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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

Contents

Palawan starts month-long vaccination vs measles, rubella and polio

(PNA), LAM/CARF/UTB

PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, Sept. 1 (PNA) -- A province-wide vaccination against measles, rubella, and polio was started Monday by the Provincial Health Office (PHO) that will be conducted until end of September.

Expanded Program for Immunization Program Manager Meyrick Garces, and Dr. Ma. Vina Crisostomo, Medical Officer V of the PHO, said Monday that the province-wide health activity was the product of a meeting last August 27 based on a memorandum by Department of Health (DOH) Sec. Enrique Ona.

Crisostomo said the conduct of the province-wide vaccination was due to the measles outbreak in Metro Manila and Central Luzon, and other parts of the country, including Palawan in 2013.

Beginning Monday, she said they expect that around 115,000 children will be vaccinated against the measles and rubella, and 145,000 against polio.

For measles and rubella, children who will receive the vaccines are between the ages of 9-59 months old, and 0-50 months for oral polio vaccine.

Crisostomo said children in these age ranges should be vaccinated even if they had undergone the same procedure in the past. Their parents should bring them in their barangays when the schedule is announced.

Measles is an infection of the respiratory system, immune system and skin caused by a virus known as paramyxovirus of the genus Morbillivirus. Symptoms usually develop 7–14 days (average 10–12) after exposure to an infected person and the initial symptoms usually include a high fever, Koplik's spots (spots in the mouth, these usually appear 1–2 days prior to the rash and last 3–5 days), malaise, loss of appetite, hacking cough, runny nose and red eyes.

Rubella, on the other hand, is also known as German measles or three-day measles. It is a disease caused by the rubella virus. This disease is often mild and attacks often pass unnoticed.

Polio, meanwhile, is often called infantile paralysis. It is an acute, viral, infectious disease spread from person-to-person, primarily via the fecal-oral route.

Native Palawan fruits and other surprises at the Agri-Fair

By Zac Sarian

You will be surprised at the many things you can discover if you attend agri-fairs. You meet interesting people and you also learn about what’s new about products and services in agriculture.

Just like at the recent agri expo under the auspices of the Bureau of Agricultural Research, an agency of the Department of Agriculture, at the SM Megamall in Mandaluyong City last August 8 to 10.

We were most fascinated by the native fruits of Palawan displayed by Region IV-B or Mimaropa (Mindoro Masbate, Romblon and Palawan). We didn’t realize that there is a native counterpart of the popular Chempedak in Malaysia and Thailand.

The Palawan version is botanically called Artocarpus chempedeu and known in Palawan as Badak. It belongs to the family of the jackfruit that you and I know. It is like a small elongated version of the jackfruit. At first glance you will not suspect it has commercial possibilities. But who knows, it could be improved through constant selection or breeding by our scientists.

Native species are acclimatized to local conditions and are usually more resistant to pests and diseases. With improved traits through selection, the resulting cultivar could be commercially valuable. Who knows?

The Chempedak in Thailand has big round seeds coated with yellow flesh. Instead of eating the flesh like we do the jackfruit, we saw at the Chatuchak market the whole seeds cum flesh being deep-fried and enjoyed by customers.

Carmen Honrade who was tending the region’s booth told us that Dr. Romeo Lerom of the Western Philippine University has been collecting the native fruits of Palawan. We were shown pastillas made from Badak.

Another interesting native Palawan fruit is the wild mangosteen locally called Bunog. The fruit may be eaten fresh. Then there is the red durian locally called Dugyan and botanically called Durio glaveolens. Aside from eating the flesh fresh, it could be cooked and mixed with milk and sugar. A fourth native fruit is called Palau Saguit-saguit known botanically by its unpronounceable name —Wellughbeiu sarawacensis.

These native fruits may not taste as delicious as your favorites but they are worth noting and conserving. Who knows, they might also have medicinal properties.

