Marawi rehabilitation to kick off before end of October

admin   •   October 18, 2018   •   3734

Aerial view of Marawi City via UNTV Drone

MARAWI CITY, Philippines — A year since President Rodrigo Duterte declared the liberation of Marawi City from terrorists on October 17, 2017, residents still cannot shake off the fear that a similar incident could descend upon them again.

“Yung takot di naman mawawala yun eh. Kasi ever since hindi nangyari sa amin itong ganito, tapos bigla na lang nangyari. Kaya sa puso namin may takot pa rin kami (The fear never goes away. We’ve never had any incidents until the battle broke out all of a sudden. That is why there is still fear in our hearts),” said Norfaidah Magdara, a businesswoman and resident of Marawi.

College student Salmiah Maca Agir echoed the same apprehensions.

“We feel secure na rin po pero may mga time pa rin po na natatakot ka kasi we never know po na may panahon na magkakaroon ng ganong pangyayari ulit (We feel secure in a way, but there are times that we still feel afraid because you don’t know when a similar incident will strike again),” she said.

Those who are still stuck in evacuation centers lament the long wait for the promised housing units.

“Even though sinasabi nla na liberated na nga pero yung idea na wala ka pa rin sa bahay mo wala ka pa rin sa sinasabi mong home (Even though they say we have been liberated, we still don’t have houses we can call home)” said Agir.

According to Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM), debris clearing operations in the most affected area will begin this month.

By the end of October they expect to finally hold the long-awaited ground breaking ceremony of the city’s rehabilitation which will be led by President Rodrigo Duterte.

“In the next few days we will see the deployment of heavy equipment, mga gamit na gagamitin sa (and materials needed for ) debris clearing in sectors 1&2,” TFBM field office manager. Asec. Felix Castro said.

Marawi City Mayor Majul Gandamra said the local government is grateful for all the assistance being given to them; however, they admit feeling frustrated by the slow progress of the rehabilitation efforts.

“Ako’y naiinip but at the same time naintindihan ko ang ating gobyerno. Ako po ay nasa gobyerno at alam ko ang proseso. Even sa local po yung pag iimplement natin ng mga projects dumadaan sa proseso (I am frustrated but at the same time I understand the government’s side. I am part of the government and I’m familiar with the process. Even in the local level, implementations of project go through a process),” he said.

At present, life in Marawi City is slowly returning to normal, particularly in Barangay Basak Malutlut where the battle began in May 2017. — Weng Fernandez

European-style lampposts installed in Jones Bridge

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 21, 2019

European-style lampposts were installed as part of the rehabilitation of Jones Bridge in Manila.

During an inspection on Monday morning (October 21), Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso said the rehabilitation may not look exactly like the original design of Jones Bridge but it will still remain European-style inspired.

“Ang Maynila is the Paris of the East. That is why if we have to revive Manila, at least malapit sa katotohanan hindi man parehong-pareho (as least similar to the truth even if it is not exactly the same),” Moreno said.

Moreno also assured the Manila government did not pay anything for the said rehabilitation. He also said that the lampposts are Filipino-made.

“Kaya iyong ilaw na nandyan hindi mabibili kahit saan (The lights installed there cannot be bought anywhere else),” he said.

The Manila Mayor also said the rehabilitation plan will also include the installation of ‘La Madre’ or the four pylon included in the original design of Jones Bridge.—AAC (with reports from Bernard Dadis)

Orangutans in rehabilitation suffer from smoke caused by Indonesia forest fires

UNTV News   •   September 17, 2019

Dozens of orangutans are suffering from respiratory problems caused by the smoke from forest fires in Indonesia this week.

Indonesia and neighboring countries in Southeast Asia are regularly hit by smoky haze from slash-and-burn clearances of forests for timber and palm oil plantations, but conditions this year have been the worst since 2015 due to an El Nino weather pattern causing an extended dry spell.

The orangutans in Central Kalimantan were previously trafficked and were taken by authorities there to be rehabilitated before being introduced back into the wild.

Caretakers detected respiratory tract infections in some of them and have started moving them into cages in facilities with cleaner air to be monitored.

Veterinarians there said the Pongo pygmaeus, a native species of orangutans to the island of Borneo, are vulnerable to changing conditions, especially the young.

The air pollution index in Palangka Raya, the capital of Central Kalimantan province on Borneo, has been at a “dangerous” level for days.

Schools in Palangka Raya and another city in Central Kalimantan, Sampit, have been closed this week.

Fires have ripped through more than 328,000 hectares of forests and peatlands in Indonesia since January, causing a choking haze to envelop some cities in Borneo and the island of Sumatra, according to the country’s disaster mitigation agency. (REUTERS)

Gov’t extends rehabilitation works in El Nido

Marje Pelayo   •   August 2, 2019

El Nido Lagoon in Palawan

MANILA, Philippines – Top tourist destination El Nido in Palawan will not be closed to tourists despite decision to extend rehabilitation works in the island.

The rehabilitation program is managed by an interagency task force composed of the Departments of Environment and Natural Resources, the Interior and Local Government and Tourism.

On August 4 a 20-day inspection and investigation will commence to determine the owners and which establishments are non-compliant to the environmental law and hold no necessary permits.

Those who fail government auditing will be ordered closed.

DILG Secretary Eduardo Año noted however, that it would be impossible to demolish all structures established within the 20-meter easement zone.

“What we want to promote are the islands of El Nido,” Año said.

“Doon dapat pumunta ang mga tourist doon sa sentro (Tourists should be led to the city center). It’s more on commercial ang lodging, accommodation for the tourist,” he added.

Meanwhile, several areas in Bacuit Bay were declared ‘no swimming zone’ due to contaminated water and because the structures there were already by the beach.

These areas are the Corong-Corong Outfall, El Nido Estero Outfall, Masagana Outfall anf Cabugao Outfall.

“Ang Corong-Corong Outfall, ang fecal coliform is now at 99,315. Ang normal is 100, (Corong-Corong Outfall’s fecal coliform (level) is now at 99,315. The normal level is (only) 100,)” noted Tourism Secretary Bernadet Romolu-Puyat.

“Maiintindihan naman nila siguro kung bakit bawal mag swimming, (They would understand why swimming is banned),” she added.

Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu stressed that this effort of the government is a way to protect the area and so as not to worsen pollution problems in the island such as what happened in Boracay.

“We will continue to stop this because we cannot allow na mag-deteriorate ang El Nido (to deteriorate) into another Boracay,” Cimatu said.

According to DOT, there are about 200,000 tourists that visit El Nido every year. – with reports from Rey Pelayo

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