MANDATORY EVACUATION UP IN LYBYA

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) yesterday imposed a mandatory evacuation of the remaining Filipinos in Libya due to the “extremely unstable political and security situation there.” The DFA raised Alert Level 4, the highest crisis alert, on Libya, where there are about 13,000 Filipinos. Under Alert Level 4, the Philippine government undertakes evacuation of Filipinos there as soon as possible and no Filipino will be allowed to travel to Libya. “Filipinos in Libya are enjoined to contact the Philippine Embassy in Tripoli for instructions regarding mass evacuation,” the DFA said. DFA spokesman Charles Jose said more than 400 Filipinos have been repatriated from Libya so far. * READ MORE...

ALSO: DFA imposes mandatory repatriation for Pinoys in Gaza Strip 

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has raised Alert Level 4 over Gaza Strip in Israel, imposing “mandatory repatriation” of Filipinos due to the worsening security situation in the location, Malacañang announced yesterday. Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. of the Presidential Communications Operations Office said over dzRB that the alert level was raised to four due to the continued clashes between Israel and Hamas. Philippine embassies in Cairo, Tel Aviv and Aman are ready to evacuate and repatriate Filipinos and will coordinate with authorities in Israel, Egypt, Jordan and United Nations. There are 36,400 Filipinos in Israel and 109 of them are in Gaza, the DFA said. The DFA also raised Alert Level 2 or “restriction phase” over Israel 15 kilometers from the border of Gaza, and Alert Level 1 or “precautionary phase” over southern and central Israel and the West Bank where 113 Filipinos live. Deployment ban The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration is also set to issue today a resolution banning deployment of Filipino workers to Israel and will extend legal assistance if necessary, Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said yesterday. Baldoz also said the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has activated its repatriation and reintegration team to help returning workers from Israel. “The team will provide welfare and employment facilitation assistance to those Filipino workers who will avail of the repatriation program,” she added. “The repatriation and reintegration team will meet today and link with our Philippine Overseas Labor Office in Israel.” * READ MORE...

ALSO: Heavy rains seen this week 

Filipinos were warned yesterday against flashfloods and landslides as an enhanced Typhoon Henry is expected to bring moderate to occasionally heavy rains in many parts of the country, including Metro Manila this week. Jun Galang, Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) weather forecaster, said Metro Manila will have moderate to occasionally heavy rains by tomorrow afternoon until Thursday. Rains will be experienced over southern and central Luzon by Wednesday or Thursday, he added. PAGASA said moderate to occasionally heavy rain showers and thunderstorms might trigger flashfloods and landslides in Mimaropa, Bicol and the Visayas today. Calabarzon will have cloudy skies with light to moderate rain showers and thunderstorms. Metro Manila and the rest of the country will be partly cloudy to cloudy with isolated rain showers or thunderstorms. Galang said the southwest monsoon started dumping rains over southern Mindanao and parts of the Visayas yesterday. The rains will continue in the next few days, he added. Moderate to occasionally heavy rains and thunderstorms will persist over Eastern Visayas, Bicol, Dinagat Island, Siargao island and Surigao del Norte until today, he said. * READ MORE...

ALSO: Southern Luzon waits for power; Glenda toll hits 94 

Areas devastated by Typhoon Glenda in southwest Luzon are still without power even as restoration work is ongoing. In the franchise area of Manila Electric Co., the country’s biggest power distributor, some 382,000 customers or seven percent still have no electricity five days after the typhoon made landfall in Luzon, Meralco spokesperson Joe Zaldarriaga said. Quezon province still has the highest percentage without power at 32 percent. Many of the municipalities remained without power as of weekend, according to data from the Department of Energy (DOE). These include Candelaria, Dolores, Lucban, Lucena City, Mauban, Pagbilao, Sampaloc, San Antonio, Sariaya, Tayabas and Tiaong. In Laguna, also among the hardest hit provinces, a majority of communities are still without power while restoration efforts in some areas range from 42 to 90 percent. The situation is similar in Cavite with some areas still without power, data showed. The DOE estimates that full restoration in the hardest hit provinces of Rizal and Quezon could take up to two weeks as the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) would have to put back the toppled transmission lines in these areas. * READ MORE..

ALSO: Noy to lead opening of Iglesia arena 

President Aquino will lead the inauguration today of the Iglesia ni Cristo’s Philippine Arena – the world’s largest indoor arena – situated at the 75-hectare eco-tourism zone Ciudad de Victoria or City of Victory in Bocaue, Bulacan. The President will be accompanied by INC executive minister Eduardo Manalo in the unveiling of the marker in front of the Philippine Arena, which will signal the opening of Ciudad de Victoria. Other government officials and foreign dignitaries are also expected to attend the event. Aquino will be introduced to the congregation by Vice President Jejomar Binay. The President will then deliver his speech, after which he will be presented the first copy of the Philippine Arena Coffee Table Book. The Philippine Arena, with a seating capacity of 55,000, is the centerpiece of INC’s several projects for their centennial celebration on July 27. * READ MORE...


