Belmonte takes part in London health summit

Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte and her delegation participated in the recently concluded Partnership for Healthy Cities Summit in London, United Kingdom, aimed at improving the response of city governments to health crises and in addressing non-communicable diseases and injuries......»»

Category: newsSource: philstar philstarMar 18th, 2023

Chinese sci-fi steps into the spotlight

Once effectively banned, Chinese science fiction has exploded into the mainstream, embraced by the government and public alike –- inviting scrutiny of a genre that has become known for its expanding diversity and relative freedom. Its new status was epitomized by this week's Worldcon, the world's oldest and most influential sci-fi gathering, which closed Sunday after taking place in China for the first time. Held in the gleaming new Chengdu Science Fiction Museum, the event's star was Liu Cixin, author of the international phenomenon "Three-Body" series and inspiration for the domestic blockbuster "Wandering Earth". But the wider science fiction fandom has become a rare space where diverse voices have flourished and a vast array of issues -- social, environmental, even sometimes political -- can be explored. "In its nature, part of sci-fi is talking about the present," award-winning author Chen Qiufan told AFP. "It takes advantage of talking about outer space, or being set in different times, but reflects the human condition right now." Chen's own novel "The Waste Tide" is set in a dystopian future in China, where migrant e-waste workers toil in hazardous conditions, exploited by corrupt conglomerates. He grew up near Guiyu, once one of the largest e-waste dumps in the world. Ecological destruction, urbanization, social inequality, gender, and corruption, to name just a few –- "these issues are intersectional and intertwined with each other", said Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University's Liu Xi. Together, they "allow everyone to understand Chinese writers' exploration of Chinese society", she said. That can be rare to find in today's China, where the space for political and artistic expression has shrunk drastically over the last decade under President Xi Jinping. Spiritual pollution Historically, science fiction has had a turbulent relationship with Chinese authorities -– it effectively disappeared during the Cultural Revolution and then was banned as "spiritual pollution" in the 1980s. Though it returned, it remained relatively obscure. Writer Regina Kanyu Wang said it was only at university that she met other fans -- together they formed one of the smaller clubs on campus. Sci-fi was not taken seriously, and seen as something for children and young adults, Chen said. That had its advantages. "There was a lot of freedom... because nobody was reading science fiction, (authors) could just do whatever they wanted," the University of Zurich's Jessica Imbach told AFP. The global success of the "Three-Body" series changed everything, catapulting its epic themes of technological prowess and the fate of humanity into the public consciousness. "Whether you like science fiction or not, the social reality we are facing is becoming more and more like science fiction," said Yu Xuying from Hong Kong Metropolitan University. "We live in a high-tech era. And then your daily life is completely technological," she said. The pace of digital change in China, already fast, was accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic. Cash has all but disappeared, and stringent health regulations further enhanced the state's significant surveillance capacity. The international interest spike in Chinese sci-fi is also related to real-world concerns, Chen believes. "I think there are different layers of reasons for the phenomenon," he said. "But a major one is the rising economic and technological power of China on the world stage." A good vehicle China's government has been happy to capitalize on all this. "At a national level, science fiction is a good vehicle for conveying the country's discourse on its science and technology strength," said Yu. It can also help "highlight the relationship between the Chinese dream (a Xi-era aspirational slogan) and science", she said. Authorities have put their money where their mouth is. The nebula-shaped Chengdu Science Fiction Museum, designed by the renowned Zaha Hadid Architects, was built at lightspeed in just a year to coincide with Worldcon. The event, historically fan-led and funded, this year was a "capitalistic initiative, coming top-down from the Chinese government", said Chen. "They want sci-fi to be the name card of the city, showing China's openness and inclusiveness to the world," he said. Government attention comes with potential risk. "The Three-Body Problem" has a different structure in English, with the narrative beginning with a violent Cultural Revolution scene. In the original Chinese, it was buried halfway through the book to make it less conspicuous, the translator Ken Liu was told. Liu told the New York Times in 2019 that increasingly, "it's gotten much harder for me to talk about the work of Chinese authors without... causing them trouble". Some works he has translated into English, deemed too sensitive, have never been published in Chinese at all. "If you're very marginal if you have low print numbers in China, then it's OK, you have more leeway. If you're doing a mega big-budget movie... it's much more complicated," said Imbach. "That's what's now also happening with science fiction," she said. "As it's becoming more mainstream, there is increased scrutiny." The post Chinese sci-fi steps into the spotlight appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsOct 22nd, 2023

Advancing OFWs’ welfare, protecting Filipinos abroad

Overseas Filipino Workers, or OFWs, are indeed modern-day heroes. They help boost our economy, but more importantly, they help uplift the lives of their families to give them a better future and also showcase Filipinos' talents, skills, and work ethic to the world. I was in London, United Kingdom last week for an official trip upon the invitation of the British Group Inter-Parliament Union. Led by Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri and co-head of delegation Senator Grace Poe, we embarked on several meetings aimed at strengthening relations of the Philippine Senate with our counterparts in the UK parliament to exchange best practices in policymaking while enhancing bilateral relations, fostering economic security, exploring areas of cooperation between the two countries, and promoting the welfare of Filipinos working there. As Chair of the Senate Committee on Health and member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, I also expressed my gratitude to the UK for donating vaccines during the early stages of the Covid-19 pandemic. Moreover, we thanked them for other development assistance extended by the UK to the Philippines and for their help in strengthening the Bangsamoro Region. As vice chairperson of the Senate Committee on Migrant Workers, I also maximized the visit to highlight efforts in promoting the welfare of more than 200,000 OFWs in the UK, particularly the more or less 40,000 Filipino nurses working there. We were able to raise to the UK policymakers the concerns of Filipino nurses regarding their rights to proper benefits, just compensation, and a safe working environment. We should be proud of Filipino medical frontliners in the UK, particularly nurses who are among the world’s finest. Take, for example, May Parsons, a Filipina-British nurse who became known globally for administering the first COVID-19 vaccine outside of a clinical trial and receiving the UK's George Cross Award. I have co-sponsored a Senate resolution earlier recognizing and commending her achievement. After our official meetings, I met with a group of OFWs, some of them were fellow Dabawenyos, Filipino Muslims, Ilonggos, and Ilocanos, among others. The stories they shared were proof of how resilient our OFWs are. Despite their sacrifices, homesickness, and worries about their families in their hometowns, they maintain their cheerfulness and positive outlook. I brought some good news to our OFWs by informing them about the establishment of the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) through Republic Act No. 11641, a legislation for which I am proud to be one of the authors and co-sponsors in the Senate. This measure streamlines the organization and functions of all government agencies related to overseas employment and migration to better address the needs and concerns of migrant workers. I have also filed Senate Bill No. (SBN) 2297 to institutionalize the OFW Hospital and ensure its continuous operation in San Fernando City, Pampanga, primarily intended for OFWs and eligible dependents. More importantly, a Malasakit Center is operational there to help reduce their out-of-pocket expenses. The establishment of the DMW, the OFW Hospital, and its own Malasakit Center are just a few of our dreams that are now realities for Filipinos to benefit from. These are testaments of our commitment to promote the welfare of migrant workers and their dependents. However, we acknowledge that there is more work to be done. That is why we continue to listen to their concerns, serve them to the best of our abilities, and pursue initiatives to further their cause. I have also filed SBN 2414, which seeks to establish OFW wards in Department of Health (DOH) hospitals if enacted into law. While our efforts continue to safeguard the welfare of Filipinos abroad, our commitment to serve Filipinos facing challenges in their communities remains unwavering. This week, we had groundbreaking ceremonies for Super Health Centers in Cabadbaran City, Agusan del Norte; Brgy. Labangon in Cebu City; Pitogo, Zamboanga del Sur; and in Tigbauan, Iloilo. Through the collective efforts of DOH, LGUs, and fellow lawmakers, we continue to advocate for establishing more community health facilities to help bring public health services closer to those needing medical attention. We have also assisted 1,000 indigents in Llanera, Nueva Ecija, with the office of Cong. Jose Padiernos; 500 members from various sectors in Barangay Mintal, Davao City; 1,900 in Caloocan City, with the office of Congresswoman Mitch Cajayon-Uy. In Cebu City, we also distributed aid to 1,700 residents of the South District with Congressman Edu Rama; 450 in Nagcarlan, Laguna, with Mayor Elmor Vita and Councilor Rey Comendador; and 333 in Pulupandan, Negros Occidental, in collaboration with the Malasakit@Bayanihan group. We also aided 1,000 United Senior Citizens Association members of Quezon City, with Congresswoman Mila Magsaysay, Senator Robin Padilla, and private sector volunteer organizations. My office also extended additional aid to 93 displaced workers in Lumban, Laguna; 210 in Pilar; 217 in Carmen and Batuan in Bohol. DOLE also gave qualified beneficiaries temporary employment. We also supported 200 scholars during their TESDA Orientation in Daet, Camarines Norte. There are also 43 residents of Davao City and nine in La Paz, Agusan del Sur, who were victims of fires and 32 victims of flooding in Kalamansig, Sultan Kudarat. They were provided separate assistance and the livelihood kits they received through the DTI program, which we advocated for before and continue to support. We also supported 283 victims of past fires in Cagayan de Oro City by giving separate aid in addition to the emergency housing assistance received from the NHA through a program we pushed for so that they could buy materials like nails, roofing, and other necessities for home repairs. My office also provided immediate help to victims of recent fires, such as 50 families in Baseco, Manila City, and 11 families in Brgy. Alabang, Muntinlupa City. No one is exempt from facing life’s hardships. However, our OFWs have shown us how resilient Filipinos can be. Let us learn from them and, more importantly, do our part in uplifting their lives by advocating for their welfare, promoting their rights, protecting their families, and providing the genuine public service they deserve. The post Advancing OFWs’ welfare, protecting Filipinos abroad appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsOct 22nd, 2023

