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    UN: Excessive drinking killed over three million people in 2016

    September 23rd, 2018

    By CGTN

    Image ©

    DRINKING too much alcohol killed more than three million people in 2016, mostly men, the World Health Organization (WHO) said.

    The UN health agency also warned that current policy responses are not sufficient to reverse trends predicting an increase in consumption over the next 10 years.

    In a new report Friday, the agency said that about 237 million men and 46 million women faced alcohol problems, with the highest prevalence in Europe and the Americas. Europe has the highest global per capita alcohol consumption, even though it has already dropped by 10 percent since 2010.

    Around a third of alcohol-related deaths were a result of injuries, including car crashes and self-harm, while about one in five were due to either digestive disorders or cardiovascular diseases. Cancers, infectious diseases, mental disorders and other health conditions were also to blame.

    “Far too many people, their families and communities suffer the consequences of the harmful use of alcohol through violence, injuries, mental health problems and diseases like cancer and stroke,” said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of WHO.

    “It’s time to step up action to prevent this serious threat to the development of healthy societies.”

    The average daily consumption of alcohol by people who consume it is about two glasses of wine, a large bottle of beer or two shots of spirits. Globally, about 2.3 billion people are current drinkers.

    The report, the third in a series after ones in 2010 and 2014, relies on information from 2016 – the latest data available. WHO said the trends and projections point to an expected increase in global alcohol per capita consumption over the next decade, particularly in Southeast Asia and the Americas.

    “The policy responses which are currently in place in countries are definitely not sufficient to reverse the trends, which we observe in several parts of the world, or to improve significantly this situation,” Dr. Vladimir Poznyak, coordinator of WHO’s management of substance abuse unit, said.

    “When we look at the trends of alcohol consumption in many countries from 2000, you can see ups and downs – which are determined by different factors,” said Poznyak, citing countries’ levels of social development, economic backdrops, policy measures and cultural trends.

    He said the data showed, for example, that alcohol consumption tends to drop in countries facing an economic crisis.

    Poznyak said it was “imperative for the governments to put in place measures that can mitigate the harms associated with this increase.”

    The US Distilled Spirits Council, which advocates for the industry in the country, said in a statement it supports the WHO’s goal to reduce the harmful use of alcohol, but is also concerned that policy recommendations such as increasing alcohol taxes are misguided and don’t effectively address harmful consumption.

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    “Continue GRP-NDF talks” — peace groups

    September 22nd, 2018

    CPP Founder Jose Ma. Sison and President Rodrigo Duterte Photo ©

    AS the United Nations observed World Peace Day last Friday, peace groups, in an open letter, urged the government and the communist insurgents to continue with the peace talks.

    International Day of Peace (September 21)

    “On the occasion of the International Day of Peace 2018 (IDP2018), we respectfully urge both Government of the Republic of the Philippines-National Democratic Front (GRP-NDF) panels to pause for a moment and contemplate on the urgency of delivering the people’s ‘right to peace’, which is the theme of this year’s global celebration of the IDP. We urge them to reaffirm the primacy of the peace process by discussing more about the substantive agenda of the talks and how they could address the fundamental roots of the conflict.”

    Thus said Gus Miclat, the regional initiator of the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict-Southeast Asia (GPPAC-SEA).

    At the same time, Miclat, who is also the executive director of Mindanao-based Initiatives for International Dialogue (IID), the secretariat of GPPAC-SEA; insists his group’s previous call that a return to the negotiating table is still the best recourse to end the 49-year old protracted insurgency in the country.

    This year’s theme of the International Day of Peace is “The Right to Peace – The Universal Declaration of Human Rights at 70. UDHR is a milestone document in the history of human rights drafted in 1948 which sets out fundamental human rights to be universally protected.

    Miclat added, “While there is no specific mention of the right to peace within the UDHR itself, such right is paramount and guaranteed by existing international norms, laws and standards wherein states are expected to comply and fulfill this in the spirit of peace, human rights, justice and development.”

    He explained, “We urge both panels to realize the ‘higher cause’ and instead focus more on strengthening ‘confidence building measures’ and engage in principled compromises, which are essential to the revival of the on-and-off peace talks.”

    IID reminded the panels that the parties have already achieved significant gains of the talks before its cancellation last year by President Rodrigo Duterte.

    Both panels have agreed on three (3) common drafts on general amnesty and release of all political prisoners in compliance with Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL); coordinated unilateral ceasefires; and part I Agrarian Reform and Rural Development (ARRD) and part II National Industrialization and Economic Development (NIED) of the Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms (CASER).

    Also, both parties have already drafted an agreement on the coordinated ceasefires, a significant step towards the Comprehensive Agreement on the End of Hostilities and Disposition of Forces (CAEHDF).

    Miclat emphasized that the people on the ground have been the perennial innocent victims of the armed conflict and are on the verge of being exasperated. Miclat continued, ‘the conflict has literally locked up the people to the cyclical denial and deprivation of their right to development and to dignity with the government spending more on war than essential social services.’

    Remembering Martial Law in the Philippines

    Miclat said, “While we celebrate International Day of Peace on September 21, in the Philippines, the same day continues to haunt our collective memory as a nation as this particular event reminds us of the darkest period in our history when Martial Law was declared by the dictator Ferdinand Marcos more than four decades ago. We are one with our people in honoring the martyrs of Martial Law and today recommit ourselves to defend the gains of their valiant struggle against dictatorship.’’

    The IID head explained that it is in this context that, “The continuing implementation of martial law in Mindanao which began in May 23 last year, has confirmed the bankruptcy of a military solution to resolve Mindanao’s insurgency problem. If anything, the declaration of martial law has aggravated the already dismal condition of Mindanao especially the people of Marawi and Indigenous Peoples in the hinterland. The conflict has resulted to the loss of hundreds of lives as well as socio-economic deterioration, which could once again complete the recipe for violent extremism.”

    Furthermore, Miclat said “There is just no way we could achieve genuine peace through military means. In fact, it was President Duterte himself and also top generals of the armed forces who have earlier said and admitted that a military solution will never work to resolve the insurgency.”

    He concluded, “Martial Law is a counter-productive measure that hurts not only Mindanao but the whole country. Today, we reiterate in saying NEVER AGAIN TO MARTIAL LAW!”


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    QC shuts down 56 ‘illegal’ junkshops

    September 22nd, 2018

    Payatas landfill before it was closed. Photo by flickr

    IN A bid to further the environment, the Quezon City Environmental Protection and Waste Management Department and the Business Permits and Licensing Department has ordered the closure of 56 junk shops illegally operating near near the closed Payatas landfills in Barangays Payatas and Commonwealth.

    The EPWMD issued the closure order after a series of dialogues with the affected parties and consultations among environmental management partners and other stakeholders as it noted that the junk shops illegally stored and dumped garbage, which has an estimated volume of not less than 12,000 cubic meters or an equivalent of 800 trips of 10-wheeler will be taken away in the clearing operations.

    According to Remelito Hirang, chief of the EPWMD Monitoring, Inspection and Enforcement Section, these junk shops are operating beyond the limits set in their business permit. Some failed to present copies of required permits and clearances from the authorities.

    He also observed that that the so-called “micro junk shops” are also proliferating in the area.

    Totally stop, i-clear saka tayo magse-set ng bagong guidelines kung paano sila mag-o-operate,” Hirang said, adding that the clearing operations is set to run for two months.

    EPWMD said the volume of garbage has become a health and safety hazard to the residents surrounding the dumpsite.


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    September 22nd, 2018

    From left; Janice Canaya, 22; and Kristina de Mesa, 32, both female K9 handler trainees. Photo taken during a break of their PDEA K9 Basic Handler’s Course training in Antipolo City.

    THE Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency K9 Unit welcomes its first female K9 handlers in its roster.

