Poll bets for top posts air ‘solutions’ to Baguio woes

>> Thursday, April 28, 2016

BAGUIO CITY – Candidates for top positions in this summer capital bared their “solutions” to problems of the city like pollution, decongestion, squatting and traffic.    
And if there is a problem facing Baguio that really stands out, it is overcrowding or congestion. That, as far as two mayoralty candidates and two congressional bets are concerned.
Mayoralty bet, Jose “Joemol” Molintas believes that the BLISTT (Baguio, La Trinidad, Itogon, Sablan, Tuba, Tublay) concept may yet provide the answer to the city’s problem of an uncontrolled and ever increasing population.
Molintas, a lawyer said, the sooner the idea is pushed, the better for Baguio as it answers the need to decongest most of the city’s 128 barangays.
Meanwhile, another mayoralty bet, retired regional trial court judge Del Claravall, along with candidates for congressman, engineer Bernardo M. Vergara and Mark Go have come up with their own versions of decongesting the city.
In his campaign material, Claravall who appealed through his “Bangon Baguio Bangon” statement said there is a need to solve traffic congestion, improve water supply and control real estate over-development – concerns that are all related to over-population.
In a previous political forum, businessman Mark Go proposed the creation of an agency such as a BLISTT Development Authority that could address congestion in the city caused by unregulated development.
The congressional bet said, this can help expand the reach of development, commerce and economy outside Baguio.
For his part, Vergara who was a 4-term congressman from 1992 to 2001 said that finishing the circumferential roads which were started during his term could help disperse the population outside Baguio.
Molintas said the BLISTT is an idea that can disperse economic activities such as tourism, education and business around Baguio’s neighboring towns in Benguet.
He claimed that being an Ibaloy, it would give him more the advantage to deal with the leaders of these towns.
“Population is uncontrollable. With the implementation of BLISTT, people will spread out instead of congesting in Baguio. Starting a low-cost housing project and building rent-to-own houses will convince informal settlers to move out from the city,” Molintas said, underscoring the need to stop constructing housing subdivisions that only attract outsiders.
The BLISTT concept makes more sense than favoring the construction of layered parking lot at Burnham Park which is the only remaining wide space for children to run around, Molintas said.
He is not in favor of replacing the public market with a four-story shopping mall as this will only help attract crowds.
The media bureau of the local Timpuyog Party did not issue a press statement on programs or platforms of Mayor Mauricio Domogan who is running for the same post.
 Rep. Nicasio Aliping Jr., who is also seeking reelection did not also issue a press statement on his programs.
Aliping was recently indicted by the Ombudsman for “illegal cutting of trees” at Mt Sto. Tomas had been hounded by residents and netizens who launched a campaign against him for this.  
This, as Vergara urged his rivals for the congressional seat to disclose before the people their health and medical records to prove how physically, mentally and psychologically fit they are to serve as the city’s congressman in the next three years.
Dismissing what he termed as “black propaganda,” the former solon said claims raised this election that he is “just an aging, sickly man who deserves to be retired from the rigors of public office” were unfounded.
It was reportedly an issue that outraged senior citizens and elderly groups who expressed disgust over the discriminating remarks.
“I am very much in good health, have not had any medical or surgical procedures, and I continue to lead a clean, healthy lifestyle. I can very well do the job with the same energy, focus, and determination that have marked my past congressional terms,” he said.
He added he has never thought that one’s physical health or condition was a campaign issue, pointing out that “age is just a number,” and not a hindrance in public service.
 “Dapat pag-usapan, hindi edad, kundi abilidad, kalidad, at higit sa lahat, integridad,” he said.
Addressing the issue of his health, Vergara urged his opponents to bare their medical records for people to know who had heart bypass operations and who are psychologically unfit to handle the pressures of the job.
“Maglabasan na tayo ng ating mga health and medical record nang magka-alaman na! As for me, I am confident enough of my own health condition. “I have not had any hospitalization or surgery at all. I have managed my health well enough to remain fit for the job. I sincerely hope that my rivals are of the same condition,” he added.
Vergara asked his rivals to join him in a public display of their health condition at a time and place of the next congressional debate. “Kung  dapat pag-usapan ang bagay na ito sa eleksyong ito, sige na, ipaalam natin ang tunay na kundisyon ng ating kalusugan.”
He said the coming election is a fresh opportunity for citizens to nurse hopes for Baguio to move forward, based on platforms as against promises, on character as against character assassination, on competence against compromises.
“Abilidad, kalidad, integridad ang dapat na pag-usapan. Diyan tayo magkakasubukan,” Vergara said.


6 dead in North Luzon vehicular accidents

By Raymund Catindig

TUGUEGARAO CITY – Six persons died while six others were injured in separate vehicular accidents in Ilocos Sur, Cagayan and Apayao on Tuesday.
Mazon’s motorcycle ended up in the path of a bus, which ran over the motorcycle, according to provincial police spokesman Chief Insp. Greg Guerrero. The bus was driven by Joel de los Santos.
Lozano and his companion, Joemar Javillonar, were taken to the Sta. Lucia District Hospital, where they were listed in critical condition.
De los Santos surrendered to the police after the accident.
In Cagayan, septuagenarian Emilia Samoy and her relative James Andres, 43, died when a tractor hit their house in Barangay Catayauan, Lal-lo town.


Ifugao Peoples Agenda bared for local bets

LAGAWE , Ifugao –  The Ifugao Peoples Agenda headed by the Ifugao Peasant Movement (IPM) and Makabayan Ifugao, enumerated common aspirations of various sectors in Ifugao especially poor farmers.
This will serve as a guideline for local politicians to address key concerns of the Ifugao people. These include:
 1.      Respect for rights over our ancestral domains. The government and the business sector should always respect and recognize our collective rights to our ancestral land and resources, especially the fulfillment of a full and proper Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) process.
2.      Denounce and stop the use of extra-judicial killings, force, repression, vilification, intimidation and harassment to silence the people in asserting their Indigenous Peoples Rights to their Ancestral Lands and their Human Rights.
3.      Recognize and respect the rights of indigenous peoples' to self-determination and genuine regional autonomy.
4.      Respect the civil and political rights of the people in organizing themselves into people's organizations, indigenous people's organizations, cooperatives, and associations and respect the conduct of peaceful activities and demonstrations.
5.      Ensure food security and people's welfare. Provide programs on sustainable agriculture and demand increase in agricultural budget to be used in the Barangays.
6.      Provide necessary measures that ensures fair price of farmers' products.
7.      Ensure the delivery of basic social services such as education, health care, potable water, electricity and roads instead of prioritizing military expenditures and debt servicing in the national budget.
8.      Ensure the democratic representation and participation of our people in all levels of government. Decisions and policy making that may affect the people and their communities, recognize elder's participation in decision making process.
9.      Promote a culture of democracy, critical thinking and openness to innovations while upholding our cultural integrity as indigenous communities.
10.  Raise the awareness of communities on Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law, especially communities that are affected by the armed conflict.
11.  Support the resumption of peace negotiations between the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP).
12.  Uphold and respect equal rights regardless of societal status and gender especially women and children. Ensure the implementation of the GAD fund to be used by those who are really in need.
13.   Legislate salary increases for workers and government employees, and other benefits for the people such as the Social Security Services (SSS) pensions and others alike.
14.  Uphold democratic rights and welfare of youth and students.
15.   No to graft and corrupt practices. Scrap pork barrel and uphold transparency in public finance.

