More Baguio Trader News


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LA TRINIDAD, Benguet(PIA)-- Provincial officials expressed their opposition to the proposed separation of franchise on the distribution of electric power from the existing Benguet Electric


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BAGUIO CITY, Jan 13 (PIA) - - The health insurance coverage of Philhealth sponsored members under the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR) is extended up to December


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BAGUIO CITY, Jan. 10 (PIA)-- Department of Environment and Natural Resources(DENR)- Cordillera executive director Clarence Baguilat believes that the bill seeking the imposition of life


LA TRINIDAD, Benguet. Jan.9 (PIA)-- Environment protection will be a top priority of this vegetable producing province for the year 2012. Governor Nestor B. Fongwan said they will intensify the


BAGUIO CITY, Jan. 9 (PIA) - - The Department of Labor and Employment- Cordillera Regional Office (DOLE-CAR), through the inspections they made to 736 establishments in the different parts of the


BAGUIO CITY-- Department of Social Welfare and Development(DSWD) Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman commended the DSWD-Cordillera personnel Wednesday saying the regional office has ‘risen


BAGUIO CITY, Jan. 3(PIA)-- There is an urgent need to revive and to sustain the source of water which is necessity for the survival of all living creatures that include human, plants and

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Posted by: HELEN R. TIBALDO | March 29, 2010

Mt. Province – Some 618 children in Mt. Province will undergo a six-week Summer Preschool Education before they enter first grade for the school year 2010 – 2011. These are the children who have not attended any preschool classes specially in the barangays where there are no established preschool classes.

This is based on DepEd Order No. 8,s.2010 regarding Summer Preschool Education (SumPSE): A Strategy to Reach More Children in Less Time.

The order requires all grade one entrants to attend a six week summer preschool class which starts from April 12 to May 21, 2010.

It is provided in the order that permanent preschool teachers and grade one teachers with Early Childhood Education (ECE) trainings shall handle the summer preschool classes. They will be paid an honorarium of P4,500.00 to be charged against preschool funds.

A class shall have a minimum of 20 and maximum of 25 enrollees. For multi-grade schools, an enrolment of at least ten can be considered a class since the prescribed class size may not always be possible due to its location.

Based on the data submitted by DepEd Mt. Province, there are only two classes having 20 and 24 children and 33 classes having less than 20 children, the lowest of which is six.

In the multi-grade schools, there are nine classes with ten or more children per class and six classes with less than ten children.

Benilda M. Daytaca, Division Preschool Coordinator, said classes with less than the required number of children cannot be merged as one class since the children come from different barangays which are far from each other.

Daytaca said with the principle that no child should be left behind, she is hoping that these classes with less than the required number of children shall be considered. **Juliet B. Saley/PIA-MP

Posted by: HELEN R. TIBALDO | March 29, 2010

BAGUIO CITY – The Department of Agriculture, through its Bureau of Soils and Water Management, is continuously conducting cloud seeding operations, in an effort to bring in rains to the region and ease the effect of the El Niño weather phenomenon.

In the past two weeks, rains are already being experienced in the city and in some parts of the Cordillera region, although according to DA-CAR Information Officer Robert Domoguen the rains is not yet enough to combat climate change effect in the region’s agricultural sector.

“The cloud seeding operation is continuing, though we cannot get sufficient rain because there are no enough (seedable) clouds,” Domoguen said.

According to Domoguen, somehow the rain is beneficial to the city, in terms of its falling effect, as it washes out the haze that is now building up in the city’s atmosphere. As for the rains that were reported in some areas, Domoguen stressed that it could help the farmers with maturing crops, as they could reach the harvest time before El Niño further damages their crops. However, crops which are still in the developing stage are greatly affected, he said.

Domoguen also reported that the value of damages in the agricultural sector, due to El Niño is still increasing. For the region’s livestock sector, it is pegged at P6.28 million, for crops P29.82 million, while the damage in rice production is now about P67.5 million.

