‘Bising’ leaves 3 dead, affects over 229K families – NDRRMC

Robie de Guzman   •   April 21, 2021   •   206

MANILA, Philippines – Three people were killed and a total of 59,098 families or 229,829 persons were affected in the onslaught of Typhoon Bising in the Bicol region, Eastern Visayas, and CARAGA, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said Wednesday.

In its latest situational report, the NDRRMC said 10 persons were injured while one was reported missing.

The casualties were reported in Bicol, Central Visayas, Eastern Visayas, and Davao regions. The agency, however, noted that it is still validating the report.

The NDRRMC also reported that six road sections and a bridge are currently not passable in Bicol and Eastern Visayas regions, while a total of 63 municipalities have experienced a power outage due to Bising.

A total of 2,507 passengers, 939 rolling cargoes, and 59 vessels were also stranded in various ports of Bicol, Central Visayas, and Eastern Visayas regions.

The agency also reported a total of 1,022 houses that were damaged in Bicol, Eastern Visayas, and CARAGA regions due to the typhoon.

Bising’s damage to agriculture also reached a total of P45,930,550.10 in Bicol and Eastern Visayas areas.

Damage to infrastructure was also reported at P10,550,000, the NDRRMC said.

Philippines logs 4,842 new COVID-19 infections; active cases down to 53,214

Robie de Guzman   •   May 12, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines’ total tally of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases is now at 1,118,359 after the Department of Health (DOH) reported additional 4,842 infections.

In its latest bulletin, the DOH said the country’s total number of active cases is down to 53,214.

Of this number, 93.0 percent of the cases are mild, 2.4 percent are asymptomatic, 1.9 percent are severe and 1.4 percent are in critical condition.

The agency, however, noted that the low daily case count is due to low testing output of laboratories last Monday, May 10.

Ngayong 4 PM, Mayo 12, 2021, ang Department of Health ay nakapagtala ng 4,842 na karagdagang kaso ng COVID-19. Samantala…

Posted by Department of Health (Philippines) on Wednesday, May 12, 2021

The DOH also said that the total recoveries have increased to 1,046,431 after 8,312 more patients recuperated from the viral respiratory illness.

The death toll climbed to 18,714 after 94 more coronavirus-related deaths were recorded.

The DOH also reported in its bulletin a positivity rate of 12.5 percent out of 33,529 tests.

The case count reflected in the latest bulletin was based on tests conducted on May 10, it added.

Over 514K persons in PH now fully vaccinated vs COVID-19 – DOH

Robie de Guzman   •   May 12, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – A total of 514,655 individuals in the country have received their second dose of COVID-19 vaccines, the Department of Health (DOH) said Wednesday.

 

Health Undersecretary Myrna Cabotaje said the Philippines has so far administered a total of 2,539,693 doses in 1,047 active vaccination sites as of May 11.

 

Of this number, 2,025,038 people have received their first dose, including health workers (1,195,381), senior citizens (466,899), and persons with comorbidities (353,842). Around 8,916 individuals who are frontline personnel in the essential sectors have also been inoculated with their first jab.

 

Cabotaje reported that among the more than 500,000 fully immunized individuals, 35,242 were healthcare workers, 25,070 were senior citizens, and 134,343 were persons with co-morbidities

 

She also noted that 23 percent of the 1.5 million health workers listed in the vaccination priority have yet to be immunized.

 

“Many of these are from the other regions kasi nag-prioritize tayo sa NCR (National Capital Region),” Cabotaje said during a Laging Handa briefing.

 

Cabotaje also reported that as of May 4, the seven-day average of vaccinated individuals per day reached 36,491.

 

She said the government is targeting to increase the average vaccinees per day this May to more than 70,000, and up to 100,000 in the second quarter to expedite the vaccination rollout.

 

The health official, however, noted that this would still depend on the country’s vaccine supply.

 

“Marami na tayong vaccines, so kailangan para ma-meet yung ating target jabs per day, we need to expand the existing number of vaccination sites,” she said.

