Archive for October 30, 2016

REMEMBERING TYPHOON ‘PEPENG’: Flood victims now own their houses

By Yolanda Sotelo
ROSALES  – One day in October 2009, while the people were busy with their daily grind– planting and harvesting in the agricultural lands and selling and buying in the business areas, typhoon Pepeng unleashed its fury, dumping unprecedented amount of water in northern Luzon.
The heavy downpour filled the San Roque Dam very quickly, until it reached 186.25 meter above sea level (the maximum critical level is 180 masl). At 12:03 am of  October 7, 2009, the dam operators started opening the gates.
Torrential rain continued. At 3 am of October 9, 2009, when the dam’s elevation was at 289.05 at 3:00 am, all six  gates at 27 meters  of the dam were opened, spilling our 5,072 cubic masl  of water.
“The water came suddenly,” Leny Flores, a resident of Carmen West which was heavily inundated, recalled, still shuddering at the thought of the large amount of water filling up the yard, then the ground floor of her three-storey house.
As water rushed, so did her neighbors who lived in shanties near the dike of the Agno River into which the dam water was dumped, to the Flores’ house.
“Around 30 families came, occupying the second and third floors. It was so cramped that the adults had to sleep seated, giving more space to the children,” she said.
It was good that Flores and her husband, former barangay chair Andres, stacked three sacks of rice and boxes of canned goods and noodles, as it had been raining for weeks and she prepared for the worst. The stock, meant for her own family, got decimated almost immediately.
One of those who sought refuge at the Flores residence is the family of Mercedita Torres. The family lived in a shanty at the dike of the Agno River, which was threatened by rushing large volume of water.
“We run to the Flores house, where we stayed until the water subsided,” she said.
Torres, like most residents who lost their houses, stayed in the Tent City for a year.
“Living in a tent was difficult as it was hot especially at noontime. It was not conducive for children, many of whom got sick,” she said.
But relief goods abound after the calamity and agencies, both local and international, brought the goods to the Tent City in barangay San Pedro.
Agencies were quick to provide shelter assistance. More than  100 families were transferred to the “transitional housing project” established by the local government unit and the Red Cross in barangay Balincanaway  in June 2010, eight months after the flood.  
The houses which cost from P60,000 to P70,000 each, were designed to withstand typhoons with strength of 120 kilometer per hour.The Red Cross provided the materials and the beneficiaries, their labor.
The LGU purchased the lot for P2 million using municipal funds and donations (P700,000) received from private persons and entities after the calamity. The LGU was also in charge of site development including the provision of power and water system.
The Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC) on the other hand, provided construction materials like galvanized iron sheets for roofing, coco lumber posts and beams, and sawali (woven bamboo slats) for walls.
The  PNRC acquired the services of a team of six workers that include three carpenters, to supervise the construction. The team members were given daily allowances.
The beneficiaries contributed labor for the construction of the 4 x 5-meter core houses (excluding the comfort room) on a 50-meter lot.
 The Department of Social Welfare and Development also established core housing units for 240 flood victim families in barangay Palakipak.
Each lot measures 60 meters while the core house measures 20 meters, excluding the toilet. Construction of 135 core houses is in full blast and is expected to be completed by the end of September 2010.               
The core houses are environment friendly, structurally strong shelter units that can withstand approximately 180-220 kph wind velocity, earthquake up to intensity 4 of the Ritcher scale, and other similar hazards. The DSWD uses locally purchased construction materials to revitalize local economy.
DSWD officials said the core houses have “hip roofs”  with 2×4 inch thick wood trusses,  2×3 cross braces, 2×4 rafters and 2×2 purlins. The houses’ walls are concrete and the roofs are galvanized iron.
The core house model won the United Nations Habitat Award in 1990 and was adopted in Bani town which was hit by typhoon Emong (international codename Chan- hom) in May 2008 with its killer 185 kilometer per hour winds.
At present, the DSWD and the local government have established 600 core housing units, while 60 are under construction. Not all of them are victims of typhoon Pepeng, but of typhoons that hit the area in the succeeding years.
Seven years after the “Big Flood,” residents of Rosales still can’t forget the day Rosales “failed to bloom.”
But they have something to be thankful for – houses that they can call their own.


October 30, 2016 at 2:33 pm Leave a comment

Bad blood between Barbers, Pichay started in local politics – Toff

By Mortz C. Ortigoza
MANGALDAN – Pangasinan fourth district Rep. Cristopher ‘Toff’ De Venecia said the near-fisticuff between Congressmen Robert Barbers and Prospero Pichay Jr., started because of “bad blood” between them that started in Surigao Province.


