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More casualties recorded due to tropical storm “Vinta”

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Wednesday, December 27th, 2017

IMAGE_UNTV_NEWS_122617_CASUALTIES BY VINTAIMAGE_UNTV_NEWS_122617_CASUALTIES BY VINTA

MANILA, Philippines — Authorities continue to conduct search and retrieval operations for missing individuals after the onslaught of tropical storm Vinta in the region of Zamboanga.

Forty residents of Zamboanga remain missing, while 70 others were confirmed dead.

Sixty-five of the casualties were residents of Zamboanga del Norte, while five were from Zamboanga Sibugay.

Despite the ongoing relief operations for affected residents, many of them are still having extreme difficulty after the powerful typhoon wreaked havoc in their region.

“Kaya ngayon nagmomoblema ako kung ano ang gagastusin ko dito sa mga kakailanganin ( I’m having problems on where to get money to spend for our needs,” said Robin Alimpong, relative of a casualty.

Albinia Agan, a resident of Kabasalan, Zamboanga Sibugay said, ” Isa talaga sa kailangan namin ay banig, kumot, kulambo, kaldero dahil yung mga nawalan ng bahay, walang-wala talaga (Among our needs are beddings, blankets, mosquito nets, pots. After we lost our homes, we also lost our valuables).”

Meanwhile, typhoon Vinta has also damaged 542 infrastructures, while 2,250 affected residents are still staying at temporary shelters.

Two national highways remain closed. These are in the municipalities of Mahayag and Salug, where the bridges have been also damaged.

According to Junalyn Maravillo, an officer of the Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management of the Kabasalan Municipality, the residents have to follow warnings in case another calamity strikes so as to avoid many casualties.

“Although informed sila dahil kung hindi sila nainformed lahat sila ay malulunod. Informed sila na mag-preemptive evacuation na sa upper area kaya sudden talaga ang pagtaas ng water level,  (Although they had been informed, because if they were not, they would have drowned by now. They were informed about the pre-emptive evacuation in the upper area. The rise in the water level was really sudden),” said Maravillo.

Maravillo also emphasized that authorities and local government officials properly issued warnings and advisories to the region’s residents.

However, the disaster response officer noted that the residents had just refused to evacuate from their homes. — Leslie Longboen | UNTV News and Rescue

 

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NHA clarifies ‘misquoted’ cost of wooden footbridge in Zamboanga project

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Wednesday, May 9th, 2018

ZAMBO BRIDGE COLLAPSE: A bridge mishap at a housing site in Zamboanga (Courtesy of EMEDIAMO)

 

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines – The National Housing Authority (NHA) denied Wednesday, May 9, that the wooden footbridge in Zamboanga City that collapsed during the visitation of housing officials in April costs P12 million.

According to Engineer Al Indanan, the bridge’s project manager and NHA’s district manager in Zamboanga, House Committee on Housing and Urban Development Chair Representative Alfredo Benitez was “misquoted.”

“I think they were just misquoted on that. The 12 million is for the whole 2,000-meter foot bridge…not the damaged portion,” Indanan explained.

Benitez mentioned in a congressional hearing last week that the wooden footbridge was way too expensive.

Indanan added that each linear meter of the project costs P6,000  thus the entire stretch costs P12 million.

Nevertheless, NHA Zamboanga said they are willing to face probe in Congress in line with the mishap.

The agency and the city council met Tuesday to discuss the overall cost of the wooden bridge, the plan for its repair and the action they will take against the contractor of the bridge.

“We will have to make the contractor liable. The liability is on the contractor,” Indanan concluded. — Dante Amento | UNTV News & Rescue

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First-time donors join MCGI bloodletting in Zamboanga

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Wednesday, April 18th, 2018

The opportunity to help others and the health benefits of donating blood are two reasons first time-donors cited for joining the mass bloodletting event of Members Church of God International (MCGI) in Zamboanga on April 14, Saturday.

For 17-year-old Claricel Manson, she has long wanted to participate in this kind of event.

“Dumalo ako sa bloodletting last time and then ni-reject lang ako kasi 16 years old pa lang ako (I tried to join the bloodletting last time but was rejected because I was only 16 years old),” she said.

Though it can be daunting, first-time donor Ellyn Marie Yu finds helping others more important and such a fulfilling experience.

“Kabado baka medyo mahihirapan sa paghahanap [ng ugat] dahil chubby, pero okay naman po. So far so good,” she said.

(I’m a little nervous. Finding a vein might prove difficult because I’m chubby, but I’m fine with it. So far so good.)

A total of 65 bags were donated to Zamboanga Medical Center.

The partners of MCGI have expressed happiness over the success of high-volume recruitment of donors.

According to Carlo Evardo, head of the hospital’s donor recruitment, they need 50 to 60 on a daily basis.

“Priority po natin mga indigent persons kasi sila iyong mas nangangailangan, kasi hindi sila nakaka-afford ng dugo. Actually, iyong dugo libre lang but the processing fee iyong binabayran,” said Evardo.

(We prioritize indigents because they need it more and they cannot afford it. Actually, the blood is free but you have to pay for the processing fee.)

Meanwhile, four members of MCGI are set to receive the  Galloner Award of the Department of Health for donating  10 times.  — Dante Amento | UNTV News & Rescue

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Palace official suggests reselling of smuggled rice seized in Zamboanga, Sibugay

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Tuesday, April 17th, 2018

SMUGGLED RICE: Over 27, 000 sacks of Vietnam rice were seized by the Philippine Navy from a foreign cargo vessel in the waters of Zamboanga Sibugay on Saturday, April 14. (Photo Courtesy: Philippine Navy)

MANILA, Philippines — The National Food Authority is urged to resell the 27,180 sacks of smuggled rice seized from a foreign vessel off the waters of Zamboanga Sibugay last Saturday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque suggested that the NFA may offer the rice shipment to markets at a cheaper price.

“Kung hindi nga lang po bigas iyan, that should be up for destruction din. Pero dahil makakain naman ng taumbayan, ang sinabi sa akin ng Department of Agriculture ay pupuwede po iyang ibenta as NFA rice, iyong cheap rice para ma-increase iyong stockpile ng NFA.” the Palace official said.

(Had it not been rice, it should have been up for destruction also. But because it is suitable for public consumption, the Department of Agriculture has told me it can be sold as NFA rice, the cheap rice, to increase the NFA’s stockpile.)

The NFA is still awaiting the replenishment of its rice buffer stock of 250,000 imported rice which is set to arrive in May.

The seized shipment on board MV Diamond 8 is valued at P68 million pesos. — Marje Pelayo | UNTV News & Rescue

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