Mt. Province NPA reb yields to authorities

>> Sunday, November 27, 2022

By Paula Antolin

PARACELIS, Mountain Province -- A member of the New People’s Army surrendered to the military and police here last week.
    Arnold Quelang Baquiran, alias Cobra, a 42-year-old resident of Sitio Pagga in Barangay Bantay here surrendered to the 69th Infantry Battalion under the Joint Task Force Kaugnay and their police counterpart at Camp Henry T. Acmor in Barangay Butigue of the same municipality, Northern Luzon Command commander Lt. Gen. Ernesto C. Torres Jr. said.
    Baquiran was a former commander of the NPA in the Barrio, Milisyang Bayan, San Mariano, Isabela, Komiteng Probinysang Isabela, according to Torres.
    He also surrendered his firearm, one Springfield cal. 30 Garand rifle with five rounds 30 cal. ammo and nine rounds 40mm ammo for M203 grenade launcher.
    Torres welcomed Baquiran and attributed his surrender to the relentless community support programs of the troops in the area and Baquiran’s genuine intent for peace and reformation.
    Torres urged NPA guerillas and their supporters to heed the call for peace and development of the government and come back to the folds of the law and contribute as productive citizens of the Philippines.
 

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Sagada villages urged to manage own waste


By Gina Dizon

Materials Recovery facility (MRF) at Makamkamlis, Poblacion Sagada 

SAGADA, Mountain Province -- With the suspension of the collection of waste delivered at  the materials recovery facility (MRF) at  sitio Makamkamlis,  the 19 barangays here  in this tourist town are urged to  manage their own garbage, segregate and manage household waste and establish  compost pits.
    This including  waste generated at the public market shall be brought home by each corresponding vendor for proper disposition as  stated  by Municipal Mayor  Felicito Dula in  Executive Order 65-2022.
    The  Order  comes with the Vestry of the Church of St Mary the Virgin (CSMV) having informed  the local  government  to relocate the MRF on or before December  31,2022 due to the  MRF site not operated as it is intended to be.
    ‘This is a big challenge for the municipality in addressing waste management issues’, Dula said in an interview.
    The Sagada LGU entered into a memorandum of agreement  in 2010 with the CSMV  for the establishment of an MRF  to “develop a solid waste management program for the entire municipality of Sagada  that include information education, local policy formulation and enforcement, engineering infrastructure and livelihood development from waste.”
    In said agreement, CSMV provided for  a 200 square meter lot in sitio Makamkamlis within the Church lot  for the operation of said MRF site.
    Through the years waste generated from households within the Poblacion area has  been dumped at the MRF site. with piles of unrecycled garbage both degradable and non degradable.
    In said MRF site, residual waste come from the Poblacion area while  non degradable  plastic and glass bottles from nearly 19 barangays of the town. 
    For some time too the MRF became a  burning  site to the dismay and irritation of the neighbouring households due the stench of burning garbage. 
    And for quite some time too, the MRF was not operating as it was intended to be.
     Waste including  plastic, styrofoam, pampers, paper, worn out shoes and clothes and  even dog poo and sand get dumped at the MRF site.
    Waste that reach the MRF are mostly unsegregated, MRF staff said to their dismay why these were not sorted before it reached the MRF site.
    In said agreement with CSMV, the LGU  has in its responsibilities to monitoring that waste is segregated and that only clean non biodegradable waste are brought to the MRF.
    One of the MRF staff said the surroundings of the MRF have already been dug up to bury biodegradable and residual waste brought to the site.
    And  for  quite a short period though, the MRF recycled  glasses  into powder.
    Unfortunately, the glass crusher broke down and not repaired resulting to piles of bottles placed in sacks.
    Glass bottles were  then crushed into powder though not aggressively marketed as material to mix with cement for the construction of  pavements or walls.
    Plastic bottles are also accumulated where a resident from time to time take these.. 
    A plastic recycling equipment is not being used by  the MRF staff due to the hazardous  odor being emitted.
    This leaves a shredder that makes shredded waste into organic fertilizer.
    As to the accumulated  residual waste need to be hauled out.
    ‘We are scouting for a site to bring the waste’,  Mayor Dula said in an interview.
    Sagada locals in cooperation with the  LGU then in the late ‘80s on to the early ‘90s operated  a makeshift MRF site with the active involvement of a local  organization with  some retired teachers who collected waste and segregated,, washed and cleaned these before these were brought to the MRF site.
    It was also during these years in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s when Sagada earned a national fame award for being a clean and green town.
    As tourism again comes into operation, so with waste management becoming more of a demand  to crucially attend to primarily by the locals and the LGU to provide the necessary monitoring and implementation of Republic Act 9003.
    RA 9003 mandates the LGUs to address ecological solid waste management programs,  necessary institutional mechanisms and incentives, declaring certain acts prohibited and providing penalties thereof.  

