Mina Diaz

DSWD remains on alert for ‘Domeng’

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) remains on alert for tropical depression “Domeng.” The department has stockpiles and standby funds amounting to 1,156,263,394.9 with a total of 207,946,798.85 standby funds in the Central Office and Field Offices. Of the said amount, 165,181,069.00 is the available Quick Response Fund in the Central Office, while a total of 485,636 family food packs (FFPs) amounting to 169,742,460.28 and food and non-food items (FNIs) amounting to 778,574,135.7 are readily available for augmentation to affected local government units. Acting Secretary Virginia Orogo stated, “The DSWD’s quick response teams (QRTs) are ready to respond to a disaster situation. The Department’s Field Offices (FOs) are also constantly coordinating with the affected LGUs for any assistance they might need.” In DSWD FO 10, for instance, it has activated its Quick Response Team in preparation for the possible effects of the tropical depression. DSWD FO 10 Regional Director, Nestor Briones Ramos, disclosed that the FO has prepositioned its supplies of food and non-food items to Camiguin and Misamis Occidental provinces, and in Iligan City. As of today, the FO has prepositioned 64,000 family food packs and has a standby fund of P3 million as its augmentation to the local government units responding to disaster operations. Also, it has been closely monitoring and coordinating with local disaster risk reduction management offices of local government units of Northern Mindanao.

Despite rains repairs of roads on Edsa, other places continue

Despite the announcement by Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) of rainy season, the Department of Public Works and Highways-National Capital Region (DPWH-NCR) continues to conduct reblocking and repairs on roads along Edsa and two other roads in Quezon City which started last Friday at 11 p.m. DPWH-NCR Director Melvin Navarro said the affected roads on Edsa include directions to the south from Arayat Street, third lane from the sidewalk (Service Road) and from front of Francesca Tower to end of Scout Borromeo, third lane from the center island, and northbound direction near North Avenue, MRT Station, second lane. Other roads scheduled for repair are the northbound directions of Batasan Road from Commonwealth Avenue to Katarungan Street, 2nd Lane, and Congressional Avenue from front of Business Bank to Mindanao Avenue, 3rd lane. Due to the expected slowing of traffic to the affected areas, motorists are advised to go through alternative routes. Navarro said DPWH-NCR used a one day concrete mix to re-open the affected roads at 5 a.m. tomorrow, July 11.

Clark infra brings 9.3% growth in Central Luzon

The vital infrastructure developments inside the Clark Freeport and Special Economic Zone boosted Central Luzon’s gross domestic product (GDP) which grew 9.3 percent in 2017, or three percent higher than the country’s GDP of 6.7 percent during the same year. Jess Nicdao, president of the Pampanga Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. attributed the growth to the high-impact projects under the Duterte administration’s Build, Build, Build Infrastructure Program, like the New Clark City, the Clark International Airport (CIA), the Manila-Clark Railway, and the Subic-Clark Railway. Nicdao said, “I commend the Duterte administration for making Clark a part of the country’s economic strategy as the region has been experiencing an influx of new businesses and investments for the past five years.” The 9,450-hectare New Clark City will be the country’s first smart, disaster-resilient, and sustainable city, with mixed use of residential, commercial, agro-industrial, educational institutions, and information technology developments. The railway projects in the pipeline and the ongoing construction of access roads inside the city are also expected to provide interconnectivity and better logistics throughout the region. Nicdao also noted the considerable potential of CIA as a major gateway with the passenger capacity expected to increase to eight million annually after the completion of a new terminal building. “Passengers coming from north of Metro Manila are using the airport as it is more convenient compared to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport,” Nicdao said. Meanwhile, National Economic and Development Authority Secretary Ernesto Pernia said the Build, Build, Build program is gaining ground as the Philippine economy expanded by 6.8 percent in the first quarter of 2018. “It is at par with market expectations and close to the low-end of our full-year growth target of 7.0 to 8.0 percent for 2018,” Pernia said. He said the country had a steady growth streak over the past couple of years, with 6.9 percent GDP growth for full-year 2016 and recorded a 6.7 percent expansion in 2017. “Real GDP growth could have been well within our growth range target of seven to eight percent,” Pernia added. Pernia said that he Build Build Build program would continue its momentum in providing more economic opportunities for Filipinos in terms of job generation, massive investments, and faster delivery of public services. “Our country’s growth implies that we have the potential to become an upper middle-income economy, even as early as next year,” he added.

