Saturday, February 28, 2015

DTI sets price cut on milk products

DAGUPAN CITY – The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in Pangasinan has lowered the suggested retail prices (SRPs) of some powdered milk brands due to decreasing costs of raw materials.
Based on the updated SRPs list of DTI, milk products that posted a decrease are as follows: Bear Brand Powdered Milk Drink 150g has dropped to P50 from P51; Birch Tree Cream Milk Powder 150g decreased to P57.10 from P58.10; and Alaska Powdered Milk Drink 150g adjusted to P44.15 from P45.15.
Peter Mangabat, provincial director of DTI-Pangasinan, said the new list of SRP updated on February 23 was based on the lowering cost of imported raw materials of powdered milk.
Mangabat advised all the retailers in the province to check their prevailing prices from time to time to ensure that they are complying with SRPs and to avoid possible penalties provided under the Price Act.
“Price manipulation is a violation that penalizes a retailer or distributor an imprisonment of five years up to 15 years and administrative fine of not less than P5,000 but not more than P2 million pesos,” said Mangabat.
He urged all business establishments in the province to continuously observe the call of DTI on reasonable prices to protect the consumers.

Dagupan acquired another fire truck

DAGUPAN CITY - The new fire truck that the city government purchased for the City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (CDRRMO) arrived last February 25.

 Mayor Belen T. Fernandez said that the new firefighting equipment, aside from the two existing ones, is part of her administration’s disaster mitigation efforts and for the CDRRMO to be able respond quickly in times of emergency situations especially when a fire occurs.

 She added that it will also help speed up rescue and evacuation efforts during calamities considering that Dagupan is frequently visited by at least seven typhoons every year.

 Personnel  of the CDRRMO will undergo training on firefighting to be conducted by the Bureau of Fire Protection.

  Fernandez reminded all Dagupan citizenry that in case of emergency, they can call the city government hotline BELEN 16-911 or 0933-5024899 and 0916-5256802. (CIO)

Friday, February 27, 2015

Pangasinan II leads R1AA by an avalanche of gold medals

DepEd Pangasinan II emerges as the over-all champion in the recently concluded Region I Athletic Associations (R1AA) Meet last February 20 in Manaog town.  Pangasinan II amassed 88 gold; Ilocos Norte, 41gold; La Union, 37; Pangasinan I, 30; and Urdaneta City, 21 gold medals. Representing Governor Amado T. Espino, Jr.  in the awarding rites were BM Liberato Villegas, Exec. Asst. IV Ramon Morden  and Provincial Sports Director and Exec. Asst. III Modesto Operania.  Receiving the trophy for Pangasinan II was Schools Division Superintendent Viraluz Raguindin accompanied by Sports Division Supervisor Enrique Macayan, Asst. School Supt. Shiela Marie Primicias and other school officials and was witnessed by Manoag Mayor Kim Amador and DepEd Regional Dir. Teresita Velasco.  /GDMoran

Cojuangco declares support to Domantay, bets

Snides to double dealing politicians in P’sinan

By Mortz C. Ortigoza

MALASIQUI - Showing his innate political integrity in supporting one candidate for the mayoralty in a town or city, a gubernatorial aspirant declared this early that he will support the one this town mayor's endorses for the top post.
NPC PROV'L TICKETS. While Abono Party-list Chair Rosendo So speaks,
 party tickets and allies of the Nationalist People's Coalition under 
gubernatorial aspirant Mark Cojuangco (seating with gray shirt) listen in
 one of their hustling in Malasiqui town. 
Former Pangasinan’s Congressman Mark Cojuangco said unlike other provincial politicians who shrewdly support both rivals for the mayoralty in some towns to advance their selfish interest, he unequivocally declared before a meeting with village chiefs and council members here that he would only support Mayor Armando Domantay’s bet.
“Na isa lang po ang sasamahan kong pulitiko dito sa bayan ng Malasiqui siya po ang magiging poste ko. Siya po ang aking gabay dito sa Malasiqui walang iba po kung hinde si Mayor Armando Domantay at ang mga kanyang pipiliing kandidato sa pagka mayor kung sino man iyon at buong grupo na pipili-in  niya para sa pagka-konsehal ng bayan”.
Unlike a mayor he knows in another municipality who wants to advance his own agenda than the welfare of his constituents, Domantay, Cojuangco stressed, is the epitome of a dedicated leader who sincerely serves his constituents well.
Cojuangco said if possible he looks for an ally in a town or a city that is not only incumbent elective chief executive but a dedicated public servant who advanced the betterment of his jurisdiction.
EXHORT. Village chairmen and council members of the 73 barangays' Malasiqui town listen as Former Congressman Mark Cojuangco's exhorted them.

Dalawang katangi-an po ang hinahanap ko. Meron pong ibang bayan diyan na may incumbent mayor na bagamat mas madali kung pulitika pa lang na iyan ang lapitan mo at humingi ka ng tulong doon ayaw mo kasi alam mo na hindi siya makakatulong sa bayan at kung minsan ang gusto lang magpayaman sa sariling bulsa”.

Cojuangco was at the convention hall of the municipal hall here to renew his ties with the village officials of the 73 barangays’ town.

