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    MANILA, Philippines  – The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) said that 7,155 unpaid and laid-off overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in Saudi Arabia have already been given financial assistance as of August 11.

    In a press statement, the agency said that P20,000 in financial assistance has already been given to each OFW who were stranded in the kingdom, as well as those who have already been repatriated back to the Philippines.

    Families of stranded OFWs, meanwhile, have also been given P6,000 each as part of OWWA's Relief Assistance Program (RAP). 

    The Philippine Overseas Labor Offices have already distributed cash assistance to a total of 1,764 OFW-claimants in Riyadh, 1,205 claimants in Jeddah, and 379 in Al Khobar. 

    Meanwhile, OWWA Regional Welfare Offices have already given financial assistance to 510 repatriated OFWs, and served 3,297 claimants or relatives of OFWs still at jobsite.  

    The total cash assistance for all RAP beneficiaries has reached P96,930,733.98 as of August 11.

    Lack of manpower, no master list

    The OWWA report comes after migrant rights advocates hit the government for their delayed assistance.

    On Thursday, August 11, ACTS-OFW Party-list Representative John Bertiz expressed concern that financial assistance may be delayed because there is no complete record of the OFWs stranded in Saudi Arabia. He also said there was not enough manpower. 

    "Kasi ang OWWA rin 'di nila alam 'yung laman ng list. Ang list naman ng POEA (Philippine Overseas Employment Administration) ay 8,000 lang, pero sa lista ng DFA (Department of Foreign Affairs) around 11,000," said Bertiz at the Usaping Balita Media Forum at the Serye Cafe Filipino in Quezon City.

    (OWWA doesn't know how many people are on the list. The POEA's list has 8,000, but the DFA listed around 11,000.)

    Longtime OFW advocate Susan Ople also said this lack of a unified and accurate master list could be detrimental to the stranded OFWs. (READ: 'What delays aid for 11,000 stranded OFWs in Saudi?' )

    "Oras na hiningi ng Saudi Arabia ang listahan ng lahat ng stranded na OFWs, ang pangamba namin baka hindi tayo handa kasi ngayon pa lang, iba-iba 'yung mga figures na binibigay," said Ople.

    (Once Saudi Arabia asks for the list of OFWs, my worry is that we may not be ready because as of now, we're giving different figures.)

    More than 11,000 migrant workers in 3 major cities in Saudi Arabi – Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam/Al-Khobar – have been in crisis for months after losing their jobs following a plunge in global oil prices.

    Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said on Wednesday, August 10, that Saudi Arabia King Salman bin Abdulaziz al Saud has pledged to help the OFWs.

    This includes waiving immigration penalties due to their expired working visas, providing plane fare back to the Philippines, food aid, and assistance for re-employment and legal services. – Rappler.com


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    Satellite image as of August 13, 11 am. Image courtesy of PAGASA

    MANILA, Philippines (4th UPDATE) – The La Mesa Dam is now on red alert due to continuous rain, and residents of surrounding areas have already been advised to evacuate, Manila Water said Saturday noon, August 13.

    As of 4 pm, Saturday, the water level at the dam already reached 80.05 meters, just 10 centimeters short of the spilling level of 80.15 meters.

    {source}<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="ht" dir="ltr">LA MESA DAM now on RED ALERT</p>&mdash; Brgy. North Fairview (@nfairview1997) <a href="https://twitter.com/nfairview1997/status/764318095628378112">August 13, 2016</a></blockquote>
    <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>{/source}

    {source}<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="tl" dir="ltr">Patuloy ang pagtaas ng level ng tubig sa La Mesa Dam, pinapayuhan na LUMIKAS na ang mga nasa mabababang lugar at flood prone areas.</p>&mdash; Brgy. North Fairview (@nfairview1997) <a href="https://twitter.com/nfairview1997/status/764336916514742272">August 13, 2016</a></blockquote>

    <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>{/source}

     

    North Fairview barangay captain Manuel Chua noted that the dam has no gate and once its limit is reached, water will overflow to the Tullahan River, affecting several barangays.

    {source}<iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fbarangaynorthfairview%2Fposts%2F1055324587891629&width=500" width="500" height="645" style="border:none;overflow:hidden" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowTransparency="true"></iframe>{/source}

     

    La Mesa Dam engineer Teddy Angeles recommended "forced evacuation" in low-lying areas. 

    Affected areas include communities in Quezon City, Valenzuela, Malabon, and Navotas which are along the Tullahan River.

    The implementation of the recommendation to conduct forced evacuation is up to local authorities.

    Meanwhile, the water level of the Marikina River reached 17.7 meters as of 3:50 pm, according to the Marikina Public Information Office (PIO).

    This prompted Marikina authorities to begin implementing mandatory evacuation for residents of the city's low-lying areas.

    By 4:17 pm, the water level of the Marikina River had already hit 18 meters, which is equivalent to Alert Level 4.

    {source}<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr"><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/agos?src=hash">#agos</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/MovePH">@MovePH</a> VIDEO : Water level of Marikina River beside Riverbanks &amp; SM Marikina taken at 2:10 pm today. <a href="https://t.co/WhBqt2ZBCp">pic.twitter.com/WhBqt2ZBCp</a></p>&mdash; Rupert Ambil II (@rupertambil) <a href="https://twitter.com/rupertambil/status/764358726018961408">August 13, 2016</a></blockquote>

    <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>{/source}

     

    State weather bureau PAGASA said on Saturday that Luzon and Western Visayas will continue to experience rainy weather for the next 3 to 5 days due to the southwest monsoon or habagat.

