Lunes, Oktubre 24, 2011

Feature: The Philippines, the United Nations, and the Millennium Development Goals

World War II (WWII) is one of the most trying and also one of the most significant events in history because of its aftermath which has, ironically yet serendipitously, brought countries all throughout the world to unite toward world peace. 

The Philippines was not alien to the vestiges of WWII as its primary city, Manila, was the second most devastated city in the world, next only to Warsaw in Poland. As such, it was no surprise that the Philippines was not indifferent to such show of global concern.

In 1945, the Philippines together with 50 other countries signed the United Nations Charter in San Francisco, USA, with commitments of “maintaining international peace and security, developing friendly relations among nations, and promoting social progress, better living standards and human rights.” (

This international organization replaced the League of Nations which was said to have “failed” in its job of preventing another world war. As of now, there are already 193 member states, with the addition of its newest member, South Sudan, in July 2011. With its 17 specialized agencies, the work of the United Nations has reached every nook and cranny of the globe not only for its peacekeeping mandate, but also for its broad range of tasks that are ultimately aimed at achieving sustainable development in various respects such as social, cultural, environmental, health, and economic.

The passing of time since the inception of the United Nations has seen countless developments among its member nations. And in September of 2000, 189 UN member-countries reaffirmed their commitment to the very goals and objectives of the UN through the adoption of the Millennium Declaration (MD), thus, the Millennium Development Goals (MDG).

All in all, there are eight MDGs which the Philippines is targetting to achieve in another four years, and they have been formulated in a way that they are measurable, quantifiable and realistic. As stipulated, the eight goals are:

1. Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
2. Achieve universal primary education
3. Promote gender equality and empower women
4. Reduce child mortality
5. Improve maternal health
6. Combat HIV/AIDs, malaria, other diseases
7. Ensure environmental sustainability
8. Develop a global partnership for development

These goals have 21 targets which are quantified through indicators set as benchmarks for measuring the country’s progress until these goals are finally achieved in its target year—2015: 

“Containing commitments to achieve the eight Millennium Development Goals or MDGs (and the specific targets under them) by 2015, the declaration reflects the vision of entire nations, working together with international and country-based organizations, to wipe out poverty and the worst forms of human deprivation, and lay the foundations for sustainable human development by the year 2015.” (

Since the apodtion of the MD in 2000, the Philippines has achieved progress towards attaining the MDGs, particularly in terms of gender equality, reducing child mortality and combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases.

Today, as the world celebrates United Nations Day (pursuant to Proclamation No. 483) as October 24 was the actual signing of the founding member countries of the UN, the Philippines is also made to remember and put into conscious action the goals of the UN.

The UN Week 2011 is also an acknowledgment of the programs of the government that have worked their way to the realization of the MDGs and the national goal of overall progress. With the government’s numerous development and support programs such as the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4P’s), Pantawid Pasada Program, Public-Private Partnership (PPP), the K-12, National Greening Program, Convergence Program, etc.—all under the long-term Philippine Development Plan—we are on the right track in attaining the MDG’s.

With this, the UN fully supports efforts of the to attain the MDGs by 2015, and realize the vision of sustainable human development which will be evident in the lives of people and felt across continents, among nations, within communities, and among all Filipinos.

Martes, Oktubre 18, 2011

Feature: Children empowerment in a child-friendly society

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) delineates the rights of children which include the following: the right to express their opinions, and have their opinions and calls acted upon; the right to peaceful assembly and to be protected from abuse or exploitation; and the right to have their privacy protected. 

The Philippines, a democratic country and a member of the United Nations, is a signatory of the UNCRC, and as such, promotes the welfare and rights of children in all aspects -- civil, political, economic, social, health and cultural. Such participation and active promotion of children’s welfare is in harmony with Section 13, Article II (Declaration of Principles and State Policies) of the Philippine Constitution, which states: “The State recognizes the vital role of the youth in nation-building and shall promote and protect their physical, moral, spiritual, intellectual, and social well-being. It shall inculcate in the youth patriotism and nationalism, and encourage their involvement in public and civic affairs.”