WINES FROM NORTHEN MINDANAO. If you are a wine lover you would have loved the many wines displayed in the booth of NOMIARC or the Northern Mindanao Integrated Agricultural Research Center based in Cagayan de Oro. One that Antonieta Tumapon of the Department of Agriculture’s Region 10 was so proud showing us was the roselle wine. Roselle is an old minor crop in the Ilocos during our boyhood but we didn’t realize then that the plant has many claimed medicinal attributes. We used to drink ‘roselle coffee’ during those years. Now many people are processing the different parts of the plant into wellness products, including sweet wine.

The other wines from NOMIARC include balimbing, adlai, tambis (makopa), camote, yacon, banana, and langka. The lankoga wine is a concoction of the Indigenous People from Bukidnon and is made from adlai and corn.

CIVET COFFEE. We were also fascinated by the civet coffee displayed at the Kalinga Brew booth. We were told that the coffee beans that were excreted by the musang or mutit, as they call the civet cat in Kalinga, was being sold at P1,000 per kilo.

SWEET SORGHUM COUPLE. The hard-working couple who might as well be called the Sweet Sorghum Couple was also there. They are Tonito and Doris Arcangel of Batac City who are pioneers in commercializing products from the sweet sorghum introduced several years ago through the help of Dr. William Dar, the director general of ICRISAT or International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics.

They dispensed fresh sweet sorghum juice which is a refreshing drink. Tonito was very proud of his sweet sorghum sugar which he made through spray-drying. Normally, the sweet sorghum juice will not form granules when cooked, unlike sugarcane juice.

Other products are syrup, vinegar, flour, and sanitizer. They are also selling seeds for planting.

To quote Tonito, sweet sorghum is a multi-purpose smart crop grown simultaneously for the production of grains for human food and animal feed. The juicy stalks are somewhat like sugarcane. The juice is used for making vinegar, syrup, wine, and different grades of alcohol. It is also used for bio-fuel. The bagasse and the green leaves are fed to animals, or they can be used for making organic fertilizer and paper. The grains are rich in protein while the juice is rich in potassium, iron and calcium.

The Bureau of Agricultural Research has been providing financial support to the project of the Arcangels.

120 classrooms, basketball courts to be built in Yolanda-stricken areas, including Coron

(PNA), FPV/CARF/CIC/PJN

PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, Aug. 30 (PNA) -- Sun Life Financial Asia (SLFA) and Sun Life Financial-Philippines Foundation (SLF-PF), Inc. have pledged over PHP 80-million to finance the construction of 120 classrooms and basketball courts in schools that were devastated by super typhoon Yolanda and the Bohol earthquake.

An initial donation of over PHP 33,700,000 to Children’s Hour Philippines were given to jumpstart the building of 50 classrooms and basketball courts for beneficiary schools over the next twelve months, including Coron, Palawan.

All these are part of the company’s way of giving back to the community as it gears up for its 120th Anniversary in the Philippines in 2015.

“The Philippines has been very good to us from the time we established Sun Life in the country in 1895, and this is why we’re always eager to find ways to give back to the community,” said Sun Life of Canada president Dean Connor.

Sun Life is also meeting with the principals and administrators of the beneficiary schools to know what other amenities the company will provide while Children’s Hour will also come up with a program for the students.

Children’s Hour Philippines chair Emily Abrera expressed gratitude for Sun Life’s help.

“It’s a rare honor for Children’s Hour to be a custodian of a fund like this, especially after such a big tragedy” Children’s Hour Philippines.

“It only shows that no matter how terrible things are, the sun still comes out, especially for the Filipino children.”

This donation follows Sun Life’s earlier efforts to help with the livelihood of those who were affected by Typhoon Yolanda, specifically by donating 120 new boats to fishermen in Iloilo.

Puerto Princesa bats for 20% discount on land tax for senior citizens

By Geraldford P. Ticke [(PNA), LAM/CARF/GPT/JSD]

PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, Aug. 29 (PNA) – Aiming to encourage payment of real property taxes, among others, the Sangguniang Panglunsod has proposed an ordinance granting 20% discount to senior citizens who will promptly settle their tax payments.

