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Nueva Vizcaya News

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Contents

Aboitiz aid extended

by Jessica M. Bacud


DIADI — Mayor Norma Miguel and SN Aboitiz Power management recently inaugurated a concrete road in Barangay Butao as part of the firm’s support to its host community in Nueva Vizcaya.

SNAP-Magat Assistant Vice President Wilhelmino Ferrer, plant manager, said the farm-to-market link is designed to function also as solar dryer pavement for harvested grains for the benefit of the resident planters.

Butao Chairman Dominick Bandao in turn vowed to care for the watershed for the upkeep of the hydroelectric power plant.

In Barangay Escoting, another roads was opened under the power firm’s corporate social program. SNAP-Magat also signed a memorandum of agreement to provide information and communication technology for 122 public elementary school children and nine teachers of the Escoting Elementary School along with barangay officers.

A motorcycle was donated to Lamut town in Nueva Vizcaya for reforestation activities of seven villages complementing the National Irrigation Administration’s contribution to the National Greening Program.

Ifugao Governor Eugene Balitang thanked SNAP-Magat, a joint venture between SN Power of Norway and AboitizPower, that owns and operated the 360-megawatt hydroelectric power plant.






DPWH implements road widening, flood control project in Bambang, Nueva Vizcaya

by Ben Moses Ebreo


BAMBANG, Nueva Vizcaya, May 11 (PIA) -- The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) is currently supervising the implementation of a road widening and construction of flood control project in this town.

Engineer Danny Bernabe of the DPWH 1st engineering district said the P50 million Bambang-Kasibu road widening and flood control project is now being undertaken to reclaim the national government’s road right of way, including the construction of drainage canals, which will serve as a waterway during the rainy season, thereby preventing the occurrence of flood in this town.

Bernabe said that though the project drew major opposition from affected villagers along the road, they were able to convince the residents to demolish affected portions of their residence in coordination with the local government unit.

“There was a strong protest during the start of the project but most of the affected residents voluntarily demolished the affected portions of their residence after explaining to them the law on road right of way,” he said.

The Bambang-Kasibu road project, Bernabe said, is the only remaining secondary national road needing improvement in Nueva Vizcaya.

DPWH officials also expressed hope that once the project will be completed, road accidents will be lessened if not totally eliminated because of its increased with of 15 meters.

Bernabe said the project is part of President Benigno Simeon Aquino III infrastructure agenda to fully complete the pavement of all national arterial roads by 2014 and all secondary national roads by 2013. (BME/PIA 2-Nueva Vizcaya)

'Food chains and shopping mall to boost Bambang economy'

by Benjamin Moses M. Ebreo


BAMBANG, Nueva Vizcaya, May 9 (PIA) - Local officials here have expressed optimism over the on-going construction of two giant food chains and a shopping mall here.

Vice Mayor Arnel Hernandez said three big food companies such Jollibee Food Corporation, Save More and Robinson’s Galleria will be put up in this 2nd-class commercial town.

“We are very optimistic about it because it will not only bring additional taxes to our municipality but it will give employment and comfort among our villagers,” Hernandez said.

He said the business establishments will generate more than 100 workers from the municipality.

The vice mayor said construction works are now going on within the sites of the proposed food chains along the national highway here.

He said that once the business establishments will be completed, Bambanguenos will have the opportunity to be at par with the commercial amenities of Solano town, the premier commercial town of Nueva Vizcaya.

“Our constituents will now have the pleasure and enjoyment of having the same comfort with Solano town, with less expenses of course,” Hernandez said.

Solano, a first-class town, some 20 kilometers from Bambang town boasts of its shopping centers of Save More, Centro Mall, Laiza Supermart, Son Miguel Supermart and Shoppers, and food chains such as Jollibee, Chowking, Mang Inasal, McDonalds, Cindy’s, and Breads and Bites, among others. (BME-PIA 2 Nueva Vizcaya)

Councilor faces charges for firing unlicensed gun

by (PNA)

LAM/SCD/BMEbreo/mba


SOLANO, Nueva Vizcaya, May 8 (PNA) -– A councilor of this town is in hot water after police authorities filed charges against him for firing an unlicensed gun recently.

Chief Inspector Edgardo Bagara, local police chief, said they have filed illegal possession of firearms and ammunition and alarm and scandal against Councilor Melchor Marzo after he fired his gun twice in Barangay Poblacion South last May 4.

Police Chief Inspector Reiner Medina, a brother-in-law of the suspect, reported the incident to the police, after the councilman fired his gun twice in front of Medina’s house.

Bagara said responding policemen were able to witness Marzo fire his gun the second time after the suspect came back to Medina’s residence.

Bagara said Marzo was advised to report to the police station but he refused. Recovered from him were a Black Widow caliber .22 revolver and three ammunition.

Power firm completes FMRs; donates motorcycle for Nueva Vizcaya, Ifugao villages

by (PNA)

FFC/SCD/BME/mba


BAYOMBONG, Nueva Vizcaya, May 7 (PNA) -– Power firm SN Aboitiz Power Magat(SNAP-Magat) recently turned-over two newly-completed infrastructure projects and a motorcycle to Ifugao and Nueva Vizcaya provinces as part of its commitment to assist communities for development.

Engineer Wilhelmino C. Ferrer, SNAP-Magat plant manager and assistant vice president, said their completed infrastructure projects were the 99 meters long and 4 meters wide concrete farm-to-market road (FMR) in Barangay Butao and the 27 meters long by 3 meters wide FMR in Barangay Escoting, both in Diadi, Nueva Vizcaya.

“These projects which will easily link farmers to the market were carried out through our Corporate Social Responsibility(CSR) program. They were already turned over last April 27 to the barangay officials and Diadi Mayor Norma Miguel,” Ferrer said.

The two FMRs, which can also be used as solar drying facilities among farmers, were constructed with the support of the barangay local government will benefit more than 1,700 villagers within the two barangays.

SNAP-Magat also signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) recently with the barangay officials of Escoting on the provision of information and communication technology facilities that will benefit almost 122 public elementary school children and nine teachers of the Escoting Elementary School as well as its barangay officials.

Ferrer also added that their company has donated a motorcycle in Lamut, Ifugao to be used as monitoring vehicle for the reforestation projects in watershed areas implemented by irrigators’ associations in seven barangays. The assistance will complement the National Irrigation Administration’s (NIA) contribution to the National Greening Program (NGP).

The turnover activities were attended by Diadi Mayor Norma Miguel, Ifugao Governor Eugene M. Balitang and the recipient barangay officials.

SNAP-Magat is a joint venture between SN Power of Norway and AboitizPower. It owns and operates the 360-MW Magat hydroelectric power plant located at the border of Isabela and Ifugao.

PNP, Army sponsor shootfest for Nueva Vizcaya cops, gun enthusiasts

by Benjamin Moses M. Ebreo


BAYOMBONG, Nueva Vizcaya, May 6 (PIA) -- The Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Philippine Army here yesterday conducted a shootfest to develop closer relationship between law enforcers and responsible gun owners in the province.

The shootfest, dubbed “Extreme Shootfest” was held as one of the prelude activities for the “Ammungan” Festival for the province on May 19 to 24.

Police Senior Supt. Valfrie Tabian, police provincial director said the shootfest aims to raise funds for the yearly festival of the province and to develop camaraderie between the police, soldiers, and civilian gun owners in the province.

The event was conducted in coordination with the Vizcaya Gun Club (VGC) and the Sambisig Gun Club (SGC) based in the towns of Bambang and Bayombong respectively.

The two-day inter-gun club fun shoot was scheduled in May 5 and 12 at the VGC and SGC firing ranges respectively.

During the first day of the shootfest, more than 125 civilian shooters, police, and soldiers participated in the event .

Tabian also said the activity will serve as a venue to hone the shooting skills of policemen and soldiers in order to carry out their duties properly, effectively, and efficiently towards the prevention of criminality in various communities.

“By doing this activity, our policemen will also be assessed based on their performance on proper gun handling and shooting. This will also develop their self-esteem and shooting proficiency given the practical scenarios,” Tabian said. (TCB/BME-PIA2, Nueva Vizcaya)

Nueva Vizcaya health exec calls for lab test on water-refilling stations

by Benjamin Moses M. Ebreo


BAYOMBONG, Nueva Vizcaya, May 5 (PIA) -- An official of the Provincial Health Office (PHO) here has sought the assistance of provincial and municipal lawmakers in the province to safeguard the health and well-being of villagers buying potable water from refilling stations in the province.

