LGUs brush up on investment plans to attract more investors

SAN FERNANDO CITY, April 30 (PIA) — Local governments in the Ilocos are now enhancing their investment plans to draw more investors to pour their money to open up new businesses.

Through a workshop on the formulation and updating of the Local Investments and Incentives Code (LIIC), government planners and public officials walked through various investment policies and programs, areas for investments and incentives available for local and foreign investors.

Antonia Darisay P. Villareal of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) in Region 1 said officials have recognized that their investment codes have been the missing link between local governments and private investments.

Villareal said pursuant to former DILG Secretary Jesse M. Robredo’s vision, the investment code provides a guidepost for LGUs to create aggressive communities that are able tap the private sector’ resources to create jobs and better life for communities.

“The orientation-workshop is one of the appropriate interventions in responding to the gap,” DILG Director Corazon P. Guray said.

The workshop was initiated by the DILG in partnership with the DTI and the Leagues of Municipalities of the Philippines in the four provinces in the Ilocos region.

Among the participants include Caoayan Mayor Germelina S. GouLart, Balaoan Mayor Al-fred Concepcion in La Union, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Director Florante O. Leal along with 245 Sangguniang Bayan secretaries, city and municipal planning and development coordinators, city and municipal local government operations officers, provincial planning and development coordinators, budget officers and treasurers.

Two batches of workshops were held from April 17 to 19 and from April 22 to 24.(MCA/MHH PIA1 La Union with reports from DILG1)

Improvised bombs found in bus motor pool in Ilocos Norte

LAOAG CITY, April 29 (PIA) — The police recovered at least 10 bottles of improvised bombs planted under two passenger buses parked in a motor pool in Bacarra, Ilocos Norte on Sunday.

Chief Inspector Randy Baoit, Bacarra police chief, said the improvised bombs, which were placed in soft drink bottles, were discovered by employees of the GMW bus line at 1 a.m.

Baoit said the explosives have been retrieved by members of the police’s Special Weapons and Tactics team.

He said no suspect had been identified but reports said witnesses saw armed men enter the company motor pool and left when employees were alerted about their presence.

The GMW bus line plies the Isabela-Tuguegarao-Laoag route and is a sister company of Florida Lines, owned by brothers George and Virgilio Florida. (MCA-PIA1 Ilocos Norte)

News Feature: Looking at Dagupan City beyond “Bangus

DAGUPAN CITY, April 30 (PIA) — This year’s Bangus festival maybe short on duration, but festival events have morphed to other unique attractions to make up for the shorter time to celebrate the global event.

More than 24 activities were lined up to add color to the festivities and compensate for its abbreviated duration.

On April 22, the festival opened with a float parade called the Bangus ed Carosa, featuring various floats, including milkfish, made by the city government, non-government organizations and private entities. Float parade marks the formal launching of the festival, although it is usually opened a week early.

Prior to the float parade, however, two events, the Bangus Festival 2013 Photo Contest, and the Kapamilya Caravan celebrity show were held to serve as soft opening activities on April 14 and 20, respectively.

The formal opening also saw the TV5 Serye Karavan sa Dagupan& GO5!live show entertain Dagupeñosand the opening of the nine-day Dagupan’s Best Trade fair, featuring locally-made products.

On April 23, Dagupan was treated to various delicacies during the 101 Ways to Cook Seafood, a culinary competition, which featured celebrity chef Boy Logro as the contest judge and guest of honor.

The city government diverted from the usual 101 Ways to Cook Bangus to show that, being an aquaculture community, it is also capable of raising and promoting fish products other than milkfish.

The five-day Pigar-Pigar Festival also kicked off last April 23. Pigar-pigar is among the famous dishes in the city. The dish is made of deep-fried thinly-cut beef with some vegetables.

The Pigar-Pigar Festival has been an integral part of Bangus Festival, although it was not originally included in its maiden launch.

Bangus Rodeo, a competition of skills involved in bangus trading, and the Bikini Open were also held the same day.

Little Miss Dagupan, D’ BSL Lechon Festival and Drum and Lyre Competition were held on April 24, 25 and 26, respectively.

The Lechon Festival has been integrated into the festival since 2010 when the city government started its campaign for more healthful raising of pigs through organic feeding. The city hopes to become the Lechon Capital of the Country someday.

Featured on April 26 was the Drum and Lyre Competition at the City Plaza and capped by the Globe Night in the same venue.

The next day was a thanksgiving mass at the Pantal River, where the three-day Dragon Boat Race was also held. Smart Day was also on this date at the City Plaza.

BomboRadyo Night at the City Plaza and the four-day SMB Battle of the Bands at Tondaligan Beach followed the next day.

And on the 29th, visitors were treated to one of the highlights of the festival, the Gilon-Giloned Dalan Street Dancing Competition starting at the Dagupan City Astrodome.

The competition showcased dance numbers featuring various traditional and modern practices in harvesting bangus. ‘Gilon’ means harvest in Pangasinan.

The festivity then took to the streets for its main highlight, which was the Kalutaned Dalan along the downtown area.

Kalutaned Dalan, which means street grilling, put Dagupan City on the global tourism map when it set the record for the longest barbecue grill in 2003, a record previously held by Peru.

The festivity will taper off with Miss Gay naDayat, LAUS Autogroup Car Show and a kickboxing tournament from May 1 to 3, respectively.

The Bangus Festival has grown from a small local festivity 11 years ago to what is now recognized as one of the more popular festivals in the country.

Official records indicate that,annually, more than a million people visit Dagupan City for the festivity.

