Archive for October 18, 2011


Pangasinan officials led by Gov. Amado Espino, Jr.(center, front row) and Vice Gov. Jose Ferdinand Calimlim,Jr.(2nd from right, front) with Senators Rory Jonathan Respicio(2nd from left, front) and Judith Paulette Guthertz(right, front) of Guam Legislature flash the number one sign during a ceremony at the Sangguniang Panlalawigan session hall in Capitol Building in Lingayen last October 13 regarding the sisterhood relation between Pangasinan and the island of Guam. Also in photo is Vic Rivo(left, front), president of the Federation of Pangasinenses on Guam(FOPOG).CESAR RAMIREZ

October 18, 2011 at 1:04 am Leave a comment

Families of missing fishermen hope for miracle

by Yolanda Sotelo

DASOL– The families of 14 fishermen who have been missing since September 22 are hoping for a miracle that they survived typhoons Pedring and Quiel in the South China Sea and that are alive somewhere.
The families have been holding prayer rallies and offering masses for the fishermen who were aboard fishing boat Hans Patrick which sailed to the sea before typhoon Pedring struck the country.
When the sea became turbulent and they failed to return to shore because of typhoon Pedring, their families were not worried. “They have survived similar ordeals in the past,” Delma Degamo said.
Delma’s husband Francisco, 51; son Jundel Degamo, 28, and brother in law Albert Degamo,41; were among the missing that included 13-year old Jomar Guiay .
With them are brothers Ariel, 24, and Arnold Cabarlo,23; Jonathan Asanez, Rodolfo Velonza, Fermin Dayot, Caloy Rada, Florante dela Claros, Atong Baloy, Randy Brillantes aond Larry Villaflor.
Except for Ariel Cabarlo who is residing in Mabini, all are residents of Dasol.
They know that something was very wrong because a group of fishermen also from the town, saw the debris of their boat somewhere in the “payaw (artificial reef)” area.
Delma said last August , the same fishermen were caught in the sea by violent waves of typhoon Mina, but after nine days, they returned home. “They hid in Scarborough Shore,” she said.
Sometimes stormy seas bring them to as far as Malaysia, but they are able to come back, she said.
But the families are getting anxious this time, as it has been 20 days that none of the fishermen have come back. With no one to turn to, they rely on the power of prayer to keep their hope alive.
Fear that they could have lost their men is written all over the faces of three young wives interviewed by the Inquirer.
Judelyn, Asanez’ wife, said she is clinging to her husband’s word that he will return. Their daughter is only one-year old and I could not afford to raise her alone, she said.
Remalyn is pregnant with her first child with Velonza. They are planning to get married when she gives birth, and baptize the baby at the same time.
Claire, Ariel Cabarlo’s wife, looked serene, but could not hide the fear that if her husband is gone, she would have to raise their four and two year old children.
On October 4, Alex Cabarlo, 52, father of the Cabarlo brothers, said he and some members of the fishermen’s families Dasol Mayor Noel Nacar for help.
“He wrote a letter to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council about our predicament, but we are still waiting for result,” Cabarlo said.
The families cling on to every bit of news from the radio about fishermen found in different provinces, checking if any of the Dasol fishermen are included.
So far, reports are negative.
The they heard about 30 fishermen brought by strong waves to Vietnam. Again, they are hoping that their loved ones are there.
The case of the missing fishermen was not reported earlier to the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council. There were rumors but there were no official situational report, PDRRMC spokesperson Avenix Arenas said. It was only on Wednesday morning that she called up Dasol police which confirmed the incident, and that she asked for an official report.

