Iloilo City residents urged to get booster dose

ILOILO CITY - The city government here is calling on its fully vaccinated population to get booster shots as thousands doses of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccines have expired or are about to expire due to few takers.In a press conference on Monday, Mayor Jerry Tre.....»»

Category: newsSource: manilanews manilanewsJun 6th, 2022

Lacuna appeals: Get your kids jabbed

Manila Mayor Honey Lacuna reiterated on Sunday her call to parents and guardians to have their children or wards vaccinated, saying that those given primary vaccination among kids aged five to 11 has not even reached 50 percent of the targeted number which is 168,446. Lacuna also called on senior citizens to have themselves vaccinated either with primary or booster shots and for adults aged 18 to 59 to get boosted, especially since they are the ones who are most fond of always getting out. The mayor made the appeal citing the recent continued rise in the number of Covid-19 cases based on figures that she receives from the city’s health cluster. “Vaccination is still the solution. The cases of infection are increasing, so we need to protect our children,” Lacuna said. Citing records, the Manila mayor stressed that while the number of senior citizens who have gotten their first dose was at over 95 percent, the number has gone down to about 86 percent when it came to booster shots, with only 60 percent recorded for the first and 20 percent for the second booster. In the case of kids belonging to the five to 11 age group, the number of those who have been given primary shots is yet to reach 50 percent. While figures are better in the case of minors aged 12 to 17 who have registered 100 percent for the primary shots, only 10 percent availed of the first booster. Adults aged 18 to 59 meanwhile, registered more than 100 percent for the first and second dose. However, the number went down to 65 percent for the first booster and declined to a measly eight percent for the second. She also added that her appeal is also directed to those who are considered as “high risk individuals” such as senior citizens, pregnant women, the immuno-compromised and those with comorbidities. Lacuna said that the city government is still offering free Covid-19 vaccination at all of its health centers. She urged residents to take advantage of this offer and get vaccinated as soon as possible. The post Lacuna appeals: Get your kids jabbed appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsMay 14th, 2023

Get vaccinated , Iloilo City residents told as Covid cases rise

ILOILO CITY - The city government on Monday appealed to eligible adult population to get their booster shots amid the increasing Covid-19 cases.In a press conference, Mayor Jerry Trenas also urged the qualified children to get their primary doses in preparation for the face-to-face classes......»»

Category: newsSource:  manilanewsRelated NewsJul 11th, 2022

Continue wearing masks, Lacuna urges workers

Manila Mayor Honey Lacuna on Tuesday urged constituents, particularly those working indoors, to continue wearing masks despite the recent declaration by the World Health Organization that Covid-19 is no longer a global health emergency. “We all know that Covid-19 is still here with us. Even if cases had gone down in our city, we must continue being vigilant,” she said. Lacuna specifically made mention of those working within the offices in Manila City Hall, who deal with walk-in individuals on a daily basis. She said such workers stand at the frontline of providing public service, thus the need to double their vigilance. Apart from wearing masks, Lacuna also urged residents to observe physical distancing and to regularly wash their hands. She also called on the city employees to avoid eating altogether as this also paves the way for sure transmission. The mayor stressed that while the state of public health emergency had been lifted, the number of people getting infected with Covid-19 in Manila continues to go up. “Covid cases in our city continue to rise,” she warned, citing figures provided her office by city offices and hospitals. She noted that the number of those infected is based only on those who have taken the RT-PCR tests and does not even include those who just use the antigen tests. Lacuna also urged the city hall employees who have not completed their primary and booster shots to go to the city government employees’ clinic and have themselves vaccinated for their own protection. Her call came as the Philippines continues to grapple with the pandemic. As of 8 March 2023, the country has recorded a total of 3,722,223 Covid-19 cases, including 60,443 deaths. The post Continue wearing masks, Lacuna urges workers appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsMay 8th, 2023

Davao City gov t renews call for vax after 6 Covid-related deaths

DAVAO CITY - The city government reiterated its call Thursday for residents to take their two-dose vaccination series and booster shots following six coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) related deaths recorded from August 7-13.Of the six deaths, two were unvaccinated, three administered wit.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilanewsRelated NewsAug 18th, 2022

PinasLakas eyes 97K elderly, 1.6M for booster in W. Visayas

ILOILO CITY - The Department of Health (DOH) 6 (Western Visayas) is eyeing more than 97,000 senior citizens in the region for the primary series vaccines and more than 1.6 million individuals due for their booster dose, for the simultaneous nationwide launch of the "PinasLakas" vaccination campaign.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilanewsRelated NewsJul 27th, 2022

NCR cities urge public to get booster shots as Covid cases rise

MANILA - The local government units in the National Capital Region urged residents to avail of the booster shots amid the increase of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases in the country.In Navotas City, the local government on Wednesday called on its residents to avail of the Covid-19 b.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilanewsRelated NewsJul 13th, 2022

Nutrivac to address malnutrition, boost vax drive in Iloilo

ILOILO CITY - The Iloilo provincial government here is eyeing to address issues of malnutrition and boost Covid-19 vaccination drive with its Project Nutrivac which will give family packs of nutritious foods to residents who will submit to primary series and booster shots.Iloilo Provincial H.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilanewsRelated NewsJul 6th, 2022

Dabawenyos living on active faults warned

Residents of barangays Catalunan Pequeño, Sto. Niño, and Tugbok in Davao City have been warned about the dangers of living on active fault lines in their area. The City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO), in partnership with other government agencies, launched a week-long Walk the Fault Activity to educate residents on how to respond to strong earthquakes. The activity targets three barangays and includes information campaigns and walks along the fault lines. The CDRRMO emphasized the importance of disseminating information to grassroots leaders and urged residents to follow advisories and stay updated on the latest developments through the Davao City Disaster Radio. The activity also highlighted the need for compliance with building codes to minimize damage during earthquakes......»»

