Police who went undercover shot dead in Batangas; 6 others hurt

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Balayan, Batangas – A policeman who worked as undercover against an illegal drug syndicate was killed while six civilians were wounded in a shooting rampage here on Tuesday, police said.

PSI Allan De Castro, Balayan police chief, said SP01 Brian De Jesus, an intelligence operative was shot while watching a live band perform in a covered court in Barangay Sampaga at around 1:20 am, while six civilians were hit by stray bullets in the same area.

De Jesus, along with a civilian police asset, was in the crowd monitoring drug suspect Rodolfo Macalindong at that time when he was shot by the same suspect.

Police said the victims were rushed to Balayan Bayview Medical Center but doctors declared De Jesus dead upon arrival while six others are still recuperating from their gun shot wounds sustained in the incident.

De Castro said the witnesses positively identified Macalindong as the gunman along with certain Franciso Arroyo alias Barok and two unidentified suspects.

Police are now preparing to file charges against the suspects who remains at large.



State of Calamity up in Batangas city, Mabini and Tingloy due to quakes

Three parked vehicles, including this SUV at a resort in Mabini were damaged by falling debris following Tuesday's quake (photo by Ryan Valle)

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Batangas City – The Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) has unanimously a resolution on Monday declaring a state of calamity in the quake-hit areas of the Batangas City and the municipalities of Mabini and Tingloy and authorizing the utilization of the P49.2 million quick response fund by the provincial governor.

Vice Gov. Sofronio Ona said the fund will be used to augment for the immediate needs of evacuees such as food, water and temporary shelters.

“The main reason why we only declared state of calamity in two towns and a city is because it’s only them who has declared the same. We just adopted their declara

tion,” he told reporters in an interview after the April 10 special session.

In case other municipalities follow, the vice governor said that the sanggunian will call for another special session to adopt the same resolutions and declare a state of calamity in their areas.

Board members specifically Ramon Bausas and Philippine Councilors League Chairman Mildred Sanchez expressed apprehension over placing the entire province under state of calamity as the tourism industry in other municipalities such as San Juan and Nasugbu might be hurt by the declaration leaving people the impression that the “whole” and not “portions” of Batangas province were under state of calamity.

The tourism industry in the towns of Mabini and Tingloy already took a heavy hit as some diving tourists immediately cancelled their bookings following the earthquake and the diving ban being imposed.

Even those who weren’t affected like San Juan took the brunt from the said booking cancellations and board members feared others might follow soon, board members feared.

They said this wouldn’t have happened at a worst time as as it’s already summer that is generally considered a peak season for tourists.

“That’s the main reason why we only chose to declare in those who had their own resolutions,” Ona explained, adding that for the meantime those who did not may also seek the help of the provincial social welfare and development office for the needs of their constituents who were affected by the quakes.

Their position was contrary to the earlier pronouncement of Gov. Hermilando Mandanas who called in past interviews and meetings with disaster officials to declare the entire province of Batangas under state of calamity pending the assessment of damages.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said the first strong earthquake with a magntiude of 5.6 hit the province at about 3:07 pm. Its epicenter was located two kilometers northwest of Mabini, Batangas. At least 1001 aftershocks have been recorded as of April 9 at 9 pm, the agency’s director and DOST USec. Renato Solidum said.

Shortly after, a stronger earthquake of magnitude 6 was felt at 12 kilometers northwest of Mabini.

The earthquakes, both tectonic in origin, was felt at intensity 7 in Mabini; Intensity 6 in Tingloy, Bauan, Calatagan, Cuenca and Nasugbu; Intensity 5 in Batangas City, Sto. Tomas, San Pascual and Lemery towns, Bailen and Indang Cavite; Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro and Tagaytay City.

An intensity 4 earthquake hit Taal, Batangas; Obando, Bulacan; San Teodoro, Oriental Mindoro; Dasmariñas, Cavite; Calamba, Laguna; Lucena City, Quezon; and Pateros, Caloocan, Valenzuela and Manila cities.

The areas of Makati City, Pasig City, Pasay City, Quezon City, Muntinlupa City, Malabon City, Mandaluyong City, Imus and Bacoor, Cavite, Lucban, Quezon; Daet, Camarines Norte; Sta. Rosa, Laguna; Gen. Trias, Cavite and Bocaue Bulacan each felt intensity 3 earthquakes.

Two strong earthquakes have rocked Batangas province, Metro Manila and neighboring Luzon on Saturday afternoon, damaging infrastructures, blocking road paths and sending thousands of residents from a resort-rich town fleeing from their homes.

At least three people were confirmed injured from the quake, disasters officials said.  A male victim who works for a glass and aluminum shop was hurt in Mabini while another man sustained injuries from falling debris of the Immaculate Conception Parish in Bauan in the middle of the quake.

Also hurt was a man after a stampede occurred at the Citimart in Bauan as people were trying to leave the establishment after the quake but authorities said

PDRRMO Officer Lito Castro said the victims were treated in separate hospitals and doctors declared them safe.

As of Monday morning, at least 3,580 people have been affected by the earthquake. More than 820 families had totally damaged houses while 810 others had theirs partially destroyed by the quake.

As a pre-emptive measure, thousands of residents who felt the strong quake also fled their respective houses and stayed at evacuation centers and self-made camps in front of the Batangas provincial capitol, community park and various municipal halls.

