Archive for April 23, 2012

President PNoy snubs convention

HOG CONVENTION OPENS- At the Presidential Table are: (Left to Right) Agriculture Asst. Sec. Davinio Catbagan, Agham Partylist Rep. Angelo Palmones, Rep. Mark Llandro Mendoza, NFHFI Chairman Daniel Javellana, Jr. Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala, ProPork President Edwin Chen, Abono Partylist Chair Rosendo O. So , Butil Partylist Rep. Agapito Guanlao and Agap Partylist Rep. Nicanor Briones.

By Vir Sar. Maganes

Ms. Durian Tan, Treasurerof NFHFI and Director of Swine Development Council said that there was an apparent move from the National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS) to put the convention in bad light.

A day before the opening of the convention, personnel from NMIS in full force with media presented “botcha” that was scattered along the streets in Paco, Manila. The alleged discovery was aired over TV5, GMA and ABS-CBN.

“Why was the “botcha” not confiscated in the market.? Why was NMIS was there in Paco, Manila with the media? This is a clear showing of the agency’s desire to show that the “botcha” came from the local hog industry. They even said that because it is summertime, many hogs are dying. This is absurd,” said Tan.

“Botcha” is a local term for “double dead” hogs that have been butchered and still find their way to the market for commercial trading.

“ The industry will not allow this to happen. We are sure that the TV footages and allege confiscation was the handiwork of the NMIS,” Tan further said.

On the other hand, the opening of the convention on April 19 was supposedly to be addressed by President Benigno S. Aquino III. However, on the last minute, he begged off and instead Agriculture Secretary Proceso J read his message.

Abono Partylist Rosendo O. So said that it should have been better if the President meets with the hog industry leaders for him to find out the real problems besetting the hog industry.

“ Whether it’s intentional or not on his part, President Aquino should have the first-hand information of the problems of hog industry. It appeared that he is being shielded by his economic advisers,” So said.

The following day however, President PNoy appeared in Lapu-lapu City, Cebu to address the World IT Congress.

April 23, 2012 at 8:24 am Leave a comment

Filtered communication to Sec. Alcala, call for Nuestro’s resignation

HOG DIALOGUE- Abono Partylist Chair Rosendo O. So stresses a point before Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala on te impending problems of the hog industry in the country. Others in photo are:Butil Partylist Rep.Agapito H. Guanlao, Propork President Edwin Chen (partly hidden) and Agriculture Asst. Sec. Davinio Catbagan.

By Vir Sar. Maganes

There was an apparent lost of letters and other communication addressed to Secretary Alcala from the hog industry as their concerns have been aired since last year.

The stakeholders of the hog industry learned this when Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala said that their concerns should be in put in “black and white”.

“ Give me papers and data. Parehas tayong naiipit dito ( We are both clamped here). I need your help because the government is here to help you,” said Secretary Alcala.

Abono Partylist Chair Rosendo O. So was apparently surprised on the statements of Secretary Alcala.

He said that many letters and even position papers from the hog organizations have already been sent to the Department of Agriculture (DA) but until now no positive actions on these have been provided by the agency.

“The staff of the Secretary (Alcala) are apparently filtering the letters sent to his office such that it appeared that he’s not aware of our concerns,” So said.

So further said that the problems of the industry were aggravated by the indiscriminate issuance of Veterinary Quarantine Certificates (VQC) of the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) under Director Efren Nuestro.

“What is even more disgusting was that the data from the United Nations on meat importation do not jibe with the data of BAI. He is putting the Secretary (Alcala) in bad light. Nuestro should resign from his post. BAI is no longer the Bureau of Animal Industry but Bureau of Animal Importation,” So said.

On the problems of the industry, Secretary Alcala promised that he will convened immediately the Swine Development Council to come up with solutions on the issues and concerns presented to him.

April 23, 2012 at 8:21 am Leave a comment

Mejia nixes critics on R1MC bids for 600 beds

By Mortz C. Ortigoza

DAGUPAN CITY – The regional director of the Region 1 Medical Center (R1MC) downplayed criticism that the regional hospital could not upgrade to 600 beds because of the absence of a senate bill.

Dr. Roland Mejia said the endeavor of R1MC to become a tertiary level hospital is “as good as approved” since there is already a bill in the House of Representatives.

“It has already been justified at the House level by the Department of Health because R1MC is the only Level-4 hospital in the province of Pangasinan and we are catering not only in the whole ofPangasinan but the province of Zambales, northern parts of Tarlac, southern parts of La Union, and the western parts of Northern Luzon, and the CAR (Cordillera Autonomous Region),” he said.

