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    COVER. Quezon City Hall employees join the 4th Nationwide "Shake Drill" on Thursday, July 19, 2018. Photo by Darren Langit/Rappler

    MANILA, Philippines – The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) held its fourth Metro Manila-wide earthquake drill after sending a text blast an hour before the drill's start time at 1 pm on Thursday, July 19.

    Dubbed the #MMShakeDrill, local government units, private companies, and individuals performed their response protocols for "The Big One," a major earthquake expected to hit Metro Manila once the West Valley Fault moves. Individually, residents of Metro Manila performed the “duck, cover, and hold" during the earthquake drill. (READ: What dangers await when the West Valley Fault moves?)

    According to Quezon City disaster risk reduction and management chief Mike Marasigan, there is a need to participate in earthquake exercises to practice and test the safety measures for a major earthquake scenario. (READ: Earthquake tips: what to do before during, and after an earthquake)

    "We have to teach them what to do before, during, and after an earthquake, and how to survive on their own," said Marasigan.

    Based on the Metro Manila Earthquake Impact Reduction Study (MMEIRS), a study that analyzed the different possible earthquake scenarios, the strong earthquake that could hit the mega city will leave 33,500 people dead and an about 113,600 more injured.

    In the staging and planning of the earthquake drill, the MMDA has divided Metro Manila into 4 quadrants.

    “No one can predict when an earthquake will happen. We must be prepared at all times so we want the shake drill unannounced,” said MMDA General Manager Jojo Garcia.

    Here are some of the action-packed scenes from the different earthquake drill around the metro:

    Quezon City

    Photo by Maria Tan/Rappler

    RESCUE MISSIONS. A high altitude rescue was executed at Quezon City. Photo by Maria Tan/Rappler

    RESCUE MISSIONS. A high altitude rescue was executed at Quezon City. Photo by Darren Langit/Rappler

    Manila

     FIRST AID. Members of the Bureau of Fire Protection-Special Rescue Unit (BFP-SRU) search for mock victims inside the Manila City Hall. Photo by Ben Nabong/Rappler

    FIRST AID. Nurse apply first aid to rescued victims inside the Manila City Hall. Photo by Ben Nabong/Rappler

    DUCK. Students participate on the 4th Metro Manila simultaneous Earthquake drill in Artaullo High School , Manila.
Photo by Inoue Jaena/Rappler

    Makati

    MMDA employees line up by quadrants outside the MMDA building. Photo by Samantha Bagayas

     

    Did you think the unannounced drills were effective? Let us know in the comments below! – Rappler.com


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    Members of the Bureau of Fire Protection-Special Rescue Unit (BFP-SRU) search for mock victims while a nurse apply first aid to others inside the Manila City Hall as they participate in the Metro Manila Shake Drill on July 19, 2018. Photo by Ben Nabong/Rappler

    MANILA, Philippines– Despite a mishap that led to a premature alert, the Metro Manila Development Authority mounted its first ‘surprise’ #MMShakeDrill on Thursday, July 19.

    With such a herculean task of keeping the drill under wraps, how did the #MMShakeDrill fare in pulling off its grand surprise?

    The surprise

    The exact date of the #MMShakeDrill was teased to occur at 3 PM on any day from July 15-21. This was kept a secret to serve as a “mind-setting exercise for the public to always be alert for The Big One.” The Big One is the worst case scenario of a magnitude 7.2 earthquake that would rattle Metro Manila due to the movement of the West Valley Fault. (READ: What dangers await when the West Valley Fault moves?)

    However, two hours before the ‘surprise’ drill, the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) sent an alert about the 1pm #MMShakeDrill via short messaging service (SMS). This prompted the MMDA to send its own advisory an hour later.

    Originally, the public was set to be notified 5 minutes prior the #MMShakeDrill to retain the element of surprise. (READ: Jolted netizens liken #MMShakeDrill phone alarm to 'The Purge' siren)

    MMDA General Manager Jojo Garcia explained that NTC’s advisory was sent ahead of time, since the NTC expected an SMS delay due to user traffic.

    Hindi nila na expect na papasok agad. [...] Two hours medyo pwede na natin pagbigyan,” Garcia said.

    (They didn’t expect the text messages to send immediately. [...] Two hours is still excusable.)

    MMDA partnered with the NTC, Globe, and Smart to aid with text blasts and improve communication links.

    The quadrants

    This year’s #MMShakeDrill simulated Metro Manila’s response to a magnitude 7.2 earthquake dubbed “The Big One."

    Metro Manila was divided into four main quadrants with each quadrant having one assigned evacuation area:

    • Western quadrant (Navotas, Malabon, Manila): Intramuros Golf Course

    • Northern quadrant (Quezon city, Caloocan, VAlenzuela, San Juan): Veterans Memorial Medical Center Golf Course and Quezon Memorial Circle

    • Eastern quadrant (Marikina, Pasig): LRT 2 Santolan Depot

    • Southern quadrant (Pasay, Makati, Paranaque, Las Pinas, Muntinlupa, Pateros, Taguig): Villamor Golf Course

    Schools, government offices, and private agencies took part in the #MMShakeDrill following various earthquake scenarios that differed for each quadrant to test disaster preparedness and response. (LOOK: IN PHOTOS: Metro Manila prepares for the 'Big One')

    Students participate on the 4th Metro Manila simultaneous Earthquake drill in Artaullo High School , Manila.
Photo by Inoue Jaena/Rappler

    Keeping true to its realistic simulation of the earthquake, MMDA Chairman Danilo Lim and MMDA General Manager Jojo Garcia followed standard protocol and rushed to the different quadrants for situational assessment.

    This year, they also visited specific Local Government Units (LGUs) for an evaluation of their resources and the LGU's respective capabilities in disaster response.

    “For the past 3 years, there has been a certain level of awareness that’s done already. For this fourth year, which we’re holding it right now, [MMDA] Chairman said aside from visiting the different quadrants, he wanted to see also the capability of the LGU,” explained Michael Salalima MMDA Chief of Staff.

    Further assessments

    The #MMShakeDrill will continue its assessment until 12 noon on Friday, July 20.

    A panel comprised of select government agencies and private sectors will take part in the evaluation of the #MMShakeDrill to provide observations and points for improvement.

    This is the fourth consecutive year that MMDA has staged its #MMShakeDrill. – Rappler.com


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    SONA PROTESTS. In this file photo, hundreds of Filipinos took to the street as President Rodrigo Duterte delivered his second State of the Nation Address on July 24, 2017. Photo by Rambo Talabong/Rappler

    SONA PROTESTS. In this file photo, hundreds of Filipinos take the street as President Rodrigo Duterte delivers his second State of the Nation Address on July 24, 2017. Photo by Rambo Talabong/Rappler

    (Bookmark and refresh this page for the latest updates on the SONA 2018 activities)

    MANILA, Philippines – Different youth groups, coalitions and organizations will hold protests and other activities around the metro on the day of President Rodrigo Duterte's third State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday, July 23.

    Malacañang earlier said Duterte's SONA would come "straight from the heart" and would not last more than 35 minutes.  However, Duterte is known for his preference for the stream of consciousness narrative mode in his addresses, where he jumps from one topic to another not necessarily related issue.

    Palace officials said the public should look forward to the President's SONA, but not everyone wants to hear the annual address. In fact, a group of women advocates had advised Duterte to call off the event as his past speeches failed to encapsulate the “real state of the nation.”  (READ: #StoryOfTheNation: What do you want to hear in SONA 2018?

    Here is a running list of activities for Monday:

    • United People's SONA is the umbrella protest event led by militant group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN). Different groups will converge along Commonwealth Avenue to protest against Duterte's third SONA. 
      • Sectoral groups from southern Tagalog to join the United People's SONA to share their version of the "state of Southern Tagalog Address." The march began on July 17 in Calamba, Laguna; Dasmariñas, Cavite; and Antipolo City. The marchers shall merge at Commonwealth Avenue, near Batasan Complex, Quezon City, on July 22
      • Members of the AGHAM, Advocates of Science and Technology for the People, will join the United People's SONA as they stand against China's reported intrusions in the West Philippine Sea, and tje exclusive scientific activities of foreigners in the Philippine Rise.
      • The #BabaeAko movement which recently earned Time's "Most Influential People on the Internet" recognition will join the protest activity and will gather at 12 pm at Robinsons, Commonwealth. 
      • Gathering at the Toyota Center Commonwelath at 12:30 pm are groups Laban ng Masa, iDefend, Freedom from Debt Coalition, and Green Thumb Coalition. 
      • ACT Teachers and the Polytechnic University of the Philippines community will gather at the University of the Philippines Diliman at 1 pm. 
      • Various groups such as Tindig Pilipinas, Sangguniang Laiko, Promotion of Church People's Response, National Clergy Discernment Group, Task Force Orientation of Church Personnel, Task Force on Urban Conscientization of the Association of Major Religious Superiors of the Philippines, Rural Missionaries of the Philippines, Nicodemus, Rise UP, Justice Peace and Integrity of Creation Pilipinas will gather at St Peters Church for a 1:30 pm mass before heading to Commonwealth.  
    • "Usapang SONA" (SONA talk) is a face-to-face meet up organized by a loose group of Filipino millennials to discuss the third SONA. There are 3 pocket events happening simultaneously at 7 pm on Monday. 
      • SAAC Bldg, UP Complex, Commonwealth Avenue, Quezon City 
      • Solution Space, 5F JCS Bldg, 119 Dela Rosa St cor Castro St, Makati City 
      • Tittos Latin BBQ and Brew, 16 East Capitol Drive, Pasig City

    – Rappler.com 

    In the days leading to SONA 2018, bring your story to center stage. Share your #StoryoftheNation photos by following these simple steps. 