In a resarch commissioned by the CWC through the National Committee for Child and Youth Participation (NCCYP), children who have been allowed to actively participate in family and civic matters are more likely to be more confident in decision-making and in leadership roles. These children with more meaningful involvement become more of “achievers”.

The NCCYP-commissioned study entitled “Case Studies on Child Participation in the Philippines” conducted by Dr. Henry R. Ruiz yielded some of the noteworthy findings/conclusions:

1.   The children and youth participation (CYP) in various activities in their own community-based associations and in various undertakings initiated by their respective sponsor agencies has been able to create affirmative and encouraging impact among children. These were clearly illustrated in terms of changes in personality, attitude and behavior, relationship with family, friends, peers, adults and with the community as a whole.
2.   More specifically, CYP has been able to create changes in children’s level of awareness of their rights, expressive skills, self-confidence and self-esteem, and desirable social behavior. The children’s responses demonstrated strong emphasis on development and enhancement of their social-orientation and social skills. CYP had a positive impact not only on children but also on their parents, teachers, community leaders and agency workers.
3.   Because of these changes, the children said they were more in a position now to protect themselves from potential abuse or exploitation. 

These results reflect the importance of giving children the opportunity to be active participants in family and community-based endeavors as this develops the person’s character and well-being.

The government, through the Department of Social Welfare and Development and its attached agency-- the Council for the Welfare of Children (CWC), is in the forefront in building a society that recognizes the worth of children and the youth in nation-building. 

Programs such as the “Zero Streetchildren in Ten Priority areas in Metro Manila”, Local Council for the Protection of Children, “Bright Child”, and laws such as the Juvenile Law are all in consideration of the welfare of the youth who are aptly labeled “hope of the nation”.

The month of October is also National Children’s Month and the celebration is a reminder of the rights of children to positive filial and socio-civic participation. This year’s theme “Local Council for the Protection of Children para sa Bright Child: Pakilusin, Palakasin, Pagtulungan Natin!” also calls for the combined efforts of the local government units to protect and empower children.

Earlier, the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) has called on local government units to create a child-friendly society in celebration of National Children's Month. DILG Secretary Jesse M. Robredo lauded Proclamation No. 267, describing the observance of National Children's Month as "recognition of Filipino children as the most valuable assets of the nation and their vital role in nation-building.”
This year’s celebration is filled with various activities for children. Some of which are seminars, film-showings, productions, competitions, etc. that hope to enrich the child’s intellectual, emotional, and social experience. 

The Museo Pambata (MP) will also hold an arts festival on Oct. 29 where kids can learn more about their rights and responsibilities. The MP Children's Arts Fest 2011, with theme “Dahil Siya ay Bata: Kakampi ang Komunidad sa Pagsulong ng Karapatang Pambata,” aims to advocate children's rights and encourage understanding through learning booths.

There will also be a “Forum Para Sa Mga Bata: “Palakasin, LCPC Ko” on October 24, as well as Cine Pambata Film Festival on 22-23 Oct. (w/ National Council for Children’s Television) which would include theater workshops, theater plays, and film showings. 

Lunes, Oktubre 17, 2011

Feature: Int’l Poverty Eradication Celebration vis-à-vis Philippine Dev’t Plan

In a 2011 survey of the world’s happiest countries by the foreign-based Happy Planet Index, the Philippines was among the 15 happiest nations based on life satisfaction, life expectancy, and ecological footprint. The result shows a positive mindset among the Filipinos, even for those with below to minimum monthly income.

In a study released in February 2011 by the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB), the Philippines ranked fourth in terms of poverty incidence in population among ASEAN countries. The Philippines is behind Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Vietnam, but better off than Laos, Myanmar, and Cambodia. The study showed poverty trend in the country during a three-year period (2006-2009).

The study also showed improvement in the subsistence incidence among families -- from 8.7% in 2006 to 7.9% in 2009. One family per 100 was lifted out of food poverty between 2006 and 2009. In terms of poverty incidence among families, there was only a slight reduction during the three-year period – from 21.1% in 2006 to 20.9% in 2009. Subsistence incidence among population improved – from 11.7% in 2006 to 10.8% in 2009.

