Volume 16 / No. 19   |  October 15, 2016
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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 mega drug rehab center
to open in November

The Department of Health says the mega drug rehabilitation center being built in Fort Magsaysay will be fully operational by the first week of November.

The department will operate the facility.

In a press conference last October 12, Health Secretary Paulyn Ubial said almost 50% of the 10,000-bed facility has been constructed, with the right wing ready to be furnished for 1,000 in-patients.

She said the left wing and the female dormitory are underway and expected to be finished by the end of October.

Ubial said the facility was donated by Huang Rulun, a Chinese billionaire businessman and philanthropist who has no business interest in the Philippines. According to Forbes Magazine, Huang's real estate developer company, Century Golden Resources Group, has over 20,000 employees and nterests in 20 five-star hotels and 10 shopping malls.

Ubial said Huang had met with President Rodrigo Duterte thrice -- twice before he was elected president, and once when he was already president.

The health secretary went to China in September to sign a deed of donation for the construction of the treatment and rehabilitation center that started last July.

She said the donation papers talk about a 100,000-square-meter and not a 10,000-bed facility.

The first 2,500 beds will be turned over on October 15 while the 7,500 other beds are scheduled for turn over on November 16.

Ubial said a donor has been found for the furnishing of the center. ###

Transfer of national penitentiary to NE will push through

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre said the transfer of the national penitentiary from the New Bilibid Prisons in Muntinlupa City to Fort Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija will push through.

Earlier, the Duterte administration decided to abandon the relocation of the penitentiary because the cost would be too high and therefore not practical.

Aguirre said the bidding for the contract to set up the bigger and more modern facility is scheduled for November 24.

The project has a budget of P50 billion to P100 billion.

The old Muntinlupa facility was designed for 9,000 inmates but currently houses over 24,000 convicts.

Aguirre said three groups have expressed interest in bidding for the public-private partnership program project but he did not name them..

He said the new facility can accommodate 26,880 prisoners and will have staff housing and administrative buildings; areas for sports, work and religious activities; and state-of-the-art security.

He said some support services may be outsourced such a laundry, waste treatment and disposal, sewage water treatment and power generation. ###

NE farmers' debt to NIA totals P2.9 billion

Nueva Ecija farmers have chalked up a total of P2.9 billion in unpaid irrigation service fees to the National Irrigation Administration (NA) as of June 2016.

Florentino David, manager of NIA's Upper River Integrated Irrigation Systems (UPRIIS) said farmers, including land reform beneficiaries, have failed to listen to reminders from collectors to pay the fees.

A collector said among those who refuse to pay are rich farm owners and those who have used their farms as loan collateral.

Farmers have been informed of the government's intention to do away with the payment of irrigation service fees as mentioned by President Duterte and Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piņol and are banking on a promise by the President that the administration would subsidize those fees.

NIA collects irrigation fees in kind, equivalent to 2.5 cavans of rice per hectare during the wet season and 3.5 cavans during the dry season.

Based on the government support price for rice, NIA expects to be paid P2,125 per hectare during the wet season and P2.975 per hectare during the dry season. ###

Ecija school bags prize in PopCom film fest

Mayapyap National High School of Cabanatuan City recently won major prizes in the First Regional Adolescent Health and Youth Development Film Festival of the Commission on Population (POPCOM).

The school's entry entitled "Putik" won first runner-up in the Best Film and Best Screenplay categories.

The other winners were St. Mary's College of Baliuag  for its entry "Malaya", first place; and Zambales National High School for "Ulan", second runner up.

POPCOM Regional Director Eleanor Cura said the Adolescent Heath and Youth Development component  aims to contribute to the improvement and promotion of the total well-being of young people through programs, projects, and activities that will help prevent early sexual encounters, rising teenage pregnancies, early marriages, and increasing numbers of sexually transmitted infections through age-and-development-appropriate Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health information.

She said the regional film festival aimed to produce films by local population offices and school organizations that are of high quality and deserving to be the region's entry in the national level of the competition.

POPCOM partnered with Department of Education and Philippine Information Agency for the gathering of entries from the provinces of Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Tarlac, and Zambales as well as the highly urbanized cities of Angeles and Olongapo. ###

Ecijano grandpa shapes eyebrows to earn  living

A 78-year old grandfather from General Tinio caught the public's attention when he was featured in the ABS-CBN "My Puhunan" program for the way he earns a living -- by shaping women's eyebrows.

Leonito Lopez rides his 15-yer-old bicycle -- his mobile salon -- all over town,armed with a pink mirror and eyebrow-shaping tools to offer his services.

Lopez said he has regular clients who would set appointments, and chance customers who would see him as he rode around the town.

