>> Saturday, June 16, 2018


Rain, wind close Mount Pulag trails

KABAYAN, Benguet -- Hiking and trekking on Mount Pulag here through the Akiki trail was temporarily not allowed due to bad weather last week.
The Akiki trail is temporarily closed to the public while those tourists our mountaineers heading via Badabak trail or Ambangeg were advised to stay put at the Ranger Station, Environment officials here said.
Habagat is causing strong winds and heavy rains in the vicinity of the park, said an advisory.
The state weather bureau earlier said Tropical Storm Domeng is no longer affecting the country but it continues to enhance the southwest monsoon or habagat which brings rains across the country.
PAGASA said rains will continue to persist until tomorrow.
Pulag is the highest peak in Luzon and the third highest in the country at over 2,900 meters above sea level.
The Akiki trail was also closed for three months earlier this year due to a blaze that damaged at least six hectares of the grasslands at the top of Mount Pulag. It has been reopened late April. 

Holiday in Ifugao on June 18

LAGAWE, Ifugao --  June 18 is a special non-working holiday in Ifugao for the celebration of its 52nd anniversary and the Gotad ad Ifugao Festival. 
“It is but fitting and proper that the people of... Ifugao be given full opportunity to celebrate and participate in the occasion with appropriate ceremonies,” Proclamation 504 recently issued by Malacañang declared. 
This year’s celebration of Gotad ad Ifugao is from June 15 to 22, with the theme, “Shaping the Ifugao Heritage in a Global Environment.

 China presents gifts to Baguio

BAGUIO CITY -- The Post Consulate of the People’s Republic of China presented memorable gifts to this city as the country commemorated the 17th Philippine-China Friendship Day recently.
To aid tourism in this Summer Capital of the Philippines, China has added a new attraction to the Baguio Filipino-Chinese Friendship Arc Garden –12 Chinese Zodiac Sculptures.
Consul Wang Jianqun, who heads the Post Consulate, also turned over a brand new fire truck to the city as witnessed by Baguio City Mayor Mauricio Domogan.
“What we have done for the past 17 years have certainly increased and consolidated the friendship and understanding between the Chinese and the Filipinos and have helped strengthen the friendly relations and cooperation between China and the Philippines at the national level,” Wang said.

Dalican SK prexy sits as Bontoc SB member

BONTOC, Mountain Province – The Sangguniang Kabataan president of Barangay Dalican will sit as the ex-officio member at the Bontoc municipal council representing the SK Federation.
Sherwin Chamkas won six points over his three opponents who were also nominated to the position during 2-day SK Federation orientation and election earlier. 
SK president of Barangay Can-eo, Daniel Afidchao was proclaimed as the SK Federation vice president defeating his two opponents.
Other proclaimed SK Federation officers are Melody Gaston- Secretary, Pyke Kalifas- Treasurer, Rainer Ekid- Auditor, Demfloyd Dalilis- Public Relation Officer and Anthony Gallardo- Sergeant –at – Arms.
According to Municipal Local Government Operations Officer Jill F. Fa-ed, the SK President of the 16 barangays of Bontoc underwent an orientation prior to the election proper.
With this, Fa-ed lectured to the participants the Powers and Functions of SK Federation; Clifton Changat of the Municipal Planning and Development Officer discussed rules of the Federation while Administrative Officer V. Zenith Rose D. Dalog from the Office of the Municipal Mayor spoke on SK Federation election policies.
Municipal financial consultant Manuel M. Imatong who is also a pastor gave his spiritual sharing to participants.
Bontoc Mayor Franklin C. Odsey, who administered oath-taking of the SK Federation officers recently said elected SK officials were put in the position by the people, because they believed in their capabilities in responding to needs of their barangays, especially the youth sector.  -- Alpine L. Killa

