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NCR cities urge public to get booster shots as Covid cases rise

MANILA - The local government units in the National Capital Region urged residents to avail of the booster shots amid the increase of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases in the country.In Navotas City, the local government on Wednesday called on its residents to avail of the Covid-19 b.....»»

Category: newsSource: manilanews manilanewsJul 13th, 2022

Covid-19 is here to stay

No doubt waves of jubilation and sighs of relief greeted the recent announcement from the World Health Organization saying Covid-19 was no longer a global health emergency. At a meeting on the pandemic held last week, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesuss told a press conference that the pandemic had been observed to be on a downward trend. “This trend has allowed most countries to return to life as we know it before Covid-19,” said Tedros. “Our emergency committee recommended to me to end the public health emergency of international concern. I have accepted that advice.” Despite the welcome announcement, the WHO official noted that the virus has not stopped spreading, although with a lower level of concern, and therefore, continues to be a global health threat. People should not take the recent WHO pronouncement as a signal to let one’s guard down and return to their usual pre-pandemic lifestyles. It has been observed that even before the seemingly welcome pronouncement, many have long discarded their masks, joined big crowds or assemblies, and have been quite careless in paying attention to hygienic practices. Saying that the virus will continue to transmit, Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of WHO’s Health Emergencies Programme, said that this is seen in terms of the virus’s evolution every day “in our communities, age vulnerabilities, protection vulnerabilities, and many other things.” The Department of Health, for its part, said the public should not be confident since the threat remains. “The WHO did not say the pandemic is over, “said DoH Officer-in-Charge Ma. Rosario Vergeire. As early as January of this year, the DoH official already said that if the state of a public health emergency is lifted, the country “will remain cautious and vigilant” and will still be imposing the same restrictions to prevent the spread of the dreaded virus. Although health authorities have not yet seen any reason to ring the alarm bells, a rise in Covid-19 cases has been reported lately. A DoH bulletin issued last week said new Covid-19 cases in the Philippines rose 112 percent in the first week of May. There were 9,465 additional infections, 50 severe and critical. An average of 1,352 cases a day were recorded in the past week. No need to panic, though, as the situation today has been manageable because of recent advances in technology and the availability of vaccines and bed space in hospitals, unlike the first months of the pandemic. The DoH attributed this state of affairs to “our effective and collaborative responses to recover and re-open our economy fully.” So why the increase in the number of cases? Many cite the recent incidences of long weekends that translate to more occasions involving reunions or meetings with families and friends, the opening up of more public spaces like malls, transport stations, cinemas and concert and fun event venues that are virtual crowd-drawers. The disease is not going away anytime soon and is here to stay, said Dr. Maria Van Kerkhave, head of the WHO’s program on emerging diseases. “We just need to make sure we are tracking the virus because it will continue to evolve.” And we must all do our part to ensure that it does not lead to more hospital confinements and, worse, deaths. Since it was declared a pandemic in early 2020, there have been more than 765 million confirmed cases and 7 million deaths worldwide. “Covid-19 continues to leave deep scars,” warns Tedros. “Those scars must serve as permanent reminders of the potential for new viruses to emerge with devastating consequences.” Despite being vaccinated, I got infected with COVID-19 early on during my stint as commissioner of the Bureau of Customs last year. The good thing was I quickly recovered and returned to work after my self-imposed quarantine ended. Recently, there have been reports of outbreaks in areas where people gather, particularly in crowded indoor settings where people talk loudly or breathe heavily, like gyms and music or choir practices. Be involved. Wear your mask again if you have dropped the habit. As health experts suggest, avoid the 3Cs: closed spaces, crowded locations, and close contact with people, especially in places with inadequate ventilation. Better, meet your friends outside. Isolate yourself when sick and follow your doctor’s prescriptions. Get vaccine/booster shots when necessary. The life you save may be your own. The post Covid-19 is here to stay appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsMay 14th, 2023

Continue wearing masks, Lacuna urges workers

Manila Mayor Honey Lacuna on Tuesday urged constituents, particularly those working indoors, to continue wearing masks despite the recent declaration by the World Health Organization that Covid-19 is no longer a global health emergency. “We all know that Covid-19 is still here with us. Even if cases had gone down in our city, we must continue being vigilant,” she said. Lacuna specifically made mention of those working within the offices in Manila City Hall, who deal with walk-in individuals on a daily basis. She said such workers stand at the frontline of providing public service, thus the need to double their vigilance. Apart from wearing masks, Lacuna also urged residents to observe physical distancing and to regularly wash their hands. She also called on the city employees to avoid eating altogether as this also paves the way for sure transmission. The mayor stressed that while the state of public health emergency had been lifted, the number of people getting infected with Covid-19 in Manila continues to go up. “Covid cases in our city continue to rise,” she warned, citing figures provided her office by city offices and hospitals. She noted that the number of those infected is based only on those who have taken the RT-PCR tests and does not even include those who just use the antigen tests. Lacuna also urged the city hall employees who have not completed their primary and booster shots to go to the city government employees’ clinic and have themselves vaccinated for their own protection. Her call came as the Philippines continues to grapple with the pandemic. As of 8 March 2023, the country has recorded a total of 3,722,223 Covid-19 cases, including 60,443 deaths. The post Continue wearing masks, Lacuna urges workers appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsMay 8th, 2023

Lacuna appeals: Get your kids jabbed

Manila Mayor Honey Lacuna reiterated on Sunday her call to parents and guardians to have their children or wards vaccinated, saying that those given primary vaccination among kids aged five to 11 has not even reached 50 percent of the targeted number which is 168,446. Lacuna also called on senior citizens to have themselves vaccinated either with primary or booster shots and for adults aged 18 to 59 to get boosted, especially since they are the ones who are most fond of always getting out. The mayor made the appeal citing the recent continued rise in the number of Covid-19 cases based on figures that she receives from the city’s health cluster. “Vaccination is still the solution. The cases of infection are increasing, so we need to protect our children,” Lacuna said. Citing records, the Manila mayor stressed that while the number of senior citizens who have gotten their first dose was at over 95 percent, the number has gone down to about 86 percent when it came to booster shots, with only 60 percent recorded for the first and 20 percent for the second booster. In the case of kids belonging to the five to 11 age group, the number of those who have been given primary shots is yet to reach 50 percent. While figures are better in the case of minors aged 12 to 17 who have registered 100 percent for the primary shots, only 10 percent availed of the first booster. Adults aged 18 to 59 meanwhile, registered more than 100 percent for the first and second dose. However, the number went down to 65 percent for the first booster and declined to a measly eight percent for the second. She also added that her appeal is also directed to those who are considered as “high risk individuals” such as senior citizens, pregnant women, the immuno-compromised and those with comorbidities. Lacuna said that the city government is still offering free Covid-19 vaccination at all of its health centers. She urged residents to take advantage of this offer and get vaccinated as soon as possible. The post Lacuna appeals: Get your kids jabbed appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsMay 14th, 2023

