Thursday, May 23, 2019

DPWH advisory: Paoay bridge construction still ongoing

By Dominic B. dela Cruz
Staff reporter

Paoay, Ilocos Norte—The Dept. of Public Works and Highways (DPWH)-Ilocos Norte Engineering District (INED) II advised that the construction of the Sawang Bridge replacement in this town is still ongoing.

DPWH-INED II district engineer Mathias Malenab said the PHP30 million first release of the Sawang Bridge fund began in 2017 and continues up to present. He is hoping the additional funding for its completion will be released soon. He estimated the additional funding at less than PHP20 million.

The bridge construction was delayed by the transfer of powerlines from the old, existing bridge to the new bridge. DPWH has completed the said transfer.

He explained that the 45-meters bridge is located just beside the old Sawang Bridge, which is still operational and open to small type of vehicles.

Earlier, DPWH-INED II temporarily closed the said bridge from 9 am to 5 pm on April 16, 2019 to launch the 40 meters type VI pre-stressed concrete girder (PSCG) at Sawang Bridge.

North and south bound were advised to take the Manila North Road (MNR), while those going to población Paoay were advised to take the MNR via Batac-Paoay Road.

After the launch, Mr. Malenab said the bridge is 70 percent complete.

Narugit a tinapay

Itay nabiit, nakakitakam man dita sentro ti Laoag ti maysa a kurong-kurong a nagkarga ti hamburger buns, maysa a klase ti tinapay. Kinagpaysuananna, napno ti sidecarna kadagitoy a makan. Ti dakesna, awan abbong wenno umno a proteksyon dagitoy a tinapay manipud iti tapok, rugit ken asuk. Sa pay laeng tay akinrabaw a buns, pinarabawanda ti naangdod a sweatshirt. Dikam la ngamin nakaala ti gundaway a mangpicture. Siasinno ngata ti pakaideliveran wenno pakailakuan dagitoy? Kadagiti maseknan nga agar-aramid ken agang-angkat kadagitoy a makan, makonsensya kay koma met. Ipapauneg dagita dagiti agtaltalek a customersyo. Sapay koma ta adda aramiden ti ciudad tapno masierto a nadalus dagiti mailaklako a makan ditoy lugartayo. 


No obserbarenyo a nasayaat dagiti de-sarming a food display stand dagiti aglaklako ti taraon ditoy ciudad ti Laoag, adu dagiti makitayo nga agsikaw-sikaw a ngilaw, bingraw pay no dadduma. Saan met ketdi nga isuda amin, ngem adu dagiti makitkitami a kasta ti sitwasyonna, nangnangruna dagiti panaderia ken karinderia. Saan ngamin nga umanay ti “Health ID” dagiti food handler a requirement ti ciudad. Masapul koma nga igetan ti ciudad ti pannakakita ti proseso ti pannakaaramid, pannakai-transport, pannakai-display ken pannakai-serbi dagiti mailaklako a makan. Narikut unay a proseso, mabalin a kunayo. Ngem salun-at ti pagsasaritaan, isu a saan a rumbeng a sinsinan ti maipakat a proteksion.


Malaksid iti pannaka-monitor a nasayaat dagitoy a food handler, adda koma pay regular a seminarda babaen iti city government. Masansan met nga adda dagitay iwaywayat ti ciudad a seminar seknan iti naduma-duma a banag. Sapay koma ta mangiwayatda met ti regular a pannakaiyadal kadagiti food handler ti umno a pannakaproteher ti salun-at dagiti customerda. Umad-adun dagiti tao nga um-umay ditoy Laoag, kas koma kadagiti turista ken dagiti estudiante. Isu a nayunan koma pay ti ciudad ti alibtakna a mangsalwad ti salun-at, saan koma a sitsitik ken paporma laeng.


