Volume 17 / No. 19   |  October 15, 2017
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Nueva Ecija Journal is published in
Gapan City, Nueva Ecija,Philippines
and updated every 15th and
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Ecija ranks 9th among 10 richest provinces in the country

Nueva Ecija made it to the 2016 list of 10 richest provinces in the country.

This was bared in the Commission on Audit's Annual Financial Report on Local Government Units.

Nueva Ecija registered a total of P7.227 billion in assets.

Among the other provinces in the Top Ten list are Cebu (P32.429 billion), Rizal (P11.73 billion), Negros Occidental (P11.042 billion), Batangas (P9.979 billion), Bulacan (P8.964 billion), Palawan (P8.199 billion), Iloilo (P8.144 billion), Laguna (7.556 billion) and Leyte (P7.03 billion). ###

Lacson questions P900-M for 100-meter road in Ecija

Senator Panfilo Lacson questioned the Department of Public Works and Highway's multi-year allocation totaling P900 million for a 100-meter stretch of the the national road in Nueva Ecija.

During the Senate budget deliberations on the proposed 2018 budget last October 9, Lacson pointed out that the 100-meter road got a P300 million allocation yearly in 2016, 2017 an 2018.

He said that would be P3 million spent per meter on the unidentified road in 2016.

Senator Loren Legarda, who sponsored the 2018 budget proposal, said the Nueva Ecija road is a priority project of DWPH.

She explained that the road is on a "mountainous and very dangerous" area.

Legarda said the P900 million budget will also cover "slope construction".

Lacson replied that the senators deserve a better explanation. ###

San Jose bishop volunteers protection to EJK witnesses

The bishop of the Diocese of  San Jose joined the president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) in offering protection to policemen and others willing to testify on extra-judicial killings in relation to the war on drugs.

Bishop Roberto Mallari, chair of the CBCP Commission on Catechesis and Catholic Education, said his diocese is willing to provide refuge to those who fear for their lives.

Last October 2, Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas said several conscience-stricken policemen behind drug-related killings had sought the protection of the Church.

In reaction, the Philippine National Police and the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption accused the bishops of sowing distrust against authorities.

Malacañang, for its part, said leaders of the Catholic Church should be more discerning in providing refuge to policemen who claim to be witnesses to extra-judicial killings.

The military spokesperson, Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla, Jr. did not call the Church's efforts as part of a destabilization plot but asked the bishops to scrutinize the people they provide refuge to. ###

Methodists denounce EJKs

The Board of Church and Society of the Unied Methodist Church Philippines Central Conference has released a statement reiterating its denunciation of killings related to President Duterte's war on illegal drugs.

"What is happening around us is frightening: An unending body count of victims of extrajudicial killing of the victims of drug use, instead of their rehabilitation, by police and vigilantes agitated by President Duterte himself," the statement read in part.

There has been an estimated 13,000 deaths from legitimate police operations and by unidentified vigilante killings.

Rev. Genesis Antonio, chair of the Philippines Board of Church and Society, said that they would like to remind the United Methodist Church that "respect for life and dignity of all creatures is one of the foundations of our Judeo-Christian faith. And that should move us, United Methodists, to confront all efforts and/or structures that hinder the liberating and saving acts of God."

Rev. Aniceto R. Villalon Jr., the board’s executive director, urged every United Methodist to embrace the statement.

"The call of the Philippines Central Conference Board of Church and Society is for the entire United Methodist connection to own and embrace this statement by reading it aloud in any public place," he said.

The statement was also read during the celebration of Critical Thinking Day at Wesleyan University-Philippines in Cabanatuan City, which also featured a parade of more than 100 education students and Methodist seminarians around the university campus.

Bishop Rodolfo A. Juan, one of the council’s three vice chairpersons, said that the church must be vigilant in upholding life. ###

CLSU  lanches 'Agri-Sikat' to boost agri-fishery enrolment

To counter the decline in enrolment in agriculture courses, a regional research and development consortium launched "Agri-Sikat", a campaign to promote agriculture and fisheries as viable options for students to achieve productive livelihoods.

Dr. Tereso Abella, president of Central Luzon State University (CLSU), mentioned the need to hybridize agriculture courses by marrying the curriculum with entrepreneurship to insure elementary and high school students take up agriculture, fisheries and forestry.

He said agriculrure, the country's economic backbone, faces several constraints including the aging population of Filipino farmers and the seemingly apathetic attitude of the youth towards farming

Speaking during  the launching of Agris-Sikat by the Cental Luzon Agriculture and Aquatic Resources Research and Development Consortium (CLAARRDEC), Abella said it is lamentable that of the more than 900,000 micro, small and medium enterprises in the country, only about 8,000 are agri-based, affecting the country's agricultural export.

