#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)
Update:Thousands feared dead in North Africa
#Africa, September 19, 2023 – Over 15,000 people are reported dead or missing and the count is expected to rise following two natural disasters in Northern Africa early September. Libya and Morocco are the affected countries.
More than 3,900 people have been confirmed dead and thousands more are missing in Eastern Libya, after the country was hit by a severe Storm (Daniel) on September 10th. Libya was inundated with floodwater and the situation was exacerbated by the collapse of several dams. Photos of the devastation showed collapsed highrises and smaller villages completely covered.
“Entire villages have been overwhelmed by the floods and the death toll continues to rise. Many families have lost all their belongings, and search and rescue workers are looking for people missing. Tens of thousands of people are displaced with no prospect of going back home,” the Norwegian Refugee Council explained.
Thousands have been swept away in the floods and officials say many are feared dead. Around 9,000 people are unaccounted for according to the UN. It’s the worst flooding incident in Africa in over a century.
Simultaneously, Morocco is dealing with aftershocks from the September 08th earthquake that took over 2800 lives; more than 25 have been felt so far. The 6.8 magnitude quake hit the mountain regions at around 70 km from the country’s fourth largest city, Marrakesh, around 10 p.m. The location of mountainous villages made rescue efforts difficult for volunteers.
Buildings suffered severe damage following the quake and residents are reported to be sleeping on the streets. UN representatives are calling for donations of blood to help victims.
Photos and videos of the aftermath show entire buildings reduced to rubble while others have been cleaved open.
The UN and other rescue groups are on the ground currently and are requesting donations to help the two countries which are separated by Algeria.
Update on Gabon Military Coup
#Africa, September 19, 2023 – Gabon has become the most recent African country to fall victim to a military coup, following a swift takeover on Wednesday August 30th.
The coup came after elections on August 26th where Ali Bongo, incumbent president was declared winner, to cries of fraud from the opposition.
Gabon, a West African country bordered by the Atlantic Ocean, has only been independent since 1960 and the Bongo family has occupied the presidential palace for the majority of that time.
Between Ali’s father Omar Bongo, who became President in 1967 and remained so for 42 years, and Ali’s subsequent victory in 2009, the family has controlled the oil-rich African nation for over five decades.
Following the coup, Bongo has been placed under house arrest, and Brice Nguem, a senior Military leader installed as the new president of the country.
The United Nations has condemned the coup but acknowledged that there were doubts about the legality of Bongo’s election win. Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary-General, reportedly noted the announcement of the win with “deep concern” ‘given reports of serious irregularities at the polls.’
Press conferences have already been held and international media are reporting that Nguem has promised that the military role is only temporary until fresh and fair elections can be held.
No date has been given for those elections and the new leader is rumored to have been a close friend and possible relative of the Bongo family.
Albert Ondo Ossa, the opposition candidate, told Al Jazeera he thought the coup was a ploy to keep power in the family.
“Basically, I think the Bongo family got rid of one of its members who was weighing on the family, and they wanted Bongo power to continue… It was a palace revolution, not a coup d’etat. This is a family affair, where one brother replaces another,” he is quoted as saying.
It follows a coup in Niger in July 2023, which at the time of the coup in Gabon, had still not been resolved. The African nations of Mali (2020) Guinea, Chad and Sudan (2021) and Burkina Faso (2022), have all experienced military coups in quick succession.
Two More 9/11 Victims Identified as the United States marks a solemn occasion
#USA, September 11, 2023 – Two more victims of the 9/11 attacks have been identified, the first in two years. Each year, on the eleventh day of September, we are reminded that nearly 3,000 people were killed on during a four-part attack carried out by Al-Qaeda against the Unites States and 22 years later more than 40 percent of victims
On September 8th, Eric Adams, New York Mayor and Dr. Jason Graham, Chief Medical Examiner released a joint statement via the official New York City website announcing that a man and woman were the latest to be identified.
“The man and woman, whose names are being withheld at the request of their families, are the 1,648th and 1,649th persons to be identified by the Office of Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) using advanced DNA testing of remains recovered from the attack that took the lives of 2,753 people.” The statement indicated.
The terrorist attack involved the hijacking of four commercial aircraft which were then purposely crashed into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York, and another into the Pentagon, the final missed its target, likely the White House or Capitol Hill.
The U.S. is still working to identify over a thousand unnamed victims from the attack. Of those that are identified, over 100 are said to be from the Caribbean.
According to records collated by News Americas Now and the Jamaica Gleaner, the Caribbean diaspora death toll includes but is not limited to: 47 people from the Dominican Republic; 22 Puerto Ricans; 21 Guyanese citizens; 19 Jamaicans; 14 Trinidadians; 7 Haitians; 3 Antiguans; 3 Barbadians; 3 Bermudans; 2 Dominicans; 2 Saint Lucians, 1 Islander from the British Virgin Islands; 1 Grenadian; and 1 Vincentian.
The attack sparked widespread anti-Muslim sentiment in the U.S. and an Iraqi invasion by the U.S. and its allies.
As for those recently identified, the names are being withheld at the request of their families and officials have said they were identified using advanced DNA technology.
Today, U.S. officials commemorated the 22nd anniversary of the attack from all around the country Monday. President Joe Biden joined in on that service in Anchorage, Alaska; as Vice President Kamala Harris was part of the ceremony in New York and first lady Jill Biden is laying a wreath at the 9/11 memorial at the Pentagon. Second gentleman Doug Emhoff is also expected at a wreath-laying ceremony in Shanksville at the Flight 93 National Memorial.
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