Archive for August, 2011


Dr.Michael Canto(2nd from left), spokesman of the Region I Medical Center(R1MC), fields questions on dengue cases during the last August 24’s Media In Action forum of the Pangasinan Press Club(PPC) at the Pedrito’s Restaurant in Dagupan City. Others in photo are(from left) Dr. Karlo Marco Orduña of the Pangasinan Provincial Hospital(PPH); Lawyer Gonzalo Duque, PPC president; and PPC executive vice-president Ashok Vasandani.CESAR RAMIREZ

August 28, 2011 at 2:33 am Leave a comment

Kimi to priests: Don’t be hypocrites

DAGUPAN CITY –Fifth district Rep. Kimi Cojuangco advised priests who are against the Reproductive Health Bill but who have children, to “stop being hypocrites.”
Cojuangco was one of the panelists during an RH Bill forum sponsored by the Philippine NGO Council on Population Health and Welfare on Friday at the Lyceum Northwestern University.
She said she has spoken to many priests and most of them are pro-RH Bill and are quietly supporting the bill. “There are only a few who are anti-RH Bill and they are the ones who are noisy.”
Saying she is a Catholic who loves the church, she pointed out that as there are good and bad politicians, “there are good and there are bad priests who have children.” (Priests are supposed to be celibate.)
“I respect the priests and they should respect my views. I hope the Church won’t dictate what or what the (government) should do,” the lawmaker, who admitted using pills to plan her family, said.
Cojuangco also said it was ironic that the Quiapo Church, one of the biggest churches in the country, is a meting place for women who are seeking abortion.
“From there, they are led into rooms in dinghy places where the abortion takes place. Let us open our eyes (to this reality),” she said.
Cojuango, one of the 93 authors of Reproductive Bill 4244, stressed that under the bill, “abortion is still and would always be illegal. What the bill does however, is to ensure that mothers that suffer from post-abortion complications will be given medical treatment in a humane way, without judgment or discrimination.”
She said its because of some priests’ opposition that one of the main authors of the RH bill backed off because “she was bullied everyday by the priests.”
“At the plenary sessions, priests and nuns watch us. So some congressmen and congresswomen who are supportive of the bill, keep quiet. But I am not afraid. My conscience is clear I am not doing anything wrong,” Cojuagco added.
She said as a political leader, she talks with village officials “and it is them who know the people’s suffering. It is also in the remote villages where mothers have plenty of children but have no access to family planning methods. It is them which the bill wants to reach out to.”
Cojuangco mentioned Tagum City which has Responsible Parenthood and Alleviation Poverty Program which, similar to the RH Bill, promotes and provides all available methods of family planning, either natural or artificial.
“In only six years, Tagum has seen significant improvements and the future still looks promising. Incidences of poverty went down by more than one half from 38.5-39 percent in 2003 to 15.42 percent in 2010. Malnutrition rate is below 3 percent and even in Liboganon, their most depressed area, only five children are malnourished,” she said
“If Tagum was able to successfully implement such a program, who is to say the same can’t happen to the entire Philippines? Tagum City is a living and breathing proof that it is possible. If the bill is signed into law the country’s future will be a bright one,” Cojuangco said.

August 28, 2011 at 2:31 am Leave a comment

August 28, 2011 at 2:29 am Leave a comment

Displaced caretakers given fishing boats

DAGUPAN CITY – The fish pen caretakers who were displaced when the city rivers were cleared of fishery structures, were given fishing boats and gears by the city government.

Mayor Benjamin Lim said 50 fishermen from Calmay, Pugaro, Pantal, Salapingao and Lomboy received boats to be used as alternative means of livelihood.

The fishermen, to be organized into a cooperative, will each have to pay P52 pesos a day or P920 a month for one year as payment for the boats. The amount collected by the cooperative , will be used to make more boats to be distributed to other fishermen.

According to a memorandum of agreement signed by the beneficiaries and the city government, the cooperative will operate a buying station in Salapingao, an island village, where they can sell their harvest and paid in cash.

It will be the cooperative which will sell the harvest to the consumers.

Lim said half of the beneficiaries are from Pugaro, a poor fishing community.

August 28, 2011 at 2:26 am Leave a comment

Nisva Volunteer

Nisva volunteer Masaru Okumoto, who retired as a railway engineer, helps his wife Shizuko in empowering the women of Pugaro village, through teaching them sewing skills.

August 28, 2011 at 2:23 am Leave a comment

BSL lauds ‘Bobom’

by Virgilio Sar. Maganes

DAGUPAN CITY- In terms of land mass area and geographical location, Urdaneta City is more advantageous than our Dagupan City.

This was the reaction of City Mayor Benjamin S. Lim here when he was asked by mediamen why Urdaneta City has already overtaken this city in terms of cleanliness, educational. facilities and revenue collections.

