Pumboat capsized 55 feared dead

A commercial “pump boat” (which is a canoe-style craft with outriggers powered by a small engine) carrying 189 people has capsized in the central Philippines, minutes after leaving port. The boat covers three times a day the route from Ormoc City to Camotes Island. Only 134 survived. The biggest maritime disaster in the Philippines happened on december 20 1987. On that fatal occasion more the 4300 people died  when MV Dona Paz caught fire and sank after a collision with an oil tanker, MT Vector.

Hope in Mindanao

The Moro Islamic Liberal Front (MILF) rebel group in the Philippines has handed over its first batch of weapons, as it embarks on a peace process, but, so far, as a gesture of MILF’s commitment to peace 75 weapons has been deactivated in a symbolic ceremony held in Sultan Kudarat (Mindanao) on June 15 . Aside this about 145 of the estimated 10,000 members of the MILF’s armed faction will be integrated in the civil Filipino society. On is part the government will provide to each of them a cash handout of 25,000 Philippine peso ($555)  to be used for education, training and livelihood.

The government has agreed to give Muslims more autonomy in the Muslim-majority southern regions Sulu-Mindanao. In March last year, the government and MILF signed the Comprehensive Agreement. Now they are working on the Basic Law for a Bangsamoro Autonomous Region. The Philippines Republic has faced separatist movements in Sulu-Mindanao since 1968. MILF is based in the island of Jolo, home as well of the radical Islamist Abu Sayyaf group allegedly linked to al-Qaeda. Jolo is also the historical capital of the former Sultanate of Sulu and Tawi-Tawi.

Card. Tagle in Caritas International

Bishop_tagleCardinal Luis Tagle, (age 57) Archbishop of Manila, is the new president of Caritas Internationalis. The general assembly of the umbrella organization of Catholic charities elected the Filipino cardinal with 91 votes out of 133.

Cardinal Tagle will replace Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga as president of Caritas Internationalis. Cardinal Rodriguez, who offered his congratulations and warm support to the new president, stepped down after serving two terms.

Cardinal Tagle has played major roles in raising with the Filipino government various issues affecting the marginalized sector, and showed his effort in helping Filipino population, which is continuously stricken by an average of 20 typhoons per year.

Born in Manila on June 21, 1957 and ordained a priest in 1982, Cardinal Tagle was appointed bishop of Imus in 2001. In 2011, Benedict XVI appointed him Archbishop of Manila, and created him cardinal in Nov. 2012, during his last consistory.

What is Caritas International?

Caritas Internationalis is confederation of over 160 members who are working at the grassroots in almost every country of the world. When a crisis hits, Caritas is already on the ground. The diverse members give us our strength – from small groups of volunteers to some of the biggest global charities. Inspired by Catholic faith, Caritas is the helping hand of the Church – reaching out to the poor, vulnerable and excluded, regardless of race or religion, to build a world based on justice and fraternal love.

Caritas Internationalis has its headquarters in Rome – co-ordinating emergency operations, formulating development policy and advocating for a better world for everyone. All national Caritas organisations are members of their own regional Caritas networks and the international confederation.

From the founding of the first Caritas in Germany in 1897, to the setting up of Caritas Internationalis in 1951, until today, Caritas has a rich history of listening respectfully to the suffering of the poor and giving them the tools to transform their own lives. The deep moral and spiritual principles of dignity, justice, solidarity and stewardship still guide Caritas today.

Tropical forests in Arakan

The winner of the $500 Prize is:
Philippine Eagle Foundation – Holistic forest biodiversity conservation in the Arakan Valley through ‘corridors’ and ‘stepping stones’

Originally a lowland tropical forest, the Arakan Valley in North Cotabato, Philippines has lost 94% of its forests. What remains are confined in three forest islands, two of which are global KBAs.
Using a landscape restoration framework crafted by various stakeholders, a revitalized Arakan Forest Corridor Development Program (AFCDP) began in 2010. The AFCDP is a multi-year initiative that combines forest management, poverty alleviation, resource mobilization, local capacity building, advocacy and education to restore the social-ecological resiliency of the Arakan landscape and its predominantly poor, rural inhabitants. To date, 6,000 ha of the KBAs are legally protected with clear management regimes that also conserve IUCN ‘threatened’ species like the Philippine Eagle. Native trees were also re-planted in 370 ha of non-forest areas around ‘core zones’ through small-holder ‘rainforestation’ approaches, with census showing a 60 % average survival rate in successful reforestation plots.

Using a ‘sustainable livelihoods framework’ approach, the well-being of 200Indigenous households performing clear environmental services is also being secured. During the previous year, household annual income has tripled from rainforestation fees. Basic education, health and livelihood support were also facilitated as ‘conservation incentives’. Sustainable conservation financing and ‘in-kind’ incentives are brokered through ‘conservation agreements’ between communities and their government, private and corporate benefactors. We mobilized US $ 316,000.00 of funding so far through these innovative ‘private-public-community’ partnerships. Recently, a total of 36 ha of small, natural forests patches within production landscapes that are wildlife ‘stepping stones’ in between core zones will be rehabilitated and expanded through a private-landholder restoration initiative.

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/phileaglefdn

Mt Mahuson ICCA page: http://www.iccaregistry.org/en/sites/29

Incendio in fabbrica di scarpe

Almeno 45 operai sono stati uccisi e altri 26 dispersi dopo che un incendio ha inghiottito una fabbrica di calzature e infradito a Valenzuela City, MetroManila. I vigili del fuoco hanno detto che si aspettano di trovare più corpi quando raggiungeranno il secondo piano dell’edificio e hanno messo in guardia i soccorritori perchè potrebbe crollare.

