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DOE Assures Energy Aid to Quake-Hit LGUs



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Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi on Tuesday said efforts are underway to restore energy facilities in major parts of Region 8 and Bohol by Wednesday following the 6.5 magnitude earthquake.

During the regional coordinating council meeting on Monday in Ormoc City, Cusi and other Cabinet officials assured government assistance to quake-stricken local government units in Region 8 and Bohol.

Cusi said the DOE is addressing the effects of the magnitude 6.5 earthquake in three ways: immediately restore power, find alternative sources of energy, and ease the burden of the people.

Five days after the quake, we are hoping to start the geothermal power plants and might soon bring back power to major parts of Leyte and Bohol.

The DOE has a 10-day timeline to restore power supply. “The people are working double time to repair necessary energy facilities,” Cusi said.

As of 8 am Tuesday, Energy Development Corp. (EDC) as operator of the geothermal power plants reported that they are already conducting necessary technical tests on the repaired marshalling station or central switching station in coordination with the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) to ensure its safe operation.

Once all pre-cautionary measures are taken by this critical facility, EDC will submit all tests results by late afternoon today.

If all goes well, this will signal the re-energization of all main transformers and the start-up of Upper Mahiao Geothermal Power Plants (GPP) Units 2 and 3 with 26 megawatts (MW) capacity each, and Malitbog GPP Unit 1 with 77.5MW, which would take about 16-18 hours.

Based on the report, EDC is targeting the delivery of 317 MW out of a total capacity of 625 MW from its geothermal power plants by Day 10 (17 July 2017). The 625 MW capacity is comprised of the following GPP: 180 MW Mahanagdong GPP, 213 MW Malitbog GPP, 120 MW Mahiao GPP, and the 112 MW Tongonan GPP.

EDC has also distributed generator sets to vital town installations, such as Municipal/City Halls, water pumping stations, hospitals, among others, so they can continue their delivery of services.

The DOE is also in talks with alternative power providers, such as Trans Asia, to mobilize the power barges to be brought to Leyte and Bohol.

Last Saturday, the DOE Secretary inspected the Unified Leyte Geothermal Power Plants, which were heavily affected by the temblor, to check on the extent of damage and how to speed up the rehabilitation of the facilities.

For the transmission part, installation of by-pass lines to enable power to flow from Cebu to augment supply to Leyte, Bohol and Samar has started.

Moreover, reports gathered by the DOE indicated that the repair of the Ormoc substation facility, which delivers power to Southern Leyte, Samar, and Bohol sub-grids, is underway.

For power distribution, all 11 electric cooperatives in Region 8 and 3 in Bohol are already ready to receive power.

As an institutional way forward towards energy resiliency, the DOE has recommended to the Regional Development Council (RDC) for Region 8 to create a Committee for Power to address the power related concerns of the region and prioritize measures related to resiliency, especially of power facilities. One of the best practices being look at by the Department is the Local Government Unit of Bohol through its Power Advisory Committee.

It will also strengthen its information drive for the renewable energy (RE) options for consumers, such as the net metering system (NMS) and the green energy option (GEO).

Apart from promoting efficient and safe utilization of energy, the DOE introduce the concept of accounting for generators to optimize availability of power, as among the emergency measures, to all distribution utilities and consumers in the area.

On transmission sector resiliency, the DOE wants to fast-track the Cebu-Bohol submarine cable targeted by NGCP by 2020 to establish an alternative transmission route for the provinces in Region 8 to ensure continuous delivery of power in the event of similar calamities.

Additionally, it requires the active participation of the Transmission Corporation to check on their transmission assets and the concessionaire’s compliance with its obligations including the required ancillary services and resiliency policies.

Above all, the DOE ensures the compliance of industry participants with the reserve or replacement power and ancillary services requirements, and encourage more energy investments utilizing Executive Order 30 which created the Energy Investment Coordinating Council. (DOE)

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Philippine Red Cross Alerts Residents on Health Hazards of Volcanic Ash




The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) advised the affected communities to be vigilant on the health hazards of volcanic ash to human health as alert level 4 was raised over Mayon Volcano in Legazpi, Albay.

