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Bulacan News January 2012

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Bulacan Province

Wars of ancient history were about possessions, territory, power, control, family, betrayal, lover's quarrel, politics and sometimes religion.

But we are in the Modern era and supposedly more educated and enlightened .

Think about this. Don't just brush off these questions.

  • Why is RELIGION still involved in WARS? Isn't religion supposed to be about PEACE?
  • Ask yourself; What religion always campaign to have its religious laws be accepted as government laws, always involved in wars and consistently causing WARS, yet insists that it's a religion of peace?


Meycauayan City Hall 01.jpg
City Hall of Meycauayan City

Dietary supplement is a product that contains vitamins, minerals, herbs or other botanicals, amino acids, enzymes, and/or other ingredients intended to supplement the diet. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has special labeling requirements for dietary supplements and treats them as foods, not drugs.

DOH gives free cataract operation to Bulakeños

CITY OF MALOLOS, Bulacan- Bulakeños with cataract and pterygium (pugita) disorders could now avail of the free eye operation program of the provincial government from Feb. 8 to 10 at the Calumpit District Hospital.

Dubbed as “Liwanag sa Mata, Handog ko sa Inyo,” the eye operation program will convene eight to 10 ophthalmologists from the Department of Health who will perform the surgery to about 200 Bulakeños.

An eye screening was held yesterday for patients who want to undergo the said surgical procedure.

Also, there will be a post-cataract operation for the patients at the Bulacan Medical Center (BMC) on Feb. 20.

Governor Wilhelmino Alvarado said the eyes should be properly taken care of as they reflect one’s personality.

“We know how hard it is to have an ailment in the eye. As popularly said, our eyes are the mirror of our soul so it is advisable that they must be protected and maintained healthy,” said Alvarado in Filipino.

“This free operation is for our beloved fellow Bulakeños who do not have the means to undergo surgical procedure,” he added.

According to Dr. Mildred Pre of BMC, aside from the medical clearance to be issued by the physician, the patients must also undergo a series of laboratory tests like complete blood count, fasting blood sugar test and electrocardiogram to ensure that the patients are physically fit to undergo the operation.

Last year, a total of 268 cataract and pterygium patients took the free eye operation program of the provincial government in which 60 patients were operated in June, 80 in August and 128 in October.

Cataract is the clouding of the normally clear lens of the eye. For people who have cataracts, seeing through cloudy lenses is a bit like looking through a dimmed or fogged-up window. A pterygium is a non-cancerous growth of the clear, thin tissue (conjunctiva) that lays over the white part of the eye (sclera). One or both eyes may be involved.

Tagalog News: Kabataang lumabag sa curfew, dadalhin sa Kanlungan Center

LUNGSOD NG MALOLOS, Bulacan- Gumawa ang municipal social welfare office ng isang lugar para sa mga kabataang lumalabag sa curfew.

Ang Balagtas Kanlungan Drop In Center, na itinayo noong nakaraang taon sa Brgy. Santol, ay isang pansamantalang tuluyan para sa mga mahuhuling kabataan sa bayan na nasa kalye pa sa itinakdang curfew na 10 p.m. hanggang 4 a.m.

“Kumpleto ang pasilidad dito, may silid-tulugan para sa 120 na kabataan, may palikuran, dining area, receiving at social hall, at mayroon ding basketball court,” ani Rolly Dañes, municipal information officer ng Balagtas.

Idinagdag ni Dañes na magkahiwalay ang tulugan at palikuran ng mga lalake at babae sa Kanlungan Center na pinatatakbo ng Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office.

Ayon sa ulat na inilimbag sa Lakandiwa, ang opisyal na pahayagan ng Balagtas, napag-alaman sa isang pag-aaral ng pamahalaang bayan na nagiging problema ang mga “kabataang palaboy” sa kalsada dala ng kahirapan.

Napipilitan umanong tumulong ang mga kabataan sa kanilang mga magulang upang maghanapbuhay sa kalye tulad ng pangangalakal at panlilimos na “kalimitan ay naglalagay sa mga kabataan sa kapahamakan,” saad sa ulat.

“[Ang mga gawaing ito] rin ay nagiging daan upang magumon sila sa masamang bisyo,” ani Dañes.

Dahil dito, nagsasagawa ang Philippine National Police-Balagtas, mga barangay tanod at opisyal ng Kanlungan Center ng paglilibot sa may 3,000-ektaryang bayan upang hikayatin ang mga menor de edad na manatili na lamang sa center sa itinakdang curfew kaysa lumaboy sa lansangan.

