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Quezon City News December 2017

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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?


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

EcoWaste, PAWS: Protect animals from firecracker noise

By Leilani Junio (PNA/Photo courtesy of the Philippine Animal Welfare Society)

MANILA -- The Ecowaste Coalition, together with the Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), on Friday reminded the public of ways to protect animals from the loud sound created by firecrackers during the New Year celebration.

“It is not only humans who are badly affected by the man-made chemicals, noise and waste pollution resulting from the explosion of firecrackers and pyrotechnics. Animals, particularly cats and dogs, suffer silently from the deafening mayhem,” EcoWaste campaigner, Tony Dizon, said during an interview at the PAWS Animal Rehab Center in Aurora Blvd., Loyola Heights, Quezon City.

Dizon said it is important to ensure that the animals are well-fed.

"As much as possible, ilagay natin sila sa isang lugar na halos di sila makakadinig ng anumang paputok (keep them in an area where they could not hear firecrackers)," he said.

Dizon said it would help if family members commit to make the house a “no firecracker zone" and to politely tell neighbors not to light or throw firecrackers near a pet owner’s house.

He suggested that pets be exercised during the morning of New Year’s Eve so they would be tired and sleepy by night; and be given a physical outlet for their pent-up energy due to arousal and stress.

Manage the environment so it would be as relaxing and stress-free as possible and provide the pet a temporary refuge, such as a quiet bedroom, and play it some soothing music, Dizon said.

He discouraged pet owners from yelling or laughing at their pets when the latter are cowering or shaking in fear.

On Friday, EcoWaste and PAWS were joined by animal lovers and their pets for the annual peaceful rally that aims to promote a safe, clean and animal-friendly celebration of the New Year.

They also had a discussion on the negative effects of firecrackers on pets and a talk on how to keep them calm during the New Year festivities.

QC gov’t appeals to residents to avoid using firecrackers


QUEZON CITY, Dec. 29 (PIA) -- A Quezon City government official appeals to the public to avoid using firecrackers and pyrotechnic devices during the New Year celebration.

Department of Public Order and Safety (DPOS) security and intelligence division chief Roger Cuaresma said they are looking forward to a zero firecracker related incident come New Year.

“Kung maaari huwag nang magpaputok. Ang objective naman ng batas natin ay maging safe tayo at maging maayos sa darating na bagong taon,” Cuaresma said.

Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista has issued Executive Order 10 spelling out regulations for the sale, distribution, and use of firecrackers and other pyrotechnic devices.

The EO directs the Barangay Operations Center (BOC) to require all the City’s Barangay Chairmen to designate a community fireworks display zone.

It also enumerated the authorized or permitted firecrackers and pyrotechnic devices that can be used at the fireworks display zones.

Cuaresma encouraged residents of Quezon City to follow the laws on the use of firecrackers and pyrotechnic devices if they cannot avoid using them at all.

“Yun pong mga gagamit ng paputok, siguraduhin na legal at pumasa sa standard. At sa mga nagbebenta, kelangan nasasakop yan ng batas, legal at definitely kailangan sumunod tayo sa mga alituntunin ng Quezon City. Magbenta sa mga designated vending area. At doon sa mga gagamit ng firecrackers at pyrotechnics makipag-coordinate tayo sa mga barangay at doon lang sa mga lugar na itinakda ng barangay dapat paputukin o pailawin ang ating pyrotechnics para na rin ito sa ating kaligtasan.” Cuaresma said.

QC hosts PH-Israel Friendship Park


QUEZON CITY (PIA) -- Quezon City continues to strengthen its partnership with other countries as Mayor Herbert Bautista leads the ground-breaking ceremony of the Philippine-Israel Friendship Park at the Quezon Memorial Circle that has been on December 2017, together with the officials of the Embassy of Israel and Quirino Foundation.

The Philippine-Israel Friendship Park will feature a marker to honor the late President Manuel Quezon’s effort to save the lives of over 1,000 Jewish refugees during World War II.

The marker also commemorates the vote made by the Philippines that favored the partition of Palestine and the recreation of the state of Israel.

Israeli Ambassador to the Philippines Effie Ben Matityau mentioned during the ceremony the “Open Doors” monument located at Rishon Lezion Memorial Park in Israel commemorating and honoring Filipinos and President Quezon.

President Quezon is also known as the “Asian Schindler” for allowing Jewish refugees to enter the Philippines during Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler’s reign.

Oskar Schindler is a German businessman who saved hundreds of lives of Jews from Hitler’s onslaught by providing them jobs in his industrial factory.

QC Vows to Keep Public Spaces Much Safer for Women

(Quezon City Government Official Website)

“We want women to be free from fear, to walk the streets of Quezon City without fear of being sexually harassed. The government of Quezon City is taking serious steps to implement the Ordinance, which aims to deter or discourage men from committing sexual harassment”, the City Administrator Aldrin Cuña said during the celebration of International Human Rights Day held at QC Hall Risen Garden on December 10, 2017.

The event coincided with the closing of the 16-Day Activism against Gender-based Violence, a global campaign joined by Quezon City. Cuña added that Quezon City is the only city among 23 other cities in the world to pass legislation that imposes penalties on catcalling, wolf-whistling and other forms of sexual harassment in public spaces. He said QC’s Anti-Catcalling Ordinance has become a model for other LGUs and cities abroad. The ordinance has also set the precedent for the drafting of a national law on anti-sexual harassment in the country.

The city official said that the city will further improve its Lighting Project, putting up more street lights in dark alleys and areas in the city.Meanwhile, Charisse Jordan of UN Women commended QC’s efforts in preventing gender-based violence and for joining the “Orange the World” campaign. “Many people in the community are still not aware that catcalling or wolf-whistling and other forms of sexual harassment are a punishable offense in the city, we want our barangays to be aware and to do something about it, too,” according to Kang Soriano of Parent Initiative for Social Awareness Mainstreaming & Advocacy (PINASAMA).The event was highlighted by a Flash Mob performed by Safe Cities Youth Theater Advocacy Group (#SCYTAG). Representatives from various community organizations such as PINASAMA and Damayan ng Maralitang Pilipinong Api (DAMPA), also joined the event.

Quezon City Receives DILG Manila BAYani National Environmental Compliance Audit Award

(Quezon City Government Official Website)

Quezon City Environmental Protection and Waste Management Department (EPWMD) head, Ms. Frederika Rentoy led QC officials in receiving the city’s 2014 National Environmental Compliance Audit (ECA) Award. QC's pioneering award was given during the 1st DILG Bayani Awards and Incentives Awarding Ceremonies at the Heritage last December 8, 2017, the first to be held since the launch of Manila BAYani in 2014.

