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    CHECKLIST: What should households prepare for an earthquake
    CHECKLIST: What should barangays prepare for an earthquake
    CHECKLIST: What cities and municipalities should prepare for an earthquake
     


    MANILA, Philippines – Are your local government units (LGUs) ready for a 7.2-magnitude earthquake? (READ: How to prepare when disaster and emergency strike)

    The West Valley Fault moves roughly every 400 years, according to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs). Once this happens, several areas in Metro Manila and nearby provinces are expected to be greatly damaged.

    If this  strong earthquake does happen, Metro Manila could run out of food and water for a week. It could also destroy 40% of buildings, trigger fire in various parts of the city, and kill around 35,000 to 40,000 people

    Experts say that the "Big One" could happen in this lifetime. (READ: MMDA's #MMShakeDrill: How everything worked)

    Role of LGUs, local councils during disasters

    The 1991 Local Government Code states that every LGU should be on the frontline of emergency measures in times of disasters. Local officials must lead the delivery of services related to their line of work particularly during, and in the aftermath of, man-made disasters and natural calamities.

    According to the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), every city and municipality should be equipped with the knowledge and skills needed when dealing with earthquakes and other major disasters. The LGU, as first responders, must be proactive in performing disaster-related activities.

    Is your city or municipality prepared for the "Big One"? Below is a list of earthquake preparedness measures provided by DILG-National Capital Region for cities and municipalities:

    • MAP ALL EVACUATION AREAS AND OPEN SPACES

    Identify and map all evacuation areas and open spaces within the LGU for the effective and efficient distribution of water supply.

    • GET ALTERNATIVE WATER SOURCES

    Have at least one Mobile Treatment Plant in the LGU and mobile tankers which could supplement existing mobile tankers of MWSS concessionaires.

    • IDENTIFY A FOOD WAREHOUSE

    Identify all critical food related establishments in the LGU and enter into an MOA to secure food supply.

    • RELOCATE INFORMAL SETTLER FAMILIES

    Immediately relocate all informal settler families in identified danger areas in the LGU.

    • CHECK FUEL SUPPLY

    Identify critical infrastructures that will greatly need fuel supply, especially their locations and projected fuel demands.

    • CONDUCT TRAINING FOR BASIC LIFE SUPPORT

    Conduct training on Basic Life Support - First Aid (BLSFA) and other lifesaving skills to supplement medical first responders.

    • ENSURE CENTRALIZED COMMUNICATION SYSTEM

    Guarantee that a centralized communication system is available between the LGU and its barangays.

    • CONDUCT TRAINING FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENT UNIT

    Coordinate training for LGU and barangay personnel on the Management of the Dead and Missing (MDM) once the DILG releases guidelines. In addition, conduct trainings on fire suppression for LGU and barangay personnel and to procure necessary fire suppression equipment.

    • IDENTIFY CRITICAL STRUCTURES

    Map out all critical roads and structures for necessary action.

    • AUDIT AND RETROFIT INFRASTRUCTURES

    Recommend all infrastructures which shall be prioritized for retrofitting and those that may already be condemned.

    • UPDATE CONTINGENCY PLANS FOR EARTHQUAKE

    Regularly update the Earthquake Contingency Plan and make it cohesive with the plans at the national and regional levels.

    While earthquakes cannot really be predicted, households can still reduce the risks and possible damages through proper planning and careful preparation. 

    How are your cities and municipalities preparing for a major disaster? Let us know in the comments or write your thoughts on X– with reports from Kaye Cabal/Rappler.com


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    APPLICANTS. Aspiring University of the Philippines students crowd around the Office of the University Registry to submit their applications. Photo by Angie de Silva

    MANILA, Philippines – The struggle of high school students aspiring to enter the University of the Philippines begins when they line up to submit their applications to the premier state university.

    On Monday, July 30, this struggle was far gone, as lines of applicants beating the application deadline for the University of the Philippines College Admissions Test (Upcat) snaked around the Office of the University Registrar (OUR) building in Diliman, Quezon City.

    Students had camped outside as early as the Sunday night, July 29, hoping to be first in line and avoid the long wait. According to a tweet by Marc Espino, people had been in line since 10:30 pm.

    {source}

    <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Wtf! UPCAT application line as of now. My cousin send this clip. (c) Allhaine <a href="https://t.co/gGpn3YSMri">pic.twitter.com/gGpn3YSMri</a></p>&mdash; Marc Espino (@marcjespino) <a href="https://twitter.com/marcjespino/status/1023576532197892096?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">July 29, 2018</a></blockquote>
    <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

    {/source}

    Monday was the deadline for applications from private school students in Metro Manila. Public school students within the capital region can submit their Upcat forms until Friday, August 3, while regional private and public school students will have to hand in their forms by Friday, August 10.  

    This is the first time in recent history that application fees were waived. 

    Liane Jane Mercado, one of the applicants hoping to be admitted to the College of Mass Communication, said it was her 3rd day coming back to the OUR.

    “I’ve been here since Thursday, but I didn’t have the chance since I was cut off. On Friday, I wasn’t able to get the priority stub. It’s the first time I was able to step into this building,” she said.

    She continued, “Seven hours na kami pumipila. I was lining up at 4 am. 'Yung iba halos hindi pa nakapasok, nasa labas pa rin, 'yung iba 12 am nandito na.” 

    But no circumstances would stop the hopefuls.

    {source}

    <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">ANG LALA. tried to enroll and came across so many distressed parents and students, may mga umiiyak na at hinimatay. some of them have been here as early as 2am para pumila. <br><br>this batch of freshies will be ready to face ANYTHING after this grueling app process. <a href="https://t.co/7fUyPFzNkV">https://t.co/7fUyPFzNkV</a></p>&mdash; hazel (@hzlgil) <a href="https://twitter.com/hzlgil/status/1023781219761156099?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">July 30, 2018</a></blockquote>
    <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

    {/source}

    Some enterprising applicants set up tents along the streets. Others huddled together under their umbrellas to shield themselves from the heat or rain showers. The humidity and the lack of chairs made it harder for the office to accommodate the thousands of applicants comfortably.

    Evangeline Dolorias, one of the parents who opted to camp out since 9 pm of July 29, was very disappointed. “Nakakasamang-loob. Bakit? Kami, kagabi pa. Up until now, na'ndito pa kami. Ang mga dumating ng umaga, nag-uwian na. Nakatapos na sila. Walang sistema ang UP.... Lahat ng puwedeng pumasok doon, nag-aabutan lang sa window. Nagka-cut ng line. Hindi gumagalaw ang mga nasa tamang pila. Pero okay lang. Nakatapos din. Marami kasi nahimatay.

    (I'm disappointed. Why? We were here in line since 9 pm [Sunday], and until now we’re still here. Those who came here this [Monday] morning have already left. Their submissions have been received. There's no fixed system.... There were people who cut in line. The proper line wasn't moving. But it's okay. We got to finish in the end because there were a lot who fainted.)

    Below are some photos from the queue at the state university: 

    CAMPED. Some applicants have set up tents in anticipation of the long waiting time. Photo by Annabella Garcia/Rappler

    CROWD. Crowd during the last day of submission of UPCAT Application in UP Diliman. Photo by Angie de Silva

    LINED UP. Line during the last day of submission of UPCAT Application in UP Diliman. Photo by Angie de Silva

    REST. Exhausted applicants rest during the last day of submission of UPCAT Application in UP Diliman. Photo by Angie de Silva

    APPLICANTS. Aspiring applicants during the last day of submission of UPCAT Application in UP Diliman. Photo by Angie de Silva

    Due to the long wait, applicants became restless. Applicants and their companions were reported to be shouting, climbing up the poles, and standing on top of the chairs.  Officials had to push students back at the entrance of the OUR to avoid a barrage and possible stampede. 

    “I got to talk to a few of the applicants here. Some came 12 am, 5 am. They get to eat, but the problem is the amount of people. It has gotten so bad to the point that people are pushing each other. It's a very overwhelming situation,” said Jana Calceta, who is stationed at the clearance section of the Office of Admissions-OUR.

    Owing to the heat and intense waiting times, a handful of applicants also fainted or required medical attention. The OUR admissions section had to stop registration services at one point to accommodate students who fainted due to the weather condition. Some were assisted by the staff and the University of the Philippines Health Service, while others were brought to the infirmary.