R1MC eyes a 600-bed hospital through a bill passed by Rep. Gina de Venecia (4th District, Pangasinan).
Mejia said the regional hospital here is lucky since it is the third in the list of the 22 DOH- run hospitals in the country slated for upgrading.

DOH Secretary Enrique Ona has set P20 billion this year for the upgrading of hospitals.

Mejia said the upgrade will coincide with the implementation of the five-year expansion of the tertiary hospital from 300 beds to 600 beds as contained in the bill of Rep. de Venecia.

He said R1MC allocates 60 beds per year until the 300 beds are reached in five years.

Meanwhile, Dr. Mejia denied that Rep. Jesus ”Boying’ Celeste (1st District, Pangasinan) has been smarting to R1MC when he transferred his indigent constituents to another regional hospital outside Pangasinan.

He said he regularly saw the constituents of the solon avail of the services of hospital.

He denied allegation that nurses in his hospital were rude.

“That is not true, iyong mga pumupuna siguro ang nag-sasabi niyan ay 1 to 1000 (That is not true, those who said that are only one person out of 1000 persons” he stressed.

The director said that R1MC as a level-4 government tertiary hospital is at par with Baguio General Hospital, Jose Reyes Memorial Medical Center, Philippine Heart Center (PHC), and the Lung Center of the Philippines (LCP).

“But the difference is they (PHC and LCP) are specialty hospitals. We are a general hospital.”

Mejia said the hospital spends P7 million to P8 million monthly to subsidize indigent patients.

April 23, 2012 at 8:11 am Leave a comment

ORTIGOZA: Where is the money for the footbridge, DPWH?

Don’t you know that some offices of the Philippine National Police in the province are recipients of payola from illegal tupada (illegal cockfighting)?

According to a tupada operator, who asked for anonymity, every month he gives P1, 500 to each of the police offices.
“It is P1, 500 a month for each of them. “Pambili daw ng bigas para sa opisina nila,” he told me in the vernacular.
He said that there are 105 tupadahan in the province. If each of them gives P1,500 a month, each of the police units get a whopping P157,500 monthly.
“It’s the price for the protection if one is into illegal business,” he quipped.
Protection, in police parlance, is insulation from future raid because of the illegal nature of the trade.
Another expert on the nuances of the projects undertaken by the Department of Public Works & Highways reacted to my recent column on the failure of the DPWH, under the watch of Engr. Marietta Mendoza, chief of the Sub-Engineering District, to put a footbridge at the already closed- to- traffic Marusay Bridge in Calasiao, Pangasinan.

This caused consternation among commuters who are inconvenienced with a longer and expensive fare for a detour in Brgy. San Vicente before they reach the town center or Dagupan City and vice versa.

“There is a budget for that. You ask people at DPWH how much the programmed budget before the P90 million appropriation has been approved,” he emphatically told me.

He explained that the Spanish government has appropriated a bigger amount before the project was bided.

“Surely there were savings for that. And that saving could be enough to bankroll the foot bridge.”

My poser: Saan napunta ang pera na savings ng DPWH?

With the indifference of the DPWH to build a foot bridge, people there would suffer for almost a year as the construction of “the bridge of their agony” lasts up to March 2013.

It seems Dagupan City Mayor Benjie S. Lim and his administrator Vlad Mata outsmarted Vice Mayor Belen Fernandez and her allies at the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (City Council).
When the P581 million fiscal appropriations for 2012 were deliberated, funds for the famous street dance Gilon-Gilon were ominously absent.
When the P581 million was approved by the council, the mayor asked immediately for an urgent supplemental budget of P10, 060,318.23 for the funding of the street dance (P7,750,000, or P250 thousand for each of the 31 villages for training and props) while the remaining portion of the P10 million is earmarked for the enhancement of the city’s environmental resources.
But when I met councilors Jig Sheen and Alfie Fernandez on the afternoon of April 16at the august chamber after an “angry’ vice mayor (because some councilors left the session earlier without her permission) adjourned the session, both told me that the P10 million supplemental budget requested by the mayor was already approved.