The proposed Ordinance 134-2014 authored by Councilor Peter Q. Maristela will grant the 20% discount on tax payments on residential and agricultural lands. Lands used for commercial purposes are, however, not included in the ordinance.

Maristela said Friday that the proposed ordinance, if passed, will provide additional savings for the elderly that they can use for health maintenance and other daily needs.

The ordinance likewise, will encourage their families and the communities of the city to reaffirm the Filipino tradition of caring for the elderly.

He said the proposed measure will also add to the benefits that senior citizens have been receiving aside from the monetary allowances being given by the government.

Palaweño wins 2014 Search for The Outstanding Philippine Soldiers

(PNA), LAM/CARF/UTB

PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, Aug. 28 (PNA) -- A Palaweño, who is an enlisted personnel of the Philippine Army (PA), is this year’s winner of the 2014 Search for The Outstanding Philippine Soldiers (TOPS) jointly organized by the Metrobank Foundation, Inc. (MFI) and the Rotary Club of Makati Metro (RCMM).

The army soldier is Master Sergeant Aladin S. Dacayanan assigned at the Western Command (WESCOM) in this city.

The news of his inclusion in the 2014 TOPS was informed by the Rotary and MFI President Aniceto Sobrepeña personally through a letter sent early this week to Palawan Governor Jose Alvarez and the WESCOM.

According to WESCOM Thursday, TOPS is a prestigious award for soldiers, recognizing their dedication, integrity, gallantry and love for their profession.

This year, among the judges of the search are Sen. Juan Edgardo ‘’Sonny’’ Angara and Governor Mujiv Sabbihi Hataman, Regional Governor of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

Dacayanan, on the other hand, said that it has been his dream to become a soldier of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

He added his interest in serving the country as a soldier was due to his father, who was an officer in the Philippine Army.

Dacayanan was chosen to receive the award because of his advocacy to keep young people away from the ill-effects of drugs and other depravities.

According to Sobrepeña, Dacayanan encourages young people to focus their energies and time to their studies, and engaging in meaningful community activities.

When he was assigned in Casiguran , Aurora, he distributed sports equipment in a barangay in the area for the youth to take interests in sports. Every time his group makes a round of the barangays, he brings with him canned goods, noodles and candies to give to the young people and even the elderly.

Dacayanan has been serving the AFP for 26 years. At present, he is part of the Military Intelligence Group 22, Intelligence Service of the military at WESCOM.

He will formally receive his award on September 5, 2014 in a special ceremony dubbed The Outstanding Filipinos in Manila. His award includes P400,000 from the MFI and the RCMM.

Trans-Asia Petroleum exercises option to buy into Calauit oil field

By Euan Paulo C. Anonuevo (InterAksyon.com)

MANILA - Trans-Asia Oil & Energy Development Corp has exercised its option to acquire a minimum stake in Frontier Oil Corp's exploration block in offshore Busuanga, Palawan.

In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, Trans-Asia said that subsidiary Trans-Asia Petroleum Corp signed a memorandum of agreement with Frontier Oil Corp for the acquisition of a 10 percent participating interest in Service Contract (SC) 50.

The company did not disclose the terms of the agreement, which was an offshoot of a deal inked in 2005 that gave Trans-Asia the option to purchase the said amount of interest in SC 50.

SC 50 is a 5,000 square meter exploration block that covers the Calauit field in offshore Northwest Palawan.

Citing initial studies undertaken in the contract area, Frontier earlier said the Calauit field has an upside potential to contain in excess of 14 million barrels of oil.

The company targets to start commercial production from the field in April 2015.

Besides SC 50, Trans-Asia Petroleum has interests in four oil and gas service contracts: a 6.82 percent interest in SC 55 West Palawan, 6.67 percent interest in SC 51 in northwest Leyte, 6 percent interest in SC 69 in the Camotes Sea and a 2.334-percent stake and 14.063-percent stake in SC No. 6 Block A and Block B in offshore northwest Palawan, respectively.