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P1.3-M marijuana plants discovered burned in Benguet

CAMP DANGWA, La Trinidad, Benguet – A total of P1,328,000 worth of marijuana was uprooted and burned by police plantations in three Benguet towns last week while a man was nabbed in Abra for selling shabu.
    Some P520,000 worth of marijuana was uprooted by police Kibungan and Kapangan on Nov. 17.
Reports to Cordillera police director Brig. Gen. Mafelino A. Bazar said cops discovered a total of 2,600 marijuana plants in two plantations in Sitio Wallayan, Barangay Tacadang, Kibungan and Sitio Tiko, Barangay Gadangan, Kapangan.
    An investigation is on to identify cultivators of the marijuana plants.
    Operations were conducted by Kibungan and Kapangan police including Provincial Drug Enforcement Unit.
    In Bakun town, elements of 1st Benguet Provincial Mobile Force Company, Bakun police and Special Action Force discovered around 4,040 fully-grown marijuana worth P808,000 in Sitio Gusadan and Sitio Tamadan, Barangay Kayapa.  
    In Bangued, Abra, a certain Arjay S Millare, 32, was arrested by elements of Provincial Drug Enforcement Unit and Bangued police after he sold a gram of suspected “shabu” worth P6,800.
    Inventory of seized item was witnessed by barangay kagawad Renante Burton of Calaba, Bangued, and Edgar Tanura of DZPA Radio Station.
 

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Baguio outstanding barangays honored

By Gaby B. Keith

BAGUIO CITY -- The Summer Capital's best performing barangay (villages) for 2021 were honored Nov. 22 by the city government.
    For the Best in Lupong Tagapamayapa incentive award, Barangay Palma-Urbano garnered the top award, followed by AZCKO and Burnham-Legarda barangay as first and second-runners-up, respectively.
    Barangay Bakakeng Central topped the Peace and Order category, followed by Burnham Legarda and MRR Queen of Peace, second and third placers, respectively.
    Middle Quezon Hill pocketed the Best in Nutrition award, with Atok Trail second and Lourdes Proper third.
    Aurora Hill Proper was No. 1 in the Best in Health category with Atok Trail No. 2 and Middle Quirino Hill No. 3.
    For the Best in Sanitation category, Middle Quezon Hill emerged as champion, Barangay DPS second and Malcolm Square third.
    Middle Quezon was the top Persons with Disability-friendly barangay, with Kias ranked second and Bakakeng Norte third.
    South Sanitary Camp ruled the Womens' Organization category with Sto. Tomas Proper in second spot and Holyghost Proper in third.
    Irisan was the top senior citizens organization, with Mines View second and Outlook Drive third.
Child-friendly villages were Middle Quezon Hill, Upper Rock Quarry and Lourdes Extension as champion, first and second placers, respectively.
    Hillside bagged the Environmental (Clean and Green) award, with Palma-Urbano second.
    The ten sectoral champions were given P40,000 each while P20,000 was given to the first runners-up and P15,000 to the second runners-up.

