Thursday, May 30, 2019

Nueva Era fuses ‘Oggayam’ in HS curriculum

By Dominic B. dela Cruz
Staff reporter

Nueva Era, Ilocos Norte—As one of the cultural communities in the province of Ilocos Norte, the municipality of Nueva Era has integrated Tingguians’ traditional “Oggayam” in Nueva Era National High School (NENHS) curriculum.

NENHS senior high school coordinator Geralyn Nabaysa said the Oggayam is now being taught in all high school levels of the said school.

Ms. Nabaysa said the Oggayam integration in their curriculum helps preserve their culture. She disclosed that Tingguians, an indigenous peoples (IP) group in this town, comprise at least 80% of their school population.

She added that the integration was based on a study made on the students, and which was presented last year in the first Singapore Institute of Multidisciplinary Research Festival held in Taguig City

The Ilocos Times learned that of the 150 studies presented, the NENHS-owned research entitled “Effectiveness of Simulation in Developing the Student’s Skills in Chanting the Oral Tradition “Oggayam” of the Tingguians” were recognized as a “Reviewers Choice Awardee” from the 11 qualified studies.   

“Our study aims to develop the oral skills of the Tingguian youths as well as revitalizing their connection into their Tingguian oral tradition through simulation trainings assisted by the local chanters in the community,” Ms. Nabaysa explained.

Relative to this, Ms. Nabaysa also noted that the school continuously bring Tingguian elders to the school to personally teach the students the proper skills in chanting and reciting the Oggayam.

“We are very lucky to have the opportunity of creating something significant for my fellow Tingguian youths especially [in] our own Tingguian community because the oral tradition Oggayam is obviously fading because our elders who are very competent of the oral tradition are getting old,” Grade 12 student Judielle Mae T. Inong said.

Ms. Inong further stressed that this endeavor would help in the preservation of their culture since the younger generations would learn the proper chanting skills.

NENHS head teacher Henry Langgisan admitted that oral tradition like Oggayam is really fading in this town wherein Tingguian elders are already hard to locate, especially during special occasions where they are needed to join and participate.

“This is the reason why we started to train the students more so that I am also a Tingguian by blood,” Mr. Langgisan said.

Mr. Langgisan usually performs the Oggayam during special occasions in this town.

The Oggayam is a kind of song, which is commonly sang by leaders to celebrate a certain occasion dressed in their native attire and own dialect. It originally comes from the colorful culture of people from Ilocos and Kalinga.

Group collects 200 kgs of trash on Earth Day

Worst pollutants. Volunteers gather the cigarette butts they collected from the Badoc beach. 

By Leilanie G. Adriano
Staff Reporter

Badoc, Ilocos Norte—A group of youth volunteers from Ilocos Norte and neighboring Ilocos Sur jointly conducted a coastal clean-up on Sunday at the La Virgen Milagrosa cove in this town, picking up 4,538 pieces of cigarette butts and at least 238 kilograms of non-biodegradable wastes.

While encouraging everyone to learn to protect the environment, Patricia Dacanay-Diaz, president of the Movement Against Plastic Pollution (MAPP) in Ilocos Norte has reminded beach goers to dispose of their garbage properly.

According to Ms. Diaz, most of the collected non-biodegradable trashes came from picnickers and smokers who are apparently careless about the world they live. 

In time for the Earth Day celebration, the MAPP mostly composed of young environment activists together with the Amianan Outdoor Recreation Group, Ballog Adventures and Let’s Better Ilocos Sur organized the activity dubbed as “We Love Ilocoast: An Earth Day coastal and underwater clean-up where north meets south”.

“Together with more than 76 volunteers, we managed to collect 14 full sacks of non-biodegradable trashes from the coast, two sacks underwater, equating to 237.9 kilos; and 4,538 pieces of cigarette butts,” she reported in her social media account.

According to a new environment study, cigarette butts—not plastic straws—are the worst contaminant of oceans.

This is because used cigarette butts are full of toxins, which can leach into the ground and waterways, damaging living organisms that come into contact with them.

Cigarette butts are composed of cellulose acetate, a form of plastic, which can take an estimated two to 25 years to decompose.

