Government agencies, EcoWaste Coalition conduct ‘Iwas-Paputok’ campaign in Manila

admin   •   December 28, 2017   •   37134


MANILA, Philippines —By launching a parade, the EcoWaste Coalition has called on the public to avoid using fireworks for the coming new year.

Various government agencies such as the Department of Health (DOH), the Philippine National Police (PNP), the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) and barangay officials joined the group.

The group urged the public to use alternative noise-producing tools like pots, ukelele, maracas, tambourine and other objects that do not contain poisonous chemicals.

They also appealed to the public to no longer use pyrotechnics.

“Kung sobra-sobra ‘yung pailaw ay talaga namang napakagrabe ‘nung air pollution na nililikha nito (too much fireworks can cause serious air pollution),” said EcoWaste Coalition National Coordinator Aileen Lucero.

“Kaya papansinin mo ‘yung iba nagre-red eye, magkakasipon, biglang uubuhin o kaya mamamalat. Kahit wala namang infection namamalat and worse doon sa mga pasyente natin na may hika na, o kaya may COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) at kahit heart disease,” said Dr. Maricar Limpin, an internist-pulmonologist.

(If you notice, some people will get a red-eye, start having colds and cough or suddenly has a hoarse voice without an infection. Worse if the patient has asthma or COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and even heart disease.)

Department of Health Assistant Secretary Maria Francia Laxamana said that there is a need for a more intensified campaign as illegal selling and use of firecrackers still abound.

“Ang DOH kasama din ang PNP at saka ang local chief executive lalo na ‘yung mga barangay natin, kasama natin sa nagmomonitor sa mga maliliit na tindahan na marami pa rin nakakalusot,” said the assistant secretary.

(The DOH, together with PNP and the local chief executive of the barangay, is helping us in monitoring small stores, but many still manage to slip through.)

Police forces are also on maximum deployment from December 31 to January 1.

So far, they are yet to monitor any illegal use of firecrackers or fireworks display.

“Tigilan na ang pagbebenta ng illegal na paputok para din sa mga tao. Minsan kasi parang nagkakasayahan na nakakalimutan na ‘yung security, ‘yung kaligtasan noong iba(Stop the sale of illegal fireworks for the public’s sake. Sometimes in the revelry, the safety and security of others are overlooked.)  ,” said MPD Deputy Police Community Relations P/CInsp. Gary Ocampo. — Mai Bermudez | UNTV News & Rescue

 

Filipinos aboard quarantined ship in Japan to be repatriated on Feb. 23 – DOH

Robie de Guzman   •   February 20, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Filipinos aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship being quarantined due to cases of coronavirus among its passengers in Yokohama, Japan will be repatriated by the Philippine government on Sunday, February 23, the Department of Health (DOH) announced Thursday.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III told reporters in a briefing that the Filipinos will arrive at the Haribon Hangar of Clark Airbase in two planes and will be brought to New Clark City in Capas, Tarlac to undergo the mandatory 14-day quarantine.

Of the 3,711 people onboard the cruise ship, 538 are Filipinos – 531 are crew members while seven are passengers.

The health chief said they need to bring home as soon as possible Filipinos who did not test positive for novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and are not showing symptoms of the illness.

However, Filipinos aboard the cruise ship who were found infected with the disease will not be repatriated as they will have to be brought to a hospital to undergo treatment or monitoring.

As of Thursday, the number of Filipinos on the vessel who were found positive for COVID-19 has risen to 44.

Duque said the Philippine government is willing to assist Filipinos who contracted the disease once they have recovered.

He also said that it is not yet known how many Filipinos will return home as some might still decide to stay after disembarking the ship on Wednesday when the two-week quarantine period ended.

The entire cruise ship was placed on quarantine last February 3 after one of its passengers tested positive for the virus.

Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Teodoro Locsin, Jr. earlier ordered for the immediate repatriation of Filipinos aboard the cruise ship.

The DFA said they have been coordinating with Japanese authorities and the operator of the vessel to ensure that everything will be smooth once the repatriation process begins. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Aiko Miguel)

DILG says cops on ‘narco-list’ who opted to retire early not spared from probe, charges

Robie de Guzman   •   February 20, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año said that cops included in the narco-list who opted to file for optional retirement will not be exonerated from criminal charges if they are found to be involved in the illegal drug trade.

Año made the statement Wednesday after some members of the opposition group slammed reports on the move of the Philippine National Police (PNP) to give the 357 cops included in the narco-list the option to retire early to reduce the cases for adjudication.

PNP chief Gen. Archie Gamboa earlier said he is open to optional retirement of police officers accused of having drug links to lessen the government resources that will be used when the adjudication begins.

He, however, asserted that the early retirement won’t clear the cops from allegations and that this is not an easy way out.

He added that any officer who initially availed of the early retirement option will be pursued if proven to be involved in the narcotics trade.

Gamboa recently met with most of the 357 cops and explained to them the process of the two-way adjudication to be initiated based on his request to President Rodrigo Duterte.

The process involves adjudication at the regional and directorial level for one week before the cases go to the national level which will handle the cases for three weeks.

Once all the cases are submitted to the Office of the PNP Chief, it will take three days for him to submit the results of the adjudication for approval.

Año said the 357 cops accused of having drug links should present proof to remove their names from the narco-list.

“Patunayan nilang wala silang kaugnayan sa iligal na droga. Nasa kanila ang burden of proof, iprisinta nila ang mga ebidensya na magpapatunay na wala silang kinalaman at kaugnayan sa iligal na droga,” he said.

The DILG chief said the evidence should be presented to four agencies handling illegal drug reports – the PNP, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency and the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

“Hanggang hindi nagkakaroon ng pagkakasundo ang apat na ahensyang ito, hangga’t hindi nila sinasabi ng ‘Okay na yan’, magpapatuloy ang imbestigasyon,” he said.

The narco-list is a consolidation of intelligence and other reports from law-enforcement agencies and still needs to be verified and validated. Aside from uniformed personnel, the list also includes local officials and judges as well as other personalities.

Once a complaint is filed, it can be validated within a month, Año said.

He also said that the final clearance will come from the President. 

“Gusto nating maparusahan ang mga may kaugnayan sa iligal na droga” Año said. “I commend PNP Chief Gamboa for having the courage in resolving this issue na matagal ng burden ng PNP. We need to deal with this para makapagtrabaho na nang matino ang ating mga pulis,” he added.

PUV operators ask LTFRB to remove P5,000 penalty vs drivers for not wearing facemasks while on duty

Maris Federez   •   February 19, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Metro Manila jeepney operators asked the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to remove the P5,000.00 fine being imposed on public utility vehicles (PUV) drivers for not wearing facemasks while on transport.

Under the LTFRB memorandum circular 2020-05, drivers and operators are required to wear facemasks as part of their safety precaution against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Alliance of Concerned Transport Operators (ACTO) President Efren de Luna said they are always ready to take heed on the said measure, except that they are having difficulty finding available face masks in the market.

“Ang problema ho dun walang mabilhan, pag walang raw hong mask, may bayad ng 5000, may fine na penalty na P5,000,” de Luna said.

He pointed out that even the Department of Health has advised that due to the shortage in the supply of facemasks, priority is given to health workers and patients on its usage.

The LTFRB, on the other hand, said during the hearing at the House Committee on Transportation that it will review the said measure and will take the request into consideration. — (from the report of Vincent Arboleda) /mbmf

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