Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Central Luzon police still on search and rescue operations

Police Chief Superintendent Edgardo T.
Ladao, Regional Director PRO3
while conducting search and rescue
operations in inundated barangays
of Calumpit, Bulacan.

CAMP OLIVAS, San Fernando City, Pampanga, October 6, 2011-Due to incessant rains being dumped by typhoons Pedring and Quiel, the Central Luzon police led by Police Chief Superintendent Edgardo T. Ladao continue in the search and rescue operations along the flooded-stricken towns of Calumpit and Hagonoy, Bulacan and Apalit, Candaba and San Simon, Pampanga.

Ladao said that rescue and retrieval operations started as floodwaters began to rise-up raging from waist deep to 10 feet high particularly barangays from San Miguel, Sta Lucia, all of Calumpit, Bulacan and barangays from Sucad and San Pedro, all of Pampanga. 

Amid the strong water current, PNP Search and Rescue (SAR) personnel equipped with rubber boats were able to rescue a total of 22,146 families stranded from their inundated homes. Residents staying from their rooftops who refused to leave their personal belongings due to fear of burglars were persuaded to evacuate to a safer place.

The elements of RPSB3 while conducting rescue
and retrieval operation along Brgy. San Miguel and
 Sta. Lucia, Calumpit Bulacan
“Our cops were deployed in the region to conduct SAR operations to different provinces affected by the typhoons. Augmentation troops from Police Regional Office 4A were also deployed to flood-affected barangays,” Ladao said, explaining that he directed the SAR Team to conduct search and rescue operations for stranded families particularly on still-inaccessible areas.

“I also sent additional PNP personnel to thwart criminal elements especially looters and profiteers who may take advantage of the situation,” Ladao said. (Jason de Asis)   

P’noy inspected damages of typhoons in Central Luzon

BALER, Aurora, October 6, 2011-President Aquino personally visited and assessed the extent of damages battered by typhoons Pedring and Quiel in the most affected provinces of Tarlac, Pampanga and Bulacan.

Aquino inspected La Paz town section of the Rio Chico river and met with Public Works secretary Rogelio Singson, Tarlac Governor Victor Yap, Tarlac 3rd district representative Jeci Lapus and La Paz Mayor Michael Manuel at the 246m Rio Chico Bridge.

Heavy siltation of the Rio Chico river is reportedly the main cause of flooding in La Paz that displaced thousands of families and most of the town went unpassable to all types of land vehicles along Romulo highway, Camiling-Bayombong-Pangasinan Sawat section, Lapaz-Zaragosa section, Victoria-Guimba road and Calibungan section; thus, President Aquino ordered Singson to draw a concrete rehabilitation plan for the river to avoid severe flooding in the future.

Aquino then proceeded to the municipal plaza of La Paz and visited some 59 families still evacuated therein. Hundreds of families coming from barangays San Isidro and San Roque sought shelter in the plaza in the height of last week’s floods.

P’noy also proceeded to Pampanga, and visited the site of the ongoing Pinatubo Hazard Urgent Mitigation Project Phase 3-B (PHUMP 3-B) in Barangay San Felipe in the San Fernando City.

Governor Lilia Pineda briefed Aquino regarding the status of the Pampanga river while City of San Fernando Mayor Oscar Rodriguez presented the status of PHUMP 3-B.

Rodriguez said that the PHUMP 3-B is a flood control project that serves as a line of defense for the City of San Fernando and nearby towns against flooding.

A P20 million  fund was committed by Aquino for the dredging, slope protection and rehabilitation of the Balimbing creek which is a waterway than when overflowed inundates many barangays in the City of San Fernando as well as offered assistance in the relocation of informal settlers along the Pampanga river.

The president also inspected some of the flooded areas in Calumpit, Bulacan aboard a 6x6 Philippine Army truck and visited around 80 families evacuated in the United Pulp and Paper Company compound in Barangay Iba Este.

Aquino then motored to the Hiyas ng Bulacan Convention Center in Malolos City and attended the joint meeting of the Regional Development Council 3 (RDC 3) and Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council 3 (RDRRMC 3).

Some cabinet secretaries also participated in the said meeting. Among those who attended include Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa, Singson, Science and Technology Secretary Mario Montejo, Health Secretary Enrique Ona, Energy Secretary Jose Rene Almendras, Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, Social Welfare and Development Secretary Corazon “Dinky” Soliman, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Sonny Coloma and Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office Secretary Ricky Carandang.

RDC 3 and RDRRMC 3 members reported to the President the post-Pedring and Quiel recovery and rehabilitation efforts being done in Region 3 and the situation of more than 1,721,122 victims of typhoons.

The Department of Agriculture reported to P’Noy that more than P12 billion pesos of damages has brought by the typhoons. DA undersecretary Antonio Fieta revealed that the biggest damage was in Palay amounting to P11 billion, P221 million damage in high value crops like fruits and vegetables, P3.3 million in livestock and P4 million in fisheries.

Fieta said that a total of 6.5 million metric tons in Palay will be harvested in central Luzon but due to the typhoons it is now gone.

Among the casualties in region 3 reported are 30 death toll, 5 missing and 10 injured brought by typhoons.

Prior to this, Northern Luzon Command chief Major General Jessie Dellosa, OCD Region 3 Director Josefina Timoteo and Central Luzon police region 3 operation and plans division chief Col Amador Corpuz conducted areal survey to the most affected stricken-typhoon in the region.

Dellosa immediately provided air and water assets for rescue and relief operations. The concept adopted by the office of civil defense with the NOLCOM was 1st priority is rescue then relief operations in the provinces of Aurora, Nueva Ecija, Tarlac, Bulacan, Zambales and Pampanga. (Jason de Asis)  

P150M in savings for government as 12 embassies & consulates abroad shut down

MANILA, October 5, 2011-Senator Franklin Drilon, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee yesterday said that a total of P150 million annually could become savings on the part of the government as twelve embassies and consulates abroad are facing closure.

“While there would be savings particularly from maintenance and other operating expenses (MOOE) and allowances of officials, the fund would be “realigned” to other foreign posts that need more resources,” Drilon said explaining that they do not intend to ask DFA to undertake a retrenchment program. What they are asking them to do is to realign these funds to countries where they need them because of the overseas Filipinos.

He said that they will not reduce the budget as a result of this closure but they have asked Secretary del Rosario to deploy the manpower and resources to areas where assistance to the overseas Filipino workers would be needed.

“The savings will not be returned to the National Treasury,” Drilon said.

There are 67 embassies and 23 consular offices and four missions to international organizations abroad.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert Del Rosario, however, declined to specify the embassies or consular offices that would be affected, saying President Benigno Aquino III has yet to approve their recommendations.

Drilon said that the DFA has recommended the closure of 12 posts in two years, or until 2013. But Drilon said the DFA should accelerate the rationalization program and have it done next year in a budget hearing of the DFA’s proposed P10.9 billion outlay for 2012.

Del Rosario said that they are looking at shutting down six foreign posts by first or second quarter next year and another six by middle of next year.

Drilon said to DFA officials that it is for our national interest that we have a better availability of our limited resources.

Drilon said that while the government’s rationalization plan would have political and diplomatic implications, national interest should be our prime consideration, adding that no foreign policy is altruistic in character. Foreign policies should always be for the benefit of the nation promulgating the foreign policy. In this particular case, it is to our national interest that we rationalize our presence abroad because of our situation, economically, and the need for consular services to OFWs. (Jason de Asis)


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