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Showing posts from April, 2020

Global Ilocano master planner sees greater Ilocos Norte development

Laoag City —"We would like to see Ilocos Norte as a walkable, bikeable, and livable province. Integrating the places for living, working, and playing in a proximate distance with each other,” Architect–Urban Planner Felino “Jun” A. Palafox Jr. remarked during the presentation of the Ilocos Norte development masterplan at the Provincial Capitol Auditorium, this city on February 3, 2020. Part of the 202nd Founding Anniversary celebration’s “Open Capitol: Ilokano Creatives Fest” was the “New Ilocano Infrastructure,” the launching of “2020 Ilocos Norte Masterplan Project” and a presentation of the “Big 3” infrastructure projects of the Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte (PGIN). Born in Bacarra town, the multi-awarded Mr. Palafox revisited and discussed the “Ilocos Norte Development Masterplan.” “Ilocos Norte has so much development potential. If you look at the topography, we have the lowlands, midlands, and the highlands. Each of the 23 towns and cities can be

US, DOH partner to combat COVID-19 in PH

Manila —The United States Embassy in the Philippines announced on March 17, 2020 that the US government has committed more than PHP139 million (US$2.7 million) to support the Philippine Department of Health (DOH) in its response to COVID-19 in the country. The US government, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), will collaborate with Philippine government counterparts to establish and implement internationally-recognized infectious disease threat prevention and response strategies, and enhance infection control. US assistance will strengthen specimen transport systems and laboratory capacity to accurately and rapidly detect cases. The assistance also will help protect health workers and patients by ensuring that hygiene products, masks, waste management supplies, and other necessary commodities are available, delivered, and managed appropriately. More broadly, the U.S. government supported programs will expand communities’ disease preparedness and

Bb Marcos 2020

Newly crowned Bb. Marcos 2020 Cris Maria Catherine Ortega of Brgy. Lydia (center), 1 st  runner-up Crystal Lynette Reyes of Brgy. Fortuna (left) and 2 nd  runner-up Lorvin Mae Baradi of Brgy. Imelda (right). The coronation was held at municipal auditorium on March 11, 2020 as the featured event of this year's 3 rd  Mannalon Festival. (Doms dela Cruz)

Ilocos Norte's 2 COVID-19 patients recover; no new case in two weeks

Laoag City —The two coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patients at the Mariano Marcos Memorial Hospital and Medical Center (MMMH&MC) have recovered. MMMH&MC discharged the two patients on April 12, 2020, or on the celebration of the Catholic religion’s Easter Sunday. According to the MMMH&MC public advisory posted online on April 11, 2020, two patients’ repeat swab (PCR) tests conducted by the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center have tested negative. Currently, the patients are no longer showing COVID-19 symptoms and are in both in stable condition. The provincial government, however, urged the local government units in charge of the two patients to prepare an isolation area for the two’s 14-day self-quarantine. “With no new confirmed transmission of COVID-19 in almost two weeks since the province’s first cases, we have flattened the curve and have so far contained the virus,” the Ilocos Norte provincial government announced through a public adv

Vintar donates camera visualizers for students

By Leilanie G. Adriano Staff Reporter Vintar , Ilocos Norte—Intermediate students in this town no longer need to share books during classroom discussions as they enjoy watching high quality video and photos flashed on screen while their teachers discuss the presentation. For a teacher like Flordeliza Domingo of this town, she said they feel so lucky to enjoy the benefits of a 21 st century school as the local government unit of Vintar is giving priority to the needs of their students. Sourced from the town’s Special Education Fund, the municipal government here allocated about PHP940,000 for the purchase of 114 cameras to all schools in this first-class municipality. The cameras, AverVision U50 5.0 megapixel features an auto focus lens up to 25-30 FPS live video capture, which students and teacher can use to project materials such as textbooks and other visual aid. It can also shoot clear pictures and videos. “We are thankful to the local government unit

