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PHIVOLCS NOT SURE IF MAYON ERUPTION IS VULCANIAN OR STROMBOLIAN 

OCT 1 --PHOTO: In this Feb. 26, 2014, file photo, smoke billows from the crater of
Mayon volcano, one of the country’s most active volcanoes, in Albay province. As Mayon volcano seethed for the 12th straight day, experts have not established if the Philippines’ deadliest mountain is headed for a vulcanian type of eruption or a strombolian blast. AP PHOTO/BULLIT MARQUEZ.

LEGAZPI CITY, Philippines—As Mayon volcano seethed for the 12th straight day, experts have not established if the Philippines’ deadliest mountain is headed for a vulcanian type of eruption or a strombolian blast. Either one is deadly, as 26 Mayon blasts since 1616 have shown. “The characteristics that Mayon is showing are [those] of a vulcanian eruption, or maybe even a strombolian eruption,” Director Renato Solidum of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) told reporters on Monday. A vulcanian eruption is characterized by strong explosions, multiple pyroclastic flows or a fast-moving mix of hot gas and rocks, and lava cascading down the volcano slopes.

A strombolian blast means a fairly quiet emission of lava down the slopes. Mayon’s most destructive eruption occurred in February 1814 when the volcano killed 1,200 people and destroyed Cagsawa church. Magma already in summit --Solidum said Phivolcs’ computation showed Mayon had emitted around 30 million cubic meters of magma in its present state of eruption, similar to what it expelled during a 2009 eruption. “The volume of magma is just like the 2009 eruption,”ťhe said. When magma solidifies, the 30 million cubic meters would be equivalent to 3 million truckloads of rocks. Solidum said Mayon could not be considered to be in a “quiet eruption” because of the continuous volume of magma rising. “We need to remind people that the magma is already there on the summit,”ťhe said. Pressure building up ---* READ MORE...

ALSO: Missing 61-year-old woman found dead near Mayon Volcano–reports 

OCT 1 --A 61-year-old woman was found dead Wednesday morning in Barangay (village) Lidong, Sto. Domingo,
Albay province after being declared missing for 15 days, radio reports said. The body of the woman who was identified as Josefina Gravito was found at around 7 a.m. and was already in “a state of decomposition,” according to Captain Siegfried Encarnado of the Philippine Army. Encarnado also said that the woman may have died due to hunger. The Barangay Lidong is within the seven-kilometer extended danger zone of the volcano. According to Gravito’s family, the woman went missing a day after forced evacuation was implemented by Albay governor Joey Salceda last September 15 due to the possible eruption of the Mayon Volcano. Gravito is said to be suffering from a mental condition.
According to the 8 a.m. bulletin issued by Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) Wednesday, Mayon volcano remains at Alert Level 3. Philvolcs also recorded two rockfall events and two volcanic earthquakes during the past 24 hours. THIS IS THE FULL REPORT.

ALSO: 'Islamic State popularity growing in Philippines' 

OCT 2 --The appeal of the jihadist organization Islamic State (IS) is gaining ground in the Philippines, particularly among extremist groups in Mindanao, the Anti-Terrorism Council said Thursday. At a security forum co-organized by the European Union, Assistant Secretary Oscar Valenzuela, executive director of the council's project management committee, said the Philippines was not spared from the "regional spillover" of the international security crisis sparked by IS in the Middle East and spread through social media and the Internet.

The country saw pledges of allegiance to the IS Caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi by known jihadists in previous months such by members of the Abu Sayyaf group and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF). Abu Sayyaf senior leader Isnilon Hapiton along with some of his men appeared in a video uploaded on YouTube reading a pledge to al-Baghdadi, while BIFF spokesman Abu Misry Mama confirmed a video showing their members vowing loyalty to the IS. Valenzuela also noted a show of support by Aleem Jamil Yahyam, chairman of the Bangsamoro Supreme Council of Usama, to the IS "through prayers." He said the presence of foreign Islamic preachers may also have security implications in the Philippines, with Australian national Robert Edward "Musa" Cerantonio, an alleged IS preacher, arrested in Cebu in July and Canadian citizen Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips in Davao in September. Philips had denied links with terror groups. "Foreign radical preachers have gravitated toward the country," Valenzuela said. * READ MORE...

