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Showing posts from November, 2019

Palarong Pamasko 2019

The Laoag City Palarong Pamasko 2019 opens with a parade within the city proper participated in by the city’s 80 barangays for the junior category and various tricycle associations, city hall offices and local and national agencies who will compete in basketball and volleyball games. The highlight of the opening parade was the Search for Mr. & Miss Palarong Pamasko 2019 and Miss Gay Palarong Pamasko 2019. (Doms dela Cruz)

Batac distributes PhilHealth cards

BATAC  Mayor Albert D. Chua spearheads the distribution of PhilHealth cards to 4,961 beneficiaries for its commitment in sustaining its effort to alleviate the burden of high cost of medical services. The distribution was held from September 21 to 22, 2019 at the Imelda Cultural Center. (Doms dela Cruz)

NGOs wish Keon a happy birthday

The Federation of Non-Government Organizations headed by Mary Ang fetes Laoag Mayor Michael M. Keon on his birthday last month. (Doms dela Cruz)

DPWH demolishes Laoag’s ‘Pasalubong Center’

By Leilanie G. Adriano Staff Reporter LAOAG CITY—A relatively new city government-owned building, which houses souvenir items for tourists visiting the city, was demolished on November 7, 2019 as it was located within the sidewalk of the Laoag City Public Market. The Pasalubong Center, built during the time of former Laoag Mayor Chevylle V. Fariñas is just one among the commercial establishments in Laoag downtown which must be demolished to clear all road obstructions as directed by the Duterte administration to be implemented nationwide. “We cannot do anything but to follow the directive of the president,” said Dept. of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) First Engineering District Engr. Ma. Venus Torio. For current Laoag Mayor Michael Marcos-Keon, he explained there had been no proper zoning laws in Laoag and the road clearing has affected a lot of people.   “We must follow the President’s order. Laoag City has lost so much business because of the road cle

Ilocos Norte, Sur families are 2019 Reg’l model OFW families

San Fernando City , La Union—The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration Regional Welfare Office I (OWWA RWOI) recently concluded the regional selection and awarding of the 2019 Model OFW Family of the Year Awards (MOFYA) wherein two families were named as this year’s Region 1 Model OFW Families. The awarding ceremony took place on October 3, 2019 in this city. During the awarding ceremony the family of OFW Pacita Calano Gorgonio of Dingras, Ilocos Norte for the land-based category while OFW Rey Gerdan Biteng and Family of Sta. Cruz Ilocos Sur for the sea-based, were declared as winners. Both families will be representing Ilocos Region in the MOFYA National Awarding to be held on December 5, 2019 at the Malacañang Palace. A total of five families were nominated for this year’s regional MOFYA, three for the land-based category and two for the sea-based category. Aside from the two winners, the other nominees were Jeffrey Dungca Javier and Family of Bangar, La Union who was awa

Plant industry experts assure pest-free imported rice

Experts from the plant industry are intensifying quarantine and pest-risk analysis (PRA) procedures to protect consumers and farmers from the entry of unsafe imported rice and palay. “PRA is a very important part of the pre-border quarantine to identify risks associated from commodities imported to our country like palay. This is to avoid the threats of pests and seed-borne diseases from other countries,” said Gerald Glen F. Panganiban, Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI)’s Assistant Director for Regulation. Mr. Panganiban explained that as pre-offloading quarantine measure, experts examine the conditions of imported commodity, its performance, and risks attached to its importation. Study published in the book, “Competitiveness of Philippine Rice in Asia,” found that farmers from neighboring countries such as Vietnam and Thailand, “intensively apply” pesticides throughout the rice growing season. With the lifting of the quantitative restriction, a larger volume of imported ri

PGIN to offer scholarship for medical studes

Laoag City— With the aim to increase the number of health personnel and doctors practicing in Ilocos Norte, the provincial government headed by Ilocos Norte Governor Matthew Joseph Marcos-Manotoc is finalizing the inclusion of medical scholarship in its integrated provincial scholarship programs. Mr. Marcos-Manotoc confirmed this during his “First 100 Days Report”: “We have just finalized our ‘doctor scholarship’ which will be implemented next semester at Mariano Marcos State University (MMSU). With this, we hope that we will produce more homegrown Ilokano doctors in our province.” Provincial education officer Matilde Nery reiterated that they have completed implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of the scholarship: “We have actually finalized its IRR, together with the dean of the MMSU-College of Medicine and the Vice President for Academic Affairs. It will be endorsed to the province’s Chairman of the Committee on Education for the creation of its ordinance. It will cover

