23 September 2011

Integrated Nutrition Program launched in San Fabian

by Antonio J. Supremido, Jr.

19 September, 2011 -San Fabian. The Hapag-Asa Integrated Nutrition Program was formally launched this 19th day September, 2011 at Longos Amangonan-Parac-Parac as the pilot barangay in the parish. The launching was inaugurated with the celebration of the Holy Mass presided over by Rev. Fr. Oliver E. Mendoza, the Parish Priest.

Integrated Nutrition Program

This Integrated Nutrition Program was initially launched in July 2005 by Pondo ng Pinoy Community Foundation headed by Archbishop Gaudencio B. Cardinal Rosales, Assisi Development Foundation and Feed the Children Philippines. This was already running in most parts in the country and has reached the Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan with seven (7) parishes as the pilot areas and one of which is the Parish of Saint Fabian. This program is meant to develop the culture of sharing and loving among various stakeholders, to reduce malnutrition rate among children from 0-6 years old and to improve the capacity of parents to care and provide for basic needs of their children.

Nutrition, education, livelihood

The activity has three (3) program components: the supplemental feeding, the education of parents, and the skills and livelihood training of parents. The supplemental feeding is not meant to substitute the regular meals which the children get from their homes but rather is intended to complement the necessary meals so that they would acquire the required nutrients and vitamins necessary for them to grow strong and healthy. The parents are indispensable in the program. Their role is very crucial in the process. They are not only there to support the program but to see to it that the program is properly implemented and continued even after the feeding is finished. They are required to attend the parents’ education class. They are taught information on how to be effective and affective parents to their children. They are likewise given skills and livelihood training to support the financial needs of their families.

Malnourished Children, Underweight Pregnant, Breastfeeding Mothers

The target recipients are the malnourished children from 0-6 year old, underweight pregnant and breastfeeding mothers. The period of child’s development is up to 6 year old. The feeding is meant to address the lack or imbalance of nutrients in the body where they don’t usually get from regular meals. If it not addressed properly the physical, psychological, and emotional function of an individual is impaired. He/she is not capable of capable of maintaining adequate level of performance such as physical work, resistance to and recovers from illness. He/she is expected to have low literacy, lack of skills, and lack of concentration in school. So, what kind of people do we have to expect in the future?

Parents are also part of the feeding not just the children, especially the underweight pregnant and breastfeeding parents. We have to safeguard the health of parents so that we can assure the healthiness of the child they carry or breastfeed. The malnourished parents have the reduced capacity to care for the child much more they cannot give what are needed by their children in the process. This can be prevented by giving them nutritious food during their pregnancy or breastfeeding period. Again, the feeding is not meant to substitute the regular meals but as to compliment it.

There are  175 recipients in the program. There are 66 pregnant and breastfeeding mothers and the rest are children from 0-6 year old. At the end of each month, there will be evaluation if there will be an improvement in the physical, emotional and social condition of the children as well as mothers. At the end of six months, 120 days, we expect that our recipients attain the necessary objectives of the program.

Invitation to share

There are quite few parishioners who are willing to take share in the program. They’ve expressed to sponsor a couple of days of feeding by allocating certain amounts for ingredients and materials needed in cooking. But, to implement the program for six months takes a big sum of money to sustain it. We are extending our invitation to our generous and kindhearted fellow parishioners to help and take part in the program. We can never outdo God in His generosity. The amount we can share will surely given back to us by God a hundred times.

We would like also to express gratitude to the barangay council of Longos Amangonan Parac-Parac who has extended their support and assistance in the implementation and monitoring of the program and for deputizing the barangay health workers (BHW) in the identification of our target recipients.