Hungduan benefits from PRDP’s livelihood project

HUNGDUAN, Ifugao – Farmers were recipients of a swine dispersal project by the Dept. of Agriculture’s Philippine Rural Development Project.
“Almost 85 percent of farmers’ livelihood was damaged by calamity in 2015 and everyone needed to restore and re-establish their properties from what was left and the project is timely,” said Evelyn Biniahan, Manager of Hungduan Micro-Finance Development Cooperative (HMFDC).
She said they were able to come up with the proposal on swine raising under the PRDP.
Some 63 piglets were delivered and turned over to 21 farmer-members of the cooperative on May 22 at the office of HMFDC in Hapao, Hungduan.
Each farmer was given three piglets each and 21 kilos feeds.
                The remaining 87 piglets and sacks of feeds will be delivered by the end of the month to cater to 29 more farmers.
According to the project’s business plan, 150 piglets and 274 sacks of feeds (starter and grower) were set to be delivered as part of the first tranche, and 144 sacks of finisher feeds for the second tranche. For one year operation of two (2) cycles, the piglets will be fattened for a maximum of six (6) months and will be sold at P120/kg live weight.
To sustain the project, the total investment cost provided shall be collected from each recipient including capital build-up scheme of one percent and another percent service fee from the sales of each pig. Likewise, the HMFDC shall strictly impose policies in the implementation of the project.
During turnover ceremony, NazarioTuguinay of the Provincial Agriculturist Office said it was the obligation of recipients to take care of the project and make it sustainable.
Meanwhile, the supplier of the piglets committed to conduct regular visits to tend to the needs of the piglets that were delivered.
With a counterpart from the cooperative (in-kind) amounting to more than P300,000, the livelihood project had a total cost of P1, 138,000 shared by the World Bank (80%), the Government of the Philippines (20%) and Ifugao government (20%). – Elvy Taquio

BFP recruitment on for firemen

B ONTOC, Mountain Province –The Bureau of Fire Protection has opened its recruitment for fire fighters to join their agency.
Applicants must be Filipino citizens not less than 21 and not more than 30 years of age, at least 5’4” in height for male and 5’2” for female provided that height waiver for height and age requirements shall be automatically granted for those belonging to cultural communities.
They must weigh not more or less than five kilograms from the standard weight corresponding to height, age and sex; must possess a baccalaureate degree from a recognized institute of learning; must have an eligibility either a Civil Service Commission (CSC) – 2nd Level, Republic Act (RA) 1080 or Presidential Decree. 907.
Licensed engineers and architects are priorities. Navarra said submission of folders will be on June 4 to July 6 at the BFP-Cordillera regional office as there is 75 quota allotted for the Cordillera region.Applicants nay visit fire stations for queries on additional requirements.  --  Alpine L. Killa

2,000 cops deployed in Region 3

CAMP OLIVAS, Pampanga – A total of 1,837 Philippine National Police were deployed in Region 3 to provide public safety and police visibility in schools, colleges, universities and its nearby areas last week during opening of classes.
Police Regional Office 3 director Chief Supt. Amador V. Corpus said guidelines were already established in accordance with “IMPLAN 10/2018 Ligtas Balik- Eskwela 2018,” a directive that emanated from the national headquarters and is being conducted annually.
Police assistance desks with a police commissioned officer as its leader were established in every school on June 4, 2018 to assist students in any eventuality.
Corpus earlier directed all field officers to personally visit the different schools and coordinate with school officials in order to deter lawless elements from doing illegal activities such as hold-up, pick-pocketing, snatching, drug pushing, and even kidnapping.
The police worked with  traffic auxiliaries for traffic control and direction in areas where the volume of students traveling to and from the various schools in the different provinces/cities and road traffic is expected to elevate. -- Mar T. Supnad

Bayambang onion farmers to get fertilizer, cash grant

BAYAMBANG, Pangasinan — Some 963 onion farmers in this town, whose farms have been devastated by armyworms, will receive two bags of fertilizer per hectare from the provincial government of Pangasinan and a certain amount of cash grant from the municipal government.
Municipal Agriculturist Artemio Buezon, in an interview on Tuesday, said a total of 1,828 bags of fertilizer have been given to his office for distribution next week to affected onion farmers.
Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Officer head Genevieve Benebe said a total of P5.5 million in initial cash grant will be distributed to the farmers this June after they submit the requirements asked by the municipal government.
On March 12 this year, the town was placed under a state of calamity due to the armyworm infestation that affected 868.56 hectares of onion plantations in 39 barangays, resulting in almost PHP5 million in losses.
Benebe disclosed that the MDRRMO will include in their plan next year the mitigation of crop infestations.
Meanwhile, Buezon said the farmers can control infestation if they monitor their crops on a daily basis. He remained positive that the next cropping season would be bountiful given that the town’s farming areas have sufficient water irrigation.
The farmers in the town will plant hybrid rice while some will produce a variety of vegetables this cropping season, he said.
More than 2,000 farmers, including onion farmers, in the town have received three to five packs of hybrid rice seeds from the Department of Agriculture, said Buezon.
“If they (farmers) will follow correctly the packaging technology of the hybrid rice, they can yield four to five tons of rice per hectare,” he added. --PNA