Laoag dads wants relocation of their office

Laoag Vice Mayor and council presiding officer Vicentito Lazo speaks during an outreach regular session at Barangay 38-B Mangato, this city on March 11, 2020. (Doms dela Cruz) By Dominic B. dela Cruz Staff Reporter Laoag City —Members of the Sangguniang Panlungsod here proposed the relocation of their office from the City Hall old building to the ABC building at Brgy. 2, this city. During their last outreach session at Brgy. 38-B Mangato, Laoag Vice Mayor and council presiding officer Vicentito M. Lazo announced the proposal during the “Chairman’s Time”.   In an interview, Mr. Lazo admitted that they did not notice that the SP session hall’s ceiling’s materials have started falling. During an inspection, the City Engineering Office said there is a PHP1.5 million fund available for the rehabilitation of the said session hall. Aside from the PHP1.5 million, Mr. Lazo also learned that there is another PHP1 million fund surplus for the purchase of motor vehicl

Capitol offers free medical trips

Laoag City —To address the suspension of public transportation services due to the national government's efforts to stem the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the Metro Ilocos Norte Council (MINC), in partnership with the Provincial Resiliency Office of the Ilocos Norte Government now provides free transportation services for health personnel and medical patients starting March 21, 2020.   The medical transportation service of the PGIN is free. However, only patients from the province who undergo dialysis and chemotherapy treatment are allowed. The Provincial Government encourages persons with medical needs to reach the MINC Office at telephone number: 772-1212 (loc. 166), or mobile numbers: 0910-812-1758 (Smart) and 0917-116-0004 (Globe) for the arrangement of schedules. ( Stewart C. Ocampo )

Laoag City continues road-clearing operations

By Dominic B. dela Cruz Staff Reporter Laoag City —In line with President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s directive in his 2019 State of the Nation Address, the city government of Laoag continued the clearing roads of illegal structures and constructions. City interior and local government officer Janet Duarte said the national government has ordered strict implementation of Duterte’s directive. Ms. Duarte added that the directive mandates all local officials to enjoin and exercise their powers essential to reclaim public roads which are being used for private ends in the process, rid them of illegal structures and constructions. Local government officials are also encouraged to develop and implement strategies that will address the displacement issues caused by the implementation of the directive. Local chief executives were also directed to revoke permits that gave authority to private entities to occupy public roads, alleys and other thoroughfares. In line with this

DA gives 321 goats to Vintar farmers

  Vintar Vice Mayor Amado Victor Rasimo assists provincial veterinary officer Dr. Loida Valenzuela in the distribution of 321 goats to Vintar farmers. The recipients are those farmers whose crops were destroyed by typhoon “Ompong” two years ago. (Doms dela Cruz) By Dominic B. dela Cruz Staff Reporter Vintar , Ilocos Norte—The Department of Agriculture (DA) thru the Provincial Veterinary (PVet) Office distributed 321 goats to farmers here. The farmer-beneficiaries were affected by the typhoon “Ompong” two years ago. PVet head Dr. Loida Valenzuela led the distribution of the said goats assisted by Vintar Vice Mayor Amado Victor Rasimo and several members of the Sangguniang Bayan. Dr. Valenzuela said the beneficiaries are farmers whose crops and animals were affected by “Ompong”. The Ilocos Times learned that former Ilocos Norte Governor, now Senator Ma. Imelda Josefa “Imee” R. Marcos has requested this rehabilitation for farmers not only in Vintar but in t

Imee: Cheaper drugs, PPEs, oxygen, beds for long fight vs COVID-19

By Dominic B. dela Cruz Staff Reporter Senator Ma. Imelda Josefa “Imee” R. Marcos called on the government to cut the prices of more medicines and speed up the purchase of critical equipment other than just testing kits, as the country scrambles to fight the spread of coronavirus disease or Covid-19. More medicines for those who are “immunocompromised” or have weaker immune systems due to illnesses such as diabetes, hypertension, and lung disorders should be included in the list of 72 more drugs that the government is considering this week for price regulation, Ms. Marcos said. “ Habang wala pang vaccine o lunas sa Covid -19, ang pag-asa na lamang ng mga mahihina ang immune system dahil sa kanilang mga kapansanan ay mas murang gamot ,” the senator said. Ms. Marcos issued the statement ahead of a mandatory technical working group (TWG) meeting of the health and trade and industry departments to discuss the 72 drugs that will be added to a previous list of med

