Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Laoag City residents join bazaar to fund autism awareness

By Leilanie G. Adriano
Staff reporter

LAOAG CITY—In time for the annual celebration of National Autism Consciousness Week, the Autism Society of the Philippines-Laoag Chapter has prepared a series of activities to prevent discrimination and promote inclusivity of persons with autism.

Earlier, a bazaar for children with autism opened at the Dap-ayan center where preloved items, shoes, bags and others are sold to the public.

Triscia Alexandra “Trixie” Ablan, ASP public relations officer said the bazaar for a cause will last for four days or until January 24.

“The registration fees of participants will go to ‘ausome angels’ and this is in partnership with the Rotary Club of Laoag Metro Ilocos Norte and the Sirib Ilokano Kabataan Association,” said Ms. Ablan saying she developed her fondness for children with autism when she had a chance to seat in a classroom with them and she found ‘peace’.

Since then, Ms. Ablan met with other volunteers in Laoag as they advocate for a better understanding of people with autism.

Report said at least one percent of the population has autism and not so many people are aware of autism and actually knows what living with autism means.

In an advocacy campaign posted by the ASP tagged as ‘Ausome Angels’, the group shared, “people with autism can have many skills and talents, you just have to let them reach for his/her full potential.”

So, by helping spread awareness about autism, organizers believe, “it takes small changes to better accommodate a person with autism needs.”

On January 25, 2019, the group invited resource speakers and conducted discussions on autism in Laoag, which aimed to promote action by the public and private sectors towards enabling persons with autism to live with dignity, enjoy equal rights and access, function independently and contribute productively in the community.

Meanwhile, the Laoag City government, through the City Health Office, waived fees for the conduct of diagnostic test for persons with autism and help them to secure or renew their identification cards under persons with disabilities and enjoy some government benefits and discounts.

Laoag City begins construction of multi-million slaughterhouse

By Dominic B. dela Cruz
Staff reporter

Laoag City—The city government here has begun construction of a new multi-million computerized slaughterhouse.

The said facility is located at Brgy. Camangaan, this city, near the City Agriculture Office.

City engineer Roy Tomas said the new city government-owned slaughterhouse will be computer-operated and will have the newest equipment and machines from the National Meat Inspection Commission (NMIC).

The city’s counterpart for the project is the lot and the construction of new building.

Phase 1 of the project started last year with a funding of PHP1.5 million. Currently, the project is on its phase 2 with a funding of PHP3.3 million.

The impasse on the city government’s 2019 budget, however, may delay the project’s phase 3. Phase 3 has an allocation of PHP5 million under “capital outlay” in the 2019 budget.

Ket inggana a saan a maaprubaran tay 2019 budget ket saan met a masagid daytoy a pondo isu nga on hold payla dagitoy a proyekto,” Mr. Tomas said.

He disclosed that the PHP5 million from the 2019 budget includes the completion of said building.

As of press time, Mr. Tomas said all the equipment and machineries were already delivered and is temporarily housed at his office.

Reacting to this, city veterinarian Dr. Arthur Cabello thanked the present administration headed by Laoag Mayor Chevylle V. Fariñas for considering his “long-time” request for a “high tech” city government-owned slaughterhouse.

Mr. Cabello said the present city slaughterhouse needs a plenty of water to maintain its cleanliness in time of butchering.

It also needs the latest equipment and machineries since Laoag City caters a big number of animals butchered daily.

The Ilocos Times learned that the municipality of Dingras has recently had their new and latest “double AA”-type of slaughterhouse.

Dingras Mayor Erdio Valenzuela, with representatives from the National Meat Inspection Commission (NMIC), recently conducted a dry run of said high tech slaughterhouse.

The Dingras slaughterhouse is “first of its kind” in Ilocos Norte, the only other similar slaughterhouse in Ilocos Region is in Sta. Maria, Ilocos Sur.

