Tabuk City Coop Office CAR’s bet to Gawad Award

>> Thursday, October 26, 2017

CITY OF TABUK, Kalinga – The Tabuk City Cooperative Office will represent the Cordillera region in the 2017 National Gawad Parangal Award.
Elenita Latugat of Tabuk CCO said the office was cited for its Cooperative Assistance for Rural Enhancement (CARE) Program wherein the city government, in partnership with the Tabuk City Cooperative Development Council contributed in the growth and development of grassroot cooperatives here.
Under the CARE program, the city-LGU sponsors capability enhancement trainings and workshops and provides financial assistance for capital build-up. This year, the city government had released P2 million in soft loans (no interest) as capital support to starting cooperatives.
At present, there are at least 87 people’s cooperatives in the city being assisted by the CCO.
The CCO earlier bagged National Gawad Parangal Award in 2015.  It was also given recognition as ‘Best Performing Cooperative Office’ in the recent National Cooperative Tripartite Conference in Iloilo City.
Meanwhile, Mayor Ferdinand B. Tubban vowed to consider the cooperative movement as priority program of his administration seeing how people’s lives are changed through the benefits and services of cooperatives.

In Tabuk, we see the cooperatives as effective partner of government in bringing economic reforms down to the grassroots, Tubban said.  -- PIA  Kalinga


PDEA busts 3 notorious Pangasinan drug suspects

CAMP DIEGO SILANG, La Union – The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency Ilocos regional office based here arrested three high-value drug targets during a buy-bust operation in Barangay Lucao, Dagupan, Pangasinan Monday afternoon.
Arrested and charged with violation of the Comprehensive on Dangerous Drugs Act were James M. Manaoat, 24; Maja Demah Bajunaid, 27, and Jone Alexan Villamor, 28.
According to Bismark Bengwayan, PDEA information officer, there were reports that the arrested suspects were supplying illegal drugs to students, especially foreigners, in various colleges and universities in Dagupan City
Seized from the trio were one wrapped elongated bundle of dried marijuana leaves and stalks estimated at 750 grams with a street value of P90,000 and 33 sealed transparent sachets containing dried marijuana leaves weighing 280.5 grams worth an estimated P33,660.
Likewise recovered from the suspects were a P1,000 bill placed used during the operation,
a black Mitsubishi Mirage (ABO-3148), one blue travel bag and one brown-white coin pouch.
One of the suspects said they sourced out the dried marijuana leaves from Baguio City. – Erwin Beleo



SSS sets higher benefits from coverable income adjustment

STATE-RUN  Social Security System (SSS) said Wednesday the estimated monthly pension of a member with at least 30 paying years will increase to P20,300 from the current maximum pension of P10,900 by 2026, if the coverable income increases to P30,000 in five years as part of its proposed reform agenda. 
Similarly, benefits such as maternity, sickness, and funeral, which are also computed based on the monthly salary credit (MSC), will also increase once the reform agenda is implemented.
SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Emmanuel F. Dooc said the success of the proposed SS Reform Act of 2017, which is currently being deliberated at the committee level in the Senate, will improve the benefits for members and pensioners.
“The estimated pension could increase to as much as P20,300 by 2026. As we have proposed earlier, the adjustment in MSC should increase gradually every year to P20,000 next year, to P25,000 in 2020, and P30,000 in 2021.                   As we increase the coverable income or MSC, the benefits also increase because this is the basis for computation of SSS benefits,” Dooc said.
He explained that benefits are computed based on the member's MSC and credited years of service (CYS) or the number of years he paid SSS contributions. 
Under the current maximum MSC of P16,000 and monthly contribution rate of 11 percent (shared by employer and employee for employed members), the maximum basic monthly pension is only P10,900 for a member who retires with at least 30 CYS.
 With the contribution rate increase and MSC ceiling adjustment to P30,000, sickness benefit per day of P480 based on the current maximum average daily salary credit of P533 will increase to P900.
Likewise, maternity benefits for caesarian delivery will increase from P41,600 to P78,000 while those who will undergo normal birth will get P60,000 from the current P32,000 under the proposed P30,000 maximum MSC.
 Moreover, funeral benefit due from a member's account with at least 120 contributions at P30,000 MSC, six months before death will increase to P38,000 from the current P29,600. 
Dooc earlier expressed his hopes that the contribution increase will be implemented by January 2018, after the implementation of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) bill and the passage of the SS Reform Act of 2017.
“We are really hoping for the passage of this bill, which according to Sen. Gordon is a landmark bill. This will not only ensure the viability of the pension fund for the current and future members but it will also improve the benefits being enjoyed by our contributing-members. For a minimal increase in their monthly contribution, a potful will be added to their benefits and pension,” Dooc said.
              He said the economic managers in the Cabinet maintained that additional contributions are necessary to 


Stabber of Mt Prov mayor being traced

PARACELIS, Mountain Province – The assailant of the mayor of this town who was stabbed repeatedly afternoon of Oct. 10 in Santiago City has not yet been found.
Avelino Amangyen was resting in his car parked near a bank in the city when the unidentified man opened the door and stabbed him several times.
Amangyen who was taken to a hospital in critical condition for treatment is still recuperating.
Police said they were still trying to know motive of the attack was robbery, politics or business deals and have launched a manhunt for the perpetrator.