7 Ilocos Norte LGUs receive 2019 DILG seal

By Bernardo B. Ver II Contributor LAOAG CITY – Seven of the 21 municipalities and two cities in Ilocos Norte namely: Bacarra, Bangui, Banna, Burgos, Currimao, San Nicolas and Vintar received the Department of Interior and Local Government’s (DILG) Seal of Good Local Governance (SGLG) awards for 2019. The DILG conducted its national validation in the different local government units (LGUs) in the entire Philippines after passing the assessment criteria and qualifications for the SGLG screening. In 2018, the towns of Piddig, Bacarra, Currimao, Paoay, and San Nicolas received the same award. The SGLG qualifiers must attain the criteria on a progressive assessment system such as: financial administration: foster transparency and accountability; disaster preparedness: prepare for challenges posed by disasters; social protection: broaden access to social services especially the marginalized and most vulnerable in the community; peace and order: protect the community fro

CHED awards new scholarships to 759 Ilocos Norte students

By Leilanie G. Adriano Staff Reporter Batac CITY—A total of 759 new scholars from the second district of Ilocos Norte received their notice of award at the Imelda Cultural Center in Batac City on October 11, 2019. Funded under the “Tulong Dunong” program of the Commission on Higher Education’s tertiary education subsidy, each beneficiary will receive PHP12,000 worth of financial assistance per year. During an orientation program with the new scholars and their parents, Danilo Bose, CHED Region 1 officer-in-charge explained the program is meant to ensure education to be accessible for all. To qualify for the program, the applicant must be a high school graduate whose gross income of parents when combined must not exceed PHP400,000 per year. He or she must not also be a recipient of any CHED scholarship or financial assistance program. Following the Supreme Court Ruling on the unconstitutionality of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) in Novemb

NFA leases 3 private warehouses to buy more palay

By Leilanie G. Adriano Staff Reporter LAOAG CITY—The National Food Authority based in Ilocos Norte assured rice farmers in the province it is ready to buy more rice stocks in the province. NFA provincial manager Eleonor Andres announced that they have leased three private warehouses in various parts of the province to ensure they can serve more farmers in the province. These are the Johnny B. Lao’s Warehouse in Barangay 5, Callaguip, Batac City; Wil-lys Cereal Trading Corp. Warehouse in Barangay Sta. Cecilia, San Nicolas; and the Calsada Rice mill and Palay Trading Warehouse in Barangay Libtong, Bacarra, Ilocos Norte. “We enjoin our rice farmers to sell their produce to these buying stations near them,” said Ms. Andres as she reiterated those who will sell more than 50 bags must coordinate first with the assigned team leaders in the identified buying stations to facilitate smooth transaction or contact directly the NFA office located in the city. Due to

Ilocos Norte governor calls for stricter traffic laws enforcement

Laoag City —In an effort to curb the increasing number of road accidents in the province, Ilocos Norte Governor Matthew Joseph M. Manotoc ordered local government unit executives to intensify implementation of traffic laws, particularly those for motorcycles. In a letter addressed to the Association of the Barangay Council presidents, Mr. Manotoc reminded all concerned authorities to strictly enforce Republic Act 10054, also known as the “Motorcycle Helmet Act of 2009,” to ensure the safety of riders and passengers from life-threatening incidents.   “We have begun the strict implementation of laws for motorcycle riders. This has been one of my emphasis which is to ensure all our motorcycle riders [in Ilocos Norte] are of age, they have license, and they use helmets especially when on major roads,” he remarked during his “First 100 Days Report” on October 8, 2019. The Motorcycle Helmet Act mandates: “ All motorcycle riders, including drivers and back riders, shall

Agri chief bares strategy to double farmers’ income

Dr. William Dollente Dar, acting secretary of the Department of Agriculture (DA), bares “new thinking” as strategy to achieve four-fold agriculture growth and double farmers’ income. In his acceptance speech early this week, Mr. Dar, who have served as the DA secretary from 1998 to 1999, noted that Philippine agriculture, for the past decade, only grew 1.1% annually, while population has been increasing at 1.8% yearly. “We are faced with the painful and stark reality that Philippine agriculture has barely grown this past decade. Today we can only produce 93% of our rice requirements, and import the balance…. President Duterte himself has acknowledged that the agriculture sector is the weakest link in our economy,” he said. With “new thinking,” the department targets growth for at least 2% from August 2019 to July 2020, 2.5-3% in 2021, and 3-4% in 2022. As the revised DA vision and mission, “new thinking” is composed of eight paradigms, in which the department’s strat

DPWH, DILG, LGUs intensify road-clearing operation

  Laoag Mayor Michael M. Keon in an exit conference with the DILG and the PNP regarding the road clearing operation in Laoag. (Doms dela Cruz) By Dominic B. dela Cruz Staff Reporter Laoag City —In line with President Rodrigo Duterte’s directive during his fourth State of the Nation Address and in compliance with the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Department Order 73 series of 2014, the DPWH-Ilocos Norte Engineering District (INED) I has intensified the clearing operation on the removal of obstructions along national road. INED-I district engineer Maria Venus Torio announced that her district has started removing 35 permanent structures for the months of August and September. The 35 reported structures cleared or removed are part of the 2,594 permanent structures inventoried intended for clearing operation as of July 31, 2019. Of the 1.35 percent permanent structures cleared, there were also reported 284 temporary structures removed for the