Chinese dominates foreign tourist arrivals in Ilocos Norte

By Leilanie G. Adriano
Staff reporter

LAOAG CITY—Chinese nationals continue to dominate foreign tourist arrivals in this northern gateway of Luzon.

Of the more than three million recorded day-visitors in Ilocos Norte in 2018, thousands of Chinese tourists registered the most in terms of international tourists’ arrivals, according to Xavier Ruiz, Ilocos Norte tourism operations officer.

Other foreign visitors include Americans, Europeans and Koreans among others who visited the province’s major tourism attractions.

In 2018, the Ilocos Norte Tourism Office (INTO) reported 3,003,963 day-visitors, or an increase of 34% tourist arrivals compared to 2017.

“This is the sweet fruit of labor and the solidarity of all tourism stakeholders,” said Mr. Ruiz as he commended all tourism stakeholders and local government units (LGU) in the province for helping gather the number of tourists visiting their respective jurisdiction.

Latest record of the INTO shows the UNESCO-world heritage site of St. Augustine Church in Paoay, Ilocos topped the most-visited place with 509,449 visitors; followed by the Malacañang of the North with 387,118 visitors; Kapurpurawan Rock Formation in Burgos with 286,998 visitors; and the Paoay and Culilli Point Sand Dunes with 276,483 and 229,677 visitors, respectively.

In an effort to attract more tourists in the province, Mr. Ruiz bared plans to intensify campaign on sustainable tourism and one way to do so is to conduct orientation program on environmental protection among tourism ambassadors.

“We’ve done lectures before on first aid, safety, and understanding tourists, but I think it’s about time... to include basic lectures on how they can help in teaching our tourists to be more responsible,” Mr. Ruiz shared.

During the peak season of tourist arrivals during summer and Christmas seasons, INTO hires tourism ambassadors, first aid and utility personnel to assist local and foreign tourists visiting the province. This is also a means to provide alternative livelihood to local residents including students and senior citizens who want to earn for themselves.

Misteryo dagiti sidecar

Saan a nakapapati ngem pudno! “Untouchable” dagiti traysikelan ditoy ciudad ti Laoag!

“Nalabes kay unay nga agsarita”, mabalin a kunayo. Ngem padasenyo a sintiren ti garaw dagiti tricycle driver. Makitayo nga adu dagiti buong ti ulo nga abusado ken bastos!

Ngem iti likod ti binunton a reklamo dagiti pasahero, kas man awan opisyal a makaitured a mangipursigi ti umno a pannakadisiplina dagiti traysikelan. Awan ti makaitured a mangsagid kadakuada! Ala, aguni dagiti makaitured!

Addan sa ketdi bukod a paglintegan dagiti traysikelan, ta dagiti laeng kaykayatda ti ipakpakatda iti pannakatratar dagiti pasahero, panagpila ken uray pay iti estilo dagiti sidecar.

Isu nga intay man pagraramanan ti listaan dagiti “misteryo” dagiti tricycle sidecar iti lugartayo.

Kalpasanna, intayto pagsinamit daytoy naputarmi a listaan dagiti “10-year challenge”.

Lima a “misteryo” maipanggep kadagiti sidecar dagiti tricycle ditoy Laoag:

1. Apay ngata a no ngumato ti plete kumsen met dagiti sidecar?

2. Apay nga ipapilit ti adu a tricycle driver a saan a nababbaba ngem dua ti pasaheroda kada byahe idinto a nganngani maysa laeng ti malaon ti sidecarda?

3. Apay a ti plastar ti tugaw ti adu a sidecar ket kapilitan a malislis ti palda dagiti babbai? Naigagara kadi? Namuna ta adda sarming nukua iti abay ti motor.

4. Apay ngata nga adu dagiti sidecar nga awanan ti silaw wenno reflector? Banag a mangit-itedda ti puon ti disgrasya iti pasetna ti rabii wenno parbangon.

5. Apay ngata nga awan pay nangngegko a konsehal ti Laoag a nangputar ti ordinansa a mangkorehir kadagitoy? Mabutengda ngata a mapukawan botos?

