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Quezon City News August 2015

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Quezon City - Archived News

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The Founder Manuel Quezon
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Wars of ancient history were about territory, power, family or lover's quarrel, politics and sometimes religion.

But we are in the Modern era and supposedly more educated and enlightened .

Think about this. Don't just brush off these questions.

  • Why is RELIGION still involved in WARS? Isn't religion supposed to be about PEACE?
  • Ask yourself; What religion is always involved in wars and consistently causing WARS, yet insists that it's a religion of peace?

WHY??

Herbal remedies for diabetes.JPG
How to get the best out of the Malunggay
Moringa (Malungay) leaves compared to common foods
Values per 100gm. edible portion
Nutrient Moringa Leaves Other Foods
Vitamin A 6780 mcg Carrots: 1890 mcg
Vitamin C 220 mg Oranges: 30 mg
Calcium 440 mg Cow's milk: 120 mg
Potassium 259 mg Bananas: 88 mg
Protein 6.7 gm Cow's milk: 3.2 gm

DSWD, NYC, DepEd launch YDS at Tandang Sora National High School in QC

By Leilani S. Junio [(PNA), SCS/LSJ]

MANILA, Aug. 31 (PNA) -- The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), together with the National Youth Commission (NYC) and the Department of Education (DepEd), led on Monday the introduction of the Youth Development Sessions (YDS) among grades 7 to 12 student beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps).

The YDS launching was held at the Tandang Sora National High School in Novaliches, Quezon City which has been identified by the DSWD as having the biggest number of 4Ps high school beneficiaries in the country.

The launching coincided with this year's commemoration of the National Heroes' Day which falls on the last Monday of August.

According DSWD Secretary Corazon J. Soliman, the launching of the YDS was discussed together with DepEd and NYC to address the pressing problem of teenage pregnancy.

Secretary Soliman said that based on the recent discussions they had, they found out that in Quezon City's Barangay Payatas alone, there was a recorded teenage mother at the age 14 years.She cited that through YDS, they are optimistic that they will be able to save the children from the many ills of the society such as drug abuse and early pregnancy.

She noted that in this modern age, while computer and modern gadgets are helpful among students, sometimes such become a tempting venue for the adolescents who are not “prepared enough” to handle them very well, leading to confusion compounded with negative peer pressures.

The DSWD chief said that since the young generation of today faces big challenges, it is important to safeguard their future from deterioration so that they can shift their attention to more worthwhile activities by focusing on their dreams and understanding their self-worth, taking care of their body and preventing themselves from wasting a “fruitful future,” instead of falling prey as early mothers/fathers or getting hooked into drug addiction.

YDS is one of the interventions similar to family development sessions (FDS) given to parents benefiting from the cash grants under 4Ps.

Under the FDS, parents are being taught on how to be responsible, promote better family relationship and mold them to be better members of society.

On the other hand, under the YDS, the youth or the grades 7 to 12 children are molded as responsible individuals by teaching them what are the consequences of becoming parents at an early age or getting hooked to drugs and how can that affect their future dreams and ambitions.

The sessions modules were developed by the UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund) and UNFPA (United Nations Population Fund).

Among the initial topics in the modules that were discussed in the sessions were changing bodies of the youth and ways to take care of them through personal hygiene and others, cost of pregnancy and other effects among teenagers, and drug addiction.

The students were given chance to interact together and discussed insights on what they can do when they face those challenges and entice them to value themselves and aspire to be productive members of society.

According to NYC Assistant Secretary Percival V. Cendaña, the occasion, which coincided with the celebration of National Heroes' Day and held at the school named after the Grand Old Lady of the Katipunan Melchora Aquino or "Tandang Sora," was a fitting moment to encourage the youth to aspire to be “heroes of the modern times” wherein they can be instrumental in pursuing better future and away from temptations of drugs and early pregnancy.

Cendaña said that since the 4Ps youth beneficiaries are given the chance to lift their families from poverty, it is important that they will know how to do that and be guided in this confusing world nowadays, wherein there are lots of tempting activities surrounding the youth that can have negative effects in their future or obstruct the fulfillment of their dreams.

PNP warns public vs motorcycle thieves

(PNA), CTB/CLTC

MANILA, Aug. 30 (PNA) -- Despite reports that motorcycle theft incidents went down for the month of August in Metro Manila, the Philippine National Police (PNA) reminded anew all motorcycle owners to be more vigilant against motorcycle thieves.

Chief Supt. Wilben Mayor, PNP Spokesperson, said the assessment of representatives from the Directorate for Investigation and Detective Management (DIDM) during the regular Lambat Sibat meeting in Camp Crame revealed that average incidents of motorcycle-napping rolls down from 63 cases in June 2014 to 39 average cases for the month of August 2015.

From the latest analysis of the DIDM dated August 17 to 23, 2015, Police District with the highest number of motorcycle-napping is Quezon City Police District (QCPD) with 15 incidents followed by Manila Police District (MPD) with 12 incidents and Southern Police District (SPD) with six (6) incidents. Eastern Police District (EPD) remains to have the lowest motorcycle-theft cases with only three (3) incidents on the said week.

However, significant decrease was recorded from the Northern Police District (NPD) with three incidents from 10 incidents last August 10 to 16, 2015.

Furthermore, DIDM’s ‘Top 2 Police Stations’ with the highest number of motorcycle-napping incidents are Lagro Police Station with four (4) cases; and Masambong, Talipapa and Ermita, all with three (3) cases.

Mayor said that even if the cases of motorcycle-napping in Metro Manila is on its downtrend, police authorities still warns the public to be more observant and alert when parking or leaving their motorcycles.

Thus, PNP advises the public of some safety tips like:

Always park your motorcycle at a safe, secure and well-lighted places or areas.

Install security alarm and security devices in your motorcycle.

Make sure to put tire-lock on your motorcycle at all times.

Do not leave your motorcycle with keys or unattended in public places.

The PNP’s Oplan Lambat-Sibat, as initiated by DILG Secretary Mar Roxas and the PNP leadership, regularly audit crime incident reports at the police station level and use its data to further generate and identify “crime hot spots” and “crime patterns” where and when intensified police interventions are necessary.

These interventions include strategically-placed checkpoints, foot &mobile patrols, focused and intelligence-driven operations against most wanted persons and member of criminal gangs.

QC-EPWMD collects 10,000 kilograms of toxic, hazardous waste

(PAISO QC/RJB/SDL/PIA-NCR)

QUEZON CITY, Aug. 29 (PIA)--The Quezon City Government, thru its Quezon City Environmental Protection and Waste Management Department (EPWMD), has collected a total of 10,011 kilograms of busted fluorescent lamps (BFL) and 30 kilograms of spent household batteries from selected Barangay Materials Recovery Facilities (MRF).

The activity is part of the implementation of the 2nd phase of its Toxic/ Hazardous Waste Collection, Treatment and Disposal Project which aim to ensure that toxic wastes are properly collected and disposed.

The 2nd phase of the collection were conducted in Barangays Vasra, Project 6, Bagong Pag-asa, Sto. Cristo, Ramon Magsaysay, Loyola Heights, Marilag, St. Ignatius, Blue Ridge A, Blue Ridge B, Holy Spirit and Culiat.

The hazardous wastes are collected and treated by Dolomatrix Philippines Inc., a DENR-accredited toxic and hazardous wastes hauler, prior to its final disposal at the Metro Clark Sanitary Landfill.