‘Pride Ilocana OFW’ receives special award for community service

  Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP)  CNSSO  V/AFOC Area I Marionito F. Dela Cruz (center) receives the Special OFW Award for Community Service on behalf of his wife Elza Nagtalon Dela Cruz (awardee) who is presently working in Ireland. The award was given by the Roosevelt High School administrators during the General Alumni Homecoming 2020 Coronation Program and Gala Night held February 29, 200 at the Piddig Farmers Trading Center. Witnessing the awarding are the children of the awardee: Ramel, Meldrick and Melissa Jane with their families and friends. (Doms dela Cruz) By Dominic B. dela Cruz Staff Reporter Piddig , Ilocos Norte— "If you were born with the ability to change someone’s perspective or emotions, never waste that gift. It is one of the most powerful gifts God can give—the ability to influence”—Shannon L. Alder. The pride Ilocana Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) Ms. Elza Nagtalon Dela Cruz of Class of 1975, received a Special OFW Awa

Ilocos Norte rice farmers to get P5,000 cash aid

By Leilanie G. Adriano Staff Reporter LAOAG CITY—Over 52,000 rice farmers in the province are entitled to receive PHP5,000 each as financial assistance due to the flood of imported rice in the market. From the initial number of 19,927 rice farmer-beneficiaries in Ilocos Norte, provincial agriculturist Norma Lagmay said the number of eligible beneficiaries of the Rice Farmer Financial Assistance (RFFA) program has almost tripled. Under the program, farmers may receive the payment through a LandBank-issued cash card, or over-the-counter withdrawal from Landbank of the Philippines and the Development Bank of the Philippines conduits and accredited payout outlets. RFFA forms part of the immediate interventions set up to cushion rice farmers from the birth pains of the RA 11203 or the so-called Rice Tariffication Law. The law provides for financial assistance for rice farmers to be sourced from the tariff collection of the P10-billion Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fun

LC council outreach session

Laoag ABC President Mikee Fariñas presents some corrections of the minutes of the previous regular session during the February 12, 2020 outreach regular session held at Brgy. 58 Casili, Laoag City while Laoag Vice Mayor and presiding officer Vicentito Lazo and members of the city council listen. (Doms dela Cruz)

Bahay Silangan opens in Piddig

By Leilanie G. Adriano Staff Reporter Piddig , Ilocos Norte—A two-storey drug reformation and rehabilitation center is now open to serve former drug dependents in this town. In a simple program during the opening and blessing of the newly-refurbished Bahay Silangan building located at Brgy. Anao here, just within the compound of the former Gakki Center in the municipality, Piddig Mayor Engr. Eduardo “Eddie” Guillen hopes the building will become a functional structure equipped with a state-of-the-art municipal library that will be open round the clock. “We want the building to be highly functional so there will be computers with high-speed internet so everybody can use it anytime and it’s free,” said Mr. Guillen. According to the mayor, having an accessible internet connection is now a necessity these days. “Generally, when it comes to macro managing, people become more productive when they have access to internet as it provides them boundless opportunitie

Laoag shows interest in sister city ties with China’s Changsa

By Dominic B. dela Cruz Staff Reporter Laoag City —In the midst of preparations to combat the coronavirus disease 2019 ( COVID -19), the Sangguniang Panlungsod in the city tackled a possible sisterhood ties with Changsa City in Hunan Province in the Peoples Republic of China, Sangguniang Panlungsod member Juan Conrado A. Respicio II authored a resolution, which Laoag Mayor Michael Marcos-Keon certified as urgent, signifying the city government’s interest in the establishment of a sisterhood relationship with the Chinese city. Mr. Respicio disclosed that the 5 th Sangguniang Panlungsod has already passed a similar resolution on July 8, 2003. However, nothing came out of the said resolution. In view of this, the current council decided to reiterate the same proposal today. Mr. Respicio explained that the sisterhood will “strengthen technology exchange and cooperation in different fields of endeavor mutually beneficial to the parties as well as broade

