Philippine News Posts

Showing posts from February, 2019

NV farmers seek more marketing areas

2 Abu Sayyaf ‘bandits’ surrender in Sulu

ZAMBOANGA CITY -- Two Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) bandits surrendered amid the intensified military offensives in the Sulu towns of Panamao and Patikul, officials said Thursday.

Col. Gerry Besana, Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) information officer, identified the ASG surrenderers as Jum-Amri Sali alias Pujong, 27, and a certain Abu Sibih.

Sali surrendered Tuesday to the Marine Battalion Landing Team-3 (MBLT-3) in Barangay Seit, Panamao, while Sibih yielded to the Army's 21st Infantry Battalion in Barangay Danag, Patikul.

Besana said Sali, a follower of ASG one-armed leader Radulan Sahiron, turned over a Garand rifle. Sali is the son of former ASG member Basari Sali, who surrendered on February 10 in Sulu, he added.

Sibih, a follower of ASG sub-leader Idang Suskan, turned himself in following the sustained focused military operations in the province, Besana said.

Sibih turned over a Garand rifle with several rounds of ammunition.

Lt. Gen. Arnel Dela Vega, Westmincom chief, said t…

Another child dies from suspected measles in Sarangani

KIDAPAWAN CITY -- The Department of Health in Region 12 (DOH-12) or Soccsksargen said another child died of suspected measles on Wednesday in Sarangani, raising the death toll to three since January this year.

Jenny Ventura Panizales, DOH-12 focal person for measles eradication, said a nine-month-old child died from suspected measles in Glan, Sarangani over the weekend. Only last week, a child in Alabel, Sarangani, also died from suspected measles symptoms.

“The causes of death of these two children are being validated but health workers and parents confirmed cases of measles in their communities,” Panizales said.

Early on, a four-month-old baby died from a validated case of measles in Polomolok, South Cotabato. As of February 27, the DOH-12 has monitored 342 suspected measles cases in various hospitals in the region.

“This (figure) is 14 percent higher as compared to the same period last year which has 299 cases,” Panizales said.

Various hospitals in Cotabato City also served 75 pati…

1,000 NV villagers to get jobs

DOH set to launch Japanese encephalitis vaccine in Pangasinan

DAGUPAN CITY -- The Department of Health (DOH) office in Region 1 (Ilocos) will soon launch an immunization program that will address the possible spread of the deadly Japanese encephalitis among children.  John Lee Gacusan, senior health program officer of DOH-1, said the Japanese encephalitis vaccine will be part of the National Immunization Program.  Pangasinan recorded 23 confirmed cases and at least two died last year, he said in an interview Thursday. "The disease is not yet known to our country, but other countries are experiencing outbreak. We do not want that to happen here before we act on it," Gacusan said.  It is expected to be launched by last week of March or first week of April after which the vaccine will be available in health centers or rural health units for free for nine-month old up to 59-month old children, he added.  Gacusan assured the vaccine is safe and is being used for over 30 years now by other countries. "Four hundred million children were immuni…

BOC-Cebu staff poised to go back to old Customs house

CEBU CITY — Personnel of the Bureau of Customs - Port of Cebu will be transferred back to the old Customs house now known as the “Malacañang sa Sugbo” in Pier 1, a BOC official here said on Thursday.BOC-Cebu Collector Elvira Cruz said Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero is determined to repossess the old building which used to be the customs clearing house of the port here.Cruz said soldiers from the Presidential Security Group (PSG) stationed in the Malacañang sa Sugbo were ordered to vacate the property, in preparation for the repair of the edifice.A letter signed by PSG chief, Col. Jose Eriel Niembra, informed Guerrero that they have pulled out their Cebu contingent housed in the Malacañang sa Sugbo.“We likewise inform the IHAO and ODESFA (Office of the Deputy Executive Secretary for Finance and Administration), OP (Office of the President) of the said PSG movement,” stated the letter, adding that “the President approved the same effective 31 October 2018”.Shirley Abarintos,…

LTFRB-7 reminds PUJ operators to claim 2018 fuel subsidy

CEBU CITY — Public utility jeepney (PUJ) operators in the region are being reminded about their unclaimed fuel subsidy cards last year.Edgardo Montealto, regional director of the Land Transportation, Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) in Region 7 (Central Visayas), said operators should claim the Pantawid Pasada Program (PPP) cards so they could transact with the agency without impediments.He said the budget allocated for the fuel subsidy will have to be given back to the general fund of the national government if operators will fail to claim their cash cards.Montealto noted that his office recorded more than 2,000 unclaimed cards last year out of 5,354 beneficiaries in Central Visayas.He said the LTFRB central office might extend the distribution of last year's fuel subsidy to give operators the opportunity to claim the cash cards in his office.“The reason (they failed to claim their cash cards) is that they find a hard time getting the signature of original operators of th…