    Janice Canaya, 22, of Tuguegarao City, Cagayan; and Kristina de Mesa, 32, of Mamburao, Occidental Mindoro are among the 100 newly-hired PDEA K9 handlers belonging to the 4th Batch Class 04-2018 of the PDEA K9 and Handlers’ Basic Course. They are set to undergo a six-month intensive training in Zemog K9 Training Center, Sitio Puting Bato, Inarawan, Antipolo City starting September 10, 2018.

    Canaya and De Mesa are the first female candidates who applied as PDEA K9 handlers since the creation of the K9 unit of the Agency.

    Canaya applied as K9 handler in PDEA because of her innate fondness for dogs. She has pets of various breeds, like Shih Tzu, Chihuahua, and a Labrador. She was once a K9 handler in Tuguegarao airport during her on-the-job training as a criminology student.

    This will serve as my stepping stone in realizing my dream of becoming a Drug Enforcement Officer someday. The training will surely provide me with additional practical know-how on the aspects of search and seizure that is important during greyhound operations. May our presence in the K9 unit serves as example to other women that indeed this job is not just for men,” Canaya said.

    De Mesa was formerly a computer programmer in the Local Government of Mamburao, Occidental Mindoro. She also worked as Administrative Assistant in the DILG program KALAHI-CIDSS. As a music lover, she was once a band member as a base and rhythm guitar player. She was also a volleyball varsity player from elementary to college.

    Believing in gender equality, De Mesa signified her intent to be part of the PDEA K9 team despite knowing the rigid six-month training she had to undergo. She is hopeful that she can contribute to the Agency in its fight against illegal drugs.

    It is an honor to be a part of the lead agency in the fight against illegal drugs. With the difficulty in finding a job today, I am thankful given the chance to be a part of this prestigious Agency and be able to help in the eradication of illegal drugs which continue to destroy the future of the people, particularly the youth,” she said.

    These two ladies will serve as inspiration for other females who aspire to be K9 handlers in the future. It simply proves that the job intended for K9 handlers is not only for men but also for women who are sincere and dedicated in helping eradicate illegal drugs in the country.” said PDEA Director General Aaron N. Aquino.

    Their tasks and responsibilities after graduation will just be the same as that of our male K9 handlers. They will be equipped with the knowledge and skills necessary to become a qualified K9 handler before they will be deployed to their areas of assignments with their dogs,” said PDEA K9 chief Agent Bernardo Velazquez.

    The training includes familiarization with substances subject for detection, understanding of K9 behavior, dog’s drive development, substance printing and indication to improve the dog’s ability to distinguish scents of illegal drugs, and scent discrimination to develop the dog’s ability to differentiate odors of illicit substances, among others.

    After graduation, Canaya and De Mesa, together with other handlers and their Narcotic Detection Dogs (NDDs) or K9s, will be deployed in seaports, airports and other vulnerable areas across the country to provide support in the conduct of anti-drug operations,” Aquino said.

    Since 2014, three batches, composed of 24 K9s and 41 K9 handlers have successfully graduated from the training course. Historically, the PDEA K9 Unit always had male handlers working with drug-sniffing dogs until Canaya and De Mesa came on board.

    “I hope more women will follow the footsteps of Canaya and De Mesa in K9 handling, a field in law enforcement usually dominated by men. This means women are just as qualified and capable of doing the job as their male counterparts,” Aquino pointed out.

    Under Aquino, the latest batch of K9 training made PDEA history as it is the most extensive single procurement of new 100 PDEA K9s worth PhP42.5 million, and by far the largest recruitment and training of K9 handlers in one training course setting.

    These K9 handlers and NDDs will be deployed in the different PDEA regional offices nationwide to augment the present K9 unit. Regional Office National Capital Region (RO-NCR) will be given 15 NDDs and handlers; Cordillera Administrative Region 3; Regional Office (ROI) 4; (ROII) 6; (RO III) 7; (RO IVA) 4; (RO IVB) 5; (RO V) 5; (ROVI) 8; (RO VII) 8; (RO VIII) 4; (RO IX) 5; (RO X) 4; (RO XI) 8; (RO XII) 6; (RO XIII) 4; and ARMM will be given 4.

    Strengthening the PDEA K9 unit is one of my priority thrusts to boost the agency’s capabilities in conducting greyhound operations in correctional facilities, check-point and interdiction operations, and detection of New Psychoactive Substances being rampantly used as party drugs,” the PDEA chief said.

    According to Aquino, the PDEA K9 unit continues to improve its facility as it envisions to be the premier NDD training center in the country where all NDDs utilized by law enforcement agencies nationwide will be trained. “Construction of new buildings worth P21.3 million inside the 5,000 square meter PDEA K9 facility in San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan is on-going,” he said.

    On July 2018, PDEA launched the Standard Operating Procedures on Management of the NDDs and Preventive Medicines Programme for K9 to institutionalize and enhance the supervision and handling of PDEA K9.


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    PH to reopen consulate general in Houston soon

    September 21st, 2018

    TWENTY five years after it closed, the Department of Foreign Affairs is reopening the Philippine Consulate General in Houston to allow it to serve the growing consular needs of the Filipino Community in the south central United States.

    “The reopening of our Consulate General in Houston is consistent with the priorities laid down by President Duterte for us to bring our services closer to Filipinos overseas,” Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter S. Cayetano said.

    “Through our Consulate General, we will endeavor to serve all Filipinos living on this side of the United States,” Secretary Cayetano.

    The Consulate General, which was closed in September 1993, will reopen its doors on 24 September 2018. It is expected to serve some 179,000 Filipinos in the states under its jurisdiction, namely, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.

    “The reopening of the Consulate General is in response to the growing needs of Filipinos in South Central US and the strong clamor of the Filipino community there,” Consul General Jerrill Santos said.

    Upon its reopening, the Consulate General will offer civil registry services such as Reports of Birth, Marriage and Death, notarial services, affidavits certification, issuance of travel documents and fingerprinting for National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) clearances.

    Passport processing, visas, authentication services and dual citizenship services will be made available in the coming days.

    The Consulate General will also provide assistance to distressed Filipino nationals, promote Philippine culture, and strengthen economic ties between the Philippines and the South Central US.

    The Consulate General is temporarily housed at 9990 Richmond Avenue, Suite 270N, Houston, Texas, and will move into Suite 100N at the same building by the end of the year.

    It can be contacted at +1 (832) 668 5139 and email address


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    CEFBEX 2018: A Ticket to the Ultimate Foodventure

    September 21st, 2018

    A heavy foodie crowd awaits as CEFBEX returns this October.

    Beyond Deadlines is a media partner of this event.

    HAILED as the Queen City of the South with good reason, Cebu City is home to a rich and vibrant culinary heritage and a burgeoning contemporary food scene that is doubtlessly informed by the region’s unique locale.

    Now on its 10th year, the Cebu Food and Beverage Exposition or simply CEFBEX, seeks to champion the region’s F&B scene with another mouth-watering installment that will surely evoke among discerning eaters and industry professionals a strong sense of enthusiasm and wonder for Cebu’s gastronomic pulse.

    Aptly headlined as the “Ultimate Foodventure,” CEFBEX 2018 is determined to unleash the adventurous side of the Visayans when it comes to food. That is, by allowing them the opportunity to sample and taste the best of the local and global F&B market amid a relaxed, easy-going, and widely-festive environment.

    Furthermore, CEFBEX is expected to once again serve up the widest showcase of the latest F&B trends as well as the tastiest and freshest goods from various F&B exhibitors. Apart from housing a plethora of F&B goods, products, and services, this year’s CEFBEX is truly intent on giving visitors a one-of-a-kind food show experience with its exciting line-up of pocket events and activities.

    Each one conceived to captivate and engage the interest of foodies and industry professionals alike, this year’s crop of event highlights include the CEFBEX Culinary Cup: Home Chef Edition and Interschool Division. Developed to serve as a notable platform for aspiring chefs to showcase their skills and talents in the kitchen, the CEFBEX Culinary Cup also offers show attendees an opportunity to witness the culinary heritage and prowess of Cebuanos in action.

