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Pangasinan News December 2011

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Pangasinan Province - Archived News

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Contents

MECO chief sees good business climate in 2012

by Eva Visperas

URDANETA CITY—Ambassador Amadeo Perez Jr., a former mayor of this city and now chief of the Manila Economic Overseas Office (MECO) in Taiwan, said Taiwanese businessmen are keen on investing in the province but will not do so until the announced major infrastructure projects are completed.

These projects include the international seaport in Sual town and the airport in Alaminos City.

Perez noted that Taiwanese companies are already present in such areas as the export-processing zone in Cebu where an international shipping port and as an international airport already operate.

Among the Taiwanese investors are manufacturers of computer parts that are shipped to Asian and European countries.

Overall, Perez said Taiwanese investors are eyeing to invest more in the Philippines where they see the prospects of a good business climate in 2012 because of the financial woes within the European Union.

Taiwanese businessmen are also looking at moving some of their investments from Mainland China to the Philippines owing to increasing labor costs in China.

Asinganians to benefit from Bay Area Medical Mission Groups

(AJPress)

INDIGENT residents of Barangay Domanpot in Asingan, Pangasinan will be the beneficiaries of a medical mission from two Bay Area groups scheduled for January 27 next year.

The Asingan Association of Northern California, Inc. (AANCI) is teaming up with the Valdez Charitable Foundation of Vallejo in bringing much-needed medical and dental services to the local residents who otherwise would not be able to avail of such services due to financial constraints.

Amelia B. Valdez, MD, president of the foundation, and Josepito Santos, AANCI president, made this joint announcement as their respective groups prepare for fund-raising events in the coming weeks to bolster funds for the mission.

Dr. Valdez said the foundation, a non-profit organization committed to helping the underprivileged in local communities in the Philippines, is holding its biggest fundraiser so far - a Salsa Night and Silent Auction on Sunday, December 11, from 5pm – 11pm at the Pacifica Community Center on 540 Crespi Drive, while the Asingan Association will hold its annual potluck Christmas Party at the residence of its president at 349 Dennis Drive, Daly City on Saturday, December 10, from 12 noon to 6pm Dr. Valdez and her group will be at the party to appraise association members of the details of the medical mission and to seek voluntary donations from members.

Both organizations have a history of extending medical and dental services to Pangasinan residents. Dr. Valdez said her foundation, with the help of various doctors in the Bay Area, has provided this year medical care to 1,100 patients in Pangasinan, including 350 children.

“These basic services included hypertension, diabetes and anemia screening, urgent care, physical examinations, pap smears, real time laboratory testing, and 200 dental extractions, “ said Dr. Valdez. She added that the foundation also initiated a food drive that benefited 450 underprivileged familes in the region, as well as a school assistance program that provided customized backpacks and school supplies to 89 elementary students of Holy Trinity School.

Sexually abused young women between the ages of 7 and 23 at the Home for the Girls in Agoo, La Union have also availed of the group’s services the form of hot soup meals.

Dr. Valdez hopes to expand its mission to other local communities next year, and she’s encouraging the public to support its humanitarian venture with their voluntary donations both in kind and in cash. Dr. Valdez hopes to expand its mission to other local communities next year, and she’s encouraging the public to support its humanitarian venture with their voluntary donations both in kind and in cash.

For its part, the AANCI has an ongoing dental clinic housed in a wing at the Asingan Puericulture Center which was constructed through the association’s funds in the early 1990s. Local staff personnel performs various forms of dental services to indigent residents who flock to the center everyday.

Information regarding the Valdez Charitable Foundation and how you can help can be obtained from Dr. Amelia B. Valdez at (707) 554-1999. Inquiries regarding the ANCI Christmas party can be directed to Sol Tiongson at (415) 347-7540, Des Manansala, (510) 782-7374, and Rosa Santos, (650) 754-0829.

More fruit vendors opt for calibrated weighing scales

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

URDANETA CITY, Pangasinan, Dec. 29 (PIA) -- The market division here reported that more fruit vendors now use calibrated weighing scales, in compliance with law.

Cesar Estoesta of the market division said, vendors have learned from the past and they themselves go to the market office to have their weighing scales calibrated.

”Natuto na yata ang ibang tindera kasi kusa na silang pumupunta sa opisina,” Estoesta said.

There were at least 20 defective weighing scales confiscated last year, according to Estoesta.

Fruit vendor Terry said it is better to be truthful with the fruit weight than to get caught or pay fines because of cheating.

Prices of fruits have now risen by P5 – P10 per kilo due to the increase in boxes of fruits by P15 - P20 per box. Round –shaped fruits like ponkan, apples and grapes which enjoy brisk sales during the new year celebration, have increased in prices.

Estoesta, however, admits that vendors with defective weighing scales could not be totally eradicated thus, guards and market personnel still keep watch.

FIDE Master Pascua tops 3rd Castañeda Chess Cup

by Alex Romeo R. Fernandez(ANL/ARRF-PIA 1 Pangasinan)

LINGAYEN, Pangasinan, Dec. 28 (PIA) —- International Chess Federation (FIDE) Master Haridas Pascua took the sole lead in the 3rd Mayor Ernesto ‘Jonas’ C. Castañeda Jr. Cup Chess Tournament held December 26 to 27 at the municipal hall here.

Pascua, who hails from Mangatarem town, drew with provincial champion Dick Gicain in the sixth round and defeated Giovanni Mejia in the seventh to secure the title. Pascua received P 5,000.

Tied for second to fourth place with 5.5 points each were Gicain, Prince Mark Aquino and Women International Master Cherry Ann Mejia, each receiving P2,000.

Completing the prize winners, tied for fifth to 12th place, were Narquingden Reyes, Giovanni Mejia, Fidel Labuanan, Leonardo Abalos Jr., Manuel Margajay, Romy Fagon, Narquingel Reyes and Verth Alora.

Alora took the Top Senior Prize, while Cherry Ann Mejia, Queenie Lyn Reyes and Ernali Bayot the Top Lady Player Prizes.

Meanwhile, Brylle Gever Vinluan of San Fabian and Benjamin Cortez of Dagupan City tied for the lead in the kiddie category with 6 points each, but the former clinched the title based on superior tie-break score.