    In its 11 am bulletin on Saturday, PAGASA said the southwest monsoon will bring moderate to occasionally heavy rains over Metro Manila, Cavite, Bataan, Zambales, and Ilocos Region. – Rappler.com


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    MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Due to heavy rain, the water level of the Marikina River reached the 4th alarm on Saturday afternoon, August 13, prompting an evacuation of residents near the river.

    As of 4:17 pm, the water reached the critical alarm level of 18 meters, according to the city's Public Information Office (PIO). All floodgates have been opened, according to the PIO.

    The alert is raised when water level reaches 18 meters. This means that the local government unit will implement forced evacuation in low-lying and flood-prone areas.

    {source}<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr"><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/agos?src=hash">#agos</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/MovePH">@MovePH</a> VIDEO : Water level of Marikina River beside Riverbanks &amp; SM Marikina taken at 2:10 pm today. <a href="https://t.co/WhBqt2ZBCp">pic.twitter.com/WhBqt2ZBCp</a></p>&mdash; Rupert Ambil II (@rupertambil) <a href="https://twitter.com/rupertambil/status/764358726018961408">August 13, 2016</a></blockquote>

    <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>{/source}

     

    As of 5 pm, more than 1,440 families or around 6,700 people have been evacuated from flood-prone areas, PIA Marikina told Rappler.

    State weather bureau PAGASA said on Saturday that Luzon and Western Visayas will continue to experience rainy weather for the next 3 to 5 days due to the southwest monsoon or habagat.

    In its 11 am bulletin on Saturday, PAGASA said the southwest monsoon will bring moderate to occasionally heavy rain over Metro Manila, Cavite, Bataan, Zambales, and the Ilocos Region. – Rappler.com 


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    MANILA, Philippines – The effects of corruption can be felt not only by individual Filipinos but by businesses and corporations as well.

    Various transactions – from getting permits to paying taxes – could be tedious, but these are vital for both businesses and government. When corruption enters the picture, it has serious repercussions on the country's economy. (IN NUMBERS: Impact of corruption on the Philippines)

    It is therefore important for government agencies to eliminate corruption within their own ranks and stop its practice when dealing with businesses.

    Since 2000, the Social Weather Stations (SWS) has conducted surveys about corruption in government, with executives of hundreds of enterprises nationwide as respondents.

    These business owners and managers were asked, among others, about the sincerity of select government agencies in fighting corruption.

    At least 37 agencies were named in the surveys. Their net sincerity ratings were computed as the percentage of sincerity minus the rate of insincerity as viewed by survey respondents.

    And the consistent "least sincere" government agency over the years? The Bureau of Customs (BOC). 

    Starting from a -83 rating in 2000, the BOC's rating has never gone above a Very Bad rating, except in 2012 when it received a -46 rating (or a Bad rating grade). The following year, it dropped again to -63. In the latest 2014/2015 survey, its rating increased by only 8 points, to -55. 

    As you can seen in the graph below, the BOC is far from the others on the latest 2014/2015 SWS survey.

    {source}

    <div class="blob-full">
    <iframe src="http://pages.rappler.com/sws-2016/v1.html" width="100%" height="550" frameborder="0" scrolling="no"></iframe>
    </div>

    {/source}


    SWS ratings grade

    Since 2009, the SWS used the following terms to classify the net sincerity ratings:

    Excellent 70 and up
    Very Good 50 to 69
    Good 30 to 49
    Moderate 10 to 29
    Neutral -9 to 9
    Poor -10 to -29
    Bad -30 to -49
    Very Bad  -50 to -69
    Execrable -70 and below

    Two other agencies scored poorly over the years, but their ratings have improved from 2012. 

    The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) was rated -68 from 2000 and had similar ratings until 2009 (at -65). In the next survey in 2012, its score jumped to -21 (Poor), and managed to maintain its score since.

    The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) also had Bad to Very Bad ratings up to 2009. But it got a 37-point leap in 2012, with a -20 rating (Poor). In the 2014/2015 survey, it received a Neutral -4 rating.

    Improvements

    In fact, the net sincerity rating of almost all agencies improved starting in 2012. The biggest gainer was the Office of the President, which scored -37 (Bad) in 2009 but jumped to 80 (Excellent) in 2012.

    Only 3 offices got a lower rating in 2012 compared to 2009: the Commission on Elections (from -8 [Neutral] to -13 [Poor]), the Supreme Court (from 40 [Good] to 24 [Moderate]), and the respondents' city governments (from 35 [Good] to 21 [Moderate]).

    In the latest 2014/2015 survey, 5 agencies were graded Very Good, 8 were Good, 8 were Moderate, 9 were Neutral, 5 were Poor, and 1 was Very Bad.

    As for the movement in their rating grades, 8 got upgraded, 7 were downgraded, while 19 agencies got the same grade.

    Two offices were rated for the first time: the Civil Service Commission (with a 41 or Good rating) and the Governance Commission for corporations owned and controlled by government (with a 12 or Moderate rating).

