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Showing posts from October, 2018

Ilocos Norte activists say ‘never again’ to Martial Law

By Leilanie G. Adriano Staff reporter LAOAG CITY—As the nation commemorated the September 21, 1972 Martial Law declaration during the time of former President Ferdinand E. Marcos, some Ilocano activists mostly composed of farmers, fishermen, youth and human rights advocates from various parts of the province convened a forum today inside the Iglesia Filipina Independiente Church in this city. During the time of martial law, even the residents of Ilocos Norte were not spared from the terror that it brought. For 54-year old Antonino Pugyao of Brgy. Cacafean in Marcos, Ilocos Norte and incumbent president of the Solidarity of Peasants Against Exploitation (STOP-Exploitation) in Ilocos Norte, he said his dark memories about human rights abuses during the time of martial law still lingers in his mind. “We were forced to evacuate our land, the military burned our house, my cousin was killed and some of my barrio mates went missing during the time of Martial Law,” Mr. Pugy

GLEDCO cuts all contacts with Laoag City gov’t

GLEDCO board chair Enrico Aurelio (extreme left) explains a point during a committee hearing at the Sangguniang Panlungsod session hall. ( Doms dela Cruz) By Dominic B. dela Cruz Staff reporter Laoag City —After the Commission on Audit’s (COA) said in its annual audit report that all transactions between the Government of Laoag Employees Development Cooperative (GLEDCO) and the Laoag City government has “conflict of interest”, the homegrown cooperative has taken steps to rescind all its contracts with the city government. The COA reports were for 2016 and 2017 and involved at least Php66 million. The Sangguniang Panlungsod here and the Sangguniang Panlalawigan also started separate hearings on the issue. The city council has also since passed a resolution urging Laoag Mayor Chevylle V. Fariñas to rescind all contracts between the city government and GLEDCO. GLEDCO board chairperson Enrico Aurelio said that they have cut their contracts with the city gov

Mangkhut blows off LIA building roof

By Leilanie G. Adriano Staff reporter LAOAG CITY—Typhoon Mangkhut [Ompong] blew off the Laoag International Airport (LIA) administration building’s roof forcing airport personnel to relocate temporarily. Operations, however, resumed on September 24, 2018 after the sole airline servicing the Manila-Laoag-Manila route cancelled flights starting September 15, 2018. Ronald Estabillo, civil aviation area 1 manager said Mangkhut is the strongest typhoon so far that caused severe damage at the airport. Before the expected the typhoon’s landfall at dawn of September 15, 2018, the airline also cancelled the evening Manila-Laoag-Manila flight on September 14, 2018. The airport was closed from September 15 at 8:00 a.m. until September 16 at 4:00 p.m. Earlier this year, the Laoag airport has been identified as one of the safest and secured international airport in the country with its new aerodrome certificate. The Laoag airport caters to domestic flights daily.

Batac distributes fertilizers to farmers

Batac Mayor Albert D. Chua leads the distribution of thousands of fertilizers as grant to the 7,409 registered farmers in the city of Batac from the city's RA 7171 share. ( Photo courtesy of Batac City government) By Dominic B. dela Cruz Staff reporter Batac City —"Pabilgen ni Bataqueno, Kasapulan Dagiti Mannalon Ikalikaguman Tayo”. Those were the city’s cry as officials distributed thousands of organic, complete and urea fertilizers to at least 7,409 registered farmers here. Batac City agriculturist Merilyn Gappi said that with the big volume of fertilizers they distributed, the city government decided to divide the distribution into three batches. The first batch was on August 20 and 21, 2018 and the second batch was on August 24 and 25, 2018. The city government has not scheduled the third batch as of press time. Ms. Gappi said each registered farmer received two bags of organic and one bag each of complete and urea fertilizers for

