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Visayas newsbits for March 4, 2014

Tank Cleaners

Cordova, Cebu – Three septic tank cleaners, including a 16-year-old boy, were killed, apparently suffocated by the strong odor inside the septic tank they were cleaning in Barangay Poblacion, this town, on Sunday afternoon. Police investigators identified the fatalities as Mark Juan Escabas, 16, Joel Menguite, and Israel Tajanlangit. The three were rushed to the hospital but were declared dead on arrival, the police said. Police investigator SPO2 Laurencio Wagwag said the three were contracted to clean the septic tank of Sherwin Abano. Menguite and Tajanlangit went inside the tank while Escabas waited outside. Escabas, however, was shocked to see that Menguite and Tajanlangit were already suffocated inside the tank, prompting him to get inside to rescue the two workers. Escabas, however, also suffocated, the police said. (Mars Mosqueda Jr.)

 

Steadily Rising

TAGBILARAN CITY (PNA) – Bohol is steadily rising from the ruins of the powerful magnitude 7.2 earthquake that struck the island-province more than four months ago. Governor Edgar Chatto, in his State-of-the-Province-Address (SOPA), recently said that the disaster which “took us to darkest times (also) brought out the best in us” to move forward in rehabilitating damaged areas. The national government has allotted P12.314 billion for rehabilitation efforts. Of the amount, P5 billion will go to local priority while P7.314 billion will be allotted for national projects in the province. Chatto said the shelter program will cost over P1.2 billion. The money will come from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in the amount P912.6-million, and P388.5-million from the National Housing Authority (NHA).

 

Aeta Community

BORACAY ISLAND, Aklan (PNA) – A Catholic priest based here lauded the national government for taking care of the Aeta people on this resort island. Rev. Fr. Arnaldo Crisostomo of the Holy Rosary Parish here thanked the national government for ensuring the safety and security of the Aeta community that have been continuously harassed by some private land owners. “We are thankful since the government has assured the Aeta of their full support for their welfare,” Crisostomo said, adding that police personnel are now manning the Aeta community. The Philippine National Police have exerted extra efforts to locate the wanted security guard Daniel Celestino who has been tagged as killer of former Aeta spokesman Dexter Condez in 2013.

 

Mass Wedding

IVISAN, Capiz (PNA) – Mayor Ipe Yap of this town officiated the civil mass wedding ceremony of 21 couples who tied knots in this municipality recently. The mass wedding rites, according to Yap, was the yearly affair of the local government unit in cooperation with the National Statistic Office and the Civil Registrar to legitimize couples and their children who are living without the benefits of marriages. Yap said that the municipal government has a target of some 300 to 500 couples to undergo marriage rites in both civil and church. The mayor who is known to be an environmentalist, gave every couple a seedling of palm tree for them to plant at their houses as a symbol of their wedding. “I am giving you this palm tree seedlings for you to plant near your houses, grow this so that your relationship will also grow,” Yap told couples.

 

Water Day

TACLOBAN CITY (PNA) – World Water Day 2014 celebration on March 22 will address the nexus of water and energy. With the region still reeling from the devastation of super typhoon “Yolanda,” the Environmental Management Bureau in Region-8 (EMB-8) centers the celebration on the importance of keeping water sources clean and sustainable. Safe drinking water was among the main problems of the local populace after typhoon “Yolanda.” In line with this, the EMB-8 has lined up a series of activities in connection with the celebration. This includes a stakeholders’ meeting for industry partners, academe, local government units and other stakeholders where environmental events and programs, particularly those that promote clean water, will be emphasized. Also, another orchestrated clean-up of adopted water bodies to intensify the call for cleaner and safer waters under the Adopt-An-Estero Program will be undertaken.