    {source}

    <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Due to the dense crowds, a few students have already fainted or experienced panic attacks while waiting to submit their UPCAT applications. They were assisted by the staffs of the OUR UPD and UPHS. <a href="https://twitter.com/rapplerdotcom?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@rapplerdotcom</a> <a href="https://t.co/Y9wWQwly1K">pic.twitter.com/Y9wWQwly1K</a></p>&mdash; annabella (@maharlikamagik) <a href="https://twitter.com/maharlikamagik/status/1023759720950063104?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">July 30, 2018</a></blockquote>
    <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

    {/source}

    Netizens also reported losing a few of their belongings, including their UPCAT application forms. Along with the lines of people, trash also gathered on the streets leading up to the OUR building.

    {source}

    <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">ambaboy naman @ UPCAT applicants :( &gt;:( <a href="https://t.co/wQ8ppb9dTD">pic.twitter.com/wQ8ppb9dTD</a></p>&mdash; Jody Ng (@jodydng) <a href="https://twitter.com/jodydng/status/1023761445312286720?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">July 30, 2018</a></blockquote>
    <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

    {/source}

    Amidst all the noise, one sentiment rang out: Applicants are applealing for an extension.

    {source}

    <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">UPCAT applicants are now chanting for an extension. Deadline for applications for Metro Manila public schools are on Aug 3, while regional public and private schools on Aug 10. <a href="https://twitter.com/rapplerdotcom?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@rapplerdotcom</a> <a href="https://t.co/jzn1rGQ4rO">pic.twitter.com/jzn1rGQ4rO</a></p>&mdash; annabella (@maharlikamagik) <a href="https://twitter.com/maharlikamagik/status/1023761037424611328?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">July 30, 2018</a></blockquote>
    <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

    {/source}

    In a facebook post, the university said that they will not extend the deadline of application. Instead, they will accommodate everyone who remains in line today and open a dropbox for the rest.

    "All applications submitted today—physically or by courier (timestamped today)—will be accepted as within the deadline." – Rappler.com

    Annabella Garcia is an intern at Rappler for the MovePH and Social Media section. She is taking up BA Film at the University of the Philippines Diliman. 

     


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    MANILA, Philippines – A number of netizens have been throwing their condiments into trash cans and posting it on social media with the hashtag #BoycottNutriasia.

    The move is a symbolic response to the violent dispersal that took place outside NutriAsia's plant in Marilao, Bulacan, on Monday, July 30.

    While the hashtag is not new, it was revived online after the photo of an injured elderly woman, her face bloodied, went viral on social media on Monday. She was one of the protesters who joined the picket organized by the Nagkakaisang Manggagawa ng NutriAsia Incorporated. (LOOK: Why NutriAsia workers are on strike)

    Militant group Anakbayan said at least 19 were arrested after the dispersal – 8  NutriAsia workers, 6 supporters, and 5 journalists.  Two of those arrested are UP students, according to the Congress of Teachers/Educators for Nationalism and Democracy (CONTEND UP).  

    Police claimed they recovered guns and drugs from all of the 19 individuals. 

    "As teachers and workers at the University of the Philippines, we stand firmly with our students, Jon Bonifacio and Psalty Caluza, as they supported the just demands of the NutriAsia workers," CONTEND UP said in a statement. 

    Bayan Muna representative Carlos Zarate condemned the violent dispersal. "Walang habas at pakundangan ang marahas na pagdisperse sa mga mangagagawa ng NutriAsia at ng kanilang mga taga-suporta na nagresulta sa maraming sugatan kasama na ang isang lola at marami din ang nawawala," he said in a statement.

    (The violent dispersal of the NutriAsia workers and their supporters was unprovoked and careless, resultubf in many wounded, including one grandmother.  Many have gone missing.)

    Netizens echoed Zarate's sentiment, criticizing authorities for the inhumane dispersal or workers seeking fair labor treatment. Earlier in July, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) ordered NutriAsia to regularize 80 workers.

    {source}

    <iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fmariasol.taule%2Fposts%2F10214833813291450&width=500" width="500" height="713" style="border:none;overflow:hidden" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowTransparency="true" allow="encrypted-media"></iframe>

    <iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fdanfabella%2Fposts%2F10216252066115572&width=500" width="500" height="650" style="border:none;overflow:hidden" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowTransparency="true" allow="encrypted-media"></iframe>

    <iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fnoemidado%2Fposts%2F10155444828100824&width=500" width="500" height="731" style="border:none;overflow:hidden" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowTransparency="true" allow="encrypted-media"></iframe>

    {/source}

    The violent dispersal also pushed a number of non-governmental organizations and groups to boycott Nutriasia products, in solidarity with its workers.

    {source}

    <iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fclimaterealityphilippines%2Fposts%2F1801308473289919&width=500" width="500" height="480" style="border:none;overflow:hidden" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowTransparency="true" allow="encrypted-media"></iframe>

    <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">The bloody dispersal of the NutriAsia workers is the state of the nation: police brutality is used to protect the interest of those in power.<br><br>When we ignore state violence against those who assert their rights, we enable them to do the same to us. 5/9<a href="https://t.co/QzbyWYWJBs">https://t.co/QzbyWYWJBs</a></p>&mdash; Metro Manila Pride (@mmprideorg) <a href="https://twitter.com/mmprideorg/status/1024124130143031297?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">July 31, 2018</a></blockquote>
    <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

    <iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FChahuTeaShop%2Fposts%2F2076259019291353&width=500" width="500" height="500" style="border:none;overflow:hidden" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowTransparency="true" allow="encrypted-media"></iframe>

    {/source}

    Below are some tweets by netizens on the social media call to #BoycottNutriasia:

    {source}

    <a class="twitter-timeline" data-partner="tweetdeck" href="https://twitter.com/MovePH/timelines/1024121923993653248?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#BoycottNutriasia - Curated tweets by MovePH</a> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

    {/source}

    In a statement on Monday, NutriAsia claimed the violence erupted when the picketers "fired a shot in the air and started to hurl rocks at police and guards tasked to maintain peace and order in the area."  

    The company lamented the supposed violation of the labor group of the writ of preliminary injuction released by the regional trial court in Bulacan, ordering the workers' union and the company to "desist and restrain from obstructing the ingress and egress from the company plant." 

    "It is even more disturbing that the strikers had used young children and elderlies as frontliners and human shields as they pushed their way to barricade the plant entryways. These children and elderlies clearly have nothing to do with the labor issue at hand," Nutriasia added in its statement. – Rappler.com 

     

     


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    MANILA, Philippines–Student organizations and councils from University of the Philippines (UP) campuses stood in solidarity with NutriAsia workers after a violent protest dispersal on Monday, July 30. 

    19 people, including NutriAsia employees and youth leaders from UP, have been detained after the violent protest dispersal, sprouting a #PalayainAngNutriAsia19 on social media.

    Among these 19 detained people were a number of student leaders: Secretary-General of Anakbayan Einstein Recedes, Mark Quinto from the League of Filipino Students, Agham Youth-UP Diliman Vice-Chairperson Jon Maria Zeta Bonifacio, and UP College of Mass Communication student Psalty Caluza. Some of these students were at the picket line to report on the protest.

    This spurred student institutions from the entire UP system to release a unity statement denouncing the “criminalization of the support of various sectors for the workers’ calls against contractualization, as youth leaders were unlawfully arrested during the dispersal.”

    They called on the youth to “intensify the fight for the democratic rights of workers and all other sectors.”

    {source}<iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fupstudentregent%2Fposts%2F2202702006425985&width=500" width="500" height="293" style="border:none;overflow:hidden" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowTransparency="true" allow="encrypted-media"></iframe>{/source}

     

    Different UP student councils also released their own statements, urging everyone to take part in mobilizations calling for the immediate release of the NutriAsia19.

    UP School of Economics Student Council described the detention as "yet another incident of the PNP (Philippine National Police) not upholding their mandate to serve and protect the Filipino people but is instead abusing its power to silence dissent."

    It also called on the Duterte administration to “fulfill its promise to resolve the issue on the practice of unjust contractualization in the country and to end the various incidents of state-sponsored violence committed by the PNP.”

    {source}<iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FUPSE.StudentCouncil%2Fposts%2F1450875768347725&width=500" width="500" height="734" style="border:none;overflow:hidden" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowTransparency="true" allow="encrypted-media"></iframe> {/source}

     

    Student councils and organizations from different campuses of the UP system also strengthened the call to stand with NutriAsia workers. Union of Journalists of the Philippines-UP invited the public "to fight back and be one with the NutriAsia workers in their struggle for the basic rights, and to finally end contractualization."

