Tag Archives: Health

[Statement] Health, Not Death: A Statement Opposing the Reinstatement of Death Penalty in the Philippines -NoBox Philippines

Health, Not Death:
A Statement Opposing the Reinstatement of Death Penalty in the Philippines
November 24, 2016

The 17th Congress is currently deliberating proposed bills to reinstate the death penalty in the Philippines. Most of these bills take off from the government’s ongoing “war on drugs,” which sees people involved with drugs as criminals who should be dealt with the harshest penalty of death. The proponents of the reinstatement of the death penalty characterize drug use as influencing citizens to perpetuate “the most perverse and atrocious crimes in the most repugnant of manners (sic).”[1]

The perspective reflected in the bills manifests an archaic, unscientific, and backward understanding of drug use. A punitive framework has been shown to be ineffective in dealing with drug-related issues. NoBox Philippines joins the call of civil society in strongly opposing the passage of the Death Penalty Law, and advocates for a public health response to drug-related issues in the Philippines.

The criminalization of people who use drugs in Asia and elsewhere around the world has failed to deter people from drug use. There is no evidence that supports the claim that harsher and more severe punishment, which includes the death penalty, results in meaningful reductions in drug use.[2] According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime,[3] the excessive use of imprisonment for drug-related offenses of a minor nature is also ineffective in reducing recidivism and overburdens the criminal justice system, preventing the efficient coping with more serious crimes. On the other hand, the provision of evidence-based health and social services to drug users, as an alternative to incarceration, has been shown to substantially increase recovery and reduce recidivism.

Drug use alone should not be seen as a social evil or moral failing,  as a huge majority of people involved with drugs do not have any associated drug use problems.[4] In fact, data would show that alcohol, more than any illegal drug,  is found to be more closely associated with violent crimes,[5] and yet our current laws do not treat alcohol consumption with the same ferocity for drug use.

NoBox Philippines believes that drug use occurs in a context where people find personal meaning in it due to various factors, including adapting and coping mechanisms, which do not amount to a social harm that society should persecute. The United Nations, through Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, has called on States to increase focus on public health, prevention, treatment and care, as well as on economic, social and cultural strategies as alternative to criminalizing drug use.[6] Harm reduction, which refers to policies, programmes, and practices that aim to primarily reduce the adverse health, social and economic consequences of the use of legal and illegal psychoactive drugs without solely focusing on drug consumption, must be undertaken by the government to address drug-related issues in the Philippines.

NoBox Philippines joins civil society in believing that the death penalty has absolutely no role in evidence-based, scientific, and humane drug policies. We call on our legislators to oppose the passage of the Death Penalty Law, and support a public health approach to drug use.

[1] Death Penalty Law, H.R. 1, 17th Phil. Cong. Available at: http://www.congress.gov.ph/legisdocs/basic_17/HB00001.pdf.

[2] International Drug Policy Consortium, A Public Health Approach to Drug Use in Asia: Principles and Practices for Decriminalisation (2016), p. 9. Available at:  http://www.aidsdatahub.org/sites/default/files/publication/IDPC_A_public_health_approach_to_drug_use_in_Asia_2016.pdf.

[3] United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, World Drug Report (2016),  p. xxi. Available at:.

[4] Id, p. xi.

[5] National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Alcohol, Drugs and Crime (2016). Available at: https://www.ncadd.org/about-addiction/alcohol-drugs-and-crime.

[6] United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, Message on International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking (2015), UNIS/SGSM/645. Available at: http://www.unis.unvienna.org/unis/en/pressrels/2015/unissgsm645.html.

________________________

NoBox Transitions Foundation, Inc. (NoBox Philippines) is a non-profit organization, which advocates for human rights and evidence-based drug policies and interventions for people who use drugs and their relevant others. NoBox Philippines offers its expertise on drug-related issues and provides outpatient services relevant to the needs of each client. NoBox Philippines believes that drug-related issues are never just about drugs; they are inextricably linked to many other factors, such as health, education, government policies, and the social environment. NoBox Philippines works to open discussions and to start honest conversations among key stakeholders about drugs and the factors surrounding its abuse, towards reforming drug policies in the Philippines.

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[Off the shelf] 25 Tanong at Sagot hinggil sa Kalusugan at Karapatang Pantao -WHO

25 Tanong at Sagot hinggil sa Kalusugan at Karapatang Pantao

WHO
Gro Harlem Brundtland
Geneva, Hulyo 2002

Ang pagtatamasa ng pinakamataas na matatamong pamantayan sa kalusugan bilang pangunahing karapatan ng bawa’t tao ay nakapaloob sa Saligang Batas ng Pandaigdigang Organisasyon sa Kalusugan (World Health Organization o WHO) mahigit 50 taon na ang nakakaraan. Sa ating pang-araw-araw na gawain, sinisikap ng Pandaigdigang Organisasyon sa Kalusugan na ang karapatang ito ay matamasa ng bawa’t isa, na may partikular na pagbibigay pansin sa pinakamahihirap at sa mga nasa bulnerableng kalagayan.

Ang diskurso sa karapatang pantao ay nagbibigay sa atin ng balangkas na nakakapagbigay ng inspirasyon at makabuluhang giya para sa pag-aanalisa at pagkilos. Ang mekanismo sa karapatang pantao ng mga Nagkakaisang Bansa (United Nations) ay nagbibigay ng mga mahahalagang daan tungo sa papalaking pananagutan sa kalusugan.

Read full article @www.who.int

 

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[Press Release] Medical doctors presses for right to rehabilitation of victims of torture -MAG

Medical doctors presses for right to rehabilitation of victims of torture

Photo by MAG

Photo by MAG

Around eighty (80) medical doctors across the country gathered today in the Scientific Conference on the Management and Rehabilitation of Torture Victims on November 11-12, 2015 at the Ciudad Christia Resort, in San Mateo, Rizal.

mag logo new

The conference also entitled, Mainstreaming Human Rights in Health Care, is being organized by the Medical Action Group (MAG) http://magph.org/ and the Department of Health (DOH). This will highlight current initiatives being implemented in the Philippines to promote right to rehabilitation of torture victims (survivors).

Attending the conference are city and municipal health officers who has an essential role in preventing torture by effective medical documentation of torture cases and they are among the first persons to come into contact with a torture victim or survivor after alleged torture incident.

