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Showing posts from August, 2018

Batac turns public schools to evacuation centers for disasters

By Dominic B. dela Cruz Staff reporter Batac City —All public elementary and secondary schools in this city are now also evacuation centers for calamities and disasters. This was the result of a recent Sangguniang Panlungsod resolution that authorized Batac Mayor Albert D. Chua to enter into a memorandum of agreement with the local Dept. of Education office here. Division supt. Joann A. Corpuz will represent DepEd in the MOA. Batac councilor Jeremiah C. Nalupta sponsored the resolution is in line with the thrust of the national and local leaderships to mitigate the impact of such foreseen and unforeseen disasters and calamities. Mr. Nalupta said this is for the city’s preparedness and resilience to minimize, if not eradicate, undue losses such as lives and properties. The vice chairman of the committee on education therefore, said that the city government should have initiatives and protocols to establish a permanent standby or areas which can become evacuation

Laoag City dad proposes renaming hospital after late vice mayor

By Dominic B. dela Cruz Staff reporter Laoag City —A city councilor proposed the renaming of the Laoag City General Hospital (LCGH) into the Michael V. Fariñas Memorial Hospital (MVFMH). The council tackled the proposed resolution, sponsored by Laoag councilor Edison Siazon on first reading. The council later referred it to the committees on health and laws. Laoag vice mayor and council presiding officer Franklin Dante A. Respicio requested that they should also refer the proposal to the National Historical Institute of the Philippines to know the requirements needed for its renaming. Mr. Siazon, who chairs the committee on health, welcomed the suggestion saying he will secure all the needed requirements, if there are any. Relative to this, Mr. Siazon said that the measure would be in recognition and a memorial to the late Laoag mayor and vice mayor for the “big transformation” he made for the LCGH. Mr. Fariñas perished in a car crash last June.

PhilRice museum, a repository of rice culture in PH

By Leilanie G. Adriano Staff reporter LAOAG CITY—The mecca of rice in Ilocos Norte has been attracting farmers and students as well. Ask a 10-year-old Gian Abad, a Grade V pupil of Shamrock Elementary School in Laoag City what are the tools to harvest rice and he may stare at you with a blank look on his face. As a city boy, he regularly consumes rice at least three times a day but he may not have been to the rice fields or witnessed what is was like to be planting or harvesting rice under the scorching heat of the sun.   With the continuing farm modernization, the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) in Batac City established a rice museum where young learners can go to appreciate the culture of this staple food for Filipinos. The rice museum located at the lower ground floor of PhilRice building is the first of its kind rice museum in the province that houses rice-based farming systems, involving pieces of material culture, from the past and present a

Tobacco company eyes partnership with Ilocos Norte farmers

By Leilanie G. Adriano Staff reporter LAOAG CITY—Amidst the implementation of the sin tax law, a multi-national tobacco company is ready to expand to a bigger market and partner with Ilocos Norte farmers to plant tobacco. Edwin Cariño, head of the Sustainable Development Center under the provincial government confirmed this as he reported the management of the Universal Leaf Philippines Inc. (ULPI) is set to visit Ilocos Norte to discuss the possible partnership agreement with Ilocos Norte Gov. Ma. Imelda Josefa “Imee” R. Marcos. “We are expecting the top executives of ULPI represented by its president Winston Wi or the vice president Erwin Ang to meet with our governor in the upcoming week,” said Mr. Cariño. According to Mr. Cariño, ULPI is interested to enter into a contract growing scheme with tobacco farmers here. Under the contract growing scheme, he explained ULPI will assure tobacco farmers that they have a ready market for their products. They will als

PNP conducts surprise earthquake drill in Pinili school

By Leilanie G. Adriano Staff reporter Pinili , Ilocos Norte—The Philippine National Police conducted a surprise earthquake drill at the Badio Elementary School in this Pinili town on the morning of July 19, 2018 to assess the knowledge and preparation skills of learners here in the event of calamity. At 9:45 in the morning, the school bell rang, which surprised the students. A grade 3 pupil, Hannah Luzcille Pagdilao and her classmates immediately ducked and covered their head with a book and moved out of the classroom since an “earthquake” has disturbed their on-going classroom activity. While they were at the open ground, the eight-year-old Ms. Pagdilao who became the team leader, started to count her classmates to check if there anyone trapped inside the classroom. In a corner, SPO1 Noel Abad along with PO Claire Ramiscal, Princess Aguinaldo, Sammy Sangbaan, Neil John Kieran Leano and Richard Rafanan of the Police Community Relations Office of the Ilocos N

Distribution of housing materials for typhoon ‘Lawin’ victims

  Better late than never. Laoag Mayor Chevylle V. Fariñas and Sangguniang Panlalawigan member Ria Fariñas lead the distribution of housing materials of typhoon Lawin (international name: Haima) victims in 2016. Those with totally and partially damaged houses totaling 120 received eight galvanized iron, one kilo nails and roof sealants each. The funding came from the National Housing Authority thru Rep. Rudy C. Fariñas (Ilocos Norte, 1 st  district). The city government also gave financial assistance in the amounts of PHP5,000 and PHP3,000 to those who suffered totally and partially damaged houses right after the typhoon, respectively, and aside from the relief goods. (Doms dela Cruz)

