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Baguio City News

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Baguio City - Archived News

Contents

Sec. Soliman calls for stronger gov’t ties with Cordillera LGUs, civil society

By Carlito C. Dar


BAGUIO CITY, May 12 (PIA) - - Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Dinky Soliman called for continuous and stronger partnership among the Social Welfare and Development Officers (SWDOs), civil society organizations and citizens groups in bringing in inclusive social and economic growth to all the people in Cordillera.

Soliman made this call on Friday during the program review on the supplementary feeding program cum Social Welfare and Development Forum at the Pines View Hotel here. She said that a continuous and stronger partnership between the national government and the local government units in delivering basic social welfare and development services and programs to the people of Cordillera will help bring in inclusive growth.

She also gave recognition to the important role SWDOs play in ensuring that the national government’s goal of bringing in inclusive growth to the country under President Aquino’s ‘Tuwid na Daan’ governance, will come to reality.

During the event, Soliman also spearheaded the awarding of special awards, which include certificate and recognition and cash incentives to the province of Kalinga who submitted the most comprehensive social protection development report and also for having the highest rate of report submission. The municipality of Balbalan, Kalinga is likewise recognized for submitting a well packaged narrative and statistical report.

Soliman, along with DSWD-CAR Regional Director Leonardo Reynoso also signed a Memorandum of Agreement with Kalinga Governor Jocel Baac for the expansion of the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) program to Tabuk City and the municipality of Rizal, Kalinga.

In the afternoon, Soliman and Reynoso, also signed a MOA with officials and representatives of various civil society organizations and citizens groups in the Baguio-Benguet area, in line with DSWD’s convergence strategy.

In her message, Soliman stressed the importance of such partnership, which through the government programs as well as those of their private partners, the attainment of bringing in inclusive social and economic growth to the country is possible. She emphasized that such partnership will also encourage the government to strive harder in giving honest, sincere and efficient service to the country.

Soliman also met with the DSWD-CAR family for a convergence meeting and consultation dialogue to oversee a better implementation of DSWD programs and services in the region.

Later in the afternoon, Soliman travelled to Mt. Data Hotel in Bauko, Mt. Province to meet with CCT Family beneficiaries, who are attending a Family Development Session. She is also set to go around the province today to visit projects and for community interactions. (JDP/CCD-PIA CAR)






SSS Baguio now accepting applications for educational loan for its members

By (JDP/CCD-PIA CAR)


BAGUIO CITY, May 11 (PIA) - - Good news for Social Security System (SSS) members nationwide.SSS, in partnership with the national government, has put-up a P7 billion loan window for college education and technical-vocational (tech-voc) skills training.

SSS-Baguio Senior Communication Analyst Mariane Garcia, in an interview over PIA Hour Radio Program, disclosed that SSS members who are earning P10,000 or less a month can apply for the Educational Assistance Loan Program (EALP), to enable them, their spouse or one of their dependents shoulder college or tech-voc courses enrollment costs.

Garcia explained that for a college course, maximum loan amount per semester is P15,000 while for tech-voc program, which must be two years and higher, it is up to a maximum of P7,500 per semester. The educational loan will continue until the beneficiary finishes his course.

According to Garcia, loan releases will directly be given to the school involved which must be a Commission on Higher Education (CHED) or Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA)- accredited educational institutions, and must be used for tuition and miscellaneous fees only.

For qualify for the program, SSS members must have at least paid 36 months contributions, including three monthly premiums within the past 12 months. She also stressed that each eligible member is only entitled to borrow for one beneficiary under the program.

For loan payment, members have up to three years to repay for tech-voc courses loan and up to five years for college degrees. Payment also have a grace period or will start after 18 months of the final loan releases for a college course and after 15 months for a tech-voc program.

The SSS and the national government equally share P3.5 Billion each for the program, and only the SSS portion carries a minimal rate of six percent per annum based on the diminishing principal loan balance until fully paid.

The program is in line with the government’ effort to boost the country’s economic growth by developing competent professionals and skilled workers, as well as to enhance job and employment opportunity for the country’s current and future workforce.

For more information about the said program, members can inquire to the SSS branch near them. For loan application, members can get it to any SSS branch or download it from their website at www.sss.gov.ph.

15th dairy congress and expo slated May 16 to 18

By Joseph B. Zambrano


BAGUIO CITY, May 10 (PIA) -- The 15th Dairy Congress and Expo (DairyConEx) with the theme “Gatas Pinoy: Paunlarin, Tangkilikin, Palaganapin!" will be held on May 16 to 18 at the Hotel Supreme, in this summer capital.

The congress will serve as a venue for dairy farmers around the country to discuss the trends and issues affecting the local dairy industry as well as the best practices used in dairy farming, showcasing the newest technologies available to the dairy industry.

The gathering will also feature lectures on breeding and management of dairy cattle, marketing of dairy products, farm management and pasture development, and on how to start a dairy farm.

Invited to grace the DairyConEx are Vice President Jejomar Binay, Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala, Ambassador Reuben Levermore of New Zealand, and Agricultural Counsellor Philip Shull of USA's Foreign Agricultural Service in Manila.

According to Danilo Fausto, national chairman of the Dairy Congress, the Philippine dairy industry stakeholders come together once a year to exchange ideas, make new contacts, and see the latest technology the dairy industry has to offer. (JBZ- PIA-CAR)

OWWA celebrates 3 decades of dedicated service

By Carlito C. Dar


BAGUIO CITY, May 9 (PIA) -- The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration-Cordillera Regional Welfare Office (OWWA-CAR) joined the OWWA family all over the country in celebrating their 30th year of dedicated service recently, with the theme, “Tatlong Dekada ng Serbisyong Tapat at Nararapat.”

Highlighting the program is the awarding of certificate of recognition to OWWA-CAR’s institutional partners in the private sector, as well as to their scholars who graduated this school year 2011-2012. It was spearheaded by OWWA-CAR Regional Director Manuela Peña and OWWA Human Resource Management and Development Division chief, Atty. Alex Valespin.

OWWA also gave recognition to the seven graduates under its various scholarship programs. They are Michael Basilio - Bachelor of Science (BS) in Nursing, Saint Louis University (SLU); Mark Anthony Ferrer – B.S. Nursing, SLU; Monica Anne Sandoval – a Cum Laude graduate of BS Information Technology, SLU; Berlyn Sitim- BS Nursing, Benguet State University; Joan Mariano- BS Chemical Engineering, SLU; Krisha Lei Delos Reyes- Hotel and Restaurant Services, Pines City College, and Roy Peñaflor- Slaughtering Operations, MMS Development Training Center.

During the program, OWWA Administrator Carmelita Dimzon, in a message read by Valespin, expressed her gratitude to all the overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) for trusting their capacity to provide services to them. This, she said, also serves as their inspiration to continuously improve and expand their programs and services to all their OFWs members in about 190 countries worldwide.

Dimzon also expressed her gratitude to all OWWA personnel for their sincerest dedication for their work, as well as to the leadership of the Department of Labor and Employment and the support given by other government line agencies and non-government agencies. (JDP/CCD-PIA CAR)

Residents face garbage hauling problem

By JM Agreda


MAYOR Mauricio Domogan stressed the problems on hauling and the lack of dump trucks to collect garbage from several barangays in Baguio City.

Domogan said hauling of garbage from the transfer and sorting station in Irisan Lime Kiln to Capas, Tarlac, usually takes more than two hours. But with limited garbage trucks, he said this resulted in delays in garbage pick-ups in villages.

City Environment and Parks Management Officer Cordelia Lacsamana said they told villages to hold on to their garbage until trucks are available.

She explained the issuance of the Temporary Environmental protection Order on the use of the Irisan dumpsite has caused a backlog in their operations.

This resulted in some 7,000 metric tons of garbage that have not been hauled out of the staging area, she said.

But the mayor assured residents that garbage collection will be back to normal by Wednesday.

He said the city has scheduled the bidding to acquire additional garbage trucks on May 14.

In Moday’s executive-legislative meeting, councilors questioned the contract entered into by the city with waste solution provider Protech Machineries Corporation as it includes garbage hauling.

Councilor Betty Lourdes Tabanda questioned why the City Government is still hauling garbage when it is clear in the contract that Protech is tasked to haul out trash.

She also questioned the recent request for the City Council to approve for the realignment of funds to include hauling of garbage.

Councilor Richard Cariño and Vice-Mayor Daniel Fariñas said this is the time to reevaluate the contract entered by the city with Protech.

The council scheduled a special session with the mayor on Wednesday to discuss the solid waste management problems of the city.

Meanwhile, in a meeting at the Court of Appeals, city legal officer Melchor Carlos Rabanes said petitioners of the Writ of Kalikasan wanted for the permanent closure of the Irisan dumpsite.

Rabanes also disclosed the willingness of the petitioners to come up with a compromise agreement with the City Government as long as it commits not to use the Irisan as dumping ground.

With this development, the mayor ordered Rabanes to come up with a draft compromise agreement to realize the transformation of the decommissioned dumpsite into an eco-park.

