Roxas the New DOTC Secretary

After a year in silence, the Former Senator Mar Roxas been named by the President Benigno Aquino to replace resigned DOTC secretary Jose “Ping” de Jesus.

Roxas is not new in serving the cabinet, as he was a trade secretary under presidents Joseph Estrada and Gloria Arroyo. In addition, some credit him for helping thePhilippinesto become a top destination for outsourcing services and call centers. He was the former running mate of President Benigno Aquino who ran for vice president but unfortunately lost.

After the one-year ban on appointing losing candidates to government post; now, he is back and will face the PPP projects under DOTC that is plan to roll out this year. Department of Transportation and Communications  (DOTC) is the coordinating agency for the 7 of the 11 Public Private Partnership (PPP). The biggest PPP contract is the P70-billion extension of LRT-1 to Bacoor,Cavite.  The contracts also include the extending LRT-2 to Antipolo, new airports inBoholand Albay, and the expansion of the airport in Puerto Princesa. The department has also vowed to make Terminal 3 of Manila’sNinoyAquinoInternationalAirportto be fully operational next year, after ages of delay.

The former Senator has now P106 billion of PPP contracts to bid out and a P30 billion budget to spend, less than education, defense and public works but about the same as social welfare, health and agriculture which is undoubtedly more than the vice president’s P185 million.

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Earthday Jam 2011 rocks MOA

Music fans, environmentalists, students, NGO organizers, families, and regular mallers recently gathered at SM Mall of Asia to pay tribute to Mother Earth in a concert titled Earthday Jam. On its eleventh run, the event showed no signs of slowing down as it displayed its usual industrial stage with the symbolical globe as backdrop that keeps changing its color hues throughout the event depending on the type of music played. The tents of DENR,TIEZA and EDNP were strategically located. By 7pm, the fireworks display exploded into the sky with the show opening with the “samba” inspired drum beats of Brigada.

The complete lineup of musical acts boast of several of the biggest names in the rock and pop scene. The bands that played were Skabeche, Session Road, Imago, Rivermaya which had a surprise vocalist, Paolo Valenciano, Spongecola, Bloomfields, 6Cyclemind, Tanya Markova, The Chongkeys and Franco. The solo artists were Sitti and Nina plus event producer, environmental artist and Satur Neri awardee Lou Bonnevie.

Environmental speakers also came on stage, including Earthday Network Philippines’ Bebet Gozon and DENR Secretary Ramon Paje,Jr. Vjs Chino and Bianca from MYX Channel led the “green pledges” segment of the program, while the Menchu Antigua, Carl Mcfly and Lou Bonnevie hosted the entire event.

The event was produced by Dimitri Productions in partnership with DENR , SM Mall of Asia and EDNP with participating sponsors Petron Corporation, TIEZA , San Miguel Corporation and PAGCOR. Special thanks to Uno Pizzzeria Ristorante, Microtel MOA, Magnolia Purewater, MYX, GMA Network, ABS-CBN and Cross Over 105.1 and The Philippine Star.

World Malaria Day

The 4th World Malaria Day is observed today to remind the global community of the need to take action to reduce the global threat of malaria. It was instituted on May 23, 2007, by the World Health Assembly during its 60th Session.

Malaria is derived from an Italian word “mal aria” which means “bad air” because in the beginning it was believed that the disease was caused by bad air. On November 6, 1880, Charles Louis Alphonse Laveran, a French army surgeon stationed in Constantine, Algeria, had the first true sighting of the protozoan parasite (called plasmodium) in the peripheral blood films taken from soldiers with malaria. His discovery, however, was rejected by the medical community of the time and it was not until 1886 that it was accepted by Italian scientists, who were then the leaders in medicine. In 1898, Sir Ronald Ross who was working in the Presidency General Hospital in Calcutta, India, discovered that the carrier of malaria are mosquitoes.

Malaria, one of the oldest diseases in history, is an infectious disease, which causes about 2 million deaths worldwide and about 500 million new cases yearly. Malaria–carrying mosquitoes are generally found in tropical and sub-tropical climates. The disease spreads from person to person through the bites of infected mosquitoes. However, there are other ways in which the infection is transmitted, such as blood transfusion or organ transplants, sharing of needles (especially among drug users), and tranplacenta (transfer of malaria parasites from an infected mother to her unborn child).

Malaria is life-threatening but it is preventable. In addition to medical treatment, other measures include sleeping under mosquito nets, wearing insect repellent, and wearing long sleeves and pants when travelling to malaria prone locations.

As part of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals which targets to combat malaria, Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrone (AIDS), Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), and other major diseases and attain the goal of zero deaths by 2015, this year’s observance is an opportunity to focus on the remaining challenges to MDG targets. As we observe World Malaria Day, let us help in educating the public about malaria, its causes and prevention. Let us also report cases that we know so that these persons can received the proper medical treatment.

http://mb.com.ph

PAGASA warns on Landslide and Flood to occur in Eastern Visayas and Mindanao

Eastern Visayas and Eastern Mindanao are expected to experience widespread rainfalls and thunderstorms, which will cause massive rains. Because of this, PAGASA warns on a possible occurrence of floods or landslide in the affected areas.

