After six years of waiting, the Philippines was upgraded to Category-1 status by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), meaning Philippine carriers may now expand their operations in the United States and, eventually, boost tourism and businesses between the two countries. The announcement, first made on Twitter by US Ambassador to the Philippines Philip Goldberg, came as a surprise as it had been expected to be made by US President Barack Obama during his state visit later this month.
In behalf of all Bulakeños, I would like to call the attention of our beloved President Aquino to act fast on a promise he made last year regarding the immediate restoration of Angat Dam in Bulacan, which has been found to have cracks.
On Dec. 5, 2013, at about 4 pm, my husband parked our brand-new car at the Terminal 1 Naia parking area. He walked to the arrival section of the airport to meet our daughter. When they came back to the car, and as they were loading the luggage at the trunk, a ruggedly-clothed toothless man stood close to my daughter asking for money. Naturally, my daughter was frightened and quickly got inside the car. The man followed her, stood close to the car window and said grinning “Natatakot ba kayo sa akin, ma’am?” Since he was asking for money, my husband gave him so they could move on.
Two hundred forty-four, and counting. That’s the number of people injured by firecrackers and stray bullets as of yesterday morning. It may look like a tiny number against a national population that’s well over 90 million, but injury by firecracker is no simple incident. The injured are often children, left unsupervised or inexplicably allowed to indulge in this dangerous activity. And the bodily harm can range from painful burns to the loss of fingers, even a whole hand, as in the recent case of a 14-year-old boy in Cebu whose hand was shattered by an extra-powerful firecracker called “Super Yolanda.”
As of this writing, it has been 15 days since Ramon Tulfo came out with his report that the Philippine National Railways’ installed bridge ties are fast deteriorating (Metro, 6/24/13), but so far there has been no action taken by Department of Transportation and Communications officials.