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Unprepared, as usual EDITORIAL 09/29/2011

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Unprepared, as usual

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Despite being a typhoon-prone country, with at least 20 typhoon visits annually, government authorities have proven to still be unprepared for typhoon disasters. And even with a change of leadership in the weather bureau that had been given more weather forecasting equipment, we are still unprepared for the big ones, especially on typhoons hitting Metro Manila.

By the time the weather bureau and Malacañang sounded the alarm, Metro Manila streets were already flooded, and too many schoolchildren as well as office workers had already made their way to their schools and offices, leaving them wet and stranded, with nowhere to seek shelter from the howling winds and heavy rains.

Why could not the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and the traffic policemen, for instance have stationed themselves near the flooded areas to at least stop drivers and their vehicles from continuing with their driving into the streets that already had the waters rising? That way, if they were turned away and closed the streets early enough, such as the Pasay-Manila stretch of Roxas Boulevard, all the way to Bonifacio Avenue, less vehicles would not have been stranded right smack into the impassable flooded areas..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110929com1.html

Creating more problems FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 09/29/2011

Creating more problems

Ninez Cacho-Olivares
One is unsure whether Noynoy believes it is the Spratlys issue that will keep him popular with the international community, specifically the US and Japan and the Asean governments, or if he is angling for more support for him and the disputed Spratlys favoring the Philippine stand against China.

Whatever the reason, Noynoy is playing a fairly dangerous game against China, because no matter how much the US and Japan side with Noynoy, due mainly to “international sea lanes access” particularly untrammeled passage rather than regional security reasons, when China shove comes to push, neither the US nor the Japanese government, and for that matter, the Hanoi government is likely to wage a war against super power China.

It certainly was much too indiscreet of Noynoy to state, when he was in the US some weeks back, that China will be “reasonable” on this Spratlys issue as long as China can save face.

And truly, there was no need for Noynoy to bring up the disputed Spratlys problem in the US, since his trip there had nothing to do with the disputed islands, but to speak before a forum launching a transparency in government theme. Yet he had to bring this issue up, either before a business meeting or a Filipino community type meeting..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: lhttp://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110929com2.html

Australian history looms over boatpeople issue focus 09/29/2011

Australian history looms over boat people issue


SYDNEY — A national obsession with border security, the legacy of outdated racist policies, and fears over job security have made asylum-seekers one of Australia’s thorniest political problems, experts say.

Boatpeople arrivals have for years prompted heated debate in Australia, with some deriding them as “queue-jumpers” taking the place of other needy refugees, and others seeing them as desperate people in need of protection.

The issue can be an electoral game-changer and politicians have battled to balance intense voter sentiment, national obligations toward refugees, and establishing a deterrent to unauthorized and sometimes fatal sea journeys.

“There’s something in the national imagination that’s sparked by the arrival of boats on our northern borders,” said high-profile immigration researcher David Corlett, who also works as a consultant to refugee groups..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110929com3.html

A P5 million ‘worthless’ school edifice INSIDE CONGRESS charlie manalo 09/29/2011

A P5 million ‘worthless’ school edifice

charlie manalo
The other day, officials of the Batino Elementary School in Quirino District in Quezon City approached a member of the media asking that they be assisted in finding sponsors to have their new school building finished.

The school building, with four classrooms, is bare. No school furniture and fixtures such as blackboards, desks and fans, it is still unpainted. Worse, even if the building has its own comfort room, it has no septic tank making it virtually non-functional. And the whole structure is worth P5 million.

According to the school officials, the building was funded with the Priority Development Assistance Fund of Akbayan Rep. Walden Bello. And for this reason, members of the Akbayan party-list have requested that one of the rooms be reserved for their exclusive use for the group’s headquarters.

If these reports are true, then this could very well serve as a fitting monument to Akbayan’s hypocrisy..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110929com5.html

Treasure hunters VIEWPOINTS Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz 09/29/2011

Treasure hunters

Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz
Recently, a well-known and much read national daily carried a news item about local treasure hunting. As expected, the avid and prolonged search was reported to be in conjunction with a “Yamashita Treasure.” It was furthermore said that the venture was officially stopped by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in coordination with the local government officials and residents in the place that has long since signified their unanimous objection to the venture — basically for reasons of their safety and health.

The Filipinos as a whole are rather well-acquainted with treasure hunting — especially so after the Japanese occupation and particularly so with reference to treasure said to be buried here and there by this and that Japanese military official.

The truth of the matter, however, is that the hunt for hidden treasure in the country also has reference to Spanish coins which were said to be kept in different ways and places, basically for safe keeping..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110929com7.html

‘Pedring’ leaves 23 dead; new storm draws near 09/29/2011

‘Pedring’ leaves 23 dead; new storm draws near

The death toll from typhoon “Pedring” yesterday climbed to 23 as thousands of people battled widespread flooding and a new weather disturbance draws near.

Rescuers reported two more deaths overnight, while 35 others remained missing, after Pedring unleashed heavy rains, winds and storm surges across Luzon, including Metro Manila, last Tuesday.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council-Office of Civil Defense (NDRRMC-OCD) said the typhoon affected 68,601 families or 320,945 individuals in eight regions in Luzon, including Metro Manila.