    UP Baguio Outcrop expressed that the "attacks clearly suppress the workers in asserting their rights."

    Youth organizations outside the UP system also joined in condemning the violent protest dispersal and illegal arrest. Agham-Pisay urged everyone "to be more active in showing our dissent to this kind of society that breeds oppression and exploitation."

    League of Filipino Students, whose Deputy Secretary-General was among those arrested after the protest dispersal, emphathized with the NutriAsia workers' struggle.

    "For almost three years and counting, the Nutriasia workers have remain resolute in reclaiming their picket line as long as their demands for regularization qnd national minimum wage are not heeded by the company, DOLE, and President Duterte. This next wave of police brutality and harassment just goes to show the utter disregard of these authorities on the rights of Filipino workers for a decent living."

    Meanwhile, social media users have been posting trashed condiments to urge people to #BoycottNutriasia.– Rappler.com


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    It's undeniable that public transport in the Philippines is in a sorry state. Apart from rising fuel and fares, a good number of our public vehicles are cramped, dilapidated, and operate on unpredictable schedules.

    Road safety advocate Vince Lazatin, along with urban development expert Robie Sy, make the case for an efficient bus rapid transit (BRT) system in the Philippines. It seems to work well in solving the traffic woes of Latin American countries like Colombia – maybe the Philippines should follow suit?  – Rappler.com


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    WINNERS. Phinix and Arooga Health bag awards at the recently held Asia-Pacific Forum on Youth Leadership, Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Beijing, China. Photo courtesy of Pamela Mejia

    MANILA, Philippines – Two Philippine start-up teams won international awards in Beijing, China, for projects that help achieve the sustainable development goals (SDGs) of the United Nations (UN).

    Start-up teams Arooga Health and Phinix bagged two of the five 2018 Asia-Pacific Youth SDG Innovative Awards in Beijing on Thursday, August 2. 

    The SDGs aim to end poverty, safeguard the planet, and ensure world peace. 

    In line with the SDGs, Arooga Health seeks to match individuals with trusted health care providers for their emotional and mental wellness. Phinix, on the other hand, aims to be a pioneer textile recycling center in the Philippines.

    "It's always been an honor to represent the country," said Pamela Nicole Mejia of Phinix.

    "What I would really love for the country to do is help creative enterprises and small enterprises access to funding and to scale our businesses. It's unfortunate that other countries give us support even if we bring honor to our own country," she added.

    Grand champion #HackSociety team LawKo also qualified to join the competition in China but was unable to push through given a prior engagement. 

    The 3 start-ups have gone a long way since winning HackSociety, the Youth Co:Lab qualifiers competition in the Philippines. In December, AroogaHealth won MaGIC Malaysia's Pre-Accelerator Bootcamp. In March, Phinix also won the UN Environment Asia-Pacific's Low Carbon Business Challenge. – Rappler.com


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    MANILA, Philippines – For drug users in rehabilitation, only one narrative seems acceptable in Philippine society: if you use drugs, then stop.

    However, abstinence actually isn’t the only option for drug rehabilitation. In NoBoxTransitions’ forum held on Monday, August 6, Dr. Andrew Tatarsky shared abstinence may be the best outcome for individuals undergoing drug rehabilitation but it’s definitely not the only outcome.

    “We don’t have to dismantle our traditional treatments but extending our reach enables us to engage people in the early stage,” he said.

    He discussed how the abstinence-only model may stop drug users from getting treatment since it does not seem appealing or realistic to them.

    “Doing more of the same thing isn’t working as well as we would like to. [...] Why are we so limited in our ability to be helpful to the overwhelming problem of alcohol abuse and substance addiction?” asked Dr. Tatarsky.

    Using the abstinence-only model for drug rehabilitation hasn’t been the most effective.

    According to Dr. Benjamin Reyes of the Dangerous Drugs Board, only 200,000 out of 1.6 million surrunderers were engaged in rehabilitation since the drug war started. (READ: PNP: No reason to fear return to ‘chilling’ drug war)

    “We have been so brutal to drug users and their community in the hope of deterring people [to use drugs]. I believe it’s coming from a good place, but it hasn’t worked,” said Dr. Tatarsky.

    During the forum, Dr. Tatarsky introduced the concept of harm reduction practices reflecting compassionate pragmatism as viable treatment options for drug users.

    “Harm reduction allows to ask people the question of how to get people from where they are to where they want to be. [...] If we make an offer to people that they aren’t ready for, it’s unlikely that they’ll accept them,” shared Dr. Tatarsky.

    He explained that harm reduction embodies compassionate pragmatism because it provides evidence-based programs that are delivered with acceptance of the user. This means to provide treatment services that are patterned according to the person’s capability and end goal. It shifts the attention from abstinence to a reduction of drug-related harm. It focuses on starting where the person is and making small incremental changes toward reduced risk. This is how most complex behaviors change.

    “The harm reduction model allows us to partner with people toward the greatest reduction of harm, which may be non-problematic use or may be abstinence. [...] Most problematic drug users at the point that they become concerned about their use are not ready, able, or willing to start stopping. But we can start from there.”

    Dr. Tatarsky added harm reduction treatments embodying compassionate pragmatism extends the reach of rehabilitation as they bridge care for drug users in varying stages of readiness to change.

    “Rather than scare tactics, we tell people the real dangers of drugs. When we don’t know the doses or other dangers, we need to give people the tools to make the right decisions. Empowering people with information, skills, and strategies to stay safe,” said Dr. Tatarsky.

    Compassionate pragmatism in harm reduction practices helps make an offer that speaks to their needs and engages them in the process and collaborate with them in solving the problem.

    Dr. Tatarsky presented harm reduction practices that could be applied in rehabilitating drug users such as enhancing self-regulation skills, practicing urge-surfing, joining group therapies, taking part in physical activities such as exercise and self-care, and focusing on personal relationships. Other activities can also be used to help rehabilitate drug users. (READ: Theater therapy heals widows, orphans of drug war victims)

    NoBox Transitions’ forum titled “Conversations with Dr. Andrew Tatarsky: Extending Our Reach Through Compassionate Pragmatism” is one of its initiatives to present scientifically demonstrable responses to help those in need. – Rappler.com


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    MANILA, Philippines – It's a band-aid solution to traffic, especially when the public transport system remains in a mess.

    Metro residents chimed in on the latest plan of the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) to ease traffic, which is to ban driver-only cars along EDSA during rush hours.

    The reactions came in various forms – questions, rage, and, of course, #hugot. It's not clear if these will be enough to make the agency rethink the plan.

    "Kahit sa EDSA hindi na rin pwede sa SINGLE. Eh ready to MINGLE naman kami," wrote Domato Pedrito. (Singles are no longer allowed on EDSA. A pity, since we're ready to mingle.)

     

    On a more serious note, Xavier Iñigo Mendoza Ponce described the plan as a “cheap, inefficient alternative to actually finding a permanent solution to traffic.” He advised the government to focus on long-term fixes in public transportation instead. 

    James Paolo Menguito shared the same sentiment, saying the plan discriminates against private car owners.

    {source}<iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/comment_embed.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Frapplerdotcom%2Fposts%2F2191439810876790%3Fcomment_id%3D2191610587526379&include_parent=false" width="560" height="180" style="border:none;overflow:hidden" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowTransparency="true" allow="encrypted-media"></iframe>{/source}

    But Twitter user J.S. supports the move. It's a good one, he said, but the government should rethink an earlier policy banning provincial buses from EDSA.   

    {source}<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-cards="hidden" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Good move on driver-only cars, but bad move on provincial buses. How will the gaps between the old and new terminals be closed? (Also: private cars are largely responsible for EDSA traffic jams by their mere existence, kthx.) <a href="https://t.co/gLFR9FEpUm">https://t.co/gLFR9FEpUm</a></p>&mdash; J. S. (@randomsalt) <a href="https://twitter.com/randomsalt/status/1026791019088568321?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">August 7, 2018</a></blockquote>

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

    Last month, the Metro Manila Council, composed of Metro Manila mayors, approved a policy banning provincial buses from plying EDSA. This was supposed to take effect in July but was moved to August 15 pending the completion of a new bus terminal in Valenzuela City.

    While most netizens pointed out the serious effects of the proposed driver-only ban on EDSA, some joined Pedrito in glacing it with humor.