“There is a need to raise awareness and level of knowledge of doctors in government service on Republic Act No. 9745 otherwise known as the Anti-Torture Law http://www.congress.gov.ph/download/ra_14/RA09745.pdf. The law details what constitute torture and ill treatment, the doctors’ legal obligations specifically the documentation and medical reporting of alleged victims of torture or ill treatment, and the mechanics of effective referral among agencies concerned in the daunting task of holistic rehabilitation,” said Dr. Criselda G. Abesamis, Director IV, DOH Health Facility Development Bureau.

DOH Assistant Secretary Gerardo Bayugo stressed in order to ensure effective redress for victims of torture entails the duty to provide rehabilitation for victims through institutionalization of the use of the Istanbul Protocol or the UN Manual on the Effective Investigation and Documentation of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Publications/training8Rev1en.pdf, develop protocol in the treatment of torture victims based on the Istanbul Protocol particularly through effective implementation of the DOH Administrative Order No. 2013-0008 http://www.doh.gov.ph/ Guidelines for the implementation of Section 19 of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Anti-Torture Law, upgrade of laboratory facilities of the DOH and other health facilities, and ensure effective referral mechanism.

“Despite the country has the Anti-Torture Law but we have cases and first-hand experiences uncovering its limitation and flaw which undermines the right of the survivors to medical care and rehabilitation,” Dr. Marie Therese C. Galang, MAG Chairperson added.

Galang concluded this conference which will tackle the growing challenges on rehabilitation confronting the torture survivors is significant on our part to learn from experiences of medical doctors in their day to day work in the treatment of torture survivors and in promoting right to rehabilitation of victims of torture.

The conference press the government that effective rehabilitation services and programs are established in the country and are accessible to all torture victims and survivors, as government’s obligation under the UN Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

Press release
November 11, 2015

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[From the web] UN Women’s Committee makes inquiry into sexual and reproductive health rights in the Philippines -OHCHR

UN Women’s Committee makes inquiry into sexual and reproductive health rights in the Philippines

The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) has issued a summary of an inquiry initiated on the basis of information received in 2008 from three women’s rights NGOs in the Philippines.

ohchr

Filipino mother holds her daughter on a footbridge in Quezon City, east of Manila, Philippines, 09 April 2014 © EPA/RITCHIE B. TONGOThe NGOs challenged the conformity with several provisions outlined in the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women of executive order 03 issued in 2000 by the then Mayor of the city of Manila. The order promoted “responsible parenthood and … natural family planning,” and discouraged the use of modern forms of contraception. According to the NGOs, this limited women’s and girls’ access to sexual and reproductive health services in that municipality, and also resulted in a ban of modern contraceptives.

The NGOs also noted that a subsequent executive order – EO 030 issued by a new mayor in 2011- was also in breach of the State’s obligations. It purported to support the free choice by couples of their method of contraception, whilst explicitly providing that there would be no funding for “artificial birth control.” Further, no measures were put in place to make contraceptives available and affordable.

In November 2012, after having received the consent of the Government of the Philippines to make an inquiry visit to that country, two members of CEDAW met with representatives of State and local authorities, and interviewed a number of medical professionals in health centres and a government-run hospital, civil society representatives as well as 60 women aged between 19 and 49.

The Committee found that the implementation of the two executive orders had resulted in the denial of information about modern contraception methods and access to sexual and reproductive health services, with damaging consequences for women’s health and livelihoods, which amounted to violations of their human rights.

The Committee especially emphasized the detrimental impacts for economically disadvantaged women and adolescent girls.

“While the wording of Executive Order 003 does not explicitly ban modern contraceptives, its implementation resulted in the withdrawal of all supplies of modern contraceptives from all local government-funded health facilities,” said Pramila Patten, one of the CEDAW members who conducted the inquiry.

“Family planning information and counselling other than ‘natural family planning’, such as abstinence, cervical mucus, body temperature, calendar and lactational amenorrhea methods, were also denied to women,” she added. “Misinformation about modern methods of contraception listed on the WHO Model List of Essential Medicines was also frequently reported.”

The women interviewed described to the investigators the difficulties experienced in using natural family planning methods that contributed to tensions with their husbands or partners and fostered domestic violence. The Committee also noted the damage to women’s mental and physical health due to multiple pregnancies, and their greater exposure to sexually transmitted infections (STIs) such as HIV/AIDS.

The State had undermined the right of women to decide freely and responsibly on the number and spacing of their children, and shown an official and deliberate policy which systematically placed a certain ideology above the well-being of women.

“Gender stereotypes were at the heart of the policy denying access to modern contraception. The executive orders incorporated and conveyed images of women’s primary role as child bearers and child rearers, thereby perpetuating discriminatory stereotypes already prevalent in the Filipino society,” Patten stressed.

“They impacted women’s capacity to make free and informed decisions and choices about their health care, sexuality and reproduction, as well as on their autonomy to determine their own roles in society,” she added.

Veronica Birga, Chief of the Women’s Human Rights and Gender Section at the UN Human Rights Office, highlighted the importance for future similar inquiry submissions to the Committee of its analysis of the grave and systematic character of the violations caused by the executive orders.

“In finding that the violations were grave and systematic, this inquiry focused on the large numbers of women and girls impacted; and the impact on the nation’s rates of unwanted pregnancies, unsafe abortions, maternal mortality and morbidity, and exposure to STIs, including HIV/AIDS,” Birga said.

“This inquiry is also a clear example of the indivisibility of rights – when a woman’s basic autonomy to make decisions about her body is denied, her health, her education, her prosperity are all threatened.”

At the end of its inquiry, the Committee made a sizeable number of recommendations to the Philippines including to decriminalize abortion; ensure universal access to a full range of sexual and reproductive health services, commodities and related information; remove barriers to such services; and reintroduce emergency contraception.

The Committee also recommended that, in line with the Constitution of the Philippines providing for the separation of the Church and the State, the Government should ensure that State policies and legislation give priority to the protection of women’s health rights, in particular their sexual and reproductive health rights, over any religious postulates that may lead to discrimination against women.

Source: www.ohchr.org

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[From the web] How Not to Stop the Spread of HIV in the Philippines By Carlos Conde

Dispatches: How Not to Stop the Spread of HIV in the Philippines
By Carlos Conde
June 2, 2015

Philippine Senator Vicente Sotto III may have his way in scuttling a study on needle exchange, which is designed to reverse the rise of HIV infection among people who inject drugs. Giving clean needles to intravenous drug users, he argued in the Senate, is like giving murderers clean knives in place of their rusty ones so that they can kill people without infecting them with tetanus.

