Traders warned against overpricing of NFA rice

Cherry Joy D. Garma
LAOAG CITY – The National Food Authority (NFA) in Ilocos Norte said overpricing of NFA rice by traders will lead to suspension of their accreditation and payment of fines.
Beverly Peralta, provincial manager of NFA-Ilocos Norte, said the agency has started monitoring NFA rice outlets to ensure that traders are selling at standard prices.
“Accredited NFA rice traders caught selling at a price higher than the regulated price will be suspended and will be fined with a corresponding amount,” Peralta said.
Prices of NFA rice ranges from P27 to P32 per kilo. The cheaper variety has a dull white texture while the more expensive variety is whiter.
“The only difference is the color, but the taste is the same, they are both good,” Peralta said.
To monitor the commodity’s prices, the agency has deployed employees to check NFA outlets of possible overpricing even as Peralta advised consumers to report to NFA incidents of overpricing.
“If sellers carry the NFA logo in their rice boxes, then they are accredited traders,” Peralta said.
She said consumers must be keen in monitoring the sellers’ weighing scale to avoid farud.
The NFA has provided weighing scales in several outlets to help the consumer monitor their rice purchases. (MCA/CDG, PIA-1, Ilocos Norte)

Bagoong earthen jars stand tall at Pangasinan capital town

By Elsha Marie Soriano
LINGAYEN, Pangasinan – You can’t miss two earthen jars standing tall at the Pangasinan’s capital town here.
Visible from afar, the two earthen jars locally called “pasig” will be placed in Lingayen’s main entry points and serve as a tourist attraction.
Councilor Judy Vargas said the 10 feet-tall jars symbolize the ubiquitous ‘bagoong’ (shrimp paste) Lingayen’s one-town-one-product (OTOP).
Vargas chairs the Bagoong Festival created to promote the bagoong industry, which has become a steady income provider for locals.
“The jars were made to globally promote and intensify “bagoong” (shrimp paste) as the official product of Lingayen town,” Vargas said after the jars’ ceremonial unveiling at the town plaza.
‘Pasig’ was traditionally used to store fish or shrimp mixed with salt through fermentation to make sweet-smelling and salty condiment, said Vargas during the street dancing competition held at the Dela Cruz Auditorium here.
Meanwhile, Bagoong Makers Association President Jun Bernal said the homegrown industry has been getting support from local governments in promoting the product locally and abroad.
“Bagoong making industry helped many fishermen, bagoong makers and businessmen in the province,” Bernal said. (MCA/EMBS/PIA-1, Pangasinan)

Mas maigting na relasyon ng Ilocos Sur at Canada para sa turismo at kalakalan

Ben P. Pacris
VIGAN CITY – Inihayag ni Canadian Ambassador to the Philippines Neil Reeder na mapapaigting ang relasyon ng Canada at Ilocos Sur sa larangan ng turismo, kultura at kalakalan para sa kaunlaran.
Ito ang binigyang-diin ni Ambassasor Reeder sa pakikipanayam ng media sa Kapitolyo pagkatapos ng kanyang courtesy call kay Gob. Ryan Singson noong nakaraang Linggo na kung saan binisita niya ang Heritage City na kabilang na sa “New 7 Wonder Cities of the World.”
Sinabi ng Canadian Ambassador na tutulong ang kanyang embahada na maitaguyod ang mga tinaguriang “One Town. One Product” (OTOP) at traditional industries ng probinsya sa Canada na kung saan maraming mga Filipino lalo na ang mga Ilokano ang nagtratrabaho at naninirahan.
Sinabi pa niya na tutulong din ang Rotary Club of Canada para makapag-donate ng mga medical equipment tulad ng hospital bed, dialysis machines at iba pang kagamitan para sa mga ospital ng gobyerno tulad ng Gabriela Silang General Hospital sa Vigan na nakakatulong sa mga mahihirap na Ilokano.
Pati ang shipping ng mga bagong medical equipment mula sa Canada gastos na rin ng Rotary International na may iba’t-ibang chapters din sa Pilipinas kabilang na ang aktibong Rotary Club of Vigan.
Ayon pa rin sa Ambassador na napakagandang lugar ang Vigan na nakaukit din sa “World Heritage Sites” ng UNESCO at dapat pangalagaan o mapreserba para sa mga susunod na henerasyon dahil ito ang sentro ng turismo sa lalawigan.
Sinabi rin ni Gob. Singson na magaganap ang sisterhood agreement ng Canada at Ilocos Sur kabilang na rin ang Heritage City ng Vigan na pinamumunuan ni Mayor Eva Medina sa mga darating na araw para lalong mapaunlad ang larangan ng industriya at turismo lalo na ngayon na dumadami na ang mga dumadayong turista sa probinsya lalo na sa Vigan.
Mula nang naideklara na ang Vigan ay kabilang na sa new 7 Wonder Cities of the World noong Disyembre 7, 2014 ng New 7 Wonders Foundation, punong-puno na ang mga hotel at restaurant at nakakatulong sa pag-unlad ng ekonomya at makakalikha ng hanap buhay sa mga kababayan.

