EDITORIAL – Accelerating safe water access

Even in the National Capital Region, there are thousands of households that still rely on communal deep wells for potable water. Outside the NCR and other urban centers nationwide, nearly 11 million families lack access to clean water, according to the National Water Resources Board......»»

Category: newsSource: philstar philstarMar 21st, 2023

Make a difference in a child’s life

Mariel, aged 10, plays under the hot sun beside a dilapidated hut, which has served as her respite throughout the pandemic. She shares this home with her mother and seven siblings. While she should be at school, she’s happily playing with other children, distracted from the fact that for many of them, their last meal was yesterday afternoon. You can make a difference in a child’s life. World Vision, the child-focused humanitarian organization, goes beyond inspiring generous hearts and mobilizes them to make an impactful change through its global child sponsorship campaign called Reasons. “My reason is that I want to create a space where children can learn to respect the dignity of every single person,” shares World Vision ambassador and social media influencer Janina Vela. “It seems simple, but it’s very rare to find that compassion in this day and age. I think working with World Vision — who extends this kindness to children — will help us raise compassionate kids and adults. And hopefully, when they raise their own families, they will teach this same value and set off a domino effect of building compassionate generations.” Register online and donate for as low as P25 a day or P750 a month. World Vision in the Philippines — through the support of generous individuals and like-minded groups, churches, schools and companies — has been protecting children for over six decades. Through its diverse programs, which include food, education, health and nutrition, livelihood and development, over 39.2 million children, 5.8 million of whom are living in vulnerable conditions are supported. “What does it take to affect change in our communities? World Vision offers opportunities to help protect children from violence, provide them access to education, food and clean water, and ensure that they are given the right guidance for a safe, healthy and secure future. Many of us have prayed for a way to make a difference, and now, here’s how you can make a direct impact,” says Rommel V. Fuerte, executive director of World Vision in the Philippines. “You can be the hope that many have prayed for. Get involved today.” For every child you help, four more children benefit, too. Become a proud sponsor at Read more about World Vision’s initiatives at The post Make a difference in a child’s life appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsMay 26th, 2023

11-M Pinoys lack clean water access

Around 11 million Filipinos are lacking access to clean water based on the estimation of the National Water Resources Board, according to Senator Pia Cayetano on Monday. The lawmaker — who presided the public inquiry on water sustainability — stressed that poor families are left to rely on water sources such as deep wells, springs, rivers, lakes and rainwater which are not necessarily potable and in many cases, not reliable. Cayetano, who also chairs the Senate Committee on Sustainable Development Goals, Innovation and Future, lamented that the lack of access to potable water had forced families to defecate in the open areas — increasing the tendency of water contamination which mainly causes the spread of diseases. Meantime, Senator Raffy Tulfo suggested that it is high time for the country to maximize modern technologies to ensure that Filipinos will intake safe drinking water within their homes. “We have to reduce our reliance on groundwater, deep wells... we have to explore other options for the people. We have to make use of modern technologies that are readily available like solar-powered systems… we can also explore the use of rainwater treatment facilities,” Tulfo said. The Philippine Statistics Authority previously reported that some 53,066 Filipinos died between 2010 and 2019 due to water-borne diseases, such as typhoid and para-typhoid fever, diarrhea and cholera. The post 11-M Pinoys lack clean water access appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsMay 8th, 2023

Stench of death engulfs Sudan hospitals, but leaving is mortal danger

Ibrahim Mohamed turned in his hospital bed to find the patient next to him had died, but fighting that had erupted in Sudan's capital hours earlier meant the body could not be moved. Battles since 15 April between the forces of two rival generals have turned Khartoum into a war zone, shuttering hospitals and preventing health professionals from providing care. By the time Mohamed, a 25-year-old leukemia patient, was finally evacuated from the Khartoum Teaching Hospital on Tuesday, the body was still there. "Because of the intense fighting, the person could not be moved and buried," Mohamed's father, Mohamed Ibrahim, 62, told AFP. Attiya Abdullah, general secretary of the Sudanese doctors' union, said the same was happening in other hospitals. "Decomposing dead bodies are kept in wards" for lack of anywhere else to put them, he told AFP. With explosions, heavy gunfire and air strikes that have killed hundreds in the capital and in other parts of the country, "morgues are packed and the streets are littered with bodies," Abdullah said. According to him, urban warfare between forces loyal to Sudan's army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and his deputy-turned-rival, Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, the commander of the powerful paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), has triggered a "complete and total collapse of the healthcare system". As Ibrahim waited with his son in the hospital ward under ceaseless blasts, "the stench filled the room", the father said, made worse by power outages in the baking heat. "We could either stay in the pungent room, or go outside and be met with gunfire." At around 1:00 pm on Tuesday, after three days with no food, water or electricity, the father and son finally left, but not to safety. "The hospital was being shelled," Ibrahim recounted. According to the doctors' union, 13 hospitals nationwide have been shelled and 19 others evacuated since fighting began. At least eight people have died in attacks on health facilities, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). "The RSF and the army were fighting right outside the hospital," Ibrahim said, adding that some of those evacuating were hit by gunfire themselves. When the bombs start falling near hospital premises, doctors face a grim choice. "We find ourselves forced to let patients leave," Abdullah said. "If they stay, they would be killed." Ibrahim managed to shield his sick son from the crossfire, but "had to go on foot" through the streets, dashing from one safe point to another. It took them five hours to get home "safely, but my son's health has deteriorated since", the father said. With nearly three-quarters of hospitals shuttered and "operational hospitals only providing emergency services", according to Abdullah, there was nowhere else Mohamed could go. "I just want all of this to stop so I can take my son to be treated," his father said. According to Abdullah, even hospitals that have remained open, receiving mostly gunshot wounds, "are at risk of closure at any time". "They don't have enough surgical equipment, not enough fuel to run generators, not enough ambulances or blood." The WHO said 413 people had been killed and 3,551 wounded in the fighting across Sudan, but the actual death toll is thought to be far higher, with doctors and humanitarian staff unable to reach those in need. "Some hospitals have had the same team working" for eight days straight, Abdullah told AFP. "Some have only one surgeon. All are extremely exhausted." Medics have made daily appeals for a ceasefire to allow humanitarian access to move through, transport the wounded and bury the dead. But brief lulls in the fighting in Khartoum have repeatedly given way to the crackle of gunfire, cutting through the momentary silence, and no truce has taken hold. As civilians rallied on social media to find any sources of medication for chronically ill relatives, UNICEF has warned power cuts and fuel shortages were putting at risk the cold storage of more than $40 million worth of vaccines and insulin. On Friday, as a third ceasefire collapsed, the doctors' union shared advice on Facebook on how to handle, shroud and bury decomposing bodies. The post Stench of death engulfs Sudan hospitals, but leaving is mortal danger appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsApr 24th, 2023

