Monday, January 24, 2011

DILG: Status quo for 16 new cities

TABUK CITY, Kalinga – There is no error in the dateline of this news article. Tabuk, along with the 15 other new cities, is still a city.

That’s the clarification made by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) through a memorandum dated November 25, 2010 but which only reached the Tabuk LGU this week.

The memorandum signed by Secretary Jessie Robredo cited a letter from the Supreme Court (SC) stating that the August 24, 2010 resolution of the court which reinstated the November 18, 2008 decision declaring unconstitutional the cityhood laws of the 16 erstwhile towns “has not attained finality.”

According to Robredo, the clarification from the SC meant that the latest resolution could not as yet be enforced.

Robredo further said that on that basis, “all the affected local government units shall still be referred to as cities and the two (2) additional members in the Sangguniang Panlungsod may still validly discharge their duties and functions appurtenant to the position.”

During the last elections, the Commission on Elections allowed the 16 new cities to elect 10 councilors because of the December 2009 ruling declaring the constitutionality of the cityhood laws of the 16 erstwhile towns. As towns, they only had eight councilors.

The DILG sought clarification from the SC on the issue due to a lot of queries on the legal implications of the latest resolution of the court on the cityhood case.

The 16 new cities have filed a motion for reconsideration of the August 24, 2010 decision of the SC. This has been set for hearing each Tuesday for months now but for some reasons, the agendum has been deferred up to now. **Estanislao Albano Jr.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Survey reveals .64% population rate decrease in Kalinga

by Gigi G. Dumallig

TABUK, Kalinga, Jan.18 (PIA) – Final results of the latest Census of Population (POPCEN 2007) conducted by the National Statistics Office (NSO) reveal that population growth rate (PGR) in the province has decreased.

The NSO survey reflects that Kalinga posted an annual growth rate of 0.64 percent for the period 2000 to 2007 for its 182,326 total population. This is 8,303 higher than the 174,023 population surveyed in 2000 when the agency recorded a 2.63 percent PGR for the period 1995 to 2000.

Tabuk is the most populous town in the province with its 87,912 residents, comprising 48.2 percent of the province’s inhabitants. Pinukpuk records a 27,782 population; Rizal has 14, 614; Balbalan, 12,012; Tinglayan, 11,619; Lubuagan, 10,183; Pasil, 10,084; and Tanudan, 8,119.

With an average household size of 5.2 percent, 34,858 residential houses were recorded or an increase of 4,408 since 2000.

By age group, 12.8 percent of the households belongs to the 5 to 9 year age range, 12.6 percent in the 0 to 4 year old, and 12.4 percent in the 10 to 14 year age level.

Gender ratio shows that there are 105 males for every 100 females based on total 93,338 male and 88,760 female populations.

Significant in the census is the decrease in dependency ratio from 78 (2000) to 73 (2007) dependents showing that for every 100 working-age population , there are 65 young dependents and eight old dependents.

Ages 0 to 14 year old dependents compose 37.8 percent of the household population and 4.4 percent belongs to the 65 years old and over dependents. The working age population (15 to 64 age level) contributes 57.7 percent of the household population in the province.

The 12th POPCEN was conducted in August 2007 by the NSO deploying at least 40,000 fieldworkers nationwide. It reports that Philippines has a total population of 88,574,614 people compared to the 76.50 million in 2000 and 68.62 million in 1995. *** (JDRP/GGD –PIA CAR Kalinga)

Kalinga's Bantay Rabis earns WHO nod

TABUK, Kalinga, Jan.17 (PIA) – For zero report in rabies case in the past two years, the Bantay Rabis sa Barangay program of Kalinga was recognized by the World Health Organization, according to Dr. Raffy Deray, National Rabies coordinator of the Department of Health.

Acknowledging how effective the program is in the eradication of rabies in Kalinga which used to report an average of three deaths from rabies every year until 2008, Deray asked that Jose Pardito Jr. of the Provincial Epidemic Surveillance Unit (PESU) present his work program in the forthcoming National Rabies Summit to be attended by the WHO representative.

