national news

Bong Go gets warm welcome from fellow Batangueños

April 26, 2019

BATANGAS CITY -- The people of Batangas on Wednesday warmly received one of their own, former Special Assistant to the President Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, who traces his roots from the Tesoro clan of the province.      “Maraming salamat po sa napakainit na pagtanggap sa akin ng aking mga kapatid dito sa Batangas, sing-init po ng panahon.  Batangueno rin po ako dahil ang mga ninuno ko ay galing dito sa Batangas at nag-migrate lang po sa Davao,” Go said after a motorcade around Batangas City.      “Iba po talaga pag nasa sariling bayan. Totoo ang kasabihan na there’s no place like home,” he added.      Aside from having his roots in the province, Go was also formally adopted by Batangas as its own son. In February this year, the governors of the provinces of Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon signed a manifesto supporting Go’s Senate bid and declaring him an adopted son of CALABARZON region.      During the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) campaign rally at Batangas Sports Coliseum here, President Duterte rallied the Batangueños to support Go, the PDP-Laban senatorial ticket and their guest candidates.      The President noted that Go has proven his integrity all through the 21 years of service to him and the people of the former SAP.     “Kung pera lang... ni piso hindi kumita yan,” Duterte said. “At saka talagang may malasakit sa kapwa.”     “Mahusay ito si Bong, ang bilis pa ng utak niyan,” the President added. In a previous engagement, the President also said Go learned a lot from him about public service.      Likewise, TV host Willie Revillame who joined the rally endorsed the candidacy of Go. It could be recalled that last February, the former SAP appeared as a guest in Revillame’s TV game show “Wowowin.”      “Totoong tao po itong si Bong Go at may isang salita. Nang makilala ko siya, nalaman ko na iisa rin lang ang aming hangarin sa buhay— ang tumulong sa kapwa Pilipino,” Revillame said as he delivered his messaged on stage and performed for the crowd.      Addressing his fellow Batangueños, Go assured them of his full support for the programs and policies of President Duterte.     “Ipagpapatuloy ko po ang mga pagbabagong nasimulan ni Pangulong Duterte. Yung kampanya laban sa corruption, kampanya laban sa kriminalidad, at kampanya laban sa iligal na droga, suportado ko po iyon,” Go said.     The former SAP said he would also help President Duterte in the remaining three years of his term to fulfil his promise of uplifting the lives of Batangueños and the entire Filipino people, particularly through the implementation of the “Build, Build, Build” program that would further speed up the development of the province.      “Patuloy nyo po akong magiging tulay kay Pangulong Duterte. Asahan nyo po, sa natitirang tatlong taon ni Pangulong Duterte, gagawin namin lahat ng aming makakaya para sa (kabutihan ng) Pilipino lalo na para sa mga kapwa kong Batangueño,” Go said.      Among others, he noted that there are current plans for various infrastructure programs in the province including road projects, construction of public markets, as well as repair of maintenance of seawall to protect lives and properties during storm surges. These projects have been submitted for funding.      He also cited the planned Mindoro-Batangas Super Bridge, a P30.883-billion construction of a bridge to link Mindoro and Batangas, boosting economic and tourism activities in both provinces. Preparations are ongoing for the terms of reference, feasibility study and the approved budget for the contract.     There is also the Southern Tagalog Arterial Road, a P2.5-billion project consisting of 18.6-kilometer, 4-lane access road between Brgys. TingaItaas, TingaLabac, San Pedro, Dumantay, Sampaga, SirangLupa and San Isidro, Batangas City, meant to reduce road congestion in Batangas City.     Go said that top in his legislative agenda is his crusade to improve the delivery of health services in the country, not only through the upgrading of facilities of public health institutions but also through the establishment of Malasakit Center.      A project of the Duterte administration based on Go’s idea, the Malasakit Center makes it easier and faster for poor patients to avail of medical and financial assistance from the government by bringing together in one room all concerned agencies such as the DOH, DSWD, PCSO, and Philhealth.     “Gusto ko pong isabatas ito pagdating ng panahon para tuloy-tuloy ang programa kahit hindi na Pangulo si Pangulong Duterte at palawakin, dagdagan pa natin ang mga Malasakit Centers,” Go said.     Go also vowed before his fellow Batangueños that he would serve them and the Filipino people the way he served President Duterte for over two decades.     “Sa loob po ng 21 taon, almusal, pananghalian at hapunan ko na ang pagse-serbisyo. Ang bisyo ko po magserbisyo. Naniniwala po ako na ang serbisyo sa tao, serbisyo sa Diyos,” Go said.     “Minsan lamang po tayo daraan sa mundong ito. Kaya kung anuman ang mabuting pwede nating gawin sa ating kapwa gawin na natin ngayon dahil hindi na po tayo daraan muli sa mundong ito,” he added.     Other priority concerns Go has identified to be part of his legislative agenda include programs for agriculture, housing for the poor, education, long-term sports development, fire protection and prevention, localized peace talks, barangay welfare, creation of a Department of OFW and improved benefits for senior citizens.

