Filipinos mobilize support for Duterte

Updated 29 March 2016

Filipinos mobilize support for Duterte

RIYADH: A gathering of Filipinos and their families, estimated at 1,000, rallied here Friday as overseas absentee voters (OAVs) expressed and renewed their support to Rodrigo (Rody) Duterte, Davao City mayor and presidential candidate.
According to Manila Bulletin’s Facebook survey, as of 11:49 a.m., March 15, 2016, Duterte dominated the poll with 58 percent of 35,989 respondents rooting for him. Former Interior Secretary Mar Roxas followed, taking 25 percent of the votes; while Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago received a nod from 9 percent of those who have cast their votes. The survey question was: Who are you voting for the 2016 elections?
Nadzker Hatnett, PR and media head of the Duterte Middle East Movement under Partido Demokratiko Pilipino Lakas Ng Bayan (PDP-Laban), said that the gathering bannered under theme, Make it happen: OFWs worldwide support, Duterte solid votes.
He added that the electoral objective of the group is to convert Duterte’s support into votes in this election.
“At least 40 OFW organizations’ representatives have attended aside from Filcom leaders and personalities,” Hatnett averred.
“Our group will start to quantify the expected votes we can deliver for Duterte from the pledge votes of overseas absentee voters and their families in Philippines,” the group’s PR man added. “Our target is to get the votes of at least 70 percent to 90 percent maximum of the total overseas absentee voters,” he said.
“We are constantly receiving invitations from various Filipino organizations here Kingdom-wide and in other Gulf countries where there are large concentrations of OFWs. These organizations wanted us to be with them to confirm their pledge of support for Mayor Duterte,” he added.
Hatnett revealed that last week the team was invited by a group of Filipino organizations during the opening of a basketball tournament in Alkhobar, in the eastern province of Saudi Arabia, as its guest speaker discussing Duterte’s program and plans for OFWs. There are around 1.3 million OAVs who are expected to cast votes from the start of the one-month duration overseas absentee voting on.
The event was attended by Nedhal Abu Abdulrahman, a Saudi, who drew attention of the crowd because of his address to the gathering in fluent English and Tagalog throwing his support to Duterte.
“I participated in the event because I am passionate about the Philippines and the Filipino people. My several visits to the country included the city of Davao, which I found is one of safest, cleanest, and busiest cities there as a result of the relentless efforts sound effective leadership of its Mayor Duterte,” he told Arab News.
“Because Filipinos are decent, articulated, and well educated people, I think they deserve Duterte, who symbolizes peace, harmony and productivity, and they can compete with their neighbors in Taiwan, Japan, and Korea,” he added. A recorded video of his speech posted on Facebook got more than 1.1 million views since Friday.


Riyadh roads turn green as world’s largest urban greening project branches out

Based on experience, roads and streets without trees contain eight to 10 times the amount of dust compared with streets lined with trees on both sides. (Photo/Supplied)
Updated 03 August 2020

Riyadh roads turn green as world’s largest urban greening project branches out

  • Capital gets a facelift as Vision 2030 program works to plant 7.5 million trees
  • Most of the tree species used in the project are from a well-developed local environment with low agricultural service and care

RIYADH: The Green Riyadh project, one of the world’s largest urban greening initiatives, is rapidly bearing fruit as it transforms main roads in the capital.

Major thoroughfares, including King Khalid, Makkah and King Salman roads, are getting a facelift as part of the Vision 2030 goal of improving quality of life in the city.
Dr. Fahad Al-Mana, a professor of Ornamental Plants, Gardens and Green Areas at King Saud University, told Arab News that native tree species being used for the project include Ziziphus spina-christi, Acacia gerrardii and Prosopis cineraria, commonly known as the ghaf tree.
According to Al-Mana, the trees can survive in harsh desert conditions and will grow without intensive agricultural care.
“Most of the tree species used in the planting of the Green Riyadh project are from a well-developed local environment with low agricultural service and care,” he said.
Environmental conditions in Riyadh were taken into account during the tree selection process. The species can grow to a large size in only three years.
“In some locations, they have moved large 3-year-old local trees that were taken care of in plant nurseries to new locations where they are growing successfully,” Al-Mana said.
Green Riyadh will increase the amount of greenery in the city and augment the green cover in the Saudi capital with the planting of 7.5 million trees around the city’s main features and facilities.
The project will reduce the average ambient temperature by 2 degrees Celsius and improve air quality, encouraging people to follow a healthier lifestyle by walking or cycling.

FASTFACTS

• The project will reduce the average ambient temperature by 2 degrees Celsius and improve air quality, encouraging people to follow a healthier lifestyle by walking or cycling.

• The project will maximize the use of recycled water in irrigation works by increasing usage from 90,000 cubic meters per day to more than 1 million cubic meters per day through the construction of a new recycled water network.

• Green space in the city will increase from 5 percent to 9 percent by 2030

“The aim of planting trees in the streets is to provide shade and moderate the temperature, especially in summer, which contributes to the purification of air and reduces environmental pollution by protecting the city from sand storms, winds and dust. In addition, it gives an aesthetic view and the element of nature enters the city and nearby structures,” said Al-Mana.
He added that trees, especially those planted in central street islands, must have long trunks and high branches to avoid hindering the movement of pedestrians and cars. The trunk must measure at least 3 to 4 meters and the size of the trees planted must be proportional to the width of the island.
Al-Mana said green space in the city will increase from 5 percent to 9 percent by 2030.
According to the Green Riyadh website, the project will maximize the use of recycled water in irrigation works by increasing usage from 90,000 cubic meters per
day to more than 1 million cubic meters per day through the construction of a new recycled water network.
Al-Mana said the Green Riyadh project will also reduce carbon dioxide and impurity levels in the city.
“Based on experience, roads and streets without trees contain eight to 10 times the amount of dust compared with streets lined with trees on both sides,” he said.