P. S. No nagkamaliak ta adda gayamen konsehal a naggandat a mangkorehir kadagitoy, despensarenyo. Sapay koma ta adda!

Lima a “10-year challenge”:

1. Tay kari ni peboritmo a pulitiko sangapulo a tawenen ti napalabas, natungpal kadin?

2. Tay kinatsismosa tay karrubam, nagbaliw kadin kalpasan ti sangapulo a tawen?

3. Tay kinasadot tay kaopisinaam, napukaw kadin kalpasan ti maysa a dekada?

4. Tay utang kenka ni pagayammo idi 2009, nabayadanna kadin?

5. Ta waistlinemo, bimmassit kadin kalpasan ti sangapulo a tawen a minalemmo a panagzumba?

Ala, dagita man pay laeng ti isagpawtayo iti daytoy a lawas. Padaanan ti sabali pay a bansada dagiti listaan nga inkam idasar inton umay a lawas! Dios ti agngina, kailian!

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.

Environment group lauds Ilocos Norte’s new anti-littering ordinance

By Leilanie G. Adriano
Staff reporter

LAOAG CITY—The Sangguniang Panlalawigan approved an anti-littering ordinance on January 28, 2019, which penalizes violators with stiffer penalties.

In view of this, the Movement Against Plastic Pollution (MAPP), a group of young environmentalists in the province has lauded the main sponsor, senior Sangguniang Panlalawigan member Matthew Joseph M. Manotoc for pushing the said ordinance meant to observe proper waste management in the province, city, municipal and village levels.

“We thank sir Matthew for the passage of the ordinance which includes the banning of the releasing of balloons and sky lanterns,” said MAPP in their official Facebook page on the same day it was passed.

With the passage of Provincial Ordinance No. 2018-07-051, Mr. Manotoc urged concerned government authorities “To intensify the campaign on proper waste disposal to prevent ecological and environmental degradation and instill discipline, social responsibility, and awareness for the environment”.

The ordinance shall apply to all residents, transients, places of residence, commercial establishments and all areas within the territorial jurisdiction of Ilocos Norte.

As stated in the Implementing Rules and Regulations of Republic Act 9003, the newly-formed Provincial Solid Waste Management Board composed of the governor, all city and municipal mayors, council’s committee on environment, Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office, Provincial Health, Engineering and others shall help implement the ordinance.

Under the approved ordinance, the throwing, littering and disposing of garbage or waste matter in public places and other areas not duly designated as disposal sites shall be fined between PHP500 to PHP1,500 in addition to rendering community service.

At the barangay level, concerned local authorities are also encouraged to have their own materials recovery facility where their constituents can put their garbage ready for pick up by garbage collectors.

3 Ilocos Norte centenarians receive cash gift

By Leilanie G. Adriano
Staff reporter

LAOAG CITY—At least three senior citizens from Ilocos Norte received their centenarian gift on January 22, 2019 courtesy of the Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte.

Of the PHP4 million budget allocation for 2019 as provincial government counterpart for centenarian benefits in the province, at least PHP15,000 each were turned over to Mauricio P.  Rosqueta from Valdez, Marcos; Nicolas P. Abaro from Fortuna, Marcos; and Doroteo R. Rivera from Talugtog, Solsona.

“The gift checks were delivered personally by a team from the PSWDO to the beneficiaries,” said provincial social welfare and development officer Lilian Rin.

Under Provincial Ordinance No. 2018-10-063 approved on December last year, less fortunate senior citizens who struggle with the financial burdens of medical and funeral expenses get cash incentive.

This is apart from the centenarian gift of Php100,000 each one will receive from the national government under Republic Act (RA) 10868 or the Centenarians Act of 2016.

The centenarian act entitles all Filipinos who reach 100 years old, whether residing in the Philippines or abroad an amount of PHP100,000 with a Letter of Felicitation from the President of the Philippines congratulating the celebrant for his or her longevity.