Dr. Arnel Magdirila, assistant provincial health officer, made the statement following the poor compliance of water refilling stations for a regular water sampling and laboratory test to prevent the possible contamination of their product from bacteria and other disease-causing organisms.

“There should be a monthly laboratory test for all water refilling stations in the province but most of the 96 registered establishments do not comply with this ideal laboratory examination,” he said.

Magdirila said there is a need for the crafting of a local ordinance in the province and among local government units to require water refilling stations to comply regularly on water bacteriology tests, to further secure and ensure the health of their customers.

He said that most of the water refilling stations only comply with water laboratory test during the yearly renewal of their business permits from their respective local government units.

“Inorder to prevent this unsafe and irresponsible practice, an ordinance must be crafted and approved to ensure their compliance to further safeguard the health of our constituents,” Magdirila said. (TCB/BME-PIA 2 Nueva Vizcaya)

Solon optimistic on the proposed mining - free bill for Nueva Vizcaya

by Benjamin Moses M. Ebreo


BAYOMBONG, Nueva Vizcaya, May 4(PIA) -- Representative Carlos Padilla here said the proposed bill declaring Nueva Vizcaya as mining-free province will soon be discussed in congress.

Padilla, author of the bill known as House Bill 5800, seeks to prohibit the entry of large scale and small scale mining applications to the province due to their perceived threats on the environment and lives of community villagers.

He said the bill will be discussed by the committee on environment and natural resources committee once Congress resumes its regular session.

“I believe this will be passed because the members are very sympathetic. Therefore there is a big possibility that it will be approved,” he said.

Padilla said the proposed bill is similar with other proposed measures pushed by the provinces of Romblon, Negros Occidental, and Capiz which are now pending in the Senate.

These bills, he said, calls for a mining moratorium for a prescribed period in their respective communities.

According to Padilla, the proposed bill declaring Nueva Vizcaya as mining-free province has been sought as an immediate and alternative solution to address the increasing mining applications in the province since the Alternative Mining Law is still being discussed in congress.

“This will simplify the application of the law exclusively in our province. We can simply talk and discuss the applicable issues pertaining to our province alone. This bill is not in conflict with the mining law because it will only prohibit mining companies to enter our province once it will be officially declared as a mining free zone, and this should be automatically be respected by the mining law,” Padilla stressed.

He also expressed optimism that the proposed bill for the province will be approved without delay because a local ordinance is also being pushed by several members of the provincial board in Nueva Vizcaya. (TCB/BME-PIA 2, Nueva Vizcaya)

News Feature: Villaverde, Nueva Vizcaya planting trees for green governance

by Benjamin Moses M. Ebreo


VILLAVERDE, Nueva Vizcaya, May 3 -- The local officials here have conceptualized a program to further transform this local government unit and its villages into a fully developed and responsive environment.

Called 555,555 fruit trees by 2012 and started sometime in 2010, this strategy seeks to encourage participation of municipal officials and employees, barangay councils, schools, private or non-government organizations, and residents of Villaverde to help realize its goal of planting 555,555 trees on its 55th Founding Anniversary on September 3, this year.

“It was a reinforcement of a more active effort and reiteration among all of us in living up with the name of our municipality,” said Mayor Ronelie Valtoribio.

The accounting of trees planted, Valtoribio said, is now going on in identified planting areas within the municipality.

She said the program was introduced in line with Memorandum Circular No. 2011-21 of the Department of Interior and Local Government, encouraging the LGU’s to support the Billion Trees Program of the national government.

Components of the 555,555 Fruit Trees by 2012 are the Tree for Life, Tree-mits, Tree of Love, Tree for the Future, Tree for Peace and Understanding, Tree to Excellence, Communi-Tree and School Tree Park Competition, among others.

The Tree for Life requires every recipient of P100 financial aid from the LGU to plant 1 Fruit Bearing Tree (FBT) within his or her backyard. A certification from Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Office (MENRO) that he has planted the corresponding FBT must first be secured before he or she can avail of the aid. Recipients are also advised to take care of their planted FBT so he can avail of another aid in the future. Aids also include subsidized seeds, tilapia fingerlings, vegetable seeds and animal dispersals extended by the municipal agriculture office, agrarian reform beneficiaries of the Department of Agrarian Reform, PhilHealth Indigency Program beneficiaries and ambulance users.

The Tree-mits also involved the planting of an FBT, a prerequisite of the LGU’s issuance of Municipal Tricycle Operator’s Permit (MTOP), business permits, mayor’s clearances, police clearances, zoning certifications, and building permit is a planted FBT. Certifications and permits can only be issued upon submission of a certification from the barangay captain and the MENRO.

The Tree of Love encourages every couple applying for a marriage license (ML) to plant two FBTs before their ML can be issued. An ML can only be issued upon submission of a certification from the barangay captain and the MENRO. This also includes couples availing of free mass wedding.

The Tree for the Future requires every child born in Villaverde and their parents to plant a FBT before the child could be registered at the Municipal Civil Registrars' office. This also includes mobile registration registrants.

The Tree of Peace and Understanding is applied for villagers violating municipal/provincial ordinances, such as those who bring grievances for mediation to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and Philippine National Police (PNP) and Juvenile Delinquents are required to Plant a FBT. This endeavor shall be supervised by the PNP and DSWD.

The Tree to Excellence also targets to instill to enrollees the value of planting trees within the school before they can enroll in the elementary or high school levels. They are assisted by their parents so that before graduation FBTs are evaluated as a prerequisite.

The School Tree Park Competition, on the other hand, encourage schools within the municipality, whether public or private, to designate certain areas within the school premises for development as a tree park.

The Communi-Trees covers households, and are required to plant a tree within the area designated by the Municipal Government. Non-government organizations are also enjoined to participate on this endeavor. The tree shall be named to the family or organization they represent.

According to Valtoribio, every barangay shall maintain, rehabilitate, or establish the following in return to the aid they get from the municipality. A total of 25,000 trees per barangay have been required by the LGU.

“555,555 FBTs by September 3, 2012 is only the beginning. We are also encouraging other sectors to do the same inorder to bring back the natural flow of our ecosystem. This is our commitment to address the challenges pose by climate change,” Valtoribio said. (TCB/BME/PIA 2-Nueva Vizcaya)

Cagayan Valley workers to get P25 wage increase

by Merlito G. Edale, Jr.


SANTIAGO CITY, Isabela, May 2 (PIA) -- Private sector workers are set to receive a daily wage increase of P25 per day from their respective employers, after the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB) released yesterday wage order number RTWPB-II 15.

Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) 2 Regional Director Sixto Rodriguez, who also chairs the board, announced yesterday that private workers will be receiving their respective wage increases starting May 16.

He said that after several consultations in the provinces of Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino, Isabela, and Cagayan particularly the concerned employers and employees, the board finally decided to give just wage increases to private workers.

He said the region’s wage board has seen on studies that the socio-economic conditions of the region including the results of consultations of the board showed that there is a need to give wage increase to workers.

The P25-peso increase are categorized into two, a wage increase of P10 pesos and the integration of the P15 pesos cost of living allowance under wage order number RTWPB-II-10.

The region's minimum wage rates in the province of Isabela on non-agriculture sector will already be P255 per day, agriculture sector of P243, retail/service employing more than 10 is P247, while those employing less than 10 will be P220 per day.

In Cagayan, P252 for non-agriculture, P240 for agriculture, retail/service employing more than 10 is P244, while employing less than 10 is P217.

In Nueva Vizcaya, P248 for non-agriculture, P236 for agriculture, P240 for retail/service employing more than 10 and P213 for those that employ less than 10. Quirino and Batanes have similar wages effective May 16 for non-agriculture, P247; for agriculture P235, retail/service employing more than 10 is P239; and for those employing less than 10 at P212.

Copies of the wage order of RTWPB 2 were distributed to the public yesterday for the information on the present wage increases in the private sector. (TCB/MGE-PIA Isabela)

Vehicles for barangays help officials and villagers

by Benjamin Moses M. Ebreo


BAYOMBONG, Nueva Vizcaya, April 30 (PIA) -- The increasing number of multicab vehicles and dumptrucks for barangays here have helped improve programs, projects, and activities of village officials.

Rogelio Salunat, president of the Association of Barangay Captains (ABC), said the 208 multi-cab vehicles and dumptrucks, which were donated to various barangays in the province, are now being used by officials and their constituents in improving their mobility and implementation of their respective programs and projects and their attendance and participation to provincial occasions.

