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Showing posts from January, 2018

Piddig exec attends yearend agribusiness confab

Manila —The Center for Food and Agri Business (CFA) of the University of Asia and the Pacific (UA&P) held its ‘Year-end Food and Agribusiness’ conference with the theme “Sustainable Philippine Food and Agribusiness: How to shape the future?” on December 5, 2017 at Ortigas Center in Pasig City. Among the speakers for the conference were Dr. Rolando Dy, executive director, Center for Food and Agri Business (CFA) who spoke about the agriculture scenarios in 2017-2018; Rosemarie Gumera, Sugar Regulatory Administration planning manager, spoke about the sugar industry; Philip Moran, Amici Foodservice Ventures, Inc chief operating officer and general manager spoke about the food service industry; Phillip Ong, Santeh Feeds Corporation president discussed the aquaculture industry; and Edwin Mapanao, Univet chief marketing officer, talked the animal health and nutrition industry. Former Piddig mayor now consultant Engr. Eduardo “Eddie” Guillen, who expounded on his municipality’s be

Laoag City council oks P778M 2018 budget

By Dominic Dela Cruz Staff reporter Laoag City —Mayor Chevylle V. Fariñas signed the approved annual budget for the city government of Laoag. The 2018 budget totals of PHP778,726,526.44, an increase of PHP31.5 million compared to this year’s budget. This year’s budget is PHP747,185,530.33. Members of the Sangguniang Panlungsod unanimously approved the annual budget during a regular session on November 27, 2017. The Ilocos Times learned that the council referred the budget to the body as a committee of the whole. It took them one month to study and deliberate on the budget. Prior to this, the city’s local finance committee also deliberated and held consultations for the budget. Ms. Fariñas led the consultations with all department heads verifying and defending their respective budgets. The lady mayor said the budget was prepared after a “thorough deliberation with all the concerned offices to make it an effective tool for allocating equitably the limited reso

Ilocos Norte gov’t, PRC conduct year-end mobile outreach services

PRC representatives serving initial registrants. ( Alaric A. Yanos) By Gerelita Joy Mari N. Dela Cruz PGIN-CMO Laoag City —The Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte (PGIN) thru the Public Employment Service Office (PESO), in partnership with the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC), delivered professional licensing and application services to almost 2000 professionals and aspiring professionals on this year’s last mobile outreach service for 2017. Agriculturists, engineers, estate brokers, midwives, nurses, and teachers, availed PRC’s assistance. Services include professional ID Card (PIC), renewal and license registration, issuance of good standing certification, release of available PIC and certificate of registration, and application for various examinations such as the Board Licensure Examination for Professional Teachers (BLEPT). PESO manager Ann Marie Lizette Bitancor, assured continuous Mobile PRC Programs for the upcoming year saying, “ Tuloy-tuloy po ito

Ilocos Sur mayor pushes for federalism

By Leilanie G. Adriano Staff reporter Narvacan , Ilocos Sur—Over 1,500 participants attended a federalism summit held in an open court of this town’s municipal hall. Highlighting the advantages of a federal form of government which gives more power to the provinces outside Metro Manila through the so-called “bottoms-up decision making and no-nonsense leadership”, the local government unit of Narvacan led by their mayor Zuriel Zaragoza hosted the summit in support of President Duterte’s advocacy to implement real change. Mr. Zaragoza said decentralization and devolution of powers and authority from the national government to the local government units is better to enable local government units to become self-reliant, thus making them an effective partner in the attainment of national goals and in nation building. He reiterated this we can only achieve this through timely transition from the present form of government to a federal one. Citing the top four agend

Laoag, Batac are SGLG recipients

By Dominic Dela Cruz Staff reporter Laoag City —The cities of Laoag and Batac in the province of Ilocos Norte both regained their Seal of Good Local Governance (SGLG) awards for CY 2017. The SGLG recognition came from the Seal of Good Housekeeping (SGH) program that began in 2010. The national government introduced this to provide greater challenge to all local governments to continue good governance practices while providing better services. Due to a successful run of the Seal of Good Housekeeping (SGH) by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) now awards the Seal of Good Local Governance (SGLG) or Pagkilala sa Katapatan at Kahusayan ng Pamahalaang Lokal. The DILG launched this in 2014. The SGLG symbolizes integrity and good performance through continuing governance reform and sustained local development. It is a progressive assessment system adopted by the DILG to give distinction to remarkable local government performance across several areas.

