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Patay na balyena, napadpad sa baybay-dagat ng Infanta

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INFANTA, Quezon — Isa na namang bangkay ng sperm whale o balyena na malapit nang maagnas at itinutulak ng mga alon ang natagpuang ng mga taga Dinahican, sa bayang ito nitong nakalipas na Linggo, Abril 14.

Agad namang nireport ng mga taga-Dinahican sa kinauukulan ang napadpad na balyena sa kanilang baybay dagat ba agad namang tinugunan ng lokal na pamahalaan ng Infanta sa pangunguna ng Municipal Agricultural Office (MAO), Municipal Environmental and Natural Resources Office (MENRO), DENR CENRO-Real at ng Coast Guard Sub-Station (CGSS) ng Infanta.

Ayon kay CGS ENS Neptali L. Rafuli Jr. ng Philippine Coast Guard kaagad ding inilibing sa baybay dagat ng Dinahican ang nasabing labi ng patay na balyena kung saan kinailangan nilang gumamit ng mga heavy equipment o back hoe dahil sa laki ng nasabing balyena.

Kinailangan pa rin nilang dalahin sa mataas na bahagi ng baybay dagat ang bangkay ng balyena at ilibing sa layong humigit kumulang 80 meters away mula sa pampang o shoreline.

Kung anuman ang dahilan ng mga pagkamatay at stranding ng nga pawikan kung ito man ay dahil sa natural na dahilan,  climate changes man o gawa ng tao. 

Nakakapagalala ito dahil malimit na, na may na-i-stranded lagi sa ating mga shorelines na mga patay o agaw buhay na balyena, butanding, dolphins at pawikan na kailangang mas malalim na maimbestigahan ng nga eksperto at kinauukulan tulad ng BFAR dahil sakop ito ng mandato ng batas sa kanilang tanggapan, at DENR sa pawikan.| – Jay Lim

#EtoNaNga – NGCP issues Red and Yellow Alerts; 19 power plants on forced outage

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Brace up for possible power outage should current energy supply situation worsen as 19 power plants are on forced outage, the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) warns.

In an advisory issued early Tuesday, the transmission operator said the Luzon grid status forced the agency to put the Luzon grid on 𝐑𝐞𝐝 𝐀𝐥𝐞𝐫𝐭 from 2:00PM\ to 4:00PM and from 6:00PM to 9:00PM.

A 𝐘𝐞𝐥𝐥𝐨𝐰 𝐚𝐥𝐞𝐫𝐭 is also scheduled from 1:00PM to 2:00PM; from 4:00PM to 6:00PM; and from 9:00PM to 11:00PM.

Available Capacity is at 13,537MW while Peak Demand is at 13,024MW. Nineteen (19) power plants are on forced outage, while three (3) others are running on derated capacities, for a total of 2,117.3MW unavailable to the grid.

A red alert status is issued when power supply is insufficient to meet consumer demand and the transmission grid’s regulating requirement. A yellow alert is issued when the operating margin is insufficient to meet the transmission grid’s contingency requirement.| #NGCPAdvisory #NGCP

Aboitiz Group leverages synergy in major Aboitiz Construction projects

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SYNERGY IN ABOITIZ. Aboitiz Construction plays a key role within the Aboitiz Group by undertaking various projects that highlight the Group's collaborative efforts towards sustainable business growth. In the photo is the LIMA Block 9-2 where Aboitiz Construction leading the industrial expansion of a 57-hectare lot in Batangas.

Aboitiz Construction has been selected to undertake various construction and maintenance projects within the Aboitiz Group. Leveraging the firm’s expertise and proven track record in the construction industry, it complements the expansion requirements of the Aboitiz business units.

With Aboitiz Construction’s Quadruple A certification, it is well positioned to explore new business opportunities, attract more clients, and steadfastly pursue its mission of building a better future for a better Philippines.

“We are confident that with our experience and growing capacities, we can complement the needs of the Aboitiz Group. Our commitment to execution excellence and innovation ensures that we do not only meet but exceed expectations, contributing significantly to the Group’s success and objectives,” said Aboitiz Construction’s Director, President, and Chairman Anton Mari G. Perdices.

