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Province of Palawan - Archived News

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U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines Kristie A. Kenney and USAID/Philippines Environment Office Chief Daniel Moore witness the safe and sustainable collection of ornamental fish by certified Marine Aquarium Council collectors in Palawan


PhilHealth reiterates call to Palaweño employers to enroll employees in their services

By Archie T. Barone [(PNA), FFC/BNB/RCK/CARF/ATB]

PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, Sept. 4 (PNA) -- The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) in Palawan continues to encourage employers to enroll their workers in the health insurance corporation's coverage for them to be able to avail of its benefits.

Wilfred Hernandez, PhilHealth Palawan head made the statement in response to the information stating that some companies and establishments in the province are still not complying with the National Health Insurance Act (NHIA) which aims to provide health protection to employees.

Hernandez said based on their monitoring in the city and provincial licensing offices, there are still businesses with employees which aren't enrolled yet in PhilHealth.

Formal communications or notices of compliance have already been sent to them to remind them of their responsibilities as employers.

He said if they do not comply with the particular deadline stated in the notices of compliance, penalties maybe imposed upon them under the law.

Hernandez emphasized that having their employees covered by PhilHealth's services means caring for their well-being as they won’t be afraid to go to hospitals and seek help for them to remain healthy to work.

In January, PhilHealth increased its monthly contribution for the purpose of expanding its services. Premium has become PHP200 for those who are earning PHP8,000 below.

For salaries higher than the said amount, the premium contribution is PHP500 per month.

Contribution for self-employed individuals also increased to PHP200 from PHP150.

For the whole province, the PhilHealth said the membership has already reached 93 percent. They also remain hopeful to cover the remaining percentage.

2,810 fishermen in Palawan benefit from seaweed farming project


PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, Sept. 2 (PNA) -- Around 2,810 marginalized fishermen in Palawan have now benefited from the seaweeds dispersal project of the Palawan government under the Infrastructure, Health, Education, Livelihood, and Protection of the Environment (IHELP) development agenda.

According to Dr. Myrna Lacanilao, the head of the livelihood component of the said development agenda, the program remains serious in bringing progress to Palaweños, particularly those living in distant fishing communities,

Lacanilao said under orders of Palawan Gov. Jose Alvarez, the seaweeds project will try to make sure that all marginalized fishermen will benefit for them to have sources of extra income.

“Our seaweeds dispersal continues because the provincial government under IHELP is resolute in helping provide beneficial sources of livelihood to our fishermen,” she said.

She reminded however, that before one can benefit, he/she needs to undergo a training-seminar to know how to properly farm seaweeds which will result to better outcomes and incomes.

Also, Lacanilao said it is important for beneficiaries to be properly trained so as not to waste the seaweeds seedlings which will be given to them.

She also disclosed that the current provincial government is considering a plan to put up a seaweed nursery, where seedlings can be grown to be dispersed to more fishermen later.

New Malampaya platform installed

By Eoin O'Cinneide

Contractor Arup has completed installation of the depletion compression platform for Shell’s Malampaya Phase 3 gas field project off the Philippines.

The platform sits in shallow water in the West Philippine Sea off the coast of Palawan.

Arup was also the designer of the existing platform on the field and was hired by the Anglo-Dutch supermajor in 2010 to provide engineering support services for fabrication and installation of what is a self-installing substructure.

The new substructure is 7750 tonnes, with 3300-tonne topsides and two Siemens compressors.

The new platform is linked by 43-metre bridge, also designed by Arup, to the original Malampaya platform.

Keppel Subic Shipyard fabricated the entire platform in its facility in Subic Bay, Philippines. This required a significant upgrade to the shipyard, including the construction of a 1500-tonne gantry crane, one of the tallest in South-East Asia.

The substructure is an adaptation of the Arup Concept Elevating platform, which uses a pre-installed jacking system to lower the platform’s 80-metre legs to the seabed and then lift the topsides clear of the water and into its final position. Boskalis was responsible for seabed preparation, towing and installation of the platform, with Mammoet contracted to provide jacking capability.

WESCOM backs youth movement’s plan to do patriotic voyage in West Philippines Sea

By Archie T. Barone [(PNA), RMA/CARF/ATB/SSC]

PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, Aug. 31 (PNA) -- The Western Command (WESCOM) of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) here supports any activity that aims to raise the awareness of Filipinos about the West Philippines Sea.

This is according to WESCOM Vice Admiral Alexander Lopez, who was interviewed by the Philippine News Agency (PNA) regarding plans of the “Kalayaan Atin Ito Movement!” (KAIM) to bring young people to the disputed region for a month-long patriotic voyage sometime soon.

