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P54.9-M allotted for Pampanga quake victims

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CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga — The Pampanga Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) has allocated PHP54.9 million to address the impact of the magnitude 6.1 earthquake that hit the province last April 22, particularly in the towns of Porac and Floridablanca.

Governor Lilia Pineda, PDRRMC chair, said on Thursday that the provincial government is set to use 30 percent of its quick response fund worth at least PHP44,643,345, and the un-programmed donations for victims of calamities worth PHP8,322,219, for the immediate needs of the quake victims.

Angelina Blanco, head of PDRMMO, said governor-elect Dennis Pineda, as vice chair, has recommended the approval of the rehabilitation and construction of damaged facilities in barangays Nabuclod, Camachile, and San Ramon, all in Floridablanca, and barangays Camias, Diaz, Inararo, Sapang Uwak, and Villa Maria in Porac.

Blanco said the council has also approved the purchase of some PHP4.8-million worth of relief goods; construction of 150 houses, PHP16.5 million; construction of 10 comfort rooms and bathrooms, PHP5 million; electrical main lines, PHP5 million; water system and drainage control, PHP15 million; purchase of lot in Barangay Babo Pangulo, Porac as relocation site in the amount of PHP8.6 million.

With this, the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO) member of the council, recommended for approval the provision of mattresses, pillows, blankets, drinking water, goods, clothing, tents, and construction materials and repair kits such as nails, and hammers.

Earlier, six towns in the second district of Pampanga, which include barangays Calibutbut and Maliwalu in Bacolor, were declared under a state of calamity by the provincial board.

Based on the assessment of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and the provincial engineering office, the cost of infrastructure damages reached PHP140,600,000 and the infrastructure repair was estimated to reach PHP886,746,233.

Based on the final report of the PSWDO, 164 houses in barangays Nabuclod, Camachile, and San Ramon in Floridablanca were wrecked, while some 852 houses in Camias, Diaz, Inararo, Sapang Uwak, and Villa Maria in Porac were destroyed.

The recent quake has also resulted in 16 deaths — 12 in Porac, two in Lubao, one in Floridablanca and one in Mexico — 183 injured persons, and 5,933 affected families or 26,720 persons. (PNA)

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Chinese survey ship spotted in PH exclusive economic zone

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MANILA – A Chinese survey ship that was seen earlier this month sailing east of the Philippines was spotted once again inside the Philippine exclusive economic zone (EEZ), maritime experts have confirmed.

Chinese oceanographic survey ship “Zhangjian” entered the Philippines’ EEZ, said Ryan Martinson, Assistant Professor of the Chinese Maritime Studies Institute at the US Naval War College who posted the ship’s position on Twitter.

Professor Jay Batongbacal, Director of the UP Institute for Maritime Affairs and Law of the Sea, and Jess Floren of the Karagatan Patrol confirmed the ship’s presence in the country’s EEZ.

The survey ship Zhangjian was tracked making grid-like, back-and-forth movements in the Philippine Sea for days, a movement the experts suggest was indicative of scientific exploration.

The grid-like maneuvers, however, took place just outside the Philippines’ EEZ, which is not violative of Philippine maritime rights ABS-CBN News reports.

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New low pressure area enters PAR

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MANILA—A new low-pressure area (LPA) entered the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR) Monday night, state weather bureau PAGASA said.

The weather disturbance was spotted 975 kilometers east of Catarman, Northern Samar and is moving in a northwest direction, weather specialist Ariel Rojas said.

The LPA has a slim chance of developing into a tropical cyclone, but will bring rains over the eastern part of the country, he added.

The LPA’s trough or extension will bring cloudy skies with scattered rain showers and thunderstorms over Bicol Region, Eastern Visayas, Dinagat Islands, Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur.

Meanwhile, the southwest monsoon or habagat, which continues to prevail over the western section of northern Luzon, will bring isolated rain showers over Batanes and Babuyan Group of Islands.

Metro Manila and the rest of the country will have partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rain showers due to localized thunderstorms. (Source: ABS-CBN News)

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Trump confirms he is considering attempt to buy Greenland

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Donald Trump has confirmed he is considering an attempt to buy Greenland for strategic reasons, though he said the idea is “not No1 on the burner”.

The US president’s interest, reported earlier this week, was greeted internationally with widespread hilarity but with indignation in Greenland and Denmark.

The government of the semi-autonomous Danish territory insisted it was not for sale. The Danish prime minister called any discussion of a sale “absurd”.

Nonetheless, on Sunday White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow first confirmed the story in an interview, before Trump spoke to reporters as he left New Jersey to return from vacation to Washington.

Saying the “concept came up” and he was “looking at it”, the man who runs a notoriously leaky White House also questioned how the idea found its way to the press.

Trump sought to tie the idea of a US purchase of the world’s largest island – not including the continent of Australia – to his own area of professional expertise, saying it would be “essentially a large real estate deal”.

“Denmark essentially owns it,” he said. “We’re very good allies with Denmark, we protect Denmark like we protect large portions of the world. So the concept came up and I said, ‘Certainly I’d be.’ Strategically it’s interesting and we’d be interested but we’ll talk to them a little bit. It’s not No1 on the burner, I can tell you that.”

(Via The Guardian)

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