Tiaong LGU opens cash-for-work program for evacuees

Maris Federez   •   January 18, 2020   •   1062

 Filipinos walk barefoot on a road affected by a landslide due to a recent eruption of Taal Volcano, in Agoncillo town, Batangas province, south of Manila, Philippines 14 January 2020. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) has kept the alert level at four, following Taal Volcano’s eruption on 12 January 2020. EPA-EFE/ROLEX DELA PENA

The local government of Tiaong in the province of Quezon has opened a cash-for-work program for evacuees from Batangas.

The program aims at providing temporary livelihood for more than 2,300 evacuees while they are in town.

The municipal government also said that they are open to the possibility of more evacuees to be sent their way in case Taal Volcano’s situation worsens.

They believe that this can also serve as a stress debriefing for the victims.

“Inaanticipate na natin na pupwede silang magtagal dito so sayang naman yung ititigil nila dito sa amin kung i-spoon-feed na lang natin. So mas maganda naman bukod dun sa magkakameron sila ng additional income ay magiging busy sila sa buong maghapon,” said Tiaong MDRRMO officer-in-charge, Celso Degrano.

Some of the available jobs for evacuees are street sweeping, drainage declogging, and other local government projects that need temporary workers.

The town’s Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is also considering opening several livelihood programs that will be suitable for the evacuees.

“Pwede kaming gumawa ng isang proyekto na kung saan in exchange for their services ay mayroong certain amount na pupwedeng ibigay sa kanila in a short time depende sa kakayahan ng munisipyo,” Degrano added.

Student evacuees may also sit in on classes corresponding to their grade level so they can continue going to school.

The MDRRMO also gave the assurance that they have sufficient relief goods and hygiene kits to provide the evacuees.

Aside from the town’s evacuation centers, several establishments have also prepared their facilities to accommodate evacuees. — (with details from Quezon Correspondent Japeth Cablaida) /mbmf

Pangambang sumabog ang Mt. Taal matapos ang malakas na lindol sa Batangas, pinawi ng Phivolcs

Robie de Guzman   •   December 25, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Pinawi ng Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) ang pangamba hinggil sa muling pagsabog ng bulkang Taal kasunod ng magnitude 6.3 na lindol na yumanig sa Calatagan, Batangas pasado alas-7 Biyernes ng umaga.

Ayon kay PHIVOLCS director, Undersecretary Renato Solidum, maliit ang posibilidad na magkaroon ng epekto sa bulkan ang malakas na lindol bagaman patuloy pa nila itong inoobserbahan.

Binigyang-diin rin ni Solidum na sumabog na ang bulkan ngayong taon at malalim ang naramdamang lindol kaninang umaga.

Siguro pagdating doon sa fault baka wala, kasi hindi naman ito ganoon kalaki at malalim siya masyado. Pero pagdating sa Taal Volcano, kasi katatapos lang ng kanyang eruption, oobserbahan natin kung may epekto talaga ito,” ang pahayag ni Solidum.

“Titingnan natin kung magre-react ang Taal Volcano, pero dapat nating maaalala, matandaan, na nasa alert level 1 pa lang naman siya,” dagdag pa niya.

Magugunitang noong buwan ng Enero 2020 ay itinaas sa alert level 4 ang Taal matapos itong magbuga ng abo.

Sa ngayon ay nasa alert level 1 ang bulkan na ang ibig sabihin ay bahagyang pagtaas ng volcanic activity gaya ng gas o steam emission at mga pagyanig. Ipinagbabawal din ang pagpasok sa permanent danger zone ng bulkan.

Paliwanag ng ahensiya, gumalaw ang Manila trench kaya’t naramdaman ang pagyanig sa Metro Manila.

Tiniyak din ng PHIVOLCS na walang direktang epekto ang lindol sa Batangas sa West Valley Fault.

Bukod sa Metro Manila, Batangas at Laguna, naramdaman rin ang lindol sa ilang bahagi ng Rizal at Northern Luzon.

