Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Legarda Seeks Inquiry on Tubbataha Reef Damage

MANILA, January 23, 2013-Senator Loren Legarda has filed Senate Resolution 928, seeking inquiry into the reported grounding of the USS Guardian in the Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park (TRNP), the country’s prime marine protected area and World Heritage Site.

Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, said that there should be full disclosure and accounting of the total damages arising from the incident which will help strengthen existing mechanisms to prevent a future similar occurrence.

“This incident highlights the need to ensure full protection of the Philippines’ marine resources by all vessels, foreign or domestic, within territorial waters amidst geo-political developments in the region,” she stressed.

On January 17, after completing its port of call in Subic, Olongapo City, the mine countermeasures ship USS Guardian reportedly ran aground on Tubbataha reef while en route to its next port of call in Indonesia.

Even as its ship remained aground within the protected area, the park rangers of the Tubbataha Protected Area Management Board (TPAMB) were reportedly barred by the US Navy ship commander from assessing the situation by deploying armed personnel on the dock of the ship.

“We have received reports that the personnel of the US Navy ship failed to coordinate closely with the personnel of the protected area even as their ship had already destroyed an estimated 10 meters of corals,” Legarda noted.

“A full investigation should be conducted by concerned agencies in order to strengthen existing mechanisms for protecting the World Heritage Site. Republic Act 10067, the Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park Act, clearly states that any damage to the reef shall subject the responsible person or entity to the payment of administrative fines set by the TPAMB based on current valuation standards, as well as the cost of restoration. As such, those responsible for the damage on the Tubbataha Reef should own up and pay up,” she concluded.

Legarda Leads Turnover Ceremony of Rapid Deployment Tent to DOH

MANILA, January 22, 2013-Senator Loren Legarda will lead today the turnover ceremony of a rapid deployment tent donated by the French company UTILIS to the Department of Health (DOH).

Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Climate Change and United Nations Regional Champion for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation for Asia–Pacific, said that the tent will be used for disaster response and management.

“UTILIS is a private company that has chosen to donate this rapid deployment tent to us which will be useful especially during emergency medical missions in devastated areas,” she said.

The Senator added that she is pleased at the clear convergence of efforts among sectors.

“We are acting swiftly, more wisely, and more decisively to build resilience to disasters. We must continue to encourage participation across borders, and build networks among entrepreneurs, public servants, and everyday people in order to find simple but effective ways to face disasters,” she remarked.

“This tent, which will be turned over to the Department of Health today, symbolizes strengthened partnership across sectors and across national borders in the name of disaster adaptation,” Legarda concluded.


MANILA, January 22, 2013-Two esteemed scholars from the United States are coming to Manila next week to speak at a roundtable discussion on Electoral Reform to be hosted by the Angara Centre for Law and Economics on January 29, 2013.

Dr. John VC Nye of George Mason University will present research on the automation of Philippine elections, while Dr. Alberto Simpser of the University of Chicago will present a paper on electoral fraud across the globe.

They will be joined by the who’s who of Philippine elections—Chairman Sixto Brillantes of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC), Chair Corazon de la Paz-Bernardo of the National Citizens’ Movement for Free Elections (NAMFREL) and Social Weather Stations (SWS) President Mahar Mangahas, who will participate in the discussion.

“Electoral reform is a very timely and relevant issue, and one where we need to do plenty of work as a coutry,” said Dr. Emerlinda Roman, former president of the University of the Philippines and current Chair of the Angara Centre Board.

“As we continue to modernize the practice of Philippine elections, we must remember to couple this with careful research and study. Looking into the experience of other countries and tapping the expertise of international scholars can help us in this process.” added Roman.

The Angara Centre for Law and Economics is the Philippines’ first private-sector law, regulation, and economic policy think-tank, where the country’s best intellectuals will work in tandem with global economic and legal experts to design constructive policy reforms and institutions for Philippine development.

The roundtable will be held in Park Metro, Pasay City from 9:00AM to 12:00NN. For more information, please contact Averill Pizarro at 09178981707 or mail@averillpizarro.com. 


Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this blog do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of "THE CATHOLIC MEDIA NETWORK NEWS ONLINE".

Should the Philippine government legalize same-sex marriage?