Lopez said any advocacy to raise people’s awareness about the contested region is welcome as long as they are coordinated properly with the right agencies.

Asked if the WESCOM is bound to support the plan, the highest ranking military official in Palawan said there was nothing wrong since the goal was to raise the awareness of the youth regarding the Philippine-claimed area so they might also pass on what they knew to others.

Praising the movement’s plan, Lopez however, said it could only happen if appropriate consents were requested from government institutions and authorities that and who had command of the current situation in the chain of islands.

“Nakakatuwa kasi sa pamamagitan ng kanilang ginagawang aktibidad ay marami na ang nakakaalam at concerned sa isyu ng West Philippines Sea. Pagdating naman sa plano nilang pagbisita sa mga isla sa Kalayaan, kailangan dumaan muna ito sa pag-uusap para sa ibibigay na assistance ng mga sundalo para sa kanilang magiging seguridad (It is nice because what they are doing is an activity that enriches knowledge and concern about issues regarding the West Philippines Sea. On their plan to visit the islands in Kalayaan, they should undergo talks and coordination for assistance to be given to them for their safety and security),” Lopez said.

The KAIM was organized with an aim to basically increase the awareness of the youth regarding the disputed region.

Lopez said that many young people were unaware about the West Philippines Sea and why was the country opting to diplomatically resolve issues that currently concern it.

Early in August, the movement staged a summit in Puerto Princesa that was attended by 10,000 students from all colleges and universities in Palawan at the city coliseum with a goal to show “unity” for the West Philippines Sea to the international community.

Palawan is only one of the 82 other provinces that the movement plans to visit for information dissemination regarding the contested region. From each province, 30 volunteers will be recruited to join the patriotic voyage.

Indigent seniors receive monthly pension in Mimaropa

(Philippines News Agency)

ABOUT 36,502 poor senior citizens are receiving monthly cash grants in Mimaropa, according to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Social Pension (SocPen) Program.

In the recent SocPen regionwide Project Implementation Review (PIR) shows that the DSWD Mimaropa has disbursed more than P22.1 million to 14,749 beneficiaries for the first and second quarters of 2015. Pay-outs of cash grants to senior citizens are ongoing for the said two quarters.

SocPen is a social-protection program of the DSWD that provides P500 monthly cash grant to indigent senior citizens 60 years old and above stipulated in the Republic Act 9994, or the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010.

Beneficiaries of SocPen are determined by the DSWD in coordination with the local government units, local Office of Senior Citizens Affairs and Federation of Senior Citizens Association of the Philippines. The DSWD prioritizes indigent, frail, sickly or with disability, and without pension or permanent source of income senior citizens.

To date, Oriental Mindoro has 11,759 social pensioners; Palawan with 10,333; Romblon with 5,992; Occidental Mindoro with 5,444; and Marinduque 2,974.

Petilla joins Mimaropa health summit in Palawan


More than a hundred provincial health officers from the Mindoro-Marinduque-Romblon-Palawan (MIMAROPA) region converged in Puerto Princesa to discuss universal health care strategies.

With the theme “Universal health care high impact five strategy,” the conference was organized by the Department of Health and hosted by DOH MIMAROPA. Main focus is on the five priority areas of reducing maternal, infant, and under five mortality; reducing the burden of HIV/AIDS; and establishing service delivery networks.

Former energy secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla was guest of honor and speaker, together with Palawan Governor Jose Ch Alvarez, Puerto Princesa vice mayor Luis Marcaida III and DOH assistant secretary Dr. Nestor Santiago.

Representing Liberal Party standard-bearer and interior secretary Mar Roxas, Petilla said provincial hospitals were the most important government institutions that provide vital health services in the countryside.

“Health innovation follows a system. A sustainable hospital system should not be affected by the change of government leaders or elected officials like governors or mayors,” he stressed.

Citing his Leyte Health model while he was still provincial governor, Petilla said physicians were entitled to decent pay. He urged provincial health officers to help create a system that would motivate doctors and hospital staff to serve the public well.

Apart from energy issues, Information Technology (IT) and livelihood creation, Petilla is passionate about health care delivery especially in the country’s poorest areas.

Bicol regional most wanted person nabbed in Palawan


CAMP GEN. SIMEON A. OLA, Legazpi City, Aug. 28 (PNA) -- Combined elements of the Palawan Police Provincial Office (PPO), Ligao City Police Office and Albay PPO arrested Bicol's regional most wanted person in an operation on Thursday afternoon at Sitio Isumbo, Barangay Pulot Interior, Sofronio Espanola, Palawan.

