Monday, September 30, 2013

Wranglers and stranglers

The following story is shared by Meir Liraz in his book titled The 100 Top Inspirational Anecdotes and Stories:

Years ago there was a group of brilliant young men at the University of Wisconsin, who seemed to have amazing creative literary talent. They were would-be poets, novelists, and essayists. They were extraordinary in their ability to put the English language to its best use. These promising young men met regularly to read and critique each other's work. And critique it they did!

These men were merciless with one another. They dissected the most minute literary expression into a hundred pieces. They were heartless, tough, even mean in their criticism. The sessions became such arenas of literary criticism that the members of this exclusive club called themselves the "Stranglers."

Not to be outdone, the women of literary talent in the university were determined to start a club of their own, one comparable to the Stranglers. They called themselves the "Wranglers." They, too, read their works to one another. But there was one great difference. The criticism was much softer, more positive, more encouraging. Sometimes, there was almost no criticism at all. Every effort, even the most feeble one, was encouraged.

Twenty years later an alumnus of the university was doing an exhaustive study of his classmates' careers when he noticed a vast difference in the literary accomplishments of the Stranglers as opposed to the Wranglers. Of all the bright young men in the Stranglers, not one had made a significant literary accomplishment of any kind. From the Wranglers had come six or more successful writers, some of national renown such as Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, who wrote The Yearling.

Talent between the two? Probably the same. Level of education? Not much difference. But the Stranglers strangled, while the Wranglers were determined to give each other a lift. The Stranglers promoted an atmosphere of contention and self-doubt. The Wranglers highlighted the best, not the worst.

A truly inspiring story from Meir Liraz! So apt for our world which is now suffering from the proliferation of “Stranglers” donning different names—crocodiles, pigs, crabs, crooks, leeches and the like.

These new Stranglers are even working at a meaner level. They are not contented with just bringing people down. They destroy people: they suck their blood; they slice their flesh; they chop their bones; they gobble up all their remaining wealth and being; and they drag them to hell.

But in his work, Pickwick Papers, Charles Dickens stressed that:  “There are dark shadows on the earth, but its lights are stronger in the contrast.” So, as long as we believe in goodness, we are not without hope. The storm of evil may try to sink us in the sea of life, but Jesus—our “Wrangler”—will always be there to stretch His hands for our salvation.

Lastly, amidst the darkness, let us hold on to the teaching of Romans 12:21—“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
BARD NOTES: Special thanks to INWD General Manager John Teodoro, INWD Board of Directors and all employees of Ilocos Norte Water District. 

Happy bard-reading to Congresswoman Imelda R. Marcos, Mayor Chevylle V. Farinas, Vice Mayor Michael V. Farinas, Mayor Jeffrey Jubal Nalupta, Board Member James Paul “Goro” Nalupta, Mr. Efren Bartolome, Ms. Pia Salapongol, Dr. Chester Puño, Dr. Sme Juancho Estrella and Atty. Yvette Convento- Leynes.

Happy reading also to Provincial Treasurer Josephine Calajate, INEC Director Virgilio Calajate, Ms. Cecil Nalupta and the employees of Philippine National Bank – Laoag Branch, AMA – Laoag Campus,  DepEd – Laoag, Video City – Laoag, Runner’s High Specialty Shop, Land Bank of the Philippines and Ilocos Norte PNP.

What diabetic persons should know about diabetes

By Imelda A. Agdeppa, Ph.D.
FNRI-DOST S & T Media Service

Recent studies on large numbers of people with diabetes show that those who keep their blood sugar under tight control best avoid the complications of diabetes like heart disease, blindness, kidney failure, and lower extremity amputations. Experts agree that what works best for people with diabetes—and everyone for that matter—is regular exercise, little saturated and trans fatty acids, and a high–fiber diet. Carbohydrates break quickly during digestion and can raise the blood sugar to dangerous levels.

Glycemic index (GI) ranks foods on how they affect our blood sugar levels. This index measures how much our blood sugar increases after we eat. When diabetic patients make use of the glycemic index to prepare healthy meals, it keeps their blood sugar levels and weight under control. Many carbohydrate-rich foods have high glycemic indexes, and they certainly are not good in any substantial quantity for people with diabetes. Other carbohydrates like complex carbohydrates and dietary fiber break down more slowly, releasing glucose gradually into our blood streams and are said to have lower glycemic indexes which are good for diabetic patients.

Studies on glycemic indexes by experts showed that many of the starchy foods we eat a lot produce the highest glycemic response. These are white bread, some breakfast cereals, e.g. cornflakes, rice and baked potatoes but complex carbohydrates present in potatoes are digestible. Low glycemic foods include beans, barley, pasta, oats, apples, oranges, peaches, peanuts, strawberries, sweet corn and carrots. Likewise, vinegar, and lemon juice help reduce glycemic load, the amount of carbohydrate in a serving of a particular food. 

