Tagalog news: Mapapalawak  ang industriya ng mangga sa Ilokos


By: Ben P. Pacris


VIGAN CITY, Peb 15 (PIA) – Maliban lang sa tabakong birhinya na pangunahing industriya sa Region 1, mapapaunlad din ang pagtatanim ng mangga para makatulong sa ekonomya at pandagdag na kita  ng mga Ilokanong magsasaka.


Ito ang napag-usapan sa naganap na Good Agricultural Practices Seminar sa Nueva Segovia Consortium of Cooperatives Plaza sa bayan ng Caoayan kamakailan na dinaluhan ng mga mango growers sa  Ilokos na binubuo ng Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Uion at Pangasinan.


Ayon kay Tony Rola, chairman, National Mango Action Team na binuo ng Department of Agriculture (DA), na angkop ang mga lupain sa Ilokos na pagtamnan ng mangga ngunit kailangan lang na masanay ang mga magtatanim tungkol samga  alituntunin  ng “Best Agricultural  Practices .”


“Gawing malagong negosyo ang pagsasaka, dapat maging entrepreneur,” idiniin ng Ilokanong siyentista sa pagtatanim ng mangga sa mga kasapi ng Federation of Mango  Growers sa Ilokos.


Sinabi rin ni Provincial Agriculturist  Teofilo Quintal na dapat ding may klasipikasyon ang mangga tulad ng tabako na class AA, A, B, C,  at di nakapasa  para maitaas ang uri ng  mga itatanim na prutas.


Kailangan ng training sa mga magsasaka at sundin ang mga makabagong teknolhiya at itaguyod ang mga Best Agricultural  Practices tulad ng wastong gamit ng mga pestisidio, idinagdag ng opisyal ng DA.


Sinabi rin ni Consuelo Belarmino, OIC Research Division ng DA-Region 1, na tutulong ang ahensya para magabayan ang mga magtatanim ng mangga sa Ilokos para tiyak na sundin nila ang mga makabago at epektibong paraan ng pagtatanim.


Base sa pananaliksik ng DA, angkop na angkop ang mga lupain sa Ilokos  lalo na sa mga taniman sa Pangasinan, na isa sa mga top producer ng manga sa bansa, kabilang na rin ang Ilocos Norte na dumadami na rin ang nagtatanim doon.


Sinabi rin ni Provincial Planning and Development Officer . Enrie Mendoza na tutulong din ang provincial government na pinangungunahan ni Gob. Ryan  Singson  para mapaunlad din ang industriya ng mangga lalo na ang native mango na dinudumog ng mga namimili sa palengke.


Hinikayat ni Mendoza, dating Assistant Sec. ng NorthLuzon  Quadrangle, ang  suporta  ni Prof. Rola na taga- San Vicente, Ilocos Sur at ang DA para matulongan ang mga nagtatanim ng manga  at  maipatupad ang mga Best Agricultural Practices. (MCA/BPP/PIA-1 Ilocos Sur)



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NYC: Results of Youth Sex Study Very Alarming Calls for Urgent Interventions


"We are in a crisis situation and so much is at stake."

This was the reaction of National Youth Commission (NYC) to the results of the latest nation-wide Young Adult Fertility and Sexuality Study (YAFS 4). "The spike in unprotected early sexual encounter and teen pregnancy has reached a very alarming point. Immediate and aggressive measures must be taken to address the worsening situation," NYC Commissioner Perci Cendaña said.

According to YAFS 4, the incidence of sex before marriage or early sexual encounter among Filipino youth increased from 23% in 2002 to 32% in the 2013, 78% of which were unprotected.  Also from the same study, within this past decade, teenage pregnancy among 15-19 years old  girls more than doubled from 6% to 14%. Commissioner Cendaña, however, cautioned the public  from demonizing the youth because of their risky behaviors.

"Huwag naman sanang sisihin na lang lagi ang mga kabataan para sa nangyayari sa kanila. Hindi ito tama at mas lalong hindi ito nakakatulong.  It would be dangerously simplistic to just blame the youth for their behavior without taking into consideration the changing culture, environment, social conditions and context  they are in. Their behavior is a product of many factors and understanding these factors without the usual derogatory judgment is key to finding solutions."

The NYC stressed the need for new approaches and solutions. Commissioner Cendaña complains about the lack of information and education on sex and sexuality that are available to the youth. "This is a Catch 22 situation. Society wants the youth to be responsible with their behavior yet a conservative majority still refuses to discuss sex with young people. It is not being discussed at home and at school as parents and teachers are still uncomfortable to talk about it until it's too late. Hindi pwedeng puro 'masama yan' na lang lagi sasabihin sa kabatan. Dapat ito pag-usapan. Kung hindi ito pag-uusapan, paano naman nila malalaman kung paano alagaan ang sarili nila?"

As the convenor of an inter-agency group on adolescent sexual and reproductive health (ASRH), the NYC is advocating for ASRH education. "Changing the risky behavior of the youth requires education. Values education is important but it is not enough. This we have seen in the past decade. There is an urgent need for scientific, accurate, age-appropriate and culturally-sensitive ASRH education to complement values education and encourage more responsible behavior among youth."

Amidst what may be considered as grim findings of YAFS 4, Commissioner Cendaña calls on the public to trust young people. "Magtiwala tayo sa kabataan, magtiwala tayo sa kanilang kakayanan na gumawa ng tamang desisyon. Young people are capable of making the right decisions if we provide them the knowledge and education. In this case, it is ASRH education."


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NGCP fulfills school’s dream of having computers


Even in this modern age of smartphones and tablets, it is not uncommon to find schools in the country that do not have modern educational equipment like computers. Outside of Metro Manila, several schools still offer computer classes without computers. McKinley Elementary School in Guihulngan, Negros Oriental is one of those schools.


As a way to improve the quality of education in public elementary schools, NGCP recently gave away computers in Ilocos Norte, Pangasinan, and Negros Oriental, including McKinley Elementary School.


In January, three schools were given desktop computers, laptops, and tablets to aid the schools’ faculty in teaching and computerizing some of their office systems.


McKinley Elementary School received three brand new desktop computers, two printers, and two slightly used computers. Other schools which benefitted from NGCP’s program were Tobuan Elementary School in Labrador, Pangasinan and Paltit Elementary School in Badoc, Ilocos Norte. Both schools were recipients of one laptop and 10 tablets each.


Local distribution utility Ilocos Norte Electric Cooperative, Inc. (INEC) joined NGCP’s initiative by donating a printer to Paltit Elementary School.


A total of 1,080 students from the three schools will benefit from NGCP’s project.


“NGCP is happy to extend support to the schools by providing computers. We hope that the school and the barangay they belong can also help NGCP in safeguarding the power lines in their area,” said NGCP’s Head of Corporate Affairs Department Mr. Nelson F. Cabangon in the turn-over ceremony in McKinley Elementary School last January 28.


During the turn-over ceremonies separately held at the three schools, NGCP also took the opportunity to inform the students of transmission line safety tips to prevent accidents and power interruptions in their communities. Notebooks were also distributed to students during the program.


“We are very grateful to NGCP for making our dream of equipping the school with computers a reality,” said Mr. Jose F. Belono, Jr., School Principal of McKinley Elementary School, in appreciation of NGCP’s efforts.


NGCP is a privately-owned corporation in charge of operating, maintaining, and developing the country’s power grid. It transmits high-voltage electricity through “power superhighways” that include the interconnected system of transmission lines, towers, substations, and related assets. As a corporation with a public service orientation, NGCP partners with relevant institutions to support the communities hosting its transmission facilities, which it considers as true partners in nation-building.



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Ilocos police force among “Lifeline” organ donor registrants


By: Joanne Namnama G. Parrocha


SAN FERNANDO CITY, February 13 (PIA) – The police force in the Ilocos and Pangasinan has signified to be among the organ donor registrants in the country’s attempt to set a new Guinness World Record of the most number of enlisted donors on February 28.


Senior Supt. Moro Virgilio Lazo, officer-in-charge of PNP Region 1, has committed 1,500 police personnel and volunteers to take part in the simultaneous registration dubbed “Lifeline” in San Fernando City and five other sites across the country.


“It is our pleasure to be a part of this historical event,” Lazo said during the coordination meetings with the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) in Region 1.


Jennilyne Role, PIA Director in the region, said the community is upbeat on setting a new world record of organ registrants which is currently held by India with 4,135 registrants for a single-site enlistment and 2,755 in one hour for also for a single site.


“We also asked leaders of schools, government and private sectors and the local governments to take part in this record-setting event,” Role said.


The simultaneous registrations are meant primarily to boost public awareness on organ donation and transplants.


A Philippine Information Agency study shows a low awareness among the public about organ donations and transplants.


“The Lifeline campaign seeks to boost that awareness,” Role added.


This early, the PNP has crafted a safety and traffic management plan to keep the registration orderly on February 28.


Senior Insp. Rogelio B. Miedes of the city police said they already prepared a traffic re-routing plan to prevent congestion.


“We will install traffic advisory signage in all affected areas and we assure that motorists will be guided,” said Miedes.


Marlon Paiste, chief inspector of the La Union Police Provincial Office, also guaranteed that police personnel will be among the first to register noting the significance of the event.


Lazo said that police operations will not be paralyzed despite the deployment of police as registrants.


He issued a directive that at least 25 percent of the PNP’s personnel in each station will remain in their posts. Police personnel in the four provinces of Region one is estimated at 7,000.


The Lifeline campaign is a joint advocacy of the Department of Health, National Kidney Transplant Institute (NKTI) and the PIA.  (MCA/JNP/PIA-1 La Union)



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Tagalog news: Unang Bonsai School sa Pilipinas, inilunsad sa Ilocos Norte


By: Cherry Joy S. Discaya


LUNGSOD NG BATAC, Peb 13 (PIA) -- Para sa potensyal na pagyabong ng Bonsai industry sa Ilocos Norte, binuksan kamakailan ang kauna-unahang Bonsai School sa Pilipinas na matatagpuan sa Mariano Marcos State University (MMSU) sa Lungsod ng Batac.


Dinaluhan ng mga Bonsai experts mula sa iba’t-ibang panig ng Asia, ang pagbubukas ng paaralan ay magbibigay daan sa mas komersiyalismong  paggawa ng Bonsai para sa international export.


Sinabi ni MMSU President Mirriam Pascua, ang paaralan ay binuksan para sa mas malawakan at propesyunal na pagsasanay sa paglikha ng Bonsai bilang isang potensyal na mapagkakakitaan.


Aniya bukas ang paaralan sa lahat ng gustong matuto nito, maging ang mga out-of-school youth na naghahanap ng karagdagang kakayahan para sa mas magandang kinabukasan.


Sinabi naman ni Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos na malaki ang potensiyal ng Bonsai industry sa global market at maaari itong maging isa sa pangunahing negosyo ng probinsiya kapag nagkataon.


Ayon kay Marcos, malaki ang kita sa paglikha ng Bonsa kaya naman suportado ng pamahalaang probinsyal ang nasabing pagtatayo ng paaralan.


Bukod pa dito, mas maipapakita din daw ng mga Ilokano ang pagiging artistic nila sa pamamagitan ng paglikha ng mga world-class na Bonsai na maaaring ipagmalaki sa international market.


Noong nakaraang taon, sumali ang grupo ng Ilocos Norte Bonsai Association (INBA) sa isang national exhibit sa Metro Manila dala ang kanilang mga Bonsai obra.


Sinabi ni Rizaldy Bitagon, president ng association na malaki ang potensiyal ng Bonsai Industry sa Ilocos Norte sapagkat mayaman sa puno ang probinsya na maaaring gawing Bonsai.


Ilan sa mga ito ay ang puno ng agoho, camuning, tamarind, guava, duhat, bougainvillea, carmona, bugnay and kamatsile na matatagpuan sa Dungon-Dungon sa bayan ng Burgos.


Sa kasalukuyan, nagsimula ng tumanggap ang MMSU ng mga estudyante para sa Bonsai School kung saan nilimitahan lamang ito sa 30 na estudyante.


Tatagal ang Bonsai short-term course ng anim na buwan.


Ang pagbubukas ng paaralan ay dinaluhan ng Asia-Pacific Bonsai Friendship Federation mula sa Taiwan kung saan nagbigay sila ng P100, 000 na donasyon sa paaralan at 10,000 dollars para sa iba pang pangangailangan nito.


Dumalo rin sa pasinaya ang 20 miyembro ng Philippine Bonsai Society at 16 aktibong miyembro INBA.


Ang Bonsai School ay naisakatuparan sa pakikipagtulunga ng MMSU, Sangay ng Agrikultura ng Pamahalaang Probinsiyal ng Ilocos Norte at ng Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). (MCA/CJDG, PIA-1, Ilocos Norte)



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Vigan council asked to pass more laws on heritage preservation


By: Ben P. Pacris


VIGAN CITY, February 12 (PIA) – Vigan Mayor Eva Medina expects a more vigorous city council working to pass more laws on good governance and heritage preservation.


Medina posed the challenge to the city councilors, mostly on their first terms, following the completion of a new legislative building for the council headed by Vice Mayor Lourdes Baquiran.


“With a new work place we hope that the legislators will be more inspired to enact laws of substance, relevance and practicality,” Medina said.


The mayor said building a home for the council has been a dream of previous council members.


“But now it’s a reality with offices of their own and steadier links with the executive departments,” Medina added.


Meanwhile, Baquiran, chair for the special committee on sisterhood and committee on heritage conservation,  said the council will focus on Vigan’s vision to preserve its unique culture and boost the economy and the tourism  industry.


Vigan was nominated as one of the 28 semi-finalists in the Search  for the New 7 Wonder Cities of the World. (MCA/BPP/PIA 1- Ilocos Sur)



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La Union All Set for 164th Foundation Anniversary


By: Israel O. Rudio


            The Provincial Government of La Union (PGLU) led by Gov. Manuel C. Ortega is set to conduct public service-oriented activities in celebration of the province’ 164th Foundation Anniversary from February 18   to March 19, 2014 with the theme Love, Peace, Unity and Prosperity: Our Focus, Our Hope and Shared Responsibility (Ayat, Talna, Panagkaykaysa ken Panagdur-as:  Isu ti Sentro, Namnama ken Rebbengen ti Amin).”


            Serving as opening salvo is the annual State of the Province Address (SOPA) to be delivered by Gov. Manuel C. Ortega at the Sangguniang Panlalawigan Session Hall on February 18.  It shall include Audio-Visual Presentations to provide clearer picture on the accomplishments of the PGLU among guests and visitors that include officials from government, academe, religious sector, Non-Government Organizations and other development stakeholders.


            The PGLU in cooperation with the Indiana Medical Association and Philippine Professionals Association will be having a medical, dental and surgical mission on February 19 at the La Union Medical Center (LUMC) and Ilocos Training and Regional Medical Center (ITRMC); on February 20 at the Bacnotan District Hospital and ITRMC; and February 21 at the ITRMC.


            Also on the 20th, the 4th Ayat Festival will start with the Rabii ti Kultura ti La Union at the City Plaza to be followed by the La Union Henio, Skrabiloko, Search for Best Iloko Translation of La Union Hymn and KANTARAP on the 28th.


            On February 25, the La Union Mega Jobs Fair will be held at the Union Christian College Covered Court in Brgy. II, City of San Fernando and People’s Day in front of the city hall to provide employment opportunities and strengthened grassroots organizations as active development partners.


            On the 26th, the Office of the Provincial Veterinarian (OPVet) will be conducting hold Operations “Alis Galis, Iwas Rabies” and “Kapon Kay Bantay” while the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPAg) will hold the Awarding of Outstanding Farmers and Fisherfolks  on the 27th all in front of the City Hall.


            The 8th Grand Electric Float Parade will be held in the poblacion area of Aringay this year on February 27.  All towns and the lone city of La Union will be parading their electric floats showcasing their respective identities and Mutia ti La Union candidates.    


            In recognition to the men and women who have contributed to the progress and development and added honor to the province, the annual Pammadayaw Conferment of Awards shall be held on March 1.  Distinctions include the Saranay Award, the highest award given by La Union to its qualified residents; La Union Service Award, the second highest award given to qualified residents of the province; Diego Silang Award, highest award given to qualified non-residents of La Union; Basi Award, given to NGOs, Government Organizations, Local Government Units, and People’s Organizations that are based within La Union; and Governor’s Award.


            Other activities include Joint La Union Tricycle Operators-Drivers Association and Market Vendors Night on February 23 at the City Plaza; Bamboo Arts and Crafts Competition, Opening of Agr-Trade Fair and opening of Photo Exhibit on February 24 at the City Plaza; La Union Vibrant Women, Inc. Night on February 26 at the City Plaza; La Union Skills Olympics on February 28 at the Ortega Gymnasium; Pageant Night of the Search for Mutia ti La Union on March 2; La Union Botanical Garden Founding Anniversary on March 4; Organizational Assembly of Twins in La Union at the Ortega Gymnasium on March 7; Sillag Festival of Lights at Thunderbird Pilipinas Hotel and Resort; and Commemoration of the Battle of Bacsil ridge on March 19.      



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More guns, equipment support under PNP modernization plan


By: Cristina Arzadon


SAN FERNANDO CITY, February 11 (PIA) – Former police general-now Pangasinan Rep. Leopoldo Bataoil said a bill seeking modernization of the Philippine National Police is close to reaching the plenary at the lower House.


Bataoil, former regional director of the PNP in Region 1, said House Bill 2199 on the PNP’s modernization may reach the plenary before the year ends.


The Pangasinan solon, the bill’s sponsor, said the proposal will pave the way for more vehicles, communication equipment and guns for the police force.


“The bill is now at the committee level. Discussions are on-going,” he said.


Bataoil expressed the hope that the bill will become a law before the term of Chief PNP General Alan Purisima ends.


He said the police force continues to improve its community presence by achieving the ideal ratio of one police personnel to every 500 residents.


The current ratio is pegged at one police officer to 800 residents. Bataoil said the PNP in the Ilocos has 300 recruits annually.


Bataoil was at the Camp Florendo here to speak before police personnel and community stakeholders for the PNP’s 23rd founding anniversary on February 6. (MCA/PIA1-La Union)




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Ilocos Norte honors young achievers


By: Freddie G. Lazaro


LAOAG CITY, February 9 (PIA) – Ilocano decathlete Jesson Ramil Cid led the “Sirib” youth awardees during the 196th foundation anniversary of Ilocos Norte on February 2.


The awardees composed of 38 individuals and 16 groups received the prestigious award in recognition of their feat in various fields.


Cid brought home gold in the 27th South East Asian Games in Myanmar late last year.


For the group category in the international level, the Laoag City children’s choir topped the first Philippine International Choral Competition.


On the other hand, Roger Tapia was third placer in the 7th ASEAN Paralympics 2014 held in Myanmar from January 14–20.


The awardees received medals, trophy and cash incentives while their coaches received certificated from Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos in a simple ceremony.


Marcos said provincial government has started involving the youth in local activities in the run up to Ilocos Norte’s bicentennial celebration on February 2, 2018.


She said the bicentennial movement is for the Ilocano youth citing their potential to become the next generation of leaders.


The bicentennial movement was launched in 2012 along with the establishment of the Sirib Express - an organization encouraging youth volunteerism. (MCA/FGL PIA 1 Ilocos Norte)




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Cabugao town bags “kasiglatan” award


By: Nila O. Argel

Cabugao, Ilocos Sur, February 9 (PIA) – This town romped away as the most active local government in the Kasiglatan (Ilocano term meaning alert or active) Municipality search during the Kannawidan Ylocos festival last week.


The search was in recognition of local governments and villages which showed active involvement in pushing public service programs.


The awards were presented by Marivel C. Sacendoncillo, Executive Director of the Local Government Academy, who served as event speaker.


Cabugao’s programs in the villages also earned recognition namely: Barangay Pug-os as Most Healthy Barangay, Best in Nutrition Program Implementation, Best Performing Barangay, Outstanding Sangguniang Barangay, Outstanding Punong Barangay, Best in Gender and Development Program Implementation, Best in Organic Farming Program Implementation, and Lupong Tagapamayapa.


Barangay Dardarat was adjudged as Best in Coastal Resource Management, Best in Fish Production & Aqua Culture Development, and Most Outstanding Bantay Dagat.


Barangay Bonifacio got the awards as Best in Solid Waste Management, Best in Person with Disability (PWD) Program Implementation, and Outstanding 4-H Club.


The other awardees were Barangay Turod Patac, Best in Agricultural Productivity; Barangay Salomague, Best in Fish Production & Aqua Culture Development (Large Scale); Barangay Lipit, Best in Barangay Tree Park; Barangay Sagayaden, Outstanding Barangay Based Cooperative; Barangay Bungro, Outstanding Farmers Association; Barangay Namruangan, Outstanding Fishermen’s Association; Barangay Nagsantaan, Outstanding Rural Improvement Club (RIC); and Barangay Carusipan, Outstanding Barangay Health Worker.

First Runner-up entries were awarded to Barangay Bonifacio in the following entries - Best in Elderly Welfare Program Implementation; Best in Youth Development Program Implementation; Best in Sports & Physical Development Program Implementation and Most Child Friendly Barangay.

Barangay Pug-os was Best in Barangay Intensive Gardening and Best in Barangay Herbary and Outstanding Barangay Secretary.


The other barangays recognized were Barangay Dardarat as Best Innovative Practice; Barangay Aragan as Most Functional Barangay Anti-Drug Addiction Council (BADAC).

 The 2nd Runner-up in the entry as Best in Tourism Promotion went to Barangay Dardarat. (MNOA /PIA1 Ilocos Sur)

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February 9, 2014

In La Union, Indigents Are Health-Insured


By Justin Paul D. Marbella, Provincial Information and Tourism



Mr. Ranilo P. Ipac, Provincial Social Welfare and Development Officer, explains to a client the requirements needed to qualify for the PhilHealth Sponsorship Program of the Provincial Government. The Provincial Government, headed by Gov. Manuel C. Ortega, has been helping thousands of indigents gain access to health insurance programs such as the PhilHealth. (PSWDO File Photo)



Indigents in the Province of La Union face no worry when it comes to availing health insurances, thanks to the support they get from the Provincial Government.


In the observance of the National Health Insurance Month, the Provincial Government of La Union has reiterated its agenda to provide assistance to the poor in enrolling to health insurance programs such as the PhilHealth.


Through the Aquino Health Agenda’s Sponsored Program, formerly the Medicare Para sa Masa Program, the PGLU has been sponsoring the enrollment of thousands of indigent members to PhilHealth. In 2013, it has sponsored and co-sponsored a total of 26,702 PhilHealth enrollments.


Social Development is one of the priority programs of the administration of Gov. Manuel C. Ortega, who has always been championing the welfare of the poor.

In 2013, PGLU has sponsored 10,193 indigents by paying for their premiums amounting to P2,400 each.


The PGLU also partners with the city and all municipal Local Government Units in assisting indigents avail for their health insurances. In 2013, the PGLU-LGU shared sponsorship has benefitted 16,699 members, with Agoo, Bangar and Bauang having the most number of sponsorships. In the shared sponsorship, PGLU pays P300 while the LGUs pay P2,100 for each member’s premium.