Runner-ups were John Marx Anastacio (5.5 points) and Ramil Rabanera, John Kevin Garidan, Antonio Almodal III and Danever James Ubando (5 points).

9 Pangasinan coops receive livelihood assistance

by Venus H. Sarmiento(ANL/VHS-PIA 1 with reports from PIO)

LINGAYEN, Pangasinan, Dec. 27 (PIA) – Nine women’s cooperatives received last Monday livelihood assistance amounting to P1.14 million released through the Provincial Population Office under the province’s Livelihood Assistance Program.

Ellsworth G. Gonzales, Population Program Officer II of the PPO, said the loan assistance primarily aimed to boost the entrepreneurial ventures of various women’s groups in the province and make them productive partners of the provincial government in transforming every Pangasinense to be self-reliant.

Governor Amado T. Espino Jr., who personally turned the cheques over, said the amount was a soft-loan assistance to the women cooperatives so they could avail loans with lower interest rate.

The payment strategy scheme, he said, has encouraged the beneficiaries to become responsible borrowers.

Earning an interest of four percent every six months, the amount is intended to fund income generating projects identified by the members of the cooperatives themselves. A rebate of 2.5 percent is offered to cooperatives that will pay their loans before the due date.

Espino said most of the recent recipient cooperatives vowed to use the amount in putting up goat- raising projects. The goats will be raised by their members.

The recipients were the women’s multi-purpose cooperatives of San Pascual, Palacpalac, Quintinians, St. Paschal Baylon, the women’s associations of Payar, Primicias, Amamperez, Don Montano Garments Craft Association, Inc and Five Kids Food products.

Guv asks leaders to keep town centers clean

By Liway C. Manantan-Yparraguirre , Sunnex

LINGAYEN – "The poblacion is the face, the heart and the soul of each town."

Pangasinan Governor Amado Espino Jr. said this during a recent Christmas dinner and fellowship night with local government officials at the Capitol Plaza, as he urged leaders to keep town centers clean.

Town centers, locally called poblacion, commonly features a plaza, church, market, schools and a barangay or town hall.

To prove his point, Espino cited as example the Capitol compound as an example of physical orderliness, saying that it is the "face, the heart and soul of the province."

Espino is keen on cleanliness in and out of government buildings, and on having clean rest rooms for the personal necessities and comfort of the public.

During a Liga ng mga Barangay Christmas party, he also reminded the barangay leaders to do the same. He said he could figure out/comprehend the penchant of barangays to have grandiose barangay fiestas, them spending so much even on orchestras yet there is not even a functional and clean rest room nearby.

Meanwhile, the governor thanked the mayors and all other elected officials in the province for helping his administration realized its plans and programs.

"Thanks everyone for joining me and helping me realize all my dreams for this great province,” he said as he added that every reform is dedicated most especially to the sick, the poor and the needy Pangasinenses.

He further said in his four-year term as the highest official of the province, a lot of reforms were initiated and the Provincial Government has been moving ahead to attain the vision and mission set by the present administration

During the LGU fellowship night, the provincial government paid tribute to Pangasinan arts and culture as the governor together with Vice Governor Jose Ferdinand Calimlim, Jr. led the awarding rites for the various winners of the first-ever Balitok a Tawir culture contest.

The Balitok a Tawir was one of the highlights of this year’s tourism month celebration.

Espino commended all the local government officials for their support making special mention of Calasiao Mayor Roy Macanlalay for participating in the performance of his employees during the cultural contest.

“Pangasinan culture and arts must be revived and preserved so that the future generation would have something to be proud about being a Pangasinense,” he said.

Winner in the 1st Pangasinan Culture and Arts Festival contest which was categorized into three --- choral, folkdance and zarzuela include the following: Choral - LGU Lingayen – champion; Manaoag, first runner up and Bautista, 2nd runner up.

For folkdance, winners are: LGU Mangaldan, champion; Malasiqui, 1st runner up and Lingayen, 2nd runner up. Zarzuela winners on the other hand include the following: Manaoag, champion and Mabini, 1st runner up.

Seniors Night

by Liezle Basa Iñigo(Manila Bulletin - Luzon NewsBits#4)

DAGUPAN CITY, Philippines — At least 69 indigent senior citizens afflicted with disabilities were recipients of assistive devices during the Senior Citizens’ Night recently at the city plaza.

Mayor Benjamin S. Lim led the awarding ceremony, along with Cornelia Español, president of the Federation of Senior Citizens Associations of the Philippines – Dagupan City chapter.

Lim asked the elderly to consider him as their adopted son as he had been deprived of both parents early in his life long before he became a successful businessman industrialist-entrepreneur and public official.

The 69 recipients were from the 31 barangays of the city.

SMEC Secures Power Supply Contracts

(mb.com.ph)

MANILA, Philippines — San Miguel Energy Corporation (SMEC), the power generation arm of San Miguel group, has sealed several supply contracts for its 1,200 megawatt Sual coal-fired power plant in Pangasinan.

The firm’s new customers included Camarines Sur 1 Electric Cooperative (5 years), Quanta Paper (5 years), Ilocos Norte Electric Cooperative (5 years), Central Azucarrera de Tarlac (3 years) and Isabela 1 Electric Cooperative (5 years).

Other new customers are Kalinga Electric Cooperative (5 years), Radio Veritas (5 years) and Basa Airbase Command (5 years).

A source said the Casureco 1 and Quanta Paper new supply contracts have been filed for approval with the Energy Regulatory Commission, namely.

San Miguel Energy administers the supply contract of the Sual coal-fired power plant while TeaM Energy Corporation operates the plant.

San Miguel Energy had earlier inked a five-year supply contract with Quezon Electric Cooperative and the company continues to negotiate with electric cooperatives and other industries.

The power firm sources its power supply from the independent power producers contracts it acquired from government-controlled Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation.

San Miguel Energy also signed contracts with Ilocos Norte Electric Cooperative, Inc. and Sorsogon II Electric Cooperative, Inc. in the past few months.