Showcasing its broad capabilities and expertise in the field of industrial maintenance, Aboitiz Construction has recently marked a year of significant accomplishments.

After the inauguration of the bulk water supply project of Davao City Water District and its partner Apo Agua Infrastructura, Inc., a business under Aboitiz InfraCapital, Aboitiz Construction won a new contract to help maintain Apo Agua’s facilities, boosting water infrastructure development.

Aboitiz Construction is set to manage maintenance for Apo Agua’s water treatment plant over the next three years. Last year, Aboitiz Construction got its first contract with Apo Agua to handle preventive maintenance for a water pipeline network and its components, marking the start of their collaboration.

In partnership with GMR Megawide Cebu Airport Corporation as a client, Aboitiz Construction has recently concluded a waterproofing project at Aboitiz InfraCapital’s Mactan Cebu International Airport, a renowned international hub in the Philippines.

Also, the firm executed comprehensive waterproofing at Aboitiz InfraCapital’s Mactan Cebu International Airport Terminal 1. Moreover, Aboitiz Construction has expanded its portfolio through a three-year contract to provide maintenance services for Aboitiz Power Corporation’s subsidiaries, Therma Visayas, Inc. and Therma South, Inc., further cementing its position as a leader in the industrial maintenance sector.

For the light industry sector, Aboitiz Construction is completing a land development project on a 72.2-hectare land in LIMA Estate in Batangas. Upon completion, this project will facilitate the integration of new businesses into the area, fostering the creation of thousands of job opportunities for local communities.

Aboitiz Construction is the reliable contractor entrusted with the site development requirements of LIMA Estate. Notably, the company is spearheading one of the largest projects within the estate: the industrial expansion of a 57-hectare lot at Block 9-2, employing cutting-edge technology for enhanced efficiency and precision of work activities.

Following Aboitiz InfraCapital’s strategic acquisition of 200 hectares in Tarlac City, Aboitiz Construction is set to undertake comprehensive land development activities this year. This initiative aims to transform the area into a thriving economic zone in Central Luzon, laying the groundwork for enhanced economic growth and development in the region.

Last year, Aboitiz Construction sealed a deal with Aboitiz Land, the real estate arm of the Aboitiz Group, to conduct site development works for The Villages at Lipa-Meadow Village in LIMA Estate, Batangas. Scheduled to be completed in June 2024, the 11.7-hectare project will be hiring close to a hundred manpower at peak, mostly local hires if available.

“Our track record in heavy and light industries combined with our manpower provider services, industrial maintenance, and transportation services with maintenance solutions, positions us to complement the synergies within the Group to achieve our shared aspirations. With our expertise, we aim to help in building the Philippines’ first techglomerate that provides life-essential products and services,” Perdices added.

As Aboitiz Construction celebrates its 49th anniversary this year, it is committed to fostering continued growth and embracing new horizons. Leveraging innovation on the synergies across the Aboitiz Group, Aboitiz Construction has been cementing its mark as the official construction arm of the Aboitiz Group as it pursues projects and contributes to growth and expansion.|

“Making the Invisible Visible” with Bird Window Strike PH

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In February 2024, the UP Diliman College of Science Institute of Biology (UPD – CS IB) housed the “Making the Invisible Visible” pop-up exhibition of the citizen science project, Bird Window Strike Philippines. 

Featuring the feathered remains of unlucky birds that had collided into windows, the displays served as poignant and striking visuals for this strange, but common phenomenon. Infographics and posters provided possible solutions and detailed accounts of incidents from up to 290 citizen reports from all around the Philippines.

Bird Window Strike PH first started as a research initiative and passion project under Janina Castro of the Ateneo Institute of Sustainability, the school’s hub for sustainable development, and Jelaine Gan of The UP Wild, an online educational community raising awareness on UP Diliman’s wildlife and green spaces. 

The two had long been avid bird watchers—or “birders”—when the idea formed after Janina rescued a Coppersmith Barbet that had struck a window in the Ateneo de Manila University. She realized that little to no research was being done on bird collisions with windows despite their somewhat common occurrence. Teaming up with Jelaine, the two discussed how they could bring more attention to this issue and what could be done to prevent further collisions. 

