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Showing posts from October, 2019

Laoag City bans black sand mining

By Dominic B. dela Cruz Staff Reporter Laoag City —The Sangguniang Panlungsod here passed a resolution imposing the total ban of black sand mining in the city. Laoag councilor Edison Bonoan said black sand mining “undoubtedly causes damage to environment”. Mr. Bonoan, who sponsored the resolution, said the council resolution is in support of Provincial Resolution No. 016-2013, “Resolution Banning Black Sand Mining in The Province of Ilocos Norte, Enjoining the Issuance of Permits, Urging the Recall of Permits Already Issued and Voiding All Favorable Endorsements by Local Government Units to Mining Applicants”.       He added that “it is but proper echo the provincial resolution in order to emphasize the concerted efforts of all Laoagueños in protecting the environment”. He further disclosed that this is the main reason the city government disapproved an application of an unnamed Chinese national who applied for a 100-hectare sand mining permit for Brgy. La Paz i

Farmers urged to enlist, join groups for RCEF support

The Department of Agriculture (DA) urges individual farmers to enlist in the Registry System for Basic Sectors in Agriculture (RSBSA) and join organizations to access agriculture-related programs and services including the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF). Under the Rice Tariffication Law (RA 11203), eligible RCEF beneficiaries include farmers, farmworkers, and their dependents who are listed in the RSBSA—an electronic database containing basic information of farmers and fisherfolks, and members of DA-accredited farmer organizations (FOs) such as multipurpose cooperatives, irrigators’ associations, and people’s organizations. Farmers who are already enlisted in the DA-updated RSBSA will be prioritized this 2019 dry season. Meanwhile, those who have just registered will be included in the seed distribution in the succeeding planting season. “The program does not only aim to reduce the cost of production and increase farmers’ yields, but it also intends to strength

Israeli envoy visits Laoag City

  Laoag Mayor Michael M. Keon, flanked by other Laoag officials, meet with Israeli Ambassador Rafael Harpaz during the envoy’s visit to the city. (Doms dela Cruz ) By Dominic B. dela Cruz Staff Reporter Laoag City — Israeli Ambassador to the Philippines Rafael Harpaz visited this city on September 3, 2019. During his visit he paid a courtesy call to Laoag Mayor Michael M. Keon. Mr. Harpaz, who was with his spouse, Shulamit Harpaz, said he was so thankful that he finally visited the cities of Laoag and Vigan, sharing that he knows that there are also caregivers from Laoag working in Israel. During his meeting with Mr. Keon, he said that he is inspired by the mayor’s dedication, vision and a bright future for Laoag City. He said he was also amazed and inspired by tourist sites in the city and the province, mentioning the La Paz Sand Dunes and the windmill farm in Bangui. He disclosed that just like the Philippines, Israel has also lot of tourists from a

Comelec registers 3,350 new Laoag City voters

By Dominic B. dela Cruz Staff Reporter Laoag City —The city’s Commission on Elections office registered 3,350 new voters for the registration period of August 1, 2019 to September 31, 2019. Of the 3,350 new registrants, 2,664 are regular voters aged 18 and above, and included those who transferred from other locales, corrected voter’s information and reactivated voters. The remaining 686 new voters are those from 15-17 years old, or Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) voters. Laoag elections officer Atty. Julius Balbas said there was a good turn out during the two-month registration period. With this development, total Laoag City voters are now 78,500. Meanwhile, Mr. Balbas stressed that they have not received any communication from the Comelec central office whether there is a postponement of the barangay and SK elections. The local elections office however, is set to approve the new registrants on October 16, 2019 to formalize their registration.

Tons of garbage worsens flooding in Paoay

By Leilanie G. Adriano Staff Reporter Paoay, Ilocos Norte —Improper waste disposal has worsened flooding problem in this town as tons of debris clogged a waterway connecting Brgys. Pannaratan and Cayubog. The local government unit here led by acting Mayor Romulo Acdal conducted the removal of plastic trash and debris using a backhoe. During heavy rainfall, low lying areas in this town are flooded because it serves as a catch basin of floodwaters from its neighboring Batac City. Following an ocular inspection at the flooded barangays where local officials witnessed the tons of garbage that clogged the creek, Mr. Acdal has appealed to all concerned residents to dispose their trash properly. One of the concerned residents Lily Guieb said she is a witnessed how people carelessly throw their garbage everywhere and it may have contributed to flooding. “It’s sad to note that there are heartless and irresponsible people who just throw their garbage that clogged our

New Laoag mayor visits city public market

Laoag Mayor Michael M. Keon visits the Laoag City Commercial Center to conduct a dialogue with vendors on problems, issues, rules and regulations at the public market. (Francis Lopez)