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According to PRC Health Services, exposure to falling ash may cause a number of health problems especially respiratory illnesses such as nose and throat irritation, coughing, bronchitis-like illness, and discomfort while breathing. Eye irritation and minor skin problems are also among the bad effects of exposure to volcanic ash.

It can also cause vehicular mishaps resulting to injuries and casualties because of slippery of roads and poor visibility in areas affected by the ash fall.

Volcanic ash consists of powder-size to sand-size particles that have been blown into the air by an erupting volcano.

“The Philippine Red Cross already activated its health volunteers to disseminate awareness campaign on the health hazards that may ensue to individuals living around an erupting volcano,” PRC Chairman Richard Gordon said.

As part of the dissemination campaign, the PRC also educated the affected communities on ways to cope with ash fall and advised the residents to seek immediate medical attention in case of health concerns caused by volcanic ash.

“We urge the affected individuals to wear dust masks or anything to cover their nose and mouth to protect them from catching harmful emissions from the volcanic ash. We also advise the residents to report immediately to their local health centers and nearest PRC Chapter in case of health concerns from volcanic ash,” Gordon said.

To date, the PRC has already provided dust masks to 4,000 individuals. Another 4,000 dust masks were also sent yesterday in Albay for distribution in the coming days. A total of 60 goggles, and 300 N95 masks were also provided to the affected individuals to avoid the harmful effects of volcanic ash.

The PRC also conducted hygiene promotion activities to a total of 1,153 individuals in various evacuation centers in Albay. Five water bladders were already installed to provide the affected individuals access to clean and safe water.

Meanwhile, PRC assets such as three water tankers, two hot meals on wheels, three trucks and one radio team with communication equipment were all deployed.

The Philippine Red Cross, as the foremost humanitarian organization in the country, has 103 chapters with two million volunteers nationwide that is always first, always ready, and always there to provide round-the- clock humanitarian assistance, especially to the most vulnerable.

PRC services include disaster management, health, welfare, blood, volunteer service, and Red Cross youth. (PRC)

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Experts Map Fault Lines in Davao Oriental




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Geologists from the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) placed markers in several fault lines in Davao Oriental sighted in some portions of Mati City and Lupon town which reportedly sitting on top of the Philippine Faultline.

The areas transected by faultlines included portion of barangays Marayag, Calapagan, and Don Marcelino in Lupon and portions of Barangays Taguibo, Sainz and Central in Mati.

This was reported Sunday by Davao Oriental Provincial Information Officer Karen Lou Deloso based on the three-day activity “Walk the Fault” by Phivolcs geologists led by Jeffrey Perez.

Based on the Phivolcs findings, Deloso said the fault in Davao Oriental approximately 30 kilometers long is connected to the Philippine Fault line – the longest fault in the Philippines that stretches up to 1,200 kilometers from Luzon down to Mindanao.

Phivolcs noted that 320 kilometers of which is located in Eastern Mindanao stretching from Surigao area to Mati.

At the end of the three-day activity, Deloso said the Phivolcs team put markers which would guide local leaders especially in the barangays to inform residents on the need to take precautions and preparations.

Phivolcs also reported no fault lines in heavily or densely populated areas in Mati. But residents are still encouraged to keep safe from the hazards of earthquake which includes groundshaking that usually results in injuries, fatalities and destruction of buildings; landslides, and tsunami.

The three-day mapping of fault lines in earthquake hotspots in the provinces was aimed to save lives by making residents and local officials inculcate a culture of safety, telling them to be aware on the location and trace of the fault lines especially those underneath settlements that might drastically be affected by massive earthquakes.

Deloso said the activity was requested by Governor Nelson Dayanghirang as part of the province’s mitigation and preparedness

Dayanghirang had underlined the activity as something that does not intend to cause alarm, but to promote awareness and safety to lessen damages and casualty when disaster strikes.

Areas in fault lines are considered danger zones and classified as no-build zone areas. Structures built in faults should be built five meters from the faultline on both sides.

