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Showing posts from February, 2018

Korea gives P150M grant for INEC’s voltage upgrading project

(From left) Bosung Powertec Co. president Lim Jae Hwang, INEC general manager Engr. Felino Herbert P. Agdigos, NEA administrator Edgardo R. Masongsong, KEPCO president Go, Jae Han, INEC board president Reynaldo M. Lazo show the terms of references they signed for the INEC project.  (INEC photo) By Dominic B. dela Cruz Staff reporter Dingras , Ilocos Norte—The Korean government through the Korea Institute for Advancement of Technology (KIAT) officially awarded a grant for a distribution voltage upgrading project to the Ilocos Norte Electric Cooperative (INEC). KIAT formalized the grant in a signing ceremony for the “Terms of Reference” between the Philippines and Korea on January 22, 2018 at INEC’s Dingras main office. National Electrification Administration (NEA) Administrator Edgardo R. Masongsong, representing the Philippines being the supervisory agency of the project, signed the document with KIAT Vice President Park Sang-Yi, representing Korea. A

Garden show, trade fair kicks off MMSU’s 40th anniversary

By Leilanie G. Adriano Staff reporter Batac CITY—Rare collections of bonsai plants, high-quality furniture products, creative crafts and souvenir items including processed food products among others are on display on January 18, 2018 at the Garden show and trade fair held at the open grounds of the state-run Mariano Marcos State University (MMSU), Batac City campus. With a theme, “Transforming Concepts into Products,” the month-long exhibit participated by public and private stakeholders of MMSU is one of the highlights of the university as it commemorates its 40 th foundation anniversary. As a premiere university in the country, MMSU president Shirley Agrupis took the lead in empowering the lives of Ilocanos through research innovations and knowledge-driven global economy. Over the years, residents of Ilocos Norte are grateful for having the university as it opened doors of opportunities for them not only in achieving quality education but also on research and exte

BSP, Ilocos Norte gov’t to share financial info with Ilocanos

By Leilanie G. Adriano Staff reporter LAOAG CITY—The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) is partnering with the Provincial Library under the Ilocos Norte government to share more information with Ilocanos on money matters. The BSP program known as Knowledge Resource Network (KRN) aims to enhance the public’s understanding of economic and financial concepts and issues. By reaching out to the LGU libraries, more stakeholders will be able to appreciate more what is economic development and how it can bring in opportunities to local communities. To formalize this undertaking, members of the Ilocos Norte Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) unanimously approved Draft Resolution No. 2017-11-121 on January 15, 2018, authorizing Ilocos Norte governor Ma. Imelda “Imee” R. Marcos to enter a memorandum of understanding with the BSP for the implementation of the KRN. Senior SP member Matthew Joseph Manotoc said BSP publications such as books, reports, guides, manuals, primers and brochure

PrimeWater Ilocos Norte-INWD partnership launch first ‘Grand Walk the Line’ activity

PrimeWater Ilocos Norte employee repairing the leaking meter set up. By Dominic B. dela Cruz Staff reporter The dedicated partnership of PrimeWater Ilocos Norte and the Ilocos Norte Water District (INWD) launched its first ever Grand Walk the Line (GWTL) activity on December 29, 2017. This activity is an intensified street-by-street leak detection program aimed to combat non-revenue water (NRW). Around 25 employees from both PrimeWater Ilocos Norte and the INWD walked along the water main lines to check for any irregularities relating to water services: from leaks to illegal connections, which form part of the partnership’s NRW. The partners held the GWTL activity on a designated “Supply Zone 5”, which covers the southern part of Laoag: Brgys. Nangalisan A & B, Buttong, Darayday, Raraburan, Tangid, Nalbo, Bengcag, Cabungaan A & B, Araniw, Zamboanga, Gabu Norte & Sur, Cavit, Mangato, Balatong and Balacad. They found a total of five leaks, one illegal con

DOTr oks P128M LIA upgrade

By Leilanie G. Adriano Staff reporter LAOAG CITY—Following the upgrading of facilities at the Laoag International Airport (LIA), the Department of Transportation (DOTr) has granted the released of about PHP128 million for its expansion and improvement. Provincial legal officer, Atty. Herme Labayog confirmed this as he said the Ilocos Norte government represented by Governor Ma. Imelda “Imee” Marcos and the DOTr represented by Undersecretary for legal Affairs and Procurement, Atty. Reinier Paul Yebra already signed a four-page memorandum of agreement. After the MOA signing, Mr. Labayog reported that they expect the release of at least 15 % of the total amount at the soonest possible time to kick-off the Laoag expansion project. As cited in the MOA, the DOTr shall fund the acquisition of affected lots and the improvements found in the area including administrative costs, disturbance compensation, assistance to displaced people, transfer and registration of land titles,