Lacuna to seniors: Get jabbed

The local government of Manila on Sunday is appealing to senior citizens in the city to get their Covid-19 jabs at health centers across the city as virus cases are still on the rise amid the easing of restrictions. Manila Mayor Honey Lacuna stressed that while vaccinations in the city have reached a high of 86.9 percent when it comes to the city’s elderly citizens getting the primary shots, the number of senior citizens that have taken the second booster shot is only at 20.60 percent. When it comes to the 18-59 age group, Manila has already exceeded 100 percent. The mayor explained that while 10 kids are needed for just a vial of Covid-19 vaccine, it is only six in the case of senior citizens. “We are urging our senior citizens to get their secondary vaccine shots,” Lacuna said. “We are also encouraging those who have not yet availed of the free Covid-19 vaccine to get jabbed. Lacuna lamented that the Department of Health already opened the second booster to the general population and yet, the senior citizens who have been prioritized along with health frontliners and those who are immunocompromised, would not avail of it. The lady mayor — who is also a doctor — said the city is just awaiting the guidelines from the DoH regarding the deployment of second booster shots as she stressed that there is a sharp rise in the number of Covid-19 cases in the city compared to the figures in the past few weeks. Citing records gathered by the city government, Lacuna said that the positivity rate in Sta. Ana Hospital alone is at 5.45 percent. Lacuna expressed hope that the city may already be able to give the second booster shots to the general population by the coming week. The post Lacuna to seniors: Get jabbed appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsApr 16th, 2023

Get vaccinated , Iloilo City residents told as Covid cases rise

ILOILO CITY - The city government on Monday appealed to eligible adult population to get their booster shots amid the increasing Covid-19 cases.In a press conference, Mayor Jerry Trenas also urged the qualified children to get their primary doses in preparation for the face-to-face classes......»»

Category: newsSource:  manilanewsRelated NewsJul 11th, 2022

‘Let’s all do our part, stay home’, Mayor Vico Sotto urges public

Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto has called on the public to observe health and safety measures as the number of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in the country continue to rise. (JANSEN ROMERO / MANILA BULLETIN) “Punong-puno ang mga ospital sa rehiyon, public and private. (Hospitals in the region are at full capacity, both public and private.) Let’s all do our part,” Sotto wrote on his social media pages. “Bukod sa trabaho at pagbili ng essential goods, sa bahay na lang muna tayo (Aside from work and buying essential goods, I urge you to just stay home,” he stressed. The mayor also reminded the public to observe social distancing, wear face masks, and follow health safety standards. Last month, the Medical City in Pasig and the St. Luke’s Medical Center in Quezon City and Taguig announced that they have reached full capacity for COVID-19 patients. The Victor R. Potenciano (VRP) Medical Center in Mandaluyong City also urged suspected and confirmed patients to seek medical assistance from other health facilities. On Sunday, the Pasig City government announced that City Hall will be run by a skeleton force for two weeks starting Monday (Aug. 3). Sotto said the offices of the health, peace and order, and other frontline sections will remain open and fully operational. “Pasig City Hall will return to a skeletal workforce for two weeks starting tomorrow Aug. 3, 2020 until Aug. 16, 2020,” he said. Pasig City has 1,826 COVID-19 confirmed cases with 783 recoveries, 119 deaths, and 924 active cases as of Aug. 1, the local government reported......»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsAug 2nd, 2020

England, Wales grapple with growing teen knife violence

Elianne Andam was headed to school like any other teenager in London last month when she was stabbed to death, becoming the latest victim of rising knife crime in England and Wales. The 15-year-old suffered a "brutal attack" in Croydon, south London, shortly after she and her friends had stepped off a public bus on a Wednesday morning, prosecutors have said. A 17-year-old boy arrested nearby just over an hour later will stand trial for her murder next April. One of the latest tragic cases of teen-on-teen violence in the British capital, it has become an increasingly common problem nationwide over recent decades. A few days after Andam's death, 16-year-old Taye Faik died in Edmonton, north London, following another knife attack. He was the 14th teenager to be killed with a blade in the city this year. The UK government, and mayors in some of its biggest cities and regions, have repeatedly vowed to tackle the persistent scourge of youth violence, but appear to be failing. Between 2012 and 2022, the number of knife and offensive weapon offences amongst children aged 10-17 increased by 19 percent across England and Wales, according to the Ministry of Justice. That compared with an eight percent increase among adults. 'Social issue' With the sale of guns strictly controlled in Britain, teenagers intent on violence typically turn to blades, including machetes and so-called "zombie" knives. Inspired by horror films, they often have one smooth blade and one serrated edge, and feature graphics or text on the blade or handle glorifying violence. Possessing them has been illegal since 2016, but some manufacturers have managed to evade this quasi-ban by altering their design. The government unveiled plans in August to outlaw them entirely and give police more powers to seize the weapons, which it said "seem to be designed to look menacing with no practical purpose". The new legislation will also increase the maximum penalty for their "importation, manufacturing, possession and sale" from six months to two years. However, machetes and zombie-style knives can be bought with relative ease for less than £50 ($60) on social media platforms like TikTok or Snapchat, circumventing online age restrictions, according to anti-knife crime campaigners. They urge more focus on the roots of the problem. "Knife crime isn't just a law-and-order issue, it's a social issue," Patrick Green, president of the Ben Kinsella Trust, told AFP. The anti-knife crime charity is named after a London teenager murdered in 2008. "When you start to unpick knife crime, you start to look at social deprivation, poverty, the lack of social mobility, mental health probation for young people," Green said. 'Awful weapons' Youth knife violence is more prevalent in Britain than many other European countries, he noted. "It's difficult to determine why exactly," Green added. London mayor Sadiq Khan's office blamed the austerity policies of successive Tory governments in power since 2010, which it argued have "decimated youth services" in the capital and beyond. As many as 130 centers offering sports and arts activities in the city have closed over that period, its statement noted. The pandemic and the country's worst cost-of-living crisis in a generation, driven by decades-high inflation, are also seen as contributing to the problem. Following the recent knife crime deaths in the capital, the Labour mayor urged the Conservative government in a letter "to speed up the legislation so we can ban these awful weapons as soon as possible". "The proposals also need to be toughened up to close the loopholes that could still allow the sale of these weapons," Khan added. He also wrote this month to London's 500 secondary schools reiterating that wand metal detectors to screen pupils for weapons were available, as well as police officers to deliver knife crime prevention talks. His opposition Labour party -- well ahead in polls for over a year -- has pledged to spend up to £100 million if it wins power in an election expected next year on a "Young Futures" program. It would fund new youth mentors and mental health hubs in every community, youth workers in schools set up for troubled students and hospitals, alongside wide-ranging public sector reforms. The post England, Wales grapple with growing teen knife violence appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 20th, 2023

Ombudsman vindicates (3)