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    MMDA employees line up by quadrants outside the MMDA building. Photo by Samantha Bagayas

    MANILA, Philippines – Even on its fourth annual run, the #MMShakeDrill is still "far from perfect," Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) officials have said.

    Testing Metro Manila with a drill that rocked the whole capital with a magnitude 7.2 earthquake simulation, the fourth #MMShakeDrill ended its overnight operations on Friday, July 20.(READ: MMDA’s #MMShakeDrill: How everything worked)

    There were 3 main areas for improvement cited by the MMDA for the #MMShakeDrill: a premature short message service (SMS) announcement, the strategic location of command posts, and struggles with communication links.

    According to MMDA Chief of Staff Michael Salalima, maintaining communication links between the different quadrants was “very challenging” as there were problems with the radios and satellite phones. 

    Announcements via SMS also showed problems in alerting the public, as not all users were able to receive a message.

    The two-day operation

    In a press conference conducted after the conclusion of the 2018 #MMShakeDrill on Friday, MMDA General Manager Jojo Garcia explained that this year’s operations lasted for two days to keep true to its protocol to earthquakes.

    Due to the damage and casualties expected to result from the ‘Big One’, government agencies tasked for disaster response are expected to conduct overnight operations for damage assessment and monitoring.

    “Dito po ang pinapraktis ng gobyerno, ng MMDA in particular, of course with the help of other government agencies, kung paano tayo makakatulong after the major earthquake,” explained Garcia.

    (Here is where the government, MMDA in particular, of course with the help of other government agencies, can practice how we can help after the major earthquake.)

    “That's why we're doing this kind of drill to minimize loss of life after the earthquake kasi dito natin makikita (because we can witness it here.),” added Garcia.

    After the ceremonial pressing of the alarm, Garcia and MMDA Chairman Danilo Lim visited the four quadrants that sectioned Metro Manila and select Local Government Units. This protocol was set in place for the situational assessment of damage done across the different quadrants.

    Garcia said, however, that the #MMShakeDrill highlighted one problem spot in pushing through with an earthquake drill: heavy traffic coupled with drivers’ noncooperation slowed them down.

    “Ang services ng gobyerno mas mapapabilis 'to kung ang motorista mismo mag cooperate at mag participate,” suggested Garcia.

    (Government services would be faster if motorists themselves would cooperate and participate.)

    He explained the usage of a helicopter for this protocol would be advised due to time constraints.

    “[To be] as realistic as possible, the element of time was very important,” said MMDA Chief of Staff Michael Salalima.

    Based from the reports garnered after the earthquake scenarios conducted across the different quadrants, the total number of casualties amounted to 14,480 people dead.

    Rating the exercise

    Even with this number, Garcia gave this year’s #MMShakeDrill an 85/100 – 10 points higher than last year – due to the participation of all government offices and a number of private institutions, businesses, and schools.

    He also commended the readiness of the different quadrants and local government units to respond to disasters. However, he estimated the overall participation in the #MMShakeDrill to be less than 50%. (LOOK: IN PHOTOS: Metro Manila prepares for the ‘Big One’)

    Command centers across the various quadrants built for the #MMShakeDrill will remain in their designated spots for quick disaster response.

    “After the drill, nandiyan lang yan para kung anong mangyari na sakuna, hindi na kailangan magdala ng tao natin ng gamit,” said Garcia.

    (After the drill, they will stay there so people won’t have to bring equipment to deal with disasters.)

    Premature alerts

    This year, Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) upped its simulation by keeping the exact date of the #MMShakeDrill as a surprise. However, on July 19, a premature text blast alerted the public of the 1 pm #MMShakeDrill to occur that day. (READ: Jolted netizens liken #MMShakeDrill phone alarm to ‘The Purge’ siren)

    Despite the two-hour advanced notice to the public, the #MMShakeDrill was an effort to assess Metro Manila’s response to a magnitude 7.2 earthquake.

    Various studies have shown that an earthquake of that magnitude would become the worst case scenario of the expected movement of the West Valley Fault set to occur within our lifetime. (READ: What dangers await when the West Valley Fault moves?)

    This is the fourth consecutive year that MMDA has staged the Metro Manila-wide earthquake drill.– Rappler.com


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  • 07/20/18--17:28: [OPINION] Duterte's playlist
  • These days, almost everyone keeps a playlist. Whether it's on their smartphones or some nifty digital audio player, people tend to collate not just one, but a set of personalized go-to playlists that they tune in to as they go about their day.

    The songs included in these playlists are not only chosen based on the genre or on personal preferences and taste. Most of the time, we create sets of playlists that serve a particular purpose. I, for one, have a "Work" playlist, one for "Daily Commute," and one labeled as "Songs to Listen to on Rainy Weekends."

    The mood, the tone, the rhythm, and the lyrics of the songs we choose aim not only to blend with the tasks we are doing but to amplify our performance.

    But how about our megalomaniac president? As he goes about his day spreading terror and gloom all over the nation, if he listens to music to draw insidious inspiration from, what tunes can these be? If President Rodrigo Duterte has an "Efficient Fascist Dictator Wannabe" playlist, what songs would be in it?

    Here are some suggestions: 

    1. Perfect Illusion by Lady Gaga

    It wasn't love, it wasn't love
    It was a perfect illusion (perfect illusion)
    Mistaken for love, it wasn't love
    It was a perfect illusion (perfect illusion)

    As Duterte's popularity subsides and gets replaced by overwhelming hatred from the people, many regret falling for his election promises and voting for him. Duterte is also using endless subterfuge tactics, including the vicious Oplan Tokhang and the recent Oplan Tanggal-Tambay, to mask his real intentions of installing and forging a one-man rule. One can only imagine Duterte waking up, going to the shower, and maniacally singing this tune.

    2. Sinta by Aegis

    Nananaginip nang gising, nakatulala sa hangin

    Remember Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque telling Professor Jose Maria Sison of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines recently, "Gumising ka na, managinip ka na (Wake up, you're dreaming)." I bet I wasn't the only one confused with that barb from the apparently flummoxed spokesperson. But who's really daydreaming, Professor Sison or Roque's principal? One could only imagine Duterte playing this on repeat before he goes to bed and dream of complete tyrannical domination.

    3. Ever since the world began by Survivor

    And we're just another piece of the puzzle
    Just another part of the plan
    How one life touches the other
    Is so hard to understand

    Still, we walk this road together
    We try and go as far as we can
    And we have waited for this moment in time
    Ever since the world began

    You have to give it to Duterte – he has an elaborate master plan to concentrate state power and tighten his grip on all forces of society. In just about two years in power, he has declared martial law in Mindanao and approved billions in pesos for the Armed Forces of the Philippines' arsenal (under the so-called Revised AFP Modernization Program) to woo the military, forcibly implemented his "anti-illegal drug" and "anti-vagrancy" campaigns to romance the police force, and now the largest piece in the puzzle – charter change – is being shoved down our throats as a boon for the ruling class. Just as the song states, Duterte is willing to "try and go as far" as he can to establish his dystopian empire.

    4. Bboom bboom by Momoland

    Just feel it ppumppum
    Ne ap-eseo nan ppumppum
    Nege julge ppumppum ppumppum eo

    Many find it odd that Filipinos are falling head over heels on K-pop songs that we can barely comprehend. It's the same thing for our president – we can barely understand his moves. One day he says he will resign soon, then the next day he fiercely says he will not resign because his Vice President is not competent enough to replace him. Duterte might have heard this song from his daughter Kitty and heard boom boom repeatedly sang, and decided to play it as background while he orders martial law to be implemented in Mindanao.

    5. We've only just begun by The Carpenters

    We've only begun
    Before the risin' sun, we fly
    So many roads to choose
    We'll start out walkin' and learn to run

    Carpenters songs make one wax poetic on weekends. One can only imagine Duterte on odd Sunday mornings, sipping coffee and listening to this song, thinking of his next fascist moves to further increase power. "Who will I attack next?" "What new oplan will I implement?" Duterte is likely to ponder, as his scalding black coffee stings his tongue (we wish).

    6. Something Just Like This by The Chainsmokers and Coldplay

    Oh, I want something just like this
    Doo-doo-doo, doo-doo-doo

    Who says Duterte isn't updated on pop culture? This is probably his LSS (last song syndrome) on regular work days, and he most certainly dedicates this song to dictator Ferdinand Marcos, whose one-man rule splattered all over history books has become Duterte's most coveted aspiration.

    7. Kalimutan mo na ‘yan by Ex-Battalion

    Kalimutan mo na 'yan, sige sige maglibang
    'Wag kang magpakahibang, dapat ay itawa lang

    Duterte most likely also listens to these so-called "hypebeast" songs. Especially ones from Ex-Battalion. He plays this song in full volume while he watches or reads news criticizing or lambasting his policies and plots. "Everyone's a critic," he probably exclaims, before singing along.

