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Showing posts from June, 2014

3 new Ilocos Norte mayors complete DILG course on local governance

THREE newly elected Ilocos Norte municipal mayors have successfully completed the Newly-Elected Officials (NEO) Program Online Orientation Course being administered by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG). They are Marcos Mayor Arsenio Agustin, Carasi Mayor Rene Gaspar, and San Nicolas Mayor Melanie Grace Valdez. The online course, which is the first component of the NEO Program, is a pioneering venture of the Department through the Local Government Academy (LGA) in its tireless effort to capacitate local government units and their officials through online training modules. DILG Secretary Mar Roxas awarded the certificates of completion to the 22 newly-elected officials, who are mostly neophytes, during the Grand Graduation Ceremony held May 28 at the Heritage Hotel in Pasay City. “ Binabati ko ang ating mga mayor na nagsilahok at nakatapos ng kursong ito dahil sa ipinamalas ninyong pagsisikap at pagpupursigi na maging mas epektibo at mabuting lin

Provincial dad wants national agencies to submit list of on-going projects

By Leilanie G. Adriano Staff Reporter June 18, 2014 LAOAG CITY—For transparency’s sake, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan is set to invite national agencies implementing various infrastructure projects in the province to provide updates about their on-going projects here. Citing the Local Government Code of the Philippines, SP member Vicentito M. Lazo said that local government units are tasked to monitor nationally-financed infrastructure projects such as roads, bridges and irrigation systems and buildings among others. Atty. Lazo’s proposal came in the wake of an unfinished construction of a bridge along the national highway of General Segundo Street in Laoag City, causing traffic among motorists and commuters. On June 2, the Department of Public Works and Highways of the first district of Ilocos Norte temporary opened the bridge with no railings and unpaved approaches to avoid traffic congestion in Laoag City due to the opening of classes. Atty. Lazo however obse

Farmers, scientists look at ways to cope with global warming

Farmers and scientists are scrambling to find ways to prevent climate change from grabbing food from the table. Glimpses of what they are doing were presented during the 44th Scientific Conference of the Crop Science Society of the Philippines (CSSP). “Climate change is projected to become a progressively more significant threat in the coming decades,” said CSSP president Ramon Oliveros. “Current agricultural approaches need to be modified and innovative adaptation strategies need to be in place to efficiently produce more food in stressed conditions.” “The effects of climate change are already being felt as shown by more intense and frequent rains which pose additional threats for farmers in coping with their food production,” said Aurora M. Corales of the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice). “Helping farmers improve their livelihoods by enhancing their capacity to adapt to climate variability is a new challenge to development workers,” said Ms. Corales who

Laoag City turns 49

LC @ 49. Laoag Mayor Chevylle V. Fariñas leads the official of the city is celebrating the city’s 49 th Charter Day on June 19, 2014. (Doms dela Cruz) By Dominic B. dela Cruz Staff Reporter Laoag City —With Laoag City celebrating its 49 th Charter Day on June 19, Mayor Chevylle V. Fariñas turned to the people for gratitude as they are the driving force that has made city one of the most progressive and popular city not only nationally but also internationally. Ms. Fariñas though reserved her biggest thanks to the “Almighty, for without Him, Laoag City would not have been this progressive.” The event was marked by a simple ceremony highlighted by the release of white balloons by Laoag’s councilors, department heads and city government employees led by Ms. Fariñas, as well as barangay and national agencies’ officials. The release of white balloons, Ms. Fariñas explained, is a “sign of freedom”. Laoag City police officer-in-charge P/Supt. Jeffrey Gorospe

Gut query

“Why are we so corrupt?” That was the question cultural activist Joy Virata lobbed at Francisco Sionil Jose.  I’m pushing 90, Jose said. Virata must have considered my being ancient, perhaps enhanced by a little knowledge of history. Jose has authored novels set in the context of Philippine history to essays.  He won the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Journalism and Literature in 1980 and shortly thereafter the Pablo Neurda Centennial Award. Historian William Henry Scott analyzed an inventory, in the 1896 revolution, Jose recalled. It listed   broken pens, battered chairs, “trivia put down by outgoing bureaucrats illustrating their honesty”. In the 1930s, politicians spent their own money for their elections campaign. Many were impoverished by their aspirations. Former Secretary of Health Juan Salcedo and, Sen. Juan Flavier used public transport. Cabinet Secretary Conrado Estrella and Sen. Emmanuel Pelaez traveled without any escort. Today, even a small city mayor careen

DENR shutters Pagudpud dumpsite

By Leilanie G. Adriano Staff Reporter PAGUDPUD, Ilocos Norte—After failing to adhere to the provisions of the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act, this town’s open dumpsite was ordered shuttered. Situated at Barangay Caunayan, the controversial garbage dump was ordered by closed the Dept. of Environment and Natural Resources pending the municipality’s construction of a sanitary landfill. Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer Juan delos Reyes confirmed this following the submission of the municipality’s closure plan. While still searching for a possible location of the proposed Pagudpud sanitary landfill, Mr. Delos Reyes said the municipality may consider rehabilitating the open dump site of Pagudpud into a controlled dumpsite. To date, Pagudpud Mayor Marlon Sales reported that in preparation to the closure, the Pagudpud local government initiated plans such as the development of compost pit in every household including the conduct of information,

