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PH starts loading trash shipment for return to Canada

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Thursday, May 30th, 2019

Container ship MV Bavaria

SUBIC BAY, Philippines – Container ship MV Bavaria has already docked at Subic Bay International Terminal port on Thursday (May 30).

The ship will be the carrying vessel of all 69 containers of trash set to return to Canada.

According to Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra, the movement of the trash shipments will begin by 12 midnight on Friday (May 31).

The expenses for the return of the trash will be shouldered by the Canadian government estimated at P10 million.

The Canadian trash, composed of toxic wastes, plastic bags, newspaper, and diapers among others, were dumped in the country in batches between 2013 to 2014.

The loads of the other twenty-six (26) containers were already buried in a landfill in Tarlac.

(File photo) Containers of mixed wastes shipment from Canada declared as “recyclable scrap plastics” but actually contained household trash, newspapers, plastic bottles and bags, and even used adult diapers.

“Finally, (a) proud moment,” said Subic Bay Freeport Zone Administrator Atty. Wilma Eisma in a sigh of relief that finally, the Philippines’ trash row with Canada will be over.

Eisma assured they will be transparent in loading the trash shipment despite earlier advise that members of the media will be barred from taking videos of the containers while being loaded on MV Bavaria.

“The process is very transparent. The documentation for the teams will be very transparent…20 tons per container,” he noted.

Canada was forced to take back the trash shipment after President Rodrigo Duterte in April threatened to “go to war” with the North American country over the issue. — (with reports from Mai Bermudez)

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Duterte on WPS: ‘I’m the owner, I’m just giving China fishing rights’

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Thursday, July 18th, 2019

FILE PHOTO: President Rodrigo Duterte | PCOO

President Rodrigo Duterte has reiterated that the West Philippine Sea still belongs to the country and that he is only giving “fishing rights” to China.

“As far as I’m concerned, I’m the owner, and I’m just giving the fishing rights,” he said.

In a television interview on Monday (July 15), Duterte said traditional fishing rights is widely recognized.

“Historically even before the birth of nations, even before the organization of whatever, meron ‘yang mga tao sa coast eh. Whether they are really the ancestors of the Chinese or the Filipinos, and also, nations who have been fishing there. It’s called fishing rights,” Duterte said.

READ: Duterte to explain Chinese fishing in PH waters at 4th SONA

“The court admitted that there is such a thing as the traditional fishing rights of people and that you have to allow it without violating the law,” he added. 

READ: Duterte ‘tolerating’ Chinese fishing in PH’s EEZ draws flak

Duterte was slammed after allowing Chinese fishermen to fish in Philippine waters “for friendship’s sake.”—AAC

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Heads up sky gazers! Partial lunar eclipse visible in PH early Wednesday

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Tuesday, July 16th, 2019

Photo by Doug Walters on Unsplash

MANILA, Philippines – Astronomy enthusiasts in the country will get to see a partial lunar eclipse which will be visible on early Wednesday (July 17), the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said.

Based on Pagasa’s astronomical diary, the eclipse will begin at 2:42 a.m. and will end at 8:19 a.m., Philippine Standard Time (PhST).

The state weather bureau said the partial lunar eclipse will begin at 4:01 a.m. and will peak at 5:30 a.m. (PhST).

A partial lunar eclipse occurs when the Earth moves between the sun and the moon, but the three celestial bodies do not form a straight line in space. When this happens, only a small part of the moon’s surface is covered by the Earth’s shadow.

During a partial lunar eclipse, part of the moon can get a reddish hue.

Pagasa said the astronomical event will also be seen in Australia, Asia except for the northeastern part, Africa, Europe except N. Scandinavia and most of South America.

The state weather bureau said sky observers need not use any kind of protective filters for the eyes as lunar eclipses are safe to watch.

The agency added that sky gazers may also use a binocular to help magnify the view and will make the moon’s red coloration brighter.

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PH to deploy social welfare attachés for OFWs under new law

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Monday, July 15th, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has signed a law establishing the Office for Social Welfare Attaché to assist overseas Filipino workers (OFW), especially those who have fallen prey to illegal recruiters.

Duterte signed the Republic Act 11299 on April 17, a copy of which was made public on Monday (July 15).

The newly-signed law amended the Republic Act 8402 or the Migrant Workers Overseas Filipino Act of 1995 to include the said office.

It mandates the Office for Social Welfare Attaché (SWA) to deploy personnel to countries with large concentration of Filipino workers, as determined in coordination with the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

Under the measure, a social welfare attaché’s duty includes management of cases of Filipino workers in distress, such as victims of trafficking or illegal recruitment, rape or sexual abuse, maltreatment and other forms of physical or mental abuse, and case of abandoned or neglected children;

SWAs are also mandated to undertake survey and prepare social welfare situationer on the OFWs in their areas of assignment; establish a network with overseas-based social welfare agencies or individuals which may be mobilized to assist in the provision of appropriate services.

They should also respond to and monitor the resolution of problems and complaints or queries of Filipino workers and their families; establish and maintain a data bank and documentation of OFWs and their families to provide effective social welfare services; submit regular reports on plans and activities undertaken, recommendations and updates on the situation of OFWs.

The law states that the budget for the Department of Social Welfare and Development while the DFA, DOLE, the Department of Health and the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration are tasked to craft the measure’s implementing rules and regulations within 60 days after the effectivity of this act.

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