It was the incendiary Independent Auditor’s Report on the Department of Health’s accounts and financial operations, crafted by a state auditor, a colleague of Heidi Mendoza’s, and released prematurely that roused strife between former CoA chairpersons allied with the senators of the Republic against President Rodrigo Duterte and Health Secretary Francisco Duque. On CoA’s and the senators’ side were Grace Pulido Tan, Heidi Mendoza and Michael Aguinaldo allied with Senators Richard Gordon, Franklin Drilon, Leila de Lima, Risa Hontiveros and Kiko Pangilinan. Words and deeds are enough to establish culpability for conspiracy by the former CoA chiefs and the senators of the Republic to destabilize the Duterte administration, to say the least, and to incite the people to sedition, at most. Immediately, this column issued commentaries informing the people that the report released by CoA on the alleged irregularities in DoH funds for Covid-19 was not an annual audit report but mere Audit Observation Memorandums, or AOMs, that were released prematurely. Almost instantaneously, Mendoza came from nowhere to declare that the release of the CoA findings on the P67.32 billion in DoH funds was not premature. The writings and voices of the former CoA chairpersons were loud, clear and eloquent in defense of an annual audit report that never was. “Today I weep for my colleague, a CoA-UN auditor, who just died of a heart attack. He was the auditor behind the DoH report. Stress can kill. Please let us offer a minute of prayer,” Mendoza said. Mendoza was referring to lawyer Jake Cimafranca who wrote the Independent Auditor’s Report on DoH’s accounts. Both Mendoza and Grace Pulido Tan were quick to say that the CoA annual audit report on DoH’s accounts and financial operations was regular and went through the process of review and approval before its release. The release was not premature, both said. The premature release put CoA under fire from President Duterte and administration officials like DoH Secretary Francisco Duque and allies for the screaming headlines in local newspapers and internet news flashes in capital cities around the world that said P67.32 billion intended to protect the people from Covid-19 was being lost to corruption. During the House hearing on CoA’s audit of the DoH, then CoA Chairperson Michael Aguinaldo announced that CoA would continue making and publishing audit reports on government agencies despite criticism from Duterte and Duque. Citing the huge misstatements and deficiencies contained in the Independent Auditor’s Report,  Senator Leila M. De Lima submitted P.S. Res. No. 859 ( Resolution directing the appropriate Senate committee to conduct an inquiry in aid of legislation on the findings of the Commission on Audit report on the DoH on the reported unspent funds, misstatements, irregularities and deficiencies, with the end in view of addressing recurrent issues that plagued its services, as well as the persistent faults and lapses that gave rise to wastage even amid times of scarcity and shortages, and holding accountable, identifying and holding accountable those responsible for the same). The Committee on Accountability of Public Officers and Investigations (Blue Ribbon) headed by Senator Richard J. Gordon submitted its partial committee report to the Senate, preluded by a poem entitled “Pity the Nation” by Lawrence Ferlinghetti (After Khalil Gibran) 2007. “Pity the nation whose people are sheep And whose shepherds mislead them Pity the nation whose leaders are liars Whose sages are silenced And whose bigots haunt the airwaves Pity the nation that raises not its voice Except to praise conquerors And acclaim the bully as hero.” (To be continued) The post Ombudsman vindicates (3) appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 25th, 2023

Road rage

Those with sharp memories and local crime story buffs will never forget three road rage cases that hogged print and broadcast news headlines toward the end of the 20th century and into the millennium. These high-profile cases involving detainees Inocencio Gonzales, Rolito Go, and Jason Ivler ended in their conviction and sentencing to long prison terms, with their names forever etched in the annals of heinous crimes recorded in the country. A brief refresher. On 2 July 1991, a De La Salle University engineering student was driving on a one-way street in San Juan City, Metro Manila, when he ran into construction firm executive Rolito Go, plying the road from the opposite direction. After a brief altercation, Go shot Eldon Maguan in the head, who died in the aftermath. Go served 25 years in prison before he was released. Seven years later, in the middle of a heated argument over a parking slot, real estate developer Inocencio Gonzales Jr. lost his cool, which led to the fatal shooting of a pregnant woman and the wounding of two younger children with her and her husband at the Loyola Memorial Park in Marikina City on 21 October 1998. Gonzalez was meted a 14-year prison term. In 2009, a nephew of music celebrity Freddie Aguilar, Jason Ivler, shot dead a son of former Malacañang official Renato Ebarle Sr. after a tiff on a Quezon City road. An earlier road incident in 2004 that snuffed the life of another Malacañang official, Nestor Ponce, also pointed to Ivler as the accused in Ponce’s death. A Quezon City court found Ivler guilty of the murder of Renato Ebarle Jr. and sentenced him to 40 years in jail. There are no available statistics on road rage incidents in the Philippines, but observers have noted an alarming increase in recent years. But in the United States, statistics show 413 people were hurt in road rage shootings in 2022, or a 135 percent increase from 2018. US traffic experts say confrontational driving is more often the case that could be caused by traffic conditions, inconsiderate motorists, and high stress levels among motorists with ages ranging from 19 to 39. Not too long ago, two road rage incidents that have gained public attention because of social media posts that had gone viral involved men in uniform. In the viral video of an incident in Quezon City, Wilfredo Gonzales, a policeman dismissed from the service for grave misconduct in 2018, was shown brandishing a gun and threatening a cyclist in a traffic row. Even more controversial was a press conference conducted by the QC police days later that suggested they were “lawyering” for Gonzales, a former QC policeman. The PNP has no mandate to host such a press conference, it was later learned. In a separate incident, a Pasay City policeman, SSgt. Marsan Dolipas was also shown in a video post holding down an armed Angelito Velasquez Rencio, who said he was an Intelligence agent, after a traffic dispute in Makati City when the latter allegedly sideswiped the policeman. Both incidents prompted the usual calls for an investigation. Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri and Senator Rafael Tulfo have called for a Senate probe into the escalation of road rage cases in the country. It is interesting to note that even President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. filed Senate 2923 when he was still a senator back in 2011. The bill “hopes to once and for all stomp rood rage as on unnecessary and reprehensible evil, and define such as a circumstance that could aggravate, or even qualify, on offense occasioned by it. The incidents involve public order and safety, particularly “road sharing,” a concept that they said is often ignored or alien to many Filipino motorists, added the senators. For his part, Interior and Local Government Secretary Benhur Abalos, whose jurisdiction includes the control of the PNP, said: “For the sake of a peaceful and orderly society, we cannot allow a culture of impunity. We cannot allow bullies to intimidate people with deadly weapons. There must be consequences here.” Still, the incidents persist. Behavioral scientists attribute road rage to several reasons: A need to control other drivers who violate their space, unchecked anger or aggression, huge egos, or a need to be dominant. Others think the rise in incidents lately came about by the advent of Covid-19 when stress levels reached abnormally unreachable heights caused by depression, the loss of jobs or loved ones to the pandemic, and the inability to cope with such. Solutions have been suggested. Push for continuing driver anger management education. Discard the “it’s the other driver’s fault” excuse. Don’t allow anyone to push your “rage buttons” by staying calm and collected when an altercation appears to be headed your way. Yield to others. These may be easier said than done, but why not take the chance? As an anger management expert said: Realize road rage is ridiculous, life-threatening, and not something you have to participate in — ever. And you can arrive at your destination safe and sure. The post Road rage appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsSep 3rd, 2023

