LTO-9 reactivates ‘Oplan Balik Eskwela’

Created on Monday, 12 May 2014

The Land Transportation Office-9 (LTO-9) has reactivated the agency’s “Oplan Balik Eskwela” in time for the opening of school year 2014-2015.

LTO Regional Director Aminola Abaton said Monday that LTO personnel will be deployed in key areas to assist in the traffic management to ensure smooth flow of vehicles to and from the schools.

Abaton said it is expected that there will be an increase in the volume of traffic as thousands of students will troop to the schools in the different parts of the region.

He said the deployment of LTO personnel will be made in coordination with the police as well as traffic enforcers of the different local government units.

He said they will also adopt road safety measures to ensure the safe travel of parents and students in going to the schools.

Meanwhile, he urged the public especially those who own vehicles to obey traffic laws and observe road courtesy to ensure smooth traffic flow. (PNA)

AirAsia to unveil post-Yolanda recovery aid plan

Created on Monday, 12 May 2014

International low-cost carrier AirAsia will unveil next week its reconstruction plan for areas pummeled by super typhoon "Yolanda," after a fund raising drive launched mid-November 2013.

Top officials of AirAsia regional management team from the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand will hold a press briefing at the Tacloban Airport to announce total funds raised and introduce reconstruction partners, said Kelly Austria of RubyComm-K.Austria, the public relation firm of AirAsia's affiliate airline AirAsia Zest.

The event will be hosted by AirAsia Group Chief Executive Officer, Tony Fernandes, together with its regional management team at the Tacloban Airport.

"To fulfill its pledge to keep donors informed, it will hold a press conference on May 23, in Tacloban to announce the final amount raised and introduce its reconstruction partners," Austria said.

As of December 31, the airline firm has raised US$ 1.11 million. The amount will be augmented by contributions this year and funds from the AirAsia Group.

AirAsia executives and media men will visit the badly-hit Anibong district to check recovery efforts.

The funds raised were from cash donations on board flights and at airports throughout the AirAsia Group network, as well as through AirAsia Foundation’s microsite, the philanthropic arm of the AirAsia Group.

The AirAsia Group will match the total public collection and this amount will be managed by the philanthropic arm of the airline, AirAsia Foundation -- for long term reconstruction efforts to rebuild the communities that were affected by the typhoon.

AirAsia Foundation has started discussions with Habitat for Humanity Philippines as well as doctors from the public health service working on relief missions in areas in most need of help.

After the storm, the airline firm has forged partnership with the Philippine Red Cross to relief emergency relief packages collected onboard and at the airport.

AirAsia also offered 250,000 free seats for Filipinos abroad who returned to the country to check their loved ones in storm-hit areas on selected domestic Filipino routes, as well as selected international routes into Manila. (PNA)

Duterte orders cops to step up night patrol

Created on Monday, 12 May 2014

Mayor Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the Davao City Police Office (DCPO) to step-up its night patrol operations especially in areas experiencing blackouts, admitting that crimes have increased recently.

“Dili na ma-deny (Can't be denied). Criminality thrives in dark areas,” Duterte said. He asked police to do mobile patrols rather than stationary, so that it can catch up with criminals.

The mayor also urged residents to be vigilant especially when they are in dark areas.

He, however, expressed concerns about police's lack of familiarity of the topography within their area of responsibility, thus, he opted to also recruit police auxiliaries from each barangay as force multipliers.

“They (police) have no mental picture of each area,” he added.

The mayor stressed persons from barangays know their area well especially the ingress and egress, adding that barangay tanod or village watchmen are not really pro-active since they only respond to reports of crimes against property and clashes in the barangays.

According to the mayor, the police auxiliaries will be a permanent measure of his administration at least until 2016.

Earlier, DCPO director Senior Superintendent Vicente Danao Jr. warned of an increase in crimes against property due to the long rotational power outages, saying statistics have already shown a spike in such cases during the second quarter of the year.

Danao said “akyat bahay” or burglary gangs strike whenever and wherever there is a blackout because they cannot be recognized in the dark even at a radius of 10 meters.

Danao said thieves are taking advantage of the blackouts and theft is more rampant because of economic hardships.

Danao said crimes against property started to increase by 45 percent from the first quarter of the year, specifically since February when the two-hour rotational blackouts was implemented by the Davao Light and Power Company (DLPC).