Lim was the guest of the Media in Action , a media forum sponsored by the Pangasinan Press Club (PPC) last August 17 held at Pedrito’s Restaurant here.

“I congratulate Mayor Bobom for a job well done and I am aware of the recent development in his city. I was even informed that he reports to his office early in the morning,” Mayor Lim said even as he joked that Mayor Bobom is better than his father, former City Mayor Amadeo R. Perez, Jr., now the chair of the Board of Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO) in Taiwan.

Lim said, however, that the city has still more business establishments and lamented the fact that many are not paying the taxes on time.

In terms of budget for 2011, Urdaneta City has P670 million compared to this city which has only more or less P510 million budget for 2011.

Mayor Lim further said that one of the set backs in revenue collections was that the city’s revenue code was not yet updated, thus the low collection of local taxes and its reversion from first class city to 2nd class city or Class A to Class B by the Department of Finance (DoF).

DoF has the policy that a city has to maintain 15% increase in its revenues within three years to maintain its classification, but Dagupan City unluckily was not able to do so.

Mayor Lim said that his administration is working for the compliance of the DoF policy so that the city could be reverted to its first class status.

Meanwhile, Urdaneta City Mayor Amadeo Gregorio “Bobom” Perez IV was all smiles when he was told of the reaction of Mayor Benjamin S. Lim of Dagupan City.

“I am happy and glad that my efforts have been noticed by my fellow mayor. And those good words will even inspire me to perform well in my city,” he said..

Urdaneta City was lately commended by the Commission on Audit (COA) as one of the outstanding cities in the country that religiously abide with the 20% development fund implementation.

August 28, 2011 at 2:19 am Leave a comment

Maganes : “The Fighting Kimi”

By Virgilio Maganes

She is beautiful, no question about that. She’s even more outspoken since I’ve known her when she was still the municipal mayor of Sison. But I have not known that the outspoken stance could be very fiery like the raging volcanic fire of Mayon Volcano and Taal Volcano combined.
I am referring to Pangasinan Fifth District Representative Kimi S. Cojuangco who showed such outspokenness to media practitioners as well as the students of Lyceum Northwestern University of Dagupan City when she spoke about the pending House Bill No. 4244 or the Responsible Parenthood, Reproductive Health and Population Development Bill or simply RH Bill ,last August 19 at the said university’s gymnasium.
I was delighted to see Rep. Kimi talking on the various issues about the said bill particularly those which have been voiced out by the Catholic Church hierarchy. Indeed, her audience was captivated not by her Barbie doll beauty but how intelligent she was in answering questions from the students and media men. Rep. Kimi truly represented the people of Pangasinan (not only 5th District ,huh) because she can air what’s in her mind without any reservations.
The Reproductive Health Bill is a very hot issue. Many representatives in the Congress and even senators are not keen of supporting it because of the fear that they will earn the ire of Catholic priests. But not Kimi. “Ako ay talagang lalaban sa pagpasa ng bill na ito,” she said with those strong words and fiery eyes.
When asked why shes’s not afraid of the religious orders who frequent the Congress to lobby for the non-passage of the Bill, she said her conscience is clear and that what she’s fighting for is for the good of her constituents.
She’s not even afraid of priests campaigning against her 2013 elections because she was voted as representative f the people and not by the Catholic Church. Her statements may draw criticisms from those who oppose the RH Bill but good to those who fight for its passage.
Here are some of her amusing yet intelligent answers on issues about the RH Bill.
· On side effects of contraceptive pills – you must know that all medicines like the Tylenol you take have side effects. They are printed on the labels, but you have to seek medical attention before using them. The contraceptive pills may have side effects but medical doctors have the final say whether you will use it or not. I myself used pills and practiced family planning.
· On Catholic priests- I respect their opinions so they should respect also the opinions of others. I could not withstand seeing poor women who cannot access medical attention during their pregnancy and after delivering their babies. I could not withstand people living in poverty because they have many children. God tell us to love other people, and this RH Bill is one way of showing love and concern. I was elected as representative of the people and not of the Catholic Church.

· On issue of “Go and multiply” as espoused by RH Bill – there were only two biblical accounts that the “Go and multiply” was stated in the Holy Bible. One was when Adam and Eve were ordered by God to leave Eden. But, they were only two then, so they have to multiply. Second was the order to Noah after the flood. Many people perished and only few of them (Noah and his family) survived because of the ark that Noah built with two of a kind of each living species. They have to multiply. But now, we are overpopulated. People live in poverty, with global warming, food shortages. God will understand now the situation because He loves us.

· On her colleagues in Congress- There are silent majority. They are afraid to come out. A fellow representative who changed his/her view told me that who will not be shaken if you will be the talk of his homily at the pulpit every Sunday. But during plenary, I know that they will vote for this Bill.

