PARTS OF LUZON SUFFER ROTATING POWER OUTAGES 

JULY 13 --Parts of Luzon experienced rotating power interruptions lasting up to three hours yesterday due to supply deficiency brought about by the unavailability of some power plants, according to the Manila Electric Co. (Meralco). Meralco started the manual load dropping, a way of rationing power, at 10:27 a.m., resulting in rotating blackouts of two to three hours in portions of Tutuban, Manila; Calumpit, Meycauayan, Marilao and Sta. Maria in Bulacan; Bacoor, Cavite; and Grace Park in Caloocan. Parts of Quezon City also experienced power outages. The rotating power outages ran from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and again from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla said the situation is expected to return to normal today. The supply deficiency stemmed from the scheduled maintenance shutdown of the Ilijan natural gas power plant in Batangas, owned and operated by Kepco Philippines Inc. and which sources its supply from the Malampaya natural gas facility in offshore Palawan. The Ilijan plant is one of the three natural gas plants supplying 30 percent to 40 percent of Luzon’s energy requirements. “The Ilijan plant had to undergo pigging (pipeline inspection gauge) activities,” said Meralco spokesman Joe Zaldarriaga. The pigging procedure also intends to eliminate accumulated deposits, which affect the overall productivity of the facility, according to the Department of Energy (DOE). The process will clean the nearly 15-kilometer pipeline of the plant, which originates all the way from the Malampaya platform. The Calaca coal-fired power plant in Batangas also went on maintenance shutdown but went back online yesterday. As a result of the supply deficiency, the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines put the Luzon grid on red alert yesterday. A red alert means there is severe power deficiency, while a yellow alert means reserves are below the minimum level set by the regulator. Yellow alert is reached when the total reserve is less than the capacity of the largest plant online. For the Luzon grid, this is usually equivalent to 647 megawatts, or one unit of the Sual power plant. * READ MORE...

10 things you probably didn't know about SONA

JULY 13 --A State of the Nation Address (SONA) is a yearly tradition through which the chief executive reports on the status of the country, unveils the government’s agenda for the coming year, and bares the list of legislative measures that he wants Congress to approve. The SONA is a constitutional obligation, as written in Article VII, Section 23 of the 1987 Constitution: “the President shall address the Congress at the opening of its regular session.” Moreover, Article VI, Section 15 prescribes that the Congress “shall convene once every year on the fourth Monday of July for its regular session.” As the 2014 SONA approaches, here are some facts and numbers that might just catch your interest: * READ MORE...

(ALSO) SONA 2014: Aquino urged to do more amid China's aggression 

JULY 13 --An international law expert believes that the Philippines' arbitration case against China is a legacy of President Benigno Aquino III, but much still needs to be done in his remaining two years including a major diplomatic move in the United Nations (UN). Lawyer Harry Roque Jr., director of the University of the Philippines (UP) Law Center Institute of International Legal Studies, said the country under Aquino's leadership will be known for standing up for its rights and for seeking legal remedies to protect its interest in the disputed South China Sea. "I think his best legacy would be resorting to the rule of law and trying to achieve settlement on the South China Sea." Roque said in an interview. "To his credit, this is something that no other country has done, particularly to use legal remedies against a regional power like China. But at the same time, he has got to win," the UP law professor added. Aquino has said that to de-escalate tensions in the disputed waters, the Philippines is pursuing comprehensive means on three levels - immediate, intermediate, and final approaches. On the immediate level, Aquino said the Philippines is seeking a moratorium on construction efforts and other activities that may increase tensions in the contested territories. On the intermediate level, the country is calling for the completion of a binding Code of Conduct. On the final approach, the Philippines has filed an arbitration case that would clarify the maritime entitlements of country-claimants in the South China Sea. * READ MORE...