Team Medics II Bags ATE-K Sportfest Championship

by Darwin Magalong and PIO

Team Medics II proved their worth as the mightiest and strongest team besting seven other teams as they emerged as the overall champion of the Angguan Tan Ehersisyo Ed Kapitolyo (ATE-K) 2011.

Team Medics II garnered 165 points.

A capitol sportsfest, ATE-K was conceptualized by Governor Amado T. Espino, Jr, in 2008, which aims to develop sense of brotherhood and teamwork that will help promote strong camaraderie among provincial employees.

Team Medics II representing employees from Pangasinan Provincial Hospital, Mangatarem District Hospital, Dasol community hospital and Bolinao community hospital, bagged the crown after beating other teams in various events such as tug of war (women) and badminton doubles (women) and mixed doubles.

The second best team was captured by Team Generals which collected 159 points. The Generals is composed of employees from the General Services Office and Pangasinan Provincial Security and Social Service Division.

Team Warriors landed on the third spot garnering 150 points.

Team Warriors is composed of employees from the Governor’s Office, Provincial Warden, Human Resources and Management Office, Housing, Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council, Narciso Ramos Sports and Civic Center, Provincial Employment and Services Office, Capitol Resort Hotel, Tourism, Provincial Planning and Development Office, Management Information Service Office and the Provincial Information Office.

Governor Espino also congratulated other winners for 2nd and 3rd places for events like badminton, table tennis, volleyball, lawn tennis, among others.They received cash prizes and trophies.

Health care, hospital services: Pangasinan’s most meaningful achievements in 2011

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

LINGAYEN, Pangasinan, Dec. 22 (PIA) –- The provincial government of Pangasinan cited health care and hospital services as its most meaningful achievement this year.

Gov. Amado T. Espino Jr. told more than a hundred local media practitioners in a press conference held at the Provincial Training and Development Center in Lingayen town, that the reforms in health care that his administration has undertaken is something he is truly proud of and happy about.

The reforms include: the rehabilitation and facelifting of all the 13 government hospitals of the province; the increase in bed capacity of the Pangasinan Provincial Hospital in San Carlos City from 150 beds to 450; expanded coverage of the PhilHealth insurance; and improved maternal and child health care, among others.

Espino also cited the improved and efficient delivery of service of the provincial employees as the second most noteworthy achievement. “The way I see how they are working is an achievement,” he said.

Ranking third is environmental protection and youth programs. The province has received recognitions from various award-giving bodies in the region for its programs on cleanliness.

Espino rallied the media practitioners to write something good about the province and not to dwell on negative issues. “‘Tayo na muna ang magmahal sa ating probinsiya (Let's love our province first),” he said.

Vice Gov. Ferdinand Calimlim, who came to the presscon with the entire provincial board, said the ‘scorecard scheme’ initiated by the provincial government is comparable to a new ordinance of loving Pangasinan which imbibes a greater love beyond self.

“Ang basic reminder natin is keeping everything simple but with substance,” Calimlim said.

He also thanked the media and enjoined them to continue as partners in development.

Health care, hospital services: Pangasinan’s most meaningful achievements in 2011

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

LINGAYEN, Pangasinan, Dec. 22 (PIA) –- The provincial government of Pangasinan cited health care and hospital services as its most meaningful achievement this year.

Gov. Amado T. Espino Jr. told more than a hundred local media practitioners in a press conference held at the Provincial Training and Development Center in Lingayen town, that the reforms in health care that his administration has undertaken is something he is truly proud of and happy about.

The reforms include: the rehabilitation and facelifting of all the 13 government hospitals of the province; the increase in bed capacity of the Pangasinan Provincial Hospital in San Carlos City from 150 beds to 450; expanded coverage of the PhilHealth insurance; and improved maternal and child health care, among others.

Espino also cited the improved and efficient delivery of service of the provincial employees as the second most noteworthy achievement. “The way I see how they are working is an achievement,” he said.

Ranking third is environmental protection and youth programs. The province has received recognitions from various award-giving bodies in the region for its programs on cleanliness.

Espino rallied the media practitioners to write something good about the province and not to dwell on negative issues. “‘Tayo na muna ang magmahal sa ating probinsiya (Let's love our province first),” he said.

Vice Gov. Ferdinand Calimlim, who came to the presscon with the entire provincial board, said the ‘scorecard scheme’ initiated by the provincial government is comparable to a new ordinance of loving Pangasinan which imbibes a greater love beyond self.

“Ang basic reminder natin is keeping everything simple but with substance,” Calimlim said.

He also thanked the media and enjoined them to continue as partners in development.

Pangasinan to host 2012 Palaro

(PNA)

The Palarong Pambansa to be hosted by the province of Pangasinan next year is tentatively scheduled May 6 to 12.

Reports from the wires said Pangasinan Gov. Amado Espino Jr. will sign a memorandum of agreement with Education Secretary Armin Luistro over next year's Palaro games.

Pangasinan was chosen as the next venue of the national games over three other provinces and cities that also vied to host the event. These are Laguna, Isabela Mindoro Oriental and Marikina City.

Espino said Pangasinan will be the only province in the country to host the Palarong Pambansa twice. The first time was in 1995 during the term of former President Fidel V. Ramos, a Pangasinense.

At that time, Espino was the police provincial director of Pangasinan.

"I was head of the Task Force Palaro last time being the police provincial director. Now, it is a different story because I am now the governor of Pangasinan," Espino said.

Next year's Palaro will be played at the Narciso Ramos Sports and Civic Center, the venue of the 1995 Palarong Pambansa which was preserved and renovated to look as virtually new when Espino took over the helm of the province in 2007.

All 6 Pangasinan lawmakers sign impeach plaint

by Liway C. Manantan-Yparraguirre and Sunnex

DAGUPAN CITY -- All six congressmen from the province of Pangasinan signed the impeachment complaint against Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona.

They are Representatives Jesus Celeste from the first district, Leopoldo Bataoil (second), Rachel Arenas (third), Gina de Venecia (fourth), Kimi Cojuangco (fifth), and Marlyn Agabas (sixth).

Bataoil and Arenas both said it will give Corona the chance to defend himself at the right venue.