DepEd Ilocos Norte: No collection of fees

LAOAG CITY -- The Department of Education-Ilocos Norte ordered public schools in the province to refrain from collecting money contributions from parents on the onset of school year.
In an interview on Monday, Ilocos Norte Schools Division Superintendent Vilma Eda warned public school teachers who are found collecting or soliciting money until August of this school year will be sanctioned accordingly.
Eda said the DepEd is clear on the guidelines of no collection policy, which is meant to provide free basic education to all learners in public elementary and secondary schools.
“Based on DepEd guidelines, it specifies that authorized contributions must remain voluntary and not compulsory,” said Eda.
Among these include contributions for the Boy Scouts of the Philippines (BSP), Girl Scouts of the Philippines (GSP), Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC), Anti-TB Fund Drive, Parents-Teachers Association (PTA), and school publication fee.
In time for the June opening, Eda said there had been complaints from schools parents saying some school contributions are being collected from them.
The DepEd, however, clarified that school contributions should not hinder parents to send their children to school. Public schools opened June 4.

BFAR awards scholarships to 6 Mt province students

BONTOC, Mountain Province -- Certificates of scholarships were awarded to six individuals of this province who passed examination for fisheries scholarship program of Dept. of Agriculture - Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources- Cordillera Administrative Region.
The scholars are entitled to free tuition in any college or university offering fishery-related courses, monthly stipend of P4, 000, book allowance of P2,000 every semester, thesis support  worth P7,000, on the job training support worth P3,000.00 and P1,500 as graduation allowance. – Alpine Killa

 N. Ecija Balay Silangan rehab center unveiled

CAMP OLIVAS, Pampanga – The country’s second community -based reformation / drug rehabilitation center was inaugurated recently in Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija.
The inauguration of the 100-bed center was led by officials from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), local government officials of Cabanatuan City, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), and the Philippine National Police (PNP).
PDEA Director General Aaron N. Aquino said the Balay Silangan Reformatory Program of PDEA was created by virtue of Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) Regulation No. 2 series of 2018.
“This program is a holistic and compassionate approach of helping drug offenders to integrate in the society by making them more productive and acceptable to society,” Aquino said.
“This reformation center serves as an alternative intervention for drug offenders who are not eligible to be admitted in the treatment and rehabilitation facilities supervised by the Department of Health,” he added.
Balay Silangan Reformation Program in Cabanatuan City is the pilot project of PDEA in Luzon, which was funded by the city government of Cabanatuan City through the initiative of Mayor Julius Cesar Vergara. – Franco Regala

Mayor not in favor of granting tax amnesties

BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Mauricio Domogan is not in favor of the practice of granting amnesties  to those who do not pay their taxes on time.
In media forum at city hall,  Domogan said tax amnesties only encourage people and institutions  to procrastinate  or are late in the payment of their taxes.
“Why should we award late taxpayers with amnesties?  We should instead grant more incentives to those who pay their taxes on time or who pay earlier than the scheduled time of payment,” he stressed.
Domogan earlier led other officials in commending and awarding the city’s top 20  business and real property taxpayers  with plaques of appreciation.
The Mayor also expressed his hope that they will continue to be shining examples to others  in paying the right amount of taxes on time.
He also praised the city treasurer’s office under Alex Cabarrubias  on its report that the city’s tax and fees collection in 2017 was 13.39 percent higher than the amount collected in 2016.- Gaby Keith

