Jueteng on despite PNP chief’s ‘one-strike’ rule

>> Monday, June 25, 2012

BAGUIO CITY -- Jueteng operations are still on in northern and Central Luzon even after Philippine National Police chief Director General NicanorBartolome ordered regional police directors to strictly implement the PNP’s “one-strike” and “no-take” policies on illegal gambling.

Bartolome was reaching to the apparent lackluster performance of some regional police offices in the drive against jueteng and other forms of illegal gambling.
Under the PNP’s twin policies, police officials found accepting money from known jueteng or gambling operators face dismissal from the service.
Police chiefs unable to stop illegal gambling in their respective jurisdictions will be relieved from their posts.
To date, jueteng is thriving in this resort city and Benguet towns La Trinidad, Mankayan, Buguias, Itogon, Tuba and Tublay, sources said.
Jueteng operations are still reportedly on in all Cordillera provinces.
But in Mountain Province, only the town of Bauko was reportedly affected with bet collectors coming from Mankayan and Buguias.
Sources also said jueteng was also flourishing in almost all towns in Regions 1 and 2.  
The PNP’s Oversight Committee on Illegal Gambling chaired by Deputy Director General Emelito Sarmiento earlier noted the “lackluster performance” by some regional police officers in carrying out the anti-illegal gambling drive.
Data from the PNP headquarters show that over the past five months, the success of the anti-illegal gambling drive nationwide had decreased by 25 percent, with the number of persons arrested for illegal gambling dropping by 28 percent compared to figures during the same period last year.

“The one-strike policy shall be vigorously observed with greater emphasis on command responsibility, while the no-take policy shall be the norm among all PNP personnel, consistent with prescribed ethical standards and anti-graft law,” Bartolome said in a memorandum circulated by the PNP Directorate for Operations.
A number of local police chiefs have reportedly been removed from their posts for failing to stop illegal gambling in their respective turfs.

This as Dangerous Drugs Board chairman Antonio Villar Jr. last week dared the PNP and the Department of the Interior and Local Governments to implement their anti-jueteng­ drive nationwide to show their sincerity in enforcing campaign.
Villar said the current anti-juetengefforts seems “only superficial with lowly police chiefs from small towns used as sacrificial lambs.” 


Hitman in Nueva Ecija mayor’s murder killed

CARRANGLAN, Nueva Ecija -- A retired policeman, tagged as the hit man in the killing of the town mayor here last Feb. 4, was killed when he shot it out with a police raiding team in the province early Thursday  morning, authorities said.
Chief Supt. Charles Calima Jr., Intelligence Group director of the Philippine National Police, said his 4men alleged handlers of the slain suspected hit man, Lorenzo Bote.
Calima identified the five as TeodoroIlagan and his wife Juanita, Leonardo Payabyab, Joel Diaz and PO3 TeodorickIlagan, assigned to the Regional Intelligence Division of the Central Luzon police.
Police confiscated a grenade, a .45-caliber pistol and .40-caliber Glock pistol during the raid in Barangay San Cristobal, Licab, also in the province..
Calima quoted witnesses as saying that Ilagan’s group was allegedly behind numerous unsolved killings in Central Luzon and Metro Manila, including the assassination of Carranglan Mayor Restituto Abad and the wounding of his driver-bodyguard, Army Pfc. SattyDuclayan, last Feb. 4.
In a follow-up operation, the raiding team swooped down on the house of Ilagan’s son in Cabanatuan City and seized a 9-mm Taurus and a .45-caliber pistol. 


NPA cadre gives up to police

By Mar T. Supnad

CERVANTES, Ilocos Sur– Another member of the underground communist movement surrendered to police here last week.

Senior Supt. Samuel B. Amoyen, Ilocos Sur police director, identified the surrenderee as Jordan Vasquez, 21, single of barangay Remedios here.

Amoyen said Vasquez gave himself up through the office of Mayor Benjamin Maggay.

 Chief Supt. Franklin Jesus Bucayu, police regional director for Region 1, said communist members and supporters recently surrendered in the province due to hardship in the underground movement. 

In 2009, two ranking members of the New People’s Army Ilocos-Cordillera Regional Committee, subjects of warrants of arrest by the local courts, surrendered in this province.

Bucayu encouraged other members and supporters of the New People’s Army to lay down their arms and return to mainstream society.


