todays top stories

Christmas around the world opens in Tangub City

December 7, 2019

TANGUB CITY, Misamis Occidental - A new set of Christmas symbols featuring 14 landmarks of select countries have been put up by the local government of Tangub City at the City Plaza for its 2019 Christmas Symbol Festival. Thousands joined in the countdown including national, regional and provincial line agencies.  As guest speaker to the event, Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Jose Ruperto Martin M. Andanar said the creativity of this event has brightened the city and given joy to the residents and to everyone who comes to visit. It has been 27 years since the first-ever lighting ceremony of the Christmas Symbol Festival in Tangub. The secretary added, “My office will definitely share and show this splendid display of lights to the rest of our country for the people to enjoy.” Tangub has gathered the artistic minds and hands for the creation of these lighted masterpieces, he said. “Essentially, it is the light that shows us the better side of life itself; that makes real possibilities of the invisible when shone brightly before our eyes; and that gives us the way towards a better future, where there is no more,” Andanar shared.  Every lighted structure is a work of converging imaginative talents, meticulous labor, and skillful hands. Andanar added, “A dignified life of comfort for every Filipino, which our President has set as his vision may well be reflected in this joyous illumination of Tangub.” Tangub City in Misamis Occidental is touted to be the “Christmas Symbols Capital of the Philippines” because it is illuminated by different kinds of Christmas installations every year. Christmas Symbols Festival is one of the most anticipated shows in Northern Mindanao.  It brings some of the world’s famous landmarks in a spectacle of light and gigantic art displays. For his part, Governor Philip Tan highlighted the most important and exciting moment every year is to be here on December 1. “Twenty-seven years of loving, sharing, caring and giving. It all started with one star and a Christmas tree and then slowly it grows bigger and bigger but the growth of Christmas symbol did not stop from the plaza,” Tan shared.  The Governor said this is the Tangubanon way of simply giving and sharing the essence of Christmas from simple to an extravagant celebration. Meanwhile, City Mayor Jennifer Wee Tan said the sites featured were the Ashikaga Flowers Park in Japan, Patterson Park Pagoda in USA, Temple of Athena in Greece, Transparent Church of Borgloon in Belgium, Metropolitan Church in Philippines, Atlanta Botanical Garden in Atlanta USA, Tivoli Gardens Denmark, Nautilus House – Naucalpan in Mexico, Park Of Cacti In Barcelona Spain, Basilica in Paris, France, Victory Square in Kyrgyzsta, Floral Peacock in Dubai, Berlin walk in Germany, Cascada Monumental Barcelona, Spain, Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque in Brunei and Keukenhof in the Netherlands. “One of the must-see destinations in the Philippines, during Christmas season. Tangub City offers an amazing display of Christmas symbols. An annual festival full of illuminated replicas of iconic landmarks from around the world,” she said. She added that visitors can even pay P40 to pick up their very own “passport,” which they can then get stamped at each of the “countries” they visit during the festival. The Christmas Symbol Festival will run from December 1, 2019 to January 8, 2020. (SMRN/PIA MISAMIS OCCIDENTAL/SMRN)  

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DOH launches polio immunization campaign in MisOcc

December 6, 2019

OZAMIZ CITY, Misamis Occidental - The Department of Health (DOH) Center for Health Development - Northern Mindanao (CHD-NM) in collaboration with all local government units of Misamis Occidental has launched the polio outbreak response immunization campaign here at Ozamiz City Health Office, Function Hall. The campaign dubbed, “Sabayang Patak Kontra Polio’’ aims to cover children under five years old to stop the polio outbreak. Delivering the message of City Mayor Sancho Fernando Oaminal, Chairman on the Committee of Health, Councilor Catherine Lim said, “With more than 50, 000 thousand targeted children to be vaccinated, Ozamiz City has so much at stake in the fight to prevent polio." "We need to take the campaign against polio seriously," she said. Ozamiz City, being one of the most populous cities in Misamis Occidental have to move fast to protect from the ongoing outbreak of polio, Lim further said. “If we can prevent polio here, then we have more chances of preventing polio elsewhere. Thus, a call on every Ozamiznons, a call on our Ozamiznon mothers to please trust the vaccination program again,” she added. For her part, DOH CHD-NM Medical Specialist III, Dr. Andresa Benas discussed the advocacy program on anti-polio campaign vaccination. She attributed the decline in the number of vaccinated children to misconception and fear of vaccines’ possible negative effects. She assured that the immunization programs of the government are safe and appealed to parents to have their children vaccinated to avoid complications. There are four confirmed positive poliovirus patients not only in our region 10 but also in the neighboring regions such as BARMM and Zamboanga. “We are very concerned that polioviruses are now circulating in Manila, Davao, Lanao del Sur, and Zamboanga,” she said. To stop this outbreak, she said, "We aim to reach at least 95% of children under five years of age for vaccination, irrespective of their current vaccination status, to stop the spread of polio." "We will work closely to achieve this target. We need Bayanihan [community-spirit] from everyone – the parents and caregivers, mayors, governors, community and religious leaders, health workers, volunteers, and media partners,” she explained. Vaccination is provided for free at health centers and involves three doses of polio drops and one injection. Officer In Charge Provincial Health Officer Engr. Roberto Palangan strongly urged parents, health workers and local governments to fully participate in the synchronized polio vaccination, and practice good personal hygiene. “I hope we can work hand in hand together in achieving healthy Misamisnons,” he added. DOH is working with the LGU’s, City Health Office to support vaccine supply and cold chain management, on-the-ground coordination, operations support and monitoring. (PIA/Shaine Mae R. Nagtalon)  

