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Advocate dedicates her energy and time for the indigenous people amid harassment

“I never wanted to get rich or get famous. I want a meaningful life, that's why I became an activist." The post Advocate dedicates her energy and time for the indigenous people amid harassment appeared first on Bulatlat......»»

Category: newsSource: bulatlat bulatlatNov 29th, 2022

Advocate dedicates her energy and time for the indigenous peoples amid harassment

“I never wanted to get rich or get famous. I want a meaningful life, that's why I became an activist." The post Advocate dedicates her energy and time for the indigenous peoples amid harassment appeared first on Bulatlat......»»

Category: newsSource:  bulatlatRelated NewsNov 30th, 2022

‘Sharp’ global labour market slowdown underway: UN

GENEVA, Switzerland — The war raging in Ukraine and other overlapping crises are taking a toll on labour markets worldwide, the UN said Monday, suggesting a “sharp” slowdown was already underway. In a fresh report, the International Labour Organization cautioned that the outlook for global labour markets has deteriorated in recent months. “The ILO projects that if current trends continue, global employment growth will deteriorate significantly in the last three months of this current year 2022, and unemployment might start increasing,” agency chief Gilbert Houngbo told reporters. The UN agency warned that multiple, overlapping crises, compounded by Russia’s war in Ukraine, were piling up with the world still in the grips of the Covid-19 pandemic. Amid deepening energy and food security crises, swelling inflation, tightening monetary policy and fears of a looming global recession, it said both employment creation and the quality of jobs were declining. “While it normally takes time for an economic slowdown or a recession to result in job destruction and unemployment, available data suggests that a sharp labour market slowdown is already underway,” the report said. 40 million jobs missing At the beginning of this year, as the world began recovering from the height of the pandemic, employment-to-population ratios returned to or even exceeded pre-Covid-crisis levels in most advanced economies. ILO said this uptick was especially apparent in high-skilled occupations — but cautioned that it was also driven by a surge in informal jobs, where social protections are generally lacking. The situation has worsened in recent months, ILO said, estimating that overall hours worked was 1.5 percent below pre-pandemic levels in the third quarter. That amounts to a deficit of 40 million full-time jobs. As the number of jobs available is shrinking, surging inflation is causing real wages to fall in many countries, as many households are still grappling with pandemic-induced income declines, it said. Ukraine employment plunges Monday’s report highlighted in particular the dire employment situation in Ukraine itself since Russia invaded in February. Houngbo said the war had caused “a dramatic effect on Ukraine’s own labour market.” Inflation in the conflict-torn country is expected to top 30 percent by the end of the year, while ILO estimated employment there would be 15.5 percent below the 2021 level. That means 2.4 million jobs lost since the start of the war — half the number predicted by ILO in April, when the number of areas in Ukraine under occupation or facing active hostilities was higher. But the UN agency cautioned the “partial labour market recovery is modest and highly fragile.” It highlighted the large number of internally displaced people looking for jobs. “This risks pushing wages down in these areas,” Houngbo said. The report also estimated that 10.4 percent of Ukraine’s pre-war workforce — some 1.6 million people, mostly women — had fled to other countries. A recent survey found around a quarter of Ukrainian refugees had found waged work or self-employment in their host countries, ILO said. ‘Deeply worrying’ Monday’s report called for in-depth social dialogue to create the policies needed to counter labour market downturns. It also warned that excessive policy tightening could cause “undue damage to jobs and incomes in both advanced and developing countries.” There is a “need to ensure that the monetary tightening to combat inflation … is really dovetailed with social measures, dovetailed with minimum social protection,” Houngbo said, describing the global employment situation as “deeply worrying”. “Preventing a significant global labour market downturn, will require comprehensive, integrated and balanced policies both nationally and globally.”.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 31st, 2022

Undeterred by Chinese aggression, US says it s committed to security of allies, partners

Washington [US], August 6 (ANI): Amid China's military muscle-flexing across the Taiwan Strait, US Secretary Antony Blinken on Friday (local time) said that Washington is committed to the security of its allies and partners including Japan. These remarks come as People's Republic of China launched nearly a dozen ballistic missiles toward Taiwan. They landed in waters to the northeast, the east, and southeast of the island.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilanewsRelated NewsAug 6th, 2022

