todays top stories

Actress Iza Calzado rushed to the hospital for pneumonia

March 26, 2020

Calzado, Maria Izadora Ussher Calzado-Wintle in real life said the past days she experienced a flu-like symptom such as fever, cough and sinusitis until it went severe and she had to be admitted to the hospital for treatment.   "I'm currently hospitalized for pneumonia and I was already tested for Covid-19. I’ve been waiting for the result." she said, while she also shared a photo of herself wearing an oxygen mask and what seemed like a hospital gown, she said. The 37-year-old actress said "It’s been a challenging time for me but it cannot compare to the frontliners who have cared for me and to whom I am so grateful. My heart goes out to everyone in these trying times, especially those who risk their lives every day to care for their loved ones." "It’s been a challenging time for me but it cannot compare to the frontliners who have cared for me and to whom I am so grateful. My heart goes out to everyone in these trying times, especially those who risk their lives every day to care for their loved ones," she added. Meanwhile character actor Domingo Cobarrubias died today due to complications from pneumonia.  The 68-year-old Cobbarubias was also tested for possible coronavirus disease but still awaiting the result of the examination.   

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War against coronavirus looms; four doctors die in Philippines

March 25, 2020

'Understaffed' frontliners bravely man defense lines amid deaths of four docs   METRO MANILA, Philippines (MDN National News) - "Habang nalalagasan lalong tumatapang," this is how one would probably describe the war heroes against the unseen enemy, so furious and clever that sometimes it could make their victims asymptomatic, to stay away from detection.   This war against covid-19 is also ongoing in the Philippines and four doctors have already lost their lives in defense of the country and the Filipino people. Those doctors who last served the government as frontliners in the government's continued fight against the disease include Cardiologist Israel Bactol at the Philippine Heart Center; Oncologist Rose Pulido of San Juan de Dios Hospital, and Anesthesiologist Gregorio Macasaet III of the Manila Doctors Hospital. The latest casualty in the government's frontliners was Dr.Raul Jara, Hospital Director of the Philippine Heart Center (PHC). He died of multiple complications of kidney and cardiac arrest, it was learned. His medical records showed he also became positive of the deadly coronavirus disease. IN QUEZON CITY, METRO MANILA, GOVERNMENT WORKERS MAKE THEMSELVES BUSY DISINFECTING THE STREETS AND  CLEANING THE AREAS FREQUENTTED BY PEOPLE, PURPOSELY TO CONTAIN THE SPREAD OF THE DEADLY CORONAVIRUS DISEASE. But despite losing four doctors in the defense against the deadly attack of the virus, frontliners continue to man the war zones. Their only hope is for the government to realize and to act as soon as possible that they lack manpower and most especially they lack the very important equipment and protective gears. “Reality is that we’re currently understaffed, not just RITM, but I think all over the Philippines. ‘yong mga doctors din natin, frontliners, and nurses, nagkakasakit na din"  says Doctor Therese Suñe of the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) in an interview with CNN Philippines. The RITM, in which Suñe belongs, is one of the testing centers for the coronavirus disease in the country. Suñe told the media despite the risk of being infected with the virus they are bravely manning the defense lines to protect the country from the deadly onslaught of coronavirus like what happened in China and Italy.  “But right now, we’re doing our jobs naman po. Medyo nakakapagod na rin but we have to do our jobs on what we’re called to do. I hope the people should understand that aside from us, there are a lot of people risking their lives,” Suñe explained. Meanwhile, President Rodrigo Duterte in his recent adress thanked the hundreds of frontliners for their act of heroism, while he also said he was sad with the passing of four doctors manning the defense lines of the country to prevent further damage to people. Duterte said the government has been doing its part how to effectively contain the virus and prevent it from spreading further in the countryside. The reason that the president has firmly decided to lockdown Metro Manila on what he termed as “enhanced community quarantine”, as the bulk of infections were there, including the deaths of people now 35 of them. Duterte said the government’s economic team has now prepared a ₱27.1-billion spending plan as his plea to give him emergency powers were all voted "yes" by both Lower Houses. Rep Rufus Rodriguez told reporters that with the government's budget in fighting for coronavirus, frontliners are given very much importance.  Rodriguez said aside from benefits and other remunerations such as bonuses and hazard fees, frontliners who die while on active duty and doing their best to save the people from more harm, would be given 1 Million each death benefit."  