Bird collisions with windows can happen when they are misled by either the reflections of trees and the sky on the glass surface or by the view of the environment through the glass. Based on studies by various researchers and the American Bird Conservancy (ABC) database, the most efficient means of prevention involved breaking up the reflection. This could be done by installing stickers at least 1 cm in size, ideally spaced around 5 cm apart. The “Making the Invisible Visible” pop-up exhibition showed other solutions, such as ropes and wire mesh screens for windows. 

“[These solutions are] among the most effective, but this doesn’t mean that these are the only choices,” the Bird Window Strike PH team emphasized. “In the ABC database, there are a number of DIY solutions and commercial solutions that people can choose from.” 

Citizens from across the country aid in raising awareness on the endangerment of various species, as the Bird Window Strike PH regularly receives incident reports and photos—some of which were part of the exhibit. Pigeons (Columbidae), kingfishers (Alcedinidae), barbets (Megalaimidae), and pittas (Pittidae) were among the most common victims of window collisions.

“In particular, we get a lot of Common Emerald Dove (Chalcophaps indica) and Hooded Pitta (Pitta sordida) in the reports,” they explained. “We don’t know why these birds seem to be colliding more, but some of the explanations in literature are related to increased blue light pollution in cities and to birds’ behavior of moving around different forest patches.”

The citizen science and conservation initiative plans to set up more pop-up exhibitions in the future. By showcasing solutions through these displays and serving as an avenue for incident reports, they hope to reach more people and encourage them to take action in preventing any further accidents.

Invisible Battles: The Health Impact of Air Pollution on Nairobi’s Street Families

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  • Nyokabi has battled tuberculosis for the last 3 years. Our interview gets interrupted periodically as she turns to grab a glass of hot water from a thermos flask next to her to subdue a persistent heavy cough that keeps interrupting her speech.
  • “In June 2019, while picking waste at the dumpsite, I felt a sharp pain in my chest but ignored it. It persisted for two weeks until I fainted and was rushed to Dandora health center before being referred to Mama Lucy where I was diagnosed with TB and a lung infection’’ narrated Nyokabi who has also suffered two miscarriages in the past five years.
A mother and her children covered in heavy smoke as they pick waste at the Dandora dumpsite oblivious of the health risks facing them. Photo Credit/James Wakibia

As we force our way through the trash mounts towards a line of ramshackles edged on the west side of the Dandora dumpsite, an overwhelming and pungent scent lingers around with the smell of rot and decay that hung heavy in the polluted air, engulfing the already smoke-filled dark cloud above Kenya’s largest open public dumping site 5 kilometers East of the Capital City Nairobi

As heavy smoke billows from site, on a chilly, cold morning we meet Margaret Nyokabi, 30, ready to report to work in the vast land fill, a routine for 15 years. Notably, Nyobaki has an improvised nose mask, a precaution she says protects her from inhaling “bitter and suffocating air’’ dominating the dumpsite and its environs. Covered in choking smoke and seemingly undeterred by the strong stench, she joins a group of 10 other women who are busy turning the waste upside down as if looking for a lost treasure. Oblivious of the potential health risks, Nyokabi and her colleagues hold the Dandora dumpsite dear to their hearts.

“I have lived and worked here since I was 15. It is our home and employer’’ said Nyokabi who lives in a makeshift temporary structure made of polythene papers and cartons on the edges of the dumpsite.

For the majority of men and women living and working around the Dandora dumpsite, a backache, a recurring headache, an occasional nosebleed, a migraine, teary eyes, and a clogged chest are common occurrences Nyokabi told The Mt Kenya Times.

“When such conditions appear, we simply self-medicate by purchasing over the counter drugs. We rarely go to the hospital unless it’s serious. It gets worse when it rains because the whole place gets covered in smoke that emanates from the smoldering dumpsite. We struggle with breathing during the cold season and at night” said Nyokabi.

Opened in 1975, the 30-acre dumpsite which was declared full in 2001 swallows an estimated 2,000 tons of waste each day.