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Mandatory evacuation up in Libya

MANILA, JULY 21, 2014 (PHILSTAR)  By Helen Flores - The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) yesterday imposed a mandatory evacuation of the remaining Filipinos in Libya due to the “extremely unstable political and security situation there.”

The DFA raised Alert Level 4, the highest crisis alert, on Libya, where there are about 13,000 Filipinos. Under Alert Level 4, the Philippine government undertakes evacuation of Filipinos there as soon as possible and no Filipino will be allowed to travel to Libya.

“Filipinos in Libya are enjoined to contact the Philippine Embassy in Tripoli for instructions regarding mass evacuation,” the DFA said.

DFA spokesman Charles Jose said more than 400 Filipinos have been repatriated from Libya so far.

DFA imposes mandatory repatriation for Pinoys in Gaza Strip By Delon Porcalla (The Philippine Star) | Updated July 21, 2014 - 12:00am 0 0 googleplus0 0

MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has raised Alert Level 4 over Gaza Strip in Israel, imposing “mandatory repatriation” of Filipinos due to the worsening security situation in the location, Malacañang announced yesterday.

Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. of the Presidential Communications Operations Office said over dzRB that the alert level was raised to four due to the continued clashes between Israel and Hamas.

Philippine embassies in Cairo, Tel Aviv and Aman are ready to evacuate and repatriate Filipinos and will coordinate with authorities in Israel, Egypt, Jordan and United Nations.

There are 36,400 Filipinos in Israel and 109 of them are in Gaza, the DFA said.

The DFA also raised Alert Level 2 or “restriction phase” over Israel 15 kilometers from the border of Gaza, and Alert Level 1 or “precautionary phase” over southern and central Israel and the West Bank where 113 Filipinos live.

Deployment ban

The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration is also set to issue today a resolution banning deployment of Filipino workers to Israel and will extend legal assistance if necessary, Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said yesterday.

Baldoz also said the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has activated its repatriation and reintegration team to help returning workers from Israel.

“The team will provide welfare and employment facilitation assistance to those Filipino workers who will avail of the repatriation program,” she added. “The repatriation and reintegration team will meet today and link with our Philippine Overseas Labor Office in Israel.”

* The DOLE will provide training and other necessary support for workers who will opt for other alternative source of livelihood. The DOLE’s Bureau of Local Employment will assist those who will seek local employment.

Israeli troops began a ground offensive in parts of Gaza late Thursday, starting a new phase in the operation, which Israel said was aimed at destroying tunnels used by Islamist movement Hamas.

The death toll in Israel’s campaign in Gaza has already reached 343 as Israeli warplanes intensified their bombardment and troops pressed a ground assault on the 12th day of confrontation with Hamas, reports said.

“The Philippines joins the United Nations in calling for the cessation of hostilities to prevent further loss of innocent lives,” Coloma said in Filipino. – With Mayen Jaymalin

Heavy rains seen this week By Helen Flores (The Philippine Star) | Updated July 21, 2014 - 12:00am 3 4 googleplus0 0

MANILA, Philippines - Filipinos were warned yesterday against flashfloods and landslides as an enhanced Typhoon Henry is expected to bring moderate to occasionally heavy rains in many parts of the country, including Metro Manila this week.

Jun Galang, Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) weather forecaster, said Metro Manila will have moderate to occasionally heavy rains by tomorrow afternoon until Thursday.

Rains will be experienced over southern and central Luzon by Wednesday or Thursday, he added.

PAGASA said moderate to occasionally heavy rain showers and thunderstorms might trigger flashfloods and landslides in Mimaropa, Bicol and the Visayas today.

Calabarzon will have cloudy skies with light to moderate rain showers and thunderstorms.

Metro Manila and the rest of the country will be partly cloudy to cloudy with isolated rain showers or thunderstorms.

Galang said the southwest monsoon started dumping rains over southern Mindanao and parts of the Visayas yesterday.

The rains will continue in the next few days, he added. Moderate to occasionally heavy rains and thunderstorms will persist over Eastern Visayas, Bicol, Dinagat Island, Siargao island and Surigao del Norte until today, he said.

* Galang said Henry (international name Matmo) was not expected to make landfall based on current forecast.

However, residents of extreme northern Luzon might experience strong winds tomorrow as Henry passes near Batanes on its way to Taiwan, he said.

PAGASA said coastal waters throughout the archipelago will be moderate to rough.

PAGASA advised fishermen and operators of small sea craft against going out to the eastern seaboard of Bicol, Visayas and Mindanao due to big waves.

As of 4 p.m. yesterday, the center of Henry was spotted at 500 kilometers east of Legazpi City with maximum sustained winds of 120 kilometers per hour near center and gustiness of up to 150 kph.

Henry was expected to exit the Philippine area of responsibility on Wednesday afternoon or Thursday morning, Galang said. -With Raymund Catindig

Southern Luzon waits for power; Glenda toll hits 94 By Iris Gonzales (The Philippine Star) | Updated July 21, 2014 - 12:00am 4 0 googleplus0 0

MANILA, Philippines - Areas devastated by Typhoon Glenda in southwest Luzon are still without power even as restoration work is ongoing.

