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PHNO WORLD HEADLINE NEWS THIS PAST WEEKEND

NO MORE STORM SUGNALS ON NEW YEAR'S EVE AS SENIANG WEAKENS INTO LPA 

PHOTO: Weaker Seniang deadlier than Super Typhoon Ruby Weaker Seniang deadlier than Super Typhoon Ruby. Flood caused by heavy rains spawned by Tropical Storm Seniang (Jangmi) inundates a village in Palo, Samar on Tuesday, December 30. Flash floods and mudslides have killed at least 53 people in the central and southern Philippines, the national disaster agency said on Wednesday. Reuters/Rowel Montes --- In the last few hours of 2014, Tropical Depression Seniang weakened into a low-pressure area, state weather agency PAGASA said. READ MORE...

ALSO: Holiday mood may have caused fewer evacuations for Seniang—NDRRMC  

PHOTO: Residents and motorists pass by a muddy street in Barangay Mercedes, Catbalogan, samar on Wednesday, December 31, in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Seniang (Jangmi). Disaster officials said 53 people perished because of the tropical storm. GMA News ---Fewer residents were preemptively evacuated before Tropical Cyclone Seniang hit the Visayas and Mindanao and the prevailing holiday mood could have been a factor, an official of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said on Wednesday. NDRRMC executive director Undersecretary Alexander Pama said anticipation for the New Year's Eve celebration may have played a role why many residents refused to leave their homes but hastened to add that other factors must also be considered. The NDRRMC's official casualty count due to Seniang was at 53 as of Wednesday noon. Its death toll in Super Typhoon Ruby's aftermath stood only at 19 as of Dec. 4. READ MORE...

ALSO: Seniang’s floods destroy popular Bohol hanging bridge – report

PHOTO OF TOURIST FAVORITE: BOHOL HANGING BRIDGE --Bohol Floods from Tropical Cyclone Seniang destroyed a popular bamboo hanging bridge in Bohol province, state-run Philippine Information Agency reported Wednesday. Bohol was one of the areas hit hard by heavy rain and big waves from Seniang, which had since weakened into a tropical depression as of Wednesday afternoon. The PIA said Sipatan Bridge in Sevilla town was destroyed due to the strong current caused by Seniang. READ MORE...

ALSO: Filipino’s wife, child in AirAsia crash

PHOTO: People inspect the crash site of a passenger plane near the village of Hrabove, Ukraine, Thursday, July 17, 2014. The Philippine Embassy in Malaysia is working closely with Malaysia Airlines authorities on what assistance they may be able to offer the next of kin of the three Filipino casualties in flight MH17 that crashed in Ukraine. “We were informed by the Malaysia Airlines that they are in the process of contacting the next of kin of the three Filipinos,” Vice Consul of the Philippine Embassy in Malaysia Johann Veronica Andal said in a televised phone interview Friday. MANILA, Philippines—The wife and daughter of a Filipino based in Singapore were among the passengers of AirAsia QZ8501, which crashed into the Java Sea on Sunday, a local television report said. GMA News TV reported on Wednesday that Alejandro Santiago was already in Indonesia in his bid to find his Indonesian wife Romlah Siti and teenage daughter Jasmine Rose Ann Santiago. The flight, which left Surabaya, Indonesia’s second largest city, for Singapore, was first reported as missing. However, on Tuesday, search operations found debris from the plane. Several bodies were found on Wednesday morning. READ FULL REPORT...

ALSO: Firemen placed on full alert for New Year's Day

MANILA, Philippines - As the country prepares to welcome the New Year tonight, the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) has placed the Bureau of Fire and Protection (BFP) personnel in full alert status. BFP officer in charge Chief Superintendent Ariel Barayuga said that all BFP personnel are expected to be at their respective fire stations and with available equipment on the ready, prepositioned if necessary, to respond to any emergency. Before Christmas, the BFP-DILG earlier launched "Oplan Paalala: Iwas Paputok, Sakuna at Sunog." All fire stations were likewise directed to conduct a series of fire safety inspections on business establishments, malls, and facilities engaged in the manufacture, selling of firecrackers and pyrotechnics. All fire stations and offices have also been conducting Ugnayan sa Barangay to enlist the support and cooperation of barangay officials. To dramatize the campaign slogan of "Iwas Paputok" the BFP distributed "torotot" to the children and parents to remind them of the safest way of celebrating the new year and to discourage the public from using firecrackers and pyrotechnics. READ MORE...