Imee eyes foreign investment law amendment

It is time to amend the Foreign Investments Act of 1991 and ease restrictions on foreign direct investments (FDIs) in order to attract more multinational enterprises to the country.  Senator Ma. Imelda Josefa “Imee” R. Marcos asserted this as public hearings by the Senate Economic Affairs Committee which she chairs began on September 23, 2019. Three bills seeking to liberalize foreign investments were on tap including her own Senate Bill 1024.  “We need more start-ups that can generate hundreds, if not thousands, of jobs locally and multinational corporations are the biggest sources of jobs in the country and elsewhere," the senator said.  "The current law needs an update considering that it has not kept up with the rise of online business and the evolution of modern business practices,” Ms. Marcos added.  With Southeast Asia seeing FDI growth in digital infrastructure, data centers and e-commerce, the Marcos bill seeks to include online businesses

MMSU, PEZA sign deal to establish Region I ecozone

  MMSU President Shirley C. Agrupis (seated, center) and PEZA Director General Charito B. Plaza (seated, right) sign the memorandum of understanding for the establishment of the Economic Zone Institute in Region I which will help promote export-oriented investments and increase productivity and income in the countryside. (Photo courtesy of MMSU-OP) By Reynaldo E. Andres Contributor BATAC City —The Mariano Marcos State University (MMSU) in this city and the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) have agreed to establish a Special Economic Zone Institute in Region I, which will help promote export-oriented investments and increase productivity and income in the countryside. A memorandum of understanding was formally signed on September 25, 2019 at the Bonifacio Global City in Metro Manila between MMSU President Shirley C. Agrupis and PEZA Director General Charito B. Plaza. Dr. Agrupis said MMSU is the only state university in the Ilocos region which shall ser

Exec urges Ilocos farmers to plant more tobacco

Multi-sectoral meeting to revitalized tobacco industry in Ilocos Norte. (Lei Adriano) By Leilanie G. Adriano Staff Reporter LAOAG CITY—Bright prospects looms ahead for tobacco-producing municipalities in the province as a multi-national tobacco company assured local government units and farmers to give their all-out support from beginning to end should they decide to closely work with them in revitalizing the tobacco industry here. In a multi-sectoral meeting attended by mayors, policy makers, farmers, private tobacco buyers and personnel of the National Tobacco Administration and other concerned national government agencies at the Capitol session hall, Winston Uy, president of the Universal Leaf Philippines, Inc. expressed commitment to give their all-out support to tobacco growers in the Ilocos region. “We are committed to work with you. So, we are asking your help to reintroduce tobacco growing as a livelihood. We will be there until the end,” said Mr. Uy cit

China’s 70th founding anniversary celebration in Laoag City

Ilocos Norte Governor Mathew Joseph M. Manotoc with Laoag Mayor Michael M. Keon celebrate the 70th Founding Anniversary of the Peoples Republic of China at a Laoag hotel with Chinese consul-general and head of post Zhou Youbin. Batanes Governor Marilou Cayco, Ilocos Sur Congressman and Deputy House Speaker Deogracia Savellano, Ilocos Norte Vice Governor Cecilia Araneta-Marcos, Batac Mayor Albert D. Chua, Bayongbong Nueva Viscaya Mayor Ralph Lantion, San Nicolas Vice Mayor Edistio Valdez, SP member Donald Nicolas, Mrs. Mary Ang and MMSU President Dr. Shirley Agrupis were also on hand during the celebration. (Doms dela Cruz)

PGIN, telco offer free Wi-Fi spots

Laoag City —In a bid to create more quality public spaces equipped with upgraded internet connectivity and accessible communication services, the Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte (PGIN), in partnership with a telecommunications company, started the installation of free wireless fidelity (Wi-Fi) service in its pilot areas on September 18, 2019. Areas for the phase I of public Wi-Fi service include the Provincial Capitol Building, Aurora Park, and the Laoag City Hall, San Nicolas IT Park, and the Batac City Hall. “Last week, sinimulan na natin ang pag -install ng free Wi-Fi dito sa Provincial Capitol para mas mapadali pa ang transaction ng services natin . At the same time, while people are waiting for their turn in line, they can use the free internet for entertainment or for other important communication needs,” provincial information technology officer-in-charge Wilfredo Lorenzo Jr. said. According to Mr. Lorenzo, after the Wi-Fi installation in the Prov