    {source}<iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/comment_embed.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Frapplerdotcom%2Fposts%2F2191439810876790%3Fcomment_id%3D2191513674202737&include_parent=false" width="560" height="140" 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">So the MMDA wants to ban driver only cars along Edsa during rush hour. Is it not enough that we are single and alone? You have to punish us on the road too?!?!? <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/jokelang?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#jokelang</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/hugot?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#hugot</a></p>&mdash; Sharwin Tee (@chefsharwin) <a href="https://twitter.com/chefsharwin/status/1027077655840022531?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">August 8, 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%2F2191439810876790%3Fcomment_id%3D2191578627529575&include_parent=false" width="560" height="120" 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%2F2191439810876790%3Fcomment_id%3D2191557707531667&include_parent=false" width="560" height="180" style="border:none;overflow:hidden" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowTransparency="true" allow="encrypted-media"></iframe>{/source}

    Here's what others have to say:

    {source}<a class="twitter-timeline" data-partner="tweetdeck" href="https://twitter.com/rapplerdotcom/timelines/1027435637966663680?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">EDSA driver-only ban - Curated tweets by rapplerdotcom</a> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>{/source}

    What's your take on this? Will this new plan make a dent in government efforts to address metro traffic? – Rappler.com

     

     

     

     

     


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    The Department of Transportation recently requested for the cancellation of bus rapid transit (BRT) projects in Metro Manila and Cebu, citing infrastructure limitations.

    However, officials and experts are not sold on the idea. (WATCH: Can a bus rapid transit system work in the Philippines?)

    In this special Right of Way episode, urban development expert Robie Sy takes a detailed look at the proposed BRT system in Metro Manila. – Rappler.com


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    Dennis Dominguez demonstrated to the ARBO (Agrarian Reform Beneficiary Organization) members how to harvest honey from the coco shell technology. Photo courtesy of BBu.

    SORSOGON, Philippines – Thirty-eight-year-old Leony Gabiazo could have been a simple housewife but thanks to the thriving beekeeping in this province in the Bicol region, she and her husband have a job.

    In 2000, Gabiazo was a stay-at-home mother taking care of her 3 children while her husband Dennis Dominguez was working at a newly opened bee farm in the province, now known as Balay Buhay sa Uma Bee Farm (BBu). Eventually, farm owner Luz Gamba-Catindig expanded to coconut plantations because “kiwot” bees (Tetragonula biroi) are excellent pollinators. (READ: 11 fascinating facts about bees, the most important pollinators

    Gabiazo would later join her husband as part of the production staff for bee products like honey, pollen, and propolis.

    Coconut pollination with kiwot bees

    The Villa Corazon farm in Bulusan town is 7-hectare coconut plantation and an annex of BBu farm. It has been pollinating coconut trees with stingless “kiwot” bees, which are native to the Philippines and are known pollinators of high-value crops like mangoes, pili, and coconut.

    As coconut pollinators, kiwot bees have helped the farm increase its yield by 35% to 50%.

    “The reason for the higher yield is that fewer young coconuts fall to the ground,” Catindig said.

    “The tiny size of the bees let them penetrate the coconut flowers,” explained former BBu beekeeping consultant Floreza Palconitin-Broqueza, daughter of the late Rodolfo Palconitin.

    COCO SHELL TECHNOLOGY. Cervancia encouraged its use at the farm to make use of coconut shells. Photo courtesy of Laurie Mae Gucilatar.

    Catindig started to feel the improvement in yield 6 months after using kiwot bees for pollination, and since then harvests have been good even after typhoons.(READ: Can bees help end hidden hunger?)

    That called for 4 regular farm workers, and Dominguez responded.

    He left bee hunting in the wild and became a full-time farm worker. “My husband is earning P300 per day and gets a P10,000 bonus every time harvest is good, either from Villa Corazon or BBu,” Gabiazo said.

     Techno-demo farm

    Catindig and her farmers trained under the University of the Philippines Los Banos (UPLB) Bee Program headed by Dr Cleofas Cervancia, which involved an intensive beekeeping course. With constant monitoring from her mentors, Bbu became a project site – a learning ground for existing and interested beekeepers and crop growers.

    As a techno-demo farm, BBu is able to give beekeeping training to more bee hunters and community members through sponsored programs. They would learn that there's no need to burn the forest for honey and there are livelihood opportunities from beekeeping.

    Catindig got her first kiwot colonies from slash-and-burn farmers who also hunted for bees in the wild. She initially bought 5 colonies in 2004, and 1,000 more later, rescuing the bees in the process.(READ: Flies, wasps, beetles are important pollinators too – study)

    In the past, the farmers were after kiwot honey that costs P3,000 per gallon, recalled Gabiazo. Then the farm began showing results.

    “We harvest once in every year (instead of several times because it rains most of the time in the area),” said Catindig.

    She added that while the Tetragonula species do not produce as much honey as other species because of their size, unlike other species, they produce pollen and propolis.

    People would also visit the bee farm and pitch the hammock they brought with them. Later, there would be requests for a place to stay so the farm now rents out huts and villas.

     

    Gabiazo said with a smile the most important change in their lives is in their income. "Now we have a carabao, a motorcycle, a tricycle and a piggery because of the bonus we get from the farms," she said.

    Aside from the Dominguez couple and Gabiazo’s brother-in-law, the coconut farm has 4 part-time workers.

    One of the 16 regular workers at the farm said the job has helped provide their family enough money.  “I don’t have to go to Manila to provide my family’s basic needs.” (READ: 1.4B jobs depend on pollinators – report)

    There are 18 more on-call whose task is maintaining the farm gardens and tending more plants that bees like. This beekeeping essential enhances biodiversity, as it not only encourages the planting of nectar plants but also increases plants through pollination.

    HANGING BEE SHELTER. The Villa Corazon Farm uses the coco shell technology for the kiwot pollinators. Photo courtesy of Mavic Conde.

    Beekeeping also requires organic farming since bees will not survive chemical sprays.

     

    A caretaker of the coconut farm said pineapple and banana intercrops are also spared from pesticides, to protect the bees.

    Workers and visitors get to eat fresh, organic food at the bee farm. "My kids get to eat pure honey too," Gabiazo added.

    Cervancia, for her part, said of the farm: “It’s kind of a showcase. If people can see that the farm is earning, they will believe and they will be encouraged.” (READ: Sugar gives bees a happy buzz – study)

    Banner agri program of Bulusan

    The municipality of Bulusan adopted the beekeeping project as its banner agriculture program in 2017 with the aid of the Agriculture Training Institute (ATI). Its 40 beneficiaries – mostly bee hunters and recipients of lands in upland areas – reside in the outskirts of Mt Bulusan.

    The project’s main objective is to improve the farmers’ productivity, which is also one of the main goals set by the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) in its 2018-2022 road map for the industry.

    Each beneficiary received 11 colonies of kiwot bees, which were bought from 6 bee hunters for P500 per colony. Some of the beneficiaries bought a few more colonies, giving the hunters who are beneficiaries themselves, additional income.

    One of them is Jose Furaque of Kapangihan in Bulusan who said he bought more colonies as he has enough space in his backyard.

    Bulusan Mayor Michael Gusayko said there have been fewer requests for financial aid from the groups since they started the project. (READ: How residents make a living out of their home, Lake Bulusan)

    A big and healthy pollination hive can yield 3 bottles of honey, said Cecilia Olan who monitors all the beneficiaries and also a beneficiary herself. A bottle with 750 mililiters costs P900.

    With the beneficiaries living nearby coconut plants, these get pollinated too like the neighboring farms. 

    Proper profiling helps in the positive community response to this project. As in the words of Gabiazo, as former hunters, "their interest with the bees is already there."

    Climate change mitigation 

    According to a UN-HABITAT report on Sorsogon’s vulnerability to climate change, the province is at risk of extreme tropical cyclones which locals associate with climate change.

    The province has been experiencing more than the average 3 cyclones in two years and more rain volume and stronger winds from typhoons. Climate change also causes increasing incidence of evacuation of families from urban coastal areas, especially those living in informal settlements, and riverbank erosion.

    Cervancia said kiwot bees can help in mitigating climate change because they visit more economic plants based on pollen analysis. They make fast ecosystem recovery possible too through intense pollination.

    When Typhoon Nina hit the region in 2016, villagers from Bulusan were among the more than 10,000 evacuees who fled flooding. Both the Balay Buhay sa Uma Bee Farm and Villa Corazon Farm recovered fast though, despite losing many of their colonies.