However, a total of 23.1 million of Filipinos  are still subsisting on below 2 U. S. dollars per day. This figure is considered among the highest in Southeast Asia.
NSCB Secretary General Romulo A. Virola estimates that the government needs to reduce poverty incidence by 2 percentage points every year to meet its Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of slashing poverty incidence by half in 2015.
Poverty has always been a recurrent issue not only in the Philippines but in other developing countries as well. Every civilization has, one way or another, encountered economic problems, poverty included.  Poverty could actually inspire a nation to work towards progress. It could also lead a country to turmoil leading to worse economic conditions.
Today is the celebration of International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. With the theme “Only a Development That Includes Everyone is Sustainable”, the Filipinos are reminded that collaborative effort of the government, private entities, and the public is the key to eradicating poverty.
In recent times, the government’s poverty reduction programs have seen action as the government aims to have achieved the objectives of the Philippine Development Plan by 2016.
The government’s centerpiece anti-poverty strategy is the Pantawid Para sa Pamilyang Pilipino (4Ps) also known as the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT). The program aims to provide financial assistance to Filipino indigents—the poorest of the poor—while also making sure that the benefeciaries comply with the conditions of the program which require health, education, and family consciousness and responsibility among family members.
The current total number of household-beneficiaries is already around 2.4 million. The government is targeting 4.7 million beneficiaries in 2016. This anti-poverty program has been implemented by the government through the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), with tie-ups with the Department of Health, Department of Education. This strategy is hoped to become an effective means for the poor to improve their quality of living and work towards a sustainable economic upgrade.

The CCT is just among the programs that the government has been implementing to achieve a poverty-free country. Generation of jobs, throught the Department of Labor and Employment, and skills training by the TESDA are also endeavors done hand-in-hand by the Philippine government to make its way toward development.

With an optimistic mindset and a nation which synergizes government efforts, private-enterprise assistance, and public cooperation, the reminder of October 17 being International Day for the Eradication of Poverty becomes not only a once-in-a-year commemoration but an ongoing anti-poverty endeavor that will reap its fruits in due time. 

Phl, UST host int’l conference on Ethics in S&T

As man evolves, so does his ethical standards and value system.

“Change and evolution of ethics and its principles make or unmake the internal value system of man. Man’s ethics swings between what is deemed the past, and what is consensually considered contemporary. Ethical norms do not only differ, they evolve.” (

This is what lectures of experts from across Europe, and Asia and the Pacific will center on as Asia’s oldest higher bastion of learning—the Pontifical University of Santo Tomas—hosts “Global Conference on Ethics in Science and Technology” on October 20 to 22 at the Thomas Aquinas Research Complex (TARC).

The goals of the conference are:
  • To provide a platform for the discussion of ethical issues and concerns in the development and application of the new fields of science and technology, such as nanotechnology, biotechnology, and information technology.
  • To stimulate research on the ethical, political, social and cultural implications of the new developments in science and technology.
  • To increase awareness on the importance of ethical considerations in the conduct of research and development work in science and technology, as they affect society and shared security.

Plenary speakers include world-renowned Prof. Yuan Tseh Lee, the 1986 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry and recently elected President of the International Council of Scientific Unions, and H.E. Most Rev. Msgr. Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo, Chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Science and the Pontifical Academy of the Social Sciences.

Points of discussion include Bioethics and Genomics, Info-ethics, Ethics of Communication and Social Media, Climate Ethics, Nanoethics, Publication Ethics and Research Integrity and Ethics Education in Science and Engineering.

Among the prominent list of invited speakers include Daryl R. J. Macer (Eubios Ethics Institute), Johan Hattingh (Stellenbosch University), Clive Hamilton (Charles Sturt University), Joachim Schummer (University of Karlsruhe), John Weckert (Charles Sturt University), Elizabeth Wager (COPE, United Kingdom), Cameron Richards (Universiti Teknologi Malaysia), Syun Tutiya (National Institution of for Academic Degrees and University Evaluation, Japan), Tom Borsen (Aalborg University), Guido Van Steendam (Catholic University of Leuven), Msgr. Paul Tighe (Pontifical Council for Social Communication), William Torres (National Academy of Science and Technology) and Marita VT. Reyes (Philippine Health Research Ethics Board) and Damian Mapa of Microsoft, Philippines.

