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13th December 2014
NGCP targets complete line restoration before Christmas
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on December 13, 2014, 11:19 am

A top executive of a power distribution company has assured the public that restoration of transmission lines and facilities affected by Typhoon “Ruby” will be restored before Christmas.

Henry Sy, Jr., NGCP President and CEO said that “NGCP (National Grid Corporation of the Philippines) is fast-tracking the restoration of transmission lines and facilities affected by Typhoon Ruby in the Visayas. We are targeting completion of restoration activities before Christmas,”

He said that the target restoration date was determined after NGCP completed the assessment of its affected facilities through aerial inspection and foot patrol. To expedite restoration, 36 line gangs– 24 from Visayas, 6 from Mindanao, 3 from North Luzon, and 3 from South Luzon– were mobilized to ensure that NGCP complies with the deadline set by the Department of Energy (DOE).

“We intend to restore our backbone lines within the week. All our remaining unrestored 69-kV lines in Leyte and Samar will be ready to transmit power to the different distribution utilities and electric cooperatives by December 25,” explained Mr. Sy in a statement.

The system operator and power transmission service provider, however, clarified that the completion of restoration works will still depend on weather conditions prevailing in the area. Adverse weather may still hamper restoration activities and prevent them from meeting the deadline.

NGCP implemented necessary precautions and preparations to facilitate immediate restoration work even before the passage of Typhoon Ruby. These include ensuring the availability of hardware materials and supplies necessary for the repair of damages to facilities, as well as the positioning of line crews in strategic areas.

NGCP is a privately owned corporation in charge of operating, maintaining, and developing the country’s power grid. It transmits high-voltage electricity through “power superhighways” that include the interconnected system of transmission lines, towers, substations, and related assets. The consortium holds the 25-year concession to operate the country's power transmission network and is comprised of Monte Oro Grid Resources Corp., led by Henry Sy, Jr., Calaca High Power Corporation, led by Robert Coyiuto, Jr., and the State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC) as technical partner


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5th December 2014
'Ruby' packs peak winds of 350 kph
Posted by Yel Cobile, IT Admin & Correspondent on December 5, 2014, 12:00 am

(By Ana Roa, Jeanette I. Andrade | Inquirer Research Philippine Daily Inquirer | 12:00 AM, Friday. 5 Dec 2014)
US forecasts supertyphoon to hit Metro


“Let’s prepare for everything,” President Benigno Aquino III told a nationally televised meeting of disaster agency chiefs on Thursday as the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) in Hawaii upgraded Typhoon “Ruby” (international name: Hagupit) into a supertyphoon.

The JTWC said Ruby was heading toward the Philippines with maximum sustained winds of 287 kilometers per hour and gusts of 351 kph.

The joint US Navy-US Air Force weather station categorizes a typhoon as a supertyphoon if it brings maximum sustained winds of 220 kph.


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4th December 2014
Typhoon 'Ruby' intensifies, slows down; 8 areas under Signal #2
Posted by Yel Cobile, IT Admin & Correspondent on December 4, 2014, 6:24 pm

(By Aries Joseph Hegina | Inquuirer.net | 6:24 PM, Thursday, 4 Dec 2014)

MANILA, Philippines—Typhoon “Ruby” (international name: Hagupit) has gained strength as it makes headway to the country, packing maximum sustained winds at 205 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center and gustiness of up to 240 kph, the state weather bureau said on Thursday.

In the latest weather bulletin issued by the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) at 5 p.m, typhoon “Ruby” was located 720 km east of Surigao City. “Ruby” also slowed down, moving in a west northwest direction at 15 kph.

With its current speed, “Ruby” is expected to make landfall in Northern or Eastern Samar on Saturday afternoon and expected to leave the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) by Tuesday afternoon.


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'Ruby' roaring toward PH
Posted by Yel Cobile, IT Admin & Correspondent on December 4, 2014, 12:07 am

(By Dona Z. Pazzibugan, Joey A. Gabieta | Inquirer Visayas Philippine Daioy Inquirer | 12:07 AM Thursday, 4 Dec 2014)

TACLOBAN CITY—Survivors of Supertyphoon “Yolanda” (international name: Haiyan) are storming heaven with prayers, asking that they be spared from another disaster, with a new, powerful typhoon expected to hit land in Eastern Visayas on Saturday.