“Our colleagues in the organization are very thankful for these vehicles because it promotes governance in the barangay level,” Salunat said.

He said the “empowerment on wheels” project has also speed up their coordination with other government agencies regarding their request and other transactions.

“Villagers are also assisted through the vehicles especially during emergencies and disasters. These vehicles have made officials and their constituents more active and vibrant in terms of their participation to community development projects and activities,” Salunat added.

The vehicles and dumptrucks were given through the Priority Developmenbt Assistance Fund of Representative Carlos Padilla.

The vehicles, he said, were given their free registrations with the Land Transportation Office while the counterpart of the recipient barangay is on their maintenance and fuel.

Padilla said he conceptualized the project based on the request of the barangays, identifying vehicles as their priority project.

“These vehicles were given because the barangays felt the need for such specially in remote villages where multi-cabs and dumptrucks are the ideal mode of transportation for officials and their constituents,” Padilla said. (TCB/BME-PIA 2 Nueva Vizcaya)

Jollibee steps up feeding program

by MARVYN N. BENANING


Manila, Philippines – The Jollibee Foundation said it will expand the coverage of its Busog, Lusog, at Talino (BLT) school-feeding program to cover more than 1,000 schools starting June. Jollibee Foods Corp. (JFC) chairman and chief executive officer Tony Tan Caktiong made the pledge during the 2012 Summit of BLT, participated in by educators, pupils, local officials, businessmen, and corporations backing the school-feeding program. The two-day summit, dubbed “Soar High Together,“ was convened to reaffirm the commitment of the partner organizations in reducing hunger and improving nutrition to nurture intelligent pupils from Claveria, Cagayan down to Balut Island in the Davao Gulf. “This sumnmit is a way to recognize and honor all of you, our partners, for joining the Jollibee Foundation in its journey for the past several years. It also serves as a moment to galvanize our commitment to the cause we have embraced ­ to bring a brighter future for our children through education and food security,“ Caktiong added. It also served as a venue to share best practices, discuss common challenges, and strengthen the BLT Community of Practice (CoP). Caktiong also thanked local officials like Mayors John Bagasao of Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya, Marivic Belena of San Jose City, Nueva Vizcaya, and Roger Panganiban of Padre Burgos, Quezon for including BLT in their educational programs. BLT targets Grade 1 and helps them stay in school through a feeding program that also involves parents and the local communities.

Look of presidential love?

by Inquirer


An audiophile with a most impressive CD collection and a music lover, President Benigno Aquino III watched the Sergio Mendez concert last week, seated beside his rumored lady love Grace Lee—but only for about five minutes before the concert. During the concert, P-Noy’s good friend sat in between them the rest of the concert. Was that some body language or no big deal at all? Together, yet not so together—noted people who were Aquino-watching during the concert… Is this, as Sergio Mendez’s music goes, the Look of Love? Filipino pastry chefs shine in Singapore food event The Pastry Alliance of the Philippines once again showed mettle and heart at Singapore’s Food & Hotel Asia (FHA) event held April 17-20. Jehan Damasco’s “Our Garden,” featuring elements from her beloved Nueva Vizcaya and proudly Filipino in theme, earned a Silver medal for the Wedding Cake category. Christopher Borja won a Bronze for his eye-catching modern Japanese “Tsuru Wa Sennen,” a wedding cake with kimono patterns and precisely folded sugar origami cranes. Clyden San Pedro cinched a Silver for his Plated Desserts ensemble: Pandora’s Box, an all-white cold plate of Hawaiian macadamia, pineapple and coconut; Camouflage, a verrine of mango-passion, granola and green tea sponge; Metamorphosis, pistachio baklava with apricot and orange blossom Turkish delight; and Kaleidoscope, an Italian vegan dessert of berry-poached apple and soy panna cotta. At the most coveted and hardest-fought eight-hour live battle that is the Asian Pastry Cup, the Shangri-La duo of Bryan Dimayuga and Rizalino Manas bested 11 other national teams to be honored with the Best in Professional Skills Award for their Kids At Play Plated Desserts, Chocolate Cakes, Chocolate and Sugar Showpieces. Next in line is Miko Aspiras, PAP’s representative to the World Association of Chefs Societies Congress in Daejeon, Korea, on May 1-5.





Economic Development of Nueva Vizcaya

by iamafilipino.com


Various projects designed to uplift the economic livelihood and health situation of communities in this province are set to be built this year through the Department of the Interior and Local Governments’ (DILG) Local Government Support Fund (LGSF).

Lawyer Odilon Pasaraba, DILG provincial director said 15 local government units have been assessed, evaluated and confirmed as qualified recipients for their department’s provision of financial grant after passing the criteria on the Local Government Performance Management System (LGPMS), evaluated by the regional and national evaluating teams.

He said the 15 LGUs will be given P1 million each while the provincial government will be receiving P7 million.

“These LGUs have been recognized and rated as qualified recipients because of their commitment and their local government performance that drives their constituents into empowerment,” Pasaraba said.

The recipient LGUs and their respective projects are: Alfonso Castaneda – for the construction of drainage canal at the Alfonso Castaneda Central School(ACCS); Ambaguio – construction of the Municipal Economic Enterprise Building(MEEB); Aritao – construction of 6 units stalls in Bagsakan Center and construction of a Day Care Center in Barangay Canabuan; Bagabag – rehabilitation of a farm-to-market Road (FMR); Bambang – Extension of the CCupas Flood Control Project; Bayombong – renovation and improvement of Fish and Meat Section Building; Diadi – improvement of an FMR in Barangay Pinya and municipal-wide medical assistance to indigent families;

Dupax del Norte – rehabilitation of typhoon-damaged FMRs in Barangays Ineangan, Malasin, Lamo, Mabasa, Inaban, Munguia, Parai, Bitnong, Bulala, Oyao, Macabenga, Belance, Bunnuangan, New Gumiad and Yabbi; Kasibu – improvement of Siguem-Muta-Macabenga road; Kayapa – concreting of 430–meter tire path along Pampang-Balangabang road; Quezon – improvement of FMR in Purok 3, Barangay Maddiangat; Sta. Fe – rehabilitation of FMR from Barangay Sinapaoan to Bantinan; Solano- construction of flood control structures along Burgos St. and Maharlika Highway; and Villaverde – improvement of the town’s public market.

LGPMS is anchored on the national government’s commitment to the Millenium Development Goals(MDGs).





DSWD provides 70 core shelter units to homeless families

by (Oliver T. Baccay and Angely M. LuboTCB/OTB/AML-PIA 2)


CALAYAN ISLAND, Cagayan, April 26 (PIA)-- Seventy families in this island whose houses were destroyed during last year’s typhoons were benefitted with the core shelter assistance project (CSAP) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Region 2.

Regional Director Arnel B. Garcia personally awarded 70 core shelter units amounting to P4.9 million to the island families.

Director Garcia handed the checks to the organized Neighborhood Association for Shelter Assistance, an association of the core shelter beneficiaries that promotes collective action in realizing the goals of the project. The association also addresses the vulnerabilities of the community while empowering beneficiaries to make the core shelter livable and more sustainable.

Each core shelter unit is amounting to P70,000 per beneficiary while the location site, engineering supervision, site development, and graveling of road to core shelter site are provided by the local government unit and to be augmented by the provincial government.

Director Garcia said that the CSAP is an assurance that no beneficiary will lose his/her home and that such will restore their dignity. He also encouraged beneficiaries to safeguard their community against crime and ensure that there would be no violence in every home.

CSAP is one of the rehabilitation projects of the national government implemented by DSWD Field Office 2 to immediately provide shelter to disaster-affected families, whose houses were totally damaged or blown down.

In Region 2, there were already 3,083 total of core shelters awarded to homeless families who are mostly victims of typhoons, flooding, and other natural calamities. (Oliver T. Baccay and Angely M. LuboTCB/OTB/AML-PIA 2)

DILG grants P1M support fund each to 15 towns in N. Vizcaya

by Benjamin Moses M. Ebreo


BAYOMBONG, Nueva Vizcaya, April 25 (PIA) -- The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) is set to fund the establishment of various projects for the 15 towns here designed to uplift the economic, livelihood, and health situations of communities.