(See also: “”Feeding our Future”)

21 September 2011

Position Paper by PICD on the Quarry Operations in San Fabian

The paper should have been read the multipartite meeting at the Mayor’s Office, 20 September 2011.
September 20, 2011

The past and recent calamities that had past our country especially the northern Luzon had lost properties and threatened the lives of people living in San Fabian especially the along Bued river at barangay Binday. These had caused a lot of restlessness and disillusionment among the people affected. They have seen how their houses together with their possessions were shattered apart as the furious waters came to demolish them. They’ve seen how their dreams and aspirations too for their families were lost for even their meager resources were gone with the running waters. This had caused stigma from their hearts. The wound was so deep that only time can tell when this wound would heal.

The Peoples Initiative on Christian Development of San Fabian (PICDSF) who stands for truth, justice and peace wants to overlay its recommendations and suggestion for an integral and comprehensive Bued River System.
  1. There is a need to formulate a more comprehensive development plan for the Bued River System. The comprehensive plan will put in-place all the necessary engineering works to be done, the right materials and equipments to be used, its proper implementation and monitoring by all stakeholders concerned. The technical plan will only be prepared after upon consultation with other technical attached agencies of the government and other stakeholders concerned. This should be guided by a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with implementing guidelines to be followed by all stakeholders for mutual cooperation and assistance.
  1. There is a need to restore and rehabilitate the integrity of the Bued River. The river is the source of life not just for man but also for other living organisms existing in the river. Now, the river is so much affected and damaged due to natural intrusion and by unprecedented abuse of man through illegal fishing and unsystematic and irresponsible quarrying operations done in the area. In view of this, the restoration can only be done and effective when all other man-made interventions and disturbances like illegal fishing and quarrying operations are stopped until the river system has fully recovered from its dying state.
  1. There are seen literal abuses of the quarrying operations in the area. There it seems that the terms and conditions on how quarrying operations should be done under the rules and regulations as stipulated in the mining act of 1994 was desecrated and violated. The scattered mounds of oversized materials at the former and recent quarry areas attest to this. The existence of potholes due to the extraction of materials is very visible. There were seen quarrying operations even at night just to meet the deadline of the contractors. There should be proper interventions to rectify the abuses mentioned above.
  1. Before the renewal of quarrying permits – there should be a clear and definitive mining work program to include quarry plan, quarry development and production, and environmental protection to be followed and implemented by all quarry operators. We should raise the level of awareness of the quarry operators that they should not only be interested with profiteering but also their social responsibility to protect the people and the environment.
  1. The river is God’s free gift to man. A gift that he makes to all human beings. The river belongs to man because God entrusted it to man, and by his work man subdues it and makes it yield fruit (cf. Gen. 1:28). It is God’s will that man should communicate with nature as an intelligent and noble master and guardian, a steward of creation, and not as a reckless exploiter. It is then our responsibility to take care of our river because once it is lost we can never regain it again.
Bro. Antonio J. Supremido, Jr., Secretary, Peoples’ Initiative for Christian Development

14 September 2011

DENR Orders Suspension of Quarrying Operations in San Fabian

14 September 2011 – San Fabian, Pangasinan. In the latest development concerning the people’s fight to prevent the further destruction along Bued River brought about by the massive, unregulated and unsystematic quarrying operations in San Fabian, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Region I has ordered the “immediate suspension of sand and gravel quarrying operations in Barangay Anonang, San Fabian, Pangasinan.”

Report of the MGB Technical Personnel

The order for the suspension was based on the report from the technical personnel of DENR Mines and Geosciences Bureau submitted to the OIC, Regional Director of DENR, Mr. Carlos A. Tayag. The report was entitled “Ocular Inspection Report Relative to the Reported Riverbank Erosion at Barangay Binday, San Fabian, Pangasinan.”

In his letter to Rev. Fr. Oliver E. Mendoza, Parish Priest, Mr. Carlos A. Tayag informed the former of the suspension order. Attached in the same letter was a letter informing the quarry operators of the suspension order.

“Our technical personnel, who conducted an ocular inspection on September 6, 2011, found there is a looming danger to life and property along the eroding embankment of Barangay Binday. In view thereof, you are hereby ordered to immediately SUSPEND your operations”. The letter was addressed to Mr. Melchor Parayno, Mr. Marlon Eleria, Mr. Josefino de Guzman, Jr., Mr. Joegina Aspurias, permit holders.