Caught in the hack

By Conrado Banal


This is an undeniable point on the 182-tree issue over the P1.2-billion construction of the SM group in its mall property in Baguio City: What compelled SM to pursue the project was the power of nature itself—the environment. The project has been inevitable for years now, even to the point of being obligatory. Beside the existing SM mall is one hectare of slope being eaten away by soil erosion. Experts have urged SM to stop the erosion through modern preventive structures, such as those on steep sloping terrain in Switzerland or Hong Kong. On the slope are precisely those 182 trees. SM has been reinforcing the ground for years to prevent them from falling. All of a sudden, the same trees have become the subject of loud public protest that attracted extensive media coverage. How dare SM to want to transfer those trees to another site in its 8-hectare property! Look at that—the soil erosion actually endangered all those 182 trees, and they could be uprooted in one major landslide, forcing SM to spend P1.2 billion to try to save them through a scientific technique called “earth-balling” and thus create the free space for the anti-erosion structure. When SM decided to build the structure, the group had two choices: cut down the trees or transfer them. In fact, a renowned urban forestry expert, Armando Palijon, who is a professor in UP-Los Baños, reportedly recommended that SM simply harvest the trees. A doctorate degree holder, Palijon is the same expert who oversaw the “earth-balling” of century-old acacia trees in a construction project in Cebu City to save them. SM commissioned him to study the Baguio project. He recommended the harvesting of the trees, because the SM property was not an environmentally critical area. He also noted that it was neither a heritage site nor a historically significant area. It was argued that SM would still have more than enough space in the property as “green space” even with the construction of anti-erosion structures at the slope. Records showed that SM would still have five hectares of open space, or more than 60 percent of its property, while the law required an open space equivalent to only 30 percent of the property. Yet, instead of hacking away at those trees, SM chose to save the trees by transferring them to another site. Ironically, SM got hit in media as an irresponsible greedy mall developer, with complete disregard of the environment, precisely because of its construction project that was its very attempt to save the trees. Media portrayed SM as having been caught in the act of desecrating a heritage site—or something like that. How did that happen? It was not as if SM was trying to pull a fast one on Baguio City. More than a year ago in 2010, SM decided to build the structures to stop the erosion. Since SM would do the construction anyway, Baguio City officials suggested that SM incorporate in its plan a parking building to ease the traffic on the main roads of the city. Moreover, to put in its project the label “green construction,” SM hired consulting groups from the United States that provided the planning for a so-called LEED certification, which has been the global standard—the ultimate—in “green construction.” For more than a year, SM worked to secure permits from the DENR and the Baguio LGUs, including the barangay. It held public consultations, holding exhibits and presentations, involving the Baguio media as well. Thus, it seemed to SM that all the groups that mattered in Baguio really understood the plans. Those groups included, aside from the DENR, the city council, barangay officials, religious groups (such as those headed by Bishop Carlito Censon) and the media. Also involved in the project from the start was the Baguio Regreening Movement, considered the largest environmental group in the city, or perhaps even the most credible, which reportedly did not object to the plan. Indeed, the project was good for the environment. As part of the project, SM committed to maintain more than a thousand trees in its Baguio property, plus it would plant 50,000 trees more in the next three years. This would be on top of saving those 182 trees from certain destruction due to soil erosion. For transferring those 182 trees, the DENR even required SM to plant almost 5,500 saplings, or 30 saplings for every tree, a ratio set by the DENR as replacement for the capacity of those trees to sequester CO2 from the atmosphere. And, mind you, SM was not even going to cut down the trees. From what I gathered, SM has already planted 2,000 saplings of Benguet Pines at the Busol Watershed. Okay, that should leave SM with 48,000 more saplings to plant in the next three years. In the end, of course, SM was still in the mall development business. To recover its P1.2-billion investment in the “green construction,” it included in the plan additional shopping spaces. Perhaps the protest—the issue over those 182 trees—was targeted at those shopping spaces. How dare this SM make money! It seemed that some protesting groups did not want SM to recover its investments in a project that would try to protect the environment by saving 182 trees and planting 50,000 more.

  • * *

The target of another demolition job is the most qualified candidate to head the Light Rail Transit Authority, or LRTA. That is none other than Jose Allan Dilay, an experienced railway engineer who obtained professional licenses in the United States and Canada. It seems that the Aquino (Part II) administration was eyeing Dilay to bring our mass transport system to the 21st century by starting with the LRTA. Some groups thus started to attack Dilay in media, inventing all sorts of things like he was a protégé of Cavite lobbyists led by Rep. Ayong Maliksi, who happened to belong to the Liberal Party, or the LP, now headed by Transportation Secretary Mar Roxas. In other words, if Dilay would become LRTA head, his appointment would be nothing but a political payoff to the LP. That should put Roxas, and even our leader Benigno Simeon (aka BS) in a bad light. Ultimately, BS should throw Dilay’s appointment papers out of Malacañang’s window. What is obvious in the demolition job is that the attacking groups would not dare to question the qualifications of Dilay. There is only one reason: He is in fact the most qualified for the job. From what I heard, the attacking group has interest in the LRTA appointment. It seems they want somebody for the position who is the present maintenance contractor of the LRTA. Damn the qualifications.

Team Pacquiao ends Baguio training

By Redjie Melvic M. Cawis


BAGUIO CITY, May 6 (PIA) -- After three weeks of high altitude training in this mountain resort, Team Pacquiao leaves for the United States with high hopes of another win for the pride of our country.

Boxing champion and Congressman Manny Pacquiao left Baguio, Thursday night after pounding again his Russian sparring mate Ruslan Provodnikov, during the last day of their training at the Shape Up Gym here in the city.

Pacquiao completed his high altitude training with the rest of the Team Pacquiao by jogging along the mountainous terrains of Santa Lucia, at the Burnham Park, and at the Teachers Camp.

He also had his gym workouts and other routine with conditioning coach Marvin Somodio, who took the place of Alex Ariza at the midpoint of their training.

Earlier this week, Pacquiao had four rounds with Provodnikov, who was given a black eye by the pound for pound king. Pacman also left another Russian spar mate, Rustam Nugaev, with a bloody nose during the sparring rounds.

Coach Buboy Fernandez said he is quite surprised by Pacman’s condition since formal training started three weeks ago.

“Surprising nga kasi three weeks pa lang kami sa training pero yung pinapakita ni Manny sa sparring eh grabe na yung conditioning although wala pa sya sa 100 percent (It is surprising because, we've just been in training for three weeks but what Manny is showing in his sparring is in very good condition although he hasn't reach his 100 percent yet),” said Fernadez.

Fernandez added that, Pacquiao’s game plan is to lure Timothy Bradley when they face off on June 9 to the ropes and from there on, the eight weight division champion will try to break down the undefeated American fighter.

The whole training was interspersed with Bible study and Bible sharing of Pacman with his team and even invited barangay officials and other religious personalities from Baguio.

Meanwhile, Team Pacquiao's arrival in America is Saturday, May 5, on the night when undefeated Floyd Mayweather is battling Miguel Cotto in Las Vegas.

Freddie Roach said that the training of Pacman will continue in the Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles, California. He said five weeks would be enough to hone Pacquio’s skills before the fight night. (JDP/RMC-PIA CAR, Baguio City)

City braces for possible squatters’ show of force

By (Aileen Refuerzo)


THE City Government of Baguio is preparing for the possibility of a bolder show of force by informal settlers.

This developed as informal settlers in the city might replicate the display of reckless defense by squatters in resisting the demolition of their homes in Silverio Compound in Paranaque City recently resulting in a violent clash with government authorities.

Mayor Mauricio Domogan on Monday said the city’s demolition team must always be prepared for such eventuality as a similar scenario is not far-fetched given the possibility that the Manila incident might inspire city squatters to imitate the aggressive defensive stance.

“We have to be ready in case they decide to replicate the same scenario here,” the mayor said.

Domogan said squatters nowadays have indeed become bolder especially since the National Government’s issuance of a memorandum directing the Philippine National Police to refrain from assisting in demolition activities.

He said the order sent a wrong signal to land speculators who all the more became emboldened in pursuing their illegal activities.

He said the city demolition team will have to review and strengthen its strategies and, at the same time, exercise extra caution in dealing with the squatting and demolition cases.

He assured, however, that the city will continue to be just and fair in dealing with the squatters.

He said as per the city’s established policy on squatting cases, the city exercises more restraint in cases involving older structures. He said that in said instances, the owners are allowed to seek relief from the courts.

But in cases of new structures, he said the city issues outright demolition orders for their removal if the evidence warrants.

OSYs in CAR set to benefit from convergence program

By Carlito C. Dar


BAGUIO CITY, May 4 (PIA) - - The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) have embarked on a partnership for a convergence program on poverty alleviation. The initial target beneficiaries in the Cordillera region will be 140 out-of-school youths (OSYs).

Under the program, which will be implemented nationwide prioritizing the poorest areas in the different regions, DOLE will bring in its Special Program for the employment of Students (SPES) in a convergence with TESDA’s Training for Work Scholarship Program (TWSP).

For Cordillera, DOLE Regional Director John Henry Jalbuena and TESDA Regional Director Yolanda Olano already signed a joint communiqué, during Labor Day for its implementation.

Olano, in an interview, disclosed that intended beneficiaries of the program are poor but deserving OSYs, between 15 to 25 years old and have reached at least high school level; not enrolled but intend to continue their studies and have not previously availed of TESDA’s scholarship, under the training for work program or the Private Education Financial Assistance.

She explained that the said youths shall be enrolled in training programs registered with TESDA and in TESDA-identified training institutions under the TWSP. DOLE, on the other hand, will pay the 40 percent of the applicable minimum wage after completion of the training program for the training allowance or livelihood starter kits for these young people.

Following the existing SPES guidelines, the training duration shall be a minimum of 20 days (160 hours) and a maximum of 52 days (416 hours), she added.

Olano also disclosed that a total of 140 scholarship vouchers, with a total training cost of P861,000 are set to be given to qualified youths in the region.

Allotted for Abra are 36 vouchers for Electrical Installation and Maintenance (EIM) to be conducted at the Provincial Training Center; for Apayao- 12 vouchers also for EIM to be conducted in Pudtol Livelihood Training Center; for Benguet - 11 vouchers or six EIM, and five Shielded Metal Arc Welding, to be conducted at the Regional Training Center.

