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Showing posts from July, 2014

Paoay to collect green fees in tourism destinations

By Leilanie G. Adriano Staff Reporter Paoay, Ilocos Norte —Tourists visiting this town’s popular destinations, parks and heritage site will soon charge “green fees” following the passage of an ordinance by the municipal council here. The “green fee” collection on the Paoay sand dunes, Culili Point and the town’s parks and heritage site was initiated by the municipal government to ensure their cleanliness and development being among the province’s popular tourist destination. In recent months, several construction and development initiatives by the provincial government of Ilocos Norte such as the construction of the Paseo de Paoay and Arte Luna art gallery were launched in Paoay town to attract more tourists to visit. These developments contributed to tourist influx, requiring greater maintenance of cleanliness in the area.  The approval of said ordinance is within the authority of the municipality granted under the provisions of Sections 128-139 of Republic Act

Ilocos Norte court employees stage silent protest

By Leilanie G. Adriano Staff reporter LAOAG CITY—As the perceived attack on the judiciary gets more controversial, Ilocos Norte court employees staged a silent protest against threats to scrap the Judiciary Development Fund (JDF). Atty. Zaldy dela Cruz, a court employee at the Ilocos Norte Marcos Hall of Justice said the recent controversial issue between the executive and the judiciary over the Supreme Court’s ruling declaring Malacañang’s Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) as unconstitutional should not affect court employees. “They should not mind the judiciary. The timing and the move of the Congress to scrap our allowance is just awful,” Dela Cruz said. Executive Judge Philip Salvador said in a separate interview that wearing black and white is meant “to show cohesiveness with the Supreme Court (SC).” “We have to make a stand against insinuations that the SC is vindictive in its ruling. The truth is, the decision is based on the law and no other else,”

Iglesia Ni Cristo celebrates Centennial on July 27, 2014

By Emmanuel Samonte Tipon Contributor “If you came to ask for money, I don’t have any,” exclaimed President Ferdinand Marcos as we were ushered into his office in Makiki Heights, Honolulu. I was with former Assemblyman Nemesio V. Ganan, Jr. of Romblon. “No sir, we did not come to ask for money,” I answered, emphatically. “We attended the dedication of the Iglesia Ni Cristo [Church of Christ] chapel in Waipahu and we stopped by to pay our respects to you before going back to San Francisco. But if you think we came to ask for money, we are leaving, good-bye.” “I’m so sorry,” Marcos apologized. “Everybody who comes to see me these days asks for money, even the relatives of Cory.” “Who, sir?” I asked. “Never mind,” he remarked. (I later learned who they were, accompanied by an Ilocano congressman). “I did not know you were Iglesia,” Marcos remarked. (I had known Marcos since 1949. Roque Ablan, Jr. and I learned how to drive using Manong Andy’s car. Roque’s father wh

‘Worth living for’

PRESIDENT Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III’s penultimate State of the Nation Address was by far his most peaceable as he did not harp against the past administration—much. It also showed us the emotional side of a President who is often perceived to be ice-cold and somewhat indifferent, as he now asks for unity and a collective effort to bring the country further forward. While it is true that being a President is full of challenges and hardships, this has not dawned on his critics, especially the leftist minority who would want us to believe that they can do better. As much as burning effigies and being hosed down in the process still has romantic and adventurous values, they are as meaningless as the words they are spewing. “Oust US-[whoever is President]” has not only become passé; it has also become a punch line. For what is the use of changing Presidents—or ousting them as our left-leaning brethren ask—if we do not go to the root of the problem? All incoming Presidents

Hawks versus doves

“Kishore —who?” That’s what many irritably snap when gently pressed to pay equal attention to other significant issues than the impeach President Aquino brawl. Kishore Mabubani is dean the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore. He was Singapore’s former ambassador to the United Nations for Singapore.  And what he has to say about China’s doves versus hawks will affect our grandchildren. Excerpts: “ China  is on the verge of destroying a geopolitical miracle,” Mabubhani writes.  In just three decades, China rose to become No. 2 world economic power. It did so, without disrupting the world order. Suddenly, three decades of careful management of its external challenges have been upset by three years of assertive and occasionally reckless actions—threatening all. Meet the hawks versus doves conflict within China. The hawks are mostly young officers of the People’s Liberation Army. They argue that China should confront those ques

