Clearing, cleaning operations in Manila to continue even after 2017 ASEAN Summit

UNTV News   •   November 9, 2017   •   5698

MANILA, Philippines – The clearing operations are still underway along Roxas Boulevard and other major thoroughfares in Manila as part of the preparations for the ASEAN Summit.

Since last week, Manila Police have been on alert, day in and day out.

Task Force Manila Clean-up Chief Che Borromeo said they still go back to areas that they have cleared ahead to ensure that they are free of street vendors and informal settlers.

“Mayroon kasi tayong mga lehitimong street vendors. Pinapayagan naman natin sila basta tama lang iyong lugar nila. Panatilihin nilang malinis at inaayos naman natin sila kung saan sila pupwede at hindi pwede . . . iyong iba hindi talaga pupwede lalo na iyong Roxas Boulevard magkakaroon ng lock down. Hindi pwedeng . . . magtinda doon dahil talagang guwardyado,” Borromeo said.

(We have legitimate street vendors. We allow them to operate their business as long as it’s in a proper location. They should keep the area clean and we will place them accordingly, but there are areas that are really not allowed particularly along Roxas Boulevard, there’s going to be a lock-down. They are not allowed to sell there because it will be heavily guarded.)

The displaced street vendors, however, will be given alternative areas in the barangays where they can still sell.

One of the major plans of the Manila LGU is to maintain the order and cleanliness of rehabilitated areas.

The LGU wants to set an example in strictly implementing order in Manila that is why they plan to make this a continuing program even after the ASEAN Summit.

“Pagkatapos ng ASEAN dapat i- maintain natin iyong mga lugar na hindi dapat puntahan ng mga … homeless, iyong mga vendors katulad ng Roxas Boulevard. Kapag andoon sila unang- una peligro. Pangalawa hindi maganda sa tao dahil ito iyong Baywalk na tinatawag natin,” Borromeo said.

(After ASEAN, we should continue to keep the homeless and vendors away from certain areas such as Roxas Boulevard. Firstly, it’s dangerous for them to stay there. Secondly, it does not look good because this is the Baywalk.)

The Task Force Clean Manila appeals for public cooperation as Manila is considered to be the face representing the country.

Meanwhile, the Philippine Coastguard on Wednesday started to implement the no-sail zone along Manila Bay and no-fly zone in Metro and Mega Manila, particularly at Rizal Park, Sangley Point in Cavite, Plaridel Airport in Bulacan, and the Subic International Airport in Olongapo. – Aiko Miguel | UNTV News & Rescue

More than 2,000 volunteers sign up for DSWD Taal Volcano relief efforts

Robie de Guzman   •   January 14, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Social Work and Development (DSWD) on Tuesday said it received an overwhelming response for its call for volunteers for its relief operations for those affected by the eruption of Taal Volcano.

In a Facebook post, the DSWD IV-A said more than 2,000 volunteers had signed up to help in the repacking of relief goods that would be distributed to residents in areas badly affected by the eruption.

The DSWD also expressed gratitude to the 250 volunteers who helped repack food packs on Tuesday at its warehouse in General Mariano Alvarez in Cavite.

“These food packs are for distribution to the affected families of the #TaalVolcano eruption in Cavite and Batangas provinces,” it added.

Due to the overwhelming response from people who are eager to help in the relief operations, the DSWD encouraged volunteers to sign up in the link they provided to process their schedule.

The Office of the Civil Defense earlier reported that the volcanic unrest displaced more than 35,000 people in Batangas. The province of Batangas has been placed under a state of calamity.

Taal Volcano is currently under Alert Level 4 following a phreatic explosion that occurred last Sunday, January 12.

According to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, alert level 4 means a hazardous eruption is imminent within hours to days.

Manila LGU calls on traders not to raise face mask prices amid Taal ash fall

Robie de Guzman   •   January 13, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Local authorities on Monday, January 13, called on traders not to raise the ceiling prices of face mask amid the ash fall being experienced in many parts of Luzon following the explosion of Taal Volcano.

Manila Vice Mayor Honey Lacuña-Pangan made the call following reports that the prices of face masks, particularly N95 masks, shot up following reports of dust particles and hazardous haze blanketing parts of Metro Manila, Calabarzon and Central Luzon areas.

In a statement issued by the Manila Public Information Office, Lacuña-Pangan said face masks sold in various stores have increased, from the usual P25-P30 price a piece, N95 face mask now costs P200.

There was also reported shortage of supply of face masks and hoarding by suppliers to jack up the prices.

“Huwag naman po natin gamitin ang panahon na ito para manamantala. Tandaan po natin, delikado po sa kalusugan nila ito,” Lacuna-Pangan said.

“Ayaw ko pong makakita ng pasyenteng may asthma na itinakbo sa ospital dahil lang hindi siya makahanap o makabili ng mask,” she added.

The upsurge in mask prices follows the increase in demand after authorities urged the public to wear protective masks to avoid inhalation of fine dust particles in the air due to the Taal ash fall.

The Department of Health has warned the public of the hazards that the ash fall may bring to one’s health.

The vice mayor said the city’s Bureau of Permits and Manila Licenses Office have been tasked to inspect stores and other establishments selling N95 and other face masks to ensure that prices remain stable.

PH, China Coast Guard to hold joint maritime exercises next week

Robie de Guzman   •   January 10, 2020

FILE PHOTO: A Chinese Coast Guard vessel is pictured on the disputed Second Thomas Shoal, part of the Spratly Islands, in the South China Sea March 29, 2014. REUTERS/Erik De Castro

MANILA, Philippines – The Chinese Coast Guard will dock in Manila on Monday, January 13 for a five-day goodwill visit, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said Friday.

PCG spokesperson Captain Armand Balilo said the China Coast Guard, headed by Director General Major General Wang Zhongcai, will visit the country for the conduct of maritime exercises with the PCG.

Participating coast guard members from the two countries will also hold search and rescue, and firefighting exercises. The drill will be held from January 13 to 17.

Balilo said that during the port visit, the Chinese and the Philippine coast guards will come up with a resolution that would ensure the security and safety of Filipino fishermen and public vessels traversing the country’s waters.

The PCG said it will welcome the China Coast Guard not with red carpet but with diplomatic reciprocity, the same way it welcomed the PCG during a past visit.

The Philippines has been in dispute with China over territorial and maritime claims in the South China Sea.

On several cases, Chinese ships were reported to have been circling shoals under the Philippine territory, including the vicinity of Pagasa Island in the West Philippine Sea. There were also cases of Filipino vessels reportedly harassed by the Chinese Coast Guard vessels.

The PCG expressed hope that the drill would be an opportunity for both sides to discuss the issue, and help improve the line of communication between the two nations when it comes to maritime patrol.

“Para magkaintindihan din kasi ang iniisip nga namin kung merong ma-enhance iyong pagkakaibigan baka sakaling magkaintindihan, even doon sa patrol at tsaka sa mga challenges, baka magkaroon ng tamang protocol kung paano ang dapat na engagement,” Balilo said.

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