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Homing in on Poro Point

by Dexter A. See

SAN FERNANDO CITY—-Fishermen lost in the West Philippine Sea who can paddle toward the shore can count on Poro Point’s powerful signal to keep them on course.

To Mayor Pablo Ortega, the same aid for navigation attracts foreign and local visitors to the Northern Luzon growth quadrangle formed by the Ilocos, La Union Cordilleras and Pangasinan.

“We are happy about the declaration of the Poro Point lighthouse as a national historical landmark since La Union province will now be in the list of places that hosting heritage sites,” he told Manila Standard.

Poro Point Management Corp., a subsidiary of the Bases Conversion and Development Authority, will undertake rehabilitation work under a memorandum of agreement of the Coast Guard.

“The lighthouse is a celebrated historical landmark,” BCDA chairman Felicito Payumo said in a statement. “Just as the lighthouse serves as a beacon to guide boats safely to shore, the Poro Point Special Economic Zone serves as a beacon for development, a guiding light that brings increased tourism and investment to the shores of North Luzon.”

Poro Point is part of the Coast Guard’s “Adopt-a-Lighthouse” program that encourages preservation and maintenance of culturally valuable structures which are protected by the National Heritage Commission.

Yves Nice, PPMC chairman, said two lighthouses are found at the Poro Point Freeport.

He said the old tower was among the “luces” (lights) made in France and installed here by the colonial government in 1885 while its counterpart was erected in 1979.

Arnel Paciano Casanova, BCDA president and chief executive, commended the adoption of the lighthouses.

“The BCDA group is happy to participate in preserving our national heritage,” he said.

Florante Gerdan, PPMC president and chief executive, the adjoining “shotgun house” will be turned into a museum.

“We also plan to convert the vicinity of the lighthouses into a rest and recreation center,” he told Manila Standard.

Vice Admiral Edmond Tan, Coast Guard commanding general, welcomed the interagency and local government teamwork.

“To date, we have 15 to 20 lighthouses around the country that have historical value, thus, we are also looking for partners from other places who could help us maintain the lighthouses as a tourist attraction and for navigational purposes,” he said, noting the upkeep of more than 500 others around the archipelago. With July Rada

GSIS offers educational assistance to active members

by Esteleta M. Rafanan

SAN FERNANDO CITY, LA UNION, May 9 (PIA) -- The Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) La Union Branch is now accepting applications for the Educational Assistance Program to help members shoulder the education expenses of their children up to the second semester of the school year.

The education assistance program was launched following President Benigno S. Aquino III's Labor Day announcement on the availability of a joint P11.2 billion Education Assistance Fund from Social Security System (SSS) and GSIS.

Under this program, all active members of the pension fund, regardless of salary grade, length of service, status of agency and member account (i.e. up-to-date, in arrears or suspended) are entitled to P4,000 loan payable in five years at 6 percent interest rate per annum.

Monthly payment for the loan is only P20.00 through salary deduction. Application will run until December 28, this year.

The first payment of the loan will start three months after the grant. The application may be filed by the members over-the-counter (OTC) or through his agency’s liaison officer.

The approval of the educational assistance application will not require certification from the Agency Authorized Officer (AAO) or endorsement from the agency.

State Pension Fund President and General Manager Robert G. Vergara said that the pension fund will neither require electronic certification from the employer nor charge any service fee. “This means that members will get the full loan amount,” Vergara said.

The proceeds of the assistance will be ecredited in the UMID eCard or temporary eCard of the member not earlier than May 10, 2012.

Members may file their application through the following: any GSIS office; designated agency liaison officer; and the GSIS website,, where the forms can be downloaded.

For inquiry about the GSIS educational assistance program, members may call the GSIS hotline at 479-3645 or visit the nearest GSIS office. (ANL/EMR-PIA 1 La Union with report from GSIS)

PDEA RO1 arrests five drug suspects in separate drug-bust operations

by Miriam P. Aquino

SAN FERNANDO CITY, La Union, May 8 (PIA) -- Five suspected drug pushers were arrested in separate anti-narcotics operations this month by special agents of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA RO1).

The suspects, who are residents of Barangay II in Dagupan City, were arrested on May 1 during a buy-bust operation, PDEA1 Public Information Officer Bismarck Bengwayan said.

Bengwayan said that the three suspects were startled as the narcotics agent arrested them as other agents swooped in making it impossible for the suspects to escape.

Three pieces of plastic sachets containing white substance believed to be shabu were confiscated from the suspects along with the buy bust money. Further body search of the three suspects also yielded assorted drug paraphernalia.

Meanwhile, another suspect from Barangay San Quentin, Sarrat Ilocos Norte was also arrested on May 2 for selling shabu when concerned citizens in the area earlier reported his illegal activities and the menace he brought to the community.

Heeding the call, combined elements of PDEA1, the Regional Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Group and the Provincial Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Group arrested the suspect in a buy bust operation.

It was found out that Villanueva who has other reports against him is under the watch list of both the PDEA and PNP when he was arrested.

Recovered from Antonio were pieces of plastic sachets containing illegal drugs, the marked money and a cellular phone used in the drug transaction.

Another watchlisted drug peddler suspect, Jayche Navarro, 41, of Barangay Poblacion East, Rosario La Union, was collared in the middle of the day after he sold two sachets of shabu to PDEA RO1 agents on the third day of May.

Bengwayan disclosed that Navarro did not resist arrest and even his mother approved of his arrest hoping it would lead his son to a rehabilitated life.

As of this writing, the suspects were charged with selling illegal drugs under Section 5 Article II of Republic Act 9165 otherwise known as the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act.

Proud and happy of their accomplishments, PDEA1 Director said, “even though the climate is hot, we are delivering hotter signals against these criminals”. (ANL/MPA-PIA 1 La Union with reports fro PDEA1)

OWWA, bank to teach finance sense to overseas workers

by Miriam P. Aquino

SAN FERNANDO CITY, La Union, May 7 (PIA) -- Aiming to assist overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in achieving financial stability through training, investments, and savings program as one of the 22-Point Agenda of President Aquino, and also one of the agency thrusts, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration-Regional Welfare Office 1 (OWWA-RWO1) partnered with the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) in the conduct of BPInoy Learning Series to the 1st and 2nd Districts of Ilocos Sur.

"BPInoy Learning Series provide discussions on financial empowerment, managing finances, formula in saving and investments, and other related business opportunities and counseling," according to OWWA-RWO1 Labor Communications Officer Amapola Z. Villar.

OWWA RWO1 Officer-in-Charge Esperanza C. Cobarrubias and her staff supported the events conducted at Baluarte Zoological Park Function Hall in Vigan City, Ilocos Sur and Candon Municipal Hall Lobby in Candon City, same province last April 25 and 28, respectively.

In a message, Cobarrubias reiterated the common goal for OFWs and their family to strengthen the bond and maintain the good values among family members to fully and successfully achieve their aspirations and their real purpose of working abroad.

Villar said that about 100 OFWs and their dependents participated on the said undertakings.