But the government also wants these beneficiaries to become self-sustaining. That is why some LGUs are now implementing the partial subsidy scheme in which the client pays certain amount on their premiums, depending on their financial capacity. Moreover, the Provincial Government’s sponsorship for every beneficiary only spans for 20 years, to give chance to other indigents to qualify in the sponsorship program.


Beneficiaries to this sponsorship program are selected through social research surveys that determine the socio-economic and health profile of indigents. These barangay-based surveys, conducted by social workers in the LGUs, give priority to the enrollment of the elderly, persons-with-disabilities, orphans, and civil service volunteers.


The Provincial Government, through the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office, continues to conduct activities to encourage more indigents to enroll in PhilHealth.  This month, the PSWDO conducts Information and Education Campaign and Validation that would involve both current and potential beneficiaries to the sponsorship program.




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February 9, 2014

La Union Reaches 125% collection Efficiency for 2013


By: Cesar S. Bucsit, Provincial Information and Tourism Office – La Union


             With the implementation of massive information dissemination and intensive tax collection campaign, the Provincial Government of La Union has reached 125% collection efficiency from all revenue sources, inclusive of national and local sources and additional subsidy from other funds for year 2013. This was discussed by Provincial Treasurer Francis Remeguis E. Estigoy, during the “Baro a Timek ti Kapitolio,  Agay-ayat Kadakayo Amin” radio program held at the Provincial information and Tourism Office and aired live over Aksyon Radio DZNL on Jan. 30, 2014


            Out of P886,406,667.20 pesos total estimated income and supplemented budget, the province according to Estigoy was able to collect P1,107,272,110.25 pesos or a corresponding increase of P220,865,443.05 pesos.  Based on the comparative statement of income from local sources, both on tax and non-tax revenues for 2012 and 2013, the province collected the amount of P150,638,794.16 pesos and P191,488,066.07 pesos respectively. It entails an increase of P40,849,271.91 pesos  equivalent to 27%.


                Estigoy blissfully announced that this achievement of the Province would once again be of great help to the constituents. It will be used to defray its governmental programs and projects which include improvement of district hospitals, Philhealth para sa Masa program, Operation Rang-ay ti Barangay, Salary of Provincial School Board – funded Teachers and any other programs that will benefit the general public.


                It is the earnest desire of Treasurer Estigoy  to raise even better the collection efficiency of the province for 2014, that will lead ultimately  for a more productive, progressive and quality of life under Governor Ortega’s administration.



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Non-working holiday in Laoag City on February 10


By: Cherry Joy S. Discaya


LAOAG CITY, February 8 (PIA) – Malacañang has declared February 10 as a special non-working day in Laoag City in time for its annual Pamulinawen Festival.


Proclamation Order No. 704, signed by Executive Secretary Paquito N. Ochoa, also cited the day as feast of Laoag’s patron St. William the Hermit.


“It is but fitting and proper that the people of the City of Laoag be given full opportunity to celebrate and participate in the occasion with appropriate ceremonies,” Ochoa said.


The festival's highlights are street-dancing and pageantry, ‘Dulang’ (Food) and Calesa festival including dances and music.


Through the years, the Pamulinawen fiesta has evolved into a popular festival showcasing Ilocano culture in dances and drama with the coomunity’s participation.


It has become an occasion for family reunions and school homecomings, beauty pageant, street dancing, balikbayan nights, and Ilocano stage plays.


This year's theme, "Steadfast” describes the city’s present state as it swiftly moves forward to be one of the key cities across the country. (MCA/CJDG, PIA-1, Ilocos Norte)



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Ilocos Norte’s task force trabaho rolls out jobs fair


By: Cherry Joy S. Discaya


LAOAG CITY, Feb. 8 (PIA) – More jobs in Ilocos Norte were opened courtesy of the provincial government’s task force trabaho.



The province’s employment program supported the community’s need for more job opportunities with over 5,000 local and overseas job openings from the private sector.


The jobs fair was held in time for Ilocos  Norte’s founding anniversary last February 2.


Nicole Rudio, Provincial Public Employment Service Office manager, said the job fair was part of the province’s thrust to eliminate unemployment through its frontline program ‘Task Force Trabaho (Job)’.


“This is a provincial effort to bring jobs to every Ilocano,” Rudio said.


Some 5,000 job openings for overseas workers and over 600 for local employment were offered.


Teresa N. Bonavente, Department of Labor and Employment head in Ilocos Norte, said the event signified strong partnership with the provincial government and some employers in and out of the province.


“Most of the vacancies were management and service crews for local. Overseas openings included nurses, engineers and skilled workers,” Bonvente said.


Big companies that were open for employment were North Luzon Renewable Energy Corporation, Puregold, Robinsons, and Hypermarket.


Bonvete said employers hired applicants on the spot after a series of interviews. (CMA/CJDG, PIA-1, Ilocos Norte)



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Local boat club launched as training ground for global rowers


By: Cherry Joy S. Discaya


PAOAY, Ilocos Norte, February 7 (PIA) – This town now boasts of a locally-organized boat club which will serve as a training ground for amateur rowers who will compete in international rowing events.


Composed of young rowers here, the Paoay Boat Club (PBC) was launched earlier this month in time for the three-day invitational rowing event last February 1.


Benjamin Ramos, president of the Philippine Rowing Association, said the club was created as an offshoot of the international regatta that the Manila Boat Club organized and held at the Paoay Lake last year.


“Paoay Lake is now one of three rowing sites in the country,” Ramos said.


He said the other sites include the La Mesa Dam and the Pasig River which both serve as training sites for MBC members.


MBC member Mike Diaz said that Paoay Lake is ideal for rowing events because of its size which meets international standards.


The provincial government has started pitching for more water sports to be held at the lake as a means to draw more tourism activity in Ilocos Norte.


The local boat club has also its boat house which the MBC helped put up to serve as a storehouse for recreational and competition boats for rowing enthusiasts and professional rowers.


“We’re very excited for the success (of the Paoay Boat Club) both for the youth and people of any age who wants to get into the water sports,” Diaz said.


Spanning 387 hectares of clear and calm waters located a few kilometers south of Laoag City, Paoay Lake is a host to diverse biodiversity and some migratory birds including the Great Cormorants.


It rose to become a water sports site after the holding of the 71st International Regatta in January last year.

At least 15 boat clubs from different countries participated in the rowing competition. (MCA/CJDG, PIA-1, Ilocos Norte)



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Ilocos Norte’s hog dispersal brings income


By: Cherry Joy S. Discaya


LAOAG CITY, February 7 (PIA) - More beneficiaries of the provincial government’s dispersal program are becoming financially secured and independent having their own source of income.


“Our life becomes better and more secured because of this program,” a collective statement of the first 11 beneficiaries of the program said.


The dispersal program of the provincial government started back in 2012 under the province’s Millennium Development Goals (MDG) programs.


One of the thrusts of the MDG is to provide the community with livelihood program that will improve the people’s quality of life.


Francis Pascua, one of the beneficiaries from Barangay Cataban in Laoag City, said after six months he was able to sell the hog he raised and was able to buy his own piglets.


From then on, his piggery business became bigger with a total of six hogs right now and one sow available for breeding.


Another beneficiary of a calf under the same program said, it is his long time dream to have his own cow to breed.


“I cannot afford to buy a calf, but I wanted it badly, now that the provincial government has provided me one, this is a dream come true to me,” Christian Paul Pascua said.


In his village, there were five of them who benefited from the calf dispersal program.


The provincial government continues with the program reaching more poor communities through a round-the-clock system where the beneficiaries give back to the provincial government for the use of the next beneficiary.


“I am so thankful with the provincial government with this opportunity to improve the life of my community,” said Daniel Pascua, Barangay Chairman of Cataban.


He said, he and his community will continue to develop the program into a more productive livelihood. (JCR/CJDG, PIA-1, Ilocos Norte)



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Ilocos Norte’s Paoay Lake is new international rowing site


By: Cherry Joy S. Discaya


PAOAY, Ilocos Norte, Feb. 6 (PIA) – Once again, the town’s legendary Paoay Lake came back to life during the three-day invitational rowing event last week.


The panoramic lake has become popular among athletes as a rowing site following the holding of the International Regatta here last year,


The three-day event was organized by the Paoay Boat Club (PBC), the first boat club in the province. The group was simultaneously launched during the event.


The competition was participated in by various international boat clubs and rowing personalities in the country.


These were the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club, the Manila Boat Club (MBC), representatives from the Philippine Rowing Association, the Ateneo Rowing Team and other delegates from Singapore and Australia.


Quintin Pastrana, the director for the MBC and one of the event’s core organizers, said the competition served as a training ground for participants especially the youth for a larger scale of rowing competition.


“The event aims to maximize the emerging potential of Paoay Lake as an international rowing center which is possible due to the upbeat tourism industry in the province, the scenic nature surrounding the lake and its size which is good for Olympic competition,” Pastrana said.


On the other hand, Mike Diaz of the Manila Boat Club said that Paoay Lake is very ideal for rowing events.


“The site is very apt for an international competition because it is close to the airport, very wide and meets international standard,” Diaz said.


Diaz, who is also a PBC co-founder, said that the group has purchased 20 world-class rowing boats that were used for the invitational regatta.


“Paoay Lake is a natural reservoir. This is a very ideal place to row so this even gives more potential for more rowers to come in and at the same time we have a lot of good boats for everybody,” Pastrana added.


The participants including locals were trained by top coaches from the international team and the Philippine Rowing Team which recently won silver and gold in the recent SEA Games.


Paoay Lake, a 387-hectare body of water located a few kilometers south of Laoag City, is a host to diverse biodiversity and some migratory birds including the Great Cormorants.


Its potential as a premier venue for water sports was first realized during 1970s where the opportunity to do ‘kayak’ was entertained.


“This Paoay Invitational Regatta is just a preparation for a bigger event, a major international regatta we are planning to have here in June,” Pastrana said. (MCA/CJDG, PIA-1, Ilocos Norte)



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Ilocano athlete eyes Olympics after hurdling SEA games


By: Freddie G. Lazaro


LAOAG CITY, February 6 (PIA) – Decathlete Jesson Ramil Cid of Dingras, Ilocos Norte is setting his sights on the Olympic Games after winning the gold medal in the 27th South East Asian Games in Naypyidaw, Myanmar in December last year.


Cid, who just returned from training, expressed optimism he will compete in the Olympic decathlon noting that he needs to gain enough points to qualify to the event.


“I am very much happy to represent our country in the 27th SEA Games. But I still need to work hard to join bigger competitions. I will not stop. Instead I will work hard and pray and hopefully someday, I can compete in the Olympics,” he said.


After setting a new record of 7, 038 points in the field of decathlon, Cid was named as the “New Iron Man” of SEA Games. He broke the national mark of 6,963 points set by Fidel Gallenero in 2001.


According to Cid, decathlon was his chosen field as it challenges him to do multiple events.


“Multiple events challenge me that’s why I chose decathlon,” he said.


Joining the decathlete had opened the doors for Cid to compete for bigger events, such as the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) where he was awarded as the Most Valuable Player (MVP) for three consecutive years and the recently concluded 27th SEAG.


Cid led the awardees of the first ever Sirib Youth Awards in the celebration of the 196th foundation anniversary of Ilocos Norte last February 2. 


The Sirib Youth Awards is a tribute to young Ilocanos whose contributions made the province and the country proud. (MCA/FGL PIA 1 Ilocos Norte)



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Authorities seize P.5M worth of dried marijuana


By: Miriam P. Aquino


SAN FERNANDO CITY, February 6 (PIA) – The government’s anti-drug campaign scored anew after authorities intercepted P500,000-worth of high quality dried marijuana during a buy-bust operation along the national road in barangay Mameltac, Diversion Road this city last week.


Agent Bismarck Bengwayan, of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, said the suspect identified as Moises Cortez, 31 and a native of Sitio Lib-Libo, Kayapa, Bakun, Benguet, was arrested during the buy-bust.  


Bengwayan said the suspect tried to evade arrest but was later captured by joint operatives from PDEA, the Police Regional Office 1 Regional Intelligence Division and the San Fernando City Police.


The suspect told the police he was merely ordered to deliver the drugs in exchange for a fee.


“The mere fact that he knew the contraband he was carrying and the money involved makes him responsible,” PDEA Regional Director Adrian G. Alvarino said.


Cortez was detained at the San Fernando City Jail and faces charges of violating the Dangerous Drugs law. (MCA/MPA/PIA1 La Union)



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New wage rates for private sector in Region 1 starts Feb 5


By: Freddie G. Lazaro


LAOAG CITY, February 4 (PIA) - Workers from the private sector in Region 1 expect higher wages with the implementation of a new wage order on February 5, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said.


DOLE Regional Director Grace Ursua, chairperson of the Regional Tripartite Wage and Productivity Board (RTWP), said the new wage rates cover the provinces of Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union, Pangasinan and the cities of Laoag, Batac, Vigan, Candon, San Fernando, Urdaneta, Dagupan, Alaminos and San Carlos.


Wage Order No. RB1-16 has set the minimum daily wage rate from P205 to P213 or additional pay of P8 a day.


Ursua said the new wage order provides for a mandatory floor wage (Tier One) and a voluntary incentive scheme (Tier Two) based on labor productivity and business performance.


“Our new wage fixing tool operates to protect the right of our workers to decent pay and remuneration while encouraging productivity which could redound to the benefit of both the business and the employees,” she said.


The wage order simplifies the wage structure from industry classification to asset size as basis in the classification of establishments, benefitting mainly those who were previously receiving a daily minimum wage of P205 in micro establishments and non-plantation agriculture.


Based on latest data, micro establishments employ around 55.1 percent of the total workforce in the region, or roughly 118,847 workers.


 “The purpose of the increase is to adjust the floor wage closer to the present poverty threshold level computed at P227 per day,” Ursua said. 


Meanwhile, other workers in non-agriculture sector will receive P9, P11 or P20 increase in their daily wages depending on the company’s asset size. 


Excluded from the coverage of the new wage order are household or domestic workers, persons employed in the personal service of another, including family drivers and workers and employees of registered Barangay Micro Business Enterprises with Certificate of Authority pursuant to Republic Act 9178.  (MCA/FGL PIA 1 Ilocos Norte)



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BFAR opens scholarship grants for fisher folk children


By: Joanne Namnama G. Parrocha


SAN FERNANDO CITY, February 4 (PIA) - The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) in the Ilocos region has offered scholarship grants to any high school graduate or incoming college students.


The bureau said ten slots are available exclusively to children of small-scale fisher folk who are interested to pursue a degree in Fisheries or any related four-year course starting on the first semester of school year 2014-2015.


Nestor D. Domenden, BFAR regional director, said the Fisheries Scholarship Program through the Fisherfolk Children Educational Grant (FCEG) is a program that helps produce graduates who can easily land a job.   


“The program aims to help children from marginalized fisher folk families to earn a degree that is in demand,” said Domenden.


Qualified applicants are those who can meet the criteria set by the bureau. For a high school graduate, he/she must not be presently enrolled or have not yet taken any units in any course and the general weighted average is not lower than 80 percent or its equivalent.


“Also, applicants must not be more than 20 years old,” Domenden said.


Parents of the applicant must be a member of any fishing association or cooperative in their area.


Further, the family’s gross income must not be more than P25,000 per year and that they must be residents in their municipality for at least four years prior to the application for the scholarship.


Documentary requirements must also be submitted along with the application form namely a copy of diploma, transcript of records, birth certificate, income tax return of parents, certification of residency and good moral character and parents’ certificate of membership to a fishing association or cooperative.


FCEG scholars are entitled to free matriculation and other school fees, monthly stipend of P2,500, P2,000 semestral book allowance, research/thesis/special problem support of P3,000 and a graduation support of P500.


The deadline of submission of the required documents and application forms is on February 21 while the qualifying exam is set on March 22.


For interested applicants, they may visit BFAR regional office in this city or call (072) 242-1559 for further details. (JCR/JNP/PIA-1 La Union)



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DOST firms up small businesses in Ilocos Norte


By: Freddie G. Lazaro


LAOAG CITY, Febury 3 (PIA) - The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) in Ilocos Norte is set to strengthen its Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SET-UP) this year targeting at least seven Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) here.


DOST Provincial Head Jonathan Viernes said his office is presently assisting 33 SMEs all over the province.


These 33 SMEs were classified as business venturing on food, retail, agriculture and furniture in which six (6) were established in 2013.


DOST’s Science Research Specialist Benjamin Mercado revealed that potential SET–UP recipients  should be active and must be a registered business enterprise for at least two years.


During the PIA’s weekly radio program entitled “Pannaki-uman, Isyu ken Aksion” aired over DWFB Radyo ng Bayan, Mercado stressed that the SET-UP is a government response to the call for more focused programs of assistance for SMEs.


“SET–UP is a nationwide strategy to encourage and assists SMEs to adopt technological innovations to improve their (SMEs) operations and boost their productivity and competitiveness,” Mercado said.


He explained that the program enable firms to address their technical problems through technology transfer and technological interventions to improve productivity through better product quality, human resources development, cost minimization and waste management, and other operation related activities.


“The province has a lot of opportunities for growth and development being the well-known producer of exotic dragon fruit, the “bugnay wine”, and other crops having export quality potential. Thus, DOST will help upgrade the quality of these local crops and products to become more competitive in the world market,” he added.


Meanwhile, Viernes reported the continuing program of their agency to grant soft loan with “zero” interest rate to all qualified SMEs in the province.


The program is dubbed “Grant–In–Aid” (GIA) which aims to provide financial assistance to Science and Technology (S&T) project to spur economic growth by harnessing the country’s scientific and technological capabilities.


“A grantee can avail the financial assistance ranging from P50,000.00 to P200,000.00  depending on the size of the enterprise. The soft loan will be paid by the borrower within a period of three years,” Viernes said.


Last year, a total of 16 SMEs in the province were recipients of the GIA program being assisted by the DOST. (JCR/FGL PIA 1 Ilocos Norte)



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Stranded dolphin in Ilocos Norte shorelines dies


By: Freddie G. Lazaro


LAOAG CITY, January 31 (PIA) - A rough-toothed dolphin that was recovered along the beachline in Barangay Virgen Milagrosa, Badoc, Ilocos Norte died last Tuesday.


Arthur Valente, Ilocos Norte’s Fishery Regulation Officer, said the dolphin could have died from ingesting plastic materials as indicated by a necropsy examination.


The examination showed that several plastic materials that were found inside the dolpin’s intestines could have blocked its food path causing it to weaken until it died four days after its discovery.


Valente said the dolphin died at 5:30 p.m. and was buried in a vacant lot in Barangay Dadaliquitin, Sinait, Ilocos Sur.


The 1.73 meter long dolphin was stranded along the shorelines of Barangay Virgen Milagrosa, Badoc town on Friday night.


Local fishermen earlier constructed a temporary fish pen along the beachline of Barangay Virgen Milagrosa for the dolphin.


The rough-toothed dolphin is found in deep warm and tropical waters around the world. (MCA/FGL PIA 1 Ilocos Norte)



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It's time for action
Cayetano: Charge those involved in pork barrel scam


“Kapag may kasalanan, ikulong. Walang sasantuhin dito, administrasyon man o oposisyon, lahat ng ahensya ng gobyerno.”

Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano urged the government to file charges against all those implicated in the multi-billion peso pork barrel scam during the Thursday’s resumption of the Senate Blue Ribbon committee hearing on the alleged misuse of the now scrapped Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF).

“Ang tingin ng tao, simple lang, may mangyayari ba diyan o wala? Kapag may nakasuhan at nakulong, we are successful graft busters. Pero kung hindi naman, at walang nasauli na pera o walang

narecover, nag-fail ang gobyerno,” he said.

Pointing out that the committee needs to dig deeper into the controversial issue, Cayetano cited news reports linking businesswoman and pork barrel scam queen Janet Lim-Napoles to appointed officials in government.

“I was looking into the news. They said that NABCOR [National Agribusiness Corporation] former President Allan Javellana was introduced to Napoles and whistleblower Benhur Luy by a Department of Agriculture (DA) employee named Manuel Jarmin… We found out that he is now the acting director of the Livestock Development council of DA. He has been the acting director since 2010,” Cayetano disclosed.

“We dug a little bit deeper and found out that there is such a corporation as Jimmy’s Bar and Grill that seems to be incorporated by Jimmy Napoles, the husband of Ms. Napoles. Apparently, even in Comelec [Commission on Elections], Manuel Recto Jarmin is listed as a nominee of an admitted Napoles party-list in 2007,” he added, referring to the Samahan ng mga Mangangalakal sa Ikauunlad ng Ekonomiya (SMILE) party-list founded by the Napoleses and was allegedly part of the controversial Hello Garci Operations.

Cayetano expressed his concern over Jarmin's relations with the Napoleses and why he remains to hold a position in government.

“I believe in the sincerity of the President for the complete cleansing [of government] and going after all those who committed graft and corruption. Its time for action. Tama na ang salita at investigations. Kasuhan na at ipakulong ang mga may sala ,” he said.



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Scheduled momentary power interruption in entire Ilocos Norte and parts of Ilocos Sur Province


The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) serves notice of the scheduled shutdown of the following transmission facilities:


Date:   31January 2014

Time:  4:00 AM – 8:00 AM

Affected Distribution Utility: * Ilocos Norte Electric Cooperative (INEC) franchise area and parts of Ilocos Sur Electric Cooperative (ISECO)

Affected area/s: entire Ilocos Norte and parts of Ilocos Sur Province (Vigan, Bantay, Sta. Catalina, San Vicente, Caoayan, San Ildefonso, Sto Domingo, Magsingal, San Juan, Cabugao & Sinait)

Reason:  Reconfiguration of equipment at San Esteban Substation – in connection with the San Esteban Substation Expansion Project


Normal operations will immediately resume after work completion. NGCP customers and the general public are advised to take the necessary preparations and precautions for this scheduled interruption.


*Specific cities and municipalities that may be affected by the power interruption are determined by the abovementioned Distribution Utility (DU), unless the activity will have an effect on the entire franchise area. The DU allocates the available power within its franchise area and implements the power interruption schedule among the end-users.



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FEATURE: San Fernando City bats for health, wellness mecca in North Luzon


By: Joanne Namnama Parrocha


SAN FERNANDO CITY, January 29 (PIA) - City Mayor Pablo Ortega laid down a new vision that his administration targets to achieve during his State of the City Address.


From a premier capital of Ilocandia, San Fernando is now setting its sights on becoming Northern Luzon’s Center for health and wellness by 2020.


“The city shall strengthen its partnerships and linkages to deliver inclusive social, health and economic services with utmost professionalism and excellence that will spur the city as the center of health and wellness,” said Mayor Ortega.


In line with the new vision, Ortega encouraged wellness and health conscious among residents down to the barangay level.


“The city expects that all barangays shall have embraced health and wellness as a way of life by 2016,” Mayor Ortega said.