The Manila BAYani Award is based on the compliance of LGUs in the Environmental Compliance Audit (ECA), a tool developed by the DILG to evaluate the implementation and compliance to Republic Act 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act in the city and barangay level. It also takes into consideration the local initiatives and innovations in environmental preservation. The award covers LGUs in the Manila Bay Area from Regions 3, 4A and NCR, as part of the efforts in intensifying the implementation of the Supreme Court Mandamus for the rehabilitation and preservation of the Manila Bay.

Validation for the award was conducted by the National ECA team composed of representatives from the DILG Manila Bay Program Management Office (PMO), Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Manila Bay Coordinating Office (DENR-MBCO), DENR-Environmental Management Bureau (DENR-EMB), the National Solid Waste Management Commission (NSWMC), Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), and the EcoWaste Coalition, as partner civil society organization for the award.

EcoWaste Coalition conducts “Iwas Paputoxic” drive for an injury-free, pollution-free New Year’s revelry


QUEZON CITY – “Iwas paputoxic: ligtas na, malinis pa.”

This was the resounding plea of the EcoWaste Coalition at the launch of its annual campaign to encourage the general public to greet the New Year in a safe and cleaner manner sans injurious and noxious firecrackers.

Held at the Marcelo H. Del Pilar Elementary School in Quezon City, the “Iwas Paputoxic” event drew the lively participation of some 1,000 students and their teachers who manifested their support to a firecracker-free and waste-free revelry.

Led by school principal Mrs. Aireen Dulfo, Miss Philippines Eco-Tourism Vanessa Mae Castillo and guests from the health and police departments, the school assembly showed a fun way of celebrating the New Year through the use of eco-friendly and safe noisemakers that will not pose danger to life, limb, property and the environment.

“Year in and year out, we usher in the New Year tallying the number of firecracker blast victims. We hope it will be a totally different scenario this time with the implementation of Executive Order No. 28, which provides for stricter regulation and control of the use of firecrackers and other pyrotechnic devices,” said Aileen Lucero, National Coordinator, EcoWaste Coalition.

“We urge everyone to rally behind the energized multi-sectoral campaign led by the Department of Health (DOH) to achieve zero firecracker-related injuries as the nation welcomes 2018, hopefully, with less toxic smoke and litter as well,” she said.

While there were no fatalities, some 630 firecracker-related injuries were recorded from December 21, 2016 to January 5, 2017 with banned piccolo as the ruthless culprit.

To hammer home the message that firecrackers are not toys, three students dressed themselves up as firecracker blast victims with tattered clothes, bloodied faces, and severed fingers.

The EcoWaste Coalition also pointed to a cleaner environment as another benefit of not igniting firecrackers, noting that young children, the elderly and persons with chemical sensitivities suffer the most from firecracker emissions.

The lighting of firecrackers, as well as fireworks, cause the release of air pollutants, including carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, particulate matters and other contaminants, which may aggravate asthma and respiratory tract infections and even trigger cardiac arrests.

Aside from the high levels of air pollutants, the detonation of firecrackers generates residual wastes such as charred containers and wrappers that are equally hazardous and cannot be recycled.

In lieu of firecrackers and other pyrotechnic devices, the EcoWaste Coalition recommends alternative means of merrymaking such as the use of kitchen and laundry utensils like pots, basins, and pails, as well as torotot and improvised maracas, shakers and tambourines from recycled materials.

DOH involves kids in campaign vs. firecrackers

By Leilani S. Junio (PNA)

MANILA -- The health department has enjoined school children to be “instrumental" in convincing their families to shun firecrackers this Christmas season.

"Kayo ang magpaalala sa mga magulang nyo na, ‘Papa, baka kayo maputulan ng kamay, wala nang magtatrabaho para sa amin’ (Be the one to remind your parents that if they lose a hand from a firecracker injury, they could no longer earn a living for their family)," the Department of Health’s (DOH) Assistant Secretary Maria Francia M. Laxamana told pupils of the Marcelo H. del Pilar Elementary School in Quezon City on Tuesday.

Laxamana said that if children are made to understand the dangers of lighting firecrackers, it would be easier for them to convince their parents and siblings to avoid firecrackers to save lives, property and the environment.

She explained to them Executive Order No. 28, which strictly regulates and controls the use of firecrackers and other pyrotechnic devices and encourages the community display of fireworks.

She likewise emphasized to the children the importance of washing their hands properly after handling firecrackers to avoid ingesting them.

"Hand washing is the most important prevention. Very practical," she said.

Laxamana said she looks forward to working with the Department of Education (DepEd) in the information campaign in schools to ensure that no life or property is lost due to firecrackers.

According to the DOH’s 2016 Aksyon Paputok Injury Reduction Surveillance, 181 of those who were injured by firecrackers during last year’s Christmas holidays were aged 10 years to 14 years, and most of them were playing with piccolo and kwitis.

Dr. Nestor Dumagat of DepEd’s Quezon City Division related to the school children how he had witnessed people being maimed by firecrackers.

"Pag nagpaputok at naputukan, sabog. Mahirap nang ayusin. Habangbuhay nang dadalhin ang deformities (When a person lights a firecracker and gets injured, he will carry his injury for the rest of his life)," Dumagat said, adding that watching a community fireworks display is not only safe but is also cost-effective.

Funds meant for firecrackers could instead be spent on more important things for the family, he added.

During the event, members of the EcoWaste Coalition showed how to make improvised noisemakers that children could use to ring in the New Year. For instance, bottles filled with pebbles could serve as maracas or empty milk cans could be banged like drums.

Around this time every year, EcoWaste shares toxin-free ways to celebrate the holiday season.

This year, EcoWaste invited representatives of various government agencies and mascots from the Bureau of Fire Protection and the Philippine National Police to campaign against the use of firecrackers.

EcoWaste national coordinator, Aileen Lucero, said firecrackers and other pyrotechnic devices are harmful to the environment.

“Toxic sila sa hangin, sa tao, at sa environment. Kaya nandito kami ngayon para ang mga children ay iwasan ang paggamit ng paputok, lalo na ang piccolo (Firecrackers are toxic to the air, to people, and to the environment. We are here to call on the children to refrain from lighting firecrackers, especially the piccolo)," Lucero said in an interview.

