PHNO HEADLINE NEWS THIS PAST WEEK
(Mini Reads followed by Full Reports below)

THE CORONA VIRUS: DOH CONFIRMS 2nd 'MERS' CASE HERE IN THE PHL
[Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV)]


JULY 7 ---Patients at the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine in Muntinlupa use face masks after the Department of Health confirmed the second case of MERS-CoV in the country yesterday. EDD GUMBAN
A foreigner who arrived from Dubai last month tested positive for the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome-Corona Virus (MERS-CoV), the Department of Health (DOH) confirmed yesterday.
Health Secretary Janette Garin said the 36-year-old foreigner was the country’s second case of MERS-CoV. She said the patient manifested cough and flu on July 2 and sought consultation in a private hospital. He was referred to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) in Alabang, Muntinlupa for further tests at noon Saturday. At around 5 p.m. on the same day, Garin said laboratory results confirmed that the patient was infected with MERS-CoV. “He remains in isolation while undergoing treatment at the RITM,” Garin told reporters. The DOH refused to give the exact travel details of the patient, his nationality and nature of work. READ MORE...

ALSO: Tropical storm Egay’ lashes Luzon, shuts down Metro Manila


JULY 7 --FLOOD PRINCESS A boy ferries children on a makeshift raft to their destination along a flooded portion of Road 10 in Tondo, Manila, after heavy rains brought by Tropical Storm “Egay.” RAFFY LERMA All ships were ordered to remain in harbor and some flights were canceled in northern Luzon, while schools were closed in Metro Manila on Monday due to flooding and landslides from Tropical Storm “Egay,” disaster officials said.
In Bataan province, Niel Jimenez, 35, a clerk of the Land Transportation Office in Valenzuela City, drowned at a beach resort in Morong town on Sunday, police said. Jimenez, police said, was hit by big waves as he swam 50 meters away from the shore. In Ilocos Norte province, a Chinese fishing vessel en route to Vietnam ran aground on Friday night in Currimao Bay, injuring five crewmen, the Philippine Coast Guard said. Storm warnings were issued in at least 14 areas as Egay (international name: Linfa) moved slowly across northern Luzon before exiting on Sunday. It was carrying maximum wind gusts of 100 kilometers per hour. READ MORE...

ALSO Enters new storm: 'Falcon' boosts habagat monsoon rains


JULY 8 ---Typhoon "Falcon" entered the Philippine area of responsibility on Tuesday night. It is seen in this MTSAT satellite image from DOST-Project NOAH.
Typhoon 'Falcon' (international name Chan-Hom) entered the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR) Tuesday night and is seen to enhance the southwest monsoon or "habagat." 
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) forecasted on Wednesday that Luzon will experience monsoon rains which may trigger flash floods and landslides over Mindoro, Palawan, Zambales and Bataan. Meanwhile, Metro Manila, Ilocos Region, Cordillera and Western Visayas are expected to experience light to moderate rains and thunderstorms. READ MORE...

ALSO: Both Egay, Falcon leave 5 dead – NDRRMC


JULY 12 ---Tropical Storm Egay and Typhoon Falcon  Five persons were reported dead as heavy rains spawned by the southwest monsoon and enhanced by Tropical Storm Egay and Typhoon Falcon hit many parts of the country over the past few days. In a report yesterday, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said the fatalities were a three-year-old who drowned in floods, a one-year-old who was pinned down by a fence which fell on the family’s shanty and Demetrio Ylasco, 74, who was hit by a concrete fence weakened by floods. The three victims are all from Meycauayan, Bulacan. An unidentified Korean national who went missing after he and two Korean companions went diving in Lapu-Lapu, Cebu, was found dead Wednesday. His companions were rescued and are now being treated at the University of Cebu Medical Hospital. The fifth casualty was John Jevin Jacinto, 19, who fell from a riprap rivershore armor. His body was retrieved along San Juan River on Aurora Boulevard in Quezon City last Tuesday. READ MORE...

ALSO: Chiz wants update on Metro Manila flood-control projects

JULY 9 ---Senator Chiz Escudero is asking for an update on the flood-control projects undertaken by the government to ease flooding in low-lying areas in Metro Manila, where a total of 4,750 hectares are flood-prone. Escudero said the Senate Committee on Finance, which he chairs, will conduct a mid-year review of the status of flood-control projects implemented by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) within the nation’s capital region. The senator made the statement after torrential rains again brought Metro Manila to a standstill, submerging some areas in waist-deep flood waters and making streets impassable to vehicles. Escudero said he wants to find out from the MMDA whether it will be able to fulfill its promise to reduce the number of flood-prone areas in the metropolis by 10 percent this year. “The MMDA has promised that it will work for a 10-percent reduction of flooded areas, or from 4,570 to 4, 105 hectares for a rainfall intensity of less than 40 millimeters per hour and that floodwaters in areas under its jurisdiction will subside 40 minutes to one hour after a downpour measuring less than 40 millimeters per hour,” Escudero said, noting that the scope of the flood-prone areas is twice the size of the city of Manila. These “performance guarantees” are attached to the P2.19 billion subsidy the MMDA will receive from the national government, he said. READ MORE...

