‘No more rains’ on New Year’s eve in Cagayan de Oro

The “New Year’s Eve” celebration in this port capital would push through without rains as tropical storm "Seniang" left Tuesday night, the local weather bureau officials said Wednesday

The local Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) here said that, tropical storm Seniang has reduced to a tropical depression and was in the vicinity of Southern Palawan island past 4:00 p.m. Wednesday.

“There will be no rains during the New Year’ Eve celebration in Cagayan De Oro City,” the PAGASA officials said as they sent greetings to listeners over the local radio station here.

PAGASA also lifted all storm signals in this seaport capital of more than 800,000 people, but the local Philippine Coast Guard is still withholding all Visayas bound passenger vessels, pending advice from the PAGASA. (PNA)

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Green Climate Fund Board to start reviewing funding requests in 2015

The Green Climate Fund (GCF) Board will likely start reviewing funding proposals in the second half of 2015, according to Albay Governor Joey Sarte Salceda.

Under Salceda’s co-chairmanship of the GCF Board in October 2013-2014, the Board achieved, despite skepticism and deep divisions, two major milestones -- the completion of the eight prerequisites for operationalization; and raising of USD 10.2 billion for the initial resource mobilization.

"Apparently 2015 augurs well for developing nations that face threats of climate change," he noted.

The GCF was established to act as a central vehicle for climate finance under which industrialized countries would assist developing countries with new finance for public and private sector projects and programs, Salceda said.

It offers unlimited opportunities for deploying resilient and clean solutions that will foster economic growth and employment globally, he added.

“We are fully confident on GCF’s ability to start disbursing funds next year and encourage more countries to come forward with contributions and for contributing countries to further raise their ambition,” Salceda quoted Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, Minister of the Environment of Peru and president-designate of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of the Parties (C0P), as saying.

The Albay governor also remembered Pulgar-Vidal as saying that the GCF is the epicenter that determines the direction of both public and private investment over the next decades and the capitalization of the Fund is one of the wisest investments in the 21st century.

“This creates a positive atmosphere for the start of successful negotiations in Lima in less than two weeks,” the Peru official added, as quoted by Salceda.

The UNFCCC-C0P had its 20th session in Lima on Dec. 1-12 and will have its 21st session in November–December 2015.

It encouraged governments that have not yet contributed to the Fund to continue pledging.

“We must give other contributors the chance to surprise us,” Salceda also quoted the remark of Henrik Harboe, newly elected co-chair of the GCF Board and Deputy Director of the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The GCF Board now has the critical role of translating these pledges into financing decisions for climate projects and programs in developing countries, the Filipino green economist added.

The Berlin Pledge held earlier, the UN-named climate change champion said, demonstrated that there is true progress in providing financial support to developing countries that are willing to shift to more climate-resilient development pathways, and at the same time to lower their emissions.

The Fund’s pledges constitute the largest resource mobilization for adaptation finance for vulnerable countries.

The Pledging Conference of the Green Climate Fund yielded unprecedented USD 10.2 billion.

Governments unite behind the Fund to leverage private investment flows to provide climate finance.

The pledges were made by 21 countries, including contributions from four developing countries.

“Their combined contributions provide for the largest amount the international community has ever mobilized for a dedicated climate finance mechanism within a time frame of less than five months,” Salceda said.

Resources allocated to the Green Climate Fund will serve as a multiplier to unlock finance flows from the private sector.

“Private investment flows are essential for the transition to a low-emission, climate-resilient future,” the world-renowned Filipino financial and investment expert claimed.

These investments can be stimulated through application of concessional public financing from the Fund, he said. (PNA)

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DOH-6 reports 30 firecracker-related injuries, 2 stray bullets victims

The Department of Health Regional Office 6 (DOH-6) reported a total of 30 firecracker-related injuries with two cases of stray bulletsmonitored since Dec. 21 to Jan. 1.