16.   Fight against traditional politics; promote politics based on principles and commitment to genuine public service and general welfare of the people.


COA to Kabayan tourism group: Give P7.9 M fees to LGU

KABAYAN, Benguet -- The Commission on Audit has ordered a private cultural and tourism group in this town to transfer over P7.9 million it collected for three years from tourists to the municipal government of Kabayan.
The Mystical Kabayan Tourism Culture and Arts Council Inc. (MKTCAC), which was reportedly organized by Kabayan Mayor Faustino Aquisan, was ordered to stop collecting cultural and green fees from mountaineers visiting Mt. Pulag located here.
Aquisan is running for vice governor in Benguet.
The COA ordered municipal treasurer Janice Pucay to assume collection of fees from the group.
State auditor Nadelline Orallo said the collection has not been remitted to the coffers of the municipal government.
Records showed that in 2011, the municipal government implemented an ordinance seeking to collect fees from mountaineers and tourists visiting the mountain.
In the same year, the mayor, along with municipal employees and officials, reportedly established a non-stock, non-profit private association, which they named the MKTCAC.
In a complaint filed in 2013, anti-graft advocate Mary Grace Bandoy said Aquisan created the municipal tourism, culture and the arts council, which had the same function and purpose as that of the MKTCAC.
The council was also composed of the same officers.
Bandoy said since 2013, the municipal government has not reported any income from the green fees despite the growing number of tourist arrivals.


Former Bulacan vice mayor dies in ambush

By Franco G. Regala

PANDI, Bulacan — The former vice mayor of this town was killed by a lone gunman here along Barangay Manatal Monday evening.
Town police head Chief Insp. Victor Gatdula Bernabe, identified the slain victim as Roberto Rivera, 62, businessman resident of Barangay Bunsuran, Pandi.
Bernabe said that the victim was on board a White Nissan (pick-up) with plate No. UHU-942 on his way home to Barangay Bunsuran after his visit to his farm in Barangay Bagbaguin and upon reaching Barangay Manatal, one of the unidentified gunmen shot him several times on the head and body.
The suspect fled on foot and boarded a tricycle driven and upon reaching the TODA  terminal of Manantan, Pandi,  transferred to another tricycle.
The victim was brought to Rogaciano Mercado Memorial Medical Center in Sta. Maria, Bulacan where he was pronounced dead on arrival (DOA). He sustained three gunshot wounds on his head and two on his body.
Recovered from the crime scene were five empty shells, one live bullet and one deformed slug of caliber 45.
During the conduct of follow-up operation, a CCTV review showed that the suspect was being backed-up by a dark green Toyota Corolla with plate No. TFZ 612.


Isabela, Nueva Ecija election bets killed

By Raymund Catindig

TUGUEGARAO CITY– Two village chiefs in Isabela and Nueva Ecija, who were running for councilor, were shot dead night of April 14.
Heinrich Apostol of Barangay San Isidro in Jones, Isabela was having a drinking spree with Jimmy Balmilero, chairman of Barangay Dicamay 1, around 8 p.m. when a man appeared from behind and shot him.
Apostol died at the scene from a gunshot to the head. Balmilero was wounded and brought to a hospital for treatment.
Isabela elections supervisor Erwin Valeroso said Jones was added to the list of election “areas of concern” amid a spate of killings in the town.
In Talavera, Nueva Ecija, San Pascual barangay chairman Gerald Fermin was attending a wake when motorcycle-riding men shot him at close range.  


Baguio’s Verzosa wins as Ms Binibining International

By Jobelle Anselmo Batanes

BAGUIO CITY -- For the first time in the history of the Summer Capital of the Philippines, the candidate of this city, Kylie Verzosa (No.31) was crowned Bb. International on the prestigious Search for Bb. Pilipinas 2016 April 17 at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Kylie also bagged two minor awards; Ms. Manila Bulletin and She’s So Jag on coronation night.
“The person who deserves to win the Bb.Pilipinas crown tonight is the person who worked hard for it and is willing to do everything to continue the legacy of the Philippines. She is confident with an attitude and has a personality and I believe I am her,” answered Kylie Verzosa when asked the question, “Why do you deserve to win a Bb. Pilipinas crown tonight?” by USA Universe, Olivia Jordan during question and answer portion.
Kylie is a 24 year old,  5'7" and with vital statistics of 32½ - 25½ - 32½ . She was awarded one of Cosmo’s Sexiest Models in 2013.
She is also a member of the Philippine Model Association of the Philippines.
At an early age of 14 she was modeling in Singapore and Hong Kong and was a recipient of the Model of the Year Award by the Fashion Council of Baguio City at 16.
She was an academic achiever since her pre-school and belongs to the Science Class of Saint Louis University Laboratory High School in Navy Base, Baguio City.
She is also a graduate of Bachelor of Science in Business Management in 2013 at Ateneo de Manila. Last year, she also represented Baguio City in the same nationwide battle of beauty and wits and bagged Ms. Philippine Airline Awards among the Top 15. Ms. International is the eldest daughter among the five children of Ari and Raquel Versoza, who were both former flight attendants and now business owners in Baguio.
In 1985, her mother, Raquel Verzosa, also joined the Bb. Pilipinas and was chosen as one of the Top 10.
In interview, Kylie revealed she likes to surf, read books, bake, compose songs, and writes her journal every day.
Her greatest asset for her is her personality. She is bubbly and loves to make other people feel good about themselves and wants to motivate them to have high self-esteem for them to be positive and happy.
“People think that I am not approachable. They have to get to know the real me. I love being with people and like what I mentioned, I value relationships. I am easy to talk to. I like helping people that is why I volunteered to assist in the Natasha Goulborn Foundation to help people who suffer from depression. I know I can help them,” Kylie said when asked the common notion of people about her.
She is also proud for representing the City for she believes that the people here are naturally friendly, warm and caring.
She also wants to promote beautiful tourist spots in the Baguio especially Wright Park, Burnham Park, BenCab Museum, Tam-awan Viilage, Mines View Park, and Camp John Hay.
When asked to describe the real Kylie she answered, “I am strong but a simple person. I love having fun and exploring new places and things. I love family and friends and I value relationships. I value honesty, integrity, and hard work. I like reading books, spending time with nature, good music, and time with loved ones.”
Kylie also aims to promote mental, spiritual, and emotional well-being and to spread message of balancing whole lifestyle especially to the youth who have a bright future ahead of them.
After the coronation, Kylie thanked her supporters on Instagram, "I am still in awe. I can't believe it. I am ecstatic and overjoyed. I am so grateful to have this moment; it took some time to sink in. Thank you to everyone who supported me, especially to my Angels, you were also the stars of the night. To my parents, you are the best. I love you. To Aces and Queens, Mama Rommel, Mac, Harry, Francis. Thank you for believing and helping me win that night.I'll be representing the Philippines for Miss International 2016 and I promise I won’t let you down."
The other winners are: Maxine Medina – Ms. Universe Philippines, Ms. Joanna Eden – Bb. Pilipinas Supranational, Ms. Jennifer Hammond – Bb. Pilipinas Intercontinental, Ms. Nichole Manalo – Bb. Pilipinas Globe, Ms. Nicole Cordoves – Bb. Pilipinas Frand International.
The Runners-up are: Ms. Angelica Alita – 1st Runner Up and Ms. Jehza Mae Huelar – 2nd Runner-up



>> Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Female security guard shoots self dead
BAGUIO CITY – A female security guard here was killed after she shot herself in the head Wednesday around 6:55 p.m., apparently after a quarrel with her live-in partner.
Police identified the victim as Marjorie Padtoc Dichoso, 36, of the City Engineering Office, Motor Pool at Lower Rock Quarry.
Her live-in partner, a female and also security guard of same office was named as Janet Aquino Soriano, 32. Both were residents at LC-136 Rockyside, Lubas, La Trinidad, Benguet.
 Initial investigation revealed that on Wednesday around 6:55 p.m., a burst of gunfire was heard by security guards at the main gate that prompted one of the security guards identified as Romel Fuentes Adante, 42 to check.
At the area, he saw Soriano lying on the ground while Dichoso was holding a handgun.
Adante asked Discocho to put her gun down but she pointed the gun at him and squeezed the trigger but the gun failed to fire.
Dichoso then reloaded her gun and shot herself on her head that caused her instant death.
Responding cops rushed Soriano to Benguet General Hospital and Medical Center for medical attention while police headed by Senior Insp. Hiquiana found Dichoso’s body  holding a Cal. 9mm pistol  in her right hand with an empty magazine.
Two unfired bullet were found at the scene. Dichoso’s body was brought to St. Peter Chapel.

Tineg bocap surrenders gun
TINEG, Abra -- Edward Molina Gavino, 42, barangay captain of Apao here surrendered  a shotgun to police in support of the PNP’s campaign against illegal firearms.

Miner nabbed for illegal drugs
BANGUED, Abra – Police arrested Thursday a certain Bonifacio Manzano Garcia, 32, miner resident of Poblacion, Lacub for illegal drugs 
Confiscated from the suspect were several sachets containing white crystalline substance suspected to be shabu. Dexter Abella, media representative and Joel Guzman, barangay kagawad of Lipcan, Bangued, witnessed the arrest of Garcia who was jailed at the local police station.

Cook arrested after stabbing partner
LA TRINIDAD, Benguet -- A cook was arrested at Barangay Puguis here after she allegedly stabbed her partner below the armpit around 9 p.m. of April 12.  Renilou Magbangwa, 35 and companions were drinking liquor at nearby shop beside their residences when he was called by the suspect because their baby girl was crying. When the victim went aside their boarding house, they had verbal alteration that led to manhandling of the mother who retaliated by grabbing a kitchen knife and allegedly stabbed the victim.
Magbangwa was rushed to the Benguet General Hospital by his companions for treatment and confined at the surgical ward. Both parties agreed to settle the matter amicably. – Princess Natividad

 Thief attacks 50-year-old man; takes his money
 BAGUIO CITY -A 50-year-old man was struck on his forehead with a stone at Rizal Park April 18 around 11 p.m.
Hernan Cruz Leckias was attacked by still unidentified man who forcibly took his cash worth  P 1,500. The victim said he went to the park to wait for somebody after a drinking activity at Kayang Street. While seated at the chain around Rizal Park bust, the man approached him then attacked him. He managed to run away while blood was oozing from his head. He  boarded a taxi along KMS Bus Terminal along Chanum Street and was brought the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center. – Leoniel Perez

2 young men nabbed for sniffing shabu inside trike 
BANGUED, Abra – Cops arrested two young men here Wednesday for sniffing shabu aboard a tricycle.
Suspects were identified as Wilfredo Millare Abella, 22, single, employee of OPVET Breeding Stationa and Jonard Agaloos Millare, 23,  unemployed. 
Cops were patrolling the road at Barangay Bacsil Angad when they caught the suspects sniffing shabu aboard a Black Euro 150 tricycle parked in the dark portion of the road. confiscated from the suspects were a Cal. 38 revolver, loaded with four bullets, knife, four plastic sachets allegedly containing shabu and drug paraphernalia.
Inventory was witnessed by barangay chairman Ronie Bringas of Angad and Dexter Abella, reporter of DZPA.  

P660K marijuana plants destroyed in Benguet
BAKUN, Benguet -- More than P660,000 worth of marijuana plants were uprooted and burned in plantations here in Sitios Owasan, Maingan and Nagawa in Barangay Kayapa April 16-17.
 Chief Supt. Ulysses J. Abellera, Cordillera police director said 2,900 fully-grown marijuana plants and 2,000 pieces of marijuana seedlings were destroyed even as identity of planters was being ascertained.
Abellera said he was grateful to the support of the community in givig cops information on illegal drugs.  – Jorton Campana

Laborer hacks minor 
BAGUIO CITY – A laborer was arrested Tuesday after hacking a minor Tuesday around 8:20 p.m. here at Pinesville Subdivision, Fort del Pilar. The victim was identified as Christopher Cabanes Navarro, 16, of Virac-Kias, Itogon, Benguet while his assailant was named as Edmundo Makasibang Abella, 44, resident of the area.
Investigation showed  the victim and suspect had a drinking spree when an argument ensued between them making the latter to hack Navarro. The victim immediately went home but due to injuries on his head and left hand, he was rushed to the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center by his stepfather where he is still confined.

