northern mindanao

6.6 quake aftermath in Mindanao: 2 killed; work, classes suspended

October 30, 2019

Two persons were killed, while thousands of students and workers scampered for safety, a number of them suffering injuries when a magnitude 6.6 earthquake jolted parts of Mindanao at 9:04 a.m. Tuesday, 13 days after a magnitude 6.3 quake also struck Mindanao, with epicenters both in Tulunan, North Cotabato. Nestor Naricso, 67, a retired ambulance driver of the South Cotabato Provincial Hospital, was killed when portions of a concrete wall on the second floor of the Marbel Evangelical Church Ministry Inc. along Langka Street in Purok Bagong Sikat, Barangay General Paulino Santos, collapsed. According to caretaker Isaiah Donaire, Narciso was working at the ground level when the quake struck and the concrete debris hit him on the head. Narciso was rushed to the provincial hospital but expired along the way. In Magsaysay, Davao del Sur, 15-year old Jessie Rial Parba, a Grade 9 student at the Kasuga National High School, was also hit by a debris from a collapsed wall. Work and classes were suspended in several parts of Regions 11 and 12 following the Magnitude 6.6 earthquake that jolted Mindanao anew Tuesday, officials said. In Koronadal City, Mayor Eliordo Ogena suspended classes in all levels and also ordered the suspension of work in the public and private sectors following the strong quake with the epicenter traced 26 kilometers (km) northeast of Tulunan, North Cotabato. Students, workers and shoppers in this city, the seat of government of Region 12, rushed out of buildings. Several individuals were brought to various hospitals here after they fainted. Damages were also monitored to hit several infrastructure in the region. Anton Maganto, Department of Education Region 12 spokesperson, said classes were also suspended in the cities of Kidapawan and General Santos City as of 10 a.m. "The power to suspend classes rests with the local government units," he said. But school principals can also suspend classes if they assessed that the buildings are not safe for students and teachers following an earthquake, Maganto added. Electricity was cut down here but was restored less than an hour after the tremor. Patients were brought out of public and private hospitals in this city following the quake. In Daig, Tulunan, North Cotabato, Tsai Via, a kindergarten teacher,  posted on her FB page an appeal for help to rescue them, with photographs showing injured young students. “Please, we need rescue as soon as possible. We are not able to call or contact anyone. We are just lucky if this gets uploaded. There is no signal. Our building has collapsed. A lot of kids here. Please!” Via wrote. In another post, this time with photos of the collapsed schoolbuilding, Via wrote: “This is all I can do to ask for help. We cant call or message anyone. Bardown na mga building namun. We are still here at the school ground. Wala pa namun nadouble check kung naa pai bata sa sulod. Galihok pa lupa.  (We haven’t double checked if there are still students inside. The ground is still shaking,” Via wrote, adding in all caps, “WE NEED RESCUE! AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.." In her next post, accompanied by a photograph of a wounded student, Via asked for “financial help for this student po for hospitalization. I hope Lgu Tulunancould help us. Please! I hope u'll read this. Di mi katawag gyud as of now (We can’t call as of now). We are here at Centeno Hospital.” Tulunan Vice Mayor Maureen Villamore told reporters that five persons, mostly pupils, were injured when seven of their classrooms at Daig Elementary School in Barangay Daig, collapsed. Of the injured, two were rushed to the nearest hospital while the rest were given first aid. Two teachers also sustained injuries while a pregnant teacher felt pain in her stomach.   Villamor said that two of the seven damaged classrooms at had totally collapsed and were considered not fit for learning. Villamor said that based on their monitoring, they found at least 197 pupils and eight teachers of the school suffered trauma as a result of the strong quake and aftershocks.  In Davao City, Mayor Sara Duterte ordered a suspension of classes in public and private schools from kindergarten to post-graduate studies as the quke might have caused structural and electrical damage to buildings and houses. “All school owners, teachers, and other school personnel are hereby instructed to subject school structures to a safety inspection with a qualified engineer immediately,” Duterte said. (see other story). Also in Davao City, two persons were injured while several infrastructure sustained minor to major cracks. Based on the report of Davao City Police Office, injured were 38-year old Sherwin Bacalla Cuico and 36-year old Jane Yabo Tagalo, both employees of the Mintal branch of the Tagum Cooperative. They were brought to the Davao Adventist Church after a signage of their office building fell on them as the workers evacuated outside. In Cagayan de Oro City, City Information Officer Maricel Rivera Casino said the City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (CDRRMO) which operates a seismograph, recorded the quake at magnitude 4 for the city and adjoining province of Misamis Oriental. Casino said classes in all schools were suspended in Cagayan de Oro as city officials and owners check school buildings for damages. She said one person was brought to the hospital after the ceiling of the Teleperformance call center at the Ayala Centrio cracked. The management of Ayala Centrio mall ordered the closure for today closed the establishment on Tuesday, The quake registered Intensity 7 in Tulunan, Makilala and Kidapawan City in North Cotabato and Malungon in Sarangani; 6  in Davao City, Koronadal and Cagayan de Oro; 5 in Tampakan, Surallah and Tupi towns in South Cotabato; and Alabel in Sarangani; 4 in General Santos City and Kalilangan in Bukidnon; 3 in Sergio Osmena Sr., in Zamboanga del Norte; Zamboanga City; Dipolog City and Molave town in Zamboanga del Norte; and Talakag in Bukidnon; and 1 in Mambajao in Camiguin. Several aftershocks followed, including a Magnitude 6.1 quake shortly before 11 p.m.