    The SWS surveys were based on face-to-face interviews with business executives in Metro Manila (since 2000), Metro Cebu and Metro Davao (since 2004), the Cavite-Laguna-Batangas and Cagayan de Oro-Iligan areas (from 2005-2007 and since 2009), and Metro Angeles and Metro Iloilo (since 2012). – Rappler.com

    Have you ever been asked to give a bribe? Email details to notonmywatch@rappler.com. It will help if you send supporting documents and contact information so we can reach you in case we need more details.

    Encourage your friends to join and become integrity champions by sharing this link on Facebook and Twitter using hashtag #notonmywatch

    Would you like to volunteer? Sign-up via fightcorruption.ph


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    FLOODWATERS SUBSIDE. As of 10:06 pm, August 13, the water level in Marikina River goes down to 17.4 meters. Photo courtesy of  the Marikina City Public Information Office

    MANILA, Philippines – Don't panic. 

    There is no truth to text rumors that the Marikina floods will reach Tropical Storm Ondoy levels, according to Project NOAH or Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards.  

    "There is no truth in the statement that floods in Marikina will reach Ondoy levels. Project NOAH never said that,” Project NOAH executive director Dr Alfredo Mahar Lagmay said.

    In a phone interview with Rappler on Saturday night, August 13, Lagmay noted that "alert level 4 was raised Saturday afternoon with water level of 18 meters breached, requiring forced evacuation of residents in low lying areas of Marikina." (READ: #FloodPH: Forced evacuation ordered in Marikina)

    Water level in Marikina had been receding since 6:30 pm Saturday, said Lagmay.

    As of 10:06 pm, the water level has gone down to 17.4 meters, according to the Marikina City Public Information Office (PIO).

    Malacanang's Crisis Communication Center Laging Handa also belied the rumor in a Facebook post.

     

    {source}

    <center>

    <iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FLagingHandaPHL%2Fposts%2F1570854989877546&width=500" width="500" height="287" style="border:none;overflow:hidden" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowTransparency="true"></iframe>

    </center>

    {/source}

    Meanwhile, in a press briefing at 5 pm on Saturday, state weather bureau PAGASA warned Luzon and Western Visayas to brace for more heavy rains in the next 5 days.

    For Sunday, August 14, in particular, PAGASA said there would be more monsoon rains in Metro Manila, Zambales, Bataan, Pampanga, Pangasinan, Nueva Ecija, Tarlac, Bulacan, Rizal, Cavite, Laguna, and Batangas.

    These areas should watch out for even more floods and landslides- Rappler.com 


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    FLOODWATER. Children wade through waist-deep floodwater caused by monsoon rains along AFP Road in Quezon City. Photo by Joel Liporada/Rappler

    MANILA, Philippines – Thousands fled their homes as rivers swelled and overflowed due to heavy rains on Saturday, August 13. 

    As of 6 am Sunday, August 14, at least 14,745 families or about 69,000 people had been displaced, according to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), which heads the response cluster of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC). 

    According to the DSWD, at least 79 evacuation centers were opened in affected areas in Luzon, serving 3,888 families in the National Capital Region (NCR), Central Luzon, and Calabarzon. Meanwhile, at least 16,483 families that are being served by the agency are outside evacuation centers.

    Based on the report of the education cluster of the NDRRMC, at least 23 schools were used as evacuation centers – 19 schools in NCR and Calabarzon and 4 schools in Central Luzon.

    Prepositioned resources

    In a press briefing at 5 pm on Saturday, state weather bureau PAGASA warned Luzon and Western Visayas to brace for more heavy rains in the next 5 days.

    For Sunday in particular, PAGASA said there would be more monsoon rains in Metro Manila, Zambales, Bataan, Pampanga, Pangasinan, Nueva Ecija, Tarlac, Bulacan, Rizal, Cavite, Laguna, and Batangas. These areas should watch out for even more floods and landslides.

    "We urge Filipinos, especially in flood-prone areas, to make their own preparations for any possible emergencies even as the DSWD also monitors developments. We have prepositioned food packs, and emergency rescue and relief units are on standby," Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo said.

    The DSWD has around P34.2 million on standby for the purchase of emergency relief supplies. The agency prepared 196,626 family packs for distribution to affected families.

    About 10,000 brown rice bars will also be delivered to DSWD-NCR on Sunday.

    Social welfare and development teams are in coordination with local government units to identify other needed services. – Rappler.com


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    What's the weather like in your area? Report the situation through Rappler's Agos or tweet us at @rapplerdotcom.

    Please refresh this page for updates.

    MANILA, Philippines – Here is a list of areas and schools where classes have been suspended for Monday, August 15, as the southwest monsoon brings heavy rains.

    • Marikina– all levels (public and private)
    • Quezon City– all levels (public and private)
    • Bacolor, Pampanga – all levels (public and private)
    • Guagua, Pampanga – all levels (public and private)
    • Mabalacat, Pampanga – preschool to high school (public and private)
    • Magalang, Pampanga – all levels (public and private)
    • Masantol, Pampanga – preschool to high school (public and private)
    • Mexico, Pampanga – preschool to high school (public and private)
    • Minalin, Pampanga – all levels (public and private)
    • San Fernando, Pampanga– all levels (public and private)
    • Sasmuan, Pampanga – all levels (public and private)
    • Sto Tomas, Pampanga – all levels (public and private)
    • Cainta, Rizal– all levels (public and private)
    • Rodriguez, Rizal– all levels (public and private)
    • San Mateo, Rizal– all levels (public and private)

    Not on the list? Help us crowdsource class suspensions by posting in the comments section or tweeting @rapplerdotcom.

