In N. Vizcaya, cement doled out to churches, private groups

BAYOMBONG, Nueva Vizcaya–A provincial official here has exposed the alleged illegal practice of the provincial government to give away thousands of bags of cement to villages, religious groups and private organizations.

Board member Patricio Dumlao Jr. on Sunday expressed disgust that provincial government continued to distribute bags of cement despite the clear prohibition in the local government code.

“This (practice) is a blatant disregard for our laws, which clearly outlaws the use of public funds for private purposes, especially the religious sector,” he said.

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Welcome sign

Championing good governance at C. Valley’s doorsteps

SANTA FE, Nueva Vizcaya

Would-be couple Salvador Soliven, 37, and Rowena Ricaide, 29, felt so relieved as they walked out of the Santa Fe town hall one Wednesday afternoon. The bride, an overseas Filipino worker who hurriedly came home for her wedding preparations, wondered long it would take them to process and secure all requirements before they could be issued their marriage license. Ricaide, a native of Sudipen town in La Union, drearily set her mind to devote one week just to complete their purpose.

But much to the their delight, the couple was able to finish all requirements just two hours after they walked into the Local Civil Registrar’s office here. They were married on a sunny Monday morning, less than a week later.

The newly-wed couple are just among the hundreds who have reaped the benefits of what observers deemed a much-improved system of government service delivery in this upland town, best known only as the scenic mountain gateway to Cagayan Valley region.

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Car tragedy

N. Vizcaya car-buying binge ‘illegal’ says dad

BAYOMBONG, Nueva Vizcaya–A provincial official here has exposed the alleged illegality of the car purchases made by a town government here, without the required approval of the funds used.

Board Member Patricio Dumlao Jr. called on the Office of the Ombudsman to investigate the purchase of 18 sports utility vehicles by the town government of Alfonso Castañeda, without the required approval of the town’s supplemental budget before the provincial board.

“The purchase is already in itself highly questionable because we do not believe that spending P24 million for SUVs is a priority. But the fact that the appropriation has not been approved makes it even more anomalous,” he said.

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Gov’t execs hit for ‘cover-up’ of Cagayan mining

BAYOMBONG, Nueva Vizcaya–Anti-mining groups in Cagayan scored officials of government for allegedly staging a cover-up of alleged illegal mining operations in the province, which, they said, was exposed by the recent grounding of a Korean ship as it was to ship a cargo of magnetite sand out of the country.

Gensun Agustin, convenor of the newly-formed federation of anti-mining movement in Cagayan, slammed the “protection” that government authorities there in order to conceal illegal mining and quarrying operations on the riverbed of the Cagayan River and the province’s northern coastline, allegedly by foreigners.

“The situation has become very clear: illegal mining has been going on in Cagayan but people in government, who are supposed to be the first to stop these operations are the ones scrambling to protect these aliens who are exploiting our natural resources,” he said.

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