Many foods have few available carbohydrates in a standard serving. We call these the “free foods” because they are essentially free of any impact on your blood sugar. These foods contain less than 5 grams of available carbohydrate in a 100-gram portion. The rest of the portion is protein, fat, fiber, ash and water.  Examples of these foods are: (1) vegetables—asparagus, beans, cabbage, broccoli, cucumber, eggplant, lettuce, okra, mushrooms, tomatoes, radishes, spinach, turnips and peppers; (2) fruits—avocados, raspberries, strawberries; (3) eggs and dairy—cheese, milk, eggs, yogurt plain; (4) beverages—coffee, diet soda, tea and water.

The glycemic index should not, however, be the only criterion when selecting what to eat. The total amount of carbohydrate, the amount and type of fat, and the fiber and salt content are also important. Consider also, that, factors such as variety, cooking, and processing may affect a food’s glycemic index. 

The Nutritional Guidelines for Filipinos developed by the Technical Working Group led by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (FNRI-DOST) recommends eating a variety of foods everyday in order to have a well balance diet.

For more information on food and nutrition, contact Dr. Mario V. Capanzana, Director, Food and Nutrition Research Institute, Department of Science and Technology, General Santos Avenue, Bicutan, Taguig City, E-Mail: or, Telefax: (02) 8372934, (02) 8273164, or call (02) 8372071 local 2296 or visit our website:

TESDA gives SN Kabalikat Award

San Nicolas Vice Mayor Alfredo P. Valdez Jr. receives a plaque of recognition from TESDA officials as a Regional Kabalikat Awardee (municipal level) for his exemplary contribution in the advancement of technical education and skills development in the country.

Doms dela Cruz

Bangui-Dumalneg territorial rift escalates

By Alfredo C. Garvida, Jr.

What initially appeared as a simple territorial dispute between the municipalities of Bangui and Dumalneg about a decade ago involving Barangay San Isidro has now escalated into a fierce exchange of rhetoric and court actions between the two towns, notwithstanding that The Supreme Court has already rendered a final-and-executory decision favoring Dumalneg’s cause.

In the aftermath of this SC decision, a Writ of Execution, dated June 25, 2013, was issued by the RTC Branch in Bangui mandating Dumalneg to take possession of Barangay San Isidro, the erstwhile northeastern most barangay of the Municipality of Bangui.

This court decision, having already been recorded in the Entry of Judgment, appeared to have culminated a long-drawn, hard-fought legal battle involving the two neighboring municipalities on the issue of jurisdiction over Barangay San Isidro—which started on July 28, 2003 when the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Ilocos Norte, empowered by law to act as a quasi-judicial body to adjudicate territorial disputes involving municipalities, adjudged that Barangay San Isidro belonged to the Municipality of Dumalneg.

The final-and-executory SC decision was just an end that ushered in a new beginning, however, as the second phase of the two municipalities’ legal battles has merely commenced:

In consequence of the RTC Writ of Execution, Bangui promptly filed a Motion for Reconsideration, citing the court’s lack of jurisdiction to issue the writ being not the Court of Origin but the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Ilocos Norte—which the court promptly denied;

Bangui elevated its case to the Court of Appeals via a Petition for Certiorari alleging the RTC’s “lack of jurisdiction amounting to abuse of discretion,” with a prayer for a Temporary Restraining Order;

Meanwhile, the Municipal Assessor of Bangui, Ms. Nelfa Bulosan, was directed by the Provincial Assessor in a July 25, 2013 office memorandum to turn over all records pertaining to Barangay San Isidro to the Municipality of Dumalneg. This was followed by a letter-request from Dumalneg Mayor Lairvee Garvida-Espiritu to Ms. Bulosan, who refused to heed, citing an Office Memorandum of Dr. Diosdado I. Garvida, Lairvee’s cousin and Bangui’s new mayor, instructing her to “defer the TRANSFER OF RECORDS of Barangay San Isidro, pending the decision of the Court of Appeals on our motion” (for certiorari);

Dumalneg, according to a reliable source, contemplates to file a Mandamus petition against Ms. Bulosan, which as of this writing the Bangui RTC has yet to receive;

Bangui, in return, has upped the ante, as its lawyers are readying a case against Dumalneg’s legitimacy as a regular municipality citing the latter’s lacking in documentary evidence evincing its previous existence as a municipal district, an indispensable requisite to its becoming a regular municipality. This was made evident by Mayor Garvida’s September 18 letter to Mayor Lairvee reiterating Bangui’s position to “defer” transferring San Isidro’s records to Dumalneg, citing among other things that he “cannot find any legislative act, proclamation or law that declares Dumalneg as a municipal district of Bangui before its creation as a regular municipality.”

