10 shanties demolished at Camp 7 watershed

>> Monday, October 23, 2023

By Aileen P. Refuerzo

BAGUIO CITY -- Ten shanties illegally built within Camp 8 watershed were dismantled Oct. 10 by the City Demolition Team.
    Engineer Donald Gas-ib, head of the investigation and demolition division of the City Buildings and Architecture Office (CBAO) said this is pursuant to Demolition Order No. 28-2023 issued by Mayor Benjamin Magalong.
    He said there were at total of 17 identified illegal shanty-structures in the area and seven were earlier voluntarily demolished by the owners.
    On Oct. 13, 2023, a two-story structure was also demolished at Pinget barangay also covered by another demolition order.
    Gas-ib said the building is located within an alley that is part of the right-of-way of a private lot.
    The team was assisted by the Baguio City Police Office in both demolition activities.
    The operations are part of the continuing aggressive campaign against squatting all over the city.


34 fire-affected Bontoc bizmen each given P30k

By Alpine L. Killa-Malwgay

BONTOC, Mountain Province - Thirty-four business owners in this capital town whose source of living was gravely affected by the April 11 fire that razed their establishments in Poblacion, received livelihood starter kits worth P30,000 each last week.
    The goods, materials, and equipment received by the beneficiaries were funded by the Dept. of Labor and Employment (DOLE). 
Prior to the provision of livelihood assistance, the Bontoc local government through Bontoc Mayor Jerome "Chagsen" Tudlong, Jr., submitted 34 livelihood project proposals and endorsements to the DOLE.
    The Municipal Public Employment Service Office through Labor and employment officer Jenelyn Caluza provided technical assistance in preparation of project proposals and documents.
    Tudlong extended gratitude to the DOLE for its assistance to the municipality.
    He added with meager budget or limited resources of the municipal government, it has to collaborate with national government and partner stakeholders to be able to extend assistance to beneficiaries.
    The mayor added the livelihood kits composed of equipment, materials, and goods, will be of great help to fire victims in starting income-generating undertakings. 
    DOLE regional director Nathaniel Lacambra expressed support of the department to fire victims urging recipients to use livelihood kits to generate income. 
    Present during the turnover were Lacambra, Political Affairs Officer Dionisio Wacdisen representing Mountain Province Rep. Maximo Dalog, Jr., DOLE Mountain Province head Venus Guinjicna, Tudlong, Sangguniang Bayan members Jupiter Jule Kalangeg, Julian Chumacog and Benedict Odsey II, Municipal Administrator Eric Fulangen, Sr., Caluza, and DOLE personnel.








Baguio ‘smart command center’ leads to incidents’ fast check; 64 cases noted

BAGUIO CITY -- Personnel from the Baguio City Police Office and City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office transmitted 604 occurrences to the Baguio Smart City Command Center (SC3) through iCom/Hyteria radios for quicker dispatch from Jan. 1 to August 31.
    Adam Bert Lacay, information systems analyst II of the City Mayor’s Office’s Management Information Technology Division (MITD), bared this in meeting of city officials at City Hall led by Mayor Benjamin Magalong.
    He said 97 reports from Baguio In My Pocket (BIMP) users were received by BIMP 911 Emergency Medical Service (EMS) during the period with requests for CDRRMO and general assistance as the most submitted.  
    Meanwhile, a total of 933 incidents were received via CDRRMO hotlines with medical and general assistance topping the list of incidents, Lacay said.
The SC3 has three main programs and activities: Smart City Operations (SCO); Research, Maintenance and Project Development (RMPD); and General Administrative Support (GAS).
SCO include Emergency Telecommunications where 24/7 call taking and call report generation are conducted; CCTV Playback and Extraction Services where video monitoring/playback/ extraction as critical video evidence in the resolution of incidents as the need arises are made; Dashboard Monitoring and Management where 24/7 regular monitoring, management and analytics generation with the Smart City platform are done.
In the RMDP are special projects like monitoring of indicators for efficient redevelopment and value assessment and flood early warning system; technical support and maintenance for network management and maintenance, and more; project development like video surveillance system enhancement and maintenance project and others.
Its GAS program includes visits of guests from LGUs and other sectors for tours and benchmarking; recording of processed papers like payroll, and more; conduct of training like cybersecurity, file storage system, crisis hotline, and others.-Gaby B. Keith


Pangasinan to provide Coast Guard resources

By Gabriel Cardinoza

LINGAYEN, Pangasinan -- The provincial government announced on Monday, Oct. 9, it was ready to provide resources to the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) to help protect the West Philippine Sea.
    "Gov. [Ramon] Guico had decided that we provide a space, or perhaps a hangar for the PCG Aviation Force when we finish the construction of an airport in Bolinao [town]," said Vice Gov. Mark Ronald Lambino.
    That way, Lambino said, there would be a nearby PCG air unit that could monitor the West Philippine Sea and the coastal waters of western Pangasinan.
    The nearest Pangasinan airport to the West Philippine Sea is located in this capital town, but it can only accommodate small airplanes because it has a short runway.
    "It is also timely that we received a copy of a resolution from the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (Provincial Board) of Aurora province urging the different sanggunian in the country to express collective support for the national government's effort in protecting the West Philippine Sea," said Lambino.
    Last month, Guico said the provincial government would build an airport in Bolinao to boost the town's economy and tourism industry.
    Bolinao remains Pangasinan's top tourism site because of its white sand beaches, majestic waterfalls, and popular resorts, but it can only be accessed from Metro Manila through a five- to six-hour drive.
    Lambino said he had not been informed yet of the airport's exact location, but he said the runway would be about 2,000 meters long, enough for an Airbus 330 to land.
    The airport is expected to be completed next year.
    During its regular session on Monday, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan passed a resolution to formally inform the PCG of the provincial government's plan to provide them with resources.
    The resolution will also be sent to the Office of the President and the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
    Last Wednesday, October 4, in a special session, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan also passed a resolution expressing "a deep sense of sadness" over the death of three fishermen from Subic in Zambales province after their boat was accidentally rammed by a commercial ship in the open sea.


Big projects set in Baguio; investors to pour in money

By Gaby B. Keith

BAGUIO CITY – Big projects in this summer capital are in the works.
    This, since many reputable corporations have been investing and many more would like to invest in the city’s various development projects because of good governance, according to Mayor Benjamin Magalong in a media interview, Oct. 2 at City Hall.
    “Marami ang nag-iinvest dito dahil alam nila na walang nangyayaring corruption. Iyan ang importante, dapat walang corruption. Kaya hindi mahirap mag-imbita (ng investors),” Magalong claimed.
    Ever since the Mayor took office, good governance has been one of his administration’s main thrust which calls for, among others, accountability, transparency, honesty, no corruption, effectiveness, and efficiency in serving the public.
    In line with this, the Mayor issued a memorandum directing local department heads and office representatives to attend the City’s Investment Summit on October 4 and 5 at the Baguio Convention and Cultural Center with the theme, “Public Private Partnership (PPP): Promoting Private Sector Engagement for Sustainable Development in Baguio City”.
It revealed that the city’s private sector proponents will present their proposals and the public is encouraged to actively participate in the activity to gain better understanding of the city’s proposed PPP developments.
Projects to be presented during the event include the Market Redevelopment Project; Intermodal Transport Terminal; Electric Monorail and Bus Transport System; Smart Urban Mobility Project; Asin Hydropower Plants Development and Improvement Project.


Cordillera reg’l autonomy pushed in ‘Dagyaw’ talks

>> Sunday, October 22, 2023

BAGUIO CITY— The “Cordillera Dagyaw” pushed quest for Cordillera autonomy with wherein the Dept. of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Cordillera urged local government units to take a more active role in attaining autonomy for the region.
    “The Department, in partnership with other regional line agencies, recognizes that our pursuit of regional autonomy poses significant challenges and complexities. "Dagyaw 2023 Episode 2: 'Usapang Awtonomiya' provided a platform to acknowledge the historical and cultural elements that contribute to our unique Cordilleran identity. This initiative reflects our shared aspirations for cultural preservation, equitable resource management, and responsible governance," said DILG Cordillera regional director Araceli San Jose.
    She said the episode reinforced the national government's support to establish regional autonomy. 
 Cordillera autonomy is provided for in the 1987 Philippine Constitution, which specifically states that:     “There shall be created autonomous regions in Muslim Mindanao and in the Cordilleras consisting of provinces, cities, municipalities, and geographical areas sharing common and distinctive historical and cultural heritage, economic and social structures, and other relevant characteristics within the framework of this Constitution and the national sovereignty as well as territorial integrity of the Republic of the Philippines.”
    San Jose said Dagyaw was intended to improve trust and confidence between the people and their government by providing a safe and protected space for dialogue for multiple sectors across society.
    Dagyaw proponents include DILG, Dept. of Budget and Management (DBM), Philippine Information Agency (PIA) Cordillera with national and regional government agencies, as well as Jaime V. Ongpin Foundation Inc. (JVOFI), Cordillera Network of NGOs and POs (CORDNET), Peoples Organization for Social Transformation (POST), Pansigedan Advocacy Cooperative (PAC), Council for the Restoration of Filipino Values (CRFV), Filipino Japanese Foundation of North Luzon Inc. (Abong), Doctors for Indigenous Health and Culturally-Competent Training, Education, Networking and Governance Inc. (DITENG) and  North Luzon Federation of Cooperatives and Development Center (NORLU CEDEC).
    The public can participated in Cordfillera autonomy discussions live stream of "Dagyaw 2023: Usapang Awtonomiya," through official Facebook pages of the DILG, DBM, and PIA Cordillera on Oct. 12.
    San Jose urged local government units to step up their support to the region's call for autonomy, saying LGUs were in best position to understand and address concerns and aspirations of communities.
She said    LGUs play crucial role in amplifying voices of their people and ensuring their concerns are acknowledged and resolved.
    “Our journey toward regional autonomy is not just a political endeavor; it is an affirmation of our commitment to preserving our cultural heritage, empowering our communities, and ensuring the prosperity of our region. It is about shaping a future where decisions affecting our lives and the lives of our children are made right here, within the boundaries of Cordillera,” the DILG regional director said. -- PMTG-DILG-CAR



Solar firm inks debt deal with Ilocos town

By Leilanie Adriano 

LAOAG CITY – The local government of Burgos in Ilocos Norte has inked a debt payment deal with Energy Logics Philippines Inc. (ELPI) that will allow the latter to pay its P15.59 million debt to the municipal government. 
    Burgos Mayor Crescente N. Garcia told the Philippine News Agency on Wednesday that ELPI, the developer of the 95-megawatt solar farm in the villages of Tanap and Agaga, needed to pay the municipality a total of P15.59 million in connection with its application for building permit. 
    Because of the energy company’s failure to pay its obligations, Garcia said they have made a compromise agreement that will allow ELPI continued operations, which started earlier his year.
     "As we have agreed upon, ELPI has already paid in full the principal [basic assessment fees for the building permit, which is more than P8.1 million,” Garcia said.
    The remaining P7.47 million, which accounts for the power producer’s fines and penalties, will be paid in terms after considering the company’s financial woes.
    Under the agreement, the municipality has the right to impose necessary penalties and actions if ELPI fails to comply with the conditions set on the compromised agreement.
In 2011, the Philippine government granted ELPI the exclusive right to develop the Ilocos Norte solar power project in Burgos town to provide the Luzon grid additional energy capacity at lower cost.
Under the plan, the energy firm will put up 279,410 solar panels, which have an individual capacity to produce 340 watts.
The same company also plans to develop 132-megawatt wind energy projects in the towns of Vintar and Pasuquin. -- PNA



DA expands farm demo sites in 4 La Union towns

By Hilda Austria 

MALASIQUI, Pangasinan – The towns of Sudipen, Aringay, Bauang, and Tubao in La Union will serve as demonstration sites for the cropping season in November for the PalaySikatan under the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) Seed Program.
    In a statement Friday, the Department of Agriculture said the sites that will showcase the performance of rice varieties – NSIC Rc 510, Rc 508, Rc 480, Rc 160, Rc 402, Rc 222, and Rc 216 –will be managed by the Philippine Rice (PhilRice) Research Institute in Batac City, Ilocos Norte. 
    “These varieties are either national, regional recommendations, or newly-released. We hope that farmers can see for themselves which inbred varieties are best suited in their area. We also promote the use of certified seeds as it can increase rice yield by 10 percent," PhilRice Batac RCEF coordinator Bethzaida Catudan said. 
    Among the technologies to be showcased in the techno demo sites include machines for crop establishment and harvesting, and nutrient management practices such as the use of Minus-one-element Technique (MOET) in analyzing soil’s nutrient deficiencies and determining the appropriate fertilizers to apply.
    Catudan said the harvests of La Union farmer-cooperators who have completed their program engagement and with sufficient water irrigation during the cropping season significantly increased from 4.40 tons per hectare (t/ha) to 6.48t/ha in the wet season and 6.47t/ha in dry season.
    “With these promising results, we expect that the farmer-cooperators will continue to use the technologies they learned in the techno demo. They are also our partners in reaching out to more farmers,” Catudan added.
    Farmer-cooperator Glen Balanag from Aringay, in an interview, said he is willing to share with his fellow farmers the technologies and practices that he will learn from the PalaySikatan techno demo.
    "Willing po ako na magpaliwanag sa mga kasamahan kong farmers ng kabutihan ng mga benepisyo ng mga bagong teknolohiya at mga bagong variety ng palay para matuto kaming lahat (I'm willing to explain to my fellow farmers the benefits of new technologies and rice varieties for us all to learn),” he said.
    The RCEF Seed Program is a component of Republic Act 11203 or Rice Tariffication Law, which allocates PHP3 billion in funds every year to develop, propagate, and promote high-quality inbred rice seeds to help improve the competitiveness of Filipino rice farmers. -- PNA
SOLAR FARM. Solar farms such as this in Barangay Suyo, Dingras, Ilocos Norte are scattered in various parts of Ilocos Norte. This makes the province a renewable energy capital in the Philippines and Southeast Asia. (File photo by Leilanie G. Adriano)


Sen Lapid, DSWD give cash aid to Baguio folks

ASSISTANCE. Senator Lito Lapid (right) hands over to a recipient the cash aid to 333 heads of families (PHP3,000 each), and 200 students (PHP5,000 education assistance) from Baguio City. The grant is given through the Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development. (PNA photo by Liza T. Agoot)

By Liza Agoot 

BAGUIO CITY – A total of 533 individuals here received on Monday cash aid coursed through the Dept. of Social Welfare and Development’s (DSWD) Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situations (AICS) program.
    Leo Quintilla, DSWD-Cordillera Administrative Region director, in an interview on the sidelines of the assistance distribution at the President Fidel Valdez Ramos gym, said the office of Sen. Lito Lapid funded the assistance for 333 heads of families, who received P3,000 food aid, and for 200 students, represented by their parents for the P5,000 educational assistance.
    He said an individual can apply for this aid program through referral or as a walk-in client, provided that they have not received any cash assistance for at least three months.
    “They can come anytime if they need help and we will attend to them. They just need to submit the requirement,” he said, but clarified that the applicants will be screened first.
    AICS is a continuing assistance of DSWD for those who are in need. It is funded either from the DSWD’s funds or from the office of a politician who has identified a particular group of beneficiaries.
Aside from the AICS, Lapid also extended a P1 million medical assistance grant to indigent patients of the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center.
“This will help the poor especially since prices are getting high,” Lapid said in Filipino during the turn-over ceremony.
“I hope that this small amount can be of help to you,” he added. -- PNA

FATHER AND SON -- Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) chief operating officer Mark Lapid and his father, Sen. Lito Lapid, pose with tokens from the city government given Monday, Oct. 9, during awarding of cash aid funded by the office of Sen. Lapid for 533 individuals. The younger Lapid said TIEZA is committed to helping in rehabilitation of Burnham Park. Before the pandemic hit, TIEZA’s Board approved a P400-million for rehabilitation of one of Baguio City’s tourism spots. -- Liza T. Agoot/ PNA


Illegal lumber seized in Sagada after tip-off

SAGADA, Mountain Province – Police confiscated over P5,000 worth of illegally sawn pine lumber here in Sitio Maduto, Barangay Suyo, Oct.4, the regional police information office said.
    Sagada Municipal Police Station officer in charge Capt. Aida E. Esteban said police were immediately deployed after a concerned citizen tipped off ongoing illegal logging activity at said barangay.
    Another informant also confirmed that he passed by and saw said pine lumber while he was on his way to his farm.
    Upon arrival, police operatives together with Environment officers of nearby Sabangan town found two chainsaws, nine pine lumber and felled pine tree worth P5,910.
    The confiscated pine lumber and chainsaws were brought to CENRO Sagada for documentation and proper disposition.
    Investigation is being conducted to identify suspects who will be facing charges for illegal logging.



Benguet cops hold outreach in towns

CAMP DANGWA, La Trinidad, Benguet -- The Benguet Police Provincial Office conducted outreach activities in Benguet municipalities Oct. 6, the regional police information office said.
    Police composed of “Kasandagan Class,” visited Pacalso Day Care Center in Sitio Bua, Barangay Tuding, Itogon, Benguet, wherein 45 learners were given 45 pieces of plastic chairs, snacks, and loot bags.
    Teachers also received 20 pieces of rubber mats, two steel rack shelves, and school supplies.
    Police also performed songs and dances and facilitated parlor games to entertain children, parents, and teachers.
    The activity ended with police serving lunch to participants.
    The teachers of the said daycare center expressed their gratitude to the police officers who chose them as their beneficiaries.
    The said center was devastated by a fire accident in September 2023 and is temporarily relocated to the barangay hall.
    In Mankayan, Benguet, other members of Kasandagan also visited grade school students and a bedridden 72-year-old senior citizen.
The class gave assorted groceries and cash assistance to beneficiaries.



Diplat new Ifugao PNP chief; top Cordillera officers visit province

CAMP DANGWA, La Trinidad, Benguet -- Col. Marvin S. Diplat is the new officer-in-charge of Ifugao Police Provincial Office.
    The regional police information office bared this saying Diplat assumed his post following ceremony at regional police headquarters here Oct. 5.
    The said turnover was administered by Col. Arnold D. Razote, chief of Regional Personnel and Records Management Division.
    Present during the activity were PRO Cordillera regional police director Brig. Gen. David K. Peredo Jr., deputy regional director for administration Brig. Gen. Patrick Joseph G. Allan, regional staff chief Col. Julio S. Lizardo, regional pastoral officer Maj. Alexander V. Pardo, PRO Cordillera officers and the new Ifugao police chief’s family.
    As highlight of the program, Peredo Jr. handed over the inventory book and unit flag to the new officer-in-charge.
In his acceptance message, Diplat expressed gratitude for the dedicated leadership and advocacy of his predecessor, Col. Davy Vicente M. Limmong, who retired from the police service last month.
Meanwhile, Cordillera police director Brig. Gen. David K. Peredo Jr. visited the Ifugao Police Provincial Office at Camp Dunuan,  Poblacion North,  Lagawe, Ifugao on Oct. 11.
During his talk to provincial police. Peredo Jr. cited "DKP" which stands for "Disiplina at Dasal, Kakayahan, Pagmamahal at Pagtupad sa Tungkulin." 
He told police significance of self-discipline and maximum tolerance while performing their duties in their respective areas of responsibility.
"Let us control ourselves and respond accordingly. Do not be rattled because police officers are apolitical. Let us abide by the rules as stipulated in the Omnibus Election Code, that Cordillera cops, can be trusted as we fairly address every situation that arises,” Peredo said.
Peredo also graced the blessing and inauguration of the Community Police Assistance Center (COMPAC) buildings of Lagawe and Lamut municipal police stations during his visit.
Peredo Jr. was accompanied by  Col. James D. Mangili, Chief of  Regional Investigation and Detective Management Division; Col. Reguel Santamaria, chief of Regional Logistics and Research Development Division;  Col. George Buyacao Jr., chief of Regional Intelligence Division; Col. Jeremias Oyawon, chief of Regional Operations Division; Lt. Col. Carolina Lacuata, chief of Regional Public Information Office and Lt. Col. Ruel Tagel, acting commander of Regional Mobile Force Battalion 15.
Other key regional police officers present aside from new Ifugao PNP chief Diplat were provincial and municipal police officers aside from local officials.



36 wanted persons nabbed in Cordillera; no crime in 36 towns

CAMP DANGWA, La Trinidad, Benguet -- Cordillera cops arrested 36 wanted persons, while 63 municipalities in the region recorded zero crime incidents Oct. 1 to 7, the regional police information office reported.
    Based on the records from Cordillera's Regional Investigation and Detective Management Division, Baguio City police recorded the highest number of arrests 19, followed by Police Provincial Office with eight; Benguet PPO, seven and Kalinga with two.
    Of these, six were listed as most wanted persons, of whom one was listed at regional level with five provincial.
    Meanwhile, as a result of intensified police presence, 63 municipalities in the region and two police stations in Baguio City recorded zero crime incidents during the same week.
\ Zero crime incidents were recorded in 23 municipalities in Abra, six in Apayao; 11, Benguet; four, Kalinga; nine, Ifugao and the 10 towns in Mountain Province.
In Baguio City, police stations of Aurora Hill and Kennon also recorded zero crime incidents out of 10 police stations in the city.



2 girls drown in Pangasinan

By Gabriel L. Cardinoza

LINGAYEN, Pangasinan --  A family weekend outing turned into a tragedy when two girls drowned in the waters off Binmaley Beach in Binmaley town on Sunday, the Pangasinan Police Office reported on Monday.
    The police identified the victims as 13-year-old Charisse Pensona Marcillos, a Grade 7 student; and 16-year-old Gladys Abegail Sarol Ballesteros, a Grade 12 student.
    The girls, both of Barangay Patayac in Santa Barbara town, were swimming when they were caught in a rip current which carried them away from the beach.
    The girls' grandmother, Fe Almario Ballesteros, 71, noticed the two girls struggling to get back to the shore and shouted for help.
    One of their companions, Jonathan Nevado, 43, immediately plunged into the water but was unable to reach the two girls because of the strong current.
    Nevado, himself, ended up being rescued by Bantay Dagat members, who had arrived to respond to the emergency.
    The two girls were immediately taken to the Lingayen District Hospital here, but the attending physician pronounced them dead on arrival.


TIEZA bares initial P100 million for Burnham dev’t

By Liza Agoot 

BAGUIO CITY – The Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) can give at least P100 million as initial fund for the rehabilitation of Burnham Park, 25 percent of the P400 million fund that was approved by the TIEZA Board pre-pandemic.
    TIEZA chief operating officer Mark Lapid, in an interview on Monday, said the agency was not able to immediately provide the funds because of the pandemic and the funding needs that it entailed to the government.
    “We will start implementing as soon as we get our funds,” he said.
    Lapid said they have agreed with the city government to prioritize parts of the rehabilitation plan so that whatever part of the project that will be completed can “already be used.”
    “We do not want a phase-by-phase development so they have to make priorities,” he said in an interview during his visit with his father, Sen. Lito Lapid, for the distribution of assistance to 533 heads of families and students in Baguio.
    He noted “the economy is regaining” and “money is coming in.”
    “So, we hope to implement projects for development soon,” he said.
    Lapid also bared negotiation with the Asian Development Bank for the rehabilitation of the sewerage and water treatment facility of the city is in the pipeline.
    “We still need the NEDA (National Economic and Development Authority) and the Department of Finance because the loans are secured by TIEZA, and if the city fails to pay, TIEZA will pay and it is still government coffers,” he added.
    Aside from the projects in Baguio, TIEZA is also eyeing development program for the Mt. Data Hotel in Mountain Province and the Banaue Hotel in Ifugao. -- PNA





Baguio gong fest events set

BAGUIO CITY -- The vibrant sound and rhythm of gongs that holds significance in the history and traditions of the Cordillera region, will echo in Baguio City in celebration of Indigenous Peoples (IP) Month.
    Along with the IP Month celebration, Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong issued executive order 135, series of 2023 declaring the month of October as the Baguio Gong Festival and setting forth guidelines for this purpose.
    This year will be the 11th year of the Baguio gong Festival bringing together people from diverse backgrounds to appreciate and participate in the festivities, fostering a sense of unity and cultural pride.
    The Gong festival Day started Oct. 8 with a parade from Session Road to Harrison and will culminate at the Melvin Jones followed by an opening program and ceremony.
    Activities for the month include a mural making event scheduled to take place at E. Jacinto Street throughout the entire month of October 8 a.m. to 12 noon daily.
    During this time frame, artists will create large-scale murals, turning the street into an artistic canvas for a wide range of creative expressions, making it an engaging and vibrant public art project.
    Busking and other entertainment activities called Salimsim Live Performances will also take place at E. Jacinto Street on     Oct21, 22, 29 and 29 or every Saturday and Sunday of October from 2 p.m. onwards, providing a series of lively and culturally enriching public acts.
    An online art exhibit will be running through the month to provide an extended period for virtual visitors to explore and appreciate a diverse collection of artworks in Baguio being a melting pot of culture.
    Indigenous games will be conducted on Oct. 15 from 8a.m. to 5 p.m.at Carantes Street offering an opportunity for participants to engage in and celebrate the cultural heritage of traditional sports and activities.
    Culminating activity will be on Oct. 29 from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. along E. Jacinto Street to be concluded with live performances by Mingor Chi Kultura and Joey Ayala at ang Bagong Lumad.
    “This annual celebration promotes tourism, preserves indigenous culture, and emphasizes the significance of the gong in the lives of Baguio residents.
    Several departments of the city government are directed to extend support to the activities further firming up Baguio’s title as a UNESCO Creative City for Crafts and Folk Arts. – JMPS