Baguio City library holds park storytelling sessions

BAGUIO CITY - Promotion of book reading has become one of the programs that the City Library personnel here continue to advocate, especially at this age of modern technology when electronic gadgets take most of the time of people, including children."Marami tayong matututunan sa pagbabas.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilanewsRelated NewsJul 12th, 2022

AboitizPower told to stop Benguet hydro plants after community backlash

Aboitiz Power Corp. will stop the operations of some of its hydropower plants in Benguet amid resistance from indigenous people there......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJun 23rd, 2021

Lawmaker raises alarm on DILG profiling amid police try to list activists lawyers

"This is yet another evidence of blatant terrorist-tagging of legitimate people's organizations, and an unwarranted act of harassment and intimidation. They say there is no red-tagging? This is clearly red-tagging," Rep. Ferdinand Gaite (Bayan Muna) said in mixed Filipino and English. .....»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsMar 14th, 2021

Hope and Optimism Amid Adversities

         Christmas Day is already over, but the holidays are far from done. People in the Christian world, especially in the Philippines–indisputably, the longest in the world (BER Months)–continue to celebrate the December spirit, this time they have waited the  dawn of the New Year, which we’re in now.          The New Year–2021– is the […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  bicolperyodikoRelated NewsJan 14th, 2021

Suspicious

As a consumer advocate, I am always attentive to issues raised on power and energy. Last week, news reports of some militant party list representatives and lawyers calling for an investigation of Meralco’s purchase of costly power called for a closer look at the facts and, in this time of mis-information and fake news, warranted careful perusal......»»

Category: newsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsNov 29th, 2020

Sweden limits public gatherings to eight as cases surge

Sweden, which has made headlines for its softer approach to the new coronavirus, on Monday banned public gatherings of more than eight people for the first time amid a strong surge in cases......»»

Category: newsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsNov 17th, 2020

What next for Trump? Golf, Twitter and maybe another run?

When networks projected he had lost his bid for reelection to Joe Biden, President Donald Trump was playing golf. He’ll soon have plenty more time to enjoy the links if he so desires.  US President Donald Trump (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP/ MANILA BULLETIN) But if there’s one constant for Trump, it is his love of the limelight and few expect this most unusual of presidents to pursue a traditional post-White House life of public reticence, reflective memoir-writing and occasional charitable events. He will lose the keys to the White House but not his login on Twitter, where Trump and his itchy fingers could still wield powerful control over his Republican Party. Some allies have already spoken of Trump planning a rematch in 2024. Only one other president, Grover Cleveland, has served non-consecutive terms, winning in 1892 after narrowly losing reelection four years earlier. Former White House chief of staff Mark Mulvaney said with understatement that Trump — who has refused to concede and made unsubstantiated claims of widespread