Bearing the Scourge

Nyokabi has battled tuberculosis for the last 3 years. Our interview gets interrupted periodically as she turns to grab a glass of hot water from a thermos flask next to her to subdue a persistent heavy cough that keeps interrupting her speech.

“In June 2019, while picking waste at the dumpsite, I felt a sharp pain in my chest but ignored it. It persisted for two weeks until I fainted and was rushed to Dandora health center before being referred to Mama Lucy where I was diagnosed with TB and a lung infection’’ narrated Nyokabi who has also suffered two miscarriages in the past five years.

Doctors told Nyokabi that her TB was at an advanced stage and was put on heavy medication. Dr. Arnold Bugah, an obstetrician-gynecologist based at the Mama Lucy hospital, explains that in Nyokabis’ case the developing fetus was exposed to highly toxic pollutants like carbon monoxide which is associated with higher risk for stillbirth and spontaneous abortion(miscarriages).

“For most women in street families, the perils of air pollution are magnified during pregnancy. Exposure to PM2.5 and carbon during pregnancy increases the risk of spontaneous abortion, and stillbirths especially during the third trimester,’’ explained Dr. Bugah.

“Most of these pregnant homeless mothers rarely have access to prenatal care and since they are always exposed and vulnerable they will in most cases have complicated pregnancies and births’’ he said.

Antony Munyiri, 28, was diagnosed with asthma in 2020. A waste picker for the past 10 years, Antony is currently grappling with the debilitating effects of a condition doctors said was exacerbated by his constant exposure to hazardous pollutants. “Struggling with breathing, a clogged chest and persistent coughing have become a routine,’’ says Antony who is also battling weakened lungs.

In 2022, Antony lost a seven-month-old son due to lung infection and in 2015 he lost his mother, also a waster picker at the dumpsite to chronic bronchitis and lung failure

Dr. Susan Kagwe, a pediatrician, said respiratory diseases, such as asthma and chronic bronchitis, are rampant among Nairobi’s street families, particularly the children. She observes that prolonged exposure to airborne pollutants irritates airways, leading to chronic respiratory conditions that are both debilitating and expensive to treat.

Dr. Kagwe, warns about the dire consequences: “These children are at high risk of lifelong health problems. Without intervention, we may see a generation with compromised lung function and stunted growth.”

Invisible Killers

Dr. Kagwe notes that “air pollution is not only about wheezing and coughing but can be a silent killer with long-term invisible health threats”.

For Anette Kasyoka, a waste picker at the Dandora dumpsite, prolonged exposure to the harmful fumes emanating from the site saw her diagnosed with chronic bronchitis, a condition she has lived with for the past three years.

“I knew I was sick when a local church organized a free medical camp for street families in Dandora. The doctor recommended further tests at Avenue hospital where I was diagnosed with bronchitis,’’ Kasyoka said.

Kasyoka says she is struggling with a weak body and that managing her illness is costly. She receives support from a local Catholic church. “Doctors warned me that continued exposure to the smoke and fumes from the site could make my condition worse.’’

Anne Wanjira, 37, battles with heavy and painful periods, a condition she says doctors told her was caused by inhaling toxic substances from the Dandora dumpsite where she has been living and working as a waste picker for the past 14 years.

“It is common to go for two or three months without my periods and when they eventually come, it’s hell on earth because of the pain and heavy bleeding’’ said Wanjira. At the Dandora health center, such cases are a common occurrence, said Grace Wamuyu, a clinical officer at the facility.

Street Families Status

Often referred to as the “Green City in the Sun,” Nairobi has a hidden struggle of street families, predominantly women and children, grappling with a relentless adversary of air pollution that remains largely invisible but profoundly impactful.

Nairobi has an estimated 15,337 street persons, majority aged between 10-34 according to the National census of street families report released in 2018. The report identified bronchitis as the leading infection among street children at 12%. Further the census established that many take time to seek medical attention with only 30% seeking help in government facilities and 8% in private hospitals.

According to Dr. Andrew Odhiambo, a Consultant Medical Oncologist at the Kenyatta National Hospital, populations around areas where air is concentrated with pollutants face an increased risk of being diagnosed with cancer due to high exposure to dioxins and furans, cancerous toxins released from burning of mixed waste.