CAR workers get P8 hike in daily wage

BAGUIO CITY -- Minimum wage workers in the Cordillera Administrative Region are finally getting a much-desired pay hike with an additional P8 in their daily basic pay starting last week.

The National Wages Productivity Commission reported the latest pay hike brought the current minimum wage to P280 per day in Baguio City and the municipalities of La Trinidad, Tuba, Itogon and Sablan in Benguet.

 In other areas in the region, the floor wage level is P263 a day.

Henry John Jalbuena, chairman of the CAR Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board, said the wage board decided to grant the salary hike motupropio or without any petition from labor unions in the region.

Jalbuena said the wage board adopted a two-tiered wage system that seeks to correct the exclusion of millions of workers from the protection of minimum wage setting.

NWPC executive director CiriacoLagunzad III said this new wage system sets a floor wage, while addressing several unintended outcomes such as inflation, unemployment and informality.

“In particular, the new wage system consists of a fixed floor wage or entry level for new entrants and low-skilled workers and a flexible wage above the floor based on productivity and performance of industry,” he said.

Under the new system, Lagunzad said employers who value the contributions of their workers may voluntarily give them productivity and incentive-based pay, considering such factors like business performance, labor productivity, work behavior, and business competitiveness.

Wage boards in the National Capital Region, Cagayan Valley, Calabarzon, Bicol, Western Visayas, and Central Mindanao have also granted pay hikes for workers in their respective jurisdictions.


Pantranco workers get benefits worth millions

By Mar T. Supnad

STO. TOMAS, Pangasinan-   Tens of millions of pesos were received  by more than 2,000 retrenched employees of the defunct government-owned Pantranco Bus in a second wave of payment distributed in this town, in San Jose City, Nueva Ecija  and in Hermosa, Bataan, in what they called “ benefits resurrected from the dead.”

The distribution of payment was initiated by Romulo Alfonso, president of the Pantranco Retrenched Employees Association (PANREA) and Jun Pascua, president of the Pantranco Employees Association (PEA), legitimate employees’ organizations recognized by the government.
Alfonso and Pacua said each employee received a total of P53,000.
Earlier,  P28,000 was distributed to each employee  in San Jose City, followed by P25,000.
Aside from these, there had been earlier benefits awarded to GOCC employees.

“Actually, patay na itong benefits na ito dahil sa tagal ng nagsaraang company, pero inilaban natin sa kagustuhan nating magkaroon ng benepisyo ang mga libu-libong kawani na nawalan ng trabaho, at eto ngayon, nabuhay mula sa patay.” Alfonso and Pascua said.
The source of the fund, the PANREA and PEA presidents said, came from proceeds of the Pantranco bus franchise that was sold to a private buyer.
Only 489 franchises were initially sold to the Hernandez family and the remaining franchises will be again offered to interested buyers with the consent of the vendee, the two leaders said.
It was learned that there were 777 total franchises of Pantranco, a government-controlled corporation that was once the biggest bus company in the country.
Pantranco, however, went bankrupt after it was taken over by the government right after the downfall of then President Marcos.
Since the deal of selling the franchise was approved, Alfonso and Pascua, reportedly received numerous death threats, harassments and even extortion activities from what they called “renegade” employees who wanted to “sabotage” the distribution of benefits of the employees.
The “rebel employees” reportedly threatened Pascua and Alfonso with death and suits, then filed numerous unfounded cases before Department of Labor.
They reportedly offered the former two presidents of the bus company millions of pesos to be taken from the benefits of the employees.
 During the first hour of distribution of benefits June 22 in San Jose City, Alfonso said that the renegade employees tried to block it, which prompted him to seek the assistance of the police.
 When the police arrived, the renegade employees suddenly vanished, said Alfonso. “Gusto nilang pakialaman ang pera, di naman sila ang lehitimong lider ng mga kawani, na may mandate,” said Alfonso.
 Some of the employees claimed that they were hoodwinked into signing a petition that was later used by the renegades against Alfonso and his board of directors.        

“Attendance sheet lang iyong pinermahan namin four years ago, eto pala ginamit sa paggawang kaso laban kina Mr. Alfonso,” the complainant- employees added.


Big telecom firm faces trouble in tourist town

>> Sunday, June 24, 2012

By Gina Dizon

SAGADA, Mountain Province – One of the largest telecom companies of this country is facing trouble from residents and officials of this tourist town who want a slice from its earnings.
Following shutdown of  SMART  signal afternoon of  June 14,  SMART representatives came here faced  the  land owners  of the cell site  and barangay officials  who demanded an increase in rent among others.     