Federalism and the Philippines

It may turn out good; it may also become a disaster. The only thing certain for now is it would still take time for a federal Philippines to emerge. As in the many fora the Department of Interior and Local Government conducted, the questions far outnumber the answers. And the questions continue multiplying. Yet the most basic question really is: are we ready for federalism? Are we, as a people and as an electorate politically mature enough for this? Federalism may turn out to be good for the Philippines. It will render “Imperial Manila” useless, and will task each state—or regional—government to chart their own course. Public services may also become better, faster and more efficient. As it is, it will also bring governance truly closer to the people. But are we really ready for it? Is the Filipino electorate mature enough for it? And are our politicians prepared to become real public servants instead of what most of them are today? For if we are not, we will simp

Imee enters Superbrands hall of fame

Ilocos Norte governor Imee R. Marcos meets with Ilocos Norte Muslim leaders. (Alaric Yanos photo) By Edison Justin Deus and Ma. Christian A. Ramos PGIN-CMO Laoag City —For a third time in a row, Superbrands Marketing International, Inc. (SMI) bestowed the “Most Outstanding Governor” award on Ilocos Norte’s Ma. Imelda Josefa “Imee” R. Marcos for her vision of a livable sustainable, and resilient home province. SMI held the awards program on November 28, 2017 in Makati City. “ Talaga namang tuwang-tuwa ako, at hindi ko inaakalang magiging three-time awardee ako . So, first time, tuwang-tuwa ako . Second, big surprise. Ngayon, talagang nasindak ako . Hall of fame na raw ang pangalan , so I’m very thrilled,” Ms. Marcos said. SMI is a global branding and marketing organization which recognizes politicians, professionals, companies, and executives who have significantly contributed to the society. Recipients of the said award include governors who enable inclusive g

Laoag City DepEd chief bags back-to-back leadership awards

By Jennifer T. Pambid Contributor Compassionate leadership and dedication to public service. This brought Dr. Joel B. Lopez to the regional and national limelight one-and-a-half-year after he took over as officer-in-charge of the Office of the Schools Division Superintendent of the Department of Education Schools Division of Laoag City. For his exceptional accomplishments in improving the quality of education, Dr. Lopez received two consecutive awards in September 2017. On September 8, 2017, he was one of the regional finalists of the 2017 Civil Service Commission’s (CSC) Dangal ng Bayan Award at the Diego Silang Hall, Provincial Capitol, City of San Fernando, La Union. Under the category, CSC recognizes outstanding public officials and employees for exemplifying extraordinary acts of public service and consistently demonstrating exemplary ethical behavior as stated under Republic Act No. 6713. The nomination for Dr. Lopez narrated his achievements in the pa

Ilocos Norte board moves to settle boundary dispute between Vintar, Bangui

By Leilanie G. Adriano Staff reporter LAOAG CITY—The Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) appealed to the municipalities of Vintar and Bangui in the province’s first district to settle amicably a boundary dispute covering more than 1,000 hectares. SP member Da Vinci Crisostomo said both municipalities, represented by Vintar mayor Larissa Foronda and Bangui mayor Fidel Cimatu, have a claim for the contested lots located under cadastral survey 734-D covering an area of 1,049.9621 square meters. In a letter forwarded to both concerned municipalities, Gwendolyn Bambalan, assistant director for technical services of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources based in San Fernando City, La Union clarified that on December 9, 1995, there was a memorandum of agreement signed by the former local chief executives and Sangguniang Bayan members of each town resolving the jurisdictional areas of both localities. Based on the documents, Ms. Bambalan said the 1995 MOA favored Ban

DILG holds federalism dialogue

The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) conducted a federalism dialogue at the Ilocos Norte Centennial Arena on December 1, 2017. Barangay, municipal and provincial officials including different government agencies; and representatives from the religious sector, academe, and private sector participated in the said dialogue. According to Atty. Joseph Apolonio, DILG Regional Office 1 legal officer, in a federal system, about 70-80% of the collected funds becomes the share of the region; with the remaining 20-30% becomes the share of the national government. He added that projects implementation will likewise become easier since there will no longer be necessary to wait for national government approval. Mr. Apolonio, however, stressed that a federalism system will not erase graft and corruption. He added that administrative and criminal cases can and will still be a feature of a federal government. Meanwhile, Laoag City local government officer Roger D

