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DILG, DOH identify smoking areas under nationwide smoking ban

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Tuesday, September 5th, 2017


MANILA, Philippines — Confusion abounds over the implementation of the nationwide smoking ban, particularly on the designated smoking areas in cities.

In an interview with Daniel Razon on the program, Huntahan, Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Assistant Secretary Epimaco Densing clarified that although business establishments must have designated smoking areas, smoking in open spaces is also allowed.

The local government units, who are the principal implementer of the said law, are also the ones designating the specific smoking areas.

“Key words are: public places, designated smoking areas in enclosed areas.  These are covered areas and public conveyances,” said Densing.

“I myself am confused when we say public places. Like what you’re saying, when you’re on the road you are in an open space, can you smoke? Is that right?” Razon asked.

“What is defined under the Executive Order 26 as public places, the definition is very specific. Hospital, schools, markets, whether open or close, they are considered public places. But open spaces refer to sidewalks, not covered, that’s where they are allowed to smoke,” explained Densing.

The Department of Health (DOH), on the other hand, said every city has its own ordinance against smoking that need to be adhered to.

With this, different interpretation arises on determining smoking and non-smoking areas.

“If they also include those walking, that’s not allowed even without EO 26. It depends on the ordinance,” DOH Assistant Secretary Eric Tayag said.

It can be recalled that Health Secretary Paulyn Ubial had mentioned that the DILG is responsible for the strict implementation of the Smoking Ban and that the LGU’s should have a smoke-free task force.

“I don’t have the data but that is the system that we have adopted as soon as we have reports of certain LGU’s not implementing the EO then we call the attention of DILG,” Ubial said.

The DOH once again warns the public to report to their hotline all violators of the said law. – Aiko Miguel | UNTV News and Rescue


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MCGI-NCR’s Mahogany Tree Project in Tanay, Rizal turns once-barren land into a fertile one

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Tuesday, December 19th, 2017

MANILA, Philippines — It was on the 10th of October in 2010 when thousands of members of  The Members Church of God International (MCGI) visited the mountainous part of the San Andres, Tanay, Rizal as part of the celebration of the 30th Anniversary of the longest-running religious program in the Philippines, “Ang Dating Daan (The Old Path).”

Bringing 10,000 mahogany seedlings, the volunteers did not mind the long travel time, the several kilometers of trek, the crossing of streams and the uphill climb.

The group’s Overall Servant, Bro. Eli Soriano himself, who was abroad at that time, and Assistant Overall Servant, Kuya Daniel Razon led the planting of trees.

In 2013, the group revisited the site and saw that many of the planted trees are still standing.

The youth volunteers of MCGI cleaned and cut the grass, which the youth volunteers have always done from the time the mahogany seedlings were planted there. This is aside from hiring a caretaker to monitor the trees.

After 7 years, coinciding with the 37th anniversary of the program,“Ang Dating Daan (The Old Path),” MCGI members have once again revisited the site in San Andres Tanay Rizal.

They were amazed to discover that the previously bald part of the mountain is now full of trees.

According to a group of farmers in the area, the planting of trees in the area by the members of the MCGI helped them a lot.

“This area is among the most visited sites by tourists here in Tanay. That’s why the efforts of MCGI has been a big help…they planted 10,000 trees, and many of those trees remain standing. It looks beautiful. Before it had no trees. Now it’s full of trees. That’s why thank you so much to groups like Dating Daan,” San Andres Tanay Rizal Brgy. Captain Darwin dela Rosa said.

The area’s village chieftain, Darwin dela Rosa said the tree planting activity also helped the indigenous people living there to have extra income.

“Because the indigenous people here have their livelihood in the mountains. They do not cut trees anymore. They now serve as tour guides. If the mountains are beautiful, many people visit. That’s their source of income,” Dela Rosa said.

Antony Ybanez of the group, Samahan ng Magsasaka, said, “That’s how our village became known. Many tourists are going up to the mountains. The beautiful scenery in our village has been restored.”

Tree planting is just one of the charity works being conducted by the Members Church of God International. – Berdard Dadis | UNTV News & Rescue

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Kin of slain soldiers, cops in Marawi siege receive financial aid from Bro. Eli Soriano

by UNTV   |   Posted on Friday, December 15th, 2017

MANILA, Philippines — The bloody battle in Marawi City remains fresh in the memories of Filipinos in the Visayas.

Some of them are relatives of the soldiers and policemen killed in the five-month clash between government troops and members of the Maute terror group.

Despite their loss, life still goes on for the families left by the brave soldiers and cops who sacrificed their lives to liberate the now war-torn city.

One of them is Richard Vista, the father of PFC Johnro Vista, who was killed in battle.

Richard said that his son died after a bomb exploded at the building where he was located.

“Mahirap ma’am, mahirap matanggap, masakit eh. Hanggat nabubuhay ako ma’am hindi ko malimutan yan. Mabait na bata eh (It’s so difficult to accept because it’s so painful. I could never forget him while I am still alive. He was such a good child),” said Mr. Vista.