Concerned citizens of Paracelis have urged police to make a speedy and exhaustive investigation so it would be known if the mayor’s assailant was acting on his own or was ordered by a mastermind to carry out the crime.


Jeep driver commits suicide after wife wants separation

BAGUIO CITY – The wife of a jeepney driver told her husband she wanted to separate from him making the latter allegedly commit suicide.
The husband, identified as Pedro Dulay Jr. Runas, 51 was found dead hanging by his neck here around 10 a.m. Tuesday at the 2nd floor basement at No.145-B, Central Fairview.
Police said Dulay’s body was seen hanging earlier around 9:30 a.m. by his neighbor Ulysses Gumpad Mendoza under a concrete beam tied with electrical wires.
 Mendoza told his sister Michelle, 17 about the incident who in turn conveyed the information to Kay Valerie Abarientos Runas, the victim’s daughter.
Valerie then called his boyfriend, John Flor Sison Rojo who brought down the victim.
Valerie said around 4 a.m., she noticed his father going out from their house.
When she woke-up around 5 a.m., she looked for her father to ferry his grand child to school.
She noticed that the main door of their house was padlocked and the door keys missing.
She tried to call her father through cell phone but he could not be contacted.
She opened the main door of the house using duplicate keys and went down to the 2nd floor basement to locate her father but the gate was locked while the car of her father was inside their house.
She said her parents had a problem with their relationship and their mother wanted to separate from her husband because of his vices but the latter refused.

Police said there was no sign of struggle. The victim’s body was brought to St. Peter Funeral Homes for autopsy.


6 shot dead by bike- riding men in Luzon

By Raymund Catindig and Ric Sapnu

UNFAZED by Philippine National Police chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa’s warning to rid the country of motorcycle-riding assailants, six persons, including two drug suspects, were shot dead by bike-riding gunmen in Luzon in the past two days.
Tricycle driver Romel Jaramilla had just dropped off a passenger in Barangay Poblacion Norte, Sta. Cruz, Ilocos Sur at around 2 p.m. on Wednesday when he was shot.
Witnesses said Jaramilla managed to run, but the assailants chased and finished him off near a rice field.
Police said the victim surrendered under Oplan Tokhang last year.
Reynaldo Mojica, 47, was walking on his way home when he was shot in Barangay Alagao, San Ildefonso, Bulacan. 
Mojica was on the drug watchlist and a robbery suspect.
In Cagayan, former Solana municipal engineer Antonio Malenab, 53, was in his Toyota Hilux (PQB-212) when a motorcycle rider opened fire in Barangay Annafunan, Tuguegarao also on Wednesday.
Senior Insp. Renz Baloran, Solana police chief, said the victim was neither on the drug watchlist nor involved in any criminal activity.
Farmer Jackson Batan, 55, was shot while driving his motorcycle in Barangay Alba, Baggao also in Cagayan.
Former policeman Engracio Evangelista, 57, and former fireman Benjamin Dumaual Jr., 58, were having a drinking spree at a store in Barangay District 1, Cauayan, Isabela  when they were shot also on Wednesday.
Dela Rosa has vowed to hunt down motorcycle-riding assailants, saying they are tarnishing the image of the PNP.
He said the PNP is also verifying information that so-called ninja cops or police officers involved in illegal drugs are financing motorcycle-riding killers.

The PNP was removed from the government’s war on drugs amid criticisms over the killings.


Baguio driver nabbed for P38-M bank heist

BAGUIO CITY – A driver was arrested by police from Libmanan, Camarines and Baguio and Benguet cops here Monday around 1:30 p.m. after it was found out the van he owned was used in a bank robbery in Libmanan wherein P38 million was carted away.     
Romel Bacoco Pis-ew, 32, married, resident here of No. 504 San Vicente, Baguio City was reportedly subject of pursuit by Libmanan police led by Chief Insp.Chito Oyardo.
A police report said Pis-ew was traced to be the owner of a white Toyota Grandia van with conduction sticker YW 2546 which was allegedly used as getaway vehicle in the bank robbery that took place at the UCPB in Barangay Libod-1, Libmanan on Oct. 8 around 8-9 p.m..
Pis-ew was positively identified by a witness. Police said the bank and the place where the suspects rented were located in one building.
The suspects dug a hole under the ground around seven meters long until they reached the floor around two feet away from the bolt of the bank and utilized it as their point of entry.
Libmanan has not yet identified his alleged companions during the heist.  