Category: newsSource:  sunstarRelated NewsNov 21st, 2023

Villagers displaced by gunfight in Maguindanao del Norte

COTABATO CITY --- The police and military have urged the Moro Islamic Liberation Front to disengage and reconcile two of its groups that clashed on Monday morning in Maguindanao del Norte, causing the displacement of about a hundred villagers. The two groups figured in running gunfights for about four hours in Linib and Tinindanan areas in Barangay Bugawas in Datu Odin Sinsuat town, the local police stated in a report on Tuesday to Brig. Gen. Allan Nobleza, director of the Police Regional Office-Bangsamoro Autonomous Region. Lt. Col. Esmael Madin, chief of the Datu Odin Sinsuat Municipal Police Station, and officials of the Maguindanao del Norte Provincial Police Office identified the leaders of the feuding groups as Commanders Salim and Adam, who has more than 30 followers each, armed with assault rifles and grenade launchers. Evacuees from the conflict-torn villages are convinced the hostilities were related still to the October 30 synchronized barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections, where both groups had favored candidates. Talks are spreading around Datu Odin Sinsuat and in this city hinting that the incident, which affected more than 30 families, could be connected to the gun attack on Monday morning in the same barangay that resulted in the death of two residents, Juhaimen Ube and Mistah Alon and left four others wounded. The slain duo, who were attacked while on their way to a polling site, campaigned for certain candidates for barangay elective posts, according to their relatives. They are both related to members of one of the two groups that clashed in Linib and Tinindanan on Monday, according to traditional community Moro leaders. Army Major Gen. Alex Rillera, commander of the 6th Infantry Division, said he has directed their units in Datu Odin Sinsuat and nearby towns to secure Barangay Bugawas to prevent a repeat of Monday’s skirmishes in the area. The two groups scampered away when they sensed that soldiers backed by armored combat vehicles dispatched to secure Barangay Bugawas were closing in......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsNov 7th, 2023

DOLE lauds outstanding Public Employment Service Offices across nation

The Department of Labor and Employment urged collective action to address the Philippines’ job problems on 25 October during the 23rd National PESO Congress in Palo, Leyte. DOLE Secretary Bienvenido E. Laguesma stressed in his speech the vital role of Public Employment Service Offices or PESO and DOLE’s frontline partners in promoting productive employment at the local level. “The responsibility of realizing the objectives of the Philippine Labor and Employment Plan and the Trabaho para sa Bayan Act is not the DOLE’s responsibility alone. It is jointly shared with our social partners, especially our PESOs. The challenges we face in our employment landscape demand collective action and innovative solutions,” Laguesma said. Laguesma also emphasized the need for open and constructive dialogue with PESO managers across the nation as he bared the department's five-point agenda, which includes strengthening its core functions, fortifying partnerships with employers and educational institutions and digitalizing public employment services. DOLE conferred awards to PESOs with outstanding accomplishments in the past year during the 2022 National Search for Best PESO Awards. Among the accomplishments are the 2.4 million jobseekers employed through the facilitation of PESOs, which translates to a 91 percent placement rate across the regions. PESO Bataan won in the first-class province category, PESO Lanao del Norte in the second-class province category and PESO Aurora in the third to fifth class category. DOLE also hailed PESO Iloilo City as champion for the highly urbanized city category and PESO Oroquieta City, Misamis Occidental for the component and independent component city category. Among the awardees for the municipal PESOs were PESO Villasis, Pangasinan (first class municipality category); PESO Pila, Laguna (second to third-class municipality category); and PESO Llanera, Nueva Ecija (fourth to sixth-class municipality category). The University of Batangas was elevated to the Hall of Fame for winning the search for best PESO in 2018 and 2019 and the Bayanihan Service Award in 2020 and 2021. The university job’s placement office received a trophy and a P250,000 cash prize. The post DOLE lauds outstanding Public Employment Service Offices across nation appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsOct 27th, 2023