PVO intensifies vaccination of stray dogs in Pagudpud

By Leilanie G. Adriano Staff reporter Pagudpud , Ilocos Norte–The Provincial Veterinary Office (PVO) intensified the monitoring of stray dogs in this town to control rabies. Dr. Loida Valenzuela, PVO chief said one patient here diagnosed with rabies recently alerted them. According to Ms. Valenzuela, Ilocos Norte is eyeing a “rabies-free province” declaration; however, with this recent case, the declaration will likely not come yet. The Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte (PGIN) through the Provincial Rabies Control Council (PRCC), in partnership with the PVO and international organization Global Alliance for Rabies Control (GARC), has eradicated rabies cases for the past three years. Rabies is a viral disease that causes acute inflammation of the brain in humans and warm-blooded animals, with dogs being the most commonly involved. Early signs include fever and tingling at the bite site, usually followed by violent excitability, a fear of water, paralysis in s

Eco-friendly Solsona school inspires students, community to heal the earth

By Leilanie G. Adriano Staff reporter Solsona , Ilocos Norte—Students and visitors entering the Solsona National High School will have a renewed spirit the moment they are out of the school campus in Brgy. Manalpac in this town. Nestled at the foot of the mountain overlooking a green corn fields, the SNHS offers a breath a fresh air with its clean environment, well-kept rooms akin to a 21 st century school with wide and flat screen television sets, cheerful students, and a model of recycled plastic and tin materials converted into pocket vegetable gardens and ornamental plants. As an alumna of this school, Rose Baja says her face always lit up every time she visits her school with so many improvements now since she graduated 30 years ago. Ms. Baja said she takes pride of her alma mater for nurturing its students and for caring the planet. Inside the enormous compound of the school are beautiful landscapes of potted and hanging plants that adorn the path

St. Therese pilgrim relics visits Ilocos Norte anew

The Laoag City government welcomes the pilgrim relics of St. Therese from Lisieux, France. The visit is part of the St. Therese’s four-month visit to the Philippines.    ( Doms dela Cruz ) By Leilanie G. Adriano Staff reporter LAOAG CITY—Hundreds of devotees swarm the pilgrim relics of St. Therese as they offered prayers and roses to venerate the saint. Touching down at the Laoag airport on January 15, 2018 via military plane, a crowd of local government, school, church and religious leaders welcomed the relics on its fourth visit to the Philippines. Enclosed in a golden reliquary some bone fragments of St. Therese, personnel of the Ilocos Norte Police Provincial Office carried the relics while members of the Knights of Columbus helped in crowd control. From the airport, organizers conducted a motorcade all the way to the St. William Cathedral in downtown Laoag. On the same day, Monsignor Leo Ruiz led the concelebrated welcome mass, attended by hundreds of

Ilocos ‘black gold’ sustains livelihood of Burgos residents

By Leilanie G. Adriano Staff reporter Burgos , Ilocos Norte— Gamet , a pricey seasonal seaweed that grows on sharp and slippery coral stones in the coastline of this town continues to sustain the livelihood of residents here. From November to March, seaweed pickers brave the cold breeze and strong waves to collect gamet akin to a Japanese nori. Ilocano salad, soups and omelet dishes often feature gamet . For Burgos town residents, they consider this a “black gold” as it commands a high price in the market. A square foot size when dried costs an average of PHP500. Because of its nutritious content and light weight, mostly balikbayans and tourists buy this for take-home or pasalubong to friends and relatives. For 58-year-old Natividad Parica of Brgy. Bayog, she said gamet picking has already been a way of life for her family. Mrs. Parica recalled that at the age of 10, she already started joining elders to pick gamet to help earn a living. During the

Making great strides: INWD-PrimeWater breaks ground for water project

Ceremonial Opening led by Ilocos Norte governor Imee R. Marcos and other Guests—Engr. Fe Rebancos, GM John Teodoro, Dir. Zenaida Mariano, Dir. Rodrigo Pagtulingan, Dir. Nicetos Campos, Dir. Norman Rabago, Dir. Ameurfina Respicio and BM Jan Joseph Sta. Barbara. By Dominic B. dela Cruz Staff reporter PrimeWater Ilocos Norte, in partnership with the Ilocos Norte Water District (INWD), made another great stride as the joint venture celebrated the groundbreaking ceremony of the pipelaying project at Brgy. Buyon, Bacarra, Ilocos Norte on January 16, 2018. This project is a 2,200-meter Pipelaying of 350mm diameter pipe along the national highway, from Sitio Tamucalao to Sitio Liwliwa, Brgy. Buyon in Bacarra, Ilocos Norte. Bacarra. The project will benefit the people by providing an increased pressure of water, availability of water supply to 5,000 concessionaires of Laoag and Bacarra, and availability of water supply during the hot summer season. Ilocos Norte gover