Batangas-EAC, Metropac-San Beda score routs in D-League

MANILA -- Batangas-EAC and Metropac-San Beda repulsed their respective foes in blowout fashion in the PBA D-League at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig on Thursday.Batangas-EAC took out weary McDavid, 79-57, while Metropac-San Beda blasted Wang's, 94-70.In the first game, Batangas-EAC started on a 12-0 run and quickly deposed McDavid, whose core made up of players of Bulacan in the MPBL Datu Cup is just fresh from beating Marikina in Malolos City on Wednesday night."Maybe we're just lucky that McDavid didn't play well. But I'm happy for the guys," said Coach Oliver Bunyi.Earvin Mendoza dropped 25 points, three assists, and two rebounds for the Generals, who scored their first win of the season.Clark Derige added 16 points and four rebounds, while Allan Martin chipped 11 points, four dimes, and three boards.Rev Diputado put up 16 markers and five caroms for McDavid, which fell to 0-2.Meanwhile, Calvin Oftana put up 17 points and seven boards to lead the Movers,…

Zambo cops nab med rep for drugs, illegal firearms

DOH lauds 'Expanded Maternity Leave' Act passage

MANILA -- The Department of Health (DOH) on Thursday commended the passage of Republic Act 11210 or the Expanded Maternity Leave (EML) Act.In a statement, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said the enactment of the bill is timely for the celebration of the Women's Health Month.The EML Act, which was signed by President Rodrigo Duterte on February 21, provides women additional economic support by ensuring that their 105 days of maternity leave are paid, regardless of economic and social background. Single mothers receive additional 15 days of paid maternity leave through the act."This is another noteworthy addition to the series of legislations that protect, promote, and support the health and nutrition of the Filipino family," he said, adding that the EML Act complements the recent passage of Republic Act 11148 or the Kalusugan at Nutrisyon ng Mag-Nanay Act.The Kalusugan at Nutrisyon ng Mag-Nanay Law mandates the government to prioritize the nutrition of pre-pregnant,…

DepEd to parents: Monitor kids' digital activities

MANILA -- The Department of Education (DepEd) is urging parents to be more mindful and attentive to the digital activities of their children.In a statement, the DepEd on Thursday made the call in response to the “Momo challenge” and other online challenges that reportedly lead to self-harm and suicide among the youth.The agency also reiterated its zero tolerance against all forms of abuse, exploitation, discrimination, bullying, and other forms of violence against children."Parents and guardians are urged to maintain an open communication with their children, educate them about responsible online behavior, monitor what they access online, and help them understand that their parents and guardians are the foremost people they can trust about matters that make them feel uncomfortable, coerced, or unsafe," the statement read.The DepEd said schools teach students that their online safety is as important as their physical safety through age-appropriate and contextualized lesson pl…

Archer, swimmer shine in Batang Pinoy Visayas leg

ILOILO CITY -- Archer Naina Dominique Tagle won all her seven events while swimmer Guillermo Clive Clemente fished out his fifth gold to share the limelight in the ongoing Philippine Youth Games-Batang Pinoy (PYG-BP) Visayas qualifying leg here. Representing Dumaguete City, Tagle ruled the girls’ cub (12-13) Olympic round event on Thursday to clinch her seventh gold medal.The Grade 5 student from Silliman University defeated Cebu City’s Shane Dinopol, 7-1, in their final showdown at the West Visayas State University field."I am inspired to perform well because I want to join my sister in the national team,” said Naina, younger sister of Nicole Marie who represented the country in the 2018 Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina.Naina, a first-timer in this tournament organized by the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) for children 15 years old and below, also ruled the 20-, 30-, 50-, and 100-meter, FITA round and mixed team (with Matt Bajado) events.Naina’s teammate, Prisa…