    POLLINATION HIVE. UPLB developed this bee hive for efficient and large-scale pollination. Photo by BBu

    More women in training 

    More women in the community are also following the steps of Gabiazo. Cervancia said a majority of the training participants in the second part of the program are women because the training involves a meticulous process, from picking the pollen and extracting the honey to separating the propolis. (READ: Climate change: Why PH should care)

    Such livelihood opportunities prevent family breadwinners from engaging in environmentally destructive activities such as slash-and-burn farming and deforestation.

    Through agro-tourism, the bee farm gives jobs to these farmers, their housewives, and other community breadwinners, like what the Aggrupation of Advocates for Environmental Protection (AGAP-Bulusan) did in Bulusan Volcano Natural Park.

    The park's rich vegetation makes Bulusan an ideal place for beekeeping, while at the same time protecting it and the communities in lowland and coastal areas through beekeeping.

    Indeed for Cervancia, the most important takeaway from beekeeping is the conservation awareness a person develops. It makes people protectors of the environment especially if they know their livelihood depends on it. (READ: Will you survive a world severely battered by climate change?)

    As livelihood source, it motivates them to do more from teaching their families the do's and don'ts to harvesting honey and product development.

    “I first learned how to harvest honey through my husband,” Gabiazo shared.

    Furaque’s sons, who are approximately in their twenties, could also tell which pollination hives have honey.

    Catindig brought with her the Dominguez couple in trainings and seminars she had attended in the country, equipping them with skills of an able technician.

    Beekeeping, therefore, becomes a family affair, and in Catindig’s case, a community livelihood.

    Sustainable, viable enterprise

    Beekeeping is an emerging industry in the Philippines. With the right intervention and strategies, it is “seen to address food security and provide income-generating opportunities to Filipinos,” Rita dela Cruz for bar.gov.ph. 

    REPLICATING BEE HABITATS. BBu with plenty of organic natural food, far from chemical sprays and nearby a water source. Photo courtesy of Mavic Conde.

    Focusing on native bees allows for sustainable beekeeping: the native bees lessen the need for imported bees and also reduce start-up costs.

    As former Bicol Regional Apiculture Center head Maria Dulce Mostoles said, beekeeping “is just right for many families who can’t afford sophisticated housing.” It promotes conservation too.  

    The pollination hive developed by UPLB is easy to mass produce; supports large-scale pollination services, and allows production of quality products in an easy processing and hygienic way.

    If adopted by the entire province of Sorsogon, almost 50,000 coconut-dependent farmers in the province will benefit from this. In 2015, only 7.6 million of the province's 9.5 million coconut trees were fruit-bearing. It can also be replicated across the country, where 68 of 81 provinces are planted with coconut.

    Kiwot bees can help senile coconut trees bear fruits. In ideal conditions, kiwot bees can increase yield by 80%, and coconut provides adequate pollen for the bees as it continues to bloom all-year round.

    Even with the recent improvement in coconut production, the Philippine coconut industry has yet to tap its potential in exports. For agriculture columnist Dr William Dar, “addressing low yields at the farm level can be an excellent move to helping realize that.”

    His recommendation? To put measures help poor farmers earn more. Under the PCA road map, it means improving coconut yields and at the same time creating value-added products that naturally come with coconut production.

    Are these not what Catindig’s farms in the Bicol region have been efficiently doing, first through coconut pollination and then through beekeeping? - Rappler.com

    Mavic Conde is a Bicol-based news, travel, and environmental writer. She regularly writes for Rappler, Greenfields Magazine, and SeventyOne Magazine. She's a UNESCO fellow for climate change and sustainable development reporting in Southeast Asia and a grantee in the 2018 Asia-Pacific Story Writing Grants by Internews Europe. 


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    Bookmark and refresh this page for updates.

    MANILA, Philippines – Heavy rains poured in Metro Manila, Rizal, and nearby provinces on Saturday, August 11, due to the southwest monsoon or hanging habagat enhanced by Tropical Storm Karding (Yagi).

    This triggered flash floods and prompted the evacuation of thousands of families. (READ: Forced evacuation as Marikina River reaches 3rd alarm)

    Here's a list of relief operations:

    Marikina City 

    The local government of Marikina City is accepting the following donations for evacuees:

    • Ready-to-eat food
    • Decent, wearable clothes
    • Blankets
    • Hygiene Kits

    To coordinate donations, contact Angelo Franco Piamonte at 09175693135. Starting Sunday, August 12, donations can be dropped off directly at the Marikina Sports Center.

    Ateneo de Manila University

    The school is accepting donations like food and drinking water at the emergency Disaster Response and Management (DReaM) Team headquarters at Cervini Hall on campus.

    Ateneo is also accepting cash and check donations at their campus cashier offices or through bank deposit.

    {source}

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    Gabriela Women's Party

    Donations may be given at any of these drop-off points:

    • Lingap Gabriela office at the SATU Building along Don Mariano Marcos Avenue, North Fairview, Quezon City
    • Gabriela's office at 25 K-10 Street, West Kamias, Quezon City

    {source}

    <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">URGENT CALL for DONATIONS: Various communities in and out of Metro Manila affected by severe flooding are requesting donations. <br><br>Drop off points are indicated below. Please RT <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/FloodAlert?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#FloodAlert</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ReliefPH?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ReliefPH</a> <a href="https://t.co/mzY04G1EDl">pic.twitter.com/mzY04G1EDl</a></p>&mdash; Gabriela WomensParty (@GabrielaWomenPL) <a href="https://twitter.com/GabrielaWomenPL/status/1028279005173039105?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">August 11, 2018</a></blockquote>

    {/source}

     

    – Rappler.com


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    SIMULATION. Marikina City rescuers, during a drill, pull a 'drowning victim' out of the Marikina River on July 30, 2015. File photo by Pat Nabong/Rappler

    MANILA, Philippines – The Marikina Public Information Office (PIO) on Saturday night, August 11, advised the public of what to do in case they are trapped or in need of rescue due to flooding caused by heavy rainfall in Metro Manila and other parts of Luzon.

    In a Facebook post, the Marikina PIO posted 4 tips for those in need of help:

    1. Place an object (whether a brightly-colored cloth or a sign saying you are asking for help) on your window that can be easily seen by a rescuer.
    2. Once you hear a rescue boat, use a whistle to catch the attention of the rescuers.
    3. Relatives trapped in the same area should not use their cell phones all at the same time. This way, you still have other cell phones to use, instead of all phones running out of battery.
    4. If you have a stockpile of food at home, reserve some for the next few hours, while rescue is still on its way.

    {source}

    <iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FMarikinaPIO%2Fposts%2F2328955457118743&width=500" width="500" height="223" style="border:none;overflow:hidden" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowTransparency="true" allow="encrypted-media"></iframe>

    {/source}

     

    The Marikina PIO said the city's rescue unit and volunteers are doing everything to respond to those in need.

    Thousands of Marikina residents began evacuating from their homes Saturday afternoon, after the water level of the Marikina River reached 3rd alarm.

    The southwest monsoon or hanging habagat is expected to bring more rain on Sunday, August 12. Tropical Storm Karding (Yagi) and a tropical depression – both outside the Philippine Area of Responsibility – will continue enhancing the southwest monsoon. – Rappler.com


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    WINNING SMILE. Shawn Chua receives his award on stage. Photo courtesy of Eunice Chua

    MANILA, Philippines  A 35-member Philippine team reigned in the recent 2018 International Junior Math Olympiad (IJMO) at Pan-Asia International School in Bangkok, Thailand.

    Filipino student Shawn Darren Chua, 13, was the lone perfect scorer in the competition.

    Chua is an 8th grader from MGC New Life Christian Academy. He is also among 5 Filipino students who topped 5 out of 9 levels in the IJMO – an international math competition of around 600 students from 16 countries, held from July 27 to 31 this year.

    Chua's love for math began in kindergarten, when he was picked to compete in a local contest. 

    "Math is very interesting because lots of things in this world can be explained by it. Do you know that even the things in nature like snail shells, flower petals, and hurricanes, among others, all follow the Golden Ratio?" Chua said.

    With the guidance of his dad, he actively joined many local and international competitions.

    "I believe training is a lifelong process. Just like any other athlete, I train not for a specific contest, but to improve my craft, and in the process, I become better at it," Chua said.

    While Chua has competed in international math competitions before, the 2018 IJMO was his first time going abroad with only his elder brother, who also competed in the same competition.

    His mother Eunice Chua said: "More than anything, we believe our support counts most emotionally. During those times when they'd rather play than practice, those times when they feel dog-tired from catching up with missed schoolwork, those times when they didn't do well and lose — we give them a pat on the back to let them know it's okay and to just push on."

