144 violators nabbed, 512 weapons seized in 1st week of gun ban

The weeklong checkpoints related to the 2022 national elections have netted 144 gun ban violators so far. A total of 121 firearms have been confiscated as of 6 a.m. Sunday. A total of 512 illegal weapons have been seized so far, including gun replicas. “Naki-usap naman kami, nagbigay kami ng maagang impormasyon. Gun ban, huwag tayo magdala ng baril (We issued appeals before the establishment of checkpoints. Gun ban, do not bring weapons),” Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Dionardo Carlos said in a radio interview on Sunday. As a…

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Albay farmers to finally receive lands after 15 years

After 15 years, some 76 agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) waiting to own their farmlands in Pioduran, Albay will finally receive their Certificates of Landownership Awards (CLOAs) from the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR). The said CLOAs cover landholdings formerly owned by Pablo Alsua and Amparo Buenviaje, and Ramon Alsua in Barangays Marigondon and La Medalla in Pioduran, respectively. Albay agrarian reform chief Maria Eugenia M. Alteza said the CLOA distribution, covering a total of 138 hectares, would be done following the completion of the land acquisition process for the two…

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DND gives nod to purchase of 32 more Black Hawk choppers

It’s a go for the government procurement of 32 additional S-70i Black Hawk combat utility helicopters after the Notice of Award (NOA) was issued to PZL Mielec of Poland late last year, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana announced Sunday. Lorenzana shared in a Facebook post that the NOA was issued on Dec. 28, 2021 for the PHP32-billion project that comes with an initial logistics support package and training for pilots and maintenance crew. The Contract Agreement is now being drafted after which a Notice to Proceed will officially commence the project.…

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House-to-house jabs for seniors, people with comorbidities pushed

Malacañang has renewed its call for local government units (LGUs) to consider house-to-house vaccination drives to get more senior citizens and persons with comorbidities vaccinated against Covid-19. Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, acting presidential spokesperson, said providing vaccination services at home would provide convenience for these priority groups, especially those who have difficulty traveling to vaccination sites. “Yung house-to-house campaign will be very effective para yung sa accessibility at meron din po tayong mga kababayan na talagang nahihirapan sila lumabas, nahihirapan pumunta sa vaccination sites (in terms of accessibility and we…

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2 nabbed, P680-K shabu seized in CDO anti-drug ops

The Police Regional Office – Northern Mindanao (PRO-10) Drug Enforcement Unit seized illegal drugs worth an estimated PHP680,000 in separate operations over the weekend. In a statement Sunday, Brig. Gen. Benjamin Acorda Jr., PRO-10 director, said they will not stop looking for people who do nothing but destroy the nation. “Let them know that the long arm of the law will always be after them, kahit ano pa man ang estado nila sa buhay (whatever their social status may be),” he said. On Friday at about 10:30 p.m. in Barangay…

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Albay bettor wins P65-M lotto jackpot prize

Following two millionaires on Friday, a lone bettor bagged the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) lottery jackpot prize, winning over PHP65 million in the Grand Lotto 6/55 draw on Saturday night. The lucky bettor guessed the winning combination of 39-29-09-21-19-20 for the jackpot prize of PHP65,991,571, according to an advisory Sunday. The ticket was purchased in Tabaco City, Albay. The bettor can claim his cheque at PCSO’s main office in Mandaluyong City and present the winning ticket and two identification cards. As provided under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and…

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Communication problems reported in Tonga amid volcanic eruption

Communication difficulties were reported in Tonga following a massive underwater volcanic eruption in the Pacific country, according to local media on Sunday. In a news conference, New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said communication with the country had been difficult due to the eruption but that her country’s Defense Force and the Foreign Ministry were working to help Tonga, the public broadcaster Radio New Zealand (RNZ) reported. “New Zealand’s High Commission in (Tonga’s capital) Nuku’alofa is in contact with local authorities and damage assessments are underway,” it added. While phone…

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Chibi saints win hearts as ‘visual reminders’ of Catholic faith

While scrolling through her Facebook newsfeed one day, an image of a tiny Santo Niño de Cebu caught the eye of Karen Fontillas. She instantly wanted one for her brother who collected sacred images of the Child Jesus. Little did she know that other saints depicted as childlike would soon earn a special space in her own home. Fontillas, who hails from Zambales, is just one of the many collectors of chibi saints. She currently has over 100 chibi saints inside her room. No doubt that they’re cute, but she…

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DFA monitors condition of 800 Filipinos in Fiji, Samoa, Tonga

The Philippine Embassy in Wellington is currently monitoring the situation of close to 800 Filipinos in Tonga, Samoa, and Fiji after the eruption of an underwater volcano on Saturday, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said. In a statement Sunday, the DFA said the eruption triggered tsunamis and strong waves reached Tonga, Samoa, and Fiji, and concerned residents are moving to higher grounds. It added there were disruptions to communication systems in those areas. “Coordination efforts with local authorities and community leaders are ongoing to ascertain the situation on the…

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Solon says survivorship benefits law ‘a well-deserved grant’

Senator Sherwin Gatchalian lauded the signing into law of the bill granting survivorship benefits to the legitimate spouse and dependent children of the members of the National Prosecution Service (NPS) saying that the modest entitlement is long overdue especially to those who have dedicated their lives to be instruments in the dispensation of justice in the country. “Hindi kailanman matutumbasan ng monetary compensation ang dedikasyon at serbisyo ng public prosecutors ngunit nararapat lamang na bigyan natin ng pagpapahalaga ang mga nagbuwis ng kanilang buhay para sa serbisyo publiko. Marami sa…

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‘Idle’ PAF helicopters now on limited ops for relief efforts

The Philippine Air Force (PAF) has put on limited operations its UH-1H “Huey” combat utility helicopters that were earlier grounded and placed in storage to help in the ongoing relief efforts in the Visayas and Mindanao areas battered by Typhoon Odette last month. The UH-1Hs were grounded and placed in storage following a fatal crash that killed at least six PAF personnel in Bukidnon on Jan. 16, 2021. “The UH-1H helicopters of the PAF are now being utilized in the humanitarian assistance and disaster response efforts in the aftermath of…

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Vico Sotto in isolation after testing positive for Covid-19

Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto contracted coronavirus disease (Covid-19) and is now undergoing isolation. In his social media post on Saturday night, Sotto said he is exhibiting a sore throat, fever, and body aches. He assured his constituents that he will continue to work remotely while undergoing isolation for the next seven days. Sotto cautioned the public against the prevailing threat of the Covid-19, particularly the Omicron variant. “Matindi talaga ang pagkalat ng Omicron—sabi nga ng ibang eksperto, lahat tayo ay mae-expose sa variant na ito. Kaya lagi po tayong…

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New infections, recoveries hover above 30K; cases now at 287,856

The Department of Health (DOH) logged 37,154 daily coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) infections and 30,037 new recoveries on Sunday. Active cases rose to 287,856 while total recoveries jumped to 2,864,633, or 89.4 percent of the 3,205,396 infections recorded since the pandemic started in March 2020. Among the active cases, 273,924 are mild, 2,940 are moderate, 9,212 are asymptomatic, 1,475 are severe, and 305 are critical. “Of the 37,154 reported cases today, 36,303 (98 percent) occurred within the recent 14 days — Jan. 3, 2021 to Jan. 16, 2022,” the DOH…

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Cagayan guv, wife test positive for Covid-19

Cagayan Governor Manuel Mamba announced Sunday that he and his wife, Mabel, have contracted Covid-19. Although they have mild symptoms, they are confined at the Cagayan Valley Medical Center due to their comorbidities — hypertension and diabetes. Both are vaccinated and have received their booster shots. In a video message shared by the Cagayan Provincial Information Office Facebook, Mamba said they were swabbed on Friday and their positive reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction test results were released the following day. “We seek patience from you for not being able to answer…

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IATF OKs ‘retroactive’ testing, quarantine rules for travelers

Malacañang on Saturday night said the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) has approved the retroactive application of the testing and quarantine protocols for qualified travelers who arrived in the country on or before Jan. 13. “In a resolution issued by the IATF on Saturday, January 15, testing and quarantine protocols for Green and Yellow List countries/territories/jurisdictions per IATF Resolution No. 157 shall now apply to those who arrived in all ports of entry in the Philippines on or before Jan. 13, 2022,” acting presidential…

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Covid-19 case growth rate in NCR down to 2%: OCTA

The OCTA Research Group on Sunday said the growth of Covid-19 cases in the National Capital Region (NCR) has decreased to 2 percent based on the seven-day moving average of new infections. NCR’s growth rate was 3 percent on Saturday. “The decrease in growth rate could have two possibilities – the trend of the new cases in NCR is close to the peak, or new cases in the NCR are limited by testing capacity, i.e., the volume of testing is not sufficient given the new number of cases,” OCTA Research…

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DOLE, PGH link up to help establish OFW Hospital operations

The expertise of the government’s top medical institution, Philippine General Hospital (PGH), will add quality to the service of the OFW (Overseas Filipino Worker) Hospital in San Fernando. Pampanga. On Friday, a memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed between the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and PGH to help manage the clinical services of the country’s first hospital for OFWs. “I’m glad that the state’s leading research and medical center is supporting the OFW Hospital. With PGH on our side, what could possibly go wrong?” DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello…

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Año returns to work after 3rd bout with Covid-19

Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año is back on duty beginning Monday, seven days after he contracted Covid-19 for the third time. “Ok naman ako. January 17 cleared na ako (I’m okay now. I’ve been cleared as early as January 17),” Año said in a message to the Philippine News Agency on Sunday. On January 11, Año announced that he was tested anew for Covid-19 although he was asymptomatic. Año first tested positive for Covid-19 on March 31, 2020, and underwent a second test on…

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