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SAN FERNANDO CITY, Pampanga — In a bid to address the estimated classroom shortage of about 150,000 units in the country, the Regional Development Council (RDC) in Region 3 here has approved the Central Luzon component of the Public-Private Partnership for School Infrastructure Project (PSIP) of the Department of Education (DepEd). RDC has recently passed a resolution endorsing the said program. The Council explained that PSIP’s Central Luzon component consists of building 2,999 classrooms for 656 schools at a total estimated cost of P3.257 billion. (Mark Anthony N. Manuel)
Wednesday, April 4, 2012
7 Cops, 4 Soldiers Awarded
By FREDDIE C. VELEZ
ALVARADO: GO TO CHURCH SERVICES
CALUMPIT, Bulacan — Govenor Wilhelmino M. Sy Alvarado reminded his constituents over the weekend that going to church, especially on Sundays and in this week highlighting the Lenten season, is “a holy duty” as Catholics. “This Holy week, everybody should forget politics and instead devote a hundred percent of themselves to repentance to God. Our souls need it, as well as our minds,” said Alvarado. He also enjoined their parents to bring their children to church and teach them the importance of attending worship services. “It is imperative for parents and church leaders to make today’s youth realize the importance of having faith as they grow up,” he said. (Freddie C. Velez)
CHURCH REPAIRS — Laborers rush the repair of the flooring at the frontage of the century-old Saint Paul Metropolitan Cathedral in Vigan City in preparation for expected influx of pilgrims and tourists in this Holy Week. (Freddie G. Lazaro)
Authorities Ready For Lenten Rites
By NEL B. ANDRADE
LUCENA CITY, Quezon — The regional office of the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) in Southern Tagalog expressed yesterday determination in meeting its 2012 production target for coconuts, which is triple the usual amount yielded in previous years. PCA Regional Manager Joselito Alcantara said the PCA has intensified the planting of coconut seedlings and distribution of agricultural salt as fertilizer to existing coconut trees in Region 4-A, covering the provinces of Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon. Alcantara said the PCA is also pushing for the establishment of a laboratory for the Brontispa, the pest that has feeding on coconut trees. (Danny Estacio)
POPULATION OF CAVITE WOMEN UP
TRECE MARTIRES CITY, Cavite — The number of female population continued to rise in Cavite with the population booming in the province at an annual growth rate of 4.9 percent, the Provincial Population Office (PPO) reported yesterday. National census surveys showed that Cavite has been the country's most populated province since 2010, surpassing Pangasinan and Cebu which had the highest numbers in previous years. PPO Conchita P. Valledor, citing records and statistics, said that by yearend the projected population of Cavite is 3,632,275, up by 338,217 from the 2010 population of 3,294,058. Cavite was also tagged as an area with the biggest male and female workforce and voting populace in the country. (Anthony Giron)
DAGUPAN CITY, Pangasinan — Securing Pangasinan’s forest resources is being attended to by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer (PENRO) Chief Leduina Co assured yesterday. Co said the National Anti-Illegal Logging Task Force just completed an inspection and evaluation of the areas where there had been reports of illegal logging activities, following the discovery of logs and charcoal pits in Mangatarem and Labrador towns recently. (Liezle Basa Iñigo)
RIZAL PROVINCE — All is set for the Holy Week rites that are set to kick off today in various pilgrimage sites in Luzon, with police and local government authorities ready with support services to the thousands of devout Catholics expected to join different religious activities. In Antipolo City, the cathedral is preparing for up to a million pilgrims from different parts of Metro Manila and nearby provinces who are joining the “Alay Lakad” or penitential walk on Holy Thursday and Good Friday. Tradition has it that the devotees will be walking all the way to the city cathedral barefoot. In Taytay and Cainta, the street plays of the Passion and Death of Jesus Christ, known locally as “Senakulo,” have started since Sunday with various local groups staging the most popular religious activities during this season. The Samahang Nazareno, a group of local talents are staging this year’s Senakulo in the streets of Cainta and Taytay. Mayor Ramon Ilagan said the performance of the Passion and Death of Jesus in this town has been a tradition of the people of Cainta as they regard the religious practice as their vow or panata, an act which Filipinos observe as their way of thanksgiving to graces received or wish. Penitents, bearing wooden cross and barefoot are also the common sight in the streets of old Taytay and the town proper of Cainta on Holy Thursday and Good Friday. Flagellation is also common among penitents in Cainta with some group of devotees walking barefoot as they walk through the streets of this town. In Pampanga, Superintendent Edgardo Tinio director of the Provincial Police Office (PPO), assured readiness for the influx of tens of thousands of spectators who are expected to visit the province for the annual “crucifixion rites.” Twenty penitents have, so far, enlisted for nail to crosses on Good Friday. Tinio presented to Governor Lilia Pineda and local officials their contingency plan to ensure the safety of Kapampangans during the celebration “Semana Santa.” “Policemen in different parts of the province would not be caught unprepared by any group or lawless elements who are planning to take advantage of the occasion for their criminal activities,” said Tinio. Similar preparations are being made in Cavite with Sr. Supt. John C. Bulalacao, Cavite PPO director, launching Oplan SumVac (Summer Vacation) to ensure security and peace and order.