First relief convoy enters Gaza devastated by ‘nightmare’ war

The first aid trucks arrived in war-torn Gaza from Egypt on Saturday, bringing urgent humanitarian relief to the Hamas-controlled Palestinian enclave suffering what the UN chief labelled a "godawful nightmare". Israel has vowed to destroy Hamas after the Islamist militant group carried out the deadliest attack in the country's history on October 7. Hamas militants killed at least 1,400 people, mostly civilians who were shot, mutilated or burnt to death, and took more than 200 hostages, according to Israeli officials. Israel has retaliated with a relentless bombing campaign on Gaza that has killed more than 4,300 Palestinians, mainly civilians, according to the Hamas-run health ministry. An Israeli siege has cut food, water, electricity and fuel supplies to the densely populated and long-blockaded territory of 2.4 million people, sparking fears of a humanitarian catastrophe. AFP journalists on Saturday saw 20 trucks from the Egyptian Red Crescent, which is responsible for delivering aid from various UN agencies, pass through the Rafah border crossing from Egypt into Gaza. The crossing -- the only one into Gaza not controlled by Israel -- closed again after the trucks passed. The lorries had been waiting for days on the Egyptian side after Israel agreed to a request from its main ally the United States to allow aid to enter. UN chief Antonio Guterres warned Friday that the relief supplies were "the difference between life and death" for many Gazans, more than one million of whom have been displaced. "Much more" aid needs to be sent, he told a peace summit in Egypt on Saturday. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken welcomed the aid and urged "all parties" to keep the Rafah crossing open. But a Hamas spokesman said "even dozens" of such convoys could not meet Gaza's needs, especially as no fuel was being allowed in to help distribute the supplies to those in need. 'Reeling in pain'  Tens of thousands of Israeli troops have deployed to the Gaza border ahead of an expected ground offensive that officials have pledged will begin "soon". As international tensions soar, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi was hosting a peace summit in Cairo on Saturday attended by regional and some Western leaders. "The time has come for action to end this godawful nightmare," Guterres told the summit, calling for a "humanitarian ceasefire". The region "is reeling in pain and one step from the precipice", he said. Guterres said "the grievances of the Palestinian people are legitimate and long" after "56 years of occupation with no end in sight". But he stressed that "nothing can justify the reprehensible assault by Hamas that terrorised Israeli civilians". "Those abhorrent attacks can never justify the collective punishment of the Palestinian people," he added. Egypt, historically a key mediator between Hamas and Israel, has urged "restraint" and the relaunch of the long-frozen peace process. But diplomatic efforts to end the violence have made little headway, without the participation of Israel and its enemy Iran, a supporter of Hamas and other armed groups. 'Sliver of hope'  A full-blown Israeli ground offensive carries many risks, including to the hostages Hamas took and whose fate is shrouded in uncertainty. So the release of two Americans among the hostages -- mother and daughter Judith and Natalie Raanan -- offered a rare "sliver of hope", said Mirjana Spoljaric, president of the International Committee of the Red Cross. US President Joe Biden thanked Qatar, which hosts Hamas's political bureau, for its mediation in securing the release. He said he was working "around the clock" to win the return of other Americans being held. Natalie Raanan's half-brother Ben told the BBC he felt an "overwhelming sense of joy" at the release after "the most horrible of ordeals". Hamas said Egypt and Qatar had negotiated the release and that it was "working with all mediators to implement the movement's decision to close the civilian (hostage) file if appropriate security conditions allow". Traumatised families with loved ones missing in Gaza demanded more action. "We ask humanity to interfere and bring back all those young boys, young girls, mothers, babies," Assaf Shem Tov, whose nephew was abducted from a music festival where Hamas killed hundreds, said Friday. Devastation  Almost half of Gaza's residents have been displaced, and at least 30 percent of all housing in the territory has been destroyed or damaged, the United Nations says. Thousands have taken refuge in a camp set up in the city of Khan Yunis in southern Gaza. Fadwa al-Najjar said she and her seven children walked for 10 hours to reach the camp, at some points breaking into a run as missiles struck around them. "We saw bodies and limbs torn off and we just started praying, thinking we were going to die," she told AFP. In Al-Zahra in central Gaza, Rami Abu Wazna was struggling to take in the destruction wreaked by Israeli missile strikes. "Even in my worst nightmares, I never thought this could be possible," he said. Israel's operation will take not "a day, nor a week, nor a month" and will result in "the end of Israel's responsibilities in the Gaza Strip", Defence Minister Yoav Gallant warned on Friday. Regional tensions flare  In Gaza, retired general Omar Ashour said the destruction was "part of a clear plan for people to have no place left to live". "This will cause a second Nakba," he added, referring to the 760,000 Palestinians who were expelled from or fled their homes when Israel was created in 1948. The United States has moved two aircraft carriers into the eastern Mediterranean to deter Iran or Lebanon's Hezbollah, both Hamas allies, amid fears of a wider conflagration. Fire across Israel's border with Lebanon continued overnight, with one Israeli soldier killed, Israeli public radio said. The military said it hit Hezbollah targets after rocket and missile fire. Violence has also flared in the West Bank, where 84 Palestinians have been killed since October 7, according to the Palestinian health ministry. The post First relief convoy enters Gaza devastated by ‘nightmare’ war appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsOct 21st, 2023

Meta, Google quit tech summit over organizer’s Israel remarks

Meta and Google have pulled out of the Web Summit, one of the tech sector's biggest annual events, after the organizer criticized Israel's actions following the Hamas attacks, the companies said on Friday. A spokesman for Meta confirmed to AFP that it would not take part in this year's event, with Google telling the Irish Independent that it too would not be making the trip to Lisbon. Irish entrepreneur Paddy Cosgrave, co-founder of the Web Summit, wrote on social media platform X last week that he was "shocked at the rhetoric and actions of so many Western leaders & governments." "War crimes are war crimes even when committed by allies, and should be called out for what they are," Cosgrave wrote on October 13. Hamas militants stormed into Israel from the Gaza Strip on October 7, and killed at least 1,400 people, mostly civilians who were shot, mutilated or burnt to death on the first day of the raid, according to Israeli officials. Israel says around 1,500 Hamas fighters were killed in clashes before its army regained control of the area under attack. More than 3,700 Palestinians, mainly civilians, have been killed across the Gaza Strip in relentless Israeli bombardments in retaliation for the attacks by the Palestinian Islamist militant group, according to the latest toll from the Hamas health ministry in Gaza. The boycott by Meta and Google follows other exits by companies and tech figures, including Intel, Siemens and US comedian Amy Poehler and X-files actor Gillian Anderson. The Web Summit is due to host some 2,300 startups and more than 70,000 people on November 13-16 in Lisbon. Silicon Valley figure Garry Tan, of start-up backer Y-Combinator, initially kicked off the boycott and other big names in the industry quickly followed. Cosgrave issued an apology on Tuesday. "I understand that what I said, the timing of what I said, and the way it has been presented has caused profound hurt to many. To anyone who was hurt by my words, I apologise deeply," he said. "What is needed at this time is compassion, and I did not convey that," the statement said. Cosgrave said he "unreservedly" condemns Hamas's "evil, disgusting and monstrous" attack on Israel and "unequivocally" supports Israel's "right to exist and to defend itself." He also said that Israel should adhere to the Geneva Conventions, "ie, not commit war crimes." The post Meta, Google quit tech summit over organizer’s Israel remarks appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 20th, 2023

