Miyerkules, Oktubre 30, 2013

Campaign: Rehabilitate Bohol, Cebu and Negros Oriental

Help campaign for the rehabilitation of Bohol, Cebu and Negros Oriental, support through your own community the effort to make our legislators pass into the law the creation of the Zamboanga Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Commission!

Please write to your Congressman, Senators and other officials. Let us the show the power of the people for change!

Providing funds for Zamboanga and Bohol-Cebu-Negros restoration takes away some of the money the evil ones are stealing from our national treasury. And let us all watch and guard so that the money for rehabilitation will be well spent!

To address the problem, a bill at the Senate of the Philippines will be passed into law to support in the recovery efforts of the people of Bohol, Cebu and Negros Oriental.

OF THE PHILIPPINES                                                  )
_________ Regular Session                                     )

S.B. No. __________

Introduced by Senator Ferdinand R Marcos Jr




The provinces of Bohol, Cebu and in recent past, Negros Oriental, Philippines suffered massive, extremely dangerous earthquakes. Such disasters left deep, indelible imprints on the national psyche and upon people all over the world thus the incidents demand our undivided attention.
Pursuant to Section 4, Article II of 1987 Philippine Constitution providing, “The prime duty of the Government is to serve and protect the people”, the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010 (RA 10121) was enacted into law. With this, Philippine DRRM Plan 2011-2028 was adopted to ensure that the government shall establish and strengthen capacities of communities to anticipate, cope and recover from the negative impact of emergency occurrences and disasters. The DILG as the Vice Chair for Preparedness of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) issued a Memorandum Circular No. 2012-79 to implement the Seal of Disaster Preparedness. The aimed at recognizing and incentivizing local governance performance in institutionalizing disaster preparedness, and to assess performance gaps, link gaps to policy or program intervention and monitor improvements on disaster preparedness. In the recent Bohol-Cebu calamity, the resulting effects from the earthquake, are as follows:
1.            Fatalities: more than 218 persons dead
2.            Missing: more than 8 persons unaccounted for as this time
3.            In Bohol lone, more than 120,000 persons displaced and evacuated.
4.            Civilians Injured in Bohol province alone : 760
5.         More than seventy nine (79) designated evacuation centers in Bohol-Cebu were filled to the brim with displaced persons.
6.         Loss and damage to property estimated at more or less in the range of 10 billion pesos with a cost of reconstruction reaching up to 20 billion pesos

Thus said, the recent calamity that hit Bohol and Cebu City resulted in enormous loss to the people in terms of structures. Ground shift, water retreat from the affected areas’ sea lines, these are merely some of the effects of the disaster in Bohol, Cebu and continue to be suffered by the population in Negros Oriental that in recent past also suffered a massive earthquake. Infrastructure damage is estimated at not less than fifteen billion Philippine Pesos (PHP15-B) in all three areas of Bohol, Cebu and Negros. These assessments form part of the early findings only on the overall worth of the destruction brought about by the calamity.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) office in Bohol and Cebu area, according to its Officer-in-Charge, Allan Rommel R. Labayog, suffered intense shaking in the PHIVOLCS seismic vault that subsequently damaged the earthquake sensor equipment of PHIVOLCS in the area. This makes PHIVOLCS now handicapped to monitor earthquakes in said area in the immediate future and this, among others, needs to be addressed as soon as possible.

In paragraph 2, Section 23, Article VI of the Philippine Constitution, it is stated that “in times of war or other national emergency, the Congress may, by law, authorize the President, for a limited period and subject to such restrictions as it may prescribe, to exercise powers necessary and proper to carry out a declared national policy. Unless sooner withdrawn by resolution of the Congress, such powers shall cease upon the next adjournment thereof."

In paragraph 2, Section 26 Article VI it states, that “No bill passed by either House shall become a law unless it has passed three readings on separate days, and printed copies thereof in its final form have been distributed to its Members three days before its passage, except when the President certifies to the necessity of its immediate enactment to meet a public calamity or emergency. Upon the last reading of a bill, no amendment thereto shall be allowed, and the vote thereon shall be taken immediately thereafter, and the yeas and nays entered in the Journal.

And in Section 17, Article XII of the Philippine Constitution, it states that. “In times of national emergency, when the public interest so requires, the State may, during the emergency and under reasonable terms prescribed by it, temporarily take over or direct the operation of any privately-owned public utility or business affected with public interest."

