Thursday, October 19, 2017


DAGUPAN CITY – Mayor Belen T. Fernandez congratulated President Rodrigo Roa Duterte for the liberation of Marawi City following the killing of terrorist leaders Isnilon Hapilon and Omar Maute when she addressed the Muslim community during the Peace Forum conducted by the National Commission on Muslim Affairs in cooperation with the Pangasinan Integrated Muslim Assembly at the Abong na Alumni on October 18.
Dagupan City Mayor Belen T. Fernandez shakes
 hand with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte.

“I have always believed that peace will always be possible. Regardless of whatever strains that we went through in the past, history will be the better judged that when people are confronted with issues that may bring us to war or conflict that would result to violence or hostilities, we have the power of choice to see that whatever issue that may divide us, there will be more reasons for us to come together in peace and in positive engagement,” said Fernandez.

Region 1 has at least 71,263 Muslim residents and Dagupan have many of them either as dedicated professionals, traders, students and ordinary workers.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Duterte's Poll Stocks Fall: Was SWS Wrong Again?

By Mortz C. Ortigoza

When the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) in January 30 to March 6 this year took over the War on Drugs, narcotics proliferate again in the market thus the members of the Philippine National Police were called back to continue the fight against the peddlers. In October 10 this year President Rodrigo Duterte issued a memorandum circular pulling out again the superior in number cops and hailing the small in number PDEA’s agents.
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President Rodrigo Duterte. Photo Credit: RMN
Evidently, the decision of the president was anchored on the Social Weather Station polls that showed his popularity rates cascaded to 18 percent after some policemen were charged executing innocent individuals like Kian delos Santos and Carl Arnaiz and other adverse issues that haunted his administration as played to the helm by the acrimonious Philippines media?
Was Duterte impulsive to drag out the PNP despite survey outfit Pulse Asia poll bannered “88% of Pinoys support war on drugs; 73% say EJKs happen—survey” by Philippine Daily Inquirer 's issue last October 16?
Would the war on narcs weakened as the PDEA has only 2000 personnel nationwide while the police have 175,000 men literally implementing the “long arm of the law”?
Here was my comment at Face Book after Pulse Asia showed its polls taken almost on the same dates with that of its rival SWS:

Anong nangyari?
 SWS Duterte’s 48% popularity versus Pulse’s 73%.
SWS 23-27, 2017 polls showed President Duterte got 67% (Satisfied) 14% (Undecided), 19% (Di -satisfied) or 67 minus 19 equals 48% net Satisfaction rating. Pulse Asia’s 80% (Satisfied) 13% (Undecided), 7% (Dissatisfied) or 80% minus 7% equals 73% net Satisfaction rating. 48 % and 73% ran smack on that days issues, as stated by SWS, issues like the Senate probe into the shipment of P6.4 billion worth of shabu from China, in which the President’s son, Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte, and his son-in-law, Manases Carpio, appeared. Both denied allegations they were involved in smuggling.
Another was the “revelation” of Duterte that Sen. Antonio Trillanes 4th had a secret bank account in Singapore, which the senator disproved. The President later admitted that he just “invented” the bank account numbers that he had announced in public supposedly to “bait” his critic.
The killings of teens Kian delos Santos, Carl Arnaiz, and Reynaldo de Guzman also dominated the headlines in August and early September, fanning public outrage and criticism of Duterte’s war on drugs, and others.