    8. I can't make you love me by Bonnie Raitt

    'Cause I can't make you love me if you don't
    You can't make your heart feel something it won't
    Here in the dark in these final hours
    I will lay down my heart and I'll feel the power

    Duterte didn't want to include this song in his playlist, as he thought he still has popular support. Not until he read the latest SWS survey results.

    9. Rehab by Amy Winehouse

    They tried to make me go to rehab but I said no no no
    Yes, I've been black but when I come back you'll know know know
    I ain't got the time and if my daddy thinks I'm fine
    Just try to make me go to rehab but I won't go go go

    Duterte is most probably smirking as he takes his regular dose of Fentanyl while thinking of the irony of implementing a vicious anti-drug campaign.

    10. You want it darker by Leonard Cohen

    You want it darker
    We kill the flame

    People might probably be wrong if they think that Duterte only listens to hit pop music. I imagine him to be eclectic in his music taste (just as he is eclectic in his fascist moves). So to cap his playlist, he has included one of the last songs of the late Leonard Cohen.

    The song is actually fit as soundtrack for Duterte's regime not only because it talks about killing critics, opponents, and all other "flames" that might torch his dictatorship scheme, but also because it contains the words "Hineni, hineni. I'm ready, my Lord" (referring most probably to his readiness to become a full-fledged dictator). – Rappler.com

    Marjohara Tucay is the national president of Kabataan Partylist.


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    BACOLOD CITY, Philippines – Three days before President Rodrigo Duterte's 3rd State of the Nation Address (SONA), public school teachers in Bacolod City and neighboring localities trooped to the Fountain of Justice on Friday afternoon, July 20, to demand higher salaries. (READ: LIST: SONA 2018 activities, protests)

    Clad in black shirts, teachers held streamers bearing messages like, "Yes to salary increase now," "salary increase sa SONA," "increase salary of teachers now!" and "no to tax reform law."

    Gualberto Dajao, president of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers-Negros, said they held the protest ahead of the SONA as they hope their concerns will reach Duterte. (READ: No budget for teachers' salary hike in 2018 – Diokno)

    "If President Duterte can increase the salaries of the uniformed personnel in 2018, why can't he justly do the same for the education sector and whole public sector for that matter?" Dajao said.

    He emphasized that teachers were "deprived of a decent salary" and are also "burdened by an oppressive tax reform."

    The teachers also demand to abolish the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law as it's an additional burden to them. (READ: 10 things to expect at Duterte's SONA 2018)

    "The effect of TRAIN Law is devastating to the life of our teachers and government employees. Everyday prices of basic goods and services rise to the unreachable level. While higher income government employees and officials benefited the new tax reform law, lower income and unemployed Filipinos are now suffering from the 5.2% inflation rate," Dajao said.

    He pointed out that teachers are supposed to be inside the classrooms with the school children. "However, the dire economic situation forces the teachers to go out on the streets to show collective action and be heard." (READ: StoryOfTheNation: What do you want to hear in SONA 2018?)

    He added: "Our leaders dream of quality education without improving the plight of the teachers, a stupidity that they must realize. Who actually carry the tasks of educating the Filipino children? Aren't our teachers? With our teachers languishing in poverty, could they effectively deliver a quality education?" – Rappler.com


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    CHARLIE. All areas in the 60KM radius from the forecast track are expected to experience moderate to heavy rains. Photo by DILG-CODIX  MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) raised alert level Charlie in Batanes as Tropical Depression Josie slightly intensified and accelerated early Saturday afternoon, July 21, and was headed towards the Ilocos Region.

    Minimum critical activities that local government units (LGUs) should enforce in affected areas include the following:

    • Secure power, water supply, and communications
    • Start preemptive evacuation
    • Announce forced evacuation
    • Prepare list of the evacuees
    • Distribute relief packs and conduct mass feeding
    • Stop traffic in landslide-prone areas

    The 1991 Local Government Code and the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010 mandate LGUs to be on the frontline of emergency operations during disasters. 

    Alert level Charlie is based on Oplan Listo (Operation Plan Alert), a disaster preparedness manual that provides mayors and other local government disaster management agencies a checklist of what should be done before, during, and after typhoons. (READ: Tropical Depression Josie threatens Ilocos provinces)

    Bravo and Alpha 

    Alert level Bravo was raised in the Babuyan Group of Islands while alert level Alpha  was raised in Apayao, Ilocos Norte, the northern part of Cagayan, and northern portion of Ilocos Sur. Areas under these alert levels are expected to experience moderate to heavy rains. 

    {source}

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    In a bulletin released past 2 pm on Saturday, state weather bureau PAGASA said Josie had maximum winds of 55 kilometers per hour (km/h) from the previous 45 km/h and gustiness of up to 65 km/h from the previous 60 km/h.

    As of that bulletin, Josie was 85 kilometers west of Laoag City, Ilocos Norte, and was moving east southeast at 15 km/h after its slow pace this morning.

    Josie could make landfall in the vicinity of Ilocos Norte within the next 6 to 12 hours. – Rappler.com


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    MANILA, Philippines – As Tropical Depression Josie intensified  late Saturday afternoon, July 21, moderate to heavy rains persisted in the Ilocos Region.

    The Cordillera Administrative Region, Batanes, the Babuyan Group of Islands, Zambales, Tarlac, and Nueva Ecija were also among the areas heavily affected by Josie.

    Pangasinan experienced heavy rains since Friday, July 20, flooding 32 barangays. By Saturday, Dagupan City was placed under a state of calamity.

    Here are the photos of flooding in areas of Pangasinan and Tarlac (READ: #FloodPH: Mga dapat gawin kapag bumaha):

    As of 10:30 am: Almost knee-level flood outside Unitop at AB Fernandez East Avenue in Dagupan.

    {source}<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">LOOK: Unitop&#39;s flooding situation as of 10:30 am in Dagupan city| via Jo

    anna Calma<br><br>Send your <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/FloodPH?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#FloodPH</a> photos to <a href="https://twitter.com/MovePH?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@MovePH</a>. Stay safe, everyone! <a href="https://t.co/BqMfVp2i76">pic.twitter.com/BqMfVp2i76</a></p>&mdash; MovePH (@MovePH) <a href="https://twitter.com/MovePH/status/1020554470655004673?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">July 21, 2018</a></blockquote>
    <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>{/source}

    11 am: Knee-deep flooding at AB Fernandez Avenue in Dagupan.

    {source}<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" data-cards="hidden" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Knee-deep waters have flooded A.B Fernandez Ave. in Dagupan City as of 11:00 am | via <a href="https://twitter.com/jude_ann10?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@jude_ann10</a><br><br>Send your <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/FloodPH?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#FloodPH</a> photos to <a href="https://twitter.com/MovePH?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@MovePH</a>. Stay safe, everyone! <a href="https://t.co/HfOBY8iWir">pic.twitter.com/HfOBY8iWir</a></p>&mdash; MovePH (@MovePH) <a href="https://twitter.com/MovePH/status/1020601920547794945?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">July 21, 2018</a></blockquote>
    <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>{/source}

    Buses and motorcycles navigate the flooded Arellano St in Dagupan.

    {source}<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" data-cards="hidden" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Buses and motorcycles navigate the flooded Arellano St. in Dagupan City at around 11 am | via <a href="https://twitter.com/aydalla_john?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@aydalla_john</a><br><br>Send your <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/FloodPH?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#FloodPH</a> photos to <a href="https://twitter.com/MovePH?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@MovePH</a>. Stay safe, everyone! <a href="https://t.co/B5NlTvmslu">pic.twitter.com/B5NlTvmslu</a></p>&mdash; MovePH (@MovePH) <a href="https://twitter.com/MovePH/status/1020602516801650688?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">July 21, 2018</a></blockquote>

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

    Domanpot, Asingan, Pangasinan as of 11:28 am.

    {source}<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" data-cards="hidden" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Domanpot, Asingan, Pangasinan as of 11:28 am. The flooding in Domanpot remains the same even at this time. Flooding in other areas in Asingan has also reached waist-deep level.| via Maco Viray Salinas<br><br>Send your <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/FloodPH?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#FloodPH</a> photos to <a href="https://twitter.com/MovePH?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@MovePH</a>. Stay safe, everyone! <a href="https://t.co/TwL8mHLJVY">pic.twitter.com/TwL8mHLJVY</a></p>&mdash; MovePH (@MovePH) <a href="https://twitter.com/MovePH/status/1020605238263201792?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">July 21, 2018</a></blockquote>
    <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>{/source}

    4:30 pm: Knee-deep flooding at Calasiao, Pangasinan.

    {source}<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" data-cards="hidden" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Knee-deep flooding at Calasiao, Pangasinan as of 4:30PM | via <a href="https://twitter.com/TignoJoyce?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@TignoJoyce</a> <br><br>Send your <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/FloodPH?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#FloodPH</a> photos to <a href="https://twitter.com/MovePH?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@MovePH</a>. Stay safe, everyone! <a href="https://t.co/XHg8ds5Er0">pic.twitter.com/XHg8ds5Er0</a></p>&mdash; MovePH (@MovePH) <a href="https://twitter.com/MovePH/status/1020603289656672256?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">July 21, 2018</a></blockquote>
    <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>{/source}

    5 pm: Tarlac also experiences intense flooding following the swelling of the Camiling River.