Ilocos Norte gov’t brings local SMEs to Cagayan; sustain QC presence

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

Pagudpud’s tourism transformer passes away

By Leilanie G. Adriano Staff reporter LAOAG CITY—Retired Philippine Air Force Col. Ricardo Nolasco Jr., owner of Hannah’s Beach Resort and Convention Center in Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte passed away on Wednesday evening, July 11, 2018. He was 67. “He did not survive an open-heart surgery,” said Ronald Dominguez, spokesperson of the largest resort at Brgy. Balaoi in Pagudpud. Known as the architect behind the transformation of Pagudpud town as a premiere destination of the north, Mr. Nolasco put up Hannah’s Beach Resort in what was originally meant as a family vacation resort. The rest is history when it expanded into more than 300-room executive villas and cabanas, with on-going infrastructure developments and set up various amenities. As a result, hundreds of domestic and foreign tourists visit here daily. The resort is on a cliff by the beach, which provides a spectacular view of the sparkling blue lagoon. “Yesterday will go down my lifeline as one

Ilocos Norte board mulls tax holiday for new investors; MSME fusion

Laoag City — The Ilocos Norte Sangguniang Panlalawigan is considering a tax holiday on real property tax for companies or businesses looking to invest in the province, Senior SP member Matthew Joseph M. Manotoc said. He shared that the SP is reviewing the provincial investment code, particularly the possibility of a tax holiday. “Just to incentivize yung mga big business to come in and set up shop sa atin —so long as we know that hindi nila [maapektuhan] ang local industries, or yung smaller businesses. Ayaw nating i -take yung market nila ,” he said of agriculture, small manufacturers, and handicrafts. “With these big businesses, we want them to come in, pero we want yung tamang negosyo — hindi kahit sino lang .” They would lean towards companies bringing to Ilocos Norte a high number of quality local jobs. In addition, the provincial board intends to further integrate micro, small, and medium enterprise (MSMEs) into the investment code. Mr. Manotoc mentio

Ilocos Norte gov’t, DepEd partner for more public playgrounds

SP member Matthew Manotoc attends the inauguration of another public playground and turnover of school materials at Filipinas East Elementary School in the Town of San Nicolas. (Alaric Yanos) Laoag City —The Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte (PGIN) in partnership with the Department of Education (DepEd)-Ilocos Norte inaugurated six new playground facilities in various elementary schools in the province from July 4-6, 2018. Beneficiaries were Piddig South Central Elementary School , Carasi Elementary School, San Marcelino Elementary School in Dingras, Paoay Central Elementary School, Don Mariano Marcos Memorial Elementary School in Pinili, and San Mateo Elementary School in Batac City. Senior Sangguniang Panlalawigan member Matthew Joseph M. Manotoc headed the inauguration of the playground facilities. “I hope this will be a very important place, not only for the school, but for the community where children can play and families can socialize,” he said.

Piddig, DTI boost market vendors entrepreneur skills

By Bernard Ver Contributor Piddig , Ilocos Norte—The local government unit here, led by Piddig Mayor Georgina Salazar-Guillen, in partnership with the Dept. of Trade and Industry (DTI) held an entrepreneur forum with the local market vendors association here. Agri mentor Vix Madlangbayan served as the resource speaker. He discussed marketing and marketing trends as part of business planning procedures. Piddig municipal government consultant Engr. Eddie Guillen said that “Capitalists in Piddig indeed need more production techniques, values, practical knowledge and strategies, and consultation services to foster successful and sustainable agri-enterprises.” The forum aimed to help town folks and share knowledge to Piddig entrepreneurs as part of the town's development strategy on agribusiness industry, an initiative project of the LGU Piddig.

Ilocos Norte board seeks clarification on NGCP’s pass-on costs to consumers

By Leilanie G. Adriano Staff reporter LAOAG CITY—Ilocos Norte Officials and residents want clarification on the recovery of more than PHP327 million which the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) plans to pass on to its consumers in Luzon. Sponsored by the committee of the whole, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan passed a resolution asking the management of NGCP to make a full disclosure of its request to the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) for a provisional approval for the collection of the force majeure pass-through costs from its customers in Luzon. The collection, if approved, will take effect on 2018 to 2020, or until NGCP fully recovers the total amount. Ilocos Norte Vice Governor and SP presiding officer Eugenio Angelo M. Barba said “Electric consumers here need to be enlightened why is there a need for them to shoulder the costs NCGP incurred from the damages caused by typhoon Nina in December 2016”. When sought for comment, Lilibeth Gay

Ilocos Norte local officials undergo ICS training to strengthen executive disaster management

