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DOH orders monitoring of 3 siblings due to poliovirus

October 15, 2019

MARAWI City--The Department of Health (DOH) has directed the Integrated Provincial Health Office (IPHO) to monitor and conduct surveillance against the three siblings from Lanao del Sur who showed symptoms of poliovirus. In a press briefing in Marawi on Monday (October 15), Dr. Shalimar Rakiin, chief of Amai Pakpak Medical Center (APMC), confirmed that the patients are siblings aged 10, 5, and 2 years old who are experiencing fever and pain of their lower extremities upon their admission. In September, a three-year old girl from the municipality of Marogong was tested positive of poliovirus, one of the two patients reported, almost 20 years after the Philippines was declared polio-free in 2000. IPHO chief Dr. Alinader Minalang said the patient first manifested of having poliovirus in July. On Monday, the DOH launched the Sabayang Patak Kontra Polio in Marawi targeting 134,411 children under five years old in the province to be vaccinated in the first round of mass immunization against poliovirus by October 27. The launching also kicked-off the house-to-house intensified campaign urging parents in 39 municipalities, including Marawi City, to immunize their children. The DOH declared the re-emergence of polio in the Philippines last September 19 after two polio cases were confirmed in a 3 year-old from Lanao del Sur and in a 5 year-old from Laguna. "The task before us, to address the outbreak, is enormous and vast," Doque said in a statement during the launching. The United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) is helping the campaign by tapping the influence of religious leaders in Marawi and Lanao del Sur. Religious leaders, with their influence, have an important role in the campaign according to Oyun Dendevnorov, UNICEF Philippines Representative, because they can deliver sermons to influence mothers, fathers and caregivers to have their children vaccinated. The Philippines has seen a decline of immunization coverage in the past few years, including for protection against polio according to the World Health Organization. In 2018, 66% of children completed their oral polio vaccine (drops) doses and 45% received their inactivated polio vaccine (injection) dose. At least 95% of children under 5 years of age need to be vaccinated, irrespective of their current vaccination status, to stop the spread of polio in the country. The second round of mass immunization will be on November and the last round will at the end of this year targeting 97% of the children five under be vaccinated.

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New measure to require public execs to commute

October 14, 2019

ILIGAN City--A lawmaker from the lone district of this city is proposing a new measure requiring public officials to commute every Monday. Rep Frederick Siao said he will propose that all elected and government officials to commute every Monday to reduce traffic congestion and vehicle volume in Metro Manila. This after Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo accepted the "commute challenge" on Friday enduring an almost four hour commute from Marikina to Malacañang. "We appreciate the effort and good example of Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo when he endured his 3 1/2 hour commute from Marikina to Malacanang. His gesture can help show to the public that the government knows the situation on the ground and that Malacanang is not an isolated seat of government," said Siao, chairman of the House committee on civil service and professional regulation. Siao clarified that the proposal is "initially every Monday" for all government vehicles used to fetch and bring home public officials, from the division chiefs to cabinet secretaries to elected officials, would be grounded at their respective motor pools. "That would already be thousands of government vehicles off the streets, enough to significantly decongest traffic. Those ranking civil servants should commute using any of the available options: tricycles, jeepneys, buses, FX/UVs, light rail, PNR trains and TNVS units. Kung gustong magbisikleta, pwede rin. Tuwing Monday lang naman," Siao said. He said he was inspired by the idea of former AANGAT TAYO party-list representative Neil Abayon's proposal during the 17th Congress for the government officials commuting atleast once a month. "But my improvement on that idea is these officials should commute at least every Monday so they will be reminded weekly of the suffering the masses endure on a consistent basis," he added. The concept of the House Bill, which will be entitled "Public Servants' Commuting via Public Transport Act", can be given a trial run all over Metro Manila, and can be replicated in other highly urbanized areas of the country where heavy traffic is also a daily torment, if successful. “Kapag naisabatas po ito, makakaasa po ang publiko na mas mamadaliin naming mga government officials na solusyunan ang problema sa transportasyon,” Siao said. "I note that Secretary Panelo had to ride three different jeepneys to get from Marikina in the east to Malacanang in the west. LTFRB (Land Transportation and Franchise Regulatory Board) may have to take a close look at the sufficiency of PUVs on that route, especially now that the LRT2 is not in full operation because of a recent fire," he added. Siao said, "there may also be a need for shorter North to South bus routes via EDSA because by the time the buses reach Makati, they are jampacked. Same with the bus and PUJ route from Fairview-Novaliches to Manila. More PUVs may be needed. Maybe a midpoint turnaround zone can be identified for the shorter bus routes."

