26 October 2005


Editor's Note

To our dear readers and kabaleyan: In our desire to serve you better, we are launching today The Pangasinan Star Online website (http://www.freewebs.com/pangasinanstar). However, we will still maintain and update this blog for those who would want to access our back issues in the archives section. Thank you very much for bearing with us. -- The Editors



PCSO denies Loterya firm’s accreditation

Stumped by revelation, BM Manoy junks authorship

LINGAYEN – The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) admitted that the Small Town Lottery (STL) is still in the conceptual stage and that the agency has not accredited anybody or any group to implement the same.

This was disclosed by Earneli Dancel, operating officer of the PCSO in Urdaneta City, who was surprised to learn that a private company is already seeking to operate STL to be known as “Loterya ng Bayan” in the entire province of Pangasinan.

The Numbers Numbers Co. Inc. (NNCI) based in Makati City wrote the provincial board here September 26 this year seeking the passage of a resolution to authorize it to operate LNB in Pangasinan on experimental basis yet.

Dancel spoke during a public hearing conducted by the committees on Monetary and Economic Affairs and Public Services, and Rules, Laws, Ordinances and Privileges of the Provincial board on the proposed resolution sought by NNCI.

“The STL is still non-existent yet, sic being only imaginary,” Dancel said, as she questioned the alleged misrepresentation by NNCI, through its provincial coordinator Rolando Dee, a business man from Mangaldan, Pangasinan.

She denied NNCI’s claim that it was already granted accreditation by the PCSO but she bluntly told members of the provincial board that “only if you pas a resolution authorizing the operation of Loterya ng Bayan by Numbers Numbers Co. Inc. can we grant such accreditation.”

Moreover, Dancel declared that there is no truth to the claim of Dee that NNCI is already operating LNB in Makati City or in any part of the country, simply because STL, is still a concept being studied thoroughly by PCSO.

Based on Dancel’s admission, Provincial Board Member Emmanuel Carancho withdrew his resolution seeking to authorize the company to operate the LNB in Pangasinan. His withdrawal finally booted out an attempt to introduce another numbers game in Pangasinan that would likely take the place of the illegal “jueteng” which already grounded to a halt in most parts of the country.

Carancho cited newspaper reports that even Gov. Victor Agbayani is against the move to make Pangasinan as the experimental base for a new numbers game.

Even the lawyer of NNCI, Cesar Cariño, failed to answer questions raised by board members as to what kind of business NNCI is into.

Board Member Angel Baniqued brought out a copy of the articles of incorporation of the company filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission that stated it is into technology provider services and not into numbers game.

Observers hailed the action of the provincial board on the matter because even Archbishop Oscar Cruz of the Lingayen-Dagupan archdiocese is opposed to the operation of LNB, which he believed is “a clone” of jueteng. (PNA)

Notorious drugs inmate bolts jail anew

LINGAYEN – Two provincial jail guards of Pangasinan are now in hot water in connection with the escape from their custody of a notorious drug dealer, with both local and international connections, whom they escorted to attend the trial of his case at the Regional Trial Court in Dagupan City last Wednesday.

Provincial Jail Guard II David Motas, 60, and Provincial Jail Guard I Renato Mendejar, 59, are now undergoing rigid questioning from joint investigators of the police and the National Bureau of Investigation following the escape of Jimmy Daru Lumna, alias “Larry Lumna” and “Jimmy Daru”, 56, a native of Marawi City but residing in Bonuan, Dagupan City. Provincial Administrator Virgilio Solis, Jr. said the two guards are likely to be charged with infidelity in the custody of a prisoner, separate from administrative charge that will be slapped on them.

It was the second time Lumna, a high profile prisoner of the Provincial Jail in Lingayen, escaped from his jail guards. The first was on Nov. 5, 2002, also after coming from the RTC branch in Dagupan City where he also attended the trial of his case.

Lumna, a former sergeant of the defunct Philippine Constabulary and with strings of cases of illegal drugs in Dagupan City, Lingayen and Manila, and also carnapping cases, was captured march 8, 2003 during a raid in a house in Quiapo, Manila by agents of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency.

Initial investigation showed that Lumna reportedly asked Motas and Mendejar to remove his handcuff in one hand to enable him to piss. And once they did, he ran away towards the adjacent Muslim community where he vanished.

The incident happened at 10 a.m. but the two guards only reported the matter to the Police Community Precinct in Bonuan at 11:40 a.m. and to their superior, Acting Provincial Jail Warden Rogelio Paglingayen at 1:30 p.m. that day.

Paglingayen took to task the two guards because it appears they were only three meters away from Lumna and apparently did not shoot him in the legs when they saw him already running away.

