Wednesday, July 16, 2008

SP confirms Baniqued as Provincial Legal Officer

The Sangguniang Panlalawigan confirmed the appointment of the province Provincial Legal Officer (PLO) Geraldine ‘Dindin’ U. Baniqued on July 7 in its regular session.

Baniqued’s confirmation for the mandatory position under the local government code was unanimously approved by the board as she was believed to be competent, efficient and more than qualified for the position.

This was even supported by the numerous cases which Baniqued won for the province during the previous administration.

Way back, Baniqued served as PLO of the province from 1998 to 2005 but later resigned in January 15, 2005. Later in February 2005, she was hired as City Legal Officer (CLO) of Dagupan City and likewise tried her luck in politics when she opted to run for Board Member in the fourth district during the last election.

During her confirmation, Baniqued made a commitment to refrain from accepting new cases in order to attend to her functions as PLO although CSC Resolution # 95-7011 allows civil service employees to engage on a limited practice of her position which the latter was granted with such authority by her previous bosses. (PIO/Chona C. Bugayong)

Gov. Espino steps up health care for kids

At least 66 percent students from public elementary schools in Pangasinan suffer from worm infestation, 30 percent are underweight while 97 percent have various dental problems according to the health survey disclosed by the Provincial Health Office (PHO).

These alarming health findings prompted Gov. Amado T. Espino to intensify his initiative of deworming and oral health care campaigns in all public schools in the province.

Gov. Espino noticed a lot of feeding programs conducted by concerned agencies but they failed to recognize that a large number of school-age children have intestinal worm infections.

To address the issue, the provincial government, through the PHO, formulated the Essential Health Care Package (EHCP) program for children, which aims to reduce the prevalence of intestinal worm infections by 85 percent and resolve dental problems among school-age children.

The program was launched last Juy 4 in coordination with DepEd employees to the selected pilot schools in the municipalities of Anda, Burgos, Dasol, Binmaley, Calasiao, Sta. Barbara, Bautista, Villasis and Manaoag.

The first round of provincewide deworming for ages 6-12 is done every month of July, while for ages five and below is during the month of April. The second round is scheduled after six months.

All pilot schools, which received a one-year supply of toothbrush, toothpaste and hand soap from the provincial government, are now doing daily tooth brushing and hand washing. Teachers kept a daily close monitoring of the said activity to ensure the continuity of the program.

“Actually, this encompasses the holistic approach because we’re not just doing feeding programs, but also attacking the root cause of malnutrition identified as intestinal parasitism and poor oral health,” Dra. Wilma T. Silva, PHO Infectious Cluster Head, disclosed.

Dra. Silva added that the school is the best facility to institute behavioral change for children so they could imbibe the habit of good hygiene while they are still young.

To augment the resources of the province, NGOs were encouraged to adopt a public school and provide them with a year supply of toothbrush, toothpaste and hand soap.

It has been found that intestinal worm infections and poor oral care affect the physical and mental capabilities of school children to learn effectively. (PIO/Ninia F. Nicolas)

Provincial Government can avail of uncollected IRA

LINGAYEN --- The uncollected Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) of the province of Pangasinan amounting to P79-million will boost the provincial government’s priority development programs.

Governor Amado T. Espino, Jr. has entered into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Landbank of the Philippines (LBP) for a 7-year term loan using as collateral the P79-million uncollected IRA of the province.

Earlier, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has earlier ordered the release of P12.58-billion to settle the unpaid IRA of local government units (LGUs) nationwide, which was not disbursed due to the reenactment of the national budget in 2001 and 2004.

The MOA signing, which was held yesterday, July 10, at the new office of the governor located at the refurbished Capitol building here, signals the capability of the province to monetize the whole amount of IRA collectibles backlog for the years 2001 and 2004.

The move, which was earlier approved by the provincial board thru Resolution No. 679-2008 authored by Board Member Tyrone D. Agabas, was offered by the LBP to serve as best scheme in monetizing the unreleased IRA.

Under the IRA Monetization Program (IMP), the provincial government will only receive a net amount of P55-million if they avail in advance their respective share due to the discounted value, net of interest and other charges from the government financial institution.

IMP likewise offer installment basis for a period of seven years from 2009 to 2015, which will entitle the province to receive P11-million every year. However, such option will not support the immediate delivery of social services.

Fifty percent of the IRA differentials will be used primarily to boost food production. (Ruby R. Bernardino and Ninia F. Nicolas)