Laoag City council Oks session livestreaming

By Dominic Dela Cruz Staff reporter Laoag City —Moving along with today’s new technology, the Sangguniang Panlungsod here is set to livestream its sessions. Laoag Councilor Roque C. Ablan, main author of the ordinance said this aims to “provide accurate information in real time to the public” on what is transpiring at the plenary during the council’s regular sessions He also cited Section 28, Article II of the 1987 Constitution, which states: “The State shall adopt and implements a policy of full public disclosure of all its transactions involving public interest, subject to reasonable conditions prescribed by law”. He then added that the move is also to recognize the fundamental role of “free and open exchange of information in a democracy meant to enhance transparency and accountability in government official acts, transactions or decisions”. Under the 2016 Internal Rules of Procedures, particularly Section 30 of Rule V of the Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP), it prov

PCOO recognizes Ilocos Norte as ‘FOI champion’

By Leilanie G. Adriano Staff reporter LAOAG CITY— The Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO recognized the Ilocos Norte government as one of the champions of the Freedom of Information program after a year of implementation nationwide. Jun Arvin Gudoy, communications and media officer of the Ilocos Norte provincial government accepted the award on December 4, 2017 in Manila. The PCOO thru the FOI program director and assistant secretary Atty. Kristian Ablan initiated the search for FOI champions to recognize the significant contributions of departments, attached agencies, government-owned-and/or-controlled corporations, state universities and colleges, and local government units in operationalizing the constitutional mandate of right to information. Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin M. Andanar led the awarding ceremonies. Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea and Bagong Henerasyon Rep. Bernadette Herrera-Dy, chair

DILG recommends PPOC reorganization

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) recommended the inclusion of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), Land Transportation Office (LTO), and the National Commission of Indigenous People (NCIP) in the Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC). Responding to this, Ilocos Norte governor Ma. Imelda Josefa “Imee” R. Marcos issued an executive order that will reorganize the said council. Ilocos Norte vice governor Eugenio Angelo M. Barba, for his part and upon receiving a copy of both the recommendation letter and executive order, set a meeting with the respective heads of the mentioned agencies. Mr. Barba added that he sees the council reorganization as a move to “improve safety and sustain peace and order in the province.” He added that the LTO participation will also help solve crimes related to motor vehicles, especially the killings attributed to motorcycle-riding killers. PDEA, on the other hand, he said will help the province furth

ASEAN experts share R&D highlights to build resilient communities

By Leilanie G. Adriano Staff reporter LAOAG CITY—In a gathering of environmental researchers and scientists across Southeast Asia, they presented various technologies, strategies and innovations in a three-day forum to rise above the challenges of climate change particularly in urban cities. Organized by the Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau (ERDB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, the forum hopes to develop a holistic approach and come up with a resolution or agreement towards achieving urban resilience to climate change and disaster risks. On December 5, 2017, Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu urged member states of the ASEAN to focus on building sustainable cities and urban areas. In the past 10 years, Mr. Cimatu noted that ASEAN countries became highly vulnerable to the effects of climate change as they are now experiencing more frequent extreme weather events such as floods, droughts, heatwaves and rising sea levels. In a

Ilocos Norte board finalizes quarry ordinance revision

The Sangguniang Panlalawigan is finalizing its revision of the provincial quarry ordinance. The revisions aim to provide a more systematic and comprehensive implementation of the said ordinance. The revisions also seek to improve the implementing rules and regulations of the ordinance for the stakeholders’ benefit, particularly to the granting of quarry permits. The board will also try to address the continuous decrease of quarry revenues that began in 2015. They believe the among the factors that precipitated the revenue decrease is the process in the renewal of permits and illegal quarry operations. SP member Vicentito “Toto” M. Lazo stressed that quarry permittees must pay their taxes based on their respective total area of excavation, instead of based on their finished products from their quarry. ( Frances Alegre )

