Saturday, May 31, 2008

Oplan Tuli and Med Mission in Pasuquin, Ilocos Norte

When I'm not legislating, nagsa-sideline ako ng ibang projects.  This summer, nag-organize ako ng TESDA-JITCO STTP Orientation Seminar to help my constituents hone their skills.  Second, kinareer ko yung 2-stroke engine conversion for tricycles by talking to the exclusive distributor of SKN LPG Conversion Kits and by visiting Vigan City to learn more about Envirofit's Direct Incylinder Fuel Injection Conversion Technology.  And hopefully, this coming June naman, matuloy yung Recyclables Market ko sa San Nicolas.

Meanwhile, just last week, together with UP College of Medicine (CM) Regionalization Students Organization (RSO), I organized a mini-medical mission in Brgy. Davila, Pasuquin.  The RSO is under a special program of UPCM wherein students from a particular region go back to their provinces every year to give back to the community.  I was lucky enough to talk to my friend Tina Langit last March and napili nila yung Pasuquin, Ilocos Norte as their area this summer.  6 of them came for the mini-med mission last May 27.  Tina (Pangasinan), DS (Pangasinan), Anthony (La Union), Ais (Ilocos Norte), Jotty (Zambales) and Gian (Nueva Ecija).  Sumabit yung isang brod ko, si Jegar Catindig.

We were warmly received by Brgy. Officials and SK Officials in Brgy. Davila.

We were joined by doctors from the provincial hospital and nurses from Northern Christian College.  Also, the staff of my dad came to bring in some medicines.  Thanks, you guys!  It wouldn't have been a success without you.

All in all, they were able to circumcise 50+ boys.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

TESDA-JITCO Skills and Technology Training Program

Another project that's keeping me busy here in Laoag is this special training program of TESDA.  It is a joint initiative with TESDA's counterpart in Japan, JITCO (short for Japan International Training Cooperation Organization) to bring Filipino skilled workers to train in Japan for a maximum of 3 years (and get some allowance, siyempre).

I was very fortunate enough to have met the good people at Ocean Bridge and Arc Foundation (OBAF) which is a TESDA-accredited Sending Organization.  I invited them over to Laoag a month ago to give an orientation on the program to interested persons, and just like that they booked their tickets and came over last week.  Salamat po, ma'am Malou and JR!

The program works like this:

1.  A person should be skilled in welding, electronics, plastic molding, painting or sandblasting, among others.  He applies with a Sending Organization (OBAF in this case).  Takes an exam.  Undergoes a medical exam.

2.  If he qualifies, he is sent to a training facility in Laguna to learn Nihonggo for 4 months.  The training is free.

3.  If he passes the language exam, he processes his passport and other documentary requirements.

4.  The trainee is sent to Japan (plane fare is paid by the Sending Organization)

5.  Trainee is assigned to an Accepting Company (Hitachi, Canon, Sony, etc.) where they hone their skills for the next 3 years.  They are given a monthly allowance, which is very competitive and attractive compared to working here in the Philippines.

If you know anyone in the Ilocos area who does welding, painting, sandblasting, plastic molding, furniture making or electronics (aged between 19 to 25), and would want to train abroad, tell them to attend the next orientation on May 31, Saturday, at the Pres. Ferdinand E. Marcos Auditorium in Sarrat, Ilocos Norte. 1:00pm-4:30pm.

For more information, interested parties can contact (77) 770-4696 or visit our office at Rm 214, Ilocano Heroes Hall, Rizal St., Laoag City.  Look for Ms. Melymar Astocia.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Envirofit's 2-stroke conversion kits

When people go to the provinces, one of their reasons for going is to get to breath the fresh air.  The air's presumably cleaner than in polluted Metro Manila.  But all that is becoming less and less true because of the proliferation of 2-stroke tricycles servicing the areas.

Did you know that motorcycles with 2-stroke engines allegedly emit smoke (hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, etc.) equal to 50 automobiles! You read right, 50 cars!  That's based on an ADB study conducted throughout asia.  You know how bad that is?  Our chances of getting TB, asthma or lung cancer is increased ten-fold!

That's one of the reasons why under the Philippines' Clean Air Act of 1999, these 2-stroke engines were banned from being manufactured or imported by the end of 2003.  Having said that, there remains to be thousands of 2-stroke engines still being used today (those produced or purchased before 2003), and they continue to pollute our air.  Yes, the Clean Air Act does mandate that all motor vehicles undergo smoke emission testing, but it's not effective.  Let's be frank about this, testing happens only once a year.  All the owner has to do is to make a few adjustments so that his 2-stoke engine passes the test during renewal, and the other 364 days of the year he can operate the tricycle without much hassle.

In comes Envirofit International, a non-profit organization based in the US.  Our friends in Colorado developed a Direct In-cylinder (DI) Fuel injection retrofit kit for 2-stroke engines that is cleaner and more fuel efficient.

Envirofit chose Vigan City as its pilot area.  Right now, after much explaining to the different Tricycle Operators and Drivers Associations, Envirofit has started converting the tricycles.

When I heard about this, I told myself we should do the same thing in Laoag.  I mean we have over 2,800 tricycles, y'know.  So I wrote to the Vigan City Council about it and they responded positively.  So, with an NGO, the PENRO, CENRO and a couple of reporters, I went to Vigan last week to see if we could replicate the project in Laoag and Batac.

This is Vigan's CENRO (Community Enviroment and Natural Resources Officer) Glenn explaining to me and my companions how the new converted engine works:

And here is what the converted tricycle looks like.  To the untrained eye, wala kang makitang difference.  No big attachments or anything.  Mukhang ordinaring tricycle pa rin.

To cleaner air!

Friday, May 09, 2008

Busy as a B

Busy as a Bokal, that is.  You know, summertime's not only circumcision time, it's also fiesta time-both town and barangay!  I thought after graduation ceremonies, I'd get a break from public appearances. Boy, was I wrong.

Another role for us Bokals, aside from legislating, is to be guest speakers in local events.  That's why punong-puno sched this May.

Here I am crowning the Little Mr. Day Care of Brgy. Ablan, Burgos Town:

Here I am crowning the 2nd runner-up of the Mutya ng Sarrat 2008 Pageant:

Here I am marching with the officials and balikbayans during the town fiesta of Sarrat:

Here I am pinning the sash of the the winner of the production number of the Search of Little Mr. and Ms. Brgy. Dibua North, Laoag City: 

And here I am crowning the Mrs. Parut of Brgy. Parut, Vintar Town:

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Another Crazy Fitness Machine

This is the Hawaii Chair.  The marketers say that it is a fitness machine.  I'm sure you've seen the infomercial when you channel surf.  The way it works is you sit down, flip the switch and the base of the chair wiggles, in effect, making you wiggle as well, while sitting down.

It's a couch potato's dream come true.  Imagine, you can enjoy your favorite TV show, and shed some pounds in the process.

It is sold at a $350.  Buy now and we will toss in a Hula Skirt for free!

If you ask me, it's just a chair with a motor under it.  Have you seen people use it?  They look ridiculous.

This invention is stupid, I don't know how it even went on production.  

If you bought this, I'm pretty sure its in your garage or closet right now.