In terms of assistance, Domoguen stressed that DA-CAR is now proving antibiotics, dewormers, vitamins and vaccine assistance to affected livestock areas. For corn farmers, the DA is providing assistance in terms of small farm reservoir, shallow tube wells, antibiotics and fertilizers. For high value crops, the DA is helping in terms of vegetable seeds, ram pumps, hoses and spring developments.

Meantime, the department foresees stable prices for prime commodities, such as rice, chicken and fish in the second quarter of this year, as this comm

In a report submitted by DA Undersecretary Salvador Salacup last week to DA Secretary Bernie Fondevilla, it was reported that the department expects the supply of palay to reach 3.463 million metric tons (MT) in the April-June period.

According to Salacup’s report, with the demand expected at 3.303 million MT in the second quarter, the 3.463 million MT projection is more than enough to cover our national requirements for the period. ** Lito Dar/PIA

Posted by: HELEN R. TIBALDO | March 29, 2010

The Department of Foreign Affairs, Regional Consular Office- Baguio City (DFA-RCO-Baguio) is pleased to inform that it is now gearing up in issuing ePassports to replace the machine readable passports (MRP).

Upon the instruction of the Office of the Consular Affairs in Manila, the processing of the MRPs has been suspended today, 23 March 2010, to make way for the installation of the equipment required for the processing of the ePassports.

The security features of ePassport include a tamper-proof electronic microchip which stores the passport holder’s photograph and personal information. It also has an Automated Fingerprint Identification System which guards against identity theft and fraud. The ePassport is also provided with other features such as invisible personal information, letter-screen, microprinting, UV reactive ink and enhanced machine readable features using the biometric technology. Applicants are no longer required to bring photographs since they will have their pictures taken using the ePassport data capturing machines at DFA-RCO-Baguio.

Regular passport processing fee is at P950 while the expedited or overtime processing fee is at P 1,200.

The application for the ePassport is temporarily set to be processed on the 2nd week of April 2010. Further announcements will be made for more information.

Meanwhile, passport applicants are requested to proceed to the nearest RCO during the suspension of the operation of RCO-Baguio. **DFA Regional Consular Office

Posted by: HELEN R. TIBALDO | March 29, 2010

In order to implement a more effective campaign against HIV and AIDS in the country, the Department of Health (DOH) strongly urged that information on the modes of transmission, prevention and control of this disease be integrated in the curricula of all institutions of learning. The country’s HIV and AIDS situation has reached alarming proportions as it is now described as “expanding and growing”, from the previous “low and slow” and “hidden and growing” phases.

Health Secretary Esperanza Cabral noted that risk behaviors are high among males who have sex with males (MSM), people in prostitution and people who inject drugs (PWID). This was reflected in the 2009 Integrated HIV Behavioral Serologic Surveillance results. These groups are considered the most-at-risk populations (MARPs), while young adults, overseas Filipino workers, persons with multiple sex partners, and partners of those in the MARPs are considered as vulnerable. “Education is a potent weapon in combating this disease, hence the integration in school curricula is vital”, Cabral stressed.

To address the present situation, the Department of Education (DepEd), Commission on Higher education (CHED), and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) have all integrated HIV/AIDS issues and concerns in their respective plans and activities. Local government units are assisted by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) in establishing Local AIDS Councils and launching AIDS awareness activities. The DOH, Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and DILG have also entered into a Joint Memorandum Circular to operationalize the Regional AIDS Assistance Teams that will provide technical assistance to HIV prevention and control activities of LGUs. People living with HIV or the “Positive Community: are also conducting HIV education initiatives and forming support groups to other HIV-positive Filipinos and their families. Among the organizations leading this effort are the Positive Action Foundation Philippines Inc. (PAFPI), the PinoyPlus Association and BabaePlus Association.