Cebu City schools warned vs collecting graduation fees

CEBU CITY – City Councilor Joy Augustus Young on Thursday advised all public schools not to collect graduation contributions from parents of graduating elementary and junior high school students in the city.Young, who sits as deputy mayor for education, made his appeal to public school officials after receiving reports that some parents have been complaining about the collection of graduation fee by some schools.He said public schools should not collect graduation fees or contributions because the city government has already allocated more than PHP3 million for the graduation expenses of students in the metropolis.“We have allocated PHP150 for each graduating student in the city, so there’s no need for schools to collect contributions,” Young said in an interview.The Department of Education (DepEd) also prohibits public schools from collecting contributions intended for the graduation exercises or programs of students.Commencement exercises of the different public schools in Cebu City…

DSWD opens internship program for Bicol

LEGAZPI CITY — The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) regional office here is now accepting applications for its Government Internship Program (GIP) in Bicol.DSWD Regional Director Arnel Garcia, in an interview on Thursday, said there are 80 available slots for the GIP, which is one of the components of the Kabataan 2000 program of the government.“The GIP aims to provide in-school youths and out-of-school youths an opportunity to learn about the government and develop skills with hands-on experience to work in the government, which they can use if they decide to join public service in the future,” Garcia said.Applicants must be 18-25 years old, incoming first to fourth year college students for school year 2019-2020 or Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) or Alternative Learning System (ALS) certificate holders.They must also be in good health condition; with monthly family income of not more than PHP8,022; Pag-asa Youth Association of the Phil…

Kim, Trump make more meaningful progress at second summit: SoKor

SEOUL -- Top leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump made more meaningful progress in their second summit in Hanoi, Vietnam, South Korea's presidential Blue House said on Thursday."It is regrettable that President Donald Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un were unable to reach complete agreement," Kim Eui-keum, spokesman for South Korean President Moon Jae-in, told a press briefing.The Blue House spokesman, however, noted that it seemed clear that the two leaders have made "more meaningful progress" than ever as they expanded the scope and depth of their understanding of each other's positions through the two-day summit in the Vietnamese capital.The leaders of the DPRK and the United States ended their second summit with no agreement reached, according to the White House.Trump told a press conference after the earlier-than-scheduled end to his meeting with Kim that a gap remained between what the…

New PH genomics lab to promote human genomes research

MANILA -- Disease outbreaks can now be controlled with precision and in less time.The Commission on Higher Education - Philippine California Advanced Research Institutes (CHED-PCARI) said the Shared Genomics Core Laboratory (SGCL) at the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City would help local researchers identify known and unknown pathogens needed for rapid response, control, and treatment of disease through genomics.Genomics is the branch of molecular biology focusing on the structure, function, evolution, and mapping of genomes or the genetic material of all living organisms."Genomics research is vital to human, animal, and plant health. Genomics and next-generation sequencing are also integral to the achievement of precision medicine, where a patient’s genes determine drug therapy and dosage," said Dr. Eva Maria dela Paz, CHED-PCARI SGCL project leader.Dela Paz added that the SGCL aims to build the capacity of local researchers to perform top-of-the-line ge…

IPs benefit from P11-B mega-dam construction

ILOILO CITY -- The Panay-Bukidnons of Calinog, Iloilo began reaping the benefits of the implementation of the PHP11.2-billion Jalaur River Multipurpose River Phase (JRMP) II.The ceremonial groundbreaking and capsule-laying of the project organized by the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) was done on Wednesday to formally signal the start of the construction.National Irrigation Administration (NIA) 6 (Western Visayas) manager and JRMP II's concurrent project manager Gerardo Corsiga said in an interview on Wednesday that the agency is "working" with the Indigenous Peoples (IPs) with regards to their needs.About 678 indigenous families in eight barangays -- Agcalaga, Masaroy, Garangan, Alibunan, Toyungan, Binulosan Pequeño, Cahigon and Guinbunyogan -- directly affected by the dam construction will benefit from the project, Corsiga added.The products and skills of the IPs were showcased during the groundbreaking ceremony as they were the ones who prepared the food and…

Bulacan, BFP to conduct fire safety activities

CITY OF MALOLOS, Bulacan -- The provincial government of Bulacan, through the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO), will hold various fire safety and prevention activities in line with its observance of Fire Prevention Month this March.Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado on Thursday said the PDRRMO conducts these activities yearly to teach preparedness and right response to emergencies such as fire.He encouraged residents to follow fire safety and prevention tips not only during the Fire Prevention Month but all throughout the year.“It is important that we take note and do not forget the tips that were given to us,” Alvarado said, adding that these tips will help save lives and properties.He added that in times of emergency, the public may call 911 or the Bulacan Rescue emergency hotline 7910566 for immediate response.The Office of Civil Defense and PDDRMO also reminded the public to ensure that their fire alarms and sprinkler work, practice the evacuation …