P4 million marijuana burned in  Kalinga
TABUK CITY, Kalinga – Marijuana worth PP4,282,815 was burned in a ceremony at Police Provincial Office Grounds at Camp Juan Duyan, Bulanao Tuesday.
The illegal hemp weighing 85,656.314 grams was torched by regional police director Chief Supt. Ulysses J. Abellera, Kalinga Gov. Jocel C.  Baac, Kalinga police director Senior Supt. Victor K. Wanchakan, lawyer John B. Balao-as of Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency-Cordillera, Aquino Perez of DZRK-Radyo ng Bayan, provincial Environment chief Daniel Iyadan and Pastor Luis Ao-as from religious sector.

Farmer dead after jumping out of bus to retrieve sack of rice
KABAYAN, Benguet – A farmer was killed after he tried to catch a sack of rice from falling off a bus here Tuesday around 9;30 a.m.  Police investigation bared the victim identified as Jimmy Dala-oy Elio 67, of Barangay Adaoay here hitched ride with the A-Liner Bus at Sitio Kenejang, Adaoay.
John Montes Culay-an, 20, of Tubungan, Kayapa, Nueva, Vizcaya, conductor of the bus adviced the victim to put his cargo, a sack of rice at the basement compartment of the bus but the victim said he would rather place it at the step board near entrance door of the bus since he would drop off about half kilometer away. While the bus was traversing a curved ascending road, the sack of rice slid out from the door and dropped to the road prompting the victim to hurriedly jump off regain the fallen cavan of rice without telling the driver to stop. The victim landed on the road outbalanced that his body and head hit the ground with strong impact.
The victim was earlier brought to Dennis Molintas Memorial Hospital in nearby Bokod town but was later brought to Baguio General Hospital where he was declared by attending physicians at about 12 p.m. Doctors said he died from severe injuries on his head and body.

Motorcycle taken, returned
BAGUIO CITY -- - A motorcycle was stolen here April 16 along Upper Mabini Street.
The unidentified victim said it was parked unattended in front of GP building and was discovered missing around 9:45 am. He also said he searched Upper Mabini Street but to no avail. After hours of searching, the motorcycle was found parked along Kayang Street and was returned to the owner. –Leoniel Perez

Housewife loses P31K to 3 men who bump her
LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – A housewife lost P31,000 she had just withdrawn from money remittance firm M Lhuillier to three thieves here Tuesday around 4:30 p.m. at Km 5, Barangay Balili. The victim was identified as Raquel Curisay Cortez, 25, resident of Barangay Luboc.
Police said the victim had just taken took her remittance when she met three men who suddenly bumped and grabbed her pouch containing the money. The suspects ran towards Balili area while the victim who was shocked and felt unconscious. She later boarded a taxi then went to Benguet General Hospital for treatment. The victim reported the incident at La Trinidad police at about 7:40 p.m. Policed are now trying to ascertain identity of the thieves.

Taxi driver steals Korean student’s pricey cell phone
BAGUIO CITY – A Korean lady student identified as Hanna Shin, Korean National, 23, reported to police she was victimized Tuesday around 3 p.m.by unidentified taxi driver who stole her I-Phone 6 cell phone in front of De Leon building Upper Session Road.
The victim and her two friends flagged down a taxi then requested to be ferried to Session Road. When the victim was about to pay their fare, she placed her cell phone on her lap then alit near KFC Restaurant. They went to De Leon Building where she noticed that her cell phone was missing believed to have been taken by the cab driver.

Bocap, utility workers surrender shotguns
DOLORES, Abra – Abraham Buentipo, barangay captain of Namit-ingan here  surrendered a shotgun to police Tuesday along with a utility workers named as
Ronald Claro, 44, who also gave to authorities a shotgun.

Farmer lands in jail for rape 
TINOC, Ifugao – A farmer wanted for rape was arrested here Tuesday around 8 a.m. at Mabbalat, Gumhang. Nabbed was Romeo Pateyec Baldahen, 63 after warrant was issued against him by Judge Romeo U. Habbiling of Regional Trial Court, Branch 14, Lagawe, Ifugao. No bail was set by the judge for Baldahen’s temporary liberty. The accused was detained at the Tinoc municipal jail.

Body found with stab wounds in Alfonso Lista
ALFONSO LISTA, Ifugao – A male cadaver was found by police along the the national road here at Pabalay, Namillangan. Police said the unidentified body was handcuffed from behind while feet were hog tied. The victim sustained nine stab wounds on right side of his chest and one stab wound on his back as declared by the municipal medico-legal. Said cadaver was located exactly sixteen feet from the edge of the pavement and was placed behind a tree with  blood stains trailing from the road up to where he was abandoned which showed  he was pulled from a vehicle and dumped into the area. Nearby residents said they did not notice any unusual incident nor commotion that attracted their attention during the night.

Television firm bill collector robbed
LATRINIDAD, BENGUET – A bill collector of Mountainview Satellite was robbed of P43,000 pesos while he was delivering bills to three houses at the back of PureGold KM4, Balili around 3 p.m. of April 15.
Victim, David Joaquin, 50 said that he was walking  when an unidentified man  covered his face with a piece of cloth and pointed a gun at his lover back and uttered the words “Lumaban ka?” He replied “Haan”. The suspect then opened all the zippers of his hand woven sling bag and got his collection. The victim said the suspect opened his wallet and got his cash of P600 and returned his wallet inside his pocket. After taking the items, the suspect removed the cloth cover from his eyes, instructed the victim to close his eyes, then fled with a companion towards unknown direction. -- Princess Natividad

2 Kiangan farmers arrested for arson
KIANGAN, Ifugao – Two farmers of Alimit, Hucab here landed in jail Tuesday for arson.  They were identified as Leon Bokyag, 57 and Lourdes Ligmayo Domingo, 58, both Alimit residents.
This, after Judge Romeo U. Habbiling of RTC, Br 14, Lagawe, Ifugao issued warrant against them. The judge set P200,000 for their temporary liberty.

Men fire guns as mayoralty candidate holds rally
LAGAYAN, Abra – Edmarc  Crisologo, mayoralty candidate under National Unity Party was conducting a political rally here in Barangay Ba-I when successive gunfire was heard coming from forested area going to Nagba, Pang-ot. Police scoured the area and invited two men identified as Arjay Bolante Alucday and Dexter Masalay Seguerra, both from Nagba, Pang-ot, Lagayan for questioning. Both agreed to undergo paraffin tests at the Abra Provincial Crime Laboratory Office Camp Juan Villamor, Bangued.