Protect (not) their own

Enterprising journalists always insist on getting the so-called “spot reports” that cops responding to calls for police assistance immediately send to their superiors to inform them of actions taken. While the grammar is usually horrendous, the 5W and 1H reports (Who, what, when, where, why, and how) are oftentimes good enough for breaking news despite being sketchy, as in lacking in details. Then some reports are “sketchy” in the sense that the narrative appears dubious, and the storyline implausible because, just to cite one red flag, the actions cited by the cops run against normal human reactions. But then again, when it comes to crimes, logic cannot always explain the violent tendencies of men and women experiencing a wide gamut of emotions — pain, anger, desperation, jealousy, etc. — that throw them off the edge of sanity. For crimes of passion and even road rage, for example, we have a term for that, “Nagdilim ang paningin,” a phrase that roughly (not literally) translates to someone descending into the dark enough recesses of the human mind to commit a crime in an instant. If one blinded by anger kills without premeditation, he or she is charged with homicide if successful, but if the killing was planned or was attended by treachery and the use of overwhelming force, then murder would be. During olden times in the Philippines, a husband who stumbled upon his wife in bed with another man and killed one or both would have just merited the punishment of “destierro.” A legal reference defined destierro as a “mere banishment, rather than a punishment, one that serves to protect the killer or attacker from retaliation from the family members of the deceased.” How about that: Protecting the killer or killers? The intent of destierro, based on that definition, clearly elucidates the point that there are crimes that sometimes do not rise to the level of imputing criminal liability on the perpetrator. The same could be said of actions taken in self-defense. The point here is that even before suspects in criminal cases are brought before the prosecutors for inquest, or before the courts for trial, the police have always exercised control over information pertaining to crimes that are imbued with public interest and so must be ventilated by the media. Cops routinely release mug shots of those arrested in small-time drug busts, but their officials cry foul when members of the media report on incidents that may involve men in uniform, leading to the perception, right or wrong, of whitewashing or cover-up. Take that fatal shooting of “Jemboy” in what the Navotas police claimed to be a case of mistaken identity and of a couple of the warning shots (fired by all six responding policemen, mind you) finding their way into the teen’s head and hand. No spot report that contained the names of the cops that had since been restricted to quarters was released to reporters, while those few who had gotten the names from external sources were prevailed upon to withhold the names of the suspects. A case of double standard, would you say? The sacked Navotas police chief had it coming when he decided to withhold the names of the six cops who, after all, had already been subjected to inquest. Court reporters should have gotten the suspects’ names, too, but again the lid put on their identities was so tight in the few days after the shooting that the public started thinking something was being cooked. More so since the six were only charged with “reckless imprudence resulting in homicide” instead of homicide, as suggested by forensic investigator Raquel Fortun; or murder, as this Contrarian raised in a previous column. A lawyer of Jemboy’s family had said they are pushing for a charge of murder against the six cops. With what little we know of the case, that seems to be a fair enough course of action. Again, the National Bureau of Investigation should step into the picture if we are going to have a credible investigation and prosecution of this case. Out with the sanitized narrative of how Jemboy wound up in the murky depths of a Navotas river, with blood oozing from his head. The post Protect (not) their own appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 19th, 2023

EDITORIAL - Luxury product

The Department of Health is urging the public to get COVID booster and bivalent shots. The DOH should first make sure the vaccines are available. With just 390,000 doses of the Pfizer bivalent shot available, several centers administering COVID vaccines in Metro Manila have reported running out of the jabs. Even people seeking their second Pfizer booster have been disappointed......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsAug 7th, 2023

Suppress TB, AIDS cases — BBM

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Monday said a holistic approach is needed to halt the rising cases of tuberculosis and human immunodeficiency virus or HIV in the country. In his annual State of the Nation Address, Marcos put forward his concern about the alarming cases of TB and HIV/AIDS in the country. “The whole of society must exert effort to suppress the alarming rise of tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS,” he said in his 2nd SoNA. “To stem the tide, the strategic plan is to ensure early diagnosis and treatment and ample testing sites and medications.” Based on the 2022 Global TB Report, the Philippines is one of the eight countries that account for two-thirds of the estimated global TB cases. The Philippines is also one of the countries that contribute to most of the estimated increase in tuberculosis deaths, next to India, Indonesia and Myanmar. Meanwhile, more Filipinos are getting infected with HIV, which could turn into AIDS or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome if it remains untreated. In May alone, the Department of Health breached the country’s 2,000 mark on HIV cases.   Food stamp program Marcos also mentioned the newly launched Food Stamp Program, which aims to address hunger and nutrition-related issues like stunting and wasting. “The FSP shall complement our nutrition continuity programs, such as the First 1,000 Days program which ensures nourishment for the first three years of a child’s life,” he said. “The Supplemental Feeding Program is for our children attending daycare centers. The K-to-6 Program will feed Kindergarten to Grade 6 public school students, who are suffering from wasting and severe malnutrition,” he added. The President also mentioned the government’s efforts to catch up with the routine vaccinations of Filipino children who missed their immunization vaccines due to Covid-19 restrictions. “As of this year, more than 80 percent of our eligible children have been vaccinated against measles, rubella and polio,” he said.   Structural changes Marcos said the country’s healthcare system is “undergoing structural changes.” He noted that public health facilities are being increased, both in number and capability. “Last year, more than 3,400 projects were completed. To improve capacity for specialized medical treatment, specialty centers in various fields are being established and integrated into our government hospitals,” he said. “Last year, an additional 60 specialty centers were opened to the public,” he added. The President also boasted of the government’s success in its effort to lower the cost of basic medicines. “The prices of most important and basic medicines dropped by almost 90 percent,” he said. Meanwhile, he vowed the long-overdue Covid-19 benefits of healthcare workers would be released. “To reward the sacrifices of our health workers from private and public hospitals last pandemic, we are distributing their Covid Health Emergency Allowance and other pending benefits,” he said. Last week, he lifted the Covid-19 emergency in the country through Proclamation No. 297. Health Secretary Ted Herbosa said the emergency allowance intended for medical frontliners and the emergency use authorization for Covid-19 vaccines will be extended an additional year. According to a United Private Hospital Unions of the Philippines report, the still-unpaid benefits of 20,304 healthcare workers stood at P1.84 billion, which is comprised of the One Covid Allowance amounting to P985.6 million, P737.5 million in health emergency allowance, special risk allowance amounting to 16.8 million, and meals, accommodation and transportation benefits totaling P6.7 million. Last October, then Health officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire said the DoH would need a total of P103 billion to pay for the combined benefits of more than 800,000 healthcare workers involved in the Covid-19 healthcare response. Vergeire said the agency still needs to pay at least P64 billion worth of health emergency allowances intended for health workers under Republic Act 11494, also known as the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act. The post Suppress TB, AIDS cases — BBM appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsJul 24th, 2023

