Thousands flee homes in Quezon province due to Typhoon Quinta

Robie de Guzman   •   October 26, 2020   •   778

A large number of residents were evacuated to temporary shelters as strong winds and heavy rains brought about by Typhoon Quinta (international name: Molave) battered the Quezon province.

The Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) said more than 20,000 individuals left their homes during pre-emptive evacuations on Sunday from different towns in the province.

The evacuees are currently staying in temporary shelters, mostly schools, and covered basketball courts, as they wait for the storm to pass along with the flooding it may bring to parts of the province following pouring rains.

According to Melchor Avenilla Jr., Officer in charge of Quezon PDRRMO, the local government has already started clearing operations to remove uprooted trees, felled electrical posts and other debris strewn on roads.

Initial reports reaching his office also stated that national and provincial roads in their area are now passable and floods reported in some areas have begun to subside.

“Sa magdamag nating pagmomonitor, wala po tayo masyadong naitala na pagtaas ng tubig. Kahit po dun sa Lopez and Calauag areas, hindi naman po tumaas yung level ng tubig,” Avenilla said.

They are still awaiting the assessment report from far-flung municipalities in the Bondoc Peninsula on damages left by typhoon, he added.

“Ang inaatabayanan lang po namin na baka may mga posibleng tahanan na nagkaroon ng damage lalo na yung may light materials pero as of now wala pa po eh,” he said.

Avenilla said relief operations are underway to aid residents in areas heavily-pummeled by Quinta. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Japhet Cablaida)

5 rebels yield to AFP-PNP forces in Quezon Province, Laguna, Rizal

Aileen Cerrudo   •   March 29, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Five rebels have surrendered to the forces of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) in Polillo, Quezon Province.

Based on reports,  alias Gio and alias Patrick who were members of the New People’s Army (NPA), surrendered to the government forces on March 25 in Barangay Salipsip, Polilio, Quezon. They also turned in their firearms and ammunitions.

Another member of the NPA, identified as alias JM, also yielded in Sta Maria, Laguna on the same day. Meanwhile, alias Dexter and alias Joan, also remnants of NPA group in the boundaries of Rizal and Laguna, voluntarily surrendered to the AFP-PNP.

Alias JM, in an interview, said that the hardships they endured as rebels and the complete disregard for their welfare pushed them to abandon the armed struggle.

Acting Commander of 2nd Infantry Division B.Gen. Rommel Tello welcomed the rebels’ move and assured the group that the government will provide assistance to them and their families.

“Your wise decision to abandon armed struggle marks a new beginning for you and your loved ones. With your help, we shall build a better and safer country for our families and fellowmen while we ensure that you are secured from any terrorist acts of retaliation,” he said addressing the former rebels.

The 2ID already made necessary steps for the surrenderers including debriefing and medical check up with health professionals prior their subsequent enrollment to government’s program wherein they can receive up to Php700,000 in grants and benefits to help them and their families start their lives anew.

Soldiers aid injured NPA member in Quezon Province

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 11, 2021

A member of the New People’s Army (NPA) was rescued by soldiers who were conducting clearing operations in Catanauan, Quezon Province.

Captain Jayrald Ternio, head of the public affairs office of the Army’s 2nd Infantry Division said the soldiers patrolling in Barangay San Roque, Agro heard a cry for help. The soldiers were conducting clearing operations after a recent encounter against NPA rebels.

Ternio said the soldiers found a wounded 24-year-old alias Marlon who was reportedly left behind by his companions.

Ganoon pala kapag wala nang halaga. Iiwanan na lang nila. Nangako silang babalikan ako, ilang araw na, hindi naman sila bumalik (That’s how it is for them once you lose value. They will leave you. They promised to return but it has been days),” according to alias Marlon.

Ternio also acknowledged the soldier’s efforts in aiding those in need regardless of which side they are fighting for.

Kahit sa gitna ng labanan ipinakita ng ating mga kasundaluhan ang propesyonalismo at pagrespeto sa karapatang pantao (Amid the battle our soldiers showed professionalism and respect for human rights),” he said. -AAC (with reports from Jennica Cruz)

DA sees Quezon Province as emerging cacao hub in Luzon

Aileen Cerrudo   •   December 3, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Agriculture (DA) sees Quezon Province as an emerging powerhouse for cacao production in the country.

According to the agriculture department, cacao farming is being promoted in nine towns in the province. The department also inaugurated a cacao facility in Gumaca, Quezon where they launched a range of “Tangerine” chocolate products of the Four K Kakao Farm.

DA Secretary William Dar lauded the skills, diligence, and resilience of cacao farmers who are behind the success of the “Tangerine” brand.

“We must endeavor to make farming a profitable venture. Farmers should be open to and adopt innovative ideas and technologies. This is our vision—to modernize and industrialize Philippine agriculture,” he said.

Secretary Dar eyes expanding the Gumaca facility to include a coconut processing facility, and a banana tissue culture laboratory that will provide farmers free seedlings. AAC

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