Copies of the letter were given to Hon. Amado T. Espino, Jr., Governor of Pangasinan, Hon. Sec. Ramon C. Paje, DENR Secretary, Hon. Irene F Libunao, Mayor of San Fabian and Hon. Leo L. Jasareno, Mines and Geosciences Bureau Director.


The technical team found  a “sand bar with approximate measurement of about 1,000 meter long, an average width of around 100 meters and height of about 2 meters … (found) at the mid-portion of the river just lightly downstream of the dam’s cut-off wall east of the reported eroded river embankment at Barangay Binday. The said river feature is believed to have obstructed the flow of water coming from the dam and diverted the same toward the western side of the river scouring and causing erosion of the banks.”

Mound of oversize materials from the quarry areas

The report also mentioned that a “mound of oversize materials from screening/salandra activities were noted stocked on the mid-portion of the river channel along the active quarry areas which may obstruct water flow.”

The report mentioned that the “water turbulence from the large volume of floodwater and strong water current coupled by the presence of the sand bar resulted to the deflection of water to the western embankment of Abenoleng River downstream of Binday Dam causing the undercutting and scouring of the riverbank resulting to the erosion of considerable portions of the farmlands and residential area at Barangay Binday.”

A Looming Danger to Life and Property

The report admits the existence of a “looming danger to life and property along the eroding embankment at Barangay Binday since the conditon will be aggravated further once strong precipitation/flooding occurs.”

Suspension of Quarrying Operations

To arrest further erosion, the report recommended the “immediate suspension of sand and gravel quarrying operations at Barangay Anonang”.

During Typhoon Mina, five houses were washed away by the surging waters and about two hectares were lost, including the irrigation canals that supply water to several barangays. The concrete barangay road connecting from Barangay Binday to Barangay Anonang was cut.

Four other houses were abandoned near the river banks due to imminent danger of collapse.

Other Recommendations

The report also recommended that immediate dredging of the identified sandbar to the immediate downstream of the Binday Dam cut-off wall … to divert the flow of water at the center and deter erosion on the western river bank.

It further recommended that additional gabion dikes on the scoured area be installed.

It asked that the Memorandum of Agreement signed by sand and gravel permit holder and the LGU of San Fabian dated 24 November 2009 be reviewed and implemented as soon as possible to negate the imminent danger.

The report was signed by Amalia G Menzi, Senior Science Research Specialist, Jose D. Lignes Jr., Senior Geologist, Ruben G. Soriano, Engineer III, Edward M. Henry, Jr., OIC, Environment Section and Roel A. Collado, OIC, Mine Management Division.

11 September 2011


11 September 2011 – San Fabian, Pangasinan.

The concerned citizens of the municipality of San Fabian, Pangasinan respectfully request your most precious attention and consideration in the midst of a pressing issue and concern we are facing.

QUARRYING has been going on for so long in the “Bued” River System 09112011233both upstream and downstream of the San Fabian River Irrigation System (SFRIS). What concerns us most is the massive and unregulated quarry operation in the downstream areas opposite barangays Anonang in the municipality of San Fabian and in Barangay Macayug in the municipality of San Jacinto. Massive because all sorts of river materials are extracted from the river system.

As a matter of policy, the Bureau of Mines and Geosciences (MGB) had set that only a meter depth of river materials be extracted every year in the river system. This was not observed though by the permittees in the absence of sound monitoring system that should be done by both the LGUs concerned and the agency mandated to do it.

The river flow then is more or less moderate owing to the gradual slope from the point below the SFRIS Dam to the lower stream areas earlier mentioned. To date however, the slope changed significantly in that the moderate river flow has turned into rapids.