Signed on June 23, 2016, the law also states that the centenarians shall also be awarded a plaque of recognition and a cash incentive by their respective city or municipal governments in appropriate ceremonies.

In 2018, the Ilocos Norte government has released an initial budget of PHP1.6 million pesos in support for senior citizens.

Friday, February 22, 2019

DAR-Ilocos Norte, maysa kadagiti 2018 top performers ti DAR

Inrakurak ni Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer II Vic M. Ines a maysa ti DAR Ilocos Norte kadagiti nabigbig a 2018 Top Performers ti Department of Agrarian Reform iti intero a paguilian. (Jorge Richard P. Guerrero)

Laoag City—Nabigbig ti DAR-Ilocos Norte a kas maysa kadagiti 2018 Top Performers ti Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) iti naangay a 2018 Year-End Summative Assessment and 2019 Planning Conference ti DAR idiay Iloilo City itay napan a lawas,

Kuna ni provincial agrarian reform program officer II Vic M. Ines, iti benneg ti representation in quasi-judicial cases, top 1 ti legal services division ti DAR-Ilocos Norte.

Itay napan a tawen, 100% ti accomplishment ti DAR Ilocos Norte iti panangirepresentar kadagiti mannalon iti Department of Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board (DARAB).

Inpalgak pay ni Mr. Ines a top 2 ti DAR-Ilocos Norte iti benneg ti organizational development and strengthening of agrarian reform beneficiaries organizations (ARBOs), ARBOs provided with technical, enterprise, farm support and physical and infrastructure support ken number of agrarian reform beneficiaries trained.

Innayun pay ni Mr. Ines a nagun-od dagitoy a balligi gapu iti naiget a panagtitinnulong ken panagkikinnammayet dagiti naduma-duma a dibisyon ti DAR Ilocos Norte. (JRPG)

LC senior citizens social pension

Laoag Mayor Chevylle V. Fariñas lead the distribution of social pension for the third quarter of 2018 to the city’s 1,125 senior citizen pensioners of after a regular flag raising ceremony at the city hall. The Social Pension Program for Indigent Senior Citizens (SPPISC) is an additional government assistance to augment their daily subsistence and other medical needs. (Alwin Formantes)

New Laoag DILG exec eyes more special SK polls

By Dominic B. dela Cruz
Staff reporter

Laoag City—The city new local government operations officer Janet Duarte is eyeing the holding of additional special Sangguniang Kabataan elections for the city’s 37 barangays.

Ms. Duarte said the said barangays have incomplete number of elected SK officials, thus the special elections.

The planned special election is based on a Dept. of Interior and Local Government Memorandum Circular No. 2018-212 dated December 20, 2018, which states the need to complete the set of SK officials in all the barangays within 30 days upon issuance.

However, with 237 barangays having incomplete SK officials, the 30-day period does not apply to the city.

A supplemental memorandum was issued wherein it states that the city of Laoag can conduct special SK elections until March 31, 2019.

Record shows that the city DILG started conducting special elections on January 19 and 20, 2019 for 10 Barangays.

Ms. Duarte expressed hopes that all the 37 barangays will conduct special elections before the March 31, 2019 deadline.

The city’s DILG office along with the local Commission on Elections office and non-government organizations conduct the special elections.

The special elections use secret ballots, as stated by DILG guidelines. Only those aged 15-30 can vote while candidates should be 18-24 years old only.

Candidates should also not be related to any elected official within the second degree of consanguinity.

“So far awan ngamin benefits dagiti SK officials except the SK chairman ket isu iti maysa a makita mi a rason no apay awan unay aginteresado nga agbalin nga opisyales iti Sangguniang Kabataan. Maysa pay ket agub-ubran ken estudyante paylaeng dagiti dadduma,Ms. Duarte said.

However, she stressed that there are still youth who are very active “Para iti pagsayaatan dagiti agtutubo uray awan benefits a maawat da”.