To implement the project, the Quezon City Government secured the necessary documents and permits from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources thru its Environmental Management Bureau-National Capital Region (DENR EMB-NCR) for selected Barangay Materials Recovery Facilities, thus, allowing the storage of busted fluorescent lamps (BFL) and spent household batteries.

To complement this, EPWMD Pollution Control Officers underwent training and accreditation by DENR to monitor the activities of the Barangay MRFs. Barangay Officials also underwent orientation on the proper handling of BFL and spent household batteries.

The project was created pursuant to Republic Act No. 9003, otherwise known as the “Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000”, and Quezon City Ordinance No. SP-1438, S-2005.

DSWD to launch Youth Development Session on Aug. 31

(PNA), SCS/LSJ

MANILA, Aug. 28 (PNA) -- The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) said on Friday it will be partnering with the Department of Education (DepEd) and the National Youth Commission (NYC) in the launching of the Youth Development Session (YDS) on Aug. 31.

According to DSWD Secretary Corazon J. Soliman, the YDS launching will be held at Tandang Sora National High School in Tandang Sora District, Quezon City from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Secretary Soliman said the YDS will be a modular session for the high school beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), also commonly known as the country’s version of the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) Program.

Soliman said the conduct of YDS is needed among high beneficiaries of 4Ps to reinforce on them values formation and help them cope with different peer pressures in their adolescent period, get idea on the challenges and how to face them as well as gain good perspective in terms of fulfilling their role as future nation builders.

The YDS will also serve as a tool for the said young generation (15 to 18 years old) to develop stronger family relationships, focus on their studies and ambitions while engaging in meaningful activities that can promote self-worth, define their identity, live with healthy lifestyle and even responsible parenting and others.

Through the conduct of YDS, the DSWD and its partners want to increase the understanding of the 4Ps high school beneficiaries on their changing bodies, minds, emotions, and roles in the society.

With the conduct also of YDS, the DSWD, through its partners, wants the youth, especially those belonging in the poor sector not to be included in the out-of-school youth (OSY) category by emphasizing that there are good choices available for them if they will be picking the right choices of activities and interests that can shape them as better persons capable of having promising future.

PNP holds consultation on gun control law

By Third Anne Peralta-Malonzo (Sunnex)

THE Philippine National Police (PNP) consulted stakeholders from the government and private sector on the implementation of the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act, a police official said Thursday.

The consultation held at Camp Crame, Quezon City was attended by members of the Joint Anti-Bank Robbery Action Committee (JABRAC), National Law Enforcement Coordinating Committee (NALECC), firearms and explosives manufacturers and dealers, security agencies, gun clubs, shooting associations and other law enforcement agencies.

PNP Civil Security Group (CSG) Acting Director Elmer Soria said the meeting aims to get inputs to ensure well-guided formulation of Implementing Rules and Regulations of Republic Act 10591.

“Everyone is encouraged to participate as there is no small or big idea coming from people who always dedicate their time to impart their views,” he said.

Earlier, PNP Firearms and Explosives Office chief Elmo Sarona said the new firearms law which was signed by President Benigno Aquino III on May 29, 2013 is under review to further streamline the processes and definitions.

Three provisions of the law however cannot be implemented pending resolution of the law's constitutionality by the Supreme Court.

These are centralizing the application and renewal of gun licenses at the Philippine National Police (PNP) headquarters in Camp Crame, utilizing any courier services for deliveries of approved firearms license cards and allowing the police, under the guise of inspection, to enter the dwelling of firearms applicants and owners without a court-issued search warrant.

Cecillia Suerte-Felipe, a gun owner of eight years, complained about the "too many" requirements to get a license.

“There are too many requirements. If they make it too tedious for legitimate gun owners to get a license, the number of loose firearms will just multiply,” she said, adding that it took her four days to renew her firearms licenses.

“That’s just too much time. Someone who has to work like me would have to file a leave or be absent just to have time to get those requirements,” Suerte-Felipe said.

Quezon City is new C40 global member

(PAISO QC/RJB/SDL/PIA-NCR)

QUEZON CITY, August 26 (PIA)--Quezon City has been welcomed by the C40 Cities Climate Change Leadership Group (C40) to its global network of 78 of the world’s megacities committed to addressing climate change. QC, the only city representing the Philippines in this network, was recognized for its determined climate-change mitigation initiatives.

Referring to Quezon City and two other new city entrants (Dubai and Bengaluru), president of the C40 Board and UN Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change Michael R. Bloomberg said, “The three new C40 cities are all fast-growing centers of commerce, culture and innovation, and each is taking important steps to confront climate change. As part of C40’s network, they’ll help build on the progress cities around the world are making, and set an example for others in their region.”

C40 offers cities an effective forum where they can collaborate, share knowledge and drive meaningful, measurable and sustainable action on climate change. Todate, C40 membership represents more than 500 million people. At last count, C40 cities alone were taking more than 8,000 actions in their borders to improve the city’s sustainability efforts.

Last June 2015, Mayor Herbert Bautista was invited to meet with C40 representatives Ms. Mandy Ikert, Head of Adaptation and Water Initiative; Ms. Laura Jay, Network Manager of Sustainable Urban Development; Ms. Kathryn Urquhart, Network Manager of Low Emission Vehicles; and Mr. Eric Ast, Manager of Research Special Projects at their office in 140 Park Avenue, New York City, to details areas of possible partnerships.

This alliance with C40 will enable Quezon City to access learning experiences that have worked effectively in other countries in this area of climate change and sustainability.

QC will also be in the learning loop for accessing climate change funds, both nationally and internationally, along with guidelines on accountability on the use of these funds.

QC can also use the C40 alliance to ventilate its positions / sentiments regarding the lack of determination of such countries as US and China to sign and adhere to Kyoto protocol agreements.

QC may also be tasked to push for Philippine lead in ASEAN for climate change initiatives. C40 lessons can also be tapped by QC to develop more sustainable communities, leading to carbon-negative neighborhoods.

QC Government turns over new homes for 94 families at Bistekville 4

(PAISO QC/RJB/SDL/PIA-NCR)

QUEZON CITY, August 25 (PIA)--The Quezon City government has turned over 94 socialized housing units to 94 indigent families at Bistekville 4 in a simple ceremony held at Metroheights, Visayas Avenue, Barangay Culiat on August 19, in celebration of Pres. Manuel L. Quezon’s social justice agenda of providing homes for the homeless.

Mayor Herbert M. Bautista lead the turnover ceremony with guest of honor DILG Secretary Mar Roxas, and House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte jr., together with House representatives Christopher “Kit” Belmonte, Jorge Banal, Alfred Vargas, Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte, members of the City Council, city Department Heads, other city and barangay officials and the beneficiaries and residents of the place.

The new housing project is an onsite resettlement program that is expected to benefit 266 families when fully completed. The civic sector partner is Habitat for Humanity.

This is one of 11 such socialized housing communities that the Quezon City Government has bidded out and is developing. Thus far, Bistekville 1 to 3 are already from 90 percent to 95 percent completed and occupied by more than 1,510 families.

Bistekville 4 was constructed on 9,200-sq. meter property owned by the city government, which will yield 68 units of row houses with loft and 150 units of two-storey walk-up row houses, when fully completed.

The construction of the houses was made possible through a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between the QC government, represented by Mayor Bautista, and Habitat for Humanity Foundation Philippines Foundation Inc. CEO Charlito Ayco, under Resolution 5750, as approved by the City Council on June 17, 2013.

The city’s socialized housing program has received recognition as a Model Governance Program by the Galing Pook Foundation and the Commission on Audit, because of its ability to do onsite resettlement and its sustainability. Financing for this program is being work through the Department of Interior and Local Government and the Socialized Housing Finance Corporation (SHFC).

