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Regions Briefs: Pass 2017 budget, court orders Cagayan board

/ 04:55 AM August 19, 2017

Pass 2017 budget, court orders Cagayan board

TUGUEGARAO CITY—A regional trial court here has ordered the provincial board to pass the province’s budget for 2017 “without additional remuneration and without other business.” In a three-page resolution issued on Aug. 14, Judge Marivic Cacatian-Beltran of the Regional Trial Court Branch 3 granted the petition for mandamus filed by Gov. Manuel Mamba against Vice Gov. Melvin Vargas Jr. and 12 board members amid an apparent impasse over the unapproved budget. Mamba informed the court that the 2017 budget should have been operational in April and that the board was liable for “acts constitutive of grave abuse of discretion tantamount to an unlawful neglect to perform a positive duty imposed by law” when it failed to pass the appropriation measure. Vargas said he was confident that the board would pass the budget as “we have been reviewing and collating reports and suggestions of board members and committees.” —VILLAMOR VISAYA JR.

DOTr earmarks P213M for Ormoc airport rehab

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TACLOBAN CITY—The Department of Transportation (DOTr) has allocated P213 million to rehabilitate the Ormoc City airport in Leyte province. The fund would be used to expand the 1.8-kilometer runway by more than 2 km to accommodate bigger airplanes. The runway could only accommodate turboprop-type aircraft. Only Cebu Pacific, which flies from Cebu to Ormoc, uses the facility thrice a week. Ormoc Mayor Richard Gomez said P85 million of the rehabilitation fund would be released before the end of the year while the remaining P128 million in 2018. The city government is looking forward to the rehabilitation because it will boost tourism and investor confidence in the city, he said. Last month, the Ormoc airport’s operation was suspended for three days after the runway was damaged when the city was struck by a 6.5-magnitude earthquake. —JOEY A. GABIETA

Jetstar Asia starts Clark-Singapore flights

CLARK FREEPORT—Budget carrier Jetstar Asia on Tuesday announced its thrice-a-week flights to Singapore from the Clark International Airport (CRK) here starting Nov. 28, targeting 24 million residents in northern Metro Manila, and central and northern Luzon. Bara Pasupathi, Jetstar Asia chief executive officer, said the company’s Airbus A320 flights every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday are the first for the airlines in CRK. Rates start at P1,000 via bookings at the website, www.jetstar.com, starting Aug. 15. Established in December 2004, Jetstar makes 600 weekly return flights to 25 destinations in 13 countries in the Asia-Pacific region. Jetstar Asia said it was making available over 410,000 seats a year for the Clark-Singapore route. Alexander Cauguiran, president and chief executive officer of Clark International Airport Corp., said Jetstar Asia’s flights would boost CRK’s operations. —TONETTE OREJAS

Beached dolphin dies in Pangasinan

DAGUPAN CITY—A beached Risso’s dolphin died on Tuesday on Cariaz Island at the Hundred Islands National Park in Alaminos City despite two weeks of treatment and rehabilitation by personnel of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR). Dr. Samantha Licudine, a BFAR veterinarian, said the dolphin was brought to its facility in Alaminos on July 31 by employees of Labrador town government. The 9.5-foot long, 200-kilogram female dolphin was emaciated, had foul breath, and would roll on its side, unable to maintain its balance. The dolphin was transferred on Sunday to Cariaz Island, where BFAR maintains cages for fish production, but it died on Tuesday. Found in its stomach was a 4-inch thick, 11-foot long brown rubber, which, the technicians said, could have caused its death. —YOLANDA SOTELO

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