Archbishop John Du of Palo called on the residents of Tacloban on Wednesday to pray the Oratio Imperata (Obligatory Prayer) as the weather service warned that Typhoon “Ruby” would enter the Philippine area of responsibility early on Thursday.

In downtown Tacloban, all stores were full of people who were stocking up on groceries and other emergency provisions.


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3rd December 2014
PDRRMC prepping for Typhoon 'Ruby'
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on December 3, 2014, 5:06 pm


By Jani Arnaiz

December 3, 2014

MAASIN CITY – The provincial disaster risk reduction management council (PDRRMC)convene this afternoon in preparation for Typhoon “Hagupit, which is to renamed Typhoon “Ruby” by the state weather bureau when n enters Philippine territory.

It is expected to make a landfall in the Visayas on Saturday afternoon or evening, said the Pagasa (Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical and Astronomical Services Administration). In its latest update, Pagasa said Easter Samar is the center of typhoon;s trajectory.

Members of the PDRRMC are urged to meet and discuss contingency in case Typhoon “Ruby” will make a landfall. 

The coordination and information management sector of the council, which has the local media as members told that their source of information should only come from the council or Pagasa.

The PDRRMC will convene again tomorrow to discuss what arose from their meetings.

There was no advice yet of classes suspension.

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Typhoon-Hagupit: 'Yolanda'-like 'Ruby' heads for PH
Posted by Yel Cobile, IT Admin & Correspondent on December 3, 2014, 1:43 am

(By Dona Z. Pazzibugan | Philippine Daily Inquirer | 1:43 AM, Wednesday, 3 Dec 2014)


An incoming typhoon may make landfall in the region devastated by Supertyphoon “Yolanda” (international name: Haiyan) only a year ago, the weather bureau warned on Tuesday.

In a news conference, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) projected that the typhoon would make landfall in Eastern Visayas on Sunday.

By that time, the typhoon (international name: “Hagupit,” Filipino for lash) would have further intensified with sustained winds of up to 175 kilometers per hour, dumping intense rains and whipping up waves into a four-meter storm surge.


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2nd December 2014
Province gets TRO from Court of Appeals
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on December 2, 2014, 11:00 pm

By Jani Arnaiz

Inquirer Visayas

MAASIN CITY–The Court of Appeals has temporarily stopped a lower court from implementing its order to lift the cease and desist order issued by the provincial government against sand and gravel permittees who wanted to quarry from the province's biggest river.

In an order promulgated on Nov. 20, the CA 20th division issued a temporary restraining order against Judge Rolando Gonzalez of the Regional Trial Court Branch 39 in Sogod town, Southern Leyte

The TRO was effective for 60 days while the appellate court was hearing the petition for certiorari and prohibition filed by the province against Gonzalez.

The petition stemmed from the RTC order that granted a writ of prohibitory injunction to Ernesto Dacay Jr., Ma. Selena Salas, Cesar Servacio and Rodolfo Servacio who wanted to declare unconstitutional some provisions of Ordinance No. 2013-081 otherwise known as The Revenue Code of the Province of Southern Leyte.

These provisions pertained to the authority of the Office of the Governor to impose extraction fee of P50 per cubic meter and to issue permits to authorize the extraction of sand, gravel or other quarry resources.

But the four claimed that the authority of the governor to issue permits on sand and gravel under the Local Government Code had been repealed by the Philippine Mining Act of 1995 which mandates the Mines and Geosciences Bureau to issue industrial sand and gravel (ISAG) permits to persons for the extraction of sand and gravel covering an area of more than five hectares.

The four said that as ISAG permit holders, the renewal should be with the MGB and not the province.

But the province issued a cease and desist order against Dacay Jr, Gwendolun delos Santos and Prime Rocks Aggregates, directing them to stop extracting sand and gravel from Subang Daku in Sogod town, Southern Leyte.