Kakapanayamin ang mga kabataan pagdating sa Kanlungan Center upang malaman ang impormasyon tungkol sa kanila at maipagbigay-alam sa kanilang pamilya ang kanilang kinaroroonan.

“Nagkakaroon ng maayos na documentation ang mga kabataang dinadala rito at sa kanilang pananatili, sila ay binibigyan ng maayos na tulugan, damit at pagkain,” ani Dañes.

Cops check Dominguez carjack link in Bulacan trader's killing

Police are looking into a possible link between the Dominguez carjacking gang and the fatal shooting in Bulacan Thursday of a trader who had testified against the group.

Police investigators said they are not discounting the possibility the killing of Cristina Roxas was linked to the notorious gang, radio dzBB reported Saturday.

Roxas, a gas station owner, was shot dead aboard a passenger jeep along MacArthur Highway in Malolos City in Bulacan last Thursday.

An initial investigation showed her assailant followed her in boarding the jeep, and shot her before getting off and boarding a waiting motorcycle.

Earlier reports had indicated Roxas filed charges against suspected carjacking gang leader Raymond Dominguez in 2010 for the theft of her sport-utility vehicle.

Key members of the Dominguez gang were arrested last year after a string of high-profile carjacking incidents.

In some of the cases linked to the gang last year, the victims – such as car dealer Venson Evangelista – were brutally killed.

Bulacan town offers 24-hour medical care

CITY OF MALOLOS, Bulacan- Residents of Balagtas town have been receiving a medical service that “never sleeps” with the 24 hour-operation of their lying-in clinic and continued benefits from PhilHealth.

Municipal health officer Dr. Genivelle Galvez said the town’s rural health unit (RHU), particularly the lying-in clinic, is always ready to give medical attention to pregnant mothers, post-natal care, free laboratory test, medical and dental check-up.

With two doctors and dentists on standby, Balagtas-RHU also gives vaccination among children, orientations on family planning and vasectomy, blood donation, tuberculosis program and dengue prevention.

“The lying-in of Balagtas gives a health service that never sleeps and provides 24-hour medical attention,” said Rolly Dañes, municipal information officer.

Dañes said Mayor Romy Castro provided thousands of PhilHealth insurance cards to needy families for them to experience composure during times of medical troubles.

According to Mary Carmen, chief of the Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office (MSWDO), 1,296 indigent families had already received the insurance cards.

Aside from provision of PhilHealth insurance, Balagtas town also gives financial assistance to its deprived citizens who need to pay hospital bills and to bereaved families.

“Ever since I received free PhilHealth from Mayor Romy, my anxieties on getting sick were lessened so I am really thankful,” said Agripina Kempis, a card recipient.

Senior citizens also received discount cards from MSWDO to avail of reduced prices on medicine, food, public utility vehicles and medical treatment. Single parents received capital assistance to help them in starting their own livelihood businesses.

“Mayor Castro wants the citizens to feel the care of the municipal government that’s why he personally goes to the barangays to know the situation and primary needs of the residents,” said Dañes.

Meanwhile, rehabilitation of 14 day care centers in Balagtas is ongoing after they were accredited to Level 2 by the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

Tagalog News: Regional Skills Competition, nagsimula na sa Bulacan

LUNGSOD NG MALOLOS, Bulacan– Makalipas ang anim na taon, sinimulan na ang Central Luzon Regional Skills Competition (RSC) kahapon na dinaluhan ng daan-daang estudyanteng teknikal at vokasyunal sa buong rehiyon sa Bulacan Capitol Gym.

Pinangunahan nina Secretary Joel Villanueva ng Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) at Gobernador Wilhelmino Alvarado ang pagputol sa ceremonial gold chain upang buksan ang kompetisyon na tinaguriang “Olympics” ng mga trabahong pisikal.

Sinabi ni Alvarado na mapalad ang Bulacan na pamunuan ang RSC na huling idinaos anim na taon na ang nakararaan dahil magbibigay aniya ito ng pagkakataon sa mga mananalong kalahok upang katawanin ang rehiyon sa Philippine National Skills Competition (PNSC) and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Skills Competition ngayong taon.

“Malaking tulong ito para sa mga kababayan natin na gustong magkaroon ng magandang kinabukasan. Muli na namang maipapamalas ng ating mga kabataan at mamamayan ang taglay nilang galing at talino na in-demand ngayon sa ibang bansa,” ani Alvarado.

Ayon kay Villanueva, sinisimbolo ng seremonyal na pagpuputol ng tanikala at pagsisindi ng unity torch ng pitong provincial director ng TESDA sa Gitnang Luzon ang kahusayan ng mga Pilipino bilang manggagawang may natatanging kakayahan sa buong mundo.