This event became an opportunity for OWWA RWO1 to disseminate programs and services, updates on the various OFW benefits, and upcoming projects in the region, she added. (ANL/MPA-PIA 1, La Union with reports from OWWA-RWO1)

Asingan village councilor shot dead

by Freddie G. Lazaro

CAMP BGEN OSCAR FLORENDO, La Union ­- An incumbent barangay councilor died after he was gunned down by unidentified motorcycle riding in tandem suspects along the road in Barangay Macalong, Asingan, Pangasinan Thursday morning, a belated report said here.

Police identified the victim as one Eddie Balbin, 57, a barangay councilor and resident of Barangay Sobol, Asingan town. Investigation disclosed that the shooting incident took place at about 6 a.m. while the victim was aboard his bicycle. The suspects, who were on board a motorcycle without plate number, approached the victim and without a word shot him several times. The victim succumbed to gunshot wounds in the head and stomach. Responding lawmen recovered at the crime scene three empty shells from a .45 caliber handgun.



DINENGDENG FESTIVAL FOSTERS BACKYARD GARDENS AGOO, La Union: This pilgrimage town held its 8th “Dinengdeng Festival” on Tuesday with local cooks simultaneously whipping up various kinds of dinengdeng (vegetable) dishes at the grounds of Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University, South La Union campus. Mayor Sandra Young Eriguel said that the festival’s goal was to promote Ilocano culture and showcase the agricultural products of Agoo, particularly fish and vegetable products. It also encourages vegetable backyard gardening. Agoo is bounded by some vegetable farmlands and seashore, equally teeming in seafood products. “The festival will also promote health awareness among residents and visitors and enhanced production of backyard vegetables like squash, eggplant, ampalaya, saluyot, okra, among others,” Eriguel said. Dinengdeng, a healthy Ilocano concoction is a nutritious viand of endemic vegetables cooked in aromatic bagoong (fish sauce), made more flavorful topped with grilled or fried fish.

La Union police officers undergo seedling production training for NGP

by (ANL/EMR-PIA 1 La Union with report from PNP-LUPPO)

SAN FERNANDO CITY, La Union, May 3 (PIA) -- La Union police officers have undergone seedling production training recently, which is in line with the memorandum of agreement (MOA) entered into between the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Ecosystem Research and Development Sector (DENR-ERDS) and Philippine National Police (PNP) in support to the National Greening Program.

The two-day training on seedling production and maintenance of forest trees, including the indigenous and fruit trees, was held at the Camp Diego Silang, Carlatan, this city, last April 24 and 25.

Resource persons came from DENR-ERDS.

The training provided avenue for the participants to gain knowledge and skills on the various important forest fruit trees and other indigenous species, and some organic farming technologies, particularly on the production of liquid fertilizer and pesticide for maintenance of nursery seedlings.

This activity corresponds to the legacy project of the PNP dubbed “Pulis Makakalikasan: 10 Milyong Puno, Pamana sa Kinabukasan.”

Based on the MOA, the DENR was tasked to provide planting materials for the tree planting activities, but for the seedling requirement for this year, the seedlings were already committed earlier to their other target agencies.

The police personnel will put up nurseries inside the PNP camp, wherein personnel from the DENR will help them identify tree species suitable for planting based on the prevailing climatic and soil conditions of the area. This will address the problem of lack of seedling.

“Planting of trees is the PNP’s own little way of helping mitigate the effects of climate change to our environment, after all the PNP is not only Maka-Diyos, Makabayan and we are also Maka-kalikasan,” Deputy Provincial Director for Operations PSupt. Robert Mesa added.

The Pulis Makakalikasan project will run up to February 28, 2013. It will involve 140,000 personnel of the PNP and they will be tasked to plant a total of 72 tree seedling each or six tree seedlings per month for a period of 12 months.

PNP to build own tree nurseries in support of National Greening Program

by (PNA)


SAN FERNANDO CITY, La Union, May 2 (PNA) — The Philippine National Police (PNP) will put up its own tree nurseries to supply its own requirement to the National Greening Program (NGP) in line with the implementation of the PNP legacy project “Pulis Makakalikasan: 10 Milyong Puno Pamana sa Kinabukasan.”

This was discussed during a two-day Training on Seedling Production and Maintenance of Forest Trees including Indigenous and Fruit Trees on April 24-25, 2012 at the Conference Room of the La Union Police Provincial Office (LUPPO) at Camp Diego Silang, Carlatan, San Fernando City, La Union.

The seminar was in line with the memorandum of agreement entered into between the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the PNP in support of the NGP.

In the MOA, the DENR was tasked to provide planting materials for the tree planting activities of the PNP.

However, their seedling requirements for 2012 was already committed to other targets.

Thus, in order to give solution to the lack of seedlings, police personnel will put up tree nurseries inside PNP camps with the DENR helping them identify tree species suitable for planting based on the prevailing climatic and soil conditions of the areas.

The training enabled the participants to gain knowledge and skills on the various important forest, fruit tree and other indigenous species and the propagation, concepts and process of clonal propagation of forest-tree species and some organic farming technologies particularly on the production of liquid fertilizer and pesticide for maintenance of nursery seedlings.

The “Pulis Makakalikasan” project will be implemented up to February 28, 2013 to involve all personnel of the PNP, numbering around 140,000 throughout the country.

They are tasked to plant a total of 72 tree seedlings each, or six tree seedlings per month for a period of 12 months.

With the training, seedling production would be a lesser problem to deal with.

Supt. Robert Mesa, deputy Provincial Director for Operations, said “Planting of trees is the PNP’s own little way of helping mitigate the effects of climate change to our environment, after all the PNP is not only Maka-Diyos, Makabayan and Makatao, we are also Maka-kalikasan,”

50 hospitalized in La Union due to food poisoning

by (PNA)


BAUANG, La Union, May 1 (PNA) - Some 50 persons were rushed to the different hospitals in La Union on Monday, few hours after partaking the food served during the banquet for a newly-wedded couple in Barangay Upper San Agustin in Bauang town.

The victims, who include men, women and children, partook in the food served during the wedding of Kathlyn Hipona and Francisco Aquino.

It was learned that the couple were among 18 pairs who participated in a mass wedding held inside Bauang Church as part of the current fiesta of the town.

But a few hours after joining the banquet, most persons who partook the food suffered nausea, vomiting, stomach pains and were weakening.

Mayor Eulogio Martin de Guzman III ordered the investigation of the incident to determine the cause of the food poisoning.

A report stated that initially, Dr. Luzmininda Monico of the Naguilian District Hospital tagged the intake of spoiled food taken by the victims caused by excessive heat of summer prevailing as the reason for the food poisoning.

75 employers join Labor Day job fair - DOLE1

by Monette H. Herrera

SAN FERNANDO CITY, La Union, April 30 (PIA) -- The Labor Day celebration in the region will be highlighted with a job fair to be held at SM City in Rosales, Pangasinan on May 1.

According to officer-in-charge Teresa Bonavente of the Technical Services Support Division of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), around 75 employers will be offering both local and overseas for the constituents in the region.

Among the identified positions for filling up include: Customer Service and Technical Support Representatives, Sales Promoters, Production and Finance Supervisors, Restaurant Supervisors and Managers, HR Assistants, Service Crew, Web Developers, Clerks, Accounting Staff, Systems Engineers, IT Personnel, Drivers, Cashiers, Credit Collectors, Office Secretaries, and others.

