Bird flu outbreak in Nueva Ecija contained DA

THE bird flu outbreak in a quail farm in the town of Jaen, Nueva Ecija on March 13 has been successfully solved and contained, the Department of Agriculture (DA) said. The DAs Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI), in a July 16 report to the World Organization for Animal Health, said the country has not posted any new case of the H5N6 Avian Influenza in poultry farms near the affected one for the last 90 days since cleaning and disinfection procedures were completed. “All laboratory tests yielded negative results for both quarantine and surveillance zones. Early reporting and early multi-agency response provided effective closure of the Nueva Ecija avian flu incident,” Mr. Domingo said. “All laboratory tests yielded negative results for both quarantine and surveillance zones. Early reporting and early multi-agency response provided effective closure of the Nueva Ecija avian flu incident,” BAI Director Ronnie D. Domingo said in a statement. However, Mr. Domingo said the Philippines cannot be declared as bird flu-free just yet as surveillance activities are still ongoing in other areas. Around 12,000 birds were culled while 3,000 died from the disease at the farm in Jaen. Revin Mikhael D. Ochave

Antique hiring 612 interns to serve as para-teachersfor blended learning system

MORE THAN 600 interns will be tapped as para-teachersin Antiques primary and secondary schools as the public education system adopts a blended learning program for the new school year that will start Aug. 24. The para-teachers will be hired under the governments internship program handled by the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE). A survey conducted by the DepEd Schools Division of Antique indicates 38.50% of the provinces parents or guardians cannot provide learning assistance to children at home due to limited educational attainment or are currently employed. This will be a partnership between DoLE-Antique Field Office and the DepEd (Department of Education) Schools Division of Antique. A total of 612 interns will be capacitatedin the implementation of the new learning modalities in all the barangays and the school districts, Antique Lone District Representative Loren B. Legarda said in a statement. Based on the DoLE-Antique guidelines, the interns will be engaged from Aug. 17 to Dec. 15, with 88 working days. Each will receive P395 per day, or P34,760 for the duration of the internship. Application is until July 31. Priority will be given to those with a degree in education and knowledge on information technology, 18-30 years old, and residents of the area of assignment.

After tree-cutting moratorium, Baguio council proposes ban on residential zone exemptions

THE BAGUIO City council has passed on first reading a law that aims to stop the construction of commercial projects in residential zones through a ban on the application and issuance of exemption permits. The proposed ordinance, according to a statement from the council, was upon the recommendation of Assistant City Planning and Development Officer Antonette A. Anaban, who raised the matter during a July 13 hearing on the cutting of pine trees in Outlook Drive Barangay for a condominium project. Aside from a tree-cutting moratorium, perhaps we should also consider the moratorium for the applications for zoning exemptions kasi hindi nako-controlAng dami-dami talagang (because it is not being controlledthere really are so many applications) for exemptions,Ms. Anaban said. She added that the ban will give the city planning office time to review and update Baguios Comprehensive Land Use Plan. The City Government as the regulating agency has that responsibility to counter-check the effects of these exemptions or variance on the utilization of lands covered in the zoning, thus the need to impose moratorium save for valid reasons,states the proposed ordinance jointly authored by all council members. The proposal is now under review by the committee on urban planning, lands, and housing. The proposed ban on cutting of trees has also passed first reading and under committee review.

Parañaque sets July 31 deadline for business tax payment

BUSINESSES IN Parañaque City have only until July 31 to pay their local business tax without penalties, Mayor Edwin D. Olivarez announced on Thursday. “As a result of the extension, no interest, surcharge or any form of penalty shall be applied on any business tax, fee or charge accruing on or due and demandable during the extension period,” he said, noting that they moved the due date to give some relief to local entrepreneurs affected by the quarantine restrictions. This deadline, extended from the earlier April 20 compliance date, will be final, according to Business Permits and Licensing Office head Melanie Soriano-Malaya. She also noted that “businesses that fail to renew their business permit are, technically, not allowed to operate within the city.” Transactions can be made through the city’s new technology-enabled delivery service in partnership with Keri Delivery, Inc.

Another 9,000 stranded in Manila going home this weekend

ANOTHER 9,000 people stranded in Metro Manila are set to go back to their home provinces this weekend through the government’s Hatid Tulong Program. Presidential Management Staff Assistant Secretary Joseph B. Encabo, in a briefing on Thursday, said transportation has been arranged for those returning to various Mindanao provinces on July 25, and in the Eastern and Western Visayas Regions on July 26. Mr. Encabo said they have so far assisted about 126,000 individuals, not counting the 9,000, who were stuck in the capital following the lockdown imposed in mid-March to contain the coronavirus outbreak. Another 8,000-10,000 are still awaiting arrangements to return to their hometowns. — Gillian M. Cortez