US police launch huge manhunt for shooter who killed at least 22

A massive manhunt was under way Thursday for a gunman who a local official said killed at least 22 people and wounded "many" more in mass shootings in the US state of Maine, the deadliest such incident this year. Police said Robert Card -- seen in surveillance footage pointing a semi-automatic weapon with an extended clip as he walked into a bowling alley in the town of Lewiston -- "should be considered armed and dangerous."  Card is a certified firearms instructor and a member of the US Army Reserve, CNN reported, citing law enforcement sources.  Lewiston city councilor Robert McCarthy told CNN that law enforcement had "confirmed 22 dead, many, many more injured", with local media reporting shootings had occurred at multiple locations.  Swathes of Lewiston were locked down, with businesses urged to shutter and people ordered to shelter in place, as the scourge of horrifying gun violence once again ripped through an American community. Maine public safety official Mike Sauschuck said he was not prepared to give a death toll, calling it "a very fluid situation." He told reporters police were flooding the streets as they sought the gunman. "We have literally hundreds of police officers working around the state of Maine to investigate this case, to locate Mr. Card," he told reporters. Rescue vehicles rushed in from around central Maine to tend to the wounded, city councilor McCarthy said, and the two Lewiston hospitals "have called in every off-duty staff member that they could to deal with this." President Joe Biden made calls -- stepping away from a state dinner honoring Australia's prime minister -- to Maine's governor, its two senators and a local congressman to offer federal support, the White House said. Early on Thursday, armed police were seen guarding the Central Maine Medical Center, where some of the wounded were being treated. Several Maine school boards and educational institutions, including Bates College, said they would not be holding classes on Thursday, according to statements. Multiple locations Police and rescuers reportedly arrived at the Sparetime Recreation bowling alley at about 7:15 pm local time (00:15 Thursday GMT) in response to an active shooter, and then received reports of another shooting at the Schemengees Bar & Grille, according to the Sun Journal local newspaper. Police issued a number of photographs of 40-year-old Card at the bowling alley, where he appears calm and composed as he moves through the doorway with his rifle raised. "Please contact law enforcement if you are aware of his whereabouts," they said. Sauschuck said officers had located a "vehicle of interest" they had been looking for -- a white sport utility vehicle (SUV) -- in Lisbon, a town around eight miles (12 kilometers) from Lewiston, where residents had also been warned to stay off the streets. Card was not in the vehicle, reports said. Law enforcement "are investigating two active shooter events," the Androscoggin County Sheriff's Department said on social media. "We are encouraging all businesses to lock down and or close while we investigate. The suspect is still at large." Maine Governor Janet Mills said she was "aware of and have been briefed on the active shooter situation in Lewiston." CNN reported that at least 50 people were wounded in the incidents, citing multiple law enforcement sources, but said it was unclear how many of the injuries were the result of gunfire. It was unclear if initial reports of shots being fired at a third site, a Walmart distribution center, were accurate. My hometown Maine Congressman Jared Golden wrote on social media that "like all Mainers, I'm horrified by the events in Lewison tonight. This is my hometown." "Right now, all of us are looking to local law enforcement as they gain control of the situation and gather information. Our hearts break for those who are affected," he said. Distraught citizens flocked to local hospitals. "I'm just overwhelmed. I've been here trying to spread, you know, some kind of comfort, some kind of support," Cynthia Hunter, a local resident, told CBS affiliate WGME. The shooting is one of the deadliest since 2017, when a gunman opened fire on a crowded music festival in Las Vegas, killing about 60 people. Gun violence is alarmingly common in the United States, a country where there are more guns than people and where attempts to clamp down on their spread are always met with stiff resistance. The United States has recorded over 500 mass shootings this year, according to the Gun Violence Archive (GVA), a non-governmental organization that defines a mass shooting as four or more people wounded or killed. Wednesday's attack was the deadliest mass shooting in 2023 so far, according to the GVA's data. Efforts to tighten gun controls have for years run up against opposition from Republicans, staunch defenders of the constitutional right to bear arms.  The political paralysis endures despite widespread outrage over recurring shootings. Lewiston is the second most populous city in Maine located some 30 miles north of the largest city, Portland. The post US police launch huge manhunt for shooter who killed at least 22 appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsOct 26th, 2023

Observe Undas guidelines, Munti residents urged

Muntinlupa City Mayor Ruffy Biazon strongly urged residents of the city to observe “Undas 2023” safely and appropriately. This as the city government yesterday disclosed the schedule of activities as well as guidelines for the All Saints’ and All Souls’ holiday, including hotline numbers for emergencies during the season. “Let us all take this season to celebrate the legacy of our departed loved ones in a safe and meaningful manner. Gunitain po natin ang Undas nang maayos at ligtas,” he said. The cleaning and restoration of gravestones and tombs will be allowed only until Saturday, 28 October 2023. All city cemeteries and memorial parks will then be open from 31 October to 1 November between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. No burials or cremations will be allowed in the period between 31 October to 2 November except for special cases. Gambling and the consumption of alcoholic beverages, along with firearms, sharp objects such as knives or box cutters, and flammable materials are strictly prohibited in all cemeteries, memorial parks and columbaria in the city. Selling of merchandise, the use of videoke or sound system for entertainment, and overnight stay at the cemetery or memorial park are likewise banned. Parking will not be allowed near the premises of the city’s public cemetery. Biazon also encouraged Muntinlupeños to save the city’s emergency hotline numbers: 1) 137-175; 2) 8373-51-65; 3) 0921-542-7123; and 4) 0927-257-9322. “We remind everyone to use these emergency numbers responsibly. Do not prank call these numbers as it can literally spell life or death for you or your loved ones,” he added.  The post Observe Undas guidelines, Munti residents urged appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsOct 25th, 2023

