Aug 26, 2009

Plane Swerves Off Runway in Manila - GMA News


A 32-seater passenger plane on Sunday noon met a “slight incident" after its normal landing at the Manila Domestic Terminal, an airline official said.

Avelino Zapanta, president of Southeast Asian Airlines (SEAIR), said their Dornier 328 Flight DGO24 from Caticlan encountered wind shear at about 12:30 p.m. upon landing at the airport.

“We had a slight incident. Flight DGO24 was taxiing when it encountered cross wind shear that caused the aircraft to veer off the runway," he told GMANews.TV.

No one was hurt as the passengers were all off the terminal when the incident occurred, he said.

Zapanta said he does not see the incident to affect SEAIR’s business.

“It (wind shear) is a natural phenomenon. There was wind crossing. The aircraft is ok," he said.

Also known as wind gradient, a wind shear affects air speed during landing and taking off.

Last July, SEAIR’s Dornier 328 had a flat tire while taxiing to the Caticlan ramp after a smooth landing.

While Caticlan airport authorities said it was a minor incident, the facility was temporarily closed down while SEAIR technicians replaced the aircraft’s tires.

SEAIR flies to Boracay direct via Caticlan. - Ruby Anne Rubio, GMANews.TV
08/23/2009 | 08:18 PM

  • Twin Rock Resort - Twin Rock is apparently the most advertised and photographed resort in the island.
  • Amenia Beach Resort - Reeling with the textures of sun, sea, and sand, one can easily lose oneself and be drifted away while leisurely walking along the stretch of its powdery-white sands and dabbling in its undeniably tamed waters.
  • Skimboarding in Catanduanes - Skimboarding is fast becoming the most popular water and outdoor sports in the Philippines today.

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Aug 22, 2009

“Rotatree”: Our Mangrove Planting Project - CT


The Rotary Club of Virac, R.I. District 3820, launched the “Rotatree”: Mangrove Planting Project last 02 August 2009 at Barangay Guinobatan, Bato, Catanduanes. The launching was marked by the planting of more than 1,000 mangrove propagules, made possible by an agreement between RC Virac President Atty. Al Aquino and Guinobatan barangay captain and SB member Gabriel T. Tejerero.

The planting was participated by FICELCO; Philippine Coast Guard (PCGA) 905th Squadron; Kabalibat Civicom 955 Catanduanes Chapter, and Master of Arts in Teaching Biology (MATBio) Students of the CSC Graduate School, as partner organizations. This activity is in line with the 6-Nationwide Projects of the ten (10) Rotary Districts, R.I., Philippines, this Rotary Year 2009-2010. RC Virac recognized the project as essential in the campaign against the ill-effects of Climate Change.

Why did we choose Barangay Guinobatan for this project? Guinobatan is one of the barangays along the chain of estuaries of the Cabugao Bay area, interlinked by Batalay, Bato and Antipolo Rivers. Figuring importantly in these river systems is Bato. Last April, this year, a tanguigue weighing about 16 kilograms was caught by farmers in the vicinity of the damaged bridge with about 2 kilograms of roe (egg) in its belly, about to be spawned. Again, 3 weeks ago a malaguimango estimated to weigh about 10 kilograms was almost got caught.

These are not mere coincidences. The river is a breeding ground for marine fish species from the Pacific. There is moral obligation to preserve these resources. We cannot exactly quantify the outcome of the undertaking, but we believe that the small steps that we do will contribute not only in promoting awareness but also draw interest from other people to join the campaign, and above all remind every individual of this noble duty - as champion of all creations.

We would like to take this opportunity to mention that other activities of the same nature are also going on. Last July 12, 2009 the PCGA 905th Squadron planted 500 mangrove propagules in San Andres, Bato, Catanduanes, adjacent to the Guinobatan site, participated by the SK Chairman and her members, DOST staff and MATbio Students CSC Graduate School, supervised by the Philippine Coast Guard, Virac.

Last July 14, 2009, another 2,000 mangrove propagules were also planted at Palnab del Sur, Virac by the partnership of LGU Virac, Barangay Council of Palnab del Sur and PCGA 905th Squadron. Another planting was also done on July 19, 2009 involving another 7,000 propagules at Magnesia. May this trend go on and we invite you guys to do the same and have your share in helping improve our coastal environment.