BFAR starts projects for Mt. Province groups

BONTOC, Mountain Province – The Dept. of Agriculture - Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources- Cordillera Administrative Region (DA- BFAR- CAR) awarded projects to beneficiaries at the BFAR provincial office here on May 25.
Barangay fish terminals were handed over to five organizations: Gueday Fruit Wine Makers in Besao, Ilaglakhan Livelihood Organization in Bontoc, Hiefer Partner Families Marketing in Sabangan, Gabay Multi-Purpose Cooperative in Sabangan and Tadian FARMC. 
Each organization was given 120 kilograms of fresh marketable tilapia, one unit chest freezer and weighing scale.
Lilibeth L. Signey, BFAR regional director said the BFT program aims to add income for community organizations and make available supply of fish in the barangay.
She said the program will be implemented through a “roll over scheme” in which the BFAR shall provide initial supply of fish to recipient organizations to be sold by the latter at affordable price.
The organization is entrusted with the task of returning the equivalent capital in cash to the DA-BFAR- CAR for the latter to be able to provide the second and third batch of fish to be sold by the same organization, but leaving them the profits earned.
Mayor Franklin C. Odsey with Ilaglakhan Livelihood Organization entered into memorandum of agreement with the DA-BFAR – CAR to ensure effective and efficient implementation of the program.

Tineg farmers get cattle from PRDP

TINEG, Abra – Some 23farmers received one cattle each from "Cattle Fattening and Marketing Project” under the Dept. of Agriculture's Philippine Rural Development Project during recent turnover ceremony here.
Dr. Herminia Balaoit, municipal agriculturist said that the cattle were delivered as part of the first tranche and the remaining 10 heads will be delivered the soonest.
The subproject was proposed by the Alawa-Tapayen Farmers’ Organization assisted by the municipality of Tineg and provincial government. The business plan was implemented through the I-REAP Component's Small Livelihood Project for calamity-stricken areas. It focuses on cattle fattening and marketing as an entrepreneurial scheme to increase ineg farmers' income.
The project aimsed to provide farmers with33 heads of male upgraded Brahman stocks at least one year old. The stocks are distributed to eligible members of the organization at one to two heads per farmer-recipient depending on their capacity.
To sustain the project, the business plan stipulated the total acquisition value shall be remitted back to the association. Accordingly, the fund shall be used to purchase more stocks for other members to benefit from. One percent of the gross sales shall be charged by the association for every sale made as part of their capital build-up.
The subproject's total capital of P1 million was proposed to be funded by the PRDP, sourced from the World Bank (60%), Government of the Philippines through the DA (20%), and the LGU (20%).  For every subproject under this scheme, a counterpart of 20% of the total project cost is required to be provided by the benefiting organization in-kind in the form of animal housing, labor, among others.
During turnover, Tineg officials thanked the PRDP staff and urged beneficiaries to make sure the project will succeed as planned.
“To those of who received, make good of it because you are lucky to be recipients.  Make sure that you follow your business plan,” said Randy Valencia, sangguniang bayan member. – MB Zabala

 Dengue rises by 87 percent in Cordillera

BAGUIO CITY – The Dept. of Health-Cordillera bared dengue fever cases drastically rose by 87 percent in the Cordillera Administrative Regionfirst 17 weeks of this year.
Geeny Anne Austria, a nurse at the DOH-CAR’s regional epidemiology and surveillance unit, said there were 903 dengue cases regionwide this year, as compared with the 484 cases in the same period in 2017.
Three deaths were recorded due to dengue – two children in Baguio City and one more in La Trinidad, Benguet, Austria said.
Last year, there was only one fatal case of dengue.
The DOH-CAR said that out of the total number of dengue cases recorded in the region this year, 266 (29.5%) came from Kalinga; 195 (21.6%) from Benguet; 104 (11.5%) from Baguio City; 76 (8.4%) from Apayao; 67 (7.4%) from Abra; 24 (2.7%) each from Ifugao and Mountain Province; and 147 cases (16.7%) from non-CAR provinces.

