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Showing posts from September, 2013

Battle vs. Bt Talong won at the appellate court level

Manila, Philippines, 29 September 2013 –After one year and five months of legal battle on the Writ of Kalikasan against Bt Talong field trials, the Court of Appeals (CA) affirmed its earlier decision that uphold the right of Filipinos to a healthy and balanced ecology.
The 14-page CA resolution, dated 20 September 2013, vindicated the petitioners Greenpeace and Magsasaka at Siyentipiko sa Pagpapaunlad ng Agrikultura (MASIPAG) along with 15 other individuals including former Sen. Orly Mercado and Rep. Teddy Casino when they won the last legal battle on the Writ of Kalikasan on Bt Talong in the appellate level.  CA upholds its decision and affirmed the arguments raised by the petitioners.
The case filed in April 2012 has undergone a series of debates which presented scientists and experts from both sides.  In May 2013, the CA has earlier issued its decision ordering the respondents lead by University of the Philippines Los Banos Foundation (UPLBFI), University of the Philippines, Los B…

Unity among voting youth can counter vote-buying, says lawyer

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The youth are encouraged to exercise their right to vote in the coming barangay elections and if they are united, their numbers can overcome the number of persons whose votes were bought, said a lawyer. “The youth comprises 49 percent of the voting population. If you unite, even if they (candidates) buy the votes of the poor, you can still overcome that,” said Atty. Pearl Gauzon of the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) during a voters’ education activity at the Western Visayas College of Science and Technology attended by students yesterday. Gauzon said this as a reaction to one student’s query as to why irresponsible candidates are still allowed by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to run. “If the Comelec has erred in allowing these candidates, then the voters should be alert. Our mission is to level the playing field. There should be no qualification that you can only run if you have money as this results to vote buying and political patronage,” she said. “There…

‘Model’ doc

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Medical student Michael Celis wants to be a doctor and a model at the same time and he is definitely working hard for it. He is one of the 18 finalists of Robinsons Place Iloilo’s Campus Fashionista, a search that provides opportunity for young Ilonggos to be models. “I decided to go into modelling this year for the excitement. The doctor side is a bit boring,” he said, laughing. “Once in my life, I’d like to do something else. Not all doctors can say they did modelling,” he added. Meanwhile, Mohammad Essa Ul Abdin said that life has been amazing after he won the Campus Fashionista 2012. “I get to enjoy the benefits of winning Campus Fashionista. I learned to be disciplined, like coming on time for shows, taking care of my skin and at the same time, I still have fun,” he said. He works as a medical representative and balances his job and modelling. Also, Nneka Gee Berte said that after winning Campus Fashionista 2012, she has joined many shows and has met a lot of people. Mohammad tells this …

Group in Iloilo embarks on dog rescue and rehab

“This female dog, we named Hope, was found dying by the sidewalk. The bystanders said that in the morning of Sept. 18, this dog was found limping and salivating while entering a house from where a carpenter tied a rope around her neck and pulled her outside after she refused to promptly leave. While outside the gate, the dog rested but the people continued to shoo her away. Finding it difficult to move her legs any further, she laid down on the pavement. It was only 9 pm of the same day when Ms. Bagaforo heard a crying dog and later found Hope's almost lifeless body in feats of successive seizures. Ms. Bagaforo immediately wrapped the dog and gave first aid measures.” “Hope” was confined in one veterinary hospital and received donations of dog food and medicines, but she died yesterday. This post is among the many stories about stray dogs taken under the wing of Animal Welfare Association-Iloilo, founded this year by Anna Marie Rivera-Wharton. The group is taking the challenge of ens…

‘Promoting TV use among young children not morally right’

Promoting TV use among young children in home and schools may not be morally right, according to an educator from New Zealand.

“During the first seven years, a child learns from imitation. Mass media, particularly television, does not allow a child to live like one. TV viewing is an invasion of childhood,” said David Simpson during a forum at Cinematheque.

Simpson is a retired Waldorf education system teacher who regularly visits the Philippines to help the Manila Waldorf School and Acacia Waldorf School.

The forum was initiated by Mission (Movement of Imaginals for Sustainable Societies Through Initiatives, Organizing and Networking).

