Archive for January, 2017

78% of Pangasinan barangays now drug-cleared – PNP

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January 30, 2017 at 8:14 pm Leave a comment


 Students wearing colorful costumes participate in the street dancing competition in this year’s edition of the Bagoong Festival in Lingayen last January 27.CESAR RAMIREZ1-3


January 30, 2017 at 3:23 pm Leave a comment

Villasis build major buildings through popularity contests

By Yolanda Sotelo
VILLASIS -Through popularity contests, a main feature of this agricultural town’s annual fiesta, the local government was able to build several major government buildings.
Mayor Nonato Abrenica said the the rebuilding of the municipal hall was one of the biggest accomplishments of the popularity contests which mostly married ladies from here and abroad, join. He said it was during a year when the the Mrs. Villasis contestants were able to accumulate more than P12 million as that the old municipal building was replaced with a new one.
It was only the trusses, foundation and posts that were retained from the old building. Everything was replaced and the building was extended to the left.
Abrenica said the other buildings built through the proceeds of the popularity contests are the Legislative Building, public auditorium and gymnasium, and establishment of a park.
The first time that the popularity contest was held, the amassed money was used to purchase heavy equipment like grader, payloader and dump truck, which were used for improvement of municipal roads.
The contest for the construction of the Legislative Building was special because the Mrs. Villasis got a “naming right,” or the building would be named after her.  The winner was Beatriz de Vera Olivas and her name is prominently etched infront of the building.
Abrenica said he needed to go abroad to convince Villasis residents who are working or living there, to join the contest.  He would tell them the project to be funded from the proceeds of the contest.
But there are also local ladies who joined the annual contests, he said.
There are years that we get big amounts, and there are years when its not much, he said, depending on who the contestants are.
This year’s contest netted only P2 million and it would be used for the renovation and improvement of the town’s gymnasium.
“Maybe the donors are having donors’ fatique. So next year we will have a break from the popularity contests and hold a beauty contest instead,” Abrenica said.
Abrenica said the town has an annual budget now of P150 million, up from P50 million when he became mayor in 2001.
It would have been difficult to undertake the major infrastructure projects with the limited budget, he said.


January 30, 2017 at 2:48 pm Leave a comment

MAGANES: Rogue policemen?

vir maganes

I was glued on my seat last Thursday (January 26) watching the Senate investigation on “Tokhang for ransom”. It started at 10:00 in the morning and ended at 3:00 in the afternoon or five hours of a real drama where the protagonists and antagonists are mostly members  of the Philippine National Police (PNP). It was also a day when the honorable senators have shown their verbal prowess, perhaps taking advantage of  free media mileage.
The inquiry was properly handled by Senator Panfilo Lacson, Senate chair on the Committee of Public Order where the grilling of the suspects for the abduction and killing of a Korean businessman was untamed and bland. I was expecting a “bomb to explode” or rather truth ferreted out, but the suspects Police Superintendent Rafael Dumlao and Senior Pollice Officer 3 Ricky Sta. Isabel kept on denying and accusing each other  their participation in the crime.
The hearing was revealing as well as disgusting. It was revealing because the shenanigans at the PNP were out in the open. It’s disgusting as well because all these years, we’re not fully aware that the police officers who are supposed to serve and protect us are the ones behind criminal activities of all nature- kidnap for ransom, illegal drugs, gun running, etc.
I almost puked hearing the exchange of words of Dumlao and Sta. Isabel. Apparently, both of them were lying and trying to cover up the crime and perhaps even those other police officers as their accomplices. General Bato Dela Rosa was not at his best in that hearing. He was the center of ogling eyes and minds of the people. Where in the hell that a crime to be kept secret for months could be done inside the supposedly safe place Camp Crame? He’s upset about what happened but had not done drastic actions immediately against those culprits. If I were him, I should have dismissed Sta. Isabel and Dumlao pronto. (more…)

January 30, 2017 at 2:43 pm Leave a comment

EDITORIAL: Kailangan o katangahan ang ‘condoms’ sa mga paaralan?

