Saturday, March 30, 2019

Ilocos Norte prov’l board issues ‘show cause’ order in LC SK fund mess

By Bernard Ver

Laoag City—The Sangguniang Panlalawigan issued a “show cause” order on February 26, 2019 against several Laoag City government department heads in relation to the alleged missing Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) funds.

releases ‘Show Cause’ order to several Laoag City Department heads on the alleged missing funds of the city government worth PHP73,075.

SP member Vicentito M. Lazo said that the order is in accordance with the law for those concerned individuals to shed light on the issue and to explain their process of liquidation, and provide documents of the SK seminar that transpired in Laoag City in November 2018.

The Laoag government employees invited for the hearing are Diomedes Gayban, Edgar Pascual, Hipolito Salva, Visitasion Rabago, Shiela de Leon, and Lowelyn Acain.

The provincial board gave the city government 15 days to bring the needed documents at the Sangguniang Panlalawigan. The committees on laws, local government, and youth and sports will then study the said documents, which they will then use in the joint hearing.

As it stands, the city government has until March 13, 2019 to comply with the SP show cause order.

The joint committee hearing will resume on March 20, 2019 to continue with the said issue.

Meanwhile, Mr. Lazo warned Laoag SK president Anzhelyka Faye Lao to refrain from posting sentiments on social media and that she should rather ask legal advice from the city government on the said issue.

“The fish is caught by its mouth,” Mr. Lazo noted.

Earlier, several Laoag SK chairpersons protested being included in a seminar where PHP325,875 from the city’s SK funds were used. The youth chairpersons, who did not attend the said seminar were included as PHP73,075 were liquidated as their per diem allowances and for their hotel accommodations.

DOH conducts massive measles vaccination drive in Ilocos Norte

By Leilanie G. Adriano
Staff reporter

LAOAG CITY—Health personnel from the Department of Health are making rounds in various schools and local communities in the province to conduct massive vaccination particularly among athletes participating in the Region 1 Athletic Association (R1AA) Meet.

For the safety of participants, Ilocos Norte’s hosting of the R1AA has been moved to March 6-11, 2019 instead of March 3-8 to give time for the athletes to be vaccinated against measles first.

In a press conference held at the Schools Division of Ilocos Norte on February 28, 2019, Dr. Edwin Monis, medical officer V of the Department of Health-Center for Health Development in Region 1 and area supervisor for measles outbreak response team for Ilocos Norte said Region 1 has already recorded a total of 536 cases of measles with the most number, or 456 cases with 14 deaths in Pangasinan, 45 in La Union, 22 in Ilocos Sur and 13 in Ilocos Norte.

To boost the immunity of the community, the DOH has deployed teams in various parts of the province for the immunization drive.

On February 26, 2019, around 200 athletes both from the elementary and secondary levels were given vaccination with the consent of their parents. Other schools will follow suit this afternoon or until all the concerned athletes will be saturated.

“Our priority for now are the athletes as we also have installed measles fast lanes in all DOH hospitals,” said Mr. Monis as he urged all parents to have their children vaccinated for their protection from the highly-contagious disease caused by a virus.

To date, the DOH along with other government agencies has been on the forefront of the immunization campaign due to the alarming increase in measles-rubella cases in the country.

Its signs and symptoms include cough, runny nose, red eyes or conjunctivitis, fever and skin rashes lasting for more than three days.

On February 26, Ilocos Norte Governor Ma. Imelda Josefa “Imee” R. Marcos wrote a letter address to Dr. Valeriano Jesus V. Lopez, director IV of the Department of Health in Region 1 for the possible postponement of the R1AA and ensure the safety of the Ilocano youth and the local communities who may be affected in case of measles outbreak.

Considering the number of reported cases, Dr. Rheuel Bobis, medical officer III of DOH Region 1 said getting the vaccine is the best to fight the disease.

CLAAP MOA signing

Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer II Vic M. Ines (first from right, first row) leads the signing of memorandum of agreement with the beneficiaries of Convergence on Livelihood Assistance for Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Project (CLAAP). CLAAP is a joint program of the Department of Agrarian Reform and Department of Social Welfare and Development which aims to increase the household income of farmers by developing and improving their agri-business enterprises. Seven agrarian reform beneficiaries’ organizations in Ilocos Norte received assistance from CLAAP. (Jorge Richard P. Guerrero)

Laoag City’s Brgy 23 leads winners in LC’s best barangays search

REPEAT. Brgy. 23 (San Matias) Punong Barangay Primo Jay S. Ramos (center) accompanied by his fellow Brgy. 23 officials receive the PHP75,000 check as prize for repeating as the Cleanest, Greenest and Safest Barangay under the Urban Category for CY 2018 on February 21, 2019 during the ABC Night in time with the Pamulinawen Festival 2019 celebration. (Doms dela Cruz)


By Dominic B. dela Cruz
Staff reporter

Laoag City—This city’s Brgy. 23 (San Matias) led the winners for the annual search for the cleanest, greenest, most Productive and safest barangays for 2018 during the Association of Barangay Councils (ABC) Night held at the LC Multi-Purpose Hall on February 21, 2019 as part of the celebration of the city’s Pamulinawen Festival 2019.