Sickly senior citizens to get cash aid from Pampanga LGU

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga — Bedridden and sickly elderly citizens of four districts of this province are the qualified recipients of the ongoing distribution of food and financial assistance of the provincial government.
Governor Lilia G. Pineda of Pampanga led the cash distribution to each senior citizen amounting to P1,000, which came with two packs of milk and other food items.
There 32 recipients from Lubao; 24 from Sta. Rita; 46 from Sasmuan; and 25 from Guagua.
“The distribution is part of our regular program for senior citizens which was started last week,” the governor said.
Records of the Provincial Social Welfare Division Office showed there are a total of 792 senior citizens who will benefit from the said activity.
PSWD Officer Elizabeth G. Estiller-Baybayan said the distribution of assistance is stipulated in Ordinance No. 647 or An Ordinance Enacting the Senior Citizens Code of the province.
She added that beneficiaries qualified for the benefits include 28 more from Mabalacat City; 62 from Magalang; 18 each from Floridablanca and Porac; 77 from Arayat; 49 from Bacolor; 30 from San Fernando; 97 from Mexico; 13 each from Sta. Ana and Apalit; 73 from Candaba; 43 from Macabebe; 29 from Masantol; 20 from Minalin; 27 from San Luis; 32 from San Simon; and 36 from Sto. Tomas. -- Franco Regala

Ifugao mayor stops permits to peddlers

TINOC, Ifugao -- Mayor Marcelo Catalino temporarily suspended issuance of mayor’s permits to mobile peddlers in this remote town after receiving complaints from the buying public.
“Complaints have been received that there were fake, substandard, and expired merchandise being sold by the ambulant vendors. This is to protect people in the town from unscrupulous individuals,” Catalino said.
The mayor added that some ambulant vendors do not seek mayor’s permit before selling merchandises in the municipality.
The Revised Municipal Revenue Code requires all individuals to secure the permit before engaging in any trade. Tinoc is a vegetable producing town located near the boundary of Ifugao and Benguet. -- Marcelo B. Lihgawon

 Kalinga gets P114M projects from DILG

CITY OF TABUK, Kalinga - - The Bureau of Treasury Regional Office No. 1 based in the City of San Fernando, La Union downloaded P114 million worth of projects to the province and three municipalities.
Notice of authority to debit account were issued through Land Bank of the Philippines to the accounts of the respective recipients.
Said cash requirements sourced from the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Local Government Support Fund-Conditional Matching Grant to Provinces and assistance to municipaliites were downloaded to fund the implementation of priority programs and projects.
The amount of P95,186,623.00 was downloaded to Kalinga province for the partial concreting of about four kilometers of the Dalnacan-Mangali provicial road; P9.4 million to Rizal for municipal and barangay road improvement; P4.9M for Tinglayan for the construction of their evacuation center; and P4.8M for Lubuagan for the construction of the Managol footbridge and improvement of water systems of Upper Uma and Mabongtot.
Provincial DILG Director  Mayer Max Adong  said the  implementation  of these projects will start this month. -- Peter A. Balocnit

 Espino awards P4.5-M kits to fisherfolk

LINGAYEN, Pangasinan — The provincial government of Pangasinan recently awarded gill nets and fish processing kits amounting to P4.5 million to 73 fisherfolk associations in 12 localities of the province.
Gov. Amado Espino III led the distribution of the fishing equipment to the beneficiaries from the towns of Agno, Anda, Bani, Infanta, Dasol, Sual, Binmaley, Lingayen, Labrador, San Fabian, Rosales and Alaminos City at a ceremony held at the Narciso Ramos Sports and Civic Center gymnasium.
Espino told the beneficiaries to take care of their livelihood and encouraged them to exert more effort in engaging in other income-generating activities in order to uplift their income and establish other opportunities to ensure better future for their family and for the fishing industry.
The governor also thanked the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) led by Regional Director Nestor Domenden for the support it has been extending even during the previous administration when the project was launched two years ago. -- Liezle Basa Iñigo