A brain child of Pardito, the project was in 2007 in Calaocan, Rizal where there was a high incidence of rabies.

On his own initiative, Pardito organized the “bantay rabis sa barangay” in Calaocan and solicited the involvement of barangay officials whom he said were very supportive.

Activities under the Bantay Rabis sa Barangay, according to Pardito, include massive registration and vaccination of dogs with the support of the barangay.

Under the project, barangay tanods and health workers go around the households to register all dog pets - their names, sex, age, and color.

Tags are attached to registered dogs bearing serial numbers and dates of vaccination.

Every barangay has its individual dog tag color to determine origin of a dog. Dogs from other barangays that are roaming are easily recognized and are brought back to their proper owners through their tags.

Any dog found without proper tag is considered astray and shall be brought to the barangay center for identification and claim. If no claimant-owner comes, the dog is awarded to interested stewards for proper keeping.

If the dog shows signs of getting rabid, the dog is disposed for the protection of the community.

Pardito said the system is effective in monitoring vaccinated and not vaccinated dogs within the barangay. In cases when there are dog bite victims, it would just be easy to find whether the culprit dog is vaccinated or not, he said.

The other activity involves training of volunteer animal vaccinators.

A year after the implementation of the project, barangay Calaocan reported zero case in both human and canine rabies and won the year’s award in the zero rabies search given by the PHO.

Inspired by the positive result, Pardito made representation to local government units for a joint-project on the training of volunteers. The offer received resounding response from LGUs.

In the trainings, LGUs share in the cost of vaccines with the Departments of Health (DOH) and Agriculture (DA). Volunteer vaccinators needed to be vaccinated because of their contacts with dogs during conducts of vaccination.

One pilot municipality is in Pasil, where every barangay has three volunteers for a total of 30 volunteer animal vaccinators for the municipality trained by personnel from the provincial veterinary office. As a result, Barangay Malucsad in Pasil qualified to the 2010 search for the most compliant barangay to the 2007 Rabies Act.

Three years after its launching, Bantay Rabis sa Barangay continues to spread in other barangays for a zero rabies case in the province.**Larry Lopez/ PIA-Kalinga

Two fresh violent incidents in Kalinga

By Estanislao Albano, Jr.

TABUK CITY, Kalinga – Morning of January 10, 2011, commuters were confronted by the disturbing sight of a dead man lying face down on the wayside near the Canao Bridge in Calanan, this city.

A closer look at the man revealed that he had multiple gunshot wounds in the head.

Although the victim did not bear any identification, he would later be identified by a townsmate as Joel Gamongan, 30 years old, married and resident of Apatan, Pinukpuk, Kalinga.

Police investigators say that people living near where the body was found heard gun bursts at around 10:30 PM of January 9 after which they heard the sound of a vehicle engine leaving the scene to an unknown direction.

As of this writing, the police are still clueless as to the motive of the killing and the identity of the killers.

Earlier on January 7, a shooting incident also transpired in Dananao, Tinglayan town resulting in the death of Luis Wayaway, 33 years old and a married resident of the barangay.

Investigation showed that Wayaway was chopping wood in his yard when his neighbor Tony Abaggoy, 43 years old, married, shot him in the back with a Springfield rifle for no apparent reason.

The police said that the victim was declared dead on arrival at the nearest hospital.

Later that day, the suspect was arrested and the gun used in the crime confiscated by Tinglayan police.

Murder charges have been filed against Abaggoy who is now detained at the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology detention center in Bulanao, this city.**

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Baac prioritizes infra, health, and social services for Kalinga

BAGUIO CITY, Benguet, Jan.12 (PIA) – Infrastructure, health, and social services are the priority programs of Governor Josel Baac for the province of Kalinga.

"Our province is a member of the club 20 and we are only dependent on our Internal Revenue Allotment but upon my assumption to office last June, I really intensified the implementation of infrastructure projects and even made an improvement in the management of our hospitals," said Baac who is also the newly appointed chairman of the Regional Development Council.