Bonavente encouraged job seekers to pre-register prior to May 1 thru the Phil-JobNet at to make sure that employers belonging to different establishment could identify prospect applicants to fill the vacancies and at the same time prevent jobs mismatch.

In an interview to Fiorello B. Surell of DOLE La Union Field Office during the recent “Ammuentayo” radio program over DZNL here, he said that this activity is in support to President Noynoy Aquino’s vision to create or generate more jobs in the country as a strategy to reduce poverty incidence anchored on the Philippine Development Plan.

With this year’s theme, “Pagtutulungan, Pagbabago, Disenteng Trabaho,” of Labor Day, DOLE-1 expects that more jobseekers, not only from Pangasinan but even to nearby provinces will be filling up the 8,000 jobs slot open. (JCR/MHH-PIA1, La Union with reports from DOLE-1)

Anton shatters CIS lap record

by The Philippine Star

CAMP BGEN OSCAR M FLORENDO, San Fernando City, La Union, April 28 (PIA) -- Fifty police personnel who finished the 10-day Police First Responders Course were awarded certificates recently in rites held at the Masikap Classroom, Camp Brigadier General Oscar M. Florendo, Parian, this city.

“The Police First Responders Course aims to train our policemen on the ground on effective and efficient handling of critical situations, proper procedure in responding to disaster, and the skills and knowledge in the administration of first aid and basic life support,” according to Police Senior Superintendent Reynaldo G. Biay, Police Regional Office 1 chief of the Regional Personnel and Human Resource Doctrine Development.

Biay said the training course, which started on April 10 at the Regional Special Training Unit 1 under the supervision of Police Superintendent Robert S. Daculan, is designed to enhance the capability of the police force in responding to crime incidents and other emergency situations.

PSupt. Raul S. Romero, the Regional Public Information Office Chief said that these graduates, composed of police non-commissioned officers from Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union, Pangasinan, and the Regional Public Safety Battalion 1 underwent this training as part of the 10-Point Action Plan of PNP Chief Nicanor A. Bartolome, particularly on the Enhancement and Specialization of Skills.

PRO1 Director Police Chief Superintendent Franklin Jesus B. Bucayu led the awarding ceremony during the event.

This is being implemented in all Police Regional Offices nationwide, targeting police personnel engaged in beat patrol and those assigned to units primarily tasked to respond to disasters and similar emergency situations as priority participants, Romero said. (ANL/MHH-PIA 1 La Union with reports from PRO1)

50 PRO1 cops finish first responders course

by Miriam P. Aquino

CAMP BGEN OSCAR M FLORENDO, San Fernando City, La Union, April 28 (PIA) -- Fifty police personnel who finished the 10-day Police First Responders Course were awarded certificates recently in rites held at the Masikap Classroom, Camp Brigadier General Oscar M. Florendo, Parian, this city.

“The Police First Responders Course aims to train our policemen on the ground on effective and efficient handling of critical situations, proper procedure in responding to disaster, and the skills and knowledge in the administration of first aid and basic life support,” according to Police Senior Superintendent Reynaldo G. Biay, Police Regional Office 1 chief of the Regional Personnel and Human Resource Doctrine Development.

Biay said the training course, which started on April 10 at the Regional Special Training Unit 1 under the supervision of Police Superintendent Robert S. Daculan, is designed to enhance the capability of the police force in responding to crime incidents and other emergency situations.

PSupt. Raul S. Romero, the Regional Public Information Office Chief said that these graduates, composed of police non-commissioned officers from Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union, Pangasinan, and the Regional Public Safety Battalion 1 underwent this training as part of the 10-Point Action Plan of PNP Chief Nicanor A. Bartolome, particularly on the Enhancement and Specialization of Skills.

PRO1 Director Police Chief Superintendent Franklin Jesus B. Bucayu led the awarding ceremony during the event.

This is being implemented in all Police Regional Offices nationwide, targeting police personnel engaged in beat patrol and those assigned to units primarily tasked to respond to disasters and similar emergency situations as priority participants, Romero said. (ANL/MHH-PIA 1 La Union with reports from PRO1)

17 hurt in La Union road accident


MANILA, Philippines - At least 17 people were hurt after an Isuzu Elf truck skidded along the highway in Barangay Madayegyeg, San Fernando City, La Union Thursday afternoon.

Superintendent Paul Romero, Philippine National Police Region 1 spokesperson, said the vehicle with plate number PDV 748, driven by Crispin Bao-in, was headed for San Gabriel, La Union when its left rear wheel blew out, causing it to skid along the road.

The injured passengers, who were headed for a wedding feast in San Gabriel town, were brought to the Ilocos Training and Regional Medical Center for treatment.

Romero said that Bao-in was released by the police after he executed an affidavit promising to pay for the medical expenses of the victims.

2 kids drown in river

by Freddie G. Lazaro

CAMP BGEN OSCAR FLORENDO, La Union – Two children drowned while swimming in a river in Barangay Maloer, Bayambang, Pangasinan, Sunday afternoon, police said.

Police identified the victims as cousins Luis Paolo Castro and Clarisse Castro, both nine years old, of Barangay Maloer, Bayambang town. The victims were playing while swimming in the Maloer River at about 1:30 p.m. when they both drowned upon reaching the deeper portion of the water. The victims were recovered a few minutes after the incident, but they were declared dead on arrival at Bayambang District Hospital.

4Ps beneficiaries receive P160.6-M cash grants

by Monette H. Herrera

SAN FERNANDO CITY, La Union, April 24 (PIA) -- New Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) beneficiaries--the Ilocos region's 5th set--recently received cash grants amounting to P160, 676,100 from the Department of Social Welfare and Development 1 (DSWD-1).

This program seeks to help extremely poor households to improve their health, nutrition, and education as a poverty reduction strategy for the achievement of Millennium Development Goals until 2016.

Allan O. Lulu, Information Officer of DSWD 1, said the said batch has a total of 77,713 beneficiaries.

In Ilocos Norte, about 11,089 beneficiaries from 14 municipalities of the province were given cash grant of P22,606,600.

For Ilocos Sur, P17,647,100 were distributed to 8,702 beneficiaries from 12 municipalities.

While for La Union province, 8,631 beneficiaries from its six Pantawid Pamilya areas received P17, 404,600 cash grants.

According to Lulu, Pangasinan has the highest grant among the three provinces with P103, 017,800 released to 49, 291 beneficiaries from 20 municipalities.

Under the program, households will receive P500 for health package, at the same time, P300 per month per each child with maximum of three children.

Lulu further said that a maximum of P1,400 per month or P 2,800 bi-monthly are released in compliance to set conditions of 4Ps.

All cash grant releases were through on site and off site over the counter payments made possible in coordination with the local government unit of the set 5 Pantawid Pamilya areas and the Land Bank of the Philippines as its conduit, Lulu said. (ANL/MHH-PIA 1, La Union with reports from DSWD 1)

PNP chief lauds San Carlos City police in its anti-cattle rustling drive

by (PNA)


CAMP BGEN OSCAR M FLORENDO, April 23 (PNA) - The chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP), Director General Nicanor A. Bartolome, congratulated a team of operatives from the San Carlos City Police Station in Pangasinan who figured in an encounter with cattle rustlers last April 15 in San Carlos City.