ALSO: Dingdong, Marian tie knot in lavish ceremony 

PHOTO: Mr. and Mrs. Dantes with the bishops and priests. 8 BISHOPS, 7 PRIESTS AS IN AN ORDINATION RITE. MANILA, Philippines - Dingdong Dantes and Marian Rivera sealed their reel-to-real romance in a lavish but “very traditional” wedding ceremony held yesterday at the Immaculate Conception Cathedral in Cubao after months of well-documented preparation. President Aquino led a high-profile wedding entourage in a special role as “witness of honor” while his sister Kris stood as one of the principal sponsors. Some roads were reportedly closed off to motorists with the security strict and tight as an estimated crowd of over 4,000, mostly fans of the showbiz power couple, descended on the venue in Quezon City. A special area outside the church was designated for the fans, where a giant screen aired the goings-on of what has been touted as the wedding of the year. Unlike most showbiz couples who make this occasion off-limits to fans and even media, Dingdong, 34, and Marian, 30, wanted to share the excitement of the moment. READ FULL REPORT...

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL....MORE NEWS
LATER THIS WEEK FROM PHNO!


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

No more storm signals on New Year's Eve as Seniang weakens into LPA


Weaker Seniang deadlier than Super Typhoon Ruby Weaker Seniang deadlier than Super Typhoon Ruby. Flood caused by heavy rains spawned by Tropical Storm Seniang (Jangmi) inundates a village in Palo, Samar on Tuesday, December 30. Flash floods and mudslides have killed at least 53 people in the central and southern Philippines, the national disaster agency said on Wednesday. Reuters/Rowel Montes

MANILA, DECEMBER 31, 2014 (GMA NEWS NETWORK)  - In the last few hours of 2014, Tropical Depression Seniang weakened into a low-pressure area, state weather agency PAGASA said.

PAGASA's 9:30 p.m. bulletin said that as of 8 p.m., the LPA was estimated at 330 km south-southwest of Cuyo, Palawan or 220 km southeast of Puerto Princesa City.

However, PAGASA warned the LPA that was once Seniang may still bring "moderate to occasionally heavy rain and thunderstorms over Southern Palawan."

Also, PAGASA warned fisherfolk and those with small seacrafts not to venture out over the seaboards of Luzon and Visayas.

Seniang left more than 50 dead in its wake as it brought heavy rain that battered the Visayas and Mindanao. — Joel Locsin/JST, GMA News


FROM GMA NEWS

Holiday mood may have caused fewer evacuations for Seniang—NDRRMC By ELIZABETH MARCELO, GMA NewsDecember 31, 2014 7:12pm


Residents and motorists pass by a muddy street in Barangay Mercedes, Catbalogan, samar on Wednesday, December 31, in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Seniang (Jangmi). Disaster officials said 53 people perished because of the tropical storm. GMA News

Fewer residents were preemptively evacuated before Tropical Cyclone Seniang hit the Visayas and Mindanao and the prevailing holiday mood could have been a factor, an official of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said on Wednesday.

NDRRMC executive director Undersecretary Alexander Pama said anticipation for the New Year's Eve celebration may have played a role why many residents refused to leave their homes but hastened to add that other factors must also be considered.

The NDRRMC's official casualty count due to Seniang was at 53 as of Wednesday noon. Its death toll in Super Typhoon Ruby's aftermath stood only at 19 as of Dec. 4.

“Maaring ganun nga, maaring ayaw nilang mag Media Noche sa evacuation centers, pero maari ring hindi nakapagpatupad ng early evacuation. Mahirap pa masabi sa ngayon,” Pama told GMA News Online over the phone.

Pama said fewer residents were preemptively evacuated from their homes before tropical storm Seniang battered parts of Visayas and Mindanao amid the agency's continuous warnings and advisories to the local government units.

“Yes, our record shows na mas konti ang nag-evacuate ngayon. Ayaw pa nating magbigay ng conclusion sa ngayon kung bakit nagkaganun. It's up to the local government units to explain kung bakit mas konti ang kanilang nailikas,” Pama said.

Based on the NDRRMC's record a total of only 5,046 families were preemptively evacuated to 79 evacuation centers in the affected regions Eastern Visayas, Central Visayas, Northern Mindanao, Davao region and CARAGA.

This figure is comparably lower than the 124,177 families or 616,550 individuals evacuated in preparation for Typhoon Ruby which also hits the Visayas and Mindanao regions early December.

