Archive for October 24, 2010

PREPAREDNESS


Pangasinan's Second District Rep. Leopoldo Bataoil and Binmaley Mayor Lorenzo Cerezo talk to residents of barangay San Isidro, Binmaley Monday night prior to the rains and heavy winds brought about by super typhoon Juan. Bataoil advised the people to take extra precaution to avoid untoward incidents.(CESAR RAMIREZ)

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October 24, 2010 at 11:51 pm Leave a comment

Typhoon brings tears and terror to Binday residents


By Yolanda Sotelo

SAN FABIAN– Residents of Binday were reduced to tears and terror after the two dike projects being built along Bued River were smashed to destruction by the strong winds and heavy rains brought by typhoon Juan.

]This village lost four hectares with 21 houses during the onslaught of typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng in October 2009, with residents saying that at least 50 hectares have been swallowed by the river in the past years because of typhoons.

Residents feared that another super typhoon will erode more land.

Fortunately, Juan was not as destructive as it was touted to be, and filled the river by only third of what Ondoy and Pepeng did, but it was enough to “melt the dikes like ice cream.”

“Its back to zero. It is very frustrating. Millions worth of projects have been poured into the river to protect it from erosion, but it seems the structures are not strong enough to withstand the wrath of nature,” municipal agriculturist Juan Juguilon said.

In 2009, a project to divert the water away from the bank was started, reportedly funded by former Senator Loi Ejercito. This year, two projects were started, one by the Deparment of Public Works and Highways. Juguilon said the residents do not know where the other project came from because the municipal and the barangy officials were not informed about it.

All projects were gone just after a night of typhoon Juan.

The residents are outraged at how the government is solving the problem, pointing out that the projects being implemented are no match to the mighty river.

“We need a comprehensive plan, not pitsi-pitsi (piece by piece),” they said.

The residents who were born in the village said they knew the river’s history and its behavior, thus they knew knew that the projects were not enough to protect their village.

“Millions have been spent on projects here but where are they now? Many people and animals have died,” Arcenio Halog, municipal agriculture and fishery council chairman, said.

“But no one consulted us. Every year, they implement project and every year without public hearing and the projects are destroyed by floods. We think there are people who merely want to make money through the projects,” he said.

He added that the government “should consult us because we know if a project can last long or not or they are just earning from it.”

The river is making the residents closer, Ludigracia Juiguilon, said.

When residents in risky areas evacuated, neighbors came to help for feww, using their kuliglig and tribikes to transport the belongings, Juiguilon, the wife of the barangay chairman, said.

Juan Juguilon said Bued River traverses at least five villages in the town which are tobacco producers.

But while the town was able to get P270 million tobacco excise tax, no fund for river protection projects was alloted, he said.

Residents are asking President Aquino to look into their plight, “maybe he could do something to help us.”

October 24, 2010 at 11:39 pm 1 comment

Perpetual mendicancy


It’s frustrating to know that this present administration is on the frontline in the promotion of mendicancy in this country. The proposed 2011 General Appropriations has included P21 billion to be used for the conditional cash transfer purposely to be given to indigents all over the country. It is designed to ease out poverty and to encourage parents to send their children to school. This is the same program during the administration of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, a program that was frowned upon by President PNoy.

I am wondering why this administration is hell-bent on pursuing this kind of program. Poverty could not be solved by doling out cash. How can the government identify real indigents? How are the cash transferred to them be monitored? And what are the safety nets to be used to ensure that the cash will be given to identified beneficiaries?

Let’s look how indigents are identified in barangays.

Many if not most social workers get their list of “supposed” indigents from barangay officials. These barangay officials , who were not briefed on indigency parameters, will list down the names of the “indigents” who are mostly their close friends, relatives and those who supported them politically. With this kind of system, the “real” indigents are left behind. Even the listing of indigents is being politicized because the incumbent officials make sure that during election time they will still be supported by these pseudo-indigents.

