EMB-CAR warns officials on solid waste compliance

>> Monday, May 22, 2017

By Dexter A. See 

BAGUIO CITY  – The Cordillera office of the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB-CAR) warned local officials regionwide that they can be imposed a fine of up to P1 million or they could be imprisoned for up to six years once they continue to disregard their mandated compliance to the provisions of Republic Act (RA) 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act, specifically the closure of open dumpsites and the establishment of environmentally acceptable solid disposal facilities.
Reynaldo S. Digamo, EMB-CAR regional director, said those local officials who will be charged by the agency will not only be limited to the local chief executives but also include the members of the city or municipal councils and appointed officials such as the municipal or city environment and natural resources officer and others who are directly involved in the management of solid waste.
Under the pertinent provisions of RA 9003, local officials who will be found to have neglected their duties and responsibilities in solid waste management could be either fined a maximum of P1 million or imprisoned for a maximum of 6 years or both at the discretion of the court.
“We want local officials to unite and work for the crafting of their solid waste management plans that will embody their direction in addressing the solid waste concerns in their respective areas of jurisdiction. We want our local officials to be aggressive in finding solutions to their solid waste concerns and not for them to be fence sitters when it comes to finding solutions to their solid waste problems,” Digamo stressed.
The EMB-CAR official called on local officials not to politicize the issue on solid waste management because what matters is the preservation and protection of the state of the environment and the promotion of the health of their constituents that is why there should be a direction in their campaign to find the appropriate environmentally acceptable solution to their solid waste concerns.
According to him, the EMB-CAR will be aggressive in evaluating, validating and monitoring the compliance of local governments to the closure of their open dumpsites and the the presence of environmentally acceptable solutions to their solid waste problems and the agency will not hesitate in initiating the filing of appropriate charges against elective and appointive officials who reportedly neglected their duties in finding solutions to their solid waste concerns.
Digamo opined that hauling could be a stop gap solution in addressing the solid waste disposal concerns of local governments but there should be efforts by the local officials to find other practical and doable solutions to the said matter to avoid draining the resources of the local government concerned.

He claimed the EMB-CAR is willing to extend technical assistance to local governments who seek their help in crafting solid waste plans and the putting in place of the appropriate environmentally acceptable technology for solid waste disposal. 


More end up dead in government drug war

6 wounded in Vigan gun attack

More suspected persons engaged in illegal drugs ended up dead in northern and Central Luzon last week.
This, as six people were wounded in a gun attack in a bar along Florentino street in Barangay 3, Vigan, Ilocos Sur before midnight on Wednesday. 
Jaris Paa, 30; Levi Figares, 31; Marcelino Arre, 50; Linden Cachola, 30, and Bryan Concepcion, 18, were brought to the Gabriela Silang General Hospital for treatment. Elsa Rabara, 51, was taken to the Metro Vigan Cooperative Hospital. 
Jaydee Paa, 26, a resident of Barangay San Julian, was arrested in a follow-up operation. 
Probers are eyeing family feud as the motive for the attack.
Salvador Marzan Jr., alias Amang, the most wanted drug personality in the Ilocos region, tried to grab the handgun of his escort after his handcuffs were removed when he sought permission to urinate on their way to Camp Diego Silang in San Fernando, La Union Tuesday, police said.
Marzan was arrested at around 10 a.m. based on a warrant for murder issued by Regional Trial Court Branch 31 Judge Romeo Atillo. An earlier raid on his house in Barangay Guinabang, Bacnotan, La Union yielded a gun and ammunition.The fatality surrendered under OplanTokhang last year, said Chief Inspector Reynaldo Soria, Bacnotan police chief.
LitoBulatao, 48, was driving his motorcycle on his way home to Barangay Turac in San Carlos City, Pangasinan when two men on another motorbike opened fire  on Tuesday.
John Paul Bernardo, 32, alias Pranco; an alias Putot and Milet Bernardo allegedly drew their guns when they sensed they had sold shabu to anti-drug operatives in Barangay Talacsan, San Rafael, Bulacan at around 1:20 a.m. Wednesday.
A man who has yet to be identified reportedly fired at police operatives in Barangay Pulong Sampalok also in San Rafael at around 1 a.m.
Raymond Domingo, 36, was shot by four men who entered his house in Barangay Lalangan, Plaridel on Tuesday night.