L’incendio ha iniziato prima di mezzogiorno Mercoledì e vigili del fuoco sono riusciti a metterlo sotto controllo nel tardo pomeriggio.Probabilmente l’incendio è stato causato da scintille durante lavori di saldatura sul cancello della fabbrica innescando le sostanze chimiche dei vicini contenitori .

L’iimpianto è di proprietà della Kentex Manufacturing Corp.


On Tuesday three suspects behind local kidnapping incidents in Baliguian, Zamboanga del Norte were arrested by the local Police. They were identified as Rudy Lim, Alerin Lim and Jolo Lim. The police said the suspects have a standing warrant of arrest issued by presiding Laarni Dajao of Regional Trial Court Branch 27 based in Siocon town, Zamboanga del Norte for kidnapping with serious illegal detention.
The court also recommended no bail for the suspects who were detained at Liloy Police Station.
Police are also investigating possible participation of the suspects in the previous kidnapping incidents that occurred in the west coast border of Zamboanga City, three towns away from Baliguian.

Kidnappings in May

These included the May 3 kidnapping of mining executive Priscillano Garcia and his driver, Almatrapy Gua, in Bongao, Tawi-Tawi; the May 4 abduction of Rodolfo Boligao, coast guards members SN2 Gringo Villaluz and SN1 Rod Pagaling in Dapitan City and the May 6 kidnapping of Guan Lim Maujon in Siasi, Sulu. Maujon had been rescued while the other victims remained in the hands of their captors.

NEPAL: Caritas Update

From Caritas Nepal By Lilian Chan

The devastating 7.9 magnitude earthquake that hit Nepal early on Saturday morning has caused widespread destruction, injuries and loss of life and livelihoods. Caritas Australia staff are currently on the ground working alongside our Caritas Nepal to coordinate the emergency response for thousands of people in the worst affected communities. Lilian Chan, Caritas Australia Online Editor, was working in Kathmandu when the earthquake struck.

The earthquake struck without any warning. One minute I was filming an interview with a participant in one of Caritas Australia’s programmes in a village outside Kathmandu. The next, we were running to an open field as the ground shook violently and debris from houses went flying overhead.

Fortunately, the village of Pharping was spared much of the devastation we’ve now witnessed in Kathmandu. But as we watched the clouds of dust rising above collapsed houses, I knew that Caritas’ presence in the community would be more important than ever.

After the ground settled, we walked around the village to survey the damage. Having lived through earthquakes before, most people knew to take refuge in the open fields. I saw one young girl, probably no older than 4, sitting with her family, her eyes wide with fright. People her age have never experienced an earthquake like this.

The drive back to Kathmandu was a sobering one. As we passed yet another community coming to terms with the shock, I noticed a group of people standing on top of a large pile of rubble in the distance. It looked as if their home had completely collapsed and my colleagues said that the crowd were probably trying to rescue people still trapped in inside.

The scene in Kathmandu was heartbreaking. Buildings I had only seen for first time just days earlier were reduced to heaps of debris. People were evacuating their homes, with nowhere to take shelter. And we saw patients evacuated from the hospital, only to be treated on the ground, out in the streets.

Since the initial earthquake, we have continued to experience tremors, including a massive shock of magnitude 6.8 at around midday on Sunday. I have never experienced an earthquake before. The initial tremor is terrifying. But the continued threat of destructive aftershocks leaves people vulnerable long after the first shock.

A few days on from the earthquake, many people in Kathmandu are still sleeping out on the street or in open public spaces. Fearful of the aftershocks, people are still anxious that more homes and buildings will collapse.

Since Saturday, I have had the opportunity to speak to people who have been evacuated or lost their homes completely. Their experience is humbling. They are making do with what they have and courageously doing everything they can to look after themselves and their families. But rain and the cold nights are making the situation even more difficult, and food, water and basic necessities are scarce.

At the moment, our Caritas network are supporting the Caritas Nepal team as they prioritise emergency shelter, trauma counselling, food, clean water and the hygiene materials they desperately need. As the emergency response continues we will be working with communities to rebuild their livelihoods in the long term.

As I work alongside our partners in Nepal, and visit the affected communities, I’m overwhelmed and inspired by people’s generosity, ingenuity and resilience. With prayers and assistance flowing in from the international Caritas network, these communities will be bolstered by these acts of solidarity as they work to build back better.

Watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uKZRIpH9rqE

Nepalese people in the Philippines (in Wikipedia)

Hospitals in the Philippines have been opening up its residency program to doctors from impoverished Nepal to address a shortage of Filipino physicians. Doctors from Nepal have been migrating to the Philippines for residency training in government hospitals.

Bicol Medical Center (BMC) based in Naga City has about a total of 40 Nepalese doctors who are undergoing or are about to undergo residency training. They are assigned to different departments like pediatrics, obstetrics, surgery and internal medicine and will train under the hospital’s specialists and consultants in these fields. Other hospitals that also accepted the Nepalese doctors for residency training include the East Avenue Medical Center (EAMC), based in suburban Quezon City, Metro Manila and the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC) in Cebu City.

Filipinos in Nepal: There are about 300 Filipinos living in the country and they comprise mostly of professionals, skilled workers, volunteers and missionaries.

In 2006, a peace agreement was signed between Maoist guerrillas and an alliance of seven political parties with the understanding that a new constitution would be signed in 2008.

In partnership with Caritas Australia, the Nepalese branch of the international organisation has assisted an estimated 12,000 farmers in the past.

Nepalese people in the Philippines

How to help victim in Nepal- UNICEF Philippines