"My reason is simple: it is a good opportunity for the chief justice to defend himself in the right forum instead of him being subjected to continuing trial by publicity. In fact, it should be a welcome development for everyone and for the chief justice to be able to prove his points and defend himself," Bataoil stated.

Corona's impeachment trial is part of "democracy at work," he added. "Nobody is above the law not even the chief justice, not even the president, and us congressmen and senators."

Bataoil also belied reports that they were "influenced" to sign the complaint so that their respective pork barrels would be released.

"That’s not true, that’s not our main consideration," he remarked. "With or without this so-called windfall or whatever positive graces, we believe that’s the right thing to do under the democracy."

Arenas expressed the same sentiments, saying it will be Corona's chance "to defend himself in the Senate."

"Kung wala siyang pagkakasala, once and for all matapos na yong issue," she said.

At the same time, she prayed that the impeachment trial will not bring a political crisis for the country.

"I pray not, for the hope of the million of Filipinos who voted for this administration to have amatuwid na daan. I believe naman that the president (Aquino) is a very honest man at pinaninindigan niya ang matuwid na daan," she said.

Pangasinan Tourism Council revitalized

(with report from CIO)

THE Pangasinan Tourism Council (PTC) has been revived and reorganized by Gov. Amado Espino Jr. to draw up and implement a coordinated tourism program around the province.

Espino said the reorganization, undertaken by virtue of the governor’s Executive Order No.0143-2011, is necessary after most of the council’s members have vacated their positions or no longer represent the component offices or organizations included in the Provincial Tourism Board, that was created under Executive Order No.0094-07-2007.

The PTC is tasked to set up a sustainable tourism program for Pangasinan with the participation of local government units and industry players from the private sector.

Dagupan City Mayor Benjamin Lim, who once served as general manager of Duty Free Philippines, has been appointed vice-chairman of the council.

“We need to improve the services one particular area can offer. Even if you have a beautiful site, but road access is not suitable or even unavailable, tapos wala pang facilities, it will not attract local and foreign tourists. These are the things we need to carefully study, so that we could prepare a package for Pangasinan as a major tourist destination,” Lim said.

Mangrove seedlings boost coastal program

By Cesar Ramirez (philstar.com)

MANILA, Philippines - More than a hundred environmental advocates planted some 4,500 mangrove seedlings at the Provincial Mangrove Nursery in the Bolinao farm foreshore area in Pangasinan last Thursday.

The activity, led by the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist, further boosts Pangasinan’s coastal resource management program.

Participating in the activity were provincial government employees, students from the Bolinao School of Fisheries, members of the barangay council of Arnedo, Bolinao, Barangay Health Workers, members of the Pangasinan Federation of Non-Government Organizations and the Kaisahan ng mga Samahang Alay sa Kalikasan, an organization of farmers in Bolinao.

The activity is also aimed to encourage the involvement of local government units, students and non-government organizations in mangrove preservation as an essential undertaking in managing coastal resources and ultimately to mitigate the effects of climate change.

The newly-planted seedlings within the Bolinao Farm mangrove forest will replace those damaged during the various typhoons that recently hit Pangasinan.

The mangrove propagation is part of Gov. Amado Espino, Jr.’s advocacy to save and preserve the rivers and water systems of Pangasinan under the provincial government’s “Ilog Ko Bilayen Tan Aroen Ko program.”

New bridge to begin construction by next year

by Liway C. Manantan-Yparraguirre

CALASIAO, Pangasinan -- Authorities said construction of a new bridge that will replace the 50-year-old Villamil bridge may begin by January next year.

The new two-lane bridge will be 7.3 meters wide and will be supported by two concrete abutments and three piers. It will also have four steel girders at every 25 meters.

The Centunion Modular Steel Girder Bridge will also replace the existing 9-span, 92.92-meter long bridge.

Situated right by Marusay river along Mancup-Poblacion road, the Villamil bridge serves as an alternate route between Metro Manila and other eastern towns of Pangasinan. It also connects Calasiao to Malasiqui and San Carlos City.

Closure of the Villamil bridge is still being finalized by the public works central office, said District Engineer Marietta Mendoza of the Department of Public Works and Highways 3rd Engineering Sub-district.

As requested by local officials, construction might start early January 2012, Mendoza said.

Groundbreaking and lowering of the time capsule were held Friday morning near the bridge with Pangasinan third district Representative Rachel Arenas leading the ceremonies.

The construction of the new bridge and its approaches is a Spanish government-assisted DPWH Bridge Construction/Replacement Project. The contract amount of the 100-meter long bridge and its approaches is P89,221,394.64.

"Ito yong ating pinakahihintay. The construction of the new Villamil bridge will now become a reality through the initiative of Congresswoman Arenas. We assure the contractor (Foundation Specialist) that the local government unit will give its full support to ensure the smooth implementation of the project," she stated.

Arenas said she started requesting for this project from the national government two years ago.

"Long overdue na yong replacement ng bridge. It’s been a continuous follow-up. Nagpapasalamat ako kay President Benigno Aquino Jr., kay DPWH Secretary Rogelio Singson and to the people who helped me make it a reality," Arenas said.

The barangay councils of Mangin and Herrero-Perez have also requested the vice-mayor for the same assistance.

Barangay Pantal receives free medical, dental assistance

by Alex Romeo R. Fernandez (ANL/ARRF-PIA 1 Pangasinan)

DAGUPAN CITY, Dec. 16 (PIA) -- More than 500 residents, including senior citizens and children of Barangay Pantal of this city, yesterday received free medical and dental services.

The event, dubbed “Pamaskong Handog ng Rotary Club Uptown Dagupan 2000,” also included the distribution of medicine and milk for children four years old and above.

The social outreach program specifically targeted Sitio Guibang and Patalan, which according to Vice-Mayor Belen T. Fernandez, are among the poorest communities in the city.

Fernandez is one of the sponsors of the program with the Rotary Club of Uptown Dagupan, Region 1 Medical Center, and the Philippine Dental Association-Pangasinan Chapter.

She said the series of programs aims to maximize the use of the P500,000 fund given by the Rotary Club and the services of the participating medical personnel.

