CHINA HIGH ON AGENDA IN AQUINO'S EURO TOUR 

MADRID, SEPTEMBER 15, 2014 --In what will be his second trip to Europe since assuming office in 2010, President Aquino will embark on a grueling four-nation visit to Spain, Belgium, France, and Germany with the Philippines’ territorial dispute with China high on the agenda.
The President, who is set to leave Manila at 9:50 p.m. Saturday, will attempt to rally more support behind his government’s proposed “triple action plan” to resolve the dispute through international arbitration. Claimant countries should cease activities that could raise tensions in the region and a binding Code of Conduct should be put in place, according to the Philippine strategy which already received support from Washington.

The President will sit down with King Felipe VI of Spain and Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy here on Monday. In Brussels, the next leg of his trip, Mr. Aquino will have an audience with King Philippe of Belgium and separate meetings with European Commission President Jóse Manuel Barroso and European Council President Herman van Rompuy. In France, Mr. Aquino will have bilateral meetings with President François Hollande and Prime Minister Manuel Valls. Mr. Aquino will wrap up his weeklong European swing on Sept. 19 and 20 in Germany where he will meet with Chancellor Angela Merkel and Federal President Joachim Gauck.

Assistant Foreign Secretary Maria Zeneida Angara-Collinson said it was important for Mr. Aquino to “apprise these world leaders directly on what is going on” in the West Philippine Sea. Just last month, the President criticized the presence of two Chinese hydrographic research vessels near the Philippines’ oil-rich Recto Bank, which is located just 144 kilometers from Palawan. About time --Of Mr. Aquino’s 33 foreign trips since 2010, he had gone to Europe only once when he went on an official visit to the United Kingdom in 2012.

Collinson said “it’s about time” that Mr. Aquino visited Spain, Belgium, France, and Germany in a trip that was also expected to “stimulate trade and investment” with the Philippines. “These are major countries that he’s visiting in Europe,” she said. “Europe is our partner, not only in trade and investments…but most importantly, it is our partner in the political field when it comes to values, promotion of democracy, rule of law, support for the Philippine position in the West Philippine Sea. Europe is right there with us.” *READ MORE...

ALSO: ‘Luis’ makes landfall, maintains strength 

PHOTO --A Filipino reacts as he is hit by waves along a promenade in Manila, Philippines on Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014. AP – Typhoon “Luis” (international name: Kalmaegi) pounded northern Luzon with heavy rains and strong winds as it made landfall in Isabela province on Sunday night, causing water to breach critical levels in dams and plunging Tuguegarao City into darkness. “Hourly Update: (5:00 PM, 14 September 2014) Typhoon “#LuisPH” has made landfall over the boundary of Isabela-Cagayan (17.3°N, 122.5°E),” the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) posted over social media. “Luis” was last located 115 kilometers east of Tuguegarao by 4 p.m., packing maximum sustained winds of 130 kilometers per hour and gusts of up to 160 kph. It continues to move west northwest at a slightly faster pace of 22 kph.

The Public Storm Warnings over Luzon provinces were retained, except for northern Aurora, which is now under Signal no. 2 like the rest of the province. Signal no. 3: Cagayan including Babuyan and Calayan Group of Islands, Apayao, Ilocos Norte, Abra, Kalinga, Isabela, Mt. Province, Ilocos Sur and Ifugao--Signal no. 2: Batanes Group of Islands, La Union, Benguet, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino, Aurora, Pangasinan and Nueva Ecija-- Signal no. 1: Tarlac, Zambales, Pampanga, Bulacan, Northern Quezon and Polillo Island.

By 6 p.m., Ipo Dam in Bulacan province had breached the critical level due to the heavy rains and had started to release water from one gate, affecting several towns in Bulacan. Magat Dam in Isabela may also breach critical level, according to the weather bureau. A detour bridge at the village of Hicming in Virac, Catanduanes province, was destroyed on Saturday, isolating six villages. In Antique province, a boy was believed to have drowned due to huge waves and strong winds spawned by the typhoon. Having intensified into a full-scale typhoon earlier on Sunday, the eye of Luis made landfall in the coastal town of Divilacan, Isabela, around 5 p.m., according to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa). Luis packed sustained winds of 130 kilometers per hour and gusts of up to 160 kph by the time it hit land. It was moving northwest at 20 kph.
The typhoon was estimated to bring heavy-to-intense rainfall from 8 millimeters per hour to 20 mm per hour within its 550-kilometer diameter.*CONTINUE READING...

