Tag Archives: tragedy

Bill filed to protect PH journalists

A PHILIPPINE lawmaker on Tuesday said he has filed a measure declaring November 23 of every year as the “National Day Against Impunity” in order to serve as a constant reminder to all segment of society of the horrors of the Maguindanao massacre.
Rep. Terry Ridon (Party List, YOUTH) said House Bill 4753 is an expression of the government’s commitment to prosecute the perpetrators of violence against activists, journalists and freedom fighters.
Ridon said the Filipino people should remember those who have been persecuted for exercising their right to freedom of speech and freedom of expression.

Is Metro Manila ready for a massive quake?

“IS Metro Manila ready for a massive earthquake?”
Senator Bam Aquino has filed a resolution seeking to assess the capacity and preparedness of different stakeholders in case a massive earthquake hits the country.
Sen. Bam Aquino’s move stemmed from the recent massive magnitude 7.8 earthquake in Nepal that killed more than 8,000 people and the magnitude 7.2 tremor that shook Bohol and Cebu in 2013 that killed more than 200 people.

Pinoy actor to lead youth during tragedies

SPEAKER Feliciano Belmonte, Jr. on Monday led lawmakers in signing a manifesto endorsing the enactment into law of a proposal to institutionalize youth inclusion in Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Councils (DRRMCs), especially in the aftermath of recent tragedies, among them the Nepal earthquake, Kentex factory fire in Valenzuela City and super typhoon Yolanda.
Belmonte signed the manifesto on Tuesday endorsing the measure during a courtesy call of officials and staff of the National Youth Commission (NYC) headed by National Youth Commission (NYC) Chairman Gio Tiongson, Assistant Secretary and NYC Commissioner-at Large actor Jose Sixto “Dingdong” Dantes III and Commissioners Jose Rafael Cruz and Jo Jan Paul Penol, and youth leaders from Tanay Mountaineers, Yes Pinoy Foundation, Filipino Liberal Youth, Kabataan Liberal, Akbayan Youth and Kabataan Party.

Philippines moves vs deadly fires

THE government wants a stronger cooperation between the labor department, the Bureau of Fire Protection and local government units to ensure that labor laws are observed in the country to avoid a repeat of the deadly accident that killed many laborers in Valenzuela City, a Philippine official said on Saturday.
The European Union and the International Labor Organization raised concern over the labor conditions in the country.
In a radio interview Saturday over dzRB-People’s Radio, Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said she also saw the EU and ILO reports which were based on the recent fire incident involving a footwear factory in Valenzuela.
In the ongoing investigation of the Department of Labor and Employment, Valte said a number of violations by the factory owner started to surface.

PH senator: Criminalize fire code violations!

AMID public outrage over the fire that killed 72 factory workers in Valenzuela City Wednesday, Philippine Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago on Friday said she is pushing for the approval of a bill that would make building owners criminally liable for failure to comply with fire safety laws.
Santiago, a multi-awarded trial court judge, filed Senate Bill No. 2530 in December 2014. The bill seeks to hold owners or lessors of residential or commercial building responsible for death, injury, and/or loss of property resulting from fire.
“Disasters such as the one in Valenzuela are unacceptable when we have laws that are supposed to minimize fire hazards and rule out fire traps. The only explanation is that these laws are not feared. We should give them more teeth,” the senator said.

Death of 72 workers saddens PH

THE Philippine government is saddened by the loss of at least 72 lives in a factory fire in Valenzuela City on Wednesday, vowing to continue strict inspections of manufacturing companies to protect workers.
“We are saddened by the fire that gutted a factory in Valenzuela City yesterday that resulted in the death of many workers,” Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. said in a statement issued on Thursday.
Secretary Coloma said they have been informed by Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz that, based on Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) records, Kentex, the firm involved in the fire, was assessed to have been compliant with occupational safety requirements as of September 2014.

