Monday, July 30, 2018

Laoag City charter day celebration turns emotional

Laoag Mayor Chevylle V. Farinñs administers the oath of the new barangay officials in the city. (Doms dela Cruz)

By Dominic B. dela Cruz
Staff reporter

Laoag City—The city’s 53rd charter day celebration on June 19, 2018 turned emotional as officials, led by Laoag mayor Chevylle V. Fariñas, remembered the late Laoag vice mayor Michael V. Fariñas, who died in car crash on June 6, 2018 and buried on June 15, 2018.

Originally, the city’s celebration would have featured signing of sister-city accords with various cities. The late Mr. Fariñas personally visited the concerned cities earlier to forge initial agreements.

Mrs. Fariñas disclosed that the cities’ officials have signified that they will personally attend the charter day celebration to sign the agreements. Among those include Del Monte in Bulacan, Baguio City and Vigan City, among others.

Also schedule to attend were Telavi, Georgia officials to attend the event to formalize the union, which both the cites’ officials signed on August 8, 2017.

The Laoag government, however temporarily postponed the signings due to the Mr. Fariñas’ death. The city government, though, has not announced its plans for this.

Despite the vice mayor’s death, his wife, Mrs. Fariñas decided to push through with the event. The city government, however muted the celebrations.

On June 18, 2018, the mayor led the inaugurations of the village-type rice mill at the city agriculture office; RHU 2 and 3 at Barangays 27 and 2; the evacuation center at Barangay 1 and the retirement home and “Bahay Pag-asa” at Barangay Cabungaan-A.

On June 19, 2018, Mrs. Fariñas administered the oaths of all newly elected barangay officials of the city. This served as the main highlight of the event.

Laoag City government administrator John Michael “Jami” V. Fariñas, son of the late vice mayor, welcomed all the newly elected officials as he shared the love he learned from his father and the love his father shared with the people of Laoag.

In her speech, Mrs. Fariñas was emotional noting the absence of her late husband, knowing his support and love for the barangays.

She shared what she learned from the late vice mayor as her husband, as a father of their three children and as a politician.

“Michael loves all of you so much and I love Michael so much. I love all of you so much. So, there’s nothing left for me to do but to be strong for the people whom Michael and I love and for the people whose love us back,” the mayor said.

She congratulated the barangay officials stressing that no matter what: “Rigat, nam-ay, liday, ragsak, walang iwanan and that will forever remain’’.

She then appealed for their help to continue what her husband started.

Laoag Liga ng mga Barangay president Mary Michelle Louise “Mikee” V. Fariñas, daughter of the late vice mayor, also congratulated her fellow barangay officials.

The young Fariñas said she hopes the current city administration will continue to enjoy the full support of all the barangay officials despite the death of her father.

Itul-tuloy tayo kadi appo a padak a barangay officials iti pinag-kaykaysa, pinaggi-innayat, pinagkakapia. Let us not make anybody or anyone ruin the unity, the friendship and the family that we have,” she said.

Meanwhile, new Laoag vice mayor Franklin Dante A. Respicio, the former senior Laoag councilor, also lauded the new set of barangay officials.

He also shared his experiences and friendship with the late vice mayor, whom he said he treated like a brother.

The new vice mayor then asked all the barangay officials to rally behind the mayor’s leadership.

Malacañang declared June 19, 2018 as a special non-working holiday in the city.

Ilocano youth takes lead vs ‘plastic pollution’

By Leilanie G. Adriano
Staff reporter

LAOAG CITY—A group of young Ilocano volunteers is making waves in the coastlines of Ilocos Norte as they attempt to protect marine resources and combat “plastic pollution”.

Plastic pollution, they explained are the plastic packaging and bottles commonly used today.

During their free time, they would gather near a beach and pick scattered plastic materials and bottles. They would also fun-dive and conduct underwater clean-up.

Proudly calling themselves as “ocean patrollers”, these young individuals are part of greater environment advocacy group dubbed “Movement Against Plastic Pollution”, or MAPP in Ilocos Norte which aims to love, protect and educate people about their role stewards of nature.

“Plastic pollution is every day’s problem. Plastics are everywhere, including in your own dinner table, in your own food. So be part of the solution,” said Patricia Dacanay, a young environmentalist from Currimao, Ilocos Norte, who is also the MAPP founder.

As an anti-plastic advocate, the 20-year old Ms. Dacanay shows how “zero waste lifestyle” can be rewarding in the long run.

Together with other youth volunteers, the MAPP is active in social networking sites to promote its advocacy.

In partnership with schools, the movement recently organized, “Usapang Dagay: A marine conservation day camp” on June 9 to reach out to fellow youth and instill awareness on how to get rid of plastic pollution little by little.

Attended by 41 participants, the whole-day event featured discussions on marine and coastal ecosystem, fishery laws, plastic pollution and zero waste lifestyle.

Arthur Valente, fishery regulatory officer of Ilocos Norte said several marine animals and fish died already due to plastic pollution and not just due to water contamination.

“The solution to the problem on waste starts with one’s self. People lack discipline and they tend to abuse it,” said Mr. Valente.

Enjoining everyone to be part of the solution, Ms. Dacanay said “We don’t need plastic. Our environment need not suffer due to the wrongdoings of man.”