“The toxic fumes being released by the dumpsite have a potential of causing different types of cancers especially if one is continually exposed to them for a longer period of time. There is likely to be a high rate of skin, lung and throat cancer cases among people operating and living within the said areas’’ said Dr. Odhiambo who since 2010, with support from the Catholic church, has dealt with 10 homeless cancer patients from Eastlands Nairobi  among them 2 children.

Nairobi Air Status

Nairobi’s air pollution stems from multiple sources, including vehicular emissions, industrial activities, and open burning of waste.

According to George Mwaniki, Head of Air Quality, Africa at World resources Institute, Air pollution in Nairobi is 2.4 times  HYPERLINK https://www.iqair.com/kenya/nairobi”higher than the level considered safe by the   HYPERLINK “https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/ambient-(outdoor)-air-quality-and-health”World Health Organization. Mwaniki observes that poor air quality is responsible for more than 19,000 deaths in Kenya each year. Nairobi’s 16% of outdoor PM2.5 comes from fossil fuel combustion, residential at 27%, industry at 5%, energy at 8% while anthropogenic dust contributes  7%.

“At Least 30% of the entire health budget for the Nairobi County government goes towards treating and managing illnesses and infections caused by air pollution’’ said Mwaniki.

The Impact

There are an estimated 124 deaths per 100,000 people due to air pollution in Kenya which is higher than the global average of 86 deaths per 100,000. According to the State of the Global Air 2020 report, ambient air pollution was responsible for around 5,000 premature deaths in Kenya in 2019 alone. Air pollution was among the top 5 risk factors to death in 2019 accounting for nearly 9% of all deaths (more than 28 thousand) while ambient particulate matter (PM2.5) was ranked as the 6th leading risk factor for deaths with 14% of deaths due to air pollution being recorded among children while 14% were of adults over 70 years of age. 33% of the air pollution related deaths were due to stroke, with air pollution related diabetes accounting for 23%, ischemic heart disease 30%, cancer 29%, lower respiratory infections 39%, while neonatal deaths were at 22%.

Data from the United Nations Environment Programme(UNEP) estimates that in Africa alone, ambient air pollution caused close to 400,000 premature deaths in 2019, while indoor air pollution caused more than one million premature deaths in the same year.

According to the World Health Organization, globally, air pollution is the top environmental cause of disease and is estimated to cause at least 7 million premature deaths annually 

Remedy

In an effort to mitigate the effects of air pollution, the Nairobi County government developed the Nairobi Air Quality Action Plan designed to tackle air pollution by enhancing Air Quality (AQ) governance, setting out to lay the foundation for current and future AQ management and regulation through capacity building, public awareness, and legislation. The plan includes installing AQ monitors, analyzing future climate change trends, developing a more robust GHG inventory, creating a communications strategy and awareness materials.

In 2021, Nairobi also developed an air quality management policy, a legal framework under which air quality management in the city is anchored. Nairobi City County Minister in charge of environment Ibrahim Nyangoya says that the county has set aside a budget for quality air management to ensure the implementation of all air quality management policies.

Speaking during the celebrations to mark the fourth International Day of Clean Air for blue skies on September 7,2023, Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja decried the sharp rise in pollutants and the decline in air quality saying that children and women are the  most impacted.

“The County is constantly monitoring air quality in partnership with stakeholders because high quality information is needed to enforce air quality regulations. We also have a new Air Quality bill in the pipeline as well as new air quality regulations that will be presented before the county Assembly soon’’ Sakaja said.

Sakaja added that already Nairobi has an operational air quality data reference station and is investing in the installation of Air quality monitoring sensors across the City to collect data to help in formulating air quality control policies. “Nairobi is working towards becoming the first net zero city by 2050” said Sakaja.

But for Nyokabi and her colleagues, leaving Dandora is not an option despite the obvious health secrets they are exposed to. “I have no other place to go to. This dumpsite is my life and my home.’’ Nyokabi concluded.