ALSO: It’s now Typhoon ‘Luis’; storm alerts up  

SEPT 13 --Tropical Storm “Luis” (international codename: Kalmaegi) is now a typhoon as it moved towards Isabela and Cagayan, which are now under Signal No. 3, the state weather bureau said Saturday. As of 10 p.m., the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said the center of Typhoon “Luis” was estimated at 290 kilometers northeast of Virac, Catanduanes.

It has maximum sustained winds of 120 kilometers per hour near the center and gustiness of up to 150 kph. It is forecast to move west northwest at 20 kph. Luis is expected to be at 86 km southeast of Tuguegarao City and by Sunday evening at 413 km west of Laoag City or outside the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR). Meanwhile, Storm Signal No. 2 is up over Calayan and Babuyan Group of Islands, Apayao, Kalinga, Ifugao, Mt. Province, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino and Northern Aurora. These areas are expected to experience winds from 61-100 kph in at least 24 hours, Pagasa said.

Signal No. 1 is raised over Batanes group of Islands, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Abra, La Union, Benguet, Pangasinan, Nueva Ecija, rest of Aurora, Polillo Island and Catanduanes. These areas are expected to experience winds of 30-60 kph in at least 36 hours.*READ MORE...

ALSO: Red Cross issues initial list of 68 survivors from ferry sinking 

In this Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014 photo released by the Philippine National Red Cross Surigao Del Norte Chapter, survivors from the ferry M/V Maharlika II that sank after encountering steering problems, keep themselves warm with blankets as they arrive at the Lipata Port Terminal in Surigao city, central Philippines. AP

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Red Cross Southern Leyte and Surigao del Norte chapters issued Sunday this initial list of survivors from the MV Maharlika II, which sank in waters between Surigao and Panaon Islands in San Ricardo town, Southern Leyte, after experiencing engine trouble:
1. Jesse Buhos (ormoc)
2. Roel Mallen (davao)
3. Trestan Mallen (davao)
4. Ronald Villariez (pampanga)
5.Richei cagas(davao)
6. Gerald Tocoyo (batangas)
7. Vicente Adolfo (capiz
8. Raul Acero (gen. San)
9. Roselito tabon (liloan leyte)
10. Armando Glaban (mis.or)
11. Rodney Calibuyot (panabo)
12. Emer llegue (samar) ...PLEASE CONTINUE READING....

ALSO UPDATE 3 killed, 110 rescued in sinking of ferry near Southern Leyte

SEPT 14 --MANILA, Philippines – The death toll in the sinking of MV Maharlika II, an inter-island ferry, near Southern Leyte, rose to three on Sunday morning, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said. Jojie Barbaza, PCG Public Affairs Office chief, said that as of Sunday 10 a.m., there were three fatalities, three missing and 110 survivors. “According to the account of Ship Captain Juan Cayago, they were carrying 85 passengers and 31 crew for a total of 116 persons. Based on the Captain’s statement, SAR (search and rescue) units are still looking for the 3 unaccounted passengers,” she told INQUIRER.net. Two people were rescued by MV Filipinas Maasin, one with MT Orient King, 54 with MT St. Martin, 34 with MV Maharlika 4, and 19 with MV Lara venture. Barbaza said the passenger manifest of the ship listed only 58 passengers and 26 crew members. Earlier reports by Inquirer said Maharlika left Surigao city on Saturday noon and sent a distress call three hours later because of engine problems.THIS IS THE FULL REPORT.

ALSO: Ferry sinks off Southern Leyte  

SEPT 13 --PHOTO: Southern Leyte province in the Philippines is pictured on a day without tropical-storm conditions. Wikimedia Commons. --A passenger ferry sank off Southern Leyte and Surigao Saturday night, authorities said. Strong waves spawned by the southwest monsoon caused the Maharlika 2, a roll off, roll on vessel, to sink in the afternoon, Southern Leyte Governor Roger Mercado said in a live radio interview. The ship, which came from Surigao City was scheduled to dock in Liloan town, Southern Leyte at 5 p.m., Ricardo said. But Commander Armand Balilo, spokesman of the Philippine Coast Guard, said in a separate interview that based on initial reports, the ship was “dead on water” and was not sunk by strong waves. He said based also on initial reports that there were 84 people on the ship – 56 adults, 2 children, and 26 crew. He said three ships – the Maharlika 4, a sister vessel; St. Martn; and an unnamed third vessel – have responded and were conducting search and rescue operations. He could not say how many persons were rescued as the figures would be subject to confirmation by the Coast Guard. *THIS IS THE FULL REPORT.