Seniang, which had winds of 65 kph near the center with gusts of 80 kph, officially caused more deaths than Typhoon Ruby that hit Eastern Visayas and nearby provinces in early December.

Ruby, which was even compared to Super Typhoon Yolanda, had winds of more than 200 kph and gustiness of more than 260 kph.

Seniang's heavy rainfall did most of the damage as it caused floods and landslides.

“On our part, hindi naman tayo nagkulang sa pagbibigay ng babala at ulat sa ating mga LGUs. Isa-isa namin tinawagan ang bawat provincial and municipal government na, based sa forecast ng PAGASA, ay tatamaan ni Seniang," Pama said.

"Nung weekend pa lang ay sinabihan na natin sila na ilikas na ang mga residente sa low-lying and flashflood and landslide-prone areas,” he added..

Pama, however, stressed that Seniang should not be compared to Ruby, which was forecast to be a super typhoon even before entering the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR).

“Yung sa Ruby kasi, it was categorized early on as super typhoon, so mas naging puspusan talaga ang paghahanda ng mga LGUs and other government agencies," Pama said.

"Pero now is not the right time para magsisihan, hindi naman maganda na Bagong Taon na Baong Taon ay magtuturuan tayo. Siguro, abangan nalang natin ang paliwanag ng mga LGUs sa mga susunod na araw,” he added. —with a report from Joel Locsin/VC/NB, GMA News


FROM GMA NEWS

Seniang’s floods destroy popular Bohol hanging bridge – report December 31, 2014 7:23pm 11 20 0 40 Tags:


TOURIST FAVORITE: BOHOL HANGING BRIDGE

Bohol Floods from Tropical Cyclone Seniang destroyed a popular bamboo hanging bridge in Bohol province, state-run Philippine Information Agency reported Wednesday.

Bohol was one of the areas hit hard by heavy rain and big waves from Seniang, which had since weakened into a tropical depression as of Wednesday afternoon.

The PIA said Sipatan Bridge in Sevilla town was destroyed due to the strong current caused by Seniang.

Made of bamboo and supported by rope and cables, Sipatan Bridge spanned Sipatan River and had been featured in many tourism sites that described it as a "fun tourist attraction."

According to travel agency Bohol Life Tours, the bridge was 40 meters in length. Another agency, Bohol Bliss Tours, noted that a souvenir shop awaited tourists at the end of the bridge. — Joel Locsin/BM, GMA News


FROM THE INQUIRER

Filipino’s wife, child in AirAsia crash Kristine Angeli Sabillo @KSabilloINQ INQUIRER.net 5:49 PM | Wednesday, December 31st, 2014


PHOTO: People inspect the crash site of a passenger plane near the village of Hrabove, Ukraine, Thursday, July 17, 2014. The Philippine Embassy in Malaysia is working closely with Malaysia Airlines authorities on what assistance they may be able to offer the next of kin of the three Filipino casualties in flight MH17 that crashed in Ukraine. “We were informed by the Malaysia Airlines that they are in the process of contacting the next of kin of the three Filipinos,” Vice Consul of the Philippine Embassy in Malaysia Johann Veronica Andal said in a televised phone interview Friday.

MANILA, Philippines—The wife and daughter of a Filipino based in Singapore were among the passengers of AirAsia QZ8501, which crashed into the Java Sea on Sunday, a local television report said.

GMA News TV reported on Wednesday that Alejandro Santiago was already in Indonesia in his bid to find his Indonesian wife Romlah Siti and teenage daughter Jasmine Rose Ann Santiago.

The flight, which left Surabaya, Indonesia’s second largest city, for Singapore, was first reported as missing. However, on Tuesday, search operations found debris from the plane. Several bodies were found on Wednesday morning.

Santiago told the network that he had already provided identification documents such as the photos, IDs and dental records of his wife and daughter. He also gave his DNA sample.

On Twitter, friends and schoolmates of Jasmine Rose posted photos of her, asking for prayers.

“Rest in peace Jasmine Rose Ann Santiago,” some of them posted.

Of the 162 people onboard the plane, 155 were passengers, two were pilots and five were cabin crew.


FROM PHILSTAR

Firemen placed on full alert for New Year's Day By Dennis Carcamo (philstar.com) | Updated December 31, 2014 - 3:09pm 2 3 googleplus0 0

MANILA, Philippines - As the country prepares to welcome the New Year tonight, the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) has placed the Bureau of Fire and Protection (BFP) personnel in full alert status.

