Archive for December, 2013
(Article taken from Philippine Daily Inquirer)
MANILA, Philippines—The Goliath of rice smuggling, “David Tan,” is costing the country at least P7 billion in foregone duties every year, and massive opportunity losses for Filipino farmers whose palay production are being shunned by rice millers who prefer to buy smuggled rice already packed in cavans, or 50-kilo sacks.Tan has emerged as the point man of rice smugglers in the country after the smuggling of the staple was reportedly consolidated under a single operator during the Aquino administration, according to a former customs official.
In an interview, Rosendo So, president of Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura (Sinag), gave an idea of the impact of Tan’s alleged smuggling activities on the government’s revenues and the future of rice farming in the country.
According to So, if you looked at the official records of the rice-exporting countries Vietnam and Thailand, the Philippines imported a total of 1.5 million MT, or 30 million cavans, of rice in 2012. (more…)
By Mortz C. Ortigoza
ROSALES – The head of the Abono Party list said the plunder case filed by activist lawyer Argee Guevara against Agriculture Secretary Prospero Alcala was “baseless.”
HARASSMENT: Abono Partylist Chair Rosendo O. So (3rd from left) defends Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala (fourth from left) on the plunder case he dubbed as harassment filed recently by activist lawyer Argee Guevarra on the latter alleged involvement on the padding of prices of imported rice from Vietnam.
HARASSMENT: Abono Partylist Chair Rosendo O. So defends Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala on the plunder case he dubbed as harassment filed recently by activist lawyer Argee Guevarra on the latter alleged involvement on the padding of prices of imported rice from Vietnam. (more…)
The events that unfolded in 2013 have in many ways made the directions of the province to where it is now. These events were associated with personalities- politicians or otherwise who made indelible marks in our memories and senses. They became the centers of news for the whole year of 2013. They either figured in controversies or for achieving developments in the province or in their political turfs.
As 2013 comes to a close, I selected top politicians and personalities who were, to my personal assessment, were the newsmakers that year.
Top on my list is Governor Amado T. Espino Jr. He was a consistent newsmaker. At the start of 2013, he was already the target of political demolition by his detractors. There were many nasty accusations attached to his name. Among these accusations were his being masterminded the killing of Infanta Mayor Ruperto Martinez and for being behind the infamous black sand mining in Lingayen. As the year about to end, Espino was still hounded by the accusation that he was among the 400 politicians who had to be unseated because of no- submission of Statement of Contributions and Expenses (SOCE) relative to the May 13 elections.
The accusations were grave but one thing admirable is Governor Espino weathered all the accusations. He emerged victorious amid pressures from powers-that-be and concentrated on his development agenda for the development of Pangasinan. His efforts paid off. The accusations were eclipsed by the fact that under his leadership, the provincial government of Pangasinan was able to reap awards from the region and the national government.
Second as newsmaker is 6th District Board Member Ranjit Ramos Shahani. At the start of political campaign in 2013, he shifted his political alliance to Governor Espino after he was not named as the running mate of his cousin Hernani Braganza who ran for the gubernatorial post under the Liberal Party. Shahani, was once a number one critic of Espino, and even named his colleagues in Sangguniang Panlalawigan lapdogs of Espino. But in politics, everything changes swiftly. Shahani was estranged from his cousin Braganza but earned an ally in Espino. He was allegedly quoted by the media that he called Espino “ the most corrupt Governor in the Philippines,” a statement he said was misquoted.
Third in my list is Abono Partylist Chair Rosendo O. So. Aside from being the chair of a very powerful Partylist, So was able to organize a bigger group of agriculture industry stakeholders that called themselves Samahang Industriya Ng Agrikultura (Sinag). So was active in fighting smuggling of agricultural products. He fought for the pork and meat industry, the anti-smuggling of rice and vegetables, albeit even exposing himself to dangers because of his active stand against syndicated smuggling in the country. So was not only a news content of local weeklies but also figured out in news of national relevance.