Dr. Regidor Gaboy, dean of the CLSU College of Education and  project leader of Agri-Sikat, said taking up agricultural courses does not necessarily mean that one will have to till the farm.

“Graduates of agri-aqua related courses can engage in other productive endeavors. They can be fish doctors, gene scientists, soil scientists, rice chemists, farm machine experts, crop protection specialists, animal nutritionists, seed experts, agriculture data analysts and agriculture development workers, among other professions,” Gaboy said.

He said Agri-Sikat will initially target five school divisions in the cities of Gapan,Cabanatuan, Muñoz and San Jose, and the town of San Isidro. ###

P300-M biotech center to rise in Ecija

The Department of Agriculture will build the Philippines' biggest bIotechnolgy center at the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) in the Science City of Muñoz to generate more technologies and innovations in farm management.

Dr. Roel Suralta, head of the Biotechnology Center and a proponent of the project, said the goals of the center are to generate improved technologies, increase productivity and enhance the commercial value of the agriculture department's priority crops like rice, abaca, coconut, white and yellow con, cotton, cassava, sweet potato, yam, tomato and eggplant.

Suralta said the center will not only provide equipment and facilities but also training and support for Filipino researchers who will venture into biotechnology.

Over P300 million has been raised to build state-of-the-art laboratories and facilities.

The United States government granted funding for the facility through the Agricultural Trade Development and Assistance Act.

A total of P277 million for the project came from the US food aid program while the balance of P25 million was  from PhilRice. ###

Barangay chair, 3 others killed

A barangay chair and three others were shot dead in separate incidents in Nueva Ecija.

Reynaldo delos Santos, 51, chair of Barangay Pula, Cabanatuan City was standing in front of the barangay hall when motorcycle-riding men stopped and fired at him. He was declared dead on arrival at Premier General Hospital.

Chief Supt. Amador Corpus, Central Luzon police director, said delos Santos was a "high value" drug target of the Cabanatuan City police.

Meanwhile, two college students and a triycle driver were found dead in Rizal last October 4. ###

Caretaker shot dead, payroll money stolen

A robbery with homicide incident victimized a 56-year old caretaker on the night of October 8 in front of the San Geronimo Church in Santo Domingo, which is under construction

Sr. Insp. Jacquline Gahid, provincial police information chief, identified the victim as Danilo Vibas of Barangy Santo Niño 1st, San Jose City.

He was shot in the head and body by an unidentified suspect who waited for him to arrive and enter the church gate at 6:55 P.M.

A nine-year-old boy, John Daniel Quinto, witnessed the incident when the suspect attacked the victim while he was about to enter the gate of the church.

Police said that when the suspect saw the victim arrive, he aproached him from behind and repeatedly shot him.

Before the incident, cotractor Denis Geraldez, the victim's boss and owner of Recommended Builders of Abar 1st, SanJse City. told police that Vibas came to his office and picked up payroll money totaling P52,000 and put it in his sling bag before leaving.

Recovered from the crime were a live caliber .45 bullet, three cartridges of the same caliber, two metal fragments and the victim's wallet, eyeglasses and cigarettes. ###

Laborer shot dead

A 46-year old construction worker was shot repeatedly by suspects riding a motorcycle in tandem in San Antonio last October 5.

Chief Insp. Marlon Cudal, town police chief, said the victim, Pablo Bulan of Barangay Luyos, San Antonio, died at once from several gunshot wounds.

The victim was at the FlyingV gas station in Barangay Poblacion, waiting for his brother Florencio of Licab who was to fetch him for work, when shot with a caliber .45 pistol at 5:15 A.M.

The motive fort the killing was still being investigated. ###

10 engaged in spider fighting arrested

The San Leonardo police arrested ten persons engaged in spider fighting during an anti-illegal gambling operation last October 8.

Those arrested were Delbert Etac, 32, of Barangay Castellano, San Leonardo; Warly Caralde, 33, of Barangay San Vicente, Gapan City; Eriberto Pangilinan, 52, of Barangay San Roque; Ernesto Castro, 62, of Barangay Pamacpacan, Jaen; Arjay Lores, 20, of Barangay Nabao, Jaen; Christian Degala, 17, John Raymond Canullo, 16, all of Barangay Nabao, Jaen; CeeJay Eduardo, 20, of Barangay Dampulan, Jaen; Leanne Paul Matias, 22, and Juanito Parial, 36, both of  Barangay Castellano,

Chief Insp. Ranny Casilla, town police chief, said the operation was implemented in Barangay Castellano at 2:00 P.M.

He said the suspects were caught while betting on a spider fighting game.

Seized in the operation were P3,700 worth of bets, several types of spiders and an improvised spider fighting arena. ###

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