SB Corp to deliver quick P3 lending through fintech

Micro entrepreneurs will be able to access P3 loans from more credit delivery partners (CDP) nationwide as the Small Business Corporation (SB Corp) partners with fintech company CRIF Corporation to manage the loan operating system for the accelerated delivery of the Pondo sa Pagbabago at Pag-asenso (P3) program.

SB Corp President and CEO Ma. Luna E. Cacanando said that a new P3 loaning scheme is under way. The scheme intends to make the P3 funds more accessible to more micro enterprises in poor provinces and in other areas not yet sufficiently reached by formal lenders.

“The agreement with CRIF will make borrowing from P3 easier for the micro enterprise. If in the previous P3 scheme, micro business owners get to borrow from cooperatives only if they are members, with the P3 scheme via fintech, borrowers can transact with any CDP. The plan is to set up CDPs within an hour commute from the micro enterprise communities. Moreover, the creditor directly releases the loan to the debit card issued to the borrowers,” Ms. Cacanando explained.

Under the accelerated P3 loan scheme, CRIF will provide Loan Origination Service, Credit Information Service and Scoring Service.

Likewise, under this scheme, borrowers will have the choice to borrow from any CDP in their area and with an assured interest of a maximum of 2.5% per month interest rate as the Promissory Note will be between SB Corp and borrower, unlike before where some of the accredited financial institutions providing P3 loans impose additional fees.

Ms. Cacanando added that the new P3 program scheme will also prevent individuals and institutions from using the P3 program in activities other than entrepreneurship support.

Following President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s directive to replace the “5-6” money lending system, the P3 Program, a financing program with annual allocation of P1 billion from the national government, aims to provide micro entrepreneurs an alternative source of financing that is easy to access at a reasonable interest rate. The P3 Program is also under a safe environment away from dubious practices of informal lenders and is sustainable as it effectively bars delinquent borrowers from borrowing the next loan cycle.

Ms. Cacanando said that through the P3 program, micro entrepreneurs can find relief from overly expensive borrowings and afford cost-efficient and affordable form of loan to help expand their businesses.

Under the P3 Program, a micro enterprise can borrow between PHP5,000 up to PHP200,000 depending on its business status and repayment capacity with no collateral requirement. Interest rate and service fees, all in, do not exceed 2.5% monthly.

The accelerated P3 scheme via fintech is set for launch in the fourth quarter of the year, with pilot testing support under way.

Ms. Cacanando also encouraged micro financing institutions to apply for accreditation with SB Corp as Credit Delivery Partners and help spur economic activity in the countryside.

“We are encouraging rural banks, credit cooperatives and private financing companies with lending license to partner with us in the nationwide delivery of P3 loans. Enabling our enterprising poor to help themselves will level the playing field and empower them to take advantage of the economic gains rallied by the entire government and by the President himself,” she said.

MMSU to host 2019 ‘summer Olympics’

By Leilanie G. Adriano
Staff reporter

LAOAG CITY—The state-run Mariano Marcos State University in Batac City is set to host the Association of State Universities and Colleges-Solid North (ASCU-SN) summer Olympics slated next year.

With MMSU President Shirley Agrupis as the newly-elected ASCU-SN vice president, she said the premiere university of the north is more than ready to host the event.

Ms. Agrupis is also set to take over as ASCU-SN president upon the end of the term of the current ASCU President Dr. Eduardo T. Bagtang of Kalinga State University.

ASCU-SN is composed of 23 state universities and colleges in Regions I, II, III, and the Cordillera Administrative Region.

In time for the on-going ASCU-SN Summer Olympics at the Benguet State University in La Trinidad, Benguet held June 18-21, the member state universities and colleges unanimously voted for MMSU as host and venue for next year’s summer Olympics on June 19-21.

This year, about 93 athletes composed the MMSU delegation.

“We now have more reasons to level-up our sports and fitness program and facilities,” she said citing the university needs to start the preparation as early as now.

As part of the preparation, the MMSU administration looks forward to upgrading its 39-year-old sports oval facility in Batac to cater to numerous sporting, social and even religious events in the city.

Ms. Agrupis believes a rubberized oval will not only become an institution to develop athletes, but also an important and necessary element for good health among the student and staff.

The Olympics is an annual sports and fitness event participated in by faculty and staff of ASCU-SNs member-institutions.

Aside from sports and cultural events, ASCU-SN is also engaged in academic, research, and other activities of mutual benefit to its members.

Laoag gov’t hires 300 students for SPES

By Dominic B. dela Cruz
Staff reporter

Laoag City—The city government here employed 300 students from different schools in the city for this year’s 20-day Special Program for Employment of Students (SPES).

The Laoag government funded the salaries of 140 students and 60% of the remaining 160 students. The Dept. of Labor and Employment (DOLE) funded the remaining 40% for the 160 students.

Laoag City community affairs division chief Bernardino R. Rodillas said the city government paid the 140 students the amount of PHP7,754.60 per SPES beneficiary.

Likewise, the city government also paid out PHP4,652.76 per SPES beneficiary for its 60% share.

Mr. Rodillas added that the students personally received their cash salaries at the cash division.

Relative to this, he also announced that the city government hired additional 11 SPES beneficiaries from two other Laoag schools with a different school calendar.

Laoag Mayor Chevylle V. Fariñas congratulated all the SPES beneficiaries for “a job well done” in rendering their services to the city government.