ALSO: Phl commits to help fight IS  

OCT 2 --The Philippines made a commitment to the United Nations to do its part in the international efforts to fight the terrorist group Islamic State (IS) operating in Iraq and Syria. Speaking at the General Debate during the 69th session of the UN General Assembly on Sept. 29, Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario said the IS and the Ebola outbreak are the two present-day scourges. “The Philippines condemns the war crimes and crimes against humanity being perpetrated by IS,” Del Rosario said. He added that the Philippines supported Security Council Resolution 2178 on foreign terrorist fighters adopted on September 24 because “we believe that resolute and immediate action is necessary to suppress this group.”

“As a responsible member of the international community, the Philippines will do its part in the global efforts to thwart IS and their false ideologies,” Del Rosario said. The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said on September 18 that the Philippines would do its part to help an international coalition to fight IS without necessarily sending troops. US Ambassador Philip Goldberg said the US and the Philippines are watching very closely the possible recruitment of foreign fighters in the country by IS, sometimes also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). He said the US government is concerned about the recruitment of foreign fighters as jihadists who have gone to the Middle East from the United States, United Kingdom, Europe, Australia, and other countries. Areas for possible recruitment, he said, also include countries in Southeast Asia – the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia. The DFA said Philippine security and intelligence authorities have commenced the monitoring of possible recruitment by ISIS and other foreign extremist groups in the country. * READ MORE...

ALSO: Phl rejects WHO's call to send health workers Ebola-hit West Africa 

SEPT 30 --The Philippine government has no plan to send medical workers to Ebola-hit West Africa,
 a senior official said today. "As part of the United Nations, our country is ready to take measures to help in the global action against the spread of Ebola virus," said Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. at a news briefing in Manila. But sending health workers as requested by the World Health Organization (WHO) could not be one of them, Coloma said, citing that there are many considerations that the Philippine government has to look into. Currently, the government is focused on how to ensure the safety of the Filipino peacekeepers in Ebola-stricken Liberia, he said. The WHO has said that having medical volunteers from the Philippines would be greatly appreciated amid the rising number of Ebola cases in three West African countries, Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. THIS IS THE FULL REPORT

ALSO: Thunderstorm drenches Metro Manila, neighboring provinces 

OCT 1 --A thunderstorm has submerged much of Metro Manila in floods as lightning and thunder raged over, the weather bureau said. In its bulletin, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration said at 5:01 pm that Metro Manila, Tarlac, Nueva Ecija, Bulacan, the towns of Macabebe, Masanto and Mexico in Pampanga and the towns of Antipolo, Cainta, San Mateo and Taytay in Rizal. Pagasa added that the thunderstorm may persist for two hours. Cavite and Laguna may also experience thunderstorms within the next two hours. READ MORE FLOOD NEWS....

ALSO: 1 in every 10 mothers in Ilocos is a teenager 

OCT 1 --PHOTO: A MANILA hospital is overwhelmed by the number of women giving birth in a scene repeated many times over outside the metropolis, including the Ilocos region where one of every 10 mothers is a teenager. JOAN BONDOC. LINGAYEN, Pangasinan—The number of teenage mothers in the Ilocos region has risen over the past 10 years, alarming population officials who have raised concerns over the young child-bearers’ health. The latest Young Adult Fertility and Sexuality (YAFS) study, by the University of the Philippines’ Population Institute (UPPI) and Demographic Research and Development Foundation, showed that at least one in every 10 girls, ages 15 to 19 years old, in the Ilocos region is already a mother.

“This is really a cause for concern in the region because the number of teenage mothers in the [Ilocos] has tripled in the last 10 years,” said Dr. Josefina Natividad, YAFS project coordinator. Natividad, who presented the findings, said that in 2002, the proportion of girls ages 15 to 19 who became mothers was only 4.2 percent, but last year, it rose to 13 percent. The findings were part of a nationwide survey on Filipino youth, ages 15 to 24, conducted in 2013. Some 1,000 respondents were from the provinces of Pangasinan, La Union, Ilocos Sur and Ilocos Norte. “If you look at the breakdown by age, you’ll find that 1.3 percent of the 15-year-old [respondents] have begun bearing a child and the rise is very steep as you go older,” Natividad said. “Why are we concerned about teenage fertility? It’s because we’re concerned about the health of the young woman,” she said. “Her body is not yet prepared for the burden of childbearing. We’re also concerned about the child,” she added. But Natividad said the teenage fertility rate in the Ilocos region was lower than that of other regions. * READ MORE...