    {source}<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" data-cards="hidden" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Flooding in Camiling, Tarlac continues to rise due to overflow at Camiling River | via Jhay Grande<br><br>What&#39;s the weather like in your area? Send your <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/FloodPH?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#FloodPH</a> photos to <a href="https://twitter.com/MovePH?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@MovePH</a>. Stay safe, everyone! <a href="https://t.co/nDWBreGq33">pic.twitter.com/nDWBreGq33</a></p>&mdash; MovePH (@MovePH) <a href="https://twitter.com/MovePH/status/1020609348618219520?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">July 21, 2018</a></blockquote>
    <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>{/source}

    Jetskis are deployed in Camiling, Tarlac, after the heavy downpour in the area.

    {source}<iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fmove.ph%2Fposts%2F1754779447947016&width=500" width="500" height="688" style="border:none;overflow:hidden" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowTransparency="true" allow="encrypted-media"></iframe>{/source}

    Heavy flooding in Sta Barbara, Pangasinan.

    {source}<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" data-cards="hidden" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Situation in Sta. Barbara, Pangasinan as of 5:10PM | via Maria Gracia<br><br>Send your <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/FloodPH?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#FloodPH</a> photos to <a href="https://twitter.com/MovePH?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@MovePH</a>. Stay safe, everyone! <a href="https://t.co/BSDY4504Yu">pic.twitter.com/BSDY4504Yu</a></p>&mdash; MovePH (@MovePH) <a href="https://twitter.com/MovePH/status/1020605867081646081?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">July 21, 2018</a></blockquote>
    <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>{/source}

    6 pm: Different areas of Dagupan still experience knee-deep flooding.

    {source}<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" data-cards="hidden" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">High-level flooding as of 6PM at different areas around Dagupan, Pangasinan | via <a href="https://twitter.com/daydreamer_rjcd?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@daydreamer_rjcd</a><br><br>What&#39;s the weather like in your area? Send your <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/FloodPH?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#FloodPH</a> photos to <a href="https://twitter.com/MovePH?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@MovePH</a>. Stay safe, everyone! <a href="https://t.co/R8vZxoFeAb">pic.twitter.com/R8vZxoFeAb</a></p>&mdash; MovePH (@MovePH) <a href="https://twitter.com/MovePH/status/1020637598841167873?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">July 21, 2018</a></blockquote>
    <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>{/source}

    Submit flood reports by using the hashtag #FloodPH or plotting an alert on the Agos map. Rappler's MovePH team will monitor the map and alert the public and authorities. – Rappler.com

     


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  • 07/21/18--17:13: Volunteer for Agos today
  • MANILA, Philippines – MovePH, the civic engagement arm of Rappler, is looking for volunteers who can assist in gathering critical information from social media on Tropical Depression Josie and the enhanced southwest monsoon. 

    The digital humanitarians will use the platform Agos, powered by eBayanihan. Agos is a one-stop online platform that helps gather information to achieve #ZeroCasualty when disasters strike.

    We need volunteers to gather the following information:

    • Reports of floods

    • Reports of landslides and other hazards

    • People in need of rescue

    • Infrastructure damage (e.g., roads, bridges, cell sites)

    The information that digital humanitarians gather and verify will be relayed to national government agencies and local responders. 

    Citizen journalists can also send reports, photos, and videos on how their families and communities are preparing for the coming tropical cyclone. 

    Be an online volunteer today!

    Click the button below to register as a volunteer or fill up thisform.

     Be a digital humanitarian today! – Rappler.com

    If you have any questions, feedback, or additional information, please email move.ph@rappler.com or tweet @moveph.

    Get the latest #WeatherAlert and typhoon updates on Agos 


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    MANILA, Philippines –  If netizens were asked to rate President Rodrigo Duterte's performance at the end of his second year in office, would he get in the honor roll or end up retaking some subjects?

    Ahead of the President’s 3rd State of the Nation Address (SONA), Rappler asked its readers to grade his performance over the last two years on 11 "subjects" culled from his campaign promises.

    {source}<iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Frapplerdotcom%2Fposts%2F2124843367536435&width=500" width="500" height="648" style="border:none;overflow:hidden" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowTransparency="true" allow="encrypted-media"></iframe>{/source}

    Excellent: Improving the education system

    Of the 11 subjects listed in the Year 2 Report Card, Duterte got the highest mark in improving the education system in the country.

    Eimerie May and Caryl Joshua S. Roasa cited the passage of the free tuition law – the  Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act – which provides free tuition for students of 112 state universities and colleges (SUCs).

    {source}<iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/comment_embed.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Frapplerdotcom%2Fposts%2F2124843367536435%3Fcomment_id%3D2124878847532887&include_parent=false" width="560" height="180" style="border:none;overflow:hidden" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowTransparency="true" allow="encrypted-media"></iframe>{/source}

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    Netizens also praised the administration's crackdown on corruption. Jerade Rey Jary Avila Mondejar said this allowed the speedy completion of government projects in Mindanao.

    {source}<iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/comment_embed.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Frapplerdotcom%2Fposts%2F2124843367536435%3Fcomment_id%3D100190224230991&include_parent=false" width="560" height="161" style="border:none;overflow:hidden" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowTransparency="true" allow="encrypted-media"></iframe>{/source}

    For Jim Reyes, the government's anti-corruption program was enough to earn Duterte a B.

    {source}<iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/comment_embed.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Frapplerdotcom%2Fposts%2F2124843367536435%3Fcomment_id%3D2124873030866802%26reply_comment_id%3D2124879320866173&include_parent=false" width="560" height="180" style="border:none;overflow:hidden" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowTransparency="true" allow="encrypted-media"></iframe>{/source}

    Failure: Metro Manila transport and traffic, protecting Philippine sovereignty

    Netizens were unanimous in flunking Duterte in terms of solving traffic and public transportation problems in the Philippine capital. 

    {source}<iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/comment_embed.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Frapplerdotcom%2Fposts%2F2124843367536435%3Fcomment_id%3D229933407615119&include_parent=false" width="560" height="159" style="border:none;overflow:hidden" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowTransparency="true" allow="encrypted-media"></iframe>{/source}

    {source}<iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/comment_embed.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Frapplerdotcom%2Fposts%2F2124843367536435%3Fcomment_id%3D242145596564576&include_parent=false" width="560" height="179" style="border:none;overflow:hidden" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowTransparency="true" allow="encrypted-media"></iframe>{/source}

    Duterte also got a failing mark in protecting Philippine sovereignty. (READ: To prove fruits of PH-China friendship, Roque brings fishermen to Malacañang)

    {source}<iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/comment_embed.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Frapplerdotcom%2Fposts%2F2124843367536435%3Fcomment_id%3D234484793946527&include_parent=false" width="560" height="159" style="border:none;overflow:hidden" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowTransparency="true" allow="encrypted-media"></iframe>{/source}

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    Eros Jesus Achas said the President has yielded to China's pressure in terms of the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) dispute.

    {source}<iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/comment_embed.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Frapplerdotcom%2Fposts%2F2124843367536435%3Fcomment_id%3D1787641174662148&include_parent=false" width="560" height="179" style="border:none;overflow:hidden" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowTransparency="true" allow="encrypted-media"></iframe>{/source}

    Needs improvement

    Weeks into Duterte's third year in office, some netizens gave Duterte some pointers for improvement.

    Francis Ocampo, who gave the President a barely passing mark of 75, said  Duterte should have sustained the good economic performance of the previous administration. "Magsumikap na siya ngayon (He has to work double time now)," he said.

    {source}<iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/comment_embed.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Frapplerdotcom%2Fposts%2F2124843367536435%3Fcomment_id%3D2216336508597285&include_parent=false" width="560" height="179" style="border:none;overflow:hidden" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowTransparency="true" allow="encrypted-media"></iframe>{/source}

    Sanchez Verallo Nikka said Duterte, as the top Philippine leader, should set an example by reducing his attacks on the media and foreign officials. Duterte had repeatedly attacked several media groups he thinks are critical of him, such as the Philippine Daily Inquirer ABS-CBN, and Rappler.

    {source}<iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/comment_embed.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Frapplerdotcom%2Fposts%2F2124843367536435%3Fcomment_id%3D468151006962804&include_parent=false" width="560" height="161" style="border:none;overflow:hidden" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowTransparency="true" allow="encrypted-media"></iframe>{/source}

    The President has a growing list  of fellow Filipinos, foreigners, institutions at home and abroad that he had insulted in public speeches. God is also part of that list.

    Jay-Ar Cueto, who gave the President Ds and Fs, advised him to  just focus on his work and to veer away from "nonsense jokes" and "kissing" antics.

    {source}<iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/comment_embed.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Frapplerdotcom%2Fposts%2F2124843367536435%3Fcomment_id%3D988176951347968&include_parent=false" width="560" height="161" style="border:none;overflow:hidden" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowTransparency="true" allow="encrypted-media"></iframe>{/source}

    Here's how other netizens graded Duterte.