Hati ang mga mamamayang Filipino sa panukala ng Department of Health (DOH) na mamahagi ng mga “condoms” sa mga “health centers” at mga paaralan sa darating na Hunyo 2017.
Ayon kay Health Secretary Paulyn Jean Ubial ang bibigyan ng mga “condoms” ay mga kabataang nasa edad na 15 hanggang 24. Ito aniya ay isang pamamaraan para hindi dumami ang mga kaso ng mga kabataang maapektuhan ng “human immuno virus” (HIV) at “acquired immune deficiency syndrome” (AIDS).
Parami na sa bansa ang may sakit na HIV/AIDS na nakukuha sa pakikipagtalik na walang proteksiyon lalo na sa hanay ng mga “sex workers” at “lesbian,gay, bisexual at transgenders” (LGBT). Ang “condom” diumano ang gagamiting pananggalang sa pagkalat nito lalo na sa mga kabataan.
Ayon pa kay Secretary Ubial, ang pamamahagi nito sa mga paaralan ay may ugnayan sa pamunuan ng Department of Education (DepEd) na tutulong sa pagbalangkas ng mga alituntunin kung paano ipatupad ito. Ang programa ay nagkakahalaga ng P50 milyon hanggang P100 milyon para lang sa pagbili ng mga “condoms” at P1-billion naman sa pagsugpo ng HIV/AIDS.
Maraming mambabatas ang umalma sa programang ito. Ayon kay Senator Tito Sotto, ang pamamahagi ng mga “condoms” sa mga mag-aaral ay manghikayat sa kanila para lalong gumawa ng hindi tama sa kanilang sekswalidad. Lalong dadami diumano ang mga hindi na pipigilan ang sarili sa pakikipagtalik dahil iniisip na nila na libre na ang kanilang proteksyon. Kay Rep. Harry Roque ang hakbang na ito ay isang katangahan sa panig ng DOH at hindi makatwirang paggastos ng kaban ng bansa.
Ang magkatunggaling pananaw dito ay ating bigyan pansin. Sa panig ng DOH ay naghahakbang tungkol sa edukasyong pangsekswalidad upang tugunan ang pambansang suliranin sa HIV/AIDS. Subalit, ang pamamahagi ba ng libreng “condoms” ang makakasugpo dito? Hindi kaya mas malawak na pagbibigay ng sapat na impormasyon ang gigising sa kamalayan ng mga kabataan para maiwasan ang hindi nararapat na pakikipagtalik? Sa panig naman ang kumukontra sa hakbanging ito, dapat magpanukala sila ng mga solusyon sa problemang HIV/AIDS. Hindi sapat ang pagkontra, kailangan ang mga hakbang na gawin upang maisalba ang mga kabataan sa HIV/AIDS na hanggang ngayon ay wala pang lunas na gamot.
Hindi isang katangahan ang isang hakbangin na nasa pananaw ng pamahalaan ay makakatulong sa kinabukasan ng mga kabataang Filipino gaya ng nauna ng nabanggit. Mas katangahan at isang kabobohan kung alam na natin ang problema pero walang maibahagi namang solusyon kundi para kontrahin lamang ito. Bigyan natin ng pagkakataon ang DOH para gawin ang mandatong nakaakibat sa kanya.


January 30, 2017 at 1:22 pm Leave a comment

LTO ‘at a loss’ on how to deal with e-vehicles

DAGUPAN CITY – The Land Transportation Office admitted it was “at a loss” on how to deal with the increasing number of electric numbers that are cruising government roads, and that the office is still working on the no policy on the use of the e-vehicles.
Saying the agency has no jurisdiction over the electric-run vehicles as they are not registered, LTO Ilocos Regional Director Jojo Guadiz said the agency was actually left behind in technology and is rushing the formulation of a policy in the management of the e-vehicles.
Danny Martinez, head of the LTO Urdaneta City, said only motor vehicles are authorized to use government roads, and to qualify as such, they should have chassis, body and engine numbers.
He warned owners of electric vehicles against using them along highways and other government roads as they are not registered with the office and are not authorized to use the roads.
“If they figure in accidents, they would be at the losing end as they are not authorized to use government roads, including barangay roads,” Martinez said.
Guadiz said the LTO is coordinating with the dealers of e-vehicles to put vehicle identification number before they release the vehicles to buyers.
The identification number would be used for e-vehicles the same way that the motor vehicles are issued plate numbers, he said.
“Maybe we could come up with the policy by June,” Guadiz said.
He said the LTO was caught unawares by the sudden increase of number of the e-vehicles being used as tricycles in the provinces.
While the e-vehicles have been introduced years ago, it was only in the past two years that their number suddenly went up.
Martinez however, said the LTO could not apprehend the drivers because of lack of jurisdiction over the vehicles.
He said the drivers of the e-vehicles should also have licenses issued by the LTO. (YOLANDA SOTELO)