“Cigarette butts may seem small, but with several trillion butts littered every year, the toxic chemicals add up! Smoking is already bad for your health, don’t make it bad for the environment as well,” Ms. Diaz underscored.

OWWA RWOI, Pangasinan PDRRMO conduct WASSAR training to OFC leaders in Region I

Lingayen, PangasinanOFW [overseas Filipino workers] Family Circle (OFC) leaders and representatives in Ilocos Region are now capable in responding and providing first line assistance in case of emergency and disaster after they went through an intensive four-day training on water safety search and rescue (WASAR) held on April 10-13, 2019 at Narciso Sports Complex, Lingayen, Pangasinan.

The Pangasinan Provincial Disaster and Risk Reduction Management Office (PDRRMO), headed by Maricar D. Palang, Argie B. Gattoc and WASAR trainers Mario R. Lopez, Rigor C. Demoral and Jimmy M. Pastor, acted as learning service providers on the aforementioned training.

WASAR training is the second part of the “Basic Life Support and Disaster Preparedness” that OFC leaders need to undergo to empower them to respond in their areas in times of calamities.

The first part was the Disaster Preparedness, Risk Management and First Aid or Basic Life Support-CPR Training held on October 19-20, 2018 on the same venue.

The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) is mandated to be responsive to the needs of the Overseas Filipino Workers and their families. The region is prone to heavy flooding, specifically in the low-lying areas of Pangasinan. Upland areas like those in La Union and Ilocos Norte are prone to landslides and soil erosion while coastal areas are likely to experience storm surges. This is mainly the reason why OWWA Regional Welfare Office I conceptualized this training for its OFC leaders, to capacitate them on Basic Life Support and Disaster Preparedness and for them to cascade to their members.

During the course of the training, participants were given basic swimming lessons for non-swimmers and beginners and advance swimming lessons for those who are capable to swim. They were also given series of survival knot tying demos and intensive lecture-demos on proper way of water search and rescue and survival. On last day of the training, participants had a realistic return-demo and applied what they have learned throughout the training.

At the end of the training, 17 OFC leaders/participants were given WASAR completion certificate, which means they could be accredited by the Philippine Coast Guard as water rescuers.

A total of 60 OFC leaders and representatives attended the training. All of them showed enthusiasm in the training for they are all serious in taking the responsibility as first aiders in their respective communities. Participants were all given certificate of attendance, survival kits and tokens at the end of the training.

OWWA Regional Welfare Office I hopes the participants will be able to apply their learnings as the need arises. (OWWA)

Ilocos Norte welcomes 5% more tourists for Holy week

By Leilanie G. Adriano & Bernard B. Ver

Laoag City—The Ilocos Norte Tourism Office said the province welcomed an estimated 483,778 domestic and foreign day visitors during the Holy Week.

The INTO figures represent a 5.3% increase in tourist arrivals compared to the same period last year.

A Few weeks before the Holy Week, tourism stakeholders in various parts of the province has already beef up their supply for the expected influx of tourists.

Report from the Ilocos Norte Tourism Office (INTO) showed a total of 483,778 visitors. These were monitored by tourist aides assigned in more than 42 tourism destinations of Ilocos Norte.

“Our tourist arrivals for the Holy Week is another blockbuster considering other new destinations that we promoted this year,” said provincial tourism officer Aian Raquel referring to the sunflower farm in Piddig and the newly-inaugurated Siwawer Eco-Tourism Nature Park in Vintar which features extreme sports adventure and the first bike zipline in Ilocos region.

Major hotels, homestays and other accommodation facilities also reported they were all fully-booked during Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, or an average of 72 percent accommodation for this summer season.

According to INTO, this tourism peak is expected to carry on until June and July.

Like in previous years, the giant windmills located at the Bangui Bay topped the highest number of visitors during the Holy Week season, followed by the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Saint Augustine Church in Paoay, Ilocos Norte. The blue lagoon in Pagudpud, Kapurpurawan Rocks Formation in Burgos and the sand dunes of Suba, Paoay were also included in the Top 5 most visited attraction in Ilocos Norte.

Visitors at the Marcos Presidential Center and museum which consistently received a high number of arrivals in previous years had significantly declined since the remains of the late Pres. Ferdinand E. Marcos was buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. 