I was not surprised. Why? If I would be in the shoes of the vice mayor or the dads I would initiate for its approval pronto before the advent of the dance contest. Otherwise, that would be a death-knell for them since almost all of them (except Belen who is rumored to slug it out with Benjie in the mayoralty) are running for re-election next year.
The street dance is traditionally considered as “sacred” event by Dagupenos, and Fernandez et al would not want any part of its ‘sacrilege’.
In a press conference called by Lim at Robinson Mall in April 13, 2012 dubbed as “Kick- off @ Robinson’s Place (for the Bangus Festival)”, the vice mayor and her allies were not around.
“Was it because the presscon was not named: “Kick- Off at CSI Super Mall’s Place”? A mammoth retail store owned by the vice mayor in Dagupan City” I sheepishly asked somebody.
Instead. Lim was accompanied by loyalists councilors Brian Lim and Red Erfe-Mejia, and “wild card” dad Dr. Jess Canto (the latter is the vice mayor’s “torn in the spine” when the legislative body over-rode with two-third votes the veto of Lim last year but found themselves wanting. But Administrator Mata told me that even with Canto at the behest of the vice mayor the dads could not still muster the necessary two-third votes).
“Mabuti pa si Mayor (Mark Roy) Macanlalay sumusuporta sa Bangus Festival” a media man quipped when he saw the young mayor of the nearby Calasiao town gamely joined the two Lims at the press conference’s presidential table.
Oh, I did ask Mayor Lim with three series of questions ala CNN (Calasiao News Network). My first query: “The first salvo of the press con for the festival is held here at Robinson in an strange land called Calasiao town and not in the fortresses of our city Dagupan, would the next year’s press conference be held at the newly constructed SM-Dagupan City?”
Holy Casserole and Guacamole, the mayor just shook his head with amusement. I don’t know if he deemed my question as funny or just plain stupid.
Last week was a “hell” of a bump day for me.
In that April 14, 2012 Robinson Mall’s kick- off press con, I bumped with the amiable Ana Jaboneta Velasco who told me she was reassigned at the City Information Office. She used to be a nurse at the city health’s office.
Susmariosep, it took former “de facto” CIO top guy Joseph Bacani to inform me at another media event at Jollibee-Lucao that Ana was not only with the CIO, she was appointed as the top honcho of the “propaganda” office.

Mrs. Velasco, whose hubby is the soft-spoken Butch is an “incumbent Joseph Goebbels” of the Provincial Information Office in Lingayen town, is a kababayan in Cotabato.

A daughter of Atty. Jesus Jaboneta, regional director of the Department of Labor & Employment, Ana graduated in 1992 as a nurse at Notre Dame University in Cotabato City. She also writes a column at Pangasinan Star.

I bumped too, into Tapuac Brgy. Captain Jake Reyes who is the vice president of Dagupan City’s Liga ng mga Barangays. He told me that the national leadership of the Liga in tandem with the 42 thousand barangays in the country have passed their respective resolutions calling for synchronization of the election of the village poll and the presidential election in 2016.

It means all barangay captains in the country excluding Captain Barbell and all “kagawad (village lawmakers) would have their term extension beyond the scheduled October 2013 poll.
I was told that Liberal Party congressman Erin Tanada (a senatorial wannabe) and Sec. Jess Robredo of the Department of Interior & Local Government were vigorously spearheading this move in congress.
With the juggernauts of the LP and Malacanang behind this move, who can be against the postponement?
Suerte ng mga Kapitans, malas naman ng mga gustong magkapitan he he. You have to wait for another two – and- half more years when the countdown starts in October 2013.
I bumped too, into Councilor Lim lately somewhere in Brgy. Lucao. I asked him his take on the TV pronouncements of Vice Mayor Belen Fernandez that he told his colleagues at the August Chamber that it was no longer necessary to ask for a P10 million appropriation for the Gilon-Gilon ed Dalan on April 28, 2013.
Lim denied it. He explained to me that his party’s decision to ask for an appropriation is the prudent way after they evaluated how much expenses the street dance’s entails.”Unlike the practice of the preceding administration where the monies have been appropriated arbitrarily by the SP (Sanguniang Panglungsod) without thoroughly evaluating it,” he said.
I bumped into former maverick councilor professor Alex de Venecia. “Oh, you’re sporting a city hall uniform,” I quipped to him. Alex, who is the nephew of rabble rousing former Speaker Joe (a political opponent of Mayor Lim), told me that he was just appointed by the mayor to head the population office of the city. Good luck, Kuya Alex for your demographic work!
Lastly, as I walked casually at the downtown area I was nearly bumped by a steamroller (pison) of the DPWH. But because of my extraordinary instinct I was able to avoid a columnist disaster. I thought the “near accident” was premeditated assassination attempt using a “pison” after my series of criticisms of the anomalies and incompetence’s of the leadership of the public works. (You can read my selected intriguing but thought-provoking columns at You can send comments too at

April 23, 2012 at 8:10 am 1 comment

BM Rosario deplores inefficiency of school boards

By Mortz C. Ortigoza

LINGAYEN – The chairman of the committee on education of the Sangguniang Panglalawigan (SB) assailed the “inefficiency” of some local school board (LSB) in some towns and cities in Pangasinan.

