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Philippine News

Mountain - Archived News
Herbal remedies for diabetes.JPG
How to get the best out of the Malunggay
Moringa (Malungay) leaves compared to common foods
Values per 100gm. edible portion
Nutrient Moringa Leaves Other Foods
Vitamin A 6780 mcg Carrots: 1890 mcg
Vitamin C 220 mg Oranges: 30 mg
Calcium 440 mg Cow's milk: 120 mg
Potassium 259 mg Bananas: 88 mg
Protein 6.7 gm Cow's milk: 3.2 gm
Barangay anim 4500.gif
A Barangay Clearance is NEEDED in order to get a Business License.
So why is the barangay name not in most business addresses?
Ask your Barangay Captain/Chairman to create a Resolution to make it mandatory to put the barangay name in all Business addresses.


Sec. Soliman calls for stronger gov’t ties with Cordillera LGUs, civil society

by Carlito C. Dar

BAGUIO CITY, May 12 (PIA) - - Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Dinky Soliman called for continuous and stronger partnership among the Social Welfare and Development Officers (SWDOs), civil society organizations and citizens groups in bringing in inclusive social and economic growth to all the people in Cordillera.

Soliman made this call on Friday during the program review on the supplementary feeding program cum Social Welfare and Development Forum at the Pines View Hotel here. She said that a continuous and stronger partnership between the national government and the local government units in delivering basic social welfare and development services and programs to the people of Cordillera will help bring in inclusive growth.

She also gave recognition to the important role SWDOs play in ensuring that the national government’s goal of bringing in inclusive growth to the country under President Aquino’s ‘Tuwid na Daan’ governance, will come to reality.

During the event, Soliman also spearheaded the awarding of special awards, which include certificate and recognition and cash incentives to the province of Kalinga who submitted the most comprehensive social protection development report and also for having the highest rate of report submission. The municipality of Balbalan, Kalinga is likewise recognized for submitting a well packaged narrative and statistical report.

Soliman, along with DSWD-CAR Regional Director Leonardo Reynoso also signed a Memorandum of Agreement with Kalinga Governor Jocel Baac for the expansion of the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) program to Tabuk City and the municipality of Rizal, Kalinga.

In the afternoon, Soliman and Reynoso, also signed a MOA with officials and representatives of various civil society organizations and citizens groups in the Baguio-Benguet area, in line with DSWD’s convergence strategy.

In her message, Soliman stressed the importance of such partnership, which through the government programs as well as those of their private partners, the attainment of bringing in inclusive social and economic growth to the country is possible. She emphasized that such partnership will also encourage the government to strive harder in giving honest, sincere and efficient service to the country.

Soliman also met with the DSWD-CAR family for a convergence meeting and consultation dialogue to oversee a better implementation of DSWD programs and services in the region.

Later in the afternoon, Soliman travelled to Mt. Data Hotel in Bauko, Mt. Province to meet with CCT Family beneficiaries, who are attending a Family Development Session. She is also set to go around the province today to visit projects and for community interactions. (JDP/CCD-PIA CAR)

Terminal comfort room fees scored


A lawmaker today denounced the collection of fees from passengers for the use of comfort rooms and service facilities in bus terminals/bus stations, bus stops and rest areas, a press release from Congress said.

Rep. Maximo Dalog (Lone District, Mountain Province) urged owners of bus terminals and rest areas to put a stop to this practice immediately.

"The safety and comfort of passengers is of prime importance thus construction of sanitary comfort rooms and service facilities for passengers is a must in every bus terminal/bus station, bus stop and rest area," Dalog said.

He said the use of these comfort rooms and service facilities is part of the services for human care of common carriers.

In filing House Bill 6034, Dalog cited Article 1755 of the New Civil Code of the Philippines which states that a common carrier is bound to carry the passengers safely as far as human care and foresight can provide, using the utmost diligence of very cautious persons, with due regard for all the circumstances.

Dalog also cited Presidential Decree No. 522 which states as one of its basis, the need of providing for an adequate number of rest areas for passengers of public and private conveyances plying the highways to cater to the comfort and personal convenience and needs of travelers.

Under the measure, it is prohibited for bus companies, bus operators and owners of bus terminals/bus stations, bus stops and rest areas to collect fees from passengers for the use of their comfort rooms and service facilities in their premises, the press release said.

The bill penalizes violators with six months imprisonment or a fine of P10,000.

"Considering the beneficial effects to the riding public who patronize these common carriers, approval of this bill is earnestly sought," Dalog said.*

Solon pushes for free use of comfort rooms in bus stations

by Karen Boncocan

MANILA, Philippines—A lawmaker on Thursday slammed bus terminals, stations and rest areas for collecting fees from their passengers to use public comfort rooms.

Mountain Province Representative Maximo Dalog filed House Bill 6034 and called on bus terminals and rest areas to end the said practice, saying that they should always prioritize their passengers’ safety and comfort. The measure seeks to prohibit bus companies, operators and owners of bus stations and terminals, bus stops and rest areas from collecting fees for use of their comfort rooms and other service facilities. It will penalize violators with imprisonment of up to six months or a fine of P10,000. He cited Article 1755 of the New Civil Code of the Philippines which said that common carriers should ensure their passengers’ safety as far as human care and foresight can provide, as well as Presidential Decree No. 522, which states that it was necessary to provide an adequate number of rest areas for travelers.

Bontoc tech-voc school conducts free trainings

by Juliet B. Saley

BONTOC, Mt. Province, May 9 (PIA) -- The Meridian Paramedical and Technical College – Bontoc Inc. is conducting free massage and haircut in this municipality. Training on massage and haircut will have 10 and 15 beneficiaries, respectively.

These trainings aim to provide skills and competencies to job seekers through appropriate training programs that are directly connected to existing jobs for immediate employment.

According to Maria Lourdes Cosme, Administrator of this institution, the massage training is in partnership with the Office of the Congressman of the Lone District of Mt. Province which provided the amount of P50,000 for the training and assessment fees of the 10 beneficiaries through the Technical Education, Skills, and Development Authority (TESDA).

TESDA will conduct the competency assessment after the trainees have complied with the given training period of three months.

On the other hand, the 10-day haircut training is jointly being implemented by the Office of the Vice Mayor of Bontoc, which provided the per diem of the trainer, the TESDA, which provides each trainee a starter kit upon completion of the course, and the Meridian, as the venue of the training, Cosme added.

She said these trainees are given lectures then hands-on training.

For the massage training which will end on May 19, the trainees will be conducting community service on free massage during weekends in the central barangays of Bontoc, where they will apply what they have learned particularly in shiatsu, swedish, and reflex. They will also schedule a free massage from May 7 to 11, from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. in the school.

For the haircut trainees, a community service on free haircut was conducted last May 4 at the Bontoc municipal ground.

Cosme also informed tha in its desire to help more poor students acquire a skill, the Meridian here will be sponsoring 10 students from three Bontoc barangays to a 10-day free training on massage, which is expected to start on May 19. (JBS/PIA CAR,Mt. Province)

Gender equality, dev’t code of Bauko approved

by Juliet B. Saley

BAUKO, Mt. Province, May 8 (PIA) -- The Sangguniang Panlalawigan has approved the gender and development code, crafted by the Sangguniang Bayan of Bauko.

Municipal Ordinance No. 017-A entitled “The Gender Equality and Development (GEAD) Code of Bauko” recognizes the various needs of its diverse and multi-ethnic population. Accordingly, the programs and projects of this town shall be gender sensitive and gender fair.

Under this code, the municipal government shall strengthen and upgrade its primary health care delivery system with emphasis on using reproductive health care approach by providing the necessary budgetary support.

The code states that reproductive health programs and projects shall involve men in all ages highlighting their crucial role in the maintenance of women’s health and well-being.

It is also provided that the municipal government shall endeavor to establish mechanisms to ensure that gender perspective are integrated in legislation, public policies, programs and projects; encourage all barangays to promote and support women’s organizations formed by their constituents; ensure that women are duly represented in all local special bodies as provided in the Local Government Code at the municipal and barangay levels; and in cooperation with concerned national agencies, universities and colleges, shall provide leadership training that will enable women to participate in decision making processes giving priority to indigenous and differently-abled women.

