President Gloria Macagapal-Arroyo
inspected irrigation facilities in Guimba last March 1 before attending
the PMA graduation rites in Baguio City.
Upon her arrival in Barangay
Naglabrahan, she was welcomed by Gov. Aurelio Umali, Guimba Mayor Boyito
Dizon, Presidential Assistant for Central Luzon Lorelei Fajardo, PNP-PRO
3 Dir. C/Superintendent Leon Nilo de la Cruz and 7th Infantry Division
Commander Brig/Gen. Ireneo Espino.
Also at the inspection site
were Agriculture Sec. Bernado Fondavilla; National Irrigation Administration
OIC Alexander Reuyan; Eng. Alexander Coloma, manager of the Casecnan
Multipurpose Irrigation and Power Project (CMIPP), and Eng. Antonio
Nangel, operations manager of the Upper Pampanga River Integrated Irrigation
Farmers expressed confidence
that the El Niño will have minimal effects on their crops because
of the ongoing rehabilitation of CMIPP.
The project involves the
rehabilitation of UPRIIS and the development of new areas for irrigation,
including San Jose, Muñoz, Talugtug, Licab, Guimba and a portion
of the adjacent town of Victoria in Tarlac.
Francisco Tolentino, president
of Glorya sa Bagong Milenyo Irrigators Association assured that Nueva Ecija
will not be affected by the dry spell because there is enough water in
the Casecnan Dam which supplies water to the irrigation system.
The irrigation component
of Casecnan Dam is a big super region project intended to improve the lives
of small farmers in the North Luzon Agribusiness Quadrangle composed of
Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley Region, Cordillera Administrative Region
(CAR), and the northern part of Central Luzon. ###
unfazed by El Niño, expects bumper harvest
The Department of Agriculture
(DA) expects a bumper rice harvest in Nueva Ecija this dry cropping season
with the province hardly touched by the El Niño phenomenon.
Roy Imperial, DA assistant
regional director, said that only 3,162 hectares of the 146,770 hectares
planted to rice have been affected by drought.
He said that the figure is
considered negligible when compared to other provinces suffering from drought.
Imperial said that Nueva
Ecija expects to lose P28 million in agriculture to El Niño compared
to the billions of income lost in other provinces hit by the dry spell.
He said that only parts of
northern towns in the province like Carranglan, Cuyapo, Lupao and Talugtug
are affected by drought, with most farms there dependent on small water
impounding projects that had dried up.
Imperial said that the effects
of El Niño in Nueva Ecija were mitigated by a program of President
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and former Agriculture Sec. Arthur Yap involving
the distribution of flat-bed dryers and repair of irrigation systems that
was implemented two years before.
He said that for the dry
and wet seasons, a total harvest of 736,023 metric tons each is expected,
possibly surpassing the 1.5 million metric tons targeted under the Philippine
Rice Master Plan. ###
eyes construction of Balintingon Dam
Concord Pacific Investment
Holdings, Inc. has signed a memorandum of agreement with the National Irrigation
Administration (NIA) for undertaking feasibility studies on the construction
of the Balintingon Reservoir Multipurpose Project (BRMP) in General Tinio
Jose Utrillo, executive vice
president and chief operating officer of Concord, said that the dam will
provide water to 18,800 hectares of unirrigated farmlands in Nueva Ecija
and Bulacan. The project's hydropower component will supply 60 to 80 megawatts
of electricity to the Luzon grid. Also, the dam can supply domestic water
to Metro Manila at the rate of 10 cubic meters per second.
The reservoir will use pump-back
technology to conserve and optimize the use of water from Sumacbao River.
Utrillo said that the project
may be completed within four and half years. ###
irrigation water reaches San Ildefonso
Irrigation water from Nueva
Ecija started flowing to the Maasim River in San Ildefonso Bulacan last
Carlito Gapasin, manager
of the engineering and operations division of Upper Pampanga River Integrated
Irrigation Systems (UPRIIS) said that water from Pantabangan Dam will replace
the water coming from Angat Dam for the irrigation needs of San Ildefonso
farms. The saved water from Angat, in turn, will be added to the domestic
water supply of Metro Manila.
The 46 kilometer channel
leading to Maasim River was widened and desilted so irrigation water from
Nueva Ecija can be discharged there at three to five cubic meters per second.
UPRIIS Operations Manager
Antonio S. Nangel alerted Agriculture Sec. Bernado Fondavilla about the
Last March 2, the water level
at Pantabangan Dam was recorded at 183 meters, way above the critical level
of 172 meters. ###
public market inaugurated
The new Gapan City public
market was inaugurated and blessed last March 7.
Vice Gov. Edward Thomas F.
Joson and Baby Natividad, wife of Gapan City Mayor Ernesto L. Natividad,
cut the ceremonial ribbon.
The city mayor led the unveiling
of a marker at the side of the market's main entrance.
Priests from the various
Gapan parishes led by Fr. Onet Mangahas of the Three Kings Parish, and
former parish priest Fr. Elmer Mangalinao, now assigned at the St. Nicholas
of Tolentine Parish in Cabanatuan City, went around the huge complex for
Among the guests were Sr.
Board Member Rommel Padilla, Brigida Pili of the Department of Trade and
Industry, city and barangay officials and civic and religious leaders.
Noticeable was the absence
of Vice Mayor Christian Tinio and his party mates in the Sangguniang Panglungsod.