Kamaudiananna, palagipantay manen ti maysa a supermarket idtoy Laoag seknan ti panangitulokda a paggarahean dagiti delivery truck ti maysa a pedestrian lane iti Bonifacio St. “Ne, apay a ti supermarket ti mapalagipan”, mabalin a kunayo. Ngamin dagitoy a lugan ti mapan agideldeliver kadagiti produkto dita a pagtagilakuan. Pagbalinenda metten a product unloading area ken garahe dayta a pedestrian lane. Asideg ti simbaan ken dagiti eskwela dayta a lugar, rason a kasapulan unay dayta a pedestrian lane, nangnangruna dagiti senior citizen ken estudyante. Isu a saan koma a kunsintiren daytoy a supermarket dagiti anak ti diables a delivery truck a manggasaw-gasaw kadagiti paglintegan. No saan a mangiwayat ti aksyon daytoy a supermarket seknan iti daytoy, ipadanuntayo ti issue uray iti kangangatuan nga opisyal da! Ipakitatayo ti kinaawan ti panangiyalikaka daytoy nga establisemento kadagiti taga-ciudad ti Laoag!


BARD NOTES: Happy bard-reading to Badoc ABC President Virgilio Calajate, Ilocos Norte Provincial Treasurer Josephine P. Calajate, INEC President Enrico Ruiz, INEC Director Joseph Vergel P. Calajate, Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer II Vic M. Ines, DAR Chief Administrative Officer Rudy Acacio, Ms. Genedine Domingo Jambaro and PNB Pasuquin Branch Manager Metty V. Guerrero.

Greetings also to the employees of JVC Consortium, AMA Laoag, Ilocos Norte Regional School of Fisheries, Laoag City PNP, DAR Ilocos Norte, DepEd Laoag, DepEd Ilocos Norte and PNB Pasuquin.

Expect low water pressure in Batac this summer

By Dominic B. dela Cruz
Staff reporter

Batac City—Batac Water District’s (BWD) Maria Dona Sagun admitted that this city will experience low pressure on water distribution this summer season.

Nakapsot met lang ketdi ta ana ngarud ket summer panagtikag ken saan met nga tay totally nga 24 hours nga awan pulos danum,” Ms. Sagun said.

She said elevated areas will really experience no water distribution and may only become available during off-peak hours.

However, she assured that these experiences would only last this summer until their deep wells store more water which would then normalize water pressure conditions in this city.

Ta no nasapa nga umay itu tudo, nasap-sapan to met laeng nga agsubli tay dati nga kaadda iti supply iti danum,” she said.

Tie up with Prime Water
In creating a partnership with Prime Water only last December, Ms. Sagun clarified that the existing low-pressure conditions today does not have any effect on the partnership.

She stressed that the partnership entails Prime Water will drill deep water wells for BWD’s use for about a year.

Ms. Sagun added that BWD’s tie-up with Prime Water is a “big help” for both the water district and its concessionaires in this city since BWD cannot afford to implement big expansion projects that translates to better services.

She further disclosed that BWD currently services only 14% of all Batac households. She is hopeful that BWD will increase this once their Prime Water tie-up project is completed.

For the first five years of the partnership, Prime Water will establish source of water development including drilling of wells, more water tanks and replacement of almost two kilometers old pipelines at the heart of this city.

With this development, Ms. Sagun said Prime Water will shoulder the 12 percent VAT for all the water concessionaires for the first year.

Ditoy tayon to madlaw iti rate impact na inton after one year,” she said.

Availability of water hydrants
Ms. Sagun also announced that water fire hydrants in the city are always available especially in case of fire and other emergencies.

She said fire trucks are all welcome to any of the water hydrants here at poblacion area but they have to inform BWD first. BWD needs to ascertain the amount of water withdrawn from fire hydrants as they also need to report this to the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) and the National Water Resources Board (NWRB). This will then be considered as “unaccounted water” or “non-revenue water”.

Saan mi nga iparit ngem masapul kuma nga adda kami kuma no agala da ken ipakada da tapnu ammu mi no manu iti innala da,” she explained.

BJMP water supply
As with the fire hydrants, Ms. Sagun said they also give the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) water supply.

Water supply has long been a problem at the Batac BJMP. They have long relied on a deep well but this cannot suppl all their water needs.

Ms. Sagun said BJMP already requested for water connection at their building but it needs an estimated 6 kilometers of pipelines from the existing source of water. This costs from PHP8 to PHP10 million in funding.

However, city jail warden Antonio Sapaden said in an earlier interview that the problem has already reached the Office of the President with the help of the BWD with respect on the program of works (POW).

If this is granted, Ms. Sagun said that a lot of households and residential houses will also be benefitted, especially those along the national highway.