Each year, new innovations, such as the Pigar-Pigar and Lechon Festivals and 101 Ways to Cook Seafood are being introduced to bring more color to the festivities.

The festival had since spawned other festivals such as the Mango Bamboo Festival in San Carlos City, Pindang Festival in Mangaldan, Talong Festival in Villasis but the Bangus fest outshined them all. (MCA/ARRF/PIA-1 Pangasinan)

Govt communicators renew commitment to free information flow

DAGUPAN CITY, April 29 (PIA) — Government information officers (GIOs) have renewed their commitment to support national development through a free exchange of information among members.

In renewing their commitment as public communicators, the GIOs revived the Pangasinan Association of Government Information Officers (PAGIO), which became dormant for a year.

The group had its general assembly last week at the Philippine Information Agency (PIA)-Pangasinan Information Center and elected its new set of officers.

Engr. Bernardo Caronongan of the Department of Public Works and Highways-Lingayen District Office was voted as the fourth president of PAGIO.

He succeeded Supt. Geraldo Roxas of the Philippine National Police.

The other elected officers were Danilo Orbos of the Land Transportation Office as vice-president; Irene Martinez of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, secretary; Insp. Michael de Jesus of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, treasurer; Renalie Ferrer of the National Statistics Office, auditor; Carmina Gutierrez of the Department of Education-Pangasinan I, public relations officer; and Annaliza Natavio of the Home Development Mutual Fund, commonly known as Pag-IBIG, business manager.

Venus May Sarmiento, information center manager of PIA-Pangasinan, asked the body to work hand in hand with the PIA to realize President Benigno Aquino III’s advocacy to reach out and get feedbacks from project beneficiaries and the general public as well.

She offered the weekly “Pantongtongan Tayo” radio program of the PIA over DZMQ Radyo ng Bayan and the KBP Forum at the PIA office as avenues for the various agencies to air their programs and projects.

Former PAGIO President Merlita Tibalao was also present during the meeting.

She told the new set of officers to be more active this time.

For his part, Caronongan assured the group of his time and efforts to make the association successful in its endeavors.

The PAGIO, composed of regular or designated information officers of national and local government offices in Pangasinan, was organized in 2003 to establish a cohesive body of persons in the area of information and advocacy programs which will embody the sentiments and aspirations of its members. (MCA/AMM-PIA1, Pangasinan)

Laoag village starts building ‘court of inspiration’ through bayanihan

LAOAG CITY, April 26 (PIA) — Driven by the desire to provide their community with its first real basketball court, officials of Brgy. San Guillermo here brought residents together for the ground breaking of the “Court of Inspiration” last April 21.

The Court of Inspiration-project is line with Alaxan FR’s “Ang Galing Mo!” campaign which honors people who have worked hard for their own communities.

According to Jules Veloso of GeiserMaclang, the promotion partner company of Alaxan FR, the Court of Inspiration stems from Alaxan FR’s advocacy of changing the negative perception of body pain, transforming it into a source of one’s pride (a concrete outcome) and inspiring people to push themselves to greatness.

The Court of Inspiration in Laoag City is the 16th to be built in the country. Barangay volunteers have accepted the challenge of building the court in 21 days free of labor costs.

Alaxan will be providing all the materials needed for the construction including a high-quality fiber glass ring board which is comparable to the ones being used by the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA).

Veloso said PBA legends including Benjie Paras, Ronnie Magsanoc, Alvin Patrimonio and Jojo Lastimosa will grace the unveiling of the court once the construction will be finished.

Ferdinand Pasion, Barangay San Guillermo chief, expressed his extreme joy during the ground breaking ceremony.

“We are so happy we are chosen to be the recipient of this one-of-a-kind project,” Pasion said.

Pasion said the barangay basketball court has not been renovated since it was built in the 1970s.

“This court has always been used as training grounds for our local basketball players. It has produced some of the best players in basketball tournaments in the city, ” Pasion said.

Alaxan targets to build 10 more Courts of Inspiration in Luzon by the end of 2013. (MCA/APT-PIA1 Ilocos Norte)

Bright Leaf Journalism Awards to accept entries on April 30

DAGUPAN CITY, Apr. 26 (PIA) — The Bright Leaf Agriculture Journalism Awards (BLAJA) said it will start accepting entries for the best stories and photos that focus on the agriculture sector on April 30.

The annual journalism tilt selects the best agricultural stories and photos in print, radio and television, with special attention on their impact on current agricultural issues and best farming practices on environmental safety and crop sustainability, according to a press release by the BLAJA.

The contest, which is now on its seventh year, is open to professional journalists aged 18 or above.

The contest is divided into minor and major categories.

Included in the minor category, with their respective cash prizes, are the Best Agriculture TV Program/Segment—P50,000, Best Agriculture Radio Program/Segment—P50,000, Best Agriculture News Story (National and Regional Level)—P20,000, and Best Agriculture Feature Story (National and Regional Level)—P20,000.

The major category, meanwhile, consist of Agriculture Photo of the Year—P20,000, Tobacco Photo of the Year—P20,000, Agriculture Story of the Year—P50,000, and Tobacco Story of the Year—P20,000.

Winners in the major category will also receive an i-Pad mini, a trophy, and an all-expense paid trip to an Asian country.

Only entries that were broadcast or published between Sept. 1, 2012 and Aug. 31, 2013 can qualify to the contest.

A contestant may submit more than one entry for each category.

The entry form may be downloaded from the awards official website, http://www.brightleafawards.com

For more information, please contact the following numbers: (02) 522-8782 or (02) 525—2525. (MCA/ARRF-PIA1, Pangasinan)