PGIN to DAR: Help with ‘buy-back program

Laoag City —With the recent PHP167 million worth of losses in agriculture due to severe tropical storm “Ineng” [Bailu], Ilocos Norte Governor Matthew Joseph M. Manotoc appealed to the Department of Agriculture (DA) to fund its palay buy-back program. A brainchild of former Ilocos Norte Governor, now Senator Ma. Imelda Josefa “Imee” R. Marcos, which started in 2018, the buy-back program is an agreement between the Provincial Government and qualified palay and rice traders and farmers. The agreement states that the provincial government shall buy some of their stocks at fair market value, ensuring the province sufficient rice supply. Stated in a letter addressed to DA Secretary William D. Dar, Mr. Manotoc wrote “...[W]ith the tarrification and lifting of import restrictions on rice which resulted to decline in its market price, we appeal for funding of our buy-back program to help our local farmers get more from their hard work.” In a measure to make the food staple more af

DTI launches 2nd ‘Negosyo sa Barangay’ in Paoay

Amidst inclement weather whipped up by typhoon Jenny, residents of Paoay, Ilocos Norte participated in the "Negosyo sa Barangay" launching in Brgy. Veronica, Paoay, Ilocos Norte. The program aims to develop people in underserved communities to become successful entrepreneurs. (Photo grab from DTI-Ilocos Norte Facebook Page) By Leilanie G. Adriano Staff Reporter Paoay, Ilocos Norte —The Dept. of Trade and Industry launched the second “Negosyo sa Barangay” for the province at the Paoay Civic Center in this town. The launch attracted at least 350 budding and would-be entrepreneurs from this town’s different barangays. Amidst inclement weather, DTI acting provincial director Rosario Quodala said the huge number of participants shows how resilient the Ilocanos are. “A few days ago, everyone was disquieted, bowing to the roaring floodwaters. But today, they came because they don’t stay down and their hope and faith never cease,” said Ms. Quodala after

PGIN, Imee, DOH give free dialysis to Ilocanos

Laoag City —The two-day free dialysis treatment activity of the Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte, the Department of Health, Office of Senator Imee R. Marcos, and the Mariano Marcos Memorial Hospital and Medical Center (MMMH&MC) has served nearly one hundred patients. The dialysis treatment, which started on September 9, 2019 is one of the highlights of 102 nd birth anniversary celebration of President Ferdinand E. Marcos, who was also a dialysis and a kidney transplant patient. Beneficiaries thank Marcos clan for medical support   Beatrice Caluya, 60 years old, who has a chronic kidney disease (CKD), took the opportunity to avail the service upon learning the free dialysis treatment at MMMH&MC in Batac City. Because of her disease, Mrs. Caluya carries a burden not only on her health condition but also on her financial capabilities.   “ Galak na galak ako noong nalaman kong may libreng dialysis. Hindi kasi sapat ang aking PhilHealth kaya kung k

Ilocos Norte hosts 2019 ATOP convention

  Delegates showcase their respective traditions in a parade to start the 2019   Association of Tourism Officers in the Philippines convention. The Ilocos Norte and Laoag City governments jointly hosted the event October 2-5, 2019.  ( Doms dela Cruz) By Dominic B. dela Cruz Staff Reporter Laoag City —With at least 1,200 tourism officers joining this year’s Association of Tourism Officers in the Philippines National Convention, the Ilocos Norte provincial government pulled all the stops in hosting the annual event. Highlighting the four-day convention is the Association of Tourism Officers in the Philippines and Department of Tourism (ATOP-DOT) Pearl Awards for Best Tourism Practices of the Philippines on October 4, 2019 held in front of the Paoay Church. This aims to recognize the efforts of LGUs towards the advancement of the country’s tourism industry. This year’s ATOP National Convention is hosted by Ilocos Norte which won first place in the Pearl Award

Laoag implements new traffic scheme

By Dominic B. dela Cruz Staff Reporter Laoag City —The Sangguniang Panlungsod of Laoag passed resolution authorizing the city’s police to implement the experimental traffic scheme (ETS) in the city. Laoag councilor Edison Bonoan, main sponsor of the resolution, said there is a need for a periodic introduction of traffic control measures due to the increasing volume of vehicles coming in the city. Mr. Bonoan, chairperson of the committee on transportation, believes that the increasing number of vehicles is due to the influx of commercial establishments in the city and neighboring municipalities. The ETS aims to decongest traffic density to ensure the smooth flow of vehicles and the safety of pedestrians especially during rush hours. Based on the ETS, a no left-turn policy along the stretch of J.P. Rizal St. from M. Dizon to Paco Roman Sts.   will be implemented; and westbound from Gen. Segundo Ave. to M. Siazon St. Parking on both sides of Rizal St. in the same s