Trans-Asia Petroleum will list 250 million shares on the local bourse in August 28 at an initial listing price of P4.60 per share, valuing the company at P1.15 billion. It will carry the symbol "TAPET."

Palawan SP files measure for province-wide campaign on biometrics registration

(PNA), LAP/CARF/UTB

PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, Aug. 26 (PNA) -– Believing there is not enough campaign with regard Republic Act 10367 for mandatory biometrics voter registration in Palawan, a member of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan here filed Tuesday a measure that calls for the law’s massive campaign in the province.

Board Member Cherry Pie Acosta of the 1st Palawan District filed Tuesday at the Sangguniang Panlalawigan Resolution 364-2014, which calls for the Provincial Information Office (PIO) to help conduct a province-wide campaign on mandatory biometrics voter registration to encourage more registered voters to go to their local Commission on Elections (Comelec) offices.

She also called on various media offices in the city and province to also help to encourage people to take on the new mandatory voter registration.

Entitled “A resolution earnestly requesting the PIO and the media network in the province to conduct an extensive information dissemination regarding Republic Act 10367,” Acosta said there seems to be not enough information about the law, particularly in distantly-located barangays of Palawan.

Biometrics is a new method in obtaining information regarding voters, such as voice, photo, signature, and finger prints, using the Data Capture Machine or DCM.

Registered voters, who have not had their biometrics taken since the last election for barangay officials are required to go to the Comelec in their localities to validate their voter’s records.

Those who will not get their biometrics obtained by October 31, Acosta said, can be grounds for their disqualification as voters and cannot participate in 2016 elections.

According to the Comelec Provincial Field Office, many Palaweños have not yet gone through their validation using the biometrics. At present, only 70 percent of voters in Palawan have completed their biometrics record.

Preserving paradise: Three pillars of sustainable ecotourism

(Rappler.com)

The growing tourism industry in El Nido presents tremendous opportunities for this first-class town to be a model of sustainable ecotourism

MANILA, Philippines – The turquoise waters of Bacuit Bay and the limestone karst islets are great sights to behold. Above the lagoons, swiftlets make their way to the hidden caves and crevices to build their nests, from which the famed Philippine paradise got its name.

Located at the northern part of mainland Palawan, the municipality of El Nido is a dream destination to many. Tourist arrivals rose from about 10,000 in 1994 to around 65,000 in 2014 – a dramatic 550% spike within two decades. What was once Palawan’s secret gem is now a hotspot for mainstream tourists who can now visit this picturesque town for the cheap.

Roderick Moralde, who heads the town’s association of licensed tour guides, worries that El Nido might follow Boracay’s road to ruin.

“El Nido has taken off, but if we fly too high and too fast, we'll burn our wings and risk paying the price of unmonitored and uncoordinated development. The question is not whether to refuse change, but how to manage it. What we need is careful, balanced development,” Moralde said. He was born and raised in El Nido.

Roderick aired his sentiments during a gathering of seasoned ecotourism front-liners organized by top environmental solutions provider World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF-Philippines) last June in his town.

Set against the gentle coast of Bacuit Bay, the meeting was the third time WWF-Philippines’ Ecotourism Community of Practice (ECOP) gathered to report on progress attained and challenges experienced in their respective banner ecotourism sites. The organization convened the conference to help ensure that the tourism industry’s growth provides an experience that encourages repeat visits, is equitable for local communities, and does not trespass on environmental boundaries.

Members of the ECOP include key tourism operators and stakeholders in the national and local government sharing the common goal of developing Philippine ecotourism within the limits of acceptable change. Aside from El Nido, the other case studies covered for 2014 are Puerto Princesa Underground River (PPUR), the Tubbataha Reefs Natural Marine Park, Donsol town in Sorsogon, plus Peñablanca town in Cagayan province.