 

“Currently, we 1,000 na nagre-report, if they have 100 per day, makaka-100,000 tayo. But it depends on the number of vaccines that they have so they will really look by area, ano ba ang population nila, ano ba yung kailangan nilang ibakuna na number and we will be able to get to the numbers that we have targeted,” she added.

 

The national government earlier said that it is looking to vaccinate around 70 million Filipinos this year.

 

It also plans to start the vaccination of the general population by August or September when the bulk of vaccines procured by the government are expected to arrive.

287 Chinese vessels spotted in Kalayaan waters, NTF-WPS says

Robie de Guzman   •   May 12, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — A number of Chinese vessels were seen scattered in various features of the Municipality of Kalayaan in Palawan according to the latest maritime patrol, the National Task Force for the West Philippine Sea (NTF-WPS) said Wednesday.

Citing a report from the Area Task Force-West on the results of its maritime patrol on May 9, the NTF-WPS said that a total of 287 Chinese maritime militia (CMM) vessels were sighted in Kalayaan waters, both within and outside the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

“Bigger groupings of CMMs were sighted at the artificial islands of China while some were observed near islands occupied by the Philippines,” the task force said in a statement.

The recent sighting of Chinese vessels in the area is despite demands from Philippine government officials for China to withdraw its ships in the country’s territorial waters.

The NTF-WPS said that based on the maritime patrol, 2 CMMs and two Houbei Class Missile warships were seen inside Panganiban (Mischief) Reef; one CMM was at Lawak (Nanshan) Island; 11 CMMs were located approximately 29NM southwest of Recto (Reed) Bank; and one CMM vessel was at Ayungin (Second Thomas) Shoal.

One Chinese Coast Guard was also seen at the shoal during an earlier patrol on May 7, the task force said.

“As for the features forming part of the Pagkakaisa (Union) Banks, the 9 May 2021 maritime patrol reported the presence of 34 CMMs at Juan Felipe (Whitsun) Reef (JFR), two Vietnamese (VN) logistics/supply ships and one VN Coast Guard vessel at Sin Cowe East (Grierson) Reef and 77 CMMs in Chigua Reef,” the NTF-WPS said.

The Julian Felipe Reef is a low tide elevation located 175 nautical miles from Bataraza, Palawan and within 200 nautical miles (NM) of the Philippines’ EEZ.

“It is part of Philippine territory inasmuch as it is located within the overlapping 12NM territorial seas of McKennan (Chigua) Reef and of another possible high-tide feature, Grierson (Sin Cowe East) Reef, also our territories under the Municipality of Kalayaan,” the task force said.

The NTF-WPS also said that the 14 CMM vessels and one CCG vessel were spotted off the main Pagasa Island, and 16 CMMs at Zamora (Subi) Reef during the May 9 maritime patrol.

“For the period 3-10 May, the Area Task Force-North reported an average of four CCG vessels at Bajo de Masinloc (Scarborough Shoal), and an average of one CCG each for both the Pag-asa Islands and Ayungin (Second Thomas) Shoal,” it added.

Despite China’s illegal unilateral “fishing ban” covering its fishing vessels in waters north of 12 degrees latitude in the South China Sea, from May 1 to August 16, 2021, the task force said two CMMs were observed harvesting shells inside the lagoon of the Bajo de Masinloc.

It also noted a daily average of 10 Filipino fishing boats seen fishing inside the Bajo de Masinloc lagoon for the period of May 7 to 9.

Amid the presence of Chinese vessels in the contested waters, the NTF-WPS said that the Philippine government “continues to strengthen its presence in the WPS with a view towards law enforcement, deterrence of illegal, unreported, unregulated fishing and protection of the welfare and safety of our fisherfolk.”

The task force also urged Filipino fishermen to sail and fish in the West Philippine Sea.

“The National Task Force remains guided by the national policy and interest in asserting our territorial and sovereign rights as upheld by the 2016 arbitral ruling. The articulation of President Rodrigo Duterte at the 75th UN General Assembly emphasizing that the ruling is now part of international law and beyond compromise remains the supreme expression of foreign policy by this government,” it said.

“We reiterated that the Philippines shall continue to defend its sovereignty, sovereign rights and jurisdiction over the West Philippine Sea, and shall not yield an inch of our territory,” it added.

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