fraud — “doesn’t like losing.” “I would absolutely expect the president to stay involved in politics and would absolutely put him on the shortlist of people who are likely to run in 2024,” he told an Irish think tank. “He’s a very high-energy 74-year-old.” Trump’s children have made clear that they are still demanding loyalty from Republicans. “The total lack of action from virtually all of the ‘2024 GOP hopefuls’ is pretty amazing,” Donald Trump Jr. tweeted on Thursday. He called out by name Senator Lindsey Graham, a former Trump critic turned supporter who coasted to reelection. Hours afterward, Graham was on Trump’s favorite Fox News show pledging money for the president’s legal defense and repeating unsubstantiated accusations of election irregularities. – Trump TV? – The thrice-married New York-born hotel developer and television celebrity has made no secret that he longs for some comforts of his pre-White House days. “I had a nice life. I had the greatest life,” Trump said in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in his final campaign rally. His main product to fund that lifestyle has been his own name. According to his disgraced former lawyer Michael Cohen, the 2016 presidential run itself was conceived as a “branding opportunity” — until he unexpectedly won. Trump had rebuilt his public profile in the 2000s as the host of reality TV series “Celebrity Apprentice” following a string of bankruptcies. The president has hinted about seeking to start a “Trump TV” brand as he has increasingly complained about Fox News, accusing the channel that helped fuel his rise of being insufficiently right-wing. Viewers, he tweeted, “want an alternative now. So do I!” And no one can deny Trump has the gift of the gab.  At his innumerable rallies, he held large crowds in a kind of mesmerized attention with stream-of-consciousness shifts from conspiracy theories to jokes to pet peeves, like his peculiarly passionate criticism of feeble water pressure in bathroom faucets. And he has a potential readymade vehicle for the project in the form of openly Trump-supporting cable channels One America News and NewsMax TV — current minnows that a Trump takeover could turn into giants. – Prison, or a road trip? – No less plausible is a scenario where Trump is embroiled in serious legal problems. Prosecutors in New York are already probing Trump’s hush money payment to a porn star, his tangled business dealings and mysterious accounting practices. Then there are those old rape and other sexual assault allegations. As president, Trump is largely protected from prosecution. Some have speculated that he may again challenge accepted norms by trying to issue a pre-emptive pardon to himself. Eight Trump associates, including men who served as his campaign managers, lawyer and national security advisor, have already been indicted or imprisoned for serious crimes including over the 2016 campaign’s links to Russia. Or, just maybe, Trump will want to get away from it all. However implausible this sounds, he has dropped a few hints. In June at the White House he mused about taking a road trip in an RV with his former model wife Melania. Less romantic but equally heartfelt, he paused mid-speech during a campaign rally in Pennsylvania to admire parked trucks. “Nice trucks,” the president said. “You think I could hop into one of them and drive it away? I’d love to do it, just drive the hell out of here. Just get the hell out of this.”.....»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsNov 8th, 2020