Ilocos Norte’s steady peak of tourist arrivals only shows that we are doing well in promotions, said Mr. Raquel as he underscored some local government units in the province are also aggressive in improving their respective municipalities to attract more tourists in the area.

He also added that the new school calendar will also add to “the total number of visitors will continuously rise in the incoming days as the vacation for schools is extended based on the new school calendars”.

Vintar road construction, 90% done—DPWH

By Dominic B. dela Cruz
Staff reporter

Laoag City—The Vintar road construction in this city is now 90% complete.

This was announced by construction section chief Engr. Romeo Bartolome of the Department of Public Works and Highways-1st Engineering District.

Mr. Bartolome explained that the project, which began in 2018, was delayed until this year because of heavy traffic and the rainy season.

The 700-meter Vintar road project starts from General Luna Street to the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) building and includes the replacement of a bridge.

The project was funded under the General Appropriations Act (GAA) by the national government with a PHP25 million amount.

The said project also includes 16 solar lights.

Mr. Bartolome appealed to the public to be more cooperative due to traffic congestion brought out by the construction.

The Ilocos Times learned that this road has been a perennial problem for motorists due to its destroyed concrete pavements.

The DPWH-INED I proposed the construction of the said project in 2017 but the budget was only approved in 2018.

Napalalo a ragsak mi ta iti kabayag nan nga ur-urayen mi iti pannakatarimaan na daytoy a kalsada ket maaramiden ta ngamin dakkel a perdisyon mi ta perdien na iti guma iti lug-lugan gapu iti abot-abot wennu lasong-lasong a klase iti kalsada,” several tricycle drivers said in a random interview.

The road is one of the busiest streets in the city as it connects to the Camp Valentin S. Juan, the provincial jail, Land Transportation Office, Provincial Health Office, Philippine Red Cross, the Laoag City Schools Division Office and to the town of Vintar.

Gilbert bridge
Meanwhile, Mr. Bartolome also said that the asphalting of the approach of the north of the Gilbert Bridge is as still a part and continuation of the Gilbert Bridge rehabilitation funded by the DPWH regional office.

“Daytoy naputol a kuna yo agpayso ta iti naggapuan na a fundo ket daydi na generate idiay savings daydi pannaka tarimaan ta Gilbert Bridge ngem ituloy to met laeng iti INED no addan to pondo iti 2019 wennu 2020,” Mr. Bartolome explained.

Bypass road lighting
DPWH-INED I assistant district engineer Richard Ragasa meanwhile, also announced that they have already requested funding for the lighting of the bypass road.

Mr. Ragasa hopes that the lighting project will be implemented this year until next year because this year’s GAA has not yet been finally approved by the President.

The lighting project will be solar-designed to conserve energy, Mr. Ragasa added.

He also disclosed that the formal opening of the bypass road was supposedly last December but due to the hectic schedule of President Rodrigo R. Duterte, it has not pushed through.

However, the said road is now presently open to vehicles.

The project is a multi-million project of the DPWH and was implemented by the regional office with the supervision of the INED I.

Monday, May 27, 2019

Her life is like a puzzle

Like a dizzying maze
So complex, so paradoxical
Hard to figure
Where it's going
Never an easy way out
Does she really want out
Or rather find her safe haven
Inside, whereby she can curl up
Like an unborn child
Safe in tacked
In her mother's womb
Where nothing can go wrong
Sometimes she wants to scream
To the God of the Universe
Why me, why me
Don't you think
I had enough
But she won't dare
For He has been kind
She keeps her faith
Unbroken and stalwart
She would rather weep
Hoping her tears reach the Heavens
She's a Rock
But she opted not to fight
Instead she embraces death
Her choice to escape
The chaos of the mind and heart
She welcomes impugning energies
To freely run through her being
Thrashing deep
She preferred to bleed
Allowing everything to flow
Till she's drained and empty
Purging every grain of memories
To a deep slumber
Perhaps never to wake
Her untended heart
A runaway, she retreats
Into the abyss of solitude
Her comfort zone of peace.