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Toyota owners, celeb drivers race this weekend at the Vios Autocross Challenge

April 26, 2019

Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) brings back waku-doki this year with a bigger and better motorsports program, the Vios Racing Festival. Gear up for heart-racing fun as the country’s number one automotive brand starts the festival this summer with the Vios Autocross Challenge this coming April 28, 2019 (Sunday), 9:00 AM at Block 16, Mall of Asia open grounds.     Admission is free, so everyone is invited to come and support their favorite celebrity racers Gerald Anderson, Daniel Matsunaga, Chie Filomeno, Gretchen Ho, Aubrey Miles, Troy Montero, and Fabio Ide as they compete at the autocross tracks with other racers.     And in one of the Vios Racing Festival’s many twists, Toyota owners can now get the chance to be official racers at the Vios Autocross Challenge. Interested Toyota owners may visit www.facebook.com/ToyotaMotorPhilippines to participate in an online game that will determine who gets the chance to be a racer for the weekend. What exactly is the Vios Autocross Challenge?     “Toyota wants to make racing an accessible sport for the ordinary Filipino by providing an extraordinary opportunity to get themselves started, fueled by their passion for motorsports,” said Mr. Satoru Suzuki, President of TMP.     The Vios Autocross Challenge is a new addition to the standard circuit racing format. It is a timed competition wherein drivers navigate through an obstacle course one at a time, aiming to finish the track within the shortest lap time possible.     This new format will be more amateur-friendly than a standard circuit race, where all participants are simultaneously racing against each other. The adrenaline factor is retained through several mechanics which highlight driving precision: for example, every pylon hit adds 2 seconds on top of the racer’s final lap time.     In order to promote a more inclusive racing scene that fosters friendly competition, drivers from different backgrounds are invited: celebrities, social media influencers, car club members, new Vios owners, motoring journalists, and now even loyal Toyota patrons. How can I join the Vios Autocross Challenge?     The online promo on Facebook is open to all Toyota owners—regardless of model and year—that can drive a Manual Transmission vehicle. Toyota Motor Philippines will be lending out race-ready Vios units during the event day to at least 5 lucky participants with the best captioned entries.     The official Facebook post can be accessed through this link: http://bit.ly/2GBCmVM     Chosen entries will be announced via Facebook. Toyota representatives will contact the winners for further participation instructions.     For more updates on Toyota events and promos, visit TMP’s official website at www.toyota.com.ph and follow the official Facebook page.     The Toyota Vios Racing Festival is held in cooperation with Bridgestone; supported by Petron, Motul, and Rota; and other sponsors Brembo, Denso, AVT, 3M, OMP, and Tuason Racing.

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Ex-Cabinet members seek more rainwater harvesting

March 29, 2019

MANILA -- Two former Cabinet officials are advocating more investments in rainwater harvesting nationwide to increase supply of water for agriculture and other uses while addressing disasters like flooding.     The Philippines annually receives about 2,400 mm of rainfall -- one of the world's highest and which can be stored for such purposes, former agriculture secretary Dr. William Dar and ex-environment chief Dr. Elisea Gozun said.    "We need to immediately consider rainwater harvesting as a major strategy not only for agriculture but for household uses also," Dar said.     Gozun, meanwhile, said the government should encourage the public to store available water for future use, especially in agriculture.     The call was made after the water supply shortage in parts of Metro Manila and Rizal province due to El Niño or prolong dry spell.     Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) Administrator Dr. Vicente Malano said the Philippines has excessive rainfall but most of this goes to the seas.     "We use less than 10 percent of rainfall," he said in a recent press conference in Quezon City for PAGASA's annual National and World Meteorological Day celebration, urging all sectors to conserve water.     Data that Dar recently presented at the World Water Day summit in Quezon City indicated the exigency to tap rainwater harvesting as a means to increase water supply nationwide.     Agriculture alone already accounts for some 80 percent of water usage in the country, the data showed.     The projected 2025 water demand in agriculture may surge to a high 72,973 million cubic meters (MCM), the data showed.     The data also indicated that the 2011-2016 average expansion of national irrigation systems in the country was about only 1.4 percent.     Estimated high 2025 water demand for domestic and municipal users (8,573 MCM) as well as industrial uses (4,997 MCM) further elevated need for increasing water supply nationwide, the data showed.     Despite having an abundant rainfall, Dar said the country's rainwater harvest rate is only about 4.0 percent.     India's harvest rate is around 60 percent even if the annual rainfall there is about 700 mm, he noted.     He said rainwater harvesting was among measures that authorities had identified for helping mitigate the impacts of the strong 1997-1998 El Niño.     "Until now, however, there's low investment in rainwater harvesting," he said.     The Bureau of Soils and Water Management (BSWM) has been developing small-scale irrigation projects like small water-impounding facilities so agricultural areas can have supplemental water supply.     These projects also help control floods while catering to fishery and livestock production as well, the BSWM said.     Gozun, meanwhile, recommended the construction of more small water impounding facilities in the country to increase water supply and mitigate flooding in low-lying areas.      Rainfall need not always end up as floods since such facilities can store rain, she said.     She noted that mitigating flooding through massive rainwater harvesting will help reduce crop destruction and top soil erosion.     Building impounding facilities in uplands will maximize agricultural production, Gozun said.     "There's more than 20 million people living in uplands -- they'll have water if we do that," she said. (PNA)