ALSO: Search and rescue operations underway for Maharlika 2 passengers, crew  

SEPT 13 --PHOTO: RORO ferry from InterAksyon.com. -- MAASIN CITY, Southern Leyte—Rescue teams are searching for passengers and crew of MV Maharlika 2 which sank in the waters between Surigao and Panaon Island, San Ricardo town, Southern Leyte about 9:30 p.m. Saturday. As of 10:54 p.m., 18 passengers have been rescued, said Lieutenant Commander Glen Pacheco, officer-in-charge of Maasin Coast Guard.
He said 32 passengers, 2 of them children, and 26 crew were on board the passenger vessel owned by Philharbor Ferries and Port Services when it left Lipata, Surigao City about 1 p.m. It was scheduled to dock in Liloan town in Southern Leyte at 5 p.m. Pacheco said the vessel may have been slowed down by rough seas and big waves spawned by Typhoon “Luis.” When the MV Maharlika 2 was between Surigao and Panaon Island, Pacheco said vessel skipper identified as Juan Cayago was able to declare abandon ship before the vessel sank. Rescue teams from Southern Leyte and Surigao are now conducting the search to rescue the passengers and crew.THIS IS THE FULL REPORT.

ALSO Tribune Opinion: Pessimism rising  

SEPT 15 --By Benjamin Diokno --Back to square one? Consumer pessimism is back to where it was when Aquino took over.

The pessimism among Filipino consumers is rising, the worst in more than four years. Overall consumer confidence index (CI) fell to -26.3 percent — the weakest in 17 quarters or since the -28.7 percent registered in the second quarter of 2010, or approximately before President Aquino took office.
Filipinos have become more pessimistic because the prices of basic commodities are rising, household expenses are soaring, and decent jobs are getting scarce, while their taxes are being misused, mishandled and stolen by their political leaders. The Filipino people are unhappy with the current state of affairs. But more worrisome, their outlook for the next 12 months also worsened – to 9.7percent from 15.9 percent.

These pessimistic results came out of the latest Consumer Expectations Survey conducted by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) from July 1 to 12 among 6,106 households nationwide. What should have been the appropriate response to this growing pessimism? For one, Mr. Aquino should have shown greater resolve in addressing the pressing economic and political problems. He should have shown a concrete, doable program of action to be put in place in his last 21 months in office. He should have come up with clear action plans for solving the problems of rising food prices, worsening traffic in the metropolis, the imminent power crisis, and the crumbling roads, bridges, urban transit systems, airports and seaports. He should have cleared the air of uncertainties by making clear his political plan.

Instead, President Aquino continues with his divisive streak. In his hastily assembled powwow with his loyal troops (Cabinet members except Vice President Binay, legislators and allied NGOs) in Malacañang, he lambasted the political opposition and his critics. But muzzling the political opposition and taming the critical media will not solve the problem. They only make things worse. It gives a false sense of confidence that things are all right when they are not. It lulls poor performing Executive officials into a sense of doing something worthwhile while problems get worse.
I know how President Aquino hates unsolicited advice or any advice for that matter. But I’m going to submit the following just the same. *CONTINUE READING...


READ FULL REPORT HERE:

China high on agenda in Aquino’s Euro tour

FOUR COUNTRIES IN ONE WEEK


President Benigno Aquino III. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MADRID, SEPTEMBER 15, 2014 (INQUIRER) By Christian V. Esguerra - In what will be his second trip to Europe since assuming office in 2010, President Aquino will embark on a grueling four-nation visit to Spain, Belgium, France, and Germany with the Philippines’ territorial dispute with China high on the agenda.

The President, who is set to leave Manila at 9:50 p.m. Saturday, will attempt to rally more support behind his government’s proposed “triple action plan” to resolve the dispute through international arbitration.

Claimant countries should cease activities that could raise tensions in the region and a binding Code of Conduct should be put in place, according to the Philippine strategy which already received support from Washington.

The President will sit down with King Felipe VI of Spain and Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy here on Monday. In Brussels, the next leg of his trip, Mr. Aquino will have an audience with King Philippe of Belgium and separate meetings with European Commission President Jóse Manuel Barroso and European Council President Herman van Rompuy.

In France, Mr. Aquino will have bilateral meetings with President François Hollande and Prime Minister Manuel Valls.
Mr. Aquino will wrap up his weeklong European swing on Sept. 19 and 20 in Germany where he will meet with Chancellor Angela Merkel and Federal President Joachim Gauck.

