Regional Updates (07/07/20)

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4 rescued after training aircraft lands on water off Zamboanga City

FOUR PEOPLE on board a training aircraft were rescued after their plane made an emergency landing on water just off the seawall of Sinunuc Boulevard in Zamboanga City on July 7. Those on board, none of whom were injured, were two flight instructors, a student co-pilot, and a mechanic, according to the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP). The training aircraft with a call sign RP-C834 was from the Royhle Aviation Academy, Inc. based in Dumaguete City. It took off at 9:38 a.m. from Zamboanga Airport, bound for Dumaguete, when it made an emergency landing at 10 a.m. “According to its pilot, the emergency landing is caused by the left engine’s failure a few minutes after they took off from the said airport,” reported the Philippine Coast Guard, which led the rescue operations. Members of the Aircraft Accident Investigation and Inquiry Board have been advised to investigate the incident. — Charmaine A. Tadalan

Over 2,000 arrested in Pampanga for face mask violation

MORE THAN 2,000 people in Pampanga have been arrested for not wearing a face mask outside of residence, with majority after the quarantine restrictions were eased into the lowest category. Citing a report from the police as of July 5, the provincial government said there were 2,026 violators since March 17, including 743 starting June 15. The highest number of violations were in the town of Apalit, parts of which are currently on strict lockdown due to a high number of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases. Pampanga has one of the stiffest penalties for the face mask policy among local governments, with fines ranging from P20,000 to P50,000, or imprisonment of one to six months, or both. As of July 7, the province had 166 COVID-19 cases, with 100 recoveries and 16 fatalities.

Basilan, Lanao del Sur, Camiguin suspend return of stranded residents as quarantine facilities full

THE PROVINCIAL government of Basilan is temporarily closing its borders to returning residents, including overseas workers, as quarantine facilities on the island are currently at full capacity. “This decision has been made to safeguard the health of the Basileños and with the consent of the National Inter Agency Task Force,” said Governor Jim Hataman Salliman in a statement posted along with the task force’s permission letter. The suspension will be in effect until July 15. The island province of Basilan was free from coronavirus cases until end-May when the repatriation program started. As of July 6, it had 69 positive cases, mostly returning residents and several healthcare frontliners. “Since May 28, 2020, Balik BASILAN Program have already accepted and accommodated at least 1,983 LSIs (locally stranded residents) and 107 ROFs (returning overseas Filipinos),” Mr. Salliman said. “All necessary coordination shall be exhausted to ensure that LSIs travelling back are properly informed,” he added. Meanwhile, the police reported that a similar suspension is in effect in the provinces of Lanao del Sur and Camiguin. “The request for suspension of repatriation is because the quarantine facilities in the provinces have reached their maximum capacity,” Lt. Gen. Guillermo T. Eleazar, police deputy chief for operations, said in a statement. He cited an order from Defense Secretary Delfin N. Lorenzana to temporarily stop the issuance of travel authority, a requirement for those stranded. — with a report from Emmanuel Tupas/PHILSTAR

Makati makes liquor ban outside one’s home automatic during calamity, emergencies

DRINKING OUTSIDE one’s residence will automatically be banned in Makati City during a state of calamity and other emergency declarations starting July 14, the city government announced Tuesday. The prohibition is contained in Ordinance No. 2020-152 recently passed by the city council. “The local ordinance aims to protect residents from endangering themselves and others while in a drunken state during calamities and other public emergency situations,” the local government said in a statement. Under the local law, first-time violators will be fined P5,000 while repeat offenders will be imprisoned in addition to the monetary penalty. Tenants and guests at accommodation facilities will be allowed to drink only within their room or rented space. For the violation of this provision, establishment owners and managers could be held equally liable. Meanwhile, Mayor Abigail Binay-Campos also announced that the city government “will clamp down on” restobars hosting private dining and drinking parties. “We’re clamping down on these types of gatherings where it’s difficult, if not impossible, to enforce social distancing,” she said, noting reports of establishments skirting restrictions on social gatherings. “The city government understands the desire of business owners to earn and survive amidst the pandemic, but it shouldn’t be at the expense of public health… Thus, establishments like Skylounge where more than 100 people were arrested during a recent drinking party won’t be tolerated,” the mayor said.