For Ifugao, there are 30 vouchers allotted and trainings including Motorcycle/small engine Servicing and Masonry; for Kalinga, 26 vouchers and trainings including Masonry and Carpentry, while for Mt. Province there are 25 vouchers for Carpentry, Masonry, and EIM. (JDP/CCD-PIA CAR)

Episcopal Diocese of Northern Phl bags health award

By Maria Aprilla W. Cruz


BAGUIO CITY, May 3 (PIA) -- The Department of Health (DOH) named the Episcopal Diocese of Northern Philippines (EDNP) as one of the five winners of the Second Outstanding Healthy Lifestyle Advocacy Awards which aims to prevent and control non-communicable diseases in the country.

During the recently conducted meeting of the Regional Coalition for the Prevention and Control of Non-Communicable Diseases (RCPCNCD) in the region, Felicidad Talabong of EDNP reported that they are among the five winners of the said award under the non-government organization category and received a plaque of recognition and a check worth P100,000.

The “Outstanding Healthy Lifestyle Advocacy Award,” is a joint project of the DOH and the Philippine Coalition for the Prevention and Control of Non-Communicable Diseases (PCPCNCD) composed of 40 organizations working for the Prevention and Control of NCD. This gives recognition to organizations and institutions which have demonstrated exemplary contributions in the formulation of policies and programs that promote healthy lifestyle and caused its effective implementation resulting to clear and palpable impact on the health situation and outcomes in their areas of jurisdiction.

Healthy lifestyle involves promotion of physical activity, promotion of healthy diet and nutrition, control of harmful use of alcohol and tobacco control.

According to Talabong, the EDNP implemented healthy lifestyle programs such as Healthy Lifestyle Advocacy through Health Sunday celebration and other occasions; No Smoking Campaign; Liquior Ban; Junking Junk Foods; Health Assistant Plan; Organic Food Production (herbal and vegetable gardening in mission schools; demo organic farming in church lands) and environment protection.

The other winners were the municipalities of Varuela, Agusan del Sur and Carmona, Cavite for the local government unit category; Davao City Health Office-government office category; and Novartis Healthcare Philippines for business and commercial category. (JDP/MC-PIA CAR)

Pacquiao regains speed, timing in just 3 weeks of training; Russian sparmates impressed -- Fernandez

By Aure Galacgac


BAGUIO CITY, May 2 (PNA) -- Eight world division champion Manny Pacquiao outboxed and outlasted both two Russian sparmates in his previous two, then four and finally six rounds of sparring sessions, according to assistant trainer Buboy Fernandez.

"The performance of Manny was impressive after just three weeks of training. The two Russian ace boxers admitted they could not at times fathom where Manny's targets are," he said.

Russian Ruslan Propovnikov in one of the four round sparring sessions manifestly got a shocking hit when his nose bled.

However, no accidents in the intense boxing matches happened with the strict watch and supervision of American coach Freddie Roach.

"Manny has regained his speed and timing," Fernandez concluded.

Meanwhile, legion of Pacquiao's fans are now at Burnham Park and Teachers Camp where their idol is expected to resume his morning joggings.

For the last four days, Pacquiao was hardly seen in his uphill runs as he was concentrated on indoor training in preparation to his previous sparring sessions.

The Team Pacquiao is now in its final week here for the champion's high altitude training before flying to the United States for further training.

Pacquiao is set to defend his crown to undefeated American boxer Timothy Bradley in Las Vegas, Nevada on June 9. (PNA) DCT/AAG/aag

COMELEC hopeful for 100,000 'deactivated' voters to avail with new registration

By (PNA)

LDV/AAG/mec


BAGUIO CITY, May 1 (PNA) - The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) office here on Monday expressed hope that the more than 100,000 'deactivated voters' will re-register until October 31 this year so that they can exercise their right of suffrage during the May 13, 2013 senatorial and local elections.

City election supervisor Modesto Bahul explained that the former registered voters here failed to vote in the last two general elections that their names were already removed from the present roster of voters in the city.

"The deactivated voters are so many that we are calling their attention to visit our office including Saturdays and Sundays so that they would be able to cast their votes during the elections next year," he said.

Bahul also observed that there are yet few residents here who are availing of the registration process just like in previous registrations where they only go to the COMELEC on the last day that many fail to register.

Baguio blooms with Holiday Park

By philstar.com


MANILA, Philippines - The pine trees, crisp, cool weather and grassy vegetation of Baguio City gets lovelier during summer season with the opening of many boutique hotels. Local and foreign tourists have made it to stay at Holiday Park Hotel. To augment room accommodations for local tourists at a very affordable price, is one of the reasons why Dr. Danilo Reyes opened a hotel. “Guests’ comfort is our mission with elegance and style,” he says.

The hotel boasts of 18 deluxe rooms and two suite rooms, for family or a group of four to eight guests all equipped with hot and cold shower, air-condition, cable TV and Wi-Fi at all areas for free. Holiday Park Hotel, located at 129 Abanao Extension, Baguio City, is five minutes away from Burnham Park. Its friendly staff is headed by Mark Joseph dela Cruz.






Baguio LGU conducts seminar to strengthen coops

By Paul Rillorta


BAGUIO CITY, April 29 (PIA) -- A two-day seminar on basic cooperative course was sponsored by the city government here to guide cooperatives towards attaining their goals.

The course is in compliance with Memo Circular No. 2011-27 of the Cooperative Development Authority for the implementation of training requirements for cooperative officers.

The activity was held at the city’s multi-purpose hall last April 10 and 11, where at least 27 cooperatives from the city attended.

The participants were introduced to three sets of lectures and were updated on the fundamentals of cooperatives, its legal underpinnings, plans, programs, and policies of cooperatives.

The activity also provided a venue for cooperative officers to air their concerns and inform the city government on the assistance they need in running a cooperative.

"Helping officers of these cooperatives and increasing their knowledge on new circulars will redound to the benefit of their members." He stressed that managing a cooperative is a selfless act, thinking of the majority of members and not just one’s self," a strong advocate for the empowering of cooperatives, Mayor Mauricio Domogan, said. (PIA CAR/Paul Rillorta-Baguio City PIO)

POEA: Cordillerans working abroad increasing, ME countries remain top destination

  • Source: POEA: Cordillerans working abroad increasing, ME countries remain top destination
  • Saturday, April 28, 2012
By Carlito C. Dar


BAGUIO CITY, April 28 (PIA) - - The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA-CAR) reported an increasing trend of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) from Cordillera leaving to work abroad with Middle East countries as top destinations.

POEA -CAR Regional Director Delfina Camarillo, in a kapihan media forum Wednesday, reported that from the 12,965 OFW papers they processed in 2009, it increased to 14,855 in 2010, and went up further to 17,694 in 2011.

She also disclosed that the top 10 destinations are Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Hongkong, Singapore, Canada, Indonesia, Qatar, Thailand, Malaysia and Africa. In terms of profession, most are hired Domestic helpers, followed by nurses, engineers, managers, factory workers, drillers/miners, mechanics, sales officers, electricians and foremen.

With the continues influx of overseas job opportunities for OFWs, Camarillo also stressed that the government, through POEA and other concerned agencies, are intensifying the campaign against illegal recruitment as well as against trafficking in person and drug mule.

According to Camarillo, illegal recruitment is still prevalent in the country as well as in the Cordillera, wherein in 2011 alone they recorded 73 cases involving 60 female and 42 male victims, and an amount of around P4.29 million.

In the same forum, Camarillo also invited the public especially those who are interested to work abroad to join the Labor Day Jobs Fair at the Baguio Convention Center on May 2, which is scheduled for overseas employment.

She said that more than 8,000 jobs opening will be offered by around 30 overseas employment companies. She also disclosed that for this year, there are also three shipping companies that will join the jobs fair, which is a good opportunity for seafarers or marine-related course graduates to apply.

On May 1, the jobs fair at the Baguio Convention Center is set for local employment.

Aside from the job opportunities, there will also be government service clinics, health and wellness service, Diskwento Caravan, Livelihood and diskwento fair, Philjobnet registration, and Libreng Tawag abroad for OFW families.

Simultaneous with the Convention Center Jobs Fair will be a jobs fair at SM City Baguio and at the Provincial Capitol in Bangued, Abra. (JDP/CCD-PIA CAR)

Philhealth to deploy 18 nurses to Cordillera hospitals under CARES program

By Carlito C. Dar


BAGUIO CITY, April 27 (PIA) - - The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation or PhilHealth - Cordillera Administrative Region(PhRO-CAR) is set to deploy 18 registered nurses hired under its Customer Assistance Relations and Empowerment Staff (PhilHealth - CARES) to different hospitals in the region starting on May 2.

To prepare the nurses for their jobs, PhilHealth Team headed by PhRO-CAR Administrative Officer IV Leizle Anongos and Human Resource Management Officer III Jorge Tan, are facilitating a 10 - day training for them at the Hotel Elizabeth here from April 16 to 27.

Said training includes lectures on the program overview, PhilHealth membership, contributions, accreditation, benefits and claims, customer service trainings, communication skills, Civil Service Code of Ethics or Republic Act 6713, legal matters, among others.

Anongos, in an interview, explained that in line with the slogan, "Bawat Pilipino Miyembro, Bawat Miyembro Protektado, Kalusugan Natin Segurado," and the Aquino Health Agenda of "Kalusugan Pangkalahatan," they will be deploying CARES nurses in the different hospitals in the region to help bring their program and services outright to their members.

“As the program acronym means, our hired nurses will provide customer assistance to PhilHealth members, to assist them on what they need, and to provide information about PhilHealth programs and services, among others,” Anongos said.

PhilHealth CARES is a nationwide program wherein 530 nurses will be hired for deployment to various hospitals in the regions.

Of the 18 hired nurses in the Cordillera, two are from Abra, two from Apayao, five from Baguio City, two from Benguet, two from Ifugao, three from Kalinga, and two from Mt. Province.

