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Bukidnon News

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Province of Bukidnon - Archived News

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Bukidnon Province
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Provincial Capitol Building of Bukidnon
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Discount Event

MALAYBALAY CITY – The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) will hold a “Fiesta Diskwento Caravan” (discount caravan) on May 14 and 15 at the Freedom Park, as this city celebrates the feast of San Isidro Labrador, the patron saint of good harvest. DTI Provincial Director Ermedio Abang said the DTI will be staging this event to help consumers avail of goods at discounted prices. “The discount caravan will be of great help because it offers various basic products and services marked down by as much as 10 percent to 50 percent,” he said.

Napocor completes rehab of Pulangi IV hydro power plant

The state-run National Power Corp. has finally completed the rehabilitation of the Pulangi IV hydroelectric power plant in Bukidnon, a move seen to finally help ease the rotating brownouts plaguing Mindanao since the beginning of the year.

This completion will now allow the Pulangi IV to generate as much as 250 megawatts during the evening peak hours. Prior to the repair works, this hydropower facility was generating only 90 MW during the off-peak period and as much as 140 MW during the peak hours, out of its original installed capacity of 255 MW.

In a statement, Napocor said the P7.11-million rehabilitation activities were completed last May 8, or nine days ahead of the original target date of May 17, thus boosting prospects that the tight power supply situation in Mindanao would normalize soon.

As of Wednesday, the Mindanao grid posted a power supply deficit of 197 MW, slightly less than the level of previous weeks, when the shortage was more than 200 MW.

Napocor president Froilan A. Tampinco noted that the repair of the 26-year-old power plant was completed earlier than scheduled due to the concerted efforts of the state generator’s operations personnel and Mamasar Construction, the contractor for the rehab project.

“Our plant personnel at Pulangi IV worked 24/7 with our private contractor to bring the power plant back on-line at the earliest time possible, and for this we commend them,” Tampinco said.

Official data from Napocor’s Mindanao generation group showed that Unit 1 of Pulangi IV was energized at 3:02 p.m. on Tuesday, while Unit 2 went on-line by 5:15 p.m. of the same day. The third and final unit was synchronized with the Mindanao grid at 6:38 p.m., also last Tuesday.

To recall, Napocor had shut down Pulangi IV last April 17 to pave the way for the repair of the plant’s headrace channel and surge pool, as well as for the preventive maintenance servicing (PMS) of the facility’s three turbine generator units. Previous estimates placed the completion to take 30 days.

Under the rehabilitation project, Napocor was able to restore the stability of the headrace channel and the surge pool riprap protection. The 9.5-kilometer-long headrace channel is the part of the power plant where the water that is used to run Pulangi IV passes through before going to the turbine generator units. This was the first time that the Pulangi hydropower plant underwent major repair works since it started operating in 1986.

The rehabilitation project has been in Napocor’s work program as early as 2011, when major defects such as massive scouring were first noticed on the headrace channel. The government firm could not afford to postpone the repair works, as these are bound to get more expensive the longer that they are delayed.

Police probe Bukidnon cop's slay

POLICE are investigating a case of a police officer who was reportedly killed by three gunmen believed to members of the New People's Army, a radio report said.

The victim was identified as Police Officer 2 Lito Montecalbo of Bukidnon Provincial Police Office.

Montecalbo was on his way to Kibawe Police Station in Bukidnon for work when shot by armed men.

Philippine National Police Northern Mindanao spokesperson Superintendent Ronnie Cariaga said the victim died due to "several" gunshot wounds.

Cariago also said the rebels carted away the victim's service firearms.

Tribal Appeal

Farmers belonging to the Panalsalan Dagumbaan Tribal Association (PADATA) have asked regional officials to implement the status quo order issued by Environment Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje over the 480-hectare Villalon Ranch in Maramag, Bukidnon.

The farmers, all them of them members of the Talaandig cultural community, marched to the Region-10 office of the Department of En¬vironment and Natural Resources (DENR-10) office in Cagayan de Oro City to press regional director Corazon Galinato to implement the April 30, 2012, order which stops the ranch management from harass-ing the indigenous farmers in the property and stick to the areas they control currently.

Vilma Monera, PADATA chairperson, said they will camp out at the regional office to exert pressure to the regional director.

“We need to be vigilant because our future is at stake here, this land is for the future generation,” said Monera.

Even as she thanked Paje for issuing the order, she was still surprised why it limited them to only 61 hectares of the land when they are actually in control of at least 250 hectares of the ranch.

Monera urged Paje to review the order, saying they will appeal before the DENR Central Office to nullify the limit that Paje had set.

The Talaandigs have already planted sugar, corn cassava and other crops in the disputed property.

1,000 residents benefit army’s MEDCAP

CAMP OSITO BAHIAN, Malaybalay City– At least 1,000 people benefited from the free Medical and Dental Civic Action Program (MEDCAP) at Impalambong, Malaybalay City.

With the theme “Serbisyuhan ang katawhan ug panalipdan ang yutang natawhan (Serve the people, protect and defend homeland),” MEDCAP was organized by Alfa Battery, 10th Field Artillery Battallion, Assault Armored Battalion (10FAB, AAR) of the Philippine Army.

Army First Lieutenant (1Lt.) Dee Jay P. Balisi, who facilitated the MEDCAP event, said that a total of 1,078 residents were served.

“Of this number, 158 availed of the dental extraction, 106 boys aged five to 12 were circumcised, 86 availed of the free haircut, 208 were benefited of the medical check-up, and 520 village folks availed of the feeding program” he explained.

Other patients also received medicines, while those who were waiting in line were served “arrozcaldo” (ginger flavored rice-chicken soup delicacy)–which was dished up in coordination with the National Food Authority (NFA).