Mangrove is one of the important components of the aquatic ecosystem that performs many important functions. It serves to detoxify polluted waters, particularly the estuaries that almost always are the reservoir of ecologically degrading substances specifically phosphorous and nitrogen. Nitrogen in the structure of nitrates is formed from agricultural residues, while phosphorous is accumulated due to continuous erosions. The latter is quite stable, thus, every time erosion occurs associated with flooding, much more is accumulated into the estuaries. Mangroves nonetheless are capable of making use of these substances as fertilizer. This is why mangroves are among the aquatic tree species that are always luxuriant and healthy. Another good feature, the highly specialized root system of mangroves that strongly anchors the plant and holds the soil bed firmly in place, also serves as an important feeding ground and breeding place of fishes that make up the food chain. It is unfortunate though that because of its high combustibility (high BTU) mangrove gathering for firewood is rampant. More initiatives are therefore necessary, especially at the LGU level, to stop mangrove cutting.

Meanwhile, in planting mangroves under Catanduanes conditions, a higher percentage of survival is achieved if we drill a hole, using crow bar or wooden picket, and stick the propagule by about 50% to 70% percent (posterior end) at vertical or acute position, into the mud. This way we ensure a good hold for the propagule. Otherwise this will be easily uprooted by the tidal waters.

By Rotarians Jaime V. Cabrera and Edwin Tatel
August 19,2009
Source: Catanduanes Tribune

  • The Fall of the Maya: "They Did It to Themselves - For 1200 years, the Maya dominated Central America. At their peak around 900 A.D., Maya cities teemed with more than 2,000 people per square mile -- comparable to modern Los Angeles County.
  • Saving our Mangroves for Future Generations - It is heartwarming to learn that a handful of private organizations and local government units have taken it upon themselves to augment the national government’s woeful effort in preserving and protecting mangroves in this island paradise.
  • Visiting the Bakhawan Eco-Park - The Bakhawan Ecopark, a multi-awarded reforestation project, attracts tourists from different places. But after typhoon Frank hit the Philippines, the ecopark was damaged and now needs rehabilitation.

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Aug 20, 2009

Ammonite Fossils Found


There may be fossils of marine monsters in the Silungan ning Higante site north of Dugui Too in Virac.

Last April 5-7, three staffers of the National Museum – museum curators Roberto de Ocampo and Priscila Ong, and budget officer and ISLA composer Jerry Tabirao – joined Oseas Alberto, her sister Marilyn and five guides in a grueling, eight-hour trek to the site to verify the fossil find reported last year by Mr. Alberto.

A proper expedition to the site would need funding, something which the Museum does not have. Probably, foreign scientists could take a look at the site in the near future.

Source: Catanduanes Tribune - 22 April 2009


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Aug 19, 2009

Bicol Bishops All Out vs Coal Mine Project - CBCP


MANILA, August 18, 2009— Roman Catholic bishops in Bicol region are all out against the planned coal mining project in the region alleging that it would destroy ecology.

Despite strong opposition from church leaders and residents of Catanduanes province to Monte Oro Resources and Energy Inc., the mine still obtained green light from the Department of Energy.

Sorsogon Bishop Arturo Bastes said mining has “ripped apart” the ecological, cultural and social fabric of many communities in Bicol where there’s mining.

He criticized the government for adhering to business interests over the welfare of the people who suffer much from the “ill effects” mining operations.

“Once you engage in mining, you scratch the land and it only destroys the land… there is nowhere to go but (destruction),” Bishop Bastes said.

The church leader made the statement on Tuesday after Virac Bishop Manolo De Los Santos vowed that the church will block the coal mining project in Catanduanes.

Bishop Bastes said all church leaders in Bicol region are ready to extend help to Bishop De Los Santos in stopping the project.

“We are in full support of him… not only me but all of us bishops here in Bicol because mining does not help the community but destroys it,” he said.

The Catholic hierarchy has been calling on the Arroyo administration to cancel mining concessions in the country, warning of environmental damage and the loss of resources to mining companies.

The island of Bicol is gifted with over 1.2 million metric tons of high-quality coal deposits within an 7, 000-hectare land area which the government has allowed to be mined.

When converted to cold cash based on the prevailing world market price, this volume is worth a whopping P6.2 billion.

The Catanduanes coal district covers over some 14 upland villages within Panganiban, San Andres and Caramoran that sit at the heart of the 1, 511 square-kilometer island.

Coal is the world’s leading source of electricity today. However, experts said, it is also responsible for about 70 percent of world carbon emission causing global warming. (Roy Lagarde)