PCL-Ilocos Norte first session

Philippine Councilors League (PCL)-Ilocos Norte Chapter President Handy Lao presides over the first session of the chapter held at the Sangguniang Panlalawigan Session Hall recently. One of the agenda is to recognize the hardworking officials of the different LGUs in the province. The League will be awarding the 10 Most Outstanding Legislature for CY 2020 with the awarding on September next year. Nominees will be selected by the different NGOs and the members of the tri-media. The PCL-Ilocos Norte Chapter is also planning to conduct the first ever Gala Night on February next year to strengthen the camaraderie of the League. (Doms dela Cruz)

Laoag City gov’t re-launches free Wi-Fi services

  FREE WI-FI IN LAOAG . Laoag Mayor Michael M. Keon together with PLDT and Smart Telecommunications personnel, and Vertext Handyphone’s Handy Lao relaunch the free and upgraded Google Wi-Fi to the public. The 24-hour free Wi-Fi service covers the Laoag International Airport, Laoag City Hall, Laoag City Pubic Market and Aurora Park. (Doms dela Cruz) By Dominic B. dela Cruz Staff Reporter Laoag City —The city government here in cooperation with Smart Telecommunication and Vertext Corporation re-launched the free and upgraded Google Wi-Fi service in this city. Laoag councilor and Vertext President and CEO Handy Lao said the relaunched services will be give better and faster internet connectivity in select areas around the city. Mr. Lao disclosed further that the relaunched service is now “unlimited”, whereas the previous iteration limited access to 30 minutes per user in a day. The select areas are the Laoag International Airport (LIA), Laoag City Public Mar

PAL adds more Laoag-Manila flights

By Leilanie G. Adriano Staff Reporter LAOAG CITY—To accommodate more passengers in this northern gateway of Luzon, the Philippine Airlines (PAL) added two Laoag to manila flights per week. Previously, there were 10 PAL weekly flights. The Ilocos Norte tourism office led Aian Raquel confirmed this on as he announced “Tuesdays and Thursdays will now have additional evening flights at 8:45PM.” These additional flight schedules are effective this November until March 2020. For the information of passengers, the Manila-Laoag flights are the following:   Monday, 7:05PM; Tuesday, 11:30AM and 7:05PM; Wednesday, 7:05PM; Thursday, 11:30AM and 7:05PM; Friday, 11:30AM and 7:05PM; Saturday, 11:30AM and 7:05PM; Sunday, 11:30AM and 7:05PM. The Philippine Airlines is the only airline servicing Laoag-bound passengers after the Philippines budget airline Cebu Pacific suspended flights to Laoag on January 2017. Until now, the budget airline has not resumed flights to Laoag

Laoag City biz group appeals to freeze real property tax hike

  Hanson Chua, a businessman from Laoag raised an issue about payment of real property taxes on Thursday during a consultative meeting with Governor Matthew Joseph Manotoc. The consultative meeting attended by various stakeholders is meant to gather feedback and find solutions to current major problems being faced by city residents.  (Lei Adriano) By Leilanie G. Adriano Staff Reporter LAOAG CITY—Several businessmen in this city is appealing to the Laoag City government to freeze the looming real property tax hike next year. Speaking in behalf of the business sector during a consultative meeting held at the Laoag City covered court on October 10, 2019, Hanson Chua, a business owner here noted their low sales even if it is already in the “ber” months and people usually spend more in time for the upcoming Christmas celebration. “Business is hurting and it’s like a ghost month because of low sales,” said Mr. Chua citing that apart from the traffic and parking proble

MMK dialogue with Brgy. Balatong residents

Laoag Mayor Michael M. Keon meets with Brgy. Balatong lot owners regarding the purchase of their respective lots intended for the proposed sanitary landfill. The lot owners assured their intention to sell their lots. The city council has already approved funding for the acquisition for the landfill project. (Doms dela Cruz)

2nd MDO Congress recognizes Region 1 outstanding MDOs, LGUs

(Clockwise) Group pictures of MDOs from Ilocos Sur, Pangasinan, La Union and Ilocos Norte. The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration Regional Welfare Office I gathered the Migrant Desk Officers (MDO) of Ilocos Region in the recently conducted 2 nd Regional MDO Congress held September 11-13, 2019 in Baguio City.   Centered on the theme , “MDOs as Catalysts of Change towards Migration and Development” , the activity aims to convene MDOs and enlighten and further hone their knowledge on migration and development as key personnel in their respective LGUs in promoting awareness on those topics that will pave way for better opportunities in their LGUs. The activity was divided into two activities—the seminar proper and the awards night, which highlighted the event. Guests, visitors and   officers who graced the opening ceremonies were Dir. Rosalia Susana S. Bahia-Catapang of OWWA’s Program and Policy Development Division (PPDD); Dir. Manuela N. Pena of OWWA Cordil