She said EO 28, signed by President Rodrigo Duterte middle of this year, could actually help EcoWaste achieve its goal of reducing air pollution during the holidays.

She, however, acknowledged that local governments could not fully implement the EO right away.

"Hindi siya agaran, although alam natin na kaya, dahil ang Davao City at Olongapo City ay may total ban ng firecrackers and fireworks. Kaya naman (It cannot be done right away, although we know that it can be done, considering that Davao City and Olongapo City already have a total ban on firecrackers and fireworks. It can be done),” Lucero said.

With EO 28 in place, she expressed hope that 2018 would pave the way for the total removal of firecrackers.

"Umaapela ang EcoWaste Coalition sa publiko na tangkilikin na lang yung community fireworks display na tinatalaga sa inyong siyudad (EcoWaste Coalition appeals to the public to support the community fireworks display in your city),” she said.

“Huwag nang bumili at magsayang ng pera para lang sa ilang minuto o ilang segundo na ilaw, kung saan pwedeng manood na lamang at iwas sunog, iwas kalat, at iwas pollution. Wala pang magkakasakit sa ating mga kabataan (No need to buy and waste your money for just a few minutes or seconds of light, when you could just watch the community fireworks display. This way, we avoid fires, garbage and pollution and save the kids from getting sick)," she added.

Miss Philippines Eco-Tourism Vanessa Mae Castillo also graced the occasion.

"Reducing waste is one of the effects kung di tayo gagamit ng paputok (if we refrain from igniting firecrackers)," Castillo said in her short message.

PPP Center to launch water projects in 2018

By Aerol John Pateña (PNA)

MANILA -- The PPP Center is eyeing to roll out five to eight water supply projects of local government units (LGUs) next year.

To create a larger market for investors, the center is considering to bundle the projects of LGUs nationwide.

“The biggest sector we have is water and sanitation,” PPP Center Executive Director Ferdinand Pecson said in a press briefing Monday in Quezon City.

“What we are looking into water projects is how we can bundle several municipalities or even towns and cities in one province together to make the project bigger in scope and make them interesting to investors. That is something that we are looking at,” he added.

Pecson said the center plans to coordinate with the LGUs of Bohol, Oriental Mindoro and Cagayan de Oro which are expanding into sanitation.

It is also looking at possible agreements with Baggao in Cagayan and Catbalogan in Samar.

“Metro Pacific has submitted its unsolicited proposal for Pampanga and we are helping the province in evaluating and the negotiations proper,” PPP Center Director Lawrence Velasco said.

The original project proposal was submitted by MetroPac Water Investments Corp., a unit of Metro Pacific Investments Corp., to the Pampanga LGU on Dec. 7, 2015.

Other companies interested in bidding for the project may match MetroPac Water’s offer through a Swiss Challenge.

Other projects that are in the pipeline for next year include the operations and maintenance of the Clark International Airport, San Ramon Newport Project, Cebu Bus Rapid Transit Project and the Duty Free Philippines Retail Development Project.

PCSO, AFP ink MOA on aid for wounded troops

By Priam Nepomuceno (PNA)

MANILA -- In line with efforts to treat and rehabilitate soldiers wounded in the battlefield, the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) has signed a memorandum of agreement with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) regarding the provision of financial assistance to selected military treatment facilities Monday.

The MOA was signed by PCSO General Manager Alexander Balutan and AFP Vice Chief-of-Staff Lt. Gen. Salvador Mison in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City.

Balutan, a retired Marine major general, said the money would be used to acquire modern medical equipment for use of AFP hospitals near the frontlines in Mindanao.

"So inuuna natin yun dahil yung immediate medical care ng ating mga kasundaluhan, lalong-lalo na yung nakikipaglaban dun sa Mindanao area na nahihirapan sila kasi nga kulang yung mga facilities and equipment ng ating Armed Forces dun sa mga lugar na yun," he added.

Once these equipment are acquired and installed, these hospitals will be able to stabilize critically wounded troops and improve their survival before flying them to Manila for additional treatment.

"Bago (ipadala) dito sa Manila for a higher medical care, eh ini-stable muna dun. Ang maganda nga sana kung ang hospital natin dun ay equipped na kaagad, state-of-the-art na gagamutin, dun na magpagaling at makabalik kaagad dun sa frontline ulit, yung mga kasundaluhan natin," the PCSO chief added.

SMB opens PBA Season 43 with win over Phoenix

By Ivan Stewart Saldajeno (PNA)

MANILA -- San Miguel began the 2018 season of the PBA with a 104-96 win over Phoenix at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City on Sunday night.

The Beermen broke loose in the dying stages of the game to spoil Louie Alas' debut as Fuel Masters coach.

Marcio Lassiter caught fire early on with back-to-back triples that helped SMB open an 8-0 lead at the start.

Phoenix, however, recovered following an early timeout, and the game became tight for most of the first half.

The Beermen tried to pull away again early into the second half, opening an 83-68 cushion with 10:40 to go in the fourth quarter.

The Fuel Masters, however, answered with a 12-2 run to cut the lead down to five, 85-80, with 6:28 left in the game.

SMB finally repulsed Phoenix on an 18-4 rally that stretched the lead back to 19, 103-84, with 2:41 remaining, which the latter found hard to recover.

Junemar Fajardo led the Beermen, who are eyeing a fourth straight PBA Philippine Cup title, with 23 points, 16 rebounds, four assists, and four blocks, while Alex Cabagnot added 22 points, two rebounds, four assists, and one steal.

Lassiter finished with 20 markers, five boards, and four dimes, while Chris Ross came close to a triple-double with 16 points, nine assists, and six caroms.

Arwind Santos had his own double-double of 14 points and 11 rebounds with two assists, three steals, and one block.

Jeff Chan fired 18 points on 7-of-11 shooting off the bench to lead Phoenix.

LA Revilla struggled in his first game as a Fuel Master, only making one point, three rebounds, and three assists in 26 minutes of play off the bench.

Jason Perkins flirted with a double-double in his PBA debut, tallying 10 markers and nine boards with two assists and one steal in a start.