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Cordi PNP women’s desk chief awarded for heading one of top nat’l WCPDs

CAMP DANGWA, La Trinidad, Benguet -- The chief of Cordillera police’s PNP Women and Children Protection Desk Maj. Marcy Grace U. Marron was awarded “plaque of recognition” for being adjudged one of Outstanding Philippine National Police WCPDs in the country during 12th PNP Biennial Summit of the Women in Community Policing in Tagaytay City on Nov. 18.
    The 3-day summit with themed: "Kababaihan, Kaagapay sa Pagharap sa mga Pagsubok Tungo sa Kapayapaan at Kaunlaran," was held in Summit Ridge Hotel in Tagaytay City from Nov. 16-18.
    The summit was participated by female police officers from the PNP Directorial Staff, National Support Units, and other Police Regional Offices.
    PNO chief Gen. Rodolfo Azurin Jr. graced the event as guest of honor and speaker.
    The summit was joint project of the Soroptimist International of the Americas - Philippines Region and PNP which recognizes efforts of the police particularly women who exerted efforts to protect civilians' rights amid the Covid-19 pandemic at the risk of their health.
 

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Police looking for 31 top druggies hiding in Baguio

BAGUIO CITY -- Police are now hunting 31 suspected regional and city high value drug personalities who allegedly sought refuge in city barangays here.
    City police director Col. Francisco Bulwayansaid five of 10 regional high value drug personalities are doing  illegal drug trade in the city.
    Seven of the drug personalities listed under the watchlist of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency were reportedly present in some drug-affected city barangays aside from six city high value targets and some street level drug personalities.
The BCPO official said anti-drug operations were on against the regional, city and street level drug personalities as part of the supply and demand reduction campaign of the city police force.
    According to him, of the city’s 128 barangays, only 11 were undergoing drug clearing because of drug personalities operating in these areas.
    The police official said of 11 drug-affected barangays, seven had already been submitted for drug clearing while 4 barangays are still subject to validation.
    However, two barangays failed said validation because of presence of drug personalities in these communities.
    During start of the aggressive anti-drug operations in 2016, there were some 113 drug affected barangays in the city while there were four barangays that were drug-unaffected at the start of the campaign.
    Moreover, there were 2,554 drug surrenderees who opted to go back to the fold of the law at that time.
    Bulwayan said that of the said number of drug surrenderees, 718 underwent the required 6-month community-based rehabilitation program, 253 are now undergoing the same program while 64 dropped out due to alleged relapse, among other reasons.
    He said police and anti-narcotics agents were monitoring activities of drug surrenderees who either went out of the city or were still in their barangays to prevent them from going back to their illegal drug trade.
    The BCPO and the PDEA are exchanging information on activities of drug personalities in the city to help in anti-drug operations that will help curb illegal drugs trade and achieve objective of the government for a drug-free city and country. -- Dexter A. See

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Scholarship for Vizcaya medical studes pushed


BAYOMBONG, Nueva Vizcaya --To help poor but deserving students to take up expensive medical courses, a member of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan here has proposed a localized version of the Republic Act 11509, also known as "Doktor Para sa Bayan Act."
    Board Member Elma Pinao-an Lejao said this will address the demand for medical doctors in the province by extending financial help to deserving students in the pursuit of their education and training in health and medicine.
    She said the proposed ordinance establishing the "Medical Scholarship and Return Service Program for Deserving Students" shall also be known as the "Nueva Vizcaya Doktor Para sa Mamamayan Ordinance."
    Lejao noted that during the past six years of being a member of SP and during the deliberation of the local expenditure program, "it has been a perennial manifestation that there are no takers or no one was applying for some physician position in the local government-managed hospitals."
    "Thus, we need to provide scholarships to medical students who will eventually render services in the hospitals managed by the provincial local government unit of Nueva Vizcaya," Lejao said.
    "Hence, the proposed ordinance will help address this problem of our provincial government-managed hospitals. With this ordinance, we can produce medical doctors so that they can fill the vacant medical positions in our hospitals."
    Lejao also noted that the proposed Nueva Vizcaya Doktor Para sa Mamamayan Ordinance will ensure the funding for the establishment of the Medical Scholarship and Return Service Program for Deserving Students.
    Lejao said the ordinance was already passed on first reading during the 18th regular session of the Provincial Board.
 