Thee pillars of sustainable ecotourism

The Aquino administration’s National Development Plan for Tourism seeks to establish the Philippines as Asia’s must-experience destination, while building an environmentally and socially responsible tourism that delivers more equitable income and employment opportunities.

Environmentally responsible tourism is one of the new growth poles of a green economy – providing sustainable infrastructure, business opportunities, jobs, and income. A well-managed tourism industry can contribute to economic development and poverty reduction.

“Pursuant to the Tourism Act of 2009, we want to develop this industry as one that is ecologically sustainable, responsible, participative, culturally sensitive, and ethically plus socially equitable for local communities,” Ms. Rica Bueno noted. Bueno is the DOT’s Director for Standards and Regulation, the national government’s representative to the ECOP.

When WWF-Philippines first convened the Ecotourism Community of Practice in July 2012, it outlined the three pillars of sustainable tourism, namely: Natural Asset Protection, Enhanced Visitor Experience, and Direct Community Benefit.

“A Community of Practice is especially valuable in creating new knowledge for sustainable ecotourism advancement, maximized through partnerships and networking. The three pillars are enumerated not according priority. They must remain balanced for the sustained survival of an ecotourism operation,” Joel Palma, WWF-Philippines Vice-president for Conservation Programs, said.

Using the case study method, ECOP participants spent an entire day of open discussions on best practices plus roadblocks that weaken the attainment of the three pillars.

Anton Carag, professional ecotourism developer based in Cagayan, discussed Donsol’s need to diversify its tourism product mix to address the decline in tourist arrivals despite the increase in sightings of whale sharks, the main attraction of this hotspot in the Bicol region.

Carag himself is hard-pressed to break the impasse between his hometown of Peñablanca and the Cagayan provincial government when it comes to increasing the funding for the Callao Cave Tourist Zone. Cagayan’s tourism budget is only PHP 1.5 Million annually, which covers all 28 municipalities. All collections from the Zone’s measly PHP 20.00 entrance fee per person goes to the province’s general fund. Profits cannot be used to improve deteriorating facilities in the Zone.

Robert Alabado, former city planner of Davao, advised Carag that reinventing the user’s fee system plus sharing profit between the provincial government and the Peñablanca LGU may enhance visitor experience at the Zone.

“You have to know your product proposition and have a full tourism menu so you can stay ahead of the curve. The sign of a successful tourist destination is repeat visits," WWF-Philippines Vice-chair and CEO Jose Ma. Lorenzo Tan said.

Angelique Songco, Park Superintendent of the Tubbataha Reefs Natural Marine Park, highlighted the successes of the new management of the Puerto Princesa Underground River Natural Park (PPUR), whose operations were once beset by an outdated and disorganized booking system.

Tourist arrivals breached the Park’s carrying capacity when it was voted among the New 7 Wonders of Nature in 2012. Mayor Lucilo Bayron, who was elected the following year, installed new management led by Park Superintendent Elizabeth Maclang.

As a first step, the new Park administration installed a more credible computerized booking system designed to allow bookings of no more than 900 guests per day. To pro-actively prevent the Park’s ‘point-of-sale’ from becoming a ‘point-of-anxiety,’ transparency was highlighted. The real-time status of each day’s bookings was made visible to all visitors and tour operators. A board displayed this constantly updated information in the Park’s booking office for all to see.

Among the case studies discussed in the conference, only PPUR emerged as the sole financially self-sustaining ecotourism site.

“We wanted to champion transparency to all stakeholders so we can preserve the Underground River’s prestige as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Today, due to increased revenue flow, we can target the funding of PHP 1 Million per year to four indigenous communities in Puerto Princesa,” says a beaming Maclang.

ECOP participants ended the day with heated discussions on El Nido’s Tourism Master Plan, which WWF-Philippines is helping the local government develop. Key problems include illegal tour boat operations, traffic congestion, plus an inadequate water supply.

This hubbub of activity echoes the experience of tourism areas such as Boracay and Puerto Galera. Some units of the LGU, the tourism sector, and non-governmental organizations apparently seem intent on proceeding with their own projects, even before a Tourism Master Plan is finalized and approved.