The employment contract of these started April 16 and will end December this year. They will be receiving salary of around P15,356 monthly or Salary Grade 15. (JDP/CCD-PIA CAR)

Village treasurers reluctant to collect garbage fees

By JM Agreda


NOT all barangay treasurers began collecting P20 garbage fee per household to help Baguio City face its mounting garbage expenditures.

Association of Barangay Councils president, Councilor Joel Alangsab, said several barangay treasurers remain reluctant in collecting garbage fees, thinking it is additional work considering the burden from every household in the barangay.

However, Alangsab said collection of the garbage fees is additional income for the barangays as they get 30 percent of their collections. The amount could be used to for solid waste management in their villages.

Alangsab said he already proposed an amendment before the Council’s Committee on Laws to increase the share of the barangay from the existing 30 percent to 70 percent.

As of the latest data from the ABC, only 70 of the 128 barangays have deputized their treasurers to collect the garbage fees per household, while some 58 barangays have not even started collecting garbage fees.

But residents not paying garbage fees for a year will be obliged to pay higher by the City Government through surcharges.

Residents may also opt to pay garbage fees directly to the city if their officials fail to perform their mandate in collecting.

Mayor Mauricio Domogan, who issued Administrative Order 132 last year, said the garbage fee collection scheme hastens the collection process to make it more efficient by helping village generate resources to support their own waste management programs.

More than 400 kids and adults benefit from vaccine mission in Baguio

By Carlito C. Dar


BAGUIO CITY, April 25 (PIA) -- More than 400 children and elderly in the city lined up for free vaccination on anti-meningitis and anti-meningococcemia at the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center (BGHMC) Garden yesterday in a vaccination mission spearheaded by the Philippine Foundation for Vaccination (PFV).

As part of the observance of World Meningitis Day (WMD), now on its fourth year, the mission is spearheaded by the Confederation of Meningitis Organization Inc. (CoMO), and its partner here in the Philippines, the PFV. For this year, the celebration was held here in Baguio.

PFV Executive Director, Dr. Lulu Bravo, in an interview, was elated on the overwhelming turnout of the activity. According to her, it just shows that the people are now very much aware on the importance of vaccination, on how it can keep them and children healthy or safe from certain illnesses.

Bravo reiterated their advocacy for the WMD 2012, which calls on all people to join hands in the fight against Meningitis, a potentially deadly inflammation of the brain and spinal cord, which can be the result of a virus, bacteria, or other microorganisms, and can be associated with a potentially life-threatening blood infection (sepsis).

She stressed that it is the goal of the WMD 2012 to gain the support of at least one million people around the globe to such advocacy before the 2013 WMD celebration. Sign or pledge of support can be done by any people around the world just by logging on through the CoMO website, she added.

The PFV, Inc. is a non-stock, non-profit organization, whose goal is to protect and advocate for the promotion of vaccination as essential to disease prevention, especially among infants and children. (JDP/CCD-PIA CAR)

DOLE-CAR pushes for institutionalization of PESO in Cordillera LGUs

By Carlito C. Dar


BAGUIO CITY, April 24 (PIA) - - “Let us make a stand as a region to institutionalize the Public Employment Service Offices (PESO), in order to secure a strong and quality core of PESO workforce in the Cordillera Region.”

This is call of Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE-CAR) Regional Director John Henry Jalbuena to the participants of the PESO Institutionalization Orientation held last April 17 and 18 at the Prince Plaza Hotel here.

A total of 47 participants composed of local chief executives and members from various municipal, provincial and city local government councils in the region attended the said orientation.

Jalbuena stressed that that the institutionalization of PESO is very important as employment is the best social program, which provide opportunities for most families to break from the intergenerational cycle of poverty.

According to DOLE-CAR Labor and Employment Officer III Lorna Bacolong, the said orientation was convened to heighten the awareness of the key local government unit (LGU) officials on the importance of employment generation as a key poverty reduction strategy and as an integral part of effective local governance.

She added that the activity also aims to deepen the appreciation of the role of PESOs in promoting the employment agenda of LGUs and in bridging the employment-related programs of government agencies like DOLE.

Bacolong disclosed that to date, only three of the 76 established PESOs in CAR are institutionalized. These are in Baguio City, the Provincial Government of Benguet and in the municipality of Kapangan, also in Benguet.

During the orientation, the participants were introduced to basic employment concepts and indicators, essential elements of a labor market and the Five Employment Strategies, which can be used as guide to improve the employment landscape in LGUs.

The session was concluded with the development of an action plan by the participants where they committed to undertake concrete actions to push for support on the institutionalization of PESOs in their respective LGUs.

With the commitment of the local officials given during the said orientations, she said they expect the number of institutionalized PESOs to increase within this year. (JDP/CCD-PIA CAR)

Igorot consultation calls for Cordillera to control its resources as key to regional development

By Ramon Dacawi


BAGUIO CITY, April 23 (PIA) -- Speakers and delegates of the 9th Igorot International Consultation here took turns calling for greater control by the Cordillera of its natural resources for its own development and the preservation and promotion of the eroding cultural heritage of this highland region.

Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo set the patrimonial tone of the three-day biennial forum by admitting that he himself had embraced the issue of enhancing cultural heritage and promoting trust among communities and the government when he was still mayor of Naga City.

“It’s not something on my checklist,” he said of such facets of governance. “It’s something in my heart and constantly on my mind.” The way towards good governance and development of the Cordillera, Baguio mayor Mauricio Domogan later stressed, is for the region to embrace autonomy as offered and provided for in the Philippine Constitution.

Domogan pointed out that an autonomous set-up would allow the region to have a greater say on the exploitation and use of its natural resources, not only for national progress but also to speed up the Cordillera’s own development.

He noted that while the region’s mineral wealth such as gold and water resources substantially contribute to national progress, it continues to lag economically compared to the other regions because it has no power, under an administrative set-up, to plow back these benefits for its own development.

Domogan dispelled doubts on the third push for self-rule by enumerating five principles which, he said, guided the committee he headed in drafting the third autonomy charter now pending in Congress.

These principles, he said, are: 1) establishment of regional identity but full retention of the autonomy of the provinces, towns, cities and barangays under an autonomy-within-autonomy policy; 2) non-diminution of existing benefits and powers of the region and its local government units being enjoyed under an administrative region; 3) continuous national budgetary allocation for all national line agencies in the region;4) additional annual subsidy from the national government, and; 5) sustained national budgetary allocation for the region.

Domogan explained that the region’s rejection of the first autonomy charter was partly due to the alterations by Congress of the organic act drafted by the Cordillera Regional Consultative Commission.

The second, he said, was also rejected partly due to lack of time to pursue a grassroots information campaign that was overtaken and overshadowed by the election campaign in 1998.

Autonomy, he also stressed, would be difficult to achieve if, “we can not unite and fight for it as a people and as a region.”


Robredo also touched on this point in his speech, saying that the adoption of laws does not guarantee the enjoyment of benefits unless the people assert their rights.

The topical presentations and outputs from the workshops likewise focused on strengthening public-private partnership in governance and development, and preservation of the integrity of culture and the environment against the onslaught of commercialization.

Former Energy Undersecretary Rufino Bumas-ang urged Cordillerans to establish their own cooperatives and corporations for the development of the region’s natural resources, in tandem with investors, saying “many of us (from the region) are professionals.”

Texas-based Prof. Andrew Bacdayan advocated government-private partnership he termed “commuvatization” in the development of and management of the region’s water resources.

"Commuvatization" is a word invented by the Cordillera Social Venture Capital Foundation to mean "a new, innovative and incentive-compatible approach or strategy uniquely suited for the promotion of economic growth and prosperity and the eradication of poverty in indigenous societies where natural resources such as water are tribal common properties."

From the sidelines, Cordilleran David Tauli, now serving the power industry in Mindanao, noted that outside investors and developers of hydroelectric power resources in the Cordillera should not forever own the facilities they build up here. He said the region should adopt the build-operate-transfer scheme so that developers would turn over such facilities to the village or host local government after 25 or 30 years of operation.

Tauli said it’s unfair for developers to permanently own these facilities while giving the host communities only a token share from the profits and extending help that may be deducted from their taxes.

Capping the presentations, Ifugao congressman Teddy Baguilat Jr. rallied the delegates to help preserve and pass on the cultural heritage and values of the Cordillera.

IGO-International president Ceasar Castro and IGO-Philippines chief Manuel Ano led over a hundred delegates, mostly expatriate Cordillerans, who attended the consultation last April 12-13 at the Baguio Country Club.

Delegates ushered in the biennial consultation with the launching of “Igorot by Heart” a compilation of the key presentations in the eight previous forums, together with a trade fair, at the Baguio Country Club.

They ended with a cultural fare hosted by London-based lawyer and businessman Richard Stone Pooten and his wife, Conchita, at the couple’s home in Asin, Tuba, Benguet.

Washington-based Mia Abeya who earlier presented the scholarship program of the Igorot Global Organization (IGO) for students in the Cordillera, headed the new set of elected IGO Council of Elders who were inducted by mayor Domogan.

The next consultation in 2014 will be hosted by IGO-Austria. (PIA CAR/ Ramon Dacawi-Baguio City PIO)

250 qualify for stude summer job program in Baguio

By Aileen Refuerzo


BAGUIO CITY, April 22 (PIA) -- A total of 250 students qualified for this year’s Special Program for the Employment of Students (SPES) of the city government.

Mayor Mauricio Domogan said the student-grantees will begin reporting to their jobs at the various departments of the city government on April 23 until May 28.

PESO labor and employment officer Romelda Frances Escano said the number of admitted student-workers had dropped from the usual 300 to 250 in view of the implementation of salary adjustments as per the directive from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

The DOLE imposed an increase in the wages of the student-grantees after ten years of status quo to help the grantees cope with rising tuition and school fees.

