CAMIGUIN WELCOMES NEW AIRLINE
To further strengthen northern Mindanao’s domestic trade, commerce, and tourism, the provincial government of Camiguin welcomes Skyjet Airlines, which will commence its regular flights on May 6.

Flights, starting May, will be on Thursdays to Mondays. The service will expand to a daily schedule in October 2019. Direct flights from Manila to Camiguin would only take 80 minutes.

Currently, Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific offer direct flights to and from the island on a daily basis.


5,301 SACKS OF GARBAGE COLLECTED AT ESTERO DE MAGDALENA
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission (PRRC), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), and Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) led the massive cleaning and clearing operations at Estero de Magdalena in Tondo, Manila last March 21.

According to DENR Undersecretary Jonas Leones, the 1,980 volunteers who took part in the clean-up were able to collect 5,301 sacks (37,103 kilograms) of garbage.

Estero de Magdalena, a tributary of the Pasig River system, has been at the center of public information drives as well as clearing, relocation, and clean-up activities due to the alarming volume of solid waste clogging the said waterway.

From November 2015 to July 3, 2018, PRRC has already relocated 1,049 informal settler families (ISFs) out of the target 2,015 to various relocation sites in Bulacan and Cavite to make way for the construction of the 17-million-peso Estero de Magdalena linear park.

Massive clean-up operations are part of the government’s initiative to save and rehabilitate Manila Bay and improve the water quality of the waterway while rehabilitating its banks.


ZERO MEASLES CASE AMONG CHILDREN REPORTED IN 66 PERCENT OF E. VISAYAS’ TOWNS
Around 66% of municipalities in Eastern Visayas had no reported measles cases during the 42-day period from March 3 to April 13, for children from 6 to 59 months old, according to a recent report from the Department of Health-Regional Office 8 (DOH-8).

“Ninety-four out of 143 municipalities is a good number,” DOH-8 Regional Director Minerva Molon said in a press briefing here last April 15.
Measles transmission is said to be controlled in an area if there is no more case for the past 42 days from the last case reported.

The regional health office has noted better immunization response due to the massive information dissemination covering different barangays and the active support of parents for the government’s anti-measles campaign.

Ma. Elena Villarosa, DOH-8 immunization program manager, revealed that as of April 12, their office had already vaccinated 223,728 children ages 6 to 59 months old, surpassing their target of 191,183. She cited the public’s positive response to the government’s call for immunization, where mothers voluntarily visit the health centers nearest to them for their children’s vaccination, as a major factor for this development.

DOH-8 was able to vaccinate 178,960 school-based children ages 5 to 12 years old. DOH continues to coordinate with the Department of Education to cover more children through their immunization program.


MNWD LAUNCHES 2ND BIGGEST PUMPING STATION IN CAROLINA, NAGA
Nagueños of the province of Camarines Sur need not worry about their supply of potable drinking water after the Metropolitan Naga Water District (MNWD) inaugurated the Carolina III Pumping Station located at Sitio Caromatig, Barangay Carolina, last April 5.

According to MNWD General Manager Virgilio B. Luansing I, the Carolina III Pumping Station is the city’s 27th water pumping station and is the second biggest pumping station with a rated capacity of 80 liters per second (LPS), next to Panicuason Pumping Station with 100 LPS.

“This is very timely as this will add to our sources of water. If other areas are having problems with water, we are blessed because even if Carolina III has only 80 LPs, it has free-flowing water of 10-15 LPS, meaning, even if the motor is not running, water still flows,” said Luansing.

Seventy percent of MNWD’s source of water comes from groundwater, while the remainder comes from the spring of Mount Isarog which serves as recharge area. It’s like a big basin where water is stored underground and is being extracted especially during summer.

In case of low water supply, Luansing assured the public that MNWD has prepared contingency plans with its three lorry trucks ready to provide water in affected areas. They also have a lorry boat that services the river-barangays in the towns of Canaman, Magarao, and Camaligan.

“As groundwater has its limitation, MNWD is also preparing for its transition from groundwater to surface water, wherein water from Naga River and Bicol River will be used as water sources through the Bicol River Surface Water Treatment Plant that will be operational by 2020,” Luansing added.