October 18, 2011 at 1:00 am Leave a comment

MAGANES: Urdaneta City Mayor Bobom Perez- the consummate environmentalist

If there is one leader in Pangasinan who is worthy of emulation by other local chief executives, he’s no other than Mayor Amadeo Gregorio “Bobom” E. Perez IV. He is not only a hands-on leader who reports to his office early in the morning ahead of the city employees, but also a leader who has high concern for physical fitness and environmental protection and environment.
Mayor Bobom started his physical fitness by encouraging his employees and department heads to go biking. “ Biking is a good form of exercise. It will help eliminate body wastes and strengthen the heart functions,” he once told me when asked why he has initiated that activity among his staff. I supposed his biking activities has made him physically fit such that when you go to his office, you will see a physically active Mayor Bobom who is untiringly attending to the needs of his constituents.
But what made me admire him most was his concern for cleanliness of the city and the deep concern and commitment for the protection and preservation of the environment. His approach is unconventional and not pattern from other mayors in the country. If one will go to Urdaneta City today, one will see a very clean environment- no leaves, no trash and other form of waste around. It was a commitment, Mayor Bobom said, that Urdaneta City must be a model of cleanliness not only in Pangasinan and Region I but in the whole country.
The best transformation Urdaneta City has in its business district is the improvement of sidewalks. My goodness Toto Mortz, it is only this city which has a tiled sidewalks sans vendors. The tiles were ornately placed such that they add to the aesthetic beauty of the city.
In September 2010, Mayor Bobom created his anti-littering task force which soon became “Bantay Pangkalikasan”. It was no mean joke for the said task force to apprehend offenders of anti-littering and spitting. In every corner, one will see a yellow vested employee whose work is to monitor passersby who violate the anti-littering ordinance. That system paid off. Thanks to its head Omar Esteves who diligently implement the ordinance. By now, collected fines rose to P625,000. But that is not the point here. Violators of anti-littering are dwindling. Mar told me that people are already aware of the campaign and only few from other towns and provinces are being apprehended.
Another environmental project of Mayr Bobom was his clean up drive of water tributaries in the city. He does not only command. He participated in the clean up drive making his employees inspired. “Why will I not participate? Even Mayor Perez worked during that clean up activities,” an employee told me. The clean up drive made the water flow in creeks and canals fast such that during typhoons Pedring and Quiel, these water tributaries had not overflowed.
But those environmental concerns of Mayor Bobom have to be intensified. “ Everybody must work to preserve our environment,” he said when asked why he was launching the group of youngsters as deputized implementers of the Bantay Pangkalikasan. He said that it is now the time to make them aware of environmental protection. They will be our next leaders. Years from now, Mayor Bobom said, we are no longer leaders in the city. “There must be new generation to sustain our gains on environmental awareness.”
And so he did. City Junior Bantay Pangkalikaan was organized making the members as role models of environmental protection and preservation. Will other towns follow suit? I hope they will if they want that Mayor Perez award for the city as the “cleanest, greenest and safest city in Region I” will also be theirs someday.
But wait Mayor Bobom, what’s this I heard that a private lot owner beside the engineered sanitary land fill in Catablan has converted his land as a dumping site of garbage from other town/city? Will this not destroy your environment protection advocacies? Please look into that. My kudos to you.
If you happen to be at SM City Rosales, there is one office there which is very friendly and has been extending assistance to the families of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs). This is the SM Global Pinoy Center which is manned by smiling ladies who are very accommodating and could make your stay there comfortable.
To avail of their services, just apply for a SM Global Pinoy Center card with registration fee of P150 and you could avail all their services. You could surf the internet, sip hot coffee for free, entertain your friends ( but not so loudly), take a nap on its comfortable seats and ask information about overseas remittance.
Try it and your stay with SM City Rosales will be more meaningful and worthwhile. I’ve been there many times.
(for comments, email me at