Carlos_Conde_web  2013 Byba Sepitkova Human Rights Watch

Tragically, his Senate colleagues seem to agree with him and have asked the Department of Health to suspend the study, which was sanctioned by the government, funded by the World Bank, and supported by local and international health-oriented nongovernmental organizations.

The focus of the study is the central Philippine city of Cebu. In 2013, a staggering 52.3 percent of people who inject drugs in that city are infected with HIV, up from 0.4 percent in 2007, according to the Philippine National AIDS Council’s 2014 annual report.

The fear is that the trend of intravenous drug users rapidly transmitting HIV will spread to other cities, said a 2014 briefing paper prepared by the World Health Organization, the Department of Health and the Cebu City Health Department. The paper called Cebu’s HIV epidemic “explosive,” saying it was time for “urgent action.” Intravenous drug use has overtaken sexual contact as Cebu City’s main mode of HIV transmission.

There is compelling evidence that reducing the sharing of infected needles by providing clean needles helps to combat AIDS. Access to clean syringes also helps prevent overdose and provide a gateway for drug treatment programs, Human Rights Watch said in a 2013 report, “In Harm’s Way,” which examined drug users and HIV in the US city of New Orleans. Providing clean needles, experts and advocates agree, would be a key step in the right direction.

Other Asian countries, including China, Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia, India, Vietnam and Thailand, have already implemented needle and syringe exchange programs. China first implemented needle and syringe exchange in 1999 and overall millions of needles and syringes have been exchanged in thousands of sites. A recent meta-analysis found that these programs reduced risk of HIV infection by one-third.

But for Sotto, whose anti-drug campaign has increased his popularity, the needle exchange program promotes drug dependency.

A suspension of the study, which now seems likely, would be a step backwards for the Philippines. Adopting needle exchanges is not only cost-effective and good for the health outcomes of people who use drugs, it is also good for their families and the communities in which they live.

Carlos Conde is the Philippines researcher at Human Rights Watch.

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[Press Release] Beware of school supplies that can damage the brain – EcoWaste Coalition

Beware of school supplies that can damage the brain – EcoWaste Coalition

20 May 2015. Quezon City. As school kids and parents get ready for the opening of the school year next month, school supplies have started to sell like hotcakes.

ecowaste-coalition

However, toxics watchdog EcoWaste Coalition quickly warned the public against some school supplies found by the group to contain hazardous substances, specifically lead, a known neurotoxin, meaning it damages the brain.

“We are worried that while we send our kids to school, obviously for their brain development, some of the things that they bring and use in school are maybe damaging their brain and posing other health hazards instead,” cried Thony Dizon, Coordinator of EcoWaste Coalition’s Project PROTECT.

According to the World Health Organization, “the most critical consequence of low level lead toxicity in utero and during childhood is damage to the developing brain and nervous system.”

“The consequences of brain injury from exposure to lead in early life are loss of intelligence, shortening of attention span and disruption of behavior,” the WHO said.

As part of its annual back-to-school campaign, the EcoWaste Coalition screened 80 samples of assorted school supplies randomly purchased from May 8 to 11, for Ph10 to Ph 320 each, from Lucky Chinatown Mall, Tutuban Centermall, 168 Mall, 999 Mall, 11/88 Mall, and from ambulant vendors around Divisoria.

The group screened the samples for toxic metals using a handheld X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) device.

Out of the 80 samples, 49 items were found to contain toxic lead, which is banned in the manufacturing of school supplies under the DENR Administrative Order 2013-24, also known as the “Chemical Control Order for Lead and Lead Compounds.”

Enumerated below are the most toxic samples in terms of lead content per category of school supplies as reported by the EcoWaste Coalition:

1. Artex water color set with the yellow cake containing 58,000 ppm of lead

2. High grade 0.5 liter vacuum flask whose yellow exterior paint coating has 43,000 ppm of lead

3. A big clip bookmark with a plastic chick design with 9,612 ppm of lead

4. Ronron backpack with 5,282 parts per million (ppm) of lead

5. A yellow cord plastic holder with 3,052 ppm of lead

The group clarified that the US Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) prohibits lead greater than 90 ppm in paint or any similar surface coatings of children’s products, and further sets a limit of 100 ppm of total lead content in any accessible component part of a children’s product.

“What worries us the most is that these school supplies laden with lead are readily available in the market, not even bearing any information to warn consumers as to their contents,” he stressed.

The group also noted that samples found positive for toxic substances were mostly made from polyvinyl chloride or PVC, a type of plastic that is highly problematic from production to disposal to their many toxic additives.

To protect public health and even the environment, the EcoWaste Coalition gave the following advice to all concerned:

To consumers: a) Insist on your right to information. Look for and read the label carefully and be inquisitive; b) Avoid PVC school supplies that may contain toxic additives such as lead, cadmium, and phthalates; c) Refrain from buying products with strong chemical smell and with painted parts or designs that could later chip off; and d) Ask for receipt or any proof of purchase.

To sellers: a) Obtain a certification from suppliers that their goods are safe from hazardous chemicals; and b) Only offer goods that are certified “non-toxic”‘ and adequately labeled.

To manufacturers: a) Only produce and market certified toxics-free children’s products; and b) Ensure full disclosure of product information, including chemical ingredients and their potential health effects.

To the government: a) Assign product safety inspectors and consumer complaint officers in Divisoria and other market hubs for school supplies; and b) Enact and enforce a law that will prohibit the use of cadmium, lead, phthalates and other major chemicals of concern in children’s products.

-end-

Reference:

Click to access leadguidance.pdf

Click to access PVCwallet.pdf

http://www2.epa.gov/lead/learn-about-lead#effects
http://www.fda.gov.ph/advisories/162436-fda-advisory-2014-044

EcoWaste Coalition
Unit 329, Eagle Court, 26 Matalino St., 1101 Quezon City, Philippines
Phone/Fax: 4411846 E-Mail: info@ecowastecoalition.org
Website: http://ecowastecoalition.blogspot.com

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[Press Release] DOH Employees to Celebrate Health Workers Day -NADEA

DOH Employees to Celebrate Health Workers Day

Public health workers all over the country will celebrate the Health workers Day on May 7, 2015 in consonance with Republic Act No. 10069.

The Act was promulgated to give due recognition to the important role and contributions of the health workers who provide vital health services to the people. The Act also aims to promote the rights and welfare of the health workers thereby enhancing their sense of worth and dignity.

The 33, 000-strong National Department of Health Employees Association (NADEA), said that this year’s Health Workers Day celebration featured a series of simultaneous activities nationwide.