    Open to all residents of Cebu with no prior professional experience for the last five years and no formal academic background on cooking, the Home Chef edition will be divided into two rounds, the semi-finals and the grand finals. The participating home chefs will then be tasked to collect their ingredients on the spot and cook up a culinary masterpiece.

    On the other hand, the Interschool Division will be gathering culinary and hospitality students from various schools across the region to battle it out in different competitions such as Table Set-Up, Fruit Carving, Cake Decorating, Flair Bartending Tandem, Open Latte Art, and Pasta Live Cookery.

    CEFBEX also takes pride in being a venue for discovery and continued learning for culinary enthusiasts, industry professionals, and entrepreneurs. Aside from live product and cooking demonstrations that will be held throughout the four-day trade show, this year’s show will also return with the CEFBEX Seminars.

    Offered free of charge, this year’s CEFBEX Seminars will invite industry leaders from the Department of Agriculture, Department of Trade and Industry, and the Department of Science and Technology to share their insights about best industry practices and other relevant information concerning the F&B trade.

    A decade had passed but CEFBEX remains to be the biggest and most-anticipated food event in the region. In channeling its efforts in preserving the culinary heritage of the region while likewise opening up the opportunity for the F&B trade to flourish and grow towards new directions, CEFBEX 2018 is truly a celebration of all things great and promising for the region’s F&B industry.

    The 10th Cebu Food and Beverage Expo or simply, CEFBEX 2018 is happening on October 11 to 14 at the SM City Cebu Trade Hall. The event is organized by Worldbex Services International. Admission is free and open to all foodies and F&B players. For more information, follow Cebu Food and Beverage Expo on Facebook and @cefbex on Instagram, call (02) 656-9239, or email


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    Metropolitan Manila Development Authority Traffic Advisory 092018

    September 20th, 2018

    THE Metropolitan Manila Development Authority and Manila District Traffic Enforcement Unit advised motorists traversing Manila City to take alternate routes on today and Sunday, September 21 and 23, as several roads in the city will be closed for activities in commemoration with the declaration of Martial Law.

    Starting 6am onwards on Friday, the following roads will be closed for Talakayan sa Mapayapang Paggunita ng Martial Law event:

    –          North and Southbound lane of Roxas Boulevard from Katigbak to Pres. Quirino Ave.

    –          Eastbound lane of TM Kalaw from Ma. Orosa to Taft Ave.

    –          East and Westbound lane of TM Kalaw from M.H Del Pilar to Roxas Blvd.

    –          UN Ave. cor. Roxas Blvd. service road

    –          Motorists are advised to take the following alternate routes on Friday:

    All vehicles coming from the northern part of Manila intending to utilize the stretch of Roxas Blvd. Southbound lane coming from Delpan Bridge-Pier Zone shall turn left to P. Burgos to point of destination.

    All vehicles utilizing westbound lane of TM Kalaw going to Roxas Blvd. shall turn left to MH Del Pilar to point of destination

    Vehicles coming from Mabini St. utilizing eastbound lane of TM Kalaw going to Taft Ave. shall turn left to Ma. Orosa to point of destination.

    Vehicles coming from Southern part of Manila utilizing northbound lane of Roxas Boulevard shall turn right to Pres. Quirino Ave. to point of destination.

    Meanwhile, the following roads will be closed at exactly 4 am on Sunday, September 23 for Alay Lakad Para sa Kabataan 2018 event:

    –              North and Southbound lane of Roxas Blvd. from Anda Circle to P. Ocampo

    –              P. Burgos from Roxas Blvd. to Lagusnilad east and westbound

    –              TM Kalaw from Roxas Blvd. to MH del Pilar westbound

    –              Finance Rd. from P. Burgos to Taft Ave. both lanes

    –              Stretch of Ma. Orosa from P. Burgos to TM Kalaw north and southbound lane

    –              Westbound lane of Ayala Blvd. from Romualdez to Taft Ave.

    Motorists are advised to take the following alternate routes on Sunday:

    All vehicles coming from Romualdez intending to utilize the stretch of Ayala Blvd. shall go straight to N.A Lopez, left to San Marino to point of destination.

    All vehicles coming from southern part of Manila intending to utilize the stretch of Roxas Blvd. northbound lane shall turn right to P. Ocampo, left to Taft Ave.

    All public utility vehicles traveling along A. Mabini shall turn right to P. Gil or may either go straight and turn right to TM Kalaw, left to Taft Ave. to point of destination.

    All vehicles coming from northern part of Manila intending to utlize the stretch of Roxas Blvd. southbound lane coming from Delpan Bridge-Pier Zone shall take A. Soriano, go straight to Magallanes Drive, right to P. Burgos, straight to Lagusnilad (Taft Avenue) to point of destination.

    All vehicles coming from Binondo (Jones Bridge) going to Intramuros area shall turn right to Magallanes Drive while vehicles coming from Sta. Cruz (McArthur Bridge) and Quiapo (Quezon Bridge) intending to proceed to Intramuros area shall turn right to Victoria St. to point of destination.

    During the said period, all cargo trucks traveling Osmeña Highway are advised to turn right to Pres. Quirino Ave., straight ahead to Nagtahan, AH Lacson, Yuseco St. crossing Jose Abad Santos straight Raxabago, Capulong to point of destinations.

    On the other hand, all cargo trucks intending to utilize southbound truck route coming from Pier area shall take R-10 Northbound, then turn right to Capulong straight to Yuseco St. to AH Lacson Ave. to point of destination.

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    Duterte wants to ‘close all mining’ after Philippines landslides

    September 20th, 2018

    By RT

    (File Photo) Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte. © AP Photo / Bullit Marquez

    PHILIPPINE President Rodrigo Duterte recently has repeated his desire to shut all mines in the country following deadly landslides.

    Some government officials and large miners say the landslides have been exacerbated by illegal small-scale mining.

    If I were to try to do my thing I will close all mining in the Philippines,” Duterte said, presiding over a meeting of the government’s disaster response team two days after a powerful typhoon struck, Reuters reported.

    Earlier on Monday, Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Roy Cimatu ordered all small-scale mining to stop in the Cordillera region, where landslides killed 24 people.

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    Pawnshops in QC to install motion sensor alarms

    September 20th, 2018

    Image by Ventura County Star

    IN VIEW of the rising incidents of break-ins and robberies in the metropolis, Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista has signed an ordinance requiring the installation of motion sensor alarms in all pawnshops in the city.

    City Ordinance 2721-2018, introduced by Councilor Jose Mario Don S. de Leon, states that the installation of motion sensor alarms, in addition to the existing alarm system, in the vaults of all pawnshops in Quezon City is a mandatory requirement. The ordinance is in pursuant to Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Circular No. 91, Series of 1995.

    The measure came after the rise in cases of break-in robberies where the vaults of banks as well as of pawnshops were penetrated by digging a hole underground to gain access to the vaults.

    City Ordinance 2721-2018, Section 3 also states that “Upon the approval of this Ordinance, the Business Permits and Licensing Office (BPLO) shall notify all pawnshops in this City of such requirement for the purpose of renewing business permits /licenses.”

    In Section 4, the penalties for violation of this Ordinance are stated consisting of a fine of PhP5,000 to be imposed for non-compliance as well as the cancellation or revocation of business permits of the pawnshops.

    Councilor de Leon believes that the installation of motion sensor alarms in pawnshops will help maintain its security and protect the jewelry therein.

    He also introduced City Ordinance 2722-2018, which obliged all pawnshops in the city to have the so-called “minimum thickness” of the vaults to protect it against theft.


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    Death Toll From Typhoon Mangkhut (Ompong) in Philippines Rises to 65 – Reports

    September 19th, 2018

    By Sputnik News

    © REUTERS / Tyrone Siu

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The number of people who have sought treatment in Hong Kong’s hospitals after super-typhoon Mangkhut hit the region has increased to 362 people, local media reported on Monday.

