Update on Fukushima-Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Accident in Japan


28 March 2011
Update as of 10:00 AM

* The DOST-PNRI continues to closely monitor the situation at the Fukushima-Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.
* The condition in the plant remains very serious but not worsening.
* Extremely high levels of radiation (10 million times normal) appeared to be a reporting error and had been retracted by Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO). Nevertheless, high levels of radiation remain inside the nuclear power plant but pose danger only to the emergency workers.
* Environmental radiation monitoring all over the world including the Philippines has detected very tiny amounts of radioactive isotopes which appeared to be coming from the Fukushima nuclear power plant and which pose no human health hazards.
* Latest DOST-PNRI RADIATION LEVEL CHECK at PNRI grounds as of 9:00 AM, March 28, 2011: 93-115 nSv/hr (nanoSieverts per hour), STATUS: NORMAL
* Based on the PAGASA model, air parcel coming from northern Japan is forecasted to move east towards the Pacific Ocean for the next three days.
* For the latest information, please access the following websites:
o International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) (http://www.iaea.org)
o Nuclear and Industrial Safety Administration (NISA) of Japan (www.nisa.meti.go.jp/english/index.html)
o World Health Organization (http://www.who.int/hac/crises/jpn/en/index.html)

* For further advisories, please call the PNRI trunklines with Tel Nos. 929-6010 to 19 or visit the following:
o DOST (www.dost.gov.ph)
o PNRI (www.pnri.dost.gov.ph)
o STII (www.stii.dost.gov.ph)


DENR inks agreement with Skyway for Maricaban creek clean up


The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has found another ally in the private sector in rehabilitating critical waterbodies in Metro Manila – the Skyway Operations and Maintenance Corp. (SOMCO).


“This time it’s the Maricaban creek situated at the boundaries of Taguig City and Parañaque that will be benefit from this clean up partnership between the DENR and SOMCO,” Environment Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje said, representing the agency in the partnership.


SOMCO president and chief executive officer Ramon M. Borromeo signed the agreement with Paje, with Eduardo F. Nepomuceno, head of SOMCO’s Special Operations and Projects and External Affairs; Environmental Management Bureau Director Juan Miguel Cuna and Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) General Manager Rodrigo Cabrera as witnesses.


The agreement signing, held as one of the highlights in the recent celebration of World Water Day at the SM Mall of Asia In Pasay City, was in consonance with the DENR’s “Adopt-an-Estero-Program” which seeks to improve the environmental quality of rivers, creeks and other tributaries in the country through a public-private partnership platform.


“Most of the water bodies in Metro Manila can no longer be restored by government alone. To sustain our efforts, we need to work with the private sector, the local government and other stakeholders to address the huge volume of silt, wastes and other debris that have contlributed to the continuing degradation of our waterways. With SOMCO’s support and the active participation of the communities within the vicinity, we are assured of the sustainability of the clean up efforts, which the ultimate beneficiaries would be the next generations,” Paje stressed.


Under the MOA, SOMCO will undertake environmental improvement on a 2.6-kilometer stretch of Maricaban Creek traversing the cities of Taguig, Makati, Pasay and Parañaque. The company is also tasked to conduct dredging, information and education campaigns, community mobilization activities, and training programs for concerned stakeholders.


For its part, the DENR through its EMB-National Capital Region and the LLDA will intensify monitoring of industrial/commercial establishments, and undertake, among others, regular water quality monitoring. It will also provide the necessary technical assistance to concerned leaders and stakeholder groups in the area.



The concerned parties also agreed to determine the necessity of, and to the extent possible plan for, more dredging and desilting of the creek, introduction of interventions such as phyto-remediation thru constructed wetlands, planting of bamboo and other plant species along the river banks, rip-rapping or coco-matting, construction, and greening of linear parks.


Also present during the agreement signing were EMB Asst. Director Gilbert C. Gonzales, EMB-National Capital Region Director Roberto Sheen, DENR-NCR Regional Executive Director Laureano B. Lingan, Jr., and Laguna Lake Development Authority General Manager Rodrigo E. Cabrera.


DENR press releases and other news/feature articles are posted at the DENR website: www.denr.gov.ph. For queries/comments, write: denr_pao@yahoo.com

SOMCO is the 5th company within Metro Manila that signified its commitment to join the program. The first was Manila North Tollways Corporation for portions of the Tullahan River at Barangays Ugong in Valenzuela City and Talipapa in Quezon City; followed by the Philippine Mine Safety and Environment Association for Diliman Creek and its minor tributaries; San Miguel Corporation for portions of Tullahan River from MacArthur Highway all the way to Manila Bay; and AMKOR Technology Philippines Inc. for Palico Creek located at Brgys. Buli and Cupang in Muntinlupa City. -30- DENR, PAO


Paje mandates clean up of units in DENR central office


Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje has trained his eyes on central office personnel to clean up as he launched the DENR’s internal contest “Search and Recognition of Environment-friendly and Clean Offices” this month.