Man jumps to death from Cagayan building

TUGUEGARAO CITY, Cagayan — A man reportedly jumped from the fourth floor of a building in this city on Wednesday.
Chief Supt. Edward Guzman, city police chief, said Christopher Teodoro, 29, a resident of Barangay Centro 10, was accosted six times by personnel of the city government’s Mall of the Valley building after he was seen suspiciously loitering near the terrace.
Guzman said Teodoro managed to sneak past building personnel and jumped from the building at around 10 a.m.
Teodoro’s mother said her son was suffering from mental illness. He died while being treated at the Cagayan Valley Medical Center.    


Besao miner found dead in Itogon mine

ITOGON, Benguet – The miner who was found inside a mine tunnel here Tuesday around 6 a.m. at Luneta, Loacan did not die of gas poisoning but due to injuries when he slipped on a deep shaft.
The victim was named as Rene Bontiyek Degma, 27, married, of Besao
Proper, Mt. Province and resident of Camp 7, Baguio City.
The body was discovered by Robert Venus Bobiles inside their tunnel when he went to switch the blower.
The body was retrieved by miners, barangay tanods and local folks.
A police report said the victim fell down the 5-meter deep hole.
The victim had swollen neck and right arm, abrasions on right foot and left hand.
The body of the victim was brought to Benguet General Hospital morgue for autopsy.


Bauko awarded for best tourism festival

BAUKO, Mountain Province -- The Association of Tourism Officers of the Philippines (ATOP) and the Dept. of Tourism (DOT), awarded a citation for Bauko as 3rd runner up in the search for best practices on municipal festivals.
The citation was in recognition of exceptional practices, projects and innovations Bauko folks and officials to community development and the tourism industry.
               Begnas di Bauko was shortlisted from the first screening based on published criteria by panels of jurors convened by ATOP.
The documents went into final review with the finalist submitting themselves to an en banc interview with the members of the national panel of Jurors who declared the winners.
Begnas di Bauko is a culture of thanksgiving celebrated into festival through Municipal Ordinance number 030-A every 2nd Thursday of March.
The winners were awarded during the ATOP 18thNational convention and 13th Pearl Award at Iloilo Convention Center, Iloilo City last Oct. 6.
               The municipality of Bauko was represented by Councilor Ricky Samidan, sangguniang bayan chair of committee on tourism and Tourism Operation Officer Arsenia Addon who received the awards.


Miss Thailand chosen Ms. Earth-Hannah in Pagudpud

By Freddie G. Lazaro

PAGUDPUD, Ilocos Norte – Miss Earth 2017 candidate Paweensuda Drouin of Thailand bagged the crown for the “Ms. Earth-Hannah’s 2017” title in a mini-pageant held at the Hannah’s Beach Resort and Convention Center here in Barangay Balaoi on Oct. 14.
Drouin bested the nine other Miss Earth 2017 candidates with her beautiful gown and fluent English response in the question and answer portion of the mini-pageant sponsored by retired Col. Ricardo L. Nolasco Jr., the proprietor of the Hannah’s Beach Resort.
The other winners of the Miss Earth-Hannah’s 2017 were Miss Ninoska Vasquez of Venezuela-1st runner-up and Miss Lessie Giler Sanchez of Ecuador-2nd runner up.
The 10 Miss Earth 2017 candidates, who visited Hannah’s beach resort are Miss Austria- Bianca Kronsteiner; Miss Czech Republic – Iva Uchytilova; Miss Ecuador Lessie Giler Sanchez; Miss Venzuela – Ninoska Vasquez; Miss Thailand – Paweensuda Drouin; Miss Korea – Hanna Lee; Miss Guatemala – Maria Jose Castaneda; Miss Israel – Elian Qupti; Miss Sweden – Camilia Fogestedt; and Miss Uganda – Mutesi Josephine Nabirye.
Drouin’s main advocacy to protect the environment is to “think mother earth as extension of one’s house.”
She said the awareness program in protecting the environment should start in the family’s house.
“The parents should teach their children at home on the proper ways to protect the mother earth through practicing the 6 Rs in effective waste management, which means re-use, reduce, re-use, recycle, repair and recover,” she said.