WHO, Red Cross seek aid access amid Sudan fighting

The Red Cross and the World Health Organization on Tuesday urged Sudan's warring parties to guarantee humanitarian access for those in need as the death toll in the fighting neared 200. Explosions rocked the capital Khartoum on the fourth day of fighting, despite growing international calls for an end to hostilities. "All parties must ensure unrestricted and safe access to health facilities for those injured and everyone in need of medical care," WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a press conference. The United Nations currently has no access in or out of Sudan. Spokeswoman Alessandra Vellucci said the UN had about 800 international and 3,200 national staff in the country. "We are of course worried for the security, they cannot operate in a regular way," she said. Nearly one-third of the Sudanese population -- almost 16 million people -- needed humanitarian aid at the start of this year. "We have thousands of volunteers who are ready, able, and trained to perform humanitarian services" in the country, said Farid Aiywar, the Sudan head of delegation for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). "Unfortunately, due to the current situation, they are not able to move," he told reporters in Geneva via video link from Nairobi. Aiywar called on all parties to allow humanitarian aid corridors to operate. Civilians are staying indoors but electricity and water have been cut and food supplies are short. Tedros said supplies the WHO distributed to health facilities before the outbreak of violence were now exhausted. He said Khartoum hospitals receiving injured civilians were reporting shortages of staff and lifesaving medical supplies, while they were also being hampered by fuel shortages and cuts to power and water. "There are disturbing reports of some health facilities being looted and others being used for military purposes," he said. "It is also reported that some hospitals are already closed, or on the brink of closure, due to attacks, and a lack of medical personnel and medical supplies. "I urge all sides to heed the calls for a humanitarian ceasefire, to silence the guns and to work towards a peaceful resolution." The post WHO, Red Cross seek aid access amid Sudan fighting appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsApr 18th, 2023

Group seeks wide access to clean water for Davao schools

DAVAO CITY - An advocacy group on Wednesday assured wider access to clean and safe drinking water for students in Davao City.Liezel Salera-Manabat, the GiftingLife Philippines country manager, said her group is initially sourcing funds to set up water filtration and refilling centers in six.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilanewsRelated NewsJun 16th, 2022

Lanao Sur village gets P2.9-M water system from BARMM

COTABATO CITY - Residents of a village in Lanao del Sur now have access to safe water following the turnover of a water system project in their village.In a news release Tuesday, the Office of Bangsamoro Member of Parliament (MP) Diamila Disimban-Ramos together with the Ministry of Public Wo.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilanewsRelated NewsJun 14th, 2022

USAID launches new partnerships to advance PH water security

PASIG CITY, March 26 (PIA) -- The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has launched two partnerships to increase access to clean, safe, water and sanitation services in the Philippines.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philippinetimesRelated NewsMar 27th, 2021

USAID forges partnerships for watershed management

The United States Agency for International Development has launched two partnerships on watershed management aimed at boosting access to clean and safe water and sanitation services in the Philippines......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsMar 25th, 2021

Connectivity in education

Reliable and high-speed connectivity has become an essential component of practical education in the digital age, as students and teachers need access to the internet to engage in various online learning activities and resources. But many schools in underserved areas still struggle with connectivity issues. To address this challenge, Globe is supporting the Department of Education's MATATAG Agenda, which aims to improve the delivery of basic education facilities and services in far-flung places in the country. The company recently donated 100 Home Prepaid WiFi units to DepEd, distributed to various schools in the Cordillera Administrative Region and Region 1. Globe Home Prepaid WIFi offers budget-friendly yet fast and reliable internet access. By bringing technology and the internet closer to teachers and students, Globe is helping facilitate better and more efficient learning. High-speed internet connectivity allows teachers and students to access digital textbooks and multimedia learning resources and engage in collaborative online activities. This provides students with a more comprehensive and meaningful education and supports the development of critical digital literacy skills necessary for success in the 21st century. "Globe hopes to contribute to the achievement of the MATATAG Agenda and positively impact the lives of students and teachers in CAR and Region 1. Globe is committed to improving internet connectivity in schools across the Philippines and providing quality education for all," said Globe Group Chief Sustainability and Corporate Communications Officer Yoly Crisanto. The MATATAG Agenda has four critical components: making the curriculum relevant to produce competent and job-ready citizens, accelerating the delivery of basic education facilities and services, supporting teachers to teach better, and strengthening partnerships and collaborations of the education sector with other sectors. This is aligned with Globe's commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, including SDG No. 4, which advocates for equitable access to quality education and tools for digital upskilling. Globe's involvement in the DepEd program shows its dedication to ensuring every student has an equal chance to succeed, regardless of socioeconomic status or geographical location. Through its efforts to enhance internet connectivity in schools, Globe helps create more opportunities for students to access quality education and develop critical digital literacy skills. The post Connectivity in education appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated News14 hr. 12 min. ago

