Representatives from San Miguel Corp. and EEI Corp. said negligence on the part of the crane operator led to the collapse of a Skyway extension project girder that killed one and injured eight others on Nov. 21 at East Service Road in Bgy. Cupang, Muntinlupa.
Muntinlupa Mayor Jaime Fresnedi convened a meeting Monday morning (Nov, 23) with SMC and EEI representatives to shed light on the Skyway accident. Muntinlupa Rep. Ruffy Biazon, Vice Mayor Artemio Simundac and members of the City Council including Majority Floor Leader Raul Corro were also present.
Corro said initial investigation by SMC and EEI pointed to negligence of the crane operator of Mayon Machineries, which was hired by EEI as subcontractor for the use of the crawler crane.
The Muntinlupa Police identified the crane operator as Enrico Gregorio, 41, of Molino 3, Bacoor, Cavite. Inquest proceedings have been completed by the Muntinlupa prosecutor’s office on Gregorio who is facing a complaint of reckless imprudence resulting in homicide, multiple injuries and damage to property.
Gregorio is under custody of the Muntinlupa Police.
At about 8:50 a.m. Saturday, Gregorio was moving the crane when its boom hit the girder that was already positioned between two posts of the Skyway extension project. This caused the girder to fall and hit vehicles below.
According to Biazon, the EEI representative said the crane “operator made a maneuver which was not part of standard movement when making the maneuver.”
The Skyway extension project was being constructed in time for its completion next month. Because of the accident, the completion was pushed to February next year, SMC said.
Corro said SMC and EEI will submit a thorough investigation report of the incident in two days to the Muntinlupa City government.
The two firms were also ordered by the city government to submit a written report on the safety protocols to be implemented to avoid repetition of the accident.
According to the Muntinlupa Police and city government, Edison Paquibot, 43, of Lessandra Heights, Molino 4, Bacoor, Cavite, who was driving a motorcycle, was killed in the Skyway accident.
Those injured were Henry Delgado, 54 and John Paul Gonzalez, 26, both of Chrysanthemum Village, San Pedro, Laguna; Rogelio Cueno, 60, of M.H. del Pilar Extension, Bagong Silangan, Quezon City; and Aner Regachuelo, of Isla Homes, Pinagbuhatan, Pasig City.
Also injured were Angelito Manalo, 30, of San Miguel, Pasig City; Juanito Dumalig Jr. of Fabian Compound, Alabang, Muntinlupa; Reden Resus of Olaya St., Purok 7, Alabang, Muntinlupa City; and Edwin Sagun of San Roque, San Pedro, Laguna.
Gonzalez and Manalo are confined at the Asian Hospital and Medical Center for head injuries.
Biazon said project representatives “admitted that they were keeping to the deadline to finish and open the Skyway. But as of now there’s no indication of shortcuts.”
“I did ask EEI to also look into and report about the work schedule of the crane operator, to check on the possibility that he might not have been in a good condition to operate the
machinery. They committed to make that part of the investigation,” Biazon told Manila Bulletin.
During the meeting, SMC assured that it will assist the victims of the accident, he added.
Three Quezon City residents, who evacuated during the onslaught of Typhoon “Ulysses” tested positive for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
They were taken to community-care facilities for immediate medical attention, the Quezon City government said in a statement Sunday.
Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte welcomed the fact that 637 of the 640 evacuees tested negative for the dreaded disease.
“We are happy to report that our city was able to control the situation despite the high possibility of having an outbreak in our shelters,” she said.
Quezon City Epidemiology and Disease Surveillance Unit (CESU) head Rolando Cruz said they will continue to be alert should any evacuee show COVID-19 symptoms.
As of November 20, there are still 364 families affected by Typhoon Ulysses who are in evacuation centers in Districts 2, 3, and 4.
The number of active cases in Quezon City dropped to 489 with 23,236 recoveries.
The College of the Holy Spirit Manila (CHSM) in Mendiola is closing its doors in 2022, citing difficulties in attracting new students and operational challenges brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.
In a letter dated Oct. 28 to the CSHM community, Sr. Carmelita Victoria of the Mission Congregation of the Servants of the Holy Spirit said the 107-year old institution has faced challenges in the last 10 years which made it difficult to attract new students and ramp up enrollment to make the school viable.
“Private education has faced an increasingly challenging environment resulting from government policies on K-12; free tuition in state colleges and universities, local universities and college, and state-run technical and vocational institutions; and the significant increase in public school teachers’ salaries compared to their private school counterparts,” the letter read.
The COVID-19 pandemic, CHSM added also heightened the challenges, which compelled the institution to close after the academic year 2021-2022.
