Delay in P800M PAF replication project to affect Mactan airport T2 construction

The delay in the implementation of the P800-million replication project of the Philippine Air Force (PAF) facilities at the nearby Mactan Benito Ebuen Air Base will affect the construction of the Mactan-cebu International Airport’s Terminal 2 (T2).

Louie Ferrer, chief marketing officer of the GMR-Megawide consortium, which won the bidding for the P17.5-billion project to improve and manage the Mactan-Cebu International Airport, said they cannot start yet the construction of the T2 early next year.

Ferrer said finishing the construction of T2 is hugely dependent on the PAF replication project, as the PAF facilities may only be moved from the area where part of T2 will rise when PAF’s relocation site is ready.

Megawide, which is part of the GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Corp. (GMCAC), wanted to participate in the bidding of the PAF replication project to fast-track the removal of the airbase facilities, but it was disqualified by the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC)-Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA).

Ferrer said they respect their decision, but requested them that the PAF be relocated as soon as possible so they can start the construction of T2.

Under the concession agreement, it is the responsibility of DOTC-MCIAA to remove the PAF facilities within the year so Megawide can start the construction of T2 early next year.

The DOTC has yet to award the PAF replication project to a contractor.

GMR-Megawide consortium emerged as the highest bidder in the P17.5-billion Mactan airport expansion project after offering a bid premium of P14.4 billion for the management and development of MCIA.

Under a 25-year concession agreement, GMR-Megawide will build a new, world-class international passenger terminal building, whose construction would begin in 2015 so it would be ready for use in 2018. (PNA)

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DSWD-Zamboanga Peninsula readies for the National Targeting Housing Survey

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is making the necessary preparations for the conduct of the National Targeting Housing Survey (NTHS) next year.

DSWD Regional Director Zenaida Arevalo said on Thursday they will hire next month at least 2,000 enumerators who will undertake the survey in the Zamboanga Peninsula.

Arevalo said the DSWD central office has allocated PhP72 million for the salary of the enumerators and other expenses such as the printing of the survey forms, transportation and communications needs.

The survey questionnaires include the following: How many members are there in the family? How many children? Are they studying?

Arevalo said the NTHS is aimed to identify the non-poor, near poor and poor families in the country.

DSWD NHTS Regional Focal Person Hasan Alfaro said the target number of families to be surveyed in the region is 700,000.

Alfaro said the 284,000 beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) will also be included in the survey “to know their status.”

The survey results will also be used as the basis on who will be the government programs’ beneficiaries such as the 4Ps and social pension. (PNA)

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DOJ indicts top NAPOLCOM official in Zamboanga City

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has indicted a ranking government official who was arrested in an entrapment in this city.

Indicted on Monday for two counts of violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and two counts Direct Bribery is Atty. Macapado Guro, National Police Commission (NAPOLCOM) regional director.

The DOJ indicted Guro after the Police Station 7 on Monday forwarded three criminal complaints against the official before the City Prosecutor’s Office.

Supt. Diomarie Albarico, Police Station 7 chief, however reported Tuesday the City Prosecutor “omitted” the robbery with extortion case against Guro.

Guro was arrested in an entrapment last Friday at a pension house in Barangay Sta. Maria, this city.

The entrapment was carried out after Guro allegedly demanded P10,000 from each of the two Isabela City policemen, who have pending cases at Napolcom, in exchange for dropping their pending administrative cases.

Meanwhile, Albarico said the respondent-official was released Monday as he managed to obtain “provisional liberty pending trial” after posting a total of P100,000 bail.

This came about after Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 13 Judge Eric Elumba granted Guro’s “Extremely Urgent Petition to Post Bail pending Preliminary investigation.” (PNA)

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First day of Misa de Gallo peaceful -- PNP

The Tuguegarao City Police Office(TCPO) said the first dawn Misa de Gallo of the Catholic church in this City was peaceful and orderly.

TCPO police superintendent Jessie Balad Tamayao, City police chief, said majority of PNP members here were dispatched near the St. Peter's Metropolitan Cathedral (SPMC) church and along the major roads to ensure peace and order and to allow free flow of traffic among vehicle owners who participated in the mass.

Tamayao led his men in maintaining peace and order during and after of the mass.

The police chief said there were no reported criminal activity that happened after the first Misa de Gallo and expressed confidence that similar situation would happen in the succeeding dawn mass celebration.

The SPMC church including its lobby and grounds was filled thousands of churchgoers during the mass.

The church parking area was also filled with vehicles and motorcycles and also the streets near the church premises.

The nine-day Misa de Gaallo is a yearly activity of Catholic church all over the world before celebrating Christmas day, he added. (PNA)

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Baby Philippine owls rescued in Kidapawan, to be sent back to the wilds

Aware that his discovery was endangered and needs to be in the hands of experts, a villager turned over to the local government of Kidapawan two babe Philippine Eagle owls he found at the foot of the country’s highest peak Monday, officials said.

Psalmer Bernalte, chair of the city’s disaster response team called Rescue 911, said the “very delicate” baby Philippine owls were handed over by a resident of Barangay Birada, Kidapawan City to a local official who in turn alerted the rescue unit.

Bernalte said the owls were found in the greeneries of Barangay Birada which sits beside Mt. Apo.