Beauty beyond the brush

Nix Soriano, a well-known makeup artist in the Philippines, described her amazing career transition from being a nursing graduate to pursuing her genuine passion for makeup artistry. The chief hair and makeup artist of Nix Institute of Beauty, in an interview with the Daily Tribune, disclosed that after finishing her nursing degree and passing the board examinations, she found herself at a crossroads. When the recession was at its worst in 2010, her grandma encouraged her to put off her travel plans to the United States and suggested that she stay in the Philippines until things got better economically. This is when Nix’s interest in makeup really began to blossom. As she and her business partners worked on commercials and other audiovisual projects, Soriano became interested in putting on makeup. She often found herself stepping in as a last-minute makeup artist when emergencies or cancellations occurred. Recognizing her talent and passion for the craft, she decided to pursue formal training in makeup artistry. “Sometimes I would step in at the last minute like your makeup artist or last-minute cancel makeup. So, from there I took up classes.” Nix went to classes to improve her abilities after realizing how much she loved beauty and makeup.  She witnessed a growing demand for makeup services, not only among celebrities and beauty queens but also individuals attending parties and weddings. Observing the delight and confidence it gave, Soriano’s excitement for makeup artistry intensified. [caption id="attachment_136766" align="aligncenter" width="525"] NIX Soriano, chief hair and makeup artist of Nix Institute of Beauty.[/caption] She set out to provide budding beauty artists in the Philippines access to reasonable but thorough training after seeing the large expenses needed for cosmetics workshops overseas. Transitioning from nursing to makeup artistry wasn’t without its challenges. Initially, Nix faced skepticism from her loved ones, including her then-boyfriend, now husband. They questioned her decision, pointing out alternative companies that would have generated greater profits. But it was obvious that she had found her real purpose because of her consistent joy and enthusiasm for makeup artistry. “I can’t imagine myself doing something I’m not happy with. It’s not that I’m not happy with nursing but this makes me more happy,” she said. As her career was established, renowned pageants and productions were drawn to her talent and commitment. She rose to prominence as the preferred makeup artist for illustrious occasions like Miss Universe Philippines. Nix’s talent went beyond pageantry; in addition, she catered to weddings and worked on side jobs for advertising and commercial shoots. She founded the Nix Institute of Beauty to broaden the reach of her expertise and provide accessibility to cosmetics courses. She set out to provide budding beauty artists in the Philippines access to reasonable but thorough training after seeing the large expenses connected with cosmetics workshops overseas. Nix believes that creating a solid foundation for makeup artistry requires starting with the fundamentals. “We start with the fundamentals of makeup because I’m a firm believer that if you know the fundamentals, if you know the basics kahit paikot-ikutin ka, kaya mo ayusin (even if you get turned around and around, you can handle it),” she explained. The Nix Institute of Beauty has seen a diverse range of students, including both females and males. Even photographers enroll to enhance their skills in makeup for editorial shoots. It takes pride in fostering a supportive learning environment that encourages creativity and helps students understand the theory behind their art. Even though Soriano’s path has had its fair share of lessons learned and minor setbacks, she is still passionate about what she does. She wants to continuously grow and deliver outstanding results while acknowledging that mistakes do occur as a real professional. She reflected on how it all began with Global Asian Models, and shared her journey, starting as the makeup team for Rabiya Mateo, Beatrice Gomez, Celeste Cortesi, and finally the newly-minted Miss Universe Philippines Michelle Dee. “It’s a rollercoaster talaga, but it’s a proud moment for me.” The Nix Institute of Beauty is a team of skilled hair and makeup professionals who are dedicated to empowering individuals to embrace their individuality and their own sense of beauty. They provide lessons and hair and makeup services all around the Philippines. The team’s mission is to give clients treasured experiences and memories while also acting as mentors for rising business professionals. The post Beauty beyond the brush appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsMay 25th, 2023

Typhoon Mawar leaves trail of destruction as it moves from Guam

A typhoon that slammed into Guam, knocking out power and flooding buildings with a powerful storm surge, was moving away Thursday -- leaving residents of the US Pacific Ocean territory to survey the damage. Governor Lou Leon Guerrero was set to venture out when conditions allow to see what damage has been wrought on the island, a key US military outpost and home to 170,000 people. The governor and civil defense groups will look for "any major damages or blocked roadways in the wake of Typhoon Mawar," a statement said Thursday. "As Guam received the full brunt of the typhoon overnight, the assessment will help determine what damages may have occurred." Mawar brought winds of up to 225 kilometers (140 miles) an hour, the US National Weather Service reported, generating waves nine meters (30 feet) high. There were no reported deaths or injuries. At one of the island's many hotels, the 30-floor Dusit Thani Guam Resort housing about 300 guests, desk clerk Casey Hattori said the lobby was inundated with a foot of water, even with the front door barricaded with boards and bags of concrete. Outside, trees snapped in howling wind. "I can hear the walls shaking. The wind is super strong. I can hear it whistling as it comes through the cracks of the doors," Hattori told AFP. Fearful tourists were evacuated from flooded rooms to a sixth floor ballroom, she said. Images on social media showed the impact of winds that had uprooted trees, swept away vehicles and dislodged roofs, throwing debris everywhere. Tens of thousands of homes were without power Thursday, the Guam Power Authority said, but noted that a total blackout had been avoided. "We are working hard to maintain the last remaining customers through the storm, which contributes to quicker recovery after the winds die down later tonight or in the early morning hours," the agency said, according to the Pacific Daily News. The NWS said Mawar was now a Super Typhoon, and forecasting models suggested it was heading towards Taiwan or the Philippines. "As sunlight is starting to peek, we are waking up to a rather disturbing scene out there across Guam," one forecaster said during a morning update Thursday. "We are looking out our door and what used to be a jungle looks like toothpicks. It looks like a scene from the movie 'Twister,' with trees just thrashed apart." The agency said Guam remained under a typhoon warning, with destructive gusts and heavy surf expected. Ocean conditions are still treacherous, even for large vessels, it said. "Residents are urged to stay off the roads and remain in safe, hardened shelters" for now, emergency officials warned. In Washington, the White House said President Joe Biden had been briefed on the situation. "The White House is in close contact with the government of Guam and has offered as much support as needed," a spokeswoman said. About 21,700 US military personnel and their families are based on Guam, which routinely hosts nuclear attack submarines and long-range bombers. The territory is also home to key electronic listening posts, and the US bases have some of the Pacific region's most significant ammunition and fuel storage facilities. Lieutenant Commander Katie Koenig, spokesperson for Joint Region Marianas said military aircraft and ships departed before the destructive winds began or were sheltered in hangars, "except for one vessel which remains in port due to an inoperable engine." Koenig added that all military and civilian personnel were instructed to take shelter. "Our service members throughout the Marianas routinely exercise natural disaster response and are ready and postured to respond... once the 'all clear' order is given," she said. The post Typhoon Mawar leaves trail of destruction as it moves from Guam appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsMay 25th, 2023

