Archive for December, 2010


December 29, 2010 at 5:46 pm Leave a comment

EDITORIAL: No to a third term for Espino


Politics in Pangasinan will never stop.

It has been six months since two personalities were elected into their respective positions but apparently they already have bad blood against each other.

The rift between Governor Amado Espino, Jr. and Bani Mayor Marcelo Navarro, Jr. is taking a bigger shape.

There is grumbling in the ground saying no to a third term for Gov. Espino.

Drums are beating saying no to a third term for Gov. Espino.

Many local officials, not political pundits, are daring Mayor Marcelo to slug it out with Gov. Espino in 2013.

Let them face each other in 2013

The mayors and other local officials disgruntled with Gov. Espino are looking for a candidate for governor in 2013.

Some of them are even saying that they regret having helped Gov. Espino in their respective spheres of influence in 2010.

They do not want Gov. Espino to have a third term.

IT will be a mid-term election where the seating president is Benigno C. Aquino III of the Liberal Party.

Governor Espino is allied with LAKAS.

He has delivered goods and services for the provinces.

Mayor Navarro is allied with the Liberal Party.

He has delivered goods and services for Bani.

If the battle materializes, this will be a battle between two military strategists who were once classmates in the Philippine Military Academy.

December 29, 2010 at 11:06 am Leave a comment

Tent dwellers get new free houses


by Yolanda Sotelo

BANI- After living in tents for many months, victims of typhoon Emong in this western Pangasinan town and typhoon Pepeng in Rosales in eastern part of the province, are now proud owners of concrete houses they helped build.

“We are very happy that we now have a place to call our home,” Diomedes Najora, a beneficiary of a housing project in sitio Olanen, Dacap Sur, said.

Najora’s family and that of 129 others lost their houses to the killer winds of typhoon Emong in May 2009. Most of them stayed for months in tents provided by the Shelter Box, an international organization, which they perched where their houses used to be –the beach in the village. Others stayed with their relatives.

In Rosales town, Cecilia Ramos, 38, and her family have moved to their new, their first-owned, house in barangay Palakipak,

Ramos’ family were former squatters in Carmen West where the earthen dike collapsed at the height of typhoon Pepeng in October 2009 when San Roque Dam suddenly released tons of water into the Agno River.

“We stayed on the rooftop for two days without food and water until we were plucked by a motorboat,” Ramos said.

For about a year, her family, including her children aged 16,15,10 and 6, resided in a tent provided by the Shelter Box. There, they were at the mercy of the unforgiving heat of the sun, the piercing cold of rain, and even a snow fall sometime last August which ripped some tents.

“Finally, we’re safe in our own home,” Ramos, who can’t help but shed tears as she recalled the “big flood” and narrated how her children trembled in fear whenever it rains.

Najora and Ramos are beneficiaries of the core shelter assistance project of the Department of Social Welfare and Development which provided construction, the United Nations World Food Programme which provided rice used to pay the workers who are the beneficiaries themselves.

In Bani, the 6.3 hectare housing site was donated by the LGU while in Rosales, the two one-hectare lots were donated by former Pangasinan 6th Rep. Conrado Estrella III.

Each core shelter costs P70,000, with additional P1,800 for labor. As the amount for labor was not enough, the rice donated by the UN World Food Programme was used as “payment,” with each worker receiving 10 kilos for every eight hours of work.

According to the DSWD, the core houses are environment friendly, structurally strong units that can withstand approximately 180-220 kph wind velocity, earthquake up to Intensity 4 on the Ritcher scale, and other similar hazards. The design won the United Nations Habitat Award in 1990.

The Philippine National Red Cross has likewise turned-over to flood victims 101 transitional housing units in Balincanaway village in Rosales. Mayor Ricardo Revita said the property on which the Red Cross houses were constructed was bought with donations received by the local government and municipal funds.

Last December 7, President Aquino personally awarded 100 houses painted yellow and blue that blend well with the green hills in sitio Olanen, Bani town.

Aquino said the Olanen project was a symbol of modern partnership between the LGU, the beneficiaries, the DSWD and the UN World Food Program to enable the victims to rise from calamity.

Just behind the hills is the South China Sea, and as most of the typhoon victims are fishermen, thus they were not dislocated from their source of livelihood.

Mayor Marcelo Navarro thanked the President who “took time to visit the small but achieving town and we are proud to showcase the Borobor ti Ayat (Fountain of Love), a housing project for the residents of Olanen who were hard hit by the 240 kph winds of typhoon Emong in May 2009.”