US votes on Trump’s fate under threat of election turmoil

WASHINGTON (AFP) – Americans vote Tuesday in an election amounting to a referendum on Donald Trump and his uniquely brash, bruising presidency that Democratic opponent and frontrunner Joe Biden urged supporters to end, restoring “our democracy.” US President Donald Trump leaves after speaking during a Make America Great Again rally at Fayetteville Regional Airport November 2, 2020, in Fayetteville, North Carolina. – The US presidential campaign enters its final day Monday with a last-minute scramble for votes by Donald Trump and Joe Biden, drawing to a close an extraordinary race that has put a pandemic-stricken country on edge. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) The United States is more divided and angry than at any time since the Vietnam War era of the 1970s — and fears that Trump could dispute the result of the election are only fueling those tensions. Despite an often startlingly laid-back campaign, Biden, 77, leads in almost every opinion poll, buoyed by his consistent message that America needs to restore its “soul” and get new leadership in the midst of a coronavirus pandemic that has killed more than 231,000 people. “I have a feeling we’re coming together for a big win tomorrow,” Biden said in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, a vital electoral battleground where he was joined by pop superstar Lady Gaga. “It’s time to stand up and take back our democracy.” But Trump was characteristically defiant to the end, campaigning at a frenetic pace with crowded rallies in four states on Monday, and repeating his dark, unprecedented claims for a US president that the polls risk being rigged against him. After almost non-stop speeches in a final three-day sprint, he ended up in the early hours of Tuesday in Grand Rapids, Michigan — the same place where he concluded his epic against-the-odds campaign in 2016 where he defeated apparent frontrunner Hillary Clinton. Despite the bad poll numbers, the 74-year-old Republican real estate tycoon counted on pulling off another upset. “We’re going to have another beautiful victory tomorrow,” he told the Michigan crowd, which chanted back: “We love you, we love you!” “We’re going to make history once again,” he said. Packing Trump’s bags While Tuesday is formally Election Day, in reality Americans have been voting for weeks. With a huge expansion in mail-in voting to safeguard against the Covid-19 pandemic, nearly 100 million people have already made their choice. Biden has the wind in his sails after indications that Democratic enthusiasm in the early voting may be matching the more visible energy at Trump’s impressive rallies. In one of US history’s great political gambles, Biden stuck to socially distanced gatherings with small crowds right up to the last moment, in stunning contrast to Trump’s constant, large rallies where few supporters so much as bothered with masks. But the Democrat, making his third attempt at the presidency, clearly senses that his calmer approach and strict attention to pandemic protocols is what Americans want after four tempestuous years. “It’s time for Donald Trump to pack his bags and go home,” Biden told supporters in Cleveland. “We’re done with the chaos! We’re done with the tweets, the anger, the hate, the failure, the irresponsibility.” In chilly downtown Pittsburgh, Justine Wolff said she had cast her ballot for Biden already and was cautiously hopeful he would carry Pennsylvania, which along with Florida may be the tightest of all the swing states that decide close national elections. “I hope that people have seen the writing on the wall,” said the 35-year-old nurse. “We need some kind of change because this isn’t working for anybody.” But where many early votes are believed to have been cast by Democrats, Trump’s side is hoping for a massive wave of Republican supporters voting in person on Tuesday. “Whether he wins or loses, this is history,” said Kolleen Wall, who turned out to cheer Trump in Grand Rapids. But “when you come to one of these rallies, all you think is, how could he not win?” The first polling stations opening were in two New Hampshire villages, Dixville Notch and Millsfield, starting at midnight. Most polling stations on the East Coast were to open at 6:00 am or 7:00 am (1100 or 1200 GMT). A tiny hamlet of 12 residents in the middle of the forest, near the Canadian border, Dixville Notch has traditionally voted “first in the nation” since 1960. The vote took minutes, as did the count: five votes for Biden, and none for Trump. Warning of violence Trump himself is planning to visit his campaign headquarters in Virginia on Tuesday, while Biden will travel to his birthplace of Scranton, the scrappy Pennsylvania town where Trump also visited on Monday. There are worries that if the election is close, extended legal chaos and perhaps violent unrest could ensue — not least because Trump has spent months trying to sap public trust in the voting process in a nation already bitterly divided along political fault lines. He ramped up these warnings in the final days, focusing especially on Pennsylvania’s rule allowing absentee ballots received within three days after Tuesday to be counted. In a tweet flagged with a warning label by Twitter on Monday, he said this would “allow rampant and unchecked cheating.” “It will also induce violence in the streets. Something must be done!” Trump tweeted......»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsNov 3rd, 2020