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Cocpo to BJMP: Accept our inmates

March 25, 2020

THE Cagayan de Oro City Police Office (Cocpo) has asked the Department of Justice (DOJ) to reconsider its decision to lock down Lumbia City Jail and stop accepting new inmates.   In a press conference Wednesday (March 25), Cocpo director Col. Henry Dampal said he is worried that the growing number of inmates in their custody would swell above the capacity of their detention facilities.   "Wala man g'yud ato gihunong ang atong anti-criminality campaign so posible jud nga naay madakpan adlaw-adlaw," Dampal said.   Cocpo has a total of ten police stations. Each station has a detention cell that is capable of holding five persons. Cocpo also maintains a detention facility in its Camp Maharlika complex in barangay Carmen which can hold ten persons.   A separate ocular inspection conducted by a radio station showed that as of March 25, more than 30 detainees were cramped at Camp Maharlika and in at least one station, there were 15 inmates seen in a cell.   Since March 13, the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) locked down Lumbia City Jail from all visitors. It also stopped accepting new inmates as part of anti-COVID measures. DOJ supervises the agency.   With that, Dampal said he has written a letter to DOJ asking the department to reconsider its decision.   In this regard, Dampal reported that he is expected to ink an agreement with the Cagayan de Oro City prosecutor's office for an online inquest of criminal complaints.   This, after the DOJ has also ordered to close all physical transactions in all prosecutors' offices nationwide.   Dampal said that once the online inquests are realized, the city prosecutor's office could issue a commitment order for detainees to be transferred to Lumbia city jail.   "That's why there is a need for BJMP to reconsider its decision," he said.

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Mayor Moreno warns Oro media to take extra precaution when reporting covid-19 stories

March 25, 2020

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY Mayor Oscar Moreno yesterday advised the media to take extra precaution when reporting about the coronavirus pandemic so that it won't create confusions to its readers and avid followers.   The mayor was reacting to recent reports circulated in the city that the first coronavirus fatality was a resident of this city because his remains was 'secretly' buried at Bolonsiri cemetery in Barangay Camaman-an. Dr. Jose Chan, NMMC chief of hospital said the recent burial of Patient40 was authorized by Mayor Moreno since the immediate families of the victim was no longer interested in bringing the cadaver in Lanao del Sur.  Unfortunately, when the people carrying the remains of Patient40 went to the Bolonsiri cemetery, there were already many people in the area and also some mediamen. Moreno said the media should be very careful, most especially on addresses of persons under investigations (PUIs) and those who become positive of the deadly coronavirus. He said some of the immediate relatives of the PUIs would claim they are from this city which also created confusions because upon careful checking it turned out they were from other provinces of region 10 and neighboring areas. First covid-19 positive from CDO Also in yesterday's press briefing, the mayor finally confirmed the first resident of this city who tested positive of covid-19 Moreno said the first confirmed COVID-19 from Cagayan de Oro City is NOT A LOCAL TRANSMISSION since the 71-year-old male patient arrived from Manila on March 12.  Regional epidemiologist Dave Mendoza said the patient confined at the Northern Mindanao Medical Center has a cardiac history but is recuperating. Previously as a PUI, he has already been subjected to contact tracing. This was also confirmed by the mayor, saying he has already ordered healthcare personnel to immediately conduct massive contact tracing on the patients families and friends, and on which places he visited after he arrived in the city.   

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Solon calls for ‘systemic solution’ to resolve PH ‘systemic problem’ on education