SBG honors teachers during World Teachers’ Day celebration in Lapu-Lapu City

Senator Bong Go personally paid tribute to educators in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu during their World Teachers' Day Celebration at Hoops Dome on Friday, 6 October. Go acknowledged the vital role played by teachers in society and expressed his deep appreciation for their sacrifices, especially during the challenging times when the education landscape has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. “I have always believed that teachers are the architects of our future. Sila ang naglalagay ng pundasyon para sa uri ng lipunan na nais nating itayo. At huwag nating kalimutan, ginagawa nila ito hindi lamang sa pamamagitan ng tisa at pisara, kundi sa mga aral sa buhay na kanilang ibinabahagi, na madalas ay higit pa sa kanilang tungkulin,” Go highlighted. As part of his appreciation, Go provided gift packs, masks, and snacks to all teachers present while he also provided balls for basketball and volleyball, shirts, and vitamins for the schools. He also gave away bicycles, shoes, and mobile phones to select recipients. The senator also took the opportunity to highlight the importance of providing support to educators through better government interventions to protect their welfare. “At ako malaki ang aking pasasalamat sa mga teachers. Hindi ako magiging senador kung hindi ako natuto noon. Dumaan ako sa mga guro na mga mababait at may natutunan ako... Maraming salamat sa inyong pagserbisyo,” he acknowledged. In 2019, Go authored and co-sponsored Republic Act No. 11466, also known as the Salary Standardization Law 5, which gives civilian government employees, including public school teachers, another round of salary increases broken down in tranches. Go also expressed support for another increase in salaries for government workers through the proposed Salary Standardization Law 6 which can also benefit public school teachers nationwide if enacted into law. The senator has also co-authored and co-sponsored Senate Bill No. 1964, or the Kabalikat sa Pagtuturo Act, which seeks to institutionalize teaching supplies allowances for public school teachers if enacted into law. The proposed measure was approved on the third and final reading last May. sponsored SBN 1360 which seeks to expand the coverage of the tertiary education subsidy by amending RA 10931, or the Universal Access To Quality Tertiary Education Act which was first enacted into law during the Duterte administration. Go, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Sports, also highlighted the National Academy of Sports, a fully operational institution located within the New Clark City in Tarlac, which he authored and co-sponsored that became RA 11470, establishing the NAS in 2020. NAS is a government-run educational institution that offers quality secondary education with a special curriculum on sports for gifted young Filipinos who want to enhance their physical and mental capabilities in sports. During his visit, he likewise witnessed the ribbon-cutting and opening of the new wing at Lapu-Lapu City Hospital which he also advocated for earlier. Furthermore, he also supported the construction of a diversion road along Barangays Basak and Gabi in Lapu-Lapu City. Go also went to Cebu City where he attended the Barangay Health Workers Summit and provided assistance to fire victims before heading to Lapu-Lapu City. Earlier that day, Go was a guest speaker during the 33rd Commencement Exercises of the Polytechnic University of the Philippines Maragondon Branch where he extended tokens to 480 graduates. He also gave away tokens to 121 graduates of PUP-Alfonso Branch, which also held its 7th Commencement Exercises on the same day. The post SBG honors teachers during World Teachers’ Day celebration in Lapu-Lapu City appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsOct 9th, 2023

Pickleball takes residence at Ayala Malls

Ayala Malls redefines lifestyle with Picklemall, bringing in Pickeball into its chain of centers as part of its continuing effort to promote health and wellness through the staging of the fast-growing sport across the globe......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsOct 5th, 2023

Keeping it together

It’s no longer unusual, nowadays, for a family to have one or both parents working in another country, or for grown children to relocate abroad for work or start their own family. Single parenting is also quite common, right along there with blended families and LGBTQ unions with kids. Yet even when families are together in one place — one home, compound, neighborhood or city — it takes a lot to stay “together,” literally and figuratively. Perhaps sensing the threats to what is recognized as society’s basic foundation, our government in 1992 decided to declare the last week of September as Family Week, as mandated by Proclamation 60 signed by then President Fidel V. Ramos. Ramos wanted the week to emphasize the importance of the family as “the foundation of the nation” and “as a basic autonomous social institution,” as well as recognize “the sanctity of family life,” as stated in the Constitution of the Philippines. The world may transform in many ways, but the need for family will never change. “No matter how much life changes and the concept of family evolves, it may continue to benefit human health and wellness by offering a sense of belonging and support,” it aptly states in an article on Better Help, which also enumerates the factors affecting family life as “advancements in technology, changing cultural norms, new priorities and advanced forms of communication fueled by the internet.” The sense of belonging one gains from being part of a family — whether it is in a traditional setup, adoptive or “chosen,” a new kind of family defined in these modern times — has a profound impact on one’s well-being. With government providing the impetus for today’s families to connect or reconnect during the annual Family Week, it is up to each one of us to take steps to keep ours together in these fast-paced, nomadic, dysfunctional times. In the local setting, we already see so many signs of the changing dynamics among families. We could wade through studies to figure out all the issues affecting our core foundation, but we believe one may truly gain more understanding by examining our own experiences. Here, we share the views of people in our sphere, in answer to our query: What do you consider as the biggest challenge for your family in these trying times?   Gigie Arcilla, Editor-in-chief Dealing with young adult children presents the challenge of establishing boundaries as they seek independence and transition into adulthood. Striking a balance between support and autonomy, as well as providing guidance while allowing room for growth, can be difficult, especially for a single parent. [caption id="attachment_187927" align="aligncenter" width="1280"] STEPHANIE Mayo (fifth, clockwise) with her family. | PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF Stephanie Mayo[/caption]   Stephanie Mayo, Film critic and writer I have senior-citizen parents, and my siblings and I are now at the age when our health naturally starts to decline. Even if someone has health insurance, no one can deny how debilitating and expensive getting sick is. Without health, quality of life is decreased. You also cannot work (no work, no pay for freelancers such as myself) if you are sick. Gratefully, none of us in the family are currently seriously ill. It’s just that given that these trying times are also marked by corruption, medical gaslighting, new diseases and viruses and climate change, health problems have become even more threatening. [caption id="attachment_187926" align="aligncenter" width="993"] PAULINE Songco (fifth from left) and dad Arnold, mom Dhen, grandmother Linda and sister Patricia. | PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF Pauline Songco[/caption]   Pauline Songco, Editor and writer I would say our biggest challenge is finding time to be together. I am always never at home. If I am, I would just be there for a few hours to sleep. I would get up, then go to work again. I find myself having less and less free time than before. My sister is busy with work, and so is my father. My mom is left alone at home with my cats. But, she goes to the gym to occupy herself and to see her friends. Yet, I’m thankful for what we have right now for these are the same things that we used to pray for before. [caption id="attachment_187924" align="aligncenter" width="641"] PAULINE Pascual (first from left) and dad Roy, mom Jocelyn and sister Prizcia. | PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF Pauline Pascual[/caption]   Pauline Joyce Pascual, Lifestyle writer Our family became even closer during the pandemic, and now that things are almost back to normal, it is the family bonding that we used to that we find the most challenging. My sister is studying and getting ready for her time at college while my parents are back in business and I am now working outside of our province. I miss the good old days even though we still saw each other every week. [caption id="attachment_187925" align="aligncenter" width="638"] RAPHAEL, Rachael, Joylen and Ruben Ramos. | PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF Raphael Ramos[/caption] Raphael Ramos, STEM student at De La Salle Araneta The desire to act in spite of the potential consequences for everyone else. The family members’ immaturity leads to a more serious issue and may stunt each person’s development. [caption id="attachment_187922" align="aligncenter" width="2246"] GEL, Dino, Tei and Maui Datu. | PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF Dino Datu[/caption]   Dino Datu, Chef, journalist and entrepreneur The biggest challenge in families today is creating quality family time. Everyone is so busy and there are so many distractions. While working and school work are necessities, we need to create time to just sit together for regular meals and chat without our electronic devices. Even on rare occasions that everyone is together, dining out, for example, people look at their phones every few seconds. That’s what I think is a big difference between today’s families and those from a few decades back. We often see “perfect” families on social media. Sadly, it seems like that’s the only place it exists.   Teresa Laurente, Business Consultant For me, it has to be family, healthcare, children’s education and social media effect on young people.   Pamela Palacio, Statistician III, Provincial Government of Bataan Disrespect to God and parents. Negative effect of social media. [caption id="attachment_187920" align="aligncenter" width="1080"] YVETTE Chua-Carrion (fourth from left) beside her husband, businessman Melon. | PHOTOGRAPH COURTESYOF Yvette Chua-Carrion[/caption]   Yvette Chua-Carrion, Educator and breakthrough life coach In these financially trying times — the budget for groceries, how to have savings for emergencies (which we hope won’t happen), and high gas prices. [caption id="attachment_187919" align="aligncenter" width="1600"] (FROM left) Riley, husband Noel, Tiffany and Ashley. | PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF Tiffany Cuna[/caption]   Tiffany Sison Cuna, Former beauty queen turned entrepreneur Disciplining and inculcating values in our children knowing how the Internet plays a vital role in their lives — it could either influence them positively or negatively. [caption id="attachment_187923" align="aligncenter" width="1170"] JIA Bote and dad Milton. | PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF Jia Bote[/caption] Jia Bote, Student at the University of Santo Tomas With my father working away from home, the biggest challenge is having more time together as a family. When I was younger, I thought I had all the time in the world to spend time with my family. However, as I grow older, my responsibilities increase, and I have less free time than I used to. I remember spending the peak of the pandemic away from our father, and we could only talk through the phone for months. It was challenging for me not to see my father physically, especially when I go through difficult moments because I believe that we need more of our parents’ wisdom and guidance as we grow older. With the pandemic and the natural course of life, it feels like I have less time and opportunity to be with my father who is also growing old day by day. [caption id="attachment_187921" align="aligncenter" width="1242"] ALEX and Jet Capina (fourth and fifth from left) with their children. | PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY of Jet Capina[/caption]   Jet Capina, retired bank vice president Our challenge is how to make the family complete on weekends. My children have their own gimmicks. Before every Sunday we were together attending church service but after the pandemic each of them esp  Paolo is out of the house  to be with his gf. I don’t think it’s good to write about it. Our challenge is how to make the family complete on weekends. My children are all good and well behaved but having grown up, the elder ones now and then have their own gimmicks. I am happy that my husband, who often plays golf, is with me always.   The post Keeping it together appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 23rd, 2023

