Archive for March, 2015

Cojuangco now heads ‘Biskeg’


STO. TOMAS – Secretary Antonio “Bebot” Villar of the Dangerous Drugs Board has turned over the chairmanship of Biskeg na Pangasinan to former Fifth District Rep. Mark Cojuangco who is running for governor of Pangasinan in 2016.

JOJO WITH MARK, BEBOT AND JERRY- Vice President Jejomar Binay seems amused of what's Jerry Pelayo of Candaba, Pampanga telling him that elicit smiles from former 5th District Rep. Mark O. Cojuangco and Secretary Antonio "Bebot" Villar Jr. during the General Assembly Meeting of Biskeg na Pangasinan held in Sto. Tomas town last March 25. PHOTO BY LOEJAN ANUDON

JOJO WITH MARK, BEBOT AND JERRY- Vice President Jejomar Binay seems amused of what’s Jerry Pelayo of Candaba, Pampanga telling him that elicit smiles from former 5th District Rep. Mark O. Cojuangco and Secretary Antonio “Bebot” Villar Jr. during the General Assembly Meeting of Biskeg na Pangasinan held in Sto. Tomas town last March 25. PHOTO BY LOEJAN ANUDON


The turn-over was held during the General Assembly Meeting of Biskeg na Pangasinan, the only accredited local political party by the Commission on Election (Comelec), last March 25. The meeting was attended by majority of the mayors in the province, vice mayors, former and present provincial board members, and other political leaders.
Present too, was Calasiao Mayor Mark Macanlalay who would be Cojuangco’s running mate in the 2016 race to Pangasinan Capitol.
Cojuangco, Macanlalay and the political leaders who are members of the National People’s Coalition, took their oath as members of Biskeg na Pangasinan during the event.
Villar announced his support to Cojuangco, ending speculations about whom he will support in the gubernatorial race.
“Mark is the most qualified candidate for Governor in 2016. He has the experience and capabilities to transform the development of Pangasinan, he said.
There were speculations that Villar would back Amado Espino III, the governor’s son, which stemmed from a previous statement that he will support him. (more…)

March 29, 2015 at 5:17 pm Leave a comment

Mark calls balikbayans heroes of economy


By Virgilio Sar. Maganes

ALAMINOS CITY- “The balikbayans are very close to my heart, never in history of the Philippines that we have adequate foreign exchange or hard currency like dollar, yen, lira, francs, and other coming into the country and for this we thank our balikbayans.

This was said by former 5th District Rep. Mark O. Cojuangco before a group of this city’s balikbayans during the Grand Ballroom and Balikbayan Night at the Alaminos City Gymnasium last March 23 during which he was the guest of honor and speaker.

He said lack of hard currency was always a hindrance to the Philippine economic development in the past.
“But now, hard currency is adequate in the country which spurs our economic development and enables us to buy what we need for infrastructure projects. Without the balikbayans, without the OFWs (overseas Filipino workers) we could not implement projects. You are the true heroes of our economy,” he said.
He lauded 1st District Rep. Jesus “Boying” Celeste for his efforts in bringing development to the towns of the district even as he congratulated also City Mayor Arturo “Art” Celeste for the transformation of the city.
“Art was my ‘classmate’ in Congress from 2000 to 2009 that our bond of friendship has been welded through those years. Art casts his lot with me and he is my campaign manager,” he said. (more…)

March 29, 2015 at 5:11 pm Leave a comment

EDITORIAL : Where’s the tobacco excise tax share of Pangasinan?


The tobacco excise share of Pangasinan has been the subject of commentaries in both radio and print media during the last few weeks. Tirades are directly pointed at former 5th District Rep. Mark O. Cojuangco, asking him how the P600 million share of the 5th District was used.
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Cojuangco, in his statements to media practitioners in the province, enumerated the various projects implemented and funded out of the tobacco excise tax share under the supervision of 5th District Rep. Kimi S. Cojuangco. Among these projects are the purchase of farm tractors for Villasis, Sison and Alcala, purchase of land for drying facilities that include the construction of warehouse and acquisition of the drying plant in Villasis and Alcala, construction of tobacco drying barn in Villasis, construction of livelihood training center also in Villasis, etc.
Yet, the public relations men of the Espino camp kept on twisting the issue, saying the district’s share is nowhere to be found.
What’s amusing about these commentaries is the fact that the tobacco excise tax share is not only confined to the 5th District. Third, 4th and 6th district and the provincial government have also their share.
But what is the tobacco excise tax all about?
Section 8 of Republic Act No. 8240 or the National Revenue Code, as amended states: ” Fifteen percent (15%) of the incremental revenue collected from the excise tax on tobacco products under this Act shall be allocated and divided among the provinces producing burley and native tobacco in accordance with the volume of tobacco leaf production.”
(more…)