    Topping the IJMO was a big deal for Chua. "It makes the other countries realize that the Philippines is not only good in music and boxing, but also in math and maybe many other things," said Chua. (READ: 7-year-old Filipino math whiz shows amazing skills in 'Little Big Shots')

    Jose Lorenzo Abad, a 9th grader from Philippine Science High School and one of the other 5 Filipino champions, agreed. "Being number one in IJMO showed that Filipinos are not only competitive in math. It shows that we can dominate and become champions if we work hard and set our goals."

    CHAMPIONS. Topnotchers from the Philippine team strike a pose with their trophies. Photo courtesy of Eunice Chua

    Aside from having 5 champions, the Philippine team also bagged 9 gold cups, 16 gold medals, 8 silver medals, and 10 bronze medals. The victory of the Philippine team in the IJMO is the pride of the nation. – 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 -- Kyle Viray, the University of Santo Tomas (UST) student tagged in the viral beating confession was excluded from the university after a new complaint of physical abuse surfaced.

    According to a resolution from the Office to the Student Affairs (OSA) obtained by Rappler, Kyle Viray, a College of Science student, has been found guilty of  another physical abuse incident which happened on August 2017 involving a student from a different college. 

    He is also barred from taking any course or post graduate studies in UST and will not be issued a Certificate of Good Moral Character.

    The source of the resolution requested that the victim not be named for privacy concerns. 

    The complainant said Kyle abused her 6 times: 4 times on August 2017, and twice on September 2017. 

    In a counter-affidavit submitted to OSA, Viray denied all allegations filed by the complainant, further saying that the complainant is riding along the controversy involving him. He also denied that he had a romantic relationship with the complainant. However, a move-in clearance form accused's condo stated that Viray declared the complainant as his girlfriend. This document was submitted to OSA.

    Exclusion vs. Expulsion

    In the Manual of Regulations for Private Higher Education, exclusion "is a penalty that allows institution to drop the name of the erring student from the roll of students."

    Exclusion is different from expulsion, which was reported earlier. When a student is expelled, he or she can no longer be admitted to any public or private institution in the country. This, however, needs the approval of the chairman of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED).

    On July 14, Diane Kimberly C. Arcena, Viray's ex-girlfriend, also accused him of physical abuse in a series of tweets that went viral. 

    The Student Welfare and Development Committee (SWDC) of UST's College of Science looked into the incident and found him guilty of violating the university's Code of Conduct and Discipline, prohibiting students from "inflicting injuries, physical or otherwise, on another person, whether inside or outside the campus."

    As a consequence, the SWDC decided Viray will not be allowed to attend the graduation ceremony and ordered him to perform "250 hours of community service."

    SWDC opted for leniency after considering that Viray was a graduating student and the incident was his first offense.

    Arcena said she has filed a complaint against Viray in the prosecutor's office of Manila.

    Under the Republic Act 9262 or Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children Act of 2004, perpetrators, if proven guilty, will serve a prison term depending on the gravity of the crime, will pay a fine ranging from P100,000 to P300,000, and should undergo psychological counseling or psychiatric treatment.- Rappler.com

    Angelika Ortega is the current executive editor of TomasinoWeb, the official digital media organization of University of Santo Tomas


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    MANILA, Philippines – No doubt, disaster scenarios bring out Filipinos' resiliency and optimism. 

    Typhoons visit the country like clockwork, such that Filipinos have seemingly learned to cope with their adverse impacts with a cheerful disposition. But have we romanticized the notion of resiliency during disasters to the extent of using it to excuse the government's shortcomings in finding long-term fixes to flooding? (READ: The problem with Filipino resilience)

    On August 11, heavy rain poured in Metro Manila and nearby provinces resuling in widespread flooding brought by the southwest monsoon enhanced by Tropical Storm Karding (Yagi) as it left the country.  (READ: Monsoon dumps over half of August rainfall in just 1 day

    A photo from a local news organization about a man wading through a flooded street in Metro Manila sparked a discussion about resiliency. Do Filipinos need to rethink their concept of resiliency? Netizens thought so. 

    {source}<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">THE FILIPINO SPIRIT: A man submerged in floodwater in Marikina City manages to flash a smile despite his difficult situation. Filipinos are known for their resiliency especially since the country is hit by more than 20 typhoons every year. <a href="https://t.co/8232Gj9ANH">pic.twitter.com/8232Gj9ANH</a></p>&mdash; The Philippine Star (@PhilippineStar) <a href="https://twitter.com/PhilippineStar/status/1028264336278482946?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">August 11, 2018</a></blockquote>
    <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>{/source}

     

    Jerome Papa Lucas challenged Filipinos to push the government to come up with a flood control system similar to Japan instead of bragging about resiliency. 

    {source}<iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fjeromepapalucas%2Fposts%2F10215042809642106&width=500" width="500" height="684" style="border:none;overflow:hidden" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowTransparency="true" allow="encrypted-media"></iframe>{/source}

     

    Twitter user #StandWithWorkers shared that resiliency is not a bad concept at all but people might rethink that they developed this concept beacuse of the government's failure in addressing drainage systems in the country.

    {source}<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="tl" dir="ltr">Filipino resiliency isn&#39;t an entirely bad concept pero maiisip mo rin baka kaya tayo naka-develop ng ganoong &quot;resiliency&quot; ay dahil nasanay na tayong laging palpak ang mga leaders natin. Na hanggang ngayon hindi pa rin nila naaayos ang drainage systems kaya tayo binabaha.</p>&mdash; #StandWithWorkers (@MillennialOfMNL) <a href="https://twitter.com/MillennialOfMNL/status/1028451382058086402?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">August 12, 2018</a></blockquote>
    <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>{/source}

     

    Former solicitor general Florin Hilbay shared the same sentiment saying that Filipino spirit is "amazing" but underscored the importance of demanding "real" solution to government and seeking accountability for their failures. 

    {source}<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">yes, that&#39;s the amazing Filipino spirit: the ability to smile away and laugh off whatever hardships come our way.<br><br>i also wonder whether it&#39;s the same spirit that keeps us from seeking accountability for repeated failures of gov&#39;t and demanding real solutions. <a href="https://t.co/J8eokPu8zC">https://t.co/J8eokPu8zC</a></p>&mdash; florin hilbay (@fthilbay) <a href="https://twitter.com/fthilbay/status/1028455688513757184?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">August 12, 2018</a></blockquote>
    <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>{/source}

     

    Here's what others netizens have to say:

    {source}<a class="twitter-timeline" data-partner="tweetdeck" href="https://twitter.com/rapplerdotcom/timelines/1028946673899204614?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">Resiliency to Filipinos - Curated tweets by rapplerdotcom</a> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>{/source}

     

    What is your take on the issue? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below! – Rappler.com 

     


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    Dennis Dominguez demonstrated to the ARBO (Agrarian Reform Beneficiary Organization) members how to harvest honey from the coco shell technology. Photo courtesy of BBu.

    SORSOGON, Philippines – Thirty-eight-year-old Leony Gabiazo could have been a simple housewife but thanks to the thriving beekeeping in this province in the Bicol region, she and her husband have a job.

    In 2000, Gabiazo was a stay-at-home mother taking care of her 3 children while her husband Dennis Dominguez was working at a newly opened bee farm in the province, now known as Balay Buhay sa Uma Bee Farm (BBu). Eventually, farm owner Luz Gamba-Catindig expanded to coconut plantations because “kiwot” bees (Tetragonula biroi) are excellent pollinators. (READ: 11 fascinating facts about bees, the most important pollinators

    Gabiazo would later join her husband as part of the production staff for bee products like honey, pollen, and propolis.

    Coconut pollination with kiwot bees

    The Villa Corazon farm in Bulusan town is 7-hectare coconut plantation and an annex of BBu farm. It has been pollinating coconut trees with stingless “kiwot” bees, which are native to the Philippines and are known pollinators of high-value crops like mangoes, pili, and coconut.

    As coconut pollinators, kiwot bees have helped the farm increase its yield by 35% to 50%.

    “The reason for the higher yield is that fewer young coconuts fall to the ground,” Catindig said.

    “The tiny size of the bees let them penetrate the coconut flowers,” explained former BBu beekeeping consultant Floreza Palconitin-Broqueza, daughter of the late Rodolfo Palconitin.

    COCO SHELL TECHNOLOGY. Cervancia encouraged its use at the farm to make use of coconut shells. Photo courtesy of Laurie Mae Gucilatar.

