EDITORIAL - Accountability in disaster

Scientists say the Verde Island Passage in Batangas is home to 36 marine protected areas with an estimated 1,700 fish species and 300 coral species. About two million people depend on the passage for their livelihoods, mostly fishermen and workers in the tourism industry......»»

Category: newsSource: philstar philstarMar 20th, 2023

Groups want ban on toxic cargo in VIP

Civil society groups and representatives of fisherfolk have demanded a total ban on tankers carrying toxic cargo along the Verde Island Passage. The ban should spare the island’s marine environment and communities from the risk of oil spill, according to the think-tank Center for Energy, Ecology, and Development, the environmental advocacy group Protect VIP and the Koalisyon ng Mangingisdang Apektado ng Oil Spill. The call was made as the House of Representatives Committee on Ecology and Committee on Natural Resources are jointly investigating the oil spill caused by the 28 February sinking of the fuel tanker MT Princess Empress off Oriental Mindoro. “Tankers carrying toxic cargo like industrial oil and other fossil fuels should be banned from coursing through the VIP,” Gerry Arances, Executive Director of CEED and co-convenor of Protect VIP said Arances said the complexity of responses necessary in the aftermath of a disaster like the Oriental Mindoro oil spill showed that the government should not allow such incidents to happen in the first place. “We’re disappointed that even as it took two long months before Congress called for another investigation, there appears to be no significant progress in exacting justice for affected communities and biodiversity. Coordination among various government and responsible actors still proves to be severely lacking,”  he complained. The groups raised alarm over the high volume of fossil fuel and toxic cargo-carrying vessels’ allowed to ply critically biodiverse seas, especially the VIP, without a complete and thorough assessment of these vessel seaworthiness right from its point of departure as seems to be the case for the Princess Empress. Meanwhile, fisherfolks complain of unclear and unjust processes for the delivery of compensation, inedible products in food packs and lack of plans for long-term support for alternative livelihoods. “It is disheartening to see the finger-pointing at the hearing earlier: the discussion of allowing MT Princess Empress to sail despite its no permit to sail between the Philippine Coast Guard and Marina (Maritime Industry Authority), the unclear water testing and results from Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, and Department of Social Welfare and Development’s recall of canned tuna after it has been distributed,”  Dindo Melaya, convenor of KMAOS, said. Melaya called for a clear and long-term plan such as providing alternative livelihoods to fisherfolks who are yet to resume fishing, retrieval of the sunken tanker and full accountability from the polluters, instead of sending them canned tuna that are unsafe even for their dogs.   The groups raised alarm over the high volume of fossil fuel and toxic cargo-carrying vessels allowed to ply critically biodiverse seas.   The groups also pointed out that the absence of RDC Reield Marine Services and the oil tanker owner and charterer, subsidiaries of San Miguel Corporation, makes the oil spill hearing unable to genuinely facilitate the exacting of accountability from polluters. “Government agencies and members of our congress can go on with the blame game as much as they want, but there will be no justice if the polluters that caused this ecological disaster are allowed to play truant,” according to Arances. “We sincerely hope that our government will deliver the punitive actions these companies deserve, including the compensation they owe to communities whose livelihoods they robbed and whose welfare they harmed. These polluters should stop sending stand-ins, and instead, stand up and face the consequences of their actions,”  he said. The post Groups want ban on toxic cargo in VIP appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsMay 10th, 2023

EDITORIAL — Code of conduct for lawyers

It’s good to know that the Supreme Court has promulgated a new Code of Professional Responsibility and Accountability for lawyers......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsApr 24th, 2023

EDITORIAL - Biggest Hour for Earth

The Philippines joins around 190 other countries tonight for an hour-long lights out as it confronts an environmental disaster from a sunken tanker that continues to spew toxic industrial oil 400 meters deep in the waters off Mindoro, threatening marine biodiversity and livelihoods......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsMar 24th, 2023

EDITORIAL - Environmental disaster

As the sunken motor tanker Princess Empress continues to spill toxic industrial oil into the country’s western seaboard, threatening the Verde Island Passage in Batangas as well as the pristine waters of Palawan, the government is belatedly verifying if the vessel was even authorized to set sail......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsMar 15th, 2023

EDITORIAL - Environmental disaster

Last Friday as its beaches and surrounding waters turned black, with dead fish washing ashore, the town of Pola in Oriental Mindoro declared a state of calamity......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsMar 4th, 2023

EDITORIAL - Accountability in CIF use

After drastically cutting the confidential and intelligence funds approved by the House of Representatives in the 2023 national budget, senators went along anyway with the version of the larger chamber......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsDec 6th, 2022

EDITORIAL - Enhancing disaster management

Contrary to the claim of Maguindanao local officials, the country’s geohazard map clearly shows in red the areas prone to landslides in the province, now gerrymandered into two, as well as the rest of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsNov 2nd, 2022

