The latest news stories from the major news organizations in Cebu and Manila in the Philippines, the US and other countries.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

October 5, 2009 Major News Stories

14 dead, floods in Cordillera, Cagayan

As debris left by typhoon "Pepeng" littered the streets of this Cagayan capital on Sunday morning, residents went out of their homes and gathered at the Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral to hear Mass.

12 dead in Benguet slides

Twelve people, four of them children, were killed after landslides spawned by heavy rains accompanying typhoon "Pepeng" buried their houses in Itogon and La Trinidad towns on Sunday morning.

At least 14,000 families displaced by 'Pepeng'

MANILA – More than 14,000 families in six regions have been displaced as powerful typhoon Pepeng (international codename Parma) battered the country, the National Disaster Coordinating Council said Sunday.

Pepeng' to continue pounding Northern Luzon for more than 3 days

MANILA – The state weather agency has forecast that Typhoon "Pepeng" may linger in the Philippines than earlier expected and warned of landslides and floods especially in the northern and western parts of Luzon. 

"Melor" won't directly affect RP - Pagasa

Even if it is expected to enter Philippine territory late Monday, typhoon "Melor" (international name) will not directly affect the country, state weather forecasters said Sunday.

Super typhoon Quedan to enter RP tomorrow - Pagasa

from - Breaking News by By Dennis Carcamo

Super typhoon "Quedan" is expected to enter the country tomorrow late afternoon or early evening, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) announced today (Oct. 4).

Pagasa: Stay alert for possible return of "Pepeng" to RP

(Updated 5:27 p.m.) With typhoon "Pepeng" still within the Philippine area of responsibility, another weather disturbance is threatening to enter the country's territory on Monday. State weather forecasters said the new disturbance may even pull "Pepeng" back towards northern Luzon.

Int'l, local flights cancelled due to 'Pepeng'

Eight flights to and from Cagayan, Ilocos Norte and Taiwan were cancelled on Sunday at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport due to bad weather as typhoon Pepeng lingered over northern Luzon.

RP to import rice after typhoon onslaught

President Gloria Arroyo has ordered agriculture officials to import rice amid an expected supply crunch next year following devastating typhoons that battered the agriculture sector.

2 arrested for overpricing canned sardines

Two have been arrested for overpricing consumer goods at the Guadalupe public market as Metro Manila struggles to recover from its worst flooding in decades.

Petroleum products under price control

COOKING gas, gasoline, diesel and lubricants have been included in the price control list as part of disaster-relief measures, prompting oil companies to question the decision.

DepEd: No semestral break this year

Kakanselahin naman ng Department of Education ang semestral break sa mga pribado at pampublikong paaralan sa elementarya at sekundaraya, para makabawi sa isang linggong pagkakakansela ng klase sanhi ng pananalasa ng bagyong Ondoy. 

Residents told to vacate 2 lots beside hospital?

A good sleep may not be what 300 households living along B. Rodriguez St., barangay Sambag Dos would have as they have received Notices to Vacate the lot they are occupying.

Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña, who is still on leave, said that this is a matter that he might have to refer to the Office of the President for assistance.

Barangay Sambag Dos Councilman Aurelio Jagmoc, who heads the Committee on Social Services, said the barangay and leaders of the Bidlisiw-Mansanitas Neighborhood Association (BIDMANA) have been regularly meeting after majority of the residents received a notice to vacate from the Rallos family.

City Hall orders clearing of sidewalks of obstacles

The Squatters Prevention Encroachment Elimination Division has been ordered by City Hall to clear all city roads and sidewalks of all obstacles, including sidewalk vendors, and have been given one month to complete the task.

Ruiz calls P10M solution to Mandaue floods a pittance

A "band-aid solution" was how Cebu 6th district Rep. Nerissa Soon-Ruiz described the recent announcement by Mandaue City Mayor Jonas Cortes on the immediate release of P10 million for a drainage project in the city.

Review on dev't permits urged to stop illegal quarry fronts

Cebu City Acting Mayor Michael Rama called for a review on all recently issued development permits to make sure these are not made as fronts for illegal quarry.

Tom wants Ombuds to order Capitol to show "very ideal" JV contract

Mayor Tomas Osmeña will file a formal request to the Office of the Ombudsman for the anti-graft body to compel the provincial government to produce a copy of the contract between RII Builders and Taguig City.  The infamous contract is what 3rd District Rep. Pablo John Garcia has described as the "very ideal" joint venture contract, as opposed to the joint venture agreement the city has entered into with Filinvest Land Inc. for development of a portion of the South Road Properties.

Bus operators seek City's aid

ABOUT 40 operators with a combined fleet of 144 minibuses serving southern Cebu will ask the Cebu City Government for four bus stops, so they will not have to use the Cebu South Bus Terminal.

Policeman's wife to file charges vs. CCPO men

A POLICEMAN'S wife plans to file three separate cases against police officers from the Cebu City Police Office after she alleged they took P300,000 cash and three cellular phones from her apartment.