The city’s socialized housing program addresses squarely the challenges that usually impede the success of resettlement efforts. The issues of affordability and access to financing has led to the development of three types of housing financing; through the Home Development Mutual Fund (Pag-Ibig) for those who can qualify as HDMF members, through the Socialized Housing Finance Corporation, for those eligible as high-density housing, and through the city government’s own financing program for those eligible for the two other financing sources. For those who cannot really afford and living in danger areas, their shelter needs are being worked at through the National Housing Authority.

The sites are mostly in-city, and some are onsite, so as not to dislocate the resettlers from their sources of livelihood. In addition, to ensure a steady source of income, the beneficiaries receive training in livelihood projects by such organizations as the Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP), which ties up the micro-producers with their member companies, which assures a sure market for the products. The LGU’s Sikap Buhay office also provides additional skills training.

(Feature) DSWD seeks support of academe, other sectors to ensure success of 'Oplan Balik Bahay, Sagip Buhay' program

By Leilani S. Junio [(PNA), SCS/LSJ]

MANILA, Aug. 24 (PNA) -- The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) said on Monday it is continuously seeking the support of both public and private institutions and other sectors to ensure the success of the "Oplan Balik Bahay, Sagip Buhay (OBBSB)" program as a way to address the long-pressing problem of street dwellers in the National Capital Region (NCR).

OBBSB is a project of the DSWD which aims to address the prevalence of "homeless families" in major thoroughfares in the NCR, particularly in the cities of Manila and Quezon, by providing a package of services designed to meet the needs of the beneficiaries and to keep families and their children out of the streets.

According to DSWD Secretary Corazon J. Soliman, to gather more support for the project, the DSWD, through its Field Office-NCR under Regional Director Ma. Alicia S. Bonoan, gathered at least 235 representatives from various academic institutions in the cities of Manila and Quezon for an orientation during the first week of August.

Among the academic institutions represented during the orientation were the University of Santo Tomas, Lyceum of the Philippines, St. John’s Academy, Philippine Normal University, Arellano University, St. Jude College, National Teacher’s College, together with representatives from public schools.

“They were oriented on the current status of homelessness in these two areas and on the Department’s ongoing implementation of OBBSB and the Modified Conditional Cash Transfer Program for Homeless Street Families (MCCT-HSF),” Secretary Soliman said.

The MCCT-HSF is an expansion of the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) or the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), which is designed for poor households not included in the initial implementation of 4Ps in 2008.

Due to the reason that the said poor families had no “permanent address” during the evaluation conducted by the National Household Targetting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR), they were not included in the initial list of poor identified to be recipient of the government’s program in helping the poor to become empowered members of society through the 4Ps.

Recognizing the problem which needed to be addressed, the DSWD piloted the MCCT-HSF to evaluate its effects and examine also how it can be enhanced.

Under the MCCT-HSF, the DSWD gives cash grants to the family beneficiaries with the condition of sending the children to the nearest public schools where the DSWD rents for them a small abode where they can decently live and be protected from the dangers of living in the streets.

From the MCCT-HSF, the OBBSB was conceptualize to provide a clearer picture of the complete package of assistance needed for the said families in order to sustain or prevent them from going back to the streets again so that the problem will not be repetitive.

The formation of OBBSB came out after a series of consultations and meetings among local government units (LGUs) of QC and Manila together with various leaders, non-governmental organizations, business establishment owners, religious groups and other government agencies.

Under OBBSP, it was agreed that there must really be responsive shelter program, access to social services, and economic opportunities for the improvement of the street families' living conditions so that the goal to really end that problem will be fully achieved and not just be in the drawing board.

It was also agreed that the DSWD will extend house rental assistance of up to P4,000 per month to the families for six months to one year.

The house rental is being shouldered by DSWD in order to develop the mindset of the beneficiaries who have been used to living in the streets the “good sides” of living in a safe abode wherein they are comfortable and away from threatening conditions.

At the same time, the agency is also giving them a chance and choice to "change" the future of their children.

As the program encourages the children to go back to schooling and seek check-up and immunization at the health centers in exchange for incentives through the cash grants, the said poor sectors eventually learn to value the importance of education and health.

Knowing that there is a need for “sustainability” wherein the said sector should develop the capability to pay the apartment rental on their own after a maximum period of one year, the problem about how to do it is being addressed through various partnerships and programs with different sectors to develop their skills and become employable or get a source of income.

This is done by employing some of them in such jobs as sweepers at the Rizal Park in Manila and the Quezon Memorial Circle in Quezon City.

Some are also trained in livelihood programs and other income-generating enterprises.

A total of 3,500 street families are targeted to be removed from the streets and who shall receive a package of educational, health, shelter, and livelihood assistance in preparation for their community reintegration.

To date, there are a total of 2,586 family beneficiaries of the MCCT-HSF in the NCR.

During the orientation, the participants expressed their commitment to help the DSWD by conducting feeding programs and community activities, monitoring of MCCT-students in their schools, and raising awareness, among others.

Secretary Soliman said that addressing the concerns of homeless families cannot be handled solely by the DSWD and this is the reason why the agency continues to coordinate with various stakeholders such as the academe to solidify convergence in the implementation of projects for the sector.

The DSWD chief once more urged the public to actively participate in reporting the presence of street children/street dwellers to the DSWD Twitter Account, @savestreetkids, for rescue, profiling, assessment and subsequent provision of appropriate interventions.

QC tops list of affordable office space in Metro Manila

By CATHERINE TALAVERA (REPORTER)

Even as the office space market continues to drive the property sector onward and office rental rates grow further, affordable office space remains still abundant in areas outside the established Central Business Districts.

A research published by property listing portal Lamudi.ph shows that Quezon City still hosts the most affordable office spaces in the Metro at an average rental rate of P503.79 per square meter.

Although Eastwood City in Libis, Quezon City commands a monthly rent of P1208 per sqm, there are affordable options this city has to offer including office units that go for P185 per sqm.

Apart from affordable office spaces, Lamudi notes that a “huge population, which ensures companies a steady supply of labor,” lives in the former Philippine capital. Needless to say that several townships in the city are “in the works, which will increase the city’s office inventory.”

Second on the list of affordable office spaces is Mutinlupa City with an average monthly rate of P517 per sqm. The most expensive office could go as high as P781 per sqm in the Alabang area, with the going for P350 per sqm.

Mutinlupa will see a number of townships completed in the next few years, according to Lamudi, citing Avida’s South Park District as a significant addition to the office market inventory.

Despite hosting the eastern section of the Ortigas Center, Pasig City is third on the list. The average rental rate is at P526 per sqm with the most expensive at P1,200 per sqm. Rental rates outside the business district can go as low as P236 per sqm.

Fourth is Manila at P571 per sqm on average. The rates in the capital city may go as high as P837 per sqm and as low as P216 per sqm.

Mandaluyong City is fifth with the third most expensive rental rates. The city houses the western section of the Ortigas Center where the average monthly rate goes for P589 per sqm. The rates in the business district may go as high as P1,212 per sqm.

Makati was named as the second most expensive city when it comes to office rental rates due to the availability of premium-grade towers. On average, the rental rates are at P635 per sqm. The high-rise offices on Ayala Avenue could go as high as P1,400 per sqm.

Lamudi crowned Taguig City as the most expensive with an average monthly rent of P763 per sqm, owing to the fact that most of the office listings on Lamudi’s website are either in the posh Bonifacio Global City (BGC) or the equally luxurious McKinley Hill. Both are relatively new townships.

