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Pangasinan News

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List of Municipalities in the Pangasinan province within Region I in the Republic of The Philippines
Agno || Aguilar || Alcala || Anda || Asingan || Balungao || Bani || Basista || Bautista || Bayambang || Binalonan || Binmaley || Bolinao || Bugallon || Burgos || Calasiao || Dasol || Infanta || Labrador || Laoac || Lingayen (Capital) || Mabini || Malasiqui || Manaoag || Mangaldan || Mangatarem || Mapandan || Natividad || Pozzorubio || Rosales || San Fabian || San Jacinto || San Manuel || San Nicolas || San Quintin || Santa Barbara || Santa Maria || Santo Tomas || Sison || Sual || Tayug || Umingan || Urbiztondo || Villasis
Cities in the Province of Pangasinan: Alaminos City || Dagupan City || San Carlos City || Urdaneta City
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Map Locator of Pangasinan Province
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The Capitol Building of Pangasinan in the municipality of Lingayen
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Pangasinan State University, Asingan Campus
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Church in Aguilar Pangasinan
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Tondol Beach, Anda

Contents

FNRI pushes fortified food in Pangasinan

(Manila Bulletin)

Dagupan City, Pangasinan — The Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI), the lead agency in food and nutrition research, concluded that iron-fortified rice and iron rice premix can improve the nutritional status of men.

Speaking at a forum here last weekend, Trinidad Arcangel, senior research specialist of FNRI, explained that food fortification is the process of adding nutrients to processed food. “We fortify food to fight malnutrition among Filipinos and improve the nutritional quality of the nation’s food supply,” said Arcangel.

She revealed that Filipinos lack iron, vitamin A, thiamine, riboflavin, iodine, ascorbic acid calcium and folate, thus the need for food fortification. Philippine Food Fortification law mandates the adding of iron mineral to rice; vitamin A and iron to flour; and vitamin A in edible oil and in sugar.

Dr. Imelda Agdeppa, assistant scientist at FNRI encouraged the public to prioritize nutrition. “We must invest in nutrition so as to improve the quality of human resources especially the children.”

SINAG feeds 25,000 kids on eve of World Food Day

(Manila Bulletin)

As part of its World Food Day celebration, the Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura (SINAG) kicked-off a series of feeding programs with close to 25,000 children and adults benefiting from its initial salvo in flood-hit areas of Bulacan and Pangasinan.

SINAG’s simultaneous feeding programs were held in 27 public schools in Calasiao, Pangasinan and in Jubilee Home, Lumang Bayan, Plaridel, Bulacan. Similar activities are planned in Albay province and Yolanda-hit areas in the Visayas. SINAG chairman Rosendo So with some school kids in Pangasinan who were served nutritious food produced by local farmers and fishermen.

SINAG chairman Rosendo So with some school kids in Pangasinan who were served nutritious food produced by local farmers and fishermen.

In a statement, SINAG chairman Rosendo So said the group’s feeding program seeks to promote agriculture and local products. “The food we’re sharing are actual harvests of Filipino rice and vegetable farmers, while the pork, chicken and fish were raised by our backyard and commercial raisers. In Calasiao alone, backyard and commercial hog raisers contributed more than 2,200 kilos of pork; while rice farmers and rice millers in Pangasinan donated 40 sacks (2,000 kilos) of rice,” he said.

So urged flood victims not to lose hope and to continue farming. He also called for more government intervention to ensure food security while addressing the people’s nutritional needs, especially those exposed to adverse climactic and weather conditions.

According to SINAG, there’s an urgent need to increase private investments and public expenditures to protect and support domestic agriculture. A strong and viable domestic agriculture and resilient rural communities is the best defense against the threats of climate change.

“We enjoin everyone to support children in communities that need extra nutrition and we encourage them to source this from our own harvests and local production,” So said.

Drop ‘act of god’ phrase in contracts — Bishop

By Jerrylyn B. Damaso

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) head on Friday urged the Filipino people to shed the mistaken notion of God as a bringer of “catastrophe, calamity, and misfortune” and the inordinate use of the “act of God” legalese.

In a statement, Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas said the formulaic phrase commonly used in insurance contracts, and in law and jurisprudence “conveys the thought that God is the cause of human misery and tragedy.”

The prelate said it should be replaced with felicitous expressions already available like fortuitous event, natural calamities, force majeure and other catch-all terms.

“A landslide, for example, that not only impedes travel but can bring about the tragic loss of life is usually referred to in commercial and legal documents as an “act of God,” Villegas said.

Although the CBCP president admitted God as the “universal cause” in everything, he expressed disapproval over the use of “act of God” for tragic events, which warped the image of an all-loving God.