Advancing OFWs’ welfare, protecting Filipinos abroad

Overseas Filipino Workers, or OFWs, are indeed modern-day heroes. They help boost our economy, but more importantly, they help uplift the lives of their families to give them a better future and also showcase Filipinos' talents, skills, and work ethic to the world. I was in London, United Kingdom last week for an official trip upon the invitation of the British Group Inter-Parliament Union. Led by Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri and co-head of delegation Senator Grace Poe, we embarked on several meetings aimed at strengthening relations of the Philippine Senate with our counterparts in the UK parliament to exchange best practices in policymaking while enhancing bilateral relations, fostering economic security, exploring areas of cooperation between the two countries, and promoting the welfare of Filipinos working there. As Chair of the Senate Committee on Health and member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, I also expressed my gratitude to the UK for donating vaccines during the early stages of the Covid-19 pandemic. Moreover, we thanked them for other development assistance extended by the UK to the Philippines and for their help in strengthening the Bangsamoro Region. As vice chairperson of the Senate Committee on Migrant Workers, I also maximized the visit to highlight efforts in promoting the welfare of more than 200,000 OFWs in the UK, particularly the more or less 40,000 Filipino nurses working there. We were able to raise to the UK policymakers the concerns of Filipino nurses regarding their rights to proper benefits, just compensation, and a safe working environment. We should be proud of Filipino medical frontliners in the UK, particularly nurses who are among the world’s finest. Take, for example, May Parsons, a Filipina-British nurse who became known globally for administering the first COVID-19 vaccine outside of a clinical trial and receiving the UK's George Cross Award. I have co-sponsored a Senate resolution earlier recognizing and commending her achievement. After our official meetings, I met with a group of OFWs, some of them were fellow Dabawenyos, Filipino Muslims, Ilonggos, and Ilocanos, among others. The stories they shared were proof of how resilient our OFWs are. Despite their sacrifices, homesickness, and worries about their families in their hometowns, they maintain their cheerfulness and positive outlook. I brought some good news to our OFWs by informing them about the establishment of the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) through Republic Act No. 11641, a legislation for which I am proud to be one of the authors and co-sponsors in the Senate. This measure streamlines the organization and functions of all government agencies related to overseas employment and migration to better address the needs and concerns of migrant workers. I have also filed Senate Bill No. (SBN) 2297 to institutionalize the OFW Hospital and ensure its continuous operation in San Fernando City, Pampanga, primarily intended for OFWs and eligible dependents. More importantly, a Malasakit Center is operational there to help reduce their out-of-pocket expenses. The establishment of the DMW, the OFW Hospital, and its own Malasakit Center are just a few of our dreams that are now realities for Filipinos to benefit from. These are testaments of our commitment to promote the welfare of migrant workers and their dependents. However, we acknowledge that there is more work to be done. That is why we continue to listen to their concerns, serve them to the best of our abilities, and pursue initiatives to further their cause. I have also filed SBN 2414, which seeks to establish OFW wards in Department of Health (DOH) hospitals if enacted into law. While our efforts continue to safeguard the welfare of Filipinos abroad, our commitment to serve Filipinos facing challenges in their communities remains unwavering. This week, we had groundbreaking ceremonies for Super Health Centers in Cabadbaran City, Agusan del Norte; Brgy. Labangon in Cebu City; Pitogo, Zamboanga del Sur; and in Tigbauan, Iloilo. Through the collective efforts of DOH, LGUs, and fellow lawmakers, we continue to advocate for establishing more community health facilities to help bring public health services closer to those needing medical attention. We have also assisted 1,000 indigents in Llanera, Nueva Ecija, with the office of Cong. Jose Padiernos; 500 members from various sectors in Barangay Mintal, Davao City; 1,900 in Caloocan City, with the office of Congresswoman Mitch Cajayon-Uy. In Cebu City, we also distributed aid to 1,700 residents of the South District with Congressman Edu Rama; 450 in Nagcarlan, Laguna, with Mayor Elmor Vita and Councilor Rey Comendador; and 333 in Pulupandan, Negros Occidental, in collaboration with the Malasakit@Bayanihan group. We also aided 1,000 United Senior Citizens Association members of Quezon City, with Congresswoman Mila Magsaysay, Senator Robin Padilla, and private sector volunteer organizations. My office also extended additional aid to 93 displaced workers in Lumban, Laguna; 210 in Pilar; 217 in Carmen and Batuan in Bohol. DOLE also gave qualified beneficiaries temporary employment. We also supported 200 scholars during their TESDA Orientation in Daet, Camarines Norte. There are also 43 residents of Davao City and nine in La Paz, Agusan del Sur, who were victims of fires and 32 victims of flooding in Kalamansig, Sultan Kudarat. They were provided separate assistance and the livelihood kits they received through the DTI program, which we advocated for before and continue to support. We also supported 283 victims of past fires in Cagayan de Oro City by giving separate aid in addition to the emergency housing assistance received from the NHA through a program we pushed for so that they could buy materials like nails, roofing, and other necessities for home repairs. My office also provided immediate help to victims of recent fires, such as 50 families in Baseco, Manila City, and 11 families in Brgy. Alabang, Muntinlupa City. No one is exempt from facing life’s hardships. However, our OFWs have shown us how resilient Filipinos can be. Let us learn from them and, more importantly, do our part in uplifting their lives by advocating for their welfare, promoting their rights, protecting their families, and providing the genuine public service they deserve. The post Advancing OFWs’ welfare, protecting Filipinos abroad appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsOct 22nd, 2023