Bangui mayor’s hearing: SP poised to file indirect contempt raps vs witness

By Leilanie G. Adriano Staff Reporter Laoag City —Celso Ragudo, the principal witness who was supposed to pin down suspended Bangui Mayor Diosdado Garvida for indiscriminate firing may face indirect contempt of court charge if he does not appear during the hearing at the Sangguniang Panlalawigan on June 24, 2014. On June 17, 2014, Mr. Ragudo was supposed to be the last witness against Mr. Garvida in the SP’s third and supposedly final hearing of the administrative charge filed against the Bangui mayor. Mr. Ragudo however was a no-show. In an affidavit Mr. Ragudo voluntarily filed at the SP, he said he saw Mr. Garvida fire his gun while attempting to stop unlicensed quarry operators at a private lot owned by Kremlin Alupay of Brgy. Taguipuro in Bangui, Ilocos Norte. Mr. Ragudo, on June 17, though did not appear on the hearing even after the issuance of a subpoena by the provincial board. Atty. Victor Corpuz, Mr. Alupay’s legal counsel, said they tried to convince

Here comes the rain

THE SUMMER solstice on June 21, 2014 marked the longest day of the year for the Philippines. As much as it marked the start of the summer in the other part of the world, it also signaled the onset of rainy season in our part of the world. And as in the past, rainy season in our country is also typhoon season and disaster time. The move of Ilocos Norte Gov. Ma. Imelda “Imee” R. Marcos to map emergency equipment around the province is not only laudable but more so wise; as it is better to be prepared now when we can still move around rather than racing against time when disasters strike. The equipment mapping also look to include private contractors around the province as the provincial government looks to them to assist if and when disasters strike. Landslide-prone and flood-prone areas in the provinces have been identified. And if landslide and floods cannot be prevented by human interventions for now, the provincial government should preposition all the needed equipment

Piddig (Ilocos Norte) creates Quick Response Office

By Leilanie G. Adriano Staff Reporter Piddig , Ilocos Norte—To respond in crisis situations, the local government unit here created a Quick Response Office (QRO) operating on 24/7 basis. The new office, popularly known as “Piddig Cares” located near the Philippine National Police station here has been created by virtue of an ordinance initiated by ex-officio town councilor Gina Guillen, Piddig’s Liga ng mga Barangay president. June 2, with an initial budget allotment of at least P500,000 from the municipal government. In an interview, Piddig Mayor Eddie Guillen said the Quick Response Office is just like “hitting two birds in one stone” as it serves as a facility or a point of care to people during emergency situations and at the same time, to permanently operate as a coordinating body during disaster. IN 2011, Piddig Cares was launched primarily to assist local residents in times of need. This time, said office was institutionalized, giving a permanent plantilla

Ilocos Norte on the cusp of ‘breaking out from poverty’

By Leilanie G. Adriano Staff Reporter LAOAG CITY—The province of Ilocos Norte is about to hit the mark and become the country’s champion in terms of meeting the Millennium Development Goals target to eradicate extreme hunger and poverty by 2015. The Philippines has committed to reduce poverty incidence by 16 percent of the total population by 2015 as one of the signatories in the United Nations’ Millennium Declaration towards reducing poverty and the worst forms of human deprivation. Based on the latest MDG scorecard of Ilocos Norte, the province has successfully achieved the national target of 16 percent poverty incidence. As one of the pioneering users of the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR), the localization of MDGs in Ilocos Norte became a major process in transforming the lives of the less fortunate households in the province based on focus and need-based assessment. The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)

Empanada Festival 2014

The Ilocos Times June 23-29, 2014

Rule of law

By Alfredo C. Garvida, Jr. The much anticipated indictment of Senators Enrile, Estrada and Revilla along with pork barrel scam queen, Janet Napoles, has finally come last Friday, June 6, 2014, when the Office of the Ombudsman filed the criminal information of plunder, a non-bailable offense, against these big-time personalities with the Sandiganbayan. Varied reactions, as expected, surfaced, mostly in support of the indictments reflective of how the citizens of this country feel about corruption. The accused are not guilty—as yet, because this what the law mandates--until the court finds them guilty beyond reasonable doubt.  The three senators are accused of having perpetrated the crime for a period of 10 years, allegedly robbing the people billions of pesos for ghost or unworthy projects just so they could allegedly earn illicit commissions for their selfish ends. People are awed at the speed of the indictments' formalization, and in silence, revering the measure of

San Nicolas celebrates Independence Day by inaugurating and blessing new RHU and garbage compactors