Pangasinan elimination for stat quiz set Oct 27

By By Venus H. Sarmiento (VHS/PIA-1/Pangasinan)

LINGAYEN, Pangasinan, October 17 (PIA) – For the first time, the Philippine Statistics Quiz will hold a provincial elimination as part of the observance of the National Statistics Month.

Dante Pescador, provincial statistics officer of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), said qualifiers from the provincial elimination, to be held on October 27, will advance to the regional eliminations in La Union province on November 13.

“The statistics quiz is an annual contest which aims to assess the competency and skills of students in statistics as acquired from the secondary education curriculum,” Pescador said during the provincial steering committee meeting at the DepEd division office on Thursday.

The PSQ identifies and nurtures talents especially in the field of statistics. It contributes to the advocacy in the use of statistics for evidence-based decision making. Results of the contest can also provide indications of the effectiveness of the statistics component of mathematics as a subject for the secondary curriculum, Pescador added.

The PSQ is open to all Fillipino first time college freshmen currently enrolled in the second semester for the school year 2014-2015 in any recognized tertiary academic institution. One school can field a maximum of three students . A contestant is entitled to one coach endorsed by the school.

Trophies, medals, certificates of recognition, and cash prizes await contestants at the provincial and regional contests. The national finals will be held on December 2 in Metro Manila.

The PSQ provincial steering committee is composed of members from the Provincial Planning and Development Office, Department of Education, Department of Science and Technology, Department of Labor and Employment , Philippine Information Agency, Population Commission and other appropriate government and private institutions designated by this year’s chairman, Board Member Amado I. Espino III.

Young Filipino envoys visit Pangasinan before leaving for Asean cruise

By Elsha Marie B. Soriano (MCA/EMBS/PIA-1, Pangasinan)

LINGAYEN, Pangasinan October 16 (PIA) – The country’s young cultural ambassadors for the 41st Ship for Southeast Asian and Japanese Youth Program (SSEAJYP) made a two-day stop in Pangasinan before leaving for an international cruise that will take them to five Southeast Asian nations for 52 days.

The young ambassadors stayed in Pangasinan from October 13-14 to learn from the province’s rich culture and scenic beauty which will be part of their task in promoting Philippine eco-tourism and hospitality.

The SSEAYP is an annual cultural exchange program established in 1974 that aims to promote mutual understanding and friendship among young participants from Japan and Southeast Asian countries.

Edwin Antonio, national leader of the 2014 Philippine Youth Ambassadors of Goodwill, said the country’s 28 ambassadors will be joining the cruise on October 29 to December 18 that will visit the countries of Japan, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia and Myanmar.

Antonio said the Philippine delegates “would like to show Southeast Asian and Japanese delegates the beauty and culture of Pangasinan through a national presentation on board the Nippon Maru ship.”

“On board for 52 days, the delegates will be doing a lot of activities that includes cultural presentation, institutional visits, interactions with local youth and the home stay program,” he said.

Antonio said this year’s cultural exchange program anchored with the theme “Youth Participation in Social Activities” will be joined by more than 300 youth ambassadors from Japan and ASEAN member countries.

Indigenous folk gain access to gov’t services

By Gabriel Cardinoza (Philippine Daily Inquirer)

PANGASINAN, Philippines—Councilor Danilo Bugtong of San Nicolas town, Pangasinan province, drove for four hours on Monday from his house in the mountain village of Malico to reach the municipal hall in time for the flag-raising ceremony at 8 a.m.

The trip took him to Sta. Fe town, Nueva Vizcaya province, and San Jose City and Lupao town, Nueva Ecija province, before passing through the towns of Umingan, San Quintin and Tayug in Pangasinan to reach San Nicolas.

Bugtong and other members of the Kalanguya tribe in the village had to go through the circuitous route to reach the town because the 20-kilometer Villaverde Trail can be used only for hiking.

“I’m already used to it,” said Bugtong, 57, who just sat in July as IP (indigenous peoples) representative to the municipal council. He is also a pastor of the town’s United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP).

When Bugtong studied at Red Arrow High School in San Nicolas and later at Luna Colleges in Tayug, he walked the trail for four hours.

Access

“Many IPs in Pangasinan live in the uplands and the primary concern is the access to the center of governance,” said Bugtong, whose tribe is one of the three in his town. The others are the Ibaloy in Barangay San Felipe East and the Iwak in Barangay Fianza.

The province has 10 other tribes living in the towns of San Manuel, Sison, Umingan, Pozorrubio, Laoac, Sual, Labrador, Bugallon, Mangatarem, Mabini, Infanta and Aguilar.

The National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) placed the IP population in Pangasinan at 14,670.

