Students’ job program brings PESO award to Ilocos Norte

By Cherry Joy D. Garma
LAOAG CITY – The Public Employment Service Office (PESO) in Ilocos Norte bagged the best performing PESO in Region 1 for 2014 for providing employment to students.
The provincial PESO has employed 900 students under its Special Program for Employment of Students (SPES) which provides jobs to students during summer.
“The SPES program allows our students to experience work in real world, para matulungan sila na makaahon sa kahirapan (to help them ease poverty). This is also our way to give hope to students at meron na silang paraan para makatulong sa kanilang pamilya (and to give them the means to help their family),” Nicole Rudio, head of PESO-Ilocos Norte said.

The program seeks to expose the youth to further their education by teaching them the valuable skills towards productive work.
Tasks included are assisting office staff, clerical and simple utility work, green/environment-related activities, and computer data encoding.
This is in support of Republic Act No. 9547 where the government provides work opportunities to students as a bridging program which caters to high school, college, vocational and out-of-school youth.
This year, the PESO has started hiring more than a thousand of students who will serve as tourist aides during the summer vacation and the holiday break under the SPES program.
Salary is pegged at P 311 per day with 60 percent of the wage coming from the provincial government and the remaining 40 percent to be paid by the DOLE.
The PESO spearheads the Task Force Trabaho program of the provincial government which aims to alleviate unemployment and ease poverty in the province. (MCA/CDG, PIA-1, Ilocos Norte)

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Operation Listo, inilunsad ng DILG

Ni Danilo Role
SAN FERNANDO CITY – Inilunsad ng Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) ng Region 1 kamakailan ang proyektong ‘Operation Listo’ na tumatalakay sa paghahanda kapag may sakuna sa bansa.
Ayon kay Julie Daquioag, acting Director ng DILG Region 1, mayroong checklist na susundan ng mga local chief executives kapag paparating ang bagyo, habang ito ay nanalasa at hanggang sa ito ay makalabas ng bansa.
Ayon kay Marivel Sacendoncillo, Executive Director ng Local Government Academy (LGA), makakatulong ang proyekto sa komunidad lalo na ang local na pamahalaan sa pagbibigay ng direksyon tuwing may sakuna.
Sa ilalim ng proyekto, nararapat na magbabala ang isang mayor sa komunidad sa pamamagitan ng istasyon ng radio kapag may advisory ang PAGASA o Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Administration sa paparating na bagyo.
Nakasaad sa weather advisory sa mga himpilan ng radio kung kelan at posibleng oras ng pagdating bagyo, gaano ito kalakas, anong mga lugar ang tatamaan at kung ano ang dapat na ihandang mga gamit o survival kits.
Dagdag pa ni Sacendoncillo, kailangang maka-recruit ang local na gobyerno ng mga kabataan bilang volunteers sa disaster risk reduction management desk.
Para sa inyong impormasyon at kaalaman, tumawag o magsadya sa DILG1 sa telepono 072-888-31/06/888-22-94, email ad: dilg_r1@yahoo.com or DILG Central Office 02-925-0320 to 23 or website: http://www.dilg.gov.ph (MCA/DTR/PIA1-La Union)

BFP starts door-to-door fire prevention drive

Joanne Namnama G. Parrocha
STO. TOMAS, La Union – The Bureau of Fire Protection has started a door-to-door fire prevention campaign as fires continue to shoot up during the summer period.
In 2014, a total of 714 fires were recorded in the provinces of La Union, Pangasinan, Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur, according to the BFP.
Senior Fire Officer Roel Difuntorum, chief of the fire safety enforcement section of BFP Region 1, said the 2014 figure was 60.45 percent higher than the 445 fires recorded in 2013.
“Fire incidents frequently happen at the onset of summer months,” said Difuntorum.
The BFP earlier led a walk for a fire-free and fire-safe nation to kick off March as Fire Prevention Month.
“We will go house to house for fire safety information, distribute leaflets in the villages, conduct competitions and fun run,” Difuntorum said.
The fires in 2014 broke beginning February (79), March (115) and April (133). Pangasinan and Ilocos Sur provinces had the highest number of fire incidents
The BFP said electrical fires that happen in residential and business establishments are usually caused by faulty electrical connections, open flame due to unattended cooking stove and lighted matchstick, lighter or cigarette butt.

To keep fires away, the BFP said electrical appliances must be unplugged when not in use, avoid electrical overloading, keep children away from flammable objects and never leave lighted candles unattended especially during brownouts.
“The fight against destructive fires is everybody’s concern and not the sole responsibility of fire fighters. We should all participate in fire prevention programs to prevent loss of properties especially lives,” Difuntorum said. (MCA/JNP/PIA-1 La Union)

SAF dependents can get scholarship grants

BY APRIL M. MONTES
DAGUPAN CITY – Dependents of slain Special Action Force (SAF) commandos in Maguindanao province are entitled to scholarship benefits from the National Police Commission (Napolcom).
Lawyer Edwin Mapili, assistant regional director of Napolcom in the Ilocos Region, said the Napolcom offers scholarship to children of Philippine National Police (PNP) members who either died or were permanently incapacitated in the line of duty.
Mapili cited Republic Act 6963 which grants financial support to the beneficiaries of any police or military personnel or fireman killed or permanently incapacitated in the performance of his duty or by reason of his office or position.
“Through this program, grantees and scholars can cope with the continued inflationary cost of tuition and miscellaneous school expenses,” Mapili said during the KBP Forum held at the PIA-Pangasinan office on Thursday.
Under Memorandum Circular No. 2015-001, Napolcom scholars will receive the following financial benefits for their tuition fees and miscellaneous expenses: P10,000 per school year for kindergarten scholars; P18,000 per school year for elementary scholars; P24,000 per school year for secondary education scholars.
Vocational scholars shall be given P18,000 per semester while college scholars will receive a maximum financial benefit of P30,000 per semester. (MCA/AMM/PIA-1, Pangasinan)