· On abortion and promiscuity- With or without the RH Bill, a lot of people are promiscuous. But that does not mean that promiscuity is the basis of not passing the Bill. The RH Bill does not support abortion. It is still illegal. What is ironic is this: If you go to Quiapo Church, there are a lot of abortionists there and they will go to a dingy place just to abort babies. Now, what is the Church doing?

I salute you Madam Kimi. We are not mistaken in putting you in the halls of the House of Representatives. Go for the passage f the RH Bill but I have one request. I hope that your position on RH Bill will be the same to that of the Access to Information Bill which is also pending in Congress. If it will be that way, I will salute you more. Keep it up Madam Congresswoman.

(for comments email me at or to

August 28, 2011 at 2:13 am Leave a comment

Villasis has new vice mayor, councilor

by Virgilio Sar. Maganes

VILLASIS- The son and namesake of the late Vice Mayor Centenielo Rizal R. Costales was sworn into office as a municipal councilor last August 15 at the Municipal Hall here.

Centenielo Ramon R. Costales Jr. took his oath of office before Mayor Libradita Go-Abrenica, witnessed by municipal employees, department heads, members of the Sangguniang Bayan and barangay officials.

After the oathtaking, Mayor Abrenica congratulated the young Costales and assured him of her support as the new municipal councilor of the town.

In his acceptance message, Costales expressed his thanks to Mayor Abrenica for the trust given to him and promised to do his part as the new member of the Sangguniang Bayan.

“Ako ay natatakot na baka hindi ko mapantayan ang nagawa ng aking ama. Pero ako ay huhugot ng lakas sa inyo upang ang tiwala na ibinigay ninyo sa akin ay aking matumbasan. ng tapat na serbisyo,” Costales said.

The selection of Costales as the new councilor was a collective decision of the members of the Sangguniang Bayan and the Nationalist Peoples’ Coalition (NPC) Party, Abrenica said.

The late Vice Mayor Costales and the new Vice Mayor Paz Sison-Rafanan belong to the NPC.

First Councilor Paz Sison-Rafanan was sworn in as the new vice mayor last July 22 following the untimely demise of Vice Mayor Costales by operation of law on the principle of succession.

Under the Local Government Code of 1991 or Republic Act No. 7160, vacancy shall be filled up by an elected official who garnered the highest number of votes and assume the unexpired term of the office being vacated.

With the assumption of Sison-Rafanan to vice mayorship, the young Costales, by succession assumes the number 8 slot of the members of the Sangguniang Bayan.

In an interview, Vice Mayor Rafanan expressed hope and optimism that she will be able to perform her new role as the presiding officer of the Sangguniang Bayan.

She said that the passing away of Vice Mayor Costales was a great loss not only to the Sangguniang Bayan but to the whole town.

“I will assume the vacuum he created and of service to our townmates, and will be supportive to the legislative agenda of the administration of Mayor Abrenica,” she said .

August 28, 2011 at 2:08 am Leave a comment

RH Bill

These students attend the Police Forum on the Responsible Parenthood-Reproductive Health Bill” on August 19at the gymnasium of the Lyceum Northwestern University(LNU) in Dagupan City.CESAR RAMIREZ

August 24, 2011 at 11:43 pm Leave a comment

EDITORIAL: What is wrong with Pangasinan’s battle against dengue?

A national newspaper carried the story “Pangasinan records high dengue cases.”
But we read in other newspapers that according to the Department of Health, dengue cases down is down by 79% in Visayas and Mindanao . Another says “ Dengue cases in Region 12 down by 83% — DOH.”
Is there something that the people in the Visayas and Mindanao are doing which the people in Pangasinan are not doing?
The Western Visayan version of the battle against Dengue is winning.
The Region 12 version of the battle against Dengue is winning.
The Pangasinan version of the battle against Dengue is losing.
The Department of health has always been stressing the need for proper hygiene and the removal of breeding places of dengue carrying mosquitoes.
Each person who gets hospitalized and treated for dengue pays an average of P15,000 to 20,000 and most of them are the poor and marginalized.
A hospitalization for a family member distorts the family budget.
Money for food, for school, for transportation is all eaten up by hospitalization and treatment of dengue.
Dengue devastates the economic well-being of a family, especially that of a poor family, and that poor family does not get any financial assistance from government.
The national government, the provincial government and the stakeholders of the health sectors should now start thinking and planning strategically how to most effectively reduce the destructive costs dengue to the rural poor.
We are not only looking into the cost of treatment.
The family members also experience the pain and suffering and the ultimate the fear that their loved one could die from dengue.

The government has programmed P40 billion for conditional cash transfer (CCT), why can’t the government program funds for research the cure for dengue?
If the other areas are winning the battle against dengue, why can’t Pangasinan?

August 24, 2011 at 11:32 pm Leave a comment

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