Bugtong said the delivery of government services to the IPs, such as health and education, was suffering because of the problem of accessibility.

Some areas in the province are isolated during the rainy season because it is difficult to reach them, said Dr. Enrique de los Santos, NCIP provincial officer. “They cannot also sell their produce in the town’s public market because it will be very expensive for them to transport it,” he said.

But he said the government had fixed the roads in some areas, like in Mapita, a mountain village in Aguilar, which can now be reached by a one-and-a-half hour drive, compared with the seven-hour hike before.

In December last year, electricity also reached Mapita.

But the physical distance that separates the cultural communities from the centers of power and decision-making has been bridged in some areas of the province.

Two towns now have IP representatives sitting in the municipal councils, De los Santos said. Aside from Bugtong, Josephine Saguirre assumed her post in the municipal council of Sison in July.

Bugtong said the implementation of the Indigenous Peoples’ Rights Act (Ipra) of 1997 provision on IP representation in local legislative bodies was a product of a long struggle.

“Some local governments did not like it; others said there was no budget for it. We are very glad that during the time of the late [Interior] Secretary [Jesse] Robredo, this was finally realized. And we are very grateful for that,” he said.

He said members of the San Nicolas town council welcomed him warmly when he assumed office in July.

“I was emotional. Gone finally are the days when the IPs were only for tourism, when the IPs were only for street dancing. Now, we sit in the lawmaking body of the town,” he said.

“It’s very, very rewarding. It makes you proud to be an IP, that you can do something, that you can contribute, not only in the locality but in nation-building as well,” he said.

Ancestral domain titles

De los Santos said his office was working to help qualified IP communities get their certificates of ancestral domain title (CADTs) to assure them of communal land ownership.

In San Nicolas, the three tribal communities occupy about 15,000 hectares of ancestral land in the Caraballo Mountains.

The CADT is good for them because their territory will be protected from any government or private projects intrusions, De los Santos said. “If these projects enter an ancestral domain, they will have to seek the community’s free prior and informed consent,” he said.

Bugtong said indigenous communities in the province should remain united and strong to improve their lives. “We will continue to work hard to assert our rights. Our rights are not served on a silver platter; you have to work and fight for it,” he said.

1,721 examinees to take criminologist board exam on October 19-21

By April Montes (MCA/AMM/PIA-1, Pangasinan)

ROSALES, Pangasinan, October 14 (PIA) – The Professional Regulation Commission (PRC)-Baguio Regional Office will conduct the Criminologists Licensure Examination (CLE) here on October 19-21 to some 1, 721 examinees.

The licensure exams will be conducted at the Li Seng Giap Elementary School, Rosales National High School, Rosales North Central School and Rosales South Central School.

Evangeline Marilyn Vergara, executive officer designate, advised all examinees to report to their assigned testing centers before 6:30 a.m.

Examinees and examination personnel are enjoined to uphold the integrity of the CLE, she said.

Room assignments are now posted at PRC-Baguio Regional Office website: www.prcbaguio.blogspot.com.

In case the examinee’s name is not included, misspelled, or there is discrepancy in the date of birth or school and campus in the List of Examinees, please call Mr. Billy Joe Pablo at telephone no. (074) 304-3180 or email at prcbaguio.application@gmail.com to effect the necessary corrections in the database.

The Program of Examination and updated List of Non-Programmable Calculators allowed to be used in the examinations are posted at the said website for reference.

Pope Francis names Pangasinan's Manaoag Shrine a basilica

By Paterno Esmaquel II (Rappler.com)

By naming it a basilica, Pope Francis grants privileges to the Manaoag church and its churchgoers

MANILA, Philippines – Granting special privileges to the Manaoag Shrine and Catholics who visit it, Pope Francis has turned the Pangasinan church into a basilica.

The Manaoag Shrine houses the image of the Lady of the Rosary of Manaoag, which Catholics believe is miraculous.

Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas on Monday, October 13, said Francis “has granted the title minor basilica” on the Shrine of Our Lady of the Rosary of Manaoag.

“The Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan is immensely blessed," said Villegas, who also heads the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines.

Francis named the shrine a basilica months before he visits the Philippines in January 2015.

In the Catholic Church, the Pope can honor a church with the title of minor basilica if it has “particular importance for liturgical and pastoral life,” the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments said in 1989.

To qualify as a basilica, the congregation said the church may, among other things, “enjoy a certain renown throughout the diocese, for example, because it has been constructed and dedicated to God on the occasion of some particular historical and religious event, or because the body or significant relics of a saint are reserved in it, or because some sacred image is there venerated in a special way.”

Indulgence for churchgoers

The title of minor basilica comes with certain privileges. One of these is a plenary indulgence, which Paul VI defined as “the remission before God of the temporal punishment due sins already forgiven as far as their guilt is concerned.”