March 29, 2015 at 5:11 pm Leave a comment

MAGANES: Biskeg na Pangasinan


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The Biskeg na Pangasinan or simply Biskeg, a local political party in Pangasinan approved by the Commission on Election (Comelec) was revived last March 25 during its General Assembly Meeting held in Sto. Tomas town at the Villar’s Farm. Biskeg is a Pangasinan dialect word that connotes “strength and power”.

Secretary Antonio “Bebot” Villar Jr., chair of the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) transferred the chairmanship to former 5th District Rep. Mark O. Cojuangco. Villar.
Villar, the founder of the Party, becomes the Chairman Emeritus.
Cojuangco, who took his oath before Villar on that day, has all good words for Biskeg, promising that he will do his best to make it a “true, relevant local political party in Pangasinan. He assured Villar that he will live up to his expectations.
The general assembly was a gathering of big political names in Pangasinan. Mayors, vice mayors and councilors from the 47 towns and cities ( except the mayors of Urbiztondo, Bugallon,San Fabian, Mangaldan, Sta. Barbara, Bautista and Manaoag) came to witness the turn over of the Biskeg’s rein to Cojuangco. Others came to take their oath as new members of Biskeg. Vice President Jejomar Binay who came from speaking engagements in other towns, dropped by, adding more color to the affair.
Board Members Mojamito Libunao, Clemente “Niño” Arboleda Jr. and former Board Member Von Mark Mendoza- all active members of Biskeg, came also to give their support to Cojuangco.
The resuscitation of Biskeg is the reawakening of the ideals as set forth by the organization in its by-laws. It also strengthened the commitment of the members to the Party.
Biskeg na Pangasinan is the organization that catapulted Governor Amado T. Espino Jr. when he ran as governor in 2007 until his two re-elections. However, because of severing ties with the Nationalist Peoples Coalition (NPC), Biskeg has to shift its support to the aspirations of Cojuangco as a gubernatorial candidate in 2016 election together with his would be vice gubernatorial running mate Calasiao Mayor Mark Roy Q. Mcanlalay.
What is Biskeg na Pangasinan? It was founded by Secretary Villar and registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on March 30, 2005. Biskeg was the first and only provincial political party in Pangasinan, which was accredited by Comelec in 2006. It tested its political strength in 2007 elections when most of the candidates it supported won their seats.
Biskeg was born out of the desire of Villar and his co-founders to make Pangasinan progressive regardless of political affiliations. It is espousing unity and cooperation among its members in order to build a strong foundation to attain the dreams and aspirations of every political leader in the province. The bedrock of its strength of is its slogan ” walang iwanan, sa hirap man o ginhawa”. (more…)

March 29, 2015 at 5:08 pm Leave a comment

Village chiefs to report in barangay assemblies


DAGUPAN CITY– Residents in every barangay can once again express their concerns and issues in the community in a public forum dubbed as ‘Barangay Assembly’ right in their villages.
Presidential Proclamation No. 260 mandates the holding of a Barangay Assembly Day on the last Saturday of March and on the second Sunday of October every year.
In Pangasinan, the synchronized Barangay Assembly Day shall be conducted in the 1,364 barangays of the province, said Provincial Director Reggie Colisao of the Department of Interior and Local Government.
“The barangay assembly is the perfect avenue and opportunity for the barangay officials to update their constituents on their accomplishments last year and in the first quarter of this year and discuss their upcoming plans for the next quarter,” Colisao said. (more…)

March 29, 2015 at 5:05 pm Leave a comment

250 violators of Helmet Law arrested in Dagupan


By Mortz C. Ortigoza

DAGUPAN CITY – The director of the Land Transportation Office-Region-1 said as of press time 250 violators of the Motorcycle Helmet Acts of 2009 were nabbed and fined after the city government implemented an ordinance on the non-wearing of helmet.

