14 October 2011
Today, the people of Binday were once again with Father Soc in a celebration of the Eucharist. But in a different situation. The mass was celebrated at the river bank where three abandoned houses were located, and five other houses used to stand. Rampaging waters swept the houses during the height of Typhoon Minda last August.
The families who had lost their homes during the last Typhoon had been living in tents provided by the Rotary Club of San Fabian.
Mass for Forgiveness of Sins
The people celebrated today a Mass for Forgiveness of Sins. In his homily, Archbishop Soc reminded the people about their responsibility in caring for nature. He told them that the mountains, the rivers and the trees were all created by God before man was created.
“They are then our older siblings,” he said. “We should respect and care for them. They are our best friends forever. On the other hand, we should remain also their friends forever.”
He reminded the people again that instead of remaining best friend to nature, we have destroyed and raped her. The Archbishop then led the people in asking for forgiveness for the sins of destroying God’s creation, and moving them to a change of heart: to care and nourish creation.
NIA Position Against Quarry Operations
Regional Irrigation Manager John N. Celeste attended the Mass. The Region I National Irrigation Administration (NIA) was very categorical in its position that the unregulated and unsystematic quarrying operations were a major factor in the destruction of the Bued River System. Barangay Binday which has received the brunt of nature’s destructive forces is located along the Bued River.
On 11 October 2011, the Regional Office No. 1 of the National Irrigation Administration stated their formal position on the effect of quarrying along the Bued River downstream of San Fabian Dam. The paper states that “to stop further the lowering of riverbed, no quarrying is allowed downstream of the dam. This is to allow the river to negate the effect of retrogression and extensive quarrying i.e., to replenish the extracted materials downstream of the dam p to the mouth of the river until such time that a gentler and stable slope shall have been attained.”
This position is contrary to the position of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) In a statement made in a local TV station, MGB said that the quarrying done in Bued River System is not a factor in its present condition and in the erosion of its river banks, including the houses that were washed away.
“Bless those who bless You; curse those who curse You”
With right hands stretched out over Bued River, Archbishop Soc led the people in prayer. “Bless those who bless the river, curse those who destroy it,” he prayed.
Prayer of Commitment
Police Inspector Amor Somine led the people in praying the Prayer of Commitment. “Our world’s picture is reflected in our little corner in Pangasinan and particularly in our Bued River System. Today, we commit ourselves personally and as a community, to contribute our energies and resources towards its healing by preserving what is left of its beauty and goodness and restoring the beauty, freshness and goodness that have been destroyed."
13 October 2011
10 October 2011- San Fabian. Rev. Fr. Bienvenido “Ned” M. Disu, CM has a dream. He dreams that no one is left out in getting a good education. He dreams that even the marginalized and the poor especially in the barrios will have an access to education that can provide greater opportunities for them and for their families.
The dream has come true.
In a simple ceremony attended by Fr. Ned, as the Project Director, with Dr. Dylan Dizon, the Online Program Director and the first batch of students, the St. Vincent de Paul eLearning Center was formally launched on 10 October 2011 in Lipit-Tomeeng, San Fabian, Pangasinan. The officers and members of the Rotary Club of San Fabian with Mayor Irene Libunao of San Fabian were on hand to witness the ceremony. Fr. Oliver E. Mendoza, parish priest, blessed the eCenter.
Village Online College Education
The St. Vincent de Paul eLearning Center is administered and supervised by Village Online College Education (VOCE). It is especially designed to bring affordable and accessible education to indigent students in rural areas, as well as impoverished urban centers. Its aim is to provide the students with a two-year online general education and the development skills with TESDA.
The beneficiaries are High School students in the barangays who cannot proceed to higher education due to high cost of education.
The students are enrolled at the Professional Academy of the Philippines located in the City of Naga, Cebu. However, they hold their classes and trainings in the eCenters located in their locality or barangay.
Online education eliminates the regular costs of education associated with traditional school settings, viz., board and lodging, textbooks, transportation, uniforms, miscellaneous fees and most projects. Online students tend to perform better that their counterparts in regular traditional school settings.
The course is a two year program offering General Education. They are trained at least four skills, including personality and leadership skills.
There is a mixture of online education, e.g., the academic program, face to face lecture and actual demonstration in the case of skills development and personality/leadership development.
Academics. Skills Development. Personality/Leadership.
The two year program has three components: academics, skills development and personality/leadership development. After two years, the students are prepared to have skills that can provide them with well-paying jobs. Thus they can already find jobs and if they want, pursue their academic degree in a regular college/university as third year college students.
The students can choose the skills that they want, viz., welding, carpentry, plumbing, automotive, electrical wiring, events management. All will learn however organic and natural farming.
They will learn the meaning of stewardship, social responsibilities, elements of leaders as well as issues related to personality developmemt such as self-discovery, religious and social values.
The students in two years will study 32 subjects or 96 units. They hold their classes at the eLearning Centers from Monday to Friday. Saturdays are reserved for skills and leadership development. They have only four hours a day for their classes. Thus, they have more time to help their families in the field or sea or even engage themselves in income generating projects.
Pay it Forward Program
The students and their families through a Memorandum of Agreement agree to pay forward the privilege of scholarship by sending to the same program, when they have finished a course and have good jobs, two indigent students from their barangay who are not their relatives.
The program is partnered with the Local Government Units, local parishes and private organizations such as the Rotary International, Adamson University, ACER Philippines, for the sustainability of the program.