ALSO: Kidnap victim recounts ‘horrible’ ordeal at Senate hearing; ordeal got worse with involvement of some policemen in crimes  

SEPT 30 --A victim of kidnapping twice on Tuesday faced the Senate and shared his “horrible”
experience that may well illustrate the deteriorating law and order in the country.
Ka Kuen Chua, chairman of the Movement for Restoration of Peace and Order (MPRO), told the Senate committee on public and order that he was kidnapped for 17 days in September 2008 and again in May 2012 for five days. “If there’s anyone in this meeting who looks to benefit the most from highly modernized and fully professionalized national police, it’s us. The members of the MRPO, who ourselves are victims of kidnapping and other related crimes,” Chua said.

“I, for one, am a victim and once kidnapped. But in spite of that, I can still regard myself being lucky as I did not end like other members whose families have since mourned their deaths.” Chua said he paid ransom when he was first kidnapped but was not freed until he was rescued by an anti-kidnapping group. After the promulgation of case, however, he was again abducted by another group in May 2012. “Our horrible experiences would have been prevented at the very least, the likelihood of them happening would have been diminished, had there been an efficient peace and order control system in place,” he said.

But instead of solving the problem, Chua said, the peace and order situation in the country even got worse with the reported involvement of some policemen in crimes. “Though it is not for us to conclude that the national police organization is reeking of rats, suffice to state that the rotten eggs in the organization have worked to diminish our trust in our then regarded friendly neighborhood police, and this begs the question where to go when the persons who are supposed to protect us are the same individuals who undermine the social order?” he said.YJOS OS THE FULL REPORT.


READ FULL REPORT HERE:

Phivolcs not sure if Mayon eruption is vulcanian or strombolian


In this Feb. 26, 2014, file photo, smoke billows from the crater of Mayon volcano, one of the country's most active volcanoes, in Albay province. As Mayon volcano seethed for the 12th straight day, experts have not established if the Philippines’ deadliest mountain is headed for a vulcanian type of eruption or a strombolian blast. AP PHOTO/BULLIT MARQUEZ

LEGAZPI CITY, OCTOBER 6, 2014 (INQUIRER) By Ma. April Mier, Michael B. Jaucian |Inquirer Southern Luzon- —As Mayon volcano seethed for the 12th straight day, experts have not established if the Philippines’ deadliest mountain is headed for a vulcanian type of eruption or a strombolian blast.

Either one is deadly, as 26 Mayon blasts since 1616 have shown.

“The characteristics that Mayon is showing are [those] of a vulcanian eruption, or maybe even a strombolian eruption,” Director Renato Solidum of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) told reporters on Monday.
A vulcanian eruption is characterized by strong explosions, multiple pyroclastic flows or a fast-moving mix of hot gas and rocks, and lava cascading down the volcano slopes.

A strombolian blast means a fairly quiet emission of lava down the slopes.

Mayon’s most destructive eruption occurred in February 1814 when the volcano killed 1,200 people and destroyed Cagsawa church.

Magma already in summit

Solidum said Phivolcs’ computation showed Mayon had emitted around 30 million cubic meters of magma in its present state of eruption, similar to what it expelled during a 2009 eruption.

“The volume of magma is just like the 2009 eruption,”ťhe said. When magma solidifies, the 30 million cubic meters would be equivalent to 3 million truckloads of rocks.

Solidum said Mayon could not be considered to be in a “quiet eruption” because of the continuous volume of magma rising.

“We need to remind people that the magma is already there on the summit,”ťhe said.

Pressure building up

* Solidum said that based on Phivolcs’ observation, the “volcanic plug” or lava dome—pile of lava—blocking the crater was preventing the magma from coming out.

guyito-0930“The magma is already up there, the initial mass of magma has solidified outside [clogging] the crater and [preventing] the gas from being released,” he said.