Assistant Foreign Secretary Maria Zeneida Angara-Collinson said it was important for Mr. Aquino to “apprise these world leaders directly on what is going on” in the West Philippine Sea.

Just last month, the President criticized the presence of two Chinese hydrographic research vessels near the Philippines’ oil-rich Recto Bank, which is located just 144 kilometers from Palawan.

About time

Of Mr. Aquino’s 33 foreign trips since 2010, he had gone to Europe only once when he went on an official visit to the United Kingdom in 2012.

Collinson said “it’s about time” that Mr. Aquino visited Spain, Belgium, France, and Germany in a trip that was also expected to “stimulate trade and investment” with the Philippines.

“These are major countries that he’s visiting in Europe,” she said.

“Europe is our partner, not only in trade and investments…but most importantly, it is our partner in the political field when it comes to values, promotion of democracy, rule of law, support for the Philippine position in the West Philippine Sea. Europe is right there with us.”

* For the visit, the President brings with him the prospect of lasting peace and stability in Mindanao following the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front last March.

Last Wednesday, he personally turned over to Congress a copy of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), four months after he was originally set to endorse it.

Mr. Aquino said he would “proudly share” the drafting of the BBL and “the rest of our achievements in the area of peace” with his fellow leaders in Europe.

“I will tell them that while our success is not complete yet, we are all confident that our collective efforts toward a more progressive and more peaceful Philippines will continue,” he said in a speech during the turnover ceremony in Malacañang.

“We have been given a rare chance to prove, not only to ourselves, but to the entire world, that we can achieve what was once thought to be impossible.”

Zero tariff

The President will also seek the European leaders’ support for the Philippines’ application in the Generalized System of Preferences Plus (GSP+), a system of preferential trading agreements.

Once the Philippines is admitted, Collinson said it could avail of zero tariff for more than 6,000 export products.

Ambassador Victoria Bataclan, head of the Philippine mission to the EU, said Philippine exports would increase to close to US$700 million in the next three years if the application is approved.

She cited the case of the country’s tuna exports which are imposed a 21-percent tariff.

“Under GSP+ it will be zero. So you can imagine the great benefit of course to the exporters. Those are the kinds of GSP plus benefits that we will have,” she said.

Mr. Aquino’s visit to Europe is also intended to “reassure our partners that the Philippines is undertaking remedial measures to combat” illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing (IUUF), said Collinson.

The EU regulation against IUUF took effect in 2010 and the European Commission has since been “working actively with all stakeholders to ensure coherent application” of the rule, according to its website.

Collinson said the Philippines had not been sanctioned so far, but was in the “middle stage where Europe would like to be assured that [it] is combating IUUF.”

Mr. Aquino will also make the assurance that the Philippines was working to fully comply with the Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for mariners. It’s a major concern for a country like the Philippines which has some 80,000 seafarers deployed in EU countries.

“We have very good compliance, substantive compliance,” Bataclan said.

Wreath-laying

In Madrid where he is set to arrive at 7:30 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 14, the President will meet with former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar in the afternoon.

Mr. Aquino will also lay a wreath at the monument of Jose Rizal, a replica of the one in Manila. This one in Madrid was built in 1996 and stands at the junction of Avenida de las Islas Filipinas and Calle Santander.

The President will spend most of the day meeting with Spanish investors. He also allotted an hour with members of the Filipino community here at the Colegio Nuestra Señora de las Maravillas.

The following day, he will sit down with Prime Minister Rajoy at the Palacio de la Moncloa then have an audience with King Felipe VI at the Palacio de la Zarzuela.

Mr. Aquino will fly before noon to Brussels where a more backbreaking schedule awaits him and his delegation.

Among the Cabinet members joining the European trip are Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario, Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala, Trade Secretary Gregory Domingo, Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan, and Presidential Management Staff Chief Julia Abad.

FROM THE INQUIRER

‘Luis’ makes landfall, maintains strength By Kristine Sabillo and Dona Z. Pazzibugan |INQUIRER.net and Philippine Daily Inquirer6:17 pm | Sunday, September 14th, 2014


A Filipino reacts as he is hit by waves along a promenade in Manila, Philippines on Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014. AP

MANILA, Philippines – Typhoon “Luis” (international name: Kalmaegi) pounded northern Luzon with heavy rains and strong winds as it made landfall in Isabela province on Sunday night, causing water to breach critical levels in dams and plunging Tuguegarao City into darkness.