The city government also eyes transients or non-residents to find San Fernando an ideal location for specific fields of treatment and therapy specifically in the areas of Nephrology,  Oncology, Geriatrics, Rehabilitation, Sports Medicine, Physical Therapy, Opthalmology, and Psychiatry.


“The city is targeting an increase in the number of transient patients of 10 percent annually from 2014 to 2016,” Mayor Ortega said.


He said with the new vision, the city needs to attract competent medical specialists to practice and reside in San Fernando.


The city government has developed an incentive package to cover various incentive programs and policies that will encourage non-resident health professionals to practice in the city.


“This will ensure the improvement of overall performance, boosting of morale and loyalty and continue to work for a healthy and well City,” Mayor  Ortega said.


Health professionals will likewise be accredited to create a partnership for training and research on wellness programs.


“This will create partnerships with medical training and research institutions to improve competency of health professional hence assuring the desired and expected quality of health care services,” Mayor Ortega added.


The mayor said the city’s objectives can be realized with the support of stake holders.


“Each person plays an important part in the fruition of our dreams and ambitions,” he said. (MCA/JNP PIA1-La Union)


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Cardinal Quevedo nominated as outstanding Laoageño


By: Freddie G. Lazaro


LAOAG CITY, January 28 (PIA) – Laoag-born Cardinal Orlando Quevedo of the Diocese of Cotabato was nominated as one of the outstanding Laoageños for 2014.


City Mayor Chevylle Fariñas said a letter was already sent to the office of the new cardinal informing him of the nomination.


The prestigious award is given annually to sons and daughters of Laoag who excelled in their respective fields. Elaborate ceremonies for outstanding residents will be held during Laoag’s city fiesta beginning February 1.


Earlier, Mayor Fariñas and Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos separately expressed their warmest greetings to Quevedo following the announcement of Pope Francis on January 12 elevating him to the rank of cardinal in the Catholic Church.


Quevedo, one of the 19 new cardinals of the Catholic Church all over the world, is set to be inducted in the College of Cardinals in the consistory on February 22.


He will be the first cardinal from Mindanao  and the second Filipino cardinal-elector along with Luis Antonio Tagle.


Quevedo was born in Laoag City on March 11, 1939.


He started his gradeschool at the Shamrock Elementary School in Laoag City from 1945 to 1947 and finished Grades 4-6 in Marbel Central Elementary School in Marbel, South Cotabato in 1950.


He attended Notre Dame High School in Marbel from 1950-1954.


He entered the San Jose Seminary from 1954-56, but spent his novitiate in St. Peter's Novitiate in Mission, Texas.


He completed his Philosophy degree in San Jose Seminary from 1957-1960. From 1960-64, he completed his S.T.B. and MA in Religious Education from Oblate College (Catholic University of America) in Washington, DC.


He was ordained priest of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate on June 5, 1964.


In 1964, he was assigned assistant parish priest of Cotabato Cathedral.  He was appointed Bishop-prelate of Kidapawan by Pope John Paul II on October 28, 1980.


Upon the prelature's elevation to diocese, he assumed the title of Bishop of Kidapawan. On March 22, 1986, he was named Archbishop of Nueva Segovia in Ilocos Sur.


On May 30, 1998, he was named Archbishop of Cotabato, in Mindanao, an island known for its Muslim minority. (MCA/FGL PIA 1 Ilocos Norte)



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Mango growers get steady income following rehabilitation


LAOAG CITY, January 27 (PIA) - Mango growers in Ilocos Norte are beginning to recover from a glum production with fresh rehabilitation funds from the provincial government.


 Businessman Ricardo Tolentio, president of the Mango Growers’ Association in Ilocos Norte, said mango production has increased to 36 percent after growers made use of the P5 million funding support.


He said mango farmers used to harvest 1,000 kilos but high farm costs have caused production to drop to 400 kilos in previous years.


“Our production has again increased to about 36 percent, thanks to the provincial government,” Tolentino said.


Farmers also ascribed low mango production to erratic weather patterns due to climate change.


The provincial government intervened and implemented a rehabilitation program which included free seminars, farm management and growing techniques.


A 200 hectare-mango farm in Dungon-dungon estate in Burgos town served as the pilot beneficiary of the program.


“The mango industry is becoming better,” Tolentino said.


Farmers have been supplying mangoes locally and outside the province like Talisay, Batangas.


To fully rehabilitate the industry, the provincial government will again infuse some P1.7 million with a counterpart fund of 3 million from the Department of Agriculture this year. (MCA/CJDG, PIA-1, Ilocos Norte) 



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Higher SSS contributions mean more benefits


By: Miriam P. Aquino


SAN FERNANDO CITY January 27 (PIA) – Members of the state pension fund for private employees will start paying a higher contribution this month to guarantee better benefits.


Assistant Manager Francis Pentecostes of Social Security System (SSS) La Union, said the additional .06 percent of premium rates that members will pay this January would mean more benefits for them.


He said the SSS also needs fresh funds to prolong the pension fund’s lifespan and cover liabilities.


“The longer the life span for SSS, the more benefits they could provide for the existing members and future generations,” Pentecostes added.


He said that the minimal increase would just be added to the existing 10.4 percent interest that members are now paying equally by the employer and employee and in full by Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW), voluntary members and self-employed.


The adjusted contribution also resulted in maximum salary credit from P15,000 to P16,000. 


“The more stable the institution is, the better and more effective service the SSS could bring,” Pentecostes  added.  (MCA/MPA/PIA1 La Union)



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La Union fishing, upland villages eye more production with new facilities


By: Miriam P. Aquino


SAN FERNANDO CITY, January 25 (PIA) – Bag makers of a fishing community here used to produce only a handful of bags a week having to use only a single sewing machine at a time.


Similarly, soft-broom makers of a village where Tiger grass is abundant could not produce much because they lacked the facilities.


Through the Department of Trade and Industry’s shared service facility, income earners have found a way to expand their production and preserve the environment in the process.


Amy Galvez, senior trade and industry development specialist, said the facility is designed to boost productivity and promote environmental protection in the coastal and upland communities in the area.


“Prior to the facility turn-over, they cannot have a full blast production due to the absence of necessary tools that facilitate mass production,” she said.


The Kasay Sanktwaryo in the coastal barangay of Canaoay, for example, was a recipient of sewing machines, edger and embroidery machines worth P251,000 to expand the bag making activity of its members whose main livelihood is fishing.


Galvez said that bag making was provided as an alternative livelihood to fisher folks as a component of the Kasay Marine Protected Area and the Integrated Coastal Management Plan. 


Raw materials used in the bag making project are recycled tarpaulins and canvass cloth.  Instead of throwing these waste materials to the city’s landfill, villagers turned them into usable eco-bags and other products.


Meanwhile, soft broom makers in barangays Baraoas and Pacpaco, collectively called the Pacpaco Tiger Grass Association, Inc. received machines and equipment to produce dried kimis and soft broom.


Galvez said products are only sold in San Fernando City and the towns of Balaoan and Bagulin.


“With the machines, the association’s dream to expand their market to other parts of the province and outside the region can now be realized,” she said.


Galvez assured that life is bound to change in those communities as the associations would need more workers to meet the increased production demand. (MCA/MPA/PIA1 La Union)



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Tagalog news: 187,000 na mahihirap sa Ilokos, natulungan ng Pantawid Pamilya


By: Ben P. Pacris


VIGAN CITY, Enero 25 (PIA) – Umabot ng 187,000 na kapus-palad mula sa iba’t-ibang panig ng Ilokos ang nabiyayaan ng “Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program” (4P’s)  sa inilaang P112 milyong pondo ng Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).


Ayon kay Asst. Regional Director Marlene Febes Peralta ng DSWD-Region 1, tagumpay ang pagpapatupad ng 4Ps sa Ilocos dahil sa dami ng naabot na mahihirap ng programa.


“Maituturing na tagumpay ang pagpapatupad ng 4P’s sa Region 1 dahil maraming mahihirap na kababayan natin mula sa mga” poorest of the poor” ang natulungan sa edukasyon ng mga bata at nutrisyon ng mga ina,” ani Peralta sa isang press conference kamakailan.


Sinabi ng opisyal ng DSWD na bagama’t P1,400 lamang ang natatanggap ng bawat pamilyang beneficiary ng Pantawid, nakakatulong din ito sa kanila para hindi pabigat  ang pag-aaral ng kanilang anak.


“Hindi ito dole-out dahil may kondisyon na dapat sundin ng mga magulang na nabiyayaan ng programa,” dagdag niya.


Sinabi ni Peralta na may monitoring sa bawat pamilya na tumatanggap ng conditional cash transfer sa pamamagitan ng mga social workers para kanilang malaman kung sila ay sumusunod sa mga kondisyong inilatag ng DSWD tulad ng pagpapa-check-up ng inang nagdadalang-tao sa health center o pagdalo ng mga magulang sa family planning and responsible parenthood seminar.


Sa nasabing press conference, ipinarating  pa ng media  ang  sumbong na may  ilang magulang ang isinusugal o ginagamit sa iba ang pera na dapat para sa anak na nag-aaral o may ibang beneficiaries na hindi naman talagang mahirap ang pamumuhay.


Sinabi ni Peralta na maaaring maalis sa listahan ang mga beneficiaries na  lalabag sa mga patakaran o kondisyong inilatag ng DSWD bagama’t may grievance committee na tatanggap ng mga reklamo o sumbong para ito’y maaksiyonan.


Inihayag pa ni Peralta na mailulunsad ang “Listahanan” sa 2014 na bahagi ng National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction, para mailista ang mga mahihirap na pamilya na mapagkalooban ng mga Social Protection Program and Services.


Ililista ng mga enumerators, encoders at verifiers ang mga nararapat na impormasyon tungkol sa uri ng pamumuhay ng mga mahihirap na kababayan, buwanang sahod, istruktura ng tahanan, kagamitan sa bahay o serbisyong natatanggap., iginiit niya.


Sa Ilocos,  umabot sa 928,633 ang mga tahanang target ng programa, 138,769 na households dito ang puntirya sa Ilocos Sur. (MCA/BPP/PIA 1- Ilocos Sur)



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Tagalog News: DENR patuloy ang pangangalaga sa mga pagong sa Ilocos


By: Joanne Namnama G. Parrocha


SAN FERNANDO CITY, Enero 25 - Patuloy ang pagpapatupad ng Kagawaran ng Kapaligiran at Likas na Yaman o DENR sa pangangalaga ng mga pawikan sa Ilocos sa pamamagitan ng  Pawikan Conservation Project.


 Bumuo ang DENR ng Task Force Pawikan para patuloy na maprotektahan ang lumiliit na bilang ng mga ito.


Ayon kay Josephine Ople, information officer, umaasa sila sa tulong ng mga stakeholders upang makamit ang bisyon ng ahensya na pangalagaan ang natural na yaman kasama na ang mga pawikan.


Taun-taon, may mga sinasagip na pawikan ang DENR sa mga bayan ng Rosario. San Juan, Lingsat, Agoo at sa baybayin ng barangay Poro.


Ang mga insidente ng pagsagip sa mga nahuling pawikan ay direktang ipinagbibigay alam sa DENR.


Kapag ligtas ang mga ito, maari din itong pakawalan agad ngunit may protokol na dapat sundin kung ang mga ito ay may sugat.


Ayon kay Ople, dinadala sa DENR ang lahat ng mga sugatan o injured na pawikan upang magamot muna ng beterinaryo bago ang pagpapakawala.


Dagdag pa, kung ang laki ng pawikan ay hindi bababa sa 40 sentimetro, ang metal tag  na naglalaman ng “PH” na letra at apat na numerong serial number ay inilalagay sa flipper ng pawikan.


“Kung mahuli ulit ang mga pawikan sa loob at labas man ng bansa, malalaman agad ng nakahuli na ang mga ito ay galing sa Pilipinas,” sabi ni Ople.   


Ang Pawikan Conservation Project ay ang tugon ng pamahalaan sa pagsugpo sa paubos ng populasyon ng pawikan sa bansa na pinagbisa noong Hunyo 26, 1979 sa Executive Order No. 52. (MCA/JNP/PIA1-La Union)



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Power outage set in Ilocos Norte


By: Freddie G. Lazaro


LAOAG CITY, January 24 (PIA) - The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) has set an eight hour-power outage in 10 towns including Laoag on Saturday, January 25.


Public Affairs Officer Lilibeth P. Gaydowen, of NGCP North Luzon, said the outage will start from 6 a.m. until 2 p.m. affecting the distribution utility of the Ilocos Norte Electric Cooperative (INEC) which serves Laoag City and the towns of Vintar, Sarrat, Piddig, Carasi, Solsona, Marcos, Banna, Nueva Era and Dingras.


Gaydowen said the power interruption is meant for the maintenance of the 69 kV transmission lines along Laoag City and the towns of Sarrat, Piddig and Marcos.  


She assured that power will be restored immediately after maintenance work is completed. (MCA/FGL PIA 1 Ilocos Norte)



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CSC names Top 10 civil service exam passers for Region 1



By: April Montes


DAGUPAN CITY, January 24 (PIA) – Prospective civil servants were conferred their career service professional or sub-professional eligibilities in the awarding rites held by the Civil Service Commission (CSC) on Thursday at the Dagupan City National High School here.


Successful examinees took the Career Service Examination administered in 143 testing sites across the country in October 13 last year.


A career service professional eligibility is one of the basic requirements for permanent appointment to second level (technical) positions in government. On the other hand, passing the sub-professional level shall be appropriate for first level (clerical) government positions.


The CSC stressed, though, that both eligibilities shall not apply to positions involving practice of profession that require an appropriate license, and those positions covered by special laws.


In the Ilocos Region, 678 examinees passed the professional level and 167 takers passed the sub-professional level.  


The regional list of top 10 passers for the professional level are: 1st place-Alyanna Christine Joy Diavane (88.12); 2nd place-Marie Louise Valbuena (87.27); 3rd place-John Alexis Ilacad (87.19); 4th place-Ronnie James Casamayor (87.07); 5th place-Anna Victoria Rafanan (87.03); 6th place-Hedrich Calderon (87.02); 7th place-Neil Brian Casem (86.95); 8th place-Clyde Wynn Puyaoan (86.93); 9th place-Regienald Collado (86.83); and 10th place-Regina Anne Perez (86.78).


For the sub-professional test, the top 10 are: 1st place-Lloyd Chester Abad (87.85); 2nd place-Jamie Joyce Tanael (86.75); 3rd place-Narcy Lyn Vendillo (86.26); 4th place-Michael Jake Camacho (86.10); 5th place-Anthony Asuncion (85.75); 6th place-Maria Jezreel Pascua (85.62); 7th place-Jea Jenina Disu (85.42); 8th place-Sheena Doria (85.41); 9th place-Junelle Laarni Libunao (85.11); and 10th place-Jiezl Erika Manangan ((85.04).


Diavane, a native of Dagupan City who topped the professional level, said she feels proud of her achievement as it brought honor to herself and to her family.


With this success, she is now looking at every opportunity that will be opened for her after college. She is a fourth year student at Ateneo de Manila University taking up Management Information System course.


Like Diavane, “other passers of the career service examination now have the passport to enter government service and they have the chance to get permanent positions in the government as well as enjoy the security of tenure,” said Director Lyrma Oalin of CSC-Lingayen field office.


Oalin added that the commission is eyeing to tie-up with the private sectors to include the career service eligibility as one of their requirements when hiring an employee so passers are made as priority applicants.


Those who are not able to attend the awarding can get their certificates of eligibility at the CSC Regional Office in San Fernando City, La Union. (MCA/AMM/PIA-1, Pangasinan)



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MGB stops illegal quarrying along Bauang River


By: Joanne Namnama G. Parrocha


SAN FERNANDO CITY, January 24 (PIA) – The Mines and Geosciences Bureau here has issued an order putting a stop to illegal quarrying near the Bauang River in barangay Pudoc in Bauang town.


The order was issued after an MGB team confirmed that illegal sand extraction was being done along the river.


Amalia Menzi, Senior Science Research Specialist of the Provincila Mining and Regulatory Board, said an inspection team was sent to the village after acting on a report of alleged illegal quarrying by a certain Mr. Ong of Caba town.


“Our team initially coordinated with the town mayor and the barangay captain before proceeding to the (place of alleged illegal extraction),” Menzi said.


The MGB report said two excavations were found some 100 meters from the shoreline.


The report added that while no quarrying equipment was seen during the inspection, the vegetation in the areas of extraction was observed to have been altered with traces of burning and removal.


“There were tracks of heavy equipment noted leading to the extracted areas,” the report said.


The MGB reminded the public of the law that prohibits quarrying along the shorelines.


Aside from stopping the extraction, the MGB also recommended that the excavated areas be backfilled to prevent any danger to village residents. (MCA/JNP/PIA-1 La Union)



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All systems go for early registration – DepEd Ilocos


By: Joanne Namnama G. Parrocha


SAN FERNANDO CITY, January 23 (PIA) – Education officials in the Ilocos region are set for the nationwide early registration of students for the coming school year on January 25.


Education Secretary Armin Luistro said the early enlistment will prevent potential problems that may arise when the new school year starts in June.


In Ilocos region, the Department of Education has assured the installation of registration centers in key elementary and secondary schools on Saturday.


Darius Nieto, education program specialist, said the early enrolment will help address perennial problems that may arise even before classes start.


“We want to assess ahead of time the number of enrollees so that we prepare the needed interventions such as classrooms, chairs and books including teachers prior to the opening of classes,” Nieto said.


Initially, the event’s targets are incoming kindergarten and grade one students who are five to six years old.


“Parents should bring their children’s birth certificate upon registration,” Nieto said.


The early registration also covers out-of-school youth including street children age 5 to 18.


Nieto said learners can enroll through the Alternative Learning System (ALS), a ladderized, modular non-formal education program in the country for dropouts in elementary and secondary schools.


The students must bring the report card they received from the last school they attended and a certification from their guardian or parents.


“If parents could not register their children on January 25, they could just visit the nearest public school near them for regular schedule of enrollment,” Nieto added.


The nationwide synchronized early registration is a regular program of the DepEd which started in 2009. (MCA/JNP/PIA1-La Union)



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Cagayan-Pagudpud road now open to motorists after debris removal


By: Freddie G. Lazaro


LAOAG CITY, January 23 (PIA) - The national road connecting the provinces of Ilocos Norte and Cagayan Valley is now open to one-lane traffic after public works personnel cleared the debris caused by an early morning landslide along the stretch in barangay Pancian in Pagudpud town.


District Engr. Nestor Pasion, of the Department of Public Works and Highways, said one lane was opened to all types of vehicles before 9 a.m. today after trees and eroded soil were removed.


The road stretch, which connects Sanchez Mira town in Cagayan and Pagudpud town in Ilocos Norte, was closed to traffic due to a landslide that occured at 2 a.m. Thursday causing motorists to be stranded.


Engr. Milagrina Palma, of the DPWH, earlier said the road was totally covered with huge trees and soil after a portion of the mountain eroded due to sudden heavy rains.


The DPWH immediately sent heavy machineries to clear the road of debris. (MCA/FGL PIA1 Ilocos Norte)



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New tourism trail explores other side of Ilocos Norte


By: Cherry Joy S. Discaya


LAOAG CITY, January 21 (PIA) – There is more to Ilocos Norte than beaches and famous landmarks.


The provincial government has unveiled a new range of cultural heritage and eco-tourism through its new tour itinerary ‘Anaraar’.


‘Anaraar’ (meaning first glow in sky before the sun rises in the east) offers an exclusive tour in the eastern part of the province which includes the historical towns of Sarrat, Piddig, Dingras, Banna and Nueva Era.


The trail features the heritage and architecture sculpted by the rich culture and history of the province and the eco-cultural and lifestyle of the Ilocanos.


Ianree Raquel, provincial tourism officer said, the tour is a new approach in introducing another tourism product in the province.


“This tour will be different. You will not be seeing beaches which Ilocos Norte is known for. But we will be seeing lots of heritage which was preserved and delicately restored for everyone to see our rich history,” Raquel said.


The tour consists of the Sarrat Heritage Walk including the Marcos Birthplace, Sarrat Guesthouse, Sarrat Presidencia, Convent Ruins, Sarrat Central Elementary School, and famous Santa Monica Church.


Second stop is the origin of ‘Basi Revolt’ and home of another historical church, the St. Anne Chruch and the 15th Infantry Memorial honoring the heroes of World War II built at the town’s plaza.


Dingras the “Rice Granary of Ilocos Norte” is the third stop which features bricked ruins of the St. Joseph Church and museum and the Girl Scouts of the Philippines founder monument, Josefa Llanes Escoda.


A taste of gastronomic goodness in Banna will be a different experience with their authentic products from their homegrown root crops and their aromatic rice coffee and tea.


The town of Nueva Era, the last destination is known for its distinct Tingguian culture and practices.


Another world-class tourist destination here was launched on December 28 dubbed as “Tribal Village”


This consists of huts and tree houses, to tribal costumes and dance, with canopy walk and greatest eco adventure and genuine tribal experiences.


“Nueva Era which has a very cool climate and unspoiled landscape fits as culminating area of the tour for relaxation and accommodation,” Raquel said.


Anaraar tour is made available for tourists by schedule with the Provincial Tourism Office. (MCA/CJDG/PIA-1, Ilocos Norte)



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Vigan's Kannawidan fiesta ushers in Ilocandia's festival fever


By: Imelda C. Rivero


VIGAN CITY, January 20 (PIA) – The provincial government has called on residents to be on fiesta-mode with the holding of the 2014 Kannawidan Ylocos Festival of culture, traditions and customs.


Governor Ryan Luis Singson will lead the community in the seven-day festivities which will start January 29 and end on February 4.


Residents and tourists may join any of the following fiesta events:


January 29: Carnival opening, 8:00 AM, President Elpidio Quirino Stadium in Bantay town; Concelebrated Holy Mass and procession, Saint Paul Cathedral of Vigan City; Fireworks display, 6:00PM at Plaza Salcedo; Siglat Ilocandia Talent Search, 8:00 PM, Quirino stadium.


January 30: Ilocos Surfing Competition, 9:00AM, Barangay Sabang in Cabugao town.The  following will be at the Quirino stadium: Opening ritual at trade and food fair, 9:00AM; Choir and rondalla contest, 9:00AM-4:00PM; Rodeo, agri,aqua and livestock contest, 9:00AM; Marching band show with traditional street dancing, 4:00PM; Dinner and fashion show, 6:30PM; Saniata ti Ylocos talent portion, 8:00PM; Guest artist show, 10:00PM.


January 31: First Gov Ryan Luis V Singson invitational shootfest, 8:00AM, Barangay Canniao Firing Rangem in Bantay town, The following will be held at Qurino stadium: Daily Food processing,8:00AM; Traditional music ensemble show,8:00AM; On-the-spot painting competition, 8:00AM; Contests in Dance drama and traditional dances, 9:00AM; Little Miss Saniata and Titong Singson Awards, 9:00PM.


