DepEd assures continued delivery of basic ed in Albay

Manila --  The Department of Education (DepEd) will be downloading over P23 Million in funds to procure 15,000 chairs and immediately construct 300 temporary learning spaces (TLS) for schools used as evacuation centers (ECs) to ensure continued delivery of basic education services to around 52,800 affected learners in Albay.
DepEd in a statement said that as of September 26, 77 schools are affected by the declaration of Alert Level 3 for Mt. Mayon. 38 of the schools in the Permanent Danger Zone have been closed and the remaining 39 are being used as evacuation centers.
DepEd field offices are finalizing arrangements for procurement and distribution of chairs and TLS for the 39 schools functioning as ECs. Initial support was provided through the assistance of UNICEF which committed to provide 175 tents and 400 tarps to serve as temporary learning spaces. These interventions are expected to alleviate congestion faced by schools functioning as evacuation centers.

The four DepEd divisions of Albay, Ligao, Tabaco and Legaspi have a total of 724 public schools, of which 648 schools did not suspend classes following the declaration of Alert Level 3.  711 of the 724 schools resumed classes as of September 25.  
The Department's division officials and school personnel are working closely with local government officials and education cluster partners to monitor and supervise both the operation of evacuation centers as well as the delivery of education services to Albay learners.

The Department has also issued a call for donations for additional tents, tarps, chairs, and learner’s kits for the affected learners in Albay. To date, DepEd received more than 10,000 learner’s kits and has been arranging its transport and deployment.

Classes for the learners of the remaining 13 schools are expected to resume as soon as infrastructural and non-infrastructural interventions appropriate to their respective challenges are in place. (DepEd/PIA)


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MMDA team in Ilocos Norte to help in restoration works

Chairman Francis Tolentino has sent a 26 member-team from the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) to Ilocos Norte to help in the province's recovery efforts from the effect of Typhoon Mario. 


The restoration team arrived on Wednesday in a six-wheeler truck and a van and will stay in the province for at least five days.


Roy Gonzales, the team leader, said the group is composed of rescue personnel, carpenters, mechanics, electricians and laborers.


The MMDA team was also equipped with 15 generator sets which will be turned-over to the provincial government.


The group's first stop was in Paoay town where members sat down with the local Disaster Risk Reduction Council members and the Office of the Barangay Affairs.


The group later proceeded to Nueva Era town to repair school buildings and electric posts.


Some 300 G.I. sheets will be given to the Laoag City government to repair damaged schools and government buildings. 

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RDC forms TWG on Ancestral Domain

Regional Development Council (RDC) has approved the request of its Sectoral Committee on Social Development, which is chaired by Governor Lilia Pineda of Pampanga, on the creation of a Technical Working Group (TWG) on Ancestral Domain.


“The TWG shall assess the state of ancestral domain lands in Central Luzon and recommend ways to facilitate and derive maximum benefit from the use of it for the improvement of the economic conditions of Indigenous Peoples (IPs),” RDC Vice Chair and National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Regional Director Severino Santos said.


“This initiative supports the provisions of Articles XIII and XIV of the Philippine Constitution and Republic Act 8371 otherwise known as Indigenous Peoples Rights Act,” Santos added.


National Commission on Indigenous Peoples shall head the TWG with NEDA, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Department of Interior and Local Government, the RDC Private Sector Representatives for IPs and environment, and provincial government of Pampanga as members.


RDC 3 is the highest policy-making body in Central Luzon and serves as the counterpart of the NEDA Board at the subnational level.


It is the primary institution that coordinates and sets the direction of all economic and social development efforts in the region and serves as a forum where local efforts can be related and integrated with national development activities.


Council members include all governors, city mayors, municipal mayors of capital towns, presidents of municipal mayors’ league, regional directors of national government agencies and representatives from the private sector. (CLJD-PIA 3)

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AFP, PNP arrest ranking NPA leader in Iloilo

Joint elements from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine National Police (PNP) in Western Visayas arrested today September 23 a ranking leader of the New People’s Army in Iloilo.


Norberto Castor with aliases of MARLON and GREG was arrested at 5:30a.m. today in Brgy Calaboa, Leganes, Iloilo by virtue of a warrant of arrest for multiple murder with the use of explosive with multiple frustrated murder with case nr 06-62230 issued by Regional Trial Court, 6th Judicial Region, Iloilo City.


Former rebels in Panay who have joined the mainstream society identified Norberto Castor as the Deputy Secretary of Central Front of Komiteng Rehiyonal-Panay (CF, KR-P).


Castor is also considered as one of the senior cadres/leaders of the CPP-NPA who carried out various atrocities in Central Panay victimizing innocent civilians and destroyed properties in the area.


“The arrest of Castor is certainly a big blow against the CPP-NPA hierarchy and will add to their leadership crisis. This will contribute to the peaceful environment in the provinces of Panay Island,” said Colonel Eric Uchida, Commander of 301st Brigade that supervises the Army forces in Panay.


The successful arrest can be attributed to the convergence of efforts among the AFP, PNP, other stakeholders involved in the security sector and the peace loving people of Western Visayas. 


Major General Rey Leonardo Guerrero, 3ID Commander said, “This is an accomplishment of the people of Panay and the whole of Western Visayas who are helping us in creating an environment of peace.”