Mariano “Nonong” V. Marcos II, 62

By Bernard Ver

LAOAG CITY – Ilocos Norte Board Member Mariano "Nonong" V. Marcos II, who was running for vice governor in the May 2019 midterm elections, passed away at the age of 62 after a cardiac arrest on the evening of February 15, 2019.

Mr. Marcos was supposed to board a Manila-bound aircraft at the Laoag International Airport when he was found lying on the restroom floor. The door was reportedly locked and was only opened after 15 to 20 minutes.

He was rushed to the Laoag City General Hospital’s emergency room but was declared dead at 9:42 p.m.

Meanwhile, his cousins Ilocos Norte Vice Governor Eugenio Angelo M. Barba and Laoag City councilor Michael M. Keon took him his remains from the hospital and brought it to a funeral chapel here.

The day before his death, he was in Vintar, Ilocos Norte for the provincial government’s Capitol Express. In his speech, he said that he had set a date with his wife Cecilia Araneta and their children on the 16th of February in Manila.

"Parang panaginip...kausap ko lang s’ya kagabi,” Mr. Barba said,

Mr. Marcos was a businessperson and served three terms as Sangguniang Panlalawigan member from 2004-2013. He was on his new first term as SP member. He was the son of Pacifico Marcos, younger brother of former president Ferdinand E. Marcos.

He is survived by his wife Cecilia Araneta and their three children.

Meanwhile, the Ilocos Norte Provincial Capitol flew the Philippine flag at half-mast on the morning of February 18, 2019 in honor of the fallen SP member.

The Marcos family also announced that his remains lie at the Marcos mansion in Batac City until February 19, 2019 before being brought to Manila for interment.

Sources said Mr. Marcos was supposed to board a plane with his nephew, senior SP member Matthew Joseph M. Manotoc, his running mate in the midterm elections on the night he died.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Ilocos Norte gov’t intensifies ‘Capitol Express’ towards end of Bicentennial Year

Laoag City—As the closing of Bicentennial Year draws near, the Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte (PGIN) has intensified the Capitol Express (CapEx), bringing frontline services to the Municipalities of Vintar and Piddig and the City of Batac on January 24, 2019.

Dubbed the “Capitol on Wheels," CapEx aims to deliver social welfare and agricultural services inclusively by reaching even the most remote barangays of the province.

Expressing her gratefulness for the program, Caren Mae Quidilla, Piddig Sangguniang Kabataan chairperson commented, “Madami talaga ang natutulungan ng CapEx. Makikita talaga na ang programang ito ay hindi lang para makatulong kundi eye-opener rin.  Kasi kung marami ang dumadalo, meaning madami pa rin ang mga nangangailangan ng mga ganitong serbisyo.

Advantage namin ito dahil hindi naman lahat ng tao kayang pumunta sa Capitol o sentro para humingi ng tulong,” she added.

Ilocos Norte Vice Governor Eugenio Angelo M. Barba, senior Sangguniang Panlalawigan member Matthew Joseph M. Manotoc, and other provincial officials headed the distribution of more than 100 calamansi seedlings; reading materials for pre-school children; agricultural inputs such as fertilizers, soil conditioners, pesticides; medicines; canes and reading glasses for senior citizens, among others.

Birthday cakes and food packs were also given to elders whose birthdays fall on the month of January.

Ilocos Norte Governor Ma. Imelda Josefa “Imee” R. Marcos initiated the program eight years ago “to bring PGIN and its services to the people for inclusive and sustainable growth of Ilocos Norte.” (Blessing Angel V. Agliam)

Japanese officials join farm festivities in Ilocos Norte

By Leilanie G. Adriano
Staff reporter

Dingras, Ilocos Norte—At least 10 Japanese officials from the garlic capital of Takko in Aomori Prefecture, Japan joined farm festivities at Brgy. Madamba in Dingras, Ilocos Norte as one of the highlights of the month-long celebration of the state-run Mariano Marcos State University’s (MMSU) 41st founding anniversary.