OWWA’s Tulong PUSO beneficiaries in La Union

San Fernando City, La Union—Two OFW Family Circles (OFC) in La Union were the latest recipient of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration’s (OWWA) Tulong Pangkabuhayan sa Pag-Unlad ng Samahang OFWs or Tulong PUSO. These beneficiaries are the Cabalayangan Overseas Workers Association in Bauang, La Union and Bannuar ti La Union Sitio Immayos Chapter in Sudipen, La Union.

On March 18, 2019, OWWA Regional Welfare Office I (OWWA RWOI) headed by OIC Director Gerardo C. Rimorin awarded three units of motorcycle to the Cabalayangan Overseas Workers Association. Its officers lead by their president Milagros S. Gomez received the units with franchise as initial and partial grant for their transport service livelihood project with a total of Php 350,000.00.

These units will not only be used as hired transportation means of residents from Cabalayangan but also in transporting the organization’s agricultural and poultry product to and from their barangay to town proper.

On the other hand, Bannuar ti La Union Sitio Immayos Chapter was recently awarded a livelihood assistance for their farm supply business project worth to Php 400,000.00 on March 26, 2019 spearheaded by OWWA RWOI’s OIC on Programs and Services Division Marivic L. Mondina and Reintegration and Training Unit Head Dolly Ann G. Camacho, along with Family Welfare Officer Khristian Paul M. Maglaya, and Labor Communication Officer Geraldine B. Salazar, to the organization lead by their President Mr. Alfonso Calderon.

Ms. Edna Valdez, President of Bannuar ti La Union Sudipen Chapter, Coalition of OFW Association in La Union and OFW Family Circle Regional Council likewise graced the ceremonial awarding.

All members were delighted to receive sacks of soil fertilizers, feeds, and boxes of insecticides that are ready for sale to the members of their barangay and neighboring barangays. Mr. Calderon is confident that their livelihood project will be successful because it will indeed lessen the burden of their ka-barangays in going to town just to buy fertilizers and feeds considering the proximity and scarcity of transport facilities going to and from their barangay.

Both organizations went through basic bookkeeping training for them to keep up with the records of their financial transactions because such is the lifeblood of a business like theirs.

OWWA’s Tulong PUSO is a program which aims to provide assistance for the formation, enhancement or restoration of their livelihood projects of accredited OFW Family Circles/Organizations. It is a one-time grant assistance in the form of raw materials, equipment, tools and other support services. (OWWA)

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Prosecutor dismisses raps vs Batac dad

By Dominic B. dela Cruz
Staff reporter

Batac City—City prosecutor Valentin Pascua Jr. dismissed the complaint filed against city councilor Mary Coleen Columbia for “resistance and disobedience to a person in authority for ignoring a Commission on Elections checkpoint”.

The Batac police, headed by P/Chief Insp. Allan Emerson D. Dauz filed the criminal case against Ms. Cajigal for allegedly violating of Article 151 of the Revised Penal Code.

Under Comelec Resolution 10468 Section 8, it states: “Procedure in case a checkpoint is ignored. If a person ignored the checkpoint, the commanding officer or team leader must immediately report such incident to the adjacent teams/police stations stating the particular details of the person evading the checkpoint. If necessary, the team must immediately coordinate with such adjacent teams or stations in order to establish road blocks in accordance with existing standard operating procedures of the PNP under the PNP handbook”.

In relation to this, Mr. Pascua said the Comelec Resolution does not impose any punishment or penalty in case a checkpoint is ignored, although, it authorizes law enforcers to arrest any person where there is apparent violation of the ban on firearms or other deadly weapons and none of this made the respondent as criminal.

The decision also stated that, “Ignoring a checkpoint is not a crime. It is not even considered a traffic violation in the city” that when a police officer issued a city traffic citation ticket for allegedly disregarding legitimate Comelec checkpoint is improper.

That alleged violation is not included as one of the traffic violations in the city.  

The respondent also never established disobedience to an order coming from Mr. Dauz and no scintilla of evidence showing that Ms. Cajigal resisted arrest or physically attacked Mr. Dauz and his men while they were in the performance of their official functions, the decision added.

With that factual backdrop of the case, the crime of resistance or disobedience of a person in authority was never committed, it stressed further.

The decision also noted that the two key elements of resistance and serious disobedience punished under Art. 151 of the Revised Penal Code are (1) That a person in authority or his agent is engaged in the performance of official duty or gives a lawful order to the offender; and (2) That the offender resists or seriously disobeys such person or his agent. 