Batac gov't eyes MOA with MMMH for complicated pregnancies

By Dominic Dela Cruz Staff reporter Batac City —The city government here expects to enter an agreement with the Mariano Marcos Memorial Hospital and Medical Center MMMH-MC to tackle complicated pregnancies here. To achieve this, the Sangguniang Panlungsod here authorized Batac mayor Albert D. Chua to represent the city government in negotiating a memorandum of agreement with the Batac hospital. Dr. Ma. Lourdes Otayza, MMMH chief of hospital, will represent the hospital. Batac councilor Dr. Medeldorf Gaoat, who moved for the authorization, said the hospital should provide more advanced maternal and newborn care for complicated pregnancies referred by the Batac City Maternal and Child Health Care Clinic (BEMONC)/Lying Inn Clinic. Mr. Gaoat, who chairs the committee on health, said that the BEMONC is a certified health facility which provides obstetric and neonatal care only to normal or uncomplicated cases. In view of this, they will refer high-risk pregnancies i

Sarrat mayor suspends SB secretary

Sarrat , Ilocos Norte—Mayor Remigio B. Medrano ordered the preventive suspension of Sangguniang Bayan (SB) secretary Dennis Ribuyaco. The preventive suspension, according to the mayor, is to protect the municipal government, especially the SB’s integrity from Mr. Ribuyaco’s “misconduct.” The issue stemmed from an alleged existing Sarrat ordinance that granted permits to 22 quarry firms to excavate gravel and sand along this town’s Padsan River. The mayor apparently discovered that the official ordinance only granted permits to 5 of the 22 quarry firms. Mr. Ribuyaco was on leave when the suspension the police served the suspension order on November 17, 2017. ( Bernard Ver )

Laoag City World AIDS day commemoration

In support of the World AIDS Day, the city government of Laoag thru the City Health Office joins the commemoration through a walk-for-a-cause; “The Right to Health” campaign; HIV symposium and a media forum for HIV Awareness on December 1, 2017. ( Doms dela Cruz)

MMSU GSSSC conducts a seminar on financial literacy

Noel Rosales Argana, regional business manager of Allianz PNB Life, lectures on financial literacy during the lecture series of the Graduate School Supreme Student Council (GSSSC) of the Mariano Marcos State University. As part of its year-long lecture series, the Graduate School Supreme Student Council (GSSSC) of the Mariano Marcos State University (MMSU) held a financial literacy seminar on November 26 at the MMSU Graduate School Audio–Visual Room. The main speaker for the seminar was Mr. Noel Rosales Argana, regional business manager of Allianz PNB Life, one of the major life insurers in the Philippines. Mr. Argana’s talk focused on personal finance management and giving very useful tips on saving and handling money, investing and insurance. “The richer people are those who took more risk,” he said. Students of MMSU Graduate School, student leaders of AMA Laoag, members of the Sirib Ilocano Kabataan Association (SIKA) and employees of the city government of L

Ilocos Norte dad questions Laoag cockpit operation

By Dominic Dela Cruz Staff reporter Laoag City —Sangguniang Panlalawigan member Vicentito “Toto” M. Lazo questioned the operation of the Laoag City Cockpit Arena without the needed permits and approval. Mr. Lazo stressed that the provincial board has yet to review the franchise ordinance passed by the Laoag City council granted to the operator. The cockpit arena conducted a derby on November 10, 2017. Laoag mayor Chevylle V. Fariñas reasoned that she gave the operator a “special permit” to operate. She added that she based this on the opinion and advise of the city government’s legal officer. She stated further that the permit she granted contained provisions that abide by all the requirements set forth by the franchise ordinance passed by the council. The permit specifically states: “This permit is subject to the condition that all laws, ordinances, resolutions, general orders, Presidential Decrees, letters of instructions and letters of implementation g

Miss Batac 2017

OWWA Region 1 presents membership benefits to OFWs

By Bernard Ver Contributor San Fernando City , La Union—The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) regional office 1 conducted a familiarization and beneficial functions of the organization conference to overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in the region here. Social benefits update At the forum, OWWA social benefit head Marissa C. Naboye discussed the “MedPlus” and welfare assistance program (WAP) for the “land-based” and “sea-based” workers. The assistance program deals with the accidental and death benefits for active, and non-active members including suicide cases—which falls under natural death. Also, the WAP program covers calamity assistance and can give PHP3,000for the active member and PHP1,500 for the inactive. OWWA will give the said assistance within three months after a declaration of a ‘state of calamity” by the government. Other assistances OWWA offers are: bereavement, disability, medical assistance, relief assistance that ranges from PHP10,000