The research was based on the more than 80,000 rental listings on Lamudi’s.

QC commemorates Cry of Pugad Lawin's 119th anniversary Sunday

(PNA), JBP/LSJ

MANILA, Aug. 22 (PNA) -- The Quezon City government will be celebrating the 119th anniversary of the Cry of the Pugad Lawin on Sunday, August 23, at the Pugad Lawin shrine in Barangay Bahay Toro, Quezon City at 9:00 in the morning.

The event is a yearly commemoration of the start of the Philippine Revolution against Spanish rule, launched by the Katipuneros led by Andres Bonifacio on August 23, 1896.

The event is usually highlighted by wreath-laying ceremonies and attended by various leaders in QC government, officers and members of Pugad Lawin Philippines Inc, students and other civil society organizations.

The event is also described by historians as the day when some 1,000 Katipuneros led by Bonifacio gathered at Pugad Lawin and declared themselves and all the people of the islands as free and sovereign nation by tearing their cedula, a symbol of vassalage to Spain.

Visitors during the celebration can also have the chance to see the symbols of that historical tearing of cedulas through the life-size statues representing different Philippine heroes who participated in the fight for freedom against oppressive Spanish rule.

PDEA tipster gets P1.5M

(PDEA/RJB/JEG/PIA-NCR)

QUEZON CITY, Aug. 21 (PIA) – A civilian informant recently received a cash reward of P1.5 million from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) under its Operation Private Eye (OPE).

PDEA Director General Undersecretary Arturo G. Cacdac, Jr. said, OPE is a citizen-based information collection program of the PDEA, the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) and various non-government organizations involved in the national campaign against illegal drugs.

The tipster “Eboy,” was rewarded for providing information which resulted to the dismantling of a large scale clandestine laboratory used in the manufacture of methamphetamine hydrochloride, or shabu, during the implementation of a search warrant in Masbate City on February 14, 2015 by joint operatives of PDEA Special Enforcement Service (PDEA-SES) and PNP-Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Force (PNP-AIDSOTF).

To report illegal drug activities, informants could send the information to PDEA “Operation “Private Eye” c/o Room 207 PDEA Bldg., NIA Northside Road, National Government Center, Brgy. Pinyahan, Quezon City, Tel No. (02) 927-9702 local 150, Fax No: (02) 927-2899; or personally submit to the nearest PDEA office.

DA counting on El Niño measures to hit 2015 goal

By Alden M. Monzon (Reporter)

THE AGRICULTURE department is maintaining its 2015 target for farm production growth this year as it pinned its hopes on countermeasures to offset the El Niño weather phenomenon episode, which is expected to worsen towards year’s end.

“Our contraction [during the last quarter] is only 0.37%. That’s too small,” Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala told reporters in Filipino on the sidelines of the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement between the Department of Agriculture (DA), the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) and the Department of Agrarian Reform in Quezon City on the government’s Block Farm Program.

“At the department, we do not just lower the target for the year because that is tantamount to surrendering,” he said further.

Last week, the Philippine Statistics Authority’s Bureau of Agricultural Statistics reported that the volume of farm production contracted by 0.37% in the second quarter, due to the intense heat during April, May and June.

Despite this, Mr. Alcala admitted that the foreseen water shortage in the coming months due to the El Niño phenomenon is worrisome as it affects the production not just of rice, but of all crops, including corn, which will have a knock-on effect on feed supply.

“In the report, the production of rice and corn has diminished but at the end of the day, our livestock keeps on increasing... If corn will further deteriorate in the production, it will have an effect on our livestock,” he said.

The secretary however said that measures to counter these problems are being implemented, including changes to the normal planting practices of farmers and water conservation.

“One of the strategies we are doing is to encourage farmers to go into hybrid rice production. While some will experience water shortage, some will still have water and we want to maximize that,” Mr. Alcala said noting that farmers can increase their acreage by as much as 50% with this method.

Mr. Alcala also said that President Benigno S. C. Aquino III called for a meeting next week Wednesday of all department heads, who will be expected to lay out their projections for the rest of the year in accordance with the latest weather outlook from the state weather bureau.

Meanwhile, the government is expecting solid yields in the sugarcane industry with the government’s Block Farm Program, in which the smaller farms of agrarian reform beneficiaries are consolidated into larger units to take advantage of the economies of scale in production.

SRA Chief Ma. Regina Bautista-Martin said that based on experience, consolidated sugarcane farms can double production and lower costs through this system.

“Total right now, we have ninety-nine block farms [which] were given specific training and assistance,” she said.

The Block Farm Program is backed by a P1.5-billion fund allotted by the government through the Land Bank of the Philippines as well as P2 billion set aside for the Sugarcane Industry Development Act of 2015, which was signed by the President in March.

President Aquino graces opening of modernized 'Museo ni Manuel Quezon’

(PNA), SCS/PND/EDS

MANILA, Aug. 19 (PNA) -- President Benigno S. Aquino III joined officials of the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) and the Quezon City government during the inauguration of the newly renovated "Museo ni Manuel Quezon" at the Quezon Memorial Shrine in Quezon City on Wednesday.

The opening of the modernized museum coincided with the 137th birth anniversary of Quezon, who served as the president of the Philippine Commonwealth government from 1935 to 1944.

Upon arrival, President Aquino and NHCP Chairperson Dr. Maria Serena Diokno led the flag-raising and wreath-laying ceremonies at the shrine in front of the museum's entrance.

After the wreath-laying rite, the President witnessed the presentation of a posthumous award to the family of Quezon in recognition of his implementation of the open-door policy that allowed 1,200 Jews to migrate to the Philippines to escape the horrors of the Holocaust.

The posthumous award -- the Raoul Wallenberg Medal -- was presented by Israel Ambassador to the Philippines Effie Ben-Matityau to President Quezon's daughter, Zenaida Quezon Avancena, and grandson, Manuel Luis "Manolo" Quezon III.

After the awarding ceremony, President Aquino returned in front of Quezon's bust to bang the gavel on the table, which marked Quezon's act of opening the Senate sessions from 1916 until he became president in 1935, to signal the formal opening of the newly refurbished museum.

The President toured the museum, which features the life and political career of Quezon and explains the historical context in which he emerged as the leader of the country.

The museum has a sizable collection of the late president’s memorabilia, a hologram of Quezon delivering his inaugural address, and various interactive booths and terminals that show information about the Commonwealth period. It also offers other facilities, such as the audiovisual room, which presents a brief documentary about Quezon and the museum; a gallery dedicated to Aurora Quezon; and a recreation of Quezon's office.

Also present during the museum opening were House of Representatives Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr., Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista and Vice Mayor Maria Josefina Belmonte, and Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff Hernando Iriberri.

QC remembers late President Manuel L. Quezon with a stage play

By Leilani S. Junio [(PNA), RMA/LSJ]

MANILA, Aug. 18 (PNA)-- The Quezon City government, through the Diamond Jubilee Commission, will conduct the premiere showing of “MLQ: Ang Buhay ni Manuel Luis Quezon, Isang Dula” at new Frontier Theater in Cubao on Wednesday, as part of the Quezon City's 75 founding anniversary celebration.

The play will be shown on Aug. 20, 25, 26, 27 and 28.

There will be two showings per day: 10 a.m. – 12 noon and 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.

The play was first presented in 2009, during the 70th anniversary of the founding of QC, wherein the PETA Theater served as performance venue.