Fernando Depano, national president of NADEA said “We would like to underscore the contributions of the health workers in our society in this celebration.”

The group vowed to support programs of the DOH for better delivery of health services for the people.

“We are looking forward to contribute our efforts to reduce maternal mortality, infant mortality, under 5 mortality and to combat HIV- AIDS and other infectious diseases as well as service delivery network.” Depano added saying that these health issues are amog trhe top priorities identified by the DOH.

In Metro Manila, series of activities at the DOH Central Office and regional offices of NCR, Region 4-A and their respective hospitals and attached agencies are being scheduled including a forum on PhilHealth and Magna Carta benefits, taxes imposed on health workers and the proposed salary increase. The celebration will commence through a motorcade in the vicinity of the DOH Central Office.

For details:
FERNANDO “KENNETH” DEPANO
National President, National Department of Health Employees Association (NADEA)
Mobile: 0917-8600818, 0922-8310135
Landline: 651-7800 local 2554
Email: fernandodepano@yahoo.com

NEWS RELEASE
06 May 2015

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[Announcement] Job vacancy at BAN Toxics

BAN Toxics (BT) is an independent non-government environmental organization focused on the advancement of environmental justice, children’s health, and toxics elimination. Working closely with partner communities and other NGOs in both the local and international levels, BT endeavours to reduce and eliminate the use of harmful toxins through education campaigns, training and awareness-raising, and policy-building and advocacy programs.

ban-toxics-logo

We are looking for the following: Project Assistant for Industry Poll on Chemical Safety

Background

The purpose of the poll is to identify gaps and needs in knowledge and security when it comes to chemical safety of consumer products, and to get indications of national opinions that can help BAN Toxics (BT) refine its national campaigns and policy work. It will also help the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation (SSNC) and its partners refine their arguments and strategies for their work for strengthened chemical safety in the global policy arena.

Purpose

The project assistant will provide assistance in coordinating with identified industry representatives to partake in interviews regarding their company’s views and practices in chemicals management.

Key Responsibilities

• Compile the contact information of the top 150 companies in the Philippines;
• Prepare the necessary documents for the (face-to-face/online) interviews (i.e. survey forms, ethics form, letters of request, etc.);
• Coordinate interviews with company representatives and ensure a 30 percent turn-out (45 companies);
• Coordinate with the Project Leader on how to carry out the coordination tasks and to report daily work done;
• Check that material necessary to carry out the survey is sufficient and appropriate;
• Recognize and give an account of problems in project coordination and other challenges encountered, as to support evaluation of data collection mechanism;

Reporting Arrangements

The project assistant will report to the Project Leader.

Personal Qualifications

• Good understanding and knowledge of the corporate bureaucratic process;
• Ability to gather information in an objective, appropriate and sensitive manner;
• Know how to effectively convey information, in both Filipino and English;
• Ability to coordinate time-bound activities and engagement; and
• Expertise to enter, transcribe, record, maintain data/ information in written or electronic forms;

Timeframe

1 month: 40 hours a week (full-time)
April 6 to May 6, 2015

Honorarium

PHP 11,000/ month (full-time; inclusive of taxes)

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[Event] The role of the Health Sector in SDH Initiatives

The role of the Health Sector in SDH Initiatives

March 21, 2015
9-10 Pm

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[Blog] Ingat! Always wear you’re CAP! (Care, Access and Prevention) by Maria Fatima Villena

Ingat! Always wear you’re CAP! (Care, Access and Prevention)
by Maria Fatima Villena, www.healthactivist.ph
February 22, 2015

IMG_7921

Caring enough to provide access to information that leads to the prevention of diseases, disabilities and deaths.

A Presentation at the 1st Philippine Health Care and Social Media Summit #hcsmPH (February 21, 2015, Radisson Hotel, Cebu City) organized by the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD) of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), HealthXPh.net, Health Informatics, Inc.

jofti photo

I shall be sharing with you the narrative of my Prezi presentation, thus, it would be in the script format, which I also have during my talk. Take note of the numbers in the narrative because they represent the slide number as shown in my actual Prezi presentation.

***********

1 TITLE

I titled my brief talk as “Ingat”, a popular catch phrase these days originally used in a paracetamol advertisement. Only that my talk will not be about popping a pill but rather donning on a CAP, a dose of Care, Access and Prevention!

2 ACCESS AND COMPLIANCE/INVOLVEMENT

What I would like to emphasize in social media and health promotion is this: Effectiveness of social media use in health promotion goes beyond what the spikes of your google analytics and/or the number of likes, followers, viewers and even readers tell you.

Because in reality, there are two faces that best describe the success of a social media campaign focused on health promotion or any other issue: 3 a) who has the access to information and b) the level of compliance and involvement of people after the information has been accessed.

Read full article @www.healthactivist.ph

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[Event] “MDGs, SDGs, and other global commitments: Status of Health and Gender Goals in the Philippines from 2015 and beyond”

“MDGs, SDGs, and other global commitments:
Status of Health and Gender Goals in the Philippines from 2015 and beyond”
on Tuesday, February 24, 2015, 9:30am-3:00pm at
Ground Floor, Balay Kalinaw, University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City

ABI Health Cluster copy

This session is organized with one of the steering committee members Forum for Family Planning and Development.

May we also remind you of the SWP-ABI invitation to “Iskul Bukol Forum 2015: The 2015 Approved Budget, 2016 Budget Call and the Disbursement Acceleration Program” on Thursday, February 26, 2015, 10:00am-12:00nn at the Assembly Hall, UP-National College of Public Administration and Governance, Diliman, Quezon City.

To confirm your participation kindly contact WomanHealth Office through the details below.

Thank you and we look forward to enriching discussions with you.

Warm regards,

Alternative Budget Initiative (ABI) Health Cluster Secretariat/WomanHealth Philippines
Room 130 Alumni Center, University of the Philippines Diliman Campus, Quezon City 1101
Telephone No. (632) 9273319
Email Address: abihealth@gmail.com, womanhealth87@yahoo.com

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[From the web] Ebo-Lie: Man Living In Ghana Confirms Ebola Is A Hoax! -www.realfarmacy.com

Ebo-Lie: Man Living In Ghana Confirms Ebola Is A Hoax!
by STEVEN BANCARZ, www.realfarmacy.com

realfarmacydotcom

A statement made by a man in Ghana named Nana Kwame has rocked the internet in the last few days. The following information needs to reach people. We need to see Ebola for what it really is. It’s time that the world wakes up to the agenda behind all of this hysteria. Here is what this man has to say about what is happening in his home country:

“People in the Western World need to know what’s happening here in West Africa. THEY ARE LYING!!!