ALSO: Be ready, OFWs in Greece told


JULY 7 ---Greek finance minister quits to smooth talks after thunderous ‘No’ (Photo: .@Reuters) http://t.co/Tglp7HitqO 
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) is studying possible implications of the debt crisis in Greece on over 60,000 Filipino workers there, with Philippine Embassy officials in Athens telling community leaders to help spread the word to better be prepared for any eventuality.
Banks in Greece have been closed for a week after the European Central Bank refused an emergency loan that would infuse assistance into Greece’s deepening debt crisis. “The DFA as well as the embassy in Athens are continuously monitoring the situation,” DFA spokesman Charles Jose told reporters in Manila on Monday. “We still have to see the full extent of the implication of the result of [a] referendum,” he said. READ MORE...

ALSO: Euro zone ministers demand more from Greece for loan talks


JULY 11 ---EU officials forecast a deal would be reached by the end of the weekend to keep Greece afloat, but two sources said there was consensus among the other 18 ministers that the leftist government in Athens must take further steps to convince them it would honor any new debts.
Skeptical euro zone finance ministers demanded on Saturday that Greece go beyond painful austerity measures accepted by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras if he wants them to open negotiations on a third bailout for his bankrupt country to keep it in the euro. Ministers lined up to vent their anger at Tsipras on arrival at their umpteenth emergency weekend meeting on Greece's acute debt crisis, with Athens staring into an economic abyss when financial markets reopen on Monday unless it wins fresh aid. EU officials forecast a deal would be reached by the end of the weekend to keep Greece afloat, but two sources said there was consensus among the other 18 ministers that the leftist government in Athens must take further steps to convince them it would honor any new debts. Tsipras won parliamentary backing early on Saturday for a tough reform package that largely mirrored measures previously demanded by its international creditors but rejected by Greek voters at his behest in a referendum last Sunday. Wolfgang Schaeuble, finance minister of its biggest creditor Germany and a stickler for the EU's fiscal rules, said negotiations would be "exceptionally difficult". READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

DOH confirms 2nd MERS case in Philippines


Patients at the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine in Muntinlupa use face masks after the Department of Health confirmed the second case of MERS-CoV in the country yesterday. EDD GUMBAN

MANILA, JULY 13, 2015 (PHILSTAR) By Sheila Crisostomo - Health Secretary Janette Garin said the 36-year-old foreigner was the country’s second case of MERS-CoV.

She said the patient manifested cough and flu on July 2 and sought consultation in a private hospital. He was referred to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) in Alabang, Muntinlupa for further tests at noon Saturday.

At around 5 p.m. on the same day, Garin said laboratory results confirmed that the patient was infected with MERS-CoV.

“He remains in isolation while undergoing treatment at the RITM,” Garin told reporters.

The DOH refused to give the exact travel details of the patient, his nationality and nature of work.

READ MORE...

But Garin said the patient came from Dubai but made a stopover in Saudi Arabia before visiting Manila last month.

The foreigner left the country again but returned during the 14-day incubation period of the virus.

Garin added the patient had “low viral load,” meaning the volume of virus in his body is minimal and he could be on the road to recovery.

According to DOH spokesman Lyndon Lee Suy, the patient was on the tail end of the incubation period when he manifested the symptoms for MERS-CoV.

“When the patient developed symptoms, he took the initiative to limit his movement so he stayed mostly at home. He is cooperative. He told us who were the people who came in contact with him,” Lee Suy said.

The DOH urged the public not to panic amid the second MERS-CoV case in the country.

The first case of MERS-CoV was a pregnant Filipino nurse who came from Saudi Arabia in February. She has recovered from the illness.

“There is no reason to panic. We appeal to the public to respect the privacy of the patient. What is important is for us to continue practicing proper hygiene, get enough rest and a balanced diet, which all lead to good resistance,” Garin said.

Contact tracing

The DOH has mobilized the Task Force MERS-CoV to create heightened awareness of the disease and to do contact tracing.

Garin said that eight people who came in close contact with the patient have been identified. One of them – a Filipina – had cough and was taken to the RITM for monitoring. The rest are undergoing home quarantine, she said.

The DOH is tracking down some 200 co-passengers of the patient on his second trip to the country.

Garin explained there is no need to trace his co-passengers in his flight from the Middle East because it was beyond the 14-day incubation period of the virus.

Palace: Philippines capable of treating MERS

The government is fully ready and capable of detecting and treating any reported case of MERS-CoV, Malacañang assured the public yesterday.

President Aquino ordered the DOH to tighten surveillance and quarantine measures at all ports of entry following the new MERS-CoV case in the country, Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. of the Presidential Communications Operations Office said.

Coloma said the DOH was tasked to ensure the prompt reporting by hospitals of patients manifesting symptoms of the disease for immediate isolation, treatment and contact tracing.