“Kung gaano kahaba ang brownout ganoon din kataas ang crime rate (The rise in crime rate is directly proportional to the length of the power outages),” he said.

“We are trying to maximize our capability for crime prevention. We focus more on areas where there are (blackouts) because thieves take advantage when it is dark,” he said.

He said he was thankful for the move of Mayor Rodrigo Duterte to hire police auxiliaries as force multipliers to deter the commission of crimes in the city.

He said the DCPO really lacks manpower for a 24/7 security operation.

He noted that there is only one police officer for every 1,072 population in the city. (PNA)

Guiuan LGU acquires property for permanent housing facility

Created on Monday, 12 May 2014

The local government unit of Guiuan was able to acquire a property that will be used as permanent relocation site for its more than 1,000 typhoon-affected families.

Mayor Christopher Sheen Gonzalez, however, said that they still need to acquire more land for housing construction.

Initially, more than 300 families will be accommodated in the property where houses are to be developed and constructed by the National Housing Authority (NHA).

“We still need to have at least seven to eight hectares of land and I will do my best to address this for my constituents,” said Mayor Gonzalez.

Like other local government units (LGUs) affected by typhoon Yolanda, many organizations are willing to help in constructing permanent housing facilities for families displaced by typhoon Yolanda but the problem is in acquiring land that will be development for said purpose.

“We cannot convert their donations of houses to land acquisition so as counterpart of the LGU we need to look for land where they can construct their housing donation,” Gonzalez stressed.

He added that he made some arrangement with some land owners if they can pay them by installment for the housing project. (PNA)

Singaporean firm to pour in P7B worth of investments in Clark

Created on Monday, 12 May 2014

Singaporean firm Capilion Corporation Pte. Ltd. is set to pour in P7 billion worth of investments inside Clark Freeport.


“The company agreed to develop as mixed-used facility ideal for business process outsourcing, residential, commercial, or even retail enterprises in a three-hectare property,” Clark Development Corporation President Arthur Tugade disclosed.


“This will be the biggest contract to be signed by the new administration in terms of employment generation with a projection of 75,000 that can be accommodated within seven years. Our target of breaking the 100,000 employee barrier by the year 2016 will be achieved by 2015 because of this,” Tugade added.


Capilion’s development timelines will be in three phases and will be completed by the end of 2018. 


The Capilion Group of companies has businesses involved in private equity, corporate services, real estate, financial securities, ship ownership, shipping and shipbuilding, infrastructure development and clean and renewable energy projects.


The group has various stakes in countries such as Indonesia, China, Kyrgyzstan, and India. (CLJD/RBRP-PIA 3)

Tacloban LGU to negotiate for extension of use of lot where bunkhouses are located

Created on Sunday, 11 May 2014

The city government of Tacloban is already negotiating for the extension of use of the private lot where bunkhouses or temporary dwellings for Yolanda displaced families are situated.

Tacloban City Mayor Alfred Romualdez in an interview said the negotiations are ongoing. However, he underscored that the bunkhouses are just temporary abodes .

“Remember, the bunkhouses are just temporary dwellings, the families cannot have them as their permanent houses,” the Mayor said.

Earlier, the bunkhouse dwellers along the Caibaan Motocross expressed fear when they read the announcement in front of the site saying the bunkhouses will only be used until June 30 of 2014.

“We have nowhere to go,” was the common observation of the dwellers whose houses were washed out by Typhoon Yolanda which hit Central Philippines in November 2013.

At first, the displaced families took refuge at public buildings like schools¸others in tents until the time when they were transferred to the temporary shelters.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development in the Region said, this is already the responsibility of the local government unit. (PIA 8)

Rebel returnees receive cash assistance from government

Created on Friday, 09 May 2014

A total of 30 former members of the New People’s Army (NPA) in Negros Oriental have received financial assistance from the provincial government as part of government efforts to help them rebuild their lives following their surrender over the past recent years.

One rebel returnee also received a hefty sum from the national government under the guns-for-cash program while a woman also received cash assistance for her house that was damaged recently during an encounter between rebel forces and government troops.

The awarding of the financial aid was held Wednesday during the joint signing of the declaration of the province of Negros Oriental as conflict manageable and development ready.

