Typhoon Ofel expected to make landfall in Samar
THE LOW pressure area east of the country developed into a tropical depression Tuesday afternoon and was located 115 kilometers east-southeast of Guiuan, Eastern Samar as of 4 p.m., weather bureau PAGASA reported. The typhoon, named Ofel, is expected to make landfall over the Eastern Samar-Northern Samar area by Wednesday morning. Storm signal #1 was up in several Samar towns and cities as well Sorsogon in mainland Luzon. PAGASA said Ofel “will likely remain in tropical depression category while traversing the southern portion of Southern Luzon” and will strengthen into tropical storm category “once it emerges over the West Philippine Sea.” It was moving at 15 kilometers/hour with maximum sustained winds of 45 km/h near the center.
US sends another P73-M food aid to Lanao del Sur
THE UNITED States has granted an additional P73 million for food aid to displaced families in Lanao del Sur province, which covers war-torn Marawi City. The assistance, provided through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), is expected to reach over 8,000 individuals in the area. “With this funding, USAID is providing food aid to more than 8,000 highly vulnerable persons to help meet their essential nutritional needs,” the US Embassy said in a statement on Tuesday. This brings the US government’s total assistance to humanitarian and recovery work in Marawi to P3.1 billion. The aid, intended for food purchases in local markets, will be distributed to families through electronic cash transfer. “The COVID-19 (coronavirus Disease 2019) pandemic has stripped many households of vital sources of income and made those displaced by conflict especially vulnerable,” US Embassy Charge d’Affaires John Law said. USAID is also implementing the Marawi Response Project for the Lanao community, providing micro-grants to 1,000 displaced entrepreneurs. The project has also helped 3,300 public health workers through trainings and provision of medical supplies and equipment. — Charmaine A. Tadalan
Antique’s rescue truck
Antique’s Provincial Disaster and Risk Reduction Management Office (PDRRMO) now has its own rescue truck, equipped with a hydraulic crane and various emergency response equipment. Electronic Engineer Benny Abagon, who received the P6.69 million vehicle in behalf of PDRRMO head Broderick Train, said emergency response and rescue operations, especially during storms, will now be quicker and more efficient. The truck was turned over on October 12, a day before the observance of International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction.
Bids sought for port project in San Fernando, La Union
THE BASES Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) has started soliciting bids for the port expansion project in San Fernando, La Union on Tuesday and submissions will be accepted until Nov. 18. In its announcement, the BCDA said it “intends to apply the sum of P39,762,429.09, inclusive of all applicable taxes and fees, being the approved budget for the contract, for the San Fernando La Union Expansion Project — Construction of Ferry port Terminal.” The BCDA requires the completion of the works in 360 calendar days. Prospect bidders must also have completed a similar project with a contract amount not less than 50% of the BCDA project contract. Bidding is restricted to Filipinos; and partnerships, corporations, organizations or joint ventures with at least 60% interest or outstanding capital stock belonging to citizens of the Philippines. A set of bid documents is available for P25,000, the BCDA said. — Arjay L. Balinbin