Big fuss over .02%

The Philippine Stock Exchange index is considered the gauge of the activity in the equities market and, by extension, of the economy since the direction of the line graph indicates the country’s financial health. The index tracks the price movements of a basket of select companies listed on the bourse, representing various sectors of the economy. Investors and market participants use the PSE index as a reference to evaluate the performance of their investment portfolios and make informed investment decisions. The daily movement of the index influences investor confidence and sentiment. Increased investor confidence can stimulate trading activity, attract foreign investments, and encourage local companies to raise capital through initial public offerings or secondary floats. A strong and stable PSE Index can enhance the stock market’s perception as an attractive investment destination. This could attract foreign capital inflows, increase liquidity, and contribute to developing the local capital market. Thus, the impending exit of Metro Pacific Investments Corp., or MPIC, and Aboitiz Power Corp., or APC, from the Philippine Stock Exchange index seems a bit off as both companies are major players in the country’s growth story. Replacing APC and MPIC in the exclusive blue chips club are tycoon Enrique Razon Jr.’s Bloomberry Resorts and the Po family’s Century Pacific Food. The revamp takes effect on Tuesday, 26 September. MPIC is stepping out of the index after its public float dropped to 2.78 percent as part of its program to delist by October. APC’s exclusion from the benchmark was decided on, however, after it missed by a few decimal points of the 20 percent float rule for stocks to be retained in the PSEi. The company purchased 11.4 million shares as part of its buyback program that brought the public float level to below 20 percent, the level required to stay in the PSEi. Based on APC’s report to the market, stocks owned by the public are 19.98 percent of the total listed shares of 7.35 billion. Listed companies are required to have a 10-percent public float, but the elite index members are given a more arduous 20-percent public ownership condition. APC is off by .02 percent. APC’s buyback activities increased non-public scrips to 5.886 billion, bringing the total number of publicly owned shares to 1.47 billion. “Aboitiz Power’s current public ownership levels far exceed the 10-percent minimum public ownership level required for it to remain listed in the Philippine Stock Exchange,” an APC statement to the PSE said. “Even with this stock buyback program, there is no intention to delist from the PSE, but merely to reward our existing shareholders with a larger share of a brighter future,” APC added. The PSEi must accurately reflect the stock market’s overall performance and, in the bigger picture, the economy’s strength. Its composition should go beyond the mere technical criteria to allow a more representative indicator of the daily activity of the market. APC accounts for one out of every five megawatts, or MW, of installed capacity in the country and has some 1,000 MW of renewable energy capacity in the pipeline. In the first half of the year, the company reported a P17.8-billion net income, 79 percent higher than the P10 billion recorded in the same period a year ago. In the second quarter, the company’s net income reached P10.3 billion, 46 percent higher than the P7 billion profit a year ago. The decision to remove a key bourse participant, which also has among the most active shares, is like benching your star player because he forgot to bring a matching pair of socks. The post Big fuss over .02% appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsSep 21st, 2023

Belmonte joins climate summit in New York

Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte was among the leaders from around the world who took part in the United Nations Climate Ambition Summit convened by UN Secretary General António Guterres in New York......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsSep 20th, 2023

UN chief convenes ‘no nonsense’ climate summit, without China or US

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is set Wednesday to host a climate meeting marred at its outset by the absence of speakers from the world's top two emitters, China and the United States. Despite increasing extreme weather events and record-shattering global temperatures, greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise and fossil fuel companies reap handsome profits. Guterres has thus billed the "Climate Ambition Summit" as a "no nonsense" forum where leaders or cabinet ministers will announce specific actions that deliver on their commitments under the Paris Agreement. The bar for making the podium was set high, with the UN chief making clear that only leaders who had made concrete plans to achieve net-zero greenhouse emissions would be allowed to speak. After receiving more than 100 applications to take part, the UN finally released a list on Tuesday night of 41 speakers which did not include China, the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan or India. "Tomorrow, I will welcome credible first movers and doers to our Climate Ambition Summit," Guterres said Tuesday. Several major leaders didn't bother making the trip to New York for this year's UN General Assembly, including President Xi Jinping of China and Prime Minister Rishi Sunak from the United Kingdom, who said he was too busy. US President Joe Biden, who addressed the General Assembly on Tuesday, sent his climate envoy John Kerry to the meeting -- though Kerry won't be permitted to speak. "There's no doubt that the absence of so many leaders from the world's biggest economies and emitters will clearly have an impact on the outcomes of the summit," Alden Meyer of climate think tank E3G said. He blamed competing issues -- from the Ukraine conflict to US-China tensions and rising economic uncertainty. "But I think it's also the opposition in many of these countries from the fossil fuel industry and other powerful interests to the kind of transformational changes that are needed," said Meyer. Catherine Abreu, executive director of nonprofit Destination Zero, said it was "perhaps a good-news story that we see Biden not being given a speaking slot at the summit" because the United States is continuing to expand fossil fuel projects even as it makes historic investments in renewables. "I think about this as being a correction from past summits, where leaders have been given the opportunity to take credit for climate leadership on the global stage, while they continue to pursue plans to develop fossil fuels, and continue driving the climate crisis back at home," she added. While the United States won't take the rostrum, California will be represented by Governor Gavin Newsom. From Britain, London Mayor Sadiq Khan will also attend. Growing anger The event is the biggest climate summit in New York since 2019, when Greta Thunberg stunned the world with her "How Dare You" speech before the UN. Anger is building among climate activists, particularly younger people, who turned out in thousands last weekend for the "March to End Fossil Fuels" in New York. Observers are eager however to see what Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and European Union President Ursula von der Leyen say both on their own goals and on financing commitments for the developing world. The failure of advanced economies, responsible for the majority of historic emissions, to honor their promises to the worst affected lower-income nations has long been a sore point in climate talks. There are some bright spots, including the announcement that Colombia and Panama are joining a grouping called the Powering Past Coal Alliance -- particularly notable as Colombia is the world's sixth biggest coal exporter. Wednesday's summit comes weeks ahead of the COP28 climate talks in the United Arab Emirates, where goals include tripling renewable energy by 2030, and ending by 2050 the generation of fossil fuel energy that isn't "abated" by carbon capture technology. The post UN chief convenes ‘no nonsense’ climate summit, without China or US appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 20th, 2023

