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GIS EXCLUSIVE: Dr. Willie Ong to prioritize improvements in PH health care system when elected

by admin   |   Posted on Thursday, January 10th, 2019

Veteran physician Willy Ong gestures during his interview on the program Get It Straight with Daniel Razon on January 10, 2019

QUEZON CITY, Philippines – Veteran physician Dr. Willie Ong became a social media sensation for his helpful tips on almost every health condition.

His knowledge in the medical field has been his tool in helping people especially the poor who need medical help.

“Masarap makatulong sa isa, dalawa, tatlo. Pero baka makatulong tayo sa isang libo, dalawang libo why not, di ba? Baka may gusto pa ang Dios na ipagawa sa akin. Iyon talaga ang purpose ko,” he said.

Dr. Willy is also active in a number of public services in different parts of the country.

“Ang nakikita ko yung ginagawa sa UNTV, libreng gamotan, libreng lab test. Alam ko yung nababalitaan ko sa mga mahihirap kong pasyente marami pumupunta dito sa inyo. Pag nakita ko sa isang matutulungan, example lang heart patients yung mga may congenital heart, kaya nating tulungan yung 1, 250 thousand. Eh limang libo sila, papaano yun?” he argued.

Based on the latest survey, Ong landed on the 21st to 29th spot. Despite this, he is still confident of landing a seat in the Senate.

If given the chance, Ong wants to push for what he calls as his GOALS.

GOALS means G or free ‘gamot’ medicine especially for the poor;
free O or operation for minor surgery;
proper Advise or diagnosis from attending doctors;
‘ligtas’ or safe and secured drugs, immunization and food for the public.

Among others, Ong considers illegal drug addiction as a long-standing problem in the Philippines.

To address this, Ong said drug dependents must be given proper attention to help them recover

“Ang konti lang, yung less than 1 gram. Pag nahulihan idederetso na sa rehab. Hindi yung dadalhin sa kulungan makukulong siya doon,” he explained referring to the weight of offense for a drug dependent.

“Kasi kapag kinulong natin… unang una puno na yung Jail natin. At naaddict sya doon di naman siya criminal nahulihan lang siya ng konti isasama mo doon sa mga criminal. Pag doon sa kulungan natin ano problema? Napakataas ng Tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS mataas din sa kulungan,” he added.

Ong has earned 9 million followers on Facebook which makes his social media account on top 22 of all FB accounts in the country.

He ranked 43, meanwhile, among the top Youtube accounts with 840,000 subscribers. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

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Andaya tells Malacañang: Bare vetoed parts in 2019 budget

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Tuesday, April 16th, 2019

House Majority Leader Rolando Andaya Jr.

MANILA, Philippines – A leader of the House of Representatives on Monday urged Malacañang to bare the details of the provisions in the 2019 national budget that were vetoed by President Rodrigo Duterte.

House Appropriations Committee Chairman Rep. Rolando Andaya Jr. made the call after Duterte signed the 2019 General Appropriations Act but vetoed more than P95 billion items of appropriations in the details of the projects under the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

READ: Duterte signs P3.7-T national budget for 2019

Andaya said the Palace should reveal the details of the vetoed provisions “in the interest of transparency and for the guidance of the public.”

“I urge Malacañang to release the President’s veto message in full immediately so that we can base our reaction on the official document,” he said in a statement.

The lawmaker also hinted that the Senate’s alleged pork barrel remains intact in the newly-signed 2019 budget, saying this could be the reason why Senators are in celebratory mood over the deletion of the House amendments amounting to P95.3 billion.

“My friends in the Senate are going to town claiming victory over the deletion of the House amendments. Does this mean that the Senate port remains intact? Could this be the reason for their celebratory mood?” Andaya said.

The solon also argued that the President’s veto on several items in the budget could be “conditional” in nature.

“I believe that the veto being speculated about is of the conditional kind.  As such, the appropriation remains but its release is subject to conditions,” he said.

Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea said in a text message on Monday that Duterte vetoed some parts in the budget that were not part of the administration’s “programmed priorities.”

Andaya has been insisting that the realignments they made were not post-ratification as these had been authorized by the bicameral conference committee report and did not exceed the expenditure ceilings of respective departments and agencies.

He also said that Senate President Vicente Sotto’s signing of the budget bill with strong reservations was ill-advised and baseless.

READ: Andaya hits Sotto’s “strong reservations” in signing 2019 budget bill 

Meanwhile, Senators have expressed relief with the signing of the budget and commended Duterte for vetoing the questionable insertions in the 2019 spending program.   

“I am relieved that the 2019 budget has finally been signed, primarily because further delay would have caused adverse effects on our macroeconomy,” Senator Sherwin Gatchalian said in a statement.

“The veto is proof that the Senate was right all along in saying that the changes made were unconstitutional,” he added.

