House OKs bill allowing ICT infra in subdivisions, housing projects

MANILA: Subdivisions and future housing developments will soon be required to set aside an area for information and communication technology (ICT) infrastructure, after such proposal hurdled second reading in the House of Representatives.

During the plenary session on Monday, the chamber approved through voice voting House Bill 9870, or the proposed Housing Development Digital Connectivity Act.

To ensure digital connectivity in urban centers and populated areas of the country, the measure requires all housing projects, subdivisions, villages, or residential properties to allocate an area within its designated open space for the establishment of ICT infrastructure and related amenities.

It seeks to amend Presidential Decree No. 957, which mandates the developer of a subdivision to allocate open space for parks, playgrounds, and recreational use.

According to PD 957, as amended by PD 1216, for subdivision projects spanning one hectare or more, the owner or developer shall reserve 30 percent of the gross are
a for open space.

Developers can also provide an area for ICT infrastructure from the net saleable lots outside the mandatory 30 percent of the gross project area for open space to reserve the area for parks, playgrounds, and recreational use.

The ICT provider can obtain the area for ICT infrastructure and facilities through direct purchase based on the fair market value of the land or through a long-term lease.

All ICT infrastructure to be built in an existing subdivision shall be non-exclusive and shall be accessible for shared use by ICT providers.

The bill provides for the compensation to the local government unit, the homeowners’ association, the developer or the private lot owner for the use of such open space.

Source: Philippines News Agency

DA-NFRDI upholds continuous research for Filipino fishers

The Department of Agriculture-National Fisheries Research and Development Institute (DA-NFRDI) has reiterated its commitment to continue research to benefit Filipino fishers.

During its 5th anniversary celebration on Monday, NFRDI Executive Director Lilian Garcia urged the body to keep their focus on meeting their targets.

‘The most important is that we do our duties and focus on what should be done so that we can serve Filipinos and impact their lives. And in our case at NFRDI, it is through research for (the) development of our fisheries,’ Garcia said in a speech.

With its theme ‘NFRDI: Going Above and Beyond the Limits,’ the agency is set to conduct weeklong activities highlighting research and development (R and D) until Feb. 23.

These include the display of aquaponics setup and trivia contests for R and D awareness, lectures in basic research, lessons on freshwater ornamental fish breeding and production, tree planting, and various contests, among others.

Earlier, the NFRDI conducted a series of di
spersal of over 11,000 tilapia fingerlings disposal in Batangas and Mindoro, following its aquashade technology production.

Aquashading technology, which reduces water temperature by around three to four degrees Celsius, utilizes installed nets over the pond to protect tilapia breeding from excessive sunlight.

According to the NFRDI, this makes it ‘favorable for tilapia reproduction’, even during summer months.

Besides this, fishers in Pangasinan also adopted NFRDI’s modified bamboo raft technology for oyster production.

According to the NFRDI-Aquaculture Research and Development Section, the adoption of the said technology has resulted in a ‘significant surge’ in oyster production in Anda, Bani, Bolinao, Alaminos City, and Sual

Source: Philippines News Agency

PH conducts patrol anew with US Air Force in EEZ

MANILA: The Philippine Air Force (PAF) on Monday said three of its FA-50PH light jet fighters launched an air patrol with a United States Pacific Air Force B-52H heavy bomber within the country’s exclusive economic zone.

PAF spokesperson Col. Ma. Consuelo Castillo said the air patrol covered 90 nautical miles west of Candon, Ilocos Sur and 50 nautical miles northwest of Lubang, Occidental Mindoro.

“Three FA-50s of the PAF were utilized, along with one B-52Hs bomber aircraft from the US counterpart,” she added.

This activity was conducted under the third maritime cooperative activity (MCA) between the Philippines and the US that started on Feb. 9.

The first MCA was held in November last year and the second in January.

Castillo said the MCA aims to bolster cooperation between the Armed Forces of the Philippines and their US counterparts, enhancing interoperability between the two Air Forces.

“With this activity, the PAF underscores its commitment and readiness to support the AFP’s efforts in safeguarding
the national territory and sovereign rights, and upholding regional peace and security,” she added.

Source: Philippines News Agency

PH Air Force gets another C-130 aircraft from US

The Philippine Air Force (PAF) received another Lockheed C-130H “Hercules” cargo transport aircraft from the United States.

In a statement Monday, PAF spokesperson Col. Ma. Consuelo Castillo said the aircraft landed at the Clark Air Base, Mabalacat City, Pampanga on Feb. 16.

“The aircraft was ferried from Waco, Texas to the Philippines by (a) US aircrew,” Castillo said.

The new C-130H, which has a tail number 5157, is the second of two C-130 aircraft given by the US to the Philippines through its Excess Defense Articles (EDA) Program.

The first unit was delivered on Jan. 29, 2021, and formally turned over to the PAF in February of the same year.

“The new addition will bolster the PAF’s cargo airlift fleet and support humanitarian assistance, disaster relief operations, and various military missions,” Castillo said.

A formal acceptance, turnover, and blessing ceremony for the aircraft is scheduled tentatively at the end of February or March.

The PAF is known to operate four older versions or models of
the C-130 for its heavy lift missions.

Source: Philippines News Agency

PhilHealth increases stroke, dialysis packages in NorMin

CAGAYAN: The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) has expanded its health packages with additional centers in Northern Mindanao (NorMin).

In a statement on Monday, PhilHealth Region 10 focal person Pamela Jay Orias said packages for stroke treatment and dialysis were updated this year.

Orias said coverage for stroke has increased from PHP28,000 to PHP76,000.

PhilHealth-10 also increased the free dialysis sessions from 144 to 156, the hemorrhagic stroke package to PHP81,000, and the pneumonia high risk from PHP32,000 to PHP90,100.

Orias said the outpatient benefit package covers PHP9,000 for general mental health, and PHP16,000 for specialty cases.

In the region, the PhilHealth Konsultasyong Sulit at Tama (Konsulta) Program increased to 115 accredited providers by the end of 2023, with a registration of 1.9 million members.

Delio Aseron II, PhilHealth-10 vice president, said the packages are guaranteed under the Universal Health Care Law.

“The corporation has started rolling out new bene
fits by 2023 and is continuing to improve programs in tune with the time,” he said.

Source: Philippines News Agency

DOJ partners with private firms on healthcare access for women PDLs

The Department of Justice (DOJ) on Monday forged a partnership with private firms to upgrade the health and wellness of female persons deprived of liberty (PDLs).

In a statement, Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla said the DOJ and the Correctional Institution for Women (CIW) partnered with Huawei Technologies Philippines Inc. and mWell – Metro Pacific Health Tech Corporation for advance healthcare access of PDLs at the CIW prison facility in Mandaluyong City.

Justice Undersecretaries Margarita Gutierrez and Deo Marco led the ceremonial turnover of equipment from Huawei and mWell to the CIW to be used for the launch of a digital healthcare platform.

Health services to be offered include teleconsultation, interpretation of lab results, medical prescriptions, 24/7 access to a health professional and many more.

Remulla, meanwhile, thanked the two firms for the “noble cause” of making their services available to female PDLs.

‘It is the right of every human being to have access to reliable, free and spee
dy healthcare, it is the most basic aspect of humanity which should be accorded not only to those who are free but to those who are not, as well,’ he added.

Source: Philippines News Agency