Police said the fatalities, who yielded sachets of shabu, guns, ammunition and marked money, were on the drug watch list of their respective barangays. – With reports from Ric Sapnu, Eva Visperas, Raymund Catindig


Kagawad arrested for selling shabu

By Nelson Bolos

CONCEPTION, Tarlac – A barangay councilman was nabbed selling shabu to a policeman poseur buyer here at Barangay Green Village Tuesday morning.
Supt Luis Ventura Jr. identified the apprehended village official as Noel Sanchez, 37, of Barangay Sta. Rita, here, together with Gerardo Lacson, 48, of Barangay Green Village.
Ventura disclosed Sanchez previously surrendered to police last year but apparently, he did not stop using illegal drugs and even turned into a pusher.
He submitted “negative drug test result” but police believe it was a fake drug test.
Sanchez was the second barangay official arrested for involvement in illegal drugs. Months ago, Barangay Kagawad Gil Pascua, also Barangay Sta. Rita, was also nabbed in buy-bust operation.
It was Pascua who told police that his supplier of shabu was Sanchez.
“At first, we made a ‘test-buy’ on Sanchez which turned out positive, hence, we planned an elaborate entrapment operation where he was busted for selling a sachet of shabu in Barangay Green Village”, said Ventura.   
Another sachet of methamphetamine hydrochloride was also recovered from Sanchez’s pocket.
Mayor Andy Lacson said, “I do not and have never condoned illegal drugs and I have never tried using it. Let the law takes its course on what he did. As elected public officials, we should be models to our constituents. What he did is not only wrong but a crime.” 
Since Ventura assumed as town police chief last month, a total of 34 drug personalities were arrested.
Sanchez tested positive of drug use and he was charged for violation of Section 5 of RA 9165 (peddling of illegal drugs), a non-bailable offense.

This town has no record of deaths under investigation or unsolved killings of persons involved in illegal drugs.


1 dead, 3 hurt in road mishap

ALAMINOS CITY, Pangasinan – A man died when his motorcycle collided with a sport utility vehicle along the national highway in Barangay San Roque in this city on Wednesday.
Mignard Cris Pua, 20, a resident of Barangay Polo, was pronounced dead on arrival at the Western Pangasinan District Hospital.

Jessie Apolinario, driver of the Ford Everest and resident of Barangay Rizalina, Aurora, Isabela, and his passengers Melanie Camasu, 34, and Alfredo Viray were injured and taken to same hospital for treatment. – Eva Visperas


Case set vs farmer for raping 4-year-old

HINGYON, Ifugao – A 65-year-old farmer was the object of a complaint here Wednesday for allegedly sexually abusing a 4-year-old girl.
The suspect identified as Jose Linlingon, was the object of a complaint by the grandmother of the victim who went to the police station here and reported that on May 5, the victim was sexually abused by their neighbor.
Investigation disclosed morning of May 6, the victim was informed by her mother that a witness told her she was raped by the suspect.
Interview conducted with the witness during a follow-up investigation disclosed that day, she and the victim were playing inside the latter’s house.
Later, the victim went outside and did not return that prompted her to look for her at house of the suspect.
Upon reaching the nearby house of the suspect, witness noticed the door was closed prompting her to peep through an opening of the door and saw the victim inside the house naked while suspect was masturbating while holding the vagina of the victim. Later, the suspect sat on the floor and forced the victim to sit on his lap. 

Police were preparing a complaint to be filed in court against the suspect at press time.


Government workers to get mid-year bonus May 15

The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) recently released the guidelines on the grant of midyear bonus to government employees this year.
Under Budget Circular 2017-2, the midyear bonus, which is equivalent to the salary of employees for one month, should be given starting May 15. 
Regular, casual or contractual, appointive or elective and full or part-time employees in the executive, legislative, judiciary, constitutional commissions and offices, state universities and colleges as well as government-owned and-controlled corporations (GOCCs) covered by the compensation and position classification system are entitled to the bonus.
Only personnel who have rendered at least a total or an aggregate of four months of service starting July 1 last year and obtained a satisfactory performance rating are eligible to receive the bonus.
Retirees whose services have been extended and employees who face administrative or criminal cases that are still pending for resolution are also entitled to the bonus.

It is up to the municipal and city councils and governing boards of GOCCs whether to grant midyear bonus to their employees.   