    For more information: When are classes cancelled or suspended? – Rappler.com


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    MANILA, Philippines – The La Mesa Dam in Quezon City remains on red alert as of Sunday, August 14.

    Barangay North Fairview said the dam's water level as of 11 am on Sunday is 80.07 meters.

    This is just 8 centimeters short of the spilling level of 80.15 meters.

    On Saturday, August 13, La Mesa Dam engineer Teddy Angeles had already recommended forced evacuation for residents of low-lying areas.

    These include communities in Quezon City, Valenzuela, Malabon, and Navotas which are along the Tullahan River. – Rappler.com


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    MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is now accepting donations for the families affected by the continuous heavy downpour brought about by the southwest monsoon.

    As of 6 am on Sunday, August 14, at least 14,745 families or about 69,000 people have been displaced, according to the DSWD, which heads the response cluster of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).

    At least 79 evacuation centers were opened in affected areas in Luzon, serving 3,888 families in the National Capital Region (NCR), Central Luzon, and Calabarzon. Meanwhile, at least 16,483 families that are being served by the agency are outside evacuation centers.

    National Capital Region

    Donors in Metro Manila can give their donations to the DSWD at the following offices:

    • National Resource Operations Center (NROC)

    Chapel Road, Pasay City
    Telephone number: (02) 852-8081

    • DSWD-NCR

    389 San Rafael St cor Legarda St, Manila
    Telephone number: (02) 733-0010 to 14 

    Response teams are ready to accept donations.

    Outside Metro Manila

    Outside Metro Manila, the public can donate at the nearest DSWD field office in their area or to their local government units (LGUs).

    "They (the public) can directly go to any evacuation center in their locality and distribute their donations. The social workers in the evacuation centers can assist them. They may give clothes, medicines, hygiene kits, food, or hot meals," DSWD Secretary Judy Taguiwalo said.

    Don't hesitate to ask for DSWD's help

    Taguiwalo thanked the generous donors.

    EVACUATION CENTER. DSWD Secretary Judy Taguiwalo and volunteers visit an evacuation center in Barangay Bagong Silangan, Quezon City, on August 14, 2016. Photo by DSWD

    "Kailangan po namin talaga ang tulong ng bawat isa sa atin para mapalawig pa natin ang tulong para sa mga kababayan nating biktima ng mga kalamidad. Makakakaasa kayo na ang mga donasyon ninyo ay maipaparating sa kanila," Taguiwalo said.

    (We need the help of everyone to further expand our assistance for our fellow countrymen who are affected by disasters. We assure you that your donations will reach the rightful beneficiaries.)

    She reiterated that affected families should not wait for social workers to reach out to them. They can approach the DSWD field office nearest them or their LGUs.

    "Huwag po tayong mag-atubiling lumapit para humingi ng tulong kung tayo ay biktima. Sa dami po minsan ng mga apektadong tao ay may nakakaligtaan ang ating gobyerno."

    (Do not hesitate to ask for help. Often, due to the large number of victims, there are some families who may not be reached immediately.)

    Agos Alert Map

    Those who need relief goods can alert Rappler's Agos disaster information management platform via Twitter – tag @MovePH or tweet with #ReliefPH. The public can also send an SMS, text 2929 for Smart and Sun subscribers, or directly post on the Agos map. 

    Agos is a collaborative platform that combines top-down government action with bottom-up civic engagement to help communities mitigate risks and deal with climate change and natural hazards. – Rappler.com


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    MANILA, Philippines - Water service provider Maynilad on Sunday, August 14, advised some residents of Metro Manila to stock up on water, after it was forced to reduce water production to remove sediments

    In a statement Sunday, Maynilad said it has reduced the output of its La Mesa Treatment Plants 1 and 2 by 400 million liters per day (MLD) so it can remove the increased sediments from the raw water.

    The increase in the sediments was caused by soil erosion, which was triggered by monsoon rain in the Angat watershed area.

    Erosion has increased the turbidity level – or the amount of sediments – at the Angat Dam to 1,600 nephelometric units (NTU) from the normal level of 300 NTU. 

    The reduction in water production affects about 850,000 accounts or 66% of the West Zone, which covers parts of Manila, Quezon City, and Makati and the cities of Caloocan, Pasay, Parañaque, Las Pinas, Muntinlupa, Valenzuela, Navotas, and Malabon.

    Maynilad said elevated areas may experience reduced to zero water supply. 

    "We are continuously monitoring the raw water quality in Angat Dam and conducting the necessary system adjustments so we can return to normal water production levels at the soonest possible time," said Maynilad's water supply operations head Ronaldo Padua.

    Maynilad will deploy 54 water tankers so it can deliver potable water to affected areas. Customers may request for water tanker delivery through its special water tankering hotline 737-3311.

    For the latest updates, customers can visit the company's social media accounts (Twitter: @maynilad, Facebook: MayniladWater).