ALSO: Palace: No panic over DAP 

JULY 13 --President Aquino is not at all worried over criticisms of his decision to keep embattled Budget Secretary Florencio Abad in his Cabinet, and his televised address tonight is not an indication of panic, a Palace spokesman said yesterday. “No panic. Our President is very calm and the members of the Cabinet and the national government continue to do their duties,” Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. told state-owned radio dzRB. Coloma advised the public, including government detractors, to just wait for the President’s national address, to be aired on all local television networks, saying Aquino wanted to communicate with his bosses – the 94 million Filipino people. On Friday, Aquino announced that he had rejected Abad’s offer to resign amid the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) controversy. Aquino and Abad have been lambasted by various sectors for the implementation of the controversial DAP. The Supreme Court recently declared key portions of the DAP unconstitutional after savings pooled under the program were allocated to programs, activities and projects not covered by the General Appropriations Act or the national budget. Coloma belied speculations that Aquino decided to keep Abad – who filed a courtesy and not irrevocable resignation – because the budget secretary knows so much in government dealings, which could bring down the administration. “The allegation has no basis and no truth and the President had already spoken about the issue,” said Coloma. He said Aquino’s statement tonight would make people understand even more the rationale behind his decision to reject the resignation of Abad, a close friend and stalwart of the ruling Liberal Party. “The President believes that a well-informed citizenry will be able to make well-informed decisions that will affect themselves and the future of the country,” Coloma maintained. * READ MORE...

ALSO: Signal No. 1 hoisted over 6 areas 

As Tropical Storm “Glenda” continues its westward movement toward Bicol and Quezon, it has intensified its strength and alerted the weather bureau to raise storm warning Signal No. 1 in six areas Monday morning. In its weather advisory, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) raised Signal No. 1 in the provinces of Catanduanes, Camarines Sur, Camarines Norte, Albay, Sorsogon, and Northern Samar. As of 4 am Monday, ‘Glenda’ was estimated at 750 kilometer east of Virac, Catanduanes packing wind speeds of 80 kph and gusts of 95 kph.
It was expected to move westward at a pace of 30 kph. Pagasa said the Bicol Region and Eastern Visayas would also have cloudy skies with light to moderate rainshowers or thunderstorms. Metro Manila and the rest of the country would be partly cloudy to cloudy with isolated rainshowers and thunderstorms, the weather bureau added. THIS IS THE FULL REPORT.

ALSO: Storm alert up 

JULY 13 --Luzon, including Metro Manila, will have strong winds and heavy rains beginning tomorrow due to tropical storm Rammasun, which was expected to enter the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR) last night. Jori Loiz, senior weather forecaster at the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), said the agency is looking at three scenarios for Rammasun, which will be named Glenda once it enters the PAR. Rammasun’s path could go three ways as it moves west toward Luzon areas. Loiz said the most likely scenario, based on current projections, is Rammasun making landfall on Aurora-Quezon area on Wednesday morning. It could also hit Isabela or the Bicol region. As of 4 p.m. yesterday, the center of the storm was spotted at 1,150 kilometers east of Bicol with maximum sustained winds of 65 kilometers per hour near center and gustiness of up to 80 kph. The storm, moving west at 23 kph, is expected to gather more strength as it crosses the Pacific Ocean. Loiz said the storm is forecast to enter the PAR between 10 p.m. and 12 midnight, and it will start bringing rains over northern Luzon, eastern Visayas and Mindanao. It is expected to move closer to Philippine landmass tonight, and rains may start affecting the entire country, particularly the western section of Luzon and Visayas due to the enhanced southwest monsoon, Loiz said. Tomorrow, the storm will move closer to Bicol, bringing light to moderate rains over the northern part of eastern Samar, Panay Island and southern Negros. The whole Bicol region will experience rains from the southwest monsoon by tomorrow evening, Loiz said. THIS IS THE FULL REPORT


Read Full Stories here:

Parts of Luzon suffer rotating power outages

MANILA, JULY 14, 2014 (PHILSTAR) By Iris Gonzales - Parts of Luzon experienced rotating power interruptions lasting up to three hours yesterday due to supply deficiency brought about by the unavailability of some power plants, according to the Manila Electric Co. (Meralco).

Meralco started the manual load dropping, a way of rationing power, at 10:27 a.m., resulting in rotating blackouts of two to three hours in portions of Tutuban, Manila; Calumpit, Meycauayan, Marilao and Sta. Maria in Bulacan; Bacoor, Cavite; and Grace Park in Caloocan. Parts of Quezon City also experienced power outages.

The rotating power outages ran from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and again from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla said the situation is expected to return to normal today.

The supply deficiency stemmed from the scheduled maintenance shutdown of the Ilijan natural gas power plant in Batangas, owned and operated by Kepco Philippines Inc. and which sources its supply from the Malampaya natural gas facility in offshore Palawan.

The Ilijan plant is one of the three natural gas plants supplying 30 percent to 40 percent of Luzon’s energy requirements.