Each grantee will now receive over P8,000 in wages as compared to the previous years’ rate of P6,000. Sixty percent of said amount will be paid by the city government while the DOLE will shoulder the remaining 40 percent through education vouchers.

Escano said the city decided to adjust the number of the grantees to enable the students to avail of the full wage. She said that the PESO will revert to hiring 300 students next year after the corresponding budget allocation for the program has been increased.

The city government has for many years now been allocating a regular budget to cover the salaries of the SPES grantees.

Students who applied for the program underwent the screening process based on a set of criteria set for the purpose. The applicants also underwent pre-qualifying examinations and orientation of both the applicants and their parents.

The program designed to help poor students and out-of-school youth support their education caters to high school and college students with the following qualifications: 15-25 years old, residents of Baguio, of good academic standing, and in need of financial assistance.

The SPES is based on Republic Act No. 7323 or an Act to Help Poor but Deserving Students Pursue their Education by Encouraging their Employment during Summer and/or Christmas Vacations, through Incentives Granted to Employers, Allowing them to Pay only Sixty per Centum of their Salaries or Wages and the Forty per Centum through Education Vouchers to be paid by the Government, Prohibiting and Penalizing the Filing of Fraudulent or Fictitious claims and for other purposes. (PIA CAR/ AR-Baguio City PIO)

Mayor pushes land use plan amendments

By (JM Agreda)


MAYOR Mauricio Domogan reiterates the City Government is implementing the land use plan and zoning ordinance amidst several large-scale developments being started in the city.

Domogan said there are amendments to the existing City Land Use Plan and Zoning ordinance but these are still pending before the City Planning and Development office.

Among the amendments include the height of buildings which he said should be limited to 19.5 meters high or six storeys high from the road level.

Buildings around six to 12 storeys high will be allowed by the city if they comply with certain terms and conditions such as the capacity of the land to hold the building which can be determined by soil testing.

Among considerations of allowing tall buildings in the city include the footprint of the development as he maintained developers should bear in mind that their construction are well-compensated with open spaces and parks.

But he noted several gray areas in the existing land use plan and zoning ordinance such as clearances through resolutions from the City Council whenever a big development should be compelled to acquire.

He said some of the buildings built in the city do not need an endorsement from the council while those for example in Camp John Hay should get an endorsement from councilors.

Aside from endorsements, the aesthetics of the building in a specific zone is also being considered in allowing or disallowing developers to build in an area.

He said residential areas should remain as such while commercial areas should remain as areas for trade and commerce.






CJ distances self from reports of Noy, Binay parting

By Edu Punay


BAGUIO CITY, Philippines – Chief Justice Renato Corona is keeping his distance from the brewing issue between President Aquino and Vice President Jejomar Binay on the supposed political parting of ways of the country’s top two leaders. In a chance interview with reporters after the annual media forum, the embattled head of the judiciary said that he would rather not comment on political theories linking his impeachment to the “inevitable parting of ways” of Aquino and Binay.

He said such an issue is best left to politicians.

“I am not a politician. I think I should no longer comment on that (issue),” Corona said.

It was also in reaction to the statement made by former senator Ernesto Maceda that a vote of senators to acquit Corona could be perceived as a vote for Binay in his presidential bid in 2016. Maceda had said: “This is the Binay factor. If you’re for Binay for president for 2016, you’ll probably vote for acquittal. Why? First of all, if Corona is convicted, that strengthens Noynoy and a stronger Noynoy means stronger support for his [chosen] candidate.

“If Corona is acquitted, in the words of Inquirer columnist Amando Doronila, ‘that will be the start of the downturn of Noynoy Aquino’s popularity.’ He becomes ‘weaker’ and his candidate becomes weaker,” he added.

Binay has already distanced himself from Maceda’s statement. Malacañang also did not comment on the issue. Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte, however, told reporters earlier that there will be an “inevitable parting of ways” between Aquino and Binay. She said the administration could have a different standard-bearer.

However, Aquino flatly denied this the following day.

Public Transport Affairs Office assures PUVs' readiness this summer

By (Carlito C. Dar and Celayca Aviles/CA-PIA CAR)


BAGUIO CITY, April 19 (PIA) -- The City Public Transport Affairs Office (PTAO) assures Baguio visitors that all the city's public utility vehicles, especially the 18 bus companies, are ready to provide them quality service for the duration of the summer vacation.

PTAO Head Perfecto "Jun" Itliong, in a Kapihan media forum here, announced last Tuesday that preparations and adjustments have already been made for the transfer of the bus terminal in Governor Pack Road to the Convention Center because of the on-going road repair in Gov. Pack by the Department of Public Works and Highways.

“Through the support of the city government, all the needed facilities and amenities for the convenience of passengers which include lights, safety and restrooms, are all put into place and in order” Itliong stressed.

Itliong assured that taxi cabs and public utility jeepneys (PUJs) are also very supportive and ready to provide quality service to the riding public.

He likewise disclosed that Mayor Mauricio Domogan’s administrative order regarding public utility vehicle drivers' uniform system, wearing of IDs and proper grooming, is already in with the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) Central Office for approval and conversion into a memorandum circular for mandatory implementation in the city.

Meantime, for the plight of our public transport sector, Itliong is also hoping for the immediate implementation here in the city of the fifty provisional fare hike approved by the LTFRB for other areas to at least i help in easing the burden brought by the increasing price of fuel products.

The said provisional fare hike increase will bring the minimum fare for PUJs to P9.00 from the previous P8.50.

In addition, Itliong also discloses that the city transport sector is also in the process of preparing a separate fare hike increase, which, from their initial plan, is to ask for a P2 increase for the first four kilometers (minimum) and P0.50 increase for the succeeding kilometers.

Family planning advocates call for the passage of RH Bill

By (CCD/PIA CAR)


BAGUIO CITY, April 18 (PIA) -- The Family Planning Organization of the Philippines (FPOP) Baguio-Benguet chapter, in their general assembly Saturday, reiterates their call for the passage of a reproductive health (RH) law.

FPOP National and Baguio-Benguet chapter president and City Council Committee for Social Services, Women and Urban poor chair Councilor Betty Lourdes Tabanda, in a statement, stressed that in line with their advocacy and support for a passage of an RH law, is their adoption of their overarching slogan, “No woman should die giving life.”

According to Tabanda, FPOP is a human rights-based organization and does not impose family planning on couples, as they also respect their rights to decide for their own family.

She explained that the the House Bill 4244, The Act Providing for a Comprehensive Policy on Responsible Parenthood, Reproductive Health, and Population and Development, also known as the RH Bill, pending proposal in Congress, also respects human life and does not provide for abortion, as our constitution already prohibits abortion in the country.

She also clarified that the proposed RH bill also does not provide a limit to the number of children for each couple, though she also reminds couples about responsible parenthood so as for them to decide on the number of their children based on their capability - financially, emotionally and capacity to provide physical care for children.

FPOP is a nationwide, multi-sectoral organization of volunteers, whose vision is to have a world where every woman, man and young person has access to sexuality and reproductive health information and services they need and sexuality is seen as a natural and precious part of human life and a fundamental human right.

FPOP champion sexuality and reproductive health right through advocacy and provision of services especially to the poor, marginalized, socially-excluded and undeserved (PMSEU), including the young people.

Here in Baguio-Benguet area, in 2011, FPOP, through its various program and services, has served 5,225 clients, of whom 4,750 belong to the PMSEU sector.

FPOP’s goal focuses on 5As –access in information and services; adolescent and young people; AIDS; Abortion, prevention of and management of its complications and Advocacy. As for medical services, they provide Family Planning, Maternal Health, child Health, laboratory tests, reproductive health and medical consultations.

For other programs, Tabanda also disclosed that they have provision of Pap smear for mothers and offers discount on their services for young mothers, on top of their CHOICES, MISP and Cervical Cancer Screening and Testing programs.

As a special project, FPOP also has the Rhapsody Project, wherein in partnership with the Family Planning Association of China, they provide health services with minimal amount to OFWs in Hong Kong.

NSCB-CAR releases 2012 Agency Calendar

By Maria Aprilla W. Cruz


BAGUIO CITY, April 17 (PIA) -- The National Statistical Coordination Board-Cordillera Administrative Region (NSCB-CAR) has announced that the consolidated 2012 Agency Release Calendar (ARC) for the region can now be accessed online.

NSCB Officer-in-Charge Aldrin Federico Bahit Jr. said that the ARC is the schedule of releases of statistical outputs by a government agency.

According to Bahit, it is a matrix of what statistical output/data are to be released; period covered by the data; geographic disaggregation; schedule of dissemination or when the data is available; form of output (whether available in hard or electronic copy or accessible thru the web/internet); and the contact persons and contact numbers.

The 2012 ARC of the region can be accessed at the ARC section on the NSCB-CAR website http://www.nscb.gov.ph/rucar/arc.htm.

For easy reference and navigation, dropdown menus are provided for each agency release calendar and for each month of the year.

The complete 2012 ARC document can be downloaded in two PDF files: release calendar sorted by agency (http://www.nscb.gov.ph/rucar/pdf/arc/2012ARCbyagency.pdf) and release calendar sorted by month of release (http://www.nscb.gov.ph/rucar/pdf/arc/2012 ARCbymonth.pdf).

The ARC is prepared annually by the NSCB to promote transparency, timeliness, and accessibility of government statistics. (JDP/MC-PIA CAR)






SM project permit withdrawal mulled

By (JM Agreda of Sun.Star Baguio/AP/Sunnex)


BAGUIO CITY (Updated 12:10 p.m.) -- The Roman Catholic Church joined Monday the protest against SM Prime Holdings Inc. (SPHI)'s plan to uproot nearly 200 trees here as part of its expansion project.

