Archive for June, 2011

EDITORIAL : Pangasinan’s expensive public health services

Governor Amado T. Espino Jr. celebrated his birthday and said that services given by private hospitals must not be different with the services of public hospitals.

“Ang pagsisilbi natin dapat walang pinag-iba sa private hospitals. Kung ano ang maibibigay at makikita sa private hospitals, dapat maibigay din ng mga government hospitals,” Espino said.

A mother who gave birth at the Don Amadeo Perez Memorial Hospital had to borrow from friends and family to be able to pay the hospital bill in the amount of P14,000.00 before mother and her child were discharged.

Don Amadeo Perez Memorial Hospital in Urdaneta City is a government hospital run by the provincial government.

The best health condition of the people Pangasinan is not the outcome of more hospitals and clinics or more medicines and drugs alone. A healthy Pangasinan will not come about by according services made by private hospitals the same as those provided by public hospitals among the people.

Delivery of basic health services by painting hospitals yellow will not improve the health conditions of the people of Pangasinan and the dream of having healthy people will remain an empty political promise at best.

Yes we can see pictures of how ugly the hospitals were then and appreciate how beautiful they are now but many say that the delivery of medical care and services has deteriorated.

The provincial government may have won the battle in terms of pleasing the eyes of those who need medical care but has lost the war in providing cheap and substantial medical services to Pangasinan.

A health of the people of Pangasinan contributes to economic wealth and it is not a matter of just having newly painted and newly equipped hospitals.

The status of the peoples’ health is not just about Philhealth cards, hospitals, equipment and medical practitioners but it is also about how the provincial government views public health delivery.

There are direct and indirect factors that affect the health status of the people of Pangasinan like having a decent job.

The people of Pangasinan should be afforded universal access to health care at affordable cost.

The patients and their loved ones, after asking from friend and family, resort to practically knocking and begging for alms from politicians to be able to defray hospitalization expenses. People are not mere objects of mercy or charity.

A mother who gave birth at the Don Amadeo Perez Memorial Hospital was billed P30,000.00 had no money so she escaped with her baby from the hospital and have not returned to their place of residence.

June 29, 2011 at 10:00 pm 1 comment

‘I have lost a capable leader’ – Gov. Espino on Orduńa’s resignation

LINGAYEN – – – “I have lost a capable leader, brilliant organization man and a loyal friend.”

This was the statement of Governor Amado T. Espino, Jr. over the resignation of Paterno Orduña from his post at the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) during their meeting last June 29.

Gov. Espino, said that both of them shared their best experiences not just career-wise but personal, as well.

Gov. Espino noted that Orduña will always be his friend, a colleague whom he shared his mission and vision for the province. “I have placed you and your loved ones in a very special spot in my life,” the provincial chief executive said as he relinquished the memorable times that intervened in their lives, which include their plans and visions.

Orduña encouraged all his PDRRMC staff and all employees to continue the tasks assigned to them and to further the cause of public service which is their primary mandate as government employees.

The former PDRRMC caretaker pointed out that the resignation is his personal choice due to health reason. He said that he has to heed the advice of his doctor to refrain from doing strenuous activity, physically and mentally to preserve his failing health.

“I take pride in having the opportunity to work with and serve a great leader, Gov. Espino,” Orduña added as he thanked the provincial chief executive for the trust and opportunity of working with Team Espino for four years.

He further stressed: “I will always treasure the privilege of having been a part of Team Espino which I believed has done great contributions in the miraculous transformation of our great province.”

In the end, the Governor accepted Orduna’s resignation effective July 1. (PIO/Darwin Magalong/RRB)

June 29, 2011 at 9:26 pm Leave a comment


While the whole country is keeping its fingers crossed with the continuance of the Automated National Elections, Escuela de Nuestra Señora de La Salette, a De La Salle Supervised School, will be having its 4th Automated Elections this June. The initiative has radically reduced the post-election stress, tension and work as the counting of ballots will be done automatically. Right after the last voter, the results can be viewed, printed, and validated already. Virtual ballots can also be easily printed when a recount is needed.

Mr. Rex Lor, La Salette’s VP for Administrative Services & Development, introduced the idea that it would not just speed up the democratic process but also instill the value of honesty and sacredness of one’s right to vote.
“The on-line voting system does not just teach different applications of Information Technology, but also integrates values important in ensuring a just society. This will teach the students that there are other more efficient alternatives to the traditional manual voting system,” Lor stressed.

Benchmarked from the University of the Philippines, the on-line voting system is designed to be as user-friendly as possible to ensure that even grade school students can easily use it. It follows a three-step process: Step 1: LOG-IN; Step 2: VOTE; Step 3: CONFIRM VOTE. Students will be able to view the profile of the candidate by way of clicking an icon beside their names. A username and password is provided to the students just before the voting starts as the school’s official enrolment list will be the basis for the registration.

