Palace defends Duterte supporters backlash vs UP Visayas cheer

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 21, 2019   •   1275

The Malacañang has defended the backlash of Duterte supporters against the cheer of a student group at the University of the Philippines Visayas (UP-V).

The student group, Skimmers, went viral when they performed their cheer that was focused on criticizing the government which includes the red-tagging of UP students as well as the maritime dispute in the West Philippine Sea.

According to Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo, the backlash, which also includes reported harassment against the involved students, was only natural.

“Siyempre natural lang iyon na mag-react, siyempre ang dating sa kanila, baka hindi sila nagbibiro (Of course it’s only natural to react, they might think they weren’t joking),” he said. “That’s a very natural reaction for the supporters of the President.”

Meanwhile, the Palace said they are not against the controversial cheer or any kind of criticisms against the government.

“But as you said, obviously they are joking. It’s a free country, they can dish out jokes, criticisms,” Panelo said.—AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

Mangrove trees likely to die due to oil spill in Iloilo, expert says

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 6, 2020

The mangrove trees affected by the oil spill in Iloilo on Friday (July 3) might die in three months if no action is done, according to University of the Philippines Visayas Professor Dr. Rez Sadaba.

“Ang mga saplings at seedlings sensitive sila, so most likely, mamamatay iyan sila kapag natabunan ng oil spill (The saplings and seedlings are sensitive, so most likely, they will die if covered in oil spill),” he said.

Mangrove trees are known for storing more carbon compared to other trees, which is valuable in the fight against global warming.

Aside from being a breeding ground for several marine life, mangrove trees are also good defenders during storm surges and serve as effective infiltration systems for agriculture.

Over 200,000 liters of oil spilled out from a bunker fuel that exploded in Barangay Barrio Obrero, in Iloilo City. The incident has affected 25 coastal barangays and families were already evacuated.

Meanwhile, authorities already collected over 170,000 liters of oil. They also reported, no marine animals were harmed due to the incident.

Sadaba said the plant life in the area affected by the oil spill would need help unlike other fishes that can swim away once the oil reaches their smell.

To help protect the mangrove trees, Sadaba recommended using dispersants for the oil spill not to reach the shoreline.

“I doubt that they can do that within two weeks unless they apply the dispersants,” he said.

The owner of the power barge, AC Energy Philippines, deployed several of their personnel to assist authorities in the oil spill clean up. —AAC (with reports from Lalaine Moreno)

DSWD provides aid to stranded students, construction workers in UP Diliman

Aileen Cerrudo   •   May 7, 2020

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has provided relief assistance to the stranded students and construction workers at the University of the Philippines (UP)-Diliman campus.

“The team distributed a total of 600 family food packs (FFPs) and 600 hygiene kits to the stranded construction workers, while another 600 FFPs were given to stranded UP Diliman students,” the DSWD said in a statement.

Jhonie Barlaan, one of the stranded construction workers said they understand that they won’t be able to receive the social amelioration program (SAP) and are grateful to receive the provided assistance.

Nauunawaan po namin na hindi kami mapapabilang sa mga kwalipikadong pamilyang makatatanggap ng Social Amelioration Program (SAP) dahil na rin ang aming pamilya ay nasa probinsya at maaaring sila ay makatanggap na roon, (We understand that we cannot qualify in the SAP because our families are in the province and may have already received the cash assistance there), he said.

Gayunpaman, nais naming pasalamatan ang DSWD sapagkat hindi nila kami pinabayaan at hindi sila nakalimot (Nevertheless, we want to thank the DSWD for not neglecting us. They have not forgotten us),” he added. –AAC

UP among top 500 universities in the world

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 12, 2019

The University of the Philippines (UP) has made it to the top 500 top universities in the world according to the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2020.

UP is placed in the 401-500 rank which is higher compared to their 501 to 600 rank in 2019 World University Rankings .

The university outranked top schools like Harvard University, University of Oxford and the University of Stanford in health research citation rankings.

READ: UP beats Harvard, other top universities in health research citations

In a statement the World University Rankings said that global higher education has grown considerably in recent years.

“Between 2000 and 2014, the number of university students across the world more than doubled to 207 million,” according to their statement which cited a paper published by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation.

Meanwhile, De La Salle University also made it to the top rankings, placing at 1001+.—AAC

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