The SPES aims to help students provide financial support for their schooling especially those who belong to low income families. 

Saturday, July 28, 2018

DepEd secretary lauds Laoag City’s Baybayin use

Education Sec. Leonor M. Briones during her visit to Laoag City. (LCDepEd photo)

By Jennifer T. Pambid

Laoag City—Dept. of Education Secretary Leonor M. Briones lauded the Schools Division of Laoag City for promoting the use of Baybayin even before the congress’ approval of House Bill 1022 declaring Baybayin as the national writing system.

During the DepEd chief’s visit to Laoag City for a special meeting with DepEd Region 1 officials recently, Ms. Briones appreciated DepEd Laoag’s welcome streamer bearing her name with Baybayin script.

“As you can imagine, this will take years because to translate an ancient script and language into the language of millennials, into the language of science and technology, literature and arts; it’s not going to be very easy,” she explained.

In the first quarter of 2017, DepEd Laoag City Schools Division superintendent Dr. Joel B. Lopez initiated the use of the pre-Hispanic Philippine script primarily as a tool for teachers and school heads to realize the difficulties encountered by pupils in learning how to read and write.

He also made Baybayin counterparts of the names of SDO officials and promotional staff and to use it in the division’s official communications and other documents.

Dep-Ed-Laoag’s “quality policy”, which it displays in each office section, has also its Baybayin translation.

“As educators, we must be the first to use Baybayin in our undertakings to foster our love for our culture,” Mr. Lopez said.

Among its other provisions, the National Writing System Act shall direct “the appropriate government agency to disseminate knowledge and information about Baybayin script by distributing reading materials in all levels of public and private educational institutions…and conduct staff trainings for the proper handling of these important documents.”

It shall also require Baybayin translations of labels of locally-produced food products; signages of streets, public facilities and buildings, hospitals, fire and police stations, community centers and government halls; and official names of newspapers and magazine publishers.

CA stays Paoay mayor’s dismissal

By Leilanie G. Adriano
Staff reporter

Paoay, Ilocos Norte—The Court of Appeals issued a 60-day temporary restraining order against the dismissal of Paoay Mayor Jessie Galano.

Armed with the seven-page copy of the TRO dated June 21, Mr. Galano faced the press on saying he is just waiting for the Department of Interior and Local Government to serve the TRO to all concerned parties.

On June 14, the DILG served the dismissal order from the Office of the Ombudsman against Paoay mayor and his municipal administrator, Bruno Dumlao for grave abuse of authority, gross neglect of duty, grave misconduct and serious dishonesty.

“This is just a trial on the part of the Paoayeños. What happened was just a simple neglect of duty and not corruption. It was procedural in nature and I thank God for helping me extend my public service,” said Mr. Galano.

CA Associate Justice Stephen C. Cruz penned the TRO and concurred with by CA Presiding Judge Romeo F. Barza and Associate Justice Henri Jean Paul B. Inting.

The case stemmed from the filing of administrative charges in 2015 by then Paoay Mayor Dolores Clemente against then Paoay Vice Mayor Galano and Sangguniang Bayan member Bruno Dumlao in violation of Republic Act No. 6713 and Republic Act No. 7160 specifically on the falsification of travel documents which they reimbursed from the municipal treasurer’s office.

“We still have so many plans for Paoay and we are grateful to serve. How I wish the DILG will implement the order real soon,” Mr. Galano said.

DSWD’s Php70.7M cash-for-work helps Ilocos Norte ‘green wall’, water tributaries

San Fernando City, La Union—Since 2016, the Cash for Work on Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation (CFW-CCAM) program has reforested and protected at least 4,500 hectares of forest lands in Ilocos Norte. CFW-CCAM has also preserved rivers, riverbanks, coastline barangays and provided temporary jobs in partnership with Ilocos Norte governor Ma. Imelda Josefa “Imee” R. Marcos and the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO).

Aside from continuous tree planting, ‘kaingin’ or burning of trees for charcoal making has ceased in many parts of the areas where assigned barangay ranger officers (BROs) have maintained and protected seedlings planted through CFW-CCAM and guarded the mountains from any grass fire or man-made fires.

In Saguigui, Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte, tribal chieftain Emiliano Rabago is maintaining at least 4 hectares of forest land planted with fruit-bearing trees and coffee. During CFW activities, everyone in the community participates to include the elderly and youth, who are very thankful of the 10-day work especially during lean months wherein they have no source of income at all. In here, they maintain 60,000 coffee seedlings ready for planting to other open and devastated lands in Ilocos Norte through its “greening program”.

Twelve areas are part of the greening program through CFW-CCAM including Laoag City, Solsona, Dingras, Badoc, Bangui, Pagudpud, Pasuquin, Vintar, Nueva Era, Pinili, Burgos, and Bacarra.

Also, the CFW-CCAM intensified the mangrove planting program along the coastlines and other bodies of water in Ilocos Norte. The Ilocos Norte government is hopeful that if they sustain their projects, these will protect many families and communities from extreme weather event, such as storm winds and floods, storm surges, and tsunamis particularly in Laoag City, Badoc, Currimao, and Pasuquin.  Wastes and water lilies use to fill Mangato River in Laoag City, especially during high tide. After the mangrove and nipa palm planting funded by CFW-CCAM, the area is now a beautiful scenery and which they hope to develop as an eco-tourism park in the future. 