“Hindi lang ito upang isulong ang diwa ng palakasan, ng galing at talino at ang pagiging espesyalista. Ipinapakita nito na sa TESDA, may pag-asa at trabaho,” ani Villanueva.

Ang mga magwawagi ng ginto sa RSC ang kakatawan sa Gitnang Luzon sa PNSC na gaganapin sa Visayas sa Pebrero, at ang mga mananalo naman sa PNSC ang lalahok sa ASEAN level sa Indonesia sa darating na Marso.

Magtutunggali ang mga kalahok sa 18 trade area kabilang na ang mechanical engineering design-CAD, information technology and softwares, welding, web design, electrical installation technology, cabinet making, joinery, men and women’s hairdressing, beauty therapy, fashion technology, automobile technology, cooking, restaurant service, refrigeration, graphic design, electronics, information network cabling and mechatronics.

Technical, vocational skills ‘Olympics,’ set in Bulacan

CITY OF MALOLOS, Bulacan- Hundreds of technical and vocational students and trainers will contend in the Central Luzon Regional Skills Competition (RSC) this Jan. 25 to 26 at various locations in Bulacan.

According to Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA)-Region III, RSC is a biennial event held in time for the conduct of the Philippine National Skills Competition (PNSC) and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Skills Competition.

“It is considered as the Olympics of blue collar occupations where the tech-voc trainees, trainers, graduates, workers, and practitioners meet to showcase their talent and skills in a competitive but friendly setting,” said TESDA-III.

The gold medal winners in RSC will move on to represent Central Luzon to the PNSC which is slated in Visayas on February. Consequently, the top performers will compete in the ASEAN level to be held in Indonesia on March 2012.

TESDA added that the event aims to provide technical vocational education and training system with objective means to measure the quality of its output.

The participants will vie in 18 trade areas which include Mechanical Engineering Design-CAD, Information technology/Software, Welding, Web Design, Electrical Installation Technology, Cabinet Making, Joinery, Ladies/Men’s Hairdressing, Beauty Therapy, Fashion Technology, Automobile Technology, Cooking, Restaurant Service, Refrigeration, Graphic Design, Electronics, Information Network Cabling, and Mechatronics.

Themed “Galing at Talino, Specialista ‘Pagmalaki Mo!” the two-day competition will be held in different locations set in KorPhil-Bulacan, Research and Training Center on Community Living (RTCCL)-Guiguinto, STI-Balagtas, and Bulacan State University-Malolos.

Executive Secretary Paquito N. Ochoa, Jr. is expected to grace the event as guest speaker at the opening program in the Bulacan Capitol Gym on Jan. 25, 10:30 a.m., together with TESDA Director General Joel Villanueva; Gregorio M. Sison, Jr., president of the Association of Technical Vocational Institutes in Central Luzon; and Governor Wilhelmino Alvarado.

MNTC plans new Bulacan interchange

Motorists going to eastern towns of Bulacan may soon bypass the Sta. Rita Interchange of the North Luzon Expressway (NLEx) and reach their destinations faster.

NLEx concessionaire Manila North Tollways Corporation (MNTC) said it is going to open a new interchange in Balagtas town in March.

MNTC President Rodrigo Franco said the Balagtas interchange will “allow motorists to reach Plaridel, Bustos and San Rafael town without having to exit through Sta. Rita exchange.”

Franco said the Balagtas interchange, which cost MNTC P100 million for construction, is the 16th interchange to be constructed in the 84-kilometer NLEx, which runs from Balintawak in Quezon City to Sta. Ines in Pampanga.

“(Opening a new interchange in Balagtas) is MNTC’s way of returning the favor and goodwill to our customers in making sure our roads are well-maintained while implementing projects that will give more convenience and faster travel among motorists,” he said.

For 2012, Franco said the MNTC is allotting a substantial investment of P300 million for the maintenance of NLEx and a separate P360 million to integrate NLEx with the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEx) as soon as Malacañang approves of the transfer of SCTEx’s concession from the BasesConversion and Development Authority to the MNTC.

He said initial integration of NLEx and SCTEx includes removing of toll barriers in Dau and Mabalacat in Pampanga and replacing them with toll plaza entry and exits; the relocation of toll barrier in Segment 7 beside the SCTEx Tipo toll plaza; the introduction of electronic toll collection in SCTEx; and the installation of traffic management systems like closed circuit television and emergency call boxes along SCTEx.

But motorists will only experience the convenience of seamless travel along NLEx and SCTEx six months after the integration works are implemented.

Franco said once NLEx is integrated to SCTEx, a three percent growth in traffic and revenues is expected.