Instead of giving emphasis on television, homes and schools should promote play because this stimulates creativity, Simpson, said.

He added that young children should be taught through experience that the world is beautiful but television does not do this because it carries negative images like violence, wars and poverty, among others.

“Children don’t have th…

Promoting tourism through photography

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Pictures speak better than words. With information being relayed more effectively through pictures than words, photography has become an important tool in promoting tourism, a sector that contributes a lot to a locality’s economy. Thus, the Photographic Society of Iloilo (PSI), which has 20 members who are photo artists, has embarked on a travelling spree in order to take pictures of Western Visayas’ wonders and hidden spots and share them to everybody. Carlos Garcia said that this started when PSI founder Bert Onglamsing suggested that they travel and take pictures as a form of relaxation. After surfing the internet, Onglamsing found places based on foreigners’ testimonies. “We started last year and it is ongoing this year. We went as far as Tibiao, Antique in the south and as far as Estancia, Iloilo in the north. In between, we pass by places, too,” Francis dela Cruz said. Dela Cruz recalled that when they passed by Tigbauan, they found out that there is a dairy farm owned by a cooperativ…

Curfew for minors and liquor ban

There were 46 minors who were found loitering the streets of Iloilo City after the 11 p.m. curfew from January to July this year, according to Jorge Duron, chairman of the Task Force on Moral and Values Formation. Duron said that last year, there were 167 minors caught. He reiterated that Regulation Ordinance 2011-676 sets the curfew for minors from 11 p.m. to 4 a.m., meaning, individuals lower than age 18 are no longer allowed to be out on the streets and establishments when their parents and legal guardians are not with them. He said that they are strictly implementing the ordinance especially in entertainment establishments like those in Smallville. “Our barangay officials there are tasked to implement the ordinance,” Duron said. He said, when a minor is caught violating the curfew, the task force takes them and remits them to the Crisis Intervention Unit. “Sometimes, we also return them to their respective parents in the barangay if the CIU is fully booked,” he said. He said a social wo…

Zarraga to go into full organic farming

Amid concerns that chemical farming has contributed to climate change, which in turn affects the farmers’ yield and income, the local government of Zarraga is keen on implementing organic farming among all its farmers. “We have conducted at least three seminars already and consulted with the farmers. I encouraged them that we go organic for the whole town of Zarraga. But, we will do it gradually,” Mayor John Tarrosa said. “The farmers were asked to submit a data of their average income in the last 10 to 15 years while they are using the chemical method of farming. What was their profit at the end of the year? So I can convince them that it’s better to go organic,” he said. Tarrosa said that climate change brings unpredictable rains, thus, the farmers face a bigger risk if they use chemical fertilizers. “Mag-abono sila, basi ulanan kon indi timing, so dula abono nila. Unlike sa organic, less ang risk and the yield would be bigger,” he said. He added that some farmers admitted that they had …

Use generic names in prescription

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As the Department of Health-CHD Western Visayas celebrates the Generics Awareness Month this September, the department advises the public to monitor the use of generic names in drug prescriptions. Delia Tarrosa, chief of DOH-CHD’s Licensing Regulation Enforcement Division, said that amendment to Republic Act 9502 or the Universally Accessible Cheaper and Quality Medicines Act of 2008 mandates that all government health agencies and their personnel as well as other government agencies shall use generic terminology or generic tames in all transactions related to purchasing, prescribing, dispensing, reimbursing, and administering of drugs and medicines. She added that under this Act, all private medical, dental and veterinary practitioners shall prescribe in generic name; the brand name may be included if so desired. It also states the consumers’ right to demand information on all generic equivalents available. She added, “Any organization or company involved in the manufacture, importation…