This Global Conference is supported by the ASEAN Foundation, UNESCO National; Commission of the Philippines and PCIEERD-DOST.

The conference is jointly organized by the UST Graduate School and the UST Ecclesiastical Faculty of Philosophy and is part of the Quadricentennial celebration of the University of Santo Tomas. 

Huwebes, Setyembre 1, 2011

PAGASA expects nine more storms until the close of 2011

At least six more tropical storms are expected to affect the country until the last month of the year, according to Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) Undersecretary Graciano Yumul.

In an interview during the Broadcasters’ Forum held at the Hotel Rembrandt in Quezon City and organized by the Liga ng mga Brodkaster sa Pilipinas, Yumul said that the entry of the so-called “ber” months is also the foreboding of strong typhoons.

He said that the September-October transit is an actual shift from the southwest monsoon to the northeast monsoon.

The southwest monsoon, also known in local terminology as “hanging habagat”, takes place during the summer months and brings with it warm winds in the country.

On the other hand, the northeast monsoon, more popularly known in its Filipino term “hanging amihan”, draws “cold, dry air which comes from Russia and Japan,” Yumul explained.

He further explained that the “ber” months are when the high pressure reach falls westward which brings about lower temperature.

The PAGASA warns that the country may experience three to four typhoons in September alone, around two each for October and November, and one in December.

Central Luzon and the National Capital Region are most likely to be hit by the coming typhoons, according to Yumul.

Yumul, however, clarified that all the reports by the PAGASA are based on available data which “could change”. He is reminding everyone to constantly check for updates from their office as movement and direction of a typhoon can change in a few hours. 

Mahigit sa anim na bagyo, inaasahan bago mag-2012—PAGASA

Hindi bababa sa anim na bagyo ang inaasahang dumating sa bansa sa pagtatapos ng 2011, ayon kay Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) Undersecretary Graciano Yumul.

Sa isang panayam kaninang umaga sa Broadcasters’ Forum na ginanap sa Hotel Rembrandt sa Lungsod ng Quezon, sinabi ni Yumul na inaasahan ang malalakas na bagyo sa pagpasok ng mga tinaguriang “-ber months”.

Ang mga buwan ng Setyembre ay Oktubre ay ang pagpapalit ng hanging habagat sa hanging amihan.

Paliwanag ni Yumul, ang hanging habagat na karaniwang dumadating tuwing panahon ng tag-init (“summer”) ang nagdadala ng maalinsangang hangin sa bansa.

Ang hanging amihan naman, sa kabilang banda, any nagdudulot ng malamig na hangin na madalas ay higit na nararamdaman sa buwan ng Nobyembre hanggang Pebrero. Nanggagaling ang hanging amihan sa mga Bansang Russia at Hapon.

Nagbabala naman ang PAGASA na mayroong siyam na bagyo ang inaasahang tumama sa bansa hanggang sa katapusan ng taon: apat dito ay inaasahan sa Setyembre, isa hanggang dalawa sa mga buwan ng Oktubre at Nobyembre, at isa sa Desyembre.

Malaki ang posibilidad na sa Gitnang Luzon at Kamaynilaan tumama ang mga bagyo, gaya ng mga nagdaang bagyo ng nakaraan mga taon, dagdag ni Yumul.

Ipinagbigay-alam din ni Yumul na nakasalalay sa kanilang mga datos ang kanilang ulat at ang mga ito ay maaring magbago depende sa galaw ng bagyo kaya’t dapat ay laging nakatutok ang mga mamamayan sa bagong ulat ng PAGASA.

Miyerkules, Agosto 31, 2011

UNESCO pays tribute to UST's 400 years

The Philippines goes international once again as one of its premier universities gets the spotlight in a cultural exhibit at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) House in Paris, France.

