Archive for October 10, 2010

DISMANTLE ‘EM


Mayor Benjamin S. Lim (left wearing cap and sunglass) supervises the demolition crew composed of police, Public Order and Safety Office and anti-littering personnel in dismantling illegally – installed fishpen structures along Dagupan’s Dawel and Tanap rivers in barangay Bonuan Gueset. The citywide demolition campaign was launched last Tuesday as a prelude to the implementation of a one-year moratorium to rid the river system of obstructions and pollutants and boost its productivity. At right, Executive Assistant Butch Gutierrez in action. (CIO Dagupan photo by Edwin Palaganas)

Mayor Benjamin S. Lim (left wearing cap and sunglass) supervises the demolition crew composed of police, Public Order and Safety Office and anti-littering personnel in dismantling illegally – installed fishpen structures along Dagupan’s Dawel and Tanap rivers in barangay Bonuan Gueset. The citywide demolition campaign was launched last Tuesday as a prelude to the implementation of a one-year moratorium to rid the river system of obstructions and pollutants and boost its productivity. At right, Executive Assistant Butch Gutierrez in action. (CIO Dagupan photo by Edwin Palaganas)

October 10, 2010 at 5:10 pm Leave a comment

Gov’t project can still be bidded despite poll ban – DPWH


by Mortz C. Ortigoza

STA. BARBARA – The chief engineer of the Department of Public Works & Highway based in this town explained that the pre-construction activity of a government project could still be undertaken despite election ban.

Eng. Marietta B. Mendoza of the 2nd engineering sub-division office said that the department can proceed to the deliberation of the civil works and by posting it on the internet for public view.

“We can bid the project but we can not award. That’s the restriction imposed by the Commission on Elections (Comelec).”

She added the misconception of those elected officials who were just elected last May 10, 2010 polls why DPWH undergoes bidding despite of the ban that started last March this year.

“We can not award but we can bid to the pre-construction activities,” she said.

Mendoza reiterated that what is prohibited is the awarding of the project to a contractor during the ban period.

She cited an example of a public school building that was just bided last August 3 but was not implemented even if it was already outside the ban period for an award to a contractor.

“There’s a memo from the undersecretary not to obligate any civil works and we have our bidding last August 3, we can’t put the date to proceed the construction.”

She said that she even invited the mayor whose town hosts the project that was the subject of the bidding.

October 10, 2010 at 5:05 pm Leave a comment

RDO-6: Model tax office


By Mortz C. Ortigoza

URDANETA CITY – If tax offices all over the country have been short of their target collection goal this year, not for this revenue district office based here.

Merlyn DV. Vicente, chief of Revenue District Office-6 is only short of 9.45% of its mandated year 2010 goal of P695,670,000 as of August 2010.

She said that her office has already collected P630,604, 604.31.
“That’s right. We have performed well for the month of August. From January to August we have already surpassed our goal for that period. For the yearly goal we have already attain 90.65%.”
When asked why she stood tall among revenue district chiefs all over the country that failed to attain their goal, Vicente hailed her office’s rigid monitoring of taxpayers including the local government units and the government-owned and controlled corporations.
She further said that in the same month last year, she collected P422, 817, 275.76.

RDO-6 supervises a city and 15 towns that are mostly located in Eastern Pangasinan .

“This is the result of the pro-active role we played in the tax collection.”

She added that the “gods are smiling” on them because the goal given by the national tax office in August is P77,587,500.

“But we breached it by collecting P88,258,519.70 or an excess of 13.75%,” Vicente said.

“That’s right. We have performed well for the month of August. From January to August we have already surpassed our goal for that period. For the yearly goal we have already attain 90.65%.”
She lauded her staff for making this feat possible.

October 10, 2010 at 5:03 pm Leave a comment

Who’s afraid of the Reproductive Health Bill?