Joson, in his brief remarks,
called the Gapan City market as the best such facility in Nueva Ecija and
asked the city residents to help preserve the beauty and cleanliness of
Mayor Natividad, obliquely
referring to the feud between him and his vice mayor that stalled the opening
of the new city market, asked the audience to forget the past and move
on to ensure the further development of the city.
Later, vendors and marketgoers
armed with camera phones had a field day posing with Joson and Padilla,
and were treated by the city government to free lugaw and puto.
has over 32,000 double registrants
Records of the Commission
on Elections (COMELEC) shows that Nueva Ecija has 32,030 voters who had
registered more than once.
Nueva Ecija ranked fourth
among the areas with the highest number of multiple registrants. Topping
the list were the National Capital Region (156,133), Cavite (47,016) and
Davao del Sur (34,557).
The COMELEC is set to issue
a watch list against some 700,000 double or multiple registered voters
"Voting more than once is
an election offense and is punishable by law," said Commissioner Rene Sarmiento.
He said that based on COMELEC
Minute Resolution 09-0696, the latest records of multiple registrants
will be retained if they are listed in different districts, cities or municipalities,
while those with multiple registration in the same district, city or municipality
will be allowed to voter using their original registration. ###
member sends SOS to San Jose bishop
A Sangguniang Panglalawigan
member called on the bishop of the Diocese of San Jose to help end the
worsening corruption in Nueva Ecija.
Board Member Raquel Agapito
said that it is truly devastating that Nueva Ecija has been dubbed as the
"corruption capital" of the country.
Agapito called on Bishop
Mylo Hubert C. Vergara to take steps to restore the good image of the province.
"This is very alarming, hindi
po natin masukat isipin na ang aming probinsya pala ang kinikilalang corruption
capital. Nakikiusap po ako sa aming mahal na Obispo, kailangan po
ng mga Novo Ecijano ang inyong gabay at kaliwanagan," Agapito said.
warns farmers vs. 'biofertilizers'
The Muñoz-based Philippine
Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) warned farmers against using so-called
"biofertilizers" after tests conducted by the research agency showed that
these substances do not increase yield as advertised.
Ronilo Beronio, PhilRice
executive director, said that tests in ten provinces covering both the
wet and dry months showed that biofertilizers are not effective in promoting
growth and increasing rice and corn yield.
There are claims that biofertilizers
contain microorganisms that fix atmospheric nitrogen and add minerals and
other nutrients to the soil, produce growth promoting hormones and fight
pests and diseases.
Beronio clarified that biofertilizers
provide only a small amount of nutrients, or none at all.
The study was conducted by
Michelle Castillo and Cezar Mamaril, PhilRice science research specialist
and senior consulting expert, respectively, in collaboration with PhilRice
branch stations, regional Department of Agriculture agencies and state
universities and colleges. ###
Ecija-Cagayan toll way in the works
Two more expressways will
be built in North Luzon -- one that will connect Nueva Ecija to Cagayan
and the other, La Union to Laoag City.
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
last March 3 inspected a portion of an 88 kilometer expressway in Rosales,
Pangasinan which will form part of the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway.
The President said that San
Miguel Corporation (SMC) will be submitting plans to construct under the
bulid-operate-transfer scheme the expressways that will link Nueva Ecija
to Cagayan and La Union to Laoag City.
SMC is on the final stage
of talks to acquire up to 67 percent of the infrastructure company Ausphil
Tollways Corp., the main proponent of the North Luzon East Expressway (NLEE).
NLEE is a four lane toll
road project that will connect Commonwealth Avenue in La Mesa, Quezon City
to Cabanatuan City in Nueva Ecija. ###
council feud with Vergara worsens
The Sangguniang Panglunsod
of Cabanatuan City castigated Mayor Alvin Vergara for allegedly violating
the Local Government Code by entering into a contract without the
Eight city council members
filed SP Resolution 025-2010 criticizing Vergara for buying two parcels
of land for the setting up of a Material Recovery Facility (MRF) in Barangay
San Isidro worth P2,105,900.00 without the approval of the SP.
Those who signed the resolution
were SP Members Froilan Valino, Ariel Severino, Francisco Tolentino, Cristina
Paulino, Jonjon del Rosario, Johnero Mercado, Joselito Roque and Angelito
They also criticized the
chiefs of the city's Budget, Accounting, Development and Planning and Engineering
offices for approving the purchase.
Vergara reportedly asked
for the SP's approval of the purchase of the lots when the MRF was already
ring head, member arrested
Two alleged members of the
Cunanan robbery group were arrested at a police checkpoint along Maharlika
Highway in Barangay Bayanihan, Gapan City last March 9.
Before the arrest, joint
elements of the Nueva Ecija Provincial Police Office, Tarlac Provincial
Police Office and the 3rd Regional Public Safety Management Battalion closely
monitored the group reportedly responsible for robbery-holdups in Nueva
Ecija, Tarlac, Pampanga and Bulacan.
Chief Supt. Arturo Cacdac,
Jr., newly appointed Central Luzon police director, identified those arrested
as William Saraos Gaor, 40, of Narra St., Barangay Narra, Malabon City,
and Alfredo Villanueva Cunanan, 59, of Barangay Mallorca, San Leonardo,
Nueva Ecija and alleged leader of the group.
Last March 4, the group victimized
Godofrego Tangonan, a Sangguniang Bayan member of Paniqui, Tarlac who lost
a vault during a burglary in his house.
Elements from the Gapan City
police recovered from the suspects one .9mm pistol, a caliber .38 revolver,
one crowbar, two big screw drivers and assorted tools.
The suspects were charged
with robbery and illegal possession of firearms in relation to the Omnibus
Election Code. ###