The play highlights s the life and legacy of the late, great President Manuel L. Quezon wherein his historical and his heroic contributions to the establishment of an independent Philippines were narrated.

This play also hopes to be a catalyst for people to have a better awareness and appreciation of the sacrifices and patriotism of Quezon who is remembered also as “Father of the Philippine National Language” for advocating Filipino language amendments.

Manuel Luis Quezon y Molina was born in Tayabas, Quezon on Aug. 19, 1878.

He served as president of the Commonwealth of the Philippines from 1935 to 1944.

He was the first Filipino to head a government of the Philippines and was considered to have been the second president of the Philippines, after Emilio Aguinaldo (1897–1901).

He was first Senate President elected to the presidency, the first president elected through a national election and the first incumbent to secure re-election.

During his presidency, Quezón tackled the problem of landless peasants in the countryside.

Other major decisions include reorganization of the islands' military defense, approval of recommendation for government reorganization, promotion of settlement and development in Mindanao, dealing with the foreign stranglehold on Philippine trade and commerce, proposals for land reform, and opposing graft and corruption within the government.

During his exile in the United States, he died of tuberculosis at Saranac Lake, New York on Aug. 1, 1944.

He was buried in the Arlington National Cemetery until the end of World War II, when his remains were moved to Manila.

His final resting place is the Quezon City Memorial Circle.

QCHD, DOH and pharmaceutical partner activate schools in anti-dengue campaign

(PNA), SCS/LSJ/EDS

MANILA, Aug. 17 (PNA) -- The Quezon City Health Department (QCHD), in partnership with the Department of Health (DOH) and pharmaceutical company Sanofi Pasteur, will launch a massive dengue awareness campaign on Tuesday to gather QC public schools' active participation in the drive against dengue-prone areas.

Mayor Herbert Bautista and Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte have been invited to lead the campaign launch, which will be held at the Esteban Abada Elementary School in Barangay Veterans Village in Project 7.

The campaign, known as Dengue Mission Buzz 2015, will be anchored on the revival of the "4 O’clock Habit" -- a campaign strategy adopted by the DOH where community members search and destroy mosquito breeding places every 4 p.m. in a bid to contain the spread of the deadly disease which usually peaks during the months of July and August.

The Dengue Mission Buzz 2015, which has the theme “Linisin ang Kapaligiran, Dengue ay Maiwasan,” will be highlighted by a parade and a dance competition among students enrolled in public schools.

To date, 13 schools have already confirmed their participation in the event. These are Sto. Cristo Elementary School, San Francisco Elementary High School, Bagong Silangan Elementary School, Batasan Hills National High School, Quirino Elementary School, Quirino High School, Diosdado Macapagal Elementary School, Don A. Roces High School, Kaligayahan Elementary School, San Bartolome High School, Bonifacio Memorial Elementary School, Culiat High School and host Esteban Abada Elementary School.

The inter-school dance competition carries a grand prize of PhP 10,000, while PhP 7,000 and PhP 5,000 cash await the second and third placers, respectively.

Based on the Aug. 8 dengue update provided by the QCHD Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit, a total of 1,958 dengue hemorrhagic cases were recorded in QC from Jan. 1 to Aug. 8, this year.

Barangays Holy Spirit, Batasan Hills, Fairview, Commonwealth and Greater Lagro registered the most number of dengue hemorrhagic fever cases.

20 groups back QC Council resolution vs foreign waste dumping in Payatas

(PNA), SCS/PR/PJN

MANILA, Aug. 16 (PNA) -- Environmental, labor and women's groups urged the Quezon City Council to fast-track the unanimous adoption of a resolution that will serve as a deterrent against any move to dump Canadian garbage in Payatas, Quezon City.

Proposed Resolution No. 19CC-1131, introduced by District 1 Councilor Dorothy Delarmente, seeks to “express strong disapproval against any plan to dispose foreign waste at the Payatas Sanitary Landfill.”

Backing the City Council’s approval of the resolution are Quezon City-based groups such as Ang NARS, Arugaan, Associated Labor Unions-TUCP, Bangon Kalikasan Movement, Ban Toxics, Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino-NCR, Citizens' Organizations Concerned with Advocating Philippine Environmental Sustainability, EcoWaste Coalition, Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives, Green Convergence, Greenpeace, Health Care Without Harm, Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment, Mother Earth Foundation, Oceana Philippines, Piglas Kababaihan, Public Services Labor Independent Confederation, Sentro ng mga Nagkakaisa at Progresibong Manggagawa, WomanHealth Philippines and Zero Waste Philippines.

"The resolution, which is not contentious at all, should be swiftly passed by the councilors to send a clear signal that garbage imports from Canada and elsewhere will not be allowed in Payatas,” said Aileen Lucero, Coordinator, EcoWaste Coalition.

"Its passage is one great gift that the councilors can give as the city marks on August 19 the 137th birth anniversary of former President Manuel Luis Quezon after whom the city was named. They will surely earn ‘ganda’ and ‘pogi’ points for saying ‘no’ against dumping,” she said.

“Whether hazardous or not, as some quarters would claim, the controversial garbage would not qualify as ‘municipal waste’ because it’s not locally generated,” she added.

Republic Act No. 9003, the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act, defines “municipal waste as wastes produced from activities within local government units.”

“Like the Tarlac Provincial Board, we appeal to the QC Council to take a patriotic and precautionary stand versus foreign waste dumping in Payatas and the Philippines for that matter,” Lucero stated.

According to the proposed resolution, “the Bureau of Customs is reportedly scurrying for alternative sites where the illegal garbage imports from Canada can be disposed of after Tarlac and Bulacan officials have raised legitimate objections to foreign waste being dumped in local landfills.”

"The Quezon City Council finds the dumping of foreign waste into our country as totally inexcusable and unacceptable and demands that such unethical and unlawful act be brought to a halt,” the proposed resolution stated.

From June 2013 to January 2014, a total of 103 shipping containers of mixed garbage from Canada misdeclared as “plastic scraps” for recycling were illegally exported to the Philippines.

Trash from 26 of these containers were dumped at a landfill in Capas, Tarlac from June 26 to July 8 without authorization from the provincial government, prompting the local authorities to immediately stop further dumping of the foreign garbage in the facility.

Such illegal importation of garbage contravenes national and international laws, including the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources Administrative Order 1994-28 (Interim Guidelines for the Importation of Recyclable Materials Containing Hazardous Substances), Republic Act 6969 (Toxic Substances and Hazardous and Nuclear Wastes Control Act) and Republic Act 9003 (Ecological Solid Waste Management Act), as well as the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal, which also covers “wastes collected from households.

LRT-1 southbound passengers can use “beep” cards starting Aug 16

(LRTA/RJB/SDL/PIA-NCR)

QUEZON CITY, Aug. 15 (PIA)--The Light Railway Transit Authority (LRTA) announced Friday that passengers of LRT-1 on southbound journeys can use the “beep” cards starting on Sunday.

In a statement, private supplier AF Payments Inc. CEO Peter Maher said a successful trial was conducted on the southbound direction of LRT-1.

AF Payments Inc. has conducted selling activities for pre-loaded beepTM cards from August 10 to 14 at seven LRT-1 stations (Roosevelt, Doroteo Jose, Central, EDSA, Gil Puyat, Monumento and Baclaran).

The “beep” cards can be purchased at P100 (with P80 load) from beepTM promo personnel in the said stations.

“The southbound direction of all 20 stations (from Roosevelt to Baclaran) will be ready to sell and re-load beepTM SVCs as well as the new Single Journey Tickets (SJT) and have gates that accept the new contactless cards beginning Sunday, August 16,” Maher said.