Attended by hundreds of multi-sectoral stakeholders from public, private and non-government entities, the “Parambak Diay Talon”, an Ilokano term which means farm festivities is meant to celebrate good harvest and offer thanksgiving for all the blessings MMSU have reaped throughout the year.

“In Asia, festivities have become part of our culture. We celebrate for so many occasions and these farm festivities express our heartfelt gratitude for all our partners who helped us achieved our goals,” said Dr. Shirley Agrupis, president of the premiere university in northern Philippines.

With invited guests from Japan led by Takko mayor Harumi Yamamoto, the whole-day activity features the launching of MMSU-Dingras as Kalachuchi (plumeria) campus, where around 70 plumeria seedlings were planted around the 14-hectare Dingras campus which shall be known as the horticultural hub of the university.

On the same day, a one-hectare president’s model farm was also launched, enjoining all visitors to pick fruits and vegetables for free.

As a first-time visitor to the Philippines and after experiencing the joy of harvesting lowland vegetables such as onions, squash, string beans and pechay among others, Yamamoto said his agricultural hometown and the province of Ilocos Norte can share their best practices to help each other.

“We may have different culture and weather but we have the same goal. We hope for long friendship and mutual understanding. Do not hesitate to call or come to us and we will give you all the needs you aspire for,” Yamamoto said in his speech as he served as special guest during the event.

Takkomachi in Aomori Prefecture is famed throughout Japan as the nation’s leading producer of garlic.

To date, the Japan International Cooperation Agency has funded the conduct of a feasibility study on the establishment of a community-based garlic enterprise in the province which is meant to improve the lives of garlic producers and provide more opportunities for the people.

In partnership with MMSU and the Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte, the Phase 1 of the garlic feasibility project is expected to take off this year in time for the garlic planting season.

Using MMSU and Japanese technologies to strengthen the garlic industry here, Mrs. Agrupis expressed optimism the province will be able to established one organized and systematic sustainable garlic industry with the help of the different sectors and partners in development.

“We are amazed and grateful for welcoming us as it is our first time to visit Ilocos Norte. 

We look forward to learn more about garlic and identify the needs to be improved,” said Mr. Yamamoto.

For his part, Ilocos Norte Vice Governor Eugenio Angelo M. Barba recognized that through the JICA-funded project, the garlic industry in the province will become more productive and sustainable in the future.

Pulitiko, panawagan ken animal

Umadani manen ti panagpipili.

Ala, narway dagiti nasasayaat a kandidato, ngem ditay maikkat nga agraira met latta dagiti sansilmo a a pulitiko.

Isu a tapno ditay manen a mairubo, intay man amirisen dagiti sumaganad a listaan dagiti “lima” a maipanggep kadagiti pulitiko ken animal.
Ken kas espesyal a ramen daytoy a bilang, pagraramanantay man ti listaan dagiti nasisita a panawagan.

5 a kababalin ti adu a pulitiko:
1. Aguni wenno umisem kenka, maminsan laeng iti kada tallo a tawen.

2. Am-ammo wenno pagayam wenno kabagyannaka, maminsan laeng iti kada tallo a tawen.

3. Addaan ti prinsipyo agpaay kadagiti tao, maminsan laeng iti kada tallo a tawen.

4. Agboluntaryo nga agidonar ti kasapulan dagiti umili, maminsan laeng iti kada tallo a tawen.

5. Mangted ti paglidok ken igatang ti istaltope a pulutan, maminsan laeng iti kada tallo a tawen.

5 a pagsasao maipanggep kadagiti animal:
1. Ti uleg, uray maawanan gita, ulegto latta.

2. Amin a karasaen, nasam-it nga umisem.

3. Ti agtalek kenni alimatek, biagna't maisaltek.

4. Ti kadurbaban a buwaya ket tay dua la't sakana.

5. Laglagipem! Sakbaynaka a lamuten, ti beklat innaka pay laeng arakupen.

5 a nasisita a panawagan:
1. Maawawagan ti imatang ti siasinnoman a nakapidpidot ti "bain". Pangngaasiyo man ta isubliyo kadagiti sadot nga empleado a ti laeng pakakumikumanda ket agawat ti sweldo ken bonus.