Mayor Garvida’s move to question in court Dumalneg’s legitimacy as a regular municipality, per independent observers, merely amounts to being a dilatory tactic to prolong San Isidro’s transfer to Dumalneg. The neophyte mayor’s assertion, however, could hold water in court if indeed there was no law or presidential proclamation giving Dumalneg—an erstwhile barrio (now called barangay) of Bangui where cultural minorities settled some decades ago—the status of a municipal district as a pre-qualification to its becoming a regular municipality.

Unrelated to the point of relevancy under legal  norms relevant to the issue of “municipal district,” but germane nonetheless to the issue of whether San Isidro was indeed a part of Dumalneg, geographically and sociologically, before—just for argument’s sake—it became a municipal district, as Mayor Garvida has keenly observed ,are the questions of why San Isidro was not included as part of the settlement place for the cultural minorities at the time they were supposed to be settled in a “municipal district,” and why there are no noticeable number of cultural minorities residing now, and even then, in Barangay San Isidro. Mayor Garvida further observes that when Dumalneg was accorded the status of a regular municipality, San Isidro’s inclusion as its part was never considered.

The town of Bangui, per historical data, used to be the largest town in Ilocos Norte which originally encompassed six (6) existing municipalities now, namely, Santa Praxedes (Cagayan), Pagudpud, Adams, Dumalneg, Bangui and Burgos. Mayor Garvida finds irony in the fact that Bangui gave a barrio for the  cultural minorities to settle, until this barrio, which is Dumalneg, became a regular municipality, under “dubious circumstances,” if we follow Mayor Garvida’s rhetoric, and now this erstwhile barrio is annexing another Bangui barrio, which is San Isidro, as its own.

These scenarios tend to substantiate Oliver Wendell Holmes’ notion that “lust of power is the most flagrant of all passions.” Nevertheless, whatever the final outcome will become, the residents of both municipalities are hoping that there will be no love lost between these two mayors; after all, they are relatives and they are friends as well.

How to react to sin and evil

SIN and evil are all around us. They are also in us, of course. They come in different ways, sizes, shapes, degrees. Some are big, conspicuous and scandalous. Others may be small, hidden, but in a certain sense also very dangerous. All sins are personal, but some have evolved to become structures in society and in our culture.

We have to learn to cope with this reality that is unavoidable, given our weakened and wounded human condition. Our attitude should be that in spite of the ugliness of sin and evil, we should still remain calm and happy, convinced that everything has meaning and purpose.

The basis for this attitude is Christ who took on all our sinfulness by dying on the cross and resurrecting on the third day. It’s this passion, death and resurrection of his that has removed the sting of sin and evil and has converted them into our very own way of purification and salvation.

In other words, not everything is lost in sin and evil. There’s always hope, a way of deriving some good from them. And the secret is precisely in our effort to identify ourselves more and more with Christ, especially under the aspect of his attitude toward sin and evil.

And what is that attitude of his? It’s an attitude of continuing love, a love that conquers all, willing to forgive, and even to assume the sinfulness of men and its consequences without, of course, committing sin, suffering them to death and rising from that state in all divine glory.

Christ is the second person of the Blessed Trinity, the Son of the God, God himself who became man to be with us, to re-create and refashion us into his image and likeness, offering us a way of how we can recover our true dignity as children of God whenever we happen to lose or harm it because of our sin.

It’s in this sense that Christ identifies himself with all of us as sinners. On our part, we have to learn how to discern the face of Christ in everyone of us as a sinner. Yes, we have to hate sin but continue to love the sinner. We have to love the sinner the way Christ loves each one of us as a sinner.

This distinction is crucial because very often we put the sin and the sinner together and condemn them jointly. It’s like throwing the baby out with the bath water. While in life, there is always hope, and we have to do everything to help the sinner get rid of his sin.

In this concern, we have to learn to go all the way, as in, all the way to die on the cross like Christ. Remember him saying, “If you want to follow me, you have to deny yourself, carry the cross and follow me.” We have to engrave these words in our consciousness. There’s no other effective formula for this purpose.

We have to convince ourselves that it is on the cross of Christ where the sinner can finally get rid of his sin. Christ’s cross is where sin is killed and converted into a way for a new life with God. And so, we have to learn to love the cross, to long for it the way Christ himself longed, embraced and loved it.

This loving the cross can start by thinking always of the others, praying for them, offering generous sacrifices for them, and figuring out how we can help them directly. We can find ways of how to give them advice, reminders, suggestions, even corrections. 

We have to give good example, since the consistent testimony of our life convinces others far better than our words. And so, we have to wage a continuing, life-long ascetical struggle to grow in the virtues, to fight against our weaknesses and temptations, to avoid sin, and generally to increase our love for God and others in a practical way.