It’s about time that President PNoy Aquino pronounced that he is supporting the Reproductive Health Bill that is pending in Congress. It was a bold move on his part which earned the ire of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP). But President PNoy must make a stand and decision in order that the reproductive health bill must once and for all be enacted into law.
Personally, I could not understand why the CBCP keeps on opposing the passage of said law when its merits have not been fully scrutinized by them. We have a population of more or less 95 million Filipinos and at the rate of population growth at 2.5%, the population will balloon to more than 150 million in the next ten years. We must acknowledge the fact that land is a finite resource. The more the population, the more problems we will be encountering. Where will we get food to eat? Where will we get funds for the construction of school rooms? And how about health services? Can the government meet its obligations in delivering basic services to the people?
The reproductive health bill does not espouse abortion. It deals with the use of contraceptives such as condoms, pills, injectables, natural family planning and other forms of contraceptive measures. Why does the Catholic Church cannot comprehend the core of the bill which is to control population growth? The Church in its pastoral letters in the past has been informing the faithfuls of its “ pro-life” policy and advocacy. Isn’t the reproductive health bill in itself is also pro-life? By using contraceptives, no life is at stake? There will be no ovum yet that is fertilized such that no life is being aborted.
Without contraceptives couples will likely have more children. More children will mean more economic activities for the parents. They have to feed, clothe and educate their children. Look at the poor street children in many cities especially Metro Manila. They are being abused by doing menial work and many of them- boys and girls, are thrown into prostitution. What is the Church doing? Has there been a haven for the street children where they will be fed, clothed, educated and sheltered? The government must intervene into this kind of situation but then its resources are not enough.
Why do we have to fear the reproductive health bill? It does not promote sexual promiscuity. It is a measure to curb population growth and to protect persons on their reproductive health. President Noy said that he is for the “informed choice” meaning the use of contraceptives is not coercive. That will depend on the conscience of those who want to use them. The population management program has been there for so long a time. The USAID had poured millions of dollars for contraceptives particularly in the third world countries. But population worldwide did not decline, instead it has grown so fast- a growth that is quite alarming particularly that we have other concerns like massive poverty, global warming, climate change and environmental degradation.
This is now the time to think. The Church must do its role in propagating spiritual and moral virtues and values to the people. Let the State to do its role in the development process.
Population development and management are among our concerns.
( for comments email me at emperorvirgil@yahoo.com)

October 10, 2010 at 5:02 pm Leave a comment

TRASH TO CRAFT


(L-R) Ms. Minerva Panopio, exhibitor, DENR- Provincial Environment Officer Edwina Wico and SM City Rosales’ Asst. Mall Manager cut the ceremonial ribbon during the opening of “Trash to Craft” exhibit.

October 10, 2010 at 5:00 pm Leave a comment

Pangasinan II Schools Division celebrates Literacy Week


By Virgilio Sar. Maganes

VILLASIS- “ A functional literacy is a key to development. Learning is not confined in classrooms. We could learn in our houses, under the trees, karaoke bars and churches”.
This was the message of Dr. Carolina S. Guerrero, director of the Bureau of Alternative Learning System of the Department of Education (DepEd) during the Pangasinan II schools division’s celebration of the Literacy Week and Senior Citizens’ Festival held at the Don Ramon E. Costales Memorial National High School (DRECMNHS) here on September 29.
Guerrero, who was the guest of honor and speaker, also said that through the Alternative Learning System (ALS), a lot of realities could surfaced.
“Through ALS, learning is fun. There is no system for enrolment and graduation periods to think of. Anytime of the year, those who want to study under ALS could always be accommodated. Learning process is also relaxed,” she said.
She further said that in ALS, it is not only the teachers have the knowledge but also the learners adding that through their experiences because of age, the learners could share their knowledge to their teachers.
The ALS, which was formerly known as Non Formal Education, caters to out-of-school youth (OSY) by providing them skills training as sources of livelihood. They can also mainstream into the regular educational system by taking up accreditation and equivalency (A and E) test.
Schools Division Superintendent Viraluz S. Raguindin, who introduced Guerrero, commended the men and women behind the ALS who she said are ensuring the provisions of the education for all policy of the government, inside and outside the formal educational system.
She also cited the gains of the ALS in many municipalities covered by the division for garnering awards and commendations in the implementation of the program.
Mayor Libradita G. Abrenica lauded the ALS stakeholders for reaching out the less educated.
“You have improved many lives because of the skills learned in the literacy program. We, the local government units (LGUs) are your partners. Let’s double up our efforts to widen literacy activities,” Abrenica said.
Provincial Liga ng Barangay President Amadeo T. Espino, who also graced the celebration, said that the literacy program is a means of recovering from poverty as those in the ALS were left behind in their educational needs.
After the program, various contests on skills like poster making, cooking, manicuring and pedicuring, and hair cutting were conducted.
The senior citizens from various towns also displayed their talents through dancing skills.
This year’s theme of the Literacy Week celebration is “Community Development: A Shared Responsibility to Society Through Literacy