According to PAGASA, the tail-end of cold front once again strikes the said regions.

Luzon will also have a bit of cloudy skies along with sporadic rain showers and thunderstorms.

Slow to moderate wind is also forecasted to blow from east to northeast of North Luzon and from northeast to northwest, in the remaining parts of the country.

Meanwhile, all those who travel by sea across the country will experience moderate sea waves.

A huge part of Manila will also experience light to cloudy skies with rain showers and thunderstorms.

Light winds will blow from the northeast with light to moderate sea waves.

The forecasted range in temperature is from 23-33 degree Celsius or 73°F – 91°F.

Tuguegarao City is expected to experience high temperature level today at 34 degree Celsius, the hottest day in the place while Baguio City will have 15 to 27 degree Celsius.

Search for missing in compostella valley landslide resumes

The search for the missing in the landslide that hit a mining village in Compostela Valley will continue this Saturday, said its Mayor Celso Sarenas who also admitted that he erred in reporting that 27 bodies had been recovered. But Sarenas maintained that dozens remained missing and were believed to be under the debris in the disaster-hit area of Panganason in Kingking village here. Sarenas said he relied much on data furnished by barangay (village) health workers, claiming that as of last night, their reports had never been confirmed and that only one body, that of 15-year old Junrez Torrejos, was pulled out of the mud that covered dozens of huts in Panganason around 2:30 a.m. on Good Friday. “They reported that 27 bodies had been found but it turned out otherwise,” he said by text message. Six people were pulled out of the rubble alive and had been brought to various hospitals. Sarenas said the search operation was halted late Friday due to rains and thick fog.

1 dead and 40 missing in Compostela Valley landslide

One person died, six were injured and 40 others were believed to be missing after a landslide hit a small-scale mining community in the municipality of Pantukan, Compostela Valley province on Friday.

Office of Civil Defense-Region 11 director Liza Mazo said the landslide was caused by heavy overnight rains.

“It’s been raining hard since last night here, causing a high-risk landslide area to give in, burying houses below,” Mazo said.

She said the landslide happened at around 2:30 a.m. at Sitio Panganason Dasbi in Kingking village, killing one person.

Col. Roberto Domines, commander of the 1001st Infantry Batallion, told ANC on Friday noon that around 40 people are believed to be missing.

Six people were injured and taken to the hospital.

Five of them were brought to the Emergency Hospital in Pantukan: Lambert Detro, 47; Jeffrey Tundag, 15; Jerry Hostil, 21; Erwin Galorio, 20; and Mike Sarit.

Rico Clase, 29, was brought to the Davao Medical Center in Tagum City.

A team from the OCD and the military has been dispatched to the area to help in the rescue operations.

A similar landslide also hit Kingking village and Napnapan village in May 2009, killing 21 people.

Officials have repeatedly warned residents about the risk of landslides, but they have refused to leave the community.

For more recent news updated visit http://www.abs-cbnnews.com

Good Friday

Good Friday is both a religious occasion and a public holiday in the Philippines, where most people follow the Christian faith. It occurs two days before Easter Sunday.

What do people do?

Good Friday is a part of the religious holiday week in the lead up to Easter Sunday in the Philippines. This is the time when many Filipinos refrain from engaging in worldly activities such as listening to loud music or drinking alcohol. Most Catholics refrain from eating meat during this day and engage in fasting and prayer.

Many people also attend church services and take part in the Acts of Reparation to Jesus Christ or the Station of the Cross. The Station of The Cross depicts the last hours of the Passion of Jesus, and the Filipinos use these stations to meditate on Jesus’ sufferings. Some men in different localities in the Philippines re-enact the penance of Jesus Christ by going as far as crucifying themselves on the cross

Masses (church services) are also held in the church before 3pm (or 15:00) local time since this symbolizes the time that Jesus Christ died on the cross. Once the clock strikes 3pm (15:00), people observe this moment in silence and solemnity. Good Friday is a time when people take part in a form of penance to repent from their sins. Some Filipinos spend time at the beach during the holiday.

Public Life

Government offices, schools and most major establishments such as shopping malls are closed on Good Friday. Holiday destinations such as beaches and hotels are busy with tourists and travelers. public transport is reduced so those wishing to travel will need to plan ahead of time.

Background

The Philippines used to be a pagan country, in which people believed in spirits. When the Spanish came to spread Christianity during the 15th century, many Filipinos were converted to Christianity. The Spaniards made a show of having processions and mass celebrations to entice Filipinos to embrace Christianity. This marked the origins of the Good Friday observance in the Philippines. timeanddate.com has more information on how Good Friday is observed globally and how the Easter date is determined.

Symbols

Good Friday is symbolized by the cross, as it commemorates the belief that Jesus Christ suffered and sacrificed his own life to save humanity.

Note: Employees covered by the Holiday Pay Rule are entitled to their daily basic wage for any unworked regular holiday.

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