    {source}<iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/comment_embed.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Frapplerdotcom%2Fposts%2F2124843367536435%3Fcomment_id%3D988180941347569&include_parent=false" width="560" height="161" style="border:none;overflow:hidden" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowTransparency="true" allow="encrypted-media"></iframe>{/source}

    {source}<iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/comment_embed.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Frapplerdotcom%2Fposts%2F2124843367536435%3Fcomment_id%3D472184713240146&include_parent=false" width="560" height="180" style="border:none;overflow:hidden" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowTransparency="true" allow="encrypted-media"></iframe>{/source}

    {source}<iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/comment_embed.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Frapplerdotcom%2Fposts%2F2124843367536435%3Fcomment_id%3D215329682644984&include_parent=false" width="560" height="159" style="border:none;overflow:hidden" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowTransparency="true" allow="encrypted-media"></iframe>{/source}

    {source}<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">I&#39;m giving him the the grades that he knows well 71 , 73, 74 , but I&#39;m fair i give him 80 that he stop the karaoke till midnight at inuman sa kanto , wag lng abusuhin ng kapulisan at gawing personalan at extra income .</p>&mdash; Reikowski L (@ReikowskiL) <a href="https://twitter.com/ReikowskiL/status/1012892254955016192?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">June 30, 2018</a></blockquote>
    <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>{/source}

    {source}<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">F po in all categories. A in subservience to imperialist powers, misogyny, poverty increase, worsened health care and services and tyranny</p>&mdash; Mikay (@mikaythedog) <a href="https://twitter.com/mikaythedog/status/1012921011275264000?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">June 30, 2018</a></blockquote>
    <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>{/source}

    {source}<iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/comment_embed.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Frapplerdotcom%2Fposts%2F2124843367536435%3Fcomment_id%3D468159870295251&include_parent=false" width="560" height="159" style="border:none;overflow:hidden" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowTransparency="true" allow="encrypted-media"></iframe>{/source}

    What are the things do you want to hear from Duterte's 3rd SONA? Share them with us in the comments section below! – Rappler.com

    In the days leading to SONA 2018, bring your story to center stage. Share your #StoryoftheNation photos by following these simple steps.


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    #RELIEFPH. Volunteers unload relief packs at the DSWD field office in Central Luzon for distribution to families affected by the continuous rain and heavy flooding. Photo courtesy of DSWD

    MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) said around 13,888 persons have evacuated to temporary shelters as the southwest monsoon or hanging habagat continues to dump more rain in Luzon.

    These residents have fled to evacuation centers in Region I, Region III, the National Capital Region, Calabarzon, and the Cordillera Administrative Region as of Sunday, July 22.

    In a statement on Sunday, the DSWD added that at least 210,192 persons from Regions I, III, and VI are staying with relatives and friends.

    The DSWD and local government units (LGUs) have meanwhile provided around P9.16 million in assistance to those affected by the heavy rain. Most of this amount came from the DSWD. (READ: Josie-enhanced monsoon triggers intense rain

    DSWD Secretary Virginia Orogo ordered all disaster teams in affected areas to coordinate closely with the LGUs to determine the needs of affected families.

    The DSWD is also set to deliver 300 family food packs to the affected fishermen in Bagac, Bataan, and 2,250 family food packs to all affected residents in Orani, Bataan. 

    Meanwhile, 2,000 family food packs are being prepared as augmentation support to the towns of  Licab, Cuyapo, Guimba, and Nampicuan in Nueva Ecija. – Rappler.com


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    #SONA2018 PROTEST. As of 4:30 pm of Monday, July 23, 2018, thousands of anti-Duterte protesters gather along Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City for the 'United People's SONA'. Photo by Maria Tan/Rappler

    MANILA, Philippines – Notwithstanding the threat of a downpour, thousands of protesters on Monday, July 23, occupied a major portion of Commonwealth Avenue – the road leading to the House of Representatives in Quezon City – to protest President Rodrigo Duterte's 3rd State of Nation Address.

    As of 5 pm, National Capital Region Police Office estimated that at least 8,000 anti-Duterte protesters converged along Commonwealth Avenue, while at least 7,000 supporters of the President gathered along the IBP road. 

    Different opposition forces – calling their activity the "United People's SONA" – converged to condemn the government's alleged plans to convene Congress into a constituent assembly for charter change. They explained that Duterte's 3rd SONA would not reflect the true state of the country. (READ: #StoryOfTheNation: What do you want to hear in SONA 2018?)

    The protesters came from various groups of women, students, indigenous peoples, farmers, workers, urban poor, religious groups, business leaders, and academics. 

    "Hindi totoong walang achievement si Pangulong Duterte. Katunayan, nagawa niyang pagkaisahin ang iba't ibang grupo at malawak na mamamayan laban sa tiraniya, cha-cha, at diktadura,” Bagong Alyansang Makabayan secretary-general Renato Reyes said. 

    (It is not true that President Duterte achieved nothing. In fact, he was able to unite different groups and the public to fight against tyranny, charter change, and dictatorship.) 

    Below are some photos from the protests staged by various anti-Duterte groups in Metro Manila:   

    CHURCH SECTOR. Members of the various religious groups join the United People's SONA on Monday, July 23, 2018. Photo by Maria Tan/Rappler

    TINDIG PILIPINAS. Former social welfare secretary Corazon Soliman of Tindig Pilipinas dubs Duterte’s State of the Nation Address as 'SONA de bola.' Photo by Maria Tan/Rappler

    SONA 2018. Protesters march along Commonwealth Avenue, toward Batasan, in Quezon City during President Duterte's 3rd State of the Nation Address. Photo by Alecs Ongcal/Rappler

    FILIPINO WOMEN. Members of the #BabaeAko movement join the United People's SONA on Monday, July 23, 2018. Photo by Samantha Bagayas/Rappler

    Photo by Alecs Ongcal/Rappler

    Photo by Alecs Ongcal/Rappler

    Photo by Alecs Ongcal/Rappler

    Photo by Alecs Ongcal/Rappler

    Photo by Alecs Ongcal/Rappler

    Photo by Alecs Ongcal/Rappler

    Provincial protests 

    The anti-Duterte protests were not confined within Metro Manila. 

    In Baguio City, a group of militants took to the streets, claiming that Duterte failed to fulfill the promises he made to the Filipino people. 

    BAGUIO CITY. Amid the rain, a small group of activists in Baguio City marches on Monday, July 23, 2018, to call for the ouster of President Rodrigo Duterte. Photos by Mau Victa/Rappler

     

    Photo by Mau Victa/Rappler

    Photo by Mau Victa/Rappler

    In Bacolod City, various groups staged the “Bagting contra Cha-Cha,” or ringing of the bells against charter change, hours prior to Duterte's SONA.  

    Former Negros Occidental governor Rafael Coscolluela, co-convenor of Paghimud-os Negros, said charter change presents two problems.

    “One, it provides opportunities for the insertion of dangerous or self-serving provisions while distracting us from addressing our more urgent problems; second, it is meant to enable a permanent, virtually non-reversible shift to federalism, a system we are not ready for, and one that actually proposes more government and not less,” he said. 

    BACOLOD CITY. Various sectors in Bacolod City stage '€œBagting contra Cha-Cha' on Monday, July 23, 2018, at the Capitol Park and Lagoon. Photo courtesy by Zara Alvarez/Rappler

    In Tacloban City, activists organized their version of the People's SONA. 

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    In Cagayan de Oro City, activists gave the President a grade of zero for his performance.

    Father Roland Abejo of the Iglesia Filipina Independente Clergy called Duterte the devil for supposedly waging a war against the poor. According to Abejo, Duterte fooled the country as he projected himself during the 2016 national elections as a candidate who came from the masses.

    “He promised to elevate the quality of life of the masses, but now he is giving us hell with the Train Law,” Abejo said, referring to the package of tax reforms that increased the prices of some products and services. 

     NORTHERN MINDANAO. In Cagayan de Oro,  hundreds of farmers, workers and displaced indigenous peoples troop to Ramon Magsaysay Park to express their opposition against to what they call 'one of the darkest' leaderships in the Philippines. Photo by Bobby Lagsa/Rappler

    CDO EFFIGY. Hundreds of activists from Cagayan de Oro set fire the effigy of Duterte during his 3rd State of the Nation Address on Monday, July 23, 2018. Photo by Bobby Lagsa/Rappler

      with reports from Bobby Lagsa, Marchel Espina, and Mau Victa/Rappler.com  

     

     


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    MARCH. Protesters march towards Batasan along Commonwealth Ave., Quezon City during President Duterte's 3rd State Of The Nation Address. Photos by 
Alecs Ongcal/Rappler

    MANILA, Philippines – Establishing a strong front against President Rodrigo Duterte, opposition groups staged a grand protest outside the St. Peter Parish Church on Monday, July 23, binding the opposition together to show the reality behind the presiden't State of the Nation Address (SONA) (LOOK: IN PHOTOS: Thousands hold SONA 2018 protests around PH)

    Dubbed the United People’s SONA, the protest is the historic union of nearly 330 opposition groups tackling problematic issues of the Duterte administration in an effort to present the “true” state of the nation. These groups come from political, civic, and faith-based coalitions. The roster included the #BabaeAko movement, Tindig Pilipinas, Coalition for Justice, and the Movement Against Tyranny, among other groups.

    Coming with the 6,000-person strong crowd, various opposition groups staged their own mini programs along University of the Philippines - Diliman and Commonwealth Avenue before marching toward the main stage at St. Peter Parish Church.

    By 5 pm, the number easily swelled to 8,000 anti-Duterte rallyists, based on the figures released by the police.