Marcos wants all-out efforts vs TB, HIV/AIDS

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Monday said a holistic approach is needed to halt the rising cases of tuberculosis and human immunodeficiency virus or HIV in the country. In his annual State of the Nation Address, Marcos put forward his concern about the alarming cases of TB and HIV/AIDS in the country. “The whole of society must exert effort to suppress the alarming rise of tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS,” Marcos said. “To stem the tide, the strategic plan is to ensure early diagnosis and treatment and ample testing sites and medications.” Based on the 2022 Global TB Report, the Philippines is one of the eight countries that account for two-thirds of the estimated global TB cases. The Philippines is also one of the countries that contribute to most of the estimated increase in tuberculosis deaths, next to India, Indonesia and Myanmar. Meanwhile, more Filipinos are getting infected with HIV, which could turn into AIDS or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome if untreated. In May alone, the Department of Health breached the country’s 2,000 mark on HIV cases. Food Stamp Program Marcos also mentioned the newly launched Food Stamp Program, which aims to address hunger and nutrition-related issues like stunting and wasting. “The FSP shall complement our nutrition continuity programs, such as the First 1,000 Days program which ensures nourishment for the first three years of a child’s life,” he said. “The Supplemental Feeding Program is for our children attending daycare centers. The K-to-6 Program will feed Kindergarten to Grade 6 public school students, who are suffering from wasting and severe malnutrition,” he added. The President also mentioned the government’s efforts to catch up with the routine vaccinations of Filipino children, who missed their immunization vaccines due to Covid-19 restrictions. “As of this year, more than 80 percent of our eligible children have been vaccinated against measles, rubella and polio,” he said. Structural changes Marcos said the country’s healthcare system is “undergoing structural changes.” He noted that public health facilities are being increased, both in number and capability. “Last year, more than 3,400 projects were completed. To improve capacity for specialized medical treatment, specialty centers in various fields are being established and integrated into our government hospitals,” he said. “In the last year, additional 60 specialty centers have been opened to the public,” he added. The President also noted the government's success in efforts to lower the costs of basic medicines in the country. “The prices of most important and basic medicines dropped from almost 90 percent,” he said. ‘Health Emergency Allowance’ Meanwhile, Marcos also vowed the release of long-overdue Covid-19 benefits for healthcare workers “To reward the sacrifices of our health workers from private and public hospitals last pandemic, we are distributing their Covid Health Emergency Allowance and other pending benefits,” he said. Last week, he lifted the Covid-19 emergency in the Philippines through Proclamation No. 297. Health Secretary Ted Herbosa said emergency allowance intended for medical frontliners, as well as emergency use authorization for Covid-19 vaccines, will be extended for an additional year. According to a United Private Hospital Unions of the Philippines report, the still-unpaid benefits of 20,304 healthcare workers stood at P1.84 billion, comprising the One COVID Allowance amounting to P985.6 million, P737.5 million in health emergency allowance, special risk allowance amounting to 16.8 million, and meals, accommodation and transportation benefits totaling P6.7 million. Last October, then Health officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire said that the DoH would need a total of P103 billion to pay for the combined benefits of more than 800,000 healthcare workers involved in the Covid-19 healthcare response. Vergeire said the agency still needs to pay at least P64 billion worth of health emergency allowance intended for health workers under the Republic Act No. 11494, also known as the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act. The post Marcos wants all-out efforts vs TB, HIV/AIDS appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsJul 24th, 2023

DoH’s thrust: Delivering quality healthcare for the very poor

Teodoro Javier Herbosa received a call from the Office of the President about a year after President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. assumed the Presidency.  The caller from the Palace said the President would like to see him in Malacañang, but it was not made clear what the former would like to meet with him about. The night before his meeting with the President, Herbosa wrote an 8-point agenda about what he’d like to do in the department, just in case he’d be asked to be Health Secretary. [caption id="attachment_161645" align="aligncenter" width="1057"] DoH Secretary addresses officers and members of the Rotary Club of Manila during the Club’s Third Weekly Membership Meeting (Rotary Year 2022-2023) at the Manila Polo Club last Thursday, 20 July. At the presidential table are (from left) Dr. John Cenica, Dr. Brix Pujalte, RC Manila President Rafael Mm Alunan III, Past District Governor Obet Pagdaganan, Dr. Paul Kho and Carlos Buendia. Secretary Herbosa spoke about his priority agenda which includes the delivery of quality primary and universal health care services to the people, giving attention to health care worker issues, modernizing health care through telemedicine and new technologies, and taking care of Filipinos’ mental health, among various other urgent concerns[/caption]   On the day of his meeting, he and Department of Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire, who was then DoH OIC, were asked to go inside one of the rooms in the Palace. The President entered, sat them down, thanked Vergerie and told her, “You can finally rest Undersecretary Vergeire, I’ve found my DoH Secretary.” “It was as simple as that. The President turned his attention to me and said these are what I’d like you to do in; he started giving me instructions, he didn’t even asked me if I wanted the job,” Herbosa, recalled before officers and members of the Rotary Club of Manila in its meeting at the Polo Club last Thursday. All it probably took for the President to decide Herbosa was his man for the DoH was to take one look at Herbosa’s impressive curriculum vitae. The pandemic national task force adviser in the previous administration, Herbosa brings to his job at the DoH vast experience and expertise in healthcare systems, public health, hospital administration, emergency and disaster medicine Recounting his first meeting with the President, Herbosa said his first instruction, among others, was to take care of the very poor and indigenous peoples in isolated and disadvantaged areas. “That’s something that you and other Rotary Clubs do around the country — providing primary care in your missions,” he said. Other immediate tasks he was given was to exit from Covid-19; cure tuberculosis, and address HIV which, Herbosa said there’s about 50 new cases daily, with some victims as young as 15-years-old. In terms of Covid, the President has just officially lifted the state of public health emergency in the country due to Covid-19. On the delivery of quality health services, Herbosa said his thoughts on the matter are aligned with the President’s vision which has just been made manifest in the multispecialty medical center project soon to rise within the Clark Freeport Zone. It will be built by Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation, the Clark Development Corporation, the Department of Health, the Bases Conversion and Development Authority and Enrique Razon’s Bloomberry Cultural Foundation. The center, with pediatric, renal, cardiovascular and oncology units, will be the first of several similar facilities to be built on some 17 sites across the country. Expected to be completed before the President ends his term in 2028, the DoH will run the centers. Visiting the site at Clark last 17 July, the President said, “We will establish rural healthcare units, barangay centers, botika de barangay… We will go back to that idea. All of these things we are putting together so that when it comes to fundamental healthcare for our countrymen, we can say that such is readily available to them.” “That’s exactly what we will rebuild, that’s what we will be spending for,” Herbosa told Rotarians at the RC Manila Meeting at the Polo Club last week. “That’s the thrust of the current administration in terms of healthcare in this country - making quality health services accessible to as many Filipinos as possible.” Based on his track record, there is little — if any — doubt of Herbosa’s accomplishing what he’s been tasked to do by the President, and in an exemplary manner that would be of substantial benefit to country, and the people. The post DoH’s thrust: Delivering quality healthcare for the very poor appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 23rd, 2023