Atok scores upset in Yap Congressional Cup win

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet -- Tuba started coldly with its second stringers as starting unit which Atok took advantage off.
    Picking – up from where they left in the opening canto, Atok started with a 10- 2 run in the first three minutes of play for a 53-45 lead in the third period.
    Tuba came as close to five in the payoff canto but never completed any run.
    Atok coach Jay Pagadora said prayer and trust paid off after beating one of the most fancied teams to make a deep run in the post season in the event backed by Cong. Eric Go Yap, Benguet Gov. Melchor Diclas.
    Kurt Tamiray, who helped Cordillera Career Development win back – to – back crown in 2008 and 2009, led Atok with 27 points on top of five rebounds, two assists and two steals.      
    But Atok’s magical run against Tuba after La Trinidad 2 sent them crashing back to reality with a 116 – 78 loss with Tamiray getting ejected after committing two unsportsmanlike foul.
    Aaron Nang-is led Trinidad 2 with 19 points for his third best player of the game honor.
    It was Trinidad’s first win after three successive defeats.
    Tuba meanwhile bounced back Sunday right at their home turf with a convincing victory against Mankayan, 115 – 84.
    John Cedric Pugong almost made it a double – double with 16 points and nine boards. He added three assists and steals.
    But Mankayan survived a fighting Bakun and win, 79-69, after four straight defeats during their home game on Tuesday.
    Mankayan struggled early as Bakun put on the pressure to take an early 7-4 lead. Up by one, 34-33, with less than a minute to go, Mankayan in a frenetic finish completed a 4-0 run and lead 39-33 at halftime.
    Jonathan Peralta led Mankayan with 22 points, while Lenz Antolino and Felix Balais, Jr. added 10 each for the team’s second win in six outings in the event also supported by the Office of Gov. Melchor Diclas and Hypro energy drink.
    Bokod meanwhile scored back-to back victories during the weekend for their eight wins in eight outings.
    After trailing by six in the opening canto against Kabayan on Sunday, Bokod mounted a 19-2 run in the next seven minutes for 19-8 lead.
    From then on, Bokod never looked back cruising to a 97-75 win.
    Joshua Pascua led four other Bokod players in double digit with 26 points, 11 rebounds, three assists and three steals as well as a single block.
    On Saturday, Bokod also cruised to a 95 - 81 win against La Trinidad 2.
    Darwin Fernandez had 18 markers while John Ric Buneventura added 22 while brother June Rey chipped in 15 aside from hauling nine boards, dish four dimes, three steals and three blocks.
    Two other Bokod players scored 10 or more with Rayell Williams making 14 and Rey Gabino chipped in 10.
    Aaron Nang-is led Trinidad 2 with 15, while Lloyd Calma added 11.
    In other games, Itogon started slowly but came out a 99-88 winner over a gritty Buguias for its seventh win in the tournament also backed by Hypro Energy Drink.  
    Itogon started slowly, even trailed in the first canto but managed to take a 21-20 lead.
    Julius Mancio, Padawag and Jude Quitalbo led Itogon with 19, 18 and 16 points, with the last adding 14 boards for a double – double.
    Buguias however bounced back in Mankayan on Tuesday to beat Tublay, 81-73.
    It was Kurke Simeon who led Buguias as they went supernova to erase a 34-36 deficit, blow the game wide open and the lead at 60-41.
    Simeon led Buguias with 37 points on top of seven rebounds, three assists and two steals.
    Joaquin Daysa added 18 as Buguias improved to 3-3, which is good for seventh spot in the 14 team league.
    Sablan meanwhile survived Bakun, 84-81, and end a five game losing streak.
Micheal Panagan, Carvin Jay Velasco and Jeremiah Buslay led Sablan with 10 each.
    Kapangan extended their win streak to three for their fourth win in seven outings against Kabayan on Saturday at the Sablan Municipal Gym, 84 - 76.
    Five players scored in double digits as Kibungan defeats host Sablan to finally win its first, 93-87.
    Ryan Contada led Kibungan with 15 points even as Jade Roxas made 13 and the trio of Norman Danglay, Octavio Cuanso, Jr. and Jeffrey Abansi added 10 markers with the last completing a double double after hauling 13 boards on top of two assists, two steals and a lone block.
    After five straight losses, Kibungan jumped the gun early on a cold Sablan squad as it outscored the host 32-18 at the end of the first canto.
    The lead increased to 24 at halftime, 57-33, and Kibungan never looked back as it cruised to its very first win.
Meanwhile, erstwhile leader La Trinidad 1, after losing to Bokod at home Thursday, vented its ire on a hapless Tublay to win 120-65.
    Seven of the eight players who went to Sablan scored in double digit with John Tuazon and Jamil Sultan making 20 points, Kenneth Antonio had 19, Jan Fianza and Armando Pollante chipped in 16 a piece.
Neil Ulep and Alexander Batanes chipped in 14 and 10, respectively.
    Batanes and Pollante both made double double after adding 12 and 11 boards, respectively.
Nicanor Menzi, Jr. also made a double - double with 21 points and 11 rebounds, while Casey Tagulao added 17 for the losing Tublay squad, which now totes a 2-5 card.  
    Rex Kitayan top scored with 22 points. -- MSD  


DOST awards Bontoc for science, tech programs

By Alpine Killa

BONTOC, Mountain Province - The Dept. of Science and Technology (DOST) awarded the Bontoc local government a plaque of recognition for its outstanding progress, marking the municipality as one of the most remarkable Community Empowerment through Science and Technology ( CEST) program implementors in the Cordillera Administrative Region.
    The plaque of recognition was received by Sangguniang Bayan members Viola Okko and Timothy Pongad, Jr., along with Science and Technology coordinator Jenelyn Caluza during the 2023 Regional Science, Technology, and Innovation Week in Bangued, Abra, last week of September.
    The Bontoc CEST initiatives have become good example of how science,technology, and innovation can act as catalysts for sustainable growth and development in Mountain Province being selected as the Provincial Best CEST Awardee and regional nominee.
    Bontoc Mayor Jerome "Chagsen" Tudlong, Jr., in his message delivered by SB Member Okko, said the recognition conferred to the municipality of Bontoc is a humbling and inspiring feat, not only to the Bontoc LGU but to the
Bontoc community and partner stakeholders in general.
    He added that recognition was testament to dedication and commitment of government towards the progress of the municipality.
    With the bestpractices of Bontoc, the innovative initiatives have not only improved the lives ofresidents but have also set a benchmark for others to follow in the pursuit of science and technology-driven progress.
    The mayor further said that the award reaffirmed Bontoc as hub of innovation and a model for harnessing the power of science and technology to addresscommunity needs and achieve lasting development.
    The recognition also cited importance of nurturing a culture of scientific exploration and innovation at the grassroots level.
    Thus, part of the present local government’s administration’s initiatives in empowering communities is implementation of the DOST -CEST program in barangays Dalican, Guina-ang, and Mainit.
    The plaque of recognition was formally handed over to Mayor Tudlong and Vice Mayor Eusebio Kabluyen Oct, 2. At municipal grounds


Employees, colleagues share stories about SM’s Henry Sy Sr.

