Archive for January 4, 2015

UNMASKING OF GUNS


Superintendent Cris AIMG_1425brahano, Dagupan City’s police chief, shows the M-16 automatic assault rifle which was subjected to muzzle inspection by a police officer. The inspection and unsealing of the muzzle of the firearms’ tapes to bar the policemen from firing them during the New Year revelry were held at the city’s police station in the morning of January 2. MORTZ C. ORTIGOZA

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January 4, 2015 at 2:01 pm Leave a comment

DENR says no more tree planting along road side


By Yolanda Sotelo
DAGUPAN CITY – There will no more planting of trees along the highways as when they grow old and tall, they could be victims of road widening, an environment and natural resources official here said.
Tree cutting along the highways became a burning issue in Pangasinan after the Department of Public Works and Highways felled more than a thousand of trees along the Manila North Road (MNR) in 2012 and 2013, compelling the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to discourage tree planting along the highways, Leduina Co, Pangasinan provincial environment and natural resources officer (Penro), said.
The DENR issued a permit to cut 1,899 along a 42-km stretch of the MNR in November 2012, but the 90-day permit expired on February 9, 2013 with 770 trees still left standing in Binalonan and Sison. The trees cut were along MNR traversing Rosales, Villasis and Urdaneta City.
Environmentalist groups asked a court in Urdaneta City to stop the cutting of the remaining trees, and the court issued a temporary environmental protection order (Tepo).
Most of the trees were planted along the MNR in the late 1970s under the Program for Forest Ecosystem Management (Profem) which obligated all Filipinos to plant one tree a month for five consecutive years.
The road sides could have been the easiest areas to access to plant the seedlings as planting in the mountain could really be difficult, Co said.
With the National Greening Program (NGP), the Penro targets around 18,000 hectares for reforestation, with the DENR contracting out the seedling production and planting to People’s Organizations, she said.
Members of the POs have to produce the seedlings, bring these to the mountains and have to walk hours to get to the site. Preparing the site and planting the seedlings entail hard work under the punishing heat of sun atop bald mountains.
“They have to clean the site, dig holes for planting the seedlings, haul the seedlings and plant them. Then they have to take care and maintain the seedlings until they are able to survive on their own,” Co said.
The POs have to make sure at least 85 percent of the seedlings survive or they won’t get paid.
On 2011 (when the NGP was launched) and in 2012, the survival rate of the seedlings in Pangasinan was a low 49 percent. This is probably because the province’s climate is dry and windy and the mountains are rocky as the top soil is already depleted, she said.
“We had to look for sources of seedlings to replace the dead ones such as the mining and power companies,” Co said.
In 2014, a total of 5,706 hectares were reforested by 60 POs  with 4,202,691 seedlings of different tree species.
But except for a few POs which planted forest trees like narra and palosapis, Benguet pine and gmelina, most planted fuel trees like ipil-ipil, kakawate and acasia auriculoformis and fruit trees like duhat, cashew, tamarind. Many POs opted for coffee and cacao.
Whatever the tree produces would be for the POs to take as their additional incentive, Co said.
Re-greening the Philippines means earnings for the POs as millions of pesos are allocated for the program. For the 5,706 hectares, the DENR paid P67,322,341 to the 60 POs,  Penro records showed.
The biggest contract so far was awarded to the I-Owak Tribe Earth Savers Association whose contract to reforest a total of 475 hectares for reforestation along the Ambayaoan River Sub Watershed,  was P6,525,000  or P13,739 per hectare.
Co said each hectare must be planted with 50 seedlings.

