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Showing posts from September, 2020

‘LCGH on verge of bankruptcy’

  By Dominic B. dela Cruz ( Staff Reporter) Laoag City —The city government here is appealing to all health professionals who are bona fide residents or trace their roots in this city from here and abroad to lend their expertise pro bono in transforming the Laoag City General Hospital (LCGH) from a health institution on the verge of bankruptcy to a truly earning economic enterprise. In their regular session, the Sangguniang Panlungsod unanimously approved a measure sponsored by the committee on health appealing to all health professionals to elevate the present economic status of the city hospital. Laoag councilor Jaybee Baquiran, who sponsored the measure, said the present administration was shocked to discover the hospital’s present condition. The 10-year-old city hospital was earlier announced as “a noble and economically feasible” as it was declared to be an economic enterprise. Mr. Baquiran, who chairs the committee on health, explained the present administration discove

Riders volunteer to distribute modules for learners

By Leilanie G. Adriano ( Staff Reporter) LAOAG CITY—As various schools in this city gear up for distance learning under the new normal, some riders here have signified their intent to distribute learner’s modules for free. In a memorandum of agreement (MOA) signed between the Department of Education Laoag City and the Motorcycle Philippines Federation 128, Inc., both parties agreed that the modules, which teachers developed, the riders will distribute and retrieve for free to the city’s barangay village, including other municipalities if applicable. Dubbed as project “Volunteer Riders Organized for Optable Module” (VROOM) Delivery, Gary D. Ronquillo, the motorists’ federation provincial coordinator said in an interview that as partners for education in the “new normal”, they are offering their services for the welfare of children in Laoag and Ilocos Norte. “Over the years, we [riders] had been used to public service. This is the least we can do for our children during this time

Ridge to reef: Ilocos Norte to start welcoming tourists from Northern Luzon

  Laoag City —Ilocos Norte Governor Matthew Joseph M. Manotoc has committed to the opening of the "Northern Luzon Tourism Corridor," an initiative of chief executives and tourism councils in Northern Luzon to cushion the impact of COVID-19 across tourism industries. Preparing for the resumption of tourism by rolling out a rehabilitation plan, the provincial governments of Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union, and Pangasinan, and the city government of Baguio have collaborated to prioritize the livelihood rehabilitation of their constituents while guaranteeing the overall safety of tourists and spurring again tourism-related economic activities.   "We started discussing the 'Tourism Bubble' concept together with 'the Department of Tourism (DOT) and counterparts in Region I and Baguio City, as well as other tourism officers in the country because at that time, very early in May,   there was no clear reference about how to address the impact of the pandemic,

Sowing the seeds of hope and friendship

  The Philippines and China are traditionally good neighbors with a long history of exchanges and friendship. Ilocanos and the people of North Luzon are friendly, and usually greet Chinese people with 'Ni Hao'. With the deepening of China-Philippine communication and cooperation, the enthusiasm of Filipinos to learn Chinese is increasing. However, there has been a shortage of native Chinese language teachers for years in the northern part. In order to cultivate a group of talents proficient in both languages and cultures of two countries, the Chinese Consulate in Laoag set up a scholarship to support local students to study in China since 2016. The consulate and local government jointly selected outstanding candidates. Melody Allado, a student from Paoay National High School, is one of the winners. In June 2020, Melody successfully graduated from Minnan Normal University in Fujian Province. Recalling the amazing experience in China, Melody said, "I am very gratefu

Laoag SK VP moves to oust federated prexy

By Dominic B. dela Cruz ( Staff Reporter) Laoag City —The city’s Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) federation president and ex-officio Sangguniang Panlungsod member alleged that Laoag SK federated vice president Juan Carlos Tabios III is moving to oust her from her current position. Laoag SK president Anzhelyka Faye Lao, in a privilege speech delivered during the city council’s August 14, 2020 regular session, said she is disappointed to learn that Mr. Tabios has allegedly circulated a manifesto against her. She added that Mr. Tabios had been allegedly meeting with other SK officials in this city one by one to sign the manifesto. Ms. Lao disclosed that other SK officials in the city have approached her and said that Laoag councilors Roque Benjamin Ablan and Jaybee Baquiran were allegedly “pressuring and persuading” them to sign the manifesto. She stressed that those who approached her did not mention Mr. Tabios as the one allegedly pressuring them. She added that she considers Mess