Who was telling the truth in these two poll outfits?
Read my blog/column:  PulseAsia more credible than Social Weather Station
I recently rubbed elbows at the meeting of the Vice Mayors League of the Philippines –Pangasinan Chapter new Urdaneta City Vice Mayor Julio F. Parayno III and new Pozorrubio  Vice Mayor Ernesto Salcedo.
The gathering was held at Jeck’s in Dagupan City.
I said the duo were “new” since Parayno became the second most powerful man in the Cattle City when he assumed office in June 30, 2016 while Salcedo, the highest vote getter alderman, was catapulted to the vice mayoralty after the town mayor Artemio Chan was sacked by the Ombudsman and replaced by Vice Mayor Ernesto Go, a perennial rival, for the mayorship.
Parayno answered my query if he will run for the top post of Urdaneta City after mayor Amadeo "Bobom" G.E. Perez IV bowed out as his third term expired in the 2019 election.
 Parayno, a young law graduate of Saint Louis University in Baguio City, told me that in the next election it would be a tandem of Perezes versus the pair  of Paraynos clashing in the burgeoning city. 
Paano maging Paraynos versus Perezes?” I posed in the vernacular.
He said the probable bets would be former Ambassador Amadito Perez, Jr. and daughter Councilor Tet Perez- Naguiat (wife of former PAGCOR Chair Cristino Naguiat) and him and his nephew Jimmy D. Parayno the present councilor of the city.

Espino, Perez, Parayno for Urdaneta City Mayor?


I recently rubbed elbows at the meeting of the Vice Mayors League of the Philippines –Pangasinan Chapter new Urdaneta City Vice Mayor Julio F. Parayno III and new Pozorrubio Vice Mayor Ernesto Salcedo.
The gathering was held at Jeck’s in Dagupan City.
I said the duo were “new” since Parayno became the second most powerful man in the Cattle City when he assumed office in June 30, 2016 while Salcedo, the highest vote getter alderman, was catapulted to the vice mayoralty after the town mayor Artemio Chan was sacked by the Ombudsman and replaced by Vice Mayor Ernesto Go, a bitter rival, for the mayorship.
Parayno answered my query if he will run for the top post of Urdaneta City after mayor Amadeo "Bobom" Gregorio Perez IV bowed out as his third term expired in the 2019 election.
 Parayno, a young law graduate of Saint Louis University in Baguio City, told me that in the next election it would be a tandem of Perezes versus the pair  of Paraynos clashing in the burgeoning city. 
MARQUEE BETS - Pangasinan's 5th District Congressman
 Amado Espino, Jr (above photo) and former Ambassador
 Amadito Perez, Jr.
Paano maging Paraynos versus Perezes?” I posed in the vernacular.
He said the probable bets would be former Ambassador Amadito Perez, Jr. and daughter Councilor Tet Perez- Naguiat (wife of former PAGCOR Chair Cristino Naguiat) and him and his nephew Jimmy D. Parayno the present councilor of the city.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Fernandez seeks to uplift Dagupan's bangus industry

DAGUPAN CITY – The City Agriculture Office was directed by Mayor Belen T. Fernandez to conduct a feasibility study on the establishment of an exclusive trading place where local bangus growers can exclusively market or trade their Dagupan bangus to get a better price for their commodity.

UPGRADING DAGUPAN’S AQUACULTURE. Charoen Pokphand Foods Philippines Corporation vice-president Jumnun Sudtrong (6th from left) visits Dagupan City on instruction of Thailand Ambassador to the Philippines Thanatip Upatising to do some scientific study on the city’s aquaculture industry. He is joined by Mayor Belen T. Fernandez (5th from left) along with City Agriculture Officer Emma J. Molina (5ht from right), City Councilor Marcelino Fernandez (4th from right) and Punong Barangays Arsenio D. Santillan Sr. (right) of Lomboy, Delfin F. De Guzman (2ndfrom right) of Salapingao, Nestor Victorio (3rd from right) of Pugaro, Luzviminda Velasquez (3rd from left) of Carael, and Evangelista Dela Cruz (4th from left) of Calmay, Bernard Cabison (left) of CDRRMO and City Engineer Virginia Rosario (2nd from left). (CIO photo by Jojo Tamayo)

“Iba ang Dagupan bangus kaya dapat magkaroon ito ng presyo, which is different sa ibang bangus grown outside of the city,” said Fernandez.

Fernandez is also considering the putting up of a harvest to pay scheme for small fisher folks in the city with a marketing plan that will be designed by the city, to help them sell their products at better prices.