Baguio hosts 1st North Philippines career fair

BAGUIO CITY – Thousands of students and hospitality industry stakeholders will be flocking to the city to grab the rare opportunity of being exposed to the realities of their chosen profession for the upcoming 1st North Philippines Tourism Forum and Career Fair at the CAP Trade and Cultural Center on Nov. 16-18.
                Maria Venus Q. Tan, regional director of the Cordillera office of the Department of Tourism , said the event will help unveil the many tourism career opportunities not only in the country but also in other parts of the world to accommodate the increasing number of young professionals taking up courses related to the hospitality and tourism industry.
              “The fair will highlight the rise of the Cordillera as meetings, incentive travel, conventions and exhibitions career hub for tourism,” Tan stressed.
 The 3-day event will include lectures and for a on topics related to tourism career opportunities and practices as it brings the academe to the realities to the needs of the industry.
The DOT-CAR official revealed the speakers, who are the icons of practically all the tourism sectors, will present their personal and professional experiences in their respective career paths and provide tips on how to spot and seize opportunities for industry growth and advancement thereby resulting in jobs and livelihood generation.
According to her, as industry leaders, the chosen experts will talk about the realities in their respective sectors such as the culinary and restaurants, hotels and resorts, cruise, airlines and aviation and travel and tours as well as meetings, conventions incentives and travel exhibitions among others.
              Tan disclosed among those that will be featured in the event are the new breeds of tourism entrepreneurs who do business online using various mobile applications and other enabling digital mechanisms, including the income potentials that these can generate.
The attendees to the event will be given a free seminar on basic productivity and quality concepts; communicating service quality; understanding, satisfying and managing customer expectations; and the art of effective listening and communication.
She said trainers from the labor department will also teach future employees to conduct themselves during employment interviews, while at the workplace, when subjected to sexual harassment, and how to deal with the reality of HIV in the community among others.
The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority will  present its training programs, courses, and assistance to graduates in searching and qualifying for jobs.
Tan said another interesting session of the event is grooming where experts will provide the formula in picking the right clothes, hair style and make up for various occasions and situations and the session will include discussions on the effective verbal and non-verbal communications during interviews and other forms of human interactions.
Tan said a special matching session at the career exhibition will also help job seekers find employment that apply and suits their education, skills, personality and interests.
The event is organized and managed by the Philippine Exhibits and Theme Parks Corporation with Victory Liner, Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) and NLEX Corporation. -- Dexter A. See



Streetlights along scenic Kennon Road. to be restored

The street lights that used to greet  passengers to Baguio through the scenic Kennon Rd. will be restored by the Benguet Electric Cooperative which wrote-off the power arrears and pay the incoming energy consumption through the cooperative social responsibility fund of director Robert Valentin of Tuba and Sablan towns.
In a letter, Valentin informed Benguet Rep. Ronald Cosalan, provincial governor Crescenco Pacalso, Tuba mayor Ignacio Rivera  and Punong barangy Ciupriano Balinag of Camp 1, Tuba that the Beneco board condoned power bills totaling P40,272.75, with future payments estimated at P4,500 a month charged to his corporate social responsibility fund.
The illumination of the approach to Tuba and Baguio was earlier sponsored by Benguet Rep. Ronald Cosalan but was discontinued in November, 2010.
“We are likewise pleased  inform you,” Valentin said, “that our Beneco Honorable Board favorably approved the condonation of the P40,272.25 unbilled power of the said streetlights. Moreover, our cooperative will shoulder the necessary rehabilitation of he streetlights as well as extension of secondary lines with an estimated cost of P23,086.10.”
“We hope that our modest contribution will improve the image of the Cordilleras as one of the premier tourist destinations in the country,” Valentin added.
Aside from illuminating the approach to Baguio, the streetlights at Camp 1 give commuters traveling 
at night  the signal that they are already ascending to the city proper and to other parts of Benguet. – Ramon Dacawi.

YMCA academic olympics Oct. 21-22

BAGUIO CITY – Students from various elementary, high schools and colleges in the city  showcased their scholarly prowess in the 2017 Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) Academic Olympics which started yesterday (Oct. 21) until today at the YMCA Baguio.
YMCA Baguio president Jerome Gawidan said the olympics which has run for decades now  feature various competitions including quiz bee, Bible quiz bee, essay writing, on-the-spot drawing, oration, extemporaneous speaking and tula (poem) delivery.
Contests in the performing arts include particularly dance and singing (vocal solo and duet).
This year’s olympics with the theme, “A Call for Servant Leadership” is part of the activities lined up for the YMCA Baguio’s 76th anniversary celebration on Dec. 1.
The winners will represent the city in the regional leg slated on Nov. 18-19. 
The next activity in the YMCA Baguio anniversary calendar will be the inter-school debate to feature competitors from the various high schools on Oct. 28-29.
On Nov. 4, a Fun Run will fire off.  Registration is on-going for P150 with medal, certificate and t-shirt.
The year-round basketball tournament is also ongoing with match-ups now among corporate groups following the conclusion of the high school league recently.
On Nov. 29, the choral competition will unravel featuring choirs from the various elementary, high schools and colleges. – Aileen P. Refuerzo    