DOLE releases P13.45-M for SPES beneficiaries in Pampanga

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga — The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) regional office here has released some PHP13.45 million for the implementation of this year’s Special Program for the Employment of Students (SPES) in Pampanga.The amount represents the 40-percent government’s share for the salary of the SPES student-beneficiaries.The remaining 60 percent share will be shouldered by participating private companies and national government agencies (NGAs) and other sponsor-institutions.DOLE Regional Director Zenaida-Angara Campita said on Thursday that through the continued support of Governor Lilia Pineda, the SPES program implementation in Pampanga has always been successful.“The Provincial Public Employment Services Office's (PESO) close coordination and efforts together with our major stakeholders and partner government and private agencies have greatly contributed to the success of the SPES program. Without our partners, we would never have achieved the success imple…

TESDA eyes stricter in scholarship allotment rules

MANILA -- The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) will be stricter in giving scholarship slots to technical-vocational institutions (TVIs), an executive said Thursday.In an interview with the Philippine News Agency (PNA), TESDA-NCR Director Conrado Bares said this is due to the new guidelines or the 2019 Omnibus Guidelines for Scholarships the agency plans to implement.Under the new rules, TVIs must generate 60 percent employment rate for their scholars, from six months to one year after their graduation. The target employment rate was previously set at 50 percent.Bares clarified that if the TVIs do not reach 60 percent employment rate, they would not be given scholarship slots, since this will be among the criteria for them to qualify for the slots."This will be applicable to all private institutions with TESDA-registered programs," he added.To check whether the graduates are already employed or not, Bares said TESDA conducts a survey (Study on the …

Parents, teachers urged to monitor kids’ online activities

ILOILO CITY -- The Department of Education (DepEd) here has advised parents and teachers to closely monitor online activities of children, following the viral “Momo Challenge” that allegedly encourages children to commit violent actions.Lawyer Fevi Fanco, Education Program Supervisor of DepEd-Iloilo, said the exposure of children to online violence is a “very serious” matter that parents and teachers should pay attention to.“Kids, especially those at the very young ages, need to be monitored on the mobile applications they use and online videos they watch,” she said in an interview on Thursday.Fanco admitted that students nowadays are “21st century learners” who need the internet for their studies.With this, internet safety lessons are taught to students and are complemented with the department’s widespread advocacy campaign on its responsible use.A DepEd order was also put in place to regulate students’ use of mobile phones and other gadgets during class hours and even inside the sch…

Duterte wants gentleman’s agreement with Misuari

MANILA -- President Rodrigo R. Duterte wants a gentleman’s agreement with Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) founding chairman Nur Misuari, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea said on Thursday.Medialdea made this clarification after Duterte earlier expressed interest in crafting a new deal for the MNLF but did not give further details.“Sabi ni Nur (Nur said), he is willing to talk and he has waited this long for me to make a decisive decision when he comes back. Sabi ko (I said), ‘Time for us to craft a new deal for the MNLF of Misuari,’” Duterte said during the 2019 general assembly of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines at the Manila Hotel on February 26.Medialdea clarified that it is not a formal agreement that Duterte seeks but a gentleman’s agreement of mutual respect.He further said Misuari did not ask for any condition during their meeting.“Hindi nga agreement, parang it’s more of gentleman’s. Usap na lang tayo dito. Respetuhin yung kanila (It’s not an agreeme…

8 Pinoys vie for Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards new categories

MANILA -- Viacom, Inc. on Thursday announced the eight Filipinos nominated in the two new categories (Favorite Pinoy Internet Star and Favorite Trending Pinoy) of this year's Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards.The Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards recognizes the kids' favorites in music, television, and movies.Actresses Julia Barretto, Liza Soberano, Kathryn Bernardo, and Yassi Pressman will compete under the Favorite Trending Pinoy category. On the other hand, Ella Cruz, Kristen Fulgar, Hannah Pangilinan and siblings Ranz Kyle and Niana Guerrero have been nominated as Favorite Pinoy Internet Star. Viacom Communications senior manager, Yvette Yeo, told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) that the organizers do not have a "favorite internet star" and "favorite trending artist" categories for the other Southeast Asian countries. These categories are only in the Philippines, and fans can cast their votes until March 22, she said. Fans can vote using Twitter, b…