Rights groups slam MMDA spox for ‘drama serye’ remark on detained activist

Human rights groups slammed Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Spokesperson Celine Pialago following her “drama serye” remarks at detained activist Reina Mae Nasino who recently buried her three-month-old daughter River.  Kapatid, a support group for families and friends of political prisoners, said those who downgrade what happened to the political prisoner are only trying to “cover the government’s gross violation of human rights.”  “The story of Reina Mae Nasino and her 3-month-old child who died last week is not ‘drama-serye.’ It is a real story that exposed the countless injustices committed by the government,” it said in a statement released on Sunday.  “MMDA Chair Danny Lim, a former political prisoner himself, should have long shown the door to his spokesperson. It should be obvious by now that sensitivity cannot be taught nor proper manners and right conduct if one is empty-headed,” it added. Meanwhile, National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL) President Edre Olalia was more restrained, saying they would “do the same thing if she was in Ina’s position and circumstance. “To start with, we will never ever wish this horrible tragedy and injustice to visit the Asec, her mother, her daughters, her sisters and her aunts,” he said in a Facebook post. Despite having nothing to do with traffic, Pialago felt the need to “use her voice as a Filipino” to share her two cents on Nasino’s case. “Hindi lahat ng inang nakakulong ay nakapunta sa libing ng kanyang anak. Kaya yung mga sumisimpatya kay Reina Mae Nasino, pag aralan niyo mabuti ang dahilan bakit siya nakulong at kilalanin niyong mabuti kung sino siya sa lipunan (Not all jailed mothers get to visit their children’s funeral. So all of those who sympathize with Reina Mae Nasino, study well why she was imprisoned and know who she is and what her role is in society),” she said in a Facebook post on Sunday morning. “Masyado ninyong ginagawang pang drama serye sa hapon ang paghihinagpis niya. Tigilan niyo (You are trying to make her grief like an afternoon drama serye. Stop it)!” she added. Nasino was five months pregnant with River when she was arrested in November 2019 for allegedly being found with firearms and explosives at the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan Manila Office in Tondo, Manila. Her lawyers have insisted that the pieces of evidence were planted and that the charges filed against her are trumped-up. She gave birth to River on July 1 at the Dr. Jose Fabella Memorial Medical Hospital on July 1. She and her baby were returned to the Manila City Jail 48 hours later. Before this, she filed a motion before the Manila Regional Trial Court (RTC) to allow her to breastfeed her daughter for a year at the hospital or a prison nursery.  But Manila RTC Branch 20 Judge Marivic Balisi-Umali denied this, saying that the jail has “very limited resources” for the care of her child.  Nasino was also among 22 elderly and medically-compromised detainees who filed a motion for their compassionate release amid the pandemic on April 8 before the Supreme Court. But months later, the High Court ruled that the trial courts will be the ones to decide on their temporary release. On August 13, the activist-mother was ordered to turn her child over to her relatives.  River was admitted at the Philippine General Hospital for fever and diarrhea on September 24. She was placed in the intensive care unit on October 9 where she died a few hours later.  A few hours before her daughter died, Nasino filed a very urgent motion for furlough so she can be with her child in her dying moments. On October 13, Manila RTC Branch 47 Judge Paulino Gallegos granted her three full days from October 14 to 16 to be by her daughter’s side during the wake and burial.  But the next day, he cut Nasino’ furlough down to only six hours from 1 to 4 p.m. on October 14 and 16 after receiving opposition from the Manila City Jail. The Manila City Jail cited lack of personnel, health concerns, and a guideline stating that detainees can only be at their loved ones’ burial and wake for a maximum of three hours. For both the wake and the funeral, Nasino was clad in a full set of personal protective equipment, handcuffed, and flanked by numerous uniformed personnel.  Tensions rose during the wake after her escorts tried to pull her away twice before her time was up, eventually escorting her out with 20 minutes to spare before 4 p.m. On October 16, Marites Asis, Nasino’s mother, had to kneel and beg in front of the police to allow them to hold funeral at 11:30 a.m. The cops wanted to delay it until 1 p.m. Police also sped off with River’s hearse to the Manila North Cemetery, leaving her family behind and thwarting activists’ plan to conduct a caravan around the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals before burying her at the cemetery. Nasino’s counsels at NUPL earlier said that they will file charges against those involved in the activist’s treatment during her daughter’s wake and burial. .....»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsOct 18th, 2020