China and the Philippines work with solidarity and love in hard times

Consulate of the People's Republic of China in Laoag Consula and Head of Post Zhou Youbin and MMSU President Shirley Agrupis opens the China corner at the Batac university. (FIle photo)   By Zhou Youbin Consul and Head of Post, Consulate of the People's Republic of China in Laoag 2020 is destined to be a special chapter in history. Due to the impact of the pandemic, people's daily life has been disrupted. The world is facing tremendous changes. October 1 st of this year marks the 71 st anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, and it also happens to be the Mid-Autumn Festival (Mooncake Festival) in the traditional Chinese lunar calendar. Though we could not celebrate the festivals together in person like usual, I have still received greetings from many Filipino and Chinese friends. The warmth of the festivals are shared among friends. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, under the strong leadership of the CPC Central Committee with President Xi Ji

Marcos town inaugurates isolation facility

  Ilocos Norte Governor Matthew Joseph Manotoc and Marcos town mayor Antonio Mariano lead the inauguration and blessing of the newly-constructed isolation facility. The area is located near a mountainside at Brgy. Lydia, Marcos, Ilocos Norte with 13 rooms available for quarantine. (Photo courtesy of the Office of Governor Matthew Joseph Manotoc) By Leilanie G. Adriano ( Staff Reporter) Marcos , Ilocos Norte—The municipal government here inaugurated a 13-room modern and spacious isolation facility at Brgy.   Lydia, in this town. Worth PHP6 million and sourced from the government’s “Bayanihan fund” with a counterpart from the municipal government’s development fund, Marcos mayor Antonio Mariano said they will use the newly-constructed multi-purpose building as a quarantine site for returning residents. During a simple inauguration ceremony attended by provincial and municipal officials, Ilocos Norte Governor Matthew Joseph M. Manotoc lauded Marcos town officials led by Mr. Marian

Young Ilokano farmer barters eggplant for school supplies

CRISNER  Lagazo and a maruista exchanging deals at Eat Good Vibes Cafe in Laoag City on Monday. The young farmer bartered his long purple eggplant in exchange of school supplies to be distributed to Ilokano learners in the province. ( Photo courtesy of Eat Good Vibes Cafe)   By Leilanie G. Adriano ( Staff Reporter) LAOAG CITY—A young farmer from Brgy. Sulbec, Pasuquin, Ilocos Norte is bartering his freshly picked long purple eggplant in exchange for school supplies. Through the Maru Barter Ilocos, an online community where more than 10,000 members offer their products or services in exchange for something but with no cash allowed for every successful deal, Crisner Lagazo thought of dealing his eggplant crops, which are abundant this rainy season. Since Sunday evening, a photo of Mr. Lagazo’s eggplant plantation along with a tray of long purple eggplants has generated so many hits from the online barter community being administered by an inspiring young woman entrepreneur and owne

Chinese consulate in Laoag donates PPEs to local communities

  In August, 2020, the Chinese Consulate in Laoag donated a total of 50,000 disposable masks, 5,000 KN95 masks, 400 sets of coveralls, and 100 pieces of goggles to help local communities in Ilocos Norte to resume their respective work. The Chinese consulate distributed the said medical equipment to Mariano Marcos State University, Paoay National High School, and St. Santiago School for their preparation for the new school year. They also distributed several sets of materials to the Laoag International Airport to help airport personnel prepare for the resumption of flights to the province. The Chinese consulate also gave Ilocos Norte border personnel PPEs to help them handle the increasing number of returning residents. Chinese consul & head of post Zhou Youbin said: “We especially hope to show our deepest respect to all frontliners.”