The search is in line with the city’s Oplan Dalus, a pet project of the city government.

Laoag Association of Barangay Councils (ABC) president Mary Michelle Louise “Mikee” V. Fariñas, in her welcome address, thanked all the 80 Barangays in the city of Laoag.

Narigat ti agbalin a barangay official ngem no adda iti pusom iti napudno nga agserbi, awan iti banag a narigat,” the young Fariñas said.

For this year, Brgys. 15 and 23 bagged the top award under the urban category; while Brgys. 55-C Vira, 50 Buttong and 30-B Sta. Maria took the rural barangays awards with a cash prizes of PHP75,000 each plus a trophy.

Brgys. 12, 14, 16, 43 Cavit, 45 Tangid, 53 Rioeng and 55-B Salet Bulangon took second place with a cash prizes of PHP50,000each plus a trophy.

Brgys. 13, 20, 21, 1, 58 Casili, 40 Balatong, 62-A Navotas North and 51-A, Nangalisan East won third place with a cash prizes of PHP30,000,00 plus a trophy.

For the Urban Barangays, finalists were also given cash prizes of PHP10,000 plus a trophy: Brgys. 25 Sta. Cayetana, 10 San Jose, 9 Sta. Angela, 7-A, Nra. Sra. De Natividad, 19 Sta. Marcela, 18 San Quirino, 7-B, Nra. Sra. De Natividad, 11 Sta. Balbina, 8 San Vicente, 4 San Guillermo, 26 San Mauricio, 2 Sta. Joaquina, 29 Santo Tomas, 22 San Andres and 24 Nra. Sra. De Consolacion.

While in the rural barangay category finalists were Brgys. 41 Balacad, 51-B, Nangalisan West, 44 Zamboanga, 52-B Lataag, 48-B Cabungaan South, 61 Cataban, 39 Sta. Rosa, 56-A Bacsil North, 59-B Dibua North, 60-B Madiladig, 60-A Caaoacan,48-A Cabungaan North, 36 Araniw, 56-B Bacsil South, 62-B Navotas South, 46 Nalbo, 35 Gabu Sur and 33-B Lapaz proper.

Barangays 3 Nra. Sra. Del Rosario and 28 San Bernabe for the Rural and 54-B Camangaan, 57 Pila and 52-A San Mateo for the Rural also received PHP50,000 each under the Sustainability Award.

Records show that Brgys. 23 San Matias, 15 San Guillermo and 3 Nra. Sra. De Consolacion bagged the first place; while in the rural category, Brgys. 50 Buttong, 55-C Vira, 57 Pila and 52-A San Mateo were the winners for 2017.

For the school category, winners of the search for the cleanest, greenest and most productive public elementary schools (Big School Category) for CY 2018 are Buttong, Eulalio F. Siazon/Gabu and Cabeza which took first, second and third placers, respectively.

While in the Small School Category, the winners are the Alipio N. Ignacio Memorial, Amarosa and Calayab tied with Faustino Reyes Memorial for the first, second and third places, respectively.

Secondary school category winners are Balatong Integrated School, Ilocos Norte National High School and locos Norte Regional School of Fisheries tied with Gabu National High School for the first, second and third places, respectively.

All the winners received cash prizes of PHP20,000, PHP15,000 and PHP10,000 each for the first, second and third placers, respectively.

Meanwhile, Brgy. 1 San Lorenzo also received a trophy and a certificate being the first runner-up for the Most Outstanding Lupong Tagapamayapa; first place-Child Friendly Barangay; third place (Sustainability)-Best Child Development Center by Ms. Princess Rubio-child development worker; and second place (Sustainability)-Best Child Development Center (Bahay Bulilit) by Ms. Richmelle Venice Sayabat-child development worker.

Brgy. 21 San Pedro was also awarded third place-Best Child Development Center by Ms. Zenaida Eugenio-child development worker; Brgy. 13, Nra. Sra. De Visitacion first place-Best Child Development Center and third place-Child Development Worker by Ms. Rosemarie Mendoza; Brgy. 16 San Jacinto finalist-Child Friendly Barangay; Brgy. 14, Sto. Tomas third place-Child Friendly Barangay and Finalist-Best Child Development Center by Ms. Remedios Mauricio-child development worker; and Brgy. 12 San Isidro Finalist-Most Outstanding Lupong Tagapamayapa and Finalist-Best Child Development Center by Ms. Rose Marie Abella-child development worker.