Bontoc girl needs fistula to survive

BAGUIO CITY -- Maintaining dialysis three times a week for a lifetime is a common problem among dialysis patients being squeezed continuously of their meager finances.
Double the fund stress and you have Julla Sabling,a 21-year old from Bontoc, Mt. Province whose family has been trying to cope with her need to undergo thrice-a-week blood-cleansing sessions in order to survive.
That’s why she has been here in Baguio since she was diagnosed for kidney failure in June last year, to be closer to the life-saving dialysis machines at the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center.
Beside the need to pay P2,200 per dialysis session, Julla is threatened by the successive failure of her arteriovenus grafts (AVFs) created to allow treatment.
She has undergone several AVF creations which eventually failed, with doctors advising her to undergo AVF grat at the National Kidney and Transplant Institute in Quezon City.
The graft would cost some P45,000 which the family cannot raise. Her father Juan is an electrician while her mother Chernlyn is a government employee earning P30,000 a month.
Julla has two brothers – Jovanne, 14 and at Grade 7, and Juan,   17 and at Grade 11.
Those who can help raise Julla’s fund for a graft or would like to sponsor a session or two of dialysis may contact her at the dialysis center at the Baguio General Hospital. -- Ramon Dacawi

No texting for Central Luzon cops on duty

CAMP OLIVAS, Pampanga – Central Luzon police officers are no longer allowed to send text messages while on duty, based on an order issued by the regional police director Chief Supt. Amador V. Corpuz.
Corpuz said the “no text policy” is effective immediately in the entire region.
Corpuz said a number of police officers are often preoccupied with sending text messages or fiddling with their mobile phones while on duty.
“The no text policy is my marching orders and the alibi that they are making report in texting is already an old alibi,” Corpuz said.
He said the public feels safer if there are police officers on duty who are alert and not preoccupied with texting.
“There will be greater challenges ahead and we need to build a stronger community; you are old enough to do what is right,” Corpuz told his men. -- Mar T. Supnad

Wi-fi connections eyed for 2,300 buses

At least 2,300 provincial buses and their riders will benefit from the free, high-speed wi-fi connections and other services  that will be provided by communications giant PLDT Inc. to  members of the Provincial Bus Operators Association of the Philippines (PBOAP).
The PLDT said over the weekend that the partnership, forged through its corporate business unit PLDT Enterprise, would involve providing PBOAP members with wi-fi connectivity, closed-circuit television monitoring and vehicle tracking through the SmartBus suite of services from the Smart Biz LTE bundle.
“Giving the commuting public easy and fast access to the internet through our Smart Biz LTE can take their mind away from the daily grind. It will also  enable them to perform  tasks online while in transit,” the PLDT said.
“Our partner bus operators said the Smart Bus suite gives them the assurance that their buses, personnel and the riding public are secured,” Jovy Hernandez, senior vice president and head of PLDT Enterprise, said. 
PLDT’s SmartBus product enables bus operators to comply with the government’s plan to modernize the country’s public transport system.

Kalinga 4Ps get rice aid

TABUK CITY, Kalinga – More than11, 000 Pantawid Pamilya program beneficiaries in the province started receiving rice subsidy from the program.
Under the Duterte Administration, Pantawid beneficiaries are extended additional P600 monthly rice aid.
Lorna Lumiwan, 4Ps Provincial Link, disclosed the Dept. of Social Welfare and Development released the rice assistance for January because the period was covered under the “suspension of evaluation on compliance” due to super typhoon ‘Lawin’.       
But starting February until end of the year, release of rice aid will be back as compliance-based, Lumiwan said.
Under the 4Ps program, indigent beneficiaries receive monthly cash benefits provided they comply with conditions set on health, education and attendance to family development sessions.
Pantawid families are required to have regular health monitoring at rural health units, qualified children should be in school and undergo regular family development sessions.  -- PIA Kalinga

Central Luzon OFWs to be hired as teachers

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga – The Dept. of Education in Central Luzon announced that it will be hiring 43 returning overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to teach in different schools in the region.
Michelle Catap-Lacson, DepEd3 Project Development Officer II said the 43 returning OFWs will be given permanent teaching positions in public schools near their residences in the provinces of Aurora, Bulacan, Bataan, Pampanga, Nueva Ecija and Tarlac.
“They will be automatically given permanent teacher items, and be assigned to schools with shortages,” she said, adding that 25 teachers will be assigned in the elementary level while 18 will be assigned in the Junior High School level.
She added that the Schools Division Offices have been instructed to conduct thorough interview and demonstration teaching and address noted gaps through the conduct of teacher trainings and other apt interventions.
The hiring of OFW-teachers is under the “Sa ‘Pinas Ikaw ang Mam at Sir” (SPIMS) Program of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in partnership with DepEd, which was launched in 2014 to assist OFWs who are passers of the Licensure Examination for Teachers (LET) working abroad as professional teachers or household service workers to be employed as teachers when they return to the country.
-- Franco G. Regala