The policemen were headed by the chief of police of San Carlos City Superintendent Marlon Tayaba, and elements of the 3rd Mobile Company of the Regional Public Safety Battalion 1, led by Police Senior Inspector Joseph Mark Sibayan.

The full text of General Bartolome’s congratulatory message, sent through the SMS platform of the PNP National Operations Center (NOC), follows:

“In behalf of the PNP, I would like to congratulate you and your team for the bravery and exemplary conduct you have shown during the armed encounter with cattle rustlers on April 15, 2012 at about 2:23 AM at Sitio Sipit, Barangay Bacnar, San Carlos City, Pangasinan that resulted in the neutralization/killing of one (1) of the suspect/s and the recovery of the stolen cattle; one (1) cal. 38 revolver loaded with ammunition and two (2) spent shells; and one (1) MK2 fragmentation grenade.

“I am cognizant of the painstaking efforts and sheer dedication to duty that you have demonstrated and even risked your very own lives to ensure that our communities will be a safe place to live. I urge you to keep up the good work and perform with the same zeal and dedication in all your future undertakings.”

Police Chief Superintendent Franklin Jesus B. Bucayu, director of Police Regional Office 1 (PRO1), earlier commended the team and expressed satisfaction over the positive development, even as he reminded his men to continue sustaining PRO1’s anti-criminality initiatives.

Summer is “OPERATION TULI” month for PNP dependents

by Miriam P. Aquino

CAMP BGEN OSCAR M FLORENDO, San Fernando City, La Union April 21 (PIA) -- Circumcision for boys is part of hygiene and that it is best done during summer season while they are still on vacation, Police Superintendent (PSupt) Raymund DC Calano of the Police Regional Office Regional Health Service 1(PRO-RHS1) said that one way of enhancing the morale and welfare of PNP personnel is through giving free circumcision to their dependents as set by the PNP National Headquarters.

Calano said that the program is open to dependents of all PNP personnel within the region regardless of unit assignments.

PSupt. Raul S. Romero, Chief of the Regional Public Information Office said that 21 boys, ages 7 to 16 availed the free circumcision benefit last March 24.

He added that PNP personnel may still submit the names of their dependents at RHS1 for scheduling. Walk-in recipients are accepted but priority is given to those who were scheduled and this is conducted daily until May 15. (ANL/MPA-PIA 1 La Union)

Disaster Risk Reduction Management Seminar ongoing at Baguio City

by (ANL/EMR-PIA 1 La Union with reports from OCD RC1)

SAN FERNANDO CITY, La Union, April 20 (PIA) -- The Local Disaster Risk Reduction Management Officers (LDRRMOs) of Ilocos Sur and Ilocos Norte are undergoing a two-day training on Disaster Risk Reduction Management Seminar on April 19 and 20 at the City Gate Hotel, Baguio City.

The Philippine Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010 or Republic Act 10121 mandates and enunciates the implementation of various disaster prevention and mitigation programs. This various programs include various trainings and seminars about disaster risk reduction topics within the grass root level. This would eventually empower and equipped the necessary knowledge of the locality in terms of disaster preparedness and response.

The two-day seminar includes: the PDRRM Act of 2010, the new PDRRM framework; guidelines and creation of LDRRMO, staffing and funding of salaries for new item in lu; orientation to the PDRRM plan; introduction to contingency planning process; earthquake and volcanic hazards and countermeasures; the role of Department of the Interior and Local Government as vice chair for preparedness; workshop for DRMM programs for lgus, hydro-met hazards; forecasting, warning and countermeasures; typhoon tracking exercise; and climate change hazards and mitigation measures.

On the other hand, the training for the provinces of La Union and Pangasinan is scheduled on June this year.

DPWH, civil eng’g group lead groundbreaking of Green School Building

by (ANL/MPA-PIA 1 La Union with reports from DPWH1)

SAN FERNANDO CITY, La Union, April 19 (PIA) -- The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and the Philippine Institute of Civil Engineers (PICE) led the groundbreaking of the first-ever Green School Building in the region on April 12.

PICE will finance the implementation of the Laoingen green school building worth P250,000. DPWH-Ilocos Sur targets to finish its construction by May 30.

DPWH Region 1 public information officer Esperanza C. Tinaza said the PICE Green School Building design at Laoingen Elementary School in Laoingen, Sto. Domingo, Ilocos Sur was the winning entry submitted by PICE- Ilocos Sur Chapter in the Green School Building Design Summit at DPWH-CAR Baguio City last November 5, 2011 with the theme “PICE Responding to Climate Change.”

The summit which was participated by PICE chapters of Regions 1, 2 and the Cordillera Administrative Region aims to present an alternative school building design using “Green Building Design” techniques and technology to improve the overall sustainability of the building and contribute to the student/teacher’s comfort using the available indigenous materials and resources available in to the local climate, Tinaza said.

The said winning entry was awarded the grand prize with P20,000. Ilocos Sur and Baguio City chapters tied for the second place splitting the P15,000 prize. Kalinga Chapter won the third place with P10,000. Consolation prizes were also given to other participating teams.

Fluvial parade highlights 1st ever ‘Sillag’ festival in LU

by Monette H. Herrera

SAN FERNANDO CITY, La Union, April 18 (PIA) -- As part of the summer festival in La Union, the Poro Point Management Corporation (PPMC) will launch its first-ever “Sillag-The Poro Point Festival of Lights” through a competition for the best decorated boat in the Fluvial Parade to highlight the festivities on April 28.

This competition is open to any government agency or office, private firm, professional organization and non-governmental organization in the region, according to PPMC.

Since the festival is called ‘Sillag’, participating agencies or companies are expected to decorate its boats with colorful lighting effects to symbolize boats coming inland guided by the light emitted by the lighthouse.

Parade will start at 6:00 p.m. from barangay Pagudpud this city going to boardwalk of Thunderbird, according to Florante S. Gardan, President and Chief Excutive Officer of PPMC, during the “Tugtugan at Talakayan” radio program over Hot FM in Agoo.

Judging of entries will be on the day of the parade to choose the best decorated boats based on: Craftmanship, 35 percent; Originality, 35 percent and Overall Aesthetic Appeal, 30 percent.

PPMC will award the following prizes: first prize, P50,000; second prize, P30,000; third prize, P20,000; fourth prize, P10,000 and fifth prize, P 5,000.

Gardan also stressed that thru this activity, tourism will be enhanced and at the same time promotes the province products to both local and foreign visitors as the festival is open to everyone.

Gardan assured that there are lots of activities to expect on the 28 day of April such as concert, children’s show, magical shows and musicals other than the Fluvial Parade competition

OWWA offers scholarship for OFWs’ dependents

by (ANL/MPA-PIA1 La Union)

SAN FERNANDO CITY, La Union April 17 (PIA) -- Overseas Workers Welfare Administration Regional Welfare Office I (OWWA RWOI) has opened 12 slots for dependents of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) and still accepting applications for their Overseas Filipino Workers Dependent Scholarship Program (OFWDSP).

The OFWDSP offers financial assistance to qualified dependents of active OWWA member OFWs who have a monthly salary of not more than US$400 as per valid work contract, according to OWWA-RWO1 Labor Communications Officer Amapola Z. Villar.