June 29, 2011 at 9:23 pm Leave a comment


The Provincial Employment and Services Office (PESO) of Pangasinan sets up a one-stop-shop to facilitate the on-the-spot hiring of 120 production workers to be deployed to Trust International Paper Corporation (TIPCO), a multi-billion peso company and world-class manufacturer of paper products based in Pampanga. PESO Chief Alex Ferrer said that the one-stop-shop, which forms part of Governor Amado T. Espino’s employment strategy, provides immediate processing of application such as the provision of written (left photo) and medical (right photo) examination. (PIO Photo by Bob Sison)

June 27, 2011 at 8:32 am Leave a comment

Bani residents petition vice mayor, four councilors, for recall

By Yolanda Sotelo

BANI– Some 7,453 voters of this town has signed a petition to recall the vice mayor of this town and four councilors because of “loss of confidence as they are unproductive and (are) anti-progress.”

Petitioned were Vice Mayor Filipina Rivera and councilors Rosalinda Acenas, Ruben Ampler, Tamerline Olores and Cothera Gwen Yamamoto.

In his petition dated June 23, 2011, Garrita village chair Marcelo Tugas said the total signatories constitute 27.30 percent of the total voting population of Bani which is 27,304, according to the National Statistics Office.

Tugas’ counsel Gerpy Erquiza said the signatures will be submitted to the Comelec for verification, after which the Comelec would schedule an election, with the petitioned officials as automatic candidates.

Tugas was able to file the petition on Friday. He was supposed to file on Thursday morning the petition at the Commission on Elections municipal office but Municipal Election Officer Amelia Oleros was out of office and her assistant Malou Opolenti, was on leave.

Erquiza said the third personnel was instructed to leave the office and just come back on Monday. She was also made to surrender the keys of the office which has been locked since one o’clock in the afternoon, he said.

Rivera and the four councilors were also filing a recall petition against Mayor Marcelo Navarro allegedly for acquiring a P70 million loan from the Land Bank of the Philippines without feasibility study; for the lost P23 million savings of the town, and other reasons.

Reached through her mobile phone to react on the petition, Rivera said, “The question is, nai-file na po ba? (Has the petitioned been filed?)”

She said she will just comment on the issue when the petition is already filed.

Before Tugas went to the Comelec municipal office, Mayor Marcelo Navarro and five councilors conducted a public forum answering the issues raised by Rivera and the four petitioned councilors.

Navarro said the P23 million savings of the town were used as supplemental budget, covered by five ordinances passed by the previous town council. The money was used for salary increases as mandated by salary standardization law

As to the P70 million loan, Navarro said this has been approved by the previous town council as an omnibus term loan facility for three projects – market, cemetery and repair of the municipal hall.

“Since the loan was approved eight months before the elections, we decided not to pursue the projects for the sake of delicadeza. I may not win the election and it would be up to the next officials to pursue the projects. But since I won, I asked the municipal council to pass an ordinance for the release of the loan, but the council refused,” he explained.

In an earlier interview, Rivera said they asked for a feasibility study so they would know where the money would be spent.

But Mayor Navarro said the council refused to pass an ordinance allowing him to allocate P1 million for the conduct of the feasibility study. He added that the Land Bank did not require the feasibility study but only a detailed project description or project brief.

June 27, 2011 at 8:06 am 2 comments

Illegal Jai-Alai still exists in Pangasinan

Is it true that among the Department of Education’s division offices in Pangasinan the one in San Carlos City is the most corruption-ridden?

A public school teacher told me that the division office under City Superintendent Rowena C. Banzon practices R.A 170

R.A 170 is not Republic Act 170. It is only a play of words among people with sense of humor on how much a teacher applicant shell-out to get a job with a starting pay of P18 thousand a month.

It means an applicant pays criminal minds there P170 thousand to get the job.

My source told me that P40 thousand of this loot is shared to the principal where the vacant post awaits the lucky but mulcted applicant.

In the neighboring town of Urbiztondo and Mangatarem, my source told me a P40 thousand “good will” money is already enough.

The school officials there are not as greedy as those in San Carlos City.

If these damaging allegations are true, DepEd Secretary Armin Luistro, San Carlos City Mayor Ayoy Resuello, and the mayors of those two towns should investigate these matters.


According to Department of Interior & Local Government undersecretary Rico Puno, the Writ of Preliminary Injunction with Temporary Restraining Order filed by Meridien Vista Gaming Corporation at the Court of Appeals has already long expired.

He said policemen in Regions III, IV, V are already after the operators and subalterns of these illegal number games.

If that is true, then Jai Alai operation should fold in Pangasinan and Dagupan City.

As what Dangerous Drugs Board Secretary Bebot Villar posed to media men earlier: “Bakit may Jai Alai sa atin? That’s a front. But that is accepted already by the mayors (who) gave their permit. I don’t know baka sila ang ma-Ombudsman, di ba?”

In the five towns and a city I have been, I saw myself how jueteng operators used Jai Alai as cover for their nefarious trade.

Former jueteng cobradores (betting agents) sport a Meridien identification card but underneath the betting paper of Jai-Alai was a papelito of jueteng.

“Front lang itong Meridien sa mga nagpapa-jueteng. Marami pa rin ang tumataya sa jueteng dahil mas mura at naiintindihan nila,” divulged to me by a cobrador.

“At mas gusto ng mga mayors and kapulisan, dahil mas malaki ang kita kaysa Jai-Alai,” a media man who was with me told the cobrador.


