Archive for September, 2019

DENR stops cutting down of trees along Agoo highway 


AGOO – A decades-old acasia tree in front of the Agoo town plaza was cut down and two others were severely pruned. But the hundreds of agoho (Australian pine tree) and other trees that line the highway traversing the town are saved for the meantime.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources stopped the removal of trees along the town’s roads, including those whose thick foliage create a “cave” along the national highway along barangay Sta. Fe where the town’s welcome arc is located.

Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer Maximo Soriano said the acasia trees were part of the 26 trees given permit for removal by the regional office of Department of Environment and Natural Resources to the local government. The permit was dated March 26, 2019.

Mayor Estefanie Ann Eriguel  ordered that only the 26 trees would be cut, and no other trees will be cut while road widening has not started yet.

The cutting of the acasia tree and pruning of two more, was spearheaded by the Provincial Government of La Union, Department of Public Works and Highways and Agoo LGU.

Soriano said the felled down acasia tree was found by pathologists  from the University of the Philippines and the agency’s Ecosystem Research and Development Bureau to be decaying and infected with center rot disease. The basal portion of the trunk already hollow, thus hazardous to the lives and properties of residents and motorists.

But further felling of other trees covered by the March 2018 permit was stopped after Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu asked about the project, following an uproar in the social media both by residents and tree lovers who said the tree could have been saved.

Aside from the 26 trees, more than 600 trees along the Manila North Road in La Union have been marked by the Department of Public Works and Highways, reportedly for cutting down because of clearing of road obstructions.

During a meeting on September 5 at the Agoo Mayor’s Office, DPWH representatives insisted on clearing the national highway in Rosario, Sto. Tomas, Aringay and Bauang.

This is reportedly because of President Duterte’s directive, through Department of Interior and Local Government’s memorandum to all local and barangay officials, to clear roads of all illegal structures and constructions within 60 days.

There was no mention of removal of trees along the road in the memorandum signed by DILG Secretary Eduardo Ano.

Soriano however said, that the DPWH may remove the trees that are along the road-right-of-way, which is 20 meters for national roads (10 meters from the center both sides). 15 meters for provincial roads and 10 meters for municipal roads. The measurement of the road right-of-way is stated in Executive Order 621 series of 1980.

He said the PENRO has received requests from the DPWH for cutting of trees along the roads in the towns of Aringay, Caba, Agoo-Baguio and Rosario to Pugo.

When the Inquirer passed along the MNR, the DPWH crew was felling down trees in Aringay town.

In July 2018, Cimatu issued an administrative order on guidelines in processing and issuance of permits on the removal and relocation of trees affected by DPWH’s projects. The order requires the DPWH to submit infrastructure plan with the tree charting, indicating the geotagged location of trees affected and must be vetted by DPWH. It also requires environmental clearances, waiver/consent of land owners if trees are in private properties and land tenure instruments for tree cutting within forestlands. (YOLANDA SOTELO)

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September 24, 2019 at 3:22 am Leave a comment

Chefs whip dishes from sea foods


                                   FISH ON DISH FOR A BIZZ

SAN FERNANDO CITY – Four chefs from different restaurants in La Union came up with different original dishes using milkfish, oyster, shrimps and mussels, in a cooking challenge called “Fish on Dish for a Bizz” of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources region I office.

The contest was a part of the 56th Fish Conservation Week celebration of BFAR Region I.

The top prize of P10,000 went to Chef Alex Andrada of Inchon Mangan restaurant, who whipped a dish called  “Bangus pasta with tofu and grilled vegetables” –

He said it is a “simple classic pasta recipe that incorporates bangus and vegetables and eggplant and tomatoes with creamy white sauce, tufo and cheese.”  He sprinkled it with cayenne power to give it a little spice and a kick.

Chef Reginald Nisperos of EM Royale romped off with the second prize of P8,000.

His winning piece, fried oyster with creamy sauce, was sautéed with garlic, evaporated milk and cream, herbs and spices to make it more flavorful.

The mouthwatering recipe is easy to prepare.

Chef Xavier Mercado of Halo-halo of Iloco played with the words “karabasa (squash)” and “pasayam (shrimp) to create the dish “karabasayan” for which he placed third and went home with P6,000.

He deep fried canton noodles and marinated shirmps then cooked them on a sauce made from blended squash, evaporated milk and coconut milk.

The fourth price of P4,000 went to Chef Samson Luken of Oasis Country Resort Hotel who created the dish he called “breaded mussel.”

The flavorful dish is a deep fried breaded mussel packed with herbs and spices, and further enhanced with sweet chili sauce.

