Ports under Port Management Office of Masbate resume commercial operations

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 8, 2021   •   147

All ports under the Port Management Office of Masbate resumed its full commercial operations on Wednesday, September 8, amid the effects of Typhoon Jolina.

The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) reported that the baseport of Masbate and the ports of Aroroy, Claveria, Cataingan and San Pascual sustained no significant damage amid the effects of  Jolina.

However, the PPA said these ports will calibrate operations as the province recovers from the effects of the typhoon.

Meanwhile, the Port Management Office of Misamis Occidental/ Ozamiz provided assistance to four inter-island vessels and four RORO barges berthed at Baseport Ozamiz on Wednesday.

No stranded passengers, complaints and untoward incidents were recorded at the baseport as it maintains transportation security level 1 with enhanced security measures in effect. AAC

Military, police uncover NPA arms cache in Masbate

Marje Pelayo   •   September 21, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Government troops have seized a bulk of war materiel in Masbate province as they continue to hunt down New People’s Army (NPA) terrorists.

On Monday (September 20), government authorities received information from residents in Aroroy about the suspicious materials left behind by the communist rebels in their area.

Responding to the tip-off, elements of Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) 2nd Infantry Battalion (2IB) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) immediately verified the report.

The troops were able to capture the following:
– one M16 rifle;
– two magazines;
– assorted ammunition;
– one plastic bag containing ammonium nitrate which is the primary component in making anti-personnel mines;
– a dynamite;
– one roll of detonating cord.

There were also some personal belongings along with the said arms haul.

Lt. Col. Siegfried Felipe Awichen, Battalion Commander of 2IB, hailed the vigilance of the Masbateños for the discovery of the war materiel. The public cooperation just proves that the NPA can no longer hide even their firearms.

Meanwhile, Col. Aldwine Almase, Brigade Commander of 903rd Infantry Brigade, said the capture of these firearms is a manifestation of the continuously deteriorating capabilities of the terrorist group especially in the province of Masbate.

“Iniiwan na lang nila ang mga armas nila kasi wala ng magbibitbit dahil kulang na ang kanilang mga miyembro gawa ng sunod-sunod na mass surrender sa Masbate. Muli naming pinapaalalahanan ang naiiwan pang mga miyembro ng komunistang terorista upang sila ay sumuko at magbagong buhay,” Almase said.

Police BGen. Jonnel Estomo, Regional Director of Police Regional Office 5 (PRO-5), commended the public’s support which makes the campaign of the government to make Masbate armed conflict-free attainable.

“Hindi po namin makakamit ang sunod-sunod na tagumpay na ito kung wala ang suporta ninyong mga Bicolano,” PBGen. Estomo concluded.

NVOC assures no COVID-19 vaccines destroyed due to recent storms

Robie de Guzman   •   September 13, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The National Vaccinations Operations Center (NVOC) on Monday assured that no COVID-19 vaccines were affected in the onslaught of two storms, Jolina and Kiko, that barrelled through the country last week.

In a televised briefing, NVOC representative Dr. Kezia Rosario said the COVID-19 vaccine shots were transported temporarily to provincial health offices for safekeeping in areas affected by the storms.

Rosario also said that even cold chain storage facilities housing the vaccines were safe.

 “Lahat ng bakuna natin during the time of the bagyo were safe po at na-store po siya properly at hindi po tayo nagkaroon ng excursion sa temperature nito. So they are still effective and puwede pa po siyang ibigay sa mga vaccinees natin,” she said.

During the onslaught of Jolina, at least 19 municipalities in the Bicol region suspended vaccination operations while 49 areas in the Eastern Visayas region stopped the inoculation process.

At least three towns in Cagayan Valley also halted their vaccine rollouts due to Typhoon Kiko.

Rosario, however, said that the vaccination operations in the said areas have since resumed when the skies cleared.

The NVOC has yet to get an update on the vaccination rollout in Batanes that was battered by Kiko over the weekend.

“We do not have any updates pa po kung ilan iyong municipalities ng Batanes. But as of now, we know that all of the vaccines were transported doon sa provincial health offices for storage for the time being. And iyong sa Itbayat na vaccines, it was also transported sa district hospital nila for the time being,” she said.

The NVOC official assured that they have prepared response plans during calamities to ensure the safety of the vaccine supply.

“We also have rolled out ‘no and enforced iyong pag-establish ng mga vaccine security teams not only in the National Vaccine Operations Center kung hindi po sa Regional Vaccine Operations Center natin at saka sa Local Vaccine Operations Center,” she said.

“Sila po ay mag-i-ensure that bago pa man dumating ang bagyo nakahanda na po lahat ng preparations para maprotektahan natin iyong cold chain at saka ma-maintain natin iyong temperature ng mga vaccines natin. Kung kailangan sila i-transport immediately, gagawin po iyon,” she added.

Generators are also on standby in case of power interruptions that may affect cold storage facilities.

“And also, na-orient na po iyong mga vaccination teams natin that once the bagyo ay matapos na po ay ma-ensure nila that they can resume the vaccination activities immediately at saka mabigay nila iyong mga bakuna immediately,” Rosario said.

NDRRMC: 14 reported dead, 7 missing in ‘Jolina’ aftermath

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 10, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The death toll in the Tropical Storm Jolina aftermath has reached 14, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management (NDRRMC).

In a situational report released on Friday (September 10), 13 out of the 14 reported deaths are still being validated, while one fatality and four missing persons have been confirmed.

Five of the 12 missing fishermen in Catbalogan, Samar have been rescued. However, three fishermen remain missing.

This makes a total of seven individuals missing, the NDRRMC said.

The NDRRMC also said that at least 20 persons were reported injured.

At least 28,400 families or 109,680 persons have been affected by TS Jolina’s onslaught. AAC

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