One of the worst affected areas was Bulacan province where dikes burst and water was released from dams that reached critical levels during the height of Pedring’s fury..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110929hed3.html

PAL ‘strikers’ damage ground equipment; scaled down flights on By Conrado Ching and Charlie V. Manalo 09/29/2011

PAL ‘strikers’ damage ground equipment; scaled down flights on

By Conrado Ching and Charlie V. Manalo 09/29/2011

Philippine Airlines (PAL) management said it has resumed its flight operations, albeit operating on a reduced schedule, with the deployment of two US-bound flights, three regional and two domestic flights early yesterday morning, amid charges that certain ground equipment was damaged by striking workers of the flag carrier’s ground crew union.

PAL management condemned the illegal work stoppage by the members of the Philippine Airlines Employees Association (Palea) that led to the suspension of airport operations and the cancellation of 172 inbound and outbound flights (102 international and 70 domestic) from PAL’s hub at NAIA Terminal 2 yesterday.

PAL said it would lose millions of dollars in operational losses due to the wildcat strike of its ground handling crew which paralyzed the operations at its hub at the NAIA Terminal 2.

Close to 400 members of the PAL union workers assigned to the check-in counters, baggage, ramp and catering services suddenly abandoned their posts causing the cancellation of over a hundred international and domestic flights and inconveniencing thousands of passengers..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110929hed4.html

Over 18,000 Pinoy kids work in mining, quarrying on job sites — ILO 09/29/2011

Over 18,000 Pinoy kids work in mining, quarrying on job sites — ILO

At least one million children in Africa, Latin America, Europe and Asia, including the Philippines, work in small-scale mining and quarrying operations, the International Labor Organization (ILO) reported.

In the Philippines alone, more than 18,000 children, aged 10 to 14, work in this hazardous environment, data from the National Statistics Office showed. Child labor in the country is common due to widespread poverty, obligating children to help support to their families to meet daily needs.

The ILO expressed alarm that child laborers’ continued exposure to dust and mercury-based chemicals in mines can cause serious brain damage. Child laborers in the mining industry also often are undersized as a result of carrying excessively heavy loads.

The ILO believes that child laborers in mining sites are likely to increase due to the higher prices and demand for minerals from countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and emerging economies..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110929nat3.html

Abu Sayyaf raids Muslim village in Basilan; 6 killed By Mario J. Mallari 09/29/2011

Abu Sayyaf raids Muslim village in Basilan; 6 killed

By Mario J. Mallari 09/29/2011

At least six persons, including four civilians, were killed after Abu Sayyaf terrorists raided a Muslim village in Basilan province yesterday morning that triggered an intense firefight with government security forces in the area.

Col. Alexander Macario, commander of the Army’s Special Operations Task Force in Basilan, said that more or less 15 fully-armed Abu Sayyaf men terrorized civilian populace in Barangay Lower Benembengan around 5:30 a.m..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110929nat1.html

MMDA files another motion to allow it to roll down billboards on Edsa By Pat C. Santos 09/29/2011

MMDA files another motion to allow it to roll down billboards on Edsa

By Pat C. Santos 09/29/2011
The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) is set to file another urgent motion before the Makati Regional Trial Court today seeking permission for the second time to be allowed to roll down billboards along Edsa and other major thoroughfares in the metropolis.

MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino said they will file the motion before the sala of Makati RTC Branch 133 Judge Elpidio Calis as part of their preparation for the possibility of another typhoon hitting the country this coming weekend.

The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said a tropical depression off Northern Luzon has developed into a storm that has been given an international code name of “Nalgae,” the Korean word for wings.

Once it enters the country the weather bureau said it will be given the local name “Quiel.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20110929met2.html

The Philippines: The real origin of species? By Deni Rose M. Afinidad, Staff Writer 09/29/2011

The Philippines: The real origin of species?

By Deni Rose M. Afinidad, Staff Writer 09/29/2011
The reports are staggering: P35 million worth of black corals, 163 endangered hawksbill and green turtles, and other marine life were seized by the customs at the port of Manila early this year. The black corals, reports say, include 21,169 species or the equivalent of 190 square kilometers of coral reef — about five times the size of Manila.

According to the World Wildlife Fund, the remorseless hunt for wildlife species for home displays and exotic décor has been threatening the country’s tourism, employment, pharmaceutical research and food security.
But the Philippines is not the only one that should be alarmed, said marine biologist Kent Carpenter during a recently held symposium titled “Scientific Discovery and Conservation in the Philippines.”

Preserving the Philippines, Carpenter noted, should be a global priority because the country, according to his years of research verified by many scientists from different fields, has been found out to be “the center of the center of marine life in the universe,” the place with the most number of marine species per unit area, or the “bull’s eye” or concentration of species in the Coral Triangle..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/life/20110929lif1.html

‘Pedring’ crop damage at P729 million — DA By Angie M. Rosales 09/29/2011

‘Pedring’ crop damage at P729 million — DA

By Angie M. Rosales 09/29/2011

Typhoon “Pedring” left devastations on the agriculture sector worth an estimated P729 million in 28 provinces of eight regions in the country, according to initial reports provided by the Department of Agriculture (DA) to the Senate.

At a hearing on the proposed DA budget by the Senate finance committee, Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala said almost 68,000 hectares of agricultural lands of some 50,000 farmers were affected by the recent typhoon.

Rice fields were the most affected, leaving P654 million damaged crops while 6,322 metric tons of corn were also affected worth P69.2 million.

Alcala said about 39,175 metric tons of palay were damaged which was 0.6 percent of 6.5 million metric tons of the projected harvest for the remaining months of the year..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/business/20110929bus1.html

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