Tabuk City ups drive against minor drivers

TABUK CITY, Kalinga --  The City Public Order and Safety Office has intensified its campaign against  minor drivers amid reports of high violations.
POSO Dionisio P. Falgui III reported their office had recorded 1,911 traffic violators in the city from January-June, mostly minor drivers and driving without license.
This explains why road accident is the top cause in cases of physical injuries in the city police report, Falgui said.
In line with the campaign, mobile check points along the city’s main thoroughfares has  been intensified. Because of strict traffic regulation enforcement, the POSO had collected P574,350 in penalty fees for the period.
But Falgui said collection of penalty fees is just secondary to their mandate of assuring public order and safety.   
We impose penalty because we want drivers to follow proper traffic rules to avoid accidents, he said.   
He appealed to parents to cooperate with the authorities by preventing their minor-children from just going on fun-driving  without the assistance of licensed drivers.  -- PIA Kalinga  

 Kalinga farmers learn ratooning technology

CITY OF TABUK, Kalinga --  The Provincial Agriculturist Office educates farmers on the ratooning technology to increase rice production.
Joe Casibang, Kalinga rice program coordinator, said ratooning could add at least 40 percent of the average yield per hectare to farmers.
Under the technology, farmers are taught to apply some interventions to palay plants left out during harvest and could still get additional yield. Farmers just apply additional two bags of urea per hectare compared to the usual 8-10 bags of fertilizer per hectare in the regular cropping.
Casibang said the ratooning period runs for about 60 days, which is actually the regular cropping interval, before the ratooned palay is ready for harvest.
The technology is applicable to both hybrid and inbred rice. Rice farmers get an average of 120 bags of palay per hectare.
A 50-hectare demo-farm is being used for the technology in this City, the province's major rice producing area.  -- PIA Kalinga  

DSWD sets 30,000 family food packs for rainy months

BAGUIO CITY – Dept. of Social Welfare and Development in the Cordillera Administrative Region has set family food packs for disaster augmentation this rainy season particularly for  landslide-prone areas in the region.
 DSWD-CAR regional director Janet Armas said 30,000 food packs have already been brought to provinces for distribution in case of disasters.
She said 6,200 food packs are in Mountain Province; 5,000 in Ifugao; 2,642 in Abra; 1,500 in Apayao; and 15,601 at their warehouse in Puguis, La Trinidad town in Benguet.
A food pack contains 6 kilograms of rice, half dozen 3-in-1 instant coffee, 8 canned goods, brown rice bar (energy bar) and infant dry-cereals.
Armas said the goods will augment food supplies in cases of disasters in Cordillera as landslides frequently occur due to the terrain.
DSWD-CAR, she said, spent about P13 million for the family packs. About P21 million was also spent for non-food items like blankets and tents.
Cordillera the past days has been experiencing strong rains and thunderstorms brought by the southwest monsoon. A number of roads were closed to vehicular traffic due to landslides. -- PNA

  PVET teaches farmers organic feed formulation

HUNGDUAN, Ifugao --The Provincial Veterinary Office (PVET) here recently conducted skills training on organic swine and poultry raising and feed formulation to 83 farmer- recipients of native pig raising project of the provincial government.
The training was to enable pig raisers gain more profit in their backyard livestock endeavor by formulating their own organic feeds using ingredients and materials that are abundant and indigenous in their places rather than relying on commercial feeds which are very expensive, said PVET training coordinator Ferdinand Dunuan.
By adopting organic farming  that  includes feed formulation to reduce feed cost,  they can produce not only animal meat products which are safe and fit for human consumption but also earn more profit because organically produced farm products nowadays are in great demand.
Dunuan   lectured to participants on animal husbandry, issues on bio-organic inputs and good agricultural practices.
Gilbert Caclini, also of PVET, demonstrated the preparation of the feeds using the indigenous materials with the hands on participation of the farmers  so that they can learn and experience on the spot organic feed formulation.
The ingredients and materials used during the actual preparation of  50 kilograms (kgs) of organic feed include 20 kilos rice bran, 5 corn grits, 5 corn bran, 3 chopped banana stalk, 3 chopped camote trunk and leaves, 3 ofipil leaves, 10 ofazola, a kilo of brown sugar, another kilo of indigenous micro-organism (for fermentation) and two liters of rice wash.
The farmers said were happy with what they learned and promised that they will immediately start preparing their own feed supply. -- Daniel B. Codamon