Senator Panfilo Lacson also lauded Duterte’s move, calling the signing of the “pork-free” national budget a “victory for Filipino taxpayers.”

“If there is one act of PRRD (President Rodrigo Duterte) that is worthy of admiration, this veto message is on top of my list,” Lacson added.

Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon also believes that Duterte’s decision to reject the P95-billion items of appropriations is constitutional.

“The President’s line item veto is based on legal and constitutional grounds, and not because the President sided with the Senate,” Drilon said.

Senator Grace Poe, meanwhile, urged her colleagues and the public to be alert to ensure that the taxpayers’ money will be spent accordingly.

“Magbantay tayo para matiyak na ang huling piso ay sa kapakanan ng taumbayan mapupunta,” she said.

(We should be on guard to ensure that the last peso will be spent on the public’s welfare.) – Robie de Guzman (with details from Nel Maribojoc)

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Not enough health benefits in vitamin supplements, study says

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Wednesday, April 10th, 2019

A new studyshows that taking regular vitamins and dietary supplements are not enough to keep you healthy.

Consumed nutrients from vitamins and supplements may not be as effective in improving one’s health compared with eating the right food for the needed nutrients, according to the study. Meanwhile, getting the right nutrients by eating the right amount of food is associated with longer life.

The study also showed that some supplements pose a risk to one’s health. This includes calcium from supplements. Too much intake of calcium from supplements is associated with an increased risk of cancer death.

People with no Vitamin D deficiency but are taking too much Vitamin D supplements also risk having negative effects on their health.

According to the study’s co-author Fang Fang Zhang, it is better to not rely on supplements in order to keep a healthy lifestyle.

“For the general population, there’s no need to take dietary supplements. More and more evidence suggests no benefits. So we should go with what the dietary recommendations suggest to achieve adequate nutrition from food, rather than relying on supplements,” he said.

For the study, around 30,899 adults in the United States aged 20 years or older were evaluated based on their dietary supplement use.—Aileen Cerrudo

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Senators express concern over Chinese vessels in PH waters, probe sought

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Friday, April 5th, 2019

Senators expressed their concerns over the presence of Chinese vessels in Philippine waters.

Senator Risa Hontiveros has filed a resolution on Thursday (April 4) to investigate on the issue.

According to Hontiveros, the presence of these Chinese vessels are illegal and extremely bothering.

“Is the Duterte administration still in full control of our waters and territories, or have they surrendered them already to China? The illegal, unreported and unregulated presence of numerous Chinese vessels in our territories is extremely bothering,” she said in a statement.

The resolution also seeks to investigate the presence of a Chinese dredging vessel in Lobo, Batangas.

READ: Lobo, Batangas local gov’t ordered Chinese dredging ship to leave

Reports of the Armed Forces of the Philippines showed that hundreds of Chinese vessels were sighted circling around Pag-asa Island.

Senator Panfilo Lacson said the government should not allow these Chinese vessels to operate around Pag-asa island.

“We should not allow China to encircle, much less occupy the island of Pag-asa. Let’s be reminded of what we sing every Monday morning, during our flag-raising ceremony,” he said in a statement.

He will also volunteer to accompany President Rodrigo Duterte if he decides to visit Pag-asa Island.

The Pag-asa Island is the largest among the nine islands occupied by the Philippines in the Spratlys Islands. It is also a home to several Filipinos.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said the presence of Chinese vessels near Pag-asa Island is illegal and is a violation of the Philippine sovereignty under 1982 United Nations Conventions on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)

“The presence of Chinese vessels near and around Pag-asa and other maritime features in the KIG is illegal. Such actions are a clear violation of Philippine sovereignty, sovereign rights and jurisdiction,” the DFA said in a statement.

Senator Franklin Drilon, meanwhile, said it is better to file a diplomatic protest against China.

“The protest signifies our country’s formal objection to the legality of the acts committed and will indicate that we have no intention of abandoning our claims,” he said.

For Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) should aid fishermen affected by the maritime dispute. Especially when there are reports that these Chinese vessels are harassing Filipino fishermen.

“Dapat ang BFAR kasama ang DFA, gumawa ng diplomatic approach dito, instead na huwag payagan dahil naghahanapbuhay sila. So I think pinakamaganda diyan, show of good faith na payagan ang ating mga mangingisda na mangisda, of course sa atin naman iyon, (BFAR and DFA should make a diplomatic approach on the matter instead of prohibiting them to fish. That is their livelihood. So I think there should be a show of good faith and allow the fishermen to fish),” he said.

Amid the tension in the West Philippine Sea, the DFA reminds concerned parties to avoid any actions that will violate the ASEAN-China Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in South China Sea.—Aileen Cerrudo (with reports from Nel Maribojoc)

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