If we succeed to acquire the skill and master the art of discerning the face of Christ in every sinner, ourselves included, what peace and confidence we can continue to have even as we struggle to fight against sin and evil in the world!

That skill and art will broaden our mind and heart, enabling us to fathom the richness of God’s mercy toward us, and to foster our hope and charity amid the woes that sin and evil generate, or amid the false glitter they also produce.

That skill and art will make our mind and heart universal, able to accommodate, understand and help everyone!

PCCI seeks post-crisis recovery once standoff in Zamboanga City is resolved

The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), the country’s largest business organization, has pledged full support for post-crisis recovery once the standoff in Zamboanga City is resolved.

There are three categories of post-recovery activities that PCCI will support: to extend immediate need for relief and social services to the areas affected by the standoff in Zamboanga City; help business operations get back on track; and rebuild damaged infrastructures, according to Atty. Miguel B. Varela, PCCI president.

The full support, said president Varela,  was agreed upon by the PCCI board in a meeting after directors were briefed on the standoff  and the interventions requested by Mr. Ricardo Juliano, PCCI vice-president for Mindanao, and Mr. Pocholo Soliven, president of the Zamboanga Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Juliano and Soliven described the post-crisis recovery plan as a “mini-Marshall plan” to help Zamboanga city economy back on track.

At the meeting, the Juliano and Soliven emphasized the importance of Zamboanga’s economy.  They said that Zamboanga City accounts for 40 per cent of gross regional domestic product, is home to 16 canning factories supplying 80 per cent of the country’s sardines, and is a front door to other Asean countries when the Asean economic integration starts in 2015.

Bangko Sentral statistics also showed that circulation of some P50 billion of money in Zamboanga has slowed down during the first nine days of the standoff.  

Varela acknowledged that the national government and the local government have been doing their best to resolve the crisis as early as possible.

The   PCCI has already mobilized its members to supply food and medicines, said Varela, and the issue of how to get the supplies to the city is now being discussed with the national government.

Representation will be made to the Department of Transportation and Communications to open airports and seaports and allow extra flights, new shipping routes and extend operating hours.

The temporary suspension of shipping services will be asked to be lifted to allow deliveries to and from Zamboanga City.

The Bangko Sentral has authorized banks in the non-affected areas to resume banking and ATM operations as soon as possible. Likewise, some supermarkets have also re-opened but their stocks and working hours are limited.

Varela said that PCCI will make representations to the government to fast-track processing and release of calamity loans from the Social Security System, Government Service Insurance System, Pag-Ibig, and development banks.

PCCI has also asked the Department of Trade and Industry to monitor prices of basic commodities.

The PCCI will also make representations to banks to extend grace periods for interests and monthly amortizations on business loans and commodities.

The national government, he said, will also be asked to suspend minimum wages for new entrants to the labor force in Zamboanga City for the next six months.

There is need to create jobs for new entrants to help many families earn additional income to tide them over, Varela said.

The Zamboanga CCI committed to hire extra workers to generate employment and pump prime the local economy.

In re- building damaged infrastructures, the PCCI will also lobby for resettlement of displaced persons in burned barangays.

According to the Zamboanga CCI, the city has 807,00 resident and 300,000 informal settlers, is the traditional supplier of basic goods in the Basilan-Sulu-and-Tawi-Tawi area, and is the buyer for raw materials and farm products in the area.

Free cataract operation in LC

Ophthalmologist Mary Ann Yasay-Luis and Laoag Mayor Chevylle V. Fariñas pose with the beneficiaries of the free cataract operation. The operation was conducted from October 24 to 25 at the Laoag City General Hospital. Dr. Luis and 11 other doctors received a certificate of appreciation from the city government. 
Photo by Doms dela Cruz

Sunday, September 29, 2013

PhilRice on track with irrigation project

The capacity-building component of the Agricultural Support Component of the National Irrigation Sector Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (NISRIP) has attained 82% completion of the targeted 11 batches for the Training of Trainers (TOT) component.

The TOT has so far taught 190 Agricultural Technologists (ATs) and National Irrigation Sector (NIS) personnel on Integrated Crop Management using the PalayCheck System. Trainings mainly focused on nutrient management, water management, and pest control, which are common areas that need improvement based on Focus Group Discussions conducted by Rice Technicians (RiceTechs) in over 180 Irrigators Associations (IAs) in nine regions.

To date, 25 Farmers Field Schools (FFS) have been going on simultaneously for the IAs of Ilocos, Pangasinan, Pampanga, Agusan, Los Baños, Palawan, and Negros, being led by TOT graduates and RiceTechs. Three hectares Participatory Demonstration Farm cum seed production areas have been established per IA.