“Almost all their houses were destroyed, some of which were swept into the sea. Their question was, ‘where will we reside?’ We are thankful that the DSWD was able to answer that question through the core housing project,” Navarro said.

UN World Food Programme Country Representative Stephen Anderson described the Olanen housing project as “an almost text-book case of how early recovery program should work.”

“This is an excellent example because of the leadership the people got from Mayor Navarro to whom we have to give credit for spearheading (the project). The response of the people, who organized themselves, was very positive,” he said.

Anderson explained that after typhoon Emong, the UN World Food Programme mobilized to support the DSWD’s early recovery program, using rice not as a handout but as support to the victims to reestablish their lives.

“Food was just to help the community at the time when they have to do the heavy lifting during the construction, carrying every rock and bags of cement. It is not a very easy job. Besides, food plays an important role because the poor uses 60 percent of their income on food. So food is an incentive, not payment,” he said.

Each house has a floor area of 20 square meters that sits in a 64 sq. meter lot. It has its own toilet and septic tank.

In Bani, the LGU provided running water supply and electrical power connection, and the beneficiaries have option to construct extension of the units based on policies set by the LGU.

DSWD records showed that there are 135 core housing units already completed in Rosales, while another 105 units are slated for completion on December 30. The agency has likewise provided 50 units to flood victims in Sta. Barbara and 50 units in Laoag City, Ilocos Norte.

December 29, 2010 at 11:02 am Leave a comment

LAST SALUTE



These young soldiers give their final salute to their mistah, Air Force Capt. Jojo Baya, who was buried at the Mapandan Cemetery last December 22. Baya, a member of the Philippine Military Academy(PMA) Mandala(Mandirigmang Dangal ng Lahi) Class of 2006, met an accident late October in Dagupan City and died last December 9 after almost two months in coma.CESAR RAMIREZ

December 26, 2010 at 1:46 pm 1 comment

Rosales folks slam soaring land taxes


By Mortz C. Ortigoza

ROSALES- The residents of this bustling town are planning to launch a rally after learning that the valuation of their lands skyrocketed to 500%.

With the 500% increased of the fair market value of their real property, they are obliged to pay 500% of the one (1) percent total assessed value of their land that they used to pay the treasurer here every year since 2003.

In a “Comparative Statement of Market Values and Unit Costs as Embodied in the Previous and New Schedule Showing Average Percentage Increase/Decrease for Each Class of Real Property” that was prepared by Elvira Untal and noted by Nestor Quimbao of the provincial assessor’s office, the market value of a first class residential land increased by 500% from its market values (MV) of P250,00 in 2003 to its 2011 MV of P1,500.

“The increases are just too much,” a local businessman said.

Beth Salazar, an Officer-1 of the Provincial Assessor said the meteoric rise of the valuation of the first class residential lands here apply only to the peripheries of giant retail store SM that put up a mall in the town two years ago.

The new schedule of the valuation shows that a second, third, and fourth class’s residential land have increase by 355%, 374%, and 233%, respectively.

Quimbao told this paper in a telephone interview that the Provincial Board, including Board Member Alfonso Bince who is a resident of this town, approved the hikes.

Atty. Verna Nava-Perez head of the secretariat of the SP told this paper that she could not give a copy of a draft resolution because it was the provincial assessor’s office which drafted it.

When asked to furnish this paper a copy, Salazar said she could not give a copy as it is not yet final as it can be amended by the members of the SP. She added that Governor Amado T. Espino has not yet signed it into law.

In the new schedule a third class industrial land increases by 173% from P550 MV in 2003 to P950 MV in 2011, a first class commercial land increase to 329% from P700 MV in 2003 to P3000 MV in 2011.

A hectare of a first and second classes irrigated land increases by 100% from P100, 000 and P90,000 MV in 2003 to P200,000 and P180,000 MV in 2011, respectively.

A hectare of first and second classes un-irrigated rice lands increase by 118% and 117% from P85,000 and P75,000 MV in 2003 to P185,000 and P162,380 MV in 2011, respectively.

A hectare of a first and second classes of corn Land increase by 151% and 144% from P68,000 and P63,000 MV in 2003 to P171,000 and P153,000, respectively.

A hectare of a second and third classes bamboo land increases by 294% and 367% from P32,000 and P21,000 MV in 2003 to P126,000 and P98,000 MV in 2011, respectively.

A hectare of a first class and second class poultry farm increase by 100% and 143% from P95,000 and P70,000 MV in 2003 to P190,000 and P170,000 MV in 2011, respectively.