2 Filipino seamen disappear; probe sought

A Philippine lawmaker on Monday urged Congress to conduct an investigation into the reported disappearance of two Filipino seamen in the Baltic Sea in early December last year.
Rep. Gwendolyn Garcia, (3rd District, Cebu city) introduced House Resolution No. 708, directing and urging the appropriate House committee to conduct a probe in aid of legislation to further shed light on the incident leading to the disappearance of cousins Harlan C. Layosa and Gleemar G. Sapanta of Cebu.
Garcia said Layosa and Sapanta, both employed as crew members of the MV Marietje Andrea, a cargo vessel owned by Danser Van Gent Shipping Company of the Netherlands, were reported missing at sea since December 5, 2013.
On that ill-fated day, the MV Mariete Andrea sailed from Halsvik, Norway to Riga, Latvia through the Baltic Sea, where the said cargo vessel was spotted near the coast of Trelleborg, Sweden.
The lady lawmakers said Layosa and Sapanta were supposedly on the cargo vessel’s deck at 0800H (8 AM) for cleaning duty.
The two men started cleaning the deck at 8:00 AM and after 15 minutes, Chief Officer Richard Orsel who was on duty heard a scream. He then saw the men floating in the water and screaming for help. He immediately threw a life buoy in order to save them.
The search and rescue operations team for the two Cebuano seamen were conducted by the Swedish Coast guard, aided by the vessels M.V Mariete Andrea and M.V Delfborg; three helicopters with infrared and thermal imaging cameras, two planes and two rescue crafts for almost 8 hours.
Only the MOB buoy was found. The search and rescue operations team ceased its rescue efforts after dark as the chance of finding the crew members alive had become very slim.
At the time of the incident, it was reported that the water temperature in Baltic Sea was 6 degrees Celsius and the possibility of the two being able to survive was unlikely.
Garcia believes that this matter should not just be relegated to the memory of the family members left behind by the two seamen and those directly involved in the incident. This initiative by Cong. Gwen is supported by solons who also want to know what really happened so as the truth shall prevail and justice will be served.
“Although we could not possibly restore the lives of the seamen, nor undo the unfortunate fate that befell them, we could at least provide some answers, clear out uncertainties, and hold accountable those that should be. These measures will at least give the victims’ families some form of alleviation from the grief that they had to go through from the mysterious disappearance of their loved ones.”
Until this day, there is still no clear explanation as to how the two seamen fell off the ship.

Philippines to exhume bodies for identification

THE Philippine government on Saturday agreed to the setting up of temporary mass grave sites for unidentified fatalities from killer typhoon “Yolanda” (Haiyan) that slammed into the country on November 8.

Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said the temporary burial sites will allow unrecognized bodies in Tacloban City to be exhumed for identification purposes.

Valte said this will be done once forensic teams from the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) in Manila return to process them for identification.

Quake continues to jolt Philippines

A magnitude 3.1 earthquake has again jolted the province of Bohol in Central Philippines on Friday before noon, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) announced.

In its bulletin, the agency said the tremor occurred at 11:45 a.m. with its epicenter traced 71 kilometers northeast of the capital city of Tagbilaran.

Intensity 3, on the other hand, was recorded in the cities of Mandaue and Cebu, while Lapu-Lapu City felt the quake at Intensity 2.

Phivolcs described an Intensity 3 earthquake as weak, but it is felt by many people indoors, especially those in upper floors of buildings.

1,4000 cadavers in Philippines still unburried

THE local government of Tacloban City on Monday reported that it has bought a 6,000-square meter lot as grave site for still unburried 1,400 corpses after killer typhoon “Yolanda” (Haiyan) battered some parts of Central Philippines on November 8.

According to Ben Cal of the Philippines News Agency (PNA), Tacloban City Councilor Jerry Uy relayed this information to him in a phone interview.

Cal said Uy told him that the unburied bodies have caused anxiety among the residents as millions of flies have invaded the city, feasting on bodies wrapped in cadaver bags. “They also complained of foul odor which was bothering them even while they were sleeping,” Uy told Cal.

The corpses have remained unburied as the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has not yet finished identifying the bodies as requested by surviving relatives.

But the city government has already bought a burial site in Barangay Basper, some 10 kilometers north of the city.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) headed by executive director Eduardo del Rosario has already recorded 6,155 deaths with 1,179 still missing.

The deadliest typhoon also left 4.4 people homes after it slammed into Central Philippines and battered Regions 6, 7 and 8. Tacloban City was the worst hit.