Rescue volunteers sa Ilocos Sur

Ni Ben Pacris
VIGAN CITY – Nangangailangan ang lokal na gobyerno ng Vigan ng karagdagang rescue volunteers bilang paghahanda sa mga malalakas na bagyo na maaring sumalanta sa bansa.
Ayon kay Action Officer Michael Chan ng Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC), puspusan ang recruitment ng mga boluntaryong kapuwa Ilokano na bubuo sa Rescue Team ng PDRRMC para mag-responde sa mga 34 na bayan kabilang na ang Heritage City kung may kalamidad at emerhensya lalo na ang bagyo.
“Nakakaalarma ang banta ng Abra River kapag may super typhoon na magdudulot ng storm surge at apektado ang mga kababayan nating naninirahan sa mga mababang lugar kabilang na ang Vigan ,” iginiit ng opisial ng PDRRMC.
Sinabi niya na patuloy ang recruitment at training sa tulong ng iba’t-ibang Local Government Units (LGU’s) sa pakikipag-ugnayan sa mga opisyal ng barangay para mapalakas ang Rescue Team sa bawat barangay at bayan dahil tumitindi na ang epekto n g “Climate Change”.
Sinabi ni Chan na inilunsad na ang Water Search and Rescue Trainings para sa mga boluntaryong Tanod, mangingisda at pati mga miyembro ng polisya at nongovernment organizations (NGO’s) sa mga coastal town ng Bantay, San Ildefonso, Magsingal, Sta. Catalina at susunod ang mga bayan sa Segundo Distrito
Maliban sa posibleng “ storm surge” sa mga coastal areas sa Ilocos Sur, sinabi ng Action officer na nakakaalarma din ang dulot ng malakas na lindol sa lalawigan lalo na nasa “fault line” ang Santa na posibleng lilikha ng “tsunami”.
Sa tulong ng pamahalaang probinsyal na pinamumunuan ni Gob. Ryan Singson naka- ready na ang mga modernong rescue equipment at sasakyan kabilang na ang mga motor boats at pati ang mga kagamitan para sa pag-responde sa mga aksidente sa lansangan, idinagdag niya..
Sinabi pa ni Chan na binabansagang “Orange Boys” ang mga kasapi ng Search and Rescue Team at Emergency Response Team dahil ang orange ang “International Color” ng rescue at hindi sila preso na orange din ang kulay ng damit. (MCA/BPP/PIA-1 Ilocos Sur)

Pangasinan town prepares for disasters, bares plans for 2015

By April M. Montes
BINMALEY, Pangasinan – The local government of Binmaley has started building evacuation centers in its three barangays which will serve as temporary shelters for victims in times of calamities.
Mayor Simplicio Rosario said evacuation centers are now being constructed in barangays Calit, Buenlag and Camaley in preparation for possible disasters that will hit the area.
“Nobody wants disasters to happen so we have to be prepared for any eventualities,” Rosario said in his State of the Municipality Address (SOMA) on Monday (March 2, 2015).
Other barangays will also have their own evacuation centers soon, he said.
Meanwhile, Rosario underscored in his SOMA his administration’s various programs for 2015 that will further benefit the people.
These include the construction of barangay halls for Sta. Rosa and Canaoalan; creation of a new public market, Binmaley Arcade in Plaza Rizal Street, and ATM Booth Center near the Municipal Hall; and irrigation project for Barangay Tombor to help farmers from the said barangay including Papagueyan and Parayao.
Rosario said the construction of a composting facility in Barangay Tombor has also started to produce organic fertilizer for crops and to help reduce the volume of garbage in order to protect the environment.
He also mentioned that the local government has funded a medical assistance program for indigent residents so they too could avail of healthcare services.
In addition to the groceries they are receiving as gifts on their birthdays, he said that senior citizens will also enjoy free movie experience at CSI The Mall Cinema in Dagupan City beginning this year as the local government will shoulder their payment for movie ticket.
Vice-President Jejomar Binay graced the SOMA of Mayor Rosario on Monday.
Binay also led the inauguration of the Binmaley Manpower Development Center and the groundbreaking of a 2.8 hectare housing project in Barangay Papagueyan in Binmaley.
He also visited the cities of San Carlos and Dagupan after the events in Binmaley. (MCA/AMM/PIA-1, Pangasinan)

San Roque power starts feedback process to improve firm’s services

BY VENUS MAY H. SARMIENTO
SAN MANUEL, Pangasinan – The San Roque Power Corporation (SRPC) will undergo another round of feedback-gathering this year under a global framework used by major companies worldwide to improve the firm’s services.
Tom Valdez, SRPC vice president for corporate social responsibility, said the company used the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Guideline No. 4, a mechanism that uses a survey and focus group discussions to determine the reasonable expectations and interests of a wide range of stakeholders.
“The feedbacks and inputs of the stakeholders is necessary to enhance the corporation’s service, usefulness and credibility,” Valdez said during the Stakeholder’s Meeting on Tuesday.
The firm prerviously used GRI No. 3 in its 2011 sustainable report.
“Under a higher guideline, more indicators and mechanisms are involved,” Valdez added.

The SRPC tapped the expertise of the University of Asia and the Pacific to conduct the survey and handle the focus group discussions with clients and stakeholders.
Among the indicators used for the survey are labor practices and decent work, economic responsibility, environment responsibility, human rights, product responsibility, society and electric utilities sector disclosure.
The collated report will be brought to the Netherlands and will undergo validation and assurance from an external review committee. (MCA/VHS/PIA-1Pangasinan)