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Archive for May, 2007

LTFRB, Davao to regulate school vans

Posted by Michille on 31st May 2007

by Prix D Banzon

Davao City (1 June) — The Land Transportation and Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB) and the city government of Davao joined hands to regulate vans that serve as transportation vehicles of school children. Only those with franchise will be allowed to operate come opening of classes this June.

LTFRB regional director Atty. Abdulgafar Mohammad said about 300 operators of vans applied for franchise and about 270 were approved as of May 31, 2007.

He said carpooling is prohibited by law and will no longer be allowed to operate because the units are not registered and could not be covered by proper insurance in case of accident.

He however said that only 70 operators claimed their franchise and many are still unclaimed at the LTFRB office.

“May be the others are still working on their vans because the unit has to have safety gadgets and markings,” he said.

He said that before releasing the franchise, their office has to inspect the unit otherwise their permit to operate will not be given to them.

He said the vans have to have black and yellow safety markings to warn the public that kids are in the vans bound to and from school.

Meanwhile the police and the military are ready for the opening of classes come Monday, June 4.

Philippine National Police regional director Chief Superintendent Andres Caro II said they are on alert for the opening of classes.

“While we are on heighten alert because of the threats of the CPP-NPA and terrorists groups, our men are on alert to ensure the safety of school children when the classes opens,” he said.

Davao City police director Sr. Supt. Jaime Morente said with the “Balik Eskwela” they had intensified security of different schools.

“We will be fielding personnel in schools and in areas where students converged,” he said.

He also said that they are coordinating with the traffic management group and Task Force Davao for the safety of students as they report to their respective schools. (PIA XI)


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Faster work on two major bridges urged

Posted by Michille on 31st May 2007

By Joel E. Zurbano and Gigi M. David

Motorists are alarmed over the slow repair of Ayala Bridge in San Miguel, Manila even as work on the Tullahan span in Valenzuela City has been set back when its makeshift walkway collapsed during heavy rain Tuesday night.

Unless the two infrastructure are fully opened, traffic snarls will greet the opening of classes on Monday.

“We are in a bind right now, what more when classes start?” wondered Arnold Custodio, a motorist residing in Manila.


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Filipinas from Everest summit arrive in Manila

Posted by Michille on 31st May 2007

The “Kaya ng Pinay” Mt. Everest Expedition Team arrived has arrived in Manila after the successful scaling of the world’s highest peak two weeks ago.

The plane carrying mountain climbers Noelle Wenceslao, Carina Dayondon and Janet Belarmino touched down at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport on board Philippine Airlines flight PR 731 around 8 p.m.


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Commentary: Closer RP-NZ ties to enhance anti-bird flu program

Posted by Michille on 31st May 2007

ROXAS CITY (31 May) — The visit of President Arroyo to New Zealand, part of her latest foreign trip that also brought the Chief Executive to Australia, has further reinforced existing bilateral Philippine-New Zealand ties.

In particular, the President’s fruitful visit to the southern hemisphere nation is expected to sustain collaboration in support to the Philippine government’s efforts to keep its bird flu-free status.

In a statement, Malacañang said the government appreciates New Zealand ’s effort to upgrade the laboratory of the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) and enhance the Bureau’s field surveillance capacities in connection with the Philippine government’s Avian Influenza (AI) protection program.

AI, which also has come to be known as bird flu and avian flu, has been a major concern of the government and the subject of concerted efforts of government agencies and various stakeholders.

These efforts have succeeded in keeping the Philippines free from bird flu, one of the few countries in Asia that have warded off the disease. The only two other countries that remain safe until now are Brunei and Singapore.

The BAI disclosed that Europe, Africa and other countries in Asia have experienced the bird flu epidemic, causing great losses to people’s livelihoods and possible risk to animal and human health.

The H5N1 is the most dangerous strain of the avian flu virus.

Back in February of 2004, President Arroyo issued Executive Order No. 280 formulating the Avian Influenza Protection Program (AIPP) and creating the National Avian Influenza Task Force (NAITF).

The order defines the powers, functions and responsibilities of government agencies in response to the bird flu virus and related matters. The Department of Health (DOH) was tasked as the Crisis Manager while the Department of Agriculture (DA) is the Co-Crisis Manager.

There are 20 identified priority areas of hotspots in the country which are regularly being monitored and under surveillance. These areas were chosen based on the presence of transient migratory birds as well as the presence of highly concentrated domestic duck or chicken population in the area.

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has started to get involved in the Philippine anti-bird flu protection program by supporting a communication campaign to heighten public awareness about the bird flu threat and advocate for the need to adopt preventive measures.

UNICEF is set to conduct a seminar-workshop in Capiz at Barangay Talon, Roxas City to tap the involvement of communities in formulating a communication plan that would support the anti-bird flu program.

UNICEF whose programs are designed mainly to promote the rights and welfare of children pointed out that they are supporting the Philippine effort because majority of victims in other Asian countries affected by avian flu are children.

Dr. Leonel Abordo, head of the Office of the Provincial Veterinarian, said the UNICEF project is timely because it can lend valuable support to the government effort to sustain the program. (PIA)


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2 die of shellfish poisoning in Sorsogon

Posted by Michille on 31st May 2007

By Bobby Labalan
Southern Luzon Bureau
Last updated 01:08pm (Mla time) 05/31/2007

SORSOGON CITY–Two children here died of shellfish poisoning on the day the government issued an order lifting the shellfish ban in Sorsogon Bay.

One of the victims, Noriel Arellano, 11, was pronounced dead on arrival at Sts. Peter and Paul Hospital here at 3 p.m. Wednesday while her sibling, Me-Ann, 7, died three hours later in the same hospital.


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Seven dead in NATO helicopter crash in Afghanistan

Posted by Michille on 31st May 2007

KABUL (Reuters) – Seven NATO soldiers died when their Chinook helicopter crashed on Wednesday in southern Afghanistan, the site of some of the heaviest recent fighting between Western forces and the Taliban. Troops responding to the scene of the crash were ambushed and called for an air strike to eliminate the threat, NATO officials said.

NATO would not say immediately if the big, twin-rotor military helicopter was directly involved in a battle with Taliban guerrillas or whether it was shot down. The cause of the crash was under investigation.


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