When the Mall of Asia opened in 2006, Henry Sy, Sr. was walking around the SM Store alongside Ma. Cecilia Abreu, who was then Assistant Vice President for Store Operations.
    As is usually the case with Mr. Sy, he dropped by the Shoe section, checked the shoes and sandals, and then asked a few questions to the sales clerks. “Marami pa ba nito? Are these fast-moving?”
(Are there more of these?)
    The questions did not stop there. Holding one sandal, he asked Abreu a question that stayed with her: “Can our customers still afford to buy our sandals at this price?”
    “Ang iniisip niya talaga is kaya pa ba ‘to ng customer. Very consistent si Mr. Sy when understanding his customers, what they want, and what they need,” Abreu shared. 
    (He was really thinking if the customers can still afford the shoes. Mr Sy was very consistent when understanding his customers, what they want, and what they need.)
    That consistency in understanding the market has stayed with SM through the years. Providing customers with affordable and quality items goes way back to Tatang - the name Mr. Sy, Sr. was fondly called by those whose lives he touched. 
    Once an Assistant Branch Manager of SM Makati, Abreu has a lot of stories about Tatang.
    “Meron rin kaming isang customer. Nagdadala siya ng maraming bag. Hindi naman siya bumibili.
hen she would always look for Mr. Sy. Uupo siya dun sa daanan ng lobby namin. Sasabihan namin si Tatang, Sir andyan na naman ho yung lady na palaging naghahanap sa inyo. Tatang would tell us with a smile on his face, ‘let her sit there.’”
    (We have a customer. She would bring a lot of bags. She was not buying anything. She would sit down on the hallway of our lobby. We would inform Tatang, Sir there is the lady who is always looking for you again.)
Honoring commitments, respecting hard work
    Continuing the story of the SM Makati customer, Chelo Monasterio, once an SM Makati Branch Manager, said, “Tatang feels that SM is for everyone. That’s why di ba kahit pag typhoon, we will open. It was because, for Mr. Sy, we are a shelter for people.”
    (That’s why even when we have typhoons, we would open.)
Monasterio joined SM 41 years ago, back when there were only three stores: Quiapo, Cubao, and Ermita. Climbing the ladder from HR manager, SM Makati Branch Manager to becoming SM Store President, and now a Consultant for SM Retail, Monasterio shared with pride, “We were trained by Tatang. So what we think, what we impart came from him. He molded us to be what we are. He managed us but he did not make us scared of him. We could tell him how we felt and he would never take it against us. He listened to what people had to say.”
    According to Monasterio, Tatang was not flowery with his words. He was very direct to the point. These words, simple as they may seem, made their mark on her. “These are the words that I carry with me.” In one instance, Tatang told her. “Chelo, there are two traits that you should have that will make you successful. One, you have to have common sense. And the other one is you have to have industry.”
    With a smile, remembering those days at SM Makati as Branch Manager, Monasterio shared, “Mr.
Sy mentored me on selling operations. He would help me in the morning and talk to me about merchandising and shoes. He would talk about how to handle people including suppliers - that you have to be kind and that you have to honor your commitments to them because that will dictate your reputation.”
    Tatang liked to spend time and talk and share his dreams and aspirations.
    “When he shares it with you, you feel a certain affinity - that you belong and that you’re gonna help him with his vision,” Monasterio said.
    Believing in your vision and your people
    On Mr. Sy’s last visit touring SM Store’s Distribution Center in Paranaque, Rose Siaco still remembers what he told her, “This is a bonus, Rose, and it’s not part of my vision.”
    The Distribution Center (DC) is where SM Store’s suppliers drop their products for transfer to SM Store branches and Retail affiliates across the Philippines.
    In 1978, Siaco was a practicing Medical Technologist who dared to try something outside of her comfort zone. She started her journey as Shoemart Inc.’s Supplies Officer that year. This is where her organizational skills and attention to detail would come in handy.
    Seeing that Siaco thrives on challenges, she was given the task by Mr. Sy of becoming an acting warehouse manager. “I told him that it’s a man’s world, but he told me to train as a warehouse manager. He said to me, ‘I need your talent. I don’t need your physical strength. That would be too taxing for you,’” Siaco shared.
    This encouraged her and inspired her to enroll in management courses. “Talagang nag train ako. I attended seminars.     Those were the days na pag nag attend ako ng seminar, I was the only female participant,” Siaco further added.
(I really trained. Those were the days when I attend, I was the only female participant.)
For her, Tatang is really a disciplinarian, like a strict teacher. “If you make a mistake, i-cocorrect ka na niya - on the spot. Ganun siya mag train.” She also said that he also informed the affected staff of the consequences of the mistake.
(If you make a mistake, he would correct you on the spot. That was how he trained us.)
    Other than thriving on new challenges, Siaco shared the reason why she stayed with SM for 45 years: “Kaya rin ako nagtagal, I don’t feel that they are other people. They treat their employees like family.”
(That is why I stayed for a long time)
Stories shared, vision realized
    Abreu shared another anecdote. “Supermarket. After his usual ‘rounds,’ Tatang bade farewell to everyone. He got into his car but before the car even left, Mr. Sy got out of the car. Everyone was still outside, waving and thanking him for the visit. Mr. Sy said in a clear voice ‘I want to thank each and every one of you for your hard work.’”
    Sharing his vision, telling stories, and words of gratitude are the ways in which Tatang showed he cared. Now, his employees and colleagues from the small stores of Quiapo and Makati continue to tell his stories and help the company realize his vision.




Sustainability tours kick off at SM Baguio

 SM Updates

By Josie Lyn L. Galario

BAGUIO CITY -- To inspire the youth towards sustainable living, SM Supermalls entered into an academe partnership with top universities in Baguio City for a series of educational tours that highlight water conservation, energy efficiency and solid waste management. The instructive activity aims to build awareness among the youth to understand sustainability in creating positive environmental footprint and improving the well-being of our communities.
    In collaboration with University of the Cordillera College of Engineering and Architecture and SM City Baguio, recently launched the Sustainability Features and Greening Effects Tour on Oct. 6, as part of its commitment to the community and the environment.
    The short-guided tour around the mall showcase accessible eco-friendly facilities that SM City Baguio provides. This reaffirms the SM group's commitment to empowering young students to dream big and to spread social good in their communities.
    SM City Baguio regional HR manager said,” This is a pilot program for SM City Baguio, SM City Baguio and nag start nito. since we have mall sustainability features like the rainwater being converted into drinking water. Although in other SM malls, meron ng ganitong technology, yung rainwater catchment pero this time, it’s different in SM City Baguio, it is converted to drinking water.” 
    Thirty selected college students from University of the Cordilleras College of Engineering and Architecture participated the tour around the mall’s eco-friendly facilities such as the EV charging stations, rainwater treatment facility, waste segregation bins, plastic waste collection booths, water recycling initiatives and bicycle amenities.
    The Sustainability Tour is one of the numerous programs of SM in helping to care for the environment and promote sustainable living among the youth. Some of the mall-based activities are the Trash to Cash Recycling Market held every first Friday and Saturday of the month; daily water recycling systems, and environmental campaigns such as the Green Film Festival, Green Retail Agenda, and the International Coastal Cleanup Drive, to name a few.
    “Sa tour po namin ngayon, masaya po kami kasi mas nagkaroon kami ng knowledge na ia-apply namin sa aming course …” said Environmental and Sanitary Engineering (EnSE) student Christine Ann Abalos.  
    SM's dedication aligns with the world’s environmental sustainability and climate action goals. SM Supermalls, through its initiatives, paves the way for a greener, more secure future. This passion continues to bridge innate student potential as well as providing a channel for the youth to play an active role in community and nation-building.