“Ebola” as a virus does NOT Exist and is NOT “Spread”. The Red Cross has brought a disease to 4 specific countries for 4 specific reasons and it is only contracted by those who receive treatments and injections from the Red Cross. That is why Liberians and Nigerians have begun kicking the Red Cross out of their countries and reporting in the news the truth. Now bear with me:

Read full article @www.realfarmacy.com

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[Statement] Asserting the Filipino People’s Right to Health -MAG

Asserting the Filipino People’s Right to Health

After four years the Philippine healthcare system under the Aquino administration remains bleak if not getting worse. Health care inequalities, failed public health financing, the continuous exodus of health care professionals, weak health care response to disaster and the lack of immediate health care provisions to victims of human rights violations characterized the ill-state of the Philippine Public Health System.

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Inequities in Health Services

While the Philippine government claimed to gain a steady economic growth since President Aquino assumed office in 2010, there is a minimal improvement in poverty incidence as inequities in the access of health care services remain. 2012 Study of the Universal Health Care Study Group shows that 60% of Filipinos who die, die without being attended by health professionals. Even in birth mortality, among the rich, only 10 infants out of 1,000 live births die but among the poor, it is more than 90 infants.

Universal Health Care

Although, the Aquino administration has made strides in the incremental increase in the population coverage of Universal Health Care (Kalusugan Pangkalahatan) but it is only 9% of Financial Risk Protection that actually shouldered by Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PHilHealth). This is despite of the “no balance billing policy” for PhilHealth members, which leaves more poor Filipinos with no other option but to rely on the private sector for their health care needs even though there is nothing in their pocket to begin with. The government must go beyond ensuring that each Filipino has a PhilHealth card. It should mean the enjoyment of the essential health services, basic medicines and appropriate quality health care.

Devolution of Public Health

While there is a big improvement in the health facilities through the Health Facilities Enhancement Program, however, inefficiency in service delivery persists as patient referral system and gatekeeping do not work well due to the decentralized administration of public hospitals and the presence of a large private sector which often create fragmentation and variation in the health services across the country.

Migration of Health Workers

It can’t be denied that there is a chronic shortage of health care personnel in our public health care delivery. Only 30% of health professionals are actually serving the 70% of the population. This is due to the fact that Philippines is now a major exporter of health workers. And many more are expected to join the exodus as their benefits under RA 7305 (Magna Carta of Public Health Workers) such as Hazard Pay, Subsistence and Laundry Allowances were either totally not given or cut back. Sometimes they rely on act of political charity that usually perpetuates patronage politics.

Health Care Response to Disaster

It is much worse in times of calamities as the government failed to ensure the available, accessible, appropriate, timely and with quality delivery health care services to disaster affected communities. The government usually depends on international support aid to cover the affected population’s health care needs. How can we expect for the government to be even prepared for Ebola virus epidemic?

Right to Health Care of Human Right Victims

In spite of the passage of a number of human rights legislations particularly the Republic Act No. 9745 or the Anti-Torture law of 2009 which does not only penalize the act of torture but guarantee the right of the victim to have immediate medical and psychological treatment, victims are usually denied of health care provisions for lack of existing government programs. While the immediate treatment and rehabilitation of survivors and their families are urgent and vital, they can’t however achieve complete healing without the pursuit of justice and an access to effective legal remedies.

Government must act NOW!

Today as we commemorate the International Human Rights Day 2014, the Medical Action Group calls on the Aquino government to walk its talk; it should back its promises particularly on health care programs with action. It can’t ignore the reality on the ground. The Kalusugan Pangkalahatan can’t be a mere lip service but rather must ensure every Filipino’s right to health.

We all share a sense of urgency. It is time for us, PNoy’s bosses to claim our rights.

Medical Action Group
HR Day Statement
10 December 2014

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[Campaign] Help us in our campaign to upgrade or close Reception and Action Center Manila (RAC) -Bahay Tuluyan

Help us in our campaign to upgrade or close Reception and Action Center Manila (RAC)

Photo from Bahay Tuluyan FB

Photo from Bahay Tuluyan FB

This week Bahay Tuluyan sent copies of this photo to the President of the Philippines, Mayor of Manila, Secretary of Justice, Secretary of DSWD, Chairperson of the Commission on Human Rights and various media outlets. It was taken inside a government shelter for children, Reception and Action Center Manila, better known as ‘RAC’, on 12 October 2014.

Bahay Tuluyan Logo

Since 2008 Bahay Tuluyan has repeatedly called for the horrific treatment of children inside RAC to be stopped. Nothing has happened. The child in this photo is clearly severely malnourished, unwell, completely naked and lying on a cement floor, outdoors. At the date this photo was taken he had been in the care of RAC for seven months. He had not received any medical treatment. On release to Bahay Tuluyan he had a black eye and initial medico legal examinations indicated he had ‘multiple injuries secondary to mauling’.

The letter we sent accompanying the photo included the following:

‘The conditions inside RAC are abysmal. Children are detained in this center without charge yet are treated worse than criminals. They are denied the most basic rights – adequate food, clean water, bedding and even clothing. Moreover not only are children denied contact with their families but their families are often not even notified that they are being held inside RAC.

Children inside RAC are brought there by government officials, police or barangay tanod, often after having been beaten or mistreated. Most of the time the children do not even know why they are being taken to RAC, with workers there citing various reasons for admission; ‘rescue’, curfew or commission of an offence. Accordingly, children accused of committing offences are detained in the same quarters as those who have supposedly been ‘rescued’ for protective purposes. The beating and abuse continues inside RAC with children being both physically and sexually abused by both staff and fellow children.

Bahay Tuluyan, along with its many partners, has been advocating for better conditions in RAC since 2008 (refer especially to Sagip or Huli: Rescue of Street Children in Caloocan, Manila, Pasay and Quezon Cities, 2009) and has involved the Manila City government, DSWD and CHR in various discussions about the above mentioned concerns (please see attached letter). Despite this there has been no change in the conditions in RAC during that time.

This horrific treatment of children can not continue. Adequate policies and laws exist in the Philppines to regulate the running of child caring institutions to appropriate standards yet this institution, run by government, falls far below those standards.