Fernandez met with Jumnun Sudtrong, vice president of Charoen Pokphand Foods Philippines Corporation, a Thailand company based in the country engaged in fish feed sales, when the latter visited the city on October 9.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Foes insecure on Dagupan’s Classy New City Hall – Mayor Zaplan

By Mortz C. Ortigoza

DAGUPAN CITY – The mayor of Sta. Barbara, Pangasinan cited that the group who opposed the transfer of the city hall here to the Lucao-Pantal  Growth Area were insecure of their political future thus they played politics.
Mayor Carlito Zaplan saw that the present city hall is small, dilapidated, flood prone, and uncomfortable to its workers.
Upon seeing the perspective plan of the new government building here he said he was impressed by its world class design.
“World class ang design ng city hall ng Dagupan. Dapat maging proud kayo,” he quipped.
Zaplan knew what he was talking because he brainchild the construction of the P40 million municipal hall funded by government loan and his personal monies.
                                       VISIONARY LEADERS – Dagupan City Mayor Belen T.
Fernandez and Sta. Barbara Mayor Lito S. Zaplan

Saturday, October 14, 2017

The failure behind the success of Abono Party-List

 By Mortz C. Ortigoza

BAYAMBANG – Pangasinan vaunted farmers party list Abono had a dramatic trial before it became a successful entity with ten years streak in the House of Representatives.
According to one of its pillars Former Councilor Levin Uy, this town's Executive Director of Kasama Kita sa Barangay, he was instructed by Abono Party List Founder and Chairman  Rosendo So to draft in 2007 an application at the Commission on Election for a party list.
PILLARS - Abono Party-list Chairman Rosendo So (Left)
 and Kasama Kita Sa Barangay Director Levin Uy.

So is also the present Chairman of the popular anti –smuggling group Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura (SINAG).
“Iyong instruction ni Kuya Sendo ay mga agri operators organization na magkaroon ng representation sa Congress through party list so naisip namin kaagad is ABONO,” he stressed.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Zaplan mulls to challenge Arenas in 2019


By Mortz C. Ortigoza

SANTA BARBARA – The mayor of this first class town is ambivalent if he will heed the advice of a political kingpin to challenge the reelection of the incumbent congresswoman of the Third Congressional District in Pangasinan.
Mayor Carlito F. Zaplan said that Fifth District Congressman Amado T. Espino, Jr, a former governor and Pangasinan Political Kingpin, prodded him to challenge the bid of Representative Rosemarie “Baby” Arenas in 2019.
DREAM FIGHT - Sta. Barbara Mayor Lito Zaplan and
Pangasinan Third District Congresswoman Baby Arenas.

I am thinking about it because my son my Junior will be running for the mayoralty,” Zaplan, who will end his last term in 2019, cited.
He said his son Carlito Zaplan, Jr, a graduate of La Salle University and a businessman, will be facing this town Vice Mayor Joel F. delos Santos for the top post here in the next election.
Councilor Bobby G. Barbiran who was rumored to tangle with the younger Zaplan will not be running but instead chose to run for reelection, according to the elder Zaplan.
Arenas and her daughter former Congresswoman Maria Rachel Arenas are the political nemesis of Espino as the duo zealously supported the 2016 gubernatorial candidacy of former Congressman Mark Cojuangco versus Espino’s son and namesake who heavily won on that election.
Political pundits see Zaplan will be giving the Arenases a tough fight with the former piggybacking on the popularity of Espino whose feat in the 2016 election was by immensely trouncing the reelection bid of Representative Ma. Carmen “Kimi” Shulze Cojuangco in the Fifth Congressional District – the bailiwick of the Cojuangcos – and defeating her husband Mark with more than 200 thousand votes.
The same pundits said that Zaplan - with Espino backing - is a superior opponent compared to those rivals the Arenases faced in their past reelection bids in the one city five towns' District. 
“I asked Congressman Espino to convince Vice Governor (Ferdinand) Calimlim to run on my stead,” he said.
Zaplan cited that Calimlim, a resident of Mapandan town, can give also the Arenases, who used to live in Makati City, a run of their monies.
 “The vice governor can run toe- to- toe with the wherewithal of the Arenases as Ferdie has lucrative business and huge inheritance from his deceased parent,” he said.
Zaplan, who is building his P60 million state- of- the- art palatial mansion, is one of the moneyed persons in the District what with his mammoth construction company backed up by hundreds of trucks and construction equipment.
Calimlim will be ending his nine years straight term for the vice governorship in 2019.
Last term Pangasinan Second District Congressman Leopoldo Bataoil is seen as his replacement for the vice governorship under the tandem of reelection governor Amado Espino III.
Zaplan ventured in politics in 1992 by winning the vice mayoralty here and won the mayoralty in 1995 and bowed out from office in 2004.
His wife Jinky, the present President of the Barangay League and Ex-Oficio member of the Provincial Board, succeeded him for the chief executive post. Zaplan ran for the mayoralty in the 2007 mayoralty poll but lost to former police general Rey Velasco.
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Groomed Vice Gubernatorial bet Pol Bataoil (extreme left) and
outgoing Pangasinan Vice Governor Ferdie Calimlim as they
receive the Holy Communion  from the Catholic Priest.
He defeated Velasco in the 2010 and 2013 mayoralty polls and defeated Vice Mayor Juan Emmanuel T. Cabangon, Velasco brother-in-law, in the 2016 mayorship election. 