Phl cinema in the first year of BBM

Here, we look back at the state of the Philippine film industry since he took the seat of power 13 months ago. When President Marcos Jr. became the 17th leader of the nation, the country was on the brink of the “new normal.” The campaign elections even saw multitudes of crowds in the streets, the Filipinos’ political passion overpowering the fear of a Covid-19 infection.   Covid-pandemic viewing By May 2022, the month of the presidential campaigns, the Department of Health said the country was at “minimal-risk case classification” with an average of only 159 cases per day. By June 2022, when the President took his oath, 69.4 million Filipinos had been fully vaccinated. Along with the country, the Philippine film industry started healing. On the same month, the country went under Covid-19 Alert Level 2, with 50-percent allowed capacity in indoor cinemas.   Live film festivals The Marcos administration saw the return of Filipino film festivals in theaters. On Marcos’ fifth month as president, the QCinema International Film Festival, with the theme “in10City,” held hybdrid screenings — in-person and online. The Metro Manila Film Festival in December 2022, six months into the new presidency, went full force in cinemas for the second time during the pandemic. Earlier, in 2020, during the Duterte administration, the festival was held online for the first time, and the following year, in December 2021, after level alert measures in the Philippines were relaxed, the MMFF finally went back to the cinemas. However, only around 300 cinemas (down from the usual 900) were allowed to screen the MMFF entries. Meanwhile, the 18th edition of the Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival was held from 5 August to 31 October 2022 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines, in select mall cinemas and online. But what made a mark during the Marcos administration’s first year was the inaugural edition of the 2023 Summer Metro Manila Film Festival. The SMMFF was held in Metro Manila and throughout the Philippines. Organized by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority in partnership with the Cinema Exhibitors Association of the Philippines, the first MMFF was supposed to be held in 2020, but was canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In 2023, held from 8 to 18 April 2023 with the theme “Tuloy-tuloy ang Saya,” the summer festival featured eight entries and, like its December counterpart, even held a Parade of Stars. About Us But Not About Us by Jun Lana, produced by The IdeaFirst Company, Octobertrain Films and Quantum Films, emerged as the first Best Picture of the summer festival. [caption id="attachment_161372" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] About Us But Not About Us by Jun Lana[/caption]   The Film Development Council of the Philippines’ sixth edition of its own mini-film festival, held during the Marcos administration’s third month, headed back to cinemas, offering free access to award-winning classic films of the new National Artists for Film and Broadcast Arts at TriNoma Cinema in Quezon City and in all Cinematheque centers nationwide (Manila, Iloilo, Negros, Davao and Nabunturan).   CCP closes for renovations On 1 September 2022, CCP president Margarita Moran-Floirendo announced during a hearing of the Senate committee on cultural communities, that The Cultural Center of the Philippines — home to the Cinemalaya festival — will close its doors starting January 2023 for renovation and structural retrofitting works, and will reopen in March 2025. This marks the first time that Cinemalaya, on its 19th year, which has the theme “ilumiNasyon,” will be held at various venues inside the adjacent Philippine International Convention Center, from 4 to 13 August 2023.   The rise of political films With the country deeply driven by polarized political views, the Marcos administration saw a war between political commercial films. [caption id="attachment_161370" align="aligncenter" width="1800"] ‘MAID in Malacanang’ stars Cristine Reyes, Diego Loyzaga and Ella Cruz. | Photograph courtesy of viva[/caption] On 29 July 2022, Darryl Yap’s period drama Maid in Malacañang, touted as “the most controversial film of the year,” was released to packed cinemas. The movie, about the Marcos family’s last three days in Malacañang Palace before they were forced into exile, premiered at SM North EDSA and was released nationwide on 3 August 2022. Yap, who passionately campaigned for Marcos, became a controversial filmmaker with the release of his Marcos film. Leni Robredo supporters tried to boycott the film, with some Filipino movie critics exposing themselves as heavily political and non-neutral with their reviews, accusing the film of propaganda and historical revisionism. The attempt to quash the movie’s release failed and it became a box-office hit, with producer Viva Films releasing a statement that it earned a whopping P21 million on its opening day and P63 million three days after its release. It was the first time in Philippine cinema history that local theaters nationwide saw a deluge of moviegoers lining up to watch a movie on the big screen, mostly driven by political affiliation. Another unsuccessful political attempt to diminish the film’s release was Vince Tañada’s re-release of his Martial Law film Katips to counter Maid in Malacañang. Tañada’s film eventually won Best Picture at the Famas Awards. MIM actress Ella Cruz’s remark during a press conference, that “history is like tsismis,” further fanned the flames of political debate online. Eight months later, in March 2022, Viva released Yap’s second installment in his Marcos trilogy, Martyr or Murderer, which now focused on Ferdinand Marcos and the assassination of Ninoy Aquino. Two anti-Marcos movies rose to combat the film — Joel Lamangan’s Oras de Peligro, released on the same day, and Tañada’s movie adaptation of his musical play Ako Si Ninoy, released one week earlier. Movie buffs, political analysts, film critics, the press and social media influencers dove into feverish commentaries on the three films, and Philippine cinemas were ignited and, for a while, became alive with social discourse.   New FDCP head On 21 July 2022, Tirso S. Cruz III officially assumed his position as the head of the country’s national film agency, the Film Development Council of the Philippines. He replaced Liza Diño, who was appointed by President Rodrigo Duterte as FDCP chairperson on 12 August 2016. [caption id="attachment_161368" align="aligncenter" width="736"] FDCP chair Tirso Cruz III. | PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF FDCP[/caption]   Cruz, a veteran actor, said that the target of the FDCP under the Marcos administration was to support local films, not just in Metro Manila, but also from regional filmmakers. He also professed support for film students and highlighted archiving as part of the FDCP’s agenda, with 42,000 materials in its archives to be salvaged.   MTRCB In September 2022, the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board released a statement addressing the controversy about its proposal to expand its jurisdiction to online streaming services like Netflix, Vivamax, Amazon Prime and other streaming platforms. The MTRCB said it was responding to multitudes of complaints from parents and other concerned groups demanding that the agency regulate movie and TV online platforms to protect children from harmful viewing. The Marcos administration has seen a continuous boom in streamers, which began during the pandemic, with Vivamax becoming one of the leading local streamers due to the popularity of Filipino sexploitation films. On 23 February 2023, MTRCB chairperson Lala Sotto-Antonio expressed her gratitude to Senators Francis “Tol” Tolentino, Grace Poe and Sherwin Gatchalian for the separate bills they filed that would amend and expand the board’s mandate. “We welcome the move to amend the charter of the MTRCB as it will allow the agency to adequately adapt to changes in technology and the ever-evolving needs of the viewing public and our other stakeholders,” Sotto-Antonio said before the Senate Committee on Public Information and Mass Media chaired by Senator Robinhood C. Padilla.   Eddie Garcia Act In January 2023, the chamber passed through voice voting House Bill 1270, or the proposed Eddie Garcia Act, at the House plenary session. [caption id="attachment_161367" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] HOUSE Bill 1270 has been proposed in honor of the late actor Eddie Garcia. | Photograph courtesy of gma-7[/caption]   Camarines Sur Rep. Luis Raymund Villafuerte authored the bill, which aims to provide workers in the movie, television and radio entertainment industry opportunities for well-paid employment and protect them from economic exploitation, abuse and harassment, as well as hazardous working conditions. The bill was named after the late veteran actor Eddie Garcia, who died in 2019 after suffering a neck injury while shooting the television series Rosang Agimat, produced by GMA Network. According to Villafuerte, productions would go from 16 to 24 continuous work hours per set and would rush productions to save costs. The proposed law mandates that normal work hours of the worker or talent shall be eight hours a day; overtime work should not exceed more than 12 hours in a 24-hour period;  and the total number of work hours shall not exceed 60 hours in a week. Paul Soriano Relatively unknown to most Pinoy moviegoers, filmmaker Paul Soriano was put on the limelight as the man behind the President’s advertisements — way back from campaigns since Marcos started out as vice governor, and then, governor of Ilocos Norte, up until his senatorial campaign, and eventually his campaign for the vice presidency and presidency. [caption id="attachment_161371" align="aligncenter" width="781"] PRESIDENTIAL Adviser on Creative Communications Paul Soriano. | PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF ig/PAUL SORIANO[/caption] Of course, the opposition in the film industry predictably canceled Soriano, the blood nephew of First Lady Liza Cacho Araneta-Marcos.   Dolly de Leon It was also during the BBM era that Filipina actress Dolly de Leon gained international fame for her performance in the 2022 Cannes Palme d’Or winner Triangle of Sadness. [caption id="attachment_161366" align="aligncenter" width="705"] Dolly de Leon gained international fame for her performance in the 2022 Cannes Palme d’Or winner ‘Triangle of Sadness.’ | Photograph courtesy ofig/dolly de leon[/caption]   The 54-year old film, television and theater actress made history by becoming the first Filipino actor to be nominated at the British Academy Film Awards and Golden Globe Awards. Filipino movie fans and critics, having been exposed to global content since the rise of the streamers, plus the proliferation of self-published movie reviews, are generally still disappointed with the output and system of the Philippine film industry, but filled with hope that, with full support from the government, Philippine cinema will finally become truly internationally competitive, sustainable and recognized. The post Phl cinema in the first year of BBM appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 23rd, 2023