On the “green wall” of Ilocos Norte and PENRO greening program, the Ilocos Norte government provided the seedlings required as a counterpart for the said program. As mentioned by PENRO head Estrella Sacro, CFW-CCAM is necessary to sustain the workforce, thus, maintaining the progress of projects towards proper management and conservation of the environment through local greening initiatives.

During the project monitoring, community folks appreciated the efforts of the government under the leadership of Ms. Marcos and DSWD regional director Marcelo Nicomedes J. Castillo. (Iryn D. Cubangbang)

Friday, July 27, 2018

PGIN brings local SMEs to Cagayan; sustain QC presence

QC Mayor Herbert Bautista and Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos taste the Ilocos Norte empanada (Alaric Yanos)

By Jesus Antonio P. Tacorda

Laoag City—The Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte (PGIN), through its Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEi Office brought local products to an open trade fair in Tuguegarao City, Cagayan on June 24 to July 1, 2018 in response to a vegetable shortage in the said province.

The trade fair was part of the Aggao Nac Cagayan Festival and allowed the showcase and promotion of products coming from nearby provinces. In addition to answering Cagayan’s vegetable shortage, it was an opportunity for Ilocos Norte enterprises to increase profit.

According to Edison Natividad, administrative officer IV at the SME office “[T]he purpose of this project is to eradicate the middleman, to directly sell the product of our SMEs to consumers; so ibig sabihin, maalis yung middleman sa proseso kasi kung mayroong middleman, liliit yung profit o kita ng mga farmer o producer natin.”

Agricultural produce, processed foods, and native accessories were among the Ilocano products marketed at the fair.

Janet Uganiza, also of the SME office, shared that, “With the help of the provincial government, we’re able to send local products with PGIN providing marketing assistance and others needs in order to help our SMEs and promote local products and businesses.”

With their successful participation in the Cagayan festival, the SME Office is looking forward to extending their ongoing project P2C or “Producer to Consumer” arrangement with the Quezon City government and establish the same in Tuguegarao City.

Ilocos Norte has been participating in regular P2C Bazaars in Quezon City, Metro Manila since 2017, with the city and provincial governments signing a memorandum of agreement to continue the arrangement until 2019.

Mr. Natividad emphasized that such programs and partnerships initiated by Ilocos Norte Governor Ma. Imelda Josefa “Imee” R. Marcos are a great help not only to SMEs’ profit, but also for the development of business linkages.

Ilocos Norte native tops chemical engineer board exams

Add caption

By Bernard Ver

Laoag City—Peter Matthew Toribio Fowler of Mapua Institute of Technology-Manila and a resident of Brgy. Darasdas in Solsona, Ilocos Norte topped the recent chemical engineer board examination with a rating of 83 percent.

Mr. Fowler graduated with a double degree in BS Chemistry, cum laude; and BS Chemical Engineering, cum laude from Mapua/.

The Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) disclosed that 296 out of 636 examinees passed the Chemical Engineering Licensure.

De La Salle University (DLSU)-Manila was the top performing school with a passing rate of 96.55.

In an interview, Mr. Fowler said we have many resources in the country but we are not properly using them.

“We have so many resources in the Philippines—some are over-utilized, but many are still under-utilized, such as biomass,” he said.

“It’s because funds are very limited for research, so I’m hoping na ma-step up yung game ng research in the Philippines,” he added.

Mr. Fowler’s grew up in both Solsona and Laoag City. He said his mother, Filma Toribio, taught him at an early age to have initiative and be independent.

“I grew up with… a single mother… She’s very disciplinarian—back then, I didn’t understand why, but now I know that she only wants the best,” he said. His British father currently resides and works in Singapore. (With a report by Mizpah Grace G. Castro)

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Monsoon rain still beneficial to Ilocos Norte farmers

By Leilanie G. Adriano
Staff reporter

LAOAG CITY—Ilocos Norte farmers have long been praying for rain and with the prolonged rainfall brought about the southwest monsoon, or “habagat”, Fiel Camacho’s face lit up with excitement; he can now till the once dried up farmland that is dependent on rainwater.

For a week now, farmers here are busy preparing their farms as they take advantage of the rainwater.

“We are glad rain has finally come so that we can start planting,” said Mr. Camacho as he prepared his equipment for his rice field in Bacarra, Ilocos Norte on June 14, 2018.

The first rain of June is also an opportunity for other farmers to earn extra income as they enjoy catching exotic frogs and sell it in their neighborhood or in the market.

Pegged at least PHP250 per kilo, the demand for exotic foods is high as some balikbayans mostly based in Hawaii and mainland United States even bring it along with them for family and friends craving for a taste of these exotic delicacies in the Ilocos region.

Ilocos Norte is currently experiencing heavy rains and gale winds brought by the monsoon season.

In light of this, Ilocos Norte governor Ma. Imelda Josefa “Imee” R. Marcos reminded the local community, especially farmers, and resiliency councils that disaster management ought to be a year-round task.

Huwag tayong maghihintay ng bagyo, maghihintay ng rainy season—nandito naat huwag tayong aasa purong-puro sa gobyerno,” she urged.

Balikan natin ang mga dating gawi ng Ilocano na bago mag-rainy season, nire-reinforce na yung pinto, bintana, bubong, and so forth. “Ngayon kasi, parang inaantay na lang yung bagyomag-aabang ng relief. Balikan natin yung ugaling Ilocano na talagang pinaghahandaan ang tag-ulan,” she said.