SB Member Jeremy Agerico ”Ming” Rosario said based on the survey of the Department of Education, the LSB’s use of the one percent share from the real property tax is not being maximized.

“Unfortunately, based on the survey of the DepEd, medyo hindi nagagamit or na ma-maximize ito. Sayang, pag na ma-maximized ito, bawas and kaunti na ang problema natin (Unfortunately, based on the survey of the DepEd, it seems the LSB do not maximize the use of the funds. Otherwise, the problems of the schools would have been lessened.),” he said.

According to the Local Government Code, the annual school board budget should give priority to the construction, repair, and maintenance of school buildings and other facilities of public elementary and secondary schools; establishment and maintenance of extension classes, and sports activities at then division, district, municipality, and barangay levels.

Rosario deplored how the LSB in the town of Manaoag has not been used to improve the schools there.

He said to better monitor the funds, there should be an action person in the local school board.

He said the role of the school board is the repair of classrooms, salaries of teachers, and the purchase of text books for the students.

Rosario said that the LSB in the province has its own appropriation from the RPT.

He said the provincial school board has P120 million share in 2011.

Meanwhile, a resident of Manaoag town denounced the “politics” behind the shutting off of street lights around the Poblacion area.

The resident, who asked anonymity and who spoke in behalf of a significant number of residents there, said that last Monday Manaoag Mayor Napoleon Sales requested the Sangguniang Bayan to pass an urgent resolution for funding of the street lights.

The resident wondered if Mayor Sales was conditioning the people’s mind that what happened to Mindanao where blackout is experienced because of the absence of funds for power generation.

He wondered why there was shutting off of the lights.
“My letter of disconnection na ba tayo sa Decorp?” he posed.

April 23, 2012 at 8:06 am Leave a comment

EDITORIAL: See what’s happening in your kingdom

“I can feel you smiling.”

As a public servant and leader, it is important to feel the smile of the people you are serving.

If you can feel the smile of your people, it is as if you are taking your confidence pills.

True leaders should not treat themselves as royalty…but just as humble servants.

The Asna Awards is given to people who give flavor to Pangasinan people’s life.

The recent awardees are very much deserving.

People have survival needs and look up to people who bring food, shelter and clothing to their family.

People need to belong and look up to people who provide a good social environment in their community.

People have self actualization needs and look up to people who inspire them to become who they want to be.

Have you really seen your barangays today? For every need there is an inspiration.

Most of the ordinary people in the barangay look to their immediate environment for inspiration.

Pangasinan parents order their children to take up nursing because a neighbor’s daughter who became a nurse and worked in the United Kingdom was able to bring economic benefits to the family.

Are their farmers out there in the farms and fishermen out in the seas of Pangasinan who are looked up to by the people as a source of inspiration?

Are their businessmen and entrepreneurs out there in the Pangasinan business community providing jobs who are looked up to by the people as a source of inspiration?

Are there other ordinary people who are looked up to by the people as source of inspiration?

Lead your people. Serve the people.

To be able to lead and serve the people of Pangasinan, one has to go for a long walk.

Go for that long walk across your kingdom because this will get you some fresh air, clear your head, get some exercise and really communicate with the people.

April 23, 2012 at 8:04 am Leave a comment

Bayambang farmers’ day

By Brando Cortez

BAYAMBANG-Farmers from 68 farmer organizations in this central Pangasinan town were given due recognition to their contribution to the town’s growth, during the fourth Farmers’ Day.

The Farmers’ Day celebration, sponsored by Abono Party-list, is part of Bayambang’s weeklong fiesta celebration. Guests were Las Pinas Rep. Cynthia Villar, third district Rep. Rachel Arenas and officials from the Department of Agriculture.

Mayor Ricardo Camacho encouraged the farmers to embrace the benefits of cooperatives as a better channel to improving livelihood opportunities.

Camacho cited the farmers’ contribution in the uplifting the economy and be proud about being a farmer.

“Kayo ang tunutulong para mapa-angat ang ekonomiya ng bayan,” Camacho said. “Huwag ninyong ikahiya ang pagiging magsasaka!”

Abono Chairn Rosendo So thanked Rep. Rachel Arenas, Mayor Camacho and the corn farmers for their support to the Pangasinan corn production program.

The program lends corn seeds and fertilizers to farmers at no interest.

DA Regional Technical Director Edgardo Gonzales, said he is also a backyard hog farmer and have stopped operations because of meat importation and the misdeclaration of good meat as pork fat.