The cooking contest involved a kind of “draw lots” among the contestants to know what seafood they will be cooking.

A table laden with ingredients, called “market,” was then opened for them to select the ingredients they would use for their recipes.

 They selected the ingredients they would need for ten minutes, after which the “market” was closed.

Then they were given one and a half hours to come up with their winning pieces.

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September 24, 2019 at 3:18 am Leave a comment

AMBUSH UPDATE


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 Police Brig.Gen.Joel Orduna, Police Regional Office 1(PRO1) director, is interviewed by reporters last September 16  at the Pangasinan police provincial office in Lingayen on updates regarding the ambush on the two-vehicle convoy of former Pangasinan Gov.Amado Espino,Jr. last September 11 in San Carlos City. Espino and two others survived the attack while two companions died.CESAR RAMIREZ

September 23, 2019 at 11:24 am Leave a comment

DTI, DA: Certified raw pork safe to eat


The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) joins the Department of Agriculture (DA), in assuring the public that raw pork with certifications from the National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS) and processed pork products from trusted brands are safe to consume and should not be banned in supermarkets and wet markets.

The DTI, along with the DA and the National Food Authority (NFA), monitored the prices of pork products in Farmers Market, Mega Q Mart, and Kamuning Public Market last 19 September. We found that the prevailing prices of pork are around PHP 200 to PHP 220, but vendors say that public fear of the ASF is affecting pork demand.

Meanwhile, Pork meat brands found in supermarkets and groceries certified by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are produced by the member-companies of the Philippine Association of Meat Processors Inc. (PAMPI). These only use raw materials certified by the Veterinary Quarantine Certification by NMIS. These meat products like canned goods and hotdogs are cooked.  Therefore, these products are safe to consume and must not be banned.

We also advise the consumers who shop in wet markets to ask vendors to present their NMIS certificates, issued everyday by NMIS. These certificates are proof that these pork products have been tested and found free of ASF.

According to DA Secretary William Dar, there is no national outbreak of ASF. The virus is contained in select areas in Rizal and Bulacan and the DA is currently containing the situation. Hence, we call on the local government units to ease on the total ban of pork products in their areas and allow certified pork products except those from identified areas in Rizal and Bulacan.

ASF is a virus that is contagious to pigs but is not communicable to humans. But we advise the public to thoroughly cook their pork and other meat products to ensure that all bacteria and viruses are eliminated. The DTI-Consumer Protection Group is working closely with the DA to monitor the situation to ensure that consumers always have safe and affordable food options. 

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September 23, 2019 at 11:21 am Leave a comment

ORTIGOZA: RPG-7s, M-79s fired at this governor


In a huddle with fellow media men, some of them cited that the recent ambush of former Pangasinan governor Amado T. Espino, Jr. that killed his body guard and driver and wounded his other escorts was due to the volleys of fire from high powered assault rifles M-14 and M-16.

“The ten gunmen positioned at the ambush site in a close quarter military fashion,” a radio commentator who quoted what provincial police director and Colonel Redrico Maranan told them in the earlier press conference held at the San Carlos City’s police station.

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 I told them that the bush-whack of the former regional police director and ex- congressman in his two convoy vehicles was child’s play if one’s compared how malefactors in our place in Mindanao pounced on a then incumbent governor.

In July 3, 2001 Maguindanao Governor Datu Andal Ampatuan, Sr. (yes Virginia the patriarch of those Ampatuan siblings who killed 32 journalists out of the 58 they ordered slain) and his security escorts were on board five vehicles on their way to Cotabato City from coastal town of Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao when they were ambushed by treacherous brigands.

30 Muslim gunmen, who positioned on both sides of the highway in Barangay Salimbao, Sultan Kudarat, daringly opened fire at them with Rocket Propelled Grenades (RPG-7s), shoulder-borne M79 projectiles, and machine guns.

Compared to the M-14 and M-16 assault rifles used by the hired hands against Espino, RPG has a grenade that protrudes from its launch tube with a size of 40–105 millimeters in diameter and weighs between 2.0 and 4.5 kilograms compared to the minuscule 7.62 x 51 mm and 5.56×45mm  bullets of the M-14 and M-16. 

Ampatuan’s vehicle, a Ford F-150 pickup, was crippled in the initial rocket fire. His bodyguards, who fought back with the ambushers, extricated him out of the vehicle before it caught fire and exploded. Four of his bodyguards were also slightly wounded in the initial volley of fires.

