Tuesday, November 13, 2018

DAR holds lecture on mediation

Atty. Leilani Carmelita R. Magbanua (3rd from left), Provincial Adjudicator for La Union and Abra, gave a lecture on mediation and alternative dispute resolution to the legal division staff of DAR Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union and Pangasinan.
In order to further enhance the capabilities of its legal division manpower, the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) held a lecture on mediation and alternative dispute resolution (ADR) on October 9-12, 2018 at the Aureo Resort Hotel in San Fernando City, La Union.
In the said activity, the important provisions of Republic Act 9825 or The Alternative Dispute Resolution Act of 2004 were fully explained. The lecture was conducted by the Legal Services Division of DAR Regional Office 1, headed by Atty. Armi Christie C. Pe Benito.

Atty. Leilani Carmelita R. Magbanua, Provincial Adjudicator for La Union and Abra, stressed that mediation is a voluntary process in which a mediator, selected by the disputing parties, facilitates communication and negotiation, and assists the parties in reaching a voluntary agreement regarding a dispute.

“Mediation is a party-driven, interest-based, private, confidential, speedy and relatively inexpensive procedure,” Atty. Magbanua said.

The delegation of DAR Ilocos Norte was composed of Atty. Melvyn T. Guillermo, Jorge Richard P. Guerrero, Melissa Guarino-Guerrero, Elizabeth S. Nicolas, Marichelle V. Brillantes, Mae Alnie C. Agaludud and Delia C. Ramiro.

The activity was also attended by the legal division staff of DAR Ilocos Sur, La Union and Pangasinan.

BARD NOTES: Happy bard-reading to Ilocos Norte Governor Imee R. Marcos, Ilocos Norte Vice Governor Angelo Marcos Barba, Laoag City Mayor Chevylle V. Farinas, Badoc ABC President Virgilio Calajate, Ilocos Norte Provincial Treasurer Josephine P. Calajate, INEC President Enrico “Cocoy” Ruiz, Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer II Vic M. Ines, DAR Ilocos Norte Chief Administrative Officer Rudy Acacio and PNB Pasuquin Branch Manager Metty V. Guerrero.

Greetings also to the employees of AMA Laoag, Laoag City PNP, DAR Ilocos Norte, DepEd Laoag, DepEd Ilocos Norte and PNB Pasuquin.

Ilocos Norte wins PH’s best tourism-oriented province

By Bernard Ver

Laoag City—After finishing as runners-up in the last two years, the Ilocos Norte government finally won the “Pearl Award” as the best tourism-oriented province in the Philippines.

The Association of Tourism Officers of the Philippines (ATOP) and the Department of Tourism (DOT) held the awarding ceremonies on October 5, 2018 in Cagayan de Oro City.

The search recognizes exceptional practices, projects and innovations in every local government’s tourism office in the Philippines as well as the men and women behind this great contribution in creative works and exceptional services and its cause.

After the two runners-up finishes, Ilocos Norte tourism officer Aian B. Raquel said felt challenged, which he said made them work harder and the result was satisfying.

“Since we started, we have accomplished the fundamental requirements for a well-functioning LGU in terms of tourism. We have legislations such as tourism code, investment code, cultural code, and environmental code, and we have established permanent positions for local tourism officers,” said Mr. Raquel, provincial tourism officer and head of the Ilocos Norte Tourism Office (INTO)

“It’s important that the executives have significant accomplishments in terms of administration and legislation,” he added.

“We almost quit sending an application for the award but thanks to the hard work of my colleagues at PGIN [Ilocos Norte provincial government] and the help of many friends, we finally made it! And yes finally, after all these years of fighting tooth and nail, blood, sweat, and tears, it feels great to be recognized by the tourism sector, especially by the hundreds of tourism officers in the country- the real backbone of the tourism industry,” Mr. Raquel posted on social media after the win.

Mr. Raquel also recognized the effort of Ilocos Norte Governor Ma. Imelda Josefa “Imee” R. Marcos and the provincial government for their “unending support since the beginning of their presentation”.

For years, the province has been keen on implementing strategies for the protection and conservation of cultural properties, including the establishment of new venues and platforms for local artists, and promotion of the province's cultural sites, products, and events.

Finalists include the province of Samar and province of Davao del Norte, which won third and second place, respectively.

IN’s pioneer tourism programs
In particular, Pearl Awards’ screening committee commended the INTO’s Summer Tourism Program. The program immerses both the young and elderly as tour guides in different museums and churches in the province.