Fashion seeks dedicated followers with influence online

Once kept firmly at arm's length by the fashion world, influencers are now courted alongside big celebrity names by emerging talents keen to leverage their millions of online followers. "Influencers will have a leading role in building the legitimacy of creators," Delphine Dion, professor at France's ESSEC Business School, told AFP. "It is thanks to them that many designers will manage to break through." The cream of TikTok and Instagram flocked to Masha Popova's show on Sunday as part of London Fashion Week. The young Ukrainian designer counted TikTok superstar Abby Roberts, who has more than 16 million followers, among her guests. "I was in the front row with six other influencers, so I think we are doing well," said TikTok, Instagram and YouTube content creator Emma Winder after the show. Avant-garde  To be a fashion influencer who matters, you first have to be "trusted by the big names" in the industry, said Dion. Next you can build a name for yourself as someone with "extremely cutting-edge tastes who can help new fashion players emerge". "It's exactly like the avant-garde dynamics you get in art. You look for the very niche to show you are even more fashionable than the rest," she added. The phenomenon is particularly visible on the catwalks at London Fashion Week, known worldwide for giving emerging talents a platform. Fashionable influencers and stars such as Zendaya, Billie Eilish, Hailey Bieber or Kylie Jenner have been seen wearing outfits by the new generation of designers including Masha Popova, Di Petsa, Chet Lo, Feben, or Yuhan Wang. 'Instant reaction'  It's a win-win situation for influencers as it's now much "cooler" to wear clothes by young designers than a luxury brand, said Elizabeth Stiles, a consultant for fashion brands. And from the designer's point of view, it's "definitely faster to grow your brand through social media just through the way it works", she said. When an influencer posts content "you get an instant reaction, versus magazines where even on-line, it still takes time to write that article and upload it and maybe go through an approval process as well with an editor", she added. Social media content creators can also benefit from a good engagement rate, which measures how well their posts interact with their community. An influencer with a high engagement rate posting a photo, dressed by a young label, is more likely to generate sales for the brand. 'Everyone welcome'?  Competition between traditional media -- including specialist fashion magazines -- and former fashion bloggers who are now influencers on TikTok, Instagram or YouTube is not new. The influential British journalist Susie Lau began with her fashion blog "Style Bubble" in 2006. Now she writes notably for the British magazine Pop and The Business of Fashion and is also followed by nearly 700,000 people on Instagram. In an article published in Grazia in 2017 titled "Everyone should be welcome in fashion", she said she regretted the "negative connotations" that had attached themselves to fashion bloggers, influencers and content creators. Even as recently as February, she denounced the "gall of most print media" who still in 2023 sneered at influencers. This, she said, was "hilarious, considering how many have adopted social media modus operandi". The post Fashion seeks dedicated followers with influence online appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsSep 18th, 2023

At UN, fading hopes for improving lives on planet

World leaders meeting in New York next week will try to revive key goals meant to improve the lot of humanity by 2030, plans that are in doubt today as hunger, poverty and other crises persist. Leave no one behind In 2015, UN member-states adopted 17 wide-ranging development goals to be met by 2030, which included eradicating extreme poverty and hunger, providing access to drinking water, ensuring gender equality and health care for all. "In thriving economically in the 21st century, you cannot any longer try to do so at the expense of nature, or at the expense of people who are left behind," the head of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), Achim Steiner, told AFP. But the 2030 Agenda is in trouble, according to the UN. "The Sustainable Development goals are in peril," the UN said in a report published in July. In order to meet these goals, governments coming together at the UN General Assembly on Monday are slated to commit to "act with urgency... for people, planet, prosperity, peace and partnership, leaving no one behind," according to the draft declaration. Poverty and hunger Progress has been slow and, in some cases, things are even worse now than they were in 2015. The Covid-19 pandemic has halted progress in combating extreme poverty, defined as living on less than $2.15 per day. Far from the hoped-for eradication, at the current rate 575 million people will still be living in such conditions in 2030, most of them in sub-Saharan Africa. And the world has returned to levels of hunger not seen since 2005. Furthermore, 1.1 billion people live in urban areas in slum-like conditions, more than two billion still do not have access to drinking water, 38 out of 1,000 children die before their fifth birthday and the impacts of climate change are increasingly devastating. Debt burden Crippled by various world crises, from Covid-19 to the war in Ukraine, many countries are crumbling under the weight of their debt and do not have the means to change course. "Countries are not able to pursue the development they want right now, but they can only opt for a recovery, where they go for the growth they can get," Steiner said. That, however, is a risky path. "That growth takes us back to the fossil fuel dependency and to greater inequalities, precisely the things that have led to so many tensions, protests on our streets," he added. That is why the draft declaration that will be discussed on Monday talks about reforming international financial institutions, over which, however, the UN has no control. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has also called for investing an additional $500 billion per year by 2030 in order to meet the ambitious goals. His plan received support at the recent G20 summit. Vicious or virtuous circle? Getting out of poverty, having access to education, drinking water or clean energy, being in good health and living in peace -- all these development goals are largely interdependent. Global warming and the extreme weather events it causes undermine most of the development goals as they destroy crops, infrastructure and livelihoods. That is why change must be comprehensive, Steiner said.. "We can use $1 to deliver more than $1 of impact. If you address poverty, you can also address access to electricity or vice versa," he said. "If you address access to electricity and combine it with the objective of decarbonization, you can achieve both poverty reduction" and address climate change. Steiner has worked with 95 countries to identify priorities to modify the growth model, such as policies aimed at creating decent jobs and investing in sustainable cities that offer basic services and affordable housing and infrastructure. The post At UN, fading hopes for improving lives on planet appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 16th, 2023