The arrested NPA leader is now under the custody of the PNP Regional Office-6 for proper disposition of his case. (AFP)

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P814-M solar energy project to rise in Clark

A Belgian renewable energy developer will pour some P814 million for the construction, operation and maintenance of a solar project in this Freeport.


Enfinity Philippines Renewable Resources Inc., (EPRRI) in a signed contract with the Clark Development Corporation (CDC), will lease about 25 hectares of property inside this Freeport which is expected to generate 11 megawatts of power once operational next year.


Benigno Gonzales, consultant of EPRRI, said the construction of the solar energy project here will provide an annual increase of 5.6 percent in power generation.


Gonzales said that EPRRI will construct about 220,200 panels for the project which will help this Freeport with its electricity sufficiency next year in case the Malampaya shuts down its power plant for scheduled maintenance.


EPRRI was incorporated in the Philippines and registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on July 15, 2010, primarily to invest in or otherwise engage in the exploration, development and utilization of renewable resources with particular focus on solar and wind energy generation.


EPRRI is expected to roll out its planned 500-MW solar power portfolio in the Philippines over the next three to five years.


Malampaya is producing 1,600 megawatts and being distributed in six independent power producers in the country.


With the scheduled maintenance of Malampaya, the supply in Clark will be affected.


But with the expected operations of EPRRI next year, Gonzales said the power shortage in Clark could be averted.


The EPRRI project in Clark is expected to be on-line by June 2015.


Clark power needs is at 50 to 70 megawatts daily.


With the foreseen shortage next year, Gonzales said the renewal energy power project here will be a big help to the locators operating inside the Freeport.


Aside form the additional megawatts to be supplied in Clark, Gonzales said that electricity rates in Clark would be cheaper than the regular rates.


He also said that Central Luzon, should the government failed to address the energy problem next year, will have a 400-megawatt deficiency.


CDC marketing manager Thelma Ocampo said the presence of EPRRI in this freeport signals a significant milestone for CDC and the Clark Special Economic Zone (CSEZ).


"This is because this makes the CSEZ as “The First Green Special Economic Zone” to host a renewable solar energy facility in Luzon,"Ocampo said. (PNA)

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Classes remain suspended in Ilocos Norte

As school buildings were not spared by Tropical Storm Mario’s wrath, Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos has suspended classes from Day Care to high school on Monday to anticipate clearing operations of fallen trees and branches within school compound and general cleaning of classrooms in the entire province.

According to the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), while Tropical Storm Mario moved farther away from the country, the Southwest Monsoon (Habagat) will continue to threaten Batanes.

The Department of Education (DepEd) has advised teachers and faculty staff to report and check on their respective classrooms.

As of this posting, Ilocos Norte is now under fine weather condition while relief goods are underway to typhoon affected areas. (PNA)

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PCG rescues 5 passengers including an Aussie aboard capsized motorbanca off Boracay waters

The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) in Caticlan and Boracay sub-stations have rescued five people that included an Australian national aboard the motor banca which capsized in mid sea between Boracay and mainland Malay, Aklan.

PO1st Condrito Alvarez of PCG-Caticlan said they have received a call from a concerned citizen who saw the capsized motor banca Island Mariner 4.

Personnel of PCG-Boracay and Caticlan substations immediately responded to the area and rescued the beleaguered passengers of the ill-fated motorbanca identified as Richard Allan, 51, and an Australian national whose name was not readily made available and his Filipina partner identified as Jenelyn Lobo, 21.

Also rescued was the boat captain Richard Timbas, 34, and his two crew members identified as Andy Garcia and Sammy Holis, all residents of Boracay Island.

The PCG authorities said the disaster happened after big waves accompanied by gusty winds whipped the motorbanca carrying the victims, causing the sea-going vessel to capsize in mid sea some 100 meters away from the shoreline off mainland Malay, Aklan.

The PCG said the Island Mariner 4 skippered by Timbas left Tabon Port this morning on its way to Tambisan Port in Boracay Island when the disaster happened as an aftermath effect of Typhoon Mario lashing out the country.

Meanwhile, the rescued passengers were declared in safe condition.

The Australian national and his companion were on vacation to the island resort of Boracay when the fateful incident happened. (PNA)

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6,700 family relief packs distributed to Pangasinan flood victims

A total of 6,700 family packs of relief goods have been distributed by the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO) in flooded Calasiao town and Binmaley towns since Thursday.

The PSWDO, on instruction of Governor Amado T. Espino, Jr., stepped up the distribution of relief goods in the two towns as flooding is still continuing though the typhoon exited four days ago.

At least 2,000 family packs were distributed in nine barangays of Calasiao Friday in addition to the 2,000 packs given to flood victims in 10 barangays Thursday with the help of the Water and Rescue (WASAR) team and the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) on Thursday.

There were already 2,700 relief packs given to Binmaley, at least 2,200 on Thursday in addition to the 500 given in Barangays Camaley ans Calit.

Calasiao and Binmaley are among the most affected areas in Pangasinan by flood spawned by heavy rains dumped by tropical storm "Luis". Calasiao is already under the state of calamity. (PNA)

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