E-Commerce platform joins fight vs Covid-19 resurgence

The pandemic monitoring group OCTA Research has recently reported an uptick in the Covid-19 positivity rate across NCR. Last May 13, the seven-day positivity rate in the National Capital Region rose to 25.4 percent, with one in every four individuals testing positive. Although the World Health Organization has declared that Covid-19 is no longer a global health emergency, the threat of Covid-19 persists, and Filipinos are urged to remain vigilant. As part of its efforts to protect the health and safety of Filipinos, Shopee partnered with Lysol to donate P3 million worth of disinfectant products to 10 local government units across Metro Manila. Of the 10 LGUs, Shopee and Lysol representatives have successfully turned over the products to Mandaluyong, Manila, Pasig and Quezon City. Through donations, public hospitals, health centers and communities in each city will benefit from greater access to cleaning products that help protect Filipinos from germs and viruses that cause illness, such as Covid-19, respiratory syncytial virus, and cough. Benjamin S. Abalos Sr., mayor of Mandaluyong, one of the beneficiaries of the donations, expressed, “We would like to extend our gratitude towards Shopee and Lysol for supporting our efforts in keeping our communities healthy and safe. Through these donations, we can be assured that our public hospitals and health centers will be cleaner and safer for our constituents.” Over the next few weeks, Shopee and Lysol will continue to turn over even more products to the LGUs of Antipolo, Marikina, Muntinlupa, Parañaque, Taguig and Valenzuela. Among the products included in the donation are liquid hand soaps, disinfectant sprays, and hospital-grade disinfectant concentrates to promote proper health and safety practices within the local communities. Steve Ladan, head of E-Commerce at Reckitt Philippines, shared, “As we look to create healthy homes, schools and habits across the country, we are thrilled to be partnering with Shopee in donating disinfectant products that will help protect the well-being and safety of Filipinos. The health and safety of Filipinos will continue to be one of our top priorities, and we look forward to rolling out more initiatives similar to this.” Vincent Lee, executive director at Shopee Philippines, shared, “Shopee is committed to supporting the local community, including protecting their health and safety. We are glad that we were able to work with like-minded partner organizations like Lysol to support this cause. We urge Filipinos to remain vigilant and look after themselves and their loved ones during this period.” The post E-Commerce platform joins fight vs Covid-19 resurgence appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsMay 21st, 2023

Handicapped woes

Dear Atty. Joji, Our officemate Pia is a software engineer in an advertising firm. Sometime in 2015, she figured into an accident which resulted to the loss of her ability to use her legs. Nevertheless, the performance and productivity of Pia remained the same. When the advertising firm had a change of management, Pia noticed that her wage became 25 percent lower than the minimum wage. When Pia asked management as to the sudden diminution of her wage, the management said that handicapped workers may be paid not less than 75 percent of the minimum wage. Is our employer correct? Ava ***** Dear Ava, No, the employer is not correct. Under Section 5 of RA 7277, as amended by RA 10524, a qualified disabled employee shall be subject to the same terms and conditions and the same compensation, privileges, benefits, fringe benefits, incentives or allowances as a qualified able-bodied person. Under Section 6 of the IRR of RA 10524: Section 6. Equal Employment Opportunity Opportunity for suitable employment shall be open to all qualified PWDs. Efforts shall be exerted to provide qualified PWDs equal opportunity in the selection process based on qualification standards prescribed for an appointment to a position in government and requirements set by the employers in private corporations. No PWD shall be denied access to opportunities for suitable employment. A qualified employee with disability shall be subject to the same terms and conditions of employment and the same compensation, privileges, benefits, fringe benefits, incentives, or allowances as an employed able-bodied person. A person with disability shall not be discriminated on the basis of disability with regard to all matters concerning all forms of employment, including conditions of recruitment, hiring and employment, continuance of employment, career advancement, and safe and healthy working conditions. A qualified disabled person is an employee who can perform, with or without reasonable accommodations, the essential functions of her employment. In this case, Pia is a qualified disabled person. There was no allegation that she cannot perform the essential functions of her employment. The employer should not have had her wage cut below minimum wage and should have provided the same compensation received by able-bodied software engineers in the firm, since the Magna Carta for Persons with Disability effectively amended Article 80 of the Labor Code with regard to minimum age of such workers. Hope to have enlightened you with your query. Atty. Joji Alonso The post Handicapped woes appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsMay 21st, 2023