Dads kill law that gave Mangaldan Kap excessive tax power

After the vehement objection of Mayor Bona

By Mortz C. Ortigoza

MANGALDAN – Through the strong objection of the mayor of this town, a resolution of Barangay Poblacion was revoked recently by the town council as unlawful, excessive, and lacks of public consultation.
POLITICAL ALLIESMembers of the town council of Mangaldan posed with
 Mayor Bona Parayno (extreme left)  in a dinner- meeting at her residence in
 Dagupan City.

Mayor Bona Fe D. Parayno said that she saw that the officials of Barangay Poblacion railroaded Resolution No. 42 Series of 2004 so they can sneak clusters of exorbitant fees on stores, retailers, clearances, certifications, billboards, signboards, neon signs, and outdoor advertisement.
She cited that Barangay Chairman Joselito Quinto and council members did not submit to the Sangguniang Bayan (Town Council) a notice of committee hearing, attendance sheet of committee members present and participants, minutes of the committee hearing, notice of public hearing, attendance sheet of participants at the public hearing, minutes of the public hearing, and others, to back up the review of their resolution by Council.
Those unconscionable fees are, according to the mayor, are agricultural stores, restaurants, canteen, and the like, commercial stores, commercial edifice, to name a few that each has a fee of P500.
She said she wrote Vice Mayor Manuel Casupang, the presiding officer of the Council, to revoke Resolution No. 2015-07 where the Sangguniang Bayan declared earlier Barangay Poblacion' Resolution No. 42 Series of 2004 as within the conferred power of this town's Council .

Start-up Assistance for OFW Family Groups

Governor Amado T. Espino, Jr. (seated, 4th from right), Board Member Ranjit Shahani (seated, 3rd from right) and Provincial Employment and Services Office (PESO) Manager Alex Ferrer (seated, 3rd from left) flash the number one sign along with the 3rd batch of Pangasinan Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) family associations during the awarding of start-up assistance amounting to P160,000 at the Pangasinan PESO building in Lingayen last February 24.  The said program of the provincial government was conducted in partnership with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).  /MVSadim

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

This Priest Court’s Contempt, Charges


I was amused with GMA-7 sports caster Chino Trinidad's opinion on Pound-for-Pound's boxing king Manny Pacquiao vs. Oscar dela Hoya, Pacquaio vs. Miguel Cotto. Walang binatbat daw iyong dalawa kahit mahaba ang kamay.

He, he, siyempre walang binatbat nag reduced ng weight sila.  Cotto (who should be in 154 lbs limit’s Junior  Middleweight) and dela Hoya (who climbed the canvas at 145 lbs despite fighting as Middleweight) reduced ng ilang weight classes. Those guys were dehydrated, salamabit!
Mayweather vs. Pacquiao? Wait for my article; I'll carefully analyze it for you guys.
Oh by the way, Pacquaio vs Mayweather’s mega fight of the century can rake up to $500 million where both divide the $250 guaranteed purse on a 60-40% basis. In this tussle Manny could pocket a staggering P4.5 billion more than enough for his senatorial hustling in 2016.
 Pacquaio's biggest-earning tiff was against Sugar Shane Mosley in 2011, generating 1.3 million Pay Per View (PPV) hits and a gross of $75 Million. Of the top 10 highest pay-per-view grosser, Mayweather accounts for three with  Canelo “Saul” Alvarez at $150 Million, De la Hoya at $136 Million and Cotto at $94 Million. The Pacquiao-Mosley fight is the ninth highest grosser in history. Pacquiao’s other fights with over 1 million PPV buys were against De la Hoya (1.25 million PPV), Antonio Margarito (1.15 million PPV), Juan Manuel Marquez 3 (1.25 million PPV) and Marquez 4 (1.15 million PPV)
Fr Eliseo “Jun” Mercado, OMI, a Catholic priest in Cotabato City, announced recently he stands with his comment accusing the government of paying the Moro Islamic Liberation Front for the return of the weapons taken from slain Special Action Force troopers (SAF) last month.
Mercado’s statement can inflame a combustible situation where Filipinos have been smarting of the Mamasapano carnage that cost 44 lives of Philippine’s police commando’s Special Action Force because the government abandoned them.
Luisito Montalbo, director of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP), criticized the priest, a known peace advocate, for coming out publicly with claims that are “unsubstantiated and unverified”.
The least the government can do to Mercado is to file a case of sowing intrigue, libel, or law on national security.
But the priest was adamant, he said he stood to his pronouncement and invoked “privilege communication”between a priest and a flock" not to disclose his source at the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.
Priest crowing to the public what a parishioner (a Muslim rebel?) disclosed to him?
Is Mercado a media man that he could not divulge his source?
Republic Act 147 said that even member of the Fourth Estate can be forced to disclose his source “ if the Court or a House or Committee of Congress finds that such revelation is demanded by the security of the State”.
With this privilege (being a priest) and the exception for the member of a Fourth Estate not to divulge one’s source, Mercado will find himself in a legal bind through contempt by Congress or indictment by the Court.