BBM: Our calm, kind, gentle President

The most challenging thing is to write an essay about the country’s President who is celebrating his birthday. I should probably go back to the years when he was the “crush ng bayan.” From London, he would come home for vacation and would be met at the airport by his doting parents, with his mother kissing him on the forehead. He was very fashionable, from his haircut to his clothes and, well, he was the epitome of “cuteness” as cute could be. He did not sport long hippie hair but had bangs and his lips were well-pronounced. His mom took pride in his looks. “Kamukha ko (he looks like me),” she would say. Bongbong grew into the Oxford student who would come home and occasionally appear on television. I recall in 1973, he and his friends danced the latest craze on live television. He was, by then, oozing with appeal, his shy and boyish smile adding to the enigma that comes with being the president’s son. Many years later, I saw him when he and his sister Irene graced the opening of a project in Isabela. I am trying to remember if it was for natural gas or the largest dam in Asia. But he was there on the stage set up at the Cauayan airport, looking fresh and friendly, although he was smiling at everyone and no one in particular. I stood alone, away from the other welcomers, and somehow got him to look at me. I looked at him like I was telling him I know you or we know each other, and he stared back, smiling too, looking like he was wondering if he might have seen me before somewhere. It was one of my tricks. [caption id="attachment_183135" align="aligncenter" width="525"] The President has a long way to go, but that’s no reason for him to relax and wait for things to happen. | Photograph courtesy of BBM FB[/caption] Much would be said of the young gentleman, of his not being who he was supposed to be because he had died somewhere. Also, that he had killed someone who had called his father a dictator. Bongbong Marcos, for better or worse, was the fodder for both favorable and malicious talk. He became governor of Ilocos Norte in the mid-1980s when he took over from his aunt, Elizabeth Keon. At the same time, he wore the military uniform of the officer rank bestowed on him by his father, the President. Moving fast forward, Bongbong Marcos became a congressman and a senator, ran for vice president, and lost. Sometime after he caught Covid-19. After he had lost the vice-presidential contest and was protesting its result, he appeared on Daily Tribune’s online show, Spotlight. I remember only a little, not because he or his remarks were forgettable, but I blame my old age for not remembering. But I recall a pleasant interview, for he was relaxed and calm, and while he seemed occupied by his electoral protest, he was at the same time accepting of it. It was the Marcoses’ turn to be cheated, people said. The next presidential election had him and Leni Robredo, along with others, slugging it out. And while everyone had taken to microphones to condemn and attack him and his father, martial law and the dictatorship, he remained silent. He chose not to participate in the debates, leaving it to his supporters and fans to fight back for him. One UP professor who may have been unbiased took a liking to him, like an older woman in love for the first time, gushing over the assets of a fine, young, sexy gentleman. But that was not unexpected. Bongbong Marcos, after all, was the “crush ng bayan” from the time he was a teenager. Today, he is the President of the Philippines. I was talking with one youthful matron who possesses both beauty and wisdom and whose family was best known to be in the opposition against the Marcoses. She said that when President Rodrigo Duterte began his term, she gave him a chance to prove himself because he had been elected. As her gauge for the success of a presidency had much to do with how the stock market fared, she was disappointed because stocks dived very low to the depths. She gave RRD a failing mark. When BBM became President, she also gave him a “chance.” She told me, “I have yet to see what will happen next because he has just finished his first year, and it is too early to know how well or evil he has done. The people elected him, he is now the President, so let’s give him a chance.” The woman’s statement, I believe, more or less sums up the general feeling of the Filipino people. Here is one President perceived to be good and kind, and one who is not to be feared compared to his father or even his daring and feisty elder sister. One would hear, “Matatakot kayo pag si Imee ang presidente (You would be afraid if Imee were president),” which is people’s way of saying what they feel and think about the Marcos siblings. So, we have a kind President who has had to deal with all kinds of issues and problems: Typhoons, the pandemic, and now the rice shortage. I have always been a BBM fan (after all, he was “crush ng bayan” in our youth), and even if he had not become a statesman in the tradition of many of our top legislators, one thinks of him as a pleasant guy who plays it cool and is lovable. Now comes a wife who is perceived to be running the show. All because, like it or not, she has the educational credentials; she proved herself in the Big Apple; and as her husband himself would tell one and all, she has excellent organizational abilities. She ran the campaign, many would assume, although she much preferred to keep to the sidelines. Like it or not, Liza Marcos, the First Lady, is a potent mover in this administration. Her many worthy projects in the creative industry, health care, education, and environment, along with her brand of diplomatic maneuvering using Filipiniana fashion as a vehicle for international friendship, bode well for this administration. We got two leaders for one vote, and we are better off as a nation. To the President’s credit, he recognizes the role his wife plays in his administration, and that speaks of a man secure in his position as the head of his family. Regarding cronyism, BBM has his friends in the business sector, top men and women, titans and tycoons, czars and magnates, who accompany him on his travels abroad. One of them described their roles as similar to those of club guest relations officers — entertaining guests and clients. We are told that they talk with their counterparts on the international scene, wherever the presidential itinerary takes them. Hence, the public does not see the usual kind of cronies who are there for what they could take. These friends want to help because if this administration succeeds and the economy improves, the Filipino people, including the business sector, will live better lives. The greatest challenge to BBM, everyone perceives, is the conflict with China over the West Philippine Sea. In this regard, BBM has proved to be wise, circumspect and decisive. He has the backing of the international community and his people. We hope he will pass the test, because if he passes it we are all together the victors. BBM deserves our prayers and hopes for the best of his administration. If he succeeds, and we hope he does, we will rise as a people. The President has a long way to go, but that’s no reason for him to relax and wait for things to happen. There are some things that people feel he should handle with steel gloves, akin to his father’s style, and that is up for him to decide. A kind and gentle President may be all we need to make this nation great again, and there’s Bongbong Marcos to take on the role and fulfill the promise of a happy, progressive, and peaceful country and people. BBM is not only the best-looking President, but the kindest and, of late, the most eloquent, as he is proving himself to be. He is also the coolest. The post BBM: Our calm, kind, gentle President appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsSep 12th, 2023

Bong Go advocates for additional funding for healthcare programs

Senator Christopher "Bong" Go, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Health and vice chairperson of the Finance Committee, expressed his concerns about the proposed budget cut for the Department of Health in 2024, stressing the critical importance of healthcare, particularly as the country continues to recover from the pandemic. According to the 2024 National Expenditure Program (NEP), reductions are proposed in various healthcare programs. For instance, the Health Facilities Enhancement Program is slated to be cut from P26.8 billion in 2023 to P22.9 billion in 2024. Similarly, the budget for the prevention and control of infectious diseases is proposed to be reduced from P5.8 billion to P4.8 billion. "Ang estado ng kalusugan ng mga mamamayan sa isang bansa ay isang batayan din ng kalagayan ng kalidad ng buhay," Go said. He stressed that the government should allocate sufficient funds for health programs led by DOH. "Kailangang matiyak na maging ang pinakamahihirap nating kababayan, mga hopeless, helpless at walang malalapitan maliban sa pamahalaan ay may access sa de-kalidad na serbisyong pangkalusugan,” he added. The senator also highlighted the urgency of strengthening the healthcare system, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. "Nagulat tayo nang dumating ang COVID-19 sa ating buhay. Nakita natin ang kakulangan ng ating sistemang pangkalusugan," he said. Despite the challenges, Go sees the pandemic as an opportunity to focus on areas that need improvement. "At dahil dito, sabi ko nga, ‘the more we should invest sa ating healthcare system.’" Go recounted his efforts to increase the DOH budget last year from P296B to P316B for 2023. He also mentioned his opposition to cutting the budget for the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) in 2019. "Hindi po tayo pumayag. In fact, dinagdagan pa natin sila noong budget deliberations," he said, adding that RITM has proven to be a crucial institution during the pandemic. The senator also pushed for additional funding for the Cancer Assistance Fund, which was not initially part of the proposed 2023 budget. "Maganda na napondohan ito ng Lower House, at dinadagdagan pa namin sa Senado," he said. Go plans to double the fund next year, acknowledging the financial and emotional toll cancer takes on families, especially those who are less fortunate. In addition to his proposed budget increases, Go discussed his ongoing initiatives to bring medical services closer to the people. “Una na rito ang patuloy na operasyon ng Malasakit Centers na ating isinulong at naisabatas noon bilang principal sponsor at pangunahing may-akda. Sa kasalukuyan ay mayroon ng 158 Malasakit Centers, at mahigit pitong milyong Pilipino na ang natulungan nito ayon sa datos ng DOH,” Go cited. Malasakit Centers bring together representatives from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), DOH, Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth), and Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office. These one-stop shops aim to support impoverished patients in reducing their hospital costs to the least possible amount. “Pangalawa ay ang pagkakaroon ng Regional Specialty Centers sa mga regional hospitals ng DOH na atin ding isinulong na maisabatas kamakailan lamang bilang principal sponsor at isa sa mga may akda nito. Ang Regional Specialty Centers Act ay multi-year plan para ilapit ang specialized medical services sa ating mga kababayan. Halimbawa, ang may sakit sa puso, hindi na kailangang sa Maynila pa magpaopera dahil doon na siya pupunta sa DOH regional hospital na malapit sa kanilang lugar,” he explained. Go is also the principal sponsor and one of the authors of the recently signed RA 11959, or the Regional Specialty Centers (RSC) Act. The newly enacted law aims to create additional specialty centers in various regions, thereby ensuring that Filipinos have access to specialized medical services without the need to travel to Manila. “Pangatlo naman ay ang pagpapatayo ng Super Health Centers sa iba’t ibang sulok ng bansa na ating sinikap na mapondohan. Ang Super Health Center naman ay medium type version ng polyclinic, at improved version ng rural health unit. Sa SHC ay mapagkakalooban ang pasyente ng primary care, konsultasyon at early detection ng kanyang sakit,” he further said. Super Health Centers are designed to focus on primary care, consultation, and early detection, further strengthening the healthcare sector in the country, especially in grassroots communities. Go assured that substantial funding has been allocated for Super Health Centers under the budget of the Department of Health (DOH). A total of 307 centers were funded for 2022, with an additional 322 slated for 2023. "Kaya bilang lingkod bayan, tutulong ako sa abot ng aking makakaya at sisikapin nating mas ilapit pa ang serbisyo ng gobyerno sa mga taong nangangailangan nito—lalo na ang mga mahihirap at biktima ng krisis,” concluded Go. The post Bong Go advocates for additional funding for healthcare programs appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsSep 3rd, 2023