Married or unmarried OFWs' children and/or siblings who are not more than 21 years old, single, high school graduate/about to graduate in high school and an incoming college freshman for the school year 2012-2013 can submit their application for the said education assistance at OWWA RWOI, Villar said.

Interested applicants are required to submit two passport size photos, proof of relationship to the OFW like birth certificate, latest OWWA membership payment receipt of the OFW, form 137 or the certified true copy of grades, certificate of good moral character, medical certificate, and an official transcript of records for graduate students.

Applicants who are dependents of unmarried or single OFWs must submit a copy of the OFW’s certificate of no marriage coming from the National Statistics Office or from the local civil registrar’s office, Villar added.

No qualifying exam is needed to avail of the program as long as the applicant passes the entrance exam of the receiving school.

Once the complete documentary requirements are submitted and evaluated, eligible applicants can enroll in any four to five-year baccalaureate course or associate degree in a state college or university of their choice within Region 1 only.

Villar encouraged applicants to submit their applications on or before June 30, 2012 at OWWA RWOI located at the Ground Floor of Zambrano Building, City of San Fernando, La Union

OWWA-RWO1 still accepts applicants for the 2B OFW reintegration program

by Miriam P. Aquino

SAN FERNANDO CITY, La Union, April 16 (PIA) -- In compliance to President Benigno Aquino’s directive on providing enterprise opportunities to overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and their families, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration–Regional Welfare Office 1 (OWWA-RWO1) still accepts applicants for its two billion OFW Reintegration Program (2B ORP).

Amapola Z. Villar, OWWA's Regional Labor Communications Officer said they have established partnerships with the two government-owned banks - the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) and the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) - to be the direct lending institutions of the said program.

Villar informed that a minimum loanable amount of P300,000 and a maximum of P2,000,000 is being offered to qualified applicants whose project purpose include the construction, renovation, expansion, repairs of buildings for use as business site, working capital, and acquisition of equipment.

A 7.5 percent interest rate per annum applies for every loan granted and borrowers are given a maximum of 7-years payment terms.

Interested active or even those already inactive or former OWWA-member OFWs planning to put-up their own business or already have an existing business may submit the requirements and the accomplished application form to the OWWA-RWO1.

As part of the screening, LBP and DBP shall first evaluate each borrower’s mortgageable assets as basis for approval depending on the amount to be loaned. In cases where the OFW is in abroad and his/her beneficiaries are the ones filling for said loan, a special power of attorney must be submitted to the bank, Villar added.

The OWWA RWOI, in partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry La Union Provincial Office conduct regular business counseling and brief Entrepreneurial Development Training every second and fourth Wednesday of the month to aspiring beneficiaries of the said program, including recipients of OWWA’s other livelihood programs to familiarized them with techniques on how to handle finances, process legal documents, including preparation of simplified business plan of their preferred business undertaking.

Villar said loan applications will be accepted for as long as the P2-billion fund allocated nationwide is not yet fully consumed. (JCR/MPA-PIA1 La Union

58 differently-abled persons in Ilocos region finish skills training

by (PNA)


SAN FERNANDO CITY, La Union, April 15 (PNA) - Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Region 1 director Marcelo Nicomedes J. Castillo confirmed 58 differently-abled persons as graduates of the Area-1 Vocational Rehabilitation Center (AVRC) for school year 2011-2012.

This was made during the 49th graduation rites of the AVRC based in Dagupan City where the outstanding graduates were led by Marinel S. Muñoz (hearing impaired) and Brigette Q. Soliven (orthopedically handicapped)

The AVRC is a vocational training center operated by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to provide vocational training for the deaf, blind, mute and other physically-impaired and disabled persons not only from Region 1 but also from Regions 2, 3 and the Cordilleras.

Castillo said the graduates were orthopedically handicapped, persons with visual impairment (visually impaired) and hearing impaired who were successfully trained on massage therapy, food service and canteen management, commercial cooking, tailoring, dressmaking, hairdressing and beauty culture and basic computer.

“Psycho-social interventions were also provided to them (the graduates) to socially-prepare them for their mainstreaming and reintegration in the society,” Castillo said.

He acknowledged the efforts of the trainees who despite various disabilities, were still able to finish their chosen fields of expertise.

Meanwhile, AVRC head Elizabeth C. Manuel reported that before the trainees graduated, 74 percent or at least 42 of them have landed jobs through the Job-Placement Services.

The establishments where AVRC trainees are employed include Visually Impaired Brotherhood for Excellent Services (VIBES), Camp Allen Massage, Stimulating Therapeutic Center, VOV massage all in Baguio City; San Rafael Garments Factory in Tarlac City; Elwyns and JHN Tailoring in San Fernando City, Refined Square Garments in Dagupan City, Bhogs Tailoring Shop in Calasiao, Pangasinan, among others.

For his part, Pangasinan’s TESDA Director Manuel Wong, who also graced the event, echoed in his message the importance of equipping one’s self with skills in attaining success.

At the same time, Wong advised the graduates to believe and improve themselves and to place God on top of their needs.

To recognize the sustained partnership of benevolent benefactors, director Castillo and AVRC head Manuel awarded certificates of appreciation to TESDA-Pangasinan, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (Dagupan City), Extendicare, Prosthesis and Brace Center of Cainta, Rizal; and local government units of Pugo, La Union, Asingan and Anda in Pangasinan and Aritao.

Philhealth continues to cover outpatient TB treatment

by Miriaflor Rimando

SAN FERNANDO CITY, La Union, April 14 (PIA) -- The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation reiterates that it covers outpatient anti-Tuberculosis (TB) treatment or directly observed treatment short (DOTS) course for new cases of pulmonary and extra pulmonary TB.

In the commemoration of ‘World Tuberculosis Day’ recently, Department of Health Region 1 National TB Program Nurse Coordinator Irene Madonna Almeida said that there were 11,116 identified cases of TB in the region as of March 2012 and almost 42 percent of these were new cases.

New case means that the patient has never had treatment for TB or has taken anti-TB drugs but only for less than a month.

The benefit package is worth P4,000 which covers diagnostic work-up, consultation services and anti-TB drugs. The amount is paid to the accredited TB-DOTS facility handling the treatment on an outpatient set-up.

The benefit package will be paid to the DOTS facility in two separate payments. The first payment of P2,500 will be paid after the facility has completed the intensive phase of DOTS treatment for the patient, and the final payment of P1,500 will be paid after the end of the maintenance phase considered as the date of treatment.

The concerned DOTS facility will settle the payments to referral centers, physicians and other health workers. Additional services rendered or extensions of treatment are not covered under the benefit package.

According to PhilHealth Region 1 Information Officer Irene P. Martinez, PhilHealth Region 1 paid over 1.1 million pesos worth of coverage to accredited TB-DOTS facilities for a total of 568 new cases of TB.

As of 2011, there are 49 PhilHealth accredited TB-DOTS facilities provider in the region where members and qualified dependents can avail of the benefit package, Martinez added.