The thing I liked about former Apo Hiking lead singer Jim Paredes was he composed classy songs like Blue Jeans, Batang-Bata Ka Pa, Panalangin, Libug lang Iyan, and When I Met You.
The thing I don’t liked about him was he did not consult his older brother political columnist Ducky Paredes when he made the following premises and conclusions vis-a-vis the Mamasapano, Maguindanao’s carnage I saw as tag at FaceBook.
“Why did the people in Great Britain, France, Germany, United States when hundred of thousands of troops perished in Dunkirk, Dien Bien Phu, Normandy ask for the resignation of their president just like what some disgruntled Filipinos ask for the resignation of President Benigno Aquino?” the good nature and probably well intentioned Jim posed.
The outrage did not happen in those countries because the military blunders there was not a result of of ABANDONMENT.
Besides, those countries and their enemies were engrossed in killing each other and they don’t have the luxury of time to blame each other.
The good example Jim should be citing that caused outraged among the people involved and kibitzers were the non-fiction Bay of Pigs' blunder in April 17, 1961 where President John F. Kennedy and the Central Intelligence Agency abandoned the Cuban freedom fighters’  Brigade 2506  at the Bahia de los Cochinos (Bay of Pigs) and the fiction (but based on a real situation) “Clear and Present Danger’s” flick main led by actor Harrison Ford (as CIA analyst Jack Ryan) where the CIA absconded the U.S Special Forces, who battle the Colombians drug cartels, massacred, just like in that corn field in Mamasapano, Maguindanao,  by the Columbia army.
The Bay of Pigs incident was one of the angles being looked at by the Federal Bureau of Investigation for the assassination of President Kennedy in November 23, 1963 by the smarting Cuban’s freedom fighters, although many suspected the CIA, Vice President Lyndon Johnson, the generals, and the military contractors conspired as Kennedy and his brother Robert, at the time the U.S Attorney General, have been against the continuation of the American war in Vietnam.
Watching lately on TV the Senate Hearing on Mamasapano carnage. AFP Chief Gen Catapang defending the abandonment, er, procrastination of the AFP to the beleaguered SAF.
Another good example of abandonment could be cited in my conversation with a Chief of Police, an alumnus of the Philippine National Police Academy, of a city that has an equivalent rank of a Lieutenant Colonel in the military.
He told me that the procrastination (other meaning is “delay” to those tricycle drivers who read this article) by Army Brigadier General Edmundo Pangilinan, commander of the Philippine Army's 6th Infantry Division in Awang, Maguindanao, to save the embattled and being slaughtered British inspired commando Special Action Force, trapped in a corn field cum hell hole, could be hypothetically cited in a local situation that could happen in his city.
“Parang dito sa lugar ko, papasok ang CIDG (Criminal Investigation & Detection Group) o NBI (National Bureau of Investigation) sa isang drug den then they were met by superior gun fires and eventually surrounded by the drug lord and his men that start killing each of them. In case they would ask help from me to extricate them, why would I immediately go there? They should suffer first for their indiscretion in bypassing me with their operation”.
(You can read my selected columns at and articles at Pangasinan News Aro. You can send comments too at

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Congress will reject BBL unless it meets conditions - Cayetano

By Mortz C. Ortigoza

 URDANETA CITY – A Philippines' senator said the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) could not be passed by Congress as a whole unless it meets three requirements.
STUDENTS’ FORUM. Senator Alan Peter Cayetano speaks recently before 
the students of Pangasinan State University in Urdaneta City. He discussed
 the merits of th Iskolar ng Bayan (INB) where top ten high school  graduates
 are given free education in the first year in state colleges and universities. 
INB is a law Cayetano’s authored .  He also called his colleagues in
 Congress to expand its coverage to include the succeeding years in college
of those qualified scholars. MORTZ C. ORTIGOZA
“No. 1, the BBL should be revised to make it more equitable and more inclusive. No. 2, there should be agreements in other places in Mindanao. No. 3, MILF (Moro National Liberation Front) should show sincerity like not making any more guns and arms in their arsenal. It shows now that they are bracing not for peace but war,” Senator Alan Peter Cayetano said here after he attended a student forum at the Pangasinan State University-Urdaneta City’s campus.
He fears that if the proposed BBL lock, stock, and barrel become a law the MILF becomes stronger and will threaten the country.

“E paano kung agawin nila ang buong Mindanao. Paano kung maging haven ng terrorism ang lugar nila? So iyong issue ng national security, hindi na puweding alisin. Kung titingnan mo ang BBL sa present form niya ay masyadong dehado ang gobiyerno at ibat-ibang regions around the country”.


 It is part of my vision to make Dagupan a healthy and child-friendly city, where children play an active role in attaining sustainability and food security within the community.
Planting trees in our schools and in our homes is one way of promoting health and wellness to our children. Through the Gulayan sa Paaralan program, we are teaching kids on the importance of eating healthy.
I was amazed to see in the garden of Bonuan Boquig Elementary School all vegetables identified in the song ‘Bahay Kubo’, which include lettuce, cherry tomatoes, chili, pechay, ampalaya, button mushrooms, oyster mushrooms, among others.
In addition, the school has a livestock area where native chicken, white leg horn broiler chicken, native pigs, ducks, and geese are being raised.
The school also adopts aquaponics and hydroponics gardening, aside from backyard gardening.
Aquaponics is the technique of raising together fish and plants in water without soil in one integrated system. On the other hand, hydroponics gardening is a method of growing plants using mineral nutrient solutions in water also without soil.
The school also used solar panels to power the equipment needed in gardening, which allows sustainable ways to grow crops.
Station 1 is the mushroom culture area, while Station 2 is aquaponics, a system of aquaculture in which the waste produced by farmed fish or other aquatic animals supplies nutrients for plants grown hydroponically, which in turn purify the water. This section also has its hydroponics, which is a subset of hydroculture and is a method of growing plants using mineral nutrient solutions in water, without soil. It has a combination of plants with tilapia and red pacu culture-raised. The fish came from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources.
Station 3 is the livestock area with native chickens, while Station 4 is the vermiculture area for organic fertilizer and Station 5 is the Bahay Kubo Garden where all the vegetables mentioned in the song are planted –singkamas (turnip), talong (eggplant), sigarillas (winged bean), mani (peanuts), different lentils like sitao, bataw and patani, gourds including kondol, patola, upo and kalabasa, labanos (radish), mustasa (mustard leaves), sibuyas (onions), kamatis (tomato), bawang (garlic), luya (ginger) and linga (sesame seeds).