In  negotiations here at the municipal  hall, barangay officials  led by  Balugan chairman  John Polon called on SMART for increased rental from  P40,000  a year to P50,000 a month. 

Land claimant Bernard Batnag also asked an  increase of  rent from   P50,000 a year  to P100,000 a month.

Security manager  Ariel Emock  who spoke for SMART said it would be  difficult to lay basis for an increase of  rentals, but said he will recommend proposed rates to SMART.

Polon and Batnag said  SMART had been  adding disk plates and other antenna without the community people’s consent.

They said the added antenna and disc plates apparently connected to other cell signals was basis for increased  rental due to more users as a result of wider signal coverage.    

Former  barangay captain John Yogawen and other former officials said  SMART took advantage of the  ignorance of the people on cell site rentals.

Batnag said felt the same way. He said the  P50,000 rent a year  was  low, compared to other rentals of cell sites.  

His father’s 15 year contract of lease with  SMART ended May 2012.

Not having arrived at  an agreement with  SMARTrepresentatives,  negotiation  was  moved  to July 11 this year.

SMART pays real property tax  to  the local government here.

Vice Mayor Richard Yodong said  SMART representatives  were  given a copy of  the aerial wealth  ordinance by the  Sangguniang Bayan for their information and compliance.  

SMART negotiations began in 1996 with the community of  Balugan and the land claimant  which led to the  building of the cell site  tower  in 1998 atop Mt  Pakad  1900 meters above  sea level.

The tower  overlooks  the municipalities of  Mountain  Province including  Tadian, Bauko, Sabangan, Sagada, Besao and the fringes  between Ilocos Sur, Ilocos  Norte, Quirino, Abra, and Apayao.       

Initial rent was pegged at  P8,000 a year  which  increased to P12,000 a year over a  25 year contract,  following hesitations of  having exceedingly low rent with the giant telecommunications company.       Apart from the yearly rent, SMART promised the  following benefit to the community: communication center within Balugan, scholars,  medical mission, and employment.

The promised benefits had not been given till now except employment of  two security guards at the tower site.

In 1997, the community was beset by  issues  on the construction of the SMART  tower whether it shall be erected or not. 

Issues focused  on perceived radiation effects on health of people, animals and  plants. People also were not in favor of  the cell site with perception that the rent was low as compared to the  profits that the telecommunication  shall generate.

With the nod of elders, the telecommunications tower was eventually erected in 1998 and activated in 2001.

It was also during this time that payment for  two years which had not been  paid from 1998 to year 2000  had been paid by SMART. 

In year 2001,  the community wanted the rent to increase to P100,000 a year.  

Lawyer Anthony  Fernandez  representing  SMART,  negotiated  with the people resulting to the increase of  rent from  P20,000 to  P40,000  per year with an escalation rate of 10% every year. 

The earlier agreement was revised and eventually signed by  barangay officials in 2001.

John Yogawen said the written agreement was brought to the SMART head office for their (SMART) signatures.

He said SMART officers  promised to return the MOA  back to the people but this was never returned.


Taiwan vessel found poaching

By Charlie C. Lagasca

BAYOMBONG, Nueva Vizcaya – A Taiwanese vessel, carrying some 200 kilograms of shark meat, was apprehended for poaching off Cagayan last Monday, the second time it was intercepted along the country’s South China Sea-Pacific Ocean coast. 

The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources said one of its patrol boats spotted the F/B JVP 1 while poaching off Babuyan Island.

The BFAR said the vessel,which had two Taiwanese and seven Filipino crewmen, has a pending case before the Aparri prosecutor’s office for poaching and illegal fishing two years ago.