This story was produced with support from Earth Journalism Network (EJN)

Batangas to highlight ‘goto,’ ‘kapeng barako’ on Filipino Food Month

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BATANGAS City – THE provincial government of Batangas is taking full advantage of the celebration of Filipino Food Month to expand the markets of both the province’s hospitality industry and the local agricultural sector.

In an interview on Wednesday, Vanessa Tolentino, senior tourism officer at the Provincial Tourism and Cultural Affairs Office (PTCAO), said they would hold the “Batangas Kulinarya Goto and Kapeng Barako Cook Fest” as the highlight of Batangas Kulinarya here on April 25.

The event, she said, is part of the celebration of Filipino Food Month or Buwan ng Kalutong Filipino, which is observed every April under Presidential Proclamation 469, series of 2018.
It aims to advocate for food, gastronomy, and farm tourism to foster awareness, appreciation, and preservation of Filipino culinary history and heritage.

With this year’s theme, “Kalutong Filipino, Lakas ng Kabataang Makabago,” Tolentino said the activity recognizes the youth’s important role in the preservation of the province’s culinary heritage.

“The youth are involved (here) and in partnership with the leading culinary institution in the province, the Lyceum of the Philippines University – Batangas (LPU-Batangas), students from Senior High School to college students until professional chefs are part of this program,” she said.

FOOD TOURISM. Batangas Provincial Administrator Wilfredo Racelis (right) and Rod Bautista, head of the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist, share insights on preserving the Kapeng Barako heritage at the Manila Coffee Festival 2024 on March 15, 2024. The Provincial Tourism and Cultural Affairs Office (PTCAO) is highlighting “gotong Batangas” and “kapeng barako” as part of the celebration of Filipino Food Month or Buwan ng Kalutong Filipino this April.| Photo courtesy of PTCAO

Tolentino said last year, the PTCAO featured “tamales” from the town of Ibaan and “adobo sa dilaw” from Taal.

For this year, she said, the slated “gotong Batangas” and “kapeng barako” cooking competition would include professional and student categories wherein top winners would be presented medals, certificates, and cash prizes.

Meanwhile, Tolentino shared that the abundance of beef in the province is a major reason for the popularity of “goto” (porridge) as one of the traditional main dishes of Batangas.
The town of Padre Garcia is recognized as the “Cattle Trading Capital of the Philippines.”
The cattle market or “bakahan” was established in the municipality in 1952 and later flourished into the biggest livestock auction market in the region that was then known as Southern Tagalog.

In a separate interview, former Padre Garcia Mayor Michael Rivera said the local government continues to improve the trading facilities of the bakahan to accom-modate thousands of cows, goats, and horses.

“During the pandemic, we had a bit of a hard time because there were many restrictions. Now that the pandemic is gone, we are looking to cater (to) more clients this year to further develop our local industry,” he said.

Rivera is grateful for the technical assistance from the Department of Agriculture, through training to avoid viral diseases, such as African swine fever (ASF). He said checkpoints are also put into place for animal disinfection to ensure good sanitation.

Aside from cattle trading, the town is also a popular go-to place for tourists during summer with its version of “halo-halo,” a traditional Filipino cold layered dessert consisting of shaved ice, sweet beans, coconut strips, and fruits drizzled with milk and topped with ice cream.

The food tourism efforts of the province are part of the local government’s campaign to develop the local economy.|- Pot Chavez, pna

Batangas’ Pride!

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BATANGAS’ PRIDE. Spotted by professional diving instructor Marivic Maramot are these corals at Barangay San An-tonio in Isla Verde, Batangas City. The island is at the heart of the Verde Island Passage, the world’s acclaimed center of the center of the marine biodiversity. The corals have flourishly recovered from degradation brought by unsound fishing practices that include use of dynamites cyanides few decades back.|Photo courtesy of Marivic Maramot

SC amends territorial jurisdiction of Branch 87 – RTC, Rosario, Batangas

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IN order to balance congested court dockets and deliver justice swiftly, the Supreme Court En Banc has ordered the amendment of the territorial jurisdiction of Branch 87, Regional Trial Court (RTC), Rosario, Batangas (Branch 87, Rosario RTC), as follows:

The territorial jurisdiction over the Municipality of Ibaan, Batangas is transferred from Branch 87, Rosario RTC, to the RTC, Batangas City, Batangas (Batangas City RTC); and
The territorial jurisdiction over the Municipality of Padre Garcia, Batangas is transferred from Branch 87, Rosario RTC, to the RTC, Lipa City, Batangas (Lipa City RTC).