Box Scores:

San Miguel 104 - Fajardo 23, Cabagnot 22, Lassiter 20, Ross 16, Santos 14, Pessumal 5, Rosser 4, Heruela 0, Mamaril 0, Vigil 0, Agovida 0, Lanete 0, Mabulac 0

Phoenix 96 - Chan 18, Wright 12, Alolino 11, Chua 11, Wilson 11, Perkins 10, Dehesa 8, Kramer 6, Jazul 4, Intal 2, Eriobu 2, Revilla 1

Quarterscores: 23-18, 47-37, 79-68, 104-96

Maynilad to hike water rates starting January

By Juzel Danganan (PNA)

MANILA -- The Maynilad Water Services Inc. on Friday announced a hike in its average basic rate by PHP0.97 per cubic meter starting January next year.

In a statement, Maynilad said the average basic rate adjustment amounts to 2.8 percent of the PHP34.51 per cubic meter average basic charge in 2017, which represents the consumer price index adjustment.

Maynilad was also granted a 0.6 percent foreign currency differential adjustment (FCDA) by the Manila Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS), based on the approved 2018 average basic charge of PHP35.48 per cubic meter.

FCDA is a mechanism granted to utilities to recover losses or return gains from the fluctuating movements of the peso against other currencies.

Maynilad noted that the decrease in foreign currency differential was not enough to offset the overall rates.

With the new rate, customers consuming 10 cubic meters or less will have a bill amounting to PHP121.65 from PHP118.95, or an increase of PHP2.70.

Those consuming 20 cubic meters, meanwhile, will be charged PHP455.74 from PHP445.56 for the previous month, or a difference of PHP10.18.

Households consuming 30 cubic meters per month will also have to pay PHP930.32, compared with PHP909.54 from the previous month.

Maynilad covers the West Zone of the Greater Manila Area, which consists of Manila, Quezon City, Makati, Caloocan, Pasay, Parañaque, Las Piñas, Muntinlupa, Valenzuela, Navotas and Malabon.

It also serves the cities of Cavite, Bacoor and Imus, along with the towns of Kawit, Noveleta and Rosario.

QC development Council approves 43 priority projects for 2017-2020

By Susan De Leon

QUEZON CITY, Dec. 16 (PIA) -- The Quezon City Development Council (CDC) headed by Mayor Herbert Bautista has approved 43 priority projects that will be rolled out from 2017 to 2020. The projects were identified by the CDC during its regular meeting on Monday, 12 December at Bulwagang Amoranto.

Among the priority projects under the Comprehensive Development Program and Local Development Investment Program are the following:

• Formulation of a Drainage Master Plan for QC in coordination with other LGUs

• Updating of DRRM (Disaster Risk Reduction Management) Plan

• Drug Rehabilitation Facility Development Program

• Development of low-cost mass housing projects for low-income earners

• Educational Support Program

• Replacement of existing old and undersized drainage pipes

• Road network development program

• Upgrading of urban poor communities

• Resilient Livelihood Program

• Renewable Energy Efficient Program

• Setting-up of early warning systems

• Construction of Multi-Purpose Evacuation Centers

• Waterways bank protection/structures development

• Establishment of local mass transit system (e.g. monorail, tram, etc)

• Expansion of the waste-to-energy facility in the Payatas Sanitary Landfill

• Development of a Health/Medical and Wellness Integrated Program

• Health Facilities Enhancement Program

• High-density housing program

• Open Space/Vacant Lands Development Program

• Social Welfare Facilities Development Program

• Establishment of shelters/home for all abandoned, neglected and abused elderly and PWDs

• City-wide security program

• Comprehensive Greening and Beautification Program

• Capacity Development Program for Barangays and NGO/PO

• Parks Development Program

• Project on developing protection strategy of toxic, hazardous and other hospital and business establishments’ waste during extreme weather events

• Networking and Web Page Services, Online Computer Based, Information System and Strategic Plan (ISSP)

• Establishment of mechanism in managing organic waste in all barangays

• Improvement of Government Buildings/Offices and Facilities

• Development of city-owned markets into a mixed-use commercial facility

• Formulation of Human Resources Development/Capacity Development Plan

• Study on the development of alternative tourist accommodations

• Quality Management System

• Establishment of triple-A slaughterhouse

• Protective Facilities Development Program

• Planning and Budgeting Seminar

• Construction of QC Convention Center

The CDC was created to encourage the participation of sectors in the development of the city as part of its efforts in participatory governance (QCPAISO/RJB/SDL/PIA-NCR)

NDRRMC confers 19th Gawad KALASAG National Awards


QUEZON CITY -- The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) holds 19th Gawad KALASAG National Awarding Ceremony at the Grand Ballroom, Crowne Plaza Manila Galleria, Ortigas Center, Quezon City.

NDRRMC Chairperson and National Defense Secretary Delfin N Lorenzana graced the awarding ceremonies and led the confernment of awards together with NDRRMC Exeuctive Director and Civil Defense Administrator Usec Ricardo B Jalad, Department of the Interior and Local Government Usec Austere Panadero. Likewise, members of the National Council andGawadKalasagNational Selection Committee (NSC)attended the awarding ceremonies.

This year,twenty-one Local DRRM Councils, four individuals, thirty-five groups/institutions and six hall of fame awardees were recognized for their outstanding contributions in DRRM and humanitarian assistance.

Forty-nine validators from various NDRRMC Member Agencies were also recognized for the tireless efforts they have given to assess the finalists through desktop evaluation, field validation and deliberations.

Gawad KALASAG is the country’s premier annual awards for outstanding contribution in the fields of DRRM and humanitarian assistance. It is the principal mechanism by which the NDRRMC advances awareness of the best practices of DRRM and humanitarian response and action. Moreover, it aims to appreciate individuals, groups or institutions which have shown extraordinary courage, heroism and sacrifice in times of emergencies, be it natural or human-induced.

Since its inception in 1998, the Gawad KALASAG award has been bestowed to 220 Local DRRM Councils, 74 National Government Organizations, 35 individuals and 27 groups/institutions. Furthermore, about 36 winners have been conferred with a Hall of Fame Award.

“I extend to our honorees my sincerest congratulations and the gratitude of their clients and communities as well as the filipino people at large for their remarkable exploits through this humble token, the Gawad KALASAG. As you return to your respective homes, offices and work with these humble tokens of our thanks, bear in in your hearts our thanks and our wish that your distinctive mark of heroism, your gawadkalasag, endure as a model to be emulated by our people for all time,” said Secretary Delfin N Lorenzana.

DPWH builds 3-storey building for children with disabilities


MANILA – A three-storey building designed to cater to the needs of children with disabilities in Quezon City was completed by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

In a report, DPWH National Capital Region Director Melvin B. Navarro said P15 million was allocated to construct the Kabahagi Resource Center Building at Batasan-San Mateo Road-IBP Road, Brgy. Batasan Hills, District II, Quezon City.

