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News Briefs

/ 06:00 AM August 23, 2018

Opposition reserves Senate slate slots for Roxas, Sereno

Efforts are still ongoing to convince Mar Roxas to join the opposition Senate slate in the 2019 elections, and slots have been reserved for him and former Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno should they decide to throw their hat into the ring. This was according to Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, who said the opposition had vetted more than 12 candidates for its slate but may not necessarily fill up all available slots next year. Roxas, a former senator and interior secretary, ran for President in the 2016 elections but lost as the Liberal Party’s standard bearer. “We are reserving a slot for Secretary Mar Roxas. We believe he would be an asset for the Senate opposition. He is being pushed to run,” Trillanes told reporters. At a recent radio show of Vice President Leni Robredo, Roxas said he was still deciding if he would run for public office again. —LEILA B. SALAVERRIA


Local airports badly need rescue, other equipment, says solon

There is a pressing need to allocate funds for the purchase of rescue, lifting and firefighting equipment for local airports following the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) runway mishap involving a Xiamen Air Boeing 737-800 aircraft that again gave the country a “facepalm moment,” Rep. Jericho Nograles said on Wednesday. “The accident itself that caused the runway to be unusable for a few days was not the fault of Philippine airport officials, but our response and handling of it was quite embarrassing … we were caught off guard,” the Puwersa ng Bayaning Atleta party-list lawmaker said in a statement. “The fact that it took us 36 hours to remove the plane showed just how unprepared we are for such situations,” he added. Manila International Airport Authority, which oversees the operations of the NAIA, had to outsource a crane to lift the errant plane from the runway. —JEROME ANING


Warning on consumption of ‘galunggong’ imported from China

You may want to think twice before buying “galunggong” (round scad) imported from China. The Department of Health (DOH) cautioned the public on Wednesday against the consumption of the fish amid reports cited by the fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) that these were laced with formalin, a chemical used to preserve corpses, to ensure that they remained fresh when sold to the public. Health Secretary Francisco Duque III pointed out that even a small dose of formalin could already be “damaging or toxic” to the human body. In fact, he warned that those who consume food laced with formalin are at risk of developing cancer. “This is used for the preservation of cadavers, of tissues of certain animals, of certain organs for educational purposes and not for consumption purposes,” Duque said. —JOVIC YEE

Deal in the works for regularization of 9,000 Dole workers

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III will sign an agreement on Friday with Dole Philippines Inc. that would kickstart the regularization process for about 9,000 workers of the pineapple company. The initiative comes three months after the Department of Labor and Employment tagged the firm as one of the three big companies suspected of engaging in illegal labor-only contracting. The two other top violators are Jollibee and Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. The agreement, however, does not mean that the more than 9,000 Dole workers would immediately enjoy regular employment status. Labor Undersecretary Joel Maglunsod said that this was because an “action plan” would still have to be crafted. —JOVIC YEE

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TAGS: NAIA, Pamalakaya, Xiamen Air
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