We have the anti-mendicancy law which bans people from begging. The purpose of this law is to promote industry and not mendicancy. While it is a fact that many of our fellow Filipinos are wallowing in poverty, the conditional cash transfer is not the solution. This administration must find ways to generate jobs and if possible increase scholarship funds for the indigents. It is education that could liberate these indigents from poverty.

What is even disheartening is that the budget for the conditional cash transfer or “mendicancy-aid” is even bigger than that of the state universities and colleges. The present administration has deliberately decreased their budget which is not consonance to the policy of promoting good education in the country.

Indeed, President PNoy was ill-advised by Social Welfare Secretary Dinky Soliman. Of course, the provision of social services is one of the responsibilities of the government. But not in this kind of program. The P21 billion could be used to more projects with great social impact. If I were President PNoy, the funds will be used to construct school buildings to solve the problems of classrooms shortage or use it for scholarship program particularly in the promotion of science and technology.

A famous Chinese philosopher by the name of Lao Tzu once said: “Give a man a ganta of rice and he will eat for a day, teach him how to plant and he will eat for the rest of his life.” This should be the guiding principle of President PNoy otherwise he is the best promoter of “perpetual mendicancy”.

Or, is he not politicking at this early of time? Think about it.

(for comments, email me at emperorvirgil@yahoo.com)

October 24, 2010 at 11:38 pm Leave a comment

FLOODS AGAIN


These people wade through the flooded road along barangay Tapuac in Dagupan City last October 21. Most of the low lying areas in the city and neighboring towns were flooded due to incessant rain brought about by super typhoon Juan early last week.(CESAR RAMIREZ)

October 24, 2010 at 11:26 pm Leave a comment

Robinson-Calasiao to open next year


By Mortz C. Ortigoza

CALASIAO – Vice Mayor Roy Macanlalay of this town said the Robinsons Land Corporation (RLC) has already started the construction of the branch of its mall in Brgy. San Miguel here.

“Ginagawa na iyung Robinson actually. Nag-sa-site development na sila. So most probably sabi nga nila by September next year, open na,” the former mayor said

His son, incumbent mayor Mark Roy Macanlalay, earlier said despite the scarcity of vast tracts of land to accommodate huge malls like SM, Robinson has already purchased a 10-hectare lot near the Honda Car Center in Brgy. San Miguel.

Mayor Macanlalay added that the huge Car Center that is also located in the land RLC has bought would be relocated somewhere in this town.

The two-level Robinson-Calasiao would be built on a 5.8-hectare lot with a gross floor area of 31,900 square meters and a gross leasable area of 23,000 sq m. This brings the total GFA of all 30 Robinsons malls to 1.5 million sq ms.

RLC president Frederick Go said the corporation chose this town famous for its tiny rice cakes for its first mall in Pangasinan because the first class municipality is strategically located between Dagupan City and San Carlos City. Connected via a major highway, Calasiao is just 15 minutes from Dagupan and 25 minutes from San Carlos City.

Meanwhile, Brgy. Captain Angelito Gumarang of Bonuan Gueset in Dagupan City has said that he wants to emulate how Calasiao –under the stewardship of Mayor Macanlalay – has made head way on its war against garbage through its vaunted Material Recovery Facility at Brgy. Bued.

“Maganda ang management nila sa MRF. We will adopt it. We will study kung paano ang kanilang pag-patakbo ng kanilang waste management,” Gumarang said.

October 24, 2010 at 11:21 pm 9 comments

Stupid non-partisan law for the village poll


Last week, a large number of selected candidates for the barangay election did not only relish the Bacchanalian Feast – of roasted calf and pigs, and other expensive foods – but were willing recipients of oodles of monies from major political players in a city in Northern Luzon.

My informant told me however that some of these village officials were overwhelmed by their greed by jumping the following morning to the camp of the rival of their benefactors for another dole-out.

***

Congress should amend the provision in the Omnibus Election Code (Section 38) that says that the village election should be apolitical.