Planning and simulating

Ike SeƱeres

As the saying goes, “it is better late than never”. To extend the wisdom of that expression, we could perhaps say that it is better to have a plan than not to have a plan at all. Having said that however, what is the use of having a plan if it is no good at all? To add to the saying that “there is only one way to find out”, there is another saying that “the proof of the pudding is in the eating”. All that said, I would say now that the only way to find out whether a plan is good or not is to test it. Better than that, we should be simulating a plan instead of just testing it, and the better the simulation would be to the real life scenarios, the better it would be.
Maybe it’s just a play of words, but to some extent it could be said that testing, practising, exercising and simulating are all just synonymous words. In that connection, I heard that SWAT units in some countries would simulate and practice every day with actual scenarios, as if the real life situations are already happening. I that that is a good idea, but what is even better than that is to supplement the actual simulations with virtual versions. For sure, these two options are not in conflict with each other and at best, they would even complement each other. One good thing about virtual simulations is that the actual data could be gathered and could eventually be analyzed.
I think that it will still take a long time before “Internet of Things” (IOT) will be mainstreamed into local governance, but it is a good time to start doing it now, rather than never ever doing it. Not unless we start doing it, it could take forever and sad to say, that forever might even translate into never. However, I want to make it clear that IOT is not an island by itself, because it is actually an archipelago of solutions that should work seamlessly with each other, as i fit is a naturally formed ecosystem. As I see it, it should be IOT that should gather the data that should go into Big Data. The latter would however be useless not unless it is analyzed, and that is where data analytics. In the end, the data should be processed into information that should go into a dashboard, being all part of business intelligence.
The Local Government Code (LGC) requires all Local Government Units (LGUs) to prepare and submit a Comprehensive Development Plan (CDP) that shall be initiated by its Local Development Council (LDC) and approved by its Sanggunian. Towards that goal, the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) has issued guidelines as to how that should be done. According to the guidelines, the CDP and the Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP) are distinct and separate, even if these two are intimately related. The guidelines say that in the CDP, “comprehensive” should mean that it covers all sectors, while in the CLUP; it should mean that it should cover all the land areas in the municipality. Be that as it may, I think that the common denominator between these two plans is the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS).
For some reason, the DILG has not prescribed the use of GIS software in the preparation of the CDP. 
Similarly, the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB) has made the use of GIS optional, meaning that LGUs can use it if they want to. As a result, some LGUs are just using paper mache to make relief maps that are not really very accurate, except that it presents a visual picture of how the terrain looks like. Some other LGUs have made flat maps on paper that are visually informative, but are not really clearly accurate too. More often than not, the LGUs that are using analog means would say that they could not afford the digital solutions provided by GIS, but that is not really true because there are open source versions that are available.
Maybe it is too complicated to explain it, but the same GIS software that is use for hazard mapping can also be used for tax mapping and so on and so forth, including of course traffic mapping. In reality, all of these mapping requirements are really just data sets that are just layers of one system. In other words, there is really no need to fund one GIS project after another. By the way, GIS software is great for simulations too. Perhaps the best use to justify the use of GIS in CDP is that all sectors could have their own layers in the overall system. That way, we will all know what goes where and why, and we could simulate the effects of addition or subtraction in each layer.
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Everything fake