2. Maawawagan ti imatang ti siasinno man a nakapidpidot ti "IQ". Pangngaasiyo man ta isubliyo kadagiti agpanpanday-linteg tapno adda met maputarda a pudno a pagsayaatan ti lugartayo.

3. Maawawagan ti imatang ti siasinno man a nakapidpidot ti "delicadesa". Pangngaasiyo man ta isubliyo kadagiti lideres a pagnegosyoda metten dagiti kwarta ti umili.

4. Maawawagan ti imatang ti siasinno man a nakapidpidot ti "buteng". Pangngaasiyo man ta isubliyo kadagiti buwaya nga agpapautang a natured latta a mangrakrak ti linteg ken biag tapno laeng makaakupda ti adu a pirak.

5. Maawawagan ti imatang ti siasinno man a nakapidpidot ti "murmuray". Pangngaasiyo man ta isubliyo kadagiti nalabes unay ti kina-feeling guapoda/beautifulda tapno mariingdan iti kinapudno nga adda darada a gorilla.

Kastan, kailian! Agsasangotayto manen inton umay a lawas. Padaanan ti ad-adu pay a listaan dagiti “lima” ken naduma-duma pay a pagpanpanunutan! Dios agngina!

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.

Ilocos Norte grains retailers say no to SB 1998

By Leilanie G. Adriano
Staff reporter

LAOAG CITY—The Ilocos Norte Grains Retailers Confederation has expressed opposition to Senate Bill 1998, a proposed law seeking the unlimited importation of rice with tariffs to ease rising prices due to the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law.

According to National Food Authority provincial manager Eleonor Andres, a two-page resolution was passed by the officers of GRECON Ilocos Norte Chapter as they appealed to the legislative body to further review the measure and urged President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to veto the alleged deceptive and anti-poor provisions of the rice tariffication bill.

Once passed into law, the NFA provincial manager explained, “The country’s rice industry will be affected as anybody can import rice.” As a result, NFA will be limited to buffer stocking that is only bound to local procurement.

Senate Bill 1998 proposes to amend Republic Act 8178 or the “Agricultural Tariffication Act of 1996” to lift quantitative restrictions that only allows the government to bring rice into the country at a certain volume.

For GRECON Ilocos Norte president Ricarte Corpuz, he believes the bill will allow competition and solve the current problem on spiking rice prices but it will also leave every Filipino at the mercy of the prices in the international market at instances that prices will also soar to high levels just like what is happening to oil and crude industry.

“Without NFA rice available in the market will worsen the situation on rice prices because every businessman’s priority is profit,” he added.

But Sangguniang Panlalawigan member Domingo Ambrocio, chairperson of the committee on agriculture, said the proposed creation of rice fund worth PHP10 billion under the national budget will benefit rice-producing sectors.

He explained the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) which is a key feature in the bill will help farmers’ associations, registered rice cooperatives and local government units, in the form of rice farm equipment to improve farm mechanization.

Meanwhile, the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) will also assist rice farmers in planting inbred rice seeds and engage them in seed production and help them sell improved seed varieties.

Rice farmers in the province also hopes that President Duterte will consider all the possible consequences should there be a need to approved it or not.

In 2018, the NFA was allowed to import rice due to the uncontrollable increase in rice prices.

Some of these imports made their way to Ilocos Norte late last year and were sold in NFA accredited rice outlets at PHP27 per kilo for regular milled and PHP32 for well-milled.

Laoag City execs, SK prexy in hot water for SK fund mess

By Leilanie G. Adriano
Staff reporter

LAOAG CITY—The Sangguniang Kabataan Federated Association in Ilocos Norte bared plans to conduct its own investigation following the discovery of some 79 Laoag SK chairperson who signed a blank payroll while they attended a leadership training at a resort in this city. They were also allegedly made to sign a waiver authorizing the Laoag SK president to collect their travelling expenses.