January 31- February 2: Beach Fiesta with dragon boat exhibition, kite surfing, Frisbee, surfing, 9:00AM at Barangay Sabang in Cabugao town. February 1: Beach Fiesta Party, 10:00PM with Hino Alejandro, Brison Trinidad, The Sauce Band.


February 1: at Quirino stadium - Delphic games, crafts demonstration with most innovative products, 8:00AM; Best Practices of Schools Awards, 1:00PM; Father Jose Burgos Awards, 8:30PM; Saniata ti Ylocos Pageant Night, 9:00PM. Quiz bee, 8:30AM, Ilocos Sur Community College in Bantay town.    


February 2: Fun Run, 4:30AM, Capitol. The following will be at Quirino stadium: Traditional games, parade of vintage cars and bicycles, 9:00AM; Horse racing, 1:00PM; Agri aqua Pinaka and Delphic Awards, 1:30PM; Banda Rito, Banda Roon, 7:00PM; Liwliwa dagiti artista, 8:00PM; Battle of the Bands, 9:00PM.


February 3: Opening of First Gov Ryan Singson motorshow, 8:30AM, Vigan airport. The following will be at the Quirino stadium: Siglat Awards, 1:00PM; Zarzuela Ilocana, 8:00PM; Bingo, 10:00PM.


February 4: Awarding of First Gov Ryan Singson Motorshow, 1:30PM, Vigan airport. (MCA/ICR/PIA-1:Ilocos Sur)


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"Listahanan" to reach more poor households in Ilocos


By: Joanne Namnama G. Parrocha


SAN FERNANDO CITY, Jan. 20 (PIA) -- The Department of Social Welfare and Development in the Ilocos eyes more poor households for enlistment this year under its new database system.


Formerly known as the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR), the project has been renamed Listahanan which remains a source of accurate, complete, and reliable data on the poorest households nationwide.


Marlene Febes Peralta, DSWD Assistant Regional Director for Ilocos, said at least 928,633 households are targeted for assessment in Region 1 this year.


The assessment will be conducted simultaneously in 16 regions.


Peralta said some 2,294 field support staff will be deployed in both rural and urban villages as enumerators, area coordinators and area supervisors to conduct the data collection and assessment.


“They will be provided with an intense training to gather all the complete, true and accurate vital information of these households,” she said.


Peralta said the first round of household assessment was conducted in 2009 where 500,000 families in region 1 were evaluated as poor or non-poor and at least 182,740 families were served under the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps).


For 2014, the DSWD has allocated 112M for the Listahanan project.


“Listahanan makes sure that all poor families are included in the database, so in the end they become potential beneficiaries of various social protection programs leading them to an improved quality of life,” said Peralta.


At present, DSWD utilizes the database as a reference on its beneficiaries for programs, projects and services like the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, Social Pension Program for indigent senior citizens, Cash/Food for Work and Sustainable Livelihood Program.


Other government agencies that use data from Listahanan are Departments of Agriculture, and Health, local government units and the PhilHealth.


Updating of the Listahanan database is done every four years. (MCA/JNP/PIA-1 La Union)



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Dragon boating, kite surfing sa Kannawidan Ylocos festival sa Ilocos Sur


By: Imelda C. Rivero


LUNGSOD NG VIGAN, Enero 20 (PIA) – Hinikayat ni Gobernador Ryan Luis Singson ang mga residente at turista na makilahok sa beach fiesta sa barangay Sabang sa bayan ng Cabugao mula Enero 31 hanggang Pebrero 2.



Magaganap din ang popular na sa Ilocos surfing competition sa umaga ng Enero 30.


Makikita sa festival ang eksibisyon ng dragon boat, kite surfing, frisbee at surfing. 


Ang mga ito ay ilan lang sa mga magaganap na selebrasyon ng kultura,  tradisyon at ugaling Ilocano sa Kannawidan Ylocos Festival 2014 sa Enero 29 hanggang Pebrero.


Magaganap ang mga ito sa Saint Paul Cathedral, President Elpidio Quirino Stadium sa bayan Bantay, Plaza Salcedo sa Vigan, Ilocos Sur Community College sa Bantay, Caniao Firing Range sa Bantay at Vigan Airport sa Barangay Mindoro ng Vigan.


Ang iskediul ng mga aktibidades ay ang sumusunod. Enero 29: Pagbukas ng Karnaval, konselebradong Misa at prosesyon, fireworks display, at paligsahan ng talento sa Siglat Ilocandia Talent Search.


Enero 30: Pangbukas na ritwal sa trade at food  fair, paligsahan sa kuro at rondalya,  sa rodeo, agrikultura, yang dagat at animales; marching band show, pagsasayaw sa mga kalsada, dinner at fashion show, Saniata ti Ylocos talent portion at guest artist show.


Enero 31: First Gov Ryan Luis V Singson Invitation shootfest; araw-araw na pagproseso ng pagkain; traditional music ensemble show; paligsahan sa pagpinta, drama sa pagsasayaw, at tradisiyonal na sayaw;  Little Miss Saniata Pageant; at pagbigay ng Titong Singson Awards.


Pebrero 1: Paglalaro ng Delphic games; demonstrasyon ng crafts at pagpili ng most innovative products; quiz bee; pagbibigay ng  Best Practices of Schools Awards at ng Father Jose Burgos Awards; Saniata ti Ylocos Pageant.


Pebrero 2: Fun Run; paglalaro ng tradisyong laro; parada ng antigong sasakyan at bisikleta;  karera ng kabayo; pagbibigay parangal sa pinakamalaking produkto galling sa lupa at tubig; pagbibigay parangal sa mga nanalo ng Delphic games sa Delphic Awards; programang banda sa Banda Rito Banda Doon; Liwliwa dagiti Artista (programa ng mga artistang Pinoy); at Battle of the Bands o paligsahan ng mga bandang musikero.


Pebrero 3: Pagbubukas ng First Gov Ryan Luis V Singson Motorshow o paligsahan ng motorsiko; pagbibigay ng Siglat Awards;  Zarzuela Ilocana at paglaro ng bingo.


Pebrero 4: Pagbibigay ng parangal sa mga nagwagi sa motorshow  sa Vigan Airport.


Inaasahan ni Gobernador Singson na maraming dadalo sa selebrasyon sa kauna-unahang Kannawidan Ylocos Festival na siya ang namumuno sa probinsiya. (MCA/.ICR/PIA-1:Ilocos Sur)



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Pantawid recipients hopeful of more cash grant under expanded 4Ps


By: Freddie G. Lazaro


LAOAG CITY, January 17 (PIA) – Beneficiaries of the “Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program” (4Ps) are hopeful of additional benefits following the expansion of education cash grants for school children.


Social Welfare Officer Ronald Punio, provincial link of the patawid pamilya program in Ilocos Norte, said the Department of Social Welfare and Development adopted a resolution that expanded the age of school children–recipients of cash grants from 0-14 years old to 18 years old.


The resolution was approved on July 10 last year through the recommendation of members of the National Advisory Council (NAC) to the government’s cash grant program.


Punio said beneficiaries under the expanded program may swell noting that at least 18,705 household-recipients of the pantawid program have been identified this year.


“The new list was based on the Listahan, Talaan ng Pamilyang Nangangailangan,” he said during the weekly’s PIA radio program: Pannaki-uman, Isyu ken Aksyon.


For her part, Leilanie Manarpaac, a pantawid pamilya beneficiary from Barangay Baligat, Batac City, said the expansion will go a long way in completing her children’s high school education.


She said the pantawid expansion program will also increase their children’s employability.


Punio also announced that 85 scholars will be awarded the Students Grant–in- Aid Program for Poverty Alleviation (SGPPA) for 2014.


He said the SGPPA is a partnership program between the DSWD and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) to help all qualified beneficiaries of pantawid pamilya to finish college course from government’s state colleges and universities. (MCA/FGL PIA - 1 Ilocos Norte)



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Tagalog news: Ilocos Norte nagbigay ng libreng livelihood training sa kababaihan ng Sarrat


By: Cherry Joy S. Discaya


SARRAT, Ilocos Norte, Jan. 17 (PIA) - Mayroong 50 kababaihan mula sa Sarrat, Ilocos Norte ang nakibahagi sa libreng pagsasanay para sa dagdag-kita kamakailan sa pangunguna ng  Social Welfare and Development Office ng Ilocos Norte.


Sa pamamagitan nito, nabigyan ng karagdagang magpakakitaan ang mga grupo ng kababaihan sa pamamagitan ng paggawa ng mga bag at dekorasyon gamit ang mga lumang diyaryo.


Ayon kay Sarrat Sangguniang Bayan member Vivian Waay, malaking tulong ang naibibigay livelihood training sa kanila sapagkat mayroon silang mapagkukunan ng karagdagang kita.


“Hindi lamang ito nakapgbibigay sa amin ng dagdag-kita, pero nagiging mas makabuluhan din an gamin oras sapagkat nagagamit naming ito ng mabuti,” sabi ni Waay.  


Maliban sa pagkakaroon ng dagdag na mapagkakakitaan, natutunan din ng mga ito ang pagpapahalaga sa basura at ang tamang pagbibigay ng atensyon sa mga ito.

Ilan sa kanilang mga produkto ay mga de-kalidad na bags mula sa lumang diyaryo at magazine, at mga pang-world-class na palamuti sa bahay.


Karamihan sa mga nagiging produkto dito ay ibinebenta sa ibang lalawigan at ang ilan ay inaangkat din sa ibang bansa.


Sa katunayan, malaking bahagi ng kanilang ginagawang produkto ay mga order pa mula pa sa karatig-bansa.


Ang ilan naman ay direktang binibili ng pamahalaang probinsyal ng Ilocos Norte at ibenebenta sa mga government-owned lifestyle center dito bilang suporta sa grupo.


Umaasa naman ang pamahalaang probinsyal na maibabahagi ng mga trainees ang kanilang kasanayan sa iba pang mga kababaihan para sa pagkakaroon ng karagdagang mapagkakakitaan. (MCA/CDG-PIA 1, Ilocos Norte)

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La Union power firm to implement no payment to collector-scheme


By: Joanne Namnama G. Parrocha


SAN FERNANDO CITY, January 16 (PIA) – Beginning March, the  La Union Electric Company (LUECO) will no longer allow its collectors to accept payments at the household level.


Avelino Flores Jr, LUECO officer-in-charge of the collection section, said the program, known as zero-collector scheme, is an innovation to lessen unwanted inaccuracies during the collection process.


“In the past, there were unremitted collections thus, the management has found a way to address this concern from our clients,” said Flores.


Under the program, a collector’s duty is mainly to distribute statement of accounts to every household.


Clients, in turn, will pay their electric bills to designated bayad centers and collecting banks near their area on or before the bill’s due date.


The company has fielded its personnel in the communities to inform consumers of the new system.


Flores said the company expects consumers to be fully aware of the system by March so that it can be applied immediately.


“We can move the full implementation to April (in case consumers are not yet ready),” Flores said.


Under the new system, clients can pay at any of the five bayad centers found in the towns of San Juan and Bauang, Barangay Poro and Barangay Cabaroan and at the Manna Mall all in La Union.  


Consumers can also pay at any of the five designated collecting banks namely Security Bank, Eastwest bank, Phil. Bank of Communications (PBCOM), Asia United Bank and Bank of Commerce.


“We hope that this new program will materialize and will be positively welcomed by our consumers,” said Flores. (MCA/JNP/PIA1-La Union)


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Most wanted man in Ilocos falls


By: Freddie G. Lazaro


BADOC, Ilocos Norte, January 13 (PIA) – Ilocos Region’s most wanted man was nabbed in an entrapment operation in Barangay Napu here after New Year’s Day.


Senior Insp. Leonardo Tolentino, Badoc town’s police chief, said Silvano Rondal alias Bobot, a native of Barangay Napu, Badoc town, was arrested last January 2 by the joint elements of local police and Criminal Investigation and Detection Groups (CIDGs) from Ilocos Sur and La Union.


Rondal, who had a P250,000-bounty, was charged in court with murder, illegal possession of firearms and gun ban violation.


The suspect was listed as ‘most wanted person’ in the regional level with P250,000 monetary reward.


Tolentino said the arresting team was led by Chief Inspector Modesto Cabrera, CIDG head of Ilocos Sur, by virtue of an arrest warrant against issued by Judge Leo Rapatalo of RTC, Branch 54, in Alaminos City, Pangasinan.


The arresting team brought Rondal to the office of Ilocos Sur CIDG for proper documentation.


Records also showed Rondal has pending cases for illegal possession of firearms and ammunitions, and violation of COMELEC Resolution No. 2323  or gun ban, all filed at RTC, Branch 55 and 54 in Alaminos City, Pangasinan. (MCA/FGL PIA-1 Ilocos Norte)



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Demand for Baguio vegetables remain high


By: Joanne Namnama G. Parrocha


SAN FERNANDO CITY, January 12 (PIA) – Demand for Baguio vegetables in the lowlands remain high despite a surge in vegetable prices due to dropping temperatures which destroyed upland crops.


Herminigilda P. Esca?o, market vendor from Aringay town, said her customers continue buying Baguio vegetables despite its steep price.


“Baguio vegetables are in demand almost everyday. In my case, I personally go to Baguio to buy vegetables for my stall so I can assure my clients that they buy only fresh ones even if prices are high,” she said.


Cold temperatures beginning December have created frost that have covered and destroyed most upland vegetables resulting in low supply and high market prices.


According to the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (BAS) in San Fernando City, prices have swelled up to 11 percent from last week’s market price.


Jarson Libunao, BAS market reporter, said the increase was caused by dropping temperatures in Baguio where highland vegetables come from.


“The extreme cold weather damaged some vegetables thus, lower supply of goods is expected to arrive in the lowlands,” said Libunao.


Also, the high demand for fresh temperate vegetables produced in the highland farms has resulted in higher prices of the products sold especially in Metro Manila where it gets its 90 percent daily salad needs.


“Manila merchants get their bulk supplies directly from Baguio and whatever will be left will be divided to other traders in the lowlands,” Libunao said.  


BAS monitors market retail price thrice a week from Monday, Wednesday and Friday.


Based on its price monitor, cabbage is sold at P50 per kilo from its previous price of P45; carrots at P60 per kilo from P50; potatoes are sold between P60 and P70 kilo from P40.  


Beans, however, remained at P70 per kilo. (MCA/JNP/PIA1-La Union)



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National Nurses Group Kicks Off New Year with

Fifth Deployment of Volunteers to Philippines 


While many are settling back into regular routines after the  holiday break, a group of registered nurses from across the country are starting the new year by preparing for their deployment to the Philippines where they will provide medical support for those who continue to be affected by the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda.
The  fifth team of RN volunteers, part of the National Nurses United’s Registered Nurse Response Network, will depart on Wednesday, January 15, 2014, to Roxas City on the northern end of the island of Panay, which was in the direct path of the storm.
The team includes RNs from New York, Minnesota, Texas, and California. They are among the 3,000 RNs from all 50 states and 19 nations who volunteered in the days after the deadly storm to assist with the relief project for Haiyan/Yolanda. 


The super typhoon killed over six thousand people, left almost two thousand missing and 4 million either homeless or with damaged homes.

"Now that the world is no longer focused on the devastation in the Philippines, it is even more important that we continue to lend our support," said Bonnie Castillo, RN, director of RNRN. "We are working closely with our sister organization in the Philippines, the Alliance of Health Workers, to determine the most effective ways that we can be of assistance." The Alliance of Health Workers and National Nurses United are both members of Global Nurses United, an international network of nurses' organizations established last summer. 


"Probably like most RN's who apply to go, I feel compelled in my heart and gut to take care of people in a disaster area as soon as possible.  It's part of our DNA," said David Abeles, an RN at Arise Austin Medical Center in Austin Texas. 


Volunteer, Ireneo Jore, an RN at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York City, originally comes from Roxas City, where he practiced as a family physician. “I am glad to be part of this opportunity to help the victims of this horrific calamity in my own home town” said Jore, who now lives in Manhattan. Jore has 10 siblings, five of whom live in Roxas City and lost their homes in the disaster.

"I expect that many of the problems we will encounter will be related to the lack of preventive medical care prior to the disaster," said Diane McClure, an RN at Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento Medical Center in Sacramento, CA. " I am very happy to volunteer through RNRN because it's well organized and understands the needs of the people." McClure also served as an RNRN volunteer in Haiti after the earthquake in 2011.   

RNRN volunteers (L-R) Betty Sparks, Paolo Montenegro and Anna Rathbun attend patients in late December



Nurse Practitioner Betty Woods attends a patient in Iloilo 


Ireneo, Abeles and the others departing this week will follow in the footsteps of the RNRN volunteers who have been providing basic medical care at rotating mobile clinics, in a ruined chapel, school, gym and other temporary settings as well as at a city health clinic in and around Roxas, and other sites in the Philippines.
The RNRN volunteers have worked in conjunction with local public health officials, physicians, a church and other community supporters, providing wound care, giving tetanus and other shots, offering critical stress debriefings, and other basic care.


National Nurses United invites the public to contribute to the effort at 

RNRN, a project of National Nurses United, the nation’s largest organization of RNs, was formed in 2004 in the aftermath of the South Asia tsunami in 2004, when the need for nurses was not being met by traditional disaster relief organizations.  Since that time RNRN has send hundreds of direct-care nurse volunteers to assist following Hurricane Katrina, the massive earthquake in Haiti, and Hurricane Sandy.



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Feature: La Union's famous son to promote anti-cancer product


By: Joanne Namnama G. Parrocha


SAN FERNANDO CITY, January 10 (PIA) – One of La Union’s prominent sons is behind a nutritional product that may yet lead to a major breakthrough in disease prevention.


An Ilocano geneticist, Dr. Alfredo Galvez discovered the anti-cancer properties of Lunasin that is found in soy during his post-doctoral research at the University of California in Berkeley.


Lunasin, a Filipino word meaning to heal or to remedy, was shown to disrupt cancer cell division and prevent tumor formation.


His research named LunaRich X was recently awarded the 2013 People’s Choice Stevie Awards for Favorite New Consumer Product and a bronze Stevie Award at the 11th American Business Awards in San Francisco.


Cancer research was not his specialty but a sad family experience led Galvez to that path. He also dwelled on other chronic diseases.


“It was seeing firsthand the ravages of chemotherapy and cancer on my 18 year old nephew who died that provided the definitive proof of the anti-cancer effect of Lunasin,” he said.


Galvez’ findings were published in the Journal of Cancer Research and other prestigious journals which resulted to Lunasin becoming the one of the most heavily researched and scientifically supported nutritional compounds available today.


“Lunasin is a small protein peptide found in soybean seeds that I serendipitously discovered and cause changes in gene expression to promote health and prevent diseases,” Galvez said.


Before he became a buzz in the field of medicine, he had his humble beginnings in his hometown in San Fernando, La Union particularly in the village of Tanqui.


He graduated from elementary and high school in Christ the King College and St. Louis College respectively.


When he was 12 years old, Galvez said he got engrossed to genetics which made him decide to pursue his college in the University of Philippines-Los Banos where he finished his degree in Plant Physiology and Genetics as well as his Master’s degree in Genetics and Plant Breeding.


“I ran out of books when I was about 12, and so I started reading my father’s Genetics books and got interested in the science of genetics,” said Galvez.


He was then offered a full scholarship to take a doctorate degree in American Research University where he chose to study in the University of California at Davis and had his degree in Molecular Genetics.


At present, he is the director of research in Missuouri Plant Science Center in Mexico, a consultant and a scientific advisor at Reliv International in Chesterfield in Missouri, the chief scientific officer at Soy Labs Technology Inc. in Mexico and a research scientist at Center of Excellence for Nutritional Genomics at University of California-Davis.


For the past four years, Galvez has been coming back to the Philippines to give presentations and explore collaborations with business, government and academe about Lunasin.


This year, he will be having a series of presentations in four locations namely in Manila, Cebu, Bacolod and La Union between January 23 and January 28.


“It will be a special opportunity for Filipinos including those in my hometown of San Fernando, La Union to hear and learn about Lunasin,” Galvez added.


He was one of the outstanding Filipino-Americans in the field of science and technology honored by President Aquino during the 2010 Philippine Development Foundation awards and the 2013 Distinguished Awardee for Molecular Biology at the General Convention and Assembly of the UP Alumni Association of America in Las Vegas. (MCA/JNP/PIA1-La Union with reports from Danny Dangcalan of the Philippine Star)



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La Union’s honey industry up for expansion


By: Miriam P. Aquino


Bacnotan, La Union Jan. 9 (PIA) – Honey production in La Union is up for expansion to cope with the product’s increasing demand in the local market.


The Department of Trae and Industry (DTI) is eyeing to expand honey production in the towns of Balaoan, Sudipen, Bauang, Bagulin, Burgos and San Fernando City.


The product is processed mainly at the Honeybee Center here.


To address the production’s expansion, the DTI recently turned-over the Shared Service Facilities (SSF) to La Union.


The facility includes machines, equipment and small tools needed to construct hives, boxes and frames and materials necessary to start beekeeping activity.


Amy Galvez, DTI information officer, said the project will initially benefit some 60 members of the La Union Beekeepers Development Cooperative (LUBDCO).


The facilities were provided to ensure adequate supply of raw honey that will be processed into various products at the center in Barangay Raois here.


“The center also serves as a ready market for honey beekeepers, farmer-beneficiaries and coop members,” Galvez said.


The center was constructed jointly by the La Union government, the Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University-National Apiculture Research Training and Development Institute (DMMMSU-NARTDI) and the Bacnotan local government.


It was built to boost the honeybee production, La Union’s main industry.


Galvez said the center houses various processing equipment for honey and other bee products making it easier for beekeepers to process honey from honeycomb.


The sustained production of honey will provide the farmer-beneficiaries a regular source of income to help them improve their quality of life, she added. (MCA/MPA/PIA1 La Union)



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Fire-free Holiday celebrations in Laoag


By: Cherry Joy S. Discaya


LAOAG CITY, Jan. 9 (PIA) – For the first time in years, the Laoag fire bureau has achieved a zero-fire incident during the Holiday revelries.


City Fire Marshall Bonifacio Sacatrapos said the bureau’s campaign for safe Holiday observance paid off as no fire incidents was called in during the revelries.


“The bureau’s effort (for fire-free observance) seems effective as evidenced by the zero fire incident during the break,” Sacatrapos said.


To ensure fire-free Holidays, the bureau conducted daily caravans in the villages echoing different fire safety ethics from December 16 until January 3.


“Our aim to achieve the zero-fire incident in welcoming the year 2014 has been granted. It was achieved with the cooperation of the different communities,” Sacatrapos said.


Aside from safety tips on fire prevention, the fire bureau also conducted ocular inspections on Christmas decorations to ensure that they are registered.


The bureau said Laoag had the most number of fire incidents in previous years. The incidents were brought down following the launch of the “Oplan Paalala: Anti-fire Incident” caravan in 2011.


Last year, the bureau recorded only one fire cracker-related incident.