Source: CBCP News


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Aug 7, 2009

Top 10 June 2009 Nursing


The Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) has released the Nursing board exam results as it announced that 32,617 out of 77,901 examinees passed the June 6 to 7, 2009 licensure exams given by the Board for Nursing in Manila and all regional offices.
  1. Golda Manto Yap, Felipe Verallo Memorial Foundation - 86.80%.
  2. Ronie Rose Capati Arevalo, Adamson University - 86.40%.
  3. Michelle Alejandro Barberan, Arellano University Manila - 86.20%.
  4. Caroline May Rellosa Chamen, Philippine College of Health and Sciences - 86.00% Clarissa Leonor Tible Escober, Naga College Foundation - 86.00%
  5. Marco Magtulis Dometita, University of Santo Tomas - 85.80% Margaret Cheung Encarnacion, University of Santo Tomas - 85.80% Marc Bago-Od Marzan, University of Santo Tomas - 85.80% Lalaine Lim Perlas, Our Lady of Fatima University Valenzuela - 85.80% Debbie Rose Uy Tanengsy, Velez College - 85.80%
  6. Lisa Angelica Vela Evangelista, University of Santo Tomas - 85.60%
  7. Adrian Patrick Patawaran Calimag, University of Santo Tomas - 85.20% Jed Asiaii Mariano Dimaisip, University of the Philippines-Manila - 85.20% Aaron Miranda Esporlas, University of Santo Tomas - 85.20%
  8. Mary Joy Sarreal Crisostomo, University of Santo Tomas - 85.00% David John Gabriel Egbalic Cristobal, University of Santo Tomas - 85.00% Libby Joy Recinto Evangelista, University of Santo Tomas - 85.00% Ma Paula Rhove Rivera Ortega, University of the Philippines-Manila - 85.00% Andrew Chua Tiu, Velez College - 85.00% Ginelle Marie Galarpe Visaya, University of Santo Tomas - 85.00%
  9. Helene Marie Mejorada Calderon, University of Santo Tomas - 84.80% Abigail Ann Borromeo Candelario, University of Santo Tomas - 84.80% Jan Benzon Tan Chan, University of Santo Tomas - 84.80% Anna Melissa Señga Lo, University of Santo Tomas - 84.80% Jernedell Geishar Tabugara Mabiling, Western Mindanao State University - 84.80% Von Vener Palicpic Miguel, Perpetual Help College of Manila - 84.80% Johanna Thomas Yu, University of Santo Tomas - 84.80%
  10. Angela Carmela Fernandez Agbay, University of Santo Tomas - 84.60% Pheelyp Edward Cruz Aytona, University of Santo Tomas - 84.60% Julienne Katrina Bulaon Beltran, University of Santo Tomas - 84.60% Maria Rosario Angala Brillante, University of Santo Tomas - 84.60% Jasper Quintana Castillo, University of Santo Tomas - 84.60% Diane Rachelle Cruz Crisostomo, Centro Escolar University-Malolos - 84.60% Jose Mari Niño Leonor Cuarto, University of Santo Tomas - 84.60% Salvador Isidro Buban Destura, Immaculate Conception College-Albay - 84.60% Abigail Joanna Uy Doluntap, University of Santo Tomas - 84.60% Rove Ann Tonolete Enguerra, Trinity University of Asia (Trinity-QC) - 84.60% Jana Flores Fragante, University of Santo Tomas - 84.60% Jan Igor Temple Galinato, Mindanao State University-Marawi City - 84.60% Divina Viktoria Pobre La Torre, University of Santo Tomas - 84.60% Vanessarose Delavin Lim, Far Eastern University-Manila - 84.60% Rachel Rañola Milante, University of Santo Tomas - 84.60% Loraine Ab-Abaen Payangdo, Benguet State University-La Trinidad - 84.60% Kristine Arcilla Ramos, Catanduanes State Colleges-Virac - 84.60% Robert Joe Isip Sagum, Far Eastern University-Manila - 84.60% Ingrid Buela San Juan, University of the Philippines-Manila - 84.60% Christelle Miracle-An Quizon Santiago, University of Santo Tomas - 84.60% Jian Laurice Ramos Sicat, Angeles University Foundation - 84.60% Miriem Paulle Beltran Soriano, Saint Louis University - 84.60% Teddy Jr Chan Untalasco, Lorma College - 84.60%
  • Top 10 November 2009 Midwifery - CSC's Jonna May Aquino Quintal makes it to top 7
  • CSC Enrolment Up by 3.36 - A 3.36 percent net increase in enrolment was posted by the Catanduanes State Colleges tertiary level this first semester of school year 2009-2010.
  • CNHS Student Wins Award in Int'l Earth Science Olympiad - The student of the Catanduanes State Colleges who was one of the top four students in the national qualifying exam held last August has won an award at the 3rd International Earth Science Olympiad (IESO) in Taipei, Taiwan recently.

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Aug 1, 2009

Virac to Borrow P75 Million for Sanitary Landfill Project - CT


The administration of Mayor Santos "Doc" Zafe has asked the Sangguniang Bayan of Virac for authority to negotiate with financing institutions a P75-million loan for the proposed conversion of the existing Casoocan dumpsite into a sanitary landfill.

The resolution, sponsored by Councilor Eulogio Talaran, Jr., underwent first reading during the regular session of the municipal council last July 20 and was immediately referred to several committees. The loan proposal is based on the recommendations of Woodfields Consultant, Inc., which was reportedly paid P1.5 million for the 114-page study submitted to the municipality just this month.