It means congressmen, mayors, and other public officials are prohibited to intervene during the campaign season.

What happens, however, is the exact opposite of the intention of the law.

These high officials zealously interfere because their interest is their political survival in the 2013 election.

The financial help they give to the “kapitans” and “kagawads” this year would be compensated with votes.

This is plain and simple quid quo pro. Our congressmen should have seen this statuary blunder.

***

Look how stupid this law is, like its counterpart on Squatter and Solid Waste Management Act sponsored by then Senator Jose Lina and former Congressman Neric Acosta, respectively.

The exemption to that law is any member of a political organization who is acting individually (say a senator, governor, mayor, you name it my dear Procopio) can intervene psychologically, materially, or financially (Occena vs. Commission on Elections, 127 SCRA 404 (1984).

Another exemption is any of the elective officials I mentioned can interfere in the poll campaign of any village bet as long as he is a relative within the fourth civil degree by consanguinity and affinity of the candidate.

Susmariosep, where is the insulation being prohibited by the law? Where is the wisdom of this law? A mayor as everybody knows is already the head of a political party of a town or a city. Whether we like it or not, his interference is representative of his party.

What a waste of precious money, time, and saliva have been wasted on Section 38 by our honorable representatives when they hammered this at the Batasang Pambansa (precursor of our Congress).

***

I heard that barangay officials in Mangaldan have already paid their visit to Vice Mayor Berex Abalos.

Abalos is being eyed as the “heir-apparent” of Mayor Herminio Romero who is now on his last term.

But political pundits in that first class town do not agree on this prognosis.

A guy with an initial of “R.D.” told me that the force to reckon in the town’s top post is former mayoralty bet –the moneyed Mrs. Bona de Vera.

But a very prominent and much respected son of the town vehemently disagrees. He told me in whisper that there is that bet that could give cold chills to the two prospects after they read this article.

He said the real-deal is former general and former PNP chief Art Lomibao.

Without any post under the Aquino Administration, the probability of Art eyeing the mayoralty is as high as Mt. Everest.

(Send comments to totomortz@yahoo.com)

October 24, 2010 at 11:20 pm Leave a comment

‘Bobom’ supports none in barangay, SK polls


By Virgilio Sar. Maganes

URDANETA CITY- Unlike many towns’ local executives who are giving support to candidates in the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections on October 25, Mayor Amadeo Gregorio “Bobom” Perez IV is not lifting a finger to support any candidate for the said polls in this city.

Perez said he is abiding with the provisions of the Local Government Code of 1991 and the Commission on Election’s (Comelec) Omnibus Election Code that local executives must respect non-partisanships during Barangay and SK elections.

“I decided not to endorse any particular candidate in the barangays. It’s a free for all scheme to all those who want to run, either punong barangay (village chief) or kagawad,” he said.

He further said that this kind of system will let the people decide who will be their next leaders to ensure the delivery of basic services to the city’s constituents.

“Many candidates have approached me for help especially those who have supported me during the May 10, 2010 elections. But I have to be honest with them, that this election is non-partisan in nature and that we are not suppose to meddle in their electoral affair,” he said.

Meanwhile, Perez outlined his programs. foremost of which is the “Gulayan sa Barangay”.

“This is a continuing program which I have spearheaded when I was still a city councilor. I believe that through planting vegetables in backyards and vacant lots, food sufficiency in the city will be attained. In this program, we provide seeds and organic fertilizers to our city mates,” he said.

He also said that he is currently putting traffic system in order by re-routing tricycles and jeepneys and improving the sidewalks in the market areas.

When asked on his accomplishments for the first 100 days in his office, he said that the people will see for themselves what he has done.

“I am here as their public-servant and I have to serve our people. I am also giving example to the city’s employees by observing proper time. I have to be in the office by seven in the morning and leave at 12:00 noon, then I have to go back at one in the afternoon and leave at 5:00 in the afternoon. Like them, I also wear my ID,” he said.

October 24, 2010 at 11:15 pm Leave a comment

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