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Modern-day ‘Battle for Manila Bay’ starts

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It’s all systems go for the “Battle for Manila Bay.”

Unlike the historic combat that involved ships, cannons, and guns, this modern-day battle will be waged against waste and pollution in the bay famous for its golden sunset.

On Sunday, various government agencies led by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) will kick off the ambitious rehabilitation project, which seeks to restore the heavily polluted bay to its former glory.

5,000 participants

The rehabilitation program, which will cost P42.95 billion in the next three years, is expected to bring more than 5,000 participants.

While most personnel will come from the DENR, the program will also involve 12 other government agencies tasked by the Supreme Court through a writ of continuing mandamus issued in 2008 to clean up and rehabilitate Manila Bay.

While environment officials had recognized the magnitude of the problem, Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu claimed that this battle “is not a lost cause.”

Solidarity walk

“This is a battle that will be won not with force or arms, but with the firm resolve to bring Manila Bay back to life,” Cimatu said in a statement on Friday.

Sunday’s launch will begin with a solidarity walk at 7 a.m. from the Quirino Grandstand to the baywalk area in front of Rajah Sulayman Park.

Aside from Cimatu, expected to be at the kickoff are Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat and Interior Secretary Eduardo Año.

During the launch, simultaneous activities will also take place in other areas, including mangrove planting at the Marine Tree Park in Navotas City and clean-up activities at the Las Piñas-Parañaque Critical Habitat and Ecotourism Area and in the rivers and other waterways in the provinces of Cavite, Bulacan, Bataan and Pampanga.

Cimatu earlier said that during the kickoff, the DENR would also disclose the initial list of establishments found to be polluting Manila Bay.

These establishments would be issued notices of violation and would be given at least three months to put up sewerage treatment plants and comply with the standards under the Philippine Clean Water Act and other environment laws.

The massive cleanup will affect all the cities and towns surrounding Manila Bay.

Informal settlers

The project will also involve the removal of over 220,000 informal settler families living along the estuaries that discharge into Manila Bay.

The DENR is in talks with the National Housing Authority for proper relocation for these communities.

The rehabilitation aims to bring down the coliform level in Manila Bay from the current level of 330 million most probable number (MPN) per 100 milliliters to the acceptable level of 100 MPN per 100 ml. The target is to reduce the level to 270 MPN per 100 ml by yearend.

Sewage treatment plants

The Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System  (MWSS)  is now working with its concessionaires, Manila Water and Maynilad Water Services, to ensure their full compliance with the Supreme Court continuing mandamus through the installation of more sewage treatment plants.

MWSS administrator Reynaldo Velasco said that Manila Water and Maynilad had agreed to fast-track  their projects to attain 100-percent sewer and sanitation coverage by 2037.

He admitted that only 15 percent of water consumers are currently connected to sewer lines.

Manila Water currently operates and maintains 38 sewage treatment plants while Maynilad operates 19.
Read more: https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1077722/modern-day-battle-for-manila-bay-starts#ixzz5djj8uTGr

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15 public schools in Pampanga to undergo rehab works

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CLARK FREEPORT, Pampanga—A total of 15 public schools in Porac town in the province will undergo some improvement works that will make them conducive to students’ learning and wellbeing.

The move is through the support of the Clark Development Corporation (CDC) as part of its corporate social responsibility (CSR) program aimed at improving the educational facilities for students in its neighbor communities.

The state-run firm has donated various construction materials that include paints, hollow blocks, cement, lumber, roofing, and steel bars, among others.

CDC president and CEO Noel F. Manankil, in a statement on Wednesday said the donated materials were identified based on the needs of each school as evaluated by the personnel of the CDC–External Affairs Division.

Among the beneficiaries of the project are Salu Elementary School, Balubad Elementary School, Jalung Elementary School, Pulung Santol Elementary School, Palat Elementary School, Pias Elementary School, Pio Elementary School, Mancatian Elementary School and Pulung Santol High School.

Likewise, elementary schools in Planas, Mitla, Sepung Bulaun, Katutubo and Sapang Uwak villages and at Camias Resettlement in Porac also received the same assistance from CDC.

Manankil said the said schools comprise the first batch of recipients under the project.

“We have the primary moral obligation to support our local government units (LGUs) and we have a lot of programs in CDC that we want them to be involved,” he said.

He added that the state-owned firm, together with its locator companies, will create more strategic and relevant programs for communities especially in terms of education.

“We have a high priority for education because we believe that it is what actually equalized everybody in terms of their social status and in Clark, we want everybody to get involved, come up together and plan to have more relevant and more strategic CSR,” Manankil said. (PNA)

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7 dead in Lubao, Pampanga multi-vehicle accident

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The start of the new year is bleak for the relatives of the seven people who died in a multi-vehicle accident that occurred in Lubao, Pampanga on Wednesday afternoon.

One of the fatalities, Marie Grace David, was on her way from celebrating the New Year with her 12-year-old child, who was injured.

Another fatality was identified as Rowel Flores, 32. Like David, he was on her way home from Dau where he celebrated the New Year. He left behind two children.

Linette Valite, 18, another fatality, meanwhile was on her way to meet her boyfriend.

The rest of the fatalities were identified as Princess Quinto, Alex Razheed Nilayan, John Raven Astrero, and Mary Grace Castro.

Nine others were hurt in the accident, seven of them confined at Pampanga Medical Specialist Hospital and two others at Jose B. Lingad Memorial Regional Hospital in San Fernando, Pampanga.

Footage from CCTV showed a pickup that was about to turn to the main road from Jasa Road. The passenger jeep carrying the victims, which cannot be seen in the video, collided with the pickup that was thrown toward the opposite lane where it was hit by an oncoming truck.

The passenger jeep was a total wreck.

A rescue operation was immediately implemented.

The driver of the pickup truck, 68-year-old Alexander Domingo, is facing charges for reckless imprudence resulting in multiple homicide, physical injuries and damage to properties. He is now detained at the Lubao Municipal Police Station. — Vonne Aquino/BAP/KBK, GMA News

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2020 Public Holidays

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The regular holidays are:

January 1, 2020, Wednesday – New Year’s Day
April 9, 2020, Thursday – Araw ng Kagitingan
April 9, 2020 – Maundy Thursday
April 10, 2020 – Good Friday
May 1, 2020, Friday – Labor Day
June 12, 2020, Friday – Independence Day
August 31, 2020, last Monday of August – National Heroes’ Day
November 30, 2020, Monday – Bonifacio Day
December 25, 2020, Friday – Christmas Day
December 30, 2020, Wednesday – Rizal Day

Special non-working days:

January 25, 2020, Saturday – Chinese New Year
February 25, 2020, Tuesday – EDSA Revolution Anniversary
April 11, 2020 – Black Saturday
August 21, 2020, Friday – Ninoy Aquino Day
November 1, 2020, Sunday – All Saints’ Day
December 8, 2020, Tuesday – Feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary
December 31, 2020, Thursday – last day of the year

Additional special non-working holidays:

November 2, 2020, Monday
December 24, 2020, Thursday

Malacañang will issue proclamations to declare national holidays for Eid’l Fitr and Eid’l Adha after the approximate dates of the Islamic holidays have been determined.

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