As of June 14, 2018, the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council received several reports of flooded areas in Batac City, Paoay, Solsona and Dingras towns.

The most recent destructive typhoon for Ilocos Norte was the 2016 super typhoon Lawin (International Name: Haima), which had left behind over PHP2 billion in agricultural and infrastructural damages.

Pagudpud closes 20 homestays temporarily

By Leilanie G. Adriano
Staff reporter

Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte—The municipal government here shuttered at least 20 homestays for allegedly violating the Clean Water Act.

Pagudpud mayor Marlon Sales confirmed this as he reported that they formed a joint inspection team from the local government unit and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to closely monitor the implementation of the Clean Water Act and other related local ordinances.

Specifically, Mr. Sales said they found some homestay establishments which are directing their kitchen wastes to the sea.

“Let’s help make Pagudpud clean. This is for all of us to ensure a sustainable tourism and environment,” Mr. Sales said citing these homestay establishments and restaurants will not be able to operate again if they will not comply with the provisions of the law.

Depending on the gravity of the offense, said the local government closed tourism establishments ranging from 15 to 30 days. The LGU gave the shuttered establishments six months to comply with all the laws.

According to Mr. Sales, the local government unit of Pagudpud will conduct a public hearing with all resort owners here to tackle a proposed ordinance requiring the establishment of a sewerage treatment facility before they can operate business.

DSWD FO 1 braces for ICS

By Iryn D. Cubangbang

San Fernando City, La Union—The Dept. of Social Work and Development (DSWD) Region I, as the lead agency on response, early recovery, and rehabilitation of disaster victims in Region 1, trained 40 employees—the pioneer group—on basic Incident Command System (ICS), a standardized approach to emergency incidents. 

Led by the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) Region 1, other subject matter experts came from Department of Health and Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO)-La Union.

At the start of the three-day training, DSWD Region I director Marcelo Nicomedes J. Castillo emphasized the importance of the ICS in disaster operations ̶ for the staff to get a good grasp of the activities done at the local level so they will have the expertise to provide technical assistance or expertise at any given time. “The Philippines is enlisted among the top 10 disaster-prone countries; thus, the ICS is very important, especially to the frontline staff,” Mr. Castillo said.  

Also, OCD Region 1 director Melchito Castro discussed the usefulness of ICS as the international standard in responding to disasters and hazard and stressed the need to train DSWD staff being the lead agency in the clusters of response and early rehabilitation.

ICS is a standard, on-scene, all-hazard incident management concept that all DRRMC member-agencies as well as response groups can use on disasters, human-induced crises, accidents, or even planned events.

Incidents may happen in the form of major disasters, emergencies, terrorist attacks, terrorist threats, civil unrest, floods, hazardous materials spills, earthquakes, tropical storms, tsunamis, war-related disasters, public health and medical emergencies, and other occurrences requiring emergency response.

During the training, a detailed example of an incident helped the trainees strategize and identify tactics to maximize resources and respond to immediate concerns in the affected areas through an incident action plan.

LC, GSP sign MOA on lot

Girl Scouts of the Philippines (GSP) Ilocos Norte-Laoag Council president Atty. Corazon J. Ruiz-Abad, signs the memorandum of agreement with the Laoag City government. The MOA gives the GSP usufructuary rights to a parcel of land owned by the city government for a period of 50 years. Both parties officially signed the MOA on July 2, 2018 with Laoag Mayor Chevylle V. Farinas representing the city government of Laoag. (Alwin Formantes photo)

Monday, July 23, 2018

Panagsubli Ditoy a Dagidagi: Tapao

Ni Amado I. Yoro

NabirokaK man [wenno saan] ti kinaasinok
Iti ngalay ti panagbirok ken panagtawataw
Adtoy: subliak ti ramutko iti kinasudi a
Saan nga aglumen daydi indayon ken
Dagidagi ti duayya ken panagkansion
Ti tudo ken dagiti sabong
Iti kinawayada nga agsasala iti salonan
Adtoyak ita iti sabali a pannakainaw-pannakasikog
Iti sabali a pannakaipasngay !
Nagkupas kadi ti tugot
Naugotan kadi ti ramut
Ti ammok, magna, umaddang latta daytoy dapan
Toy kayumanggi a gurong
Iti sabali a panagubing ken kinaagtutubo
Dagiti agkabannuag a panagem
Subliak a sirayen ti tumaytayab
Ngatuen burayok iti pikkan kas iti sallapingaw
Agampayagda latta uray dagiti tuwato
Iti law-ang ti init a sumsumged
Daytoy kinaagtutubo nga isem
dagiti kasingin ti sutil
Wenno sariwawek ti sirmata
Ti panagbaniaga
Iti isu met la nga init
Riniwriw a darerpdep
Nailaga met latta ti karit
A mangsuba allon
Dagiti kumalatkat a sirmata
A balangat ti balligi
Uray dagiti likudan iti pannakidugmam
Adtoy: taliawek ti puon
Dagiti ipapanaw ti inkur-it a binatog
Ket saanto met latta a magawidan
Ti segga iti malem
Iti ungto ti panagbirok
Daytoy ti indayon
Ken duayya ti ipapanaw
Iti ungto ti uged ti panagdaliasat
No agkidemen ti rabii
Nargaang a ridep ti panaginana.
Adtoyak manen a dumngeg:
Uni ti tekka ken saltek iti nasapa a parbangon.