By Mortz C. Ortigoza

Southern Man by Folk Rock Singer Canadian Neil Young excellently played especially the guitar riff and strum by Loloy of Davao City and Jun Lahi.
 They warmly welcomed me at Makati Avenue because I wrote a blog on them titled Anatomy of a Folk Rock Singer.

"The lyrics of "Southern Man" are vivid, describing the racism  towards blacks in the American South. In the song, Young tells the story of a white man (symbolically the entire white South) and how he mistreated his slaves. Young pleadingly asks when the South will make amends for the fortunes built through slavery when he sings:
I saw cotton and I saw black,
tall white mansions and little shacks.
Southern Man, when will you pay them back? (Wikipidea)


"The song also mentions the practice of cross burning.
Young was very sensitive about the song's message as anti-racism and anti-violence. During his 1973 tour, he cancelled a show in Oakland, California because a fan was beaten and removed from the stage by a guard while the song was played (Wikipidea).

Geez, my video when I sang at the folk-rock house Cuervo Makati. My favorite watering hole whenever I am in this effing jungle asphalt.
Mortz Baby singin' Don Henley's Desperado while the White Apes Caucasians from North America and Europe applauding his antics buttressed by Philippines best crooners Loloy of Davao and Jun Lahi. I wrote a blog on Loloy and Jun on their music feat (CLICK HERE) thus their warm hospitality whenever I am at their bar.


JUST THE WAY YOU ARE By Billy Joel and sang by inebriated (hindi pa naka toma') Political Columnist Mortz Ortigoza. Gamot pa lang sa high blood at Vitamin iyong nainum niya diyan when he sang with Dagupan City's best band Bossing.



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Image may contain: 3 people, people sitting, people eating, drink and indoor
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Duterte backs coal plants

 President Rodrigo Duterte said the Philippines will continue to use coal in power generation but will implement new technologies to minimize emissions.
Image result for rodrigo duterte coal power plant
President Rodrigo R. Duterte leads the unveiling of the inaugural marker of the Filinvest
Development Corporation Misamis 405-MW coal-fired power plant in Villanueva, Misamis
 Oriental on September 22, 2016. KING RODRIGUEZ/PPD
“But for as long as the most viable fuel is coal and cheapest so that the power can also be delivered the energy to the people at a much lower price, then we’ll have no other alternative except to upgrade the technology to its fullest―to limit,” Duterte said during a  recent visit to Sarangani for the groundbreaking of another coal-fired-power plant.
The President said he sees nothing wrong with the government’s plan to put up new coal-fired power plants to boost power supply in the country.
“You open the Philippines for all power players, I guarantee you the electricity will become cheaper,” he pointed out.
 “At this time, whoever is the president of the Philippines would always contend with coal. There’s so much coal still that can be utilized by civilization for the next 50 to 70 years. And to be worrying about pollution, well, we just have to come to terms with that in our time, in our generation, it is really what it is. There is nothing you can do about it,” Duterte said.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Tenderfoot Mayor Hides from Media Interview