A similar program was already conducted in Barangay Pugaro last week. Residents of Bangusville and Sitio Korea in Barangay Bonuan Binloc are slated to benefit next.

The barangay councils of Mangin and Herrero-Perez have also requested the vice-mayor for the same assistance.

SSS pensioners to receive 13th month pay bonuses

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

DAGUPAN CITY, Dec. 15 (PIA) -- Pensioners of the Social Security System (SSS) will receive double their pensions this month as their 13th month pay will be deposited in their accounts.

Engr. Primitivo Verania, section head of the Field Inspectorate Division- Dagupan branch, said the SSS has released to its conduit banks nearly P10 billion for December pension and 13th month bonuses for its 1.6 million pensioners nationwide.

“Doble ang makukuha ng mga pensionsers classified as retirement, dependent and disability pensioners (Our pensioners, classified as retirement, dependent and disability, will receive double),” Verania said during the Pantongtongan Tayo radio program of the Philippine Information Agency aired over Radyo ng Bayan.

Verania said there are a lot of other benefits that SSS offers for its members. Short term benefits cover sickness and maternity while long term benefits cover disability, retirement and death including funeral.

He added that funds for these benefits come from member’s contributions. However, contributions alone will not suffice thus the need for another source like investments.

“May certain percentage lang na dapat i-invest sa SSS para kumita ang pera at magamit para sa operational expenses at pagbibigay ng benefits,’’ he explained.

Verania assured that SSS assets are well- funded and member’s money are safe.

==Pangasinan Tourism Council revitalized

(with report from CIO)

THE Pangasinan Tourism Council (PTC) has been revived and reorganized by Gov. Amado Espino Jr. to draw up and implement a coordinated tourism program around the province.

Espino said the reorganization, undertaken by virtue of the governor’s Executive Order No.0143-2011, is necessary after most of the council’s members have vacated their positions or no longer represent the component offices or organizations included in the Provincial Tourism Board, that was created under Executive Order No.0094-07-2007.

The PTC is tasked to set up a sustainable tourism program for Pangasinan with the participation of local government units and industry players from the private sector.

Dagupan City Mayor Benjamin Lim, who once served as general manager of Duty Free Philippines, has been appointed vice-chairman of the council.

“We need to improve the services one particular area can offer. Even if you have a beautiful site, but road access is not suitable or even unavailable, tapos wala pang facilities, it will not attract local and foreign tourists. These are the things we need to carefully study, so that we could prepare a package for Pangasinan as a major tourist destination,” Lim said.

‘Galicayo Festival’ up in Manaoag town

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

MANAOAG, Pangasinan, Dec. 14 (PIA) -- The ‘Galicayo Festival’ was held here on December 8, starting with a procession of the image of ‘Our Lady of Manaoag’ and lighting of the town’s giant Christmas tree.

Hundreds of Catholic faithfuls joined the sunset rosary and procession along the main street of barangay Poblacion to reminisce the sacrifices of Mama Mary for her son Jesus.

Christine Pacania, one of the organizers, said the procession heeds the call of the Blessed Virgin Mary for people to pray the rosary.

For Catholics, the rosary is the summary of the life of Jesus and Mary thus, praying the rosary is synonymous to meditating on the passion, resurrection and the joyful and glorious mysteries of the rosary.

After the procession, the lanterns (parol) and the giant Christmas tree of the town were lighted by Mayor Napoleon Sales, Col. Demosthenes Santillan, the new group commander of the 54th Engineering Brigade based in Camp Tito Abat, Chief of Police Noel Espinoza and Dr. Elma Sim, one of the founders of the Galicayo Festival.

Manaoag town is a famous pilgrimage site during Lenten season and even on Christmas time because of the ‘Our Lady of Manaoag’ shrine which is said to be miraculous.

Regulated caroling being pushed in Pangasinan

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

LINGAYEN, Dec. 13 (PIA) -- The Sangguniang Panlungsod has no plans to stop carolers from caroling but wants that this particular Christmas tradition be regulated to prevent the occurrence of petty crimes.

Board Member Von Mark Mendoza of the second district, said he plans to talk to fellow Board Member Amadeo T. Espino, provincial president of the Liga ng mga barangay, to agree on what measure to take without the need of a session.

He proposed that barangay chairmen monitor the groups of carolers who go around houses to carol, for the safety of the house owners.

Part of the plant is for carolers to visit the barangay hall and ask permission from the officials before touring the barangay.

The Philippine National Police supports this advocacy for safety precautions.

Public Relations Officer P/Supt Benjamin Ocumen of the Pangasinan Police said each barangay will have a policeman to watch over them adding that petty crimes can easily occur when a place is not guarded.

“Kung pwede, mas maganda na kunin sa barangay hall ang pangalan ng mga carolers para may record tayo,” Ocumen said.

He urged everyone to be observant and report to authorities for unusual happenings in their area to fight criminality.

Espino calls on judges to help cops

(Sunday Punch news post)

LINGAYEN–Gov. Amado Espino Jr. called on members of the judiciary to help police officers in their efforts to address crime in the province by expediting the issuance of search warrants.

Espino made the call during the induction of officers of the Philippine Judges Association, Pangasinan Chapter headed by Regional Trial Court Judge Ulysses Butuyan of Branch 51 in Tayug.

The governor said that while he respects and understands the position of judges in terms of impartiality and fairness, there is also a need to give special consideration to how crucial time is when tracking down suspected criminals.

Espino said timely search warrants are particularly important for police operations against illegal drugs.

He also stressed the need for closer coordination between police authorities and the judiciary as he cited one case wherein a suspect in three murders was granted bail.

“There is a need for judges, prosecutors and policemen to coordinate with each other to so that they can work together in making Pangasinan safer,” Espino said.

For his part, Butuyan vowed to hold dialogues and consultation with all sectors, including the police, media, the academe and the communities.

Butuyan said he also wants to make people understand the intricacies of the law so its application can be effective.

The other officers of the PJA chapter are RTC Judge Hermogenes Fernandez of Branch 56 in San Carlos City, vice president; RTC Judge Emma Bauzon of Branch 57 in Lingayen, secretary; RTC Judge Teodoro Fernandez of Branch 58 in Lingayen, treasurer; RTC Judge Tita Villarin of Branch 42 in Urdaneta City, auditor; and RTC Judge Elizabeth Berdal of Branch 47 in Urdaneta City, press relations officer.