“With the completion of this building, the local government of Quezon City now has a new conducive facility that will help in the delivery of social services necessary to enhance the health, physical fitness, economic and social well-being of children with disabilities,” said Navarro.

The new Kabahagi Resource Center Building can accommodate approximately 100 children with disabilities.

PCW, TIP-QC launch mobile app on violence against women


QUEZON CITY, Dec. 13 -- Quick information and emergency tools for reporting incidents of violence against women (VAW) are now a fingertip away as the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) and the Technological Institute of the Philippines – Quezon City (TIP-QC) unveils the VAWfreePH mobile application.

Launched during the 2017 18-Day Campaign To End VAW kick-off program at the PETA Theatre in Quezon on November 24, “VAWfreePH” is an android-based personal safety mobile app that gives women and girls a practical tool to fight VAW.

The mobile app has unique features that can be used during emergencies and crisis situations. It can send a discreet short messaging system or SMS to three (3) preselected contacts alerting them of user’s exact location using global positioning system (GPS).

It also has an SOS button that when tapped, triggers the mobile phone’s flashlight and sound alarm to gain public attention. Another feature of the app is the audio recording and image capture functionalities for evidence recording. Users can likewise initiate fake calls to get out of unwanted and threatening situations. VAWfreePH mobile app makes reporting very easy using the one-button dialing to 911 emergency helpline.

Aside from the emergency features, this mobile app can help user search for the nearest hospitals and police women’s desks where VAW victim-survivors can seek help and ask for assistance. This app also includes a directory of helplines and a list of service providers where they can seek help and support.

Apart from the safety and emergency features of the app, VAWfreePH provides public awareness on existing women’s human rights laws such as the RA 9262 or AntiViolence Against Women and Their Children, and RA 8353 or the Anti-Rape Law, among others. Access to these information helps empower our communities to attain a safer environment for women.

Innovations for women

In a statement, PCW Executive Director Emmeline L. Verzosa thanked the TIP-QC administrators and students for developing the mobile app.

She noted that the development of the mobile app is a commendable initiative in using technology positively.

“Technological innovations when used negatively further perpetrate violence against women and other forms of online harassment, fraud, and abuse. But we can also use technology to bring about meaningful change by empowering more people through accessible information and practical tools, like the VAWfreePH mobile app,” she said.

She encouraged everyone to download the VAWfreePH mobile application which is available for free, initially for android users. She shared that there have been preliminary discussions with TIP-QC in developing an IOS version of the app.

Android users can download the “VAWfreePH” mobile app in Google Playstore for free.

QC strengthens community based mental-health program

By Alladin S. Diega

The local government of Quezon City, through its health department, has started gathering data on mental-health cases in the entire city to improve its database and eventually gather a clearer picture of the extent of the disease among its residents.

According to City Health Officer Dr. Verdades Linga, her office is in close coordination with the Philippine Mental Health Association and hospitals on the matter, and is hoping the project would strengthen the city’s community-based mental-health program immediately.

“We have already trained our health workers so they can identify minor mental-health problems, not necessarily illness. More or less we can refer them [to experts],” Linga said on Tuesday, adding “this is what we call as service-delivery network that the Quezon City Health Department is constructing. So when it comes to data on youth having depression, for instance, we would right away know what to do immediately.”

The public health official also said that they segregate the data they cull from statistics based on group and age.

Linga admitted that the problem in treating patients with mental illnesses in hospitals or in the community is the continued care. “That is why Mayor Herbert Bautista instructed us to study the cases of mental health and know how the Quezon City government can help like in adolescent health.”Linga also expressed her support to Senate Bill 1354 that is making mental-health services accessible, affordable and equitable, or the Mental Health Act of 2017 that is now in its third reading.

In October University of the Philippines College of Medicine Professor Emeritus Dr. Lourdes Ignacio said that 1 in every 3 Filipinos has a mental-health problem.

Ignacio made the announcement at the gathering of the National Academy of Science and Technology, where she was conferred the Award for Medical Research 2017. She explained that with the country’s population hitting the 110 million mark, the number of Filipinos who have mental problems could reach 28.48 million.

The local psychiatrist said she made this estimate from a population survey conducted by the University of the Philippines-Philippine General Hospital in Western Visayas two decades ago, which found 36 percent of the population to have mental-health problems.

Meanwhile, the Quezon City Health Department has also conducted its second Adolescent Health Summit with high-school students attending at the Quezon City Experience Museum in Quezon Memorial Circle on Monday.

This year’s summit aims to inform teenagers of the various adolescent health programs of the city government. According to Linga, among the health programs for teens include nutrition, oral, mental, adolescent and maternal health, including the health risks brought about by smoking, drugs and substance abuse.

“We invited the schools just like last year to attend the second Adolescent Health Summit today, so more or less we can integrate this as part of their knowledge,” Linga said. In line with the public health modernization program of Bautista, the city government has constructed a teen health quarters in the Second District of Quezon City for school-based and out-of-school youth.

AFP vows to uphold transparency in line with HR commitments

By Priam Nepomuceno (PNA)

MANILA -- In line with its commitment to Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) announced that it will continue to be transparent with its operations and expressed willingness to cooperate in verified complaints brought against its personnel.

The military issued this statement in line with the observance of the International Human Rights Day on Sunday.

"The AFP upholds today and everyday the Universal Declaration of Human Rights," AFP public affairs office chief Col. Edgard Arevalo said.

This is the reason why the military has established human rights offices from the AFP headquarters in Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City to the small units in the frontline, he added.

"It is in pursuit of that advocacy that we have continuing lectures on Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law," Arevalo disclosed.

For this reason, the AFP continues to be transparent in its operations and is willing to cooperate in investigations where verified complaints are brought before them, he added.

"To the end that in the conduct of our engagements, from Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response to Civil-Military Operations to Combat Operations, We observe the Rules of Engagement which is anchored on Human Rights, Law of Armed Conflict, and the provisions of the 1987 Constitution," Arevalo noted.

EcoWaste Coalition urges the public to cut down on holiday trash with 3Rs and more

(EcoWaste Coalition)

QUEZON CITY, Dec. 10 – With Christmas rapidly approaching, a waste and pollution watch group drew attention to what each and every person or household can do to lessen what it calls the enormous holiday trash or “holitrash.”