    Catindig started to feel the improvement in yield 6 months after using kiwot bees for pollination, and since then harvests have been good even after typhoons.(READ: Can bees help end hidden hunger?)

    That called for 4 regular farm workers, and Dominguez responded.

    He left bee hunting in the wild and became a full-time farm worker. “My husband is earning P300 per day and gets a P10,000 bonus every time harvest is good, either from Villa Corazon or BBu,” Gabiazo said.

     Techno-demo farm

    Catindig and her farmers trained under the University of the Philippines Los Banos (UPLB) Bee Program headed by Dr Cleofas Cervancia, which involved an intensive beekeeping course. With constant monitoring from her mentors, Bbu became a project site – a learning ground for existing and interested beekeepers and crop growers.

    As a techno-demo farm, BBu is able to give beekeeping training to more bee hunters and community members through sponsored programs. They would learn that there's no need to burn the forest for honey and there are livelihood opportunities from beekeeping.

    Catindig got her first kiwot colonies from slash-and-burn farmers who also hunted for bees in the wild. She initially bought 5 colonies in 2004, and 1,000 more later, rescuing the bees in the process.(READ: Flies, wasps, beetles are important pollinators too – study)

    In the past, the farmers were after kiwot honey that costs P3,000 per gallon, recalled Gabiazo. Then the farm began showing results.

    “We harvest once in every year (instead of several times because it rains most of the time in the area),” said Catindig.

    She added that while the Tetragonula species do not produce as much honey as other species because of their size, unlike other species, they produce pollen and propolis.

    People would also visit the bee farm and pitch the hammock they brought with them. Later, there would be requests for a place to stay so the farm now rents out huts and villas.

     

    Gabiazo said with a smile the most important change in their lives is in their income. "Now we have a carabao, a motorcycle, a tricycle and a piggery because of the bonus we get from the farms," she said.

    Aside from the Dominguez couple and Gabiazo’s brother-in-law, the coconut farm has 4 part-time workers.

    One of the 16 regular workers at the farm said the job has helped provide their family enough money.  “I don’t have to go to Manila to provide my family’s basic needs.” (READ: 1.4B jobs depend on pollinators – report)

    There are 18 more on-call whose task is maintaining the farm gardens and tending more plants that bees like. This beekeeping essential enhances biodiversity, as it not only encourages the planting of nectar plants but also increases plants through pollination.

    HANGING BEE SHELTER. The Villa Corazon Farm uses the coco shell technology for the kiwot pollinators. Photo courtesy of Mavic Conde.

    Beekeeping also requires organic farming since bees will not survive chemical sprays.

     

    A caretaker of the coconut farm said pineapple and banana intercrops are also spared from pesticides, to protect the bees.

    Workers and visitors get to eat fresh, organic food at the bee farm. "My kids get to eat pure honey too," Gabiazo added.

    Cervancia, for her part, said of the farm: “It’s kind of a showcase. If people can see that the farm is earning, they will believe and they will be encouraged.” (READ: Sugar gives bees a happy buzz – study)

    Banner agri program of Bulusan

    The municipality of Bulusan adopted the beekeeping project as its banner agriculture program in 2017 with the aid of the Agriculture Training Institute (ATI). Its 40 beneficiaries – mostly bee hunters and recipients of lands in upland areas – reside in the outskirts of Mt Bulusan.

    The project’s main objective is to improve the farmers’ productivity, which is also one of the main goals set by the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) in its 2018-2022 road map for the industry.

    Each beneficiary received 11 colonies of kiwot bees, which were bought from 6 bee hunters for P500 per colony. Some of the beneficiaries bought a few more colonies, giving the hunters who are beneficiaries themselves, additional income.

    One of them is Jose Furaque of Kapangihan in Bulusan who said he bought more colonies as he has enough space in his backyard.

    Bulusan Mayor Michael Gusayko said there have been fewer requests for financial aid from the groups since they started the project. (READ: How residents make a living out of their home, Lake Bulusan)

    A big and healthy pollination hive can yield 3 bottles of honey, said Cecilia Olan who monitors all the beneficiaries and also a beneficiary herself. A bottle with 750 mililiters costs P900.

    With the beneficiaries living nearby coconut plants, these get pollinated too like the neighboring farms. 

    Proper profiling helps in the positive community response to this project. As in the words of Gabiazo, as former hunters, "their interest with the bees is already there."

    Climate change mitigation 

    According to a UN-HABITAT report on Sorsogon’s vulnerability to climate change, the province is at risk of extreme tropical cyclones which locals associate with climate change.

    The province has been experiencing more than the average 3 cyclones in two years and more rain volume and stronger winds from typhoons. Climate change also causes increasing incidence of evacuation of families from urban coastal areas, especially those living in informal settlements, and riverbank erosion.

    Cervancia said kiwot bees can help in mitigating climate change because they visit more economic plants based on pollen analysis. They make fast ecosystem recovery possible too through intense pollination.

    When Typhoon Nina hit the region in 2016, villagers from Bulusan were among the more than 10,000 evacuees who fled flooding. Both the Balay Buhay sa Uma Bee Farm and Villa Corazon Farm recovered fast though, despite losing many of their colonies.

    POLLINATION HIVE. UPLB developed this bee hive for efficient and large-scale pollination. Photo by BBu

    More women in training 

    More women in the community are also following the steps of Gabiazo. Cervancia said a majority of the training participants in the second part of the program are women because the training involves a meticulous process, from picking the pollen and extracting the honey to separating the propolis. (READ: Climate change: Why PH should care)

    Such livelihood opportunities prevent family breadwinners from engaging in environmentally destructive activities such as slash-and-burn farming and deforestation.

    Through agro-tourism, the bee farm gives jobs to these farmers, their housewives, and other community breadwinners, like what the Aggrupation of Advocates for Environmental Protection (AGAP-Bulusan) did in Bulusan Volcano Natural Park.

    The park's rich vegetation makes Bulusan an ideal place for beekeeping, while at the same time protecting it and the communities in lowland and coastal areas through beekeeping.

    Indeed for Cervancia, the most important takeaway from beekeeping is the conservation awareness a person develops. It makes people protectors of the environment especially if they know their livelihood depends on it. (READ: Will you survive a world severely battered by climate change?)

    As livelihood source, it motivates them to do more from teaching their families the do's and don'ts to harvesting honey and product development.

    “I first learned how to harvest honey through my husband,” Gabiazo shared.

    Furaque’s sons, who are approximately in their twenties, could also tell which pollination hives have honey.

    Catindig brought with her the Dominguez couple in trainings and seminars she had attended in the country, equipping them with skills of an able technician.

    Beekeeping, therefore, becomes a family affair, and in Catindig’s case, a community livelihood.

    Sustainable, viable enterprise

    Beekeeping is an emerging industry in the Philippines. With the right intervention and strategies, it is “seen to address food security and provide income-generating opportunities to Filipinos,” Rita dela Cruz for bar.gov.ph. 

    REPLICATING BEE HABITATS. BBu with plenty of organic natural food, far from chemical sprays and nearby a water source. Photo courtesy of Mavic Conde.

    Focusing on native bees allows for sustainable beekeeping: the native bees lessen the need for imported bees and also reduce start-up costs.

    As former Bicol Regional Apiculture Center head Maria Dulce Mostoles said, beekeeping “is just right for many families who can’t afford sophisticated housing.” It promotes conservation too.  

    The pollination hive developed by UPLB is easy to mass produce; supports large-scale pollination services, and allows production of quality products in an easy processing and hygienic way.

    If adopted by the entire province of Sorsogon, almost 50,000 coconut-dependent farmers in the province will benefit from this. In 2015, only 7.6 million of the province's 9.5 million coconut trees were fruit-bearing. It can also be replicated across the country, where 68 of 81 provinces are planted with coconut.

    Kiwot bees can help senile coconut trees bear fruits. In ideal conditions, kiwot bees can increase yield by 80%, and coconut provides adequate pollen for the bees as it continues to bloom all-year round.

    Even with the recent improvement in coconut production, the Philippine coconut industry has yet to tap its potential in exports. For agriculture columnist Dr William Dar, “addressing low yields at the farm level can be an excellent move to helping realize that.”

    His recommendation? To put measures help poor farmers earn more. Under the PCA road map, it means improving coconut yields and at the same time creating value-added products that naturally come with coconut production.