CHEd unveils Talisay satellite office

The Commission on Higher Education, or CHEd, has expanded its delivery of frontline services in Negros Occidental province as it opened its new satellite office in Talisay City on Friday. With the new regional office, the issuance of certifications, special orders, scholarships and pertinent transactions will be made easier and more accessible, CHEd said. “I thank our education champions, especially Representative Kiko Benitez, and Regional Director Raul Alvarez for facilitating the establishment of the CHEDROVI Subregional Office. This shows that we are serious in bringing services closer to the people,” CHEd Chairperson Prospero de Vera III said. “We are an archipelago of more than 7,000 islands, so implementation of government programs will remain challenging. We therefore need to establish government facilities particularly in island provinces,” De Vera added. Rep. Benitez said they have been hoping for the establishment of a subregional office in Negros Occidental because their province has a large population. “Now, we have one for CHEd. Rest assured, we will work in the Congress to further the cause of education and to help CHEd specifically,” Benitez said. “With our new regional office, people here in Negros Occidental will no longer go to the next island and visit Iloilo to process CHEd documents, dito nalang,”  Alvarez added. CHEDROVI Iloilo City has jurisdiction over the 157 higher education institutions in the whole of Western Visayas, with stakeholders in Negros Occidental having to travel at least two hours, via inter­island ferry, for CHEd transactions. The Talisay office will provide easy access to the Negros Occidental higher education institutions and their stakeholders and will surely ensure client satisfaction through efficient, effective and inclusive delivery of frontline services. De Vera also urged universities and colleges to invest in technology and digitize their documents and processes. “If we combine our physical deployment in the provinces, plus electronic intervention, our students, faculty, and other stakeholders will receive our services faster and better,” De Vera added. The post CHEd unveils Talisay satellite office appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 21st, 2023

First relief convoy enters Gaza devastated by ‘nightmare’ war

The first aid trucks arrived in war-torn Gaza from Egypt on Saturday, bringing urgent humanitarian relief to the Hamas-controlled Palestinian enclave suffering what the UN chief labelled a "godawful nightmare". Israel has vowed to destroy Hamas after the Islamist militant group carried out the deadliest attack in the country's history on October 7. Hamas militants killed at least 1,400 people, mostly civilians who were shot, mutilated or burnt to death, and took more than 200 hostages, according to Israeli officials. Israel has retaliated with a relentless bombing campaign on Gaza that has killed more than 4,300 Palestinians, mainly civilians, according to the Hamas-run health ministry. An Israeli siege has cut food, water, electricity and fuel supplies to the densely populated and long-blockaded territory of 2.4 million people, sparking fears of a humanitarian catastrophe. AFP journalists on Saturday saw 20 trucks from the Egyptian Red Crescent, which is responsible for delivering aid from various UN agencies, pass through the Rafah border crossing from Egypt into Gaza. The crossing -- the only one into Gaza not controlled by Israel -- closed again after the trucks passed. The lorries had been waiting for days on the Egyptian side after Israel agreed to a request from its main ally the United States to allow aid to enter. UN chief Antonio Guterres warned Friday that the relief supplies were "the difference between life and death" for many Gazans, more than one million of whom have been displaced. "Much more" aid needs to be sent, he told a peace summit in Egypt on Saturday. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken welcomed the aid and urged "all parties" to keep the Rafah crossing open. But a Hamas spokesman said "even dozens" of such convoys could not meet Gaza's needs, especially as no fuel was being allowed in to help distribute the supplies to those in need. 'Reeling in pain'  Tens of thousands of Israeli troops have deployed to the Gaza border ahead of an expected ground offensive that officials have pledged will begin "soon". As international tensions soar, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi was hosting a peace summit in Cairo on Saturday attended by regional and some Western leaders. "The time has come for action to end this godawful nightmare," Guterres told the summit, calling for a "humanitarian ceasefire". The region "is reeling in pain and one step from the precipice", he said. Guterres said "the grievances of the Palestinian people are legitimate and long" after "56 years of occupation with no end in sight". But he stressed that "nothing can justify the reprehensible assault by Hamas that terrorised Israeli civilians". "Those abhorrent attacks can never justify the collective punishment of the Palestinian people," he added. Egypt, historically a key mediator between Hamas and Israel, has urged "restraint" and the relaunch of the long-frozen peace process. But diplomatic efforts to end the violence have made little headway, without the participation of Israel and its enemy Iran, a supporter of Hamas and other armed groups. 'Sliver of hope'  A full-blown Israeli ground offensive carries many risks, including to the hostages Hamas took and whose fate is shrouded in uncertainty. So the release of two Americans among the hostages -- mother and daughter Judith and Natalie Raanan -- offered a rare "sliver of hope", said Mirjana Spoljaric, president of the International Committee of the Red Cross. US President Joe Biden thanked Qatar, which hosts Hamas's political bureau, for its mediation in securing the release. He said he was working "around the clock" to win the return of other Americans being held. Natalie Raanan's half-brother Ben told the BBC he felt an "overwhelming sense of joy" at the release after "the most horrible of ordeals". Hamas said Egypt and Qatar had negotiated the release and that it was "working with all mediators to implement the movement's decision to close the civilian (hostage) file if appropriate security conditions allow". Traumatised families with loved ones missing in Gaza demanded more action. "We ask humanity to interfere and bring back all those young boys, young girls, mothers, babies," Assaf Shem Tov, whose nephew was abducted from a music festival where Hamas killed hundreds, said Friday. Devastation  Almost half of Gaza's residents have been displaced, and at least 30 percent of all housing in the territory has been destroyed or damaged, the United Nations says. Thousands have taken refuge in a camp set up in the city of Khan Yunis in southern Gaza. Fadwa al-Najjar said she and her seven children walked for 10 hours to reach the camp, at some points breaking into a run as missiles struck around them. "We saw bodies and limbs torn off and we just started praying, thinking we were going to die," she told AFP. In Al-Zahra in central Gaza, Rami Abu Wazna was struggling to take in the destruction wreaked by Israeli missile strikes. "Even in my worst nightmares, I never thought this could be possible," he said. Israel's operation will take not "a day, nor a week, nor a month" and will result in "the end of Israel's responsibilities in the Gaza Strip", Defence Minister Yoav Gallant warned on Friday. Regional tensions flare  In Gaza, retired general Omar Ashour said the destruction was "part of a clear plan for people to have no place left to live". "This will cause a second Nakba," he added, referring to the 760,000 Palestinians who were expelled from or fled their homes when Israel was created in 1948. The United States has moved two aircraft carriers into the eastern Mediterranean to deter Iran or Lebanon's Hezbollah, both Hamas allies, amid fears of a wider conflagration. Fire across Israel's border with Lebanon continued overnight, with one Israeli soldier killed, Israeli public radio said. The military said it hit Hezbollah targets after rocket and missile fire. Violence has also flared in the West Bank, where 84 Palestinians have been killed since October 7, according to the Palestinian health ministry. The post First relief convoy enters Gaza devastated by ‘nightmare’ war appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsOct 21st, 2023