October 10, 2010 at 4:55 pm Leave a comment

SM City Rosales opens “Trash to Craft” exhibit


by Virgilio Sar. Maganes
ROSALES- A four-day exhibit of handcrafted paper jewelry was formally opened by Minerva Panopio of Bari, Mangaldan last September 30 at the Event Center, SM City Rosales as part of the mall’s “SM Cares Program (Let’s do our share).”
During the opening program, Assistant Mall Manager Jersey Y. Mendoza emphasized the commitment of the SM Prime Holdings, Inc. in promoting environmental awareness.
He said that the exhibit is part of their “Trash to Craft” program along with “Trash to Cash” which has been undertaken in all the SM malls throughout the country.
“SM is not only a business, but a partner in nation building,” Mendoza said.
Provincial Environment Officer Edwina Co of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) commended the advocacy of Panopio in promoting environmental concerns particularly in recycling paper into different products.
“We should not stop innovating products that will compete in the world market. We should look into quality, designs and durability,” Wico said.
On the other hand, Panopio recalled how her advocacy started.
She said that before starting her paper jewelry craft, she was already involved in waste segregation in her home.
“ Masarap mamuhay sa isang pamayanan na may sariwang hangin at may mga punong kahoy,” she said adding that every time that she visited a place, she asked for seeds and plant them back home or give them away to her neighbors.
Panopio, who was featured earlier in the Philippine Daily Inquirer because of her paper jewelries, is an advocate for environment.
She started her business with P800 capital and gathered her 10 neighbors in Mangaldan to produce paper jewelry and ID lanyards.
“It was not an easy task. But the local government unit of Mangaldan through Mayor Herminio Romero supported me. The municipal employees were the first ones to use our ID lanyards,” she said.
She also said that she is not looking on the earning or of getting rich by this initiative but foremost is the rehabilitation of the environment.
Her products composed of necklaces, bracelets, ID lanyards, rosaries, etc. are artistically crafted out of recycled papers.
“ Wear trash and still look good in it,” she said.
The exhibit is opened to the public for view and sale on September 30 to October 3.

October 10, 2010 at 4:54 pm Leave a comment

Questionable Sokol choppers’ deal in the Philippines


Are our P6 billion government appropriations for 15 PZL Swidnik S.A helicopters from Poland would be another precious Philippine fund that goes to the drain because of corruption due to non- competitive bidding?

Most developed and developing countries in the world do not possessed these questionable Polish choppers known as Sokol in their inventory. Why are they avoiding these stuffs like plague?

Compared to a latest technology chopper of the same class, this Pole made aircraft has only 1,340 kw take-off power on a 6,400 kg weigh, while Augusta A159 has 2,030 kw take-off power on a 6000 kg weight.

In Southeast Asia, it’s only poor Myanmar ( Burma ) that has the gall to maintain them despite all of these military hardware were returned by the Iraqi Air force to its maker in Poland .
Has the fledgling Iraqi air force found something wrong with Swidnik? Is this rotary wing aircraft has a tendency to be a widow-maker like our U.S hands-me-down Vietnam war era Huey choppers?

I thought that when the government bought the first eight of these utility helicopters in a government-to-government transaction, it was already overpriced because of the absence of bidding.

But when we bided the last seven version of Sokol attack helicopter for P3.2-billion (or more than P450 million apiece), does it mean the P2.8-billion for the eight chopper is still cheaper as it worth only P350 apiece? Is that staggering P100 million a yawning difference between a utility helicopter and an attack chopper? Is that a result of a bid where other “frustrated” bidders withdrew?

The Sokol’s attack version should be cheaper because it should have undergone a bid against Boeing, Asia Aerospace/MD Helicopter Inc., Euro copter, Elbit System/Joavi Philippines, and the Russian Federation – that all withdrawn from the public bidding.

Report from Philippine Daily Inquirer (dated October 5, 2010) said that the acquisition of the last batch was stopped because of the collusion among Philippine defense officials and the supplier of Swidnik. It was said that they crafted the specifications to suit the Polish maker and undermine the other bidders.

The five suppliers who withdrew in the bid should come out in the open and say their beef in this alleged rigging. Who knows one of them can still land a contract against Sokol.
And I am not yet talking here about the two choppers’ aborted deal worth P850 million by Sokol to our Navy that suspiciously allowed only a single bidder.

Who knows we Filipinos can still escape this plunder from a helicopter that has been reported to be phased out in the near future by Augusta-Westland – its rival that bought it?

Send comments to totomortz@yahoo.com)

October 10, 2010 at 4:52 pm 2 comments


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