We request you to IMMEDIATELY SUSPEND the operations of RAC until it meets DSWD standards of accreditation and can assure that children will be treated with the dignity they deserve.’
We call on all supporters of children everywhere to stand with us as we battle to ensure that all children are given the care, dignity and love they deserve. You can show your support through letters/emails/messages to Bahay Tuluyan – 2218 Leveriza St, Malate, Manila / info@bahaytuluyan.org or here at our facebook page.

We will gather these messages and pass them on to the people responsible. HELP US ENSURE THAT EVERY CHILD IS GIVEN THE DIGNITY THEY DESERVE.

PS. We are pleased to say that through our intervention the child in the photo is now in the care of a excellent institution working with sick children and we are hopeful he will be on the way to recovery very soon.

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[Press Release] Communities demand consultation on government push for new coal powerplants -PMCJ

Communities demand consultation on government push for new coal powerplants
Photo extracted from Jong Pacanot FB
Davao City – “There was no consultation in our community, there is no social acceptance of coal powerplant.“—This is only one of the many concerns of coal-affected communities and electric cooperatives who are currenlty attending the National Peoples Conference on Coal and Renewable Energy.

PMCJ LOGO NEW

“The government failed to consult the main stakeholders on energy. These are the people who will be heavily impacted by the planned expansion of coal power-plants all over the country. Instead, Pnoy immediately consulted industry players and power producers whom are also major proponents of coal,” said Gerry Arances, National Coordinator of Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ), one of the lead organizers of the conference.

The groups accuse the PNoy government of bias towards power industry players whose proposed solution to the energy crisis is to approve and build more coal-fired power plants. Contraty to the push of communities and organizations to maximize energy sources that have less impacts to the environment and health of people.

According ot the latest data of PMCJ, twenty-six (26) new coal plant projects comprising of forty-five (45) coal boilers have been approved and are expected to go online by 2020.

In Limay, Bataan, there will be a 600MW coal fired power-plant by San Miguel Consolidated Power that started construction last February 2013, to be finished by 2016.

“Matatapos na ang construction ng bagong coal power plant, pero wala paring consultation sa tao na malinaw na tumututol dito,” Derek Cabe of Nuclear Free Bataan Movement.

This is the same case in Ozamis City where there is a proposed 300MW coal powerplant by the Ozamiz Powers Generation Incorporated power, where communities are not fully informed about the project and its irreversible impacts. “May papasok na coal power-plant sa Ozamis based sa first scoping na ginawa ng company pero hindi lahat ng impormasyon ay binibigay sa komunidad. Kulang ang transparency sa kompanya at sa LGU,” said Arandy Silva, of Gitib Foundation.

Based on the Philippine Energy Plan (PEP) 2008-2030, the country will aim to target energy self-sufficiency through the use of fossil fuel, oil, gas and coal. Meanwhile, the President continues to question the reliability of renewable energy sources.

“With or without an energy crisis, the proposed new coal power-plants will inflict debilitating effects on environment, health, loss of livelihood and to our resiliency to climate change impacts. The government will put its people in danger with its energy plan.” Arances added.

Coal no more! Shift to clean, renewable energy

“The position of the government will lock the country into more dependence in using dirty and harmful dirty energy,” added Arances.

The Philippines has a vast potential for renewable energy. Data from PAG-ASA presents the following areas/provinces to have wind energy potential: Ilocos, Mountain Province, Palawan, Basco (in Batanes), Catanduanes, Tagaytay City and western portions of Batangas, Guimaras. Masbate, and northeast coast of Negros Occidental.

Solar energy on the other hand is opted for by more households in Mindanao where there is intermittent power supply. A viable option is to encourage local government units to identify the different renewable energy sources available in their areas in order to provide for the communities’ demand. This is a proposed solution to providing electricity to more than 2.7-million households.

Congress passed Republic Act No. 9513 or the Renewable Energy Act of 2008. In the law, end-users or energy consumers are encouraged to use green/energy energy resources.

Additional notes:

Coal kills! Ash samples tested from coal plants in Toledo, Cebu, Sual Pangasinan, Masinloc, Zambales and Calaca, Batangas, and in Mauban, Quezon revealed presence of heavy metals – mercury (deadly neurotoxin) and arsenic (known carcinogen). As well as the hazardous substances lead and chromium. A typical coal plant generates 500 tons of small airborne particles that causes chronic bronchitis, aggravates asthma; 720 tons of carbon monoxide which causes headaches and additional stress on people with heart disease. It can also produce as high as 225 pounds of arsenic, a major cause of cancer, and 114 pounds of lead, 4 pounds of cadmium and other toxic heavy metals every year.

Coal is not Cheap. It comes with a horrifying cost to people and the environment – According to International Energy Agency (IEA), 45% or 14.2 giatonnes of the total 31.6 gigatonnes of global carbon dioxide emissions from fossil – fuel combustion in 2011 came from burning of coal causing global warming and climate change.

Coal Mining and combustion processes have serious effect on people’s health and environment weakening the capacity of people and communities to deal with impacts of climate change. Also, Coal Mining destroys forest, mountains and watersheds.

There is no such thing as Clean Coal – Clean coal technology emits 4 times more coal ashs compared to an ordinary coal plant. According to EIA, the risk of getting cancer is 900 times higher from coal ash exposure compared to cigarette smoking.

For more information on Renewable Energy: https://www.doe.gov.ph/renewable-energy-res

PRESS RELEASE
August 6, 2014
Contact Persons:
Khevin Yu, PMCJ Campaign Staff: 09175213356
Val de Guzman, PMCJ Energy Campaign Staff: 09199657509

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[Press Release] Teachers protest ‘malnutrition’ in Nutrition Month -TDC

Teachers protest ‘malnutrition’ in Nutrition Month

Teachers’ group ATING GURO Party List condemned the government for its neglect of education sector particularly public school teachers.

TDC

“P-Noy’s supposed policy of reforms should be reflected down to the grassroots particularly in public education system. Since he became president four years ago, we have not received any salary increase.” Said Arsenio Jallorina, retired Manila principal and the party chairman.

The group particularly denounced the government’s insensitivity for not providing a salary adjustment for the teachers and employees since year 2012.

“The president has not even initiated a salary increase since 2010 and only enforced the two remaining tranches of the salary standardization law 3 that was enacted during the time of former president Arroyo in 2009.” Jallorina added.