 INSPECTION. Regional Director for Region-1 Teofilo Guadiz of the Land Transportation Office inspects  the documents and franchises of buses at the terminals for transport companies that ply the Dagupan City to San Fernando City route. Guadiz checks, too the” kabit” racket of operators, or the use of same plate number by many buses.  MORTZ C. ORTIGOZA

INSPECTION. Regional Director for Region-1 Teofilo Guadiz of the Land Transportation Office inspects the documents and franchises of buses at the terminals for transport companies that ply the Dagupan City to San Fernando City route. Guadiz checks, too the” kabit” racket of operators, or the use of same plate number by many buses. MORTZ C. ORTIGOZA


Lawyer Teofilo Guadiz said most of the apprehended drivers were caught by his personnel violating Republic Act No. 10054 or Helmet Law in the downtown area here.
The national law mandates all motorcycle riders to wear standard protective motorcycle helmets while driving, with corresponding penalties to violators.
“Iyan ang dahilan na ipakita namin na hindi namin ni-rerecognize iyong batas ng Dagupan City. Iyan po ay hindi ayon sa pambansang batas”.
Some sections of Ordinance No. 2013-2014 requires motorcycle riders to remove their motorcycle helmets upon entering the commercial district here and the exemption of wearing helmet during authorized parades and processions provided that the speed of their motorcycle is below 15 kilometres per hour.
He said an arrested owner of the motorcycle has to pay almost P13, 000 because aside from the P1, 500 fines on the first offense on RA 10054, he is also charged with overloading by having more than two riders, invalidity of official receipt and certification receipt (OR-CR), and others.
“Umabot ng P13,000 ang penalty. Pero ang puno’t dulo noon kaya nahuli iyon dahil walang helmet. Sumunod na lang iyong ibang violations,“ he said.
The national law imposes fines for violators at P1,500 for the first offense; P3,000 for the second offense, P5,000 for the thirds offense and P10,000 plus confiscation of driver’s license for the fourth and succeeding offenses.
He said the administration of Mayor Belen Fernandez should ask Congress and not decide among themselves in amending the controversial law which bloggers and media men called “8 Patently Idiotic Laws Passed by Philippine Politicians”, and “Dagupan City’s Stupid Law”.
“Kung gusto nilang maalis iyan amendahan ng kongreso. Hindi sa sariling bakod gagawa ka ng batas na sasalungat sa pambansang batas. Hindi namin recognized (Ordinance 2013-2014), tuloy-tuloy ang paghuli,” he warned.
As proponent of the illegal ordinance, Guadiz continued, they should not bask on the recent decision of the Regional Trial Court dismissing the civil case petition for the nullity with preliminary injunction and issuance of a temporary restraining order (TRO) on the Ordinance what the tribunal has done was canned it because of technicalities and not on merits. (more…)

March 29, 2015 at 5:01 pm Leave a comment

DOLE to hold job fairs for new graduates in Pangasinan


The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in the Ilocos Region, in coordination with Public Employment Service Offices (PESOs), employers, academe and other agencies, has doubled the holding of job fairs to bring employment opportunities closer to job seekers.

DOLE-1 Regional Director Grace Ursua said job fairs bring together different employers and pre-employment services under one roof, making it faster and less expensive for jobseekers to do their job hunting.

She encouraged jobseekers to check the tentative schedule of job fairs and take advantage of landing in jobs in the most cost- efficient way.

“Job fair schedules for March and April are already posted in the phil-jobnet, the official job portal, and the DOLE-1 website,” Ursua said.

In Pangasinan, job fairs for local and overseas employment are slated on March 19 (Bani); March 20 (San Carlos City); March 23 (PESO office in Bayambang); March 26 (Bolinao); March 27-28 (Metro Plaza Grounds in Dagupan City); and April 29 (Urbiztondo).
(more…)

March 29, 2015 at 4:44 pm Leave a comment

DOST pushes for bio garden-iron fortified rice combi to improve kids’ health


For a more effective school feeding program, BIG and fortified is the way to go, according to Department of Science and Technology-Food and Nutrition Research Institute (DOST-FNRI).

