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PHILIPPINES: QC hailed as top Manila Bay ‘clean up’ performer



#Quezon City – January 1, 2019 – Philippines – Quezon City has been tagged as the Most Compliant LGU for 2018 in the implementation of the Supreme Court continuing mandamus for the clean-up and preservation of Manila Bay.

It garnered a score of 95.53 percent based on the Regional Inter-Agency Team Assessment conducted in recent months.  The team, composed of representatives from national government agencies involved in the Manila Bay Clean up, Rehabilitation and Preservation Program (MBCRPP) visited the 17 LGUs and reviewed their performance in the outcome indicators in the four clusters set under the Supreme Court mandamus.

Quezon City was followed by Muntinlupa (91.63%), Valenzuela (91.30%), Makati (88.42%), Pasig (87.67%), Las Piñas (86.20%), and Parañaque (86.00%); the seven has been recognized as the highly compliant LGUs for the MBCRP.

Top performers in the four clusters were also recognized. Las Piñas was cited for its accomplishments in the Informal Settler Families (ISF) cluster; Pasig City for the Solid Waste Management (SWM) cluster; Muntinlupa on Information, Education, and Communication campaign and other institutional arrangement (IEC) cluster; and Quezon City for the Liquid Waste Management (LWM) cluster. Makati was also cited as the Most Improved LGU.

All NCR LGUs were able to pass the assessment for 2018. Caloocan, Malabon, Mandaluyong, Marikina, Navotas, Pasay, San Juan, Taguig were also cited for their efforts in rehabilitating Manila Bay and its tributaries.

OIC Regional Director Juan Jovian E. Ingeniero, OIC Assistant Regional Director Gloria C. Aguhar and DILG Central Office Bureau of Local Government Supervision Director Atty. Odilon L. Pasaraba handed the awards to the key officials from the 17 LGUs.  DILG-NCR Field Offices were also given recognition for their steadfast performance in achieving the region’s goals for the MBCRP.

During the ceremony, it was reported that all the LGUs have passed their respective no littering ordinances, while 94 percent have approved Solid Waste Management Plans.  Eighty-two percent (82%) of the LGUs also have approved Local Shelter Plans, while 58 percent have approved Relocation and Resettlement Action Plans.

For 2019, MBCRP will conduct the following activity expected to further strengthen the program’s implementation: National Inter-Agency Committee Validation of LGU Compliance to MBCRP, National Environmental Compliance Audit Validation which will cover performance year 2018, the Manila Bay Database System (MBDS) Data Harmonization and GIS Training of NCR-LGUs, Seminar-Workshop on the Updating of NCR-LGUs’ Ten Year Solid Waste Management Plan and 2019 Assessment of LGU Compliance to the MBCRP.



By Jerome Carlo R. Paunan

Release: Philippines Department of Public Information

Photo by DILG-NCR)

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Caribbean News

WHO Ranks Air Quality, Grenada ranks high others not measured 



By Dana Malcolm 

Staff Writer  



 March 17, 2023 – A new air quality report from IQAir claims only six countries met the World Health Organization’s Guidelines on Air quality in 2022, Australia, Estonia, Finland, Grenada, Iceland and New Zealand but the Northern Caribbean was almost totally excluded from the list.  

There were no results for The Bahamas, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica, Haiti or Cayman. The blame for that though may lie with the countries themselves.  IQAir said there were major gaps in government-operated regulatory instrumentation in many parts of the world. The organization revealed that it was citizens who were picking up the slack. 

“Low-cost air quality monitors sponsored and hosted by citizen scientists, researchers, community advocates, and local organizations, have proven to be a valuable tool to reduce the massive inequalities in air monitoring networks across the world, until sustainable regulatory air quality monitoring networks can be established,” it said.  

It may be time for more Northern Caribbean Governments to look into outfitting their countries with air monitoring devices for the health of their residents. 

The Caribbean countries including Trinidad, Barbados, the US Virgin Islands etc, that did make the list, ranked very low in the pollution index with air quality just outside the WHO standards and much better than most major cities, except Grenada, which ranked in the bottom six which for this list means best in class.  

The WHO measures air quality based on how much fine particulate matter and other basic pollutants are in the air.  

Aidan Farrow, Air Quality Scientist at Greenpeace International said, “Too many people around the world don’t know that they are breathing polluted air.  Air pollution monitors provide hard data that can inspire communities to demand change and hold polluters to account, but when monitoring is patchy or unequal, vulnerable communities can be left with no data to act on.”  

The report is now encouraging citizens to take air pollution into their own hands and not wait for their Governments to attack the issue.  

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Bahamas News

Bacterial outbreak gets worse TCI residents reminded not to use product



Dana Malcolm

Staff writer



#TurksandCaicos, March 17, 2023 – Four eyes have now had to be surgically removed and the number of people who suffered permanent vision loss is up to eight according to the latest update regarding the bacterial outbreak linked to artificial tears from the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) .

The February recall of artificial tears distributed by EzriCare and Delsam Pharma which is in effect for the Turks and Caicos as well, was prompted by the presence of an “extensively, drug-resistant strain” of Pseudomonas aeruginosa in the eyedrops.

The situation has only gotten worse since then.  A March 14 updates from the CDC indicated that 68 patients across the US are now on record suffering from the bacterial infection. The death count remains at one.

TCI health authorities have indicated that residents who have the product present in their homes should call the Environmental Health Department for instructions regarding disposal.  Healthcare providers who have the products in stock should immediately stop giving it to residence and quarantine the product for pick up from the Environmental Health Department. 

The CDC says infection symptoms may include:

Yellow, green, or clear discharge from the eye

Eye pain or discomfort

Redness of the eye or eyelid

Feeling of something in your eye (foreign body sensation)

Increased sensitivity to light

Blurry vision

If you are having any adverse reactions contact your doctor and report any side effects here.

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The Woman who Made Skype & Zoom possible



By Shanieka Smith

Staff Writer



March 16, 2023 – Marian Croak is a visionary, inventor, and developer who has made an immense impact on the world of technology.

Her groundbreaking work on Voice over IP (VOIP) has revolutionized online communication, leading to the development of popular video conferencing software like Zoom and Skype.

She believed “the world is very open to change.”  That mindset has led her to make several world changes, like becoming the second black woman inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame.

Her dedication to creating the future of online technology has earned her recognition as one of the most powerful women in technology.  She continues to inspire young minds in STEM while advocating for gender equality in the industry.

“Marian Croak continues to create the future of online technology,” said co-host of the American Talk Show ‘The View,’ Whoopi Goldberg, as Croak was honored for her incredible work on the first day of Black History Month 2023.

Croak’s unconventional upbringing fueled her curiosity and passion for innovation, leading her to become the Senior Vice President of Research and Development at AT&T and now the Vice President of Engineering at Google.  Her exceptional contributions to technology have earned her over 200 patents, with numerous applications still pending.

Despite her many accolades, Croak remains grounded and focused on her mission to stir change.  She is a strong advocate for diversity and inclusion in tech, recognizing the importance of creating more opportunities for underrepresented groups.

Her commitment to making the world a better place through technology is unwavering, and she continues to inspire future generations with her innovative spirit and dedication to excellence.

The creative pioneer strides forward with her father’s encouragement to keep asking “why” in mind, changing the world one invention at a time.

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