Other lands that are covered by the increases of valuation are industrial, mineral, un-irrigated rice (Upland), tobacco, mango, cogon pasture, forest, orchard, fishpond (mudfish), and citrus.

According to Section 221 of the Local Government Code or Republic Act 7160 all assessments or reassessments made after the first (1st) day of January of any year shall take effect on the first (1st) day of January of the succeeding year.
Moreover, the same Code says that it is not only one (1) percent the province collects from every land owner but another one (1) percent will be collected that would go to the Special Education Fund.

December 26, 2010 at 1:42 pm Leave a comment

16 city applicants should meet P100M requirement – Braganza


By Mortz C. Ortigoza

ALAMINOS CITY – League of Cities of the Philippines Secretary General Hernani Braganza said that this city and the members of the LCP have diligently met the requirements for cityhood..

Braganza, the mayor of this city, deplored the bid for cityhood of 16 towns which skirted the requirement of P100 million annual local tax income that should be earned for two successive years before they qualify for cityhood.

He added that this requirement is on top of the other two qualifications of land area of 100 square kilometres and a population of 150,000 or more.

“We said we worked hard to be qualified as city. But the 16 new cities were approved by the Congress and Senate which we are questioning. For the record, we are not against the conversation of becoming a city,” he stressed.

The bid of the 16 towns caused uproar among the LCP because it would gnaw from their share from the Internal Revenue Allotment from the national government.

Braganza said that a favorable decision of the Supreme Court to the motion for reconsideration of these towns last August would bleed this coastal city by P13 million of lost revenue from IRA every year.

“In the case of Makati (City) almost a hundred of million ang mawawala. Ang Palawan malaki rin mawawala. Kaya uma-angal din sila.”

Dagupan City fears to lose P18 to P20 million a year.

The cityhood bid of these towns was a roller coaster ride for the LCP after the high tribunal favoured their appeal to be snatched later after the 16 towns filed a motion for reconsideration.

After former president Gloria Arroyo signed into law the conversion of the 16 towns in 2007, the Supreme Court nullified the laws that granted their cityhood on December 29, 2009.

Last August 24, the high tribunal issued a “final decision” revoking the cityhood status of the towns. But the adamant mayors of these municipalities filed another motion for reconsideration through lawyer Estelito Mendoza.

“So we are just waiting for the decision. Ang prayer ng LCP ngayon kung pu-puedi ay itung decision is final already. Kasi the first time ang League of Cities granted, itung pagiging ciudad ng labing anim, e the final decision was rendered purportedly na nag-execute na ang decision ma-implement na iyung decision tapos biglang nagbago. M.R, M.R (Motion for Reconsideration) nagkaka-gulo,” he said.

The 16 towns and their respective income are: Batac, Ilocos Norte (P43.9 million); Baybay, Leyte, (P17.1 million); Bayugan, Agusan del Sur (P16.9 million); Bogo, Cebu (P24.9 million); Borongan, Eastern Samar (P15.7 million); Cabadbaran, Agusan del Norte (P13.7 million); Carcar, Cebu (P21.6 million); Catbalogan, Samar (P29.9 million); El Salvador, Misamis Oriental (P17.4 million); Guihulngan, Negros Oriental (P9.4 million); Lamitan, Basilan (P7.5 million); Mati, Davao Oriental (P36.7 million); Naga, Cebu (P56 million); Tabuk, Kalinga (P13.5 million); Tandag, Surigao del Sur (P15.1 million), and Tayabas, Quezon (P29.1 million).

December 26, 2010 at 1:36 pm Leave a comment

Manny Pangilinan’s TV5 to put shop in Dagupan



TV5’s Top Brass:(from L-R): Raul Dela Cruz, Provincial Operations Head; Bobby Barreiro, EVP AND COO and Percival Intalan, Entertainment and Creative Production Head

December 26, 2010 at 1:35 pm 3 comments

TV5: The new kid in town


GMA-7 and ABS-CBN TVs move aside! The juggernaut TV-5 is coming in Northern Luzon to give both of you a run of your monies.

Recently, the gods of Manny Pangilinan’s MediaQuest that operates TV5 descended in the Bangus Capital of the World Dagupan City by meeting selected media men at the conference room of Lenox Hotel.