“The reduction or loss in family income, mobility restrictions and social distancing requirements, and the new demands of distance learning have adversely affected enrollment, not only in CHSM, but in most private schools,” it said.
“After consultation with representatives of our stakeholders, and a deep and prayerful process of discernment, we are now even more convinced that the Holy Spirit is speaking clearly to us through the signs of the times, compelling us to make this extremely difficult decision: to close CHSM at the end of academic year (AY) 2021-2022,” Sr. Victoria’s letter read.
The timeline would allow the school to graduate current Grade 11 and 3rd year college students if they choose to stay on. However, Kinder to Grade 11 and 1st to 3rd year college will not be opened for academic year 2021-2022.
CSHM also appealed to students and parents for patience and cooperation as it assured proper transition for students’ transfer to other schools.
Founded in 1913, CSHM is part of the Mendiola Consortium, an organization of five schools located along Mendiola Street in Manila. The consortium also includes Centro Escolar Manila, San Beda University, La Consolacion College, and Saint Jude Catholic School.
CSHM, formerly known as the Holy Ghost College, was originally an exclusive school for girls, but started admitting male students in 2005. (With a report from Minka Klaudia S. Tiangco)
The number of typhoon-hit evacuees in Marikina City who tested positive for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) rose to five.
In an interview Sunday (Nov. 22) over Teleradyo, Marikina City Mayor Marcelino Teodoro said of the 153 evacuees who were “reactive” in the rapid test, five were found positive for the virus after undergoing a confirmatory swab test.
“Out of the 12,000 na sinurveillance testing sa mga evacuation center, 153 na naging reactive sa rapid test (Out of the 12,000 evacuees that were subjected to surveillance testing at evacuation centers, 153 were reactive in rapid testing),” Teodoro said.
“And out of that 153, may lima na nag positibo at nasa quarantine facilities ngayon ito (And out of the 153, five have tested positive and are now in quarantine facilities),” he continued.
Persons who made contact with the five COVID-positive patients have all tested negative for the virus.
To prevent the virus from spreading, the local government conducted rapid tests on residents affected by typhoon “Ulysses” who are still in evacuation centers.
“Ang ginagawa natin is early detection kaya nag rapid test tayo sa mga evacuation centers (What we are doing is early detection so we conducted rapid tests in evacuation centers),” Teodoro said.
Those who would test reactive in the rapid test will immediately undergo a confirmatory polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing and will be placed under quarantine.
Contact tracing will be done to identify those who made contact with the COVID positives.
The local government has already deployed 190 contact tracers to evacuation facilities.
Teodoro said they have already coordinated with the National Housing Authority (NHA) to assess the houses destroyed by the typhoon that caused massive flooding in most parts of the city.
He also ordered barangay officials to inspect the damaged homes of evacuees to determine the assistance they need.
Teodoro earlier appealed for donations of housing materials for residents whose houses were destroyed by the typhoon.
The number of active coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in San Juan City dropped to 39 as of November 20, Mayor Francis Zamora said Saturday.
“Bumagsak ng 30 ang ating active cases dito sa San Juan sa nagdaang 24 oras kaya ito ay nasa 39 na lamang (Our active cases here in San Juan have dropped by 30 in the last 24 hours so it is now only at 39),” Zamora said.
“Mas marami kasi ang gumaling sa nagkasakit dahil sa COVID-19 (This is because more people have recovered than those who got infected by the virus),” he added.
As of November 20, San Juan City has a total of 3,322 confirmed COVID-19 cases, 3,188 have recovered, while 95 died of the disease.
Latest data shows that the barangays with the most number of infections were West Crame, Batis, and Sta. Lucia.
Zamora earlier said the local government is targeting to have zero active cases by December.
To achieve this, the city is constantly reminding the public to wear face masks, face shields, observe physical distancing, and maintain good personal hygiene.
The city has provided its residents free COVID-19 testing and washable face masks, among other programs and services in order to stop the spread of the disease in the community.
“Say goodbye to manual contact tracing forms!”
Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto said this on Saturday (Nov. 21) as the local government starts the city-wide implementation of Pasig Pass.
Pasig City launched the pass, a QR code-based contact tracing solution last month to intensity contact tracing efforts amid the continuing threat of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
The pass had its pilot run at the City Hall, and through an ordinance passed by the City Council last week, its implementation was expanded to also cover private establishments in the city.
“With Pasig Pass, people will no longer have to write in health declaration/contact tracing forms or logbooks—they will simply need to present their Pasig Pass QR codes and have it scanned by business establishments,” the local government said.
Sotto said SM Hypermart and SM East Ortigas were the first establishments in the city to implement the pass.