Undergrads get good job prospects in fair

A senior high school graduate has a good chance to participate in governments’ program at job fairs nationwide. As proof a senior high school graduate from Davao City was hired-on-the-spot at a job fair of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE). Niño Sunggahid, 19, from Tibungco, Davao City, was hired as sales associate in a mall in Davao. He joined other fresh college graduates and other job seekers during the recent job fair in the Labor Day celebration. Sunggahid, who belongs to the country’s pioneer batch of DepEd’ Senior High School K-12 program, finished Computer System Services at F. Bustamante National High School in Tibungco, Davao City. As a fresh graduate and a first-time applicant, Sunggahid expressed his gratitude and joy on being able to land a good job. The DepEd’s Senior High School (SHS) curriculum covers the last two years of the K to 12 program and includes Grades 11 and 12. In SHS, students go through a core curriculum or subjects under a track of their choice. SHS according to the DepEd creates opportunities for providing standard requirements that will enable SHS to graduates to know enough to be qualified for a job,and apply for Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) Certificates of Competency (COCs) and National Certificates (NCs) for better work opportunities. Meanwhile, the Trabaho Negosyo Kabuhayan Job and Business Fairs on Labor Day at Gaisano Mall of Davao had 12,532 vacancies for both local and overseas from 87 participating companies and agencies. Out of the 3,192 total registered applicants and 2,540 were qualified applicants for both local and overseas employment.

381 new school buildings built for Western Visayas

The Department of Education (DepEd) and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has provided a total of 381 additional school buildings for students enrolled for academic year 2018-2019 in Western Visayas. Public Works-Region 6 Assistant Director Jose Al V. Fruto said the completed school building projects with a total of 851 class rooms received an allocation of P1.19 billion under the joint project of DPWH and DepEd called the 2017 Basic Education Facilities Fund (BEFF). “These projects which include classroom buildings for elementary schools and secondary schools as well as workshop/laboratory buildings for senior high schools were hastened for completion in time for the opening of classes this year,” Fruto said. The new buildings were built by the DPWH to accommodate the growing student population in different schools in the region, reaching even those who are in far-flung areas. With the additional school buildings, the government will be able to address the need for more classrooms, considering the increasing number of enrollees both in elementary and secondary as well as the senior high school students. The department will continue its commitment in supporting program of the government by providing enough classrooms to cope with the shortage of classrooms for elementary schools and technical-vocational buildings for senior high school (SHS) program. “Hopefully we can build a lot more classrooms this year and we, being parents, only wish to have better learning facilities for our children,” Fruto added.

Bohol mayor killing suspect dead in clash

TAGBILARAN CITY — A suspect in the recent killing of a Bohol mayor was killed in a shootout with elements of the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team and the Provincial Intelligence Branch in Barangay Concepcion, Danao town early Wednesday. Police identified the fatality as Emigdio Aparece Jr., one of Bohol’s most wanted person, engaged the authorities at about 2 a.m. Aparece was one of three suspects in the slaying of Buenavista Mayor Ronald Lowell “Sampol” Tirol in a cockpit in Barangay Asingan, Buenavista. The SWAT team, led by Supt. Gaylord Tamayo, responded to reports that Aparece had been spotted in Barangay Concepcion. Tamayo said he and his team tried to ask the suspect to surrender. Aparece initially indicated he was going to yield but instead opened fire, leaving the police no choice but to fire back. The police has been on Aparece’s case due to multiple arrest warrants against him, Tamayo said, adding that numerous operations were launched to arrest him but that he managed to escape. Early this year, Aparece was also allegedly involved in the killing of a police officer in Buenavista during a town celebration. A manhunt is ongoing for the capture of the other two suspects in Tirol’s killing. Earlier, Senior Supt. Angeles Geñorga said a PHP200,000 bounty has been put up for Aparece. A PHP200,000 bounty has also been raised for the capture of another suspect, identified as Elmer Melencion, alias “Eti”, along with a PHP100,000 reward for the identification and capture of the third suspect.      Philippine News Agency

DoLE releases P5,662,705.50 for salaries of TUPAD program beneficiaries

A total of P5,662,705.50 was released by the labor department for the payment of salaries of 1,420 emergency employment beneficiaries in Boracay under the Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD) program. The beneficiaries are informal sector workers and indigenous people who were affected by the closure of the resort island. Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III led the pay-out of salaries to the TUPAD workers who were the first batch of beneficiaries of the Department of Labor and Employment’s (DoLE’s) emergency employment program. He was joined by Undersecretary Joel Maglunsod, Secretary Benjamin Diokno of the Department of Budget and Management and Secretary Mark Villar of the Department of Public Works and Highways. They also distributed the salaries of 57 members of the Ati tribe amounting to P4,852.50 each. The rest of the worker-beneficiaries were paid through M. Lhuillier Financial Services. Meanwhile, the DoLE Regional Office No. 6 also led the orientation on the Adjustment Measures Program to affected formal sector workers in the island. It is a safety net program providing formal sector workers with an integrated and comprehensive package of assistance such as financial support, employment facilitation and training. Through the Boracay Emergency Employment Program, Bello assured the public of DoLE’s continued commitment to providing employment assistance and interventions to affected workers during the island’s temporary closure.
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