Brgy. 23 San Matias also received other awards including as finalist-Child Friendly Barangay; first place (Sustainability)-Best Child Development Center; and second place-Best Child Development Worker by Ms. Zenaida Eugenio; Brgy. 15 San Guillermo as finalist-Child Friendly Barangay; Brgy. 3, Nra. Sra. Del Rosario champion-Most Outstanding Lupong Tagapamayapa; second place-Child Friendly Barangay; finalist-Best Child Development Center by Ms. Mary Anne P. Caday-child development worker; Brgy. 25 Sta. Cayetana as finalist-Best Child Development Center by Ms. Marites Ferrer-child development worker; and Brgy. 10 San Jose as finalist-Most Outstanding Lupong Tagapamayapa and finalist-Best Child Development Center by Ms. Rosemarie Mendoza-child development worker.

Brgy. 7-B Nra. Sra. De Natividad as finalist-Best Child Development Center by Ms. Juliet Lamorte-child development worker; Brgy. 4 San Guillermo as finalist-Most Outstanding Lupong Tagapamayapa; Brgy.  29 Sto. Tomas 2do as finalist-Best Child Development Center by Ms. Edna G. Bondoc-child development worker; and Brgy. 24 Nra. Sra. De Consolacion second-Best Child Development Center and first place-Best Child Development Worker by Ms. Nor-Ain Ibrahim. 

For the Rural Barangays they are Brgy. 51-A, Nangalisan East second place-Child Friendly Barangay and first place–(Sustainability) Best Child Development Center by Ms. Jenalyn Garganta-child development worker; Brgy. 40 Balatong second place-Best Child Development Center by Ms. Jennelyn Lagadon-child development worker; Brgy. 55-B, Salet-Bulangon third place-Child Friendly Barangay; Brgy. 53, Rioeng as finalist-Best Child Development Center by Ms. Anderly T. Tagudin-child development worker; Brgy. 30-B, Sta. Maria first place-Child Friendly Barangay and finalist-Best Child Development Center by Ms.  Edna G. Bondoc; Brgy. 55-C, Vira as finalist-Child Friendly Barangay; Brgy. 54-B, Camangaan finalist-Child Friendly Barangay, second place (Sustainability)-Best Child Development Center and second place-Best Child Development Worker by Ms. Marienell Ramos; Brgy. 57 Pila as finalist-Most Outstanding Lupong Tagapamayapa; Brgy. 52-A, San Mateo as finalist-Most Outstanding Lupong Tagapamayapa; Brgy. 41, Balacad first place-Best Child Development Center and third place-Best Child Development Worker by Ms. Fely Aquino; Brgy. 51-B, Nangalisan West as finalist-Child Friendly Barangay; Brgy. 52-B, Lataag as finalist-Child Friendly Barangay; Brgy. 39, Sta. Rosa as finalist-Child Friendly Barangay; Brgy. 56-A, Bacsil North as finalist-Child Friendly Barangay; and Brgy. 59-B, Dibua North as finalist-Most Outstanding Lupong Tagapamayapa, finalist-Child Friendly Barangay and finalist-Best Child Development Center by Ms. Genevie Marie P. Udaundo.

Brgy. 60-B, Madiladig was also awarded third place (Sustainability)-Best Child Development Center-Baldias Cdc by Ms.  Rowena Balicao-child development worker; Brgy. 46 Nalbo as finalist-Best Child Development Center by Ms. Rose Lenlen Antonio-child development Worker; Brgy. 33-B, Lapaz Proper as first place–Best Child Development Worker by Ms. Norlita Antonio; Brgy. 55-A, Barit second runner-up-Most Outstanding Lupong Tagapamayapa; Brgy. 30-A, Suyo third place-Best Child Development Center by Ms. Judelyn Atriginio-child development worker; Brgy. 32-B, La Paz West as finalist-Best Child Development Center by Ms. Norlita Antonio-child development worker; Brgy. 37, Calayab as finalist-Best Child Development Center by Ms.  Janice Bayaca-child development worker; and Brgy. 32-A, Lapaz East as finalist-Best Child Development Center by Ms. Edna Bayang-child development worker.

Brgys. 3, 1 and 55 Barit were also awarded last year as the Best Lupong Tagapamayapa winners for the first, second and third placers respectively with cash prizes of PHP25,000, PHP20,000 and PHP15,000, respectively.

The winners were assessed on their Efficiency in operations discernible through observance of settlement procedures and settlement deadlines, systematic maintenance of records, timely submission of records to concerned agencies and the conduct of monthly meetings exclusively on KP; Effectiveness in securing the settlement of interpersonal dispute objectives the KP program measurable through quantity of settled cases against cases filed, quality of settlement of cases and at least 80 percent compliance with the terms of settlement or awards ; and Creativity and resourcefulness of Lupong Tagapamayapa in terms of settlement technique, coordination with concerned agencies relating to disputes filed and sustained information drive to promote Katarungang Pambarangay.  

