N. Vizcaya’s 1st university turns 80

BAYOMBONG, Nueva Vizcaya–The province’s first university is celebrating its 80th anniversary on December 8, with activities lined up featuring its intensified thrust of expanding its global linkages, balanced with programs tending to preserve its cultural roots.

This year’s event seeks to highlight the milestones that Saint Mary’s University, a Catholic church-run institution here, has achieved both on the domestic and global front, said Fr. Manuel Valencia, university president.

“Our theme for this year, ‘Crossing Boundaries at 80’, stresses how SMU continues to endeavor to reach out to partners in other parts of the globe, and focus on efforts to bring the best quality of education for our students and for our community,” he said.

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Going.. going..

N. Vizcaya folk hail Aussie firm’s shelving of mine project

BAYOMBONG, Nueva Vizcaya–Environment groups here on Thursday welcomed the announcement of a Australian firm OceanaGold Philippines, Inc. that it was indefinitely putting on hold its US$117-million gold copper project in upland Kasibu town due to financial difficulties.

“This is a much deserved reward for our people who have suffered long enough from the activities of this company, but who endured and fought all the odds and prove once more that we should take control of our land,” said Peter Duyapat, president of the Didipio EarthSavers Multipurpose Association, a people’s organization.

On Wednesday, Stephen Orr, chief executive officer of OceanaGold Philippines, Inc. announced that the company is placing the Didipio gold-copper project under “care and maintenance” following company’s “strategic review” of its plans since it stopped operations in June.

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Actor’s show draws parents’ uproar in Santiago City

SANTIAGO CITY–Parents from public and private elementary schools here has called the Department of Education to investigate what they¬†described as alleged anomalous deals involving the film-showing project of a company owned by actor-model Carlo Maceda.

They questioned why school children were being forced by their teachers and school officials to watch a short film “Sisa”, purportedly without consultation with parents organizations.

“We demand an explanation from the school authorities why our children are being forced to watch that expensive show, especially many of us¬†here struggle to pay for the P150-ticket,” said a father of a fourth-grader at La Sallete University Elementary Department here.

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Dirty doleouts

N. Vizcaya ‘cement scam’ traced to ’07 polls

BAYOMBONG, Nueva Vizcaya–Findings of the Commission on Audit has exposed that the allegedly illegal purchases made by the provincial government involving P23 million-worth of bags of cement were released in the run-up to the May 2007 local elections.

The 2007 audit report listed a total of 26 purchases by the province of bags of cement totalling P19.5 million from the period January 15 to April 17, 2007, or less than a month before the May 14, 2007 polls.

The amount covers about 84 percent of the P23.2 million, which the COA has declared as anomalous because the transactions were not subjected to a public bidding as required by Republic Act 9184 (Government Procurement Reform Act of 2003).

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