In support to violence against women and children (VAWC), the code requires the municipal government to provide immediate, comprehensive support to survivors of violence that shall consist of, but not limited to, referrals through free or low cost such as legal, medical, psychological, shelter and to coordinate other forms of support services provided by non-government organizations (NGOs); and shall establish a Gender and Development (GAD) crisis intervention on VAWC Center to serve as a temporary shelter with appropriate support services for women and children in crisis. It will be a half-way drop which accommodates a VAWC survivor for only 24 hours or equivalent to one day.

It is provided that the municipal government shall encourage the continuous review of local laws and practices with the end and view of detecting gender bias and eliminating all forms of discrimination on the basis of sex; protect the rights of women and minor detainees by providing a separate structure and space for detention and rehabilitation for them; and establish a women and children’s desk managed by women police officers so that case involving women and children shall be handled in accordance with the accepted standards due them.

The code also provides that the municipal government, in coordination with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), and the Civil Service Commission (CSC), shall establish mechanisms to monitor all offices, agencies, establishments and companies operating within the municipality to ensure their strict compliance with the Labor Code and other provisions of existing laws especially those pertaining to children, women and labor, and shall set up grievance machinery to act on all complaints in the workplace.

The municipal government thru the DOLE shall come up with a survey of domestic helpers in all barangays to monitor cases of maltreatment, sexual harassment and other forms of sexual abuse. Households shall be required to provide information regarding their house helpers for identification and other purposes.

It is also provided that the municipal government shall promote and support women’s endeavors for self-employment in micro-enterprises, small scale business, indigenous industries and other employment opportunities including facilitating access to funds from any source; strengthen its tourism thrust towards promoting equality of women and providing full opportunities for the development and participation of women in eco-tourism and family-oriented activities.

In support to the differently-abled and elderly sectors, the code provides that programs and projects shall be developed to promote the interest of the differently-abled women and men and, at the same time, protect their rights to all opportunities for advancement. The code also requires each barangay to include a representation of the elderly in the Barangay Development Council in order that they may contribute their talents to society.

The GEAD Code strictly prohibits fund raising initiatives such as benefit dances and other fund raising activities wherein women or men are used as door prizes, substitute for door prizes, a companion package for an award prize or recognition in order to raise funds. A fine of P2,500.00 or imprisonment of six months or both at the discretion of the court shall be imposed to organizers and all other persons responsible for the conduct of this prohibited fund raising activity.

It is also provided that it shall be unlawful to hold beauty contest which commodify, abuse, humiliate and treat or degrade women and or men. The Code provides a penalty to organizers of beauty contests who violates this provision -a fine of P2,500 and cancellation of business permit for business organization and a fine of P2,500 for educational institutions, charity or welfare organizations.

For the realization of the provisions of this Code, the code requires the creation of the Municipal Gender Equality and Development Unit (MGEDU) under the supervision of the Municipal social Welfare and Development Office (MSWDO) which shall take the lead in the implementation of GEAD related programs and projects of the municipal government here.

The creation of GEAD Council is also required to become the policy recommending consultative assembly of the Gender Equality and Development Unit for its periodic planning and program implementation, monitoring, assessment and evaluation. The Council shall be composed of eight members, five from the government agencies and two from the non-government organizations with the Mayor or his representative as the presiding officer.(JDP/JBS-PIA CAR Mt. Province)

NSO: Cordillera posts higher consumer price index last March

by Carlito C. Dar

BAGUIO CITY, May 7 (PIA) -- The consumer price index (CPI) of Cordillera Administrative Region in March of this year registered at 125.8, higher by 3.3 percent during March of 2011.

National Statistics Office (NSO)-CAR Statistician III Camille Beltran, in an interview over a PIA radio program, explained that the CPI measures the changes in the price level of consumer goods and services purchased by households.

It is also defined as a measure of the average change over time in the prices paid by urban consumers for a market basket of consumer goods and services.

According to Beltran, generally, there was an increase in the CPI of all the provinces due to the stand up in the average prices of goods and services.

Among the six provinces in the region, Mt. Province reported the highest CPI of 131.1 followed by Benguet at 127.5, while Apayao had the lowest at 116.7.

By commodity groups, food and non-alcoholic beverages had the highest CPI with 135.3; with the province of Benguet attributed the highest index in this commodity group at 138.6, closely followed by Mt. Province at 138.5.

Transport and alcoholic beverages/tobacco followed next at 130.3 and 125.9, respectively, while communication had the lowest CPI at 83.5.

Despite a higher CPI, Beltran though also discloses that the region’s inflation rate last March which is 2.7 percent, is 0.6 percent lower compared to the same period in March 2011, which she attributes to the effect of other price or consumer related factors.

Beltran also disclosed that at present their census for the updating of list of establishments in all of the cities, provinces in the region is already on-going and that they are also set to undergo training for the census on agriculture and fisheries.

She called on public support for the censuses being undertaken by NSO, as such data will be the basis of economic and development planners in crafting programs and projects that will bring in inclusive growth for the nation. (CCD-PIA CAR)

Mt. Province uses LGSF to improve provincial road

by Juliet B. Saley

BONTOC, Mt. Province, May 6 (PIA) -- The provincial government will concrete a portion of the Besao-Sagada provincial road using the P5 million it received from the Department of Interior and Local Government as Local Government Support Fund (LGSF) for passing the Seal of Good Housekeeping.

The provincial government was given the Seal of Good Housekeeping last year qualifying it as a recipient of the Local Government Support Fund in the amount of P5 million. Based on the implementing guidelines, the LGSF can be utilized for priority projects like water systems and road repairs .

The Besao-Sagada provincial road is an extension of the Sagada national road which is connected to the Bontoc-Baguio national road popularly called the Halsema Highway.

The road, when improved, is expected to lure more tourists visiting the mountain resort town of Sagada to go to nearby Besao municipality which also offers many attractions. (JBS-PIA CAR- Mt. Province)

The bounties of Lang-ay

by Liza T. Agoot / Correspondent

BONTOC, Mountain Province—Its essence is to invite friends and family into one’s home to eat and share stories. Lang-ay Festival, which was conceived in 2004, was celebrated this year from April 2 to 8 at the province’s capital town Bontoc, attended by thousands of tourists and Ibotontocs who went home to join the festivities and to partake of the food prepared for everyone.

Gov. Leonard Mayaen said Lang-ay is an Ifontoc word that means food.

“Lang-ay Festival relates to food. Pag-alang-ayan, getting together and sharing the food,” which in the Cordillera culture includes butchering of animals first subjected to a native ritual and prepared the Igorot way.

Lang-ay is a native dialect of the Bontocs meaning to share the happiness, wisdom, promote family solidarity, hospitality, peace and nurture friendship with a celebration of home-cultured (native) wine called the tapuey. The event is still a young and growing festival to celebrate the tradition and practice, just like in the olden times.

The festival is participated in by the 10 municipalities of the province which join the various activities lined up for the festival. The highlight of the festival is the street-dancing parade, where the different native costumes of the municipalities are worn by the participants.

Antique beads handed down to women of the family from generation to generation are also brought out of the antique jars that serve as the treasure box of the family.

Mountain Province is composed of the towns of Barlig, Bauko, Besao, Bontoc, Natonin, Paracelis, Sabangan, Sagada, Sadanga and Tadian. It is at the center of the Cordillera region, which is bounded by the provinces of Benguet, Kalinga, Apayao, Abra and Ifugao and Isabela of Region 2. It has an area of 229,231 hectares, with 83-percent mountainous, while 17 percent make up hills and levels.

The province has plenty of rivers, waterfalls, mountains and caves, which have attained a reputation as among a requisite tourist destination by locals and foreigners, with the Sagada caves being the most popular.

Mountain Province was formerly comprised of the current Cordillera provinces. The old province was established by the Americans in 1908 and was later split in 1966 into Mountain Province, Benguet, Kalinga, Apayao and Ifugao.