(Naadaw iti Ditoy Tapao, Sinait, Ilocos Sur:Dagidagi Iti Kinasiak, panid 23. Inurnos ken inlayout ni Myra Myra Yoro Madayag-TJ)

Ilocos Norte officials seize Dumalneg vice mayor’s heavy equipment

By Leilanie G. Adriano
Staff reporter

LAOAG CITY—Ilocos Norte government officials impounded at least 11 heavy equipment bearing the markings “FVEspiritu Builders” at the Solsona police station for alleged unsystematic quarrying along the Bagbag River in the eastern most part of the province. Local environment officials here said the seized equipment allegedly belongs to Dumalneg vice mayor Francis Espiritu.

The items include backhoes, payloaders, transit mixers and screens among others.

In a radio interview, Atty. Ferdinand Ignacio, Mr. Espiritu’s legal counsel insisted there is no illegal quarrying in the area. He stressed that a contractor is using

the said units for the ongoing PHP810 million flood control project in Solsona. The project commenced in 2017.

Through an executive session at the Sangguniang Panlalawigan on June 5, 2018, SP member Mariano “Nonong” V. Marcos II, chairperson of the committee on environment, said he called for a meeting to discuss in detail what is best way to counteract the continued theft of minerals in the province.

Following the confiscation of the equipment, SP member Vicentito “Toto” M. Lazo, who is a major sponsor of the quarry ordinance of Ilocos Norte said, “[W]e should start showing to the concerned stakeholders that the Ilocos Norte government means serious business in terms of quarrying.”

Estrella Sacro, a representative from the Environment and Natural Resources Office explained that residents living near the river when there are unsystematic quarrying activities face possible loss of lives, livelihood and property during heavy rains or typhoon.

“If quarrying is not done in the concept of responsible mining, it may harm the low-lying areas and it is also detrimental to natural habitat,” Ms. Sacro said saying there concerned officials must conduct a full-scale investigation on the matter.

Barely three weeks after the DENR suspended the quarry operations at the Bolo river in the first district of Ilocos Norte, it appears that illegal quarrying activities are still prevalent in Ilocos rivers.

“When we visited the Bagbag River, it is much to our surprise that there’s massive illegal quarrying activities,” said Mr. Marcos which led to the confiscation of Espiritu’s equipment.

PNB Brigada Eskwela

The Philippine National Bank (PNB) NOL2 conducted a simultaneous Brigada Eskwela in Abra, Ilocos Sur, Ilocos Norte and Batanes.

The Philippine National Bank (PNB) once again showed the bayanihan spirit through Brigada Eskwela on June 2, 2018.

Under the leadership of area head Jeffrey C. Querubin, the employees of PNB NOL2 helped in the improvement of school facilities in Abra, Ilocos Sur, Ilocos Norte and Batanes.

Employees of PNB Bangued Abra Main and PNB Abra Magallanes cleaned the compound of Bangued West Central School.

PNB Vigan Florentino and PNB Vigan Quezon Avenue devoted time painting fences and cleaning the classrooms and compound of Camanggaan Elementary School in Vigan City.

PNB Candon San Antonio and PNB Candon National Highway likewise held a school cleanup in in Candon National High School.

PNB Narvacan painted benches and cleaned the school grounds of Patac Elementary School in Burgos, Ilocos Sur. They also distributed school supplies to the pupils.

PNB Pasuquin, PNB Laoag JP Rizal, PNB Laoag Castro and PNB Batac painted fences and cleaned the compound of F. Camaquin Integrated School in Vintar, Ilocos Norte. They also donated gallons of paint to the school.

PNB Basco Batanes also conducted Brigada Eskwela in Basco Central School.

Area Head Querubin stressed that PNB is always ready to share the spirit of volunteerism.

“We, Philnabankers, are always ready to extend the work of our hands, our hearts and time to humanity,” Mr. Querubin said.

BARD NOTES: Happy bard-reading to Ilocos Norte Governor Imee R. Marcos, Ilocos Norte Vice Governor Angelo Marcos Barba, Laoag City Mayor Chevylle V. Farinas, Badoc ABC President Virgilio Calajate, Ilocos Norte Provincial Treasurer Josephine P. Calajate, DAR Ilocos Norte PARPO II Vic M. Ines, DAR Ilocos Norte CAO Rudy Acacio and PNB Pasuquin Branch Manager Metty V. Guerrero.

Greetings also to the employees of AMA Laoag, Laoag City PNP, DAR Ilocos Norte, DepEd Laoag, DepEd Ilocos Norte and PNB Pasuquin.

PhilRice promotes the use of quality seeds

The Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) urges farmers to use quality seeds to boost their yield by 5-10%, as confirmed by both research and actual farming.

Experts attribute the achievement of higher yield to quality seeds’ higher germination rate of 85% and above. Moreover, these seeds allow crops’ uniform growth and maturity that gives farmers a better chance of having plentiful harvest, as opposed to low-quality seeds that result in more off-types and higher pest incidence.

The extensive promotion of quality seeds is a critical factor in achieving the Department of Agriculture’s (DA) national average yield target of 6 t/ha at a cost of P8/kg.