Laoag City barangay reverts to drug-affected status

  By Dominic B. dela Cruz (Staff Reporter) Laoag City —The Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) reverted Brgy. 55 Barit-Pandan as drug-affected after the joint provincial intelligence workshop in which two drug personalities were identified to be residents of the said barangay, thereby affecting its “drug-free” status. Laoag City Local Government Operations Officer Janet Duarte made the announcement which she said was based on a DDB resolution declaring Brgy. Barit as “drug-affected” barangay. Ms. Duarte said RA 9165 [Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002] mandates the government to pursue intensified and unrelenting campaign against illegal drugs and shall endeavor to secure the assistance of the local government units in drug operations. The DDB was created as the policy making and strategy formulating body in the planning and formulation of policies and programs on drug prevention and control. The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) was likewise created for an efficient

Imee: Probe telcos, ISPs for child abuse cases online rise

  Senator Ma. Imelda Josefa “Imee” R. Marcos expressed alarm at the spike in cases of child sexual abuse online since lockdowns were imposed to stop the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Ms. Marcos filed Senate Resolution 487 to investigate how such cases in March to May alone more than tripled to about 260,000 from a year earlier, based on reports from the Department of Justice and the Department of Social Welfare and Development. The Philippines has gained a reputation as the “global epicenter of the live-stream sex abuse trade” and the top global source of child pornography, according to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). The recent arrest in Pampanga of American pedophile Michael Kent Clapper, on a tip from the US embassy in Manila, is just one of many police operations conducted since the mid-March lockdown, with the Philippine Internet Crimes Against Children Center rescuing 34 minors from Luzon to Mindanao who were involved in online pornograp

Adams reopens—but only for local tourists

  By Leilanie G. Adriano ( Staff Reporter) LAOAG CITY–Closed for more than two weeks, Ilocos Norte’s smallest town composed of one barangay is now accepting local tourists—but only from this province. Home to over 2,000 peace-loving indigenous peoples, waterfalls and hanging bridges, the town of Adams temporary suspended the entry of visitors from August 10-25, 2020 following the surge of coronavirus infections in the province. Executive Order No. 28-2020 which Adams mayor Rosalia Dupagen signed barred the entry of non-residents, re-echoing Ilocos Norte Governor Matthew Joseph M. Manotoc’s directive to cooperate with authorities and help contain the spread of the virus. “Adams is now open to tourism activities,” said municipal tourism officer Anavic Medrano on August 27, 2020, delighting netizens who want to visit Adams town, known for its local fruit wines and scenic destinations. Ms. Medrano, however clarified that only Ilocos Norte residents can visit Adams until further n

‘Stop discrimination vs COVID-19, patients, frontliners’

  Displaced PUV drivers line up as a beneficiary of the provincial government's recovery program for displaced workers. To become part of the program, they must ensure they are fit to work and meet the minimum health protocol. (Lei Adriano) By Leilanie G. Adriano ( Staff Reporter) Laoag City —As the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic rages, Ilocos Norte Governor Matthew Joseph M. Manotoc called on the public anew to stop discriminating patients and their relatives as well as people working on the frontline against COVID-19. “It [discrimination] is something that is very sensitive but let us try to be very understanding, especially to our frontliners,” Mr. Manotoc appealed during his virtual press conference. Despite the recognition they receive for their heroic sacrifices, health workers face social stigma, harassment, and denial of service, among others. On April 20, 2020, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan passed Provincial Ordinance (PO) No. 22-2020, as amended by P

La Milagrosa Cove in Ilocos Norte gets P5M improvement fund

  By Leilanie G. Adriano ( Staff Reporter) LAOAG CITY—An idyllic cove with crystal clear waters at Sitio Pagetpet, Brgy. La Milagrosa in Badoc, Ilocos Norte is gearing up for a much-needed facility improvement while tourists are not yet allowed to visit here due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In recent years, the town of Badoc that hosts the La Milagrosa Cove and the Minor Basilica of Saint John the Baptist had drawn foreign and local tourists for devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. To keep up with a growing interest in faith tourism under the new normal, the Ilocos Norte government through members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan has approved a total of PHP5 million as additional funds for tourism facility improvement. According to provincial tourism officer Ianree Raquel, "part of the improvement includes the establishment if at least five comfort rooms for female and four for male.” In addition, there will also be three urinals for male. "Both male and female comfort

