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‘SAGIP BUHAY’ BLOODLETTING SET ON JAN 21

BAGUIO CITY (PIA) -- A mass bloodletting donation activity dubbed “Tambalang Sagip Buhay, Karamay Habang Buhay Part III” will be conducted at the city’s Malcolm Square on Saturday,

BENGUET OFFICIALS OPPOSE HB 5518 GRANTING FRANCHISE TO SEPARATE ELECTRIC COOP FOR BAGUIO

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet(PIA)-- Provincial officials expressed their opposition to the proposed separation of franchise on the distribution of electric power from the existing Benguet Electric

DOT TARGETS TO BRING IN 10M FOREIGN TOURISTS BY 2016

BAGUIO CITY, Jan. 13 (PIA) - - To become the ‘must experience’ destination in Asia, is the strategic vision of the Department of Tourism’s (DOT) National Tourism Development Plan

HEALTH INSURANCE COVERAGE OF NHTS-PR POOR FAMILIES EXTENDED UNTIL DEC. 2012

BAGUIO CITY, Jan 13 (PIA) - - The health insurance coverage of Philhealth sponsored members under the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR) is extended up to December

1,121 INDIVIDUALS IN CAR BENEFIT FROM DOLE’S EMERGENCY EMPLOYMENT PROGRAM IN 2011

BAGUIO CITY, Jan. 10 (PIA) - - Around 1,121 individuals from typhoon-stricken areas in the region were benefitted by the emergency employment program of the Department of Labor and Employment

DENR OFFICIAL SUPPORTS LAW ON STIFFER PENALTY ON ILLEGAL LOGGING

BAGUIO CITY, Jan. 10 (PIA)-- Department of Environment and Natural Resources(DENR)- Cordillera executive director Clarence Baguilat believes that the bill seeking the imposition of life

ENVIRONMENT IS A MAIN CONCERN FOR BENGUET

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet. Jan.9 (PIA)-- Environment protection will be a top priority of this vegetable producing province for the year 2012. Governor Nestor B. Fongwan said they will intensify the

DOLE-CAR DISPOSES 188 CASES OF INSPECTION-RELATED LABOR VIOLATIONS IN 2011

BAGUIO CITY, Jan. 9 (PIA) - - The Department of Labor and Employment- Cordillera Regional Office (DOLE-CAR), through the inspections they made to 736 establishments in the different parts of the

‘DSWD-CORDILLERA ROSE ABOVE CHALLENGES’ –SEC. SOLIMAN

BAGUIO CITY-- Department of Social Welfare and Development(DSWD) Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman commended the DSWD-Cordillera personnel Wednesday saying the regional office has ‘risen

SAVING THE WATERSHED OF THE CORDILLERA THRU PES

BAGUIO CITY, Jan. 3(PIA)-- There is an urgent need to revive and to sustain the source of water which is necessity for the survival of all living creatures that include human, plants and

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LET US WORK TOGETHER IN THE ADVOCACY VS. HIV/AIDS – HIV PATIENT
Posted by: HELEN R. TIBALDO | December 11, 2010


BAGUIO CITY – ‘Be part of the healing process, we don’t ask for sympathy, we want love to die with dignity’.

This was the message of Robin, a 35 year old male HIV patient, during his testimony at the World Aids Day celebration hosted by the Baguio Aids Watch Council (AWAC) at the Baguio Convention Center last December 3.

Speaking before the AWAC members and the entertainers from the different bars and nightspots workers in Baguio City, Robin shared his life experience. He formerly worked in an international escort service that caters to both foreign and local tourists but in 2003, he has been diagnosed as HIV positive.

‘What the country needs now are sustainable programs to support patients like me and for everybody to help in the advocacy against HIV/AIDS. Magsama-sama tayo para sa advocacy, the disease is already there and there is no known cure yet,’ Robin stressed.

Carrying the same advocacy, Anne, a mother of four, and an HIV positive patient also shared her testimonial. According to Anne, her husband, a very good civil engineer and a pastor in their church worked as an Overseas Filipino Worker. However, in 1993 he failed his medical examination so he did not go back abroad.