PGIN distributes ‘COVID-19’ relief to LGUs

Laoag City —To ensure continued assistance to communities and families from the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis, the Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte (PGIN), through the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO) and the Sustainable Development Office (SDC) distributed food packs to the first group of local government unit (LGU) recipients on March 24, 2020. The provincial government distributed sacks of rice and food packs to the municipalities of Carasi, Piddig, Solsona, and Banna, catering to families, whose wages are earned on a daily basis. These include the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) recipients, drivers, street vendors, farmers, and fisherfolk, among others. Earlier on the same day, the municipalities of Adams, Dumalneg, Pagudpud, Bangui, Burgos, Currimao, Pinili, Paoay, and Nueva Era also received their relief packs in front of the Provincial Capitol Building. At present, Ilocos Norte is still under enhanced community

Ilocos Norte forms health task force vs infectious diseases

By Leilanie G. Adriano Staff Reporter LAOAG CITY—The Ilocos Norte government has created a task force to help prevent infectious diseases. This was contained in the five-page Executive Order No. 51-20 signed by Ilocos Norte Governor Matthew Joseph M. Manotoc on February 19, 2020, which aims to combat infectious diseases such as Covid-19 or commonly known as the coronavirus and other diseases that may endanger the province. Dubbed as, “Task Force Salun-at: Sagubanit Adaywannak”, the task force is composed of the governor as chairperson and co-chaired by Dr. Medeldorf Gaoat, chair of the committee on health of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, Dr.   Josephine Ruedas, acting provincial health officer and Ilocos Norte Vice Governor Cecilia Araneta-Marcos. It also includes the Local Finance Committee of the Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte, the Hospital Management Council led by Dr. Rogelio Balbag, provincial veterinarian Loida Valenzuela, provincial agriculturist

Laoag gov’t lowers trikes ID cards cost to P5 from P100

By Dominic B. dela Cruz Staff Reporter Laoag City —Tricycle drivers and operators in this city thanked the city government here for lowering the tricycle drivers’ identification card from PHP 100 to PHP 5. Laoag councilor Jaybee Baquiran made the announcement of the decrease in the cost after the Sangguniang Panlungsod here passed a resolution directing Laoag treasury office officer-in-charge Arturo Diomedes Gayban to “cease and desist” in collecting PHP 100 for the TDIC in. Mr. Baquiran stressed that the PHP 100 TDIC fee has no legal basis as there is no ordinance that justifies the collection of such fee. Mr. Gayban, however explained that the PHP 100 fee they collect is for the ID picture and lamination of TDICs. He also disclosed that they only began collecting PHP 100 for the TDIC after a private person began illegally printing and reproducing similar TDICs. The said person, he added, was arrested. He did not identify the said person. He also insisted t

OWWA RWOI gives financial assistance to stranded OFWs

City of San Fernando , La Union—The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration Regional Welfare 1 (OWWA RWOI) has started releasing cash assistance to overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) affected by the temporary travel ban in mainland China, Hongkong and Macao due to the Novel Coronavirus Acute Respiratory Disease or 2019-nCoV ARD outbreak. The said cash assistance given to the affected OFWs was an immediate response of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and OWWA to the call of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to ease and lessen the burden of the would-be departing OFWs after the government has imposed the travel ban. OFWs in Ilocos Region affected by the travel ban are encouraged to visit the nearest OWWA RWOI Satellite Office in their provinces or at the Regional Office to inquire about the cash relief assistance. OFWs from nearby regions are also welcome at OWWA RWOI for their convenience. All documented OFWs, newly-hired or Balik-Manggawa, affected by the ban are c