Rule 2, Section 6 of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of RA 8504 or the National AIDS Prevention and Control Act of 1998 provides the rationale of HIV-related education and information campaigns. It indicates that “the provision of timely, adequate, appropriate and relevant HIV education and information shall empower persons and communities to think and act in ways that protect themselves from HIV infection, minimize the risk of HIV transmission and decrease the socio-economic impact of HIV/AIDS”.

Posted by: HELEN R. TIBALDO | March 29, 2010

More electric cooperatives are stronger than ever. This is shown in the latest results of the 2009 Categorization and Classification of the ECs released by the National Electrification Administration (NEA).

The categorization results show that the number of Category A+ and A ECs increased to 80 from 74 in 2008 while only 10 remained under Category E or non-complying. Eighteen ECs improved in their respective categorization while 82 and six maintained and retrogressed, respectively.

All 27 ECs belonging to Regions VII (Central Visayas), X (Northern Mindanao), XI (Davao Peninsula), and Caraga, attained an A+ rating, thus, earning the most outstanding performance as a region. This indicates a marked improvement from two regions (VII and XI) which were able to sustain exemplary performance to four in 2009.

“We congratulate the electric cooperatives for a remarkable performance for Calendar Year 2009. We are inspired by the impressive ratings of the ECs. It is, to a great extent, a demonstration of NEA’s commitment to service excellence and public governance as the agency aims for breakthrough results in the rural electrification program,” said Administrator Edita S. Bueno.

The criteria for the review and evaluation include amortization payment, system loss, collection efficiency, payment to generating companies and the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP), non-power cost, level of barangay energization and number of consumer-connections and result of financial operation.

The result on system loss is quite notable. Twenty-three ECs posted a single-digit system loss level, an increase from 19 in 2008. Cebeco III registered the lowest system loss of 4.08, the lowest recorded of an EC. Likewise, 71 other ECs recorded system losses which are within the cap of 14%, 22 of which are single digit.

On collection efficiency, 22 coops attained 100% level on top of the 63 which were within NEA standard of 95%. The marked improvement in collection performance resulted in an increase in the national average level of 95% from 94% in 2008.

It is worth mentioning that for the first time since the NEA restructuring in 2004, Lasureco, Tawelco, Suleco and Magelco of the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) are now included in the assessment for having complied with NEA requirements.

Meanwhile, 83 ECs are current in the payment of their power accounts, including five with restructured payment scheme while 88 ECs are current in their payments with NGCP of which seven have restructured accounts. All ECs in the Cordillera Autonomous Region (CAR), Regions VII, X, XII and Caraga are current in their power account payments.

In 2009, there are 91 ECs which achieved the 100% barangay energization level.

There are 99 ECs which earned the maximum point score of 10 for maintaining their expenditures within their approved non-power cost level. And, 85 ECs registered net margin before reinvestment.

On the classification of the ECs, the number of Mega Large increased to 57. Two Extra Large ECs, Laneco and Cagelco II, improved to Mega Large but one Mega Large, Quezelco I, retrogressed to Extra Large. Also, one Large, Fleco, became Extra Large and two Medium, Ifelco and Siarelco, progressed to Large. There are now six ECs that fall under Small Classification. ECs are classified according to the number of consumers they serve, sales they make and kilometers of line that they have constructed.

“All things considered, the NEA and ECs should remain as steadfast partners to ensure continuity of program implementation and to respond to the fast-paced environment in the energy industry. The Committee on EC Categorization and Classification shall undertake a review on the criteria to be more responsive and reflective of the obtaining circumstances in the cooperative operations. And finally, the 2009 result shall serve as basis for upward and downward implementation of per diems and allowances which shall take effect on 01 April 2010” Administrator Bueno added.

Posted by: DA Press Office | March 29, 2010

President Arroyo’s directive on the strict implementation of an improved set of biosecurity and quarantine protocols on imported goods will help the government strengthen its efforts in shielding Philippine agriculture from pests and diseases as well as other environmental and human threats, according to officials of the Department of Agriculture (DA).