Balagtas improved education-to-employment scheme

CITY OF MALOLOS, Bulacan- Gunning to bolster its education-to-employment strategy, Balagtas town is building up four-year and short courses in the Balagtas Technical Vocational College (BTVC)-Castro Campus.

Full operation of BTVC is expected to be completed this year as four-year, technical and short courses are being lined up and public announcements are circulated in the town to encourage students to sign up, Balagtas town said in a statement.

BTVC administrator Julian Canonoy said the construction of school buildings is still ongoing after three classrooms were inaugurated and 10 computer sets were donated last year in the campus located at Barangay Pulong Gubat.

A municipal resolution was also passed asking the Bulacan Agricultural State College in San Ildefonso town to aid BTVC in offering four-year courses. The courses targeted to be offered in the college include BS Agriculture, Industrial Technology, Animal Husbandry, Business Administration and Hotel and Restaurant Management among others.

The Public Employment Service Office will help students to land a job after graduating in technical courses in BTVC like PC Hardware Servicing, Food Processing and Garments Technology.

Short courses which can be taken for only 15 days will also be offered such as Computer Science, Computer Technician, Computer Secretarial, AutoCAD with Drafting, Computer Programming, English Proficiency, Driving with Troubleshooting, Welding, Dress Making, Animal Health Care Technician and Cosmetology.

Mayor Romy Castro said students who will take up technical courses in BTVC will enjoy free tuition fee and will pay only P400 for their uniform and school I.D.

“Education is one of my priorities because I believe that this will be a strong foundation for our youth to reach what they dream of and what they aspire for in life,” said Castro in Filipino.

Scholarship grants would also be given to selected students under the Project ROMY, which is an acronym for “Responsibilidad at Obligasyon ang mga Mag-aaral na Yaman ng bayan.”

Since 2007, over 200 students have received educational grants and graduated.

Councilor Ian De Guzman, Committee on Education chair, said the scholars received P1,500 up to P5,000 a year depending on their educational level.

Guard returns pouch with cash

BALIUAG, Bulacan — A security guard at the SM City mall here exhibited the admirable trait of honesty when he returned a pouch containing P47,650 to its rightful owner, who had lost it while shopping at the mall recently.

“An act of moral strength was shown by Edralin Alagano as he committed himself to bring service excellence in his job as a mall security guard here,” said mall information officer, Bheverly “Bang” Cruz.

Manolito San Jose, who had lost the pouch, expressed admiration for Alagano for having surrendered the pouch to mall authorities so he could claim it.

113th anniversary of First Philippine Republic kicks off today

CITY OF MALOLOS, Bulacan- The week-long celebration for the anniversary of the First Philippine Republic which was established here more than 100 years ago starts today with a potpourri of historical shows in line.

The commemoration of the 113th year of the revolutionary government aims to remember the “greatness” of Filipino forerunners who left an inheritance of democracy which we enjoy today, the City Information Office (CIO) said.

“Also to be shown in the one week of festivity are the culture, heritage, products, recipes, and valuable traits and talents of Maloleños. Moreover, the anniversary is a celebration of Bulakenyos of their excellence, bravery, and patriotism,” CIO said in Filipino.

Dubbed “Fiesta Republika,” the festivity will culminate on January 23 as the week flaunts a trade fair, painting exhibit of arts group Bahaghari, historical tour Lakbaykasaysayan, Handaang Malolenyo, Hari at Reyna ng Kundiman, street theater Dulansangan, and Bayani at Bituin ng Malolos which will recognize outstanding artists and personalities in the city.

Each day of the week will also feature programs on various sectors including environment, livelihood, health, agriculture, women, senior citizens, and youth.

CIO said Malolos City Mayor Christian Natividad gave importance to the celebration which paved the way for a merry and colorful festivity.

“The Natividad administration also believes that the Malolenyo youth will much understand where Malolos is headed to because of their grasp of history,” CIO added.

The Division on Tourism, Arts, Culture at Sports of the Office of the Mayor leads the organization of the celebration together with the aid of the Department of Education, City Environment and Resource Office, City Training, Education and Cooperative Office, City Agriculture Office, City Welfare and Development Office, City Interior and Local Government Office, City Resource and Environment Office, Samahan ng mga Kapitan (association of Barangay Captains), City Information Office, City Administrator’s Office and the City Mayor’s Office.

Also known as the Malolos Republic, the First Philippine Republic was a short-lived revolutionary government formally established with the proclamation of the Malolos Constitution on January 23, 1899 at the Barasoain Church.