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Tulunan: Preparedness in the epicenter of the earthquake

October 30, 2019

Thirty minutes after the 6.6 magnitude earthquake rocked this rural town, the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction Management Center (MDRRMC) immediately established an incident command post in the municipal grounds even when the dust from the debris of nearby old municipal building barely settled.  When the strong aftershock hit, the responders were unmindful and kept raising the makeshift tents. “Somehow, the earlier quake of October 16 drilled us on what we should be doing in case of a disaster,” Maureene Villamor, Vice Mayor of Tulunan, said.  “Our team is ready to respond now,” said the Vice Mayor who was at the incident command post. Materials for tents, water and food packs were distributed at the incident command post. Ambulance and responders were deployed for rescue. Villamor said the municipality needs additional materials for temporary shelters and food packs. She estimated the number of severely affected to reach around 8,000 individuals in the entire municipality which has been identified as the epicenter of the earthquake. The earthquake that hit the town 13 days earlier, damaged 1,231 houses. Of this number 388 units were totally destroyed. “Now, we are expecting that those houses that were partially damaged during the previous earthquake will be most vulnerable, and most probably suffer heavy damage in this new quake,” said Jojo Ortiza, Municipal Councillor. The MDRRMC listed the barangays of Daig, Bacong and Magbok as the hardest hit as they were nearer the epicenter. As of two in the afternoon, 12 individuals from these barangays were reportedly injured, mostly children. The Day Care Center, Barangay Hall, and elementary school, all in barangay Daig were reportedly totally destroyed. The barangay is about 50 kilometers from the town center.. In addition, the road leading to barangays Bacong and Bituan, and in Sitio Sambulawan were reportedly unpassable due to a landslide. MDRRMC also reported 10 houses in barangay New Culasi and 27 houses in New Panay to have been totally damaged. By three in the afternoon, the incident command post received its first casualty report. Marichele Moria, 23, pregnant, a resident of Barangay Banayal died in the local hospital. She was hit by a fallen tree at the height of the quake.. At about the same time, volunteer responders and rescuers from the PDRRMC of the Province of Maguindanao arrived in Tulunan to help.

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Quake aftermath in Daig Elementary School: “wala na, back to zero”

October 30, 2019

Around 200 students of  the Daig Elementary School were taking their periodic exams when the ground suddenly shook at  9:04 a.m. on Tuesday,  sending all of them rushing outside as classrooms swayed so hard, ceilings started to fall and a three-classroom building eventually collapsed. For many, there was no time to “duck, cover and hold” as previous earthquake drills had instructed.  The key to survival was to leave the classrooms. “Kusog gyud kaayo dili mi makatindog. Naghapa na lang mi” (It was shaking vigorously we could not stand at all. We just dropped to the ground), teachers narrated to Acting North Cotabato Governor Emmylou Talino-Mendoza and geologist Jeffrey Perez of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) who informed them that based on their accounts, it was likely Intensity 8 that they felt. “It’s more than intensity 7,” Perez said, explaining that based on the description of the teachers and village officials, “halos hindi na sila makatayo” (they could hardly stand). “May mga teachers, mga estudyante na ang description nila, dumapa na sila. So pag ganon ying description, ibig sabihin malakas talaga yung lindol” (There were teachers and students who said they dropped to the ground.  If the description is like that, it means the quake was very strong), he told reporters. Perez explained that they need to study if this latest quake is to be considered as a series of earthquakes that started on July 9 followed by October 16 and 29. “Kailangan nating pag-aralan, kailangan tingan bakit ganito ang movement ng fault; Imagine-in natin, what if October 16 at yung kanina ay nangyari ng isang beses. Anong magiging effect noon?” (We need to study, to see the movement of the fault. Imagine, what if what happened on October 16 and this morning happened one time? What would have been the effect?) Asked if this could still be considered an aftershock to the October 16 quake when aftershocks are supposed to be smaller in magnitude, Perez told MindaNews: “We don't remove the possibility of a larger earthquake so kapag may mga ganong sequence, pwdeng yung malakas yun yung magiging main shock and then the previous are foreshocks yung tinatawag, but we can’t also deny na ito bang earthquake na ito ay ibang earthquake, so ibang source ng ano .. so kailangan nating pag-aralan.” Diaster Summit Perez headed the Quick Response Team of the Phivolcs central office in Manila that was here from October 18 to 24 to assess the damages wrought by the October 16 Magnitude 6.3 quake. He returned to Kidapawan City to speak Tuesday morning at the Disaster Summit convened by the provincial government. Mendoza said she wanted the barangay chairs and other officials in the province to listen to the report of the Phivolcs so they would know what to do in case another big quake strikes. The Summit was just starting when the Magnitude 6.6 quake struck at 9:04 a.m., its epicenter located 25 kms southeast of Tulunan. A crowd of teachers, village officials and residents gathered around the Governor and Perez at the school grounds here mid-afternoon Tuesday, some six hours after the quake struck. A strong aftershock at around 3:04 pm. made everyone pause from what they were doing. School principal Joy Via told MindaNews that 16 of their students were injured, two of them sent to hospitals.  Barangay Daig in Tulunan, North Cotabato is quite far from the town hall in Tulunan and is more accessible via Magsaysay in Davao del Sur, another town suffering from two major quakes 13 days apart.  MindaNews chanced upon Mendoza’s convoy as it was moving towards Magsaysay en route to Barangay Daig. “Totally, wala na ” The school has four one-storey buildings housing nine classrooms. One of the four buildings housed three classrooms but after the October 16 quake, two of the classrooms were vacated, the principal explained. The entire building collapsed on Tuesday. “Totally wala na,” said Via as she noted seven of the nine classrooms in the four buildings “totally collapsed” even as from the outside, two buildings appear to be still standing. The two other classrooms, she said, cannot also be used as they are unsafe. Via was not in the school when the quake struck as she was going to get additional ‘trapal’ (tarpaulin) for the students displaced from the three-classroom building that eventually collapsed on Tuesday. She told MindaNews she feared returning home to find dead students. “May patay gyud ko kay klase, exam” (I’d have dead students because they have exams),  said Via.  It was the second day of school after their sem break. Grade 2 teacher Sheena Via, recalled they had 62 students  in one room  -- as the Grade 1 and 2 students shared a room pending the arrival of the tarpaulin – when they were jolted by the “kusog kaayo” (very strong) quake. The school has a population of 197 students and eight teachers, one of them pregnant. Mendoza said that if the school is within five meters to the left and five meters to the right of the faultline “you have to relocate” as the school will fall under “zone of avoidance.” While visiting Barangay Magkob where a school was earlier ordered to be relocated, Perez told Mendoza that he cannot confirm if the fault is in Daig but it is definitely  closer to the epicenter.  “Di ko rin maco-confirm kung nandon yung fault pero ang alam po natin yung malakas na groundshaking andon so ibig sabihin, closer sila sa epicenter” (I cannot confirm if the fault is there but what we know is that the groundshaking there was very strong so it means it is closer to the epicenter). “Wala na. Back to zero,”  Via the principal added as she pointed to the damaged buildings, the used tires turned into flower pots uprooted, the stage that also collapsed. She said she still has to ask the Schools Division chief on what they would do and where they would temporarily hold school as several structures and houses nearby have either collapsed or are unsafe. Even her house, she said, is “wala na” (gone).  The barangay’s covered court nearby could have been partitioned into makeshift classrooms. But it cannot be used as well as it had collapsed. 

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Bukidnon wins Mindanao football cup

October 29, 2019

DAVAO City--The Bukidnon Football Association (BUFA) boys needed a superb performance from their reliables in the second half to trounce Davao White team, 4-0, and capture the first ever Mindanao Cup at the Tionko field on Saturday. They earned a trip to the Luzon Cup set in Tarlac late next month and PHP30,000 worth of football equipment courtesy of organizer and football patron, Ricky Yanson, of Negros Occidental Football Association (Nofa). Star striker Kurbe Dairo once again led the Bukidnon squad which is manned by players from Manolo Fortich Central School, Plantation Elementary School in Camp Philips, Our Lady of Lourdes Elementary School (OLLES), and Del Monte School in the second half after a scoreless halftime. Dairo of OLLES dished two brilliant assists and scored a goal all in the second half to insure their victory. He whipped a left footed pass to striker Cade Sanchez of Del Monte School who then scored from point blank in the 37th minute. One minute later, he found midfielder Prince Aseniero of Plantation Elementary School unguarded at the center during a corner kick. Aseniero then quickly scored a one touch goal to put the Bukidnon boys ahead by two goals. Dairo then completed his all-game brilliant performance with a rocket shot from long distance in the 40th minute to put them beyond reach. Sanchez then delivered his own long distance shot in the 47th minute to seal the victory and the title. It was actually a seesaw battle in the first half with Davao White taking shots in the offense with Anthony Elorde, Carlos Donado and Mohammad Abutazil leading the charge. The Bukidnon boys, however, put up a solid defense with Jim Fabela, Adriel Algador and goalkeeper Jun Melig taking charge of the back to frustrate the host team. “We needed just a goal and they collapse,’’ said victorious coach Guillier Sumampong of OLLES. He added that this tournament is very useful for the team in their preparation for the NMRAA meet in Tubod, Lanao Del Norte in December. The Bukidnon boys also brought home all of the special awards except for the Best Striker award which Jedd Gabriel Ceballos of Mt. Apo RFA won after scoring a total of 14 goals in the tournament.

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THE PLENARY: 11 Bills, 19 Resolutions

October 28, 2019

We have prepared a wrap-up of what resolutions and bills were tackled on the floor these past two weeks to further relay with transparency to the public the measures that were tackled by the Bangsamoro Parliament. Proposed Resolution No. 106, “A resolution urging the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), Office of the Chief Minister, and the Office of the Speaker to create appropriate mechanisms to eliminate overlapping of powers, functions, and responsibilities between NCIP and the Bangsamoro government thru the Ministry on Indigenous Peoples Affairs (MIPA),” was referred to the Committee on Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs. Proposed Resolution No. 113, “A resolution respectfully requesting the Interim Chief Minister to activate the Inter-Governmental Relations mechanism, for it to discuss and explore with the representatives of His Excellency President Rodrigo R. Duterte, the possible utilization of some military land reservations located within the Bangsamoro territory for purposes of socio-economic, charitable, or for other useful purposes,” was referred to the Committee on Rules. Proposed Resolutions No. 114 and No. 115 were treated as simple resolutions and were moved as part of the business of the day, and they are: Proposed Resolution No. 114 “A resolution expressing the strong sense of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority to strengthen the 2020 Fiscal Framework of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao through equitable and inclusive allocation in all Bangsamoro sub-regions,” underwent a period of interpellation. It was later adopted on October 24’s session. Proposed Resolution No. 115 “A resolution requesting the Office of the Chief Minister to include the detailed separation plan for the ARMM employees during the Chief Ministers Hour,” was later withdrawn by Minority Floor Leader MP Laisa Alamia on October 18. Proposed Resolution No. 116, “A resolution calling for the creation of the Bangsamoro Sports Commission by the Bangsamoro parliament,” was also referred to the Committee on Rules.. Bills 19 and 20 both held their 1st reading on October 16, and they are as follows: Bill No. 19 is “An act declaring October 29 of every year as Indigenous Peoples Day. Declaring such day as non-working holiday within the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) and appropriating funds thereof.” Bill No. 20 is “An act creating the Bureau of Halal Accreditation and Regulation, appropriating funds thereof.” As for the bills which were on their 2nd stages, Bill No. 9’s reading, “An act creating the Bangsamoro Regional Commission on Population Management and Development, appropriating funds therefor, and for other purposes,” was suspended due to the absence of its authors. For the plenary’s business of the day, Resolution No. 110’s period of interpellation was suspended. Resolution No. 110, “A resolution calling for the creation of a bureau that will focus on promoting the welfare and addressing the needs, issues, and concerns of the orphans and widows who are victims of war and violence,” was later adopted on October 18. Resolution No. 111, “A resolution urging the Ministry of Health to prioritize and intensify programs on Polio prevention following the outbreak in the province of Lanao del Sur,” was adopted. On October 17, the session started discussing Resolutions No. 117, “A resolution calling for the Bangsamoro Transition Authority’s sessions to finish or go into recess a reasonable time before Jummah prayers on Fridays,” and No. 118, “a resolution calling for the Bangsamoro government to acquire either by cession of the National government or by purchase of shares of the Al-Amanah Islamic Investment Bank appropriating funds therefore from its block grant,” were both treated as simple resolutions and were moved as part of the business of the day. Resolution No. 117 was later adopted on October 18, while Resolution No. 118, was referred to the Committee on Finance, Budget, and Management on October 17. Resolution No. 119, “Resolution urging the Ministry of Health to include in their primary program the establishment of the mobile/bus hospital in every province of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) including the sixty-three (63) barangays in North Cotabato,” was referred to Committee on Health while Resolution No. 120, “A resolution encouraging all banks and financial institutions with branches operating within the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao to open Islamic banking windows in their respective branches,” was referred to Committee on Finance, Budget and Management. Bills No. 21 and 22 were referred to their appropriate committees after the first reading on October 17. Bill No. 21 is “An act creating the Barter Trade Center in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) and providing organization setup defining its power and functions and appropriating funds thereof.” Bill No. 22 is “An act mandating all licensed local and foreign recruitment agencies operating within the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) to register for accreditation at the Ministry of Labor and Employment (MOLE). or Bill No. 16, “An act establishing the Bangsamoro Economic and Development Council, defining its powers and functions, appropriating funds therefor, and for other purposes,” MP Baintan Adil-Ampatuan delivered her sponsorship speech. Both MP Adil-Ampatuan and Laisa Masuhud-Alamia