DA Secretary Bernie Fondevilla said President Arroyo issued the directive during a recent Cabinet meeting to help the agriculture sector meet the challenges of a new global trading order, which calls for, among others, drastic cuts in tariffs on farm goods traded between and among countries belonging to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) starting this year.

Besides the Philippines , the Asean groups Indonesia , Malaysia , Brunei Darussalam, Thailand , Singapore , Vietnam , Myanmar , Laos and Cambodia . They also comprise the economies under the Asean Free Trade Area (AFTA).

“In line with the efforts of the Department to strengthen our quarantine and inspection measures on agriculture and fishery products entering our borders, the effectivity of the President’s directive will efficiently protect the country from the entry of agricultural and fishery pests and diseases as well as other human and environmental threats,” Fondevilla said. “This is as well, more cost effective and brings about the immediate disposal of problematic goods supposed to enter the country.”

Fondevilla said closer coordination between the DA and the Bureau of Customs in implementing the government’s improved quarantine and biosecurity protocols will not only help safeguard the welfare of Filipino farmers but consumers as well.

Such an effort was initiated, he said, on the watch of his immediate predecessor, then-Secretary Arthur Yap .

Last year, the DA issued a “harmonized” administrative order—AO No. 8—to standardize the business processes of DA regulatory agencies in approving the entry of imported goods.

This harmonized AO orders all agencies and bureaus issuing Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) clearances, formerly known as import permits to use a single or uniform form for application, clearance, inspection, and confiscation; and ensures that all import-related business processes will follow a unified procedure.

The harmonized AO was crafted based on the following objectives: to formulate a consistent and adequate legal administrative policy framework for SPS regulations to be effective and supportive of business; to develop transparent, firm-neutral, and simplified processes for enforcing SPS measures effectively; and to institutionalize effective and sustainable organizational, technical, and funding arrangements for SPS enforcement.

Besides issuing this order, the DA has also worked to automate applications and issuances of SPS Import Clearances, through the Bureaus of Plant Industry (BPI), of Animal Industry (BAI), and of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR).

Under this automated procedure, the issuance of veterinary, plant and fisheries import permits will be faster through processing via an Internet-based program.

The new system will use the standardized forms prescribed in the harmonized AO and will reduce the clearance process cycle time by allowing importers to prepare and submit their applications 24/7 online and allowing as well their subsequent online validation and approval by the concerned agency.

Before leaving the DA early this month, Yap had said the Department’s regulatory agencies will play a critical role in safeguarding the farm sector from pests and diseases, and consumers from unsafe food items, once new tariff cuts take place starting this year under AFTA.

The full implementation of the Common Effective Preferential Tariff (CEPT) scheme in AFTA at the start of 2010, was agreed upon in a series of Asean meetings that started way back in 1992 as a prelude to the proposed creation in 2015 of a single market with a common production base and free flow of goods in the region.

The Asean Economic Ministers (AEM) signed the Asean Trade in Goods Agreement (ATIGA), which consolidated and streamlined all CEPT agreements, in February last year. President Arroyo ratified ATIGA six months later and issued an executive order lifting by January 1, 2010 all customs duties on selected products coming in from, or being shipped to, other Asean member-countries.

Posted by: Joseph B. Zambrano | March 29, 2010

Two Persian students are this year’s Baguio Lucky Foreign Visitors (BLFVs) of Kafagway Summerbest and SUMVAC 2010.

The lucky foreign visitors are Leila Pouramoy, 26 years old whose father is a factory worker and Zohreh Ghasemi , 28 years old whose father is a construction worker. Both are single from Estehan City, Iran.

2The two are enrolled in Saint Louis University (SLU) taking up post graduate studies in Psychology.

Before enrolling in SLU both took a crash course in English at Viavox Language Center.

“We are indeed fortunate and surprised that we were chosen as lucky tourists in this beautiful city endowed with a cool climate and with warm and kind-hearted people,” said Leila and Zohreh.