Motas was armed with a Cal. 9mm. pistol. Mendejar had his Cal. 38 service pistol.
The two guards brought Lumna to Dagupan City hours before by commuter bus because the only vehicle of the provincial jail was towed days before to the repair shop. Two teams were formed by Paglingayen, seven men to each time, to track down Lumna from where he is known to seek refuge, and to bring him back to prison within 15 days. (PNA)

Herons, egrets in ponds are migratory birds

PANGASINAN safe from infected migratory birds? Think again.

The province may yet be a potential place for a breakout of the deadly avian flu due to droves of migratory birds landing in middle of fishponds here in order to forage for food.

Westly Rosario, chief of the National Integrated Fisheries and Technology Development Center (NIFTDC), confirmed that droves of migratory birds such as egret and heron are foraging for food in shallow fishponds in Dagupan City and Pangasinan most often.

With their white color, these thin, long-legged and long-beaked birds, can be readily seen from afar as they feed on fish from almost drying fishponds at this time of the year.

Some of these are in fact seen in fishponds along the Lingayen-Dagupan-Binmaley road, especially in tracks of fishpond lands a few meters from the town proper of Binmaley.

In the past, people hunted these birds for food but since reports of the avian flu came out, people have been told to stay away from these birds.

Pangasinan and Dagupan City may yet be another sanctuary for migratory birds in the country because the fish being raised in fishponds serve as food for them.

The egrets and herons used to fly in flocks to the Philippines from the northern region of the world at this time of the year to escape the winter cold and temporarily migrate to tropical areas.

Officials said if only one or two of these migratory birds carry the dreaded avian flu, they could already spark a full-blown epidemic.

A report said there is also a bird sanctuary in the Hundred Islands, not only for local birds but also for migratory birds.

P1.084 B outlay proposal covers new dev’t programs

LINGAYEN – Governor Victor E. Agbayani stressed the need to continue innovations and reforms, strengthen existing programs, and forge new partnerships with the private sector to eventually win the war against poverty in the province.

“We shall continue to build further on our achievements in agriculture, infrastructure, human resources development, population and health care, education, tourism, investment, trade and other areas of development,” Agbayani said in his budget message to the Sangguniang Panlalawigan.

The governor expressed optimism that the province will be able to “kick-start new engines of growth” with the proposed annual budget for fiscal year 2006 amounting to P1,084,333,320.00 or P83.70 million higher than this year’s budget.

He said more programs and projects will be pursued in agriculture, infrastructure, environment conservation, population management, health and nutrition, trade and tourism, low-cost housing and livelihood projects for marginal families.

“It is also imperative for us to put in place more realistic and sustainable programs to make our people more economically productive and self-sufficient,” Agbayani said.

This means, he said, that the province will further strengthen and expand its Provincial Livelihood Assistance Program, Gender and Development Program, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Program, and the Goat Breeding and Trading Program.

Next year’s budget shall be derived from P49.23 million projected tax revenues and P1.03 billion from general income accounts.

Out of the total budget, the amount of P474,486,545.00 is allocated for personal services such as salaries and wages, clothing allowance, insurances, year-end bonus, cash gifts and other benefits.

The proposed budget for maintenance and other operating expenses totals P607,479,275.00, while P2,367,500.00 has been set aside for capital outlay.

The rest of the 2006 budget has been earmarked as development fund, P322,795,000.00; calamity fund, P54,216,665.00; and other non-office accounts, P164,012,120.00. (Jennifer Domantay/PIO)

Church flayed for opposing legal lottery

LINGAYEN – The church is not the government.

This was how Vice Governor Oscar Lambino reacted to the strong opposition of Archbishop Oscar Cruz of the Lingayen-Dagupan archdiocese to the application of a Makati-based company to operate a “Loterya ng Bayan” in Pangasinan on experimental basis.

Lambino said the application of the Numbers Numbers Co., Inc. was referred to three committees in the provincial board which are to conduct a provincewide consultation to determine the pulse of the people on the issue.

Despite the objection of the archbishop, the provincial board will seek the opinion of as many people as possible before forming a decision on the issue, Lambino declared.

Stressing that there is a separation of the church and the state, Lambino said: “We (in the provincial board) make decisions based on facts that we see and hear.”

He said the opinion of Archbishop Cruz, including the pastoral letter that he issued which was read in the pulpits of churches and chapels of the archdiocese last Saturday and Sunday, will also be considered by the provincial board.

“I think the committees will invite personalities, including Archbishop Cruz, to shed light on the Loterya ng Bayan,” Lambino said, adding that in his opinion, the Loterya is not jueteng, contrary to the claim of the prelate.

Lambino said that in Cruz’ various media pronouncements and in his pastoral letter, he called the ‘Loterya Ng Bayan’ the same as jueteng, which has already grounded to a halt in many parts of the country.