PGIN eyes revival of 50% discount on student fares

By Leilanie G. Adriano Staff reporter LAOAG CITY—With the expected increase prices of oil and petroleum products and other basic commodities due to the recently implemented tax reform law, the Ilocos Norte provincial government is eyeing the revival of subsidized public transport services to students from marginalized families. As one of the pilot projects of the Ilocos Norte government, they launched the Sirib transport service for students last year, giving gas subsidy to public utility jeepneys and buses. In return, these registered PUJs and buses shall give 50% discount on student fares. For students to avail of discounted fares, they only need to show their valid identification cards. As of this posting, Ilocos Norte governor Ma. Imelda Josefa “Imee” R. Marcos said they are still finalizing with the Commission on Audit (COA) the arrangement since COA intensified the auditing rules. “We want to maintain high school attendance and not to fall back from so

Americans first, not illegal aliens first

What country in the world puts the welfare of illegal aliens ahead of its own citizens? The federal government was partially shut down for three days early this week because the Democrats in the U.S. Senate did not want to vote for a spending bill to get the government going unless the bill included a provision giving amnesty to alien children who were brought to the United States illegally. The Senate Democrats were sacrificing the interest of the American people for the benefit of illegal aliens. The Democrats were putting the welfare of illegal aliens first, rather than the welfare of Americans first.   Even the liberal, pro-Democratic party newspapers printed denunciations of this political misconduct. USA Today, quoted Thomas Hicks Jr. of The Hill, as saying: “Never before in American history has a major political party put the interests of lawbreaking foreign nationals ahead of the interests of law-abiding Americans. Yet that is exactly what the Democrats have done

Ilocos Norte gov’t gets P2M more for Chinese garden development

Ilocos Norte governor Imee R. Marcos receives the check from Chinese consul Wang Jianqun. (Alaric Yanos photo) By Leilanie G. Adriano Staff reporter LAOAG CITY—The Ilocos Norte provincial government is currently developing a Chinese garden overlooking the legendary Paoay Lake as an added attraction for tourists. This is strategically located near the Malacañang of the North, former residence of the Marcos family turned into a presidential museum and a favorite venue for wedding receptions. In a recent meeting, the People’s Republic of China represented by Wang Jianqun, consul and head of post of the Chinese Consulate based in San Nicolas, Ilocos Norte, turned over around PHP2 million more to Ilocos Norte governor Ma. Imelda Josefa “Imee’ R. Marcos for the provincial government for the development of the Chinese garden which broke ground in January last year. With the increasing number of Chinese tourists visiting the province, the People’s Republic of China an

LGBTs decry discrimination in Mr. Laoag

Laoag City could be one of the most LGBT-friendly cities in the Philippines. A third of its elected councilors are openly and proudly gay. There’s Rbee Ablan who comes from a prominent political family, businessman Handy Lao, and Mikee Fariñas who happens to be a daughter of the power couple—the Laoag city mayor and vice mayor. All three city councilors ran on a platform of gender equality and promised to promote gender-sensitive legislation. True to their promise, they pushed for the passage of The Comprehensive Anti-Discrimination Ordinance of Laoag City which is currently under review by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan. Moreover, Laoag mayor Chevylle V. Fariñas is known to be friendly with the LGBT community, and she has placed gay people in prominent positions in her administration. Gender discrimination was unheard of at the Laoag City Hall… Until lately. It comes as a surprise that there is much resentment among members of the local LGBT community at this time because of an i

Laoag City gets own science high school

By Dominic B. dela Cruz Staff reporter Laoag City —The city will soon have its own national science high school following the signing of the law creating it, Laoag vice mayor Michael V. Fariñas announced. The vice mayor disclosed that President Rodrigo R. Duterte signed the law creating the science high school in December last year. He added that the Senate also approved the school’s name after Rodolfo C.G. Fariñas Jr., the late son of Rep. Rodolfo “Rudy” C. Fariñas (Ilocos Norte, 1 st district). The city government planned to place the science high school in front of Vira Elementary School near the bypass road. The school’s design will follow Philippine Science High School model. Mr. Fariñas divulged further that the bidding for the project happened on December 27, 2017. He expressed hopes that construction will start soon. The city government originally owns part of the 1.8-hectare lot for the school, they later purchased the rest of lot using the city’s

DTI: No price control of prime commodities

By Leilanie G. Adriano Staff reporter LAOAG CITY— Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) provincial director Benjamin Garcia clarified that there is no need to impose price controls of prime commodities following a hike in prices of manufactured goods due to the expected round of oil price increases. In view of the implementation of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law, Mr. Garcia said the cost of basic and prime commodities are likely to increase by five percent on its distribution costs due to increase in fuel. In Laoag City, the DTI is on top of monitoring price increases of basic and prime commodities but as of now, Mr. Garcia said there is no price increase yet. He clarified that DTI gives “suggested retail prices” and if someone goes overboard without necessary justification, these erring individuals could be charge with profiteering. “As of the moment, manufacturers are still reviewing how much to be charge. So, as far as basic commodit