Arrested was Jesse Ray A. Otanez, also known as Malawi Ampatuan, 33, single and resident of Ligao City who had settled in Palawan.

Police Senior Supt. Marlo S. Meneses, Albay PPO director, said Otanez was collared at about 1:57 p.m. while busy attending to his business.

The suspect had been in hiding after he was accused of robbery with homicide.

The law enforcers were armed with a warrant of arrest issued by Judge Ignacio Barcellano Jr. of the Regional Trial Court Branch 13, Ligao City, for robbery with homicide where the victim was a dentist in 2002.

Otanez and his mother were also suspects in the murder case involving an Australian national couple.

The two suspects went in hiding since then.

The Department of Interior and Local Government offered a reward of PHP300,000 each for their capture.

The Ligao City Police Office and the Albay PPO had received information that Otanez was hiding in Sofronio Española town.

The two police offices conducted a surveillance of the area and immediately set up a dragnet for his capture.

According to Otanez, he and his mother had not seen each for a long time now.

Personnel of the two police offices are still locating Otanez's mother.

The mother-and-son tandem have been tagged as serial killers after the deaths of the dentist and the Australian couple in 2002.

The police had been tracking them down in the entire Bicol Region, Samar and even as far as Mindanao until they got an information that Otanez was in Palawan.

Otanez is now detained at the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology in Ligao City.

Palawan environment office leads waste analysis, characterization study in Bataraza

By Celeste Anna R. Formoso [(PNA), RMA/CARF/EBP]

PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, Aug. 27 (PNA) -- In line with the goals of the Waste Management Act of 2000 for local government units (LGUs) to craft their solid waste management plans to present times, the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) of Palawan organized a Waste Analysis & Characterization Study (WACS) in Bataraza recently.

The Provincial Information Office (PIO) in a press statement said the WACS was done in the said mining town in cooperation with its Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Office (MENRO) from Aug. 18-20.

The study came following MENRO Rey Rivera’s request for PENRO Atty. Noel Aquino to send representatives that would teach them on the conduct of the WACS for waste management.

The participants who attended were employees of the MENRO, Solid Waste Management Unit, Public Market Administration, other local business establishments, and the four representatives of the Brooke’s Point Municipal ENRO.

WACS is composed of actual collection of wastes from homes, market, private and government establishments, and the segregation of wastes, including their weighing.

The data that will be collected from the WACS training will serve as initial information for the crafting of a 10-year Municipal Solid Waste Management Plan that will be submitted to the National Solid Waste Management Commission (NSWMC).

The commission, according to the PIO, had set March 2016 as deadline of submission of all Municipal SWM plans in the country based on Republic Act 9003, or the Ecological Waste Management Act.

US Pacific Command chief to visit Palawan

By Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star)

MANILA, Philippines - US Pacific Command chief Adm. Harry Harris was expected to arrive last night to meet with Armed Forces chief Gen. Hernando Iriberri and Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin at Camp Aguinaldo today.

Harris is also scheduled to meet with Armed Forces Western Command chief Vice Adm. Alexander Lopez in Palawan, the province nearest the disputed Spratlys in the West Philippine Sea.

“The purpose of the visit is to discuss bilateral security concerns with the Philippines and gain local perspective on the security situation in the Pacific, where his troops are deployed,” Armed Forces public affairs chief Col. Noel Detoyato said.

The military, however, is tight-lipped on whether the West Philippine Sea row will be tackled during the meetings.

Officials are also mum on whether Harris will join an aerial surveillance mission over the West Philippine Sea.

“He (Harris) will also be going to Palawan but the topic is just bilateral security concerns,” Detoyato said.

“We are a disaster-prone area and most of the time, they (US) are the first ones to come and aid us. Interoperability is very important for communication and joint operations.”

Harris’ visit comes just a month after US Pacific Fleet commander Adm. Scott Swift visited the Philippines and made a seven-hour surveillance mission over the West Philippine Sea.

Swift joined US Navy pilots on board a P-8A Poseidon spy plane to monitor the situation in the Spratlys.

“There is a growing security concern that is why we have to also coordinate with each other,” Detoyato said when asked why the visits of US military officials are becoming frequent.

“Even without the China issue, there is already a regular exchange of visits by the chiefs of staff (of the Philippines and the US).”

China’s neighbors are wary of its military buildup in the region, as well as its massive land reclamation in seven disputed reefs in the West Philippine Sea.

Palawan Archived News

The older news reports are kept here.

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