In the franchise area of Manila Electric Co., the country’s biggest power distributor, some 382,000 customers or seven percent still have no electricity five days after the typhoon made landfall in Luzon, Meralco spokesperson Joe Zaldarriaga said.

Quezon province still has the highest percentage without power at 32 percent. Many of the municipalities remained without power as of weekend, according to data from the Department of Energy (DOE).

These include Candelaria, Dolores, Lucban, Lucena City, Mauban, Pagbilao, Sampaloc, San Antonio, Sariaya, Tayabas and Tiaong.

In Laguna, also among the hardest hit provinces, a majority of communities are still without power while restoration efforts in some areas range from 42 to 90 percent.

The situation is similar in Cavite with some areas still without power, data showed.

The DOE estimates that full restoration in the hardest hit provinces of Rizal and Quezon could take up to two weeks as the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) would have to put back the toppled transmission lines in these areas.

* Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla said NGCP’s 69 kV lines or those connected to the households need to be put back online first.

Meralco earlier failed to meet its 100-percent restoration target by 10 p.m. Friday but has been able to energize 87.25 percent of its franchise area as of Saturday afternoon.

In Metro Manila, Meralco said that all circuit level outages have already been energized although a remaining 2.64 percent are still without power due to outages on isolated portions of a circuit.

Meralco also did not implement rotating blackouts this weekend due to lower demand.

Death toll

The number of persons who died due to the typhoon has risen to 94 while the amount of damage exceeded P7 billion.

New fatalities were reported in Quezon, the area worst hit by the first major typhoon in the country this year.

A majority of fatalities or 67 were from Calabarzon region, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) reported yesterday. Calabarzon consists of the provinces of Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon.

Eight of those who died were from Central Luzon, six from Bicol, five each from Mimaropa and Eastern Visayas, two from Metro Manila and one was from Western Visayas.

A total of 317 persons were injured while six remain missing.

The cost of damage had swollen to P7.3 billion, with the agriculture sector bearing the brunt of the typhoon’s impact.

The amount of damaged crops, livestock, and agriculture facilities in Central Luzon, Mimaropa, Bicol, Metro Manila and Cordillera totaled P6.3 billion.

Damaged infrastructure, meanwhile, amounted to more than P1 billion while damage to school buildings reached P27.29 million.

The figure could still rise as the Office of Civil Defense has yet to receive reports from other affected areas.

Glenda affected more than 1.6 million persons or 330,433 families in Ilocos, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Mimaropa, Eastern Visayas, and Metro Manila.

Of the affected residents, 97,055 families or 518,764 persons were displaced and still staying inside 1,264 evacuation centers. The typhoon also damaged a total of 111,372 houses in seven regions.

The government and non-government organizations have provided P16.18 million worth of relief goods and medicines to the affected families. – With Alexis Romero

Noy to lead opening of Iglesia arena By Delon Porcalla (The Philippine Star) | Updated July 21, 2014 - 12:00am 4 68 googleplus0 0


The Iglesia ni Cristo’s Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan is the world’s largest indoor arena with a seating capacity of 55,000. The structure, the centerpiece of INC projects for the centennial celebration on July 27, will be inaugurated today.

MANILA, Philippines - President Aquino will lead the inauguration today of the Iglesia ni Cristo’s Philippine Arena – the world’s largest indoor arena – situated at the 75-hectare eco-tourism zone Ciudad de Victoria or City of Victory in Bocaue, Bulacan.

The President will be accompanied by INC executive minister Eduardo Manalo in the unveiling of the marker in front of the Philippine Arena, which will signal the opening of Ciudad de Victoria.

Other government officials and foreign dignitaries are also expected to attend the event.

Aquino will be introduced to the congregation by Vice President Jejomar Binay.

The President will then deliver his speech, after which he will be presented the first copy of the Philippine Arena Coffee Table Book.

The Philippine Arena, with a seating capacity of 55,000, is the centerpiece of INC’s several projects for their centennial celebration on July 27.

* Tight security

Chief Superintendent Raul Petrasanta, Police Regional Office-3 director, yesterday said 3,000 policemen will be deployed for the INC event.

The Tollways Management Corp. (TMC) will also field additional personnel along the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) in preparation for the possible increase in traffic volume.

Earlier estimates said at least 50,000 people are expected to attend the inauguration, which is seen as a dry run for the INC centennial celebration on Sunday.

Construction of the Philippine Arena, which had a P9-billion budget, started in 2011.

It was built by Korea’s Hanwha Engineering and Consulting Corp. in coordination with Populous, a global architecture corporation based in Australia, and Buro Happold, a global engineering consulting firm based in the United Kingdom.

Auxiliary force

Meanwhile, the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) has expressed readiness to secure INC members who will attend the religious sect’s centennial festivities.

“We are ready for any eventuality,” said NCRPO chief Director Carmelo Valmoria.

He said they will secure airports and seaports for INC members coming from Mindanao, the Visayas, Bicol and Southern Tagalog. – With Non Alquitran, Ric Sapnu, Dino Balabo


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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