Friday, May 20, 2016

DICT bill now up to the President

DAVAO CITY May 20 (PIA)- The bill which proposes the creation of the Department of the ICT (DICT) is now with the President.

This according to Roy Espiritu, communications officer of the Information Communications Technology Office (ICTO) and attached agency under the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).

He said the bill was transmitted to President Benigno Aquino III a day after the May 9 elections.

The bill could either be signed by the President which will become a law or veto it. If no action would be taken it would lapse into law on June 9.

Bettina Quimson deputy executive director of the ICTO said a Department of the ICT will bring into essence what they have been doing in the ICTO.

She said ICTO is just a policy-making body with the Department of ICT it can enforce and implement laws as the National Telecommunications Commission will be under the new department.

If signed into law the Philippines will join the Asian countries of Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Indonesia, India, Vietnam, Thailand, Brunei, Saudi Arabia and China with their own Department or Ministry level ICT offices.

Aside from planning and promoting the government’s ICT agenda the DICT would promote e-governance, digital literacy and competitiveness, attract ICT investments and beef up consumer protection policies to protect them from lousy IT services and also to ensure privacy. (PIA/RG Alama).

DOT-XI plans Duterte tours

DAVAO CITY May 20 (PIA)-With the electoral victory of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, his hometown has seen a deluge of visitors wanting to meet and get-to-know the presumptive president.

The Department of Tourism- XI is planning to roll out a “get-to-know-your-president” tour where visitors will be taken to places like the Mayor's now famous green house in Doña Luisa Subdivision.

Ever since it was featured in the media, visitors have flocked to the middle-class housing community in the suburb of Matina trying to catch a glimpse of the Mayor or just take a selfie outside his home.

Roberto Alabado, regional director of DOT-XI said there are talks with tour operators on the initial drafts with the plan. He said that the recent elections have created a curiosity and interest about the long-time Davao City Mayor.

Apart from his house part of the tours will include the City Hall of Davao and Mayor Duterte’s flagship project the Public Safety and Security Command Center and the Central 911, one of the most sophisticated emergency response centers in the country.

Even before he became presumptive president, the 911 and PSSCC have become an attraction for many tourists.

Last April DOT-XI  brought Singaporean bloggers to visit the facility which had impressed them. Monggchin Yeoh a prominent Singaporean fashion blogger was impressed by the facilities and likened them those to Singapore.

During the eve of the elections several foreign and Manila-based media were also given a tour of the facilities by the City Tourism Operations Office.

Alabado said that Duterte’s policies in Davao City can become an attraction by itself. The policies which can be replicated in the whole country.

The DOT RD said this is the right time to promote Davao City as a tourist destination. Alabado said with renewed interests they can tell the public that Davao is more than just beaches. (RG Alama/ PIA-XI)

(Weather Update): PHL now in transition period from dry to wet season – PAGASA

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) on Thursday (May 19) said that the country is now in a transition period from the dry to rainy season.

PAGASA weather forecaster Jun Galang said increased cloudiness and rains later in the day as well as the frequent presence of an Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) near Mindanao are minor indications of the coming rainy season.

Galang said they expect the onset of the rainy season happens around the end of the month of May to second week of June.

He noted the state weather bureau have yet to declare the onset of rainy season as there are “conditions” that have to be met.

Galang said the southwest monsoon or “habagat” must also be the dominant wind system in the country to declare the onset of the rainy season.

Aside from the presence of the southwest monsoon or “hanging habagat,” he said another criteria before PAGASA can declare the beginning of the wet season includes the amount of rainfall, which must register a total of 25 millimeters or more, for five consecutive days in five major weather stations.

The southwest monsoon is the prevailing weather system in the country during rainy season or from June to early October, while the northeast monsoon or the “winter winds” normally starts during mid-October and ends in mid-February.

He said PAGASA does not see any weather disturbance near the Philippine territory that may intensify into a cyclone for the next two to three days or until the weekend.

The state weather bureau expects zero to one storm to affect the country for the month of May and June.

He noted that the first tropical cyclone to affect the country this year will be locally named “Ämbo”.

He said that fair weather will continue in most parts of the country including Metro Manila will be partly cloudy to cloudy with isolated rainshowers or thunderstorms.
Despite a fair weather, the occurrence of isolated rains will still prevail due to localized thunderstorms mostly in the afternoon or evening.

The state weather bureau explained that the convective activity brought about by intense heat triggers the formation of more cumulonimbus clouds or dark clouds associated with thunderstorms that brings rains. (PNA)