    The monsoon rain displaced more than 69,000 people and increased the threat of landslides and floods, particularly in low-lying areas across the western portion of Luzon.

    The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council advised the public in coastal, low-lying, and hazard-prone areas to be on alert. – Rappler.com


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    MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is requesting donors to post photos of their relief operations or what they donated on social media so the agency can track and manage resources efficiently. 

    DSWD secretary Judy Taguiwalo earlier said the public can donate relief goods, like new clothes and food, directly to DSWD offices or evacuation centers nationwide. (READ: #ReliefPH: How to help those affected by monsoon rains) 

    DSWD Director Felino Castro said the agency is tracking #ReliefPH posts to determine what resources are still needed at the evacuation centers. 

    The DSWD has prepositioned food and other supplies, but various groups and individuals have inquired how they can help.

    How to report 

    Donors can post their relief activities or what they donated on Twitter and Facebook with the hashtag #ReliefPH followed by the location of the evacuation center location and details of the evacuation centers can be found on Rappler's Agos Alert Map, which visualizes critical information for disaster managers and the public.

    To view the evacuation centers, go to agos.rappler.com and click on the NCR evacuation centers layer. You can click each icon to know the status of the evacuation center.

      

    Twitter posts using the hashtag #ReliefPH and with geolocation turned on will appear on the Agos Map. 

    Sun and Smart subscribers can also text the information to 2929. Be sure to include the street name and the quantity of goods donated. 

     

    Over 69,000 people have been displaced by the continuous heavy rain fall due to the Southwest Monsoon. Thousands remain in evacuation centers in Metro Manila, Central Luzon, and Calabarzon. – Rappler.com

     


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    RISING. The Marikina River water level rises anew on August 14, 2016. Photo by LeAnne Jazul/Rappler

    MANILA, Philippines – The water level of the Marikina River again rose on Sunday, August 14, after it started to go down Saturday evening, August 13.

    As of 5:31 pm on Sunday, the water level was at 16.7 meters, still considered Alert Level 4.

    As of Sunday morning, the Marikina Public Information Office (PIO) said there were 2,087 families or 10,561 individuals evacuated from their homes.

    EVACUEES. Around 150 families temporarily stay at this covered court in Marikina on August 14, 2016. Photo by LeAnne Jazul/Rappler

    According to the Philippine Information Agency-National Capital Region (PIA-NCR), Marikina authorities have been providing meals, water, and medical services to the evacuees since 6 pm, Saturday.

    Since the Marikina River remains under Alert Level 4, it is not yet advisable for evacuees to return to their homes.

    The monsoon rains triggered flooding in parts of the city.

    FLOODED. A bridge connecting Tumana and Malanday in Marikina City remains impassable on August 14, 2016. Photo by LeAnne Jazul/Rappler

    – Rappler.com


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    IPU-IPO. A screen grab of the tornado that hit Manila. Photo by Paulo Domingo

    MANILA, Philippines – A tornado hit Manila amid heavy rain brought by the southwest monsoon (habagat) on Sunday, August 14, leaving 1 injured and more than 100 houses destroyed, according to city disaster management chief Johnny Yu.

    Locally called "ipu-ipo," the tornado was seen passing by Fort Santiago in a video posted by netizen Paulo Domingo.

    "At first it was just a strong wind but then the people near our dorm (Madrigal Dormtel) started screaming. The tornado passed by the dorm in Fort Santiago at around 4:30 pm... I was only around 10 meters away," Domingo told Rappler. 

    Domingo said that based on eyewitness accounts, the tornado started from the city's port area. 

    "I think many iron sheets were blown away because the tornado lasted 10 minutes... I don't know if anyone was injured but I saw that many trees fell and garbage were scattered. After the tornado, the people started going out to fix the damage," he added.

    Other netizens also posted videos of the tornado.

    {source}

    <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Happened around 5PM today. <a href="https://t.co/cIS1Jj3moI">pic.twitter.com/cIS1Jj3moI</a></p>&mdash; Adesa Ferraris (@adesaferraris) <a href="https://twitter.com/adesaferraris/status/764790036231393281">August 14, 2016</a></blockquote>
    <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

    {/source}

    {source}

    <iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fkarendaphne%2Fvideos%2F10205054968413154%2F&show_text=0&width=560" width="560" height="315" style="border:none;overflow:hidden" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowTransparency="true" allowFullScreen="true"></iframe>

    {/source}

    {source}

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    {/source} 

    'Nothing to fear'

    While the tornado in Manila was destructive, weather forecaster Buddy Javier of state weather bureau PAGASA said there is nothing to fear because tornadoes can occur anytime. 

    "Tornadoes occur when there are congestive clouds – when the warm air goes up and it becomes heavily dense, it will come down. At the same time, there's still warm air going up so a circulation occurs," Javier told Rappler.

    He added: "It can happen anytime even if there's no southwest monsoon, as long as congestive clouds are present. We've seen it happen in other areas in the country before."

    Javier added that the damage in Manila is what's expected in the aftermath of tornadoes.

    "Structures made of light materials are in danger of being destroyed. Trees can be uprooted. It can happen anytime, yes, but it's usually not destructive," he added.

    PAGASA earlier warned Luzon and Western Visayas on Saturday, August 13, to brace for more heavy rains in the next 5 days. In Marikina City alone, some 2,087 families or 10,561 individuals already evacuated from their homes. – With a report from Voltaire Tupaz/Rappler.com 


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    This is a developing story. Please refresh for updates.