This proposed bill seeks to put in place a Bohol-Cebu-Negros Rehabilitation Commission (BCNRC) that will be responsible for developing, formulating and implementing a Bohol-Cebu-Negros Rehabilitation and Development Plan at the quickest and soonest possible time.  In Negros Oriental, a group, Centre Humanes et Societas, Inc. through its network of organizations in the province, has enjoined the forming of a Standing Conference on Negros Oriental Rehabilitation and Development.

The Standing Conference has formulated the comprehensive plan for rehabilitating Negros Oriental in the post-earthquake period and the results of their work will be used in the course of the work of the Commission that is the subject of this Act. This measure emanates from a series of consultations with various stakeholders.  Confident of their noble intentions and breadth of knowledge in the matter involved, the immediate enactment of this proposed measure into law is most fervently enjoined.


The Author: Senator Bongbong Marcos

Campaign: Help in the Passage to Law of Zamboanga Recovery senate bill

OF THE PHILIPPINES                                           )
_________ Regular Session                                  )

S.B. No. __________


Introduced by Senator Grace L. Poe


The country's recent experiences when twin calamities hit Zamboanga City – the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) 20-day Siege of Zamboanga City and the flash floods that hit the City after the hostage-taking and burning of villages were dire experiences that merit national attention.

On September 9, 2013 armed elements staged an attack, on Zamboanga City notwithstanding the presence of the AFP Western Mindanao Command at Barangays Baliwasan, Calarian and the Philippine National Police’ Directorate for Integrated Police Operation-Western Mindanao and the Police Regional Office Region IX, PNP Maritime Group headquarters at Barangay Sta. Barbara.  The MNLF armed band has ties to both the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and Abu Sayyaf.

Severely affected were Barangays Sta. Catalina, Sta. Barbara, Kasanyangan, Mariki and Rio Hondo. This was precluded by the arrest a day earlier, on September 8, 2013 of six (6) Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) by Zamboanga City Public Safety Company at Brgy. Rio-Hondo yielding two cal .45 pistols, ammunition and six sets of camouflage uniforms,

The attack was perpetrated by heavily armed men of MNLF Misuari Faction in military fatigue uniform that landed in Zamboanga City led by Commanders Habier Malik, Ustadz Esmael Dasta, Hadjirin Handji Amin, Bas Arki, Asamin Hussini.  Their primary intention was to actualize their call for jihad vs. the infidel government, capture the City Hall of Zamboanga City and raise the MNLF Flag to highlight the demand of a Bangsamoro homeland. More rebels later landed in Brgy. Mampang and proceeded to Bgy. Sta. Barbara. The MNLF was blocked by security forces resulting in intense gun battle with MNLF taking civilian hostages as human shields. At gunpoint, hostages’ hands were tied and were made to line up at the frontline while the gun battle was raging. The hostages were used to make government forces stop firing.

Armed MNLF rebels held fort in different places in aforementioned Barangays of the City. The MNLF relentlessly engaged government forces in gun battle resulting in several casualties from the sides of both government and rebels as well as among the civilian population and volunteers from outside of Zamboanga. MNLF burned residential houses and commercial buildings, causing damage to infrastructures, loss of valuable property and livelihood. The attack paralyzed, and caused widespread fear and panic among the residents of the, City. Resulting from the Siege, are as follows:

1. More than 120,000 persons displaced and evacuated.
2. More than seventy nine (79) designated evacuation centers in the City were filled to the brim with displaced persons.
3. Loss and damage to property estimated at more or less in the range of billions of pesos (further compounded by the recent coming of flash floods following the 20-day siege)
4. Killed on MNLF side: 183
5. Captured on MNLF side: 292
6. Killed on the government side: 25
7. Wounded on the government side: 184
8. Civilians Killed: 12
9. Civilians Wounded: 70
10. Untold losses to Zamboanga-based and other agencies and private sector business establishments

Following the MNLF attack, an enormous flash flood brought the City to her knees. More major damages were observed resulting from this disaster. Several lives were lost to the enormous floods and among the populace, many suffered injuries. Zamboanga City infrastructure suffered damage in the aftermath of the floods of nearly One Hundred Million Philippine Pesos (PHP100-M). The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) office in Zamboanga City, according to its Officer-in-Charge, Allan Rommel R. Labayog, suffered flooding in the PHIVOLCS seismic vault and damaged the earthquake sensor equipment. These assessment form part of the early findings only on the overall worth of the destruction brought about by the calamity.

This proposed bill seeks to put in place a Zamboanga Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Commission (ZRRC) that will be responsible for developing, formulating and implementing a Zamboanga City Rehabilitation and Development Plan.