Gov. Espino Urges LCES, Sports Officials for More Sports Centers in Region I

Manaoag— “Let’s have two, three or four sports center in Region I.”
Thus said Gov. Amado T. Espino, Jr, during the Region I Athletic Association (R1AA) Fellowship Night last February 18 at the Manaoag Pilgrim Center here.
Governor Espino said, “ Matagal ko ng sinasabi noon pa na mag-usap-usap kami ng mga gobernador na gumawa ng dalawa o tatlo o apat na training centers at isa na po yung sa Pangasinan.’
To improve the performance of athletes from Region I in the national games, the governor also urged DepEd officials to discuss among themselves on how to help train athletes.
Governor Espino went further and even offered the Narciso Ramos Sports and Civic Center (NRSCC) as a training venue for athletes in Region I as it once was used as venue for Palarong Pambansa in 2012.
Speaking before technical officials, DepEd Regional and Division officials of R1AA, Espino also said, “We are willing to support elementary and high school athletes as well as the coaches and to provide food and accommodation during the duration of their training.”
The fellowship night was graced by Board Member Liberato Villegas, Mayor Kim Mikael Amador, Provincial Sports Director Modesto Operania, Executive Assistant Ramon Morden, Assistant Provincial Health Officer Jeremy Rosario and Special Events Chief Marife Acerit among others.
After the formal program, the audience was treated to a series of cultural performances by the Dangoan Pangasinan Dance Troupe. /EjS

Q & A: Senator Alan Peter Cayetano on War, BBL, Federalism

 Interview held recently in Urdaneta City with Senator Alan Peter Cayetano by Mortz Ortigoza (Northern Watch), Yolly Sotelo (Philippine Daily Inquirer) and Eva Visperas (Philippine Star).
Troopers of the belligerent Moro Islamic Liberation Front

Mortz C. Ortigoza (MCO): Sir, sabi ng MILF (Moro Islamic Liberation Front) dapat daw iyong BBL (Bangsamoro Basic Law) lock, stock, and barrel na ipasa ng Congress, paano iyan pag ni-watered down ng Congress kasi galit sila doon sa ginawa ng MILF sa SAF (Special Action Force) -44, gigiyerahin na nila tayo nito?

ALAN PETER CAYETANO (APC)Ang peace process ay parating binabalanse sa national security. Kaya ako nakikipagpasok ng peace para walang gulo. Pero iyong  pinasukan mo ng peace ay mas malakas sa iyo, e paano kung agawin nila ang buong Mindanao? Paano kung maging haven ng terrorism o may criminal syndicate ang lugar nila? So iyong issue ng national security, hindi mo puweding alisin. Kung titingnan mo ang BBL sa present form niya ay masyadong dehado ang gobierno at ibat-ibang mga regions around the country. For example, ang police force nila 4000 to 8000 nasa ilalim ng chief minister nila. Wala ito sa PNP (Philippine National Police), so iyong paghati-an ng natural resources naririnig niyo iyong sinasabi ko kung kanino iyong all other region 2% to 4% gets but Metro Manila gets 34%. Pero sa batas na ipapasa ang BBL lahat ng natural resources nandoon kontrolado nila . So sila ang yayaman ng husto, paano naman iyong the rest of Mindanao? Wala iyong kabalance, gusto natin umunlad ang lugar nila. Mabuti kung ibibili doon ng classrooms, hospitals. Paano kong baril ang bilhin nila? Kaya ang sinasabi natin i-resolve ang Mamasapano bago natin pasukin ang BBL. Kasi kung si Marwan na $5 million nakapatong sa ulo ang hindi nila hinuli hindi nila pina-alis sa lugar nila, ano ang kasiguruhan natin ngayon, pa na ang BBL pinasang ganyan ang mangyayari there. So maraming sub issues is kailangan muna natin binanggit, but we have to see na sincere sila sa process.

MCO; Iyong mga Doves of War ang sabi nila P20 million a day ang gastos sa giyera, may Mainland China threat tayong hinaharap, malaking gastos ang mawawala sa Pilipinas pag nakipag giyera tayo sa MILF.

APC: Well, malaking gastos din sa atin ang pag naghiwalay ang Mindanao sa atin (in any) eventuality), I mean wala namang nag propose na mag giyera pero bakit pag pinayagan sila palakas ng palakas, kunwari nakikipag peace kunwari isang araw hindi mo na kaya dahil mas mahirap labanan. Tandaan mo ang All-Out-War hindi naman iyan ang option. Hindi naman suguran ang pinag-uusapan, di ba? Kung paano nagkaroon ng agreement na in the position of strength ang gobyerno. Unang una, marami sa mga miyembro nila alam naman natin kung sino o saan. So, I don’t want to talk about how, pero alam naman ng gobyerno kung papaano how to contain the MILF kung sa kanila they choose the bullet over the ballot.

EVA VISPERAS: Sir, ano ang tsansa na makapasa ang BBL?