Plano rin ng pamahalaang probinsyal at city government ng Vigan na mapaunlad ang Vigan Airport sa suporta nina Cong. Ronald Singson ng Primero Distrito at Cong. Eric Singson ng Segundo Distrito para tumulong ang Department of Transportation and Communications na pinamumunuan ni Sec. Jun Abaya, na taga Candon City ang ama niya na si dating Cavite Cong. Ridel Abaya at Sec. Rogelio Singson ng Department of Public Works and Highways, na taga- Vigan din.
Mapapalawak ang airport runway at upgrading ng mga instrumento at equipment ng eropuerto kabilang na ang tower at mga ilaw para makalapag ang mga malalaking eroplano na lalong nakakatulong sa mga turista na dadayo sa Ilokos. (MCA/BPP/PIA-1 Ilocos Sur)

Disaster preparedness seminar in Dagupan City

By: April M. Montes
DAGUPAN CITY – To educate Dagupan families on what to prepare and what to do when a certain natural crisis arise, battery firm Eveready conducted a disaster preparedness seminar on January 25 at the People’s Astrodome here.
Louie Domingo, chief of Eveready emergency center, said the seminar was part of Eveready’s advocacy campaign dubbed “Pamilyang Ready, Ligtas na Community.”
It is meant to equip people with steps in ensuring their family and community’s safety from pending disasters and other emergencies, Domingo said.
The activity also aims to hone the families’ and communities’ capability to anticipate, cope and recover from the negative effects of disaster, he added.
Eveready partnered with the Dagupan City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office to share valuable knowledge and know-how’s which are deemed useful in times of emergencies.
The activity introduced the E-balde (E-pail) emergency kit containing batteries, flashlights, medicines, water, canned goods and other necessities during survival situations.
Known as one of the disaster-prone countries in the world, the Philippines was identified as a disaster hot-spot by a study conducted by the World Bank in 2008. The country ranks third following countries like Vanuatu and Tonga.
According to the study, 50.3 percent of its total area and 81.3 percent of its population are prone to natural disasters. Among the most damaging disasters recorded by the Center for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED) are tropical storms and floods.
These calamities cause the loss of lives, livelihood, houses and services.
To address this alarming concern, Eveready mounted the campaign with the goal of helping residents of various communities around the country to be more prepared in facing eventualities.
The campaign was earlier brought to Davao, Cebu, and Metro Manila; and is set to reach Batangas and General Santos in the next few months. (MCA/AMM/PIA-1, Pangasinan)

Jail time for fisherfolk behind wounded dolphins

BY VENUS MAY H. SARMIENTO
DAGUPAN CITY – A fisheries official said those behind the wounding of dolphins in Pangasinan waters could face imprisonment for violating the law that protects endangered species.
Dr. Westly Rosario, interim executive director of the National Integrated and Fisheries Development Center (NIFTDC) of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), said the wounds on rescued dolphins were large and could have caused by fishing spears used by commercial fishermen.
“Maaring nakaabala (ang mga dolphins) sa mga commercial fishermen na may malalaking banca kaya pinagsisibat, pero ang kataka-taka ay marami at kalat-kalat yung mga dolphins (The dolphins might have caused distraction to commercial fishermen in big boats which prompted them to spear the mammals. What’s puzzling is the big number and these are scattered in various shores),” Rosario told media men.
Reports that reached Rosario said some village fishermen took one of the five wounded dolphins in Aringay, La Union and another one was taken in Lingayen town.
Republic Act 8550 or the Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998 makes fishing or taking of rare, threatened or endangered species unlawful.
The law imposes jail time of 12 to 20 years and/or a fine of P120,000 plus forfeiture of the catch and the cancellation of fishing permit.
Of the 17 wounded dolphins that beached in La Union and Pangasinan shores, four have died (including the dolphin which died in Sual town) on Tuesday morning.
A bottlenose dolphin is a relatively robust dolphin with a usually short and stubby beak, hence the name ‘bottlenose.’ It is perhaps the most well-known cetacean, because of its widespread use in marine parks and research facilities, the NIFTDC said. (MCA/VHS/PIA-Pangasinan)

Pag-IBIG Fund to launch loyalty card program in Pangasinan

By April M. Montes
DAGUPAN CITY – The Home Development Mutual Fund or Pag-IBIG Fund will soon launch its loyalty card program in Pangasinan to provide additional service for its members.
Lilian Nievera, senior loans and credit officer of Pag-IBIG Fund based in Baguio City, said members could use the loyalty card to avail of discounts and rewards on the purchase of products and services from partner-merchants.

“Loyalty card holders can avail of discounts on anything they buy or from any services they ought to have from establishments which are considered as Pag-IBIG partners,” she said.
She added the new program will help members who want to save more by reducing their expenses.
Active Pag-IBIG Fund members with Membership Identification Numbers (MID) can avail of the lifetime loyalty card with only P100 as application fee.
“The loyalty card can be used for lifetime as it has no expiration,” said Nievera.
But entitlement of the card will be suspended if the holder fails to pay the membership savings, she explained.
Last year, the loyalty card program was launched in three pilot areas: Baguio City, Cebu and Davao. (MCA/AMM/PIA-1, Pangasinan)

BIR to run after online sellers

BY VENUS MAY H. SARMIENTO
PANGASINAN – In due time, even on-line sellers will pay their dues.
Charmaine Dela Torre, assistant revenue district officer of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (RDO4) based in Calasiao town, said the BIR has started drafting a resolution to run after sellers who make money through online shopping but do not pay taxes due their businesses.
Online shopping or e-shopping is a form of electronic commerce which allows consumers to directly buy goods or services from a seller over the internet.
“It is difficult to trace these people as their addresses are unknown and therefore cannot be tax-mapped,” said Dela Torre during the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP) Forum held at the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) on Thursday.
But with the guidelines in the resolution, on-line sellers and businesses will be obliged to comply with tax payments.
“Ang sinasabi ng batas, lahat ng tao na may negosyo o pinagkakakitaan ay kailangang magbayad ng tamang buwis, (the law dictates that every person engaged in business needs to pay the proper taxes),” she said.
Dela Torre reminded the public to pay their income taxes early to avoid being penalized. (VHS/PIA-1-Pangasinan)