Baguio runner qualifies for Boston Marathon

BAGUIO CITY -- The city’s small but terrible “marathon man” has done it again.
Marcelo Bautista proudly brought home a medal from the 42-km Honolulu, Hawaii Marathon held Dec. 9, 2017 where hundreds of elite runners from around the world participated.  The feat qualifies him to join the famous Boston Marathon in the United States this October.
He was also a medalist at the prestigious Waikiki Marathon and Xterra World Championships also in Hawaii.
Bautista was  recognized for his athletic triumphs  by local officials led by Mayor Mauricio Domogan in Monday’s flag-raising rites at City hall.
A resident of Mirador Hill barangay, the 37-year-old marathoner  said he has been running for almost 20 years now and has amassed around 180 medals and 20 trophies  from local, regional, national and international competitions  in his athletic career.
                A family man, Bautista added that he was formerly a janitor at the Baguio General and Medical Center for several years and is now a full-time athlete.  He is thankful for the support given him by private benefactors and the city government.
                He will also be returning to Hawaii in November to join this year’s edition of the Honolulu Marathon where he hopes to do even better.
 Domogan said that Bautista’s numerous achievements has not only brought honor to himself and his family but to the city as well.- Gaby Keith           

Mayor seeks SM help on plastic

BAGUIO CITY -- In line with the local government’s aggressive no plastic campaign, Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan asked SM Supermalls for assistance to ensure biodegradable plastic is safe for the environment.
Domogan said SM is one of the biggest corporations in the Philippines and has the latest technology on biodegradable plastic since it is being used in SM’s department stores all over the country.
“Help us to ensure that your so called biodegradable plastic is really not environmentally hazardous.” Domogan said.
The city’s anti-plastic ordinance will start on May 1 as part of the local government’s efforts to reduce plastic waste that are extremely harmful to the environment.
The local government of Baguio has given a one-year grace period for business establishments to use biodegradable packaging.
Some establishments have since requested to be exempted from the ordinance claiming that they use biodegradable plastic.
But Domogan said business establishments must prove to the local government that plastics they use are actually biodegradable through studies to be exempted.
In an effort to contribute to the city’s no plastic campaign, authorities cited alternatives to using disposable plastic bags, packaging and products.
Bags made of eco-friendly or baskets made from recycled materials are great alternatives to disposable plastic bags when shopping or going to the market.  --- Iris Lou S. Ginez

Mankayan implements segregation ordinance

MANKAYAN, Benguet -- Mayor MeternoLuspian has implemented a strict “No segregation, no collection” policy in this mining town.
The segregation ordinance was recently approved by Mankayan’s municipal council covering segregation, collection, recycling, disposal and treatment of waste.
The ordinance applies to all residential, industrial and commercial areas.
Violators of the ordinance will be fined depending on gravity of the offense P500, P1,000 and P2,500 and imprisonment of one month to six months at discretion of the court for the first, second, third and fourth offense respectively.

Ilocos Norte to preserve freshwater fishes, shells

LAOAG CITY -- The Ilocos Norte government, in collaboration with other local and national government agencies, has crafted a long-term plan to preserve the exotic freshwater fishes and shells in the province’s inland bodies of water.
Arthur Valente, the Provincial Fishery Coordinator under the Office of the Provincial Agriculture (OPAG), said that part of the long-term plan is the proposed establishment of brass parks and cages for breeding and seeding of various freshwater fishes, including shells in 21 towns and two cities of the province.
“As part of our resiliency program, we need to culture our indigenous fish species so that they will not go extinct,” said Valente , citing native ar-aru (climbong perch), gurami (gourami), dalag (mudfish), paltat (catfish) and mosquito fish among others, as already rare compared in the old days when they are always present on the Ilokano table.
Valente said that since 2016, pilot farms for the culture of carp, tilapia, and pangasius have been set up in the small water impounding projects located in Barangays Pimentel, Baoa, Dariwdiw, Nagbacalan and Magnuang, in support of the Department of Agriculture program dubbed as, “Balik Sigla sa Ilog at Lawa” (Basil), where the country’s major river basins and lakes should be seeded with fingerlings of indigenous and non-invasive fish species. -- PNA 