PhilHealth also released Circular No. 18, series of 2011 in support of the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals (MDG) to reduce the prevalence and mortality of TB by 50 percent. This circular provided the guidelines for the reimbursement of claims for TB in children nine years old and below. (ANL/MBR-PIA 1 La Union with reports from DOH 1/PhilHealth 1)

Young girl slain in La Union now identified

by (William Jun Garcia)

SAN FERNANDO CITY, La Union -- The 14-year-old girl who was found dead due to a bashed face and stab wounds in the body Tuesday morning near a park in Barangay II here is finally identified by the police.

Police said the victim was Angel Joy Valdez, a 14-year-old 2nd year student of the La Union National High School. She resided in Barangay Pagdaraoan here.

Investigators are now looking for the possible involvement of an alleged boyfriend, who is not yet identified. They are also looking into an alleged fraternity-related link to her murder.

Angel is allegedly a member of a school fraternity called Text Clan. Her cell phone was missing when her body was found.

Her father, Dionisio, said he did not notice anything unusual when Angel asked for his permission to go to school and meet with schoolmates Monday afternoon.

Angel was found at the eastern portion of a hill near the Pagoda Park and meters away from the La Union Provincial Capitol.

She was found by a ground cleaner of a plant nursery under a tree wearing denim pants and a yellow blouse.

In a radio interview, Adamor Dagang, La Union provincial information officer, clarified some media reports that the crime scene was not a part of the Provincial Capitol guards to look after due to its distance but would consult with Governor Manuel C. Ortega to implement tighter security measures in the vicinity.

“Buildings at the Capitol are far apart and that two guards are to look after these premises,” he said.

DOLE allots P15 M for SPES in Region 1

by Monette H. Herrera

SAN FERNANDO CITY, La Union, April 12 (PIA) -- The Department of Labor and Employment 1(DOLE 1) has allocated a P15.8-million budget for its Special Program for Employment of Students (SPES) this year.

The program aims to help poor but deserving students pursue their education by providing or augmenting their income by encouraging them to have their employment during summer or Christmas vacation, pursuant to Republic Act 9547 known as SPES.

As of April 2, DOLE reported that 5,006 students and out of school youths will work this summer starting April 14 up to June 10.

Officer-in-Charge Teresa Bonavente of Technical Division of DOLE 1, said that Eastern Pangasinan has the highest figure of beneficiaries with 1,433.

She also added that beneficiaries of SPES this year increased compared to only 4,278 last year.

Moreover, before the beneficiary could take the exam as part of the screening process he is required to submit a duly filled registration form, birth certificate, school grades or certification from the registrar that the student has a passing grade.

While for out-of-school youth, Bonavente explained that they were required to submit certificate of good moral character from their barangay captain, income tax return of their parents, birth certificate and at the same time must be 15 to 25 years of age.

Among the establishment and agencies or institutions who offered pledge of commitment include Local Government Units of the 4 provinces, towns and cities; Chowking; Jollibee; Taipan Garden Restaurant; Department of Trade and Industry 1; Land Transportation Office 1; Department of Science and Technology 1; Divine Word College of Laoag; JTC Group of Companies; STI College; Pangapisan Salt Factory; Dagupan Colleges Foundation; Food Magic, Inc.; Magic Chow Inc. among others.

SPES beneficiary will be working from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. a day and paid 60 percent by their employer and 40 percent by DOLE from the minimum wage in their respective areas of employment.

Bonavente stressed that beneficiaries can still work overtime but will be paid by its employers. (ANL/MHH-PIA1 La Union with reports from DOLE1)

TESDA holds Philippine National Skills Competition

by (ANL/MHH PIA 1 La Union with reports from TESDA1)

SAN FERNANDO CITY, La Union, April 11 (PIA) -- Once again, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) successfully conducted the Philippine National Skills Competition (PNSC) last March 26 to 29.

The competition aims to showcase technical talents of participants from vocational institutions or schools in the country and to establish the importance of skills in order to enhance access to education and skills training programs as envisioned in the Philippine Development Plan (PDP).

It also seeks to encourage the youth to attend vocational education trainings, determine the teaching effectiveness of vocational education, and increase the skill level of skilled workers to match with the industry needs in the future as contained in the PDP.

According to TESDA 1, said the competitions were held in Tocobo Gonzalez School of Art and Trade in Binian, Laguna; Norwegian Maritime Foundation TESDA Complex, Taguig City and Meralcio Foundation Incorporated in Ortigas Avenue, Pasig City.

The areas competed by the participant coming from the 17 regions of the country include Information Network Cabling, Mechatronics, Mechanical Engineering Design-CAD, IT Software Solutions, Welding, Plumbing and Heating, Electronics, Web Design, Electrical Installations, Ladies’ and Men’s Hairdressing, Beauty Therapy, Fashion Technology, Automobile Technology, Cooking, Restaurant Services, Refrigeration and Airconditioning and Graphic Design.

Participants of the national contest were the winners in the annual Regional Skills Competition held in their respective areas, according to Barbara Jane Pablico, Supervising Specialist of TESDA.

TESDA Region 3 was the overall winner for topping in seven (7) categories to include Information Network Cabling, Mechanical Engineering Design-CAD, IT Software Solutions, Electronics, Web Design, Ladies’ and Men’s Hairdressing and Beauty Therapy.

TESDA Region 4 won in four (4) categories namely: Welding, Cooking, Restaurant Services and Graphic Design. While National Capital Region got three (3) awards in Mechatronics, Fashion Technology and Refrigeration and Airconditioning.

TESDA Regions like region I, II, VII and V, only placed second to fourth place on the different categories.

Even though Region 1 participants did not win the main title for each category, still they are not far from the winners since they are second in Welding and Automobile Technology and fourth in the Electrical Installation category, according to Pablico.

Marvin Guerrero, champion of the recent Regional Skills Competition, together with his coach Geralph D. Aragones, Network Administrant and a part time instructor of STI College in Vigan City, Ilocos Sur, will represent the Philippines in the ASEAN Skills Competion particularly in the IT Network Cabling area in November this year.

32 dead, 78 injured during Lenten break–NDRRMC

by Frances Mangosing

MANILA, Philippines — Thirty-two people died, 78 injured and three were reported missing during the Lenten break, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said Tuesday. Some of the fatalities were listed as Philip Andaya, 27, from Bangar, La Union (drowning); Rodante Frejilana, 50, San Fernando City, La Union (drowning); Orlando Gaona, 54, Bacnotan, La Union (drowning); Chris Ian Gorospe, 18, Isabela (vehicular accident); Jessie Reyes, 20, Isabela (vehicular accident); Alexis Orogo, 28, Nueva Ecija (vehicular accident); John Mark Ferreras, 21 and Sammy Vasquez, 33, in Samal, Bataan (vehicular accident); Conrado Rodriguez, 54, Mariveles and Jesus Rubio, 43, Mariveles (vehicular accident). Five minors drowned in separate incidents in Quezon, Tarlac, Pangasinan and Cagayan. Meanwhile, 78 were reported injured and three were still missing. One of the missing, Jose Lonel Castillo, 24, was last seen at the riverbanks of Pulay in Luna, Isabela, the NDRRMC said. The NDRRMC activated the red alert status during the Holy Week.