At an event held at the Quirino Elementary School (QES) in Quezon City, the EcoWaste Coalition pointed out that the tons of “holitrash,” if not kept in check, would end up being disposed of in streets, waterways, dumpsites, incinerators, or in the oceans, which are already choking with plastics and trash. The group chose “Christmasaya kapag walang aksaya” as the perfect theme for the occasion.

“The volume of waste produced is expected to soar as people shop, party, dine and have fun during the joyful season. Sad to say, the throwaway culture is at its worst as the birth of the Redeemer is recalled and celebrated. In Metro Manila, for instance, per capita waste generation during Christmas time is estimated to rise from 0.7 kilo to 1.2 kilo,” said Daniel Alejandre, Zero Waste Campaigner, EcoWaste Coalition.

The most discarded items during the extended celebration of Christmas and New Year include paper and plastic shopping bags; all sorts of packaging materials; party wares, including single-use paper and plastic beverage and food containers; bags, boxes and wrappers for gifts; and tons of food waste, according to the group.

“The humongous ‘holitrash’ situation is aggravated by the poor segregation of discards at source, and the toxic byproduct waste from the lighting of firecrackers and pyrotechnic devices,” he added.

“But the situation is not entirely hopeless. We can curb what we throw away by applying the 3Rs (reduce, reuse, recycle) and by keeping Christ in the manger, an utmost reminder of the simplicity of Christmas, at the heart of the festive celebration,” he pointed out.

QES students, applying the 3Rs, flaunted a creatively made lantern adorned with used spoons and bottle lids, a Belen made of juice packs, and a Christmas tree from PET bottles.

The EcoWaste Coalition also showed assorted Christmas decorations fashioned out of typical household discards such as snack packs, soda cans, textile scraps, fabric conditioner containers, plastic bottles, etc.

To further reduce the generation of garbage, the EcoWaste Coalition reminded holiday shoppers to bring a stash of reusable bags and containers and to shun both paper and plastic bags to cut on bag waste.

Gift givers can opt not to wrap Christmas presents to minimize the use of wrappers. If wrapping is desired, reuse old bandannas, handkerchiefs, fabric remnants, jars, shoe boxes, newspapers and magazines, the group suggested.

The group reminded those hosting or organizing Christmas parties to opt for washable and reusable tableware and party supplies in lieu of disposable ones, which may be “convenient,” but certainly wasteful.

As garbage is produced by putting discards together in one bin, the group stressed the need to keep discards properly segregated to facilitate their reusing, recycling or composting.

Non-biodegradable discards such as aluminum and tin cans, glass and plastic bottles, and other materials can be repurposed, reused or recycled, while biodegradable discards such as food waste can be fed to animals or turned into compost to enrich the soil, the group said.

The group emphasized that the open burning discards is not only unlawful but also detrimental to human health and the environment. Open burning can lead to the formation and release of persistent organic pollutants and greenhouse gases that cause environmental pollution, global warming and climate change.

Finally, the group urged the public to opt for a quieter celebration without firecrackers and fireworks to prevent the generation of toxic smoke and waste, noting that firecracker and pyrotechnic residues are laden with hazardous chemicals and cannot be recycled.

QC to hold 3rd Pride March today


QUEZON CITY, Dec. 9 (PIA) -- The Quezon City Pride Council is expecting 10,000 supporters and participants from different lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) communities to join the city for its annual Pride March today, December 9.

This is the third Pride March after the ordinance known as Anti-Discrimination Policy of Quezon City was signed into law by Mayor Herbert Bautista in November 2014. A parade and fashion show will feature this year’s march.

Under the ordinance, individuals who belong to the LGBT community are given protection in the workplace, schools, and provide basic needs.

According to Councilor Lena Marie Juico, author of the Anti-Discrimination Policy of Quezon City ordinance, the gender equality policies of Quezon City are very timely.

“There is a void kasi wala talagang gender fair ordinance. The only one that we can look at is a 2004 ordinance prohibiting discrimination in the workforce for homosexuals. It needed revisions. May void and we filled it. I am fortunate that we have a mayor and vice mayor whose advocacies are aligned with mine, which is gender equality,” Juico said.

Soon after, Quezon City’s Anti-discrimination policy is the new buzz word from different local government units in Metro Manila. The policy has also made the Quezon City a gender fair city.

“Nagkaroon ng ripple effect. From QC, other councilors in Metro Manila asked for a copy of the ordinance and they tried to replicate the ordinance, dapat maging proud ang mga residente natin kasi nakikitang nagtatatrabaho ang mga hinalal nila. We are looking at the minorities in society. They also enjoy equal rights in the city,” Juico ended.

Quezon City is the only city in Metro Manila that has enacted an ordinance focused on gender equality and sensitivity.

QC launches HIV/AIDS awareness campaign for youths

By Leilani Junio (PNA)

MANILA -- The Quezon City government on Wednesday boosted its investment on health as it led the distribution of reference materials on sexually transmitted infections (STIs) to the Department of Education (DepEd) QC School Division Office.

QC Mayor Herbert Bautista presented the reference materials to Grade 8 students and teachers of the Quirino High School in Project 3, Quezon City.

QC Health Department officer, Dr. Verdadez Linga, said the reference materials were the outcome of several meetings with the Department of Health (DOH), during which they decided to produce materials on reproductive health and STIs, including the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), which has been on the rise among youths in the 15 to 24 age bracket, and the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS).

"Kaya tayo nagkaroon ng HIV reference materials, kasi we found out in one of the surveys na pabata na nang pabata ang nagkakaroon ng HIV (We developed the HIV reference materials because we found out in one of the surveys that a high percentage of new HIV infections is from the younger groups),” Linga said, adding that they are also concerned with pregnant adolescents who are HIV-positive.

She said Bautista’s marching order was to come up with reference materials on reproductive health and STIs that could be incorporated in the Music, Arts, Physical Education and Health (MAPEH) subject in schools.

The learning materials - consisting of two sets, one for teachers and the other for students - teach Grade 8 students about HIV/AIDS, its symptoms, how it is transmitted, and ways to prevent it, as well as health services available, Republic Act No. 8504 on measures to prevent and control HIV/AIDS, and the HIV situation in the country.

"Magiging part na ng curriculum ang HIV 101 (HIV 101 will be part of the curriculum of QC public schools)," she said during a press briefing.

The city government spent about PHP5 million to produce the reference materials.

Linga expressed hope that the initiative would be replicated by other local government units and be adopted by DepEd for replication nationwide.