“Hourly Update: (5:00 PM, 14 September 2014) Typhoon “#LuisPH” has made landfall over the boundary of Isabela-Cagayan (17.3°N, 122.5°E),” the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) posted over social media.

“Luis” was last located 115 kilometers east of Tuguegarao by 4 p.m., packing maximum sustained winds of 130 kilometers per hour and gusts of up to 160 kph.

It continues to move west northwest at a slightly faster pace of 22 kph.

The Public Storm Warnings over Luzon provinces were retained, except for northern Aurora, which is now under Signal no. 2 like the rest of the province.

Signal no. 3: Cagayan including Babuyan and Calayan Group of Islands, Apayao, Ilocos Norte, Abra, Kalinga, Isabela, Mt. Province, Ilocos Sur and Ifugao

Signal no. 2: Batanes Group of Islands, La Union, Benguet, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino, Aurora, Pangasinan and Nueva Ecija

Signal no. 1: Tarlac, Zambales, Pampanga, Bulacan, Northern Quezon and Polillo Island.

By 6 p.m., Ipo Dam in Bulacan province had breached the critical level due to the heavy rains and had started to release water from one gate, affecting several towns in Bulacan.

Magat Dam in Isabela may also breach critical level, according to the weather bureau.

A detour bridge at the village of Hicming in Virac, Catanduanes province, was destroyed on Saturday, isolating six villages.

In Antique province, a boy was believed to have drowned due to huge waves and strong winds spawned by the typhoon.

Having intensified into a full-scale typhoon earlier on Sunday, the eye of Luis made landfall in the coastal town of Divilacan, Isabela, around 5 p.m., according to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa).

Luis packed sustained winds of 130 kilometers per hour and gusts of up to 160 kph by the time it hit land. It was moving northwest at 20 kph.

The typhoon was estimated to bring heavy-to-intense rainfall from 8 millimeters per hour to 20 mm per hour within its 550-kilometer diameter.

* As a result, Divilacan experienced heavy rainfall of 14 mm per hour, according to Pagasa.

Pagasa said the typhoon unleashed monsoon-enhanced heavy to intense rains in 22 provinces in Luzon that were placed under public storm warning signals.

Bracing themselves for the typhoon’s onslaught, authorities conducted preemptive evacuation on Sunday afternoon in the coastal towns of Palanan, Maconacon and Divilacan in Isabela, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).

Pagasa said the typhoon would be 74 kilometers west of Laoag City by Monday morning and out of the Philippine area of responsibility by early afternoon.

However, rains are expected to continue over western Luzon due to the southwest monsoon despite the typhoon’s exit.
Pagasa issued a gale warning as the typhoon would cause “rough to very rough” sea conditions along the seaboards of the Visayas and the eastern seaboards of southern Luzon and Mindanao.

“We did not fail to give warning because we issued a gale warning,” PAGASA weather division chief Espie Cayanan said in a briefing at the NDRRMC at 6 p.m.

NDRRMC Executive Director Alexander Pama said a blackout was in effect in Tuguegarao City.

Coast Guard Action Center’s Lt. (j.g.) Ariel Almonte said all kinds of sea travel were automatically banned if there was a gale warning in the area.

By 5 p.m. Sunday, the number of passengers stranded in Bicol ports reached 854, of whom 603 were in Albay province, according to the Philippine Coast Guard.

The passengers stranded at the Tabaco port, all of whom were bound for the island-province of Catanduanes, were provided with meals since Saturday by the provincial government of Albay, said Bernardo Alejandro, Office of the Civil Defense director of the Bicol region.

All flights bound for Legazpi City were canceled on Sunday due to low visibility but those at the Naga City Airport, which were suspended earlier in the day, resumed at 11 a.m., Alejandro said.

Travel of passenger boats between the provinces of Iloilo and Guimaras Island was briefly suspended on Saturday due to bad weather, according to Lt. Cmdr. Dominador Senador III, Iloilo Coast Guard station commander.

In San Jose, Antique, Cedril Nabio, 17, was still missing as of Sunday, after he was swept away by waves at 4:20 p.m. while swimming in Barangay 3, according to reports of the San Jose police station and Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC).

Four fishermen, who went missing on Saturday, were rescued in the waters off Patnongon and Sibalom towns on Sunday, according to PDRRMC executive officer Broderick Train.