Solidum said that “if the crater is blocked, the pressure is building up even more inside.”

He said the present situation of the volcano “could be compared to a shaken bottle of soft drink. If you remove the cap, the soda would spill out quickly.”

Like an octopus

He said that in a vulcanian eruption, the swiftly moving hot gas and rocks could reach a radius of six kilometers from the crater while the ash fall could reach within a radius of 10 km.

A strombolian blast, however, is a low-level eruption. “When it happens, it would spew lava quietly or produce lava fountaining within 1 to 2 km [from the crater],” he said.

Cedric Daep, head of the Albay Public Safety and Emergency Management Office, said pyroclastic flows were like the tentacles of an octopus that would affect some areas of Legazpi, Ligao and Tabaco and the municipalities of Daraga, Camalig, Guinobatan, Malilipot and Sto. Domingo—all within a radius of 6 to 7 km from the crater.

He said a strombolian eruption could bring lava flow to the southeastern side of the volcano, such as areas in Legazpi, Daraga and Sto. Domingo.

Permanent houses

In its Monday morning bulletin, Phivolcs recorded two volcanic quakes and four rockfall events.

Solidum said the decrease in the activity of Mayon was not yet significant for Phivolcs to lower its alert level, raised to Level 3 on Sept. 15.

Gov. Joey Salceda said the provincial government planned to build permanent houses for thousands of families who would be displaced each time Mayon became restive.

He said the “forced relocation” of thousands of residents living within the danger zones would keep them away from harm’s way during an eruption.

Salceda said 2,898 families, especially those within the 6-km permanent danger zone, would be affected by a forced relocation.

Costly operation

He said the evacuation setup was very costly for the government, which spends P311 million for the three-month stay of evacuees in shelters.

In Manila, the Department of Education (DepEd) said it would release P23 million for the purchase of 15,000 chairs and the construction of 300 temporary learning spaces for schools currently occupied by evacuees from Mayon.

A total of 52,800 students in 39 schools have been affected by the evacuation of people in Albay province.

The DepEd is calling for donations for tents, tarps, chairs and learner’s kits for the affected students.

The United Nations Children’s Fund has committed to provide 175 tents and 400 tarpaulins to serve as temporary learning spaces, the DepEd said.–With Dona Z. Pazzibugan and Inquirer Research
Originally posted: 8:25 pm | Monday, September 29th, 2014

FROM PHILSTAR

Missing 61-year-old woman found dead near Mayon Volcano–reports By Aries Joseph Hegina |INQUIRER.net12:44 pm | Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

MANILA, Philippines―A 61-year-old woman was found dead Wednesday morning in Barangay (village) Lidong, Sto. Domingo, Albay province after being declared missing for 15 days, radio reports said.

The body of the woman who was identified as Josefina Gravito was found at around 7 a.m. and was already in “a state of decomposition,” according to Captain Siegfried Encarnado of the Philippine Army.

Encarnado also said that the woman may have died due to hunger.

The Barangay Lidong is within the seven-kilometer extended danger zone of the volcano.

According to Gravito’s family, the woman went missing a day after forced evacuation was implemented by Albay governor Joey Salceda last September 15 due to the possible eruption of the Mayon Volcano.

Gravito is said to be suffering from a mental condition.

According to the 8 a.m. bulletin issued by Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) Wednesday, Mayon volcano remains at Alert Level 3. Philvolcs also recorded two rockfall events and two volcanic earthquakes during the past 24 hours.

FROM PHILSTAR

'Islamic State popularity growing in Philippines' By Camille Diola (philstar.com) | Updated October 2, 2014 - 12:40pm 20 313 googleplus1 0

MANILA, Philippines - The appeal of the jihadist organization Islamic State (IS) is gaining ground in the Philippines, particularly among extremist groups in Mindanao, the Anti-Terrorism Council said Thursday.

At a security forum co-organized by the European Union, Assistant Secretary Oscar Valenzuela, executive director of the council's project management committee, said the Philippines was not spared from the "regional spillover" of the international security crisis sparked by IS in the Middle East and spread through social media and the Internet.