But it left four people dead, more than a dozen wounded, and triggered a conflagration that destroyed 25 houses because a store selling liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) was hit by the blast of the Russian made RPG-7 or probably B.L, not the Bausch & Lomb of Rayban sunglasses, but the defectively Buhat sa Lanao or Made in Lanao RPG-7 if we translated these words to English.

The ambushers, believed to be under the behest of the political rival of Ampatuan, had running gunfights with the responding soldiers. Two women perished in that cross fire while several others that include two school children wounded.

Another ambushed that ensued in my former province North Cotabato (they called it now Province of Cotabato) was when in July 2017 three Ford E-150 vans of the Presidential Security Group were ensnared by the New People’s Army who usurped as Army troop manned a checkpoint between the boundary of Arakan, Province of Cotabato and Davao City.

After the third van was disabled, just like the Toyota Innova backed up car of Espino after its driver jumped off, the Praetorian Guards of President Rodrigo Duterte would not disembark but instead stayed in a prone position inside the U.S made vehicle incessantly praying their Hail Mary.

To force out the soldiers, the commies brought a land mine they shouted they, son of a gun, would plant under the belly of the vehicle.

“Iyong NPA may dalang parang kaldero ilalagay nila doon sa ilalim ng van. Pero sumigaw ang isang PSG na may babae and bata doon sa loob,” one witness a local resident quoted by the camera of a local TV station that caused for the Reds to back out.

Because of the incoming reinforcement, the NPA absconded the victims, who waited for their coup d’ grace, in their two jeeps and a pickup truck.

In case the land mine was allowed to explode, the PSG personnel, the woman, and child inside would be minced meat.

Because of the boldness and impunity of the bad guys to use high powered weapons against their preys, some of these personalities will be protecting their sports utility vehicles soonest with armor plates that could withstand not only M-14s and M-16s, but RPG-7, just like in the Tom Clancy’s flick Clear & Present Danger, and probably land mine.

The only politician I know in Pangasinan who has armor plates in his SUV’s Chevrolet Suburban is billionaire and Bayambang Mayor Cezar T. Quiambao. He got, by the way, three similar black Suburbans and I ain’t know if the other two are bullet proof, too. Somebody told me upon reading this blog that former congressional candidate Raul Sison and even former governor Espino, Jr have bullet proof vehicles, too.

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September 23, 2019 at 11:04 am Leave a comment

DPWH allots P13M  for drainage canal in Calasiao


By Mortz C. Ortigoza

   CALASIAO – The defective drainage system of the Department of Public Works & Highway that causes flooding at the Poblacion here has a proposed P13 million budget in the next year’s General Appropriation Act (GAA).

According to Pangasinan 4th District Engineering Office District Engineer Simplicio D. Gonzales, the DPWH approved the P13 million budget for the concrete canal that stretches from the cockpit arena here to the Bureau of Internal Revenue, Chowking, Jollibee, to the Datuin Machine Shop.

“Once it is approved by Congress I will call a bid for it on November so the contractor will start the construction on January 2020,” Gonzales said.

The drainage problem in this town started in 2017 when the owner of a land where a creek is located at the Judge Jose de Venecia Highway back filled it, impeding the flow of the drainage water that runs to the Banaoang River.

“For the meantime, we should be talking with the land owner who dumped soil at the exit canal of the water so we can have a temporary exit for the flood there,” he cited.

Gonzales said another factor that aggravated the problem here was the construction several years ago of the drainage that did not tilt to the exit into the Banaoang River. Part of the P13 million budget, he explained, was its reconstruction.

In the national 2021 budget he will propose to construct another egress of the water from the same drainage system that will exit at the Parongking River.

He said his office will have P1.2 billion allocation in fiscal year 2020 similar to this year’s budget from the GAA.

 

September 23, 2019 at 10:53 am Leave a comment

64 PDL out on good conduct time allowance surrender


DAGUPAN CITY – A total of 64 persons deprived of liberty (PDL) from the Ilocos Region who are out of jail under the Good Conduct Time Allowance, have surrendered to the police.

Police report showed that there are a total of 77 PDL from the four provinces of Region I.

Twenty seven of those listed surrendered, but there are 14 PDL who are not in the list who also surrendered.

Of the surrendered, 41 are still in police custody while 23 have been turned over to the Bureau of Corrections, as of September 18.

In Pangasinan, which has the most number of listed PDL, 21  surrendered. It is followed by Ilocos Sur, and La Union which have 13 each, and Ilocos Norte, 5.

Twelve PDL surrendered to the Regional Investigation and Criminal and Detective Unit.

September 23, 2019 at 10:44 am Leave a comment

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