In Zamboanga City, acting Mayor Cesar Ituralde said the local health department is on alert for the possible entry of MERS-CoV. – With Delon Porcalla, Roel Pareño


‘Egay’ lashes Luzon, shuts down Metro Manila SHARES: 6 VIEW COMMENTS @inquirerdotnet Philippine Daily Inquirer 01:49 AM July 7th, 2015


JULY 7 --FLOOD PRINCESS A boy ferries children on a makeshift raft to their destination along a flooded portion of Road 10 in Tondo, Manila, after heavy rains brought by Tropical Storm “Egay.” RAFFY LERMA

All ships were ordered to remain in harbor and some flights were canceled in northern Luzon, while schools were closed in Metro Manila on Monday due to flooding and landslides from Tropical Storm “Egay,” disaster officials said.

In Bataan province, Niel Jimenez, 35, a clerk of the Land Transportation Office in Valenzuela City, drowned at a beach resort in Morong town on Sunday, police said. Jimenez, police said, was hit by big waves as he swam 50 meters away from the shore.

In Ilocos Norte province, a Chinese fishing vessel en route to Vietnam ran aground on Friday night in Currimao Bay, injuring five crewmen, the Philippine Coast Guard said.

Storm warnings were issued in at least 14 areas as Egay (international name: Linfa) moved slowly across northern Luzon before exiting on Sunday. It was carrying maximum wind gusts of 100 kilometers per hour.

READ MORE...

Alexander Pama, executive director of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, said the storm would bring heavy rain within a 400-km radius. “We are grounding all sea travel and fishing operations in the north because we expect sea waves to go as high as 4 meters,” Pama said.

“We don’t want any loss of life or any accidents,” he added. Army units have been placed on standby to evacuate people to temporary shelters if needed, Pama said.

The government was expecting some crop damage in rice-producing areas in Luzon. Egay made landfall in the north on Saturday and was about 135 km southwest of Laoag City on Monday.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) said more than 1,600 families were affected by the storm. Four families, or 19 people, were evacuated in Benguet and Kalinga provinces in the Cordillera Administrative Region due to landslides.

In the Ilocos region, 1,603 families from the provinces of La Union, Pangasinan and Ilocos Sur were also evacuated from their homes.

In Western Visayas, 34 families, or 157 people, were affected by big waves and a tornado. Social Welfare Secretary Corazon Soliman said the agency had P12.3 million in standby funds and more than 100,000 in food packs for northern Luzon towns.

Relief goods were prepositioned in local government units, in DSWD regional offices and the National Resource Operations Center (NROC) in Pasay City. “The prepositioning of relief supply at the provincial and municipal levels is a regular disaster preparedness measure that we undertake to ensure that assistance is not delayed,” Soliman said.

Some 100,125 family food packs have been sent to DSWD offices in the Ilocos region, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon and the Cordillera Administrative Region to be distributed to affected towns. Soliman said a P12.3-million standby fund would be used by the regional offices to purchase emergency relief supplies.

The DSWD also sent 146,850 food packs to Calabarzon, Mimaropa, the Bicol region and Western Visayas as these areas are also experiencing heavy rains. Another 58,597 packs are on standby at the NROC. Eight flights bound to and from different destinations in the north were canceled due to the inclement weather.

The airlines said passengers affected by the cancellations might be accommodated in the next available flights without additional charges.

Hope of finding the seven Negrense fishermen missing at sea dimmed Monday, five days after their vessel sank between Gigantes Islands off the coast of northeastern Iloilo, and Madridejos town in Bantayan, Cebu.

Lt. Cmdr. Ramil Palabrica, Coast Guard Bacolod Station chief, said John Rey Vergara, Antic Celeste, Gerry Bangalisan, Norberto Patriarca and three others identified only as Jomar, Jimbol and Anel, who were on board F/B Inday Sweet when it sank about 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, had not been found as of Monday.–
Reports from wires, Julie Aurelio, Gil C. Cabacungan and Jeannette I. Andrade in Manila; and Carla Gomez, Inquirer Visayas


PHILSTAR

'Falcon' boosts habagat monsoon rains By Patricia Lourdes Viray (philstar.com) | Updated July 8, 2015 - 9:04am 4 110 googleplus1 0


Typhoon "Falcon" entered the Philippine area of responsibility on Tuesday night. It is seen in this MTSAT satellite image from DOST-Project NOAH.

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED 11:50 a.m.) - Typhoon 'Falcon' (international name Chan-Hom) entered the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR) Tuesday night and is seen to enhance the southwest monsoon or "habagat."

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) forecasted on Wednesday that Luzon will experience monsoon rains which may trigger flash floods and landslides over Mindoro, Palawan, Zambales and Bataan.

Meanwhile, Metro Manila, Ilocos Region, Cordillera and Western Visayas are expected to experience light to moderate rains and thunderstorms.

READ MORE...

The eye of the typhoon was located 1,250 kilometers (km) east northeast of Calayan, Cagayan at 10 a.m., packing maximum sustained winds of 130 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center and gusts of up to 160 kph. It has maintained its strength and is likely to move west northwest at 20 kph.