The province is also known for its mummy caves, which contain naturally mummified bodies preserved probably by the humid atmosphere. Hanging coffins are also found on the branches of trees, with many tourists claiming no foul odor.

During its 2008 inception, Lang-ay maintained its cultural image, where the people and the culture is showcased. From the first festival to the most recent, the innovation that was put in place is the participation of children, especially with the growing need to pass on the cultural practices and dances to the next generation, making them learn, practice, be experts when talking about their heritage.

Another innovation is audience participation, where everybody is encouraged to wear his/her native costume or to accent himself/herself with anything native.

The highlight is a competition among the best of the best in each of the 10 municipalities of the province.

“Each municipality has its own festival, and for this day the best street and cultural dancers in their own festivals will be coming to compete in the Lang-ay, considered as the mother of all festivals in Mountain Province,” said Provincial Administrator Frank Odsey.

With this year’s festival falling on a long holiday (Holy Week), a number of lowlanders were seen roaming the streets of Bontoc, enjoying the festival and visiting the different destinations nearby, like the Mainit hot spring; Sagada, which is about an hour-and-a-half from Bontoc; and Banaue Rice Terraces in Ifugao, which became close to Bontoc with the completion of the Bontoc-Ifugao Road.

With thousands attending the festival, Bontoc can now accommodate more than 30,000 people, not to mention the proximity of Sagada, which has a lot of lodging houses for tourists.

Homestay is also encouraged in all parts of Mountain Province, for better participation of the culture of the place.

Lang-ay Festival is a weeklong agro-industrial trade, tourism and cultural fair with tribal dances and songs. Lang-ay is a native term which describes the tradition of the people of Mountain Province to celebrate festivities, share happiness, foster family solidarity, hospitality and nurture friendship—all with a toast of home-brewed wine. It coincided with the celebration of the 45th foundation day of the province.

According to Odsey, with the foundation day falling on Black Saturday, they consider it as a blessing because aside from showcasing their festivity, they also shared the Lenten season with friends, relatives and visitors who went to Bontoc for this year’s Lang-ay Festival.

The presentations during the street-dancing parade delved on the agricultural practices of the province, with each municipality showcasing a varied culture apart from the others.

Lang-ay in the Igorot dialect means fellowship. It is cultural and wine festivities to share happiness and promote solidarity.

A crowd-drawer in the last seven years, the Lang-ay continues to serve as a venue for the people to come together and share their common past and allow visitors to understand the people of the province as a unique cultural minority with a distinct and rich cultural heritage.

Cordillera regional recipe contest winners bared

by Maria Aprilla W. Cruz

BAGUIO CITY, May 4 (PIA) -- A student tandem from the University of Baguio led the winners in the National Nutrition Council (NNC)-Cordillera- led regional recipe development contest held at the Benguet State University (BSU) this week.

The recipe development contest was anchored on the theme, “Pagkain ng Gulay ugaliin, Araw-araw nating Iha-in.”

Winner of the first prize of P10,000 was the recipe called “Pako Eggplant Roll” costing less than P70, prepared by Kristine Mae Danao, and Gemma Lyn Bulayo, both students of UB. The ingredients of the recipe included pako (local fern), carrots, tomatoes, eggplant, eggs, onions and garlic.

Getting the second prize of P8,000, was the “Sinigtiman na Gulay”, ingredients costing only P54, prepared by Maria Calay of Barangay Bunga in Tadian, Mt. Province. Ingredients include cadios, gabi, camote tops, onion leaks, string beans, and corn.

The third top recipe was the “Kinalot” by Fortunata Lang-et of Barangay Tue, Tadian Mt. Province which won for her P6,000. Its main ingredients are Sap-sapon leaves, Alalwad (Polpollot), gabi (taro), camote tops, ginger, aw-aw (locally prepared fermented sauce made of ground rice and river crabs or pork), costing about P50.

Three top winners were chosen by a panel of judges composed of nutritionists from BSU, Benguet General Hospital (BeGH), and University of the Cordilleras.

The judging was based on palatability/taste (25%),use of nutritious Ingredients (25%), originality (20%), visual appeal (15%) and ease of preparation (15%).

All the winning entries in the different regions will be included into a recipe book which will be printed for distribution to the beneficiaries of the government’s Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) and is hoped to be completed and ready for distribution by July which is the Nutrition Month celebration.

Regional Nutrition Program Coordinator June Falancy informed that the NNC received a total of 69 entries which were evaluated by the members of the screening committee which include Professor, Imelda Degay of BSU, Marcia Espinueva of DSWD, Pepita Picpican of DOST, and Falancy.

The activity, she said, aims on developing delicious, nutritious, low cost, and easy to prepare menu. It showcased traditional recipes and other innovative ways of preparing vegetables in the region. (JDP/MC-PIA CAR)

Meet Raffy, the tourist guide dog

by Rubyloida Bitog

SAGADA, Mt. Province -- Have you seen a tourist guide that happens to be a dog?

This town has a prominent resident-dog named Raffy. He is a mongrel and the community and tourist guides are pretty sure he is a guide dog.

When a group of local tourists from the University of Baguio visited the town last April 24, Raffy came and smelled the group.

Then when the group started its eco–walk, Raffy noticed these people are tourists.

Raffy then showed the trail. He also executed characteristics of a tourist guide. This amazed the group, making them think the dog was trained.

Francis Tudlong, owner of the dog, said Raffy was never trained. He added they raised the dog in an ordinary way.

James Abad, 14 years old and a part time tourist guide, said the dog goes his “job” well. Abad also said Raffy even found two foreign tourists who were lost on their way home. The dog guided them safely back.

Abad and Tudlong said Raffy always wakes up early around 4 a.m. to go to the Sunrise Bus station in order to wait for tourists. They said this became a routinely task of the dog every day.

They both added most of the tourists, either local or international, were being amazed on the dog. These tourists even gave names to the dog like Jacob and Browny, among others.

Meanwhile, Raffy’s master, Tudlong, is also an owner of the Isebelo’s Inn and Café where tourists are always welcome to stay.

DepEd reminds May 25 deadline of Philippine Educational Placement Test registration

by Juliet B. Saley

BONTOC, Mt. Province, May 1 (PIA) -- The Department of Education (DepEd) is reminding interested out-of-school children and youth of the May 25 deadline for registration for the Philippine Educational Placement Test (PEPT) set on June 12, 2012 in all divisions nationwide.

In his memorandum to all division offices, Education Secretary Br. Armin A. Luistro stated that the DepEd through the National Educational Testing and Research Center (NETRC) and with the assistance of division and school personnel shall administer the test for free. This is in commemoration of the 114th celebration of Philippine Independence and consistent with the Education for All (EFA) goals.

The PEPT will be administered to out-of-school children and youth , who are the primary target clientele to determine their grade/year level placement. It seeks to evaluate a student’s competency in English, Math, Science and social studies(HEKASI) for elementary and Araling Panlipunan for high school– in relation to their age, to enable them to upgrade their academic level for re-entry into formal school, job entry, job promotion and self-fulfillment.

Division Testing Coordinators are in-charge with the evaluation of documents and shall see to it that documentary requirements of each registrant are complete specifically Forms 137/138, birth certificate and two 1 x 1 pictures.

The PEPT like the Alternative Learning System Accreditation and Equivalency (ALS A & E) program provides better options for students who have stopped schooling. (JBS/PIA CAR-Mt. Province)

Bauko town amends Rabies Control ordinance provisions

by Juliet B. Saley

BAUKO, Mt. Province, April 30 (PIA) -- The Sangguniang Bayan here has amended its Rabies Control Ordinance to spell out the responsibilities and liabilities of owners of biting animals.

On the section which provides that it is the responsibility of the pet owner to assist the dog bite victim immediately and shoulder the medical expenses incurred and other incidental expenses relative to the victim’s injuries, it is amended to, “the owner of an animal that has bitten any person shall be responsible for all the cost of the treatment and animal examination incurred by bite victim unless the bite has occurred within enclosed premises in which case, arrangement shall be made between owner and the bite victim.”

In addition, it is also provided that the owner of the animal that has bitten a person because of theft or robbery relieves the owner for any cost incurred by the victim.