Maher said they are encouraging commuters who regularly use LRT-1 to purchase their beepTM cards during the pre-selling period so they don’t have to line up to buy their cards on August 16.

He added that in the first week of the public trial, "passengers should allow more time to purchase their ticket as the riding public familiarizes itself with the new system."

Pre-loaded beep cards will also be available for purchase beginning August 17 at the following locations: Unibersidad de Manila, Philippine Normal University, Technical University of the Philippines, Masagana Building and Victory Mall.

Consumers who purchased a beepTM card in LRT-2 may also start using it on LRT-1 (Southbound direction only) beginning August 16.

The Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA) has stopped selling magnetic cards for LRT-1 stations since August 8. But holders of the magnetic stored value cards may get a cash refund for the remaining value of their cards in all LRT-1 station Teller’s Booths from August 8 to 15.

LRTA spokesperson Atty. Hernando Cabrera said that after August 15, cash refund will no longer be accommodated.

However, Cabrera said that any unused credit in an old magnetic SVC may be transferred to the new beep card beginning August 16.

“This may only be done in the LRT-1 Central Station Teller’s Booth,” Cabrera added.

DND-AFP, DILG-PNP bolster alliance against insurgencies

By Kristel Claudine D. Aslanbaigi

QUEZON CITY, Aug. 14 (PIA) – In hopes of countering insurgencies, agencies concerned with territorial defense and public order and safety came together to reaffirm cooperation and enhance existing coordination mechanisms, today.

These were made possible through the joint signing of the Revised Joint Implementing Rules and Regulations (RJIRR) to Executive Orders 546 and 110.

The RJIRR is a policy measure enjoining the Department of National Defense (DND), the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), the PNP and the AFP to further enhance cooperation and coordination in combating insurgencies.

Said policy is also expected to clarify operational procedures and roles of the AFP and PNP in connection with the implementation of the abovementioned executive orders that pertain to PNP’s support to the AFP’s internal security operations (ISO).

Under the RJIRR, the PNP QUAD composed of Operations, Intelligence, Police Community Relations and Investigations, is mandated to give support to the AFP Triad composed of Combat Operations, Intelligence, and Civil Military Operations.

Aside from these agencies, the RJIRR considers the crucial role local government units play in ISO, hence the policy tasks the DILG to ensure that LGUs act within their prescribed duties and functions to support the implementation of the RJIRR without prejudice to the Local Government Code 1991 and other applicable laws.

Aside from being a mechanism that ensures cooperation between the AFP, PNP and LGUs in addressing all peace and security concerns, the RJIRR also covers emergencies and calamities.

Secretary of National Defense Voltaire Gazmin and Undersecretary Atty. Edwin Enrile, representing Secretary of Interior and Local Government Mar Roxas, in the presence of General Hernando DCA Iriberri, Chief of Staff AFP, and Police Director General Ricardo C. Marquez, Chief of PNP, signed the RJIRR at the AFP Commissioned Officers’ Club in Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo.

QCPD to deploy more traffic enforcers near accident prone areas

By Francis T. Wakefield

After the tragic Valisno bus accident which claimed four lives Wednesday morning, the chief of the Quezon City Police District (QCPD) has ordered the deployment of additional traffic enforcers particularly near road accident prone areas in Quezon City.

Police Chief Supt. Edgardo Gonzales Tinio, QCPD director, gave the orders to Quezon City District-District Traffic Enforcement Unit (QCPD-DTEU) Chief, Police Superintendent Ely Pintang during a meeting and inspection he conducted to traffic personnel in Camp Karingal.

He said although there are other factors that could be attributed in traffic accidents, the deployment of additional traffic personnel will be helpful especially when motorists are reported to be driving recklessly which often result in fatal accidents.

“Aside from doing normal traffic management and direction, the presence of the traffic enforcers in accident prone areas will also be helpful in rendering immediate assistance to motorists who need help,” Tinio said.

Meanwhile, Pintang identified some of the thoroughfares in Quezon City as accident prone as Regalado cor. Minadanao Avenue; Don Mariano Marcos Ave. cor. Labayani; Quirino Highway in Gulod Novaliches; C.P Garcia and Katipunan Avenues; Aurora Boulevard; Don A. Roces Avenue and Scout Tobias Street; EDSA cor. Aurora Ave.; EDSA cor. Kamuning Road; EDSA cor. Timog and Santolan Roads; Commonwealth cor. Tandang Sora Ave.; Commonwealth cor. Winston St. in Fairview; Mindanao Ave.; Congressional and Visayas Avenues.

On Wednesday, four people died in an accident after a Valisno Bus rammed into a concrete marker along Quirino Highway in Quezon City.

JSDF head visits PHL counterpart Wednesday

(PNA), RMA/PFN

MANILA, Aug. 12 (PNA) --- The head of the Japan Self Defense Forces (JSDF), Admiral Katsutoshi Kawano, paid a visit to his Filipino counterpart at Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City Wednesday.

The courtesy call to Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief-of-staff Gen. Hernando DCA Iriberri took place 3: 30 p.m.

Kawano will stay in the Philippines until Aug. 14 to observe the activities under the Pacific Partnership (PP) 15.

Pacific Partnership is an annual humanitarian and civic assistance exercise aimed at strengthening international relationships with partner and host nations in the Asia-Pacific Regions.

It started last May and will end in September this year.

It is the largest annual multilateral humanitarian assistance and disaster relief preparedness mission conducted in the Indo-Asia-Pacific Region.

Its missions have provided medical care, veterinary services and critical infrastructure developments to host nations through engineering projects.

The PP15 also includes advance disaster risk reduction trainings for stakeholders, multilateral leadership forum on gender and development, partnered training with barangay health workers, biomedical repair exchanges, and a disaster risk reduction forum intended to enhance international response to natural disasters.

Among the highlights of PP15 is the medical mission being conducted by personnel from various countries onboard the Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) which arrived in the Philippines last July 18.

PNP assesses performance of Crame security guards

By Third Anne Peralta-Malonzo (Sunnex)

THE Philippine National Police (PNP) is reviewing its policy of tapping private guards to secure the gates of its headquarters in Camp Crame, Quezon City.

PNP chief Ricardo Marquez said they are conducting performance evaluation of all the security guards deployed in Camp Crame to determine if they will renew the contract with the Right Eight Security Agency Inc.

He said the PNP will review if they are able to provide security in the camp as much as the policemen do.

Seventy-three security guards are assigned in four gates of the PNP headquarters. They are rotated in three eight-hour shifts to make sure that the security inside the camp is continuous day and night.

In November 2014, then PNP chief Alan Purisima approved the replacement of cops manning the police camp gates to deploy them in the streets to boost police visibility in the wake of the increasing criminality particularly in Metro Manila.

Marquez said around 500 policemen in Metro Manila have been removed from their desk jobs to man the streets.

He said such project supports his goal of improving police presence in communities as a deterrent to crime.

BIR’s electronic registration resumes Aug. 10

By Susan G. de Leon (PIA-NCR/RJB/SDL)

QUEZON CITY, AUG. 10 (PIA)--The Bureau of Internal Revenue’s (BIR) online application for taxpayer identification numbers, or TINs is now back in operation starting Monday, August 10.

BIR Deputy Commissioner for information systems group Lilia C. Guillermo, in a memorandum issued August 7 said, the technical issues encountered in eREG System that made it go offline for several months have been resolved.

Guillermo advised taxpayers and all eREG users to use online TIN applications as Revenue district offices will no longer manually issue TlNs.