March 25, 2020

“THE Philippine education sector is plagued with a serious systemic problem that requires a systemic solution.”   This, Albay Representative Joey Salceda said during a book launch conducted by state think tank Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) in Quezon City recently.   Salceda said that the country’s global standing in providing quality education for students has been sliding in the previous years.   This is evident in the outcomes of various national and international assessments such as the National Achievement Test (NAT) administered by the Department of Education (DepEd) and the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) conducted by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).   The 2018 NAT results showed that the “mean percentage score of grade 6 students was at 37.4 percent” which suggested that “students, on the average, got half of the items correctly.”   Meanwhile, 15-year old Filipino students scored lowest in reading and ranked second to the lowest in terms of science and mathematics in the 2018 PISA.   Aside from the PISA and NAT, the Philippine Informal Reading Inventory (Phil-IRI), also showed a gap of 0.2 percent in the reading skills of young elementary students. “Although the Phil-IRI is not a standard tool, the result is consistent with the outcomes of other assessments which suggest that our kids are not having the proper reading skills,” Salceda noted.   To address these issues, Salceda shared some of the strategies he implemented when he was governor of Albay.   Salceda narrated that Albay was performing poorly in assessments back then. The province was at the 118th spot among 123 school divisions in Region V but improved its ranking over the years.   “When I became governor, we were spending only 1 percent of the total budget on education. Then, I ramped up the Special Education Fund to 34 percent,” he recounted, adding that the improved resources of the DepEd and the conditional cash transfers have also contributed to increasing the access to primary education in the province.   Aside from putting more money into basic education, Salceda said the provincial government has provided incentives to teachers and barangays for their active participation in organizing and supporting their schools. “[From number 118], we became number 19 in five years. There is something that can be done by local governments. There is a missing link there, it is called community. Once you mobilize the community, it goes a long, long way,” he explained.   He also implemented “free college education for all” in Albay to give everyone a chance to pursue tertiary education. But this, he said, was “a very expensive experiment”.     Salceda also chose to invest more on capacity-building programs to improve the skills of his constituents and increase their employability. He said this strategy worked for Albay as they were able to bring down their poverty incidence from 42 percent to 14.1 percent.   Moreover, Salceda said it is important to address the prevalence of stunting in the country, which is one of the root causes of poor academic performance. A PIDS study found that one in every two children under the age of five suffer from stunting. Salceda said that ages 0 to 5 are the most crucial period in the mental and intellectual development of a child. Hence, government should prioritized poor mothers who cannot afford proper nutrients and maternal care during their pregnancies.   He also stressed the need to learn skills aligned to the jobs of the future. Salceda said the courses and programs offered by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority are the most viable education options for young Filipinos.   The Albay representative also urged research institutions like PIDS to continue providing evidence-based policy recommendations to legislators. “Kailangan yung ginagawa ninyo ay maging batas. Kailangan po na yung policy maging affirmative action [of] the state, on behalf of those who do not have the capacity to fight for a better life. The studies of PIDS should prompt positive consequences in the lives of ordinary people [and] make this a better country which promises a better future,” he concluded.

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RITM confirmed first Covid-19 positive patient in Oro

March 25, 2020

CAGAYAN de Oro City--The Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) has confirmed the first COVID-19 positive patient at the government-owned Northern Mindanao Medical Center (NMMC) here. Dr. Jose Chan, NMMC Medical Director, said during a press briefing Wednesday that the patient is a 71-year-old male who resides in one of the city’s urban villages (barangays) here. Chan said that the patient came from Green Hills in San Juan, Metro Manila, who arrived in Cagayan De Oro City on March 7, 2020. He said that the patient had a medical checkup after noticing a mild fever, but was later released after getting a specimen which was sent to RITM for analyses. According to Chan, the family quarantined the patient in an isolated room in their residence pending the result of the RITM analyses. He said that the family was very cooperative when health officials asked the patient to be re-admitted to the NMMC on March 12, 2020 after the RITM findings found the patient positive of the virus. “The patient voluntarily submitted himself for admission and is now being confined in an isolation room at the NMMC. He is in stable condition,” Chan said. He said that, as of Wednesday, the NMMC has discharged 35 patients while 13 patients remain in confinement waiting for the RITM results and one (the 71-year-0ld patient) was earlier confirmed positive. Chan said that the NMMC is still waiting for the results of the specimen analyses of the two patients, a male and a female, who died at the NMMC on Monday after being diagnosed as severe acute respiratory illness (SARI). As of Wednesday, only one COVID-19 positive patient (PH 40), the 54 year-0ld-male from Lanao Del Sur died at the NMMC. Dr. Dave Mendoza, the assistant Regional Director of the Department of Health (DOH) in Northern Mindanao, said that the wife of PH40 was negative of the virus while his daughter, now confined at the Amay Pakpak Medical Center in Marawi City, was positive of the COVID-19 virus. The government doctors said that COVID-19 positive patients who died are either cremated or buried within 12-hours under the supervision of the local government unit (LGU).

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