The directors are RTC Judge Elpedio Abella of Branch 55 in Alaminos City, RTC Judge Renato Pinlac of Branch 57, RTC Judge Florentino Dumlao of Branch 42 and RTC Judge Manuel Pastor Jr. of Branch 50 in Villasis.

Villamil Bridge rehab underway in Calasiao town

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

CALASIAO, Pangasinan, Dec. 11 (PIA) -- The 50-year old Villamil bridge in this town is set for rehabilitation for the safety of commuters and motorists as part of the national government’s undertaking to upgrade the region’s infrastructure facilities.

The 3rd Engineering District of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) said the P90 million national fund for its re-construction is now ready.

District Engineer Marietta Mendoza said the daily activities in the bridge weakened its foundations thus the need for the rehabilitation to avoid accidents.

Mendoza said commuters could use the three kilometer San Vicente–Pogo detour road while the construction is going on. “May dagdag lang na five minutes (ang biyahe),” she said.

The construction was earlier set for November 25 but was delayed because posts of telephone companies and tubes of the water district are situated near the bridge. They are now re-located 30-40 meters away from the construction site, according to Cecille Estrada, engineer, of the DPWH.

The 100-meter Villamil bridge in barangay Poblacion connects Calasiao town to other parts of Central Pangasinan.


Team Pangasinan to compete in Batang Pinoy national championship

(PIO/Ruby R. Bernardino)

Team Pangasinan composed of 20 athletes will compete in this year’s Batang Pinoy national championships slated from December 10 to 13 in Camarines Sur.

The 20 athletes made it in the regional leg competitions in Baguio City last November 24 to 27 bringing home gold and silver medals in various sporting events like swimming, basketball, table tennis and taekwondo.

Provincial Administrator Rafael F. Baraan urged the young Pangasinense athletes to give their best shot and continue to reap gold medals for the pride of the province.

The youth athletes received cash incentives from the provincial government before their departure to Camarines Sur this morning, December 8.

Baraan, who represented Governor Amado T. Espino, Jr. in distributing the cash incentives, said that the province is truly proud of the athletes who are dubbed as, “the best athletes of Pangasinan,” for bringing honor to the province. “The Governor is truly proud of these young athletes,” he said.

The following is the complete list of the Team Pangasinan with their respective events: Swimming- Randel Cardinoza, Kathrina Mae Manzon, Ciren Morales, Limuel Munoz, Lariane Mary Ho Muyalde, Larraine Love Muyalde, Glorieta Krean Jean Platilla, Sandro Poquiz, and Matthew Vinluan.

Table tennis- John Mark Caranto, Chyra Amor Morillo, Alyssa Jea Opolencia and Jervir Soriano.

Taekwondo- Jean Ralph Aquino, Breniel Estrada and Ma. Teodorica Sorel.

Basketball (girls) – Shanda Angelica Anies, Trixie Alison Mamaril, Valerie Mae Mamaril and Princess Noor Sison.

Batang Pinoy, is a comprehensive sports development program for in-school and out-of-school children aged 13 to 15, seeks to identify talents for the World Youth Olympics in 2014.

Top performing athletes or teams in the national level automatically earn a slot in the Philippine team under the government’s development tool.

NSO improves services through BREQS

by Alex Romeo R. Fernandez(ANL/ARRF-PIA 1 Pangasinan)

DAGUPAN CITY, Dec. 9 (PIA) -- Pangasinan residents need not wait in long queues to get civil registry forms anymore.

Dante Pescador, provincial statistics officer, said the National Statistics Office (NSO) provincial office in Calasiao town has created the Batch Request Entry Query System (BREQS) that allows towns to request civil documents in bulk.

Civil documents include birth, marriage, death and no marriage record certificates.

To adopt the system, local government units must sign a memorandum of agreement with the NSO and assign liaison officers who will handle and collate requests, Pecscador said in a radio interview Thursday.

According to him, records can be claimed the day after the filing of request through BREQS.

He also advised the public to file their requests in registry offices in their respective towns and not to direct their requests thru fixers.

The system can save time, effort and money, especially for the working public, he added.

The local governments that have already adopted the BREQS include Alaminos City and towns of Infanta, Bani, Bolinao, Bugallon, Alcala, Mangaldan, San Carlos, Tayug, San Nicolas, Laoac and Rosales.

Technical Working Group for peace and order council created in Pangasinan

by Venus May H. Sarmiento(ANL/VHS-PIA 1 Pangasinan)

LINGAYEN, Pangasinan, Dec. 8 (PIA) -- The provincial government created a technical working group (TWG) to assist the Provincial Peace and Order Council in discharging its duties and functions.

The TWG will organize forums to tackle peace and order and related concerns.

The group is chaired by provincial administrator Rafael Baraan and co-chaired by provincial directors P/S Supt. Rosueto Ricaforte and Reggie Colisao of the Philippine National Police and Department of Interior and Local Government, respectively.

Members of the TWG are heads of various offices and non-government organizations namely: National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), Philippine Army, Prosecutor’s Office, Philippine Information Agency (PIA), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Land Transportation Office (LTO), Pangasinan Federation of NGOs and the Pangasinan Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce.

By virtue of Executive Order No. 0121-2011, Gov. Amado T, Espino, Jr. created the TWG on November 21, 2011.

The Provincial Peace and Order Council in the province was re-organized on March 18,2011 through Executive Order No. 0014-2011.

Tagalog News: Pangasinan holds culture and arts festival

by Jessica Rosario (ANL/VHS-PIA 1 Pangasinan/PIO)

LINGAYEN, Pangasinan, Dec. 07 -- Fourteen local government units vied for three top positions during the grand finals of the 1st Pangasinan Culture and Arts Festival dubbed ‘Balitok a Tawir’ on December 2.

The local government units of Lingayen, Mangaldan and Manaoag emerged as the winners in the choral, folk dance and zarzuela categories for the grand finals held at the elegant Sison Auditorium last December 2.