The country saw pledges of allegiance to the IS Caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi by known jihadists in previous months such by members of the Abu Sayyaf group and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF).

Abu Sayyaf senior leader Isnilon Hapiton along with some of his men appeared in a video uploaded on YouTube reading a pledge to al-Baghdadi, while BIFF spokesman Abu Misry Mama confirmed a video showing their members vowing loyalty to the IS.

Valenzuela also noted a show of support by Aleem Jamil Yahyam, chairman of the Bangsamoro Supreme Council of Usama, to the IS "through prayers."

He said the presence of foreign Islamic preachers may also have security implications in the Philippines, with Australian national Robert Edward "Musa" Cerantonio, an alleged IS preacher, arrested in Cebu in July and Canadian citizen Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips in Davao in September. Philips had denied links with terror groups.

"Foreign radical preachers have gravitated toward the country," Valenzuela said.

* He also warned about the possibility of recruitment for jihad from the large population of Filipino workers in the Middle East who may be drawn to the "abundance" of funds from the Islamists.

Valenzuela, however, dismissed reports on the supposed deaths of two Filipinos fighting with IS and the alleged 100 Filipino fighters training in Iran for the group.

"These are reports and they are still being validated ... there are 100, there are 400, the figures vary," Valenzuela said.

Rommel Banlaoi, chairman of the Philippine Institute for Peace, Violence and Terrorism Research, said that members of at least four groups in the Philippines have been identified as "followers"--as distinguished from members--of the IS.

Besides the Abu Sayyaf and the BIFF, the Rajah Solaiman Islamic Movement and the Khalifa Islamiyah Mindanao (KIM) have in previous years waved the black flag now known as the symbol of IS.

"We have seen the Black Flag [with the groups] as early as 2010, and we had no idea that it belongs to ISIS," Banlaoi said.

Speaking for Armed Forces of the Philippines chief of staff Gen. Pio Catapang, Brig. Gen. Joselito Kakilala said, that the KIM, whose existence was first reported in 2012, can be a "factor of concern" for the country's security if it can force a direct tie with the IS.

"[The KIM can] emerge as an umbrella organization for other existing and emerging jihadist groups that embrace the idea of creating an Islamic state in southern Philippines, as what the Jemaah Islamiyah envisioned," Kakilala said.

Phl commits to help fight IS By Pia Lee-Brago (The Philippine Star) | Updated October 2, 2014 - 12:00am 0 0 googleplus0 0

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines made a commitment to the United Nations to do its part in the international efforts to fight the terrorist group Islamic State (IS) operating in Iraq and Syria.

Speaking at the General Debate during the 69th session of the UN General Assembly on Sept. 29, Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario said the IS and the Ebola outbreak are the two present-day scourges.

“The Philippines condemns the war crimes and crimes against humanity being perpetrated by IS,” Del Rosario said.

He added that the Philippines supported Security Council Resolution 2178 on foreign terrorist fighters adopted on September 24 because “we believe that resolute and immediate action is necessary to suppress this group.”

“As a responsible member of the international community, the Philippines will do its part in the global efforts to thwart IS and their false ideologies,” Del Rosario said.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said on September 18 that the Philippines would do its part to help an international coalition to fight IS without necessarily sending troops.

US Ambassador Philip Goldberg said the US and the Philippines are watching very closely the possible recruitment of foreign fighters in the country by IS, sometimes also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

He said the US government is concerned about the recruitment of foreign fighters as jihadists who have gone to the Middle East from the United States, United Kingdom, Europe, Australia, and other countries.

Areas for possible recruitment, he said, also include countries in Southeast Asia – the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia.

The DFA said Philippine security and intelligence authorities have commenced the monitoring of possible recruitment by ISIS and other foreign extremist groups in the country.

* On the Ebola outbreak, the Philippines recognizes its risks on global health and its impact on development.

“As such, we will support, based on our capacity, the international community’s efforts in arresting the spread of this scourge through the auspices of the World Health Organization,” he said.

Meanwhile, authorities in Maguindanao have refuted on Tuesday insinuations that local Muslim residents are being recruited by members of a group affiliated with the IS now destabilizing Iraq and Syria and declared an enemy of the United States and its allies.