”The two chicks appeared to be healthy but we are afraid it will be stressed when exposed to humans,” Bernalte said. “We sought the help of our city veterinarian,” he said.

According to Bernalte, the baby owls may have been abandoned temporarily by their mother while looking for food in Mt. Apo.

He said the owls were handed over to experts, the Kidapawan City veterinary office.

Dr. Eugene Gornez, city veterinary chief, said the owls were in good health but needs to be placed in a warm area.

He recommended that the owls will be returned to the wilds once it can stand on its own.

The discovery of endangered species in the city’s remote villages was a regular occurrence and the city government’s information drive among villagers and indigenous peoples that rare birds should not be harmed helped preserve the birds.

Mt. Apo, the country’s highest peak is home to the most endangered Philippine Monkey Eating Eagle and other bird species.

Environmentalists have continued their campaign to educate villagers to help prevent bird hunting and shooting. Filming them while they fly with the wings wide open is encouraged instead. (PNA)

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Tacloban Mayor Romualdez appeals for shelter aid to all storm-hit residents

Mayor Alfred Romualdez appealed to the national government that the Emergency Shelter Assistance (ESA) scheduled for Tacloban should be availed of by all victims of last year’s super typhoon Yolanda.

Earlier, the Department of Social Welfare and Development distributed some P10,000 for the partially-damaged houses and P30,000 for the totally-damaged houses to benenficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino (4Ps).

“We encountered problem in the shelter assistance. If I will be asked, the fund could have been given directly to the people. I don’t know why it has to pass to us. Now, it will go to us because there is a new memorandum of agreement with the DSWD.

“We will download the money into the villages and let them distribute that together with the City Social Welfare and Development, together with the memorandum,” Romualdez said in an interview.

I am surprised about this because in other places, the funds were distributed directly to the people, Romualdez added.

Romualdez however reiterated that he is not into “accusing” anyone.

“Let us get rid of politics here…This is just to correct the system so next time, the delivery of help will be more faster and efficient.”

The city mayor, meanwhile thanked his constituents for heeding the call for early evacuation during typhoon Ruby which resulted to zero-casualty in the city after the storm. (PNA)

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24,304 farmers, fisherfolk in W. Visayas avail of gov't’s full premium insurance subsidy

The Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC) here has already reached out to 24, 304 farmers and fisherfolk that are qualified to avail of the full premium subsidy from the government.

The full premium subsidy is granted under the Registry System for Basic Sector in Agriculture (RSBSA), an insurance program offered by the PCIC other than its regular program.

The beneficiaries, according to PCIC regional manager for Western Visayas Charlito O. Brilleta, are subsistence farmers identified by the National Statistics Office (NSO).

Like the regular program it also covers rice, corn and high-value commercial crops as well as livestock and non-crop such as equipment and facilities of farmers. It is also extended to fisherfolk.

Of the 24, 304 enrolled as of December 12, he disclosed that the bulk still comes from the rice farmers.

PCIC commenced with the enrollment in September for provinces of Aklan and Capiz. It was expanded to already cover Iloilo, Guimaras, Antique and Negros Occidental in October.

The free subsidy covers up to seven hectares of rice and corn crops, he said.

The region was allotted Php91 million for the subsidy out of the Php1.12 billion budget nationwide.

It used to cover the country’s top 20 poorest provinces but has been expanded to already include 82 provinces.

He added that most likely the program will continue next year but they have yet to know the target recipients from Western Visayas. (PNA)

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4 ARMM fire officials honored by DILG inspired to do best as firefighters

The fire chief in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) said on Tuesday the awards he and three of his subordinates received from the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) serve as an inspiration for them to perform better in firefighting and saving lives.

Fire Supt. Adam Ali Guiamad, regional director of the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) in the ARMM, was one of the four ARMM fire officials who were recognized by the DILG for their dedication and commitment in the performance of duties.

Aside from Guiamad, Senior Fire Officer 3 Allain Anthony Funcion, SFO3 Gary Mueco and SFO2 Sailama were recognized during the 41st Fire Service Recognition Day in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City on Monday.

Also awarded was Fire Inspector Bayani Sambrano of the BFP in the SOCCSKSARGEN region.

They received “Medalya ng Kagitingan,” “Medalya ng Pagtulong sa mga Nasalanta,” “Medalya ng Kagalingan at Kadakilaan” from DILG Secretary Manuel A. Roxas II.

ARMM is composed of the provinces of Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi while the SOCCSKSARGEN region is composed of the provinces of North and South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat and the cities of Cotabato, Kidapawan, Koronadal, Tacurong and General Santos.

Guiamad said the award was another achievement for him and his personnel as well as the BFP-ARMM and will serve as an “inspiration” for them to perform better.

”We risk our lives to save others’ lives and properties,” he said in an interview.

He said the theme of the celebration is a fitting description of fire officers which says, "Bombero, Simbolo ng Kabayanihan, Laging Maaasahan."

Guiamad and his men always keep themselves busy in conducting information dissemination and organizing volunteers to help the BFP prevent fire in its areas of assignment.

Occasionally, the BFP-ARMM personnel keep themselves fit by regularly doing exercises.

Guiamad said the BFP-ARMM is active on propagating preventive measures to the people of the autonomous regional government to avoid loss of properties and lives. (PNA)

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