Sunday, October 30, 2011

Central Luzon cops in full alert for “Undas 2011”

BALER, Aurora, October 31, 2011-A top executive of the Philippine National Police (PNP) here in Central Luzon said that all cops are in full alert status in line with the annual observance of All Saints’/Souls’ Day on November 1 and 2, 2011.

Police Chief Superintendent Edgardo T. Ladao said that they are in full alert and carrying out its “IMPLAN KALULUWA 2011”, the yearly security preparations of the PNP to ensure public safety and well-being during the traditional observance of All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day.

Ladao issued directives to all City/Provincial Directors from the different Police Provincial/City Police Offices in the provinces of Aurora, Nueva Ecija, Tarlac, Pampanga, Zambales, Bataan and Bulacan to strictly conduct checkpoint operations and bus terminal inspections which started last October 28, 2011 to November 3, 2011.

Motorists Assistance Centers are also established along major thoroughfares to help motorists who are travelling and heading towards their different provinces.  

Ladao said that starting today, October 31, 2011, all of his cops will also be deployed to the different cemeteries within the region and Public Assistance Centers are established to assist people.

“We also deputized the Barangay Peacekeeping Action Teams/Barangay Tanods to assist us in the implementation of Implan Kaluluwa,” Ladao said in a cellphone interview. (Jason de Asis) 

UPRIIS head sets record as 1st female irrigation manager in Phl

CABANATUAN CITY, Nueva Ecija, October 30, 2011-A multi-titled division manager of the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) has entered the history books as the first-ever female operations manager in the country after she was appointed the new chief of the Upper Pampanga River Integrated Irrigation Systems (UPRIIS), the operator of the giant Pantabangan Dam.

Josephine Salazar, erstwhile division 3 manager, assumed the post of UPRIIS operations manager vice Reynaldo Puno during turn-over rites at the system’s headquarters here Thursday night.

Salazar is the youngest and the first female to head a national irrigation system supervised administratively by the male-dominated NIA in its 48-year history. She was barely one year old when the agency was created by then-President Diosdado Macapagal.

Her appointment was approved by Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala and NIA Administrator Antonio Nangel who both sit in the NIA Board.

Salazar succeeded Puno who assumed the post of regional irrigation manager (RIM) for Central Luzon, replacing Manuel Collado who was re-assigned as RIM for Region 1. Her previous post, meanwhile, is now occupied by engineer Jose Ariel Domingo.

Salazar told newsmen her appointment was overwhelming. “All the hard work paid off,” she said, adding she would try to duplicate and continue on the gains achieved under Puno’s watch.

UPRIIS is the country’s largest national irrigation system (NIS). It irrigates 102,000 hectares of agricultural lands in Central Luzon which also hosts the third largest NIS – the Angat Maasim River Irrigation System that runs and operates the Bustos Dam in Bulacan.      

Prior to her appointment at UPRIIS, Salazar was adjudged as the most outstanding frontline irrigation manager in 2010 by an evaluation committee of the agency for steering Division 3 in achieving the highest record in physical and financial performance in the management and operation among the 49 irrigation management offices and national systems.

Division 3, which Salazar started managing in 2008, posted a net income of P40.42 million in 2010, from P32.8 million in 2009 and P14 million in 2008. For the first semester of 2011, it has posted a net income of P50 million. It also posted a viability index of 2.24 percent, from 1.33 percent in 2008.

It was the second consecutive yearly award received by Salazar who, in 2009, also emerged as most outstanding irrigation management officer, best irrigation service fee (ISF) provider also in 2009, ISF top grosser for 2010 of P73.19 million, highest ISF back account collection for 2010 (P14.39 million).     

Salazar’s division was also given the best managed frontline irrigation service award. It was also recognized as most viable IMO for 2010 and best maintained division. (Jason de Asis)

NIA exec holds back tears as he bids goodbye after 13 years

CABANATUAN CITY, October 30, 2011–The regional irrigation manager of the Angat Maasim River Irrigation System (AMRIS) – the country’s third largest national irrigation system – finally bade goodbye to agency employees   in an emotional farewell nearly marked by tears.

In a speech turning over the reins of the regional office to his successor Reynaldo Puno during ceremonies at the NIA Region 3 office in Tambubong, San Rafael, Bulacan Thursday, Manuel Collado tried to hold back tears as he thanked the NIA family for their support in his stint as regional chief for 13 years.

Collado asked them to support Puno then finished his speech. Puno was relieved from the Cabanatuan-based Upper Pampanga River Integrated Irrigation Systems, the operator of the Pantabangan Dam.

Collado was reportedly not in his “best element” over the last few days because of the revamp ordered by President Aquino and which was implemented by Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala and NIA Administrator Antonio Nangel.

The revamp was ordered by President Aquino after NIA accomplished only 25 percent of its target of 30,958 hectares while spending over 60 percent of its P14.88 billion budget. The overhaul has touched off a firestorm among top-level officials of the agency, particularly since it was done without prior consultation with affected people.

Alcala said those affected should comply with the revamp or quit.  “When you enter government service, when you are told that you will be assigned in a particular place and you don’t want to be transferred, then just put up your own business,” he said in an interview with newsmen in San Jose City last week.

While Collado was delivering his speech, he paused briefly, his hands shaking a bit. A lady photographer of the agency was seen shedding tears.

Collado tried to hide the pain, smiling occasionally and even tried to make fun of the event. When the ceremonial key was handed by him to Puno, he playfully tried to grab it back, drawing laughter from those around him. 

Later, Collado, who will be re-assigned to NIA Region 1 office based in Urdaneta, Pangasinan, said his biggest legacy in the regional office is its becoming financially viable under his watch.

Collado, a bosom buddy of Nangel, declined to comment on his sudden relief. But NIA sources said Collado was “extremely disappointed” because he was reportedly assured by Nangel he would not be included in the list of those who would be reshuffled.

A NIA official said Collado was given the run-around since the recommendation to replace him was submitted to the NIA Board chaired by Alcala last September 5. It was approved on September 14. The memorandum circular from Nangel came out only on October 14.

“All along, we were told that Manager Collado would be retained. They hid the relief order up to the last minute,” one of the sources said.

Another NIA insider said that while the reshuffle is the prerogative of Aquino and Alcala, this should not be selective and give favors to some officials. “There were some who were not removed so it’s clear they enjoyed protection,” he said. 

The CMN tried to get Nangel’s comment but he could not be reached. His aide said he just arrived from an official trip in Korea.

But another source said Nangel was first hesitant to implement the revamp but was pressured to when Alcala confronted him. “Ano i-implement mo ba ‘yan? Kung hindi mo kaya ako ang magi-implement (Will you implement that? If you can’t, I myself will implement it),” the source quoted Alcala as telling Nangel.          
The top-level NIA revamp affected three officials from the NIA central office, eight regional managers, two operation managers and one project manager.

Alcala said the Aquino administration needs to implement the revamp because many of them are overstaying in their posts and have so familiarized themselves with the local conditions that they are no longer effective in their posts.

“That’s where the problem lies. They are no longer productive. And they have become friends with local politicians,” he said, without naming names.

He said the revamp was compelling, noting that in one particular area, P2 billion worth of funds for irrigation projects was already spent but no single drop of irrigation water flowed. When pressed to identify the particular area, Alcala refused. (Jason de Asis)      


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