Regional Updates (10/08/20)

Contact tracers


Newly hired contact tracers who will be deployed in Zamboanga City undergo orientation at the City Coliseum on Oct. 8. Hired under the national program, they will be teaming up with existing tracers of the City Health Office for tracking and managing close contacts of coronavirus patients. The local government on Thursday said 656 tracers were designated by the national government to the city, but several new hires did not show up during the required orientation and oath-taking.

DA partners with QC for urban agriculture research center

THE Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Quezon City government have partnered to promote urban agriculture and aquaponics technology, and for the possible establishment of a research and learning center within the city. In a meeting on October 7, Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar and Quezon City Mayor Maria Josefina G. Belmonte discussed possible sites for the planned National Urban Agriculture Research and Learning Center, such as available spaces within the University of the Philippines Diliman complex. “There are still many vacant spaces in the city. I am confident that many partners are willing to lend their properties as learning sites for urban agriculture,” Ms. Belmonte said. The center, according to the DA, will feature technologies in urban agriculture and aquaculture and is envisioned as a model for other local governments. Meanwhile, the DA-QC project on aquaponics will benefit hog raisers who were affected by the African swine fever in Barangays Payatas and Bagong Silangan. The DA, through the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), will give initial farm inputs such as vegetable seeds, tilapia or hito fingerlings, feeds, aquaponics structure, and technical assistance, while the city government will find the project site and give logistics support. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave

Paranaque installs automated payment machines

PARANAQUE CITY has installed automated payment machines at the city hall in line with its program of using digital technology for governance, especially amid the coronavirus threat. The project is in partnership with League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP) President Luis C. Singson and his Gracia Telecommunications Corp. “We are very fortunate with this new partnership with LMP and Gracia Telecoms as we strengthen our collaborative efforts to advance the local government’s initiatives towards eGovernance,” Paranaque Mayor Edwin L. Olivarez said in a statement on Thursday. Mr. Olivarez said payment machines will also be installed in the city’s major barangays. The machines provide billing services, online payments, and loading values on smart cards and cellphones.

P96.7M worth of smuggled cigarettes seized at Davao port


THE BUREAU of Customs (BoC)-Davao office recently seized P96.7 million worth of cigarettes that were declared as plastic cups and fabrics. The illegal goods were inside four 40-footer container vans consigned to Allycorp International, Inc. The BoC, in a statement on Wednesday, said an alert order was issued on the shipment after “intelligence sources” provided advance information on the items. “Customs Davao’s active alert monitoring procedure against illegal importations in collaboration with partner agencies remain vital in securing our area of responsibility,” BoC-Davao District Collector Erastus Sandino B. Austria said in the statement. Last Sept. 28, the Davao office confiscated another batch of smuggled cigarettes worth over P26 million.

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