New Friendship Bridge to open soon in Pampanga

ANGELES CITY, Pampanga – The new Friendship Bridge along the Friendship Circumferential Road West here will soon be opened to motorists, according to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) regional office here.The PHP130-million infrastructure project in Barangay Anunas, this city was completed last January 15.DPWH Regional Director Roseller Tolentino on Thursday said the project was constructed under the national government’s “Build, Build, Build” program.The project, he noted, included the construction of two additional lanes and road widening, as well as maintenance work such as repainting using anti-corrosion paint on metal structures and repair of cracks.“We constructed new bridge and approach with a total net length of 618 meters, and an additional bridge with a length of 240.8 linear meters,” Tolentino said.He added that the bridge has provision for concrete slope protection for approaches and abutments and safety devices such as concrete railings, hazard markers (c…

DOH reiterates full support to anti-illegal drugs drive

MANILA -- The Department of Health (DOH) on Thursday reiterated its full support for President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs.This after Dr. Vanjoe de Guzman, an employee of DOH Metro Manila Center for Health Development (MMCHD), was arrested, along with six others, in a buy bust operation of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in Mandaluyong City on Wednesday.In a statement, DOH-MMCHD said that de Guzman is a regular DOH employee since February 2015, but has been on absence without leave status since Nov. 26, 2018."Despite written directives to report immediately to the office, Dr. de Guzman has failed to comply. This has prompted for DOH-MMCHD to issue an Order of Separation and commence disciplinary proceedings, in consultation with the Civil Service Commission, for his eventual dismissal from the service," the statement read.The DOH-MMCHD added all its employees are subjected to annual mandatory random drug testing regardless of their employment status.Based on police…

DAR eyes to resolve 80% of agrarian law cases in Region 6 by June

ILOILO CITY -- The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) in Western Visayas eyes (DAR-6) to resolve 80 percent of the Agrarian Law Implementation cases by June 2019.Western Visayas was the first region in the country to accept the challenge of DAR Secretary John R. Castriciones to achieve a zero backlog of resolutions to cases related to agrarian justice delivery, said Regional Director Stephen Leonidas on Thursday.“It is also the compliance of the department with the directive of no other than President Rodrigo Roa Duterte that there must be no pending applications and cases,” Leonidas said in a phone interview.The beginning balance, which serves as the bases of the department’s target, is assessed at the beginning of the year.Beginning balance “are all actual cases received and resolved by end of 2018.”For 2019, DAR-6 had a beginning balance of 1,463 cases including some leftover cases from last year.Leonidas said that 496 cases were received by the department in January while 75 case…

Close to 4K Cordillera kids vaccinated vs. Japanese encephalitis

BAGUIO CITY-- A total of 3,837 children aged nine to 59 months have received vaccines that will protect them from the side effects of Japanese encephalitis (JE), an official of the Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (RESU) said on Thursday.Geeny Austria, RESU nurse at the Department of Health (DOH) Cordillera, told Philippine News Agency (PNA) that the number represents those immunized from February 14 to 26.There are 1,486 who received the vaccine in Abra; 1,304 in Baguio; and 1,047 in Benguet.Austria said they hope to reach the 175,000 target children in the whole region, noting that the vaccination for other provinces will be in March."This is part of our house-to-house immunization program to reach all the 'unreached' and underserved areas in the region," she said.She said JE is a fatal illness that affects children and has neurological side effects.She said "Oplan Culex" JE immunization campaign was piloted by the DOH in four regions -- 1 (Ilo…

Gov't launches newspaper vs. fake news

MANILA -- Staying true to their commitment of transparency and good governance, the Duterte administration launched on Thursday Balita Central, a newspaper dedicated to disseminating updates and development of government projects and programs.Through the Presidential Communications Operations Office's (PCOO) Bureau of Communication Services (BCS), Balita Central will serve as a government medium to communicate with the public its efforts to provide better lives to Filipinos as well as address current social issues in the country."This as we seek to make the public informed of the current and relevant events, we believe that one of the hallmarks of democracy is a literate, informed citizenry," PCOO Undersecretary George Apacible said during the launch at the LRT-2 Araneta-Cubao Station.Apacible also urged the public to help combat the spread of #FakeNews through verifying stories before taking it as truth."I encourage the public to continuously support [the PCOO, and…