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Baguio's 2 of 3 village markets work finished

By Aileen P. Refuerzo

BAGUIO CITY -- The city government completed the first two of four satellite market projects built in four barangays.
    Mayor Benjamin Magalong last Nov. 23 led  inauguration of the newly constructed satellite markets at Bayan Park Village and Middle Quezon Hill with Councilor Jose Molintas, City Building Official Arch. Johnny Degay and the barangay officials headed by punong barangays Melvin Cortez of Bayan Park Village and Editha Ibarra of Middle Quezon Hill.
    The mayor said two similar projects are currently being built particularly in Dominican and San Vicente barangays.
    The four structures cost P13 million funded by the city under the Annual Investment Plan.
    The mayor said construction of satellite markets in districts was among the projects prioritized by the city with the aim of bringing basic necessities closer to the communities.
    This will also help decongest the central business district as residents no longer need to go to the city public market to buy their needs.
    Satellite markets also can also buoy economic activity by encouraging micro-business ventures.
    The city has a pending plan to build a modern satellite market at Gibraltar envisioned to serve as a template for similar projects in strategic areas in the city.
    CBAO planning division head engineer Samuel Salvador said they hope that the multi-million project which was presented to the city council in 2021 could take off once issues involving the land are resolved.
 

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Tabuk approves anti-topless law

TABUK CITY, Kalinga -- A proposed ordinance prohibiting people from going out topless or naked from the waist up was approved by the Sangguniang Panlungsod on second reading last week.
    Sponsored by Councilor Kristian Wandag, the proposed law aims to deter individuals, especially men, from removing their shirts in public.
    "It is just fitting and proper for people of all ages to give courtesy and respect as well as observe proper decorum wherever they may be," Wandag said.
    The proposed ordinance makes exemptions for participants of activities, shows, and events authorized by the city government or other local government agencies or offices in the city, emergencies, swimming in public swimming pools, rivers and other swimming areas, and playing sports.
    Indigenous Peoples wearing ethnic clothes are also exempted, Wandag said.
    During the deliberation, SP members expanded exemptions to include farmers when working in the fields.
    Wandag said he was considering adding a provision of sharing fifty percent of the collected fines with the village council for implementing the measure.
    The ordinance proposes reprimanding violators on first offense and imposing fines of up to P1,000 and eight hours of community service for repeat offenses. – Dexter See
 

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Baguio checks traffic schemes after weekend road ‘carmaggedon’

By Liza Agoot

BAGUIO CITY – The city’s traffic management working group will reassess its traffic plan and propose measures to minimize bottlenecks.
    This came as motorists were trapped in a more than one-and-a-half-hour standstill on the city's roads last weekend which motorists dubbed “carmageddon.”
    “We will review it, we will talk with Traffic Management Working Group to introduce innovations and at the same time introduce new measures para maiwasan natin yung nangyari last weekend (to avoid a repeat of the incident last weekend)," Mayor Benjamin Magalong said in an interview on Tuesday.
He said several local activities, aside from national events, such as the annual Philippine Mine Safety Environment Association gathering, scheduled over the weekend, resulted in more travelers plying the city roads.
This is aside from tourists from Metro Manila and neighboring areas who flock for a weekend getaway.
Magalong also noted that the city’s small roads are something that is not easy to solve, considering the small land area.
“What is important is we need to make the cars moving,” he said.
He, however, said such a scenario is not a daily thing, but a seasonal occurrence. -- PNA

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Baguio villages with high Covid cases, deaths bared

By Gaby B. Keith

BAGUIO CITY – Barangay Irisan had the highest overall number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 as of Nov. 19, this year out of this city’s 128 barangays with 3,243 followed by Camp 7 and Loakan Proper barangays with 2,244 and 1973 cases, respectively, according to the City Health Services Office.
    This was revealed by CHSO deputy head Dr. Celia Flor Brillantes in the management committee meeting of local officials, Nov. 22, led by Mayor Benjamin Magalong at City Hall.
    She said that Irisan also had highest number of overall deaths due to Covid during the period with 76 followed by Bakakeng Central and Loakan Proper barangays with 34 and 33 deaths, respectively.
    Meanwhile, the city remains at low risk (level 1) Covid-19 status, as of Nov. 22, 2022, with a decrease in its positivity rate from 24.9 to 21.53 percent and a massive drop in its two-week growth rate from 41 percent to (-) 7 percent.
    Also seeing a decline during the period are the city’s average daily attack rate from 6/100,000 to 5.6/100,000 and weekly infection growth rate from 1.14 to 0.96, Brillantes said.
    During the two-week span, she said the city has increased its average daily RTPCR testing from 115 to 121 conducted while its health care utilization rate dipped from 30.87 to 30.08 (114/379) and average weekly isolation facility bed occupancy decreased from 5.88 to 5.00 percent.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Baguio market stalls demolished in clean-up drive