Such amendment is to make dog owners more responsible and for people not to wander to properties of others (JBS-PIA CAR Mt. Province)

Rebels, Army clash on Natonin town fest

by Rubyloida Bitog

NATONIN, Mt. Province -- Members of the New People’s Army (NPA) and the Philippine Army troops were clashed anew on the very first day of Sas–Alliwa Festival.

The town’s Association of Barangay Captains (ABC) president Roldan Lumines said they heard reports from the civilians on the early morning of April 21 about the encounter of the NPA and the military at Sitio Tappo, Banawel.

The encounter occurred at 5:30 a.m. Army Battalion Commander Steve Crespillo said they were on their way for a regular security patrol when the rebels attacked them.

Crespillo said they were preparing for their security operation for the medical mission in Natonin and the celebration of Sas–Alliwa fest and the Paracelis fest when they encountered the NPA group.

The rebels and the military troops reported no casualties.

However, Crespillo said they noticed blood from the NPA group when they pursued them. Even the civilians testify on the presence of blood spots along the route of the NPA.

Crespillo said the Army, which encountered the rebels, is only one platoon. He said it was reinforced by two Army platoons. Dogs were also brought on the site.

Crespillo said their operation is still ongoing to clear the area.

Civilians said the NPA’s doctor was allegedly hurt and the rebels allegedly rushed her toward Aguinaldo, Ifugao for medication.

Crespillo said the NPA may have a doctor who was injured because of the presence of the medical paraphernalia like syringe, injections and medicines along the escape route of the rebels.

The officials and civilians claimed it was the first encounter between the NPA and Army troops in town.

Mayor Mateo Chiyawan called on both parties to spare Natonin as their battlefield.

He also said the encounter would spark recruitment of either of any side. “They should not let encounter happen under the jurisdiction of Natonin.”

Kadaclan marks 10th Menaliyam fest

by Rubyloida Bitog

KADACLAN, Barlig, Mt. Province -- The 10th Menaliyam Festival last April 20 illuminated the olden cultural traditions and practices of the early settlers.

The Kadaclan cluster dubbed as the “Shangri–la on the Edge” celebrated the festival to instill to the new generation the cultures of the community that were passed by the ancestors down to the present generation.

“Let us not forget our origin, culture, and traditions for the benefits of the young generation,” is the theme of the recently held 10th Menaliyam festival.

The one-day festival showcased the native dances, songs, cultural drama, and the traditional games of the Ekachakran tribe. The cluster is composed of four barangays namely Chupac, Lunas, Ogo–og, and Kaleo.

Edgar Jularbal, the Supervising Tourism Operations officer of the Department of Tourism in the Cordillera, said the festival aims to instill the customs and traditions for the protection and preservation of it.

Jularbal was the guest speaker of the celebration who represented the DOT–Cordillera Director Purification Molintas.

Barlig Councilor Genesis Changilan said the festival aims to let the community feel and see the cultures the ancestors preserved for a long time.

He added the festival is a way of thanksgiving to the Creator who gave various blessings and graces despite the hardship the place experiences.

He also said that the celebration is for their ancestors who helped in the preservation of their cultures and traditions. “This festival is our yearly community reunion. It is also a tool for the promotion of tourism industry of out place. So that is how important this festival is.”

The Menaliyam festival started when the group of Dionie Chungalan Sr., who was the proponent and eco–tourism advocate gathered in an Ap–apoy (Oak tree fueled bonfire) on September 15, 2003 in the Kadaclan Tourist Homestay. They gathered to talk about a unique festival of the cluster.

They then submitted a project proposal which was prepared by Joel Hansen titled “Indigenization of the School Curriculum” on November 17, 2003. The project has three objectives: to preserve Kadaclan cultural heritage; to integrate traditional best practices in the school curriculum; and to publicize Kadaclan and its people, their lifestyles and needs.

Menaliyam Council Secretary Jonelia Sao–ang said that in order to achieve the objectives, the community has to have its unique festival. Series of suggestions on the title of the festival were presented until the community reached the term “Menaliyam.”

Sao–ang said the term was suggested by Simon Layong which means a celebration which will showcase the past best practices of the Ekachakran Tribe.

The first Menaliyam festival was held on December 3, 2003 as part of the Education Week celebration. The second Menaliyam was conducted on December 9, 2004 while the third was on May 27, 2005.

Later, the Menaliyam council set the month of April as the permanent date for the celebration.

The community and the officials claimed the festival is the mother of all festivals in Mt. Province because it started 10 years ago unlike the Lang–ay Festival, which started just recently.

Electric coop gives discount on electric bill of 1,314 elderlies

by Juliet B. Saley

BONTOC, Mt. Province, April 27 (PIA) -- A total of 1,314 senior citizens in the province qualified as beneficiaries of the five percent discount on electricity bill from the Mountain Province Electric Cooperative (MOPRECO), the province’s main power distributor.

According to Cesaria Kiat-ong of the MOPRECO, the grant of discount to qualified residential senior citizens member-consumers is in compliance of Republic Act No. 9994 otherwise known as the “Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010” particularly Sections 4 and 5."

As provided in the guidelines, the discount shall apply to the basic generation, transmission, distribution, supply, metering, and system loss charges.

Qualified to avail of this program are senior citizens whose monthly residential power consumption does not exceed 100KWH per month and the electric meter must be registered under his or her name and has been in existence for at least one year.

To avail of the discount, qualified senior citizens must submit proof of age and citizenship such as birth certificate, valid senior citizen identification card issued by the Office of Senior Citizen’s Affair (OSCA) or any government ID such as a Philippine passport; proof of residence like barangay certificate or any duly notarized affidavit of two disinterested persons attesting to the fact that the senior citizen is known to them for at least a year; proof of billing (a copy of electric bill issued in the name of the senior citizen;) and authorization letter if applying for the discount through a representative. (JDP/JBS-PIA CAR, Mt. Province)


by Juliet B. Saley

CAMP BADO DANGWA, Benguet—Members of the Bontoc and Paracelis Muncipal Police Stations have arrested the number 3 most wanted person in Mt. Province. Chief Supt. Benjamin Magalong, regional director of the Police Regional Office-Cordillera Region (PRO-Cor) identified the suspect as Ferdinand Estigoy Guinawang, 26 years old of Paracelis, Mt. Province. He was arrested after he created a commotion when he was drunk and challenging people to a duel on April 18 at the Bontoc Town Proper. During the commotion, Magalong said , police authorities were alerted, upon responding to the scene, they recognized the suspect and upon inter-coordination between Bontoc and Paracelis MPS and the court, it was verified that Guinawang indeed had a pending warrant of arrest for rape. The warrant was issued by Judge Joseph Patna-an of RTC, Branch 35, Bontoc, Mountain Province, while the case was docketed under criminal case number 2012-12-6-112. The suspect is currently detained at the Mt. Prov. jail.—larry madarang

DSWD releases first cash grant to 3,074 new 4Ps beneficiaries in Mt. Province

by Juliet B. Saley

BONTOC, Mt. Province, April 25 (PIA) -- The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has released P6,738,400 for the first cash grant of the 3,074 Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) beneficiaries in the municipalities of Bauko, Bontoc, Sabangan, Sagada, and Tadian including the additional 4Ps beneficiaries in the municipality of Besao who were recently included in the program.

Based on the data of the Social Welfare and Development (SWAD) Team office here, of the total amount allocated, P6,453,800 was given to 2,937 4Ps beneficiaries. The cash grant of the 137 others was withheld for the following reasons: for re-assessment of the concerned beneficiaries, absent during the distribution, beneficiary is out of the area, beneficiary is deceased, some waived, and double entry for some beneficiaries.

The amount released covers the months of January, February, and March 2012 and the amount received by each beneficiary varied depending on the number of qualified children each family has.

Of the total 2,937 beneficiaries who actually received the cash grant, the municipality of Bauko has the highest number of 1,188, followed by the municipality of Tadian with 777, Bontoc with 367 ; Sabangan with 336; and Sagada with 225 beneficiaries. The additional 44 beneficiaries of Besao received the total amount of P104,000.