SPHI's plan to build underground parking lot has triggered protests, which include the filing of a resolution calling for the withdrawal of permits the City Government has issued to the SPHI for its project.

The City Council will hear the resolution filed by Councilor Isabelo Cosalan today, Monday.

Cosalan urged the City Planning and Development, City Building and Architecture and City Environment and Parks Management to withdraw the permits and clearances issued to SPHI for the expansion project as it does not conform to the City Land Use Plan and Zoning Ordinance.

This as a local court earlier extended the Temporary Environmental Protection Order (Tepo) it issued to save the trees at Luneta Hill until the case is resolved.

On Monday, the Roman Catholic Church suspended Masses and blessings of shops and stalls inside SM Baguio to protest against its expansion project.

Masses are commonly held in Philippine malls.

Cosalan also requested SPHI to reconsider its development plan and institute the necessary adjustments to comply with the city’s comprehensive land use plan and zoning ordinance.

Cosalan said, “SM Baguio is an existing non-conforming building subject to Section 29 of the same Zoning Ordinance, which provides that no such non-conforming use shall be enlarged or extended to occupy a greater area of land than that already occupied by such use at the time of the adoption of this ordinance or moved, in whole or in part, to any other portion of the lot or parcel of land where such non-conforming use exists at the time of adoption of this ordinance.”

A committee report on SM’s adherence to the terms and conditions by government agencies, which issued their permits, will also be discussed in the council Monday.

Councilor Edison Bilog also filed a resolution at the council requesting SM Development Corporation not to earth-ball the trees while the case in pending in court.

On Wednesday last week, Regional Trial Court Judge Antonio Estevez granted the extension sought by the National Union of People’s Lawyers representing more than 132 complainants against the earth-balling of trees to give way to SM mall’s expansion.

Estevez found the urgency of the Tepo apparent and still present, extending the effectivity of the order from the previous 72 hours, which lapsed Friday, until the termination of the case.

President Benigno Aquino III has ordered a review of the ongoing construction in Baguio, known as the city of pines.

Aunzo tries to snap title drought

By sports.inquirer.net


FERDIE Aunzo hopes to finally nail the elusive win on the ICTSI-Philippine Golf Tour in the P1 million ICSTI Camp John Hay Championship which unfolds April 18 at the John Hay Golf Club in Baguio City. Aunzo holed out with a triple-bogey seven at Splendido, enabling teener Miguel Tabuena to annex his maiden victory with a final round 66 to win by three at ICTSI Splendido Classic in Tagaytay last month. With Tabuena and the tour’s other big guns missing the action in Baguio to compete on the Asian Tour, Aunzo sets out as one of the favorites in the 54-hole event, the first pro event the par-69 John Hay layout is hosting since the 1997 Philippine Open. “I just got to be focused. Every shot counts, so there’s really little room for mistakes,” said Aunzo, the former amateur hotshot who went on a spell since winning in the inaugurals of the circuit put up by International Container Terminal Services, Inc. in 2009. He also had two runners-up finishes in 2010. Others out to snap out of a long title-drought and pocket the P200,000 top purse are Marvin Dumandan, Cassius Casas, Gerald Rosales, Rufino Bayron and Danny Zarate.

9th Igorot International Consultation ongoing

By Maria Aprila Cruz


BAGUIO CITY, April 14 (PIA) --The Igorot Global Organization-Philippines (IGO-PHL), in collaboration with IGO-International based in the US, hosted the 9th Igorot International Consultation (9th IIC) at the Baguio Country Club here on April 11-13, and in Tuba, Benguet on April 14.

With the theme, “Igorots in Partnership for Development,” the IGO-INTL and its member organizations hope to broaden the scope of its programs and projects based on the development thrust of the region and to establish networks and linkages through the different Public Private Partnership (PPP) schemes with government and other civil society organizations (CSOs), business/industry, academe and other stakeholders in order to have a more effective implementation and assurance of sustainability.

IGO Philippines President Manuel C. Ano, in welcoming all the participants, expressed the importance of the activity saying this is one way to strengthen regional partnership in development with government as well as private sector, nongovernment organizations (NGOs), and private organizations (POs).

Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Jesse M. Robredo who served as the guest of honor and speaker, urged the participants to reaffirm their dedication and commitment to help not to only the Cordillera Administrative Region to become more progressive and peaceful but the country as a whole.

During the plenary, Mia Abeya Chief Finance Officer IGO-INTL discussed the evolution of IGO and the IIC . She said the IGO was born because of the desire of a people to preserve its identity and to live the cultural values, morals, and vignettes of that identity regardless of where home might be.

Other presenters are as follows; Ms. Tanya Hamada, Executive Director, International Center for Innovation, Transformation and Excellence in Governance (INCITEGov). She talked about people participation in a democracy; Engr. Rufino B. Bumasang, member, Board of Directors, Philippine National Oil Company (PNOC) and talked about Public Private Partnership (PPP) national and international perspective; Dr. Rowena P. Galpo, Assistant Department Head, City Health Services Office. She discussed about PPP, the Baguio City experience; Mr. Benedict Solang, Executive Director Cordillera Development Program in the Cordillera, he talked about the peoples’ organization in the context of self governance; and Mr. Andrew W. Bacdayan, Professor/consultant based in Texas, USA.

The book “Igorot by heart,” a compilation of the key speeches and selected presentations in the last eight consultations, was also launched.

Baguio City Mayor Mauricio Domogan, who chaired the Third Autonomy Act Drafting Committee (TAADC), presented the salient features of the proposed Cordillera Organic Act while Mike Umaming of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) presented the Cordillera Development in the context of regional autonomy and development.

The presentation was followed by a workshop on the following themes; Civil Society participation in governance, social health/education/sports/migrant workers, environment and climate change/disaster risk reduction and management/renewable energy, ancestral lands and domains/natural resources/indigenous people’s rights act, trade and industry/investment/tourism/agriculture/entrepreneurship development, culture and arts/indigenous knowledge, systems and practices/multiculturalism, governance issues/concerns/reforms, youth and development.

Other activities include a solidarity night, dubbed “getting to know you" western setting was also conducted, a gala night wherein Alan Holst from the Cultural Affairs Office of the United States Embassy was the guest of honor.

On the last day of the convention, participants were treated with a cultural celebration held at the Pooten’s family residence/resort in Asin, Tuba dubbed as “Pan-aaspulan shi asin (gathering in Asin)".

The IIC is one of the major activities of the IGO-INTL and it is conducted every two years in countries where IGOs are established. Its main objective is to provide a venue where Igorots all over the world come together and consult on their social, economic, cultural, political concerns and interests and plan how they can help respond to them. (JDP/MC-PIA CAR)

DA-CAR leads search for regional Gulayan sa Paaralan

By Joseph B Zambrano


BAGUIO CITY. April 13 (PIA) -- The Department of Agriculture (DA)-Cordillera, in collaboration with the Department of Education (DepEd), is on the process of assessing the entries of the search for best Gulayan sa Paaralan for public elementary and high schools in the region.

The Gulayan sa Paaralan, which is piloted in Kalinga and Mountain Province, has 271 participating schools. It aims to promote self-help food production activities and values appreciation of agriculture as a life support system among children.

According to DA regional executive director Marilyn Sta. Catalina, the province of Kalinga has five school representatives while Mountain Province has 15 contending schools.

Sta. Catalina said they will be selecting three schools per category per school level. The Gulayan sa Paaralan program covers two categories, the plot gardening and the container gardening.

Winning schools will be receiving plaques and a cash prize of P60,000 for the first place; P40,000 second place and P20,000 for the third place.

She evaluating team includes DA, DepEd, Bureau of Plant Industry, Department of Interior Local Government, Department of Social Welfare and Development, and National Nutrition Council.(JBZ- PIA-CAR)

DOT promotes Cordillera festivals, tourism events for April

By Carlito C. Dar


BAGUIO CITY, April 12 (PIA) -- It's still festival season in Cordillera, and for this month alone, various festivals and tourism events are scheduled in the different provinces in the region.

The Department of Tourism (DOT-CAR) headed by Regional Director Purificacion Molintas, hosted a kapihan forum at the DOT Regional Office, Tuesday to promote the following festivities:

For the province of Benguet, the municipality of Bokod will have its First Purgatory Mangisi Traverse on April 13 to 15 while Kabayan will hold its 5th Eco-Tourism Bendian Festival on April 28 to 30.

For Mountain Province, Kadaclan, in the municipality of Barlig a is set to have its 10th Menaliyam Festival on April 20 and the municipality of Natonin will hold its 5th Sas-Aliwa festival on April 21 to 25.

For Ifugao, Ducligan Barangay of Banaue will have the 2012 Ayangan Summer Festival on April 16. The municipality of Banaue, meanwhile, will also have its Urpih Ad Banaue on April 26-27. The town of Kiangan will hold its Gotad Ad Ifugao and the town fiesta this coming April 30 up to May 3.

According to Molintas, festivals in Cordillera started as early as the last week of January, but most cultural festivals are set this April up to the middle of Ma. Each festival showcases the unique and rich culture of the place.

Molintas also informed that that interested visitors could hop on each of the scheduled festivals using Baguio City, Sagada in Mountain Province and Banaue in Ifugao, as major hubs which the tourism department is developing.

She disclosed that it is a trend now in the tourism sector that tourists try to cover more domestic tourism areas and events in shorter number of days. With this development, the government also focuses on shortening the travel time between key tourist destinations here in Northern Luzon and the other parts of the country, through the development of airports and improvement of roads.