By Aileen P. Refuerzo

BAGUIO CITY -- The Market Division of the City Treasury Office under City Treasurer Alex Cabarrubias has demolished 32 stalls at the bodega section and spruced up the chichiria section of the city public market as the city intensified the clean-up of the city’s trading center.
    This is in line with Mayor Benjamin Magalong’s clean and orderly Baguio program recently revitalized to ensure prompt action on concerns on improper garbage disposal, untidy surroundings, clogged canals and the like.
City Market Superintendent Ceasar Emilio said they decided to remove the temporary stalls used as bodega at block IV relocation area because of their filthy condition.
    The chichiria section located at the back portion of the hangsr building and its surroundings overgrown with weeds and trees had to also be tidied up.  Other areas near the chichiria structure located will also be cleaned.
    Emilio said they have also started putting to rights other parts like the fish section where eyesores were cleaned up like the styro cooler deposit areas and the individual stalls.
    Flushing operations continue to be conducted to regularly remove the dirt, mud and leftover waste.
    Emilio said a follow-up inspection showed some improvements.  He said the clean-up campaign will continue with the cooperation of the stallholders.

 


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Throngs of well-wishers join Adivay grand canao


LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – The month-long festivity to commemorate the 122nd Benguet foundation anniversary through the Adivay Festival 2022 was highlighted by a Grand CaƱao here at Wangal grounds Nov. 23 attended by delegates from 13 municipalities, stakeholders and the public.
    Throngs of people from, all walks of life joined the Grand Canao including suspended Bureau of Corrections chief Gen. Gerald Bantag who joined in playing of gongs.
    Due to influx of well-wishers, heavy traffic jams in this summer capital reached all the way to Baguio, 6 km from here.
    Vice Gov. Ericson Felipe earlier said the Adivay was an important celebration of culture in Benguet missed the past two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
    He urged the people to enjoy the celebration through different activities and programs.  
    Gov. Melchor Diclas earlier led the formal opening of the foundation anniversary celebration with the traditional beating of the gongs with the Capitol Cultural Group.
    Diclas said the Adivay was a celebration of remembering past leaders of the province and their contributions.
    It is also a thanksgiving celebration for the achievements of Benguet the past years, he said, urging leaders and the people of Benguet to work harder for development and progress of the province.
    Rep. Eric Go Yap presented the accomplishments and ongoing projects and programs being implemented by his office in Benguet municipalities.
    These include road improvement projects in far areas, programs on social services in partnership with other government offices and the funding for indigent patients at Benguet General Hospital.
    Yap said he is working with national line agencies and offices to bring programs and projects, develop the province and improve lives of the people.
    Board Member Juan Nazarro Jr. thanked his fellow provincial officials for allowing and funding the grand celebration of this year’s foundation celebration and the Adivay which showcased the unity and cooperation of the people of Benguet.
    The Benguet State University Highland Cultural Dance Troupe-Kontad earlier showcased a skit during their cultural performance while Miller Keith Antonio who won second place in the Benguet Acoustic Competition provided intermission.
    The candidates of the Mr. and Ms. Benguet 2022 were also presented during Adivay events.
    They were joined by their respective municipal mayors and other officials.