“We are glad to have brought it down to zero and we aim to keep it this way,” Sacatrapos said. (MCA/ CJDG PIA-1, Ilocos Norte)



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DOLE to employers: Follow 13th month pay-rule or face money claim case


By: Joanne Namnama G. Parrocha


SAN FERNANDO CITY, Jan. 9 (PIA) – The Department of Labor and Employment in the Ilocos (DOLE) has reminded employers who have yet to pay their employees’ 13th month pay to comply with the law to avert money claims cases.


DOLE Director for Ilocos Grace Ursua said employers who failed to pay the extra benefit may be liable for money claims cases that can be filed with the labor department.


”The 13th month pay should have been given not later than December 24, 2013,” she said.


Ursua cited a labor advisory that Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz issued which stated that the 13th month pay mandatory under Presidential Decree No. 851.


The advisory was released early December last year to remind employers of the guidelines on the release of the extra benefit.


Under the Labor Code, employers are required to submit a report of compliance to the nearest DOLE regional office not later than January 15 of each year.


“Employees are encouraged to report (employers who fail to comply) to the nearest DOLE field office for appropriate action,” Ursua said.


The 13th month pay is equivalent to one-twelfth (1/12) of an employee’s total basic salary earned within a calendar year.


The basic salary includes all remunerations or earnings paid by an employer to an employee for services rendered.


It does not include, however, cost-of-living allowances (COLA), profit-sharing payments, cash equivalents of unused vacation and sick leave credits, overtime pay, premium pay, night shift differential pay, holiday pay, and all allowances and monetary benefits which are not considered, or integrated as part of the regular or basic salary of the employee.


The formula for computing the 13th-month pay is total basic salary earned during the year divided by 12 months.

The DOLE also reminded employers that rank-and-file employees in the private sector are entitled to the 13th month pay, regardless of their position, designation, or employment status provided that they have worked for at least a month during the calendar year.


The field offices of the DOLE in the region are located in Laoag City; Vigan City, Ilocos Sur; San Fernando City, La Union; Rosales, Pangasinan; Dagupan City and Alaminos City, Pangasinan. (MCA/JNP/PIA1-La Union with reports from DOLE1)



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Health exec says no measles outbreak in Laoag


By: Cherry Joy S. Discaya


LAOAG CITY, Jan. 8 (PIA) - The City Health Office (CHO) has allayed fears of measles outbreak here noting that children were given vaccination shots during the city government’s visit to the villages.


Dr. Renato Mateo, CHO head, said no measles cases in Laoag has been reported to this day following the outbreak of measles in certain areas in the country especially Metro Manila.


“We have not recorded any outbreak. We are confident that measles will not affect the children here since they have complete set of vaccination,” Mateo said.


The Department of Health said babies aged 6 to 11 months should be administered their first vaccine shot while booster shot is given at 12 to 18 months.


Mateo said children who have not been given anti-measles shots may avail of free vaccines once supply arrives from the DOH.


He said even children who have been previously vaccinated may still be re-vaccinated five years after acquiring the initial anti-measles shots.


The CHO through the ‘Rang-ay Ti Barangay’ (progress to the villages), a livelihood and medical assistance program of the city government, regularly visits villages for medical support and mandatory vaccination of children.


The Laoag City General Hospital (LCGH) also supports the CHO in administering free vaccines when supply is available.


Meanwhile, the City Disaster Risk and Reduction Management Council (CDRRMC) said it will monitor measles incidents in the city to prevent an outbreak. (MCA/ CJDG PIA-1, Ilocos Norte)



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Gov’t sets sights on eliminating child labor


PINILI, Ilocos Norte, Jan. 8 (PIA) - State agencies have started to train their attention on eliminating child labor in the Philippines after a national survey showed rising incidence of child labor since 2011.


Led by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), the joint-effort involves a series of advocacy campaign on anti-child labor simultaneous with the launching of the convergence program dubbed “HELP ME,” which stands for health, education, livelihood, prosecution, monitoring and evaluation.


Teresa N. Bonavente, Social Welfare and Development head in Ilocos Norte, said the program aims to establish a child labor-free Philippines by 2016.


“We have converged to reduce and eliminate child-labor while servicing the needs of the poor, the main cause of child-labor,” Bonavente said.


Poor communities in Pinili town were chosen for the program’s pilot launch.


Village officials signified their support to the program through a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the DOLE.


She said agencies namely DOLE will provide livelihood, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority and Department of Education for education, the Department of Health for health services and the Philippine National Police for the prosecution of cases and other services according to clients’ needs.


The monitoring and evaluation will come after the services have been provided.


“To ensure the program’s sustainability and effectiveness, we will conduct visits to evaluate if the services were properly utilized,” Bonavente said.

Other agencies involved in the program include the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Philippine Information Agency (PIA), local governments and Non-Government Organizations (NGOs).


The agencies have started profiling other households prior to the program’s full implementation. (MCA/CJDG PIA-1, Ilocos Norte)



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DOLE’s bottom-up budgeting project gets thumbs up


SAN FERNANDO CITY, Jan. 7 (PIA) - The Department of the Interior and Local Government has lauded the bottom-up budgeting project of the Department of Labor and Employment in the Ilocos as a  model project in La Union.


Corazon Salindong, chief of the DILG Regional Office 1’s Local Government Monitoring and Evaluation Division, said DOLE’s project was the only successfully implemented among the pilot run projects in La Union for fiscal year 2013.


“We are heartened at the knowledge that the DOLE was able to set precedent for other participating agencies in fulfilling the goals of the project,” DOLE Regional Director in the Ilocos Grace Ursua said. 


“I commend the DOLE-La Union Field Office under the leadership of Fiorello Surell for doing a great job.  The LUFO staff worked very hard on this project to ensure its implementation,” she added. 


The DOLE in the Ilocos has released P1 million livelihood assistance to Bauang to fund five livelihood projects, namely, goat breeding and production, Negosyo sa Kariton, turmeric processing and two fishing banca projects.  Initially, the projects benefit 197 farmers, fisherfolk, vendors and homebased workers. 


Under the BUB, participating agencies like the DOLE are mandated to earmark at least 10 percent of the budgets of programs and projects included in the Human Resource Development and Poverty Reduction Cluster’s menu of programs to fund the project proposals of the focus cities and municipalities.  


Other pilot areas in the region are Agoo, Aringay, Bagulin, Bangar, City of San Fernando, Luna, Naguilian, Rosario and Tubao. 


“With more livelihood funds next year, the agency will be able to help more marginalized sectors and organizations embark in poverty-reducing livelihood projects,” Ursua said. 


The BUB aims to reduce poverty by allowing grassroots organizations and communities to participate in planning and budgeting of local and national governments. – (MCA/Miriam P. Aquino with Arly Sta. Ana-Valdez-DOLE)



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DENR preserves diminishing marine turtles in Ilocos


By: Joanne Namnama G. Parrocha


SAN FERNANDO CITY, Jan. 6 (PIA) – The Department of Environment and Natural Resources continues to implement marine turtle conservation through its Pawikan conservation project.


The department created the Task Force Pawikan to preserve the diminishing population of green turtles.


Josephine Ople, information officer, said stakeholders are tapped to realize the agency’s vision to rehabilitate and conserve natural resources including the marine turtles.


“We give credit (to stakeholders) by granting a certificate of recognition citing their invaluable contribution to the marine turtle conservation program,” said Ople.


Recently, the DENR recognized fisher folks from Barangay Poro here namely, Jeff Rilloraza, Jed Paul Tongawan, Sonny Onia, Armenio Rulloda and Julie Tongowan for their efforts in Pawikan conservation.


In line with the project, some 45 green turtles were released last December 27 in the same fishing village.


“The city government is very active in promoting environmental awareness in line with the city’s vision of becoming the greenest and cleanest city in the North in the year 2020,” said Ople.


Every year, the DENR rescues marine turtles in the towns of Rosario, San Juan, Lingsat, Agoo and along shorelines of Poro village.


Incidents of pawikans being trapped and rescued anywhere in the region are directly reported to the DENR.


Once pawikans are safe, releasing is immediately done. However, a certain protocol is observed when marine turtles are injured.


“Injured turtles are brought to the DENR to be examined and treated by a veterinary before they are released,” said Ople.


Further, if the pawikan’s size is 40 centimeters and above, metal tags bearing the “PH” letters and a four-digit serial number are placed on the turtle’s flippers.


“Once they are trapped again anywhere in the country or even outside, rescuers will easily know that they turtles are from the Philippines,” Ople said.


The conservation project is the government's response to the dwindling marine turtle population in the country pursuant to Executive Order No. 542 signed on June 26, 1979. (MCA/JNP/PIA1-La Union with reports from San Fernando City ENRO)



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Ilocos Norte works to reduce malnutrition incidence


By: Freddie G. Lazaro


LAOAG CITY, Jan. 5 (PIA) – The provincial nutrition committee has intensified its campaign to reduce the malnutrition incidence in Ilocos Norte.


Elma Irapta, provincial nutrition action officer, said the prevalence of malnutrition among pre-school children in the province is 7.53 percent or below the 10 percent-rate, which is considered an alarming stage.


“Although the malnutrition prevalence rate among pre-school children in the province is not alarming, we are aiming to reduce it to 4.7 percent by the end of 2014,” Irapta said during the Philippine Information Agency’s weekly radio program billed Pannakiuman, Isyu ken Aksion aired over DWFB Radyo ng Bayan.


The provincial government with the cooperation of the Department of Health (DOH) and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has been conducting massive feeding programs and vitamins supplementation for school children.


Irapta said that her office has intensified the campaign on “wash-wash program” in all pre-schools and elementary schools in the province to promote proper hygiene to prevent infection.


“We are not only promoting the proper food intake for our children. We teach them the proper hygiene to maintain the cleanliness of their bodies and avoid any form of sickness,” she said.


Irapta said that all barangay nutrition scholars and barangay health workers will organize a “barangay breastfeeding brigade” to strictly implement the breastfeeding program among mothers.


The national government promotes breastfeeding as this is the most effective means to grow a healthy and disease–free child from 0 to two years old. (MCA/FGL PIA 1 Ilocos Norte)



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Rizal monument unveiled in Rizal village in Ilocos Sur

Cabugao, Ilocos Sur, Jan. 5 (PIA) – Residents of Barangay Rizal in this town witnessed the unveiling of the newly-built Rizal Monument during the national hero’s death anniversary.

 Mayor Edgardo  Cobangbang, Jr. and members of the Sangguniang Bayan led the unveiling followed by flower offering and blessing of the annex rooms of the municipal building which will house the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) and the Fiscal’s Office.

 Located on a spacious landscaped area, between the Regional Trial Court and the Cabugao Municipal Police Station, the Rizal monument is a fitting tribute on the national hero’s birth anniversary said barangay chair Thaddeus Soller.

 Rizal died by firing squad on December 30, 1896 at the Bagumbayan Field in Manila.

 Killed by execution by Spanish colonialists, Rizal was a scholar and prolific writer and traveled to many parts of the world including China, France, Germany and Spain.

 He is also recognized for his intelligence and heroism. Monuments of Rizal stand in many other parts of the world, including Singapore, United States, Mexico, Peru, Czech Republic, Switzerland.  

 Rizal’s figure here is shown holding a book. It signifies his love for education which should inspire young children to study hard and finish their schooling which will give them a dignified work to support themselves and their families.  (MCA/MNOA /PIA1 Ilocos Sur)

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January 4, 2014

124,000 new BPO jobs expected in 2014


     The country’s mega business process outsourcing (BPO) firms are expected to spearhead the production of roughly 124,000 new full-time jobs in 2014, Pasig City Rep. Roman Romulo, a key industry backer, said.


     “Based on sectoral projections, we are confident that BPO firms will be able to add an average of 124,000 well-paying jobs annually from 2014 to 2016, or a total of 372,000 new posts over the next three years,” Romulo said.


     “This will help address unemployment, especially among college-educated Filipinos,” said Romulo, chairman of the House committee on higher and technical education.


     A previous survey by Pulse Asia Research Inc. showed that “creating more jobs” is one of the top five urgent national concerns, along with fighting official corruption, controlling inflation, improving the pay of workers, and reducing poverty.


     “We are counting on the bigger BPO players to continue to drive the formation of new jobs,” Romulo said.


     “As they draw in more business, the super BPO firms can quickly scale up their activities here and hire extra staff, while reducing cost per unit of output owing to greater operational efficiency,” he added.


     Romulo singled out BPO giants Accenture and Convergys, both of which now have more than 35,000 employees each in the Philippines.


     Based on their 2012 revenues, released here for the first time, Romulo named the country’s 36 mega BPO firms, to include the in-house outsourcing units here of global corporations, as follows: Accenture Inc. (P28.104 billion in revenues); Convergys Philippines Services Corp. (P17.281 billion); JPMorgan Chase Bank N.A–Philippine Global Service Center (P10.805 billion); 24/7 Customer Philippines Inc. (P7.711 billion);


     Telephilippines Inc. (P7.241 billion); TeleTech Offshore Investments B.V. (P6.978 billion); Sutherland Global Services Philippines Inc. (P6.805 billion); Stream International Global Services Philippines Inc. (P6.738 billion); Sitel Philippines Corp. (P6.364 billion); Deutsche Knowledge Services Pte. Ltd. (P5.754 billion);


     Sykes Asia Inc. (P5.617 billion); IBM Daksh Business Process Services Philippines Inc. (P5.516 billion); Aegis PeopleSupport Inc. (P5.445 billion); TeleTech Customer Care Management Philippines Inc. (P5.402 billion); IBM Business Services Inc. (P5.211 billion); Telus International Philippines Inc. (P4.962 billion);


     Shell Shared Services (Asia) B.V. (P4.821 billion); HSBC Electronic Data Processing (Philippines) Inc. (P4.700 billion); ePLDT Inc. (P4.147 billion); SPi CRM Inc. (P3.501 billion); ACS of the Philippines Inc. (P3.492 billion); VXI Global Holdings B.V. (P3.266 billion); Emerson Electric (Asia) Ltd. (P3.230 billion); StarTek International Ltd. (P3.094 billion);


     IBM Solutions Delivery Inc. (P3.019 billion); Sykes Marketing Services Inc. (P2.760 billion); SPi Technologies Inc. (P2.626 billion); Genpact Services LLC (P2.552 billion); Macquarie Offshore Services Pty. Ltd. (P2.522 billion); Thomson Reuters Corp. Pte. Ltd. (P2.265 billion); AIG Shared Services Corp. Philippines (P2.357 billion);


     Hinduja Global Solutions Ltd. (P2.194 billion); Lexmark Research and Development Corp. (P1.956 billion); ANZ Global Services and Operations (Manila) Inc. (P1.869 billion); Maersk Global Service Centers (Philippines) Ltd. (P1.859 billion); and Manulife Data Services Inc. (P1.745 billion).


     The 36 firms alone raked in some P192 billion in combined revenues in 2012, according to Romulo.


     Romulo is author of the Data Privacy Act, which has helped to entice global corporations to either establish new in-house outsourcing units here in Manila, or to relegate their non-core, business support activities to highly specialized independent BPO firms operating here.


     The law mandates all entities, including BPO firms, to protect the confidentiality of personal information collected from clients and stored in information-technology (IT) systems, in accordance with rigorous international privacy standards.


     The Philippines’ highly labor-intensive, BPO and IT-enabled services industry includes contact center services; back offices; medical, legal and other data transcription; animation; software development; engineering design; and digital content.


     The IT and Business Processing Association of the Philippines sees the industry yielding up to $27 billion in annual revenues and directly employing some 1.3 million Filipinos by 2016.



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January 4, 2014

Girlie bars stone’s throw of schools up north



University of Santo Tomas Journalism program


CANDON CITY, ILOCOS SUR—Nightclubs and restobars in this northern Luzon city are in contrary to an amended code of general ordinances, but the authorities have no action yet regarding to it.

For example, in Barangay Darapidap, the Ilocos Sur Polytechnic State Colleges campus there is surrounded by restobars.

It was stated Ordinance No. 478, “Condition for the operation of Night clubs, beer gardens, disco houses and the like: 1. No nightclubs, cabarets, bars, beer houses, beer gardens, disco pubs, video bar or pub house shall be established within a radius of one hundred fifty (150) lineal meters from any educational, religious, or public institutions such as schools, colleges, universities, hospitals, churches or chapels, or government offices. They shall only be established along the national highway/provincial road at Barangays Paras, San Nicholas, and along the shoreline on the City of Candon”.

A citizen living near the college said, “there are students in uniform (but polo was removed), who are drinking liquors and beers there (pointing at the restobar near their house)”.

However, another clubhouse in Barangay Paras (located along MacArthur Highway) named Farmers (located just beside Northern Ilocandia College of Science and Technology, and in front of a branch of the Land Transportation Office) was closed because of this ordinance.

The nearest bar now from NICOSAT College is Grand Estelle, approximately 175 meters away. Next is Bojek, about 200 meters and Apple’s which is about 235 meters away from NICOSAT College, according to Municipal Engineer Florante Galut.

It was also said that bars operate in Barangay Paras and were said to be showing indecent shows, a violation under Ordinance No. 478.

According to a frequent visitor of one of the bars in Barangay Paras who refused to be named, he said that “during this event called “Big Night” which happens once a month which I pay 200-500 pesos for the entrance fee . . . these girls are getting off of their clothes while dancing in the stage.”

“For what, I know these girls are from different places in Luzon such as Manila, Baguio, Pangasinan, La Union, etc.”

Pieces of evidence are still being gathered to check on these alleged lewd shows, said Angie Rubang, Sanitary Health Inspector III of the city government.

Rubang added these girls are called “hospitality girls of the city” and they receive a health benefit from the local government of Candon which is free pop smear for twice a month in the city health office. 

Under Prohibition (d) in Ordinance No 478, guest relations officers (GROs) are not allowed to display in front of the bars, night clubs, or beer houses and the like.

Late at night, along the highways, there are girls in skimpy and flirty dresses who are seated in line, in front of the bar they are working for.

A motorist said: “Sa tuwing dadaan ako sa lugar na ‘to (Barangay Paras), nandyan ‘yung mga babae and lalo na pag Biyernes, Sabado at Linggo mas madami pa sila.”

A citizen near the bars said that these bars, specifically the bars located along the national highways, “are destroying the face of Candon”. 

Ordinance No. 478 provides penalties on those fund to be violating the provision: a fine of P5,000 for the first offense; P5,000 fine plus a 15-daya suspension of operation for the second offense; and a closure of the establishment as well as revocation of the mayor’s business permit for a third offense.

This issue facing nightclubs and restobars is currently being deliberated at the City Council. 


Ms. Almonina is a sophomore journalism student of the University of Santo Tomas, and submitted this story for her News Writing 1 class 



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Tribal village, newest attraction in Ilocos Norte


By: Freddie G. Lazaro


NUEVA ERA, Ilocos Norte, Jan. 1 (PIA) – Ilocos Norte has unveiled a new tourist destination depicting the indigenous arts, practices and cultures of the upland town Nueva Era.


Dubbed “the Tribal Village” of Nueva Era, 39.8 km southeast of Laoag City, the tourist attraction was opened on December 28.


Rhea Rivera, the tourism officer of Nueva Era, said the village structures were inspired by facilities from tourism mecca Kota Kinabalo in Malaysia.


She said Nueva Era’s added values is its natural cool and fresh ambiance as the village was constructed under big trees beside Mount Sicapao, 500 meters east of the town hall.


She added the place is an excellent venue for picnic, adventure walk, mountain biking and other outdoor adventures.


The village has “tree houses” built on tree branches with connecting wooden ladders and bridges.


A “canopy walk” was constructed between trees for added adventure activity at the site.


The village has attractive cottages and buildings made of indigenous materials.


It also boasts of a 25-meter swimming pool with clear and free–flowing water from the mountains.


Aside from the facilities, a cultural presentation on local community life will also captivate any tourist’s interest.


“The village is an excellent venue for canopy walk, mountain hiking, picnic, gathering or conferences,” Rivera said.


For her part, Governor Imee Marcos cited the Nueva Era tribal village as another place in the province that will draw attractions and entertainments.


She said that attractiveness of the place will encourage balikbayans and tourists to often visit the province. (MCA/FGL PIA 1 – Ilocos Norte)



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Successive quakes rattle Ilocos Norte town



By: Cristina Arzadon


LAOAG CITY, Jan. 1 (PIA)  – At least six successive earthquakes rattled residents in northern Burgos town on New Year’s Day, the strongest registered at magnitude 5.5 and was plotted at 105 km northwest of the town at 4:01 am.


The Philippine Institute of Seismology and Volcanology earthquake bulletin said the temblor with a depth of 40 km was felt at intensity 3 in Laoag and in Sarrat town.


Three more tremors struck at 5:32am and 5:45 am both at magnitude 4.3 followed by a stronger shaking at 7:41 am with magnitude 4.8.


Two milder tremors both registered at magnitude 4.3 struck at 8:01am and 9:26 am respectively. All earthquakes were tectonic in origin.


Engr. Cynthia Iglesia, of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Administration based at the Laoag International Airport, said no tsunami alert was raised by Phivolcs after the series of earthquakes.


“Since yesterday (when two quakes also struck in Burgos), there was no tsunami alert sent. Judging by the shaking yesterday, no tsunami is likely to occur today because the depth of the earthquake was deep,” she said.


Iglesia said even Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos sent her a text message today asking details of the successive earthquakes.


“There is no cause for alarm. The tremors were not that strong to create tsunami,” Iglesia said.


Early yesterday, two mild earthquakes also struck Burgos town with magnitudes 4.3 and 4 respectively. (MCA/PIA Ilocos Norte)



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Women’s group on signature drive to end violence against women, children


By: Freddie G. Lazaro


LAOAG CITY, Dec. 31 (PIA) – An international women’s group here has gathered a thousand signatures in support of the global campaign to end violence against women and children.


Ilocos Norte’s Zonta initiated the signature drive to raise awareness and increase action to end violence against women and girls through services and advocacy.


The group’s campaign streamers bore the message: “A thousand and more signatures; Zonta says no.”


Marsha Leoncia Aoigan said the campaign began in November 2012 focusing on the service and advocacy actions of Zonta clubs and districts worldwide to prevent and end violence against women and children in local communities.


She said the drive is carried out through the Zonta International Strategies to End Violence Against Women (ZISVAW) program in partnership with the United Nations and its agencies.


The Zonta Club of Ilocos Norte (ZCIN) was established on May 9, 1978.


At present, 49 members work hand in hand with the local governments and other Non – Government Organizations (NGOs) to advance the status of women in Ilocos Norte.


It has chapters in Baguio City, San Fernando City of La Union, Tuguegarao Foundation, Aparri and Central Tuguegarao and in Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore and Hongkong.


In her visit in the province recently, Zonta International District 17 Governor Winnie Teoh based in Hongkong called on women’s groups in the country to act now to prevent violence against women.


She said the prevalence of incidents against Filipino women is alarming.