“Our farmers in Palawan have not started planting yet due to the delay of water service, but they are excited to participate since they know they will use good quality seeds from PhilRice. Another incentive that the farmers are looking forward to is having their soil analyzed which they have not done in the past,” said Richard Romanillos, PhilRice Los Baños Development Coordinator.

Aside from the PalayCheck System, training on the use and maintenance of agricultural machinery will also be included in the FFS by the end of this year. With these reinforcements given to members of target IAs, a prospective Farmer Trainer shall eventually be selected and tapped to further disseminate the technology.

Philippine Rice Research Institute and the National Irrigation Administration are cooperating in realizing the objectives of NISRIP, a project between the Philippine government and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) with an aim of contributing to the national rice self-sufficiency program, by increasing the yield by at least 1 ton per hectare. JICA and the Philippine government provided funds for the NISRIP.

Chocolate entrepreneur from Bohol bags sweet grand prize in First Young Women Entrepreneurs Bootcamp

Manila, September 27, 2013—Sweet success for a chocolate entrepreneur. Dalareich Polot (fourth from right) won the $5,000 Grand Prize for best business presentation at the first ever Young Women Entrepreneurs Bootcamp. Polot, of Dalareich Food Products in Tagbilaran City, produces chocolate-bars (tablea) and encourages other youth to become entrepreneurs in order to create more economic opportunities in the Philippines. Organized by U.S. Embassy Manila and Spark! Philippines (Samahan ng mga Pilipina Para sa Reporma at Kaunlaran), the three-day program provided mentoring, training, and networking opportunities for 27 women business owners from throughout the Philippines. Also in the photo from left to right are U.S. Economic Officer Katy Bondy, Spark! Philippines President Mel Alonzo, U.S. Embassy Economic Counselor Joel Ehrendreich, Bernadette Manuel of Seon Kris Food Products Innovations from Surigao del Norte; Fatima Elijah Basar of Elijah's Marketing from Cotabato; Katrina Aniag of C&K Handicrafts from Bulacan and  Department of Trade and Industry Undersecretary Nora K. Terrado. The runners-up each received US$1,000.

71 Americans sworn-in as Peace Corps Volunteers

United States Ambassador Harry K. Thomas, Jr. administered the oath to 71 American Peace Corps Volunteers at the United States Embassy in Manila on September 18, 2013.  Returned Peace Corps Volunteers-- currently living and working in the Philippines, representatives from the national and local governments, non-government agencies, and senior U.S. Embassy staff attended the ceremony.

The Peace Corps program in the Philippines has a long and rich history as the Philippines was the second nation chosen to receive volunteers.  Since the program was established in 1961, more than 8,500 Peace Corps Volunteers have served in the Philippines.  It is a true partnership between the people and government of Philippines and the United States. The new Volunteers have undergone 10 weeks of comprehensive cross-cultural, language, and technical training to prepare them for their work in the Philippines.  A day after the ceremony, the new Volunteers traveled to their local communities where they will complete 24 months of service to become part of Peace Corps’ proud tradition of helping make the world a better place.

‘Odette’ leaves 2 dead, P300M agri, infra damages in Ilocos Norte

The rescue team of the Ilocos Norte government prepositions rubber boats as supertyphoon Odette lashed the province on September 21.
Photo by Alaric Yanos
By Dominic B. dela Cruz & Leilanie G. Adriano
Staff Reporters

Strong winds and heavy rain accompanying super typhoon “Odette” (international codename Usagi) has destroyed more than P300 million worth of crops, roads, and dikes as of last report of the provincial government.

At least two persons were killed, according to the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC).

On September 22, Mario Lozano, 55, of Barangay Subec in Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte went out to fish but rescuers later found him dead near his house, the PDRRMC said.

The other fatality, Russel Batoon, 37, a lineman of Ilocos Norte Electric Cooperative (INEC), stepped on a live wire and was electrocuted while repairing a line at Barangay Pasaleng, also in Pagudpud.

While validating other damages as public storm signal in the province has been lifted, the PDRRMC report shows at least 19,678 persons were affected with one household totally damaged, seven partially damaged and 453 households were isolated with 3,522 households underwater mostly in Pagudpud, Pasuquin, Paoay, Bangui, Piddig and Bacarra.  

As of press time, rice fields in Ilocos Norte which are about to be harvested was estimated to have suffered almost P20 million in damages including high value commercial crops worth P613, 937; fisheries, P1,878,812; and livestock, P64,200. 

About P1.5 million damages has also been recorded in agriculture and infrastructure projects including a washed out protection dike near residential houses at Barangay 8 in Bacarra.

A landslide also occurred on September 21 along the Ilocos Norte-Cagayan boundary road but was cleared immediately by personnel of the Department of Public Works and Highways.