Laoag Mayor Chevylle V. Fariñas, for her part, congratulated all the winners and non-winners for she believed that all of them did their best for the betterment of their respective barangays.

Mrs. Fariñas said that it is not based on the highest education that leads to a better institution or leadership but it’s is through good and honest public service.

Saan nga iti kinangato ti adal ken kinalatak iti mangipatungpal iti proyekto wennnu programa. Saan nga agballaygi iti maysa a gobyerno local gapu laeng iti nangato ken nalatak a nagan. Iti ballaygi iti anyaman nga local government units ket adda kadakayo ken adda iti tumunggal maysa kadakayo,” Mrs. Farinas noted.

Friday, March 29, 2019

Currimao riding wave of change? New mayoralty candidate scores big in online polls

Laoag City—A Facebook poll conducted February 11-18, 2019 by radio station DZJC shows entrepreneur Edward “Boyet” Quilala amassing 72 percent of the votes in the mayoralty race for the Municipality of Currimao. He is running against incumbent Mayor Gladys Go Cue who obtained a 28 percent vote share in the survey participated in by over 1,200 netizens. An online poll conducted earlier, January 28-February 4, 2019, by The Ilocos Times also saw Mr. Quilala winning over Mrs. Cue, with the former obtaining 58 percent of the almost 3,000 votes cast.

In an interview with The Ilocos Times, Mr. Quilala expressed his gratitude for the very strong support he has been getting from his townmates. Reading from the poll comments and through his personal interactions with Currimaoeños, Mr. Quilala surmised that “Nabannogda metten” [They have grown tired] and that they are crying for change.

However, while Mr. Quilala is appreciative of the snowballing support, he says he is careful not to be too optimistic.

“I do not have the pretentions na magaling kasi ako o sikat ako, hindi e, wala sa akin ‘yan; nagkataon lang na nagsawa na siguro ang mga tao sa kanila at ako lang naglakas-loob na magprisinta upang may mapagpilian ang mga tao.”

Mr. Quilala ran as councilor in 2004, but did not make the cut. He ranked ninth, just a notch away from the winning circle.

Pero iba ngayon, ramdam na ramdam mo talaga ‘yung suporta ng mga tao,” he noted.

If elected, he says he will work very hard to lead the people in ushering Currimao towards progress and inclusiveness.

“With its many gifts and resources, there is no reason Currimao could stagnate,” he mused. Mr. Quilala's running mate is Kent Raguindin, an incumbent Currimao councilor.

Boyet is the son of Cirilo Quilala, who served as Currimao mayor from 1965 to 1986. When local elections were held in 1988 after the transition to a new constitution during the Aquino presidency, Wilbur, a son of the Go family, was elected as mayor, with family members taking turns in succeeding him from office for 31 years.

While he is not the official candidate of the Marcoses, Mr. Quilala, who is running under the Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino, says he will always be fully supportive to the Marcoses, having known them since his childhood, with his father being one of the staunchest supporters of former President Ferdinand E. Marcos.

DZJC Aksyon Radyo Laoag, one of the oldest and most popular radio stations in Ilocos Norte, uses social media to gather public opinion on relevant social issues. The Currimao survey forms part of a series of online polls the radio station is conducting for the various local posts in the province and its cities and municipalities. Previous DZJC online polls showed Matthew Joseph M. Manotoc winning big (90%) in the Ilocos Norte gubernatorial race against Rodolfo C. Fariñas, Michael M. Keon posting victory (58%) over incumbent mayor Chevylle Fariñas in the mayoralty contest in Laoag City, Reynaldo “Ryan” Remigio surging ahead (71%) in the first district congressional race over Christina “Ria” Fariñas, and Ilocos Norte Vice Governor Eugenio Angelo M. Barba posting a 55.2% win in the three-way contest for Ilocos Norte’s second congressional district.

Facebook polls are an informal way of getting the public pulse. While they are different from scientifically conducted surveys conducted on the ground, they provide insights on candidates’ online following and likeability.

Laoag City councilor files notice of appeal at CA

By Bernard Ver

Laoag City--Laoag councilor Roger John C. Fariñas II filed a notice of appeal at the Court of Appeals opposing the decision of a lower court in Ilocos Norte after it sided with the Sangguniang Panlalawigan in invalidating the city’s cockpit ordinance.

According to Mr. Fariñas, he does not agree with the decision of the court thru Judge Francisco Quilala of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 14 favoring the Ilocos Norte Board on the issue of ‘Ultra Vires [beyond powers]’ in bringing the city ordinance to a halt.

“I respect the court's decision… it has the only power to do so, yet, I filed an appeal in the Court of Appeals for further review on the case”, Mr. Fariñas said

Two years ago, the city council passed an ordinance giving Mr. Alejandro “Bong” Taylan a franchise-to-operate the cockpit arena in Laoag. The provincial board, however rejected the said ordinance upon review due to “deficiency of requirements, thus invalidating the Laoag ordinance.

In view of this, SP member Da Vinci Crisostomo, the SP’s committee on laws chairperson, said he and his colleagues will accept whatever the CA’s decides on this issue.

Typhoon ‘Ompong’ victims receive P9.24M fishing gears

Typhoon Ompong lashes the province. (File photo)

By Leilanie G. Adriano
Staff reporter

LAOAG CITY—Various fisherfolk associations in the coastal city and towns of Ilocos Norte received various fishery livelihood projects on February 19, 2019 courtesy of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR).

Composed of 56 payaos and two gillnets, BFAR Regional Field Office I Director Lilibeth L. Signey handed them to the beneficiaries in a simple turn over ceremony held at the Centennial Arena, this city.

The fishermen association of Pasuquin who were among those hit hard by typhoon “Ompong” got 16 payaos and gillnets worth PHP2.7 million next to Laoag’s PHP1.59 million worth of fishing gears; Pagudpud and Currimao received gears worth PHP1.2 million each.

Other recipients include fisherfolk associations in the towns of Bangui, Burgos, Bacarra, Badoc and Paoay.

“We are thankful for the government support. This is a big help for us to boost our livelihood,” said Brgy. Puyupuyan [Pasuquin] chairperson Ronald Peralta.

As part of BFAR’s program to empower marginalized fisherfolks, the agency is giving various fishing aid to them to ensure that they will no longer resort to illegal fishing and other means that destroy coastal resources.

While the government is slowly getting away from dole-outs, Ms. Signey also told fishers in the province there are non-collateralized loans which they can take advantage of through cooperative banks, cooperatives, farmers and fisherfolk organizations, non-government organizations (NGOs) as lending conduits.

With a minimum interest of 6% per annum, qualified applicant/s can avail up to PHP50,000 depending on the agri-fishery production project to be financed.

Insurable agri-fishery commodities financed under the Production Loan Easy Access (PLEA) facility may be covered with crop insurance by the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC).

A child born in the heart

Bauang, La Union—In 2006, Asuncion and Oliver Kenneth DeLong are living a happy married life in Kentucky, United States of America, but something has been missing over the past three years of marriage. Having a child has always been important to the couple, particularly to Asuncion, a Filipina who values a strong sense of family relationship. Oliver, a retired American military, together with her wife has been constantly praying to give them a child but unluckily, it was all unanswered.  

Exactly on their third wedding anniversary, a video call from the Philippines was received by the couple. Asuncion’s mother showed to them a newly-born baby girl who was voluntarily given up for adoption by her displaced biological parents. Due to the excitement of Asuncion’s mother, she immediately went to the local civil registry of this municipality to register the baby girl whom they named Kendall Ann DeLong. However, Asuncion and Oliver found the process inappropriate. Despite living in the USA, the couple exerted their efforts to contact social workers in the Philippines to make the adoption legitimate. Asuncion searched the DSWD Field Office 1 website and contacted the Department. Through the phone, she was accommodated by a social worker to facilitate the adoption. Once the decision had been made to begin the adoption process, the couple decided to go back to the Philippines. Through closely coordinating with DSWD, Asuncion and Oliver officially became the parents of Kendall.

Asuncion recalled, “In the beginning, I had this reservation to give my full attention to Kendall because I got jealous of her because my husband had more time for the child. But as days passed by, I found out that Kendall is a lovable and smart kid, my love for her naturally blossomed for a lifetime.” When the couple decided to stay for good in the country, Oliver went back to Kentucky to sell their house. However, an unexpected circumstance happened. Oliver died due to an aortic aneurysm, an enlargement of an artery caused by weakness in the arterial wall that leads to internal bleeding. “I was shaken by my husband’s death. I was lost. I had also this predicament on how to rear our child singlehandedly,” Asuncion narrated.

Since life must go on, Asuncion bravely raised her child by nurturing her with true compassion. “One day, my 7-year-old Kendall went home crying because she got bullied by her playmates. She asked me if she is an ampon,” shared Asuncion—a question that she was ready to answer anytime. “We [with late Oliver] are not your biological parents, but you were born in my heart. We love you dearly and you made me whole,” the loving mother said to her daughter.  If there is anything Asuncion would like the public to know, she would encourage legal adoption to spread unconditional love to neglected and/or abandoned children who need true and caring families who will stand beside them for their entire lives.

“Genuine love is really what matters most when adopting a child,” she added. Asuncion also shared that there is no definite formula when to tell a child that he/she is adopted. “Once a child learns that he/she is adopted, reveal his/her true identity. The earlier children discover about the truth, the easier for them to accept the reality and create their own stories,” she said. Adoption adds dimension to identity formation, and late discovery can be devastating.