October 18, 2011 at 12:58 am Leave a comment

Abono, NTA distribute fertilizers

By Virgilio Sar. Maganes

ROSALES- More than 250 farmers of this town trooped to the National Tobacco Administration (NTA) Provincial Branch Office at Carmay East village on October 14 to receive fertilizer and corn seed subsidies in time for the planting of tobacco, palay and corn for the cropping season 2011-2012.
Leading the distribution of fertilizers were former 6th District Rep. Conrad M. Estrella III, 6th District Rep. Marlyn Primicias-Agabas, Abono Chair Rosendo O. So, Vice Governor Jose Ferdinand Z. Calimlim, Jr., NTA Branch Manager Cesario G. Sambrana and Rosales Vice Mayor Dominador “Jojo” E. Pajela, Jr.
During the brief program, So said the fertilizer subsidies are still part of the town’s share of tobacco excise tax.
So lauded the congressional district representatives of the province, provincial government officials and municipal officials for the release of the tobacco excise tax ,adding that the funds helped a lot in helping the farmers in the province.
“Rosales is the second to have the highest share of the tobacco excise tax in the district. We have to sustain that by planting tobacco this season,” So urged the farmers, but said palay, corn and other crops should also be sustained.
So further briefed the farmers on the corn production program in the province which was launched recently in Villasis town.
“ We have the corn processing plant in Carmen West which is operated by the National Agribusiness Corp. (NABCOR) for three years already. We leased our warehouse to the said agency so that it could help our corn farmers in the province. We want it to be fully operational in the years to come,” So said.
On the corn production, So said Sta. Maria, Balungao and Rosales in the sixth congressional district are included as pilot areas.
He thanked 3rd District Rep. Rachel Arenas, 4th District Rep. Gina de Venecia, 5th District Rep. Kimi S. Cojuangco, 6th District Rep. Marlyn Primicias-Agabas, Abono Partylist Rep. Robert Raymund M. Estrella, Jr. and the municipal mayors of the pilot towns for corn production for their support to the program.
Vice Governor Calimlim lauded the stakeholders of the program for providing assistance to the farmers.
He said without unity and cooperation of all, “ we will be going nowhere and without direction.”
Six District Rep. Marlyn Primicias-Agabas in her message informed the farmers that this year’s tobacco excise tax was not yet released by the national government due to the suspension Malacanang because of the petition of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines ( LMP) to have their share also in the tobacco excise tax.
She further told the farmers that infrastructures like farm- to- market roads are no longer priorities to be implemented on the new tobacco excise tax.
“Our excise tax share has decreased. Rosales has only P656,000 out of the P19 million share. I asked the Sangguniang Bayan through Vice Mayor (Jojo) Pajela what their priorities for implemented and they told me to be livelihood programs. In Rosales, we have only 77 tobacco farmers and if we will prioritize them as recipients, the excise tax share will go a long way for them ,” she said.
Estrella III lauded the farmers on their contribution to the nation building.
He said that progressive countries like France, Germany, Taiwan and China are not totally affected by the global financial crisis because of their strong agricultural base and that their governments are subsidizing the needs of their farmers.
“ We must have a strong agricultural sector. Without our farmers, the gains we have like the establishment of government centers, malls, universities and other amenities will be useless. Farmers are the prime patrons of these facilities because when they have monies they go to these places,” Estrella said.
Estrella further said to make the agricultural sector strong, politics should be set aside and that everyone must work together to pursue the goals of agricultural production.
The event was also attended by Sta. Maria Mayor Teddy Ramos, Rosales Councilors Romeo Sim, Harry Bernabe, Tony Muya, Armand Meimban and Susan Pagador-Casareno (Liga ng Barangays Federation President).

October 18, 2011 at 12:53 am Leave a comment

Manay Gina’ showers Dagupan with projects

By Venus H. Sarmiento
DAGUPAN CITY– When it rains, it pours.
After suffering from heavy rains brought by two consecutive typhoons, a different downpour will greet Dagupeños. Several projects were lined-up by 4th district Congresswoman Gina De Venecia for the public.
Set for the first quarter of 2012 is the construction and rehabilitation of the drainage system in Arellano Bani which is usually submerged in waters during heavy rains; cementing of the road shoulder from Dawel area to the Tanap bridge; drainage construction in Mayombo district from the junction in Perez Boulevard until Villaflor hospital; drainage rehabilitation of a section of barangay Tapuac from Trauma hospital to Amado street and the Lucao-De Venecia highway.
Also set for concreting/cementing are the easily flooded roads in barangays Mayombo, Lasip Grande, Lucao, Bacayao Sur, Salisay, Pogo Chico and Pogo Grande including the barangay hall of Lomboy and Tebeng.
Cost of the projects amounts to P106 million.
Manay Gina, as De Venecia is popularly called, also plans to construct an adoption house which will be called ‘Haven for Abandoned Children’. The haven will be open for babies who could not be taken cared of by their parents due to poverty and other personal reasons.
The ‘Haven for Women’ which was constructed earlier will also continue its operations. The building found in barangay Bonuan Binloc houses women who are victims of abuse.
For the elderly, De Venecia gave an early Christmas gift for the Senior Citizens Federation when she donated P100,000 as support to the elderly. She also gave reading glasses for the senior citizens.
De Venecia said the projects are part of his promise and commitment during the campaign period where her platform centered on livelihood, overall health, values formation, education and environment. (PIA-Pangasinan
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October 18, 2011 at 12:52 am Leave a comment