Moreover, the DSWD is also scheduled this month to distribute cash grant to the 4Ps beneficiaries of the other municipalities who were earlier covered by the program.

4Ps beneficiaries of Barlig are scheduled on April 14, Paracelis is April 27, and Natonin is April 28.

The cash grant to be received by these beneficiaries depend on their compliance on the given conditions they have to comply with such as: pregnant women must get pre and post-natal care and be attended during child birth by a skilled/trained health professional; parents or guardians must attend responsible parenthood sessions, mother’s classes, and parent effectiveness seminars; children 0-5 years old must receive preventive health check-ups and vaccinations; children aged 3-5 years old must attend day care or pre-school classes at least 85 percent of the time; and children 6-14 years old must enroll in elementary or high school and attend at least 85 percent of the time in school.

The program provides each family beneficiary a cash grant of P500 per month or P6,000 a year for health and nutrition expenses and P300 per month per child or P3,000 for one school year or 10 months for educational expenses for a maximum of three children per household as long as they comply with the conditions which are included in the beneficiary’s Oath of Commitment. The program is not a free gift or dole out as the beneficiaries must meet specific conditions before they can receive cash assistance. Non-compliance to the conditions will result in the suspension of cash grants or dropping from the program.

The beneficiaries have been receiving their cash grant through Land Bank and some through ATM Cash Cards. But the DSWD has already coordinated with the Philippine Postal (PhilPost) as payment center for the municipalities of Barlig, Natonin, Paracelis; Rural Bank of Buguias, Bauko Branch for the 4Ps beneficiaries in the municipality of Bauko; and Rural Bank of Buguias, Tadian Branch for the 4Ps beneficiaries of Tadian and the other beneficiaries will soon be issued cash cards.(JBS-PIA CAR, Mt. Province)

6 Reds killed in clash

by (Aaron Recuenco)

Philippines – Soldiers killed on Saturday six suspected communist rebels and wounded several others after almost one hour of gun battle in Natonin town, Mt. Province, a military spokesman said. Maj. Harold Cabunoc, Army spokesman, said the fierce gunfight erupted when troopers from the 54th Infantry Battalion swooped down on a rebel encampment in Barangay Banawel at around 6 a.m. on Saturday. Cabunoc said one of the fatalities is a 48-year-old female rebel whose name he could not reveal as her cadaver and the five others are yet to be recovered. “It was confirmed that there are six dead on their side, the troops are still scouring the area to determine the location of where the bodies were buried,” said Cabunoc. The official said the operation was carried out after the troops pinpointed the exact location of a suspected rebel camp. Cabunoc described the area as mountainous. “The camp has bunkers, outposts,” said Cabunoc, adding that some 20 rebels were occupying the camp when the clash erupted. After 45 minutes of clash, Cabunoc said the rebels fled along with their slain and wounded comrades.

7 NPAs killed in Mt. Province encounter

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Army: Six rebels killed in Mountain Province clash

by LBG, GMA News

At least six suspected communist New People’s Army rebels were killed in an early morning encounter with government troops Saturday, the Philippine Army said Sunday.

Philippine Army spokesman Maj. Harold Cabunoc said the encounter occurred in Banawel village in Natonin town in Mountain Province.

“Ayon sa isang residente, nakita niya dala ng mga bandido ang anim na patay at mga sugatan na kasamahan... naghahanap sila ng malibingan," he said in an interview on dzBB radio.

He said they are verifying information one of the fatalities was a 48-year-old Amazon fighter from Kalinga.

Cabunoc cited an initial information reaching him indicating the firefight lasted for 45 minutes, after which the rebels fled. He said pursuit operations are now ongoing.

Recovered from the area were an M-16 rifle, two rifle grenades, M-203 ammunition, “subversive” documents, a rifle scope, and binoculars.

According to Cabunoc, the encounter involved “15 to 20” rebels against a platoon of about 30 soldiers.

Specialty Ifugao Rice Export Pushed


The Philippines is aiming to ship to the United States higher quantity of its Cordillera heirloom rice varieties “Unoy” and “Tinawon” from mere trial shipments of the healthful organic rice.

From a trial export of only one metric ton (one MT or 1,000 kilos), a 100 MT shipment potentially this year is targeted by Eight Wonders Inc and RICE (Revitalized Indigenous Cordil¬leras Enterprise) Inc.

A rusty, red-colored rice, the Kal¬inga Unoy or “Chong-ak” has a sweet, nutty taste and unique aroma. The Ifugao Tinawon rice has large grains and is also aromatic.

The Philippine Rice Research Institute and the Bureau of Post Harvest Research and Extension (BPRE) are collaborating in increasing the export of the product. An outdoor storage technology (OTS) has been developed by BPRE for proper handling of the rice. It was designed to keep rice’s good quality from the Cordilleras to their export destination.

“The gas tight plastic container (the OTS) is pumped with carbon dioxide to keep the product insect-free which is required by quarantine Iaws for export. Since then, the OST is part of the protocol in the export,” said Rodolfo P. Estigoy in “Cordillera Heirloom Rice Project.”

A customized processing system is also used for the heirloom rice. This involves machines composed of a specialized set of panicle threshers, hullers, and millers. The processing system was completed in 2009 and is now installed in key production areas in Kalinga, lfugao, Benguet and Mountain Province.

By identifying a successful farmer or “Magsasaka Siyentista” (MS) that grows the rice at higher yield, the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic, and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD) has helped raise its yield. Yield is one of the major constraints in the country’s ability to export indigenous, organic rice.

MS farmer Ashley Lamaton of Chupac in Barlig, Mountain Province has been tapped to help farmers achieve a yield as much as her 60-kilo harvest from her 250-square meter technology demonstration farm. This is higher by more than 30 percent compared to the 40-kilo yield from another farm of Lamaton using Cordilleras’ traditional agricultural practice.

Uniform planting distance for the rice plants and the application of organic fertilizer made the yield increase possible.

10 ordinary women honored for remarkable achievements

by Dexter A. See

MANILA, Philippines - Poverty did not prevent these 10 ordinary women from making remarkable achievements.

Recognizing their achievements, the Soroptomist International of the Philippines Region (SIPR) spearheaded the Unsung Women Heroes Awards 2012 on Thursday.

This year's 10 women heroes are:

Vivian Mausisa Bañados: The “barangay mother” available 24/7 to everyone in need. Despite having seven children of her own to support, she found time to enhance her capacities by attending seminars and joining the Ladies Brigade. She has evolved into an effective health worker and trusted community organizer.

Sulficia Delgado: Abandoned by her husband. But with strong determination and faith in God, she rose up to the challenge and was able to support her five children. Equipped with the knowledge and skills she learned from the community organizing training that she attended she founded an organization of 80 abandoned women whose mission is to improve their lives and to empower them.

Nerissa Aloot Gonzales: A former prostitute. She set up an organization that educates women survivors of prostitution and helps them find other sources of livelihood. Determined and unafraid, she became the brave face of women survivors of prostitution that helped push for the passage of the anti-prostitution bill in Congress.

Emma Leynes Atendido: A farmer's wife and sari-sari store owner in Cabanatuan City, assists sick neighbors and helps them get hospitalization and welfare aid.

Mary Jane Fag-Ayan: A woman from an indigenous tribe in Bontoc, Mountain Province. She exemplifies the best volunteer worker in the Philippines. Her interest is focused on health services; primary eye care, children’s health and childhood diseases, the blind and the deaf-mute and serious citizens suffering from various health problems.

Eleanor de Lara Nicolas: Born with myopic degeneration or the gradual loss of eyesight. She went completely blind in 2006 but despite her condition, works as massage therapist and is the sole breadwinner of the family. On top of that, she still finds time to teach catechism to children in the nearby school.

Wilhelmina Nuestro: An educator of children with disabilities. She receives nothing from teaching the children. She finds satisfaction when the children respond to her teachings.

Angelina M. Reyes: Voted president of the National Council of Women in Plaridel. She spearheaded a livelihood program that helped many women become financially independent.