An indulgence “is partial or plenary according as it removes either part or all of the temporal punishment due sin,” Paul VI said in the apostolic constitution Indulgentiarum Doctrina.

The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments said: “The faithful who devoutly visit the basilica and within it participate in any sacred rite or at least recite the Lord's Prayer and the profession of faith may obtain a plenary indulgence under the usual conditions (sacramental confession, Eucharistic Communion, and prayer for the intention of the Supreme Pontiff):

1. on the anniversary of the dedication of the same basilica;
2. on the day of the liturgical celebration of the title;
3. on the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, Apostles;
4. on the anniversary of the granting of the title of basilica;
5. once a year on a day to be determined by the local Ordinary;
6. once a year on a day freely chosen by the each of the faithful.”

The congregation added that “the papal symbol, that is, 'crossed keys,' may be exhibited on banners, on furnishings, and on the seal of the basilica.”

Basilicas in the Philippines include the Manila Cathedral and the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene in Quiapo.

Children's congress set in Dagupan for Nat'l Children’s Month

By Elsha Marie B. Soriano (MCA/EMBS/PIA-1, Pangasinan)

DAGUPAN CITY, October 12 (PIA) – The Department of Education (DepEd) in this city will hold a 3-day congress on October 14 to 16 at the CSI Stadia to mark National Children’s Month.

Lourdes Servito, officer-in-charge of DepEd Dagupan, said the congress seeks to enhance, promote and protect the child’s moral, spiritual and physical intelligence and social well-being.

Servito said the activity will provide various activities, contests and educational workshop to participants to develop their creative talents and give them time to have fun.

“(Issues) on anti-bullying will be discussed during the seminar-workshop,” Servito said during the ‘Pantongtongan Tayo’ radio program of PIA-Pangasinan aired live over DZMQ Radyo ng Bayan last Tuesday.

Students from Dagupan City National High School were tasked to portray a short skit of bullying acts, which will be interpreted by psychologists, to instil to the participants the real meaning of bullying.

Servito said most children are not aware that they employ bullying when they use force, threat and coercion to abuse, intimidate or aggressively dominate others.

Activities on the first day include essay writing contest, photography contest, coloring contest for kinder and elementary pupils, poster making contest, basketball 3 on 3, on-the-spot slogan writing contest and culture and arts exhibit that will be put up by various school districts which will showcase Dagupeños' culture and traditions.

Other activities incluse a puppet show, math challenge, cooking, salad and sandwich making contest, song writing and interpretation dance contest, search for acoustic diva and the search for Little Mister and Miss Children’s Congress 2014 that will be participated in by kinder garten pupils who will wear Filipino dresses made of indigenous materials.

The event will also feature Christmas décor making contest, on-the-spot jingle writing and presentation contest and poetry presentation, spelling and story retelling is Pangasinan.

“Activities like tag of love, palosebo and patintero are also included because the main theme of the congress is like barrio fiesta,” said Servito.

She added that the congress will be attended by all school children from kinder garten to high school in Dagupan City.

Pangasinan spikers go 2-0 in Petron beach volley

(MST Sports)

PANGASINAN spikers Melanie Carrera and Cindy Benitez lived up to their billing as the team to beat after a hot 2-0 start in the final leg of the 2014 Petron Ladies’ Beach Volleyball Tournament at the sand-courts of the University of the East-Caloocan campus on Friday.

The tandem needed just 15 minutes to overpower their stunned foes, grabbing a 11-0 score, and then continuing the attack mode the rest of the way.

Then, a 21-8 beating of Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Marikina 1 bets Shirley Martinez and Lourdes dela Cruz earned Carrera and Benitez their second straight victory.

“Naging maganda lang po siguro ang pairings,” humbly said Carrera in this beach volley tournament backed by Petron and Mikasa balls.

Meanwhile, Viray twins Nieza and Jieziela, who are also from Pangasinan, opened their campaign with 21-7 beating of St. Michael-Laguna 2’s Raissa Mae Punan and Maja Minorka Mercado, before absorbing a close 18-21setback at the hands of University of the East spikers Francisclyn Cais and Krycel Cueva.

The left-handed Jeziela, who is 15 minutes younger than Nieza led a big attack which allowed them to take charge right away at 12-6.

But the defensive game of Cais and Cueva picked up the rest of the way and slowed down the Pangasinan bets, keeping the two from taking the lead in Group B.

“Tinambakan namin sila (Punan and Mercado) pero na depensahan kami nu’ng sumunod,” said Jeziela, who is a fourth year high school student at the Pangasinan School of Arts and Trade.