“It (Loterya ng Bayan) is not jueteng. It is a small town lottery. It is sanctioned by the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office and therefore is not illegal,” Lambino stressed.

The vice governor, however, did not dispute the archbishop’s assertion that all kinds of gambling are not moral and that not all legal games are moral.

Lambino sees ‘Loterya ng Bayan’ as the possible means by which those displaced by the stoppage of jueteng could have a chance to be given livelihood again. (PNA)

NMIS advises meat buyers

By Venus May H. Sarmiento

BUYERS and consumers are advised to be vigilant in choosing meat and to vigorously monitor sanitation safeguards for meat and meat products.

The National Meat Inspection Service (formerly National Meat Inspection Commission as amended in RA 9296) has advised the public to be selective in buying pork, beef and chicken meat.

Buyers should always look for the “NMIS” mark or check the meat inspection certificate to be sure these are safe to eat and properly handled, it said. Meat products with the seal indicate these were taken out from slaughterhouses where ante-mortem inspection allows the animals to be inspected while still alive for any sign of disease or harmful health condition.

NMIS meat control officer II, Dr. Cherry Ann Teano-Javier said, another way of detecting meat safe for consumption is through ‘organoleptic examinatin’. This means the use of sight, touch, smell and eventually, taste, to determine a good meat. A good meat is somewhat reddish (‘mamula-mula’), its surface not slimy and generally has no bad odor.

Without these indicators, the produce may fall under the ‘hot meat’ category.

Contrary to what many people think, a refrigerated or chilled meat is still fit for consumption. The chilling process prevents microbes and bacteria from forming, Javier said.

‘Double-dead meat’, those which are darkened or purplish in color, are considered unfit because bacteria thrives in the blood of so-called ‘double-dead’ animals. Vendors found to be selling un-inspected meat (meat without seal) may have to face confiscation of products.

These confiscated products, once examined and found to be still fit for consumption, may be donated to charitable institutions, Javier said.

As for barangayfolk who wish to sell meat products in their barangay, they are advised to secure permits from their barangay captains who would in turn, call on local meat inspectors to check on and guarantee the safety of the meat.

Javier was guest in Thursday’s Pantontongan Tayo radio program jointly sponsored by the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) and the Consumernet group of the Department of Trade Industry aired live over station DZRH Dagupan every Thursday. (VMHS-PIA)

BFAD: It’s gov’t docs in the suspected list

NOW, it’s out, partially at least, from the BFAD’s mouth.

An official of the Bureau of Food and Drug (BFD) of the Department of Health tagged some government doctors as the ones patronizing fake and or counterfeit medicines coming from dubious sources.

Reynaldo Jacinto, chief of the regulations and enforcement division of the BFAD in Region I, said the government physicians source out, prescribe and dispense the fake and or counterfeit medicines to their patients.

Jacinto said these doctors are currently employed in government hospitals not only in Pangasinan but also in the entire Ilocos Region.

He stopped short of naming the doctors concerned.

Some of the hospitals where these erring doctors are allegedly working are the Region I Medical Center in Dagupan, Pangasinan Provincial Hospital in San Carlos City, Western Pangasinan District Hospital in Alaminos City and the Don Amadeo Perez Memorial District Hospital in Urdaneta City.

The BFAD had been actively operating in the province of Pangasinan for months due to reports that the province is a dumping ground for fake and counterfeit medicines coming from other regions, including Metro Manila.

Jacinto was invited by Provincial Board Member Dionisio Villar during the question hour of the provincial board to know from him names of the doctors supposedly directly dealing with manufacturers and distributors of fake and or counterfeit medicines.

Also invited were the chiefs of these government hospitals where the alleged erring doctors work.

Villar said Jacinto should name names because if he does not, all doctors in the four government hospitals in Pangasinan that he mentioned are suspects. “He should name names, otherwise all his revelations are nothing if those who violated the law are not prosecuted,” he said.

Observers said these doctors can also be cited for malpractice if they are found to be prescribing and dispensing fake and or counterfeit medicines.

Jacinto said it is mostly to out-patients that the fake and or counterfeit medicines are being prescribed and dispensed by these doctors for them to earn money and boost their usually meager take-home pay.

He said that under the country’s Generics Law that was passed when Alfredo Bengzon was still secretary of health, doctors can only prescribe medicines and not dispense them.

NFA boosts farmers’ selling, buying options

By Venus May H. Aquino

THE National Food Authority, western Pangasinan branch has brought more than 2,000 bags of palay, 188 of these procured under the Farmer’s Option To Buy Back (FOBB).

Under the FOBB program, the NFA procures palay directly from farmers and farmer cooperatives to serve as buffer stock for food security and stabilization purposes but with farmers/cooperatives option to buy-back almost the same volume of stocks they sold to the agency within a specified period.