BFP officer in charge Chief Superintendent Ariel Barayuga said that all BFP personnel are expected to be at their respective fire stations and with available equipment on the ready, prepositioned if necessary, to respond to any emergency.

Before Christmas, the BFP-DILG earlier launched "Oplan Paalala: Iwas Paputok, Sakuna at Sunog."

All fire stations were likewise directed to conduct a series of fire safety inspections on business establishments, malls, and facilities engaged in the manufacture, selling of firecrackers and pyrotechnics. All fire stations and offices have also been conducting Ugnayan sa Barangay to enlist the support and cooperation of barangay officials.

To dramatize the campaign slogan of "Iwas Paputok" the BFP distributed "torotot" to the children and parents to remind them of the safest way of celebrating the new year and to discourage the public from using firecrackers and pyrotechnics.

During the conduct of the activity, flyers and posters are distributed to complement lectures and dialogues; and the built-in public address system of firetrucks are being utilized to broadcast fire safety reminders especially on the hazards of the use of firecrackers and other pyrotechnics.

Records show that as of December 28, there were six fire incidents related to firecrackers and pyrotechnics causing a total estimated damage of P10.5 million and injury to three civilians.

Meanwhile, the BFP-DILG also announced that it is now on the post qualification stage of its bidding for the procurement of 244 units 1000-gallon capacity and 225 units 500-gallon capacity firetrucks with a budget of P2.589 billion.

This budget came from a combined 2014 General Appropriations Act of P1 billion while the P1.589 billion came from Special Account in the General Fund or the fire code fees collected from 2010 to 2013.

If the bidding will be successful, delivery of 155 units is projected to be on July 2015, while the second delivery of another 155 units will be on October 2015. The last delivery of 159 units will be on January 2016.


FROM PHILSTAR

Dingdong, Marian tie knot in lavish ceremony By Salve Asis (The Philippine Star) | Updated December 31, 2014 - 12:00am 3 104 googleplus2 1


PHOTO: Mr. and Mrs. Dantes with the bishops and priests. 8 BISHOPS, 7 PRIESTS AS IN AN ORDINATION RITE.

MANILA, Philippines - Dingdong Dantes and Marian Rivera sealed their reel-to-real romance in a lavish but “very traditional” wedding ceremony held yesterday at the Immaculate Conception Cathedral in Cubao after months of well-documented preparation.

President Aquino led a high-profile wedding entourage in a special role as “witness of honor” while his sister Kris stood as one of the principal sponsors.

Some roads were reportedly closed off to motorists with the security strict and tight as an estimated crowd of over 4,000, mostly fans of the showbiz power couple, descended on the venue in Quezon City.

A special area outside the church was designated for the fans, where a giant screen aired the goings-on of what has been touted as the wedding of the year.

Unlike most showbiz couples who make this occasion off-limits to fans and even media, Dingdong, 34, and Marian, 30, wanted to share the excitement of the moment.

When interviewed by some reporters shortly before the wedding ceremony, Dingdong appeared overwhelmed and simply said, “Hindi ko maintindihan (I cannot understand how I feel).”

The nuptials capped the perennial onscreen partners’ more than five-year relationship, which blossomed on the set of a GMA 7 soap opera and was marked by two marriage proposals – first in a private gathering in Macau 2012 and the second last August on national television.

According to GMA 7 reports, the groom, wearing a cream-colored tuxedo, arrived on a Ducati motorcycle.

Meanwhile, the stunning Madrid-born bride walked down the aisle dressed in an intricately detailed off-shoulder gown with a long train by Dubai-based Filipino designer Michael Cinco.

Guests said that even as it was the union of two of the country’s biggest stars, the ceremony – held in the church community the groom grew up in – was very traditional and solemn, officiated by nine bishops and seven priests, and attended by an equal mix of showbiz and non-showbiz friends and family. There were no personalized vows as is the trend of many celebrity weddings, with the overall mood not emotional but rather celebratory as the couple held hands the whole time.

A Spanish-themed reception followed at the Mall of Asia Arena for roughly a thousand expected guests – including members of their fan clubs – who were encouraged to make a donation to the groom’s Yes Pinoy Foundation in lieu of wedding gifts.

The newlyweds are planning a honeymoon in Europe, courtesy of principal sponsor and celebrity doctor Vicki Belo. Among the other 20 pairs of principal sponsors were GMA Network boss Felipe Gozon and Batangas Gov. Vilma Santos.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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