Teoh compared the 2004 survey report collected by the Philippine Commission on Women showing 6,271 cases of violence against women as against the 2012 report with 15,969 cases of crime against women.


“Prevention is better than cure. Thus, I urge our group, concerned local NGOs and the media to help  us publicize a better awareness of this issue in the community, so as to achieve better harmony in our society,” she said in a press briefing.


She also called the conduct of more seminars and symposium in the local level focusing on the discussion on the rights of women and children. (MCA/FGL PIA- 1- Ilocos Norte)



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San Nicolas residents remember Rizal’s heroism


By: Cherry Joy S. Discaya


SAN NICOLAS, Ilocos Norte, Dec. 31 (PIA) - The home of the Damili Festival in Ilocos Norte took time to remember the 117th death anniversary of the Philippine’s national hero Dr. Jose Rizal yesterday at the San Nicolas town plaza.


Mayor Melanie Valdez encouraged her fellow San Nicolenos to do good and to offer help to other people as a new breed of heroes may bloom from them.


“To be a hero, it requires selflessness and sacrifices (like what Dr. Jose Rizal did when he fought for the Philippines),” she said.


Like those who contributed help for the Yolanda victims, Valdez considered residents here as heroes for being able to raise donations for the storm victim.


“Anyone can be a hero and let us continue to be everyday heroes,” Valdez said.


Led by the municipal and barangay officials, some non-government organizations, socio-civic group and students also joined the event.


Officials also offered wreaths on two shrines namely the Rizal Monument and the Veterans Memorial Monument in San Nicolas town plaza was held to mark the significance of the event.


Edison Bumanglag, a preschool teacher who joined the event said the Rizal Day commemoration was intended mostly for the youth, to bring them back to what Rizal said that the youth are the hope of the nation.


“Most of our youth today is not giving much significance to the legacy of Rizal, they are just interested on it because it is part of their lesson in school,” he said.


Bumanglag lamented that some youth were interested on video game heroes more than the learning from national heroes like Rizal.


However, remembering Rizal every year is our way of educating them that heroism should not be forgotten. It should always be built at home and within us,” he said.


“The youth of today are stronger and happier despite the challenges our nation is facing. They can still be the hope of the nation,” Joey Diensen, a third year high school student at San Nicolas National High School said. (MCA/ CJDG PIA-1, Ilocos Norte)



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Philippine football team wins in Asia Pacific Special Olympics


By: Joanne Namnama G. Parrocha


SAN FERNANDO CITY, Dec. 30 (PIA) – The Philippine Specials Football Team bagged the gold in the recent Special Olympics 2013 in New Castle, Australia.


The country’s delegates, composed of mentally challenged athletes, competed in the 11-player and five-player categories.


Athletes in the 11-player category, composed of delegates from Baguio City and the National Capital Region, won the silver medal behind Bangladesh.


Players in the five-category, composed of athletes from La Union province, won the gold medal over American Samoa Speciao Olympics football team.


Joan Jean Chan, special education teacher from Aringay town and one of the 10 coaches for La Union, said the team won the gold as a result of players’ rigid training from June to November.


Winners in the Special Olympics Asia-Pacific Games will qualify for the 14th Special Olympics Summer World Games in Los Angeles in 2015


Chan said they will prepare the athletes for the 2015 games hoping to emerge as champions again.


“We still have one and a half years to practice and we are praying for the best,” said Chan.


Chan, who has been teaching children with special needs for 12 years, said she will continue loving them unconditionally.


“When we show (them) love and care, they will also reciprocate that. They’re genuine. What you see is what you get,” Chan said.


The Asia Pacific Games was held from December 1-7 in Newcastle, Australia with 2,000 athletes, 600 coaches and officials, over 4,000 volunteers and an estimated 200,000 in attendance. (MCA/JNP/PIA1-La Union)


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Fewer injuries from firecracker blast in Ilocos


SAN FERNANDO CITY, Dec. 30 (PIA)– Injuries caused by firecracker blasts during the Christmas revelry in the Ilocos region dropped to 41 percent, the Center for Health Development in Ilocos said.


In a report, the CHD’s firecracker injury surveillance said only 23 firecracker-related injuries were reported after the Christmas observance or lower than the 39 incidents reported last year.


Bernie Garcia, CHD information officer, said health officials welcomed the news that no victim was hit by stray bullets and that no death was recorded.


“We hope to achieve a zero-casualty even after the New Year celebration,” he said.
The incidents were distributed as follows: La Union with 9 injured, followed by Ilocos Sur with 8 injured, Ilocos Norte with 5 injured and one injured in Pangasinan.
Of the victims, 87 percent were male while 13 percent were females whose age ranges from 1 to 52 years old.


The report showed most blast victims were caused by Piccolo followed by triangle and 5-star. 
Most victims suffered from various stages of blasting injuries in the hand and palm, forefinger and middle finger while others suffered from first degree-burn on the hand. No amputations, however, was made. (MCA/MPA/PIA1 La Union)



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Feature: Cervantes town’s long, winding road to development


By: Imelda C. Rivero


Cervantes, Ilocos Sur, Dec. 27 (PIA) – This town, considered the summer capital of Ilocos Sur, continues to beacon to tourists looking for crisp sceneries without the hustle and bustle of daily traffic.


But tourism and development planners agree that the town needs investment support to become another destination in the North.


The mountain tops of Cervantes town, less than three hours from Tagudin town, became the recent stop of a town hall meeting initiated by national agencies so that the community’s concerns could be addressed.


The public consultation sought to push development in this fourth class town following the opening of Aluling bridge which connects Ilocos Sur to the rest of the Cordillera, a long-time trading partner.


Mayor Benjamin Maggay led his community in the public dialogue which also included a caravan of public services from government agencies.


According to Modesto Baloloy of the Department of Tourism (DOT), the Cervantes community listed down the following as its issues: tourism as priority industry, comprehensive land use plan, capacity building, security for tourists, and transportation to this town.


“A place steeped with history and heritage. It has vast opportunities for tourism. It has unspoiled environment, rich natural resources and needs resource management and preservation,” Baloloy said.  


He noted that the town, which is the door to the Cordilleras, has intact customs and traditions and can easily develop a culture of tourism and volunteerism.


Baloloy added that the town’s existing master plan must be revisited and analyzed if it is doable.  


“This must be mirrored against the national tourism development plan and the local government code. However, to push it further for tourism it must get priority support,” he added.


The town also boasts of an organic trading center, the historic World War II Battle of Bessang Pass marker and its turmeric industry which can be its One Town One Product (OTOP).


Baloloy said the presence of the coffee growers group proves that its coffee industry is flourishing.


“Cervantes is truly an eco-tourism town that must develop its old air strip which was used during the second World War. This could mean major development once an airport is built here. The grasslands are suitable for camping, too,” he added.  (MCA/ICR PIA-1Ilocos Sur)



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DSWD rolls out 4Ps caravan for Ilocos Sur’s indigenous group


SAN FERNANDO CITY, Dec. 27 (PIA) - The Department of Social Welfare and Development in the region continues to roll out its Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) caravan, this time for the indigenous peoples’ group in San Emilio in Ilocos Sur


Billed the Katutubo caravan, the DSWD delivered various services from basic health and nutritional information including the importance to access to medical services.


Various activities were held including orientation on proper nutrition, good hygiene and  importance of maintaining good health.


Beneficiaries were also informed on their rights based on the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act or IPRA Law. A medical consultation and a gift giving activity were also conducted.


Marcelo Nicomedes J. Castillo, DSWD director in the Ilocos, said that IP beneficiaries are given the same importance as non-IPs.


He also reminded the group’s responsibilities to comply with set conditions for their own welfare.


For the medical consultation, the province of Ilocos Sur sent two Doctors and a mobile clinic. Philippine Red Cross Ilocos Chapter sent representatives for the blood testing and energy biscuits as gifts.


The Department of Health donated medicine supplies which were turned over to the Municipal Health Officer (MHO) for distribution.


The DSWD handed 210 gift packs to families and slippers to children. On the other hand resource persons were sent by the National Commission on the Indigenous People (NCIP) and the National Nutrition Council (NCC).


Representing the beneficiaries, parent leader Danillo Dapiosen said they were very grateful and fortunate to be helped by the government.


They also wished for the continuity of the Pantawid program.


The Pantawid Pamilya is a conditional cash transfer program of the Philippine government which invests in human capital through health and education by providing cash grants to extremely poor households with children ages 0 – 14 years old. (MCA/Allan O. Lulu Information Officer II, Pantawid Pamilya)



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FEATURE: Ilocos Norte pays tribute to sons, daughters in “Heroes walk”


By: Freddie G. Lazaro


LAOAG CITY, Dec. 26 (PIA) – The provincial government has paid tribute to Ilocos Norte sons and daughters who carved their names in history through the so-called “Ilocano Heroes Walk.”


Built along the Sirib Mile stretch (university belt), the heroes walk was unveiled on December 5 - a highlight of the 2013 Tan-ok ni Ilocano Festival of Festivals.


The walk featured the monuments of nine Ilocano heroes, all natives of Ilocos Norte, who brought fame and glory to the country.


They include Juan Luna (1857 – 1899), General Antonio Luna (1866 – 1899), Gregorio Aglipay (1860 – 1940), General Artemio Ricarte (1866 – 1945), TeofiloYldefonso (1902 – 1945), Severino Montano (1915 – 1942), Anastacia Giron Tupas (1890 – 1972), Josefa Llanes Escoda (1898 – 1945), and Ferdinand E. Marcos (1917 – 1989).


Ilocos Norte Governor Imee R. Marcos with Laoag City Mayor Chevylle Farinas led other local officials, students, teachers, visitors and tourists in the unveiling of the heroes walk.


Marcos said the province’s heroes will always be appreciated and remembered by the young generations through their monuments.


The governor is now working on including the life and deeds of the heroes in the school curriculum of provincial schools to further inculcate their values and virtues to the students.


She added the search of other heroes in Ilocos Norte is continuing noting that there are other local personalities who did extraordinary things for the country.


Chief Tourism Operation Officer Modesto Baloloy of the Department of Tourism (DOT) said the establishment of “heroes walk” is a way of reliving the legacy of local and national heroes.


“Heroes walk is a vital project as we are not only commemorating the works of our national and local heroes. We are also creating another tourist attraction in our historical areas,” Baloloy said.


A quick glance of the Ilocano heroes show Juan Luna from Badoc town – the first famous Filipino painter; General Antonio Luna from Badoc town – a revolutionist in the Spanish era and founder of the Philippine Military Academy; Gregorio Aglipay from Batac City – a revolutionist and first Filipino supreme bishop of the Iglesia Filipina Independiente;  General Artemio Ricarte from Batac City – a revolutionist in the Spanish era and father of the Armed Forces of the Philipines (AFP).


TeofiloYldefonso from Piddig town – a back to back Olympian who brought medals to the country in swimming sports; Severino Montano from Laoag City – the titan of the Philippine Theater; Anastacia Giron Tupas from Laoag City – the mother of nursing profession; Josefa Llanes Escoda of Dingras town – the founder of the Girl Scout of the Philippines; and Ferdinand E. Marcos from Sarrat town – a World War II veteran and 10th President of the Republic of the Philippines.(MCA/FGL PIA1 Ilocos Norte)



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Ilocos Region to receive 35,000 MT of imported rice from Vietnam


San Juan, La Union, Dec. 26 – The National Food Authority in the Ilocos is set to receive some 35,000 metric tons of imported rice from Vietnam as part of the 500,000 metric tons additional imported rice sought by the agency through the government-to-government import scheme.


Director Carlito G. Co said the imported rice is meant as the government’s “pre-cautionary stocks” until the agency would start procuring palay anew from the farmers during the summer cropping season next year.


He added that the first batch of the imported rice is expected to arrive at the Port of San Fernando this month and the remaining volume to be delivered to the region until March 2014.


Co added that the rice import will help shore up the existing inventory in the region  even as it continues to buy palay from the farmers.It also seen to ease up farm gate price of palay which Co said was still very high.


“The infusion of the imported rice will hopefully cushion the buying price of palay by traders which is still way too high compared to the government  price of  P17 per kilogram,” he said.


He added that with the coming of the imported rice, prices in the market would also loosen up.


Vietnam has won the contract to supply rice to the Philippines with a tender of $462.25 per metric ton beating Thailand’s offer of $475. (MCA/NFA)



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La Union cops start sealing guns for holidays


By: Miriam P. Aquino


SAN FERNANDO CITY, Dec. 26 (PIA) -- Policemen in La Union had their gun muzzles sealed to support the national government’s campaign against indiscriminate firing during the Holidays.


The service firearms of 35 policemen were sealed during a ceremony at the Camp Diego Silang here after Monday’s flag-raising ceremony.


Senior Supt. Ramon Rafael, La Union police provincial director, said gun muzzle-sealing was done simultaneously in all police stations in the province.


Chief Insp. Marlon Paiste, said the gun-sealing was done every year to prevent any attempt at indiscriminate firing among police officers.


“Though we know that our cops are responsible and disciplined, we still need to do the muzzle-taping to show our sincerity in providing peace and order in the province,” he said.


Paiste said police officers went through great lengths before they were admitted to the service.


“(Surely) They could not afford to be dismissed from the service merely because of indiscriminate firing,” he added.


The seals will be removed on January 6.


Paiste said police officers, however, could still use their guns if faced with danger or when the need to respond arises.


At least 900 La Union police personnel will be on a 12 hour-duty during the holidays. (MCA/MPA/PIA1 La Union)



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Ilocos Sur launches corn seed assistance program to farmers


Cabugao, Ilocos Sur, Dec. 25 (PIA) - The provincial government said a corn assistance program was launched to increase corn production and provide income for corn growers.



Through the Provincial Agriculture Office, the Ryan corn seed assistance program provides high quality corn seeds to farmers.


According to Constante Botacion, Jr. PAO supervising agriculturists, the province has procured 2,124 bags of corn seeds to be planted to 2,360 hectares.


The corn seeds were distributed to corn farmers in 34 Ilocos Sur towns.


To ensure the project’s success, experts from PAO will assist the Municipal Agriculture Offices in providing technical assistance to the farmer beneficiaries. (MCA/MNOA /PIA1 Ilocos Sur)



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Ilocos Sur supports school on air program


By: Nila O. Argel


VIGAN CITY, Dec. 25 (PIA) – The provincial government has thrown its support behind non-formal education as an alternative form of learning to those who are not inclined to obtain formal education.



Provincial Board member Pablito Sanidad, Jr., chairman of the committee on agriculture and public information, said the school on air program called Unlad Pangisdaan: Pag-aalaga ng Apahap provides alternative income source as it lifts the entreprenueral spirit of graduates.


Launched by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), the program has paved the way for 179 student-farmers to complete a fishery course on seabass culture.


Sanidad pledged financial and equipment support from the provincial government to the graduates who received their certificates of completion last December 3.


Teofilo Quintal, provincial agriculturist, said the school on air was held from October to November.


He said radio was the best medium for the farmers because they can carry their radio sets as they work in the fields.


Nestor Domenden, BFAR director for the Ilocos, said seabass culture was the second school on air conducted in Ilocos Sur.


He said that the information is readily available in the internet but is not given importance and time.


“We conduct the school on the air to bring knowledge and expertise to farmers. We also monitor them to ensure that their knowledge is put into action,” he said.


Domenden said that with government’s support, graduates can have a livelihood and need not go abroad to look for jobs.


The graduates were composed of fisher folks from the towns of Sinait, Sto. Domingo, San Ildefonso, San Vicente, Caoayan, Bantay and Santa. Students from the Ilocos Sur Polytechnic State College (ISPSC) also received Certificates of Completion. (MCA/MNOA /PIA1 Ilocos Sur)



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Smoking among state workers drops after anti-smoking policy


By: Joanne Namnama G. Parrocha


SAN FERNANDO CITY, Dec. 24 (PIA) – The Civil Service Commission in the Ilocos said a policy against smoking in government premises has reduced smoking among state workers.


CSC Regional Director in the Ilocos Nelson Sarmiento said since the implementation of an anti-smoking circular in 2009, the number of smokers among government employees in the region has dropped by 10 percent.


The commission started implementing CSC Memorandum Circular (MC) No. 17 which prohibits smoking in government premises, buildings and grounds.


“This (smoke-free) policy does not only help public servants to quit smoking but it protects other people from being exposed to second-hand smoke,” Sarmiento said.


The policy, however, allows the designation of a smoking area for those who can’t kick the habit.


Sarmiento said the smoking area must be an open space with no roof and must be 10 meters away from the building’s entrance or exit.


“Penalties and administrative charges are imposed to those who fail to comply with the guidelines,” Sarmiento added.  


As a reward system, the CSC gives recognition to agencies that implement the policy.


Known as the Red Orchid Award, recipients of the recognition are national government agencies and local  governments that employ strategies to realize the policy’s objectives.


This year, the award was given to the departments of Health and Education and the Civil Service Commission.


“We do not hire smokers,” Sarmineto said.


The towns of Bauang, San Gabriel and San Juan all in La Union and Alilem town in Ilocos Sur were also included in the roster of awardees.

For the first time, the Hall of Fame Award was given to Mariano Marcos Memorial Hospital in Batac City in Ilocos Norte for winning the award for three consecutive years.


The commission continuously implements the policy by conducting regular orientation among state agencies, inter-agency symposiums and provision of campaign materials.  (MCA/JNP PIA-1 La Union)



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Farmers learn new rice technologies from demo sites


By: Nila O. Argel


Cabugao, Ilocos Sur, Dec. 24 (PIA) – Some 47 rice technology demonstration sites were established in Ilocos Sur during the wet season to increase farmers’ productivity.


Constante Botacion, Jr., Supervising Agriculturist of the Provincial Agriculture Office, said the demo sites showcased new technologies in integrated crop management using high quality seeds like hybrid and inbred seeds.


Farmers were also advised on the need to switch to mechanized farming to increase farm productivity and profitability of rice farmers.


A component of the project is the conduct of technology demonstration on days where farmers are out in their farmlands.


Farmer leaders are gathered in the demonstration sites during harvest time to show them how technologies are applied.


The project was a combined effort of the Provincial Agriculture Office, the Department of Agriculture regional field office and the local governments. (MCA/MNOA, PIA1-Ilocos Sur)



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LU farmer.jpg


LA UNION's Outstanding Rice Farmer Isidro Bacano (L) receives his Plaque of Recognition from (L-R) Provincial Agriculturist Imelda J. Sannadan, Vice Gov. Aureo Augusto Q. Nisce and Department of Agriculture (DA) Dir. Valentino C. Perdido during the Awarding Ceremonies of the 2013 Rice Achievers Award on Deceember 13, 2013 at the Diego Silang Hall, Provincial Capitol Building, San Fernando, La Union.


Photo By: Alfredo R. Buenaventura, Jr.



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Laoag identifies firecracker zone


By: Freddie G. Lazaro


LAOAG CITY, Dec. 22 (PIA) – To ensure safety this Yuletide season, the Laoag city government has designated the northern approach of Gilbert Bridge and its adjacent street as the only firecracker–selling zone here.


Superintendent Jeffrey T. Gorospe, the Laoag City chief of police, said Friday that the selling of firecrackers near the public market and other places beyond the designated selling point is strictly prohibited.


He said the zoning of firecracker stalls is very significant to avoid any untoward incident this holiday season.


“Actually, there were a lot of vendors, who secured already their permit from our office to sell firecrackers this Christmas and New Year’s Season,” he said.


He said the city police office had not yet received any incident related to firecracker as New Year’s Eve celebration is fast approaching.


As a precautionary measure, the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) will deploy one of its fire trucks at the selling site before and during the Christmas Eve celebration.


For his part, Laoag City Fire Marshall Bonifacio Sacatrapos said the firecracker zone is appropriate area as it is far from any residential and business structures.


“Under the guidelines, the best place in selling firecrackers should be on a land and 300 meters away from any structure,” Sacatrapos said.


He reminded that anyone who wishes to sell firecrackers should seek and complete all the requirements from the city government needed for the selling of firecrackers. (MCA/FGL PIA 1 Ilocos Norte)



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Seafarer’s family in Ilocos tops model OFW family nat’l search


By: Miriam P. Aquino


SAN FERNANDO CITY, Dec. 22 (PIA) – A couple from the Ilocos bagged the national award for the 2013 Model Overseas Filipino Worker Family in the sea-based category.


The award was conferred in a ceremony held at the Philippine International Convention Center on December 9.


The family of Chief Engineer Alberto L. Balbalan of Barangay Lucaban in Burgos in Ilocos Sur was named model family beating 17 other contenders.


Labor Communications Officer Shiela Mae J. Aguilar of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration in the region said the search highlights the success of OFWs and their families in managing their finances, giving their children quality education and keeping family values and solidarity intact.


The families were also evaluated on how they give back to the community through active involvement in socio-civic development.


 The OWWA has been celebrating the search for nine years.


Balbalan works as chief engineer for Tide Water Marine International in Singapore from 1987 to present.


Despite the distance, Balbalan did not neglect his responsibility to the family. As a father, he inculcated the importance of discipline, persistence, self-reliance and conscientiousness to his children.


A good provider, he was able to purchase houses and lots, vehicles, and invest on business ventures like a beach resort, water refilling stations, drug stores and cattle raising business.


Balbalan’s family showed kindness to their community by actively participating in community services which include providing scholarships to poor  but deserving students, conducting medical and dental missions, donating medicines, wheelchairs and cane quad to indigent patients and donating a chapel in their barangay.


Aguilar said Balbalan’s deeds gave him an edge over other candidates.

Esmael Maulana’s family of the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao won the land-based category.


The Ilocos region also won the national award for land-based category last year.

Both national winners received trophies and P500,000 cash prize. The winners were chosen from 34 model OFW candidates in 17 regions. (MCA/MPA/PIA1 La Union)




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December 20, 2013




La Union Governor Manuel C. Ortega exchange pleasantries with PDG Alan L. Purisima during the Police Regional Office 1 (PRO-1) Turn-Over of Command Ceremony for PSSUPT Moro Virgilio M. Lazo, incoming PRO-1 Officer-In-Charge and PCSUPT Ricardo C. Marquez, outgoing Director of PRO-1, held at the Concorde Building of PRO-1 in the City of San Fernando held last December 12.  Looking on are City of San Fernando Mayor Pablo C. Ortega (2nd from right) and PSSUPT Ramon L. Rafael (1st from left), Director of the La Union Police Provincial Office.


Photo by: Wendell B.Tangalin

                 Provincial Information & Tourism Office-La Union  



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December 20, 2013



La Union Blood Council gains Support from PGLU


By: Cesar S. Bucsit & Elena B. Littaua

Provincial Information and Tourism Office/ Governor’s Press Corp – La Union


            The Mobile Blood Donation (MBD) Program of the La Union Blood Council (LUBC), continuously gains popularity as a greater number of National Government Agencies, Local Government Officials,  Chiefs of District Hospitals,  Philippine  National  Police (PNP), Philippine Red Cross (PRC), Non Government Organizations (NGOs), the Academe together with stakeholders not only in La Union but entire Region I, assured commitment and active participation in strengthening LUBCs advocacy on Voluntary Non-Remunerated Blood Donation (VNRBD).