No tuition hike in MP state college

BONTOC, Mountain Province – The Mountain Province State Polytechnic College will not implement the 25 percent approved increase in its tuition fee for schoolyear 2012-2013.
MPSPC officials said administration does not want parents to suffer the burden of higher education even as militant student groups are now circulating a petition regionwide opposing the purported 300 percent increase in the tuition fee of state universities and colleges in the Cordillera.
 Dr. Nieves Dacyon, MPSPC president, said management’s decision not to implement the approved tuition fee increase this schoolyear should serve as a wakeup call for good Samaritans to help the institution subsidize school fees so deserving students will acquire education.
 “Supposedly, the tuition fee of MPSPC students is P100 per unit after the approval of the 25 percent increase approved by the Board of Trustees (BOT) but management decided to maintain its tuition fee at P75 per unit for the current schoolyear.
 “We do not want parents to be solely shouldering the burden of their children acquiring higher education, thus, we opted not to implement the approved tuition fee increase this schoolyear,” Dacyonsaid.
She added it is now high time for philanthropists and good Samaritans to assist deserving students.
According to her, she is wondering why militant students came to a conclusion that SUCs in the Cordillera are increasing their tuition fees by 300 when in fact, the SUCs have different percentages of tuition fee increases that were approved by their respective BOTs like the 25 percent increase for MPSPC.
“The school must be able to fulfill its obligation in providing our students with quality education which they will be able to positively use in landing in good paying jobs in the future that will help them improve the living condition of their respective families,” Dacyon stressed.
During Dacyon’s first term as MPSPC president, more than 4,000 students from the different towns of Mountain Province were able to enjoy free tertiary education because their tuition fees were subsidized by the late Rep. Victor S. Dominguez through his Priority Development Fund (PDAF).
However, the tree tertiary education program was not pursued by Dominguez’s successor considering that infrastructure is now their priority because of bigger investments and return.
“Education is still the best inheritance that parents and guardians could give today’s youth since they could use it in order to move on to greater heights as it could not be easily taken away from them unlike material things,” Dacyon said.
She added quality of education being offered by SUCs is at par with private higher education institutions located in urban centers, thus, more students are now being lured to enroll in SUCs in their places rather than go to populated areas to pursue higher education.
Aside from being affordable, students enrolled in SUCs could also help their parents in their farms during weekend and use some of their time for productive purposes to help them earn additional income to sustain their studies. -- Dexter A. See


Cordillera Day preparations: Benguet receives unity relay gong from Abra

By Carlito C. Dar

SABLAN, Benguet -- The provincial government headed by Gov. Nestor Fongwan welcomed here last week the Cordillera Unity Relay with the ceremonial beating of the gong and a caƱao – a native thanksgiving ritual.
Fongwan received the   unity relay gong from the Abra delegation headed by Vice Gov. Rolando Somera.
The Cordillera Unity Relay, which started at the historical Mt. Data Hotel in Bauko, Mountain Province last May 28, is a major activity for the 25th anniversary of  the Cordillera Administrative Region  this July. 
A gong which serves as the unity symbol will be transferred from province to province until it reaches Baguio City, the regional capital, for the commemorative program on July 15.
From Mt. Province, it moved to Abra  last June 4.  From Benguet, the symbolic gong will be brought to Lagawe, Ifugao on June 18, then to Tabuk, Kalinga on June 25 and to Luna, Apayao on July 2.
According to Fongwan, such activity will show that Cordillerans are united in moving the region towards development.
He said it is apt  Wwe look back to the history of the region with pride and for all of us to work together to give hope – for a better Cordillera and state of life for the future generations, referring  to the anniversary theme of, “Looking back with pride, moving forward with hope.”
Fongwan said we was willing to discuss with other governors and officials of the region the Cordillera Regional Autonomy and Development Project (CRADP).             

He added Benguet, in the pursuit of autonomy, only wanted to ensure that its local resources, environment and natural resources  are protected  as these drive the economy and development of the province.
Fongwan said Benguet was pushing for more income  through national wealth tax  from its natural resources  such as operations of Ambuclao, Binga dams and San Roque dams, even as he  stressed the need to review the Electric Power Industry Reform Act, Renewable Energy Act and other related local legislation  for such purpose.


CJHDC overpaid BCDA:John Hay lessee prexy

By Dexter A. See

BAGUIO CITY -- Camp John Hay Development Corporation Tuesday said it overpaid the Bases Conversion and Development Authority in terms of lease rentals paid compared to the delivered developable area within the 247-hectare John Hay Special Economic Zone even as the State-owned corporation insists that the developer owes the government around P3.2 billion in accumulated lease rentals over the past 16 years.