The BIR eREGISTRATION (eREG) system is a web application system for various taxpayer registration services, such as TIN issuance, payment of registration fee and issuance of Certificate of Registration

The eTIN is a module of the eREG System. It offers convenient access to application for Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) over the internet.

It currently caters to the following types of individual taxpayers: Self-employed individuals such as Single Proprietors and Professionals, Mixed Income Earners (e.g. employee and single proprietor and/or professional at the same time), Employees, and Executive Order (E.O.) No. 98.

Quezon City garbage hauling expenses up

By Reina Tolentino

The local government of Quezon City’s expenses for collection and hauling of garbage to sanitary dumps reached over a billion last year, according to a 2014 audit report by the Commission on Audit (COA).

Based on the city’s consolidated statement of income and expenses, it spent P1,014,195,457 for Environment/Sanitary Services in 2014.

The figure has been increasing since 2009, when P755,264,596 was spent.

In 2010, it rose to P828,714,386 then P920,757,953 in 2011.

The collection expenses fell to P903,715,477 in 2012 and again rose to P994,590,354 in 2013.

Quezon City is followed by Manila, the country’s capital, which spent P512.564 million for garbage hauling in 2013 and Makati City, the business capital, which paid P440.157 million in the same year.

Quezon City is the largest of 16 cities and one municipality in Metro Manila both in terms of population and land area.

It covers almost one-fourth of Metro Manila (National Capital Region) with 16,112.8 ha. or 160 sq. km. and its population of more than 2.9 million is the biggest in the NCR.

The P1.014 billion would mean about P340 from each resident.

Aquino lauds Oplan Lambat Sibat on PNP’s 114th Service anniversary

By Susan G. de Leon (PIA-NCR/RJB/SDL)

QUEZON CITY, Aug. 08 (PIA) -- President Benigno S. Aquino III lauded Philippine National Police’s Oplan Lambat Sibat saying that the campaign accomplished a lot by keeping a decreasing trend in the National Capital Region crime rate.

Aquino yesterday (Friday, August 7) led the celebration of the 114th Police Service Anniversary in simple ceremonies at the PNP National Headquarters in Camp Crame, Quezon City.

The President claimed crime cases, particularly murder, homicide and theft, have gone down compared to last year's numbers.

”Ayon sa pinakahuling datos: Mula sa 37 na kaso ng murder at homicide kada linggo sa National Capital Region mula Enero hanggang Hunyo 2014, bumaba ito sa 21 nitong Hulyo,” the President said.

He added the program will now be expanded to cover Regions 3 and 4.

“Dahil nga sa positibong resultang hatid ng Oplan Lambat-Sibat, pinalawak na rin natin ang saklaw nito; inilunsad na rin natin ito sa Region 3 at 4,” the President added.

Since the campaign began in June 2014, crimes in Metro Manila was reduced by more than 60 percent as of mid-June 2015.

From an average of 919 incidents last year, criminality went down to 315 incidents this year.

These incidents include street crimes like robbery, theft and carnapping.

Thru the relentless operations of Oplan Lambat Sibat, 438 of the Most Wanted Persons in Metro Manila were caught.

The PNP Directorate for Intelligence (DI) noted that out of 75 Criminal Gangs being watched by the PNP operatives, 43% were neutralized and 32% were degraded.

However, the DI said that elements of different PNP units are still on guard and looking for the remaining 25% of active criminal gangs in the NCR.

Oplan Lambat Sibat was designed as a unified intel target operations of the PNP using combined intelligence resources of various operating units.

Google celebrates Buwan ng Wika, launches Love Your Language campaign

(RJB/SDL/PIA-NCR)

QUEZON CITY, Aug. 7 (PIA)-- In celebration of Buwan ng Wika, Google Philippines invites every Filipino including translators, language lovers, and culture enthusiasts to contribute to the Google Translate Community to help bridge language barriers and bring the Filipino and Cebuano languages and cultures better representation online to share with the rest of the world.

In line with this, Google Philippines launched a nationwide translation campaign called Love Your Language, a first translate-a-thon to improve the quality of Filipino and Cebuano translations online.

Throughout August, Google is holding a series of Love Your Language translate-a-thons across the country through several community-led and campus-led events in Bacolod, Baguio, Cagayan de Oro, Cebu, Dagupan, Davao, General Santos, Guimaras, Halsema, Iligan, Iloilo, La Union, Los Banos, Makati City, Pangasinan, Quezon City, and Zamboanga.

According to Google Philippines Head of Communications and Public Affairs, Gail Tan, the Google Translate Community is a platform for Filipinos to express national pride and love for our local language through their contributions.

“Through this dedicated community effort, we believe that the Filipinos can build a web that truly works for them as they make Filipino and Cebuano languages better understood and appreciated online by both native and non-native speakers,” Tan said.

Individuals and organizations who want to help translate as part of Love Your Language in the Philippines can get more information and register at https://sites.google.com/site/loveyourlanguagephilippines/ or https://goo.gl/HPwI3Z.

Participants are encouraged to share their Google Translate Community anecdotes through their social media channels using hashtags #LoveYourLanguagePH or #GoogleTranslatePH.

Filipino blind singers, musicians perform exceptionally in "First Himig Tanglaw"

By Lily O Ramos [(PNA), LAM/LOR]

MANILA, Aug. 5 (PNA) -- Being blind, deaf, mute, bipolar or having some limb missing should not be an obstacle for persons with disabilities (PWDs) to become a successful worker anytime, anywhere.

Even in the arts, many PWDs can become famous.

Look at blind Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli who is now known as the best aria singer in the world today; legendary American singer/composer Stevie Wonder who sold dozen albums of classics worldwide; and Puerto Rico’s gifted guitarist-singer-composer Jose Feliciano of the "Feliz Navidad" fame.

The Philippines does not lack blind singers, musicians or instrumentalists as shown in Tuesday’s First Himig Tanglaw Grand finals at the Sky Dome in SM North Edsa, Quezon City.

Massage therapist Charmaine Tonid of Negros Oriental rendered “The Prayer,” navigating the soft to high notes with crystal voice and ease with correct pronunciation of the English and Italian parts of the song to covet the grand prize in the solo competition.

Visually impaired but very determined to live life at its fullest, Tonid said she would love to become a professional singer if given the chance to do so like normal people.

If any record producer out there would like to give her an audition, the pretty girl said she is willing to sing her heart out.

Young and talented, she hopes to be singing someday before big crowds and entertaining the audience.

”A song can help wipe away the tears and pain inside or outside the heart,” she said. ”I also want to help my family financially."

The battle of the bands crown went to the Sharp Trouperz Band with their rendition of “Mangarap Ka,” a song popularized by local band After Image. The group's creativity include a rain of confetti during the performance and a rap by their lead singer that won the judges’ nod.

Aside from creativity, the group’s mastery of the drums, electronic piano and guitar added to their confidence as they sang and rapped with gusto without being drowned by instruments on stage.

The Trouperz can even beat many of the local bands if ranged against them in an open competition. Just like their colleagues, the blind band wants to have the chance to perform in concerts if anybody would gamble on their talent.

One of the crowd pleasers is Dennis Battong from Amuyong, Cagayan up north who sang “I Live My Life For You” with such zest and sparkle.

The judges gave Battong the credit for his clear pronunciation and enunciation of his piece while sitting down or standing in front of the awed judges.

Also a massage worker, his wish is to earn enough for his family and go out to the world to share his powerful voice if somebody offers him to sing live or through recording.