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Gov’t task force demolishes defiant Boracay resort

March 29, 2019

The government’s inter-agency task force on Tuesday destroyed a Boracay resort which failed to heed orders to self-demolish for violating the 30-meter easement rule, according to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).     The DENR-led Boracay Inter-Agency Task Force (BIATF) carried out the demolition work of structures belonging to Boracay Plaza Beach Resort after the final 15-day ultimatum given to establishments encroaching on the shoreline easement zone had expired.     All other establishments responded positively to the ultimatum issued by BIATF, except for Boracay Plaza, which is owned by a certain Anita Aguirre. The resort has structures built on approximately 1,000 square meters of land within the easement zone.     BIATF chair and DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu announced the ultimatum during the meeting of the task force held on February 28.     “Erring establishments had already been given more than enough time to shape up since the closure,” Cimatu said.     “It would be unfair to those who voluntarily demolished and complied with the easement rule if we will not enforce the law to those who did not,” he added.     Aside from violating the easement rule, Boracay Plaza was also found to be operating without the required permits.     Boracay Plaza had been issued three orders to vacate and self-demolish its structure since April 26 last year when the island was ordered closed for six months to pave the way for much-needed rehabilitation. The owner defied all three orders.    The demolition team was supervised by BIATF management group manager and DENR Director NatividadBernadino, Aklan provincial police chief Senior Supt. Lope Manlapaz, Malay Acting Mayor Abram Sualog, representatives from the Department of the Interior and Local Government and the Department of Tourism, and DENR lawyers.     Bernardino reported that nine other establishments that had been given the same 15-day ultimatum on March 4 had already either partially or completely demolished their structures.     These were the Blue Lilly Hotel, Calveston International Inc., Exclusive Dawn VIP Boracay Resort, Little Prairie Inn, New Wave Divers, Steve’s Cliff/Boracay Terraces Resort, True Homes, Watercolors Dive shop, and Willy’s Rock Resort.     All 10 establishments, including Boracay Plaza, were the last remaining structures along the White Beach to be demolished, making the area fully compliant to the 30-meter beach easement law.

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Sikat ka Higala

March 29, 2019

The Philippine Army celebrates its 122 years of Heroism Serving the People, Securing the land. Much has happened through years. Having a military family from my Grandfather, to my father and 8 uncles.     Growing up discipline was a priority. Writing and interviewing rebel returnees, soldiers who have been abducted, soldiers who are tortured, almost left for dead and sometimes executed  has often given me the inspiration to tell their stories. Knowing the urgency in a never ending quest the government has offered its hand through the years and over and over again rejected.     The intensity of the rebellion has caused so much chaos, claimed so many lives, drained the strength and energy of our troops but still pursuing peace. One foot to the grave one foot to battle. Some have accused me of a propangandist of the AFP but my question is why would I support the terrorrists? They have harmed innocent people, extorted the poor ,confiscated their livelihood, have bomb equipments for infracture, shut electricity, destroyed water systems, burn bridges and etc.    The atrocities have cause the nation shaken and what are they fighting for their own ideology thats clearly concerns only the interest of power and control. The Philippine army have build back lives of those that have returned in the arms of the government, has significantly neutralized 3,554 Communist party of the Philippines-New People Army Terrorist (CNT) Most of the surrenderees came from the areas where community support Teams are immersed. They have discovered 136 CPP NPA hideouts. Have cleared 85 conflict affected areas.    The 4ID has been spearheading transformation with good governance and strategy management among PAMUS as it was the first to be conferred Institutionalized Status with the Gold Trailblazer Award. I belive in the AFPs efforts in neutralizing the atrocities wherever. I applaude the AFP and its determination in attaining peace through out our country.     Evil conquers when good men do nothing. At the celebration today BGEN Tyne Banas the Assistant Division Commander of the 4ID have expressed its sentiment to call for peace and encouraging the rebels to return their trust to our government I salute the AFP I salute our brave Soldiers. I salute the 4ID.

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