Gazans await ‘life and death’ aid, Israel readies invasion

Thousands of tonnes of "life and death" aid for Gaza should be delivered soon, the United Nations said Friday, to relieve a "beyond catastrophic" situation after unrelenting Israeli bombing in response to an unprecedented Hamas attack. Some 175 lorries stuffed with vital medicines, food, and water stretched into the distance at the Rafah crossing with Egypt, which has removed concrete roadblocks and is scrambling to repair the route into besieged Gaza -- the only one not controlled by Israel. Overseeing operations personally, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told reporters: "These trucks are not just trucks, they are a lifeline, they are the difference between life and death for so many people in Gaza." Israel has vowed to destroy Hamas after the Islamist militant group launched a shock raid from the Gaza Strip on October 7, killing at least 1,400 people, mostly civilians shot, mutilated or burned to death, according to Israeli officials. Hamas gunmen also kidnapped some 200 hostages including foreigners from around two dozen countries. The Islamist group said Friday that its armed wing had released two Americans among the captives, a mother and her daughter, the first fruit of mediation efforts by the Gulf state of Qatar. The Islamist group did not detail how or when the hostages were released. The Israeli military said earlier Friday that most of those abducted to Gaza were still alive. It said more than 20 were minors. In response to the Hamas attack, Israeli bombers have levelled entire city blocks in Gaza in preparation for a ground invasion they say is coming soon. The Hamas-run health ministry said 4,137 Palestinians, mostly civilians, have died in the onslaught. Israeli jets pounded more than 100 Hamas targets in Gaza overnight, the army said, with AFP reporters hearing loud explosions and witnessing plumes of smoke billowing from the northern Gaza Strip. Embracing front-line soldiers and clad in body armour, Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged them to "fight like lions" and "win with full force". Fists clenched and voice raised, Netanyahu told cheering troops: "We will deal harsh blows to our enemies in order to achieve victory." Defence Minister Yoav Gallant told some of the tens of thousands of personnel preparing the ground invasion that "the order will come soon". 'Beyond catastrophic'  US President Joe Biden said Friday he expected the first aid for Gaza to pass through the Rafah crossing from Egypt within the next two days, under a deal he clinched to allow in 20 trucks of supplies for civilians. Medicine, water purifiers and blankets were being unloaded at El Arish airport near Gaza, an AFP reporter saw, with Ahmed Ali, head of the Egyptian Red Crescent, saying he was getting "two to three planes of aid a day". But World Health Organization emergencies director Michael Ryan said Biden's 20-truck deal was "a drop in the ocean of need" and that 2,000 trucks were required. The UN says more than one million of Gaza's 2.4 million people are displaced, with the humanitarian situation "beyond catastrophic" and deteriorating daily. Refugees from northern Gaza told harrowing tales of bombs, profiteering and extreme temperatures as whole families trekked on foot to flee the violence. Mother of seven Fadwa Al-Najjar walked for 10 hours with her family from northern Gaza to reach a UN camp in the southern city of Khan Yunis, saying she saw cars hit by a strike just in front of them. "We saw bodies and limbs torn off and we just started praying, thinking we were going to die," she said. 'It's unimaginable'  On the other side of the conflict, the full horror of what Israel suffered on October 7 and following days was still emerging, as traumatised residents recounted their stories. Shachar Butler, a security chief at the Nir Oz kibbutz, where Hamas militants killed or kidnapped a quarter of the 400 residents, recalls more than a dozen gunmen spraying bullets indiscriminately and lobbing grenades at homes. "It's unimaginable," the 40-year-old told AFP as part of a trip organised by the Israeli military. "Anytime someone tried to touch my window, I shot him," he said. "The people who came out got kidnapped, killed, executed, slaughtered." Butler estimated as many as 200 militants attacked the kibbutz, entering from three sides before going house-to-house. Homes there were still charred with burnt personal belongings strewn everywhere. Israel says around 1,500 Hamas fighters were killed in clashes before its army regained control. 'No safe place'  Biden requested a massive $105 billion security package Friday, including $14 billion for Israel, but paralysis in the still speakerless Congress means it will hit an immediate wall. Fresh from a whirlwind trip to Israel this week, Biden is hoping to staunch the possibility of a wider Middle East war. The United States has moved two aircraft carriers into the eastern Mediterranean to deter Iran or Lebanon's Hezbollah, both Hamas allies, from getting involved. After days of clashes with Hezbollah fighters along the Lebanese border, Israeli authorities announced the evacuation of Kiryat Shmona, a nearby town which is home to some 25,000 residents, many of whom have already left. The conflict has inflamed passions across the region, with protests held in several countries. Thousands flooded into Egypt's iconic Tahrir Square in support of Gaza, an AFP correspondent said. Protests were also held outside the French and US embassies in Tunis. Following a strike at a church compound late Thursday, the Hamas-controlled interior ministry said several people sheltering at the church were killed and wounded, blaming an Israeli strike. The Israeli army acknowledged a church wall had been damaged in one of its air strikes targeting a "command and control centre belonging to a Hamas terrorist". "This place is dedicated for praying, a place of love and peace," said witness Abu Khalil Jahshan. "There is no safe place here in Gaza." The post Gazans await ‘life and death’ aid, Israel readies invasion appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 20th, 2023