According to Baac, per their consultation with the constituents, the delivery of basic health services remains to be their primary concerns.

He also noted that there are still many people in Kalinga who are not Philhealth members. This is why they made it as a policy for indigent families, certified by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), to be given free health services in the provincial hospital.

For poverty reduction, Baac shared that their priority now is to create a ‘Pumiya-an’ council which will oversee that all poverty reduction and other social programs, from the national line-agencies and the provincial government, will go to the right beneficiaries.

"Through the council, we will also have a convergence of all the poverty reduction and social programs to be implemented in the municipalities. We already identified four pilot barangays in every municipalities. These are among the poorest barangays which we will enroll to Philhealth, so that they can avail of the government’s health programs," Baac said.

On peace and order situation, Baac stressed that they have already drafted a Comprehensive Peace and Order plan for the province for the next five years.

"We cannot also deny that among the provinces in the Cordillera, Kalinga was identified as among those which does not have a stable peace and order condition, but generally Kalinga is a peaceful place and that there are even municipalities like that of " Baac said.

On issues of tribal war, Baac lamented that once there is an incident of violence, it is often reported as tribal war -related but that is not always the case.

He is appealing to his constituents that when there is a misunderstanding, they should not get easily steamed up as there is a Bodong council that could initiate a proceeding for any bodong related cases.** Lito Dar/PIA)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Tabuk LGU employees get belated Christmas gift

PALAY CHECK TECHNOLOGY. This planter in the rice farm of Kagawad Honorio Clemencia in Burayucan, Balong, Tabuk City shows that under the Palay Check, the newest and most comprehensive rice technology being promoted by the government, it is enough to plant one to two plants per hill when planting hybrid rice varieties. This is to avoid waste and also to maximize the tillering capacity of hybrid rice. **Photo by Estanislao Albano Jr.

TABUK CITY, Kalinga – Contrary to earlier belief that due to the financial woes it is going through, the Tabuk City LGU will be unable to give the Productivity Enhancement Incentive (PEI) to its employees, the workforce of the LGU received a belated Christmas gift last week.

This was made possible after the LGU realized a savings of P3.7M from the unfilled positions in the LGU plantilla which was consequently realigned by the Sangguniang Panglungsod (SP) so that it could be given to the employees as PEI.

The PEI granted to Tabuk City employees was however lower than the maximum amount of P10,000.00 authorized by President Benigno Aquino III under Administrative Order No. 3 on November 25, 2010.

The President said that the PEI was “in recognition of their collective participation in said fiscal and operational performance in FY 2010, and to motivate them towards sustained and improved productivity.”

Mayor Ferdinand Tubban and Vice Mayor Darwin Estranero had announced during the City Hall flag ceremony on January 3 that regular and casual employees of the LGU are entitled to P8,000.00 while those hired under job orders are to receive P6,000.00.

Estranero justified granting the PEI to job order employees saying that in the thinking of the SP and of Tubban, “as long as they are working here, they are considered employees of the LGU.”

Estranero also said that the PEI could not be given in time for the holidays because in its desire for employees to enjoy the bonus, the City Budget Office had looked into all possible sources for the PEI and was only able to submit the recommendation of the Local Finance Committee (LFC) to the SP on December 28.

Estranero related that the SP acted favorably on the recommendation of the LFC the following day but by then it was too late to prepare the payroll in time for the employees to enjoy the extra bonus during the holidays.

The Human Resource Management Office (HRMO) made it clear that under Budget Circular No. 2010-3 of the Department of Budget and Management, to be entitled to the P8,000.00 PEI, a regular or casual employee should have been in the service as of November 30, 2010.

The HRMO also said that for job order employees, to be entitled to the full amount of P6,000.00 they must be still in service on November 30, 2010 and must have accumulated four months of service whether broken or continuous as of that time.