The estimated rainfall amount is from heavy to intense within the 300 km radius of the typhoon, PAGASA said.

According to PAGASA, the typhoon will not make landfall and will not directly affect the country. No public storm warning signals are raised in any part of the country.

"Falcon" is expected to exit PAR by Thursday evening or Friday morning.

--------------------------------------------

RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

Flood, landslide alert up in Metro Manila, Luzon By Patricia Lourdes Viray (philstar.com) | Updated July 9, 2015 - 9:27am 8 73 googleplus0 1


Typhoon "Falcon" is expected to leave the Philippine area of responsibility by Friday (PAR). Meanwhile, another typhoon with international name "Nangka" is also expected to enter the PAR and will locally be named "Goring." PAGASA

MANILA, Philippines - Typhoon "Falcon" on Thursday maintained its strength and continued to enhance the southwest monsoon or "habagat" which may bring flash floods and landslides in Luzon.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) forecasted that monsoon rains will continue affecting Metro Manila, Ilocos region, Cordillera, Central Luzon, Calabarzon and Mimaropa.

Meanwhile, the rest of the country may experience partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated thunderstorms.

At 4 a.m., the typhoon was located 885 kilometers (km) east northeast of Itbayat, Batanes with maximum sustained winds of 130 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center and gusts of up to 160 kph.It is likely to move west northwest at 20 kph.

"Moderate to strong winds blowing from the southwest will prevail over the entire archipelago with moderate to rough seas," the weather bureau said.

"Falcon" is not expected to make landfall in any part of the country and is forecasted to exit the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR) by Friday warning.

No public storm warning signals have been raised in any part of the country, PAGASA said.

PAGASA is currently monitoring another typhoon (international name "Nangka") which is still outside the PAR.

The new typhoon was last located 2,740 km east of Luzon and will be called "Goring" once it enters the country.

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RELATED FROM INQUIRER

5 dead in Central, North Luzon as ‘Egay’ leaves, ‘Falcon’ lingers SHARES: 13 VIEW COMMENTS @inquirerdotnet Inquirer Central Luzon and Inquirer Northern Luzon 05:25 PM July 9th, 2015


Rescue workers search the Marikina River for the body of Jozar Fazon who was reportedly swept by strong currents due to days of heavy rain after he was picking vegetables along the banks of the river. INQUIRER PHOTO/RAFFY LERMA

BAGUIO CITY, Philippines—At least five people in Central and Northern Luzon died from storm-related events as Tropical Storm “Egay” left the country and Typhoon “Falcon” enhanced the southwest monsoon (habagat) that dumped rain in these regions this week, reports from disaster response agencies said.

A man and a baby girl died after they were hit by a collapsing fence in Meycauayan City in Bulacan on Wednesday, while two others drowned in separate instances in Binalonan, Pangasinan, and Meycauayan City. The the fifth victim was electrocuted in San Fabian, Pangasinan.

In Central Luzon, strong rain this week flooded parts of Bulacan, Pampanga and Bataan provinces and suspended classes in 30 areas, reports from the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC) showed.

Rain dumped by Falcon and enhanced by the southwest monsoon did not raise much the water levels in dams in the region.

As of 11 a.m., water elevation in Angat Dam in Bulacan was at 170.44 meters above sea level (masl). That elevation was way below the dam’s 212 masl spilling level. It was 100.65 masl in Ipo Dam and 17.41 masl in Bustos Dam, both in Bulacan. Water rose to 178.65 masl in Pantabangan Dam in Nueva Ecija.

In Bulacan, Demetrio Ylasco, 76, died after the concrete fence of his neighbor collapsed and pinned him in Barangay Iba in Meycauyan City on Wednesday. One-year-old Irene Lumugho died when another concrete fence in Barangay Pantoc, also in Meycauayan, fell on her family’s shanty.

Also in Meycauayan, Aljon Lapitag Jr., 5, drowned in a creek in Barangay Camalig.
A foot bridge in Barangay Gaya-Gaya in Meycauayan also collapsed while a landslide hit Barangay Pinulot in Dinalupihan, Bataan. No one was hurt in the two incidents.

At least 285 residents evacuated from Meycauayan City, 20 residents from the City of San Jose del Monte in Bulacan, 230 residents from Dinalupihan and 22 residents from Mariveles in Bataan were moved to barangay halls, public schools, daycare centers and churches as floodwaters swamped their villages.

On Thursday, classes were suspended in the following areas: Candaba, Masantol, Sasmuan, Bacolor, Macabebe, Sto. Tomas and Arayat in Pampanga; San Jose del Monte, Malolos, Bocaue, Obando, Bulakan, Sta. Maria, Calumpit, Hagonoy, Paombong, Marilao, Meycauayan and Guguinto in Bulacan; Bataan province; and Olongapo City, Subic, Iba, Masinloc and San Narciso in Zambales.

In the Ilocos region, Egay left two persons dead, 18 others hurt and four fishermen missing in three provinces of in the Region.