    According to Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK), a public broadcasting service, the typhoon hit the Chinese special administrative region at about 5:00 p.m. on Sunday (11:00 GMT). Nearly 50 temporary shelters have been set up in the area, to which over 1,200 people have already turned. At least 889 flights to and from Hong Kong were canceled on Sunday due to the natural hazard.

    As many as 64 people were injured and 43 remain missing, according to the news website Rappler.

    According to media reports, in the Philippines, Typhoon Mangkhut claimed lives of at least 59 people; nearly 50 others were injured.

    Mangkhut became the 22nd typhoon to strike world this year. Meteorologists recommend that the local authorities be ready for an emergency and promptly take all the necessary measures to eliminate the consequences of the possible catastrophe.

    A total of 950,000 people have been evacuated in Guangdong’s 14 cities as of Monday morning, the province’s administration reported.

    (Read More:

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    QC creates committee on gender-based violence

    September 19th, 2018

    IN order to better serve and provide a more comprehensive service to the victims or survivors of gender-based violence and abuse, Quezon City Mayor Herbert M. Bautista has signed an ordinance reinforcing the organizational structure of the city’s Protection Center.

    City Ordinance 2701-2018, introduced by Councilors Irene Belmonte, Lena Marie Juico, Julienne Alyson Rae Medalla, and Diorella Maria Sotto, amends City Ordinance 2191-2012 that created the QC Protection Center for Victim-Survivors of Gender-based Violence and Abuse.

    In the amendment, the QC Committee on Gender-based Violence is created to oversee the management of the protection center and to ensure that the ordinance is effectively implemented.

    To better adhere to the QC Protection Center’s objectives, there is a need to reinforce its organizational structure to further provide comprehensive service to the victim-survivors of gender-based violence,” the ordinance read.

    The QC Committee on Gender-based Violence will be tasked to formulate plans and policies to address the needs of the victim-survivors of gender-based violence by providing a safe environment and facilitating recovery through medical, psychiatric/psychological, legal support, and social services; approve policy guidelines of the services and programs of the Protection Center and monitor and evaluate its implementation; and collaborate with other agencies to forward the advocacies of the committee, raise awareness, and pool efforts to address the problem of gender-based violence.

    The committee will be led by Mayor Bautista with the City Council Committee on Women, Family Relations, and Gender Equality and Committee on Children chairpersons as members.

    The QC General Hospital Director, representatives from the City Health Department, Social Services Development Department, Liga ng mga Barangay, Barangay Operations Center, QC Council for the Protection of Children, Gender and Development Council, Quezon City Police District, City Legal Department, and Non-Government Organizations working on gender-based violence are also part of the said committee.

    Further, the Protection Center will also be composed of five units including the Administrative Support Unit, Counseling and Case Intake Unit, Medical Support Unit, Legal and Security Unit, and Advocacy and Network Unit.

    Since 2012, the center has successfully handled 964 cases by rendering protection services and various medical, legal, psychiatric/ psychological support, police assistance, and social services to the victim-survivors, paving the way to their recovery and reintegration to the society.

    City Ordinance 2191-2012 was passed in light of the reality that gender-based violence is not limited to any sex, gender, or age group.

    Then Crisis Center for Battered Women was expanded to QC Protection Center for Victim-Survivors of Gender-based Violence and Abuse to cater to all victims of gender-based violence including women, children, and lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgenders (LGBTs).


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    WomenBizPH spotlights mental health in PH businesses, workplace

    September 18th, 2018

    MANILA, Philippines – The recent deaths of designer Kate Spade and celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain, both renowned figures in their respective fields who faced mental health issues despite successful careers, have raised global awareness on mental disorder.

    While the Philippines has been considered as one of the happiest countries in the world, it has the highest number of depressed people in Southeast Asia, with an average of seven suicides a day. One in five adult Filipinos are considered to suffer from mental illness, primarily schizophrenia, depression and anxiety.

    To educate the public on this menacing issue this Suicide Prevention Month, the Women’s Business Council of the Philippines’ (WBCP), an advocacy group for women economic development, will hold a symposium entitled Crawling Out of the Black Hole of Depression and Mental Illnesses.

    The WBCP will discuss business and workplace contributing to mental illnesses, their symptoms, and how to overcome and properly manage them.

    The event will be this year’s episode for the talk series Women Mentoring Women (W2W) Talks, organized by WBCP as part of its advocacy to help women in business and economic development.

    Guest speakers will be composed of renowned women in the persons of Dr. Corazon Angela M. Cuadro, MD, a practicing psychiatrist; Pam Pastor, journalist and singer diagnosed with clinical depression and anxiety disorder in December 2015; and Jeannie Goulborn, designer-wellness advocate and president of the non-profit Natasha Goulbourn Foundation.

    The symposium will be held on September 27, Thursday from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm at the Narra-Yakal Room of The Dusit Thani Hotel Manila.

    For queries and registration, interested parties may visit, or contact Russell Joy Rivera of WomenBizPH Secretariat at +63 916 667 5213, +63 2 666 0726, or email her at

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    QC Mayor Herbert Bautista commends local Disaster Council for Ompong readiness

    September 17th, 2018

    QC Mayor Herbert Bautista while presiding the QC-DRRMC meeting last Sunday. Photo by QC PAISO

    QUEZON City Mayor Herbert Bautista on Sunday has commended the city’s Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council for its proactive approach in preparing the city for super typhoon Ompong which led to zero casualty.

    I congratulate you for all your efforts in helping make our city resilient. Our early warning, preemptive evacuation and pre-positioning of assets did us well. We did our best, but we still can do better in the future,” Mayor Bautista said during the meeting of the QC DRRM Council.

    Quezon City’s emergency services and disaster response and relief clusters were on full alert since Friday until early Sunday evening.

    Over 500 personnel from different departments of the city government and reinforced by volunteers from the military’s Joint Task Force NCR, Quezon City Police District, Bureau of Fire Protection, 1502nd Army Ready Reserve Brigade were on standby and mission-ready during the full alert period.

    No typhoon-related casualties were reported. A 10-year-old boy was however, reported missing in Barangay Silangan.

    A total of 1,413 families or 6,266 individuals from nine flood-prone barangays sought shelter in evacuation centers and were provided hot meals by the QC Social Services Development Department.

    All of the city’s health centers were open 24 hours during the alert period.

    Disaster action teams were kept busy responding to reports of fallen trees. The city’s Emergency Operations Center recorded at least 20 incidents of uprooted trees and toppled utility poles during the alert period.


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    Runaway inflation due to bungled policies by economic managers – SPARK

    September 17th, 2018

    Harry Roque. Image © Presidential Communications Operations Office

    PRESIDENTIAL Spokesperson Harry Roque’s recent remarks concerning the 6.4% inflation rate reveals his utter disconnect from the vast majority of Filipinos, the Samahan ng Progresibong Kabataan said in a statement.

    Roque’s claim that “inflation is under control” runs contrary to what is being experienced by Juan Dela Cruz as the cost of all common goods and services have increased due to the failed economic policies of this foul mouthed administration, the progressive youth organization said.

    Furthermore, the youth organization insists that President Rodrigo Duterte’s pet legislation, the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law, is the reason why there is an avalanche of price hikes in the market.

    Serving as TRAIN 1’s backdrop is the state’s long-standing policy of liberalization which led to the current runaway inflation, the student group observed.

    It also noted that the skewed importation of rice and galunggong are signs that the government has abandoned the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of farm workers, peasants and fisherfolks.

    “TRAIN Law merely exacerbates the fundamental contradictions brought about by the economic managers’ overzealous pursuit of an export-oriented, import-dependent economy, based on the designs of the World Trade Organization,” the SPARK said.

    Nevertheless, despite the spike in the prices of basic commodities, Duterte and Roque, in an earlier statement, said that anything short of the 50% inflation rate experienced during the Marcos’s dictatorship is not a crisis and that the issue is only strong because of the coming elections.


