More face-to-face training allowed

MORE skill training centers have been allowed in areas under a general lockdown to address unemployment amid a coronavirus pandemic, according to the Trade department.

“With our continued efforts to reopen more sectors, there is a need for more skilled workers certified by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA),” Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez said in an e-mailed statement on Sunday.

“The government, through agencies such as Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and TESDA, is committed to ensuring that our fellow Filipinos are equipped with the needed competencies to adjust to this ‘new normal,’” he added.

The Trade department cited massive layoffs as companies were forced to shut down during the strict lockdown.

Face-to-face training is allowed for the construction and related sectors; electrical and electronics-related jobs; garments and textiles including dressmaking, face mask making and tailoring; land transportation and  health. — Arjay L. Balinbin

Illegal tree-cutting in Cotabato cited

THE ENVIRONMENT department has ordered a municipality in Cotabato province to monitor illegal tree-cutting activities in the area.

A government-led raid last week uncovered an illegal small-scale mining operation in Magpet, Cotabato.

Authorities found a five-hectare area cleared of trees about 300 meters away from the mining site, the Environment department said in a statement on Sunday.

Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu said the absence of trees had led to severe flooding in the area.

“We cannot allow people to further destroy our forests especially when we know that flooding is among its direct consequences,” he said “Many Filipinos have suffered enough from the devastation of massive flooding because of forest denudation.” — Angelica Y. Yang

Dumacaa River irrigation rehab completed

THE NATIONAL Irrigation Administration (NIA) has finished rehabilitating the P115.69-million Dumacaa River irrigation system in Quezon Province, it said in a statement at the weekend.

The repairs included mechanical works at Alsam, Lakawan and Mayao dams, construction and realignment of the 14.74-kilometer concrete lining, desilting works and the rehabilitation and construction of 16 structures.

“The project is expected to provide timely and reliable irrigation service to 1,839 hectares of agricultural land in the town of Pagbilao and the cities of Tayabas and Lucena, benefiting 1,585 farmers and their families,” NIA said.

The agency said rehabilitation was funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave