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Bacolod City, PhilippinesMonday, November 4, 2013
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Radioactive tuna
in the Philippines?
BY AC ALCALA

Bernie Lopez, a political commentator, has warned of the possible presence of radioactive fish in the Philippine eastern seaboard, and of radioactive tuna caught in the Celebes Sea off General Santos City, southern Mindanao as reported in the Philippine Daily Inquirer issue on Oct. 29, 2013.

He has recommended to President Aquino the testing of fish and tuna samples from these areas for radioactivity. The Philippine government is advised to set up a program “to monitor diseases, especially among children, as well as fish in the entire eastern seaboard and tuna from Gensan”.

He said that two radioactive substances, Cesium 134 (half-life two years) and Cesium 137 (half-life 30 years, a long time to lose half of its radioactivity) supposedly coming from the Fukushima nuclear plant have been found in the blue-fin tuna in California a year ago, based on studies at Stanford University. A large volume of contaminated water is leaked to the Pacific Ocean from the Fukushima power plant in Japan, according to Japanese experts.

The symptoms of these radioactive substances in humans include nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, bleeding, and could ultimately result in death.

The radioactive substances are carried in a clockwise direction by the Kuroshio Current from Japan to California to the Philippines in the vicinity of Samar, Lopez said.

It is noted that the species of tuna mostly caught off southern Mindanao is the yellow fin, not the blue fin. Tuna experts should know and advise the government if the spawning sites and the migration pattern of the yellow fin tuna are like those of the yellow fin in order to assess the probability of the yellow fin tuna’s accumulating the radioactive substances.

There are other issues covered by the Lopez article. It is suggested that our people read it for their own appreciation.

But what is important is that our government heeds his recommendation now.*

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Help ready for OFW

A Palace official said yesterday that the government is prepared to assist the thousands of Filipinos overseas workers who will be displaced by the "Saudization" policy in the oil-rich Middle Eastern Kingdom.

The Philippine government has allocated some P2 billion reintegration fund for returning Filipino workers from Saudi Arabia, Presidential Communications Operations Office head Herminio Coloma Jr. said.

He said that with the contingency measures in place, government agencies like the departments of labor and employment and foreign affairs assured the "limited" effects of "Saudization" policy.

Under the Saudi's labor policy, the Kingdom has given illegal foreign workers until yesterday to correct their status or leave.

The DOLE is expected to administer the fund while government banks will serve as channels, Coloma added.

He said Vice President Jejomar Binay, who is also presidential adviser on OFW concerns, already wrote Saudi King Abdullah seeking an extension of the Nov. 3 deadline.

The DFA, had also sent its representative for the immediate repatriation of Filipinos affected by the new labor policy.

There are now more than 4,000 OFWs who have returned to the Philippines while some 9,000 had received their travel documents.

Coloma said that there are still about 1,500 OFWs waiting for clearance from immigration.*PNA

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People & Events
Help ready for OFW

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