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    Texas Education Board votes to cut Hillary Clinton’s name from student curriculum

    September 16th, 2018

    By RT

    Former US First Lady Hillary Clinton © AP Photo/ Dario Lopez-Mills

    STUDENTS in Texas will not be obliged to learn about Hillary Clinton in their history class, but will discuss the impact of Moses on the nation’s founding documents, following a vote by the State Board of Education.

    The move, which is so far preliminary, is an effort to streamline the curriculum, according to the Dallas Morning News. Teachers told the outlet that students have too many figures to learn about, turning their studies into a mere memory exercise. So, a volunteer group of teachers has been appointed by the board to grade the significance of various people. Clinton scored five on the 20-point scale.

    The former Democratic Party candidate – the first woman to run for president – was not the only historic figure to be earmarked for erasure from the state curriculum in the traditionally Republican state.

    Helen Keller, the first blind and deaf person to become a college graduate, may also be removed from the mandatory list of historic figures taught at Texas schools if the proposal is approved at a final vote in November after a designated period of public response expires.

    The move has been touted by the board as a time-saving measure. The removal of Clinton is estimated to save teachers some 30 minutes, while Keller’s exit from the curriculum will allow them to save another 40 minutes.

    The amendments to the statewide curriculum are bound to affect some 5.4 million public school students, if adopted.

    The board voted to keep the reference to Judeo-Christian values and their impact on the shaping of US history and political discourse. The prophet Moses will be also reinserted into the program, while philosopher Thomas Hobbes will be eliminated. The curriculum will also require students to explain how the “Arab rejection of the state of Israel has led to ongoing conflict” in the Middle East.

    The proposal has immediately stirred controversy, with Clinton supporters, including celebrity backers like actresses Barbara Streisand and Debra Messing, taking to Twitter to voice their righteous protest and indignation.

    However, contrary to the claims of multiple Clinton defenders, her absence from the education-board approved list does not prevent teachers from mentioning Clinton’s political work in other contexts rather than specifically focusing on her role as the first woman to win the nomination.

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    Faith will raise us to new life

    September 16th, 2018
    Proverbs 1:20-33 – Isaiah 50:4-9a Psalm 19    Alternate – Psalm 116:1-9 James 3:1-12   Supplementary – Wisdom of Solomon 7:26 – 8:1 Mark 8:27-38

    JESUS’ disciples are undergoing a very intense apprenticeship with Jesus, and it is about to get intense as he begins his journey to Jerusalem. Before embarking on his journey to Jerusalem, Jesus pause and checks in with his disciples. Jesus asks his disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” The disciples answered him saying: “Some say you are John the Baptist; others say you are Elijah or one of the prophets”.

    The responses where not off the mark, but they do not adequately get to the heart of the matter.

    Then Jesus asks the same question to his disciples: “Who do you say that I am?” Peter answers him: “You are the Christ”. Peter gave the right answer but logically his answer was not. The word “messiah in Hebrew and ‘Christ’ in Greek was associated in the Jewish tradition with an anointed king, a royal figure from the line of David to come and free Israel from heir Gentile oppressors. Nothing in Jesus’ career up to now has given indication of claims to royalty or political ambitions.

    Peter hoped that when they reach Jerusalem, Jesus will finally take his messianic role. But as soon as Jesus spoke of his career as Messiah, rejection, suffering and death-Peter takes Jesus aside and rebukes him.

    Peter’s response is understandable considering the messianic expectations. We all do that. We want someone who is strong and powerful, someone who will rescue us from all our financial troubles and defeat our enemies. This is how often Jesus is presented in popular evangelism as a kind of super hero who will solve all our problems.

    The question that Jesus asked the disciples, is the same question before us today. Who do we say that Jesus is? We can give different answers, and perhaps all of them right.

    On the contrary, Jesus expressed the identity of the Christ as someone who must suffer; he would be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the scribes, and be killed. Peter could never accept a suffering Christ. He could never accept a weak Christ who would be put to death by the enemies.

    Hence, Peter began to rebuke Jesus and correct him. The response of Jesus to Peter’s rebuke is very harsh. He tells Peter: “Get behind me Satan”. Jesus has never used the word Satan. This is one of the moments in Scripture that highlights the vast distance between God and us

    Hence, dear friends, how is this good news? Because the whole story tells us of Jesus’ faithfulness unto death, even while everyone else proved faithless and in this God raised him to new life. Because of this we can know that there is nothing so great a sin or failure that can separate us from the love of God.

    The Rev. Isaias Ginson is priest of The Episcopal Church. He is currently priest in charge of the Episcopal church of St. Margaret’s in Plainview, NY.





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    L.A. County marks progress vs sexual exploitation of children

    September 15th, 2018

    Image by

    LOS Angeles County is making significant progress in its efforts to end the sexual exploitation of children through a range of tactics, including expansion of first-responder protocols to the region’s largest police forces, targeting exploiters and buyers both on the streets and online, and expanding training to help County employees identify potential victims.

    The progress was outlined in a new quarterly report was prepared for the Board of Supervisors by the Commercially Sexually Exploited Children Integrated Leadership Team, a task force with representatives from the Probation Department, Department of Children and Family Services, and Sheriff’s Department. The report highlights progress made across four key areas:

    • Expansion of First Responder Protocol: The County’s First Responder Protocol—which guides law enforcement, County agencies, and community partners on appropriate steps to take within the first 72 hours after they come into contact with a suspected victim—was fully expanded to include all Los Angeles Police Department, Long Beach Police Department and Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department jurisdictions as of July 31, 2018. Rather than criminalizing victims, they are now surrounded with life-saving services and support. Efforts to expand the protocol to the 45 independent police departments will begin in 2019.
    • Rescued and recovered victims: Since the launch of the First Responder Protocol in August 2014, Los Angeles and Long Beach police and the Sheriff’s Department have collectively helped rescue and recover 518 commercially sexually exploited youth in Los Angeles County, as of September 1, 2018.
    • Holding exploiters and buyers accountable: Thanks to educational and preventative outreach, as well as advancements in technology, the Sheriff’s Department made headway in efforts to crack down on buyers and exploiters. During the second quarter of this year, 194 individuals were contacted by law enforcement after they established a sex-for-money agreement with an undercover decoy over the internet. In addition, the Department deployed a BOT system to communicate with 38 individuals who attempted to buy sex over the internet. The BOT informed the users that their phone number and information were captured by law enforcement. Through online and street-based stings, 49 males were arrested for soliciting sex—including nine who were seeking sex with a minor.
    • Expansion of training reources: To put more eyes and ears in the community to identify possible trafficking victims, the County is training all 100,000 of its employees to identify warning signs. As of August 1, 2018, nearly 10,000 employees have completed the on-line training.


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    Every 40 seconds, someone dies by suicide – World Health Organization

    September 15th, 2018

    Image ©

    CLOSE to 800 000 people die due to suicide every year and many more attempt suicide. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15-29 years old globally but can affect people of any age.

    If you know someone who may be considering suicide, talk to them about it and encourage them to seek professional help. Suicides are preventable.


    Key Facts

    • Close to 800 000 people die due to suicide every year.
    • For every suicide there are many more people who attempt suicide every year. A prior suicide attempt is the single most important risk factor for suicide in the general population.
    • Suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15–29-years-old.
    • 79% of global suicides occur in low- and middle-income countries.
    • Ingestion of pesticide, hanging and firearms are among the most common methods of suicide globally.

    Every year close to 800 000 people take their own life and there are many more people who attempt suicide. Every suicide is a tragedy that affects families, communities and entire countries and has long-lasting effects on the people left behind. Suicide occurs throughout the lifespan and was the second leading cause of death among 15–29-years-old globally in 2016.

    Suicide does not just occur in high-income countries, but is a global phenomenon in all regions of the world. In fact, over 79% of global suicides occurred in low- and middle-income countries in 2016.

    Suicide is a serious public health problem; however, suicides are preventable with timely, evidence-based and often low-cost interventions. For national responses to be effective, a comprehensive multisectoral suicide prevention strategy is needed.