PH military denies attacking Aetas in Zambales

  By MARTIN A. SADONGDONG The Armed Forces of the Philippines slammed the New People’s Army for feeding false information to indigenous people (IP) advocate groups questioning the reported maltreatment and torture experienced by Aetas at the hands of soldiers in San Marcelino, Zambales. Major Gen.  Edgard Arevalo, AFP spokesperson, denied the claim of Indigenous […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  tempoRelated NewsSep 4th, 2020

Bridging friendship between the UK and the Philippines amid COVID challenges

I often find myself telling people that the relationship between the UK and the Philippines is closer than they may know, and growing closer all the time......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsAug 27th, 2020

Column: Woods gets to see and hear how the other half lives

By DOUG FERGUSON AP Golf Writer OLYMPIA FIELDS, Ill. (AP) — Tiger Woods arrived at Olympia Fields for the first time in 17 years, this time with no one around to chase after his every move from the moment he stepped out of the car until he walked off the course. That's not a bad thing. He'll be in a red shirt on Sunday with about the same number of people. That's not good, at least not for him. Woods is learning after three tournaments what others have begun to realize over the last three months. Some players thrive on energy from the crowd as a pick-me-up. Now the reaction, the volume, is the same for a birdie as a double bogey. Woods is one of those players who feeds off noise. “Always have,” he said. “I've played in front of thousands of people ever since I turned pro 24 years ago. It's always been odd when I haven't played in front of people. In one way, it's been nice between tees not getting tapped or getting a glove pulled out of my pocket. Those are things I've had to deal with for a very long time. “But you hit good shots and you get on nice little runs ... we don't have the same energy, the same fan energy.” This is not his issue alone, nor is it the reason he has yet to finish in the top 35 in the three tournaments he has played since golf returned from the coronavirus-caused shutdown. Hitting good shots and making putts goes a long way in any environment. Graeme McDowell was walking along the ninth fairway in the middle of his second round last week at the TPC Boston when he said he felt like a “golf zombie.” “It's like I have no soul,” he said. The courses are different and look the same. They're empty. McDowell spoke of needing the adrenaline he gets from the crowd around the first tee at a U.S. Open or Ryder Cup. Maybe some players do better with no one watching, especially if they're on edge and need something to calm them down. McDowell isn't one of them. Neither is Rory McIlroy. He played the final two rounds with Woods, as big a draw as there is in golf, with hardly anyone watching. Woods began the final round with four straight birdies and the only buzz came from Twitter. McIlroy knows about ebbs and flows in his game. He once missed four out of five cuts and won three out of four tournaments, all in a span of four months in 2012. But his play since returning to an empty stage in June is worth noting. He had had seven consecutive top 5s, including a victory at a World Golf Championship, and reached No. 1 in the world. Since the return, he has seven straight tournaments out of the top 10 and has yet to reach the back nine with a chance to win. Coincidence? Maybe. Three months off surely cost him some momentum. “This is going to sound really bad,” McIlroy said, “but I feel like the last few weeks, I've just been going through the motions. ... And look, that's partly to do with the atmosphere and partly to do with how I'm playing. I'm not inspiring myself, and I'm trying to get inspiration from outside sources to get something going. I can definitely see where Graeme is coming from." That might allow McIlroy to reconsider what he once said about Woods. He played with Woods and Justin Thomas in the opening two rounds at Riviera a few years ago and was amazed by all the commotion around Woods. “I swear, playing in front of all that, he gives up half a shot a day on the field. Like, it's two shots a tournament he has to give to the field because of all that goes on around,” McIlroy said that day. “Whoever is teeing off at 8:30 in the morning doesn't get that and can just go about his business. He has to deal with that every single time.” McIlroy missed the point. If all that commotion costs Woods two shots to the field, what does it cost the players with him? Right now, nothing. Without spectators, has Woods lost an advantage he once had? “Absolutely,” Woods replied. "Anyone who has played in front of thousands of people, it is very different. That's always been one of the things I've become accustomed to. The guys who played with me, who haven't become accustomed to it, they have only experienced one round here and there. That's been every round I've played for over two decades. “That advantage — for me, and some of the other top players — trying to deal with all that noise and the movement, that experience is no longer there.” Nick Faldo touched on this when he was discussing the 10-year anniversary of Woods winning the 1997 Masters, a watershed moment in golf. Faldo said that when he slipped the green jacket on Woods that Sunday, he thought the Masters would be the only major he could win. Sure, Augusta National suited his game. “But also because the Masters was the only major that the media was kept outside the ropes,” Faldo said. "And I thought that was going to be his biggest challenge. Now it’s his greatest asset. Everyone joining him now on the weekend at a major goes into his world. That’s Tiger’s arena. Other guys will step into that arena one week and go back out. He’s there all the time. And good luck coming into his world.” It's a new world for everyone now. It's especially different for Woods, not so much for some of the players paired with him. For the less accomplished players who always wondered what it was like to be in his shoes, the absence of spectators has allowed Woods to see what it's like to be in theirs......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 26th, 2020

Commentary: People’s health and money at risk in a time of COVID-19

It is disconcerting that a spate of allegations had been raised on the misuse of public funds amid the uphill battle of the Philippines to control the COVID-19 crisis. .....»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsAug 15th, 2020

Get first dibs on gadget must-haves via SM& rsquo;s Dibs X Deals website

Many aspects of our lives have shifted digitally amid the pandemic. During this time, technology has become a necessity for people to go on with their lives, whether it’s for school, work, or entertainment......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 10th, 2020