An ‘eco-disaster’ waiting to happen

The editorial headline by the Philippine Daily Inquirer on July 22, 2021 said it all. The “monumental eco-disaster” waiting to happen is the P23-billion, 174-hectare reclamation project that the city of Dumaguete plans to build on the entire seafront of this gentle city by the bay. The project seeks to transform the seaside site into […] The post An ‘eco-disaster’ waiting to happen appeared first on Cebu Daily News......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsAug 13th, 2021

EDITORIAL - Vaccine accountability

The Senate Committee of the Whole is reportedly set to conduct an inquiry into the government’s utilization of the funds for COVID vaccine procurement......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJun 15th, 2021

EDITORIAL - Opening the records

It was hailed as a “significant milestone” in the struggle for accountability in the Duterte administration’s bloody campaign against illegal drugs: the Philippine National Police would share its records on drug war killings with the Department of Justice......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJun 4th, 2021

EDITORIAL - No accountability

Six years after 44 commandos of the Philippine National Police Special Action Force were gunned down by combined teams of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, relatives of the slain men are still waiting for justice......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJan 26th, 2021

EDITORIAL - Cha-cha in a pandemic

With the COVID vaccination program unfolding like a natural disaster, politicians allied with the administration are preparing to tackle an issue they believe deserves as much or even more urgent attention than the public health crisis: Charter change......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJan 9th, 2021

EDITORIAL - Disaster health protocols

As the images from the typhoon area showed, observing COVID health protocols can be challenging if not impossible when disaster strikes. Families rendered homeless by Typhoon Quinta or who fled rampaging floods huddled with others at cramped evacuation centers......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsOct 28th, 2020

Cebu City sends heavy equipment to landslide-prone areas for super typhoon Betty

CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Cebu City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CCDRRMO) has prepositioned heavy equipment for landslide-prone areas in the city as part of its preparations for the effects of Super Typhoon Betty. CCDRRMO head Harold Alcontin told CDN Digital that they have raised Blue Alert since Wednesday, May 24, 2023, which […] The post Cebu City sends heavy equipment to landslide-prone areas for super typhoon Betty appeared first on Cebu Daily News......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated News2 hr. 18 min. ago

EDITORIAL - Desaparecidos

As the country faces a super typhoon this weekend, there are families that are counting the days, weeks and years since their loved ones disappeared, never to be seen or heard from again......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated News5 hr. 28 min. ago

‘Prepare, coordinate, cooperate, save lives’ — Go tells frontline agencies

Senator Christopher ”Bong” Go, on Friday, 26 May, emphasized the importance of government preparedness and citizen awareness as Super Typhoon Betty entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility. With the potential for heavy rainfall and flooding, Go, during an ambush interview after attending the groundbreaking for the Super Health Center in Libertad, Misamis Oriental, called on the national government to coordinate with local government units to ensure the safety and well-being of affected communities.. “Nakikiusap po ako sa national government, sa DSWD (Department of Social Welfare and Development), preposition of goods kaagad at coordination with LGUs,” he added. Go stressed the significance of effective coordination with LGUs, saying, “Napakaimportante po ng coordination with LGUs dahil sila po ang nakakaalam kung saan dapat ilikas, saan 'yung safe na lugar, saan dapat 'yung evacuation center.” He also emphasized the need for the national government to be on top of the situation to guide citizens needing assistance. The senator also urged citizens not to be complacent and to adhere to government advisories. “Sa ngayon pa lang, huwag tayong magpakakumpiyansa. Habang papasok pa lang, may panahon po tayo na mag-prepare,” said Go. “Sumunod tayo sa paalala ng gobyerno. Sundin natin kung kailangan na lumikas. Umalis na sa mababang lugar, 'yung mga prone sa flooding dahil delikado 'yan,” he urged. The senator urged citizens to stay informed through reliable information sources and to heed the guidance of local officials and authorities.  Go also stressed the necessity of LGUs having ready relief supplies, search and rescue teams, and appropriate equipment, including personnel trained in emergency response. The typhoon’s passing may result in significant rainfall, potentially causing flash floods and landslides, according to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration. The projected path of the storm indicates that it will be approximately 250 kilometers away from Batanes and the Babuyan Islands within the weekend. During the interview, Go also took the opportunity to push for his advocacy for the establishment of a Department of Disaster Resilience.  “Yun po ang aking pinapangarap at hindi po ako titigil na isulong po ito. Sana po ay maging batas ito someday, itong Department of Disaster Resilience,” he said. Go emphasized the necessity of more proactive measures when dealing with natural calamities, reiterating his long-standing appeal for the establishment of the DDR through his proposed Senate Bill No. 188, a cabinet-level department dedicated to disaster response and mitigation efforts. “Hindi 'yung panay task force, task force ng pangalan ng typhoon. Eh ang problema n'yan kapag bagong administrasyon, mawawala na naman po ang task force. Kaya dapat Cabinet level para tuluy-tuloy po ang rehabilitasyon at makabalik sa normal ang apektadong mga komunidad,” concluded Go. The post ‘Prepare, coordinate, cooperate, save lives’ — Go tells frontline agencies appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated News14 hr. 18 min. ago

EDITORIAL — Utmost deliberation

With billions in public funds at stake, and the independence of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas at risk of being undermined, the Senate must fulfill its role of providing checks and balances to the executive and consider the plan to set up the Maharlika Investment Fund with utmost deliberation......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated News18 hr. 18 min. ago

Australia’s Phl stakes up

It’s due season for the Philippines, an increasingly lucrative investment destination that embodies a shift in the center of gravity in the regional economy. The country’s bullish business prospects post-pandemic are propped up by the recent increase in direct investments, which continue to inspire business confidence in the Philippines. Among the flurry of such inflows is Australian, what with the country’s AUD89.9 million (P3.32 billion) worth of official development assistance (2023 to 2024) to the Philippines. This came at the heels of a productive meeting between Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong and DFA Sec. Enrique Manalo last week, a fund that will be channeled mostly to programs on inclusive economic growth, education, training and scholarships, disaster and climate resilience, and peace and stability in the Bangsamoro. Ongoing cooperation in the areas of science and innovation, people-to-people exchanges, law and justice is also uppermost, as well as defense, maritime, and counter-terrorism. Wong said Australia considers providing drones and other technology as a part of maritime cooperation package to buttress the Philippines’ position in waters adjacent to many sovereign interests. Manila and Canberra are a long-standing “important security partner” in the region according to Wong, who added that Australia also thinks trilateral partnerships with the Philippines on joint patrols in the West Philippine Sea is also possible. The fund is on top of Canberra’s AUD10.95-million (P405 million) pledge for the establishment of a new immunization information and strengthened laboratory network and surveillance systems in the Philippines for health emergencies like the recent pandemic. The Philippines had received approximately P3.1-billion ODA last year. The bulk of it was pivotal in the realization of the peace process in the Bangsamoro. The two countries are exploring investment cooperation on critical minerals and the improvement of two-way tourism. “Work and holiday visa arrangement” are also high on the negotiation table. Wong’s high-level visit to Manila earlier this month may serve as a precedent to a possible in-person meeting between President Marcos Jr. and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese come the Asean-Australia Summit in March 2024, or a bilateral visit soon. The post Australia’s Phl stakes up appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsMay 26th, 2023

Biazon: Munti ready for ‘Betty’

Muntinlupa City Mayor Ruffy Biazon yesterday met officials and members of the Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office in preparation for super typhoon “Betty,” otherwise known by its international code name “Mawar.” “The city government is ready to respond to all eventuality,” Mayor Biazon said. “I am asking all Muntinlupeño to be watchful. Let’s all be careful and prepare for this typhoon.” Biazon said all of the agencies of the city government are already on alert to respond to whatever assistance those in Muntinlupa would require. He urged residents to contact the city government for assistance: 137-175; 0921-5427123 (Smart); and 0927-2579322 (Globe). The typhoon intensified Friday with maximum sustained winds of 215 kilometers per hour near the center and gusts of up to 265 kph. It is moving west at 20 kph. The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration said the eye of “Mawar” was last observed at 3 a.m. on Friday, 26 May, 1,740 kilometers east of southeastern Luzon, outside the PAR. PAGASA said “Mawar” is expected to enter the Philippine Area of Responsibility last night or today, Saturday. It was forecast to reach its peak intensity within 24 to 36 hours. The post Biazon: Munti ready for ‘Betty’ appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsMay 26th, 2023

SM, DSWD ink pact for sustainable livelihood

SM Supermalls sealed a partnership with the Department of Social Welfare and Development to launch their new Sustainable Livelihood Program titled “Sibol” on Friday at the SM Mall of Asia. The Sibol Program will enhance ways to improve the well-being of the poor, vulnerable, and marginalized households by providing access to livelihood assets and resources as the launch showcased exhibit products and commodities by all SLP beneficiaries. For almost three decades, SM Supermalls has been a staunch supporter of DSWD’s sustainable livelihood program for the benefit of the Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services and Self-Employment Assistance-Kaunlaran beneficiaries. SM Supermalls president Steven Tan said that through the SM Sunday Market Project in over 30 malls, the 28,500 KSK farmers who were trained by SM Foundation and DSWD can sell their produce and become self-sufficient agri-preneurs. The agreement — signed by Tan and DSWD Secretary Rex Gatchalian — served as a seal of commitment to expand SM’s Government Services Express nationwide to provide a venue to make DSWD programs and services more accessible to Filipinos through satellite offices in the malls, starting with 21 locations. The joint partnership of SM and the DSWD extends into disaster relief, adoption awareness, and empowerment of vulnerable sectors such as women, children, senior citizens and persons with disabilities. The post SM, DSWD ink pact for sustainable livelihood appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsMay 26th, 2023