    MANILA, Philippines – (2ND UPDATE) A miner was killed while 5 others remain missing after flood waters filled a tunnel they were working in on Saturday morning, August 13. One other worker was rescued.

    The construction workers were inside the Sumag River Diversion Tunnel, which is being built by the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) at Sitio Sumag in General Nakar, Quezon province. 

    According to reports from the 48th Infrantry Batallion and the General Nakar Responders, water from the Sumag River overflowed and caused the coffer dam - which temporarily diverts the river - to collapse at around 6:30 AM on August 13. The fast rising water rushed into the diversion tunnel trapping the 7 workers who were identified as safety engineer Roland Sanchez, geological mapper Zenith Picat, and miners Danny Hornois, Simeon Sig-Od, Salvador Pacling, Fredie Sanadan, and David Guiag. 

    Other tunnel workers and soldiers immediately conducted a search and rescue operation. They were able to save Pacling but found the lifeless body of Sig-Od on Saturday evening.

    The Philippine Disaster Resiliance Foundation said rescue operations were hampered by the poor visibility and difficult access. A rescue team from the Philex Mining Corporation was sent to the area to look for possible survivors.

    The Sumag River Diversion Tunnel is part of the Umiray-Angat Transbasin Rehabilitation Project, a P717-million infrastructure project to provide more source water for the Angat Dam.

    The tunnel project's contractor is Cavite Ideal International Construction and Development Corporation (CAVDEAL). – Rappler.com 


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    RED ALERT. The red alert light is switched on at the DSWD's new Virtual Operations Center (VOC) based in Quezon City, signalling the agency's heightened response to the southwest monsoon. Photo courtesy of Felino Castro V

    MANILA, Philippines – At 5 pm on Saturday, August 13, as soon as the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) raised the alert level to red, the corresponding alert light in the operations center of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) was turned on. 

    This signalled the agency's heightened response to the southwest monsoon or habagat using its new Virtual Operations Center (VOC). The online platform was launched just last August 3 by the Disaster Response and Management Bureau (DReaMB) at the DSWD central office.

    Thanks to the VOC, DReaMB Director Felino Castro V could still monitor and gather reports from the field and social media on Saturday, while he was at the NDRRMC operations center.

    The data that the DSWD needs to send assistance was at Castro's fingertips, and these information are also accessible to the public.

    {source}

    <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Red alert: <a href="https://twitter.com/NDRRMC_OpCen">@NDRRMC_OpCen</a> Response Cluster is activated for habagat <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/FloodPH?src=hash">#FloodPH</a> <a href="https://t.co/zLnYJptRoG">pic.twitter.com/zLnYJptRoG</a></p>&mdash; Voltaire Tupaz (@VoltaireTupaz) <a href="https://twitter.com/VoltaireTupaz/status/764405660670947328">August 13, 2016</a></blockquote>
    <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

    {/source}

     

    Evacuation centers 

    Overnight, as the monsoon rains continued to pound the National Capital Region (NCR), Central Luzon, and Calabarzon, Castro's team monitored various efforts to evacuate residents from low-lying and flood-prone areas. 

    The VOC indicated that the DSWD was prepared to respond if affected areas needed additional help. The agency had around P900 million on standby for the purchase of emergency relief supplies. The online platform also showed that the agency prepared 540,000 family packs for distribution to affected families.

    By 6 am on Sunday, August 14, the VOC posted a situational report showing that at least 79 evacuation centers were opened in affected areas in Luzon, serving 3,888 families. 

    EVACUATION CENTERS. Based on a situation report available through DSWD's Virtual OpCen, the evacuation centers are plotted on the Agos map powered by eBayanihan.

    #ReliefPH operations

    With the help of MovePH, Rappler's civic engagement arm, the evacuation centers were plotted on the Agos map powered by eBayanihan on Sunday. The evacuation map can also be viewed on the VOC. 

    Agos is a collaborative platform that combines top-down government action with bottom-up civic engagement to help communities mitigate risks and deal with climate change and natural hazards.  

    {source}

    <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">.<a href="https://twitter.com/dswdserves">@dswdserves</a> Dir Felino Castro urges netizens to post <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/FloodPH?src=hash">#FloodPH</a> &amp; <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/RescuePH?src=hash">#RescuePH</a> reports on <a href="https://t.co/q4RWwoiC3h">https://t.co/q4RWwoiC3h</a> <a href="https://t.co/KBftx9AJ64">pic.twitter.com/KBftx9AJ64</a></p>&mdash; Voltaire Tupaz (@VoltaireTupaz) <a href="https://twitter.com/VoltaireTupaz/status/764416198477881344">August 13, 2016</a></blockquote>
    <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

    {/source}

     

    The DSWD is using the map to track the status of evacuation centers. It is also being used to inform donors who wish to help evacuees. (READ: DSWD to donors: Tweet your #ReliefPH operations)

    Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo encouraged the public to donate relief goods to affected families.

    VOC. The DSWD's Virtual Operations Center (VOC) may be accessed at http://dromic.dswd.gov.ph, where users can view and download critical disaster preparedness and response information.