Monday, February 23, 2015

P'sinan Political Rivals Sit together at Manoaog Church

POLITICAL RIVALS CROSS PATH. Former political allies Pangasinan Governor Amado T.
 Espino (2nd from right) and gubernatorial aspirant Mark Cojuangco, a former Pangasinan's
congressman (4th from Right) sit on a pew at the Solemn Proclamation of the Shrine
 of Our Lady of the Rosary of Manaoag as Minor Basilica held recentlyat Manoag town. Former 

Speaker Jose de Venecial, a political nemesis of Espino sits at extreme right. Other luminaries
at the 
front pew are Rep. Kimi Cojuangco, Rep. Gina de Venecia, presidential sisters
Balsy and Viel Aquino and Dagupan Mayor Belen T. Fernandez, each with his
and her prayer petition perhaps for a miracle in 2016.


The Shrine of Our Lady of the Rosary of Manaoag was officially designated a Minor Basilica on Feb. 17, 2015. Cardinals Luis Antonio Tagle, Orlando Quevedo, and Gaudencio Rosales were present for the proclamation of the Manaoag Shrine as a basilica. (Photo: Sabins Mejia/Sabins Studio)

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Dagupan is Presidential Awardee as Most Child-Friendly City in Region I

The city of Dagupan was conferred the Presidential Award when it was adjudged the regional winner as the most Child-Friendly City under the independent component city category.
Mayor Belen T. Fernandez, together with City Social Welfare and Development officer Leah Aquino and City Engineer Virginia Rosario,  received the award from Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Regional Director Marcelo Nicomedes J. Castillo, during the 64th anniversary of the DSWD at Hotel Ariana, in Bauang, La Union last February 18.
Dagupan was recognized for its continuing commitment in promoting child rights to survival, development, protection and participation, as well as ensuring child-friendly governance
The city is now a national contender for the 2014 Presidential Award for Most Child-Friendly City.
This was made possible through the city's local development plan for children and a local investment plan that spelled out the rights of children for survival, development, protection and participation.
Among the criteria considered that determined Dagupan as the most child-friendly city in the region include a policy program and development for children; service delivery for the improvement of children’s health, nutrition, education and social protection; and strengthening of local partnerships.
The city government was also recognized for its various programs and activities focusing on the welfare of children in terms of disaster preparedness, environmental awareness, arts and culture, health and hygiene, intensive medical care programs, anti-bullying policy, among others.

P'gasinan's Economy on the Upswing: Guv Stresses on SOPA

LINGAYEN --- Gov. Amado T. Espino, Jr. said in his 8th State of the Province Address (SOPA) last Monday that because of the full cooperation of all sectors, Pangasinan is now steadily on the rise. (Dahil sa maigting na pagtutulungan, naging tuloy-tuloy ang pag-angat ng ating mahal na lalawigan sa loob ng pito at kalahating taon na tayo ay nanilbihan).

He expressed sadness however that sometimes his administration’s gains are marred by “destructive” and “selfish” politics. (mapanira at makasariling pulitika).

He lamented the fact that for the last two weeks prior to the SOPA, some vicious articles in a national daily tried to malign his reputation and cast doubts on his personal integrity.

The newspaper used a certain complainant named Rolando Rea to sow intrigues and confusion over the 3-km walled proposed eco-tourism zone in barangay Estanza in Lingayen, the imposing structure allegedly bars the general public from accessing the Lingayen beach and is erected allegedly to hide black sand mining activity in the area.

“Ito ay isang malaking panlilinlang. (This is a big deception),” according to the good governor. Espino said that the original complainants (Brgy. Kagawad Vicente C. Oliquino of barangay Sabangan, Lingayen and his group) have since withdrawn their complaints against the establishment of the eco-tourism zone and denied reports that there is black sand mining activity in the area and that they have already pledged their support to the eco-tourism project because the DENR has already given its Environmental Clearance Certificate (ECC).

Despite some criticisms maliciously spawned by the governor’s detractors, Pangasinan remains at the helm, bagging numerous awards like the Region I Best Performing Province in Local Governance, regional Hall of Famer in the aspects of local governance and consistent regional champion in other fields.

The Provincial Accounting Office bagged the National Most Outstanding Provincial Accounting Office in 2008 and 2013 and the Provincial Employment and Services Office sealed the National Best Performing PESO for the year 2012 and 2013.

“Our socio-economic indices point to continued progressive growth as per the record of NEDA. In 2013, our inflation rate which was 1.50% is lower than the regional inflation rate which was 1.90%, lower than the national inflation rate of 2.9%, “said the governor.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Pork, Garlic, Onions not threatened by AFTA – Abono

By Mortz C. Ortigoza

ROSALES – The chair of the farmers group Abono Party-List (APL) said that onions, garlic, meats like pork in the country are not threatened by the Asean Free Trade Agreement (AFTA).