13 die in Holy Week

by (

Manila, Philippines – Thirteen people died while two others remain missing as thousands flocked to churches and tourist spots nationwide during the observance of the Holy Week, a monitoring report of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said yesterday. Most of the victims died due to drowning. Three-year-old Janiesha Avril Inot Libadia drowned while playing near the shoreline of Barangay Quirino, Bacnotan, La Union and Romulo Garcia Flores, 55, also drowned while swimming at the Bauang River in Barangay Boy-utan, Bauang, also in La Union, on Black Saturday. In Pangasinan, two boys aged 14 drowned while playing along the shoreline of Barangay Nibaliw West, San Fabian on Black Saturday. They were identified as Aron Ocampo and Bryan de Jesus. The Holy Week observance was also marred by several vehicular accidents. Most of the 50 victims were injured in vehicular accidents in Cotabato, Tarlac, Cordillera, and La Union. In Tarlac, nine persons were injured in accidents in Gerona, Concepcion, and Bamban. Despite these incidents, the Philippine National Police still described the Holy Week observance as “generally peaceful.“

Fluvial Parade highlights Holy Week in Bauang


BAUANG, La Union — On its 17th year, Bauang is having its electrified fluvial parade from April 2 to 6 along the coastal areas of Baccuit Sur to Pagdalagan Sur and back. The fourteen Stations of the Cross are each carried by a banca all pulled by a motorized one carrying the Way of the Cross. Both residents and tourists billeted in the hotels along the coastline areas anticipate and take part in this event as they light their candles and pray the Holy Rosary which starts 6:00 PM or after the last rays of the sun fade out everyday from Holy Monday until the Good Friday. “This is one way we can reflect on the sufferings, sacrifices and death of our Jesus Christ,” Mayor Martin de Guzman III said. “We are making this a traditional Lenten activity not just for the Catholics of Bauang but also to the tourists who visit the town for their holiday getaway,” he added. “There are some tourists who make it an annual Lenten undertaking who frequent our town because of our unique observance of the Holy Week,” Engr. Lourdes Gapasin, the General Services Officer added. Aside from the fluvial parade, Palm Sunday Masses at the Sts. Peter and Paul Parish open the holy week. The traditional seven last words (Siyete Palabras),a Celebration of the Lord’s Passion and a Procession during the Good Friday, an Easter Vigil Mass signaling the celebration for the resurrection of Jesus Christ and finally an Encuentro (Sabet) before a Misa ti Umili caps the traditional religious observance. The Parish is also another place where Catholic families and different church organizations from the different parts of Luzon visit for their annual Visita Iglesia. The first Lenten fluvial parade was started in 1996 during the term of Mayor Martin de Guzman III as a Sangguniang Panlalawigan Member and as Committee Chairman for Tourism and he vows to continue the unique religious tradition putting Bauang in the map of must see and must be there places during the holy season. It offers not just the beauty of the beaches during the summer season but something more spiritual and reflective during the holy week.

Pangasinan's coastal waters now free of tide toxin - BFAR

by Esteleta M. Rafanan

SAN FERNANDO CITY, La Union, April 6 (PIA) – Shellfish gathered from the coastal waters of Pangasinan are now free from red tide toxin and safe for human consumption, according to the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) here.

According to Shellfish Bulletin No 9 issued on April 3, 2012, the waters along Bolinao, Anda, Alaminos City, and Waw in Bani, all of Pangasinan are now free for red tide toxin, BFAR Officer-in-Charge Atty. Benjamin F.S. Tabios Jr. reported.

As a precautionary measure, the BFAR advised the concerned local government units to require market inspectors, quarantine officers, administrators to demand for auxiliary invoice or clearance for Domestic Fish Movement for any fish and seashells that are unloaded from other provinces and municipalities to ensure that seashells brought in the markets did not come from Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP) positive areas.

Meanwhile, latest BFAR shellfish bulletin included shellfishes collected at Dumanquillas Bay in Zamboanga del Sur; Murcielagos Bay in Zamboabga del Norte and Misamis Occidental; Masinloc Bay in Zambales; and Bataan coastal waters (Mariveles, Limay, Orion, Pila, Balanga, Orani, Abucay and Samai) to be positive for paralytic shellfish poisoning which is still beyond the regulatory limit and are not safe for human consumption. (JCR/EMR-PIA 1 La Union with reports from BFAR)

Obama honors Fil-Am as Champion of Change

by Nimfa U. Rueda, US West Coast correspondent

LOS ANGELES—A Filipino-American from Agoo, La Union province, who started a crusade to help the youth when her own daughter got involved in drugs, will be honored Thursday at a White House ceremony as a “Champion of Change.” Nurse-turned-activist Corazon Basa Cortes Tomalinas of San Jose, California, is one of 12 community leaders who are being recognized for their work to prevent youth violence in their communities as part of the National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention. In the late 1980s, Tomalinas was among many parents who struggled to raise children in a San Jose neighborhood plagued by drugs and gangs. “Through this tremendously difficult experience, [Tomalinas] found her life’s calling,” Valerie Jarrett, senior adviser to President Barack Obama, said at the forum’s national summit in Washington DC, on April 2. “Guided by her faith, she has spent three decades helping to protect young people.” ‘Heartbeat’ Jarrett said Tomalinas, who has been called the “heartbeat” behind the mayor’s gang prevention task force in San Jose, “helped forge new partnerships between residents, clergy, advocates and public officials” in preventing youth violence. “Cora understands that while the work starts small, block by block, neighborhood by neighborhood, we have the ability, and the responsibility, to change our country,” Jarrett told an audience that included mayors from across the nation, as well as Attorney General Eric Holder and Education Secretary Arne Duncan. Jon Carson, director of the White House Office of Public Engagement, said he was proud that Tomalinas and the other “Champion of Change” honorees found innovative ways to prevent youth violence. “If we’re going to combat violence and keep our kids safe, then we need to ensure we dedicate time and manpower to the issue,” he said. “These leaders have done just that, and this is what makes them true champions for their communities and our country.” Obama’s initiative The Champions of Change program was created as part of President Obama’s Winning the Future initiative. Each week, a different sector of champions, ranging from educators to entrepreneurs to community leaders, is recognized for the work its members are doing to serve and strengthen their community. For the past 30 years, Tomalinas has worked with the San Jose Police Department and other agencies and community groups to combat gang crimes and provide educational opportunities for at-risk youth. Tomalinas committed to help the youth when her teenage daughter became involved in drugs. Inspired by her faith, she began her activism as leader of the People Acting in Community Together (PACT), an interfaith, grassroots organization that deals with pervasive social problems faced by communities, such as unsafe neighborhoods, failing public schools, and lack of affordable housing and health care. Born in Agoo, La Union, Tomalinas received a bachelor of science in nursing from San Francisco State University and practiced as a registered nurse at Kaiser Permanente’s Santa Teresa Hospital before she became a full-time community activist. Numerous awards She is a member of the Santa Clara County’s First 5 Commission and a board member of Silicon Valley Education Foundation, Sacred Heart Community Services and Santa Clara County Reentry Network. She has served on various other boards, commissions, task forces and community advocacy groups, including Catholic Charities, Early Care & Education Commission, San Jose Gang Prevention Task Force, Filipino Task Force for Domestic Violence Prevention and San Jose Healthy Neighborhood Venture Fund Committee. Tomalinas has received the California Peace Prize from the California Wellness Foundation and numerous other awards, including California Women of the Year Award (2000), George Shirakawa Award for Outstanding Service to the Community (1999), Franklin-McKinley School District Community Service Award (1987-2000), Martin Luther King Good Neighbor Award (1996) and Outstanding Women of Silicon Valley Award (1996). She has been married for 30 years to Robert George Tomalinas. They have two children. Community empowerment Lorna Lardizabal Dietz, a community leader based in Northern California, described Tomalinas as “one of our early advocates in [Filipino-American] community empowerment.” Launched at the direction of President Obama in 2010, the National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention is a network of communities and federal agencies working together to share information and build local capacity to prevent and reduce youth violence. Tomalinas, along with the forum’s San Jose team, reported on their work’s progress at the April 2 summit.