Alfredo Yniguez, CJHDC executive vice president and chief operating officer, said the P1.46 billion paid by the developer in terms of lease rentals represents around 35 percent of its alleged overdue obligations that amount to P4 billion if the annual lease rentals is computed as per the original lease agreement.
Under the 1996 original lease contract for the development of the former American rest and recreation center, CJHDC was required to pay an annual lease rental of P425 million for the first five years and P150 million annually for the remaining term of the 50 year agreement while BCDA was mandated to deliver to the developer 18 hectares of developable space where it could introduce improvements to recover its expenses.
However, Yniguez revealed BCDA was only able to deliver 20 percent of the mandated 18 hectares of developable area to the developer, thus, the improvements to the former American base for its conversion into a world-class tourism destination was stalled up to the present.
“We will still push through with our project in order to make Baguio a prime tourist destination,” Yniguezsaid, adding that “CJHDC will not just give up its over P5 billion investments in the area.”
If original plans to develop the American rest and recreation center were followed, he added the development in the 18-hectare developable area was supposed to have been completed over a period of five years and both the government and private investors should have been realizing substantial income up to the present.
Considering that BCDA was not able to deliver 32 hectares of the leased area to the developer where most of it were supposed to have been developed, Yniguez claimed the State-owned corporation started its breaches that they refuse to recognize which have stalled the ambitious development plan over the past several years.
According to him, CJHDC proposed for a joint venture agreement with BCDA for the extension of the lease agreement to the year 2061 in order to allow the government and investors to earn more income and for the developer to recover the 14 years that were lost because of the breaches committed by the State-owned corporation during the period when it was not able to fulfill its commitments.
Supposedly, Yniguez said over P5 billion worth of investments were to be in place that could have allowed them to earn more than P14.6 billion over the past 16 years but BCDA’s breaches such as the suspension of its tax privileges, non-demolition of illegal structures within the leased area among others resulted to the current impasse.
“We want to make John hay one of the country’s prime tourist destination but we were deprived by the breaches of government in our lease agreement,” he added, citing that CJHDC is still interested to pursue the projects provided that BCDA will not deprive them the equal rights to the one stop action center, the issuance of permits within 30 days and abandon harassments of their security guards to the locators, employees and even residents living in host barangays.
Yniguez cited CJHDC will remain firm in its commitment to support the plight of the over 3,000 workers inside the leased area and uphold the interest of the people for a chance to have a chance to witness the developments that are to be introduced in the tourism center.


Japanese firm joins rehab of rice terraces

By Charlie C. Lagasc

BAYOMBONG, Nueva Vizcaya – Another foreign organization has come to the aid of the deteriorating Ifugao rice terraces as a Japanese firm has pledged to help in the rehabilitation of one of the country’s leading tourism destinations. 

Toshiba Information Equipments-Philippines (TIP) has adopted five sections of the erosion-prone stretch of the terraces in support of the provincial government’s “Adopt a Terrace” program.

The five sections – four in Batad and one in Viewpoint, also in Banaue – is part of a cluster of the terraces that Toshiba vowed to restore to their pristine state. 

As an initial effort, company employees led by Isao Morita, TIP executive vice president, and two other ranking officers, Hirofumi Sato and NoboyukiI Nukubo, led tree planting and other related volunteer activities last week in the adopted sites.

The undertaking, part of the firm’s corporate social responsibility program, was held in coordination with the provincial government’s tourism council and culture and heritage office. 

Inspired by the terraces’ grandeur, Morita said their coming to the terraces was “a dream come true” and that they have no regrets contributing to the rehabilitation work.

“The terraces are easy to destroy but very difficult to restore,” he said. 

The firm also gave P20,000 cash assistance to each of the five farmers manning its adopted areas, and conducted environmental awareness among Banaue pupils. 

Ifugao Gov. Eugene Ballitang thanked the firm for its help and expressed hope that others would also join the provincial government-led efforts to rehabilitate the centuries-old terraces.

A Batad section of the rice terraces recently became the recipient of a P2.8- million grant from the Dutch-based private organization Prince Claus Fund.

The terraces’ dying state has been aggravated by intermittent erosions as a result of last year’s successive typhoons and prolonged rainfall. Before this, parts of the slopes had been weakened by huge earthworms.     

The terraces’ deteriorating state, further aggravated by the young Ifugaos’ lack of interest to continue its upkeep, had prompted the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization to put it on the list of endangered heritage sites. 

Several government and private organizations had also pledged to provide assistance for the rehabilitation of the terraces, once the jewel of the national government’s tourism program. 

Earlier, Balitang had said that some P200 million was needed to restore the terraces back to their picture-perfect condition. 