AFTA took effect last January 1 this year. It covers the almost non-tariff exchange of products within the 10 members Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN).
Philippines, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam are voting members while Papua New Guinea is an observer in the body.
 APL chairman Rosendo So said that onion and garlic are from China while meats like pork are from the United States and European countries.
APL Chair So said the belief that AFTA, with its no-tariff regulation, could discourage smugglers will have no effect on the influx of meats in the Philippines.
Eng. So just came from a meeting with Senator Grace Poe where they discussed AFTA, agricultural trades with the U.S and Europe, and the weak policies of the Department of Agriculture on the imports from other countries.
“Gusto natin malaman kung hanggang saan sila, hanggang saan tayo kung paano ba ang export natin doon, ano ba ang hinahanap sa atin. Dapat ang sinasabi natin iyong export natin, tapos may food safety sila (other countries) doon na hindi basta-basta pumapasok ang kargamento sa kabila dapat kung ano ang safety natin dito dapat doon ganoon din,” he stressed.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

No Security Nightmare to Twin Big Events - Manaoag's Top Cop

By Mortz C. Ortigoza

MANAOAG – The chief of police of this pilgrim town did not worry to any security nightmare brought by the hundreds of thousands of people who attended the proclamation of the Marian Shrine of Our Lady of Manaoag as minor basilica and the Region 1 Athletic Association (R1AA).
Police Major Edison Revita, Manaoag's chief of police, gives instruction
to his bicycle patrol cops. Background is the Marian Shrine of Our Lady
of Manaoag and the huge presence of devotees.
“I was used to handle a mammoth crowd like this since I have this situation every Holy Week,” Chief Inspector Edison Revita said when asked if these twin mammoth events would be a security nightmare.
In the last year’s Holy Week the mettle of Revita and his men have been tested when a million of devotees came here.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Attaboy Duterte!


When I was huffing and puffing past 2 Pm of February 18 trekking the snaking stairs of the new Hotel Le Duc in Dagupan City for its 5th floor's convention hall  (I ain’t know there was an elevator there) for the press conference of colorful and tough talking Davao City’s Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, I bumped into a former colleague at the University who told me the mayor “spiced” his impromptu speech with the amused members of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines-Pangasinan Chapter with expletive's “p*tang In*” every time he cited a patent corruption issue bedeviling the government.

PRESIDENTIAL TIMBER. The no-nonsense  Davao City Mayor  Rod Duterte posed
with the tough talking members of Pangasinan media after he spoke last February 18
at the Rotary-Club of Dagupan City. MORTZ C. ORTIGOZA

Aside from the male and female lawyers there, there were several retired generals who were mostly PMAyers, that North Cotabato's former Governor Manny Pinol introduced to me, prominent Manila lawyers including my political law professor and former President Gloria Arroyo's counsel Raul Lambino, Dante Jiminez and his Volunteers Against Crimes & Corruption (VACC), and the “sea” of members of the media where many of them patiently waited for Duterte at 11 Am for the 2 Pm press conference of that day.
Parang ikaw pag nagsasalita, may spiced of swearing in between your emphatic statement,” my colleague at the academe ribbed me.
When I met Dagupan City’s Chief of Police Supt. Cris Abrahano at the parking ground of the hotel while he supervised his police manning the flow of the traffic for the mostly Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) of Duterte’s entourage and guests to conveniently egress to the national highway, he told me he has not yet heard Duterte’s speak.
Instead of citing to him the one liners of the no-nonsense mayor at the 5th floor, I rephrased to him, that amused him, the excerpts of the  Q & A of the editorial board of the Graphic Magazine Special Edition on Duterte that former Governor Pinol, a town mate, gave me when I brought him the day before to Ruel Camba’s No. 1 radio commentary program at DWPR.
IBP-P'SINAN. Davao City Mayor Rod Duterte explains to members of the
Integrated Bar of the Philippines-Pangasinan Chapter how he would overhaul
the unabated corruption in the Philippines incase he becomes president of the
Here’s how he would deal, I narrated to the 6-footer Cris, with the pathetic monthly pay of an Army or Police general:
“Most of our military officers get a salary that is not in keeping with dignity. Your term as general is six years, then go for three. I will pay you. You’re a general? Then you’ll get paid P500, 000 (monthly)
He said this could happen because after his six months to one year running the country that would fail him under the “turtle snail and politicized” democratic process, he would close Congress.
“As such I have the money. I will even give you (general) extra, just to make you happy. But make no mistake. If you make a fool out of me, I will summon you and I will hurl you into the Pasig River”.
He cited too the shoe-string monthly salary of a rookie policeman who receives a measly P18, 000 a month. He said the sum could not sustain the tuition fees of his children that prompted him to immediately borrow money after he receives his pay.

Duterte Says He May Run for President

"If only to save the country"

By Manny Piñol

Dagupan City - In a public pronouncement which surprised even his closest advisers, Davao City Mayor Rody Duterte today said he is willing to run for President of the Philippines "if only to save the Republic."
DUTERTE BARNSTORMS P'SINAN: No non-sense Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte
, a rumored  presidential timber, spoke last February 18 before a jam packed gymnasium of Lyceum Northwestern University. Duterte explained his takes on federalism and the unabated corruption in the government. 
Speaking before at least 2,000 participants, mostly youth and students, of the First Federalism Forum in Northern Luzon, held at the Lyceum-Northwestern University here, the 69-year-old Duterte said the Philippines faces an imminent disaster as it is confronted with problems on corruption, criminality and the possible collapse of the peace talks in the Southern Philippines.
"If only to save this Republic, I could run for President," Duterte told the forum.
"I could make this sacrifice if only to save this country from being fractured," he added.
It was the first categorical statement by the colorful and controversial mayor indicating that he has finally yielded to the clamor of the people to run for president.
He made the stunning announcement during the open forum, responding to a question fielded by one of the participants who asked Duterte what he could do to address the ills of the country.
Following Duterte's declaration, former Pangasinan Congressman Eric Acuna stood up and told Mayor Duterte that it was a moral obligation to save the country.

