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Archive for January, 2007

Bird flu returns to European Union as case confirmed in Hungary

Posted by Michille on 31st January 2007

BRUSSELS: The European Commission on Monday confirmed the first outbreak of the deadly H5N1 bird-flu virus in the European Union since mid-2006, after tests on Hungarian geese proved positive.

European Health Commissioner Markos Kyprianou urged all member states “to step up their vigilance” and to reassess their risk levels following the outbreak at a goose farm in southeastern Hungary, his spokesman said.

An EU-approved laboratory in Britain had confirmed that it “was indeed a case of the H5N1 strain,” the spokesman, Philip Tod, told a press conference in Brussels.


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Posted in World News | No Comments »

Oil extraction from sunken tanker to start late February

Posted by Michille on 31st January 2007

By Carla Gomez
Visayas Bureau
Last updated 03:44pm (Mla time) 01/31/2007

BACOLOD CITY, Philippines — A Singapore-based company is set to start draining off the remaining bunker fuel from a tanker that sank off Guimaras last August, presidential adviser for Western Visayas Rafael Coscolluela said Wednesday.

The Philippine Coast Guard is expected to grant a salvage permit this week to Sonsub Ltd., which is expected to start clean-up operations late February, Coscolluela said.

He said the operation to siphon off the oil still trapped in the MT Solar 1’s holds would take three weeks and would be completed by the middle of March. The operation will cost between $8 million and $10 million.


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Posted in Philippine News | No Comments »

Central Luzon conducts earthquake drill

Posted by Michille on 31st January 2007

by Emma C. Tabalanza

ANGELES CITY, Pampanga (31 January) — The earthquake drill was well planned, organized, orderly and much better compared to those held by other schools in the city.

This was commented by Sr. Supt. Abelardo P. Villacorta, deputy director for operations and planning of the Philippine National Police in Region III (PNP III) regarding the “Earthquake Drill” conducted recently at the Republic Central Colleges in Angeles City in collaboration with the City Disaster Coordinating Council (CDCC), Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council of Pampanga (PDCC) and the Regional Disaster Coordinating Council (RDCC) in Central Luzon.

The drill which was participated in by some 1,500 high school and college students of the said school was conducted in compliance with President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s directive to conduct a regular earth quake drill in schools and other establishments in the country.

Villacorta lauded the Pampanga PDCC, Angeles City CDCC as well as the school administrators, faculty and students for giving time and importance to the said activity. He said disaster can strike anytime, “so let us be prepared and apply what we have learned here in case of calamity”.

He also made the assurance that the RDCC with the able chairmanship of Chief Supt. Ismael Rafanan, who is also PNP III regional director, will continue to support various disaster management programs and give them technical assistance.

Meanwhile, Director Neri Amparo of the Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) and concurrent executive officer of the RDCC in the region said that the over-all performance rating of the Republic Central Colleges in the drill was so good that it deserved a rating of 99.99%. The students who acted as victims and those portrayed as their relatives as well as the rescuers in the said drill performed like professionals.

She also thanked Ronald Sese, executive officer of the Angeles City DCC; Armand Austria, executive officer of the Pampanga PDCC; Dr. Victoria Angeles, president of the RCC and her staff; PNP III and the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) in the city for their utmost support and cooperation in all the RDCC undertakings.

Neri also urged them to continue conducting orientation, and drills in their schools in order to enlighten the students the importance of preparedness.

The evaluators in the said drill were Sr. Supt. Villacorta of the PNP, Lita Laverinto, of the OCD, Augusto Ocampo, director of the Philippine National Red Cross in Pampanga, Odon Santiago of the Department of Education (DepEd), Ed Ramos, supervisor of the Telephone Office (TELOF), Imelda Joven of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Supt. Leonard Banaga of the BFP, and Emma Tabalanza of the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) Pampanga. (PIA-Pampanga)


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Posted in Philippine News | No Comments »

Iloilo celebrates 9th Salakayan Festival in Miag-ao

Posted by Michille on 31st January 2007

WILL you take off to a festival where you can experience a sense of connection with the ancient past?

One traditional event, the Salakayan Festival celebrated this Feb. 4 to 11, 2007 showcases Miag-ao’s brilliant culture and history brought to life.

As the province fostered more cultural presentations among its different towns, with the creation of festivals based on various local styles, the municipality of Miag-ao had not lost its sense of history because of the supported method that exists to preserve it. Coined from the native word “salakay” or “to attack,” the Salakayan Festival goes beyond recreation.


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Posted in Philippine News | No Comments »

No surcharge on credit card users

Posted by Michille on 31st January 2007

THE regional office of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) urged the public to report immediately to their office stores that impose surcharge on credit card users.

In a statement, DTI Assistant Secretary Merly M. Cruz said there is an existing law for the reinforcement of the Consumer Act of the Philippines or Republic Act 7394, which is the Department Administrative Order 10 (DAO 10), issued by the agency’s head office later last year.

DAO 10 says that “the credit card/Automated Teller Machine (ATM)/debit card holders must be protected from the sellers/retailers who impose surcharges or additional amount over and above the price tag on the goods and services in the use of credit cards in payment thereof.”


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Posted in Davao City | No Comments »

RP still bird flu-free, but threat remains

Posted by Michille on 31st January 2007


The Philippine Star

SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga — The country remains free of the bird flu virus despite the presence of thousands of migratory birds in Pampanga’s Candaba Swamp and other sanctuaries elsewhere, authorities said.

So far, there have been no reports of migratory birds carrying the virus into the swamp, Dr. Laarni Cabantac, assistant coordinator of the National Avian Influenza Task Force, said during a two-day seminar workshop on “Stay Bird Flu Philippines” here.

“We don’t have avian influenza here but there is still a threat so we must be prepared anytime,” she said.

Cabantac said adequate measures, including information dissemination and frequent inspection and monitoring of poultry farms, must be in place even if there are no bird flu cases reported yet.


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Posted in Philippine News | No Comments »