    Who is at risk?

    While the link between suicide and mental disorders (in particular, depression and alcohol use disorders) is well established in high-income countries, many suicides happen impulsively in moments of crisis with a breakdown in the ability to deal with life stresses, such as financial problems, relationship break-up or chronic pain and illness.

    In addition, experiencing conflict, disaster, violence, abuse, or loss and a sense of isolation are strongly associated with suicidal behavior. Suicide rates are also high amongst vulnerable groups who experience discrimination, such as refugees and migrants; indigenous peoples; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex (LGBTI) persons; and prisoners. By far the strongest risk factor for suicide is a previous suicide attempt.

    Methods of suicide

    It is estimated that around 20% of global suicides are due to pesticide self-poisoning, most of which occur in rural agricultural areas in low- and middle-income countries. Other common methods of suicide are hanging and firearms.

    Knowledge of the most commonly used suicide methods is important to devise prevention strategies which have shown to be effective, such as restriction of access to means of suicide.

    Prevention and control

    Suicides are preventable. There are a number of measures that can be taken at population, sub-population and individual levels to prevent suicide and suicide attempts. These include:

    • reducing access to the means of suicide (e.g. pesticides, firearms, certain medications);
    • reporting by media in a responsible way;
    • introducing alcohol policies to reduce the harmful use of alcohol;
    • early identification, treatment and care of people with mental and substance use disorders, chronic pain and acute emotional distress;
    • training of non-specialized health workers in the assessment and management of suicidal behavior;
    • follow-up care for people who attempted suicide and provision of community support.

    Suicide is a complex issue and therefore suicide prevention efforts require coordination and collaboration among multiple sectors of society, including the health sector and other sectors such as education, labor, agriculture, business, justice, law, defense, politics, and the media. These efforts must be comprehensive and integrated as no single approach alone can make an impact on an issue as complex as suicide.

    Challenges and obstacles

    Stigma and taboo

    Stigma, particularly surrounding mental disorders and suicide, means many people thinking of taking their own life or who have attempted suicide are not seeking help and are therefore not getting the help they need. The prevention of suicide has not been adequately addressed due to a lack of awareness of suicide as a major public health problem and the taboo in many societies to openly discuss it. To date, only a few countries have included suicide prevention among their health priorities and only 38 countries report having a national suicide prevention strategy.

    Raising community awareness and breaking down the taboo is important for countries to make progress in preventing suicide.

    Data quality

    Globally, the availability and quality of data on suicide and suicide attempts is poor. Only 60 Member States have good-quality vital registration data that can be used directly to estimate suicide rates. This problem of poor-quality mortality data is not unique to suicide, but given the sensitivity of suicide – and the illegality of suicidal behavior in some countries – it is likely that under-reporting and misclassification are greater problems for suicide than for most other causes of death.

    Improved surveillance and monitoring of suicide and suicide attempts is required for effective suicide prevention strategies. Cross-national differences in the patterns of suicide, and changes in the rates, characteristics and methods of suicide highlight the need for each country to improve the comprehensiveness, quality and timeliness of their suicide-related data. This includes vital registration of suicide, hospital-based registries of suicide attempts and nationally representative surveys collecting information about self-reported suicide attempts.

    WHO response

    WHO recognizes suicide as a public health priority. The first WHO World Suicide Report “Preventing suicide: a global imperative” published in 2014, aims to increase the awareness of the public health significance of suicide and suicide attempts and to make suicide prevention a high priority on the global public health agenda. It also aims to encourage and support countries to develop or strengthen comprehensive suicide prevention strategies in a multisectoral public health approach.

    Suicide is one of the priority conditions in the WHO Mental Health Gap Action Programme (mhGAP) launched in 2008, which provides evidence-based technical guidance to scale up service provision and care in countries for mental, neurological and substance use disorders. In the WHO Mental Health Action Plan 2013–2020, WHO Member States have committed themselves to working towards the global target of reducing the suicide rate in countries by 10% by 2020.

    In addition, the suicide mortality rate is an indicator of target 3.4 of the Sustainable Development Goals: by 2030, to reduce by one third premature mortality from noncommunicable diseases through prevention and treatment, and promote mental health and well-being.

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    Typhoon Mangkhut (Ompong) hits Philippines, killing woman in Taiwan

    September 15th, 2018

    By Press TV

    Typhoon Ompong as it pounced Aparri.

    A STRONG typhoon tore through the northern tip of the Philippines on Saturday packing winds of more than 200 kph (124 mph) along with torrential rain, killing three people and causing floods, landslides and power outages.

    Mangkhut entered the Philippines as a super typhoon in the early hours, and sent winds and rains across the entire main island of Luzon, home to about half the country’s 105 million people.

    Known locally as Ompong, Typhoon Mangkhut at one point had maximum gusts of 305 kph (190 mph) before it exited the land area before noon and moved towards southern China and Vietnam with reduced wind speeds of 170 kph (106 mph).

    Two rescue workers were killed while trying to free people trapped in a landslide in the mountainous Cordillera region, said Ricardo Jalad, head of the nation’s disaster agency. No further details were provided. Police also said a body had been found in a river in Manila.

    Philippine state weather agency PAGASA downgraded the domestic threat level, but warned the danger was far from over, with continued storm surges and heavy rains that could trigger floods and more landslides.

    “We are asking the people to remain alert and continue taking precautions,” said PAGASA meteorologist Rene Paciente.

    Rapid response teams were on stand by with the air force for search and rescue missions as authorities undertook damage assessments in areas in the path of the storm, which felled trees, electricity poles and tore off shop signs and sheet metal roofs hundreds of kilometers away.

    There was flooding in several provinces and parts of the capital Manila. Authorities were preparing to release water from several dams, fearing constant rains could push reservoirs to dangerously high levels.

    Mangkhut had been a category 5 storm for days since wreaking havoc in US Pacific territories of Micronesia before edging towards the Philippines, where it is the 15th and strongest storm this year.

    The typhoon’s peak winds were stronger than those of Hurricane Florence, which killed five people in the United States after it piled into the Carolinas knocking down trees, and gorging rivers and causing major power outages before it was downgraded to a tropical storm.

    Storm surge warnings

    Some 105,000 people were staying in temporary shelters after mass evacuation of coastal areas of the Philippines following major storm surge warnings.

    Authorities in some areas of northern Luzon turned off power as a precaution, and said some residents in high-risk areas chose to ride out the storm to protect homes from looters.

    More than 1,000 houses were impacted in Cagayan province, where the storm first made landfall, with authorities in the town of Baggao saying they had lost contact with an emergency response team, said Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana.

    Rogelio Sending, a government official in Cagayan said there were province-wide power and communication outages and reports of uprooted trees blocking roads.

    “This makes the clearing operations really difficult,” he said by phone.

    The Philippines is still haunted by the devastation of Typhoon Haiyan, which killed more than 6,300 people in central areas of the country in 2013, most due to huge storm surges.

    But authorities say they were better prepared this time in terms of evacuating and informing high-risk communities.

    “I talked to the president last night. His clear and concise marching order was ‘Save lives, save lives,'” said Francis Tolentino, the government’s disaster response coordinator and adviser to Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte.

    Renato Solidum, a senior official at the Science and Technology department, said people in northern Luzon experienced a super typhoon in 2016 and were not caught off guard.

    “There has been an aggressive information dissemination to prepare well,” he said.

    “Because the people had experienced a super typhoon only recently, they really had imagination about what happened before and that they really need to be prepared.”

    (Source: Reuters)

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    108 barangays and five municipalities declared drug-cleared in CARAGA

    September 14th, 2018

    PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino

    THE Barangay Drug Clearing Program Regional Oversight Committee of Caraga Region declared as “drug cleared” one hundred eight barangays and five municipalities in Caraga Region (Region XIII) after complying with the requirements prescribed under Dangerous Drugs Board Regulation No. 3, Series of 2017.

    The municipalities of Veruela, Sta. Josefa, Loreto and Rosario from the Province of Agusan del Sur, as well as the municipality of Dinagat Island, were declared drug-cleared after all their respective barangays had been given “drug-cleared” status during the 9th BDCP-ROC meeting last September 7, at the PDEA Regional Office 13 Building in Provincial Hospital Compound, Barangay Libertad, Butuan City.

    With the latest development, seven hundred ninety-one (791) barangays out of the one thousand three hundred eleven (1,311), or 60 percent of the total number of barangays in Caraga region, are now enjoying a drug-cleared status.

    “Even if they are drug-cleared, these municipalities and barangays will still be strictly monitored by all stakeholders of the Barangay Drug-Clearing Program, especially by their respective Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Council (BADAC) in order to sustain their drug-cleared status,” PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino said.

    “They will also undergo quarterly validation as provided for under Paragraph 3, Section 10 of DDB Regulation No. 3, Series of 2017,” Aquino added.

    The BDCP-ROC Caraga is also authorized to revoke all drug-cleared certification through official notice in case that a barangay fails to maintain of the requirement for a drug-cleared barangay.

    During the 9th BDCP ROC meeting, eigth (8) of the ten (10) members of the committee were present which constituted a quorum and was presided by Investigation Agent V (IAV) Irvin John Coderis, Acting Regional Director, who represented PDEA RO XIII Regional Director Aileen Lovitos.

    The other members of the committee who were present were Ray Gregory Jaranilla, Department of Interior and Local Government Region 13 (DILG 13 PRO 13), Police Chief Inspector Marife Farol of the Philippine National Police Office 13 (PNP), Dr. Ernesto Pareja, Department of Health (DOH), Atty. Ramie Duropan (Province of Agusan del Norte), Sangguniang Panlalawigan member Gilbert Elorde (Province of Agusan del Sur), SP member Jesspaul Ecleo (Province of Dinagat Island) and Sangguniang Bayan member Cherry May Busa of the (LGU-Butuan City.

    With reports by Santiago Celario


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    PHILBEX Cebu 2018 opened its doors to a sustainable future

    September 13th, 2018

    PHILBEX Cebu Opening Ceremony Photo

    Beyond Deadlines is a media partner of this event.

    NOW on its 16th year, PHILBEX Cebu affirms its commitment to the lead the region’s construction and design industry into a future of sustainability and progressive innovation with another ground breaking installment.

    Officially opening its doors last September 13 at the SM City Cebu Trade Hall, the grand launch for the highly-anticipated trade event was well-attended by select VIP personalities from the government as well as representatives from the construction and design trade.

    Among those who graced the momentous occasion and took part in the ribbon-cutting ceremony were,

    Mr. Mario Montejo, Mr. Miguel Antonio Magpale, Idr. Ryan James Mantuhac, Dr. Herbert Buot and Ms. Herley Ann Herrera with Worldbex Services International’s Joseph L. Ang, Levi Ang, Archt. Francisco Flameño, Jr.,Rene Ramos and Jill Aithnie Ang.

    Towards a self-sustaining future

    Led by theme of “Shaping Innovations Toward Sustainability”, this year’s PHILBEX Cebu aims to unite architects, engineers, interior designers, industry professionals, and enthusiasts in its endeavor to promote the value of ingenuity and innovation in shaping the industry into one that is self-sustaining and adaptive to the ever-evolving demands of the times. Furthermore, as PHILBEX Cebu moves closer to its Silver Anniversary, this year’s theme also aligns itself with the organization’s core thrust of leading the region’s construction and design trade at the forefront of global ascendance.

    Unsurprisingly, the industry has eagerly expressed its trust and full support for the goals and aspirations of PHILBEX Cebu 2018 as evidenced by the impressive number of participants taking part in the four-day trade event. From last year’s 105 booths, PHILBEX Cebu 2018 houses over 120 booths and over 78 exhibitors across its 1,158sqm-wide exhibition space.

    Apart from various local exhibitors, something new to watch out for at this year’s PHILBEX Cebu are the roster of international exhibitors from countries such as China, South Korea, Malaysia, and Singapore. No doubt a testament to the growing global reach and influence of PHILBEX Cebu, industry professionals and investors are expected to benefit from this year’s show as it offers everyone a unique opportunity to tap into a foreign network. It would come as no surprise if PHILBEX Cebu 2018 easily outnumbers its previous visitor count of 28,000 show attendees.

    Upholding value-laden strategies

    PHILBEX Cebu may be highly-regarded for showcasing the most extensive display of the latest and most outstanding product and service innovation from the market but its compelling line-up of signature events is what truly sets the show apart from its contemporaries. And this year is no different as it returns to deliver another insightful range of event highlights.

    Among these include the Architect’s Gallery, a venue that showcases the unique design perspectives and insights into the latest trends by the region’s top architects and their respective firms. Participating at this year’s show are Abadia Architects and Designers, Archiglobal, Inc., Nueast, Arkitecture, Pont Architectural + Design Studio, the Philippine Institute of Architects Cebu Chapter, and the United Architects of the Philippines.

    Another highly-anticipated PHILBEX Cebu event is the Projéto Cebu Furniture Design Competition. Now on its 3rd edition, Projéto engages participants with the challenge of creating a studio-type condominium unit that will address a student’s need for a relaxing and work-conducive haven. This year, the shortlisted participants are students from the Cebu Institute of Technology-University, the University of San Carlos-Safad, and the University of San Carlos-Talamban.

    This year, PHILBEX Cebu is also thrilled to return with the PHILBEX MiniCons. Considered as a platform for the free-flowing exchange of information about innovative solutions that will address issues that concern the industry, the PHILBEX MiniCons is an excellent opportunity for industry professionals to expand their knowledge and get acquainted with like minded individuals.

    The PHILBEX MiniCons 2018 kicked off with the 3rd General Membership Meeting and Technical Seminar of the Philippine Society of Mechanical Engineers (PSME) last September 13 while another General Membership Meeting (GMM) for the Chamber of Real Estate and Builders’ Associations Inc. (CREBA) will be held on September 14. Most notably, on September 15 to 16, the PHILBEX MiniCons in cooperation with the Philippine Institute of Interior Designers (PIID) – Visayas-Mindanao (VisMin) chapter will present the Business of Interior Design Conference.

    Nurturing an empowered community

    Over the years, PHILBEX Cebu, in partnership with Philippine Institute of Interior Designers (PIID) – Visayas-Mindanao (VisMin) chapter, has championed the value of interior design in the construction of spaces through the longstanding Interior Designers Gallery. By hosting this year’s PIID – VisMin caravan, PHILBEX Cebu affirms its commitment to nurture Visayan interior design.

    Viewed as direct actualization of the various goals that PHILBEX Cebu have for each of its edition, these highlights serve to engage industry practitioners in relevant discussions and activities that will further the growth and development of the community. As stated by IDr. Joan S. Reyes, President of the Philippine Institute of Interior Designers – Panay Chapter, PHILBEX Cebu marks the “mutual effort to equip the professionals with learning tools in undertaking a higher set of responsibilities as our nation pursue the mandate to building infrastructures.”

    Indeed, this year’s PHILBEX Cebu is shaping up to be the show’s biggest and most ambitious installment yet. As captured best by the remarks of IDr. Shiela Sandino-Gumba, President of the Philippine Institute of Interior Designers (PIID) – Eastern Visayas Chapter, PHILBEX Cebu 2018 “presents a preview of the future for industry professionals in the field of construction and interior design.”

    Organized by Worldbex Services International, the 16th PHILBEX will run until September 16, from 10am to 8pm, at the SM City Cebu Trade Hall. Admission is free. For more information, follow Worldbex Services International on Facebook and @worldbex on Instagram, call (02) 656-9239, or email


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    ‘Stage a mutiny!’ Duterte dares Philippine military to act if they don’t like his leadership

    September 12th, 2018

    By RT

    President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines © Lean Daval Jr. / Reuters

    PHILIPPINE President Rodrigo Duterte has dared soldiers to “stage a mutiny” if they aren’t happy with his leadership, saying they’re free to join the side of his fiercest critic in Congress, Senator Antonio Trillanes.