Train said the decomposing remains of an unidentified woman were washed ashore in Pandan town. It was still unclear how and where the woman died. With reports from Jerry Esplanada in Manila; Ma. April Mier and Shiena Barrameda, Inquirer Southern Luzon; and Nestor P. Burgos Jr., Inquirer Visayas

It’s now Typhoon ‘Luis’; storm alerts up INQUIRER.net11:38 pm | Saturday, September 13th, 2014


Satellite Image, September 14, 2014, 11:01 PM. SCREENGRAB from noah.dost.gov.ph

MANILA, Philippines – Tropical Storm “Luis” (international codename: Kalmaegi) is now a typhoon as it moved towards Isabela and Cagayan, which are now under Signal No. 3, the state weather bureau said Saturday.

As of 10 p.m., the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said the center of Typhoon “Luis” was estimated at 290 kilometers northeast of Virac, Catanduanes.

It has maximum sustained winds of 120 kilometers per hour near the center and gustiness of up to 150 kph. It is forecast to move west northwest at 20 kph.

Luis is expected to be at 86 km southeast of Tuguegarao City and by Sunday evening at 413 km west of Laoag City or outside the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR).

Meanwhile, Storm Signal No. 2 is up over Calayan and Babuyan Group of Islands, Apayao, Kalinga, Ifugao, Mt. Province, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino and Northern Aurora. These areas are expected to experience winds from 61-100 kph in at least 24 hours, Pagasa said.

Signal No. 1 is raised over Batanes group of Islands, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Abra, La Union, Benguet, Pangasinan, Nueva Ecija, rest of Aurora, Polillo Island and Catanduanes. These areas are expected to experience winds of 30-60 kph in at least 36 hours.

* Residents in low-lying and mountainous areas under Signal Nos. 3, 2 and 1 are alerted against possible flashfloods and landslides. Likewise, those living in coastal areas under Signal Nos.3 and 2 are alerted against storm surges of up to two meters.

Estimated rainfall amount is from 8–20 mm per hour (heavy-Intense) within the 500 km diameter of the Typhoon.

The combined effect of the typhoon and the southwest monsoon will bring moderate to occasionally heavy rains and thunderstorms which may trigger flasfloods and landslides over Bicol Region and the provinces of Samar and Quezon while light to moderate rains and thunderstorms over Metro Manila, the rest of Luzon and Visayas.

Fishing boats and other small seacraft are advised not to venture out into the seaboards of Visayas and the eastern seaboard of Southern Luzon and of Mindanao.

The public and the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (DRRMC) concerned are advised to take appropriate actions.

Red Cross issues initial list of 68 survivors from ferry sinking
By Vicky Arnaiz |Inquirer Visayas4:41 pm | Sunday, September 14th, 2014


In this Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014 photo released by the Philippine National Red Cross Surigao Del Norte Chapter, survivors from the ferry M/V Maharlika II that sank after encountering steering problems, keep themselves warm with blankets as they arrive at the Lipata Port Terminal in Surigao city, central Philippines. AP

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Red Cross Southern Leyte and Surigao del Norte chapters issued Sunday this initial list of survivors from the MV Maharlika II, which sank in waters between Surigao and Panaon Islands in San Ricardo town, Southern Leyte, after experiencing engine trouble:
1. Jesse Buhos (ormoc)
2. Roel Mallen (davao)
3. Trestan Mallen (davao)
4. Ronald Villariez (pampanga)
5.Richei cagas(davao)
6. Gerald Tocoyo (batangas)
7. Vicente Adolfo (capiz
8. Raul Acero (gen. San)
9. Roselito tabon (liloan leyte)
10. Armando Glaban (mis.or)
11. Rodney Calibuyot (panabo)
12. Emer llegue (samar)
13. Ma. Isabel llegue (samar)
14. Quenciano Presilda (tagum)
15. Christian Balili(davao)
16. Dennis rodas (mandaluyong)
17. Dexter Nieves(mandaluyong)
18. Jesse Saberon(laguna)
19. Jerson Sembrano (cebu)
20. Jaype Agoho(batangas)
21. Erwin Reyes(batangas)
22. Sonny Noyles(batangas)
23. Ruth Balani(cavite)
24. Justin Alamo(cavite)
25. Etta Mesias(cantilan)
26. Melanie Boti(davao)
27. Ruth Quibol(tandag)
28. Peter John Delos Santos(capiz),
29. Penny Madis (bukidnon)
30. Gino Dabatian (cagayan)
31. Sherwen Caballes (southern leyte)
32. Romeo Cabag (manila)
33. Wilma Yulen (manila)
34. Ian de Jesus (davao oriental)
35. Dalley Abusama (manila)
36. Lito Buyao (makati)
37. Leonardo Bautista (davao)
38. Tilac Silungan (cotabato)
39. Joshua Gumabon (pampanga)
40. Dayto Silungan (cotabato)
41. Emmanuel Matalang
42. Jing Lidasan (cotabato)
43. Gladdys Sulla (agusan sur)
44. Salahudin Abdulah (taguig)
45. Anisah Sumangka (taguig)
46. Jodita Reyes (batangas)
47. Joey Sarcaoga (gen san)
48. Reah May Danias (surigao norte)
49. Archie Padios (gen san)
50. Eddie Mendoza (albay)
51. Cosme Aparre (combal)
52. Esmundo Gine (sorsogon)
53. Rodeto Maravillas Jr. (Leyte)
54. Marites Salmoro (leyte)
55. Jun Labadan (bislig city)
56. John Paul Mullet (surigao sur)
57. Arman Gerosaga (davao)
58. Gilbert Sangilan (north cotabato)
59. Ranel Limgues (davao)
60. Eddie Dela Cruz (isabela)
61. Ron Jefrey Orale (quezon city)
62. Ranelo Suerte (compostela valley)
63. Alvin Reyes (paranaque)
64. James Esteven Duran (isabela)
65. Gregorio Tumabat (isabela)
66. Eufronio Tisbe (Leyte)
67. Reynaldo Gine (Sorsogon)
68. Bernadin Fijanban