            In a regular quarterly meeting of the LUBC hosted by La Union Medical Center, Agoo, La Union on December 16, 2013 presided by its President, Dr. Unity H. Cortez, each Chairperson of the LUBC Committees composed of the Provincial Health Office (PHO), Provincial Information and Tourism Office (PITO), La Union Medical Center (LUMC), Ilocos Training and Regional Medical Center (ITRMC), Center for Health Development (CHD) Region I, Philippine Red Cross (PRC), Committee on Blood Donation and other hospitals in the Region, made a report regarding their accomplishments relative to the council’s advocacy.


            Their intensive efforts resulted to the collection of around 9,473 bags of blood at 450 cc each which according to the LUBC will be sufficient to meet the demands of indigent patients particularly those chronic users of blood and children with leukemia.


            In order to intensify its advocacy, the LUBC agreed to conduct an orientation seminar on donor recruitment which will involve Punong Barangays in the province, lecture on the rationale of collecting blood and its significance, annual semi-review on LUBCs accomplishments, and support for mobile blood donations. The foregoing activities of the council will be done either in the first or second quarter of 2014.  The LUBC acquiesced to seek the assistance of Board Member (BM) Manuel Victor “Mannix” R. Ortega, Jr., President of the Association of Barangay Captains (ABC) in La Union in order to invigorate a widespread information dissemination about the VNRBD in the different barangays of the province.


            Meanwhile, Gov. Manuel C. Ortega has assured his commitment on the advocacy of the LUBC. In support to Governor Ortega’s pledge, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan members through the Committee on Finance, Budget and Appropriations and the Committee on Health and Sanitation led by BM Francisco “Kit” C. Ortega, Jr. and BM Ruperto A. Rillera, Jr. respectively, ensure the allocation of fund to be used for the purpose.



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Ilocos Norte’s Xmas caravan rolls to poor communities


By: Freddie G. Lazaro


LAOAG CITY, December 20 (PIA) – The provincial government has started its five-day caravan beginning December 14 bringing Christmas gifts to the 3,504 poor families under the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) program.


Now on its third year, the caravan distributed Noche Buena packages to residents across the province to ensure that all the MDG recipients will have joyful and meaningful Christmas celebration.


The first leg of the caravan kicked–off in the towns of Nueva Era, Banna, Marcos, Dingras; followed by Pagudpud, Bangui, Dumalneg, and Pasuquin on December 15; then in Pinili, Currimao, Paoay, and Batac City on December 16.


On December 19, the caravan rolled in the towns of Bacarra, Vintar, Piddig, Carasi, and Solsona; and will end on December 20 in the towns of Badoc, San Nicolas, Sarrat, and Laoag City.


The delivery of gift packages is part of the commitment of Governor Imee Marcos to the MDG program she which she launched upon her assumption to office in 2010.


The governor had set aside an initial P77 million funds from the provincial government for the implementation of various programs to uplift the poor communities’ socio- economic status.


The MDG was signed in September 2000 by member-states of the United Nations including the Philippines to globally eliminate extreme poverty incidence until 2015.


In Ilocos Norte, the MDG council is composed of the provincial offices of the budget, the treasurer, the agriculture, the veterinary and the social welfare and development. (MCA/FGL PIA 1 Ilocos Norte with reports from Ilocos Norte’s CMO)



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Youth leaders gather in reg’l leadership summit


  SAN FERNANDO CITY, Dec. 19 - Youth Leaders of the Pag-Asa Youth Association (PYA) from the four provinces and eight cities in the Ilocos region joined the regional leadership summit to mark the association’s foundation day at the Nueva Segovia Consortium of Cooperatives in Caoayan, Ilocos Sur recently.


Aside from friendship, camaraderie and sportsmanship the activity facilitated better coordination among the PYAP federations in the region.


Newly elected PYAP Federated  President Richard Dizon led the new batch of  officers for CY 2013-2015Other officials include Vice President, Peter Jay Pascua; Secretary, Jeric Estioco; Treasurer, Cherry Gil Taylan; Business Manager, Jonathan Cortez; and Auditor, Marlon Ragandap.


A forum provided an avenue for the youth’s consciousness on emerging issues affecting the youth sector such  as protecting the environment and community participation.


Celso Jucutan of LINK (Lupon ng mga Individual na Nangangalaga ng Kalikasan) promoted activities towards environmental preservation where five areas of committees are implemented: Blue- Marine Conservation; Green-Reforestation; Brown-Solid Waste Management; White- Air Conservation; and Red-Disaster Management.


Jucutan asked the youth to actively participate on environmental preservation activities.


Meanwhile,  Dizon and Jeric Estioco (RPYAP Secretary) gained self-confidence after participating in group activities. The youth leaders  worked for the Government Internship Program (GIP), Immersion Outreach Program (IOP), PYAP Mobilization Thru Cash-for Work and the DSWD-Technical Education and Skills Development Authority cash for training program.


Other successful members include Melvin Libunao a former PYAP member now  kagawad in Brgy. Paras, Candon City while Anna Arquero a former PYA President was hired as job order at the CSWDO-  San Fernando City. (MCA/Iryn D. Cubangbang, Information Officer II)



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Mais maimula iti pagtatalunan iti IIlocos Sur


By: Imelda Castro-Rivero


SIUDAD TI VIGAN, Dec. 19 (PIA) – Maimula ti 2,124 a sako ti mais iti 2,360 ektaria iti probinsia, kuna ni Constante Botacion, Jr. ti supervising agriculturist iti probinsia.


Kas parte ti Ryan Corn seed assistance program ti gobierno probinsial nga idadauluan ni Gobernador Ryan Luis V Singson, daytoy a panagmula ket maipatungpal babaen kadagiti amin a mannalon iti mais iti 32 nga ili ken duwa a siudad iti probinsia, kuna nin Botacion. 


Ti pannakapaadu ti maan-ani a mais ti probinsia ti gandat daytoy a programa ti agrikultura. Daytoy to metten ti mangitunda ti panagnagato ti ekonomia dagiti pamilia dagiti mannalon ti mais.


Tapno agballaigi daytoy a gandat agtintinnulong ti opisina ti agrikultura iti probinsia ken dagiti ili tapno maited kadagiti mannalon ti mais ti umno a tulong teknikal iti panagmula ti mais nga addaan nangato a kalidad.


Ti mais ti maysa kadagiti masansan a maimulmula kadagiti kataltalonan iti probinsia iti 32 nga ili ken duwa a siudad.


Duwa a kita dagitoy. Ti puraw a mais a kuna dagiti mannalon nga ilaklakoda iti tiendaan a nalingta, ken maprito kas chichacorn. Ti nalabbaga a mais nga ilaklako dagiti mannalon kadagiti negosiante iti kanen dagiti dingnguen. Daytoy ti ipakanda kadagiti manok a pangtadi.


Namnamaen ti opisina ti agrikultura ti probinsia ti idadakkel daytoy a programa babaen met laeng iti panagkammayet dagiti mannalon ken dagiti teknisian ti agrikultura a mapmapan iti barangayda mangidanon kadagiti kauddian ken umno a teknolohia ti panagmula ken panagpadakkel iti kastoy a kita ti mais. (MCA/ICR/PIA-1 Ilocos Sur)



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Day of remembrance and prayer for Supertyphoon Yolanda victims


By: Ma. Nila Argel


VIGAN CITY, Dec. 18 (PIA) — Dozens of religious groups joined the archdiocese of Palo, Leyte in marking December 8 as a day of remembrance and prayer for victims of Supertyphoon Yolanda (international name: Haiyan).


 Religious volunteers proceeded to Basper Village, 8 kilometers from the provincial capital to visit bodies buried in a public mass gravesite.


They offered candles, wreath, crucifix and prayers. They also assisted the families by giving cash support as Christmas gift.


They later joined the diocesan priests of Sto. Niño Parish, Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish and Virgen de la Candelaria Mission Station under Archbishop John F. Du who offered prayers for the dead, which the national authorities placed at more than 6,000 as of latest count.


Reports from the provincial officials said that the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) had taken photos of the dead while the government will provide a final resting place for them.


The group also visited another graveyard at the St. Anne Chapel of Villa de San Juanico where seven victims had a decent burial.


The last gravesite where prayers were offered was at the yard of the Palo Cathedral where 100 people were buried, according to Msgr. Bernie Pantin, Vicar General of the archdiocese. (MCA/MNOA  PIA1-Ilocos Sur)



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Facility for abused girls provide home, rehab


SAN FERNANDO CITY, Dec. 18 – The Department of Social Welfare and Development has provided rehabilitation and reintegration services to young children as part of their psychosocial development.


The department’s Home for Girls has given shelter to at least 40 young girls who were victims of abuse, according to acting center head Norma Jacla.

Aside from the regular psychological therapy sessions, at least two clients were also given in-depth psychological evaluation at the Center for Mental Health, Baguio General Hospital due to irregular demeanor and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).


To address their health needsnine clients were submitted for laboratory examinations due to chronic respiratory illness, abdominal pain and ear infection.


To reintegrate them to the community, the center opened its doors to celebrate Nutrition Month with a cook fest, Search for Miss Nutrition and poster and slogan-making contest and nutri-jingle contest.


At least 30 student leaders from four public and private high schools also attended the Children’s Month celebration with the theme “Kahirapan Wakasan, Karapatan ng Bata Ipaglaban”.  Former Center Head now Social Technology Unit Head Fe G. Sarmiento served as the Resource Speaker.


A musical group band was organized as part of the children’s rehabilitation process.


The musical group is an avenue where children can express themselves and expel fear and trauma. (MCA/Iryn D. Cubangbang, Information Officer with report from Home for Girls)


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December 17, 2013


European tourist guide book provides fresh window to Ilocos Norte's destinations


By: Cherry Joy S. Discaya


LAOAG CITY,  (PIA) – Ilocos Norte got fresh pages in a European tourist guide book which now features a locator to the province’s finest destinations including hotels, restaurants and transportation facilities.


The book “Guide to the Philippines” authored by British writer Kiki Deere is used by the European tourists travelling around the world which includes Ilocos Norte.


Department of Tourism head for Ilocos Norte Milagros R. Gonzales said the book’s authors fly to the Philippines yearly to update its data.


“The book of Ms. Deere is widely used by Europeans who are travelling around the world which includes our ten anchor destinations in the Philippines,” Gonzales said.


The book has 15,000 existing copies in Europe and has more than a million viewers on their online account.


It also provides information on the ten anchor destinations in the Philippines namely, Baler in Aurora, Boracay, Cebu City, Bohol, Palawan, Baguio City, Banaue in Benguet, Subic in Clark Pampanga, Vigan City and Ilocos Norte.


The book provides a window to Ilocos Norte’s destinations namely the famous beaches in Pagudpud, sand dunes in Laoag City, the windmill in Bangui, Kapurpurawan Rock Formation and Lighthouse in Burgos, the Paoay Church and major waterfalls.


“This is a very effective marketing strategy for us in Ilocos Norte and the Philippines. The government did not commission them, they came on their own,” she added.


According to the DOT, tourist traffic from European countries to Ilocos Norte increases yearly and peaks during summer season.


“They love the beaches in Pagudpud and the Ilocano culture too,” Gonzales said. (MCA/ CJDG PIA-1, Ilocos Norte)



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December 16, 2013


Cebu Pacific Air slashes 75% off Philippine fares for 2014 travel

The Philippines’ leading low-cost carrier, Cebu Pacific Air (PSE:CEB) offers a 75% off seat sale on all its 33 domestic destinations, from December 13 to 16, 2013 or until seats last. This is for travel from January 1 to March 31, 2014.
“What better way to start 2014 than with exploring the Philippines. We encourage everyone to take advantage of Cebu Pacific’s extensive network, which can take guests to some of the world’s best diving and surfing spots, as well as family-friendly and eco-adventure attractions,” said CEB VP for Marketing and Distribution Candice Iyog.
Guests can book 75% off seats to any of the following destinations: Bacolod, Boracay (Caticlan), Busuanga (Coron), Butuan, Cagayan de Oro, Camiguin, Cauayan (Isabela), Cebu, Clark, Cotabato, Davao, Dipolog, Dumaguete, General Santos, Iloilo, Kalibo, Legaspi, Laoag, Manila, Naga, Ozamiz, Pagadian, Puerto Princesa, Roxas, San Jose (Mindoro), Siargao, Surigao, Tacloban, Tagbilaran, Tawi-Tawi, Tuguegarao, Virac and Zamboanga.
CEB’s newest route between Davao and Bacolod is also included in the seat sale. Travel period is from January 25, 2014, when the route is launched, until May 31, 2014.
Meanwhile, CEB also offers great deals on select international routes, for travel from January 15 to April 30, 2014. Up for grabs are P99 seats from Manila to Osaka or Guangzhou.
P699 seats are also available for flights from Manila to Phuket, Kota Kinabalu or Xiamen; from Cebu to Bangkok; and, from Clark or Iloilo to Hong Kong.
Those traveling from Manila, Cebu or Clark to Singapore can also buy P1,499 seats. The same goes for those traveling from Manila to Bangkok, Siem Reap or Hong Kong.
For bookings and inquiries, guests can go to, or call the reservation hotlines (02)7020-888 or (032)230-8888. The latest seat sales can also be found on CEB’s official Twitter (@cebupacificair) and Facebook pages.
CEB’s 47-strong fleet is comprised of 10 Airbus A319, 27 Airbus A320, 2 Airbus A330 and 8 ATR-72 500 aircraft. It is one of the most modern aircraft fleets in the world. Between 2013 and 2021, Cebu Pacific will take delivery of 15 more brand-new Airbus



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December 16, 2013


Pamulinawen dance routine romps to victory in Ilocos Norte festival


By: Freddie G. Lazaro


LAOAG CITY, (PIA) – This city’s Pamulinawen festival romped to victory in the third Tan-ok ni Ilokano (Greatness of Ilocano) as the best dance routine bringing back-to-back crown to Laoag.


Mayor Chevylle Fariñas praised the dance group for retaining its crown in the prestigious festival of festivals held last December 6.  Laoag City first won the crown last year.


“(This) was a showcase of our excellence in performing arts and in making props for entertainment,” she said.


In a simple ceremony, Fariñas handed over certificates of recognition to group members led by their choreographer and art director Mark Christian Espiritu.

The group composed of students, teachers and professionals received a trophy and a cash award amounting to P350, 000.


Other winners of the dance festivals were: Nueva Era – 1st runner – up with P250,000 cash prize and trophy; Batac City – 2nd runner with P150,000 cash prize and trophy; and other runner – up  winners (in the following order) Vintar, Banna, Pinili, Paoay and Currimao got P50,000 each.


Special awards were also given to Batac City for best music; Judelea Pucan from Batac City for best female performer; Mar Agbayani for best male performer; Pinili for people’s choice award; and Dumalneg for community award.


The festival was first launched on November 12, 2011 to boost the Ilocanos’ sense of pride, unity and greatness and, in the process, promote the province’s bounty and tourism potential.


Governor Imee Marcos said that the festival serves as an opportunity for the residents to recall what Ilocos Norte province really stands for.


She said even smaller towns have stepped up their skills hoping to corner an award.


Provincial Tourism Officer Ianree Raquel said the festival is meant to dramatize the historical origins of the 23 towns and cities in the province through dances and choreographed arts.


“It (involves) story-telling of (our) towns and cities’ history through dances which reflect our unique cultures whether in products, livelihood, history, religion, tradition, natural heritage or the combination of all,” he said. (MCA/FGL PIA 1 Ilocos Norte)


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December 16, 2013


BFAR churns new school-on-air grads


By: Nila O. Argel


VIGAN CITY, (PIA) – The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources has completed another fish farming course under its school-on-the-air program with 124 graduates for the seabass culture technology last December 3.


The school on air is a free educational program where fishery technologies and other fisheries-related topics are beamed through the radio.


Nestor Domenden, BFAR director for Ilocos, said the on the air program is intended to help beneficiaries earn livelihood in their own communities instead of going to other places to find work.

“Do not waste what you have learned over the radio. Put them into action,” he said.


Provincial board member Pablito Sanidad, Jr, committee on agriculture chair, said the school-radio program is an alternative education to address the peoples’ need to earn income.


He assured graduates that the provincial government would assist them in converting what they learned to actual work.


Three model graduates namely Jason Ventura representing the student category; Everlito Coloma of the Fisherfolk category and Rosalinda Rabara of the general public category delivered individual response on behalf of other students.


Rabara praised BFAR and Dwrs Commando Radio for the innovative learning program.


She expressed the hope that they can apply what they learned through whatever support the provincial government could provide. (MCA/MNOA /PIA1 Ilocos Sur)


December 15, 2013


Ilocos Norte provides farm support for onion growers


By: Cherry Joy S. Discaya


LAOAG CITY, Dec. 12 (PIA) – Onion growers in Ilocos Norte said they tend to their farms only when funds are available.


“And when funds run out, so is farming,” said Wilfredo Valdez, president of the Vegetable Growers’ Association of Region 1.


But Valdez said onion growers have found a relief after the Ilocos Norte provincial government granted farmers’ request of additional onion seeds a`nd fertilizers which farmers utilize under a sharing scheme.


“50 percent of the production cost is funded by the provincial government and the remaining 50 percent come from the farmers,” Valdez said.


He said the scheme is expected to increase onion production in the region and to promote the crop to a wider market.


The farmers’ support was also part of the province’s initiative to alleviate unemployment.


Valdez said their farms were usually left uncultivated for several months but since the government provided support farm production is likely to continue.


The provincial government also provided other vegetable seeds to promote a wider variety of produce and to further support the Ilocano farmers.

It has already given four hand tractors to the association which members regularly use for more efficient onion production. (MCA/CJDG PIA-1, Ilocos Norte with reports from Ilocos Norte CMO)



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December 15, 2013


Ilocos tech-voc workers set for regional skills competitions


By: Joanne Namnama G. Parrocha


SAN FERNANDO CITY, (PIA) – The region’s most-skilled workers are set to compete in the Ilocos leg of the annual Regional Skills Competition today.


The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) in the Ilocos opens the two-day competition with its Deputy Director General Teodoro Pascua in attendance.


Barbara Jane Pablico, TESDA supervisor, said participants are young skilled workers and trainees from the region’s four provinces.


“We want to advocate technical vocational skills among the youth,” Pablico added.


The regional winners will compete in the national level whose winners will then represent the country to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations International Skills Competition (ASC) next year.


Among the countries which usually participate in the Asean competitions include Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. The 10-member Asean has been holding the ASC on a bi-annual basis since 1995.


“We have been consistently winning in the different areas of competition such as in automotive technology, electrical technology, refrigeration and air-conditioning and machine operation,“ Pablico said.


Participants will compete in various technical-vocational areas such as electrical technology, automotive technology, welding, restaurant services, cookery, beauty therapy, hairdressing, caring, graphics design, web design and information technology network administration.


The competitions will be held at the Lorma Colleges, Corazon Ortega Skills Training Center for Women (COSTCW) and at the TESDA Regional Training Center here.


“We hope international winners (will come) from Region 1,” Pablico added. 


TESDA is the leading partner in the development of the Filipino workforce with world-class competence and positive work values. (MCA/JNP/PIA-1 La Union)



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December 15, 2013



Hybrid Tilapia fingerlings more beneficial to Ilocos Norte fish growers


By: Cherry Joy S. Discaya


LAOAG CITY, (PIA) - The Provincial Agriculture Office (PAO) has shifted to providing hybrid tilapia fingerlings to fish growers after the latter observed increased production compared to ordinary varieties.


Jose Ariston, a recipient from Barangay 2 Vintar town, said the hybrid tilapia brings in more harvests than the ordinary breed the PAO used to distribute.


“The hybrid one grew faster than the usual tilapia breed. In five-month time, they are ready for harvesting,” he said.


Arsiton owns four fish pond near his house where tilapia is commercialized.


“The income is better now, because aside from shortened harvest time, the product is (of good quality),” Ariston said.


PAO regularly visits the fisheries to teach growers more technique in raising fish.


The project was realized under the provincial government’s innovative program “Manang Imee’s Capitol Express.”


Manang Imee’s Capitol Express is a pro-poor program of the provincial government that brings its basic services closer to the people for inclusive and sustainable growth.

The program includes: ‘Jobs and Livelihood’, ‘Tulong’ (Help) which caters to education, health, death and burial, barangay requests, legal consultation, social counseling, services for senior citizens and handicapped and ‘Documentation’ which includes the assistance on land titling, and other kinds of application for certification. (MCA/CJDG PIA-1, Ilocos Norte)



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December 15, 2013


Imee, kalikagumanna nga amin ket agbalin a beneficiary ti Philhealth


Kasapulan nga ilista ti maysa a card holder iti Philhealth dagiti amin a miembro iti pamiliana nga agtawen ti nasursurok ngem 60 ken 21 agpababa.


Kuna ni Gobernador Imee Marcos a daytoy ket tapno amin a beneficiaries ket magundawayanda dagiti rumbeng a benepisio a maipaay kadakuada babaen iti Philhealth.


Inlawlawagna a masapul a mailista amin dagiti mabalin a makagundaway iti nasao a benepisio tapno adda serbina iti baybayadan ti probinsia ken iti munisipio.


Inlawlawagna a dagiti met awanen iti mabalin a pakairamanan ti naganda a kas Philhealth beneficiary nangruna kadagiti natataengan, maipan dagitoy iti points of care no bilang agsakit ken maiserrekda iti ospital.


Insigida a mairehistro ti nagan dagiti mabalin a mainagan nga anakda a pakairamananda tapno maaddaanda met iti Philhealth cards.



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December 15, 2013


Antiohos, karaman kadagiti kanayon nga ibunbunong ti Capitol Express


gtultuloy dagiti maibunbunong nga antiohos kadagiti lugar a pagturturungan ti Manang Imee‘s Capitol Express.


Dagitoy ket ginatang met laeng ti probinsia a nairanta a maited a libre kangrunaanna kadagiti natataengan wenno senior citizens.


Karaman dagiti antiohos a maibunbunong kadagiti natataengan kas panagayat pay laeng ni Gob. Imee Marcos kadagiti senior citizens a marigatan nga agbasa gapu metten ti panagtaeng ken pangproteher metten iti matada.


Malaksid pay daytoy kadagiti libre nga agas a maibunbunong kadagiti umili nga aggapu amin ti Provincial Health Office.



Mamati iti ina ti probinsia a babaen kadagitoy ket dakkel a badang ti probinsia kadagiti umili kangrunaanna kadagiti marigrigat a saan a makabael a makagatang iti agas. (PGIN-CMO)



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December 15, 2013


US Embassy in PH issues first visa to same sex couple


On December 2, 2013, the United States Embassy in the Philippines issued its first fiancé visa to a same-sex couple. Although same-sex marriage is not yet recognized in the Philippines, gay Americans are now able to petition for family-based visas on behalf of their Filipino spouses, fiancés, and their children.