NFA Manager Arturo Figueroa explained that the program is the agency’s response to individual farmers’ or farmer organizations’ immediate need for cash. This provides farmers the opportunity to buy-back the stocks they had previously sold to NFA, net of shrinkage within six months or one cropping cycle and when palay prices in the market increase significantly above the government support price, thereby maximizing income from their produce.

Figueroa added that by availing of the government support price, the farmers are assured of a reasonable and favorable return for their investment, thus encouraging increased production.

At the same time, the food agency’s western Pangasinan office said it has started its palay-buying this October with a support price of P10/kg as delivery fee, P0.15kg as drying fee and P0.25/kg as cooperative development incentive fee (CDIF).

This makes the NFA’s effective buying price at P10.50/kg for farmer’s organization/cooperative and P10.25/kg for accredited individual farmers.

Figueroa added that for this harvesting season, the branch has prepared its mechanical dryer consisting of a six-ton capacity Shen Heung Dryer, Maruyana dryer and a mobile dryer in its Alaminos City and Mangatarem warehouses to enable farmers to dry their newly harvested palay crops.
Farmers’ cooperatives in Alaminos have already availed of the use of dryer facilities with a total of 250 bags of palay at a minimal fee. Farmers are also given priority access to NFA’s storage, milling, drying, threshing, transporting and weighing facilities at reasonable service rates. (Venus May H. Sarmiento/PIA-Ilocos

Amok shot dead after killing 3, wounding 2 in Ilocos Sur

STA. LUCIA, Ilocos Sur – A farmer who ran amuck was shot dead in barangay Namatikan here Friday, shortly after hacking and stabbing three persons and seriously hurting two others, according to the police.

Senior Inspector Felimon Pacios, police chief of Sta. Lucia, identified the slain amok as Eduardo Habon, 51, of barangay Cabaritan, who was armed with a 14-inch sharp bolo.

The hacking and stabbing spree started at around 5 a.m. that day when Habon went to the house of Onofre Halaman, 44, another farmer, and without any provocation repeatedly stabbed him in different parts of body that caused his instant death.

After killing Halaman, Habon continued his rampage in adjacent barangay Namatikan. Habon crossed a river to go to his brother’s house where he chanced upon his sister-in-law, Olivia Habon, as she was washing clothes.

He stabbed the girl too without any provocation, also killing him instantly.
In his escape, the amok saw Olivia’s 12-year old daughter Mary Jane and stabbed her in the chest, piercing her heart.

When Joseph Habon, 16, tried to come to the rescue of his mother and sister, the amok stabbed him in the breast but not seriously.

Glem Mar Habon, 14, a cousin of Joseph and Mary Jane was also attacked by the suspect, inflicting wounds in Glen’s stomach.

Both the injured are recuperating at the Holy Family Clinic in Candon City. (PNA)

Alaminos diocese marshal’s help for distressed OFW

BUGALLON – Bishop Jesus Cabrera of the Alaminos Diocese in Pangasinan is personally spearheading a fund-raising drive for a distressed Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW), now on her almost three-month of hospitalization in Amman, Jordan.

Cabrera, in a talk to newsmen at the Salasa Catholic Church, said they launched a diocesan-wide fund raising campaigns because of the pitiful plight of OFW Jennifer Perez, 23, from barangay Bisucol in Alaminos, whom he considers as “daughter of the diocese”.

Perez, an education graduate who already passed the teachers’ board examination, was confined at the Ibn Al-Haytham Hospital in Amman where she was operated on for fractured neck and pelvic bones after she fell from the second floor of her employer’s house on July 20 this year, only on her second day of work as domestic helper.

According to the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration whose officer, Evelyn Larinang, is assisting Jennifer in Jordan, the OFW is now a little better than when she was first brought to the hospital but will become quadriplegic and would require a breathing machine for the rest of her life.

Cabrera said as of last April 14, Jennifer’s hospital bills had run up to U.S. $ 38,704.81 or P2.17 million. She could not be released from the hospital unless her bills are settled.

The bishop said this was not the first time that the Alaminos diocese involved itself in such a project, adding that there were many other OFWs whom they had assisted in the pat but not on diocesan-wide scale as in the case of Jennifer.

He said he knows Jennifer and her family very well, thus the diocese is extending such help to her.

“If you have a son or a daughter, it is but natural that you take good care of him or her than other children of other families. But if other also need help, we would also be responding,” Cabrera said.

Also in the press conference were Jennifer’s father Herminio, a businessman and former OFW; her mother, Lydia, a public school teacher; Bugallon Mayor Ricardo Orduña and representatives of the OWWA regional office.

Mrs. Perez said she wants her daughter repatriated to the Philippines as the girl had already told everything to police investigators when she regained her strengths that it was her employer who had pushed her from the second floor of the hose where she was working.