Cabugao setting up Sabang boardwalk

CABUGAO, Ilocos Sur — A uniquely-designed and one of its kind Boardwalk will soon be set up in the coastal barangay Sabang, this town, Congressman Ronald V. Singson revealed yesterday. Singson (1st district) said that the project will start this year, making this town more attractive to tourists. “In fact, there is already an initial fund for the project,” Singson told this writer. With its sandy beaches and crystal clear water, Cabugao town is now fast emerging as tourism site in Northern Ilocos Sur. Only recently, a luxury cruise ship docked at the Salomague Port in Cabugao, with about 500 passengers from the United States and Europe. The Silversea Cruises's Silver Spirit, was the first international cruise ship to dock at the Salomague port in three years since the pandemic began. Governor Jeremias “Jerry" Singson said that Ilocos Sur is a safe destination for tourists. Newsmen learned that the Salomague port has been upgraded in 2021 with a reinforced concrete Platform Back-Up Area and RC Pier Extension to attract cruise calls in this northern Luzon island, which is strategically located near the popular beaches and heritage sites of Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur. Meanwhile, Mayor Michael Miranda of Santiago town revealed that he had already asked funds for the beautification of the Santiago Cove, called “Little Boracay of the North.” With its Mini Santorini-like hotel called Vitalis, Santiago Cove hotel and others, Santiago is now the fast emerging tourism site in the province. The post Cabugao setting up Sabang boardwalk appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsMay 20th, 2023

Hundreds of millions of life years lost to pandemic: WHO

Nearly 337 million life years were lost in the two first years of the Covid-19 pandemic, as millions of people died prematurely, the World Health Organization said on Friday. The UN health agency's annual world statistics report also showed a swelling threat from non-communicable diseases such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes. The most dramatic finding, based on data up to 2022, was the estimate of how many years of life Covid had taken, WHO said. The pandemic has wreaked global devastation and officially killed nearly seven million people, with the true figure believed to be closer to 20 million. The WHO report lays bare how the virus itself and the broader impact of the crisis abruptly cut short the lives of millions of people. While the WHO officially registered 5.4 million Covid deaths in 2020 and 2021, its excess mortality data shows around 14.9 million people actually likely died due to the crisis over that period. Even more striking, perhaps, it said the statistics show that during those two years alone, Covid resulted in the loss globally of 336.8 million years that otherwise would have been lived. "It's like losing 22 years of life for every excess death," Samira Asma, WHO's assistant chief for data and analytics, told reporters ahead of the launch. Off-track "Significant inequities underpin the distribution of Covid-19 cases and deaths, as well as access to vaccinations," the report said. The WHO warned that the pandemic had helped throw off-track many health-related indicators that had been improving for years. During the first two decades of the century, the world saw significant improvements in maternal and child health, with deaths falling by one-third and one-half respectively. The incidence of infectious diseases like HIV, tuberculosis and malaria also declined significantly, as did the risk of premature death from NCDs. Global life expectance rose from 67 years in 2000 to 73 in 2019. But after the pandemic hit, existing inequalities in access to high-quality health care, routine immunizations and financial protection deepened, among other things sending the long improving trends on malaria and TB in the opposite direction. 'Stark message' And while the world still enjoys health progress overall, the share of deaths caused each year by NCDs has grown, the study showed. In 2000, around 61 percent of global deaths annually were linked to NCDs. By 2019, almost 74 percent were. "If this trend continues, NCDs are projected to account for about 86 percent of the 90 million annual deaths by mid-century," WHO said in a statement. "The report sends a stark message on the threat of noncommunicable diseases, which take an immense and increasing toll," WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said. The findings, he said, show the need for "a substantial increase in investments in health and health systems to get back on track towards the Sustainable Development Goals." NCD deaths were increasing despite a reduction in exposure to many health risks, including tobacco use, alcohol consumption and unsafe water and sanitation, WHO said. Exposure to other risks like air pollution however remained high, it said. The report warned in particular that the prevalence of obesity was growing with no sign of reversal. The post Hundreds of millions of life years lost to pandemic: WHO appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsMay 19th, 2023

SM group to build new school buildings in Laguna, Batangas

Continuing its commitment to helping elevate the country's education system, SM Foundation, Inc., in partnership with SM Prime Holdings, Inc. and the Department of Education, have recently collaborated to construct two new school buildings in Laguna and Batangas. Upon the completion of the joint initiative, two two-story four-classroom school buildings will be donated to the Laguna Resettlement Community School in San Pedro City, Laguna and the San Antonio Elementary School in Sto. Tomas City, Batangas. Each of the school buildings is set to be equipped with learning materials, armchairs, handwashing facilities, emergency equipment and PWD-friendly facilities to ensure that students, especially from low-income communities, gain access to modern, safe and conducive learning facilities. Formalizing the partnership, representatives from the SMFI, DepEd and the local government units of said provinces attended the memorandum of agreement signing last 28 April 2023 at the National Educators Academy of the Philippines in Malvar, Batangas. SM Foundation, through its School Building Program, is an active partner of DepEd in various educational programs. This social good initiative aims to promote quality public education by building classrooms nationwide. To date, it has turned over more than 100 school buildings to grassroots communities. The post SM group to build new school buildings in Laguna, Batangas appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 18th, 2023