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Ozamiz City holds Buntis Congress 2019

December 6, 2019

OZAMIZ CITY, Misamis Occidental - To keep abreast on safe motherhood and nutrition in pregnancy, the city government of Ozamiz through the City Health Office in partnership with Philusa spearheaded 2nd Ozamiz Buntis Congress with the theme, “Buntis ay Gabayan para sa Malusog na Pangangatawan” here at Covered Court, City Hall. The Congress aims to provide education on health consciousness to pregnant women and increase awareness of the soon-to-be-mothers on the importance of having monthly check-ups to reduce child and maternal mortality. City Councilor and Chairman of the Committee on Health, Catherine Lim said, "Being pregnant is an ultimate human sacrifice, the most painful yet most fulfilling job."  She also urged the participants to always seek professional help from their doctors to avoid complications during their pregnancy. “Our City Health Office is always open to accommodate you to ensure your pregnancy is safe. As much as possible, do not miss your monthly check-up and avail of our health services,” Lim added. She said the city government is committed to improve the town’s local health system, especially the delivery of health services, dissemination of vital health information, strengthening the health workforce, and access to medicines by the public. Obstetrician from Mhars Medical Center, Dr. Christl Marie Mutia-Daing gave a lecture on nutrition in pregnancy, family planning, safe pregnancy, prenatal counseling, among others. City Health Officer, Dr. Holly Tago discussed on three delays of pregnancy to reduce maternal death in Ozamiz City. In 2019, Ozamiz City has three cases of maternal death from Barangay Triunfo, Pulot and Diguan. The whole day event is an awareness campaign program that aims to intensify the promotion of the importance of maternal and child health before, during and after pregnancy. The highlight of the event was the search for Buntis Queen 2019, participated by lovely soon-to-be mothers from the 51 barangays of Ozamiz showcasing not just for their beauty but also their talents. (Shaine Mae R. Nagtalon/PIA Misamis Occidental)  

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Doctor goes viral after showing his 'bad' attitude in public

December 4, 2019

A DOCTOR went viral yesterday after he reportedly involved himself in a road rage with another driver along a busy street in Metro Manila. Government authorities has identified the doctor as Dr Tomas Joaquin Mendez, who was involved in a road rage in Metro Manila yesterday, shouting vindictives to the driver of an L300 Van. He accused the driver of cutting him of and nearly bumping him while he was maneuvering his vehicle at a busy road in Metro Manila. He also belittled the driver, saying "Ang dumidumi mo!" The driver, who didn't know Mendez is a professional doctor also defended himself and answered all the doctor's accusations.  Meanwhile, in a press statement posted on Facebook, St, Luke's Medical Center, one of the very prestigious hospitals in the country, denied Dr Mendez work at their hospital.  The statement said Mendez "is not connected with the hospital or any other company affiliated with St. Luke's. It was the Department of Transport (DOTr) who identified the irate motorist involve in a road rage as Dr. Tomas Joaquin Mendez, who was caught on cam shouting vindictives on another driver, based on the plate number of his car. A DOTr official said their office is going to invite the doctor to shed light on the issue involving road rage. “Should you be involved in a traffic incident, don’t let your emotions get the better of you to the point that you will curse, malign or hurt other people,” the DOTr official said. The Land Transportation Office (LTO) has also issued an order telling Mendez to appear to their office on December 5 at around 2pm and explain why his professional driver's license should not be suspended or revoked as per Republic Act 4136. A female companion of the driver accused by Mendez of cutting him of told Mendez that he was clearly identified throwing stone on their van. It was also learned that another video posted on Youtube also show Mendez's involvement in another road rage, which really placed him on a bad light.