    Protest organizers, however, pegged the number at a much higher figure of 40,000. 

    The United People’s SONA showed its strong opposition to Duterte’s charter change initiative, the war on drugs, tax reform, and contractualization – among other pervasive issues for the current administration – through speeches, performances and placards. (READ: #StoryOfTheNation: What do you want to hear in SONA 2018?)

    Photo by Alecs Ongcal/Rappler

    In her speech at the United People’s SONA, ousted Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno imparted that the shift to federalism will have dictatorial tones.

    “Ayaw po natin ng diktaturya lalo na nakita na natin na pinahina ni Pangulong Duterte ang mga institusyon na dapat ay nangaalaga sa ating demokrasya at karapatang pantao.”

    (We don’t want a dictatorship, especially when we know President Duterte is weakening institutions that would protect our democracy and human rights.)

    “Lumalaban na tayo. Sapagkat hindi katanggap-tanggap ang estado ng ating lipunan lalo na ngayon bistado na diktaturya ang layunin ng mga makasariling mga politiko,” she added.

    (Let’s fight back. The state of our nation is not to accept, especially now that it’s established that dictatorship is the goal of selfish politicians.)

    She advised to opt for an improvement of the local government code and addition of budget for provinces rather than charter change.

    Aside from speeches, the United People’s SONA also showcased performances. One of which was a cultural performance by RESBAK x SAKA that depicted a group of people reading out names of victims of the drug war.

    Another grand display to oppose to President Duterte’s policies was the burning of an effigy of the President. Titled, “Dutertrain” the head featured the President’s face, with a body of a train depicting issues of the administration. The effigy was made by UGATlahi, a group that has made effigies since 1999.

    Photo by Maria Tan/Rappler

    Photo by Maria Tan/Rappler

    “Marami yung injustices, killings, pero naging main element ng effigy namin ay yung tren talaga kasi marami talaga na apektuhan doon sa Comprehensive na Tax Reform. So tren ang naging main na image,” said Jaime Calma, UGATlahi spokesperson.

    (There are many injustices and killings, but the main element of the effigy is the train because many are affected by the Comprehensive Tax Reform. So the train is the main image.)

    Social critic Mae Paner, more commonly known as Juana Change, said the united protest stands in stark contrast to Duterte’s administration.

    “It benefits Duterte if we are a fragmented opposition but the fact that we have come together – all political colors, all civil society [groups]; we have really made our force very strong against our president,” said Paner.

    Leila de Lima stressed the importance of a united front through a letter she penned that was read during the protest.

    “Bukod sa SONA ni Duterte, marapat lamang mapakinggan ang SONA ng sambayanang Pilipino; hindi lamang kasinungalingan ni Duterte, kundi ang tunay na estado ng Pilipinas at ng mga Pilipino,” said De Lima.

    (In addition to Duterte's SONA, it's apt that we listen to the SONA of the Filipino people; not just the lies of Duterte, but the state of the Philippines and of Filipinos.)

    The United People's SONA called the convergence of opposition groups “an unprecedented display of unity unseen for at least a decade.” Rappler.com


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     INSPIRE COURAGE. If there is one thing that these PWDs from Western Visayas share, it is that they continue to inspire courage through their stories of struggle and success. Photo courtesy of Michael Dejandro

    MANILA, Philippines – For persons with disabilities (PWD), the phrases "keep going" and "don't give up" are more than just encouraging reminders – they are a way of life.

    According to the World Health Organization's 2011 World Report on Disability, more than a billion people are estimated to live with some form of disability. That accounts to about 15% of the world’s population based on 2010 global population estimates. In the Philippines, there are at least 1.4 million Filipinos with disabilities, according to a 2010 government census.

    In Western Visayas, there are Meanwhile, there are at least 138,000 persons with disabilities. Four of these PWDs have given a face to the struggles commonly experienced by their sector in the Philippines. (READ: Sunflower farm in Quezon plants seeds of hope for PWDs

    Living with disability

    A native of Tapaz town in Capiz, Katchry Jewel Golbin has never seen the world since she was born blind in 1990.

    WORLDWIDE. Katchry Jewel Golbin pursues her musical career despite being visually-impaired. Photo from Golbin’s Facebook account

    Fast forward 26 years later,  however, she has captured the admiration and affection of thousands of people she herself have never seen. This is after making a name for herself in the 11th season of the television program“La France a un Incroyable Talent" (France Got Talent) in 2016. 

    “I don’t think disability really makes a difference in my life; I mean, I am facing challenges just as any normal person does. For visually impaired artists like me, the biggest challenge would be the interaction with the public using body language,” Golbin said in a phone interview.

    Like Golbin, 41-year-old Arvin Fidel Sarabia is looking forward to a time when people would learn to treat PWDs properly. 

    Sarabia, who lives with poliomyelitis, would find it difficult to secure a seat in public utility vehicles during peak hours as fellow passengers would occupy seats clearly marked and reserved for  PWDs, senior citizens, and pregnant women.

    According to Sarabia, fighting discrimination – especially in the workplace – is also a constant challenge among PWDs like them. 

    “Until now there are clients and employers who are still preferring physically fit employees over skillful disabled persons. In fact, in the past, working abroad was really hard for me because other countries discriminate against anyone in the workplace because of appearance,” he said.

    Sarabia's experience is validated by a 2013 study of the Philippine Institute for Development Studies which said that a majority of PWDs in both rural and urban areas are considered to be engaged in "vulnerable employment" without formal or stable jobs. In fact, most of the working PWDs are either self-employed or unpaid family workers.

    A misunderstood sector?

    “Wow! That was a very good story,” Hazel Villa once responded to her student who narrated in class how her mother died.

    With her poor hearing, Villa would often find herself in confusing discussions like this. Diagnosed with severe to profound sensorineural hearing loss in both ears at the age of 12,  Villa, shared that she bears the daily stress of mishearing certain words, straining to hear correctly, and getting ridiculed by some people. (READ: PWDs and the Philippine media

    PURPOSEFUL LIFE. Despite partially losing her hearing at a young age, Hazel Villa, juggles her different responsibilities as an educator and journalist in Iloilo City. Photo from Villa’s Facebook account

    Similarly, for 22-year-old Eleazar Danila, going about his daily life serves as a challenge. He used to be an adrenalinej unkie. Things changed when he learned that he had epilepsy.  At first, Danila patiently followed his doctor’s advice: take things slow, rest for a minute, avoid sources of stress, and take medications on time. 

    According to Danila, following the doctor's advice did not take away the misconceptions people have about his condition. 

    “If there is one reaction that seriously annoys me...it’s when people ask me if I am mentally retarded. Perhaps people think this is a ‘safe’ way to talk about my disability.. I am not mentally retarded. I just need to relax and not to pressure myself with things,”  Danila said.

    'We are capable'

    In a 2018 study, the  UP Center for Local and Regional Governance (UP CLRG) said that the Philippines  is still far from becoming PWD-inclusive, citing that only 60% of local government units have a Persons with Disability Office.  (READ: FAST FACTS: What persons with disability are entitled to)

    Despite such challenges, Golbin, Sarabia, Villa, and Danila have not let their disabilities stop them from pursuing their dreams. According to them, having the correct mindset – that living with some form of disability does not make them a victim – is important. 

    “Don’t think of yourself as disabled person. Think of yourself as another dreamer, another person who wants his life to be improved, another being who has hopes, dreams, aspirations and capabilities,” Golbin said. 

    This positive perspective is shared by Villa. "Finding that purpose is a beautiful and unique journey that results into a contented soul," she said. – Rappler.com 

    Michael Dejando graduated from West Visayas State University and is the associate editor of La Purisima - Oton, Iloilo.

     

     


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    #BabaeAko SONA protest. Photo by Sheila May Advincula/Rappler

    MANILA, Philippines – Despite former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo being the first female Speaker of the Philippines' House of Representatives, women's groups under the #BabaeAko movement are not supportive of the change.

    Taking part in the United People’s State of the Nation Address (SONA), the #BabaeAko movement staged a program against President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration on Monday, July 23, along Commonwealth Avenue.  (READ: People’s SONA unites opposition in ‘true’ state of the nation)

    During the program, Stop TRAIN Network petition leader Irene Donato turned over around 1000 signatures to Gabriela Party Rep. Emmi de Jesus.

    However, De Jesus admitted the petition might not be immediately attended to as the House went through a coup to replace Pantaleon Alvarez with Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

    The latter was not identified by de Jesus during the speech. (READ: Alvarez out, Arroyo in as House Speaker)

    “Just because a woman will be the next House speaker doesn’t mean that the women’s status will improve. It has been proven that she also exacerbates the situation of women and other citizens,” De Jesus said about Macapagal-Arroyo in Filipino, although, she also said Alvarez was not for the Filipino masses, as well. (READ: Makabayan slams Arroyo's 'naked power grab' in House)

    She added, “Until we make noise with our voices and protests, we won’t be able to push for our agenda through the law.”

    She expressed concern over the poor representation of real issues in the Congress. “Kami po’ng mga mambabatas na tunay na kumakatawan sa tinig [ng] nakararami ay minority parin. Ang Kongreso po ay hawak parin ng nakararami na kabilang sa naghaharing uri,” she said.