Cordillera journey to explore region’s richness in 18 days

By Dexter A. See 

BAGUIO CITY – Ultra-running enthusiasts, environmentalists, and trekkers will have the chance to explore the region’s richness within a span of eighteen days passing through Baguio City, Benguet, Ifugao, Mountain Province, Kalinga, Abra, and Apayao through the Cordillera Great Traverse (CGT).
The elite route covers approximately 351 kilometers in distance through mountain passes, forests, rivers, waterfalls, rice terraces, villages and ancients and historical trails passing through the scenic route and major tourist attractions presenting to the foreign and local hikers and trekkers the natural beauty of the Cordillera mountains.
Leonard Soriano, CGT project leader, cited the elite route reveals some of the best trekking destinations in the world like the Appalachian Trail, the Great North Walk, Drakensberg, and GR20.
He explained the CGT is driven by a 3-part action plan that will eventually involve public participation; establish the longest and most scenic trekking or hiking trail destination in the Philippines through research, mapping, immersion with the locals, and actual reconciliation of the trails of each province.
The CGT trails have been mapped in 2014-2015 and it was completed by the expedition team when it embarked on a single-push travel from April 1-18, 2015 to cover the entire expanse of the traverse.
One of the major objectives of the traverse is to learn and share the culture of each of the indigenous peoples who have made the mountains their home for centuries with the locals as guides to establish the trails and lead the organizers to discover more about the richness of the region.
Soriano added the expedition allowed them to mutually exchange knowledge with the locals on how to protect the mountains and together with the Cordillerans, be the advocates for the protection of the Cordillera.
CGT operates under the Philippine Trail Conservation Events, Inc. and the CGT 2015 expedition team consisted of National Geographic explorers, adventurers, nature lovers, ultra runners, environmentalists, mountaineers, and fitness enthusiasts.
To date, CGT consists of strong team members contributing not just their solid athletic background but also their talent and skills as professionals in order to move the project forward after the expedition two years ago.
            Soriano said CGT is continuously looking for volunteers to join the team and that volunteer application can be sent via info@cordilleragreattraverse.com.

Among the targets of CGT for 2017 and beyond include establishing a trail system that will promote eco-tourism across the Cordillera, become a leading source of information for natural and trails in the region, conduct biological survey of plant and animal species, discover and promote cultural and historic significance of the trails, create a trail economy for the locals by supporting and developing products and services, revive the love for the mountains for the locals and the future generations and promote and implement conservation efforts with partner organizations and the government.


LTO to issue driver’s licenses with 5-year validity on October

The Land Transportation Office will begin issuing driver’s licenses with 5-year validity in October.
During a Senate committee on public services hearing Tuesday, the LTO said they see this move as one solution to the license applications backlog.
“We have already awarded the contract to supply five million cards. It will address the backlog for the 4th quarter of 2016, the entire year 2017 and first quarter of 2018,” LTO executive director Romeo Vera-Cruz said.
LTO also boasted the added security features of their new cards to ensure that these will not be duplicated or tampered with.
“In our new 5 year validity the bar code contains the picture, photo, biometrics, index finger prints history personal circumstances,” Romeo Vera-Cruz said.
Although the LTO has already been implementing the issuance of driver’s license with 5-year validity in accordance with an executive order, a law must be passed to ensure that this will last.
“Bakit natin kailangang gawing batas, unang una, para hindi magbago ang isip ng LTO kasi kung executive decision, kapag nagbago nang isip o may ibang administrasyon maaaring palitan,” said Senate committee on public service chairperson Senator Grace Poe.
(Why do we need to pass it into a law? Firstly so that LTO cannot change it. Because with an executive decision, If the LTO management change their minds, or a new administration takes office, they can change the order.)
Senator Poe’s committee yesterday approved the proposed longer validity period of driver’s license.  She targets to finish the committee report and sponsor it at the plenary next week.

Meanwhile, in the lower house of Congress, the House committee on transportation will create a technical working group to study the said bill. 


2 Banaue rice terraces villages to be ‘painted’

BANAUE Ifugao- The Department of Tourism, in partnership with Davies Paints will paint houses and other facilities of two communities of the Banaue Rice Terraces, a UNESCO world heritage site.
 The project is part of the DOT Rev – Bloom program, an initiative of DOT Cordillera regional director Venus Marie Tan that aims to and revitalize prime tourist destinations in Baguio City and Cordillera. 
One popular Rev – Bloom project of DOT – CAR, in partnership with Davies Paints, is the Mural Community Painting of STOBOSA (Stone Hill, Botiwtiw and Sadjap) along km 3, La Trinidad, Benguet.
For the Banaue Rice Terraces project, it will involve around 6,000 square meters of rooftops and roofs along the Batad rice terraces and the rooftops of around 429 houses and structures in Bocos village.
 The project was officially launched during Imbayah Festival last April 29, with Tan,  Davies Paints Phl marketing communications manager Joann Virina, Banaue Mayor Jerry Dalipog, Ifugao Gov. Pedro Mayam – o and local officials unveiling the project design beside the rice terraces marker in front of the municipal tourism office.
“Development is  bringing in more houses and structures within the rice terraces communities wherein instead of native materials are now using concrete and galvanized iron roofing, thus the project aims to enhance them to blend with the natural beauty of the terraces,” Tan said.  
Tan also called for partnership with concerned communities for the community painting project.
She also encouraged Banaue folks especially those along the roads and within the town to help in re-greening and beautification efforts for the sustainable tourism development of this town that is among the prime tourist destinations in Cordillera. Virina of Davies Paints, said they are excited of the Banaue project.
She disclosed they are developing unique colours in the shade of brown and green that will naturally blend with the rice terraces.    