The selection committee is composed of the President of the National Correspondents Club of Baguio (NCCB) Nars Padilla as Chairman, Northern Profile Publisher Gerry Evangelista Sr. as co-chair. Members are composed of Balita Correspondent Zaldy Comanda, DWIZ Reporter Romy Gonzales and Agence Free Press Correspondent Primo Agatep.

Padilla said the lucky foreign visitors will be billeted at Pines View Hotel which is one of the major sponsors.

The committee hopes the visitors will have a chance to see President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo where the first family by tradition spends the Lenten season in the City of Pines.

The five-day program for the BLFV starts on Wednesday, March 31 where the BLFV will be presented a symbolic key of the City of Baguio by Mayor Peter Rey Bautista. A ceremonial tree planting follows at the Rose Garden in Burnham Park and a city tour. The Benguet Electric Cooperative (BENECO) will tender a dinner during their first night.

On the second day, April 1, the lucky visitors will continue their tour around the city accompanied by the members of the NCCB.

On the third day, April 2 which falls on a Good Friday, the visitors together with the Baguio Elderly Association will go for a pilgrimage to the Shrine of the Brown Madonna in Km 7, Asin Road in Pacac, Tuba, Benguet . They will be treated to a picnic by 50’s Diner. Along the way, they will be a stopover at the BenCab’s Art Museum and the famous Ifugao woodcarving shops.

On the fourth day, April 3 will be a trip to La Trinidad, Benguet and for a tour and an opportunity to pick fresh strawberries. They will be hosted by Governor Nestor Fongwan and Mayor Artemio Galwan.

On their last day, April 4, they will visit Our Lady of Lourdes Church and will attend an Easter Sunday Sunrise holy mass at the Burnham Lake before they will be sent off.

Posted by: Joseph B. Zambrano | March 29, 2010

The Commission On Elections (COMELEC) reminds all national and local candidates for the automated and synchronized May 10, 2010 elections to observe the rules and regulation implementing on the fair election practices.

Regional Director Julius Torres said that it is unlawful for any person, whether or not a voter or a candidate, or for any political party or association of persons to engage in an election campaign or partisan political activity on April 1, Maundy Thursday; April 1 Good Friday in the observance of the holy week.

On the sizes of election paraphernalia such as pamphlets, leaflets, cards, decals and stickers or other written or printed materials, these should not exceed eight and one-half inches (8 ½”) in width and fourteen inches (14”) in length.

Posters made of cloth, paper, cardboard or any other material, whether framed or posted, with an area should not exceed two feet (2’) by three feet (3’).

All political parties, party-list groups, organizations and independent candidates should coordinate with the COMELEC where the designated common poster areas should be located. They may put up at their expense a common poster area wherein they can post, display or exhibit their election propaganda to announce their candidacy.

Torres said that there a task force created to tear down and remove all unlawful election materials compose of the Election Officer as Chairman, the Philippine National Police (PNP) Vice Chairman, and a third member belonging to any of the deputized agencies of the Commission.

The task force shall tear down and remove campaign propaganda materials posted in public places outside the common poster areas and illegal campaign materials wherever posted or displayed.

“We are also asking the members of the media to be fair and accurate in reporting any related election news, not to suppress facts or distort the truth and air significant newsworthy events and views on matters of public interest,” Torres said.There are unwritten rules the COMELEC is asking the candidates according to Torres. An aspirant should be sensitive enough in using mobile public address not too loud which may earn the ire of the public.

Campaigning should be based on issues and platform of governance. No personal matters against the rival candidates and no mudslinging. They should watch out their words in public rally, no scandalous and libelous comments on their opponents, Torres added.

Posted by: Lito Dar | March 29, 2010

Six graduating high school students from the Cordillera region successfully passed the entrance examination for their Education Development Scholarship Program (EDSP) for School Year 2010 according to the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration Regional Welfare Office (OWWA-CAR).