“Thanks to malls and other establishments that already use Pasig Pass, the digital contact tracing solution of Pasig City,” he said.
According to the local government, some business establishments and most city government offices have already started implementing a “No Pasig Pass, No Entry” policy.
People without smartphones can also have their QR codes printed.
“Some barangays have taken the initiative to help out in assisting their residents to register to PasigPass, so for those without internet connection or smart phone, you may check with your barangay,” the city government said.
The mayor assured that information collected in the city’s digital contact tracing solution is secured.
People may download their QR code at pasigpass.pasigcity.gov.ph.
Upon registration, individuals will have their own QR codes which they will use upon entry to city government offices and business establishments within the city.
The registration is open to all residents and those working and visiting in the city.
The Muntinlupa City Police have identified the person who died after a girder of the ongoing Skyway extension project collapsed on East Service Road in Barangay Cupang Saturday morning.
EEI Corp., the project contractor, earlier said that about 8:50 a.m., a crane that was being operated tilted and hit the girder that was positioned between two posts of the north-bound Skyway extension project. The girder fell on vehicles below.
According to the Muntinlupa Police, Edison Visaga Paquibot, a driver of a Yamaha Mio Soul motorcycle, was declared dead on arrival at the Alabang Medical Clinic in Barangay Alabang, Muntinlupa. The crane was operated by Enrico Gregorio, 41, of Molino 3, Bacoor, Cavite, the police added.
The police said that the vehicles that were damaged by the girder were a Mitsubishi Adventure driven by Henry Zosar, 54, from San Pedro, Laguna; Toyota Vios taxi driven by Rogelio Cueno, 60, of Bagong Silangan, Quezon City; Hyundai H100 driven by Aner Regachuelo of Pinagbuhatan, Pasig City; Suzukı Raider motorcycle driven by Juanito Dumalig Jr. of Alabang; Yamaha Mio motorcycle driven by Reden Abanil Resus of Alabang; and Honda Beat motorcycle driven by Edwin Sagun of San Pedro, Laguna. They were rushed to hospitals for treatment.
Muntinlupa Mayor Jaime Fresnedi has asked Skyway to immediately explain the incident and to execute concrete plans for the safety of motorists so it will not happen again.
EEI Corp. earlier said that it was “monitoring the progress of the injured and are trying to get in touch with their next of kin for proper coordination and to extend any assistance they may need.”
“Our hearts and prayers go with the affected families. This is an unfortunate and heart-breaking accident that must not happen again. We will review immediately our safety and operating protocols as we build a strategic infrastructure for the public’s convenience,” the Skyway extension project contractor added.
A five-year-old boy died when he was trapped inside their house during an hour-long fire that gutted 30 houses in Barangay Zapote, Las Pinas City Saturday (Nov 21).
The victim was identified as Reynan Cloud Bueno of Guadalupe St., Fatima Subdivision, Barangay Zapote, Las Pinas City.
The two injured victims were identified as Lona Alesna,49, and Romulo Fuentez,50.
According to FOI Frederick Suriaga of the Las Pinas Bureau of Fire and Protection, Alesna suffered second degree burns in the body while Fuentez suffered laceration and abrasions. They were rushed to a nearby hospital for treatment.
Suriaga said the fire started in the ceiling on the second floor of a house occupied by one Aries Bondad at about 9:04 a.m. at Fatima Subdivision, Barangay Zapote, Las Pinas City and was placed under control at about 9:52 a.m.
Reports showed that Bueno’s mother was out of their house when the fire started that immediately spread in the neighborhood where houses were made of light materials.
The mother reportedly thought the victim was able to get out of their house along with his siblings. She attempted to rush back to their burning home to save him but was prevented from doing so.
Pasig City’s “Libreng Sakay” will suspend operations for two days starting Sunday, November 22 to help in the relief efforts for those affected by typhoon “Ulysses”.
“The operations of Libreng Sakay will be suspended on November 22 and 23 (Sunday and Monday). Service resumes on Tuesday (Nov. 24),” the Pasig Transport said in an advisory Saturday (Nov. 21).
“The entire fleet of PasigTransport will be temporarily deployed for post-Ulysses support,” the city’s transport department added.
Pasig City has been providing its residents with free rides through its Libreng Sakay program following the suspension of mass public transport during the lockdown in March.
Buses and shuttles have been deployed to pickup and drop-off frontliners at designated areas daily.
Heavy rains spawned by Ulysses and water coming from Marikina River submerged some villages under flood waters and thick mud forcing around 10,000 residents to evacuate.