Dalipog affirmed the municipal government gratitude and support to the DOT – Davies program.


Philex retains European group’s certification on work standards

TUBA, Benguet -- Philex Mining Corp. has passed a follow-up review of its IMS, or Integrated Management System, done by an independent European organization, extending the gold-and-copper producer's certification for its compliance with international standards on environmental protection, work safety, and social responsibility.
 "Management system effectiveness was verified on site by means of random sampling by an appropriately selected audit team," TÜVRheinland, a German technical-services provider, said. "This applies in particular to the compliance of workflows with standard requirements and the descriptions in management system documentation." 
In its audit report released to the company following its second review conducted on Feb. 6 - 9, TÜVRheinland added it had also taken into account the "special features" of Philex Mining's business operation and the other requirements mandated by industry regulators. 
"This was done by means of a sampling approach, by conducting interviews and reviewing the appropriate documentation," said the audit report, which also indicated that the next audit on Philex Mining is slated for March 2018. 
TÜVRheinland granted Philex Mining its first IMS Certificate in April 2015. 
The 20-page report indicated that the certification standards consist of ISO, or International Organization for Standardization, 14001:2004 + Cor. 1:2009 and the British Standard (BS) OHSAS 18001:2007. 
While the former is a "systematic approach" for the improvement of environmental protection, plus quality environmental management, the latter is "a recognized standard for the internal and external assessment of Occupational Health & Safety (OH&S) Management Systems." 
The scope of certification on safety management includes operations in mining, milling, and tailings storage facilities, according to TÜVRheinland, which has headquarters in Germany and maintains presence in 65 countries and 36 business fields. 
 Signed by the audit leader Rolando Remitar, the report said there were no "conflicts of interest" in his team's performance. 
"The auditors confirm that they have neither performed internal audits for the organization to be audited nor provided consulting services for the development and implementation of the organization's management system in the last two years," it stressed. 
The report also said that while there were some "nonconformities" on the part of Philex Mining, these "have been demonstrably corrected," and that the "corrections and corrective actions taken in this respect have been verified." 
TÜVRheinland also took note of Philex Mining having hurdled the rigorous technical mine audit conducted by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) last August.  
Philex Mining had in fact led a dozen large-scale miners that passed the DENR audit, proof that it has adhered to its commitment to responsible mining by implementing sustainable development over the past 60 years of operation. 
The TÜVRheinland report also described as "highly commendable" Philex Mining's "commitment for continual improvement," citing higher wages and attractive benefits for employees, the implementation of social projects above regulatory requirements, significant spending for environmental protection, and electronic documentation. 


Candon bypass road opened; travel to provinces shortened

 By Myds Supnad

CANDON CITY, Ilocos Sur —Travel time going to Manila, Baguio and other destinations in Luzon was shortened with opening of the P500-million bypass road here to light vehicles, decongesting heavy traffic in the city proper.
Public Works and Highways Second District Engineer Jose “Bong” Ginete, Jr. bared this Tuesday saying said half of the 7-km road was initially opened to motorists as the DPWH is now rushing completion of the alternate road.
"The bypass road will certainly relieve stress of motorists stuck in heavy traffic in the city proper during rush hours," said Ginete.
The bypass road traverses Barangays Tablac, Bagani, Paryok, up to Ayudente where the national highway links, avoiding totally the traffic inside the city proper, Ginete said.
Ginete added fund for the road was sourced by Ilocos Sur 2nd District Rep. Eric D. Singson, who is credited for concreting of arm-to-market and barangays roads even in ar-flung areas of the province.

“This will not only decongest traffic along the city proper but also shorten travel time going to Manila, Baguio and Northern destinations,” said Ginete.


