched
BANGUED, Abra -- The provincial government launched the Abra Pasalubong Center and Centennial Exhibit March 1 as part of the Abra Centennial celebration opening activities.
Goods and souvenir items all over the province are available in the newly launched and first ever Pasalubong Center.
There are  ‘abel’ (woven) bags and clothes, bamboo sling bags, hand bags and back packs, mini bamboo bike display, tee shirts, button pins, bamboo fans, bamboo plates and batek (Tingguian beads).
There are also herbal soaps made by the women organization of Tubo and other herbal products.
Food products like chichacorn, coffee, muscovado, balikutsa (native candy), inladit (sweetened crackers), linaddit (vegie noddles), basi (wine), tablea (chocolate), vinegar, pickles and puree are also available.
Vegetables abundant in Abra all year round like squash, ginger, radish, tomatoes and cabbage and lettuce from the upland areas are on sale, too.
Meanwhile, it’s a walk back in time in the Centennial Exhibit featuring the life, customs and tradition of Abrenios in the past.
Displayed in the exhibit are gears the Abrenian forefathers used like ‘kalasag’ (warrior shield), ‘kampilan’ (sword during Japanese occupation) and ‘Solbatana’ (Tingguian hunting blow gun).
Dining wares like ‘kubyertos’ during Spanish era and the ‘dulang’ or the native low dining table are also in the exhibit.
Evident that Abrenios even long before show love and passion for music are musical instruments like ‘Ulibao’ (bamboo harp), ‘Gangsa’ (gong) and ‘Tongatong’ (bamboo brass).
In terms of fashion, on display are different Tingguian clothes, distinctively woven Tingguian Kinamayan Healing Ritual Cloth or the so called “rainmaker”, and the 150-year old Tingguian Women Batek.
Displayed also are the ‘Bayengyeng’, a large bamboo flask used for carrying drinking or laundry water, ‘Kattukong’ or bottle gourd hat and many more.
The Abra Centennial exhibit   reflecting the province’s past reinforces the Abra people’s sense of history which contributes to stronger sense of place and continuity while the Abra Pasalubong Center showcases the potentials of the province in the national and international markets. -- Ginalyn B. Brioso


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