By Mortz C. Ortigoza

When I dropped by at the major newsstand in the city, its owner told me that he was a newspaper boy before he ventured into selling dailies.
When our conversation went to the number of newspapers, tabloids, and community papers he sold, he deplored the lethargic sale.
Image result for slow witted
Photo is Comedian Jim Carey in his famous movie's Dumb and Dumber.
 Many Filipino mayors are either "dumb" or "dumber".

Iyong ibang provincial newspapers wala na ngang bumili,” he quipped.
He said that he could only sell ten copies of the major community newspaper in a week and the number of copies of Philippine Daily Inquirer, Philippine Star, and Manila Bulletin declined tremendously in weekly basis compared to what he told me months ago.
He cited early this year that he could only sell only 15 copies a day of major broadsheet Philippine Daily Inquirer   while its rivals Philippine Star and Manila Bulletin averagely sell eight and four copies a day, respectively.
He said that the number one community news in the city sells only 20 copies in a week in his stand.
I told him that newspaper business is dying what with the digital gadgets like cellphones where anybody can read and watch news from the intellectual dailies like New York Times to the prurient content and ordinary Joe’s serving Filipino headline screaming tabloids.
I read years ago that in Australia and European countries newspapers are passé’ because people browsed the de rigueur and convenient mobile phones and laptops.
 “Yap, because mobile phones are cheap. One could buy those Filipino made with touch screens like Cherry Mobile and My Phone and their cheap Chinese counterparts for a song. Cellular phones are obviously much cheaper than laptops,” my son Jigger told me once.
If hard copies newspapers are bound to extinction while online news are gaining prominence in the digital war, here’s a member of Congress.

When I showed to Pangasinan Congressman Pol Bataoil, whom I had breakfast at the Army Golf Club in Taguig City, the immediate and positive comments of readers of my news “Bataoil watches closely P1B highway project for Lingayen at P’NAN News, a major blog with tens of thousands readers, as seen on my mobile phone, the solon told me that it was good as it saved the cutting of paper trees.


Before the 2016 local election I supported the advocacy of this battle-scarred mayor. On that poll, the mayor lost to a young tenderfoot mayor.
Tenderfoot, to those plumbers of Malabanan Poso Negro and embalmers of Pasay Funeral Parlor who read this column or blog,  means " a newcomer in a comparatively rough or newly settled region; especially :one not hardened to frontier or outdoor life".
During the victory parade I and some media men waved our hands as congratulatory gesture to the victor who was on the lead truck standing at the haul bed while tens of hundreds of his supporters snaked with their vehicles at his back.
He did not reciprocate my action even I did not criticize his poor performance when he was in public office as a lower level official.
Lately, somebody told me that when I visited his office to get his side of an issue on an overpriced project and promises to voters he failed to give them, he told his assistant that he avoided talking to me.
That’s fine.
So what would happen now?
I’ll comment negatively on what ills your town because of your patent incompetence because you would not want to talk to me on your half cooked competence?

I remembered an allegedly corrupt public official when we crossed path, the honcho smarted I negatively wrote about her.
“You did not want to talk to me when I visited your office to get your side,” I told her because of her propensity to hide from media men.
Para ano pa, hinde na kelangan!” she arrogantly told me.
That’s what made an official ugly. You ain’t want the media to get your side, then people read or hear your bad side.