MMSU hikes production of organic fertilizer

By Reynaldo E. Andres Contributor Batac CITY—The Mariano Marcos State University (MMSU) is increasing the production of bio-organic fertilizers to cope with the increasing demand by farmers in Ilocos Norte and nearby provinces. Records showed that from 1,191 bags of organic fertilizer that was produced in 2012 and sold at P297,750, the production went up to 1,363 bags last year which generated a substantial income of P340,750.  One bag weighs 50 kilos and its price is pegged at P250. As of June this year, there are now again 687 bags ready for this year’s planting season. Started in 2008, the heaping area for active composting and curing process at the back of the University Library, which is headed by Dr. Floramante Pastor, has continuously been flooded with rising demand for organic fertilizer from farmers in the province especially those involved in organic farming for rice, corn and other high value commercial crops. Pastor said the university’s bio-organic fert

The Ilocos Times July 28-August 3, 2014

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DENR presents ‘Poles of Hope’ book

By Leilanie G. Adriano Staff Reporter LAOAG CITY—In what was meant as a perfect duo of strong public and private partnership, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the Ilocos Norte Electric Cooperative lead the way how to turn the vast resources of the country into a sustainable source of development both for people and the environment. Presenting the “Poles of Hope”, a book featuring a story of the INEC and its Industrial Forest Management Agreement (IFMA) with the DENR-Ilocos Norte proved to be a success after 25 years of lease agreement amidst the government’s declaration of moratorium on total log ban. In 2011, a few months after President Benigno Aquino III signed Executive Order No. 23, declaring a moratorium on the cutting and harvesting of timber in the natural and residual forests and creating an anti-illegal logging task force, the law exempted the INEC-IFMA, a 235-hectare industrial tree plantation in Pancian, Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte, consider

Batac plants 30,000 forest seedlings annually

By Leilanie G. Adriano Staff Reporter BATAC CITY—Rising temperatures, withering agricultural crops and rivers running dry. These are just among the signs of times where local residents here cannot just take it sitting down. Rising above the challenge of climate change, the Batac City government has been planting around 30,000 forest trees every year in response to the worsening effects of global warming and extreme weather temperatures bringing in incessant flooding within Batac and its neighboring town of Paoay that forms its own infinite pool along the national highway during heavy rains. Launched in 2009, the city government initiated project “Save the Quiaoit River, the Mountains and the Watershed,” continues to gain ground with the full support of the communities and a multi-sectoral group of government and non-government organizations including the schools and the mass media. The river is one of two major waterways of Batac that straddles the Poblacion and drai

DA awards Regional 2014 Gawad Saka winners

OUTSTANDING  Ilocos Norte farmers dominate awardees during the awarding ceremony of the 2014 Regional Gawad Saka held at the Plaza Del Norte, Laoag City on July 17. (Lei Adriano) By Leilanie G. Adriano Staff reporter LAOAG CITY—The   Department of Agriculture-Region 1 recognized on July 17 outstanding farmers and farmers’ group in the 2014 Gawad Saka Regional Awards held at the Plaza del Norte, this city.  Clad in Barong Tagalog and Filipiniana dresses, these outstanding men and women from the agriculture sector took time out from their daily routine as they climb up the stage at the Ilocos Norte convention center to receive their plaque of recognition and cash award from the DA for their great contribution in enhancing the development of agriculture and fisheries. Engr. Ariel Cayanan, executive director of the Philippine Council for Agriculture and Fisheries who served as guest of honor and speaker lauded farmers in Region 1 for their remarkable performance in incre