Lawyer Odilon Pasaraba, DILG provincial director, said 15 local government units (LGUs) in this province are now qualified to received aid from the Local Government Support Fund (LGSF) after these LGUs have been assessed, evaluated, and confirmed as qualified recipients for their department’s provision of financial grant after passing the criteria on the Local Government Performance Management System (LGPMS), evaluated by the regional and national evaluating teams.

He said the 15 LGUs will be given P1 million each while the provincial government will be receiving P7 million.

“These LGUs have been recognized and rated as qualified recipients because of their commitment and their local government performance that drives their constituents into empowerment,” Pasaraba said.

LGPMS is anchored on the national government’ss commitment to the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs). LGPMS assists performing LGUs through the LGSF grant, augmenting their meager Internal Revenue Allotment to carry out high-impact programs and projects in line with the attainment of the MDGs. (TCB/BME-PIA 2, Nueva Vizcaya)

Feature: Journalist Edgar "Mt. Malussong" Daniel Sr. writes 30

by Benjamin Moses M. Ebreo


Born in July 14, 1938, Edgar Larosa Daniel Sr., columnist and former editor-in-chief of the newsweekly Vizcaya Advocate died last April 4 due to health complications.

Daniel, who also served as a public school teacher before starting his career in media, started his stint as a field reporter before grabbing the position as editor-in-chief of the local newsweekly, Vizcaya Advocate based in Solano town.

He replaced Joel Palacios, now one of the top officials of the government’s Social Security System.

Daniel also served as an appointed board member of Nueva Vizcaya from 1986 to 1988 and elected board member from 1988 to 1992.

His popular column published regularly in the Vizcaya Advocate was dubbed “From Mt. Malussong,” named after the popular mountain in his hometown of Aritao.

Daniel, a member of the Isinai tribe, tackled local folklore, cultural, and traditional practices of various indigenous tribes and lowland dwellers in the province such as the Ilocanos, Pangasinenses, and other majority groups, blending this with humor and present realities of rural life.

He published “From Mt. Malussong,” Parts 1 and 2, where he culled his newspaper column subjects into it.

7 NPAs killed in Mt. Province encounter

by Charlie Lagasca, Raymund Catindig, Artemio Dumlao, Alexis Romero


BAYOMBONG, Nueva Vizcaya, Philippines – Seven suspected New People’s Army (NPA) guerrillas, including a woman fighter, were slain in an encounter with government troops in Mt. Province on Saturday, the military said.

Men of the 54th Infantry Battalion, according to reports, were providing security to a medical mission in Banawel village in Natonin town when they chanced upon a group of some 30 armed rebels along the Natonin-Paracelis border at around 6 a.m. Saturday.

A five-hour firefight ensued, resulting in the death of the seven rebels, whose identities were still being verified, said Col. Miguel Puyao, spokesman of the Isabela-based 5th Infantry Division.

“Reports of the rebels’ death were based on information provided by civilians. In fact, they also told us that many more rebels were seriously injured in the encounter,” Puyao said.

The firefight also led to the discovery of the insurgents’ bunkers and three outposts in the remote mountainous area and the recovery of several high-powered firearms, including two rifle grenade launchers, reports said.

The rebels were led by a certain Artus Talastas, who heads the NPA unit operating in eastern Mt. Province.






Nueva Vizcaya cop chief sees approval of Oplan VISA

by Benjamin Moses M. Ebreo


BAYOMBONG, Nueva Vizcaya, April 22 (PIA) -- Police Senior Supt. Valfrie Tabian here has expressed optimism on the nearing approval of the Operational Plan – Verification of Identity and Sticker Authenticity(VISA) in Cagayan Valley.

Oplan VISA, a brainchild of Police Chief Supt. Rodrigo De Gracia, Regional PNP Director for Cagayan Valley is being proposed to combat and address the incidence of the so-called ‘riding in tandem’ crimes, sending fears to businessmen, high profile personalities, politicians, and mere ordinary folks.

“These ‘riding in tandem’ persons are hired killers who use undocumented motorcycles to pursue their criminal objective. But with the implementation of Oplan VISA, they will be minimized if not totally stopped,” Tabian stressed.

Once approved, Oplan VISA requires the verification of license of a motorcycle rider or operator including its sticker through police checkpoints.

According to Tabian, a regional meeting of the board members in Cagayan Valley region was conducted last week where most of the local lawmakers have already expressed support to the proposal.

“Their support which will be realized with the crafting of an ordinance for VISA to be implemented is the only element that is lacking before we can totally implement the VISA,” Tabian said.

He expressed hope that provincial, city, and municipal lawmakers will finally approve the proposal to enable the PNP in addressing the wave and fear of the ‘riding in tandem’ criminals in the region.(TCB/BME-PIA 2, Nueva Vizcaya)

Nueva Vizcaya exec mulls new management scheme for jail inmates

by Benjamin Moses M. Ebreo


BAYOMBONG, Nueva Vizcaya, April 20 (PIA) -- Following the discovery of prohibited items, materials, and explosives, including the involvement of several jail inmates and guards on the use of illegal drugs, a provincial official here said a new scheme will be implemented soon in order to prevent a repeat of the incident.

Lawyer Edgardo Balgos, provincial administrator, said as part of their preventive policies, they have temporarily suspended the regular visiting hours for the jail inmates to pave the way for the crafting of new policies and guidelines for the proper upkeep and maintenance of the provincial government’s administration of the provincial jail.

“We are contemplating on a new scheme to be implemented within the maintenance and upkeep of the provincial jail. Please bear with us for now because change will not come immediately,” Balgos said.

He said most of the jail guards have been relieved because of their involvement in alleged illegal drug use and drug peddling inside the jail premises.

At present, Balgos said they have coordinated with the Philippine National Police(PNP) authorities to provide security assistance within the provincial jail.

A surprise inspection conducted by provincial and barangay officials in coordination with the police authorities yielded illegal drugs, explosives, pornographic materials, sex toys, and shabu paraphernalia inside the jail inmates and jail guard quarters.

Governor Luisa Cuaresma has relieved the provincial jail warden and two of his jail guards after tests revealed drug use. (TCB/BME-PIA 2, Nueva Vizcaya)

Surprise inspection confirms illegal drugs in N. Vizcaya jail

by Benjamin Moses M. Ebreo


BAYOMBONG, Nueva Vizcaya, April 19 (PIA) -- Most of the jail guards at the provincial jail have been relieved here after a surprise inspection yielded illegal drugs and other prohibited items.

“Governor Luisa Cuaresma has requested us to provide security assistance for the provincial jail since most of the guards have been relieved as of the moment,” Police Senior Supt. Valfrie Tabian, provincial police director told reporters here yesterday.

He made the statement during the weekly “Tungtongan ti Tribu Biskayano” press conference at the PIA office here.

He added that the discovery of illegal drugs and the positive result among several jail inmates and guards at the provincial jail confirmed their suspicion that the compound has been used for the proliferation of illegal drug use and trade in the province.

According to Tabian, evidences recovered from the provincial jail seem to link illegal drug personalities from a drug – infested barangay in Santiago City, previously known as the center of illegal drug trade in Cagayan Valley.

“We have gathered evidences linking known illegal drug pushers from Santiago City. Right now, we are following up the investigation of this incident,” Tabian told reporters here.

He said several evidences gathered inside the provincial jail were Moneygram packages, which indicated the names and addresses of illegal drug personalities in the region.

A surprise inspection over the weekend at the provincial jail by police authorities, and provincial and barangay officials resulted in the discovery and recovery of methampetamine hydrochloride or shabu, drug paraphernalia, fragmentation and rifle grenade, pornographic DVDs, and sex toys.

On-site drug test conducted among the 139 jail inmates and jail officials revealed that 18 prisoners and three jail guard officials, including the provincial jail warden were found positive of illegal drug use, particularly shabu.

Provincial Security Officer Alberto Cabanting replaced the relieved provincial jail warden.

“The involvement of jail officials in this illegal drug trade shows that there is already a syndicate inside the provincial jail. The jail is now being used as a center for illegal drug packaging and distribution inside and outside the provincial capitol,” Tabian explained.

He said they are still waiting for at least three more jail guards to be tested with illegal drug use since these officials have been on leave.