Inaugural AI summit sets stage for Phl future redefined by AI

Aboitiz Data Innovation, the Data Science and Artificial Intelligence arm of the Aboitiz Group, successfully held the inaugural AI Summit in the Philippines from 10 to 11 May 2023 at the Marriott Grand Ballroom, Pasay, Philippines. In partnership with Union Bank of the Philippines, Aboitiz Equity Ventures and Google Cloud, the groundbreaking event broke open the discussion and incited action on shaping the future of the country with AI. The summit brought together over 1,000 industry professionals from various sectors, marking a significant milestone in the country’s technological landscape. The Aboitiz Group is currently undergoing a "Great Transformation" to become the Philippines’ first "techglomerate" with ADI at its forefront, operationalizing DSAI to transform data into business and sustainability outcomes to better serve the needs of its customers and stakeholders. The "AI Summit PH 2023: Redefining the Future with AI" forum featured real-world use cases of data being turned into actionable insights and deep-dived into discussions on the challenges, opportunities and advancements within the AI and tech space. The AI Summit PH 2023 was opened with a captivating keynote speech titled “Reimagining a Sustainable and Equitable Philippines with AI” delivered by Third District of Negros Occidental Representative and Housing and Urban Development Chairperson Jose Francisco Benitez. In his address, Benitez highlighted the pivotal role of technological innovation in promoting national development, as heralded by the Philippine constitution. He emphasized the need for collective action in equipping the people with the necessary skills and fostering innovation to adapt, compete and flourish in a brave new world. “A digital future is our national destiny. Let us work together to harness its benefits for all,” Benitez said. [caption id="attachment_132920" align="aligncenter" width="1501"] Third District of Negros Occidental Representative and Housing and Urban Development chairperson Jose Francisco Benitez inspired the crowd at the AI Summit PH 2023 with his message on the power of AI and innovation in promoting national development. (PHOTO COURTESY OF ABOITIZ)[/caption]   Through a series of engaging events, including talks, fireside chats, panel discussions, knowledge sessions and networking opportunities, the AI Summit PH 2023 provided a platform for industry leaders, tech innovators and game-changers to share valuable insights and actionable use cases of AI implementation. Attendees were exposed to a diverse range of topics, exploring the immense potential of AI in revolutionizing various sectors, driving sustainable urban development, transforming financial services, powering sustainable smart cities and operationalizing DSAI. Google Cloud Southeast Asia’s Regional Customer Solutions Manager Richard Coombes delivered a presentation on how Google is bringing AI to users, business and society. He also participated in a panel discussion on Generative AI with leaders from ADI and Amazon Web Services. Tiffany Adriana, Google Data Analytics - Southeast Asia Customer Solution Consultant joined experts from Connected Women and KPMG Philippines to discuss data-driven foundations with a focus on data literacy and inclusion. The AI Summit PH 2023 also served as an exceptional platform for networking and collaboration, fostering connections among industry professionals, entrepreneurs and visionaries. Attendees had the opportunity to engage with tech innovators and game-changers, expanding their professional networks and exploring potential partnerships. During the two-day summit, ADI and Connected Women launched its partnership on empowering the latter’s members to take on advanced services such as data handling, language annotation and image annotation for ADI’s Data Science and Artificial intelligence projects. ADI and Mila’s partnership on building responsible AI solutions for the power sector was also announced during the Summit through a ceremonial signing. Mila, headquartered in Montreal, Quebec, focuses its mission on core research areas such as health, environment and climate change, and AI ethics. Mila extends its expertise and leadership in AI to deliver advances that will benefit all of society. On the financial services front, LBC Express, Inc., ADI and UnionBank signed a tripartite agreement to champion financial sustainability at the inaugural AI Summit. Through this initiative, LBC clients will have access to small business financing from UnionBank to help finance their expansion plans. The SeekCap Embedded Scoring Agreement was also signed by UBX and ADI during the event. “Let me congratulate Aboitiz Data Innovation on spearheading the first Artificial Intelligence Summit. We laud your efforts in forging our path to national advancement through technological research and innovation as you forge strong partnerships in the field of technology,” shared Vice President of the Philippines Sara Z. Duterte in an official statement. “This active pursuit to explore artificial intelligence and find ways to use it positively for progress facilitates a culture of futures-thinking and preparedness in society,” she added. On the second day of the summit, Department of Information and Communications Technology Secretary Ivan John Uy presented an overview of the DSAI landscape in the Philippines and future prospects of these technologies within the country. Uy said, “Digital transformation is about constantly adapting and optimizing new solutions to the ever-changing needs of society, and it starts with deeper and more meaningful partnerships between the government and the private sector. And we all share a common goal of transforming the country and accelerating its progress through the use of all these emerging technologies.” Dr. David R. Hardoon, Chief Executive Officer of ADI, expressed his gratitude for the overwhelming response to the first-ever AI Summit in the country and the active participation of industry and government leaders and diverse professionals. “We are thrilled with the success of the AI Summit, which surpassed our expectations in terms of attendance and engagement. This event truly showcases the potential of AI to revolutionize industries and drive sustainable development in the Philippines. We are proud to have provided a platform for meaningful discussions and collaborations that will shape the future of AI in the Philippines,” stated Hardoon. ADI plans to build on the success of the AI Summit PH 2023 and continue driving AI innovation to transform businesses and government and advance communities in the Philippines and beyond. They remain committed to advancing AI technologies, fostering industry partnerships and empowering businesses to harness the transformative power of AI for sustainable growth and development. ### The post Inaugural AI summit sets stage for Phl future redefined by AI appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsMay 16th, 2023