BIG refers to bio-intensive garden which, when paired with iron fortified rice, helps improve the nutritional status of kids. This is actually what the joint study of DOST-FNRI, International Institute for Rural Reconstruction (IIRR) and Department of Education (DepEd) found out.

As the joint study consisting of a school-based feeding program that tapped bio-intensive garden (BIG) and used iron fortified rice resulted in a significant improvement in the nutritional status of the participants, DOST-FNRI now recommends the BI and fortified rice approach.

Bio-intensive gardening is an organic planting method that uses diversified cropping and deep bed preparation of plots. Meanwhile, iron fortified rice, developed by experts of DOST-FNRI, is a blend of premixed iron-fortified rice grains with ordinary rice.

Participants of the joint study were more than 200 underweight and/or anemic children from three schools. Two schools served as intervention group and the third was thecontrol group which received the usual feeding program of DepEd. All participating schools were located in Cavite.

Participants from Felipe Calderon Elementary School were served iron fortified rice (IFR group), while Gen. Aloño Memorial Elementary School students were served ordinary rice (OR group). Both schools however used the same meal plans prepared by FNRI and used produce from their gardens in making their meals.

Felipe Calderon Elementary School posted the highest reduction in wasting (low weight for height)and a significant decrease in underweight children among the three groups. (more…)

March 29, 2015 at 4:42 pm Leave a comment

ORTIGOZA: Brian Lim prepares for the 2016 mayoralty


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I thought Dagupan City Mayor Belen Fernandez will run unopposed in the 2016 election as her Vice Mayor Brian Lim seems to content himself in his present post. But a close media ally of the veem told me to watch Brian launch big activities like the job fair at the family owned Metro Plaza on March 27 to 28 that will crow his name.
I was quite surprised with this observation because I told the same pal months ago that the abandonment of Lim of most of his father’s media supporters, his scarcity with the hoi-polloi, and his “absenteeism” from his official functions will cost him his reelection to the likes of Councillors Maybelyn Fernandez and Alfie Fernandez who are just lurking at the sidelines.
Another political kibitzer told me Brian’s moving heaven and earth months ago in the country to chalk up the national presidency of the Jaycees which limited his presence in the city, was not a downside but a chutzpah for winning the mayoralty.
“Can you just imagine the mileage, the raves and waves, he gets in case the Jaycees’ members all over the country made an exodus to the city for a national convention?” he posed.
Brian’s vice mayoralty ticket, my source told me, would be Councillor Alfie Fernandez in case Mayor Fernandez would not enlist him as bet for the veem.
“Malamang si (Councilor) Maybelyn or bayaw (Councilor) Jigs Seen would be her vice mayoralty’s bet”.
“Jigs Seen as vice mayor? Are Dagupenos ready for kin as tickets in the top two posts come 2016 polls?” I posed to my friend.
I told him that the Belen-Seen tandem seems to be next to impossible as getting my friend Jigs would disenfranchise the Fernandezes in the Top 2 post.
“The mayor would be courting a political disaster through a potent and bigger opposition in the coming election as the Fernandezes would surely defect to the camp of Lim,” I said.

***
Would last term Pangasinan Governor Amado T. Espino run for the vice governorship of the province or run roughshod with 3rd District Congresswoman Baby Arenas?
A political pundit told me that it seems the governor silently hones himself for the vice governorship because in the powwows of son and namesake Board Member Pogi Espino the latter did not bring re-elective Vice Governor Ferdie Calimlim.
He said the presence of the older Espino is indispensable if he wants to buttress the political stocks of his son.
My source cited the mistake of former Governor Victor Agbayani when he left his wife Jamie Eloise to contest the No.1 post of the province to then gubernatorial bet Amado T. Espino in the 2007 election.
“Victor sandbagged and concentrated in the 2nd congressional district in winning the hearts and minds of the people there against Liberal Party’s stalwart former CIBAC Rep. Maria Blanca Kim Lokim and the popular Joe Bengzon. His hands were full and he left Jamie with Frank, his gofer, and then Lady Friday Malou Elduayan (the present provincial tourism chief) to fend for themselves ingratiating with the masses in the boondocks and prairies of the huge province”.
In that election, Espino chalked up 36,087 more votes (where Espino got 427,364 versus Agbayani’s 391,277) to clench the governorship of Pangasinan scorching the Agbayanis in every platform, dais, pulpit, you name it where he spoke about the notorious absenteeism of Victor whose propensity to report at the Capitol once a week for nine years scandalized many Pangasinenses.
But in the 2010 and 2013 gubernatorial derbies, Espino overran, just like what a lorry does to a wayward drunk pedestrian, then congressman Victor Agbayani and exiting Alaminos City Mayor Nani Braganza with more or less half-a-million votes.
***

