Archive for May, 2014
Provincial Board Member Clemente “Niño” Arboleda said he would not join his fellow board members who resigned from the Nationalist People’s Coalition, saying there was no valid reason for him to do so.
Arboleda told reporters that while he respected the decision of his colleagues to bolt the party, he would not leave the NPC to whom he is loyal.
“I respect their decision (because) they have their own decision. I hope they will also respect mine,” Arboleda , who represents the fifth district in the Provincial Board, said.
Those who bolted the NPC were Board Member Alfonso Bince Jr., Danilo Uy, Angel Baniqued Jr., Raul Sison and Nestor Reyes. Bince told reporters that the four other NPC members in the Provincial Board, would also resign.
But none of them signed. Aside from Arboleda, the NPC members Napoleon Fontelera, Antonio Sison, Mojamito Libunao also did not sign the document.
The non-resignation by the four board members meant that Bince’s claim that the resignation among the NPC members would snowball did not happen.
One of the reasons cited by the board members for resigning was because former fifth district Rep. Mark Cojuangco visits their districts without informing them. They said Cojuangco’s action was a breach of protocol among party mates.
But Arboleda said “the fifth district is not mine and anybody can come and go there. If they come to help the district, they are always welcome.”
“If that is the reason, that is not valid,” he said.
Arboleda was in the United States for official business when five provincial board members signed the resignation letter addressed to a letter saying they were leaving the NPC, but that they did not contact him about the issue. (more…)
Former Pangasinan Fifth District Rep. Mark Cojuangco affirmed his support for fiesta celebrations in the barangays, saying these festivities afford the residents a time away from their daily routine and enjoy the fruits of their labor.
“Fiestas have been a tradition among Filipinos. It is a time for happy activities for the residents who have been working all year round,” Cojuangco said.
This is why the former congressman gives financial support to the barangays celebrating their annual fiestas, to help them defray the expenses needed for the fiesta activities.
Rosendo So, Cojuangco’s close friend and spokesperson, said the financial contributions they both give to the barangays come from their own pockets and not from any government offices.
“As you know, Cojuangco is the number one individual taxpayer in eastern Pangasinan as shown by records of the Revenue District Office of the Bureau of Internal Revenue in Urdaneta City. He can afford to give a little financial contributions to barangays,” So said.
He also said he himself gives a little financial donation to the barangays whenever he receives a solicitation letter from them.
“Whatever I give also comes from my own pocket,” So, known businessman in the sixth district, said. (more…)
If there’s one commendable program that is being implemented by the Department of Education (DepEd), it is the ” Brigada Eskwela” or the National Schools Maintenance Week. This activity is usually undertaken on the third week of each year in all public schools nationwide in time for enrolment and in preparation for the schools’ opening in June.
Brigada Eskwela brings out the “bayanihan” spirit of the community people, teachers, students and volunteer government and non- government organizations and private companies . We see them repairing classrooms, desks and armchairs, painting school rooms and helping in the cleaning of the schools’ surroundings and their vicinities. The spirit of working together for a noble cause lifts the morale of those involved in the Brigada Eskwela, particularly the teachers and school administrators.
Started in 2003, Brigada Eskwela has helped in the improvement of schools in the country. We are aware that DepEd lacks funds for the maintenance of public schools and facilities nationwide and that through the Brigada Eskwela, the gaps in the funding of much needed schools’ maintenance are borne by volunteer private groups such as big companies and NGOs.
This school year’s Brigada Eskwela is implemented on May 19 to 24 with main focus on safety and disaster preparedness inside the school campuses. Under DepEd Memorandum Order No. 32, Series of 2014 dated May 14, Secretary Arminio Luistro directed all school administrators to ensure that all school campuses are safe and could meet at least the minimum requirements of disaster preparedness. (more…)
Last May 22, I attended the State of the City Address (SOCA) of Mayor Belen Fernandez of Dagupan City at the CSI Stadia. It was a well attended event by the officials of villages, the city’s prominent people like Dr. Gonzalo Duque, former City Mayor Al Fernandez, businessman Ashok Vasandani, teachers, non- government organizations (NGOs), etc.It was the first SOCA of Mayor Fernandez after she was elected into office on May 13, 2013.
