DENR finds violations in 14 quarry operations in Albay

Marje Pelayo   •   November 23, 2020   •   493

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has found violations in 14 quarry operations in the province of Albay. 

This prompted the Department to suspend the operations of the said quarry sites located at the foot of Mount Mayon.

Among the notable violations is operating beyond the authorized area, according to DENR Undersecretary Jonas Leones.

“Ang paglabag na nakita namin doon ay iyong nag-exceed doon sa kanilang allowable area at iyong mga iba naman mga expired permits (We found some violations such as exceeding beyond the allowable area while some still operate despite expired permit),” Leones said.

The official noted that the companies operating the quarry sites may face administrative cases and a fine of P50,000 per violation.

It is also possible that they may be permanently closed if proven to have a history of successive violations. 

Leones said these quarrying operations could have contributed to the damaging lahar flow in San Francisco, Guinobatan in Albay during the onslaught of Super Typhoon Rolly.

Hundreds of houses and properties were seen covered with lahar after the typhoon.

Leones stressed that affected residents may sue the companies for compensation for the damage they have caused. 

Around 100 quarry operations are now under investigation by the DENR and those that have been cleared of violations will be allowed to resume operation, Leones said.

Meanwhile, the Triple B — Build, Back, Better— Task Force formed by President Rodrigo Duterte is currently conducting post-typhoon assessment in areas damaged by the recent calamities.

The task force formed through Executive Order 120 is composed of different agencies led by Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu.

Leones said the task force will meet on Friday (November 27) to discuss recommendations on how to rehabilitate the typhoon-ravaged areas specifically Cagayan, Isabela, Bicol and Marikina. MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

‘Bising’ slightly weakens as it moves slowly over PH sea

UNTV News   •   April 19, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Typhoon “Bising” has slightly weakened and is now moving slowly over the Philippine Sea east of Catanduanes, the state weather bureau PAGASA said on Sunday, April 18, 2021.

At 10:00 p.m. Sunday, the center of the eye of Typhoon “Bising” was located at 270 km east of Virac, Catanduanes packing maximum sustained winds of 195 km/h near the center and gustiness of up to 240 km/h.

“The recent weakening of ‘Bising’ after reaching its peak intensity was caused by a recently completed eyewall replacement cycle. The typhoon is forecast to maintain its current intensity in the next 24 to 48 hours before gradually weakening throughout the remainder of the forecast period,” PAGASA said.

“Bising” will bring moderate to heavy, with at times intense, rains on Monday (April 19) over Bicol Region, Northern Samar, Samar, Eastern Samar, Biliran, and Leyte.

Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal no. 2 is hoisted over the following areas:

  • LUZON:

Catanduanes, the eastern portion of Camarines Sur (Garchitorena, Presentacion, Caramoan, Sagnay, San Jose, Lagonoy), the eastern portion of Albay (Tiwi, Malinao, Tabaco City, Malilipot, Santo Domingo, Bacacay, Rapu-Rapu, Legazpi City, Manito), and the eastern and central portions of Sorsogon (Castilla, Sorsogon City, Prieto Diaz, Gubat, Barcelona, Casiguran, Juban, Magallanes, Bulan, Bulusan, Irosin, Santa Magdalena, Matnog)

  • VISAYAS:

Northern Samar, Samar, Eastern Samar, and Biliran

Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal no. 1 is hoisted over the following areas:

  • LUZON:

The eastern portion of Camarines Norte (San Lorenzo Ruiz, San Vicente, Vinzons, Talisay, Daet, Mercedes, Basud), the rest of Camarines Sur, the rest of Albay, the rest of Sorsogon, and Masbate including Burias and Ticao Islands

  • VISAYAS:

Leyte, Southern Leyte, and the northern portion of Cebu (Tabogon, Borbon, San Remigio, Bogo City, Medellin, Daanbantayan) including Bantayan and Camotes Islands

  • MINDANAO:

Dinagat Islands, Siargao Islands, and Bucas Grande Islands

Typhoon Bising is forecast to continue moving slowly in the next 6 to12 hours as it begins to turn generally northward over the Philippine Sea east of Catanduanes.

Afterwards, the typhoon will continue moving northward while gradually accelerating until Wednesday evening before turning northeastward and east northeastward away from the landmass of Luzon.

 

 

SSS to provide calamity assistance to members, pensioners in typhoon-hit areas

Maris Federez   •   November 16, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Social Security System (SSS) on Sunday announced that it will open an assistance package for its members and pensioners in areas declared by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) as under a state of calamity due to Super Typhoon Rolly, Typhoon Quinta, and Typhoon Ulysses.

On its Facebook post, the SSS said the assistance program will be open on 27 November 2020.

The assistance package will include the Calamity Loan Assistance Program (CLAP), Three-month Advance Pension for SS and Employees’ Compensation pensioners, and the Direct House Repair and Improvement Loan. 

“Applications for CLAP and the Three-month Advance Pension will be open from 27 November 2020 until 26 February 2021. The Direct House Repair and Improvement Loan will be open for one year from the issuance of its corresponding circular,” the advisory added.

The SSS added that it will be coordinating with its media partners and shall utilize its Facebook page for the release of the complete guidelines for the said programs.

The SSS concluded that it “commiserates with everyone who was affected by the said typhoons. It hopes that through the assistance package and its regular benefit programs, it may help its members and pensioners during these difficult times.” —/mbmf

NDRRMC prepares for rehabilitation efforts in typhoon-hit areas on limited budget

Marje Pelayo   •   November 11, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) has prepared the fund for the rehabilitation effort in areas devastated by recent tropical cyclones.

According to NDRRMC Executive Director Ricardo Jalad, the agency has an overall budget of P16-B for this year which the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) topped up with P5-B pesos.

The agency prioritized spendings on its response against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

Jalad said they will make use of the remaining amount of P3.6-B to start the rehabilitation efforts in areas devastated by tropical cyclones Quinta and Rolly.

With the load of programs that the agency has on hand, Jalad hopes they would have an increase in budget for next year.

“Base doon sa National Expenditure Program may increase from 2020 level to 2021. May mga naririnig din tayo ng mga pronouncement ng mga lawmakers na baka dadagdagan pa iyon dahil nga sa epektong nakikita natin itong super typhoon Rolly [Based on the National Expenditure Program there is a planned increase from 2020 level to 2021. We also heard a pronouncement from lawmakers that they might add to it seeing the effects of the super typhoon Rolly],” the official said.

The NDRRMC chief said he was requesting an increase of their budget for 2021 but it was not approved to give way to other primary programs that the government has to prioritize.

Jalad said they have to defer the implementation of a number of projects until they have enough budget for them. 

Among these projects include the establishment of a number of training institutes across the country that would train rescue personnel.

In fact, a 10-hectare property is already being prepared for the project in Clark, Pampanga.

Despite the halt in the said program, Jalad said they are continuously conducting earthquake drills and other rescue training that can be administered online.

They also started conducting face to face training but in smaller groups as large gatherings remain prohibited.

The agency is also reaching out to communities by creating a first responder team to act in their respective areas.

Meanwhile, Jalad hopes the creation of a Department of Disaster Resilience will push through so that responses to emergencies and calamities will be quicker particularly the forced evacuation and relief operations.

“Dahil nga hindi na ito council ang itatawag natin kundi advisory (board) so ang [This will no longer be a Council but an Advisory Board so the] decision making is now with the Department of Disaster Resilience,” he said.

The national government has already sent relief and financial assistance to typhoon-hit areas especially in Bicol. 

The NDRRMC advised the public to maintain proper health protocols especially in evacuation centers to prevent COVID-19 transmission. MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

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