SAN NICOLAS inaugurates the San Nicolas Rural Health Unit (RHU) and Lying-In Clinic and two newly acquired garbage compactors under the administration of Mayor Melanie Grace Valdez. The blessing and inauguration coincided with the municipality’s Independence Day celebration. Rev. Derick Rabanes blessed the vehicles and the new clinic. (Doms dela Cruz)

PDEA steps up monitoring of illegal drugs transshipment in Ilocos Norte

By Leilanie G. Adriano Staff Reporter LAOAG CITY—The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) has intensified their surveillance operations against international drug syndicates who are taking advantage of the Ilocos Norte’s 150-kilometer shoreline as possible transshipment points. The PDEA agents in Laoag City said shabu and marijuana remain to be the most abused drugs in the region with plantations discovered in La Union and Ilocos Sur. Of the 31 operations conducted since January, the PDEA reported that at least 37 drug personalities were arrested. Three of the 31 successive operations were based on intelligence operations. Based on initial findings, PDEA elements identified about 50 barangays from Laoag City, San Nicolas and Badoc as transshipment points of prohibited drugs originating from Cavite to Pangasinan and Ilocos Norte. At present, the cost of shabu is pegged at P5,000 to P6,000 per gram while marijuana is sold at P25 to P50 per gram. “The pr

MMSU prepares for institutional accreditation

By Reynaldo E. Andres  Contributor Batac CITY—The Mariano Marcos State University (MMSU) is in the midst of preparation for an institutional accreditation. The accreditation will determine MMSU’s proficiency and credibility as an institution of higher learning through a review by the members of the Accrediting Association of Chartered Colleges and Universities of the Philippines (AACCUP).  The Batac-based state university chose voluntary evaluation as it expects to prove that its visions and mission would conform to its programs before it is permitted to become a member of the association of accredited institutions in the country. On November 11-16, 2013, AACCUP members revisited MMSU and evaluated the eight degree programs of the university and assessed whether these possess quality standards and persisting efforts to maintain them at high level. The degree programs were Master of Arts in Nursing (MAN), Bachelor in Elementary Education (BEEd), Bachelor in Sec

Laoag mayor tasks disciplinary board to probe LCGH chief

By Dominic B. dela Cruz Staff Reporter Laoag City —After personally studying the charges filed against Laoag City General Hospital (LCGH) chief Dr. Francis Dacuycuy, Laoag Mayor Chevylle V. Fariñas has tasked the city government’s Disciplinary and Separation Board (DSB) to investigate the issue further. Ms. Fariñas explained that she did this primarily to avoid perceptions of bias and favoritism as well as public speculation and for Dr. Dacuycuy to personally defend himself against the charge. She stressed that she wanted the DSB investigation and its consequent results to be made public. She added that since Dr. Dacuycuy is a contractual and appointed official, she should have the right to issue this decision. She also noted that the Civil Service Commission has taken a hands-off policy on this issue. In addition to this, Ms. Fariñas said she also wants to know the opinions of DSB members. Ms. Fariñas disclosed that she did not simply rely on the explanation giv

Export industry iti Rehion I, naiget a masupsuportaran

Panangpapigsa pay iti export industry iti Rehion Uno ti kangrunaan a gagem ti maisayangkat nga Export Coaching Seminar on Costing and Pricing dagiti produkto a pang- export. Ti nasao a training and seminar ket maaramid iti maysa a nalatak nga hotel ditoy Siudad ti Laoag inton Hunio 18 aldaw ti Mierkoles. Kuna ni Ms. Nicole Rudio, PESO Head iti kapitolio probinsial nga inimbitaran ti Department of Trade and Industry daytoy kas kabinnadang ti Manila FAME Roadshow. Daytoy ket paset pay laeng iti Manila FAME Roadshow a bumisita iti Region One nangrugi idi Hunio 16 agingga iti Hunio 20, 2014. Mainaig iti daytoy, aw-awisen ni Ms. Rudio dagiti addaan iti negosio nga adda pannakainaigna  iti panagaramid ti furniture, home decor, holiday ken gifts decor, fashion accessories ken apparel, arts and craft, ceramics, outdoor products ken textiles. Nairanta daytoy kadagiti addaan ti negosio tapno mapapigsa pay ti level dagiti produkto ken maisabay iti export level. Daytoy ke

POEA now requires returning OFWs to Thailand show employment contract; selective exemptions granted for Libya deployment

By Leilanie G. Adriano Staff Reporter LAOAG CITY—While Filipino workers abroad who are returning to the country may no longer wait in long queues for their overseas employment certificates (OECs) with the government's Balik-Manggagawa Online Appointment System, the Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) Desk Office at the Ilocos Norte Provincial Capitol said that returning OFWs to Thailand and Libya are now required to show proof of employment contract before they can be issued an exit permit. This came in the wake of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration’s (POEA) May 23 advisory on partial deployment ban on newly-hired in Thailand, where martial law was declared by the Thai military. Though a total deployment ban in Libya advisory was issued on May 30, 2014, the POEA has issued another advisory on June 13, 2014 allowing certain skills category to be allowed to return to the war-torn country. The exemptions for deployment to Libya as contained in the POEA Governi