Solons to gov’t: Heed the plea of medical workers

Lawmakers expressed all-out support on Sunday (August 2) to the appeal made by Philippine College of Physicians and the Philippine Medical Associationto shift Mega Manila back to a 15-day enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), even as they sought a change in leadership in the Department of Health (DOH) and other agencies handling the country’s response against COVID-19. (JANSEN ROMERO / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN) Albay 1st District Rep. Edcel Lagman, Anakalusugan partylist Rep. Michael Defensor, Bayan Muna partylist Rep.  Carlos Isagani Zarate, and Quezon City  2nd District Rep. Precious Hipolito Castelo called on the government to heed the plea of the medical experts and frontliners for more stringent health protocols in critical areas. “While both the health and economic crisis wrought by  the still ravaging COVID-19 pandemic must be both effectively addressed, the relief and recovery of the people’s health must be prioritized. Lives lost are forfeited forever but businesses lost can be redeemed,” Lagman said in a statement.“We must learn from the bitter lesson experienced by other countries like Japan which prematurely reopened economic, leisure and domestic travel activities only to be besieged later by a resurgence of the viral contagion,” he stressed.  Defensor, chairperson of the House Committee on Public Accounts, said, “If our leading doctors are prescribing it, then as good patients, we are all for Mega Manila’s brief return to an ECQ.” “Our sense is, our public health system is on the verge of collapse, and the momentary return to an ECQ will buy everybody more time to gird for a longer battle against the coronavirus disease,” he said. He said once the government gives in to the appeal, the COVID-19 National Task Force should take that opportunity to fix the lack of hospital staff due to doctors, nurses and other personnel getting infected and still recovering, or undergoing routine seclusion after possible exposure; expand the bed capacities of makeshift hospitals and quarantine facilities; and improve case-finding and the isolation of suspected cases. Defensor said the government should also step up contact-tracing and quarantining; upgrade public transportation options and safety; strengthen workplace protection; build up enforcement of and public compliance with self-protective measures such as the wearing of face masks and face shields, handwashing as well as social and physical distancing; and increase financial and livelihood support to distressed households. Zarate said they are one with our frontliners in demanding a reprieve from the overwhelming cases of COVID-19, particularly in the National Capital Region. “Reverting back to ECQ or whatever level of lockdown is useless or will be for naught if the primary recommendation of frontliners like free mass testing, pro-active contact tracing, isolation and treatment will not be seriously implemented by the government,” he said in a statement. For her part, Castelo said, “Let us listen to them. They are the ones on the frontline. Indeed, after five months of fighting this pandemic, they are exhausted physically, emotionally and mentally.” She laments that several doctors and nurses have died and many others have fallen sick while battling COVID-19. “Our medical workers are asking for a short time to recuperate. Let us give it to them,” she said. In a radio interview, Surigao del Norte 2nd district Rep. Robert Ace Barbers said the government should strike a balance between the economy and health of the Filipinos, but it should be tilted somehow, in favor of health amid the appeal made by physicians to shift Mega Manila back to a 15-day ECQ. He asked the DOH to come up with “a system, a policy, or even perhaps a strategy” to reinforce the country’s health system by augmenting the medical force.  In a separate statement, Assistant Minority Leader and ACT Teachers Representative France Castro said the Inter Agency Task Force for COVID-19 should be headed by medical experts instead of generals who have done nothing but to impose military solutions to combat a public health crisis.  “Our frontliners are already pleading to the Duterte administration to implement a comprehensive medical plan to address the COVID-19 pandemic in the country. The government needs to listen and take concrete actions with the demands of our healthcare workers,” she said.   “It is high time that medical experts lead in the fight against COVID-19 instead of military generals. Medical experts who will not twist data and try to sanitize the numbers. We need medical experts who use science and not allow an entire population to be used as guinea pigs in a failed response and inadequate policies for public health safety.”.....»»

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

In Mecca, dreams of a ‘green hajj’