Mayor Fernandez’s SOCA has the theme “Bridging Communities, Bringing Government Closer to the People”, and was delivered for almost two hours punctuated by applauses from the audience. Personally, I did not appreciate the mind boggling presentation of data and statistics that made the SOCA too long to bear. I did not appreciate either the presentation of accomplishments comparing that of her predecessor Mayor Benjamin Lim. In my mind, the comparison of accomplishments just showed how the people of Dagupan City have been politically divided until now. However, that comparison of accomplishments maybe was the way of Mayor Fernandez to inform the people of Dagupan City that in the span of one year leading the city, she has accomplished more and put the city’s leadership in proper perspective amid the inherited budgetary deficits.
What struck me though in her SOCA was when she said that the sale of McAdore Hotel during Mayor Lim’s watch was highly irregular. The McAdore sale to businessman and former Ambassador Antonio Cabangon Chua, which at present is mired with controversy, did not provide the Dagupenos the chance to have its real value. Mayor Fernandez said the P119 million does not reflect the McAdore Hotel’s value of about P300 million – an amount which deprived the city’s coffer of P185 million. ” With that amount, more schools could be built in the city, “said Mayor Fernandez who even promised that as long as she’s the Mayor of Dagupan City, that irregular sale of McAdore Hotel to Cabangon Chua will not be perfected until the real value could be met.
In her SOCA, Mayor Fernandez also outlined the programs for 2014, which she said would be more focused on education, social services and livelihood opportunities for the Dagupenos.
But where was Vice Mayor Brian Lim? The second leader of the city was apparently absent (somebody whispered to me that he’s on official leave). Did he intentionally boycott the SOCA? Was Vice Mayor Lim already aware that the content of the SOCA will just be a reprise of political issues hurled against his father- Former Mayor Benjie Lim? Well, even without his presence the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Dagupan City through its temporary presiding officer Councilor Maybelyn Fernandez attentively listened to the SOCA of Mayor Fernandez. I have seen most of them grinning everytime Mayor Fernandez was comparing her accomplishments with that of Mayor Lim’s administration.
After the SOCA,the guests were treated with sumptuous food inside the Stadia. Media men feasted on controversial issues that were bared on the SOCA. While having the meals, I overheard a media man quip:. ” Why was the SOCA held at CSI Stadia when it was a property of Mayor Fernandez? Was it not appropriate to have held it at the city’s People’s Astrodome to be in consonance with the theme ” bringing the government closer to the people”? Most of us media men at the table wryly smiled. Well, that guy has the point but not that very material as the SOCA has already been delivered. The city administration maybe has all the valid reasons why the SOCA has to be delivered at the CSI Stadia. To me the main reason was the ventilation as the stadia is equipped with air-conditioning units that will make the audience comfortable. If it was held somewhere and with hot atmosphere, the audience would have not withstand the almost two hours delivery of the SOCA.
Well, the venue was not that important. After the meals, media men attended the press conference of Mayor Fernandez on her “Talakayan, Impormasyon at Paliwanag”. Mayor Fernandez was with her staff-City Nutrition Officer Lea Aquino and City Engineer Virginia Rosario. A lot of questions were hurled at Mayor Fernandez who gamely answered. Many questions were just a clarification on the contents of her SOCA. (more…)
by Virgilio Sar. Maganes
VILLASIS-It was a fun-filled night at the Villasis Public Auditorium last May 22. Cagers, coaches, tournament management and village officials converged to culminate the Mayor’s Cup 2014: Inter- Barangay Basketball Tournament, the Victory Ball and Awarding Ceremonies.
The basketball tournament started last March 28 and ended on May 18 with teams coming from the 21 barangays of the town. This year’s tournament was sponsored by the Liga ng Mga Barangay headed by its Liga President Romeo S. Abrenica who said that the funds for the activities came from the sports and youth appropriations in each barangay that used to be under the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK).
The Mayor’s Cup is on its 5th year of implementation. It’s an annual summer sports activity among basketball aficionados of the town and to inculcate among the youth the importance of physical fitness and to encourage them to hone their skills of the country’s number one sports- basketball.
That was the gist of the welcome address of Liga President Abrenica, also the village head of Barraca, who said that “summer activities have just been concluded but still the heart continues with the merriment and warmth of the summer are still being felt by us.”