March L. Fianza

BAGUIO CITY -- Decades ago when colleagues in the world of newspapering and I caught deadlines with typewriters, landlines and facsimile machines; I can recall wishing to high heavens that my name appeared on the byline or be at the end of the story as tagline.
Although the correspondent or news contributor was not told, it was understood that reading his or her name on the story revealed the thoughts of the editors that he or she deserved the byline because the article was accurately written.
Today, the internet has changed the mode of communicating to the public with the use of bogus names or anonymous sites. And because of this, articles may be written irresponsibly; and any author can just write fake news and libelous statements because he feels secured under the blanket of fake identity.
Compared to using a true name as in traditional newspaper writing, what the anonymous writer in the internet wants is to espouse fake news and defamatory views, wants freedom of expression and freedom to destroy the character of individuals, but at the same time wants freedom from responsibility. They can’t be identified, so you can’t sue them.
Another way by which fake news gets published is when the source or the person interviewed by a reporter does not tell the truth like one mayor I know. Naturally, what comes out in news print and broadcast media are lies and a lot of hot air which many will consider now as fake news.
It’s trending. First, we had fake Levis jeans, then fake Johnny Walker Double Black. Now we have fake news, fake newspapers, fake writers, fake news sources, fake internet bloggers, manufactured videos of politicians, you name it – we have it in the Philippines.
Not to be outdone, even judges render decisions out of fake theft court cases. Take the case of Roger Sinot, the genuine and duly selected indigenous peoples’ mandatory representative (IPMR) to the city council of Baguio. Honestly, he admitted being jailed for three months for a crime he did not do.
This writer is privy to that because I personally know what transpired in that fake theft case. More than a decade ago, barangay officials of Baan, Kayapa, Nueva Viscaya delivered loads of sand and gravel right inside the titled property of Roger Sinot, allegedly for the construction of a barangay hall.
After so many arguments and since the sand and gravel which they themselves delivered was inside Sinot’s property, they charged him for theft.
By the way, while the case was being heard, Kayapa and Aritao were already tangled in a long drawn boundary conflict case, particularly in Barangay Baan where Sinot’s property is located. In fact, there are two sets of barangay officials in Barangay Baan – one set for Kayapa, the other for Aritao.  
In an actual inspection of the site, the judge told the barangay officials that Sinot was willing to pay more than double for the aggregates intentionally left by them. They did not want payment. Obviously, the theft case was a smokescreen because what they wanted was to occupy the land.
Several court proceedings were heard but sometime later, Sinot’s lawyer failed to appear in court and did not even notify him about the scheduled hearing. The judge technically sentenced Sinot to serve a short jail term for the crime of theft which he did not do.
Since the jail term was only three months, Sinot chose to take the “short vacation” from August 4 to November 4 in 2013. The case is not over. To finally settle things, Sinot filed for “Quieting of Title” over the land he inherited from his parents.   
On Nov. 4, 2016, exactly three years after his jail term, he was selected IPMR to the city council after having acquired the minimum requirements of a nominee listed in the guidelines ratified by the assembly which are: a descendant of an original or early Ibaloy tribe in Baguio, a resident and registered voter in the city and an ancestral land claimant. Roger Dalisdis Sinot was all of that.
But before the NCIP could issue a certificate of affirmation, an obscure group of personalities who claimed to be representatives of other IP tribes complained that they were excluded from the selection process.
In the first place, the petitioners against the affirmation of Sinot were fake personalities since the guidelines clearly stated that complainants should be any of the losing nominees.
Instead of throwing out the fake petition filed by the fake personalities, the NCIP acting director Roland Calde entertained it for reasons known only to him. This is why almost a year now after Sinot’s selection on November 4, 2016, the IPs are deprived of a representative in the city council. Calde not only violated the guidelines, he sinned against the IPs.
Up to now, the guidelines have not been questioned in any court which could have enlightened all parties, but knowing the opposite side, they would not do something that would definitely make them lose their case.
To make matters worse, the fake opposition in coordination with an anonymous politician in City Hall capitalized on Sinot’s fake theft case, saying it was a violation against the guidelines provision on Moral Turpitude.
Again, the guidelines provision that can be understood by any high school graduate cleared Sinot. Imprisonment based on the prohibition provision should at least be ONE YEAR that has been served within the PAST TWO YEARS prior to the IPMR selection. Sinot admitted that he took his unwanted vacation in jail for only THREE MONTHS in 2013, and THREE YEARS prior to his selection.     
Another violation that the fake petitioners accused him of was his Comelec registration in Nueva Vizcaya. This was also cleared when Sinot came back to register in Baguio. In fact, the Comelec issued a certification in favor of Sinot, saying that there was no need to register again since he was still a registered voter in Baguio.
From fake news, comes now the fake assembly where participants are convinced to attend by telling them that the issues to be discussed are about their land claims and solutions to their problems on their mining activities.
When the NCIP-sponsored assembly last October 7 failed because participants found out that the issues being discussed were not the same issues that were vowed to be settled, the NCIP acting director came out with an interview saying that the participants who supported Sinot walked out because they did not succeed in questioning the assembly proceedings.
That was fake information that was fed to the NCIP acting director that he in turn paraphrased in a news interview. The truth was that in the notice of assembly that the participants read, it was stated that lunch would be served.
But the participants noticed that while the NCIP acting director admitted that the assembly was an activity sponsored by NCIP, lunch was being served only to those who had meal tickets – not to all participants.
Since they did not have meal tickets and were not served lunch, they had no choice but to look for food somewhere.
They also noticed that the other participants who had meal tickets went home after partaking of the food. Nobody walked out as stated by acting director Calde in his news interview.
By the way, during the discussions, a participant claimed they were instructed by NCIP acting director Calde to reiterate their complaint against Sinot so that he will have basis to hold the issuance of the certificate of affirmation.
What does that make of him as the head of the office that is tasked to unite and protect the IPs? Fake news and fake assemblies? Now, do we have a director who divides and makes IPs wrangle against each other? PDu30 should be told about this.


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