Provincial Administrator Edgardo Balgos said they knew the information a couple of months ago but was only coordinated recently so that the surprise inspection will not be jeopardized once the information is leaked. (TCB/BME-PIA 2, Nueva Vizcaya)

Nueva Vizcaya cop chief claims syndicate using jail for illegal drug trade

by (PNA)

FFC/SCD/BME/mba


BAYOMBONG, Nueva Vizcaya, April 18 (PNA) – The discovery of illegal drugs and the positive result of illegal drug use among several jail inmates and guards at the provincial jail here recently confirmed the suspicion of police authorities that the compound has been used for the proliferation of illegal drug trade in the province.

Police Sr. Supt. Valfrie Tabian, police provincial director, said the evidences recovered from the provincial jail seems to link illegal drug personalities from a drug–infested barangay in Santiago City, previously known as the center of illegal drug trade in Cagayan Valley.

“We have gathered evidences linking known illegal drug pushers from Santiago City. Right now, we are following up the investigation of this incident,” Tabian told reporters here.

A surprise inspection on Sunday at the provincial jail by police authorities, provincial and barangay officials resulted in the discovery and recovery of methampetamine hydrochloride or shabu, drug paraphernalia, fragmentation and rifle grenade, pornographic DVDs and sex toys.

On site drug tests conducted among the 139 jail inmates and jail officials revealed that 18 prisoners and three jail guard officials, including the provincial jail warden, were found positive of illegal drug use, particularly shabu.

The jail officials were provincial jail warden Reynaldo Agaton, and jail guards Godofredo Cabanting and Elmer Asin.

Agaton was relieved immediately and replaced by provincial security officer Alberto Cabanting.

“The involvement of jail officials in this illegal drug trade shows that there is already a syndicate inside the provincial jail. The jail is now being used as a center for illegal drug packaging and distribution inside and outside the provincial capitol,” Tabian said.

He said several evidences gathered inside the provincial jail were Moneygram packages which indicated the names and addresses of illegal drug personalities in the region.

Tabian said governor Luisa Cuaresma has asked their help to temporarily assist in the security of the provincial jail after most of the provincial jail guards have been relieved of duty due to the incident.

He said they are still waiting for at least three more jail guards to be tested with illegal drug use since these officials have been on leave.

Vizcaya jail raid uncovers drug ring, sex dens in cells

by Melvin Gascon, Inquirer Northern Luzon


BAYOMBONG, Nueva Vizcaya— In what officials here described as unprecedented in the province’s history, a raid by policemen at the provincial jail on Saturday yielded guns, knives, illegal drugs and even sex toys from the guards’ quarters and cells. Lab tests conducted following the raid also found positive for drug use acting warden Reynaldo Agaton, two jail guards and 18 inmates, said Senior Supt. Valfrie Tabian, provincial police director. The raiding team seized two unlicensed shotguns and two grenades from the locker assigned to jail guards Noel Galutera, Godofredo Cabanting and Marlon Gayaso. They also found 20 knives, six syringes, motorcycle registration plates, plastic sachets with suspected shabu (methamphetamine hydrochloride) and other paraphernalia from three cells and the prison canteen. Officials were puzzled at how the banned items found their way inside the cells. Among these were 12 pairs of scissors, an ax, a paper cutter, firecrackers, erectile dysfunction tablets, a DVD player, a collection of pornographic video discs and a box of sex toys. Citing intelligence reports, Tabian said jail officials, personnel and a number of inmates have been running an illegal drug syndicate inside the prison at the provincial capitol grounds here, and have been using the cells as “sex dens.” “Some privileged inmates have been going in and out of the jail compound even without escorts, buying illegal drugs from outside and making the jail a virtual illegal drug trading center,” Tabian said. A cubicle, he said, has been converted into a sex perverts’ haven, complete with air-conditioning, an audio and video system with pornographic materials and mirrors on side walls and ceilings. “We no longer dared to enter the isolation cell because it’s too sickening, looking like a [breeding ground] of [sexually transmitted] diseases,” he said. The Inquirer tried but failed to reach Agaton and other jail officers for comment. The acting warden and other personnel have gone on leave while others did not report for work on Tuesday. Tabian said he had asked Chief Supt. Rodrigo de Gracia, Cagayan Valley police director, to detail policemen as jail guards in the meantime prior to a massive revamp of personnel at the jail, which houses 150 inmates.






Warden of N. Vizcaya positive for drug use

by Harris Julio, ABS-CBN News Cagayan Valley


MANILA, Philippines – The warden of Nueva Vizcaya provincial jail was sacked after he tested positive for illegal drug use during a surprise inspection over the weekend.

Some 160 inmates and 27 officers, including Jail Warden Reynaldo Agaton, underwent drug testing after police discovered illegal drugs and several paraphernalia stashed inside the cells of Nueva Vizcaya provincial jail in Bayombong.

Agaton, 2 jail guards and 18 inmates tested positive for drug use in the initial round of tests.

The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Region 2 and local police discovered packs of suspected methamphetamine hydrochloride (shabu) and drug paraphernalia such as foil, lighter and syringe in some of the cells.

Authorities also inspected the lockers of the jail guards for possible illegal drugs, but the search instead yielded a fragmentation grenade, a rifle grenade and an unlicensed shotgun.

They also seized several weapons, sex toys and pornographic DVDs from the inmates.

Agaton denied being involved in the illegal drug operations inside the jail, but admitted that several former inmates who had been involved in illegal drugs had visited the jail.

Resorts bounce back from rocket scare

by Charlie Lagasca


BAYOMBONG, Nueva Vizcaya, Philippines – Beach resort and hotel owners in Cagayan’s northeastern Santa Ana town are now hoping to recoup their losses from several days of inactivity due to the North Korean rocket scare.

According to the Santa Ana Hotels, Restaurants and Resorts Association, tourists

started returning after the failed North Korean rocket launch.

Nilo Aldeguer, deputy administrator of Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA), said that while the expected influx of tourists had been postponed by the rocket launch, there was no effect at all on the zone’s economic activity, including its tourism industry.

The expected tourist arrivals, especially during summer, was merely held in abeyance due to the rocket scare, he said.

Earlier, there had been reports that hotel and resort owners in the town lost P20,000 a day in expected profits.

CEZA, which covers the entire town of Santa Ana and several island villages of Aparri town, has been a favorite destination of foreign tourists, particularly those who come for the online gaming operated within the zone.

About three hours northeast of Tuguegarao City, the town of Santa Ana, dubbed the “Boracay of the North,” is known for its pristine beaches and scenic coastlines, making it one of Cagayan Valley’s major tourism sites.

“We were not really affected by the panic brought about by the North Korean launch since our tourists merely re-scheduled their arrival until after the launch,” he said.

Also described as “Game Fishing Mecca of Northeast Asia,” Santa Ana, lying along the South China Sea–Pacific coast, also boasts of Palaui Island for its white sand beaches. It is also where one of the country’s remaining centuries-old lighthouses is located.

Had the launch been successful, the trajectory of the Unha rocket supposedly carrying the Kwangmyongsong-3 scientific satellite into orbit would have passed over Santa Ana and the rest of northeastern Luzon.

Before the failed rocket launch, the government exerted efforts to warn residents of the dangers of being caught in the open of the rocket’s debris.

The government, through the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC), warned residents of communities in the eastern seaboard of the country against going out to sea from morning to noonfrom April 12-16 due to possible falling debris from the rocket.

Fortunately, the rocket launch blew up shortly after liftoff.

Some militant groups, however, said the government exaggerated the possibility of getting hit by rocket debris.

Vince Casilihan of Karapatan Bicol chapter said the government preparations for the rocket launch was exaggerated and overkill that led to a mere waste of government money.

He said the money used in forming different response teams, particularly the suits bought for the recovery team, could have been used instead to help the poor.

Office of Civil Defense provincial director Raffy Alejandro said the preparation was just appropriate as a response to the anticipated threat because two provinces in the Bicol region were identified as among those areas that could be hit by falling debris.

“We respect their (militants) opinion on the issue. We are just doing what we believe is an appropriate response to our mandate of protecting the people from any form of threat or harm,” Alejandro said. – With Cet Dematera, Raymund Catindig






Riders to cruise thru Stage One

by Olmin Leyba


STA. ANA, CAGAYAN, Philippines – After a couple of days getting a feel of the flat layout and sweltering heat of the northernmost tip of Luzon, 80 local and foreign cyclists hit the road today for the 2012 Le Tour de Filipinas presented by Air21.

Carrying the colors of 16 teams, including six continental teams, the riders begin hostilities in the four-stage bikefest by pedaling through 159.08 kms of mostly flat roads from this panoramic coastal town to the City Hall of Tuguegarao.

