Saturday, August 23, 2014

1,000 Palayan households get P5-M water systems project

PALAYAN CITY, Nueva Ecija–Some 1,000 households in this city now have access to potable water following the launch of a P5-million water systems project in this provincial capital.

          The project involves a pumping station equipped with generator sets and other facilities which was unveiled here last Wednesday in Barangay Singalat, one kilometer away from the city proper.

          Mayor Adrianne Cuevas, who led the launch, said the water systems project is part of city government efforts to lay the infrastructure requirements for the influx of investments in the city.

She said that a “bagsakan” project will soon be launched within this month while a business hub will also launched next month.

          Aside from Cuevas, also gracing the inauguration of the pumping station were Local Waterworks and Utilities Administration (LWUA) chief Andres Ibarra, Palayan City Water District (PCWD) general manager Gerardo Calling and Singalat barangay chairman Fausto Lagisma.

          The project was financed through a P5-million funding from the PCWD.

          Cuevas said that the project poses a big relief to residents in Singalat since access to potable water systems  has always been a perennial problem in the city’s far-flung barangays. She said the acute lack of drinking water could be blamed for the outbreak of diseases in some communities because they only use shallow wells between six to nine meters deep.

          Cuevas said the city government has been exerting efforts to provide water to Palayanos, noting that next year, they will launch a program providing water systems to 50 indigent families per barangay in each of the city’s 19 barangays.

          “Gradually, we will be undertaking water provision projects so that eventually, we can have water for all Palayanos, with the help of LWUA through Administrator Ibarra and Manager Calling,” she said.

Ibarra said the city can avail of national government projects on water systems provision. He said one of these projects is the $60-million loan from the Asian Development Bank which can be used in water expansion in various areas of the country.

Among the areas which can be covered by the loan package are Koronadal, Metro-San Fernando in La Union, 15 water districts (WDs) in Bulacan and an additional 42-45  WDs in various areas of the country.

Ibarra said within the next two years, he expects the water coverage of the city to increase from the present 13 barangays to 16 barangays out of its total of 19 barangays.

Calling said that the PCWD was able to implement P23.7 million worth of water systems projects in the city. Of this, P15 million was used for the expansion of areas and “Lingap sa Mahirap” projects  in barangays Militar, Singalat and Aulo, benefitting 3,600 water concessionaires.

He said that they are eyeing four more pumping stations in Aulo and Singalat while in the next three years, four additional deep wells and lines will be installed in six barangays, including Bagong Buhay, Manggahan and Maligaya.       

Calling said provision of water is one of the priorities of the Cuevas administration which is eyeing to build at least 2,000 housing facilities in coordination with the National Housing Authority (NHA).

It is also preparing for the establishment of the government center, involving the transfer of offices of all government agencies from Cabanatuan City. (Manny Galvez)

Ecija cops nab murdered woman’s ex-lover

CABANATUAN CITY, Nueva Ecija – Police operatives arrested in Angono, Rizal on Friday the former live-in partner of a 21-year-old woman suspected of killing her and dumping her body in an irrigation canal last Sunday.

          Police Superintendent Pedro Soliba, Cabanatuan police chief, identified the suspect as Melvin dela Cruz, 26, of Purok Ilang-ilang, Barangay Mayapyap Sur this city.

          Dela Cruz was arrested at Block 5, Lot 14, Herald Village, Angono by joint operatives of the Cabanatuan police and the Criminal Investigation Detection Team  led by Senior Inspector Ferdinand Mendoza. He did not resist arrest.

          Dela Cruz, a tricycle driver, was tagged for the brutal murder of Gladys Bernardo, 21, of Barangay Caalibangbangan who went missing on August 17. Her body was found floating in an irrigation canal of the National Irrigation Administration in the same barangay last Wednesday.   

          A day after, barangay officials went to the police station accompanying witnesses who executed affidavits and identified Dela Cruz as the one who murdered Bernardo. (Manny Galvez)

Kilo-for-kilo, Phl now Asia`s fastest rice producer

SCIENCE CITY OF MUÑOZ, Nueva Ecija - Kilo-for-kilo, Philippine rice is the best in Asia. It is the fastest rice producer in the continent, believe it or not, based on world market data.

          Dr. Eufemio Rasco Jr., PhilRice executive director, citing data from the World Market and Trade of the United States Department of Agriculture said that the Philippines, which posted a 97-percent rice self-sufficiency status last year, registered a 4.04 percent average increase in milled rice production over the four-year period from 2010-2013.

          This after the country produced 10.99 million metric tons of milled rice from 9.77 million metric tons in 2011.  

          With this produce, the Philippines surpassed major rice exporters including  China and India, which showed an improvement of only 1.55 and 3.77 percent, respectively.

          Thailand, a leading rice exporter, only posted a 0.39-percent change difference in milled production.

          Tom Slayton, former editor of The Rice Trader and co-author of an article on how rice price crisis could be prevented from becoming a crisis of hunger, noted that Philippines - considered a key importer in the world rice trade - posted zero imports that was maintained at 1.50 million metric tons during the last two years.

          Bangladesh recorded a 0.25-change difference in imports from 2012 to 2013, while China, although one of the largest rice producers in the world, registered 0.10 difference.

          Relating the world rice production data to regional rice industry integration in Asia, researchers Tin Htut Oo, Tim Maung Shwe, and Larry Wong said the “increasing private sector efforts in integrating increasingly ASEAN-wide modern farming and modern economic activities along agri-food supply chains and international trading networks could and should be harnessed and leveraged to complement and supplement on-going government efforts [towards food security in Asia].” 

          Rasco said the institute and the International Rice Research Institute based in Los Baños, Laguna, recently signed a memorandum of agreement to collaborate on conducting researches and promoting technologies.

          The two rice institutes will also share information on researches conducted in the country, and provide intensive training among collaborators. 


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