Under the guidelines, employees who have rendered less than four months of service as of November 30, 2010, shall also be entitled to the PEI on pro-rated basis.

The Tabuk City LGU has been beset with financial difficulties on account of the reversion of its internal revenue allotment from that of a city to that of a municipality on June 2009.**By Estanislao Albano, Jr.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Kalinga PHO reports 8 firecracker victims

TABUK, Kalinga, Jan. 5 (PIA) -- The Provincial Health Office (PHO) reported eight victims from firecracker during the Christmas and new year revelries..

Records at the PHO showed that four ases came from Tabuk, two in Rizal; and one each in Pinukpuk and Balbalan. All suffered blasted and lacerated fingers with one patient in Rizal to possibly loss three fingers from severe blasted wounds.

According to the PHO report, most of the injuries this year originated from "piccolo" type of firecrackers, despite the tight monitoring and inspection conducted by the police on the sale of illegal firecrackers, here.

"Picollo" is among the types prohibited for sale because of its high explosive power that could cause serious injuries. Police sources claimed the source may have sneaked the supply to Tabuk.

Department of Health Sec. Ona issued the White Alert status to all government hospitals in the country for the period December 21-January 5 to keep watch on firecracker victims.

The first firecracker injury in Kalinga was a 10 year old boy who was treated for superficial burns last December 27.

There was no reported case from tetanus since all of the patients were immediately provided proper treatment as soon as they arrived at the hospitals.

Kalinga Provincial Epidemiology and Surveillance Officer (PESO) Jose Pardito Jr. said that as part of the yearly campaign to prevent injuries and losses to property and life, the Department of Health had launched the Oplan Iwas Paputok campaign for the Christmas and New Year celebrations.

This campaign he said encourages the public to be aware of the hazards like burns, tetanus infection, blindness loss of limbs and lives due to pyrotechnics accidents to also ensure that no property is destroyed during the holidays.

Parents and guardians he said play a vital role in the observance of this campaign since they are the ones directly involved in looking after the welfare of their children.

As part of the massive campaign, the Bureau of Fire Protection Kalinga have also conducted their own information education campaign to prevent fire during the holidays discouraging the use of fire crackers, fireworks and gunfire since these could ignite fire.

On the eve before New Year, fire trucks were also used as they went around the capital town reminding the public to take the necessary measures to avoid disaster. (PIA Kalinga)

Kalinga organizes blood council

TABUK, Kalinga, Jan.7 (PIA) – Gov. Jocel C. Baac just issued this week an executive order organizing the Provincial Blood Council (PBC) and its composition.

In his order, Baac enjoined municipal mayors to constitute the same body at their levels to help in the implementation of the blood council programs.

Creation of blood councils at the local level is mandated under Republic Act 7719 or known as National Blood Services Act of 1994 that promotes voluntary blood donation to provide adequate supply of safe blood and regulation of blood banks.

The council acts as governing body of blood services organizations and other blood services networks established in various parts of the country.

In Kalinga, the governor acts as chair of the council with the sangguniang panlalawigan health committee chair as vice-chair. Other members come from the health sector, religious, identified government agencies, private sector representatives, and media.

Among the major functions levied upon the Kalinga blood council include acting as advisory body in the formation and maintenance of local facilities related with blood services, promote voluntary blood donation activities, and participate in donor recruitment.

Draft plans for the blood services program, monitor its implementation and lobby for budget allocation.

The council shall oversee the over-all operation and maintenance of blood services and work to institutionalize the program.

Representatives present during the organizational meeting shared their experiences about the significance of having ready supply of blood, especially in emergency cases and how the facility has prevented deaths.

They are one in informing and educating the people on blood donation and make them understand that donating blood is not bad for the health, rather it gives health advantage to the donor.

