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SC orders half-day work in all PH courts on April 17

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Monday, April 15th, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Supreme Court (SC) and all courts nationwide will only have a half-day work on Wednesday (April 17), Chief Justice Lucas P. Bersamin ordered on Monday.

Under the approved SC calendar, the half-day work would give court officials and employees enough time to travel to the provinces to observe the Lenten season.

But for courts inside local government buildings, Bersamin said that a whole day work suspension will only be observed should it be declared by the local government.

“Courts located inside local government-owned or controlled buildings shall observe a whole day work suspension on April 17 should the same be declared by their local government, otherwise the said courts shall observe a half-day work schedule per SC calendar,” he said. – Robie de Guzman

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PNP conducts inspection in provincial bus terminals

by Maris Federez   |   Posted on Wednesday, April 17th, 2019

The Philippine National Police (PNP) is now on full alert status in Metro Manila and other key tourist destinations until the end of the Lenten season.

Although authorities have not received threats in the country’s peace and order, around 91,000 police personnel are now deployed nationwide.

Police General Oscar Albayalde, NCRPO Chief Guillermo Eleazar and several PNP personnel on Wednesday (April 17) led the inspection at the Araneta Center Bus Terminal in Cubao and Victory Liner bus terminal in Pasay City.

The PNP officials personally checked the security plans of these terminals in accommodating passengers during the Lenten season. –Maris Federez

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DOE: Power supply situation in PH may improve this week

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Tuesday, April 16th, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The power supply situation in the country is expected to improve as more power plants resume operations this week, the Department of Energy (DOE) said.

DOE said in an advisory on Tuesday that the Luzon grid is now operating under normal conditions after the reactivation of Sual power plant Unit 1. The plant went out last April 9 after experiencing a boiler pump leak.

The Luzon grid was placed on red and yellow alert status for consecutive days after several power plants went offline for various reasons.

It was placed again on red alert on Monday.

READ: Luzon grid on yellow alert for over 10 hours

READ: DOE: Brownouts possible as Luzon grid goes red alert again

A red alert means there is an existing generation deficiency or zero ancillary services, while yellow alert means there are low power reserves against high power demand.

Rotational brownouts were also implemented in parts of Metro Manila and nearby provinces to manage the insufficient power supply.

As of Tuesday, DOE said three power plants are yet to go online after going into forced outage. These are the SMC Consolidated Power Corporation (SMCCPC) Limay Unit 2, Southwest Luzon Power Generation Corporation (SLPGC) Unit 2 and the Pagbilao Energy Corporation Unit 3.

DOE Undersecretary Felix William “Wimpy” Fuentebella said in a press briefing on Monday that the power supply situation in the country is expected to improve starting Wednesday.

Fuentebella also expressed hope that the decline in demand during the Lenten season will further improve the situation. – Robie de Guzman

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PH Coast Guard warns public vs ‘colorum’ sea vessels

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Monday, April 15th, 2019

FILE: Authorities released a public warning against colorum vessels after an undocumented motor banca sank in Roxas City, Capiz on July 29, 2018. (Photo by DOTr)

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) on Monday warned passengers anew against patronizing ‘colorum’ or unregistered sea vessels.

The PCG’s warning came amid the growing number of passengers trooping to various seaports across the country in time for the Lenten season.

The agency admitted to facing difficulty in fully monitoring colorum sea vessels, thus, it appealed for public’s cooperation by reporting ships and boats that are illegally operating and transporting passengers.

“The public has a big role. Don’t ride. Don’t patronize (colorum ships and boats),” PCG spokesperson Capt. Armand Balilo said.

Balilo added that it is risky to board illegal sea vessels as passengers will not receive any benefit when accidents occur.

“Often, there is no floating equipment. If something happened, we cannot immediately know because we are not monitoring it,” Balilo said. 

The PCG has been placed under heightened alert status since April 8 in line with its bid to secure port passengers during the Lenten season.

Balilo said tighter security inspections and other measures are already in place even if the volume of passengers at ports remains normal.

The PCG expects the volume of travelers to surge by Wednesday, April 17.

Balilo reminded passengers to prepare for their trip accordingly, and observe the port’s policies against prohibited items.

“Plan your travel. Secondly, do not bring unnecessary things. [For example,] liquids that can cause explosion, hazardous materials, chemicals and sharp objects” he said. 

The PCG official also urged travelers to heed their shipping company’s advisories.

When boarding a sea vessel, adult passengers traveling with their family must guide and take care of the children and the elderly; know the location and how to use life jackets and to not leave their baggage unattended.

Aside from securing seaports, authorities are also closely monitoring popular tourist destinations in the country such as Palawan, Boracay Island, Bohol and other coastal areas in Cebu, which are commonly visited during the Lenten break. – Robie de Guzman (with details from April Cenedoza)

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