After high school students, their next target would be college students, she said, adding that their main focus however are MSMs or males having sex with males and pregnant women.

Linga said QC’s youngest HIV patient was a 17-year-old.

According to Dr. Genesis Samonte of the DOH Epidemiology Bureau’s HIV program, only about 17 percent of Filipinos have the correct knowledge on HIV prevention and transmission.

"In Metro Manila, we are around 20 to 30 percent, and that is very low. That is why we are really investing in partnering with DepEd and the city government," Samonte said.

She cited the need for an aggressive information campaign, targetting the 15 to 24 age group, where many new HIV infections occur.

This age, she said, is characterized by changes in sexual behavior due to a surge in hormones.

"Yan ‘yung age na very curious ang mga bata at nagta-try ng many things. As mentioned, (QC's youngest case of HIV) was 17 years old but that doesn't mean that we start intervention when (the child is already) 17, kasi may HIV na siya (This is the age when teenagers get very curious and try many things. As mentioned, the city’s youngest case of HIV was 17 years old but that does not mean that we start intervention when the child is already 17 when he/she already has HIV),” Samonte said.

“We have to start giving them the right information (habang) mas bata pa sila para alam nila how to protect themselves. We have to teach them how to protect themselves earlier, kasi 17 is already too late to start interventions (We have to start giving them the right information while they are still young so they would know how to protect themselves. We have to teach them earlier because 17 is already too late to start interventions)," the DOH official said.

Saying that since DepEd is not yet amenable to the distribution of condoms in schools, which the DOH fully respects, Samonte said they had sought DepEd’s support for the HIV information campaign.

"Kung maitataas po nila yun (level of awareness) to 90 percent, wagi na po tayo sa first goal (If we are able to raise the level of awareness to 90 percent, we have achieved the first goal of increasing awareness)," she explained.

The distribution of the reference materials was made as the city government conducted its HIV Summit 2017 at the Novotel in Araneta Center, Cubao, Quezon City on Wednesday.

Through the summit, the city government shared the interventions it has carried out to help achieve the target of halting HIV by 2030, such as increasing HIV testing centers that ensure confidentiality, making testing kits available, and hiring peer educators.

Meanwhile, Bautista encouraged those at risk of acquiring HIV to submit themselves for testing.

"Huwag kayong matakot. Have yourself tested. Once you have yourself tested at negative ka, tuturuan ka namin to use prophylactics (Don’t be afraid. Have yourself tested. Once you test negative, we will teach you how to use prophylactics),” he said, referring to medicine or devices that protect one from contracting diseases.

“Kung di maawat yung passion, e di please be safe. (If you cannot control your passion, please be safe.) Better be safe than sorry. So if you are positive, then for the rest of your life, the QC government will sustain you, your medicine or medication," the city mayor added, noting that while the number of those getting tested is increasing, they have yet to reach their target rate.

Hopefully, we could reach this goal with this program we launched, he said.

During the summit, the coffee table book, "From Vision to Transformation: The Story of HIV in QC”, was also launched, aside from the reference materials for schools.

According to the most recent HIV/AIDS and ART Registry of the Philippines (HARP) report, 610 of 1,962 of newly reported HIV infections from July to August this year were youths aged 15 to 24 years. Of the 610 cases, 596 caught the virus through sexual contact – 386 through homosexual contact, 155 through bisexual contact, and 55 through heterosexual contact.

From January 1984 to last August, a total of 12,996 or 28 percent of the reported cases were 15-24 years old.

“From 1984 to 2002, 71 percent (179) of the cases among the youth were females. However, in 2003, there was an equal number of males and females reported. Since then, the trend shifted to male predominance. Ninety-six percent (12,476) were infected through sexual contact (1,509 male-female sex, 7,078 male-male sex, 3,889 sex with both males and females); 445 were infected through needle-sharing among IDU (injecting drug users), and one was infected through mother-to-child transmission,” the report said.

The report is prepared by the DOH’s Epidemiology Bureau.

DENR, DILG sign agreement for the implementation of K5 in NCR


QUEZON CITY (PIA) -- The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has signed an agreement with the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to educate and empower local communities to take action on climate change.

Dubbed as Kilos sa Klima at Kalamidad tungo sa Kaligtasan at Kaunlaran or K5, the program seeks to identify the best climate and disaster resilient communities within the National Capital Region (NCR).

Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu underscored the need to empower communities to be more adaptive and resilient to the devastating effects of climate change.

“We need communities which are not only prepared to help prevent or minimize the loss or damage to life, property and the environment, but also have the ability to quickly return to work, reopen businesses, and restore other essential services needed for a full and timely economic recovery,” Cimatu pointed out.

Under the MOA, the DILG will assist the DENR in the implementation of K5 program by providing promotional, technical and financial support.

The MOA signing was held during the recent Building Climate and Disaster-Resilient Communities event organized by the DENR’s Environmental Management Bureau (EMB).

EMB Director Metodio Turbella said the signing of DENR-DILG accord was one of the highlights of this year’s Climate Change Consciousness Week, and as part of the DENR’s overall responsibility to protect the environment and the people against climate change impacts.

The Search for Climate and Disaster-Resilient Communities under the K5 program is open to all communities and barangays within Metro Manila that exemplify good practices in disaster resiliency.

The selection committee will come up with a list of 10 most resilient barangays from which the winner/s will be chosen.

Among the criteria for judging are innovativeness, impact, level of people participation, level of initiative, and sustainability. Prizes will be given to the winning communities.

DOF, DICT, DILG launch online portal to streamline business registrations


MANILA – The Department of Finance (DOF), along with the Departments of Information Technology (DICT) and of Interior and Local Government (DILG) launched on December 4, a digital platform that aims to streamline the application and renewal of business permits through the online sharing of information by government agencies involved in the process.

Finance Undersecretary Gil Beltran said the launching of the Philippine Business Data Bank (PBDB) system is among the initiatives of the DOF as lead agency of the government’s anti-red tape program (ARTA) to improve the ease of doing business in the country.

Beltran said the PBDB will also involve the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), which chairs the National Competitiveness Council (NCC), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the country’s economic zones and over 1,600 local government units (LGUs).

“With the PBDB, government agencies can readily access data on a particular business, eliminating the need for business owners to bring numerous documentary requirements when transacting with the government,” Beltran said.

The PBDB is a DOF project under its anti-red tape program headed by Beltran, and was developed by a team from the Advanced Science and Technology Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST). The system will be managed by the DICT.