Malolos leads with first Newborn Hearing Screening Program

CITY OF MALOLOS, Bulacan- In a bid to save more babies from experiencing hearing defects while growing up, Malolos conducted the first Universal Newborn Hearing Screening Program in the country this year at the Malolos Eye, Ear, Nose and Throat Hospital recently.

Mayor Christian Natividad said the program ensures the safety of babies delivered in the city. He also expressed his support to the program, adding that he will discuss the possibility of a newborn screening program with the Rotary Club of Malolos.

Dr. Charlotte M. Chiong, deputy director of the Philippine National Ear Institute, lauded the city government for pioneering this advocacy this year in the about 250,000-strong residents in the Bulacan capital.

According to St. Luke’s Medical Center, hearing disability is one of the most common disorders of babies around the world. It is said that one out of 1,000 infants are born with hearing impairment, which means that if two million babies are born annually, then 200 of them will be born with a hearing defect.

“These impairments though can be detected early through screening and can be treated and rehabilitated accordingly,” said Dr. Norberto V. Martinez of St. Luke’s in a report.

Newborn Screening Reference Center (NSRC) said newborn screening is a simple procedure to find out if a baby has a congenital metabolic disorder that may lead to mental retardation and even death if left untreated.

“Most babies with metabolic disorders look normal at birth. One will never know that the baby has the disorder until the onset of signs and symptoms and more often, ill effects are already irreversible,” said NSRC.

The program was also pursuant to Republic Act 9709 or the Universal Newborn Hearing Screening Act of 2009 which mandates the establishment of programs for the prevention, early diagnosis, and intervention of hearing loss through newborn screening which costs only some P550.

The Universal Newborn Hearing Screening Program was made possible through the help of St. Francis School-VSA Arts Philippines, Inc., JICA Philippines, Malolos EENT Hospital, Department of Health, and Malolos.

Tagalog News: Pagkawagi sa Gawad Galing Sanggunian nagbunsod ng inspirasyon sa Malolos

LUNGSOD NG MALOLOS, Bulacan- Nagsilbing inspirasyon ang pagkapanalo ng lungsod na ito sa katatapos lang na Gawad Galing Sanggunian (GGS) upang maging “daan sa pagbabago at pag-inam ng buhay” ng mga Maloleño.

Tinanggap ng lungsod ng Malolos ang karangalang Natatanging Sangguniang Panlungsod kasama ang premyong P100,000 kamakailan sa GGS na ginanap sa Hiyas ng Bulacan Convention Center. Napagwagian din nito ang Natatanging Ordinansa ng Taon.

Sinabi ni Mayor Christian Natividad na magiging inspirasyon ang mga parangal na ito sa Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) upang lumikha ng mga batas para sa ikauunald ng tahanan ng unang republika sa Asya.

“Lalo ko silang (SP) makakaagapay sa daan tungo sa pagbabago at pag-inam ng buhay ng mga mamamayan ng lungsod,” ani Natividad na pinarangalang Natatanging Kagawad ng GGS noong 2003.

Sinabi naman ni Vice Mayor Gilbert Gatchalian, tagapangulo ng hapag ng SP Malolos, na pagbubutihin pa niya ang trabaho kasama ang kanyang 10 kagawad upang sabayan ang pag-unlad ng lungsod.

Ayon pa sa City Information Office, tinanggap ni Konsehal Jesus Ricardo De Gala III ang Perfect Attendance Award. Siya rin ang may-akda ng City Ordinance No. 16-2010 na tinanghal na Natatanging Ordinansa ng Taon.

Ipinag-uutos ng nasabing batas sa mga may-ari ng establisyimento na ilista para sa rehistrasyon ang mga umuupa sa kanila. Kabilang na ang listahan na ito sa mga rekisito upang makakuha ng business permit ang mga may-ari ng paupahan. Iniatas din nito sa mga nangungupahan na magpasa ng listahan ng kanilang mga pangangailangan sa establisyimentong inookupa habang ang mga may-ari ay dapat magbigay ng listahan ng mga kaparusahan sa paglabag.

Dagdag pa rito, pinarangalan din sina konsehal Francisco Centeno Jr., Alberto Ramos, at Crispin Erjas dahil sa paglilingkod nang tatlong terminong sunud-sunod.

Ang GGS ay isang taunang pagkilala ng Pamahalaang Panlalawigan ng Bulacan sa mga natatanging sanggunian at mambabatas, kabilang na ang mga bise-alkalde, konsehal at kalihim.

Tagalog News: Bataan, Bulacan, nanguna sa Civil Service exam

Hindi biro ang kumuha ng civil service eligibility exam, sa katunayan, marami ang bumabagsak dito at makailang umuulit hanggang sa pumasa. Kung kayat isang karangalan ang pumasa dito; mas kahanga-hanga kung manguna ka.