“All DENR offices nationwide have long been undertaking ecological waste management like waste segregation and recycling, and energy and water conservation  as part of our mandate.  However, this is the first time that we are going to give rewards to offices in the central office that have consistently been taking good environmental practices as an incentive,” Paje said.


According to Paje, the move is not only to boost productivity but also to promote the well-being of the personnel.


“The incentive that the monitoring group would come up with, will somehow be something that our people will be looking forward to, but the objective of the search program is primarily to boost our people’s productivity as we believe that a clean and well-organized work environment reduces stress and makes people happy and productive,”  explained Paje.

In Memorandum Circular No. 2011-02, Paje designated Undersecretary Manuel D. Gerochi to head the Cleanliness and Orderliness Group (COG) which shall be responsible for monitoring the implementation of the program.  DENR Assistant Secretary Corazon Davis shall serve as the group’s vice-chairman, with two representatives from the employees’ union, Katipunan ng mga Kawani ng Kalikasan as members, along with Directors Ramon Ezpeleta, Adeluisa Siapno and Ric Enriquez.

Under the directive, the group is authorized to conduct surprise inspections of the offices.

Among the criteria set for the contest include adherence to the principles of good housekeeping (40%), ecological waste management/environmental management system (40%), and records and materials disposal (10%).

Paje said there will be three winners, each of which will receive cash prizes.  He, however, refused to say how much the cash prizes would be as the COG has yet to discuss it.  Awarding of winners is slated in June in time for the celebration of Environment Month. -30- DENR, PAO


Paje fortifies anti-corruption program in DENR


Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje has designated a senior official to head the Internal Audit and Anti-Corruption Office in a move to fortify the anti-corruption program in the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).


In DENR Special Order No. 2011-177 issued on March 3, 2011, Paje named Assistant Secretary Daniel M. Nicer, a lawyer, to directly supervise the Internal Audit Service (IAS) of the agency, as well as exercise supervision and control over the Personnel Investigation Division of the Legal Service, and the Special Action and Investigation Division.


This, despite an earlier announcement by the Pulse Asia, which found the DENR to have made an impressive leap to 4th place, from 8th in 1999, in the rooster of top10 agencies considered as “least corrupt”.  The Pulse Asia Survey was conducted from February 24-March 6 this year.


“That the DENR is the only regulatory agency to have made it to the Top 4 of the least corrupt agencies comes as a solid affirmation that an appreciably degree of effectiveness must have gone into our house-cleaning efforts, thereby earning the kind of respect we are beginning to enjoy among our kababayan,” Paje said, noting that all the first three placers were service-oriented agencies led by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Health (DOH), and the Department of Education (DepEd).


While saying that a strong headstart has been made in key areas of the DENR’s operations, particularly in the central office, Paje recognized that removing the conditions for graft in the field offices where majority of its 25,000-strong workforce are stationed, as the “most defining benchmark”.


Among the policy reforms which Paje instituted since his assumption of the DENR leadership last July include the donation of confiscated forest products to the Department of Education instead of the putting these under public auction.


“It has been the practice before that once the apprehended logs, lumber or other forest products have been confiscated in favor of the government, these were turned over to the Natural Resources Development Corp. (NRDC) for public auction.  The unfortunate thing here is that anybody can join the public auction, including those suspected of having a hand in the illegal logging activities,” Paje explained.


This situation, said Paje, is now being addressed with the recent directive of President Benigno S. Aquino III for the DENR to give priority to DepEd in the donation of the confiscated forest products, and the signing last week of a memorandum of agreement by the DENR with DepEd, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), and PAGCOR, for the conversion of the donated forest products into desks, armchairs, cabinets and other school furniture.


Paje likewise instituted a drastic reform measure in the mining sector by ordering the cleansing of pending mining applications in the Mines and Geo-sciences Bureau (MGB) and its regional offices nationwide.  Also up for final action by the agency are exploration contracts that have already expired for five years or more and mining contracts whose three-year program have not been implemented for two consecutive years.


Other anti-corruption measures in place in the DENR include the installation of close-circuit television cameras, posting of process flow charts in strategic places, adoption of the DENR Citizen’s Charter and the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards, all of which were also published in all websites of the department’s bureaus and regional offices.


Despite the positive survey findings, Paje urged his officials and subordinates not to be complacent.  He said, “The score should continue to remind us that we are far from winning the fight against corruption.  Yes, we may have made some gains but corruption remains an enormous drain on the country’s resources which can better be used for improved social services.”


