CONSTRUCTION OF the integrated steel mill inside the PHIVIDEC Industrial Estate in Misamis Oriental, expected to start within the third quarter after being delayed by restrictions due to the coronavirus crisis, will generate up to 30,000 jobs. “The integrated steel mill makes a significant contribution to employment generation and economic growth not only in Northern Mindanao but also nationwide. The construction phase is set to generate around 10,000 to 30,000 jobs while regular operations command 3,000 employees,” the Philippine Veterans Investment Development Corporation said in a statement Friday. The mill is a joint project of China’s Huili Fund and CISDI Group Co. with Simple Homes Development, Inc., a subsidiary of listed firm A Brown Co. Inc. (ABCI). Construction cost is estimated at $4.9 billion. “The integrated steel mill is a tremendous contribution to the Build, Build, Build program of the national government, as we cannot build a country without steel,” PHIVIDEC Administrator Franklin M. Quijano said. The plant will produce about five million tons per annum of flat products such as steel plates, and long products such as billets, round bars, and wires. Mr. Quijano said ABCI will have the option to purchase the 400-hectare leased area on which the plant will be built.
Iloilo City orders call centers to operate at 50% capacity after surge in COVID-19 cases among agents
ILOILO CITY Mayor Jerry P. Treñas has ordered call centers in the city to operate at 50% capacity starting Monday, Aug. 10, after half of the 56 new coronavirus cases recorded on Saturday were agents from one business process outsourcing (BPO) firm. “We have 56 total new cases in the city recorded,” Mr. Treñas said on Saturday, “From this number, 28 agents of IQor who are all residents of Iloilo City are infected.” Another BPO, WNS Global Services, has also been placed “on an initial three-day lockdown and only those with negative results will be allowed to work,” the mayor said. On Aug. 6, Mr. Treñas also ordered a two-week ban on all incoming transport carrying returning residents. This comes after the reimposition of curfew hours in the city from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. until Aug. 18. Several areas have also been placed under localized lockdown for contact tracing. “Cases are going up during this period and I want our personnel to focus on the problem,” he said. As of Aug. 7, the recorded 261 total cases, of which 122 are active, 132 have recovered while seven died.
CAAP launches investigation on ‘sizable’ aircraft debris washed ashore in Eastern Samar towns
AN INVESTIGATION is underway on the “sizable” aircraft debris found by locals in two coastal towns in Eastern Samar on Aug. 6. The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), in a statement Sunday, said “search of other possible clues about the debris’ origin” has been initiated. There are no recent reports of missing aircraft within the country’s flight information region and neighboring areas, according to the Philippine Aeronautical Rescue Coordination Center. “The sizable debris needed the assistance of several men to transport,” CAAP said. The first debris was found at a resort in Anuron Beach in the town of Mercedes in the morning of Aug. 6. The second one was found three kilometers away in Guian in the afternoon. Both sites face the Pacific Ocean. The “hull-shaped aircraft remains” have been secured by the Philippine Coast Guard and will be turned over to the military.