    “Stage a mutiny or revolution or whatever,” Duterte said in an interview with Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo on Tuesday, as quoted by ABS-CBN TV. He added that if his critics believe they would be happier with his arch rival Trillanes, they can support him instead.

    “You are free to do that. As a matter of fact, I’m encouraging you,” Duterte said.

    The president’s comments came after he voided an amnesty granted to Trillanes, a former Navy officer who joined past mutinies, and ordered his arrest. He is asking the Department of Justice and the military to restart criminal proceedings against the senator, which Trillanes and some legal experts say would violate the country’s constitution.

    In his proclamation, Duterte stated that Trillanes’s amnesty was void because the senator failed to file a formal amnesty proclamation and admit guilt for his involvement in previous failed coup attempts. However, Trillanes denies Duterte’s claims and has used news reports and Defense Department documents to support his case. He has also asked the Supreme Court to declare Duterte’s moves illegal.

    The decision to revoke Trillanes’s amnesty prompted the country’s largest association of lawyers, the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, to ask the courts to resist “creeping incursions” on their independence and to warn of judicial “chaos.”

    Trillanes has long been a foe of Duterte, accusing the president of large-scale corruption and involvement with illegal drugs. Duterte has denied all allegations. He is known to be sensitive to criticism, both domestically and internationally, particularly surrounding his controversial war on drugs which has left thousands dead since he took office in mid-2016.

    The Philippine president’s Tuesday remarks are the latest in a string of bold words delivered by the leader – including calling former President Obama a “son of a b*tch” and threatening to “burn down the United Nations.” He also called former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon a “devil” and referred to the UN human rights chief as a “son of a whore” with an empty, big head.


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    Cellphone repair technicians are exposed to health hazards due to lead solder wires – EcoWaste Coalition

    September 12th, 2018

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    AN ENVIRONMENT and public health watchdog called on the Philippine government inculcate health consciousness among cellular phone repair technicians after noting their use of lead as a soldering material.

    In a recent statement, the EcoWaste Coalition pressed the Department of Labor and Employment through the Occupational Safety and Health Center to conduct training programs in collaboration with shopping mall management that will train cell phone repair technicians on safe soldering work practices.

    The move, the EcoWaste Coalition explained, would be in line with President Rodrigo Duterte’s recently signed Republic Act 11058 (the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Act).

    The group said the use of lead solder wire by cellphone repair shops produces toxic fumes that could be inhaled by the technicians, their customers and passersby. It added that the inhalation of lead solder fumes and the ingestion of lead from a contaminated surface are potential exposure routes,

    “While we do appreciate their role in reducing e-waste by prolonging the life of e-gadgets, we are concerned that lead solder fumes are exposing repair technicians to hazardous emissions that can harm their health and those of others, including customers who are often seen watching, sometimes in the company of young children, while their phones are being fixed,” said EcoWaste Coalition E-Waste Campaigner Primo Morillo.

    “It’s very important that air pollution from soldering activities, especially in an enclosed space, is appropriately addressed,” added Morillo.

    “We wish the authorities can assist in training repair technicians to be more health conscious and to take safety precautions to heart.

    Based on information gathered from cell phone repair technicians, the group obtained six samples of soldering alloys from electronic supplies stores that are commonly used in cell phone repair.

    All six samples of solder wire had lead in the range of 4.62 to 67.15 percent as per X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) chemical analysis. None of the samples provided safety information about the usage of lead-based solder.

    According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “a person who is exposed to lead over time may feel abdominal pain, constipated, depressed, distracted, forgetful, irritable, and nauseous or sick.”

    The US CDC warned that “people with prolonged exposure to lead may also be at risk for high blood pressure, heart disease, kidney disease, and reduced fertility.”

    To prevent and reduce occupational lead exposure, especially for technicians engaged in the repair of cell phones and other e-gadgets, the EcoWaste Coalition, quoting the recommendations made in the published work “Lead Soldering Safety Guidelines,” suggests the following:

    “Avoid skin burns and never touch the tip/element of a soldering iron.”

    “Avoid inhalation of lead soldering fumes. Work in a well ventilated area or use local exhaust ventilation.”

    “Avoid ingestion of lead due to surface contamination by keeping soldering areas clean and properly managing lead soldering waste.”

    “Personnel should not eat or drink in soldering areas and should wash hands after completing soldering work.”

    “Use lead free (preferable) or low lead solder whenever possible.”

    “Use necessary personal protective equipment.”


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    “Palit Bote” program launched in QC

    September 11th, 2018

    A Quezon City Police Department officer collects his reusable PET (polyethylene terephthalate) bottle from Committee on Parks and Environment Chairman and Councilor Elizabeth Delarmente and Environmental Protection and Waste Management Department (EPWMD) chief Frederika Rentoy after turning over spent single-use water plastic bottles. Quezon City launched its “palit-bote” program August 31 at the QC Hall Materials Recovery Facility. Every Friday, EPWMD will trade reusable water bottles for every kilo of used PET bottles at the facility.

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    Integrated Bar of the Philippines Board of Governors Statement on Presidential Proclamation No. 572, Series of 2018

    September 10th, 2018

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    THE Integrated Bar of the Philippines, as the sentinel of the Rule of Law, leads the call for sobriety and respect for our constitutional institutions following the issuance of Proclamation No. 572, Series of 2018.

    The said executive issuance treats as “void ab initio” the Philippine Government’s previous grant of amnesty to Senator Antonio Trillanes IV pursuant to Proclamation 75, Series of 2010. It also ordered law enforcement authorities to immediately bring Senator Trillanes into custody.

    The IBP expresses its alarm over the overt audacity to publicly arrest and incarcerate an incumbent member of the Senate for offenses that had been abolished by the Chief Executive and Legislature resulting in dismissal of criminal proceedings by our courts.

    To begin with, amnesty once granted cannot be simply dissolved by the invocation of the words “void ab initio” as though it were some magical incantation that can nullify vested rights. The IBP reiterates that amnesty is an exercise of sovereign power that automatically confers upon the grantee vested rights appurtenant to the obliteration of the “offense with which he is charged. A person released by amnesty stands before the law precisely as though he had committed no offense.”

    It is also a matter of public record that the criminal cases for which Senator Trillanes stood trial have been dismissed with finality by our courts precisely on the basis of amnesty. The IBP views with deep concern the position being peddled to the public that records of the Executive Branch can be used to overturn final dismissals of criminal charges by our courts.

    Arresting and incarcerating Senator Trillanes for offenses dismissed by amnesty runs roughshod over the constitutional guarantee against double jeopardy that no person shall be held to answer twice for the same criminal offense.

    The spectacle is further compounded by the apparently concerted effort to arrest and incarcerate Senator Trillanes which has the Department of Justice filing simultaneous motions before two (2) independent courts to ask for the same relief: the arrest of Senator Trillanes. These are the same courts that ordered the dismissal of charges against Senator Trillanes. An apparent act of forum shopping, IBP decries the potential mischief where we subject the judiciary to an anomalous situation where one court upholds the validity of the amnesty while the other nullifies the same.

    The chaos that may result from the endeavors to bring Senator Trillanes to face “justice” ironically undermines our systems that make the orderly administration of justice possible.

    At present, the IBP recognizes that the issue has been submitted to the sound discretion of the courts. Within the bounds of sub judice, the IBP thus calls for sobriety in this time of political confusion. It exhorts the courts to resist collateral attacks against its judgment and creeping incursions on its independence.

    An independent and impartial judiciary remains the most powerful bastion that protects our cherished constitutional rights against the excesses of political power. As the sentinel of the rule of law, the IBP stands ready to come to the defense of the independence and impartiality of our judiciary.


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