With their 1-1 win-loss record, the twins remained on course in earning a seat to the semifinals.

Filipino students take part in Japan youth exchange program

By Venus H. Sarmiento (MCA/VHS/PIA-1 Pangasinan)

DAGUPAN CITY, Oct 10 (PIA) - At least 110 Filipino students took part in a nine- day youth exchange program from September 29 to October 7 in Japan under the Japan East Asia Network of Exchange for Students and Youth (JENESYS) programme.

The JENESYS 2.0 programme promotes potential interests towards Japan within the young generation to increase visitors to Japan, facilitate global understanding on Japanese values and revitalize the Japanese economy.

The Japan government sponsors the exchange program in 41 countries throughout Asian and Oceanian regions and North America with various themes. The third batch carried the theme on Mass Media.

The delegates were mass communication and journalism students and bloggers from different schools in the Philippines.

They were accompanied by eight adults who came from the different branches of the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) namely, the Philippine Information Agency (PIA), Bureau of Communication Services (BCS)and the People’s Television Network (PTV).

“We are so happy to see you here in Japan and we hope that you could tell your family and friends back in the Philippines of your findings and experiences during your stay here,” Nobuaki Hirakawa, managing director of the International Cooperation Promotion Department of the Japan International Cooperation Center (JICE) said.

While in Japan, the youth delegates were divided into four groups. Two groups went to Chiba Prefecture while the other two flew to Hokkaido Prefecture which is about one and a half hour away from Tokyo by plane. Prefecture is the Japanese equivalent of a province in the Philippines.

The groups visited the Asakusa temple to view the Historical and Traditional Culture of Japan, cutting-edge technology in the University of Electro-Communications and the Sapporo Dome and local industries like the Kamogawa Ocean Park and the Doshin Newspaper printing company.

The school exchange program included personal interaction and exchange of ideas. Filipinos were able to attend a seminar-class handled by Japanese professors.

“It’s such a wonderful experience to be able to talk to Japanese students and learn more about their culture. Those I have talked to can speak good English so the communication was not that difficult,” said Kristelle Teh, a masscom student from the University of the Philippines in Mindanao.

Highlight of the Japan visit was the home stay program where the Filipino delegates stayed with pre-screened Japanese families in their respective houses for two nights and two days. This deepened the student’s understanding of Japanese life and built the relationship of trust between them and the host family.

Finally, the groups were asked to discuss together about their impressions of Japan before coming to the country, their findings and gained knowledge during their stay in Japan and an action plan that details how they can spread and disseminate information about Japan through the mass media.

During the actual presentation, the four groups came up with action plans with catchy project titles like: Magandanng Hapon, Jene-sees, Hokkaido and Arigatour.

A fourth batch of mass media students is scheduled to visit Japan this December.

Dagupan, DepEd vow to improve 58 substandard school buildings

By Liezle Basa Inigo

Dagupan City, Pangasinan — Authorities announced yesterday that the Department of Education (DepEd) and the city government have joined forces in addressing squarely structural integrity problems with 58 prefabricated classroom buildings constructed in 11 school campuses, here.

“Improving the facilities in the city’s public is a top priority,” Mayor Belen T. Fernandez assured.

Her assurance comes following the Multi-Sectoral Summit on Education last August in which pledges were made to develop and improve school infrastructure to boost safety for children after it was found that 58 classroom buildings had structural problems.

The buildings were built in Barangays Sabangan, Malued, Pugaro, Bolosan, Salapingao, Bonuan Boquig, Bonaun Binloc, Carael, Tapuac, and Judge Jose de Venecia Memorial National High School.

This led to the City Engineering Office’s indefinite suspension of the construction of school buildings that were built under the Public-Private Partnership for School Infrastructure Project (PSIP) program.

DA turns over rice facility

By Anna Leah G. Estrada

The Agriculture Department recently turned over to two farmer organizations a rice processing complex established with the assistance of the Korean International Agency.

The department and the provincial government of Pangasinan turned over facility in Tebag East, Sta. Barbara to the Albacopa Federation of Cooperative and the Pangasinan Federation of Irrigator’s Association.

The rice processing facility has modern grain dryers, rice mills, storage and packaging equipment. Its operation started in September 2011.

The facility was established to increase the income of farmers by improving the efficiency of rice postproduction and distribution system, reduce postharvest losses and maximize the utilization of rice by-products.

Albacopa and PFIA said at least 2,600 rice farmers would be assisted through seed and fertilizer provision, land preparation, postharvest and marketing services under the project.

The organizations also plan to buy at least 25,000 bags of rice paddy and sell at least 15,000 bags of rice monthly.