Pending cases. The cases originating from the Municipalities of Ibaan and Padre Garcia that are presently pending before Branch 87 Rosario RTC shall be handled in accordance with the following rules:
All newly-filed cases; all civil cases that have not yet reached the pre-trial stage; and all criminal cases where the accused have not yet been arraigned originating from the Municipality of Ibaan shall be transferred to the Batangas City RTC;
While all other cases originating from the Municipality of Ibaan will remain with Branch 87, Rosario RTC, unless both parties manifest their desire for the transfer of their case to the Batangas City RTC;

All newly-filed cases; all civil cases that have not yet reached the pre-trial stage; and all criminal cases where the accused have not yet been arraigned originating from the Municipality of Padre Garcia shall be transferred to the Lipa City RTC; and
While all other cases originating from the Municipality of Padre Garcia will remain with Branch 87 Rosario RTC, unless both parties manifest their desire for the transfer of their case to the Lipa City RTC.

Archived cases. All archived cases shall remain with Branch 87 Rosario RTC, which shall handle the same cases when revived.

Transferred cases. The respective Executive Judges of the Batangas City RTC and the Lipa City RTC shall raffle or assign the transferred cases among the judges in the station pursuant to the existing rules on distribution of cases.

Administrative supervision. The administrative supervision over the Municipal Trial Court, Ibaan, Batangas, shall be transferred to the Batangas City RTC, while the administrative supervision over the Municipal Trial Court, Padre Garcia, Batangas, shall be transferred to the Lipa City RTC.

With this development, the jurisdiction of the Regional Trial Court Branch 87 – Rosario, Batangas will now be diminished to the towns of Rosario, San Juan, Taysan and Lobo. The RTC Lipa City station with four (4) branches now covers Lipa City, Mtaas na Kahoy, Cuenca and Padre Garcia; while Batangas City RTC station with seven (7) branches now covers Batangas City, San Pascual, Bauan, Mabini, Tingloy, San Jose and Ibaan.| – With report from SCPIO

San Juan LGU, huwaran sa pagpapatupad ng Yakap Bayan Program sa Luzon

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SAN JUAN, Batangas — ISA sa mga model building areas ng Ya-kap Bayan Program (YBP) parti- kular sa Luzon, ipinamalas ng Bayan ng San Juan, Batangas ang kanilang maagap at mahusay na pagpapatupad ng nasabing pro-grama, ang matagumpay na em-plementasyon ng after care ser-vices sa mga Recovering Persons Who Used Drugs (RPWUDs) sa kanilang bayan.


Napasimulan ang nasabing programa sa naturang bayan noong Pebrero 2021, matapos ang paglagda sa isang Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) sa pagitan ng Pamahalaang Bayan ng San Juan at Department of Social Wel-fare and Development (DSWD).


Makalipas ang isang taon, ginanap ang 1st RPWUDs Completion Rites noong ika-9 ng Setyembre 2022, na kinabilangan ng 43 kalalakihan mula sa Brgy. Talahiban 2.0 at Brgy. Laiya Apla-ya, na siyang mga napiling pilot barangays.

Sa kaparehong taon, natang-gap ng lokal na pamahalaan ang Plaque of Recognition mula sa So-cial Technology Bureau ng DSWD, kasabay ng Social Technology EXPO noong Disyembre 2022.


Ayon kay G. Arnold Enriquez, kasalukuyang San Juan MSWDO Head, naging unang hakbang ng proseso ay ang pagbabalik ng kumpiyansa sa sarili ng mga RP-WUDs sa pamamagitan ng pagtu-koy at pagtanggap sa kanilang mga naging pagkakamali at kung ano ang nararapat nilang gawin.


Aniya, ang programa ay hindi lamang tumututok sa mga bikti-ma, ngunit maging sa pamilya at komunidad na nakapalibot dito. Isang parte ng kanilang mga ser-bisyo ang counselling sessions gaya ng family relationship res-toration at community reconcilia-tion, na naglalayong burahin ang stigma at maging socially func-tional ang mga ito.


