Thick haze covers Singapore as neighbors continue to burn forests
UNTV News • September 18, 2019 • 910
Haze continued to blanket Singapore for a fifth consecutive day on Wednesday (September 18) as forest fires continued to rage in neighboring countries.
Every dry season, smoke from fires to clear land for palm oil and pulp and paper plantations in Indonesia clouds the skies over much of the region, raising concerns about public health and worrying tourist operators and airlines.
The 24-hour Pollution Standards Index, which Singapore’s National Environment Agency uses as a benchmark, was in a range of 111-126 in the afternoon, while PM2.5 ranged 83-115. A reading above PSI 100 is considered unhealthy. The World Health Organization sets a daily mean air quality guideline of 25 micrograms of PM2.5 per cubic meter of air.
Singapore’s air quality deteriorated to “unhealthy” levels on Saturday (September 14) for the first time in three years. (REUTERS)
(Production: Travis Teo, Nur-Azna Sanusi, Yiming Woo, Pedja Stanisic, Afiq Satikin, Arshad Muhammad Satikin, Joseph Campbell)
MANILA, Philippines — The Office of Civil Defense (OCD) is set to hold its first International Disaster Resilience Forum (IDRF) on July 29 to 30, 2021 as part of the observance of the National Disaster Resilience Month (NDRM).
In an advisory, the OCD said the forum is seen to serve as a venue for sharing best practices in the strengthening of disaster resilience; understanding the importance of governance, citizen-participation, and global partnerships towards disaster resilience; and reinforcing cooperation between stakeholders.
“The IDRF will tackle integrated and interconnected solutions through information sharing and discussions on Disaster Risk Reduction, Climate Change Adaptation, and Disaster Resilience from experts and practitioners around the world,” it added.
Participants in the forum’s various sessions will learn the trends and best practices in disaster response.
Strengthening disaster resilience and sustainable development in the New Normal will also be discussed in one of the sessions.
The OCD extends its invitation to leaders, policymakers, executives, experts, and civil society groups to participate in the forum that will have a live broadcast through Civil Defense PH Facebook page and Youtube.
Registration is available through the following links:
MANILA, Philippines — Overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) bound for Singapore are not required to get inoculated against COVID-19 before they are allowed into the city-state.
Labor Attaché in Singapore Saul De Vries said that vaccines are not part of the arrival protocols in the city-state but still the government of Singapore is implementing strict quarantine protocols due to the recurrence of COVID-19 cases.
“It is not a condition for OFWs to be inoculated before departing for their jobs. However, the Singapore government requires them to undergo a 21-day institutional quarantine and take RT-PCR test thrice,” De Vries said.
Following the recurrence of cases, De Vries said the Singapore government has temporarily suspended the entry approval applications of foreign workers from high-risk countries.
“Hopefully, such regulation or policy will be reviewed this coming July when cases of COVID-19 infection have slowed down,” he added.
Based on the Labor Department’s records, there are around 200,000 Filipinos in Singapore, 180,000 of whom consist of professionals, skilled workers, household service workers, healthcare workers, and those working in the service sector of the tourism and information technology industries.
De Vries also announced that POLO-Singapore has recently approved over 200 job orders (JOs) for vaccinators with a monthly salary, ranging from 1,800 to 2,000 SGD or equivalent to a little over P63,000.
“Aside from the 200 vaccinators, the demand for household service workers is still high in Singapore,” he added.
While it is not mandatory for OFWs to be vaccinated before they enter Singapore, De Vries said that migrant workers are included in the vaccination program of the government. OFWs are therefore highly encouraged to get inoculated, as this is the best way to fight the spread of the virus.
“I believe that most, if not all, of our OFWs in the healthcare industry have already been vaccinated, since they are included in the priority group listing,” De Vries said.
Despite the scaling down of POLO operations in Singapore, the office managed to distribute financial assistance of $200 or P10,000 under DOLE’s Abot Kamay ang Pagtulong (AKAP) program to OFWs who either lost their jobs or experienced wage reduction, as well as those who contracted COVID-19.
Food packs, essential hygiene kits as well as physical and mental health and wellness activities have been provided for migrant Filipino workers especially the distressed ones to help them cope with their daily lives while community quarantines are enforced.
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of National Defense (DND) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) have received 50,000 units of COVID-19 swab test kits from the Singapore Ministry of Defense.
The donated test kits were turned over to the DND and the AFP on Thursday, April 15.
The DND said the test kits will be issued to the Veterans Memorial Medical Center (VMMC) and the AFP Medical Center (AFPMC).
The VMMC, which is mandated to provide quality medical care and treatment to veterans and their dependents, is under the purview of the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO).
The AFPMC, meanwhile, provides medical care to the military and civilian personnel of the AFP.
“Both PVAO and AFP are government bureaus under the DND,” the department said.
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