Sought for comment, Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) Director Pat-rocinio Comendador Jr. said it is Christine Uy-Solante's (wife of CPPO's PO3 Reynaldo Solante) right and the "most prudent thing to do" to file a complaint.

He said, though, that they are looking into the possibility of providing PO2 Marvin Sanson with a lawyer.

Power lines dead for 9 hours in Lapu

A NINE-hour brownout hit Lapu-Lapu City yesterday due to regular maintenance works by the National Transmission Grip Corp. (NGCP).

6th Moonwalk opens Pink October

Thousands of women and nursing students in Cebu joined the 6th "Moonwalk: A walk against breast cancer" organized by the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation, Inc.-Eduardo J. Aboitiz Cancer Center in support of the women suffering from breast cancer in the country.

Earthquake strikes near Mindanao

A magnitude 6.6 quake struck at the ocean near the southern Philippines Sunday night, the United States Geological Survey reported.

16 towns, 2 cities in Laguna still flooded

Sixteen towns and two cities in Laguna, out of the 20 towns and cities in the province, were still submerged in water as of Sunday, although at different levels, Vicente Tomazar, Regional Disaster Coordinating Council director for Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon) Region, said.

Marikina private schools may not open next week

Even as classes resume in most public schools in Metro Manila on Monday, private school owners in Marikina City still doubt whether they can reopen by next week due to the devastation wrought by Tropical Storm "Ondoy."

Metro Manila firms' losses from 'Ondoy' at least P1-B

MANILA - Businesses in Metro Manila alone lost roughly P1 billion to the floods brought by tropical storm Ondoy, the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) said.

Arroyo met by protest over Pampanga dike project

President Macapagal-Arroyo visited her home province on Sunday afternoon to inspect road projects and a dike that would control floods here but she was welcomed by a group of residents protesting the project.

S. Leyte gives P1M for Metro, Rizal relief

The Southern Leyte provincial disaster coordinating council has approved a P1 million cash donation to help the flood victims in Metro Manila and Rizal province.

Canada gives P220M for Ondoy survivors

Canada has been the biggest donor country so far for the survivors of tropical storm Ondoy, pledging up to 5 million Canadian dollars (P220 million) for disaster response and immediate relief, a statement from the embassy in Canada here said.

Australia gives P80M more to 'Ondoy' victims

Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Stephen Smith has announced a further contribution of P80 million (A$2 million) to support the urgent food relief efforts for the victims of Tropical Storm 'Ondoy' that hit the country on September 26.

5 soldiers hurt in NPA ambush at Agusan Sur

Five soldiers were wounded following an ambush by New People's Army rebels in Trento, Agusan Del Sur, on Saturday.

Death toll in Indian floods passes 200: officials

by Agence France-Presse
BANGALORE - Hundreds of thousands of people in southern India were evacuated after torrential rains and floods swept away homes, leaving at least 207 people dead, officials said Sunday.

Heavy rains hold up search for bodies in Indonesia

JUMANAK, Indonesia - Heavy rains hampered search teams Sunday in the hills of western Indonesia where hundreds of people were buried alive in landslides triggered by a massive earthquake that wiped out four villages.

ASEAN emergency fund for disasters

The ASEAN Secretariat has set up an emergency humanitarian relief fund following Tropical Storm Ondoy (international name: Ketsana) that have hit Cambodia, Lao PDR, the Philippines, and Viet Nam, and the earthquakes in Indonesia, the ASEAN Secretariat said.

Climate change hits poor hardest—WB

The developing world will suffer about 80 percent of the damage from climate change despite accounting for only around a third of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, the World Bank said on Sunday.

Japan's ex-finance minister found dead

(UPDATE) Former finance minister Shoichi Nakagawa, who was forced to resign over his apparently drunken behavior at a meeting of world powers, has been found dead at his home, police and news reports said Sunday.

Pacman steps up training in Week 3

BAGUIO CITY, Philippines – Tougher and longer days await Manny Pacquiao when he enters his third week of training today in this cold and foggy City of Pines. 

Olympics give faded Rio shot at rebirth

RIO DE JANEIRO - Rio de Janeiro's 2016 Olympics has raised the tantalizing prospect that Brazil's faded former capital, known for its beauty and high crime, will be rejuvenated into a modern, thriving city. 

Pinoy a finalist in CNN Heroes

Good news naman tayo. Kabilang ang pinoy na si Efren Penaflorida sa sampung finalists ng Search for CNN heroes. Kilala si Penaflorida at ang grupo niyang Dynamic Teen Company na nagtuturo sa mga out of school youth na masulat at magbasa gamit ang kariton bilang klassroom o mobile classsroom.

Stem cell pioneers among Nobel Prize candidates

STOCKHOLM, Sweden - Two Canadian scientists whose discovery of stem cells has paved the way for controversial research could be candidates for the 2009 Nobel Prize in medicine, the winners of which will be announced Monday.