Japan issues tsunami advisory for coastal areas

Japan issued a tsunami advisory for some coastal regions early Monday following a series of shallow earthquakes in the Izu islands in the Pacific Ocean but there were no immediate reports of damage from the minor waves generated, seismologists said. Tsunami waves of 60 centimeters (24 inches) hit Hachijojima island, 280 kilometers (170 miles) south of Tokyo, while ones of 40 cm and 20 cm were recorded in western Kochi prefecture and southern Miyazaki prefecture, respectively, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency. No damage has been reported, the JMA said, but Tateyama city of Chiba, near Tokyo, urged residents in coastal areas to evacuate after the advisory. JMA official Toshihiro Shimoyama warned during a press conference that "it is dangerous in the sea and near the coast". "Please get out of the sea and stay away from the coast." Shimoyama said the JMA "haven't been able to pinpoint the cause" although it assumed a quake had generated the tsunami waves. The US Geological Survey, however, reported a series of shallow quakes in the Izu islands, with the strongest a 5.4 magnitude tremor recorded at 5:17 am (2117 GMT Sunday) around 551 kilometers south of Shimoda. The latest advisory comes after Japan observed a one-meter tsunami near the Izu islands after a magnitude 6.5 quake last week. The post Japan issues tsunami advisory for coastal areas appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsOct 9th, 2023