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Miss Earth 2019 beauties visit tourism sites in MIsor

October 9, 2019

CAGAYAN de Oro City--A group of candidates of the Miss Earth 2019 beauty pageant embarked on a two-day visit to Misamis Oriental to tour some of the province’s tourist attractions. The 14 candidates came from Austria, Italy, Croatia, Malta, Puerto Rico, Brazil, Paraguay, Kenya, Reunion Island, China, Tonga, India, Liberia, and Vietnam. The beauties visited and planted mangrove at the Tubajon Aquamarine Park in Barangay Tubajon, Laguindingan town. Later, the young women also toured the Initao-Libertad Protected Seascape and Landscape, a protected forest and one of the attractions of the province. The aquamarine park has won the “Malinis at Masaganang Karagatan” awards of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, besting other contenders from around the country, in 2017. Tubajon chairman Teodoro Oguis said they have been taking care of the aquamarine park and has opened to the public who want to enjoy its amenities such as bamboo cottages standing on clear seawater amid the 22-hectare mangrove forest. “We want to maintain the pristine state of the aquamarine park as it is one of most beautiful tourist sites in Misamis Oriental,” said Laguindingan Mayor Diosdado Obsioma. Lawyer Jeffrey C. Saclot, Misamis Oriental provincial tourism officer, said the local government welcomes local and international beauty pageant candidates as the province has so much more to offer. “We have tourist attractions where guests can enjoy. It is one of the province’s treasures,” he said, referring to the Tubajon Aquamarine Park and the Initao-Libertad Protected Landscape and Seascape.

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House panel okays House Bill 3462

October 8, 2019

VILLANUEVA, Misamis Oriental--The Committee on Health in the House of Representatives approved House Bill (HB) 3462 during a committee hearing last Monday (September 30). HB 3462, authored by Misamis Oriental second district Rep. Juliette T. Uy, is a measure that seeks to establish a 25-bed hospital in the municipality of Villanueva, some 26 kilometers east of Cagayan de Oro City. Uy said the Committee on Health has taken up, deliberated, and approved HB 3462 on September 30. If enacted into law, she said it will establish the Northern Mindanao District Hospital of Villanueva, which will be under the supervision of the Department of Health (DOH). In her explanatory note, Uy said the town of Villanueva is widely considered as the growing industrial hub in the province of Misamis Oriental. Not only in Misamis Oriental, she pointed out, but even in Northern Mindanao as it has 16 medium to large scale industries. With its growing local economy and the influx of industrial plants, Uy said there is a steady increase in the population of Villanueva. “In line with this, there is a need to establish a hospital in the area to ensure that the population is given adequate health care in the quickest possible time especially during emergencies,” said the lady lawmaker adding, “this is essential considering that Villanueva is 26 kilometers away from Cagayan de Oro City where the nearest hospitals are located.”

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14 Miss Earth 2019 beauties visit Misor for 2-day eco-tour