Man nabbed for firing gun
LAGAWE, Ifugao – A man was arrested here for illegally firing his gun Tuesday at about 11 p.m. along JP Rizal Avenue, Poblacion East. Nabbed was Jayson Changiwan Nadugo, 37, of Bolog, Kiangan town.
Police said they were conducting patrol when they heard successive gunfire that prompted them to respond. They saw two men along the road. Nadugo’s companion ran after noticing the cops taking with him the firearm from Nadugo.
Recovered from the scene were three bullets and three cartridges of Cal. 9 mm pistol while the arrested suspect was brought to Lagawe police station.

207 firearms confiscated, 97 arrested in Cordillera
LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – The Police Regional Office Cordillera has in possession 207 firearms since January to April with 104  turned-in for safe keeping, 73 confiscated, 25 voluntarily surrendered and five  recovered.
Chief Supt. Ulysses Abellera said Abra Provincial Police Office had the highest number of firearms of which 77 were for safekeeping, 35  confiscated, 19 surrendered and two was recovered totaling 135. Next was Apayao with 25, Kalinga with 17, both Baguio and Ifugao with 10 each, Benguet with eight, and Mountain Province with one.
Latest report was turn-in of 15 firearms and a hand grenade in Abra in which some owners are public official and political candidates.
PROCOR had 97 arrests related to election gun ban in which 35 came  from Abra; 19, Kalinga; 16, Baguio; 14, Benguet; 6, Apayao, 1,  Mt. Province, and three arrests by Regional Police Safety Battalion.

4 wanted persons arrested
CAMP DANGWA, La Trinidad, Benguet – Four wanted persons were arrestged early last week in the Cordillera.
Nabbed were Artemio Gatchalian Mabutas, 36 of Abatan, Bauko, Mountain Province who was arrested in his residence for rape; Welling Dalipog, 34 of Dangoy, Lubuagan, for attempted murder;
Roland Cabuga Sagisi, 28 of Poblacion West, Flora, Apayao for illegal drugs and Pedro Calpito Bambilla at Sitio Kimmalasag, Barangay Tangbao, San Isidro, Abra for illegal guns.

Baguio vehicular accidents down
BAGUIO CITY – Vehicular accidents are down here with three to seven  cases now recorded daily as compared last year.
From January to March last year, 557 accidents were reported in three months while this year, from January to this month 483 vehicular incidents were recorded.
No deaths were recorded but a lot were injured within time frame. Police advised people to be careful and have discipline while on the road. – Denver Moreno

‘Lambat-Sibat’ nets 84 wanted persons in Cordillera
CAMP DANGWA, Benguet — Operatives of the Police Regional Office-Cordillera arrested 84 person wanted for various crimes in just one day through the massive implementation of “Oplan Lambat-Sibat” last week.
“This is a big accomplishment in the history of the “Oplan Lambat-Sibat which is strictly being implemented in the region. This is a result of the industry of the police in the region,” said Chief Supt. Ulysses Abellera, PRO-Cor director.
The arrests implemented by operatives of the Benguet Police Provincial Office (PPO), 43 persons; Ifugao, 13; Kalinga, 10; BCPO, 9; Abra, 6; Apayao, 2 and Mountain Province, 1.
Abellera called on the community’s continued participation saying “we continue to seek the community’s participation by report the presence of wanted person in their areas to help stop criminality, attain a peaceful life and give justice to the victims of crimes.”
The arrests, he said, will also help achieve the goal of assuring a peaceful conduct of the election, especially in areas identified as Comelec hot spot areas.
Philippine National Police Chief Director General Ricardo Marquez lauded the PROCOR in his visit in Abra on April 6, for its accomplishments in the maintenance of peace and order and the arrest of wanted persons.

Man assaulted; money taken
LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – A man was robbed of P950 after being hit on the forehead by one of three thieves he encountered while on his way to Broadway Bar, Trading Post around 8 p.m. April 15.


Cop wanted for carnapping, homicide nabbed in Angeles

By Franco C. Regala

CAMP JULIAN OLIVAS, Pampanga – A former police officer tagged as Central Luzon’s second most wanted person who evaded arrest for two years, was arrested by elements of the Angeles City police authorities Monday afternoon in Barangay Cuayan, Angeles City.
The Pampanga Highway Patrol Group linked Capinpin to a notorious carnapping syndicate operating in the province.
Capinpin has a pending warrant for carnapping with homicide issued by Judge Eda Dizon-Era of the Regional Trial Court Branch 60 in Angeles City.
Sometime in August 20, 2014, Capinpin, along with Adrian Magat, Julius Quiambao and Francis Daya were all accused of killing Fernando Manabat, 22, who refused to turn over his tricycle to the three suspects.
The investigation showed that the victim was shot several times with a cal. 38 Armscor revolver which was pawned for P2,000 to a security guard after a few days.
Magat, a former supervisor of CDM security agency, was arrested on August 28, 2014 in nearby Magalang town after he and another former policeman, PO2 Vic Chua, were held for illegal possession of firearms.


Curfew imposed in Isabela due to spate of killings

By Raymind Catindig

JONES, Isabela – A curfew has been enforced in this town amid a spate of killings.
Jones Mayor Leticia Sebastian signed an ordinance last week setting a curfew from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m., Chief Insp. Noel Patalittan, Jones police chief, said.
Patalittan said the ordinance was in response to persistent reports that men on motorcycles were seen roaming in the town at night.
Provincial elections officer Erwin Valeroso said Jones was added to the list of “areas of concern” by the Commission on Elections due to intense political rivalry, violence and presence of armed groups.
Last week, the New People’s Army killed Vice Mayor Reynaldo Lucas, who was seized during a campaign sortie.
Lucas’ cousin, San Isidro barangay chairman Heinrich Apostol, was also gunned down while having a drinking spree with another village chief in his house.  Apostol was running for councilor under the United Nationalist Alliance.


GMA seeks SC permission to vote

LUBAO, Pampanga --- Former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has asked the Supreme Court to allow her to vote on May 9. 
In a petition, a copy of which was furnished to the Sandiganbayan yesterday, Arroyo asked that she be allowed to leave the Veterans Memorial Medical Center and travel to Lubao where she is a registered voter.
Arroyo, who is seeking reelection as representative of the second district of Pampanga, said the law does not disqualify a prisoner from voting during elections.
“The Commission on Elections recognizes the rights of prisoners to vote,” she said in a motion filed by her lawyers.
The former president’s camp said allowing her to vote is consistent with the constitutional presumption of innocence, noting only persons convicted by a final judgment are barred from voting. 
Arroyo has been under “hospital arrest” due to a plunder case filed against her two years ago.
The case stemmed from her alleged misuse of Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office funds.
 She has asked the high court to junk the case after the Sandiganbayan denied her motion to dismiss it.

Arroyo has also asked the high court to place her under house arrest, citing her doctors’ statement that her continued hospital confinement has not improved her condition.