The Office of Civil Defense (OCD) regional branch in San Fernando City in La Union also reported about P22.1 million losses in crops and fishery and P143 million damage to roads and bridges.

On Thursday, the Pangasinan provincial police office said Danilo de Vera, 53, a farmer from Barangay Sta. Catalina in Binalonan town, was found dead and believed to have drowned on Wednesday at the Tagamusing River in the town.

The Pangasinan provincial disaster risk reduction and management office (PDRRMO) earlier reported that Aljohn Reyes, 9, of Barangay Nibaliw West in San Fabian town, was electrocuted when he touched a bulb receptacle while playing in the rain on Tuesday.

The La Union PDRRMO said four persons from San Fernando City and the towns of Bacnotan and Balaoan were treated in different hospitals for injuries they suffered at the height of the flooding in the province due to rain dumped by Egay.

Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas II and Social Welfare Secretary Corazon Soliman on Tuesday checked the needs of La Union towns, which were severely hit by flooding.

The La Union provincial board placed the province under a state of calamity in a special session on Monday so calamity funds could be released immediately to 14 towns and the capital San Fernando City which were hit by the storm.

Soliman said the government would provide funds for the cash-for-work program so residents willing to work and clean the debris from the storm could be given money.

Nine Pangasinan fishermen were also hurt after drifting in the West Philippine Sea for three days when their fishing boat capsized on July 5 due to rough seas. Four of their companions were missing.

The OCD also said five Chinese fishermen were hurt when their vessel ran aground on Monday off Currimao town in Ilocos Norte.

Classes from preschool to high school levels were suspended on Wednesday in Pangasinan due to the expected moderate to heavy monsoon rains in the province.

Lorenzo Diaz, head of the Agno River Basin Flood Forecasting and Warning Center in Rosales town, warned residents along Pangasinan’s river systems to stay alert for floods.

He said water levels in the Sinocalan-Pantal and Bued-Cayanga rivers and their tributaries, which cut through central Pangasinan towns, were rising due to continuous rains.

Diaz said the water level in Agno River, which traverses 16 Pangasinan towns and cities from San Manuel town to Lingayen, was slowly rising.

Flooding had been reported in Barangay Songkil, a village along the Sinocalan River in Sta. Barbara town.

Virgilio Garcia, hydrologist of the National Power Corp., said the water level at the San Roque Dam was 236.22 masl at 6 a.m. Thursday. This was 43.78 meters below its spilling level of 280 masl.

On July 7, the Binga Dam, which is located in the upstream of Agno River in Benguet, spilled water for four hours when it reached its critical level.

At 6 a.m. on Thursday, the Binga dam’s water elevation was 573.43 masl, which is 1.57 meters below its maximum level of 575 masl.

Garcia said water released from Binga flowed to the San Roque Dam.
(Reports from Carmela Reyes-Estrope, Tonette Orejas and Allan Macatuno, Inquirer Central Luzon, and Gabriel Cardinoza, Cristina Arzadon and Leilanie Adriano, Inquirer Northern Luzon)


PHILSTAR

Egay, Falcon leave 5 dead – NDRRMC By Cecille Suerte Felipe (The Philippine Star) | Updated July 12, 2015 - 12:00am 0 0 googleplus0 0


Tropical Storm Egay and Typhoon Falcon

MANILA, Philippines - Five persons were reported dead as heavy rains spawned by the southwest monsoon and enhanced by Tropical Storm Egay and Typhoon Falcon hit many parts of the country over the past few days.

In a report yesterday, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said the fatalities were a three-year-old who drowned in floods, a one-year-old who was pinned down by a fence which fell on the family’s shanty and Demetrio Ylasco, 74, who was hit by a concrete fence weakened by floods.

The three victims are all from Meycauayan, Bulacan.

An unidentified Korean national who went missing after he and two Korean companions went diving in Lapu-Lapu, Cebu, was found dead Wednesday.

His companions were rescued and are now being treated at the University of Cebu Medical Hospital.

The fifth casualty was John Jevin Jacinto, 19, who fell from a riprap rivershore armor. His body was retrieved along San Juan River on Aurora Boulevard in Quezon City last Tuesday.

READ MORE...

The NDRRMC said four people also went missing in Pangasinan.

Provincial reports, on the other hand, also indicated another typhoon casualty – a high school student who drowned after swimming in a river in Calasiao, Pangasinan during the monsoon rains last Thursday.

The body of Joel de Guzman, 16, retrieved three hours after he drowned.

Over 8,000 families displaced A total of 8,204 families or 39,337 persons were affected in Central Luzon, Southern Tagalog and National Capital Region, according to the NDRRMC.

Around 1,416 families or 5,476 persons were served in 33 evacuation centers.

A total of 330 passengers, 46 vessels, 25 motorized bancas and 18 rolling cargoes were stranded in the ports of Cebu, Tagbilaran, Dumaguete, Aparri, Masbate, Camarines Sur, Romblon and Sorsogon, it added.