OWWA Acting Regional Director Evelyn Laranang said the six successful examinees, who took their exams last November 15, 2009 can now enroll in any four or five-year baccalaureate course, of their choice, in any schools accredited by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED).

The scholars who are dependents of active Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) will receive educational financial assistance of P60,000.00 per year, equivalent to P30,000 per semester or P20,000 for those who will enroll in higher educational institutions that offer a trimester schooling.

Two of the new OWWA-ESDP scholars are graduating high school students in Baguio City namely Donna Selina Bravo who will graduate with honors from the University of Baguio – Science High School and Noel Ngade of Baguio City National High School.

The other four new OWWA-EDSP scholars are all students of St. Toni’s College of Tabuk Kalinga, namely Carizza Mae Aranca, Danroe Arvee Balagot, Michael Caine Pasabing and Ralph Jomar Bucalen.

Laranang also stressed that OWWA’s scholarship programs is part of the government’s effort, through the initiative of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, to give more focus on education investing more on human capital.

“OWWA’s scholarship program is a continuing effort of the government to provide assistance for our OFWs, through their dependents. For this year, we have 150 new scholars from all over the country who will be given the opportunity to finish a baccalaureate course of their choice,” Laranang said.

OWWA’s college scholarship programs, the Congressional Migrant Scholarship program (CMWSP) and EDSP, which started in 1996 and 2004 respectively, have already assisted a total of 18 OFW dependents in Cordillera. Five graduated as cum laude while one as magna cum laude.

At present, there are 31 students in the region who are currently enjoying OWWA scholarship. Seven of whom are set to graduate this summer.

Posted by: Lito Dar | March 29, 2010

The Department of Education (DepEd) and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) are currently embarking on Technical Vocational Education and Training and Arabic Language and Islamic Values Education and (TVET with ALIVE) program for Muslim Out-of-School Youths (OSYs).

DepED Undersecretary for Muslim Affairs Manaros Boransing explained that the program was designed to help Muslim OSYs who migrated to the different parts of the country. The program which is also part of the peace process is an initiative of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo which aims to uplift the life of Muslims.

Boransing said Muslims began migrating in the different parts of the country due to the conflict in Mindanao and the poverty situation in the area. In Luzon, there are already two million of them who either established their business and residency.

Muslim OSYs are accorded with education and skills training that would eventually prepare them to earn for a living, help their family and for their integration to the local host communities.

TESDA Deputy Director General and concurrent Undersecretary under the Office of the Press Secretary Rogelio Peyuan explained the TVET with ALIVE Part 2 program is on its second year of implementation.

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) are also partners in the program in terms of employment facilitation assistance.

Apart from the ALIVE component, program beneficiaries choose or identify the skills training course that they want to undergo. They are also given a P100 daily allowance to cover their meal and transportation expenses.

2“The beneficiaries are also given free choices from a list of in demand Tek-Bok courses that will guide them in matching their skills for employment or become entrepreneurs and start their own businesses,” Peyuan added.

Peyuan futher said that the program is being offered to Muslim OSYs 15 to 35 years old due to their approaching employable age.

For the ALIVE component, he stressed that it is essential for those who want to work abroad as they are given preference especially in Middle East countries.

The ALIVE with TVET Part 2 program is targeting to train about 17,000 Muslim OSYs, already identified and profiled through a mapping program in 2008. According to Peyuan, with the continuous migration of Muslims outside of the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), the president initially targeted about 25,000 OSYs for the program but TESDA admitted they can only cover about 12,000 to 15,000 OSYs by the end of this year.

Peyuan also stressed that DepED initially budgeted P20 Million in 2008, but the budget doubled in 2009 and likewise for 2010.

The program is now being implemented in 29 different parts of the country including Baguio City and Benguet with 35 OSYs per batch. TESDA-Benguet which is the local implementer of the program is already on the second batch of their TVET with ALIVE training. The program is expected to continue to accommodate third batch of participants.


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