Juliet Versoza: She devoted the past twenty-one years of her life helping a community in San Jose, Navotas City. By organizing a group of mothers, Juliet helped them learn reading and writing. Another organization she spearheaded is the Samahan ng Mahihirap ng Bagong Silang that raised funds and helped improve their barangay road and provided the street lights.

Blecenda Miranda-Varona: She chose to leave her lucrative job in US to share her expertise as a nutritionist and dietician to her countrymen. She gives free seminars, lectures and workshops on nutrition and healthy living. She has written books and educational materials on healthy living and continues her work for free so that her countrymen will attain healthy mind, body and soul.

Mt Prov gov asks for forgiveness from critics

by Dexter A. See

BONTOC, Mountain Province – Gov. Leonard G. Mayaen reached out to his critics and detractors by asking them to bury their differences in the light of the rapid state of development of this province.

Mayaen made his appeal for forgiveness and understanding during the province’s 45th founding anniversary at the Mountain Province multipurpose arena on April 7.

“As we celebrate the growth of our province, let us learn to bury our differences and continue to move on. The development of our province has been anchored on our formidable teamwork and our unrelenting passion to improve the status of the province,” Mayaen said.

“Local officials and the people must learn to sacrifice like what Jesus Christ did for the whole world in order to achieve their go as and aspirations to make Mountain Province one of the most developed provinces in our country.

Mountain Province is situated in the central cordillera around 187 kilometers north of Baguio City and which was originally one of the sub-provinces of the old Mountain province before it was divided into four provinces by virtue of Republic Act 4695 promulgated in June 1966 through the initiative of Cordillera congressmen. Mountain Province, Benguet, Kalinga-Apayao and Ifugao became independent provinces after the enactment of the said law.

“Let us learn the Christian way of living in order to be able to chart our destination towards achieving our goals and aspirations for our province. Making sacrifices for the welfare of the greater majority of our populace will bring us to greater heights and brings out the qualities of a true blooded native of Mountain Province who will continue to work hard to achieve success,” Mayaen said.

He added even if the province’s foundation day fell on Black Saturday, over 2000 local officials, residents and visitors trooped to this capital town and joined the simple rites prepared by the provincial government to commemorate its birthday.

Because of the continuous influx of infrastructure projects in the province over the past several years, Mountain Province can now be reached within four hours from Baguio City, 45 minutes from Banaue, Ifugao and approximately 5 hours from Kalinga while roads connecting the province to the Ilocos region is undergoing rehabilitation and upgrading primarily to establish inter-regional linkages that would spur economic growth in the countryside.

Mayaen predicted a robust economic growth in the province in the next five to ten years because of the perceived tourism boom anchored on its numerous eco-tourism sites which are now being frequented by thousands of foreign and domestic tourists.

For decades, the Cordillera was identified as Mountain Province. In 1907, it became a special province of the Philippines which were composed of the provinces of Bontoc-Lepanto-Amburayan, Ifugao, Kalinga, Benguet and Apayao. Bontoc was then made the provincial capital of the whole Mountain Province before it was again subdivided into seven sub-provinces, namely, Benguet, Bontoc, Ifugao, Lepanto, Amburayan, Kalinga and Apayao.

Amburayan was later infused with Bontoc and Lepanto with Benguet to made up five sub-provinces popularly known as BIBAK (Bontoc, Ifugao, Benguet, Apayao and Kalinga.

Public Works department halts payments to Chico River contractor

by John Toribio, MMSU Intern

THE Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) ordered to stop all payments to a contractor of the Chico River Flood Control Project.

In a memorandum, DPWH Secretary Rogelio Singson ordered Engineer John Marquez of Mountain Province District Engineering Office to stop all payments to Carlito Alos under the name and style of Four Brothers Construction.

The order was made after an irregularity was found in its contract covering the Chico River, Gonogon section, Talubin, Bontoc.

In a bidding conducted by the Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) of District Office on November 23, 2011, Four Brothers Construction submitted the lone responsive bid in the amount of P1,901,819.47 for the project.

However, during the post-qualification by BAC-TWG, the committee found a discrepancy between the total bid price in figures and in words (specifically for items 1717 and 1712a) resulting to the increase in the total bid price to P2,580,715.76.

BAC said it had awarded the contract to Four Brothers Construction in the increased amount of P2,580,715.76 because the total amount in words will prevail.

However, the memo expressly states the contract for the project should have been awarded for Four Brothers Construction at its submitted bid price of P1,901,819.47, not at the calculated bid price of P2,580.715.76, since the former is lower than the latter.

This is in accordance to Section 34.4 Rule X of the Revised Implementing Rules and Regulations of RA 9184 - “if the BAC determines that the bidder with the lowest calculated bid/ highest rated bid passes all the criteria for post-qualification, it shall declare the said bid as the lowest calculated responsive bid/ highest rated responsive bid, and recommend to the Head of the Procuring Entity the award of contract to the said bidder at its submitted bid price or its calculated bid price, whichever is lower.”

DPWH said BAC’s interpretation of recognizing the prevalence of amount in words is correct. Although, the office erred in recommending for approval award of the contract to Four Brother Construction at the corrected bid price of P2,580,715.76.

The Chico River Flood Control project of Mt. Province has long way met several controversies and contradictions.

Last March 12, Rey Sagandoy, a resident of Calutit, filed at the DPWH Central Office a complaint charging DPWH Mt. Province officials for ‘Malversation of Public Funds, Dereliction of Duty, Dishonesty, Grave Misconduct and Grave Abuse of Authority’.

The complaint is against John Marquez, OIC District Engineer; Manuel Likigan, Maintenance Engineer and BAC member; Esther Taynec, Planning and Design Engineer and BAC Vice-Chairman; Domingo Pumecha, Assistant Maintenance Engineer and BAC member; Benedict Matib, BAC chairman, Artemio Guisala, BAC member and Romualdo Solang, BAC member.

Sagandoy filed the complaint-affidavit because the change of project sites of several undertakings under the Chico River Flood Control Project (SARO BMB-A-11-001272, June 27, 2011) had “not undergone the proper and legal corrections.”

“Signatories of the Programs of Work and members of the Bids and Awards committee deliberately falsified the documents making it appear that the said projects are not intended on the approved places of implementation but on other places or barangays,” Sagandoy said.

He also added the change or realignment of the projects is required by law, rules and regulations of DPWH and DBM.

In as much as development counts, DPWH is expected to be true to its commitment while making sure all transactions and endeavors are transparent and truthful

Cycling: Ravina keeps Pinoy pride burning, rules 2012 Le Tour

by JVP, GMA News

Go21's Baler Ravina proved that he is one of the country's best climbers as he became the first Filipino to rule an international race after topping the 2012 Le Tour de Filipinas.

The four-day raced ended Tuesday with a grueling and dizzying final stage from Bayombong City, Nueva Vizcaya to Baguio City's Burnham Park—over the hills and mountains connecting the Sierra Madre and Cordillera mountain ranges and the Cagayan Valley and the Mountain Province.

But the Pangasinense rider had to do it with the help of Nueva Ecija pride Joel Calderon of Mail and More as the two formed an alliance in the most crucial climbs of the rolling terrain to ward off the furious challenge of the foreign riders.

Ravina and Calderon, both racing under the team’s backed by Air21 chairman Bert Lina, held hands as they approached the finish line at Burnham Park with the former giving stage honors to the latter.

"I've won the King of the Mountain title three times and ruled a number of stages in the local Tour. Finally, I've won the biggest prize," said a teary-eyed Ravina in Filipino.

Ravina, who was ninth in the general classification at the start of the final stage, won the overall title with a 16-second margin over a rider from Singapore OCBC.

Ravina and Calderon crossed the finish with identical times of four hours, 36 minutes and six seconds. Almost half a dozen foreign riders failed to conquer the challenge of the Cordilleras and quit in the middle of Stage Four.

Ravina finished with a total time of 13:20:26 after pedaling close to 500-kms that started in Sta. Ana, Cagayan and ended in the country's Summer Capital. He toppled a a 2:11 deficit in the individual general classification to snatch the crown.

Calderon, who started the lap that featured three King of the Mountain summits at 14th overall and 3:45 behind, also made a giant leap in the general classification.

