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Communication now a struggle in Batanes due to Ompong

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Saturday, September 15th, 2018

FILE PHOTOS: Cell site, Batanes map (Reuters / Google)

BATANES, Philippines – Governor Marilou Cayco said Typhoon Ompong is weaker as compared to the Typhoon Ferdie in 2016.

However, the provincial government remains on alert as the strength of Ompong can still be life-threating.

As of 6:00 a.m. on Saturday (September 15), power lines are still up in the entire province. However, Governor Cayco said, communication has started to become static because Smart Communications has already shut down its facility in the province.

There is no recorded casualty as of this writing in the province, according to Cayco.

“Sa ngayon po walang casualty, walang nakikitang natumbang malalaking puno. Huwag po kayong mag-alala,” the lady governor said during an interview with Daniel Razon on Saturday morning. – Marje Pelayo

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Batanes: only measles-free province in Phl -DOH

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Monday, March 11th, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Batanes is the only province in the Philippines that is still free from measles, according to the Department of Health (DOH).

DOH Undersecretary Eric Domingo cited the province’s geographical location as among the likely reasons why it remains measles-free.

Batanes is northernmost province in the Philippines situated in the Cagayan Valley region.

“Batanes is isolated and there is also less traffic there so it remains free from measles. We hope they can maintain that,” Domingo said.

DOH record from January 1 to March 2, 2019 showed that the cases of measles infection in the country have reached 16,349 with 261 deaths. Around 3,374 cases were reported during the same period in 2017, without deaths.

The most number of measles infection were reported from Calabarzon, Metro Manila and Central Luzon with 3,875; 3,617; 2,330 cases, respectively. These are the three regions where measles outbreak was first declared.

The last provinces to report measles cases are Catanduanes with one case, and Tawi-Tawi with 11 cases, according to DOH data.

Domingo added that as of March 6, the DOH was already able to hit half of its targeted 3,783,985 children aged six to 59 months.

“Our coverage has already reached 45 percent. We are hopeful that we can vaccinate all of the target children soon,” he maintained.

The Health Official added that the DOH and local governments have scaled up vaccination of eligible children to keep measles at bay.

The DOH has also started door-to-door supplemental immunization and intensified routine vaccination at health centers in the hopes of controlling the measles outbreak by April or May.

The agency has repeatedly called on parents and caregivers to get their child vaccinated to protect them from measles and other diseases.

Aside from measles, the country is also grappling with spiking dengue cases which has reached 36,664 with 140 deaths as of February 2019. — Robie de Guzman

Dengue cases hit 36,000; death toll reaches 140

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BOC donates smuggled clothes and shoes to Ompong victims

by admin   |   Posted on Monday, October 15th, 2018

MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Customs (BOC) has officially turned over to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) the smuggled clothes, blankets and footwear that were confiscated by the agency from various ports in the country.

The items will be donated to victims of Typhoon Ompong which hammered Northern Luzon in September.

This is in accordance with the directive of President Rodrigo Duterte to help indigent members of the community and put smuggled products to good use.

Some of the clothes donated by BOC and DSWD are second-hand. Under the Republic Act 4653, the commercial importation of second-hand clothing is prohibited.

But according to the BOC, these are still eligible for donation through the deed of donation.

The items, however, have to go through disinfection first to prevent any health risks that may arise from such goods.

“This can also be subjected to fumigation process pa. Para mas makasiguro pa, we add another layer that this will really be safe for use ng kanyang intended recipient,” Port of Manila district collector, Atty.Erastus Sandino Austria said.

Among the items to be donated are 32 bales of second-hand clothes; 5 bales of brand new t-shirts; and 32 boxes of new shoes.

DSWD Secretary Virginia Orogo said, “Upon arrival of the donations it should go directly to the beneficiaries. It will not stay long in our warehouse it will not stay long in anybody’s place.”

This is the sixth time that the BOC has donated seized items to the DSWD.

Other than clothes and footwear, previous donations to calamity victims included rice and other food items. — Joan Nano

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Duterte places Regions I, II, II and CAR under state of calamity

by admin   |   Posted on Friday, September 28th, 2018

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte issues Proclamation Number 593 declaring state of calamity In Regions I,II,III and Cordillera Administrative Region after Typhoon Ompong caused widespread damage in northern Luzon.

The state of calamity declaration will fast track the rescue, relief, recovery and rehabilitation operations in the most affected areas.

It will also provide basis for price control measures which can mitigate the economic impact to the affected population.

The declaration of state of calamity in four regions will remain in effect until lifted by the president. — Rosalie Coz

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