But the ISAG permittees sought relief from the RTC which then issued a writ of preliminary prohibitory injunction that stopped the province from implementing its CDO and from imposing extraction fee.

The province went to the CA, claiming that its rights and interest would be prejudiced if the RTC order would be implemented.

The CA, however, ruled in favor of the province as it noted the province's Nov. 10 urgent ex-parte manifestation that despite the pendency of its petition, the respondents continued to extract sand and gravel from Subang Daku.

It also took “judicial notice” of the Memorandum dated Oct. 15 issued by the director for MGB directing the suspension of quarrying operations in Subang Daku River.

The memorandum, prompted by resolution of Mining Industry Coordinating Council, provides that Department of Public Works and Highways will have direct control and supervision of river and/or delta dredging activities.

The MGB saw the need for the issuance of the memorandum given the perennial threat of flooding and similar impacts of quarrying and dredging in the area.

“Indeed the dangers (ie threat of flooding or other serious environmental damage) sought to be prevented by the MGB Memorandum are the same irreparable injury that can be avoided if a TRO is issued and the status quo between parties is preserved until the propriety of the issuance of writ of preliminary injunction is determined,” said the CA in its order.


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25th November 2014
Mercado gets TRO from Appellate Court vs Judge Gonzalez
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on November 25, 2014, 11:14 am


November 25, 2014

MAASIN CITY – The battle at Subang Daku river continues with The Southern Leyte provincial government represented by Gov. Roger G. Mercado getting a TRO (temporary restraining order) from the Appellate Court against an RTC judge.

A copy obtained by the Inquirer, The TRO issued by Court of Appeals 20th Division restrained presiding Judge Rolando Gonzalez of RTC Branch 39 in Sogod, Southern Leyte from “implementation of the Writ of Prohibitory Injunction issued pursuant to the RTC’s Resolution of June 16 2014.”

The TRO also “restrained the conduct of further proceedings in Civil Case No. 632-C.”

The CA TRO further ordered Jusgw Gonzalez: "You, your officers, representatives, agents snd or any other person or agency assisting for and in your behalf, are hereby ordered to cease and desist from implementing or enforcing the Writ of Preliminary Prohibitory Injunction..."

The TRO was signed by its Division Clerk of Court May Faith L. Trumata-Rebotiaco on November 20, 2014. It will take effect within 60 days.

The case stemmed from Judge Gonzalez’ granting of Writ of Preliminary Prohibitory Injunction to sand and gravel industrial permittees Ernesto U. Dacay, Ma. Selena Salas both of Cebu city and brothers Cesar Servacio Jr. and Rodulfo Servacio on June 16, 2014.

The permittees asked RTC court in Sogod for Writ of Preliminary Prohibitory Injunction after Gov. Gov. Mercado issued a cease and desist order of sand and gravel extraction from the Subang Daku river, saying that the permittees have no permit from the provincial government.

In their case against the governor, the operators said they don’t need a from the governor saying the area they operated exceed 5 hectares and that only the MGB (Mines and Geo-science Bureau) regional office has the sole authority to grant permit if its above the 5 has.

They said they only need two permits from two LGU’s, from the barangays where they operated and the town where the operations is located.

However, Mercado contended that they have to apply for a permit from the provincial gov’t. citing a Supreme Court decided case in Lara vs. Cagayan provincial government.

But Gonzalez saw it otherwise and issued the Writ of Preliminary Prohibitory Injunction to the operators. Thus the appeal of the provincial gov’t. to the CA.

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South Leyte Governor refutes Philippine Star Columnist
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on November 25, 2014, 4:17 am

By Marcelo M. Pedalino

MAASIN CITY, Southern Leyte, Nov. 24 (PIA)  --  Governor Roger Mercado last week clarified several points raised by a national daily columnist regarding hot issues and latest developments arising from Mercado’s hands-on implementation over quarrying and sand and gravel extraction regulation last month.