Rustom Lim, the 19-year-old wonder of Team American Vinyl/LPGMA, clinched the Young Rider's trophy over New Zealand's James Williamson.

American Vinyl/LPGMA captured the team title with a total time of 40:28:48. Mail & More (3:37) and Go21 (14:17) finished second and third, respectively.

Cordillera officials condemn colleagues for logging

by Rubyloida Bitog

OFFICIALS of Cordillera condemned the news circulating on the alleged involvement of colleagues on illegal logging.

Councilor Genesis Changilan of Kadaclan, Barlig, Mt. Province said, “I will guarantee that no public official ever been involved on illegal logging in our town.”

He added the local government strictly implements the Presidential Decree 705 or the Forestry Code, which mandates the protection of environment against destructive human activity.

Vice Mayor Pio Cupasan of Barlig, Mt. Province said, “We usually condemn extensive logging. We only utilize woods for our firewood needs.” He added the town actively participates on the preservation of the environment.

Meanwhile, Kiangan, Ifugao is well–known for its wood carving livelihood. However, Mayor Joselito Guyguyon said despite wood carving, they promote responsible use of wood.

He added the municipality has an ordinance which requires every contractor to plant thousands of trees on exchange for the effects of the certain project to the environment.

Ifugao Board Member and chairman of the Committee on Tourism James Frederick Dulnuan said the Ayangan tribe of Banaue has been protecting the mountains, which contain the trees since the olden times.

The responsibility became a part of the tribe’s culture. He added the Ayangans practice indigenous laws on cutting of trees if needed.

Bokod Mayor Mauricio Macay said their town teaches the youth on the preservation and protection of environment. He added they will pass an ordinance to mandate a project for continuous planting of trees.

The Regional Director of the Department of Tourism – Cordillera Purification Molintas said they hold on the principle of the environment protection. They usually incorporate this during their lectures to the different provinces of the region.

DA-CAR leads search for regional Gulayan sa Paaralan

by Joseph B Zambrano

BAGUIO CITY. April 13 (PIA) -- The Department of Agriculture (DA)-Cordillera, in collaboration with the Department of Education (DepEd), is on the process of assessing the entries of the search for best Gulayan sa Paaralan for public elementary and high schools in the region.

The Gulayan sa Paaralan, which is piloted in Kalinga and Mountain Province, has 271 participating schools. It aims to promote self-help food production activities and values appreciation of agriculture as a life support system among children.

According to DA regional executive director Marilyn Sta. Catalina, the province of Kalinga has five school representatives while Mountain Province has 15 contending schools.

Sta. Catalina said they will be selecting three schools per category per school level. The Gulayan sa Paaralan program covers two categories, the plot gardening and the container gardening.

Winning schools will be receiving plaques and a cash prize of P60,000 for the first place; P40,000 second place and P20,000 for the third place.

She evaluating team includes DA, DepEd, Bureau of Plant Industry, Department of Interior Local Government, Department of Social Welfare and Development, and National Nutrition Council.(JBZ- PIA-CAR)

Mt. Province town enacts reproductive health code

by Juliet B. Saley

BAUKO, Mt. Province, April 12 (PIA) -- To enhance the implementation and the delivery of reproductive health services and projects down to the barangay level, the municipal council enacted an ordinance known as the Reproductive Health Code of Bauko. This is in line with Millennium Development Goal of improving maternal health.

Under Municipal Ordinance No. 088, the Municipal Health Office (MHO) shall head the implementation of reproductive health care and family planning program, and as such, the technical capability of the MHO shall be strengthened to function as the Reproductive Health Task force.

Further, a reproductive health council shall be created and shall be composed of the local chief executive as the chairman and members shall be composed of the Municipal Health Officer (convenor); Municipal Population Office designate; Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office, District Supervisor, Chief of Police, Sangguniang Bayan chair –Committee on Health or any representative, Women and men representatives from two religious organizations, Adolescent Reproductive Health (ARH) focal person, Municipal Agricultural Office, Sangguniang Kabataan chair, barangay health workers (BHWs) chair, municipal information officer, and non-government organization representative.

To ensure effective implementation of the program up to the grassroots level, BHWs in all barangays shall be tapped to assist in the implementation of reproductive health program in the barangay to include organizing, responding to reproductive health issues, counseling, health information campaigns; and organize responsible parenthood classes and (special) counseling session.

The BHWs who are recognized, trained, and accredited by the MHO for this purpose shall be given an assistance from the municipal government to supplement the meager incentive being given by the barangay governments considering the load of work they are performing.

It is also provided in the ordinance that Reproductive Health Education shall be recommended to be taught by an adequately trained teachers to all in-school and out-of-school youth in an age appropriate manner. Moreover, peer counseling sessions addressing youth reproductive health problems shall be recognized in every barangay in coordination with the sangguniang kabataan and the municipal council.

The ordinance requires that Responsible Parenthood Counseling shall be attended by future spouses for marriage licenses, parents who intend to register their children whether legitimate of illegitimate, parents who deliver their babies at home or any private or government health facility, and all officials and employees and personnel of the local and national government agencies whose offices are situated in the municipality. (JDP/JBS-PIA CAR Mt. Province)

OWWA allots 20 OFWDSP slots for Mt. Province

by Juliet B. Saley

BONTOC, Mt. Province, Apr. 11 (PIA) -- The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) announced that it is now accepting applications for the Overseas Filipino Worker Dependents Scholarship Program (OFWDSP) for Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) dependents in the province for school year 2012-2013.

OWWA-Cordillera Regional Director Manuela Pena in her letter to the Office of the Provincial Governor here through the Public Employment Service Office (PESO) stated that interested applicants are advised to submit duly accomplished application form and report personally before the Office of the OWWA Regional Director for simplified validation test on any of the following schedules: April 16, 2012 at 1:00PM, April 23, 2012 at 8:30AM, and April 30, 2012 at 1:00PM. Application forms are available at the Provincial Governor’s Office.

Dina Ponciano of OWWA-Cordillera said there are 20 scholarship slots available for Mt. Province OFW dependents.

According to her, OFWDSP is one of the programs and services offered by the OWWA to OFW dependents which offers financial assistance to qualified dependents of OFWs who are earning a monthly salary of not more than US$400, and who shall enroll in any four-year or five-year course or associate degree in a state college or university.

This scholarship program provides a maximum of P20,000.00 assistance per school year leading to a baccalaureate or associate degree in a state college of university.

Qualified to avail of the program is a beneficiary/dependent of an active OWWA member who is a child (natural or adopted) of married or single OFW, a brother or sister (half or full-blood) of single or childless married OFW, must be single and not more than 21 years old, must be high school graduate but never been enrolled in college or about to graduate from high school, must be physically and mentally and morally fit, and must not be a recipient of any scholarship award from any government or private institution..

This scholarship program does not require qualifying examination but qualified dependents must pass the entrance examination conducted by an OWWA-partner state college/university or any Commission on High Education (CHED) recognized and accredited educational institution located in the region/province.

Requirements needed include one set of accomplished application form; two pieces passport size pictures; proof of relationship to member (birth certificate certified by the Local Civil Registrar or a National Statistics Office); proof of OWWA membership of the OWWA-member (official receipt of OWWA contribution and certification of membership issued by OWWA Membership Processing Center); school record (Form 137); medical certificate from any Department of Health (DOH)-accredited hospital or clinic; certification of good moral character issued by the school principal/guidance counselor; and original copy of the scholarship agreement.

Ponciano said that Mt. Province is allotted with 20 slots because it is one of the ten identified poorest provinces. OWWA is also allotting an annual scholarship slots of 12 to each of the five other Cordillera provinces namely: Abra, Apayao, Benguet including Baguio City, Ifugao and Kalinga.

During the one-day Pre-Employment Orientation Seminar held at the Multi-Purpose Hall here, Ponciano who presented the programs and services of their agency , stressed that with a membership fee of US$25.00, an OFW is entitled to the benefits and services provided by the OWWA.(JDP/JBS-PIA CAR,Mt. Province)

Social Welfare office releases P29M for seniors

by Joseph B. Zambrano

THE Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) announced it has disbursed a total of P29,428,500 for the social pension of 6,328 indigent senior citizens in the Cordillera.