Maintaining adequate supply of safe blood is crucial to a place like Kalinga where high cases of diseases that require blood transfusion like dengue occur.**Larry Lopez/ PIA-Kalinga

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Tabuk City barangay officials, students mobilized for environmental concerns

By Estanislao Albano, Jr.
ROAD CLEANING-- Tabuk City college students belonging to the Youth Community Service Club (YCSC) conducted a clean up of the roadsides of Bulanao and Bulanao Norte on December 19. Organized by the Sangguniang Panlungsod Committees on Environment, Natural Resources and Energy and on Youth Development, the YCSC is a partner of the Tabuk City LGU and its barangays in carrying out environmental-related activities such as road cleaning, tree-planting and soil and water conservation.**Photo by Estanislao Albano, Jr.

TABUK CITY, Kalinga – The Environment, Natural Resources and Energy Committee of the Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP)  has mobilized key sectors in the community particularly barangay councils and  college students towards the attainment and maintenance of a healthy environment in the city.

On December 14, the committee called the newly elected barangay officials to a meeting at the City Hall to orient them on and encourage them to  implement existing environment-related ordinances  in their barangays as well as to elicit from them their environmental concerns.
 Aside from the environment ordinances of the city which City Environment and Natural Resources Officer Patricia Abibico explained, the ordinances of the province mandating regular cleaning in barangays and public elementary and high schools were also taken up during the meeting.

One agreement arrived at during the meeting is for a simultaneous cleaning in all 42 barangays from 8 to 12 noon of the second Saturday of January 2011 which is in line with Provincial Ordinance Number 2006-008 which mandates barangays to conduct community cleaning once every quarter.  
 To solve the problem of people in vehicles dumping garbage along roads in the city during the night, the committee decided to propose to the SP the passage of a resolution urging the provincial government to enforce its ordinance prohibiting and punishing such act.

Committee Chairman Antonio Bakilan said that if the provincial government cannot enforce the ordinance, that’s the time the  SP will “see how we can discipline these garbage throwers.”
 Regarding the request of Laya West kagawad Joey Lagmay that quarrying along the Chico River should not just be confined in upstream barangays but include Laya West so that the river water will have a path during heavy rains and not flood parts of the barangay, Abibico advised affected barangays to pass ordinances on proper quarrying and also to report their problem to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.  
 Regarding the problem of the garbage at the city dump site at Basao, Dilag finding their way to the nearby Aliog Creek during rains, Abibico said that if only the public would practice proper waste segregation in their homes, only the residual waste will be brought to the dump site thereby reducing the volume of garbage deposited there.

Abibico also informed the committee and the barangay officials that the city government has already warned hospitals in the locality against the practice of disposing their hazardous waste in the Dilag dump site because, according to the law, there should be  exclusive receptacles for these.

During the meeting, Bakilan also informed the barangay officials of the ordinance recently passed by the SP mandating national government agencies and government owned and controlled corporations intending to implement projects which tend to adversely affect the environment to consult with the city government.
He urged the barangay officials to ask the proponents for proof that their project has already been cleared by the city government otherwise they should not allow the projects to proceed.

Bakilan told  the barangay officials to be wary because the proponents who are motivated by personal interest usually employ glib talk and play down the dangers their projects will bring to the environment.
 Bakilan said that the SP just turned down the request of two mining firms to explore for minerals in several barangays in the city “because the harm they will bring will be more than the good they will bring.”
 The committee along with the Committee on Youth Development of which Bakilan is vice chairman is also tapping the youth in the maintenance of a healthy environment through the  organization of the Youth Community Service Club (YCSC).

The YCSC  aims among others to “develop insight and concern about the perennial problems of our community and people” and to “evolve commitment and consequently, involvement in the solution” of these problems.

According to Bakilan, the YCSC will be involved in the cleaning of public places, tree-planting, water and soil conservation and even in non-formal education.
 The first set of officers of the YCSC  headed by its president Rosalyn Lao-ang of the C-ACT were inducted on December 18,2010. 

 During the same occasion, the club also formulated their action plan for the coming year after which they conducted roadside cleaning in Bulanao and Bulanao Norte and planted trees at the Provincial Capitol grounds.**