    (We lawmakers genuinely representing the voice of the masses still make up the minority. The Congress is still controlled by a majority that belongs to the reigning type.)

    The movement also opposed the charter change to federalism, which is deemed by the group as a hurdle to policy-making on more urgent issues like the TRAIN law. (READ: DOCUMENT: Final version of Consultative Committee draft constitution)

    Gabriela, Voices of Women for Justice and Peace, Stop TRAIN Network, Girls of Peace, Kilusan ng Manggagawang Kababaihan (KMK), were among groups represented in the event.

    After the independent program, the movement marched along Commonwealth Avenue to join other contingents of the United People’s SONA. The main program in front of St. Peter Parish coincided with the President’s third State of the Nation Address in Batasang Pambansa.

    #BabaeAko is the social media campaign turned movement that was recognized among Time’s 25 ‘Most Influential People on the Internet.’ – Rappler.com

    Sheila Advincula is a Rappler intern. She is currently taking up AB Communication at the Ateneo de Manila University. 


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    MANILA, Philippines – Every year, around 20 tropical cyclones visit the country, on top of rains from the southwest monsoon or hanging habagat, as well as thunderstorms that are all too common during the rainy season.

    The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) hopes that through its emergency mobile alerts, citizens can be informed of what to expect and what they must do.

    The NDRRMC and telecommunications companies are required by law to send free mobile alerts before disasters happen. This is mandated under Republic Act No. 10639 or the Free Mobile Disaster Alerts Act.

    "These alerts, if you already know your area, you know the characteristics of where you live, this EAWM (emergency alert and warning message) is just a reminder to the people of what you're supposed to do," NDRRMC 24/7 Operations Center Officer-in-Charge (OIC) Aimee Menguilla said in an interview with Rappler.

    How it works: As soon as the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) issues an advisory, the NDRRMC drafts a message to send to telcos, who in turn will send this to its customers.

    For rainfall warnings, the NDRRMC sends mobile alerts for PAGASA's orange and red warnings. (READ: How to use PAGASA's color-coded rainfall advisory)

    Menguilla said the emergency messages would inform citizens of what to expect in their area over the next 3 hours, as rainfall is expected to continue over this period.

    ALERTS. The NDRRMC sends mobile alerts based on PAGASA rainfall warnings.

    For instance, PAGASA's orange rainfall warning means intense rainfall has been observed for an hour and is expected to continue for the next two hours. Menguilla said this gives the message a time frame of about 3 hours.

    Menguilla also said emergency warnings may be based on advisories of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) on earthquakes and volcanic activity.

    The process of drafting an alert message and then sending it to telcos can take up to about 10 minutes.

    "We translate it into those short messages so the description of the message is hazard-specific, area-focused, and time-bound," Menguilla said.

    The problem: Citizens have reported receiving delayed warnings. For instance, a mobile alert received at 9:17 pm was for a PAGASA rainfall warning issued at 4 pm. That's a delay of more than 5 hours, and by that time, a new warning would have been issued already.

    The NDRRMC said the issue of timing is largely due to limitations of mobile devices and messaging systems.

    According to NDRRMC Information and Communications Technology OIC Kelvin Ofrecio, two types of message broadcast systems are used to send alerts: short messaging system (SMS) and cell broadcast service (CBS).

    CBS can send messages to cellphones based on subscribers' location, to pre-arranged cell sites. It also enables location-specific alerts without the need to register cellphones.

    DELAYED. At times, alerts are received hours after they are issued, leaving citizens with delayed emergency warnings.

    Of the two systems, CBS is quicker to send alerts, though not all mobile phones are equipped with this feature.

    "We are implementing both types of systems. Siyempre, bawat system, merong limitation 'yung technology (Of course, both systems have limitations in their technology)," Ofrecio said.

    "'Yung CBS, ito 'yung ginagamit sa ibang bansa. Ito 'yung tinatawag na instantaneous na 'pag dinala ng telco, within 3 to 5 seconds, matatanggap na ito ng recipient. However, hindi natin siya ma-fully implement dahil hindi lahat ng handset ay compliant sa cell broadcast feature," he added.

    (CBS is used in other countries. It's instantaneous because recipients can receive alerts within 3 to 5 seconds after telcos send them. However, we cannot fully implement this as not all handsets are compliant with the cell broadcast feature.)

    Given this limitation, the NDRRMC and telcos resort to SMS to send alerts, which takes much more time as messages are sent "point-to-point" unlike CBS' "point-to-multiple-point" system.

    "Ang nangyayari, ang NDRRMC nagpapadala sa Bulacan [ng] red rainfall warning, at doon sa area na [pinapadalhan] niya, kunwari mayroong two million subscribers, magkakaroon ng two million seconds [of] queuing time kasi point-to-point ito," Ofrecio explained.

    (What happens is, if the NDRRMC sends a red rainfall warning alert to Bulacan, and in that area, there are two million subscribers for example, there will be two million seconds of queuing time because it is point-to-point.)

    If you're one of those who received warnings hours after they were issued, Ofrecio said chances are those warnings were sent via SMS rather than through CBS.

    Moving forward: Unfortunately, there are no quick fixes to delayed warnings at the moment, since not all phones are CBS-compliant.

    It could also be the case that CBS is turned off by default in mobile phone settings.

    Telcos earlier clarified that some older phones, even those made more than 15 years ago, are capable of receiving cell broadcast messages. But this feature could be turned off by default.

    Ofrecio also urged the public to check if emergency alerts are enabled in their mobile phone settings.

    For Android users, one can go to messaging settings and look for Emergency Alerts or Cell Broadcast.

    For iOS users, update to the latest version of the operating system, go to Settings, then Notifications, and scroll down to turn on Emergency Alerts. – Rappler.com


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    MANILA, Philippines – Tired of looking for available sockets in your classroom just to charge your phone? How about bringing bulky power banks or losing your USB drives?

    Meet Chargee, the brainchild of third year engineering students from De La Salle University. It has a built-in 1900 mAh power bank and retractable 128gb storage flashdrive, and can give an iPhone 6 roughly one full charge. 

    The invention  has gone viral on social media for addressing a long-standing problem in one slim package.

    Andreana Santos, Celine Solis, David Zinampan, Ivan Yeung, and Sarah Tan developed the raw design and the idea, while Angelo Casimiro helped  build the working prototype.

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    As of posting, the photo has drawn 50,000 reactions and has been shared over 34,000 times.

    Solis, Zinampan, and Santos are BS Industrial Engineering majors. Tan and Yeung are BS Industrial Management Engineering majors minoring in Information Technology, while Casimiro is a BS Electronics Communications Engineering major.

    Zinampan said their creation was a school project. "Chargee" is a combination of the words “charge” and ID. 

    "Initially, we created this product for emergency purposes but we decided to make it more convenient for the users by increasing the capacity of the power bank," he said.

    “We saw a similar product that incorporates a flash drive in their ID holder, and we thought of adding a power bank as well," said Solis. "We know that this will benefit students and employees since we use our smartphones often in school or work."

    She added that they also asked help from others, including their professor Dr Jennifer Gutierrez to bring the concept to life. The group worked on the project for a month while juggling other responsibilities.

    Santos, for her, part, said that when looking at the bigger picture in creating products, "its always about solving problems that society is experiencing, may it be big or small."

    "That was actually the first thing that was taught to us, to create something that solves a problem,” she added.

    When asked what’s in store for Chargee’s future, Yeung shared that the team will focus on improving its features and will do some durability tests.

    "We are still conceptualizing as a group, but we are strongly considering mass-producing the product," he said.

    Although Chargee is the group’s main priority at the moment, the group is not closing its doors when it comes to creating another unique product.

    “We may be looking into inventing new products in the future, but as of now the Chargee is our priority," Yeung said.

    "Angelo Casimiro, however, has always been passionate in making ideas come to reality. Future inventions would depend on ideas presented to him or that he brainstormed himself. Some of his notable inventions have been the creation of his own BB-8,” he added, referring to the life-sized toy Casimiro created of the popular Star Wars character.  – Rappler.com

    Annabella Garcia is Rappler intern. She is currently taking BA Film in the University of the Philippines Diliman.


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    MANILA, Philippines – Do you still believe in Good Samaritans?

    To many, Cha Buenconsejo’s story about retrieving her lost phone is too good to be true. She detailed the incident on Tuesday, July 24 on her Facebook account.

    "The joy of getting my phone back after missing for 7 months pales in comparison to the comfort of knowing there are still good hearted people out there..." she says in her post.

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    The story went viral, racking up to 132,000 reactions, 11,000 comments, and 42,000 shares as of writing.

    Early in January 2018, Buenconsejo left her phone in an Uber but failed to get it back it through the driver. “When your phone goes missing for 2 days, you’re pretty sure it’s not coming back,” she recalled.

    She only remembered about her lost phone 7 months later when she received a random message from a stranger.  The message came from Arcel Concepcion who claimed he had found a phone in an airconditioned bus bound for Fairview on July 17.

    Given that the phone went missing more than half a year ago, Buenconsejo’s friends advised her against meeting up with a stranger. They argued that it could be a modus. What convinced Buenconsejo to proceed, nonetheless, was how he sent his text messages.

    “Everyone told me not to meet up with him. A lost and found phone being returned after 7 months is just too good to be true. Honestly, the only thing that made me trust him was how he ended his texts with ‘God bless’,” Buenconsejo told Rappler.