In line with this, the DA National Rice Program and the National Cooperative Tests for rice bared the five nationally recommended inbred varieties for dry and wet seasons. They will promote these varieties, namely: NSIC Rc 216, Rc 222, Rc 160, Rc 300, and Rc 238 in 55 provinces across the country with average yields below 4t/ha.

“Before using the recommended variety (NSIC Rc 222), I used to harvest only 3 t/ha. I never imagined that I can harvest more than 5 t/ha! If not for the use of quality seeds, I’ll still be just one of the hopefuls of higher yield. Now, I am proud to say that I can pay my debts with extra money for food and other needs,” Lito Lombres, a farmer from Baler, Aurora, testifies.

As part of the effort of convincing about 55% of Filipino farmers who rely on recycling their own-harvest seeds, DA also recently implemented the Farmers Production and Exchange of High-Quality Inbred Rice Seeds (SEEDEX) project. This project aims to empower palay farmers under the informal farmer production and exchange system to use high-quality seeds and know the advantages of using such seeds. It also covers both the irrigated lowland and rainfed lowland ecosystems in all the 16 regions beginning March 16, 2018 to March 15, 2023, with lower prioritization for provinces pushing for the use of hybrid varieties.

They particularly promote public hybrid rice varieties (such as Mestizo 1 and Mestiso 20) among farmers in provinces with more than 4 t/ha yield. Maturing in 123 days, Mestizo can offer a maximum yield of 9.9 t/ha. Mestizo 20, on the other hand, matures in 111 days and can produce a maximum yield of 12 t/ha.

For more information, please contact us through Telephone (044-456-0354), or Email (, or follow us on Facebook (rice.matters). (PhilRice)

Friday, July 20, 2018

Laoag City gov’t cracks down on streetlights wiretappers

By Dominic B. dela Cruz
Staff reporter

Laoag City—The city government here is cracking down on those who are illegally tapping into the city’s streetlights.

Laoag mayor Chevylle V. Farinas warned that the city government will deal with illegal wiretappers harshly.

The crackdown stemmed from a case where Brgy. Sta. Maria kagawad Cesario Pascual allegedly tapped into a streetlight in their barangay.

“Personally, no siyak lang mapakawan ko isuna ngem iti problema ket adda met pagdalanan na nanga umno a wagas wennu proseso aglalo ket illegal connection,” the mayor said.

The city government may file administrative and criminal charges against the kagawad.

The Laoag government pays for the electric bills of all streetlights in the city. Each streetlight has their own electric meters.

The city’s general services office (GSO) discovered that a “kubo” has tapped into the Brgy. Sta. Maria streetlight. The office’s probe further stated that the illegal connection resulted into thousands of pesos billed to the city government.

As a result. GSO head Benedicto Castro instructed his men to check all the streetlights in the city. So far, the GSO discovered two more alleged illegal connections at Brgys. Dibua and Araniw. They are still investigating these.

Meanwhile, the city’s Liga ng mga Barangay president Mary Michelle Louise “Mikee” V. Fariñas said they are ready to tackle the issue should the city government file a case against Mr. Pascual.

Ms. Fariñas, an ex-officio council member and barangay affairs committee chair, said they will treat any administrative case that may arise from the issue fairly.

Mr. Pascual, for his part, said that he is ready to face the consequences of his action.

He admitted that there they illegally tapped into the streetlight but claimed it was not for his personal use but for the association of farmers. He added that they use the electricity during their meetings.

Mr. Pascual apologized to the city government because he failed to inform the city government, which shoulder the payment of the bills.

In a related development, Ilocos Norte Electric Cooperative general manager Engr. Felino Herbert P. Agdigos said that he learned about the issue but no formal report has reached him yet.

Mr. Agdigos said that once a report reaches him they can ascertain if the case violated the Anti-Pilferage Law.

A new Philippine future beside the exodus?

By Jeremaiah M. Opiniano

EVERY seventh of June, a Southeast Asian archipelago commemorates the "heroism" of compatriots who have been a visible reason for the steady growth of their motherland's economy. The celebration is National Migrant Workers Day, and the passage of a law to protect the rights and welfare of overseas Filipinos and their families brought about the date's historicity.

That law, currently coded as Republic Act 10022 (Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act, revised twice), spells out regulations for labor migration and lays out the bureaucratic structure—found at home and abroad—that ensures safe and orderly overseas migration. The original law, RA 8042, was a result of the execution of a domestic worker in Singapore, Ms. Flor Contemplacion, in March 1995. That episode created diplomatic tension between the two countries, as well as national shame for a country that then had no enabling law for migrant workers' protection.

The said law helped the Philippines lay out a program on labor export that (explicitly) facilitates Filipino workers' overseas placement in destination countries requiring certain skills. Decades hence, to include the hard lessons learned since Ms. Contemplacion's execution, the Philippines has now "excelled" in migration management.

Filipinos are now in over-200 countries and territories, in all sorts of occupations, with their migration status either legal or irregular. Filipinos have contributed to countries' economic growth, especially countries facing demographic shortfalls and labor shortages. The estimated 10.3 million overseas Filipinos have (unfortunately) become the Philippines' top export. Their overseas migration is a response to the search for more gainful opportunities, what with the country's agriculture and manufacturing sectors still struggling and services being the top draw for homeland employment for nearly two decades.