Through the PBDB, government agencies would be able to verify the existence of a business entity using a single reference document. The information in the PBDB database will initially be provided by the DTI, SEC, the Cooperatives Development Authority (CDA) and the LGUs, starting with Quezon City.

In the future, the PBDB will include business data of economic locators in the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) and the other ecozones across the country.

The PBDB would also allow the public to verify the existence of a specific business entity, which the system would be able to generate by accessing data from various sources.

“Information shared in the PBDB system covers data that businesses have already made public as contained in their respective business permits, which are required to be displayed in a conspicuous area in their place of business,” the DICT said.

According to the DICT, the verification of a specific business entity is limited to exact name searches, which prevents users from resorting to random searches of phishing.

Director Anna Lia Bonagua, who heads the DILG’s Bureau of Local Government Development delivered the opening remarks, while Stefan Flores of the DICT gave an overview and demonstration of the PBDB during the system’s launching ceremony at the Luxent Hotel in Quezon City.

“The PBDB’s web-based application can be accessed via the National Government Portal,” the DICT said.

Besides the PBDB, the DOF said it was harnessing the power of digital technology to implement two other major initiatives in improving the ease of doing business in the country.

These are the TradeNet platform for traders and a parallel modernization initiative in the DOF and the Bureaus of Internal Revenue (BIR) and of Customs (BOC).

DOF’s technology modernization architect Dr. Dennis Reyes said the TradeNet platform, which will also serve as the Philippines’ link to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Single Window gateway, will be up and running by the end of 2017 and will later place onboard a total of 66 government agencies “progressively over the course of the next two to three years.”

Beltran has said that TradeNet.gov.ph will allow traders to use the system to apply for import and export permits initially for rice, sugar, used motor vehicles, chemicals (toluene), frozen meat medicines (for humans, animals or fish) and cured tobacco.

DepEd re-tools school-based feeding program

By Gladys Pino (PNA)

IMUS CITY, Cavite - The Department of Education (DepEd) CALABARZON regional office will convene provincial and district school officials, school-based feeding coordinators and canteen managers for their region-wide technical re-tooling activities from Dec. 11 to 12 at the Great Eastern Hotel in Quezon City.

DepEd IVA Regional Director Diosdado M. San Antonio has issued the memorandum which spelled out the activity aimed at ‘downloading’ technical know-how on the implementation of the school-based feeding program (SBFP) and canteen implementation.

San Antonio underscored the need to ensure that school officials are technically equipped to implement the agency’s school-based program and ensure that current procedures, including the school’s canteen management, adhere to DepEd guidelines and standards.

The forum also serves as a venue where concerned school officials and personnel could discuss best practices, tackle problems and issues concerning their functions and create team and monitoring and evaluation (M & E) tool for the seamless and standardized program implementation.

Expected attendees include provincial and city schools district supervisors and school heads from CALABARZON (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon) area.

The participants also include Division School-Based Feeding Program coordinators and the school canteen managers in elementary and secondary schools.

The SBFP, headed by the DepEd’s Bureau of Learner Support Services-School Health Divisions (BLSS-SHD), will address the problem of under-nutrition among public school children to improve their classroom attendance and performance.

The program also targets to improve the nutritional status by at least 70 percent at the end of at least 120 feeding days and improve the children’s health and nutritional values and behavior.

The program has served more than 1.8 million learners out of the more than 1.9 million Severely Wasted (SW) and Wasted (W) beneficiaries from Kindergarten to Grade 6 nationwide.

QC to simulate new disaster scenarios on Dec 15 NSED


QUEZON CITY (PIA) -- Quezon City will simulate new disaster scenarios in the 4th quarter Nationwide Simultaneous Earthquake Drill (NSED) to be held on December 15.

“We will add new scenarios to test and also showcase the new equipment acquired by the Quezon City government to level up its emergency response capabilities,” said Karl Michael Marasigan, chief of the Quezon City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (DRRMO).

City Administrator Aldrin Cuna on Tuesday (November 28) convened an emergency meeting of the technical working group of the city’s DRRM Council to discuss the city government’s participation in the NSED.

The drill in Quezon City will be centered at the sprawling Quezon City Hall compound. Barangays, schools and commercial establishments all over the city will also hold drills in their respective areas.

“The 4th quarter NSED will have added challenges especially in Metro Manila and other urban areas as it will be held on a pay-day Friday and we’re expecting vehicular and pedestrian traffic to be extra heavy as it will officially be Christmas season by the time,” Marasigan said.

It will also be doubly challenging for us at City Hall as we need to re-write our evacuation plans due to ongoing major construction works within the compound,” he added.

The QC DRRMO will simulate mass evacuation of city hall’s buildings, including its 15-story high-rise structure; fire suppression, high-angle rescue, collapsed structure search and rescue, evacuation camp management and management of the dead.

The QC DRRMO also plans to add road crash extrication and water search and rescue in the simulaton exercises.

Quezon City is a recipient of the Gawad Kalasag award for having the best DRRM council in Metro Manila in 2016 and 2017. The city placed third in last year’s national search and is again vying for top honors this year.

Ilocos Norte, QC to renew Producers to Consumers Program

By Leilanie Adriano (PNA)

LAOAG CITY — Following the successful implementation of the Producers to Consumers (P2C) program of the local governments of Ilocos Norte and Quezon City, a memorandum of agreement benefiting both parties is expected to be renewed early next year.

Edison Natividad, head of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Office of the Provincial Capitol, confirmed this on Friday as he reported that llocos Norte has allocated funds for the purchase of a hauler truck to transport the province’s food and agricultural products directly to the Quezon City market.

He said the amount has already been allocated under the province’s 20 percent development fund.

For now, the Ilocos Norte government hires private vehicles to transport Ilocos goods to Quezon City.

Running for almost a year now, the P2C program of Ilocos Norte and Quezon City has generated a huge following of around 7,000 Quezon City Hall employees as regular customers, as well as some outsiders who have discovered the regular trade fair at the Quezon City Hall.

To provide better economic opportunities among micro, small and medium entrepreneurs and consumers, the Ilocos Norte government helps organized accredited farmers and local producers here to bring their products to Quezon City.

The Quezon City government, for its part, facilitates putting up of organized market stalls and exhibits at least twice a month.

Through the implementation of the P2C program, organizers hope to protect consumers from unscrupulous traders and price manipulators by providing them direct access to farm commodities.