8 LTO branches converted into regular district offices

President Aquino has signed into law eight Congress-approved bills converting the extension offices of the Land Transportation Office (LTO) into regular district offices.
The laws will expand services and transactions such as vehicle registration and driver’s license application and renewal.
The cities and municipalities that will have regular LTO district offices are Tigaoan in Camarines Sur, Malita in Davao Occidental, Carmona in Cavite, Cabadbaran City in Agusan del Norte, Irosin in Sorsogon, Agoo in La Union, Bayawan City in Negros Oriental and Nabunturan in Compostela Valley.
The funds for the operations of the offices will be included in the annual General Appropriations Act.

Aquino signed the bills on April 15.


Gun-for-hire syndicate boss nabbed at campaign

By Liezle Basa Inigo

SAN NICOLAS, Pangasinan — The suspected leader of a gun-for-hire syndicate was arrested by police who spotted him roaming at a campaign sortie of reelectionist Mayor Rebecca M. Saldivar morning of April 16 in Barangay Bensican.
Chief Insp. Arnold Soriano, chief of police, said cops securing the area accosted Leonilo Sarmiento, 43, married, and a resident of Quezon town, Nueva Ecija, together with his companion Teodoro R. Vicente, 49, of Cabanatuan City, for suspiciously roaming the area on a motorcycle while the mayor was conducting a house-to-house campaign at 9:15 a.m.
A verification made by police showed that Sarmiento is wanted for murder and has standing warrants of arrest in Tarlac and Nueva Ecija. “We also learned he faces charges over the killing of two ABC (Association of Barangay Captains) presidents in Region 3,” said Soriano.

Peculiarly, Sarmiento’s Yamaha R6 motorcycle (3264 GB) is registered to the Presidential Security Group, said Soriano.


NL martial law detainees hound Bongbong in Baguio

BAGUIO CITY -- As Sen. Bongbong Marcos brought his vice-presidential campaign here, former detainees under martial lawaired protests saying they were against the return to power of the late strongman’s son. 
Joanna K. Cariño, chairperson of Samahan ng mga Ex-Detainee Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto – Northern Luzon said they launched
Campaign Against the Return of the Marcoses to Malacañang (CARMMA) urging Northern Luzon constituents to “never forget martial law and to say No to Bongbong Marcos.”
Carino said the Marcos Bust at Taloy Sur, Tuba, Benguet had long been a symbol of the Marcos dictatorship in Northern Luzon.
During the martial law period, she said the late president built a huge bust of his face along the mountainside of Taloy Sur, ala Mt Rushmore.
“The land of the people of Taloy Sur was grabbed to make way for the Marcos Park with the bust overlooking the cottages, golf course and other structures.”
After the EDSA 1 revolution and the fall of the dictatorship, the Cordillera People’s Alliance reportedly met with then President Corazon Aquino and among the demands that were met was the return of the land to the people of Taloy Sur.
“There was a big celebration at the Marcos Park and the bust was festooned with streamers proclaiming the success of the people’s struggle against the dictatorship,” Carino said. 
“Shortly thereafter, the bust was exploded as a rejection of the people of the North of the Marcos dictatorship. Now the son refuses to apologize for the sins of martial law that he was also part of.”

CARMMA members hung streamers on the defaced Marcos Bust April 15 to coincide with Bongbong’s arrival in Baguio City like: Never again to martial law.”


P’sinan council bet dies of heat stroke

By Eva Visperas

MANGALDAN, Pangasinan – A candidate for councilor in this town died of heat stroke during a campaign sortie on Monday. 
Alfred Soriano, who was seeking reelection under the Liberal Party, collapsed after complaining of dizziness during a political rally in Barangay Alitaya. 
Soriano’s son Aldrin confirmed his father’s death on his Facebook account. 
Ana Maria Teresa de Guzman, Pangasinan health officer, said the risk of heat stroke, especially among infants, children and senior citizens, is high during summer. 


Dismissed mayor refuses to step down

By Ramon Efren Lazaro

SAN JOSE DEL MONTE, Bulacan – The mayor of this city, who was ordered dismissed by the Office of the Ombudsman over the alleged overpriced construction of a government building, has refused to step down.
At the weekly flag-raising ceremony Monday, San Jose del Monte Mayor Reynaldo San Pedro said the dismissal order could not be immediately implemented.
San Pedro said his lawyer Ferdinand Topacio would appeal the ombudsman ruling and file a motion for the issuance of a temporary restraining order with the Court of Appeals.
San Pedro said he would also seek relief from the Commission on Elections regarding his reelection bid.
San Pedro’s dismissal stemmed from a complaint for grave abuse of authority and grave misconduct filed by city engineer Rufino Gravador Jr.
The ombudsman also ordered the cancellation of San Pedro’s civil service eligibility, forfeiture of his retirement benefits and perpetual disqualification from holding public office.
The National Bureau of Investigation filed frustrated murder charges against San Pedro and four others in February for the ambush of Gravador last year.

Gravador said San Pedro could be behind the ambush, noting that he received threats after the ombudsman issued subpoenas on the cases he filed against the mayor and 16 other city officials.    



Lagan is ‘best performing barangay’ in Sabangan
SABANGAN, Mountain Province -- Barangay Lagan headed by Punong Barangay Jonie Frenzel Omero was adjudged “best performing barangay” in the town.  Mayor Donato Danglose awarded barangbay officials during the recent Gagayam Festival at Saint Joseph Parish Plaza.
Barangay Lagan was also champion in street dancing, cultural presentation and battle of the gongs in elementary level during the festival. Lagan is one of the oldest barangays of this town. It is located across the Chico River facing barangays Tambingan and Poblacion.  Its people are known to be fierce but very accommodating.

El Niño phenomenon to stay until July: Pagasa
BAGUIO CITY -- El Niño will stay until June or July this year according to the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA).
El Niño started November last year, and one of the most affected areas is the Cordillera Administrative Region was Baguio City, according to Danny Galate, meteorologist of PAGASA, urging residents to prepare  severe rise in temperature.
Baguio City still experiences raining with the “cold front” causing it,  Galate said, adding no typhoon would hit the city in May.
El Niño is one of the most common problems of farmers in the Cordillera with farmers complaining about lack of water supply for their crops . PAGASA however said water supply in the Cordillera would be  sufficient until El Niño ends.