At least five road sections in La Union, Bulacan, Benguet and Kalinga were reported closed to traffic due to flooding, landslide and mudflow. – With Janvic Mateo, Danny Dangcalan, Eva Visperas, Ding Cervantes


CHIZ ESCUDERO WEBSITE

Chiz wants update on Metro Manila flood-control projects Chiz Escudero (francischizescudero@gmail.com) OFFICE OF SENATOR CHIZ ESCUDERO PRESS RELEASE Date: 09 July 2015

Senator Chiz Escudero is asking for an update on the flood-control projects undertaken by the government to ease flooding in low-lying areas in Metro Manila, where a total of 4,750 hectares are flood-prone.

Escudero said the Senate Committee on Finance, which he chairs, will conduct a mid-year review of the status of flood-control projects implemented by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) within the nation’s capital region.

The senator made the statement after torrential rains again brought Metro Manila to a standstill, submerging some areas in waist-deep flood waters and making streets impassable to vehicles.

Escudero said he wants to find out from the MMDA whether it will be able to fulfill its promise to reduce the number of flood-prone areas in the metropolis by 10 percent this year.

“The MMDA has promised that it will work for a 10-percent reduction of flooded areas, or from 4,570 to 4, 105 hectares for a rainfall intensity of less than 40 millimeters per hour and that floodwaters in areas under its jurisdiction will subside 40 minutes to one hour after a downpour measuring less than 40 millimeters per hour,” Escudero said, noting that the scope of the flood-prone areas is twice the size of the city of Manila.

These “performance guarantees” are attached to the P2.19 billion subsidy the MMDA will receive from the national government, he said.

READ MORE...

He added that on top of the subsidy, the MMDA relies on membership contributions from local governments and income from fees such as those paid by traffic law violators to fund its operations, Escudero added.

Escudero, however, said the P276 million the agency has allocated this year for flood control and sewerage management services in a metropolis 63,600 hectares big and with an estimated daytime population of 15 million, is clearly not enough.

“I am of the position that the national government’s subsidy to MMDA, insofar as flood control is concerned, should be increased,” Escudero said.

He added: “Hindi lang trabaho ng MMDA ‘yan, pero ng pambansang pamahalaan din.

Thus, Escudero said the focus of the review will be on the status of flood-control projects being done by the DPWH in Metro Manila.

On a national scale, the DPWH has a budget of P42.2 billion for flood management services this year, a bulk of which will be spent in Metro Manila.

Among the items in the DPWH’s flood control budget for 2015 are DPWH-North Manila Engineering District’s allocation of P1.26 billion; P680 million for its Las Pinas-Muntinlupa District Engineering Office; P1.37 billion for its two engineering districts in Quezon City; P460 million for its Malabon-Navotas district office; and P1.6 billion for its National Capital Region’s (NCR) First District Office.

These, he said, are on top of allocations booked under the central office of the DPWH and its regional office for NCR.

“Kaya gusto nating tanungin ang DPWH kung ilang porsyento na ba ng 1,295 projects nationwide para sa taong ito ang nasimulan, natapos na or drawing pa lang,” Escudero said.

“Sabi kasi ng DPWH sa kanilang performance targets para sa taong ito na 100 percent of flood-control projects will be completed within contract time,” the senator said. “Pinangako din nila na 100 percent o lahat ng flood control structures for repair and rehabilitation ay matatapos on time.”

“Hindi ko sinasabing madali ang kanilang trabaho. Ang gusto lang natin ay madaliin nila ang kanilang mga ginagawa. At kung anuman ang kulang – sa pondo, kagamitan – malaman ng buong bayan, para masolusyonan ito,” he said.

He said that under Secretary Rogelio Singson’s leadership, the DPWH has streamlined processes and pursued activities, which resulted in faster completion at lower cost.

“But the problem is he does not operate in a vacuum. Nandyan ang delay sa release ng pondo, merong mga coordination issues sa local governments, plus right-of-way problems, and let us remember that construction is weather-dependent,” he said.

Another challenge that the DPWH is facing, according to Escudero, is hiring 1,300 civil engineers it needs.

When the Senate finance committee begins to review the department’s spending package for 2016, “it will not be a finger-pointing exercise, but a frank exchange in search of solutions,” he said.

Escudero has continuously harped on government's “losing battle against underspending which has caused us to forfeit economic gains and the chance to generate jobs.”

Last year, the DPWH underspent by P303 billion, or 13 percent of the appropriations for 2104.

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MANILA TIMES

Be ready, OFWs in Greece told July 6, 2015 11:07 pm by BERNICE CAMILLE V. BAUZON, REPORTER


Greek finance minister quits to smooth talks after thunderous ‘No’ (Photo: .@Reuters) http://t.co/Tglp7HitqO 

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) is studying possible implications of the debt crisis in Greece on over 60,000 Filipino workers there, with Philippine Embassy officials in Athens telling community leaders to help spread the word to better be prepared for any eventuality.

Banks in Greece have been closed for a week after the European Central Bank refused an emergency loan that would infuse assistance into Greece’s deepening debt crisis.