Last Father’s Day, I saw former Immigration Commissioner and former mayor of Dagupan City Al Fernandez treating his grandchildren at Jollibee-Calasiao.

As a Liberal Party (L.P), I asked the amiable and the “stout” former mayor what department or bureau the party prepares for him.

He emphatically told me there was none. He said one should apply for a post if he wants to get one.

Fernandez said he did not apply for any post.

I told him that some political kibitzers are looking for him or former Pangasinan Governor Victor Agbayani to get the top plum of Land Transportation Office in lieu of controversial Virginia Torres – who lately made a come back ala Douglas MacArthur at the consternation of fellow Pangasinense, billionaire and top honcho of Stradcom, Nestor Quimbao.

Al just smile, shook his head and told me “no.”

He said he would not get a position which he has no knowledge of.

I told him he is qualified since he got a Master’s in Public Administration from Lyceum Northwestern University (He graduated in 1996, while I, your humble “calumnist”, er, columnist was a pioneer graduate (aheem!) of that course in 1995).

If Al’s post in the government is still uncertain, I will hate the President, the old guards and the gate keepers of the party.

Susmariosep and how dare you people forget a man who was so loyal and hosted President Noynoy, vice presidential bet Mar Roxas, and the whole slate of the L.P whenever you barnstorm Region 1 in the 2010 national poll.

Have you forgotten those more than a kilo grilled bangus (milkfish), expensive malaga , and other aqua culture products you gnawed like there was no tomorrow every time you cool your heels when you visited several times the swanky fish-farm of Al.

I could say this since I was always there whenever you people dropped and even rest your back there.

Remember folks, when every city mayor in the whole country ingratiated with former Gloria “De Excelsis Plunder- Prone” Arroyo, Mayor Al gambled with your party by tirelessly hosting you all at his own expense in Dagupan City.


Pangasinan former governor Victor Agbayani’s former public information officer told me earlier that his boss face the same uncertainty with Mayor Al.

“Has somebody called you sir for any appointment?” Ruel posed to Victor as they downed couples of San Miguel Light beers at the house of the latter at Brgy. Pangapisan in Lingayen recently.

Agbayani told him in the negative.

Ruel told his boss that he should be calling pronto Mar Roxas.

“Mar has just been appointed at the DOTC (Department of Transportation & Communication). You congratulate him for his appointment, and asked him what help you can contribute to him,” Ruel told Victor.

Camba told me that Victor has a moist eye earlier to head the National Irrigation Administration. The post he said is where Agbayani is comfortable since that was his mark when he served Pangasinan as a nine-year governor.

Ruel said to me that he is being groomed by the Man-Friday in the media of Dagupan City Mayor Benjie S. Lim to be the top honcho of the City Information Office but declined it as he prepares himself to go wherever his beloved boss Victor goes.

It would be in heaven, hell, or high water, I no longer ask Ruel, a learned man who could discuss with me the intricacies of Dean Acheson, Watergate, Rand Corporation, what you got man, about it.


But what lesson we learned from Al and Victor is it doesn’t meant that every time President Aquino comes here in the province with LP people like Victor in tow he is already a shoo-in to any government position.

How dare you again, LP people! Ibalik ninyo iyong mga kina-in niyong mga bangus at malaga sa fish-farm ni Mayor Al.

(You can read my selected intriguing but thought-provoking columns at You can send comments too at

June 27, 2011 at 7:59 am Leave a comment

Malasiqui gets bonanza from donor-residents

By Mortz C. Ortigoza

By Mortz C. Ortigoza

MALASIQUI –This first class town is lucky to have residents who selflessly donated lots and classrooms for the use of public school students, and farm-to-market roads.

Mayor Arman Domantay said the residents approached him to convey their intention to donate, including a couple who resides in the United States who donated a 500 square- meter land and P3 million cash for six school buildings.

“Kaya masaya ako dahil may tiwala sila sa aking administrasyon. At isa pa nagbigay pa sila ng 1,000 square meters and barangay hall na multiple para sa barangay council ng (Brgy) Malimpuec,” he stressed.

In Brgy. Minaley, an active police sergeant assigned here donated a 1,000-square meter lot where the local government constructed a school building.

Other school buildings were donated by someone working in Japan, and by the Malasiquinian Alliance Societey of Israel (MASI).

He said the couple from the U.S who gave a 500 square meters and P3 million have been helping the town before.

“Noon nagbigay na sila ng donasyon for farm-to-market road. Pero noong unang panahon napahinto because they were not satisfied dahil maiksi ang daan at hindi maganda iyong project (done by the previous municipal administration). Ngayon, ako ay pumunta doon sa America, usap-usap kami. Sabi tutulong ako sa kanila at iyong suporta nila dito dire-diretso kaya sinuportahan ko lahat na buhangin, na mga bato, at mga suporta ng engineering department, mixers kaya masaya sila,” he said.

Earlier, the wife of Domantay donated a lot in one of the villages here where the mayor built four- school building. Two of these edifices built from local government funds, while the two buildings were funded by MASI.

June 27, 2011 at 7:43 am Leave a comment

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