The UNESCO House, through its Special Events Section, has organized an exhibition that will showcase the University of Santo Tomas and its 400th year anniversary. 

The exhibit, entitled "University of Santo Tomás: Four Centuries of Promoting Understanding, Peace and Culture" will be held on September 21-23, 2011. The exhibition will illustrate, through photographs, texts, and films, the foundation and history of the University; its major stages marked by historical events and papal visits; the cultural heritage of the University to the FIlipino people; and its vast contribution to the Philippines and the world. Also included in the exhibit are the future development programs of the university.

Also on September 21, the world-renowned University of Santo Tomás Singers will have a musical show, performing a repertoire of sacred songs, works from the classical and contemporary repertoire, and folk songs from the Philippines. 

The UST Singers made an indelible mark in the history of the country when it was twice named Choir of the World in the prestigious Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod (Wales) – the oldest choral singing competition in the world. The UST Singers are the only Asian choral group to have achieved such a feat. 

The University of Santo Tomas, founded in 1611 by former Manila Archbishop Miguel de Benavides of the Order of Preachers (Dominicans), is Asia's oldest university and the world's largest, in terms of student population located in a single campus. 

The UNESCO exhibit is a fitting tribute to an institution that has contributed so much in the development of the Filipino people and the nation through its multidisciplinary, Catholic education which has trained heroes, saints, martyrs, and presidents among others. 

UST is currently celebrating its quadricentennial this year.

PIA organizes bloodletting activity, registers 60 blood donors

Bayanihan might not be so common in an-already globalized Philippines, but bayanihan is still very much alive in the Filipino psyche.
On August 26, that tiny, quiet corner in Visayas Avenue was turned into a hotspot of sort for government employees from different agencies in Metro Manila. That day, the headquarters of the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) was indeed the most happening place in the Diliman area as civil servants from NCR flocked the PIA lobby with one intent in mind: to donate blood.
The ocassion for the blood letting was to respond to the growing need for blood of dengue victims.
Dengue is known to be endemic in a tropical country like the Philippines. World Health Organization officials warned about climate change and how it is increasing the incidence of dengue fever and other infectious diseases in the country. And this year, dengue has made its presence strongly felt especially in the National Capital Region (NCR) where the number of cases has nearly doubled, according to the Department of Health - from 5,416 cases to 10,487 recorded cases during the first seven months of 2011.
The increase is overwhelming especially since the bulk of the cases came from low-income residents, putting a strain on public health facilities and forcing hospitals to make use of available spaces like hallways and covered courts to accommodate patients.
The growing number of dengue cases saw a growing demand for other commodities, and aside from facilities, hospitals saw a high demand for blood supply for those who will undergo blood transfusion. At the forefront of all this activity was the Philippine Red Cross — the institution in the forefront in providing humanitarian services-- blood donations included-- called for more blood donors.
In response to the call and to the dengue inflation itself, the Philippine Information Agency collaborated with the Department of Health and the Philippine Red Cross-Quezon City in conducting a mass blood donation drive last August 26 at the PIA central office.
The bloodletting activity entitled “Dugong Alay, Dugtong Buhay” is a means of addressing the dwindling supply of blood which much sought after not only by dengue patients but by those with other serious illnesses.
The whole-day bloodletting activity registered a total of 60 blood donors, mostly civil servants coming from different agencies such as the PIA, MMDA, AFP, PNP, NBN-4, and PBS.
Meanwhile, Department of Health Secretary Enrique Ona, in a forum held at the PIA Conference Room last week, called for the cooperation of everyone in the community in the war against dengue.
He urged families, barangay leaders, school officials, and teachers to spearhead and sustain community clean-up activities in their respective surroundings. He also reminded the public to immediately seek medical help in case they have the symptoms of dengue which include high fever, headache, muscle and joint pains, and skin rashes.

Huwebes, Agosto 25, 2011

Biktima ng dengue, libre na ang pagpapagamot sa mga ospital

Wala nang dapat alalahanin pa ang mga mahihirap nating kababayan na tatamaan ng dengue kung gastusin lang naman sa ospital ang pag-uusapan.