Upon preliminary examination of the evidence, there was no sufficient evidence to warrant a preliminary investigation against the respondent. Hence, the instant case against Ms. Cajigal was dismissed due to lack of probable cause.

Administrative case
The Ilocos Times, however learned that an administrative case was also filed at the Sangguniang Panlalawigan against Ms. Cajigal for the same alleged violation.

The issue began when Ms. Cajigal allegedly disregarded a Comelec checkpoint operation along Manila North Road in the vicinity of Brgy. Caunayan, this city on March 15, 2019 at about 9:05 pm.

According to the police report, despite a lawful order, the driver ignored the legitimate established police checkpoint even it was in a well-lighted place with complete signage manned by uniformed PNP personnel and led by a police commissioned officer, the driver still attempted to pass through even though officers were manning the checkpoint and continuously drove and stopped at the right west side of the road.

Officer-in-charge Dauz went to the vehicle and asked Ms. Cajigal why they disregarded the checkpoint that later ensued into discussion and arguments, after which, Mr. Dauz asked Ms. Cajigal to present her driver’s license, certificate of registration and official receipt and was immediately given a city traffic citation for disregarding Comelec Checkpoint but Ms. Cajigal refused to affix her signature.

Batac mayor reacts
Batac Mayor Albert D. Chua was also furnished a copy of the resolution of dismissal.

Mr. Chua said he respects the decision of the City Prosecutor’s Office because they also have their legal basis.

As of press time, Mr. Chua said that he has not yet received any copy coming from the provincial government regarding the alleged administrative case against Ms. Cajigal filed by the Batac police.      

Ready to answer
Ms. Cajigal, for her part, stressed that the City Prosecutor’s Office has already issued the resolution and that is her official statement.

Likewise, she also disclosed that she has not yet received any copy yet of the alleged administrative case filed against her. However, she said she is ready to answer the charges.

PDEA declares 20 Laoag City barangays as drug-free

By Dominic B. dela Cruz
Staff reporter

PDEA investigation agent V Lani Bel C. Ancheta along with Laoag police chief Mar Louise Bundoc, city DILG officer Janet Duarte and Laoag Mayor Chevylle V. Fariñas pose with the 20 “drug-cleared” and “non-drug affected” barangays represented by their respective punong barangay after they received their certification. (Doms dela Cruz)

Laoag City—The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) based in Ilocos Norte has declared 17 barangays in this city as “drug cleared” and three “non-drug affected” barangays.

PDEA made the declaration on April 1, 2019 after the flag-raising ceremony at the Laoag City hall.

The 20 “cleared” barangays were represented by their respective punong barangay. They received a certification from the Dangerous Drugs Board.

The barangays are Brgys. 30-B Sta Maria, 37 Calayab, 32-B La Paz West, 33-A La Paz Proper, 33-B La Paz Proper, 31 Talingaan, 29 Sto. Tomas, 26 San Marcelino, 27 Nra Sra De Soledad, 60-B Madiladig, 55-C Vira, 55-B Salet Bulangon, 52-A san Mateo, 30-A Suyo, 35 Gabu Sur, 34-B Gabu East and 4 San Guillermo.

The non-drug affected barangays, on the other hand are Brgys. 58 Casili, 32-A La Paz East and 55-A Barit.

PDEA investigation agent V Lanie Bel C. Ancheta hopes that the remaining barangays in the city will also be cleared soon.

Ms. Ancheta disclosed that she recently met with the police, the local DILG office and the City Health Office and asked their help in closely monitoring and in increasing the number of drug-cleared barangay in the city.

To be declared as a “drug-cleared” barangay, all those who have surrendered in the said Barangay should have undergone and “graduated” from the community-based rehabilitation program; passed a drug test; joined anti-drug activities in the barangay and active in the Barangay Drug Abuse Council.

Ms. Ancheta said PDEA is the implementing arm of the Dangerous Drugs Board and its mission is to conduct anti-drug operations including “buy-bust” operations, implementations of search warrants and raids to arrest drug personalities and confiscate illegal drugs.

Likewise, PDEA also conducts “demand reduction” schemes that includes programs educating the community, students and other NGOs or institutions on the effects and consequences of drug abuse.

They also coordinate with the other agencies—barangays and LGUs for the clearing of Ilocos Norte from illegal drugs.   