“This is the first effort in the country, specifically in the tourism sector, that employs senior citizens as tour guides in museums and churches. This is very special because it shows that our provincial policy on inclusivity is applied in that we employ very diverse demographics—from youth to senior citizens,” Mr. Raquel said.

“Also, they [the committee] commended the fact that we were able to earn direct tourism revenues from out properties; data shows we were able to earn more than what we are spending in the INTO.”

Fees and rentals of government-owned tourist destinations such as the Kapurpurawan rock formation, Malacañang of the North, Paseo de Paoay, La Tabacalera Lifestyle Center, Cape Bojeador Lighthouse, and the Ilocano Heroes Hall all contribute to provincial revenue

Moreover, ATOP-DOT cited the Media Incentives Desk (MID), an initiative of Ms. Marcos. MID pioneered film tourism in the province through an exchange of benefits and promotion coordinated among LGUs, private establishments, and production companies looking to film within Ilocos Norte.

Last year, Artikulo Uno Productions, the maker of historical epic “Goyo: Ang Batang Heneral” filmed in the different municipalities of the province. Also, television series "Bagani," and several local and international travel magazine shows; cult classics “Himala,” “Ang Panday,” and “Temptation Island” have also used Ilocos Norte as a shoot location over the years.

Final screening of contingents was held on September 22.  Ilocos Norte was represented by INTO, city and municipal tourism officers, the youth sector coming from the Ilocos Norte Youth Development Office (INYDO), and other local tourism stakeholders. (With a report from Edison Justin B. Deus)

Chinese consulate donates rice, food for ‘Mangkhut’ relief

Laoag City—The Consulate of the People’s Republic of China in Laoag City has issued a donation through the Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte (PGIN) for relief of victims of typhoon “Mangkhut”.

The donation comprises 10 tons of premium rice valued at P480,000.00 and various grocery items such as sardines, corned beef, and meat loaf valued at P297,000.00, to be distributed during the “Paspas Takder” relief operations.

Chinese consul Wang Jianqun represented the consulate, while Ilocos Norte Vice Governor Eugenio Angelo M. Barba and Sangguniang Panlalawigan members Domingo Ambrosio Jr. and Atty. Donald Nicolas accepted the donation on behalf of Ms. Marcos and the provincial government.

According to Mr. Edwin Cariño, head of the Provincial Sustainable Development Center (SDC), the consulate had originally committed to donating only 10 tons of rice, but decided on adding canned goods worth P297,000.00 in consonance with the lucky Chinese numbers: 7-7-7.

“We are very thankful to the office of Consul Wang and the group, dahil seldom lang na ang isang ahensiya o grupo ay nakakapagbigay ng ganitong relief. Napalaking tulong iyon sa probinsiya natin.

“Even the governor is overwhelmed with gratitude for their immediate response,” he added, “kasi sila [the consulate] pa ang tumawag at nagtanong kung ano ang maitutulong nila.” (Mizpah Grace Castro)

Piddig pensioners get cash incentives

Piddig, Ilocos Norte—The municipal government here of Piddig led by Mayor Georgina Salazar-Guillen in cooperation with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) distributed cash incentives to social pensioners here on October 9, 2018.

The social pensioners’ incentive funds came from the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) share of the national government. Each pensioner received PHP200 per month, or a total of PHP2,400for 2018. They will receive the same amount for three years aside from their monthly pension amounting to PHP500.

Five of the town’s 23 barangays benefited: Brgys. 1, 2, 3, 20, and 21. They were the last barangays to receive the said amount due to technical error from the provider’s system.

Mrs. Guillen said, “These amounts are useful for pensioners’ daily consumption. Medical care is already provided by the municipality thru Piddig Cares 24/7 where they can ask for medicines and assistance, or an ambulance if needed.”

Recently, Piddig was named among 263 local government units which received the Seal of Good Local Governance (SGLG) for 2018. (Bernard Ver)

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Teachers take center stage in Ilocos Norte

By Leilanie G. Adriano
Staff reporter

LAOAG CITY—In time for the World Teacher’s Month celebration, around 5,000 teachers from the 21 towns and two cities of the province were gathered Tuesday at the Ilocos Norte Centennial Arena, this city for a simple tribute to all educators here.

After a thanksgiving mass officiated by Laoag Bishop Renato Mayugba, a simple program and electronic raffle draws followed suit in honor of teachers.

