Thursday, July 10, 2008

Longest Grill Record in the Guinness Book of World Records

By Celeste Anna R. Formoso

The Palawan Economic and Development Council (PEDCO) assured that its next attempt to break the longest grill record in the Guinness Book of World Records will be well planned and coordinated.

From last June 23's cancelled attempt, the PEDCO is meeting in the following days, according to Board member Cipriano D.C. Barroma, to discuss several changes that would make the second try successful.

The PEDCO executive director said some of the changes that will be discussed are when the longest seafood grill would be held, a possible new venue, time of day for it to be held – all suggestions they received from concerned individuals and organizations.

So far, there is no tentative schedule yet for the said activity.

Barroma also disclosed that they have been in touch with the management of Guinness and were told that there is no more need for the PEDCO to apply again for the attempt.

The PEDCO is confident that the first failed attempt is not a hindrance for the people of the province to come and support the second try.

Barroma added that in fact, many groups that did not join on June 23 have now expressed intentions to sign up for the second try.

"Right now, there are more groups that have expressed interests to join unmindful of what happened last June 23. We are happy that they are supportive," he said.

He said that any support from the city and provincial governments will also be greatly appreciated by the PEDCO.

"We will appreciate any help from the city and province because of course, they are part of this. If we break record in Guinness, it will be the pride of all Palawe├▒os," he stated. - Philippine News Agency

Illegal Loggers in Mindanao Arrested

The relentless campaign of Police Regional Office 13 (PRO 13) against illegal logging operation in Northeastern Mindanao (Caraga region) has prompted the arrest of five timber poachers who attempted to slip out their illegally-cut lumber in a seacraft off Ipil, Barangay Agsam, Lanuza, Surigao del Sur, it was learned on Tuesday.

The PRO 13 under the leadership of Chief Supt. Jaime E. Milla is currently extending assistance to Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) anti-illegal logging operation drive at various areas in the region.

Earlier, the DENR also seized 128 illegally-cut round logs in Bislig City.

The Bunawan Communist Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) and Talacogon CENRO also separately seized 300 pieces of illegally-cut logs and 150 pieces of round logs, respectively, in their campaign against timber poaching.

Bunawan CENR Officer Eutiquio Bade, Jr. and Talacogon CENR Officer Jovencio Munoz told Caraga region DENR Officer-In-Charge Director Edilberto S. Buiser and Agusan del Sur Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer Sixto C. Badua that the seized illegally-cut logs were already brought to their designated depository areas for public bidding by the Natural Resources and Development Corp. (NRDC), marketing arm of the DENR.

Milla said the suspected five illegal loggers are still under custodial investigation by the Lanuza Municipal Police Station before turning over to DENR for filing of appropriate charges in court. - Philippine News Agency

Philippine Economic Policies Should Be Reviewed

By Leonard Acosta
Philippine News Agency

An economic adviser of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on Tuesday called for a review of the administration's economic policies amid the emerging global economic conditions that have made social re-balancing a most urgent and critical national issue.

Albay Governor Joey Sarte Salceda, one of the President's advisers, said he is strongly recommending that a review be made on the present policies that would help the country's economic managers draw appropriate new solutions and approaches.

He said the present economic policies do not stream thru the technocracy and bureaucracy, because these policies are not reflective in the budget, noting that "offhand, at the minimum, the country's budget does not reflect that."

He said to correct and review the country's current economic policies, there is a need for more state interventions on behalf of the poor. "Markets have miserably failed to lift the poor with the 5.3 percent Gross Domestic Product (GDP) versus job loss of 178,000 in the first quarter of this year," Salceda explained.

While the administration spends P156 billion for capital outlay for growth, the investment does not give direct subsidies to the poor, according to Salceda.

The current population policy is simply indefensible in the face of resource depletion. The country is now facing a population problem with 88.6 million people versus low natural resources and government resources in terms of education, social and health services, he explained.

The governor stressed that the interplay of climate change, food security and energy independence will require new formulation of eco-strategic mix.