October 7, 2019

MISAMIS Oriental Governor Yevgeny Vincente "Bambi" Emano welcomed the 14 candidates of the 19th edition of Miss Earth 2019 pageant during the regular flag-raising ceremony held at the Capitol grounds in Cagayan de Oro City on Monday (October 7). The 14 of the 85 contestants of Miss Earth 2019 are on a two-day visit in Misamis Oriental from Monday (October 7) to Tuesday (October 8).. The fourteen candidates who are part of Water Group are Melanie Gassner (Austria), Maria Batistela (Brazil), Hu Wentian (China), Nera Nikolic (Croatia), Tejaswini Manogna (India), Letizia Percoco (Italy), Susan Kirui (Kenya), Georgia Bemah (Liberia), Alexia Tabone (Malta), Jociani Daysi Repossi (Paraguay), Nellys Pimentel (Puerto Rico), Anais Payet (Reunion Island), Titania Tiara Monic Matekuolava (Tonga) and Hoang Thi Hanh (Vietnam). It was learned that the 85 Miss Earth candidates were grouped according to the elements – the Fire and Air Groups were dispersed in other provinces elsewhere. During their two-day ecotour here, the 14 candidates will do a mangrove planting at Tubajon Aquamarine Park in Laguindingan municipality this morning (October 8), followed by an appreciation of the Initao-Libertad Protected Seascape, the only forest in the Philippines which traverses the national highway. Fresh from winning the prestigious 2018 Pearl Award for Best Tourism-Oriented LGU first runner-up, Misamis Oriental provincial tourism officer Atty. Jeffrey Saclot added another laurel to his laurel to his cap by hosting the two-day visit of the one of the top pageants in the world. “You will be visiting the cleanest coastline of the country,” Saclot told the candidates, referring to the Tubajon Aquamarine Park which is situated along the Laguindingan coast, which has been cited by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources for its cleanliness. The candidates also did a fashion show Monday afternoon featuring the collections of designer Bea Bianca at Ayala Malls Centrio in Cagayan de Oro City. Gov. Yevgeny Vincente Emano expressed his gratitude to the organizers of Miss Earth for including Misamis Oriental in its itinerary, saying that it is a testament that the province has already been marked by national stakeholders as a tourist destination. The visit is part of the candidates’ pageant which will culminate on October 26 at Cove Manila in Ikeda Manila.

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British Council, Xavier Ateneo tie-up for peacebuilding project in Bangsamoro

October 4, 2019

CAGAYAN de Oro City--The British Council and Xavier University - Ateneo de Cagayan have joined forces for a peacebuilding effort for the Bangsamoro region called “Safe, Cohesive, and Just Communities (SCJC) Project: Art of Peace and Transforming Local Peace and Order Councils.” Xavier Ateneo's VP for social development Roel Ravanera and British Council (Philippines) country director Pilar Aramayo-Prudencio led the signing of the partnership agreement Tuesday, September 24, at the XU SocDev office.   “Today, with Xavier University’s partnership, we are taking the peacebuilding work of the British Council in the Philippines to a new level by introducing two new components to SCJC: Art of Peace and Transforming Local Peace and Order Councils,” Prudencio said. The project uses arts and culture education to “complement institutional and structural approaches to peacebuilding programming, in areas such as confidence building, skills training, self-expression, and intergroup understanding and tolerance.” The SCJC project will be pivoted in the Bangsamoro region. The details of the project will be rolled out soon by the British Council and the involved XU units. Prudencio added: “Arts and culture are regarded as a more neutral ground for mutual understanding than explicit peacebuilding activities because they are able to bring people from different groups together around a shared interest and goal, rather than around issues related to the conflict. They also provide a form of expression and a creative reflection.” In April this year, the British Council published a report that examined the value of culture in post-conflict recovery. The study drew on the experiences of Rwanda, Colombia, and Syria, highlighting the contribution of arts and cultural programs in post-conflict communities, through therapy, reconciliation, and civil society strengthening. “We also want to further understand the role of culture in promoting resilience in conflict-affected areas, and use this research to develop new theories of change,” Prudencio said. Xavier Ateneo was chosen by the British Council as a partner for this project because of the university’s “facilitation of interfaith dialogues, promotion of peace education, leadership in education training for Muslim teachers and Islamic values, and integration of culture and development in your social outreach programmes.” Ravanera believes that the arts can bring people together and result in a deeper cultural understanding. He also regarded this project as an opportunity to work with local governments and the Bangsamoro community. “Our experiences in Marawi, particularly with the internally displaced people (IDPs), along with our different peacebuilding programs will help us achieve the goals of this project,” Ravanera said. “We hope to serve the communities better and engage with them through arts and cultural education." During the partnership signing, Ravanera was joined by a number of deans, directors, and unit heads who form part of the SCJC project.    Xavier University holds a strong track record and experience in culture and social development, peacebuilding, outreach, and education programs. “We recognise your efforts working closely with local governments and community stakeholders and your creative approaches to peacebuilding through strategic communication and student-led campaigns that provided safe spaces for young people,” Prudencio said. As partners for peacebuilding, the two institutions look forward to working towards sustainable peace, good governance, and active citizen engagement for a more peaceful, secure, and resilient Bangsamoro.

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