Some areas of barangay roads in Maan-anteng and Bubuos in Solsona town were also rendered impassable due to flooding on September 22 including some barangay roads in Casilian and Cabaroan in Bacarra; Parparoroc in Vintar; Fortuna in Marcos; Barangays San Juan, San Agustin, San Roque, Sta. Rita, Salbang, Pambaran and Monte in Paoay; and Barangays Loing, Anao, Bimmanga, Libnaoan, Mangitayag and Abucay in Piddig.

A fallen mango tree also led to a road closure along Barangay Camanggaan, Laoag City on September 21.

A 10-meter protection dike was breached by rampaging waters at Barangays Puttao and Bubuos in Solsona. Also, seven passengers of a Toyota Fortuner were rescued as their vehicle was submerged due to flood waters in Ar-ruay, Piddig.

To expedite rehabilitation of affected barangays, the provincial board declared on September 22 Ilocos Norte under a state of calamity to make use of an approximately P30 calamity fund of the province to assist flood victims and for the repair of wash out protection dikes and other agri-infrastructure projects here.

Meanwhile, Melchito Castro of the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council met with Ilocos Norte Governor Maria Imelda Josefa “Imee” R. Marcos on September 24 to validate damages and provide immediate assistance to flood victims pending request for additional funding from the national government for the rehabilitation of agri-infrastructure damages.

LC suffers P4M damages in agri

IN Laoag City, the super typhoon left P4 million in agricultural damages according to the city agriculture office.

City agriculturist Oscar Recta reported the damages in rice crops amounted toP4,287,500; corn, P15,000; mongo, P15,120; livestock, P70,300 and fisheries, P17,400. Total damages reached P4,405,320.

Based on the report, Recta said about 290 hectares of rice lands was affected. Of the 290 hectares, Recta said that the about 40 hectares were ready for harvest, 150 hectares for ripening and 100 hectares still under reproductive stage.   

Relative to this, Recta hopes that financial assistance will be given to the affected farmers since the whole province declared under a State of Calamity in.

Bridges damaged

Assistant city engineer Fred Agpaoa, meanwhile also reported the damaged Dauraw Bridge in Barangay Pila wherein both approaches of the bridge were destroyed due to the strong flow of water.

The same problem was also reported on a bridge at Sitio Borobor in Barangay Lataag. The bridge was washed out by the strong current.

Relative to this, Agpaoa said his office had already made the necessary program of works and has appealed for its immediate approval so they could immediately repair the damaged bridges.

Agpaoa also said that his office has joined the City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (CDRRMC) team in a clearing operation of highways particularly at Barangay Camanggaan wherein a big mango tree fell, blocking the entire road. They also conducted the clearing operation along Suba Road.

The engineer also stated that the drainages in the city’s poblacion area held the water flow.

Families evacuated

City social welfare officer Aurora Corpuz, for her part, reported the ocular survey of affected Barangays Cataban, Caaoacan and 5.

The CSWDO report showed that about 34 families were affected at Barangay Cataban, 170 families at Caaoacan and 39 families at Barangay 5. All the affected families were given relief goods.

Seven families were evacuated to Plaridel Elementary School while three families were moved to A.P. Santos Elementary School.   

Police in full red alert

Laoag City police office officer-in-charge P/Supt. Jeffrey Gorospe stated that the police was in full red alert status during the typhoon and was in full coordination with the CDRRMC.

Gorospe added that despite the heavy rains, police mobile patrols continuously roamed around and monitored the low-lying areas, warning residents for possible evacuation to a higher and safer place.

CVF on official business during typhoon

Laoag Mayor Chevylle V. Fariñas apologized as she was on official business in Manila when the super typhoon hit the city. She said Laoag Vice Mayor Michael V. Fariñas stood in for her as the CDRRMC was immediately convened.

The mayor added that city will be benefitted by assistance after the whole province was placed under a state of calamity.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Indian national gunned down in Currimao

By Leilanie G. Adriano
Staff Reporter

Currimao, Ilocos Norte—An Indian national was gunned down on the afternoon of September 24 while driving with a companion along the national highway at Barangay Lang-ayan here, a police report said.

Police Sr. Insp. Ryan Retotar, Currimao police chief said the victim was identified as Surinder Singh, 37 and a resident of Batac City. He incurred at least two gunshot wounds and was rushed to the nearby Mariano Marcos Hospital and Medical Center. He died at the hospital while being treated.

Recovered at the crime scene were empty shells of .45 caliber pistol.                

As of press time, investigators are looking at robbery or lending business as possible motives of the killing.

Singh was the 86th to be killed by men riding in tandem in Ilocos Norte province since January based on the latest record of crime update here which marked a 28 percent increase in crime volume compared to the same period last year.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Ilocos Times September 23-29, 2013

INEC commissions new 10 MVA substation

INEC acting general manager Engr. Herbert Agdigos assists Ilocos Norte provincial administrator Windell Chua during the blessing and ceremonial switching of the 10 MVA substation on September 19 located at Barangay 1 in Laoag City. The new substation is expected to augment the increasing load capacity in the city.