Dr. May Ann S. Sta. Lucia of the DOH Regional Office 6 said that of the 30 firecracker related injuries, seven were reported from Iloilo province; Iloilo City with eight; Negros Occidental, three; Bacolod City, three; Aklan province, three including an eight-year-old boy who was reported to have ingested kwitis; and Capiz, six.

Sta. Lucia said the two stray bullets victims came from Lemery town in Iloilo province and Pres. Roxas, Capiz.

She said the number of victims from firecrackers use and stray bullets might go up as the regional health office would continue to monitor incidents from their sentinel hospitals around Western Visayas which were all placed under Code White Alert since Dec. 21.

But compared to the 2014 celebration where there were 67 firecracker-related injuries and four stray bullets, she said this year’s figure could be lower due to the intensified campaign of the DOH. (PNA)

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Firecracker injuries in Region 12 rises to 64

Health personnel in Region 12 recorded 22 more firecracker-related injuries in the run-up and during the New Year’s Day celebrations, bringing the injury cases in the area to 64.

Jenny Ventura, Kontra Paputok campaign coordinator of the Department of Health (DOH) Region 12, said Thursday such figure was based on the reports submitted as of 6 a.m. by 31 hospitals in the region that were designated as monitoring centers for the campaign.

She said the firecracker injuries were up by four cases or 6.67 percent from the 60 cases recorded in the same period during the previous year.

Region 12, which is also known as Soccksargen, covers the provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, North Cotabato and the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Tacurong, Kidapawan and Cotabato.

Ventura said North Cotabato post the most number of injuries with 34, followed by South Cotabato with 17, this city with 11, and Sultan Kudarat and Sarangani with six each.

Cotabato City-based hospitals have not reported a single case of firecracker-related injury since the monitoring started last Dec. 21, she said.

Ventura said majority of the cases were caused by the banned piccolo firecracker and there were noted injuries due to boga or PVC cannon.

Of the 64 victims, she said 42 were children aged 12 years-old and below and 59 were males.

“These are partial figures as we’re still waiting for the reports from the other hospitals so the number could still increase in the next few days,” she said in an interview over a local television station.

She said they are also validating some reports regarding cases of indiscriminate firing, specifically an incident involving a resident of Malungon town in Sarangani who was rushed to a hospital here.

When compared to 2013, Ventura said the reported injury cases could have increased due to the prompt and accurate reporting by the designated monitoring centers.

She said that from six in the previous year, they agency expanded its monitoring to 31 hospitals for the 2014 Christmas and New Year holidays.

“There was a significant number of unreported cases in 2013 as we only focused our monitoring in six hospitals,” she added.(PNA)

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'Seniang' death toll now at 35 -- NDRRMC

Manila — The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), in its Wednesday (December 31) morning update, announced that 35 people were killed by flashfloods and landslides triggered by inclement weather brought by Topical Storm "Seniang" which lashed communities in the Visayas and Mindanao.

Eight persons were also reported missing as of this posting while 26 others were hurt.

The death toll is broken down as follows: 16 in Region VII, 12 in Region VIII, three in Region X, two in Region XI and two in CARAGA.

Most of those killed were either drowned in the flash floods or buried alive by landslides, the NDRRMC said.

"Seniang" has so far affected a total of 121,737 persons, or 27,397 families, in Region VI, VII, X, XI and CARAGA. Of these, 5,046 families were evacuated.

Floods and landslides also shut down 43 roads and 22 bridges in Regions VI, VII, VIII, X and CARAGA. (PNA/Christopher Lloyd T. Caliwan & Priam F. Nepomuceno)

Author: www.pna.gov.ph

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Fatality recorded in Misamis Oriental due to TS 'Seniang'

Misamis, Oriental -– A 56-year-old farmer died while more than 36,000 people have been evacuated in Misamis Oriental in the aftermath of tropical storm "Seniang" on Monday (December 29).

