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Rain showers expected across PH due to 3 weather systems

Most areas in the country will experience rain showers caused by three weather systems, the weather bureau said on Tuesday.

In its 4 a.m. weather bulletin, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said a low pressure area (LPA) was last spotted 1,055 kilometers east of Mindanao.

PAGASA weather forecaster Grace Castañeda said this LPA has a slim chance of developing into a tropical cyclone within 36 hours.

"However, we are expecting that the combined effects of shear line and LPA will bring scattered rains and thunderstorms over some parts of the Visayas and Mindanao," she said. These areas are Eastern Visayas, Caraga, and the Davao Region.

Flash floods or landslides are possible during moderate to at times heavy rains.

The northeast monsoon will cause light rains over Cagayan Valley, the Cordillera Administrative Region, Aurora, and the northern portion of Quezon, including the Polillo Islands.

Likewise, it will cause isolated light rain showers over Metro Manila, the rest of Luzon, and the rest of the Visayas.

The rest of Mindanao will experience isolated rain showers caused by localized thunderstorms.

Meanwhile, moderate to strong winds and moderate to rough seas will continue to prevail over Luzon and the Visayas, as well as the eastern section of Mindanao.

Strong to gale force winds are likely over the northern, eastern and western seaboards of Northern Luzon, the eastern seaboard of Central Luzon, the eastern seaboard of Southern Luzon, and the eastern seaboards of the Visayas and Mindanao.

Fishing boats and other small seacraft are advised not to venture out into the sea while larger sea vessels are alerted against big waves.

Elsewhere, winds will be light to moderate with slight to moderate seas. (PNA)


New DepEd bureau aims to improve ALS program

The Department of Education (DepEd) has established a new bureau that would oversee the Alternative Learning System (ALS) program.

In a statement Tuesday, DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones said the newly established bureau would strengthen the program for out-of-school youth, serving as the focal office for implementing it.

“This will strengthen our initiatives, programs, and policies for the out-of-school children in special cases, youth, and adults as we ensure their educational continuity for them to be able to develop basic and functional literacy, life skills, and pursue an equivalent pathway to complete basic education,” she said.

The bureau is under the Curriculum and Instruction strand, establishing communication and coordination channels and implementation mechanisms within the department's central, regional and schools division offices for the ALS program.

“This shows DepEd’s strong commitment to provide education and help out-of-school children in special cases, youth, and adults in achieving their dreams for the betterment of their and their community’s future,” Briones said.

The establishment of the bureau is in compliance with Republic Act No. 11510 or the Alternative Learning System Act.

Earlier, the DepEd reported that the ALS enrolment for school year 2021 to 2022 is at 239,616 as of November 18.

The enrolment data is 359,749 or 60 percent less than last year’s 599,365. (PNA)


Conviction of Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi ‘internal matter'

The two-year jail sentence of Myanmar's ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi is an "internal matter" that should not be interfered with, Malacañang said on Tuesday.

"Well, this is an internal matter and this is part of their domestic affairs. And so we would rather not comment on the domestic affairs and processes of a sovereign state," Acting Presidential Spokesperson and Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said in a Palace press briefing.

Suu Kyi, who led the former civilian government in the role of state counsellor, is among hundreds of people detained in Myanmar's military junta's pre-dawn takeover in February, which sparked huge demonstrations.

She now faces about a dozen legal cases including two for corruption and one for violating the Official Secrets Act, which carry a maximum penalty of more than 100 years in jail.

On Monday, a court in military-ruled Myanmar sentenced Suu Kyi guilty to two years in detention on charges of incitement and breaching coronavirus (Covid-19) restrictions.

She was originally sentenced to four years in prison, but the military junta leader reduced it to two years' detention in her current location.

Former president Win Myint was also sentenced to four years, also later reduced to two.

United Nations (UN) High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet slammed the Myanmar junta over Suu Kyi's conviction, demanding for her release.

"The conviction of the State Counsellor following a sham trial in secretive proceedings before a military-controlled court is nothing but politically-motivated. It is not only about arbitrary denial of her freedom – it closes yet another door to political dialogue,” Bachelet said in a statement.

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier called on fellow Asean leaders to stand with Myanmar after its military took control of the country in a coup in February.

“I am deeply concerned that the ongoing situation in Myanmar may further exacerbate the effects of the pandemic,” he said in a speech during the 39th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Summit in October.

He emphasized the need to stand with Myanmar in resolving issues peacefully and in a manner that prioritizes the welfare of its people while at the same time focusing on comprehensive recovery efforts.

“The Philippines urges all parties in Myanmar to engage in constructive dialogue with Asean. We are, after all, an Asean family. And if [we] cannot trust each other and [work] together, then who can Myanmar trust and work with?” he added.

Aside from Myanmar and the Philippines, other members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations include Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. (PNA)


No known motive yet in Basilan town mayor slay: DOJ

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has yet to receive a formal report on the killing of Mayor Darussalam Lajid of Al-Barka, Basilan province and whether it was politically motivated or not.

DOJ Secretary Menardo Guevarra said on Tuesday the local police is working on the case but he also alerted the National Bureau of Investigation to extend assistance.

Lajid was with Akbar town Mayor Alih Awal Sali, their driver and Sali’s cousin, Farrad Nurrudin, and escorts when four gunmen on motorcycles ambushed them on their way to a seaside mosque in Barangay Baliwasan, Zamboanga City on Monday morning.

Nurrudin also died while Sali was wounded.

“We’ll let the police do the initial investigation first. If the incident was politically motivated and unrelated to any advocacy, it would not be a proper subject for an AO 35 special investigation,” Guevarra told reporters via text message, referring to the inter-agency task force under Administrative Order No. 35 that investigates cases of extrajudicial killings.

“We’ll see first if the local police could solve it,” he added.

Initial investigation showed the victims, who came from Basilan, have just disembarked from a speed boat and were walking toward their waiting vehicles when repeatedly shot using .45- caliber pistols.

Davao Mayor Sara Duterte condemned the incident, saying Lajid’s “demise is truly tragic and heartbreaking. This cowardly act deserves our collective outrage and condemnation”.

Lajid was a member of Lakas-CMD (Christian Muslim Democrats), which Duterte chairs.

Sali belongs to the local United Bangsamoro Party and is also a Lakas-CMD Basilan member. (PNA)


Full vaccination of 7M persons eyed on Dec. 15-17: DOH

The government is aiming to complete the Covid-19 jabs of seven million Filipinos in its planned second round of the national vaccination days from December 15 to 17, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said Tuesday.

“Ang tina-target natin dito mga seven million para sa second dose para maabot 'yung pinupuntiryang 54 million by end of the year na nabigyan ng kumpletong bakuna (We’re targeting seven million here for the second dose so we could reach the 54 million target of complete doses by the end of year),” he said in a televised public briefing.

The first round of the three-day vaccination program was held last November 29 to December 1, but due to more Filipinos wanting to get vaccinated and to sustain the drive, it was extended to December 3.

The drive aimed at increasing the country's vaccination numbers, injecting about 8.01 million doses in the first three days.

It was short of the nine million doses goal, but in total reached 9.9 million doses on December 3.

The total doses administered is 92,752,986 as of December 6, while 38,699,023 have been fully vaccinated as shown in the Department of Health National Covid-19 vaccination dashboard. (PNA)