The Philippine embassy in Jordan has initiated legal proceedings against Jennifer’s employer, a certain Asaile Yousef Abetdat of Irbid, some 100 kilometers from the Jordianan capital of Amman.

Lomibao: Police not budging on CPR

MANAOAG – Philippine National Police Director General Arturo Lomibao said the police will continue to enforce the calibrated preemptive response (CPR) unless the law that provides the “no permit, no rally policy” is repealed.

Speaking to newsmen here after inaugurating the new P4.5 million police station cum tourist lounge of Manaoag town last Sunday said CPP is the application of the correct meaning of Batas Pambansa No. 880.
“We will never relax on CPR application. We can’t relax on implementing the law,” Lomibao said as he paraphrased the Latin maxim “Dure lex sed lex” (hard is the law but it is the law).

Lomibao said BP 880 actually explicitly provides the “no permit, no rally policy”, adding that those who tried to hold a rally at Mendiola on Oct. 14 had no permit in that area.

He admitted the rallyists had a permit only at Plaza Miranda and when they were already going home from a religious activity at San Sebastian Church, a group broke away and tried to cross Mendiola bridge which, according to Lomibao” is a “no rally zone”.

He said for as long as Congressmen Satur Ocampo, Tita Hontiveros and the other will not repeal the law (BP 880), “we will continue to apply it.”

Ocampo was one of those hosed down by firemen last Friday in the violent dispersal of the Mendiola rally. The other prominent persons in the group that allegedly broke away from the rest of rallyists and headed to Mendiola were former Vice President Teofisto Guingona, Senator Jamby Madrigal, former Pangasinan Gov. Oscar Orbos and running priest Fr. Robert Reyes.

The PNP chief said it is the Civil Disturbance Management (CDM) unit that enforces BP 880.

Lomibao said that when the ‘breakaway’ group dashed toward the police line and wanted to break through, they were stopped by the CDM elements who used the water canon on the surging crowd, drenching even former Vice President Guingona.

Bonuan dumpsite; WMD moving to make molehill of mountain

THE Waste Management Division is continuously consolidating and compressing the tons of garbage at the dumpsite in Bonuan Gueset to somehow extend the use of the facility until a suitable replacement is found. The activity has been going on since October 12.

WMD chief Reginaldo Ubando said the activity is part of the phased closure and rehabilitation of the dumpsite, and in preparation for the All Souls Day celebration.
“We are currently gathering the garbage in one area, then we will compact it. This is to decrease the rising of garbage at the dumpsite,” Ubando said.

Ronald De Guzman, environment management specialist, stressed that it is now noticeable that the mountainous garbage has shrunk, and some parts of the dumpsite have been cleared particularly near the cemetery in order to provide convenience to people going to the cemetery.

De Guzman said the continuous downpour last month made it difficult for WMD dumptrucks and payloaders to enter the dumpsite, thus the garbage was temporarily dumped near the entrance to the dumpsite. Part of the rehabilitation of the dumpsite, according to him, is “bio-remediation” in the area or the planting of various kinds of trees.

“These trees will effectively absorb the possible occurrence of toxins and leaches from the dumpsite,” De Guzman noted. He said the planting activities will start next week.

De Guzman added that the activity is also in compliance with the requirements of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to clear some areas at the dumpsite. (Sunshine D. Robles)

City farmers’ harvest bountiful


FARMERS of Dagupan City are now enjoying good harvests after availing of hybrid, registered and certified seeds from the Department of Agriculture (DA) through the assistance of the City Agriculture Office.

Hybrid rice, also called Ginintuang Masaganang Ani rice, increases production from an average inbred production of 5.5 metric tons to some 8-12 metric tons per hectare.

Farmers are encouraged to plant hybrid rice during dry season while registered/certified seeds are best planted in the wet season.

“Promotion of these seeds is a national program of the DA with the aim of increasing rice production and attaining food security,” City Agriculturist Emma Molina said.

Under the program, eight farmers from barangay Mangin availed of 20 kilos each of subsidized hybrid seeds while five farmers from barangays Caranglaan, Malued and Lucao bought registered seeds and another two purchased certified seeds.

The seeds coming from the DA are originally priced at P2.400 per bag (20 kilos) which is good for one hectare of riceland.

“It was then subsidized by the DA-Integrated Satellite Station Regional Field Unit I and the price decreased to P1,300 per bag until it was later sold at P650 per bag after it was subsidized by the provincial government in Lingayen through the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist,” according to Agricultural Technologists Tess Pascua.

Another agricultural technologist, Milagros Caoile, said farmers have always requested for the support of the government to provide supplemental irrigation such as shallow tube wells to improve their technology and increase production. (Sheila Aquino)

Fake Nestle brand sellers arrested

MALASIQUI – A giant food manufacturer in the country, with the help of lawmen, is running after a syndicate engaged in faking its products and distributing these to various small market outlets at cheaper prices.