Batac hospital forms multi-sectoral governance council

OATH-TAKING. Lawyer Ferdinand Nicolas, President of Northwestern University, leads the oath-taking and induction of the officers and members of the Multi-Sectoral Governance Council (MSGC) of the Mariano Marcos Memorial Hospital and Medical Center (MMMH&MC) on September 11, 2018. Nicolas was elected MSGC chair while Zarriedie D. Parilla was named vice chairperson of the Performance Governance System team. ( Edward Vincent Paul A. Miguel photo) BATAC CITY—After becoming the first retained hospital by the Department of Health (DOH) to hurdle the initiation stage of the Performance Governance System (PGS), the Mariano Marcos Memorial Hospital and Medical Center (MMMH&MC) here is currently trailing its path towards the compliance stage of the accreditation. PGS pathway has four stages—initiation, compliance, proficiency and institutionalization—wherein MMMH&MC surpassed the first stage last February 2018. True to this, the Institute for Solidarity and Asia and

Caltex turns over modern learning tools to Ilocos, Cordillera public highs schools

  STEM students of Ilocos Norte National High School explain to executives of Caltex and GLEDCO how they are using the newly-donated digital microscope that projects the image on a big screen so that the whole class can see. With the modern equipment, teachers can use 21 st  century teaching methods to make their students better learn STEM. Laoag City — With the academe, government, private sector and community all involved, almost 52,000 public high school students and 1,781 of their teachers will be able to use 21 st century learning tools as they study Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). The days of learning calculus and physics with manila paper and chalk are over for these students. On September 25,2018 during an awarding ceremony held in the iconic Plaza Aurora in Laoag City, Caltex Fuel Your School (FYS) turned over P3 million worth of 21 st century learning tools to the 30 highest-need public high schools in Ilocos and Cordillera regions.

Ilocos Norte board oks P35M for palay purchase

By Leilanie G. Adriano Staff reporter LAOAG CITY—The Ilocos Norte government through the members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan unanimously approved the reprograming of about PHP35 million for the purchase of palay and rice in the province. Starting this month, the Ilocos Norte government will be buying local palay harvest or rice supply from qualified traders and farmer-recipients here under the so-called “buy-back” scheme. Based on the memorandum of agreement entered into between Ilocos Norte Governor Ma. Imelda Josefa “Imee” R. Marcos and qualified palay/rice traders and farmers here, the provincial government shall buy some of their stocks at fair market value to ensure every household in the province will have sufficient rice supply until the year end. Qualified traders are those engaged in palay or rice trading which maybe sole proprietorship, partnerships, cooperatives, or private organizations. Farmer-recipients also include individual farmers or

Laoag City begins training of new barangay officials

  SP secretary Enrico Aurelio discusses steps, approval and review of ordinances and its effectivity under the legislative enactment topic to new barangay officials, secretaries, treasurers and SK chairpersons on the during the first batch of BNEO Training at the city hall auditorium on September 11-13, 2018. ( Doms dela Cruz) By Dominic B. dela Cruz Staff reporter Laoag City —The city government here began the training of new barangay officials on September 11, 2018. Officially called Barangay Newly Elected Official (BNEO) training, it is set for three days. The first training ran from September 11-13; the second training is on September 17-19 and 21; and the final training is on September 21 and 24-25. City interior and local government director Andres Vendiola said the city government broke the trainings into three batches to accommodate all the new 720 barangays officials and Sangguniang Kabataan chairpersons, and 160 barangay secretaries and treasur

Laoag City officials, no show at SP hearing on coop deal

By Leilanie G. Adriano and Bernard Ver LAOAG CITY—Laoag Mayor Chevylle Fariñas and five other city officials failed to show up at a joint committee hearing that the Sangguniang Panlalawigan set on September 4, 2018 to clarify alleged questionable transactions between the city government and one of the biggest cooperatives in Ilocos region. In a September 3, 2018 letter addressed to Ilocos Norte Vice Governor Eugenio Angelo M. Barba, which the Sangguniang Panlalawigan office received on the afternoon of September 4, 2018, Mrs. Fariñas along with Laoag City legal officer Marlon Wayne D. Manuel, city accountant Edgar Pascual, SP Member Shirley Ong Sin, Secretary to the Sanggunian Enrico Aurelio, and acting city treasurer Diomedes Gayban said they could not attend the hearing due to a similar investigation the Sangguniang Panlungsod   set on September 6, 2018. “We could not come to your joint committee hearing, as we will be attending a similar investigation of the Sangguni

