MRT-3 management estimates rehabilitation will take two years

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 12, 2019   •   619

The rehabilitation of the MRT-3 will still have to take two years.

The management of the Metro Rail Transit-3 said the new train rails have already arrived in the country.

Once all the rail parts arrive in October, rail replacement will begin by November.

MRT Engineer-V Engr. Oscar Bongon said they are considering suspending train operations during weekends to expedite the rehabilitation.

“Kapag nag-decide po iyong management na mapabilis pwede po tayong mag add ng additional day or i-extend iyong oras para mas mabilis po nating matapos iyong rail replacement (Once the management decides to speed up the rail replacement, we can add an additional day or extend hours),” he said.

Once the rehabilitation is finished, 20 trains will become operational from the 13 to 15 trains currently operating.

The train speed will also improve, from 30 kilometers per hour (kph) to 60 kph, reducing the travel time from one hour to 30 minutes.

Headway will also be reduced to three minutes compared to the previous 7 seven minutes.—AAC (with reports from Joan Nano)

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

102-year-old Leyte capitol to undergo rehabilitation

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 5, 2019

The 102-year-old provincial capitol of Leyte will undergo rehabilitation following the 6.5 magnitude earthquake that hit San Julian, Eastern Samar on April 27.

Leyte Vice Governor Carlo Loreto said they will appeal to the National Historical Commission (NHC) to assist them in rehabilitating the capitol.

“Restore kaya kakausapin natin iyong National Historical Institute and the National Museum and the authorities kung ano ang maaring gawin up to what extent pwede natin ma-preserve itong piece of history (We will talk to the National Historical Institute and the National Museum and the authorities on what we can do to preserve this piece of history),” he said.

Offices in the capitol main building are temporarily transferred to nearby buildings for safety measures.

Meanwhile, the new capitol is set to be transferred to the government center in Palo, Leyte. Loreto said they are only awaiting proper funding to begin its construction.

“Nagpasa na kami ng resolution imbitahin natin ang iba’t ibang mga associations ng mga engineers, architects iba-iba nga universities experts (We passed a resolution, we will invite other associations of engineers, architects and other universities experts) in the academe as well to come up with a new standard in terms of structures buildings roads bridges,” he said.

The main capitol building was used by General Douglas McArthur as his office as well as former President Sergio Osmeña after the World War II in 1945.(with reports from Jenelyn Gaquit)

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