“Tiyak magkakaramdaman lang muna dahil unang-una flat naman yung stage (For sure, we’ll be having more of a feeling-each-other-out in this stage considering the flat conditions),” said Bert Oconer of the Smart-PhilCycling National Team, one of the five local squads out to fight for Pinoy pride in the cycling extravangaza.

The nationals and compatriots representing KIA, Mail and More, American Vinyl/LPGMA, and GO21, will try to stave off the fierce challenge from the six continental teams led by the highly touted Tabriz Petrochemical (TPT) of Iran, and four foreign clubs, as well as the Indonesian national squad.

Cagayan Rep. Jackie Enrile will fire the starting gun at 8:30 a.m. alongside Air21 chairman and cycling godfather Bert Lina and wife Sylvia Lina, as well as organizer Gary Cayton of the Dynamic Outsource Solutions, Inc., to herald the start of the four-day event.

“It’s race time,” said Lina, who flew in Friday and joined the welcome ceremonies and dinner prepared by Enrile for the close to 400 strong Le Tour entourage last night.

Without treacherous climbs and curves, Stage One of the bikathon held in partnership with Smart and supported by Foton and Jinbei is expected to be a relative breeze for the seasoned riders. But the punishing mid-30 degrees Celsius temp of Cagayan Valley could somehow slow down the cyclists as they traverse the route surrounded by vast rice and corn fields.

“The heat could spell the difference and our local riders could have the slight advantage,” said Cayton. “But we just could not dismiss the endurance of the foreigners, they are a bunch who have seen tough and enduring races overseas.”

The foreign charge under the banner of continental teams CCN (The Netherlands), Aisan Racing Team (Japan), OCBC (Singapore), Suren (Uzbekistan), Action (Chinese Taipei) and TPT and club teams Plan B (Australia), PureBlack Racing (New Zealand) and Colossi Miche (Indonesia) and the Indonesian national squad is not new to having to adapt to extreme conditions.

After the Sta. Ana-Tuguegarao kickoff race, the riders will again ply flat roads in tomorrow’s Stage Two, a 103.3 km race to Cauayan City in Isabela. Monday’s Stage Three – a 104 km ride from Cauayan to Bayombong City in Nueva Vizcaya – will put the riders in a relatively flat route with one King of the Mountain summit.

The real test will come in the culminating Stage Four on Tuesday with the participants’ climbing skills challenged in the 132.7 km Bayombong to Baguio City race. The final stage will push the riders to the limit in an uphill grind over the Cordilleras – with two KOM summits – in the so-called “Northern Alps of the Phl.”

A UCI-calendared bikefest, the Le Tour 2012 is backed by official wear Wet Shop, Maynilad, Nague Malic Magnawa & Associates Customs Brokers, Wow Videoke, UBEMedia, IWMI, Airphil Express and dzRH.

Dismissed cops suspects in Vizcaya robberies

by Melvin Gascon, Inquirer Northern Luzon


CAMP SATURNINO DUMLAO, Nueva Vizcaya—A spate of robberies in the province in the past four weeks that caught law enforcement agencies flatfooted has drawn criticism from businessmen and residents here, raising doubts on the ability of the police to ensure their safety. Residents were especially alarmed at the boldness by which robbers have been carrying out their crimes, taking away valuables from their victims, mostly in broad daylight. Police records showed that 14 robbery incidents occurred in the province since March 10, the latest of which was on Wednesday when two men on a motorcycle robbed employees of a bus company in Solano town. Robbers blocked the path of the tricycle carrying Caroline Balaweg and Arelita Guerrero, both employees of Vizcaya Liner Inc., in Roxas village at 1 p.m. They took P45,000 from the victims. “[The situation] has become very alarming. Where are the police?” asked Arsenio Lagon, 53, who operates a food cart business in Solano. A rice trader from Bambang town, who asked not to be named for safety reasons, said businessmen in the province had been forced to buy firearms to make up for government’s supposed failure to protect its citizens. “You really cannot count on the government for protection,” the rice trader said. Worse, the suspects are usually policemen or soldiers who had been dismissed from service, the source said, referring to the arrest in Bagabag town of two men who tried to rob tourists on March 26. “How can we even move about with some sense of confidence thinking that robbers are freely roaming out there and ready to strike anytime?” the trader said. But acting provincial police director Senior Supt. Valfrie Tabian allayed these fears and assured them that the police were in control. “In fact, we have solved four cases within five days after I assumed office, including the arrest of three suspects. Of the 14 robbery incidents, seven had been solved,” he said. Tabian said he had ordered the setting up of checkpoints in every town to stop crime suspects. He called on local officials to pass ordinances that require motorcycle owners to register with the local police.

Nueva Vizcaya fully supporting women livelihood programs

by (PNA)

LAM/SCD/BMebreo/mba


BAYOMBONG, Nueva Vizcaya, April 12 (PNA) -– Women organizations in Nueva Vizcaya continue to become active partners in development as their livelihood projects continue to flourish with the provincial government’s livelihood assistance program. Through the provincial government’s “Kabuhayan Asensado, Alay sa Novo Vizcayano” (KAANV) project, women organizations are being assisted to start up their respective livelihood projects in their communities. Started in 2009, the KAANV project has benefited 43 women organizations and individuals which accounts for more than P1 million livelihood funds granted by the end of 2011. Last month alone, livelihood assistance amounting to P90,000 were handed to the Nueva Vizcaya Day Care Workers Federation(NVDCWF) and the Sta. Fe town-based Laglag Rural Improvement Club (LRIC) in Barangay Bacneng; and the Rural Improvement Club (RIC) of Barangay Canabuan. NVDCWF received P50,000 for their credit facility services while P20,000 each were given for the LRIC and RIC’s farm input projects. KAANV has already funded various entrepreneurial projects in woodcraft, buy and sell, credit facility, mushroom culture, butterfly culture, farm inputs, smoke fish processing, fruit and vegetable vending, goat/pig raising, mini canteen, consumer product trading, rehabilitation of persons with disabilities, food vending, sewing, ginger production, peanut butter making, food cart, food processing and legumes and vegetable production. “These projects have been evaluated, monitored and sustained and as such, they have become successful economic ventures for women,” said Lita Tabudlo, provincial social welfare and development officer. She said the recipients of the livelihood assistance projects must have to undergo a series of orientation activities to prepare them technically and management-wise on their chosen livelihood projects inorder to ensure their sustainability, improvement and growth. The Mauan Women’s Association(MWA) in Bambang town for example, which was organized in 1999 has already amassed a financial asset of more than P0.8 million with a mere starting capital of P30,000 livelihood assistance through the KAANV. Relying on their lending business, selling of National Food Authority(NFA) rice, groceries and management of small variety store, the MWA has now 72 members. “We are very grateful for the help of the provincial government for the success of our livelihood project,” said Merly Pescasio, 59, chairperson of the Kalipunan ng Liping Pilipina (KALIPI) provincial federation and concurrent MWA manager. She said hardwork, understanding, unity, trust and transparency have become the trade assets of their success. Recently, the MWA was awarded as the best livelihood project winning P25,000 cash in a search conducted by the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO). Other women livelihood projects which got excellent points from the PSWDO criteria were the Kapatiran Damayan Saving Association (KADASA) in Villaverde town which was given P15,000 cash prize; and the Municipal Federation of Senior Citizens Association of the Philippines (MFSCAP) in Bambang and Quezon towns with P10,000 cash prize each. Other women’s organizations who were cited by the PSWDO were the Ibung Multi-Purpose Cooperative (IMPC), Day Care Workers Federation of Bagabag (DCWFB), Municipal Senior Citizens Association of the Philippines (MSCAP) in Sta. Fe and Solano towns, the Kapisanan sa Kaunlaran Panlipunan Organization, Inc. (KKPOI), Nueva Vizcaya Pensioners & Retirees Association (NVPRA); and the Veterans Federation of the Philippines-Sons and Daughters. “The search intends to evaluate the sustainability of the livelihood projects that we have supported in terms of financial as well as technical assistance. And we are happy to note that many women organizations have shown excellent performance in their projects,” Tabudlo said. This year, the provincial government’s livelihood project targets 11 women organizations with close to P0.4 million livelihood assistance fund. “With this livelihood assistance, we hope to reach out to the grassroots level and spur economic productivity especially among the women sector so that they can fully develop their potentials as partners for economic development,” Tabudlo said.