“The Ilijan plant had to undergo pigging (pipeline inspection gauge) activities,” said Meralco spokesman Joe Zaldarriaga.

The pigging procedure also intends to eliminate accumulated deposits, which affect the overall productivity of the facility, according to the Department of Energy (DOE). The process will clean the nearly 15-kilometer pipeline of the plant, which originates all the way from the Malampaya platform.

The Calaca coal-fired power plant in Batangas also went on maintenance shutdown but went back online yesterday.

As a result of the supply deficiency, the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines put the Luzon grid on red alert yesterday.

A red alert means there is severe power deficiency, while a yellow alert means reserves are below the minimum level set by the regulator. Yellow alert is reached when the total reserve is less than the capacity of the largest plant online. For the Luzon grid, this is usually equivalent to 647 megawatts, or one unit of the Sual power plant.

* Augmenting the power supply deficiency was the government’s so-called Interruptible Load Program (ILP).

ILPs are generating units, which are the back-up capacity of all industries around the country such as malls.

“The ILP is in place so there’s less (blackout) in Meralco’s franchise area,” Petilla said.

Malacañang also assured the public yesterday that authorities were on top of the situation as the maintenance activities were ongoing.

Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said over radio dzRB that authorities were closely monitoring the tight supply due to emergency maintenance.

“We do ask for the understanding of our citizens and their cooperation... We can take small steps to conserve energy over the weekend because that will help in managing the demand,” Valte added.

National emergency on power called

Despite the assurance from Malacañang, the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) yesterday called for the declaration of a national emergency on power to prevent a possible massive displacement of workers due to the power crisis.

The TUCP also asked the Aquino administration to establish a multi-agency group to address the power crisis and protect workers from blackouts and rising electricity rates.

“All it takes is presidential courage to announce an emergency and the need for a national response,” the TUCP said in a statement.

The TUCP said the ASEAN integration in 2015 would require a clear energy roadmap to encourage foreign investors to pour their investments in the country and promote employment. – With Mayen Jaymalin, Aurea Calica

10 things you probably didn't know about SONA By Alixandra Caole Vila (philstar.com) | Updated July 14, 2014 - 12:00am 0 4 googleplus0 0

MANILA, Philippines – A State of the Nation Address (SONA) is a yearly tradition through which the chief executive reports on the status of the country, unveils the government’s agenda for the coming year, and bares the list of legislative measures that he wants Congress to approve.

The SONA is a constitutional obligation, as written in Article VII, Section 23 of the 1987 Constitution: “the President shall address the Congress at the opening of its regular session.” Moreover, Article VI, Section 15 prescribes that the Congress “shall convene once every year on the fourth Monday of July for its regular session.”

As the 2014 SONA approaches, here are some facts and numbers that might just catch your interest:

* 1 number of the least SONA delivered; courtesy of President Sergio Osmeña

2 number of presidents who did not deliver their SONAs because the constitutions during their time made no provision nor requirement for a report to Congress: Aguinaldo and Laurel

9 number of times former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo delivered a SONA

20 number of the most SONAs delivered; courtesy of President Ferdinand E. Marcos

29 number of rounds of applause President Benigno S. Aquino III received in his first SONA

74 total number of SONAs delivered as of 2013

1935 year when President Manuel L. Quezon delivered the first SONA

1950 year when President Elpidio Quirino delivered the only SONA via a radio broadcast, which was aired live in Congress while in session. At the time, he was confined at Johns Hopkins Hospital in the United States

2010 year when President Benigno S. Aquino III delivered his first SONA, also the first SONA in history delivered entirely in Filipino

2011 year when President Benigno S. Aquino III has introduced another innovation in the SONA tradition: the delivery of the address purely in Filipino with real-time translation.

SONA 2014: Aquino urged to do more amid China's aggression By Louis Bacani (philstar.com) | Updated July 14, 2014 - 12:00am 0 7 googleplus0 0

MANILA, Philippines — An international law expert believes that the Philippines' arbitration case against China is a legacy of President Benigno Aquino III, but much still needs to be done in his remaining two years including a major diplomatic move in the United Nations (UN).

Lawyer Harry Roque Jr., director of the University of the Philippines (UP) Law Center Institute of International Legal Studies, said the country under Aquino's leadership will be known for standing up for its rights and for seeking legal remedies to protect its interest in the disputed South China Sea.