Teacher introduces innovations in learning

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Prof. Dominique Jacela Maquiran, 40, an Ilonggo teacher hailed as one of Metrobank’s Outstanding Teachers this year, applies innovative ways of engaging learners. For him, the theoretical approach no longer works. In his social studies class, for example, students are engaged in culture and history through role playing, e-comics and other fun stuff. “Social studies is considered as a boring subject. So I find ways to make it fun,” he said. “I want to encourage critical and creative thinking among my students,” he said. Maquiran is also a teacher for teachers. He designed and conducted a seminar-workshop on Equity in Diversity: The Anti-Oppressive Pedagogy which is very relevant now when bullying is most pervasive. “This is my way of responding to the increasing problems of bullying, discrimination and abuse in many schools today,” he said. The workshop trains teachers to be advocates of peace education. “It is most dangerous when it is the teacher himself/herself who perpetuates bullying throu…

‘Stolen pork equivalent to 80T houses for homeless’

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The P10-billion pork barrel or Priority Development Assistance Fund that was reportedly misused by some lawmakers and fake non-government organizations could have been used to solve the country’s problem on homelessness, according to a Gawad Kalinga executive. Joey Mempin, national president of GK, told fellow Ilonggos during the protest-rally against pork barrel Monday, that “Pwede pa ni ma-convert to 80,000 homes for the homeless.” “If ang money nabutang kag nagasto sang ensakto, by 2015 tani wala na homeless,” Mempin said. “I am tax payer. Diutay nga reportorial errors, the BIR asks me to pay a penalty,” he added. “He (President Aquino) should stop the pork barrel the soonest time possible. Our country is the most religious but it is also the most corrupt. This is the highest form of hypocrisy,” he said. PROPOSED SOLUTIONS Meanwhile, environmentalist and civil society leader Nicanor Perlas said that the pork barrel had been a long-time problem. “Subong lang nakita ang dugay ta na gina-su…

City to regulate improper disposal of lamps due to dangers of mercury

In a bid to protect the citizenry from the health hazards caused by mercury, the Iloilo City Council, last Tuesday’s session, approved the proposed ordinance regulating the disposal of lamps by individuals and institutions. The ordinance, known as “Proper Disposal of Lamp Wastes Containing Mercury Ordinance”, sponsored by Councilor Jason Gonzales, wants to ensure that proper disposal of lamp wastes containing mercury is strictly implemented in accordance with national laws to minimize the hazards to human health and the environment from exposure to harmful substances. He cited Republic Act 6969 or “Toxic Substances and Hazardous and Nuclear Wastes Control Act of 1990” which sets the framework for the country’s effort to control and manage toxic substances and hazardous and nuclear wastes. He also said that Section 16 of RA 7160 gives the local government unit the mandate to ensure this. Gonzales said that when these lamps are broken, compacted, crushed or disposed improperly, mercury is r…

Iloilo councilor says breastfeeding was difficult

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The short documentary “Unang Yakap” shows a child being born inside a hospital delivery room. The attending nurses cut the umbilical cord, clean and dry baby, wrap him in a blanket and place him on top of his mother’s chest. The mother’s hand gently moves to the baby’s back to reciprocate their “unang yakap” or first hug. The baby, by instinct, moves his mouth to his mother’s nipples and started suckling. The clip aims to educate Ilonggos about the following: (1) The cutting, drying and bringing to the mother is part of a Department of Health administrative order to ensure that the baby is fed within one hour after birth as studies show that it has an effect on the child’s health and ability to survive (2) The mother’s warm protects the baby from hypothermia and (3) Breastfeeding should be given to children 0 months to six months, exclusively (meaning, no other beverages) in order for the mother and child to enjoy several benefits. For the baby: Increased resistance against diseases and i…

Breastfeed your baby. Here's why.

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There are Philippine laws and administrative orders from the Department of Health that health facilities, companies, health workers and even the public should follow if they do not want to be penalized, according to a city health personnel. Annie Jean Coloso, city health office’s infant and child feeding coordinator during yesterday’s Breastfeeding Month celebration at SM City Iloilo, said that since breastfeeding provides benefits to parents and children in terms of health, savings and intelligence, the government has created laws to push for such practice. First is Republic Act 10028, an act expanding the promotion of breastfeeding, amending for the purpose Republic Act 7600. “This act provides that all government and private health institutions with rooming-in and breastfeeding practices,” Coloso said. She said this comes with incentives. “Under the act, all health facilities are also mandated that a newborn is immediately brought to the mother so she can breastfeed him/her,” she added. …