Members of the Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC), led by its chair Maguindanao Gov. Esmael Mangudadatu, Brig. Gen. Edmundo Pangilinan of the 6th Infantry Division, and Senior Superintendent Rudelio Jocson announced during the council meeting last Tuesday in Buluan town that the local Islamic communities remain in control and that there are no indications of any IS recruitment activities in any of the 36 towns in the province.

The police and military are still investigating the report that ethnic Maranaws have allegedly pledged allegiance to the ISIS during a congregational prayer in a mosque in Marawi City two weeks ago.

The worshipers were also said to have raised the IS black flag during the event.

Jocson, Maguindanao provincial police director, said the security officials are now more concerned with clan wars involving local Maguindanaon families.

“All of our Islamic preachers in the province are moderate Sunni Muslims so there is no way extremists can influence ethnic Maguindanaon folks to even just sympathize with the ISIS,” Mangudadatu told reporters.

Military officials present in the meeting said last month’s announcement by the outlawed Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) that it has joined the IS was just a propaganda to gain media mileage and promote its plan to set up an Islamic state in Mindanao.

Some members of the newly organized Juris consult of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, among them graduates of the Al-Azhar University in Egypt and the World Islamic Call University in Libya, have earlier branded as un-Islamic the activities of the IS, which brutally took over non-Muslim enclaves in Syria and Iraq in recent months.

“Nowhere in the sacred Qur’an can you find a teaching encouraging Muslims to kill non-Muslims just like that. Warfare in Islam, in fact, is only strictly for defense of land, race and religion, not in form of aggression. Killing of innocent non-Muslim religious leaders and their followers and destroying their places of worship is forbidden in Islam,” said Alzad Sattar, ARMM’s undersecretary for Islamic education. With Perseus Echeminada, John Unson

Phl rejects WHO's call to send health workers Ebola-hit West Africa (philstar.com) | Updated September 30, 2014 - 10:00pm 0 1 googleplus0 1

MANILA, Philippines (Xinhua) - The Philippine government has no plan to send medical workers to Ebola-hit West Africa, a senior official said today.

"As part of the United Nations, our country is ready to take measures to help in the global action against the spread of Ebola virus," said Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. at a news briefing in Manila.

But sending health workers as requested by the World Health Organization (WHO) could not be one of them, Coloma said, citing that there are many considerations that the Philippine government has to look into.

Currently, the government is focused on how to ensure the safety of the Filipino peacekeepers in Ebola-stricken Liberia, he said.

The WHO has said that having medical volunteers from the Philippines would be greatly appreciated amid the rising number of Ebola cases in three West African countries, Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Thunderstorm drenches Metro Manila, neighboring provinces
By Bong Lozada |INQUIRER.net7:28 pm | Wednesday, October 1st, 2014



MANILA, Philippines—A thunderstorm has submerged much of Metro Manila in floods as lightning and thunder raged over, the weather bureau said.

In its bulletin, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration said at 5:01 pm that Metro Manila, Tarlac, Nueva Ecija, Bulacan, the towns of Macabebe, Masanto and Mexico in Pampanga and the towns of Antipolo, Cainta, San Mateo and Taytay in Rizal.

Pagasa added that the thunderstorm may persist for two hours.

Cavite and Laguna may also experience thunderstorms within the next two hours.

ITCZ to bring rains to Mindanao By Bong Lozada |INQUIRER.net7:16 am | Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

MANILA, Philippines—An intertropical convergence zone affecting Mindanao will bring rains to the country’s southern island, the weather bureau said.

In its early-morning bulletin, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said the Caraga and Davao regions will have cloudy skies with light to moderate rainshowers or thunderstorms.

Pagasa added that Metro Manila and the rest of the country would be partly cloudy to cloudy with isolated rainshowers and thunderstorms.

1 in every 10 mothers in Ilocos is a teenager Philippine Daily Inquirer6:00 am | Wednesday, October 1st, 2014


A MANILA hospital is overwhelmed by the number of women giving birth in a scene repeated many times over outside the metropolis, including the Ilocos region where one of every 10 mothers is a teenager. JOAN BONDOC

LINGAYEN, Pangasinan—The number of teenage mothers in the Ilocos region has risen over the past 10 years, alarming population officials who have raised concerns over the young child-bearers’ health.