La Trinidad SB member wants liquor law amended

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet -- A councilor of this capital town plans to introduce some amendments to the existing ordinance “Regulating the establishment, operation, and maintenance of bars, restaurants, and other similar places of entertainment serving alcoholic beverages”.
In an interview, La Trinidad Councilor Roderick Awingan, chairman of the municipal council committee on tourism, peace, and order, said several provisions of the local ordinance should be reviewed for smoother implementation.
Awingan said provisions and issues that need clarification and review are classification of establishments, definition of terms related to serving and dispensing alcoholic beverages, and the structural requirements, especially on the maximum allowable noise by entertainment bars.
Under the existing ordinance, classification of bars and other establishment is based on the report of sanitary inspections.
Awingan said he intends to introduce a “merit system” for those establishments that strictly follow the measure and a “downgrade system” for those violating the ordinance.
On the serving and dispensing of alcoholic beverages, Awingan would like to be clarified exactly what the allowable time to serve and dispense alcoholic beverages based on the classification of a certain establishment and business operation.
On structural requirements, especially on maximum allowable noise by entertainment bars, he said, “There must be a device to measure the noise emitted by entertainment establishments for the smooth implementation of the ordinance.”
Under the existing ordinance, the maximum allowable noise within the establishment is 75 decibels, while outside the establishment two meters away from the main door is 50 decibels.
Awingan added that the local fire department would be included in the created task force that would evaluate and enforce the ordinance.
Awingan said his proposed changes to the ordinance, when approved, would incorporate implementing rules and regulations. -- Primo Agatep/ PNA

 295 new cops to undergo internal security training

CAMP ADDURU, Tuguegarao City – Around 295 new police officers of Police Regional Office 2 have started their Basic Internal Security Operations (BISOC) Course recently that will be applied to internal security operations.
The 60-day course training will provide basic mindset and instinct, indoctrination, discipline and character, individual and unit skills and knowledge will be applied to Internal Security Operations (ISO).
It also lays down the concept of small unit operations’ Standard Operational Procedures and the Tactics, Techniques and Procedures (TTPs) for operations especially in the areas of counter-insurgency.
Senior Supt Petronelli M. Baldebrin, Deputy Regional Director for Administration represented PRO2 Chief Supt. Jose Mario Espino who led the opening of the said course held at the PRO2 Grounds.
He urged police officers to take the training seriously and give their best in order to enhance their individual skills. “You are only strong as you allow yourselves to be. Never get discouraged, never give-up because consistency and dedication are the keys to success,” he emphasized.
The BISOC trainees will also undergo a 10-day Field Training Exercises at 5th ID, PA, Camp Melchor F. Dela Cruz, Brgy. Upi, Gamu, Isabela. -- Liezle Basa Iñigo

Baguio Convention Center rehab on

BAGUIO CITY – The ongoing rehabilitation of the Baguio Convention Center will be completed by February 2019. Some P180 million was allotted by the Dept. of Public Works and Highways for repair of the historic building which was the venue of international events like chess matches.
Bleachers and carpet of the convention hall have already been removed.
Convention Center officer-in-charge Jose Maria Rivera said seating capacity and installation of sound system are included in the plan.
The design was made by the City Buildings and Architecture office, with collaboration of the private sector and the designers and urban planners from the academe.
The Baguio Convention Center is expected to operate February next year. -- Abigail Glindo

500 Ilocos Norte farmers get agricultural patents

BANGUI, Ilocos Norte -- The government recently distributed about 500 agricultural patents to Ilocos Norte farmers.
Brenda Tamayo of Bangui, Ilocos Norte said she is thankful that she is now holding a proof of ownership of land her family has been tilling for a long time.’
“I am so happy that finally, I have secured my land title. This is an answered prayer,” said Tamayo, among the 500 new land owners who received agricultural patents under Republic Act 6940.
Victor Dabalos, Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer of the Ilocos Norte, said the Handog Titulo Program aims to lessen boundary conflicts and confirms ownership of land occupants.
Tuesday’s distribution of agricultural patents was led by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), in collaboration with the Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte, Land Registration Authority, Department of Agrarian Reform and the Regional Trial Courts.
The certificates of original land title were handed to farmer beneficiaries by  DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu during the ceremonial launching of Tayo ang Kalikasan movement at the Plaza del Norte Hotel and Convention Center in Barangay Balacad this city.
In addition, the DENR also released five special patents under Section 4 of Republic Act 10023, covering the Bangui National High School, Lanao National High School, Camp Valentin S. Juan in Laoag City, and the local stations of the Philippine National Police and Bureau of Fire in Dumalneg, Ilocos Norte.
The land titling program, locally known as “Titulo a Natalged: Sagut ni Ilokano”, was launched in 2011 with the aim to resolve issues of land ownership in the province.
Through the REGALA (Revenue Generation and Land Administration Reforms) project and free land titling program, local government units in Ilocos Norte now have a systematic land information and efficient transactions on real properties. -- PNA

