Archive for November 4, 2011

Going north means 30 minutes more travel time — DPWH

By Yolanda Sotelo

URDANETA CITY – Motorists going to Baguio City will have to endure an extra 30 minutes on the road because of road construction along the highways in this city and in Sison town.
Engineer Emmanuel Diaz, officer in charge of the Department of Public Works and Highways district office in Rosales, said while traffic has “more or less stabilized,” as compared to the past weeks, it would really slow down during the holidays because of expected large number of vehicles.
The DPWH has coordinated with the chiefs of police and peace and order offices of the local government units to help smoothen the traffic, and has put up advisories on alternate routes in case of heavy traffic build up in Urdaneta City, he said.
Motorists going to Baguio City and north provinces and back may pass through the Magilas Trail, the highway that passes through Carmen, Rosales-Sta Maria- Asingan and back to the national highway in Binalonan. The route, while longer, could mean a faster travel.
The DPWH earlier blamed the rains for the delay in the road construction of the portion along the national road traversing the city and town.
The Urdaneta project covers two portions – asphalt overlay in Anonas ( 1.8 kilometers) and concreting in Nancayasan ( 1.6 kilometers) with 500 meters still to be completed. The Sison project covers two kilometers, with only 500 meters completed .
“The motorists may be delayed by 15 minutes in Urdaneta and another 15 minutes in Sison,” Diaz said.
The highway along Urdaneta has four lanes but only two lanes are open because of the construction while in Sison, only one lane is passable.
Diaz said the Urdaneta project, started last July 18, is expected to be completed by December 30. The contract period for the project is until March 3, 2012 and itt used to be delayed by -5%. But now it is advance by 2-3%, he said.
Meantime, the asphalt overlay in Villasis town has been completed, he said.
The construction project Urdaneta has caused heavy traffic in the past months, especially during the time when only one lane was open.
Urdaneta City Administrator Ronald San Juan said the problem was “worst” during the four-day break last August when many were motoring to Baguio City.
An irate Mayor Amadeo Perez IV called up the DPWH, telling them to fast tract the project.
“The heavy traffic irritates the people. It could affect the economy because traders may be discouraged to come. That would have a big effect on the city because we have the livestock and bagsakan (wholesale) markets,” he said.

November 4, 2011 at 12:04 pm Leave a comment

OFWs perks up economy in Malasiqui

By Mortz C. Ortigoza
MALASIQUI- Overseas Filipino Workers serve as the sparkplug that drives the economy of this first class town.
According to data from the office of Mayor Armando Domantay the Poblacion or town center is recently experiencing high commercial growth spurred mainly by high consumer spending generated by increase in family incomes attributable to earning of OFWs.
The data continued that the estimate of OFW population from the town compared to the percentage of adult labor force is as much as 22 percent – one of the highest rates in the Philippines.
“The OFW phenomenon is so significant that almost all households have at least one member working outside of the country,” stressed by a municipal official.
Under the business friendly Domantay Administration, investors sprouted like mushrooms here.
These business establishments resulted in innumerable commercial establishments that give different services like rural and thrift banks, retail and wholesale establishments, manufacturing industries, hotels and restaurants, gasoline stations, construction supplies, social services, electric company, cable television facility, water system, water refilling and purifying stations, salons, drug stores, internet café, construction firms – as well as educational institutions –have risen in the area.