Laoag City —The Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC), in cooperation with the Department of National Defense (DND) and National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), conducted the Incident Command System (ICS) Executive Course on July 10, 2018, at the Provincial Capitol Auditorium. Local chief executives and department heads of the provincial government attended the one-day training together with representatives from the academe. This was to make the ICS more comprehensive and responsive to different agencies, according to Engr. Pedro S. Agcaoili, officer in charge of the Provincial Resiliency Office. “ Talagang napakaganda ng naidulot ng Republic Act 10121 o Philippine Disaster Risk and Management Act dahil napakaaktibo na ng mga agency at local government unit na pinangungunahan ng disaster management ng lugar natin ,” Mr. Agcaoili stated. Topics comprising the training included the key principles of ICS, c

Badoc farmers receive tractors, fertilizers from tobacco excise tax

By Leilanie G. Adriano Staff reporter Badoc, Ilocos Norte —Farmers groups in this town Norte are all smiles as they finally received farm machineries and fertilizers on July 5, 2018 courtesy of the municipal government. Funded under the tobacco excise tax share of Badoc town, the municipal government distributed at least 31 tractors to all the town’s barangays along with 4,307 sacks of fertilizers. “ Agyamankami unay kadagitoy a traktor ken abono. Dakkel a tulong kadakami a mannalon [We are thankful for all these tractors and fertilizers. These are great help for us farmers],” said Luciano Gamayo, of Barangay 13-B, Bato. During the distribution, municipal agriculturist Leonora Escarda reminded farmers to take good care of the new farm machineries to ensure its long- term use. As part of the agreement, the farmer organizations and barangay officials shall take charge of maintenance of the tractors while extension workers from the Municipal Agriculture Office

Solsona acquires rescue vehicle

By Leilanie G. Adriano Staff reporter Solsona , Ilocos Norte—Residents in the flood-prone areas of this town lauded the town’s local government for upgrading its capacity for disaster preparedness. This is because a brand new six-wheeler truck with crane is now on standby whenever a strong typhoon hits this part of Northern Luzon. In previous years, the municipal government’s rescue team are dependent on old heavy trucks to transport typhoon victims in evacuation areas or to a safer ground. “We purchased the rescue vehicle to promote resiliency and to ensure zero casualty during calamities,” said Solsona Mayor Alexander Calucag. In time for the observance of the National Disaster Resilience Month this July, hundreds of government employees, municipal and village officials, students and other public and private organizations and agencies joined the “Walk for Resilience” around the major thoroughfares of Brgy. Poblacion here. Organized by the Municipal

SKtarting on the wrong foot

THE REFORMED Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) is back. It’s officials in Philippine barangays assumed office on July 1, 2018. There were many thoughts about the reforms made in the new edition of the Sangguniang Kabataan, through Republic Act 10742 or the SK Reform Act, especially on how it empowers youth leaders to better contribute in national development, thereby erasing the reputation it has sadly earned in years past—that it is irrelevant, corrupt, and a bane to an already bloated bureaucracy. Bringing SK back to life was a big challenge, but its believers, including my friend James Ventura, who is commissioner-at-large of the National Youth Commission, are holding their hopes high. It seems like the youth leaders of Pagudpud town here in Ilocos Norte are up to the challenge. In their first days in office, they got themselves busy with their first assignment, their baptism of fire: a beauty contest. The town is celebrating its 64 th founding anniversary, and organizers tasked

Ilocos Norte dad hopeful for Marcos Stadium renovations

Laoag City —Senior Sangguniang Panlalawigan member Matthew Joseph M. Manotoc said that they have already approved the budget for the renovation of the Marcos Memorial Stadium in Laoag City and is currently “a matter of processing.” The Marcos Stadium last underwent renovation and had its oval track rubberized between 2008 and 2009, but lack of maintenance soon reduced the oval to a cement track. The complex now also houses the Ilocos Norte Youth Development Office (INYDO) and Sports Development Office (INSDO), and was the venue of the first Ilocos Norte Youth Games and Ilocos Norte Children’s Games last year. “[Renovation] has definitely been on our to-do list nang matagal na . Even I go to the Stadium sometimes, and medyo depressing nga, at kung minsan , I also ask to increase the lights kasi ‘pag gabi, medyo madilim na masyado ,” said Mr. Manotoc. He acknowledged that quality sports facilities are key in encouraging locals to exercise: “ Ayaw mong mag -work out kun

NGO partners with Pagudpud school to boost reading literacy

By Leilanie G. Adriano Staff reporter Pagudpud , Ilocos Norte—Silid Aralan Inc. (SAI), a non-profit organization that reaches out to the academically-challenged public school students in the country is partnering with Pagudpud Central Elementary School (PCES) to strengthen the reading literacy of low-performing learners here. Targeting some 100 learners from the Pagudpud Central Elementary School (PCES), Richard Riveral, PCES principal II said they will establish a learning hub will in the said school primarily to cater to these students. Last May, he said they conducted an intensive reading assessment among grades 1 and 2 PCES pupils and selected at least 100 out of the nearly 200 pupils in the pre-assessment. Among those who will undergo the program was grade 2 pupil Anxiel Marie Guiamsay. “ Nagbasa ken naganserkami. Adda narigat ken adda met nalaka ,” she said saying the new learning hub is a welcome development for her. Under the “Ground Zero Program”, an en