Nestle Philippines launched the campaign to protect its products after four store owners inside the public market here were arrested by a composite team from the Presidential Anti-Crime Commission (PACC), Department of Trade and Industry and the Malasiqui police last week. Nestle Philippines complained that these stores were selling fake Nestle products, like coffee, milk, chocolate, juice drink and others, to the great prejudice of the company.

Now facing charges are Jessica Mendiguarin, Imelda Frias, Dionisia Salinas and Milagros Cabuang, owners of the stores from where the fake items were seized.

Superintendent Leopoldo Rivera said separate search warrants issued by a Manila regional trial court judge were issued on the four storeowners. Initially, the four store owners told the police that the fake Nestle products were distributed to them by a Chinese businessman from Manila whom they did not, however, identify.

Nestle said it had to resort to court action because the unabated manufacturing and distribution of fake products carrying the name of the company have affected the integrity of their own brands.

The DTI was asked to help in the operation because manufacturing of fake products or imitations constitute unfair trade practice and other trade law violations.

The PACC brought all the fake products to their headquarters for their own laboratory analysis while separate analysis on the fake products will also be undertaken by Nestle.

RP-Norway study to show fishkill prevention moves

A PHILIPPINE-NORWAY scientific study on aquaculture industry in the Philippines initially showed that some of the country’s biggest aquaculture area are fishkill-prone and require drastic reforms in present culture practices to avoid the problem.

The study, funded at 2.2 Norwegian Nok or P18 million, was launched early this eyar, targeting three pilot aquaculture areas, namely Dagupan City and Bolinao in Pangasinan and Taal Lake in Batangas.

The group used sophisticated equipment from Norway to determine the depth and the quality of water in conducting the study.

The fishkills, according to the study, would continue in Dagupan City because not only are the rivers very shallow but also because they are teeming with a big number of fish cages, pens and traps.

Dagupan already experienced three fishkills this year with possibly more coming, if present methods of culture being employed by fish farmers, upon the dictates of their financiers, will continue.

As of April when the study was conducted in Dagupan, there were 124 fish cages with two unopened; 553 fishpens with 126 unopened; 528 fish traps with 13 unopened; and 94 oyster farms with one unopened.

The fishpens and traps, the latter located in the middle of rivers, prevent the flushing out of dirty water to the sea in case of rise and fall of tides, the National Integrated Fisheries Technology Development Center (NIFTDC) said in a report.

The study team initially recommended the reduction of fishcages and pens as well as fish traps and the provision of wider navigational lanes in order to prevent the recurrent fishkills, thus allowing more breathing space for the fish.

NIFTDC said there should be more oyster farms in Dagupan since oysters are a good balancing factor in the water in order to prevent pollution.

A similar finding was noted in the aquaculture industry of Bolinao where water along the Caquiputan channel cluttered with fish cages for years now is virtually not moving anymore.

Fish cages, according to the NIFTDC, are preferable over floating in the water and can be moved from place to place.

The Center added that oyster raising and mussel farming were already introduced in the Caquiputan channel as complimentary activities to milkfish raising so they can help reduce pollution in the water.

Final recommendation of the study group, according to the NIFTDC chief, will be revealed in meetings to be conducted sometime next year among local government executives, their fishery officials and all stakeholders of the aquaculture industry.


Mario F. Karateka

MAKAPALEK lawari so paway na Hunta Probinsiyal (sangguniang panlalawigan) ed samay kerew na Numbers Numbers Company, Inc, nipaakar ed pamakurang komon na Loterya ng Bayan (LNB) diad Pangasinan. Maong labat ta walan naimbitaan da imay mangilalaman na Pilipin Tsariti Swipistik Opis dimad agawan komiti hiring na sanggunian, si Miss Earneli Dancel, ya akapangipaliwawa ya anggapo ni manaya so too o grupon anombraan odino binidbirla na PCSO ya mangipakurang na loterya ed anggan iner man a pasen ed bansa.

Walanin pantotongtongan labat odino paniksperimentoan ni labat manaya so onian loterya, onong ed PCSO, kanian mankelaw a tuloy imay biin opisyal na PCSCO noakin ibabagay Numbers Numbers Co. Inc, panamegley nen Rolando Dee na Mangaldan ya say grupo ra et walaan lay akredistasyon ed PCSO. Imbaga nin akaona na Numbers Numbers Co., Inc ya say Pangasinan so komaduan pasen ed bansa, akaonalay Makati City, no iner gaween so onaan a bola na loterya.

No tua tan walay letnegan na imbagay PCSO dimad komite hiring, walay misrepresentasyon sirin ya agawa ed sulat na NNCI ed hunta probinsiyal a bengat-bengat met ya inisponsoran nen Bord Mimber Emmanuel “Manoy” Carancho. Singa apalikdo lawari sirin so saray mapagalang ya opisyales na luyag.