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January 4, 2015 at 1:51 pm Leave a comment

No Pangasinan cop fired  gun  on New Year, inspection shows


LINGAYEN – The Pangasinan Provincial Police Office (PPPO) said  none of its more than 2,000 personnel fired his or her issued firearm during the Yuletide season starting from Dec. 21 to Jan. 2.
Sr. Supt. Reynaldo Biay, PPPO officer-in-charge, said this was shown by the result of simultaneous inspection and removal of the masking tapes on the muzzles of firearms of these police personnel province-wide last Jan. 2.
He said the result showed the masking tapes put around the muzzles of the firearms were intact, indicating that none of the police personnel in the province violated the order not to fire their firearms.
The masking tapes were personally signed and counter-signed by police officers and it was themselves who conducted the inspection and removed the tapes.
However, Biay ordered the investigation of the persons who conducted indiscriminate firing before the New Year wherein three persons were injured by stray bullets in separate places in Pangasinan.
Injured by stray bullets were a four-year old boy from Sto. Domingo, Tayug; a woman from Barangay Malabago, Calasiao; and another woman from Bantog . Asingan.
Meanwhile, the six empty shells found by the police in the premises of a person from the Diamond Subdivision in Barangay Pantal, Dagupan City were submitted by the police for ballistic examination in a bid to find out the owner of the hand gun from where these empty shells came from.

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January 4, 2015 at 1:50 pm Leave a comment

EDITORIAL : Welcome 2015!


December 31 is always worth looking forward to. At 11:50 in the evening of the last day of the year, people start the countdown, watching the seconds tick in their time pieces and at 12:00 midnight the revelry of welcoming the new year is full of life and fun. The sounds of firecrackers reverberate in the air coupled with fireworks displays that look like kaleidoscope in the atmosphere.
 
In welcoming 2015, almost all activities have been done in previous years. There’s the “media noche” where families got together and partook of the sumptuous food prepared while the old year 2014 faded away and the new year ushers in. Noises were all over in the neighborhood- sounds from “torotot”, clattering of utensils, empty cans dragged by motorcycle-riding teenagers, banging of doors, etc. All we heard  were sounds to drive away evil spirits and welcome good vibes for the incoming year.
 
The novelty of traditional activities in welcoming of new year has somehow subsided. There was already the ban on the use of firecrackers as they have caused many accidents in the past new year celebrations. “Iwas paputok” was launched by the Department of Health (DOH), at least to minimize accidents associated with firecrackers. A week before the new year’s celebration, firearms of policemen were taped to refrain them from firing the guns.
 
Amid all these warnings for a safer welcoming of new year, people are  hardheaded. While there was a decrease in firecracker-related accidents,  there were still those that were spared from man’s foolishness in using them. Victims of stray bullets were recorded all over the country. Pangasinan has three cases of stray bullet victims in the towns of Calasiao, Tayug and Asingan.
 
How safe are we in the comforts of our homes while revelers out there are enjoying the new year? The publisher of this paper Yolanda Sotelo was not spared from the freak entry of a “baby rocket” inside her bedroom, a place where it is supposed to be safe and comfortable. Good enough, that “baby rocket” or “kwitis” in local dialect did not explode otherwise there was another story to tell. (Actually it exploded – editor)

northenwatch cartoon 1-5-15 (1)

 
During new year’s celebrations, the government is always giving information on how to minimize accidents but still these fell on the deaf ears. And how about stray bullets? Where did they come from? Maybe they came from loose firearms or perhaps licensed guns but irresponsible owners.
 
There are many stories associated with the welcoming of 2015. Some stories are disheartening like the victims of landslide in Samar while others are inspiring with the birth of new babies in hospitals. Whatever happened during the new year celebration, what comes to our mind is the rebirth of hope and faith. There is always hope for a better life ahead. The faith has also been strengthened that with all the bad times the old year has done in our lives, New Year will be the time to reflect and renew our faith with the Supreme Being.
 