The Paranaque City government started Friday (Nov 20) the distribution of birthday and Christmas gifts to around 60,000 senior citizens.
Mayor Edwin Olivarez ordered City Treasurer Anthony Pulmano to allot P82-million for the immediate distribution of birthday and Christmas gifts to senior citizens, according to Mar Jimenez, the city Public Information chief.
Senior citizens aged 60 to 75 will receive P1,000 as birthday and Christmas gift from the city government. Those aged 75 to 80 will receive P2,000, while those aged 80 and above will receive P5,000.
“Christmas is fast approaching and this time we have to start with the distribution of birthday and Christmas gifts to our senior citizens,” Jimenez said.
He said Olivarez has not forgotten the senior citizens and the little amount they receive from the city government will be a big help especially in supporting their needs.
Jimenez said the distribution of birthday gifts to senior citizens used to be a semi-annual practice which was stopped because the city government shifted its focus on its response to the pandemic.
Pasig City will prioritize residents affected by typhoon “Ulysses” in the hiring process of its cash-for-work program, Mayor Vico Sotto said over the weekend.
“Prioridad po sa susunod nating batch ng cash-for-work ang mga nasalanta ng #BagyongUlysses (The victims of typhoon Ulysses will be prioritized in the next batch of beneficiaries under the cash-for-work program),” Sotto said.
Workers hired under “Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers” (TUPAD) will help in the clearing operation of areas hardest hit by the typhoon.
TUPAD is a community-based package of assistance that provides emergency employment for displaced workers, underemployed and seasonal workers for a minimum period of at least 10 days.
Sotto said the cash-for-work program will benefit some 3,500 city residents badly hit by “Ulysses”.
Applicants must be between 18 to 65 years old, and only one member of each household can apply.
They must be included in the list of individuals affected by the typhoon validated by the Pasig City Social Welfare and Development (CSWD).
Job seekers are also required to undergo the enhanced chemiluminescence immunoassay (ECLIA) testing for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
The local government has been providing residents with free antibody testing to prevent the spread of the dreaded disease in the community.
“Those who are positive will be admitted to the Centralized Quarantine Facility where we can monitor and take good care of them,” Sotto said.
“Let’s not be afraid to get tested! It is more frightening if we have no symptoms but we have the potential to infect others,” the mayor added.
After donating P6 million to the Bicol region, Valenzuela City did not forget the flood-hit provinces of Cagayan and Isabela.
According to the local government, P2.2 million worth of rice will go to Cagayan while P1.8 cash will go to Isabela.
This came after the city council passed Resolution No. 1882, authorizing Mayor Rex Gatchalian to release the said amount from the city’s General Fund.
The donation is part of the city’s VC Cares Plus Program.
“With the continuous mission of the VC Cares Plus Program, Valenzuela City will be extending assistance in kind and in cash to the provinces of Cagayan and Isabela,” the local government said.
Gatchalian earlier said the city government is making such moves as it wants to help its fellow local government units tide over.
“Although we have spent so much fund in the response to COVID-19 that almost depleted our resources, we are still fortunate enough to have some amounts to spare to assist our brothers and sisters who suffered ill luck from the recent super typhoon while the battle against this pandemic is still on going,” Gatchalian said.
Police anti-drug operatives seized some P175-million worth of shabu from two brothers in a raid in their house in Tala, Caloocan City Saturday.
Police Gen. Debold Sinas, chief of the Philippine National Police, said the third brother, a minor, was rescued as investigation revealed that he was being used as a drug runner of his two older brothers.
Sinas said the operation stemmed from intelligence reports about the illegal drugs activities of 24-year-old Kalif Latif and his 18-year-old brother Akisah.
The Caloocan City Drug Enforcement Unit carried out an operation in their house at around 7:30 a.m. which resulted in the arrest of the three brothers.
The minor suspect was turned over to the local office of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
Seized from them were 25.7 kilos of shabu in 44 big plastic bags packed inside Chinese tea packaging.
The Lasif brothers were immediately charged with drug-related cases.
A septuagenarian street sweeper died after she was hit twice by two vehicles while crossing H. Lopez Boulevard in Manila Friday evening (November 20).
The Manila Police District identified the victim as 73-year-old Lydia Infante of Balut, Tondo, Manila.
The suspects were identified as Dennis Dela Cruz and Anecito Pequit.
Investigation showed that Infante was crossing H. Lopez Boulevard around 6:25 p.m. when the vehicle driven by Dela Cruz travelling southward accidentally hit the victim causing her to fall to the ground.
Then a taxi, driven by Pequit which was travelling the opposite direction also hit the victim, police added.
The drivers rushed Infante to nearby Tondo General Hospital where she eventually died.
