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Two minors rescued from human trafficking activity in Quezon City

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Friday, January 11th, 2019

The two female minors who were saved by authorities from being smuggled to Pangasinan to work in a local bar.
The two female minors who were saved by authorities from being smuggled to Pangasinan to work in a local bar.

QUEZON CITY, Philippines – Two minors were rescued by members of the Quezon City Police District (QCPD) in a botched human trafficking activity in Barangay Batasan Hills on Thursday (January 10).

The suspect has been identified as Manuel Joshua Sanchez, 21, a native of Samar.

He is now facing violations of R.A. 0208 or the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act.

According to reports, one of the minors’ mother reported to the Batasan Police Station about Sanchez’ plan to bring her daughter to Pangasinan to work in a local bar.

Kasi yung anak ko naki-open sa cellphone tapos nakalimutan niyang i-log out kaya nasundan ko yung conversation hanggang sabi noong bakla, dadalhin sila sa Nueva Vizcaya. Ngayon lang iyong sa Pangasinan kasi iyong nakaraan, hindi natuloy,” said ‘Jo’, the victim’s mother.

(TRANSLATION: My daughter borrowed my cellphone but forgot to log out her [social media account] that’s why I was able to follow their conversation up to the point where the suspect said he was bringing them to Nueva Vizcaya. He recently changed it to Pangasinan as the first plan did not push through.)

According to QCPD Station 6 Deputy Commander Sandie Caparroso, the suspect has an outstanding record when the same complainant reported him in November for pimping her daughter to the suspect’s own father.

Sinabihan natin sila na maaktuhan natin ang ginagawa nilang pangbubugaw nung suspect. Kanina nga ay lumapit ulit sa atin. Ang information sa atin ay nakipag-communicate itong suspect sa biktima through FB messenger at inaalok sila ulit ng trabaho somewhere in Pangasinan,” Caparraso said.

(TRANSLATION: The plan is to catch the suspect in the act of pimping the victims. We received information earlier that suspect reached out to the suspects through FB messenger offering employmeny somewhere in Pangasinan.)

Sanchez was arrested while about to board a taxi together with the two minors allegedly on their way to Pangasinan.

The suspect denied the allegations saying he was just ordered by a certain ‘Liezl’ to fetch the minors and bring them to Pangasinan for potential employment.

Nagulat na lang po noong susunduin po namin sila may bigla na lang po mga pulis. Hindi po ako ang nagrecruit nun. Si Liezel kaibigan po nila pinasundo lang po sa akin,” Sanchez argued.

(TRANSLATION: When we came to pick up the girls, I was surprised to see the police. I was not the one who recruited them. I was asked by Liezel, a friend of the girls, to fetch them.)

Auhtorities added that the suspect was using illegal drugs based on the recent drug test conducted.

The two minors were sent to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) for counselling. — Marje Pelayo (with reports from Gerry Galicia)

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DOE: No looming power crisis in PH

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Friday, April 12th, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Energy (DOE) has allayed fears that the country will face power crisis soon amid a series of yellow and red alerts notices issued on Luzon grid.

DOE Undersecretary Felix William Fuentebella stressed in a press briefing on Thursday (April 11) that the potential causes of the current energy problems and its remedies have been identified.

Fuentebella said they have already prepared strategies for possible problems on demand, supply and distribution, adding that the DOE is prepared to face whatever crisis the country may be hit with.

Since last week, Luzon grid has been consecutively experiencing a drop in power supply reserves due to unplanned outages of several power plants.

Fuentebella said that instead of the expected removal of 827 megawatts (MW) from the system due to the scheduled maintenance shutdown of some power plants, the system actually lost 1,452MW after four power plants went into unplanned outages.

These power plants were identified as the Pagbilao Unit 3, which went out on April 2 after it experienced boiler sagging but is scheduled to resume operations on April 16; South Luzon Power Generation Corporation (SLPGC) Unit 2 which was offline since April 7 due to an issue in primary air fan but is set to go online on April 21;

South Luzon Thermal Energy Corporation (SLTEC) Unit 1, which went out due to boiler tube leak on March 20 but is scheduled to resume operations on April 13; the Sual Unit 1 which is set to go online on April 17 after experiencing piping leak at its boiling circulating pump on April 9.

The operators of the said power plants have already been asked to submit a report on power outages, according to Fuentebella. DOE will also send personnel to validate these reports.

The energy official also assured that the power supply in the country remains adequate based on power outlook.

Power supply agreements between the Manila Electric Company (Meralco), 70MW Millennium Energy and 161MW Therma Mobile Inc. are also being finalized. These power plants, which are seen to go operational by April 26, are expected to help boost supply this month.

DOE earlier called on the public to conserve and use energy wisely to address power demand upticks amid intense heat this season. – Robie de Guzman

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New human species found in Philippine cave

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Thursday, April 11th, 2019

Callao cave in the Philippines

New species of ancient humans were found in Callao cave in the Philippines.

The discovery was announced on the website of the multidisciplinary science journal, Nature on Wednesday (April 10). The new species called Homo luzonensis, was reported to have lived in Luzon at least 50,000 to 67,000 years ago.

It provided the earliest direct evidence of human presence in the Philippines, according to the study.

The Homo luzonensis was identified through examination of a thigh bone, seven teeth, two foot bones and two hand bones.

With the new discovery, Luzon becomes the third Southeast Asian island in the last 15 years that bears the signs of unexpectedly ancient human activity.—Aileen Cerrudo

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PH poverty incidence drops in the 1st quarter of 2018—PSA

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Wednesday, April 10th, 2019

Poverty incidence in the Philippines dropped in the first quarter of 2018 according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

The number of poor families in the country declined from 22.2% in 2015 to 16.1% in 2018 during the same period.

For Filipino individuals, the poverty incidence is also down by 21% in the first half of 2018 compared with the 27.6% recorded in the same period of 2015.

According to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) the decline is due to sustained economic growth.

NEDA Officer-in-Charge Adoracion Navarro said in a statement said that the “critical and broad-based reforms and investments have translated to employment generation and social protection.”

“We like to highlight the increase in income of Filipino households as well as employment shifts to the industry and service sectors from agriculture,” Navarro added.

The Duterte administration, meanwhile, welcomed the said report. According to Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo, the decline in the poverty incidence is the fruit of the government’s campaign against poverty.

The government will also continue its campaign until it reaches its target of 14% poverty incidence or lower by the end of President Rodrigo Duterte’s term.

“As we commend the responsible departments and agencies for doing their respective jobs with commitment and fervor, we will not rest but rather continue to work hard to achieve our target of decreasing poverty incidence to 14%, or even better, by the end of PRRD’s term in 2022 and fulfill the President’s vision of providing a comfortable life for each and every Filipino,” he said.—Aileen Cerrudo (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

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