Cebu LGU eyes closure of construction firm over bunkhouse collapse

admin   •   March 8, 2018   •   2945

Search and retrieval operation to the site where a 4-level bunk house of a construction firm collapsed.

CEBU, Philippines — Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña plans to order the closure of J.E. Abraham C. Lee Construction and Development Incorporation following the collapse of its bunkhouse last Tuesday that killed five workers and wounded more than a hundred others.

“We’re going to stop his business, not only his bunkhouse,” said Mayor Osmeña.

“They’re doing this to maximize their profits by bringing outside labor as if we do not have construction workers in the city,” he added.

Local authorities discovered that the construction company has no permit to build the bunkhouse which could not accommodate a huge number of people.

The city’s building official, Engr. Josefa Ylanan said, “He has to make things legal, secure first the necessary permit.”

Based on the report of the Cebu City Treasurer’s Office, the said company also failed to pay taxes worth more than P260, 000.

The J.E. Abraham Construction is set to submit an incident report to the Department Of Labor And Employment and to the Office of the Building Official

Authorities are looking into the possible occurrence of an earthquake and the bunkhouse’s lack of clamps as possible causes for its collapse. — Aiko Miguel | UNTV News & Rescue

Mont Blanc glacier feared to be on brink of collapse

Jeck Deocampo   •   September 25, 2019

Italian authorities in the northwest region of Courmayeur, Aosta closed roads and evacuated mountain huts on Wednesday (September 25) after experts warned that part of a glacier on Mont Blanc could collapse.

According to officials, about 250,000 cubic meters of ice threatens to come down in the form of ice avalanches from the Planpincieux glacier along the Italian side of the Mont Blanc massif, after technical structures of the Safe Mountain Foundation registered an acceleration in the displacement rate of the glacier that has reached a speed of 50-60 centimeters per day.

The Mayor of Courmayeur, the nearest town and a major ski resort, decided to close roads in the Val Ferret on the Italian side of Mont Blanc and mountain huts in the Rochefort area were evacuated as a precaution.

According to local authorities, there was no threat to residential areas or tourist facilities but residents have been informed of the possible scenarios in case of collapse.

The rise of global temperatures due to global warming is causing mountain glaciers to melt and the retreat of polar ice sheets.

The problem is affecting the Mont Blanc massif, Western Europe’s highest mountain range, containing eleven major independent peaks, each over 4,000 meters in height. (REUTERS)

(Production: Antonio Denti, Fabiano Franchitti)

Cebu City bus drivers, conductors to receive monthly salary

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 3, 2019

The Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board Region-7 (NTWPB) has ordered bus operators in Cebu City to provide their drivers and conductors a fixed monthly salary plus other benefits including overtime pay, night differential and other incentives.

NTWBP Region-7 secretary Grace Carreon said that the directive aims to avoid the “boundary system” which often leads to accidents as drivers are forced to work long hours.

“DOLE Department Order 118-12 was issued because of safety considerations that’s why we will give premium to the safety measure,” she added.

Under the boundary system the driver pays the vehicle’s owner/operator a fixed amount commonly called “boundary”, for the use of the unit. Whatever he earns in excess of that amount constitutes as his income.

Chris dela Calzada has been a bus driver for 18 years. He often works overtime but never earns enough to provide for his family.

“Minsan malaki ang kinikita, minsan wala, minsan wala kaming naiuuwi sa amin kasi depende sa dami ng pasahero, (Sometimes the pay is enough but other times we take home nothing. It depends on the number of passengers)” he said. Dela Calzada is looking forward to the implementation of the directive for the assurance of a monthly income.

Bus operators who cannot provide minimum wage and benefits to bus drivers and conductors can no longer renew their franchises.—Aileen Cerrudo (with reports from Ryan Mallari)

Metro Cebu also hit by water crisis

Freema Gloria   •   March 16, 2019

Water supply shortage is not only being experienced in Metro Manila and Rizal, but also in Metro Cebu.

Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD) Spokesperson Charmaine Rodriguez-Kara said, “The supply shortage is caused by the lowering of the water table and pollution of sources due to septic waste and long-term use of fertilizers.”

Kara revealed that even without El Niño, the MCWD is only serving 43% of the Metro Cebu’s requirements due to the insufficient supply and fast increasing demand.

The Jaclupan and Buhisan dams, have been supplying water for the MCWD customers in Compostela and Talisay areas.

Currently, the water production of Jaclupan has been reduced from 33,000 cu. m. to 23,400 cu.m per day, while Buhisan has decreased from 5,000 cu.m. to 1,000 cu.m. per day, which resulted in a total deficit of 13,600 cu.m. per day.

Among the areas affected by the lowering of Buhisan Dam water level, include, elevated parts of Banawam Horseshoe Drive, Capitol Site, Oppra, Ipil-ipil, Camputhaw, Clavano, Sambag 1, Sambag 2, F. Ramos B. Rodriguez, Juana Osmeña, Pier Area, North Reclamation Area, MJ Cuenco Ave., M. Velez

Meanwhile, Jaclupan facility’s reduced production has affected the elevated areas of Talisay City, and downtown Cebu City.

MCWD has 450,000 cu.m. water demand per day from its customers, but it is now only capable of supplying 228,000 cu.m. daily.

This prompted the said water concessionaire to implement rotational water interruption. It also came up with a plan of building up an additional 4 wells as its short-term solution. Its management is also planning to have a major dam project as its long-term response to the problem.

The MCWD expects the shortage to continue until June this year. — Freema Salonga-Gloria

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