OWWA to roll out group livelihood program for OFWs next month

Marje Pelayo   •   August 26, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has been affecting millions of Filipinos including overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

Based on data from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) presented by the Senate Committee on Labor Joel Villanueva in Tuesday’s (August 25) hearing, over 300,000 OFWs have been displaced by the pandemic.

With this, Senator Imee Marcos called for an increase in the credit assistance allowable for OFWs from the proposed P50,000 to P100,000.

However, OWWA Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac said they will not be able to accommodate up to 200,000 OFWs who may avail of the assistance.

According to Cacdac, they may organize a business plan competition wherein they would choose the best business plan from participating OFWs who will be granted the benefits of the program.

OWWA is currently offering a repatriation grant under the micro startups for distressed workers worth P20,000.

Cacdac explained that 70 percent of those who availed the loan have committed the money to investments.

However, they have no data on the success rate of their businesses.

“Hindi tayo sigurado whether or not nag-prosper ang negosyo na iyon. We do have success stories. We do identify iyong success stories. We give them recognition but we do not have the full-pledged data, the complete data as to our success rate,” OWWA Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac said.

Next month, OWWA is set to launch a group livelihood program wherein groups of OFWs may borrow from P150,000 to P1 million.

“Ang isang nakikita kasi namin, batay sa karanasan, malaki ang tsansa ng tagumpay kung grupo,” Cacdac explained.

“Kaya ang napagpasyahan ng OWWA Board, ay i-encourage ang group livelihood programs lalo na sa panahon ng pandemya. Baka mas matibay ang negosyo kung grupo po sila,” he added.

Cacdac also said that 60 percent of the 165,000 repatriated OFWs who have returned to their home regions, have applied for DOLE’s AKAP program which is a one-time cash assistance of P10,000.

OWWA targets to complete the distribution of aid to remaining OFWs from the supplemental budget it has received and the fund allocation from the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act or Bayanihan 2.

Meanwhile, the labor department added that it has been updating its database and the profiling of repatriated OFWs for the matching of skills to help them find a new job in the country.

DOLE Undersecretary Joji Aragon said they are expecting the business process outsourcing or the BPO industry to absorb most of the OFWs, noting that 90-92 percent of the industry have already recovered from the effects of the pandemic. MNP (with reports from Harlene Delgado)

Phivolcs lowers Taal Volcano alert to level 1

UNTV News   •   March 19, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) on Thursday said it has downgraded the alert on Taal Volcano to level 1 following the decrease in volcanic quakes and surface activity at the main crater.

In its bulletin, Phivolcs said the Taal Volcano’s condition in the succeeding four weeks after its alert was lowered to level 2, has been characterized by low-level volcanic earthquake activity, stabilizing ground deformation of the Taal Caldera and the Taal Volcano Island edifices, and weak surface activity at the Main Crater and the Daang Kastila fissure.

“DOST-PHIVOLCS is lowering the alert status of Taal Volcano from Alert Level 2 to Alert Level 1 to reflect the overall decreasing trend in the level of monitoring parameters,” its bulletin reads.

State volcanologists said that alert level 1 means that the volcano is still in “abnormal condition,” and that this “should not be interpreted that unrest has ceased or that the threat of an eruption has disappeared.”

Under alert level 1, sudden steam-driven or phreatic explosions, volcanic earthquakes, minor ashfall and lethal accumulations or expulsions of volcanic gas can occur and threaten areas within the Taal Volcano Island.

The alert level may be raised back to alert level 2 “should pronounced change in monitored parameters forewarn of renewed unrest,” Phivolcs said.

The agency reminded residents that entry to Taal’s permanent danger zone, especially the vicinities of the Main Crater and the Daang Kastila fissure, remains strictly prohibited. 

The Taal Volcano was placed under alert level 4 when it spewed ash on January 12 which sent thousands of residents to temporary shelters and disrupted businesses in surrounding areas.

It was later lowered to alert level 2 several weeks later due to decreased unrest. — ROBIE DE GUZMAN

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