Foreign investment pledges hit P179-B in 2018

MANILA -- Approved foreign investment (FI) commitments surged 69.3 percent to PHP179 billion in 2018 from PHP105.7 billion the previous year, as the country’s strong economic fundamentals continued to attract investors from beyond Philippine shores.The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) on Thursday reported that total approved foreign investments also increased by a whopping 322 percent in the fourth quarter last year to PHP91.2 billion from PHP21.6 billion during the same period in 2017.China committed PHP48 billion, or 52.6 percent of the total approved investments during the quarter.Singapore and Japan pledged PHP15.3 billion and PHP4.8 billion, or 16.7 percent and 5.2 percent of the total approved foreign investments, respectively.Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said some firms are shifting from China, the United States, and United Kingdom to the Philippines.“(The) Philippines has been touted in international media as among top investment destinations, given str…

Japan's Saruta to defend ONE strawweight title

MANILA -- Yosuke Saruta will make his first title defense of the ONE strawweight title against the fighter whom he snatched the belt from.As ordered by ONE CEO Chatri Sityodtong, Saruta will once again take on Joshua Pacio at ONE: Roots of Honor at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City on April 12.Saruta and Pacio first faced off at ONE: Eternal Glory in Jakarta on Jan. 20.Saruta, who replaced Hayato Suzuki as Pacio's challenger due to injury, pulled off a shocker by beating the erstwhile champ via split decision.However, the outcome became subject to discussions as many observers, including Sityodtong himself, thought Pacio should have won the fight, leading to the rematch order.Saruta will not just have to deal with Pacio but also defend the title in front of the raucous Filipino fans.In the headliner, Martin Nguyen makes his return from injury, defending his ONE featherweight belt against former champ Narantungalag Jadambaa. (PNA)
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http://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/106326…

PRRD approves reso extending human rights victims’ fund

MANILA -- President Rodrigo R. Duterte approved a Congress joint resolution extending the validity of the fund intended for victims of human rights violations.Signed by Duterte on Feb. 22 and released to the media on Thursday, Joint Resolution 04 extended the “maintenance, availability, and release of the funds" until the end of 2019.The resolution allowed the Bureau of Treasury and the Landbank of the Philippines to release the funds and ensure payment of claims.It also mandated the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) to administer the effective distribution of the funds to qualified victims or representatives.The reparation earlier commenced in May 2018 with the Human Rights Victims’ Claims Board (HRVCB) approving 11,103 legitimate claimants.Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea on Thursday expressed dismay on the slow processing and release of compensation to claimants.“It took them so many years, natengga, kasi mahirap daw mag-interview (it was delayed, they were citing the dif…

Compostela Valley town gets P11M from mining firm for tribal hall 

Solar panels to light up far-flung Antique villages

SAN JOSE DE BUENAVISTA, Antique -- Solar panels will soon light up houses situated in far-flung barangays of Antique.The Department of Energy (DOE) will be partnering with the Antique provincial government and the Antique Electric Company (Anteco) for the solar home system project that stands to benefit 2,009 households from 48 barangays situated in 14 out of the 18 towns of the province.Antique Vice Governor Edgar Denosta said in a media interview Thursday the project is very important for the people in the remote areas that up to now have no Anteco interconnection.“The distance of the houses in the barangays hinders the Anteco to put up their electric poles for it could be very costly that this solar project is the solution,” he said.The solar project entails a one-time membership fee of PHP500 for each household. They also have to pay PHP100 per month for their electric bill.He said that in a talk with Antique Governor Rhodora J. Cadiao they have decided to allocate PHP4 million as…

Peso posts new high; PSEi down on negative corporate reports

MANILA -- Optimism that the ongoing US-China trade negotiations would bear fruit boosted the Philippine peso on Thursday but the main equities index fell due to uninspiring developments in the corporate front.The peso ended the day at 51.7 to the dollar, better than its 51.91 close a day ago and is the strongest since finishing the trade at 51.675 on May 4, 2018.A trader said investors’ hopes are high for the eventual forging of a workable trade agreement between the two largest economies, which will hopefully end uncertainties that mired the financial market in recent months.ING Bank Manila senior economist Nicholas Mapa also said portfolio inflows since the start of the year are lifting the local unit to date.Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) data show that net foreign portfolio investments, otherwise known as hot money due to the speed it comes in and out of an economy, posted a net inflow of USD959 million as of the week ending February 15, a turn-around from the USD241.5 million …