Other LGUs which occupied the 2nd and 3rd slots are as follows: Manaoag and Bautista for choral category; Malasiqui and Lingayen for folk dance. The LGU of Mabini was awarded as second in the zarzuela category.

The contestants, composed of officials and employees, showcased their talents featuring Pangasinan songs, dances and culture which are now revived and preserved by the provincial government thru the initiative of Governor Amado T. Espino, Jr.

The project was launched during the Tourism Month celebration in September as part of the ‘I Love Pangasinan’ campaign with an objective to recapture and rediscover the culture and arts of Pangasinan. Elimination rounds by cluster were held prior to the finals.

Espino said the present administration sets its sight on raising the level of awareness of the people especially the youth on the priceless heritage of the province.

He added that it is fitting for the people of Pangasinan to know their roots and establish a sense of belongingness and identity.

P1.9B Pangasinan 2012 budget approved by SP

by Jessica Rosario (ANL/VHS-PIA with reports from PIO)

LINGAYEN, Pangasinan, Dec. 06 (PIA) -- The P1.988 billion budget for the operation of the provincial government for the year 2012 was approved by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) of Pangasinan during its regular session last November 28.

The SP’s approval came after two budget hearings conducted on November 22 and 23. The budgetary outlay is for the period of January 1, 2012 to December 31, 2012.

In approving the annual budget, the SP enacted Appropriation Ordinance No. 4-2011 authored by second district Board Member Von Mark Mendoza who chairs the Committee on Appropriations, Economic Affairs and Ways and Means.

The bulk of the budget appropriation goes to the general public services with P827.9 million or 41.6 percent of the budget followed by social services with P817.6 million comprising 41.3 percent and economic services with P342.6 million or 17.23 percent.

Vice Governor Jose Ferdinand Calimlim, Jr. said the legislative body passed the appropriating measure because all of the requirements were completed by the provincial offices.

“Isa-isa po naming hinimay lahat ng office budgets, lahat ng proposed budgets for development (We have analyzed the details of the proposed budget),” Calimlim said.

The deliberation took only nine hours but the preparation alone took a little more time. The process went smoothly because everything was according to plan and schedule, he added.

PANGASINAN SK RUN 2011 IN NRSCC

by Jessica Rosario (PIO-Intern,Pangasinan)

Lingayen, Pangasinan—More than 2,000 Pangasinense youths participated in the fun run organized by the SK Federation led by its President John Christopher A. Arcinue last November 27 at the Narciso Ramos Sports and Civic Center here.

The SK run was divided into two distance categories namely: 3K (three kilometers) and 5K (five kilometers). The 3K run were participants 9 to 13 years old (Category A) 14 years old and above (Category B), and 5K run were participants 14 years old and above also.

“The SK run was not only promoting a good and healthy lifestyle but also promotes good values because the proceeds of this fun run will be going to the Tsinelas Project for the poor school children of the province and to the Educational Assistance Program of the SK Federation” said Board Member Arcinue.

Winners for the 3K and 5K are Joan Caido of the University of Luzon (UL) and Rubino Javier from Sto. Tomas town.

Placing second slots for both category, on the other hand, are Sherwin Jose of Sual, Pangasinan and Isagani Tacutaco of Tarlac City while Jerick Buhican of Asingan and Raymond Torio of UL landed on third slots, respectively.

Prizes at stake for the top 3 in all categories are P3, 000, P2, 000 and P1 ,000.

Lady runners, who first arrived in the finish line, were given special prizes. this include Jeosie Sabado for the 3K category A and Mendelisa Disu for the 3K category B run with Honeylyn Julian for 5K.

All participants received a race kit, including a T-shirt and bib number while finisher’s certificates and race details were given to those who have finished the race.

Said event was sponsored by the Provincial Government under the leadership of Governor Amado T. Espino Jr., Abono Partylist, Congressman Jesus Celeste, Congressman Leopoldo Bataoil, Mayor John Rodney Arcinue, Magic Group of Companies, Palmas Verdes, Cortel Native English one-on-one,7/eleven Lingayen Branch, RCBC Lingayen Branch, Veterans Bank Lingayen Branch, Bistro Ganitoni and the Technical Working Group.

After the fun run, a Medical Mission was held at the Pangasinan Training and Development Center as a side activity of the event.

BATANG PINOY NORTHERN LUZON GAMES

(PIO, Sunday Punch article)

TEAM Pangasinan won six gold, 11 silver and 12 bronze medals in various sporting events in the Batang Pinoy 2011 Northern Luzon Regional Leg held November 24 to 27 in Baguio City.

Modesto Operania, provincial sports coordinator and delegation head, said the six that won gold medals will move on to compete in the Batang Pinoy National Competitions slated on December 10 to 13 in Naga City, Camarines Sur.

The Team Pangasinan gold medalists were: Sandro Poquiz, swimming boys 12-13 50M breaststroke; Matthew Vinluan, 14-15 50M freestyle; Kathrina Mae Manzon, swimming girls 12-13 200M individual medley; Ma. Teodorica Sorel, taekwondo girls; Shanda Agelica Anies, Trixie Alison Mamaril Valerie Mae Mamaril and Princess Noor Sison, basketball (3-on-3) girls; John Mark Caranto and Chyra Amor Morillo, table tennis mixed double.

The champions in the national event will be among those to be selected for training for the 2014 Youth Olympic Games in China.

Overall, Team Pangasinan finished fifth among 26 participating groups.

Host Baguio City finished with 63 gold, 54 silver and 54 bronze medals; while La Union Province garnered 10 gold, nine silver and eight bronze medals.


UNFAIR RULE


Operania hailed Team Pangasinan for giving their best and at the same time expressed dismay over the “open entry rule” adopted by the host city, which was a deviation from the original limited entry rule as provided for by the Philippine Sports Commission.

“We are not against the open entry rule if the change was announced ahead of time. In fact, it was never formally disseminated to the participating LGUs (local government units),” Operania said noting that the rule was announced only during the opening ceremonies.

Under an open entry rule, each group is allowed to field multiple entries in all.

“LGUs with three or more teams like Baguio City against LGU with a single team like Pangasinan is a clear case of disparity,” he said.