Today, the 10-year old Kendall is a Grade 4 pupil in a Christian School in the City of San Fernando, La Union. She loves to discover things on her own. “Just like any other child, my daughter also commits mistakes, but I am here to guide her throughout her life to become the person she wants to be,” Asuncion said. She also shared her secret in raising Kendall to be a God-fearing child. “Train a child the way he/she should go, and when he/she is old, he/she will not depart from it,” finally she shared.       

From 2009 to January 2019, there are 307 surrendered, neglected, and abandoned children in Region 1 who are declared legally available for adoption. (Darwin T. Chan)

DAR awards CLOA to 711 beneficiaries in Ilocos Norte

By Leilanie G. Adriano
Staff reporter

LAOAG CITY—The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) distributed on a total of 1,614 certificates of land ownership award (CLOA) to 711 farmer beneficiaries in Ilocos Norte.

Covering a total land area of 583.6947 hectares in the towns of Bacarra, Badoc, Banna, Burgos, Batac, Marcos, Paoay, Piddig, San Nicolas, Sarrat, Pasuquin, Bangui, Pagudpud and Vintar, Atty. John R. Castriciones, DAR Secretary said in an interview it was a long tedious process but with the convergence of all concerned government authorities, the intended farmer beneficiaries finally got hold of their CLOAs on February 22, 2019.

As he climbed up the stage to receive an authentic copy of his land title at the Laoag Centennial Arena, 84-year old Isidro V. Calma Jr. from Bacarra said he is thankful that at last, he has acquired an evidence that he is indeed the owner of a 1,395 square meter lot his father has long tilled when he was younger.

Under the extended Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program of DAR, Mr. Castriciones reported they have lined up a series of CLOA distribution in various parts of the country in compliance to President Duterte’s directive to fast-track the distribution of the remaining land to landless farmers.

As the DAR secretary led the distribution in a simple ceremony attended by Ilocos Norte Vice Governor Eugenio Angelo M. Barba and other officials of the DAR Region I, he reiterated to the beneficiaries not to sell their parcels of lands and use it to nurture their source of living.

“The CARP was designed to address social injustices. We have seen farmers joining a lot of movements to question seemingly injustice which has not been addressed in the past. We hope that you will take good care of it and let your children inherit from you,” Mr. Castriones said citing the Duterte administration believes one way of solving insurgency problem is to give land to farmers.

In 2018, DAR Undersecretary for Field Operations Karlo S. Bello reported that the DAR has distributed CLOAs for 60,777 hectares of land to a total of 41,287 CARP-beneficiaries.

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Child Rights Network visits Ilocos Norte

By Bernard Ver

LAOAG CITY—The Child Rights Network (CRN) held a policy caravan on child protection issues at the Northwestern University in this city on February 13, 2019.

The caravan engaged universities around the country to raise awareness on child abuse, especially child rape with the help of the Philippine Legislators’ Committee on Population and Development.

In lieu of Ilocos Norte Governor Ma. Imelda Josefa 
“Imee” R. Marcos, Atty. Saul Lazo, in her speech, said that "The provincial government of Ilocos Norte is continuously supporting the advocacies of the national government’s child protection program."

According to data from the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), there are at least one in five children suffering traumatic experience during their childhood.

Meanwhile, businessman and child rights advocate Reynaldo “Ryan” R. Remigio shared his thoughts on the impact caused of child abuse, especially rape cases, that is rampantly growing in the country.

According to Mr. Remigio, the Ilocos Norte Police Provincial Office 2018 data shows that there are 47 rape victims, 7 incest rape victims, one attempted rape victim, seven acts of lasciviousness victims, one anti-voyeurism victim, one child trafficking victim, and three alleged violators of the Child Abuse Act.

He added that, “Our children have become more vulnerable because we as a society have undermined the importance of proper guidance and forging close relationships with the young.”

CRN’s mission is to engage legislators, civil society groups, children, and other stakeholders in the development and enactment of child-responsive laws and policies nationwide.

This year, the group is fighting the proposal in the House of Representatives to increase the age to determine statutory rape in the Philippines to balance the lowering of criminal responsibility from age 18 to 12.

Also present in the forum were different stakeholders in Ilocos Norte, and students of Mariano Marcos State University and Divine Word College of Laoag.

Kararag ken misteryo

Ti kararag ket isu ti kangrunaan nga igamtayo iti panagbiag. Isu’t dalan ti pannakagun-od kadagiti ar-araraw ken kalikagumtayo.

Ngem saan nga amin nga iyareng-engtayo babaen ti kararag ket matungpal. Adda dagiti saan a maikkan ti sungbat gapu ta saan a maikanatad dagiti linaunda.

