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Cabinet to discuss final decision on Boracay closure

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Wednesday, April 4th, 2018

BORACAY ISLAND, one of the most visited destinations in the Philippines

MANILA, Philippines — The  Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), and Department of Tourism (DOT) have already submitted to Malacañang the detailed proposal in the closure of Boracay Island starting on April 26.

The said recommendation of the inter-agency task force aims to give way to the extensive clean-up drive on the island.

Through a text message, Senior Deputy Executive Secretary Menardo Guevarra stated that the final action on Boracay would be likely discussed at Wednesday’s Cabinet meeting.

As for the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), the agency believes it would best if its closure would just take place during lean months or low season.

In this way, the establishments or workers on the island would not be severely affected.

“Una, nirekomenda namin na simulan ito sa lean months. Ibig sabihin, magkakaroon talaga ng pagbaba sa empleyo—ang mga seasonal employment sa lugar. Ikalawa, nirerekomenda namin na ang bilang nga mga manggagawang ito sila ang maaaring isama sa paglilinis,” said NEDA Usec. Rosemarie Edillon.

(Firstly, we are recommending to start this in the lean season. That means there will be a drop in the employment—the seasonal employment in the area. Number two, we are also recommending that these workers be involved in the clean-up drive.)

Meanwhile, the Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC) and Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) Region 6 has begun  creating a contingency plan for the forthcoming shut down of the island.

Dir. Jose Roberto Nuñez said they are already preparing for the mitigation plans to whatever would be the outcome of the interagency’s recommendation on the Boracay closure.

“If the president will say, ‘I will totally close that,’ if ever, then meron na tayong preparation (we would already have some preparation),” said the director.

“We could mitigate ang effect niya sa (its effect on) livelihood sa (on the) business sector,” said RPOC chair Gov. Samuel Gumar

If the island would be totally shut down, 79,182 individuals and over 36,000 jobs might get affected.

This is apart from the million peso revenues in the island that has been gone. — Robbie De Guzman | UNTV News & Rescue

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10 mayors in Cagayan Valley, Cordillera, under probe for alleged absence during ‘Ompong’

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Thursday, September 20th, 2018

Aerial view of the housing community in Baggao, Cagayan. Image courtesy of SAP Bong Go

At least 10 mayors from Cagayan Valley and Cordillera Administrative Region are under investigation for their alleged absence during the onslaught of Typhoon Ompong.

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said it is investigating whether these officials violated its operation list of protocols on disaster preparedness, which require heads of local government units classified as low and high risk areas during a typhoon to implement necessary preparations.

The agency has refused to name the officials, but if they are found guilty of absenteeism and negligence of duty, they will be required to submit written explanations and may even be suspended or dismissed.

“Ang kagawaran ay ayaw ng trial by publicity kung kaya’t ang mga pangalan ng mga nasabing alkalde ay ilalabas pagkatapos na makumpleto ang isinagawang imbestigasyon,” said DILG Asec. Jonathan Malaya —UNTV News & Rescue

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Malacañang unperturbed by fall in GDP growth

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Friday, August 10th, 2018

Despite the increase in prices of commodities, the Philippine economy grew by 6% in the gross domestic product (GDP) in the second quarter of this year.

This performance puts the country in the third spot among the countries in Asia following Vietnam and China.

However, according to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), the Philippine economy slowed down due to some policy decisions, like the Boracay closure last April.

“For the first quarter tourist arrival by 14%. Second quarter tourist arrival increased by 5%. So lumaki yung drop but it’s still positive,” said NEDA Usec. Rosemarie Edillon.

“There are also multiplier effects of the closure of Boracay, not just on the economy of that island itself but it also has other effects,” Socioeconomic Planning Sec. Ernesto Pernia.

Philippine Statistics Authority Usec. Lisa Grace Bersales also said that the agriculture performance also contributed to the economic slowdown.

“Yung atin palang palay farmers usually nag-haharvest sila ng second quarter. Ang ginawa nila nag-harvest na pala sila sa first quarter. Kaya yung performance nila na-capture sa first-quarter economic growth,” said Bersales.

The official added that the control of mining companies over metal productions like nickel, is also a factor.

Tobacco consumption also decreased due to the effect of sin tax law.

Though the country’s economic growth is still looking sound, Bersales said, it will take time for the common citizens to feel its impact.

“Anong mga sector ang apektado? Yung agriculture sector. Yung mga Boracay area for tourists. doon yung mararamdaman nila talaga na nag slowdown,” said Bersales.

Malacañang, meanwhile, remains unperturbed over the fall in the GDP growth.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said this rate is still high, reiterating that the administration’s policy does not only rely on economic and financial aspects.

“The President, of course, will exercise the powers of the state — the police powers to protect also the environment and he has given higher priority to the protection of the environment and he makes no apology for it. If GDP will further fall because of the desire of the President to protect the environment, so be it. We are investing in the future and not just in the present.” — Rey Pelayo | UNTV News & Rescue

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Boracay rebuilds drainage system with latest technology

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Thursday, August 2nd, 2018

High density polyethylene (HDPE) plastic pipes line the beach of Boracay ready to be installed.

 

BORACAY, Philippines — The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) is using German technology in building the new drainage system of Boracay Island.

Six-meter long high density polyethylene (HDPE) plastic pipes with a width of 1.2 meters will replace one-meter long reinforced concrete pipes that the DPWH traditionally use.

“Ang lifespan niya hundred years… In terms of sa size, doble po ang laki ng pipes na gagamitin namin sa project,” DPWH Secretary Mark Villar said.

(It has a lifespan of 1oo years. The pipes that we are going to use for the project are twice the size of what was originally used.)

 

High density polyethylene (HDPE) plastic pipes will replace the reinforced concrete pipes that were originally used in Boracay’s drainage system.

 

DPWH is planning to use 800 HDPE pipes for phase 1 of the project. Boracay is among the first to be installed with the said German technology.

Villar is confident that the storm drains they are building will be able to solve the flooding problems on the island especially during rainy season.

“Mabilis po ang installation at siyempre yung quality. Napakahalaga na itong.. yung quality ng pipes ay dapat pangmatagalan,” he said.

(Installation is quick and quality is considered. It is very important that the quality of the pipes is designed for long term use.)

Among the qualities of high density polyethylene is its capacity to contain man-made chemicals and solid waste to prevent leakage and contamination.

“Dati kasi kulang na kulang yung capacity sa drainage sa sewerage kaya ngayon po inanticipate namin yung demand. So ngayon pa lang malaki na para hindi tayo mahihirapan,” Villar explained.

(In the past, the drainage capacity in the sewerage was so insufficient. This time we anticipated the demand and increased the size to avoid future problems.)

The 5-kilometer drainage project has a total cost of P540-million.

The DPWH is targeting to complete installation by October for the reopening of the country’s top destination. — Vincent Arboleda  | UNTV News & Rescue

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