Afghan women protest against beauty parlor ban

Security officials shot into the air and used firehoses to disperse dozens of Afghan women protesting in Kabul Wednesday against an order by Taliban authorities to shut down beauty parlors, the latest curb to squeeze them out of public life. Since seizing power in August 2021, the Taliban government has barred girls and women from high schools and universities, banned them from parks, funfairs and gyms, and ordered them to cover up in public. The order issued last month forces the closure of thousands of beauty parlors nationwide run by women -- often the only source of income for households -- and outlaws one of the few remaining opportunities for them to socialize away from home. "Don't take my bread and water," read a sign carried by one of the protesters on Butcher Street, which boasts a concentration of the capital's salons. Public protests are rare in Afghanistan -- and frequently dispersed by force -- but AFP saw around 50 women taking part in Wednesday's gathering, quickly attracting the attention of security personnel. Protesters later shared videos and photos with journalists that showed authorities using a firehose to disperse them as shots could be heard in the background. "Today we arranged this protest to talk and negotiate," said a salon worker, whose name has not been published by AFP for security reasons. "But today, no one came to talk to us, to listen to us. They didn't pay any attention to us and after a while, they dispersed us by aerial firing and water cannon." The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) condemned the protest breakup. "Reports of the forceful suppression of a peaceful protest by women against the ban on beauty salons – the latest denial of women's rights in #Afghanistan – are deeply concerning," it said in a tweet. "Afghans have the right to express views free from violence. De facto authorities must uphold this." In late June the Ministry for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice gave salons a month to close down, saying the grace period would allow them to use up stock. It said it made the order because extravagant sums spent on makeovers caused hardship for poor families, and that some treatments at the salons were un-Islamic. Too much make-up prevented women from proper ablutions for prayer, the ministry said, while eyelash extensions and hair weaving were also forbidden. A copy of the order seen by AFP said it was "based on verbal instruction from the supreme leader" Hibatullah Akhundzada.   - Safe place -   Beauty parlors mushroomed across Kabul and other Afghan cities in the 20 years that United States-led forces occupied the country. They were seen as a safe place to gather and socialize away from men and provided vital business opportunities for women. A report to the UN's Human Rights Council last month by Richard Bennett, the special rapporteur for Afghanistan, said the plight of women and girls in the country "was among the worst in the world". "Grave, systematic and institutionalized discrimination against women and girls is at the heart of Taliban ideology and rule, which also gives rise to concerns that they may be responsible for gender apartheid," Bennett said. Akhundzada, who rarely appears in public and rules by decree from the Taliban's birthplace in Kandahar, said last month Afghan women were being saved from "traditional oppressions" by the adoption of Islamic governance and their status as "free and dignified human beings" restored. He said in a statement marking the Eid al-Adha holiday that steps had been taken to provide women with a "comfortable and prosperous life according to Islamic Sharia". Women have also mostly been barred from working for the UN or NGOs, and thousands have been sacked from government jobs or are being paid to stay at home. bur-fox/ecl/dva © Agence France-Presse The post Afghan women protest against beauty parlor ban appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 19th, 2023

