Japanese national: Let’s clean up Baguio City together!

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 17, 2019   •   3878

(Left) Masakazu Nose voluntarily paints an overpass in Baguio City. (Right) Masakasu inviting netizens to join him in a cleanup drive.

Masakazu Nose used to run a small takoyaki store in Baguio City.

Born in Tokushima, Japan, Masakazu is known to be a silent man in his 40’s. Some people would even describe him as gentle.

He came to the Philippines in April 2014 to learn English. One month later, he began cleaning overpasses along Magsaysay Avenue, Abanao Street, and lower Session Road.

Every morning, with a pair of tongs in one hand and a garbage bag in the other, Masakazu would go around the streets collecting trash like candy wrappers and plastic cups.

Masakazu even bought paints at his own expense to repaint walls. In a report, he said he did these things because he has time to spare.

This earned the admiration of the locals as well as the media. He was interviewed by various news outlets. Netizens still continue to share their admiration for Masakazu a few years after he first became viral.

Did You Know ?. . . . . Mazakasu Nose is a Japanese National who has lived in Baguio City for a number of years. He owns…

Posted by Romeo del Carmen on Sunday, 14 July 2019

After staying in the Philippines for three years, Masakazu returned to Japan to manage an oil soba store near Okubo station in Tokyo.

But he has never forgotten about his life in the Philippines, which he calls his second home.

Masazaku will return on August 1-3 to clean up the city—this time, he is inviting everyone.

“Let’s clean up the city together!” his Facebook post reads.—AAC

Abra, Baguio City, Bohol placed under GCQ with heightened restrictions effective Sept. 24

Marje Pelayo   •   September 24, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The provinces of Abra and Bohol as well as Baguio City have been placed under general community quarantine (GCQ) with heightened restrictions from September 24 to 30.

The new quarantine classification was announced by Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque on Thursday (September 23) evening as approved by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF).

Prior to the latest announcement, Abra and Baguio City were under GCQ while Bohol was under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ).

Under GCQ with heightened restrictions, the following activities are allowed:

1. Indoor dining services at 20% venue or seating capacity.
2. Al-fresco or outdoor dining services at 50% venue or seating capacity.
3. Personal care service providers like beauty salons, beauty parlors, barbershops, and nail spas at 30% venue or seating capacity.
4. Outdoor tourist attractions at 30% venue capacity with strict adherence to minimum public health standards.
5. Business establishments with Safety Seal Certifications are allowed at an additional 10% points beyond the prescribed on-site capacity or venue capacity, whichever is applicable.
6. Religious gatherings to 10% of the venue capacity which the local government unit (LGU) may increase to 30% if needed.
7. Gatherings for necrological services, wakes, inurnment and funerals for those who died of causes other than COVID-19 and for the cremains of the COVID-19 deceased but limited to immediate family members
8. Interzonal travel subject to restrictions of the local government unit of destination
9. Point-to-point travel to areas under GCQ and MGCQ without age restrictions subject to an RT-PCR test-before-travel requirement for those below 18 years old and above 65, and other protocols and restrictions as may be imposed by the Departmentof Tourism (DOT) and the LGU of destination.
10. Specialized markets of the Department of Tourism (DOT), such as staycations without age restrictions at such capacities, protocols and restrictions, as may be imposed by the Department

Meanwhile, activities not allowed under GCQ with heightened restrictions include:

1. Meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions events and social events in venue establishments
2. Indoor sports courts and venues and indoor tourist attractions

Likewise in his statement, Roque said the province of Ilocos Norte shall be under a more relaxed risk-level classification from modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) to GCQ.

PH gov’t intensifying readiness vs terror threat amid Japan warning – Palace

Robie de Guzman   •   September 16, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang on Thursday assured that the military and police forces are intensifying their readiness against any possible threat to national security.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque gave the assurance following the advisory issued by the government of Japan for its residents to avoid crowded areas and religious ins six Southeast Asian countries, including the Philippines.

“Nagpapasalamat po tayo sa impormasyon. Pero lalo lang po nating pinaiigting ang ating kahandaan para po harapin ang posibleng terroristic attack muli,” Roque said in a Palace briefing.

The Palace official said state forces have been on heightened alert since the Marawi siege happened in 2017.

Roque, however, urged the public to be vigilant and to immediately report any suspicious individuals and activities in their areas.

“Nakahanda naman po ang ating kapulisan at ang ating Hukbong Sandatahan at hinihiling din atin ang kooperasyon ng ating mga mamamayan. I-report po ninyo sa kapulisan kung mayroon kayong kaduda-dudang mga personalidad o di naman kaya mga kadudang mga bagay-bagay lalo na sa mga pampublikong lugar,” he said.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police earlier said they have not monitored any terror threat but are working to validate the information.

Aside from the Philippines, the warning issued by the Japanese government also covers Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Myanmar, and Malaysia.

AFP, PNP: No terror threat in PH despite Japan warning

Robie de Guzman   •   September 14, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Police and military authorities on Tuesday said they have not monitored any possible terrorist threat in the country despite the warning reportedly issued by the Japanese government.

Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Police General Guillermo Eleazar said they have not received any report of possible terror attacks but assured that they continue to be on alert  regarding this matter.

They are also working closely with their foreign counterparts on information sharing against terrorism.

“Noon pa man ay patuloy ang aming intelligence monitoring especially after the 9/11 attack in the US and the Marawi City incident. Nananatiling maigting ang ating pakikipag-ugnayan sa ibat ibang bansa laban sa terorismo through information sharing and strategic partnership in dealing with terror groups” Eleazar said.

“Kasama dito ang pagpapalakas ng ugnayan ng inyong kapulisan sa ibat ibang komunidad at stake holders upang matiyak na hindi tayo malulusutan sa ano mang plano ng mga teroristang grupo sa ano mang lugar sa ating bansa,” he added.

Foreign media reports stated that the Foreign Ministry of Japan has issued a warning for its citizens regarding a possible terror attack in six Southeast Asian nations, including the Philippines.

The Japanese ministry advised its citizens to avoid religious facilities and crowded areas in the said countries.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), for its part, said the country’s threat level remains at “moderate” based on its last review.

The military assured it is constantly validating reports relating to national security matters.

“As of now, we have not received any report. We constantly validate all reports on security matters and it is a continuous process,” AFP spokesperson Col. Ramon Zagala said in a statement.

Aside from the Philippines, the warning issued by the Japanese government also covers Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Myanmar, and Malaysia.

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