This measure emanates from a series of consultations with various stakeholders.  Trusting their conscientious intentions and depth of knowledge in the issues involved, the immediate enactment of this proposed measure into law is earnestly sought.

                                                                                          GRACE L. POE

Campaign: Modernize Phivolcs

Let us all sympathize with the people of Bohol, Cebu and victims of the past earthquake in Negros.

Campaign for the modernization of Phivolcs!

Source: http://www.hazmapping.com

From over 40 casualties, the death toll has risen to nearly 100 in the Carmen, Bohol Province-Cebu City earthquake. At that figure, the Carmen-Cebu tremor can qualify as a Killer Quake. Cebu and nearby areas has to be declared to be in a state of calamity. There are limited manuevers that aircraft can make at the Cebu airport due to the cracking and opening up of the airport's runways.

The six million dollar question is: how many more incidents like those in Carmen, Bohol and Cebu City and the other ones in Leyte, Samar will we be expecting?

Were the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Philvolcs) prepared adequately enough with equipment to monitor ground movement, tectonic plate disturbance, the nearly 100 deaths could have been avoided. 27 Billion Philippine Pesos is earmarked for pork barrel in the 2014 General Appropriations Act out of a total expenditure program of 2.26 Trillion Philippine Pesos. Would it be difficult to allocate even half of that pork barrel budget for emergency preparedness, disaster risk reduction, equipment upgrade?

Past Warnings of Big Disaster

This site has been warning the public for more than four years since the time of the former President, Mrs. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. Due to the total torpedoing of the private sector (Corinthian Gardens, Forbes Park, Dasmarinas Village, the owners of high rise condominiums at the left side of EDSA southbound, among others), of the program for predicting highly lethal effects of a major tremor in Metro Manila and the replication of this effort in many urban areas in the country by the same sector in collusion with some corrupt officials in the government, a large disaster and environmental hazards summit was proposed to be supported by the Philippine Government and the United Nations, among other institutions from many other sectors - including the non-profit (minus the Napoles et al NGOs).

Wanting responses

It is reiterated that in the time of Mrs. Arroyo, only the then Administrator of the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA), Ms. Elaine Bautista, now Mrs. Horn, had the small effort to make an email message to the proponents of the 2010 Disaster and Environmental Hazards Mapping Summit. And that was only because the United Nations Environment Programm (UNEP)  told the former Ms. Bautista to get in touch with HMES 2010 organizing group. At the time, concurrent to her post in MARINA, Ms. Bautista was considered a friend of UNEP and a significant point person for the Philippine Government in relation to selected UNEP concerns - particularly about emergency and assistance.

When Mr. Benigno Simeon Cojuangco Aquino 3rd became President, the organizing group wrote to Ms. Corazon Juliano Soliman of the Department of Social Welfare and Development and Gen. Voltaire Tuvera Gazmin. Ms. Soliman did not respond. It was noticed however that several days later, Gen. Gazmin, the Secretary of the Department of National Defense gave an interview to national media.

In that interview, when Gazmin was asked about what the people should do when a disaster strikes, he replied: "Run for your lives."

Carrying the barest minimum luggage in their bodies, the poor, helpless people in above photos must have taken advice similar to that of Gen. Voltaire Gazmin's to leave and forget belongings elsewhere and to "run for your lives."

It will appear that the kind of response the government has given is exceedingly wanting in substance. It is hoped however that as a grandfather and parent, Gazmin to no fault of his own was merely showing his personal concern for the safety of the life of the average citizen. He was probably very well-meaning and was admonishing the people not to bring their television sets, beds, furniture, cash safety vaults, washing machines, cabinets, sofa, stoves with their fuel gas tanks, desk-stand-ceiling fans, air conditioners, desktop computers and refrigerators outside of their homes and instead to proceed to a more safe location and be saved in time of major catastrophe.

The head of the Philvolcs, Dr. Renato Solidum absolutely cannot be faulted and is blameless. For decades, had been ready to accept the support for equipment upgrade and modernization. Despite the billions of funds allocated to the departments of the government, the great oversight of perpetually forgetting to take care of the Philvolcs modernization programme has consistently been committed by this government.

Despite the billions lost for the personal enrichment of selected persons in our public sector and their intimate partners in very enterprising undertakings in the private sector, no one has shown keen interest in allowing the Philvolcs to finally get hold of the adequate funding for acquisition of hardware and software that will highly increase its forecasting accuracy and its earthquake trending studies and research on the major faults all over the country. Click here for more.