Search on for outstanding young men in North Luzon

By Elsha Marie B. Soriano (MCA/EMBS/PIA-1, Pangasinan)

DAGUPAN CITY, October 7 (PIA) – The search for outstanding young men and women who have shown exemplary contributions to their community is now open for nomination in North Luzon.

Anchored on the theme “Changing the Future through Excellence,” the search seeks to give national recognition to young Filipinos who dedicated themselves to their profession and vocation that has resulted in significant contributions to the welfare of their countrymen as well as to the advancement of their fields of endeavor.

Lawyer Mark Lester Manalo, chair of the search committee of The Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) Foundation, said nominees must be a Filipino citizen, at least 18 to 40 years old and have not reached the age of 41 by December this year and has not been conferred with the TOYM award.

“Nominees must have outstanding achievement in areas of community service, arts, literature, journalism, education, law, politics, agriculture science and technology, economics, banking, business, sports, and government services,” said Manalo in a press conference held on Friday at the Metro Plaza here.

Manalo added that the nominator must submit an accomplished nomination form attesting all stated facts, certified true copy of nominee’s birth certificate, two copies of 5” x 7” picture of nominee, one-page executive summary of nominee’s accomplishments, scrapbook, and scanned copies of accomplished documents. All requirements must be stored in compact disc.

“Although the award has no monetary value, the recognition of the community is a prestige and a life-time achievement,” said Manalo.

Dagupan City was chosen as the area to launch the nomination for TOYM Search because North Luzon has a fewer number of nomination.

TOYM is a flagship project of the Junior Chamber International (JCI) Philippines and considered as the country’s prestigious award search for young Filipinos.

Over 5,000 Pantawid folks join National Family Day celeb

By Elsha Marie B. Soriano (MCA/EMBS/PIA-1, Pangasinan)

DAGUPAN CITY, October 6 (PIA) – Over 5,000 beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) in Region 1 joined the first National Family Day and Convergence Caravan held on Sunday at the CSI Stadia here.

Marcelo Nicomedes Castillo, regional director of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in Ilocos, said the nationwide celebration was in observance of the National Family Week held every fourth week of September.

Castillo said the event was a good venue “to celebrate and show the importance of a complete, happy and successful family, which together with the social welfare department, will help in eradicating poverty that will eventually promote positive transformation.”

During the event, some beneficiaries shared their inspiring stories of fruition and positive transformations in their lives as Pantawid pamilya program recipient.

“With the sound and rhythm of transformation, through education, nutrition and responsible parenthood, 4Ps beneficiaries can go across the positive transformation and prosperity,” he said.

Castillo disclosed that the number of beneficiaries continue to increase every year. He further explained that the trend do not necessarily shows that indigent families in the country are also increasing.

Meanwhile, he said that based on the DSWD records, over 195, 000 indigent families in Region 1 are now covered by the Pantawid pamilya program while some 39, 763 senior citizens are sheltered by the Social Pension program.

Solon pushes E-Peso Act

By Paolo S. Romero (The Philippine Star)

MANILA, Philippines - An administration lawmaker is pushing for the immediate passage of a bill seeking to create the “E-peso” as a medium of exchange for Internet transactions.

Pangasinan Rep. Kimi Cojuangco, author of House Bill 4914, said there is an urgent need to enact the proposed “E-Peso Act of 2014” since there is no official medium of exchange or money for the Internet.

“What exists is a patchwork of methods using traditional credit systems, which act in place of money on the Internet. The E-peso is the electronic equivalent to the paper peso,” Cojuangco said.

She said the E-peso would be a legal tender and legal payment for debt, taxes, goods and services transacted through the Internet.

Under the bill, the E-peso shall be recognized as the electronic legal tender and shall be available in all banks branches operating in the country.

The lawmaker said the amount in circulation of the E-peso would be limited to P1 billion in the initial two years.

The bill mandates the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) to explore and study the technology of “bitcoin and post bitcoin cryptocurrencies” to expand the knowledge base, which it would use in deciding what technology to use in E-peso.

“The BSP will also choose a system that uses peer to peer processing of the log chain and shall exert its utmost to leverage existing hardware being used by the other leading cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin,” the bill stated.

The proposed bill further stated that the BSP shall mandate all bank branches to dedicate at least one computer with adequate technical specification to serve as a local peer.

An initial amount equivalent to one percent of the total amount of Philippine currency in circulation shall be minted by the BSP within one year from the enactment of the proposed act, the bill outlined.

Bitcoin is a new currency created in 2009 by an unknown person using the name Satoshi Nakamoto for use in transactions in the Internet. Bitcoins are not tied to any country or subject to regulation. The use of bitcoins do not require transaction fees.

Bitcoins are stored in a “digital wallet” that also allows buyers or sellers of various products to transact business anonymously.