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20 media agencies urge open, live coverage of court ruling on Ampatuan massacre cases

December 4, 2019

AN ALL-MEDIA petition for live-stream, open coverage of the promulgation of judgment on the Ampatuan Massacre cases was filed today before the Supreme Court by major print, television, radio, and online news agencies from across the country.   The petition noted that over the last 10 years, the widows and orphans of the 58 victims of the Ampatuan massacre have only been able to follow the trial via post-hearing reports and off-court broadcast by the news media.   The Ampatuan Massacre, the single-day deadliest attack on the media across the world, claimed the lives of 58 persons, including 32 journalists and media workers, on Nov. 23, 2009.   Allowing live coverage would allow families unable to travel to Manila to immediately hear the decision on the 58 counts of murder of Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes presiding Judge, Branch 221 of the regional trial court of Quezon City.   Majority of the families of the victims reside in General Santos City, South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, and Maguindanao.   The petition also cited that the transparency made possible by a live broadcast would help boost public trust in the judicial system.    The petition was signed and submitted by the officers of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP), Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR), and Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) that are part of the Freedom for Media, Freedom for All Network of independent and professional media agencies.   The additional signatories to the petition are the following news organizations and individual journalists:   ·        Ging Reyes for ABS-CBN News and Current Affairs; ·        Jamela Alindogan for the board of Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines (FOCAP); ·        Grace de la Pena for GMA7 News; ·        The Mindanao Cross; ·        Herbie Gomez for Mindanao Gold Star Daily; ·        Amelia Cabusao for Mindanao Times; ·        Carolyn O. Arguillas for MindaNews; ·        Luchi Cruz-Valdez for News5 News and Public Affairs Department; ·        Fr. Rogelio Tabuada, OMI for Notre Dame Broadcasting Corporation; ·        Abel Ulanday for Philippine Daily Inquirer and inquirer.net; ·        Ariel Sebellino for Philippine Press Institute (PPI); ·        Camille Diola for philstar.com and Interaksyon; ·        Radyo ni Juan Network; ·        Maria Ressa for Rappler; ·        Ellen Tordesillas for Vera Files; ·        Ed Lingao of News 5; ·        Manuel Mogato of News5 Digital; and ·        Joyce Panares of The Manila Standard.

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SCP, PIDS conduct forum on inclusive education in PH

December 3, 2019

SAVE the Children Philippines (SCP) and state think tank Philippine Institute for Development Studies are set to hold a research forum on inclusive education on December 3 at the B Hotel in Quezon City. Representatives from the government, academe, and civil society have been invited to speak and present their respective studies on persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples, and out-of-school children and youth. Senator Sherwin Gatchalian will deliver the keynote speech. For research studies on disability, presenters include PIDS President Celia Reyes, SCP Basic Education Technical Adviser Sierra Mae Paraan, and Norfil Foundation Consultant Rosalyn Marie Sorongon. This session has four reactors from the government and academe, namely, Department (DepEd) of Education Director for Bureau of Learning Delivery Dr. Leila Areola, National Council on Disability Affairs Officer-in-Charge Mateo Lee, Jr., Alternative Learning Resource – Philippines Executive Director Dr. Genevieve Rivadelo-Caballa, and University of Santo Tomas Assistant Professor Karen Sagun Ongtangco. For the session on indigenous peoples, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Bank Officer Christian Mina together with PIDS President Celia Reyes will present their study, as well as Carol Saribay from the Indigenous Peoples Education, and Helen Abarra, a teacher from the Paaralang Bayan ng mga Ayta ng Zambales. Meanwhile, reactors for this session include May Cinco from E-Net Philippines and DepEd Director Dr. Areola. Finally, for the session on out-of-school children and youth, PIDS Senior Research Fellow Jose Ramon Albert, University of the Philippines-Diliman Professor Maria Mercedes Arzadon, and Ivy Funtalba from SCP will present their respective studies. Mary Mitzi Cajayon-Uy, executive director of the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s Council for the Welfare of Children, DepEd Director Dr. Areola, and Dolora Cardenio, executive director of the Educational Research and Development Assistance Foundation will serve as reactors for this session. According to SCP Chief Executive Officer Alberto Muyot and PIDS President Celia Reyes, the forum is a way to inform relevant government agencies, academic institutions, civil society organizations, and legislators about the results of research studies on inclusive education. “We hope that through our research studies, we will be able to assist our policymakers in refining existing programs and crafting other interventions to advance inclusive education in the country,” Reyes said. A one-day mini-exhibit featuring the knowledge products of the speakers’ respective offices will run alongside the forum. This event is also conducted in support of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

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