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Use of Baguio People’s Park to be regulated

 By Jordan Habbiling

BAGUIO CITY -- Councilor Isabelo Cosalan, Jr. has filed before the City Council a proposed ordinance regulating and governing the operation and maintenance of People’s Park, formerly known as People's Park.
    According to Cosalan, there is a need for the city government to put into place rules and regulations governing the operation and maintenance of the said facility “for the guidance and direction of the general public.” He said it had undergone a major rehabilitation to suit the needs of the general population for better comfort, convenience, and services and to reduce the obsolescence of the park in terms of its physical set-up and complexity.
    “The New People's Park is extolled as a world-class people-friendly multifunction events area that residents and visitors are to enjoy. It should be taken care of,” the councilor stated.
    Under the proposed ordinance, admission to the People's Park as a protected landscape shall remain free “through the harmonious interaction of man and land while providing opportunities for the public enjoyment.”
    However, all activities carried out in the park shall be subjected to the control, regulation, and licensing by the city government through the City Environment and Parks Management Office (CEPMO).
    The city government shall reserve the right to disallow any activity therein.
Maintenance fees for the use of the area shall be mandatory based on the Environment Code of the City of Baguio (Ordinance 18-2016). 
    Section 36 of the Environment Code states that admission in parks (excluding Burnham Park, Dominican Hill, and Botanical Garden) is free of charge, but the use of the grounds for photo shoots, concerts, and any other legal and moral functions shall be P1,000 for five hours of actual use or P2,000 per day (eight hours) with an additional charge of P100,00 for every hour of set-up time.
    The same section also provides that the CEPMO shall identify parks that may be charged minimal entrance fees for the beautification, upkeep, and maintenance of the space.  
    According to the proposal, activities allowed at People's Park are social programs, musical concerts, television shows and film productions, field demonstrations, sports tournaments, skill olympics/competitions, political rallies, religious, and other similar activities.
    Prohibited activities at People's Park include smoking, drinking liquor, bonfire or undue burning, sleep out, walking or displaying medium to big-sized dogs or similar pets, pasturing and letting loose pets and other domesticated animals, destroying flowers or plants, practice driving of two or four-wheel vehicles, roller skating, skateboarding, among others.
    The proposed ordinance has been approved by the Baguio City Council on first reading and referred to the city council’s Committee on Tourism, Special Events, Parks, and Playgrounds for review.
    People's Park, also known as People’s Park, was named after American Justice George Malcolm in his honor who had served the Supreme Court of the Philippines from 1917 to 1936. He authored the City Charter of Baguio in 1909. His bronze bust was installed at the park.
    According to Cosalan, People's Park has been a venue of important events such as cultural and theatrical performances and political, economic, and religious activities as it is located at the center of the city and is open to the public.
    Pursuant to Resolution 272-2011, the place has been resorted to its original condition as a plaza. Since then, it has been managed by the city government free from any commercial promotion and undertaking.
 
 

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House panel okays Baguio special high school for arts bills

By Gaby Keith

BAGUIO CITY -- The House committee on basic education and culture has approved a bill that seeks to create a special high school for the arts in the Summer Capital.
    Baguio Rep. Mark Go refiled House Bill (HB) 974 that seeks to establish the Baguio City High School for the Arts.
    The bill seeks to nurture the creative talents of young artists and support the city's long-standing heritage of folk arts and crafts. This bill was passed by the House of Representatives in the 18th Congress.
    The bill would support the city's commitment to uphold its creative and cultural traditions and provide sustainable livelihood to its local artisans.
    Baguio became the first Philippine city to be inducted into the Unesco Creative Cities Network in 2017, which recognizes cities with rich cultural heritage, and that recognize creativity as a major factor in their urban development.
    Once signed into law, the school will be administered and supervised by the Department of Education, in close coordination with the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP). The NCCA and CCP will provide policy direction and technical assistance to the school through the DepEd-Cordillera Administrative Regional Office and Baguio City's Schools Division Office.
    Go said the approval of HB 974 will be a significant milestone for Baguio, a city that is known for its strong cultural traditions and highly values its creative industries. He added that a formal academic institution focused on the arts would help ensure long-term sustainability in the creative sector in line with the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals.
    The City of Pines is home to a bustling creative tourism and artistic community and counts National Artist Benedict "Bencab" Cabrera and famed director Kidlat Tahimik as long-time residents.
    "The city has been recognized by the global initiative for its crafts and folk arts expressions which not only showcase indigenous talents, but also provide sustainable livelihood to many residents through the city's local trade and creative tourism economy," Go said.
    "Culture and the arts are essential to the holistic development of society. As such, it is important to inculcate in the youth the value of the arts, to give them an avenue for their creative pursuits, and to introduce them to real world opportunities in the creative sector."
 

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