As of press time, Ms. Ancheta said that more than 50 percent of the total drug-affected barangays, or a total of 283 Barangays out of 520 had been cleared in Ilocos Norte.

She also reported that eight municipalities in the province were already declared “drug-free” municipalities. 

PDEA was created in 2002 and has only regional offices. Its Region I office is located in San Fernando City, La Union.

However, due to the ongoing “war on drugs” implemented by the Duterte administration, PDEA has since created provincial offices.

In 2017, the PDEA Ilocos Norte office was created and is presently located temporarily at the Laoag City General Hospital (LCGH).

Vintar SOMA

Vintar Mayor Larisa Foronda delivers her State of the Municipal Address (SOMA) before other town officials and her constituents including municipal councilors headed by Vintar Vice Mayor and presiding officer Victor Rasimo, barangay officials, NGOs, NGAs, stakeholders and the public. She reported the municipal government’s accomplishments in her first three-year term of office. Mrs. Foronda specifically mentioned in her administration’s accomplishments with the help of the Sangguniang Bayan in all areas of agriculture, tourism, education, environment, infrastructure, and health among others. The mayor promised that her administration will continue to serve the people of Vintar in the next three years if she is given the chance to serve for her second term of office in the upcoming midterm elections. (Doms Dela Cruz)

Rejected Laoag City 2019 budget impacts planned salary hike for SPES

By Dominic B. dela Cruz
Staff reporter

Laoag City—The planned salary increase for the 300 Special Program for Employment of Students (SPES)slots in Laoag was also impacted by the rejected 2019 annual budget.

The 2019 annual budget was disapproved by the Sangguniang Panlungsod in January this year and has not been tackled since until the 90-day period lapsed.

City Budget Office (CBO) record shows that the allocated budget for SPES last year was PHP3,380,190; and fir this year, PHP3,559,580, or an increase of PHP179,390 was allocated.

The increase in allocation would have translated to higher SPES salaries but with the disapproval of the annual budget, the increase was also shelved.

The salaries for SPES was based on the existing entry level position of the city government similar to contract of service (COS), which has a rate of PHP387.73 per day.

Community Affairs Department (CAD) officer II Vilma Ranchez said that 300 students can work and avail again of the SPES in the city. The planned increase however will not be implemented.

Kayat na nga sao’en, no kuma naaprubaran tay budget, ngumato kuma met tay sweldo da,” Ms. Ranchez said. 

As of press time, Ms. Ranchez said her office is busy validating the documents and requirements submitted by the applicants such as birth certificate, low income/indigent certification from the punong barangay or income tax return of both parents from the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and certification of grades or a copy of cards from the school.

Of the 300 SPES slots, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) only certified 150 applicants to be their beneficiaries. This means DOLE will shoulder the 40% of their salaries. The city government, meanwhile, will pay for the remaining 60%.

But since the city government opened 300 SPES slots, they will also shoulder the whole salary of the uncertified 150 SPES beneficiaries.

Ms. Ranchez also noted that priority applicants will be the old SPES beneficiaries. Those who have since graduated, however, will be replaced by new applicants with age requirement pegged at 15-30 years old.

The city government also accommodates out-of-school youths (OSYs) with the promise that the they will enroll in the following school year.

Each SPES beneficiary shall serve or work 20 days starting May 2, 2019 at the city government in line with their field of specialization or courses in the different department offices.

The SPES aims to augment the family’s income to the poor but deserving students this summer vacation.        

Reacting to this, Laoag Mayor Chevylle V. Fariñas hopes that their salaries would be of great help to their family’s their needs, especially for the students in preparation for the next school year.

Ta no kuma naaprubaran tay budget ket dakdakkel kuma met iti sweldo nga awaten dagitoy annak tayo ken ad-adu kuma met iti maitulog na kanyada ken iti pamilya da,” the mayor said.

Kid, 11, receives ‘best gift ever’ on graduation

Alwytz is all smiles with the goat he got as graduation gift. (Photo courtesy of Gaoiran family)

By Leilanie G. Adriano
Staff Reporter

Bacarra, Ilocos Norte— Grade 6 student, Alwytz Robiniol Gaoiran, 11, graduated on April 3,2019 with no medal but got the biggest surprise from his family when a goat met him as he arrived home.