Mr. Robert “Bobby” Barreiro, Executive Vice President and the network’s Chief Operation Officer, told us that within the first quarter of 2011 they would be constructing somewhere at the new De Venecia Highwaya P30 million worth of studio and modern transmitter. He said that this amount is part of the company’s P5 billion expansion next year to buttress the company’s race to programming, infrastructure, and technological superiority.
He said that they are innovating by tapping state- of- the- art technologies like cameras that used sim card-liked chips to send its signal, microwave technology, and wireless camera.
According to Wikipidia, by the last quarter of 2011, MediaQuest would be using digital technology as mandated by an order from the National Telecommunication Commission that all boob-tube networks should have ended their analog broadcast on December 31, 2015.
According to the press release given to us at Lenox, other improvements to be introduced by TV5 are the used of Metra. It is a global leader in timely and accurate weather reporting system, and the Lifeline Rescue for an emergency quick response (EQR) system that will allow TV5 to assist Filipinos in need anywhere in the country.
It says there too, that it gears to go mobile and online. It would be the first local website to use adaptive rate streaming. At the same time, it would have an online page that visitors will enjoy less buffering and downloading for videos. It added that TV5 will be online by the first quarter of 2011, with a catch-up TV and video on demand (VOD) being uploaded on the TV5 website.
***
While inside the van that ferried us to TV-5’s Willing Willy lived-airing in Lingayen, I asked Mr. Raul de la Cruz, Provincial Operations Head, why they preferred Dagupan instead of Baguio City as their hub in Northern Luzon where it has already a functional transmitter there. He told me the comparative advantage of Dagupan as compared to the Summer Capital. He said the city is not only the financial centre but a media centre of Northern Luzon. He said the management saw the pecuniary opportunities that can be given by the huge burgeoning Pangasinan Province and her easily accessible surrounding and bustling provinces Tarlac, Nueva Ecija, and La Union. Not to mention the province of Benguet and the two Ilocos provinces that would be recipients of TV5’s signals.
I told him that his observation was similar to what the management of provincial newspaper Sun Star has seen as it wants to resurrect its daily tabloid. Sun Star saw the bullish environment of Pangasinan after SM Prime Holding Incorporation opened a branch in Rosales, and another branch in Dagupan City. Notwithstanding Robinsons opening next September a sprawling mall branch in Calasiao town.
According to the paper’s former manager, Sun Stars “drools” on what the stall holders that sell branded product of these mammoth malls could offer to the tabloid.
Moreover, the press release stated that last December 8 and 10, Willing Willy landed number one at the expense of rival shows ABS-CBN’s TV Patrol and GMA-7’s 24 Oras.
But what is this?! Susmariosep, my blogger – friend Simon Francis Blaise Vistro wrote in his whatsupdagupan.blogspot.com that the December 18 airing of Willing Willie( that was gobbled by an estimated, believe it or not, record breaking 100 thousand spectators) ricocheted to 37% rating that stumped six feet below the ground temporarily its two rival TV programs.
When I told Mr.de la Cruz that Willing Willie has not only been giving a lot of scare in the rating wars with GMA-7 “24-Oras” and ABS-CBN “TV Patrol”, but threatened them with the vaunted Face-to-Face hosted by Amy Perez.
He said TV-5 wants to be different with its rivals. It wants to put an alternative show to the viewers of prime time news of “TV Patrol” and “24 Oras”. On Amy’s Face- to- Face, it does not only broadcast the acrimonious rifts that sometimes become physical but show to it that after emotions died down both parties are amicably settled.
“Mi mga pari, abugado, psychologist duun,” he quipped.
“So that what made the show ticks compared to Jerry Springer and his jolting stunt of breast-barring female spectators,” I told myself.
***
Oh by the way, hi to the passionate PR women of TV5 Judy Magdame and Lhot Ortega. Lhot told me they are under the PR Team of Peachy Guioguio. To Willing Willie’s pretty lasses and kasimanwas Miss Lovely “Ikay” Abella and Aprilyn “Congratulation!” Gustillo: O, wala na kamo mahambal sa akon. Ari na kamo karon sa internet. Mabasahan na gid kamo ni Manny “Midas Touch” Pangilinan.
***
Elected officials of Dagupan City should gather their acts together otherwise neighbouring city Urdaneta would dust them off to oblivion. Why? My Golly, if you saw the published ordinance in this paper that Urdaneta is all system goes to meet 2011 with its vaunted P652, 645,824.50 city budgets.

Susmariosep, that’s P84, 645,824 bigger than the P568 million the City Hall of Dagupan prepared. But it seems the Bangus Capital of the world will be meeting 2011 with a thud since its politicized and vindictive opposition-led Sangguniang Panglungsod relishes to see its executive counterpart plunge into the morass short by P40 to P50 million as it operates with a short-changed 2010 re-enacted budget.
***
If the P652, 645,824.50 annual budget of Urdaneta City is her upside story, the idiocy of the members of her council is her downside story.
Why? Its vice mayor and some of its dads decried why they were obliged by the Bureau of Internal Revenue to pay the 5 % withholding tax that suppliers of their campaign materials should supposedly pay the tax bureau.