Dalawang lalake mula sa Bataan at Bulacan ang nanguna sa Career Service Examinations sa Rehiyon III ng Civil Service Commission (CSC) na igagawad ang mga sertipiko sa mga pumasa ngayong 1:00 p.m. sa SM City Pampanga Event Center.

Si Ezekiel Roel Rodriguez ng Balanga, Bataan ay nakakuha ng gradong 87.43 porsiyento, una sa 754 na pumasa mula sa 5,637 kumuha ng Professional Level ng pagsusulit.

Namayani naman si Michael De Leon ng Sta. Maria, Bulacan na may gradong 87.26 porsiyento sa Sub-Professional Level kung saan 148 ang nakapasa mula sa 1,165 kumuha.

Sinabi ng CSC na 10,866 ang nakapasa mula sa 94,251 kumuha sa isinagawang pagsusulit noong Oktubre 16, 2011 sa buong bansa. Ito ay may katumbas na 11.53 porsiyentong passing rate.

Kabilang sa 10 may pinakamataas na grado sa Gitnang Luzon para sa Professional Level sina Maria Ana C. De Jesus ng Dinalupihan, Bataan, 86.76%; Arnel C. Lalic ng Mexico, Pampanga, 86.68%; Florhen Grace C. Mallari ng Lungsod ng San Fernando, Pampanga, 86.51%; Kim Charmaine Q. Cortez ng Calulut, Lungsod ng San Fernando, 86.08%; Kimberly Anne P. Francisco ng Lubao, Pampanga, 86.02%; Clarence Y. Magtoto ng San Agustin, Lungsod ng San Fernando, 85.85%; Werlo M. Palomar ng Lupao, Nueva Ecija, 85.79%; Jeremiah P. Pascual ng Lungsod ng Malolos, Bulacan, 85.76%; at Joseph Conrad Q. Isidro ng San Rafael, Bulacan, 85.73%.

Para sa Sub-Professional Level, kabilang sa sampung pinakamataas sina Jason A. Duero ng Dinalupihan, Bataan, 85.92%; Robin James G. Magsilang ng Sto. Domingo, Nueva Ecija, 85.32%; Francisco S. Roxas ng Norzagaray, Bulacan, 84.92%; Michaela P. Buenaventura ng San Miguel, Bulacan, 84.81%; Pamela F. Delos Reyes ng Cuyapo, Nueva Ecija, 84.68%; Eunice M. Sadsad ng Lubao, Pampanga, 84.68%; Angelique T. Salazar ng Sta. Maria, Bulacan, 84.54%; Cynthia E. Magat ng Orion, Bataan, 84.21%, Charles Dondon E. Centeno ng San Miguel, Bulacan, 84.05%; at Christine S. Austria ng Talavera, Nueva Ecija, 84.01%.

Ang mga pumasa sa pagsusulit sa mga testing center sa Nueva Ecija ay pagkakalooban ng sertipiko sa Enero 16 sa Mega Center Entertainment Plaza, lungsod ng Cabanatuan.

Tribal army

CITY OF MALOLOS, Bulacan -- The Sagip Sierra Madre Environmental Society Inc, together with the Bulacan Environment and Natural Resources Office (BENRO), proposed on Wednesday the creation of the “Eco Tribal Army” which will be composed of selected Dumagat tribesmen who will be trained and armed to protect the watershed from illegal loggers who are reportedly being backed-up by a group of heavily armed men while conducting illegal logging operations at the area.

BENRO chief Rustico De Belen said the Dumagats tribe, a cultural minority group living at the Sierra Madre mountain range, must be tapped to guard the watershed areas of Angat and Ipo dams in Norzagaray town to protect it from illegal loggers.

San Ildefonso, Bulacan fiesta on Jan. 23; Fatima pilgrim image pays Filipinos a visit

Dr. Virgilio Villacorte, this year’s president of the committee preparing the fiesta in San Ildefonso, Bulacan, told me that women who had had difficulty conceiving a child had been helped by the saint.

Novena Masses begin on Jan. l4 and end Jan. 22. Fiesta Mass is on Jan. 23 at 10 a.m.

In the case of Fr. Johann Sebastian who is the one and only son, his mother was able only to conceive when she prayed to San Ildefonso. Fr. Johann chose to become a priest and he is the parish priest of the quasi-parish of the Holy Eucharist at the foot of the Sierra Madre.