Ito ang pahayag ni Kalihim Enrique Ona ng Department of Health (DOH) sa panayam sa kanya kamakailan lang sa Communication and News Exchange Forum (CNEX) ng Philippine Information Agency (PIA).

Ngunit nilinaw ni Ona na ito ay para lamang sa mga iniisponsoran ng Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) sa programa nitong Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) o ang tinatawag na 4Ps o Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program.

Ipinaliwanag ni Ona na dahil sa lumalaking bilang ng kaso ng dengue sa bansa, lalo na sa mga maralitang lugar, sinusugan ng DOH ang pagbibigay ng libreng pagpapa-ospital sa mga tinaguriang “poorest of the poor” na matatamaan ng dengue at ng iba pang nakakahawang sakit.

Nilinaw din nya na ang “no billing policy” o libreng pagpapagamot ay para lang sa mga pampublikong ospital o pagamutan. Kailangan din na miyembro ng Philhealth ang mga natukoy na benepisyaryo ng CCT.

“Kailangan pa ring i-file ng mga miyembro sa ospital ang kanilang claim para maipadala sa PhilHealth at maiproseso,” dagdag ng Kalihim. Mababayaran naman ito ng PhilHealeth sa loob ng 90 araw.

Sa kasalukuyan, mayroong 5.3 milyong pamilyang 4Ps ang naka-enrol sa Philhealth at inaasahang makikinabang ng malaki ang mga pamilyang ito lalo na sa aspektong pangkalusugan.

Magsisimula ang libreng pagpapa-ospital sa susunod na buwan (Setyembre).

Samantala, mariing pinaalalahanan ni Ona na panatilihing malinis ang kapaligiran at siguraduhing walang tubig na hindi nagagalaw na maaaring pugaran ng mga lamok. Ito ay upang mapigilan ang pagdami ng lamok.

Pinaalalahanan din ng Kalihim na iulat sa kinauukulan ang mga basurang hindi naitatapon ng maayos at iwasan paggamit ng “fumigation” dahil hindi na ito epektibong pamuksa ng lamok at nakasasama pa ito sa kalusugan ng tao.

Dengue patients will soon receive free hospitalization

Dengue patients need not worry anymore about hospital expenses as they will be exempt from hospital fees starting next month (September).

This is what the Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Enrique Ona said during an interview in the Philippine Information Agency’s (PIA) Communication and News Exchange Program (CNEX) held earlier today.

He, however, clarified that only those who are beneficiaries of the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) also known as the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) would benefit from the free hospitalization program.

Ona explained that they saw the need for free hospital sevice after they had observed the increasing number of cases of dengue among the poorest communities.

He added that the free service, also called the “no billing policy” is applicable only in government hospitals. 4Ps beneficiaries should also be a Philhealth member to avail of the free service.

“hey also need to file their claim for sending and processing by the PhilHealth,” Ona said. PhilHealth will pay the fees within 90 days.

There are around five million identified CCT beneficiaries all throughout the country who are already enrolled in PhilHealth. They are expected to benefit immensely as far as health is concerned.

Meanwhile, Ona is reminding everyone to keep his or her surroundings clean and to be sure that there is no stagnant water within his or her area. This is to prevent mosquitoes and dengue-carrying mosqitoes from spreading.

The Secretary is also advising household members to report to the authorities undisposed garbage in the area. He also stressed that people should avoid indiscrimate fogging especially in public areas as aside from not being effective mosquito-busters, fumigation also poses health risks to people.

DOH undertakes measures to control dengue spread

The Department of Health (DOH) continuously puts the country’s dengue situation under surveillance as this is key to putting a stop to the increasing number of dengue cases in the country.

DOH Secretary Enrique Ona, during the Broadcasters’ Forum held earlier today at Hotel Rembrandt, said that surveillance and sanitation of dengue fever patients are the means to curb the increasing number of patients, most of whom are children.  

Dr. Rose Capending of the Research Institute of Tropical Medicine (RITM) said that the Philippines, most especially, needs to be vigilant in its monitoring of dengue cases since “dengue is endemic in the country” with all the four types—types 1, 2, 3, and 4—existing in the Philippines and in most tropical countries.