Pangasinan’s 4th District Congressman Toff de Venecia

Barbers and Pichay are congressmen of the second and first districts Of Surigao Province.
“That’s what I heard. Again, it was not firsthand information, it was told to me. It also came out in the news,” de Venecia said.
According to the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Pichay pitted candidates against the Barbers’ clan following Robert’s refusal to toe the line as member of the then ruling party Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats when he signed the failed impeachment complaint against then president Gloria Arroyo, Pichay’s ally, in the middle of 2000s.
In 2007, former Surigao del Norte governor Lyndon Barbers lost his congressional bid against Guillermo Romarate Jr., while Robert won his gubernatorial bid.
It was in 2010 that the Barbers political rule in Surigao del Norte officially ended after Robert lost his reelection bid to Sol Matugas, and Lyndon his mayoralty bid to Ernesto Matugas.


October 30, 2016 at 2:30 pm Leave a comment

ORTIGOZA: Let’s continue the killings


October 30, 2016 at 2:25 pm Leave a comment


CATCH. Fishermen sort their catch at the beach in Lingayen on October 17 a day after typhoon Karen.CESAR RAMIREZ3-4


October 30, 2016 at 2:23 pm Leave a comment

MAGANES: Cutting ties with US government?

President Rodrigo “Digong” Duterte has just arrived from his four-day state visit to China, from October 18 to 21. According to him and his entourage  which is composed of his cabinet members and more or less 200 businessmen, the state visit was a resounding success. President Duterte was able to bring home US$13-billion to jumpstart his pet programs and projects aside from a stand by credit from the Chinese government.
However, critics of President Duterte are not happy with the results of said visit particularly on the area of foreign relations. They were criticizing Duterte when he said before the Filipino community and the international media that he will cut ties with the US government in terms of “military and economic” pursuits. Many critics said that US has been a long time ally of the Philippines and ” cutting ties” with it might lessen the aid being extended to the Filipino people.
What does Duterte mean in cutting ties with the US government? Let us remember that in his previous statements, President Duterte said that he will pursue an “independent foreign policy” but will recognize whatever treaties the Philippines has entered into during the past administrations. The “independent foreign policy” as pursued by Duterte is for the country to assert its sovereign power as an independent nation like that of the US, and not be beholden to the whims and caprices of the more developed and powerful nations.
By asserting our rights as a sovereign country, President Duterte’s message to other countries like US is very simple: Philippines is an independent nation. It has its own laws and Constitution to be followed. While the country is bound by international laws, domestic problems that have to be addressed must be left for the Filipinos to resolve. US, European Union countries and even the United Nations should not intervene and must respect the independence of the Philippines.Personally, I am for it considering that it’s now the time that we will have our own identity as a Filipino nation devoid of foreign interventions, be it in the areas of “military and economy”.
We have been a long ally of the US government. It all started when the Spanish government sold the Philippines under the Treaty of Paris of 1898 for the sum of US$20,000.00. Since then, Americans have colonized the Filipinos’ senses in our educational and cultural values. Of course, we are indebted to the Americans because we  adept in the English language but slowly our innate culture was subsumed to the Western culture- food, clothes,etc.
We were under the American occupation during World War II. Our soldiers and guerrillas were under the United States Armed Forces of the Far East (USAFFE), which means that they were fighting for the Americans against the Japanese forces. The war that lasted for three years- 1942 to 1945 led us to an “independence” on July 4, 1946. But the word “independence” was a misnomer. We were not fully independent as a sovereign nation. Our Constitution at that time was even patterned after the US Constitution. US Bases were established in Subic, Zambales and Clark, Pampanga. Indeed, we were under the shadow of the US government.


October 30, 2016 at 2:16 pm Leave a comment

Political Cartoon


October 30, 2016 at 2:14 pm Leave a comment

EDITORIAL :  Kudos sa mga ‘Disaster and Risk Reduction Management Councils’

