September 14, 2012

P42.1M, biggest tax ever paid by one agency to Ifugao

SN Aboitiz recognized during the 2012 Gotad ad Ifugao
     The largest private agency operating in the province, SN Aboitiz Power (SNAP)-Magat have turned over an amount of P42.1 million pesos of additonal real property tax to Ifugao. The tax payment is the biggest amount ever received by the province as a result of a compromise agreement. The amount covers the difference between actual payments made in 2011, 2012, and the court-approved compromised amount.
     Meanwhile, the province of Isabela also received a tax payment from SNAP-Magat amounting to P30.3 million pesos as a corporate response to the settlement of disputes between the two provinces. During the turnover ceremony, Gov. Eugene Balitang stressed the sharing of business capabilities by the two provinces following the settlement agreement. "We can move forward in doing business together and help our constituents. We have shown our provincemates that conflicts can be resolved, that it can be done. If we can do business with SN Aboitiz, we can do it with the rest of the businesses and investors in the province of Ifugao," Gov. Balitang said.
     In perspective, this amount could prove the huge impact of private investment in the province in terms of economic and infrastructure developments. If local government officials will carefully utilize the natural resources of the province, inviting private investments can uplift the lives of the people in the rice terraces, the Ifugaos. For instance, history books have shown that the province is abundant with beautiful sceneries and investments in tourism-related ventures can potentially uplift living standards. However, to be able to fully open the province for business investment, there is a need to improve transportation facilities especially roads, centralize terminals, and standardize regulations in the implementation of fares and transportation etiquettes.#
Reference: Sunstar-Baguio, 09/09/2012

September 10, 2012

Ifugao's after-harvest tradition worthy of preservation

"Ponnok festival"
credit to Inquirer News
Expressing gratitude for a good harvest has been one of Ifugao's way of giving thanks through series of get-together local games and festivities. One after-harvest highlight for this year is the August 'ponnok festival' in Hungduan, Ifugao where residents wear traditional costumes and parade into a nearby river. The setting is unique since locals do the festival in the river, the sole supplier of irrigation in the rice terraces. Such festival should be preserved by the residents in Ifugao as it is one way of showcasing rich traditions. Its originality can lure tourist arrivals that could help spur economic growth in the province bringing additional income for the villagers.
The two-day festival is participated by villagers of barangays Hapao, Baang, and Nungulunan. It opens with a 'huwa' (community prayer) then followed by an invitation from a 'kadangyan' (usually the wealthiest or most influential person) ordering the villagers to stop working and join the thanksgiving ritual. After that, the 'mombagol' or sometimes called 'mumbaki' (ritual priest) invites the spirits of ancestors and local gods to join the feast with the belief that the rice terraces could produce the same bounty for the next harvest. The priest will then read a good sign from the bile of a sacrificial chicken which signals the drinking of the 'bayah' (rice wine) by the villagers for the rest of the day.
The next day marks the formal opening of the 'guyyudan' (tug-of-war) competition and other local games with a parade spotlighting the 'kinaag' (scarecrow) and 'pakid' (wooden pole with a hook) which would be used in the tug-of-war game. Reaching the river, the villagers of each barangay cheer their players as they perform the competition with their bodies half-soaked in the flowing river current. This year's overall winner is barangay Baang. According to the locals, the 'ponnok festival' is last recorded in 1986 but revived in 1997.#jbnii
Reference: Ifugao native games for good harvest, 9/5/2012

September 5, 2012

Ifugao police uproots P800T worth of marijuana plants

How marijuana works
The Ifugao police operating troops uprooted a total of 4,400 fully grown marijuana plants in Tulludan, Tinoc, Ifugao last August 27, 2012 in response to calls for eradication on the supply and demand of marijuana production in the province. The prohibited plants were uprooted in an estimated total plantation area of 1,100 square meters with a Dangerous Drug Board (DDB) value of P800,000 pesos.
The success of the operating troops were credited to the dynamic partnerships and coordination among the police force, community people, and municipal and barangay vis-a-vis tanod officials. Police chief inspector Enrique Ennangen said: "the community approach through sustained information and continuing education will certainly address the culture of silence among residents to testify against perpetrators in succeeding operations.The collaborative support of the barangay officials and tanods as force multiplier depicts a good partnership in our relentless campaign on illegal drugs," he said.
After the operation, a certificate was duly signed by Jose Mangibin, Jr., president of Tulludan farmers organization; Leo Ullani, PTA president; and Alejo Dulnuan which proved the veracity of the operation. #jbnii

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