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DENR shuts down 4 open dump sites in Pampanga

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CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga—The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) shuts down last week four illegally operating dump sites in this province.

Environment Undersecretary Benny Antiporda, for Solid Waste Management and Local Government Unit Concerns, issued the cease-and-desist order (CDO) against the City of San Fernando, and municipal governments of Bacolor and Porac for operating the illegal dump sites.

The open dump sites were located at Lara village in City of San Fernando, Maliwalo in Bacolor town, and barangays San Jose Matli and Matli Dos, both in the town of Porac.

“Poor waste management at dump sites poses serious threats, not just to the environment, but also to public health. That is why, we are taking our messaging to uphold proper waste disposal to a higher level to encourage communities, especially our local government units, to not make open fields as repository areas for wastes,” he said.

Under the law, establishment and maintenance of an open dumpsite is strictly prohibited.

The DENR found mixed garbage of plastics, diapers, polystyrene and even hospital wastes like syringes and tubings in the dump site.

Antiporda said the DENR is keeping an eye on the operations of illegal dump sites, since it bears a serious impact on the ongoing cleanup and rehabilitation of Manila Bay.

“We cannot clean Manila Bay if we allow this,” he said, pointing out that dump sites have leachate, which could flow to nearby rivers and bodies of water.

The DENR also summoned the local chief executives and their respective municipal councils to explain the operations of the illegal dump sites and to present their immediate plan of action for the closure and rehabilitation of these garbage dumps.

“They [municipalities] were given seven days to explain the illegal operation of the dump site, as supported by the necessary documents, clearances and other permits issued pertaining to the implementation of the disposal site,” he said.

Republic Act 9003, or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000, provides that no open dumps shall be established and operated, nor any practice or disposal of solid waste by any person, including local government units, which constitutes the use of open dumps for solid wastes, is allowed.

Any person found violating the law shall be fined with P500,000 plus an amount not less than 5 percent but not more than 10 percent of its net annual income during the year.

But if local government officials and officials of a national agency are found guilty of violating the law, they can be charged administratively in accordance with Republic Act 7160, or the Local Government Code.

Meanwhile, Mayor Edwin Santos denied the existence of an open dump site in the City of San Fernando.

“We are not operating an open dump site. We only have the City Transfer Station,” Santiago said in a statement following the issuance of a CDO against the operation of the facility in Lara village here.

City Environment and Natural Resources Officer Regina Rodriguez also said no dump site is operating in the city.

Rodriguez said the former dump site has been converted to a transfer station when it was rehabilitated through the city’s greening program.

“We are fully implementing RA 9003. From the garbage collection, to the sorting and transferring, our system works. We are in partnership with the Metro Clark Waste Management Corp., which collects the garbage every day from our transfer station. We will never tolerate the existence of an open dump site here in San Fernando,” he said.

Rodriguez added that the transfer station was reviewed and approved by the DENR Region 3 pursuant to the Department’s Administrative Order 9, Series of 2006, or the “General Guidelines in the Closure and Rehabilitation of Open Dump site and Controlled Dump Facilities.”

Marna Dagumboy Del Rosario/PNA

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Coronavirus Watch as of February 16, 2019

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MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) continues to place persons under investigation for possible cases of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV).

As of Sunday, February 16, the DOH said it has probed 498 patients. There is still no recorded local transmission in the country.

Out of this number:

  • 159 – admitted in hospitals
  • 336 – discharged from hospitals
  • – confirmed cases

Of the 3 confirmed cases in the Philippines, one died due to severe pneumonia because of novel coronavirus, while the other two have since recovered and are already out of the hospital.

Below is the latest breakdown of the persons under investigation per region. All numbers are from the DOH’s 2019-nCov tracker. Via Rappler

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China officials fired as coronovirus deaths surge past 1,300

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Health officials in China‘s hard-hit central province of Hubei reported on Thursday that 242 more people died from the coronavirus COVID-19 as of Wednesday – the highest in a single day and more than twice the previous record high – pushing the death toll across the country to 1,355.

The province’s health commission also reported a huge jump in new cases, saying a further 14,840 people had been confirmed with the infection over the 24-hour period to midnight on Wednesday (16:00 GMT).

As this developed, the official Xinhua news agency reported on Thursday that the head of the Communist party in the province of Hubei has been relieved of his post – the latest in a line of local officials fired.

Hubei is at the centre of the outbreak, which is thought to have originated in a now-closed seafood market in the capital of Wuhan late last year.

Former Shanghai Mayor Ying Yong has been appointed as the new secretary of the Hubei Provincial Committee of the Communist Party of China, replacing Jiang Chaoliang, the report said, citing the party’s central committee.

Al Jazeera’s Katrina Yu, reporting from Beijing, said “it was expected that somebody’s head was on the chopping block”.

“There’s been a lot of criticism about the information not being so forthcoming” from Hubei officials, she added. (Via AlJazeera)

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NBA Legend Kobe Bryant dies at 41

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Basketball legend Kobe Bryant, 41, and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna Maria Onore Bryant were among nine people killed in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, on Sunday.

It’s hard to believe NBA superstar Kobe Bryant, whose prodigious talent and win-at-all-costs spirit made him one of the most famous and decorated athletes in history, is gone.

He was the rare celebrity who didn’t need a last name. Oprah. LeBron. Beyonce. Kobe. Everyone knew who you were talking about.
Still youthful at 41, Bryant — who died in a helicopter crash Sunday in California — looked like he could suit up and drop 30 points on a rival NBA team. It doesn’t seem that long ago that he was scoring 60 points in his final NBA game, soaking up the cheers of Los Angeles Lakers fans who worshiped him for two decades as one of the city’s favorite sons.
After his 20-year NBA career — all with the Lakers — Bryant is all but assured of being a first-ballot inductee into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame later this year.
“He was a fierce competitor, one of the greats of the game and a creative force,” said fellow NBA icon Michael Jordan, CNN Reports.

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