According to Anne, her husband never told her that the reason why he failed his medical examination was because he was diagnosed as HIV positive. ‘Noong malapit na siyang mamatay sa lang niya sinabi na may HIV siya. By 1999 na siya ring taon na mamatay siya, ubos na ang lahat ng kabuhayan namin dahil sa mahal ang gamot. Doon ako nagsimulang pasukin ng depression, economic, mental,and spiritual. Hindi ko na alam paano ko umpisahan alagaan ang apat naming anak. Pasalamat na din ako at walang nahawa ni isa sa kanila,’ Anne said.

Anne hopes that the Anti Retro-viral (ARV) drug that are given to them for free would continue beyond 2012. The ARV drug being provided by the World Health Organization may only last up to that year.
Both Robin and Anne are members of the Pinoy Plus Association which is helping in the advocacy against HIV/AIDS in coordination with the Department of Health.

There are now a total of 5,729 HIV positive cases in the country. This represents less than one percent of the total population which means that the country is still on track to meet the Millennium Development Goal target of halting the spread of HIV/AIDS by 2015.

But the DOH is consistent in warning against complacency and in reminding the public of the ABC against HIV/AIDS - A for Abstinence, B for Be faithful to one’s partner and C for the use of condom.

As part of the local commemoration of World AIDs Day, the AWAC, through the City’s Reproductive Health and Wellness Center (RHWC) headed by Dr. Celiaflor Brillantes held the fifth annual HIV/AIDS Conference entitled “Moving Towards Change…Towards a Clean Entertainment.”

According to Brillantes, the City Health Services Office in coordination with the Baguio City HIV Surveillance Team and the Bars and Restaurants Association of Baguio City (BARS) have been doing a good job in maintaining a healthy environment for the city’s registered night entertainment establishments.

Based on City AWAC data, since surveillance started in 1992, a total of 41 HIV/AIDS cases were recorded in the city including 17 deaths. 28 of the 41 cases were male and age ranges from 17 to 45 years old.

Of the total HIV/AIDS cases, 19 of them were Overseas Contract Workers, two were sexually active female, three wives of person with HIV, two foreigners, three were blood donors, 11 MSM (Men having Sex with Men) and one sexually active male. **Lito Dar/PIA
 

CITY LAUNCHES ESHUT, 100% SMOKE FREE BAGUIO CITY CAMPAIGN
Posted by: HELEN R. TIBALDO | December 11, 2010


BAGUIO CITY – The City Health Services Office, in partnership with the Department of Health (DOH-CAR) launched the advocacy on the Environmentally Sustainable Healthy Urban Transport (ESHUT) and the 100% Smoke-free Baguio City during the flag raising ceremony at the City Hall Grounds last Monday.

In a press conference after the launching, City Health officer Dr. Florence Reyes stressed that the advocacy is in line with Republic Act 9211 or the Clean Air Act and the Comprehensive Anti-smoking ordinance of Baguio. ‘If Davao and Roxas can make their city smoking-free, then we can also do it here in Baguio,’ Reyes said.

Reyes lauded Mayor Mauricio Domogan for his full support for the campaign in making the city of Baguio 100 percent tobacco free.

City HSO chief epidemiologist Dr. Donna Tubera affirmed that six of the top 10 leading causes of death in the city are smoking related including lung cancer, colon cancer, cardiovascular diseases, heart diseases, pneumonia and bronchitis.

Study shows also shows that there is no safe level of second hand smoke. Though we have enough laws to protect us from such hazard, a concerted effort from all sector of society is still needed for the advocacy, Tubera stressed.

In line with the advocacy, the HSO will be tapping the assistance of the government agencies, the transport sector, the academe and the communities through the 128 barangays in achieving a 100% smoke free Baguio City.

The campaign will also involve the posting of no-smoking signs and the use of the graphical warning signs on all public utility vehicles and terminals, government agencies, including the city government offices. According to Tubera, studies have proven that the posting of no-smoking signs shows a 50 percent (smokers-quitting) effectivity rate.

Also present during the press conference to show their support to the advocacy were DOH-CAR ESHUT and anti-smoking coordinator Dr. Alexei Marrero and Ms. Lily Bimuyag, Mr, Elmer Mendoza Jr. of the Department of Transportation and Communication, City Public Transport Affairs Office head Mr. Jun Itliong and representatives from the City Environment and Parks Management Office and the Baguio City Police Office. **Lito Dar/PIA
 

MULTI-SECTORAL GROUP HOLDS PRAYER RALLY VS. GAMBLING
Posted by: HELEN R. TIBALDO | December 11, 2010


BAGUIO CITY – Around 200 people from multi-sectoral groups, schools and religious groups held a protest parade and peace rally against illegal gambling operations in the city Monday afternoon.