Other tasks assigned to Nicer include the conduct of investigations involving corruption by officials and personnel and the filing of appropriate cases in the proper forum, conduct and supervision of training and seminars for administrative reforms and anti-corruption, monitoring of specific anti-corruption programs and projects of the Department, and the updating and enhancement of all anti-corruption instruments and activities of the DENR. -30- DENR, PAO



Nasa larawan si Barangay Chairwoman Rose Dadulo (panlima mula sa kanan)matapos ipagdiwang ang World TB Day sa Barangay Payatas, Lungsod Quezon kamakailan, ang  nasabing programa ay  may temang “Ako Ang Susugpo sa TB”, kasama   ang mga kagawad at mga panauhin na sina, DR. Irma Asuncion, Regional Director, CHD, NCR, DOH; Dr. Antonieta Inumirable, Cty Health OFFICER III, Quezon City Health Department’ Dr. Shoko Ogawa, Second Secretary, Health Attache, Economic Section, Embasy of Japan.(RAFFY RICO/JIMMY CAMBA)


PINANGUNAHAN ni Chairwoman Rose Dadulo ang pagdiriwang ng “World TB Day 2011”kamakailan, kasama ang mga kagawad, Staff at mga kabarangay.Ang nasabing programa ay may temang “Ako Ang Susugpo sa TB” at ito ay ginanap mismo sa Covered Court tabi ng Barangay Hall, Area-B Barangay Payatas Quezon City.

Naging panauhin sa nasabing okasyon sina, Dr. Irma Asuncion, Regional Director CHD, NCR, DOH; Dr. Antonieta Inumirable, Cty Health OFFICER III, Quezon City Health Department’ Dr. Shoko Ogawa, Second Secretary, Health Attache, Economic Section, Embasy of Japan. Dinaluhan din ito ng ibat-ibang sector sa National Capital Region(NCR).

Kasabay sa pagdiriwang ng World TB Day 2011, nagakaroon naman feeding program ang Agrarian Reform Middle Management Association Inc.,ng DAR, sa pangunguna ni  Violeta M. Bonilla, President, ARMMA.

Sa magkaparehong araw ginanap din ang Barangay Assembly, kasabay sa Inauguration ng Brgy. Library na matatagpuan sa ikatlong palapag ng Brgy. Hall  at ang MOA Signing ng St. as DOTS Facility.(RAFFY RICO)


The Quezon City government, on orders of Mayor Herbert Bautista, has fielded two city-owned and eight privately-operated buses to provide free rides to commuters who will be affected by the transport strike organized by militant drivers and operators of public utility vehicles.

Aside from the buses, 142 yellow multi-cabs maintained by the city government were pooled for deployment to jeepney and bus routes affected by the strike.

The QC department of public order and safety, headed by Elmo San Diego, has mobilized additional traffic enforcers to complement traffic personnel of the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and the QC Police District Traffic Management Unit in an effort to lessen the effect of the strike on peace and order and traffic flow, especially around the QC Memorial Circle, where militant transport leaders assembled at around 10 a.m.

Meanwhile, the QC Police District has fielded a six by six truck to augment the number of transport vehicles deployed by the city government.

Militant transport group PISTON earlier declared its plan to stage the caravan to protest the continued increase in oil prices. -30- Precy/Ramir/Maureen Quinones, PAISO



Four years ago, the grandmother of Raymond Burgess applied his grandson for the Education for Development Scholarships Program (EDSP) of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration while her daughter works abroad as a household service worker. Now, Raymond is about to start a career with a top IT company in the country after graduating Cum Laude from the University of Santo Tomas with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Information Technology. Raymond is just among the many OWWA scholars who graduated with flying colors.


This was reported by OWWA Administrator Carmelita S. Dimzon to Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz of the Department of Labor and Employment who has directed the promotion of Education and Training Benefits for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and their families.


“As the lead government agency tasked to promote the welfare and well-being of OFWs and their dependents, we congratulate Raymond and all our graduating scholars who make their parents proud as they work for their children’s future abroad”, said Administrator Dimzon.


Raymond who just graduated last March 26, 2011 is now working as a Technology Consultant in Hewlett Packard. He is the son of Jesusa Pantinople who works as a household service worker in the Cayman Islands.


“I thank OWWA for the scholarship that helped me finish college and also my mom who will always be my inspiration as I strive to reciprocate her sacrifices abroad to bring me where I am now”, said Raymond.


EDSP scholars of four-to-five-year baccalaureate courses are given a maximum of P60, 000 per year. Aside from EDSP, OWWA scholarships for OFW dependents include the Skills-for-Employment Scholarship Program for vocational or technical courses; OFW Dependents Scholarship Program (ODSP) for needy but deserving students and the Congressional Migrant Workers Scholarship Program.


Like Raymond, other OWWA graduates came from prestigious schools like UP, Ateneo, La Salle, UST, FEU, Mapua, Western Mindanao University and Siliman University to name a few.


“We, at OWWA, will remain committed to support our OFWs in their dream to provide the best education to their children”, added Administrator Dimzon.-30- Rey D. Tayag, OIC, ASMD, OWWA