Putting the quit on Quilter

Karl Quilter, a Chicago resident, was recently handed a sentence of 30 years in a United States federal prison for OSEC, or the online sexual exploitation of children based in the Philippines. The 58-year-old Quilter entered last year a guilty plea, claiming that the minors he spoke with on social media sites Facebook, Viber, and Skype from 2017 to 2020 were his “girlfriends.” His modus operandi, court records showed, involved dangling money transfers to persuade his victims to send the requested images. Quilter, in fact, visited the Philippines in 2017 and 2018,  but he would not admit to actually having physical sex with minors, something that could have added to his sentence. He, nonetheless, admitted to having vowed to return to the Philippines in 2020 to act out his OSEC fantasies, yet more proof that OSEC oftentimes leads to actual physical abuse by moneyed, well-traveled monsters. The successful prosecution of Quilter and others like him, however, represents only one side of the coin as there’s also a pressing need to stop the abuse at the source, hundreds of miles away. Putting behind bars adults, frequently family members, who enable this heinous crime within the Philippines and other poor countries, is equally important. Unicef, the International Justice Mission, and Interpol have conducted extensive research that indicates that the Philippines, even before the start of the pandemic, had become a major global hub for live-streaming or the distribution of videos and photos of sex acts involving children as young as two years old. According to their estimates, the incidence of OSEC in the country had more than tripled in recent years, with the Philippines receiving more than eight times as many referrals as any other country, “making it the center of the global live-stream sex abuse trade.” The IJM, which started working closely with authorities in the Philippines in 2020 to close physical channels of sexual abuse of minors like bars and prostitution houses, had warned that Covid-19 lockdowns spanning two years had significantly contributed to a threefold rise in OSEC cases. With his department as the lead agency in the government’s efforts against human trafficking, Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla has gone, so far, as to warn telecom companies that they would be prosecuted if they did not provide checks and filters against OSEC materials being routed through their networks. The biggest telcos have been heeding Remulla’s call, but as technology moves fast, they have to contend not only with the traffickers but also with tech wizards, those who live off the Dark Web, and who provide the backend support to ram OSEC materials through governmental and corporate check valves. IJM has drawn a silver lining around the dark clouds, saying that significant progress has been made in reducing the availability of children for sale on the streets and for internet-based sex trafficking. The figures, the group claimed, have fallen by as much as 86 percent in the cities where they were present. The relationship between OSEC and money transfers has been made crystal clear by recent research by the Anti-Money Laundering Task Force. It said that to stop the cycle of exploitation and bring the offenders to justice, it is necessary to destroy the illegal financial networks and stop the use of legal ones for OSEC payments. Although Quilter’s sentencing represents an important development in the prosecution of foreign offenders, he is just one among the millions of pedophiles and other perverts who have fueled OSEC, a multi-faceted problem that requires creative solutions and cross-border cooperation among governments, non-governmental organizations, and communities. OSEC operations by families in far-flung barangays are an open secret in communities, betrayed by the sprouting of Wi-Fi antennas in homes that also suddenly had access to extra cash. Cracking down on them has been easier, but the additional challenge now is stopping OSEC coursed through smartphones with internet data access. OSEC has been and will always be a cat-and-mouse game. It’s a virtual one-upmanship in trying to put the quit on depravities perpetrated by the likes of Quilter. The post Putting the quit on Quilter appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 15th, 2023

Lacuna rolls out jabs for seniors, health workers

The local government of Manila announced that it will now be administering bivalent vaccines designed to protect against both the original Covid-19 virus and the Omicron variant for healthcare workers and senior citizens. Manila Mayor Honey Lacuna disclosed on Sunday that the vaccines will be available starting 10 July at 44 health centers in the city. Healthcare workers and senior citizens who have completed their primary Covid-19 vaccination along with their first and second booster shots are eligible to receive the bivalent vaccines. Lacuna stressed that the city government of Manila is maintaining its “open policy,” which means that even those residing outside of Manila may avail of the shots if they belong to the eligible groups qualified as such by the national government. She also appealed to health frontliners and senior citizens of Manila to avail of the bivalent vaccine, saying it will spell extra protection for them and their families as she stressed the need for health workers to provide added protection to the patients they handle on a daily basis. The rollout of the bivalent vaccines in Manila comes as the city is experiencing a slight increase in Covid-19 cases and Lacuna said that the city government is taking steps to mitigate the spread of the virus, including increasing testing and contact tracing. The post Lacuna rolls out jabs for seniors, health workers appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsJul 9th, 2023

Bivalent vaccine rollout starts

The Department of Health on Wednesday officially rolled out the bivalent Covid-19 vaccines at the Philippine Heart Center in Quezon City. Health Secretary Ted Herbosa, who led the ceremonial vaccination, was the first to receive the bivalent Covid-19 vaccine. Bivalent vaccines target both the old Wuhan strain of Covid-19, as well as its new Omicron subvariants. President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., who graced the event, called on Filipinos to avail themselves of the extra protection offered by the bivalent Covid-19 vaccines. “I appeal to everyone, especially those who have yet to receive their primary series of vaccinations, to get vaccinated against Covid-19. This is not for your own good alone, but also for the protection of your families and the general public,” Marcos said in his speech.   More bivalent vaccines Herbosa said the country is expecting to receive more bivalent Covid-19 vaccines from the World Health Organization’s COVAX. He did not say, however, when the additional bivalent Covid-19 vaccines will arrive in the country. “We expect more doses to come. For now, as before, first in line for the added protection will be our healthcare workers, the front liners, whom we call priority A1,” he said. “And then our senior citizens. As you know the highest mortality is among senior citizens, so we prioritize them, whom we call A2,” he added. To recall, the Philippines received a total of 390,000 doses of Pfizer bivalent Covid-19 vaccines from the government of Lithuania. According to DoH guidelines, healthcare workers and senior citizens who received their second booster shots at least 4 to 6 months ago are eligible for the first phase of the bivalent vaccine rollout. The post Bivalent vaccine rollout starts appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsJun 21st, 2023

Gov’t launches Covid-19 bivalent vaccines among priority groups

The Department of Health on Wednesday officially launched the rollout of the bivalent Covid-19 vaccines at the Philippine Heart Center in Quezon City. Health Secretary Ted Herbosa, who led the ceremonial vaccination, was the first person to receive the bivalent Covid-19 vaccine in the National Capital Region. Bivalent vaccines target both the old Wuhan strain of Covid-19, as well as its new Omicron subvariants. President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., who graced the event, called on Filipinos to avail of extra protection from the bivalent Covid-19 vaccines. “I appeal to everyone, especially those who have yet to receive their primary series of vaccinations, to get vaccinated against COVID-19. This is not for your own good alone, but also for the protection of your families and the general public,” Marcos said in his speech. More bivalent vaccines According to Herbosa, the country is expecting to receive more bivalent Covid-19 vaccines from the World Health Organization’s COVAX. He, however, did not disclose when the additional bivalent Covid-19 vaccines will arrive in the country. “We expect more doses to come for now as before, first in line for added protection will be our healthcare workers -- the front liners -- which we call priority A1,” the Health chief said. “And then our senior citizens, as you know the highest mortality are among senior citizens, so we prioritize them as what we call as A2,” he added. To recall, the Philippines received a total of 390,000 doses of Pfizer bivalent Covid-19 vaccines donated by the government of Lithuania. According to the agency’s guidelines, healthcare workers and senior citizens who received their second booster shots at least 4 to 6 months ago are eligible for the first phase of the bivalent vaccine rollout. The post Gov’t launches Covid-19 bivalent vaccines among priority groups appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsJun 21st, 2023