By Cynthia Fonacier Capunitan
Harbor City, California, USA

US trains PH Supreme Court, Court of Appeals justices on cybercrime

Seated, from left to right: Supreme Court Associate Justices Rosemari Carandang, Andres Reyes Jr., Estela Perlas-Bernabe, Antonio Carpio, Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin, Associate Justices Mariano Del Castillo, Marvic Leonen, Alexander Gesmundo, and Amy Lazaro-Javier.  Standing, from left to right: Court Administrator Midas Marquez, U.S. Department of Justice (U.S. DOJ) Office of Overseas Prosecutorial Development, Assistance, and Training (OPDAT) Technical Advisor Felix Camerino, U.S. DOJ Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section (CCIPS) Senior Digital Investigative Analyst Daniel Ogden, CCIPS Cybercrime Lab Director Ovie Carroll, OPDAT Resident Legal Advisor David Bragdon, and OPDAT Legal Specialist Guia Montealto.

Manila—The United States of America embassy in the Philippines, through the US Department of Justice (US DOJ) Office of Overseas Prosecutorial Development, Assistance, and Training (OPDAT), coordinated with the Supreme Court Sub-Committee on Commercial Courts (SCC) to train nine Supreme Court justices and more than 30 Court of Appeals justices on cybercrime on March 25, 2019.

The Supreme Court is in the process of implementing the new Rule on Cybercrime Warrants (RCW), which facilitates the detection, investigation, and prosecution of cybercrime offenses.  This training supported the implementation of the RCW and addressed new issues posed by emerging computer-facilitated crimes, including digital security and privacy risks.  This is part of an OPDAT partnership with the Philippines to build government capacity to effectively fight cyber-enabled crimes.

At the training, Ovie Carroll, US DOJ Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section (CCIPS) Cybercrime Laboratory Director, and Daniel Ogden, CCIPS Senior Digital Investigative Analyst, discussed the nuances and evidentiary value of computer data in comparison to traditional evidence, as well as the security risks and benefits inherent in digital devices.  They also shared techniques for gathering, preserving, and analyzing digital evidence.  Their presentation provided the justices with practical insights to help them apply and enhance the RCW.

Supreme Court Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin explained, “The speed of technological development creates blind spots in matters of personal security and privacy.  The briefing on digital security was truly informative and invaluable for us in the Judiciary."

Court of Appeals Presiding Judge Ramon Barza, who attended the session for appellate justices, said, “The talk gave a refreshing view on the impact of cyber technology on gathering evidence and building up cases, especially for the prosecution.”

The US Embassy, through OPDAT, is working with Philippine partners to enhance justice sector capabilities via trainings for judges, prosecutors, law enforcement officials, and government agencies on combatting transnational crimes.  OPDAT also helped develop instructional videos and a new cybercrime course for criminology schools nationwide.  OPDAT will conduct cybercrime training for northern Luzon judges from April 4 to 5 in Baguio City.

Ilocos Norte prov’l gov’t disperses 300 cattle for 2019’s 1st quarter

Laoag City-- a bid to further decrease its poverty rate, the Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte (PGIN) distributed a total of 338 cattle among Ilocano farmers within the first quarter of the year.

In 2010, Ilocos Norte Governor Ma. Imelda Josefa “Imee” R. Marcos established the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) Office to conform to the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) MDGs. It was later renamed to Sustainable Development Center (SDC) in 2015.

The PGIN patterned and localized the SD goals set by the UNDP in ending poverty likewise fighting inequity and injustices tailored for the province.  

Likewise, SDC head Edwin Cariño stressed that the provincial government has been very attentive to the needs and requests of its constituents.

“It is just one of the programs that reduced poverty. Together with other immediate programs, itong cattle dispersal program ay sumusuporta sa mga indigent residents natin na kailangan ng additional income. Halimbawa, yung karpintero kayang magtrabaho habang nag-aalaga ng baka kasi di naman full-time ang pag-aalaga nito,” he noted.

The PGIN, through Provincial Veterinary Office, also distributes other animals such as pigs, goats, ducks, and chicks.

According to Mr. Cariño, the number of cattle to be distributed is based on the requests of the residents, and clarifies that the animals were direct procurement of the Provincial Government.

“After naming maibigay ang mga cattle sa mga nag-request, hihintayin natin yung ibabalik nilang offspring para ibigay naman natin sa next batch of beneficiaries,” he added.

