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Coastguard To Report On MV Princess Within 15-days

Coastguard to submit report within 15-days on capsized M/V Princess

Davao City (3 July) -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo said the Philippine Coastguard will submit within 15-days a report on the capsized M/V Princess of the Stars in Romblon.

"Like many Filipinos, I am deeply saddened by the loss of lives from the typhoon and the ferry tragedy," the President said in her speech delivered during the 41st anniversary celebration in Digos, Davao del Sur Tuesday (June 30).

The President and her party arrived Davao City Tuesday morning and motored directly to Digos for its 41st founding anniversary.

In her speech, the President revealed that about 45 areas in the country were hardly hit by typhoon Frank as she noted the good climate condition that Davao del Sur including Davao City, which is a typhoon-free City.

Even in her 10-day working trip to the United States, the President had been issuing directives via-video tele-conferences with her Cabinet members and with NDCC officials to get to the bottom of the MV Princess of the Stars tragedy.

A total of Php1.4-billion worth of agricultural produce were laid to waste, while Php1.5-billion worth of government infrastructure was destroyed, aside from the Php235-million worth of damage to private property which covers Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Guimaras, Iloilo, Negros Occidental, Bacolod City and Iloilo City.

The President also reported, in her speech in Digos, that Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap and US Agriculture Secretary Edward Schafer signed a memorandum of agreement of Cooperation on Agriculture which would pave the way for fresh fruit sales from the Philippines to USA soon.

The agreement also covers cooperation in support for irrigation infrastructure works and capacity building of agricultural extension personnel.

The latter would involve the training and technical exchanges between the US cooperative and extension systems and local government units, with the collaboration of US and Philippines colleges and universities.

The President said she and Republican presidential candidate John McCain also discussed the US's support in the achievement of peace in Mindanao, through the application of the "hard and soft" approach.

The President said she also asked the US to lead the efforts in addressing food security concerns.

-- By Rose B. Palacio



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