PNA marks 46th anniversary on March 1

MANILA, Feb. 28 (PNA)—The Philippine News Agency or PNA was inaugurated in Malacanang on March 1, 1973 as the official news agency of the government of the Philippines by then Information Minister Francisco S. Tatad.It replaced the country’s first privately-owned Philippine News Service or PNS, which was established at the National Press of the Philippines Bldg. in Intramuros, Manila by the owners of the country’s eight major national newspapers.The first set of PNA’s correspondents was picked from the former PNS stringers covering the country’s then 70 provinces and 60 cities. A number of former staff members of the defunct Manila newspapers later joined the PNA Central Desk as editors, reporters and photographers.At the outset, four PNA correspondents were assigned each to cover the then existing four Philippine Constabulary Zones in Luzon, the Visayas and Mindanao. These were the 1st PC Zone in Camp Olivas, Pampanga; 2nd PC Zone in Camp Vicente Lim, Laguna; 3rd PC Zone in Cebu; and…

PRRD vetoes bill banning corporal punishment for children

MANILA -- President Rodrigo R. Duterte has vetoed a bill banning corporate punishment for children stressing that he does not share “overly sweeping condemnation” of this practice.Duterte vetoed consolidated bills Senate Bill 1477 and House Bill No. 8238 on Feb. 23 but a copy of the veto message was released on Thursday (Feb. 28).The consolidated bills prohibit subjecting the child to any form of punishment or discipline using physical force and intended to cause pain or discomfort or any nonphysical act that causes a child to feel belittled, denigrated, threatened, or ridiculed.In his veto message, Duterte said although he believed children should be protected from humiliating forms of punishment, he believed that disciplining children can also be done responsibly.“I am gravely concerned that the bill goes much further than this as it would proscribe all forms of corporate punishment, humiliating or not, including those done within the confines of the family home. I do not share such…

Massive measles vaccination drive conducted in Ilocos Norte

LAOAG CITY -- The Department of Health (DOH) on Thursday conducted a massive measles vaccination campaign in various schools and local communities of the province, particularly among athletes participating in the Region 1 Athletic Association (R1AA) meet. “Our priority, for now, are the athletes as we have also installed measles fast lanes in all DOH hospitals,” said Dr. Edwin Monis, area supervisor for the measles outbreak response team for Region 1 (Ilocos Norte), in a press conference.     On Tuesday morning, about 200 athletes both from the elementary and secondary levels were given vaccinations with the consent of their parents. Other schools followed suit. For the safety of the participants, Ilocos Norte’s hosting of the R1AA meet has been moved to March 6-11 from March 3-8 to give the athletes time to be vaccinated against measles. Monis, also Medical Officer V of the DOH Center for Health Development 1 (Ilocos), urged all parents to have their children vaccinated to protect them f…

More news tie-up deals mark PNA's 46th year

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MANILA -- There’s no stopping the state-run Philippine News Agency (PNA) from expanding its reach both here and abroad.As the government’s newswire service marks its 46th anniversary on March 1, more deals were signed with its foreign counterparts as part of its efforts to promote news cooperation and exchange.One of the most recent is a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Emirates News Agency (WAM) on the sidelines of the 2019 World Government Summit in Dubai, UAE on Feb. 11. this year.Under the MOU, PNA and WAM will exchange visits of their personnel and experience in journalism, video editing and production, social media, publishing, and translation.In the past three years, PNA has also signed with China Radio International (February 2017); Yonhap News Agency of South Korea (March 2018); and Hungarian news Agency (August 2018).There is also a news cooperation agreement between PNA and Russia’s Sputnik News Agency currently awaiting signature and a similar agreement with Turk…

Task force starts removing illegal campaign ads

MANILA -- Personnel of various government agencies comprising "Task Force Baklas" started on Thursday removing illegal campaign materials in different parts of Metro Manila.On the first day of operations, some 300 personnel from the Commission on Elections (Comelec), Philippine National Police (PNP), Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), equipped with man-lifters and adjustable ladders, were deployed in Malate and San Andres, Bukid, Manila to take down illegal campaign posters.Illegal campaign posters on Epifanio delos Santos Avenue-Pasay were also removed.Most of the campaign posters and streamers were posted on electrical posts and wires, trees, lamp posts, walls of public buildings, and signboards on public properties when removed by the composite team.“Candidates were given a chance to take election materials down. Some have complied on their own and that is commendable but those areas with candidates th…

33IB chief cites achievements as he bids farewell

PRESIDENT QUIRINO, Sultan Kudarat -- The commander of the Army’s 33rd Infantry Battalion (33IB) said he considers the surrender of some 200 communist guerillas as one of his top achievements.