Earthquake Intensity Meter Installed in Dagupan

 Dagupan recently acquired and installed a new earthquake developing tool from the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Philvolcs) and Japan that will help evaluate ground shaking and movements after an earthquake.
This sophisticated gadget called intensity meter will be used to identify perceived movements or shaking during or after an earthquake. The meters are connected to a computer with access to the internet and all information that will be gathered will be sent to a server where the data shall be evaluated.
These meters which will record the latest ground movements in the area will make information on earthquakes accessible to all on the internet.
I was recently briefed about the device by officials from Phivolcs, led by Science Research Specialist Melchor Lasala. I was joined by CDRRMC head Ronald de Guzman, General Services Officer Melchor Guiang, and City Administrator Atty. Farah Decano.
To keep track on earthquakes happening in the country, Phivolcs regularly posts information in their earthquake information/bulletin which can be found in their website at These include information on magnitude, location and intensity of the earthquake.

Pangasinan's health care programs set exceptional records

LINGAYEN --- The health care programs of the Provincial Government remain dynamic and unprecedented by a turn around overhaul initiated by Gov. Amado T. Espino, Jr. and has made Pangasinan as the only province in the country with a Provincial Health Office and Provincial Hospital in San Carlos to have been accorded with an International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 9001:2008 for quality management certification in 2014.
“Ang ating Pangasinan Provincial Hospital ang kaisa-isa at kauna-unahang hospital sa buong bansa ang nabigyan ng ISO 9001:2008 Quality Management Certification at tayo ay muling pumasa sa Stage 2 ng ISO certification nito lang Enero 2015 na kung saan ang ating ginagawa ay tugma sa internationally accepted quality standards,” Gov. Espino stated in his State of the Province Address held last Monday, February 16 at the Capitol grounds.
“Our efforts are now reaping positive results,” Espino said as he cited a decrease in the province’s malnutrition rate from its highest recorded rate of 7% in 2007 to 3.32 percent in 2014.
Likewise, the governor also reported a decreased mortality rate in dengue having only 0.4 percent last 2014 compared with 1.62 percent in 2007 while Pangasinan maintained its zero- malaria mortality rate from 2011 to 2014.
“Kung mananatili pa ito sa kasalukuyang taon, papasa na tayo sa World Health Organization (WHO) bilang Malaria Disease free zone sa 2016,” he added.
With more pregnant women being attended to by skilled birth attendants in hospitals, RHUs and accredited birthing facilities, the maternal mortality rate have declined to 42.30 per 100,000 live births in 2014 from 104 per 100,000 livebirths in 2007.
As for the infant mortality rate, data shows a sharp decline in infant deaths from 8.46 per 1,000 live births in 2007 to only 6.18 per 1,000 live births in 2014.
“Ito ay dahil sa tumaas na bilang ng kababaihan na nanganganak sa hospital na umabot na sa 89.10 porsyento noong nakaraang taon kumpara noong 2006 na may naitala lamang na 18 porsyento,” Espino added.
The health care program remains as one of the top priority programs of the provincial government, Espino stated in his report as he revealed the yearly increased of its budget allocation from P307.9 million in 2008 to P670 million in 2014.
And with the improved health care programs of the province, the Department of Health (DOH) as well as the European Commission (EC) continued their support to Pangasinan by providing P679.34 million and P117.5 million respectively from 2008 to 2014.
These funds have been utilized for the upgrading, improvement and expansion of hospital buildings and the provision of hospital facilities and modern medical equipment.
Espino also took pride in the upgrading of diagnostic capability of all 14 government-owned hospitals which are now equipped with automated laboratory diagnostic equipment, digital x-ray, hemodialysis machines, with Pangasinan Provincial Hospital being provided with CT scan and gas sterilizer apart from other modern equipment.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Calasiao readies to invite SM Mall

By Mortz C. Ortigoza

CALASIAO – Not contented on hosting several members of the Top 100 Corporations in the Philippines in this burgeoning town, the young mayor here readies his economic advisers to draft a letter for SM Mall to put shop here.
SM Mall
Mayor Mark Roy Macanlalay cited Barangays Macabito, Buenlag, and Ambonao as viable locations this town’s could offer to SM Prime Holding, Inc. (SMPHI), SM Mall’s umbrella group, to build a giant retail store.
Aside from the large swath of land Macabito and Buenlag areas could offer, he said the location in Ambonao is located at MacArthur's National Highway.
An expert said at least SMPHI needs a contagious 10 hectares of land to host its mall.
“Kasi iyan pa rin iyong magagandang location. Pero sa ngayon, maraming idle lands.  Sa Macabito maganda rin doon, medyo na decongest ang development and traffic dito na masikip, may choice na ang mga tao”.
The mayors of the towns of Mangaldan and Sta. Barbara have shown interest too to host SM after the giant retail store plans went bonkers in 2013 to put shop in this first class municipality’s neighbouring city’s Dagupan.
In August 2010 Hans Sy, the scion of the founder of SMPHI, met Dagupan City’s former Mayor Benjie Lim to signify the intention of his corporation to build a regional SM Mall in the city that is bigger than the one in Baguio City.
That meeting was prompted by the construction here of rival’s Robinson Mall owned by the Gokongweis.
But the mall did not push through because the land that SMPHI bought in Brgy. Tambac has yet to be converted by the city council from agricultural to commercial, one stalling land owner there pegged the price of his land at P40 thousand per square meter, and Lim, owner of Magic Group of Companies, was defeated by former Vice Mayor Belen F. Fernandez in the 2013 mayoral contest.
Fernandez, owner of the chains of CSI Malls, declared her opposition to the presence of SM as it would prejudiced small businesses in the city.
After ushering the materialization of Robinson Mall at Barangay San Miguel here, Macanlalay said another huge Top 100 Corporation’s Puregold grocery store will be rising this year near Jollibee and Chowking’s. restaurants
The other new business edifices being built here at Barangay San Miguel are two big furniture and electronic shops.