The Department of Agriculture had committed P50 million for the terraces’ irrigation systems and slope protection measures.

The provincial government also has a pending request with the Office of the President for an additional P20 million for the same purpose. Last year, Sen. Francis Pangilinan and Ifugao Rep. Teddy Baguilat launched the “Save the Terraces Movement” to help generate support for its rehabilitation.


Save the Chico River movement revived

By Larry Lopez

TABUK CITY, Kalinga -- The advocacy to save the Chico River has been revived among Kalinga leaders and residents including nearby provinces.
The bid to save Chico River emanated from reports about the ill practices by some residents and business operators staying near the river who indiscriminately dump their wastes and garbage into the Chico.
The Chico which traverses Bontoc, Mt. Province down to Lubuagan – Tabuk – Pinukpuk in Kalinga joins Tuao River in Tuao, Cagayan before exiting into the China Sea in Aparri, is a major source of water for irrigation to thousands of rice land in Kalinga and part of Isabela province.
Gov. Jocel C Baac said the river has earned another industry for Kalinga with the organization of the Chico River Challenge Group that promotes white water rafting through the rapids of Chico River.
For some years, the adventure over Chico’s rapids has become a major tourist attraction bringing income to the province.
But according to Baac, there is a bigger threat now knocking at the doorstep of the Chico from discovered mercury traces coming from small scale mining, which has emerged as prime livelihood of people in upper Kalinga.
Based on an earlier test conducted on the waters of the Chico River, traces of mercury have become very visible because of increasing rate in small mining in the upland area.  
Farmers in downstream Tabuk fear that if the  practice goes on unregulated,  there  will  be  bigger losses when rice lands  here  and nearby Quezon, Isabela will dry up and possibly also loss the booming tourism industry in the province.


P201 M projects on in Mt Prov: DPWH exec

By Gina Dizon

PARACELIS, Mountain Province – A total of P201 million road and bridge projects are being implemented in eastern Mountain Province covering regular Department of Public Works and Highways projects for 2010 to 2012. These include disaster related rehabilitation and various infrastructure projects which are near completion.  
From left: Paracelis Mayor Avelino Amangyen, former  Natonin Mayor  Marie Rafael-Banaag now with the Intelligence Bureau Office of the Ombudsman, DPWH Assistant Secretary  Roy Manao, and DPWH-CAR Regional  Director Edilberto Carabbacan
Regional DPWH director Edilberto Carabaccan bared these as guest speaker during this town’s recent 50th  Foundation  Day, June 16.  

These include Masablang bridge along Mt Province-Ifugao road, Agog-go bridge along  Natonin-Barlig and Natonin-Paracelis road, Kiling-Paracelis road section,  Kiling  bridge, Amulong flood control  and cut sections along the  Mt Province-Barlig and Natonin-Paracelis-Calacad road.

Infrastructure projects worth P1.4 million funded from the  priority development assistance funds of  congressman  Maximo Dalog  are also implemented  namely improvement of  So-ot, Arong Creek in Barlig; rehabilitation of  Laud, Butigue road and Bacarri footbridge and waterworks in  Paracelis.  

The amount of  P44.5 million is programmed for  2013  for bridges in Charoya, Lunas, Macachay and  Macassab,  Barlig and  one in Marat, Paracelis.

For 2013, the amount of P145  million worth of  road projects for eastern Mountain Province had been proposed by Dalog  to DPWH. Proposed projects are  the Junction Talubin-Barlig-Natonin-Paracelis- Calacad road, Kiling-Paracelis road,  and Mt Province-Nueva Vizcaya road.

In a separate interview, DPWH Assistant Secretary Roy Manao said all secondary and national  roads shall be paved by  2014  in reference to the  program of  President  Benigno Aquino 111.

The aspiring congressman this coming 2013 elections said, he wants roads at  eastern Mountain Province improved  from its present narrow and rugged state  to widened and paved conditions.

Manao who comes from Paracelis said  farm to market roads are also needed to let farmers bring their produce closer to market outlets and boost trade.

Other departments of the government need to do collaborative projects  with the DPWH to bring development to remote areas, he added.

The assistant DPWH secretary said the right project, with the right price and quality are important in order to bring  infrastructure programs  to beneficiary  communities. He welcomes monitoring  groups to work with DWH in curbing corruption,  noting  the need for regular bidding processes to be followed.   


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