Puwera labatlay Gobernador Biktor Agbayani a tampol ya angikuan ya ag nayarin gaween so Pangasinan ya paniksperimentoan ed satan a legal a sugal. “Sali yolaray arom a probinsiya,” kuay Mama Biktor ya insalitaan nen Probinsiyal Administrador ton si Boy Solis.

Agmet amo talagan makalusot so Loterya ng Bayan ta niman a pati si Bord Mimber Anghel Baniked et nanriserts metla manaya tan nalmoan ton say akarehistron linyay bisnis tonian kompanya et aliwan say pamakurang na loterya no ag ingen sananey ni.

Naldis si Dee na Mangaldan! No bilang galaw a “baseball” et ag aka-“first base” so Loterya ta pati si Manoy Karantso et biglan inmatras ed panisponsor to na panggaway eksperimenton galaw ed Pangasinan. Antoey di, did en da water, a kuandaray Kano.

Say aliketan a maong ed saya balet et si Arsobispo Oskar Krus ta singa insultometlan maong ed sikato lanti no sikaton mismon numero unon kalabay jueteng et diad solar to, aliling to,so kianakan na balon sibong na jueteng a tatawagen dan Loterya ng Bayan.

Agtayo kasisiguro balet met ta saray basalyos na sugal et tuloy-tuloy so pannononot da na medyos pian nabilay so sugal ya pakakalmoan daray masisilib tan masisiba iran opisyales.

EDITORIAL: E-VAT – Making the inevitable livable

THERE is no doubt the Expanded Value- Added Tax, that’s set to hit the entire spectrum of the country’s society, rich and poor, employed and unemployed, pro-Gloria and anti-Gloria on November 1 – ironically All Souls Day – is a measure the Arroyo government can’t do without, even if it wishes it can. This government as it is, needs all the revenue it can muster to answer for the varied and mounting needs of nation-building, if not just nation-maintaining. And the additional tax will surely give it a wider elbowroom to steer the ship of state economically.

If one were to read the signals from the center of power in the country, this bitter pill that imposes additional burden on all earning and buying citizens is – was – something it did silently wish to postpone until the Supreme Court finally decided to lift its suspension on the E-VAT implementation a week ago. Now, the GMA administration is left with no alternative but to impose the tax, notwithstanding the political cost it entails on Malacanang once the actual pain begins among the low-income and middle income groups.

It is just tragic that many Filipinos now are in so deep a desperation they can only believe anti-administration rhetorics and refuse to see how government think-tanks have toiled the past months just to ease the adverse effects of E-VAT. Among the “safety nets” -- all intended to brace the entire nation for the full impact of the revenue law – are the removal of the excise tax on all oil and energy products, a general discount on diesel fuel for PUJs, tight price monitoring on all prime commodities and fare discounts for students and senior citizens.

Surely, E-VAT will hurt. Certainly it will keep some leisure and ‘sin’ goods and services beyond the reach or enjoyment of ordinary income-earners. Of course it will lead to more misunderstanding between the governors and the governed; no one needs a crystal ball to predict that. But for those who can still maintain a little level-headedness amid all the trouble and confusion, E-VAT actually is a consumption tax, and that being so, everything rests on the individual or family to increase, maintain or decrease his/their level of expenses and consequently, level of comfort, to survive the “emergency.”

In a nutshell, one should only spend less, or within his means. That’s simple common sense. At least until everyone has recovered and the nation has gotten over the hump as Finance Secretary Gary Teves so optimistically put it.

OPINION: Watch your back when you ride on PUJs at night

Behn Fer. Hortaleza, Jr.

LAST Sunday, that is, the Sunday before this Sunday, we were witness to the unmitigated, barbaric, and totally criminal acts of a group of youth along barangay Mayombo (although the wild young thugs were probably from Puelay, a lady co-passenger of ours surmised) who probably have been doing the “crime” for kicks all this time and getting away with it.

A passsenger had just alighted from the Calasiao-bound jeepney we were riding on and just before the driver could start the vehicle again, a young, thin, hip-hop looking teener came up the rear of the jeepney and loudly called on his friends still on the other side of the street to join him. The driver naturally waited.

Suddenly, the teener took a half step inside and swung a fist right smack on the face of the man sitting at the nearest end of the jeepney’s rear. Blood quickly oozed from the mouth and nose of the guy, a rather heavyset man, who was too surprised to react.

Almost at the same time, we felt a slight nudge on our back as we sat a little diametrically across him and in a fraction of a second, the young lady seated also at the rearmost of the jeepney directly across the man who was just attacked, gave out a pained cry, shouted at the driver to speed away from the area as she had just been hit too on the shoulder by yet another thug.