The protest parade started from the top of Session Road up to the City Hall grounds where they held a prayer rally before the 2:00pm City Council Session, wherein the operation of Small Town Lottery (STL) in the city was one of the agenda.

The prayer rally was led by Bishop Carlito Cenzon of the Catholic Church Baguio-Benguet Vicariate, Pastor Simplicio Dang-awa, head of the United Church of Chrsitian in the Phillippines (UCCP-Baguio), Imam Bedejim Abdullah of the City Muslim Community, former city Mayor Braulio Yaranon and former councilor Galo Weygan.

In a statement of unity read by Bishop Cenzon, it says, ’We, the people of Baguio and La Trinidad, do not want Lotto, STL, Jai-Alai, Bingo, Jueteng, tong-it etc. What we want is Peace, Progress and Unity in the home, schools and government. Not gambling and vices that causes poverty, separation, delinquency and corruption.’

‘Let there be peace and joy for all. The triumph of gambling and vices is for good people to fold their hands and do nothing. Rise up and overwhelm the forces of the devil that makes the poor, poorer,’ the statement said.
Mayor Mauricio Domogan pledged before the crowd his full support in the fight against any form of gambling. He also advised the people of Baguio and La Trinidad to stop patronizing gambling such as the jai-alai (which is legal in La Trinidad) and the operations of Bingoteng in some barangays.

Last week, the City’s Public Order and Safety Division (POSD) and the Baguio City Police Office raided a Bingoteng operation which they believed is a front forjJueteng operations. About five more barangay’s in the city are also being monitored for bingoteng. ***Lito Dar/PIA
 

PRC SETS NURSES LICENSURE EXAMINATION ON DEC. 19-20
Posted by: HELEN R. TIBALDO | December 11, 2010


BAGUIO CITY - The Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) Baguio Regional Office (BRO) will conduct the Nurses Licensure Examination on December 19 and 20, 2010 to 12,524 examinees in five testing centers.

According to BRO Director –in-Charge Evangeline Marilyn V.C. Vergara, 4,561 examinees will be taking the test in Baguio City, 3,591 in Dagupan City, and 1,163 examinees in San Fernando City,La Union.
Vergara said they have added two venues for this exam - in Cabanatuan City with 1,592 examinees and in Vigan City with 1,617 examinees.

For Baguio City, the test centers are National University, Pines City Colleges, Pines City National High School, University of Baguio and the University of the Cordilleras.

There are four test centers in Dagupan namely Lyceum Northwestern University, University of Pangasinan, University of Luzon and Colegio de Dagupan.

Test centers in La Union are Lorma Colleges and Union Christian College.
In Cabanatuan City, there are two test centers - College of the Immaculate Conception and Good Samaritan Colleges.

Vigan has only one test center at the University of the Northern Philippines.
Examinees are advised to check their room assignments now posted at the BRO website http://prcbaguio.blogspot.com.

Vergara also informed that updated list of non-programmable calculators allowed to be used in the licensure examinations is likewise posted in the said website.

For examinees whose names have been misspelled in the List of Examinees, Vergara said they call Mr. Marlon Aquino at telephone no. (074) 304-3180 to effect the necessary corrections in the data base. **PIA
 

PRC SETS FUN RUN FOR A CAUSE ON DEC. 12
Posted by: HELEN R. TIBALDO | December 11, 2010


The Philippine Red Cross-Baguio City Chapter scheduled a Fun Run for Cause on Sunday, December 12 at 5 o’clock in the morning in line with its 10th International Volunteers Day celebration.

Annie Tamayo, PRC Baguio administrator said this event is for a cause – to promote volunteerism and for good health. “We are encouraging everyone to join. This is also a good activity for the family’, she said.

The fun run which starts at the Lake Drive, Burnham Park, will have three kilometers for the children and senior citizens and five and ten kilometer for competitors. Non-competitors can walk.
A minimal fee of P50 will charged per participant.

‘We are asking kind-hearted individuals and organization to donate in cash or in kind for prizes for the winners’, Tamayo appealed.

Meanwhile, the PRC Baguio is persuading the public to become members and donate blood in order to save lives.