Alwytz prefers animals to toys or gadgets and creates his own play station out of recycled materials.

He is the sixth out of the eight children of Ronnie Gaoiran, a farmer from Brgy. Buyon, this town, and Brigida, who is currently working as a domestic helper in Kuwait.

Last Christmas, the boy wished for a goat to take care of while studying, but the family budget was just enough to make ends meet.

On his graduation at the Buyon Elementary School in this town, Alwytz beamed when his elder brother Alvin, who is now working in Manila, granted his long-time wish to have a goat he can take care of.

Alvin described his younger brother as shy but “makulit” [pesky]. Alwytz dreams of becoming a mechanical engineer someday.

Being the only college graduate in the family, Alvin expressed hope that all his siblings would likewise be able to finish school.

“Congratulations, Alwytz. You know you are my favorite brother. This is now the start of more to come. I wanted to give you a cow, but I can’t afford it for now. Who knows in the future, we will have our own farm,” Alvin told his brother as he shared his excitement on a social media post also on April 3, 2019.

Netizens who saw Alwytz happy with his gift lauded the young boy for being practical in life.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Burgos barangay enhances parolees’, probationers’ skills

By Leilanie G. Adriano
Staff Reporter

Burgos, Ilocos Norte—Paper flowers, necklace and bracelets made of recycled papers are helping out a community of parolees and probationers earn a living by selling it to interested buyers.

Priced at PHP50 to PHP150 depending on its size and design, these products are usually direct orders from customers, mostly composed of balikbayans, resort owners, and friends.

To further enhance their skills, a model barangay on solid waste management, Brgy. Poblacion, in this town facilitated a hands-on training on waste diversion.

“Not all wastes are trash, they can be cash[ed-in] if you add some love and wit to it,” said Brgy. Poblacion punong barangay Joegie Jimenez before some 150 parolees and probationers, who attended a skills training on waste diversion at the Burgos municipal auditorium.

After a short program, the participants were taught how to make leis, bracelets, flowers, vases, trash cans and eco-bricks, among others, which were all made from old brochures, magazines, and other recycled materials.

For the participants, the skills training is a big help not only for their livelihood but also for waste reduction.

As president of the Volunteer Probation Aide in Ilocos Norte, Mr. Jimenez said that parole and probation administration officer Lorelie May Bacnat personally requested his team to conduct the outreach program on waste diversion, which they are now applying in the barangay.

“After our benchmarking activity in Imus, Bacoor, Cavite and learned the best practices of Quezon City government on solid waste management, we were inspired to make it work in our village and the rest is history,” Mr. Jimenez said, noting that the project is in support of the national governments intensified solid waste management program.

After the training, the Parole and Probation Office in Ilocos Norte plans to tap the services of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to help them market their waste diversion products through local trade fairs and exhibits.

PhilRice introduces drone farming in Ilocos Norte

By Bernardo B. Ver II

San Nicolas, Ilocos Norte—Specialists from “FutureRice Farm” of the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) introduced drone farming at Brgy. Catuguing, in this town recently.

The drone will monitor rice growth and can also be used in direct-seeding and mechanical trans-planter for rice farms. Fertilizers and herbicides will also be applied using the drone spreader and sprayer systems.

In just 20 minutes, the drone can provide fertilize a minimum of 1-hectare area—or an equivalent of 3 hectares an hour. Far faster than the old-school-type of farming in the province.

The FutureRice Farm’s study on drone and other modern farming technologies is in partnership with Crop Protection Division, Rice Farming Mechanization and Modernization Program, and the New Hope Corporation.

For the meantime, the drone is available is for rent at PHP850 per hectare.

12th SME summer trade fair inspires Ilocos Norte entrepreneurs

By Leilanie G. Adriano
Staff Reporter

San Nicolas, Ilocos Norte—At least 35 micro-, small-, and medium-entrepreneurs (MSMEs) in Ilocos Norte and nearby provinces are exhibiting their best-selling products again at a mall in this town from April 8-14, 2019.

Inspired by government support, Juana Pancho, a manufacturer of JF’s Boneless Bagoong from Brgy. Cabungaan, Laoag City said she is excited every time her products are on display in a mall and a lot of shoppers get curious of what is in store for them.

“I’m so happy for being part of the exhibit. It makes me feel awesome because in my years of business, it is only this time that we get to sell our products in a cool environment such as this,” said Ms. Pancho as she recalled selling her bagoong [fish sauce] products only at public markets or in her home at Brgy. Cabungaan.