AGNOR IPS BENEFIT FROM MEDICAL, SOCIAL SERVICES DURING PPOC IMMERSION
More than 4,000 residents, including indigenous people (IPs), persons with disabilities, pregnant women from barangays of Tagmamarkay, Doña Telesfora, Doña Rosario and Sta. Ana availed of different services during the Agusan del Norte Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC) Immersion held at the covered court of Barangay Tagmamarkay, Butuan City on March 28.

During the daylong event and as part of the Women’s Month celebration, pregnant women were provided with “Buntis” (pregnant) kits.

According to provincial director Ellen Vee P. Chua of the Department of the Interior and Local Government Agusan del Norte, Barangay Tagmamarkay is the fourth community of the province that was visited by the PPOC.

Barangay Tagmamarkay is one of the identified barangays with an insurgency issue. Together with Barangay Telesfora, it is home to more than 500 IP households, Chua said.

Aside from medical and dental services, the residents also benefited from free legal consultation and assistance as well as livelihood assistance. They also received family packs, seedlings, slippers, haircut, and many more. Also, more than 70 kids availed of free circumcision initiated by the Philippine Army.


NEW DPWH OFFICE BUILDING IN SOUTHERN LEYTE NOW ISO-COMPLIANT
The newly constructed office building of the Department of Public Works and Highways–Southern Leyte District Engineering Office (DPWH-SLDEO) at Maasin City is now open for public transactions after being certified as ISO (International Organization for Standardization) compliant.

District Engineer Ma. Margarita C. Junia said the construction of the two-storey building is in compliance with ISO 9001:2015 and Department Order No. 81 issued on October 29, 2012, prescribing the location of offices, office space requirements, exterior design features and color scheme.

The P72-million building has a floor area of 525 square meters and is located within the 10,000-square meter Area Equipment Service Office compound of the DPWH in Barangay Ibarra, Maasin City. The total budget covered the construction of the office building including improvements of the area complex and the existing structures that need repair and beautification.

“It is now occupied by almost 500 employees of the engineering department,” Junia disclosed. She said the new office will not only be used to extend better services and faster transactions to the public but also help employees to be more effective in their daily tasks and activities.

DAVAO WATER FIRM NOT AFFECTED BY DRY SPELL
The Davao City Water District (DCWD) allayed fears that it might be affected by the long dry spell.

DCWD spokesperson Atty. Bernardo Delima said the water district currently has adequate supply through the 65 production wells which suck water from the aquifer. He said the aquifer has a depth from 50 to 100 meters from the surface.

“We are accessing the deepest aquifer which is not vulnerable to the effects of the El Niño phenomenon,” Delima said. He said shallow aquifers might be affected just like other sources of water such as streams and rivers which dry up because of the long dry spell.

Delima said the aquifer is replenished with water from the rivers and rainfall.

“The city’s source of drinking water has been there for centuries. It will not be affected even for one summer,” he said.

Delima said that as the city’s population grows, the DCWD responds through increased production, based, among others, on projected demand.

“We also project the need for more water production. Currently, the need for 2019 is 345 million liters a day to satisfy our whole coverage in the city,” Delima said.

IGOROT WAR VETERANS’ HEROISM REMEMBERED
Igorot war heroes were remembered during the commemoration of the 77th “Araw ng Kagitingan” or Day of Valor held at the Veterans Park in Baguio City last April 9.

The city government of Baguio spearheaded the event, which kicked off with a wreath laying ceremony. Three surviving World War II veterans were present during the occasion—Epifanio Beswayan, 96 years old; Tuacan Baryan, 98; and Esteban Esco, 94.

In his keynote message, Brigadier General Ronnie Evangelista, Philippine Military Academy superintendent, underscored the heroism of our Igorot war veterans to liberate the country from foreign invaders 77 years ago.

“General Douglas McArthur heaped lavish praise on the men in the Cordilleras, giving credit to the soldiers… he was then quoted as saying, ‘When you tell this story, stand in tribute to the gallant Igorots’,” Evangelista said in his message read by PMA Commandant of Cadets BGen. Bartolome Bacaro.

Thousands of Igorot soldiers belonging to the 66th Infantry Battalion of the United States Armed Forces in the Philippines Northern Luzon (USAFIP-NL) were part of the “Death March” in Bataan and fought side by side with the Americans against the Japanese soldiers.

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