One person was killed while at least four others were injured when a steel girder of the Skyway extension project collapsed in Bgy. Cupang, Muntinlupa Saturday morning.
In a statement, EEI Corp., the contractor of the Skyway extension project, said at about 8:50 a.m on Nov. 21, “a crane that was being positioned for its next task tilted and fell on the girder spanning the two posts of the north-bound Skyway extension project.” The incident happened along the East Service Road in Bgy. Cupang, Muntinlupa.
The girder fell on the vehicles below and killed at least one person and injured at least four others, the contractor said. They were rushed by ambulances from the Skyway O&M Corp. and EEI to various hospitals.
Among those taken to the Asian Hospital and Medical Center in Alabang were Angelito Manalo, 30, of San Miguel, Pasig, and John Paul Gonzales, 27, of San Pedro, Laguna, Muntinlupa City officials told Manila Bulletin.
“We are monitoring the progress of the injured and are trying to get in touch with their next of kin for proper coordination and to extend any assistance they may need,” EEI said.
“We deeply regret this unfortunate accident and assure a full and thorough investigation. Our thoughts and concern are with the victims and we will make sure they will get all the help they need. Their welfare is our priority.”
“Our hearts and prayers go with the affected families. This is an unfortunate and heart-breaking accident that must not happen again. We will review immediately our safety and operating protocols as we build a strategic infrastructure for the public’s convenience,” EEI added.
A team from the Muntinlupa City Department of Disaster Resilience and Management (MCDDRM) rushed to the area to help following the incident.
Six vehicles were damaged — a taxi, an L300 van, a, SUV and three motorcycles, according to Danidon Nolasco, head of the Muntinlupa Traffic Management Bureau (MTMB).
The MTMB closed the northbound and southbound lanes of the East Service Road from Alabang to Sucat to traffic. Motorists can use the following alternate routes: West Service Road, Alabang-Zapote Road, M.L. Quezon (Baybayin) and South Luzon Expressway (SLEX).
San Miguel Corporation said that, “after initial assessment, this unfortunate incident sets back the completion of the Skyway Extension Project. From the December 2020 deadline, target completion is now February 2021.”
Last month, SMC President Ramon S. Ang said the Northbound section of the Skyway Extension project is now 70 per cent done and on-schedule to be finished by year-end.
The SMC-funded P10 billion Skyway extension project will extend the Skyway from Susana Heights on the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) to Sucat and back, providing direct access to the elevated section of the Skyway.
It will connect the SLEX and the Muntinlupa Cavite Expressway (MCX) to the Skyway at Susanna Heights, bypassing Alabang to make travel from south to north via the Skyway System seamless and shorter.
“We are on track to deliver the northbound section of the Skyway Extension project by December, and with this, motorists from the south can easily access Makati, Manila, San Juan, Quezon City, and the North Luzon Expressway,” Ang said.
He noted that, “Under normal Metro Manila conditions, you will be lucky to get from SLEX to the North Luzon Expressway in under three hours. You would have to pass through traffic gridlocks in Alabang, Magallanes, practically the whole of EDSA, or various areas through Manila. With the Skyway Extension and the completed Skyway 3, you can get there in 30 minutes without stopping.”
The project, which started in late 2019, will also eliminate traffic buildup along SLEX heading to Alabang and the Alabang viaduct.
From five lanes on the SLEX, the expressway would narrow to just three lanes at the Alabang viaduct, causing huge traffic jams not just on the expressway, but also on public roads feeding into it in Muntinlupa and Las Pinas.
The Skyway Extension will expand capacity by adding three lanes northbound and two lanes southbound.
With motorists coming from Cavite, Laguna, and Batangas able to bypass Alabang, traffic in Muntinlupa and along the Alabang-Zapote Road, will ease as well.
The COVID-19 pandemic delayed the project, originally set for full completion by end of this year. “Work had to stop after lockdown. We resumed work in mid-June and because of health protocols, we had to limit the number of workers at the site,” Ang noted.
He said that, “Apart from limitations on the workforce, we have also had to contend with delays in the shipment of materials, due to restrictions and limitations brought on by the pandemic.”
“Despite these challenges, our engineers and our contractors came through. They worked double-time, to deliver the northbound section as scheduled, by December. The southbound section will follow July next year,” Ang said.
Currently, SMC is installing steel girders to support the expressway and laying pre-cast slabs to make up the road itself.
“After this, we only need to cement the gaps between slabs, and then apply asphalt. While the weather is also a factor, especially when doing finishing work, we don’t see any problems meeting our December deadline for the northbound section.” (With a report from James A. Loyola)