“The DFA as well as the embassy in Athens are continuously monitoring the situation,” DFA spokesman Charles Jose told reporters in Manila on Monday.

“We still have to see the full extent of the implication of the result of [a] referendum,” he said.

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In the recently held referendum in Greece, majority voted against a proposed international bailout, which could result in the country getting kicked out of the Eurozone.

Most overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in Greece are seafarers.

A statement from the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) said it hopes that seafarers aboard the Greek merchant fleet would not be affected by the crisis.

“We are counting on Greek trading ships, which are earning quite a lot in US dollars, to stay afloat. They are fairly insulated from the Greek government’s extreme financial distress,” said former senator and now TUCP president Ernesto Herrera.

Jose said the DFA is waiting for the “full extent [of the] results of [the] referendum.”

“In any case, the embassy is prepared to extend any assistance [to Filipinos], “ he added, referring to the government’s repatriation program.

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RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

Greece seeks 3-year aid program, rushes to detail reforms By Elena Becatoros and Jamey Keaten (Associated Press) | Updated July 9, 2015 - 8:36am 0 0 googleplus0 0


Far-right E.U Parliament members display posters before Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras delivers his speech at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, eastern France, Wednesday, July 8, 2015. Tsipras says his country wants a deal that will mean a definitive end to Greece’s protracted financial crisis, and that last Sunday’s referendum result does not mean a break with Europe. AP/Jean-Francois Badias

ATHENS, Greece — With a deadline just hours away to come up with a detailed economic reform plan, Greece requested a new three-year rescue from its European partners Wednesday as signs grew its economy was sliding toward free-fall without an urgently needed bailout.

As its banking system teetered near the edge, the government extended bank closures into next week, while international creditors were in open disagreement over whether to award the country debt relief — with Germany at odds with the International Monetary Fund.

Without a deal, Greece faces an almost inevitable collapse of the banking system, which would be the first step for the country to fall out of the euro.

As Thursday's deadline loomed, the government sought to reassure its European creditors that it would enact tax and pension reforms quickly in exchange for loans from Europe's bailout fund, the European Stability Mechanism.

In a formal request that was filled with vague promises but short on details, the Greek government pledged to "immediately implement a set of measures as early as the beginning of next week" — but did not specify what these were.

After months of fruitless negotiations with the Greek government, the skeptical eurozone creditor states have said they want to see a detailed, cost-accounted plan of the reforms by Thursday. That is meant to give enough time to review the plan before all 28 leaders of the full European Union meet on Sunday in what has been termed as Greece's last chance to stay in the euro.

But Greece's major creditors were hardly in lock-step over what path to take in dealing with the struggling but defiant EU member nation.

IMF chief Christine Lagarde reiterated Wednesday that Greece's massive debt would need restructuring, something that Germany — Greece's largest European lender — has resisted.

Speaking in Washington, Lagarde said Greece needed to continue cost-cutting reforms, but added: "The other leg is debt restructuring, which we believe is needed ... for debt sustainability."

"It well may be that the numbers may have to be revisited, but our analysis has not changed," she said of the need for granting Greece better repayment terms.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew added pressure on the European lenders, arguing debt relief was needed for a deal — and describing a Greek euro-exit as a "geopolitical mistake."

"I don't think any prime minister of Greece could sell all the additional fiscal measures, plus the structural reforms that are needed without some sense of what the debt sustainability looks like," he said in Washington.

Earlier Wednesday, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said his country was seeking a deal that would bring a definitive end to his country's financial crisis. Greece has had two bailouts from its European partners and the International Monetary Fund since May 2010, totaling 240 billion euros ($260 billion).

"We need to ensure the medium-term funding of our country with a development and growth program," Tsipras told lawmakers at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France.

Applause rose from left-wing lawmakers in the turbulent chamber when Tsipras said aid to Greece has only helped banks, not ordinary Greeks, as some held up "No" signs to back Greek voters' rejection of more austerity.

Tsipras insisted he has "no hidden agenda" to drive Greece out of the euro and that last Sunday's referendum in which Greeks roundly rejected more belt-tightening reforms does not mean a break with Europe.

The head of a conservative group in the parliament, Belgium's Guy Verhofstadt, said he was "furious" at Tsipras' failure to spell out specifics of his reform plans.

Tsipras said Greece's troubles predated his arrival in office in January and condemned the "austerity experiment" his country has endured over the past five years that he blames for spiraling unemployment and poverty.

"We demand an agreement with our neighbors, but one that gives us a sign that we are on a long-lasting basis exiting from the crisis — which will demonstrate to us that there is light at the end of the tunnel," he said.

Tsipras vowed to continue reforms, but warned of the austerity-weariness of the Greek public. "This has exhausted the patience and resilience of the Greek people," he said.

In Greece, meanwhile, people already struggling with eight days of shuttered banks and limits on money withdrawals learned the finance ministry was extending the closures until next Monday. Greeks cannot take out more than 60 euros ($67) a day from ATMs and are unable to send money abroad, including to pay bills or to stock their businesses, without special permission.