Batac inaugurates new brgy water system

Batac Mayor Albert D. Chua leads the blessing, inauguration and switching on of the newly installed BLISS Water System at Sitio 3 Bliss at Barangay Camandingan, City of Batac on July 31, 2020. The water system caters to 55 residential houses. (Doms dela Cruz) By Dominic B. dela Cruz  (Staff Reporter) Batac City —Batac Mayor Albert D. Chua led that blessing and inauguration of the city’s new water system project at Brgy. Camandingan, Sitio Bliss, this city on July 30, 2020. The water project will benefit at least 55 residential houses in the area. This project is among the city’s “pet projects”, the basic need for water. In 1995, when the mayor entered politics, he already noticed an old inoperable old water tank at Sitio Bliss in the said barangay. “And now that I’m back as mayor, I, together with the present set of the Sangguniang Panlungsod, found ways and funding in order to revive and rehabilitate the water system,” Mr. Chua disclosed.     He said his administration is “t

PGIN offers emergency employment for pandemic-displaced ROFs

  Laoag City —To support a wider demographic of residents affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, the provincial government of Ilocos Norte (PGIN) has created an emergency livelihood and employment program for Returning Overseas Filipinos (ROFs). Through the “IN na NEGOSYO sa KARITON ni Manong MATT” program, PGIN will provide a working capital of Php 2,000.00, a business cart or “ kariton” , and an entrepreneurship training to 50 qualified recipients. According to Provincial Public Employment Service Office (PESO) manager Lizette B. Atuan, the project will cater to displaced ROFs who will stay in the province for good. PESO will accept applications from August 17 to August 21, 2020. Applicants must first write a letter of intent to Ilocos Norte Governor Matthew Joseph M. Manotoc, fill-out an application form available at llocos Norte PESO Facebook Page, and send it to for assessment.   Chosen ROF-beneficiaries need to submit the following requireme

Batac asks leaseholders, lessors, landlords to register

By Dominic B. dela Cruz ( Staff Reporter) Batac City —With the influx of temporary residents in this city, the city government here has required all residential leaseholders, lessors and landlords to register at the Residential Leasehold Council (RLC). Records show that Batac has a total population of at least 50,000, who are residents and non-residents resulting in an uncontrollable demand for housing, boarding and accommodation. Batac councilor Giancarlo Angelo Crisostomo said leaseholders, lessors and landlords are advised to register to ensure their safety as well as the safety and security of their tenants. All leaseholders, lessors and landlords should register in their respective barangays with a lease/rent contract of agreement. The RLC is composed of Batac Mayor Albert D. Chua as chairperson; Batac vice mayor Windell Chua, the ABC president, the council’s committees on public safety and dangerous drugs, public works, Infrastructure, housing and urban barangay and dev

RCEF training programs for farmers to continue

T raining programs for farmers covered by the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) under the Rice Tariffication Law will continue while ensuring healthy and safety practices in its activities to minimize COVID-19 risk. “There will be modifications in learning approach and delivery to optimize learning under the new normal. It is going to be different and difficult for the implementing agencies and the trainees but we need to fulfill our mission,” said Dr. Rosana Mula, chair of RCEF-Rice Extension Services Program (RESP) Technical Working Group (TWG) and Deputy Director of the Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Training Institute (DA-ATI). Dr. Mula said the Farmers’ Field School (FFS) on the production of high-quality inbred rice and seeds, and farm mechanization conducted by farm schools was redesigned to minimize number of contact days while ensuring that rice production principles and practices at critical growth stages are taught, including financial literacy. She

PGIN readies animal shelters for wet season

  Laoag City —The Provincial Veterinary Office, together with the Provincial Engineering Office (PEO), inspected four animal shelters to examine the facilities' level of disaster preparedness in case a strong typhoon hits Ilocos Norte. “ Kasama namin ang PEO sa pag -inspect ng mga animal shelters. Sinuri namin ang mga ito bago i -turnover sa mga local government units (LGU). Ayon sa memorandum of agreement, ang mga LGU ang bahala sa management ng mga animal shelters pagkatapos itong i -turnover sa kanila ," provincial veterinarian Dr. Loida M. Valenzuela said. The provincial government constructed animal shelters in four towns: Badoc, Currimao, Dingras, and Solsona. " Sa Dingras, due for turnover na. Sa Solsona naman, ang counterpart ng LGU ay ang pagpapalitada ng daan papunta sa shelter. Habang sa Badoc, may kaunting repair pa na kailangan gaya ng mga rain gutter sa building. At sa Currimao, ongoing pa ang construction ng animal shelter,"