Through the joint collaboration between the Department of Trade and Industry and the Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte, the 65-year-old single mom and bagoong vendor is just among the beneficiaries of various government programs and services meant to level up their knowledge and skills to improve their products.

Aside from selling bagoong, she also sells hot chili or garlic dip in sukang Iloko [sugarcane vinegar] including local dried fish.

Now running for 12 years, the DTI-Ilocos Norte summer trade fair is partnering with the Ilocos Norte government and the MSMEs to further inspire local entrepreneurs to make quality products that is at par with their counterparts in Southeast Asia.

Products on display include sweet mangoes, off-season dragon fruit, pastries, rice coffee, rice cracker, noodles, chichacorn, peanut butter, bagnet, longganisa, bagoong, wine, and other processed foods. The non-food sector also includes inabel, binakol, buri crafts, wood crafts, souvenir items, and ornamental plants.

For this year, Edison Natividad, officer-in-charge of the Provincial Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SME) office said a cash prize will also be awarded to the chosen Best Dressed Booth for both food and non-food sector MSMEs.

Mr. Natividad assured more programs and partnerships with various entities are lined up for the MSMEs development in the province to boost their income and exposure.

Ilocos Norte pushes for 100% RISTT graduation rate anew

Laoag City—To keep pace with the growing “e-commerce” industry worldwide, the Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte (PGIN), in partnership with the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), has opened applications for enrollment of the second batch of Rural Impact Sourcing Technical Training (RISTT), to begin on September 2019.

This training program aims to provide technical trainings for the unemployed, and to provide wider market opportunities for Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).

Last year, Emmy Lou Delfin of the DICT Industry Development Bureau described Ilocos Norte as a “record-breaker,” being the first province wherein all trainees in the RISTT program were able to complete and graduate from the course.

Provincial SME office head Edison Natividad also noted that the target for this batch is 25 slots. This is to give chances to information technology graduates and to further enhance their ICT skills.

Ang target natin ngayon ay 25 slots for scholars, and 25 slots for MSMEs. One-on-one kasi ang approach natin para matutukan talaga ng scholar ang promotion ng mga products. Last year, talaga namang successful yung unang batch ng RISTT dito sa Ilocos Norte at madami itong naibigay na benefits sa mga MSME. Na-meet rin ng mga trainees noon ang target market nila, sobra-sobra pa nga,” he said.

Interested MSM entrepreneurs whose business has been operating for at least a year already may go directly to the DICT Office and bring their mayor’s permit, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) business name registration, and BIR registration. Meanwhile, scholars are to undergo a written examination, followed by a screening interview.

The lessons included in the training program are the following: branding for companies, products and services, web development, product photography and content writing, business blogging, social media content creation, and building a freelancer profile, among others.

The implementing bodies of this training program are the DICT, SMEO, Sustainable Development Council, Information Technology Department, Provincial Education Department, and INVEST Office. (Blessing Angel V. Agliam)

Laoag City recognizes Sunshine Women 2019

SUNSHINE Women 2019 Solo Mother Category awardee Mrs. Aurora Bueno (center) together with her family members pose with Laoag mayor Chevylle V. Fariñas and several city councilors. (Photo by Alwin Formantes)

By Dominic B. dela Cruz
Staff reporter

Laoag City—Fourteen Laoag City women were recognized and awarded as the LC Sunshine Women 2019 in a program held at the at the city hall multi-purpose hall on March 25, 2019.

The awardees were chosen based on their moral and security integrity; significant accomplishments in their family, participation in church, barangay and community activities; personality traits and volunteerism and civic actions.

DSWD officer III Mary Joan Pasigui said that the award has five categories.

The Professional Category awardees were Mitchie Delos Santos, Zenaida Eugenio and Atty. Monique and Veronica Nevalga (Finalist) while the Non-Professional Category featured Mary Ann Cabacugan, Eva Dela Rosa, Ednah Marie Bernardino and Grace Mendoza (Finalist).

Solo Mother Category were also awarded to Mrs. Aurora Bueno, Ms. Geraldine Baraseros and Ms. Rosana Angel.

The city government of Laoag also recognized Jasmine Placido and Rykiel Sysley Nicolas as this year’s Sunshine Women Young Category and Irene Betonio as the PWD Achiever Award.

