‘Martilyo Gang’ steals P8-M worth of jewelry in Biñan, Laguna

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 29, 2019   •   1325

P8 million-worth of jewelry was stolen by suspected members of the Martilyo Gang in a jewelry shop in Biñan, Laguna on Saturday (July 26).

The Biñan Police has already released a public advisory for the immediate arrest of six suspects. They also released photos based on the CCTV footage in the area.

Authorities said the suspects used two improvised hammers to break into the store before the store closed.

The police are also calling on the public to aid them in the arrest of the said suspects.—AAC (with reports from Sherwin Culubong)

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Laguna city turns Taal ashfall into bricks, to donate to eruption-hit residents

Robie de Guzman   •   January 16, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The local government of Biñan City in Laguna is turning Taal Volcano’s ashfall into bricks that can be used to build houses and other structures.

Since the Taal ashfall on Sunday, January 12, the city’s Eco-Center material recovery facility has been making these bricks from the sacks of ash they collected from around the city.

The ashfall is mixed with recycled plastics, cement, water and whitesand. The mixture is then transferred into brick molds.

“Tawag namin dito Taal bricks eh. Naano namin saan namin dadalahin ang mga abo na yun. Nung hinawakan namin mapino, mas mapino pa sa white sand,” Rodelio Dee, head of City Environment and Natural Resources Office, said.

“Normally, iisipin mo diyan panambak di ba? Pero dapat may mas idea pa dito. So, ginamit namin siya sa paggawa ng bricks,” he added.

Dee said each brick is estimated to cost around four pesos to five pesos.

“Nagkaroon kami ng malaking savings sa paggamit ng ashfall. Unang-una, instead of buying itong white sand na ginagamit namin sa normal operation namin, itong ashfall libre. Sa aming computation is 45 to 50 percent of the cost ang aming nasi-save,” he said.

According to Dee, the city’s material recovery facility is capable of producing around 5,000 to 7,000 bricks a day.

The facility is also open to accepting sacks of ashfall from other towns to be turned into useful bricks.

Biñan City Mayor Arman Dimaguila said the ashfall bricks they made will be donated to help in the recovery and rehabilitation of Batangas towns heavily affected by the Taal Volcano eruption

“Ang plano, mag-stock pile kami ng marami, iipunin namin sa isang lugar. Kapag nakarecover na, on its way to recovery ang mga nasalanta ng Taal, ibabalik natin sa kanila,” he said.

“Ido-donate natin sa kanila, halimbawa, papagawa ng eskwelahan. Sige, amin na ho ang hollowblocks, papagawa ng pathways… bilang tulong,” he added. – RRD (from the report of Correspondent Sherwin Culubong)

Toxic level of methanol found in ‘lambanog’ samples from Laguna

Marje Pelayo   •   December 26, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Samples of distilled coconut sap locally known as ‘lambanog’ from three stores in Rizal, Laguna have tested positive of having up to 11% to 18% methanol content.

This was revealed from the results of the laboratory tests conducted by the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) following a series of methanol poisoning in Laguna and Quezon that claimed the lives of 15 individuals and endangered several others.

The samples acquired were from the brands, Rey Lambanog, Emma’s Lambanog, and the one being sold by Orlando Mapa Store.

FDA said such level of methanol in alcoholic beverages is highly toxic for human consumption because the normal level should not exceed 1% to be safe.

“Kasi nga nagfo-form ng acid sa katawan ang methanol dahil hindi siya nada-digest ng ating atay. At kapag tuloy- tuloy maaari talagang ikamatay,” explained FDA Officer in Charge Eric Domingo.

Domingo added that excessive consumption of methanol can damage a person’s digestive system and may cause blindness as it also targets the optic nerves.

Study reveals that once ingested, the human body changes methanol into formaldehyde and formic acid.

A buildup of formic acid inside the human body causes serious damage in the body’s central nervous system.

In the case of lambanog, consumption of at least 30ml with such high level of methanol is definitely fatal.

Because of the recent methanol poisoning, the FDA is requiring all manufacturers of alcoholic drinks to secure a license to operate and a certificate of product registration to ensure proper product handling and preparation before they go out in the market.

“May mga produkto kasi na high risk, kasama itong ating mga alcoholic beverage na kung maaari po huwag na tayong bibili at iinom ng mga hindi rehistrado sa FDA (Some products are considered high risk such as these alcoholic beverages. As much as possible, we discourage consumers to purchase and drink products which are not FDA registered),” Domingo advised.

“Kasi ibig sabihin hindi natin namo- monitor ito. Hindi natin alam kung saan gawa, kung paano gawa at mahirap po nating mabigyan ng assurance ng safety ang publiko, (Because without it, we cannot monitor as to where the product is being manufactured or how it is made. It would be impossible for us to provide the public the assurance of product safety),” he added.

The FDA reiterates that consumers must purchase only those food products and beverages licensed and approved by the agency. – MNP (with details from Aiko Miguel)

DOH: Practice good hygiene to prevent meningococcemia

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 9, 2019

Filipino students practice proper hand washing on the eve of the seventh Global Handwashing day in Manila, the Philippines, 14 October 2015. EPA/RITCHIE B. TONGO

The Department of Health (DOH) has advised the public to practice good hygiene in order to prevent meningococcemia.

DOH Assistant Secretary of the Public Health Services Team Maria Rosario Vergeire has clarified there is still no meningococcemia outbreak in the country after two cases of the disease were confirmed in Laguna and Batangas.

However, Vergeire said early prevention is important to prevent the spread of disease.

“I urge the public to practice good personal hygiene such as regular handwashing, and covering of mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing to prevent the spread of this disease,” she said in a statement.

Meanwhile, the department is still awaiting the results of five more suspected meningococcemia cases that are being examined.

According to Vergeire, meningococcemia is a rare but very serious disease.

She reiterated the importance of early diagnosis and immediate treatment with antibiotics if an individual is experiencing symptoms.

Symptoms of the disease include cough, headache, and sore throat, followed by upper respiratory symptoms, fever, chills, malaise, nausea, vomiting and skin rashes.

“It can quickly progress and manifest with lethargy, difficulty in breathing, neck stiffness, sensitivity to light, seizures, hemorrhagic eruptions, purpuric and petechial skin lesion, and hypotension. In 15% of the cases, death can occur within a few hours,” according to the DOH statement.—AAC

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