When the punched and now bloodied man regained his senses, he looked out at his fleeing assailant across the street and moved as if to go down to chase him. We quickly dissuaded him because we noticed the young attacker had rejoined his “gang” and was raising both arms wildly in a gesture of victory like a Pacquiao who had just scored a stunning win. The man listened to us; had he tried to get even, he would have easily been beaten to a pulp by the possibly drug-crazed group.

* * * *
It was only after we had alighted from the jeepney at the Calasiao poblacion and on our way to our weekly presswork at Penpoint Press that we realized the slight nudge we felt on our back was actually the other attacker’s wild swing, perhaps intending to hit us but missed as we unconsciously moved a bit from where we sat to look out at the fleeing young thug after the man was hit. The hard punch landed instead on the poor lady to our left.

We asked the man if he wanted to go to the nearest police precinct but, perhaps dizzy from the punch and warily looking at all the blood on his mouth and nose, he declined and told us he just wanted to go home first.

* * * *
We can only wonder how many such incidents have been recorded in the police precinct blotter in the area by now. It’s highly improbable that was an isolated incident, seeing how the attackers did not seem to fear anyone and stayed on site seemingly itching to do more mayhem if a victim tries to fight back. They also seem to have a wily deception act to catch would-be victims off-guard before zapping them.

Any word from your cops, Col. Basbas?

We’ve lauded the PNP Dagupan for its twosome beat patrol along the busy sections of the downtown area being diligently implemented at daytime till now. But who’s watching the streets when darkness falls in this happy, bustling city of the North? Aye, there’s the rub!

OPINION: Take if from us: full-face helmets do save lives

The Pen Speaks
Danny O. Sagun

THE provincial jail got another blackeye with the escape a few days ago of a high-risk detainee, one Jimmy Daru (or Lumna as earlier reported), while being escorted for a trial at the Dagupan justice hall in Bonuan. Were his guards innocent or did they actually let him escape for a fee?

We thought the change in administration of that institution a year ago following alleged irregularities involving the former jail warden had brought changes for the better. Warden Paglingayen seemed incapable of instituting those reforms. It appears however that his hands just tied with bureaucratic mess and that the responsibility should be shared by the provincial administration which operates the jail.

The jail’s service vehicle had long been under repair, forcing the guards to transport the detainees scheduled for court trial thru the public transport system. That’s very risky but the jail officers could not do anything but make do with any available means. To think that some provincial government vehicles are seen in malls, cockpit arenas, resorts, etc. during weekends.

Such a simple but very important concern like the provision of a service vehicle for the jail cannot be solved by a provincial administration of such a big province? A pity!


SAFETY head gears, say helmets and hard hats save lives.

Take it from this writer who saw first hand how the safety helmet practically gave him another lease in life.

To our fellow drivers particularly motorbike riders, do not begrudge those LTO flying squads, police officers manning checkpoints and highway patrol group fieldmen if they flag you down for not wearing a helmet and impose a fine. Of course, we do not consent to the brusque manner some of them perform their job. In its entirety though, we motorists are just reminded to follow safety rules for our own protection by wearing headgears and seatbelts.

A friend riding a Honda Wave 125 who was sideswiped by a passenger jeepney somewhere in Narvacan, Ilocos Sur only suffered bruises and wounds because he was wearing a helmet. We were then with seven other motorcycle riders on our way to Laoag last summer which was cut short however because of that accident.

Before the incident, a relative, also riding a Wave 125, escaped death with his helmet when he met an accident somewhere in Barrera, barangay Pantal here in Dagupan. The impact and the thud on the pavement was such that he could have died there in an instant.

We recall how the budding career of our irat, Mix Estrada, as a police officer was cut short by a reckless driver of a passenger jeepney who sideswiped him somewhere in the Bonuan highway as he headed for home on his Yamaha Enduro. He suffered no bruises but the impact on his head ended his life. Wearing head gear during those days was optional and he used to wear nothing for his head but a hat. He might still be around if he was wearing a tough full-face helmet as myself and the two others mentioned above did when mishap hit.

Do not wear a so-so helmet for the sake of escaping the eyes of those LTO and police officers. The headgear should be tough, snugly fitted to the head and full-face. The half-face type may not protect your face and chin, only the top of your head. If I were wearing one of that stuff, our face could have been ripped off now because of the impact of the fall—head first, then right shoulder and arm as our bruises show and the scratches on the helmet.

There are reports that some LGUs are thinking of banning full-face helmets in their area because of criminal incidents perpetrated by motorcycle-riding men. We oppose that. There are other measures to deter criminals.

So put that helmet on your head always even for a short trip, even at night. It might be uncomfortable but it will save your precious life. Ditto with seatbelts for the four wheels.

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