Musical patrons like conductor Ryan Cayabyab, Vic del Rosario, Alpha Records and radio stations would like to showcase and enhance the talents of these visually-impaired aspirants. They are just waiting for your call.

NHA to grant housing assistance to families of fallen soldiers

(AFP/RJB/KCDA/PIA-NCR)

QUEZON CITY, Aug. 4 (PIA) – With the passing of Resolution No. 5914 on March 31, 2015, the National Housing Authority (NHA) is bound to pursue the grant of housing assistance to the families of fallen armed personnel from both the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

The effort to provide said assistance is in line with the national government’s recognition of the departed combatants’ selfless sacrifice in the fulfillment of their duties to their country and fellowmen.

As the Presidential Management Staff (PMS) confirms this good news with the AFP, the families of the fallen soldiers can now look forward to getting new houses with AFP’s parallel implementation of the Killed-In-Action (KIA) Off-Base Housing Program.

For the beneficiaries to avail of the KIA Housing Program, they simply have to submit their names, registered mailing address, contact numbers and preferred sites among the President Benigno Simeon Aquino III (PBSAIII) Housing sites to the AFP Housing Board for endorsement to the NHA.

KIA beneficiaries are also advised to get in touch with Ms. Beth Campanano of the Housing Management Division of AFPREP at Camp Emilio Aguinaldo, Quezon City for details/processing. Contact numbers are (02) 911-60-01 local 6922/6782 and/or 09173909034.

General Hernando DCA Iriberri, Chief of Staff AFP, thanks the national government on behalf of all of AFP soldiers who perished in service of the country and their dependents. (AFP).

Maynilad launches new multi-channel customer service assistance

(MAYNILAD/RJB/JEG/PIA-NCR)

QUEZON CITY, August 3 (PIA) – Maynilad customers can now reach Maynilad’s customer service agents through SMS and social media channels Facebook and Twitter.

“Part of our efforts to improve services to our almost 9 million customers is to ensure that we are more accessible to them. With these new customer touch points, we hope to become more responsive to their concerns,” said Maynilad President and CEO Ricky P. Vargas.

According to Maynilad, inquiries on water services, billing concerns, service interruptions, application requirements, septic tank desludging, and reports of pipe leaks or illegal connections, among other concerns can now be sent to Maynilad via its new Text Hotline 0998-864-1446.

To avail of this service, customers should type MAYNILAD <space> 8-digit Contract Account Number> <space> Complete Name <space> Message.

Likewise, customers may now also send their concerns through Maynilad’s official social media accounts in Facebook (www.facebook.com/MayniladWater) and Twitter (@maynilad).

Company updates and news may also be seen on Maynilad’s FB and Twitter accounts.

The new channels of communication are addition to Maynilad’s customer service Hotline 1626 and website www.mayniladwater.com.ph.

QC mulls twice-a-year shake drill

(People's Tonight)

Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista said the city now plans to institutionalize the conduct of earthquake drills in the city at least twice a year to raise public awareness and muscle memory on disaster preparedness.

If plans do not miscarry, Bautista said the city is planning to conduct a city-wide earthquake drill the last quarter of the year at the Quezon Memorial Circle, using the July 30 earthquake drill as template after it was described to be ‘generally successful.’

Bautista said that after the drill, the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council will also be conducting a gap analysis to address what are still lacking in the city’s disaster preparedness plan.

The city government is considering procuring water tankers and purifiers to ensure that potable water shall be provided to city residents during emergency situations. Under the plan, each of the city’s six districts shall have water treatment facility.

Earlier, Bautista called for a massive participation of all stakeholders in the July 30 metro-wide earthquake drill which was organized by the government to test the implementation of national and local contingency plans for emergency situations, including earthquakes.

Among those being mobilized by the mayor are the city’s 142 barangays, public and private schools, commercial establishments, people’s organizations, non-government organizations, government and private hospitals, churches, government offices, media organizations and other community-based institutions.

Bautista, together with National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) Chief Joel Pagdilao and QCDRRMC action officer Elmo San Diego, personally supervised the July 30 activity at QC Hall.

Aside from QC Hall, pocket drills were also conducted at Eastwood City, Veterans Memorial Hospital, Novaliches District Center and at SM and Trinoma malls. Eastwood City in Bgy. Libis hosted the biggest pocket drill.

Meanwhile, secretary to the mayor Tadeo Palma supervised the pocket drill at the Novaliches District Center.

During the July 30 activity, emergency responders from the QC Department of Public Order and Safety, QC Fire Department, Health Department, Social Services Development Department, Engineering Department and QC Red Cross demonstrated their rescue and response capabilities to highlight the city government’s continuing effort to provide the necessary emergency response services to city residents, especially in case of an earthquake that could emanate from the West Valley Fault.

PNP 114th police service celebration up

(PNA), RMA/PFN/SSC

MANILA, Aug. 1 (PNA) -- The Philippine National Police (PNP) has lined up a week-long activities to celebrate its 114th Police Service anniversary starting Monday till Aug. 7.

President Benigno S. Aquino III is expected to attend during the Aug. 7 event.

Through its Directorate for Police Community Relations (DPCR) and Police Community Relations Group (PCRG), the PNP will conduct various activities such as:

-- The Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony for the Regional Products Exhibit at the PNP Heritage Park, Camp Crame, Quezon City (Aug. 3 /9 a.m.);

-- Display of action photos on tourist destination, and Regional Products Exhibit at the PNP Heritage Park, Camp Crame, Quezon City (Aug. 3-6 / 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.);

-- 23rd PCRG Founding Anniversary at the PNP Multi-Purpose Center, Camp Crame, Quezon City (Aug. 3 / 9:30 a.m.);

-- Disaster Preparedness Symposium at the PNP Multi-Purpose Center, Camp Crame, Quezon City (Aug. 3 / 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.);

-- “Pulisteniks”, Arnis Exhibition and Rifle Exercises at the PNP Grandstand, Camp Crame, Quezon City (Aug. 4 / 4 a.m.);

-- PNP Mall Tours on Aug. 4 at 10 a.m. at Fisher Mall, Quezon Avenue, Quezon City and on Aug. 6 at 10 a.m. in Ever Gotesco Mall, Commonwealth, Quezon City;

-- School-Based Activities in Philippine Christian University, Manila and Ramon Magsaysay High School, Quezon City during the 1st week of August;

-- Film Showing at the PNP Multi-Purpose Center, Camp Crame, Quezon City (Aug. 5 / 9 a.m.); and

-- Entertainment Shows at the PNP Grandstand, Camp Crame, Quezon City (Aug. 5 / 4 a.m.).

DPCR head Director Wilfredo D. Franco said the activities desire to exemplify the PNP’s organizational mandate focusing on public safety through crime prevention and disaster preparedness.

It also aims to showcase the skills, talents, capability, and expertise of PNP personnel.

Among the highlights of the week-long celebration is the Display of action photos on tourist destination and Regional Products Exhibit.

A 6x6 ft booth will be provided for the participating Police Regional Offices by their respective Directorates for Integrated Police Operations (DIPO) and selected National Support Units.

The best booths will receive cash prizes amounting to Php20,000 for the 1st prize, Php15,000 for the 2nd prize and Php10,000 for the 3rd prize.

The culminating activity on Aug. 6 at 5:00 p.m. in Ever Gotesco Mall, Commonwealth will be highlighted by a musical festival, exhibition of the PNP Grand Marching Band, dance numbers by PNP Mascots, cultural shows and silent drills to be performed by the PNPA cadets.