INQUIRER UPDATE

3 killed, 110 rescued in sinking of ferry near Southern Leyte
By Kristine Angeli Sabillo |INQUIRER.net11:37 am | Sunday, September 14th, 2014

MANILA, Philippines – The death toll in the sinking of MV Maharlika II, an inter-island ferry, near Southern Leyte, rose to three on Sunday morning, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said.

Jojie Barbaza, PCG Public Affairs Office chief, said that as of Sunday 10 a.m., there were three fatalities, three missing and 110 survivors.

“According to the account of Ship Captain Juan Cayago, they were carrying 85 passengers and 31 crew for a total of 116 persons. Based on the Captain’s statement, SAR (search and rescue) units are still looking for the 3 unaccounted passengers,” she told INQUIRER.net.

Two people were rescued by MV Filipinas Maasin, one with MT Orient King, 54 with MT St. Martin, 34 with MV Maharlika 4, and 19 with MV Lara venture

Barbaza said the passenger manifest of the ship listed only 58 passengers and 26 crew members.

Earlier reports by Inquirer said Maharlika left Surigao city on Saturday noon and sent a distress call three hours later because of engine problems.

Ferry sinks off Southern Leyte INQUIRER.net10:07 pm | Saturday, September 13th, 2014


Southern Leyte province in the Philippines is pictured on a day without tropical-storm conditions. Wikimedia Commons

(Editor’s Note: Reposting article for updates)

MANILA, Philippines – A passenger ferry sank off Southern Leyte and Surigao Saturday night, authorities said.

Strong waves spawned by the southwest monsoon caused the Maharlika 2, a roll off, roll on vessel, to sink in the afternoon, Southern Leyte Governor Roger Mercado said in a live radio interview.

The ship, which came from Surigao City was scheduled to dock in Liloan town, Southern Leyte at 5 p.m., Ricardo said.

But Commander Armand Balilo, spokesman of the Philippine Coast Guard, said in a separate interview that based on initial reports, the ship was “dead on water” and was not sunk by strong waves.

He said based also on initial reports that there were 84 people on the ship – 56 adults, 2 children, and 26 crew.

He said three ships – the Maharlika 4, a sister vessel; St. Martn; and an unnamed third vessel – have responded and were conducting search and rescue operations.

He could not say how many persons were rescued as the figures would be subject to confirmation by the Coast Guard.

Search and rescue operations underway for Maharlika 2 passengers, crew By Jani Arnaiz |Inquirer Visayas11:14 pm | Saturday, September 13th, 2014



MAASIN CITY, Southern Leyte—Rescue teams are searching for passengers and crew of MV Maharlika 2 which sank in the waters between Surigao and Panaon Island, San Ricardo town, Southern Leyte about 9:30 p.m. Saturday.

As of 10:54 p.m., 18 passengers have been rescued, said Lieutenant Commander Glen Pacheco, officer-in-charge of Maasin Coast Guard.

He said 32 passengers, 2 of them children, and 26 crew were on board the passenger vessel owned by Philharbor Ferries and Port Services when it left Lipata, Surigao City about 1 p.m.