Jesus Christ my Lord and Savoir, because that was what the law says.

Because that was what BIR Regulations 8-2009 says when the BIR sent them letters through the Commission on Election making all candidates withholding agents.

Because that was what the taxman said when he incessantly repeated on TV and radio broadcasts before the May 2010 national and local elections.

These city dads should have been the first one to know – compared to us “ordinary mortals”- because they are made by law as lawmaker.

Now they are called as lawbreakers because they would be penalized by the 25-percent surcharge and 20-percent monthly penalty for late remittance from the time they were required to pay what they are mandated to do. And I am not talking here yet about their criminal liabilities as tax evader.

They should remember what grade school pupils are taught: “Ignorance of the law excuses no one”. This if they could not understand what college students are taught on the meaning of “Dura lex sid Lex” It means “the law is harsh but it is the law,!”
(Send comment to totomortz@yahoo.com)

December 26, 2010 at 1:12 pm Leave a comment


December 26, 2010 at 1:03 pm Leave a comment

‘Tis the season of gift giving?



Whoever invented the celebration of Christmas and the mythical Sta. Claus could have been laughing out with gusto?

Christmas celebration is no longer the way it should be eons ago when the celebration was focused on the birth of Christ, the savior of the human race. Although, its origin is still bleak as of now, Christmas is becoming a worldwide celebration sparked with too much commercialism and partying among people. The real essence of Christ’s birth is being sidetracked or sidelined, and already replaced with Sta. Claus and the unending gift-giving.

Who would not be glad and happy to receive a gift? Who would not enjoy eating sumptuous food? Who would not be enjoying the benefits of a bonus and a 13th month pay? These are the materials that are worth looking forward to. Materialism through massive commercialization from businessmen makes the celebration devoid of spirituality.

All right, we go to the malls. What you will see are the decors, photos and even statues of a big fat man clad in red and white known as Sta. Claus. Over the air lanes, we will hear music associated with Christmas carols but when we go deeply to their lyrics are not even applicable to the Philippine settings. Who would not be amused hearing lines such as “ Dashing through the snow…(Jingle Bells), ” “may tatlong haring nagsidalaw..( Ang Pasko ay Sumapit), “ and out of the world lyrics that instead of stirring the minds for better understanding the Christmas season are enticing us to be more materialistic.

Catholics, “born-again Christians” and other Christian religions are having their feasts on the coming of the season. Of course, the Catholics in the Philippines have their 9-day novena called the “Simbang Gabi” which will culminate on the alleged “birthday of Christ” on the 24th of December. The “born-again” Christians who are known to be Biblically fundamentalists are also joining the frays. They have also their Christmas celebration, gift giving and parties. But then, what is the real essence of Christmas.

I am not adept on the Bible or claimed to be an authority, but this Christmas celebration reckoned from the gospels of the New Testament particularly St. Matthew and St. Luke. The latter vividly described the birth of Christ, from the trip of Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem where they will register during the Roman Empire’s census of population to the birth of Christ wrapped in a swaddling cloth in a manger and the visit of three “magis” or wise men (not three Kings as claimed by many).

It was a birth associated with many pragmatic views. Was Christ really born in a manger? Was it on December 25 ? Pragmatists on religion claimed otherwise. They said that Christ as a King could have not been born in a manger or in the month of December, being a wintry month in Israel and Palestine. December 25 has been claimed as the birth of Saturno, a Roman god, which through the years due to the mixture of pagan and Christian practices evolved as the birth of Christ.

But why are we that concerned about Christmas? Jesus Christ when he was still on earth never celebrated His birthday. There was no recorded birthday celebration in the Bible, not even His apostles and disciples celebrated such during their time. The ever recorded birthday celebration was that of Herodes which claimed the head of John the Baptist as the gift to Herodias. Don’t you think, Christ deliberately did not celebrate his birthday because later on in His ministry, He has to tell people “You must be born again”. Don’t you think what Christ’s in mind is not a physical birth but a spiritual birth designed to make people back to the “Godhead”?

The issues of religion, belief and faith are debatable. Those will depend on how strong our faith and belief should be.

Christmas? So be it. Gift giving? Receive if someone will give one to you, and give also to your heart’s desire. “Tis a reason to enjoy life too. After a rigorous year of working, we deserve to have a relief from it.

“Christmas” could be the best time for it.

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

December 26, 2010 at 12:48 pm Leave a comment

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