For this 2012, Molintas said that priority thrust for road development projects are Mountain Province, Kalinga and Apayao, to be followed by Ifugao by 2013. This is also in line with the government’s goal of concreting all primary roads by 2014 and all secondary road by 2016. (JDP/CCD-PIA CAR)

Baguio court halts SM trees removal

By Vincent Cabreza

Inquirer Northern Luzon


BAGUIO CITY—A court here on Tuesday ordered the SM City Baguio mall to stop transplanting trees from its Luneta Hill compound as part of its expansion. Judge Cleto Villacorta III of Regional Trial Court Branch 6 issued a three-day temporary restraining order on SM which freezes all development activity at the mall. Villacorta issued the order pending a ruling by RTC Judge Antonio Esteves on a February 23 petition for a civil injunction and temporary environmental protection order (Tepo) filed against SM City Baguio by the Cordillera Global Network (CGN). Gloria Abaeo, CGN president, said Esteves was sick on Tuesday and could not hold a hearing so Villacorta took over as the case’s pairing judge. In a statement, SM City Baguio said consultations between its technical, engineering and design department and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources as well as other environmental experts had preceded the balling of the trees. This aims to ensure the high survival of the trees, it said. Aside from this, it added, SM would be planting over 50,000 trees as part of its commitment to Baguio’s regreening program. SM said the mall expansion was a result of top soil erosion that could eventually affect the structural integrity of the existing building. In order to permanently solve this, it said, a retaining wall needed to be constructed, entailing an excavation that would affect the trees.

Holy Week generally peaceful- Cordillera police

By Redjie Melvic M. Cawis


BAGUIO CITY, April 10 (PIA) -- Top official of the Cordillera police reported that the Holy Week was generally peaceful in this region.

Police Regional Office Cordillera regional director PCSupt. Benjamin Magalong said that the observance of the Lenten Season in the provinces in the region was peaceful and orderly except for some crime incidents in Baguio and the drowning incident of a foreigner at Tapiya Water Falls in Banaue, Ifugao.

A total of 22 cases of robbery and theft were reported in Baguio City from April 1 to 8 with 11 of these cases solved by the Baguio City Police Office. Magalong also reported two carnapping incidents in the city.

Magalong said the figure is lower compared to the reported incidents during the same period last year.

Magalong informed that the Oplan Summer Vacation was successful as policemen were very visible in places of interest during the Lenten holidays in the tourist destinations around the region. He said tourist police were deployed in the different tourist spots to provide assistance and other needs of the public.

In Baguio City, more than 800 policemen were deployed from the BCPO and regional police headquarters to the different transport terminals, public parks, churches, markets and mall areas. Policemen also were deployed at the main roads of the city to provide motorist assistance to tourists coming to the Summer Capital.

According to Magalong, the police also provided assistance on Sunday night when a portion of Kennon Road was closed due to a landslide after the heavy rainfall. The police reported the incident to the DPWH which immediately conducted clearing operation.

He also acknowledge the other civic, radio and medical groups who became force multipliers of the city police in their efforts assisting tourists during the week.

In Abra and Ifugao, police visibility is acknowledged as a big factor in the peaceful observance of the Holy Week.

Magalong, meanwhile, announced that the implementation of the Oplan SUMVAC of the police force will continue until the end of May or until summer season to ensure the safety and security and provide assistance to the public as well. (RC- PIA CAR)

DOLE prepares simultaneous Labor Day Grand Jobs Fair

By (JDP/CCD-PIA CAR)


BAGUIO CITY, April 9 (PIA) -- The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in its continuous effort to provide prompt, timely and efficient delivery of employment facilitation services to the poor, unemployed, new entrants to the labor force, and other related groups, is preparing for the conduct of the nationwide Grand Jobs Fair for the coming May 1, Labor Day celebration.

In the Cordillera Administrative Region, DOLE-CAR Regional Director Henry John Jalbuena disclosed that in partnership with the Public Employment Service Office (PESO) of the local government unit (LGU) of Baguio City and Abra, they will be holding simultaneous grand jobs fairs at the Baguio Convention Center and at the Provincial Capitol of Abra in Bangued, respectively.

Jalbuena said it would be a two-day activity in Baguio, from 8am to 5pm on May 1 featured are companies facilitating local employment, while May 2 will be for companies facilitating overseas employment.

Other activities for the two-day jobs fair at the Convention Center will be the One Stop Shop government service clinic which will be participated by about 12 agencies, as well as wellness services to be spearheaded by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), a Diskwento Fair by the Department of Trade and Industry and a free international (IDD) calls for OFW relatives by PLDT.

Jalbuena also informed that the jobs fair activity in Baguio will kick-off with a two-batch (morning and afternoon session) Career Forum on April 30 at the DOLE Regional Office.

For Abra, the Grand Jobs Fair on May 1 will only be for local employment.

Jalbuena also bared that to ensure the success of the activity, the different PESOs in Cordillera have intensified the registration of the applicants in the Phil-Job.net and in the off-line SRS (Skills Registry System), for the pre-screening process by the participating employers.

The Phil-job.net is a centralized database facility of DOLE that is being maintained by their attached agency, the Bureau of Local Employment (BLE). It is an internet-based, automated job and applicant matching system which aims to fast track job seekers’ search for jobs and employers’ search for manpower. The SRS, on the other hand, is an offline Skills Registry System which aims to strengthen the Phil-job.net’s database particularly on the specific skills of the corresponding applicants/registrants.

Baguio City supports CSC anti-smoking order

By Juliet D. Pilotin


BAGUIO CITY, April 8 (PIA) -- Mayor Mauricio Domogan last week said that the city government shall fully comply with Civil Service Commission (CSC) Memorandum Circular (MC) 17, s. of 2009 which prohibits smoking in public places, except for designated smoking areas.

The mayor made the pronouncement during a symposium at city hall as he expressed disapproval of smoking as it is a health hazard not just to the smoker but also to individuals near him. He also confirmed this at another meeting with Department of Health (DOH) and World Health Organization (WHO) anti-tobacco advocates.

Domogan made personal references on smoking as expensive, harmful and destructive to health and social relationships. Citing experiences of colleagues, who are public servants and are smokers, he said that nothing positive ever came from smoking.

“Quitting smoking through self-determination and positive attitude made them healthier, and better citizens,” he added.

The symposium comes in a series for city hall employees with lecturers from the DOH and CSC for legalities involved in the drive. It was emphasized that public servants who break the CSC rules as to smoking, and are convicted, shall be dealt with work suspension for six months and dismissal for the first and second offense, respectively.

Pushing for health-conscious public servants, the symposia adheres to the theme, “Race (Responsible, Accessible, Courteous and Effective Public Service) Towards A Smoke-Free Civil Service.”

Based on reports, smoking in the civil service produces a greater number of health problems, absenteeism, decreased productivity in the job, earlier retirement and more health care costs for the employer. Earlier deaths are also recorded for smokers, as with more incidents of fire damages and employee accidents.

It was also stressed that smoking undeniably threatens life as it has something to do with lung and throat cancers, respiratory, cardio and cerebro-vascular diseases. It was also revealed that smokers in the city are getting younger; and that more females are now smokers. In the country, 90,000 deaths are recorded annually; with one person dying every 6 seconds due to smoking and tobacco-related diseases. (PIA CAR/Julie Fianza-Baguio City PIO)






Garantisadong Pambata program slated this April anew

By Maria Aprilla W. Cruz


BAGUIO CITY, April 7 (PIA) -- The Department of Health (DOH) has slated another round of Garantisadong Pambata (GP) program in the region during the month of April.

Dr. Flora Pelingon of DOH informed during the Regional Technical Assistant on Nutrition (RTAN) meeting that this year’s Garantisadong Pambata which carries the theme, “Oplan: Alis Disease”, is a program of the DOH in partnership with the Local Government Units (LGUs), various government agencies and non-government organizations.

The program provides comprehensive medical services, promote positive childcare behavior, and educate the public, particularly the mother on matters concerning the importance of Vitamin A to child’s health.

She said for this month of April, aside from Vitamin A, the DOH will be giving ferrous Sulfate to all LGUs in the region targeting mothers and children below six years old.

Pelingon also announced that the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) through the DOH will also be giving out Multi-Nutrient Powders (MNP) to children below two years old.

Garantisadong Pambata Program, a bi-annual program of DOH and conducted during the months of April and October, aims to reduce illness among children that usually result to their early death.

The Garantisadong Pambata Program was launched in 1999 in response to the call of the UNICEF to reduce various illnesses that usually affect children. (JDP/MC-PIA CAR)

Probe John Hay plan – solons

By Ben R. Rosario)


Manila, Philippines – Mindanao lawmakers have demanded the shelving of the plan of the developer of Camp John Hay in Baguio City to “displace“ over 1,000 pine trees to give way to the construction of luxury homes and buildings. Reps. Rufus Rodriguez (PMP, Cagayan de Oro City) and his brother, Maximo Rodriguez of Abante Mindanao, filed House Resolution (HR) No. 2220 calling for a congressional inquiry into the impending implementation of the development plan for the former US military rest and recreation facility. The tourism development plan was proposed by the Sobrepena-led Camp John Hay Development Corp. (CJHDC) as part of a renegotiated deal that would settle its “burgeoning P3-billion” arrears for the lease of the tourism facility from the Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA). The CJHDC and the BCDA are currently locked in a legal battle over the lease controversy that has also become the subject of another congressional inquiry by the House Committee on Bases Conversion. The panel has decided to push for reconciliation between the two factions to pave the way for the full development of the 247-hectare site into a premiere tourism venue. The Rodriguez brothers said the CJHDC has been awarded the lease contract to develop, manage, and operate Camp John Hay for 25 years. The contract is renewable for another 25 years. They said Arnel Paciano Casanova, president of the BCDA, has disclosed that 1,033 pine trees that would be cut or “earth-balled” to give way to the development. “The BCDA and CJHDC have been engaged in a protracted debt feud, which the developer has elevated last year before the Philippine Dispute Resolution Center wherein the last in a series of negotiations broke down last year because CJHDC insisted that BCDA approve the tree-cutting applications,” said the lawmakers.