“Isa akong magbaboy na na tumigil na rin dahil ako ay nalulugi, isa rin po ako sa namatayan ng negosyo,” Gonzales said. “Kaya lang po, maraming magagaling din sa atin na iyong imported na balat at bituka ng baboy na pagdating sa atin ay nagiging laman.”

He also said Abono has an accelerated palay seed production and distribution program that is aimed at producing quality palay seeds for rice farmers in Pangasinan toward reaching the government’s goal of attaining rice self-sufficiency.

“Ang accelerated palay seed production program gn Abono Party-list ay malaking tulong sa mga magsasaka patungo sa kasagaan sa palay,” Gonzales said. “Nag-iisa lang po itong programang ito sa buong Pilipinas.”

Gonzales said the climate change is a new challenge to farmers in rice production.

He challenged the farmers not just to engage in climate change mitigation but must think more of, or act more on climate change adaptation.

“Nandiyan na po ang pabago-bagong klima, hindi na natin pudeng baguhin,” Gonzales said. “Kailangan nating mag-adapt.”

Pangasinan 3rd District Rep. Rachel Arenas said that farmers are the lifeblood of the economy of the district.

The farmers gave a loud applause as Arenas said it is not right to import onions because it is not good for the local onion growers.

“Nabubuhay ang distrito sa pamamagitan ng mga magsasaka,” Arenas said. “Alagaan ang mga magsasaka , huwag mag-import ng sibuyas.”

Villar said the farmers should emulate the town’s patron saint Vincent Ferrer who lived a simple but dignified life.

“Ang pagiging simpleng tao ay hindi dapat ikahiya.” Villar said. “Ang pagiging magsasaka niyo ay dapat ipagmalaki niyo.”

Villar also reminded the people to practice thrift and industriousness for a better future to the children.

“Dapat magtipid kayo kasi hindi palaging malakas ang kita,” Villar said. “Dapat din ipagpatuloy ang kasipagan para magkaroon ng magandang kinabukasan an gating mga anak.”

April 23, 2012 at 8:02 am Leave a comment

Vegetable field day in Sison

By Brando Cortez

SISON Pangasinan-Farmers from the 5th district of Pangasinan compared various pinakbet vegetable seeds supplied by five companies during a field day at the HVCDP Convergence Techno-Demo Farm located at Barangay Asan Sur on April 13 .

Pangasinan 5th District Rep. Kimi Cojuangco congratulated Mayor Mina Joy Pangasinan for the successful implementation of the demo-farm.

She said that there are only two cropping seasons in Sison and advised the farmers plant vegetables for additional income.

Cojuangco said that an idea is only an idea until you put it into a reality.

“Iyong balak kong gawin noong ako pa ang mayor, ikaw ang nakagawa,” Cojuangco said. “Maski na mainit, nawala ang pagod ko nang makita kong ang mga gulay.”

“Sana, sa mga kapitan at mga kagawad, ipaalam po natin…i-promote natin itong project na ito sa mga farmers,” Cojuangco said.

Department of Agriculture High Value Crops Coordinator Angel Padilla said the demo farm was a project of the municipality of Sison through Mayor Pangasinan with the objective of promoting vegetable production as another source of income for farmers.

Mayor Pangasinan said pinakbet is an Ilocano food specialty composed of talong, kamatis, utong, ampalaya,and siling haba with bagoong and small slices of meat.

Pangasinan said the demo farm serves a concrete example that farmers should at least produce their own vegetables for their own consumption.

On the other hand, she said farmers should also consider vegetable production for commercial purposes.

Pangasinan said it was time for the farmers of Sison to produce the vegetable being supplied to the Urdaneta City by farmers from Nueva Viscaya and Nueva Ecija.

Sison Vice Mayor Bensaulo Zaccheus Mariñas said that vegetable production does not need much watering compared to rice production.

Mariñas encourage the farmers to go into vegetable production as a source of income considering that only 40% of the agricultural lands of Sison have irrigation.

Abono Party-list 5th District coordinator Rio Esteves said that the experience at the demo-farm should be duplicated in other towns of Pangasinan so that the people will have vegetables every mealtime.

Esteves said that vegetable nutrients are complementary to nutrients from meat and fish for the people to have healthy bodies

April 23, 2012 at 7:58 am Leave a comment

Welcome to Northern Watch Online.You are visitor no.

  • 972,873 since Feb. 10, 2009

Events Watch

sugod agri-expo Photobucket

Last Week’s Cartoon


Previous issues

Day Watch

April 2012
Regional blogs & blog posts
Regional blogs
Media blogs
Opinion blogs
Community blogs

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,470 other followers