 (You can read my selected intriguing but thought-provoking columns at You can send comments too at


DCPS'’ WCPD IS BEST IN REGION 1– The Dagupan City Police Station’s (DCPS) Women and Children Protection Desk (WCPD) has been adjudged as the Best Women and Children Protection Desk Region-wide during the 116th Police Service Anniversary held at the Police Regional Office 1 in San Fernando City, La Union. The award was presented to Mayor Belen T. Fernandez (right) during the flag raising ceremony at the city plaza on October 9. Also in picture are (from left) Department of Interior and Local Government City Director Rhoderick Dawis, DCPS Deputy Chief of Police PCI Marcos L. Anod, SPO3 Jayleen Aquino, PO1 Fe Juan and PSI Maria Theresa R. Meimban, WCPD chief. (CIO photo by Jojo Tamayo)

Agri machineries to farmers

By Kitz Basila
Sta. Barbara, Pangasinan - Alaminos City Mayor Arthur F. Celeste on Thursday thanked the Department of Agriculture for the agricultural machineries that the farm associations in his beloved city and the first district of the province will be receiving from the said agency.
Department of Agriculture & Fisheriers Secretary
 Manny Pinol and Pangasinan Congressman Jesus Celeste

Speaking on behalf of Ist District Representative Jesus ‘BOYING’ F. Celeste at the simple turn-over ceremony for districts one and two recipients held at the DA-Pangasinan Research and Extension Center (PREC) in Sta. Barbara town, Mayor Celeste also lauded the agency for its Farm Mechanization Project (FMP) that aims to further increase productivity while lowering the post harvest losses of the farmers in the countryside.
“This is a wonderful gift from our God Almighty and from our national government. Your farming works will soon be a lot easier and enjoyable and will fully benefit your families,” stressed the chief executive who also cited the DA for closely collaborating with the representatives of the province that includes his brother, Congressman Boying, in the implementation of their noble initiatives for the farmers.
“You are very fortunate for these farm machineries are given out to you for free. This is unprecedented as for the first time, the project is implemented sans the counter-parting scheme,” he told the very ecstatic farmer-recipients.
He then urged the recipients to take good care of the machineries and improve their productivity and trade citing that “this is what you intend to do as our national government and officials have done its respective obligations”.
DA Region 1 Executive Director Lucrecio R. Alviar, Jr. personally distributed the certificates of awards to the recipients. Joining him were PREC Chief Dr. Gilbert Rabara, Asst. Provincial Agriculturist Nestor Batalla, Regional Agriculture and Fishery Council Chairman Vincent Adorna and PAFC Chairman Magdaleno Andreas.
Alviar said the Farm Mechanization Project is in support to their agency’s Rice Program with the goal of helping the farmers increase productivity and income.
Congratulations and God bless all of you, said the Alviar, who also reminded the recipients to love, take care, and properly maintain the full grant that they have received to increase their yield and improve their quality of life.
Among the recipients of one unit mini 4-wheel drive tractor worth P .9M are the Patnubay MPC, Western Pangasinan Seed Growers MPC and Maawi Rural Workers Association of Alaminos City. An additional one unit pump and engine set was also given to Patnubay MPC.
City Agriculturist Arceli Talania said more farmer associations in the city are currently shortlisted by DA-PREC for possible inclusion to the FMP list of recipients this year.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Dagupan to accommodate Bureau of Immigration at new government center

DAGUPAN CITY – Mayor Belen T. Fernandez has invited the Bureau of Immigration (BI) to have another office in the new government center set to be built when its officials called on her on October 6 at the City Museum.

COURTESY CALL. Personnel of the Bureau of Immigration (BI) at the City Astrodome led by Alien Control Officer Gilbert D. Lopez (left) pay a courtesy call on Mayor Belen T. Fernandez (right) at her office at the city museum on October 6. The mayor invited the BI to put up an extended office at the new government center to help make sure that foreign students will be safe and at home in Dagupan City. (CIO photo by Jojo Tamayo)

This will be in addition to the present BI office at the City Astrodome, which  is actually in line with her plans to have a foreign affairs office in Dagupan  that will help ensure the safety of  foreign students in the city and make them feel at home.

Alien Control Officer Gilbert D. Lopez, along with his staff at the Bureau of Immigration Office in the City Astrodome conveyed to Mayor Fernandez of the presence of many students enrolled in the different colleges and universities in the city.