Ms. Pasigui said the Sunshine Women search has a little in common with the criteria for the Model Family.

The difference is the Sunshine Women focuses only on women in time with the Women’s Month celebration empowering women in the barangay level.

While the Model Family includes the participation of all the members of the family and their accomplishments.

The awardees received cash and plaques of appreciation while the nominators also received a certificate of appreciation.

Sunshine Women Solo Mother category Mrs. Bueno also gave her response in behalf of her fellow awardees.

Mr. John Michael V. Farinas who served as the guest of honor and speaker expressed his congratulations to all the awardees.

He said that women have a big participation not only in their respective families and themselves but also in the society.

During the awarding, Laoag Mayor Chevylle V. Fariñas also administered the oath taking of the new set of officers of the Sunshine Women in all the barangays here.

Plaza ken stadium

Sinaludsod man kadakami ni Dr. Chester Puño no ania ti pakasaritaan ti Aurora Park wenno ti plaza ti Laoag. Napintas a saludsod ngem saanmi a nasungbatan ta nakurang met dagiti inpormasion iti dayta a banag. Sapay koma ngamin ta dagiti local historian ken tourism official ket irapinda nga adalen ken ipublikar ti pakasaritaan dagiti daan a pasdek ken naduma-duma a lugar iti Laoag.
Nagpintas koma a maammuan ti pakasaritaan ti Aurora Park, "Oblation", Gilbert Bridge, Sinking Belltower, St. William Cathedral, Ermita Hill ken dadduma pay. Ti turismo ket saan laeng a bisbisti, parparada ken ar-arutittit. Dakdakkel koma a pasetna ti pannakaiyadal ti pakasaritaan kas ti ar-aramiden dagiti sabali a lugar.

Adu ti makaobserbar nga agtaud manen dagitay agkekebkeb ken agga-anggo nga agtutubo dita pagtutugawan iti lauden a mismo ti Marcos Stadium.

Ne, kalpasan ti R1AA ket AREM-AA sa metten ti sumaruno. Awan met ketdi’t bibiangtayo a. Ngem saan a maladaw dagita, annakko! Agbasakay pay ta kaasi met dagiti awan pay inananan a nagannakyo. Pengdan ti arem tapno saan a mairarem.

Dagiti met guardia dita stadium, agsursurkay met ngamin sagpaminsan tapno matinggaryo dagita a mapaspasamak. Tumakderkay met manipud iti tugawyo sagpaminsan! Agronda kay met, brods! Apay dikay maktangan nga agtutugaw nga agtutunganga lattan iti bayat iti dutyyo?

Pagyamananmi man gayam ti Land Transportation Office-Region 1 iti panangtiliw ken panangmultadan ti driver ti maysa a delivery truck a namagbalin a garahe ti maysa a pedestrian lane ditoy ciudad ti Laoag.

Inpasingked ti nasao nga opisina a dagus nga aksyunanda dagiti kakastoy a reklamo kontra kadagiti abusado a driver a natured unay a mangsalsalungasing kadagiti paglintegan.

Saludokam kadakayo, LTO Region 1!

Kabayatanna, pagraramanantay man dagitoy lima a naikur-itmi a pagsasao para iti daytoy a lawas:

1. Nalaka a mapasagidan ti addaan kalkaluban.

2. Uray orig amin a badom, no gangandiong met ti kinataom.

3. Ti obligasion a tinurugam, isunto’t pakabangungutam.

4. Uray sitsitik no saan a switik. Uray nagarbo no nagtaud iti linuluko.

5. Ti managduadua awanan maipamaysa.

BARD NOTES: Happy bard-reading to Badoc ABC President Virgilio Calajate, Ilocos Norte Provincial Treasurer Josephine P. Calajate, INEC President Enrico Ruiz, INEC Director Joseph Vergel P. Calajate, Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer II Vic M. Ines, DAR Chief Administrative Officer Rudy Acacio, Ms. Genedine Domingo Jambaro and PNB Pasuquin Branch Manager Metty V. Guerrero.

Greetings also to the employees of JVC Consortium, AMA Laoag, Ilocos Norte Regional School of Fisheries, Laoag City PNP, DAR Ilocos Norte, DepEd Laoag, DepEd Ilocos Norte and PNB Pasuquin.