2016, September

As farmers here brace for farm modernization, they also look forward to trying new things such as the adoption of a Vietnamese onion technology to boost their productivity. Backed by the Department of Agriculture led by Secretary Emmanuel Piñol, the new Vietnamese technology which uses onion tubers as planting materials instead of seeds will be tested in Ilocos Norte’s onion growing towns for possible adoption by local farmers. Unlike the seeds which took a longer time to germinate, onion tubers, as big as an average thumb and initially grown in a nursery, could be harvested after two months.

2016, September

Filipinos of this generation associate nipa palm with the rooftops of old farm huts in the middle of fields tended by their grandparents. But residents of Brgy. Cabaggan in this Cagayan town have known for decades that sap extracted from nipa palm helps the neighborhood make “lambanog” (local wine). Now comes a team of experts from the Mariano Marcos State University (MMSU) which may have discovered a new by- product of the community’s vast nipa stands along the stretch of the Pamplona River— bioethanol. Producing as much as 26,000 liters of alcohol in a hectare a year, nipa is four times more productive than sugarcane, which is also a source of alcohol. A hectare of sugarcane generates 6,700 liters of alcohol. With a capacity to produce 850 liters of bioethanol each day, the Pamplona distillery is expected to lead the way as the first local trading center of ethanol supply in the country.

2016, August 31

Gearing for its Aerodrome Certification, Laoag International Airport (LIA) officials and employees staged a successful series of emergency drills. The drills are part of the requirements for LIA’s application to become Aerodrome-certified. The drills aim to ensure LIA’s preparedness, along with their mutual aid partners, to effectively and safely respond to an aircraft accident at the airport or areas within its vicinity. The drills also hone LIA’s capabilities on “alert and alarm”; communications; onsite incident management (ICS); rescue, triage and treatment; transportation to medical facilities; and site security.

2016, August 29

The Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) in this city is drug-free. J/Chief Insp. Herminigildo Rivera made this announcement after the mandatory drug testing result was released. The Ilocos Norte police crime laboratory team conducted the drug testing. Mr. Rivera said he and his 15 personnel tested negative. The testing was done through urine samples. He explained that if any detainee turns out a positive test, this will be investigated and a confirmatory test will also be conducted. If it is jail personnel, however, the result will be forwarded to the BJMP regional national headquarters for sanctions. He also disclosed that they have also conducted a random search in jail cells holding detainees facing drug charges. He added that this is to ascertain whether illegal drugs are entering the city jail.

2016, August 26

Attended by airport personnel, local government units’ officials and representatives of the PLDT Group and its wireless unit Smart Communications, the public Wi-Fi was officially launched at the airport’s arrival area to provide fast and reliable internet service to all. With this in mind, the LIA officials officially launched an ultra-fast public Wi-Fi on August 26, 2016. With a speed of 200 mbps but depending on the number of active users, Finina Tabuena- Gorres, PLDT and Smart Vice President for enterprise customer operations management sector said this new high speed service Wi-Fi offers internet service “without interruption, without delay and without the buffering.”

2016, August 20

VETERAN actress Lilia Cuntapay who was dubbed as the country’s “Horror Queen” died at 81 years old at her son’s home in Pinili, Ilocos Norte. Ms. Cuntapay, who died due to a spinal cord illness, was the icon of Ilocos Norte’s annual horror festival ‘Semana ti Araria’ and a mainstay of the  ‘Parada Iloca-locana’ [Ghost Parade] which has been drawing thousands of local and foreign tourists to the province since 2010. Ilocos Norte Governor Ma. Imelda “Imee” R. Marcos mourns the passing of the great actress whom she described as “a vibrant and gracious Ilocana.”

2016, August 19

Showing that the country’s correctional system may still work, the Laoag City Bureau of Jail Management and Penology celebrated the graduation of 17 detainees from the Alternative Learning System (ALS) Accreditation and Equivalency Program of the Dept. of Education. Jail Chief Insp. Herminigildo Rivera congratulated the graduates for SY 2015-2016 during the graduation exercises held at the city jail’s therapeutic center on August 19. Four detainees graduated for the elementary level, while 13 finished their secondary equivalent education.

2016, August 11

Responding to the needs for more professionals in the field of renewable energy sector, the staterun Mariano Marcos State University (MMSU) launched another specialized course program to advance professional training and managerial capability building of engineers and other concerned stakeholders here. Dr. Prima Fe Franco, MMSU acting president said the Professional Science Master’s in Renewable Energy Engineering is a pioneering two-year program of MMSU in partnership with the Energy Development Corporation (EDC) and the Science, Technology, Research and Innovation for Development (STRIDE) project funded under the United States Agency for International Development. Being the first in the country and Southeast Asia to offer such program, Ms. Franco said this would open a lot of opportunities for Ilocanos who may want to pursue this course, which is more of a hands-on training with partners from the renewable energy industry.

2016, August 10

Two well-known cities in the country formalize their bonds through a sisterhood relationship agreement (SRA), which was signed at the Laoag City Hall Auditorium With both their lady mayors representing the city governments, Laoag mayor Chevylle V. Fariñas and San Juan mayor Guia G. Gomez signed the agreement with their respective department heads and punong barangays as witnesses. With both their lady mayors representing the city governments, Laoag mayor Chevylle V. Fariñas and San Juan mayor Guia G. Gomez signed the agreement with their respective department heads and punong barangays as witnesses. Ms. Fariñas thanked Ms. Gomez for returning to this city and for bringing her whole delegation to visit Laoag. She also thanked the San Juan officials for choosing Laoag as their first sister city. The two-term Laoag mayor added that “the sister city relationships between the two cities is very vital and important as they both inspire and stimulate each other’s best practices and new innovations in becoming more progressive and more developed cities.”

2016, August 10

The next time you buy your ‘Abel Iloko’ [handwoven cloth] product, chances are these may have become more intricate and stylish that goes with modern style. Leading the way in reinventing the modern fashionista style of unique abel products in Paoay town are some 10 highly-skilled women from the Nagbacalan Loomweavers Multipurpose Cooperative (NLMC) who were taught new designs courtesy of the state-run Mariano Marcos State University. Marcos State University. In partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and its implementer, the Research Triangle Institute, MMSU professor Ciriaco Ragual said the new patterns and designs transferred to the Paoay loom-weavers were produced by employing mathematical procedures. The new designs and patterns were showcased at the University Guest House in Batac City.