Dalawang malalakas na bagyo ang dumaan sa Pangasinan ngayong Oktobre. Nauna si Bagyong Karen na bagamat hindi masyadong malakas ay nagdulot ng kapinsalaan sa mga imprastraktura at mga pananim. Dala pa niya ang pagbaha sa mga mabababang lugar gaya ng Calasiao at Dagupan City. Sumunod ang Super Bagyong si Lawin na rumagasa sa lalawigan ng Isabela, Cagayan, Ifugao, Mountain Province, Ilocos Norte atbp. Ang mga naturang lalawigan ay umabot sa Signal 4 at 5. Ang Pangasinan ay nasa Signal 2 lamang.
Sa mga naturang bagyo, kahangahanga ang paghahanda ng mga Disaster and Risk Reduction Councils sa bawat bayan at siyudad sa Pangasinan. Ang Pangasinan Disaster and Risk Reduction Office sa pamumuno ni Gobernador Amado “Pogi” Espino III ay 24 na oras araw-araw na nagmatyag sa mga kaganapan na idudulot ng mga nasabing bagyo. Lahat ng mga pangangailangan sa pag-rescue sa mga maaaring maapektuhan na mamamayan ay naihanda ng lubusan. Mabilis din ang pagdaloy ng mga impormasyon lalo na sa mga radyo, telebisyon at social media.


October 30, 2016 at 2:01 pm Leave a comment

Celeste to teachers: Continue providing quality education

By Virgilio Sar. Maganes
ALAMINOS CITY – City Mayor Arthur F. Celeste lauded the city’s teachers for their commitment even as he challenged them to continue to provide quality education to youth.
Speaking before more than 1,000 teachers, officials and staff of the City Schools Division during the World Teachers Day (WTD) Celebration last October 11 at the Don Leopoldo Sison Convention Center,  Celeste   acknowledged the contribution of the teachers to the city despite all their hardships and sacrifices.
The World Teacher’s Day is the culmination of the National Teacher Month (NTM) with the theme, “Guro: Kabalikat sa Pagbabago”.
“You have chosen this profession and that the material or financial aspect should be a secondary consideration,” he said.
He also said the city government is thankful of, and contended with  the teachers’ dedication and commitment in molding the city’s youth and producing quality graduates.
 “Education is the foundation of a progressive nation. Without you, there will be no leaders in our country. (Without education), I would not be of what I am today. So be proud to be an educator. Our leaders, professionals and responsible citizens come from you,” he said.
Mayor Celeste recognizes the many problems and issues faced by the City Schools Divison that he assured them of the city government’s continued support and assistance.
 “Always count on us as your reliable partner. Together, let’s continue to commit unwaveringly to quality education, in producing quality graduates and future leaders of our nation”, he said.


October 30, 2016 at 1:56 pm Leave a comment

Alaminos receives livelihood assistance from DOLE Region I

By Virgilio Sar. Maganes
ALAMINOS CITY- City Mayor Arthur F. Celeste led some 110 ambulant and market vendors in  receiving the P1.2 million livelihood assistance given by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE)-Regional Office I.
The beneficiaries of the assistance are 40 ambulant vendors and three market vendor associations- Alaminos Suki Market Vendors Association, Alaminos Vendors Multi-purpose Cooperative and Alaminos Nepo Market Tenants Association.
According to Regional Director Henry John Jalbuena who led the turn-over of the assistance in the form of equipment and carts, the funds came from the agency’s Negosyo sa Kariton (Negokart) and Bottom-up Budgeting (BUB).
He said the projects aim to improve the economic well-being of the beneficiaries. These will also help in the anti-poverty thrust of the government by making the existing livelihood of the beneficiaries more sustainable.
Jalbuena also said that with the enhanced vending carts with tools, jigs and raw materials, the ambulant vendors can reach more buyers and increase their income.
On the other hand, Mayor Celeste expressed his thanks in behalf of the beneficiaries in selecting the city as a benefactor of the package of livelihood programs extended by the labor agency.


October 30, 2016 at 1:55 pm Leave a comment

Asingan’s police building’s 2nd floor opened

By Virgilio Sar. Maganes
ASINGAN- Considered as the largest police station of the Philippine National Police (PNP) in Pangasinan, the second floor of the building was blessed and opened last October 21 here.
Mayor Heidee Ganigan- Chua and Police Senior Supt. Ronald Oliver Lee, OIC Provincial Director of Pangasinan Provincial Police Office (PPPO), led the cutting of the ceremonial ribbon cutting.
They were assisted by Vice Mayor Carlos Lopez Jr. and  Police Chief Inspector Junmar Gonzales, OIC-Chief of Police of this town.
The blessing rite was officiated by Father Franklin Tandingan of St. St. Louis Bertrand Parish Church  while the invocation was led by Rev. Arnel Bautista.
In her message, Mayor Chua expressed her gratitude the PNP leadership for the expansion of the police office, which she said will provide the police personnel of the town convenient work spaces.
“We are deeply grateful to the assistance of the PNP national and provincial leadership for this building expansion. Rest assured that the municipal government will always be of assistance to the police force of the town,” Chua said.


October 30, 2016 at 1:55 pm Leave a comment

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