The tremendous water current from floodwaters carries with it 09112011234downwards all kind of river materials and scouring everything along its path. The river system that used to be very shallow parts below the dam many prior the year 2000 from 3 – 4 meters in depth has now become 7 – 9 meters deep. While there is 1 kilometer buffer zone up and downstream of the SFRIS Dam, the strong water current during typhoons scouring the river downwards will eventually put the stability of the dam structure in danger and scouring the riverbanks in its wake.

Very grave results followed, to wit;

1. Scouring of about 50 hectares and 26 houses:

Over several decades more or less 50 hectares of agricultural and residential lots were scoured. During typhoon “Pepeng” in 2009, an estimated 5 hectares of palay and 21 houses were scoured. Floodwaters of Typhoon “Mina”( August 2011) five houses and about 1 and a half hectare of palay are scoured, and 4 houses are dangerously hanging on in the gorge-like riverbank.

2. Five hundred (500 m) of irrigation canal destroyed/scoured:

About 500 meters of concrete lined main irrigation canal of the National Irrigation Administration (lateral AF) was scoured in 2009, the waters of typhoon “Mina”(2011) destroyed the improvised irrigation canal serving as replacement of the concrete lined irrigation canal destroyed by typhoon “Pepeng. This is where irrigation water flows for irrigating portions of Barangay Binday and Aramal and whole of Barangays Anonang, Angio and Cabaruan. The aggregate total of agricultural areas irrigated by the said canal in the mentioned areas is about 1,000 hectares.

3. Significant destruction of the soil profile in the riverbed:

The undisturbed soil profile serves to prevent water loss through percolation. Farms with intact soil profile requires much lesser irrigation water. The quarrying which had destroyed the soil profile resulted to porous subsoil which require much more than normal amount of water. Water loss through percolation is so much under this condition. The clamor of farmers Anonang near the boundary with Macayug is that they are spending so much on irrigation on their shallow tubewell irrigation (STW/water pumps) and the cost is unbearable. According to them, underground water last until lean months of every year or during the months of February to March. With the soil profile in the Bued Riverbed already altered, underground water can hardly last until December. The water table had been so deep making it difficult for pumping water for irrigation.

All of these tragic incidents happening one after another is a traumatic experience to all those affected, homes lost and farm and residential lots wiped-out as well. Farmers experiencing too much difficulty in pumping underground water.

What more shall poor farmers, residents, and other sectors experience in the future without giving them social justice they entitled of.

On the basis of all of these, the undersigned stakeholders appeal for your consideration that quarrying be temporarily stopped immediately in the “Bued” River System on the downstream of the SFRIS Dam to avoid further destruction in the vicinity of the location.

Looking forward to your favorable action.

Yours truly,

(The Manifesto will be sent to the Office of the Municipal Mayor, Sangguniang Bayan of San Fabian,  Office of the Governor of Pangasinan, the Office of the Secretary of DENR, the Office of the President of the Republic of the Philippines)

09 September 2011

Faith amidst Massive Destruction

by Antonio J. Supremido, Jr.

September 8, 2011- San Fabian, Pangasinan. Due to the recent onslaught of Typhoon “Mina”, five  houses were lost during the devastation of the storm at barangay Binday, San Fabian, Pangasinan. Three  houses were abandoned including one  house which was left precipitously  hanging by the river bank. The abandoned houses are expected  to be lost anytime clip_image002when raging waters would rush in again due to the heavy rainfall.

Loss of properties and livelihood

Two  hectares of rice lands were lost due to the rampaging waters of Bued River. They were eroded and carried along by the raging waters that flowed from the river. These lands were already  planted with rice palay ready to be  harvested by the next month. The residents were not only deprived of their shelter and properties  but also their source of livelihood and living.

Irrigation Canals eroded

A portion of irrigation canal which supplies water to the farmlands of five (5) barangays was also lost. The barangays greatly affected are: Baragays  Binday, Anonang, Cabaruan, Aramal, and Angio. Unless the irrigation canals will be rebuilt soon, the palays will die due to the lack of supply of water.