Ilocos Norte drastically decreased its poverty rate from 24% in 2010 to 8.4% in 2015. Meanwhile, in 2013, the province was recognized as one of the least poor as well as the few provinces in the Philippines that successfully hit the MDGs. (Blessing Angel Agliam)

Ilocos Norte to host 2019 ATOP nat’l convention this October

Laoag City—Ilocos Norte will be expecting around 1,500 tourism officers coming from different local government units (LGUs) in the country to attend this year’s Association of Tourism Officers of the Philippines (ATOP) 20th national convention on October 2 to 5.

According to Ilocos Norte Tourism Office (INTO) head Ianree Raquel, the province underwent an “extensive process” to be chosen as the venue of the annual national convention, explaining, “First, we signified our intent to host. There was a site inspection and interview presentation together with the tourism officers from the different municipalities.”

This would be the first time for the province to hold the biggest annual tourism convention in the country, and it will serve as an avenue for the different LGUs to exchange insights on best tourism practices.

Mr. Raquel added that INTO is still planning with the ATOP national board for the finalization of the program and list of speakers, as well as coordinating with local stakeholders regarding security measures and accommodation for the expected visitors.

“One of the highlights of ATOP National Convention is the Pearl Awards wherein LGUs with best tourism practices are recognized and this will be held in Paoay Church…Also, there will be immersion tours and we will be showcasing classic Ilocos Norte destinations as well as new and emerging destinations,” he said.

The convention is expected to boost economic activity and sales in the province as well as promote the major tourist destinations of Ilocos Norte.

In 2018, after winning as runner-up for two consecutive years, the province finally brought home the first-place trophy in the Best Tourism-Oriented LGU Category at the Pearl Awards. (Blessing Angel V. Agliam)

DPWH mounts ‘Lakbay Alalay’ for holy week

The DPWH-Ilocos Norte Engineering District II’s Lakbay Alalay center in-front of their district office in San Nicolas, Ilocos Norte gives assistance to motorists who needed of help during the Lenten Season. Other Lakbay Alalay stations were located at the welcome arc of Ilocos Norte at the boundary of Sinait, Ilocos Sur and Badoc, Ilocos Norte and at the Apatot Bridge boundary of Badoc and Pinili. (Doms dela Cruz)

By Dominic B. dela Cruz
Staff reporter

San Nicolas, Ilocos Norte—Welcoming the influx of local and foreign tourists during long weekend Holy Week celebration, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) second engineering district put up three stations for its annual “Lakbay Alalay”.

“Lakbay Alalay” aims to help motorists should they encounter vehicular troubles, and give them directions to their destinations, among others.

DPWH 2nd engineering district officer Engr. Mathias L. Malenab said they usually mount this operation during special holidays.

“Lakbay Alalay” started on April 17, 2019 at 12:00 noon and ended on April 22, 2019 at 12:00 noon. The assistance centers were open 24 hours.

Mr. Malenab said the assistance centers were located at the Ilocos Norte boundary arc in Badoc; at Apatot Bridge, or the boundary between Badoc and Pinili; and in front of the DWPH 2nd engineering office in this town.

The DPWH-INED 2 only covered the province’s second district.

The stations provide assistance to motorists including, “Dagitay maperdian ta dalan, agiduron/mangguyod a mangipan kadagitay vulcanizing shops wennu dagitay maawanan iti danum dagitay radiators ken uray anyaman a minor a problema dita kalsada,” Mr. Malenab explained.

He added that they also assisted motorists if they needed assistance from other government agencies.

Meanwhile, the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Local Government Unit (LGU) of San Nicolas also provided similar assistance center in front of the municipal hall and the Roman Catholic Church to help motorists.

Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office’s (MDRRMO) Ryan Rollaine Simon of this town said the assistance included security and medical help and was from April 18-21, 2019.

The San Nicolas government also welcomed the memorandum issued by the Department of Tourism (DOT) to open all the tourist attractions in every LGUs for the public to visit.

Likewise, Mr. Simon thanked the DPWH 2nd engineering district for providing motorist assistance center in the municipality and helping those in need of assistance along their way.

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.