PRC is also extending seminars and training for basic first aid and on how to conduct Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)*** joseph b zambrano/pia
 

DTI LAUNCHES FTA INFORMATION CAMPAIGN
Posted by: HELEN R. TIBALDO | December 11, 2010


BAGUIO CITY -- The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), in partnership with the business sector, successfully launched here the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) Information Campaign for local businesses to take advantage of the opportunities available in Free Trade Areas(FTAs).

Dubbed as Doing Business in Free Trade Areas, the forum is designed to increase awareness and generate more business in the export market and inform exporters on how to sell their products to countries with whom the Philippines has FTAs.

”FTAs provide market access to products with zero tariffs. This campaign will engage our businessmen to explore the possibility of expanding their businesses in FTA markets,” Trade and Industry Regional Director Myrna Pablo said during the opening of the session of Doing Business in Free Trade Areas at Hotel Elizabeth, Gibraltar Road, Baguio City last December 7 .

Around 150 participants mostly from the business sector, Small and medium Enterprises (SME’s), exporters, importers, were able to gain insights on how to sell their products to countries with whom the Philippines has FTAs with.

The Philippines has the following FTAs with ASEAN Free Trade Agreement (AFTA), Australia-New Zealand (AANZFTA), China (ACFTA), Japan (AJFTA/JPEPA), and Korea (AKFTA). These FTAs bring a number of trade benefits, primarily tariff elimination or reduction that make Philippine exports products more competitive.

The participants also learned how to apply for a Certificate of Origin (CO) that may be necessary in the availment of the FTA preferential tariff, procedures for doing business in FTAs, and tariff rates.
Among the topics during the briefing included practical sessions with the Bureau of Customs (BOC), the Tariff Commission, and the DTI’s Bureaus of Export Trade Promotion and International Trade Relations.
The activity also featured success stories of businesses that have availed of FTA benefits. *** Mari Cruz/PIA
 

DTI ADVISES CONSUMERS TO BE VIGILANT ON PRICES OF BASIC COMMODITIES
Posted by: HELEN R. TIBALDO | December 11, 2010


BAGUIO CITY – Consumers should be vigilant of the prices of basic commodities and other products they are buying.

This was stressed by Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Benguet Provincial Director Freda Gawisan in an interview Tuesday.

According to Gawisan, DTI is conducting weekly monitoring on the prices of basic commodities and other products to see if there is an excessive increase or if there is a reason for an increase.

‘The consumers can help us in monitoring if they see an excessive increase in the products they are buying at walang abiso para sa pagtaas ng presyo. They can call us on our hotline at 442-3776 so that we can check their report’, Gawisan said.

Gawisan confirmed that the price of sugar has increased based on latest price monitoring of DTI in Baguio and Benguet. For brown sugar, it increased by 10.64 or to P64 per kilo from the previous P58. For whiter sugar, it increased by 1.82 percent.

Supply of sugar in Baguio-Benguet remains to be normal, Gawisan assured.

She explained that the increase in sugar prices will have an effect on the prices of bread and bakery products but its effect on processed food remains to be seen.

On the Noche Buena products, Gawisan said prices and supply remain normal. She is advising the consumers to buy their products from wholesalers. ‘Kapag sa maliliit na tindahan na kasi sila bibili may mark-up na ang price. Mas makakamura sila kung sa source mismo bibili,’ she said.

Gawisan also warned retailers against excessive pricing as the prices of their products must be within the Suggested Retail Prices (SRPs) that are being published and monitored by the DTI.

If retailers or a store is caught jacking up their prices, they will be given warning for their violation and if ever they will be caught again then formal charges will be filed against them and penalty will be a minimum of P17,500.00, Gawisan stressed. **Lito Dar/PIA
 

DEPED REMINDS PUBLIC SCHOOLS AGAINST LAVISH X-MAS PARTY
Posted by: HELEN R. TIBALDO | December 11, 2010


BAGUIO CITY – It is a standing order for public schools in the city to have simple Christmas celebration and parties.

Baguio City Schools Division Superintendent Ellen Donato stressed this in an interview Wednesday during the Drums and Lyre Competition at the Melvin Jones Football Field.

‘Even without a directive from the central office, we always discourage lavish Christmas celebrations and we have already advised our principals and teachers about it,’ Donato said.

She explained that even if Parents- Teachers Associations agree to a lavish party, it is still up for approval by their respective school principal.

Donato also stressed that principals and teachers are not allowed to do solicitations. ‘We also have a standing order on the issue of solicitations. We do not entertain solicitations, as it must be done alongside with permits either from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Barangay Officials or from the City Government’, she said.

If ever there are those who want to give or donate something to public schools, it should be voluntary, she added.

Meanwhile, Donato deplored some people or groups making use of Christmas and children to solicit. ‘It is an abuse of the essence of Christmas in terms of gift-giving,’ she said.

Donato co-chaired the Drums and Lyre competition with Councilor Philian Weygan. It is part of the Christmas celebration events spearheaded by the City Government.

Thirteen public elementary schools joined the competitions with Mabini Elementary School emerging as champions. First and second runner ups were Baguio Central Elementary School and Doña Nicasia Elementary School.

First prize winner won P10,000 while the first and second runners up won P7,500 and P5,000 respectively. Other participants were given take home gift and certificate and consolation cash prices. **Lito Dar/PIA
 

DOH URGES PUBLIC TO PRACTICE HEALTHY LIFESTYLE TO THE MAX
Posted by: HELEN R. TIBALDO | December 11, 2010


BAGUIO CITY - With the days and nights getting colder and colder as the Christmas holidays near, health authorities are warning the public to take care of their physical conditions and stay in top shape.

Department of Health (DOH) - Center for Health Development Cordillera Regional Director Myrna Cabotaje said that common sickness acquired during the holiday period are cough, colds and flu-like symptoms.

The effect of cold weather will bring high risk of having fever with body aches and the incident of arthritis and asthma, Cabotaje said.

If you are sick with flu or any respiratory diseases, please observe cough ethics by covering you mouth. Stay at home and do not spread the virus, Cabotaje advised.

Meanwhile, Cabotaje is reminding the public of DOH’s advocacy for a healthy lifestyle to the max especially this Christmas season where a lot of parties are expected.

The doctor is cautioning everyone to go easy on over eating and watch out for proper hygiene.
Hypertension is due to eating fatty and high cholesterol foods like “lechon” and drinking too much alcohol, Cabotaje stressed.

Eat foods rich in vitamin C and nutritious food , observe proper sanitation and excise is a must, she reiterated.

For the holiday festivities, the health department is promoting total ban of any form of firecrackers with this year’s theme “Ilayo sa disgrasya and mga bata, walang batang magpapaputok, bawal bumili, magbenta at gumamit ng paputok at pailaw ang mga kabataan” *** joseph b zambrano/pia
 

CONG. VERGARA SUPPORTS CONDOM USE BUT NOT RH BILL.
Posted by: HELEN R. TIBALDO | December 11, 2010


Baguio City Congressman Bernardo Vergara supports the use of condom as a contraceptive and as a preventive measure against HIV/AIDS but not the controversial Reproductive Health Bill.

Vergara said that with the recent report of the Department of Health that HIV and AIDS cases is alarmingly increasing in the country, he sees condom use as a way to prevent the further spread of the diseases.

Even in Baguio City, City Health Office - Reproductive Health and Wellness Center Head Dr. Celia Brillantes reported HIV/ AIDS cases are increasing each year. She said they are monitoring several HIV cases from Overseas Filipino Workers and night entertainers.

Vergara explained that his support to condom use is also because of the recent announcement of Pope Benedict XVI that condom use can be justified despite the policy of the Roman Catholic Church against contraceptives.

Roman Catholic Church teaching has long opposed condoms because they are a form of artificial contraception although it has never released an explicit policy about condoms and HIV. The Vatican has been harshly criticized for its opposition.

Vergara also stressed that condoms are very economical and very accessible for people compared to other means of contraceptives.

Meanwhile, about 70 percent of the members of the Lower House is in favor of the RH bill but the Congressman Vergara is holding on to his commitment to Bishop Carlito Cenzon of the Baguio-Benguet Vicariate that he will not support the pending RH bill.

The solon clarified that he is not disapproving the totality of the controversial RH bill. In fact, he is supporting several provisions of the RH bill.

Meanwhile, Brillantes is encouraging the public visit the RHWC at the Baguio Health Department to avail of their free services and free condoms. **Redjie Cawis/ PIA
 

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