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Manila Bulletin, September 16, 2004 | Go to article overview

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Coast Guard rescues 317 in drifting vessel

A total of 317 persons, out of 457 passengers, crew, and sea marshals, were rescued yesterday by search and rescue (SAR) teams of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) from a passenger boat which lost its propeller and drifted off the waters of Langoy, Dumaran, Palawan, the Coast Guard headquarters in Manila reported.

The incident was confirmed by Commodore Ramon Liwag, Coast Guard chief of staff.

Coast Guard action center command duty officer Commander Rolando "Doy" Punzalan and PCG information chief Lt. Armand Balilo said SAR operations were still ongoing at presstime, but they could not confirm if there were reported deaths or injuries.

They said the 317 persons on board the ill-fated MV Milagrosa 1-3 of the Milagrosa Shipping Corp. were rescued by the BRP Ilocos Norte, a PCG SAR vessel, and patrol gunboats of the Philippine Navy, together with ships from private shipping firms.

Punzalan and Balilo said that it was a certain Ritzel Maravilla of Milagrosa Shipping Corp. who coordinated with the Coast Guard Palawan regarding the incident and helped in calling for distress calls.

The ill-fated MV Milagrosa 1-3 lost its propeller at 10 p.m. Tuesday, according to a report to PCG Commandant Vice Admiral Arthur N. Gosingan by Lieutenant Commander Arturo Halamani, who was then the PCG Action Center command duty officer at the time of the incident. (Yul Malicse)

New contraceptives in birth control cited

The use of modern contraceptive methods is an important key in controlling the increasing population in the country.

This was declared yesterday by United Nations Population Fund (UNPFA) Country Representative Dr. Zahidul Huque during the 10th year celebration of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), an international coalition of population and development advocates.

Huque underscored the importance of such methods as he posed a challenge to the government to properly allocate resources to procure contraceptives in order to meet the target of the international treaty on population and development.

He said that this is the best time for the government to channel some of the resources for the procurement of contraceptives since the supply in the country is slowly being depleted.

Huque also cited the low contraceptive prevalence rate (CRP) in the country, which, he said, must be properly dealt with to solve the population problem.

"The CPR in the Philippines is low, it is only 33 percent. If you want to reduce the fertility rate, you need to increase the use of modern contraceptive methods by 11 percent. …

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