Remittances have been the reason for overseas Filipinos' symbolic tag as heroes since a formal labor export program (given the passage of a Philippine labor code) began in 1974. Form the 1970s to the mid-2000s, remittances have helped shore up the homeland economy's fiscal issues, mitigated the impacts of domestic unemployment, and somewhat help buoy the Philippines' gross national product. That period, spanning just over three decades, saw the Philippines' macro-economic growth performance as "boom and bust"—like a roller coaster, going up and down. Meanwhile, there is rising overseas migration (including that for overseas permanent residency, depending on the migration pathways countries offer to foreigners) and a concomitant rise of labor, welfare, human rights and criminal / civil cases affecting Filipinos in various host lands. So, with rising migration and remittances is a perceived growing number of problems facing Filipinos abroad, and the corollary family-level social costs.

However, there is a change in the plot: since the 2008 global economic crisis, the Philippine economy is now one of the top economic performers in the world. Sustained gross domestic product growth, with an annual average of some 6 percent, these past ten years is slowly buoying the Philippine economy. Coinciding that is what some demographers perceive to be a demographic transition, where old and young dependents are lesser and the working force is bulging in numbers. That situation gives the Philippines a chance—a 30-year window, says some demographic projections—to drum up as many savings and investments and have these parked at home. Overseas migration and remittances have been contributing their share to this ongoing demographic transition, currently through buoying local consumption.

Yet one wonders why the stories are still the same sordid ones? The recent episode the Philippines faced was a diplomatic standoff with Kuwait, with the former demanding certain protections and employment regulations for Filipina domestic workers. This four-month saga started off with the discovered massacre—body chopped into pieces, placed in a refrigerator for a year— of Joanna Demafelis, angering the tough President Rodrigo Duterte. After a deployment ban and Kuwait's own issues with Philippine diplomatic authorities, both countries signed a memorandum of agreement on hiring domestic workers just last month and, which, restored diplomatic relations. Implementation by Kuwaiti authorities is another matter.

For decades now, the world still sees Filipinos abroad as those women who have found dates online and migrated for economic security; of women as "lowly" domestic workers or as abused spouses even after they got permanent residency; of men who are trafficked into occupations different from what was initially in their work contracts. They also see Filipinos as the bearers of the Christian faith; the workers with a more caring attitude; the workforce who can endure tough work conditions just to earn more and please employers; as the behaved foreigners in certain host country societies.

Yet, what is baffling is that a lot of people still perceive the storylines of the Filipino migration saga to be the same even in the age of social media. Philippine real property companies luring Filipinos abroad is so 2000s. The sending of boxes with souvenir items (called balikbayan boxes [balikbayan is "returning home" in Filipino]) is already a generation old. Some Filipinos abroad continue to display pity at their compatriots who are in less-skilled occupations in certain host countries, with pity masqueraded as empathy.

Filipinos' overseas migration has already brought about socio-cultural, economic and institutional changes in Philippine society, sociologist and historian Filomeno Aguilar, Jr. writes in his anthology The Migration Revolution (2014). Class structures have been reconfigured. That is the current scene of the Filipino migration phenomenon.

Given the current era of a Philippine economy that's in a demographic transition which runs side-by-side with overseas migration, what can be the new Philippine future beside the exodus? Can we tell new stories about Filipinos abroad instead of sticking to usual tales?

Will Filipino food, for example, become mainstream in host societies and capture the imagination of nostalgic and curious foreign taste buds? Will there be more of a new breed of Filipino migrant entrepreneurs braving the riskier agricultural sector back home, while Filipino banks are averse in handing out credit to that sector?

With social media easily bridging transnational Filipino families, what kinds of family rearing tales have we not heard from those who endured parental separation and found successes? In some Filipino rural communities, kinship and community embeddedness mitigate the risks of migration's family-level social costs. With Japan having a long history of Filipinas going there as entertainers in night clubs, and that migration pathway stopped over a decade ago, have the Japanese of today looked at Filipinos differently?

How many more Filipinos will become elected leaders in countries that realized these first elected migrant leaders, like the United States, New Zealand, Korea or Canada?

Have you heard of a deeply affected full-blooded Australian by the ongoing Philippine war on drugs and helping resolve a Filipino relative's drug-related woes? Or what about some Filipinas, already permanent residents and naturalized citizens in a destination country, dating with compatriot seafarers docking on some ports?

There can be a myriad of good and bad tales about the overseas Filipino. People aspire for more pleasant stories, especially since Filipinos are known for extending their personal boundaries and fits of empathy. Filipinos also aspire for less of the tear-jerking stories—from abused domestic workers to Filipino permanent residents who are duping compatriots on temporary work visas. With Filipinos abroad now an influential force for their motherland, and with their exposure to better systems abroad, how can we change gruesome migration tales for the better?

The homeland and its institutions, especially the Philippine government, have their work cut out to fulfill ambitions of comfortable living for Filipinos. But so do Filipinos abroad: they can chart newer tales and tumble-down ageing stereotypes of themselves. That will be through the love they usually show to their families, through better remittance management, through improved and sustained relations with locals in host countries, and through a renewed sense of Filipino citizenship even while they're away.

(Mr. Jeremaiah Opiniano is a doctoral student (geography) at The University of Adelaide in Australia. He also handles a nonprofit research group on migration and development issues in the Philippines: The Institute for Migration and Development Issues (IMDI). Correspondence: