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Bus firm distributes face masks, hygiene kits free

February 5, 2020

CAGAYAN de Oro City--The Yanson Group of Bus Companies (YGBC) has tightened its preventive measures against the spread of novel Corona Virus (2019 nCoV) in all its passenger terminals and offices nationwide. Celer Estologa, legal and media relations manager of the YGBC head office in Mindanao, said YGBC Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and President Leo Rey Yanson earlier issued a directive mandating all its branches nationwide to distribute face masks and hygience kits free to all its passengers, including its employees. Estologa said the directive of the younger Yanson is in compliance to the Memorandum Circular 2020-005 of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB). The LTRFB in its circular mandated all public utility vehicle (PUV) drivers and conductors to properly wear face masks at all times while on duty and for all franchise holders to ensure compliance. "All terminal operators were likewise directed to ensure proper sanitation and cleanliness in their premises— to provide face masks as well as disinfectants or sanitizer for free use of passengers," said the LTRFB in its circular. He said that immediately after receiving the LTFRB circular, the younger Yanson ordered the distribution of ordinary face masks and N95 masks to all its passengers nationwide for free, including hygiene kits such as sanitizers and alcohol. "We started distributing the face masks to all our employees and passengers in the first week of February this year," Estologa said. He said the YGBC has worked in coordination with the Department of Health (DOH) in regard to the distribution of face masks to prevent the spread of the deadly virus. "For as long as naa pa ni nga virus, kami andam nga mohatag ani nga mga preventive measures," said Estologa. Meanwhile, LTFRB Regional Director Aminoden D. Guro of Region 10 said that his agency also distributed face masks to passenger terminals free. Guro also ensured that bus companies are compying with the latest instruction of LTFRB bus drivers and conductors to wear face masks. He said face masks have been distributed for free in public terminals in Gingoog City, a component city in Misamis Oriental, Iligan City, and in Agora and Bulua passenger terminal in Cagayan de Oro.

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OFW arrives in Misor town from Hongkong is now isolated

February 5, 2020

NAAWAN, Misamis Oriental--An overseas Filipino worker (OFW) from this town is now being put in an isolation room of a hospital in neighboring town a day after her arrival from Hongkong. Naawan Mayor Dennis Roa said his office received information from a concerned citizen that an OFW arrived from Hongkong in February 2 and is observed weak. On the evening of February 3, the local government unit of Naawan, through the rescue unit, fetched the 29-year-old woman at her house where she lives with her parents and a young niece. The case was immediately reported to the regional office of the Department of Health (DOH) in Northen Mindanao. "Our rescue team picked her up. At first she was hesitant but the team explained to her the procedure and the mandate of the DILG to help the DOH monitor posible threat of the corona virus," Roa said. The DOH-10 took her swab for test and the result is expected to be available on Friday, February 7, according to the municipal mayor. If the patient tested negative of novel corona virus, she will undergo second swab test where the result will be available in 48 hours. "Sa pagka-karon, walay gibati ang pasyente. Asymptomatic ang patient, wala siyay gibati karon," according to Dr. Gwendelyn Labastilla, Rural Health Unit officer of Naawan, in a briefing with the barangay chairmen, Barangay Health Workers and Barangay Nutrition Scholars on Wednesday.

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Misor, NMMC adopt ways to detect N-Cov

February 4, 2020

CAGAYAN de Oro City--Local government and health officials in this port capital of Northern Mindanao adopted ways to prevent the spread of the 2019-nCOV illness in the region. Provincial Governor Yevgeny Vincente Emano, of Misamis Oriental, said that the provincial government is acquiring thermal scanners for distribution the various ports of entries in Misamis Oriental. He said that the scanners would be distributed to the airport terminal in Laguindingan, Misamis Oriental and at the Mindanao International Container Terminal (MICT) Tagolo-an, Misamis Oriental. Emano said the Mediterranean vessels that anchor off the Macabalan Bay is not exempted of the thermal scanners to make sure that the passengers on board do not show symptoms of the 2018-nCOV virus. According to Emano, the Port Area in Macabalan, Cagayan De Oro City will also benefit the thermal scanners because the port area is the entry port of passengers in Misamis Oriental. The government-owned Northern Mindanao Medical Center (NMMC) at the provincial capitol compound has also activated the “emergency assistance desk” to check patients who enter the hospital premises. Dr. Jose Chan, the NMMC Medical Director, said that health personnel manned the desk 24/7 to conduct medical checkups on patients who suspect on contracting the 2019-nCOV and other various illness. “There is nothing to panic about the 2019-nCORV since the number of the two Chinese patients under investigation (PUI) at the NMMC did not increase,” Chan said. He said that the two PUIs were admitted last week after showing symptoms of contracting the 2019-nCOV disease. Chan said that the hospital has yet to receive the result of the samples of the two PUIs, which were sent to Manila for testing. In Cagayan De Oro City, the local officials have activated the Barangay Emergency Response Health Team (BERHT) as part of the protocol to gather information about the possible entry of 2019-nCOV in the villages. City Councilor Maria Lourdes Gaane, Chair of the City Council Committee on Health and Insurance, said the members of the BERHT and Barangay health workers who conduct regular check on the arrival of barangay residents who arrived from abroad. Gaane, herself a doctor, said that the BERHT report is based on two criteria: “symptomatic or displaying no symptoms, which means that the person has no fever and no other signs and symptoms suggesting illness.” In close coordination with the DOH, the local officials joined hands in adopting measures to detect and prevent the possible entry and spread of the 2019-nCOV disease here after an N-COV patient died in Manila. The first reported 2019-nCOV death in the country refers to a 38-7ear-0ld male patient who came to the Philippines on January 21, 2020 from Wu Han, China, the source of the newly discovered deadly 2019-nCOV virus. -0-

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Police Gen. survives ambush in Bukidnon

January 29, 2020

CAGAYAN de Oro City--A police general survives an ambushed early Wednesday morning in Talakag, Bukidnon, that killed one of the escorts and wounded three others, including the head of the general’s escorts. Col. Ruel Lami-ing, police provincial director of Bukidnon, said that Brig. Gen. Joselito Salido escaped unhurt and was safely secured in a nearby village while his escorts engaged the armed men believed to be members of the communist New People’s Army (NPA). He said that Capt. Ramil Gighi, the head of Salido’s escorts, was wounded along with two others. The identity of the lone fatality, who died on the spot, was not immediately known. Lami-ing said that Salido was on board one of the three convoys on their way to inspect the Talakag Police Station when waylaid by the armed group past 6:00 Wednesday morning. Salido is Deputy Director of the Directorate for Integrated Police Operations in Eastern Mindanao. According to Lami-ing, a joint reinforcement team of the police and the military have been dispatched to track down the armed communist rebels. He said that the police have yet to receive reports of the development in Talakag. “We have no way of getting the latest report because of the absence of communication signal in the area,” Lami-ing said. Village residents told the police that the armed men, in complete military uniform, were seen Tuesday afternoon in Talakag, but they were mistaken to be law enforcers.

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Camiguin tourists found negative of N-COVI virus

January 28, 2020

CAGAYAN de Oro City--Visiting tourists to the island province of Camiguin was cleared of N-COVI infection after undergoing medical examinations, a report monitored from here said Tuesday. Camiguin Governor Jurdin Jesus "JJ" Romualdo, said that the two tourists – one from China and the other an American – underwent a medical examination after they reportedly shown signs of N-COVI infection Sunday. N-COVI stands for Novel Corona Virus, a deadly disease without immediate treatment that death is certain to any infected person. He said that health personnel from the Department of Health (DOH) flew to Camiguin early Monday to conduct a thorough examination of the reported tourists. Romualdo said that they were worried because the American tourist came directly from Wu Han, the reported source of the N-COVI virus in China. “We were relieved when the results of the examinations showed that the two tourists were negative of the N-COVI infection,” Romualdo said. He said that hotel and resort owners collaborated with the local officials of Camiguin in the adoption of health protocols when reports about the deadly N-COVI virus swept the country. According to Romualdo, about 106 foreign tourists arrived in Camiguin few days before the N-COVI issue cropped up. An additional 50 more tourists are coming, he said. The tourists include Europeans, Russians, and Israelites with the tourists from China, comprising the bulk of the visitors.    Romualdo said that aside from the two tourists who were cleared of the N-COVI virus, the rest of the tourists also underwent medical examination as part of the protocol. “Some tourists were diagnosed to have allergies, but all of them were cleared of the N-COVI virus,” Romuldo said.

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Court junks WPI, clears Romualdo of wrongdoing

