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PAGSARMINGAN | The China-funded Banaoang Pump Irrigation System

Before the controversial Chico River Pump Irrigation Project of the National Irrigation Administration (NIA), there was the Banaoang Pump Irrigation Project (now Banaoang Pump Irrigation System or BPIS) in Ilocos Sur. A facility funded and built by the Chinese government that can provide added and solid ground why people should be concerned of the CRPIP loan agreement.

MILLIONAIRES’ GAME | How rich are the incumbent governors of Northern Luzon?

Based on the Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net worth (SALN) filed in 2018 acquired from the office of the Ombudsman for Luzon, provincial chief executives in Northern Luzon belong to the elite community of landlords, capitalists and luxury car riders with millions in their bank accounts, the richest of who has a net worth of more than a hundred million.

Tobacco farmers ask probe into LGU tobacco excise tax use

Tobacco farmers are asking President Rodrigo Duterte and lawmakers to probe into how millions of the tobacco excise tax shares of their local governments were spent. For nearly three decades now, benefits from tobacco excise tax shares of local government units have remained a tobacco farmer’s illusion.

The shrinking domain of Ilocos’ “green gold”

Despite the aggressive campaign of the National Tobacco Administration (NTA), local government units (LGU) and companies, tobacco farmers and production are losing numbers. Roadside farms, used to be the domain of tobacco are now occupied by corn and peanuts. While in some villages, tomatoes are now cultivated on the lands where the region’s “green gold” once flourished. The plant that transformed the Ilocos provinces and some of its towns, that were suffering from scarcity of funds, into first income class LGUs, is now struggling to survive.

Tobacco: The lifetime crop of Ilocos

Childhood experience with tobacco growing is not the only thing the two share. Cesar and Julius also have similar complains about the price, the growership scheme, and the government’s treatment of farmers.

Ucab folk struggle to survive

After Typhoon Ompong, news on the tragic landslide, the relief and assistance from government and private institutions and the DENR’s closure order field the the airwaves. Two months after the disaster, the people of Itogon continue to face the hardships brought not only by Ompong but by the national government’s lack of comprehensive action to resolve the people’s safety and economic wellbeing. These are some of their day-to-day struggles to survive that remain unknown to the public.

A crack in the nation’s foundation

Section 1, Article 15 of the 1986 Constitution states: “The State recognizes the Filipino family as the foundation of the nation. Accordingly, it shall strengthen its solidarity and actively promote its total development.” However, the number of broken homes and problematic relationships between couples and their children are increasing, with majority of case associated to families that one or both parents are working overseas.

Communities plunge into debt after Ompong

Still reeling from the destructive impact of Habagat (monsoon) and Typhoon Ompong, the knee-jerk decision to close small scale mines in the region and insufficient government assistance aggravated the dire situation of disaster victims in the Cordillera.