A smaller carbon footprint, less waste, and more environmentally friendly — this year’s pilgrimage to Mecca, dramatically scaled down due to coronavirus, has opened up the prospect of a “green hajj”. This year’s dramatically downscaled Hajj pilgrimage has had a much less adverse effect on the environment than previous years (AFP Photo/STR) In addition to being a logistical and security headache, one of the planet’s largest gatherings, which drew some 2.5 million people last year, also typically poses huge environmental challenges. The procession of so many worshippers, over a short time and in a limited space, results in an assault on the desert kingdom’s delicate environment. Thousands of vehicles generate substantial air pollution, while the pilgrims leave behind an avalanche of waste, including enormous quantities of plastic water bottles. This year’s hajj, limited to a maximum of 10,000 attendees, was by all accounts literally a breath of fresh air. But for environmental activist Nouhad Awwad, it’s not so much the size of the crowd that determines the impact on the environment but more “our collective behaviour”. “This year’s hajj, although taking place at a difficult time globally, can be a source of hope,” the Greenpeace campaigner told AFP. “It gives an idea of what a green pilgrimage could look like,” she added. The scenes in Mecca since the hajj began on Wednesday are very different from those of past years. Rather than the vast crowds that move between the sites, casting rubbish as they go and sometimes prone to deadly crushes, the movement of the pilgrims has been limited and orderly. Even the pebbles they use to symbolically “stone the devil” have been sanitised, as part of elaborate amenity kits provided by authorities that include disinfectant and masks. “Everything is clean and there are only a few municipal workers collecting the small amounts of garbage,” Azim Allah Farha, a pilgrim from Afghanistan who has performed the hajj several times before, said at Mount Arafat, the site of one of the main rituals. One of those workers, Rahim Fajreddine, recalls the hundreds of tonnes of rubbish — plastic bags, cans and food plates — left in past years at the rocky hill outside Mecca where pilgrims pray and repent in the high point of the hajj. “Large numbers of workers had to be mobilised to remove all the debris they left behind as they passed,” he recalled. Eco awakening Until recently, the environment was not a central concern of Saudi Arabia when it came to the hajj. As “Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques”, the kingdom was concerned primarily with accommodating as many pilgrims as possible, mindful of the long waiting lists for Muslims, who must complete the hajj at least once in their lifetime if they are able. Huge extensions have been built in recent decades to increase the capacity of the two mosques and pilgrimage sites. Saudi Arabia hopes to welcome 30 million pilgrims to the kingdom annually by 2030. However, by 2018 the local authorities launched a waste separation programme and began to consider recycling. Signs in several languages were posted to encourage the pilgrims to do their bit and dispose of their waste properly. This year, despite the relatively tiny number of pilgrims, the municipality deployed more than 13,000 cleaners to the holy sites, equipped with hundreds of skips, according to an official statement. ‘This is our future’ Awwad said that although this year’s hajj is leaving a small environmental footprint because of the constraints generated by the global pandemic, in the future the same outcome must be achieved by choice. “By investing in sustainable development and adopting green practises, we can continue to live our traditions and perform our rituals while keeping our skies clear of pollution and our streets free of waste,” the activist said. She imagines “a hajj with its millions of pilgrims in total symbiosis with their environment, in a Mecca powered by solar energy”. In a kingdom that ranks as the world’s top energy exporter, and where the shift to renewables is going slower than planned, her vision is unlikely to become a reality any time soon.   “But this is the future we should all be working towards,” she insisted......»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsAug 1st, 2020

Ken Tuffin, Taranaki fight for right to advance in NBL playoffs

Having lost their last game in the elimination round of the 2020 Sal's New Zealand National Basketball League, Ken Tuffin and Taranaki find themselves in a do-or-die situation. Still, Far Eastern University's captain is nothing but upbeat that the four-seed Mountainairs will come out on top of five-seed Franklin on Wednesday. "Tomorrow is another opportunity to bounce back," he said, talking about his first playoff game in the Kiwi league tipping off at 3:30 PM (Philippine time) to be streamed live on Smart Sports Facebook. "I feel like when I play well, the team reflects my energy as well." Tuffin shone bright in his first nine showings for Taranaki as he normed 10.8 points on 51.5 percent shooting and 5.7 rebounds, but dimmed as of late with averages of 6.5 markers on 32.1 percent shooting and 4.0 boards in the last four games. That includes his most recent outing where he went scoreless as they bowed to the Bulls, 65-92, last Thursday. That loss forced them to settle for the four-seed in the playoffs, leading to a knockout bout with the five-seed for the right to move on to the semifinals. For him, though, this win or go home match opposite the very same squad that had downed them to end the elims is just another golden opportunity for the Mountainairs to send a statement they are for real. "Games are always going to be like that. You have good games, you have bad games," he said. He then continued, "I'm just looking forward to another opportunity tomorrow to bounce back. Hopefully, we can get it done." Even better, the 6-foot-4 versatile forward will be much more energized for his first playoff game as it will be steamed live for the benefit kababayans. As he put it, "That's awesome! Hearing about that makes me want to give that extra, knowing that people will be watching and supporting from the Philippines." Other players to watch apart from Tuffin are Taranaki's Derone Raukuwa, the league's leading scorer, and Marcel Jones, its leading rebounder, as well as Franklin's  Dominique Kelman-Poto and Isaac Davidson. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 28th, 2020