Another matter which they are questioning is the performance-based bonus (PBB) scheme. PBB under EO 80 signed by the president in July 2012 is a scheme granting monetary benefits to employees ranging from P5, 000.00 to P35, 000.00 based on their ‘performance.’ The teachers however are critical of the scheme because the government specifically the Department of Education (DepEd) has no clear-cut policy on how to measure their performance that resulted to incentive disparity and demoralization when it was first implemented in school year 2012-2013. According to them, the scheme is unfair, divisive and deceptive.

Ating Guro instead proposed an across the board productivity enhancement incentive (PEI) amounting to P15, 000 per employee.

“Since year 2007, the government is granting a P10, 000 across the board performance incentive to public school teachers and government employees. Yet in year 2012 said incentive was cut by half.” Jallorina explained.

The group, along with other teachers organizations will stage a protest action on Wednesday, July 9 at the foot of Mendiola Bridge in Manila thru a boodle fight to condemn what they describe as the “the government’s disregard to the most important sector.”

“This boodle fight symbolizes the status of our teachers, with a very low salary and inadequate incentives, we are now unable to provide proper nutrition for ourselves and our families.” Jallorina said.

The teachers will eat instant noodles, sardines, tuyo and NFA rice or what they described as ‘evacuation center food.’ The theme for this year’s nutrition month is “Kalamidad Paghandaan, Gutom at Malnutrisyon, Agapan.”

“With such kind of treatment, our teachers and employees are virtually in a state of calamity everyday.” Jallorina ended.
Reference:
Arsenio Jallorina, Chairman, 0998-4755658

NEWS RELEASE
July 7, 2014

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[People] Safe, Accessible and Culturally-Appropriate Reproductive Health Care for Indigenous Women. By Judy A. Pasimio / LILAK

Safe, Accessible and Culturally-Appropriate Reproductive Health Care for Indigenous Women
By Judy A. Pasimio / LILAK

B'laan women of Brgy. 'Tmurok, Malungon, South Cotabato. Photo from LILAK

B’laan women of Brgy. ‘Tmurok, Malungon, South Cotabato. Photo from LILAK

(For May 28 – the International Day of Action for Women’s Health)

As we celebrate the International Day of Action on Women’s Health, LILAK (Purple Action for Indigenous Women’s Rights) would like to profile the urgent issues that indigenous women in the Philippines face on access to safe, affordable, appropriate health care.

Judy Pasimio photo from lilak

Imagine you are a pregnant B’laan woman living in the mountains of Brgy. ‘Tmurok, in South Cotabato. You are due to give birth anytime now. The nearest health center is in the town proper of Malungon. To get there, you have to either walk 4 hours or ride a horse. At the foot of the mountain, you can take the habal-habal (motorcycle) and pay around P200 pesos to get to the health center in the town of Malungon. Upon reaching the health center, you are told that you are not yet ready and have to come back after 24 hours. You would not want to get back home to spend another 200P and walk another 4 hours, and do that all over again the next day. So you need a place to stay. Most likely, you have to pay – for space, and for food. Not just for yourself, but probably for 2 or 3 more companions, for a day or two. How much would that cost? And then when finally you are ready to give birth, you are asked to pay P1,500 for all sorts of things in the center, even if they say the birthing service is free. Easily, you will have to shell out P3,500 for basic expenses. Where will you get that? For a woman who could barely afford to feed her family regularly, this amount is not just prohibitive, but scandalous.

So you decide not to go to the health center, and instead, do what your mother, your grandmother and other mothers in your community have done for generations – homebirth. The traditional hilot or paltera or community midwife who has known you for a long time, takes care of you, until you give birth at home. She stays with you to see how you are, and prepares herbal bath for your body. She tells you how to take care of yourself, and your newborn baby. In return, you promise her a kilo of root crop from your next harvest.

Then comes the collection of the cash benefit from the 4Ps (Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program). You borrowed money so you could go to town and claim your cash benefit. But after hours of walking and taking the habal-habal with your newborn, you could not claim anything because of deductions made for not meeting the set conditions. You did not have your monthly checkup at the health center, and you did not give birth at the health center. Your children were also absent in their classes as you were not able to provide food for them to take to school. With all these deductions, you were not able to claim anything at all.

Since you were already in town, you went to the health center to have your newborn get her free vaccines. But since you did not give birth in the center, your child is not eligible for free vaccines.

You go home empty-handed, and with a heavy heart.

This is the same story we hear from Mangyan, Dumagat, Subanen and other indigenous women in the two years that we have been having our community visits, as well as regional and national gatherings of indigenous women in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

In some communities, the women hilot are being threatened to be put in jail for doing what they have been doing for decades – take care of pregnant women in their community the way they know how and assist women give birth in ways that have been handed down from generation to another.

It is not safe, both for the mother and for the child – that’s the main argument for prohibiting homebirth, criminalizing and penalizing, both the hilot and the mother. “Then make it safe for us,” is the call of the indigenous women. Make it safe for them by not making them walk for several hours, up and down a rough mountain road, and ride a motorcycle to the nearest health center. Make it safe for them by having a local midwife present in the community on a regular basis, at least 5 days a week. Some indigenous women refuse to give birth in health centers because they are surrounded by strangers who look at and touch their bodies as if they are dolls. Make it safe for them by encouraging them to go to health centers by having culturally-appropriate health services, and environment. Most indigenous women feel safer with the community hilot because they are provided with care and attention that they are familiar with – using herbal and indigenous methods. Make it safe for them by integrating safe natural and indigenous methods with western and mainstream medicine. Penalizing indigenous women for their belief, and customary ways is a gross act of discrimination. Penalizing indigenous women for not being able to afford the health services of the government, which excludes them, is a form of violence, and an act of injustice.

Make childbirth and reproductive health care safe for the indigenous women by making reproductive health services accessible, free, and culturally-appropriate.

May 28, 2014

judy a. pasimio / judy@lilak.net
09175268341

LILAK (Purple Action for Indigenous Women’s Rights)

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lilak-Purple-Action-for-Indigenous-Womens-Rights/446251688730248

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[Press Release] Back-to-School Project Provides Non-Toxic, Lead-Safe Zippers for School Uniforms -EcoWaste Coalition

Back-to-School Project Provides Non-Toxic, Lead-Safe Zippers for School Uniforms

25 May 2014, Manila. Used school uniforms got a new lease of life through a practical “back-to-school” initiative involving a vibrant parish community, a toxics watchdog group and the world’s largest zipper manufacturer.

ecowaste-coalition

Through a collaborative project that brought together the Our Lady of Remedies Parish, EcoWaste Coalition and YKK Philippines, over 500 zippers of school shorts, pants and skirts that have seen better days were replaced with non-toxic and eco-friendly YKK Zippers at no cost to the delight of more than 100 mothers.