The head of France's central bank said he feared the "collapse" of the Greek economy and "chaos" if Greece doesn't strike a deal by Sunday.

In unusually strong language, Christian Noyer told Europe-1 radio he predicted "riots" in Greece if no deal is reached. He also indicated the European Central Bank would effectively pull the plug on its emergency liquidity measures for Greek banks if no deal is struck.

Highlighting the rising anger with Tsipras, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker had a stark warning for Greece after Tuesday's eurozone summit.

"We have a Grexit scenario, prepared in detail," he said, apparently referring to the situation in which Greece would be forced out of the currency union.

Keaten reported from Paris. Associated Press writers Michael Corder, Raf Casert, Menelaos Hadjicostis and Derek Gatopoulos in Brussels, and Angela Charlton in Paris contributed to this report.


REUTERS

Euro zone ministers demand more from Greece for loan talks BRUSSELS | BY ANDREAS RINKE AND FRANCESCO GUARASCIO JULY 11, 2015


EU officials forecast a deal would be reached by the end of the weekend to keep Greece afloat, but two sources said there was consensus among the other 18 ministers that the leftist government in Athens must take further steps to convince them it would honor any new debts.

Skeptical euro zone finance ministers demanded on Saturday that Greece go beyond painful austerity measures accepted by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras if he wants them to open negotiations on a third bailout for his bankrupt country to keep it in the euro.

Ministers lined up to vent their anger at Tsipras on arrival at their umpteenth emergency weekend meeting on Greece's acute debt crisis, with Athens staring into an economic abyss when financial markets reopen on Monday unless it wins fresh aid.

EU officials forecast a deal would be reached by the end of the weekend to keep Greece afloat, but two sources said there was consensus among the other 18 ministers that the leftist government in Athens must take further steps to convince them it would honor any new debts.

Tsipras won parliamentary backing early on Saturday for a tough reform package that largely mirrored measures previously demanded by its international creditors but rejected by Greek voters at his behest in a referendum last Sunday.

Wolfgang Schaeuble, finance minister of its biggest creditor Germany and a stickler for the EU's fiscal rules, said negotiations would be "exceptionally difficult".

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Emerging optimism about Greece had been "destroyed in an incredible way in the last few months" since Tsipras won power, Schaeuble said.

A German newspaper reported that his ministry was suggesting that Greece either improve its proposals quickly and transfer state assets worth 50 billion euros into a fund to pay down debt, or take a five-year "time-out" from the euro zone.

The German Finance Ministry declined to comment on the report in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung. But several officials said no one raised the possibility of a Greek euro exit in the meeting, which took a pause after three hours.

Other ministers arriving for the Eurogroup session spoke of a fundamental lack of trust after years of broken Greek promises and six months of erratic and provocative behavior by the radical leftist Tsipras government.

"We are still far away," said Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the Dutch finance minister who was chairing the meeting. "On both content and the more complicated question of trust, even if it's all good on paper the question is whether it will get off the ground and will it happen ... We are facing a difficult negotiation."

However a preparatory meeting earlier on Saturday endorsed with reservations a recommendation by EU institutions and the IMF that Tsipras's proposals did provide a basis to launch negotiations, sources familiar with the session said.

Finland's state broadcaster YLE reported that the Finnish government had told parliament's influential Grand Committee on Saturday it did not consider the Greek proposal sufficient to start negotiations on a new loan. The government declined comment. Helsinki's stance has hardened since the populist Finns Party joined a right-wing coalition that took office in May.

RELATED COVERAGE › Greek talks eye 25 billion euro bank recap, doubling debt maturities

LEFTIST DEFECTIONS

In Athens overnight, Tsipras had to rely on opposition votes from the right in parliament after some of his leftist lawmakers resisted spending cuts, tax rises and other measures he proposed in order to unlock 54 billion euros in three-year credit.

One Tsipras ally, Economy Minister George Stathakis, said some dissident ministers would be replaced and rebel lawmakers should resign their seats if they disagreed with the policy.

Germany, the biggest lender in two previous bailouts totaling 240 billion euros ($265 billion) since 2010, is deeply skeptical and public opinion is hostile to any further aid for Greece, putting pressure on Chancellor Angela Merkel.

"The high figures for financing needs over the next three years may be too high and too sudden," one euro zone source said. He said officials believed Greece may need 82 billion euros, factoring in cash from the IMF and other EU sources.

Sources in the creditor institutions said Greece would need 25 billion euros just to recapitalize its shattered banks, which have been closed since capital controls were imposed on June 29 after the breakdown of previous bailout negotiations.

Stathakis told Greece's Mega TV that the capital controls, restricting cash withdrawals and bank transfers, would remain for at least another two months.

The sources said the IMF had suggested one way to make Greek debts sustainable in the medium term could be to extend the maturity on past and new loans to 60 years instead of 30.

VIDEO: Greek parliament votes in favor of bailout plan


http://www.reuters.com/article/video/idUSKBN0P40EO20150711?videoId=364913598&mod=related&channelName=ousivMolt


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