Tourism is one of the fastest growing industries worldwide. In the Philippines, many of our tourist sites are famous for their outstanding natural beauty. Because tourists come for the scenery and for memorable experiences, it makes sense for the tourism sector to look after its lifeline—its natural environment and its people.

The benefits of responsible tourism are not far-off and unclear. They are tangible, and in several cases, can be perceived immediately. In contrast, it may take years before the negative impacts of neglect are felt.

WWF-Philippines convened the Ecotourism Community of Practice so that the country’s developers and front-liners can help one another identify solutions and opportunities, plus learn from mistakes and success stories.

“This is about thinking beyond our fences; this is about building bridges. We have to develop a constituency for what we are doing. There has to be a sense of ownership and local stewardship,” concludes Tan. – Rappler.com

WWF-Philippines’ Ecotourism Community of Practice is an annual gathering of seasoned ecotourism front-liners, plus representatives from the tourism sector in the national and local government.

Palawan lawmaker backs term extension

(Tempo)

Palawan Rep. Douglas Hagedorn said yesterday that Filipinos have the right to extend the term of a good president.

They have also the right to remove a bad president, said Hagedorn, among the growing number of legislators who support the move to extend the term of President Aquino to ensure that the reforms he has initiated will be sustained.

In a statement, Hagedorn said the right to rebel or to take up arms against a despotic leader is one of the most basic rights enshrined in the 1987 Constitution, in Section 1, Article 2.

According to him, Filipinos have exercised this basic right twice – in 1986 and in 2001 – overthrowing two presidents whose administrations were marked by despotism, human rights violations, and graft and corruption.

If the Constitution recognized and enshrined this right, more so, Hagedorn said, the 1987 Constitution did not prohibit any term extension in favor of a good president.

Any term extension, he said, can only be realized and exercised through a constitutional amendment process, which is peaceful and legal.

“If majority of the members of Congress, who represent the people, believe that the President deserves another term, we, the people’s representatives, should freely express this forthright and do our job, and not be intimidated by the noisy minority. Responsible leaders of the Liberal Party should not repress or stifle us,” Hagedorn said.

Hagedorn said Filipinos can show their gratefulness to the late Sen. Ninoy Aquino and President Corazon C. Aquino by rewarding their son with a term extension.

Malaysia parliament member loves Palawan; expresses interest to support trade link

By Celeste Ann R. Formoso [(PNA), CTB/CARF/PJN]

PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, Aug 23 (PNA) -- Datuk Marcus Mojigoh, a member of the parliament of Malaysia for the Putatan constituency in Sabah for the United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation (UPKO) party in the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition, is so smitten by Palawan province, which he calls “a land of promise that is so beautiful.”

“We love Palawan, and we want to come back,” Mojigoh told Governor Jose Alvarez at the dinner the provincial government hosted Friday night to welcome him and over 90 delegates of the 3rd Quarter Board of Directors Meeting of the Association of JCI Senators of Southeast Asian Nations (ASSEAN), which is being held in Puerto Princesa.

Mojigoh, who is the chief of delegation, lauded Alvarez for the warm welcome the provincial government showed him and the other delegates, who came from Indonesia, Singapore, and his own country, Malaysia.

In his speech to thank Alvarez and the people of Palawan for their warm hospitality, the Malaysian politician of the UPKO party in the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition, said he has heard that MASwings will temporarily suspend its regular flights to Puerto Princesa starting “September 1 until further notice.”

MASwings by MASwings Sdn. Berhad “is a regional airline operating the Rural Air Services (RAS) in East Malaysia, and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Malaysia Airlines.

Mojigoh said Palawan should not lose hope that the regional air trade link will come back; all that needs to be done is for Alvarez to write to Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak to request him not to suspend the MASwings flight but to just reduce its frequency per week.