Stiffer penalties eyed for PUV overloading

OVERLOADING of public utility vehicles (PUVs) may soon be a crime.
Sen. Joseph Victor Ejercito has sought to criminalize overloading to prevent road accidents, which are the fourth leading cause of death in the country.
Ejercito, vice chairman of the Senate committee on public services, filed Senate Bill 1446 or the Anti-Overloading Act in line with the celebration of the 4th United Nations Global Road Safety Week.
He said the measure imposes stiff penalties, including imprisonment for drivers and operators of PUVs. 
“We have to update and strictly implement the law... Drivers of public utility vehicles have a habit of overloading at the expense of the comfort and safety of passengers,” Ejercito said.
He said in Metro Manila alone, a person is killed in road accidents every 17 hours. 
Ejercito also pushed for the passage of Senate Bill 1447 or the Child Safety in Motor Vehicles Act. The bill seeks the use of a child restraint system to protect infants and children during accidents.  

He said the Seatbelt Law only protects adults.


Towing of illegally parked vehicles pushed in Baguio

By Gaby Keith

BAGUIO CITY – The city council has passed on first reading a proposed ordinance  known as the “Towing Ordinance of the City of Baguio” that provides for a regulated towing system of damaged, abandoned, immobilized, illegally parked, or disabled motor vehicles on public right-of-way or on public or private property within the city’s streets and roads.
Authored by councilors Benny Bomogao, Michael Lawana and Faustino Olowan, the measure tasks the city engineer’s office to be primarily responsible for the implementation of its provisions.
 “Any vehicle parked on any of the highways, roads or streets, public right-of-way or other public property in the city, which is parked in violation of any provision of the law or of any ordinance of the city, may be removed under the provisions of this ordinance,” the measure states.
It adds that the chief of police, chief of traffic management office, city traffic task force, Department of Public Works and Highways, city engineer, or city parking management office is authorized to remove any vehicle and that removal shall be done only by city employees or by a licensed towing company, if there is any.
Any vehicle removed shall be impounded in a storage facility, as defined by the ordinance, or on property controlled by the city and designated for vehicle impoundment by the city.
 “Any motor vehicle left unattended on private property within the city may be removed under the provisions of this regulation.  The decision to remove any such motor vehicle shall be made by either the property owner or the city after informing the owner.  But in cases where the owner cannot be reached, yet it is a hindrance to public access can be out rightly towed,” the ordinance states.
“Any motor vehicle removed by authority of this ordinance shall be impounded in a storage facility, as herein defined,” it adds.

The proposed ordinance also provides general regulations, definitions, towing licenses needed and qualifications of towing companies, storage facility requirements, prohibited acts of towing companies or city towing authorities and other provisions.



Bridal expo held in Country Club

BAGIO CITY – “Summer Weddings,” the biggest bridal expo here, was held May 4-6 at Baguio Country Club.
This event was organized by Team DC Manila headed by national designer Don Cristobal in partnership with Viva La Events and Audio Enhance to promote local and national designers, make-up artists, wedding photographers, videographers, and event organizers to husbands and wives-to-be in the Cordillera.
This 3-day day event also showcased seminars and workshops on bridal hair and makeup, social media marketing by Models Net TV, “Mix It Right” seminar by KQUENTOR Multimedia, Wedding Photography, “Styling your Wedding” seminar by Sancho Bernardo and Cake and Pastries Demo.
Fashion shows also were held during the event by national designers Don Cristobal, Red Zurbano, Nereku, Richie Bondoc, Cathy Capistrano  and Frederick Berches with local designers namely, Karu Villanueva, Jheo Rapanan, King George Bueno, Lester Bulao, Andrew Visaya, Nicole Rodriguez, Karla Calderone, Julienne Paran, and Joey Sadsad. – Trizha Ocampo

 Students’ employment starts in Sabangan

SABANGAN, Mountain Province – The “special program for employment of students (SPES) started  May 8 in this town and will end June 2.
Mayor  Venancio E. Lipawen said 50 SPES beneficiaries  employed by the Sabangan  town government will work for 20 days with a P250 salary per day or total  salary of P5,000 .
Students who are hired will work to implement clean and green program of the local government. Some were assigned in the barangays and will be monitored by the Public Employment Service Office.  
 Lipawen said he would propose additional funds to increase SPES beneficiaries next year to take advantage of new implementing rules and regulations (IRR) which qualifies Sabangan, being a fifth class municipality to pay 40 percent of the total salary of the students and the Department of Labor and Employment will shoulder the remaining 60 percent  which would be downloaded to the student’s respective ATM cards.