NIA completes 229 irrigation facilities in Cordillera Region

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – The National Irrigation Administration-Cordillera reported the completion 229 irrigation projects providing water to farmlands in the region.
NIA Cordillera acting regional director Benito Espique Jr., in his report said as of March 15, 2018 a total of 1,197 hectares were new irrigation areas while 521 hectares of existing irrigation systems were restored bringing to 1,115 hectares of new functional irrigations in the region with a total cost of P823,484 million.
He said Benguet and Kalinga provinces completed the most number of irrigation projects with 80 and 73, respectively, followed by Mt. Province with 35, Ifugao 19, Abra 16 and Apayao 6.
The completed irrigation projects include a component of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program and rehabilitation projects under the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council.
Espique said that with increased NIA-CAR budget this year, a total of 2,823 hectares of farmland will irrigate and restore and rehabilitate 407 hectares of existing irrigation facilities.
He said Kalinga province has 44,190 hectares of potential irrigable area; Benguet, 25,746 hectares; Mt. Province, 30,060 hectares; Ifugao, 25,830 hectares; Abra, 25,670 hectares; and Apayao, 33,910 hectares.
The agency had strengthened its partnership with the farmers groups and various irrigators associations in the region through training and assistance for irrigations systems aimed at increasing production. -- PIA

Use of deceiving lights in Baguio market prohibited

BAGUIO CITY – The city council approved on first reading a proposed ordinance amending Ordinance No. 71, series of 2009 which penalizes the use of deceiving lights that mask the freshness of meats, fishes, vegetables, fruits and other similar products being sold in the city public market by introducing new provisions to ensure the health and safety of consumers purchasing products in the city.
The ordinance authored by Vice Mayor Edison R. Bilog stated that it shall be a policy of the local government to prohibit owners, vendors, or sellers in the public and satellite markets to use lighting that mask the freshness of products such as incandescent and colored light bulbs and only standard lighting such as fluorescent or Light Emitting Diode (LED) light bulbs shall be allowed to be used in the said public places.
The ordinance added that it shall also be a policy of the local government to prohibit the use of colored reflectors and cardboards above the light bulbs, banana leaves as matting for fishes, and other materials that may enhance the color of the products being sold and owners, vendors and sellers in the public and satellite markets shall ensure the cleanliness of their stalls and display counters and to use trays or crates with filtering vents for draining excess water from their products.
                Under the proposal, owners or operators of stalls, stores and other establishments selling meat and other fresh produce found violating the provisions of the measure shall be penalized with a fine of P2000 for the first offense, a fine of P3,500 for the second offense and a fine of P5,000 and cancellation of permit to operate for the third and final offense.
                The ordinance tasked the City Market Division of the City Treasury Office and the City Veterinary Office were tasked to ensure and regularly monitor the compliance of vendors in the public and satellite market to the pertinent provisions of the local legislative measure.
                Barangay officials where satellite markets are located must also help in monitoring compliance of vendors in their public facilities to the provisions of the ordinance.
The ordinance stipulated the city market division of the City Treasury Office and the City Veterinary Office shall be in charge of preparing the implementing rules and regulations for the strict implementation of the measure if necessary but subject to the approval of the City Mayor and the City Council.
                Moreover, the City Public Information Office under the City Mayor’s Office and the Information Officer of the City Council shall facilitate dissemination of the ordinance for residents and visitors.
 Ordinance No. 71, series of 2009 was enacted to penalize the use of deceiving lights that mask the freshness of meats, fishes, vegetables, fruits and other similar products in the city public market to ensure the health and safety of consumers purchasing products from the public facilities.
 Despite the existence of the measure, it was observed that there are still a number of vendors using light bulbs that mask the freshness of products being sold in the public and satellite markets. -- Dexter A. See


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