According to buybitcoin.ph, the value of one bitcoin is about P16,000 to P17,000 depending on the current market conditions.

Ships with coal seen as red tide ‘carriers’

By Gabriel Cardinoza (Inquirer Northern Luzon, Philippine Daily Inquirer)

DAGUPAN CITY—The red tide outbreak that hit the coastal waters of Alaminos City last week may have come from “seeds” of harmful algae accidentally introduced to the Lingayen Gulf by ships delivering coal to a power plant in Sual town, Pangasinan province, according to the head of the National Integrated Fisheries Technology Development Center.

Dr. Westly Rosario said that when he was first assigned here in 1997, Pangasinan had never experienced red tide since the first outbreak hit Samar province in 1983.

But in 2001, he said, red tide occurred in that town and the neighboring island town of Anda after massive fish kill struck Bolinao town.

“In our analysis, Bolinao and Anda had red tide because of the ships delivering coal to the power plant,” he said.

The coal-fired power plant in Sual, which is now owned by Team Energy Corp., began operating in 1999.

Ships reach the Lingayen Gulf from the West Philippine Sea by cruising near the coastlines of Bolinao and Anda before docking to unload coal.

Rosario said ships use sea water to fill their ballast tanks to keep the vessels steady.

“They add or remove water from one side of the ballast tanks to the other to keep the boat from rocking side to side [too] much. They may have loaded red tide-infected seawater in one place and discharged them in another,” Rosario said.

“These are the same ships that deliver coal to the power plants in the provinces of Zambales and Quezon, where there have been red tide episodes,” he said.

He said another possibility was that red-tide infected mussels could have clung and grown in the ships’ hull.

He said there was no way that red tide was introduced by tidal flow to the Lingayen Gulf because the nearest red ride-affected area at the time was the coastal waters of Masinloc town in neighboring Zambales.

“It’s too far,” Rosario said. “Unless, someone had dumped 200 sacks of red tide-infected mussels in Bolinao.”

According to the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources website, 22 coastal areas in the country experienced more than 540 outbreaks of harmful algal blooms between 1983 and 2002.

Rosario said that based on the chronology of red tide outbreaks, areas with coal-fired power plants were the most vulnerable.

After Bolinao and Anda, the next red tide outbreak in the province happened in Bani town in 2012.

“Now, it’s Alaminos and there’s not even much aquaculture activity in the city’s coastal areas,” Rosario said.

He said the coastal areas of Dagupan City could be protected from red tide because the Agno River exits in Lingayen and harmful algal blooms cannot survive in freshwater.

He said the red tide outbreak in Alaminos might linger in coastal areas of the city for at least a month.

He said Alaminos would be declared red tide-free only after tests for four consecutive weeks show that the toxicity level is within normal range.

He said gathering, selling and consuming all types of shellfish from the area were still prohibited.

P190-m rice processing center launched

By Dexter A. See

STA. BARBARA, Pangasinan—Governor Amado T. Espino Jr. said the Rice Processing Complex in Tebag here will boost the productivity of marginal planters after its management and operations has been turned over to farmers’ organizations.

He said the Department of Agriculture and the capitol conveyed the responsibility of handling the P190-million facility to the stakeholders themselves to minimize post-harvest losses and increase income levels as a result.

Espino, however, urged the Pangasinan Federation of Irrigators Association (PFIA) led by Oftociano Manalo and the Association of Land Bank-Assisted Cooperatives Association (ALBACOPA) under Levi F. Bautista to get their act together.

The processing hub was donated by the South Korean government on September 5, 2011 to the provincial government and DA to be operated by the National Agribusiness Corp. (NABCOR).

He said the RPC incurred losses in NABCOR’S watch for three years.

The RPC was built in November 2009 with counterpart funds of P150 million from KOICA, P32 million from the DA and P8 million plus the one-hectare lot from the provincial government.

PFIA is composed of 17 member-irrigators while ALBACOPA is made up of 13 cooperatives.

The turnover was attended by DA Regional Director Valentino Perdido, DA-RFO1 Regional Technical Director Paz L. Mones, Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Provincial Director Maan Francisco, and the RPC operational managers of Iloilo, Davao, and Bohol among others.

Pangasinan’s RPC is one of four rice processing complexes in the country and the first one to be managed and operated by local farmers.

After the ceremony, the provincial government distributed fruit-tree seedlings and mangrove propagules to planters at the nearby Provincial Nursery.

Dolly Moya, of the Provincial Agriculture’s office, said about 110,000 seedlings were given to barangay councils, public schools and non-government organizations as part of the reforestation and environment protection program.