Intay man pagsasangnguan ti listaan dagiti kararag a saan nga umno. Itartarustay metten a pagraramanan dagiti naduma-duma a misteryo iti panagbiag

5 a kararag a saan nga umno:

1. Apo, ikararaganmi man dagiti tsimoso ken tsimosa. Sapay koma ta pagbalinem a kimmot dagiti ngiwngiwatda, nga agungap laeng no umiblengda. Tapno imbes a sabali a tao ti inda mirmiraen, dagiti laeng bukodda a bangsit ti maang-angotda.

2. Apo, ikararaganmi man dagiti traysikelan a saan nga agilugan ti maymaysa. Sapay koma ta no nasursurok ngem maysa ti pasaherosda, bumtak amin a ligay ken matukkol ti sidecar ti tricycleda. Kasta koma, Apo, agingga a masursuroda ti mangrespetar kadagiti pagbibiaganda a pasaheros.

3. Apo, ikararaganmi man dagiti managsigarilyo iti publiko. Sapay koma ta umun-unada nga agrunot ngem dagiti nutnutnutenda. Sapay koma ta umun-unada a maibus ngem ti nagyan ti maysa a pakete ti sigarilyo. Ta kakaasi met, Apo, dagiti paypayugpoganda a saan nga agsigsigarilyo a mairamraman a madaddadael ti salun-atda.

4. Apo, ikararaganmi man dagiti agpatpatnag nga agvid-videoke. Sapay koma ta matilmonda ta mirkopono a pagir-iryakanda uray matmaturogen ultimo dagiti padada a mangmangkik. Sapay koma ta no kada panagdesintonadoda, alun-unen ida ti mismo a videoke machine. Tapno maanalisarda a makaistorbo ti bosesda a kaasping ti agkikiak a kuriat wenno agpaparaw a bullfrog.

5. Apo, ikarkararaganmi man dagiti PTA (Pirak Ti Apoda). Sapay koma ta sinsilyo laengen ti mailasinda a kwarta, tapno makitada ti kinababa ti balor ti buwaya a kinataoda. Ket no ikaryoda latta ti agakup ti sangabantay a sinsilyo, daytoy koman ti manggabor ken manglemmes kadakuada.

P. S. Saan nga umno dagitoy a karkararag, apo, ta kayarigandan ti lunod. Ngem mabalin met nga ikabesayo for emergency purposes. Ta saan met a dagiti naadat a balikas ti denggen ti Namarsua, no di ket dagiti sansaning-i ti puso nga agsagsagaba.

5 a misteryo ti biag:

1. Apay ngata? No siasinno pay ti istambay, isuna pay ti kadaklan labay.

2. Apay ngata? No siasinno pay ti kaadduan naganab, isuna pay ti addaan reklamo a maitarabitab.

3. Apay ngata? No siasinno pay ti adda iti babaen, isuna pay ti pumorma a kasla diodiosen.

4. Apay ngata? No siasinno pay ti agkasapulan tulong, isuna pay ti dumayamudom.

5. Apay ngata? No siasinno pay ti managparabur, isuna pay ti maipuor.

Ala kastan, kailian. Agkikitatayto manen inton umay a lawas para iti sabali pay a bansada dagiti listaan ti panagbiag. Dios ti 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.

INEC joins ‘Black Valentine’ protest vs DOE


By Dominic B. dela Cruz
Staff reporter

Dingras, Ilocos Norte—With Dept. of Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi recommending the cancellation and revocation of 17 electric cooperatives in the entire country, the Ilocos Norte Electric Cooperative here joined 121 other electric cooperatives in the simultaneous “Black Valentine” protest on February 14, 2019

As a result, all INEC sub-stations held a “special flag ceremony” with all their employees wearing black shirts to express their opposition to Mr. Cusi’s recommendation.

The protest was mainly in reply to an advisory released by the Philippine Rural Electric Cooperatives Association (PHILRECA) Inc. which encouraged all electric cooperatives to join and participate in the “Black Valentine” and “Black Friday” Protest to depict that all ECs organizations and all their allies are “mourning over the inimical acts of DOE secretary Cusi who also endorsed the approval of the HB 9179 and making ways to revoke the franchise of electric coops and the acts of the Congress in approving the House Bill 8170 which will pave ways to demise of the missionary electrification program of the electric coops”.

The protest will continue every Friday, hence the “Black Friday” protest, until the “hostile action” against electric cooperatives stops.

A black flag beneath the Philippine flag at their respective flag pole was also displayed by every electric cooperative as part of the protest.

In a letter, also from PHILRECA, general manager/executive director Atty. Janeene Depay-Colingan to all electric cooperative managers, it is still deemed necessary that all the ECs need to “express and stage the protest against the injustices being thrown to the movement” despite Mr. Cusi’s withdrawal of the recommendation days after its submission.

Ms. Depay-Colingan said the protest “defends and fights” for all electric cooperatives because it has been placed under public scrutiny and has caused damage to the movement’s public image.   

