July 31, 2023: Metro Faces Devastating Flood as Dam Spills Over

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READ: Dam spillover to flood Metro

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THE La Mesa Dam in Quezon City is close to spilling over, threatening massive flooding in parts of Metro Manila and outlying areas, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) warned Sunday. Pagasa hydrologist Rosalie Pagulayan told The Manila Times that as of 6 a.m. on Sunday, the La Mesa reservoir’s level was 79.79 meters. Pagulayan said the level is expected to rise further because of incessant southwest monsoon rains, which are being enhanced by storm “Falcon” (international name: “Khanun”). Once the level hits 80.15 m, water will overflow, Pagulayan said.Because La Mesa Dam has no flood control mechanism, the excess water could swell the Tullahan River and flood nearby communities. Among the areas at risk are Barangay Fairview, Forest Hills Subdivision, Quirino Highway and Sta. Quiteria in Quezon City, and low-lying sections in the cities of Valenzuela and Malabon, Pagulayan said. On the upside, Pagulayan said, the monsoon rains have raised the water level at Angat Dam in Norzagaray, Bulacan, the main source of water for Metro Manila and adjoining provinces. The level at Angat was 193.84 m as of 6 a.m. on Sunday, but is not likely to reach its normal high water level of 210 meters.

READ: Norway ends Filipinas’ historic World Cup run

THE Philippines closed its historic stint in the FIFA Women’s World Cup Sunday, failing to advance to the round of 16 after losing to Norway, 6-0. The 46th-ranked Filipinas were outplayed by the No. 12 Norway Grasshoppers at the close of the group phase action at Eden Park in Auckland, New Zealand. Displaying its superiority and vast experience against the World Cup debutante Philippines, Norway went on a nonstop attack on its way to a convincing victory. The Filipinas finished last in the 4-team Pool A with a win and two losses for three points and a -7 goal difference (GD). Only the top two teams in the group advanced to the knockout stage. Norway, boosted by the draw between co-host New Zealand and Switzerland, placed second with a 1-win, 1-draw, and 1-loss slate for four points and a +5 GD. New Zealand finished third with a 1-win, 1-draw, and 1-loss record for four points and a 0 GD. Switzerland was the other round of 16 qualifier after topping Group A with a 1-win and 2-draw with five points and a +2 GD.

READ: ‘Providing stable income, jobs key to easing poverty’

CREATING sustainable job opportunities and stable income is the key to alleviating poverty, Presidential Adviser on Poverty Alleviation Lorenzo “Larry” Gadon said. Central to the government’s poverty reduction efforts are its strategies for high-quality job creation, Gadon said. He said that even with the prevailing employment rate of 95.7 percent, 56 percent of the employable workers are in the service sector, which provides temporary and seasonal jobs lasting for only three to six months. He said he plans to focus on providing permanent jobs and sources of livelihood. The country’s poverty rate is 18.1 percent, based on the preliminary results of the Family Income and Expenditure Survey (FIES) of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) in 2021. This translates to around 19.99 million Filipinos who lived below the poverty threshold of about P12,030 per month for a family of five, according to the PSA. The Marcos administration aims to cut the poverty rate by half by 2028. The government has launched several poverty-easing projects, such as the feeding programs of the Department of Education (DepEd), the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), and the recently pilot-tested food stamps of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

READ: Chinese malware in US systems a ‘ticking bomb’

The Biden administration believes China has implanted malware in key US power and communications networks in a “ticking time bomb” that could disrupt the military in event of a conflict, The New York Times reported Saturday (Sunday in Manila). The Times, quoting US military, intelligence and security officials, said the malware potentially gave China’s People’s Liberation Army the ability to disrupt US military operations if Beijing were to move against Taiwan at some point. The systems affected, the Times said, could allow China not only to cut off water, power and communications to US military bases, but also to homes and businesses across the United States. The report comes two months after Microsoft warned that state-sponsored Chinese hackers had infiltrated critical US infrastructure networks. Microsoft singled out Guam, a US Pacific territory with a vital military outpost, as one target but said malicious activity had also been detected elsewhere in the United States. It said the stealthy attack, carried out since mid-2021, was likely aimed at hampering the United States in the event of a regional conflict. Discovery of the malware, the Times said, sparked a series of meetings in the White House Situation Room involving top military, intelligence and national security officials in an effort to track down and eradicate the code.

Topping Business

READ: Inflation expected to ease anew in July

INFLATION will likely move closer to falling back within target in July due to base effects and lower energy prices, analysts polled by The Manila Times said. The median forecast in a poll of 11 analysts was 4.8 percent, an easing from the June result of 5.4 percent and near the upper end of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ (BSP) 2.0- to 4.0-percent target range. Inflation, which began surging last year in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, came in at 6.4 percent in July 2022. It continued to rise for the next six months, hitting a 14-year high of 8.7 percent in January this year. The rate has since eased for the last five months in the wake of aggressive monetary tightening by the BSP and the run could be extended once data for July is released this Friday, August 4.

In Sports

READ: Donaire yields to Santiago in ring return

NONITO Donaire yielded to Alexandro Santiago in his ring return, absorbing a unanimous decision loss in the battle for the previously vacated World Boxing Council (WBC) bantamweight title at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Sunday, July 30 (Manila time). In his first fight since losing via second round knockout to Japanese champ Naoya Inoue last year, Donaire, also known as “The Filipino Flash,” got outboxed by the Mexican Santiago and took a 115-113, 116-112, 116-112 defeat. Donaire, a 5-division world champion, dropped to a 42-8 win-loss card, losing back-to-back bouts for the first time since turning professional in 2001. On the other hand, Santiago improved to a 28-3-5 win-loss-draw slate. Despite the setback, Donaire is not keen on retiring even at this point of his career.

READ: Crawford claims undisputed welterweight world title

Terence Crawford punished Errol Spence on the way to a ninth-round technical knockout to claim the undisputed welterweight world title in Las Vegas on Saturday (Sunday in Manila). Unbeaten Crawford had knocked down Spence three times and had his previously unbeaten foe staggering under a hail of blows when referee Harvey Dock called a halt at 2:32 in the ninth. Crawford added Spence’s World Boxing Association, World Boxing Council and International Boxing Federation titles to his own World Boxing Organization crown. Crawford became the first undisputed welterweight world champion of boxing’s four-belt era, which began in 2004. A former lightweight and undisputed light welterweight world champion, he became the first man to win all the belts in two weight divisions.

READ: All set for Palarong Pambansa

NOT even the rainy season could stop the return of Palarong Pambansa (National Games). After a four-year hiatus mainly due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Palaro officially returns today, July 31, with the Shoe Capital of the Philippines, Marikina City, hosting the event. The general opening ceremony parade takes place at the Marikina Sports Complex but the playing venues are not limited to the aforementioned facility as gyms and schools across the city will be used at the start of the Games on Tuesday, August 1. A total of 9,172 delegates — student-athletes, coaches, and officials — from the participating regions across the country will compete in 34 sports including Para Games.

READ: Opinion/Editorial

The Times, in its editorial, is about navigating the region’s deadly political currents. Read the full version on print or digital or listen to the Voice of the Times. Featured columnists on the front page are Rigoberto Tiglao, Fr. Ranhilio Aquino and Francisco Tatad. Tiglao writes about PH blah-blahs over Spratlys claims; Vietnam builds artificial islands and fortresses; Aquino on the second SONA while Tatad asks whether the Philippines is ready to sail with the Chinese?

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