Orangutans in rehabilitation suffer from smoke caused by Indonesia forest fires

UNTV News   •   September 17, 2019   •   751

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)

PH maritime authorities impose strict measures on MV Hilma Bulker upon arrival in Manila

Marje Pelayo   •   May 27, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The maritime authorities under the Department of Transportation (DOTr) imposed strict health and security measures upon the arrival of “MV Hilma Bulker” at the Port of Manila on Wednesday (May 26).

“MV Hilma Bulker” which sailed from Indonesia, carried 18 Indonesian crew members to temporarily replace its original all-Filipino crew of 20.

The ship arrived in Manila to employ another batch of all-Filipino crew for takeover.

Of the vessel’s 20 original crew, 14 tested positive for the Indian variant of COVID-19.

Seven have fully recovered and given clearance by Indonesian authorities to return to the country;  six remain in a hospital awaiting clearance and one succumbed to the disease.

The six crew members who tested negative in Indonesia already arrived via air at Clark last May 18 and are completing their mandatory quarantine and testing procedures for returning overseas Filipinos.

The Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ) has prepared the necessary measures to handle the disembarkation as a medical evacuation.

Once the ship has been thoroughly disinfected, crew change will be conducted and fresh Filipino personnel will then be allowed to board.

All disembarking Indonesian crew from the “MV Hilma Bulker” will be considered as individuals that have been exposed to the virus, despite testing negative for COVID-19.

They will then be ushered to a stringent quarantine facility where they will undergo a quarantine period of 10 days.

Those who will exhibit symptoms or test positive for COVID-19 will be transferred to a dedicated hospital assigned by the BOQ.

The Philippine government, through the DOTr maritime sector, assures the public that it is fully-equipped and always in full force to handle the proper conduct of crew changes in the country.

Prior to its arrival in Cilacap, Indonesia on April 25, MV Hilma Bulker had a previous travel history in Cochin and Kandla in India from March 25 to April 17 for various bunkering and cargo operations.

DOTr’s maritime sector consists of the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA), Philippine Ports Authority (PPA), and the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), and the agency members of the One-Stop Shop (OSS) Port of Manila.

AFP turns over rescued kidnap victims to Indonesian government

Aileen Cerrudo   •   March 24, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has turned over four rescued kidnap victims of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) to the Indonesian government.

AFP Chief Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana on Tuesday (March 23) led the turnover ceremony at the General Headquarters Canopy Area in Camp Aguinaldo. The Indonesian Embassy led by Charge d’affaires, Widya Rahmanto received the kidnap victims.

“The kidnap victims have been held captive by the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) for more than a year and through the AFP’s relentless efforts, the ASG who were based in Sulu, were driven out of their comfort zones and mass base, which eventually led to the successful rescue operation last week in Tawi-Tawi,” Sobejana said.

The four Indonesians namely, Riswanto Bin Hayono, Arical Kastamiran, Arsyad Bin Dahalan, and Khairuldin Bin Yai Kii were flown to Manila from Zamboanga City on Sunday (March 21).

Hayono, Kastamiran and Dahalan were among the rescued individuals in South Ubian, Tawi-Tawi on March 18 by Tandubas Police. Meanwhile, the 15-year old Yai Kii was rescued by elements of the Joint Task Force Tawi-Tawi on Sunday in Kalupag Island, Languyan, Tawi-Tawi. AAC

 

PNR’s new trains from Indonesia now fully operational

Marje Pelayo   •   January 29, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Philippine National Railway (PNR) inaugurated on Thursday (January 28) three new diesel hydraulic locomotives (DHL) with 15 passenger coaches that were built in Indonesia.

The new train sets are designed to provide commuters smoother and more convenient rides from the Tutuban Station in Manila to Los Baños in Laguna.

With the addition of the new train sets, the PNR Metro Commuter Line now targets to serve a total of 140,000 passengers daily, doubling its existing capacity from 48,000 to 60,000 per day.

Thursday’s inaugural run from the PNR Dela Rosa Station in Makati to the Manila Tutuban Station was graced by Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade, PNR General Manager Junn Magno as well as representatives from the Republic of Indonesia Embassy in Manila, and representatives from PT Industri Kereta Api (PT-INKA) the firm that made the train sets.

Secretary Tugade said the inaugural run of the new train sets assures the riding public of safe, convenient, and comfortable travels.

“Ngayon po, patuloy na binabago natin ang PNR. ‘Kailan darating ang bagong tren?’ Ngayon po, dumating na ang bagong tren. At ‘Kailan naman natin masasakyan ang bagong tren?’ Ngayon po, pasisinayaan at sasakyan natin ang mga bagong tren,” Secretary Tugade said.

The new train sets are part of the PNR Management Re-fleeting Strategy which involves the delivery of train sets composed of 37 cars and three locomotives procured in 2018.

Meanwhile, GM Magno explained that the train sets are composed of three diesel hydraulic locomotives and 15 coaches equivalent to nine train sets.

Each train can accommodate 1,330 passengers per set in a single trip but due to physical distance the capacity is scaled down to 700 passengers per trip.

The train sets have a maximum design speed of 120 kilometers per hour, with high clearance for flooded tracks. 

Each train set features an interior access to the engine room, the first of its kind for the PNR fleet. 

The train sets are also equipped with 36,000 kilocalories per hour of air conditioning in each coach that is suitable for tropical countries like the Philippines.

Among its main features is the diesel hydraulic engine which can run even in floodwater.

“Itong mga tren na ito lahat ng equipment nilipat natin lahat sa locomotive pati mga generator so kapag tinignan nyo ilalim nyan wala nang laman,” Magno said.

“So pwede siyang pumunta sa baha hanggang 18 inches na tubig above nung top nung rail,” he added.

The official, meanwhile, asks residents living near the train rails not to throw anything on the passing trains.

“Iyong mga tren po natin although matitibay iyan mga bago yan hindi na nababasag ang salamin,” Magno explained.

“Huwag nyo na pong subukan para po sa ating nga kababayan iyan. Ipe-fence off napo namin. Maguumpisa na ang construction dito sa North-South Commuter railway. Ipe-fence off na po namin ang right of way,” he said. MNP (with inputs from Joan Nano)

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