Environment plans for business pushed

BAGUIO CITY – The city council has passed on first reading a proposed ordinance requiring all persons operating or doing business in the city for the mandatory submission of environmental sustainability action plan upon securing or renewing business or mayor’s permit.
Authored by councilor Leandro Yangot, Jr., the measure said it is State policy to afford full protection and advancement of the right of the people to a healthful and balanced ecology in accord with the rhythm and harmony of nature.
“To ensure environmental sustainability, balance is required between ecological system and economic development, it is for this reason that there is a dire need to prepare a program to heal the ailing Earth by encouraging business sectors to create sustainable programs for the protection and preservation of the sources of life, minimizing the effects of global warming and climate change and programs that are less harmful to the ecosystem,” it states.
If finally be approved, the measure shall be known as the “Sustainable Development Ordinance of the City of Baguio” and tasks the city environment and parks management office to strengthen, integrate, consolidate and institutionalize environment initiatives to achieve coordination in the implementation of plans and programs to address climate change and preservation of the sources of life in the context of sustainable development. -- Gaby Keith

 Coops’ call to retain tax exemption backed

BAGUIO CITY – Vice Mayor Edison Bilog supported the call of cooperative members here to oppose a move in Congress to lift the tax exemption privileges accorded cooperatives in the country.
Bilog last week proposed a resolution in the city council “strongly opposing the passage of any proposed bills lifting tax exemptions on cooperatives.”
He said there is a current move in both houses of Congress to repeal the law granting tax exemption privileges to cooperatives.
“Pending before the House of Representatives and the Senate are proposed bills on the Rationalization of Fiscal Investment Incentives which seek to repeal Articles 60 and 61 of Republic Act No. 9250 or the Philippine Cooperative Code of 2008 which extends cooperatives tax exemption privileges,” Bilog said.
Section 61 provides that cooperatives with assets of not more than P10 million are exempt from all national, city, municipal or barangay taxes as well as from custom duties, advance sales or compensation taxes on their importation of machineries, equipment and spare parts used by them.
Bilog said removing the tax exemption privileges of cooperatives “would defeat the role and purpose of having cooperatives likewise the intent of the 1987 Constitution on the creation of the Cooperative Development Authority as provided in Section 15 Article XII of the Constitution which states that it shall be the policy of the state to promote the viability and growth of cooperatives as instruments of equity, social justice and economic development.”
“The City Government of Baguio being a cooperative-friendly local government unit supports the vision, mission and objectives of the cooperatives thus (we) strongly oppose the passage of any proposed bills lifting tax exemptions on cooperatives as it will greatly interrupt the growth of the cooperative and affect its members,” Bilog said.
Cooperative members led by the Baguio-Benguet Community Credit Cooperative, the biggest cooperative in the area, staged a rally recently to air their opposition to the proposed bills which they said will adversely affect the ideals of cooperativism in the city.
Bilog’s measure will be tackled in the city council’s next session. – Aileen P. Refuerzo

Water seminar as business permit requirement pushed

BAGUIO CITY – The local legislature has passed on first reading a proposed ordinance mandating all business owners, operators or their authorized representatives in the city to attend a seminar on waste water management as a prerequisite for the issuance of business permits.
Authored by councilor Lilia Farinas, the measure designates the Zero Waste cluster of “The Baguio We Want” to be the lead agency in conducting the seminar at the Baguio City Multi-Purpose Hall for about one hour on a schedule fixed by the General Services Office.
The entity is a citizens’ volunteer group working to promote waste management anchored on sustainable consumption, waste reduction, reuse and recycling, and waste diversion from landfills and incineration in order to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and pressure on constrained natural resources.
Among the group’s duties are to determine and justify the required amount a business applicant has to pay for certificates, honoraria of speakers, and other expenses relative to the conduct of the seminar, subject to the city council’s approval.
It shall also do the necessary activities to insure the seminar’s efficiency and effectivity.
The proposed ordinance warns that business applicants will not be issued business permits without the latest proof of their attendance in the seminar which is a certificate signed by the issuing agency.
 “The need for our communities, including institutions and business establishments to be educated on the pressing issue of waste and water management cannot be emphasized enough.  We need proper legislation and enforcement to ensure that local businesses are informed enough to adopt environmentally sound ways of managing their general waste,” it said – Gaby Keith

738 hired in Baguio jobs fair

BAGUIO CITY – Some 738 applicants were hired during the Labor Day jobs fair here at Baguio Convention Center.
Eighteen were hired for overseas employment while 720 were taken for local employment. 
A total of 2,811 registrants came to the jobs fair, wherein 1,675 applied for local employment and 1,136 for overseas employment.
 There were also 273 job applicants that were referred to the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority for skills training or upgrading.
DOLE Cordillera regional director Ronie  Ezequiel Guzman read Labor Day greetings of Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III citing Filipino workforce for their dedication and commitment to serve their families and the country.
Guzman also relayed Bello’s assurance that the government, through DOLE, will continue to intensify effort in protecting rights of Filipino workers and in training highly skilled Filipino work force.
He said the Labor Department has 8 – point labor and employment agenda that includes addressing unemployment and underemployment; bringing in more labor – related laws; ensuring the protection and welfare of Filipino workers especially those working abroad; bringing in more livelihood programs, and ensuring harmonious relationship between employees and employers.  