Dubbed as the “Palit Zipper na Ligtas sa Tingga,” the project sought to 1) draw public attention on the lead hazard in some zipper products, 2) encourage consumers to patronize quality lead safe zippers, and 3) help poor families cut their back-to-school expenses by offering to replace worn out zippers of school uniforms. The event was held Sunday at the Remedios Training Center.

“Back-to-school expenses can be a real challenge for many families living on a shoestring budget. Most will rely on cheap, low quality items that may contain harmful substances. Mothers who took advantage of this ‘palit zipper’ initiative can now breathe a collective sigh of relief for two reasons: first, they are learning another way to protect their children, and second, they know for certain that the zippers on their children’s clothes are safe from lead, a hazardous chemical,” said Fr. Leo Distor, Parish Priest, Our Lady of Remedies Parish, Malate,

“We are pleased to assure our customers that our zippers are compliant to standards and are globally accepted. By ensuring our proven product quality and safety through rigorous tests conducted by ourselves and via third party inspection, we give our customers a peace of mind and a real value for their money,” said Mr. Tadashi Koshio, Executive Vice-President for Sales and Marketing, YKK Philippines Inc.

“Zippers containing high levels of lead on the surface coating or the substrate should be kept out of reach of children who may be unwittingly exposed to such neurotoxin when they touch the puller and slider of lead-containing zippers of clothes, bags and accessories,” said Thony Dizon, Coordinator of the EcoWaste Coalition’s Project Protect.

“There is no known amount of lead exposure that is considered safe, especially for a child’s developing brain. It is therefore imperative to get rid of all preventable sources of lead in a child’s environment, including lead paint and dust, and lead in school supplies, toys and other children’s products,”Dizon added.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO):

“Lead is a cumulative toxicant that affects multiple body systems and is particularly harmful to young children.”

“Childhood lead exposure is estimated to contribute to about 600 000 new cases of children developing intellectual disabilities every year.”

“Lead exposure is estimated to account for 143 000 deaths per year with the highest burden in developing regions.”

Last December 2013, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources issued a Chemical Control Order for Lead and Lead Compounds, which prohibits, among other things, the use of lead in the production of school supplies and toys and sets a threshold limit of 90 parts per million for lead in paint.

While the said policy does not explicitly mention about zippers and other fastening devices, it is a fact that these items are accessible parts of things that children normally use such as bags and garments and should be lead safe, the groups insisted.

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[Press Release] “Waste-free, toxic-free” Brigada Eskwela Held in Payatas School Draws Throng of Supporters

“Waste-free, toxic-free” Brigada Eskwela Held in Payatas School Draws Throng of Supporters

School officials, teachers and students, community residents, and environmental advocates have joined forces to support the cleanup and renovation of Payatas C Elementary School in Quezon City.

ecowaste-coalition

The Commonwealth Elementary School (Metro Manila’s grand slam winner for the 2013 search for sustainable and eco-friendly school for elementary level) and the EcoWaste Coalition (an environmental network) have adopted Payatas C Elementary School as partner for this year’s Brigada Eskwela.

At the festive launch of the “waste-free, toxic-free” Brigada Eskwela, principal Rosemarie V. Salvador and principal Rodolfo B. Modelo of the Payatas C Elementary and Commonwealth Elementary School warmly welcomed all volunteers from near and afar who came to lend a hand in the school cleanup and repair.

Both school officials drew attention to “bayanihan,” the time-honored spirit of communal unity and action that the annual Brigada Eskwela seeks to rekindle, as vital to making schools conducive for children’s learning, growth and development.

Speaking on behalf of the environmental volunteers, Aileen Lucero, Coordinator of the EcoWaste Coalition, underscored the advantage of “waste-free, toxic free” clean up and renovation activities, especially to children’s health.

“By steering clear of practices that squander resources, create trash and pollute the environs with toxins, we make our schools a safe and healthy place for young children to study, grow and have fun as well,” she said.

“Children are very susceptible to all forms of contaminants in the surroundings, particularly lead dust, hence the need to employ environmentally-sound practices during the cleanup,” she added.
Joining the delegation of the EcoWaste Coalition were volunteers from the Alyansa ng Mamamayan sa Payatas – Sanlakas (a local community organization) and the Payatas Alliance Multi-Purpose Cooperative (an association of waste pickers) and other concerned groups and individuals.

Armed with rags, broomsticks and dustpans, paint brushes and rollers, nails and hammers and alternative cleaning agents such as baking soda and vinegar, the Brigada Eskwela volunteers gaily did their chores amid the scorching heat.

Pacific Paint (Boysen) Philippines, Inc. provided cans of lead safe paints that the EcoWaste Coalition used to paint classroom walls, furniture and fixture.

Press Release
19 May 2014, Quezon City

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[Statement] STOP the PRIVATIZATION of the Philippine Orthopedic Center. -Bp. Gerardo A. Alminaza, D.D

We support and join the call to STOP the PRIVATIZATION of the Philippine Orthopedic Center.

In the Philippines,around 70% of the population, or some 66 million Filipinos, are living off less than P104 per person per day. The majority are so poor that they cannot afford adequate medical attention. It is, therefore, a CRIME OF NEGLECT for the government to privatize this government hospital. The Philippine government would be reneging on its constitutional obligation to take care of the basic needs of the people, one of which is adequate medical care.

Bp Gerardo Alminaza cropped

Church doctrines identify the following as basic human needs: peace, housing, food, religious freedom, work, education, and health care. The responsibility for attaining the common good, besides falling to individual persons, belongs also to the State, since the common good is the reason that the political authority exists (Cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, # 1910).

We therefore say, “Instead of privatizing government hospitals,BUILD MORE GOVERNMENT HOSPITALS, especially in the rural areas! Moreover, strengthen the program to mobilize young doctors, nurses and other caregivers to the rural areas before they go abroad.”

It is the poor workers, farmers, and fisherfolk who provide the BASIC NEEDS of Philippine society (FOOD and SERVICES). If they are healthy, the Philippines will be healthy.

As Christ lives,

+ GERARDO A. ALMINAZA, D.D.
Bishop, Diocese of San Carlos
Head Convenor, Visayas Clergy Discernment Group
Head Convenor, Church People and Workers Solidarity

STATEMENT AGAINST THE PRIVATIZATION
OF THE PHILIPPINE ORTHOPEDIC CENTER (POC)
May 14, 2014

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