todays top stories

Magnitude 5 quake trembles Bohol, Leyte waters

July 1, 2019

MANILA (MDN National News digital, July 1) - The Philippine Institute for Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) reported frequent quakes happening in the country this year but did not give enough details why this phenomenon is happening. The latest was a magnitude 5 quake that trembled the waters off Leyte and Bohol provinces on Sunday (June 30, 2019). But people need not worry, the bureau said, since it didn't cause much damage to houses, government buildings and other properties. It only hit the waters of these two provinces. Phivolcs reported the epicenter of the quake was situated in Bohol Sea, about 36 kilometers in the western part of Limasawa in Southern Leyte. However, the Phivolcs also reported that the quake registered Intensity 3 in Cebu City and Mambajao town in Camiguin Island. Intensity 2 was also felt in Palo, Leyte, the agency said. Aside from those area mentioned above, the quake was also felt in Cagayan de Oro, Argao City, Bogo City and Tagbilaran according to the report submitted by the agency. The Philippine Institute of Seismology and Volcanology (Phivolcs) also said the quake was also felt in San Ricardo and Pintuyan towns in Southern Leyte. At press time, the bureau as well as the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (PDRRMO) did not report yet of damages in many parts of the country hit slightly by the tremblor.  In the previous months, earth shaking, with more or less, Magnitude 5 registered in the richter scale, hit Davao City and two other Davao Provinces. The quakes also hit in other areas in the country. ### 

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'Egay' won't affect Mindanao, only Luzon and Western Visayas

July 1, 2019

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MDN Mindanao News digital, July 1) - Tropical depression named by the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) as 'Egay' will not affect the entire island of Mindanao today, July 1. Mindanao will experience cloudy skies and maybe rain showers and winds but not as strong as in Luzon and Western Visayas. The weather bureau said those in Luzon and Western Visayas will have to expect rainy day today due to habagat or otherwise known as southwest monsoon. But Tropical depression 'Egay,' according to PAGASA is going to weaken in the next 24 hours. But right now, it brings more rains in Metro Manila and other areas in Luzon as well as in Western Visayas.    PAGASA said those areas that will experience low to moderate and at times with downpour will include CALABARZON, MIMAROPA, Metro Manila, Central Luzon, Cordillera Region, Aklan, Bicol Region, Western Iloilo, and Ilocos Region. But the rest in Western Visayas and Luzon will also experience scattered rains and cloudy skies.  At this writing, Tropical cyclone warning signal #1 is still up in Babuyan Group of Islands and Batanes. These areas will have rains and strong winds, according to PAGASA. The wind range, the weather bureau said, will be from 30 to 60 kilometers per hour (kph) in all areas with number 1 signal.  The weather bureau said that based on their models, the tropical storm 'Egay' is going to weaken into a Low Pressure Area (LPA) today. And in the next 24-48 hours, PAGASA says, it will also exit the country. 'Egay' was last seen in Aparri, Cagayan  Valley, carrying winds at 45 kilometers per hour and gustiness record of 60 kph. It is now moving to northwest at 35 kph, the weather bureau reported. PAGASA also added that another LPA is spotted outside of the country which may also develop into a tropical depression. The good news is: It is not expected to enter the Philippine territory.

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Teachers salary could go as high as P36,409 monthly if Angara bill is approved

July 1, 2019

MANILA (MDN National News, July 1) - Good news for teachers nationwide! The salary of a public school teacher in the country could go as high as P36,409 per month if a bill filed by Senator Juan Edgardo "Sonny" Angara would be approved in the 18th Congress. Senator Angara on July 1, 2019 filed a bill increasing the salary of a public school teacher from P20,754 to P36,409 - from Salary Grade 11 to jump at Salary Grade 19. However, Senator Angara said this salary increase proposal for 800,000 public school teachers would be done in 5 years to give the Department of Budget and Management ample time to study the proposal and make the necessary budget adjustments.  Senator Francis Pangilinan also filed his own version of a bill increasing the salaries of public school teachers. Pangilinan, in his proposal, want an additional compensation of P10,000 per month for every public school teacher. Pangilinan, in his proposed bill wanted to give the increase in three tranches since the budget for 800,000 public school teachers would mean billions of pesos. The Pangilinan's proposed bill also wants to give additional benefits to teachers by way of allowances, renumeration from local school board funds, medical allowance as well as an annual Magna Carta bonus. In another bill, Senator Nancy Binay proposed to give teachers' monthly wages to P28,000 for teaching personnel and P16,000 for non-teaching personnel. A separate bill that Senator Binay also proposed aims to give public school teachers exemption from income tax for serving as electoral board during the conduct of elections in the country. Her bill also wants to provide additional "educational assistance" to public school teachers.   Senator Ramon "Bong" Revilla, Jr. also wants to alleviate the living condition of public school teachers thru his own version of a bill. Revilla wants to give teachers "teaching supplies allowance. It can be recalled that public school teachers in the country have been calling President Rodrigo Duterte to uplift the economic conditions of public school teachers, as what he promised during his campaigns a few years back. Public school teachers aired their sentiments to the president that they also needed help. This, after President Duterte increased the salaries of policemen and members of the Philippine army, almost doubling their previous salaries. DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones was earlier lambasted and criticized by teachers alliances and party list-groups for calling the increase just a "money issue." But Briones later retracted his pronoucement and said there should be a careful assessment.  Briones said the 5,000 across-the-board increase is going to require the Philippine Government P75-billion annual budget.

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General Sobejana is new chief to AFP'S most critical command base

June 30, 2019

ZAMBOANGA CITY (MDN Mindanao News digital,June  29) - The new commander of the most critical command base of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in Mindanao has formally assumed office Friday, (June 28,2019) during a change of command held in Camp Navarro, Calarian, Zamboanga City. Installed as the new chief of Western Mindanao Command (Wesmincom) was Major General Cirilito E. Sobejana. He replaced outgoing commander Lieutenant General Arnel B. Dela Vega, who reportedly opted for early retirement for still unknown reasons. The formal turn over ceremony of the change of command in Western Mindanao Command (Wesmincom) was presided by no other than the AFP chief of staff, General Benjamin Madrigal. The new Wesmincom chief was the Commander of the 6th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army prior to his new appointment to lead Wesmincom, one of the critical bases in Western Mindanao due to the active presence of terrorist and private armed groups.   The AFP considered General Sobejana as one of the living heroes of the army. He was a highly decorated soldier of the country known for his heroic combat exploits. Sobejana was recipient of the country's highest military award, the medal of valor, an award equally the same with that of the United States Congressional Medal of Honor. Member of the Philippine Military Academy Class of 1987, Major General Sobejana is happily married to the former Miss Edna Iturriaga. Their union is blessed with three lovely daughters and two sons.     In his statement, Major General Sobejana expressed his happiness to the AFP, most especially his predecessor, Lt Gen Arnel Dela Vega, for entrusting to him the new leadership of Wesmincom, also considered as priority fronts of the premier military command in the country. He said that “while security is our primary duty, we also need help from the local chief executives and other stakeholders. I define peace as people empowerment in addressing security challenges in our area of operations.”  Meanwhile, outgoing commander, Lieutenant General Arnel Dela Vega also extended his gratitude to everyone who became part of his meaningful command at Wesmincom. He thanked his subordinates, mistahs, friends and associates, who in one way or another supported him during his stay at Wesmincom - most especially his family for their untiring support in his successful journey as a highly decorated official of the military. “I enjoin every soldier, sailor, marine, and airman of this Command to continuously endeavour to adhere to the interplay of security, development, and good governance as the main component of our strategic framework in addressing the different threats and threat groups confronting the region,” Dela Vega concluded.

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69 container vans of trash drop in Philippines now back to Canada 

June 30, 2019

METRO MANILA (MDN Philippines digital, June 30) - Call it government lapses for failing to detect early the shipment of garbage from Canada to the Philippines, but at least this time, 69 container vans of trash is now back to its country of origin, which is Canada. Those over a hundred containers of trash were docked in Manila by batches from 2014 up to 2014 thru the Canadian Company Chronic Plastics, Inc. The company said all the contents of the containers were "recyclable plastic scraps." Later, it was discovered to include other wastes that are not really recyclable.  Reports said the wastes arrived in the country in July 2013 without securing proper permits such as import entries for said shipment. Some of the container vans remain in Manila port. President Duterte upon knowing of this dilemma was very mad at Canada and even declared war if Canada will not get them back to their country. "I want a boat prepared. I'll give a warning to Canada maybe next week that they better pull that thing out, or I will set sail doon sa Canada, ibuhos ko ýung basura nila doon. I cannot understand why they are making us a dump site," Duterte lamented Duterte's declaration in irate mood has made both countries in standoff, until this year the Canadian government responded to get back the garbage to their country without the Philippines spending a dime.    It was learned that a total of 103 container vans were docked at the Manila port sometime in July 2013 containing a total of 2,450 tons. It was a Canadian company that also exported their trash in the Philippines. Their counterparts in the Philippines are not known at press time. "Awayin natin ang Canada. We'll declare war against them, kaya naman natin sila," Duterte's pronouncement said. Duterte also threatened to dump garbage in front of the embassy in Canada. 69 containers of Canadian trash returns to Canada from the Philippines; it was festering since it was sent there in 2013 and 2014. NE-008SA pic.twitter.com/dDaG4Hma4d— CNN Newsource (@CNNNewsource) June 29, 2019

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8 dead, 12 injured as suicide bombers blow up bombs in military camp 

June 29, 2019

INDANAN, SULU (MDN Mindanao News, June 28) - Three suicide bombers exploded bombs near a military camp in Indanan, Sulu, killing 8 persons and injuring 12 others in what could be known as another handiwork of the ruthless terror group in Mindanao. Police authorities said no one has yet claimed responsibility on the terror attack in a military camp using the deadly and bravest suicide bombers, but hinted this is mostly perpetrated by any extremist group in Central Mindanao. Major Gen Cirilito Sobejana, commander of Western Mindanao Command (Wesmincom) said three soldiers have died, including two suspected bombers. Major Gen Sobejana told reporters the military are still investigating the incident and they have yet to establish the motive of the sudden attack of three suicide bombers, willing to blow themselves up, in the name of their radical belief. Investigation disclosed that on or about 1 in the afternoon of June 26, three suspicious-looking men went to a military camp in Barangay Kajatian, Indanan town in Sulu.  The suspects were flagged down at the security checkpoint and one of them was suspected of carrying a bomb in his bag, and he was escorted at the office for verification. However, before approaching the military office, a bomb inside the suspect's bag suddenly exploded. After the explosion, the second suspect also ran towards the military camp and also blow himself up, killing 3 soldiers and injuring 8 others.  In a related development, the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) was immediately placed under "full alert status," following the twin explosions in Indanan, Sulu. Guillermo Eleazar, NCRPO regional director said there were no threats yet received by the police offices in NCR but they immediately placed NCR under "full alert status" at 6:00pm on Friday, so that people would be vigilant to inform the police if there are suspicious individuals entering Metro Manila.   Eleazar said in a statement “Having this measure could mean of great help in deterring unscrupulous individuals in carrying out their illegal or terroristic acts. And so I highly encourage the public to remain alert and vigilant.” ### ---    ABOUTJOEL Joel Calamba Escol is a writer since 1991, author and all around person. He plays billiards, paints, does some comic illustrations, cartoons and likes watching CNN and AljazeraTV. He is also an SEO expert. When he's not working, you'll find him gaming and watching hard action movies. He's a total sucker of news and current events.  For companies who want to be promoted online via Print Media or  Search Engine Optimization (SEO), please email me at escoljoel@gmail.com Follow him on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter

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