Mariano Marcos State University (MMSU) – Batac emerged as champion after defeating Northern Christian College (NCC) in this year’s Ferdinand E. Marcos (FEM) Intercollegiate Debate Tournament held on September 16 at the Provincial Capitol Auditorium.
The final round focused on the motion “This house believes that all public utility vehicles (PUVs) should be under government control” debating on an Asian Parliamentary System.
With the recent launching of the Metro Ilocos Norte Council (MINC), the motion relates to the on-going efforts of Governor Imee R. Marcos concerning the transportation developments in the province.
On the government side, Agatha Quidilla, John Galat and Jazerie Sales of MMSU – Batac argued that government control of PUV entails benefits in transport and traffic management, better provision of services to the commuting public and accommodation of tourists.
NCC’s team composed of Stephen Valencia, Sheena Bartolome and Jet Lee Dafun posed that government control of PUVs is unnecessary as current regulations are already well-implemented and functional.
Governor Imee noted that transportation is a burning issue for every Ilocano especially to the youth who are considered to be the main passengers of PUVs.
With this, she said that “this is a significant debate” and “wide ranging policy and programmatic actions are guaranteed after.”
Now on its third year, tournament director Herdy La Yumul described how the FEM Debate Cup has evolved to become a community of brilliant Ilocano speakers.
Unlike in the past tournaments, this year has welcomed the election of officers of the first ever Ilocos Norte Debate Union during the participants’ socialization night on September 15.
Yumul said that with the debate union, “we no longer want to just compete against one another anymore but we are looking forward to the higher ends.”
Moreover, a new feature of the tournament has been highlighted during the three-day competition wherein nine student adjudicators were trained during the elimination rounds.
Julianne Bugaoisan of MMSU – Laoag was proclaimed as the best student adjudicator.
During the final round, Bugaiosan, together with SP02 Aurora Manuela, Atty. Val Pascua, Atty. Erme Labayog, Mr. Herdy Yumul, Ms. Janet Clark and Prof. Romeo Abucay was a part of the final adjudication panel.
Meanwhile, John Gallat of MMSU – Batac was declared as the tournament’s best debater while Patrick Quitoriano of MMSU – Batac and Antonio Guerrero of Northwestern University tied for the best speaker.
“As the most debate friendly governor in South East Asia, I would like to extend my gratitude to Governor Imee for giving the Ilocano youth the chance to contribute to the pressing issues of the province,” said Gallat.
Capping off the week-long celebration of FEM’S 98th birthday anniversary, the debate tournament is a fitting tribute to his legacy as a great debater during his time.
The FEM Intercollegiate Debate Tournament 2015 was joined by five colleges and universities in the province namely MMSU – Batac, MMSU – Laoag, Northwestern University, Northern Christian College and Data Center College of the Philippines.
Governor Imee highlighted that “we had a very balance, well-placed and even competition as all the participating schools have shown that they have excellent speakers, great debaters and analytical minds indeed.”—John Michael Mugas, PGIN-CMO
Gov. Marcos, JICA conducts aerial inspection, seek for quick mobilization of dikes ravaged by typhoon ‘Ineng’
After conducting series of aerial inspections days after typhoon ‘Ineng’ hit the province, Governor Imee Marcos requested for further assessment of the damaged dike systems particularly of the Madongan Dam in Solsona and Sabo Dam in Nueva Era on September 10, 2015.
The inspection team included Ms. Misaki Kawaguchi, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) representative; Mr. Takeshi Muronaga, JICA Flood Management Adviser in DPWH Central Office; Mr. Gil Iturralde, Engineer of Flood Management Control Management Cluster DPWH; and Mr. Glen Reyes, Engineer of DPWH Ilocos Norte.
According to Engr. Reyes, further assessment and recommendations from JICA, Japan’s foreign aid arm, are necessary since the original design and loan funding of the project came from the said organization.
“(The aerial inspection aims to) come up with a solution that would mitigate or control the damages brought about by big typhoons,” Reyes added.
Aerial rounds showed that the dike systems were severely damaged, have full of sediments from the mountains and that the river flow is undefined.
Gov. Marcos said that the Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte (PGIN) and JICA, together with concerned agencies, plan to redesign the Sabo Dam in order to avoid any adverse impact of severe floods in the future.
“Right now what we’re planning is the design. Ang problema kasi dito sa Sabo river basin, hindi na pwedeng i-repair or i-rehab. Start from scratch tayo. Di natin ibabalik yung dati kasi hindi na nagse-serve ng purpose so kinakailangang mag-redesign.”
One of the major causes of its destruction, Gov. Marcos said, is the “(failure to construct the) upstream section which should’ve protected us, ‘yun yung pinakaimportante, ‘yun yung ginawang phase two na hindi na nangyari.”
Another problem is lack of maintenance since its construction in 2008. According to Gov. Marcos, five percent of the project cost should be allocated annually, which unfortunately was never given.
Nevertheless, Gov. Marcos continues to seek for the assistance of the national government and private sectors in order to mobilize the damaged infrastructure as soon as possible.