"I think his best legacy would be resorting to the rule of law and trying to achieve settlement on the South China Sea." Roque said in an interview.

"To his credit, this is something that no other country has done, particularly to use legal remedies against a regional power like China. But at the same time, he has got to win," the UP law professor added.

Aquino has said that to de-escalate tensions in the disputed waters, the Philippines is pursuing comprehensive means on three levels - immediate, intermediate, and final approaches.

On the immediate level, Aquino said the Philippines is seeking a moratorium on construction efforts and other activities that may increase tensions in the contested territories. On the intermediate level, the country is calling for the completion of a binding Code of Conduct.

On the final approach, the Philippines has filed an arbitration case that would clarify the maritime entitlements of country-claimants in the South China Sea.

But Roque believes that the proposed moratorium will not succeed while the arbitration case may not be enough to solve the territorial dispute.

That is why in the upcoming State of the Nation Address (SONA), Roque wants the President to lay out other options that the country may also pursue.

"I want to hear what his fallback position is. I don't want us to put all our eggs in one bag. I want to hear that we have alternative remedies in case we don't prevail in the arbitration and I want to know what these are," Roque said.

He said Aquino must also reassure that regardless of what happens to the arbitration, his administration will still exhaust other remedies to protect the Philippines' national patrimony and territory.

"And at the same time, I already want to know, how he intends to finish with finality the entirety of the Spratly Islands dispute," Roque added.

UN General Assembly

According to Roque, what Aquino must do now is to seek the support of one of the six principal organs of the UN, the General Assembly.

"We should be focusing on building a consensus in the UN for a General Assembly resolution against China's conquest of the South China Sea," Roque said.

Under the UN Charter, the Security Council is the principal organ responsible for the maintenance of international peace and security, but Roque said the General Assembly may also deal with threats to peace pursuant to the Uniting for Peace Resolution adopted in 1950.

The resolution states that the General Assembly may take actions when there are threats to peace or acts of aggression if the Security Council fails to do so due to the negative vote of a permanent member.

Since China is a permanent member of the Security Council, Roque believes the UN body will not act if the tensions in the South China Sea develop into a full armed conflict.

"[Aquino] should now be preparing for a major diplomatic initiative in the UN because China is a permanent member of the Security Council. We cannot expect the Security Council to act in case of conflict in the South China Sea because China has a veto power," Roque said.

"The only mechanism right now is the General Assembly that's why we should be focusing on sending an effective diplomat there that can muster support of the majority members of the United Nations for a resolution," Roque also said.

At the same time, Aquino should also start getting the support of other nations, but not those which are already known allies of the Philippines such as Japan, Roque suggested.

"He should not be converting the converted," the lawyer said. "He should be making a major initiative among third world countries now to unite, to support each other against regional bullies like China. He should be going to Latin America, Africa and other parts of Asia."

Roque also wants the President to consider China's demand of bilateral negotiations to solve the territorial row.

"If I were him (Aquino), I will still do it behind closed doors," Roque said. "We should be exhausting all means for peaceful resolution of this dispute."

"We are duty-bound, as a member of the UN Charter, to resort to all these peaceful means," he said.

Prioritize national defense, get public support

Roque said the Aquino administration should also prioritize national defense by investing in equipment, warships and airplanes using government resources such as the Malampaya fund.

"I want us to come up with a viable defense policy knowing that we have sufficient resources already to defend what we claim in the South China Sea. And the fruits of Malampaya are more than sufficient for this," Roque said.

Instead of relying on the United States, Roque said Aquino should rally the Filipinos as the Philippines presses its sovereignty over the disputed territories.

"The Philippine government is also sending mixed signals. It is standing up to China but running to America. What [Aquino] should be doing now is galvanizing support of the Philippines in favor of the Philippines," Roque said.

"Let's get public support to defend our islands. Let's get rid of corruption so we can use our resources for the protection of the Republic. That's what [Aquino] should be doing for the Filipino people and not crying and running to Uncle Sam."

Palace: No panic over DAP By Delon Porcalla (The Philippine Star) | Updated July 14, 2014 - 12:00am 0 0 googleplus0 0

MANILA, Philippines - President Aquino is not at all worried over criticisms of his decision to keep embattled Budget Secretary Florencio Abad in his Cabinet, and his televised address tonight is not an indication of panic, a Palace spokesman said yesterday.