Baguio expects more tourists for Holy Week

By Carlito C. Dar


BAGUIO CITY, April 5 (PIA) -- More tourists are expected to visit Baguio City this Holy Week.

Department of Tourism (DOT-CAR) Regional Director Pura Molintas confirmed this in a kapihan media forum Wednesday. According to her, bus companies plying in the city have increased their number of trips per day as ticket reservations continue to come in and passengers start to crowd bus stations.

“All in all we are expecting about 250,000 visitors in the weekend, including those who will stay in hotels, pension houses, and those who will come for a day visit,” Molintas stressed.

Tourism Congress vice president for Luzon and Hotel and Restaurant Association of Baguio (HRAB) president Anthony De Leon, in an interview, also confirmed that hotels in the city are either already fully booked or are already 100 percent occupancied.

Philippine National Police regional director Police Chief Superintendent Benjamin Magalong said the increase in visitors is already visible in the number of vehicles plying the city’s main thoroughfares. He assured that the PNP is doing its best to keep the security and safety of our visitors and city folks, alike.

According to Magalong, they have intensified their patrols and inspections on bus and jeepney terminals, malls, public market and other point of convergence or crowded areas. Augmentation from the Police Regional office and police training schools, and other force multipliers are also deployed to provide assistance to the Baguio City Police Office.

“As per our observation, it is during the Holy Week season where most number of visitors are coming in the city, which is why we are already in full alert and even cancelled all applications for leave of our personnel. We are all here to ensure the safety of our visitors and the citizenry,” Magalong stressed.

He also disclosed that they have deployed non-uniformed personnel around the city to intensify crime detection and prevention and that they have also already organized a team from the Regional Office to go around and provide additional patrol for Baguio City and La Trinidad, Benguet. (JDP/CCD-PIA CAR)

Guidelines set for Baguio’s Ten Commandments Hill

By (PIA CAR/ Julie fianza-Baguio City PIO)


BAGUIO CITY, Apr. 4 (PIA) -- This Holy Week , groups intending to visit the Ten Commandments area at the Dominican Heritage Hill here are advised that guidelines have been set by the city council for its use.

The 1,645 sq feet stone tablet has been certified last year by the Guinness Book of World Records as the biggest in the world. Mayor Mauricio Domogan received the certification and made it known that the area be used for glorifying.

Among the guidelines considered are: • Permit to use facilities for more than one hour must be secured from the City Mayor’s Office, except for walk-in visitors/guests. • User’s permit fee shall be collected to defray expenses for electricity, water and maintenance. • All visitors, guests and participants of programs within the building must register at the main floor upon arrival. • Order and cleanliness inside and outside the building must be maintained at all times. • Solemnity inside the building must be maintained at all times. • Cooking, smoking, gambling, and alcoholic drinks are not allowed inside the building. Picking of flowers within the area is als prohibited. • Use of high-consuming electrical gadgets/appliances is prohibited • Unnecessary writing or defacing any part of the building is prohibited • Water must be conserved and used only when necessary. • Possession of deadly weapon must be prohibited. • Shooting (videos) and picture-taking are allowed and free, as long as water and electricity shall not be used in the process. • Time and duration of activity must be strictly observed. Overnight use of the building is not allowed. • Maximum seating capacity of 50 must be observed. The giant Ten Commandments tablet at the Dominican Hill area was established by the Kingdom of Jerusalem Halleluyah Foundation Incorporated through Grace Galindez-Gupana, Ambassador for Peace and Goodwill for Israel to the World.

DSWD Cordillera releases P29-M to 6,328 indigent seniors

By Joseph B. Zambrano


BAGUIO CITY,Apr. 3 (PIA)-- The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) announced that it disbursed so far a total of P29,428,500.00 for the social pension of 6,328 indigent senior citizens in the Cordillera region.

DSWD Cordillera regional director Leonardo C. Reynoso said that the 6,328 approved beneficiaries for the social pension program were derived from the DSWD National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR) data which identify who and where the poor are staying.

The province of Abra got P8,403,500 with 1804 pensioners; Apayao received P3,329,000 for its 853 pensioners; Benguet province with P4,504,000 for 868 pensioners; Ifugao with P3,234,500 and 732 pensioners; Kalinga with P5,032,500 for 1,087 pensioners and Mountain Province with P4,304,000 and 857pensioners while Baguio City got P621,000 with 127 pensioners.

The social pension for indigent senior citizens is provided for under Republic Act 9994, or the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010.

Under RA 9994, a monthly assistance or subsidy of P500 is given on a quarterly basis to the pre-identified beneficiaries who are indigent senior citizens who are frail, sickly and disabled, without any regular source of income and/or support from any member of the family, and not receiving other pension benefits from government and private agencies. (JDP/JBZ- PIA CAR)

Baguio City gears up for Holy Week

By (JDP/Aileen Refuerzo-Baguio City PIO)


BAGUIO CITY, Apr. 2 (PIA) -- All is set for the Holy Week observance here.

Mayor Mauricio Domogan said the city is all geared up for the expected influx of visitors as concerned agencies have prepared contingency measures to ensure peaceful and orderly Holy Week observance.

The mayor said the working committees under the “Summer Vacation (SUMVAC) in Baguio” have mapped out plans to properly handle the various concerns that crop up during summer when tourists flock to the city for the long vacation.

These include peace and order to tackle traffic and criminality; utilities to address the possible water shortage and ensure smooth solid waste collection; and the tourist-oriented establishments to ensure their readiness to cater to the needs of the vacationers.

The mayor earlier conferred with Police Regional Officer Cordillera chief CSupt. Benjamin Magalong to possibly beef up the city police’s manpower considering the city’s status as a tourist destination. He said Magalong committed to enhance the city and the region’s partnership in addressing the city’s security needs especially during peak tourist seasons.

The SUMVAC committee spearheaded by the mayor and action officer Carlos Canilao has put together an array of religious, cultural, historical, environmental, sports and medical activities under the Summer in Baguio activities which began last March 1.

As per the calendar of events released by the city tourism officer under officer Benedicto Alhambra, Lenten activities will topbill the calendar this week with various religious services, Lenten presentations scheduled at the various churches from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday.

On April 4-8, the Baguio Correspondents and Broadcasters Club (BCBC) will again roll out the red carpet for this year’s Lucky Summer Visitors who will be chosen from the thousands of vacationers. The club headed by Baguio Midland Courier reporter Harley Palangchao will treat the lucky guests to free meals, accommodation, tour and other gifts throughout their stay.

The city also mounted the Lingkod Bayan traffic and information assistance all over the city to assist motorists to be participated in by the various civic and private groups and entities.

On April 3, a Tourism Frontliners Training will be held at the Baguio Convention Center.

On April 5, the Brahma Kumaris Meditation Center will mount the Spiritual Art Exhibit on ‘Seven Spiritual Wonders of the World’: Though little known, they concern each and every human being at the BK Baguio Center ,131 Diplomat Rd. Dominican Hill where they will also stage the “Inner Peace, Inner Power: A spiritual spa developing spiritual skills and inner strengths to face the challenges of the world outside” from April 5-7.

On April 7, a dog show will be sponsored by the Baguio–CAR German Shepherd Dog Club, Inc. at the Melvin Jones while the Youth Republic Preliminary Dance Competition will be staged at the Malcolm Square.

Energy plan saved Philippines 28-M barrels of oil, says DOE exec

By Vincent Cabreza

Inquirer Northern Luzon


BAGUIO CITY—The country’s national energy conservation program saved the equivalent of 27.48 million barrels of oil last year, an 11-percent increase compared to the previous year’s savings, an official of the Department of Energy (DOE) said. Despite higher world fuel prices this year, the country’s conservation program could improve even further since consumers likely would not splurge while petroleum prices continue to rise, said Efren Balaoing, DOE Luzon field office director. ‘Silver lining’ “That’s the silver lining [in our struggle against fuel prices]. People will conserve energy more,” Balaoing said on the sidelines of a household electricity conservation seminar at City Hall here on Tuesday. On Saturday, the city government closed a portion of downtown Session Road to vehicular traffic for the city’s Earth Hour countdown. Nongovernment organizations and the Benguet Electric Cooperative also organized an Earth Hour event at the Baguio City jail. Balaoing said last year’s energy savings improved from the 2010 results of the National Energy Efficiency and Conservation Program, which saved 24.8 million barrels of fuel oil equivalent. Based on the agency’s July 2011 records, government agencies managed to save P1.8 billion which could have been spent on their energy consumption, he said. Awareness of the impact of a changing climate also shaped the energy efficiency programs of 59 companies, resulting in savings equivalent to 91.97 million liters of fuel worth P3.6 billion in 2011, Balaoing said. He said the consumers’ ability to control their energy use could help ease worries about a potential energy crisis because of how people anticipate the impact of the power outages in Mindanao on the rest of the country. Balaoing said the DOE was helping develop 20 new hydroelectric power projects in the Cordilleras, a natural cluster of upland watersheds, to supplement the electricity supply generated by existing power plants. Coal as an option But coal-fired power plants remain the cheaper option for the government, he said. To date, a kilowatt-hour of electricity generated by coal-fired plants sells for as low as P5, compared to the P6.15 per kWh of power generated by hydroelectric plants, Balaoing said. The DOE, he said, is aware of the objections raised against coal-fired plants by environmental groups. “But the technology is now safer,” he said. The DOE has to process 30 coal mining projects to fuel these power plants, which would require P2.2 billion in combined investments, Balaoing said.


Baguio City Archived News

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