Mt. Province  LGUs, school to employ 1,015 studes this summer
BONTOC, Mountain Province -- About 1,015 students are expected to work this summer vacation under the Special Program for the Employment of Students (SPES) under the auspices of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).
The Provincial Governor’s Office, Office of the Vice Governor, nine local government units in the province and the Xijen College of Mountain Province pledged a total amount of P6, 352,390.00 for the employment of these students.
Based on the data provided by DOLE Provincial field Office Chief Samuel T. Lasdacan, Natonin LGU pledged the highest amount of P2, 493,750.00 for the employment of some 285 students for 25 days.
The Governor’s Office committed P1 million to hire 200 students for 20 days while the Xijen College pledged P600, 000.00 for the employment of 50 students for 40 days.
The Office of the Vice Governor committed P170, 200 for 37 students for 20 days.
The other LGUs  that will  participate in the SPES include  Barlig which pledged P420,000 for 70 students; Bauko – P414,400 for 112 students; Tadian – P400,000 for 80 students; Sabangan – PP248,400 for 54 students; Bontoc – P168,000 for 30 students; Besao – P80,640 for 24 students, Sagada – P32,000 for 8 students. These seven LGUs will employ the students for 20 days.
Paracelis LGU which pledged the amount of P325, 000 shall employ 65 students for 25 days.
Lasdacan said the daily wage of students who will be hired under the SPES varies depending on the daily wage provided by each LGU. Sixty percent (60%) of the students’ salary shall be paid by the employers in cash while the remaining 40% shall be paid by DOLE in the form of education voucher.
Interested students and out-of-school youth who intend to continue their studies are advised to start completing the required documents ready for submission during application period scheduled by the employers. They may visit the Public Employment Service Office (PESO) in the different municipalities in the province and the Provincial DOLE Office to get the required documents to be accomplished.
The SPES is a regular annual job creation program of the national government intended for the poor but deserving students to augment their school fees by providing them work during summer vacation. -- Juliet B. Saley

Ifugao studes learn business skills from Negosyo Center
NAYON, Ifugao -- Graduating students of the Ifugao State University (IFSU) here taking up Business Administration and Hotel and Restaurant Management attended a training conducted by the Negosyo Center of the Department of Trade and Industry-Ifugao Provincial Office.
Known as Business Expenses Savings Training (BEST) Game, the  training recently held at the IFSU Gym in Lagawe, Ifugao enabled graduating students to plan and operate a business.
The BEST Game as explained by DTI-Ifugao provincial director Valentin Baguidulol aims to teach business skills to the participants through the playing of a reality-based game which has three modules.
The mechanics of the game according to Baguidudol divides the participants into competing teams that simulates a business environment with each group trying to make the most profit at the end of the certain reckoning period.
The Best game exercise was facilitated by DTI-Ifugao’s SME Development Division (SDD) and Consumer Protection Division (CPD) personnel who introduced the learning modules to the students.  -- Art Tibaldo

Baguio pet owners against restriction of pets
BAGUIO CITY – A signature campaign of Baguio pet owners was launched here last week against restriction of pets in parks of this summer resort. Administrative Order 21 of 2015 of the city government stipulates “no raising, pasturing, herding, breeding, tying out or turning loose of pets and other domesticated animals,” in city parks.
According to the City Environment and Parks Management Office, that doesn’t mean that pets are not allowed to enter the city parks.
She said it only means that pet owners should be responsible for their pets and make sure that the park is always clean for human activities. – Krisha Daniwes

Poverty alleviation programs set in Apayao
LUNA, Apayao -- Gov.  Elias Bulut Jr. said the provincial government has launched province-wide anti-drug campaign, livelihood projects and the “Pabahay” program.
The “Pabahay” program is the main focus of the province’s anti-poverty campaign, and the provincial government has identified the poorest barangays in each municipality as intended beneficiaries.
The provincial government allocated P8 million for the “pabahay” program with counterpart from each municipality.
The governor explained that lack of shelter is number one in the poverty indicator of the province as of 2015, followed by income or livelihood then lack of sanitary toilets.
The number of houses to be built will depend on the community-based monitoring system of each barangay.
The goal for livelihood is to strengthen the coffee production in the municipalities of Kabugao, Calanasan and Conner. Other livelihood programs will be based on the design to be created by each municipality.
“These programs are to address the poorest of the poorest”, said the governor. Apayao is the second poorest province in the Philippines in 2011, and the 4th on the list in 2015.. -- Jillie Ominga

UN urges Baguio gov’t: post Earth Day photos
BAGUIO CITY – The city joined World Earth Day celebration Friday, with pre and post-activities focused on mitigating climate change and global warming.
Activities included free smoke-emission testing conducted by the City Environment and Parks Management Office.   Other activities are slated with the celebration of World Earth day.    
A letter from Michael Bloomberg, United Nation Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change, requested Mayor Mauricio Domogan to join the celebration by “posting a photo of participation in Earth-friendly programs and initiatives to highlight the leadership, commitment and progress cities are making on climate mitigation and resilience.”
A “toolkit” from the Compact of Mayors Earth Day to help “promote and amplify climate initiatives across all social media channels,” was enclosed.
The expected signing of the Paris Agreement by world leaders Friday signaled start of bigger and more comprehensive actions from the grassroots to national groups. Aside from planting trees, targeted to be 7.8B by year 2020 on world earth day’s 50th anniversary, other commitments include riding the bike, installation of LED lights, switching to electric buses, recycling and reduction of garbage, use of recyclable energy and the like.   
Bloomberg encouraged action for the reduction of “local greenhouse gas emissions, enhance resilience to climate change, and track progress publicly.” We can build from the agreement in Paris to “a permanent place for cities as critical partners in the global climate solution,” he said. – Julie G. Fianza

Health team serves far barangays of Abra  
MALIBCONG,  Abra -- Health team composed of personnel from Provincial Health Office, Municipal Health Office of Malibcong,  and the Philippine Red Cross  conducted medical mission in landlocked barangays of  this  upland municipality March 21.
The team conducted ‘kilatis kutis’ to children, blood typing to adults, urine screening and medical checkup to residents of far-flung barangays of Dulao, Mataragan, Bayabas and Pacgued.
The group also distributed hygiene kit to children, vitamins to pregnant women, medicines and ointment for skin diseases and 14 sacks of used clothings donated by local thrift shops in Bangued.
According to Rev. Fr. Oscar Alunday, a native of said place, the medical team was the first- ever to reach and serve the upland barangays of Malibcong.
“In my 64 years of existence this is the very first time. We are also from Abra. Lowlanders may have long forgotten that but you recognize that we are and thank you,” he said.
People there seldom get medical attention because the place is very far from rural health unit. Trails going up and down the mountains are risky, barely two feet wide near the cliffs.
“This is not the first and last time that we will serve the uplands. Slopes and tracks may be really too difficult to trek but there is no amount of difficulty for a heart ready to serve,” assured Dr. Lilibeth B. Martin, team leader.
The Philippine Information Agency-Abra also joined the team.  -- Ginalyn B. Brioso