Ilocos Norte enjoins Apayao for tourism exchange

By Leilanie G. Adriano Staff reporter LAOAG CITY—Ilocos Norte and Apayao are both gifted with natural wonders. So, instead of fighting over a long-time boundary dispute, Ilocos Norte Governor Ma. Imelda Josefa “Imee” R. Marcos reached out to the people of Apayao and offered a tourism exchange program to benefit both provinces. In between aerial inspection of the southwest monsoon rain damages and delivery of relief goods to the affected residents of Adams and Carasi towns, Ms. Marcos touched down in Luna, Apayao to honor the invitation of Apayao Governor Elias C. Bulut Jr. as guest of honor and speaker during the 118 th Philippine Civil Service Month celebration in Luna. In her speech, she said the opening of the Ilocos Norte-Apayao road offers huge opportunities to both residents of Apayao and Ilocos Norte in terms of tourism development. “It is now easy to come to Ilocos Norte via Solsona-Apayao road. I invite you to come visit our province. Let us not

Imee calls for 1-year VAT suspension

Laoag City —A one-year suspension of the value-added tax (VAT) on basic food commodities, fuel, and electricity is an inflation solution, given the persistently high inflation over the past several months, suggested Ilocos Norte Governor Ma. Imelda Josefa “Imee” R. Marcos. “The temporary lifting of the VAT on basic commodities will provide urgent, much-needed relief to Filipinos, as inflation hit the hardest in the countryside. The poor Filipinos, they cannot wait for anti-inflation strategies that could take months to work. They need solutions now,” Ms. Marcos pointed out. “Filipinos cannot wait for global oil prices to go down. Prices are already too high for Filipinos living below the poverty line. Removing the VAT would lighten the burden on millions of Filipino households and would make their Christmases litter lighter amidst the high prices,” she added. The TRAIN Law has Sections 31 to 34 (pages 31 to 44) pertaining to VAT. These sections amended the old prov

Ilocos Norte offers low-cost packages at PH travel mart

By Leilanie G. Adriano Staff reporter LAOAG CITY—Provincial tourism officials are offering low-cost tour packages in this northern gateway of Luzon at the 29 th Philippine Travel Mart, the longest running travel trade show in the country. Held at the SMX Convention Center at the Mall of Asia in Pasay City from August 31 to September 4, the PTM provides an avenue for various tourism stakeholders to promote their respective travel destinations. For this year, Aianree Raquel, Ilocos Norte supervising tourism operations officer said, “We’re selling ‘IlowCost’ packages and pushing promos that have added value.” Mr. Raquel explained this is the province’s way to counter the impact of inflation by encouraging everyone to visit Ilocos Norte on a budget. For as low as PHP499 per person, one can visit various attractions in the province from September 1-December 15, 2018 should they avail of this promo and make reservation with budget hotels or authorized travel

Ilocos Norte gov’t to acquire commodity heat automated multi-pump dryer

LAOAG CITY—The Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte (PGIN) is set to purchase a multi-commodity heat pump dehydrator to minimize food loss in agriculture production. Pegged at PHP1.5 million, the Ilocos Norte government represented by Governor Ma. Imelda Josefa “Imee” R. Marcos has tapped the services of the Adventist University of the Philippines (AUP) based in Silang, Cavite to provide the technology and assists in implementation. The stainless machine measures 2.44 meters x 4.88 meters x 2.44 meters with a drying chamber, dehumidifier and 126 perforated trays in six racks. Under the agreement, the AUP and the micro, small and medium enterprise of the province shall jointly implement and utilize the technology particularly in the processing of fresh mangoes, dragon fruits, malunggay leaves and other commodities available. The two-year project is meant to encourage more farmers to process and add value to their products. The contract is renewable every two years to