Capending said that the most common dengue type in the Philippines is the type 3 virus. However, the type 1 dengue is already increasing in number, sending an early signal of a dengue outbreak.

Capending said that since children are the ones highly susceptible to the disease, it is advisable to have children vaccinated by the tetravalent dengue vaccine which has been proven to be effective against all dengue types.

However, the DOH is still advising the public to seek hospital help in case of signs of dengue infection rather than rely on emerging herbal cures, like the Tawa-tawa leaves, which do not have the approval of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Meanwhile, due to the outbreak of dengue, hospitals especially government hospitals have been experiencing shortage of doctors, nurses, blood, etc. In this regard, Agham Patrylist Representative Popoy Pagayon calls for a mandatory Philhealth enrolment amongst all Filipinos which will help in solving the healthcare woes of the country.

The “universal” health program would provide solution to the dwindling number of health services and service provider in the country. 

Miyerkules, Agosto 24, 2011

Mandaluyong, other cities, recognized for outstanding nutrition initiatives

In recognition of the efforts of local government units (LGUs)in improving their nutrition programs, the Regional Nutrition Committee (RNC) gave awards to outstanding performance of several individuals and LGUs in Metro Manila.
Hosted by Mandaluyong, the Nutrition Awarding Ceremony was held August 18 at the Isla Ballroom, Shangri-La Hotel in Mandaluyong City and showcased outputs and programs from representative individuals and groups from their respective areas.
This year’s recipient of the Green Banner Award is Mandaluyong City. The award is given to the city with the most outstanding nutrition implementation and management program. Manila and Pasig City were named first and second runner-up, respectively.
Other awards were given to LGUs with impressive programs in some areas:
Mandaluyong received the Best in Documentation of nutrition reports and programs; Taguig, Most Effective in Improving the Nutritional Status of Preschool Children; Makati for Most Effective in Improving the National Status of School Children; both Caloocan and Marikina took home the Best Infant and Young Child Feeding Initiatives; and Las Pinas for the Most Improved MELLPI Scores from 2008-2010.
For the individual category, Ma. Theresa Candelario of Mandaluyong city was awarded the Regional Outstanding Barangay Nutrition Scholar for her dedication and hard work in the implementation of their city’s nutrition projects.
Concepcion Benosa of Makati and Nilda Aguilar of Pasig were first and second runner-up, respectively.
The awarding of the winners in the poster-making contest and the jingle-making contest also took place during the event.
For the On-the-Spot Poster Making Contest which was held last July 16, Elmer Grefaldo of Moonwalk National High School in Paranaque took home the grand prize. Reinhart James Torres of Highway Hills Integrated School in Mandaluyong was second placer, and Reymond Malarnas from Rajah Soliman Science and Technology High School took home the third prize.
The Poster-making Contest was a showcase of the students’ interpretation of the significance of breastfeeding in the promotion of nutrition among children.
Present in the event were Mandaluyong Mayor Benjamin Abalos, members of the RNC, nutrition teams of the 17 LGUs in Metro Manila, barangay captains, and representatives national government agencies.
The event closed with the presentation of the award-winning jingles in the recently-adjudged Jingle Singing Contest. The teams from Mandaluyong, Marikina, and San Juan showcased their rendition of nutrition-inspired jingles. San Juan bagged this year’s top prize in the Jingle Singing contest. 