MEDALISTS

The other medalists in the Pangasinan Team were:

(Silver): Sandro Poquiz, swimming boys 12-13 100M backstroke; Glorietta Krean Platilla, swimming girls 14-15 100M breastroke; Larraine Love Muyalde, swimming girls 14-15 50M freestyle; Kathrina Mae Manzon, swimming girls 12-13 100M backstroke and 12-13 50M backstroke; Randel Cardinoza, Ciren Morales, Limuel Munoz and Sandro Poquiz, swimming relay boys 200M freestyle open; Breniel Bluejay Estrada and Jean Ralph Aquino, taekwondo boys; Robert Soriano, Jr., table tennis boys; Jervir Soriano and Allysa Jea Opolencia, table tennis mixed double; Kathrina Mae Manzon, Lariane Mary Jho Muyalde, Larraine Love Muyalde and Glorieta Krean Platilla, swimming relay girls 200M medley open.

(Bronze): Kevin Richer Vinoya, swimming boys 12 to 13 50M butterfly; Lariane Mary Jho Muyalde, swimming girls 12 -13 100M breaststroke; Kathrina Mae Manzon, swimming girls 12-13 50M butterfly; Matthew Vinluan, swimming boys, 14-15 100M freestyle; Lariane Mary Jho Muyalde, swimming girls 12-13 50M breastroke; Glorieta Krean Platilla, swimming girls 14-15 50M breaststroke; Chester Ann Munoz, Joelle Marie Galapate, Candace Ann Rabe and Mary Ruth Lagman, swimming relay girls 200M freestyle open; Geraldine May Desalisa, taekwondo girls; Jomari Cornel and Bryan Abrazaldo, taekwondo boys; Allysa Jea Opolencia’ table tennis girls; Jasmine Jane Ong and Cecille Salcedo, badminton double girls.

Solons: Decriminalize vagrancy

by Christian D. Supnad

MEMBERS of the House of Representatives have approved on second reading a measure decriminalizing vagrancy.

The House committee on revision of laws chaired by Pangasinan Rep. Marlyn Primicias-Agabas has endorsed the House Bill 4936 authored by Palawan Rep. Victorino Socrates, Bulacan Rep. Linabelle Ruth Villarica and AGHAM party-list Rep. Angelo Palmones.

The bill seeks to amend the Republic Act 3815, otherwise known as the Revised Penal Code, which it states that vagrancy is a crime.

The measure cites vagrancy as a crime that is a convenient excuse of law enforcement operatives to subject street dwellers to indiscriminate arrests or detentions, which often impinge on the homeless or the poor.

“There is a clamor for the repeal of the anti-vagrancy law on the basis that it discriminates against the poor and is used to penalize those who are homeless or without any visible means of subsistence. The law has also been used in a way that discriminates on the basis of gender,” Socrates said.

The bill eliminates discrimination against women temporarily arrested for vagrancy while being investigated for a more serious offense of prostitution, seldom applied to men who act as pimps, traffickers or even clients in violation of the 1997 agreement of the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women.

IT congress launched in P’sinan

by Christian D. Supnad

LINGAYEN, Pangasinan -- In a bid to boost its information technology program, Gov. Amado T. Espino Jr. sponsored for the first time an information communication technology congress designed to raise the level of awareness of Pangasinenses of the wide-ranging and numerous benefits of going online.

During the opening program of the Pangasinan Digital ICT Congress recently at the elegant Sison Auditorium here, Provincial Administrator Rafael Baraan, who represented the governor, said that at present, the province has embarked on common and bold mission to embrace digitization as the way of life of Pangasinenses.

Thus, the provincial government is already in the process of digitizing the real property tax administration with a common RPTA computer system now being installed in all municipalities.

According to Baraan, the governor has set his sights towards digital technology which is the reason why the present administration has included other projects like on-line medical consultation to better improve hospital management, financial management requiring legislative tracking, on-line legal services, on-line emergency response, and on-line disaster management.

The provincial government will also invest in technology packages that are cost-effective and high impact that will be beneficial for Pangasinenses such as the provision of Wi-Fi (wireless fidelity) for all municipalities.

The latest survey reveals that there are some 600,000 Pangasinenses on the internet.

The first Pangasinan ICT congress was participated in by mostly students, some professionals and provincial employees.

Speakers include Carlo Ople, social media manager of TV 5, JV Rufino, head of Inquirer Digital, Coy Caballes, social media manager of Globe Telecom, Col. Gilbert Sosa, CIDG chief, Vince Golangco, video on-line publisher and Leo Quirubin, CEO of Media Gateway, among others.

The event was sponsored by Globe Business, ARCUS IT and AVIRA.

Population office pushes for responsible parenthood

by Venus May H. Sarmiento(ANL/VHS-PIA 1 Pangasinan)

DAGUPAN CITY, Dec. 01 (PIA)-- The Provincial Population Office (PPO) intensified its campaign on responsible parenthood through the holding of barangay fora to reach out to a bigger sector of the population.

In observance of the Population and Development Week from November 23-29, PPO pushes for birth spacing in families so parents can provide a better quality of life to their children. This year’s theme is ‘Responsableng Pagpapamilya: Sa Tamang Pag-aagwat, Pamilya ay Aangat.’

Planning Officer Jessieca Rosario said at least 33 municipalities have been visited by the Responsible Parenting Movement Team (RPMT) composed of representatives from the population, health and social welfare offices.

“Sa mga parenting classes natin, pinapaalala natin sa mga magulang ang responsableng pagpapamilya, (In our parenting classes, we remind parents to be responsible in planning their family),” Rosario said during the Pantongtongan Tayo radio program of the Philippine Information Agency aired over Radyo ng Bayan.

Part of the parenting classes, she said, is explaining family planning methods which couples can use to space the birth of their children. Aside from the artificial methods, the office is also introducing natural family planning (NFP) methods.

PPO targets the barangays with low percentage of usage of family planning methods, those with high incidence of unmet needs and low contraceptive prevalence rate. These, she said, were determined through the Community-Based Family Planning Monitoring Information System (CBFPMIS) conducted by barangay service point officers (BSPOs) and barangay health workers (BHWs).

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