    Are these not what Catindig’s farms in the Bicol region have been efficiently doing, first through coconut pollination and then through beekeeping? - Rappler.com

    Mavic Conde is a Bicol-based news, travel, and environmental writer. She regularly writes for Rappler, Greenfields Magazine, and SeventyOne Magazine. She's a UNESCO fellow for climate change and sustainable development reporting in Southeast Asia and a grantee in the 2018 Asia-Pacific Story Writing Grants by Internews Europe. 


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    MANILA, Philippines – Traffic congestion during rush hour? MMDA’s solution: a driver-only car ban along EDSA.

    Singles steered away from EDSA after Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) started its dry run of the driver-only car ban on August 15. The first day of the dry run sparked an outcry from netizens ranging from long rants on Twitter to humorous solutions to skirt the ban.

    {source}<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">New single passenger policy on EDSA?<br>No problem! <a href="https://t.co/Rt5MeyzMR7">pic.twitter.com/Rt5MeyzMR7</a></p>&mdash; Sam (@samlichauco) <a href="https://twitter.com/samlichauco/status/1029377858546749440?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">August 14, 2018</a></blockquote>

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

     

    Some made the most out of their predicament.

    {source}<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Am putting up an &#39;EDSA Buddy&#39; business. If you need company to go through EDSA,<br>1) Regular person—30Pesos one way<br>2) Interesting conversationalist—150Pesos one way<br>3) Showbiz person.  5K. <br>Pag rush hour, 10K one way.<br>Make sure to state your political leanings para walang away.</p>&mdash; Jim (@Jimparedes) <a href="https://twitter.com/Jimparedes/status/1029516942841769984?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">August 14, 2018</a></blockquote>

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

    {source}<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Hi crush! I just want u to know that the shortest route between my office and my school is EDSA Pasay-Estrella. But i drive alone lang kaya bawal na ako there. So if ever you need a ride, hehe call me, text me, beep me coz hehehe we need to save time</p>&mdash; Tin Peñalosa (@tinpenia) <a href="https://twitter.com/tinpenia/status/1029646013567393792?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">August 15, 2018</a></blockquote>

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

     

    On a serious note, netizens took to social media to express their frustration at the impracticality of the driver-only car ban along EDSA. While it may have decongested EDSA by a small margin, it also flared up the traffic situations in other routes.

    {source}<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Banning driver only vehicles seems to have lessened traffic on EDSA, but has severely increased traffic in C5. This has also led to backlog along ortigas extension. This policy isn’t removing the problem, it just transferred it.</p>&mdash; Juan  (@jaofriginal) <a href="https://twitter.com/jaofriginal/status/1029532444276359168?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">August 15, 2018</a></blockquote>

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

     

    Others also pointed out that the ban only moved the traffic elsewhere, and suggested the need to look for sustainable solutions that would improve public transportation.

    {source}<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">MMDA&#39;s driver-only car ban lightens traffic on EDSA (left) this morning but creates traffic jam on C-5 (right). Is it a solution? Time to revisit insights of inclusive mobility (move people not vehicles) and the imperative for an efficient &amp; effective mass transit system for NCR <a href="https://t.co/aTcYlIzE4O">pic.twitter.com/aTcYlIzE4O</a></p>&mdash; Benjamin Velasco (@BenjieBVelasco) <a href="https://twitter.com/BenjieBVelasco/status/1029572347026497536?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">August 15, 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%2F2204803816207056%3Fcomment_id%3D2204917196195718&include_parent=false" width="560" height="180" style="border:none;overflow:hidden" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowTransparency="true" allow="encrypted-media"></iframe>{/source}

     

    Here’s what others had to say about the ban:

    {source}<a class="twitter-timeline" data-partner="tweetdeck" href="https://twitter.com/rapplerdotcom/timelines/1029622060903948290?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">EDSA driver-only car ban - Curated tweets by rapplerdotcom</a> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>{/source}

    The ban comes concurrently with the implementation of a provincial bus ban along EDSA. MMDA hopes to do the full implementation of the driver-only car ban on August 23. However, the Senate is pushing for its suspension and is urging MMDA to "provide for real solutions to Metro Manila traffic congestion." –Rappler.com

     


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    MANILA, Philippines – The move of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) to implement the driver-only car ban along EDSA has triggered swift backlash from motorists and commuters alike.

    The dry run of the ban began Wednesday, August 15, while full implementation is being eyed starting August 23.

    But even the Senate unanimously approved a resolution urging the MMDA to suspend the driver-only car ban. In the resolution, senators said the MMDA must first conduct public consultations and rethink the potential effects of the ban.

    In this episode of "Right of Way," road safety advocate Vince Lazatin drives along EDSA with his friends, Debbie Rodrigo and Dayo Montalbo, to talk about the controversial ban. – Rappler.com


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    MANILA, Philippines – How do you harness social media to connect to people and communities? How can you use fact-checking and verification for online civic engagement?

    The exponential rise of digital technology has given everyone a voice in the global conversation, obliterating the gatekeeping powers of traditional media and in the process significantly changing journalism.

    On the flipside, however digital technology also resulted in the rise of fake accounts, hate groups, and disinformation. 

    Read Rappler's propaganda war series:

    "MoveCebu: Social good in the digital age" aims to discuss this and other issues affecting a society that spends a large amount of time in the digital sphere.

    The forum, organized by Rappler and the National Endowment for Democracy and UNESCO in partnership with of the Universtiy of San Carlos (USC) Department of Political Science, aims to explain the nature of disinformation online and to highlight the role of a free and independent press in preserving democracy.

    The forum will be held on August 30 at the Gansewinkel Hall in USC. The program starts at 8 am.

    Tickets to the forum are free but seats are limited. Register below to secure your tickets now.

    {source}

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    Here is the program:

    Time Activity
    8:15 - 9:00 am

    Registration

    9:00 - 9:15 am

     

    Welcome remarks

    9:15 - 9:30 am

     

    Discussion: Getting to know you/Levelling-off activity

    9:30 - 10:15 am

     

    Power of social media: Using technology for social good
    Maria Ressa
    CEO, Rappler

     

    10:15 - 10:45 am

    Discussion: Digital media etiquette

     

    10:45 - 11:15 am

     

    Responsible use of digital media

    Stacy de Jesus
    Head, MovePH and Digital Communications, Rappler

    11:15 - 11:45 am

     

    Panel discussion: Why facts matter


    Moderated by:

    Raisa Serafica
    Unit Head of Civic Engagement, Rappler

     

    11:45 - 12:00 pm

     

     

    Synthesis

    The forum aims to enjoin concerned citizens as well as campus journalists, student organization leaders, school paper advisers, and other stakeholders to take part in discussions to understand the nature of digital platforms and spark a conversation around opportunities and threats to journalism and democracy at this time.

    Do you know anyone who would be interested in attending? Make sure to sign up soon! – Rappler.com


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    MANILA, Philippines – What do Filipinos understand about resiliency? Are local communities prepared and resilient during disasters?

    These are some of the questions that the forum “Resilience Marketplace for Innovation forum” intends to answer. (READ: The Problem with Filipino ResilienceHas resiliency been used as an excuse for government shortcomings?)

    As one of the most disaster-prone countries in the world, the Philippines is exposed to several natural hazards such as floods, storm surge, landslides, and earthquakes. The problem arises when there is no system in place to allow people to respond to them.

    The forum, organized by the the Local Government Academy of the Department of the Interior and Local Government and in partnership with various stakeholders from the public and private sector, aims to address the gap on Filipinos' understanding of a resilient community and how local government units should respond to disasters and mitigate climate change.

    This will also serve as an avenue for the stakeholders to dialogue with government agencies on relevant policies and proposed bills on resiliency.

    The forum will be held on Thursday, August 23 at the Mall of Asia, Hall 4, SMX Convention Center in Pasay City.

    Speakers include leaders of agencies involved in disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation and local government officials. Senator Loren Legarda and Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana will also grace the event and give keynote speeches.

    Silvestre Barrameda, Jr., OIC of the Local Governance Training and Dev’t Division, Local Government Academy, said he hopes the forum will help stakeholders and local government units come up with a common understanding of resiliency in the Philippine context. 

    "Iba't iba kasi 'yung  pinanggagalingan ng meaning ng resiliency ng mga tao," added Barrameda. (People have different notions of resiliency.)

    The forum will gather at least a thousand responders, decision-makers, and advocates of disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation.

    Aside from the 4 plenary discussions which will focus on resiliency, the forum will also feature various disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation initiatives through an exhibit. – Rappler.com  

     


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