Millions of people are expected to trek to the province during ther Holy Week and long vacation, particularly in Tagaytay City and other upland areas. In a bid to ensure peace and order, Bulalacao has created a team which will oversee Oplan Sumvac with his next ranking officers as overall su-
pervisors and other staff members as inspectors. The task of the team is to ensure that police visibility and security, safety and protection measures are in place, particularly during the Holy Week. (With reports from Mark Anthony N. Manuel and Anthony Giron)
CAMP OLIVAS, Pampanga — Seven police officers and four soldiers were awarded Medals of Merit (Medalya ng Kagalingan) for their exemplary job and dedication to duty by the Police Regional Office 3 (PRO3) the other day in this camp. Chief Supt. Edgardo T. Ladao, Police Regional Office 3 (PRO3) director, said the recognition is the Philippine National Police’s (PNP’s) way of demonstrating its support for boosting the morale of its members and their counterparts in the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). The police officers who received the Medalya ng Kagalingan were Senior Supt. Roberto L. Alligayu, Inspector Rodolfo C. Rancho, SPO1 Randie P Niegos and PO2 Dennis Dela Torre, all of the Nueva Ecija Police Provincial Office (PPO). The same award was received by Sr. Supt. Raul Apostol R. Valencia, Senior Insp. Michael B. Masangkay and, SPO4 Rey P Pascua, of the Pampanga Special Reaction Unit and Sta. Rita Municipal Police Station. Likewise, Col. Hilario Vicente C. Lagnada, Capt. Noel B. Wamil, 1Lt. Rheygie C. Cabrera, and Corporal Ronald S Rico, all of the Army’s 56th IB, 702Nd BDE and Military Intelligence Battalion, were awarded the Medalya ng Katangi-tanging Asal. The police and military officers were cited for their successful operations in Central Luzon, among them the arrest of New People’s Army (NPA) leaders, the confiscation of rebel firearms, explosives and subversive documents, and the neutralization of Akyat Bahay Gang members.
4th Summer Camp For Muslim Youth In Bulacan, April 5-7
By EDD K. USMAN
A Moro organization is organizing the 4th Muslim Youth Camp on April 5 to 7 at Paradise Adventure Camp in San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan. The National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) is providing support for the gathering. NCMF Executive Director Sitti Djalia Turabin-Hataman said the commission welcomed the youth camp and is helping the organizers.
“The event is a non-NCMF activity, but we are trying to provide a modest help and encourage the youth to participate,” said Turabin-Hataman. A group called Nur (Light) Factory has been organizing the event annually to help the Muslim youth cope with the problems they face in their studies, at home, and with society. Ara Belling of the NCMF and Nur Factory founder, said the theme of this year’s youth camp is “The Importance of Prayer.” She said participants must be from
15 to 25 years old, and must pay P1,500 each for food, travel, materials, and accommodation. Participants should also bring their own plates, glasses, utensils, bedsheet, pillows, additional clothes for team building and swimming, she said. Belling urged those who have the means to sponsor participants. As of Tuesday, she said 20 youth have already registered and 15 individuals are sponsoring some participants by paying P1,500 for them.
Subic Goes Beyond Earth Hour
By JONAS REYES
SUBIC BAY FREEPORT — A full complement of environment-friendly activities marked the observance of the global Earth Hour in this free port, as stakeholders here tried to instill environmental protection in the community beyond the call to switch off lights to symbolically focus attention on climate change. Residents, business locators, and community groups here joined the global program to save Mother Earth through a ceremony at The Lighthouse Marina Resort, which signalled the hour-long switching off of lights and other electrical appliances, particularly in the Central Business District here. Before this, however, the Subic Bay Freeport community also participated in a beach clean-up, the opening of the Kicksand Beach Football Luzon leg at the Boardwalk Park area, and the re-launch of Ocean Adventure’s high dive event. Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) chairman and administrator Roberto Garcia said the various activities before the Earth Hour indicated the support to the global call for sustainable development and conservation.
WELCOME PUNCH — Still in plainclothes, new recruits of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) receive a punch in the chest from second class cadets, a tradition at reception rites for neophytes at Fort Del Pilar in Baguio City the other day, April 2, 2012. (Rizaldy Comanda)
Red Tide Support Mechanisms Proposed
By MARK ANTHONY N. MANUEL
SAN FERNANDO CITY, Pampanga — Senator Francis Pangilinan, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food, has urged the Department of Agriculture (DA) and local governments in Bataan and Zamabales to develop support mechanisms for fisherfolk whose incomes are drastically affected by the months-long red tide phenomenon. Pangilinan’s suggestion came after the the Bureau of Fisheries and
Aquatic Resources (BFAR) here reiterated its caution to the public to avoid gathering and eating shellfish from the Bataan coastal waters and Masinloc Bay in Zambales as red tide toxin which causes paralytic shellfish poisoning remains present in these areas. The lawmaker also called on the private sector to use the country’s aquatic resources “in a more responsible and sustainable manner because when red tide hits, everyone loses, from the fisherfolk and communities all the way to industries that rely our waters for income.”