Loch Ness hunt biggest in decades

DRUMNADROCHIT, United Kingdom (AFP) — The biggest search for the Loch Ness Monster in five decades takes place in the Scottish Highlands Saturday, as researchers and enthusiasts from around the world meet to try to track down the elusive Nessie. The expedition will deploy drones with thermal scanners, boats with infrared cameras and an underwater hydrophone to try to unravel a mystery that has captivated the world for generations. “It’s always been our goal to record, study and analyse all manner of natural behavior and phenomena that may be more challenging to explain,” said Alan McKenna, of co-organizers Loch Ness Exploration. The searchers believe the thermal scanners could prove crucial in identifying any strange anomalies in the murky depths. The hydrophone will allow the searchers to listen for unusual Nessie-like underwater calls. Stretching 23 miles and with a maximum depth of 788 feet, the freshwater loch is the UK’s largest lake by volume. Reports of an aquatic monster lurking in Loch Ness date back to ancient times, with stone carvings in the area depicting a mysterious beast with flippers. The earliest written record of the creature dates back to AD 565 in a biography of the Irish monk, Saint Columba. According to the text, the monster attacked a swimmer and was about to strike again when Columba commanded it to retreat. More recently, in May 1933, the local Inverness Courier newspaper reported a couple driving along a newly constructed lochside road seeing “a tremendous upheaval” in the water. “There, the creature disported itself, rolling and plunging for fully a minute, its body resembling that of a whale, and the water cascading and churning like a simmering cauldron,” the report said. In December that year, British newspaper the Daily Mail recruited a South African big game hunter, Marmaduke Wetherell, to locate the sea serpent. Wetherell found large footprints that he believed belonged to “a very powerful soft-footed animal about 20 feet long.” But zoologists at London’s Natural History Museum determined that the tracks were made with an umbrella stand or ashtray that had a hippopotamus leg as a base. In 1934, English physician Robert Wilson captured what came to be known as the “Surgeon’s Photograph,” seemingly depicting Nessie’s head and elongated neck emerging from the water. The photo, published in the Daily Mail, was later revealed to be part of a hoax, catapulted the Loch Ness Monster into international fame. There are now more than 1,100 officially recorded Nessie sightings, according to The Loch Ness Center in Drumnadrochit, near Inverness. The monster brings in millions of pounds in tourism revenue to the Scottish economy each year. Over the years, scientists and amateur enthusiasts have tried to find evidence of a large fish such as a sturgeon living in the depths of the loch. Some have suggested the monster could be a prehistoric marine reptile like a plesiosaur. In 1972, the Loch Ness Investigation Bureau undertook the biggest search to date but returned empty-handed. In 1987, Operation Deepscan deployed sonar equipment across the width of the loch and claimed to have found an “unidentified object of unusual size and strength.” In 2018, researchers conducted a DNA survey of Loch Ness to determine what organisms live in the waters. No signs of a plesiosaur or other such large animal were found, though the results indicated the presence of numerous eels. “The weekend gives an opportunity to search the waters in a way that has never been done before, and we can’t wait to see what we find,” said Paul Nixon, the general manager of the Loch Ness Center. The post Loch Ness hunt biggest in decades appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 26th, 2023

QC all set for start of school year

The Quezon City government is gearing up all of its efforts and resources to aid students and teachers for the school year 2023-2024 to ensure a smooth and orderly opening on 29 August. “Education is a community responsibility. We want to make sure that our children are given the right tools, environment, and guidance to help them learn and develop their potential,” Mayor Joy Belmonte said. According to the Schools Division Office of Quezon City (SDO QC), it is expecting over 458,000 students for the coming school year. Being one of the cities with the highest student population, the city strives to address the challenges that remain present in the education sector, primarily school congestion and quality of learning. In coordination with the Schools Division Office, the city aims to implement various strategies to address classroom shortages. Proposed interventions include the construction of mid-rise school buildings and the institutionalization of blended learning. “Congestion is still an issue since QC is the biggest division in the country in terms of student population and there are no more buildable spaces. We have started building vertically in some areas. We are also institutionalizing the blended learning modality. Congested grades will shift to blended modality where there will be three days of face-to-face classes and two days of asynchronous or synchronous classes,” Belmonte said. “Together with the Schools Division Office and the Education Affairs Unit, we are also considering a school service or bus system to transfer excess students to QC schools that have not reached their full absorptive capacity,” she added. Moreover, the city is in the process of introducing the QC Voucher system for elementary learners similar to what is being done now at the senior high school level, where students will be given a voucher to enroll in accredited QC private schools. The LGU is also open to leasing unused buildings in private schools that can serve as extension facilities to congested public schools. Several schools are also undergoing renovation in an effort to provide a better and more conducive learning environment for the students. As part of ensuring that all QCitizen learners are ready to go back to classes, the city has started the distribution of learning kits to all K to 12 learners. QC Education Affairs Unit (EAU) Officer-in-Charge Maricris Veloso said that the distribution of school supplies for enrolled students has commenced, while public school teachers can expect an additional 1,000 laptops within the year. Since 2020, the city has distributed over 6,000 laptops to its public school teachers. Teaching and non-teaching personnel can likewise expect the continuous provision of monthly and quarterly allowances. The city government will provide additional sets of tables and chairs for teachers, 15,000 tablet armchairs for elementary schools, 10,000 tablet armchairs for secondary schools, and 5,100 sets of kiddie tables and chairs for kindergarten learners. Furthermore, QC will also procure 141,880 storybooks, 80,000 workbooks, SMART TVs, computers, and CCTVs, underscoring safety in schools. Efforts to improve the internet connectivity in schools as well as free internet access for hybrid learners, and provision of assistive technology for inclusive learning are also underway. As part of the city’s learning recovery initiatives, it is also implementing its tutoring program dubbed "Zero Illiteracy sa QC," to help improve students’ fundamental skills in reading and numeracy. “Our objective for the upcoming opening of classes is to ensure that learners will have their educational needs met and to lessen the parents’ worry,” the mayor said. SDO QC also noted that an Education Summit in consultation with education stakeholders; parents, barangay, school heads, learners, and teachers was conducted prior to the opening of classes. Oplan Balik Eskwela hotlines and help desks are also operational, and traffic management has been planned in coordination with the barangays and concerned city departments. “Let us help our students achieve learning excellence by actively engaging in our children’s education and being one with the city government,” Schools Division Superintendent Carleen Sedilla said. With all these preparations in motion, the city ensures the successful opening of classes for School Year 2023-2024. The post QC all set for start of school year appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsAug 26th, 2023

More job opportunities for QC PWDs

More persons with disabilities have now a chance to work at the Quezon City government with the launching of a program that is part of the city's commitment to ensure inclusivity and equal opportunity to the most vulnerable sectors of society. Under the "Kasama Ka sa Kyusi: Ang Taong May Kapansanan ay May Karapatan at Kakayahan" initiative, the city government will hire a total of 300 PWDs who will be assigned to different departments and offices. "Batid ng lokal na pamahalaan ang hirap na dinaranas ng mga kapatid nating may kapansanan lalo na sa paghahanap ng permanente at disenteng trabaho. Kaya sa pamamagitan ng programang ito, titiyakin natin na mas maraming magbukas na oportunidad para sa kanila na nakaayon din sa kanilang galing at talento," Mayor Joy Belmonte said. Data from the QC Persons with Disability Affairs Office (PDAO) revealed that 14 percent or 7,620 of the 54,000 registered PWDs aged 18 to 59 are unemployed as of July 2023. The city government at present has 253 contractual, job order, and permanent employees belonging to the PWD sector, representing 1.2 percent of its total workforce of 17,000. Under Republic Act No. 10524 or the Act Expanding the Positions Reserved for Persons with Disability, at least one percent of all positions in all government agencies, offices, or corporations shall be allotted for PWDs. "Ang QC Government ang mangunguna at magsisilbing halimbawa sa iba pang government agencies at maging sa pribadong sektor sa pagbibigay ng trabaho sa mga PWD. Hindi hadlang ang kanilang kapansanan para maging produktibong mamamayan. Kailangan lang nila ng break o pagkakataon para mapatunayan ang kaya nilang gawin," Belmonte added. To jumpstart the Kasama Ka program, the city government took in a total of 100 PWDs. They underwent interviews and job assessments by the PDAO and the Public Employment Service Office (PESO). After evaluation, the applicants will be assigned to city departments based on their skills and capabilities. According to Belmonte, PWDs who perform well will be given an opportunity to become a contract of service or permanent QCG employees. Apart from employment, the city government is also distributing assistive devices such as hearing aids, eyeglasses, canes, wheelchairs, and walkers. PWDs are also given social welfare assistance, livelihood training, and urban farming starter kits. The QC Business Permits and Licensing Department (BPLD) is also organizing an Inclusivity Summit to encourage the private sector to hire more persons with disabilities in their workforce. A number of private establishments in the city are already employing PWDs like HisBeans Café, Cabalen Group, Shakeys, Pancake House, Overdoughs, Concentrix, and SM Malls. Other companies and establishments have already coordinated with the city to be part of this program. "Patuloy na bumubuo ng iba-ibang programa ang pamahalaang lungsod, sa pangunguna ng PDAO, para masigurong walang naiiwan, at kasama ang lahat sa pag-unlad sa QC," QC PDAO officer-in-charge Deborah Dacanay said. The post More job opportunities for QC PWDs appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsAug 20th, 2023

