200 fisherfolk call on Duterte to halt reclamation in Cebu

200 fisherfolk call on Duterte to halt reclamation in Cebu | Juan Manila


Around 200 fisherfolk from a coastal village in Consolacion, Cebu recently held protest against a reclamation project brought about by a partnership between the town’s officials and a private consortium.

The protesters signed a petition against the reclamation project, addressed to President Rodrigo Duterte, in hopes of garnering help with the issue.

This was the third time a petition written against the reclamation project was sent to the President, the first being signed by at least 2,000 shipyard workers, while the second was signed by the residents of Barangay Tayud.

All signatories have livelihoods that will be affected by the reclamation project if it pushes through.


CONSOLACION, CEBU, Philippines — Protesters gathered at around 6 in the morning this past Sunday, 07 November, carrying posters, and continued on despite the rain.

The initial protesters came from Sitio Baha-Baha in Barangay Tayud, and were soon joined by fishermen from the nearby cities of Lapu-Lapu and Mandaue. All were against the Seafront City, a 235.8-hectare reclamation project that could, according to a study, cause irreversible damages to marine resources if it were to push through.

The study was conducted by Dr. Filipina Sotto from the Cebu-based think tank FBS-Environment and Community Research and Development Services. She stated that the area is rich in marine resources, as it has seven mangrove species and 75 coral species.

On the morning of their protest, the fisherfolk even cooked and ate some crabs and shellfish they gathered along the shoreline, seeking to prove that the sea is abundant with marine life.

The fisherfolk’s protest was the second against the Seafront City—it came less than a month after the first, which involved fifty fishermen boarding their boats to catch fish in order to refute the claims of Consolacion Mayor Johannes Alegado and Vice Mayor Teresita Alegado that the shipyards in the area have caused the absence of fish. (RF/JuanManila)

Featured image: Fisherfolk protest against the Seafront City reclamation project pushed by local officials. /Credit: Sunstar Cebu

Security marshals bill approved in final reading

Security marshals bill approved in final reading | Juan Manila


Twenty-one senators voted to pass the bill seeking to provide security to members of the judiciary and their families.

The bill, Senate Bill No. 1947, calls for a security force supervised by the Supreme Court.


MANILA, Philippines — Also called the Judiciary Marshalls Act, the measure mandates that the Office of the Judiciary Marshalls shall conduct threat assessments, investigations, and forensic analyses of crimes and threats committed against judiciary members, including court properties.

Further, the judiciary marshals will investigate alleged corruption committed by justices, judges, and other court officials, as directed by the Supreme Court.

Said Office will be headed by a Chief Marshall appointed by the Supreme Court. The appointee will be assisted by three deputy marshals assigned in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.

A Judicial Marshall Academy will be established to recruit and train judicial marshals if the measure is enacted into law.

More than 60 lawyers in the country have been killed during the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte, according to the Integrated Bar of the Philippines. (RA/JuanManila)  

Robredo lays down ₱500B recovery plan, identifies sources

Robredo lays down ₱500B recovery plan, identifies sources | Juan Manila


It may seem ambitious but that is what Vice-President Maria Leonor Robredo calls her recovery plan.


MANILA, Philippines — In a recent press conference, Robredo laid down her recovery plan, which includes the payment of all government debts in hospitals.

If she becomes president in 2022, she would use items in the national budget to fund her ₱500 billion proposal to set the country to a path to recovery.

For starters, she identified the ₱4.5 billion discretionary fund of the Office of the President and the ₱54 billion special purpose fund from different government agencies.

She said with the huge problem the country is facing, ambitious solutions are necessary.

“Kailangan maging ambitious tayo kasi ang laki ng problema natin ngayon,” Robredo said.

(We need to be ambitious because we are facing a huge problem.)

She discussed the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation’s huge debt owed to hospitals claiming unpaid medical services rendered. The hurdles in the agency will be removed to ensure the smooth processing of payment claims.

Her administration, she said, will make sure that all medical workers are compensated fairly, every barangay health center will have its own nurse and medical equipment.

After attributing the slow pandemic response to the inaction of Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, a Robredo administration will set a competent health secretary who will make the bureaucracy accountable, with technical expertise, and who can empathize with the Filipinos.

She will push for the creation of a ‘unemployed insurance system’ for people who have lost their employment, in which displaced workers may get 80 percent of their wage for three months in order to support their families while seeking for a new job.

With it, she plans to come up with a ‘modern aid system’ that will simplify the distribution of cash aid to reach especially those in communities under localized lockdowns.

This is a response to the ₱780 million worth of cash aid during the pandemic that the Department of Social Welfare and Development failed to disburse.

Education, according to Robredo, will be based on the alert level status of a certain locality, not a one-size-fits-all policy. Low risk areas will enjoy ‘balik-eskuwela’ program while in high-risk locales, e-learning devices with internet capability will be distributed to student so they will not be left out.

She also looks forward to a strong private-public relationship. She said private sector confidence is important so that government can implement more social programs.

She stressed that the path to recovery starts with a trustworthy leader who has a clear sight of the direction to take, and a good example to all. (RA/JuanManila

Mental health, a DepEd concern as health crisis continues

Mental health, a DepEd concern as health crisis continues | Juan Manila


Mental health issues in the country has worsened during the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has caused social isolation, general fear, and uncertainty that have led to stress, depression, and suicidal thoughts.

The effects of lockdown has deeply impacted the country where tight-knit families and community relations exist.

Noting how issues on mental health could be a significant concern, the Department of Education (DepEd) has launched several hotlines to deal with the mental health concerns of both teachers and students, and even parents who may experience difficulties during this pressing times.


MANILA, Philippines — According to DepEd director Ronilda Co of the DepEd Disaster Risk Reduction Management Service, the issuance of the hotlines are in line with the provision of mental health and psychosocial support services in the DepEd Order No. 14, series of 2020 or the ‘Guidance on the Required Health Standards in Basic Education Offices and Schools’.

Co said these help lines can provide support to learners and education personnel through the provision of mental health and psychosocial support services as well as wellness checks.

All helpline numbers will be updated every March and October of the year, DepEd added.

According to figures from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), the country recorded a 57 percent increase in suicide occurrences in 2020 compared to 2019. Suicide-related deaths in 2020 were at 4,420, compared to 2,810 cases in 2019.

The National Center for Mental Health also reported that the number of suicide-related calls they received has doubled last year.

In a separate statement, Education Secretary Leonor Briones said that DepEd has been tasked to emphasize the promotion and protection of employees and learners’ mental health and general welfare, particularly in light of the hardships encountered by many as a result of the health crisis.

The DepEd has included the hotlines of Circle of Hope Community Services, Inc., COVID-19 Mental Health Responders from the Masters Psychological Services, Hopeline PH, and The 700 Club Asia:

Circle of Hope Community Services, Inc.
(+63) 917 882 2324
(+63) 908 891 5850
(+63) 925 557 0888

Hopeline PH
(02) 8804 46 73
(+63) 917 558 4673
(+63) 918 873 4673
Globe/TM toll-fee 2919

The 700 Club Asia
(+63) 949 889 8138
(+63) 943 706 7633
(+63) 0943 145 4815
(+63) 917 836 1513
02 8737 0700
1-800-1-1888-8700    (TRC/JuanManila)