CCC, Paete LGU partner for climate resiliency, sustainability

The Climate Change Commission continues to work with local government units in a collective effort to address climate change and work toward a more resilient and sustainable future for the Philippines. The CCC welcomed the local government of Paete, Laguna’s submission of the Local Climate Change Action Plan for 2021-2026 and Annual Investment Program for 2023, which were personally handed over by Paete Mayor Ronald B. Cosico. The LCCAP outlines the LGU's strategies and actions to address climate change impacts on their community, infrastructure and economy, while the AIP contains the programs, activities and projects of the LGU, including on climate action. The CCC commended the Paete LGU for submitting its LCCAP and AIP and will further collaborate with the town in enhancing its plans and programs to make them aligned with the national framework and international commitments on climate resilience. “Patuloy na susuportahan ng CCC ang bayan ng Paete sa pagpapatupad ng mga aksyon sa pagbabago ng klima at matiyak ang katatagan, hindi lang ng Paete, kundi ng buong bansa (The CCC will continue to support Paete in the implementation of actions on climate change to ensure the well-being not only of Paete but also of the entire country),” said CCC vice chairperson and executive director Robert E.A. Borje. According to Cosico, the submission of the LCCAP is a significant milestone for the town as it demonstrates the LGU's commitment to protect and enhance the well-being of its constituents. "Ang pagbabago ng klima ay isa sa mga bantang kinakaharap ng aming komunidad. Sa pamamagitan ng LCCAP, makakagawa kami ng mga konkretong hakbang upang makapag-adapt at mabawasan ang mga epekto nito (Climate change is one of the threats our community faces. Through the LCCAP, we can do concrete steps to adapt and mitigate its effects)," he said. Paete is one of the LGUs in the Philippines regularly affected by climate change impacts such as typhoons, flooding and landslides. By submitting its LCCAP to the CCC, the LGU is now eligible for various technical and financial assistance, including access to the People's Survival Fund. The PSF is a domestic funding mechanism that supports the implementation of climate resilience and adaptation programs of local communities in various areas such as agriculture, water resource management and disaster risk reduction and management. Cosico shared the ongoing initiatives and best practices of the town in climate resilience, including reforestation, sustainable agriculture and investment in renewable energy. Paete was among the awardees of the Seal of Good Local Governance in 2019. To further boost its local climate change initiatives, the CCC will connect Paete LGU with relevant development partners. The CCC will work with the local government to create a climate-resilient, climate-smart and sustainable community in Paete, which can serve as a model for other LGUs in the country. The LCCAP is a key deliverable of the LGUs to the CCC, as mandated by Republic Act 9729 or the Climate Change Act, and Department of Interior and Local Government Memorandum Circular No. 2021-068.   The CCC endeavors to enable all LGUs in the country to develop, implement and enhance LCCAPs that address the specific climate change risks facing their communities. As of 17 April 2023, 82.57 percent or 1,416 out of 1,715 LGUs in the country have already submitted their LCCAPs to the CCC. Visit and The post CCC, Paete LGU partner for climate resiliency, sustainability appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsMay 14th, 2023

Ex-Solsona SB member in hot water (2)

Mark Dennis del Castillo, one of the accused in the P23-million botched social housing project in Solsona, Ilocos Norte, reached out to Daily Tribune on Wednesday, 10 May, to air his side of the story. Del Castillo, in a recorded interview, says that the project papers were started in 2016 when De Lara was the mayor but initiated during the administration of Mayor Alex Calucag. Del Castillo claimed that De Lara was still the mayor when he started processing the papers on the project while Calucag was still an ABC president. When the administration changed, Calucag gave the go signal to the project with him and Del Castillo going to the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s regional office to ask for their help. Del Castillo says that what the local government unit will do is indicated in the memorandum of agreement between the LGU and DSWD. In December 2016, Del Castillo was in Hawaii when the funds were deposited to the account of the Neighborhood Association for Shelter Assistance, the group of housing recipients. “It was not on my account that the funds were deposited and, thus, I do not have the authority to withdraw such money. Because the only signatories there are the MSWDO (municipal social welfare and development officer), the representative of the regional office in the person of Ms. Cynthia Ablog, who is the provincial operations officer of DSWD, and the President and the Treasurer of NASA. They are the ones who withdrew the money, not me,” Del Castillo says. Del Castillo clarified the P21 million given to him by them, referring to the above-mentioned individuals. Withdrawal came sometime between January of 2017 and Del Castillo helped them all throughout the process. It was required by the DSWD to open an account for NASA. Del Castillo says he borrowed P10,000 to open the account with LandBank. Yet they haven’t returned the money to him. Del Castillo says he does not see anything wrong there. Cynthia Ablog, Bella Ballesteros, Reynald Campanano and Mr. Raymundo were the people who opened the account.   Withdrawal slip clarified In the interview, Del Castillo admitted that he deposited the P21 million to his account. He explained that officers of NASA told him to go to LandBank-Laoag Rizal. When he arrived in the bank, officers of NASA hand-carried and handed the money to him. “It is not true that I clandestinely asked the officers of NASA to sign the withdrawal form. Why would I be the one to hand them over the withdrawal slip? I am not a bank employee,” Del Castillo adds. According to Del Castillo, he deposited the money to his account for safe-keeping and in less than a week, all materials were paid. He was also accompanied by members of NASA and DSWD and all the receipts are now with DSWD. On 25 August 2022, the DSWD wrote a demand letter to Del Castillo, Campanano, Raymundo, Ablog and Ballesteros, informing them that based on the joint validation and inspection conducted on 20 to 29 July 2022 by the LGU of Solsona and the DSWD, P3,835,701.97 of the funds for the said project were not utilized and unliquidated. In the said demand letter signed by DSWD Regional Director Marie Angela S. Gopalan, the agency gave the respondents 10 days to return the money. Del Castillo, however, alleges that the LGU did not fulfill the technical aspect of the project as they did not provide an engineer, foreman and skilled workers. Being the Committee Chairman on Housing, he provided for the wages of a foreman, a skilled worker and two laborers. “I indicated all my expenses to the DSWD and if we base it on computations and all, the DSWD is the one who owes me money worth P5 million,” he says. Del Castillo says he applied for a loan and until now he’s still suffering because of the loans. He says all the materials that were not included in the program of work and the bill of materials were provided by him. (To be continued) The post Ex-Solsona SB member in hot water (2) appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsMay 13th, 2023