Two dead in Ilocos Norte road crashes

By Freddie Lazaro

CAMP JUAN, Ilocos Norte – Two persons died in road accidents in Ilocos Norte on Tuesday, October 10.
Police identified the fatalities as Rubiliza Baoit, 50, of Barangay Daquioag, Marcos, Ilocos Norte, and Edwin Acosta, 27, a construction worker and resident of Barangay Catangraran, Solsona, Ilocos Norte. 
    Investigation said Rubiliza’s husband Jose, 54, fell asleep and lost control of their Hyundai Starex which rammed a tree beside the road in Sitio Bituin, Barangay Valdez, Marcos, Ilocos Norte at 2:55 p.m.
    She was taken to a hospital where she was declared dead due to serious injuries.
    Police said Acosta was driving his motorcycle fast when he crashed while negotiating a sharp curve of the Ilocos Norte-Apayao Road in Barangay Suyo, Dingras, Ilocos Norte. 
    Acosta sustained serious injuries and died on the way to the hospital.
    Police Col. Julius C. Suriben, Ilocos Norte police director, appealed to the public to exercise extra caution when driving to prevent accidents and loss of life.




Baguio moves to title P120-M Tuba property

BAGUIO CITY -- The local government submitted to the Registry of Deeds (ROD) of Benguet complete documents required for registration and transfer of the title in the name of the city government on the purchased property in Sitio Poblacion, Topinao in Tuba.
    City Legal Officer Althea Alberto said she personally provided the ROD of Benguet with the complete documents in relation to the earlier request of the local government for the registration and transfer of title of the Topinao property in favor of the city last October 11, 2023 which is now subject for review by the said office.
    She said the local government partially submitted the requirements for registration and transfer of title to the ROD of Benguet last September 25, 2023.
    The city legal officer added registration fees were also paid by the city aside from the transfer, documentary and other similar taxes from the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).
    Alberto said among additional documents submitted by the city to the Rod were the report of the City Council committee on laws stating among others that the authority from the local legislative body for the said transaction was already implied under Resolution No. 2211, series of 2020 and Ordinance No. 42, 2020 that appropriated the funds used for the purchase of the Topinao property.
    On March 23, 2022, the local chief executive requested authority from the city council for the registration and transfer of the title on the Topinao property that it purchased in the name of the city while a follow up on the matter was made on April 13, 2022.
    In a report dated July 28, 2022, the committee on laws stated that priori authority was already given to the mayor when it acted on the resolution that approved the supplemental Annual Investment Plan for 2020 and the ordinance that provided the funds for the supplemental AIP.
Resolution No. 221, series of 2020 approved the Supplemental Annual Investment Plan (AIP) for fiscal year 2020 of the city of Baguio while Ordinance No. 42, series of 2020 reverted to the general fund the total amount of P704,190,392.00 from unappropriated surplus for 2020 – P94,545,493.00; capital outlay continuing appropriation 2017 and below various offices – P211,326,307.01; local development fund – 2017 and below – P104,155,590.46; refurbishment of city hall – 1,093,605.25; and reversion of obligation – 2017 and below all departments – P298,069,396.28 and re-appropriating the same amount for the funding of various priority projects under the Annual Investment Plan (AIP) for fiscal year 2020 for the City of Baguio.
Part of the said appropriation was the amount of P120,000,000 for the purchase by the local government of land at sitio Topinao barangay Poblacion, Tuba, Benguet.



Bontoc town folks trained for emergencies

BONTOC, Mountain Province – Folks here joined training in Barangay Mainit  here as responders in far barangays during emergencies.
    Training included basic life support and standard first aid .
    There were 34 trainees composed of Mainit youth, barangay officials, health workers and Guina-ang youth in the Oct. 6–8 training.
    The event was headed by the Bontoc local government through the Local Youth Development Office in partnership with Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) of Mainit.
Technical assistance and logistic support were provided by Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, Emergency Response Team and Samoki Mountain Rescue Team. 
The training team included personnel from Bontoc LGU, BERT, Samoki Mountain Rescue Team, and Mountain Province General Comprehensive High School (MPGCHS).
Lectures on principles of emergency care, introduction to BLS, cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR), foreign body airway obstruction (FBAO) management and basic first aid were discussed.
Facilitators also taught students skills and proper techniques for CPR, FBAO management, wound management using triangular and elastic bandaging techniques, and the management of suspected fractures using splinting techniques.
Participants were evaluated individually on their skills in CPR and FBAO.
As part of their evaluation, a simulation exercise was conducted to evaluate the participant's knowledge gained and skills developed in training.
Municipal Administrator Eric Fulangen, Sr., in his message during the first day, urged participants, especially the youth, to actively participate in said training, since barangays are far from medical facilities. -- Bontoc MDRRMO 