The project seeks to establish an Integrated Solid Waste Management Facility at the 2.19-hectare controlled dumpsite at Casoocan 10 kilometers from the poblacion. The dumpsite, the consultant claimed, lacks the technical engineering soundness required for a proper disposal facility and poses health hazards due to exposed wastes and unmitigated generation of leachate.

According to the feasibility study, the 70 cubic meters per day (19.68 tons per day) of garbage generated by the municipality needs to be disposed in an engineered sanitary landfill that would include a materials recovery facility, leachate collection liner system, leachate treatment ponts, gas management system, face method landfilling system, soil covering and landfill closure plan in accordance with Republic Act 9003 or the Solid Waste Management Act. Only 9,000 square meters of the site would be used as landfill cells.

Nearby towns of San Andres and Bato may opt to discard their refuse at the Virac landfill, which could provide some social and financial benefits to the capital town, Woodfields stressed.

The existing solid waste management operation in Virac is currently undertaken by the municipal engineering office through street sweeping, garbage collection and disposal using two dumptrucks and three compactors, most of which have been junked. The administration recently bought a small flatbed cargo forward truck for about P700,000 from a Manila supplier.

Of the municipality’s 63 barangays, the study emphasized, only one – barangay Concepcion – operates its own Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) and a small composting facility. There is no solid waste segregation at source, with the solid waste management ordinance largely unimplemented.

The proposed landfill, the study claimed, will bring social and economic benefits, through job opportunities during construction and eventual operation, as well as income to be generated from garbage disposal by other towns.

Woodfields said that the project will actually cost P83,150,000.00, with the municipality providing an equity of P8.15 million for the land and Organization & Management cost. Of the P75 million to be borrowed from a government bank, P66.685 million would be spent for land development, actual construction and equipment while P8.315 million would be allocated as follows: P5 million for Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and Detailed Design, and P3.315 million for Contingency.

The proposed loan will bear an interest of 9.5% per annum with a three-year grace period, varying yearly amortization and equal principal payments for five years. Based on the schedule, the municipality would have to pay P7.125 million annually for three years, followed by decreasing payments ranging from P22.125 million to P16.425 million for the next five years.

Woodfields estimates that the project will earn an average net income of P27,107,000 from the initial tipping fee of P3,600 per ton from the first year, with the net cash flow increasing 384 times from P237,000.00 on the first year to P90,881,000.00 on the 8th year.

The tipping fee, which is a fee to be paid by those who will dispose of garbage in the landfill, will have to be shared by commercial and industrial establishments and households in Virac. The municipalities of Bato and San Andres, according to the study, will be charged with the same tipping fee based on the volume of garbage delivered at the landfill.

Based on Woodfields’ calculation, Bato will have to cough up P10,800 per day or P324,000 a month for the three (3) tons per day garbage volume while San Andres will pay P18,000 per day or P540,000 a month for the same service.

The consultant recommended to the municipal government that the incoming waste of potential clients – the towns of Bato and San Andres – would be assured for garbage disposal, a memorandum of agreement should be prepared for each LGU to ascertain the minimum guaranteed volume of delivered garbage for the project’s sustainability.

It also urged that appropriate site surveys be done during the detailed engineering design and EIA stages and the Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) be secured. "To ensure that the project is locally acceptable, a Sangguniang Bayan resolution and barangay resolution showing the approval and acceptance of the project should be prepared," Woodfields said.

  • Virac Landfill Study Flawed Critics Say - The P1.5-million feasibility study made by Woodfields Consultant, Inc. is so riddled with flaws and wrong assumptions that the Virac municipal government should seriously reconsider its decision to secure a P75-million loan for a sanitary landfill as recommended by the consultant.
  • Outside Catanduanes: SP Bans Sale, Transport of Abaca Suckers for Five Years - The Sangguniang Panlalawigan has approved an ordinance banning the sale and transport of abaca suckers outside the province of Catanduanes for five years in a bid to safeguard the abaca industry here.
  • CSC Cited Bicol's Eco-Friendliest School - The Catanduanes State Colleges (CSC) here notched the top place in this year's Search for Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Schools in the Bicol region for carrying out various institutional initiatives on environmental protection and conservation.

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Disclaimer: The information in this weblog is provided “AS IS” with no warranties, and confers no rights. This weblog does not represent the thoughts, intentions, plans or strategies of the towns in southern Catanduanes, Philippines. It is solely my opinion. Feel free to challenge me, disagree with me, or tell me I’m completely nuts in the comments section of each blog entry, but I reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason whatsoever (abusive, profane, rude, or anonymous comments) – so keep it polite, please.

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