Friday, January 19, 2018

The gall of Speaker Panty; My interview with Senator Ejercito

By Mortz C. Ortigoza

The gall of Speaker Pantaleon “Panty” Alvarez threatening those local government units (LGUs) officials that they will not receive their regular financial aid from the national government in case they will not support the Constitutional revision he spearheaded .
HesusMariaHusef, was that sheer hubris and blackmail?! 
Internal Revenue Allotment, called by LGU officials as IRA, is mandated by law as stated in the Local Government Code of 1991.
IRA is the financial life blood of the towns, cities, and provinces as their share of the taxes collected by the national government.
The gall of Speaker Panty Alvarez threatening the 22 senators that in case they did not join the 294 congressmen, the Lower “Going Gutter Low” House will railroad the revision of the charter where plebiscite will be held this May.
 May this year?
 Holy Casserole and Guacamole, that is roughly four months from now! Public hearings among the 103 million Flips, er, Filipinos would be improbable as time and space dictate.
So how can we get the pulses and inputs of the people in changing the law, not just an ordinary law son of a gun, but the freaking Fundamental Law of our Land?
Where are the sense and the sanity on this Speaker Panty?!
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SENATOR - Political Columnist Mortz Ortigoza interviews Reelective Senator Jayvee Ejercito at the office of Capital Town Lingayen, Pangasinan Mayor Josefina Castaneda (extreme left). The senator with Actor Raymart Santiago and others through their Italian and Germany’s made big motorcycles’ Ducatis and BMWs have been crisscrossing the Luzon peninsula and dropping by at the offices of provincial, city, and municipal officials.

The other day, Lingayen Mayor Josefina” Iday” Castaneda, after I interviewed her on Contract of Usufruct with the DepEd, told me not to leave her office  as she and her officials were waiting for reelective Senator Jayvee Ejercito , actor Raymart Santiago, and company who rode straight from Imperial Manila on their multi-million pesos giant bikes’ Italian made Ducatis and BMWs.
Here were the excerpts of my interview with Senator Ejercito, the son of former President Joseph Estrada, who was crisscrossing the peninsula as probably part of his barnstorming the "boondocks" to boost his critical 10-12 Rank with former Senator Lito “Intellectual Puzzle” Lapid and Broadcaster Erwin Tulfo at the latest polls of Social Weather Station for the Magic 12 of the senate bet on the 2019 election.

ME: Are senators one that embarking into a revision of the Constitution needs that the Houses of Senate and Representatives voted separately?
SENATOR EJERCITO (SJ):  Nagkaroon na tayo ng hearing noong isang araw. We heard from (former Supreme Court Chief Justices Hilario Davide and Renato Puno and (SC Associate) Justice (Adolfo) Azcuna that the Senate has to assert its fight for independence and fight for its independence because iyan ang prinsipiyo ng Bicameral kasi nga Bicameral tayo – check and balance.
ME: When the House of Representatives will have their session do you think some senators will commit treachery by attending their (House) Constituent Assembly?
SJ: Ahh, I don’t think so because it is agreed upon by both majority and minority all senators caucus that we will fight for the Senate’s independence.
ME: Isa pang problema, iyong House tapos na ang 40 bills like PublicService Acts (click here). Doon sa Senate tinulugan daw ninyo ang version ng Public Service Act kaya Speaker Alvarez called you Mabagal na Kapulungan? Any comment?
SJ: Ano iyan?
ME: Iyong 60-40 percent business equity dito na anti foreign investors kaya kakaunti mga nag i-invest dito sa Pilipinas kaya madami ay walang trabaho.
SJ: Ah, hinde ko alam iyan!
 I don’t know what is the status. Sa Senate kasi we are careful, nag aaral ho kami, hindi ng mga bagay na hindi na dapat kinakailangan especially when it comes to altering the fundamental law of the land charter change.
ME: Ranked 10-12 kayo sa latest SWS polls, si brother Jinggoy Estrada ninyo ranked 7-8. Tatakbo rin siya sa 2019?
SJ: Name recall. Ejercito ako Estrada siya. He used to run. The survey is just a guide. Hindi pa naman iyan final.
ME: Sir, suwerte ninyo nakadikit kayo kay Red (Dagupan City Councilor Red Erfe-Mejia who was seated beside him) almost three million rich voters kami dito sa Pangasinan.

(The Senator and Red guffawed while Lingayen Mayor Iday Castaneda – who hosted the meeting inside her office – chuckled on my last statement)

(You can read my selected columns at and articles at Pangasinan News Aro. You can send comments too at 


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'TALABA" FARM IN TOCOK LUCAO – Aside from bangus, Dagupan is also known for its tastiest ‘talaba’ especially the one grown in Barangay Lucao. In photo are Mayor Belen T. Fernandez, Dr Michael Rice, Professor at the Dept. of Fisheries, Animal and Veterinary Science at the University of Rhode Island, USA, and American students while visiting an oyster farm located at Sitio Tocok, Barangay Lucao. Fernandez promised to give permits to owners of oyster farms in order to boost  the ‘talaba’ industry in the area. (CIO photo by Jojo Tamayo)

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 Dr Michael Rice said:
“The rivers in Dagupan today are extremely clean and very, very well managed in comparison to just a few years ago. I was here a few years ago and the water itself was brown—almost black— because of excessive fish pens.
What we’re seeing here is an area where there were lots of fish pens in the past, where lots of feed was going into the water and that feed was basically degrading the water quality.
At this point, the program has been to return oysters to this area, and as one could see about all of the water, it is nice and green and the oysters are looking very, very healthy, and we see baby fish among the oysters which is good for all the people with the fish traps—who rely on fishing for a livelihood.
And in fact, I have written– just last month—written about this in international aquaculture journals about how astoundingly effective the program is here in Dagupan.
And I would hold this up as a model from anywhere in the world where there is aquaculture going on. I will be able to provide the mayor with some of the written materials that I’ve put together on this.” We both tried the oyster taste excellent.
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Thursday, January 18, 2018

New BIR Exec First Quip: “Where would I be assigned?”