“No panic. Our President is very calm and the members of the Cabinet and the national government continue to do their duties,” Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. told state-owned radio dzRB.

Coloma advised the public, including government detractors, to just wait for the President’s national address, to be aired on all local television networks, saying Aquino wanted to communicate with his bosses – the 94 million Filipino people.

On Friday, Aquino announced that he had rejected Abad’s offer to resign amid the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) controversy.

Aquino and Abad have been lambasted by various sectors for the implementation of the controversial DAP.

The Supreme Court recently declared key portions of the DAP unconstitutional after savings pooled under the program were allocated to programs, activities and projects not covered by the General Appropriations Act or the national budget.

Coloma belied speculations that Aquino decided to keep Abad – who filed a courtesy and not irrevocable resignation – because the budget secretary knows so much in government dealings, which could bring down the administration.

“The allegation has no basis and no truth and the President had already spoken about the issue,” said Coloma.

He said Aquino’s statement tonight would make people understand even more the rationale behind his decision to reject the resignation of Abad, a close friend and stalwart of the ruling Liberal Party.

“The President believes that a well-informed citizenry will be able to make well-informed decisions that will affect themselves and the future of the country,” Coloma maintained.

* He said the people should be given the complete information so that they understand the reasons for the government’s actions.

On the President’s decision to retain Abad in his cabinet, Sen. Francis Escudero said he is not in a position to judge the President’s actions.

“Let history decide whether the decision of the President is right or wrong in retaining Abad in his cabinet,” said Escudero, allied with the administration but identified with the faction of Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa whose team is against the Liberal Party bloc led by Senate President Franklin Drilon and Abad.

Escudero said the Senate would still call Abad to its inquiry that hopes to determine how the government spent more than P100 billion in DAP funds.

Escudero, chairman of the Senate committee on finance, also lashed out at Abad for again putting the President in the spot when the former should be explaining the DAP and how it was used.

He referred to the scheduled national address by President Aquino tonight regarding the issue.

“Do we really need the announcement from PNoy? If you ask me, it should be Sec. Abad who should come out and address the public instead of the President because he is the alter ego of the President,” Escudero told radio dzBB.

If the President will push through with his plan to address the nation tonight, Escudero expressed hope that he will be able to provide a convincing explanation on DAP including the details on who benefited from the funds.

“I think it is important that the President is able to establish that the funds were spent wisely in worthy government projects,” Escudero said. “Where did the DAP funds go? Which DAP (projects) violated the law?”

As far as he is concerned, Escudero expressed belief that DAP did not characterize “savings.”

He also echoed the Supreme Court’s decision that classified DAP as cross-border allocations, meaning the funds went from executive to Congress, judiciary and the constitutional bodies.

He also wanted to know the circumstances why the DAP did not have any item in the budget and why there were DAP funds that came from “unprogrammed funds,” which did not get the signature of the national treasurer.

“DAP is not all wrong, but we are seeking answers to the disbursements which fall in the category found as unconstitutional by the Supreme Court,” he added.

Escudero is hopeful that Abad will not snub the Senate inquiry, knowing that they have to explain to the public how DAP funds were spent before Congress again starts the debates on the 2015 national budget.

Violation, betrayal

Meanwhile, at least two impeachment complaints against President Aquino will be filed this week in the House of Representatives for alleged culpable violation of the Constitution and betrayal of public trust, an opposition lawmaker said yesterday.

Kabataan party-list Rep. Terry Ridon said youth groups and student organizations are expected to file their impeachment complaint on Thursday in connection with the illegal P177-billion DAP while the militant Bagong Alyansang Makabayan will file their own complaint the day before or Wednesday.

Both impeachment complaints, he said, are guaranteed to be endorsed by at least one House member.

Ridon said he’ll back the complaint to be filed by youth groups while other members of the so-called Makabayan bloc in the House will endorse the other one.

Despite the filing of impeachment complaints by lawyer Oliver Lozano and former Iloilo Rep. Augusto Syjuco in the past days, not one has been formally endorsed by a lawmaker so technically there is still no complaint filed against Aquino.

“We are more determined now to file charges against Aquino because the public saw the circus, mockery, and insult of the people’s trust when Secretary Abad supposedly offered to resign and Aquino rejected it,” Ridon said, referring to the architect of the DAP, which was declared illegal and unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in a unanimous ruling.