INEC general manager Engr. Felino Herbert P. Agdigos said the “Black Valentine” protest aims to magnify the gripe of all electric cooperatives in the country over the “discriminatory treatment” of Mr. Cusi towards the 17 electric cooperatives which he recommended for franchise revocation.

If this happens, Mr. Agdigos said, this would “eventually and possibly lead to the precedence for the revocation of the other electric cooperatives franchises and be invaded by private businessmen”.

He said that the protest increases the awareness of the member-consumer-owner (MCO) and the public about the “unfriendly move” of the DOE secretary.

Father, defender
Mr. Agdigos also expressed his dismay because DOE is supposed to be the “father” and “defender” of electric cooperatives but it turned out to be the opposite. 

These 17 electric cooperatives are: the Zamboanga City EC, Davao Norte EC, Basilan EC, Sulo EC, Tawi-Tawi EC, Maguindanao EC and Lasureco all in Mindanao; Abra EC, Pampanga EC, Occidental Mindoro EC, Oriental Mindoro EC, Palawan EC, Camarines Sur EC, Albay EC, Masbate EC, 1st Catanduanes EC and Tablas Island EC in Luzon. 

The protest will also re-enforce the opposition of the electric cooperatives against the approval of Congress to the House Bill 8179 otherwise known as the Solar Para Sa Bayan Corporation Franchise all over the Philippines to construct, operate and maintain a micro grid distribution system which is now under deliberation at the Senate.  

Mr. Agdigos assured that INEC will continue to be managed well in order to protect the said coop and at the same time follow the laws, rules, regulations and guidelines set by the NEA.

Owned by members
Likewise, Mr. Agdigos wanted to share and empower the MCOs, being part and owner of the coop’s management.

“INEC is a non-profit and non-stock cooperative and if these franchises will be revoked and be given to private entities, they earn profits, and definitely the rates will be affected ket ngumato iti rate iti kuryente no isuda iti mang operate,” Mr. Agdigos said as he cited this as an effect in case the cancelation pushes through.   

Mr. Agdigos added that private entities like Meralco charges much higher power rates compared to INEC. He said learned that last week, Meralco increased their rates because of generation charges.

Reports show that Meralco rate for this month is around PHP10 per kilowatt hour compared with INEC which only charges PHP7.50 per kilowatt hour only.

INEC board president Enrico Ruiz, for his part, said the MCOs are the present owners of the cooperative and if big businessmen enters, “Namnamaen tayon ton nga saan tayo a makapag boses ton nga kasla toy ar-aramiden tayo ita” which will definitely affect the interest of the MCOs.

Mr. Ruiz added that INEC is a consistent awardee as “Mega Large Triple A Cooperative” which is the highest award given by NEA, which speaks for itself that INEC is performing very well, and We are ready anytime to show proofs or documents that would show and proof that INEC has that good standing”.

Condemning the act
Mr. Ruiz also announced that the board passed a resolution in support of the move of PHILRECA and NEA because of the “discriminatory acts” of DOE.

Mr. Agdigos disclosed that INEC only condemned the act of Mr. Cusi and that they are not calling for his resignation.

Mr. Ruiz likewise said that resignation is a personal act and the MCO’s only wanted him to listen to the voice of the electric cooperatives.

In line with this, PHILRECA Board Resolution was approved condemning the acts of Mr. Cusi for his “betrayal of the government’s genuine total electrification program and his treacherous endorsement on the revocation of franchise of 17 electric cooperatives without due process”.  

On January 11, 2019, Mr. Cusi recommended to the House of Representatives through Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo the revocation of franchise of the 17 cooperatives.

These, according to Mr. Cusi, 17 electric cooperatives are “underperforming and financially distressed”.

In the Board Resolution, the recommendation of Mr. Cusi essentially and effectively disregarded the coops’ sacrifices during the last four to five decades where the partnership of electric cooperatives and the National Electrification Administration (NEA) has successfully energized 78 provinces (100%), 1,475 cities and municipalities (100%), 36,057 Barangays (99%), 123,198 sitios (83%) and 12,713 million households’ connections (85%).

Said resolution also states that if Mr. Cusi’s intention is for genuine total electrification, the best approach is to support the ECs by rehabilitating and not disenfranchising them.

Mr. Cusi’s action clearly showed that he is favoring and supporting private for-profit corporations with absolutely nothing to very little experience in electrification.

The PHILRECA Board unanimously agreed that Mr. Cusi’s recent action was more of a hindrance if not outright obstruction and betrayal of the government’s total electrification program.    

Meanwhile, Mr. Agdigos also took the opportunity to announce that INEC “strongly supports” PHILRECA as the coop’s party list this coming national elections.

PHILRECA is the national association of the 121 electric cooperatives throughout the entire Philippine archipelago.

PHILRECA was previously named as the Federation of Electric Cooperatives of the Philippines (FECOPHIL).

It was organized on July 1, 1979 as a non-stock and non-profit organization registered both with the NEA and SEC.