By Mortz C. Ortigoza

ALAMINOS CITY – The newly promoted Officer-in-Charge Revenue District Office-5 Chief based here only knew that she was plucked to the top post while driving her car.
“Hello Charmaine, congrats RDO ka na!,” excitedly quipped recently at her mobile phone by Tarlac City’s RDO-Chief Christine Cardona, the former boss in BIR Central Pangasinan of the newly promoted OIC-RDO-5 Chief Charmaine C. dela Torre.
The first pose of dela Torre to her former superior was where she would be assigned.
“Where am I going to be assigned? 
EXECUTIVES - Revenue District Office Chiefs Charmaine dela Torre (left) of Western Pangasinan and Lawyer Maria Isabele Utit Eastern Pangasinan donate some of their blood to the needy during the bloodletting ceremony at the office of the Bureau of Internal Revenue in Urdaneta City, Pangasinan.
She told Northern Watch Newspaper that her car did not bump the century old acacia trees that remained uncut located inside the stretched of Urdaneta City’s highway upon hearing the breaking information that her name was included at the Revenue Travel Assignment Order (RTAO) for the prestigious position.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018


Mayor, VM Expelled After Adorning Ambulance with their Faces

By Mortz C. Ortigoza

DAGUPAN CITY –  The Department of Interior & Local Government  Officer-in-Charge Secretary Eduardo Año  had released to the regional office of the DILG in San Fernando City, La Union the suspension order of the mayor and vice mayor of Asingan, Pangasinan, according to the complainant.
FOES – Political nemesis Asingan Mayor Heidee Chua (L) 
and Councilor Vangie Dorao.
Asingan Councilor Evangeline V. Dorao said the suspension order for the one year suspension of Mayor Heidee Chua and Vice Mayor Carlos Lopez, Jr. was forwarded last Monday by Año to the DILG's regional office.
News report said that the provincial DILG in Pangasinan had implemented last Thursday the suspension of the duo where Councilors Joshua Viray and Mel Lopez took over as mayor and vice mayor, respectively.
Dorao filed a complaint last October 17, 2016 at the Ombudsman after she saw the newly purchased ambulance of the Eastern Pangasinan town embellished with the images of Chua and Lopez.
The legal fiasco of the two town executives ensued when Dorao wrote a letter dated October 10, 2016 to Chua and Lopez warning them of a Memorandum Circular 2010-101 from the DILG that prohibits the placing of names, initials, images or pictures of government officials in billboards and signage on government projects and property. 
Upon the inaction of the duo, the lady member of the Sangguniang Bayan (Legislative Body) wrote another letter dated October 17, 2016 to them without receiving from the mayor and the vice mayor the courtesy of a reply even to the time they both removed on the first week of November last year their names and photos at the external body of the ambulance.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Pangalawang power plant tuloy na sa bayan ng Sual

Lalong lumakas ang pag-asa na magkakaroon ng pangalawang coal-fired power plant sa bayan ng Sual matapos magpahayag ng suporta sa naturang proyekto ang pinakamalaking samahan ng mga senior citizens sa naturang bayan.
Isang Manifesto of Support ang kanilang nilagdaan sa pamumuno ni Retired Lieutenant  Jaime V. Aceret, na siyang presidente ng Office of the Senior Citizen Affairs, at ni Ginang Cecilia D. Camo, presidente ng Federation of Senior Citizens Associations of Sual.
Nauna rito, nagpalabas din ang Ugnayan ng Nagkakaisang Kababaihan ng Sual (UNAKA), ang pinakamalaki at natatanging samahan ng mga kababaihan sa naturang bayan, ng kahalintulad na Manifesto.

Narito ang nilalaman ng naturang Manifesto of Support:
Ang nasabing Manifesto of Support ay pirmado ng lahat ng presidente 
ng Senior Citizen Associations mula sa iba’t ibang barangay sa bayan ng Sual.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

LTO extends office hours to release license backlogs

DAGUPAN CITY  - The Land Transportation Office (LTO)-Dagupan branch has extended its office hours to accommodate the bulk of clients securing their driver’s licenses.

Aileen Peteros, transport regulation officer  of LTO-Dagupan City  branch, said the one-year delay  in issuance of drivers licenses resulted to 30,000 backlog in the release.

As such, LTO-Dagupan has opened its doors as early as 5 o’clock in the morning until 9 o’clock in the evening from Monday to Friday, a big adjustment from the 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.  regular office hours.

It also operates on Saturdays but closes earlier.

“Nakita namin na marami pa ring tao kahit noong nagco-close kami ng 8 p.m. kaya pinahaba pa namin ang operations hours to better serve more clients,” Peteros said during the KBP Forum held at the Philippine Information Agency Thursday. 

Peteros said the branch issues 300 queue numbers on a first-come, first- served basis on weekdays and 200 numbers on Saturdays.

Priority lane is accorded to senior citizens, persons with disabilities and pregnant women.

“Habang may tao na nakakuha ng number na na-issue namin ay tatapusin namin sa araw na yun, maliban kung nag-offline ang system,” she added.

Peteros said  the branch has started releasing the licenses in November 2017 bringing the backlog this January down to  21,000. The long queue may persist until the middle of the year, she added.

Problems in contractors and service providers have hounded LTO nationwide which prompted the management to hold the release of licenses in November 2016. (VHS/PIA-Pangasinan)