Regional Updates (10/14/20)

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Tagaytay bypass road to partially open this month

A 1.54-KILOMETER section of the 8.59-km Tagaytay bypass road will be open to motorists before the end of the month, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) announced Wednesday. The initial segment that will be ready covers the Maitim and Kaybagal areas. “The opening of these two (2) sections this October is only the beginning as we have been prioritizing the inclusion of Tagaytay Bypass Road Project in the national budget since 2018,” DPWH Secretary Mark A. Villar said in a press statement. The bypass road is intended to divert traffic from the congested parts of the popular highland city. It is seen to reduce travel time from Alfonso town in Cavite to Tagaytay City to 20 minutes from the current 53 minutes. DPWH has so far released P466.24 million for the ongoing and completed sections of the bypass road, and will require another P1.08 billion to complete the project.

Makati council approves budget for base salary hike of nurses

THE MAKATI City council has approved the P55.17 million additional budget that will cover a hike in the base salary of nurses hired by the local government. Mayor Abigail Binay-Campos said entry-level nurses will receive a basic monthly pay of P32,053 from P22,316 effective July 1, 2020. “The salary increase is a welcome development for our nurses, and is a fitting recognition of their hard work and sacrifice that have been magnified by this crisis. The substantial salary differential they will receive will also bring immense financial relief, especially to struggling breadwinners of the family who can hardly make both ends meet,” the mayor said in a statement on Wednesday. “We hope that with a more competitive salary, board-certified nurses who have opted to pursue a non-related career or go abroad will be inspired to stay and serve their fellow Filipinos,” she added. The city government has hired 56 new nurses since the coronavirus pandemic broke out in March, along with other medical and social workers for the Ospital ng Makati. The nurse pay hike in the city comes ahead of the implementation of the new Salary Standardization Law or Republic Act 11466, wherein the base salary schedule of nurses in government service in the next three years will be as follows:  January 1, 2021, P33,575; January 1, 2022, P35,097; and January 1, 2023, P36,619.

Typhoon Ofel makes 3 landfalls, maintains strength until Thursday

TROPICAL DEPRESSION Ofel, the 15th typhoon to pass through the Philippines this year, made three landfalls on Oct. 14 and brought rains over central parts of the country. Its three landfalls were in Can-avid, Eastern Samar; Matnog, Sorsogon; and Burias Island, Masbate. Weather bureau PAGASA forecasts Ofel to maintain its strength until Thursday but not intensify until it goes over the West Philippine Sea by Friday. It is expected to be out of the Philippine area by Saturday. As of 4 p.m. Wednesday, Ofel was located 70 kilometers (km) east-northeast of Romblon, Romblon and moving west at 15 km/hour with maximum sustained winds of 45 km/h and gustiness of up to 55 km/h. On Thursday, Ofel and the southwest monsoon will bring rains over most parts of the country. The Philippine Coast Guard reported that as of 12 noon Wednesday, there were 1,388 passengers, 682 cargoes, 41 vessels, and 19 motorbancas stranded in different ports in the regions of Calabarzon, Bicol, and Eastern Visayas.

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