Ilocos Norte SK Federated President Rafael Medina confirmed this as several SK presidents of Laoag expressed their dismay when they found out that a total of PHP73,075 has been liquidated as their per diem after attending a three-day live in seminar on November 28-30, 2018, which they did not receive.

Through a joint committee hearing of the committees on laws, youth and good government held at the Sangguniang Panlalawigan Session Hall on January 16, 2019, the investigation revealed that the Laoag city government through the Local Youth Development Office and the Office of the Mayor initiated the said seminar entitled “Leadership for Governance Education” with a project cost estimate of PHP325,875 to cover per diem and hotel accommodation of the 79 participants.

In the disbursement voucher of the city government, it shows Laoag SK President Anzhelyka Faye Lao et. al signed the document for a cash advance for the training but there was no indication of the check number, name of the bank and date it was received.

Said document also bears the signature of Laoag City government accountant Edgar Pascual and Laoag Mayor Chevylle V. Fariñas.

In the joint committee hearing attended by the Laoag SK officials, Ms. Lao admitted she signed the liquidation documents but an employee of the city government whom she described as ‘alter ego’ of the mayor took the check after signing it.

In view of this, Sangguniang Panlalawigan member Vicentito M. Lazo said another hearing will be conducted anytime next week and they will invite Sheila de Leon, designated as Market Superintendent at the Laoag City Commercial Center but holding office at the Office of the Mayor and other city government employees who had a hand in processing the liquidation documents of the SK seminar.

Mr. Lazo said these employees mentioned in the January 16, 2019 hearing will be invited by the body to shed light on the issue.

“We have yet to clear the air of the missing PHP90 million funds of Laoag. Until now, the sky has not yet cleared. When will this stop? I don’t have [an] answer to that,” said Mr. Lazo as he clarified that it was not his intention to humiliate the SK.

“I did not scold the SK presidents. Maybe it was their first time to see me and the fact remains that PHP73,075, which should have landed on the hands of 79 SK presidents of Laoag was stolen,” Mr. Lazo underscored.

For his part, the Laoag government’s local youth development officer Hipolito Carlos Salva, Jr. admitted that it was his first time to facilitate the conduct the SK training and sought the help of the mayor’s office, particularly in the processing of financial documents needed.

Friday, February 15, 2019

PESO: K-12 readiness, public career counseling yields 93% boost in on-the-spot hires

Producing job-ready graduates through industry-academe joint efforts.

Laoag City—Out of 2,600 job fair applicants in 2018, a total of 1,178 were successfully hired on-the-spot, records from the Ilocos Norte Public Employment Services Office (PESO) showed.

In 2017, only 256 applicants out of 1,090 (23.49%) were hired immediately during job fairs. A 93% increase in applicants instantly hired was seen in 2018.

These are based on figures from the different job-matching activities held simultaneously during the Bicentennial Celebration in February and the Marcos Fiesta in September, as well as the annual Summer Job Fair, Millennial Job Fair, which caters to senior high school graduates, and the Year-End Job Fair.

Anne Marie Lizette Bitancor-Atuan, PESO head, pointed out, “Lumaki ang mga na-hire last 2018 kasi marami talagang gustong magtrabaho after senior high school (SHS)… May mga job opening tayo na talagang para sa undergraduate at SHS.”

Mrs. Atuan added, “Natulungan din natin sila through career counseling.”

The PESO’s career counseling programs were conducted in partnership with the Department of Education (DepEd) and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in the different secondary schools around the province.

A total of 26,794 students and job aspirants underwent career counseling in 2017. According to Mrs. Atuan, this may have contributed to the employment increase the following year.

Facilitators discussed the top-paying jobs locally and nationwide. Participants were then instructed regarding proper applications procedures and etiquette, including resume- and cover letter-writing, how to present themselves, and how to handle interview questions.

“We also shared tips and advice on how to jumpstart a successful career,” said Mrs. Atuan. (Mizpah Grace G. Castro)