This change comes months after a momentous decision by the Supreme Court of the United States, which struck down the portion of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) that defined marriage as a union between one man and one woman. Overturning DOMA signifies that the U.S. federal government must extend all federal rights and privileges of marriage to any married couple, regardless of sexual orientation. Currently, gay couples can marry in 16 of 50 American states, and the nation’s capital.


This extension of rights includes immigration benefits. Noel “Aeinghel” Amaro and Robert Cotterman were the first gay couple in the Philippines to receive a fiancé visa. Cotterman serves in the U.S. military and is scheduled to return from a tour in Afghanistan in January 2014. The two met online and will be married January 2014 in the United States. 


Maria Cecilia Limson Gahuman and Maria Carla Antonio also received a fiancé visa. The couple met through a mutual friend over a decade ago. Because Maria Limson Gahuman is Filipina, and Maria Antonia is American, however, there was no way for the couple to be together. With their fiancé visa, the couple will end their ten-year, long-distance relationship and marry in California on December 30, 2013.


Advancing gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender equality has been one of President Obama’s top priorities. Upon the first issuance of a same-sex visa in London, Secretary of State John Kerry stated that one of the “most important exports by far is America’s belief in the equality of all people.” He noted that “the State Department, which has always been at the forefront of equality in the federal government . . . is tearing down an unjust and an unfair barrier that for too long stood in the way of same-sex families being able to travel as a family to the United States.”

In light of these changes, the American Embassy wants to educate gay Filipinos about new visa opportunities. Filipinos in same-sex relationships with Americans are encouraged to view the Visas section of the Embassy website at for more information.



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December 12, 2013


CVF daughter is new LC ABC prexy


By Primo Jay S. Ramos



FOLLOWING the footsteps of her parents, Mary Michelle Louise “Mikee” V. Fariñas was elected as the new Liga ng mga Barangay president of Laoag City.


The young Fariñas not only became the youngest elected Liga president in the city at 22 years old, she also ran unopposed and in the process garnered all the 80 votes of all barangay chairpersons in the city.


After her election, she thanked her co-barangay chairpersons for the solid vote as she vowed to help them all in the Sangguniang Panlungsod, where she will sit as an ex-officio member.


She added that she will become the bridge between the barangays and the city council as she also said she will continue the work of her mother, former Liga president now Laoag City Mayor Chevylle V. Fariñas.


Prior to becoming the city’s chief executive, her parents were also elected as Liga presidents. Currently, her mother is the mayor while her father is Vice Mayor Michael V. Fariñas who served as Laoag mayor for three consecutive terms.


The other new Liga officers of the city are: Jane R. Siazon (Brgy. 28), executive vice president; Alan L. Leaño (Brgy. 18), internal vice president; Manuel S. Savellano (Brgy. 53), external vice president; Maureen H. Bonoan (Brgy. 50), secretary; Glenn P. Agustin (Brgy. 7-B), sub-secretary; Noel P. Daquioag (Brgy. 52-A), treasurer; Marilin S. Dancel (Brgy. 20), sub-treasurer; Antonio B. Villanueva Jr. (Brgy. 55-B), auditor;  Primo Jay S. Ramos (Brgy. 23), public information officer; and Darwin M. Domingo (Brgy. 1), business manager.


The board of directors are composed of Charito D. Caday (Brgy. 62-A), northwest barangays; Jay Ronald P. Labrado (Brgy. 10) and Sammy B. Aquino (Brgy. 24), urban barangays; and Wilson V. Alonzo (Brgy. 43) and Ruben J. Roque (Brgy. 46), south of the river barangays.


The election was held at the Laoag City Hall Conference Room on December 9, 2013.

The Ilocos Times publisher and Brgy. 23 (Laoag City) chairperson Jay S. Ramos pose with Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee R. Marcos after the mass oathtaking of newly elected and reelected barangay chairpersons of the province in Batac City on Nov. 30, 2013. (Alaric Yanos)



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December 12, 2013



LC police in full alert this Yuletide season


By Dominic B. dela Cruz

Staff Reporter


AS THE CHRISTMAS season starts, Laoag City acting police chief P/Supt. Jeffrey Gorospe said the police are now in full alert.


Gorospe said that based on records, this is also the season for shop lifting, pick pocketing, drug peddling and other illegal activities.


In view of this, Gorospe asked all police personnel in the city to be more active and alert this December.


He also disclosed their present study on the proper rerouting and parking areas of vehicles for the public’s safety and information. 


He added that although there had been rerouting scheme at the same time last year, this still needs to be polished to avoid any untoward incidents.


Meanwhile, Gorospe also announced that an augmentation force of 16 police officers from the Philippine National Police Regional Public Safety Battalion will be arriving soon.


He added further that they will also be coordinating with the City Tourism Office as to the putting up of tourism centers along the city proper to assist visitors who would spend Christmas here.


Gorospe also pointed out that the Yuletide season also brings a lot of vehicles into the city. He then advised local vehicle owners to park their vehicles in their areas of residences so these would not be vandalized by a still unidentified group.


Earlier, an incident transpired at Barangays 20 and 27 wherein vehicles parked along the streets were painted by the still unidentified suspects.



The Laoag police is still conducting an investigation to identify the suspects and their motives. 



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December 12, 2013


LC council OKs P591-M 2014 budget


By Dominic B. dela Cruz

Staff Reporter


Members of the Laoag City Sangguniang Panlungsod unanimously approved City Ordinance No. 2013-061, the budget ordinance for 2014, on November 25, 2013.


The total approved budget was P591,103,700.38; broken down as follows: P423,766,494.19 for the general fund and P167,337,206.19 for economic enterprise.


During the deliberation, no major discussions occurred as department heads were no longer invited to attend the session as there was already a series of meetings during the budget hearing held in Sta. Ana, Cagayan last September.


At that time, the local finance committee ironed out all the kinks in the budget proposal.


City budget officer Carlina Cumigad said all department offices’ budget proposals were scrutinized item by item.


Cumigad added said that there was a three percent increase in the budget for next year, or it is more than P15,693,305 compared to this year’s budget of P575,410,394.68.


The increase in the budget, Cumigad explained was due to the increase in the number of PhilHealth capitation indigent program given to the city indigents as well as an increase in some offices’ miscellaneous and other operating expenses (MOOEs).


Also, compared to last year, the 2014 budget was approved a little later as the executive branch failed to meet the submission of budget deadline prescribed by the Department of Interior and Local Government, which this year fell on October 16.


The Ilocos Times learned that the delay was due to the local finance committee’s scrutiny of all the submitted budget proposals of the department offices, especially the proposed increases.


Cumigad said that offices that has the biggest allocated budget for next year would be the Laoag City General Hospital (LCGH) with the amount of P122,882,520.15; City Engineering Office with P53,069,777.21; Office of the City Mayor with P45,976,070.47; and the City General Services Office with P38,931,870.77.


According to Cumigad, the office of the city mayor’s budget for next year increased due to the capital outlays of the different office have been sheltered here to include the proposed creation of a community affairs department.


She explained further that the tentative Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) share for Laoag next year to be given by the Department of Budget as per local budget memorandum circular no. 67 was P299,789,584.00 compared to this year’s total amount of P265,197,021.00, which signifies an increase of P34,592,560 or 13%.



The budget officer hopes that there would be no municipality would be converted into a city next year otherwise the city’s IRA share would again be negatively affected.



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December 12, 2013


Addan mangsalwad kadagiti animal iti baybay

Ket nasursuruan dagiti miembro ti SAPAR Fishermen Association iti Badoc, Ilocos Norte no kasano a tulongan dagiti dolpin wenno balyena no bilang ta maisadsad dagitoy iti igid ti baybay. (Lei Adriano)

Ni Leilanie G. Adriano

Staff Reporter


Badoc, Ilocos Norte—Gapu iti umad-ado a bilang dagiti animal ti baybay (marine mammals) kas iti balyena ken dolpin a maidakdaknir kadagiti igid ti baybay iti Ilokandia, sipapasnek ken sitatallugod dagiti miembro ti Saud-Paratong (SAPAR) Fishermen Association iti Badoc, Ilocos Norte a nakipagpartisipar iti maysa aldaw a workshop idi Nobiembre 29 ket nakasaganadan mangipatungpal iti baro nga akemda a kas first responders wenno mangarayat kadagiti animal iti baybay no bilang adda maisadsad iti asidegda.


Segun kenni Sherman Valdez, presidente ti Saud-Paratong Fishermen Association, maibilang dagiti dolpin ken balyena a gagayyem dagiti mangngalap ket rebbengna laeng a tulonganda met ida no bilang ta maiyaw-awan dagitoy iti igid ti baybay wenno aksidente a maputipotanda iti iket dagiti padada a mangngalap.


Gapu iti saanen a magawidan a panagbalbaliw iti klima wenno climate change ken maigapu met laeng iti nakaro a pannakaabuso iti aglawlaw kas iti illegal a panagkalap ken pannakasabidong iti baybay, saan met a makalisi dagiti dolpin ken balyena a maapektaran iti panagbalbaliw ti tiempo. Kaaduan kadagitoy ti masaksakit gapu kadagiti makanda a nasabidongan ket no dida maaluadan, maiyaw-awan met dagitoy nga agsapul iti pagbiagda, kuna ni Arthur Valente, fishery regulatory officer iti gobierno probinsial iti Ilocos Norte ken nangidaulo iti nasao a workshop.


Ket tapno adda ag-responde ken sindadaan a mangtaming kadagiti animal iti baybay no maisadsad dagitoy iti igid ti baybay, naangay ti maysa a workshop ket nabukel ti kaunaan a grupo tapno tumulong a mangiwanwan iti pannakasaluad iti aglawlaw, agraman ti pannakaipaay iti umuna a first aid ket matulongan dagiti maiyaw-awan wenno masaksakit a balyena wenno dolpin­­­ a maisubli met laeng iti taaw. Ngem no bilang ta saanda a malasat, maipaayan met dagitoy iti umno a pannakaidulin. Maipaganetget pay ti saan koma a panangsida kadagitoy gapu ta nakisangen ti bilang dagitoy nga endangered animals.



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December 12, 2013


MDG Christmas Caravan, iwayat manen ti probinsia


Addan dagiti naka-schedule nga aldaw para iti maisayangkat nga MDG Christmas Caravan 2013 nga iyuswat ti gobierno probinsial babaen ken ni Gobernador Ma. Imelda “Imee” R. Marcos.


Daytoy ket kas sagut-pamaskua nga iburay ti probinsia kadagiti kakailian kangrunaanna kadagiti MDG recipients a tinawen a maipapaay kadakuada.


Dagitoy ket pang-Noche Buena packages.


Naglaon daytoy kadagiti taraon a pangparambak iti paskua tapno adda pagsasangwan dagiti pamilia kangrunaan kadagiti nakukurapay a pangparagsak iti pamiliada.


Daytoy a tignay nga ar-aramiden ti probinsia ket tapno agbalin a naragsak a paskua ken nabunga a panangsarabo iti baro a tawen dagiti kakailian.


Amin nga ili ditoy probinsia ket turungen ti gobernador a pagibunungan iti Noche Buena packages kas regalo kadagiti umili.


Mangrugi ti MDG Caravan inton Disyembre 14 iti ili a Nueva Era, Banna, Marcos ken Dingras. Disyembre 15 iti ili a Pagudpud, Bangui, Dumalneg, Burgos ken Pasuquin.


Inton Disyembre 16 ket iti ili a Pinili, Currimao, Paoay ken Batac.


Disyembre 19 iti ili a Bacarra, Vintar, Piddig, Carasi ken Solsona.



Naituding met inton Disyembre 20 aldaw ti Biernes iti ili a Badoc, San Nicolas, Sarrat ken iti Siudad ti Laoag. (PGIN-CMO)



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DPWH to complete Laoag by-pass road in January 2014


By: Cherry Joy S. Discaya


LAOAG CITY, Dec. 10 (PIA) – The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) is set to complete the multi-million peso Laoag City by-pass road by January 2014.


The four-lane road, which is nearly 40 percent complete, will be an alternate route for motorists coming from the province’s southern section and going to the northern towns without passing the Laoag City proper.


According to Project Engineer Angelito  Dian, the project’s first phase - composed mainly of embankment ( selected borrow river mix), aggregate sub-base course, slope protection works, reinforced  concrete box culverts and pipe culverts - was completed on May 6, 2013.


“The second phase is expected to be completed on January 27, 2014, with the completion of embankment (selected borrow mix) aggregates sub base course, slope protection, reinforced concrete box culverts and pipe culverts,” Dian added.


Once completed it is expected to lessen travel time and provide comfort to motorists and tourists when they visit the province’s northern section.


The project, which began in 2012, was jointly supervised by the DPWH Region 1 and First Ilocos Norte District Engineering Offices.


Dian said the DPWH central office will construct a bridge along the bypass road  crossing Laoag Padsan river parallel to the downstream of the Gilbert Bridge. (MCA/CJDG PIA-1, Ilocos Norte)



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Ilocos Sur residents keep the faith in Christ the King feast


By: Nila O. Argel


VIGAN CITY, Dec. 10 (PIA) – Thousands of residents have pledged to keep the faith amidst mounting crisis facing the country and its leaders.



The community had just completed the celebration of Christ the King here last month which coincided with the closing of the Year of Faith.


Ilocos Sur Governor Ryan Luis Singson asked for courage to prevent temptations to vices, corruption and for enlightened mind to avoid selfishness and disunity.


He also asked for love that gives goodness so that no resident will suffer from hunger and poverty.

The event worked on the theme “Ti Pamilia a namuli, taudan ti nanakem a Pammati” (A molded family is the source of responsible faith.


It was the second occasion that the celebration was held in this city’s Plaza Burgos in 30 years. Last year the celebration was held in Tagudin town while Suyo town will host the event next year.

The Christ the King feast began in September in this city, according to the parish priest, Msgr Vicente Avila where trainings in livelihood such as manicure, pedicure, hair cutting, sewing, baking and vermiculture were conducted.

Other activities included tree planting, catechism, sacrament of reconciliation, nine-day novena and enthronement of Christ the King pictures in residents’ homes in 39 barangays of the city.

A fun run was also held including a spiritual recollection for pastoral and health workers, public school teachers, public safety personnel, non-government organizations, government officials, families and the youth.

Schools that celebrated the feast include Vigan National High School, Ilocos Sur National High School, Saint Paul College of Ilocos Sur, Divine Word College of Vigan, Ilocos Sur Community College and University of Northern Philippines. (MCA/MNOA PIA1-Ilocos Sur)



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December 10, 2013


PGIN Employees Association, addan baro nga opisyalesna


Ni Rosita Macalipis



Addan baro a presidente ti Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte Employees Association kalpasan a naisayangkat iti panagbubutos kadagiti amin nga empleado ti gobierno probinsial.


Daytoy ket ni Atty. Bernard Manrique iti Provincial Budget Office ngem naka-detail iti Public Employment Service Office/Ilocos Norte Investment Center (PESO/INvest).


Napili met a vice president for internal affairs ni Estrelina Asuncion iti Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) Office, idinto a ni Dante Madalipay iti Office of the Provincial Agriculture Office (PAO) kas vice president for external affairs.


Iti secretary, na-elektaran met ni Wanda Aglipay iti Human Resource Management Office.


Sub-secretary ni Allan Melquiades Agustin iti SP; treasurer ni Larissa Foronda iti Provincial Health Office (PHO), sub-treasurer ni Eva Ibarra iti Provincial Planning and Development Office (PPDO) ken auditor ni Ms. Leah Blas iti Provincial Budget Office.


Dagiti met napili a Board of Directors ket dagiti sumaganad:


Edwin Carinio iti Millennium Development Goals (MDG) Office, INEC Director Enrico Ruiz iti Legal Office; Roderick Basilio iti ITC, Dr. Josephine Ruedas iti PHO; Ruth Corpuz iti Budget; Roland Ross Irapta ti OPAG ken ni Ma. Victoria Manuel iti SP.


Immun-una ngem iti daytoy, kalikagum ni Gobernador Ma. Imelda “Imee” R. Marcos ti pannaka-re-organisar ti organisasion tapno mangngegan met iti boses dagiti empleado ken maidanon dagiti kayatda nga idanon para iti pagsayaatan kangrunaanna dagiti benepisyo a rebbengna a maipaay.


Malaksid iti daytoy, adu payen dagiti saan nga aktibo a miembro ken adda payen dagiti nagreretiro nga empleado nga opisyales ti organisasion.



Kabayatanna, mangnamnama met dagiti amin nga empleado iti gobierno probinsial a babaen kadagiti napili a baro nga opisyales ti PGIN Employees Association ket ad-adda pay nga agbalin a produktibo dagitoy a mangidaulo kadagiti empleado. 



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Guinness world record on organ donor-sign up set in Feb 2014


By: Danilo T. Role


SAN FERNANDO CITY, Dec. 9 (PIA) – This city is one of five zones nationwide which will attempt to set a Guinness world record for organ donor registrants under the “I’m a Lifeline” campaign.


The campaign, a joint advocacy of the Department of Health and the Philippine Information Agency, seeks to convince more Filipinos to sign up as organ donors.


Simultaneous registration will be conducted in February next year in the following sites: Ilocos Training and Regional Medical Center (San Fernando, La Union), Naga (Bicol Medical Center), Davao (Southern Philippines Medical Center), Metro Manila (Polytechnic University of the Philippines) and another zone in Metro Manila with the DOH determining the particular venue.


An organ donor is referred to as lifeline because through the organs he or she donates, a person’s life is extended.


The campaign seeks to break the record for single-site registration at 4,135, at Dharmsinh Desai University in Nadiad, Gujarat, India on Jan. 1 this year.


It also seeks to beat the record in one hour for a single site, at 2,755, held by Prakash Gurjar and Madadgar Parivar in Ahmedabad, Gudjarat, India last Sept. 17.


By referring to organ donors as lifelines, the campaign also seeks to allay misconceptions about organ donation and help create a national donor registry.


The DOH’s Philippine Network for Organ Sharing (PhilNOS) and the PIA are heading efforts for an information drive to drum up public awareness on organ donation.


In La Union, inter-government agency representatives have conducted a series of meetings as a run-up to the registration event.


Registration will be conducted at the ITRMC grounds with dozens of policemen, health personnel including firefighters securing the area.


Expected to enlist as lifelines (organ donors) are students from La Union schools, barangay health workers and officials, police personnel and hundreds of volunteers. (MCA/DTR PIA1-La Union)



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December 9, 2013


Batac set to adopt LC’s CCTV ordinance


By Dominic B. dela Cruz

Staff Reporter


Batac City—A draft ordinance mandating all banks, money changers, pawnshops, other financial institutions and large financial establishments within the jurisdiction of Batac to procure and install closes-circuit television (CCTV) system was allegedly copied from a similar ordinance passed earlier by Laoag City’s Sangguniang Panlungsod.

Batac councilor Gwynet Quidang

Batac councilor Gwynet Quidang questioned the ordinance during a discussion on its second reading saying that based on her observation, more than 90 percent of the draft ordinance were copied from an original ordinance passed by Laoag’s local legislative body.


Quidang, who nevertheless favored the draft ordinance, asked if the city government would be ready to face any consequence from copying a same ordinance from another city especially since the author admitted that he did not ask the permission of the Laoag government.


Quidang added said that the same city is a competitor of Batac in the legislative awards search, wherein Batac has already won twice and had become a national finalist.


Ti lang concern ko no anan to iti maibaga iti Laoag nga agkop-kopya tayo. Ana ngaruden no ibaga danto nga ab-abaken dakami a talaga iti Batac ngem agkop-kopya da met gayam iti ordinansa mi no kuna da,” Quidang said.


Batac councilor Orlando Mangapit, author of the ordinance, stressed that this measure is for the betterment of everyone most especially the identified business establishments for their security.


Batac Vice Mayor Ronald Allan M. Nalupta, for his part also expressed his percent support for the measure saying that his business establishment already has a CCTV system.


Nonetheless, Nalupta asked the author again if he asked permission from the original author as he stressed that he does not want to be a part in case the Laoag government finds this objectionable.


He added, that after reading the draft ordinance, he noticed that Laoag was not recognized or acknowledged being the original author which Mangapit also admitted.


According to Nalupta, there should be no problem for if the author asked permission from the original author.


He said that if the measure will be approved and that he will sign being the presiding officer, he just wanted to be assured that he will not be a part of any legal action by the Laoag government.


Nalupta related that there was a time when Batac was still a municipality that the whole officialdom, except the Liga ng mga Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan federated presidents were charged and summoned by a Regional Trial Court because of Capacuan Dam.


In view of this, the vice mayor wanted to clarify the matter as he does not want to be implicated in a court action. He added that he would also want to protect Batac Mayor Jeffrey Jubal Nalupta.


Despite of these several questions, the measure was approved in its second reading. With the approval, Mangapit recommended an amendment where all those who favored the measure would become main authors, except for Quidang who requested not to become a co-author.


Nalupta however disclosed that should this measure be passed in the third reading, he would only sign it as a “ministerial duty” and he may also write a letter to the Sangguniang Panlalawigan to specify such. Personally, he said, due to the legal matters concerning the issue, he is not in favor of passing this measure.


“Unless you will give me a certification from Laoag City that there is permission from them for the adoption of the ordinance,” Nalupta insisted.


Reacting to this, Laoag councilor Joseph H. Tamayo, the original author of the CCTV ordinance said he was glad that Batac adopted his ordinance and saw its significance.


Tamayo added that the copying of the ordinance he authored was not a problem.


Ngem no awan footnote na adopted from the city of Laoag medyo adda bassit diperensya na nukwa didiay. Ket no awan inbaga na a footnote na idiay ken kinopya na a namin-pinsan dagidiay wordings na iti maysa a section or whatever is tantamount to plagiarism,” Tamayo explained.


He divulged that the Laoag plastic ordinance, which he also authored was also adopted from other cities’ ordinance. But he pointed out that there was a footnote saying “adopted from the ordinance of Las Piñas and Parañaque.”


But for him personally, he said he was proud that his work has been copied because he believes that it is for the good of the people.


He said that he is not against the person who sponsored the measure, “ngem sapay kuma ta inikkan na kuma metla footnote to be fair kuma met kaniyak a nagban-bannug a nangpotar dayta a gakat”.


He added that Batac council’s winning legislative awards is not an issue as long as it is them which are copying from Laoag’s ordinances.


The best remedy Tamayo said would be for the council to put a footnote on the measure as additional amendment before it will be passed on a third and final reading.



If not, he said the people of Laoag might file a plagiarism case against the city of Batac if they see no acknowledgment indicated but for him personally, he said he will never do this.



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December 7, 2013


LC baranngay chairpersons take oath


NEW SET OF BARANGAY OFFICIALS TAKE OATH. Laoag Mayor Chevylle V. Fariñas administers the oath of office to the city’s new set of barangay officials on November 29 at the Laoag City Hall. (Doms dela Cruz)



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December 7, 2013


Imee in Leyte