    Other features

    Through the VOC, the DSWD said it is making available to the public information on the agency's disaster preparedness and response efforts. Technology, in this case, is being used to promote transparency and good governance.

    "Information is power, and we want this power to be used by Filipinos so they themselves can find means to prepare for calamities and help themselves immediately when calamities strike," Taguiwalo said.

    The online platform also includes the following features: 

    • Hazards information from NDRRMC partner agencies 
    • Exposure datasets from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) and the DSWD's list of poor families
    • Predictive analytics for humanitarian response

    "It is our goal to continually improve the mechanisms for disaster response," Castro said. "The sharing of information through this facility is a very important step towards attaining our shared vision for disaster response." – Rappler.com 


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    MAKING A LIVING. An elderly driver brings stranded people to their destinations along Jose Abad Santos Avenue in San Fernando, Pampanga. Photo by Jun A. Malig

    PAMPANGA, Philippines – Some 1,851 people were evacuated in this province due to flooding caused by monsoon rains. 

    Angelina Blanco, Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (PDRRM) officer, said 249 persons from 6 flooded barangays of San Fernando, 1,598 persons from Dila-Dila and San Juan barangays in Sta Rita town, and 4 from the barangay of Tenejero in Bacolor town have been brought to safer areas as of Sunday, August 14.

    Blanco said the evacuees are currently staying in multi-purpose halls, covered courts, schools, and church buildings in San Fernando, Sta Rita, and Bacolor.

    In the capital city of San Fernando, bridges in San Agustin, Sto Niño and St Jude overflowed due to garbage siltation, while the San Pedro-Sta Lucia tail dike in Sta Ana town had to be reinforced with sandbags.

    The Baliuag-Candaba Road in Candaba town became impassable to all types of vehicles, while the Rotunda area of Dolores and Ponduan along the old public market in San Fernando has been impassable to light vehicles since Saturday, August 13.

    Some areas in the capital city and the towns of Guagua, Lubao, Macabebe, Masantol, Mexico, Sta Ana, and San Simon also experienced floods up to 3 feet deep.

    The Pampanga PDRRM Council activated an operations center at the city terminal in San Fernando. The council also deployed disaster response equipment like trucks and rubber boats. – Rappler.com


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    INUNDATED. Men navigate through a flooded area in Marikina City, August 14, 2016. Photo by Martin San Diego/Rappler

    MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Marikina City has lifted all alert levels as the waters of the Marikina River continue to go down Monday morning, August 15.

    As of 11:30 am, the water level of the Marikina River stood at 14.5 meters, the city's Public Information Office said in an update.

    The water level of the river has been closely monitored over the weekend, as monsoon rains dumped water across large parts of Luzon, including Metro Manila.

    On Sunday, August 14, water levels rose up to 16.8 meters, prompting the city to issue Alert Level 4, leading to evacuations of people living near the river.

    The monsoon also triggered flooding in parts of the city.

    There are still around 622 families, or 2,742 individuals, temporarily sheltered in 6 schools in the city.

    With the lifting of all alerts for Marikina River, evacuees can now return to their homes. – Rappler.com


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    The one stop service center is expected to serve as many as 2000 to 3000 OFWs everyday. Photo by Don Kevin Hapal

    MANILA, Philippines – In response to President Rodrigo Duterte’s orders to streamline government services, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) opened the first one-stop service center for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) Monday, August 15. 

    The newly opened center includes representatives from various agencies with services that are all “relevant to OFWs,” and is now ready to serve as many as 2,000 to 3,000 OFWs daily, according to POEA Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac.

    The service center, located at the ground floor of the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency (POEA) in Mandaluyong City, aims to reduce transportation expenses of OFWs and shorten the processing time for their documents.

    OFWs may now avail of the following services from the one-stop service center:

    • Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA)
      • Passport services
      • Passport validity extension for Balik-Manggagawa (vacationing Workers)
    • Overseas Welfare Workers Administration (OWWA)
      • Processing of OWWA membership/renewal of membership
    • Technical Education and Skills Development (TESDA)
      • Assistance for competency assessment
      • Verification of certificates and special order
      • Assistance forrReplacement of National Certificates (NC)/ Certificates of Competency (COC) 
      • Training assistance and scholarship program
    • Professional Regulation Commission (PRC)
      • Issuance of Professional License
    • Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA)
      • Issuance/revalidation of seaman’s book
    • Home Development Mutual Fund (HDMF)
      • Processing of Pag-ibig membership
    • Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PHIC)
      • Payment of Philhealth contribution
      • Member registration and updating 8.
    • Social Security System (SSS)
      • Registration and membership data amendment
      • Acceptance of loan and benefits claim applications
      • Loan verification and status
      • UMID capturing and card releasing
      • Response to queries
    • Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA)
      • Processing and copy issuance of
        • Certificate of Live Birth
        • Certificate of Marriage
        • Certificate of Death
        • Certificate of No Marriage (CENOMAR)
    • Bureau of Immigration (BI)
      • Departure clearance information
    • National Bureau of Investigation (NBI)
      • Issuance of NBI clearance
    • Commission on Higher Education (CHED)
      • Verification and authentication of school credentials
    • Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA)
      • Travel tax payment
      • Processing of travel tax exemption and reduced travel tax
      • Response to queries
    • Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA)
      • Documentation of workers (Landbased and Seabased)
      • Documentation of workers-on-leave/Balik-Manggagawa
      • Registration of landbased worker-applicants
      • Verification/certification of OFW records
      • Provision of legal assistance
      • Response to queries

    According to Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, similar centers will also be set up in all regions spearheaded by the Department of Labor and Employment Regional Offices in coordination with the regional offices of the agencies cited above, local government units, and other partners and stakeholders.