He said earns P300 to P600 a day. ###

Cabiao seen as a tourism, business destination

The Nabao Lake in Cabiao is being envisioned as a destination and venue for out-of-town business conferences, targeting local and foreign tourists.

Mayor Ramil Rivera said this was part of the town's development plan.

Marking his first 100 days as mayor, Rivera said the lake in Barangay Santa Rita will offer such water-based recreation activities as wake boarding, dragon race, zipline riding, fishing, kayaking, and rest huts and function halls.

He said a one-stop destination similar to the floating market and restaurant in Thailand will be built to give jobs to Cabiao residents and provide nature-study packages to school children.

Rivera said the project will help the local government raise funds for the town's social welfare and services program. ###

CL police: Help find shabu lab in Ecija

The Central Luzon police has asked for the support of local officials and the public in finding a shabu laboratory in Nueva Ecija.

Chief Supt. Aaron Aquino, regional police director, said there is a strong possibility that a shabu laboratory is hidden in the province as indicated by the big number of surrendering illegal drug users and pushers.

He noted that shabu laboratories were recently discovered in Aurora, Bulacan, Pampanga, Tarlac and Zambales.

He said the laboratory found beside a piggery in Barangay Baņo, Arayat, Pampanga is the closest to Nueva Ecija.

The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency said that the typical signs of a shabu laboratory are large water tanks, thick electrical cables, presence of waste laboratory materials like chemical bottles and drums, chimney or ventilation fans, strong chemical odor, dead or wilted grass, weeds and trees in the vicinity and high fence with barbed wires. ###

Two bodies found in Rizal

Two unidentified bodies were found beside an irrigation canal in Rizal last October 13.

The bodies, discovered at bout 6:00 A.M. beside the main canal in Baragay Aglipay, were tied and had multiple gunshot wounds.

Two pieces of cardboard signs were found near one of the bodies scribbled with "Mamamatay ako huwag tularan" and "Pusher ako huwag tularan". ###

San Leonardo cop shot dead

A policeman in San Leonardo was shot and killed by unknown men last October 13.

SPO2, Napoleon Manabat, case investigator, said the victim, PO2 Michael Juan, 42, of Barangay San Anton, was driving his motorcycle when attacked just 300 meters from his house.

The motive for the attack has yet to be determined. ###

Quezon drug suspect killed

A man in Quezon who was in the police drug watch list was killed by motorcycle-riding men last October 1.

The victim, Felix Valereio, 51, of Barangay San Alejandro, was talking with a neighbor, Jay dela Cruz, when shot. He died on the spot ###

2 illegal drug suspects arrested

Two men were arrested in two separate places last October 1 for possession of illegal drugs

In Barangay D.S. Garcia, Cabanatuan City, Toby John Gutierrez, 33, was nabbed for selling a sachet of shabu to an undercover polcemen at 11:15 A.M.

In Aliaga, Ron Cordero, 39, was arrested in Barangay Umangan for possession of shabu during a buy-bust operation at 5:40 P.M. ###

Pantabangan farmer hangs self after admitting illegal drug use

A farmer in Pantabangan, who had confessed to the police that he used narcotics, was found hanging from a mango tree in his farm last October 11.

The family of the victim, Lopito Evangelista, 44, said he might have committed suicide.

The victim's body was discovered in Barangay Cadaclan at 2:45 P.M.

A handwritten suicide note was found in his pocket.

Police said there were no indications of foul play.

It was learned that Evangelista and his wife had a heated discussion about his drug addiction. ###

Bodies of San Jose businessman, employee found in van

The bodies of 45-year old internet shop owner from San Jose City and his employee were found in a van parked along the highway in Purok 7, Barangay Mataas-na-kahoy, General Natividad last October 7.

Supt. Arlene Coronel, chief of the Nueva Ecija Police Crime Laboratory Office, identified the victims as Resito dela Cruz, 45, of 267 Bonifacio St., Barangay Calaocan, San Jose City and Alvin Liven, 37, computer technician, of Laureta St., Calaocan.

The local police reported that the bodies, with hands and feet tied with electrical cable and mouths gagged with packing tape, were found at 6:00 A.M.inside a black van with no place number.

Recovered in the vehicle were a vehicle plate number marked POCO-970, a certificate of registration under the name of Fernando I. Domingo, aluminum foil, aluminum strips, four lighters and a cell phone. ###

Talavera tricycle driver found dead

The body of a 58-year-old tricycle driver was found by a farmer last October 9 in a vacant lot in Talavera.

The victim, Eduardo Rodriquez, was tied and blindfolded.

No gunshot wound was found on the body and investigators surmised that the victim could have been strangled to death.

The identity of the suspect and the  motive for the killing have yet to be established. ###

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