DILG rates LC as ‘very high’ in citizen satisfaction

By Dominic B. dela Cruz Staff reporter Laoag City —The Dept. of Interior and Local Government (DILG) gave a “very high” rating to the city government in the Citizen Satisfaction Index Survey (CSIS) for 2013. The results of the survey were announced on July 7, 2014 by the DILG regional office assistant regional director and current officer-in-charge Victoria H. Ramos and Bureau of Local Government Supervision (BLGS) representative Anna Liza Garcia during the utilization conference on the CSIS results held at the Laoag City Auditorium. Mariano Marcos State University (MMSU) Pres. Miriam E. Pascua also attended the event as MMSU’s Local Research Institute (LRI) conducted the r2013 random survey in all of Laoag’s barangays. Ms. Ramos congratulated the city government headed by Laoag Mayor Chevylle V. Fariñas for the very high rating. The DILG official explained the survey was based on eight areas of concerns: health, basic education, social welfare, governance and re

PCC beefs up carabao genetic program in Ilocos Norte

By Leilanie G. Adriano Staff Reporter Batac City —The Philippine Carabao Center (PCC) here has intensified their campaign to conserve native water buffalos by increasing their genetic potential and promote it as a source of alternative livelihood among rural farming villages. Threatened by the apparent decline of land available for cultivation due to a dramatic increase of infrastructure developments such as construction of commercial buildings and houses, the PCC recognizes the need to intensify crop-livestock integration, eyeing improved breeds of water buffalo as a great source of meat, milk and draft. Grace Marjorie Recta, PCC regional center director, an attached agency of the Department of Agriculture based in Batac City, said every year they are targeting about 5,000 artificial insemination services to water buffaloes in Ilocos Norte’s rural farming villages mostly in Marcos and San Nicolas towns. With highly-skilled private technicians the PCC trained to perf

Batac eyes more scholars

By Dominic B. dela Cruz Staff reporter Batac City— The city government here is set to increase the number of their scholars following the passage of an ordinance that sets new income requirements for applicants. Batac Vice Mayor Ronald Allan M. Nalupta, author of the ordinance, said the new household income requirement will be based on the minimum wage set forth by the Regional Wage Board or salary grade 2 when in government service. Annual income for salary grade 2 is Php 116,604. The combined annual income of parents or guardians must also be certified by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR). Another scholarship ordinance however was tabbed for further study while a third was disapproved. The Batac Athletic Scholarship Program, which was supposed to provide financial assistance to student-athletes selected to represent the city in sporting events, was shelved for further study. The Batac Cultural Scholarship Program, which was supposed to give financial aid to

US supports disaster risk reduction in Metro Manila

By Michael T. Esmino Managing Editor THE UNITED States government is stepping up its efforts to help the Philippines in disaster preparedness. On July 17, the US Embassy in the Philippines announced that the US government will partner with the Catholic Relief Services (CRS) to build community resilience to disasters in Metro Manila. On July 14, the US, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), provided an additional P107.5 million (US $2.5 million) to CRS for disaster risk reduction (DRR) in the Philippines.  The support will provide training and support to communities in 15 high-risk, flood-prone barangays in Rizal and the National Capital Region, directly benefiting an estimated 43,200 people.  Through the program, CRS will provide training to barangay officials and community members on areas including risk assessment and mapping, participatory disaster risk reduction and management, and contingency planning.  The program will also build community

When teachers lead the cheating

In Philippine society, we look up to teachers as paragons of virtue. They lead us to the realm of wisdom, and let us distinguish right from wrong. Teaching is arguably a most noble profession. I am sure you have heard of the story of various professionals, all of them Filipino, at the doorstep of heaven explaining to St. Peter why they deserve to enter paradise. “I served the people with all my heart,” a politician enthused. “I built roads, bridges, and buildings, including churches,” said an engineer. A doctor explained how she healed the sick while a lawyer detailed how he brought justice to the oppressed. Then a teacher came forward and proudly said, “Well, St. Peter, I taught them all.” Impressive answer, indeed. I am not sure though whether heaven's gatekeeper let the teacher in, for there’s a chance he may have wondered whether the chaos in Philippine society today—the massive corruption, the greed, the thoughtless bickering, and the lack of foresight, among other