In a letter sent to the Philippine Star daily newspaper, which the broadsheet published on its November 21 issue, Mercado discussed intensively his side of the story on the events that happened on October 10, the day he, together with Task Force Subangdaku team, accosted crewmen of a sea-faring vessel docked in Sogod town, along with personnel of a crushing plant.

He also tackled the legal foundations of the provincial revenue code, the lawful grounds or the authority   on Governor’s permit for sand and gravel extractions, and his take on the kidnapping charges and a petition to the President to have him suspended purportedly for grave misconduct and abuse of authority.

Coincidentally, his letter, addressed to Star Columnist Alex Magno in response to Magno’s November 18 column, was aptly titled “Caught in the act,” which was basically Gov. Mercado’s defense on the October 10 incident.  Magno’s Nov. 18 column, meanwhile, carried the title “Governors”, for aside from Mercado, he also criticized another Governor.

Warrantless Citizen’s arrest

“The arrest of the sand and gravel company crews was a straightforward caught in the act (or en flagrante delicto) situation calling for and requiring a warrantless arrest authorized both by the text and spirit of existing law (Sec. 5, (a)& (b), Rule 113, Rules of Criminal Procedure), “  Mercado wrote.

He added:  “The arrestees were caught in the act of committing a crime, namely, theft of mineral resources, defined and punished under Sec. 103 of the Mining Law (Rep. Act No. 7942); they could not even show the police and environment officers permits for the transport of the sand and gravel found in the barge that was about to depart from Southern Leyte.”

Mercado took exception to Magno’s casual line that the workers were not at work at the time they were approached, saying the statement “may be correct in the sense that the plain fact is that they were busy committing a crime.”

He said the “express legal authorization for warrantless arrest is given not just to a duly sworn officer of the law but to a private person or plain citizen so he can lawfully make a citizen’s arrest.”

This, without doubt, according to him, “underscores not just its legal justification but also  --  and more importantly perhaps  --  the urgent need in the real world for warrantless arrests if our ordered society must meet the vital necessity of upholding the law at all times.”

And in the matter of always upholding the law, the concerned government officers, national and local, “were all duly engaged in a relentless effort to enforce laws and ordinances meant to protect the environment and natural resources,” with Guinsaugon landslide and Yolanda as fitting background, Mercado declared.

Provincial Revenue Code, Governor’s Permit for SAG

On the issue of the Provincial Revenue Code which Magno assailed as nearly tripled the extraction fee for sand and gravel, Mercado explained it was well within the Local Government Code, Republic Act No.7160, adding that it was not contrary to the Mining Law “which in particular does not expressly amend, much less repeal, any part of the Local Government Code.”

“As for the governor’s authority to issue permits for sand and gravel extractions or mining activities, irrespective of area in hectares, the same is clearly provided for both in the province’s ordinance and the Local Government Code, and sustained by the Supreme Court in the landmark case of Province of Cagayan, etc., et al vs. Lara, G.R. No. 188500, July 24, 2013,” Mercado noted.

Fabricated charges

On the alleged charge of kidnapping and serious illegal detention slapped against him and others, Mercado remarked that those were “pure fabrication meant to harass, cow, and stop us from our relentless enforcement of the laws and ordinances to protect the environment and natural resources.”

“I am asking the Office of the President as well as the Provincial Prosecutor’s Office to dismiss outright the said alleged charge or charges as it is in violation of Section 1, Rule 6 on Strategic Law Suit Against Public Participation (SLAPP) under Supreme Court Circular A.M. No. 09-6-8 (Rules on Procedure for Environment Cases).

On the offensive

Mercado informed Magno that he had initiated some countermoves.

“I am also asking the Supreme Court thru the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) to consider disbarment or disciplinary proceedings against Atty. Winsor Calamba for serious violation of the lawyer’s oath and code of ethic for promoting among other things a malicious prosecution of national and provincial officers who are simply doing their best to protect the environment and natural resources.

“Our lawyers also have brought suit against Regional Trial Court (RTC) Judge Rolando L. Gonzalez with the Court of Appeals for grave abuse of authority in the case filed against the province by businessmen who were found to be conducting illegal sand and gravel extraction and mining activities in violation of laws and ordinances meant to protect the environment and natural resources.

