Several barangays in Zamboanga city submerged in floodwater due to ‘Marilyn’

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 13, 2019   •   1774

Several barangays in Zamboanga City are submerged in flood due to the heavy rains brought by tropical depression ‘Marilyn’ this week.

There is also no electricity in several areas due to broken power lines.

Classes have been suspended in all levels while the Philippine Coast Guard (PSG) already cancelled sea travel for the safety of the passengers.

Meanwhile, various rescue units in Zamboanga City continue to conduct their rescue operations to aid residents affected by the severe flooding. Affected barangays include, Barangay Putik, San Jose Gusu, and Santa Maria.

The local government continues to advise residents in the low-lying areas to immediately evacuate to avoid the effects of the flood.—AAC (with reports from Dante Amento)

Fishermen rescued in sea waters off Zamboanga City

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 15, 2020

Five fishermen were rescued on Monday (September 14) by navy troops in the sea waters off San Mateo Point, Sinunuc, Zamboanga City.

The navy troops, onboard BA492, noticed four fishermen standing on a boat that capsized due to bad weather.

After rescuing the four, the troops were informed that the boat master was still inside the capsized boat.

The boat master was recovered and rushed to the Zamboanga City Medical Center. He was declared dead on arrival due to Asphyxiation secondary to accidental drowning.

“We provided the necessary assistance to the victims of the sea mishap and communicated with their respective families,” said Rear Admiral Erick Kagaoan, Commander, Naval Forces Western Mindanao.

The Philippine Navy extends their sympathy to the family of the boat master identified as 55-year-old Enricky Brocka. The Navy also assured they will provide assistance to victims of the accident. -AAC

POPCOM: Over 70% of barangays in PH vulnerable to COVID-19 infection

Marje Pelayo   •   August 12, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Population (POPCOM) has come up with a study revealing a large number of barangays in the country are vulnerable to coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infection. 

Specifically, the agency revealed that over 70 percent of 42,046 barangays in the country are facing high risk of COVID-19 infection because of congestion, crowded housing conditions and the growing number of senior citizens.

Based on POPCOM’s data, the most crowded areas include Region-4A, Region 7 and the National Capital Region (NCR).

In Metro Manila alone, 1,258 barangays or a total of 812,584 houses are considered crowded. 

These houses measure to about 20 square meters in floor area each and have an average of at least five occupants.

“So kung titingnan mo, dikit-dikit ang mga kabahayan, maliliit sila, may kasamang senior citizen. Talagang magkakaroon ng problema ang komunidad kung pumasok ang COVID (So if you look at it, the houses are too close to each other, cramped and would usually include an elderly resident. It is a serious problem for the community once penetrated by COVID-19),” explained POPCOM Undersecretary Juan Antonio Perez III.

The agency stressed that the national government will not be able to eliminate COVID-19 if the local government and the barangays will not exert effort in curbing transmission.

Apart from the localized lockdowns, barangay officials should vigorously check every household within the community to identify those with symptoms of COVID-19 infection.

To do this, POPCOM recommends mobilizing barangay officials and to include them in the contract tracing team as they are already familiar with residents within their area.

Usec. Perez said volunteers can be tapped without spending a huge amount of funds.

Talagang volunteerism ito. Hindi kailangan ang may sweldo (It would be volunteerism. A salary is not necessary),” Perez said.

“There are 200,000 barangay health workers. Mayroong mga 15, 000 population volunteers; nutrition scholars mga 40,000. Sila ang i-tap natin. Sila ang sanay umikot sa barangay. Kilala nila ang mga kapitbahay nila, (There are around 15,000 population volunteers, and about 40,000 nutrition scholars . Let’s tap them. They’re used to making rounds in their barangays. They know their neighbors),” he added.

POPCOM believes that a potential COVID-19 carrier who roams around the community could infect about 28 persons in a week. 

Thus, the agency stressed that apart from hospitals, barangay officials must give priority to their respective communities given that only about five percent of the barangays across the country have existing contract tracing teams.

“Sa ospital sinasagot na lang niya ang mga kakulangan sa komunidad (Hospitals just augment what is lacking in the community),” Perez explained.

“Ang ibig sabihin niyan pag puno ang ospital nagkukulang ang public health sa barangay (It means, when hospitals reach full capacity, it’s because barangay public health facilities are falling short),” he added.

Perez noted that though the implementation of modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) is best for the economy, he suggests an assessment of the areas where quarantine restrictions can be lifted or tightened.

Perez said, maintaining the operation of industries that employ a high percentage of the marginalized sector, such as manufacturing, could also help improve the country’s overall situation. MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

Plane makes emergency landing off Zamboanga City

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 7, 2020

A pilot and three passengers were rescued after a private plane made an emergency landing near the shoreline of Barangay Sinunuc in Zamboanga City on Tuesday (July 7).

The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said the private plane was already on the water approximately six feet depth and six meters away from the shoreline of Barangay Sinunuc when their rescue team arrived.

The four rescued: an Indian pilot and three passengers (Filipino, Indian and Nepali) were all in good condition and were transported to the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) in Zamboanga City for further assistance.

Based on initial investigation, the private plane took off from Zamboanga Airport bound for Dumaguete City at around 9:30 a.m. today. The pilot said there was a failure on the left engine a few minutes after they took off from the airport which prompted the emergency landing.

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