DSWD Cordillera Director Leonardo Reynoso said the 6,328 beneficiaries for the social pension program were derived from the DSWD National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction data that identify who and where the poor are staying.

The province of Abra got P8,403,500 with 1,804 pensioners; Apayao received P3,329,000 for its 853 pensioners; Benguet province with P4,504,000 for 868 pensioners; Ifugao with P3,234,500 and 732 pensioners; Kalinga with P5,032,500 for 1,087 pensioners and Mountain Province with P4,304,000 and 857pensioners while Baguio City got P621,000 - 127.

The social pension for indigent senior citizens is provided for under Republic Act 9994 or the Expanded Senior Citizens Act.

Under Republic Act 9994, a monthly assistance or subsidy of P500 is given quarterly to the pre-identified beneficiaries who are indigent senior citizens who are frail, sickly and disabled, without any regular source of income and/or support from any member of the family, and not receiving other pension benefits from government and private agencies.

PLGU sponsors free entry to Bontoc Museum

by Juliet B. Saley

BONTOC, Mt. Province, Apr.6 (PIA) -- In its desire to give a chance to those who would like to see the Bontoc Museum’s displays and artifacts but find it costly, the provincial government is giving a free treat to lucky visitors on April 7 – 9, 2012.

As part of province’s 45th foundation anniversary and 8th Cultural and Lang-ay Festival, the provincial government will be sponsoring some 300 lucky visitors to free entry at the Bontoc Museum. Tickets will be given on April 7 – 9 to the lucky visitors.

The Bontoc Museum located near the provincial capitol, houses artifacts and photos depicting the history and cultural traits of the province and its people. It also has artifacts and pictures from indigenous communities in other Cordillera provinces of Kalinga, Apayao, Ifugao, Benguet and Abra.

The museum also has an invaluable heirloom collection of centuries-old Chinese porcelain and stoneware.

The museum charges an entrance fee of P60.00.(JBS/PIA CAR-Mt. Province)

Mt. Province-DPWH sets up motorists assistance teams

by Juliet B. Saley

BONTOC, Mt. Province, Apr. 4 (PIA) -- The Mt. Province District Engineering Office (MPDEO) headed by OIC-District Engineer John Marquez has organized the District Motorists Assistance Team under the “Lakbay-Alalay” program to ensure safe and smooth travel of motorists during the Holy Week.

The District Motorists Assistance Team has established four camps: the Dantay Camp headed by Domingo Pumecha with 17 staff members; the Maba-ay Camp headed by Cyril Valencerina and assisted by Romualdo Solang with 11 members; the Talubin/Mt. Polis Camp headed by Benedict Matib with 12 members; and Base Camp which is located at the Mt. Province District Engineering Office headed by John Acofo with 30 members.

MPDEO staff manning the different camps are assigned on a round-the-clock shift to ensure the smooth travel of motorists, domestic as well as foreign, and to provide assistance on normal and emergency situation starting March 31 until April 10, 2012.

DPWH Secretary Rogelio Singson had earlier directed all field units to expedite necessary road maintenance and improvement activities such as the installation of legible informational and directional signs on conspicuous locations along national roads; and reflectorized pavement markings along national roads for the benefit of motorists.

Field offices of the department are also ordered to provide traffic advisories specifying entry and exit points with the corresponding distances, and to strictly remove obstructions along national roads and bridges; provide proper signages and warning signs on all on-going construction projects; and to ensure that road sections are well-maintained and free of potholes.

They are also instructed to coordinate with concerned government entities such as the Land Transportation Office, the Philippine National Police and officials of the local government units in order that required assistance may be provided.(JDP/JBS-PIA CAR,Mt. Province)

TeaM Energy Explores RE Sites


MANILA, Philippines — Japanese joint venture firm TeaM Energy has been exploring at least 10 areas in Luzon and Visayas for prospective renewable energy projects.

In a briefing with reporters, TeaM Energy president Federico E. Puno noted that his company’s interests are generally focused on hydro, biomass and geothermal energy developments.

The sites it has been evaluating for prospective RE projects include those for mini-hydro in San Juan, La Union; Tabuk-Kalinga; Tuba-Benguet; and Mountain Province.

The larger-scale hydro targets are in Tuba, Benguet’s site at the tailings pond of Philex Mining Corporation. Incidentally, the company is currently a capacity off-taker (buyer) of TeaM Energy’s excess capacity in the Sual plant. The rest of the hydro prospects are in various sites in Luzon and Visayas.

Geothermal developments, according to the company chief executive, are eyed for the sites being evaluated in Mountain Province and Mount Natib in Bataan Daclan, also in Benguet province.

The company has listed two biomass sites being studied in Unisan, Quezon and San Ildefonso, Bulacan.

Puno noted that they are currently “awaiting feasibility study from proponent” for the Quezon prospect; while a meeting with another interested party is being scheduled for the Bulacan target.

“There were areas that we’ve already looked at, but we have already abandoned some of them because the potential had not been viable for development,” the TeaM Energy chief executive stressed.

For the hydro developments, some areas are currently the subject of feasibility studies; while others are already at the process of awarding turnkey contracts leading to the actual construction of the projects.

TeaM Energy is among those expressing interests to join the bandwagon of RE investments; but it is one which would be willing to bet on these projects even without the support of feed-in-tariffs.

The company noted that it can work on cornering its own market for such developments as long as the other hurdles, such as the sustainability of fuel for biomass projects, can be sufficiently addressed.

Power firm Team Energy eyes 10 renewable energy ventures

by Amy R. Remo

Philippine Daily Inquirer

Team Energy, a partnership between Japanese firms Marubeni Corp. and Tokyo Electric and Power Co., is keen on pursuing at least 10 renewable energy projects that will use geothermal, biomass and hydro resources. Team Energy president and CEO Federico Puno said the company was looking at developing six hydropower projects, namely, the Lueco mini hydro in San Juan, La Union; Philex Tailings Pond and the Asin hydropower projects in Tuba, Benguet; the Kalinga mini hydro in Tabuk, Kalinga; Hydrotec power projects in various sites in Luzon and Visayas, and the Talubin and Caneo mini hydropower project in Mountain Province. These hydropower projects—which are now in varying stages of evaluation, negotiation, exploration and development—are expected to generate between 1 and 6 megawatts. For biomass projects, Team Energy is looking at forming partnerships with other local developers for projects in San Ildefonso, Bulacan and Unisan, Quezon. Documents showed the holder of the renewable energy service contract for the biomass project in Quezon was Unisan Biomass Corp., which was earlier reported to be planning to put up an 11.2-MW biomass facility in Quezon province. Power produced from the power plant, which was estimated to cost $36 million, would go to Quezon Electric Cooperative (Quezelco). Also, two geothermal projects are being considered by Team Energy in Natib, Bataan and Daclan, Benguet. The service contract holder for these two projects are Clean Rock Renewable Energy Resources Corp., which estimated the Bataan project to generate 40 MW and the Benguet geothermal project, 60 MW. Team Energy was earlier eyeing two solar facilities in Bulacan and Batangas, which would be able to produce 10 MW each. However, these two projects were not mentioned in the renewable energy projects update of the company. He said the company planned to start the construction of these facilities as soon as their respective feasibility studies were completed. Puno also disclosed earlier that the company, once the viability of these projects were proven, was “bent to proceed” with the projects with or without feed-in-tariff rates, which will determine the financial viability of renewable energy projects in the country. Under the feed-in tariff system, renewable energy developers are assured of future cash flows, as electricity end-users will be charged fixed amounts to cover the production of energy from renewable sources. With this in place, utilities can spread the cost of clean power among its customers. Team Energy is currently one of the largest independent power producers in the Philippines, with more than 2,000 MW of installed generating capacity. It owns and operates the 1,200-MW Sual and 700-MW Pagbilao coal-fired power plants in Pangasinan and Quezon, respectively. It also owns a 20-percent stake in the 1,200-MW natural gas-fired Ilijan plant in Batangas.

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