One of the world’s tallest flowers spotted at Masungi Georeserve in Rizal

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 16, 2020   •   952

Park rangers at the Masungi Georeserve in Baras, Rizal spotted one of the world’s tallest flowers while doing maintenance work last week.

They saw the 8’7″ tall Amorphophallus rostratus or commonly named as Voodoo Lily after noticing a slightly unpleasant smell when the flower bloomed.

Experts confirmed the native species. An indigenous ranger said they call it ‘biga’ which locals cut and cook the stalk of in boiling water before eating it.

“Amorphophallus species are known as some of the largest flowers in the world by their inflorescence. At least three species of varying sizes have been documented in Masungi,” the post read.

There are 200 known species in tropical and subtropical climates; many like the Amorphophallus rostratus in Masungi are endemic to their localized areas.

The park reiterated the importance of preserving the forest.

“Truly this is another native wonder that must be conserved from quarrying and other harmful activities in our forests and protected areas,” they said. AAC

IATF limits tourism activities in NCR Plus Bubble

Aileen Cerrudo   •   March 22, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) has set limited tourism activities in the National Capital Region (NCR) Plus Bubble.

Based on the IATF resolution, transportation to and from Metro Manila, Cavite, Rizal, Laguna, and Bulacan relating to tourism is prohibited. This is included in the non-essential activities set by the agency.

This gave several vacationers no choice but to cut short their trip and return home.

Department of Transportation (DOTr) Spokesperson Goddes Hope Libiran, however, clarified individuals outside the NCR Plus Bubble who are returning home will be allowed to enter.

Ang pag-uwi sa kani-kanilang mga tirahan ay considered as essential travel. Kung kinakailangan, magpakita lamang ng proof of residence, ID o any document showing that you are indeed a resident ng area na iyong pupuntahan para wala pong problema (Returning to their homes is considered as essential travel. If needed, just present a proof of residence, ID, or any document that you are indeed a resident of that area you’re planning to go to so there won’t be any problem),” she said.

Meanwhile, the Department of Tourism (DOT) said hotels and airline companies already agreed to ease their rebooking and refund policies for their customers.

DOT Usec. Benito Bengzon said tourism activities in MGCQ areas are still allowed.

Ang mga areas na under Modified GCQ eh pwede pa rin po ang (Areas under the Modified GCQ are still allowed to have) tourism activities for as long as the local executives agreed to reopen the destinations,” he said. – AAC (with reports from Asher Cadapan Jr.)

DPWH to open Katipunan Avenue bypass road before the end of 2021

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 8, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) announced that the Katipunan Avenue bypass road will open by the end of 2021.

The Katipunan Avenue bypass road, according to the DPWH, is already 70% complete. Once opened, it will shorten travel time from Quezon City to Rizal province from more than one hour to 40 minutes.

DPWH Secretary Mark Villar said motorists from Rizal can traverse the new bypass road instead of plying through Commonwealth to ease traffic.

“This will benefit Quezon city, Marikina, Rizal it’s an alternative route and its a new alignment in Metro Manila,” he said.

Around 10,000 motorists are estimated to benefit from the bypass road once it is opened to the public. The DPWH also said motorists do not need to pay any toll fees the road becomes operational. AAC (with reports from Joan Nano)

PNP denies MNLF recruitment in Rizal

Aileen Cerrudo   •   December 28, 2020

The Philippine National Police (PNP) has denied that there is a recruitment of Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) in Rizal province.

This was after 35 individuals, allegedly affiliated with the MNLF, were arrested by authorities in Upper Barangay Guinayang in San Mateo, Rizal.

PNP chief PGen. Debold Sinas said they did not receive any new information regarding recruitments in the province.

“Wala po. Wala po. I don’t confirm it until otherwise na may mga bagong development po o bagong ebidensya. Ay wala po kaming natanggap na report doon (No [there are no recruitments]. I don’t confirm it until otherwise, there are new developments or evidence. But we haven’t received any reports),” he said.

In a phone interview, Rizal PNP Provincial Director PCol. Joseph Arguelles said the information they received after the arrest of the said individuals has, so far, prove that they are not regular members of the said group.

“Iyong affiliation with MNLF, we are still validating. Pero base sa mga information na nakukuha namin they are not regular members of the MNLF (We are still validating their affiliation with the MNLF but based on the information we have, they are not regular members of the MNLF),” he said.

Based on their investigation, Arguelles said, the arrested individuals are being used by land grabbers to protect their land.

“Nilalagay sila doon with the promise na bibigyan sila ng P300,000 after the training prior to the deployment to Mindanao. But according sa truce natin wala naman nang pwedeng maidagdag na camp ang MNLF (They are placed there with the promise they will receive P300,000 after the training prior to the deployment to Mindanao.But according to our truce, the MNLF cannot have additional camps),” he said.

The arrested individuals are headed by Lydia Panuelo and Edwin Malubay who are both retired Master Sergeant of the Philippine Air Force (PAF); and Jose Joamirmel Laroya who is an alleged member of the MNLF.

Authorities also seized several ammunitions and firearms, including various military uniforms. -AAC (with reports from lea Ylagan)

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