A series of films entitled “Knowing the Enemy” were also shown and an artillery piece and armor asset were also displayed at the venue.

In his message during the opening program, Lieutenant Col. Jose Valentin Y. Panadero, 10FAB, AAR Battalion Commander, said the activity was aimed at delivering basic services to uplift lives in the neighborhood that could help attain peace and development in the community. “This MEDCAP is wholeheartedly offered to the Filipino people who are ultimate beneficiaries of internal peace and security efforts,” Pandero said.

This beneficial event, which is in line with the Internal Peace and Security Plan (IPSP) “Bayanihan” and Army Transformation Roadmap, was made possible through the help of Malaybalay City Mayor Ignacio W. Zubiri, NFA, Gama Foods 2 Poultry Farm, Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, City Health Office, Artillery Foundation of the Philippines Incorporated-Northeastern Mindanao Alfa, 403rd Infantry (Peacemaker) Brigade, 4th Division Training Unit, 43rd Civic Military Operations Company, private individuals and key government organizations, Lt.Col. Panadero further said.

NDRRMC: Whirlwind hits Bukidnon, flash floods hit South Cotabato

At least one house was destroyed while 12 others were damaged after a whirlwind hit a residential area in Valencia City in Bukidnon Thursday afternoon.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said the incident occurred at 3:30 p.m. at Purok 1-A in Lumbo in Valencia City.

It cited initial information indicating 13 families were affected, although no one was reported hurt.

A local disaster risk reduction and management team was sent to the area to assess the damage, the NDRRMC said.

South Cotabato

Meanwhile, the NDRRMC also said a flash flood hit two villages in South Cotabato Wednesday.

Citing belated initial reports, the NDRRMC said the incident occurred between 2 and 3 p.m. at Lambingi and Kusan villages in Banga town.

It said 26.7 hectares of corn fields were damaged in Lambingi, while properties and infrastructure were damaged in Kusan.

At least 12 farmers from Lambingi and two families from Kusan were affected.

The estimated damage to property was pegged at P200,000.

Environment department’s order elates farmers

FARMERS belonging to the Talaandig indigenous community thanked the Environment department for ordering the management of the 480-hectare Villalon Ranch in Maramag, Bukidnon to stop intruding into areas they cultivate.

Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Ramon Paje issued an order on April 30 that compelled the ranch management to quit harassing the indigenous farmers.

However, members of the Panalsalan Dagumbaan Tribal Association Inc. (Padata) expressed surprise why Paje said in his order that they should farm only in a 61-hectare portion of the property when they now control between 250 hectares and 300 hectares of the disputed land.

They said sugar, corn, cassava and other crops are planted in these areas and feared that with the enforcement of the Paje order, they may be denied the right to harvest their crops.

“We are wondering where Secretary Paje got the 61-hectare figure since the reports from the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer and the Community Environment and Natural Resources Officer did not state categorically the areas controlled by our group,” said Padata president Vilma Monera.

Only the regional office came up with the figure, which Padata questioned since it does not reflect the fact that the farmers had already taken control of a huge section of the disputed property.

Monera said her group had won the case against Villalon Ranch before the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), which revoked with finality the Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) secured by Engr. Ernesto Villaon, a former mayor of Kibawe, Bukidnon.

The NCIP’s final and executory decision was rendered on September 20, 2011 and Padata believes that a string of landmark decisions would deny the Villalons any option to appeal since their submissions were filed out of time or beyond the mandated period.

“This is a fatal flaw and we do not believe that any appeal by Villalon would prosper since fraud attended the acquisition of the FPIC and the NCIP itself saw through the ruse,” Monera said.

The NCIP has primary and exclusive jurisdiction over FPICs, a requirement that must be secured before any party can make use of land occupied my members of indigenous peoples.

Monera said the bogus FPIC used by Villalon should kill any appeal since the Forest Land Grazing Management Agreement (FLGMA) was rendered void from the very start.

“It is a fruit of a poisoned tree,” she said.

Padata has asked Paje to review the status quo ante order he issued on Monday and noted that the basis for it should have been a biophysical assessment to be conducted by the DENR itself.

Monera said the ranch only has 11 head of cattle in feedlots and another 15 were said to be grazing, contrary to the claim that the entire area covered by the FLGMA was used for grazing.

Padata expressed serious concern about the fact that a portion of the property is now being planted with sugarcane for the benefit of a third party.

The group said the fact that the renewal of the expired lease of Villalon has been denied should prod DENR to altogether denied the plea of the ranch management to retain control of the land.

Padata wants to acquire control of the property as it seeks to sign a Community-Based Forestry Management Agreement with the DENR over the land.

The group stressed that the ranch is also subject to claims by other groups closely related to the Villalon Ranch management.

Monera said they will continue to press Paje and DENR regional Director Corazon Galinato to render justice to Padata, noting that its members have been subjected to harassment, arson and theft of crops by armed thugs employed by the Villalons.

She said granting the ranch members a chance to retain control would diminish their quest for justice.

Cafgu killed in Bukidnon ambush

A member of the Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit (Cafgu) was killed in an ambush by suspected New People’s Army (NPA) guerillas in Lantapan, Bukidnon before dawn Tuesday.

Major Eugenio Osias IV, spokesperson of the Philippines Army’s 4th Infantry Division, said a group of Cafgu personnel were on their way home when an improvised explosive device (IED) on the road exploded at around 3 a.m.

After the explosion, a brief firefight ensued between the government troops and an undetermined number of NPA guerillas, which lasted for about 10 minutes.

Another Cafgu member and a driver were injured in the ambush.

Osias said the victims had just come from conducting a security patrol in Barangay Songco when the ambush was carried out.

Major General Victor Felix, commander of the 4th Infantry Division, gave an order to capture the rebels behind the attack.

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