Belmonte orders probe into collapsed building that killed 1, injured 4

Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte on Friday ordered an extensive investigation into the construction site accident at the Quezon City Hall Compound that killed one person and injured four others Thursday night. The incident happened around 10:00 p.m. on 17 August at the Civic Center B Building. The five workers of MRB II Construction Corporation were rushed to the East Avenue Medical Center. Initial investigation showed that part of the building’s wall fell while demolition was ongoing. The wall was supposed to be demolished in a week’s time and should be removed part by part before a big section made of hollow blocks crumbled. The demolition was being undertaken to install a scenic elevator in front of the building. “Inatasan na natin si City Engineer Atty. Dale Perral na pangunahan ang imbestigasyon sa insidente at tingnan kung may dapat managot sa insidente,” Belmonte said. ”Isa sa mga unang aalamin ang sistemang pinaiiral ng kontratista sa construction site, at kung binigyang-halaga ba ang aspeto ng occupational safety para sa kanilang manggagawa,” she added. Perral explained that the wall being demolished is part of the architectural wall and will not affect the structural integrity of the whole building. “Rest assured that the Civic Center B is still structurally sound and safe for use. Just the same, we will ensure that the construction site, especially the ground floor, will be cordoned off and safe for passersby and city hall employees,” Perral said. Perral added that the investigation will focus on the contractor’s compliance with occupational, safety, and health standards. Construction will proceed as scheduled while additional safety measures are put in place. The mayor also ordered concerned city offices to extend financial assistance to the family of the deceased and to provide medical assistance to the injured. “Magpapaabot tayo ng tulong sa pamilya ng nasawi at karampatang atensyong medikal sa mga nasaktang manggagawa,” she said. The post Belmonte orders probe into collapsed building that killed 1, injured 4 appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsAug 18th, 2023

An old antibiotic may get new life as an STI prevention pill

The United States is set to roll out a powerful new weapon in the long fight against sexually transmitted infections: a decades-old antibiotic repurposed as a preventative pill. DoxyPEP, or doxycycline used as a post-exposure prophylaxis, has been found to significantly cut the risk of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis when used after condomless sex. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which is developing national guidance for clinicians, will need to weigh the need to contain record high rates of STIs impacting millions of Americans against potentially giving rise to more antibiotic-resistant strains. "Innovation and creativity matter in public health, and more tools are desperately needed," senior CDC official Jonathan Mermin told AFP. But the recommendations, set for publication this summer, will remain narrow in scope. They will likely target only the most at-risk groups of gay men and transgender women with histories of prior infection. As word spreads, some clinics are already prescribing DoxyPEP. Malik, a 37-year-old man in Washington, said his doctor recently told him he could start using doxycycline as a "morning-after pill" following risky sex, something he's had to do twice -- including after a partner did not warn him he had removed his condom. Two-thirds reduction  Reported cases of the three bacterial infections grew to 2.5 million in the United States in 2021, following about a decade of growth. Several issues are behind the rise: fewer people are using condoms since the advent of PrEP -- daily pills that significantly reduce chances of contracting HIV. And people who are on PrEP are recommended to undergo screening every three months, likely increasing the identification of infections. Then there is the basic epidemiological fact that the greater the number of people infected, the more they can further infect. Researchers have found DoxyPEP efficacious in three of four trials. "What we found was there was about a two-thirds reduction in sexually transmitted infection every three months,"  Annie Luetkemeyer, who co-led a US trial, told AFP. The physician-scientist at the University of California, San Francisco recruited some 500 people in San Francisco and Seattle among communities of men who have sex with men and transgender women. Efficacy was greatest for chlamydia and syphilis, both of which were reduced by about 80 percent, while for gonorrhea it was about 55 percent. There were few side effects. Antibiotic resistance  Broadening access to doxycycline has prompted concerns about causing antibiotic resistance, particularly in gonorrhea, which is fast mutating. But early research hasn't shown cause for alarm. Connie Celum of the University of Washington, who co-led the US study, told AFP researchers tested gonorrhea samples from breakthrough infections in the DoxyPEP group and compared them to the group who didn't receive the pill. Though they found the rate of resistant gonorrhea slightly higher in the DoxyPEP group, she says the finding could simply mean the pill is less effective against already resistant strains, rather than causing that resistance. DoxyPEP could even boost responsible antibiotic stewardship -- cutting the incidence of infections, thus also cutting need for antibiotic treatment. If it slashed gonorrhea cases by some 50 percent, it could reduce the number of people requiring antibiotic treatment with the current frontline treatment drug, ceftriaxone, which doctors are eager to preserve. Longer term study is required, on both impacts on STIs but also "bystander" bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus, which live inside people's noses but sometimes cause serious infections. 'Additional tool'  Malik said that while he is glad he could use DoxyPEP as a last resort, he wishes more men were willing to use condoms. Since moving to America from South Asia, he gets relatively little interest on dating app Grindr when he says he's not willing to have condomless sex. But Stephen Abbott -- a doctor at Washington's Whitman-Walker clinic who prescribes and uses DoxyPEP -- said it's crucial to meet people where they are. "From speaking with patients, and being part of the community that's now on PrEP... I think the age of prevention through condoms is fading," he told AFP. A 42-year-old man in London who runs a cultural organization told AFP that word had spread about DoxyPEP through the international gay party circuit and he had procured a supply on the black market and through a partner who buys in bulk in Mexico. It had largely worked for him, though he did have one breakthrough infection of throat gonorrhea. He said he was looking forward to the United Kingdom adopting similar guidance so that people have the right information and aren't left to guess at the right dosage. For Luetkemeyer, DoxyPEP won't be "the answer" to the STI epidemic, and there is considerable interest in the development of a gonorrhea vaccine. "But I'm optimistic... I think this is an additional tool," she said. The post An old antibiotic may get new life as an STI prevention pill appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsAug 11th, 2023

BuCor problem is a gov’t problem — lawmaker

Representative Arnie Fuentebella acknowledged that the problem at the New Bilibid Prison is not a problem of the Bureau of Corrections nor of BuCor Director General Gregorio Pio P. Catapang Jr. alone but of the government as a whole. Fuentebella made the statement during the recent hearing at House Committee on Public Order and Safety chaired by Rep. Dan Fernandez. The many problems besetting the BuCor like congestion due to lack of facilities and inadequate budget are problems ever since. “It is like a broken car that whoever the driver is can do nothing unless we fix the problem and it is up to the government,” Fuentebella said Fuentebella explained that the motu proprio inquiry being undertaken at House is not to find faults at the BuCor but also to give a solution to further understand what the BuCor is going through and because of this inquiry we were able to see how deep the problem is not only at the BuCor but also in other local jails nationwide. “We have to review everything,” Fuentebella added. When asked who pays the bill every time a PDL gets sick, Catapang told the committee that they were allotted P15 for medicine and meal budget of P70 per day per PDL, but if they get sick it is the bureau that shoulder the payment for their medical expenses. “Sinasalo na lang namin and get the budget from our maintenance and operating expense,” he added. This prompted Fuentebella to propose to Gen. Catapang to forge a memorandum of agreement with the Department of Health to help them defray the cost of the medical expenses so as not to deplete their meager resources. The gentleman from the 4th District of Camarines Sur also suggested that it would be a big help for the PDL especially the less fortunate if the bureau will enter into an agreement with the Department of Social Welfare and Development for livelihood programs. Rep. Romeo Acop meanwhile told Catapang “I don’t envy you, had you consulted me before accepting the job, I will advise you not to accept it “problema mo na yung mga tao mo tapos problema mo pa yung binabantayan ng tao mo.” For his part, Rep. Bienvenido Abante asked Catapang why he accepted the job at BuCor to wit the General replied that when he was called by Justice Secretary Crispin Remulla to take the helm of BuCor, he takes it as a challenge and “ hindi tayo umaatras, I think I’m still good for the service of the country. Kayang kaya natin ito pagtulungan natin with your help. Give me your trust and confidence and I will do it.” Abante also filed a motion to have an ocular inspection of the national penitentiary together with the Department of Budget and Management representative in time for the deliberation of the budget to find out what is happening there and to see for themselves the extent of the problem on the ground. The post BuCor problem is a gov’t problem — lawmaker appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsAug 6th, 2023