    The service centers will be open from 8am to 5pm from Monday to Friday. – Rappler.com 


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    FORUM. Asian youth delegates participate in a discussion on climate change prevention. Photo by Paco Tantoco/Rappler

    “Imagine the world in 2030.”

     

    Carmela Locsin, one of the Director Generals at Asian Development Bank (ADB), addressed her large audience, inviting them all to close their eyes as they envisioned what the world would look like in 14 years. Given all the issues that plague the world today—climate change, terrorism, poverty, corruption—one would expect the audience to envision a world still deeply embroiled in these problems. Surprisingly, however, the audience’s answers conveyed a powerful sense of hope.

     

    “I see a world where plants grow on the sides of our buildings, and our cities look like gardens,” said one of the audience members. “A world where everyone takes their bikes to work, and strangers wave to one another as they pass by.” Another audience member even went so far as to say that, in 14 years, we would be living in a world, “where not a single person suffers from hunger.”

     

    This visualization was one of the many activities that took place during the Asian Youth Forum. The three-day seminar, hosted by ADB, gave youth delegates from all over Asia the chance to learn about the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and play a concrete part in bringing them to fruition. These goals, agreed upon by over 150 world leaders, are a call for people everywhere to work towards the improvement of five key areas: people, planet, peace, prosperity, and partnership. (READ: World leaders adopt global goals to end poverty in 15 years)

     

    The Youth Forum was the culmination of the Asia Pacific Youth Exchange, a two week program in which youth delegates were encouraged to work towards the fulfillment of the SDGs. According to Hyoung Min Kim, the founder and director of the program, what really sets the Asia Pacific Youth Exchange apart from other youth conferences is that it gives participants the chance to “engage with the real world and create output, rather than just sit and listen to a series of talks all day.”

     

    Immersion

     

    The members of the Youth Forum also experienced a weeklong immersion, during which they experienced life in one of the Philippines’ many rural communities. During their stay in these communities, the delegates were divided into groups and tasked to solve problems related to the SDGs.

     

    At the Youth Forum, the groups were given the chance to present their ideas to a panel. The ideas with the most merit will be funded and implemented by ADB, together with its many partner organizations. The three winning youth programs were those that dealt with the SDGs on affordable & clean energy, clean water & sanitation, and no hunger.

    PROGRAM WINNERS. Aaron Lopez (L), Nisa Vidya Yuniarti (C), Jethro Jungco (R). Photo by Paco Tantoco/Rappler  

    Innovative programs

     

    Jethro Jungco, a Filipino youth delegate from Sta. Rosa who is currently studying industrial engineering led a team that developed a solar power system that could provide continuous electricity to the residents of a small barangay in Pangasinan. Their system was designed so that its beneficiaries would be able to sell excess energy back to the grid.

     

    “This way,” said Jungco, “the project will be sustainable in the long run. The people of the barangay will be able to pay for the maintenance of their solar panels, and even improve their community by having cell towers built.”

     

    Aaron Lopez, another Filipino youth delegate, focused on providing clean water and sanitation. Lopez and his team designed the Water and Sanitation House (WASH) for communities without access to clean water. The WASH is a small structure that collects rainwater, then uses bicycle-powered machines called “aquaducts” to purify it. According to Lopez, the WASH’s manually powered technology will ensure that even people in remote areas will always have access to clean water.

     

    Nisa Vidya Yuniarti, a youth delegate from Indonesia, focused on eliminating hunger. Yuniarti and her group began their “No Hunger” project by researching on the dietary needs of citizens from a small community in Sta. Rosa, Laguna.

     

    “We found that the people of the community, especially women, weren’t getting enough vegetables, fruits, and rice,” said Yuniarti. “They were only eating these foods one to two times a week, when they should have been eating them everyday.”

     

    To alleviate the problem, the group developed a program that would teach women how to cultivate specific fruit plantations. According to the group, these fruit plantations would yield enough fruit to meet the community’s dietary needs, along with some excess crop that could be sold.

     

    These three extraordinary youth groups have actually already proposed their programs to the LGUs of their respective immersion communities, and are in the process of fleshing out the finer details of their plans.

     

    Now that they’ve made their voices heard at the Asian Youth Forum, the programs they’ve designed are on the way to implementation. With support and funding from ADB, LGUs, and partner organizations, it shouldn’t be long until communities around the country start to benefit from these youth projects. – Rappler.com

    Paco Tantoco is a student of the Ateneo de Manila University and a Rappler Intern.


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    What's the weather like in your area? Report the situation through Rappler's Agos or tweet us at @rapplerdotcom.

    Please refresh this page for updates.

    MANILA, Philippines – Here is a list of areas and schools where classes have been suspended for Tuesday, August 16, amid floods brought by monsoon rains.

    Not on the list? Help us crowdsource class suspensions by posting in the comments section or tweeting @rapplerdotcom.

    For more information: When are classes cancelled or suspended? – Rappler.com


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