answered the queries of their fellow members of the parliament during the period of interpellation. On October 18, the period of interpellation of Bill No. 16 continued. Its period of interpellation closed on October 24. The measure was referred to the Committee on Rules. On October 23, Resolution No. 79 was referred to Committee on Local Government. Resolution No. 79 is, “A resolution urging the Bangsamoro government to strengthen the disaster management capacity of all local government units (LGUs) in the Bangsamoro.” Meanwhile, Resolution No. 121, “A resolution calling on the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) to look into the plight of distressed Overseas Filipino Workers from BARMM, to know their conditions, and to assist them in obtaining all the help and benefits they ought to receive from the National government,” was treated as a simple resolution and was moved to be part of the business of the day. Resolution No. 122, “A resolution appealing to Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) national office to review and assess the implementation of the Memorandum Circular No. 121-2019 reflecting environmental care and awareness by sparing the old trees from road clearing operations nationwide,” was referred to the Committee on Local Government, and Committee on Environment, Natural Resources, and Energy. Resolution No. 139, “A resolution expressing sincerest and deepest condolences to the family of the late and former Senate President Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel, Jr.” was treated as a simple resolution and became part of the business of the day. It was adopted on the same day. Parliament Bill No. 23, “An act protecting the rights of Internally Displaced Persons of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, providing support therefor, and for other purposes,” underwent its first reading. Resolution No. 114, “A resolution expressing the strong sense of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority to strengthen the 2020 Fiscal Framework of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao through equitable and inclusive allocation in all Bangsamoro sub-regions,” was adopted on October 24. During the last day of this month’s sessions on October 25, three separate resolutions intended for the welfare of the mujahideens were discussed in the plenary: Resolution No. 123 “A resolution calling for the creation and/or constitution of a special committee to compile the names of Bangsamoro fighters (mujahideens) who sacrificed their lives in effectuating Bangsamoro’s right to self-determination so that proper acknowledgement/recognition be accorded to them and their family.” Resolution No. 126 "A resolution urgently requesting the Interim Chief Minister Al Haj Murad Ebrahim through the Ministry of Finance and Budget and Management (MFBM), MP Eduard U. Guerra, to allocate funds for emergency financial assistance to MILF and MNLF combatants and their families pending the releases and implementation of the special development and rehabilitation program as provided for in the organic law." Resolution No. 127 "A resolution honoring the Bangsamoro fallen soldiers (shuhada) and granting monetary award to their survivors." It was agreed by the plenary to consolidate the three, and referred to the Committee on Rules, and Committee on Finance, and Budget, and Management. Five (5) Cabinet bills were also presented on the floor which were all referred to the Committee on Rules: Cabinet Bill No. 26, “An act creating the Attorney General’s Office, to provide for its functions and powers, and for related purposes.” Cabinet Bill No. 27, “An act promoting the development of sports in the Bangsamoro autonomous region, establishing the Bangsamoro Sports Commission, providing funds therefor and for other purposes.” Cabinet Bill No. 28, “An act creating and establishing the Bangsamoro Youth Commission, defining its powers, functions, and responsibilities, appropriating funds therefor, and for other purposes. Cabinet Bill No. 29, “An act creating the Bangsamoro Planning and Development Authority in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, and appropriating funds therefor.” Cabinet Bill No. 30, “An act establishing the Bangsamoro Economic and Development Council, defining its powers, functions, and responsibilities, appropriating funds therefor, and for other purposes.” Meanwhile, Bill No. 22, which held its first reading on October 17, was referred to Committee on Labor and Employment following its second reading on October 25. The parliament will convene to resume its first regular session on November 20.   

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Hustisya, Nasaan Ka?

October 28, 2019

Naghahanap ng hustisya, Gamit lamang ay pluma, Ang sa kabilang panig ay bala, Kaya marami ang ayaw magsalita.   Tikom ang bibig ng bawat isa, Takot na balikan ng mga may sala, Animo sila ay walang nakita, Paano makamit ang hustisya?   Hindi na nila maisigaw na sila’y walang kasalanan, At sila lamang ay napagkamalan, Nakahimlay na sila sa kanilang libingan, Lalabas pa kaya ang katotohanan?   Hintayin pa ba natin na ang maging biktima, Ay magmula mismo sa ating pamilya, Saka natin imulat ang ating mga mata, At doon pa tayo sisigaw ng HUSTISYA?   Kami'y nagsusumamo at nakikiusap, Tulungan natin ang mga kabataan ng Tumbras, Midsayap, Hanapin natin ang hustisyang napakailap, Doon sa sinapit nilang anong saklap.

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