BSL Proposes P581M Budget for 2012

DAGUPAN CITY – Mayor Benjamin S. Lim has proposed P581 million budget to the Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) for 2012.
The annual budget was transmitted to the SP through Vice-Mayor Belen T. Fernandez last October 5, which is earlier than the prescribed October 16 deadline under Section 318 of Republic Act 7160, otherwise known as the Local Government Code of 1991.
The executive budget contains the local revenue and expenditure program of the city and its budget of expenditures and sources of financing.
In the proposed budget, 40 percent will go to the general public services sector, 29 percent will go to the social services sector, 25 percent to the economic services sector, and six percent is for other services.
Under general public services are programs, projects, and activities such as enforcement of all laws and ordinances, development planning, research and statistics and other services, financial and fiscal administration, public and other internal affairs, and public personnel development, maintenance of peace and order and public safety, the judiciary, register of deeds, administrative overhead, and the regulatory functions of the city.
Also included is P3.1-million from the 20 percent of the IRA for development projects.
In social services are programs, projects, activities for the promotion of health and nutritional status of the population, population management, education, culture and sports, manpower development, employment promotion, housing and community development, environmental protection, sanitary services and social welfare services for the upliftment of lives of the disadvantaged families and individuals.
This sector is allocated P166.5 million representing 28.68 percent of the total city budget. Of this amount, P26.1 million will fund the operation of the health services. Allocation for family planning is P5.2 million.
The city also apportioned P7.1 million, which is 1.22 percent of the budget, for the delivery of social welfare services to the marginalized sectors of the city.
The allocation for this sector also includes P36 million of 20 percent of the IRA for development projects under the social services sector.
Of the allocated budget for economic services sector, P4.5 million is budgeted for agricultural services, P3.4 million for veterinary services, P31.2 million for engineering services, including maintenance of parks and monuments and maintenance of roads and bridges, and P25.6 million for market operation.
The city also apportioned P42 million, which is the required amortization for the remaining balance of the city’s existing loan with the Land Bank of the Philippines of P161.5 million. This represents 16.8 percent of the total revenue from regular sources, which is considered fiscally sound within the debt servicing cap of 20 percent.
An amount of P14.2 million from the 20 percent of the IRA is also allocated for various development projects under economic services.
To cover electricity and water, the city has allocated P30 million and P3 million, respectively.
The total expenditures for personal services for the next budget year is P211 million. Total personal services accounts for 36.38 percent of the total LGU budget, which is well way below the 45 percent personal services budget ceiling.
The amount of P259 million has been set aside for maintenance and other operating expenses, representing 44.53 percent of the budget.
Expenditures for capital outlays amount to P68 million or 11.73 percent of the total expenditures. It includes provisions for development projects to be initiated and realized in 2012.
The amounts of P29,050,000.00 and P3,131,000.00 were set aside as reserve for calamity and aid to barangays, respectively.
“Next year, the city’s IRA will likely suffer a large diminution; however, the City Treasurer’s Office and the Financial Management Committee will jointly generate strategies and efforts not only to increase collection, but also to regain the first class status of the city,” said Lim.
“From a high revenue share of around 70 to 75 percent a few years ago, we have broken the 50 percent barrier, which is the result of our solid determination to gradually break free from our heavy reliance on the IRA share for our budget,” he said.
He added that “As a general rule, the city shall not rely on any tax increase measures, but will go full throttle on its tax collection efforts based on existing and creative plan of action.”
Lim appealed to the SP to join him “as we set forth in our duty to deliver better and more responsive basic services to our constituents. Our development goals can be achieved not necessarily with a hefty budget, but by striking a balance of needs and expenditures.” (CIO – Joseph C. Bacani)

October 18, 2011 at 12:51 am Leave a comment

ORTIGOZA: Judge in cahoots with the police?