Police recover grenade, gasoline at Nueva Vizcaya BJMP compound

by (PNA)

dct/FFC/SCD/BME/mba/rsm


SOLANO, Nueva Vizcaya, April 11 (PNA) -– Police authorities here on Tuesday recovered a fragmentation grenade and a liter of gasoline inside the compound of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) beside the municipal hall here.

Police Chief Inspector Rodolfo Bagarra said the grenade and the gasoline were discovered after an inspection inside the BJMP following a report of suspicious men near the compound at 8:45 p.m.

“We went there to check on the reported movement of a car and a suspicious man walking near the BJMP compound and found out the explosive and gasoline,” Bagarra said.

He said the suspicious men might have plans to free a high profile detainee inside the BJMP.

The BJMP here is in custody of dismissed police officer Chief Inspector Freddie Cacliong who was arrested on March 26 in Bagabag town over a series of hold up and robbery cases in Cagayan Valley.

Police has tagged Cacliong as the leader of the notorious Solid Ifugao Group (SIG) victimizing wealthy businessmen and foreigners in region 2.

Bagarra said they have advised BJMP personnel to implement stricter security plan to thwart any attempt to free Cacliong from detention.

Lenten holidays in Nueva Vizcaya peaceful - PNP

by Ben Moses Ebreo


BAYOMBONG, Nueva vizcaya, April 10 (PIA) -- The observance of the Lenten Season in the province has been generally peaceful and orderly, according to the Philippine National Police (PNP).

Police Senior Supt. Valfrie Tabian, PNP provincial director, said few crime incidents and and car accidents have been recorded by their agency since the observance of the Lenten holidays from April 4 to 9.

“Despite these incidents, the observance of the Lenten holidays in the province is still peaceful and orderly because of the plan that we have implemented and carried out inorder to secure the devotees as well as commuters who spent their vacation in various provinces,” Tabian said.

He also attributed the peaceful condition of the Lenten holidays in Nueva Vizcaya on the visibility and support of policemen along with volunteer civic organizations who put up their traffic assistance alongside the national highway from Sta. Fe town to Diadi town.

There was no untoward incident was reported during the observance of Jesus Christ’s crucifixion on the top of Bangan Hill, which was participated by devotees, according to Tabian.

On the night of April 8, a heavy traffic temporarily stranded commuters along the national highway in Bambang town as two vehicles suffered brake failure and ramped on the portion of a road being constructed in Barangay TopHill.

“But this incident has been solved immediately because of the assistance of other agencies and civic organizations,” said Police Chief Inspector Wilfredo Velayo, Bambang town chief of police. (TCB/BME-PIA 2 Nueva Vizcaya)

Baguio ultra-runners trailblaze 1st Mt. Ugo run

by Roderick Osis


SANS the Kenyans, Baguio runners made their presence felt as they topped the recent 1st Mt. Ugo trail marathon in Itogon, Benguet.

Seasoned ultra-marathon runner Joel Bengtay was the fastest in the forty-two-kilometer (42k) division while Jessie Mangsat, James Tellas, Mark Vilafuerte and Larry Estoesta, all from the city placed 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th, respectively.

Bengtay used his familiarity of the route where he recently placed seventh in the first Mt. Ugo Skyathlon held last February where two Kenyans finished first and second.

Vizcaya native Gretchen Felipe, who was among the top ten finishers in the first Mt. Ugo Skyathlon, ruled the distaff side of the footrace which also serves as training ground for the upcoming NorthFace 100 event slated later this month.

Gay Baniwas and Jingle Melanie Ku-Marquez, both of Baguio won 2nd and 3rd in the category.

Another Baguio runner, Edison Morales, emerged champion in the 21K male category and he was followed by ultra marathoner JT Gonzales while Rodolfo Tagada, Jason Marquez, Nixon Pasiken and Christopher Go placed 3rd, 4th, 6th and 7th, respectively.

Some 106 runners from as far as Italy, Canada, Davao, Cebu, Manila, Pampanga, Isabela and Nueva Vizcaya joined the race which is the first ever trail marathon/half marathon held in the country.

“What makes a trail run doubly hard from a road race is that the first not only requires speed but focus and a lot of courage. Hence, to finish the race is already a mean feat for each runner,” said Marquez, one of the emerging city runners.

Marquez said she was fortunate to have reached the summit second among 10 female runners but lost a considerable amount of time when she missed a marker descending and had to run back a two-kilometer distance to be on the right track.

The event, organized by FrontRunner Magazine editor-in-chief Jonel C. Mendoza, made the participants enjoy the race even if there was no cash prize at stake, no frills, no freebies and absolutely no whining but just have lifetime memories with personal satisfaction guaranteed.

News Feature: Women empowerment in Nueva Vizcaya

by Benjamin Moses M. Ebreo


BAYOMBONG, Nueva Vizcaya, April 7 (PIA) -- When the Women’s Month Celebration came in a sort of activities in the province last month, the women sector here is in high spirits not only because of the accorded funfare but by programs and projects that are intended to uplift their welfare in their respective communities.

For one, livelihood assistance funds amounting to P90,000 were handed to three women’s organizations, namely, the Nueva Vizcaya Day Care Workers Federation (NVDCWF) and the Sta. Fe town-based Laglag Rural Improvement Club (LRIC) in Barangay Bacneng and the Rural Improvement Club (RIC) of barangay Canabuan.

NVDCWF received P50,000 for their credit facility services and P20,000 each were given for the LRIC and RIC’s farm input projects during the culmination program last week.

Through the provincial government’s “Kabuhayan Asensado, Alay sa Novo Vizcayano” project, women’s organizations are being assisted to start up their respective livelihood projects in their communities.

Started in 2009, the project benefited 43 women’s organizations and individuals which accounts for more than P1 million livelihood funds granted by the end of 2011.

The projects funded were wood crafts, buy and sell, credit facility, mushroom culture, butterfly culture, farm inputs, smoke fish processing, fruit and vegetable vending, goat/pig raising, mini canteen, consumer product trading, rehabilitation of persons with disabilities’ lagoon, food vending, sewing, ginger production, peanut butter making, food cart, food processing, and legumes and vegetable production.

“These projects have been evaluated, monitored and sustained and as such, they have become successful economic ventures for women,” said Lita Tabudlo, provincial social welfare and development officer.

She said the recipients of the livelihood assistance projects enderwent a series of orientation activities to prepare them technically and management-wise on their chosen livelihood projects inorder to ensure their sustainability, improvement and growth.

The Mauan Women’s Association (MWA) in Bambang town for example, which was organized in 1999 has amassed a financial asset of more than P.8 million by merely starting it up with P30,000.00 livelihood assistance.

Relying on their lending business, selling of National Food Authority rice, groceries and management of small variety store, the MWA has now 72 members.

“We are very grateful for the help of the provincial government for the success of our livelihood project,” said Merly Pescasio, 59, chairperson of the Kalipunan ng Liping Pilipina provincial federation and MWA manager.

She said hardwork, understanding, unity, trust and transparency have become the trade assets of their success.

Recently, the MWA was awarded as the best livelihood project in a search conducted by the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO) with a P25,000.00 cash prize. Other women’s livelihood projects who got the excellent points from the PSWDO were the Kapatiran Damayan Saving Association in Villaverde town who were given P15,000.00 cash prize and the Municipal Federation of Senior Citizens Association of the Philippines (MFSCAP) in Bambang and Quezon towns with P10,000.00 cash prize each.

Other women’s organizations who were cited by the PSWDO were the Ibung Multi-Purpose Cooperative, Day Care Workers Federation of Bagabag, Municipal Senior Citizens Association of the Philippines in Sta. Fe and Solano towns, the Kapisanan sa Kaunlaran Panlipunan Organization, Inc(KKPOI), Nueva Vizcaya Pensioners & Retirees Association, and the Veterans Federation of the Philippines-Sons and Daughters.

The yearly search, Tabudlo said was given to successful livelihood organizations in the province where most women are members or purely composed by women-members.

“The search intends to evaluate the sustainability of the livelihood projects that we have supported in terms of financial as well as technical assistance. And we are happy to note that many women organizations have shown excellent performance in their projects,” Tabudlo said.

This year, the provincial government’s livelihood project targets 11 women’s organizations with close to P.4 million livelihood assistance fund.