“Teachers are probably the most underappreciated sector in the society. They sacrifice so much yet they receive so little. You all deserve a day and a month of appreciation,” said Sangguniang Panlalawigan member Matthew Joseph M. Manotoc during the October 2, 2018 province-wide celebration for teachers.

As chairperson of the committee on education, Mr. Manotoc assured teachers of his full support to the education sector as he cited the Ilocos Norte government’s continuing efforts to promote quality education by expanding its scholarship programs for both students and teachers, payment of public schools’ utility bills, distribution of books and school equipment among others.

Being raised by a teacher himself, Ilocos Norte Vice Governor Eugenio Angelo M. Barba expressed his high regard for teachers as the noblest profession.

Ang propesyon ng pagtuturo ay isang napakarangal na propesyon at sana panatilihin natin ang tradisyon na ito, na kahit kadalasan ay salat sa kabuhayan ang gantimpala ay napakalaki naman lalo na ‘pag may mga naging matagumpay sa tinuruan na bunga ng pagpupunyagi,” said Mr. Barba.

With this year’s theme, “Gurong Pilipino: Turo Mo, Kinabukasan Ko”, the celebration aims to honor those in the teaching profession, acknowledge their loyal service and commitment in developing globally-minded citizens, nurturing families, strengthening communities and building a nation.

In Ilocos Norte, the fun-filled activity hopes to revitalize the image of and respect for teaching as a vocation through public awareness on the value of teachers and their role in the society.

Ilocos Norte execs report millions more in damages from Mangkhut

Ilocos Norte-Apayao Road

By Dominic B. dela Cruz
Staff reporter

San Nicolas, Ilocos Norte—The Dept. of Public Works and Highways 2nd Engineering District and local government units reported more damages sustained in their respective areas from typhoon Mangkhut (Ompong).

DPWH second engineering district engineer Mathias Malenab said they are still receiving reports of more damages in infrastructures.

As of press time, Mr. Malenab reported initial damages ranging from PHP700-800 million. He added that subsequent reports may increase the damages to PHP900 million.

He, however, emphasized that they will conduct a re-inspection of the damages whether they were just aggravated by previous typhoons and the weeklong monsoon rains.

The DPWH II reported estimate damages of at least PHP74 million in national roads from the monsoon rains.
Bungcag, Dingras, Ilocos Norte

Mangkhut, meanwhile, damaged flood control projects, school buildings, bridge approaches, and eroded earth banks, according to the engineer.

Dingras, Ilocos Norte
He also disclosed that they reported only PHP504 million in damages to President Rodrigo R. Duterte during his visit to the province a day after the typhoon lashed Ilocos Norte.

P168M damages in LC
In Laoag City, agriculture officer Marilyn Martin said they incurred an estimated PHP151 million damages for crops, livestock, fishery and including the roof of the city breeding station.

While infrastructure damages reached at least PHP17 million. These include government buildings and schools.

City social welfare and development officer Aurora Corpuz, meanwhile, reported that the typhoon affected all the 80 barangays in the city.

Ms. Corpuz said 13,531 families or 60,371 persons were affected; with 348 totally damaged houses and 3,719 partially damaged houses.

All the 17 centers and schools used as evacuation centers accommodated all families affected.

Reports showed that the city government evacuated at least 437 families.

The city government began distributing relief goods as soon as the typhoon subsided, which continued until they covered all of the city’s 80 barangays.

P30M agri damages in Batac City
IN Batac City, despite the strong winds and heavy rains, Mayor Albert D. Chua was thankful they suffered no fatality.

However, Mr. Chua reported that the typhoon damaged two to four thousand hectares of agricultural crops. He estimated the agricultural damages at PHP30 million.

Reports showed the city government evacuated at least 2,000 persons, or 400 families.

Barangay halls, schools and the City Hall served as evacuation centers.

Batac eyes posting of deceased persons’ names

By Dominic B. dela Cruz
Staff reporter

Batac City—The Sangguniang Panlungsod here passed a measure that calls for the posting of deceased persons’ full names on a billboard in front of the City Hall.

Batac councilor Bernardo Marders said the measure allows the public to check the veracity of those who have indeed died.

Mr. Marders explained further that the posting of the deceased persons’ names will last up to seven days provided that consent is granted by the person who received the official death certificate.

The basis of the publication will be the date of issuance of the death certificate by the civil registry office.