NFA-Kalinga auctions 9,000 bags of rice
TABUK CITY, Kalinga --The National Food Authority (NFA) provincial station here is auctioning more than 9,000 bags of its current stock of imported rice   to unclog its warehouse for the new delivery of rice.
The auction is open from Monday to Thursday, until supply lasts.
NFA provincial manager Miguel Tecson said their office auctions the stock to NFA-licensed rice traders in the province at P24/kg from the prevailing price of P30/kg. He assured the rice is fit for human consumption.
As soon as their warehouse is ready, 40,000 bags of new imported rice shall be delivered to the province, Tecson disclosed. 
Meanwhile, NFA-Kalinga targets to establish 370 bigasan outlets throughout the province.
The move was made so all of the province’s 152 barangays shall have bigasan outlets in line with NFA’s mandate to provide accessible cheap and quality government rice to the grass root. 
At present, NFA provincial station has 30 newly licensed retailers added to its original 80 licensed bigasan outlets, while application is open.  NFA sells its rice at regular price of P27-32/kg. -- Larry .T Lopez

Grass fires burn power posts
TABUK CITY, Kalinga – Several instances of brown-out during summer were caused by fallen power posts due to grassfires. 
The National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) bared this as it appealed to the public to help prevent burning of wild grasses that often leads to power outages.
Lilibeth Gaydowen of the NGCP reported that Gaydowen recalled one case last year in Solana, Cagayan where a wide service area including Kalinga, experienced power interruption because of burned electric posts due to grassfires. 
Wild grass fires are common every summer when grazing lands are burned to generate fresh grasses as food to cattle.
Another concern is the continuing “slash & burn” practice in areas where NGCP power lines traverse.
 In a related report, the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office here warned that wild fires do not only destroy electric posts but also impede the reforestation program as trees planted on the National Greening Program sites are burned.
In Tabuk City, greening projects including fruit tree orchards are not spared by the destruction caused by wild grass fires because of these practices.
As prevention, the CENRO recommended the putting-up of fire lines around the perimeters to prevent wildfires from rapidly catching-up on the vegetation.
In the first quarter this year, the Bureau of Fire Protection -Tabuk recorded five cases of grassfires. -- Larry T. Lopez     

1,028 Abra students set for employment
BANGUED, Abra -- Fifteen local government units and five private establishments have committed to participate in this year’s Special Program for the Employment of Students (SPES) in the province.
Department of Labor and Employment Abra field office head George G. Lubin Jr. said pledge of commitment had already been signed by partner agencies to accommodate 1,029 students   under the SPES.
Lubin said   961 will be employed by the LGUs and 68 by the private establishments.  They will be hired for a minimum of 20 days to a maximum of 52 days within one year. The wages will be shared by DOLE and the host agency on a 40:60 ratio with the 40% share of the DOLE and 60% by the employer.
DOLE pays its share in the students’ wages directly to the school where the students will enroll since the SPES program is intended to defray school fees of the students.
The employers’ share is paid directly to the students for their personal allowances.
This year’s partner-agencies to the SPES program with the number of their commitment are:  Abra Mountain Development Education Center of Bucloc, 20; Chowking, 6; Divine Word College of Bangued,35; Jollibee, 6; New Commercial Trading, 1; Provincial Government of Abra,53; the LGUs of Bangued, 40; Bucay, 100; Bucloc, 20; Dolores,150; Lagangilang,40; Langiden, 50; Luba,10; Malibcong, 60; Pidigan, 20; Pilar, 15; Sallapadan,20; San Juan, 300; San Quintin, 8; Tayum, 55,  and Tineg, 20.
Lubin said there are still available slots for SPES in LGU-San Juan. Interested applicants may see Ms. Marietta Ta-a, the Public Employment Service Office Manager. -- Maria Teresa B. Benas
MP Red Cross members insured for accidents, hospitalization 
BONTOC, Mountain Province – The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) - Mountain Province Chapter has expanded benefits for Red Cross members.
Being a member of the Red Cross is also one way of helping others who are in need, Tactay added.
There are many options for interested members to choose from depending on their age bracket and the amount of benefits they want.
Tactay said classic membership is open for people ages 6-25 years old. A one-year fee of P60 entitles a member to an accident medical reimbursement worth P5, 000 and P150 daily hospital allowance for a maximum of 60 days. The member is entitled to a P12, 000 each for accidental death, disablement, dismemberment and unprovoked murder and assault; and a burial assistance of P5, 000.
The premier bronze with a P150 membership fee for one year entitles a member to P5,000 for accidental medical reimbursement, and burial assistance; P150 daily hospital allowance for a maximum of 60 days; and P5,000  for accidental death, disablement, dismemberment, and unprovoked murder and assault.
If a member chooses premier silver, he/she pays P300 for one year and is entitled to P10,000 accidental medical reimbursement; P200 daily hospital allowance for a maximum of 60 days; P5,000 accidental burial assistance, and P100,000  for accidental death, disablement, dismemberment, and unprovoked murder and assault.
The premier gold with a P500 membership fee entitles a member P10,000 accidental medical reimbursement; P200 daily hospital allowance for a maximum of 60 days; P5,000 accidental burial assistance; and P200,000 each for accidental death, disablement, dismemberment and unprovoked murder and assault.
For premier platinum, the membership fee for one year is P1,000 and this entitles a member to a P10,000 accidental medical reimbursement; P200 daily hospital allowance for 60 days; P5,000 accidental burial assistance; and P300,000 each for accidental death, disablement, dismemberment and unprovoked murder and assault.
Senior citizens can also avail of this program. Under the Senior bracket, senior citizens aging 66-80 years old who are interested to be PRC members shall pay a membership fee of P300 and under  the Senior Plus bracket, senior citizens aging 81-85 years old shall pay P350. They are entitled to a P100 daily hospital allowance for 60 days; P5, 000 each for accidental medical reimbursement and accidental burial assistance; and P50, 000 each for accidental death, disablement, dismemberment and unprovoked murder and assault.
Members of the Red Cross need to renew their membership every year to be classified as active members.
Based on the data of Red Cross here, there were 2,183 members last year. Of the total members, 1,392 chose classic, 564 premium bronze, 127 premium silver, 39 premium gold, 21 premium platinum, 36 senior and 4 senior plus.
As of this month, the Red Cross national office released a total amount of P30, 196 as reimbursements to 15 Red Cross members due to illness and one due to accident.
There are still 14 members who submitted their application for reimbursements which are on process.

Tactay said the PRC here is expected to recruit 4,420 members this year to raise the amount of P329,740 goal set by Red Cross national office for this chapter. -- Juliet B. Saley


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