The latest Young Adult Fertility and Sexuality (YAFS) study, by the University of the Philippines’ Population Institute (UPPI) and Demographic Research and Development Foundation, showed that at least one in every 10 girls, ages 15 to 19 years old, in the Ilocos region is already a mother.

“This is really a cause for concern in the region because the number of teenage mothers in the [Ilocos] has tripled in the last 10 years,” said Dr. Josefina Natividad, YAFS project coordinator.

Natividad, who presented the findings, said that in 2002, the proportion of girls ages 15 to 19 who became mothers was only 4.2 percent, but last year, it rose to 13 percent.

The findings were part of a nationwide survey on Filipino youth, ages 15 to 24, conducted in 2013. Some 1,000 respondents were from the provinces of Pangasinan, La Union, Ilocos Sur and Ilocos Norte.

“If you look at the breakdown by age, you’ll find that 1.3 percent of the 15-year-old [respondents] have begun bearing a child and the rise is very steep as you go older,” Natividad said.

“Why are we concerned about teenage fertility? It’s because we’re concerned about the health of the young woman,” she said.

“Her body is not yet prepared for the burden of childbearing. We’re also concerned about the child,” she added.

But Natividad said the teenage fertility rate in the Ilocos region was lower than that of other regions.

* In the Cordillera, 18 percent of women in the same age range have begun childbearing, she said.

The “very high” proportion of women getting pregnant at a very young age, Natividad said, might be attributed to the youth’s increasing sexual activity despite the lack of knowledge on preventing pregnancy.

“For example, we asked during the survey if a woman can get pregnant after just one unprotected sex. In the Ilocos, only 62 percent agreed. The 38 percent who disagreed is a big number,” Natividad said.

The study also found that youth in the region started having sex at a younger age. The mean age for first sexual intercourse is 17.6 years old for males and 17.8 years old for females.

At least 23 percent of male youths and 23.7 percent of female youths in the region had sex before 18.

But Natividad said the proportion of those who had sex before 15 had decreased. In the Ilocos, she said, about 2.3 percent of boys and 1.3 percent of girls had sex before 15.

“Even then, sex before age 15 is really way too early,” Natividad said.

“The clincher there is that most of these risky sexual activities are unprotected against the risk of either pregnancy or sexually transmitted infection,” she said. Gabriel Cardinoza, Inquirer Northern Luzon

Kidnap victim recounts ‘horrible’ ordeal at Senate hearingBy Maila Ager |INQUIRER.net4:51 pm | Tuesday, September 30th, 2014


SCREENGRAB FROM INQUIRER VIDEO

MANILA, Philippines — A victim of kidnapping twice on Tuesday faced the Senate and shared his “horrible” experience that may well illustrate the deteriorating law and order in the country.

Ka Kuen Chua, chairman of the Movement for Restoration of Peace and Order (MPRO), told the Senate committee on public and order that he was kidnapped for 17 days in September 2008 and again in May 2012 for five days.

“If there’s anyone in this meeting who looks to benefit the most from highly modernized and fully professionalized national police, it’s us. The members of the MRPO, who ourselves are victims of kidnapping and other related crimes,” Chua said.

“I, for one, am a victim and once kidnapped. But in spite of that, I can still regard myself being lucky as I did not end like other members whose families have since mourned their deaths.”

Chua said he paid ransom when he was first kidnapped but was not freed until he was rescued by an anti-kidnapping group.

After the promulgation of case, however, he was again abducted by another group in May 2012.

“Our horrible experiences would have been prevented at the very least, the likelihood of them happening would have been diminished, had there been an efficient peace and order control system in place,” he said.

But instead of solving the problem, Chua said, the peace and order situation in the country even got worse with the reported involvement of some policemen in crimes.

“Though it is not for us to conclude that the national police organization is reeking of rats, suffice to state that the rotten eggs in the organization have worked to diminish our trust in our then regarded friendly neighborhood police, and this begs the question where to go when the persons who are supposed to protect us are the same individuals who undermine the social order?” he said.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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