Governor Roel Degamo and Vice Governor Mark Macias led the distribution of the financial assistance with Sec. Voltaire Gazmin of the Department of National Defense and ranking officials of the Armed Forces of the Philippines also in attendance.

Those who received P3,000 each as emergency/immediate cash assistance were: Benmar A. Gutib of Datagon, Pamplona; Sanny Boy O. Sinda and Ramil S. Cadelina, of Apoloy, Siaton; Romnick Dacal Dacal of Nagbalaye, Jory F. Lascuna and Maribeth C. Lascuna of Talalak, all in Sta. Catalina;

Langie A. Desmoparan of Alangilan, Sta. Catalina; Romy C. Banawa, Nagbinlod, Sta. Catalina; Bartolome P. Quitay, Mantiquil, Siaton; Danny J. Potane, Napacao, Siaton; Jorgie K. Quitay, Mantiquil, Siaton; Marcelo B. Gallardo of Nagbinlod, Alfredo C. Recla, Nagbinlod, Junny S. Dacal Dacal, Nagbalaye, Jarvie A. Edano, Talalak, Marilou L. Angcon, Nagbinlod, Pedro M. Candilaza, Nagbinlod, Rocelyn P. Namoco, Nagbinlod all of Sta. Catalina; Genie S. Labrador, Tayak, Jessie N. Ragay, Sandulot, Rosalina C. Delos Santos, Tayak, all in Siaton;

Joan C. Gajelloma, Najandig, Joel P. Gajelloma, Najandig, Wyne E. Alegre, Arnel P. Aplicador, Jessie J. Potane, Lodie L. Espadilla and Logie L. Espadilla, Federico O. Inoferio, all of Calango, Zamboanguita, and Rey V. Sayson of Balugo, Sibulan.

Meanwhile, Winifreda Rabor was given P10,000 cash after her house was destroyed during an encounter between soldiers of the 79th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army and suspected NPA rebels in Balayong, Pamplona last April 3.

Army officials said the NPA rebels sought shelter at the house of Winifreda, which was later damaged after both groups exchanged firefight. The Army announced last week it had already repaired the damaged house.

On the other hand, former NPA member Gregorio Manlangit received a total of P83,700 representing the amount awarded by the military for the firearm he turned over during his surrender as well as other social and livelihood benefits.

Gov. Degamo has repeatedly vowed that members of the NPA who wish to leave the underground movement and return to mainstream society will be given assistance to help them start their lives anew. (PNA)

11 Chinese fishermen named by Western Command; 5 Filipino fishermen brought to court for inquest

Created on Friday, 09 May 2014

The Western Command (Wescom) in this city has named the 11 Chinese fishermen intercepted by the elements of the PNP Maritime Special Boat Unit (SBU) Thursday following their transfer and medical examination to its military hospital.

The Sino boat captain of F/V Qiongqionghai 09063 earlier identified as Chen Hi Quan was with 10 crewmen named Shi Xian Xiong, Shi Lian Doung, He Zhuang, He Chun, Huang Ji Xuan, He Sheng Bao, He Yuan Cheng, Lu Chuan Fang, Chen Ze Hao and Li Xiang Hui.

The five Filipino fishermen, who were not immediately named as of press time, were no longer brought to the Wescom for physical examination, said Lt. Col. Emmanuel Canilla of the Civil Relations Group (CRG).

“The Filipino fishermen were brought from the PNP Maritime SBU directly to court for inquest,” Canilla said.

The boat captain of the Filipino fishermen was identified Thursday morning as Banto Amlain, a Muslim resident of Balabac town, believed to be selling 70 heads of live green sea turtles (pawikan) to the arrested Chinese fishermen in Hasa-Hasa or Half Moon Shoal.

“This only goes to show that we’re not discriminating between the Chinese and Filipino fishermen intercepted in Hasa-Hasa Shoal. The Filipino fishermen were immediately brought to court. We’re treating our Chinese friends humanely here,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Chinese fishing vessel that is supposedly arriving in Puerto Princesa, specifically at the PNP Maritime SBU Headquarters in Barangay Sta. Lourdes, might be delayed as the maritime boat tugging it from Hasa-Hasa Shoal reportedly suffered from engine trouble.

Canilla suspects that the fishing vessel with over 300 heads of live and dead endangered green sea turtles will arrive in Puerto Princesa early Friday morning. (PNA)

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