“Among other things, the suit assails Judge Gonzalez’ violation of the Supreme Court kalikasan rules prohibiting RTC judges from issuing injunction writs against government actions to protect the environment,” Mercado stressed.  (mmp, PIA8-Southern Leyte)


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18th November 2014
Ormoc remembers 1991 flash flood, ST Yolanda
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on November 18, 2014, 6:32 pm

By Elvie Roman Roa

Ormoc City -- It may be sad to recall the flash flood that hit the city at past 11 a.m. of November 5, 1991 during typhoon “Oreng.” The tragedy claimed some 8,000 residents, 3,000 of which went missing.

But the city led by Mayor Edward C. Codilla continues to commemorate on their loss with the advocacy of “protecting the environment and help the populace prepare for any hazards to come.” said Bienvenido A. Matiga, the chairman of Task Force for Nov. 5 and 8 Commemoration.


At 7:30 a.m., a procession of city officials and government employees saying the rosary from the new city hall passing through both sides of river walk at Anilao river before going to the mass grave at the public cemetery.

The procession showed a picture of white-clad employees that symbolized unity and peace. It was at the Anilao river where the bulk of flood water with at least 10-feet torrent traversed and overflowed to the city proper..

Rev. Fr. Danny Pongos celebrated the holy mass at the mass grave where 4,922 bodies were buried. The mass ended with the releasing of white balloons.


In a message, Mayor Codilla said that the 1991 flash flood is one of the country’s worst tragedies where Ormoc became globally known resulting to the pouring of aid from all over the world.


“The tragedy also became part of the city’s history that should never be ignored,” he went on.


He added, the tragic flooding made people tough and recovered from the tragedy to face life’s challenges making Ormoc more developed economically.

Councilor Atty. Ruben Capahi broke nearly his voice when he recalled how his family grieved on the loss of their mother Nenita Capahi, 50, then the City Budget Officer whose body was found at the sea three days later.

He said their mother was at their house in the city proper when bumped by container vans that were carried by the strong flood water.

Atty. Capahi compared “Yolanda” to the 1991 flash flood saying the former destroyed wider scope since Ormoc was near its eye but claimed only few lives while the latter was focused at the city proper claiming thousands of lives in the city’s most populous area.

This year’s theme, “we prayed, we survived, one city, moving on”.

On Nov. 8, the city observed the first anniversary of typhoon “Yolanda” that claimed thousands of lives and caused great damages to properties in Eastern Visayas, including this city.


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Your Link to the regional weather outlook for Tacloban, Leyte, Philippines
'Ruby' packs peak winds of 350 kph, December 5, 2014, 12:00 am

'Ruby' roaring toward PH, December 4, 2014, 12:07 am

PDRRMC prepping for Typhoon 'Ruby', December 3, 2014, 5:06 pm

Tacloban folks flee Ruby, December 8, 2014, 2:44 pm

NGCP monitors TY "Ruby" affected facilities, December 8, 2014, 1:46 pm

Province gets TRO from Court of Appeals, December 2, 2014, 11:00 pm

DPWH-South Leyte implements MGB Oct. 15 memo, November 17, 2014, 4:55 pm

DPWH-SLDEO activates DRRM Team for 'Ruby', December 4, 2014, 8:13 pm

Indon pug vows KO vs Aguelo in 4th round, November 10, 2014, 1:00 am

DPWH-SLDEO activates DRRM Team for 'Ruby', December 4, 2014, 8:13 pm

PDRRMC prepping for Typhoon 'Ruby', December 3, 2014, 5:06 pm

Province gets TRO from Court of Appeals, December 2, 2014, 11:00 pm

Tacloban folks flee Ruby, December 8, 2014, 2:44 pm

All Hands Volunteers to join fun run, August 30, 2014, 4:28 pm

Ormoc remembers 1991 flash flood, ST Yolanda, November 18, 2014, 6:32 pm

Quake hits Cebu, Leyte, November 13, 2014, 2:41 pm

Ormoc City gives thanks to EDC, November 13, 2014, 7:54 am


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