Nakakatuwa umanong isipin na mismong mga kamag-anak ng mga RPWUDs ang nagbabalita sa kanila ng mga pagbabago na kanilang nasasaksihan sa kanilang kasamahan sa bahay, at ang iba pa sa mga ito ay nagiging kaisa nila sa kanilang adbokasiya.
Kaugnay ng mga naging tagumpay na ito, ang Yakap Bayan initiative ng Bayan ng San Juan ay ibinabahagi sa mga es-kuwelahan, seminars, training, at conventions, kabilang ang 2023 Regional Convention at Sharing of Good Practices of the Yakap Bayan Program noong Setyembre nang nakaraang taon.


Samantala, sa panig naman ng Pamahalaang Panlalawigan ng Batangas, ibinahagi ni PSW-DO Assistant Department Head Adelia Macaraig ang patuloy na pagkakaloob ng technical assis-tance sa mga bayan para sa pag-papaganap nito, kabilang ang pagbibigay ng mga training para sa mga miyembro ng Multi-Dis-ciplinary Team (MDT), na siyang pangunahing nakatutulong sa pagmo-monitor ng development sa mga RPWUDs.


Gayundin, mayroong mga special drug education center at anti-drug symposium na isina-sagawa para sa mas pinaigting na kampanya laban sa iligal na droga na nakatuon sa naka-babatang populasyon, partikular na ang mga out of school youth, na itinuturing na vulnerable dahil sa kanilang exposure at angking kuryusidad.


Ang bayan ng San Juan ay isa lamang sa 8 LGU sa lalawigan na nagpapaganap ng Yakap Bayan Program para makamit ang drug-free Batangas. Ang YBP ay pro-grama ng DSWD na naglalayong magbigay ng isang holistic na in-terbensyon sa mga indibidwal na nasa treatment/rehabilitation da-hil sa pag-abuso sa droga o drug dependency, at matulungan sila na makabalik bilang isang aktibo-ng miyembro ng lipunan.| — Gian
Marco Escamillas

PwC’s expansion to create thousands of Jobs in the PH, bolstering BPO and Tech Sectors

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WASHINGTON, D.C.–Acknowledging the continued confidence of PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) in the Philippines, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Fred Pascual welcomed PwC Philippines’ planned Global Acceleration Center project, set to generate at least 5,000 new jobs for Filipinos. This meeting was one of the DTI chief’s sideline engagements during the US-Ja-pan-Philippines trilateral meeting in the United States on April 12.


The PwC Global Acceleration Center in the Philippines underscores the country’s growing role as a prime destination for innovative business process outsourcing (BPO) operations.
The project will focus on high-value BPO in consulting spaces, including artificial intelligence (AI), cloud computing, and cybersecurity, slated to create 54,000 new jobs within a three- to four-year timeframe.


An additional 1,000 to 2,000 workers are also projected by Isla Lipana & Co., the Philippine member firm of the PwC network, to support the manpower needed for the project, translating to an estimated PHP 2 billion in additional revenue for the Philippines annually.

PwC’s decision to launch this new project in the Philippines and their continuing confidence in our country as a global BPO partner,” Secretary Pascual stated.
He emphasized the critical role of the Information Technology and Business Process Management (IT-BPM) sector for the Philippines, aligning with the Technology, Media, and Telecommunications Cluster identified in DTI’s Science, Technology, and Innovation (STI) industrial strategy.


“The DTI recognizes the transformative potential of AI for the Philippine economy. Hence, we strongly advocate for building AI capabilities to meet the evolving needs of businesses, such as PwC’s Global Acceleration Center,” he added. The Secretary also extended an invitation for PwC to collaborate with DTI for the National Innovation Hub.
In encouraging PwC to support the government’s workforce development programs aimed at further enhancing the skills of Filipinos, Secretary Pascual reiterated that the DTI and its agencies stand as steadfast partners to PwC and are fully dedicated to bolstering the company’s business growth in the Philippines.| – BALIKAS News

Balikas News Network