He said the funding of new investments without compromising the Medium Term Philippine Development Plan (MTPDP) would also require a review of the "balance budget" doctrine as the borrowing mix is a key economic decision of the Department of Finance (DOF) and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

Salceda also cited economic indicators that need to be corrected, such as: the 4 percent decline in real capita income of Filipinos; the increase of 477,000 poor households; the deterioration in poverty incidence from 24 percent to 27.4 percent; the fall in household share of national income from 54 percent to 46 percent or P454 billion in peso terms aggravated by 178,000 job losses despite the 32-percent increase in nominal Gross National Product (GNP).

Iloilo Hits By Diarrhea

Iloilo Provincial Health Officer (IPHO) Dr. Patricia Grace Trabado said that she has sent her staff to the town of Mina in Iloilo's third district to revalidate the 500 cases of diarrhea that was almost half of their reported 1,027 cases in the province.

Trabado said that there could possibly be double reporting of cases that is why there was a high incidence of diarrhea monitored from June 22-July 3, just after typhoon Frank hit the province.

The IPHO officer likewise said that other cases they have monitored in the province are cough without fever, 3,120; cough with fever, 2,857; dermatitis, 1,791; conjunctivitis, 90; and injuries, 4,067.

She added that luckily Iloilo province has no reported death on these diseases. - Philippine News Agency

Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Philvolcs) Hits Zambo Poor Drill Performance

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Philvolcs) has denounced the failure of local school administrators to realize the importance of earthquake drills to prepare teachers and students for such emergencies.

Philvocs Regional Officer in-Charge Allan Rommel Labayog said that only one school, Pilar Colleges, participated during the nationwide earthquake drill recently.

Labayog said that although there are 50 schools in this city that were all supposed to participate in the drill, only one private school complied with the mandated quake drill.

Last year, only three schools participated in the drill.

This simultaneous Nationwide Earthquake Drill is in line with the celebration of the National Disaster Consciousness Month which started last July 1 with the theme "Pag alerto, malayo sa peligro."

Labayog said that in the case of Pilar College run by the religious sisters, the drill went well but he noted some lapses, like the alarm system of the school is not functioning well.

During fire drill, the students are supposed to rush out of the buildings following indicated passageways, but in the case of an earthquake drill, the students and teachers are supposed to take cover inside the classrooms and will rush out only after the tremor has subsided.

He explained that this earthquake drill is important so that students will know what to do in case of earthquakes.

He explained that the city is prone to tsunami and earthquakes because of the presence of the Sulu trench and the Cotabato trench.

It will be noted that some city buildings suffered cracks in the August 16, 1976 earthquake whose epicenter was somewhere in Cotabato City. - PNA

Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) Recovered in Zamboanga

The Zamboanga City Police Office (ZCPO) has subjected to an examination the improvised explosive devices (IED) that were separately recovered last week to determine the bombers' identities.

ZCPO director Senior Supt. Lurimer Detran said they have requested the Police Crime Laboratory to determine the "signature" of the bombs to be able to identify the groups behind the two bombing attempts.

"We are still waiting for the results of the examination. Once the tests will be completed, we will be able, hopefully, to determine who planted the bombs," Detran said.

Three IEDs were recovered last week within 24 hours in separate locations in this city.

Two of the IEDs consisting of explosive powder pack in two one-liter-size bottles of soft drinks with blasting caps and fuse were recovered last Friday aboard a cargo truck in Barangay Mercedes.

The third one that consisted of explosive powder packed in an 800-gram milk tin can with electronic components and cellular telephone triggered was recovered last Saturday in a store across the Zamboanga City Electric Cooperative's main gate in Barangay Putik.

Detran said that they are investigating while waiting the Police Crime Laboratory test results.

Last May 29, two persons were killed while 21 others were injured when a powerful bomb exploded outside the Col. Edwin Andrews Air Base (EAAB) that houses the 3rd Air Division headquarters in this city.

Both the police and military have tagged two members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front-Special Operations Group (MILF-SOG) as the culprits in the bombing. - Philippine News Agency