January 30, 2017 at 12:26 pm Leave a comment

 DA-BFAR brings fishery typhoon rehab mats to Ilocos Norte

The Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (DA-BFAR) joined hands with the provincial government of Ilocos Norte in rehabilitating the livelihood of over 600 municipal fisherfolk affected by recent calamities.
Held at the Centennial Arena of Laoag City on Wednesday, January 25, the awarding of over 10.8 million pesos worth of fishery projects and equipment was a joint effort to mend the typhoon damage to the livelihood of affected fisherfolk.
“We hope that these equipment and other fishery materials will grant you the opportunity to recover and improve your livelihood,” DA Undersecretary for Fisheries and BFAR National Director Eduardo Gongona told the Ilocano fisherfolk during his speech.
Turned over were 44,500 tilapia fingerlings, 424 units of fishing gears, 29 fiberglass boats, 12 chest freezers, 10 fish claddings, 4 fish stalls, 3 fish aggregating devices, and 2 smoke houses to fisherfolk beneficiaries and local government units from various municipalities in Ilocos Norte. Two Community Fish Landing Centers (CFLCs) were awarded to Bacarra and Pagudpud, while one Bottom-Up Budgeting (BUB) program worth 1.2 million pesos was conferred to Bacarra.
Also conducted was a brief dialogue between the Ilocano fisherfolk and Undersecretary Gongona. Together with Ilocos Norte Vice Governor Angelo Marcos Barba, Laoag Mayor Chevylle Fariñas, and other municipal and provincial officials, the bureau director answered requests and committed more fiberglass boats and post-harvest facilities to the province.


January 30, 2017 at 12:24 pm Leave a comment

Dagupan faces massive garbage problem

By Yolanda Sotelo
DAGUPAN CITY – It is almost every year that this city’s dumpsite in Bonuan Boquig experiences fire, a worker at the dumpsite said.
“It was only in 2016 that the 50-year old dumpsite did not get burned down. There was even a year when the entire dumpsite was flattened by a fire,” Antonio Esteves said.
Garbage as high as 6-10 meters lines a road along the Tondaligan Park. The dumpsite occupies 3-4 hectares and emits a stench enough to make passersby puke and may cause health problems to the nearby residents.
Last week, a fire gutted at least half of the garbage, Esteves said.
Right after the fire, the Environment Management Bureau Ilocos regional office issued a cease and desist order to the Dagupan City government from using the dump site, but still, some dump trucks are seen coming in and out, dumping garbage collected from the city’s 30 villages.
“Where will we bring the garbage?” a confused waste management truck driver, said, as workers haul black bags into the truck near a government building.
The fire may have been contained, but smoke still emanates from different areas. A worker is seen on top of a heap, hosing down the smoke with water from a firetruck below.
In a corner, a family of scavengers was hauling their possessions from a makeshift house. The family is one of the 30 families living in the dumpsite which were transferred to the core shelters provided by the city government through the Bottoms Up Budgeting project of the national government.
While happy with the prospect of living in a cleaner surrounding, Jessie Doctolero, 27, said the core shelter is far from the dump site, his family’s “workplace.”  The core shelters are located about three kilometers away.
Relocating the scavengers was one of the steps the city government undertook in efforts to solve the garbage problem of Dagupan. In a statement, Mayor Belen Fernandez said the waste-to-worth project with a private company that would use the garbage as fuel source, is now under evaluation. A memorandum of agreement for the project was signed in 2014.
Meantime, the city’s garbage kept on piling at the dump site located near the beach in an area declared as Tondaligan Park.
The city government maintains a facility  that processes biodegradable wastes into organic fertilizer.
But this is just a very small portion of the wastes, said Sammy Flores, in charge of the composting machine.
He could not, however, say the volume of fertilizer that the facility churns out daily or monthly.
Very few barangays segregate their garbage into biodegradable and non-biodegradable, Esteves said.
A big part of the garbage is plastics. Because they are not biodegradable, they stick out, still vibrant in color, from the sides of the garbage heaps that are already decomposing.
None of those working at the dumpsite knew what to do next after the EMB issued the cease and desist order to the city government.
 “We are waiting for the waste-to-worth (or energy) that would be implemented by the city government,” Clores said.
City officials are scrambling to look for sanitary landfills that would accommodate the city’s garbage. On the instruction of Fernandez, Nicanor Melecio, a consultant of the city government, asked Urdaneta City to accommodate the garbage.
Urdaneta obliged, but only for 1.5 tons daily. Dagupan produces some 20 tons of garbage daily.
Melecio said they would try to talk with officials of San Fernando City which operates a sanitary landfill.
When asked where the truckload of wastes from the Astrodome would be brought,  the driver said, “Bonuan dumpsite.”
He knew the dumpsite has been closed, but he said he would still try.
“Where else would we go?” he said.


