Thursday, October 6, 2011

Pangilinan bats LGUs for regular barangay-based typhoon drills

MANILA, October 7, 2011-After surveying flooded areas and conducting relief goods operation in Pampanga and Bulacan, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Foods Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan urges the Local Government Units (LGUs) and other disaster agencies to include typhoon drills as part of their efforts in disaster preparedness and mitigation.

Pangilinan said that as a means to strengthen disaster preparedness and educate our citizens on the necessity of evacuation operations and procedure during times of typhoons, LGUs and Regional Disaster Coordinating Councils should undertake typhoon drills on a regular basis.

“Our schools and offices undertake earthquake drills regularly even if we have earthquakes perhaps once or twice a year, yet we do not have typhoon drills despite the fact that we have 20 typhoons hitting the country yearly,” Pangilinan said.

Pangilinan said that local officials and rescue workers say that when typhoons Pedring and Quiel hit, most homeowners refused to leave their property despite early warnings of flooding. This prompted a debate on whether the Philippine National Police (PNP) and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) should use forced evacuation procedures in such cases, saying that typhoon drills would address this concern as this will give the public the necessary information.

He added that disaster preparedness is the best way to ensure that lives are saved, and death and injuries brought down to a minimum.

“After conferring with local officials in Pampanga, Bulacan, AFP and PNP, we see this drill as an effective way to educate and enlighten our citizens on the issue,” Pangilinan explained. (Jason de Asis)

Trillanes lauded country’s 94 contingent student athletes

MANILA, October 7, 2011-In the recent concluded 26th Summer Universiade held in Shenzhen, China Senator Antonio “Sonny” F. Trillanes IV has sponsored Senate Resolution 579 commending the Filipino student athletes who competed in the  World University Games which is an international biennial sports event with 10,603 participants from 151 countries and regions competing in 306 events from 24 different sports.

“Our country sent a 94-member contingent led by the Federation of School Sports Association (FESSAP), which is the sole local university sports organization being recognized by the International University Sports Federation (FISU),” Trillanes said.

The Philippine delegation competed against well-funded teams in nine various sports such as swimming, men’s basketball, table tennis, taekwondo, badminton, chess, archery, beach volleyball, and athletics from August 12 to 23, 2011.

“Unhampered by their limited budget and other constraints, our student athletes competed with much enthusiasm and perseverance despite not receiving any official support from the Philippine Sports Commission,” Trillanes said.

In his sponsorship speech, Trillanes said that despite this misfortune, our athletes gave a good fight and demonstrated the true meaning of sportsmanship.  They displayed the pride of true Filipino athletes.  In fact, a 21-year-old student from the Far Eastern University, Samuel Thomas Harper Morrisson, bagged a silver medal in taekwondo.

“Our young athletes deserve not only our support and attention, but also our recognition of the dedication and sacrifices that they have shown in pursuit of glory and honor for our country. Let us take this opportunity to recognize them with the commendation of this august chamber and make up for the Philippine Sports Commission’s lack of financial and moral support for them,” Trillanes urged his colleagues in the Senate.

Prior to this, Trillanes slammed the PSC for its failure to provide support for the Philippine delegation to the Summer Universiade and the dragon boat competition in the United States. (Jason de Asis)

Anti-Apeco groups seek ‘ally’ in Senate

ANTIPOLO City, October 6, 2011—Anti-APECO [Aurora-Pacific Economic Zone and Free Port] groups are seeking “allies” in the Senate that would help them scrap an “onerous” project.
In a statement, Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) Vice Chair Salvador France said that they had been expecting the senators, excluding Edgardo Angara of course, about the issue and review the project which they believe will just “bastardize” the waters and land of Aurora and the nearby provinces, and will evict the thousands of fisher folks and peasants from their lands.
“The upper house has 23 senators, but so far none has open his or her big mouth to oppose this death certificate to Aurora people and environment authored by one of their peers—Senator Edgardo Angara. We are still hoping that in the coming days, a few good men in the Senate will rise above the occasion and tell the world that Apeco should be junked,” France said.
The Senate, France says, should take interest of investigating one of their colleagues, Sen. Edgardo J. Angara, Sr. as they are interested in grilling public officials involved in graft and corruption.
Last Monday, October 3, Pamalakaya and other members of Resist Apeco! Defend Aurora Movement staged three-in-one protest—planking, swimming and floating off Manila Bay beside the seawall of the Philippine Senate to demand senators to cross party lines and investigate the Angara clan.
“The people of Aurora and the collective interest of the Filipino people hereby order the Philippine Senate to kick off a full-blown investigation on the role of Angaras in Apeco. It is politically, legally and morally correct to put Sen.Angara in the spotlight of people’s inquiry,” the groups said in a joint statement.
They press for the exclusion of the P 332.5 million budget for Apeco in the General Appropriations Act of 2012 and the thorough review of the Republic Act 10083 which has created the free port authority in 2008. Interestingly, the said law was also drafted and pushed by no other than by the father and son tandem.
“We would like to inform this August chamber that Senator Angara and other members of the Angara political dynasty in cahoots with their stooges in Apeco board are behind the anti-people and anti-environment project. And that we demand that Senator Angara should be censured for calling His Excellency, Most Reverend Bishop Rolando Tria Tirona of the Prelature of Infanta as [an] "absentee bishop" of Aurora province and that the Pamalakaya as front of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) for their strong opposition against Apeco,” they said.
For his part, Pamana vice chairperson and AMGL regional council leader Elmer Dayson said the Senate should conduct a thorough investigation on the P 2-billion funds spent for Apeco from 2007 to 2010.
“The ruling Angara dynasty and the Apeco authority should explain to the public how they spent 2 billion pesos of the taxpaying public in the name of a highly questionable and extremely anti-people and anti-environment project. The senators should step in and discover the underworld operation of the Angaras in Casiguran, Aurora,” said Dayson. [Noel Sales Barcelona/CBCPNews)


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