LGU celebrates 167th Commemoration of Bacsil Ridge Victory

by (ANL/EMR-PIA 1 La Union)

SAN FERNANDO CITY, LA UNION, April 4 (PIA) -- The local officials and residents participated in the 167th Commemoration of the Victory of Bacsil Ridge held recently in Barangay Bacsil this city.

The celebration which is held March 19 every year and a prelude to the fiesta of the city on the following day was participated in by the local officials, city employees, department’s heads, barangay officials and veterans during the World War II.

Highlight of the celebration was the launching of the Bacsil Ridge Magazine and Comics led by Congressman Victor F. Ortega of the 1st district, Mayor Pablo C. Ortega, Ret. Col. Gregorio Hufano, former Mayor Mary Jane C. Ortega and William Garcia, Jr. as illustrator.

Former Mayor Mary Jane C. Ortega said that the Commemoration of the Victory of Bacsil Ridge became part of the city anniversary celebrations since 1998. The veterans, the widows and the descendants of the veterans were the special guest of the celebration.

City Mayor Pablo F. Ortega emphasized that the heroism of our forebears should inspire us to fight for a strong and modern Philippine Nation. We must carry on their struggle by devoting our collective efforts to battle against poverty uniting and working as one to overcome the forces of division and rivalry, and tightly embracing peace, development and stability.

‘Let us celebrate the Victory of Bacsil Ridge with a common resolve to build a nation that stands for the eternal greatness of the Filipino. He also extended a gratitude to the brave men and women of the war, for without them, we could not have been free”, Ortega added.

Bacsil, a small mountain village in this city, became the battleground of defending Filipino soldiers against the invading Japanese soldiers in 1945. The group of Filipino soldiers led by Ret. Col. Gregorio R. Hufano and his brother Lt. Col. Juan R. Hufano repulsed the attack and successfully defended their post that led to the complete liberation of San Fernando town on March 19, 1945. Col. Hufano, at age 94, is the only surviving veteran of the Battle of Bacsil Ridge.

DPWH extends assistance to 4P's beneficiaries in region 1

by (ANL/MHH PIA1 La Union with reports from DSWD)

SAN FERNANDO CITY, La Union, April 3 (PIA) -- A total of 92 beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) of Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD 1) are continuously given assistance by the Department of Public Works and Highways 1(DPWH1) thru the ‘Roadside Maintenance Program.

This program was attained through the memorandum of agreement between the two agencies which provides that 20 percent of the unskilled labor requirements of the DPWH road maintenance programs will be hired from the Pantawid Pamilya or the Conditional Cash Transfer beneficiaries. This would guarantee employment of said clients for them to obtain their basic needs which is effective until 2016.

This is also pursuant to President Benigno S. Aquino III’s vision to create more jobs in the country to reduce poverty incidence.

According to Engineer Josie Oamar of DPWH-1 Maintenance Division among the jobs undertaken by the beneficiaries includes cleaning of drainage system, sidewalk, roadsides and removing or cutting of any obstruction like plants along the road-right-of-way here.

Moreover, Oamar added that these beneficiaries will receive P 250.00 a day as their compensation at the same time can also work overtime including Saturday and Sunday.

“To help them not to venture to far places to work and avoid other expenses like fare, we also make sure that beneficiaries working along the roads are also near their homes, said OIC Assistant District Engineer Jose Ginete Jr. of La Union Engineering District 1.

Three students in Region 1 qualify for the OWWA-RWO1 EDSP Scholarship

by (ANL/MPA-PIA 1 La Union with reports from OWWA-RWO1)

SAN FERNANDO CITY, La Union April 2 (PIA) -- Three students from the region qualified for the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration – Regional Welfare Office 1 OWWA-RWO1) Education for Development Scholarship Program (EDSP) from among the Top 100 examiners nationwide.

According to Amapola Z. Villar, Labor Communications Officer, OWWA 1, EDSP is an educational assistance given to active Overseas Filipino Workers’ dependents.

Villar said that the said students are among 408 OFW dependents in Region 1 who took the qualifying exam conducted by the Department of Science and Technology-Regional Office 1 on November 20, 2011.

The new scholars will receive P60,000 per school. The students are Angel Faith B. Mendoza of San Fernando City, La Union; Jemwel Al Mikchael R. Camcam of Salay, Mangaldan, Pangasinan; and Jeffrey Carlos M. Valenzuela of Lingayen, also in Pangasinan.

Villar said the scholars will receive the educational grant until completion of the course regardless of the OFW’s membership status. They are given the opportunity to pursue their preferred course in college to any accredited Commission on Higher Education institution in the Philippines.

Angel Faith chose to take up Health Science at Ateneo de Manila and Jemwel will pursue Accountancy at Colegio de San Juan de Letran. They will be endorsed to OWWA- NCR since both prefer to study in Manila.

Jeffrey will take-up AB Communication at the University of the Philippines in Baguio City and he will directly report to OWWA RWO1.

Concerned Regional Welfare Offices will provide necessary orientation for scholars before the Agreement Signing, Villar said.

4Ps benefiting almost 118,000 households in Region 1

by (PNA)


DAGUPAN CITY, April 1 (PNA)–The Pantawid Pamilya Pilipino Program (4Ps) is gaining ground in the Ilocos Region with nearly 118,000 households. These are from 71 towns and nine cities, comprising 19,522 barangays targeted to be benefited for 2012. Assistant Regional Director Marlene Febes Peralta of the Department of Social Welfare and Development said the number grew bigger from last year’s list. This followed the expansion of the program in the provinces of Pangasinan, La Union, Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur. The expansion increased the number of 4P beneficiaries by 82,836 more, from 34,920 household beneficiaries in the region in 2011. For 2011, there were only 410 barangays in 33 towns and two cities covered. The two cities are Dagupan and Batac. In Dagupan, there are 16 of its 31 barangays placed under the coverage of 4Ps. All beneficiaries in 2011, according to Peralta, received Conditional Cash Transfers from the DSWD worth P92.01 million. Per province, Pangasinan has the most number of household beneficiaries at 72,848; La Union, 16,357; Ilocos Norte, 15,046; and Ilocos Sur, 13,508. The 117,759 beneficiaries as of February 2012 comprise 47.51 percent of the identified 247,882 poor households in the region. Peralta said at least 130,123 households more are targeted for future expansion or 52 .49 percent of the identified poor households.

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