January 21, 2020

CAGAYAN de Oro City--A court in Mambajao town in Camiguin has lifted on January 17 the Writ of Preliminary Injunction (WPI) filed by Bahay Bakasyonan sa Camiguin (BBC) against the closure order of former Mayor Jurdin Jesus Romualdo issued on May 8 last year. On May 10 last year, the BBC, represented by its owner Marie Suzette Chan Good filed a WPI as an extension of a Temporary Restraining Order against then Mambajao town Mayor Jurdin Jesus Romualdo's May 8, 2019 order for the closure of the BBC and revoking its license for violating Revised Ecological Waste Management Ordinance of the Municipality of Mambajao, Republic Act No. 9003, otherwise known as "Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000. and the Sanitation Code of the Philippines. In her petition, Chan-Good alleged that Romualdo, for issuing the closure order,  acted without or in excess of his jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction. The Municipal Health Office, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), were conducting inspection of the BBC where they found violations of the establishment. DENR issued 6 violations contained in 4 violation notices which was the bases of Romualdo for the closure order and revocation of license of BBC. In his ruling, Regional Trial Court 10th Judicial Region Branch 28 Judge-Designate Bonifacio Macabaya ruled that Romualdo has the power to issue such order. "Closure Order is a valid exercise of a power to issue licenses and permits and suspend and revoke the same for any violation of the conditions upon which said licenses and permits had been issued, pursuant to taw and ordinance granted to the Municipal Mayor under Section 444 of the Local Govermment Code," Bonifacio said in his ruling. RA. No. 7160 or the Local Government Code of 1991 provides "SEC. 444: The Chief Executive: Powers, Duties, Functions and Compensation allows  Chief Executives to: iv) lssue licerises and permits and suspend or revoke the same for any violation of the conditions upon which said licenses or permits had been issued, pursuant to law or ordinance" Chan-Good also alledged that the "closure order was swiftly issued by the respondent Mayor Romualdo contrary to the Municipal Health Ofice's recommendation of suspension of permits only. The "closure order was issued whimsically, capriciously, arbitrarily and in wanton violation of the constitutional right to due process as she was not given the opportuniy to rebut the Municipal Health Office's findings. Bonifacion says that BBC was not denied due process. The Notice of Violation was duly served upon BBC. BBC, through is Assistant Manager Marie Amora Climaco, responded in writng to the Notice of Violation admitting at least some of the violations observed by the Sanitaion Inspectors. The BBC was, therefore, grarted the right to be heard, and availed of that right. "The essence of due process is simply to be heard, or as applied to administrative proceedings, an opportunity to explain one's side, or an opportunity to seek a reconsideration of the action or ruling complained of," Bonifacio said citing Ledesma vs. Court of Appeals. Bonifacio also said that Romualdo did not act with grave abuse of discretion,when he issued the Closure Order.  Bonifacio said that in Neri vs. Yu, the Supreme Court defined grave abuse of discretion in the following manner: "By grave abuse of diseretion is meant such capricious and whimsical exercise of judgment as is equivalent to lack of jurisdicton. The abusė of discretion must be grave as where the power is exercised in an arbitrary or despotic manner by reason of passion or personal hostlity and must be so patent and gross as to amount t an evasion of positive duty or ito a virtual refusal to perfom the duty enjoined by or to act at all in contemplation of law." "The respondent (Romualdo) issued the Closure Order on the basis of the findings of Sanitation Inspectors from the Municipal Health Office of Mambajao that BBC was in violation of the Revised Ecological Waste Management Ordinance of the Municipality of Mambajao," Republic Act No. 9003 (otherwise known as "Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000.), and the Sanitation Code of the Philippines. The respondent's act of issuing the Closure Order cannot be considered capricious, whirmsical, arbitrary or despotic," Bonifacio said. "The Court finds that the respondent (Romualdo) acted within the scope of his authority granted by law as the Municipal Mayor of Mambajao when he issued the Closure Order; that the issuance of the Closure Order by the respondent (Romualdo) was not áttended by grave abuse of discretion; and that the BBC was not denied due process," Bonifacio said in his ruling. "It is clear that respondent Municipał Mayor may suspend or revoke licenses and permits when the conditions upon which said licenses or pemits had been issued, pursuant to law or ordinance, had been violated," Bonifacio in his ruling said. Bonifacio further cited that In the case of Gonzalo Sy Trading vs. Central Bank of the Phllippines, the Honorable Supreme Court states that a license is rather in the nature of a special privilege, of a permission or authority to do what is within its tems. A license is not in arý way vested, permanent, or absolute. A license granted by the State is always revocable. As a necessary consequence of its main power to grant license or pemit, the State or its instrumentalities have the correlative power to revoke or recall the same. And this power to revoke can only be restralned by an expicit contract upon good consideration to that effect. The absence of an expiry date in, a license does not make it perpetual. Nobvithstanding that absence, the license cannot last beyond the life of the basic authority- under which it was issued. WPI IS A CONTINUING VIOLATION Bonifacio also added that the WPI issued in this case will cause irreparable injury to the environment and will pose a threat to the health and well-being of the-people who live and work near the BBC's open dumpsite. "By issuing the writ of prohibitory injunction the Court granted BBC license to commit continuing and repeated violations of the Revised Ecological Solid Waste Management Ordinance of the Municipality of Mambajao, Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000 (Republic Act No. S003), and the Sanitation Code Presidental Decree No. 856)," Bonifacio said. BBC CONTINUED OPERATIONS Romualdo, who is now the governor of Camiguin said that since the revocation of the license of BBC in May 8, 2019 and the subsequent TRO and WPI filed by Chan-Good, the BBC has been operating continuously albeit without license as there was a WPI. "We waited for the court to issue its verdict, we allowed BBC to operate continuously because they have a WPI," Romualdo said. Romualdo said that since the WPI have been lifted and all allegations issued against him by Chan-Good have been proven false, the closure of BBC will move forward. In a previous interview, Romualdo said that they will re-instate the license of BBC if they will pay their violations (in the municipal and DENR)., "We will re-instate their license if they will follow the law," Romualdo said.

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