Healing exhibit

A healing exhibit featuring the holy relics, including memorabilia of Blessed John Paul II, from the collections of Dr. and Ms Villacorte, Jorge Allan Tengco, Fr. Jay Lina, Fr. Dennis Santos, Clifford Chua and Filipino visionary Bro. Carmelo Cortez, will be held on Jan. 14, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m, at the Multi-Purpose Center beside the San Ildefonso church.

Brother Carmelo will hold a healing session after the 5 p.m. Mass on Jan. 19. The public is invited to the Novena Masses and healing exhibit (until Jan. 23).

In the collection of Dr. Villacorte are the Olive tree from Gethsemane, relics of St. Anthony de Padua, Blessed Jacinta, Blessed Francisco, St. Padre Pio, and a relic of San Ildefonso. Sculptured works done by the brothers Willie and Edwin Layug are that of the Last Supper, Scourging at the Pillar, St. Therese of the Child Jesus, St. Luke, St. Vincent de Paul, St. Francis of Assisi, Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception and San Ildefonso.

Novena Masses

Infanta Bishop Rolando Tria Tirona will begin the nine-day Novena of Masses at San Ildefonso on Jan. 14 at 5 p.m. with La Juventud de la Hermandad de San Ildefonso as sponsors. Novena Masses from Jan. 14-22 are at 5 p.m.

On Jan. 15 at 8:45 a.m., Caloocan Bishop Deogracias Iñiguez will celebrate Mass.

Healing Mass is on Jan. 19 at 5 p.m.

Concelebrated Fiesta Mass on Jan. 23 at 10 a.m. will be celebrated by Malolos Bishop Jose Oliveros and Bishop Emeritus Cirilo Almario.

Procession around the town is on Jan. 23 at 7 p.m.

Parokya ng Ina ng mga Dukha

Our Lady of the Poor Parish, or Parokya ng Ina ng Mga Dukha in FB Tenement, Western Bicutan, Taguig celebrates a Fiesta thanksgiving Mass on Jan. today at 10:15 a.m. with Pasig Bishop Mylo Hubert C. Vergara as main celebrant.

Parish priest is Fr. Simplicio Roxas. This will be the 18th parish fiesta since the late Jaime Cardinal Sin canonically erected in 1993. Theme of the fiesta is: “I am the Virgin of the Poor. Believe in me and I believe in you.”

Pilgrim image of Fatima

Amid world crises, and the struggle to defend the dignity of family and life in our country, the International Pilgrim Virgin Statue of our Lady of Fatima is now in the Philippines until Jan. 25.

Today, she is in Mater Carmeli Monastery in Sta. Ignacia, Tarlac until 2 p.m. Then, she will be at the Cathedral in Lingayen-Dagupan at 4:30 p.m. where she will stay until Jan. 9. Text Fr. Melvin Castro at 0917-5149798 for schedule.

Many testimonies tell us Our Lady of Fatima’s visits are an occasion of tremendous outpouring of grace for our people. Countless miracles happen during Her visits like conversion and renewal. This statue of Our Lady of Fatima is called the International Pilgrim Image because she has visited 100 countries.

Sorrowful Mysteries for Grenada

Grenada in the Americas is also known as the “Island of Spice.” It is one of the world’s largest exporters of nutmeg and mace. The islands are of volcanic origin with extremely rich soil. Tourism is its main economic force.

Let us pray the Sorrowful Mysteries for Grenada tomorrow that the tourism industry be mindful of the need to preserve and conserve; that the family may be respected by all for the contribution it makes to society; that Grenada be spared from the destruction of powerful hurricanes. Let us also pray for the protection of the island from all threats; and for the young to learn the value of work.

Create anti-illegal logging task force - clergy

CITY OF MALOLOS, Bulacan– Grieving over the Mindanao tragedy, environmentalists and clergymen in Central Luzon appealed to President Aquino to create a separate anti-illegal logging task force to save Sierra Madre.

In an open letter to the President, officials of the Save Sierra Madre Network Alliance (SSMNA) stated seven points to avert what had transpired in Cagayan de Oro and Iligan cities in happening in Central Luzon.

Alliance chair Fr. Pete Montallana said a Presidential Task Force on Anti-Illegal Logging and Environmental Law Enforcement could be created separate from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

“Sendong revived the memories of the disaster in Ormoc which killed 10,000 people including those in Gingsaugon, Quezon, Aurora, Bicol, and Panay. When will the real logging moratorium be implemented to stop the destruction of nature?” said Montallana.

Martin Francisco, Alliance vice chairman, said the condition of Sierra Madre, the longest mountain range in the country, is “not good” because of unabated illegal logging, charcoal making, legal and illegal mining, and the prevalence of syndicates selling fake land contracts.