January 29, 2017 at 10:28 am Leave a comment

ORTIGOZA: Are we winning the drug war?

Skeptics on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on illegal drugs compared Thailand’s war on narcotics where almost 3,000 died in the First Drug War in February to April 2003 and countless died in the Second Drug War in 2005.
Despite the thousands of persons  killed in Thailand and those 6000 individuals who died in legitimate police operation and those on Death Under Investigation (D.U.I),  in the Philippines war on dangerous drugs, these skeptics say Duterte’s war on narcotics is destined to fail.
But as a radio commentator and journalist who visit regularly city and town mayors and chiefs of police in the 48 cities and towns’ Pangasinan, I could say that the dangerous drugs war launched by the Duterte Administration is picking up and resulted in significant drop not only of drug pushing and using but of index crimes like theft, robbery, and other petty crimes.
In Alaminos City, Police Chief Superintendent Benjamin Ariola cited recently that only two of the 39 villages in this Western Pangasinan city are still not illegal drug free. Dagupan City’s Chief of Police Superintendent Neil Miro declared in January 12 the city as 90.2 percent after narcotics prevalent Barangay Pantal and Pogo Chico of the 31 villages’ city were publicly announced as drug free.
In mammoth Pangasinan which is one of the top five most populated provinces in the country, 940 barangays out of the 1,364 villages are drug free and the police projected it to be narcotics-free in February this year, according to Police Superintendent Jackie Candelario, Deputy Provincial Director for Operation.
The criteria in declaring a village as drug free are mind numbing, according to Mangaldan Chief of Police’s Supt. Jeff Fanged.
“The process for their declaration was tedious. We followed the procedures at the BADAC (Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Council), MADAC (Municipal  Anti-Drug Abuse Council ),and  PADAC (Provincial Anti-Drug Abuse Council),” he stressed.


January 29, 2017 at 10:26 am Leave a comment

Calasiao security blanket a model for other fiestas

By Mortz C. Ortigoza
CALASIAO – The successful security preparations spread out by the police for the four-day festival here could be a model for other towns or cities.
calasiao-policeCOPS. Policemen of Calasiao, Pangasinan pose with town Mayor Joseph Arman Bauzon (4th from left, front row) and their chief of police Superintendent Charles Umayam (5th from left, front law). The Calasiao Police Station has 80 policemen lead by Umayam and his two deputy chiefs of police and four Non-Uniformed Personnel (NUP). It has a Police to Population Ration of 1:1,380.

Police Superintendent Charles Umayam said the security challenge brought by the Calasiao Puto Festival in December 8-11 last year was daunting than those posed by the fiesta celebration of San Carlos City.
Although his present post is in a town, the chief of police explained that the thousands of people that attended the fiesta here could eclipse those that attended the fiesta in a big city like San Carlos.
Umayam said the huge crowd during the fiesta was due to urbanization of this burgeoning town and its proximity to Dagupan City.


January 29, 2017 at 10:24 am Leave a comment

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