Multi-Sectoral Dialogue

A dialogue held at the Parish Center participated in by various stakeholders, namely, the barangay officials, the farmers, the local municipal agricultural office, and church leaders. They  identified some immediate major concerns: the construction of the irrigation canal that would link it to the undamaged canals bringing water to  the five (5) barangays;  and to relocate the displaced families who lost their lands and homes. Mentioned also was the aggravating circumstance that brought about the massive erosion and destruction of the river banks of the Bued River: unabated, unregulated and unsystematic quarrying operations in the area.

A Repeat of 2009 Calamity

In 2009, at the height of Typhoon Pepeng, 21 houses in Binday South were destroyed and washed away by the rampagiquarry09.3ng waters of Bued River. (please read “Quarrying Activities cause Massive Erosion in San Fabian – ed) The irrigation canals supplying the much needed water to the five barangays were also destroyed at that time. During that year, the harvests of the farmers were greatly affected by the lack of water supply due to the erosion of the irrigation canals.

Faith in God remains

The families have expressed anxieties of hopelessness and misery. They have seen how their houses together with their possessions destroyed as the raging waters rushed to devastate them. They have seen how their dreams and aspirations for their families were lost; their meager resources gone with the rampaging waters.

There is one thing that they have not lost, though. It is  their faith in God. When their properties were dissipating like the wind,  they could not  but turn their eyes above, trusting in God’s Mercy. Their faith has assured them that everything is not lost. God is there who assures them of comfort and protection.

The Holy Family Village Housing Project

The Church came to provide hope during their moments of  helplessness. The Parish of St. Fabian , Pope and Martyr, through Caritas Lingayen-Dagupan, has organized a housing program, the Holy Family Village Housing Project. The project is for the affected families. (please read “Housing Program launched for Typhoon Pepeng Victims” – ed.)

The approach of the church is holistic. Composite to the shelter which the church will offer them is their spiritual formation nourished by their monthly Eucharistic celebrations and weekly prayer meetings and bible sharing. They will be given livelihood programs through skills development for their daily living. Now, they are part of rebuilding their dreams. They are soon to live in their own houses fruit of their labor and sweat of their brow.

07 September 2011

PREX Class 47 held in PSF

4 September 2011 – San Fabian, Pangasinan. The 47th PREX or Parish Renewal Experience weekend seminar was held in the Parish of St. Fabian, Pope and Martyr from 2-4 September 2011. PREX Class 46 sponsored this weekend seminar.









(All photos courtesy of Sis. Ma. Rowena A. Nicer)

05 September 2011

KC of San Fabian Parish holds Medical Mission

by  Antonio J. Supremido, Jr.
4 September 2011 -SAN FABIAN. The Knights of Columbus (K of C) of the Parish of San Fabian, Pope and Martyr, Council 5739, conducted a Medical Mission and feeding program for the people of Barangay Longos Amangonan, Parac-Parac. These activities are part of the K of C’s commitment as a service organization for the betterment of the community.

The medical mission was conducted in response to meet the demands of many who are suffering from flu and influenza brought about by bad weather brought about by the monsoon rains and typhoons that wrecked the most part of northern Luzon these past days. The beneficiaries were mostly the children and elderly. There were more than 300 patients served. Medicines and vitamins were given to patients.

Feeding the Children
Aside from the medical mission, Feeding program was also done in the community. There were about 250 children served. They were first given vitamins and then fed with delicious and nutritious food. The feeding was done in preparation for the supervised and integrated feeding program which will be conducted by the parish through the Hapag-Asa Feeding Program
Information Campaign: Cleanliness!
The activities were also an opportunity to gather the local community. This was an occasion where the church can give important information to the community. They were advised about  the value of cleanliness,  cleaning their surroundings, washing their hands before eating, as a deterrent to any form of sicknesses. “Prevention is better than cure”. The information campaign was very timely since the incidence of dengue cases is high in the province.

The Medical Mission was indeed a very fruitful! Thanks to the concerted efforts of the members of the Knights of Columbus of San Fabian through the abled leadership of its Grand Knight, Ernesto C. Vigilia.