Lt. Col. Harold Cabunoc made the statement Wednesday as he handed over the reign of the 33IB to Lt. Col. Elmer Boongaling.

Cabunoc, who will be reassigned to the Philippine Army headquarters in Manila, said he is confident that his successor, who is also a Scout Ranger like him, is capable of continuing the Makabayan battalion’s gains.

He, however, turned emotional when asked by reporters here about his departure.

“I am both happy and sad. Happy, because I am moving up in my military career and sad at the same time (because) the unit I have served for two years has been a family to me,” Cabunoc said.

Under his leadership, the 33IB engaged in close coordination with stakeholders, local officials, and other security units in bringing about peace in its area of responsibility.


The 33IB covers the to…

NoCot farmer nabbed for illegal firearms possession

COTABATO CITY -- Cops arrested a farmer for possession of two illegal firearms in Aleosan, North Cotabato early Wednesday.

Senior Insp. Arvin John Cambang, Aleosan police chief, identified the arrested suspect as Eduardo Gonzales, 53, of Sitio Sampaguita, Barangay Katalicanan, Aleosan.

Armed with a search warrant issued by a regional court in Kabacan, North Cotabato, a team of law enforcers of the Aleosan and North Cotabato police offices pounced on the suspect who was caught flat-footed at his home.

“The suspect was surprised to see policemen surrounding his house,” Cambang said.

Seized from the suspect were a 12-gauge shotgun, a .45-caliber pistol, and ammunition.

Charges for violation of Republic Act 10591 or the Comprehensive Law on Firearms and Ammunition are being readied against the suspect who is currently detained inside the Aleosan police lockup. (PNA)
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Trike groups asked to observe discipline on flyover closure

MANILA -- Quezon City Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte on Thursday asked the Tricycle Operators and Drivers' Associations (TODAs) in the areas affected by the Tandang Sora flyover closure to cooperate with the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) amid the clearing operations along the designated alternative routes.Last Tuesday, the MMDA started the clearing operations along Luzon Avenue, Visayas Avenue, Congressional Avenue, and Tandang Sora Avenue which will be the alternative routes once the Tandang Sora flyover and intersection are closed."Let us cooperate with MMDA on the clearing operations. Maging disiplinado sana tayo at huwag nang mag-park kung saan-saan (Let’s be disciplined and not to park anywhere we want)," Belmonte said in an interview."The issue here is not the clearing operations or the apprehension for those obstructing. Ang isyu dito 'yung disiplina, lalo na sa mga TODA, sa mga terminal nila dahil mayroon pa ring iba na sagabal talaga sa daan…

Expert recommends stricter NGP quality control

MANILA -- An expert sees the need to further tighten quality control for the National Greening Program (NGP), the government's biggest reforestation bid so far."We must use quality planting materials (QPMs) suitable for sites where these will be planted," NGP consultant and former Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau (ERDB) director Celso Diaz said on the sidelines of the international forest landscape restoration conference in Makati City on Wednesday.Diaz raised the point, noting that it is unclear where some people's organizations (POs) get the planting materials or seedlings they provide for the NGP.The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) must be stricter in monitoring POs involved in NGP, he said.Diaz said since QPMs have a better chance of survival, thus, using them would help the DENR implement the NGP successfully."Clonal facilities and seed production areas (SPAs) ERDB turned over to DENR field offices, as well as state universi…

PhilHealth disburses P6.7-B for claims in Ilocos region

DAGUPAN CITY -- The Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) 1 (Ilocos) disbursed PHP6.7 billion in claims for medical reimbursement of its member beneficiaries in the entire region in 2018. Dr. Maricar Arzadon, PhilHealth-1 health care delivery management division chief, said that of the total amount, 33 percent or PHP2.2 billion were claimed by members under the indigent or sponsored category; while senior citizens or lifetime members received PHP1.8 billion, or 27 percent of the total disbursement last year.  She said 25 percent or PHP1.7 billion in claims were from the informal economy or the voluntary members, and 15 percent or PHP1 billion were from the formal economy category or the employed members.  Arzadon identified the top 10 paid medical case rates during the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkasters sa Pilipinas forum on Thursday.  "The top 10 claims are case rates under pneumonia (moderate risk), acute gastroenteritis, urinary tract infection, hypertension stage 2, dengue wit…