Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Legarda lauded the Senate 3rd reading approval of Phl-Japan Agreement on technical cooperation

SENATE OFFICE, Manila, March 16, 2011-Senator Loren Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations lauded the approval of the Senate on third reading regarding the Philippine-Japan Agreement on Technical Cooperation (ATC) where she reported that this would bring multitude of benefits to the country.

“The government has limited resources toward promoting sustainable development where we had a myriad concerns and endless economic challenges,” she said, adding that Japan is the Philippines top source of official development assistance (ODA) which finances the country where it accounted for 36% or about US$3.46 billion of the total loan commitments in 2009.

Japan ODA is a technical cooperation aimed to support the country’s development through (1) training programs in Japan; (2) the dispatch of technical cooperation experts to the Philippines to impart technical knowledge and skills to various agencies; (3) provision of equipment and materials; and (4) the conduct of development studies.

Japan is the instrument that reduces administrative burdens and helps synergize the technical assistance in the country where the magnitude and extent of Japan’s technical cooperation projects over the years underscored the importance of the Agreement on Technical Cooperation with them.

The Agreement will replace the redundant process of having to periodically exchange Note Verbales for each and every Technical Cooperation Project between Japan and the Philippines where it contains the provisions on tax exemptions, immunities, and privileges of Japanese experts dispatched here in the Philippines.

On the basis of a duly-established framework for cooperation development, it is a partnership, donor and recipient countries need to cooperate where the ATC lends emphasis in our role to the recipient country like the Philippines that is charged with directing our development agenda and assuming responsibilities as well; thus, this measure signals an even stronger and meaningful cooperation with Japan. (Jason de Asis)

NIA assured Pantabangan Dam can withstand Intensity 10 quake

CABANATUAN CITY, Nueva Ecija, March 16, 2011-The National Irrigation Administration (NIA) assured yesterday that the country’s largest dam that supplies irrigation to over 100,000 hectares of farmlands in Central Luzon, can withstand a powerful earthquake even one that is stronger than the Intensity 9 tremor that triggered a tsunami in Japan.

NIA administrator Antonio Nangel said that the giant Pantabangan Dam which was the first single largest infrastructure ever accomplished by the government can survive in an Intensity 10 earthquake.

Nangel said that the Pantabangan Dam which is an earthen dam was so designed and constructed to withstand powerful earthquakes.

“It was sturdily built. And since it is an earth dam, it has flexibility so we see no problem. In fact, it can survive even an Intensity 10 earthquake,” he said.

Nangel came up with the assurance after some quarters raised fears some of the country’s dams might not be able to survive powerful tremors similar, if not powerful, to the one that hit Japan which killed thousands of people.

Nangel was once operations manager of the Upper Pampanga River Integrated Irrigation Systems, the country’s largest national irrigation system which administratively supervised the operations of the Pantabangan Dam.

The dam was built in 1971 by an all-Filipino consortium of engineers and completed in August 1974, 17 months ahead of schedule at a cost of P800 million at that time, including $34 million loan from the World Bank. The structure is located at the center of the Carranglan, Pantabangan and Pampanga Rivers.

The dam consists of two zoned-earth filled dams – the main dam and the Aya Dam. Its 8,420-hectare reservoir area has a water storage capacity of 1.75 billion cubic meters for irrigation and power generation. Its watershed area covers 90,900 hectares.

Aside from irrigation, the dam also provides flood control, water supply for domestic and industrial purposes, fish conservation and tourism.

Nangel said that to illustrate its readiness to survive a powerful earthquake, the dam withstood the July 16, 1990 killer quake with no damage to its reservoir area and other structures. “Even if there was a faultline in Digdig (in nearby Carranglan), there was never any ill effects on the operations of the Pantabangan Dam back then,” he said.

The 1990 tremor, listed at Intensity 7.7 in the open-ended Richster Scale, however, considerably affected the natural flow in the downstream portions of the Pantabangan Dam at the Digdig and Talavera rivers, considerably reducing the service area of the Talavera River Irrigation System from 6,000 hectares to only 500 hectares.

Nangel said the UPRIIS’ dam and reservoir division, led by engineer Fred Tuquero, is supervising the maintenance and upkeep of the dam to ensure its structural soundness and safety as well as monitor and regulate the release of water from its reservoir. (Jason de Asis)

Casiguran police sergeant raps two complaints at the Ombudsman and trial Court

CASIGURAN, Aurora, March 16, 2011-A Casiguran police sergeant is now facing formal complaint before the office of the ombudsman and Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) Atty. Juliet M. Isidro Reyes.

The complainant was Salvador Tesorero, 35 years old and a resident of barangay Bianoan in this town who filed the charges to Atty. Reyes against SPO1 Danilo Mendoza who was assigned in a PNP checkpoint at the said barangay.

The complainant stated in his affidavit that last November 1, 2010 Sergeant Mendoza was allegedly drunk when the mauling incident happened. Suspect used rattan (yantok) and thereby batted him on his feet, eyes and in the different parts of the body while Rico Puno, 26 years old was tied by handcuff more or less 11:30 pm to 12 midnight who was the star witness of the police abuses.

Tesorero stated that he was injured and could not walk after the incident where he immediately went to the nearest hospital for medical check-up.

An administrative case-Grave Misconduct and Less Serious Physical Injuries- were filed at the Ombudsman and PAO while the suspect Mendoza was asked to answer the complaints charged against the police.

The authorities said that Mendoza is in floating status facing the charges and once proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt he will be in prison for not less than 6 years aside from the administrative and/or criminal case he is facing and the culprit must prove that he is innocent in the case filed against him. (Arnel Turzar, DZJO FM, CMN-Baler, Aurora)


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