Doms dela Cruz

By Dominic B. dela Cruz
Staff Reporter

To improve electricity distribution in Laoag City, the Ilocos Norte Electric Cooperative (INEC) has commissioned its 10 MV substation located at Barangay 1 on September 19.

INEC acting general manager Engr. Felino Herbert Agdigos said this station would augment the increasing load capacity requirement of Laoag City, helping their Barangay 23 substation also in this city.

INEC reports show that Laoag City has a total load capacity of 20 MW and INEC already has 80 percent and if this continuous to increase until 2016, the INEC official said they will again need a new substation.

Agdigos disclosed that that newly commissioned substation in Laoag would not result in electric rate increase but would help the cooperative in giving a better quality of service, reliability and efficient supply of power.

The acting general manager also related that the new substation was acquired through a “rent-to-own” scheme for five years.

The 10 MVA sub-station covers all residential and commercial areas west of Gen. Segundo Ave. in this city and could even extend to portions of south of the Padsan River.

He added that this will supply the proposed big shopping mall at the western portion of the Gilbert Bridge.

Provincial administrator Atty. Windell D. Chua served as the special guest during the formal blessing and switching in place of Ilocos Norte Gov. Maria Imelda “Imee” R. Marcos who was unavailable.

Refund to resume
Meanwhile, INEC board president Reynaldo M. Lazo announced that the refund would soon continue monthly. The refund would be included in the consumers’ monthly electric bills.

Records show that out of P102 million refund ordered by the Energy Regulatory Commission, INEC still needs to refund an estimated P41 million more to its member-consumers.

The refund was ordered after the ERC ruled that INEC overcharged its consumers.

Lawyers and ethics

MY father was a lawyer, and as early as when I was in Grade 5 or 6, I already started helping around in his office which actually was in our house also. 

That’s when I discovered I was pretty good at typing some papers, but quite a disaster when it came to filing them. My father finally gave up on me in the latter, but was happy with me in the former. He had a good typist who offered his services gratis et amore.

Those where very memorable years when aside from learning things in school, I had the feeling I was learning a lot more in my father’s office. I felt I had the edge over my classmates in school because of what I got from my father’s office. 

There were times we had to sleep late to finish some job, and I sacrificed a little of my youthful preferences just to be with my father whom I idolized. But I was convinced it was all worth it. I actually did not miss anything from life in the streets and moviehouses with my friends.

There were also amusing moments. Many of my father’s clients were simple people from the towns and mountains of Bohol. They even would often stay in our house and would take their meals with us. 

So, I got familiar with all the idiosyncrasies of the different places, especially their accents, their sense of humor, their simple ways, etc. I laughed most of the time with them, but there were times when I also cried with them. The human drama of their cases was more absorbing than what I read in novels or saw in movies.

The evening before a trial, my father would usually rehearse the clients on how to answer the possible queries during the hearing. In this area, most of the time I had fun just watching the simple folks grapple with the intricacies of logic and legal defense. But there were also moments when I asked myself whether what my father did was right.

I was not at that time into spiritual exercises or pious practices, and much less was I clear about moral principles. But something told me there were things that did not sound quite right. 
Like when the client would earnestly give his answer to a question my father asked, which I considered to be the real answer, and my father would tell him to modify it or simply to keep quiet on a certain point.

I didn’t like the idea that my father would earn his living for us, a big family of 11 children, by tampering with the truth. I preferred to sell fish in the market than to do that. But I did not know how to confront him.

Finally, when I gathered enough courage, I asked him about my doubts, and surprisingly he was very happy to engage me with what I considered as a very paternal explanation of his legal profession. My father also had a very tender heart.

He assured me everything was ethical, and that he was not doing anything wrong just to provide for the family. And then very patiently he told me about what lawyers were supposed to do with their clients, especially those whom my father already suspected or was even sure were guilty of the accusation.

He told me everyone has to the right to be defended, even the one who is guilty. And the lawyer’s job is to help the client defend himself along the technicalities of a legal trial.

He told me the lawyers, like everybody else, should not tamper with the truth, but neither is the accused client obliged to incriminate himself. The burden of proof lies on the accuser. The accused is always presumed innocent unless proven otherwise. This is a legal process, my father said, not the Last Judgment before God where absolutely everything would be in the open.

And so the accused client may not have to say everything that he knows, and when asked directly about something that might incriminate him, he can remain silent, which should not be automatically interpreted as incriminating him.

I must confess that it took me time before I could feel at ease with this explanation. Even up to now, I feel a little discomfort. But I can see the validity of the lawyer’s job to defend his client, however guilty he may be or not.