Respected P'sinan Leader asks Rody: Heed Call of Times

By Manny Piñol
A respected leader of the vote-rich Pangasinan province today joined the clamor for Davao City Mayor Rody Duterte to run for President in 2016 saying that the the colorful Davao City leader must "heed the call of the times."
 Dagupan City's former Mayor Al Fernandez
Long-time Dagupan City Mayor Alipio "Al" Fernandez Jr., former immigration commissioner and now national president of the JC International Senate, said Mayor Duterte "is the kind of leader the country needs today."
Fernandez, who narrowly lost to incumbent Dagupan City Mayor Benjie Lim in the 2013 elections for the first time in a political career which started in 1971, said the burning issues of the times require a President with a grasp of the problems confronting the country and an agenda on how to address the problems.
He cited among the critical issues the recent Mamasapano carnage and the shelved Bangsamoro Basic Law bill, the massive corruption in government and the increasing criminality especially drugs.
"Rody Duterte has the strong leadership character" which the country needs "in these difficult times," Fernandez said.
Fernandez, who admits to having been a long time friend of the Davao City Mayor, said Duterte has the "real good chance" of winning the Presidency.
"Rody Duterte is a seasoned leader and a proven enforcer. He definitely could deliver," said the former Dagupan City Mayor.
He described Duterte as a "highly marketable" political personality whose track record in turning Davao City from a "Killing Fields" of communist assassins in the late 1970s to the early 1980s to become the 4th Safest City in the World to Live In is a remarkable credential for a prospective leader in a country wracked by the Muslim secessionist rebellion in the Southern Philippines and the 42-year-long Communisty insurgency.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Dagupan City All Set, Ready for Duterte's Federalism Forum

By Manny Piñol

Dagupan City - Pangasinan's grievance over two major power plants producing more than 1,500 megawatts in a province which suffers from power outages just like the others, is expected to take center stage in the Federalism Forum set Feb. 18 at the Lyceum-Northwestern University here.
PRO FEDERALISM:  LNU President and former Pangasinan Vice Gov. Gonzalo Duque displays the Federalism poster which will greet Mayor Duterte when he visits Dagupan City Feb. 18. Also in photo, journalist Mortz Ortigoza (left) and Duterte's supporter Rene Concordia of Laguna.

Davao City Mayor Rody Duterte brings his federalism advocacy to Northern Luzon when he speaks before members of Pangasinan's academe and representatives of the different sectors in the 3,000-seat capacity air conditioned LNU Gym.

Prov’l Gov’t assists R1AA 2015 preparations

Lingayen – To assists the host LGU of Manaoag, the provincial government on instruction of Governor Amado T. Espino, Jr. has started helping in the ground preparations and construction of support facilities which will be used by the participating delegations during the Region I Athletic Association (R1AA) 2015 Meet in Manaoag on February 15-21.

            Provincial Engineer Victor Punay said repair of classrooms that will serve as billeting quarters and playing venues us ongoing in schools in Manoag and San Jacinto upon the request of LGU-Manaoag and host DepEd schools division, Pangasinan II.

            The Provincial Engineering Office (PEO) constructed bleachers at the main playing venue in Manaog National High School, Punay said, while 20 portable toilets with water system and lighting have been constructed as support facility.
            Said support facility will also be beneficial to Manaoag “as we expect the influx of a large number of parishioners, Catholic devotees and pilgrims who will attend in the solemn proclamation of the Minor Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary of Manaoag on February 17,” Executive Assistant III Modesto Operania said.

            Neck-and-neck battle of well-trained athletes craving supremacy in various sporting events will ignite the rivalry of top-performing schools division in the weeklong  sports spectacle.

            Hundreds of athletes representing schools divisions in the province – Pangasinan I and Pangasinan II – are now having rigorous training and conditioning with the support of the provincial government led by Governor Espino.

            As early as January, Governor Espino released a marching order to sports coordinators of said schools division to train harder the young Pangasinense athletes for them to level up their performance during the R1AA Meet.

            Pangasinan II had started the training of its athletes on January 31 in Benigno V. Aldana National High School in Pozorrubio while Pangasinan I contenders had started the training on February 7 at the Narciso Ramos Sports and Civic Center (NRSCC) here.

            With the support from the present provincial administration, the two schools divisions were able to level their performace in the R1AA, formerly Ilocos Region Athletic Association (IRAA).

            It was Governor Espino who proposed and instituted the renaming of IRAA to R1AA.

            Executive Assistant III Modesto Operania, who serves as Provincial Sports Director, has assured that athletes of Pangasinan I and Pangasinan II are given proper training and conditioning as he noted that support from the province include provision of sports equipment for training; food and travel allowance and uniform, including rubber shoes/running shoes for team Pangasinan athletes.