Metro Briefs: Cops clueless on Zambo councilor’s killing in Manila

/ 12:02 AM March 13, 2017

A councilor of Zamboanga del Sur was shot dead on C. M. Recto, Manila, around Saturday noon, according to the Manila police. Homicide investigators, however, are facing a blank wall regarding the motive for Embang Bonga’s killing. The 50-year-old Bonga from Dimataling, Zamboanga del Sur, was buying souvenirs after attending an event held by the Councilor League of the Philippines in World Trade Center in Pasay, when he was shot in the head by a still unidentified man. Bonga’s companions rushed him to Jose Abad Santos Hospital, where he was declared dead at 3:02 p.m. A police report said that in compliance with Bonga’s religious beliefs, his remains would not be subjected to an autopsy. —Aie Balagtas See

COA orders DFA: Pay the exterminator

The Commission on Audit (COA) has ordered the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to pay a pest exterminator for services rendered in December 2014. In a recently released decision dated Feb. 16, the CoA granted the claim of Power House Pest Control Services (PHPCS) for a total of P73,141.66. “It bears emphasizing that in this case, the contract was not illegal or in violation of any rule or regulation,” the audit agency said. It noted that the DFA’s only reason for nonpayment was the pest control firm’s late submission of its billing statement. The PHPCS submitted its claim only on Jan. 5, 2015 after the DFA had closed its books of accounts for 2014. This effectively made the payment for pest control an “unbooked” obligation. “Accordingly, the DFA may now pay the money claim, subject to availability of funds and the usual accounting and auditing rules and regulations,” the COA said. —Vince F. Nonato


1.7M poor school kids to get 2.7M pencils

Over 1.7 million schoolchildren from the country’s poorest towns will receive over 2.7 million pencils collected during last year’s One Million Lapis Campaign, according to the Department of Education. In a March 9 memo, Education Secretary Leonor Briones announced the guidelines for the distribution of pencils given by various donors and organizations during the campaign initiated by the Council for the Welfare of Children in October 2016. Briones said the pencils should be distributed to recipient schools during the Brigada Eskwela activity in May, in time for the June opening of classes. The pencils will go to underprivileged Grade 1 to 3 pupils in public elementary schools from 4th to 6th class municipalities in the country, where many drop out of school. Central Luzon has the highest number of students who will receive the pencils with over 700,000 beneficiaries followed by Eastern Visayas with more than 141,000 recipients and the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, over 118,000 students. —Jocelyn R. Uy

Gov’t tapping ICT experts to make PH roads safer

To help reduce the number of fatal road crashes nationwide, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) is tapping the information and communications technology sector to come up with ways to improve the government’s road crash data collection and reporting to make roads safer. Since road traffic injuries are already becoming a major public health problem worldwide, the DOTr is meeting with road safety advocates and app developers in a two-day Road Safety Idea Hack meeting in Quezon City starting tomorrow. Based on the World Health Organization’s 2015 Global Status Report on Road Safety, around 1.2 million people die yearly due to road crashes, 90 percent of which occur in developing countries like the Philippines. At present, only Metro Manila has detailed data on road crashes through the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority’s Metro Manila Accident Recording and Analysis Systems. Mark de Leon, DOTr assistant secretary, said that while road crashes could be mitigated through policies and infrastructure interventions, these need to be backed by evidence so that they can reach their 2020 goal of reducing road crashes by half. —Jovic Yee


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