The lawmaker said he expects at least 50 complainants or signatories from the group Youth Act Now! and many more from other organizations and student groups.

He said the impeachment complaints, despite what his colleagues from the majority bloc and Malacañang are claiming, “have solid grounds” as Aquino committed willful and deliberation violations of the Constitution.

Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, who leads the independent bloc in the House, said “somebody has got to suffer the consequences after the unanimous SC ruling that declared the DAP unconstitutional.

“If President Aquino will keep Disbursement Acceleration Program brains Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, then Malacañang had better identify fast who should be held accountable or be penalized for it,” the lawmaker said.

“The Constitution, the supreme law of the land, was violated. When a law is violated, the violator must be punished. No one breaks the law and walks away untouched, as if he didn’t do anything wrong,” said Romualdez, also president of the Philippine Constitution Association (Philconsa).

He said good faith or good intention is not an excuse to violate the Constitution, or any law for that matter, anytime.

Buhay party-list Rep. Lito Atienza meanwhile cautioned Aquino against trusting Abad, whom he said has a record of betraying presidents.

“He (Abad) betrayed Erap (former President and now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada), whom he was very close to; he also betrayed GMA (Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo), I would hate to see the day when he stabs in the back the President, especially that he has less than 24 months left in office,” Atienza said.

He said Abad should have the “delicadeza” to leave his post even if Aquino wants him retained as the public demanded accountability over the DAP case. With Christina Mendez, Paolo Romero

FROM THE INQUIRER


MT Satellite image July 14, 2014, 7:32 a.m. Screengrab from http://www.pagasa.dost.gov.ph/

MANILA, Philippines – As Tropical Storm “Glenda” continues its westward movement toward Bicol and Quezon, it has intensified its strength and alerted the weather bureau to raise storm warning Signal No. 1 in six areas Monday morning.

In its weather advisory, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) raised Signal No. 1 in the provinces of Catanduanes, Camarines Sur, Camarines Norte, Albay, Sorsogon, and Northern Samar.

As of 4 am Monday, ‘Glenda’ was estimated at 750 kilometer east of Virac, Catanduanes packing wind speeds of 80 kph and gusts of 95 kph.

It was expected to move westward at a pace of 30 kph.

Pagasa said the Bicol Region and Eastern Visayas would also have cloudy skies with light to moderate rainshowers or thunderstorms.

Metro Manila and the rest of the country would be partly cloudy to cloudy with isolated rainshowers and thunderstorms, the weather bureau added.

Signal No. 1 hoisted over 6 areas By Bong Lozada |INQUIRER.net8:13 am | Monday, July 14th, 2014

Read more: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/619408/signal-no-1-hoisted-over-6-areas#ixzz37Ozi4i00 Follow us: @inquirerdotnet on Twitter | inquirerdotnet on Facebook

 

Storm alert up By Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) | Updated July 14, 2014 - 12:00am 0 1 googleplus0 0

MANILA, Philippines - Luzon, including Metro Manila, will have strong winds and heavy rains beginning tomorrow due to tropical storm Rammasun, which was expected to enter the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR) last night.

Jori Loiz, senior weather forecaster at the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), said the agency is looking at three scenarios for Rammasun, which will be named Glenda once it enters the PAR.

Rammasun’s path could go three ways as it moves west toward Luzon areas.

Loiz said the most likely scenario, based on current projections, is Rammasun making landfall on Aurora-Quezon area on Wednesday morning. It could also hit Isabela or the Bicol region.

As of 4 p.m. yesterday, the center of the storm was spotted at 1,150 kilometers east of Bicol with maximum sustained winds of 65 kilometers per hour near center and gustiness of up to 80 kph.

The storm, moving west at 23 kph, is expected to gather more strength as it crosses the Pacific Ocean.

Loiz said the storm is forecast to enter the PAR between 10 p.m. and 12 midnight, and it will start bringing rains over northern Luzon, eastern Visayas and Mindanao.

It is expected to move closer to Philippine landmass tonight, and rains may start affecting the entire country, particularly the western section of Luzon and Visayas due to the enhanced southwest monsoon, Loiz said.

Tomorrow, the storm will move closer to Bicol, bringing light to moderate rains over the northern part of eastern Samar, Panay Island and southern Negros.

The whole Bicol region will experience rains from the southwest monsoon by tomorrow evening, Loiz said.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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