 113 infested, dangerous trees felled in Baguio

BAGUIO CITY -- The city environment and parks management office (CEPM0) felled a total of 113 trees in the first quarter (January to April) of this year upon request since these were either infested, dangerous or obstructing roads.
The office has also issued 103 cutting permits implemented with its supervision within 83 private and three government properties during the same period.
This was reported by CEPMO head Cordelia Lacsamana in flag-raising ceremony at city hall before officials and employees headed by Mayor Mauricio Domogan.
She said that 15,000 seedlings have been propagated while a carryover stock of 20,000 seedlings are ready for planting this year with Camp 7 and Santo Tomas as priority planting sites.
Her office also inventoried and tagged 200 live trees at Bayan Park as part of forest protection.
Lacsamana added that two rain harvesting facilities have been implemented at Busol and Botanical Forest nurseries with funds from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
“CEPMO is preparing the development of another forest nursery at Ambuclao Road pending the resolution of emerging issues,” she said.
Lacsamana revealed that 502 tree planting activities as prerequisite for marriage is now in place and 45 building owners have been required to plant 670 trees as an occupancy requirement.
She said replacement planting garnered 3,480 seedlings planted or collected from 89 complying permittees. – Gaby Keith

 Migrants Day set in Sabangan 

SABANGAN, Mountain Province -- Overseas workers Welfare Administration Cordillera Administrative Region regional director Evelyn Calica Laranang, will grace the first Migrant’s Day celebration in this town on June 7.
Mayor Venancio E. Lipawen said  coordinators and presidents of  organizations of Overseas Filipino Workers families and former OFWs in this municipality agreed Thursday to celebrate Migrant’s Day at the municipal plaza with the theme: “The Survivors”.
 The event will start with a parade from Nakagang, Tambingan to the municipal plaza.  Aside from inspirational message of the guest speaker, presentations from organizations and a thank you speech from a mother whose child is now an active scholar of OWWA will highlight the event. A sumptuous meal and rice wine will be prepared by the local government which is hosting the celebration. Lipawen added.
According to Doris Ledsey, former OFW  in Hongkong and now  president of Poblacion Former OFW and OFW families organization, they selected “The Survivors” as their theme because it is the most fitting word that describes them who sacrificed to work overseas far away from their families and friends just to uplift the living condition of their families.  June 7 was chosen by the group since it was Nov. 14, 2016 when OWWA sponsored an organization meeting when then President Fidel V. Ramos signed Republic Act 8042 also known as the Migrants Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995. 
The event is expected to be attended by almost 300 hundred former OFWS and OFW families. Ledsey said. 

DOLE gives P2.5-M to four Abra groups    

BANGUED, Abra -- Four people’s organizations in the province were  recipients of  P2.5 million Kabuhayan Assistance from Department of Labor and Employment.
DOLE-Abra provincial head George G. Lubin, Jr.  said 507 members of the three organizations will directly benefit from livelihood assistance in the form of production equipment, tools and materials.
Lubinsaid the Rural Improvement Club of Tangadan, San Quintin was given P334, 530.00 for the procurement of sewing machines and materials and for their catering.
The Association of Dalit OFW Returnees and Dependents in the municipality of Pilar received P378, 750.00 for their farming project.
The municipality of Lagangilang has two PO-beneficiaries. The Lagangilang Farmers Irrigators’ Association that serves eight barangays was given P1, 441,450.00 for its farming project while the Lagangilang Women’s Food Processors Association received P377, 100.00 for the food processing projects of the women members.
The local government units of Pilar, San Quintin and Lagangilang serve as conduits of the project funds. As such, they are in charge of the procurement of production materials and facilities and also in the provision and delivery of these to the project beneficiaries.
The projects are expected not only to benefit the direct project beneficiaries through increased production and profits but also to generate employment for their families and communities. -- Maria Teresa B. Benas