It was scheduled to dock in Liloan town in Southern Leyte at 5 p.m.

Pacheco said the vessel may have been slowed down by rough seas and big waves spawned by Typhoon “Luis.”

When the MV Maharlika 2 was between Surigao and Panaon Island, Pacheco said vessel skipper identified as Juan Cayago was able to declare abandon ship before the vessel sank.

Rescue teams from Southern Leyte and Surigao are now conducting the search to rescue the passengers and crew.

TRIBUNE OPINION

Pessimism rising Written by Tribune Wires Monday, 15 September 2014 00:00



Back to square one?

Consumer pessimism is back to where it was when Aquino took over.

The pessimism among Filipino consumers is rising, the worst in more than four years. Overall consumer confidence index (CI) fell to -26.3 percent — the weakest in 17 quarters or since the -28.7 percent registered in the second quarter of 2010, or approximately before President Aquino took office.

Filipinos have become more pessimistic because the prices of basic commodities are rising, household expenses are soaring, and decent jobs are getting scarce, while their taxes are being misused, mishandled and stolen by their political leaders.

The Filipino people are unhappy with the current state of affairs. But more worrisome, their outlook for the next 12 months also worsened – to 9.7percent from 15.9 percent.

These pessimistic results came out of the latest Consumer Expectations Survey conducted by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) from July 1 to 12 among 6,106 households nationwide.

What should have been the appropriate response to this growing pessimism? For one, Mr. Aquino should have shown greater resolve in addressing the pressing economic and political problems. He should have shown a concrete, doable program of action to be put in place in his last 21 months in office.

He should have come up with clear action plans for solving the problems of rising food prices, worsening traffic in the metropolis, the imminent power crisis, and the crumbling roads, bridges, urban transit systems, airports and seaports.
He should have cleared the air of uncertainties by making clear his political plan.

Instead, President Aquino continues with his divisive streak. In his hastily assembled powwow with his loyal troops (Cabinet members except Vice President Binay, legislators and allied NGOs) in Malacañang, he lambasted the political opposition and his critics.

But muzzling the political opposition and taming the critical media will not solve the problem. They only make things worse. It gives a false sense of confidence that things are all right when they are not. It lulls poor performing Executive officials into a sense of doing something worthwhile while problems get worse.

I know how President Aquino hates unsolicited advice or any advice for that matter. But I’m going to submit the following just the same.

* First, he should consider firing his non-performing or misbehaving men. His attitude of protecting his men or women, no matter how serious their transgressions are gives his erring men a sense that they can get away with murder.

For example, somebody has to pay for the monumental disaster called DAP (Disbursement Acceleration Program) which cost the taxpayers some P149 billion. Somebody should be held accountable for the decrepit airports and seaports system and the fast-deteriorating urban transit systems.

Having two secretaries of agriculture is an anomaly. Somebody has to be held accountable for rising food prices.

Why do some police officers continue to do bad things to the people who they are supposed to protect? The consensus appears to be that they know they can get away with it, that there is little probability of getting fired or punished.

Second, he should encourage and support the independence of the Supreme Court. It’s an important step in strengthening political institutions. It’s also good for Philippine democracy. He should embrace, not fight, the high court’s decisions on the PDAF and the DAP. Both decisions will go down in the annals of Philippine history as the most game changing decisions that have strengthened fiscal institutions and improved the management of fiscal affairs in the country.

Third, he should welcome rather than muzzle criticisms. Mr. Aquino’s penchant for “good news” is his major shortcoming.

By making his preference for “good’ news” known to his men, “bad” though accurate news is filtered out, “good’ news” is magnified, hence making an unbiased, accurate assessment difficult. As a result, major decisions might be based on a distorted sense of the real state of the nation.

Criticism is an essential part of a truly working democracy. If Mr. Aquino truly wants to strengthen Philippine democracy which was restored in 1986 by the Filipino people, he should welcome, not gag, dissent. Remember Voltaire: “I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.”

Fourth, in his final 21 months in Malacanang, he should make known his concrete action plan, and who’s in charge, for each of the pressing problems of Philippine society. These include rising food prices, growing poverty, joblessness, traffic gridlock in Metro Manila, unreliable power supply, disaster unpreparedness, lethargic bureaucracy, and crumbling infrastructure.

As far as Filipino consumers are concerned, nothing has changed after four years. Worse, they are not optimistic of the future. But they are eagerly watching what Mr. Aquino will do during his final days in office. What is it going to be — a spectacular finish or a disappointing exit?


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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