Israel says at ‘war’ after rocket barrages, militant infiltration

Palestinian militants have begun a "war" against Israel, the country's defense minister said Saturday after a barrage of rockets were fired and fighters from the Palestinian enclave infiltrated Israel, a major escalation in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Violence between Israel and the Palestinians has been surging for almost two years, with fatalities in the occupied West Bank hitting a scale not seen in years. At least two people were killed in Israel, officials said. Israel's Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said Palestinian militant group Hamas has "launched a war against the State of Israel." "Troops are fighting against the enemy at every location," he said in a statement. AFP journalists said Israel's military began air strikes on Gaza, following the rocket barrage from inside the territory which is sealed off from Israel by a militarized border barrier. "Dozens of IDF fighter jets are currently striking a number of targets belonging to the Hamas terrorist organization in the Gaza Strip," the military said. Rockets had earlier streamed across the sky repeatedly after the first launches from multiple locations across the Palestinian territory from 6:30 am (0330 GMT), AFP journalists in Gaza City reported. The armed wing of Hamas, which controls Gaza, said it was behind the aerial assault, saying its militants had launched thousands of rockets and its fighters seized an Israeli tank. Israel's army did not immediately comment on the tank claim when contacted by AFP. Israeli security chiefs convened over the violence, which occurred on Shabbat and during a Jewish holiday. Air raid sirens wailed across southern and central Israel, and the army urged people to stay near bomb shelters. AFP journalists in Jerusalem heard multiple rockets being intercepted by Israeli air defense systems. Sirens blared across the city on more occasions than in any Gaza conflict in the past three years. "We decided to put an end to all the crimes of the occupation (Israel). Their time for rampaging without being held accountable is over," the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades said. "We announce Operation Al-Aqsa Flood and we fired, in the first strike of 20 minutes, more than 5,000 rockets." Hundreds of Gazans flee Hundreds of residents fled their homes in eastern Gaza to move away from the border with Israel, an AFP correspondent said. Men, women and children carrying blankets and food left their homes, mostly in the northeastern part of the territory, the reporter said. Israel's military said Hamas launched "massive shooting of rockets", while at the same time "terrorists infiltrated into Israeli territory in a number of different locations". Hamas "will face the consequences and responsibility for these events", it said in a statement. In Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem, some Palestinian residents cheered and blew their car horns as sirens blared. A regional council for Israeli communities northeast of Gaza said its president was killed in an exchange of fire with attackers from Gaza. Separately, a woman in her 60s was killed "due to a direct hit" in Israel, the Magen David Adom emergency services said. Fifteen others were wounded, two of them seriously, medics said. An AFP photographer in the coastal city of Tel Aviv saw a gaping hole in a building, with residents gathered outside. Hamas calls to 'join battle' Hamas called on "the resistance fighters in the West Bank" as well as "our Arab and Islamic nations" to join the battle, in a statement posted on Telegram. The United States condemned the Hamas fire and urged "all sides to refrain from violence and retaliatory attacks." "Terror and violence solve nothing," the US Office of Palestinian Affairs wrote on X, formerly Twitter. Israel has imposed a crippling blockade on Gaza since 2007 after Hamas took power. Palestinian militants and Israel have fought several devastating wars since. The latest violence follows heightened tensions in September, when Israel closed the border to Gazan workers for two weeks. The shutdown of the crossing came as Palestinian demonstrators along the border burned tires and threw rocks and petrol bombs at Israeli troops, who responded with tear gas and live bullets. Resuming workers' passage on 28 September had raised hopes of calming the situation in impoverished Gaza, home to 2.3 million people. In May, an exchange of Israeli air strikes and Gaza rocket fire killed 34 Palestinians and one Israeli. So far this year at least 247 Palestinians, 32 Israelis and two foreigners have been killed in the conflict, including combatants and civilians on both sides, according to Israeli and Palestinian officials. The vast majority of fatalities have occurred in the West Bank, which has been occupied by Israel since the 1967 Arab-Israeli War. There has been a rise in army raids, Palestinian attacks targeting Israelis and Israeli settler violence against Palestinians and their property. The rising violence this year came against the backdrop of divisive judicial reforms introduced by the hard-right government of President Benjamin Netanyahu, who is on trial for corruption charges he denies. Several far-right ministers in Netanyahu's cabinet live in West Bank settlements deemed illegal under international law. The post Israel says at ‘war’ after rocket barrages, militant infiltration appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 7th, 2023

Baguio landlords urged: Help students on mental health

BAGUIO CITY — A mental health expert on Wednesday appealed to landlords and landladies in the city to be the second parents to the students who are non-Baguio residents who temporarily residing at their boarding houses. During a dialogue at the Baguio City Hall, Baguio City Health Services Office Mental Health coordinator Dr. Ricky Ducas said they can help a lot to ease the depression among the students especially those who have no families and relatives that they can run to. He added that many of the young people who committed suicide are actually non-residents of Baguio, however, he did not elaborate on the number of suicides cases among the non-Baguio residents. According to Ducas, the owners and the operators of the boarding houses should lend their ears and understanding to the students who needs help, adding that most of the students who are busy thinking about their studies do not have the luxuries of time to go to mental health clinics and facilities or some of them are hesitating to consult the experts because they are not comfortable. Ducas also appealed to the teachers as they are considered the second parents of the children outside their homes to always be available to listen to their pupils or students. The post Baguio landlords urged: Help students on mental health appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsOct 4th, 2023

Cebu quarrying causes floods, says city council

The Cebu City Council has urged various City Hall departments to submit evaluation reports on areas affected by flooding, including infrastructure and drainage systems made as steps to mitigate the impact. This, as a council member disclosed that the alleged “unabated” quarrying in the upland barangays of the city is causing the flooding to low-lying areas in the city. North district City Councilor Mary Ann delos Santos in her resolution, stressed that while she is not against land development especially for the hinterlands, “the use and development of these particular areas should be made in such a manner that it does not adversely affect the natural flow of runoff water from the hinterland to the lowlands.” “Waters as high as five feet came rushing at the pressures that toppled retaining walls and similar structures,” she added. The resolution, which was adopted by the City Council directed the Cebu City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, the Department of Engineering and Public Works, Office of the Building Official and Cebu City Environment and Natural Resources Office to provide evaluation reports. “The deluge not only caused hours of city-wide traffic, damage to property and injury to persons, but worse, it left an insurmountable fear and trauma upon the affected residents,” Delos Santos said. She also asked if developers of housing and quarrying projects in the mountain barangays submitted drainage impact assessment and strategies to the departments concerned, such as the DEPW, OBO and CCENRO. Delos Santos insisted that “an honest-to-goodness” study of the assessment results, as well as inspections were conducted before the projects started. The CCDRRMO had P450,331,161.40 budget allotment for 2023 for preparedness, prevention and mitigation infrastructure works. The post Cebu quarrying causes floods, says city council appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsSep 28th, 2023