Kalinga govt’s  urged to put up PWD rehab centers

TABUK CITY, Kalinga -- National government agencies directly concerned  with welfare of  Persons with Disabilities (PWDs)  are urging   local government units to establish their own rehabilitation centers for said sector.
Remegio Basilan of the Department of Health provincial office said with Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and   Lin-awa Rehab Center personnel, they are going around the province to orient local government units on establishment of rehabilitation centers for PWDs. 
They also monitor health facilities if they are complying with the PWD access law and are giving discounts on drugs and medicines.
The PWD access law provides establishments should be PWD -friendly and barrier-free   with built-in ramps, holders and safe passages.
“LGUs should consider in their budgets the needs of this sector and look at intervention programs for PWDs not on the side of charity but rather a public service since they are a constituent sector in the community that needs government assistance,” Basilan stressed. -- Peter A. Balocnit

PVET teaches farmers organic feed formulation

HUNGDUAN, Ifugao --The Provincial Veterinary Office (PVET) here recently conducted skills training on organic swine and poultry raising and feed formulation to 83 farmer- recipients of native pig raising project of the provincial government.
The training was to enable pig raisers gain more profit in their backyard livestock endeavor by formulating their own organic feeds using ingredients and materials that are abundant and indigenous in their places rather than relying on commercial feeds which are very expensive, said PVET training coordinator Ferdinand Dunuan.
By adopting organic farming  that  includes feed formulation to reduce feed cost,  they can produce not only animal meat products which are safe and fit for human consumption but also earn more profit because organically produced farm products nowadays are in great demand.
Dunuan   lectured to participants on animal husbandry, issues on bio-organic inputs and good agricultural practices.
Gilbert Caclini, also of PVET, demonstrated the preparation of the feeds using the indigenous materials with the hands on participation of the farmers  so that they can learn and experience on the spot organic feed formulation.
The ingredients and materials used during the actual preparation of  50 kilograms (kgs) of organic feed include 20 kilos rice bran, 5 corn grits, 5 corn bran, 3 chopped banana stalk, 3 chopped camote trunk and leaves, 3 ofipil leaves, 10 ofazola, a kilo of brown sugar, another kilo of indigenous micro-organism (for fermentation) and two liters of rice wash.
The farmers said were happy with what they learned and promised that they will immediately start preparing their own feed supply. -- Daniel B. Codamon

Parenting style and education are top teenage pregnancy predictors

BAGUIO CITY --Parenting style and level of education are among top predictors of early childbearing in the Cordillera.
This was revealed in a Population Commission- funded Research conducted by University of the Philippines Professor Josefina Natividad.
 The research titled “Predictors and Timing of Early Childbearing in the Cordillera Administrative Region” sourced its data from the 2013 Young Adult Fertility and Sexuality Study 4 (YAFSS 4). The sample for the study is 262 women aged 20-24.
In the YAFSS 4, Cordillera had the highest proportion of young women aged 15-19 who had begun childbearing at 18.4 percent, much higher than the national rate of 13.6%.
Child bearing is defined as having given birth before reaching the age of 20.
Results of the study indicate that the proportion that had a birth before 20 is higher among non-Cordillerans, rural resident and young women who were not raised by both parents compared with their respective counterparts.
By poverty status, there is no substantial difference between women classified as poor and the non-poor.
By completed education, high school undergraduates had the highest proportion with early childbearing experiences (57 %), followed by those with elementary level schooling (38%) and high school graduates (30%).The prevalence of early childbearing is lowest among those with college education at 16 %.
The study suggests that parenting styles may be protective against the risk of early childbearing, specifically, if the parents set clear standards for children to follow while growing up.
“The proportion that experienced early child bearing increases as the level of clarity of standards of the parents on the behavior of children decreases.”
On the time of early childbearing, it showed that the proportion of childbearing before 20 is higher among non-Cordillerans with a sudden increase at age 19 and it is mostly accounted for by births at ages 18 and 19. However in terms of exposure to the risk associated with early childbearing, the Cordillera women may be more at risk because they started childbearing earlier having recorded the youngest to be 13 years old.
“By marital status, four in 10 of the currently married 20-24 year olds began childbearing before the age of 20. Similarly, four in 19 of the currently cohabiting also experienced early childbearing. A small proportion of four percent of the never married had experienced early child bearing.”
The study summarized that among 20-24 year old women in CAR, 25% percent or one in four had a birth before the age 20 or were teenage mothers. The risk of early childbearing is not affected by urban-rural residence, poverty status, ethnicity or being raised by both parents. All are equally at risk. Having a college education significantly decreases the risk of early childbearing. The timing of early childbearing shows that most teenage births happen in the late teen years ages 17, 18 and 19.

The research also recommended that interventions should be age- and gender specific noting that the reception of 13 years old varies from the reception of 19 years old. -- Brenden Kim Quintos


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