Gratitude money

By Ramon Tulfo (On Target, Philippine Daily Inquirer)

Despite what many people are saying about Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Alan Purisima, an outspoken critic of the police force said that he is not corrupt.

Retired Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Oscar Cruz said that Purisima stopped “jueteng,” an illegal numbers game, and solved high-profile crimes when he was Pangasinan provincial police chief.

Cruz is a vociferous critic of the PNP when it comes to jueteng.

“His record as provincial director of Pangasinan, I seem to recall, was quite excellent,” Cruz said.

He added that Purisima was assigned to Pangasinan from June 2005 to February 2007.

The PNP chief was called to the Senate on Tuesday to answer charges of plunder, corruption, bribery and unexplained wealth.

Cruz was one of those who asked that Purisima be retained as Pangasinan police director in 2007 for his “integrity and capacity in attending to his difficult police task.”

At that time, Purisima was awaiting reassignment in line with the PNP’s practice of transferring a police official after two years of holding an assigned post.

Give Purisima the benefit of the doubt, Cruz said.

Another defender of the PNP chief is a party-list congressman, Rosendo So, who said that Purisima has “helped so many kidnap victims, including my family.”

Purisima was chief of the defunct Police Anti-Crime and Emergency Response (Pacer) from 2002 to 2003.

  • * *

If Purisima didn’t receive money from jueteng, the No. 1 source of corruption among high-ranking police officials (as per Archbishop Cruz), how did he become very rich?

I’m not privy to the PNP chief’s life but I think I can guess the source of his wealth: From moneyed Chinese-Filipino families who were grateful to him for rescuing their kidnapped scions when he was Pacer chief.

I am told that when he was Pacer chief, he rescued scores of Chinese-Filipino kidnap victims.

The money used in building a mansion on a 4.7-hectare property in Nueva Ecija and other pieces of property that Purisima has acquired probably came from those thankful Tsinoys.

I know a former PNP chief who never accepted money from jueteng lords but who became very rich out of the generosity of wealthy Tsinoys whose families were once victims of kidnap-for-ransom gangs.

One can’t accuse the ex-police official of accepting bribes since the money was given long after the rescue was made, not before.

When he was still a lieutenant in the defunct Philippine Constabulary, the former PNP chief was given a business concession by a tycoon whose daughter was rescued by him and his men from kidnappers.

Now, can you consider money that was given out freely on account of gratitude a bribe?

I think gratitude money from the families of erstwhile kidnap victims, and not theft of government funds or extortion, enriched Purisima.

He probably didn’t want to identify his benefactors at the Senate hearing.

Whether it was wrong for him to accept that money is debatable.

Anti-‘jueteng’ bishop, Pangasinan leaders back PNP head

By Gabriel Cardinoza (Philippine Daily Inquirer)

DAGUPAN CITY—Retired Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Oscar Cruz said he was pained by accusations of corruption against Philippine National Police Director General Alan Purisima, who he noted stopped the illegal numbers game “jueteng” and solved high-profile crimes when he served as police director of Pangasinan province.

“His record as provincial police director of Pangasinan, I seem to recall, was quite excellent,” said Cruz, who was head of the Lingayen-Dagupan archdiocese when Purisima was stationed there from June 2005 to February 2007.

Purisima has been accused of plunder, corruption, bribery and accumulating unexplained wealth.

In a phone interview last week, Cruz, who also led Krusada ng Bayan Laban sa Sugal (People’s Crusade Against Gambling), said Purisima should be given the benefit of the doubt and due process.

“Let the case [against Purisima] be filed and accordingly processed by the judicial body concerned,” he said.

He said that if Purisima took the challenge of Sen. Grace Poe to go on a leave of absence while cases against him were being heard, “this will show his sportsmanship and gentleman’s character.”

Cruz had joined Pangasinan officials and personalities in calling for Purisima’s retention as Pangasinan police director in 2007, citing his “integrity and capacity in attending to his difficult police task.”

Among those who expressed support was Rosendo So, whose family fell victim to kidnappers in the past.

So, who now heads the agriculture group Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura (Sinag), said the brickbats being hurled against Purisima could be coming from those hurting from his campaign to cleanse the police ranks.

“He helped so many kidnap victims, including my family,” said So of Purisima’s stint as head of the Police Anti-Crime and Emergency Response (Pacer) from 2002 to 2003.

“The accomplishments included simultaneous drug buy-busts, illegal firearms and illegal gambling operations in Urdaneta City, and the arrest of a suspected leader of a kidnap-for-ransom syndicate in Bolinao,” he said in a statement.

In a petition-letter on Feb. 9, 2007, a group of Pangasinan mayors said the province “feels secure under the care and leadership of Purisima.” Yolanda Sotelo, Inquirer Northern Luzon

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