PDRRMC said about 9,660 people were housed inside evacuation sites while 1,688 others went to their relatives where they feel safer.

Some infrastructures were damaged including churches such as the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Batangas City which had collapsed walls and ceilings and the namesake’s parish in Bauan who also had fallen debris from the quake. Taal’s Basilica of St. Martin Tours was also damaged by the quake.

Buildings at the Camp Netanya Hotel Resort in Mabini sustained cracks and had fallen debris damaging three parked vehicles while some ceilings and walls also collapsed at the Mabini General Hospital.

Not even the 89-year-old provincial capitol building was spared from the wrath as some offices specifically the 2nd floors of provincial accounting and provincial planning office sustained cracks following the quake. Estimated worth of damages now amount up to P80 million according to provincial engineer Gilbert Gatdula.

Trips were also suspended momentarily at the Batangas Port for two hours but were lifted as soon as Phivolcs clarified before coast guard authorities that no tsunami warning was issued at that time.

5.4 magnitude quake hits Batangas, Luzon provinces



Lipa City, Batangas – A 5.4 magnitude earthquake hit Batangas province and other areas in Metro Manila and nearby Luzon provinces on Tuesday night, the Philippines Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said.

No major damage was expected from the quake, authorities said, but Phivolcs warned of aftershocks.

An earthquake bulletin issued by the agency said that the quake, with an epicenter located seven kilometers northwest of Tingloy, Batangas, was felt at  8:58 p.m.

A magnitude 4.6 earthquake was also recorded in the same area at 9:11 p.m., followed by a magnitude 2.5 quake at 9:17 p.m and another magnitude 2.6 was also recorded at 9:26 p.m.

The quake, tectonic in origin, was felt at Intensity 4 in Makati City and Obando, Bulacan; Intensity 3 in Mandaluyong City, Quezon City, Santa Ana, Manila and Lucena City, Quezon; General Trias and Dasmariñas, Cavite.

An Intensity 2 quake was also felt in Talisay, Batangas and Pasig City.

In its website, Phivolcs describes Intensity 4 as moderately strong, which can be felt like the passing of a heavy truck and can rattle wood-framed buildings.

Intensity 3 is described as weak, felt by many people indoors especially in upper floors of buildings and may cause hanging objects to swing moderately. Vibration is felt like passing of a heavy truck.

Intensity 2 is slightly felt by few individuals at rest indoors and may cause hanging objects to swing slightly.

Local competitiveness: Will province, Lipa City improve this time?

Charito Armonia of the Philippine Statistics Authority-Calabarzon (standing) and Department of Trade and Industry- Calabarzon Director Malou Toledo (third from left) egged on Batangueño local government planning coordinators and investment officers to submit correct data for the 2017 Cities and Municipalities Competitiveness Index. Data for the 2017 CMCI will cover 2016. (photo from DTI-Batangas on its Facebook page.)



LIPA CITY (The Filipino Connection)–Calabarzon’s Regional Competitiveness Council egged on local government units in Batangas, and the entire province as well, to improve their programs and policies so as to become more economically competitive.

[Read more…]

[Special edition] Lipa’s stinky problem

A member of the Facebook group Lipa City Philippines posed a question to residents while Lipa City is struggling to manage its solid wastes.

LIPA CITY–There’s a pileup of not just trash but of problems on how a progressive urban enclave in Batangas is dealing with solid wastes.

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Budget for hauling Lipa’s trash ‘inadequate,’ says new hauler

The City Council's Committee on Environment hearing held early February heard the plans of 7MG Hauling Services Philippines, Corp. to collect Lipa City's garbage.  The firm led by its President Manuel Guarin, told councilors the city's 2017 budget allocation for garbage collection is inadequate, and it excludes a monthly dumping fee (worth P2 million a month) that the firm pays to the dumpsite. (photo from Luigi Antonio Aception through his Facebook page)

LIPA CITY—This city has a new garbage hauler, but the annual budget for hauling and dumping the trash elsewhere may not be enough.

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Trash hauling: Like in 2016, City Council to add funds

The current City Council of Lipa (taken from the official Facebook page of the city council)


LIPA CITY—An additional budget to cover the spending shortfall for hauling and dumping trash in Lipa City may be the temporary solution to elude uncollected garbage that remain the city’s eyesore.

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[Editorials of The Connection] RA 9003 compliance an indicator of good LGU performance

Uncollected trash i Brgy. Balintawak, Lipa City (photo by Elizabeth Almogia, taken from her Facebook page)

The Department of the Interior and Local Government had been handing out the Seal of Good Local Governance (SGLG) awards for the past two years. This scheme aims to promote sound performance by the country’s over-1,700 local government units.  The SGLG replaced the old Seal of Good Housekeeping when the late Jesse Robredo was then DILG secretary.

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[Public service] Schedule of trash collection in Lipa City

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LIPA CITY–As a form of public service, the City Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) here shares the morning and night schedules for garbage collection in Lipa City. This advisory was shared also to the Facebook page Lipa City Philippines.




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Lack of foresight in changing of garbage haulers?

Uncollected trash at a waiting shed in Lipa City's Barangay 8 (photo by Connie Reyes-Raz through her Facebook account)


MANILA and LIPA CITIES—The changing of contractors hauling a locality’s garbage may inevitably lead to a problem of leaving some trash uncollected. [Read more…]