Musician's appeal on Makati property denied

The Court of Appeals has denied the motion of businessman-musician Ramon Jacinto for the appellate to reconsider its decision forfeiting his P3.6-billion property in the middle of Makati's central business district in favor of the Philippine National Bank.

PBB housemates introduced

Ipinakilala na ang 12 housemate ng PBB Double Up!

They were Princess, dubbed the "Sassy Vamp" from Cebu; Tom, the "Romantic Stud" from Samar; Delio, the "Simpatikong Kusinero" from Batangas; Paul Jake, the "Negosyo Prince" of Cebu; Jason, "Boy Astig" from Mindoro;

Melisa, the "Inday Kengkay" from General Santos; Yuri, the "Multilingual Hottie" from Japan; Carol, the "Conservative Pharmacist" from Tondo; Mariel, the "Struggling Mom" from Davao; and Yhel, the "Young Widow" from Pampanga.

There were also two sets of twins: Toffi the "Basket-Bolero" and Kenny the "Joker Jock", twin basketball players from Rizal; and JP and JM, a flight attendant (a.k.a. the "Jetsetter Dad") and an IT specialist (a.k.a. the "Delightful Dad"), respectively.

The premiere of the show was dubbed "The Magical Reveal" due to the magic tricks used to introduced by the housemates.

They were welcomed to the house with performances by past housemates, as well as the show's hosts, Bianca Gonzales, Mariel Rodriguez, and Toni Gonzaga.

Two houses

In a new twist, the PBB house has been divided into two separate houses, each with a group of housemates.

In this new setup, the two sets of housemates do not know that there is a second house. The twins will be separated - each pair will have one representative in each house.

There will be times that the twins will switch houses. However, they are not allowed to tell the other housemates of the existence of the other house, nor the existence of their twin brother.

Big Brother said that if they are successful in keeping the secret, they would escape the first elimination round. He also said that in case any of the other housemates find out of the twist, the two sets of twins will face forced eviction.

"This is the first time we are doing this for Big Brother. Even globally, first time ito. Ipinaalam ko noong pumunta ako sa main office nila sa Amsterdam nitong Hunyo," PBB Business Unit Head Laurenti Dyogi said in an earlier interview with

'Kuya' to help Ondoy victims

In the wake of tropical storm Ondoy's devastation, Dyogi also divulged that "Kuya" will also do his share to help the flood victims.

"Si Kuya kasi minsan ang mga plano niya, hindi sinasabi sa amin. So, pati kaming involved sa programa, hinuhulaan namin. Pero I'm sure knowing Kuya, hindi siya papayag na walang involvement ang programa at housemates sa nangyaring kalamidad," Dyogi said.

Dyogi said it's unfortunate for the calamity to happen a week before the premiere of PBB Double Up. He said the airing of the show on Sunday is timely since it will bring happiness and entertainment to all the people affected by Ondoy.

Tips in giving relief to disaster victims

The many good Samaritans who have been initiating relief operations in disaster-stricken communities must keep in mind a few important things to ensure that their efforts would have the most impact on evacuees, a disaster response expert said.
The Corporate Network for Disaster Response (CNDR), a pioneering non-government organization involved in large-scale disaster risk reduction and emergency relief, recently shared some dos and don'ts learned from its own experience over the years.

1. Do the groundwork first and foremost. Get the data or number of individuals/families affected, dead, injured/ill, number of houses partially/totally damaged, crop damage, condition of critical facilities and estimated cost of damage. Identify the worst hit, least-served communities. Coordinate with the Department of Social Work and Development and the National Disaster Coordination Council.

2. Identify target and prepare assistance on immediate needs, usually medicine and rescue. Consult with other NGOs so that efforts don't overlap and don't overserve certain communities.

3. In preparing food assistance, try to give the affected families what can cover their basic caloric needs for one week. Avoid giving food stuff that have no caloric value like noodles. A standard package that can sustain a family of five for a week includes: 8 kilos of rice, half a kilo of fish (or dried fish), half a kilo of mongo, 3 cans of sardines or corned beef (or any food containing protein), some salt and sugar and water.

4. The best way to help is still by giving cash donations. Old clothes may help but they are usually not the immediate requirements. Calamity victims have no use for high-heeled shoes or ball gowns.

5. In extending relief to urban poor communities, don't rush into the middle of the community. Go to the community church and enlist the help of the parish priest for the orderly distribution of relief goods.

6. Don't destroy the local economy by flooding the disaster-stricken area with consumer goods that are readily available within the same community. To avoid crowding out businesses from local entrepreneurs and avoid transportation costs, bring from the outside only the goods that local people don't sell.

7. For large-scale purchases of relief goods, bid out the procurement to get the best pricing deal and make more efficient use of scarce resources but do it as swiftly as possible.

8. To ensure transparency and accountability to beneficiaries and to the donors as well, document the disaster response from all stages.

Mike Ditka  - "If God had wanted man to play soccer, he wouldn't have given us arms."

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