Nutrition Awards promotes nutrition projects and breastfeeding advocacy

Nutrition being the primordial driving force toward having intelligent, healthy, and productive citizens in a progressive world, served as the central theme during the Regional Nutrition Awarding Ceremony (RNAC) held August 18 at the Shangri-La Hotel in Mandaluyong City.
In due recognition of the invaluable service of nutrition scholars as well as the individual nutrition programs of the local government units in Metro Manila, the Regional Nutrition Committee awarded several prizes to outstanding performances.
Mandaluyong City Mayor Benjamin Abalos praised the efforts of the participating areas in NCR for giving importance to the nutrition awareness initiative of the National Nutrition Council. He also encouraged his constituents to uphold their dedication for the city’s nutrition advocacy as Mandaluyong was awarded the Most Outstanding LGU in Nutrition Implementation and Management.
Office of Political Affairs Assistant Secretary Rolando Cuccio underscored the importance of nutrition in the mental and intellectual development of children who will eventually be the economy’s driving force. “Kamalayan at karunungan kaugnay sa nutrisyon ay mahalaga dahil ito ang nagtataguyod ng maunlad na pamayanan,” Cuccio added.
Nutrition programs, according to Department of Health Secretary Enqirue Ona, through his representative DOH Undersecretary Gerardo Bayugo, acknowledged the nutrition-related services done in each LGU in Metro Manila. He noted the dedication and ingenuity of Filipino civil servants in implementing nutrition initiatives that would be lead the road toward progress.
Ona added that teamwork is necessary in order to achieve the Millennium Development Goals as well as the Aquino administration’s goals for the country. “Kailangan ang sama-samang pagkilos upang makamit ang MDG at ang Universal Health program ng Pangulo,” Ona said.
The awarding ceremony also served as venue to emphasize the advocacy on breastfeeding of the Nutrition Council.
Mothers must breastfeed their children as this is one way of solving malnutrition among children. Breastfeeding, too, is seen as the best food for infants to achieve optimum physical, mental, and intellectual growth.
The Regional Nutrition Committee (RNC), led by this its chairman Dr. Eduardo Janairo, has been active in engaging LGUs in their active implementation, management, and innovation of nutrition projects to promote healthy living among their constituents.
The Regional Nutrition Evaluating Team, chaired by Philippine Information Agency’s Lucia Broño, took the lead in evaluating the nutrition programs of the various LGUs in the National Capital Region and in selecting the most outstanding and effective programs. 

Biyernes, Agosto 5, 2011

DepEd reviews policies and changes in the country's educational system

With the recent proposals and revisions in the country's educational system, the Department of Education (DepED) is in the process of reviewing to come up with the most effective and viable plan to implement such changes.

This is according to DepEd Assistant Secretary Tonisito Umali during a forum of broadcasters held yesterday at the Hotel Rembrandt in Quezon City.

The statement was also made during the discussion of the implementation of the K12 program which was already approved by the government. The K12 requires an additional two years in the basic education of students in the country.

According to Umali, reviews have yet to be made regarding the implementation of K12 and the cooperation of colleges and universities are needed as the said K12 program, once implemented, "will affect the first and second year college levels of tertiary institutions as additional years will have to be taken by present students to comply with the K12".

Umali said that arrangements are now being made with tertiary schools so as not to dislocate colleges and universities that would definitely be affected once the K12 is implemented.

Umali also assured that classrooms and facilities are on their way for improvement in order to accomodate more students in the basic education level once the K12 program pushes through.

The DepEd works closely with two institutions such as the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) in the designing of the new curriculum and in the
planning of effective "ladderized" education program of Filipino students.

Schools reminded to follow prescribed number of school days

With the successive suspension of classes in the elementary and secondary level due to the intermittent rainfall, the Department of Education (DepEd) is reminding schools to follow and implement the prescribed 202 school days.

This reminder was made by DepEd Assistant Secretary Teonisito Umali during the Broadcasters' Forum held recently at the Hotel Rembrandt in Quezon City.

The past weeks have been irregular for elementary and high school students, in terms of reporting to school because of the daily downpour in Metro Manila and other areas in Luzon and Visayas. 

Umali said that make-up classes depend on the schools. "It is within the school principal and school division superintendent if their school will conduct make-up classes," he said. 

"Schools should follow the mandatory 202 school days, with the 180 allotted for actual classroom learning, and the remaining 22 as buffer days which institutions use for school activities like intramurals, foundation week, etc," Umali added.

According to Umali, class suspensions are counted in the 22 buffer days, so when schools exceed the allotted buffers, "it would be time for them to conduct make-up classes."

The required number of school days is in accordance to Department of Education Order 28 which schools nationwide should adhere to.