I suspected that those columnists and reporters of the national dailies in the Philippines who acrimoniously “exposed” and scathingly commented the supposed anomalies on the procurement of the refurbish 21 1967 to 1981 era’s combat helicopters’ UH-1seem to be part of a bigger extortion ring where these alleged conspirators took orders.
News report said a certain Rhodora Alvarez, a brass at the Bureau of Internal Revenue in Manila, allegedly threatened and attempt to mulct a cut of 15% from the P 1.2 billion contracts the Philippine government entered with supplier Rice Aircraft Services Inc. and Eagle Copters (Rice for brevity).
Rice already reported to the media the extortion attempt.
***
In the following paragraphs I would be citing and answering many the accusations of my colleague in the media, who shot from the hips, without the benefit of clicking Google and reading in Wikipedia on what is the difference of a Bell UH-1H to a UH-1D. They, at the expense of responsible journalism, gun a blazing just condemned the government and Rice on the anomalous, disadvantageous, onerous, Whatchamacallit contract.
1) President Benigno Aquino III was duped into believing and even mentioning in his 2012 State of the Nation Address (SONA) (son of a gun, I was there!) that the 21 helicopters were UH-1H not UH-1D.
My Answer: Records will show that even the president mentioned” UH-1H” (not “UH-1” as media fora espoused) in his SONA what the earlier Invitation to Bid for the acquisition of the 21 refurbished choppers was about “UH-1” which we know could either be UH-1H or the same if not the superior variant’s UH-1D.
Here’s the difference:
UH-1H was built by Bell U.S based company in 1966 to 1970s were many of them saw action in the Vietnam War. UH-1D was built by Bell licensed German based company’s Dornier (that “D” was not “Darna” nor “Dornier” but Deutschland, another name of Germany) from 1967 to 1981. The West German company built 352 UH-1Ds between those periods. According to the helis.com in spite of their designation they were standard H models powered by the T53-L13 engine. (more…)

March 29, 2015 at 4:39 pm Leave a comment

CITY CONTINUES TO HELP INDIGENTS EARN A LIVING


DAGUPAN CITY – Another batch of indigents received livelihood assistance from the city government under the Bottom-up Budgeting (BuB) Project on Monday during the flag raising ceremony at the city plaza in line with the continuing program of Mayor Belen T. Fernandez of helping them earn and have a decent living.

At least 67 young Dagupeños received P2,000 transportation allowance from the city government along with their starting kit from the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) worth P6,000 each.

City Social Welfare and Development Officer Leah L. Aquino said that the livelihood and scholarship program are for the sons and daughters of indigent families in the city who were enrolled in commercial cooking, sewing and shielded metal art works.

They will graduate on March 28 at the City Astrodome together with the students of Project B.E.L.E.N.

“The recipients will be monitored by the government on how well they are doing in their livelihood after their training. They will be signing an agreement with the city government that they cannot sell or dispose of their kits given to them solely for them to earn a living,” Aquino said.

Members of the Rural Improvement Clubs in the city also received from the city under the Grassroots Participatory Budgeting Program (GPBP) cooking kits worth P7,000 each for them to start producing smoked bangus without food coloring that can last for about two months.

The members, mostly housewives, have been training since last year on smoke bangus and on good manufacturing practices and standard sanitary operations. (more…)

March 29, 2015 at 4:34 pm Leave a comment

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