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January 4, 2015 at 1:49 pm Leave a comment

‘I try my best’ – Kim Henares


By Mortz C. Ortigoza
CALASIAO – She is probably the best commissioner watchers of Bureau of Internal Revenue have ever seen –with the series of reforms she initiated and the collection target she surpasses on a year-on-year basis after she took the tax agency’s helm in 2010.
Would BIR Commissioner Kimi Henares run for the vice presidency or the senatorial seat if a political party enlists her in the 2016 polls?
An ambivalent Henares said she was not a political person.
“I’m not a political person so I don’t think, di ba? I’m just concentrating on doing my job as best as I can,” she said, chuckling.
She explained she wanted to look back and tell people on their face that she tries her best to give the country the chance to become developed.
“That’s the most important thing for me, not the political office,” she said.
A Revenue District Office’s chief, who asked for anonymity, in Region 1 said Henares is a straight shooter.
She said before Henares became the commissioner of the tax agency, RDO chiefs used to ask members of congress like the Speaker of the House for promotion if not retention beyond their two years stint as RDO.
RDO is a lucrative post in the BIR office where big time taxpayer could bargain the worth of the taxes he pays the government at the same time seeing to it the former gets his share from the taxes.
“Nakakatakot si Commissioner for her no nonsense stance sa BIR,” an RDO chief, who asked not to be named, in the Cordillera Region quipped.
In the birthday party years ago of former Speaker Jose de Venecia, Henares, who was with her father in law columnist Larry Henares,  was seen shaking the hands of queuing congresswomen led by Rep. Gina de Venecia (4th District, Pangasinan).

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January 4, 2015 at 1:46 pm Leave a comment

TOUR


Two of the three newly-launched island cruise boats of Dagupan City during the fluvial parade at the city’s river systems last December 27 as part of the patronal fiesta celebration of the city in honor of St.John the Evangelist.CESAR RAMIREZ

Two of the three newly-launched island cruise boats of Dagupan City during the fluvial parade at the city’s river systems last December 27 as part of the patronal fiesta celebration of the city in honor of St.John the Evangelist.CESAR RAMIREZ

January 4, 2015 at 1:45 pm 1 comment

Police search for balikbayan for indiscriminate firing


DAGUPAN CITY – The city police is hunting a 54-year old balikbayan from Italy whom his neighbor accused of indiscriminate firing twice – at around 9 o’clock in the evening at 12:00 am of January 1.
Sr. Supt. Cris Abrahano, city police chief, said the resident of Diamond Village in barangay Pantal went missing after the police came to his house at around 12:30 upon receiving a call from a complainant.
Found at his yard were six empty shells with 8 mm markings, but the police were not able to identify the gun yet.
“We will be filing a case of alarm and scandal against him but we are still looking for additional complainants,” Abrahano said.
The police would still subject the empty shells to ballistic examination and  find out if he the suspect, a new resident of the village, is in the list of legal firearms holders.
“We hope there more complainants will come forward or he would go scot-free and do it again,” he said.
The city police listed seven victims of firecrackers as of seven in the morning, but are expecting more patients to be brourout are expecting more patients to be firecrackers as of seven in the morningal firearms holder, and we are still looking for ght to the hospital during the day, especially young children who pick unlit firecrackers which exploded in their hands.
Firecrackers vendors were located in front of the West Central Elementary School to better monitor them, police said.
In front of the stalls selling firecrackers and pyrotechnics along a street here are buckets of water and sand, while under the tables are fire extinguishers. There is also a conspicuously-displayed sign that says “No Smoking.”
“These are what we are required to do to prevent fire accidents,” Veronica Lopez, 58, a stall owner, said.
On December 29, sale of the firecrackers wass still slow, but the vendors are optimistic that on the afternoon of the 30th up to early evening of the 31st, their commodities would sell as fast as these are lighted during the New Year’s revelry on the first hour of the New Year.
Through the years, the sale of firecrackers is going lower, Lopez, who claimed to have been in the retail of firecrackers since she was a young girl, said.
This could be because of the stricter laws governing the industry, which include attending a fireworks training seminar for firecracker dealers, manufacturers and retailers conducted by the Philippine National Police (PNP) before they could get a license to operate their business.
They also have to get a mayor’s permit and clearances from the court, police and the barangay, Lopez said.
Because of the requirements which entailed expenses, many former retailers were no longer able to operate this year, with their number dwindling from 42 last year to only 27 this year.

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January 4, 2015 at 1:41 pm Leave a comment

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