Fatal boat ramming near Bajo de Masinloc probed

By Lade Jean Kabagani

The ramming of a Filipino fishing boat by a foreign commercial vessel while transiting waters near Bajo de Masinloc that killed three Filipinos might have been an “accident.”
    This was the assessment of Senator Francis Tolentino as the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee began motu propio investigation on the issue.
    “I could not speculate. I don’t even know the crew there. Probably it’s an accident,” Tolentino said in a media interview after the Senate hearing on Thursday.
    Tolentino said the panel’s first investigation on the boat ramming revealed the owners of the foreign commercial ship, Pacific Anna, which is now considered a vessel of interest in the ramming incident, is being operated by a Chinese-Korean firm.
    “Yung relevation lang dito na lumabas, ‘yung tanong na sino ang may-ari ng barko? ‘Yung Sinokor. Sinokor is a Chinese-Korean Corporation (The revelation that comes out here is that the owner of the vessel is Sinokor. Sinokor is a Chinese-Korean corporation. But I am not attributing anything here” Tolentino said partly in Filipino.
    Senators learned about information during the hearing, as confirmed by Captain Leo Bolivar, deputy commissioner for maritime affairs of the Republic of Marshall Islands.
    “It’s actually owned by Sinokor…I have a confirmation here that the shipowner is a Compass Shipping 28 Corporation Limited with an address care of Sinokor Maritime Company Limited…in Seoul, Korea,” Bolivar said.
    Tolentino made a quick look at Sinokor’s website and it revealed that the company is a “joint venture between Chinese and Korean groups”—operated by Sinokor Merchant Marine, and owned by Compass Shipping 28 Corporation Ltd. based in Seoul, South Korea.
    During the hearing, Bolivar said Maritime and Corporate Registries of Marshall Island had started its investigation on the fatal collision as early as 4 October upon learning of the incident involving Pacific Anna.
    He said they are now in the process of “concluding the investigation and it will be a full report that will be forwarded to the International Maritime Organization database and it will be visible for Port State Control.”
    Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel Jr. urged that concerned government agencies to appeal to the Pacific Anna operators to compensate the victims of the fatal ramming incident.
    Pimentel cited the evidence presented at the hearing, along with the initial investigation theory of the Philippine Coast Guard, which revealed that the boat ramming “might have been an accident” and can be “settled in accordance with international law.”
    “Accidents do happen. Posible namang aksidente ito eh (It’s possible that this is an accident). If it’s a pure accident, does anybody have to go to jail? Hindi (No). But we have to compensate those damaged, at huwag na nating i-dribble o patagalin masyado (and we don’t need to prolong it),” he stressed.
    Pimentel underscored that the victims should be “entitled to a certain amount.”
    “International law does not prevent the payment of the entire amount or an initial amount,” he added.
    Amid the investigations on the incident, the Philippine Coast Guard said it continues to monitor the movement of the Marshall Islands-registered crude oil tanker.
    It was last tracked to have docked at Kidurong, Malaysia, and is currently moving away from the area.
    Meanwhile, PCG Maritime Safety Services Commander Vice Admiral Joseph Coyme said the FB Dearyn is now being towed towards Subic, Zambales.
    “This piece of evidence is very important for us because we will conduct an inspection and at the same time, examine those scab marks found on the hull of the FB Dearyn and be subjected to forensic examination,” Coyme said, noting that the PCG’s fact-finding investigation report will be completed in a week.
    The final report will then be submitted to the Department of Foreign Affairs for appropriate diplomatic actions, he added.


After deadly crashes Northern Luzon planes' airworthiness questioned

TUGUEGARAO CITY -- The airworthiness of planes in Northern Luzon has been receiving flak from villagers amid recent crashes, the latest was the crash in Apayao that killed two pilots on August 3 this year.
    "The planes are decades already in existence. Every time we travel, we are 50-50 of landing alive. It is so hard for us who usually travel by plane from our coastal area to submit reports and attend meetings and other obligations in the mainland," Maconacon civil registrar Maria Teresa Oriarte said on Thursday.
    Another coastal resident, engineer Nellie Limboy of Divilacan, said their plight must be given attention by national and local leaders who should see to it that local airlines plying mainland Isabela or Cagayan to its coastal areas have safe planes.
    The villagers have brought to fore the usual concerns on airworthiness of the aircraft flying the Maconacon-Tuguegarao and Palanan-Cauayan City routes and other Northern Luzon routes.
    Earlier in August, retrieval teams recovered the bodies of the instructor-pilot and student-pilot who perished in the plane crash in Sitio Matad, Barangay Salvacion, Pudtol, Apayao.
    The body of 24-year-old Capt. Edzel John Tabuzo was turned over to his family while the body of student-pilot Anshum Rajkumar Konde, 20, was turned over to the Indian Embassy and later to his family.
    Tabuzo, who had his solo flight on March 11, 2022, was allegedly in control of the "routine flight"; with Konde as student-pilot.
    The recent air disaster has prompted the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines through its central office to review and revisit the planes, facilities and other amenities of airline companies plying Northern Luzon, Marlyn Sagursor, CAAP North Luzon manager, earlier said.
On April 14, 2009, after two weeks since it went missing on April 2 of the same year, the wreckage of the Britten-Norman B2A Islander plane, a twin-engine, nine-seater aircraft with tail no. 764, was found at a slope with thick forest cover in Sitio Bayang, Barangay San Miguel, Baggao, Cagayan.
The seven passengers were confirmed dead.
They were Captains Tomas Yañez and Reiner Ruiz, the pilot and co-pilot, Senior Police Officer 2 Rolly Castaños, Maconacon local government driver Celestino Salacup, Divilacan town councilor Abelardo Baggay, Sapinit village chief Joel Basilio (Divilacan) and Divilacan town zoning officer James Bakilan.
The plane, owned by Chemtrad Aviation Corp., and its crew were bound for Maconacon town in Isabela province when it met the accident.
The unpredictable weather and the "tricky mountain slopes" at the 265,000-hectare Northern Sierra Madre natural park are the usual concerns of pilots flying in the area as planes have been regularly checked for maintenance and certified by the government for airworthiness, according to Philippine Air Force tactical operations group reports in previous meetings.
Yet, villagers taking the plane ride in Maconacon or Palanan town have no choice because of the lack of road network to mainland Isabela, former Divilacan town councilor Nortencio Pecaat said.
"We are putting our lives at risk, but we have to because of important commitments in the mainland," Pecaat added. Former Palanan municipal civil registrar Isabel Castillejos said the government must develop a road network at the foothills of the Sierra Madre mountain ranges to possibly lessen plane accidents.
Aside from the recent plane accident, other noted plane tragedies in Cagayan Valley and Cordillera, as culled from past reports released by government agencies, include:
On Dec. 12, 2003, a British-made, high-wing, twin-engine turbo propeller plane (tail number RPC-868) owned by Chemtrad crashed onto a slope along Susong Dalaga in Dimapnat, Divilacan town.
The wreckage was found two days later.
Killed were Capt. Lamberto Melo, the plane's pilot, Capt. Marvin Regis, co-pilot; and Mario Valdez, crew chief.
The plane was on its way back to Tuguegarao City after airlifting passengers to Maconacon town.
On Dec. 7, 1999, an Asian Spirit twin-engine turboprop plane crashed along Mount Mamparang in Debibi, Cabarroguis, Quirino, killing 23 people on board.
On May 20, 2000, a single-engine Cessna plane crashed on the mountain slope of Susong Dalaga of the Sierra Madre mountains in Divilacan town in Isabela.
The bodies of Capt. Edgardo Castillo, plane pilot, and passengers, dentist Haydee Cabrera and her children, three-year-old Hazel and one-year-old Nicole, were found dead eight days later.
In 1993, four people including then Tourism regional head Conchita Santos were found dead after the single-engine Cessna plane crashed off the Sierra Madre forests in Divilacan town.



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