Given this predicament, the ideal lawyer should be no less than a saint, otherwise, the temptation to play around with the truth would just be irresistible.

MMSU alumni, Batac vice mayor offer free CS exam review

By Dominic B. dela Cruz
Staff Reporter

BATAC CITY—The Mariano Marcos State University (MMSU)-Federated Alumni Association, Inc. (FAAI) represented by its president, Bismark Angelo Quidang and Batac Vice Mayor Ronald Allan M. Nalupta are set to conduct a free civil service exam review in this city.

A Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) was signed on September 17, 2013 at the SP session hall in the presence of Batac councilors Florencio Laud, Gwyneth Quidang, Lucky Rene Bunye, alumni relations office chief Dr. Doreen Domingo, MMSU-VP for FAAI Prof. Ciriaco Ragual and Batac City HRMO/PESO manager Marlon Soria.

Quidang said the association is committed to provide utmost assistance to its members by way of extending viable opportunities, strengthening their capabilities and competence, and forging linkages for the creation of greater opportunities.

Relative to this, Quidang said the association and the vice mayor will conduct free review sessions for MMSU alumni who will take the periodic professional civil service examination.

The association will provide resource speakers or lecturers especially faculty members and alumni of MMSU while the vice mayor will provide the venue and materials for the review which will be held at the SP session hall for three consecutive Sundays.

Quidang said that since this is the first time to conduct a free CS review, it will depend on this if this would be repeated in the future.

He said that the priority clienteles this time would be employees from the Batac City government, Mariano Marcos Memorial and Medical Center and MMSU who do not have professional eligibility yet.

The funding will be come from the alumni association while the materials and the venue will be provided by the vice mayor.

Due to the limited space at the SP session hall, both parties decided to accept 60 clienteles only.

Nalupta for his part, said he believes this would strengthen the competence of MMSU graduates who will take CS professional examinations.

Likewise, Nalupta thanked the MMSU-FAAI for choosing him as one of their partners in this endeavor to help MMSU alumni graduates to have better opportunities.

Nalupta disclosed that the free review sessions will not only accommodate alumni from this city but from the entire province.

Reacting to this, Batac Mayor Jeffrey Jubal Nalupta saluted the MMSU-FAAI and the vice mayor for this program, helping MMSU graduates for free.

The mayor cited the city employees who have not yet passed their civil service professionals as an example so that they will also be given the chance to attain permanent positions.

He said the city government of Batac is very strict in terms of hiring not only for the applicant’s educational backgrounds or preparedness for the position but also their potentials.

Relative to this, the mayor cited new positions like the civil registrar, revenue collections officers, city veterinarian and other positions that are still vacant.     

The Ilocos Times learned that about 20 city hall employees were enrolled in this free CS professional exam review.

MOA SIGNING. MMSU-FAAI Pres. Bismark Quidang (second from right) and Batac Vice Mayor Allan Nalupta (second from left) sign the memorandum of agreement for a free civil service professional review class at the SP session hall on September 17. Other signatories are SP councilor Winet Quidang (left) and MMSU-FAAI Vice Pres. Ciriaco Ragual (right).

Doms dela Cruz  

Batac creates courtesy lane for pregnant women

By Dominic B. dela Cruz
Staff Reporter

Batac City—Pregnant women in this city will now have an easier time when they go around and transact their various business.

This came after the Sangguniang Panlungsod here passed a resolution requesting all government offices and business establishments within the city to designate a courtesy lane for pregnant women.

The courtesy lane would be similar to those given to senior citizens and persons with disabilities.

Batac councilor Gwyneth Quidang, who sponsored the measure, said pregnant women also deserve to be treated with respect and courtesy as their condition requires utmost care and immediate attention.

Under Article II Section 12 of the Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines, it states: The State recognizes the sanctity of a family life and shall protect and strengthen the family as a basic autonomous social institution. It shall equally protect the life of the mother and the life of the unborn from conception”.

Quidang said the courtesy lane would be able to help pregnant women who currently queue in regular lanes when they transact business at government offices or pay at business establishments. The courtesy lane would give them more convenience.

Due to the necessity in attending to personal and family matters, Quidang said pregnant women are sometimes forced to handle these matters deemed very important and urgent and have to bear long queues and a long period of time to carry out their business.

In view of this, Quidang said she file this resolution.

After the measure was approved, Quidang thanked her fellow councilors Mac Arthur Aguinaldo, Lucky Bunye, Elmer Pungtilan, and ex-officio members Liga ng mga Barangay Pres. Jack Nalupta and Sangguniang Kabataan federated Pres. Jarius Nalupta who all voted in favor of the resolutions.

Councilors Medeldorf Gaoat, Florencio Laud, Orlando Mangapit, Amable Abellon and Ibarra Crisostomo abstained while councilor Violy Nalupta was out during the voting.