“I’m asking everyone to come and help including the Army Corps of Engineers. We are hoping that the National Irrigation Administration can expedite their own dam, the Madongan, Solsona and Dingras river irrigation systems. The private contractors have also been very generous in lending their equipment.”
Aware of the calamities’ serious threat to Ilocano lives and properties, Gov. Marcos said PGIN will certainly find any possible solution in order to fast track the restoration and reconstruction of the said infrastructure.—Jennifer T. Pambid, PGIN-CMO
Agriculture and infrastructure damage in Ilocos Norte has now climbed up to more than P 2 billion after Typhoon ‘Ineng’ ravaged the province over the weekend, latest report from the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management and Resiliency Council (PDRRMRC) showed.
Agriculture recorded an estimated P89 million worth of damage while infrastructure now stood at P1.9 billion.
On August 27, Governor Imee R. Marcos conducted an aerial inspection aboard a chopper to have a greater view of the extent of devastation in infrastructure and agriculture caused by Ineng in the eastern areas of the province.
Two choppers took off from Laoag International Airport going to Padsan River in Laoag, Madungan Dam, Barangays Barong and Elizabeth in Dingras as well as Surong Valley and Isik-Isik in Vintar.
“Clearly, hundreds of millions will be required to restore agriculture and infrastructure in the province,” said Governor Imee R. Marcos during a press conference.
Some 85 hectares of farm field in the province have been totally destroyed by Ineng with the rice sector sustaining the greatest damage at P71 million followed by high value crops at P6.4 million, corn at P4.5 million and fisheries at P4.8 million.
According to Ms. Norma Lagmay of Provincial Agriculture Office, an inventory of available seeds and sourcing out have been ordered by Governor Marcos to help Ilocano farmers recover faster.
“We have already prepositioned 3,150 hybrid and inbred seeds and the Department of Agriculture will provide an additional 1,500 seeds,” added Lagmay.
Livestock industry in the province has reported a P2.9 million worth of damage.
“Damage has now reached a billion and counting. The DPWH, NIA, provincial, municipal and barangay roads are completely scoured,” said Governor Marcos.
As Ilocos Norte has been suffering from a prolonged dry spell before Ineng hit the province, Mr. Edwin Cariño of the Millenium Development Goals (MDG) Office said that pond liners and other drought alleviation equipment were slightly damaged during the typhoon.
“The worst typhoons in the province come in during September and October. There is a complete rethinking right now because our dikes, spillways, water containment are damaged and our farmers are scared to plant right away,” said Governor Marcos.
Several interventions are now being mapped out for short-term and long-term recovery needs in agriculture.
Earlier, the provincial government has placed the entire Ilocos Norte under state of calamity. Governor Marcos has already sought for the assistance of the national government in terms of medicines, agriculture, relief operation and immediate attention to damage in the infrastructure brought about by Ineng.—John Michael Mugas, PGIN-CMO
Governor Marcos continues aerial inspection, relief operation in far-flung areas ravaged by Typhoon ‘Ineng’
Aerial rounds in the far-flung municipalities of Nueva Era and Adams conducted by Governor Imee R. Marcos on August 28, Friday showed that more infrastructures were severely damaged after Typhoon ‘Ineng’ hit Ilocos Norte over the weekend.
As the inspection yesterday showed that a great extent of the dike system in the Madungan dam was washed out, Governor Marcos revealed today that portions of the Sabo dam in Nueva Era were totally destroyed.
“Yung Sabo dam (in Nueva Era), parang nabuksan na ilog, wasak na wasak mula tuktok hanggang ibaba. Kahapon nakita natin yung (Madungan dam) in Solsona at Dingras na ang downstream section ay tumba lahat,” added Governor Marcos.
The destruction of the dike system of the Sabo dam in Nueva Era resulted to severe flooding in nearby barangays like Barangobong, Uguis and Lasien, adding to the more than P2 billion worth of damage in the province caused by Ineng.
Governor Marcos noted that the adverse impact of the typhoon could have been minimized if the “original construction plan of the Sabo dam with mini-dams, catchment areas and watersheds” were followed.
The aerial survey further revealed that numerous mountain landslides occurred in the Cordillera side situated in Nueva Era while massive landslides destroyed roads in Adams which left small vehicles unable to reach the town until today.
Fearing that the worst typhoons in the province come in September and October, Governor Marcos said that “some temporary provisional remedies at the same time planning for a proper rehabilitation” should be instituted as early as now.
“Sa ngayon, magkokonsulta tayo kung ano ang magandang gawin pansamantala. Dahil sa tingin ko hindi makakaraos kapag tag-ulan ang ating mga komunidad along the river banks sa Nueva Era, Dingras, Solsona at Marcos,” noted Governor Marcos.
Meanwhile, the same choppers used during the inspection carried relief goods that were distributed in the isolated barangays of Nueva Era and Adams.
As of today, almost P2 million worth of relief goods were already distributed province-wide by the provincial government thru its Social Welfare and Development Office.–John Michael Mugas, PGIN-CMO