There is plan that the online students will be affiliated with Adamson University.
Budget and Scholarships
The budget for the whole program per student is PhP 20,000.00 a year or Php40,000.00 per student for two years. The students will contribute PhP5,000.00 a year. The amount will be spent for the maintenance and acquisition of new computers and accessories and other incidental expenses.
Individuals and the Rotary Club International have generously contributed for the scholarship of the student.
Father Soc visited the St. Vincent de Paul eLearning Center last 13 October 2011 when he met the students and talked with Fr. Ned Disu regarding the program.
12 October 2011
Republika ng Pilipinas
Department of Agriculture
Pambansang Pangasiwaan ng Patubig
(National Irrigation Administration)
Regional Office No. 1
October 11, 2011
NIA’S POSITION ON THE EFFECT OF QUARRYING ALONG THE BUED RIVER DOWNSTREAM OF SAN FABIAN DAM.
Strongly supported by NIA’S more than forty years of invaluable experience in the operation of the San Fabian Irrigation System and considering the historical facts of the Bued River and backed by our technical assessment of the various phenomena that took place in the area and its effect on the San Fabian diversion dam, the Regional Manager and Staff of the National Irrigation Administration firmly believe and state that:
a. The lowering of the riverbed is the main reason for the damage and collapse of the old diversion dam. This is perceptible by examining the old and latest design of the dam whereby the downstream apron is typically set at riverbed elevation or lower. In the original design of the dam, the downstream elevation was then at 51.00 but needs to be lowered to 47.5 or 3.50 Meter below for stability and hydraulic considerations in the 2009 dam design.
b. The lowering of the riverbed is greatly affecting the delivery and application of diverted water for irrigation because of deep percolation due to a much lower water table. This is manifested by the diminishing irrigated area from 2,765 has. In the 1970’ s to a mere 1,144 has. even during the wet crop season since 1994 to present.
c. The more than 4.5 meters difference of elevation from the downstream apron to about One (1) kilometer of the Bued river near the quarry site is causing the slope of the river to become steeper thus increasing the velocity of flood water. Stronger current carries more sediments and scouring the embankment and nearby farmlands as they are made of finer and erodible materials.
d. The existence of sandbar in the middle of the river is causing the shifting of fiercer water current towards the western embankment thus the erosion of farmlands and houses at the same time scouring the riverbed.
e. To stop further the lowering of riverbed no quarrying is allowed downstream of the dam. This is to allow the river to negate the effect of retrogression and extensive quarrying, i.e., to replenish the extracted materials downstream of the dam up to the mouth of the river until such time that more gentle and more stable slope shall have been attained.
f. Quarrying if approved by all concerned agencies shall have limitations as to depth, width area and location of quarry site as it will ultimately determine the shift and direction of flow at various stages of river discharges which at present should preferably be at the upstream of the dam.
Gerardo C. Oculto, Principal Engineer C
Frida L. Nidoy, Operation Chief, SFDRIS
Helsy S. Bermudez, Manager, Pangasinan IMO
Dolores C. Nicer, Chief, Planning and Design Section
John N. Celeste, Regional Manager
06 October 2011
5 October 2011 – San Fabian, Pangasinan. The school community of the Archdiocesan School of San Fabian (ASSF) welcomed the Pilgrim Image of Our Lady of Manaoag last 4 October 2011. The visit of the image of Our Lady of Manaoag is part of the program of the Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan Catholic Schools (ALDCS).
Archbishop Socrates B. Villegas, the Archbishop of Lingayen-Dagpan, has expressed his desire that the image of Our Lady of Manaoag visits ALL the ALD Catholic schools. He has asked that during the visit the schools will pray the rosary, hold confessions and celebrate the Eucharist. The visit of the image of Our Lady of Manaoag will be from 3-21 October 2011.
Continuous Praying of the Rosary
At 9AM, the image of the Our Lady of Manaoag was welcomed by the ASSF community led by Rev. Fr. Oliver E. Mendoza, the School Director and Parish Priest, together with some teachers, students and parishioners, from the San Jacinto Catholic School, San Jacinto, Pangasinan. San Jacinto Catholic School was the first school visited by the image.
The students and faculty met the image at the Tempra-Poblacion junction. A procession followed from the junction to the Archdiocesan Catholic School of San Fabian.
The students with their teachers prayed the rosary at the lobby where the image was kept. Each class from the elementary to the high school prayed the rosary continuously until the image was brought to the Parish Church at 3 PM.
Eucharist with Father Soc
A procession from the school to the parish church was held. The route of the procession was shortened due to the rains.
Archbishop Socrates B. Villegas celebrated the Holy Mass with the student population of ASSF with the parishioners. The mass was celebrated after a communal praying of the holy rosary at the parish church.
The parishioners held an overnight vigil in the church after the ASSF students had finished their own vigil. The different religious organizations took part in the vigil, offering an hourly prayer and visitation.
The image of Our Lady of Manaoag was fetched from the parish church by the community of Sto. Tomas Catholic School, Mangaldan, Pangasinan on 5 October 2011 after an overnight stay in the Parish of St. Fabian, Pope and Martyr. The students and faculty of ASSFR were on hand to bid farewell to the our Lady. Sto. Tomas Catholic School led by Rev. Fr. Jijune Genaro Herramia, school Director, welcomed the image.
(All photos, courtesy of Ms. Ria Katrine Sibayan)