    According to Buenconsejo's post, the moment she saw Concepcion on Tuesday, she knew that he was a good guy. In fact, Concepcion even apologized for not notifying her right after he found the phone because he was not able to immediately buy a charger.

    “He handed me my phone along with the charger he bought," Buenconsejo shared in her Facebook post. "He told me ‘mahirap kumita pakiangatan niyo yung gamit niyo mukhang mahal yung phone na 'yan’.” (It's tough to earn money, so take care of your valuables. That's an expensive phone.)

    Since he refused to accept a cash reward, Buenconsejo insisted to at least give him money for transportation because he had come all the way from Bulacan just to return her belongings.

    In the comments section of the post, netizens hoped to experience the same thing and some wished that more people were like Concepcion.

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    Have you experienced something similar? Share your inspiring stories that have restored your faith in humanity on X! – Rappler.com

    Dane Dagatan is a Rappler Intern. He studies Broadcast Communication at the Lyceum of the Philippines University.


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    MANILA, Philippines – Only electric passenger tricyles (e-tricycles) should be seen plying the streets of Boracay by August this year, when the Malay town government in Aklan enforces the phaseout of motorized public tricycles in the island.

    Former Malay town council member Rowen Aguirre, Executive Assistant for Boracay Affairs, said the move aims not only to improve the convenience and reliability of the island's main mode of transportation but also to curb the effects of climate change. (WATCH: Why it's time to act on climate change)

    According to Aguirre, motorized tricycles were initially introduced to the island as a temporary mode of transportation. The local government searched for possible replacements for some time but was unsuccessful in doing so, he said.

    When electric vehicles became popular in the early 2000s, Malay town officials considered e-tricycles as way to go for the island.

    Aguirre and other local officials have pushed for the shift to e-tricycles, but the implementation of the e-tricycle policy proved to be a continuous struggle. Several administrations approved the policy but it was never fully implemented due to resistance of a number of tricycle operators, and the difficult search for e-tricycle manufacturers with reliable aftersales service.

    Why the resistance?

    Rose Martin, an operator of two units of tricycles, said she was only shifting to e-tricycles because the government has mandated it. She believed that the shift will become more inefficient and expensive on the operator's part, and that e-tricycles will not put a dent on efforts to ease the effects of climate change since vehicles running on fossil fuel are still allowed on the island.

    "They are  only replacing passenger tricycles, but that does not really do much for the environment because the trucks, the cargo tricycles, and other motorized vehicles of resorts and delivery companies remain in operation on the island. We tricycle owners are then forced to take out loans just to be able to purchase e-tricycles that are very costly, to allow us to continue operations."

    Source: LGU Malay

    Martin has no option but to replace her tricycles. She is carefully weighing brand options based on reviews and feedback she gathered from e-tricycle operators.

    Some brands offer a very low to no down payment scheme, while other terms of payment extend to 3 years. Prior to the closure, Martin earned at least P2,500 from each of her tricycle units.

    However, during her first few years operating two e-tricycles, remittance from her drivers only covered the vehicles' daily amortization and electricity bills.

    Despite such feedback from operators, Aguirre believed the island's shift to e-tricycles will ensure a more tourist-friendly, environment-friendly, and people-friendly mode of local transportation. 

    “There are no emissions and no noise pollution. I believe – initially – people, especially operators, are not really agreeable with the shift. They do not want to shift to something they are not comfortable with. As local government, it is imperative [for] us to initiate the plans and force people to comply by exercising political will because it is the right thing to do.” Aguirre said.

    “Once we finish the e-tricycle program, we will also focus on addressing issues with the other types of vehicles on the island,” he said.

    Climate change challenge

    Aguirre is aware that using climate change to compel people to support the shift to e-tricycles will not be enough, since many are still not fully aware of the issue and is not a priority of locals. (READ: Climate Change: Why PH should care)

    On a scale of one to 10 with 10 being the highest, Aguirre rates Boracay residents' awareness on climate change a 5. Most are concerned with basic needs especially during the island's closure, so climate change has a low rank among the people’s list of priorities, he said. (READ: Boracay now closed)

    Still, even Boracay is not spared from the impacts of climate change. It is affected with sea level rise, which is evident especially in White Beach. (READ: Boracay: From pristine island to fragile paradise)

    He said given this challenge, the Malay government is convincing tricycle operators to shift to e-tricycles as part of a holistic solution to save the environment.

    “In our capability as the local government, we do our best to introduce the concept and solutions to climate change through programs such as the ban of two-stroke motorcycles, the ban on single-use plastics, the strict implementation [of] emission testing on an annual basis for island vehicles, and the ban on burning of trash," Aguirre said. – Rappler.com


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    PARTICIPATION. Students of Sta Elena High School 'evacuate' during a monthly earthquake drills Photo courtesy of Giovanna Jean Nesas

    MANILA, Philippines – How well can you prepare your school for natural calamities in a disaster-prone area?

    In 2017, the Philippines ranked third on the World Risk Index, which measures exposure and vulnerability to natural hazards. A country’s vulnerability is measured by 3 factors: susceptibility, lack of coping capacities, and lack of adaptive capacities. 

    Aiming for disaster resilience, Sta Elena High School (SEHS) in Marikina City has been recognized as one of the public schools with the best disaster risk reduction (DRR) programs. SEHS previously hosted the first-ever nationwide earthquake drill in 2006, and has received awards from different DRR and management councils across the country.

    Under the supervision of Hadji Tejada, School Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council Coordinator, SEHS has boasted award-winning DRR programs that prepare students and faculty for different disasters.

    What makes SEHS’ DRR program unique?

    Monthly earthquake drills

    SEHS conducts monthly earthquake drills, both announced and unannounced.

    All students and faculty members participate in the regular drills, where they pass through the designated routes to evacuate to Marikina Freedom Park, wearing makeshift headgear to protect themselves from any debris.

    Members of the school’s Batang Emergency Response Team (BERT), also headed by Tejada, help mobilize the students, as well as conduct simulation exercises.

    Tejada emphasized the importance of preparing for earthquakes through regular drills, as Marikina is prone to earthquakes, and earthquakes are more difficult to predict.

    “Mas madaling [makikita] 'yung flood. Kaya nakikita nila 'yun, malalaman, na-a-announce. Unlike sa lindol, wala eh, wala pang announcement diyan, except 'pag gumalaw na, saka ka [magrerespond]. Kaya, more on preparation kami diyan; kaya nagkakaroon na ng drill,” he said

    (It’s easier to predict floods. You can see them, and people can make announcements right away. Unlike with earthquakes, there aren’t announcements for that, except when it actually happens, then that’s when you respond. That’s why we focus on preparing for them; that’s why we have drills.)

    PREPAREDNESS. Sta Elena High School students wear their makeshift headgear during an earthquake drill. Photo courtesy of Giovanna Jean Nesas

    When third parties such as members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) or other schools visit SEHS to observe the monthly drills, Tejada always asks them for evaluations and recommendations, either written or oral, and uses them to improve their programs.

    “‘Yun 'yung aral namin. Kung ano /yung nakita mong weakness, 'yun ang for improvement. Ngayon, 'yung okay, e 'di mine-maintain namin (We study [the evaluations]. Whatever they point out as weaknesses, that’s what we keep in mind for improvement. What they point out as okay, that’s what we maintain),” Tejada shared.

    SEHS is roughly 1.6 kilometers away from the Marikina West Valley Fault, a 100-kilometer fault that can produce the "Big One" or a magnitude of 7.2 earthquake.

    The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) conducts nationwide earthquake drills quarterly in order to promote disaster preparedness and resilience.

    The Department of Education (DepEd) also mandates public and private schools to hold quarterly earthquake and fire drills, and to prepare certain requirements for the activity.

    Communication and dissemination

    Tejada said all members of the SEHS community are well-informed on their different DRR measures through different avenues.

    Tejada  immediately disseminates all announcements on earthquakes, typhoons, and other disasters on the faculty’s Facebook group.

    He said that all faculty members are aware of the different DRR plans and programs as they are continually updated during faculty meetings.

    The same is done for students during their regular flag raising assemblies, and for parents, during the annual parent orientations.

    Kailangan din magsalita sila para alam nila (It’s necessary that we talk so they’re well-informed),” Tejada said.

    DOCUMENTATION. Statistics for drills are recorded on a tarpaulin. Photo by Gaby N. Baizas/Rappler

    For each of their monthly drills and actual earthquakes, a tarpaulin is filled with all the necessary statistics, such as the number of participants and casualties, for easy recording purposes.

    Posters with evacuation plans and instructions on what to do during floods, typhoons, and earthquakes are also posted around the campus.

    Looking forward

    Tejada hopes to improve their facilities for fires, as SEHS currently lacks an adequate number of fire exits and fire hoses. He also hopes that someday, all students would get their own helmets for future earthquake drills.

    Tejada hopes the school’s DRR programs will equip all members of the SEHS community with the knowledge and skills to prepare themselves for any kind of disaster.

    "Iba nga ang handa, ika nga (It's good to be prepared, as they say),” he said. – Rappler.com

    Gaby N. Baizas is a Community intern at Rappler, and is an incoming senior at the Ateneo de Manila University. She is an AB Communication major under the journalism track.


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