“With this livelihood assistance, we hope to reach out to the grassroots level and spur economic productivity especially among the women sector so that they can fully develop their potentials as partners for economic development,” Tabudlo said. (TCB/BME-PIA 2 Nueva Vizcaya)

Nueva Vizcaya’s Bangan Hill to be revisited by Lent devotees

by (PNA)

LAP/SCD/BME/mba/utb


BAYOMBONG, Nueva Vizcaya, April 4 (PNA) – Hundreds of Novo Vizcayanos are expected to flock to the Bangan Hill National Park in Barangay Magsaysay here during the observance of the Lenten Season.

During the Lenten Season from April 5 to 8, the park which has three huge crosses, serves as a venue for the yearly procession in remembering the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

Police Senior Supt. Valfrie Tabian, police provincial director said they have laid down the security detail of the yearly activity as it is being participated in by hundreds of devotees in Nueva Vizcaya and in Quirino province.

“We have already mapped out a plan to secure the smooth flow of the procession and the crowd of devotees that will be expected to join the observance,” Tabian said.

Bishop Ramon Villena, head of the clergy here and in Quirino province, said the procession will start from the St. Dominic Church in Bayombong town on April 6 going to the provincial capitol and toward Bangan Hill in barangay Magsaysay.

He said the reading of the seven last words will be done at the St. Dominic Church while the crucifixion of Jesus Christ will be conducted at the Bangan Hill.

“We are encouraging our faithful to participate in this very important gathering to renew our faith in the Almighty. Let this Lenten observance bring peace in each one of us,” he said.

Bangan Hill, Nueva Vizcaya’s structural and environmental version of Golgotha or Calvary, the site of Jesus Christ’s crucifixion outside Jerusalem, started its history as an important venue during the observance of the Lenten Season in 2005.

Bangan Hill has been declared a national park, called as the Bangan Hill National Park, on March 29, 1995 through Republic Act No. 7954.

The park is 50 meters wide on both sides along the Bangan Hill Road in the municipality of Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya, and has an aggregate area of 130,106.43 square meters.

Four major infra projects to boost Nueva Vizcaya's socio-economic potentials

by Benjamin Moses M. Ebreo


BAYOMBONG, Nueva Vizcaya, April 3 (PIA) -- Four major infrastructure projects in the province will be completed this year by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).“These projects are designed to promote and uplift the socio-economic situation of villagers in the province,” said Engineer Ronald Reyes, district engineer of the DPWH first district.


He said the widening and improvement of the Bambang-Kasibu road, including the drainage construction in barangay Calaocan in Bambang town started February 7 and is expected to be completed on June 6.


The more than P48 million project, contracted by Northern Builders involves the upgrading of gravel road to concrete, widening, construction of drainage facilities, and asphalt overlay on existing concrete road.


“We have encountered problems on the resistance of some residents whose houses and business establishments have encroached the road right of way and we further asked the assistance of the local government to orient and educate the affected residents,” Reyes said.

He added that most of the residents had expressed appreciation on the project as it will further provide easy access for the transport of agricultural products from Kasibu town to the Nueva Vizcaya Agricultural Terminal(NVAT) and the main public market in Bambang town.

The rehabilitation, reconstruction, and upgrading of damaged paved national road along Daang Maharlika in barangay Top Hill in Bambang town, according to Reyes started January 19 which will be completed this month, on April 17.


The more than P20 million project being undertaken by MM Construction requires the reconstruction of two lanes of the road at 0.03 meter thickness and additional pavement width including curb and gutter and installation of metal beam guardrail with pipe post.

Reyes said that while major traffic congestion has been felt by commuters along the project area, they were able to shorten the time interval of “Stop and Go” signal because of the presence and assistance of policemen, Land Transportation Office (LTO) personnel and PNP-Highway Patrol Group(HPG) inorder to arrest and apprehend erring commuters.


“Because of this composite task force, smooth flow of traffic and decreased maintenance cost of vehicles have been achieved, thereby providing the public a better travelling condition and well-paved road,” he explained.


The road rehabilitation and upgrading of damaged paved national road in sitio Turturayok in barangay Abian in Bambang town on the otherhand, Reyes bared will provide better road condition and lower maintenance cost of vehicles among the general commuters. The more than P10 million project was started January 20, 2012 by VB Gines Construction and should have been finished March 28.


The construction works to be undertaken will be the reconstruction of damaged road into 0.30 meter (m) thick, upgrading of asphalt shoulder at .23 m thick, construction of concrete curb and gutter, application of reflectorized thermoplastic pavement markings with white and yellow colors and installation of metal guardrails.


“We addressed the fear of commuters due to the long queue of vehicles along the bridge section in Batu Ferry and thereby we relocated the traffic post just after the bridge,” Reyes bared.


In Quezon town, the more than P19 million replacement of the Baresbes bridge along Bambang-Kasibu-Solano road started January 23 and is expected to be completed on May 22.

Contracted by RO Builders, the project requires the construction of 30 lineal meter (l.m.)-bridge on steel H-pipes, road approaches, and removal of existing 24.00 l.m. bailey bridge and concrete overflow bridge.


Once completed, Reyes said fast and convenient traveling condition by the public in transporting agricultural products in the towns of Kasibu and Quezon will be achieved.

“So far, we have not encountered any problem during the on-going construction of the project and the people were very thankful for it,” he added. (TCB/BME - PIA 2, Nueva Vizcaya)

Government assures mining policy draft well-studied

by (PNA)

scs/CJT/utb


MANILA, April 2 (PNA) – Agencies concerned have considered all inputs possible in drafting the proposed executive order covering President Benigno S. Aquino III’s anticipated mining policy. Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Ramon Paje gave such assurance, noting the Chief Executive ordered his department and other agencies concerned to be thorough in drafting the policy to help ensure this is fair to mining stakeholders, government and the public. “The President told us to take into consideration all possible inputs and to avoid doing haphazard work,” he stressed. Paje reported that agencies under the government’s environment and economic clusters already submitted the proposed final draft to Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa’s office. Ochoa will submit the draft to President Aquino for action. Government will first announce parameters defining the President’s mining policy then release details on the matter afterwards, Paje said. He reiterated the proposed policy seeks to raise government’s revenues from mining. “We also won’t allow mining activities that are pollutive,” he added. Paje said the Chief Executive is open to considering suggested measures on how to raise government’s revenue haul from mining as long as these are allowed under the law. “The President can look into anything legal that’ll help increase such haul,” Paje said. DENR previously proposed that mining sites nationwide be declared as mineral reservation areas (MRAs) so government can collect royalties from mining companies operating there. Paje also believes such declaration will help level the playing field among large-scale mining companies in the country since those operating inside MRAs are obligated at present to pay government two percent excise tax plus five percent royalty. Mining companies operating outside MRAs are required to pay the excise tax only, he noted. “Those operating inside and outside MRAs extract minerals – such God-given natural wealth belongs to our country so it’s only fair for all concerned to pay royalty to government,” he said. MRAs are tracts of land and offshore areas possibly having minerals in sufficient quantity and quality but which are proclaimed as closed to mining locations and leases so government or qualified entities can develop, utilize and conserve deposits there when needed, the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) noted. MGB said the country has nine MRAs. Earlier, Laguna Lake Development Authority chief and presidential adviser on the environment Secretary Nereus Acosta said President Aquino ordered authorities concerned to particularly look into three major concerns when drafting the proposed mining policy. Such concerns are stabilizing the Philippine investment climate, reducing poverty, and maximizing environmental governance. “Those were his marching orders for us,” Acosta said. He also said the President Aquino ordered authorities concerned to look into mining issues of community stakeholders, including Philippine indigenous peoples (IPs) so government can address these problems accordingly. Earlier this month, reports surfaced that Ifugao province lone district Rep. Teddy Brawner Baguilat observed increasing local opposition to mining in the country. He reported that Davao City, the provinces of Capiz, Zamboanga del Sur, Romblon and Nueva Vizcaya, other local government units and several of his House colleagues are passing ordinances and resolutions banning mining in their respective territories. “We’re seeing a wave of local ordinances declaring their corresponding jurisdictions as mining-free zones and asserting moratoriums on open pit mining which can only mean that at the local level, people are rejecting mining,” he said. Baguilat believes such development reflects people’s disappointment with mining’s impact on their lives, livelihood and the environment. “What we need is a new framework for mining that departs from the antiquated Mining Act of 1995,” he said. The proposed Mineral Resources Act provides for creating such framework to regulate rational exploration, development and use of mineral resources as well as to ensure that government, communities and IPs equitably share benefits from these, he added.


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