“I want to help. I heard about MASwings, and what your governor is doing in Palawan, and I told Governor Alvarez to write to Prime Minister Najib Razak about it. He can mention my name to the Prime Minister so this problem can be resolved. Maybe reduce the number of flights from five times a week to twice a week,” Mojigoh told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) in an exclusive interview.

He added that the news about Palawan “being so beautiful, where food is cheap, and people are kind and hospitable should be spread not only in Kota Kinabalu but the whole of Malaysia” since many in the country already love to travel regionally.

“I went out to try your street food, and I like it; fish here is very affordable and fresh You're all kind to your visitors -- all of us love Palawan, we love Palawan. My whole family is coming next month to visit and see the Puerto Princesa Underground River,” Mojigoh furthered.

In July, the Malaysian regional flight carrier sent a notice that it will reduce its flights to Puerto Princesa from five flights to three regular a week due to requirements it still need to fulfill, according to Doreen Padilla of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP).

In a separate interview with Alvarez, he told the PNA that he knew about the cancellation of the MASwings flight beginning September 1.

But on Monday, Alvarez will be writing to Prime Minister Najib Razak to ask for his help regarding MASwings.

“We will do as he suggests, we will write if it’s possible to just reduce the flights and not entirely removed it because we need the trade link,” he said.

Palawan high school students tour military camp

(PNA), SCS/CARF/CIC/UTB

PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, Aug. 22 (PNA) -- High school students from the Palawan Adventist Academy (PAA) in the southern town of Narra were given the unique opportunity of touring the Western Command (WESCOM) camp Thursday afternoon.

The tour of the facility was conducted as part of an ongoing educational trip of the students together with 12 of their teachers and principal, Elvira R. Tamparong.

"Our soldiers gave us a tour to their military facility, which allowed us to get a glimpse of their activities, plus letting us know that our role in nation building is important," said Tamparong. “It was very nice to have this opportunity.”

After the guided tour, the students and their teachers were given a lecture showcasing the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), while the 6th Civil Relations Group provided an audio-visual presentation and information drive.

At the end of the film showing, the students were encouraged to raise questions.

"They always asked interesting questions. The teenagers’ hunger for knowledge is inspiring," said Lt. Cherryl Tindog, chief of Wescom’s Public Affairs Office.

A former teacher, Tindog said she hoped the visit would enable the students to expand their horizons in the field.

Gov. Alvarez urges greater vigilance, action in fighting vector-borne diseases

By Clarinda I. Catimpo [(PNA), CTB/CIC/UTB]

PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, August 21 (PNA) -– Palawan Governor Jose Ch. Alvarez on Thursday called on residents of the province to exert greater vigilance and action in tackling a range of vector-borne diseases.

“Vector-borne diseases affect billions of people globally, including millions in all 37 countries and areas in our Region,” Alvarez said in an interview with the Philippine News Agency (PNA).

“While we’ve made significant strides against some of these diseases, malaria in particular, we need much more national, regional and global political commitment, resources and multi-sectoral collaboration."

Alvarez made the call at the onset of the Chikungunya outbreak in Quezon town, Palawan late last month.

Malaria remains the vector-borne disease with the highest death toll in humans, estimated to have caused about 207 million infections globally in 2012 and to have claimed 627,000 lives, according to a World Health Organization report.

He said the world’s fastest growing vector-borne disease, however, is dengue, also spread by mosquitoes, with a 30-fold increase in incidence over the past 50 years, topping 100 million cases across 100 countries in 2013.

Some diseases, such as dengue and its close cousins Chikungunya and Zika virus, are fast emerging in areas where they were previously not seen.

Alvarez said protection from bugs and bites is key: repellents, bed nets treated with insecticides and window screens can all help, as can making sure there’s no standing water in or around the home.

"We also need much more public awareness about these diseases, as people need to know how to protect themselves better, para din hindi na ma-spread pa ang sakit na ito," he said.

Alvarez cited WHO dengue control initiative assessment that introduced larvae-eating fish such as guppies into water storage containers that can also control mosquito breeding.

Palawan Archived News

The older news reports are kept here.

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