DAGUPAN CITY– The National Nutrition Council Region I (NNC-1) in cooperation with the Kapisanan ng mga Broadcaster ng Pilipinas (KBP) Pangasinan Chapter and Regional Organization on Nutrition Development Advocates (RONDA) have launched an outreach project dubbed “RONDA sa Barangay”last week at the Barangay Bonuan Gueset Gym here.
Rose Lulu Pagaduan, OIC- Nutrition Program Coordinator of NNC-1, said the program was conducted to promote the importance of good nutrition among the identified nutritionally at risk groups in the barangay.
About 74 mothers of malnourished children, lactating and pregnant women, 4Ps beneficiaries and indigent people participated in the event.
Pagaduan said, the ultimate goal of the civic outreach activity is to reduce the rate of malnutrition by raising awareness of the poor women with regards to good nutrition. (more…)
The year 2013 has just ended. It was a year full of events. Some events were pleasant that we want them to linger for long. There were events that we wanted to be part of our memories, others we want thrown into oblivion. As the year 2014 ushers in, we think of better tomorrow. We always expect new horizon in our lives that at the onset of each New Year, we always hope for the best to come. The arrival of the new year is also a chance to do better, to revisit and address the failures of the previous year
The year 2013 was a banner year for the Province of Pangasinan. It was a year when the provincial government reaped many awards given by various private and public agencies. The awards came as a manifestation of how the Espino Administration fares in local governance. There were many gains that year. Poverty level in Pangasinan, according to the National Statistics Office (NSO), has dropped to a comfortable level along with unemployment and underemployment. But the laurels reaped by the province of Pangasinan still leave much to be desired. We want to see more development in terms of food sufficiency, livelihood opportunities, health and social services in year 2014.
The pace of development in the province should have been faster if not of too much politics. Year 2013 was also marked by political animosities. It was a year that contending candidates particularly for governorship did not see eye to eye. The political exercise was marred by mudslinging, black propaganda and below the belt accusations from both the camps of gubernatorial candidates Hernani Braganza and Amado T. Espino Jr. The election period for the May 13 elections has put to test the maturity of the politicians and voters alike. Such situation was not confined to the provincial level but also to the municipal level where the winning and losing candidates, up to this time, have not reconciled for the benefit of their constituents. (more…)
By Mortz C. Ortigoza
DAGUPAN CITY – A group of fishermen in this city is P650 thousand richer after fourth district Rep. Gina de Venecia and Senator Alan Peter Cayetano gave it P500,000 and P150, 000, respectively.
Ronaldo Cayabyab, the president of the Ulopan ng Sumisigay Ed Dagupan, Inc (USADA), said early this year, de Venecia gave P500,000 as first tranche of the P1 million she pledged to USADA while Cayetano gave early this month P150,00 as the first installment of the seed money to be given as loans to its members.
“Ang sabi niya by January or February magdadagdag pa siya kung maganda ang pagtakbo ng USADA ,” he stressed in Filipino.
Cayabyab said the senator did not mention the amount he would be giving for the second tranche.
Cayabyab said the P150,000 that Cayetano gave will be loaned out to its members who take loans with usurious rate from Indian nationals who are into the 5/6 or 20 percent interest padding loan. (more…)
By Mortz C. Ortigoza
DAGUPAN CITY – Senator Alan Peter Cayetano said corruption will still haunt the Filipinos despite the revocation recently of the Priority Development Assistance Fund, known as pork barrel, by the Supreme Court.
“Iyong S.O.P (euphemism for cut by a public official for every government funded project) nandiyan pa rin hindi lang sa PDAF,” Cayetano said.
He said even corruption in the PDAF has been excised by the high tribunal; pork barrel is only one percent of the national budget.
“Mas malaki ang mga nasa departamento. At sinabi na ni Benhur Luy na mismo sa DA (Department of Agriculture) na nag de-deal sila directly hindi lang sa PDAF,” he stressed.
Cayetano said Filipinos should watch how Congress reacts to the bill sponsored by the Palace supporters after the Supreme Court wrote off the lump sum system in the pork barrel as illegal.
Senators and congressmen have been accused to pocketing a part of the PDAF every time it is used to fund government projects. (more…)