Recently, the Ambassador of Thailand, Thanatip Upatising and his wife Monthip, visited the city to see how well the Thai students are doing in their studies and in their stay in Dagupan City.

Thanatip told Mayor Fernandez that the Thai students spoke well of the city’s well managed peace and order as he echoed their observation  that the city is clean as well as stress-free and a very convenient place for them to stay and study.

Fernandez similarly extended the invitation to other government agencies based in the city to also establish their own offices at the new government once it is up  (Joseph C. Bacani/CIO


Pangasinan Fourth District Representative Christopher cuts the ceremonial ribbon during the inauguration of Banaoang covered court in Mangaldan with Mayor Bona Fe de Vera-Parayno and other barangay officials on Sept. 29. In his speech, de Venecia stressed he prioritizes such project which serves as venue for people's cultural, social, sports and economic activities.

Friday, October 6, 2017

PVAI calls Korean Veterans, kin to fill up form for benefits

By Mortz C. Ortigoza

TAGUIG CITY – The PEFTOK Veterans Association, Inc. (PVAI, Inc) calls living veterans and kin of Filipino soldiers who fought in the 1950-1953 Korean War to fill up  a personal record as part of the files for their benefits.
PEFTOK stands for Philippine Expeditionary Force to Korea.
The PVAI President Paterno Villoria said the records could be used to authenticate the benefits the veterans and their great grandchildren can get from the South Korean Government.
STIPENDS - South Korean Ambassador Kim Jae Shin (holding boy on his arm) posed for posterity with the mostly high school and elementary grades grandchildren of the members of the Philippine Expeditionary Force to Korea (PEFTOK). This was during the distribution of the scholarship awards and stipends to them as part of the 43rd PEFTOK Veteran Association, Inc (PVAI) convention held recently at the PEFTOK Memorial Hall in Taguig City. Photo: Mortz C. Ortigoza

4-Storey SM Mall Urdaneta to open next year – Mayor

 By Mortz C. Ortigoza

URDANETA CITY – The four-storey SM Mall being constructed at a five- hectare land in Barangay Nancayasan here will be opened to the public next year, according to this City’s mayor.
This is the one being built near the 7-11. The other one that people are talking is located at Barangay Anonas,” Mayor Amadeo Gregorio E. Perez IV said.

ANOTHER SM MALL. The four-storey SM Mall is being constructed at Barangay Nancayasan Urdaneta City, Pangasinan for its opening next year.
SM Prime Holdings, Inc. bought a five-hectare lot in the village after its 10-hectare land in Barangay Anonas to build a bigger and second SM Mall in Eastern Pangasinan hit a legal snag from one of the land sellers there. Photo: Mortz C. Ortigoza

Aside from 7-11, the 430,669 square meters SM retail store faces food chain Chowking and another huge retail store CB Mall that would make the nearby national highway there prone to traffic congestion.
Wala tayong magawa bumili sila ng lupa,” he quipped.
The mayor however said that measures are already in the pipeline to mitigate the traffic snarl that will be created by these malls and commercial establishments in Nancayasan.


DAGUPAN CITY – An ordinance drafted by Councilor Maybelyn Rose DC. Fernandez seeking to regulate the use of mobile phone by a pedestrian along the streets and highways is up for consideration in the city council.Image result for cellphone user walking asia
The proposed ordinance seeks to improve the safety of pedestrians every time they cross the city’s streets and highways, Fernandez said. 
She said  that while the city recognizes the essential role of cellphones in the lives of every Dagupeño, texting and reading messages on a cellphone while crossing a street or highway can be almost as dangerous as using a phone while driving.
“For not only are pedestrians taking their eyes off their surroundings and therefore less able to react, they are also more likely to ignore oncoming traffic and to walk more slowly than if they were not trying to multitask,” said Councilor Fernandez.
Fernandez observed that some pedestrians in the city are so concentrated on their cellphones but blind to their external environment as they cross a street or highway.
“While so much attention has been paid to distract driving, distracted walking has not received similar policies and effective interventions as to improve pedestrian safety,” she added.