MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday morning made a surprise visit at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) following reports about delays and cancellations of several local and international flights.
Duterte made rounds at the NAIA Terminal 2 in Pasay City around 2 a.m., according to a news release from the Presidential Communications Operations Office.
He was accompanied by officials from the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) and Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP).
During his visit, the President asked airline officials about the flight cancellations and diversions, and if affected or inconvenienced passengers were given proper assistance.
He also discussed how flight aberrations could be minimized, as well as a long-term solution to address the problem.
“The President apologized for the inconveniences to the public because of the delays, and I understand, the head of the NAIA committed to the President they are doing something about the problems in NAIA,” Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo told reporters.
On Sunday, more than 50 international and domestic flights at NAIA were canceled and diverted to Clark International Airport in Pampanga after ramp operations were suspended due to the inclement weather.
Airport operations were suspended for about three hours, from 6:40 p.m. to 9:15 p.m., after the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) issued a red lightning alert due to bad weather.
A red lightning alert is a safety measure taken to prevent any untoward incident from happening when flashes of lightning are prevalent in the immediate area and may endanger personnel, passengers, and even flight operations.
MIAA said the lightning alert was later downgraded to yellow, which was considered as a normal alert status.
Authorities earlier apologized to passengers affected by flight delays and cancellations.
Airport operations have since returned to normal. (with details from Asher Cadapan Jr.)
The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has reiterated that mass gathering is still prohibited even during President Rodrigo Duterte’s 5th State of the Nation Address (SONA).
The reminder was issued following numerous requests made to the department from groups who want to conduct protest rallies during the President’s SONA on Monday (July 27).
In an advisory released by the DILG, the department reminded local government units (LGU) to prohibit mass gatherings, following the directive of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID).
Meanwhile, the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) said they will strictly monitor and will apprehend anyone who will violate the IATF policies during SONA.
“Base sa instruction and guidelines na kapag may mag-rally doon na bawal at lalo na kapag walang permit at goes beyond the authorized number, aarestuhin talaga sila, (Based on the instruction and guidelines, if a group stages a rally without a permit and goes beyond the authorized number, they will be apprehended),” according to NCRPO Director PMGen. Debold Sinas. AAC (with reports from Lea Ylagan)
About 20.9%, , or an estimated 5.2 million Filipinos families experienced ‘involuntary hunger’ at least once in the past three months, according to the recent survey of the Social Weather Stations (SWS).
“Hunger in July 2020 was up by 4.2 points from 16.7% in May 2020, and by a total of 12.1 points from 8.8% in December 2019,” the SWS stated.
The SWS July 3-6, 2020 National Mobile Phone Survey showed that out of the 20.9% Filipino families, 15.8% or an estimate of 3.9 million families experienced ‘moderate hunger’. Meanwhile, the remaining 5.1% or an estimate of 1.3 million families experienced ‘severe hunger’.
The SWS defined “moderate hunger” as those who experienced hunger “only once” or “a few times” in the last three months. Meanwhile, severe hunger refers to those who experienced it “often” or “always” in the last three months.
The SWS July 3-6, 2020 National Mobile Phone Survey was a probability-based survey conducted using mobile phone and computer-assisted telephone interviews (CATI) of 1,555 adult Filipinos. AAC
President Rodrigo Duterte will discuss the government’s roadmap for the country’s recovery from the effects of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, in his 5th State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 27.
“By theme, well, I think it would be obvious that he would be talking about COVID-19, impact on the country and steps taken to deal with COVD-19 at tsaka kung paano tayo makakabangon sa aberya at sigalot na nagresulta dahil sa COVID,” according to Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque.
As of Tuesday (July 21), the Philippines has recorded a total of 70,764 confirmed cases, with 23,281 recoveries and 1,837 COVID-19 deaths.
Roque also said the President will also discuss how to boost the country’s economy amid the pandemic.
Meanwhile, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said to expect the 5th SONA to be different since only a limited number of government officials will be allowed to physically attend. Nograles also reiterated the importance of the President’s 5th SONA.
“Such a report is more important now, more than ever, as government works to chart a safe course for our country as it navigates through unfamiliar and uncertain times, as it works to recoup the gains we have made in the President’s first three and a half years,” he said. AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)
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