The grieving father recalled Johnro decided to stay in Marawi City to give his seat in the chopper to a wounded comrade who at that time needed to be brought to a hospital.

Richard is among the 25 families in the Visayas that received P50,000 each from Bro. Eli Soriano of Members Church of God International (MCGI).

Para sa akin, malaki na ito dahil gagawin ko itong savings para sa aking mga anak sa kanilang pag-aaral (For me, this is a huge amount. I will use it for the studies of my children),” said Jeryl Villanueva, wife of the fallen soldier, SSG Joseph Villanueva.

“Nagpasalamat din ako kay Bro Eli, kay Sir Daniel Razon. Kahit papaano makatulong sa amin yun magsimula ng negosyo (Thank you, Bro. Eli, Sir Daniel Razon. This will somehow help us start a business)  ,” said Mr. Vista.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Central Command thanked Brother Eli for the initiative.

“On behalf of the Central Command, we fervently pray that the utmost generosity of the UNTV led by Chief Executive Officer Mr. Daniel S. Razon and of course to Bro. Eli Soriano, be returned a hundred folds. And to our dear families and friends of our fallen heroes soldiers, rest assured that these soldiers have not died in vain. They indeed sacrifice their lives so that others may live,” said AFP Centcom Commander Paul Talay Atal.

The first batch of recipients received the financial assistance on the 2nd of December.

The donation was personally handed over by Kuya Daniel Razon to Lt. Gen. Carlito Galvez Jr., the commander of Western Mindanao Command in Zamboanga City.

On the 11th of December, beneficiaries from Luzon also received financial assistance from Bro. Eli at Camp Aguinaldo.

Bro. Eli donated a total of P8.3M from his own savings to the families left by the 159 and 7 cops who died in the battle in Marawi City.

The said amount is aside from the P6 million donated by the UNTV Foundation to AFP, and P2 million  to the Philippine National Police, which came from the proceeds of the Songs for Heroes 3 benefit concert. — Robie De Guzman| UNTV News & Rescue

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Philippine Blood Center gives the highest accord to MCGI

by UNTV   |   Posted on Wednesday, December 6th, 2017

MANILA, Philippines — One pint of blood can save up to three lives.

That’s why the Philippine Blood Center (PBC) believes volunteer blood donors can be considered heroes.

To recognize these heroes, PBC holds Dugong Bayani Awards yearly.

This 2017, Members Church of God International (MCGI) received once again the Jose Rizal Award.

This is the highest award PBC gives to organizations and agencies that donate more than 2,000 blood units.

Since October last year, MCGI recorded the most number of donated blood units with a total of 6,264.

“Ipinagpapasalamat natin ng maraming marami sa Panginoong Dios dahil sa loob po ng anim na taong sunod-sunod ay sa awa at tulong ng Panginoon ay nakukuha po ng Members Church of God International ang pinakamataas na gawad pagkilala para sa mga nagdodonate ng dugo sa Philippine Blood Center,” said MCGI Representative Danny Navales.

(We thank God because for six consecutive years, with God’s help and mercy, Members Church of God International has been receiving the highest recognition for blood donors to Philippine Blood Center.)

“Kaya ito po ay ating malaking kaligayahan sapagkat alam nating nagbubunga iyong pagpapagal ng ating mga mangangaral, si Bro. Eli Soriano at si Kuya Daniel Razon na hikayatin ang bawat kapatid sa pagsasama-sama na magkaroon ng diwa ng pagabot o pagmamahal sa kapwa tao sa pamamagitan ng pagbibigay ng dugo na napakahalaga lalo na sa ating panahon,” he added.

(That’s why this gives us great joy because we know that the efforts of our preachers, Bro. Eli Soriano and Kuya Daniel Razon, to encourage every brother in the organization to have a sense of service and love for fellowmen through the donation of blood which is very important especially in our time.)

These blood units are from MCGI blood donors in Metro Manila, Cavite, Rizal and some parts of Bulacan, Pampanga and Laguna.

These are apart from the blood donations from different parts of the country.

The Philippine Blood Center, meanwhile, thanked the organization for its tireless support.

“Halos noong nagsimula kami, kasama na namin sila sa aming journey towards 100% voluntary blood donation. Ito ang pinakaessence ng ating programa na gusto natin na lahat ng dugo na isasalin sa ating mga pasyente ay galing sa volunteer donors. At ang tingin ko, nakuha na natin ito, na-attain na natin at napakalaking tulong ng inyong organization,” said PBC head Dr. Andres Bonifacio.

(When we were starting, they were already with us on our journey towards 100% voluntary blood donation. This is the very essence of our program — we want all the blood to be transfused to our patients to be from volunteer donors. And as I see it, we already achieved it, we attained it and your organization is a big help.)

MCGI has already received awards from different blood centers and organizations because of its regular blood drives not only in the Philippines but also around the world.

MCGI is the primary partner of UNTV in all its public services. — Leslie Longboen | UNTV News and Rescue 

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