November 4, 2011 at 11:48 am Leave a comment

R1MC eclipses private hospitals in terms of equipment

By Mortz C. Ortigoza
DAGUPAN CITY –Dr. Roland Mejia would not say that Region 1 Medical Center is at par with top private hospitals in this city, but said some of the medical equipment of his hospital could not be found in private hospitals.
Dr. Mejia cited for one the Apheresis method in the state-of-the-art laboratory.
“The method is used during the dengue season. During blood transfusion the Apheresis machine is used. It is only in Region 1 that has that kind of machine, and the platelet separator. Tayo lang meron noon.”
He said the only equipment that the government hospital lacked is the 64 slice CT scan.
“But next year, we will be given the 16 slice CT scan which has provision of 64 augments for 64 slices,” he stressed.
Mejia said that there are mostly 400 indigent patients that patronize the hospitals everyday.
He proudly stated that R1MCs Out –Patient- Department and the Emergency Room are fully air-conditioned.
Just like all modern hospitals in Manila, he said the medical laboratory will be equipped by automatic ticketing machine that is run by a computer.
Also set for expansion are the operating room and a four-level parking area. Mejia said the operating room will be transformed from five beds to 16 beds in five-year period.
R1MC is geared to be transformed to a 600-bed hospital from its present 300-bed. The bill filed by Rep. Gina de Venecia (4th District, Pangasinan), the main benefactor of the hospital, has already been approved by the two Houses of Congress.
With the bill becoming a law, R1MC would be the biggest government runs hospital outside Metro Manila.
Mejia hopes that the appropriation of the hospital’s bed expansion would be included in the 2012 national budget.

November 4, 2011 at 11:31 am Leave a comment

ORTIGOZA: A corrupt solon and a corrupt DPWH chief?

A Local Government Unit (LGU)in Pangasinan is going to apply for an almost P100 million loan in a government bank.
The mayor is optimistic that a resolution empowering him to negotiate with the bank for the loan would be unanimously approved by the members of the Council (Sanggunian).
My insider told me that the members of the August Body forego any meticulous scrutiny how the multi-million-peso loan would be utilized by the mayor for his projects.
He told me that five percent (or about P5 million) of the loan are intended to be divided as bribe among the ten members of the Council. It means each of them including the Vice Mayor would receive a whopping almost P455 thousand each.
Who says elective position like a dad in an LGU is a bane?
News headlines screamed recently that Taiwan is deploying missiles on her claimed territorial islands and water at the Spratly Islands.
After Taiwan deployed her missiles, Mainland China follow suits.
The rest of the claimants like Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, and the Philippines would react, thus the arms race rush there.
With the proliferation of superior armaments in the Islands, I saw the United States smiles.
Arms race in the Spratly bode well for the sluggish American arms industry.
With the increase demands among the claimant countries to buy modern weaponries from Uncle Sam, the lethargic U.S economy perks-up.
Who says that war is not good for ones economy?
A mayor in the Luzon area has been comparing a congresswoman to a former congressman.
The congressman would not take part even a portion of her pork and congressional initiatives that runs to hundreds of millions.
The mayor said that he agreed with the observation of his fellow mayor (who liked him has a construction firm) that their former congressman was kind and selfless.
The former solon shared with them some actions for his government funded projects and was already satisfied to get eight percent from them on the entire cost of any project as SOP (Standard Operational Procedure in the name of corruption).
The chief executive said that sometimes the former lawmaker would not accept the SOP whenever he gave the envelop that contains the money in the solon’s house in Manila.
“He would instead treat me for drinks in clubs at his own expense.”
He said the present congresswoman is too greedy with her projects. She would allegedly pockets 25 percent from the construction of dikes and 40 percent allegedly from the dredging operation that made her district vulnerable to flood – a bane to her constituents.
What was worse according to the source, the solon would ask her bag woman (a high official of the DPWH) to get about 25 percent and 40 percent SOP from the dike and the dredging project even they were only half- finished.
“That’s how greedy she is.”
He said he could only shake his head as the DPWH chief wanted to get her portion too of SOP from the entire cost of the project.
He knew many of the shenanigans of the solon and the already super rich DPWH chief because he has some dummy construction firms that won the bids for the solon’s much abused projects.
Kibitzers in the district see that in the 2013 election, the streak of this solon in pocketing government funds would finally end as the son of a very powerful politician in the province challenges her.
As for the fate of the DPWH top honcho? God has His own way to punish her.
(You can read my selected intriguing but thought-provoking columns at You can send comments too at

November 4, 2011 at 11:31 am Leave a comment

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