Angkas Digital-first business

Digital transformation is reshaping how we live and do business, accelerating over the past few years as we now have more access to digital technology than ever before. But as the digital lifestyle is adopted by society, our use of these digital tools must evolve to allow us to serve our customers better. George Royeca, president and founder of the ride-hailing application, Angkas, believes digital technologies are digital tools that allow small and medium enterprises to expand their market base with minimal costs in the shortest possible time. “We have not reinvented the wheel,” Royeca said at the maiden offering of the Asian Innovation Forum organized by the Daily Tribune at the Bellevue Hotel. “The ‘habal-habal’ operation has always been there across the country, and we just institutionalized its operation by adding digital technology into it.” Royeca added that digital technologies are just tools “to be exploited” by SMEs to upscale their operations or enhance business models. Eventually, they graduate from small operations into a big conglomerate. According to Royeca, digital technologies allow businesses to study available data and use them to understand the needs of the public through data analysis and expand their customer base. [caption id="attachment_132010" align="aligncenter" width="2560"] George Royeca, Angkas president and CEO as he amuses more than 180 micro, small and medium enterprises during the Daily Tribune’s Asian Innovation Forum last 9 May 2023 under the topic “Role of Logistics in Managing Supply Chain, Upscaling Operation.”[/caption] “To have a permanent customer base is one of the most critical tools to increase your business profits,” he said. “We are originally an MSME (micro, small and medium enterprise) who scaled up and now have eight million downloads from customers and more than 30,000 riders after six years of hardships,” Royeca said. Bumpy road During his talk, Royeca recalled how his enterprise stumbled and suffered a huge blow when the Supreme Court came out with a decision halting Angkas operations in 2017 based on a complaint filed by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board and the Department of Transportation accusing Angkas of operating without a business permit. “But I accepted it even though it hurt me, as that was the fourth time Angkas operations were stopped. I felt like giving up at the time, as the SC had already decided our fate. I even asked my wife, is it time to pack up, return to Singapore, and do something else? But I just considered it a great challenge and a story of resilience and perseverance that I wanted to impart to startups,” he said. Royeca was astounded by the support of his thousands of bikers who picketed on EDSA back then, as well as the help of the passengers through social media, standing up and fighting for the right of the unrecognized transportation industry of “habal-habal.” A preliminary injunction granted on 20 August 2018 by the Mandaluyong Regional Trial Court preventing the government from apprehending Angkas riders and performing acts that would impede its business gave Angkas a ray of hope. “We now have a very friendly government and regulator who understand the importance of the informal sector. Now we are expanding nationwide, and you’ll see these job opportunities everywhere,” he told forum participants as he discussed the Role of Logistics in Managing Supply Chains and Upscaling Operations.   Banking on technology As he believes in the supremacy of MSMEs, which comprise 99 percent of the country’s total entrepreneurial environment, Royeca said he wanted the government to recognize the informal sector that utilizes innovations and technology to become an integral part of society. “We existed because we collaborated with the government, as we did not coin “habal-habal” and the motorcycle taxis. It was already there, thousands, even millions, throughout the country. We only used the technology and digitization to produce a ride-hailing app as a tool to revolutionize the transportation industry and mobility,” he said. Despite this, Royeca maintained that Angkas has a long way to go, comparing its 30,000 riders to the 18 million motorcycle owners in the country today. “We are successful because we built a community, looked at individuals’ circumstances, and used technology to uplift their lives. It’s not about the technology but the human behind that technology. If we can impart success to 30,000 riders, then we can do it to 18 million motorcycle riders to get them out of poverty in our lifetime,” he added. With regard to MSMEs pivoting on technology, he said entrepreneurs should take advantage of the available tools and information right at their fingertips, such as their mobile phones and the internet, to harness their businesses and services. “Startups can even create a new ecosystem using various partnerships. You can partner with the brightest and best people out there to offer good services to everyone,” he said. Royeca envisions SMEs and Angkas collaborating to bridge the digital divide between big and small businesses and ultimately level the playing field for all stakeholders. He believes even a startup business operating a single motorbike for Angkas could become a fleet operation with proper mentoring and partnership with Angkas. The possibilities in adopting digital tools are immense, Royeca said and added the potential to manage risk, improve customer engagement, and reduce cost while increasing productivity and bringing brand recognition is endless. “SMEs must be willing to invest their time in training themselves to understand these technologies, including digital infrastructures, to harness the advantages their offer. By taking risks with digitalization, SMEs could significantly improve their competitive advance in the marketplace and accelerate their expansion,” Royeca said. “It is time for SMEs to fully embrace the future and reach new heights with digital tools. Digital-first business is the way to go,” he added. [caption id="attachment_132009" align="aligncenter" width="2400"] (From left to right) Daily Tribune managing editor Dinah Ventura, Angkas president and CEO George Royeca, UnionBank’s Chief Data and AI officer, Dr. David Hardoon, Daily Tribune president Willie Fernandez, Daily Tribune executive vice president Bettina Fernandez, Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines general manager, Atty. Rowel Barba and Frederick Imson of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office.[/caption] Daily Tribune’s Asian Innovation Forum is a convergence of stakeholders to help improve small businesses, introduce new ideas, open dialogues, and foster cooperation, ultimately ensuring greater access and inclusion in the financial technology sector and for Filipino entrepreneurs to gain a foothold in the broader market. The post Angkas Digital-first business appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsMay 13th, 2023