Experts said the Philippine Fault Zone divides the country from Luzon to Southern Mindanao with its tail end located in Mati, Davao Oriental. It is in the path of the Ring of Fire, a 40,000-km horseshoe-shaped continuous area in the basin of the Pacific Ocean where a large number of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur. (Lilian C. Mellejor/PNA)

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DOH Launches Dengue Immunization ID in Pampanga




Image Source: from by Trixie Joy B. Manalili, PIA-3

Department of Health (DOH) launched on Friday the Dengue Immunization Record Card in Pampanga as part of intensifying monitoring and surveillance of recipients of the Dengvaxia vaccine.

Top officials of DOH led by Secretary Francisco Duque III led the launching of the identification cards during the Provincial Dengue Summit held at the Bren Z. Guiao Convention Center.

In a press briefing, DOH Regional Director Leonita Gorgolon said the ID system will aid in strengthening their surveillance and reporting system for any adverse effect following the immunization of all those who were vaccinated with Dengvaxia.

Gorgolon explained that there are two types of cards—the bigger one is for the parents while the smaller one is for the one who received the vaccine.

“Both cards contain basic information about the recipient of the vaccine including his/her name, grade level, gender, name and contact number of his/her parent or guardian as well as the number of doses received and the date he/she received each dose”, Gorgolon said.

Aside from these, Gorgolon said the ID also contains what-to-do when the child manifests symptoms of dengue and the hotline numbers of DOH.

“In case the child manifests dengue symptoms, this ID must be presented to the health facility so that they know that he/she is a recipient of Dengvaxia and he/she will be given priority in his/her medical needs,” the official added.

The ID was conceptualized to address the issue of disaggregating those who were vaccinated with Dengvaxia from those who were not because there are also many dengue patients who are not recipients of the vaccine.

“For the mothers, we are giving them IDs as well because there are instances when mothers go to health facilities claiming that their child was vaccinated with Dengvaxia. In fact, there is one instance when a parent granted an interview with the media, but when we verify it, that parent is not in the masterlist of beneficiaries. So these are some of the issues that we want to address,” she furthered.

On the part of the health facilities, the ID system will facilitate their reporting system to the rural health units and DOH.

Earlier, Gorgolon said that close monitoring of all those who were given the initial dose of the vaccine is critical for the next five years.

The Dengvaxia IDs are being distributed in Central Luzon, CALABARZON, Metro Manila, and Cebu. (CLJD/MJLS-PIA 3)

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Crime Incidents Dip in Dumaguete City




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Crime incidents in the city significantly dropped for the third consecutive year through the joint efforts of the local government unit, Philippine National police, and the public.

Dumaguete City Mayor Felipe Antonio Remollo expects that with the diligence and devotion of newly confirmed Chief-of-Police Supt. Jonathan Pineda, the vigilance of the community and the installation of the high definition CCTV cameras by the 3rd quarter of this year, more crimes will be prevented or solved.

In its annual report for 2017, the PNP disclosed that crime volume reduced from 4, 176 in 2015 and 4, 125 in 2016 to 2,534 incidents in 2017 or a decrease of 1,591 incidents.

The Crime Solution Efficiency has also improved from 63.57% in 2015, 72.78% in 2016 to 79.1% in 2017.

Pineda said that some 105 anti-illegal drugs operations were also conducted in 2017 resulting in the arrest of 114 puhers, 21 users and seizure of 1,400.42 grams of shabu amounting to P 13.9 million; 102 cases were filed against drug suspects in 2017; 921 persons (67 pushers; 854 users) surrendered under Oplan Tokhang who are now subject to regular monitoring by the PNP.

The PNP also arrested persons with warrants and 7 yielded loose firearms while 34 were arrested for illegal gambling.

Finally, 1,046 motorcycles were apprehended in checkpoints pursuant to Oplan Bakal and Oplan Sita for various violations of the rules imposed by the Traffic Management Office and Land Transportation Office. (jct/PIA7-Negros Oriental)

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