Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Zambales Mango Festival 2011 starts today

IBA, Zambales, April 7, 2011-The 11th Zambales Mango Festival kicks off today as one of the celebrations in the province which starts its four day revelry to be led by Governor Hermogenes Ebdane, Jr. and Vice Governor Ramon Lacbain who led the opening ceremony at the Provincial Capitol grounds in this capital town.

Senator Francis Pangilinan, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food graced the occasion along with Regional Directors Blesila Lantayona of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Ronaldo Tiotuico, Department of Tourism (DOT), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Region 3 Director Alfredo Tolentino and Police Chief Superintendent Allan Purisima of the Philippine National Police (PNP) Region 3 and Representatives from PhilHealth Region 3 are expected to arrive.

Today as the kick off of the annual celebration it featured photo contest and art exhibits, ultimate dance craze program and the regular street parade and street dancing competition.

Tomorrow a new program add-ons ZAMBA Boxing competition, Search for Talentadong Empleyado (Talented Employees) 2011, Huli Mo Biik Mo!, Agri-Karera ng Kalabaw (Agri-Carabao race) and dog show will be highlighted along with regular mango forum and PINAKA LGU booth competition.

On the 3rd day of the celebration, main stays mango carving and mango eating contests and PINAKA competition will be featured along with the battle of the bands and the judging of the photo contest.

On the province culmination activity, newbies Zambales Song Writing Competition and Ginoo at Binibining Zambales (Mr. and Ms. Zambales) 2011 Grand Pageant Night are lead programs on the final day along with the awarding ceremony of the photo contest.

The annual celebration is a joint program of the Zambales Mango Development Council and the Zambales government to boost the mango industry of the province. (Jason de Asis)

Gapan civil registrar resigned, clerk suspended for live birth certificate probe

GAPAN CITY, Nueva Ecija, April 7, 2011-City civil registrar Mr. Danilo Tan who was one of those being investigated by the grievance committee headed by Danny Padiernos for alleged involvement in the falsifying of the certificate of live birth of an eight-year-old boy and in the missing marriage contract of his parents has resigned from his post.

Mayor Christian Tinio revealed yesterday that Tan has formally tendered his irrevocable resignation ahead of the results of the investigation in the case of Davis Mandy Afable whose certificate of live birth was allegedly forged, adding that the said office was assumed in an acting capacity by budget officer Zenaida Azarcon.

Tan is reportedly a close ally of former three-term mayor Ernesto Natividad whose wife Baby lost to Tinio in last year’s mayoral elections.

“There is no politics in the investigation of Tan,” Tinio said, explaining that his creation of a grievance committee to look into the case meant the probe is not politically motivated. “That’s why the committee is there to investigate and I never meddle in their work,” he said.

Tinio furthered that on the recommendation of the grievance committee, he has preventively suspended Jocelyn Dimacale, the clerk of the office of the civil registrar suspected of falsifying Afable’s certificate of live birth.

Earlier, the Sangguniang Panlunsod (SP), presided over by Vice Mayor Rodel Matias, placed Dimacale under investigation following a complaint lodged by Afable’s mother Desiree Bonifacio of Barangay San Nicolas here. The SP later gave way to the grievance committee.

Afable was born last May 28, 2002 to Manuel Afable, an American citizen, and Bonifacio. Exactly a month later, the elder Afable and Bonifacio got married.

Bonifacio said in the process, Davis Mandy was “legitimated through subsequent marriage,” as borne by the couple’s application for marriage license and the certificate of live birth. The couple’s relationship, however, went sour and they later separated.

Bonifacio said sometime last year, she went to the National Statistics Office to request a copy of their authenticated marriage contract and Davis Mandy’s certificate of live birth. She said to her surprise, the copy of the marriage contract could not be found and the certificate of her son’s live birth was forged through false entries.

Attached in her certificate of affidavit was a copy of the certificate of live birth of Davis Mandy wherein the boy’s middle name and surname Afable were erased.     The same document, however, clearly indicated that Davis Mandy was “legitimated” through the subsequent marriage of his parents on June 28, 2002.

Because of the forged certificate of live birth, Bonifacio said it would appear that Davis Mandy was an illegitimate child when in fact, his being a son of his Filipino mother and American father was already “legitimated” through their marriage.

In her complaint-affidavit, she also attached a copy of certificate of live birth signed by Tan and Dimacale dated July 5, 2002 showing that she and Afable got married. But in another certificate of live birth dated January 21, 2011 also signed by Tan and clerk 2 Arthur Merle, there were no entries opposite the lines “date and place of marriage of parents,” indicating they were never married at all.

Bonifacio said when she confronted Dimacale about the falsified certificate of live birth and the missing marriage contract, the latter admitted she pulled out the authentic documents on the request of the elder Afable.

Bonifacio said because of this anomaly, Davis Mandy was deprived of benefits due him as a legitimate child. She also complained that her ex-husband Manuel Afable was able to get married to another woman even if their marriage still exists and when there was no legal separation.

She said that the disappearance of her marriage contract and the forged certificate of live birth could not have been carried out if Afable did not conspire with officials of the city civil registrar’s office. (Jason de Asis)

NIA says that coliform outbreak has no effect on CL farmlands

CABANATUAN CITY, Nueva Ecija, April 7, 2011-The National Irrigation Administration (NIA) assured yesterday the reported outbreak of fecal coliform bacteria in at least 15 rivers in Central Luzon, including river systems that provide irrigation to thousands of hectares of farmlands in the region had no adverse effect on crops.

NIA regional irrigation manager for Central Luzon Manuel Collado said that so far, none of the farmers and irrigators’ associations have filed a complaint regarding the coliform pollution reportedly affecting the 15 rivers.

“So far, one has reported damage to crops related to the coliform bacteria,” Collado told newsmen as he downplayed the report of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

DENR regional forestry division chief Sofio Quintana said that a test conducted last year on water quality of the 15 rivers showed various stages of fecal coliform contamination from human and animal wastes.

Quintana told a water conservation forum that the bacteria, which is hazardous to people are found midstream and downstream of rivers from the watersheds of the Upper Pampanga River Integrated Irrigation Systems in Nueva Ecija, Dingalan in Aurora, Angat-Maasim and Angat-Ipo in Bulacan, Porac-Gumain in Pampanga, Pinulot in Bataan; Bulsa Moriones, Camiling and O’Donnel in Tarlac and Bucao, Cabaluan, Caulaman, Nayom and Sto. Tomas in Zambales.    

The DENR official stressed that there is a need for local government officials to build community toilets and strengthen the enforcement of solid waste management laws in their localities.

Angat-Maasim falls under the jurisdiction of Collado’s office which also covers the merged provincial irrigation management offices of Nueva Ecija, Bulacan and Aurora whose office is situated in Barangay Tambubong, san Rafael, Bulacan. It operates the 39-year-old Angat-Maasim Rivers Irrigation System that runs the Angat Afterbay Regulator Dam that irrigates 30,000 hectares of farmlands in 16 towns in Bulacan and four towns in Pampanga.

Collado admitted that the NIA has no technical expertise to determine the content of coliform bacteria in rivers and in irrigation farms but said that the reported outbreak is not being felt in their areas of operation. (Jason de Asis)


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