Eng.Reynaldo Mencias, Project Manager of the multi-billion pesos funded Agno River Integrated Irrigation Project (ARRIP), was on hot seat recently in a modified program of ABS-CBN – Dagupan City.
I asked him via phone-patch if it was true that government offices like Department of Public Works & Highway, National Irrigation Authority, Department of Agriculture, and others forego the pre-audit by the Commission on Audit of “sounding ( a gauge using a rod to know how deep the river and lake are from the water bed up to the surface before and after the dredging)” every time there is a dredging operation.
“Yes, there was a circular that pre-audit for dredging has been abolished,” he said.
Susmariosep, without a pre-audit of heavily silted river that needs dredging, vultures in Congress and bigwigs of those government offices I mentioned could feast more because of the loot they can get from the dredge.
As you know corruption at a dredging operation reached as much as 60 percent.
It means P6 million out of the P10 Million budget goes to the pocket of grafters.
Now I know why some towns and cities are flooded every time there is a drizzle or typhoon.
Who is this judge who interceded for the downgrading of a case filed by the Lingayen police against a certain Dr. Andico — a professor of the Pangasinan State University?
According to a source, Andico was arrested and locked-up by the police because of illegal possession of a 9mm pistol in Andrea Beer house in Lingayen last October 6.
“He should be charged with Illegal Possession of Firearm and not Alarm and Scandal,” my source whispered to me.
Alarm & Scandal carries either a mere penalty or fine of Arresto Menor (1 day to 30 days imprisonment) or 200 pesos.
Illegal Possession of Firearm metes a penalty and fine of prision correctional in its maximum period ( up to 6 years in prison) and a fine of not less that Fifteen Thousand pesos(P15,000.00) as based on the amended Republic Act No. 8294.
Dr. Danny Sison, Assistant Superintendent of the Department of Education in Pangasinan- 1 and head of its Bids & Award Committee (BAC) would not entertain media men in his office recently who want to ask him some questions why a DepEd funded school building sans paint, toilet, ceiling, to name a few cost P750 thousand while its counterpart building with all the amenities the former lacks costs only P350,000.
According to my source, Sison would immediately entertain if the visitors in his office are contractors and suppliers.
I doff my hat to Binalot food chain president Rommel Juan and Pangasinan Area franchise owner Ruffy Meneses. They surely know the role played by the media vis-a-vis their products. Recently, they graced a franchise agreement signing and press conference for the national and local media like TV and print.
These guys surely know that without a wide coverage of media, nobody would know their affordable and unique fast food products.
This event held at Dagupena Restaurant recently could not be more successful without the able stewardship of former college professor and now blogger Simon Francis Blais Vistro.
O, Francis mababasa na itong PR ko dito sa inyo worldwide. Mag pa-inom ka na!
You can read my selected intriguing but thought-provoking columns at You can send comments too at

October 18, 2011 at 12:34 am Leave a comment

Urdaneta accepts Mangaldan’s wastes

By Mortz C. Ortigoza
URDANETA CITY – Mayor Amado Perez IV said he welcomed towns in Pangasinan like Mangaldan to dump their garbage in the city’s sanitary landfill, but with limitations.
Perez said Mangaldan Mayor Herminio Romero can dump his town’s garbage at the landfill anytime, but has to pay the tipping fee of P900 per ton.
He said Alcala dumped five tons a week of segregated garbage at the P220 million sanitary landfill located at Brgy. Catablan here.
During the ecological rally in Mangaldan recently, Romero said that just like neighboring Dagupan City, his town could face problem at the town’s limited dumpsite areas, unless residents cooperate by segregating their wastes before disposing.
He said his administration resorted to a control dumpsite in Brgy. Banaoang that he wanted to convert into an ecological park.
Perez said he gave limit to other Local Government Units because he feared that the landfill will be full up in five years time, and even less if the garbage is not segregated.
“Parang dumpsite sa Tarlac, sira na,”he explained.
He said this city disposes 40 to 50 tons of segregated wastes daily.
He said this city officials have not yet computed if the P220 million loan from the Land Bank of the Philippines can be recouped after this city accepts garbage of other towns and cities.
Perez clarified that the construction of the multi-million of pesos landfill was primarily created to solve this city’s growing garbage problem.

October 18, 2011 at 12:32 am Leave a comment

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