The lone fatality was identified as Eddie Matus, of Santa Ana, Tagolo-an. Witnesses said that a rampaging flash flood carried away Matus, who was tending a cow Monday afternoon. His body was recovered Tuesday morning.

Edmundo Pacamalan, Jr., head of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC), said the evacuees involved 11,000 families who have been moved to 154 evacuation centers in the province.

Pacamalan said that the province’s social welfare department has taken care of the evacuees to make sure that they would have enough food and medicines, especially for the children and the elderly.

He said that the evacuees, most of them living in coastal areas and river bank, would remain in the evacuation centers until the weather normalized.

Pacamalan said that storm Seniang has affected 19 municipal towns in Misamis Oriental and the province’s two component cities of Gingoog and El Salvador of Misamis Oriental.

He said that the province’s rapid assessment team has already estimated the damage to agriculture and properties at about Php500 million.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) reported on Monday that the province of Misamis Oriental will still experience rains and gusty winds. (PNA)

Author: www.pna.gov.ph

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Davao Norte town declared under state of calamity

Davao City -– Municipal officials of Asuncion in Davao del Norte on Tuesday (December 30) declared the town under a state of calamity as flooding due to swelling of tributary rivers continue to affect several areas and displaced families.
Water level of Libuganon, Hijo, Tuganay and Nanaga rivers rose after Typhoon Seniang hit municipalities in Davao del Norte and Compostela Valley province since the weekend.
Flooding has displaced families and destroyed rice farms in seven barangays of Asuncion, particularly in Barangay Camansa, Poblacion Kambayong, Buclad and Sagayin.
Also affected in Davao del Norte is New Corella town where 38 families have been evacuated to safe areas.
Earlier, the Office of Civil Defense reported over 600 families had been displaced due to flooding and landslide in Davao del Norte and Compostela Valley provinces.
Flooding incident occurred in municipalities of New Bataan, Compostela, Montevista, Monkayo and Nabunturan all in ComVal Province due to the effects of Seniang, while landslide incident also occurred at Barangays of Mt. Diwata, San Jose, and Rizal, Monkayo and in Barangay Camantangan, Montevista all in ComVal Province. (PNA/Lilian C. Mellejor)

Author: www.pna.gov.ph

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'Seniang' floods cut off highway in south Cebu, kills 1, 6 missing

Rampaging floods caused by heavy rains spawned by tropical storm Seniang inundated villages in southern Cebu and destroyed the approach of a bridge in Sibonga town on Tuesday, cutting off vehicular traffic in the southern part of the province.

At least one was confirmed dead and six others reported missing due to the floods.

Officials in Sibonga town, some 65 kilometers south of Cebu City, said rampaging flood waters eroded the Argao town approach of the bridge in Barangay Simala that links Sibonga and Argao.

The bridge itself was still standing, but some 20 meters of the approach to the bridge was washed away.

The destruction of the approach to the Simala bridge occurred as Seniang was lashing the town at about 5 a.m. Tuesday.

Cebu provincial disaster officials advised motorists traveling to the south of the province beyond Sibonga town to cancel their trips.

The Cebu Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (CPDRRMC) said they are coordinating with the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) for the immediate repair of the Simala bridge or the construction of a temporary link to the bridge.

Barili town councilor Rene Alquizola said many villages in his town were inundated by the floods.

But he said hundreds of residents in low-lying areas were evacuated to the municipal sports complex.

Alquizola said he authored a local ordinance mandating forced evacuations in time of emergencies, but there was no need to enforce it because the residents themselves voluntarily evacuated.

”They have learned a lesson from previous typhoons,” he said.

Police in Ronda town, also in southern Cebu, were still verifying the identity of an eight-year old girl who drowned when raging floodwaters washed away her family house.

Six of her family members, who were in the house at the time, were still reported missing.

There were no other reports of casualties in other towns in southern Cebu, where Seniang passed early morning Tuesday. (PNA)

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