“Many poor people don’t have their own land so they plant in the mountains, and corrupt armed groups are prevalent,” said Francisco.

Montalla, parish administrator of Dingalan and Umiray towns in Aurora, added that higher ups should be made accountable for what happened and must be replaced.

Montallana said that the agency supposed to take of the environment failed in doing its duty.

“The President must appoint a new environmental head with the political will to implement the true guardianship of the environment,” said Montallana.

Also advocated in the letter were to push the protection of secondary forests as priority bill of the Aquino administration, declare a moratorium in mining, and to close the mines with cease and desist order.

Total firecrackers ban opposed

BOCAUE, Bulacan—The national association of fireworks manufacturers and dealers strongly opposed the proposal of Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Ramon Paje to totally ban the use of firecrackers during Christmas and New Year’s eve revelries.

Engineer Celso C. Cruz, chairman-emeritus of Philippine Pyrotechnics Manufacturers and Dealers Association Inc., said the call for the total ban on firecrackers is like broken record.

“May sampung taon na ring paulit-ulit ang ganitong panawagan ngunit wala namang kinahihinatnan. Tradisyon na kasi sa Pilipinas ang paggamit ng paputok sa tuwing sasapit ang bagong taon. Sa halip na isulong ang total ban ay dapat tulungan ng pamahalaan na isaayos ang sistema sa paggawa, pagbebenta at paggamit ng paputok,” Cruz said.

The PPMDAI head warned that the total ban will only increase the number of illegal manufacturers. He said hundreds of thousands of people who depend on the industry will be displaced.

Cruz said even during the Martial Law years, when the production, distribution and sales of pyrotechnics were outlawed, the government failed to stop people from making and using fireworks.

Paje earlier said the use of pyrotechnics caused massive pollution. On New Year’s Day, flights were cancelled and diverted due to poor visibility at the airport’s runway caused by smoke from firecrackers.

He said the total ban on firecrackers was even discussed during the recent climate change summit in Albay.

PPMDAI spokesman Rolando Bonilla said that instead of total ban, the government should intensify its crackdown on imported and smuggled pyrotechnics which is slowly killing the local industry.

Bonilla said the PPMDAI had been working with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority and the Department of Trade and Industry to make the local pyrotechnics industry globally competetive and safe.

Bulacan taps high schools for calamity response, wins Gawad Kalasag

CITY OF MALOLOS, Bulacan- Tapping the education sector to bolster calamity response, the Bulacan Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) was hailed 1st runner up in the National Gawad Kalasag 2011 recently at the Office of Civil Defense, City of San Fernando, Pampanga.

The National Disaster Coordinating Council recognized PDRRMC’s School Hydrological Information Network (SHINE) project as one of the best practices in school-based early warning systems.

According to PDRRMC, SHINE is a simple school-based program aimed at addressing issues on the effects of climate change, in particular focusing on awareness to hydrolometeorological-related disasters.

“The activity is one way of supporting the Department of Education’s thrust in its developmental program on the climate change-enhanced curriculum. This is consistent with the underlying principle that disaster awareness begins in schools,” the agency said.

Since 2004, the SHINE Project has instituted rainfall observation stations in 11 high schools in the province including Akle High School, Dona Remedios Trinidad High School, John J. Russell High School, Angat National High School, F. Halili High School, Vedasto R. Santiago High School, Norzagaray National High School, San Jose del Monte High School, Binagbag High School, Tibagan High School, and the San Rafael National Trade School.

Also integrated in the project were extra-curricular and non-academic activities such as campaigns on the ban of styrofoam and other plastic material in the school canteen, prohibition of smoke-belching vehicles in school premises, contests on recycling, garbage segregation, tree planting, and energy conservation program.

Heading the province which is perennially visited by floods, Governor Wilhelmino Alvarado said the SHINE project “strengthens the flood disaster awareness of schools and communities in Bulacan.”

Gawad Kalasag, which stands for KAlamidad at Sakuna LAbanan SAriling Galing ang Kaligtasan, is a search for excellence in disaster risk management and humanitarian assistance. It is given to individuals, private groups and government organizations in recognition of their initiative in helping the government to uplift the standard of disaster management in the country.

Priority bill

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan — President Benigno S. Aquino III was called on to certify as a priority measure an Anti-Enforced Disappearance Bill in Congress by a militant group that staged a rally here Monday. Lorena Santos, deputy secretary general of “Desaparecidos”, said her group wanted retired Army Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan and others believed involved in the kidnapping and disappearance of two student-activists in 2006 brought to justice. Santos said the bill, if passed, will mete out stiffer penalties to officers involved in political kidnappings and persecution.